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Unread 01-29-2011, 03:53 PM   #1
KUK9
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2000 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 3,092
Adapt or Die - KUK9's Stretch TJ Build

Well, I guess since everyone else is joining in, I may as well start a build thread as well.

I am a late-comer when it comes to the build, as I am quite a ways into the vehicle since I bought it, so I figure that I will start with it from the beginning and run up to the current stages.

I bought my 00 TJ in 2005 from the dealership I was working at. At that time I was driving a little 2003 silver SE that was traded in. It was fun driving around for a while, but no rear seat or even a stereo made for not much fun driving. Not to mention only 4 squirrels trying to push me up the mountains. However, it did the job and got me hooked.




One day a lifted yellow TJ was traded in, and I happen to see it pretty early on. I had always wanted a big yellow Jeep, and this fit the bill. The same day it was traded in, I was driving it home. This is how it looked the day I brought it home.

Specs on the Jeep as I bought it:
4" Pro Comp suspension lift
33x12.50x15 BFG M/T's
15x8" Weld Racing wheels
4.56 gears
Chrome tube bumpers and steps
Magnaflow exhaust
Air Raid intake




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Unread 01-29-2011, 04:01 PM   #2
KUK9
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The TJ did daily driving duty for about 6 months until I started looking into taking it off road finally. Until then, I was doing some research on it and figuring out what had been done. The 03 TJ had already gotten me started in the off-roading scene, but now I had something I could do something with.

I took the Jeep to the dirt a few times within the first year, basically getting my feet wet and figuring out what it could do, as well as figuring out how to drive. Nothing too difficult at first, but was a blast & set me on my course.

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Unread 01-29-2011, 04:15 PM   #3
KUK9
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The first few mods to the Jeep were a result of stupidity on my side. On an early camping trip (around Memorial day), my girlfriend at the time (now my wifey) and I went up to the mountains. On our way up there, we ran into a storm...at that time, I should have known what may lie ahead, but I was more focused on not being at work.

This was taken on our way up.


While up there, we decided to drive around, and go up to one of the lakes. On our way, there road had some snow drifts that were still leftover from the winter that hadn't melted off yet. Most were pretty small or were not deep, so we pressed forward.



Bad move on my part, especially since I broke Rule #1 while up there, and was alone. Without a winch. Or a highlift. That resulted in being stuck...bad. Buried to the frame. Luckily, we ended up having someone come upon us, got unstuck (after about 6 hours), and made it back to camp.



During my attempts to get unstuck, I heard a bad noise up front. Turned out that this ended up being my spider gears in the front diff being stripped off. This is what was left after pulling the cover off (bad pic, sorry).

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Unread 01-29-2011, 04:29 PM   #4
KUK9
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So, as with many parts upgrades, mine started by weeding out weaker parts (even though it was my fault). Due to the TJ being a daily driver, and at that time not knowing what damage I did to it, I picked up another Jeep at work - a 95 Cherokee that I got for $1000. That turned to be my daily driver for a while as I researched what I was going to do.

After searching around & checking out options, I picked up some parts off a local board here. I ended up picking up a Lock-Right lunchbox locker to replace the spider gears, a Poison Spider diff cover, and Poison Spider tie rod, and at the same time, added windshield mount lights. I also did some other little things more for looks than anything - like yellow shock boots and other silly little things.



I drove like this for about another 6 months or so, until funds built back up again.




During that time, I decided that I didn't much care for chrome. I started to look into bumpers, and finally settled on a local company - Jeeperman. I really liked the setup & how it looked, so I picked up a new bumper.

Around the same time, another local company called Raingler was trying to find some new LJ's to use for fitting of their net systems on the newly introduced vehicle. I ended up meeting with the owners through a series of events, and worked out a deal. Since I worked at a Jeep dealer, in exchange for them being able to use a new LJ for some test fitting, I ended up getting a great deal on a net setup on my TJ. I personally love the look, and I really loved that nobody else around had them.




I started doing a lot more wheeling around this time, so I really started getting out more.


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Unread 01-29-2011, 04:44 PM   #5
KUK9
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Working at a dealership does have some great benefits at times. Not only was I able to stumble across 3 Jeeps in total (03 TJ, 00 TJ and a 95 XJ), parts ended up working out for me at times as well.

Being in the used car side of things (no, I was not in sales), I got to see everything that came in on trade before anyone else. Being a pivotal part as to what vehicles were kept to resell or wholesaled, I got to take a look at stuff before they were sold. This is how I stumbled into stepping up to 35's. Another TJ came in on trade, and the owner of the dealership had a policy of not selling lifted vehicles due to the liability of things. So it was decided to wholesale the vehicle. Well, I couldn't let perfectly good brand new 35's be sold out from under me, so I struck up a deal, and ended up swapping to 35's.



