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dendrophobe 11-18-2009 06:12 PM

Charlottesville Jeep Build
 
Well, I think the time has finally come to begin work on my build thread. Builds are always one of my favorite things to read on the forum, and so many questions are answered that I usually end up reading instead of posting my own. So hopefully this will help me and everybody else wanting to do something similar.
I've gone back and forth about the direction I want to take this in. I just moved back up to Virginia from Florida, so I can actually find rocks now instead of just flatness going on forever.

So far the list is as follows:
<S>RE 2” BB</S> Removed
JKS 1.25” BL
JKS 1” BMML
<S>33x12.5x15 BFG AT T/A KO</S>Removed
15x8 ATX Chamber w/Teflon
Banks Monster Exhaust
RB1 Navigation unit w/iPod kit
<S>Rock Hard rear bumper/tire carrier</S>Removed
Cobra 75 WX ST w/4’ Wilson Silverload antenna
Diehard Platinum 34/78DT
Front Aussie locker
Metalcloak arched tube fenders/extended wheel well rear flares
Metalcloak rocker guards
JK front turn signals
SwayLOC

Waiting to be installed or on order:
3.5” RE springs Done
OME Nitrocharger shocks Done
JKS adjustable track bars Done
JKS rear shock relocators Done
Currie adjustable control arms Done
JB Conversions Super-Short SYE Done
Tom Woods CV Driveshaft Done
<S>Rokmen</S> Metalcloak steering box skid Done
Warn 9.5ti w/Viking Offroad synthetic line w/safety thimble Done
Viking Offroad 350 series Hawse fairlead

Future plans:
Barnett diff cover (front ) Done, Superior axle truss (rear)
Savvy bumpers Rear done
Savvy skids (waiting on TT…) GTS done
Currie steering Done
Vanco big brake kit
<S>EBC yellow stuff pads</S>Savvy Black Magic front, EBC Green rear, Centric rotors Done
35” Goodyear MT/Rs Done
15x8 Hutchinson Rock Monster Double Beadlocks
ARB lockers front and rear
<S>4.56</S> 4.88 gears Done
Superior/RCV shafts Rear done
SPod done
Color-matched Raptor-lined tub Done
<s>Rock Hard 4x4 bolt-in cage</s> Poly Performance weld-in cage
Lightforce driving lights done
ORO Litespotz (or other rock lights…)
Atlas II
Rear Antirock
Mastercraft Baja RS seats w/Rock Hard 4x4 bolt-in harness bar
Rampage fastback soft top
Moab 4x4 Outpost aluminum half doors
... And I'm sure there are more... :shhh:


I’ve actually gone back and forth about whether to keep my current D30 in the front, or whether I should swap in a D44 from Northridge. I’ve priced it, and it looks like after the upgrades and regear it will only be about $600 more to get the D44, locked and ready to go. I know the front 44 still has a lot of the same weaknesses as the D30, but some part of me wants the experience of an axle swap... If I ever go larger than 35’s (which unless this isn’t a DD anymore, I won’t) I’ll upgrade to D60’s anyway. :drool:

Here are a few pics of my Jeep as it was when I got it… I had been lurking on the forum for about 6 months before I actually made the purchase, so I made sure it had a D44 rear end and dual tops… Had 21111 miles on it... and it was love at first sight.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2670/...9ca98b8c_b.jpg
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2553/...fcb641c8_b.jpg

dendrophobe 11-18-2009 06:17 PM

I bought the Jeep knowing that I'd mod the heck out of it as I got the cash... Started out conservatively after I realized how much the lift would cost to do properly. I had my heart set on a Rubicon Express 3.5" Superflex, but with the SYE and CV shaft I priced it around $2600 from Red Rock 4x4 (RIP...)

So I went with the RE 2" BB, JKS 1.25" BL and MML. Picked up some 33" BFG AT TA/KO (Big mistake in retrospect... Should have gone mud terrains. Hopefully I'll fix that one soon!) Got a few other things like grab handles and whatnot, and it sat like this:

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2620/...dba95fa2_b.jpg

http://www.jeepforum.com/gallery/dat...3035144_0.jpeg

dendrophobe 11-18-2009 06:23 PM

And there it was, pretty much stuck for a while. Was dumb enough to go offroading by myself, and discovered exactly WHY the all-terrains were a bad idea. Very deep mud pit + AT tires = clogged and stuck. In the rain. And cold. Miles from nowhere. :rofl: That was a fun day! I had pics, but they died with my old cell...

