97 TJ Restoration/Build - Page 4 - JeepForum.com
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post #46 of 55 Old 06-02-2014, 02:47 PM Thread Starter
marktj97
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1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Lexington Park
Posts: 119
Over 2 years of blood, sweat and beers... finally on the road!

Well, last week I got my 30 day tags and have been driving it everyday! I have put about 200 miles on it so far with no major issues. Still have a few things to fine tune, but it has exceeded my expectations. The power of the 5.2L is just amazing and the sound... I don't even listen to the radio anymore! I have had several reports of the front left tire coming off the ground when getting on it, and not in turns just going straight! I had to move my Antirock links from the loosest setting to the next to last hole forward and it has helped some. Still need to get it inspected but that shouldn't be a problem. I can't believe I'm finally driving it, it has been a long and expensive 2 years in the making.
Gonna refrain from taking it offroad for while as I relearn how to drive this thing with the engine swap, it is a different animal for sure. Plus I'm not really ready to beat it up ha. Its ready for it though. Future mods will be one more set of Rokmen arms for the front uppers, Rokmen GTS, some oil pan protection and hopefully a Warn Zeon winch. That should do it for "stage 1", ha, stage 2 will be PS defenders and 35's but for now I am content, we will see how long that lasts.
I was also a bit worried about the hood louvers on rainy days but that was put to rest last week as it rained almost everyday- no issues.
Here's some pics from last weekend.



Yeah the Trektop NX looks silly folded back but I love it so far.
Still unsure why Jeep never offered a V8 in Wranglers, this thing is just way too much fun now.
I will get some videos soon.

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post #47 of 55 Old 07-14-2014, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
marktj97
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1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Lexington Park
Posts: 119
Passed Inspection, a few mods done

Well, I passed MD state inspection with no problems! Been driving it almost everyday. Still love it but had a few issues to work out. First was a bad PCV valve making a racket, new Mopar PCV fixed that but I still had some belt noise. I never really liked the plastic pulley on the power steering pump but couldn't find a good replacement. So I started researching and found that the 5.2 ZJ pulley is the same as a Dodge Viper in terms of inner bore diameter, .661" and outer diameter `6" and is also 7 ribs. I found that March Performance makes a billet pulley for the Viper and decided to try it out. It fits and looks great, no more wobbling plastic crap.



Next, it was time to address the spare on the tailgate, it was way too big for the stock carrier and I started to get a rattle. So I ordered the Bestop body mounted tire carrier. I also wanted to strengthen the attach points so I ordered some PSC trail corners with LED cutouts. Got it all installed but in the process found some really bad rust under the rear roll bar outboard fastener. I drilled the head off the Torx bolt and in a rush decided to try to punch the seized stud out- took some sheetmetal with it! Gonna run it as is for now but I have got to fix that soon. I love the look of the both products and no more rattle.
PSC Corners

Before

After!


Other than that, just enjoying it and getting ready for a 6 hour drive to Carolina Beach at the end of the month.
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post #48 of 55 Old 07-15-2014, 09:31 PM
jeepwrangler97
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1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: FL
Posts: 3,736
Awesome updates! I hadn't been in here in awhile

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post #49 of 55 Old 07-16-2014, 02:27 AM Thread Starter
marktj97
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1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Lexington Park
Posts: 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepwrangler97 View Post
Awesome updates! I hadn't been in here in awhile

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Thank you , I think I am done now ha, at least for a little while.
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post #50 of 55 Old 07-31-2015, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
marktj97
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1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Lexington Park
Posts: 119
Long overdue update

I realized it has been over a year since I updated my build.
Well the 5.2L is still running strong with about 6,000 miles on it and recently I finally got it offroad for the first few times. I attended the Budd's Creek 4x4 Expo here in MD and all the hard work really paid off, the Jeep did amazing! I did have to get winched out of a deep mud hole but so did most people. Here's some pics from that and the past year.
Attached Thumbnails
970def09-24ab-41be-8a77-b2fb3e3c26ba_zpsb159c811.jpg   concrete_go_no_go.jpg   concrete_stepin_up.jpg   concrete_halfway.jpg   1f23c1ab-c17e-47de-9a97-7c0be10abed0_zpspq2eumhg.jpg  

budds_RTI.jpg   DSC05543.jpg   DSC05506.jpg  
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post #51 of 55 Old 08-01-2015, 05:50 AM
relgnarw
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2002 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Akron Ohio
Posts: 675
It looks great!

"I had wobster at Wed Wobster" - Austin age 5

My onboard air build.
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f176/...5-spd-1379665/
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post #52 of 55 Old 08-02-2015, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
marktj97
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1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Lexington Park
Posts: 119
Quote:
Originally Posted by relgnarw View Post
It looks great!
Thanks man!
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post #53 of 55 Old 01-19-2016, 09:08 PM
Bmann412
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1998 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Pittsburgh
Posts: 484
Garage
Jeep looks great! I have a quick question, did you have problems with the high clearance skid plate and the v8? I am in the process of doing the same swap and what a new skid plate. do you need to have the BL? any clearance problems?
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post #54 of 55 Old 01-20-2016, 02:39 PM Thread Starter
marktj97
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1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Lexington Park
Posts: 119
Hey, thanks for the compliment, in regards to your question, no I did not experience any clearance issues with the V8 and high clearance skid. However, I did move the engine mounts forward an inch or two from the intended location, mainly to get the heads to clear the firewall. This also makes distributor access much easier. This does require running an e-fan, at least in my experience.
The body lift just made life much easier overall and I would recommend at least a 1" with a tummy tuck skid, especially the UCF ultra high clearance one. Could it be done without a BL? Yeah probably, but it would be tight and might require a large hammer.
Good luck and let me know if I can help in any way.
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post #55 of 55 Old 01-20-2016, 03:40 PM
Bmann412
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1998 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Pittsburgh
Posts: 484
Garage
Quote:
Originally Posted by marktj97 View Post
Hey, thanks for the compliment, in regards to your question, no I did not experience any clearance issues with the V8 and high clearance skid. However, I did move the engine mounts forward an inch or two from the intended location, mainly to get the heads to clear the firewall. This also makes distributor access much easier. This does require running an e-fan, at least in my experience.
The body lift just made life much easier overall and I would recommend at least a 1" with a tummy tuck skid, especially the UCF ultra high clearance one. Could it be done without a BL? Yeah probably, but it would be tight and might require a large hammer.
Good luck and let me know if I can help in any way.
Thanks again, I am sure I will have some questions once I start the swap.
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