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alecmcmahon 07-12-2009 07:46 PM

-alec.mcmahon tj build thread-
Alright, This is a long time in the making, wishing i started my build thread last year when i got my jeep, but just want to throw everything in a thread ( very bored right now )

Jeep Wrangler TJ - 1999 - 4 cylinder 2.5L Engine - AX5 Tranny

Jeep came with some basic Cooper 31's and black steelies.

This is the day i brought her home, I paid $1800 dollars for her, pretty much all stock, had some damage to the pass side tub where the rocker is, and about 152k(?) on the clock.


Damage to tub on pass. side rocker( with a really crappy bondo job that split open)
Radio/speakers didnt work
Leak in Muffler


One of the very first things I opted to do was install the Rough Country 2.5" TJ lift, it had just came out, and with the price I decided to go with it. Also installed a JKS body lift at this time.

Having little to no experience with anything, it's always sort of been " Learn as you go " did the lift by myself in the driveway in a few hours.

Mid - Lift:

After Lift: ( DAMN, look at them small tires[31s] )

After the body lift, like most - i had shifting problems with the rubber shift boot, after some research i went and did the leather shift boot mod, very easy, shifts good and looks great.

Next up was some ARMOR, after doing some wheeling and seeing what sort of destruction the rocks and trails can do I ordered and installed a Riddler Diff Cover for my D30,Rokmen Steering box cover, and a Big Daddy Tie Rod.

Freshly painted Riddler cover:

Tie rod comparison, big daddy to stock:

Front end armor:

alecmcmahon 07-12-2009 07:47 PM

Around this time came some used 32x10.50x15 BFG Mud Terrains, about 30-40% tread on all 5, but picked them up pretty cheap from a JF member, also picked up an aftermarket no name bumper off craigslist pretty cheap, came with a pair of hella lights.

after some more time on the trail, we quickly discovered the importance of communication and i ordered a new CB setup

SWR Tuning:

Then came time to repair that damage on the side of my pass side rocker, the bondo cracked and looked so bad,i decided some A to Z Fab rockers would do the trick, but first the area needed to be addressed.

I took off all the bondo with a wirewheel , discovered the damage was worse then expected, i did my best to hammer it out and primed and painted it.

after the rocker was on you cant even tell there was any damage


after all bondo was off, you can see how much it's dented in, using a straight edge as reference.

banged out the best i could

primed and painted with rustoleum glass black spray paint

then the rockers came in ( atoz) . They are very beefy and look great.

after they were painted and installed you can hardly tell any damage to the pass side rocker

alecmcmahon 07-12-2009 07:47 PM

( ... more wheeling... more wheeling )



i went with an aussie lunch box locker for my front d30

install was pretty straight forward and easy ( thanks to nick ( 97whitebeast ) for helping with the install. it was the first time either of us messed with the diff or axle and it went pretty smooth.

(.... time goes on )

Bought me a Smittybuilt tire carrier, decent bumper, has it's issues, but works just fine for me, ( MAKE SURE YOU REPLACE ALL HARDWARE WITH grade 8 bolts )

Also installed some cheapy autozone lights wired up to come on with my reverse lights

Also picked up a *defective* set of ORO Litedots from a JF member, a few leds were out, but they still worked fine and looked great.

Then came my biggest, most important purchase for the jeep! NEW AXLES!

picked up a used pair of axles, a Ford 8.8 w/detroit & D30 w/lock-ritethat were beefed up
Dana 30:
Alloy Shafts with Superior U-Joints
Ball joints
4.56 gears installed
Ruff Stuff Specialties diff cover

Tube seals for the semi-float shafts
Alloy shafts
Spider Trax wheel spacers
4.56 Gears
Detroit Locker
Ruff Stuff Specialties Diff Cover
ZJ E-Brake cables to tie into factory E-Brake "T"

picked them up, painted them up and drove down to my uncles garage who has a lift and he helped me with the install, many hours later, busted fingers, and rusty bolts we were done!
Paint, used Hammered Black paint:

alecmcmahon 07-12-2009 07:48 PM

Bought a used Poison Spyder Trail Stinger off a JF Member and sold my old one.

Bought 5 Brand new Interco Super Swamper TSL Radials - 33x12.50x15

very agressive looking tire, i didnt realize they run small and actually measure about 32x9.50... No matter though cause they do very well on the trail!

