This is Gilbert
A little history of the jeep, beginning with the name. My wife names every one of our vehicles. Don't ask me why, but even the folders that track all of our purchases and repairs on vehicles are labeled with the name. So when my wife and I started dating in college, she wanted to call the jeep Eeyore because she thought it sounded depressed before I even started up the hills around our college and the grey color reminded her of it. It stuck for a while, and was After a while, the name Gilbert came up and at least in my mind, it has stuck. Now to convince her otherwise is a different story.
I purchased this Jeep in 2009 after my Ford Escort died. My luck right?
I knew I wanted to get a jeep and really didn't know much about them, just kinda jumped in head first. So, I purchased it from my Uncle for $2,000 dollars. I am the third owner and at the time of purchase it had 120k on it and it was well taken care of with the only issues being a little rust on the windshield frame.
Next two and a half years, I ran it as my DD. It helped me finish college and a month after graduation got me and my wife, fiancee at the time, to Kentucky where she got a job. Well slowly things started slowly wearing down and it taking me over a year to find a job that paid a little more than bill money my jeep didn't really get any mods. Except the bikini top my wife purchased for me!
That is NOT a gorilla escaped from a zoo. Just a college football player who hadn't realized at the time that maintaining that size was expensive and no longer needed.
So fast forward to late 2011. I was hired as a 911 dispatcher, who had the ability to go on fire department calls for the city. It was a step in the right direction as month to month became easier and we were covering our expenses with a little extra every month. In 2012 we started to get even better handle on bills. So much so that we added more
. We purchased her a car, then a house, and then got married. Expensive year and Gilbert just quietly and without fail got me where I needed to be.
In late 2012 a good thing and a bad thing happened. The city I dispatched and was a firefighter for offered me a job as a police officer! Did the 6 months of training required by the state, but Gilbert did not take me to training every week. The bad thing was the transmission had began slipping and had become unreliable. Probably resulted from going into some water that was to the step on Gilbert. Flooding in south eastern Indiana and my friend needed to get to his parents coupled with my ignorance of the vent hole location on the TF999 was just the perfect storm.
Luckily my father in law had purchased a new truck and received a take home truck for becoming Chief of his Fire Department where he worked. He sold me his old Dodge 2500 for $1 to become my DD. 6 months the jeep sat in the back yard waiting for me to do something with it.
After graduation from police academy and my pay raise, my wife has made me set up a jeep fund that takes a little of my check every week and puts it into an account that is strictly for the Jeep. She is amazing and a Jeeper Keeper.
--------------------- The Build --------------------------------
Warning and disclosure. This build is going to be hopefully faster than a YJ going up a hill but there are no promises. Three main reasons for this is that I have X amount of money coming in every month. Can't spend more than I have, but that leads to my next reason. I am patient almost to a fault. I will wait for the right deal and will not spend more than I have to. The biggest reason yet is I do not have a shop or access to a local shop here in Kentucky, so a 2.5 hour drive to Indiana has to be made to work on it. This is where my in law's property has a very well equiped garage available and some buddies that can help this build along. So I hauled the Jeep up and that first picture is it sitting in the driveway next to the garage.
That day we tweaked the carb, got the battery charged, gave it a bath, and just played with it. Got back to Kentucky and ordered a TF999 rebuild kit. Napa got me the complete kit with friction plates and everything. Was quoted 92.99 or something, but then the manager knew I was a cop so he cut the price to 66 and some change. Score!
Talking with one of my co-worker's husbands, he had a bunch of "jeep" parts that he wanted to get rid of it. I told him I would take anything he wanted to get rid of. Got there and he unloaded these into my truck.
4.2 motor, also pictured is a torque converter.
A transmission minus bell housing and 4.0 head
AW4 transmission and under those valve covers is another 4.0 head.
Not pictured was several smaller items like exhaust manifold and some items I really don't know, but hey when I asked him what he wanted for it he said free. I wasn't going to complain. A little dirty but everything seemed like it could be cleaned up and traded for things I need or even used on my jeep.
My plan is take this in steps. My first goals are going to get it drivable, legal, safe, and then expand out from there. My ultimate goal is a long way off but I think I have it broken down into junks, but the first step is the biggest.
Rebuild the TF999 transmission. It is not my DD so I don't mind no OD, it has a good gear ratio for what I will encounter here in Kentucky, and I my goal is to be as computer free as possible so no use for that AW4.
Windshield repair where my wife put her feet up on the dash and pressed on the window causing it to crack. It's up here because it is a Kentucky law to have no front window cracks.
Next big thing is I want to take the tub off and get a good look at it and my frame. I want to address any and all rust before I throw large amounts of money into other areas. Then I want to take steps to prevent rust and make it look nice, as long as it can in the salt heavy winters of the Ohio River Valley.
Remove trac and sway bars. Easy and free upgrade.
Nutter Bypass and subsequent removal of unnecessary wires and vacuum lines. Easy and low cost upgrade.
Monster line, Linex, or something my tub.
Marine Radio for my jeep. Nothing fancy as to attract thieves since I go topless a lot.
Paint vehicle and address a small ding on the right front fender that occurred in the parking lot of my college. Found it one morning, barely noticeable to anyone other than me.
I am looking into the R36 OME springs with Bilstein 5100 shocks, slight shackle lift, and trimming of the fenders. I like sparrows look, but not sure on the 35s.
Looking into the 8.8 swap. Looking for one from factoryopen differential and 4.10 gears. Open differential, because I am planning for end game. Eventually I want 4.88 and ABR air lockers so as nice as the LSD would be right now, I'd have to spend more on a carrier in the end.
Looking for a Dana 30 that came factory 4.10 gears so that I can upgrade them later to the 4.88, ABR air lockers also, ect ect
Of course with the lift and the 8.8 sway there are some things that need to be gone over with the brakes, line extension, MC swap, ect.
Then comes the wheels, tires, homebrew bumpers, rockers, and then a winch.
This is the plan and I am gonna stick to it as much as possible.