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Discussion Starter #1
I've decided to make a build thread for my orange '93 referred to as "OJ" by my friends. Here is a folder on Google Drive where I will upload all of my photos.

Catching up:
June 28, 2015 I settled the deal on a 1993 Wrangler S for $3300. It had 107,371 miles on it (which the odometer still read for quite some time afterwards...), a rebuilt transmission, no leaks, and rust on the rear passenger frame that was cut out and kind of repaired.
I got it a few days later and began the build for a trip on July 17 and 18, so I basically had two and a half weeks to get it up to par.
I started with the disgusting center console, putting in an ammo can. I found out that the brake lights were not working, so after lots of troubleshooting we found it was a bad fuse (oops!). Then I proceeded to work on the suspension which was (and still is) just horrible.

I replaced the front shocks, put a tow hook on the rear, ran jumper cables to the back as a rear jump point, and used the power to run a power inverter. Rear shocks are still factory and the springs are sagging. In the beginning of December 2015, the springs went from flat to inverted (an "n" shape instead of "u").

Then I got to work on the brakes all around. The front brakes were a breeze, but the rear drums were hell. Everything was melted, rusted, and seized together, they might as well have been welded together. After snapping every bolt, I had to take it to a local mechanic. That was quite a sad day, but I only had a week of Jeep experience. Almost everyone has that one project that they wish they could go back on and do the right way with the skills and tools they have now. I have done everything myself since then except for tires (who does those?).

I changed the oil, got the spare tire stem leak fixed, and was all ready for my first offroad trip to Rush Offroad in Rush, Kentucky.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Here is the folder from Rush Offroad.

Rush is more of a Polaris park, but it was still a blast. We camped out the first night and spent all day wheeling the next day. It was all going great until on the last run before leaving (around 3PM), I was sliding down a hill sideways and stalled my Jeep, only to find I had a dead battery. So someone in our group went out to buy me one. I didn't think to take out the battery and jump it until a half hour later...

We get OJ started, and get to a hill that the Cherokee struggles on, so we just hook up a tow strap and pull me up. I slide sideways on the edge of a steep hill, and the outcome did not look good.

Straps were useless, I needed a winch. We sent the only member with an electric winch to get the battery, because he had self recovery. Luckily, I had a $30 Harbor Freight come-along that everyone made fun of (I used it to recover our Hyundai Santa Fe when it would get stuck in the winter).

An hour later, after winching sideways with the help of two groups of Razrs stopped to watch the action, and E.B. Lowman, an owner of Rush, I was finally free.

The friend who went to get the battery went in circles to find me, because we didn't have cell service (we now use CB radios). Mr. Lowman was incredibly helpful and nice to us, he even showed us the fastest way back to our campsite.

I didn't do bad at all for my first trip.
 

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Between the Rush trip and the Haspin Acres trip, shown here, I did a lot of major work on the Jeep.

On the electrical side, I installed new battery terminals that caused me to die on the road (I sanded them down, it's all good), a 136 amp alternator that bolted right in from a '98 Grand Cherokee 5.9 (needed to reuse the old pulley), front high beam offroad lights and fog lights, rear reverse fog lights, and a CB radio.

Mechanically, I replaced the front axle u joints (ended up being two days of solid work), ran new exhaust from the transmission back with a Dynomax turbo muffler, and put in a new serpentine belt.

The Haspin Acres trip went very well, my only breakdown was a broken door latch. But hey, it's a Jeep, I just tossed my door in someone's truck bed and went on.

This was my last trip with my 29" Leman's Pathmaker A/T tires. They did not impress me very much.

A week or two later, I put Royal Purple 75W-140 in my front Dana 30, and got new 30" General Grabber AT2s mounted and balanced.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I decided to install a hand throttle, shown here, then shattered the windshield.

I proceeded to get trouble when my drag link ends made the Jeep undrivable, so I ordered a HD drag link from Rusty's Offroad made from DOM tubing, and replaced my thermostat while it was sitting.

My flex was terrible, so I made some disconnects out of my existing sway bar. It was all seized together, and I had already cut and drilled one side out before I got a pickle fork for the drag link to use on the sway bar. It took a baseball swing with a sledge to finally break it free. I put in new bushings, made the disconnects out of a clevis pin, washers, and a hitch pin, and painted the end links white and the bar red to match my shocks.

This was the last big project until my frame repair.
 

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I detailed my rear frame repair in this thread here, and have all of the photos, templates, and cost breakdowns here.