The Jeep didn't really change much for a while after that. Then, on one otherwise inauspicious day, disaster struck...

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2654/...2edb2088_o.jpg
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2450/...bd34235c_o.jpg
And yes, my Jeep started out straight in the driveway... Note the drag marks on the ground!

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2613/...693380d9_o.jpg

This incident precipitated my move back to Virginia, and the resurrection of my build! It's great what insurance checks will do for you! :rtft:

dendrophobe 11-18-2009 06:32 PM

Took the insurance money and some other money I had saved, and pieced together a lift kit. Ordered 3.5" RE coils, JKS track bars, Currie control arms, OME shocks, and all the rest of the stuff to make it all work. Also ordered a Tom Woods driveshaft and JB Conversions Super-Short SYE, which haven't come yet... Evidently JBC had some issues getting materials. I'm told I'll get them by next week... I hope. :rolleyes: No fault of Tom Woods though, they've been up front about everything, and told me about the issues with the JBC kits before I ordered. Great guys over there!

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2688/...64223d43_o.jpg
My little parts pile...

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2697/...d9ba8373_o.jpg
During the Aussie locker install... only took a few before I got annoyed and concentrated on getting it right.
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2703/...a53ed768_o.jpg

I also ran across Matsonian's thread about Metalcloak, so decided to pick some up while they were having their sales. Couldn't install the lift until the SYE came, but finally I could do something! And nothing relaxes me like working on the Jeep. (although with all the cursing that happens while I'm under there, most people probably wouldn't know it! :laugh:)

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3060/...31e42cb7_o.jpg
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2640/...31974f04_o.jpg
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2645/...57954519_o.jpg
I wasn't comfortable with hacking up my tub at first, so it stayed this way for about a week until I got the courage.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2628/...f2a04533_o.jpg
Stock VS. Metalcloak

<s>Oh, my stock fenders are still around, if anybody needs them I can be pretty reasonable on a price.</s>

dendrophobe 11-18-2009 06:35 PM

Finally got the rockers all painted, and cut up my tub for the rear wheel well. Then got it all installed, and put JK turn signals in the grill. It came out even better than expected. I love it all!

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2579/...dd5f9ee3_o.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3523/...7baac935_o.jpg
All of the Metalcloak stuff fits together extremely well. At some point I'll go back and get their corner guards, but for now this will have to do. My only beef is that I can't use the rear flares with Savvy corner guards due to the mounting system and the way the corner guards and rockers hook together... Oh well.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2489/...fd600e86_o.jpg

dendrophobe 11-18-2009 06:42 PM

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2486/...df150015_o.jpg

Installed the SwayLOC... Had to clearance the stock bumper a bit because I have the arm set a bit high, but this angle seems to work just fine for now. It'll all change in a few weeks anyway once the new lift is on.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2628/...2bfef067_o.jpg


http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2708/...1c34c72f_o.jpg
My two favorite possessions, ready to go! :cheers:

And now I'll just continue waiting on parts... Winchline/fairlead, steering box skid (Rokmen), SYE/Driveshaft... They'll come eventually, I'm just impatient as hell.

SOLIDJP44 11-18-2009 06:47 PM

jeep looks even better after the accident, i love a khaki jeep, now i have a question can the rock slides by metalcloak be use without their front and rear flares, i dont have enough cash to do it all, but i like their rockers im just curious if it would look ok bc everythign they makes hooks together

dendrophobe 11-18-2009 06:50 PM

From talking to Matson, there are two options there... When I first ordered the rockers I didn't order the fenders, and he called to make sure I was going to at some point. Because of the way they hook into each other, there will be a gap between the rocker and the body on the end. If that doesn't bother you, then great. I think they also can make you one without the gap, if you don't plan on getting the fenders ever.

SOLIDJP44 11-18-2009 06:56 PM

yea i love the look of those sliders but im not changing my fenders just yet but that will be in the near future. i just dont want them to look like they dont belong

dendrophobe 11-18-2009 07:20 PM

I don't think you'll have a problem with that... From the side you won't be able to notice the gap... You will probably have to do some work with your stock fender flares though, they might stick out enough on the rear that you'll have to notch the flares. Go for it though, Metalcloak really hit a homer with these; they're a great product!

