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Unread 05-14-2011, 07:04 PM   #1
mr3
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Plymouth Mtg PA USA
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Slow cheap build

I am new to the the forum, I've wanted a Wrangler since I was 15 and I got to ride in my friends Laredo back in high school. I'm 21 and I finally got one. I'm a college student and money is tight so it'll be a slow build. I come from tiny cars. I have had 5 Toyota mr2's.

In January I bought an 86 mr2 that was for a fix and resell. Bought it for 300, put a 300 engine in it and sold it for $1700. I owed my parents some money and payed them back with the money. I saved up a few pay checks and started looking for the most solid yj Wrangler. Searched craigslist and couldn't find anything local. Expanded my search and found one down by the Jersey shore. I'm from outside Philly so I decided to make the drive and check it out. When I got there I told my sister who made the trip that I was coming home with the jeep.

If only it was that easy. The seller lost the key after showing it to another guy an hour before I got there. He asked what I wanted to do, he offered to pay me for gas for making the trip. I asked him if he could get a locksmith out to make a key. He asked me to go out and grab some lunch so he could run to his house to see if he had a spare there. I go out and come back a half hour later. No luck no spare. He called AAA and they sent someone out. It cost him $108 for new keys and took an extra hour for that whole mess to go down.

Here it is as it sat.

The windshield frame is rusted out and there was a small hole on the drivers side floor board.

His asking price was $1800. I told him I would not pay even close to that in it's condition. He kinda sighed and felt bad. I was there for 3 hours at this point because he was a talker and just kept rambling.

New keys were cut, and I go to start it up. Started up right away surprisingly. It would stall and choke out however once the engine revved above 1300 or so rpm. Got it back and parked it. Made him an offer of $1000 and he reluctantly agreed. I get it up onto my tow dolly and made the 2 hour drive home. I was limited to 55 mph but it went smooth. I managed to get 11mpg out of my parent's GMC envoy with the jeep on the back!

I get it home and start to unload it. Start it up and back it off the dolly no problems. Cut the engine so I can wrap everything up. Fire it up 10 minutes later and start backing into the driveway. It stalls out and wont start back up. It's now stuck sideways in the street. I call in the house for my sisters help. 2 of them come out and we start pushing as one steers. Get stuck nearly into the driveway. At this point I'm exhausted and have zero energy. Luckily my neighbor comes home and says he'll be right over to help. We push it back into the street a bit to get a bit of a running start and get her in the driveway. Thank god for him. Without his help it would've been stuck out there for a few hours till my dad got home. Unfortunately I don't have any pics of that fiasco.

Here she is in her new home.


I called it a night after getting it home and parked.

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Unread 05-14-2011, 07:25 PM   #2
mr3
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Next day I start poking around and fixing up what I can. First thing I did was rip out the carpet and throw it in the trash. Then I cut out the hole in the floor and welded in a piece of an old mr2 hood. The floor is now 100% solid and ready for bed liner. I go to fire it up and it started up fine go figure. I did a few minor things then I started searching for things as to why it wouldn't rev up. I unbolted the down pipe and looked in the cat. Clogged up and shot. I cut it out and gutted it and threw it back on. Welded it back up and fired it up. Revved out all the way and sounded great. I felt good.

Next order of business was to ditch the original carb and upgrade. Found a weber 32/36 on cragislist for $20. The guy was awesome he just wanted to clear out some space to fit more stuff in. He had it listed as a Holley carb and didn't know what he really had. Grabbed that up threw it on and went to town on vacuum lines. I eliminated some of them but everything seems to be fine.


At this point I had it running and seemingly well. I took it around the neighborhood a few times and it felt great. Get to looking the body lift is garbage and needs to come off. The bottom bushing that goes between the bolt head and the frame is completely missing. I start pulling and I see the bolt twisting. It's ok, I didn't want to run that big of a body lift anyway. It will be coming off as soon as I get a 1" body lift.

I decided that it's a jeep and I should try to crawl something. I have a bunch of wheels from my mr2 laying around so I laid some down.



When the left side was up I noticed where the broken leaf piece came from. Not a huge deal, I am actually glad it's broken and I actually have a reason to put real springs on it. As of right now, I'm thinking OME springs because Quadratec is only 30 minutes away and I won't have to pay shipping. The OME kit is about the same price as the RC lift is with shipping and I've never heard anything bad from OME.

