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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I guess it's time to start a build thread. I have officially caught the bug... it's not where it will be, but it's getting there step by step.

Here it is at the dealership right after the test drive, May 2012.


It was a stock 2002 TJ, 4.0L, NV3550 5-Speed, D30/D44 & 3.73's with 88,000 miles on the clock. It came with a hard-top only, and half-doors with soft uppers. At the time, I had no idea how much it would cost to get full doors or a soft-top... The dealer had installed some SpiderTrax wheel adapters and 32" take-off's from a 2012 Rubicon that they had recently lifted. In case you're wondering, that doesn't really work on a stock TJ, but more about that later. I finalized the sale and took it home; I live in the mountains west of Denver, so I had to hit a trail on the way back!


I took it for several other trail rides and camping trips before really doing anything to it. After starting to read up on these forums and others, I decided the best thing to do was to wheel it as-is and use that experience to decide what to do next. I was a newbie to Jeeps and off-road vehicles, so I wanted to learn more before just buying random parts.

Here it is on the first camping trip off a 4-wheel drive road.


Another "trail" ride shortly after purchase.


First time with the top off, letting the wife drive.


My father-in-law is the Director of Sales for Truck-lite, so when he heard I bought a Jeep, he sold me on a pair of the LED headlamps. They are a true plug-n-play replacement for the crappy stock sealed beams, and I noticed a huge difference in light output - especially off the sides of the road; the beam pattern is very wide. I decided to paint the headlight bezels black too, enormous difference! Here's a link to some more pics and details if you're interested.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Audio System

At the time I was a professional car audio/video installer, so naturally, I decided that the mostly stock stereo system had to go. I knew quite a bit about autosound theory, but I certainly did quite a bit of TJ specific audio research. I found that you could fit 5.25" speakers in place of the stock 4x6" fronts, and 6.5" speakers in place of the stock 5.25" rears. I found the idea to mount an amp under the driver's dash on the forums here, and had planned to build a sub box into the rear seat. I worked at Best Buy at the time, so I began ordering audio components and piecing it all together. I made an audio system build thread on here once I had it all going together... I could outline some of it here, but my audio system was constantly changing, and I think the build thread details it pretty nicely. Here's a link to the audio build thread for anyone who's interested. If you decide to read through it, be sure to read the whole thing... I made some changes to the system after some more input from other members, and I have to give a big shout-out to Andrew Nalin from Nalin MFG for letting me test his speaker adapters out.

Here's a few pics of the audio system for anyone who doesn't have enough time or interest to read through the whole audio build thread.









The system specs:
-Alpine CDA-117 with KCA-400BT bluetooth adapter for hands-free calling and audio streaming
-Alpine MRX-V70 5-channel digital amp mounted under the driver's dash
-Pioneer TS-D1320C 5.25" component speakers in the front with Nalin MFG 4x6" to 5.25" speaker adapters
-Focal K2 Power series 6.5" woofers in the soundbar - NO TWEETERS in the rear!
-Alpine Type R 12" subwoofer in a ported box whenever the rear seat isn't in

I also decided that after all the money I spent on the audio system, I needed a good alarm to keep the scumbags out of my Jeep. I went a bit overboard here, but I feel very confident that my Jeep is nearly impossible to get near without setting off the alarm. Like I said, I installed them for a living, so I know how to make an alarm effective. I installed a Viper 5901 alarm and remote start system with a two-way remote. If the alarm gets set off, I am notified on the remote as long as I am within a mile of the Jeep. I added a DEI 520T backup battery for the alarm, so even if an experienced theif cuts the Jeep's battery cables, the alarm still has power and will continue to work. I also added a DEI 508D dual-zone motion sensor, which I mounted to the lid of the center console; this will trigger warning chirps if someone gets too close to the Jeep, and set the full alarm off if anyone violates the inner zone. Even with the top off, you couldn't grab a laptop on the seat without setting the alarm off. Lastly, I installed power locks in the half-doors with weatherpak connectors so I can still easily remove the doors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Catching the Bug...

