Alright so as I got to know my jeep I decided that a hardtop would be really nice for the Maine winter. I began looking and I found one at a dealership near my house and ended up buying it for $500. I threw a coat of black spray paint on it to cover up the faded gray and put it on. The rear defrost and wiper are really nice in the winter but I love the soft top in the summer.
Not a good pic but here it the hardtop right after I got it
As time went on and I drove it more I began to realize that the frame wasn't quite as solid as I thought it was initially.
Before winter set in I had a local body man "fix" it. Luckily it didn't cost much because he simply welded a piece on the outside of the frame. However this got me through the winter.
During the winter I loved driving it in the snow. It took some getting used to due to the short wheel base but I loved being able to go through snow like nothing. (Big improvement over the Honda) I even pulled out an F250 with it when he got stuck plowing my driveway.
When summer came around I put the soft top back on and drove the crap out of it. About mid summer I needed to get an inspection sticker and I knew it wouldn't pass with the frame. So I bite the bullet and bought the full center frame section from Auto rust. This was the one that includes the skid plate mounts and the control arm mounts.
The frame before being fixed. It was rather bad.
My boss has an awesome shop with a lift and was gracious enough to let me use it for about 2 weeks. I cut out the old with the plasma cutter and fitted the new pieces. He then welded them up for me. While it was on the rack we noticed that the u joints in the front axle were shot.
He showed me a neat trick to pop the wheel bearings out by putting a socket in between the u joint and the axle housing. Then using the power steering to pop it out. Makes it so much easier. We then changed the joints and put it back together.
Here it is up on the rack