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Discussion Starter #1
Last week I posted in the newbie board, here's a few before pictures...
http://www.wranglerforum.com/f12/my-new-to-me-08-jk-rebuilder-called-sarah-bear-1249393.html. Now it's Crunch Time (or Un-Crunch Time).

So, nothing like waiting until the last minute. I need the jeep done by next week and just today I finally ordered my stuff.

I'm going with the Xenon flat fenders (1.5" narrower than stock), Olympic front and rear metal bumpers, a Besttop Trektop Pro Hybrid soft top (fast back), and a eyebrow front grill. For tires I'm going slightly bigger than what was on it, 295/70R17 Nitto's (about 33.5" tall). I was annoyed that the front and rear wheels didn't match, same manufacturer, but different enough. So I ordered two more to match the rear, I'll take the best of the full size front with wheel and make it a spare. Anyone need a good pair of 285/70R17 Rocky Mountain's? Plenty of tread left.

One question, what is the easiest way to sync the speedometer to the new tire size? From the dealer spec sheet, it originally had 29" tall tires. Back in the day I'd buy a new speedo gear for the transmission.

So yesterday it was pulled into the bodyshop. I bought a used quarter panel and tailgate. Out came the interior, off came the quarter. Turns out the rear frame was tweaked a bit. But after a little frame pull it came back to square. The rear axle doesn't look 100% either, but I won't know until new arms are installed and some measurements can be taken. Dropped the drivers seat at upholstery shop, a little bolster rebuild and re-stitch, it'll be good as new.

Here's a few pictures of a skinned JK!







 

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Discussion Starter #4
Tailgate and Right Taillight Pocket Repair

The tailgate I bought wasn't a great replacement, far from perfect. When I talked to the salvage guy, he warned that it was not insurance quality (meaning it needed some body repair time) because of a dent along the bottom edge. However, it was worse than that. The lower dent was there of course, but it was also bent behind the spare tire carrier. Instead of sending it back, the salvage yard discounted it even further. Saving money is good, so we straightened and reinforced it a bit.

The only other body damage was the right rear tail light pocket. The sheet metal was easily straightened using a stud gun. The stud gun allows pulling on metal without drilling any holes (old school used to drill holes and pull with a slide hammer). By pulling in this way the original e-coat (primer) is left intact on the inner side to keep rust at bay. After a light skim coat of metal glaze and primer these two panels are ready for final sand and paint.


 

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Can't wait to see the finished project! I'm assuming your daughter doesn't know she is getting the Jeep for graduation? Good luck with it. sub'd
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Do you need control arms?
A fellow forum'r already hooked me up with the rear control arms and shocks from his take off.

With any luck I won't need axles. From my initial glance, I may need a complete front and rear axle assemblies. That will suck, but it is what it is. It runs and drives but may not align worth a flip.

Anyone with take off axles... keep me in mind.
 

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I wish I had the skills and resources to pull this off.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I wish I had the skills and resources to pull this off.
Funny story, back about 12 years ago I wanted to change the color of my Jeep ZJ, after getting the high price quotes I gave up on the idea. A couple years later I buy a bodyshop. Problem solved! lol



So I was running a day late to get the JK painted. Still two days to go, and a few loose ends. Actually, two big loose ends. First I need to find a rear axle assembly and get it installed. Second, the front bumper I ordered is back ordered... Won't have it until next week (that sucks!). So I may just chop what is left of the OEM front bumper and make it look like a stubby for now.

It's Wednesday, and it needs to be finished by Saturday graduation!

Here are a couple pictures with paint. We were rolling into the masking area and I noticed a couple small dents (one on the drivers door, the other two on the driver fender). Seems like a simple thing to fix, but it requires minor bodywork, primer, more sand/prep time... time, don't have much left.

Also accomplished today, picked up my repaired drivers seat. Installed a low mileage front axle assembly. I had to drive over 500 miles round-trip last night to pick up this axle, made it home by 1:00 am. Jeep was painted by 2:00 pm, and axle installed by 5:00 pm. Still need to align it tomorrow and search hard and heavy for a rear axle!