The main reason I bought a Jeep was to access some of the more remote trailheads for Colorado's 14,000 ft peaks. My friend and I set a goal when we moved to Colorado to climb all 53(54) of them; my Nissan Altima wasn't even going to get me to the parking lot of many of the trails. I almost bought a side-by-side ATV, but once I figured out I could spend about the same and get a vehicle that could drive itself to and from the trails, it became a no-brainer. The final selection was between a Wrangler and an FJ, obviously, the Wrangler won out. I loved that you could go topless and doorless, and I used to own a '99 Cherokee that was the most reliable car I've ever owned.

Here's some pics from Mt. Antero road, Antero is a 14,000 foot peak that has a 4x4 road going up most of it. You can take the first half of the road and hike the rougher part, or just drive up nearly the whole thing. The road ends at over 13,000 ft, so the hike to the top of Mt. Antero is pretty easy if you can get your vehicle that high.


At the end of the road, with Mt. Antero in the background.


Looking back on the road.


Staying with the whole "wheel it stock" philosophy, here's my attempt to flex... not much there, especially with the sway bar connected.


I jumped in on a run with several other local Jeepers that was arranged on the local forums here. We ran a trail called Jenny Creek, a very cool trail out here that snakes it's way in and out of a creek up a mountain. This really started to help me see the limitations of the Jeep, there were a few rocks that I just took the bypass for after watching Jeeps on 35's make their lines. I started to see how badly I needed to lift to fit the tires the dealer slapped on.

Jenny Creek


The group at the lake.


At the end of the trail


I decided to plasti-dip the wheels. Turned out very nice, and I really like the black and red theme.


 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So after all the wheeling I did that summer, I decided it was time to start lifting it. My goal at the time was to get 33's on it, and I knew I needed 3-4" of lift to do it right. I wanted to avoid doing a SYE and driveshaft, so I figured a 1" body lift was a good place to start. I bought the Daystar 1" replacement body lift and slapped it on. Around the same time, I got some serious clunking in the front end while out on a trail. Back at home, I figured out that the driver's side front sway bar link had snapped and was only held together by the rubber bushing. I opted for the JKS quicker disconnects; why replace when you can upgrade?

Here's my next attempt at flexing after the body lift and sway bar disconnects.


Still not enough room for these JK wheels/tires...


My wife and I took a trip to Moab around this time as well. I didn't have any other rigs to ride trails with, so we took it easy, but it was a great experience and an amazing place!


Somewhere before our 2013 Moab trip, I also plasti-dipped the hood buldge. I wasn't sure I was going to like it, but I think it turned out pretty cool, so I've kept it on.


The Moab trip, as well as my last group run convinced me I needed a CB, so I picked up a Uniden Pro505XL CB radio, a 4' SuperFlex antenna and a Teraflex tail light antenna mount. I mounted the CB to the right of the shifter below the glovebox.

My next step was a budget boost. I had a pretty bad rake, so I got some Teraflex 2" coil spacers for the front, and 1.25" spacers for the rear. I think it leveled it out nicely, and I could finally properly clear the larger tires!




Immediately after the budget boost, I noticed a big increase in driveline vibrations. I didn't have much money to spend on an SYE & driveshaft or even a motor mount lift, so I opted for the transfer case drop. I used some longer grade 8 bolts and 6-8 washers per bolt, which dropped the skid plate about 3/4". I didn't like it right from the start, but like I said, there was a reason I had done a "budget" boost, so I ran it this way for quite awhile.

I actually retired the Jeep from daily driver status at the end of 2013. I received a promotion at my new job, and became the company's mobile technician. They gave me a 2010 F150 to drive, and I am able to take it home and use it for personal reasons. In the first year I owned the Jeep, I put over 30,000 miles on it; by the time I got the truck, the Jeep had 120,000 miles. Since November of 2013, I've only put 2,500 miles on it (May 2014). I think this really changed my attitude about how I wanted to mod the Jeep and how I drove it - I no longer have the intense concern about breaking something, as I now have another vehicle to drive to work and run errands with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Moab 2014 Prep

Heading into 2014, I had planned another trip to Moab for Easter Jeep Safari, this time with several other rigs. I knew there were a few things I needed to do to the Jeep before I felt comfortable taking my wheeling to the next level, so I saved up some cash and started ordering parts.

