Activereality 2004 TJ -
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post #1 of 17 Old 10-20-2015, 02:51 AM Thread Starter
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Activereality 2004 TJ

Hello all.

New Member and TJ Owner here. Just purchased my Jeep from a buddy. A 2004 Wrangler X, currently has a 4" ProComp Lift, and on 33's(need new tires they are a bit worn out!) Has an aftermarket Head unit and speakers in it, and screens in the headrests to be viewed from the back seat. Everything else seems to be pretty stock to me. As in, it's 11 years old and worn out haha.

There are some mods and such that I already want to do inside. Mostly just to put in something newer and less worn. Although, there are no tears or major issues to anything inside. I'll be going through it one step at a time and hopefully doing a good job documenting what I do and how I do it.

This is to be a daily driver for now. And eventually some sort of beefed up trail rig. I am sure that this will change repeatedly, often, and only after we have purchased the gear, parts, and tools to go a different direction haha. But that’s the fun part right?

I am not super mechanically inclined, although I have thrown a wrench or 30 in frustration. I do not yet know how to weld, although I am thinking that will change. I have most of your basic tools and such. I am also a lean and mean google Usin’ Son of a Gun. So I can usually find/learn/understand/or mimic others when I am stumped.

This being said, please step in and correct me when I show a misunderstanding of what something is and what it does, or if I seem to be going the wrong direction in something. I am more than fine with correction. My skin is just thick enough that if you want to be a ******-Canoe, I can let it slide and let someone be the internet ninja-recon-warrior-sniper-instructor training-seal-Marine they have always wished they could be. They get to feel special, and I learn another way not to make a light bulb. On that note. If you feel compelled to correct grammar, spelling(unless it is actually important to the post), or some such, please re-read the previous sentence. TY

We all Win haha.

I am pretty excited about this Jeep, as everyone who gets a Heep is haha.

I am loading Pics online now and will get them linked below.

So first things first. This thing is pretty rad. I like it alot. Not a fan of the yellow, but I may be pulled around eventually lol.

Was told there were no mechanical issues( as always from a private seller) and low and behold there are mechanical issues! Woot woot.

Seems the previous owner bought it for his teenage daughter. And she Drove this thing hard, which is good, as that means that I can get started with replacing/upgrading everything on it and not feel bad haha. She had it for two years. And Now it is mine. All mine. It will still be driven hard, but maybe taken care of…. Differently.

so, onto the "issues". Got it and found that starting from a stop, I have a pretty nice “wobble” of the shifter side to side(like door to door). This only happens when you are putting a lot of TQ on the Engine, like starting from a stoplight or stop sign.

Took a look under the hood and the Motor Mounts are trashed(pictures below). You can clearly see daylight between the polyurethane bushings and the mounts. So the Engine is literally leaning over a bit when you throttle up and release the clutch, good times.

Also found that the….. think it is called a Tie Rod End Bar/Assembly, the bar that is connected to the Pitman Arm for the Power Steering and going to the Passenger Steering Knuckle(no clue in reality, the schematic says this so I’m saying it haha), is loose at the clamp on the Knuckle end(read- the Tie Rod End is loose on the passenger side). Also noticed both of the “boots?” for the TRE’s are busted/leaking. They look old and beat up, so they may be original.

Funny thing is, even with both of these issues, there is no real crazy wobble of the steering wheel at any speed, on bumps, or anything else. I do seem to have a “sway” every now and then, but that t/s’ing (troubleshooting) will come later.

So plans are right now to C/O the Motor Mounts and the TRE’s at the Pitman Arm and the Passenger Steering Knuckle.

Went to my local 4WD store and got them ordered(yeah idk the brands, going more for a “lets get this safely on the road now!” kind of thing haha). The mounts have a lifetime warranty on the mount portion, and a 3 year on the bushing inserts(so just gotta go and get new bushings in 2 ½ years haha). The Mounts are also a 1” MML. The existing 4” kit has a Transfer Case Drop of 1”. So I’m gonna take that off and put the 1” MML on. This should keep everything "as is" angle wise... I hope(here is where you should step in if you know more haha).

The reason for this is, I plan on eventually doing a TT(Tummy Tuck for my fellow nubs out there). With the 1” MML already on there, I will be able to slowly put it all together and not need to worry about fitment too much. I will more than likely replace these with different ones later on. They were only ~80$ and I am sure that there are better/beefier ones to be had, but to get me in the direction I want to be in anyway, it seems a good trade off to me for now. I will post brand and such when I get them though, cause I know that question will come haha.

I don’t know how difficult the Transfer Case Drop will be to reverse. Seems straight forward though. Loosen the Bolts, Support the TC(under the skid plate) with a jack or something, remove one bolt and spacer, and reinstall the bolt, at a time. Should be gtg. Need to find the TQ Specs for the bolts though. I have the FSM(Factory Service Manual) so I’ll look it up before cracking into it.

The TRE’s are also to be R&R’d(removed and replaced). The 4WD associate ordered the exact replacement for what is on there(he said), they were cheaper than I had thought at first.

