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Unread 07-13-2012, 09:32 AM   #1
hallsofstone
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Jeeping Ohio - Hallsofstone's TJ Build

Well folks, I've put this off long enough. I've been making some changes to my rig over the last few months and I'm heading into a major revamp of the suspension and doing a lot of overhaul kinds of stuff. Not a rich fella (unless things change) so you can expect this build to be on a small budget and to move at a slower pace than most....but faster than some.

My goal, post college, was to find a 4x4 to use around the farm and DD. When I graduated, I came home with my commuter Civic and daily drove that while I worked and saved. Moved into a family house on the other side of the farm and decided that it was time to get a Jeep. I looked at Cherokees and then decided firmly on a Wrangler.

I traded my 97 Honda Civic even up for the 94 YJ pictured below. My parents named it the "Black Sheep Jeep". I daily drove it, lifted it, wheeled it, and generally abused it. She was a learning experience I won't forget. She was sold to a local friend who still has her as a project.

When I got her:

When I sold her:


I had spent a bunch of time looking for a TJ. I wanted the D44 and really any and all aftermarket parts I could get already installed. Found the TJ I have now on CL. Owned by a local guy who was really cool. Used the money from the YJ sale to pay off half of the TJ and refinance, making monthly payments low and easy. Leaves me Jeep money...well sometimes.

The day I bought her:

A few days later:

(I have a few more pictures on another drive that I'll edit in later)

As Purchased:
2000 TJ Wrangler
160k miles
4.0L (replaced original with super low mile engine)
NV3550 5 spd
D30 front
D44 rear
3.73 gears
Open/Open diffs
Skyjacker Hydro shocks
2" budget boost with LJ coils (bout 3" lift total)
1.25" body lift
Homebrew Swaybar Disconnects
35x12.50x15 Maxxis Bighorns
Soft 8's
Rock Slider steps
Wide Flares
CJ front bumper
Winch Plate
Front D shackles + hooks
YJ bumperettes
Factory 2" Hitch
Hella bumper lights
KC Daylighters on windshield
Aux-in to Stock stereo

The next few posts are going to cover as much of the stuff I've done to my Jeep as best as I can remember. It probably won't be chronological. Probably will take me a while to catch up to where I am now. Feel free to ask questions as needed and comment away. I'd like to keep the first few pages uncluttered...at least until I can catch up to where I am now.

Thanks for looking folks! Wheel safe!

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Unread 07-13-2012, 09:45 AM   #2
hallsofstone
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Somewhere along the line, the Jeep had been endowed with a factory hitch. It was held on by two weak bolts and I decided that it sat too low anyway so it got sold for the Jeep fund. It also came with a spare set of D-window wagon wheels. They were 15's and actually pretty nice but I got sick of the wagon wheels on the YJ....so they got sold too, money diverted to the Jeep fund.

The top that came with the Jeep was original. I kept it on there for many months and it only leaked a little bit. Really, it was pretty impressive as it had some issues. I decided that it was time to hook the Jeep up with a nice top. The dark tan had grown on me so I looked for that as my #1 choice. Tops were so expensive that I knew it would be difficult to fit into my budget at the time, so I also considered black tops too. Eventually, I ran across a CL ad for a factory TJ top...at $75! I jumped on it and was really amazed. The top was perfect. The guy selling it had a TJ that his daughter wrecked with the hard top on. The soft top had stayed in their garage for quite a few years and he finally decided to pass it on and give someone a heck of a deal. Came with all perfect tinted windows, original packaging, frame, hardware, and boot.

Old:



New:





The old top was repaired and sold with hardware. Money was diverted to the Jeep fund.


Spare door surrounds were also sold for the Jeep fund.


At some point, I deleted the stock spare tire carrier from the tailgate to preserve the integrity. I knew that a tire swing was on the way, so I just ran with the spare strapped down inside the tub. Carrier was sold for the Jeep fund.

Decided I hated the wide flares. Deleted them and traded another Jeeper for his stock flares. I had some time the evening I took them off so I disconnected the swaybar and flexed the Jeep out on the rock pile I dumped in my driveway. It has become my favorite parking spot and has really helped me understand, troubleshoot, and enjoy the suspension on my Jeep.

