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bigredhawkeye 05-28-2012 08:28 PM

2000 WJ Expedition Build
Hey everyone!

I've been browsing the site for awhile now, and since I'm back from school for the summer I thought I'd start my own build thread to keep track of all of the things I'm going to do to my WJ.

Currently I'm an Army ROTC cadet at the University of Iowa, and while the pay from the Army isn't bad, this build will likely take me a few years to get it how I like.

What's been done since I got it two years ago:
-New headlights
-New battery
-Painted the frame/gas tank
-Debadged the whole Jeep
-Herculined my rocker panels, etc. (has already faded horribly in less than a year due to my car sitting outside 24/7 at school

Here's what the plan is (in order of what will be done first):
-Remove and paint my grille black
-Work on my right rear rust spot
-3 or 4" IRO Suspension lift
-New 265/70/16 tires
-Either new black rims or will clean up and paint/powder coat my current rims (suggestions)?
-Roof rack with lights/spare tire
-New speakers/sound system (pretty much all my speakers are blown)
-Custom front bumper with winch
-Rear bumper, possibly with tire carrier
-Snorkel possibly

That's the tentative plan. I'm hoping to get the grille, the rust, the lift, new wheels/tires, and possibly the roof rack done this summer.I'll hopefully be posting here every day since I'll have a lot of free time until my full time summer job starts in a month. Hopefully you guys will have a lot of feedback and enjoy my thread.

2000 WJ Specs:
-148k miles
-4.7L V8
-Quadra Trac II
-Infinity Sound system
-Leather with dual heated seats (no longer work haha)

Here is what I'm working with:

bigredhawkeye 05-28-2012 08:29 PM

Alright well I'm about halfway done with painting my grille. Just finished priming it so I'm letting it sit for an hour or two before I start applying the paint.

Taking the grille off was pretty easy. As always helps:

Next was the washing, cleaning, scuffing up portion:

Lastly here is the grille primed and waiting to dry:

I'll hopefully be updating again after my black paint starts to dry!

bigredhawkeye 05-28-2012 08:29 PM

Well, got my newly painted grille back in!

One coat of primer, three coats of paint, and two coats of clear coat later, here we are:

Apologize for the crappy pictures, I'm not going to drive this outside until tomorrow just to let the paint sit a bit longer!

Really like the new look, makes the front look more aggressive. Plus I think it'll compliment the new lift/tires/ and black wheels when I put them on later!

bigredhawkeye 05-28-2012 08:30 PM

Thanks guy!

Well today I decided to paint my stock wheels "graphite". Was going to go with black like I've had on my 4Runner and Ranger, but thought the graphite would provide a nice contrast to the black, while still looking custom-ish.

Getting it up on my new jack stands:

Cleaning and sanding the wheels, always important:

Prepping and taping off:

And the finished product!

Didn't finish until late tonight so I'll take it out for a photo shoot tomorrow in the light!

Just sent a guy on here money to buy his IRO 3" lift so hopefully will get that by the end of the week to put it on this weekend.

bigredhawkeye 05-28-2012 08:32 PM

Just moved my thread over from the Jeep Build section in the hope that I will get more attention from people who will be able to help me.

Anyways my 3" IRO lift should be here tomorrow so that will hopefully be done this week, along with 265/70/16 tires.

What should I do after that? My thoughts are a Rola Roof rack.

bigredhawkeye 05-28-2012 08:33 PM

Also today I took the Jeep out after the storm to get a decent picture:

DrGrand 06-13-2012 04:50 PM

Looks good. I have the IRO 3 inch also with DT8000 shocks and love it. How did you move you the thread here btw cause I want to move mine too haha

bigredhawkeye 06-13-2012 06:04 PM


Originally Posted by DrGrand (Post 13717150)
Looks good. I have the IRO 3 inch also with DT8000 shocks and love it. How did you move you the thread here btw cause I want to move mine too haha

I actually just copy and pasted all of my previous posts in my other thread and then closed the original one. Haha you could either do that or probably message a moderator and have them move it for you :cheers2:

bigredhawkeye 06-13-2012 06:09 PM


Alright guys so I've been super busy the past week or so with work and my lift and stuff so I haven't had time to update this thread. In the past week I've installed:

-IRO 3" Lift
-Pro Comp MX6 Shocks
-KOR A-Arm spacer
-IRO front track bar

In addition I had new 265/75/16 Hercules Terra Trac's put on three days ago! She rides pretty decent but I need to replace my front rezzeppa style driveshaft badly. I ordered a double cardan one from Carolina Driveline yesterday so hopefully I'll get that before this weekend! I just hope everything turns out the right length as I'm pretty nervous about it fitting right.

Anyways on to the pics:

Pretty happy with the lift and everything. Once I get the driveshaft switched out I'm hoping it'll ride pretty nicely. I think I encountered a little rubbing up front at full turn so I might have to look into trimming some.

In addition just found out my long time girlfriend will be 4 hours away from me next year. So as much as I love this Jeep I might have to reevaluate my vehicle situation later this summer and maybe find something more practical for constant long distance traveling. :thumbdown:

4x4Jeep 06-18-2012 05:59 PM

nice, man. i like the black WJs. what paint did you use for the wheels and how'd you prep them?

PhantomWJ 06-18-2012 06:14 PM

are you a contracted cadet?

bigredhawkeye 06-26-2012 10:12 AM


Originally Posted by 4x4Jeep (Post 13740287)
nice, man. i like the black WJs. what paint did you use for the wheels and how'd you prep them?

Thanks man! I used Rustoleum Graphite Wheel Paint. For prep I:

1. Cleaned the wheels with some Acetone to get oil and crap off of them
2. Sanded them with a high grit sandpaper
3. Taped off the tires and whatnot
4. Two coats of rustoleum primer
5. 3 top coats of wheel paint
6. 2 paints of a clear coat for extra protection

Came out pretty well. So far I only have one scratch in the paint where the shop that put on my new tires must have hit it with a tool.

bigredhawkeye 06-26-2012 10:13 AM


Originally Posted by PhantomWJ (Post 13740373)
are you a contracted cadet?

Yup, just got contracted at the end of this past school year (my freshman year)

I got a 3 year full scholarship, and will be doubling up and taking my MS1 and MS2 classes next year since I was not in Army rotc my first year.

bigredhawkeye 06-26-2012 10:15 AM

Well I finally got some more work done on the dub! Removed my front driveshaft over a week ago once I got in my new Carolina Driveline double cardan front driveshaft. I eventually got around to getting it installed this morning and couldn't be happier. All driveline vibrations are now gone and the jeep is running really smooth with no death wobble, etc.

Here's the new driveshaft!

Next thing I'm tackling is a pretty bad squeaking in the rear. To me it seems to be coming from the sway bar links. So I'm looking at either getting new bushings or just new links from IRO. Thoughts?

bigredhawkeye 06-27-2012 06:15 PM

Well today I tackled the squeaking in the wheel and have at least temporarily fixed it. Turned out it was definitely the sway bar link bushings squeaking so I took them out and cleaned them, wrapped them in teflon tape, and put them back in. Eliminated all the squeaks.

I'll just run them with the teflon tape until it starts again then I'll just order some new bushings. But due to all the money I've been spending on the WJ I'll take all the cheaper shortcuts I can right now. :rolleyes:

The time now is 03:32 PM.

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