I've been crawling this forum for about a year now and I've learned a lot along the way. I've also seen a lot of build threads, some awesome(shout out to Idaho,Flop Project and Pumpkinator, Flatlander,etc.) and some not so good. And I've wanted to start my own for a while so today's the day. I've posted a lot of pics in a lot of threads but I want them all in one place to document my progress so here goes:
I bought this 01 TJ off of a buddy at work when he traded it in on a hybrid Honda Civic. I did an in/out deal at the stealership for $5700. It was my first Jeep in 12 years (not counting my wife's 01 Grand Cherokee we bought new and owned til it was totalled in an accident in 07). The battery was dead when I went and picked it up and it ended up dying three times just trying to get it home, my first clue. It was in pretty rough shape and if I had it to do all over again I probably would have bought something newer and nicer but it is what it is. The driver seat was torn up and the two-tone "custom" paint job left a lot to be desired and I inherited a nasty case of DW. But I didn't care cause I was bitten by the Jeep bug. Not to mention I knew that I bought it for one purpose: wheel it without worrying about scratching it. In that aspect I had the perfect platform to work off. Here's some pics of how she started out life with my first mods: Smitty stinger, Wet Okole seat covers and my PIAA lights I took off my Z-71.
Took it on it's first wheeling trip with one intention in mind, which was find out what her limitations are. Well I found out thanks to some really crappy spotting Actually I just wanted to wheel it til I had to winch it and I succeeded...........on the first trail no less!
Forgot to mention that I inherited the 4" Rough Country lift, Mickey Thompson wheels and brand new 35" Pro Comp Mud Terrain tires. My buddy dropped cash on 5 tires and then traded it in. They wouldn't be my first,second or third choice but they had one thing going for them: they were brand new. However, the RC lift was inherited by me was also inherited by my buddy. I have no idea how old the lift is, but I thought I was ahead of the game by buying a Jeep already lifted I've since learned that I would have been better off buying one bone stock but you live and learn. The components are worn and the front springs sag like a mother but it's getting me by til I can replace all the components piece by piece.
I realized pretty quick that the bling Mickeys had to go. So I taped em up and shot some Rustoleum Industrial Enamel on em. I was quite leary about spray painting wheels but they turned out decent. Little did I know that spray paint would later play a major role in the look of my rig Here's a few pics of the Mickey all painted up with nowhere to go.
You can see from the pics that I added some saaweet pinstriping to cover up the horribly crooked line where one of the PO's painted it. At least I hope they painted it and didn't get taken by drunk monkey for more than a six-pack for the crappy paint. If you look at the passenger fender you get an idea of the craptastic prep job they did. The paint was chipping at every corner. But that didn't stop me from falling for the hi-lift trick. I saw a picture of one mounted on a hood on the ole JF and thought I had to have it. I think I dropped $150.00 for the hi-lift and Warrior hood mounts. Once again, if I had it to do all over again I'd have spent the money elsewhere but at least it served as a mounting point for my JeepForum.com swag.
It's kind of fun going back and reviewing the stuff I did "back in the day". Check out the woefully inadequate d-rings I had on the front bumper. $5.99a piece at Tractor Supply. (yes they've been replaced since then).
And then there's the matter of the redneck footpegs I "fabbed" up. I actually did a cheesy little thread on em and the response was lukewarm then and still is. But they work for me and actually take the place of door straps, which mine didn't have when I bought it and the loops on the door that used to hold straps were ripped out when I got it. I have no idea how. Here's the thread FWIW:
Then I bought some AtoZ Fab sliders and at the last minute I opted for the square tube option. They make great stuff and I loved em at first, but the square tubing got old quick and they weren't WW2WW which messed up future plans. I ended up selling em for $190.00 on CL and invested in some Rokmens but I'll get to that later. Here's the AtoZs.
My solution was to tape off the door jambs, tailgate and top of tub and hit it with some duplicolor bedliner. It was a pretty cheap fix and a good alternative to being embarrassed to open my doors or take em off.
So I thought I was ready to start making some mods.....so I thought. Then the reality of owning a vehicle with 186k hit. I had to sink my mod money into a new water pump, thermostat, fan clutch, serpentine belt and a new battery. When it was all said and done I didn't have much scratch to my name but I found a Tuffy console on ebay and won it for $75.00 and it still had all the original mounting hardware and installation instructions. It was tan but I was starting to get proficient with the rattlebomb technique. So I painted it black and hacked up an old Ohio State fleece pullover to recover the tan pad on the top. And yes I live in Texas and I'm an Ohio State fan. If not for the fact that I live near an Air Force base I would definitely be a minority 'round these here parts. Here's a pic of my repurposed pullover on the new console and a sneak peek at some bling I bought (they will show up later and much less blingy).
I can't wait to tear it up in the mall parking lot with you some day Jay... we could park on each other's tires all flexed out taking up 4 parking spots, walk in the mall with our jeep keys dangling for everyone to see, hit up some abercrombie and fitch, then go back outside and hang out by the jeeps for a few hours... maybe get risky and drive over some curbs.. :highfive: