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Topic Review (Newest First)
02-02-2012 03:09 PM
TheTJRod I got rainned out but I put everything together. I let it idle with the heater on. It got to operating temperature and the heater was still blowing cold. Also seems like I didn't get a good seal around the thermostat as it was leaking a little. I don't know what's going on now. When the water pump and thermostat were off I put a hose in the thermostat opening and it was coming out of the water pump hole so I don't think there is heavy blockage. I was also able to get water to flow out the bottom of the radiator and I cleaned all the hoses and they all looked good with no cracks. My belt is still tight, heck I had a hard time stretching it back on. Other than being a DOA water pump I don't know what could be wrong. Oh I also touched the hoses when it was running, the upper was HOT and the lower was cool. No flow through the radiator, also checked with the radiator cap off and it was just sitting there. Going to remove the thermostat just to see if water will start flowing. Then will take back the water pump for a replacement.
02-02-2012 03:00 PM
TheTJRod 2-1-2012

I got everything apart. Had some white flakes in some of the lines. Read that it was mineral deposits from not using distilled. I have only ever added coolant mix till last week when I over heated once and noticed I was very low on coolant, to get home I topped it off with bottled water. I ran a garden hose through the radiator and it ran clear easy. Anyway I was removing all the gaskets and I now know that I hate paper gaskets as they are a royal pain to get off. Been spending over a half hour scraping it. I took a break for dinner and brought the thermostat in for a test. It was stuck closed. Maybe I didn't have to replace my water pump, though I am still going to do it. Also anyone know that my '03 has a plastic propeller? The GMB replacement I got is metal. Read that is was an updated design. Anyway I am back out to get the rest of the gasket off and start the flush with the cleaner. I feel like I'm going to be driving my other car still tomorrow.
02-02-2012 01:43 PM
TheTJRod 1-30-2012

Well.. my jeep is broke down. I'm guessing the water pump as signs were showing that it was leaking. It over heated while I was on 95 going to work yesterday. Turned on the heater and it was blowing cold, first it has ever done that. Either a blockage or bad pump. Pulled off the highway on an off ramp, and steam was coming from the hood. Waited till it cooled to under 150 and pulled into a parking lot less than a 1/4 mile away. The jeep didn't want to stay running at idle. Going to replace the water pump, thermostat and radiator cap. Also going to flush the system and run a cleaner through it. I suspect the head gasket is blown too. That is out of my comfort zone. Anyone want to help this weekend that has done that?

My day was almost a total bumber. My sister-in-law had to pick me up from work. Then I went to pick up my wife in her car(sister and her car pool). She had 4 lights on!! Why don't they tell me anything! Check engine light, Low coolant, change oil, and the oil light(guess is low oil). And if to mock me the gas light went on after 2 miles! Got gas, the gas cap seems like it doesn't close all the way(possible exhaust leak and cause of check engine light). Checked the oil, didn't even register on the dipstick! How is this thing driving? Added coolant, changed the oil and filter. I first attempted to just top it off with oil but I almost emptied a 5 qt jug in it. Decided to replace the filter while I was pretty much filling an empty engine. Now only the check engine light remains. Going to get a new gas cap to see. Told her to take it to autozone to get the code checked but I feel like if I want it done I'm going to have to do it myself.


I picked up all the parts. Only cost me $55. I also went to check on the Jeep and see what I could diagnose real quick. Opened the rad cap and there was brown sludge right at the top, definatly clogging it up. May not be a bad pump but either way I got it and I should replace it anyway. May need a new radiator too or just replace it for piece of mind. Either way I can't repair it in a parking lot and will get it towed home. Going to pull the radiator and pop off all the hoses and run water through everything. Going to use half the bottle of cleaner in the radiator with it off the jeep and flush it. Then going to put everything together and put the cleaner through the entire system, flush it, then fill it with G-05 HOAT coolant that can only be got from Napa(or dealer).

I haven't flushed the cooling system since I got and I kinda doubt it was ever done. At 87k now. It's possible I put in a "for all types" coolant months ago when I didn't know any better. I wish I tried to replace the water pump last weekend when I suspected it. Would have found the problem and it would be at home.

Got a friend to tow it home for me. It was to late to start tonight but I will get to it tomorrow.
01-07-2012 09:37 PM
TheTJRod Got my battery replaced for free. Couldn't even start itself after long drives. Caused some weird problems too. It would die at a stop light. Also it couldn't idle right after it started. Another was while trying to start it the gauges would fly all around. Nothing weird like that for now but I need to drive it around more before I call it all good.

