Well, it’s been a little over a year since I’ve had my Jeep, hopefully I’ve done enough to warrant a build. First here's a little back story. The Jeep was bought in 2001 by my dad used, he got it cheap because the first owner had flopped it on it's side and didn’t want to drive it anymore. It had paint defects, but turned out to be a great investment. So over the course of 6 years my dad built it up, 2” suspension lift, 1” body lift, 33” mud tires and some custom bumpers and rock sliders.
In 2007 my dad started an exotic car rental business here in Colorado, bought a big F-250 and a 20 some odd foot enclosed car trailer. The truck took the place of the Jeep, so it spent the next 2 years mostly parked. When I got my permit I learned on my dad’s Infiniti, and as time went on I began to learn to drive the Jeep (which is a stick). Then when I turned 16 the keys were handed over. This is how it looked:
Here's how it looked last year:
The first major thing I did was paint it, hence the build title, Capitol Blue. That's the color I chose to paint it.
Then somewhere along the way I got a new top, and here's what it looks like "painted" and new top.
Still haven't completely finished the paint. The plan is to finish it over springbreak. I'm going to sand it, fill in some unevenness on the passenger side, and tape the whole Jeep off and give it at least 3 more coats, since you can see some thin spots. I would really like to get a new hood and tailgate, I might visit some junkyards for that.
Over winter brake I also got a new clutch installed!
Those are the big highlights. Right know I'm trying to track down a squeak in the brakes, there's some kind of rotational squeak coming from (I think) the front passenger side.
In May I start working again and I have big plans:
-New rear crossmember/bumper
-Ditch the back seat and put the spare in the tub
-Tires, going with 33x12.5 R15 Goodyear Duratracs
-Flush mount LEDs
I kinda have an idea on how much money I will be making, I've been looking on craigslist and would LOVE to find a D44 and ditch the D35. I'm also looking at Metalcloak fenders.
Some future stuff I've been thinking about:
-JB conversions SYE
My goal is to keep it low, it's sitting on 2" suspension lift and 1"BL. I would like to keep it that way and get the Metalcloaks and if I ever get a D44 jump up to 35s.
I also just found out from my grandpa that he scored an almost new, 6 speaker Kenwood system. Apparently he was doing some work for a lady who owns a Jaguar, who just had a new system installed, then the engine blew and she just gave him the system! I'm looking at a new deck, amp and speakers. I don't know what is going to fit or what I can use, but I'm pretty excited because my stereo system is in sad state. I had to remove a speaker form the roll bar because it was buzzing and the drivers side font speaker is buzzing as well.
Couple weeks ago my grandpa ran into a free audio system, all he had to do was pull it out. So he pulled everything out and shipped it to me as a belated birthday present. After a shipping delays I finally got it yesterday and began installing it today. Here's what I got:
-Kenwood KAC-829 600 Watt 2-Channel Amp
-Kenwood KAC-6495 320 Watt Amp
-2 Audiobahn 300 Watt AW1051Q Subs
-4 Kenwood Tweeters and only 1 crossover, other three are missing.
-2 4" Kenwood KFC-P403 170W Peak
-2 6.5" Kenwood KFC-P603 170W Peak
So far I've spent a bout 70 bucks in all the wiring stuff and I've bought; 20 feet 6AWG wire from Home Depot for 10 bucks, spade connectors, Kicker fuse holder 40$, and two RCA cables. So far I've got the head unit installed and wired up, the amp power cable has been run along with the head unit to amp power cable. The RCA cables have also been run along the opposite side of the Jeep.
Head unit getting wired up
Pardon the nasty CAI, I keep meaning to put the factory air box on but keep forgetting... Didn't realize just how gross that thing was until seeing that picture. I think I'll be going to the auto parts store tomorrow and deal with that.
I'm a little embarrassed to say this, but thought it was pretty humorous. When I was wiring the power up to the batter I made the bone head mistake of forgetting to take the battery cable with amp power cable attached off of the battery and when I went to cut it at the fuse, sparks flew. Luckily it's only 12v and the cutter handles were plastic, but couldn't help but laugh.
Tomorrow the speakers get wired, and I'm going to make an adapter out of thin ply wood for the 4" speakers in the dash. I'm also going to wire the tweeters to the head unit with the factory wire and use the head units build in high pass filter.
Well, turns out the amp doesn't work. I got the 4" speaker adapters made, they were extremely simple to make. Basically I just traced the factory bracket on a thin piece of plywood then cut a 4" hole in it and mounted the tweeters underneath. For know the two 4" speakers are wired to the head unit and that's how it will stay until I can get a new amp. I also decided to pull all the padding off the sound bar, which is a complete mess and I have to now figure out how to get the glue off.
