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Bill Baird Motorsports DIY parts - NalinMFG.comFS: 2007-2013 Jeep Wrangler "HALO" Angel Eye KitFS: Wranger BRIGHT License Plate LED! Just $3! Great value

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Unread 06-08-2013, 09:22 PM   #1
Flyboy161
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Labor of Love

My 18 year old son decided to go and join the Army National Guard in Oklahoma last year. He was 17 at the time and had maintained a straight A average in high school while playing football, wrestling and playing in the band and working to boot! So he had a truck that he bought from his sister, but it got something like 4 miles to the gallon and about 1 quart of oil every 35 miles. Meanwhile he wanted to go to college and starting in 9th grade he began looking at how to fund his college. Well, the Army Guard came through with the best deal for him. He had a Basic training date set up for June 26th at Fort Benning. Then he turns around and graduates Valedictorian and the Army starts drooling! So they set him up with a "Green to Gold" program at a Major University in Oklahoma set to start after Basic Training and AIT. So that would be January 2013. My wife and I wanted to do something nice for him, so we started looking for a Jeep. (He likes mine, but it's mine. He can't have it)
Enter the CL Special: A 1997 TJ with a blown motor.



The kid selling her, wants $2500 OBO. Seems a bit steep based on the pics. I go out and spend time with this Jeep. A lot of time. Me, a tape measure to measure the frame, a FSM and a whole lotta cigarettes.
So, we haggle a bit. I go grab the wife and take her to see the Jeep and then the real haggling begins. Based on Kelly Blue Book the Jeep in Good condition would be worth about $4500, so I set my budget at $4000 and talked him down to $1900.
Now mind you this project is done, but I'm gonna tell the story anyway. So we towed her home, winched her off the dolly and hosed her off. The date is June the 4th, 2012





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"It is in my opinion that owning a jeep must be like raising a rebellious teenager: the more you try and love it and nurture it and get nice things for it, the more it says "screw you!! I'm doing drugs and drinking because I hate you!!!" And your stuck taking it to the hospital :("

Labor of Love- my son's Jeep build
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/labor-love-1534044/

My build thread- Littlebee
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/littlebee-1568478/

Last edited by Flyboy161; 07-16-2013 at 10:39 AM.. Reason: Misspell haggling
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Unread 06-08-2013, 09:27 PM   #2
Flyboy161
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Labor of Love

So that afternoon, my wife and I gutted her. And suprisingly once we got all the trash and guano out of her, we were pleasantly suprised.


Replaced the flat tire with one that was a little more round

I kept telling my wife, I was keeping this bumper for a reason. 3 years later we knew why...
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"It is in my opinion that owning a jeep must be like raising a rebellious teenager: the more you try and love it and nurture it and get nice things for it, the more it says "screw you!! I'm doing drugs and drinking because I hate you!!!" And your stuck taking it to the hospital :("

Labor of Love- my son's Jeep build
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/labor-love-1534044/

My build thread- Littlebee
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/littlebee-1568478/
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Unread 06-08-2013, 09:33 PM   #3
Flyboy161
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Labor of Love

So one thing I've learned in living my life is, Small Victories can boost your spirit. With that said, we rolled her into the garage for the last time until she came out in September. So I'm looking at this sad, dejected little green Jeep in my garage and one thing that stands out is the fender flares. They are a dull chalky grey.

A little research and I find a neat trick.

Observe...


A propane torch waved back and forth quickly on the fender flare turns them kind of a shiny black. As a matter of fact they looked really good, so I did them all.


Not bad. Motor next...
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"It is in my opinion that owning a jeep must be like raising a rebellious teenager: the more you try and love it and nurture it and get nice things for it, the more it says "screw you!! I'm doing drugs and drinking because I hate you!!!" And your stuck taking it to the hospital :("

Labor of Love- my son's Jeep build
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/labor-love-1534044/

My build thread- Littlebee
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/littlebee-1568478/
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Unread 06-08-2013, 09:42 PM   #4
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Labor of Love

Well, the kid that sold this to me says it has a thrown rod. And I cranked the engine in the driveway. Didn't start, but cranked over really nice... kind of quiet. As much time as I spent under and around the car, I never saw anything to lead me to believe anything else other than a broken rod.
So in research I find that a 2.5L remanufactured engine will cost me about $1500 after the core return. I'm okay with that, still under budget and it has a one year warranty. What could possibly go wrong.I figure at the least I'll overhaul, at most I'll do a crate engine.
I thought, HEY I LUCKED OUT! No. No I did not. A buddy at work has a cherry picker, so we borrow that and pull the motor. When I removed the driver side motor mount bracket there was a loud clank as a grapefruit sized piece of engine block hit the gound. Yeah, it's like that...
The autopsy revealed this:


Notice the GREAT BIG FREAKING HOLE IN THE BLOCK!

