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Unread 02-04-2013, 10:15 AM   #1
PeteYJTJ
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Pete gets a WJ!! I shall call it - the Chuck E. Cheese build

Hey all,
Been looking for a new DD, and found this sweet '04 WJ! Clean, 93K, 4.0, selectrac, sunroof, garage-kept, maintenance records, etc.

Came from a family with kids -- they wanted a vehicle with a third-row seat, so I picked this up pretty reasonable.

Spent the weekend going over it, plugs, oil change, new hood struts, small stuff. Only downside is that the black color shows door dings and little scratches pretty easily. It's got its share of both, probably from its time spent at various kid-oriented parking lots , so I will call it...

Project Chuck E. Cheese. Well, maybe not.

The plan is it will be my DD, with an Overland/Expedition-style build. Mild lift, 2-4", no regear, short arms, roof rack, lights, etc.

I don't want it to be miserable on the highway, so I'm not sure on max lift and tire combo. I do love the JK Rubi take-offs on a WJ, but I don't know if that would be too crappy on the 3.55s for a long highway commute DD. Maybe go with 265-75-(or 70)-16s on a BB or a 3" IRO..... Still researching.

It won't get any hard wheeling, it'll be more for remote-camping, hiking, kayaking, etc. I'll keep my YJ for wheeling.

Anyway, here it is. Hope to hang out here and learn, and do the build when the warmer weather arrives.

Thanks for any insight on the lift/tire combo for a DD. I don't mind if it's slow, but don't want it to be ridiculous. I drove my YJ on 31s and 3.07s years ago, and didn't find it ridiculous.

Thanks,
Pete

wj1.jpg   wj2.jpg  
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Unread 02-04-2013, 06:02 PM   #2
squashman702
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Looks good, what part of Boston are you in?
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Unread 02-04-2013, 07:48 PM   #3
Capricorn
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Good starting platform! I've got the 3" IRO, and HAD JK Rubi takeoffs, and had no issues at all, besides very minimal rubbing. Of course, I have 3.73's and the V8, but I doubt you'll notice much of a difference with the 4.0 and 3.55's. I'm eager to see what you do with it!
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Unread 02-04-2013, 08:08 PM   #4
PeteYJTJ
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Hey, thanks guys! Squashman, I'm west of Boston actually, the 495 area, but for the global world Boston is close enough. Capricorn, thanks, I am leaning towards the 3" IRO, with the adjustable trac bar, an addco rear sway bar, and JK Rubi takeoffs. I've read some guys run a small spacer in front with the 3" IRO if needed for a bit of added clearance for the rubi takeoffs and for leveling. I figure if the performance is bad on the rubicon takeoffs I can always resell them and go down in size on the stock wheels. Thanks!
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Unread 02-04-2013, 08:34 PM   #5
Capricorn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteYJTJ View Post
Hey, thanks guys! Squashman, I'm west of Boston actually, the 495 area, but for the global world Boston is close enough. Capricorn, thanks, I am leaning towards the 3" IRO, with the adjustable trac bar, an addco rear sway bar, and JK Rubi takeoffs. I've read some guys run a small spacer in front with the 3" IRO if needed for a bit of added clearance for the rubi takeoffs and for leveling. I figure if the performance is bad on the rubicon takeoffs I can always resell them and go down in size on the stock wheels. Thanks!
Definitely get that adjustable trac bar. I dont remember having the option to get it when I ordered my kit, almost 2 years ago...and also the Addco. I didn't get that either lol. I'm sure it will be worth it. I can tell ya you'll be sold on those Rubi Moabs when you have em. I got a good deal on some 17" steelies and ended up selling my Moabs, which I now regret. I miss them.

BTW, I'm now crawling your thread.
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4.7L Powertech V8 l Iron Rock Offroad 3" Suspension Lift l Bilstein 5125 Shocks l Bilstein 5100 Steering Stabilizer l 17x8 Unique Steel Wheels l LT255/75R17 BFGoodrich Mud Terrain KM l Kevins Offroad Transfer Case Skid l Kevins Offroad Roof Rack Tire Carrier l Hella 500 Black Magic

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Unread 02-12-2013, 06:39 AM   #6
PeteYJTJ
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Ok, some not really exciting, but fully functional, updates on the Chuck E. Cheese build. (Hey I've only had it a week. )

The radio that came with it was a CD only. I picked up a factory CD/Cassette for $33 including shipping. Works perfect. I use a cassette adapter for music from my iphone, and for NAV from the phone while driving, to play through the radio. It's simple and I like it, so this works, and it's inexpensive. Install is as easy as pie --- remove bezel, 4 screws, remove radio, unplug, plug in new radio, install 4 screws, install bezel. It's a 5 minute job. Still trying to determine the best location to mount the iphone...

