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TnDz TJ 03-26-2012 10:11 PM

TnDz TJ's build of my 2004 X---'NOT DONE'
I can’t believe I can finally write this up. Even though it’s NOT DONE….and NEVER will be…. It’s transforming a lot quicker than I expected. Let’s get started.

In April 2011, I bought my 2004 Wrangler X 4.0 5 speed. All stock; unmolested and VERY clean. NO!!! That's not what I paid...I talked him down to $8500 after 10 ten days of dealing. (Gotta love the V6 sticker....)

First thing I did was blacked out the bezels... Plasti-Dip. Still PERFECT to this day... no kidding!

The bug had kicked in and I knew that I wanted a lift of around 4”, but didn’t want to jump in neck deep without doing research and knowing the ‘unknown’…but I needed to start modifying SOMETHING to get me by since I LOVE to fabricate and turn wrenches (it’s my job). Knowing how addicting modifications become, it was only fitting to get my custom plate… NOT DONE. Are Jeeps ever considered ‘DONE’? I think not.

I soon bought my extended Bikini top to enjoy the the fresh Nevada air and a Bug deflector.. Gotta start small and break the wife in ya know... lol!

In May 2011, I designed and built my bumpers. I wanted something unique and strong… something I wanted and needed to spend a little time on to keep me busy. I think they hit the spot for me with about 20 hours invested in both front and rear bumpers. Both have solid 1” tow points that are fully welded from the back and through the front of the bumpers. I have yet to complete my swing-away that is collecting dust in the garage.

June 2011 was a VERY busy month for getting stuff done to the Wrangler. It needed a better look and a better stance. I had a long road ahead, but you have to start somewhere….
I started off by finding a set of FREE Rubicon Rocker Guards!!!

I found myself needing hit the trails… well… with all-season 215’s, this wasn’t going to be an exciting thing to do. I had just joined our local 4x4 group and was a bit apprehensive to be seen on a trail with a mall cruiser…. SOMETHING had to be done. I scoured Craigslist and found a set of (5) 31x10.50x15’s for $100 with 50% tread! NOT BAD! They were mounted on rims, which I sold for $50. So now I had some decent off-road tire and a better look….

This same week, I got a 2” Teraflex Budget Boost to gain a bit more clearance and satisfy my need to lift it more… for now. This did the trick for me while I compiled information and a list of parts for a 4” lift. I did develop vibes and my solution was a fabbed up 1" MML in the end. I did start with a 1" T-case drop, but wanted the 1" back!

The following week, to keep the modification bug happy in me, I fabricated up some DIY front Disconnects to get a little more flex on trails. What a difference being disconnected makes! If you have never tried it, DO IT!

In July 2011, the weather was nice and I felt the need to change the look again. I Took of my doors, fabricated up some mirror mounts and highway pegs. I also shot the stock rims with Rustoleum Bedliner. I guess I should say that this was pre-planned a bit… the door less thing… I got some CJ mirrors from Amazon and fabricated up the mounts to fit into the upper door hinges… They worked out pretty good. ..And as for the highway pegs for the lower door hinges…. makes it comfy to rest your foot on…

In August 2011, I decided to change out my decals for something different and unique.

In September 2011
, I added some Hella 500FF Driving Lights. I also learned what my Jeep could do with just a 2” BB, disconnects and 31’s… I went to the Rubicon Trail. I had a blast! It really proved to me that 4” of lift was where I needed to be as I scraped over rocks and obstacles, but I did make it with a bit of help stacking rocks and such.

I started collecting/buying parts for a 4” lift. Piece by piece, I was determined to be up on a 4” lift…I will get to that later…

In November 2011, I got my Engo E12000 Winch. To date… it has served me well and for $355, I couldn’t be happier.

In March 2012, I installed a Dynomax Super Turbo Cat-Back exhaust... LOVE IT!!!

From September 2011 thru March 2012, I really pressed hard on finding everything for a 4”, but I didn’t want to break the bank doing it.

Let me share my experience..

1. Good things come to those who wait.
2. PATIENCE is a virtue (man was this tough!!!)

I knew that I needed 4.56 gears with a 4” lift and 33’s, but I couldn’t decide on what to do… Super 35, 8.8, Dana 44…decisions. Then a deal fell on me. I local TJ owner had upgraded his 35/30 to 8.8/44. I was pleased to find out BOTH 35/30 were loaded with 4.56’s with one problem. The D35 LSD was blown out and had no axles or backing plates…. The gears were unharmed. I got BOTH axles for $150…I will be using my backing plates, LSD internals and shafts from my stocker.

