Alright so I know its been a while, but I finally found the time to show you guys what I've been up to. From where I live, there is an autozone like 5 minutes away, so I have become a regular there and they all know me and are really nice. It just so happens that there was a guy there who was an avid off-road enthusiast and we both got to talking about it. He had 31" tires on his truck at the time, and mentioned how he was upgrading to 35". He asked if I wanted his original 31" for $125, and I jumped on it.
So I got 4 (31") BFGoodrich ATs and a 31" Wrangler AT spare for $125
I was psyched to I did a crude mock-up of what it would look like.
I realized that the tire might rub against the leafsprings because the sidewalls would be so close. I mentioned this to my parents, and they got me some pretty sweet wheel spacers for my birthday this past August, along with some new chrome lugnuts to replace my rusted old ones.
During the mock-up I noticed that for the entire time I had been driving the jeep, I was only breaking with the front wheels, because the rear drum brakes where seized up. So I went out and bought new brake shoes, and a spring kit.
I should also mention that I ended up repainting the front bumper black, because the silver paint started to rust through. Since I'm really OCD and want everything to match, I also painted my original rear bumper black. While I had the bumper off, I took the chance to put the hitch back on. Secured it with six Grade 8 bolts to the frame. I also rubberized the hitch and painted it black to match
Finished rear with bumper and hitch
Once that was all done, I put on the wheel spacers.
Then I took it to a local shop to have the 'new' tires mounted/balanced which apparently took all friggin day. But I got some awesome shots of the finished product.
My favorite picture
With the new chrome lugnuts
Then I got a delayed birthday present.. My dad found the same kind of jeep rim with the black/chrome centercap AND the chrome lip (pain in the *** to find). So now I have my full size spare rim ready to be mounted.. as soon as I find the tire carrier I want..
So a bit of an update, half exciting, half not so thrilling..
First the not so thrilling; After mounting the bigger tires I realized that there was fluid leaking out past the axle shafts.. So i ended up giving my jeep a frontal lobotomy
I found some sand and some coagulated grease/differential fluid chillin out in both the shaft housings and the bottom of the differential case. So I pulled everything out and gave it a good cleaning. I also realized how much of a pain in the *** it is to take apart the guts of a differential; especially when the instructions literally say "use a pry bar and pry out" - it doesn't really help that much.
So I am currently waiting for some seals and three new axle bolts from the jeep dealership (amazingly enough it is still possible to get parts for an '88 cherokee from a jeep dealership.. even though they screw you over big time on the price)
ANYWAY, back to the exciting news! The spare tire carrier that my father ordered came the other day!
Can't beat $50 on ebay.. So I'm working on cleaning up a couple rust spots and going to repaint it black. Its gonna look awesome when its done
Alright so a couple of updates; I was trying to get the jeep ready for winter driving so I can put my car into storage when the brakes decided to start acting up. The brakes still "worked" but the pedal would go all the way to the floor and there would be a clanking/grinding noise when driving. Fluid levels were still good so I started replacing the front rotors, then the calipers, then the pads.. still no change. Then I opened up the drum brakes to find the bottom adjustable screw thing literally fell down into the drum and was clanking away. So fixed that, and got new brake lines for the rear. (Front brake lines were replaced not too long ago too)
Meanwhile I got the tire carrier stripped down and repainted, then mounted to the jeep for a trial fitting along with a Firestick II I found at my work, which the store manager said I could have
I was pretty happy with how it turned out, so I made some reinforcement brackets to put behind the hinges and secured them with bolts. After getting motivated, I went and had my spare tire mounted to the rim and attempted to mount it to the carrier... when I found out the tire was too thick to bolt onto the studs.. So I went and ordered another pair of wheel spacers and used one to add a little more space between the tire and the carrier.
Here is the finished product. With my license plate 'relocated' with lime green zip-ties.. I think it adds a nice accent to it.
(CB radio antennae is off until I get ahold of the right connection for it)