Wide Flares:


Deleted, disco'd and flexed:


Now with painted stock flares:


At some point in there, the original Bighorn 35's were pulled because of tread depth issues. I sourced a set of 33x12.50x15 BFG AT's and slapped them on. The 35's were sold to a guy with a huge roller project and the proceeds went to the Jeep fund.

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85 Suzuki GS700 - ugly

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats."
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K.C.C.O. [url]www.thechive.com[/url]
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Unread 07-13-2012, 10:04 AM   #3
hallsofstone
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Eventually, the homebrew disco's were killed by my regular evening jaunts around the farm. I replaced them with JKS Quicker Disconnects and have made very good use of them. One of the best and easiest mods I've done.

Things stayed pretty normal for a while with few huccups. I pretty much drove and wheeled the TJ without doing any work for a few months, saving money and throwing huge absurd parties with my friends. At some point or another I was able to trade work for a spare tire carrier. Finally got it mounted up and MAN it's beef. I was not able to get to all the bolts, which is something I will come back to.





Ran topless on National Topless Day around that time.



Spent a bunch of time working on a friend's Cherokee:


And another friend's Cherokee:


And another friend's Cherokee:


And another friend's Cherokee...then sold it for her:


Helped my Dad sell his YJ...don't worry, he's not done Jeeping, just done with this Jeep:


Worked on this truck too...it got interesting to say the least:




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85 Suzuki GS700 - ugly

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats."
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K.C.C.O. [url]www.thechive.com[/url]
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Unread 07-13-2012, 10:17 AM   #4
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Finally...some decent reading material on this site...
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Unread 07-13-2012, 10:32 AM   #5
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I'm so proud of you for finally getting off your *** and starting a build thread
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Quote:
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Cleaning this thing up is similar to a slightly abused pornstar throwing on a bunch of makeup to try to hide her eternal scars, but I think she doesn't look too bad
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Unread 07-13-2012, 10:38 AM   #6
hallsofstone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sundowner View Post
Finally...some decent reading material on this site...
Coming from the man with one of the most popular build threads on JF.com, THANKS! Stick around, with any luck this will get interesting!

Quote:
Originally Posted by djflyy View Post
I'm so proud of you for finally getting off your *** and starting a build thread
Thanks, Ryan! I should have just done it the day I bought the Jeep but I really did not want to bore anyone. There may be some dry spells in here but I'll try to keep them lubricated with reviewing some of the better beers I run across while wrenching.



More to come...
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85 Suzuki GS700 - ugly

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats."
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K.C.C.O. [url]www.thechive.com[/url]
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Unread 07-13-2012, 10:47 AM   #7
hallsofstone
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I should probably take a moment to give a general direction in which I would like to see this build progress:

To compile/frankenstein my heep of Jeep into a well built, reliable, daily drivable, trail ready rig. It needs to be capable of hauling the dog, band gear, farm stuff, junk, etc. and therefore I need to retain the rear tub area and the seat for occasions which call for its use. The Jeep needs to be able to drive on the freeway for long distances as needed. It needs to be able to pull a small trailer.

Some general ideas of where I wasnt to end up:
35x12.50x15 mud tires
3.5" Coil Lift
1.25" body lift
Tummy Tuck (totally flat)
Under armor
Corner armor
Rocker armor
FLAT FENDERS !!!!!!! (looking at you, Ryan)
Rear LSD (not super aggressive, DD here)
HPD30 front w/ manual locker (probably OX)
4.56 gears
Winch
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[B][SIZE="3"][COLOR="Blue"] Jeeping Ohio Every Day[/COLOR][/SIZE][/B]
00 TJ Sport - Ever evolving DD/Rig [url]http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/jeeping-ohio-hallsofstones-tj-build-1392513/[/url]
85 Suzuki GS700 - ugly

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats."
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K.C.C.O. [url]www.thechive.com[/url]
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Unread 07-13-2012, 10:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hallsofstone View Post
Tummy Tuck (totally flat)

FLAT FENDERS !!!!!!! (looking at you, Ryan)
who me?!?!


