Hold Fast- Sparrow's Build Thread
Well I suppose enough things are changing now that I better start the obligatory build thread. Otherwise I'll start forgetting to document what I've done. Besides, I'd like to look back on the progress myself! :2thumbsup:
So part of my goal of this thread will be to write up everything as thorough as I can. I've found that sometimes, it's the easiest jobs that are the hardest to get rolling on, because most people simply assume that everyone else already knows how to do the "easy" stuff and never bother to write anything up on it.
Here's what I'm starting with:
4.0/Aw4 out of an XJ
np 231 t-case
15" Craiger D-windows
Worn out 33x12.5x15 Cooper Discoverer MTs
open d30/d35 axles
2" Body lift
1.5" Lift shackles
Custom front/rear bumper with tire carrier
Warn i9000xd winch
Rhino Lined tub
LED Tail Lights
A pic of the day I brought it home. A face only I could love haha :rofl::
Note the fugly flares, the used car lot windows stickers, and the bucked beaver teeth! Oh and the almost inverted, flat springs. :laugh::laugh:
MY GOAL: The goal of my build is to transform my Jeep into a badasss DD/Weekend Warrior. A Jeep that is equally at home on a 3,000 mile highway road trip as it is on the rocks, dirt, and mud.
Ye better hold fast, cause here we go :2thumbsup::2thumbsup::2thumbsup:
Here's a rough build plan.
I want her to have good road manners since she's my DD. Because of this I decided to keep her as low as I could and still run 35's with decent clearance to the frame/belly. Not really trying to be "LCOG" or whatever the buzzword is around here now, I've just driven on enough highways to know that sometimes having something jacked up 7" with 37's not only isn't fun, but scary!
On the flip side, I want to have as much flex, axle clearance, and frame clearance as possible for the trails. I don't want to be the "weak link" when running with a group or being "that guy."
So here's my rough outline-
OME 2.5" springs, 1/2" shackles, 1" BL (dropping from the 2" it came with), and Metalcloaks w/"TJ" cut rear wells.
8.8 rear with LSD (for now)
Front aussie locker
Tummy tuck with flat skid
We'll see how that works out!
What's gone on so far-
So for those of you that don't know, I busted my hip last march at work. I'm a framer and had a wall fall on me. Totally sucked! I spent 9 months not being able to get off my couch, had two surgeries, then a few more months on a cane, tons of therapy, and I'm still far from 100%. As such I've been on worker's comp and about $0.10 away from being in the poor house every month. :eek: Bleh.
So things have been tight to say the least! Before my YJ I had an '05 TJ that I bought fresh off the lot with 4 miles on it. I wheeled the **** out of it for the next 7-8 years.
To keep a long story short, I lost my TJ last December (it was paid off, but I had it registered though my father's construction company, from when I used to work with him, and he just went belly up and the bank seized all his assets. This included my TJ. F*cking bankers!) :brickwall:
A few weeks later I picked up my YJ. Paid $4500 for it, as you see it in the first pic. Not a terrible deal! :D It's pretty rust free and has a few things done right to it. And the things that are wrong, shouldn't be too much to fix. Famous last words right?
So far I've;
Played with it, as is, during the last few months of winter.
Took the top off and sold it. (I HATE hard tops. Pain in my a$$.) Took the goofy 7" flares off (pretty lax here with tire coverage so no biggie.)
Repainted the bumpers. The PO had primed but never painted them. The winter road salt had eaten through the primer in a bunch of places and it was rusting out.
Mounted my Hi-Lift jack-
Then I played some more :2thumbsup:
So far I love the YJ. I've owned three generations of Jeeps now, and the YJ is my favorite. It's the perfect balance between the rough and ready, super simple Cj7, and the more modern, updated TJ. It retains the simplicity of the Cj but looks a bit "fresher" inside. I love it! :highfive:
I'm really excited about building it and watching it progress.
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I love pic's btw. My thread will be pic heavy!
So on Thursday I drove an hour out of town to go to a JY. I grabbed a bunch of parts there that I needed, including a new cage. The PO had a bunch of extra crap welded on to "beef" up the stock cage (but it had zero triangulation. Doesn't matter how many ladder bars you weld on, with no lateral support it will still rack and crumple.) And it looked like he had an "X" welded between the "family" bars for some reason and later cut it off. In doing so he cut about 1/2 way through the main hoop in two spots, and about 1/3 of the way through the family bars with big "V" notches and never filled them.
He also had a "brace" welded between the windshield bars, right across the top of the windshield, an extra bar bisecting it through the center. The bar across the windshield was welded with only maybe a 1/2" between the tube and the windshield. It took my 2 freaking hours to get the hard top bolts out. I had to grind down a box wrench to maybe 1/2 of its thickness just to fit it in there. Even then I was only able to make maybe 1/64th of a turn before resetting the wrench. F*ck that sh*t! :brickwall: :brickwall: :brickwall:
So that's why I decided that the cheapest way to solve all these issues was with a "new" cage. Picked this one up, including complete padding, for about $75.00. Not bad. Down the road I'll have something custom fabbed up the right way. But for now this will work :2thumbsup:
Yesterday/today I spent all day working on getting the old cage out and the new cage in. I f*cking hate torx!
First: The best before pic I got.