If the originals aren’t totally trashed, I may get a rebuild kit and put them back together for an emergency spare, until I get something stronger. This way, I’ll have something I know fits and will at least get me out of a bind haha.

On this note: What is a “preferred” grease for this Rig? I’m not talking Uncle Joe’s Snake Oil. Just a normal “Type” of grease to aim for. I am assuming I will be able to use the same grease on anything with a zerk. Want to axe you guys this, so I don’t get something that can’t take the rpm’s, temperature, pressure, or it doesn’t like the yellow color too or something. Better safe than sorry haha.

The Steering Wheel is also off center, pointing towards about 10 O’Clock. I’ll adjust this while playing with the TRE's. Maybe even check the "Toe in" while I’m running around down there.

I’ll also be doing some more of the basics. Fluid flushes and changes. Mileage just came around for an Oil change. Inspecting wear points and normal maintenance stuphs. And greasing every zerk I can find, once I have a better idea of what to use. IDK how good of care this Rig got. So best to start fresh right?

Parts should be in today, so may get something done on this in the early afternoon.

I have gone through and played monkey on pretty everything in the drive train. Didn’t find anything too alarming(nothing moved unless it was rotation and it was supposed to rotate haha). I will more than likely slowly replace all the U-Joints and any yokes that are worn or damaged. I’ll do one section at a time. So I can see what changing/upgrading each section is like and what the ride and drive feel like before and after.

It’s got the stock D30 and D35 front and rear. Will upgrade these in the future…… But to what? Hmm Decisions Decisions. Also want to go up from the stock 3.07 Gears. Haven’t made any calls on how that will turn out either, yet.

I need to take some better/more (or is it “more better”? hehe) pics of the drivetrain and everything else. Both so you guys and can see it, and so you can tell me what the heck is installed! Haha. I am more than certain I’ll misidentify more than a fair share of things.

Well, this brings a close to my first post. Fingers and eyes hurt from this so I pray the 4 peeps that made it all the way enjoyed it. Had a laugh(hopefully not at my expense) and hopefully I can get some good pics attached to show you my Rig.

Never named a vehicle, but I see that many do….. Not at that bridge yet.

Thanks for reading. Laters.

Pics Section- Maybe:
Just of the Jeep from different angles and light.

Next to another Jeep!

Driver's Side Motor Mount

Passenger Side Motor Mount

Rear Transfer Case

Front Transfer Case(hope i'm naming this right haha!)

That's all for now Folks!

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post #2 of 17 Old 10-20-2015, 04:55 PM
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good luck!!!
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post #3 of 17 Old 10-20-2015, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by w0280093 View Post
good luck!!!
Haha! Thanks!. I got to work on it today.
Some good and some bad.
Time will tell how it turns out haha.
Doing a write up and will get it up as soon as I can.

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post #4 of 17 Old 10-21-2015, 12:11 AM Thread Starter
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Throttle Position Sensor Install- TSP

Well, was able to pick up my parts today, 1” MML, Throttle Position Sensor(previous owner ordered it due to it faulting now and then- wanted me to have peace of mind I guess haha), and the new TRE’s for my Drag Bar(still don’t know if that’s correct- it’s the Bar that connects from the Pitman Arm to the Steer Passenger Knuckle).

So back to the house I GO! I got the TPS replaced first. That was pretty easy to do. I did lean the Hood back and that gave me plenty of room. The mounting screws used a T-20, in the pic, I used one of the new screws to figure out the size I needed haha. Pretty quick and paineless. It was actually harder to TQ it than any other part of this job. All in all, easy peasy.

Looking towards Driver Side


Looking Towards Passenger Side


Figure out what size to use

Got to wrenching and was hitting this cable- so moved it

Just wrapped it on the other side of the bracket- gave me room to work

Old Sensor Out

Internal Spline

New one going in and getting “Screwed”

TQ’d it and plugged it back in(no pic)
And El Dun!

Turned her on and checked for any faults- all good. So I guess I didn’t screw up too bad
With that Job at least!

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Last edited by activereality; 10-21-2015 at 12:29 AM.
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post #5 of 17 Old 10-21-2015, 12:28 AM Thread Starter
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"the drop!"

Now onto some fun stuph!

Today I tackled the 1” MML. This was fun, and fairly easy. IT took a while as I was working on my own, so anytime something had to be moved or adjusted I had to get up move it, check it, move it again, check it, etc. It sucked. I totally recommend hiring a hooker or friend to help with this. In the future I am definitely getting help haha.

Since there is already a 4” lift and the TC Drop, I figured that since I want to go up to the MML(for an eventual Tummy Tuck) I would take out the TC Drop.

So here we go!
“The Drop”

I got out my ratchet and noticed that the Tire Iron is the same bolt size as the TC Skid Plate Mounting Bolts! So I used the iron to break em out.

Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of this part, but this is what I did:
After breaking the TQ(and rust) on all of the Bolts on both sides, I used my Ratchet(pretty sure it was an 18mm or something). I removed the center bolt and spacer, then screwed the bolt back in until it just barely raised the Skid Plate off the other two still installed bolts.
Then I just removed bolts and reinstalled them without the spacer one at a time.

