I'm going to skip the history for now, since I doubt anyone cares to hear about a stock 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo 4.7L with a modest sound upgrade living a boring life for 200k miles? I've wanted to do some mods since day 1, but for 7 years, I had money and no time, and for the last 4 years, I've had time, but no money (that's what I get for getting married and losing my business).
The goal is to hit Moab in 2015. I was going to shoot for 2014, but the wallet seems to have other plans. In all reality, I'll probably be stuck on local forest service roads...
So, the wish/to-do list for now...
Complete brake rebuild w/Akebono calipers
Front bumper w/winch
Rear bumper w/tire carrier
Off-road lights (front and back)
Lots of interior work
I'm sure other items will sneak into this list as things get going. My first mod, was to put some ricer-style headlights on... more on that later...
Ok, here's where it gets interesting... almost every build thread I've seen on here start with the lift followed by endless mods to accommodate that lift. I'm going to go in the other direction, I'm going to do (almost) everything else, then lift. Mostly, this is because I do not have the money to do the lift, tires, and rear bumper tire carrier at the same time, which I would need to do, as this is a DD and will stay that way for the foreseeable future.
Here's the build sheet, moved from post #3
*E7 Cloth Low-Back Bucket Seats
-DV Dark Slate Gray
ADLP Skid Plate Group
AFFP Luxury Group
AHX Trailer Tow Group IV
APAS Monotone Paint
AWE Up Country Suspension Group
A82P 4.7L Eng (EVA)/5Spd A/T 5-45Rfe(DGQ)
BAZS 136 Amp Alternator
BC6S 625 Amp Maintenance Free Battery
BRYS Anti-Lock 4-Wheel Disc Brakes
CACS Low Back Bucket Seats
CBWS Highline Door Trim Panel
CFNS Rear 60/40 Folding Seat
CGUS Child Seat Anchor System-LATCH Ready
CG1S Next Gen Multistage Front Air Bags**
CKDS Floor Carpet
CKNS Cargo Compartment Carpet
CKTS Cargo Tie Down Loops
CLES Front & Rear Floor Mats
CLHS Cargo Trim Panel w/Storage Net
CLPS Driver Foot Rest
CSCS Cargo Compartment Cover
CSRS Passenger Assist Handles
CUDP Mini Overhead Console
CUFS Full Length Floor Console
DGES All 5-Speed Automatic Transmissions
DGQ 5-Spd Automatic 545RFE Transmission
DHAS Lock-Up Torque Converter
DHF Quadra-Trac II On Demand 4WD System
DJJS Dana 30/186MM Front Axle
DMEP 3.73 Rear Axle Ratio
DRKP Dana 44/226MM Rear Axle
EVA 4.7L V8 Power Tech Engine
GBBS Tinted Windshield Glass
GCBS Front Door Tinted Glass
GEGS Deep Tint Sunscreen Glass
GEPS Flipper Liftgate Glass
GFAS Rear Window Defroster
GNCP Sun Visors w/Illum Vanity Mirrors
GNKP Rear View Auto Dim Mirror
GTM Power Memory Mirrors, Fold-Away
GXMP Remote Keyless Entry
GXXS Sentry Key Theft Deterrent System
HAAS Air Conditioning
HGAS Hood Insulation
HGDS Deluxe Insulation Group
I25S Route 25 - NS, Winston-Salem, NC
JAYS Instrument Cluster w/Tach
JCBS 120 MPH Primary Speedometer
JHAS Var Intermittent Windshield Wipers
JHBS Rear Window Wiper/Washer
JJBS Dual Note Electric Horns
JKAS Glove Box
JKPS 12V Auxiliary Power Outlet
JKYS Power Accessory Delay
JPBS Power Locks
JPDS Power Windows, Driver One-Touch
JPTP Power 6-Way Seats
K4KS MED. DRIFTWOOD MET. - CLADDING - LOW
K5KS MED. DRIFTWOOD MET. - CLADDING - LOW
LACS Illuminated Entry
LAGS Warning Chime
LAZP Vehicle Information Center
LBBS Courtesy Lamps
LBCS Glove Box Lamp
