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New! JK/U skid plate system.We now have Uniballs!The Original 3/8" Ruffstuff Diff Cover!

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Unread 03-06-2015, 11:07 PM   #1
brianhorne8
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1991 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 32
Lazarus

Well, I'll start by saying this build, if you want to call it that, won't get crazy. No modifications to suspension, no big tires, nothing done to the engine. I'll leave that to the rest of you. What I'm setting out for is the impossible task of making the Jeep civilized. I'm curious how quiet and comfortable it can be, and when you snag a truck for about $2k, you can afford to mess around. It's my DD (when I actually drive it) and my transport up to the mountains on winter weekends...so I'm going for quiet, warm, and comfortable. So without further adieu, meet Lazarus:



Bone stock 1991, 2.5L, 5 speed. It's slow, it's loud, I love it.

I haven't done anything to it since I bought it last August, besides plugs, cap, rotor, wires, drain/fill tranny fluid, and regular oil changes. I don't plan on doing anything else, mechanically speaking, to it unless I'm forced to. What I will be doing is new audio, stripping the interior, laying down sound deadening, and generally just making it a nice place to be when I log a 3-4 hours a weekend in it.

I'll also document my battles with interior and exterior door handles, which seem to break whenever I look at them.

Stay tuned, it'll be a boring, boring ride.

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Unread 03-06-2015, 11:11 PM   #2
brianhorne8
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Location: Denver, CO
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Just to catch you up to speed, the only things I've done to it at this point is put new 235/75R15 General Grabber AT2's on all four corners (need to get the spare on the same page), added LED lights to the gauges, cleaned the PCB behind the gauges to get them all working again (except the gas), and start that battle with the darn door handles. I got the truck with the passenger's side not opening the door from the interior, and now it works and the driver's side doesn't. I need to change out the exterior handle on the driver's side, and could stand to on the opposite side as well, but I undertook that job a few weeks ago, and I can't even begin to tell you how much of a PITA that is. I'll be taking that to a shop to have them do it, because I can't tolerate it, and can't get the keepers to slide down and hold in place.

Oh, and my rear window on the hard top was bashed in recently, so I had it and my front replaced. Goodbye, $600.
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Unread 03-07-2015, 08:25 AM   #3
IRQ
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Location: North Great River, NY
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May want to check the fluid in the differentials and transfer case, who knows when it was done
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Unread 03-07-2015, 04:05 PM   #4
brianhorne8
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Location: Denver, CO
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That was on my list, but of course it got too cold to do anything with shortly after I got it. Happening very soon.
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Unread 03-14-2015, 12:35 PM   #5
brianhorne8
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The Plan

Here's my plan of attack at this point. Aside from getting all functionality back to my full doors (those inner/outer handles will be the death of me), I'll be borrowing my in-laws' garage for a few days in June, so I'm going after the interior then:

- I'll be painting on Spectrum on the visible parts of the tub where the next step's materials would be exposed (tailgate, door skins, might double up with the RAAMmat on the wheel wells.)
- Then laying down a layer of RAAMmat on the parts of the tub that are covered by carpet.
- Adding a layer or two of this double sided foil backed thermal insulation. Keeping heat/cold out has been just as much a primary goal as controlling noise, so I'm pretty stoked on this stuff. I got a chance to chat with Mike, the owner/seller, and he shipped me a free sample in a day! This stuff is about 1/8" thick, with foil on either side, sandwiching a closed cell foam. I was already planning to add a layer of 1/8 closed cell foam to begin with, but the insulating properties of this will give me the noise control same result, with a better chance to control temperatures as well. The best part is that 100sq feet costs less than $100 shipped! Check out some of the testimonials and data to back up the product.
- Finishing with a top layer of mass loaded vinyl to try to destroy some of the other ambient sound. This stuff kills a lot of frequencies in the 1000Hz range, which just so happens to be where most road noise lies. This layer is where I expect to see the biggest gains in isolation.
- I'll use a lot of closed cell foam I have (non-insulated) to apply to the rattly parts of the truck.