I had picked up some BFG A/T's over the winter to replace my worn out JK tires; I found a used set of 5 265/70/17's, so they were a bit larger, but not by much. Then, I ordered 4 new Bilstien 5100 shocks. I got the ones Quadratec recommend for 3" of lift. Obviously, I only have 2" of suspension lift, so I knew they would be too long without adjusting the bumpstops, but I plan to step up to the MetalCloak 3.5" springs in the near future. I had already purchased some bumpstop extensions when I did my budget boost, but I never got around to installing them as I didn't see it very necessary running the stock shocks. I dug them out of storage and started taking measurements. I ended up with about 1.5" extensions in the front and 2.5" in the rear - in reality it was probably a bit more, but not by much. I did the full cycle test and took plenty of measurements to ensure I wouldn't bottom out my new shocks. Although I lost some uptravel, my shocks are no longer limiting my down-travel like they were before.

Test fitting and measuring for the bumpstop extensions


Shocks and bumpstop extensions installed, axle at full droop.


I then decided to chop my front bumper down and cap the ends. I made my measurements and chopped the ends off with a plasma cutter. I also cut some squares out of the ends I cut off and welded them onto the bumper ends. A bit of grinding and some paint, and I had a good looking bumper for free, not to mention a much better approach angle! I also painted the stock front diff cover red to match the Jeep; it was my friend's idea, but I do actually like it after I saw the finished result.


My "SuperFlex" CB antenna was apparently less flexible than I had been led to believe, and had snapped on a trail several months ago. I opted to replace it with a Firestik 3' along with a heavy duty spring. I think the 3' with the spring looks a lot better than the 4' did, it gets up above my hard-top just enough to be effective but not stick out like a sore thumb.


I wanted to run 33's for Moab, and my friend had some 33x12.5x15 tires from a rig he sold that he gave to me... but I needed 15" rims. I got on Craigslist and found a guy selling some 15" Cragar's with 4" of backspacing and 4.5 on 5 bolt pattern. They had some 35x12.5x15 Cooper Discoverer's mounted up on them in great condition, and he only wanted $500 for them. I immediately contacted him and went to pick them up. I figured I could sell the 35's for more than I paid for it all and get paid to get new rims! I had to bolt them up and see how the 35's looked!


Obviously, I had some rubbing issues, but I'll be damned if they didn't look good!


The 35's didn't stay on for long before a friend bought them off me for his rig... an Isuzu Trooper with a 2" body lift and some serious fender pounding. He was a good friend of mine, so I just sold them to him for $500 to cover what I paid and get some free rims.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Moab Prep 2014 Continued

I decided that I needed some armor if I was going to get a bit more serious in Moab, and rocker guards seemed like a good place to start; the sheet metal doesn't hold up to being dropped on rocks, and not being able to put my doors back on didn't sound like much fun. I did some research(this thread was extremely helpful in deciding which rocker design was best), and decided on the Rokmen Offroad Mercenary sliders without tubes. Rokmen is located in South Denver, so I was able to call them up and have them made, and then pick them up myself to avoid shipping costs. I think I spoke with a guy named Jeff over there, and he was able to work me out a sweet deal on the rockers, internal reinforcement plates, and the body gaskets. Everyone at Rokmen seemed super cool, and were very helpful with tips and tricks on installing them. The slider's are made from laser cut and CNC pressed 3/16" steel and cover all the way up to the door line, and damn near all the way to the frame rails underneath. They extend wheel well to wheel well, so they'll look good even without factory fender flares. The fitment was perfect, and the install was pretty straight forward, so I would certainly recommend them!

Sliders getting some paint, I decided on Rustoleum Bed Liner, as I had recently repainted my stock flares with it.


Playing around in some Colorado Rocky Mountain spring snow after the rocker install.


I also installed some LED rock lights by Maxxima lighting. I went with four 4.5" undercarriage light bars for the four corners, and two 23" underbody light bars for each side... placement took a bit of creativity and trial and error, but once I got the positioning right, the light is right where I wanted it. I was concerned that they weren't going to be bright enough, but they exceeded my expectations... it's almost too much light!




