Ravenbar's WJ - JeepForum.com
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 24 Old 03-11-2017, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
2002 WJ 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Madrid, NY
Posts: 560
Ravenbar's WJ

'02 WJ Laredo 4.0l 42re NP242

As I got it(pic from the Ad), end of November 2016:

Nothing much has changed on it looks wise. Had to immediately replace the battery and balance tires. Also replaced drag link ends and sway bar links, both front & rear. Replaced Left front brake caliper and front pads. Replaced transmission speed sensor.

Current Needs:
Rear upper control arm & ball joint

Also purchased this '01 for parts, the rear control arm mount son the body are rotted out.

Once I get my taxes dealt with and the weather warms up, I'll be doing a bunch of work.

Currently plan:
-Shocks off parts Jeep(less than a year old)(as soon as weather breaks)
-Goodyear Wranglers off parts Jeep(245/75r16)
-Install underhood lamp from parts Jeep(Stock connections is possible, still investigating if its possible.)
-New rear upper control arm & balljoint from NAPA.
-Addco Rear swaybar w/ greasable bushings
-2" or 2.5" springs & shocks lift(replacing parts Jeep shocks)
-Aftermarket trailer hitch off parts Jeep(de-rust & repaint), mainly as a recovery point
--Install CB, planning on a Antenna mount on drivers rear corner using a custom version of the JeepinbyAl antenna bracket, unsure or radio location as of yet, want a super clean install
-Custom steering stabilizer setup similar to what LeakInOil recently did, Have a barely uses set of shocks of a Plymouth Acclaim floating around here somewhere I'm hoping to use.

Ravenbar is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 24 Old 04-29-2017, 06:44 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
2002 WJ 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Madrid, NY
Posts: 560
About time I found this thread and did an update.

Just required repairs so far. Had a siezed brake caliper piston so replaced front pads and right front caliper. Found that while tracking down and issue that turned out to be the speed sensor so that was replaced. Also replased the TPS at the same time to eliminate that. I have a crank sensor that I haven't put in that was the next step to solving that issue if the speed sensor didn't work.

Had the ignition coil go out yesterday morning on the way to work so after work I swapped in a good used one my brother gave me that came off whats now my parts jeep when he got it, solving an misfire issue. He couldn't return the new one so left it on and kept the old as a spare.

Last weekend I put together and installed my version of the JeepinbyAl antenna mount.

Have a Uniden 980SSB CB coming in this week as well as antenna cable and a firestik antenna stud for the mount. Received the Firestik 3' Firefly I ordered with that last week. Will probably be mounting the CB to the rear of the center console, although not my favorite location, its the best I can find and it also may interfere with folding the rear seats.

Also did a headlight polish Thursday night , right done, left not(in picture, both done that night).

Also removed the window vent shades and the hook guard as they were cracked and I didn't like the look.

Ordered today
Rear upper control arm(be in Tuesday)
Rear upper balljoint(Had it in stock so sitting in Jeep now)
Drag link tie rod end(be in Tuesday)

from Kolak:
IRO 2" lift springs
ProComp 9000 series shocks

I've decided against the custom steering stabilizer as someone pointed out a while back that it puts added wear and tear on the steering components. Had it not been for lack of funds, I would have also ordered one of those from Kolak, and may do so in the future.

Once funds become available, I may also be getting a roof rack from my manager for cheap. He took it off his old Cherokee. Haven't seen it of pictures of it yet. Want to get my preexisting plan settled first.

Spent over $800 in the past week and a half and all I've got in hand are a CB antenna and a box with a balljoint. Now I need to just wait for parts to arrive and let the wallet recover for a while.

Once all those parts go on, as well as new tie rod ends that came from the previous owners parts stash, I'll take it in for an alignment ans swap on the Goodyear Wranglers from the parts Jeep.

Underhood lamp is on hold as the one in the parts Jeep is half missing so I don't want to install that. I may end up rigging up some LED strip lights under hood.
Ravenbar is offline  
post #3 of 24 Old 05-06-2017, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
2002 WJ 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Madrid, NY
Posts: 560
Today's project was to tweak mounting of the CB done and also the final power wiring run.

Mounting was easy as as I just needed to pull the mount apart, drill and tap(5/16) the holes in the bottom plate bigger, enlarge the holes in the CB bracket for 5/16 flat headed bolts. Made up a couple spacersout of an old 3/8" thick cutting board to lift the CB up out of the depression in the dash. Bracket wasn't quite tall enough to allow just mounting in the depression, the CB was hitting the front lip. I had drilled the CB mount holes in the bracket larger to get it too work but wanted it higher so it had some adjustability. Also threw a coat of paint on all the bare metal(Rustoleum Hammered Black).

Some pics:

CB bracket painted

Underdash mount plate(Had a screw pull out within a day when just screwed into the dash, Plate goes under the dash, above the radio and sandwiches the dash between the plate and the spacer blocks/CB mount bracket, very sturdy)

Main project of the day was getting the wiring finalized. Spent a good portion trying to find a way to get the wiring though the passengers side firewall to no avail. Through I could get it through with the A/C lines but couldn't get to that location from inside. Also tried down by the A/C drain but couldn't there either.

I ended up pulling the wires all the way back and running them behind the insturment cluster, down by the fuse box, and out through the wiring grommet there. Was trying to avoid co-locating the power wires withe the antenna which takes the same path through the dash then heads to the back end. From there, I ran the wires up and along the firewall, Ziptied to an evap line, near its mounts along that route. Then down by the computer on the passengers side. I spliced in a second inline fuse here(5A). Inside, fuse in the included harness is 6a. That's accessible by pulling the speaker/heater grill off and pulling the fuse holder up and out, left more than enough slack there. Wanted a fuse closer to the battery and also it's smaller, it will blow before the one in the dash, making for an easier repair, if needed.

