If you have read my rebuild thread on my 2006 LJ, then the process I'm about to document should be familiar. Unlike my LJ, where I did a thorough rebuild, including full body work and paint, and then majorly overbuilt it, this build will be fairly simple. It will be classified as a budget build because I plan to spend as little money on it as possible. We'll see how long that plan lasts!
What am I starting with? I have two TJs, both 2002 models. One TJ has major frame damage, the other has major body damage. The solution? Make 2 out of 1 of course!
The Khaki TJ below will be the tub doner. It has a some pretty serious frame damage. The tub however is in excellent shape considering the damge done to the undercarriage. Has some damage to the rear corners and the front left side is crumpled a little below the door frame, but it's nothing that bothers me. As far as the damage, it looks like someone had a little too much fun with some jumps! Completely trashed the Rubicon Express long arm kit, and the Ford 8.8 in the rear has a pretty severe bend in it. Transfer case and transmission are busted. The MetalCloaks will be removed and sold (they are posted in the classifieds right now, somebody PLEASE buy them). Now for a picture:
The silver TJ below will be the frame doner. It took a pretty nasty roll. Frame is in great shape. The front axle needs new upper and lower control arms brackets on the passenger side (probably won't use that axle anyways though). Engine is VERY clean (more about the engine later on). Now for pictures:
It has a 2" budget boost on it, and when I bought it it had 32" BFG ATs (which I traded for the 35" BFG ATs I run on my LJ sometimes). The wheels on it now came off of my MJ.
My goal for this Jeep is a nice daily driver for myself. I want to keep it on smallish tires (probably 32x11.50) and around 2" of lift (handed down from my LJ). It will be getting stock fenders (which I managed to snag here on JF already the right color for cheap). It will have other mods too (like a tummy tucker, SYE, lockers, etc) that I will get to later.
That is all for now. More updates soon. I'm hoping to have this thing going by the end of the week, though the definite goal is by the end of the month (2 weeks).
As I stated before, this is going to be a budget build (mainly because that is all I can afford right now ). I also want to make it a capable trail rig in its own right. My dad has been wanting a rig for himself so that he can come wheeling with me when I take the LJ out, so I figure I can build a DD for myself a and light duty trail rig for my dad.
I'm going to keep it on small tires. My current plan is to order a set of 32x11.50r15 MTRs (I am selling the stock D44 that is in the silver TJ). Why am I selling a perfectly good D44? Because I am putting a stock Rubicon rear D44 in it, that is why. It will have a 4cyl D30 in the front so the gears will match. The 4.10 gears should work pretty good with the 5 speed and 32" tires.
For a lift I will be utilizing parts from my old RC lift I had on my LJ. This includes RC 2.5" front coils, and a full set of RC 2.2 shocks. For the rear it will be keeping the stock coils and some 2" spacers. The frame I am using already has a 1" M.O.R.E. motor mount lift, and I am trying to decide if I am going to use the 1" body lift that is already on it. For now it will be using stock control arms, but when I eventually do a custom mid arm on my LJ it will get the Currie arms that are on the LJ now.
The khaki TJ had several mods done to it, some of which will be carried over. One such mod is the Rubicon Express transfer case skid. It is made for the long arm kit, but I am going to just use it with short arms like a tummy tucker. It hangs only 2.5" below the frame rail and is smoothe on the bottom. The khaki TJ also had a SYE, which will be transferred to the new frame. I have to remove the SYE and install it on the other transfer case because the transfer it is mounted is cracked in half.
I am removing the MetalCloaks and returning the fenders and flares back to stock. Since I am not doing any body work at this time, this will leave all of the holes in the tub. The rear flares will cover the holes from the MC flares, and a pair of Trail Gear rock sliders (which I have had for quite some time) will replace the MC rock sliders.
Other than the tires, I plan to purchase a set of either Rokmen or PSC trail corners (to cover up some damage on the tub), adjustable rear upper control arms, and a UCF engine skid (should bolt up to the RE skid no problem).
That was a LOT of typing. Next will be a real update.
You have entirely too much time on your hands! I havent finished my LJ and your on your third build already!
To be fair, I haven't done a thing to my MJ since I bought it. You are right though, I do have too much time on my hands. I am on Spring Break from school this week so I am trying to get as much of it done as possible.
Originally Posted by Hendrix
Awesome man. I still am looking for a place here locally I can do the same some day.
Thanks. It is definitely nice to have the space to work on projects like this. Working on Jeeps in a garage blows!