Also got some Husky liners off Amazon. They had a set "used", for $46 with free shipping. New are $80+. I took the chance, and the liners look brand new, in the original box. Must have been a return I suppose, but for saving $40 I'll take it.

And I've been in contact with Kolak, so the lift plans are underway....... Hopefully my savings in other areas will allow me to get some Bilsteins. Waiting for a bit warmer weather for those of us who have to work outside in New England.

I also tightened up the e-brake a few clicks on the adjusters for Safety Inspection.

Try not to drool on your keyboard over that cassette tape goodness.

More to come...
Pete
husky1.jpg   radio1.jpg  
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Unread 02-25-2013, 07:02 AM   #7
PeteYJTJ
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Ok, the Chuck E. Cheese build is making some progress! The ROLA is here and on.

I went with the ROLA based on all the guys who seem to like it, and it's a super-beefy rack, and inexpensive. $129+tax through Wal-Mart ship-to-store was the best I found. (My apologies to those of you who don't like Wal-Mart. I'm not PRO or CON, it's just a store, and they had the best price.)

My opinion after getting it.... Yes, nice and rugged. I used some black RTV to seal it when I put it together, and I used stainless screws, as I read a review that the screws rusted. I painted the heads ot the screws black also.

I'm not that impressed with the mounting hardware though, and how it mounts on the factory crossbars. I think I'll be replacing the factory crossbars with some steel unistrut, and using u-bolts and nyloc nuts to secure the rack.

Anyway for now it's on. It clears the sunroof, which is important to me. I read that crossbar holes 2 and 7 are the typical ones. I used holes 3 and 8 to put it a bit further back to not cover the sunroof. I can put it where I want when I go with the steel crossbars. I'm thinking putting the tire up there, and front-and-rear facing lights. In the spare well will go an electric compressor and my tools, straps, etc... All in time.

More to come....Lift and tires once it warms up in New England. Be a few months.
Pete
rola-box.jpg   rola-1.jpg   rola-2.jpg  
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Unread 02-25-2013, 11:11 AM   #8
pinaplebob
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Looks good, I wanted to subscribe as I Just got an 01 WJ with a 4.0 and am going down a similar path as you. Where did you find a cd/cassette radio for $33 shipped?

Take care!
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Unread 02-25-2013, 11:38 AM   #9
PeteYJTJ
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Thanks Bob.

I got my radio here:

http://www.hifisoundconnection.com/S...1110/SFV/30046

Just make sure you get the right plugs -- if you have an '01 you have "old-style" plugs, I believe. I think they changed them in '02. So make sure you get what works for your '01.

Good luck,
Pete
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Unread 02-25-2013, 12:29 PM   #10
pinaplebob
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Thanks thats a pretty sweet site. Off course the radio for a 01 is double the price of the 02 and up. I know about the two different plugs. I have tried 3 different used junkyard radios now, that all the displays are broke, or the CD player does not work, I've pretty much exhausted the supply of junk yard radios around me.
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Unread 02-26-2013, 04:48 PM   #11
squashman702
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteYJTJ View Post
Hey, thanks guys! Squashman, I'm west of Boston actually, the 495 area, but for the global world Boston is close enough.
Gotcha, I'm originally from Sudbury, as is another member on here (CTeunuch) and we wrench and wheel together.
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Unread 03-04-2013, 07:39 AM   #12
PeteYJTJ
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OK, got the Rola rack mounted on some much better rails now. I was not happy with the factroy cross-rails, and not that impressed with the supplied Rola hardware. The bracketry was kinda flimsy, and I could grab the rack and flex it around on the factory bars.

Taking the rack back off, and taking off the factroy cross-rails, I was surprised to see that they are only plastic tabs that lock the cross-rails in place! And mine were pretty beat up.

