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2007 Jeep Wrangler Sahara - Manual
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’m not sure I would call this a build thread but it’s probably as close as I will ever come to one. Figured I would document what I stumbled into, my starting point, and track the progress/modifications I make over time.

A very, very long time ago I drove a ’78 CJ-5, 304 3-speed. How I wish I still had it and still miss it to this day. Jump forward a few decades, I just stumbled across a one-owner, 2007 JK Sahara with just 44,000 miles on the clock. Between the shape it is in and the low mileage, there was no way it wasn’t coming home with me. So I’m back in the Jeep game.

No real plans at this point and I’m not in a hurry to get them completed. My intention is to keep this for a long time, make it my own, and never miss another jeep. I feel it’s a great canvas and I hope to have plenty of time and opportunity to do with it what I want.

I’ll share some pictures below simply to document where I’m starting, but you’ll see the prior owner did some modifications to it. Lift kit, larger tire/wheel package, rear bumper and spare carrier, and maybe a few other things I’m probably not even aware of at this point. Not a huge fan of chrome wheels, but they are like brand new and are not screaming to be replaced right away. Well, they may be yelling a little bit, but not quite a scream.

First step is to continue to research on what’s been done, see if it’s any good and worth keeping and develop long-term game plan for my new baby. I’m sure I’ll have plenty of questions and I’m always open to suggestions. I’m basically starting over in the Jeep world so I’m about as green as my new-to-me Jeep.

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2007 Jeep Wrangler Sahara - Manual
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Time for a quick update. Most importantly I found a truck/4×4 shop near my office and made an appointment for tomorrow morning. They're going to take a look at what I currently have, primarily suspension related, all of which was installed when I purchased it. Hopefully it will help me set the long term game plan and determine what if anything existing fits into that plan. My wallet is hoping most of it does...lol.

In the meantime, couldn't help but tinker a little with some little, mostly gingerbread stuff.
  • Installed some new hood latches. Went with the Rugged Ridge. Haven't had it in on the interstate yet but I can't imagine much rattle with these things.
  • Cowl guards because the one and only small dent was on the passenger side cowl. Looked like hail damage. Threw the guards on it because I like the look and covered the small dent.
  • While on the passenger side, I got rid of the factory whipping antenna. New 13" with no impact on radio reception, as yet anyway. Again went with Rugged Ridge.
  • Hated the look of the exposed locking gas cap so I covered that up too. RR again.
  • New sill guards and floor mats to keep things neat and tidy.
  • Installed a set of Oracle Halo lights. Plug & Play apparently doesn't mean what I thought it meant. Lights work fine, Halos not so much. Have a little research to do on those because I want the Halos on when the key is on for DRL's. If I can make the blinker work that's a bonus too, but less important. Gave up after a trying a few combinations on wiring. I'll figure it out eventually.
  • Lastly was the installation of some 1.5" Spidertrax wheel spacers. I noticed some rubbing on full turns so I ordered the spacers. Besides, I love the look of the wider stance. I'm not sure if I'm simply trying to justify the money and time, but I honestly feel like the ride and handling is slightly better. One thing I can say for certain, those damn 35's and rims are heavy. I'll be having them rotated in 100 +/- miles and let them check the torque on the spacers for me.
That's it for now and I'll share some pictures for the record.

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2007 Jeep Wrangler Sahara - Manual
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
After looking at the suspension components myself, simply looking for anything loose or seemingly out of place, I didn't see anything alarming. But then again, it's been quite a long time since I played around with vehicles. As I said above, I made arrangements for a local shop to do an inspection yesterday and I'm very happy with the results. They too couldn't find anything out of line and really couldn't believe the shape the Jeep is in given its age. Made me feel pretty good that it appears I may a good decision on bringing this thing home!

They did confirm what my limited research indicated - the current components installed are more of an entry level system; not the worst but quite far from the best. Given this is my new daily driver and I live where I live (SW Florida), the off-road excursions will be far and few between, so it will do for now. It's a Skyjacker 2.5" lift kit and the one thing he did say was a new set of shocks would likely improve the ride a little. I have no doubt that is the case.

Dropping some pictures for the record on what's there now...

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2007 Jeep Wrangler Sahara - Manual
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Just a quick note for prosperity sake. Had the alignment today and am now looking at Geometry Brackets or longer or adjustable control arms. Getting a lot of great advice from some members on another thread. Trying to tighten things up front as I had my first DW experience a few days ago.

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2007 Jeep Wrangler Sahara - Manual
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I installed a set of Rancho Geometry Brackets today and all I can say is wow! What a huge difference and I didn't even get the new Teraflex Adjustable track bar installed as it started to rain (I'm a driveway warrior as my garage is actually a woodworking shop). The drive is so much better simply with the geo correction. I need to have the alignment checked again and see where my caster ended up.

I also ordered a new set of shocks being delivered this week. My thinking is once I install the track bar and the new shocks, this thing should drive like new. Well, at least that's my hope!
 

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2007 Jeep Wrangler Sahara - Manual
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Another busy weekend with the Jeep. I got the Teraflex Adjustable Track Bar installed as well as installing a new set of Rancho RS9000XL Adjustable Shocks. So between the Geo Brackets, the new track bar and the shocks, I can not begin to tell what a huge difference it made. The brackets alone took the caster from 2.3/2.6 to 4.4/4.7 and is likely should get the credit as helping out the most. But the Jeep is no longer bouncing all over the road and I have not experienced any more episodes of death wobble, even when trying to recreate it hitting a bump that triggered it in the past.