Also had my electric fan controller go out on me. Got a replacement but not after I over heated a few times and messed up my hood paint. Still need to run a bypass and put a diode on the fan to combat reverse voltage from the fan(what I am blaming for killing the fan controller).

Also went to get an emissions test. I failed the first time but I expected it. Had a leak between the cat and muffler and needed a downturn on the end of the exhaust. The cat's outlet is 2.25" and the muffler input was 2.5, I just clamped it down hard hoping it would be good enough. It wasn't. I got rid of the clamp and welded it shut. Then welded on a down turn. Took it back the next day and failed the gas cap pressure test. Seriously? All I need is a gas cap, then I had to go out of town for the rest of the week for business. The place isn't open past 12pm on saturdays. I now have to wait till Monday.

Here is how she sits now

This is my background on my phone and PC now

And a few pics of the test fitting of the rear.

01-05-2012 11:07 PM
Lbailey21 dude this is seriously awesome! i love some of ur ideas..bravo keep it going!
12-29-2011 04:54 PM
TheTJRod Ford 9 was in 2 months ago now

Yesterday I installed a 136amp alternator(I messed up and ordered the wrong one, the 136amp instead of the 160amp)
Also built a new power wire harness with 2 gauge wires throughout. Need to get wire wraps for them.

04-20-2011 11:10 PM
TheTJRod Since I don't expect you to check my other threads and I want to keep overall progress in one place I am going to post a little update on my axle swap here.

I cut off all the brackets on my Ford 9, welded on the truss, and cleaned it up. (I also primed it right after these pictures to keep off rust)

I always knew the culprit to my vibrations were my bushings in the control arms. I showed this to my wife and somewhat justified a few of the upgrades . Rusty's forged suspension joints vs Unknown(actually now I think it is a rusty lift) lift control arm bushing.

Rear D44 finally out and ready to be picked up for more money to work with!

04-13-2011 04:39 PM
TheTJRod Just a little update. I made a thread of my axle swap and long arm build.

The price is already over a thousand bucks on parts alone. Think twice when you say that new lift your looking at is too expensive. So far I bought all the brackets for the rear axle and frame, both trusses, suspension links, DOM tubing, and treaded inserts.

Front truss D44- Ruff Stuff $75+25
Rear Truss F9"- Ruff Stuff $160+40
Rear brackets- Ballistic Fabrication $187+56
Rear DOM, front LCA frame brackets, threaded inserts - $211+58
8 Control Arm Joints - Rusty $312+29

Total 1153 (ow)

Still need to buy 8 more joints(300), DOM(100), threaded inserts(80), and brackets for the front(150). Estimated 600-700 more. This of course is not including rebuilding the front axle and replacing the brakes on the rear, estimated, 400. 2 Hubs and rotors, 2 bearing kits, 1 locking hub, 4 ball joints, 4 TREs, 2 rear rotors, 4 rebuilt calipers, and misc parts to finish tubing brakes and parts for ARB air lines.
03-16-2011 09:20 AM
Originally Posted by Amw2210 View Post
What spray did you use to undercoat your fender? It all looks great man you flipped this into a real nice rig
It's just the undercoating at autozone and thanks!
03-16-2011 09:19 AM
Originally Posted by MikalCarbine View Post
Some sweet mods, bummer to see you sell it. Why bother with the axles at this point? What will you be driving now instead
Oh, I guess I didn't make it clear. I found an amazing deal on almost exactly what I was shooting for in the "end" and I am selling the WJ knuckles and the HPD30 that I was building. Bought all new brakes, spent hours and hours working on it(just ask my wife). I have a d30 TnT truss, d30 riddler diff cover, and a 4.88 gear set with master install kit. They are all new and whenever you sell something that you bought it always seems to go for much less. Also selling my d44 rear
03-16-2011 09:18 AM
Amw2210 What spray did you use to undercoat your fender? It all looks great man you flipped this into a real nice rig
03-16-2011 08:40 AM
MikalCarbine Some sweet mods, bummer to see you sell it. Why bother with the axles at this point? What will you be driving now instead
03-16-2011 02:47 AM
TheTJRod The saddest thing about all this is that I am going to be selling it all now. But there is some good. I struck gold for a deal on a set of axles. A ford 9 rear with the True HI9, ARB, and 4.88 gears, 35 splines, and disc brakes and a D44 front with manual lockout hubs, high steer arms, disc brakes, chromoly axles, ARB, and 4.88 gears. Both with 5x5.5 BP. All for 3k

These pictures are of the axles installed on the PO's vehicle(YJ).

03-16-2011 01:44 AM
TheTJRod My only picture of it complete right now.