LBDS Ash Tray Lamp
LCES Rear Courtesy/Reading Lamps
LDBS Cargo Compartment Lamp
LETP Traveler/Mini Trip Computer
LMBS Halogen Headlamps
LMGP Automatic Headlamps
LPSS CHMSL Lamp
LSAP Security Alarm
MDAP Front License Plate Bracket
MFZS Bright Grille
MHAS Black Windshield Moldings
MVBS Grand Cherokee Badge
MVCS Jeep Badge
MVEP V-8 Badge
MWGS Side Roof Rails
MWTS 4X4 Badge
NAS 50 State Emissions
NBVP Low Emission Vehicle (LEV)
NFPS 20.5 Gallon Fuel Tank
NHFP Power Steering Cooler
NHMS Speed Control
NMHP Hydraulic Engine Cooling
PRV Dk. Garnet Red Pearl Coat
QRVS Dk. Garnet Red Pearl Coat
RAAC All Radio Equipped Vehicles
RBKS AM/FM Compact Disc Radio w/Chgr Ctrl
RCEP Infinity Speakers
RDDS Fixed Long Mast Antenna
RDZP Steering Wheel Mounted Audio Ctrls
SBAS Power Steering
SCLP Leather Wrapped Steering Wheel
SDUP Heavy Duty Suspension w/Gas Shocks
SUAS Tilt Steering Column
TBLS Inside Mounted Spare Tire
TBWS Full Size Spare Tire w/Matching Whl
TTBP P245/70R16 OWL All Terrain Tires
TZAP Goodyear Brand Tires
WDRS 16X7.0 Lux Alum Silver Wheels
WLZC All Aluminum Wheels
XEAP Tow Hooks
XEEP Fuel Tank Skid Plate Shield
XEFP Transfer Case Skid Plate Shield
XEUP Front Suspension Skid Plate
XFHP Class IV Receiver Hitch
XFKP 7 Pin Wiring Harness
XFLP 7 to 4 Pin Wiring Adaptor
XGDP Universal Garage Door Opener
XPFS Protective Coating and Remover
YAAS Build To U.S. Mkt. Specifications
Thought I would add some maintenance and repair history, mostly for my own reference.
2007/8 - 80-90k: PS pump at the shop, transmission by Aamco.
1/2012 - 150k? radiator. Ignored a high pressure leak for too long and tried running straight water in the winter. Bad idea!
10/2014 - 220k? heater core, evaporator, heater hoses. Suffered the heater core leaking for over a year before finally dealing with it.
6/2015 - 234k: radiator, AC (high pressure hose, receiver/dryer, o-rings).
8/2015 - 236k: Timing cover gasket, water pump, PS pump, coolant flush, AC condenser
9/2015 - 236k: Drag Link, Tie Rod, Steering Stabilizer, Alignment
Last edited by 4xTroy; 09-15-2015 at 06:14 PM..
Reason: M&R Updates
As everyone knows, modding a vehicle requires space to work and tools to work with. I have no space, except two parking spots in front of our rental townhouse. Not the most pleasant of work environments, but I do get my fair share of curious neighbors when I'm working on the car. They ask all kinds of interesting questions, like "you working on the car today?" To which, my typical response is "Sure am, are you walking your dog today?"
So, we're looking for a new home, and the first item on the must-have list, is a garage. Failing a garage, I'd be happy if we could just find a place where the nearest neighbor is at least a quarter mile away.
Aside from replacing the radiator at about 150k, the only thing I've really done to this point, was to install HID headlights. Here's a couple pics from that job. This also shows the area I have to work in right now. Parking lot is not fun!
So, before I can build, I guess it would be best to maintain, which means buying tools and getting dirty with the old girl. I already have quite a few general purpose tools and quite a few trade specific tools (just not the mechanical trades). So I picked up a 2.5T jack, which is admittedly small, but it gets the girl up on a pair of 3T stands, and it's perfect for hauling from the basement to the parking lot.
