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Old 03-09-2019, 04:19 PM
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Aardemae's Life Long Affair Build

After watching many other builds on various forums over the years, I figure its time I post my own! The Jeep has been part of my life for a long time and I plan to keep it around for a long time to come, hence the thread title!

My platform is an 03 TJ Rubicon My dad had purchased this Jeep when I was 14 years old used with around 20K miles on it. At that time, I was going through drivers training and tried to log as many hours with the Jeep as possible. As I turned 16, I was allowed to take the Jeep from time to time but it was still not mine. When I was around 18, I worked out a deal with my parents to purchase it from them with a large down payment that I had saved up, and from there continue to make payments until it was paid off. I must admit, they did give me a pretty killer deal on it!

So this is what it looked like when I got the keys and could call it mine:

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It wasn't long until I put a lift and new tires on it. I did not know much about lifting a Jeep properly. It was a RE 3.5" short arm lift with OME shocks and 33x12.50R15 Pro Comp Xterrains on some black Steelies.

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The Jeep stayed like this for quite some time. Changes included swapping wheels some Mickey Thompson Classic Lock II wheels wrapped in 33X12.50R15 Good Year MTR's, Rokmen Mercinary front bumper with a Warn XD9000i winch, Poison Spyder rockers, and a Warn rear bumper with tire carrier.

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At this point, I had the Jeep for around eight years or so. It had been ridden pretty hard and put away wet. Going through College I barley had enough money to do basic maintenance on it. When I graduated it was in pretty rough shape and definitely needed a face lift to get her back on track.

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Old 03-09-2019, 04:38 PM
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So at this time, I had now graduated college, secured a good job, and was making decent money. Working as an account manager, I was allotted a car allowance as my job roll involved a fair amount of driving. So I picked up this new DD, 2016 Toyota 4Runner TRDP, so the Jeep could now become a toy.
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Wheeling it in Colorado...

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This was great as I could now work on my Jeep as needed and not have to worry about if it would be ready for my commute on Monday! At this time I went through and redid the suspension and steering. New RE 3.5" springs, Bilstein 5160 remote resi shocks, and Metal Cloak Aluminum double adjustable upper and lower control arms. I also went through and replaced all ball joints, tie rod ends, wheel bearings, and other misc components. This "freshening up" was much needed and much over due.

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At this point, the Jeep was running pretty good, I was happy with it. It stayed like this through last summer and into the fall with minimal changes. I got rid of the old Warn XD9000i winch as it no longer was functioning properly, and added a Warn Zeon 8-S winch, some Truck Lite LED Head Lights, and a Currie AntiRock sway bar setup.

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Old 03-09-2019, 05:18 PM
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Last fall decided to pull the trigger on re-gearing the Jeep and stepping up to 35's! Purchased some Revolution 4.88 gear sets and had a local shop install them.

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Waiting on New Wheels and Tires...

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And Finally, after about a three month wait for the new BFG KM3's to come back into stock, new wheels and tires! Hutchinson Rock Monster Bead Locks wrapped in 35X12.50R15 BFG KM3 muds.

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Due to the crappy winter conditions, ugh salt, around these parts, I have only driven it around the block once since re-gearing and installing the new wheels and tires. Hopefully the weather breaks soon
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Old 03-10-2019, 12:04 AM   #4
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Nice jeep! Thanks for sharing

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Old 03-10-2019, 08:55 AM   #5
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Nice Jeep and sweet build . I love silver lake.
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Old 03-10-2019, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeus87 View Post
Nice jeep! Thanks for sharing

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Thank you!
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Old 03-10-2019, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by brian m View Post
Nice Jeep and sweet build . I love silver lake.
Thanks! The dunes are a good time, get to see some cool toys up there! My wife's family has a cottage on Upper Silver Lake so we get to spend a fair amount of time up there.
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Old 03-10-2019, 04:23 PM
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This weekend I installed some Savvy LED tail lights! These lights are top notch, everything is well built and came with quality hardware. These are much brighter than the stock units and would highly recommend them to anyone in the market for LED tail lights. I love that they are similar in shape to the stock lights but in a much slimmer profile. I am not a huge fan of other round LED tail light options on the market so these fit the bill perfectly. Installation would have been a breeze if it weren't for snapping the heads off of three of the six bolts securing the lights to the tub! Made quick work of drilling them out and then retapping the holes in the tub. Besides that, installation was maybe thrityish minutes. Some photos for comparison in my garage, sorry no outdoor night shots.