Also got a bikini top with rail for $20 I love craigslist, wallet hates it.
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Unread 05-14-2011, 07:31 PM   #3
moonshinefuel
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Well that was worth it. What year is it? Which engine?
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Unread 05-14-2011, 07:43 PM   #4
mr3
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Somehow forgot the details of it. It's an 88 with a 4.2. The odometer reads 103k but the speedo doesn't read so I'm going to have to figure that out and fix it. It run's strong and doesn't make any weird noises.
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Unread 05-14-2011, 08:07 PM   #5
monkeyhouse
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Wow, I wish I had the same luck as you! Great Jeep, glad you got it!
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Unread 05-14-2011, 08:12 PM   #6
mr3
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Thanks, the pics make it look better than it actually is and the pics don't even look all that great. The gray on the hood and grill was a textured paint. It was gritty and looked terrible. I took 80 grit and went to town on it. The grill still needs some more work but I'm in no rush to finish this thing. I want to do it right instead of doing it 3 times over because I did it wrong.
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Unread 05-14-2011, 08:16 PM   #7
monkeyhouse
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Well, I paid 1500 for my 89 and it wasnt running when I got it, had a soft top that looked like it was original and later found out that the nice looking paint job had been done by kids at the local votech and was full of body puddy that was applied terribly bad. Not sour grapes though, I love working on my jeep, I really do, just wish I could weld!
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Unread 05-15-2011, 05:57 AM   #8
GRYDE001
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nice deal, the top and doors alone are almost worth it
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Unread 05-15-2011, 06:24 AM   #9
mr3
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Doors are shot. The sail window fell out the first time I opened it. The upper frame is rusted pretty bad but I'm not planning on running doors except for the winter time. The hardtop however is in solid shape. Just a few little spots that need some attention. The other day I pealed off the tint that has faded to purple. Looks so much better now. Later down the road I may tint it but that's not going to be till after summer.
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Unread 05-15-2011, 07:34 AM   #10
goAF
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Awesome--threads like this make me happy. 1k on a Jeep and by the end of it this guy is going to have it running like a champ. What a boss. Makes me feel bad I paid 4k for mine... But not really. But sort of.
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Unread 05-15-2011, 07:50 AM   #11
mr3
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I wish I would have been able to save up to pay $3000 for one in running condition. I have told my whole family not to let me buy any more projects but I went out and bought this lol.

It's a wet and rainy day so I cant get out and wrench, instead I'm doing research. OME seems like a great way to go and it's about $850. On the other hand, there is RCD suspension with Bilstein shocks for $700. The kit has some pretty decent reviews and it's a 4" lift which will be good for when I decide to get the 33's.
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Unread 06-27-2011, 03:23 PM   #12
mr3
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This past weekend, I installed an engine that I rebuilt into the mr2. Got it running and that's good. Then I decided to move to the jeep because my lift came in. I went with the Rough Country 4" because the new spring design and the positive reviews and I figured that 85% of the people seemed to be satisfied with it. I only had time to do the front before my back started to kill me and before I decided to call it quits for the night.


I'm looking to finish up the lift this weekend. At that time, I will work on getting the 3" body lift off and have it cut in half. After that is done, I just have to tune my weber and and then get my inspection stickers.
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Unread 10-09-2011, 06:25 PM   #13
mr3
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Like I said, this will be a super slow build up. I finished the RC lift and was sitting on 31's and it looked goofy. Then a bunch of other stuff happened, I sold the red Toyota off and bought an 04 mr2 spyder. A month after I got it, the trans took a ****. I replaced the 5 speed with a 6 speed with way less miles. Runs amazing now. I was tired of working on cars for a period. I was sick of the mr2, didn't feel like even looking at the jeep so I just drove the mr2 and left the jeep parked in the corner. One night I was looking for for tires and found a deal for 4 used 33's. The guy said they had good tread on them so I went and bought them. They have over 50% and they only cost me $100. I learned out to mount my own tires because I didn't have a way to get 4 rims with 31's plus 4 33" tires to my buddies shop. Went well, now the jeep has a nice aggressive stance and should do decent when I take it off road to beat the piss out of it.


The car sat for a while, I felt like I could use the money so I posted it on craigslist. I had many offers but after 2 weeks of dealing with typical BS craigslist people, I took it down and decided to keep it. I blew out a hard brake line replaced that, then the flex line went out. That's on it's way now. $15 shipped for 2 new front lines and that will be taken care of.

Next on the agenda was the **** *** metal body lift who does that? It was rusted and stuck. Pipe wrench helped, sawzall worked better. Got it out and now I'm waiting on my new $20 body lift. I searched and searched, hockey pucks didn't win me over but another option I kept seeing was skateboard wheels. My dad works at the steel plant so he made up the pieces I needed and I should be good to go. The wheels will be here any day now and I'm hoping to have them on this coming weekend with new grade 8 hardware.


Here is how it's sitting now. It feels low. I need seats. I'm trying to keep in my price range of cheap so I'm waiting till I find something that fits the bill.


Also remembered I sold the yj hard top for $100 and picked up a cj7 hard top for free. Good deal in my book.
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Unread 10-09-2011, 07:30 PM   #14
AmmitOsiris
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I love classic sport bar I hate t family bar atleast my 90 wrangler has the sportbar with the 4.2l six cylinder engine keep up he good work I'm in the same boat as you right now..
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Unread 10-09-2011, 07:45 PM   #15
mr3
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I do like the sport bar. I would like to build a full cage some day for it but for now, I don't plan to roll it for a while.
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