Imped 11-18-2009 07:26 PM

Man.....solid build. Real solid. Can't beat a smart build with good parts and a smart builder. :thumbsup:

PS--the Metalcloaks look excellent. You've got plenty of room for 35's as is.

dendrophobe 11-18-2009 07:30 PM

Thanks for the kind words! I've been following your build for a while... Your stuff looks great as well!

Yeah, I know... I was actually kicking myself for getting the 3.5" coils after I installed the Metalcloak stuff. But at least the extra room will save me the trouble of dealing with the front track bar/diff cover clearance issue, and still won't be too tall.

Imped 11-18-2009 07:43 PM

That's true. Looks like you've got some sweet future plans. I'll be following this one.

dendrophobe 11-19-2009 09:19 AM

Barnett Diff Cover
 
Well, I just picked up a Barnett diff cover for my D30. Found it on the classifieds here for a great price, and it's brand new. I've noticed that I have a small amount of diff fluid beaded under my front differential, due to my (evidently) shoddy RTV job after installing the Aussie. Oh well, now I get to fix it and have a great diff cover to boot! :cheers:

dendrophobe 11-24-2009 01:08 PM

OK, next week I'm ordering a new front bumper and Currie steering... Which moves me ever closer to my regear. That's next on my list, unless Blaine and Gerald decide to release their tummy tuck sooner rather than later. When they do, I'm dropping everything to order their whole lineup of skids.

But as to the regear. I need to decide between 4.88 and 4.56 gears. With the 6 speed and 35's I've seen both written as recommendations. I will be running 33's with them at first, but only until I get my new tires (next on the list after the regear). Anybody have any firsthand experience with this? I'm leaning toward the 4.88s, but I'm worried about how it will do in the month or so it will take to save for 35's.

Of course, I could wait and do everything at once, but I'm already putting more stress on my driveline than I would like with 3.73's and 33's, and I'd rather take that away, especially as I'm starting to hit the rocks harder.

Any advice is appreciated! :thumbsup:

Imped 11-24-2009 02:28 PM

Plan for the future and go with 4.88. It will be very low with 33's but will be fine.

LuckRider 12-03-2009 01:01 AM

Looking good there dendrophobe. I think the accident was one of the greatest things that could have happened (I read the other thread). You got new fenders, new sliders, a lift, and your mom paid for the door, that is awesome. Can't wait to see the lift go on, and thank for helping me out earlier. I still owe you for that.

You aren't the only one who can't wait for the Savvy TT. I have seen so many posts about that. I may even get one depending on the price, I have a vibe that can only be fied with a new skid... it has something to due with the inherent nature of the factory skid combined with the meticulously deep OD gear in it.

Time for those 35"s, but don't forget your brakes. I would say the Vanco, but you have probably heard that so many times you already know it.

2006_Sport 12-03-2009 02:43 AM

Very nice Jeep man, I like it a lot. Used great parts and you're headed in the right direction.

dendrophobe 12-06-2009 09:37 PM

Well, this weekend I installed my new springs and shocks, and my slip yoke eliminator... I wanted to get the control arms and track bars done too, but... Little problems (the kind that take hours to fix...) kept popping up for some reason. Mainly me being an idiot.

If it helps anyone else, make sure the transfer case is in 4 low before attempting to pull the slinger or the front yoke nut. In my case, I thought it was, but evidently I bumped it somewhere along the line and it popped out. :brickwall: And on the front driveshaft, on the TC side... A 1/4 inch ratchet works a HELL of a lot better than a 3/8; I darn near stripped the bolts being an idiot.

Control arms and track bars, followed by driveshaft installation come this week. I'll try to get pictures up tomorrow; the Jeep looks great with the new lift, I have so much better clearance now. Can't wait to get it back out on the rocks.

LuckRider 12-06-2009 09:39 PM

pics or it never happened.

dendrophobe 12-07-2009 05:19 AM

Here are a few (bad) pics...

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2722/...c5fdf72e_o.jpg
http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4002/...2ef750f7_o.jpg
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2608/...a22b793c_o.jpg

Still a work in progress... Currently it sits with no driveshafts, no track bars, and no front lower control arms. The only time I have this week is the evening right after work, so it'll probably go a lot slower than I want. But it should be done by Friday, because I need to use it to go out of town...