Before:
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After:
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Comparison of light output on the garage door, obviously the new Savvy unit is on the right:
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Old 03-13-2019, 10:44 PM   #9
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Jeep looks awesome! Love the beadlocks and tires.
I still need to decide which ones to go with on my build.
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Old 03-14-2019, 08:00 PM
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Jeep looks awesome! Love the beadlocks and tires.
I still need to decide which ones to go with on my build.
Thank you! Yes, it is a big decision as there are a lot of good options out there!
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Old 03-17-2019, 03:23 PM
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I purchased and received some Poison Spyder Defenders a couple weeks ago. Decided to go with the 3" tapered non highline front fenders and the 3" rear fenders.

I was able to remove one of my existing rears to get a sneak peak at what to expect. It took me a minute to get used to the look but I think its going to look really good. Plan is to paint the rears a similar black color of the stock flares, the front will be silver with the actual flare portion being the same black color. Hoping for a similar look to what Poison Spyder did to their LJ:

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Here is some quick photos of the one rear I mounted up:

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Hoping to talk to my paint guy this week to get an estimate and time line of when he thinks he may be able to fit it in. Also going to get some other rust spots taken care of. Under the rear fenders is a fair amount of surface rust. I also have some developing behind my rockers as well as the door hinges. Any one know where to get decent bare door hinges that are not already powder coated black or made of stainless?

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Old 03-25-2019, 11:11 AM
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I haven't made it to my paint guy yet, he was out sick for awhile and then I just never made it over. Hopefully this coming weekend...

The weather has finally began to break a bit and there is no longer salt all over our roads. I have been able to drive the Jeep and I am quite happy with how it is driving. I knew the stock brakes would not be ideal with the 35's, but I was not expecting them to be as bad as what they are. Decided to order up a set of Black Magic brake pads and the Centric rotors they offer. Really considered shelling out the money for the Big brake kit but figured I would give the pads a try first. Hopefully will receive them fairly quick and can get them installed this weekend!
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Old 03-27-2019, 07:47 PM
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New BMB pads and Centric rotors showed up today, a day ahead of schedule! Thanks for the speedy shipment Blaine! I should have time Friday to get these installed.
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Old 03-31-2019, 03:09 PM
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Got the new Black Magic pads and Centric rotors installed on Friday. Completed the break in process yesterday. I can say that they are definitely an upgrade over my previous set up. Kind of wishing I went with the big brake kit, maybe when these wear out...

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Old 04-01-2019, 01:17 AM   #15
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Very nicely done
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Old 06-10-2019, 07:35 PM
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I havent updated this in awhile! Still have yet to get my Poison Spyder Fenders painted and installed. Good news is that I dropped the Jeep and fenders off at the body shop this past weekend and should have it back with everything cleaned up and painted some time next week! Super excited to get it back.

I did install a Teraflex 1.25" spacer up front to help level things out.





Some photos from a few times I got the Jeep off pavement recently, one trip to a buddies cabin with some minor two tracking and a couple trips to the dunes.





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Old 06-20-2019, 02:41 PM   #17
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Thats a great looking build. Keep up the good work. I'm interested to see how your fenders turn out.
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Old 06-21-2019, 09:49 AM
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That's a great looking build. Keep up the good work. I'm interested to see how your fenders turn out.
Thanks! I am excited to see the fenders as well. Jeep is still at the body shop which is longer than anticipated. I added a couple extra things for them to do and it sounds like the had some serious issues finding the the proper silver to match the original paint. I did stop in yesterday to look at the progress and it is looking great!

The body shop should be done with it Monday but from there I have to drop it back off at the place that did my regear last fall. Both rear axle seals that they replaced are leaking again I've driven it less than 750 miles since they were replaced...

I also leave next week Friday for a week long vacation so it may be a minute before the fenders get installed!

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