A Indiana Silvertone TJ & Trailer build
Ironically I've seen a crap ton of silver TJ's here lately, thought I would docment a few changes that I have already made, and am planning to make.
Seems like the proper thing to do, but here is the most current picture of my Jeep:
Badlands Dec. 1st 2012, toys for tots run, with my son Degan, 4 years old.
I picked up this Jeep early early January of 2012. It was already "built" per say, and the gentlemen I bought it from actually lost part of his left foot due to diabetes I believe. Being that he couldn't push the clutch in anymore, I got a really decent deal on it.
It was obviously a sport, NV3550, 44 rear, 4" skyjacker lift, mismatched 33's on aluminum wheels, some aftermarket lights, FIPK kit, bushwackers, some sort of rock slider type deals, and a few other things here and there. 127k miles. The soft top was smoked, a couple tires wouldnt hold air, windshield lights were smoked, a couple rust spots, and awesomely enough it had low oil pressure once it got warm. Guy supposedly had taken it to a mechanic and had the pressure checked - came out good - so must have been a sending unit problem...we'll touch on that more later.
First thing I did was gut the pretty nasty interior. Somehow got $75 bucks out of the carpet on craigslist. At the bottom of the console there was actually an old mouse nest..
Pictures never do justice, but here is a box of stuff I pulled out/off of the Jeep.
Next it went over to my buddies house to get some sort of spray in liner stuff.
Next post coming in a second...
This is just before it would enter the garage and not leave for several months. I had sold the side steps, rock slider thingies, and bushwackers. Added black eyes and a bumper that my buddy made me several jeeps ago.
Now in the garage, preparing for corner armor. Take note of how crusty the coils and control arms are/were.
Got a stupid deal on some Smittybilt corner guards. This will be my second set, and each set have been an absolute bear to get on, but for $225 shipped I guess it comes with the territory.
Wheels and tires sold off, preparing to remove the 4" suspension. Fast forward a little bit. Trashed the soft top - it was a Bestop sunrider. Sold the full doors, sold the clapped out springs, working at removing the rest of the control arms. Had to cut out the rear lower control arm bolts which was a blast.
My little buddy was pretending to go 4 wheeling while I worked
Fast forward again.. Smittybilt soft top - again like $225 shipped, can't beat it with a stick. Here is a tip.. buy it with the full upper doors, sell the upper doors on craigslist for like $50 bucks..even more economical top. Bestop full doors purchased of JF. Crown brand(Warn look alikes minus the lasered W)rock sliders. I recall my pants getting tight upon stairing at this picture.
More in a moment...
Next. Some cool little indications that I am stopping or turning. I have used these on several Jeeps and just enjoy the snot out of them.
Front axle removed to wire wheel and paint. Somewhere in this time period I wire wheeled the entire frame and painted it as well. I believe I vowed in there somewhere to never buy anything without a clean frame again. :laugh:
I had quite a battle within myself what to do about the suspension. The point all along was to keep it real low. Long/mid/short arm, how much lift, what brands etc. I finally decided to go short arm. Didn't know that I'd see a whole lot more benefit from the added cost of long arms. I decided to make my own lowers - had I known ahead of time it would have been cheaper just to buy a set - well that would have been brilliant.
Ruffstuff bushings on one end, Currie Johnny Joints on the other. Can't recall what thickness, bigger than 1/4" I know.
Then what to do for springs and shocks. After reading a whole bunch, I was really set on some 3" Savvy coils and some nice Bilstein shocks. For whatever reason Savvy has a cult like following here on JF, so I figured there must be something to that. UNFORTUNATELY though, I was well into spring and had to get the Jeep going by early June for a trip to the Hummer plant in South Bend. I saw quite a bit of money that I needed to drop yet to get her just to a wheelable status, so I went with a 2.5" Rough Country Lift kit. I also seemed to skip this step for whatever reason, but I added a RC adjustable front track bar, left the rear track bar bracket, added a Currie Antirock, Currie Steering, Teraflex upper front adjustables, RC rear upper adjustables, Spidertrax wheel spacers, 30k mile Gambler wheels, and 35" Kevlars. Bam. Pitched a tent.
This was the first time I had the Jeep out of the garage for probably 4 or 5 months maybe? Had to get some cleaning done!
While out of the garage picture time. Bro man had to get in on the action again..:laugh:
Built a rear bumper out of some scrap steel. 45'ed the ends, recessed 5" of Harbor Freight hitch stock in, drilled some simple holes, welded plates on on the bottom to tie into the frame, easy peasy.
Aussie in the front, Solid covers front and rear, new shifter boot and hand throttle, Photo opp. (My Daughter coming out of the wood work)
Roughly a week to go until an event at the Hummer Plant in South Bend. For the last couple years our local Jeep club is invited to the Hummer Offroad Test track and we have a charity event called Wheelin for Autism. This facility is not open to the public, or anyone with a Hummer for that matter, so this is a very special event for us. Love to go wheeling for a great cause. The last 3 or 4 years,(can't recall how long we have been doing this) we have raised approximately 5k each year! Every little bit counts right? I can't recall the exact number right at this point, but 1 out of every (Less than 100) children are diagnosed with Autism. I obviously have 2 children of my own, and these numbers are downright scary.
Anywho.. Doing some testing with just a few days to go. Quite a bit of bumpstopping obviously due to the size of the tires. Rear I was pretty good, just slightly rubbed the Rubi flare. In the front I knew there was no way I was running flares, but I have/had the extended bumpstops AND a hockey puck glued to the axle. Now here comes the front part..Notice I said glue. Of course I didnt bolt the hockey puck down while I had the axle apart - I used some sort of glue. Well, at full bump the hock puck would want to eject out. Eh. Night before the event tore the springs out and did it right..