The front corners


The rear corners


The sides and the underside of the rockers (excuse the mud... it is a Jeep, afterall...)


I had also ordered a M.O.R.E. 1" Torsion Rubber motor mount lift and a new transmission mount, as mine was broken. Both items were ordered from Quadratec at the same time I ordered the shocks, but they did not ship in time for my Moab trip (apparently 2 months isn't enough time), so I had to run EJS 2014 still with a transfer case drop. The above photo was taken after the motor mount lift was installed and the transfer case drop was removed, in case you noticed...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Moab 2014

That was it for my Moab prep, I felt confident in my Jeep's setup by this point, so off to EJS we went. All my buddies trailered their rigs out there, but I don't have trailer, so I drove the Jeep for the 650+ mile round trip. I decided to throw the 33x12.5 tires and rims I had on a friend's trailer and drive the Jeep out with the more fuel efficient 32x10.5's... well, halfway through the rocky mountains, the straps holding them on the trailer loosened up and one of the tires got dragged for a bit on the highway. Needless to say, the tire was toast, but the rim was still OK. We considered calling around for a used 33x12.5x15 to mount up, but I ultimately decided to just run the 32's for the whole trip.

The Jeep did excellent for the trip; the only problem I had was a loose axle side trackbar bolt on Poison Spider trail - I probably didn't tighten it enough after the cycle test for the bumpstops... I would still consider it a problem and break free trip. We ran Steel Bender, Poison Spider, Hell's Revenge, and Fins 'n Things - the Jeep got up every line I tried; my friends and I were very surprised at how well it did, actually. I was running the smallest tires, and was the only one with open diffs, yet did better than a few of the other rigs I was with in most areas. My buddy who bought the 35's from me for his Trooper was actually mad at me for doing so much better than him...

I didn't get many action shots of my Jeep out there since I was one of the few in our group with a camera, but here are a few photos of the trip and our rigs. If you're interested, here's a link to my whole EJS 2014 photo and video folder. In case you're wondering, yes, that is a Tacoma on 40's, coilovers, and portal axles...















Once I got back from Moab, my motor mount lift and trans mount were waiting for me... [sarcasm]thanks, Quadratec![/sarcasm]. I got around to installing them the next weekend, and removed the transfer case drop. What a difference! My driveline vibes have been eliminated, the Jeep feels like it did before I lifted it! I also didn't even realize how bad my shifter shook on bumpy roads until I replaced the broken trans mount... it also seems to shift smoother now too.



 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well, that pretty much gets you all caught up on my progress thus far. I will continue to keep this thread updated as I go along; I think it will probably stay mostly the same for the summer of 2014, but I certainly have some plans for the winter mod season if funds allow. To recap, here's a quick list of the current mods:
-1" Daystar body lift
-2" Teraflex coil spacer lift
-Bilstien 5100 shocks
-JKS Quicker Disconnects
-BFG A/T's 265/70/17 on JK wheels and SpiderTrax wheel adapters
-M.O.R.E. 1" Rubber motor mount lift
-Truck-Lite LED headlamps
-Maxxima LED rock lights
-Rokmen Mercenary Rock Sliders
-DIY "Stubby" front bumper
-Complete audio system overhaul
-Viper Alarm
-CB Radio
-Plasti-dipped Wheels and hood buldge

For anyone interested, here is a link to my build thread pictures album... there are several other pics there that I didn't have room for on here.

Since I didn't get many action shots of the Jeep in Moab, I recently took it out on a local 4x4 trail to get some flex pictures... compared to where it started, I think it's come a long way!





The rear coil is definitely unseated... I guess I have too much flex now




Bumpstops doing their job...




