So long story short, ever since my family and I moved to NC we wanted to get another Jeep for the beaches and some mud trails. She started working recently so figured out second vehicle could be that Jeep! We picked up a beautiful 1996 ZJ Limited, 5.2 w/ LSD and Tow package (110k). Everything was great for the first few days. Changed the diff fluids, tranny fluid, filter, etc... and was ready to go have lunch on a trail! First mild bump and this happens:
If you can't tell from the pic (Funny angle), basically the coil spring perch on the front axle snapped (Drivers side), and the spring came down to the tie rod, where it sits.
Apparently the rust underneath (It was a northern car) was worse than I gave it credit for. It looks like it was recently coated, possibly to help with (Or hide?) the rusting but after scraping to check, most things are in very poor shape.
So, all of that said, we are trying to look on the bright side of this. It gives me a reason to full on rebuild the front and rears and get a nice, mild truck out of this. I have done a ton of searching and setup a parts list. If there is one thing I have learned, its to have a clear goal in mind for a build. I am lucky and am about 15 minutes from East Coast Gear, so I think I will be utilizing some of their offerings for this project.
The goal is to build so that it can handle mild offroad trails, light mudding, and also the beach/sand when we go out there.
Given what I have seen so far, I am hesitant to re-use much of the suspension, it needed replaced anyhow and the rust has me worried.
Here is the list I have so far. Any input is welcome, as well as recommendations for dealing with a fairly rusty unit from a safety perspective. I am trying to keep it reasonable as I will not be doing anything crazy with the truck. Anything else that I should add, etc...
ECGS Dana 30 HP Front 4.10 /w Spartan Locker
ECGS Ford 8.8" Rear 4.10 /w Spartan Locker
RC 4" Series II Suspension
HD Fixed Upper Control Arms (4" kit includes all new arms but these, and mine are crumbling)
Full Poly Bushings kit (Most of the bushings are shot)
Also if there is anything I should plan on, or recommended to replace with the upgrades above (IE drive shafts etc...). My understanding is the ECGS axles and pretty much bolt on, so most of this should be straight forward. (I hope).
Side note I considered getting heavy duty mounts and having them welded, but given the condition of underneath not sure if that is the best of ideas or not. I am not sure of the best way to tell the condition of the axle housing and whether I am better off welding new mounts or replacing.