For flat skid, check this sh*t out. Just found the company this morning from Redlyner's build. I'll probably be buying one, since it's literally almost $200 cheaper than UCF's skid, and this one is completttteeellyyy flat to the frame. $25 shipping to Boston from NC.

http://www.barnes4wd.com/Jeep-TJ-Fla...ate_p_220.html
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmosing View Post
Cleaning this thing up is similar to a slightly abused pornstar throwing on a bunch of makeup to try to hide her eternal scars, but I think she doesn't look too bad
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Unread 07-13-2012, 10:54 AM   #9
hallsofstone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djflyy View Post
who me?!?!


For flat skid, check this sh*t out. Just found the company this morning from Redlyner's build. I'll probably be buying one, since it's literally almost $200 cheaper than UCF's skid, and this one is completttteeellyyy flat to the frame. $25 shipping to Boston from NC.

http://www.barnes4wd.com/Jeep-TJ-Fla...ate_p_220.html
Holy crap! That's perfect. Before I do that, I need a MML, SYE, lopro mount, and a new driveshaft. I'll get to that eventually. Great link!! I may have to snatch one up before the price goes up!
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[B][SIZE="3"][COLOR="Blue"] Jeeping Ohio Every Day[/COLOR][/SIZE][/B]
00 TJ Sport - Ever evolving DD/Rig [url]http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/jeeping-ohio-hallsofstones-tj-build-1392513/[/url]
85 Suzuki GS700 - ugly

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats."
H. L. Mencken - US editor (1880 - 1956)

K.C.C.O. [url]www.thechive.com[/url]
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Unread 07-13-2012, 11:07 AM   #10
djflyy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hallsofstone View Post
I may have to snatch one up before the price goes up!
Exactly my thoughts. I PM'd the guy asking about drilling holes for my tranny mount.
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Quote:
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Cleaning this thing up is similar to a slightly abused pornstar throwing on a bunch of makeup to try to hide her eternal scars, but I think she doesn't look too bad
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Unread 07-13-2012, 11:14 AM   #11
hallsofstone
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I had some cash laying around and was looking at the worn BFG's on my Jeep with some serious lack of trust. Spent some time on Craigslist and ran across a fellow selling a set of 33x12.50x15 Kumho Road Venture MT's for $400. I figured the price was too good to pass up even though I wanted 35's, so I emailed him. He told me later that I was not the first person to email him on them...just the only person that used complete sentences. He decided that I needed to be who he sold them to. So I drove down and bought them for $400 cash. They came off of an International Scout II that he had bought out of a field up near Cleveland. The tires that were on the Scout were totally shot and he planned to drive the truck back to Columbus. So he stopped by the local tire store and bought these, which are now discontinued and drove the 100 mi. or so South to his house. He started pulling the project apart and found major rust issues that he had not noticed before and decided that the tires would rot to waste before he got the project finished, hence the sale. I got lucky.



At some point I became painfully aware of the fact that my Jeep was wandering all over the road. The dead space in the center of the steering was a void big enough to be classified as a black hole. Therefore I decided that it was time to do some upgrades. I got online and ordered up the Rugged Ridge HD Crossover steering kit.

Lord Beefington the HD:


Pulled the old crap:




Bolted up the new:







I did a garage tape measure alignment and doublechecked torque on everything. Test drive was successful. Steering cycled perfectly with no clearance issues. Flexed disco'd on the rock pile and determined that it all would work perfectly with articulation. Loaded up the tires and headed into town for an alignment, mount, and balance...that's when stuff got really interesting.

Had to drive the roomate to work, so I got creative:



Did the alignment first, but never made it much beyond that. The steering gear box that had been leaking subtly for a while decided to spill it's pitiful life fluid all over the shop floor as the mechanic set up the alignment rack. I got a call, I bellowed a curse, then I picked up the Jeep and limped it home. Spent the next week soaking the bolts in PB Blaster and looking for a Durango box. Found one a few miles north at a junkyard. It was out of a 99 4x4 V8 with no plow and 60k miles. Paid like $75 or something for it. Brought it home and struggled for countless hours trying to get it installed. Had a very hard time with the pitman arms on both even after days of soaking in PB Blaster and WD-40. Ended up trading a single shot shotgun to my mechanic friend to swap them out for me. Had the Jeep back up and running and got rid of a pointless gun I less-than-liked. All told, the Jeep sat around for a couple weeks and I rode the Nighthawk to get around.