Ran power from the battery connection to the underhood fuse box. Also grounded next to that fuse box at the main battery/body ground connection. I had planned on running all the underhood wiring in 1/4" wireloom, thought I had enough but all I could find is a 18" long piece. I'll probably go back and add some later one. Also was going to just buy some when I bought the wiring supplies but all they had in stock was red and blue, I want black so it blends in better.

Firewall pentration

Underhood inline fuse

Power source & ground point

Everythings all back together and functioning now

During the process of running the wires through the dash, I found a bunch of sketch wiring. I'm assuming a removed car starter or something. Lots of stripped and wrapped with tape midwire wires. Also a few that hadn't been taped. I wrapped some tape on them best I could but due to location, wrapping wasn't all that possible.

Project Thumper:

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Ravenbar is offline  
post #4 of 24 Old 05-13-2017, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
2002 WJ 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Madrid, NY
Posts: 560
replaced rear left brake rotor and pads. Noticed parking brake works slightly. Apparently needs adjustment

Went out to change the balljoints between raindrops. First thing I found was a TRE that went squish. Wasn't planning on changing it until next week but as I'm having a shake issue, figured it was a likely candidate. Swapped that out, found I didn't have the right size axle nut socket(I've got several and figured I had the one I needed, biggest I've got is 35mm and internet's say I need a 36mm) so got everything cleaned up and put back together. Headed on my weekly laundry run and also stopped by Advance to get the socket I needed. For the price, I hope that socket is made of gold. $20 for a single store brand socket is a little excessive.

On the run, I found the TRE didn't fix the shake. Also found I didn't get it quite aligned right but it's livable for a week or 2. Not sure where to look next as I've replaced all the likely candidate's in the last 6 months. Only 1 TRE, springs, shocks, and then ball joints and all the wear items in the front suspension/steering are new or have been removed and inspected(only replace 1 Control arm, the rest looked healthy shortly after I got the Jeep last fall.) Previous owners death wobble turned out to be out of balance tires. Told me it was control arm bushings. Current shaking closely resembles that.

I also ordered new rear spring isolators(uppers and lowers) at NAPA as I found my current ones are dry rotted to the point chucks are missing. I'll be swapping the springs/shocks next weekend. Going to have to wait until Thursday for the isolators to come in. I'll pick them up Friday as I won't have the money until then.

Hopefully the weather cooperates with my plan as getting everything planned done in a weekend is going to be a challenge. I'm also planning a Jeep preservation program involving a rust converting paint(NAPA version of POR15)

The Plan:
Over the next week, spray on several coats of Rust Kutter, an acid type rust converter that converts rust to inert ferric phosphate(the type of coating found on black industrial tools and black iron pipe). (This is for all the nooks and cranny's I can't get the wire wheel into and also I'm hoping it wicks into the seams where panels have been welded together, killing rust there)

Tear everything in the rear apart Friday after work. Get all the rust I can get a grinder to wire wheeled and cleaned up. Clean the surface brake cleaner. The brush on a good coat of the antirust paint. Allow that to dry overnight/ part of Saturday.

Saturday, in the morning, install the IRO springs and Pro Comp shocks I got from Kolak in the front end. I'll also be coating the spring perches in the paint. Not worried about the paint gluing the spring isolator to the perch as I don't plan on having this apart again. If I do, I'll apply another coat of the paint.

As the rust paint is also not UV sensitive, I haven't decided yet if I'll just install the rear suspension or apply a gray antirust primer and a matte black implement paint I've already got, both of the majik brand available from Tractor Supply. If I apply the topcoats, I'll have to wait until Sunday to install the rear suspension.

Maintenance record to date:
11/27/16 – 193356 miles
New Battery

Registered & Insured
Plates - $25
Title - $50
Registration(2 Years) - $66.50
Tax - $80
Replaced Draglink to knuckle tie rod end w/ included parts

11/29/16 – 193379 miles
Gas – 16.007 gal @ $2.459 = $39.36

11/30/16 – 193439 miles
Inspected Front lower left control arm – Fair condition
Noticed loose trans crossmember
Left side – Tightened 2 of 4 bolts, 1 missing, 1 won't tighten
Right – Need to check

12/1/16 – 193475 miles
Oil/Filter Changed
New drain plug
6 Qt 10w30 Mobil Super High Milage
Fram Extraguard oil filter

12/3/16 – 193531 miles
Replaced Muffler
Replaced Front left upper Control Arm
Tightened trans crossmember bolts & replaced missing; still 1 loose, broken weld nut

12/4/16 – 193575 miles
Investigated Leak detection pump code (p1494) & previous owners reported evap leak
found cracked line, cut off 1” & reattached
reinstalled stock gas cap
Removed front Driveshaft due too failing CV joint

193580 miles
Replaced pitman arm Tie rod end
Replaced right & left stabilizer bar links
Noticed slight play in frame side of trackbar

12/6/16 – 193638 miles
16.161gal @ $2.539 = $41.03
12/7/16 – 193759 miles

5.913 gal @ $2.539 = $15.01

193797 miles
Inspection – NYS - $21
Balanced/Rotated tires
Reinstalled front driveshaft
Noticed Rear upper control arm bushings shot & need alignment

12/12/16 – 193966 miles
Replaced Spark plugs
Champion RC12ECC gapped @ 0.035”
Removed plugs wore to 0.075”-0.080”

