I'm hoping to get paint around April and then re-assembly in May (depending how long the paint guy takes)
Originally Posted by coledog2004
Was thinking about doing this I got a 92 base model green with tan top and tan aftermarket seats. Do you think the body work could be done with plastic dip the strips and stuff and how much would a project like this cost like I said I just spent good money on seats and stuff so I am leaving that alone but other than that my jeep is stock
It all depends on how "canon" you want to be. If you have a great Jeep now, you would need to paint it LJ1 (sand beige metalic low gloss). At the same time you could have the painter also paint on the red stripes, or you could go plasti-dip. Someone on the jurassicparkjeep.com forums did plastidip and it doesn't look too bad. Of course it'll be the cheaper option and will not look perfect, but all it has to do is look perfect to you.
Plastidip is $5 a can and it took 3 cans to paint 5 15" wheels with 4-5 coats each. So you could do plastidip for under $100 easily.
PM me if you want to chat more.
Originally Posted by samizdad
Looks like it is coming along nicely. Lots of work but it will pay off in the end.
Thanks, its been fun to work on the Jeep and see it come along
Some work since last update. The correct tires came in so I went to a friend's dad's shop and had the tires mounted and balanced on the plasti-dipped wheels. The wheels held up 100% and look great with the new tires. I definitely recommend plasti-dip for those wanting to change their wheel color.
I had not seen the process in person and it was really interesting and not as difficult as I had thought. It does take practice and know-how to get the tires inflated and how the hunter machine works for balancing. It was really neat to watch how everything goes together. And what the dots mean on the new tires (they line up with the valve stem, because the tire was balanced at the factory and the 1 oz weight of the valve stem throws off the balance of the tire).
Now that I have new tires, i can remove the old and start on returning the YJ to stock suspension and steering. However, there was a problem I did not anticipate.
Rhino-lining is great stuff; long lasting, strong, rust proof, and annoying to remove from nuts and bolts. Guess what the previous owner did? They rhino-lined everything they could on the underside of the vehicle, and I do mean everything. In addition, they also installed a 2" shackle lift and a dual stabilizer kit. Both will need to be removed.
I didn't realize how much the PO had rhino-lined until I started removing the shackle lift. Normally removing the shack lift would not require removing the u-bolts or spring plates, but the PO did 2 things
a) broke the driver side leaf spring plate
b) rhino-lined the passenger side left spring plate's threads
This meant that the u-bolts had to come off to replace the plates. It was then that we discovered that the rhino-lining had penetrated the u-bolt and nut, which made them one solid unit. Two snapped u-bolts later, it was decided to start cutting the u-bolts to save time and frustration. I didn't have the tools necessary to cut the u-bolts (they are tough!) so we called it a week and started up the following Sunday.
I didn't have an angle grinder, so off to HF to buy their $10 version along with some cutoff discs and got to work:
After removing the passenger side first, we mounted one of the new tires and got the first look at how the tires are going to look. I was super excited at this point
We finished the the driver side in short order a few days later. Heres how the driver side, with a better angle, looks today
We only had a few hours to work on the Jeep, so the Jeep sits a little funny because the rear still has the 2" lift and big tires. It reminds me of the hot rods from the 20s and 30s, with big fat rear tires lifted higher than the fronts. It has not been driven this way, so there shouldn't be any issues with frame stresses due to the extreme size difference in tires and lift.
One thing that I was expecting was a few Wranglers to be in the local junkyards. I was shocked to find out that there were 3 junk yards locally that had Wranglers, but that most of them had been stripped in the 3 weeks they arrived at the yards. I need a sway bar up front to complete the front suspension stock conversion and finally found one. I will be heading there tomorrow with a friend to remove it and a few other parts.
Removal of the rear shackles and installation of the stock shackles and front sway bar should be in the next few weeks. Once those two items are done, my suspension work is finished
After the suspension work, I need to remove the front fog lights and figure out the wiring since these are aftermarket and tied to a relay directly from the battery. Also will start removing the windshield mounted mirrors that I broke the bolts on, but wont come out due to the washer/nut combo hiding behind the windshield.
I've decided to go ahead and replace the entire soft top since the current one leaks when it rains, which will be a problem when I install carpet. The uppers also look more like they are from a TJ instead of a YJ. The soft top needs to be removed for paint anyways, so this will be a good time to remove and sell it during spring time along with (hopefully) the old wheels and tires.