Tomorrows task include painting the new grill, fenders, rear bumper and wheel lips.





 

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Discussion Starter #14
When one problem is solved, you can always count an another to rear it's ugly head. Found a donor rear axle assembly. Tomorrow morning, first thing, the new axle gets put under the JK. But... Today I was picking up my new wheels (so I'd have a matching set). While at the tire shop I had them spin my existing two wheels. I wanted to be sure they were turning true. And of course they were not, the one located on the damaged corner had a noticeable wobble to it. Now for plan C.

The fronts are discontinued, there isn't another matching wheel in the area. Since I had to order anyway I went ahead and ordered a completely new set of 5 Tuff DX4's. I originally wanted the beadlock look and found these new ones to look a little closer than what I had on there. One more day delay on painting the wheels. Of the 5 wheels, I'll have 4 tomorrow when FexEx arrives. The last one will be here next week. So while I'm waiting for the front bumper to arrive, I can get my spare wheel installed too. So back to the shop, reinstall the old tires and wheels for now.

Here's a couple pics of my painted Xenon flat fenders (about 1-1/2" narrower than stock). Not shown is the rear Olympic steel bumper, it was textured powder coat so it was primed and blocked for a smooth look. There were so many choices of bumpers for Jeeps, I wanted simple and small, Olympic seemed to fit the bill. We'll see how all this fits together soon. Also shown is the eyebrow grill (taboo to jeep purists I'm sure). And lastly, the interior was put back together, tailgate installed, and it's starting to look like a Jeep again!



 

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Discussion Starter #16
Off with the Old - On with the New

Okay, so yesterday was my last full day to work on the JK. Early in the morning we swapped out the rear axle assembly. Did a rear brake job since the rear pads were thin and the rotors needed turned.

The wheels where shipped in early afternoon so we had to hustle to get the lip painted, baked, and tires installed before the tire store closed. I had 20 minutes to spare! Sorry for keeping the Discount guys working late. They did great job taking care to keep the fresh paint damage to a minimum.

Meantime we bolted on the fenders, rear bumper and grill. Sprayed some undercoating in the wheel wells. I had to do a quick redneck engineering job on my old front bumper. Quick trim with a sawsall and, well... let's just say there is something up front, and it's not my Olympic bumper! Eric at Olympic called and said the front bumper was fabbed and going into welding, he was shipping it raw immediately. Should have it next week. My spare wheel will be in next week as well.

The only thing I was dreading was the install of the 2-Door JK Bestop Trektop Pro, I put it off until the shop was empty and I could lay everything out. I watched the video, actually followed the install instructions (unusual), and all in all it took a little over three hours to get on. Besttop recommended using two people, I did it by myself and it was a straight forward install, my only complaint was very little written description, mostly pictures and diagrams. Even so by having access to the install video (although for a JKU) was helpful.

Today I'll give it a wash, slap on some decals and finally give it way! Tonight is my daughters graduation... hope she likes it.






 

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looks good i have built 3 tjs and it is a great way to get a deal on a jeep. I am looking for a 2 door to build for my dad right now
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Graduation Night, She Gets the Keys!

Yesterday was fun! I detailed the JK and put on my "custom" fender decals. This jeep is now officially called a Wrangler Limited, Bear edition! So some may ask why is it "limited", well in my way of thinking. If a two-door is called a Wrangler, and a four-door is called a Wrangler Unlimited. Then a two-door must be the opposite... a Wrangler Limited. The edition "Bear" is because my Sarah has been called "Sarah Bear" since she was little bitty. Just a small touch that only she'll understand, but other jeep people may wonder just a little if it's real or not, lol.

So, unfortunately it's not complete. I still have the front bumper, rear spare, halo lights, a boost in stereo, and other little things that need done. But it was running and driving, so close enough that I could give it to her. Not bad for a week and a half rebuild, I love recycling!

Did she like it? Yes she did! It was a late night after her large class graduation ceremony, then out to dinner with friends and family. Finally we get home late and parked in front of the house was her jeep. As soon as she saw it, she knew instantly it was hers, we all laughed, it was a good time. I'm glad she liked it, or loved it, as she says.




 
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