To start things off, this is my 4th vehicle. I owned a Suzuki sidekick that I sold to buy my jeep. The only thing I miss about the kick was how fuel efficient it was. Oh and the fact that I could lift off the hard top by myself. But I wouldnt trade my jeep for the world. I searched locally for a jeep for months and everything that was in town was rusted beyond repair or they just wanted too much. I live just north of Michigan and we have long winters with lots of salt on the roads.
Anyways I was on Auto Trader one day and I found this picture.
Said it was a 1987 Jeep Laredo
2nd Owner. Trailered for 10 years to Florida behind motorhome. 140000KMS on odometer. 4.2L All stock. Original Paint. Leather Interior. Hard top and Hard doors only. $4000
So I called the guy to see where it was and it was Located in Font Hill Ontario. That is an 11 Hour drive from where I live. I told the guy that I was interested and he said that he would hold it for me if I promised that I would buy it for $4000 without even looking at it. So I bought the jeep over the phone and booked a few days off work.
My dad and I drove down on a friday morning in his 1980 Corvette. It was a nice trip down in the fall, late september. Now I am 6'3" and we had to pull over alot so that I could stretch out and remain comfortable.
We arrived late at night and the guy that I bought the jeep off of managed a lumber yard and he kept the jeep in the warehouse there when he wasnt using it. It was used as a weekend vehicle to the beach. We looked it over and it was in great shape. He said that there was a small problem with the alternator. So we met up with my sister that night who lives in Toronto and stayed the night. The next morning we went to Canadian tire and bought a new battery and alternator. Installed them in the driveway and we off on our way back home with my new jeep.
Here is a pic I took the other day when I was down by the water front. This is what my jeep looks like now. The following pages are a progression of my buildup. Enjoy.
On our trip back home I noticed that my jeep wouldnt kick down when I pressed the gas to pass anybody. Or when I was starting out from a dead stop it seemed like all I had was one continous gear and it took forever to get up to highway speed. (Automatic) I didnt think that was right but not much you can do on the side of the hwy 400 miles from home. I also noticed that my battery wasnt charging up so we pulled over and swaped the battery from the corvette into the jeep and let my dads alternator charge up both batteries. We had to swap batteries about 4 times on the way back.
Another fun thing happened to me when were were stopped at a gas station for lunch. When I jumped back into my new jeep I put the pedal down to the floor to put some gas in the carb and turned her over. The pedal stayed on the floor and the jeep started red lining and backfired something fierce. My dad said he saw a flame come out from under my jeep. We looked underneith and saw that my downpipe on my exhaust split in half down the seam. My pedal got stuck because the plastic cover on the throttle cable got stuck in the firewall and wouldnt let the cable slide back.
Oh joy, At this point in time with everything that was going wrong I started to wonder if I had bought a pile of crap, but it was too late to turn around and ask for my money back. So I went inside and asked the clerk for a coat hanger and crawled under my jeep to wrap it around the exhaust pipe so that I wouldnt go deaf on the rest of the way home.
We finally made it back home and this is how my jeep looked. Didnt really look like the picture that was in the ad, but I was still pretty happy with it. Even after all the heart ache.
To get it on the road I had to replace the drivers side floor pan. And the brakes.
While under the hood I realized that the belt for my alternator was gone. : That was the whole reason that my battery wasnt charging on the way home. Had I only realized earlier I would have enjoyed my trip home ALOT more.
The first thing that I did was paint the hinges gold to match the pin striping. That brown was really ugly.
And I took some pictures of it with the top and doors off. That was the best feeling in the world my first ride with no top and no doors. I had never been in another jeep with the doors on before and I loved it from day one.
In those pictures you can see the points on the front bumper for when it was towed behind the motorhome. And it still has the sweet endcaps on the front bumper as well.
Check out that Chrome bumper.
It didnt take me long to cut the tow bar points off the bumper.
My plan was to leave it stock and just enjoy having a jeep but that didnt last long. I picked up a pedersen's magazine and got bit by the bug. I wanted offsets first so I ordered some 2 inch spacers and traded my old snowboard for some black american racing rims 15x8 with 1inch of offset. And I ordered my RC 4inch lift from Quadratec. We have a tire machine in the garage so I did the tires myself in an hour one afternoon.
And my lift came in about a week later.
During this time I changed my oil, filter, plugs, wires, cap, rotor, and bought a new mechanical fuel pump and fuel filter and installed all of those. Because she ran alittle rough. I was trying to find out what the problem was. Now I now it was my carter carb. I will get to that later tho.