"Item one fifty-one on today's project list. We've got all the problems of a major jeep project and a major restoration, and the jeep's not even on its feet yet."
Looks like it's going to be awesome! As someone who spends at least part of every summer on dinosaur digs, the first thing I did when I got home from the dealership: order a set of magnetic door decals. They look pretty good on my black JKU.
Its been a while since I've updated, so I apologize about that. Been working on the Jeep a lot in the past month, getting taxes ready and finishing some projects at my IT gig.
We went to Big George's a little north of me because he had a sway bar that I needed to complete the front end conversion. Friend and I went there and found a YJ Sahara that a PO painted black before he junked it
The sway bar was in great condition, considering that it was uncovered in a field behind Big George's garage. We pulled the sway bar without major issues, a few rusted bolts to deal with, but nothing a breaker bar and mountain dew couldn't fix. We had to remove the steering box to remove one of the bolts, and wondered if this would be a problem with re-installation (definitely not foreshadowing).
Finding good bumperettes has been tough so I picked 2 up while there. $60 later, I had a sway bar and 2 bumperettes. Big George was a nice guy and I was glad he had what I needed.
Before I could finish the front suspension conversion, I needed to fix the rear so the Wrangler was not pretending to be a 20s hotrod forever. We again had to cut the rear u-bolts due to rhino-lining, but this time it was different. We had hoped it to be a "5 minute process" because we did the front and were now clearly mechanics, but it turned ugly. We removed the second ubolt on the rear driver side and the shock compressed. We are still puzzled as to the reason, as the passenger side did not compress when we removed the ubolts. So the rear driver side: 5 hours. Rear passenger side: 1 hour. After spending 6 hours and only accomplishing the rear suspension conversion, we installed the new u-bolts, new tires and fresh beer in our stomachs. Day done.
MLK day afforded me a day off during the week so fresh off the rear suspension job, I decided to tackle the sway bar install myself. A quick check of the front of the wrangler to see what was needed revealed awesomeness. Remember when I said the PO rhino-lined everything?
This shows the steering box where one of the sway bar brackets is installed. The PO rhino-lined the bracket after he cut it instead of removing the bracket properly. This really infuriated me. I was so close to posting a bitch thread but decided against it. I understood why they did it, its honestly a pain to remove the bracket and if they were never going to use the sway bar again, its easier to cut it. So annoying, but not the end of the world.
I looked online to see the best method to remove rhino-lining and it mentioned several things; everything from paint thinner to kerosene to brake cleaner. I opted for brake cleaner as that is what I had in the garage and used a metal brush to scrape some of the big chunks.
This worked incredibly well, as the bolt was easily removed and part of the bracket popped off with a flat head screwdriver
After the first bolt and bracket were removed, I started removing the second part. I had to bend the bracket a little to get to the bolt and while removing it is when I noticed my next issue. I was afraid that the bolt I was removing was going to be too long to remove with the shock mount bolt and nut where they were.
You can see here how far the sway bar bracket bolt came out before I had to start removing the shock mount bolt
Half hour later I removed the shock mount bolt enough to allow clearance for the sway bar bracket bolt. I had to use the a breaker bar and a ratcheting 3/8" hex bolt that I could only ratchet one notch per turn. That was super tiring but needed to be done.
Once the driver side was removed I removed the dual link stabilizer on the passenger side. This was easily removed (it was not rhino-lined surprisingly).
The sway bar installation took about 15 minutes. I bought new brackets and bushings from the local autozone.
The entire install took me about 5 hours on MLK day. I waited until the following Saturday to install the links.
Saturday rolled around quickly and we installed the new sway bar links. I had to verify on a friends YJ which way the links needed to be installed as my friends and I thought the curve needed to face the front of the vehicle.
I was extremely happy to be done with the stock suspension conversion. Now onto the dis-assembly phase.
After installing the wheels the Jeep looked festive
Shortly after finishing the suspension conversion, I was able to sell my old tire carrier on craigslist for $400 and their stock tire carrier
Thankfully when I bought the Wrangler I noticed it had some mods/parts that I could sell on craigslist for cash. This does help offset the cost of new parts, such as the new Soft Top, Mirror Kit, U-Bolts, Sway-Bar, Tires/Wheels, Light Bar, etc.