Eventually, the death wobble reared its pug-fugly head and I had to get drastic. I had an adjustable front trac bar laying around so I installed that. The old trac bar was totally shot on both ends, so I'm inclined to say it was an easy fix. Had the trac bar I put in laying around with a pile of parts I had picked up. Jeep drives perfectly up the road, no hands on the wheel, no pull, no dead space. Just tightness.

[to be edited with a Durango box pic]

Found this at the JY and cried a little:


Spent some time building a bike for a friend around then:


This is another backburner project, 2 speed direct drive MTB w/tensioner:


Also spent some time on the river:


Shot this thing a whole bunch:
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85 Suzuki GS700 - ugly

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats."
H. L. Mencken - US editor (1880 - 1956)

K.C.C.O. [url]www.thechive.com[/url]
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Unread 07-13-2012, 11:28 AM   #12
hallsofstone
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Then one day I got into one of those super duper OCD modes I swing into from time to time and cleaned the holy hell out of my garage and reorganized my workbench area (note the all-important beer fridge to the lower right):


Cleaned and organized the rear area of the Jeep, tools and recovery on the left, straps on the right, fire extinguisher mounted. I had bedlined the rear cargo area with the spray-on stuff a while ago. It held up awesome. Still looks perfect. Cut out a section of some carpet I had laying around and laid it in there for noise dampening and in anticipation of an eventual dog.

Yup:


Somewhere along the line (I think before the steering fun) I ended up having a water pump go out on my so my Jeep sat for a minute right about here while I get stuff handled:


Bit by bit, bought some parts over time for eventual install given time and finances. I have a tendency to pick things up at good prices and then not have the cash on hand to handle install. Some stuff is bought to be installed in coordination with other stuff. Other things are bought because the price was right and the timing worked out with my budget.

2 pc. Steel Horse Hard top for $200, built a little rack for storage outside:



Factory LSD for the D44 rear:


Taurus 2 spd electric fan:


Rancho 3.5" Suspension lift, used, no sag, all hardware/TC drop, fixed lower CA's, extended rear trac bar, adjustable front trac bar:


HD gas tank skid (currently being painted and bedlined, it's notched for my rear bumper receiver already):


Sold this trailer that was left over from my last band and added to the Jeep fund:


In buying, selling, and trading, I've found the ability to sustain myself financially when bills get tight. Sometimes it takes a little bit to make things happen but you can do stuff along the way that facilitates accomplishing what you set out to do. If it does not speed up the process, it might distract you enough not to be concerned.

Here's my cat about to lash out irrationally from a beer box...just because:
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00 TJ Sport - Ever evolving DD/Rig [url]http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/jeeping-ohio-hallsofstones-tj-build-1392513/[/url]
85 Suzuki GS700 - ugly

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats."
H. L. Mencken - US editor (1880 - 1956)

K.C.C.O. [url]www.thechive.com[/url]
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Unread 07-13-2012, 12:10 PM   #13
hallsofstone
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More recently, I traded work for a set of rollbar/wheelwell speaker wedges. They have crappy Pioneers in them and some cheap tweeters. In the end, the goal was to get a little more sound out of the stock radio until I set aside enough money to upgrade the entire setup. I'm not sure that I like the wedges but they work. Decided to wire them in with the front speakers given the generally crappy sound coming out of them. When I pulled everything apart, I found the following:





I contacted Matt, the previous owner. He says he has no idea. Not his key. He never had that apart but he did know that the Jeep was originally owned by someone down in West Virginia. Seems whoever that was has been missing a key for quite a while now. If you're reading this, recognize this Jeep, this key, or whatever, PM me and I'll get it sorted out with you.