The new plan is to sell the other amp and subwoofer then use that money to buy a new amp. Then the 4 main speakers will be powered by the amp and the tweeters powered by the head unit. This weekend I'm going to remove the sound bar and work on cleaning it up, I take some pictures then. I'm also going to pull out the seat brackets and seat belts to most likely sell the seat.
Have a long three day weekend, so I was going to work on the fender, but tomorrow is suppose to be nasty, so I opted to work on the sound bar instead. Once I get all the glue off I'm going to paint it the same color as the Jeep. Oh, and I removed the rear seat belts and all the brackets for the rear seat.
So I removed the sound bar, using a small flathead screw driver and exacto knife I was able to remove all the foam and padding. The glue however is turning out to be a real problem. This stuff is STICKY and there is a lot of it. I tried scraping, I've tried acetone and goof off and they both work for the patches of glue, but not the big globby beads. SOOOOOO I got out the small propane torch, and tried melting it off. This worked really well, the glue melted and I could wipe it off with a rag. That is until I caught the rag on fire. That stuff is FLAMMABLE I tell you. A bucket of water and a black crispy rag later an end was put to that.
That's where I stop for the day, I'll pick back up tomorrow.
Couple hours later:
This is the spot I was melting the glue, you can see it came off really well.
I've decided I'm not happy with the flip down tailgate or hood. Pricing it out online it would be over 600 bucks for a new hood, tailgate, and hinges. Just can't do it. So I've been poking around on Craigslist and I found a guy selling a red tailgate from an '02 for 75 bucks with hinges. I just emailed him about condition, but from the blurry pics it looks pretty good. If anything it the hinges are worth it. Also getting stuff already painted will be a lot easier since I won't have to prime bare metal.
Hopefully I get an email back tomorrow and if he says it's good condition I am going to pick it up. I figure a quick shot of primer, since the red is a strong color and will bleed through, then color and I'm golden. I'm so excited now. I was going to go to Advance Auto tomorrow and pick up some new calipers and rotor to see if I could fix my squeak, but I'd much rather spend 75 bucks on a new tailgate.
OOOOhhhh I'm so excited I don't think I can sleep now.
Found it on Craigslist and payed 65 bucks for it. Of course while trying to remove the torx bolts I striped two of them. I was able to drill one out then spin the hinge to get the other out. Cleaned it up, went to home depot to get stuff to replace all the torx bolts.
Did inventory, everything but the finishing putty is still good. Don't have as much epoxy as I thought so I'm going to do the tailgate and fender at the same time so I can mix it all at once, and not try and mix two smaller batches of epoxy. So I sanded off the rust from the fender, once it warms up a bit I'll start spraying. Pictures tonight.
Got to the primer surfacer today. Tomorrow will be sand then color and DONE.
Tailgate came out awesome:
Fender came out okay. The body filler had hardened a tad, and I didn't put enough activator in the first time so it was a little tough. There are some holes, most of it will be covered by the flair, but some stuff will still show. Oh well, I wasn't going to spend 30 bucks on more finishing putty.
Well, it didn't warm up quite fast enough today to spray color, since color takes many many hours to dry. This afternoon, however, it was REALLY nice, like 70* nice, so I cleaned up the garage, put the Jeep back together, and finished the sound bar.
******* me realized I caught the rag on fire last time because I had been using it with acetone, and acetone is flammable. So this time I went out on the drive way and between the torch and acetone I got all the glue off, however I made sure to use two different rags.
Came out nice, tweeters stick out a lot, but oh well.
The Rampage top is a bikini top as well so I plan on keeping the bikini on the pretty much all summer so the top can't even be seen.
I also have some updates.
Once again another beautiful weekend day. Washed it, completely took the top off and scrubbed it down with cleaner, windows are staying off, took the doors off and realigned them, replaced the replacement hinge bolts as they had already rusted, replaced the rotors, destroyed a wheel chock, and I sold the rear seat and everything else for it for 175 bucks.
Now what should I buy. I was thinking about new seat covers, but the since they have always been covered the factory seats are in great shape, so I'll wait 'till next summer for that.
Here's what I want to do in within that price range:
-LED tail lights ~50 bucks Going to do something different and go with superbrightleds.com square tail lights instead of the round ones everyone does.
Obviously it will be red and not amber.
-Bedliner: U-Pol Raptor ~110$ I'm trying to decide if I want to get the tintable and color match the interior, or keep the blue/black contrast.
-Amp ~100$ I would rather wait until I sell the other amp and sub, but I'll put it on the list to consider.
-Radiator: I'd rather not do this with my "play money", but it does need to be done.
I'm sure there's other stuff I can't remember, or I might use it for the brakes If bleeding the brakes tomorrow doesn't fix the damn squeak. I've also got some misc stuff like a new mucket seal and aux input.
This upcoming week I have school, but the following week is spring break and I'll be sanding and painting the whole Jeep and will be getting a new windshield.