I'll probably coat the undersides of the wheel wells too, just to give myself the best chance at controlling/mitigating transmission of that. The part I'm struggling with is that the hard doors just don't have that much space to lay down deadener and insulation like most other cars, so that'll be a challenge. I'm hoping that the Spectrum will help with this, but I'd love to be able to get a layer of insulation on there as well, particularly on the inside of the outermost skin.

With my hard top, my current plan is to paint or spray a layer of Spectrum (or Lizardskin if I decide to go the insulation route), sand that smooth, and then paint it a dark grey. I'm not a fan of the white on the inside of the top, so adding a darker color will be really nice. Then I'm going to make either a two or three layer custom headliner that goes down the middle of the hardtop. I can't decide if I'll start with a fiberboard base, then apply a layer of insulated foam, and then wrap it in either a gray headliner material or what I think would be rad...yellow plaid. If I back the foam and fabric with the fiberboard, I'll probably use velcro to adhere it to the hard top, instead of using glue. That's the part I'm most undecided on.

Part of this is probably a pointless exercise, but I'm curious. A Jeep's a Jeep, but I wonder how much quieter you can get it.

While that's going on, I'm going to wire in new dash speakers, add either a soundbar or speaker wedges with some solid speakers (still deciding what), and I might install an amp. I'm not so much interested in bass as I am clean power. I also might go with a new head unit to add bluetooth, but that's lowest on my list right now.

I also want to add LED strips under the dash just for fun, and probably add seat heaters, because it's darn cold in Denver in January. I'll cover the heaters and old seats with either Iggee or these cordura covers. I've heard good things about both, so it looks like that will be a game time decision. The covers and heaters will be the last thing I tackle, but they seem like they'll happen for sure.

I'm open to opinion on materials/products, but as someone who's seen the gains with even smaller scale sound deadening in my previous cars, I'm stoked to take on this challenge.

Last edited by brianhorne8; 03-19-2015 at 10:38 PM..
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Unread 03-19-2015, 10:38 PM   #6
brianhorne8
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Denver, CO
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Fixing the Doors

Like I mentioned at the top, I've been fighting my interior door handles for months, largely due to having no time to fix it/every fix breaking. I finally got a new driver's side in a few weeks ago, only to have the stupid part break instantly. A new interior handle arrived yesterday, and I set out to fix this thing permanently. I took a page out of another member's book here and decided to eliminate the rod, which I found to be one of the failing points. Instead, I drilled out the existing (bent) holder where the threaded rod inserted and used a thick, vinyl coated braided steel cable. I attached ring terminals to the ends of the wires by crimping and then coating in JB Weld. I'd never gotten hold of JB Weld before, but holy cow, that stuff is good. If anything breaks in the future, it's not due to the cable, it's the darn door handle. Here's a couple shots of it:

The part before it was drilled out:


After:


The cable with ring terminals (the white is the paper towel I let the JB Welded end dry on). I cut the cable to 17 1/4", but 17 1/8" might work a little better and keep some more tension on the cable:


The cable connected to the interior handle:


I didn't get photos installed, but you get the drift. Pop the handle back in, attach via screw and lock nut, and you're set! Like I said, I cut the cable to 17 1/4", but I'd consider going a little shorter next time, just to keep the tension up. I did a bunch of test opens and closes, and everything works perfectly.

My only beef with all of this is that NO ONE makes a metal interior door handle. I'd throw my money at someone if they did, because I'm sick of the cheap plastic pieces. I'm on my third one!

I'll post more as I add things, but the big work doesn't start until June. I did make some junkyard finds today that I've got to pick up on Saturday, but it's pretty small stuff.
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Unread 03-21-2015, 10:57 PM   #7
brianhorne8
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Picked up some stuff at the yard today. New (to me) gray roll bar covers/pads, center instrument cluster, horn button, and passenger's side female end seat belt. Nothing exciting, but this builds about form more than function. I'm pretty pumped with the gray roll bar cover find, since those seem hard to come by. Cleaned up real nice, too!
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Unread 03-21-2015, 11:22 PM   #8
blitz134
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I would suggest the Bedrug interior carpeting. I put it in my YJ and it helped a lot with the heat that came in through the floorboard. I only installed the front kit. I'm sure with your additional deadening, it would be even quieter.