The new cage, primed and painted. I don't have a "before" pic of the cage. My camera was out of batteries so deal with it :D It was a bright, metallic blue to start with. And now? Back in Black!
Today I started trying to tear out the old cage. When the PO had the inside of the tub Rhino Lined, he didn't have the cage pulled so all of the torx bolts holding it down were completely filled and covered with the Rhino. I tried heating up the Rhino with a torch and clearing out the bolts but it was a no go. Que the grinder! I cut all them suckers out.
Bolt heads cut off.
After I had all the heads cut off, I just scored the Rhino over and over around the plates with a razor knife. A little hammer diplomacy and some pry bar action had the old cage out! (I did have to cut the windshield header bars off. Since they were tied together, they covered the bolts going into the windshield, leaving me no other way to get to the bolts. Forgot to take a pic. Whoops :shhh:)
At this point I FOUGHT to get what remained of the bolts out. I PB blastered the **** out them. Heated them with a propane torch, started a small fire in the Jeep (note to self, piles of mud/crud soaked in PB blaster burns really well haha,) and used vice grips to grab the bolt. I got 9 out of the 12 out this way. The remaining 3 would not budge. I tried more heat, more oil, more hammering, more yelling at them, more cussing, more cigs, more willing them to come out, more slapping my huge wang on them, but nothing was working. Finally broke down and bought some EZ-outs.
Has anyone ever had an EZ-out work? I've sheared off more than a dozen of them in my life and can't remember them ever working so this was my rock bottom, last resort. Guess what? They worked flawlessly! Got the last three out. Victory!
Right then I just wanted to put the seats back in a go for a drive. IMO Jeeps look so freaking badasss with the cage out. But I couldn't :(
While I was cutting the cage, the paint was drying on my seats. The seats were looking pretty sad, stained, faded, and terrible so I decided to try out of this in order to give them a face lift:
I plan on replacing them all together down the road. But right now that's a pretty low priority. So much more to do first. But ain't nothing wrong with $21.00 worth of spit and polish!. It took me three cans 'o that stuff to get my seats from this:
Turned out pretty sweet! Seems like it should hold up pretty well. At least for a while! :thumbsup:
Oh yeah I painted the roll bar padding that came with the new cage while I was at it. It was pretty gross from laying out in the JY for years, and was the same faded grey as my seats, but now it looks brand new. Took about 1 can to do that (seemed more absorbent than the seats.)
Back to the Jeep (I'm freaking tired. Give me a break! My future posts will be funnier/cooler/better though out lol! :rofl:
Dropped the windshield and did some serious cleaning/washing.
The sun started dropping fast so I hurried to get the new cage installed .
Rushed to get the seats put in and my tools cleaned up before it got too dark. By the time the last bolt was put in and the last tool picked up, it had gotten dark out. I really need a garage so I don't have this problem....
Best pic I got until morning of the cage swap and the cleaned up seats installed;
Pretty crappy I know. I'll snap one in the morning and replace that last pic. She looks much more sexy now though! Much, much better than the faded seats and crappy pipe insulation/Hockey tape padding and buggered up cage I was running before! :2thumbsup:
Tomorrow- I'll take the doors off again and hit the interior panels with some Krylon Fusion to spruce them up too. Clean the Jeep up a bit more, and then it's time for Easter with the family.
Phew that was a lot to cover all at once!
From now on I'll try harder to document everything better. JF had been indefensible for me in figuring out how to build my Jeep and I want to pay it forward by making sure all my projects are well covered with info/pics. I'll try and include as much info as I can from now on...Just needed to get rolling an up to date :thumbsup:
I thought about going up to 37s, but I can't justify it haha. I want to stick with 35s...at least for one set of shoes :rofl:
By the time they wear out I may have changed my mind :laugh::laugh:
Thanks for the support bud. You have just about the baddest Jeep around!
No worries we love pics lol
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great looking build so far man, really dig white yjs. Nice keep up the heavy pics.
the cage looks a lots better and so do those seats.
I like white Jeeps a lot too. This is my third one though (all by chance) and I'm thinking for painting it something bright for a change of pace. I'm still stuck on that one though. Luckily I have a bit to do before I have to make my mind up. :highfive:
I'll keep the pics coming. It's one of my favorite parts of JF; looking through other peoples pics, so I'll make sure my thread is full of them too. :thumbsup:
Lookin good man!
Do you think the easy out would work on the torx bolts without removing the bolt head
That's what I would like to do. Keep mine a DD and be able to wheel it on the weekends. Why 35's not 33's? Just the extra clearance?
Plus 35s just look that much better :D :thumbsup:
Not much today. I did finish sprucing up the inside though.
I got some of this:
I used it to freshen my inside door panels. Like the rest of my interior, it was tired, faded, and sad.
Oh and I swapped out my shift knob for my B&M shifter. I don't care if it's cheesy and cliche at this point. I like it and it's my Jeep!Not to mention I found it in the bargain bin. Was only $2.50. I got one for the t-case shifter too but that sucker is frozen on there and I didn't feel like digging around for my vicegrips at the time.
That pretty much sums up today's work lol. Tomorrow is another trip to a JY sourcing parts. Wish me luck (still can't find a damn 8.8 with the correct gearing :brickwall: )
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