Once I got them all done on one side, I left them at that height and did the other side.
Both sides looked like this afterwards

I also sprayed some lube on these and cleaned them off pretty good before re-install(yes I cleaned the lube off before reinstalling them)

I plan on replacing these bolts with shorter ones in the future.
This is after tightening each side a little at a time, walking it up.

And yep, I TQ’d it. I didn’t do anything special. Just TQ’d the center, then front and rear, then rechecked em all after the last one was tq’d.

All 6 Spacers Removed! Woot Woot. Now that was easy. I enjoyed this as it got my hopes up that the MML install would be easy too!

From this I learned that Jeep really wants you to be able to take off a tire and Service anything above your TC Drop on a Trail

The next post will cover the:

Adventures of Pounding Iron, Breaking Plastic Crap, and Inventing New Chains of Expletives!!
It’s gonna be a big movie, just you wait!

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post #6 of 17 Old 10-21-2015, 03:14 AM Thread Starter
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Motor Mount Lift Install- Take a Bath Room break and Get a snack first!

Alright so now that the TC Drop is removed. Time to get the MML installed.

This is a Rubicon Express 1” MML Kit for the TJ.

A quick note. I was careful not get pics of my lifting method. It wasn’t the best and not the cleanest way to do it. It was a secure and it was safe- for me. Don’t need a ninja to tell me I should done x or y when I did dun got it done already. 

I got prepared and got out all the sizes of wrenches and ratchets and sockets and screw drivers I would need(I walked around the jeep trying out the bolts and nuts). This is so once I started all the “stuff I think I’m gonna use” isn’t down in the bottom of the linen closet with all the white towels.(laugh- it’s happened and the wife was pissed for a week, but she got new towels out of the deal )

I got my lifting method ironed out and got some tension placed on the Motor to support it.

I went ahead and started breaking TQ on everything I would be working on(yeah we will address this so called everything later- you know where I’m going with this).

I immediately found that I had some clearance issues with the engine bar on the driver’s side. I went ahead and popped it off.

13 MM for the bar bolts

Break Torque

The MM Through Bolt and nut were 18MM

Motor Mount Bracket Bolt and Nut were 15 MM

Nut is visible behind the socket 

I Loosened the MM Bracket Bolts from the top and the Nuts on bottom- like really loose.
I then jacked the engine up a bit more to but some “upward” force on the brackets to make sure they were not frozen on and to “wiggle” the through bolt going through the mount a little.
This was to make sure everything would come apart without hammers haha
Driver side


Removed the MM Bracket Nuts from the Bracket studs on both sides(only one pic sorry)

Got the through bolt really loose by taking my breaker bar off and just using the ratchet, once the resistance got a bit easier

Pulled the Passenger MM

Jacked up the engine a bit more and heard a very loud “SNAP!”
My heart stopped
I didn’t breathe
The Engine….
Did not fall
I broke the ****ing Fan shroud

Went ahead and removed the bolts- just so I wouldn’t screw the fan up too bad if I needed to jack it up more.

Can’t find the bolt size pic- oops!

Now this is just me getting forgetful while going at this. I had even set out the hardware to remove the frackin thing and just didn’t do it after removing the Engine Bar and breaking TQ’s. I just plumb forgot. UGH.  so looks like I’ll be acquiring a new fan shroud and either making a bracket to bring it up and inch off the factory mounting holes, or make some new ones. I haven’t looked into anything aftermarket yet.

Yeah this part sucked. But then I remembered the engine was still in place- the world can have a bit of rain and still be a bright place haha!

Passenger side 1” MML mocked into place. I got it seated and loosely installed mount bracket hardware(top bolt and bottom nut). This is so there was a little wiggle room to adjust to get the through bolt in.

Got the Through bolt in! Man this was easy! Not even sweating yet!

Now onto that easy assed driver side

Wait what? The freaking bolt won’t fit out?! The stupid AC System is in my way!! What the heck. Man……
Look seriously. Manufacturer. Joe Shmoe. IDGAFFYR who the heck does this? I am offended by how stupid this was!
Cuss. Walk away and breathe. Cuss. Notice that the Engine Mount Bracket has a Bracket that bolts to the Engine…. Hmmm.
Search google
“ hey guys remove the stupid mount bracket”

So I loosened the Bracket(no pics cause my happy mode was not back yet). Used a 16 MM IIRC.

Woot Woot in business!

Now onto more fun!
I got the old MM out and got the new one in there. It was a tight fit and I did the same as the other side- got it semi held into place with the mounting hardware then used the jack to adjust the engine alignment to the new MM.
Ugh. Yep screwed myself again!

If you look up about 9 lines up you’ll see that I loosened the motor bracket to get the Through Bolt out- Welllllll I never tightened it back up. So now it was “twisted” a bit in relation to the frame mount. Nice!

So I did stop at this point and tighten that back up and TQ it.

Now, I skipped a bunch of pics that would have come out to look exactly the same.
This was the best one of the bunch

Basically I am trying to show that bracket is not A. Centered over the Frame Mount and B. the two arms of the MM Bracket are no longer squared to the new MM. Awesome. I know the pic sucks, my bad, I’ll turn in my Photographer’s License at the end of this post - not.

