My 2003 4.7L WJ build... (ok... the wife's WJ) - JeepForum.com
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Go Back JeepForum.com > Models > Jeep Grand Cherokee & Commander Forums > Grand Cherokee General Discussion > My 2003 4.7L WJ build... (ok... the wife's WJ)

Rockridge 4WD IS Taking Zone Offroad Suspension Lift Kits BLACK FRIDAY SPECIALS!! You asked, we deliver!Rough Country Lift Kits and Parts!

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Unread 06-26-2009, 03:23 PM   #1
65Mustangs
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2003 WJ 
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 130
My 2003 4.7L WJ build... (ok... the wife's WJ)

My first Jeep (I owned) was an '89 XJ with 4" lift and 31" tires. I loved that thing. Well when I moved in with my future wife, she hated it. Basically it needed of a lot of work, stiff as a tank, and the windshield leaked (she called it the swamp!).



So it went down the road and we bought her a Metallic Black 2003 WJ with all the bells and whistles. Her only request was she wanted to climb the "big sand dune" at the local state rec. area.





(I can go into further detail later, but right after we bought the WJ, it threw the OHC follower three times and ended up with a rebuilt left bank. If you want details let me know and I'll explain Thread Link)


So I've been following theksmith's thread on his build, and this is what I've come up with. Since this is still a work in progess, I'll keep updating the thread, but here's the list so far.
  • IRO 4" Critical Path Long Arm Lift Kit
  • JKS Quicker Disconnects
  • Doetsch Tech 8000 Shocks
  • Adjustable Track Bar
  • Dual Steering Stabilizer Kit
  • 265/70/R17 Cooper Discoverer STT
  • American Racing Dale Jr. series 17" Octane Wheels
  • Westin Safari Bar
  • CB w/tail light mounted annt.
  • GMRS/FRS radio w/ external annt.
  • 4.11 gears (maybe/probably)
  • offroad lights (type/brand undecided)
  • custom cold air intake
  • Magnaflow exhaust
  • Roof Rack (thinking OffroadUnlimited Defender)
  • Double Din nav unit / speakers / sub / etc. (her request)
  • blacked out front windows (her request)
  • misc necessities (Hi-Lift, shovel, tow hooks, etc.)



I think this is going to turn out to be a pretty nice rig when all said and done. I'm super excited!!

-III

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Unread 06-26-2009, 03:24 PM   #2
65Mustangs
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Posts: 130
Ok. I realize I'm double posting here, but I meant to start this thread before I started the build, but never got around to it. So...

I did the lift install myself two weeks ago. Took me, my dad, and a buddy 17hrs to complete. We started about at 9am Saturday, finished 2am Sunday. That being said, it wasn't really difficult technically, we just had some issues. Mainly with drilling the frame / mounting the trans spacer & long arm brackets, and installing the rear spacer. It's limited clearance, and the factory used about 6 gallons of thread locker.

My buddy has a camera that will take time lapses, so we took a vid of the build. Unfortunately, we didn't know that the camera would close the file at exactly 2min, so the vid ends just before we set it back down (I'm the goofy lookin' dude in black ).

[YT]<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/XP62Tfiugqs&hl=en&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/XP62Tfiugqs&hl=en&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>[/YT]

duh... can anyone read the directions...???






The Final result.



The last pic was taken the following Monday after I drove it to work. My buddy (same one who helped with the lift) and I were looking at it and noticed that when we set it down, one of the springs was not centered in the rear retainer.

Not having a jack or jackstands, it took us a little while to figure out what to do about it. Then we had an idea... IMPROVISE



Soon as we picked it up, the spring snaped back into place, and has stayed ever since.

-III
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Unread 06-26-2009, 03:26 PM   #3
65Mustangs
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As it sits today 6/26/2009...

I spent a lot of time getting ready for this build. Picking the parts I wanted, showing pics to the wife to make sure she agreed; trying to decided how tall, what tires, which wheels, etc.

I ordered the lift from IRO and the wheels and tires from 4WheelParts. The order with IRO went flawlessly; 4WheelParts on the other hand...

The first wheels we wanted were out of stock until mid August. So they found us a set of Helo wheels in stock and two weeks out delivery. I placed an order and patiently waited. 3 weeks later when I'm ready to do my lift, they tell me the wheels are still at least 2 weeks out. I ask WTF because supposidly they were "in stock". This is where it got weird.

The wheels were "in shipment" to the factory and were to be shipped to me upon reciept. The factory had yet to recieve the shipment, and had no idea when it would come. So the wheels never were "in-stock". My wife then drove to the local 4WP's store to meet with the manager and find another wheel that was available (I was installing the lift).