So, off to Lowes. I got one 10' length of 1/2 height unistrut, some 3/8" clamps with 1/4" securing plates, some unistrut-nuts, ubolts, some 1/4" flat stock to make some brackets, etc., etc. Around $30-40 or so of stuff I guess.

The square ubolts go around the factory roof rails on the WJ. You do need to grind a bit on the insides of the clamps to get them to fit the roof rails - it's snug, but the clamps are plenty beefy, you don't grind much, and it ends up a nice fit. I used some split rubber fuel-line as an isolator.

I also cut the bent section off the 1/4" securing plate that comes with the clamps, so it fits inside the unistrut.

I used some flat rubber I had laying around to go between the roof rail and new unistrut cross-rail, and bolted them down. I like nyloc nuts, so that's what I used. You do have to trim the length of the thread on the square u-bolts so they don't stick up over the 1/2 height unistrut.

Now use 4 ubolts around the side tubes on the Rola. I used the rubber sheathing from the factory Rola hardware, and slid it around the ubolt as an insulator. Again I used nyloc nuts.

Here's where the problem started. I bought the 1/2 height unistrut to try to limit weight on the roof, at least a little bit. Unfortunately, one nut from the ubolt around the roof rail, and one nut from the ubolt around the Rola need to take up the same space, so it can't sit as flush as I would have liked. Really the full-height unistrut would be a better choice, and would look cleaner in the end. As it was, I needed to make some spacers to make it work.

Prime/paint, and install, and it's still a way better setup. I can rock the Jeep back and forth by grabbing the rack, and it's solid as you'd need.

There's probably a way to make it look cleaner with the 1/2 height, but it's not bad. I added some right-angle mount brackets to mount shovel/axe/whatever, so it'll look better when I make some brackets to add those. Or I'll switch to the full-height unistrut if looking at the spacers irritates me enough.

I'll probably tack-weld a few bolt heads so it can't come off quite so easily to deter theft, also.

Hope it helps someone. I'm pretty pleased with the outcome.

Pete
strut.jpg   clamp.jpg   end-result.jpg   spacing.jpg   plastic.jpg  

base.jpg   angle-view.jpg  
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Unread 05-07-2013, 06:04 AM   #13
PeteYJTJ
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The Chuck E. Cheese build rolls on.....

Got the factory hitch installed, and the bezel.

Got a DC driveshaft with yoke from the pick-n-pull, total was $42. This will replace my ujoint/rezeppa when I put my lift in. Still trying to decide on the 3" IRO, 4" RCX, 4" Zone....... Undecided. Leaning to the IRO with a 3/8" spacer and some 265-75-16s on the stock wheels. Worried about not having adjustable arms though if I get any death wobble. But not liking all the bad I hear about the RC lifts.

Also just passed 100K, so whatever lift I pick I'm hoping it's on there for many miles to come.

I know, terribly exciting. Probably order my lift in the next few weeks.

Pete
hitch1.jpg   img_2428.jpg   img_2536.jpg  
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Unread 07-02-2013, 01:22 PM   #14
brouwmat
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I have the RC X-Series kit. When you factor in all that you are getting with this kit along with all that would need to be added to the other kits I think you will find that the RC kit is a much better value. I too struggled with the decision between the various kits but landed on the RC kit because of its completeness. The complaints that you see here about RC are usually old or referring to the lower end kit in their lineup. The 2.2 shocks are decent and the springs appear to be pretty good as well. Those front sway bar links are a little noisy but not that bad (mainly due to the poly bushings that are present on a lot of other kits as well). I picked up my kit for $699.00 here with free shipping.
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Unread 07-02-2013, 03:22 PM   #15
PeteYJTJ
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Thanks brouwmat, I appreciate the input. It was a tough call -- in the end I did end up going with the 3" IRO, and the Bilstein shocks, Moog steering stabilizer, and new isolators. Parts are on their way, and I should be installing in the next couple of weeks.

Cost wise --- seeing I also added new isolators, which would have been an adder either way --- it was probably not much different. My WJ is only at 100K, and I hope to drive it to over 200K, so the parts will be on there a while.

Provided I don't end up with any DW issues and needing adjustable arms, I should be good to go for a while. I'll toss in a 10mm spacer if I need to at some point, but I'm guessing the 3" will be plenty for what I plan to do with the WJ.

Thanks for your input,
Pete
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