Hey there Guys and Gals! Ive been on the forum for a while and now I'm going to contribute a thread!
I came down with the Jeep fever when I bought an 88 cherokee that wasn't running as an investment. I rewired the fuel system and did some minor repairs and I was HOOKED! I sold it and needed to fill the void.
Shortly After I hunted down a Wrangler. I found my green 1998 Wrangler Sahara that was bone stock (the way I wanted it). 4.0L Automatic.
The jeep had some transfer case problems. Somwhere along the line the case got a leak, which heated and streched the chain once the fluid was gone, which rubed a nice hole in my tranfer case. I got a I got a transfer case housing half from another Jeep buddy and rebuilt it. I then had to go through 2 output shaft seals before getting it right (the seal would get fold over on the groove of the shaft). Eventually I discovered a piece of laminate paper worked magic! I also realized I didnt have an effective way to check my fluid, so I put together an indicator.
I haven't yet modified the Jeep very much. Got some Delta headlights, third brake light dots, Black Cragar rims, and a fog light bar, small stuff!
Yesterday, however, the UPS man brought me plenty to work with this weekend!
I've got Goodyear Wrangler duratrac 33 1250's , a Zone 3" lift with Nitro shocks, New steering stabalizer, and Cam bolt alignment kit. I am also going to apply some bed liner to my wheel wells and possibly even my poor faded fender flares. The rest is yet to come! I will post before and after.
The weekend went pretty well overall! All of the lift is in! I live in a smaller area so I wasn't able to find a good (emphasis on GOOD) tire place to mount and balance my tires so I am getting that done today. Here's the lift!
I Got er' all jacked up and ready to start throwing down
This is how the wheel wells looked after the initial wash
I washed the wheel wells down very thoroughly and then removed the track bar, sway bar links shocks, and springs to I could get every nook and cranny.
I roughed everything up with some scotch-brite. I then taped off around them to prevent overspray and put a hefty coating of duplicolor spray on bed liner. After I installed the front this is how it looked!
I took off my fender flares and sanded them down to also coat with the bed liner. They were pretty faded in some spots. The final result turned out pretty close to what a stock jeep fender flare looks like.
Did you run into any problems taking the Tcase skid off of the frame? I bought the same exact lift and was gonna install it last weekend but couldn't get the 3 nutserts on either side out for the life of me. How did you end up getting that off and what sort of tools did you have available?
Nice job by the way, bedlined wheel wells look good. Might have to steal that one from ya
Thanks for the comments guys! YO Tech, I'm going to check that upgrade out!
RedStep, I didn't use any special tools. My skid plate was held on by 6 bolts (3 on each side). The bolt is kind of large, but I wouldn't see you needing anything special. I loosend each one a couple turns. I then went to one side and supported it with a jack and removed the bolts. I placed the spacer in between the frame and the skid plate and put the bolt through the other spacer and all the way through and started the threads. I did use a screw driver up through the hole to help align the skid plate.
I took some grunting, pushing, and twisting, but I got them all in there ok. I hope that helps!!
Well the jeep is all together and aligned now!! I can give a breakdown of my final thoughts about all the products now
I had to slowly drive the jeep to the alignment shop because I was unable to get my steering stabalizer stud out and I diced it up in the process.
I'm going to break down the products I used.
#1 Zone 3" lift kit with nitro shocks-
First off- PRICE. One of the main reasons I purchased this kit was that it seemed to have the MOST for the least price tag. I like to have quality parts, especially on something I drive often, but unfortunately I have bills I have to pay and a limited amount of income. This kit met me in the middle! As a JeepForum member I was able to get a discount and the customer service was AMAZING. They were very helpful. The kit also came with a bazillion decals (daddy like) so I plan to put the large front windshield decal on soon. The ONLY complaint I have about the kit (which may be my Jeep's fualt) was that my rear tracking was about 1" off in the rear. Everything else the alignment shop had no trouble getting in line. I spent ALL DAY yesterday with the alignment shop, in the mix with them, elongating the track bar mounting hole to get my rear in line! Other than that, my biggest problem was getting the boots over the rear shocks! All in all I give the kit 9 out of 10... So far it seems to ride great.
#2 Duplicolor spray on bed liner- Although the true test of the final product will come with time, I think it looks great so far. If you are used to spray paint, beware of how you spray this stuff! My initial thought would be that it would be super thick gooey... I was WRONG. It actually sprays on VERY thin and will run in a heartbeat. So getting a little further away and doing more thin coats will result in a good finish.
#3 Goodyear Wrangler Duratrac 33 x 12.5 (purchased from Discount tire Direct)- Time will also play a big factor with these puppies too. So far, I LOVE the way they look and they don't have too much road noise. A smooth ride as far as I'm concerned! As far as the price goes, I looked high, low, and east to west and could NOT find a better deal than discount tire. They also have a discount for JeepForum members I was able to take advantage of in addition to a mail in rebate. Their customer service was also excellent!! I have used them for a number of tire purchases and they always have the best deal to my doorstep in a matter of 1-2 days!
That is all I've got for now! I hope this information is able to help a fellow Jeep owner!