I'll start by stating what I'm trying to accomplish and why.
I'm starting off with a '97 TJ sport that I've had since new and has grown with me over the years. It's in pretty good shape as it's rarely been winter driven and has been garage kept most of it's life, and at only 115000 km still has lots of life left. It's currently sitting on a set of 35's with 3" springs and 1" body lift. It still has the stock axles, Dana 44/30 combo, but they are running 4.56 gears with a zip locker in the front and an OX in back. It's running the stock 4.0 but with a swapped in NV3550 and a 231 with a slip yoke eliminator.
When I bought the Jeep I was much younger, single, and just wanted a fun vehicle. Fast forward 16 years and I've aged some (havn't we all), have a wife and 2 boys that love to wheel, but are getting bigger by the day (the boys not the wife). We love wheeling as a family but we're outgrowing the Jeep. I thought about going to a Cherokee or Grand, but like having the removable top. Looked at selling this and getting and TJ unlimited, but I'd lose too much money for the difference. So I started researching doing a stretch, and found a couple of others that had done similar projects, including others on this forum (thanks guys). Then this summer I found a TJ unlimited back half with rollbar at Davey's Jeep in Clevland for $300 and took a day trip down there to pick it up. While I was there I went over to 4wd hardware just down the road and picked up a Bestop TJ unlimited soft top, that was $850, but unlimited soft tops are near impossible to find used, so... They've been mostly sitting in my garage now for the summer as we've been wheeling, except for removing some excess pieces of the unlimited that I won't be needing and unbolting the roll bar and pulling out the wiring. After getting back from one final wheeling trip the end of September, and not having any other plans until the spring I decided it was time to start, so I removed the spare, hi-lift, tools and the right side corner/wheel flare and mocked it up on the body to see where things would need to get mounted and how it would look.
as you can see the unlimited was hit and it folded in the front, this has to be cut out
Mocking up my TJ corners
This is a filler piece for my Swag tailgate conversion, maybe I should just weld it to the corner this time, and tie it all together
For anyone that doesn't know the 6 comes from the CJ6 which was a long wheelbase version of the CJ5 and the TealJ, well I think looking at my Jeep it's obvious where that's coming from.
Enjoy, and let me know what you think...