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tuglife 08-23-2010 11:40 PM

Tuglife's WJ Overland Expedition Build
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Hello all. I bought my 2004 WJ Overland a couple months ago with 59k for $11,000 and I'm just getting to making her my own. I'm shooting for an overland/expedition style rig. I'm not gonna be doing any rock crawling or extreme mud bogging. I want a camping/beach/long-haul/roadtrip vehicle while still maintaining my comfortable daily driver. I spent 4 months(20,000miles) in Australia and I fell in love with the long haul, go anywhere, carry everything, live in vehicles used for crossing the outback they had. They type of vehicle that can comfortably do 12hrs on the highway and then pull off into the hills to provide a base camp where the senior citizens in their RV's wouldn't dare tread. Pair that with having virtually no money for all the high priced goodies I'd love to have and that's my situation. Here she is stock.

myjeeplovesmud 08-24-2010 12:24 AM

Let Me Be The First To Say CONGRATS!!!

JFox21 08-24-2010 12:38 AM

This is going to be sweet! I'll be watching this build. :D

tuglife 08-24-2010 01:22 AM

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Don't have the money to do too much yet. The list includes;
-KOR 2.75" BB
-ROLA roof rack
-Complete de-chrome including wheels
- more skids(only TC so far)
-Off road lights(on rack and maybe behind grill)
-Some sort of brush/grill guard and taillight guards
-full backcountry recovery kit(Hilift, shovel, axe, tow strap, fire extinguisher, Maglight, emergency kit)
-lots more I'm sure

Got the chance to install my K&N FIPK. Thanks to Jeep Space - UrbanOffRoad124 for the hookup! I LOVE THE SOUND! Finally sounds and feels like I have a HO V8 when I step on the gas. Completely worth it! Also replaced the incandescent cabin and rear plate lights with LED's. So easy and I think the difference is dramatic and great looking. Small and silly but really changes the feel of the vehicle at night.

tuglife 08-24-2010 01:55 AM

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Thanks guys. Sorry if these photos aren't uploaded right, not really sure how everything is done around here yet. Also apologize if any of this is trivial or beginner stuff but I love build threads and I LOVE pics so I figure I'll return the love put up shots of everything I remember to snap a photo of.

Anyways back on the farm(tugboat) I've gotten started on the de-chroming. I'll admit that the silver is the only color that the chrome actually looks okay on IMHO but it's still not my thing, so it's all going black. First order of business, the grill. I also had a couple of the black plastic grill inserts broken so instead of replacing them and paying for an OEM part that I'm not smitten with I'd give some mesh inserts a try. I removed the grill, sanded, cleaned, and rattle canned it all black. I went with Krylon Fusion but after a few nights(I'm on watch from 12-6am) and many more coats I am not impressed. The clear gloss was especially disappointing. Hazy, dusty, milky, frustrating. They claim that this will clear up in 24-48hrs but I wasnt convinced and had no patience. I ended up with a rustoleum gloss that worked better. The mesh inserts were plain ol gutter guard trimmed, folded, epoxied, and glue gunned. They were a lot of tedious work but I am psyched with the outcome. Much sexier aggressive look and capable of keeping a lot more junk out of my radiator than the stock plastic slats. I learned a lot during this painting process. 1. I have no patience and screw up most of my own work by just not leaving it alone 2. Painting at night in the wind on a boat is retarded.

tuglife 08-24-2010 02:04 AM

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These pics look horrible blown up. I'll try to remember my camera and stop getting by with my iphone. More of the grill.

tuglife 08-24-2010 02:29 AM

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Just realized I forgot to mention that this isn't my first Grand Cherokee. I had a 95 ZJ 4.0 I6 that I got my first year of college. Over the years I took her from 60,000 to 260,000 miles. This was my main driving force behind buying another Grand. I put 200,000 miles on it from age 18-27, totaled it once, and drove it about as hard as teenager/20-something could. The only things that ever needed replaced where stuff that I broke and in fixing most of those things I learned everything of what little I know about working on vehicles. It was a Jeep so little things quit as the years went on but I couldn't have been more satisfied with a truck. Earlier this year I was in Harrisburg, PA having a night out on the town and left my Jeep parked on the street to get a ride home with a friend(responsible drinker). When I came back in the morning I found it like you see. A drunk driver hit another moving vehicle and three parked cars, mine being the last. He then got into an altercation with the other driver and when the cops came he ran off on foot. Well of course they finally tracked the idiot down and I got my paltry insurance check. I'll miss ol' big red but she was my down payment on my WJ.

