Well here it goes...my 1st Jeep build, rework, teardown, redo it again, laugh a little, cry a bit, curse a lot....and all the other things that go along with this journey.
What do I want to accomplish with my Jeep? What are the goals and intentions?
Well hell, I didn't know, at first it was to just have a DD that could pull a trailer...that's all we wanted...SERIOUSLY. Didn't have to be a Jeep either, truck would have been fine (in hindsight - NOT!). Was not looking to enter a new lifestyle or hobby (been there with Import Drag racing), just need a truck man.
Now I have NO IDEA how we got it in our heads to purchase a Jeep, but next thing we know we are on eBay and CL searching....
At first it we were just looking at stock Jeeps, maybe a couple in there were on 33's, nothing serious....only requirement - MUST HAVE HITCH. Yes we saw the big rigs listed but only looked for fun...more like "OOooooo, look what we can do later down the road honey!" lol
So that's how it started.....this is how it ended!
YES, that is a happy AND confused look on my face...like how the hell did we wind up with this big honkin' *** piece of YELLOW metal we know nothing about!
Now the wife and I have always been "surfer/skater" types...so she sees this Islander and just falls in love with it. It's got that beach theme to it, "oh honey look big tires"...whatever. All I am seeing is a bunch of stuff I do NOT have to do later down the road, the price was GREAT ($6500) and I suppose I can just learn about Jeeps as we go.
Now the Jeep's backstory - Dude out in Ocala was building up a Camaro Street Rod in his yard to sell. Apparently that was agreement with his wife...build it and sell it, have money for the bills and such.
So he tells me he is wrenching out front on the car and this big Jeep pulls up. Dude says to him "Hey man, ya' wanna do a trade or something, my Jeep for your Camaro?" Guy said sure and they work some deal. WELL his wife comes home and is NOT DOWN with it by any means, NOT the agreement...so I guess he wheeled it for a short bit, didn't do anything beyond what was already done from PO...I suppose he moved on to another project...so this gets thrown online for sale. CHEAP TOO AT THAT!
The original owner did a bit of work, the second owner did nothing I know of, nor did he mention doing anything to it other than drive it.
* 89' Islander - SOA with AMC 360 swap - less than 2500 miles on rebuild - 5" Lift from shackles & Black Diamond Leaf Springs - Rancho RS9000XL Shocks
So we took ownership, signed the title and off we go back to Daytona, new Jeep owners!
Ok. now I have been down this road before when I was younger, first marriage, and built a street legal bracket racer....starts off with just a few easy mods and next thing you know the cards are maxed. I KNOW JEEPS ARE NO DIFFERENT! Luckily most was done already....BUT I STILL need to make it my own, ya' know?
So at the advice of several members on here the first thing in order was to take off front/rear sway bars/disco's and the stabilizer since the steering is already set up properly.....fortunately no "death wobble", she is steady and tracks great even up at highway speeds.
Next up was getting the traction bar (anti-wrap) installed...no welder here yet so off to the shop she went.
As luck would have it there was not enough room with the mufflers to put in the bar...left or right side...so the mufflers were cut off and the M.O.R.E setup put in. Yes there is a noticeable difference upon acceleration along with peace of mind the axle will not be as prone to twisting.
...as for the exhaust now...well the rumble feels good, cam sounds nice at idle.
Downside - exhaust leak somewhere now that MUST be fixed. I can feel the pin holes in the weld.
MORE Anti-Wrap Bar...
As you can see the was not much room at all for mufflers AND the bar
...I WILL take it to a shop next week sometime and have a new SS system installed (moving up North next year, need the stainless!)
First thing I did was start wire brushing off the rust and seeking out mud that might be hidden...everytime I put a hose near this thing I find more mud...it amazes me. I am certain this rig NEVER saw the likes of any rocks and at one point MUST OF BEEN buried in mud!! Just no way mud could be getting in places I am finding it, unless it was buried to the roof! Seriously, I have found mud so hard and smoothed over I though it was actually part of the body or frame! lol
I didn't want to start painting everything I could pull off....but I did at least try to make some things looks nice and protect them at the same time. And at least I can see all the battle scars that "I" put on her, not someone else's. Painted the diff covers, tie rod, pitman arm, etc....
Still at it...
Gotta' long way to go! I need to do something about the bumper and those HUGE flares!
Now to do something about those flares and start cutting away some metal....
The PO already cut out a SMALL portion of the fenders and had installed bushwackers. When he traded the Jeep to the guy whom I purchased it from he had already sold them and put the stockers back on...left me with some crooked cuts to deal with.
Now real tube fenders ARE NOT allowed yet per wifey! Guys don't laugh, ya'll been there too IF you're married!! It's a money thang' and certain things I have learned to listen like a good boy. Pick the battles & win the war.
I am blessed though and she is all about the Jeep too. But until then I decided to go this route....
Got dark and I didn't get a chance to finish...but this is from the front of course.
^^^ You can see the old holes from rivet and screws he had previously from old cut job.
Anyhow, had to keep my stock side markers for now...Daytona PD can be picky at times. Later I will go with a nice LED marker when the tube fenders are put in.
The wife wants me to keep the Islander emblems so I masked over that before coating. Monstaliner has been ordered for the tub and "Don't Scream at ME!" Yellow for the outside. And yes, I will be PAINTING the Islander Sun/Stripes back on like original, no vinyl.
But for now this is what the flat fenders are looking like...also freshened up the underside a bit more, steel wool and wire brushed out more rust (mostly just surface rust, frame is GREAT CONDITION)...bumper not painted yet...
Well since Jeepfest is this weekend I decided to clean her up and get her ready! I have all "fresh flesh" to proudly display any wounds that may incur.
Even painted the rear flares. I am SURE the fake bead locks will be criss-crossed with scrapes and scratches. But this kinda' stuff will all appeal to my OCD tendencies when I get home afterwards! lol
Oh yes, the foot pegs...BIG point of contention with some Jeepers. Uhhhhhh, I like' em, came off a wrecked Harley. But the recent 62 degree weather dictates they come off AND DOORS GO BACK ON!!! BRRRR...it's getting cold!
Right now the Jeep is across the street having some welding done...will walk across to pick her up shortly.
Alrighty, guy across the street welded up some end caps for the front bumper. Also he straightened out the rear hitch which was severely crooked from first owner....about a half inch outta' whack. I will get it smoothed out a bit more and repainted.
Capped off the ends..
^^^that's not rust...it's the reflection from the orange Nikon.