Well a lot of jack up and down. Cussing. Using my extension/breaker bar as a prybar now(it’s got a lot of hats) and I finally got the bolt to go into the cab side of the mount(the correct way to put it in if you ask me). I then re performed the “a lot of jack up and down” in very small increments and slowly beat the bolt to almost being to the other side. When I was pretty much all the way to the other side of the insert the front side of the Mount Bracket(closest to the bumper) was way low. So I just jacked the crap out of the engine(there is a lot of jacking in this post- hope it doesn’t get me reported as a public jacker or something). I eventually got it to where the holes lined up, but there was a lot of pressure on the through bolt on the other side of the insert.. So I broke out the newly christened Pry bar and went to town pushing it through as far as possible.

I got about 8 threads through and wanted to put the nut on the front side(just behind the AC Crap that was in my way earlier) and then to just tighten from there.

Funny story here.
I lost the Through Bolt nut. I looked every freaking where I could! Tool boxes. Parts bins I hadn’t been near at all during this time. Bathroom. Other side of the jeep. Under the tires! It was nowhere to be found. It had turned into a turtle and slowly walked away.

So I stood there and leaned over the driver side of the engine compartment and pondered where in the world I would get one of those stupid things at this time of day!(it had just hit 6 pm I think).
Just standing there. Hating myself. Feeling a failure for my little mistake earlier. Calling everyone names in my head- except my wife, she knows things lol.
Then this thing waved at me

Little bugger! I had specifically thought to myself to make sure not to put anything there, because it was too easy to “set it and forget it”. And that’s what happened. Good times haha.

Finally got it put in and snugged up.

Passenger side again(yeah took so long its dark out now!

Then I went back through and tightened and then re-torqued every bolt I had touched throughout the day- this took 30 minutes of just trying to find the damned things in the FSM before I started, then looked up the extra stuff, like the Engine Bar.

Cleaned up all my tools. Got all the parts and such out of the way. Scrubbed my hands and arms a bit to try and be moderately clean lol.

Time to test! Cross my fingers.

You guessed it- stupid broken Fan shroud was just sitting on the fan. I had never secured it. Ugh Well it is a resilient little screwball. Still mostly together but just enough that I couldn’t get it out. I will cut it out tomorrow, not today as I need to button it up enough to drive to work tonight. So I zipped tied the metric ***** out of it! I also took some dykes and pliers and cut and broke off the areas that were no longer cylindrical (on the area on top had damage). (Sorry no pics)

Test 2.0!
Fire it up and

It just sits there and runs woot woot!
Took it for a spin around the block and that Wobble in the Stick is almost entirely gone! Nice!
What was close to 8 inches of total movement is now less than 2(this is 2 total inches of movement- so ~ 1” left and right movement)! And that is just barely felt wobble. I am very impressed with myself.

I plan on breaking everything back up and re-torqueing in a few days. So it can seat where it wants.

Now- more bad news. I am driving to work and just barely audible over the Radio is a very soft grinding noise. Oh great!
It seems to do it only under power(pressing gas pedal) and it seems to do it in every gear(didn’t take the highway due to my jerry rigged fan shroud). I think it is coming from in front of me but behind and lower than the engine. So I am thinking Tranny or TC. Dernit!

Got to Work(I hate four letter words like that) and did some quick studying for my Google Doctoral Thesis and it seems I should have loosened the Tranny mount?

I am hoping that it is something simple like that. Just need to loosen the mount let it seat where it wants with the new Motor height and then tighten it back up.

I guess it could also be the front TC? I didn’t even think that there would be issues with the alignment of this stuff. I thought that- because I was moving up and inch from below and moving up an inch from above, that they would kind of “cancel” each other out. Guess not.

So gonna very carefully drive it home(like 15 minutes on surface streets) and loosen up the tranny and see if that changes anything. If not, I’ll also get to the DS and turn it by hand and see if I can find anything that feels bad(worst part is, since I am new to this jeep, I have never turned the DS in neutral before so I don’t know that I’ll get much from that lol. Maybe haha.

Well sorry for recreating Genesis here guys. Long day and figured I would share it with you. Had some laughs and sorrows. In the end I survived to fight the demons of noise and broken plastic another day!


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post #7 of 17 Old 10-22-2015, 02:42 AM Thread Starter
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Grinding to the Oldies

Well, another day in tool box on this Rig.

I heard that very slight grinding(at least that is how I seemed to me) noise again on the way home from work. Drove it slow and kept the RiPiM’s down low as possible.

After some rest got back out there and just started loosening the Motor Mounts(the Top MM Bolt and the Bottom MM Stud Nut) on both sides. Just “loose” mind you, I did not take them off.

I then went back and loosened the Transfer Case Skid Mounting Bolts.

Well, there was some sort of pressure or binding in there! As I loosened them the TC adjusted itself. I got all four loose and then went up front and jacked up the mount just a bit and then plated “So I Think I Can Dance” on the front bumper. I heard it adjust itself some more durining this. Droped the engine back down and did the same on the front bumper and no more sounds.

