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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have had my jeep since June of 2014, and I've got some free time tonight so I figured I would make a build thread to help anyone out and to keep personal track of photos.
Back ground: I knew I wanted a jeep since I was young and knew I needed to save some money. My dad originally told me he would match whatever money I put up for the jeep I buy. Well, the first summer I worked a real job, June 2013, I made about 5k and he revoked his offer. I started looking for a jeep in early February 2014 to get a idea of what I could get.

After looking at two jeeps, a YJ(Seller wouldn't come down on price) and a Tj(rusted out the wazzoo), I found a 98' Tj on Craigslist. I really liked it and my dad and I went and checked it out that night. We ended up buying it for 6300, my dad gave me a loan for 1400 and I paid him back a few weeks later. The jeep was black, rust free tub and frame, lived in Texas for most of her life, 111k original miles on a 4-banger. And it was pretty much bone stock. I thought I was going to keep it that way..........

Here she is the day I brought her home in June
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Now, I was 16 when I bought the jeep and had little to none mechanical experience. Luckily, my dad had a good set of tools that I could use to work on the jeep. Those tools are now located in the back of my jeep and are "mine" now which he isn't too fond of. I will try to put this pictures in order as best i can and provide as much information as possible.

The Jeep came with a steel horse hard top that was crap and a cover for the rain that was also crap. After a month of getting caught in the rain or the weather channel not getting the weather right and waking up to a wet jeep, I purchased a Rampage Frameless Soft Top. I liked the ability to keep the top as a safari top and the look of the slanted back. This was my first major purchase. I also cleaned up the plasti-dip off the rims.
This was in July
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Most of the summer I did small things like removing the carpet and cleaning the inside. I planned all summer to beeline the interior since the floor was bare and corrosion was starting. At the time, I thought this was a very hard task due to my lack of mechanical knowledge and being 17(Turned 17 in June) but I would give it my best shot.

I ordered a gallon of Monstaliner and used my dads connections to get all the supplies needed. I started by pulling the rear seat out(breaking 3 of 4 bolts in the process) and sanding the back so i could drive it still. And I figured section by section over a weeks period would keep my mind sane and my arms able to move. Again, by using my dads connections I got a ton of 120 grit sand paper. After two days of periodically sanding the tub, I pulled into the drive way where i would take the console, seat belts, seats, etc. out and sand the rest of the tub. I have a personal mindset where i hate to slack on work. That, and a self diagnosed mild case of OCD. So no corners were cut.
Heres a photo after i finished sanding and priming the bare metal spots


Here are a couple after shots

 

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Looks good, we got our jeeps around the same time (May here) and at the sameish age lol. Hoping to bedline mine this summer, may steal your idea of sanding in sections too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I lost the majority of photos from the small things I did. After i finished the Bedlining process in late august/early September, the only thing i did was add mirrors to the body so I could take the doors off and not worry about the cops. i don't even use the side mirrors now as I have no blind spots. Any way, the tires the jeep came with were street tires. At this point in the build, I had no idea if I was going to add a lift and get into mudding. All I was doing was beach riding right in September but had a few friends that would go wheeling.

It was time for tires. If I knew what i was going to do with the build, I would have went with 33"s but i went with 31" because I honestly didn't think I was going to put a lift on. A buddy at Pep Boys got me a deal on a set of 31" BFG AT tires and I put them on in mid-september.
I also replaced the old crappy fog lights with a nice set of piaas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks cole man, I still have a lot of progress to post but bedlining it is a great idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
In October, I tagged along with a few buddies to do a wheeling trip at Wharton State Forest. This was my first trip and I was very excited to see what my jeep could do. Sadly, i lost the photos from this trip. It was a lot of trail riding and climbing with some mud thrown into the mix.
The next weekend we headed to a local pit. It has water crossings and a good section to climb. But, BUT, it also has a deadly peanut butter mud hole. Usually my friend who has a XJ with 8" of lift and 35" goes first but he was lagging behind. So, i said screw it and went.
The picture says everything that happened next.