Like I said before, I do have some plans for it; I don't have a definitive time line for any of it, though - it'll just happen as funds allow. First up is a tummy tuck. I will need a SYE and driveshaft, as well as adjustable control arms. Since I need that stuff to do a tummy tuck, I will also be adding some Metal Cloak 3.5" springs, Metal Cloak control arms (I NEED the Duroflex joints...) and probably the Metal Cloak track bars. I would like to run a flat skid for the transfer case, so I will probably be going with a super-short SYE kit. Once I get that stuff done, I will run it with either 33's or 35's on the stock axles for a bit. Once the next stage gets rolling, it'll be some Metal Cloak fenders and some 37's. If I'm going to be running 37's, I would also be needing some 1-ton axles and upgraded steering/brakes as well as a small stretch for a better stance. There will be some more armor in the mix there as well; corners, engine skid, gas tank skid, bumpers, ect.

Let me know what you guys think! I would really appreciate some feedback on what I've done, as well as what I plan to do, so feel free to comment where you see fit. Thanks for checking out my build!
 

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Thinking about plasti-dipping my rims, I was wondering how it held up? Peeling, chipping, if you have taken it off does it affect the rim in any way? Thanks so much, like how yours turned out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thinking about plasti-dipping my rims, I was wondering how it held up? Peeling, chipping, if you have taken it off does it affect the rim in any way? Thanks so much, like how yours turned out.
It has held up surprisingly well, been on there for a year and a half and no major peeling, just be careful with a pressure washer and don't get too close. I have swapped wheels and had them re-balanced a few times... There are always some spots where the tire mounting machine peels a bit of the plasti-dip off around the rim edge. I got in the habit of asking for the weights to be placed on the inside, but that's not always possible. It's easy enough to peel it all of with no adverse effects, and you can always touch up the peeling spots, though it isn't totally smooth anymore.

A few tips: take the wheels off the Jeep and tape up the lug nuts. Put them back in the lug holes of the rim so you don't get any paint where they contact the rim. If you paint it all, the plasti-dip wrinkles when you tighten the lugs down. I prepped the wheels with soap and water first, then wiped them down with rubbing alcohol, you want a perfectly clean surface for the plasti-dip to stick well. If you plan to possibly peel it off, be sure to use a few coats, the thicker it is, the easier it gets to remove in one piece.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, I guess I have a few updates for this thread. I got some new wheels and tires - found some Rubicon take-offs for $350 on Craigslist, what a steal!



They *were* in perfect condition, 15k miles on the 4 tires, and the spare had never touched the pavement. I have beat them up pretty well already.... plenty of rock rash and chunks out of the tread lugs. Around that time, I decided to peel off the plasti-dip on the hood.... easier said than done. I don't know if I just didn't do as many coats as I should have, but that stuff just peeled a bit and then tore. I could tell it was going to take forever, so I brought the Jeep over to my shop and hit the hood with our Hotsy power-washer. That worked great, aside from having to pick up all the pieces that flew all over the parking lot....

I also picked up a set of Baja Design's SII amber LED driving lights. These things are crazy! Super small, but have more light output than the Truck-lite headlights. I mounted them up on my bumper, and re-used the stock fog wiring so they're just wired to my stock fog switch. I plan to get some of their squadron series lights for the windshield posts pretty soon too, Baja Designs is just an awesome product!





I couldn't resist, here are a few more random pics of how the Heep sits now.







 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Initiate phase 2

Wow, haven't been on this site in quite awhile. I suppose I should probably update this thing. The Jeep has done a bit of growing up, and honestly, I owe these forums and the community here for much of the knowledge I needed to get this phase of my Jeep completed.

I ultimately decided that I wanted to build my Jeep up in phases that could be managed with my current financial situation, but not waste too much in parts that would just get thrown out or sold for pennies on the dollar whenever I started the next phase. Believe me, this is not really easy. No matter what, you waste some money when you build like this... just something I wanted to minimize. I had saved up a decent chunk of cash for "Phase 2" of my build, so I started ordering things up in May of 2015.

First on the list was some much needed maintenance. I had a badly dented oil pan, a leaky passenger rear axle seal, a leaky rear main seal, and some terrible brakes. I decided that I should probably protect my new oil pan, and I knew I wanted to do a tummy tuck too, so I bought the Rokmen offroad engine/trans skid; it works with their tummy tuck skid, or the stock one if you cut a few notches in it. Turns out I'm an impulse shopper, and they also had a steering box skid in stock when I picked up my oil pan skid; couldn't resist... Here's my first run of parts stacking up in my spare room.