In the rear, I built a plywood panel and covered it with carpet. This allowed for things to be stored on two levels and for the items underneath to be "locked in" when the rear tailgate is shut and locked. It also helped to keep the sound that comes in from the wheel wells and rear tub in check. Here are a couple of pics...also added some "L" bracket aluminum with holes in it to allow for stuff to be tied down and to stiffen the panel (not shown in the pics).



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Unread 03-21-2015, 11:31 PM   #9
brianhorne8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blitz134 View Post
I would suggest the Bedrug interior carpeting. I put it in my YJ and it helped a lot with the heat that came in through the floorboard. I only installed the front kit. I'm sure with your additional deadening, it would be even quieter.



In the rear, I built a plywood panel and covered it with carpet. This allowed for things to be stored on two levels and for the items underneath to be "locked in" when the rear tailgate is shut and locked. It also helped to keep the sound that comes in from the wheel wells and rear tub in check. Here are a couple of pics...also added some "L" bracket aluminum with holes in it to allow for stuff to be tied down and to stiffen the panel (not shown in the pics).



That's awesome. How much thicker do you think that Bedrug carpeting is than the standard stuff? I've got some in now that's actually in really fantastic shape, and my wife wants to tackle cleaning it up, so it'd have to be a somewhat substantial gain for me to think about devoting some funds towards carpeting...but I'm open to it!
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Unread 03-22-2015, 07:47 AM   #10
Bigev
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Location: Haverhill, Ma
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I'm looking to do what you did in the back with the split level/locked when tailgate is close.

Any recommendations?

Yours looks great!
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Unread 03-22-2015, 12:22 PM   #11
blitz134
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianhorne8 View Post
That's awesome. How much thicker do you think that Bedrug carpeting is than the standard stuff? I've got some in now that's actually in really fantastic shape, and my wife wants to tackle cleaning it up, so it'd have to be a somewhat substantial gain for me to think about devoting some funds towards carpeting...but I'm open to it!
It is about a 1/4" of foam with the carpet material applied to it. That is why they call it "waterproof". If your carpet is in good shape, then stick with it. Most people's carpet is pretty terrible
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Unread 03-22-2015, 01:00 PM   #12
brianhorne8
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1991 YJ Wrangler 
 
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Location: Denver, CO
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Good to know. Yeah, I lucked out and mine's in good shape, if a little dirty. With the foam, deadening, MLV combo I'm looking at, and a serious lack of water potentially entering the cab, I think I should be good.

Now your split level mod is something I'll be heavily considering! Thanks for the tip!
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Unread 03-22-2015, 01:03 PM   #13
brianhorne8
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1991 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 32
Got the replacement gauges in. I was bummed to find out that the needle came off of the voltage gauge, so I stuck the original there. Anyone have any good tips on how to get LEDs in the tach and speedo? I assume they have to come all the way out. I've got them in everything else, but wasn't sure if there was a simpler way to get them in the big guys.

I had to hold off on installing the freshly cleaned roll bar padding, because it'll be loads easier with the top off, so that'll go on in June. Basically, everything good's in June...and I can't wait.
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Unread 03-29-2015, 03:28 PM   #14
brianhorne8
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1991 YJ Wrangler 
 
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Location: Denver, CO
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So things have taken a little turn, and I've decided to add a few things to the list. I picked up a 4.0 throttle body for $28 yesterday, and I'll be swapping that on soon. I'll also be adding a Magnaflow catalytic converter and a Dynomax Super Turbo cat back exhaust to get a little more air flowing through and hopefully giving a few more HP. I've read a few things and folks seem to debate whether any of it does any good, but I think it's time to replace the cat at the very least, and you can score $50 off the exhaust right now, so I can get it for about $100.

If it works, great. If not, that's okay. The Super Turbo seems to be close to stock with a little throatier sound at lower RPMs and idle, but highway is normal, and the higher flow cat will help a little as well.

As an aside, anyone know what the max size wheel a 235/75R/15 tire fits on? I can't remember what the size of the stock steel wheels are...15x7? Tire Rack seems to show that it'd go to 15x9...but I'm not sure. I'd like to swap wheels eventually.

Also, anyone know the best way to get to the lights on the back of the tach and speedo?
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