When it came time to do my lift my dad was at work when I got it started. When I first bought the jeep I wasnt mechanically inclined, but I learn quickly.
I am lucky that the previous owners undercoated the jeep every year since new. All my bolts for my springs came right off, there were a few that were giving me balls but alittle bit of heat and they were off too. The Kit came with good instructions and it was a pretty straight forward install. I did run into some problems with the old pitman arm. After we broke a puller on it we said screw it and decided to use a cutting disc to solve that problem. Here is a pic after the rims and the lift.
I had also found a guy locally that was selling an original soft top with hardware for 250 bucks so I snatched that up.
In the pic you can also see that I spent hours taking off all the pin stripes. I did this in preperation for painting the jeep black. Ever since I was a kid and I saw CB4 I had wanted a black jeep so this was my little project.
Back to the Carter. Everytime I would roll up to a stop sign my jeep would studder and die. I had to drive my automatic like it was a standard. I always had one foot on the gas ALWAYS. I had my curb idle stepped right up to try to get it to stay running. I found out was dieseling was the hard way. My jeep sounded like it was possesed for the longest while. I brought it in to a carb specialist who couldnt do anything with it. So I broke the budget and bought a weber 32/36. It was so much fun tearing that POS out of there. Right after the install on the first trip down the road I couldnt believe how my jeep sounded, it was so mean and throaty and it had tonnes of power. Money well spent in my opinion.
Acouple days after the install of the weber I did the nutter bypass with instructions from this forum. It was simple and I havent looked back since. Thanks again Jeepforum for your guidance
In that last pic as well you can see that I started to paint my interior black and I made black seat covers from fabric that my mom had in the basement. I just used krylon fusion paint for paint the dashboard and center console and my rollbar pads. I masked everything off and sprayed gloss black paint first, I did to coats of gloss and one coat of flat just to give it a satin look. I will take pictures of the interior and post some up in this post later.
Around this time I also decided I wanted to try out my 4x4 and to my surprise it wasnt working. I read up on the forum about how to fix it. At first I thought it might be the vaccum diaphram and I didnt want to drop acouple hundred bucks on something that could crap out again on the trail. So I took all my vac lines from the transfer case off and found that they were melted somehow. So I ordered a posi-loc system for the heep. I capped off the vac lines on the transfer case and got rid of all the lines and swiches under the hood.
I also decided to add some color under there to clean things up abit.
I was reading cheap tricks and mods and decided to do the hockey puck seat lift to give myself alittle bit more leg room.
It finally came time to paint the jeep. About a week before paint I got ahold of a guy that had some dunlop rv's that were 33x12.5x15 they were pretty worn so they were about 31.5 instead of 33 but I wanted bigger tires and he said he would take 150 for them, by the time I got there I talked him down to 75 bucks. So really I couldnt go wrong.
My dad and I painted the jeep ourselves. I never realized how much work goes into prepping the jeep. So much sanding and puddying. My arm still hurts and that was last year that we painted it.
We had alittle bit of body work to do nothing major. Just the usual spots. at the front of the back fender flare and alittle bit on the front fenders. We used fiberglass and dynahair. We had the jeep all masked off and I took a few shots of when it was all in primer.
At this point I decided I didnt want any chrome left so I took off the chrome slip that went over the grill and gave it to my dads friend. I had thought about putting it up on the garage wall as a reminder of how far the heep has come. But my dads friend likes chrome so I figured it would be best if it was used for its inteded purpose. Plus I would be able to make fun of him!!
You can also see that I got rid of the ugly stock tail lights. I didnt have a hole saw so we used a drill and an air jigsaw that worked pretty well. I had alittle trouble with the ground because the light housing was supposed to be the ground but it was all covered in paint, go figure so I just rivited a wire the the back of the casing and the other end to the body on the jeep inside the wheel well and it worked perfect.
I had a friend who tried to get me to keep my flares off because he said it looked meaner, but I dont really care for the look unless the jeep has flat fenders. At this time I did decide that I liked having the license plate not covering the gas cap so I never put the plate holder back on.
here is the first pic of the fresh paint and the jeep all put back together.
I think it turned out pretty nice for a garage paint job.
We did a black gloss for the jeep, mirrors, vents and hinges. I used a satin black for my fender flares just to brake it up a bit.
In this pic you can also see that I bought some new seat covers from canadain tire because they were on sale for 10 dollars each. How could I say no.
My best friend Andy and I made the bikini cover from material that we found at fabric land, the material cost me $20 and for the straps that come down to the back we went to vallue village and bought 2 staps off duffle bags.