Balanced and Installed

they did take ALOT of weights to balance, as expected. I do plan on throwing in some plastic BB's one of these days.

went wheeling, got stuck in a big mud pit, fried my alternater. replaced with one from autozone.

Another time wheeling i mangled up my exhaust pretty bad @ Rausch Creek ( yellow jacket i think )

Hacked it off and just put a turn down after the muffler.

alecmcmahon 07-12-2009 07:48 PM

After being stuck between a rock, a hard place and a cliff for a good two hours, I decided i really need a winch, and found this used Warn x8000i @ a decent price. Installed it with a RC winch plate.

It's a little weathered but functions fine.

Skid Row Engine /Tranny Skid, as you can tell it's serving it's purpuse

Ordered the full SPIDERWEB shade top, utilized the bikini section and wind jammer, does an amazing job of blocking out alot of the suns rays. Highly recommend!

I picked up a used Rubicon Express 3.5 Superflex lift and monotube shocks for bassically nothing, i spent a few weeks (took my time ) rebuilding the joints, painting, cleaning, ect. all the parts.

the Old joints needed to be replaced bad and i had the HARDEST time breaking them off, even with rubicon expresses tool for this, they wouldnt come off, i actually broke my vice trying to turn the rusted peice off!!

Tryed soaking them in a mix of oil, pb blaster, acetone and atf for a week, to no avail, just wound up cutting them off.

painted all the parts and installed.
( NEW REPLACMENT VICE ! ::brickwall )

( cant find pics of installing RE 3.5 KIT )


and oh yeh, you might notice the bikini, wind jammer, deck cover i picked up. Bought it second hand, but its bassically brand new. Got no drill header, bikini, wind jammer and deck cover for 140 bucks.

alecmcmahon 07-12-2009 07:49 PM

Trimmed my rear fender flares, used a razor blade after taping off, took 2 or 3 passes with the knife.



Now most recently I ordered a full replacment roll cage from KOZ offroad, james hooked me up big time and sold me a fully welded and assembled cage @ no extra cost for labor ( THANKS AGAIN ! )

The cage is sick, beefy and seems like it'll do it's job ( hopefully wont have to )

I also took the oppertunty to UPOL Raptor line the tub while waiting for the cage to come in.

Like my new seats? ( had to drive her into the garage like this. )

Cage came in!

Painted Hammered Gray and installed ( Thanks matt , flexsaharatj , for helping with the install )

Tha tha tha thats all folks.

2006_Sport 07-12-2009 07:52 PM

i know you have heard this from me MORE than once.....but your jeep is sick. That cage makes it look soo bad *** lol

Tecks 07-12-2009 07:58 PM

Looks amazing, sure has come a long way. props.

flexsaharatj 07-12-2009 08:20 PM

dude I haven't seen stock pictures and your jeeps come a long way! great progress, glad to be of help along the way

Kenbo-Slice 07-12-2009 08:25 PM

Looks good man!

flexsaharatj 07-12-2009 08:35 PM

OH AND BTW there's my spare in silver :rofl::laugh::2thumbsup:

yellowismellow 07-14-2009 09:39 PM

nice job alec.
got some ideas on some end of summer mods coming. wanna help out?

BriansCJ 07-14-2009 09:52 PM

Nice posting all of your progress. I like the cage a lot.

I also never noticed that the passenger side was all bent up like that.


alecmcmahon 07-14-2009 09:57 PM


Originally Posted by 97whitebeast (Post 7582099)
nice job alec.
got some ideas on some end of summer mods coming. wanna help out?

im laid off now duder, bring on the summer mods! should i bring my sand paper and scrubbies for the raptor prep? :rofl:


Originally Posted by BCAT94 (Post 7582169)
Nice posting all of your progress. I like the cage a lot.

I also never noticed that the passenger side was all bent up like that.


thanks man, the side is all fixed up ( almost ) good as new, and with them atoz rockers on there i dont have to worry about any more damage

ever get them lockers on the rubi worked out?

me and nick are going back to rasuch creek on sat. the 18th and aug 1 if your interested one of them days

INCA 07-14-2009 11:00 PM

Very nice Jeep man im going with the exact lift. nice cage to. keep it up:thumbsup:

The time now is 10:18 AM.

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