I have all but one thing to do an over the knuckle(OTK) swap. and that is an imported right hand drive TRE for the draglink knuckle mount as it will have the right bends to go around the springs.
03-16-2011 01:44 AM
TheTJRod Wow I need to up date this more often. I have done quite a few things since my last post last month. I think pictures speak better than words.

New fenders on

Sprayed undercoating to the inner fenders

Finished a WJ knuckle swap(all new ball joints and wheel hubs)

Installed chevy brake lines(i read that they are 7" longer, my stock lines wouldn't even reach the caliper)

The brakes are huge look at how stuffed everything is with 15" and no clearancing

02-14-2011 12:06 AM
TheTJRod I finally started on getting my replacement fenders on. I ran out of day light so I will hopefully finish it tomorrow. I used a whole can of undercoating on the inner fenders but still need to make a few more touch ups. If I wasn't missing some metal on the sides I would say it looks good enough to just leave them off. Also I painted my Riddler diff cover hammered silver.

I will get some pics up tomorrow as I ran out of sunlight before I thought of it.
01-26-2011 12:15 PM
Originally Posted by TheTJRod
The next day I finished with the MML. It is 20 times easier if you remove the entire mounting bracket from the engine block and get the bushing fitted on there at a workbench. It took me probably a quarter of the time to get the other side
Good to know!
01-26-2011 12:07 PM
TheTJRod The next day I finished with the MML. It is 20 times easier if you remove the entire mounting bracket from the engine block and get the bushing fitted on there at a workbench. It took me probably a quarter of the time to get the other side on.

I was planning on putting on my replacement fenders yesterday but we are expecting snow for a few days so I am going to wait till the salt on the road goes down before I chance new fenders.
01-24-2011 01:08 PM
TheTJRod Oh yea. I also installed a Taurus Electric fan. Supper easy install, after I figured out how to get the fan/clutch off.

I also attempted a 160 amp alt upgrade. The part fit perfectly but apparently the voltage regulator in my PCM doesn't know how to control it as it put out 19 volts and almost instantly started frying my battery. I mean literally boiling liquid was coming out the top of my $200 Odyssey battery!

I swapped my old alt back in till I can figure out how to do it properly.
01-24-2011 01:04 PM
TheTJRod I have installed the JKS 1.25" body lift and attempted the 1" MML(read below).

I had to do a work around to get the body mount to work with my rocker guards as they tie into the mounts. A picture speaks a thousand words so here it is.

I had to keep the metal "cone" part between the body and the rockers due to the way it mounts. The spacers normally fit directly on top of the entire mount and the hole is only big enough for the bolt. All I did was grind the hole bigger so the metal sleeve could fit on top of the spacer. I only had to do this with 4 of them. I very much doubt that this will cause instablility in my ride any more that the spacer create themselves. Also the other 7 points are mounted normally.

Now to the Brown dog 1" MML. I had a much harder time with this than I thought I would. I will first start off saying that the mounts are beefy as hell and I am very impressed with the quality and the welds. The instructions leave a lot to be desired. They are generic instructions that looks like they can be thrown into every mount they sell regardless of what vehicle it is for. It basically says remove mount, reuse this bolt, install new mount, DONE! Anyway, the first problem I came to was that the clearance for the bushing and the engine mount was off. I got the rubber bushings, and they have thin metal "covers" as they call them on each side of the bushing. Stated that they prolong the life of the rubber and for ride quality. I am very positive that the bushing is perfectly sized to fit in the engine mount. Though I don't think they accounted for the thin washers and when I was first jacking up the engine into the mount both washers were flung off. After a bunch of finagling(yes that is a real word) I finally got them on there with a few screwdrivers and a hammer. I then went to tighten the mount bolts and realized that the bolt on the bottom of the mount is imposible to tighten as the lifted mount moves a nearby bolt in the way of the socket and the bolt is recessed in the mount where you can't get a wrench on it either. In order to tighten it I am going to have to remove the bolt in the mount and lower the engine down again, tighten it, then attempt to raise the engine again without knocking out the washers. It got too dark and cold to finish and if the other side gives me any problems I am going to shave a little of the bushing to make it fit better. I have never spent so much time doing so little before.
01-15-2011 12:35 AM
TheTJRod Called up Smittybilt to get replacement tube fenders as the ones I have are rusting big time. They took one look at the pics and are sending me a new set today!

Got a step closer to getting the WJ knuckle swap complete. Found that my 15" wheel fits with 1/8" clearance around the larger brakes with no grinding and the whole assembly is working together.

01-15-2011 12:29 AM
TheTJRod Put these in my front tires.

