My TJ "Build" Thread - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 47 Old 04-15-2009, 09:24 PM Thread Starter
MXCarson92
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1998 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Maine
Posts: 600
My TJ "Build" Thread

Can't say I can call this a build thread... more of an upgrade thread. But here it goes.

Over the summer, I made bank and was dead set on getting a Jeep when I saw them all rolling around on hot days with the doors and top off. I searched high and low for good deals, and didn't find any TJ's under $7500 and any nice YJ's under $3500...so I just kept my eyes peeled. Then, one day, in the wholesale lot I found a 98 Wrangler SE with rusty fenders and surface rust on the frame. Asked for a price... $4500. Mine. Had it that Friday. Rust, faded flares, screw it. I was a happy boy.




Drove it to work with dad, sometimes on the weekends with dad, and once in a great while if it was a hot night (I had my permit at this point). School year came, she was basically parked minus a few errands here and there, and of course her daily drive to the parking area to stare at and back up to the garage for the night. Picked up a soft top for $100 bucks. Few small holes and was covered in bird **** but I was happy to get it for $100 with good hardware. By the time October rolled around, I was turning 16 soon, getting my license soon, all that good stuff. We put her up on jack stands and began the "project".




Goal: Make it look new. No non-stock visual upgrades, just make it look new. This included new fenders, painting the flares with a really cool textured trim paint my dad had, using a needle scaler on the frame and some POR-15 knockoff paint, and good buffing and general clean of the whole Jeep. Oh yeah, and my birthday came around. More cool parts! New brakes all around, new Sony head unit, new clutch, new sway bar links, thanks mom and dad! So...we got to work and about a month later we went from a Jeep that wasn't taken care of the best, to one that looked like it just rolled off the showroom floor.

Before...


After...



I was damn proud of my baby. Got my license on the first "real" try. (First time inspection sticker was a month and a day off... bastards wouldn't let me leave the parking lot) I was a happy boy driving my Jeep around town.

Winter started to rear its head, and dad realized I wasn't gonna be the best driver for my first winter (ha...I did just fine), so he bought me a brand new set of Cooper studded snow tires. Boy did I love those things, I never used 4wd once on the road during the winter. They were awesome, I recommend them to anybody looking for a good winter tire. Christmas came soon too... got a Maglite and mount from my brother, Hella 500 fog lights, tow hooks, windshield brackets, and bought myself some Hella 500 driving lights off eBay. Twas a good Christmas. Got all that installed within a few days. The sickness began...and I'll stop here for tonight and add pics tomorrow. I know I know, the suspense will probably be too much to bear waiting to see a stock Jeep with some lights on it, but I have a report to do! More to come tomorrow!



2003 Chevy 2500HD | 6.0 w/ 4.10s | Keys | H2 Wheels/315 BFG's
98 TJ SE | 3.75" Rough Country | 33x12.5x15 DC Mud Country | Cobra 19DX/Firestik 4' | IPF X4 | Genright Steering Box Skid - SOLD

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post #2 of 47 Old 04-15-2009, 09:40 PM
4pointOH1998
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: MAINE
Posts: 1,776
Looking sharp boss

-Bryan- ΚΔΦ-MΘΣΝΔ
Fighting the rust since April '08...

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post #3 of 47 Old 04-15-2009, 09:43 PM
ZJeepMI
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2001 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 353
Very nice, it looks brand new.

I am 1 month away from turning 16, I am getting real exited, so close to being able to drive my own Jeep around. I bought my first Jeep soon after I turned 14, and I just recently sold it and bought a better one. I didn't have the money for a TJ though.

2001 TJ Wrangler, 2.5l, 5 speed, Stock.
Previous Jeeps:
'98 XJ, 3.5" lift, 31" BFG A/T, Aussie Locked D30 with Alloy Shafts, 8.25 rear, SYE, Skids, JCR Front bumper, Roof Rack
1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee, 2" lift, 31's, V8, NP242...
1993 Jeep Grand Cherokee, Stock, 230K miles.
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post #4 of 47 Old 04-15-2009, 10:20 PM
smithtime09
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1998 TJ Wrangler 
 
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Location: NC
Posts: 379
Exterior looks a lot better, good job

-Captain Obvious
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post #5 of 47 Old 04-15-2009, 10:43 PM
WranglerRush
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1992 YJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Tuscaloosa, AL to Charlotte, NC
Posts: 729
Good job and good luck with everything.

1992 Red YJ 4.0 with 5 on the floor and 33's
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post #6 of 47 Old 04-15-2009, 10:49 PM
stunner
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2005 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: miami, fl.
Posts: 411
Nice Job.... Keep it up!!

...and get those pictures up!

2005 Patriot Blue Rocky Mountain Edition Wrangler
OME HD ZJ/LJ Combo Lift, OME Long-Travel Nitrocharger shocks, AA SYE + CV DS, Nth Degree Mobility TT, JKS Adj. Rear UCAs, JKS Adj. Front & Rear LCAs, JKS Adj. Front & Rear Trackbars, JKS 'Quicker' Discos, 33x10.5 KM2s on Stock Ravines, Warn Front and Rear Bumpers, Bestop Tinted Window Kit.



