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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just realized that I should of done this from the start.
This is my first Wrangler and this is definitely the first time I have ever done any work on any type of vehicle. So thanks to all the people giving info on the forums. I have learned a lot and still plan on learning more. I'm pretty proud of my jeep and I have a whole list of things I plan on tackling. I'm just going to do some post from start till now. probably what I should of been doing from the get go!!! Enjoy

This is my 2002 Jeep Wrangler Sport 4.0L
The first owner blew the engine somehow. Don't know how and don't care. He took it to a engine guy that worked at the wind tunnel for NASCAR R and D. The guy ordered a new inline six and while installing the engine the owner just gave him the jeep. The engine guy finished the job and put it on craigslist. I had just sold my 97 Cherokee and I got the Wrangler for a great price. The new engine attracted me. Plus the countless trophies the guy had for his motor work put me at ease about buying a Jeep with a new engine. He did a little extra motor work on it also, which was a plus!!! The body was ok, but needed a paint job and the interior was fine but had no carpet at all. I knew this was going to be a project car and since it was pretty much my dream Jeep, I wanted to make sure I made it mine. With my style and personality. I have a long ways to go, but i am happy with the progress.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You cant see it but the hood was beat up and the PO had put those stupid bullet hole stickers on the tail gate and drivers side. I have never really had a nice car, so I wanted this to be the nicest car I have ever owned. So off to paint. This, so far is the only thing I didn't do to the jeep myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
While the jeep was in the paint shop I went ahead and bought new wheels and used tires. I got a deal I couldn't pass up on 5 Cooper Discoverers SST. The wheels are polished AL with 3.75 backspacing. I always wanted a black wheel, but felt the tan top and interior didn't fit. So here was the end results for the wheels and tires!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Now time for the lift. This is one of those things where I can say you live and learn. I love my Rubicon Express lift and not opposed to using their products again, but i def think I didn't get the lift I wanted!!! I should of spent the money and got an upgraded lift. I also feel like I should of studied more than I did. The lift went on easy and it only took a day. I just wish I would of had more knowledge before I put the lift on. I think I might of went another direction!! Here are some pics!!!!! These pics are the stock Jeep with the new paint job before me and my good buddy installed the lift!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Alright!!!! After a hard days work, the lift and wheels and tires are installed. It wasn't that bad. Other than not having a few tools that we had to go get and getting the rear track bar back on, everything went pretty good. The alignment shop said everything was pretty close. I installed a Rubicon Express standard 3.5 lift with Belstein 5100 shocks and a Rubicon Express front adjustable track bar. I felt really good driving it home that night!!!!! Here are the pics!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I was def planning on doing a bunch or other stuff when disaster struck. I went out riding with out the top on a late fall afternoon. A combination of old wore out top and the cool evening weather. It was def to cold to try and put the top back on from a reclined position. After fighting it back on, I was trying to zip it up and while doing that I was ripping the seams on the top. That was a big time boooooo!!!! So, i pissed away 200 bucks trying to fix the top when I figured out it was time for a new top. It def changed my plans. That became my first priority, since I have no garage or place to keep it dry. It was a no brainier!!! I went with the Bestop Trektop NX. That top is awesome!! I also had to buy new upper door skins because my original top was the dark khaki color and the Treaktop only came in spice. Right now I am looking for a back up top that will go on my OEM frame and the rear side windows and a rear window for a backup. Here are some pics with the new top!!!! In these pics you can see a more completed jeep. Like the new Hella fog lights and the Rampage headlight conversation kit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have totally redone the interior and once the eight inches of snow that dropped on NC is gone. I will post pictures!!! The whole inside has been bed lined and installed a new removable carpet kit on top. I put a brand new Sony stereo head unit in. I put all new Kicker speakers in all locations. I also put a Infinity Basslink in the back for some extra bump. I'm in the process now of changing all the fluids. Transmission and transfer case is getting changed and I will be running a full synthetic oil from now on. My next goal was to put some sweet rocker guards and dropkick sylders on my Jeep, but I have started having some vibes while shifting up through the gears. I ordered new Spicer U joints 1310x to help me out for a bit, and now I am going with a fully adjustable control arm set. As you can see from the pic, my rear axle needs to move back. I def plan on getting rid of my transfer case drop and getting a SYE and new CV drive shaft. I'm going with the full set of adjustable control arms first the doing the SYE. This is where I am at now and I def plan on keeping this build going. Here is a pic of my work bench and I will post some pics of my interior soon!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Haha awesome, and people wonder why we stayed married. Thanks. I have a huge change in my build that I just figured out. So, I'm super pumped and also a little embarrassed. I will post the details in a few.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You can call me ignorant, you can call me a noob. I don't care!!! I am super excited about today. I found a guy on craigslist that had a dana 44 that he wanted to sell. I have a 2002 wrangler sport 4.0 and I have been hesitant about doing anything to the rear end because of the concerns of a dana 35. I have a 3.5" lift with 33's and it needs a re gear bad. I haven't done it yet because of all the terrible talk about dana 35 and how they are weak and prone to break. Let me first say that this is my first jeep and pretty much the first vehicle i have ever worked on, so i don't know a lot about cars in general. I have learned the most just by reading forums like this one!!! After I talked to the guy and he said he would sell me the whole stock rear end, I started doing some research. I saw a picture of a dana 35 and i noticed that my rear end didn't look like that at all. So I dug a little deeper and took some pictures. The 2002 came stock with a dana 35 with a dana 44 as a option. While comparing pictures of the differential covers, I realized that my rear end was already a 44. Man, I am super stoked!!! At my own fault, I just assumed that it was a 35. I didn't know the difference!!! In the end I"m really happy that I have a dana 44 instead of a 35. Now, can you guys help me with the spec's that would of came with a dana 44 option on a 2002 wrangle sport. It kinda feels like I'm staring all over again. Although, I feel a ton better about it.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
How'd you get a paint job that cheap?! All the places around me want to charge $3000 at the very minimum
I know a guy that paints tractor trailers for freight liner. Runs his own deal in his shop. I was skeptical but talked to a few guys and saw some of his work. He did a great job. Fixed the dents in hood and removed the bullet hole stickers and even welded the holes closed where a old roof rack was. The bed liner is called Raptor. I really like it. He painted all my bumpers and fender. Which is awesome, cause now I can spend that money on other things. I'm sure there are guys like that all over America. Do it on the side and save you big time cash. Probably can find someone on your area right here on the forums.
 
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