I took off all the weights. Tossed in 8oz in one and 10oz in the other only due to the fact that one tire had one big and small clip on weight and about 7 stick weights.. I think I need a little more in that tire as I my vibration actually increase ever so slightly. I think I am going to test it too doing some swapping with my spare.

I also ordered the JKS body lift yesterday.
01-07-2011 04:25 PM
TheTJRod Well, it is time to do another update. Early December I went and picked me up a HP D30 from an XJ. It had been sleeved with 1/4" steel and the "C"s were gusseted and rotated for better caster with more lift. I also picked up a TnT truss with it. It has the WJ knuckles, brakes, and steering links that haven't been installed yet(alot more on that later). All for $250!! The truss alone is worth that!!(it has both the upper control arms already welded up)

All I have to do now is clean up all the parts buy some brackets weld them on and paint! Well.. not exactly. Converting the WJ knuckles is a little more involved than I first thought. Changing to the WJ knuckles gives me two good advantages and gives me a hard time and 2 mounts I need to move. The brakes a BIG upgrade, in fact they are comparable to the Vanco big brakes kits, the rotor,pad,caliper are almost identical. The WJ steering is a crossover steering setup with a knuckle to knuckle tie rod, and knuckle to pitman arm draglink, also I am flipping them to an over the knuckle style.

Forgot to add that I didn't get a carrier in this thing. He had the 3.55 and below carrier so I said keep it. Want to get a selectable for the front but I don't think funds will support that with everything else I have planned.

Now onto the other parts I bought preping for this. BTW I am going to make a new thread about the axle buildup. I bought refabed calipers, pads, and rotors. Also bought a riddler diff cover!!

I bought a Browndog offroad 1" MML in torsion rubber. Looking for a JKS BL and the UCF aluminum skids. Also going to buy a SYE and CV driveshaft by the end of the month.
12-06-2010 11:40 AM
Originally Posted by JeepDiver View Post
I am tempted to remove my rear fender flares but I don't like the holes in the tub. What made you get rid of your custom "TJ" LED/stock conversion to straight LEDs? Whats up with the trail rated badge? Your first post says its a 2003, badges started in 04.
Well the TJ lights were more of a temporary thing as I kinda doubt I would pass inspection. Also I didn't make them with overvoltage or overcurrent protection(would have added a lot of extra parts and calculations I didn't feel like doing after putting more time into them than I thought I would) and the T was almost completely burnt out after about 3 months. My intention was to always put in the flush round led lights in, I was also buying time to work up the courage to cut holes in my newly purchased jeep.

About the trail rated badge. I mentioned to my wife a few times that I think the Jeep Liberty's with the Trail Rated badges are a joke and my wrangler is so much more than them. Apparently she does listen when I talk Jeep to her as that was one of her gifts to me for Christmas last year.
12-05-2010 05:02 PM
JeepDiver I am tempted to remove my rear fender flares but I don't like the holes in the tub. What made you get rid of your custom "TJ" LED/stock conversion to straight LEDs? Whats up with the trail rated badge? Your first post says its a 2003, badges started in 04.
12-03-2010 03:23 PM
TheTJRod It's been a long while again but I am still here. Would have put this post up a month ago but was out of town on business the whole month of november except thanksgiving week then left for another week the following sunday.

Anyway I got a new top before I left. The Rampage fastback frameless top(design bought from viking offroad)

Finally took some pictures. I really like the top though it seems alittle louder than my old one... before it got ripped to shreds. I like the black much better that the khaki too. The view angles are much better too.

08-30-2010 01:22 PM
gooseofdeuce [QUOTE=Zybeon;749778]I stated how many and the bulbs you would need in my 12th post.

sorry boss, i was half asleep when i viewed it, trying to stay up late to sleep all day for going on night shift. thanks for the quick reply.
08-30-2010 10:01 AM
Originally Posted by gooseofdeuce View Post
can you give us a list of all the bulbs needed and where you got the bulbs for the instrument cluster?
I stated how many and the bulbs you would need in my 12th post.

You can also find a list of all interior lights requirements here.

A page that I used for the installation can be found here.

Oh, I guess that I should mention that one of my dash lights are out now, though I have no idea where my spares are...
08-29-2010 11:32 PM
gooseofdeuce can you give us a list of all the bulbs needed and where you got the bulbs for the instrument cluster?
08-03-2010 09:47 AM
Originally Posted by wavelength View Post

how do you like the blue dash lights now that you have used them for a while?
I still like the fact that all the dash lights match, and it isn't bad on my eyes. Though with my year of TJ the needles on the instrument cluster are red so the tips are hard to see at night.
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