Another friend of mine from our local 4x4 group had decided to upgrade lift to a long arm. I inquired about purchasing all 8 of his fully adjustable Control Arms. He thought for a minute and shot a price at me… I couldn’t say no. $150 got me Rocky Road Outfitters adjustable control arms. He also replaced his 2 year old shocks at the same time…. I bought his 4 shocks for $40.

I contacted yet another local 4x4 group member when he posted a for sale add for some ‘practically new’ 4” coils from Rough Country. I found out they had about 6 days of use and were swapped for a stiffer spring rate. I bought all 4 coils for $100.

Being a part of a local 4x4 group with a website is awesome. Can you see a pattern here? Another member upgraded his trackbars, I got old stockers for FREE… nothing wrong with them (or mine) but hey… they were free.

I found another member selling TJ stuff on our local board. I bought (5) Mickey Thompson Classics for $125. I also purchased RE Front Disconnects for $25

I finally had to buy retail for the remaining few items I needed to complete my list… Slip Yoke Eliminator, Rear CV Shaft, angled rear trackbar bracket, T-Case Chain ( while I’m doing the SYE, why not at 116k) Rear swaybar endlinks and tires.

I final tally of the cost:
$651.00 (4) GY Duratrac 33x12.50x15
$150 both axles w/ 4.56’s
$150 (8) adjustable control arms
$125 (5) Mickey Thompson Classic Wheels 15x8
$100 4” lift coils
$170 SYE
$250 Tatton Rear CV shaft
$60 T-case chain
$65 RE rear CV trackbar bracket
$40 Shocks
$30 RE rear swaybar endlinks
$25 RE quick disconnects
$48 Gear oil /T-Case fluids

I spent a total $1864.00… I think that is an outstanding price for all I acquired. If you take out the price of the axles, rims and tires ( $926.00), the lift with SYE and CV shaft cost me ($938.00)

STAY TUNED!!! When the rest of my shipments get here... I'll be GETTIN BUSY!!!!!

lindel 03-27-2012 12:42 AM

Always have enjoyed watching your builds...I'll be watching this one too!

ImpTroop 03-27-2012 01:44 AM

Very cool! Love the yellow decals! Matches your rear plate cover :)

TnDz TJ 03-27-2012 06:00 AM


Originally Posted by lindel (Post 2186427)
Always have enjoyed watching your builds...I'll be watching this one too!

Thanks Lindell.... This one is a bit different though... SMALLER! LOL!

TnDz TJ 03-28-2012 08:39 PM

OK... teaser.....

Still waiting on my rear shaft and SYE... should be here tomorrow...

Arch Stanton 03-28-2012 11:06 PM

Congrats! Your write ups are much appreciated! Looking forward to the next one good luck with the install!

bobthetj03 03-29-2012 10:51 AM

Well done! Looks like a fun weekend in store!

rjpark36 03-29-2012 06:40 PM

<--Totally drooling over the last picture!

Congrats on finally getting all the pieces together! I think this is definitely the way to go, I'm just not sure I have the patience.....

I look forward to seeing how it all goes together!

GoldenSahara00 03-29-2012 07:15 PM


htkrph 03-29-2012 07:21 PM

NIIIIICE. love the wheels!

TnDz TJ 03-29-2012 07:37 PM

SYE came in today.... dinner break then the t-case comes out... driveshaft may be here tomorrow....

TnDz TJ 03-29-2012 09:09 PM

1 hour and 20 minutes... T-case out and torn down. It's pretty straight forward.

The BIGGEST thing so far was getting a 6" 3 jaw puller to tear off the balancer on the rear output. Outer ring pulled apart, then reset it and pulled the inner.

Flat-blade snap-ring pliers are a MUST... you won't get it done without them. YouTube is your best friend here... LOTS of vids out there.

OH!!! You also need a 12 point 10MM to get ONE bolt out of the case halves.... if you don't have one... GET ONE!!!!

Cleaning it out now and putting a new chain and the SYE parts. I will post more pics later. Hoping to have the t-case back in tonight so I can start the suspension tomorrow afternoon.

GoldenSahara00 03-29-2012 09:17 PM

Sounds sweet hopefully I'll be doing my sye in a few months :thumb:

Coastiejeep 03-29-2012 09:38 PM


htkrph 03-30-2012 05:18 PM

man all those pointers are good. i will be doing mine tomorrow. hope to God everything turns out alright.

lindel 03-30-2012 10:36 PM

X2 on the flat-blade ring pliers. I did it with the regular snap-ring pliers and another set of hands helping. Not a fun job and added a couple of hours to the job.

