I'm a little late one doing this post but i'll start from the beginning. So i had just turned 19 not too long after joining the Army when i got my Jeep, it was a manual 1998 Jeep TJ SE 2.5L and it already had one of the rockcrawler front bumpers, 6in flares, somewhere between a 2.75 and 3.25 lift with 31in BFG all terrains, an airaid air intake system, the JK series headlights, and a smittybuilt sidestep. only 80,000 miles on the jeep and no leaks or problems. so i saw 7grand as a pretty solid price for a jeep with a headstart on all i wanted to do to it. I started by teaching myself how to drive a manual from the knowledge i had from riding with my grandad in his delivery trucks for his hardware store back when i was little. Then i began a few cheap additions because of my lack of funds and my being in California. Plan was to pursue big projects once i reach Georgia
This was how the Jeep looked when i drove it away on day 1, which i actually didnt drive it i had the guy bring it because i taught myself how to drive stick after i got it, and yes that was a fun process.
Mind you this was after going wheeling, but i did a few little things such as paint the headlight bezels, paint the tow rings, lens tint the blinker lights, and add my wonderful Mossy Oak sticker to the windshield
Oh and also i hooked up the two pro comp lights that were on the jeep when i got it (just not wired up) and i also bought 2 KC's and hooked them up, and i put two small cheap LED's on the front with a pattern box wired up so i can make them flash if i so choose. (for now im using the holes for the winch to mount lights until i finally go buy a winch.)
i also ripped out the radio the guy had in the jeep and put in a cheap Dual Radio with no CD player (because i just use my phone for music) and i wired up a 400w Dual amp to a dual 10in sub, i use Dual because theyre cheap and its good enough for me given i know how to wire it. i put the speaker in the back on top of the little shelf between the tire and the back seat, its completely open however its never been messed with so far and its for the most part hidden by the tireif your looking from the back anyway
also i painted the little clip on the bottom of the door, i was trying to give the jeep th black highlight, i also painted the 2 hod latches from chrome to black, i purchased black lugs for the wheels, i also painted the two hinges on the hood black. i also painted that stupid black piece under the jeep letters black, shouldv just ripped it off.
just a few pics of when me n my buddys took the jeep to a little off road park in Hollister, it was disappointing to me cause it was more climbing and im used to georgia clay and mud but it was still fun, i had a terrifying moment where i put the jeep on 3 tires coming down a hill but i recoverred without flipping. fun experience looking back though. the jeep performed great for simple BFG all terrains.
Soon after i started looking into the possibility of doing my own paintjob after seeingwhat the average price was to have a shop do it, it was looking to run anywhere between 2 and 3 grand. yeah no thanks. so i did my research on jeep forum on do's and dont's for a paintjob. (thanks to all who gave me advice btw i credit my succesful paintjob to you guys!!!!) Then i started gatherring my materials. I purchased some painters tape and trash bags to mask(cheap trash bags are great btw they cover bigger areas than newspapers and they WONT bleed through. i also bought plenty 180 grit sandpapaer and a sanding block, TCP heavy duty cleaner and paint prepper, Krud Kutter oil and grease remover (same stuffyou use on oven tops, works for this too) and i orderred 12 cans of Khaki ultra flat krylon paint. and a couple black krylons to do the black highlight.
It took a while for me to decide what color and type of paint to use. i did research and checked out lots of other jeeps and my conclusion with tan was based on the fact that tan is a very nice complementary color to the "blacked out" look on jeeps. so i chose tan and i decided on flat paint because 1. its easy 2. flat looks good on jeeps 3. if i choose to do another paintjob down the road it'll be easier
To my disappointment i realized quickly i wouldnt be able to finish the paintjob all in one weekend due to lack of time and alcohol so i worked my 1st of 3 weekends on the hood, grill, and fenders only. i removed the bumper and flares (side note on flares, i replaced the stupid alan wrench bolts with phillips head bolts due to my newfound hatred for alan wrench bolts, we had to pull out vice grips to get those stupid things off.) i sanded and masked and cleaned and after about 10 min of bein scared to do it i grew a pair and painted, and to all my friends surprise it came out really great!! i did have to drive around for a week with a partially painted jeep but i dont care it looked good in the end.
i kinda fixed another problem in he middle of the project. i was in need of new tires badly because the all terrains had dry rot cracks and the tread was running pretty low, and i only had a few months until i have to drive half way across the country to my next duty station.so i saved up and used walmart (which i somewhat regret now) because they have the cheapest price for tires around. i paid right at about 800 bucks for 4 31x10.50x15 BAJA mickey thompson MTZ's (i got 31's only because i still have to drive a long ways, need the little fuel economy i can get)
The walmart mechanic loved me also, one of my first experiences at a shop and im at the belief that all shop owners love people with jeeps. we sat around talking as he put the tires on
with the next weekend here and my GF telling me i need to take her out and i spend too much time on the jeep already, i took her to San Jose on a date and on the way back we stopped at the hollister off road park, (this was her first time off roading by the way) and i got to test out the tires just a bit, and they were great!
After our little adventure we still managed to get back in time satuday for me to have time to get one side of the jeep painted, and then come sunday i finished the other side, i also finished the whole windshield area and i painted the hood scoop area black, which turned out awesome. this made weekend 2 of 3 for the paintjob
Come the 3rd weekend i was quite excited to finally finish my paintjob. i finished the back of the jeep and added my favorite distinguishing part which was my stencil REBEL on the sides of the hood. i simply printed out stencil letters, cut them out with a razor and reinforced the paper with painters tape. The paintjob was finished. i also did my "angry eyes" mod since i was already painting. in the end the overall appearance really stepped up in the last month, Moe's looking really aggressive now compared to before
i also removed my mossy oak now that the jeep had its new themeand everything exterior was either black or tan. it was adequately replaced by the REBEL letters on the side.