Now I tightened everything back down and TQ’d it.

Took it for a quick test drive and zero sounds down there! Woot woot! That’s all it was(as I am very inexperienced I had pretty much feared the worst and was just waiting to see a mushroom cloud escape the hood).

Glad this was an easy one. All in all, this was a pretty fun install. Had some worries and a few moments where I thought I would need another pair of pants, but it all worked out!

Next up is the Great Battle of the Prayed Upon TRE’s!

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post #8 of 17 Old 10-22-2015, 04:00 AM Thread Starter
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Great Battle of the Prayed Upon TRE’s!

So, after getting the grinding to go away I was on a high!

I decided to break into the TRE’s for the Drag Bar. When I purchased the TRE’s I asked the “dude” to label the box for the pitman arm. This way I would know which was which. Smart fella eh?

I decided to use a tape measure to measure the position of each TRE. I measured from the grease zerk to the tube. I figured this would be a bit more universal of a measurement. Rather than counting threads or some such.

First up, I cleaned them off as they were pretty nasty and I don’t want to gunk up my precious tools.


Then I got started on straitening the cotter pins and pulling them

Size 19mm Socket for the TRE’s

15 MM for the Clamp Nuts

14 MM for the Clamp Bolt(this didn’t make sense to me- but oh well)

I also had to take off the mounting bracket for the steering dampener

I broke off all the bolts

I took off all of the mounting hardware for both sides, as I planned on changing out both the Pitman Arm TRE and Steering Knuckle TRE.
I had read where a lot of people had an easy time getting the TRE’s out.

I am not one of those people.

I do not have a pickle fork, or a TRE Puller. What I do have is a can do attitude. I am absolutely positive I can do it. It may be destroyed when I am done. But I’ll get it! If there is one thing I can do, it is break stuff.

I beat on it. I prayed to it. I cried. I begged.(sounds like an old 90’s hit). Pretty sure I went full potato monkey on both TRE’s and nothing worked.

Well, eventually I went a little ninja on it. I am hoping this didn’t cause any harm. But it worked!

I got the steering knuckle as level as possible and jacked up to the TRE Bolt. Then just cranked it. It eventually popped and I that side was taken care of!
Once I got that off I tried to get the driver side(pitman arm) TRE to come loose. It just wouldn’t I eventually had myself half inverted leaning on it with one hand and bracing myself with my other hand, creating a new yoga maneuver.

Finally I ended up with the Steering Knuckle end of the Drag bar pointed to the driver’s side(swung it out towards the front of the jeep). And tried pulling it from there.

So I am sitting there( and it’s getting dark) taking a needed breather and playfully tap the Pitman arm.

And the stupid thing just fell out. I am hatefully loved I guess?

On the next part I only took out one TRE at a time, so I would not forget which side was which haha.

Well, with it out I took out the Knuckle side TRE for replacement.

Took out the TRE from the “ not labeled Pitman Arm Box” aaannnndddd something didn’t look right.

Man that thing was easy to thread in….. Hmm.
Well crap! Looks like that won’t work. Comparing it to the old one at least

So I halfway threaded the old one back on, as a filler, while I thought and worked on the other side.

So I opened the box pulled out the other TRE(the labeled one) and got to work putting it on the other side.
Well the stupid thing was threaded wrong! Well that just sucks! That’s just stupid.
But then I noticed something else.

The K2 Stamped one is the old Steering knuckle TRE. P/N 18043.10
The F15 Stamped TRE is the new one, labeled(with sharpie) Pitman arm on the box. P/N 18043.10
Well, whatever, I’ll use it as it “appears” it will be an adequate replacement hehe. IDC what the box says, I’ll do what I want!

Installed that on the knuckle side of the Drag Bar.

The Old Pitman Arm side is labeled as P/N 18043.28

But alas the other TRE I purchased did not match this either, as it was still much too thin diameter to work haha.

So I cleaned the crap out of the old Pitman Side TRE and reinstalled it to the drag bar. I did clean out the drag bar as well. I plan on taking it back off and sanding it down and painting it in the future. Mostly for S&G’s.

Now I just set the bar back onto the knuckle and pitman arm, adjusted until the bolts were in the center of the respective future homes and slid the bolts through. Now I double checked my steering wheel to may sure it was still straight.

I put on the TRE Nuts and TQ’d them and Cotter Keyed them(checked the wheel). Then adjusted the Drag Bar Clamps and Tq’d them(and checked the wheel again). And then I re-installed the steering dampener and checked the fracking wheel. All good!

I then pumped in some grease and we were done! So I cleaned up my tools and hands, and put everything away.

After it was all said and done!

Although this took forever to really get started(mostly cause of the stubborn TRE’s not wanting to come out) this was a pretty easy job. I’ll be taking the TRE that was too small to use back and see if we can figure out what happened. I had only told them which ones I wanted to replace, I never gave them part numbers or anything. No one’s fault, just the way it is sometimes haha.

Took it for a test drive and steering was smooth. No wobbles that I noticed and my steering wheel is no longer facing 10 o’clock to go forward!