A few pictures for prosperity sake and a copy of the final alignment just performed.

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2007 Jeep Wrangler Sahara - Manual
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I was able to a little playing as well. Installed a new dash organizer, got rid of the orange running lights and replaced with some clear lens versions, installed a set of grill inserts because I didn't like looking at the radiator (will remove if I start to notice air flow issues), added some D-Ring isolators for the rear bumper as the banging was driving me crazy, installed an under the hood OEM light because I couldn't stand looking at the empty plug hanging there, and lastly, installed some rear tail light guards, purely and solely because I like the way they look! A lot of piddly crap but heck, it makes it mine. :cool:

I've gone ahead an ordered a new front bumper and winch so those are the next big projects. More to come on those items...

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2007 Jeep Wrangler Sahara - Manual
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Finally got the RC MLC-6 Light Relay Controller I order a few weeks ago installed. I simply didn’t want to spend the money on the sPOD and this is what appears to be a pretty good alternative. Like everything else Jeep, I modified this modification by adding my own little HomeLink button for the garage door opener. The little momentary switch matches the switch on the other side of the panel that actuates the LED’s on the panel.

In an effort to keep things nice and tidy, I used some wire conduit to run the wires inside the engine bay from the controller panel to the battery. I think it just looks better without any exposed wires, although the wires on the MLC-6 are wrapped rather nicely in their own protective sleeve.

The one thing I do hate is the blatant plastering of the RC logo on the switch rockers, so I ordered replacements from OTR Switch Guys. I’ve read their Contura V rockers are a direct replacement for the RC’s. Hopefully that is true.

Next up is the installation of the new front bumper and winch I received this week. Not sure when I’ll get around to that but am looking forward to it when it happens.

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A very, very long time ago I drove a ’78 CJ-5, 304 3-speed. How I wish I still had it and still miss it to this day. Jump forward a few decades, I just stumbled across a one-owner, 2007 JK Sahara with just 44,000 miles on the clock.

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That thing looks brand new! Nice find.
 
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2007 Jeep Wrangler Sahara - Manual
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
That thing looks brand new! Nice find.
You found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow - well done!
That is the best looking '07 I have seen at 15 years old. Wow.

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Thanks...it's precisely why it had to come home with me. I feel very lucky to have found it after a long search. I'm enjoying the heck out of it despite dealing with the suspension issues, but I'm dialing that in slowly but surely. Heck, it wouldn't be a Jeep if we didn't have to tinker...lol.
 

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Beware. Keep an eye on your dip stick . I purchased a brand new 07 off the show room floor. It used 1.5 - 2 quarts of oil between 3000 entyemile oil changes. Chrysler called it normal. First oil change was scary, seeing the oil level so low. I just learned to check it every other day and keep extra oil on hand.
 

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Just joined WF. Kinda funny, I just bought a 2007 Sahara 2dr with 53000 miles. It's in great shape but needed some general maintenance (shocks, rear window seal, oil change). Still waiting on shocks to arrive and will have to figure out the DW. Not bad but I've noticed it. I'll be watching your build to get ideas.
 

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2007 Jeep Wrangler Sahara - Manual
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Well, I got the new front bumper installed today. I went with a DV8 to match the rear bumper. I originally was going to go with a stubby but I live in an area with heavy tourism and an aging population (myself included). Since this is my daily driver I elected to go with a little more collision protection from the unpredictable drivers here. I decided to hook the fog lights in the bumper to the switch control panel to isolate them from the headlight switch. I did leave the factory fog light wiring in tact just in case I run out of switches down the line.

On a more silly note, I installed a new third brake light behind the spare and got rid of the periscope version that was on there. Man is that spare heavy...I ended up using my floor jack to raise it most of the way...lol.

Next step is getting the winch installed in that new bumper. We shall see what tomorrow brings. Pictures for proof:

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2007 Jeep Wrangler Sahara - Manual
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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Got the winch installed today. It's a Smittybilt X20 10K Gen 2 Synthetic. As part of the installation, I incorporated a Warn Power Interrupt Kit/Solenoid in to the wiring. Hooked up the main cut-off switch to the MLC-6 switch panel. I have to say the entire process went swimmingly well and I really like how low the winch sits in the new bumper. I had also ordered a recovery kit and stored that in the tailgate storage bags from a few posts ago. I'm now almost ready to tackle something other than pavement...lol.



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2007 Jeep Wrangler Sahara - Manual
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Figured I'd share a picture and explanation of the wiring setup in case anyone is searching and stumbles on this. It was surprisingly easy. The Warn solenoid mounts near the battery with only four wire connection points. The negative line from the winch goes directly to the battery. The positive goes to the solenoid (connection 1). From the solenoid (connection 2) there is a supplied red wire that goes to the positive battery terminal. There is supplied ground wire from the solenoid (connection 3) to the negative terminal on the battery. The last is a wire that goes from the solenoid (connection 4) to the switch, or in my case, to MLC-6 input panel. (note: this is a positive line only...no negative wire).

Picture below of the mounted solenoid although you really can't see which wire is which because I like to keep things clean and use wire conduits to run wires though out. But you'll get the idea. I can assure you, if I can do this, any one can do it.

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