TimeConsumer 12-07-2009 12:21 PM

Wow, small world. I was on craigslist not too long ago and saw some khaki stock fenders... wonder who's they are...

Really like the direction you're taking the jeep. Plus you can't beat the color :thumbsup:

dendrophobe 12-07-2009 12:47 PM

Thanks! Gotta admit, it is one of my favorite colors for a Jeep; it hides dirt easily, and I can't figure out if I like that or not! The fenders have sold finally, and are no longer taking up space in my garage.

Finally ordered my Savvy gas tank skid! Gerald said it would ship today, so I should have that (hopefully) monday or tuesday. edit: tracking number says friday. Talked to Dave over at Rokmen today too, and he said they finally have their steering box skids made up, and I should get it by friday. After about three months of having parts sitting around my house and/or on order, it's nice to finally be getting everything installed!

LuckRider 12-07-2009 05:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dendrophobe (Post 8428283)
Thanks! Gotta admit, it is one of my favorite colors for a Jeep; it hides dirt easily, and I can't figure out if I like that or not! The fenders have sold finally, and are no longer taking up space in my garage.

Finally ordered my Savvy gas tank skid! Gerald said it would ship today, so I should have that (hopefully) monday or tuesday. edit: tracking number says friday. Talked to Dave over at Rokmen today too, and he said they finally have their steering box skids made up, and I should get it by friday. After about three months of having parts sitting around my house and/or on order, it's nice to finally be getting everything installed!

I hope you took advantage of their free shipping then. Looking god man.

dendrophobe 12-07-2009 05:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Luckrider (Post 8430478)
I hope you took advantage of their free shipping then. Looking god man.

Oh yes, definitely! As soon as I saw that the sale was back on, I sent Gerald a PM. Everybody go buy one, the price is great! :2thumbsup:

LuckRider 12-07-2009 05:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dendrophobe (Post 8430609)
Oh yes, definitely! As soon as I saw that the sale was back on, I sent Gerald a PM. Everybody go buy one, the price is great! :2thumbsup:

It's not back to $269 shipped is it?

dendrophobe 12-07-2009 06:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Luckrider (Post 8430700)
It's not back to $269 shipped is it?

No, not quite that low; I wish I had bought one back then! Gerald's not publishing the price publicly that I've seen, so I'm not going to say it here... But PM him if you want one, I don't think you'll be too disappointed. It's certainly a heck of a lot better than 320 + shipping, that's for sure!

I can't wait to see my new skid... :drool:

LuckRider 12-07-2009 06:52 PM

Eh... I would, but I'm not getting one, so I will just respect those who are savvy (see what I did there?!?!? :teehee:)

You're going to mount that for high clearance right? Congrats on the score, since I don't care too much on the price, I will speculate $299 shipped (kind of the iddle ground).

dendrophobe 12-07-2009 06:56 PM

Of course, high clearance all the way! If I can ever get my Jeep off jack stands, that is...

Currie's directions for control arms are... less than great. For most of them, it's pretty self-explanatory, but the front lowers have an extra set of washers, and I'm not sure where they go. I THINK (please, someone correct me if I'm wrong...) they go on the outside, and lock the JJ in the middle of the cutout on the axle side... If anybody with these arms reads this, help me out!

keithkeith 12-09-2009 08:54 AM

Lookin good man... can't wait to see it out at Crozet. Sucks you're not around this weekend. Let me know if you need a hand sometime, I can turn a wrench. Just waiting to bite the bullet on the fenders & front bumper - built a sweet setup on metalcloak.com, with stinger.

dendrophobe 12-09-2009 09:00 AM

Thanks, Keith. Yeah this weekend would be great, when I found out it was member's weekend I got kinda mad that I had to go out of town... As far as wrench turning, I'm pretty set for the moment; seems you missed the hard part! I only have about 3 hours to work on the Jeep after I get home at night, so everything's taking a bit longer than I had hoped... But as soon as I get my upper control arm mounts drilled out the rest of the install should be cake... Just have to do both track bars, and all the upper arms, then reinstall both driveshafts...

When are you planning on sending MC your order? You'll be shocked how much clearance those fenders give you... Now that I've got the lift on, I'm hating my 33's more than ever; if my axles could handle it, 37's would fill that hole nicely. With the lift on your rig it'll be crazy!

dendrophobe 12-09-2009 09:04 PM

OK, got the rear upper and lower control arms done tonight, as well as reinstalling both driveshafts... Which just leaves the track bars and front upper control arms! Slowly, ever so slowly, this thing is becoming drivable again...