Long story short, the bad side only needed two pieces of angle iron welded together to be welded onto the bottom for support. The "good" side had to be cut out two inches on the sides, and about 6 inches back on the bottom.

I used 1/8" angle and 3/16" plate. The existing crossmember was cut out, and I welded in the plate with machine drilled holes with weld nuts on the back. I then braced it to the frame with angle.

Looking back, I would have ordered my metal online to get a shape that fit the frame exactly, and cut more out. Then use 1/4" plate because the 3/16" bent a little from warpage.

The bumper went in quite easy. I used antiseize because I'm future-conscious. My measurements were nearly exact, but I think one plate warped too much because I ended up putting one side in and jacking up the other because it was a half inch too low.

This project also gave me the chance to get 20 gallons out of my tank from a free upgrade, and hang my exhaust better.

YJ Fuel Tank Mod
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Of course the rest of the steering had to go bad, so I replaced the tie rod and steering stabilizer. I went with Rancho again, and that's the shock brand I'll use from now on. I also decided to put in E3 spark plugs which helped my squirrels run faster.

With the onset of winter, I put in an inline coolant heater, $25 from Autozone. It's the Kats heater part #14600 for 1 1/2" lower radiator hose.

This is where I'm caught up to today. I have two new rear Rancho shocks shown in this lift kit folder that I will update, and a brand new radiator.

My front shocks are good for stock height up to 2.5" of lift, and I got 2-2.5" lift rear shocks. The rear shocks will wait unless they actually will fit now (I'll measure the spring compression because I don't want to bottom out a brand new shock). I'm looking at this Rugged Ridge spring kit. I love Rancho but can't justify $1,200 for a lift, and Rugged Ridge makes okay shocks but excellent springs. I can get a great lift for $550, $650 if you want to count my existing front shocks.

Once I have a new radiator and new suspension, all of my regular maintenance except for my driveshaft u joints and my steering shaft will be up to date. I'll be doing a Ford 8.8 axle swap eventually with a SYE, so I'll probably end up with a new driveshaft anyway. I'll discuss that swap more. The axle code to get is D2 on the door, S615-B/C/E on the axle. It's in '95-'01 Ford Explorers and '99-'01 Mercury Mountaineers. This is a limited slip differential with a 4.10 gear ratio. I want to find the 31 spline but there is no way to tell other than the circumference of the tube is bigger than the 28 spline. I've heard that the 31 splines tend to be in the models with the bigger engines.

For now, I am focused on getting money for my lift. I'm picking up a few odd jobs to pay for it, because I want to do a $600 axle swap and fab up some other stuff after this.

I have a cart with $220 worth of metal, including shipping, for a front winch bumper made very custom with lights and all that stuff, and boomerang shackles I want to make myself. I have another $220 cart for a rear tire carrier that I don't have to cut up my bumper to install, but that's way down the road.

I'll do write-ups on the bumper, shackles, and tire carrier. Plans are all drawn out. I may make a video of the radiator replacement, because I've seen only one on YouTube. I always forget the camera though.

If anybody wants to see my rough plans for the front bumper, tire carrier, and spring shackles, let me know and I'll post them. If not, I'll do a separate write-up on them and post a link here.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I scanned my plans and put them in a dedicated folder here. For metal, I suggest Speedy Metals. Their prices on custom cuts is very good, and shipping is decent. I'm getting almost everything custom cut because I don't have good tools for working with steel, and it only adds a few dollars total to my cost.

Ask me if you have any questions on my plans, I got as much down on paper as possible but it's still mostly in my head. The whole point is to avoid cutting into my existing bumper.

As for the hinge, I'd rather spend $5 on a u joint and cut it than $60 on the hinge kit. Plus if the needle bearings go bad, I'll have three spare caps. The only problem with this is that it can be lifted up when the hinge is swung out. As for strength, I don't have any concerns. These things are on your driveshaft and front axle, they can handle a hundred pounds of rubber and steel.
 

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Rough day at the trail yesterday, I almost had my first roll. I was being pulled up the hill then started sliding sideways and went right up the hill. I'm glad I disconnected, My suspension was maxed out and bottomed out. If I didn't disconnect, the body would be tilted more. The Jeep was wobbling as my friend was setting up the recovery. We ended up breaking a winch, and didn't have any other options other than just yanking me out. Every time he would pull me up and back up to get another yank, I would slide back down to the same place I was before.

I found that I would stay up if I spun the tires instead of hitting the brakes, and that's what got me out. No damage and no injuries other than a hurt ego.