So, I was going to do a flush on the brake fluid, but ran into a minor issue right out the gate. The bleed screws on both sides are rounded (I slipped twice on one side and once on the other). I stopped before making any issues worse.
While under there, I see that my axle seal isn't getting any better either. I guess I now need to figure out what specific tools and and parts I'll need to replace the axle seal(s).
Since I ended up not doing any real work, I decided to spend the rest of the afternoon giving the old girl a bath. Looking pretty good for 205k miles I think!
Ultimately, I want to replace the hoses, calipers, pads, and rotors, but not until the axle seal has been tended to.
I'm thinking I need to start collecting parts and tools so I can do it all on a given weekend.
A plasma cutter although very handy at times is by no means a necessary tool. Before I had mine I still built plenty of stuff. A lot of times a grinder with a cutting disc will do the same job with a cleaner end result!
Good luck with your build and expanding your tool collection!
04 Ram 2500 5.9L 24v HO Cummins
I've not played with metal for over 20 years now, but want to get back into it. The cutter is way down on the list though... unless I find a great deal along the way. In fact, most of the toys er.. tools I want are secondary and will wait until I get into a home with a garage. Not sure what would come first at that point... a vehicle lift or the cutter.
In the meantime, I did managed to get my rear axle seal replaced. I started the job on a Saturday. Was hoping to get away without a press, but no such luck. By the time I got everything apart and ready to put back together, all the local shops had closed. Had to wait until Monday to get the bearing pressed into place.
Wow, been a long time... still thinking about the build, but still short on cash. I've been in contact with Kolak and we have a preliminary plan for a 3" OME, but I'm STILL not decided. I'm really torn because I would like to eventually run 33's on this thing. If I go with a 3" lift, I'll be limited to 32's I think. Maybe that's good enough until I can get some real axles and go all the way with 'em.
Anyways, over the last year and a half, the leak in the heater core finally got too annoying to ignore. Time was limited, so I paid the shop to replace it. NEVER AGAIN! While they were tearing things apart, I asked them to install some new heater hoses. There probably wasn't anything wrong with the old ones, but so much rubber under the hood was starting to get very brittle. Better safe than sorry.
Unfortunately, they put the hoses in backwards. Sure, I had heat, but the thing was constantly gurgling. I'm thinking that the system can't purge the air when the coolant is flowing backwards through the heater core. There's a more detailed thread about it, but here's how the stealership put the hoses in:
Nice! It was annoying, and I knew I couldn't leave it like that, but it was winter, and I really didn't want to mess with it.
I also had them replace the evaporator while they were in there. Common sense would suggest that they also replace the O-rings, but they didn't do that. I also found out later that it's a really good idea to replace the receiver/dryer assembly, but they didn't even think about suggesting such a thing. They also didn't notice that the high pressure hose from the compressor started developing cracks. So much for being experts.
The AC wouldn't hold it's charge. It blew cold when I picked it up, but by the time we actually needed to use it 5 months later, it only blew cold for a day. Took it back, they couldn't find anything wrong with it, but added 9oz of refrigerant (wow, nothing wrong?). It blew cold for about a week, then nothing.
While I was trying to figure out my next step, the radiator intake blew apart. fortunately, it happened just as/before the wife got to where she was going, so the engine never overheated. Thank G for that!
This was on a Sunday. I knew this was a decent size job to begin with, so I decided to get a little more done while I had it apart. I don't remember what all I had to order or from where, but it took a week to get all the parts together.
I also did some teardown in the evenings, but couldn't really do much until the weekend. I did manage to break the CCV vacuum line while removing it from the resonator. Ordered it on Thursday, picked it up on Friday, but they ordered a PCV line instead. No biggie, that probably needs to be replaced too. I'll deal with the CCV lines later and rig the old one until then.
Oh, earlier that week, my wife won a $500 gift card from Home Depot. I spent some of it on this, which couldn't have come at a better time. I was dreading having to work around the skid plate or having to remove it by hand. With this, it only took a minute.
