This build thread is to document and share the transformation of my EX-Daily Driven TJ into my Trail Rig.
I have had the TJ for 6 Years. It was bone stock when i bought it for my wife. We got the Auto because it was going to be her vehicle, but that turned out to be mistake number one. When she soon decided she didn't want a Jeep for every day use, I was stuck with a 3spd slushbox instead of a manual that I would have chosen if the Jeep was for me. Fortunatly, it has been trouble free.
I drove the Jeep unmodified for a year, then for 4 years with a BB and 33" all terrains. It saw some mild trail use, but when I bought a car for myself ... the work began.
This is how the Jeep currently exists.
After retiring from DD duties I made these changes...
- Dana 44 Rear form an XJ with Disc brakes
- HP 30 front axle
- Detroit locker rear and lock right front
- I regeared to 4.11
- Increased lift to 4" and added 35" tires
- Brown dog MML
- Added adjustable upper CAs
- Built and welded on rocker guard/tree sliders
- Added my trusty Warn 9000
- Threw in an Optima red top
I have used it like this for a while now, but not as much as I would like. I have been really busy with my son and his sports and scouting and whatnot. He is 8 now and he loves riding in the Jeep, so it's time to get this rig finished. I'm going after this with the One and Done mentality. Spend what I need to once instead of gradually getting bigger or stronger. I have wheeled Jeeps of various types for 20 years... so I know what I want out of this.
Happy with the sliders. The cage will tie into those.
This little stubby bumber is just some randon rock bumper I put on and stuck the rubber bumper bouncers onto.
I'm sure you have seen plenty of these.
My stance is a little narrow. I've had these wheels for about 20 years. They are only 7" wide. So I am going to get some wider offset aluminum rims to widen her up a little.
This is how I left the Jeep 2 hours ago...
It's stripped down and ready for the full cage, which will start on Wednesday. I will be getting rid of all the stock bars, but I will have to weld on some nuts to the torx to get the main hoop out.
It's getting a full cage with a fastback look, that will go through the dash. Phase 2 will tie it into the frame... but that happens later.
After that, It will be losing the flares, getting armored rear fenders and flat front fenders (likely TNT).
I'm on the hunt for wheels, because 37" Goodyears will be finding their way into the fenders in the near future.
I know that 4.11 gears on the 3spd with 37" tires sounds silly... but on the road they will be right in the RPM wheelhouse. Right now with 35's I'm pulling 3200 RPMs at 70 mph. For the off road duties though... bleck! It's already challenged as is. So when the tires go on, it will be getting some T-Case love.
I'm starting a thread NOW because a lot will be happening with his Jeep during the next few months.
My goal is the same it has been with all my Jeeps. A rig that can do all the hard trails and still get there and back under it's own power. I have a trailer and truck... but what fun is that?