When she got there (with my dad as backup) the manager completely brushed off her attempt to introduce herself and shake his hand (she is a professional broker / rather businesslike). He then proceeds to show her a bunch of wheels in catalogs, finding only one of which she sort of liked; only more expensive. When she asked for a discount on the wheels or tires to even out the difference, he flat refused.

We ordered the wheels and tires three weeks prior, on a 15% off weekend; the day she went in was a 20% off weekend. He absolutely refused to help us in the situation and was a complete %$#&. So we got our money back drove to Discount Tires, and had the wheels we originally wanted and tires installed for less money than 4WheelParts.

I'm really disappointed because 4WP's is normally awesome to do business with. But in the end I'm really happy with the result...

**And tomorrow she goes in to have the front windows tinted.





-III
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Unread 06-26-2009, 03:35 PM   #4
Ricochet88
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looks sweet how does it ride?
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93 zj wagoneer pkg, 5in iro lift, 33/10.5/15 bfgoodrich km2
my build thread PROJECT WOODY

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Unread 06-26-2009, 03:43 PM   #5
65Mustangs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ricochet88 View Post
looks sweet how does it ride?
Suprisingly well. It is slightly stiffer than stock, but almost an unoticable difference. I was really concerned about that up front because this is a daily driver. I wanted to be sure it handled just as well after the tires and lift as it did in stock form with street tires.

The wife hasn't had much time behind the wheel yet, but so far she seems happy. We'll see as time goes on.

One thing I'm still trying to work out is the tires rub slightly, and there is a little noticable "play" in the steering wheel. I'm trying to get that adjusted out. (any tips???)

-III
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Unread 06-26-2009, 08:32 PM   #6
-Shoey-
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Pretty sweet rig man!
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Unread 06-26-2009, 08:49 PM   #7
xJoshxx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 65Mustangs View Post
Suprisingly well. It is slightly stiffer than stock, but almost an unoticable difference. I was really concerned about that up front because this is a daily driver. I wanted to be sure it handled just as well after the tires and lift as it did in stock form with street tires.

The wife hasn't had much time behind the wheel yet, but so far she seems happy. We'll see as time goes on.

One thing I'm still trying to work out is the tires rub slightly, and there is a little noticable "play" in the steering wheel. I'm trying to get that adjusted out. (any tips???)

-III
tighten the draglink more have you had a Full alignment done? or you may have loose TRE's
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Unread 06-26-2009, 09:52 PM   #8
65Mustangs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xJoshxx View Post
tighten the draglink more have you had a Full alignment done? or you may have loose TRE's
I had a full alignment done, twice actually, and the numbers are all what IRO reccomended in the install instructions. The steering was tight before the lift, so I think it has something to do with either the extra steering stabilizer or the adjustable track bar.

I adjusted the trackbar myself when I did the lift install, but I'm not positive that I did it correctly, or if the alignment shop adjusted it afterwards. My cross alignment is dead on though, so I would only assume it is correct. The only other thing I can think is that the new steering geometry may be intensifying any play that was in the TRE's from the begning.

It's only about 5 right and left, so I may just learn to live with it.

-III
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Unread 06-26-2009, 09:53 PM   #9
65Mustangs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -Shoey- View Post
Pretty sweet rig man!
Thanks!!

-III
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Unread 06-26-2009, 09:57 PM   #10
aspecialdad
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Sweet ride! wish my WJ would grow up a bit more like that! baby steps I suppose
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Unread 06-26-2009, 10:14 PM   #11
65Mustangs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aspecialdad View Post
Sweet ride! wish my WJ would grow up a bit more like that! baby steps I suppose
Thanks!!

I can't even remember how long it took me to build my XJ. And it wasn't "finished" when I sold it... so yea... it's all about the baby steps.

I can't tell you how many hours of research I did before I started this project. I wanted to make sure it was "perfect". I even planned out different options. I made a nifty little spreadsheet so the wife could see exactly what I was planning on doing, and the cost of each stage (theksmith's WJ is the one on the far right).



-III
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Unread 06-27-2009, 12:00 AM   #12
theksmith
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lookin great man! i especially like the overall look of the wheels and tires
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Unread 06-27-2009, 12:13 AM   #13
k9popo
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Originally Posted by theksmith View Post
lookin great man! i especially like the overall look of the wheels and tires
I have the same tires and after 10,000 miles they are still in great condition
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Unread 06-27-2009, 01:17 AM   #14
Haleyrz
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looks awesome man! I really like those wheels. I'll be getting a lift on mine in about 3 weeks with 33's
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Unread 06-27-2009, 01:37 AM   #15
Shinobi
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Black WJ's FTW !!!! looks nice man thats a cool video too
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