I put in a Lifetime K&N air filter today, and cleaned out some vacuum lines and took apart my throttle body. You can see the before and after photos.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Bumper on:


Frame before:


Production:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So I have made a wiring harness that will go inside a front bumper for some fog lights. With all of the accessories I want to put in, I decided to draw a wiring diagram and make a switch panel.





Here is what I used for the panel with 11 switches:
9x Dorman 85910 switch (red LED SPST)
1x Dorman 85909 switch (red LED tip SPST)
1x Dorman 85919 switch (SPDT center off)
1x 12" long 16 gauge (1/16") sheet metal
12 gauge red wire
10 gauge red wire
18 gauge yellow or black wire
Various crimp connectors
Self-tapping #10 screws
Solder
Heat shrink/electrical tape

To make the panel, I put a 90* angle in the sheet metal to make about a 2" x 2" piece of angle, then drilled 1/2" holes 1" apart. I drilled four smaller holes in the bottom for the screws, then painted it.

The harnesses were more difficult. I had to use a utility knife to strip the wire inline.





Then split a shorter piece of wire and twisted it around.





And soldered it to keep it together.



I wrapped it in tape because I couldn't get heat shrink around it, and crimped on some female disconnects.

http://i1200.photobucket.com/albums/bb332/bennettmichael0/Switch%20Panel/IMG_1515_zpsd64xusld.jpg

Now, this was 12 gauge red wire. It will provide the (+) power to all of the switches. Switches have three terminals:
Ground
Accessory
Power

By making a harness for the power, I only need one power wire instead of tons of power wires coming off the battery. Now I only need to run the accessory wires through the firewall.

I made a ground harness too, but the wire was thinner because it's only for the switch LED. It's grounded near the windshield holder plate.





I have a 10 gauge red wire coming from the battery so I get less resistance with the 9 switches hooked up in parallel. I only have 9 switches run off the power, because the left two are in cab winch controls. I have 10 switches that need a ground, but I left out the right three because I don't see myself using them for awhile.

The two switches on the left are for the winch I'll eventually get. The left is a power SPST switch with a red LED, and the second to the left is an IN/OUT SPDT center off switch, meaning it can be neutral or select either in or out on the winch. It will be wired directly to the winch solenoid. The IN/OUT switch will get its power when the left SPST switch is flipped on.

While I had the dash apart, I decided to clean up my wiring. The previous owner installed a radio and there were wires everywhere. I ripped out the speaker wire, grounds and hot leads, antenna wire, and the harness that was barely held together. The radio is toast, so I'll be testing the speakers when it gets warmer.



 

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Nice!!!!! Looking sexy!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yesterday I pulled a Ford 8.8 out of a 1996 V8 Explorer. Rebuilding the brake calipers now.





 

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Cool build...get rid of that junk k&n and run a paper filter. I just got a 2000 tj last month and the first thing I did was throw the k&n in the garbage and put in a paper filter.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
More frame repair! This guy was a great purchase.



I came up with dimensions for the rear shackle, all straight cuts with a grinder. No torch needed. Then I welded the pieces together and ground them down and trimmed the edges.

Using 3" 3/16" steel, I cut a piece 2.5" long, and a piece 2" long. Then a triangle-like piece. In the middle of the template below, it is .5" across the top, and 1.5" across the bottom. Welded together as shown.



Do that twice for each side. Then test fit it onto the frame, and mark where the hole goes. Below is the piece without the hole.



Then I used a 1.5" hole saw and arbor to cut a hole (using a regular drill) where I marked the center of the shackle bolt to be.

Shackle bushings are 1.25" diameter, so I got some 1.5" DOM tubing with a 1/8" wall to put between the pieces.



I was planning on using a cutting torch, but the tip I bought didn't fit the tanks my dad has. So I got this done with a grinder.



I tacked the pieces in place (had to adjust the pieces and frame cut a little). Then marked the tube, cut it, and welded it in place. Then filled in the welds.



I know it's ugly, but there are lots of gaps since it's hard to get an accurate cut, and the metal is dirty. This sucker helped a lot.



I threw some primer and matte black paint on it, and I'm ready to roll.

 

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Discussion Starter #17
Locked front diff, Solid cover.



I also used the metal saw at work to cut some square tubing for my bumper. I hope to drill the winch plate and fairlead mount today.
 

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Now time for front bumper. In about two hours, I welded the fairlead mount to the square tubing and to the bumper. Also I cut that hole at the bottom for the trailer hitch (which I goofed on, needed to get bigger tubing).



Hole saw in the trailer hitch (might bore it out a bit for some use, it's just for accessories).

 

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Discussion Starter #19
Done!

 
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