Just so you know, rear main seals on the 4.0's are not really super fun. Then, when you get done with the not so super fun task, it will probably leak again anyway. If it's not a bad leak, learn from my neurotic self and don't bother with it. :facepalm:

My next step was to accumulate the parts for the lift and tummy tuck. I knew it wasn't gunna be cheap, but it's what I wanted for this phase. Tummy tuck, 3" of lift, 33's. Simple, right? Well, actually, yes. It is fairly simple, you just HAVE to be sure you're getting the right stuff... turns out the right stuff isn't really cheap.

Found a used set of 5 of the old style Wrangler MT/R's, 33x12.5x15. Thing's were in perfect condition... zero dry rot, even wear, no cupping... guy had them on an older Bronco that never saw anything but sunny day drives - never offroad and less than 2k miles on them. You may remember that I still had 4 15" Cragar soft 8's from my previous Moab prep. I picked up the tires and bought a spare rim online.



Well, now that I had the tires... I guess I have to make them fit. I made a few of my biggest online purchases ever, and ended up with almost all I needed to get those 33's under my Jeep.
-Nth Degree 3" lift progressive rate coils
-Metalcloak Trackbars, front and rear
-Metalcloak front sway bar disconnects
-JB Conversions Super Short SYE
-Rokmen Offroad high clearance transfer case skid
-Extended brake lines
Things started tricking in, and I was starting to feel like it was Christmas in June...



Waiting for all my ordered parts to arrive, I went looking for a cheap set of control arms... at least adjustable uppers for the rear axle. Found a guy on Craigslist selling fixed lowers and adjustable rear uppers for pretty cheap, so I went and took a look. I'm pretty sure they were RE, but someone bedlined them so it was hard to say. But... I couldn't beat the price, so I picked them up. If you're wondering why I cheaped out on control arms, it's because of my plans for Phase 3, and getting back to the not wanting to waste too much money. You will see, someday...

Anyway, I also needed to get my rear driveshaft figured out. I knew I had to have the SYE, and the lift, and the TT installed before I could get a good measurement, and I didn't have time to wait for someone online like Tom Woods to build it. I heard about using a cherokee front driveshaft and cutting it down for use on the rear of a TJ. I found a used cherokee front driveshaft for $30 and found a local driveline shop that said they could cut it down and re-balance it same day when I brought it to them.

I also couldn't resist buying some more Baja Designs lights. I had wanted a set of pods for the windshield posts, and ultimately decided on the XL Pro's. 4,900 lumens per light... that puts the two of them at brighter than most eBay 50" lightbars. I also ordered a couple custom switches for them and my rock lights from OTRATTW.net... super happy with how they came out!



 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Phase 2

Well, my parts finally all showed up, and I found some time to get the install done on all of it. Words couldn't describe how excited I was... seriously. Install took place mostly over two days. Honestly though, the preparation was key... had to get the old tires off my rims and then new tires installed. Had to paint my skid plates and ensure I had everything ready for my SYE install. When you go to do the install, make damn sure you have everything ready!

Here's a pic of the parts layed out... I had already installed some of the items like lower control arms and the steering box skid, but this is almost everything. Don't mind the bearded hippy, he's just comparing his 37 with my 33... and yes, I did figure out that the track bars are reversed in this pic :bop:



Did the front first... Jeeps always look so silly half-lifted...



The rear trackbar decided to give us quite a bit of trouble, though, so the back half of the install didn't really get any pics. Mostly it was just a bunch of cursing and hitting the frame side bolt with various brands of air impacts and air hammers, and finally just a die grinder and cutoff wheel. The bolt had apparently become so swollen with corrosion that it had fused itself to the bushing's sleeve, and thus, refused to be removed. Anyway, I didn't leave my shop until pretty late that night.

The next day was at my friend's garage where we were going to get the SYE done and get the skid plates up. We also finally did the rear axle seal on my D44 since he had a press.



