Several people have asked me if I have a build thread so I figured it's about time to start one. Better late than never I guess. I bought my tj in 2010 with 42k miles on it. At the time it had 33-12.50-15 bfg km2 tires and some ugly 17" wheels. It had a hard top which I later sold, like an idiot, because I needed money for other parts. When I got it there was already a 4" superlift lift kit on it. I was told by the salesman that the lift was new and they had it put on. That was not the case. It was old and rusted and rode like crap. The tires where load range E and let me feel every little bump in the road. But all in all it was my first jeep and I had a LOT to learn. Here is a pic the day I brought it home.
My jeep had 3:73 gears in it. So that meant anytime I got on the highway I got used to turning off the overdrive. I did a couple money wasting nube "upgrades" like add a big "Yamaha" decal to my back glass and bolt those cheap d rings on my front bumper. Then I took it wheeling at redbird off-road park near dugger Indiana. This was my first time wheeling a jeep as I had always had pickups and thought mudding down a wet dirt road was "wheeling". Redbird really ooened y eyes and inwas very impressed with the jeep. It went everywhere I pointed and could have done more but I had no winch and zero experience. Pic of first trip.
A little later I took the jeep to the badlands. It was the first time I had ever been there and I could not believe the difficulty of the trails. I drove two hours to get there by myself and ended up meeting a small group in the quarry who let me join them for the day. Jeff from Indy ORV was one of them and he was a great guy and very knowledgeable. We all had a great time and I got my jeep covered with mud inside and out. Couple pics from that day.
Finally I did some real mods. I got a cheap front bumper, smittybuilt I think. And I got a set of wheels and tires better suited for the jeep. 33-12.50-15 bfg km2 on pro comp rock crawler steel wheels. Also added a light bar because inwas still a newb and thought I needed it to be cool or something.... But I drove it that way for a while. It was my daily driver and I loved it. Then I sold the light bar for gas money for my next trip. Pic of upgrades and wheeling trip to Black Mountain off-road park in Harlan, Kentucky with my dad and his cj7. Right before the trip I sold the Smitty front bumper and bought a metalcloak base steel bumper and a superwinch lp8500. I thought I was tough!
So again I drove it that way for awhile. Then on a day trip to the badlands I learned my jeep is not a submarine... Got stuck in a deep mud hole and had water over the front fenders. I remember the water being up to my knees inside. And of course my enngine died and sucked water in. We winched it out and pulled the air filter out. Then we cranked it over while a TON of mud and water poured and bkew out the tail pipe. We got it running no problem but I had to drive 2 hours home with no air filter. Lesson learned. I thought the whole mess was behind me, but a couple weeks later my auto trans crapped out on me. So over thanksgiving I spent any time I had ripping out the water fillled tranny and swapping in a low miles used tranny. What a pita that was. Pic of jeep in corner of shop while I worked on the tranny replacement.
After the tranny job I drained and serviced everything I could think of. Then I drove the jeep for a year or so like that. Wheeling at the badlands any chance I got. Did a few upgrades over that time. I replaced the cheap Olympic rocker guards with smittybuilt units, added bushwacker flat fender flares, a bestop rear rack setup, sye with Tom woods rear shaft, and 35" Goodyear mtr Kevlar tires!
Then while regearing the front lp Dana 30 I installed and Aussie locker. I also installed a rokmen engine/trans skid and Currie steering and a viaar onboad air system with tank. Also put in a Currie rear track bar. I forgot to mention I already installed a jks front track bar a while back to fix a death wobble issue from moving up to the 35's.
Up to this point I had done a few suspension mods as well but don't have pics. Did bilstein 5100 shocks on all 4/corners, braided brake hoses, rough country x flex lower arms and I am still running factory uppers with the old worn out superlift coils. But it really rides pretty good. Then I went on a jeep jamboree to SMORR. It was awesome! At this point I had gained a lot of experience on the trails already from going to the badlands so much. So it was a blast and the jeep did great! I bent up a front fender and ripped off a flare or two. And on the last night of the jamboree I won a buy two get two raceline gift certificate! SCORE!!! Still have not used it tho...
Then the next year when I got my taxes I decided it was time for some armor. So I went with genright full corner guards with 4" flare and there 4" front tube fenders. Went with steel. Also got a poison spyder hood louver panel. I forgot to mention that right before the jamboree I bought new wheels also. I did a Cj tailgate at this time also.
And that brings me to where my build is currently. And I do have all the small stuff like lights, diff covers, grab handles, etc. And recently replaced my winch cable with Warn spydura rope and love it. I bought a 2001 Ford f250 Powerstroke 4x4 to be my daily driver so the jeep is now just a toy.
Good stuff man! I like it. I'm in the process of building mine up too
Thanks. I have left out a lot of stuff but just wanted to bring everyone up to date really and start my build from here. My tj doesn't get as much attention as it used to though because I have two other jeeps. Most of my time goes to my 1953 willys cj3B and 1974 Cj6.