The same day we installed the sway bar links we started dis-assembly phase 1 of 3. There were many items that we needed to remove to prep for paint. These items included:
All fender flares including side steps
All accessories (hood latches, tail lights, fresh air grill, fog lights, etc)
Windshield mounted mirrors
Soft top canvas and hardware
Roll bar padding
Door inserts and weather stripping
Replace windshield frame with new OE
All pinstripes, stickers, etc
We had a lot to remove, so we started with the most obvious and biggest item to remove, the soft top canvas and hardware
After removing the soft top and hardware, we started to tackle the next big item on our list, the windshield frame and mounted mirrors. This proved to be quite frustrating. The windshield mounted mirrors used the bottom plate of windshield hinges. These were not threaded into the body, but fed through and were secured with standard hardware nuts. So we had to remove the dash pad to get our hands to read the nuts, but the windshield had to be tilted forward to get to the dash pad bolts.
We sprayed all of the windshield bolts with pb blaster every day for a week leading up to phase 1 day, and it seemed to help. Even with the additional help, the fear of stripping a head or snapping a bolt was such that I was volunteered to do most of the bolt breaking. So I bought it, and if I broke it, I had to pay to fix it. Fantastic
An hour or so later, we had the mirrors off and dash back together.
With the bolts broken on the existing windshield frame, it was now time to remove it. I knew when I bought the Wrangler that the windshield frame was damaged, hard to miss really, and that theoretically the paint guy could fix it up with bondo. He looked at it, and noped right out of that job. So a new frame was in order.
What we didn't know is that the OMIX-ADA OEM windshield I ordered from Amazon was put together by 3 blind men with the help of a 2 year old. It had the correct amount of mounting holes, but they were all mis-aligned. In addition. the holes that were threaded on the original windshield were not on the replacement. The real kicker is that the shipping on the frame was... well, a cardboard box. Literally, it came in a cardboard box no bigger than the outside dimensions of the frame. So, not only did it have mis-aligned holes, non-threaded holes, but it came damaged as well. UGH
I had read some reviews on the OMIX-ADA windshield frame and its issues so I ordered it from Amazon, knowing fully it was more expensive than some other shops, just for the return policy. That turned out to be a good call as the frame was returned on Amazon's dime, along with a 1 star review.
So I talked with a friend who is going to a full frame off CJ restoration, and asked what he thought. He had heard from his own research and experience that Crown windshield frames were the best. I hadn't had much experience ordering Jeep parts from anywhere but Rockauto and Amazon, so some research lead me to 4wd.com. A bonus is that their warehouse is in Ohio so shipping time should be 2-3 days at most. I called their main sales line and spoke with Keith, telling him about my issues with the new replacement frame and to see if he could help. Not only did he give me 10% off, free shipping and no tax, but he personally went to the warehouse and verified that the mounting holes were in the correct alignment, threaded and made sure to ship the windshield frame with some padding.
My Wrangler is currently being worked on and stored at a very generous friend's garage, so I had the windshield frame delivered there. I wouldn't be able to see it for a few days so I was hopeful the frame would be in better condition.
I've had an ad up on craigslist for the old 31" General mud wheels and tires since I brought home the Jeep. I've had about 5 emails/calls asking if I could separate as they wanted the tires instead of the wheels or vice versa. I had a guy who was really interested in the wheels so I went to the local tire place and had them separated.
With the wheels sold, I've had a few bites on the tires and one guy, John, said he would buy the tires from me on Saturday. Saturday rolls around and I waited for his call, and nothing. I tried calling him twice, with no return call. So I called from the other line and got ahold of him Sunday and he said we would meet Wednesday (yesterday). I told him I would call Tuesday to verify our meeting, and when I called he hung up on me! Well, I guess he doesn't want the tires anymore.
I got a few parts in:
New YJ Mirror Kit
Soft top is coming
New fog lights that i'm hoping will be a good substitute for the OEM Sahara fogs that I can't find anywhere.
"Dr. Sattler, Dr. Grant, you've heard of chaos theory?"
By the end of the day, we removed lots of parts but were running into issues with the side steps. We snapped lots of bolts and was having issues with the bolt closest to the rear wheel. Theres a bolt that goes through the side panel with a nut inside an enclosed space. The space is very small and you are not able to grab the nut with a pair of pliers or wrench.
So after a very productive day, we decided to close out phase 1. This is what the Wrangler looked like at the end of the day
With the big items removed, we started on the smaller items, paint and trim pieces.
