Using my build thread on the Jeep Forum I wanted to do a post on here to catch everything up. It’s been a long time since I last posted, and The Jeep has completely changed.
First picture after I got it home:
As it stands today:
Needless to say the tint had to go. The back was bubbled so bad I could barely see, and the purple really wasn’t doing it for me.
Unfortunately the tint would have to wait. Second day of ownership, driving to the RC track with a buddy and suddenly the Jeep runs like crap. turns out I bent 3 valves somehow and had to give up the Jeep for a week while the head got polished, rebuilt, and the bent valves got replaced. When I got it back it was so smooth you could barely tell it was idling. After some convincing the dealer agreed to refund $400 of my purchase price since they sold me a busted Jeep.
This allowed me to get back on track with planned work. Next thing that needed to be addressed was the pretty bad rubbing I was getting with the 30’s. Pro Comp 1.25″ Spacers up front worked as a great temporary fix until I could get a real lift.
When I first did the install of the spacers I left the stock size shocks in. I knew I would have to change them eventually, but being unemployed I had to wait for financial reasons. A week later I got the slightly longer shocks and I’m glad I did. I had already destroyed one of the stock ones.
Shortly after, I hit the local tint shop and got new tint.
A few weeks later it was time to get dirty for the first time. A local club I’m part of was doing a weekend long run and I couldn’t wait to see how the Jeep did.
The trip brought to light some transmission issues that I still have to work out, but even on fairly mild tires and a failing transmission the only issue I had was overheating one time.
Nothing happened on the Jeep for a long while. I went through some family issues and money was very tight on unemployment, so nothing much was done for a few months. During that time I picked up some parts for mounting the CB more permanently, and I got 2 PIAA lights from a friend, so it was time for everything to go on.
First I mounted the lights on the bumper. Hadn’t wired them, but they were on, and looked good.
Next was the auxiliary fuse block and CB install. The fuse block is always on for now. I’m worried about the LED on the PIAA switch draining the battery, but I can’t imagine it being enough of a drain to actually cause a problem. (Excuse the crappy phone shots)
And the CB installed inside.
Now the outside CB install.
Aside from the PIAA’s being wired , nothing had changed at this point. Tax season lead to my next round of upgrades. The lift, wheels and tires are next on the list. And thanks to Jeg’s wheel fitment application I have a rough idea what it will look like.
Although I planned on going in the direction of lift and modest tires from this point, I ended up going a completely different direction with my build. I ended up starting with a rear tire carrier from Adventure Vehicle Outfitters.
The next step was the lift. I ordered the Rough Country Stage II 3″ lift. From the install and up until today I am extremely happy with the lift.
Within 2 days of getting the lift on I got my tires and wheels. 33″ Duratracs on 15″ wagon wheels.
In initial flex tests with the 33’s on a 3″ lift there was a LOT of body contact, as expected. So…. We cut…. a lot….
At this point I painted the lower panels flat black, added a flat pack gas/water can rack to the swingout, received my Ultragauge, removed the factory muffler in favor of a Magnaflow glasspack, got everything packed up and tested it on a 3 day Mojave Road trip. I was VERY pleased with the results.
After Mojave I came back and did some maintenance for the most part. Along the way I picked up a roof rack, and made a mounting system for 2 more flat packs under the basket. I also got another 8″ KC for the front bumper. This picture was before the flat pack mounts on the rack:
That picture was also taken about an hour before I rolled out to Overland Expo with the guys from AVO.
After Overland Expo I didn’t have much of a budget for mods. It became more about what cheap/free stuff I could muster up to feed the mod bug. To feed the bug I went to the Junkyard and got LeBaron hood vents, I also got some free H4 housings and HID’s out of a friends car. The HID’s were purple, so I passed on them, but I installed some standard H4 halogens in the housings. The housings have a halo that is, as of right now, not connected. I’m not sold on the look.
This brings us up to today.