Motor goes on an engine stand and I moved on to greener pastures
__________________
"It is in my opinion that owning a jeep must be like raising a rebellious teenager: the more you try and love it and nurture it and get nice things for it, the more it says "screw you!! I'm doing drugs and drinking because I hate you!!!" And your stuck taking it to the hospital :("

Labor of Love- my son's Jeep build
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/labor-love-1534044/

My build thread- Littlebee
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/littlebee-1568478/

Last edited by Flyboy161; 07-16-2013 at 10:42 AM.. Reason: Misspell time and too many so's
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Unread 06-09-2013, 02:29 PM   #5
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Suspension De-mod

This Jeep had a 2 inch budget boost on it and 31 inch tires. My wife and I discussed this and since Jake, was going to be a college student for the next four years, we figured it would be better to give him a bone stock Jeep.
We did this for a few reasons:
1. Keep the cost of replacement parts for him down
2. Replace some badly worn tires
3. He can make it "His Own" Jeep
First up was to remove the 31 inch tires. A guy in a local club I belonged to wanted to replace his stock rims and tires with bigger rims and tires. I had decent rims to trade so we haggled a bit and I gave him $200.00, my rims and I got 4 stock rims with brand new Firestone tires on them.
Next, get rid of the spacer lift and replace the shocks. I ordered four Monroe shocks from Rockauto and set about removing the spacers.

You can see how bad off the bump stops were, so I ordered new bump stops. The spacer is in the background.

Here is the retaining bolt for the bump stop cup (Notice the hourglass shape at the end of the bolt. I'm surprised they came out in one piece.

Everything on the right rear completely clean and painted. Still waiting on shocks.
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"It is in my opinion that owning a jeep must be like raising a rebellious teenager: the more you try and love it and nurture it and get nice things for it, the more it says "screw you!! I'm doing drugs and drinking because I hate you!!!" And your stuck taking it to the hospital :("

Labor of Love- my son's Jeep build
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/labor-love-1534044/

My build thread- Littlebee
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/littlebee-1568478/
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Unread 06-09-2013, 02:36 PM   #6
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While waiting on shocks, why not bedline?

So as I am waiting for parts and nursing a bum shoulder, I decided to tackle the interior. We discussed carpet, etc. We decided to bedline the inside.

Scuff sand the interior...

And some more scuff...

Had to make a patch for a small rust hole in the floor. Lots of rivets and sealant to keep it in place

Tape off where my lines will be



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"It is in my opinion that owning a jeep must be like raising a rebellious teenager: the more you try and love it and nurture it and get nice things for it, the more it says "screw you!! I'm doing drugs and drinking because I hate you!!!" And your stuck taking it to the hospital :("

Labor of Love- my son's Jeep build
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/labor-love-1534044/

My build thread- Littlebee
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/littlebee-1568478/
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Unread 06-09-2013, 02:39 PM   #7
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Seats covers

Ordered a set of Smittybilt Neoprene Seat Covers





Oh yeah, and the shocks came in...
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"It is in my opinion that owning a jeep must be like raising a rebellious teenager: the more you try and love it and nurture it and get nice things for it, the more it says "screw you!! I'm doing drugs and drinking because I hate you!!!" And your stuck taking it to the hospital :("

Labor of Love- my son's Jeep build
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/labor-love-1534044/

My build thread- Littlebee
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/littlebee-1568478/
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Unread 06-09-2013, 02:44 PM   #8
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Dash center bezel

So P.O. had sprayed the center bezel with fluorescent yellow spray paint and then about 18 layers of black spray paint. Yeah.

Sanded all that off and removed the yellow overspray with scotchbrite pads.
I found some textured silver paint at Lowe's and decided to go that route.


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"It is in my opinion that owning a jeep must be like raising a rebellious teenager: the more you try and love it and nurture it and get nice things for it, the more it says "screw you!! I'm doing drugs and drinking because I hate you!!!" And your stuck taking it to the hospital :("

Labor of Love- my son's Jeep build
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/labor-love-1534044/

My build thread- Littlebee
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/littlebee-1568478/

Last edited by Flyboy161; 06-09-2013 at 09:34 PM.. Reason: Forgot two pics
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Unread 06-09-2013, 02:48 PM   #9
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Soft top

The top on the Jeep is the spice denim. Reasonably new, I decided to leave it. It was installed incorrectly at the windshield channel by the P.O., so we fixed that. After a really good scrub, it all went back on the Jeep.