Good day and successful install of at least one component. I am not looking forward to just removing the Pitman Arm TRE though. I may remove the Knuckle TRE again to assist with getting the other side out haha. I may break down and get a puller, or try to make one lol.

Thanks for reading. And until next time!

Also, I have a question- if anyone makes it this far down- should I “upload” the pics to the thread? I have just been putting in the links so you aren’t choked with pics. But if it is more “preferential” to have the pic, I can do that too .

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post #9 of 17 Old 10-22-2015, 12:28 PM
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Excellent build thread underway here. Welcome to the forum.
I changed all the URL tags in your links to IMG tags so they would show up as pictures without your having to upload them. Much better to see the pics while reading without having to click back and forth on links.
Feel free to cuss here as needed and just let the forum censor do its job so we can keep it family friendly.
I'll check back later to see how this project is progressing.


"You can set my jeep on fire and roll it down a hill,
But I still wouldn't trade it for a Coupe DeVille."

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chris87xj is offline  
post #10 of 17 Old 10-22-2015, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by chris87xj View Post
Excellent build thread underway here. Welcome to the forum.
I changed all the URL tags in your links to IMG tags so they would show up as pictures without your having to upload them. Much better to see the pics while reading without having to click back and forth on links.
Feel free to cuss here as needed and just let the forum censor do its job so we can keep it family friendly.
I'll check back later to see how this project is progressing.
Sweet! Thanks Chris. I'll just upload them from now on then. Good deal on the language, tried to keep it mid 80's PG, but that didn't work out too well.

I am putting together a working list of future upgrades and such. It'll be a long process, but worth it I believe.

I am excited and looking forward to this build!

Forever Learning
activereality is offline  
post #11 of 17 Old 10-22-2015, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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Image testing- Not going well so far haha
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post #12 of 17 Old 10-24-2015, 03:47 AM Thread Starter
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Oil Change and Fan Shroud

Got to go and pick up the Tie Rod End for the Pitman Arm Side today. I’ll see if I can install it on Monday or Tuesday- weather dependent. I'll probably be picking up a puller for this too. If i even use it 1 more time after the first time it is useful lol.

Instead of wasting a good day, I went ahead and got an oil change done, as the sticker that was in it when I bought it was up like 3k miles ago. So I figure I’ll do an Oil Change now and wait about 1-2k miles and do another one. The oil didn’t “look” too bad. Played with it a bit and couldn’t find any large chunks of metal shavings or anything, so it should be all gtg.

I still need to get a good look at the front and rear brakes. This will be my first experience with drums, so that should be fun haha.

I’ve been debating whether or not to do TC and Differential Oil changes too. I’ll have to look into that and make sure I have all parts needed(I’m assuming gaskets, oil….). Since I am not 100% certain on how good of care was taken, I’d rather replace good fluid than not find bad fluid, until components seize and blow up.

I’ll also be doing a Transmission Flush sometime in the future. I’ll be looking into that when I get around to it. Always about the research .

I also got to get the broken fan shroud out today(by removing and re-installing the Fan). I tested the vehicle running sitting still for about 20 minutes with no heat issues. I’ll make sure to keep an eye on it though.

I got to thinking about that Shroud. I am halfway thinking about doing an electric fan set up at some point. Because this though is in my mind, I really don’t want to buy a new shroud and throw it in. So I may try to recycle the existing shroud by giving it a bit of a “hair cut”.

So keeping it for now. I plan on trimming back the upper portions, where it is broke. I want to trim it back to the “sturdier” sections that still have good support.

If/when I switch over to an electric fan set up I may do something like this:

This would allow me to pretty much get rid of the shroud and still mount the factory coolant bottle. I would also have to trim the walled section of the shroud doing it this way. But I doubt that would be a problem.

That’s all for today. Nothing huge or even exciting. Once I get this thing “fresh” on everything I’ll start seeing what I can do for upgrades. I am still working on a “wishlist” type of thing to edit the first post with. That has been an interesting thing since every time I go back to it, it changes haha.

I think my biggest limitations are going to be money(say it ain’t so right?) and fabrication skills. I definitely see a decent flux core welder in my future.

Oh, i finally set up that Photobucket account instead of using wordpress, so these images should work

That’s it for now. Laters!

Forever Learning

Last edited by activereality; 10-24-2015 at 04:07 AM.
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post #13 of 17 Old 10-26-2015, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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Wish List

Alright. Well no wrenching lately. I have been thinking of upgrades( as we all do).

My plan is to do upgrades a bit at a time, in a way that I can do an upgrade- preferably within a weekend or a week, and that works with everything that would still be on the Jeep after the upgrade. Read here- I don’t want to put it on jack stands for a month haha.

Now in that vein, I am thinking of a ground up upgrade pattern. In general at least haha. Now this is not really in order right now, just more of a wish list.

I already have a Lift and 33’s. I like this for now and have no intention in the foreseeable future to go any larger- at that point I would be going crawler only vice Daily Driver.