X2 on the 12 point socked/wrench!

TnDz TJ 03-31-2012 01:18 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Ok. Another teaser. Lol!!!

Front end is done... SYE is done.

Attachment 109646

Rear axle gets tackled tomorrow.

CleopatraFey 03-31-2012 02:18 AM

Your write ups are much appreciated!

TnDz TJ 03-31-2012 10:09 AM


I'm not gonna lie.... the front end took me every bit of 5 hours. It seems like it wouldn't, but when you factor in all the steering linkage... I guess its about right. I did it without help, so maybe that the issue as well.

I did have an issue with the SYE ( well not the kit... ME) :banghead:

After the installation back into the Jeep, the shift arm on the t-case got put in upside-down... YES it fits. It's an indexed lever with a bolt.

This was throwing the linkage off a bit and could not get into 2WD.

So... my recommendation:


If I would have done that... I wouldn't have wasted at least 2-3 hours.

Live and learn I guess...

Well.... took some Tylenol ( a lil sore, Im gettin old!:rofl:).... heading back to the MAN CAVE to start the rear axle!!!

fourty4magjr 03-31-2012 11:31 AM

:popcorn: THIS IS AWESOME!

TnDz TJ 03-31-2012 12:11 PM

OH SURE!!! from your standpoint!!! LOL!!! Killed my back yesterday.... Got 3 hours of sleep Thursday night... worked a short 8 hour day Friday.... crawled under the jeep at 3pm and didn't hit the pillow until 12:30 last night.... Back under the Jeep at 8am this morning... My mind is 18 and my body doesn't believe my brain... go figure.

Wanna join the AWESOMENESS!!! LOL!!

A few more things on the suspension install I forgot to add:

1. Get a few ratchet straps to pull the axle into position when putting on your control arms... makes life a lot easier. The reason I say this is I set my springs in place and used a bit of pressure on a floorjack and a few stands to get it close. the straps help from there .


Originally Posted by TJDave (Post 2203693)
A couple good friends, and a fridge stocked with cold beer helped my back tremendously when I did all my latest mods to the Jeep.:)

(SEE!!! My mind is going now!!!)

3. Don't tighten anything!!! Leave it snug so you can make it settle with a few jumps on the bumper when you complete the entire lift. It's like a preloading the suspension.

4. DON'T RUSH!!!!!

OK... back to the rear axle.... got it all undone... hanging by loose control arms... getting ready to gut the carrier and yank the shafts and pull the backing plates.

Once I get the carrier out I will start swapping the clutchpak, spiders and side gears.

stay tuned.....

Rpkittle 03-31-2012 12:18 PM

you forgot tip #2!!

TJDave 03-31-2012 12:20 PM

A couple good friends, and a fridge stocked with cold beer helped my back tremendously when I did all my latest mods to the Jeep.:)

InvertChaos 03-31-2012 12:21 PM


Originally Posted by Rpkittle
you forgot tip #2!!

Tip #2: dont forget tip #2

TJDave 03-31-2012 12:25 PM


Originally Posted by TJDave (Post 2203693)
A couple good friends, and a fridge stocked with cold beer helped my back tremendously when I did all my latest mods to the Jeep.:)

^^^ Feel free to use this as tip #2.

Looks good so far. Can't wait to see finished results.:thumb:

Geno 03-31-2012 12:28 PM

Really nice so far. I'm jealous!

TnDz TJ 03-31-2012 12:35 PM

sigh.... see.... getting old.... lol!!!

lindel 03-31-2012 12:37 PM

I just figured you're a Marine, didn't need step #2...


TnDz TJ 03-31-2012 12:41 PM


Originally Posted by lindel (Post 2203760)
I just figured you're a Marine, didn't need step #2...


'RETIRED' Marine..... the word TIRED is in the there.... another slang for OLD!!!!

If you are trying to make me feel better.... get on a plane... see you in the morning.... I'll wait for ya, Lindel..... LOL!!! We probably wouldn't get much done.... be too wrapped up in talkin about ol' times!!!!

Came in for breakfast... Dana is making french toast!!! YUM!!!

Wrangler_Man11 03-31-2012 01:01 PM

:popcorn: This is too good NOT to subscribe. Great job! If I lived in NV I'd be right there helping you........drink your beer, that is :whistling:

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