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"It is in my opinion that owning a jeep must be like raising a rebellious teenager: the more you try and love it and nurture it and get nice things for it, the more it says "screw you!! I'm doing drugs and drinking because I hate you!!!" And your stuck taking it to the hospital :("

Labor of Love- my son's Jeep build
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/labor-love-1534044/

My build thread- Littlebee
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/littlebee-1568478/
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Unread 06-09-2013, 03:17 PM   #10
Flyboy161
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Motor!

So, being the Craigslist shopper I am, one day I see a guy in North Macon who is selling a 2.5L engine and transmission out of a 97 TJ for $600.00.
I take a ride up there, look it over since it is out of the car and hanging from a chain and we commence to haggle. I got the motor for $450 and he kept the tranny.
Sadly, I have no pics of the motor when it was not installed. But I do have pics of the exhaust manifold from the old motor that was cracked.


A little frame work...order a new exhaust manifold

And then push the motor in


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"It is in my opinion that owning a jeep must be like raising a rebellious teenager: the more you try and love it and nurture it and get nice things for it, the more it says "screw you!! I'm doing drugs and drinking because I hate you!!!" And your stuck taking it to the hospital :("

Labor of Love- my son's Jeep build
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/labor-love-1534044/

My build thread- Littlebee
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/littlebee-1568478/
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Unread 06-09-2013, 03:22 PM   #11
Flyboy161
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Body work...outside

Well now it's August and she rolled outside. Jake's graduation is approaching October 12th and I need to get this baby done.
The hood had a really bad case of clear coat peel.

I wet sanded the clear coat off and shot it with an emerald green single stage paint. Not a pro, but not terrible either.

About this time we also cranked her for the first time. She fired right up and purred like a kitten!
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"It is in my opinion that owning a jeep must be like raising a rebellious teenager: the more you try and love it and nurture it and get nice things for it, the more it says "screw you!! I'm doing drugs and drinking because I hate you!!!" And your stuck taking it to the hospital :("

Labor of Love- my son's Jeep build
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/labor-love-1534044/

My build thread- Littlebee
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/littlebee-1568478/
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Unread 06-09-2013, 03:25 PM   #12
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Front bumper

I had to do a little welding on the front frame horns to re-attach nuts for the front bumpers.


I also ordered a hood prop on EBay
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"It is in my opinion that owning a jeep must be like raising a rebellious teenager: the more you try and love it and nurture it and get nice things for it, the more it says "screw you!! I'm doing drugs and drinking because I hate you!!!" And your stuck taking it to the hospital :("

Labor of Love- my son's Jeep build
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/labor-love-1534044/

My build thread- Littlebee
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/littlebee-1568478/
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Unread 06-09-2013, 04:17 PM   #13
Flyboy161
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Driving results

Jeep drives good for a four cylinder. I spent the next month test driving her back and forth to work. I am happy to report, no glitches
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"It is in my opinion that owning a jeep must be like raising a rebellious teenager: the more you try and love it and nurture it and get nice things for it, the more it says "screw you!! I'm doing drugs and drinking because I hate you!!!" And your stuck taking it to the hospital :("

Labor of Love- my son's Jeep build
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/labor-love-1534044/

My build thread- Littlebee
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/littlebee-1568478/
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Unread 06-09-2013, 04:25 PM   #14
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Massive props for doing this for your kid! I actually like how your keeping it nice and stock for him to build.

When you give it to him show him some of impeds work and a few other tjs this is from an xj owner

Sent from my xj
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Unread 06-09-2013, 04:26 PM   #15
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October 12th! The Reveal

Jake's graduation day has finally arrived! We drove over to Columbus and met his mother and grandparents at Ft. Benning. If you ever get an opportunity to watch the Advanced Infantry Graduation there, you should go. Awesome ceremony!
The plan is to go to the graduation. Members of the club I belonged to took the Green jeep the night before. We only live an hour and a half away from Ft. Benning so we would attend the graduation and then Jake, his mother and grandparents would follow us back to Byron Georgia, where the club had reserved a spot at a local park.
All the club members Jeeps would be there around his Jeep and his would be covered.


So we drove to Byron and as we pulled in the parking lot we caught sight of the club. There wasn't a dry eye in my car as we pulled in. There in the center was a Jeep, covered with a gray boat cover and with a Red, White and Blue ribbon on the front.

We set Jake out front







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"It is in my opinion that owning a jeep must be like raising a rebellious teenager: the more you try and love it and nurture it and get nice things for it, the more it says "screw you!! I'm doing drugs and drinking because I hate you!!!" And your stuck taking it to the hospital :("

Labor of Love- my son's Jeep build
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/labor-love-1534044/

My build thread- Littlebee
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/littlebee-1568478/
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