12/13/16 – 193978 miles
13.158gal - $33.41

12/20/16 – 194169 miles
13.31gal - $33.80

12/25/16 – 194329 miles
10.513gal - $26.69
Added bottle of Yellow Heet

1/1/17 – 194538 miles
Replaced Dash backlights w/ LED

1/2/17 – 194,580 miles
16.573gal - $42.41

1/6/17 – 194753 miles
Checked/Filled rear axle
Added almost a Qt to fill
Valvoline 75w140
existing oil very dark, need to change when weather warms
Replaced transfer case fluid
NAPA ATF+4 - ~1.5Qt
old fluid extremely dark, level good
Replaced both rear sway bar links
noticed transfer case breather broke off at case

1/7/17 – 194764 miles
12.54 gal - $32.36
Checked/adjusted tire pressure to 35psi
Checked underhood fluids, all good

1/12/17 -
10.911gal - $28.14

1/15/17 – 195001 miles
Removed front driveshaft(bad CV)
Checked front diff fluid, added 2/3 Qt
cover gasket appears to be leaking
Checked underhood fluids, topped off window wash

195057 miles
9.344gal - $24.10

Changed front windshield wipers
Michlin High Performance 21”

1/22/17 – 195256 miles
12.881gal - $32.98

1/29/17 – 195496 miles

Bought white 2001 parts Jeep

2/4/17 – 195668 miles

2/11/17 – 195931 miles
17.023 gal

Isolated tqapping noise to bellhousing, suspect loose bolts or cracked flexplate

2/16/17 – 196096 miles
Checked fluids, bubbles in transmission
Check engine light on
p0456 – Evap leak, Very Small
p0720 – Output speed sensor circuit

2/18/17 – 196135 miles
Tightened flexplate → torque converter bolts
3 loose, solved knocking noise
15.952 gal - $40.50
Lost power momentarily 4-5 times

2/23/17 – 196278 miles
Oil change
Mobil Super High Milage 10230
Fram Extraguard Ph15
Changed front brake pads
Napa premium – SS-7846-m
Changed Front right brake caliper
Chasing momentary stall, discovered lower piston stuck
NAPA Exlipse semi-loaded – SE-5377A
Checked front & rear Diff fluid, all good
Checked underhood fluids, all good
Replaced Front left turn signal lamp
Hosed off mud/salt

2/25/17 – 196286 miles
Replaced Throttle position sensor
Test drive(24 miles) – issues occurred once
Replaced Transmission Speed sensor
BWD S8023
Test Drive(21 miles) - Problem solved

3/5/17 – 196578 miles
11.106gal - $27.75

3/14/17 – 196864 miles
Partial fill
15.882 miles - $40.01

3/20/17 – 197054 miles
13.931gal - $35.09

3/?/17 – 197236 miles
Added can of B-12 Chemtool

3/30/17 – 197384 miles
Checked underhood fluids
added 1/2qt ATF+4, leaking on trans cooler line
Checked upper shock bushings, possible source of front end clunk
Added bottle of yellow Heet to gas

4/2/17 – 197467 miles
13.512gal - $34.31

4/9/17 – 197696 miles
13.322gal - $34.36

4/14/17 – 197913 miles
Removed Widow visors & bug deflector
Installed roof rack crossrails
Upgraded heater control backlights to LED

4/17/17 – 197966 miles
14.520gal - $37.76

made & installed CB antenna bracket

4/24/17 – 198199 miles
Replaced front shocks with used from parts Jeep, no change in clunk
Greases upper balljoints & Pitman arm tie rod end

4/25/17 – 198221 miles
14.429gal - $37.21

4/28/17 - ?
Replaced ignition coil with good used
Polished Headlights

4/30/17 – 198384 miles
8.256gal - $21.13

Rough CB install, popped inline fuse so stopped, Uniden 980SSB

Finished interior CB install, Tubed & finalized dash, still need to clean up power wiring

5/7/17 – 198611 miles
Replaced trackbar(Napa NCP 2749376)
No change in clunk
checked underhood fluids
Examined pitman arm tie rod end
play is in steering box at end of travel
Cleaned up CB power wiring

5/9/17 – 198664 miles
16.041gal - $41.05
198685 miles
Replaced leaking trans cooler hoses by radiator
Checked pass taillight(reports of it being out)
everything worked when tested
applied dialectic grease to all connections
Checked axle & transfer case fluid levels, all good
Tightened loose bolts on ignition coil

5/10/17 – 198735 miles
Replaced rear differential fluid(Valvoline 75w140)
1 bolt broke off, above fluid level so will monitor for leaks and remove/replace at future time

5/11/17 – 198771 miles
Replaced transmission filter(Napa ATP 18565) & 6+qt of Napa AFT+4

5/12/17 – 198818 miles
Replaced rear right brake rotor & pads(WearEver from previous owners included parts)
Wheel seal leak getting bad, needs to be addressed.
Sprayed rear suspension point with Rust Kutter rust converter
Noticed rear spring isolators are deteriorated
Added bottle of Yellow Heet to gas

5/13/17 – 198881 miles
Replaced left front tie rod end. Old one went squish from a torn boot/water getting in.

Project Thumper:

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Ravenbar is offline  
post #5 of 24 Old 05-15-2017, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
2002 WJ 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Madrid, NY
Posts: 560
Last few day's I've been working on the front end, getting all the little things knocked out.