I want to upgrade steering components and some suspension. IDK if I’ll go full hydraulic steering(although it is cool as hell). I may just go with a slightly over sized steering system- such as a higher power Pump. Also beefier Tie Rods and TRE’s. This will include Beefier(correct me on terms and if something is not meant for a particular “system”) Sway Bar and any other control linkages for axle to body connection(yeah I know this is not entirely accurate the way I said it, but I don’t know enough yet to be more accurate haha- that’s what this is all about). As well as Sway Bars and anything else that would need a good upgrade- such as mounts and perches and regular suspension stuff. IDK if I am going to go towards a triangulated system- 3 or 4 link.

OK, so I want to upgrade the Axles. I am currently rocking and 30-35 3.07 combo. I am thinking maybe D44 Front and D60 Rear, or maybe just go 44’s front and rear. I want it to be strong, but I don’t think/feel I’ll ever need much more than that. Both will have a selectable locker of some sort- haven’t really gotten that selected yet. I have looked at some of the systems out there- Air, Electronic Solenoid, are there others? I saw the LS versions. I'm sure there is some sort of straight mechanical version to either engage them from the cab or from the Diff. Cool thing about this part, from what I gather, as long as they are open Diff’s I can upgrade to lockers whenever I want and not needed at the same time.

Inside of these I want to go up to around 4.10 on gears, I want to be able to tackle some decently graded obstacles and still drive it on the highway as a DD without killing the Engine haha. -This may go up when/if this becomes less of a DD and more of a go have fun vehicle. Still gonna suck to go any real distance with it geared higher i would think-

At the same time as the Axle swaps I'd like to do SYE and DC DS's front and rear. This is more towards making it work no matter the angle(within reason) and give me some tolerance wiggle room there.

Now I don't know alot of about this next little bit(hehe less than I know of the above- the experienced guys can totally see where I am describing something wrong or just straight missing the mark haha). The Transfer Case and Transmission. I am just assuming that the Stock TC and Tranny were made for use with the 30-35 combo and not a set of 44's or a 44-60 combo on 33 inch tires. With this assumption in mind- if I beef up the axles and gearing it would make sense to me that I need to beef up the TC and Tranny as well. I have zero clue about this and have not yet done any research for it, but this seems to make sense to me.

If that is the case, I'd almost rather get the TC and Tranny upgraded before the axles. Last thing I want to do is create a failure point on the most expensive component in the system and ruin everything haha. And on that same note- I’d rather snap something like a DS or an axle component that is going to get an upgrade anyway and it generally “easier”(not a mechanic here haha) than trying to do some transmission work.

Ok so I touched on it there a little bit. But I want to make these upgrades in an order that puts the least amount of stress on things. By this I mean I don’t want to replace/beef up a component only to literally cause another component to fail- because the new part is so much stronger and stresses something else out. This is “ok” a little, because it gives me a good reason to get hot on that new component’s upgrade hehe. But I don’t want this build to just be chasing broken **** because I wasn’t just a bit smarter on my build steps.

Thoughts anyone?

Now I will contradict myself a bit here. As available- like if I fall into a good deal someplace. I want to replace both the front and rear bumpers. I want the Rear to have some frame tie ins or be connected and beefy enough to maybe pull a trailer now and then- kayaks or a motorcycle. I am thinking something nice and flat and not as wide as the rear end. I'd also like some welded on tabs(I could do that), but I have seen some that have the tabs pass all the way to the rear of the bumper and they are welded front and back of the bumper- very cool to me and I’d think that would be just about strong enough haha.

Front Bumper will be something skinny(from side to side) as well. Winch(of course). And stout as well, probably hooks on the sides(facing forward).

I don’t want to make the Bumpers so strong that they twist the frame or screw something else up. When winching, pulling, recovering, sitting and looking bad ***, etc.

I also want to rhino or herculine or equivalent the interior and remove the carpet. I am going to see if I can get the seats reupholstered with a pleather or something.

The tires are a bit worn and need replacement. That is kind of “borderline” for an upgrade, but it a necessary evil. Also, the Tires will be something that has decent road handling. I know there is always compromise, but until this Rig is up and running strong it is going to see more road than dirt.

CB System as well. For safety and Bull****ting ability. High Lift and recovery kit of some sort. I want to run some sort of compressor either mounted permanently or carry able. For the obvious reasons. This will become mandatory permanent install if I go with air actuated lockers. I am also thinking of some sort of inverter. If I do this, I’ll also upgrade the alternator.

I may end up going with an Electric Fan as well. I was able to get a little bit done on it today- but I need to work on the hole relocation to get it ready to re-install. No pics, I’ll write more later on.

Well, this is kind of my laundry list right now. I’ll add this to my first post as well so it is easy to see and get to. Never Mind, it's on the same page haha, no need to do that lol.

If you see an inconsistency or I am showing that I am understanding something incorrectly- like going the wrong way with it- let me know. I can’t learn if I’m not corrected. So have at it!

Thanks for making it this far haha. Laters!

Forever Learning
activereality is offline  
post #14 of 17 Old 10-28-2015, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
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Finished the Fan Shroud and Contemplating the Future!