The SYE install was pretty fun, actually. Look at the size differences for the tail and the main shaft... the JB conversions kit really is super short!



 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Phase 2

So, that pretty much brings you up to speed with where I'm at now. It's an ever evolving thing, but if you have any questions on how I did any part of it, I'd be happy to help! I have made it my goal to do everything myself to my Jeep, and so far, I've stayed true to that. Here's a list of what I've done.

Suspension/Lift:
-Nth Degree(AEV) 3" lift progressive rate coils
-Bilstien 5100 shocks for 3" lift
-Daystar 1" body lift
-Metalcloak track bars, front and rear
-Metalcloak front swaybar disconnects
-Fixed lower control arms, front and rear, single flex joint
-Adjustable upper rear control arms, single flex joint

Driveline:
-JB Conversions Super Short SYE
-Custom DC rear driveshaft
-M.O.R.E. 1" lift motor mounts
-33x12.5x15 Wrangler MT/R (old style) on 15x8 Cragar Soft 8's

Armor:
-Rokmen Mercenary rock sliders with internal reinforcements
-Rokmen high clearance transfer case skid
-Rokmen engine/trans skid
-Rokmen steering box skid

Misc:
-Truck-Lite LED headlights
-Baja Designs S2 amber driving lights
-Baja Designs XL-Pro spotlights
-LED rock lights
-LED interior lighting
-Audio system overhaul
-Alarm system with motion sensor and battery back-up
-CB radio with firestick 3' antenna

Of course, here's some random Colorado 4-wheeling pics!

Yankee Boy Basin, Ouray, CO


Sittin' pretty on Pickle Gulch, Black Hawk, CO


Dropping into Telluride, CO on Black Bear Pass


Flexin' on Kingston Peak Trail, Rollinsville, CO


Mmmm.... Tummy Tuck....
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Future Plans and Phase 2.5

I also recently acquired some G2 4.56 gears for my D30 and D44 on the cheap. A friend of mine wrecked his TJ and had to replace the front axle... the one he bought had 4.88's, so he regeared the rear to match and sold me his 4.56's for pretty much nothing - $100 for both axles. I don't want to put much money into these axles, as Phase 3 involves one-tons... any money put into the D30/D44 will just be wasted when phase 3 begins. So, I'm just going to buy the necessary parts for the regear and leave it at that. My good friend has set gears in several vehicles before, so I won't need to pay labor, as he's going to help install it all. Either way, the axles will stay open for now, no expensive lockers or chromo shafts.... yet. Honestly, the factory 3.73's aren't as terrible with 33's as I thought they would be, but I am looking forward to getting my 5th gear back!

I am also planning on getting some rear corner armor after a big rock showed me the importance of it once you get into the tougher Colorado trails...



Yep, I almost cried... but I got home and went to town with a hammer to get it straightened out as much as I could. I was planning on getting the Rokmen rear corner armor, but when I called about it, they said they hadn't made any in months and weren't planning on it. Seemed like they were getting out of the TJ stuff to an extent, sadly. So, I shopped around and have decided on the Poison Spyder full corners. I'll probably have to modify them a bit to work with my Rokmen sliders, but I think they'll turn out alright.

I also plan to get the Poison Spyder rear stinger/drop-down tire carrier. Phase 3 involves 37's or 40's, so I wanted something that would support the weight of something like that, and I just never had great faith in most swing-out carriers for a tire that size. If funds allow, I will also do the Poison Spyder drop-down tailgate, as my stock one is pretty bent up from the 32's and 33 I've had mounted on it.

I'm hoping to get all that done before Easter Jeep Safari 2016 in Moab, but we'll see if the financial situation allows it all... this Jeep obsession isn't cheap! For now, I'll leave you with a few more wheeling pics from this last summer/fall... enjoy!

She doesn't even realize how close to rolling we were about to be... Wheeler Lake Trail, Breckenridge, CO


Nearly flopped just two minutes later... Wheeler Lake Trail, Breckenridge, CO


Top of Yankee Boy Basin, Ouray, CO


My dog may love my Jeep more than I do...
 
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