But first, we wanted to see how the new suspension components and tires were going to handle on the road. So before shipping it off to paint, a ride was in order.
There was about 8" of snow on the ground, temperature around 18F, the Wrangler was missing the doors, mirrors and soft top. Before we swapped over the new windshield frame we thought it was the perfect time for a ride around the neighborhood.
It drove amazing. The original 2" shackle lift and 31" mud tires did not ride well at all, in my opinion, so I was thrilled after our short drive.
We started at the front of the vehicle and wanted to work our way to the rear to make sure we removed every accessory/paint/trim that we could to prep for paint. The OEM pin striping was first. We tried a few different techniques to find the most efficient way to remove the stripes and found that if my friend and I worked together, it would go quicker than solo attempts. My friend would go ahead of me with a hair dryer to help soften the striping and I followed him with a razor blade. Even with this method, we did scrape the paint in some spots, but this will be fixed soon enough.
Our method worked well for the big Sahara and Jeep stickers. I did discover I have a Joop instead of a Jeep when the red stickers were removed.
After removing the pin striping and stickers, I wanted to see if the new Crown windshield frame was a true OEM replacement than the OMIX-ADA version. At this point we were pros and windshield removal so the swap took only a few minutes. This new windshield frame was absolutely perfect. It even fit better than the OEM with the roll bar. I think when the PO hit 'a something', it knocked the windshield frame out of square a little.
The roll bar padding and sound pods were next. I didn't know this, but the roll bar padding above the driver and passenger seats is not velcroed in place, but slid on that roll bar section which is then attached to the main roll bar.
The PO told me the sound pods came from a TJ and they looked like they fit well. What I discovered was that he used self tapping metal screws to install the pods and most other mods he did. I'm hoping I can repair/reuse these mounting holes during the reassembly phase.
These were everywhere
With the sounds pods and roll bar padding removed, we moved onto the rear of the Wrangler. The back seat came out easily and was put in storage. We moved to the rear accessory removal which included the rear tail lights, rubber tire bump stops, and rear tail gate weather stripping.
I would later learn that there are quick disconnects for the rear tail lights, so they were fully removed during phase 3.
It was quite cold in the garage so we took the half doors inside to remove the inside panel and weather striping. We didn't break any plastic pieces but did damage one clip on the driver door.
Lots of hard work on phase 2 would make for an easy phase 3 (or so we hoped)
"Yeah, but, John, if The Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down, the pirates don't eat the tourists."
I picked up a genuine Mopar light bar off of craigslist a few weeks ago. This is currently at my blacksmith friend who is stripping the rhino lining (its back!) and will be welding the 3 pieces together and smoothing up the welds to make it look like the movie
Yesterday was the final day of dis-assembly before paint. We only had a few items left and wanted to go junk yard picking for a few parts before I bought them on eBay.
Parts needing removed:
OEM side steps and rear fender flares
Rear tail light disconnects
Existing/old magnetic CB antenna
Front grill mounted turn signal lights
Door locking cylinders
We were still having troubles removing the OEM side step. We removed the front fender flares pretty easily with a sawzall but we ruined them in the process. I had purchased replacements because the existing flares were damaged when I purchased the Wrangler, so that was ok. But the side steps needed to be kept as they are in good condition and replacements are not easily found. After everything short of cutting holes in the body work to get to the spinning nut, we decided to, carefully, use the sawzall and remove the last bolt. This worked a lot better than expected, with no damage to the side steps or body.
We removed the rear tires to get a better position with the sawzall to remove the rear fender flares.
The rear tail lights were disconnected and door lock cylinders were removed from the 3 doors.
The CB Antenna was next. The antenna cable went from between the front seats, to the engine compartment and then back to the rear of the vehicle. I'm guessing the PO did this because the cable was too long and needed a place to store the extra length. I'll be getting a new CB antenna so everything was cut and disconnected from the fuel panel and removed in a few minutes.
I'll be making a parts run next weekend to drop off the parts needed for reassembly and paint. For now, we stored the side steps in the passenger compartment for transport. I also printed all of the HD shots collected from JurassicParkJeep.com to have on hand for the painter.
We vaguely cleaned the garage and took one of the last pictures for this series until the paint process begins.
