Figured it's time to consolidate updates, changes, mods in one place. Been lurking in the shadows and following around various builds for the past few years. Like others I've been reading along and educating myself as those members push the limits with their WJs and do what we all love. To get outside see the sights, enjoy good company in areas that usually don't have a road or map leading you there.
Some of the builds I've been following along that come to mind are 311's, Shin's, Arlo's, LSRGreg, Gator, Saturn to name a few. There are others as well and all of them will help me turn mine into something that I will be able to enjoy and learn along the way.
This is the second WJ that I have owned. The first was a '99 I6 4x4 that I had on the standard 3-year lease. I never did any mods or changes to it. I used it 'as is' stock from a DD to the light weekend wheeler. My current ride is a '02 WJ 4.7 V8 4x4 that is pushing only 83K. Back in '05 I had the 2" BB installed, Rancho's, with GY 265 MT's. Damn good tire offroad, but the things lasted 22K so I wanted something that lasted longer. Now I've got 255 BFG AT's that have 30K+ on them and are just starting to show the wear and tear.
Well like most people around here I have always wanted to go bigger. So now at this point I am starting to budget and work out a plan. First things first are just some cosmetic changes to give it a facelift. The thing is 8-years old and is starting to show it. The usual....cladding, light projectors, grill, rims. While I'm messing with these small changes I can start saving for the big stuff.
Of the big/mechanical changes this is what I am looking at and in order:
-upgrade the brakes, brake lines (time to get some more stopping power, before i go higher)
-6" Clayton LA kit
-upgrade drive shafts
-BFG KM2's and rims
-underside armor, winch
Hoping that by end of summer 2010 I can get this thing lifted and really moving in the direction I have been dreaming of for years.
I will also look to do some of the other mods - gas tank lift, washer fluid reservoir, etc that go with the added change to the vehicle.
At this point I have ZERO mechanical experience, hell I didn't even take auto shop in high school. For some reason though I want to do as much as possible by myself and learn as I go. Thank god for the net and forum sites to share info and as an information source.
Finally got some weather that allowed me the chance to get the first thing done. Paint the cladding, which was getting very faded and streaked. Decided to go with the two tone silver/black combo. Before anyone says anything....I'm a Chargers fan and hate the Raiders. That aside I think it turned out good. Even the wife said she is pleasantly surprised by how different it looks and turned out.
Before / during / after pics
i am very happy with how it turned out. for approx $80 (paint, tape, scotch-brite, paper, plastic sheeting) you get a clean and different look. the one silly stupid thing that resulted was having the stereo going the entire time (5 hours) and killed the battery. that resulted in a trip to the shop to buy some jumper cables. i didnt even think about it the entire time since i was so focused on painting. i swapped the cd's once about halfway and didnt even think about. went to start it and click...click....click
need to do swap out the plugs on it which will be the next thing. that should be interesting to say the least and i'm praying it wont be followed by the sudden need to bring it to a mechanic to fix what i broke.
Looks great! What kind of paint did you use? Krylon?
1997 XJ 4.0 AUTO daily driver, all stock for now.......
1995 XJ 4.0 AUTO build up in progress
1993 ZJ 4.0 AUTO all stock
1989 YJ 4.2 5 Speed 4" BDS 1" Body Lift 15x8 33" MT's Regretfully Sold
no clear coat to this point. if i put any on it will be on the door sill, rocker covers. for some reason i seem to always smack them getting in and out. hard sole dress shoes will scuff them quick. my guess is the ball n chain will do a number on them with her heels everytime she gets out of the thing as well.
i used Mother's back to black a few weeks back on all the trim. after 3-5 applications all the trim looked like new. i just haven't washed/detailed it in a few weeks because it has been raining off and on non-stop. the B-to-B does an excellent job. the one downside i discovered is that it will leave a residue. there are very light black streaks beneath the handles and such. it easily wipes off and doesnt harm anything. im not a chemist, so i have no idea what/why this happens.
i will be painting the rims down the road. going black, not gunmetal though. plan is to leave the outer lip silver and the rest of the rim all black.
the longevity of the kyrlon is good. do a search here and you will find people doing this mod dating back for years. if it does scratch or scuff, then get the can out and hit it to cover it. i have had a few small ones on the front bumper that i have already hit with the can.
ras you have any close ups of the rims? interested to check them out. how have they held up in your opinion? ive been kicking around the thought of gunmetal versus the black. i may possibly do one gunmetal and another black to compare.
next changes for me though will be new headlights, lenses and while i am at it.....now i got the desire to get some aux lights while the front is torn apart. ive been looking, reading, etc on adding some aux lights up front on that thing jeep calls a bumper. first thing is mounting. some guys it looks like they are drilling and mounting straight thru the plastic, with i am guessing addt'l washer(s) and lock nuts. i am more interested in some type of light bar to mount the lights to, but there i havent really found anything to my liking. what i have in mind is this...
think this is doable for the GC? run the mount down to the frame/rail. mount it onto the same hardware for the tow hooks and then do some cutout work on the top of the fascia, so the bar can loop up and out.
second question, lights. hella 500ff's, ipf 968's, or kc daylighters. i am looking to use these while driving streets at night also, so i dont want to blind people. my initial perspective is the the kc's will be to bright and wide for street use based on what other reviews have stated. the hella's and ipf's are a good mix and safe on road. the ipf's are a bit tighter and the hella's are less expensive....at least that's what ive taken away from various opinions.