5/14/17 – 198928 miles
  • Replaced Razeppa end of front driveshaft with used from parts Jeep & reinstalled front driveshaft
  • Replaced left front upper & lower balljoints
  • Noticed play in wheel hub when axle nut is off
5/15/16 – 198963 miles
  • Replaced right front upper & lower balljoints
    • Suspect clunk previous owner identified as control arm bushings was upper balljoint, 3/8” vertical play in joint
  • Replaced right front tie rod end, boot torn
  • Driveway alignment, slight toe in

Got a bit scared this morning. I left the Jeep in 4wd fulltime last night when I swapped the baljoints on the drivers side. I also reinstalled a rebuilt front axle(used rezeppa joint from parts Jeep) with the intention of finding out if my 4wd problems were the driveshaft of something else. Jeep was making a thoomp thoomp thoomp all the time, even after I changed to 2wd. I pulled over and called work, saying I'd be late and was headed h09ome to pull the driveshaft back out. POnce UI started moving again, the noise was gone. I'm suspecting Transfer case shift linkage issues at this point.

Tonight, I just got in from changing out the passengers side ball joints. I think I've found the source of my clunk. When I got the Jeep, previous owner said the clunk was coming from control arm bushings and included them. I pulled all of them, inspected them, and replaced the only one that showed showed damage(upper left & axle bushing). I've also replaced the track bar, swapped in a used set of shocks, replaced stabilizer bar links, etc. Ball joints were the only thing left, I've heard the lower ones can go bad but be hard to detect. Only other thing I could even remotely come up with was stabilizer bar body mounts.

When I pulled the knuckle off, I tried to hammer the shaft of the old ball joint to one side to get better access with the press. The shaft moved vertically up[ into the housing but refuses to change angle. Upon further inspection, once removed. The shaft moves vertically in and out of the housing about 3/8".

I was only getting a clunk when going over bumps/rough roads. I haven't taken it for a test drive yet. Trip into work tomorrow will be the test drive as I'm too dirty/greasy right now to get in the Jeep. Interior is in decent shape and I'm trying to keep it that way.

I also did a driveway alignmewnt by strapping a couple pieced of angle to the tires and measuring at a couple points. My father asked what I was doing and then said "Now I've seen it all". I just needed to get the alignment close enough. Right now I've got it toed in maybe a little too much but I'm not worried about it. Tires are already wore out and Once I get the lift on and throwing on the Goodyear Wrangler AT's from the parts Jeep. Jeep came with stock Silverblade #1 wheels, I'm planning on keeping these. Goodyears ore on Timberline wheels, I'll be painting these with Duplicolor Graphite wheel paint. Goodyears will remain on them as there already balanced and ready to go. I'll be keeping one set for winter tires and the other for regular tires. Not sure how that's going to end up as I kind of want the Timberlines(being in a bit rougher shape) for the winter tires yet the Silverblades already have the summer tires on them. Guess time will tell how things end up.

Project Thumper:

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Ravenbar is offline  
post #6 of 24 Old 05-16-2017, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
2002 WJ 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Madrid, NY
Posts: 560
Just spent part of the evening redoing some of last nights work. As I was pulling into my parking spot at work this morning, I hurt a tranw twang. I looked under and it appeared that the inner wheel weights were hitting the new lower TRE when I turned the wheels all the way left(as far as I could go).

After work, I carefully made my way home and jacked it up to see what the problem was. I find that not only are the thing rubbing. The inside edge ot the rim is also constantly hitting. I grabbed the old TRE and compare and notice a slight discrepancy.

Last fall when I first got the Jeep and a pile of new parts(inc. all TRE's), I noticed the drag link to knuckle TRE was badly worn so I went to the parts pile and found what I thought was the replacement. Turns out that was the lower. Last night I got out the only TRE left in the parts pile(the upper left) and put it in the lower left position. The threads and everything lined up. The upper and lower are slightly different shapes and while the lower will work in the upper position, the upper doesn't have the necessary bends to clear the tire.

A run to the store to get a new one as I didn't think I could get the one I installed last fall off without damage, (Went with Moog, as opposed to the no name ones from a death wobble repair kit the previous owner had purchased), and had things back in order. Not the last of things wheel weights hitting for the night however.

I've been experiencing a slight shake at speeds above 50mph. Sort of a mini death wobble. I had a similar problem when I bought the Jeep, same reason the previous owner bought the death wobble repair kit. That turned out to be out of balance tires. As my front tires were getting rather wore out, and as the alignment isn't perfect, I swapped my rear tires to the front and grabbed 2 of the Goodyears on the parts Jeep for the rear. Parts Jeep tires are in very good condition and I was saving them for after I get an alignment(after suspension rebuild in complete in the next week or 2). Once I got all that swappe3d around, I dropped the rear back to the ground and spun the front tires by hand just to make sure everything clears. I found the inner wheel weight was now hitting on the part of the knuckle where the drag link connects. I looked over at the other side and no wheel weights on the other tire. so I swapped front tires around to solve that issue. Spun everything by hand again and everything seems OK.

After I got all that dealt with I drug out the hose(starting to get dark) and grabbed a bucket to give the Jeep a quick bath. With all the work I've been doing lately, a bunch of greasy hand prints were all over the Jeep and it was bugging me seeing it every time I get in the Jeep.

After that I grabbed a long piece of 3/8" wireloom I found in the trash and loomed the CB's power wires running under the hood. At some point during this, I also swapped my passengers taillight for the parts Jeep one. One of the guys at work, who I don't believe half the time, has been telling me that taillight hasn't been working. Every time I've checked it, it's worked. This guy has also told me my rear axle has moved out each side of the Jeep 6" past the fender. I know I have rear upper control arm issues but even them that's not possible(maybe if upper control arm is missing). Another one of the guy who I trust said it was out yesterday. My brother had said the circuit board looked a little crunch during my last inspection.