There are trail levels 1-4 at the "park." 4 being difficult, 1 being the equivilant to a gravel road. We signed up for trail 3 in the morning, and then see where the day took us for the afternoon trail.
Unfortunately no trail pics. Rocks make me happy. Here is a little obstacle called "lil sluice"
This obstacle is supposed to simulate the crack at Moab.
Back at home. Just a little dirty. I try to avoid the mud like the plague. Give me rocks or give me death.
Fast forward again, this time about 2 weeks. Didn't really do anyting to the ole girl, just cleaned her up. Bought a second Jeep for my Sister in law and brother in law so we could tool around at Silver Lake Sand Dunes in Michigan.
A random stump. Kids really wanted a picture!
Discovered my ORO's having a problem. Called up ORO, freaking amazing customer service - they sent me a brand new set for free, and let me keep the old ones! I have a side build going on - a TJ Trailer - that I was going to use the old ones ones - ironically the day the new ones arrived. My drivers side light fuzzed out and died. :(
Other than that, didn't really do anything all summer with it modifications wise. Did a parade, daily drove it a little bit, some mild wheeling in lower Michigan, thats about it.
Since late August early September she sat in the garage. No time to work on it, no time to go wheeling, all that good stuff. It had been some number of years since I had been able to make it - as December isnt really a good funding month for obvious reasons, but my son and I made it to the Toyts for tots run at the Badlands on Dec. 1st. He had thus far only experienced very mild wheeling, and sand running - he was PUMPED. Just a few photos as my photographic wife only likes to wheel in the sand - and in warm weather!:rofl: Saw some IndyORV guys there, but didn't recognize any of the rigs.
Start of the morning.. He's rockin the Notre Dame shirt for the haters. Also neglected to mention I have about 3/4' trimmed out of the Rubi flares for clearance purposes.
We had the rock quarry all to ourselves for at least 30 minutes - that blew my mind. Every other time I had been there on TFT it has been absolutely packed.
My son loved the fact that we could drive through a creek.
Long day... He's out!
Just north of Rochester I had to lock em up and turn around and get a picture of this! Real life Mater!
I supposed I lied. Somewhere along the summer I put in a Oil pan/Transmission skid plate. Also a matching spare wheel and tire.
And here we are present day. I have part of a Rock Hard roll cage to install, then will make the rest. Purchased a set of Rokmen 4" High Fenders Thanksgiving weekend - presuming they ever show up. My plan all year was to do a LS swap this winter, but my side business of buying and selling Jeeps has been less than sufficent this year, so that might have to wait.
Not sure if I am going to paint the Rokmens the color of the body, or paint them black. I also have a PSC hood louver thing to install - set on that being color matched - I hope it to be somewhat subtle.
Like to revamp the suspension a bit - go over to the 3" savvy coils for a better ride, longer/better shocks, trim/modify some more to be able to remove some bumpstops. Adjustable rear track bar.
I am thinking of a rear stretch - but it might be pointless for the VERY little wheeling I do.
Thinking of 1 tons - but again, probably pointless, I barely wheel so who am I kidding. I just want it look cool at the mall.
I do have a motor situation I mentioned back in the first post - hence the LS thoughts - so something needs to be done there. Sounds like a diesel, but has been running and driving all year - might just run it until it pops?
This is going to cause riots - but for street driving, my 3.73's are great. I have about a 30 minute drive to work, and when I do use it, 60 mph gets like 1800ish rpms. Though I should upgrade. When I do this, I'd like a selectable locker for the rear - thinking OX, but may do a full case detroit since those things are like butter anyway.
I am also working on plans for a rear swing out tire carrier that will hang off the corner guards. As well, working on a removeable basket that will hang off the tailgate, but sit above the spare tire to hold cooler, camping gear, what have you. Now that my kids are bigger, this TJ is just about impractical. I should just abort and go into a LJ Rubi, but that will come later I suppose.
All for now. Any questions, comments, or concerns, I'd be glad to talk to you. :thumbsup:
The silver and black is a great combination. I absolutely love how you are running a 2.5" lift with 35s. It looks sick. Great progress so far, keep it coming. The hummer "track" seems like a fun event especially raising that much money.
Dig the rig man, looks much like mine, especially after the Rokmen fenders!
Nice Jeep. Silver is Good! I like your writing style too. Nice write up :thumbsup:
Any pics of fenders? Awesome jeep btw! :2thumbsup:
Very clean and simple build! Keep up the great work!
Nice looking TJ man, you'll have to catch up with IndyORV next time we hit up Attica.
How long has it been since you ordered? Taking that long?
For the record I did say hello when we passed by, I would have stopped and chatted, but for whatever reason I was the trail gunner on one of the more lame trails I have been on there - which was ironically part of orange I believe.
I do have a couple questions about the install.. From my understanding there are no directions with the Rokmen kit. I have heard the magic number to cut out of the hood is 3.25" from front to back - can someone who has done it verify this?
I'd really like to weld that lip back on the hood, like Hendrix did, but unfortunately I don't have a welder! I did also order the Rokmen hood pin deals.
Also, my vacuum canister is under the hood. I presume I am going to need to lengthen the hoses and drop that fellow somewhere on or near the look alike battery tray on the drivers side - can anyone confirm or deny this? I know the windshield washer reservoir is going to need to sit there as well however.
My thought is color match the fenders, repaint the hood, color match the PSC hood louver, color match the headlight rings, and go with a clear lense JK turn signal. At some point later, I would like a simple - non gaudy, grill hoop and small winch like protection bar. Oh I am also going to either hack up my current front bumper, or build one similiar to the one Hendrix has.
Sorry - I talk/type a lot, and ramble. :cheers: Good day.
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