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: RE 2” BBRemoved
JKS 1.25” BL
JKS 1” BMML 33x12.5x15 BFG AT T/A KORemoved
15x8 ATX Chamber w/Teflon
Banks Monster Exhaust
RB1 Navigation unit w/iPod kit Rock Hard rear bumper/tire carrierRemoved
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
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 Rokmen Metalcloak steering box skid Done
Warn 9.5ti w/Viking Offroad synthetic line w/safety thimble Done
Viking Offroad 350 series Hawse fairlead
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 EBC yellow stuff padsSavvy 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 4.564.88 gears Done
Superior/RCV shafts Rear done
Color-matched Raptor-lined tub Done Rock Hard 4x4 bolt-in cage Poly Performance weld-in cage
Lightforce driving lights done
ORO Litespotz (or other rock lights…)
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...
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.
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.
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:
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. 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...
And yes, my Jeep started out straight in the driveway... Note the drag marks on the ground!
This incident precipitated my move back to Virginia, and the resurrection of my build! It's great what insurance checks will do for you!
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. 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!
My little parts pile...
During the Aussie locker install... only took a few before I got annoyed and concentrated on getting it right.
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! )
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.
Stock VS. Metalcloak
Oh, my stock fenders are still around, if anybody needs them I can be pretty reasonable on a price.
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!
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.
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.
My two favorite possessions, ready to go!
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.