5/16/17 -198976
  • Gas
    • 16.054

  • Replaced drivers side tie rod again. Mixed up upper and lower, wheel weights & rim hitting tie rod end
  • Gave Jeep a soapy bath
  • Swapped passengers side taillight with parts Jeep, Reports of taillight not working
  • Loomed underhood CB power wires

Project Thumper:

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Ravenbar is offline  
post #7 of 24 Old 05-26-2017, 07:52 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
2002 WJ 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Madrid, NY
Posts: 560

5/20/17 199144 miles
  • Gas
    • 8.582Gal
5/22/17 - 199225
  • Added rear of console power outlet
  • Replaced rear license plate lamps

5/26/17 199365 miles
  • Removed Rear shocks
  • Removed rear springs
  • Removed rear upper control arm & balljoint
  • Cleaned undercarriage around rear suspension with purple power

This weekends plan is to finally get the lift installed. Also to replace the rear upper control arm and do some rust extermination. I also need to do an oil change. Going to give Penzoil 10w30 a try as I've read it's the best oil to quite down a noisy 4.0l.

I also recently noticed some severe rust going on up behind the drivers rear wheel well. I may pull the rear bumper off while waiting for paint to dry to assess the situation and possibly repair it.

Pre-lift fender measurements from ground. Keeping same tires for now so they won't affect final numbers.

Drivers Front:

Drivers rear:

Passengers front:

Passengers rear:

Starting dissassembly:

Project Thumper:

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Ravenbar is offline  
post #8 of 24 Old 05-27-2017, 09:08 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
2002 WJ 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Madrid, NY
Posts: 560
Lunch break update

Still waiting on the Jeep to dry out from its wash last night.

I've used a chipping hammer to knock of any loose rust and paint I could find in the area I'm planning on painting. I've also pulled off the rear sway bar links and mount brackets. While they were off, I confirmed that the bolt holes and bushing slot are the proper sizes to be used as bar pin eliminators for the front shocks.

I'm a bit concerned about how I'm going to treat this rust behind the fuel lines. As the brake line that runs through here is a bit rusty and I'll have to address that, as well as this being in front of the reasr upper control arm so easily accessable after I put it together, I'll get what I can and address the rest when I do the brake line.

Misc pictures follow:

I've also pulled off a big vertical metal plate between the evap crap and the gas tank skid. Not sure it's purpose. Anyone Know?

I've also removed the rear bumper cover to get a better look at the rust hose on the drivers side. Not as bad as I expected.

Project Thumper:

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Ravenbar is offline  
post #9 of 24 Old 05-27-2017, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
2002 WJ 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Madrid, NY
Posts: 560
Got a lot done today.

Rebuilt a section of the rear drivers side quarter panel behind the bumper. It was beyond swiss cheese.

I also got the lift installed in the front. In the process I found I have some severe rust damage to the lower spring perces. I coated thenm heavily in Rust Proof M/D as a holdover until I can get some front lower coil spring towers from IRO(or someone else if I find another I like better)

Project Thumper:

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Ravenbar is offline  
post #10 of 24 Old 05-29-2017, 07:47 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
2002 WJ 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Madrid, NY
Posts: 560
So yesterday was another busy day.

Started off installing the new rear upper control arm and balljoint. Note: install the balljoint on the axle, then control arm onto the body, then attach the balljoint to the control arm. It's impossible to get the control arm to body bolts in with it attached to the axle.

Also got the rear of the lift installed.

One potential problem. Answer is either longer rear sway bar links or notch this plate. Unsure of it's purpose, just sort of hangs down between the fuel tank skid and the evap stuff. Would just need to grind out a notch to clear the head of the bolt. Only happens at full droop.

Near future repairs needed:
-Need to seam seal welded in repair dome this weekend. Planning on going in from the inside for this to leave the seams open to drain(sealing the top side of each seam rather than the bottom.)
-Lower coil spring towers in front rusted out completely. IRO replacement towers on order from Kolak.
-Rust in rear passengers corner behind foam inner bumper.
-Need to drop gas tank and rust encapsulate from rear axle area where I stopped to the rear to the back bumper. Also need to clean out & rust encapsulate the fuel tank skid. Hoping to find one of the 1/8" thick models but not counting on it.

Project Thumper:

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Ravenbar is offline  
post #11 of 24 Old 06-10-2017, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
2002 WJ 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Madrid, NY
Posts: 560
So, this weekends mission is to get the front lower spring tower replacements from IRO(via Kolak) installed. Spent better than half the day hitting garage sales all over the county. Found a few goodies and spent more than I should have.

Got started on the Jeep about 4pm. Had to grind the remnants of the old tower off as I couldn't get a cutoff wheel or hacksaw into a usable position.

I really need to get in more welding practice as to call me welds bird**** would be an insult to bird****. I'm confident they will hold as I attempted to break my test welds and couldn't. I also wacked directly on the welded on parts pretty hard with a 3lb hammer and everything sounded solid. In any case, it's 1000% stronger than what was there.

For anyone interested, I recommend welding the new tower together off the vehicle, then welding it onto the axle. I welded this one on one piece at a time and there were several places I had a hard time accessing due to other components in the way. With the way the axle mount is constructed, there is a large gap on the inside of the lower ring that would need to be filled, in order to weld the inside of the bottom ring to the axle bracket, and really isn't necessary. I've already welded the drivers side together as an assembly and will be installing it as such tomorrow.