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Unread 01-29-2011, 05:36 PM   #6
DylanB
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Awesome Jeep. Must be a little chilly riding with the net top haha. I see that last picture with the 35s and snow on the ground lol.
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Unread 01-29-2011, 05:41 PM   #7
KUK9
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I left the Jeep like this for a little while, but soon others around me started building up and starting a bit of an arms war, so the bug bit me again.

A group of us decided to make a pilgrimage to the holy land - Moab. Before going, there was a couple months buffer time that we had to prepare. During this time, I made some more changes.

After my first mishap with being alone, I first bought a hi-lift. Not too long afterwards, another deal came up on a local board & I picked up a VERY lightly used Warn winch.



Not long after, there was another deal on a used skid plate. I believe it was a Skid Row plate, but I honestly don't remember the brand. But it doesn't matter - it made it's way on the Jeep and is doing some protection duty.



I had ran across someone here on JF that was selling a bunch of LED lights, so I bought them & had them sitting around for the better part of a year. Well, with the Moab build up going, I ran across yet another deal on the local board & picked up some used Poison Spider trail corners. The hardest part was drilling out a big 'ol hole in good undamaged sheet metal. However, a quick sand-down & a coat of paint & they were installed.


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Unread 01-29-2011, 05:45 PM   #8
KUK9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DylanB View Post
Awesome Jeep. Must be a little chilly riding with the net top haha. I see that last picture with the 35s and snow on the ground lol.
Actually, not bad! The great part of Colorado is that it was about 60 when I was out taking that picture. Had about 8" on the ground 2 days before that.
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Unread 01-29-2011, 05:52 PM   #9
austentatious
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Jeep looks great man. What does KUK stand for, if you dont mind me asking
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Unread 01-29-2011, 06:03 PM   #10
KUK9
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I can't remember the exact order of some things, but I know that before the Moab trip, I ended up having another mishap. On my way to work one day when getting on the highway, there was a loud POP! from the rear of the Jeep. I managed to limp it in to work (still at the dealership at this time) & brought it over to service. Long story short, it turned out that the rear pinion blew apart & munched up the gears.

Once again through sheer luck, there was a Super 35 axle that was on the local board. It was upgraded to the right gears (4.56), had a Detroit in the rear, upgraded shaft, and was trussed. Picked it up for about $500 & slung it under the Jeep. Unfortunately, no pictures of this step for some reason...

The next step before Moab was a 1.25" JKS body lift (to help clear the 35's), and a 1" Brown Dog motor mount lift.



The final part to put on before Moab was a new rear bumper. I knew that the factory tire carrier was pushing it's limits with the 33, so I had a new bumper built. It was made by a guy that advertised on Craigslist, but turned up that it was someone on my local board & was not too far from my place. I picked up a free 35" spare just in case I needed it in Moab as well. It's a good thing I didn't need it though, as the thing was pretty much a racing slick. However, it did the job for the time.

I also added in some cheap white driving lights & mounted them to the bumper to take the place of the non-exisitent reverse lights since I installed the LED's.




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Unread 01-29-2011, 06:49 PM   #11
Sgt.Fuzz
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Nice build ya got going.

Need to lose the chrome nerf bars and the confusing "sig" though.
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Unread 01-29-2011, 06:54 PM   #12
REDLYNER
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About time you got one of these going!


I have wheeled several trails out West with KUK, awesome guy and he wheels his jeep right!

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Unread 01-29-2011, 09:21 PM   #13
KUK9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ausTJ01 View Post
Jeep looks great man. What does KUK stand for, if you dont mind me asking
KUK (pronounced KOOK, btw) is the first three letters of my last name. Stupid story on how I came up with the name. I was playing NCAA Football a while back with some friends & we were creating our own players. I was typing in my last name, and "I" was the next letter for my last name...well, I hit up once too many, and it came out as KUK9. We all laughed about it because it just looked funny & the name just stuck after that.
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Unread 01-29-2011, 09:28 PM   #14
KUK9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaFuzz View Post
Nice build ya got going.

Need to lose the chrome nerf bars and the confusing "sig" though.
Yeah, the chrome nerf bars are gone...just haven't gotten to that part of the build yet.

As far as the sig, it's a mess right now because my membership ran out & I can't update it the right way because it says that it's too long. Should be done & fixed in the next week though...
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Unread 01-31-2011, 08:55 AM   #15
KUK9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REDLYNER View Post
About time you got one of these going!


I have wheeled several trails out West with KUK, awesome guy and he wheels his jeep right!

Yeah, I figured it was time finally. I'd been holding off a little bit so I could get a little further along with it than where I am, but I got too antsy finally.
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