This was my first time being stuck and I tried not to panic. Some winching and digging, I was out 15 min later. No harm done and some experience gained.
We stayed for a few more hours and did some climbing. My friends were teaching me how to properly navigate and feel out the obstacles
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Looking through my photos, it looks like next I trimmed the fender flares. I wanted to give it a try before spending money on flat flares and I really liked the out come. Just trace with a pencil and cut slow and steady with a razor blade.
After that, I decided to purchase a Eyourlife 50" Light Bar to use on the beach and trails. It gave a nice newer look.
Here is a photo of the trimmed flares and the light bar.
This photo was in late November
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Lift Time!!!
I purchased a 2" BDS Suspension Lift in November and put it on November 20th. I am grateful to have a awesome uncle with a successful BMW shop. He let me use his hydraulic lift and any tools I needed. Air tools made it a lot easier. My and my buddy did the lift together in a few hours.




 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
After the lift was done, it was now time for body armor and what not.
A picture of jeep rocking the safari top on the beach

A shot of some maintenance done. I learned throughout this build about electrical and mechanical maintenance and how to fix/repair/upgrade things. I cleaned the IAC due to idle problems, especially while wheeling I would have extremely low idle rpms, sometimes enough where it would stall on an incline.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Nothing better than getting jeep parts shipped to your door! I got a great black Friday deal on a set of Pro-Comp wheels from quadratec that i couldn't pass. The original wheels had 5" back spacing with caused some rubbing. With the new wheels and 3.5" backspacing, they solve that problem and give it a wider, more aggressive stance. Wheels are 15x8. Gloss black is also very nice compared to the dirty plastic-dip.

Installed on tires



I sanded and painted one side of the rear frame where it had some surface rust. This upcoming summer i will be painting the entire frame in chassis saver to preserve the frame unless this rustoleum paint holds up good. I have done the inside with eastwood internal frame coating.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I removed the side steps due to loss of clearance on the trails with them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
More jeep porn ahead! I put in a order of some needed parts.
JKS Disconnects
Barricade Rocker Guards(Very nice product, and thanks to Extreme Terrain for getting me a great price on everything I bought from them.)



Installing the side steps


Installed the quick disconnects. They work very good on the trails


Finished product after installing the rocker guards. They hid the dent completely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My first flex test disconnected, not at max here but on the way. And a shot of a very cool decal.



Needed a rear recovery bumper and receiver so I ordered a SmittyBilt SRC Rear Bumper

 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I see them all and i assume the other guys that commented can too. They are linked to photo bucket
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
At this point in the build, I was running out of funds but not at what I wanted yet, so I kept going. I always made sure to have at least 1k in the bank incase of a engine failure or something else. After the rear bumper went on(Christmas) we took a vacation to the Bahamas when my dad and I did really good at the casino one night. He gave me a piece of the winnings and add that on top of some christmas money, I had enough for a new winch I wanted.

Option A was use the same bumper with a winch plate
Option B was buy a new bumper made for offroading. One with more clearance for climbing and some solid recovery points.

After researching I wanted a stinger. As much as I would have liked a custom build one, I couldn't swing the funds and Ryan at Extreme Terrain gave me a good deal on a Smittybilt SRC Stinger.

Again this is another time where my phone broke and I lost build pictures, but I still have all the wheeling pictures/videos on my computer. Also, I'm thinking of putting some podz on the windshield mounts to add more lights. Maybe two on the bumper.
The first snow day with the new bumper on


Another flex shot at a local pit and a shot with my buddies XJ

 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
A couple more wheeling pictures to add on to the two above.
You have to do at least one flying jeep pic while a teenager!


A mud hole that had about 3" thick ice


And a water crossing shot
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I was waiting for the winch to come that wheeling trip, I think it came the next day. I was all ready and had my winch plate on and everything.

I put the winch on MLK Day after a long day of duck hunting.
I did a lot of research on this and the Engo E9000 seemed like a great choice to go to. I wanted synthetic line also. I went to Extreme Terrain again, and got a 10% discount of the total order. I wasn't too happy with the blue syn. line that was in the stock photo but it shipped with black line anyway.
It was a simple install, I say because of what I learned from working on the jeep before. It gave the jeep a nice new look also. I should note that I can't really see any sag that was caused by the winch and bumper, another reason I am happy I went with BDS. I want to add a 1" spacer on the jeep too.
 
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