Another day, I decided that the front end looked horrific with all the rust. No before shots were taken that day but you can get the idea from other pictures in this build. Everything got washed realy well and then I pulled the front bumper (which is from an old CJ) and wire wheeled it. Repainted that with Rustolem Rust Tough Semi-Flat Black. I masked off the grille and wire wheeled the front winch mount, hooks, swaybar, and frame. Sprayed everything down with quite a few coats of the stuff and I'm happy with the result:






The exhaust finally took a massive crap. I could hear stuff jangling around in there and it sounded like trolls playing the steel girders of a bridge with large rocks. I went to my favorite muffler shop and had them install a Flowmaster copy muffler and custom bent pipe. I've used this same type of muffler before on a couple different vehicles. Really impressed with how long they last and even more impressed with the sound. The old tailpipe hung low and at a strange angle (can be seen in previously posted pics). Out with the old in with the new.

Inexpensive and a win:


There's more stuff I've skipped over and missed. I'll add and edit more of that later. For now, here's a couple shots of the Jeep after I beat the rain home the other day. These are more-or-less currently where my Jeep sits:



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00 TJ Sport - Ever evolving DD/Rig [url]http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/jeeping-ohio-hallsofstones-tj-build-1392513/[/url]
85 Suzuki GS700 - ugly

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats."
H. L. Mencken - US editor (1880 - 1956)

K.C.C.O. [url]www.thechive.com[/url]
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Unread 07-13-2012, 02:36 PM   #14
hallsofstone
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The plan tomorrow is to head out first thing in the AM with my redheaded friend, Molly. She and I are going to drive up to Ann Arbor in her Volvo to meet with some folks. The goal here is to adopt a puppy. But not just any puppy....THIS puppy:



As time permits this weekend, I may continue with any number of ongoing projects with this Jeep. Some of those are as follows:
Frame cleanup/painting (could coordinate with rotating tires)
Throttle body cleanup/reinstall (would like to buy a spacer and install that at the same time)
Gas tank skid finish/install...also other bolts on bumper

I need to pick up some Ground Pounder Fab bumper tie-in brackets from Eddie, a pair of Brown Dog MML/mounts, a UCF lopro tranny mount, and a Novak shifter cable. The last two things are in anticipation of installing the 3.5" Rancho lift I have collecting dust. The idea here is to maintain the stock skid without a drop and without a SYE. This is because I get hung up enough on my stock shovel, lowering it does not help me at all. On the other hand, it will take me a while to save up enough for the SYE/DS/Flat skid. It should get me by until then.

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f234/...ackets-771148/

http://browndogindustries.com/CU2883...ts-Rubber.aspx

http://undercoverfab.com/brackets-an...unt-97-02.html

http://www.novak-adapt.com/catalog/shifters/sk2xc.htm

Also, I'm starting to do some research on which SYE/DS combination I could go with that will save me some money. If anyone has suggestions, please feel free to voice them.
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[B][SIZE="3"][COLOR="Blue"] Jeeping Ohio Every Day[/COLOR][/SIZE][/B]
00 TJ Sport - Ever evolving DD/Rig [url]http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/jeeping-ohio-hallsofstones-tj-build-1392513/[/url]
85 Suzuki GS700 - ugly

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats."
H. L. Mencken - US editor (1880 - 1956)

K.C.C.O. [url]www.thechive.com[/url]
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Unread 07-13-2012, 03:18 PM   #15
hallsofstone
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Went ahead and ordered the frame tie-in brackets from Eddie at Ground Pounder Fab. I've seen so many people talk about them and frankly, I can't think of a better way to beef up that rear bumper for towing. Bracket kit should hit the mail sometime Monday.

Many thanks to Eddie! Super easy to deal with.
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[B][SIZE="3"][COLOR="Blue"] Jeeping Ohio Every Day[/COLOR][/SIZE][/B]
00 TJ Sport - Ever evolving DD/Rig [url]http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/jeeping-ohio-hallsofstones-tj-build-1392513/[/url]
85 Suzuki GS700 - ugly

"Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats."
H. L. Mencken - US editor (1880 - 1956)

K.C.C.O. [url]www.thechive.com[/url]
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