Also picked up 2 new batteries, a set of sockets, and a set of extensions.
I'd rather have a pneumatic wrench, but without a garage, there's no room for a compressor yet. The 18v cordless is better than nothing and will definitely be along for any serious wheeling trips.
When the weekend finally rolled around, I got a bit further into it.
Unfortunately, I did this.
I don't know if I could have avoided that or not. I probably could have gotten those nipples out and reused the lines, but I opted instead to get new ones rather than trust them. Of course, that's a dealer-only part, so I had to wait until Monday to order them. I ordered the new CCV line at the same time.
I picked up the new lines on Tuesday, but couldn't do much until Friday, when I was working from home and managed to find enough time to get everything put back together. Unfortunately, not in time to get my AC recharged before the shops closed.
First thing Saturday, I took it over to the shop to get the AC charged up, but while the tech was pulling a vacuum, he pointed out that the high pressure hose had a ton of micro cracks, and that while it was holding a vacuum, it was probably a good idea to go ahead and replace it before charging the system. At $100 (r134 and labor), I couldn't help but agree. So I ordered the line from Advanced, but it wouldn't be until late that day before it came in. So much for a weekend on the road with AC.
Finally got the AC charged up on Memorial day, and 12 days later, it's still going strong.
I was thinking about doing the water pump too, but it seems that people recommend OEM which is prohibitively expensive for now. I skipped that. I also considered doing the valve cover gaskets and while I ordered them, I skipped it because they're absolutely clean except for a bit of buildup near the CCV port on the driver's side. I'm pretty comfortable in the thought that they are not leaking.
It was also suggested to do the idler and tension pulleys, but for whatever reason, I didn't do those either.
So, I found a new center console at the junkyard earlier this week. Great find... apparently someone was after an airbag control module or something else under there, and actually took the time to gently remove the thing. Not only that, it was on the very first WJ I found.
Here's the old one. It first cracked about 6 or 7 years ago (no, I don't remember how, but it was shortly after I met my wife .
Here's the new one. I guess I wasn't paying attention when I was installing it. Bleh...
After that, I took it down the street to tear up some gravel in 4lo (just for the fun of it). On the way back, I heard a horrible clunk. I guess I know what my next project is and how soon it's going to get done.
I didn't get it on video, but the inner joint (at the pitman arm) does the same thing. The lower TREs seem to be OK, but while I'm renting a press, I think I'll do all 4 and probably the ball joints too.
Did the Tie Rod, Drag Link and Steering Stablizer this past weekend. Got the alignment this morning, and I got it pretty close, shop guy said it was about a degree off.
I was going to do the brakes, but backed off that plan because I found that I need new axles as well. Don't want to tear it all up more than once. Back in a week or two with the axle and brake job. Might even take some pictures this time.
Well, finally had a Sunday with no rain and got to do my axle shafts, hubs, and brakes. No pics as my hands were nasty greasy and didn't finish until I was just about out of light.
Originally Posted by 4xTroy
No new cotter pin, but they only had light surface rust, they were still nice and strong.
I got a new tool set out of it! El Cheapo Tap & Die from Advance. Not too bad since I had a $20 coupon.
F'n threads on those Hub/Knuckle bolts were ROUGH, but cleaned right up with a little work on the wire wheel and a quick on-off with a die.
Hubs were a PITA to get off until I found a Youtube video showing how to use the power steering as a hydraulic press. They popped right off.
Axles were perfectly clean. Rusted, but clean. I lubed the new splines with some gear oil before putting them in. Hopefully I didn't screw up the seals.
Bleeding new calipers is a VERY tedious process, especially without someone to pump the brakes. Started with a full reservoir, added nearly 28oz of fluid, have about 22 oz to dump. Guess that's about 3oz per caliper? Sound right?
New brakes feel GREAT. Akebono calipers, rotors and mid-grade pads from Advance. Bought it all a month ago, so don't remember specifics. When/if these wear out or I decide to tear the front axle completely out, it'll be Stillens or some other high performance calipers.