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Unread 01-05-2009, 07:54 PM   #1
Cotton
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1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
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Location: Crawlorado
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Heep to Jeep - 97 TJ Build

I have really enjoyed looking at all the build threads here on JF and the build by Gerald with Savvy "2003 Unrolled (pics)" actually inspired me to buy this Jeep. I bought this heep back in early July 08 and have spent the following couple months putting it back together. I thought I would create a build thread for everyone to enjoy. My intent of this build was first to get the Jeep running and driveable and go from there, however building this on a budget was important and getting as many things as possible used was my intent. I have been working on the jeep for a couple months and will do my best to update you with my past progress and any further updates. Please be patient as is might take me some time in between posts. Thank you for your time!!

The jeep specs are as follows:
97 Jeep Wrangler Sahara
4.0L
5-Speed
Dana 30 and 35 3.55's
127,000 miles
4" Pro Comp Lift
Quick Disconnects
Major Front end damage, Passenger Rear Tub Corner damage, bent front axle and misc missing or damaged parts.

Here are some pictures of the damage




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Unread 01-05-2009, 07:57 PM   #2
spyder6
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you've got some work ahead of you! good luck
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Unread 01-05-2009, 07:59 PM   #3
Cotton
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1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
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Here are some pics of the day I picked the heep up. The PO had bolted up a grill and some fenders. You can see the bent axle pretty good in the second pic. The tires were pretty nice too!







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Unread 01-05-2009, 08:02 PM   #4
abeshures
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WOW!!! i cant wait to see what you do to it. good luck man thats quite an undertaking. Keep us posted
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Unread 01-05-2009, 08:42 PM   #5
Cotton
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Here are a couple more:





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Unread 01-05-2009, 08:52 PM   #6
hockeyplayer21
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how much did you shell out for that?
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Unread 01-05-2009, 08:53 PM   #7
MasterCujo
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Well, at least the interior looks pretty good, all things considered. Good luck, man. Can't wait to see the final product.
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Unread 01-05-2009, 08:54 PM   #8
b_c
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ambition is the key ingredient to great men...

...good luck


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Unread 01-05-2009, 09:10 PM   #9
Cotton
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So the wreck messed up a lot of stuff in the front end, like the radiator, A/C condenser, power steering pully, fan, fan shroud, overflow bottle, etc. I started with replacing the bent steering pump pully and while I was at it I replaced the Harmaonic balancer, water pump, timing chain gasket. and thermostat gasket. Following this I installed a new radiator and A/C Condenser.







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Unread 01-05-2009, 09:14 PM   #10
jimaug87
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how did the airbags not blow?

good luck that heep jeep
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Unread 01-05-2009, 09:24 PM   #11
Cotton
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Thank you all for the kind words!! I really appreciate the encouragment....it was definetly a little scary buying something that most people would say is junk and not worth anything. I am just trying to keep in mind the potential the jeep has. Anyways.....for those that are curious as far as cost.....I bought the Heep for $2700 and a grill, fenders and tailgate for another $400 bucks from the same seller.

I am not sure how the Airbags did not blow!! Crazy! I have also been trying to figure out how the frame did not get bent! I wish I new the story behind the wreck!
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Unread 01-05-2009, 09:35 PM   #12
Cotton
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Next I found this Hood on Craiglist for $100 bucks. However it had been in a roll over and needed some work. I figured a little bondo would do the trick considering the jeep is going to get painted Flat Black anyways!



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Unread 01-05-2009, 09:42 PM   #13
Cotton
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Next I painted the Hood and Grill Flat Black....sorry I don't have a pic of just the hood painted! This brings me to the next big project of removing the bent front axle and installing a used one out of a cherokee. I ended up finding a Dana 30 out of a 2002 (I think) cherokee with the same gear ratio for $250 bucks on Craigslist. Here is a picture of the paint and axle removal.

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Unread 01-05-2009, 10:11 PM   #14
Cotton
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Here is the xj axle......not a High Pinion...but o well it is the right gear ratio!! Everything bolted right up with out any big issues! Picked up some Free 32X11.50 BFG All Terrians with about 1/4" of tread left from my Cousin....should work for the time being. Also found a full set of TJ sport flares for $60 bucks...threw these on and we are getting close to a test drive!!









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Unread 01-05-2009, 10:32 PM   #15
ArrizX
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Great job I like it so far!

The work must be tedious with this. Not only are you replacing busted parts and panels, but for each panel and such you need to get the correct bolts, nuts, washers, etc. I would hate that!
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