Project Thumper:

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Ravenbar is offline  
post #12 of 24 Old 06-11-2017, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
2002 WJ 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Madrid, NY
Posts: 560
Got the drivers side spring tower welded in today. Also bolted the lower front bumper support to the bottom radiator support and pulled a most of the dent on the front passengers side fender behind the tire back out. Still not perfect but close to the shape it's supposed to be.

Noticed the high pressure power steering hose seems to be developing a leak(rusting out on the bottom "U" shaped metal part. Not sure why that part even exists. Guess that's going to be my next repair. Definitely cheap enough.

Current To Do List:
  • replace Power Steering high hose
  • 2x6 rockers(stock inner rockers are getting holes & not sure on outers as they have the Laredo cladding)
  • transfer case rebuild
  • overdrive unit and/or transmission overhaul
  • rust destruction(Rust Proof M/D on the entire underbody, if it starts showing signs of failing, I'll be going back with something else.) Need to find a way to clean out and rustproof the insides of the framerails.
  • Also thinking about a custom front bumper & front grill(shortening the grill so the bottom lines up with the bottoms of the headlights so a flat top bumper). Probably won't happen this year
  • Replace timing set & water pump, hopefully will cure rattliness. May also be looking into new lifters, ect.

Project Thumper:

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Ravenbar is offline  
post #13 of 24 Old 06-26-2017, 07:56 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
2002 WJ 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Madrid, NY
Posts: 560
Dates: 6/22/17-6/26/17
Mileage: 200150-200215

Spent the last 4 days working on the power steering system. Had a Death Wobble happen Thursday on the way home from work. Climbed under and the trackbar bolts were a tiny bit under torqued. The only other play I could find was in the steering box so I attempted to tighten it. Over tightened it and siezed the box up. During this I also sprung a spraying leak from the leaking power steering hose I was planning on replacing this weekend so an emergency parts run took care of that. Couldn't move the adjuster more that 1/2 turn. I basically lost power steering and it was nearly impossible to move the steering wheel when not moving.

I swapped the steering gear with the parts Jeep and it still didn't work so I also swapped the power steering pump. Still not working. Attempted to bleed the system what seems like 100 times and it still didn't have any power steering.

My brother came over and tried bleeding it again and still nothing. Finally swapped the power steering pump with my original hoping for something and still nothing. My father also climbed under and checked out the steering linkage and found a slight bit of play in the lower left tie rod. Just replaced that with an unknown quality unit from the previous owner on May 14th. Picked up a Moog replacement at Advance while I picked up power steering fluid tonight.

Back to the power steering. I slowly and carefully made my way to work this morning. Hoping a specific mechanic would have some idea what was going on but found out he's on vacation this week. Another co-worker/ex-relative deals with a lot of junk cars/parts and recently put an '04 Freedom Edition "out in the woods" at a friend of his's place. Only 74,000 miles but has bad paperwork so can't be put on the road. Was a trade in and it looks like someone replaced a lot of parts before getting rid of it. He called him and for $50 I got the steering box and power steering pump, also grabbed the air box and cup holder(mine's got a chunk out of the corner).

Took about 2 hours from the time we left work until we had everything tore apart. I got home a little after 7 and by a little after 9 I had the steering gear and power steering pump swapped out and bled. I finally have power steering again. A bit of practice makes perfect comes into play here.

-Steering Gear of my parts Jeep
-Steering gear off my Jeep
-Parts Jeeps Steering Gear onto my Jeep.
-Power steering pump off parts Jeep
-Power steering pump off my Jeep
-Parts Jeep power steering pump onto my Jeep
-Parts Jeep power steering pump off my Jeep
-My original power steering pump back on my Jeep
-Power Steering pump & Steering gear off "In the woods" Jeep
-Power steering pump & steering gear off my Jeep
"In the wood" Jeep Power Steering pump & steering gear onto my Jeep
-Power steering finally works
-Add whole bunch of bleeding mixes throughout

I'll probably be going back for more parts as that Jeep has all the options. I particularly like the Rogue wheels. I'll probably grab the tow hooks, and maybe the transmission/transfer case as well. Also the fog light headlight switch(fog lights are cracked and won't fit my bumper anyway), maybe the heated leather power leather seats.

Project Thumper:

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Ravenbar is offline  
post #14 of 24 Old 07-30-2017, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
2002 WJ 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Madrid, NY
Posts: 560
Been a while since I updated. I'm goijng to copy my "What did you do to your WJ today?" thread posts to bring the build up to date. I'll add any additional things/pictures I think of along with them.

I suspected the problem was with the toe. I adjusted it due tire wear tight before the DW started.

Thought I was close to correct but I double checked tonight by strapping metal bars to take he outside of the tires and measuring between at the edge of the tire. I was a mile toed in front of the tires were 1 13/16" closer together than the back. Corrected that to about 1/16" an no more DW.
So I've still got Death Wobble issues. I start getting a few shakes once I get up to about 48mph and hit any cracks in the road. Haven't gone over 50mph since this whole DW thing started so it's not having a chance to become real DW.

I'm suspecting the tires right now(alignment was well over 1" toed in and wore the outside corners off my front tires badly before I caught it). I was going to swap in my Duratracs I've been saving onto the front to see if it helps but got rained out. Only other thing I haven't replaced in the front end in the past few months are the wheel bearings and lower control arms(those were removed and inspected about 6 months ago).
Put the Goodyear Duratracs on the front of the Jeep now that I've got the alignment somewhat right(toed in 1/16th"), hoping my remaining DW issues were cdue to the outside corners of the front tires being worn badly from the alignment being farther off than I care to admit(toed in 1 13/16"). Went for a 6-7 mile test drive over rough back roads doing ~ 50mph most of the time. Still feeling every bump in the road through the steering wheel but didn't seem to get more than a slight shimmy and that might have been in my mind. Still don't trust that its actually gone although only possible cause part in the front end I haven't changed it the wheel bearings.

