I bought my ZJ back in September 2011 for $900. It had 197K on it, but it ran and everything worked so it was cool. I always wanted a Jeep and a bunch of my buddies down in NC were into Muddin and Rock Crawling so I decided to give it a shot. It was bone stock and the paint was peeling off.
I had to paint it so the first thing I did was sand down all the rust spots and primed. Finished it off with black and a clear coat. I wanted to go a lime green color but couldnt find one that appealed to me.
I wanted to spice it up a bit so I did some freestyle flame work on the hood.
The next week I ordered a 3.5" Rough Country lift. It arrived a few days later and I Installed the lift. Took all weekend due to the lack of proper tools and Never having done it before. I also managed to pick up 4 33's for $250 and they were still in pretty damn good shape. I had to trim the bumper a little to clear on turns.
This was only the beginning. After my first trip out, I was hooked. When I got back to NJ I was craving to go bigger, but to do so I needed bigger axles. I shopped around for a few weeks and found a pair for $350. The front was a HP Dana 44 and the rear was a ford 9". I also ordered some 5.13 gears and a detroit locker for the front which set me back $1k. I Didnt have the slightest clue about how to rebuild an axle so it looked like I was heading back down to NC for some help from my buddies.
In the interum, my transmission started to **** out on me. It still works shifting through 1st and 2nd manually, but wont budge out of 2nd. I ended up buying a transmission kit which would turn the auto into a manual without the clutch, but still have yet to install it. I also got bored of the black so i turned it blue. and modified some cj fender flares to fit because i didnt feel like shelling out $400 on Bushwackers. I still have to chop them a bit to fit bodylines.
Renting the dolly was getting expensive so i scored this car hauler for $1k.
I took a few days off from work, packed everything into my truck, loaded the jeep onto the trailer and hit the road. 8 hours later we were wrenching away.
We got to work strait away. We rebuilt the axles, welded on all the mounting brackets. Added a 2" Coil Spacer to get me at 5.5" of lift and put longer shocks to accomodate.
Heres a pick of it sitting with new axles and on some 35" shoes that my buddy traded me for the 33s.
Unfortunately, I neglected to get the much needed adjustable upper control arms. I was running the stock ones, and while at Uwharrie I bent the crap out of the driver side upper in the front and could no longer steer left.
You know what the first part was i ordered when i got home? You guessed it, adjustable upper control arms from IRO. They came about 2 weeks later and Were in that weekend. The bent one had so much torque on the bolts that i needed to cut it to get it off. Here are the new Upper control arms.
And thus it sits for now. I did end up finding a green that I liked, so the color will be changing again for a final time.
More Updates to come! This is only the beginning.
Some thought about upgrades:
Hood Mounted High Lift
Larger Master cylinder for better breaking
Chopped back and roll cage.
Gas tank relocation
V8 conversion (when the engine goes)
37s????? I dont know just a thought. HAHA...
Hope you enjoyed the first installment.
Some videos from the first trip can be found here:
And i have some more picks here: