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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm starting a build thread to catalog the progress of the '97 TJ I acquired yesterday. The TJ is a graduation gift from my wife after completing my bachelor's degree. It will be slow going but I plan on building it up a little at a time. Eventually I'd like to be on 35's or 37's. I have a JKU that is my daily so this is just a trail/ camping rig for me and my son. It's a 4cyl manual with about 171,000 on the clock. Fairly unmolested.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The first day of ownership had me taking off mud flaps, removing 6x9's, and investigating where all these random grounds and butt connections go. I started tearing into the security system that was disabled but still in place. My plan is to rewire the KC lights as I have a million miles of wire running all over the place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Day three had me driving "****** titey" to work where it received many compliments for how clean it was. I sold the uninstalled carpet kit as I plan to bed line the tub.

Day four and five I removed the security alarm that was disconnected.

I plan on using the funds from the carpet kit to purchase a new valve cover gasket, steering box seal kit, front axle seals and a distributor cap and rotor. Also I need to look at the rear brakes and see why the driver side is so grabby.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Today I replaced the valve cover gasket with a new thick felpro unit with a steel core. When taking off the old valve cover I came to find that only 2 of the 10 or so screws were actually remotely tight. I cleaned up the valve cover the best I could given the time constraints I was under and put it back together. Ran it, and no leaks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Porky.

Today I built some D ring mounts for the front. I didn't like the hooks that were available aftermarket so I decided to build some brackets. It's two pieces of 1/2" steel plate sandwiched and welded around the perimeter. Should be pretty strong. I goofed and didn't measure the hole needed for the shackle pin to go through and got a 3/4 drill bit since they're 3/4" shackles. Turns out it's more like 7/8". Oh well. Amazon should have me fixed up in a couple days. Here's a pic of the mounts. Going to paint them after I get the bigger bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This weekend I took to narrowing the factory bumper. I wanted it a little more narrow. Still not as strong as a plate steel bumper but a little better. I also added some custom (read homemade) d-ring loops. They're made from 1/2 inch plate sandwiched and welded all along the perimeter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
In the last couple of weeks progress has been slow. I replaced both inner axle seals. Not an unmanageable task but a task nonetheless. I installed some square LED lights in favor of the big round KC's that were on there. I also took it to the tire shop and has my tires switched to my black wheels. Looks 1000% better than the polished aluminum wheels that were on there. Currently working on installing my CB and Ham Radios.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I also blacked out the trim rings around the headlights. When we picked up the Jeep from the tire shop the wife said, "You need to lift it. It looks too weenie."
 

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