Hey Jeepers. Got some time to spend on the Radiator Fan Shroud today. No Pics sorry, was in a rush. If/when I have it off again(which I will eventually haha) I’ll snap some. I can however describe what I did . I’ll use one of the old pics and put in some pointers.

So, what I did was:
I used my dremel and extended the screw holes down ~ 1 inch. I had to cut off some of the plastic “angled support” but I was careful not to cut too much and compromise the structure. I also had to trim the upper hose area. I had to trim it down and into the upper portion of the bracket a little. Making sure it was still somewhat rounded. I used the “little at a time” method when going at it and kept mocking it back into position to see if it would clear and seat correctly.
Now this is not the actual finished product, this is just an old pic. I put red marks in where I trimmed the upper broken portion(laugh it up) and then extended the screw holes. And also trimmed the upper hose area so it could sit higher without hitting the hose or clamps.

In the end, I am very happy with the results. I like having the radiator shroud back in place for the fan and for the overflow tank. Worked out pretty good.

Deciding on what to do next. I’ll be doing Diff fluid changes this weekend. And Maybe a TC change as well. IDK if I’ll take the covers off, but I kind of think it is a good idea so I can check the gears and everything, see if there is anything that needs attention in there.

Wondering if I should replace some of the small things inside, before I really go full ballistic bonzo and start looking for axles(which I am already doing anyway haha, but looking for a good deal) Small things to replace- like the Shifter Boot, get some more aux upfitter switches(for lights and future- maybe sooner- compressor), want to upgrade or change out the headlights and put in a back up light(doesn’t seem to be any/one back there hmm) also need a new fan knob.

I also want to find a good compressor and tank and get that set up. I’d like to wire it directly to the battery and leave it permanently mounted. Preferably someplace out of the way. Connect it to the new up-fitter switch so I can turn it on and off from inside the cab and get the bottle pressured up. I want this more for peace of mind and slight cool factor more than anything. I always want the ability to air up a tire. Since these are big tires, I want something strong enough to do it. A carry type model generally runs around the same as a full install type(from what I can tell some of them are even the same just different kits).

Also want to see if I can find someplace to make my bumpers here in town. I think a buddy has a welder. So might try and get some 4X2 tube steel and weld the existing bumpers mounting brackets on it for the rear. I’ll need to research recommended thickness and such.

Also want to put on some bumper tabs. For the front I am gonna see if I can find a decent bumper in a local pull-a-part yard. Want one ready for a winch and not need to go out 400-500$ for one right now. Or I may keep the existing bumper and make a bracket for a winch to mount to.

I have also kind of decided to get axles and gearing set up before I really work on anything else underneath. My goal with this is to get the axles set up the way I want them and then start upgrading linkage and such, so I will know where I need clearance and I wont have to change much later on.

On the axle subject, since you brought it up. I have seen a couple of builds use a D44 rear and a 30 up front. I am wondering if this would be halfway desirable for me, at least for now. This way, all I need is a 44, the desired locker, new axles shaft and gearing set up(unless I luck upon something I am willing to work with, i.e. desired 4.10 or maybe even a 4.27 or 4.56 I think I could live with it). Then just upgrade the front components to match the gearing, and probably the axle shafts while I am up there.

I know I have been grinding this, but want to do it the right way (my right way haha) once. I am looking and ready other builds and see where someone upgraded something, only to have to replace it later on due to another upgrade somewhere else. I realize some of this is kind of unavoidable, unless you just go out of pocket all at once(which I guess I could just save up for a year then blow the bank up haha). I just want to make this as efficient as possible.

That’s it for now. Sorry not a lot of pics today. I’ll make sure to get some good ones of the fluid changes this weekend.

Forever Learning
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post #15 of 17 Old 10-29-2015, 08:42 PM Thread Starter
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Posts: 18
Hi Lift Hood Mount Install

Alright got some work done today. Got my Super-Poser(since I haven’t done any wheeling with the Jeep yet haha) High-Lift and Hood Mount. Unfortunatly I did’t get any pics of the Hood mount Kit in the package- but…. TY powers of the Interwebs I got some pics stole for ya Jeepers.

This what I got:

I also got a Hood Mount Kit:

High Lift Lock Hood Mount Lock:

And a Handle Holder(clamp):

I got the Hood Mount installed- it was pretty easy.
Left the Hood Closed and removed the Hood Hinge Bolts
Size T40

The Mount comes with uprights that have a through bolt,

Bolt head is a 5MM

Square Nut is a 5/8

Once that is tight, the upright is mounted to the hood portion(kind of a 1” block the lift it up a bit more) using a 5.5 MM Bolt and ½ Nut

Then take some “soft washers” over the Hood Hinge Holes

At this point it is just set the hi lift mount over the hinge and start screwing the bolts in- but I had to align it a little bit


And the Finished Product

Very happy with this and super easy mod- the materials seemed of pretty good quality as well. I gave the hi lift a few squirts with some lube, to just get it wet. I plan on leaving it off the Rig unless I’ll be going somewhere I need it. But it still looks cool.

More to come! I also did a rear diff fluid change and inspection today.

Forever Learning
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