Also spent some time working on salvaging/shortening a mangled LED light bar I found in the trash. I think I'll get a ~20" curved bar out of what was once a 48" or 50" bar. Thinking about mounting it behind my grill so it's out of sight.
Yesterdays projects(after work):
-Repaired my favorite Matco ratchet(would be nice if there was a Matco guy around here but I'm told the last guy intentionally burnt his truck). As a side note, the reverse lever out of a GearWrench 84 tooth fit in a Matco 88 tooth flexhead(both 3/8" drive)).
-Repaired a couple sticky 10" adjustable wrenches((1) old Utica brand that required a little filing on the thumbscrew to stock binding in places, and (1) old Diamond that just required some lubriction and working it back and forth to get some dirt out of the moving parts).
-Painted the Switch Panel I've been making to go on the front of the bin of the center console. Using a aluminum faceplate off a Radio Shack Project enclosure, painted with self etch primer, a thing coat of flat black, and then a coat of DupliColor Graphite wheel paint. Going to hold (3) toggle switches when I'm done.

Today I'm thinking of going out and figuring out a way of mounting up the 20" LED bar behind the grille. I'm not sure on how long it's going to last as I cut it down from a mangled 48" bar and all the integrated control circuitry was on one of the mangled boards, so my intention is to make it a universal 20" mount so if/when it dies, I can easily mount up another bar in it's place, without a lot of rewiring and modifying the mounts.
Light bar's not going to fit where I want it. Now I'm thinking about on the roof at the very front of the roof rack rails. I'd have room on that slotted bar for (1) or (2) more shorter light on either side, switched seperately.
Thought installed. Need to pull it but back out to touch up the paint. All switches currently unused but planning on a roof light mount using a couple.

Project Thumper:

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Ravenbar is offline  
post #15 of 24 Old 07-30-2017, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
Senior Member
2002 WJ 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Madrid, NY
Posts: 560
other than drivcing to work and back today, i'm working on a roof rack mounted light mount. Current plan is for a 20" curved in the center(managed so salvage 20" out of a mangled 48"curved bar, unsure of how long it's going to last as resistors and transistors board was broke so on unregulated power) and (2) smaller lights on each side.
spent a good chunk of the day fabricating a roof crossrail for a roof light setup. I currently have a ~20" curved led bar to go up there( and i'll also be putting (2) or (4) smaller lights on the sides. Currently considering a pair of the alpena hexfire single row's walmart sells for $19.94 ea or some other cheap ~6" long light. Mostly going for an occasional work light, and for seasonal roads at night where i need to keep an eye off the sides of the road for wildlife(haven't actually needed lights for that purpose in 5 years but have had that need in the past), and looks so having the absolute best light isn't worth the price.

Light bar is currently sitting out with paint drying. I decided i'd paint it with the same gloss black rustproof m/d i'm using for under the jeep. I'm also planning on pulling off my cb antenna bracket and painting that as i've noticed in the few months since i put it on the paint has chipped and rust has started in a couple little spots.

I've got a switch panel already installed in the center console with (3) switches. I'll run a constant hot from the underhood fuse panel(eye terminal on the battery feed into the panel with a 30amp in line fuse near the fuse panel. I'll run this wire into the center console(where the switch panel is) and locate a relay here, controlled with a switched circuit so all downstream circuits are switched. From there i'll run (3) circuits through the switches and (1) unswitched to the rear passengers side, each with a 10a fuse, relying on the fact i'll never load all the circuits at once to not blow the main fuse).. The unswitched circuit will power a rear power outlet and branch off for a 130w power inverted located under the rear cubby. The (3) switched circuits will find ther way up into the roof rail and run forward to power roof lights. Current plan is to run all (3) circuits to the front light mount. I'm also considering fabricating a second light mount so i can have a pair of rear facing light at the rear on the roof.
spent most of the day getting paint on the roof light cross rail i built yesterday. For some reason the rustproof m/d i pu ton last night decided to bubble badly(a sign on too much moisture/too thick of a coat.) i used a wire wheel on the grinder and smoothed it ou and then coated it with a flat black tractor supply equipment paint.

Also got the mounting brackets made up for the 20" light and got those mounted to the rail. Looks like i'll only have room for one light on either side of the 20" light so i'm planning on building a second, smaller rail for the rear where i can mount a pair of rear facing lights.

Haven't got it on the jeep yet as i don't have the wire to run all the circuits. Might get it mounted up tomorrow night, unpowered as a test to see if my fear of a whistle from all the extra holes in the bar(salvaged piece of 40mmx80mm tube from some kind of exercise equipment), are going to be a problem.
spent most of the day working on installing the light bar.

Pulled off the roof rails and repainted them as the factory paint had worn to aluminum in a couple spots. Ran out of flat black paint, thought i had another full can, so sprayed some rustoleum rust converter on which also has a flat black finish. Once i put them back on, i noticed a few spots where the black is awful thin and i can see the gray sandable primer i uses to smooth out the edges where the paint was missing. I'll have to mask the roof off and spray them again in place.