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post #7 of 47 Old 04-16-2009, 09:01 PM Thread Starter
MXCarson92
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1998 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Maine
Posts: 600
Alright so where was I? Winter was here...hmm, had a little Jeep recovery happen on a snow day. Saw a Camry's *** end sticking out of a ditch so I thought "I'll give it a shot". After tying the tow strap to a control arm and a pretty good jerk I got it out. The driver was thankful... can't say as much for the *****y passengers. But the first Jeep rescue mission was a success!

So then, I got tired of driving around on tar. We had had a long very cold spell, so the snow was rock hard, so I took the Jeep into my backyard and went for a spin. Woah, I made it around. Hmm... so I headed to my friends gravel pit and did the same. It was pretty fun snow wheeling even though all we did was waste gas ripping around on rock hard snow. Then, we got about 2 feet dumped on us, and I figured I'd go out again. Ha... framed it out in about 2 feet of fresh stuff with the rock hard snow making a balance point for "the shovel". Here's the best pic I got of that...




That was fun to get out of. Took a lot of shoveling, and a few kids pushing too. But I still felt pretty badass that I made it farther out in my stock Wrangler than my buddy did in his lifted F150 on 35's

Some mid-winter pics...





Picture of my head unit and the piston shifter I just recently ditched...



Once the snow started to melt, we kept going out and screwing around in less and less snow. Now that it had melted, it was time to get muddy. I've been going out quite a bit lately into this pit and finding new obstacles or just cruising the land just because I can make it across it all. Also took a muddy town road all the way to the end to find a drug dealers house and had a quick meeting with her 4 oversized Akitas. When I say quick, I meant how fast it took me to lock up the handbrake and pull some Fast and Furious esque move to get the hell out of there quick. Fun times though.

Here's some pics from a few weeks ago with all the lights and tow hooks and winter tires...








And voila!




Top off. Of course, me being a dumb 16 year old I tried taking the top off myself and scratched the sides of my tub. Live and learn I guess. More in the next post...


2003 Chevy 2500HD | 6.0 w/ 4.10s | Keys | H2 Wheels/315 BFG's
98 TJ SE | 3.75" Rough Country | 33x12.5x15 DC Mud Country | Cobra 19DX/Firestik 4' | IPF X4 | Genright Steering Box Skid - SOLD

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post #8 of 47 Old 04-23-2009, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
MXCarson92
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Alright, it took me a little while to get back to this but anyways, I got it stuck the other day in the gravel pits. Broke the sway bar links when it got sucked down into the mud, and I had to be towed out by a F-150 that was out there. It was a good time though.





Tonight...I'm mounting my new anti-get-stuck devices Pics will follow!!


2003 Chevy 2500HD | 6.0 w/ 4.10s | Keys | H2 Wheels/315 BFG's
98 TJ SE | 3.75" Rough Country | 33x12.5x15 DC Mud Country | Cobra 19DX/Firestik 4' | IPF X4 | Genright Steering Box Skid - SOLD

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post #9 of 47 Old 04-26-2009, 10:12 PM Thread Starter
MXCarson92
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Join Date: Jul 2008
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Posts: 600
And here we go! The new wheels and tires!









Of course I had to go test the new rubber....











Before I got the new tires, I was losing the "I'm the man 'cause I drive a Jeep" feeling... man did these bring it back! Now all the neighbors can hear me howling all the way home at midnight. Next mod...blacked out bezels.


2003 Chevy 2500HD | 6.0 w/ 4.10s | Keys | H2 Wheels/315 BFG's
98 TJ SE | 3.75" Rough Country | 33x12.5x15 DC Mud Country | Cobra 19DX/Firestik 4' | IPF X4 | Genright Steering Box Skid - SOLD

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post #10 of 47 Old 04-26-2009, 10:21 PM
2006_Sport
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2006 TJ Wrangler 
 
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Location: Sherrills Ford
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why would u ever lose that feeling..i get it whenever i drive..mostly when doors and top is off but dude..nice jeep how do u like the dunlops on the street n stuff..tread life? cuz i wanna get those with some cragars too
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post #11 of 47 Old 04-26-2009, 10:40 PM
default_user
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oh...to be 16 again. Nice work.
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post #12 of 47 Old 04-27-2009, 01:29 PM Thread Starter
MXCarson92
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1998 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Maine
Posts: 600
2006sport - I got the tires used, so I honestly couldn't tell you about tread life yet, I haven't even put 200 miles on them, but I do like them. Street manners seem pretty good to me, they do howl a bit but it's not overly noticeable in the cab.

vegasjeepguy - Thanks!


2003 Chevy 2500HD | 6.0 w/ 4.10s | Keys | H2 Wheels/315 BFG's
98 TJ SE | 3.75" Rough Country | 33x12.5x15 DC Mud Country | Cobra 19DX/Firestik 4' | IPF X4 | Genright Steering Box Skid - SOLD

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post #13 of 47 Old 04-27-2009, 01:33 PM
MisterO
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Posts: 1,436
WOW awesome progress!@!
your frame is rusint like mine, when you do take care of it let me know how becasue im getting nervous about min, a guy just poosted in tech about his control are mount/frame sheared off, im rather worried about that!

but anyway i love the new wheels and tires, look awesome


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post #14 of 47 Old 04-27-2009, 01:57 PM
Imped
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Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 20,355
Builds are fun man. Mine started out small and grew up pretty big. Keep it up man.

OlllllllO

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post #15 of 47 Old 04-27-2009, 02:41 PM
Barrows
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Good to see another maine jeep!
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