To hold it down on the front I used some door molding from and old sidekick we had behine the garage and cut it to the length of the windshield and folded the fabric into it and then slid that into the channel for my soft top. Did the same thing on the back so that it was adjustible.
I went out and took some pictures behind the highschool by my house.
You can see the signal light covers and side marker covers that I made out of plasic and paint.
I also trimed my fender flares down to open up my wheel wells. And I made a hood mount for my hi-lift. I will get some close up pictures when I can. It is pretty simple what I did and if I take my jack off I can still rest my hood against my windshield while I am working under the hood.
I also made the roll bar handles out of some velcro straps that I got from the dollar store and some PVC piping that I wrapped in leather.
You can see from this picture that my dream came true and I finally had my black CB4 Jeep. Not everyone gets it, but everyonce inawhile I would get someone that remembers the movie and we would have a good laugh.
You can see here that I dont have an exhaust tip comming out the back, thats because I have a new flowmaster 40 series under there that I have cut off at the muffler. I think down the road I am going to route it so that I have dual tips comming out either side of the gas tank.
I really like this last picture. Already at this point you can see that my jeep has come a long way.
Here is a pic of the roll bar handles up close. You can see how easy they were to make.
And here is a pic of the hi-lift hood mount that I made. Nice and simple. I used the three bolts for the hood hinges on either side to hold it down. And 1 long bolt with a wingnut on each side to hold the lift to the mounts.
Well my birthday was in august and my mom ordered me a body lift because she remembered hearing me complain that my tires still rub alot so my BL came in and I decided to tackle it. Pretty straight forward, again I was lucky that the PO's undercoated everything. I never broke a single bolt and they all came off easy. Since I still had time left over I decided to make some winsheild mounts for spotlights. I had some exaust relocation brackets sitting around so I took three of them and cut one in half all the holes were already drilled in them and I bronze welded them together in the shape of a T after I measured the angle on them. They are pretty much the same as these the ones from quadratec that just scew into your existing holes on the windshield. Quadratec wants 70 bucks for them.
Mine cost nothing to make.
Here is a pic after the lights and the body lift.
Im not too horny about the amber lights but they were only 10 bucks each so I lived with them for awhile.
I went for a cruze with my buddy andy and we took a few shots from inside the jeep. We were messing around with the gun show for abit. Here you go.
Thats my buddy andy
This is andy's foot on one of the foot pegs that I made. I just used a U-bolt cut off one side of it and put some foam padding on it wrapped in leather and bolted it to my bottom hinge. Andy loves riding with his foot out he used to put it on my front flare all the time. So I surprized him with these.
I had been doing some research on front bumpers because I wanted something like this,
This is Matt87YJ's rig. I really liked the blue and contemplated going blue for awhile. But black was cheaper and I really wanted my CB4 jeep. And I still dont have a winch and this bumper and a winch go together like porno and the internet. I also wanted to have my wheel wells open alittle bit more. But damn Matt that is a nice lookin rig!!
My dad bought a pipe bender and we have access to almost all the metal we want so I was going to make one very similar. Then after seeing more and more pictures of different bumpers. I wanted something alittle more aggressive. I really started to like the look of stingers and I have read a few testimonials on here on how they saved peoples jeeps. So I decided to base my bumper off of something like this.
Well it turns out our pipe bender was a pile and it didnt work very well, plus the pipe we had was way to thick so with some cuting and welding over a 2 day period my dad and I fabbed together my new bumper. No blue prints we just went with what I thought would look good. I am pretty happy with how it turned out in the end.
I also made a bar across fot a set of fog lights in between the stinger.
Still with the amber lights. Damn I wish I had more money.
I do plan on getting a winch in the future when I do I will zip the middle bar out and get my winch in there.
As you can see in that picture as well I bought a set of 2 piece soft doors of a member of the forum. I was alittle bit uneasy after reading the danielHayes thread. But I sent a money order the a JF member and he was very prompt got back to me and had my doors within a week. He said they were used but when I got them they were still in the original box from besttop and they didnt even have the handles screwed on them, I had to cut the fabric to put the handles on. I was more then happy. Thank you JeepForum. Here are some half door pictures.
Well I painted my hard top black inside and out. Winter was almost here the cool weather was on its way. I didnt want to see the soft top go. Damn you guys down in florida!!!
My dad had his buddy's jeep over getting it ready for certification. Him and his buddy bought this 95 for $4000 grand the the front fenders were both shot so they replaced them and shot some paint over it. I think they went alittle bit crazy on the black and red but hey its not my jeep. It used to be a sahara and it was olive green like my buddy julians. His jeep is all stock so here are some good comparisons in height.
This one is one of my fav's of the two jeeps together.