We headed to the local junk yard to see if we could find some final parts and a spare tire. We found no spare parts, the two Wranglers they had there were either picked clean or were in poor condition, but we did find a tire. The problem is that the tire, the only one out of the 100+ trucks and suvs there, was bald on one side and in very poor condition. So 2 hours and $8 (they had a $2/per yard fee) our junk yard run was a bust.
I'm still searching craigslist for a spare tire because I dont want to spend $170 on a brand new tire when a used tire will work fine.
At the end of the day we had completed the paint prep. I talked with the painter and he is currently a few weeks out as he is working on my friend's CJ restoration. His restoration is coming along well as he mounted the repli-tub body to the frame without any major issues. His body is being prepped and painted in the next few weeks and mine will be in shortly after.
The timing works for me as this will give me time to finish some neglected projects around the house. I'll make sure to update the thread as I continue to gather parts and paint the interior console green.
Man - That's nice .. You've done a great job on this project so far , I only wish I would have seen this thread back when you needed you're parts , I have a lot of them including a new 94' OEM windshield frame complete with everything except the windshield..If there's anything else you're in need of "I-M" Me and I'll let you know if I have it.. I can't wait to see this thing after it comes back from paint..
BTW- I drive a 99' Sahara - But I didn't know they made them in the YJ Era ..That interior is the bomb "real nice". Besides the Sahara sticker , what did the Sahara "Package" come with in those Days ??
There was a not a lot of progress on the Jeep until 2 weeks ago. The painter was finishing my friend's CJ7 body paint and was was ready to get started on mine
The lightbar was finished by my blacksmith friend so we did a quick test fit to find the right angle for him to weld the three pieces to make a solid light bar.
With the angles marked, it was time to drill some final holes for the accessories
This Wrangler was in an accident in late 95 so they replaced the 94 hood with a 95, which had rubber windshield mounts instead of the tie downs. Since they are not canon, I got a new set of tie downs from 4wd and drilled new holes
In the movie, the Jabsco lights ran inside the lightbar down the passenger side into this hole and then into the passenger compartment.
We measured the best we could for the appropriate mounting spot for the CB antenna. The hole required by the mount is 1 1/4" so we went to home depot and grabbed a 1 3/8" hole sale to give us a little room. This made a much cleaner hole than I was anticipating.
I rented a flat bed trailer from u-haul to tow the Wrangler to the painter behind the wife's RX350. We strapped down the rear door, side doors and put the rest of the parts inside the SUV
A quick 45 minute drive and we had it backed up near his garage. We left in the seat to easily get it on and off the trailer and move it around his driveway. We did take the seat out and bring it with us.
I brought along some full doors I picked up on craigslist for $170 thinking that I might want to do a hard top in the winter. The full doors need a little work, but they are surprisingly clean. I'm still not sure if I'm going to use them or not, but I figured if they get cleaned up and painted, I can easily sell them on craigslist for $400-500 and make a few dollars
The day after dropping off the Wrangler, I headed back to my blacksmith friend's shop to weld the plate on the light bar. I had initially talked myself out of spending $210 per Jabsco light because at $900, thats a lot for lights that will see little use. After thinking more about all of the work already put into the Jeep, I decided to go ahead and buy the lights as nothing else I found even came close to the look of these lights. So I purchased 2 and brought along one to make sure our measurements are accurate.
The lightbar is made of stainless steel, which is a notoriously hard metal to work with. Thankfully he has a lot of experience in metal working and had a sheet of stainless lying around so we could make the plate. We measured the distance between the mounting brackets at 41" and the width of the lights at 5.75"
We then measured the radius and spaced the holes 11 5/8" apart so they are even across the mounting plate
A quick test fit to see how the lights look with the curved cut and if they there was enough clearance in all directions
Looks pretty good to me!
He welded the plate to the lightbar a few minutes later which completed the lightbar
This thread is awesome man!
I'm doing the same thing to my '13 JK(probably gonna piss people off)
But its my favorite movie and vehicle so why not.
If you havent already check out jurassicjeep.com, they have detailed instructions on how do everything. I personally designed all my decals just need to cut them lay em out paint over and peel them off.
There's also a great photo to reference paint and decals too i'll try to attatch.
Keep up the great work man, it looks sick so far!
Nice build. Can't wait to see the finished product
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2003 RED Jeep Wrangler X - Can't stop adding stuff and updating.
2014 White Jeep Liberty Sport
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2007 Black GMC Sierra 2500HD 4x4 Duramax/Allison
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