Apollo21 08-24-2010 05:50 AM

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Very nice, goo to see another MD Overland and a fellow baltimoron haha

madZJ 08-25-2010 10:21 PM

That modded grill looks bad ***.

tuglife 09-11-2010 11:16 PM

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So my MOPAR iPod integration kit showed up. $189 is steep but I'll retain steering wheel controls as well as the factory look and all Nav and Changer controls. Also those FM transmitter things are crap and a pain so what else is there? Fairly simple installation. Pull apart stereo and center console plug in and hide the control unit box and go. Pretty easy if you've ever pulled the stereo out. Stereo bezel just pops out with a screw driver or putty knife just be careful if you have the wood trim because it can crack easily. I ran the wires through the center console into the console box instead of the glove box like it recommends. The control box computer thingy that translates the iPod info into whatever the factory Nav stereo understands was tucked above the stereo in the gap between it and the dash. My thumb took a little damage but it installed without much trouble.

tuglife 09-11-2010 11:33 PM

Well the integration kit plugs right in and works, sort of. The interface is difficult and confusing and doesn't always seem to work. I've gotten the hang of it, finally but it still lags and blurs song artist and title together when skipping through songs occasionally. Sometimes it plays something completely different than what's displayed. My iPod is and older generation so maybe thats it. It is nice to have my entire music library literally at my fingertips though and I use it constantly. I dont have to plug anything in or turn anything on just leave my iPod in my center console and it stays charged. For $189 bucks though I'd expect a more seamless smoother running product. If you have the money to blow go for it, if you're tight budgeted you'll be annoyed at the quality for price.

tuglife 09-12-2010 12:30 AM

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Painted my sliders. They are the stock Overland rock sliders that come in the strange grey powder-coat that matches nothing else on the Jeep. I sanded them cleaned well and used Rustoleum and VHT Chassis and roll-bar paint I found at Advanced Auto. Came out okay. I'd really like to do some sort of hard lining spray but I've had no experience with raptor liner or anything else so if anyone has a recommendation I'm open to it. I lost one of the U-nut clips that hold the sliders in place and another bolt broke so I'm eventually gonna pull them off again.

I've been having some rough idle so I pulled the IAC valve and cleaned it. It was totally black. The picture is after I cleaned it. The tip, head if you will:laugh:, was as black as the shaft. Sorry. Anyway didn't really cure it. May try and clean the whole throttle body.

Also got my new plates! Not sure why people hide them in pics anyway. I'm so on the grid with my job as a mariner anyway.

volvite 09-13-2010 10:57 AM

Looks good so far.

tuglife 09-18-2010 03:20 AM

Just went out and climbed under my Jeep tonight. Noticed a good bit of greasy residue on the bottom edge of my rear diff right around the housing seam :( also a little bit of oil on the back edge of my oil pan. Well I need to replace all my fluids so I'll clean them both up when I'm done and check back to diagnose the situation. The reason I was under there in the first place was to check my suspension. No UpCountry :( . Seriously?? I've got an overland with the tow hooks all three skid plates and towing package but no Upcountry springs and shocks. Why would you make that a deletable option? In reality it's only a half inch but if it were your dick you'd care. I was planning on doing the KOR 2.5" BB (not sure that it still exists) in hopes of reaching 3" at least. Not a huge deal cuz if I ever have the money I'll do 4" springs but for now I just got knocked down a peg.

theksmith 09-18-2010 05:54 AM


Originally Posted by tuglife (Post 10144500)
I just got knocked down a peg.

keep tha faith brotha! all the small mods look great so far! whenever i'm in-between cash for major stuff i'm always looking at little things that can be done as well.... always mod though, it keeps the project fun.

The time now is 03:26 AM.

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