LuckRider 12-09-2009 09:14 PM

Get pics when it is all done... Time to find a new axle for that front so you can run those 37"s. I would say get the parts over time, and wait till it is time to trash the 33"s before regearing.

dendrophobe 12-10-2009 04:44 AM

See, the problem there is extreme amounts of money... It'll be at least a year or two before I have enough money to replace the front axle; even a JK Rubicon axle is crazy expensive. There are too many other things I could do to my Jeep in the time being to make it better on the trail; gears and 35's being among them. The vast majority of obstacles can be cleared with 35's, lockers, and good driving. As much as I want the 37's, the practical side of me knows that I really don't need them, and I'd be making myself less trail-worthy by waiting so long to get money for a mod I really don't need. That will come, but pretty much after everything else I want to do...

Unless anyone knows where to pick up a JK 44 or Dana 60 for cheap?

LuckRider 12-10-2009 10:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dendrophobe (Post 8448680)
See, the problem there is extreme amounts of money... It'll be at least a year or two before I have enough money to replace the front axle; even a JK Rubicon axle is crazy expensive. There are too many other things I could do to my Jeep in the time being to make it better on the trail; gears and 35's being among them. The vast majority of obstacles can be cleared with 35's, lockers, and good driving. As much as I want the 37's, the practical side of me knows that I really don't need them, and I'd be making myself less trail-worthy by waiting so long to get money for a mod I really don't need. That will come, but pretty much after everything else I want to do...

Unless anyone knows where to pick up a JK 44 or Dana 60 for cheap?

ahh.... so you see the real reasons why 37"s are stupid compared to 35"s. Nice. I know of a front d60 with 4.10 and drums. It can be yours for a low price, but it would need to be rebuilt. There is a ford here in the classified section with great axles for $400. You would need to rebuild axles before throwing them in there.

I say stick with the 35"s idea, and just make sure you get things tucked up (like you already plan).

Emdot 12-10-2009 02:18 PM

Great build! Man I love Khaki jeeps :drool:

dendrophobe 12-10-2009 03:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Luckrider (Post 8450412)
ahh.... so you see the real reasons why 37"s are stupid compared to 35"s. Nice. I know of a front d60 with 4.10 and drums. It can be yours for a low price, but it would need to be rebuilt. There is a ford here in the classified section with great axles for $400. You would need to rebuild axles before throwing them in there.

I say stick with the 35"s idea, and just make sure you get things tucked up (like you already plan).

Definitely. As I've seen Blaine say before, if you spend the money to do 37's right, you're spending the money to get 40's. And I'm not about to do something unless I do it right. Ultimately I'm shooting for something ridiculously expensive and awesome like Dynatrac hi-clearance 60's... But at $5500 for just the front, that won't be anytime soon! :laugh:

Measured my belly height today, with the stock skid... sitting at 16.5... Which means that a flat skid (read - Savvy) would put me up to 20.5, which is pretty respectable. I hope they come out with that TT sometime in Q1 of 2010, cause I'm feeling very ... exposed ... having the stock skid and no engine skid. If Savvy weren't coming out with theirs I would have dropped the money on a Rokmen skid a while ago.

MedicJK 12-10-2009 04:48 PM

Jeep looks awesome. Really liking the metalcloak fenders, did you get the 4" or 6"?
Looking forward to your build.
crawled. :thumbsup:

mudwhoreTJ 12-10-2009 07:54 PM

Hey dendrophobe did you make it to the phish show at JPJ arena this past saturday...off topic but just curious.

dendrophobe 12-10-2009 08:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 03Jeeper (Post 8453186)
Jeep looks awesome. Really liking the metalcloak fenders, did you get the 4" or 6"?
Looking forward to your build.
crawled. :thumbsup:

Thanks, they're the 4". 6" just seemed goofy to me, even if I could take them off on the trail. With the 4" I find I don't usually need to.

Quote:

Originally Posted by mudwhoreTJ (Post 8454578)
Hey dendrophobe did you make it to the phish show at JPJ arena this past saturday...off topic but just curious.

No I didn't; last show I went to at JPJ was Jimmy Buffett. That was a great show... Didn't even know Phish was playing! I was under my Jeep all weekend anyway though. You a Cville Jeeper?


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