Kyle's TJ build - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 21 Old 05-30-2015, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
KJC95
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Kyle's TJ build

So I want to have this as kind of a log for myself as I build this jeep. It's going to be a slow build, buying things as I get the money.
I bought my 97 TJ last August after abandoning a lost cause YJ project. It was a good price and the only rust was on the fenders (which were mostly constructed of bondo) and I liked it enough to pull the trigger. It was pretty basic, everything stock (I didn't want one that had been messed with) and with no options. Factory soft top, half doors, 2.5l engine, 5 speed. I was hesitant on the 2.5 but my dad had a few with it and got by okay, so I went with it.

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post #2 of 21 Old 05-30-2015, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
KJC95
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My first upgrade was some bumpers I had laying around from the YJ project, just some smittybuilt classics I picked up cheap. After the bumpers came new pro comp wheels and a winch (which has been a savior all winter).
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post #3 of 21 Old 05-30-2015, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
KJC95
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Next on the list was tires, went with 31 inch duratracs. That was all I really did before winter came, halfway through winter I picked up a hard top and full doors, I wanted that setup for driving year round rather than the soft top. I will probably end up getting a soft top again down the road but I wanted to get it set for daily winter driving. So far my other upgrades have been a k&n air filter, bosch rotors, Wagner pads, and fluid changes. I've also got a new fender waiting to go on. The plan over the next couple months is a lift, some paint and body work and possibly a rear end swap. I'd also like to bedliner the interior.
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post #4 of 21 Old 05-30-2015, 02:31 PM Thread Starter
KJC95
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Here's some picks of the first real wheeling trip with it and of the Memorial Day parade with the local club.
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post #5 of 21 Old 07-14-2015, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
KJC95
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Spend the afternoon today painting the doors to match the rest of the jeep, I've really grown to like the teal a lot.
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post #6 of 21 Old 07-14-2015, 08:44 PM
Hades91
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Still no lift though? I'm asking because I plan to trade my truck in for a tj, and I'm already thinking of what I want to do with it. Finding the right lift is hard, but I only plan to go up to 32" tires, or even stick with 31". The lift would just be nice to have that extra clearance. But if you have 31"s with stock suspension still, a lift may not be as important if your jeep is plenty capable in those pictures. I'm still learning lol
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post #7 of 21 Old 07-17-2015, 05:50 PM Thread Starter
KJC95
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I have the lift I'm going to get picked out I'm just waiting on the extra cash to get it. So far the 31's stock height hasn't been to bad but I haven't been on a ton of trails with it yet. There have been a couple that the club I'm in recommends having at least 33's so working up to that eventually. Hopefully the lift will come by the end of next month lol
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post #8 of 21 Old 08-07-2015, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
KJC95
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Had this waiting for me when I got home 👍. Just gotta wait for a couple days off to put it on!
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post #9 of 21 Old 08-11-2015, 10:55 AM Thread Starter
KJC95
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Threw some LED lights on it today! nice little upgrade to hold me until I get time for the lift kit. Also picked up a soft top a couple weeks ago.
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post #10 of 21 Old 08-11-2015, 02:29 PM
Jeep Daddy
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I had a 1985 CJ7 that was bone stock and I did everything myself. Lift, tires, wheels, gears, lockers, bumpers, winch, rocker guards, tube fenders, hard top, half doors, seats, roll cage, skids, CB, ham, more. I'll never forget the expense. I sold that rig in 2011 and in 2014 decided I miss my Jeep too much to keep going without. So I bought an already built TJ Rubicon. It already had all good stuff on it but I still needed to get more. I got receipts for all the work done by the previous owner and I'm glad that I don't have that expense. All I've had to do is install $600 worth of skids, and fix some oil leaks, rear main seal, water pump, thermostat, belt, hoses, wiper switch, and add cruise control. The cruise was easy to do. I'm glad that someone else bought all the expensive stuff so I didn't have to do it all again.

Good luck with your build. You know what JEEP stands for don't you? Just Empty Every Pocket. Poof, money gone. LOL

2004 Rubicon, 6" lift, 35s, winch, hard top, full doors, bumpers, tire carrier and rock sliders.
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post #11 of 21 Old 08-11-2015, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
KJC95
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That sounds like a great experience building that cj, hopefully this build will give me the same. I'm expecting to empty the pockets on this one haha
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post #12 of 21 Old 08-12-2015, 06:51 PM
tiggerjeep
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I had a 97 Sahara several years ago. Bought totally stock and did all the work myself. Scary how much money was in it when I sold for peanuts. But, I learned a tremendous amount working on it. 33s are a great size tire. Lockers front and rear will let you go places you have no business being

Good luck!
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post #13 of 21 Old 08-12-2015, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
KJC95
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That is basically the plan for this one, once I find an 8.8 for a good price I'll go 4.88's and a locker and go up to 33's. I'd like to go with metal cloak/flat fenders but I'm not sure what I can do with Maine's laws. It's my first build so I'll be learning a lot with it!
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post #14 of 21 Old 08-14-2015, 04:29 AM
Batty505a
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Congrats on the jeep!
Also subbed. I've got a 98TJ sport stocker w/I6 and 28" tires.
Picking a hardtop to match the full doors I bought and had rekeyed 2 years ago.
I'm working a little at a time as money allows as well.
Next is tires, then lift and lockers / regear. 31s should be plenty but if I do decide to go big, 33s is my limit.
Incidentally anyone have 4.11s & 31s? Just curious.

2006 Chevy Silverado (DD)
1998 Jeep TJ Wrangler Sport (DD)
1993 Jeep YJ Wrangler *Parts Vehicle*
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post #15 of 21 Old 08-15-2015, 04:05 AM
Cjsizemore19
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You shouldn't have to move up to 4.88 until you have 35s I have 33s on 4.11 and still have all my power your just wasting speed of you do
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