Once i got the roof rails reinstalled, i installed the light bar up front and got the wires situated there.then ran the wires down the passengers roof rail and in through the rear hatch to tie into wires i ran one night this week up to the center console. I also installed a rear power outlet in the stock location. Once i got the rear back together, i wired up the switch for the light and ran a power wire up through the dash to the underhood fuse box for power. I'm planning on installing a relay in the console to shut power off to everything downstream when the key is off, just didn't have parts today. Also ran 2 additional circuits to the rear for future lights, ran one wire all the way to the front so i can add a small light on either side of the light bar. The second extra is so i can wire up rear facing roof lights, haven't run that to the roof yet.

Once i got everything picked up, i washed the jeep and buffed the headlights as they've been getting a bit hazy.
ran out to do laundry and picked up a sub next door. I was sitting in the back seat of the jeep since there's more room to eat and it's a little cooler with the window tint. A couple state trooper cars pull into a nearby spot and one approaches the jeep and glances in the back window where i was then starts staring into the front windows at the front seats. I asked her what she was doing and she said she thought i was a dog.

After, that i went to get car washing supplies and when i got home washed the jeep with armorall ultra shine wash & wax. I'm hoping the wax will keep the jeep from getting dirty so quickly. I also picked up microfiber towels at both dollar tree (2/$1)and walmart(10/$4.97). The walmart ones soaked up everything i threw at them, the dollar tree ones seemed to avoid soaking up anything. I'm going to have to pick up a couple more packs of the walmart ones. I also detailed the front interior. Didn't get the back seats done as rain moved in and still had my laundry in the back seats.

Now that i've got the light set up on the roof, my next project will be repairing a couple rust spots on the rear hatch. I'm trying to wrap my head around one spot in particular on the upper corner of the license plate recess that's ~2" diameter with a dent and a crease. Considering wire wheeling all the rust away and then bondo and paint or cutting out the spot and welding in a piece out of another rear hatch, then bondo to blend if necessary and paint. I also need to locate a source for metalic silverstone touch up paint which i've heard is impossible to match.
i have a lot of questions about the longevity of my engine, so much so i've got a high milage replacement on standby and i'm also considering pulling a low mileage used engine(i'm told jeep has 78,000 miles, rumor i heard the other day says engine was replaced by dealer 20,000 miles ago). I've got to ask my coworker what he wants for it(it's in a private yard, friend of coworker, coworker speculated he'd want $300 for the whole drive train; was told friday at the same time as the motor replacement rumor, another guy'd looked at it and coworker was suprised by how little he wanted for the drivetrain, but was the wrong engine for the guy.) if i can get a 20k engine and 78k trans & transfer case for cheap, i may just have to pick it up as a spare.

that's what i'm considering but also have to consider the effect on my wallet. Wallet has been slowly recovering since the lift this spring(too many little jeep projects). I might have just enough to stash it away but i may also need those funds elsewhere.
went to work and back. Tried showing how bright my roof light was but found the fuse was blown. Got asked where the red light was i found a while back, people couldn't believe it was the same light as i'd cut it in half and painted it black.

I also had a discussion with a coworker and he'll be dropping off the parts wj('04 fereedom edition with bad paperwork, $400 for all the parts i want, but won't sell the whole thing, so i'll be stripping the drive train and my wish list of parts and it'll be getting picked up, otherwise it'll be a lot of work out in the weeds) and picking up my old car for $100 as he needs the motor. The coworker has a ramp truck so it'll be easy for him to shuffle the vehicles around. I was hoping for $200 for the car but with all the vehicle shuffling and the grerat deal on parts i can't complain. It also will get one of the "lawn ornaments" out of here.

Also took a quick offroad jaunt on my way home from work to get some pictures for the wjotm contest. Will be submitting my entry tonight.
headed out to a couple garage sales this morning and picked up a couple air compressors. A 15gal craftsman and a porter cable pancake for $25 for the pair. Craftsman ran but had a leak where the pressure tube leaves the head. Porter cable didn't run at all. Got home and started tearing the craftsman apart to figure out the problem and then realized the porter cable pump was the same as the craftsmans. I spent most of the afternoon trying different combinations of parts to get the leak to stop and finally ended up using the tube, gasket and head from the porter cable on the craftsman. The chart on the compressor says ifs good for intermitant spray gun use.

This eavening, i attacked the rusty spots on my rear hatch. I sanded the rust out of each spot, chasing the rust under the paint until it disappeared. In a couple places, i had tiny rust pits that wouldn't go away no matter how much sanding so i sprayed them with a little self etch primer in hopes of stopping any firther rust. In one spot, i had a small dent so i drilled a small hole and used a screw in my slide hammer to pop the dent most of the way back into shape.

After that, i sprayed on a little sandable primer and sanded to find where the dent was still low and then applied a couple coats of bondo, with sanding between. After the second coat, i sanded with 180 grit until smooth then with 1200 grit first dry, then wet, to get everything looking as good as its going to get for nowand shot it with another coat of sandable primer. Ran out of daylight at this point.

I can still feel a slight depression where the dent was so i may roughen it up again and apply another coat of filler to get it perfect. I'm still trying to figure out what paint i'm going to use. I'm thinking about coming up with some decorative pattern that covers all the areas's i've worked on since matching the paint(silverstone metalic) is reportedly impossible.
spent some time doing body work. First time doing it and i'm going slowly. Still need a few more layers of filler and a lot of sanding to get it flat. Had a couple rusty spots/dings on the tailgate that i straightened out best i could and and now perfecting with filler. Going to be about 1/8" max of filler when i'm done so well withing max thickness spec of 1/4".

I'm planning on spraying it with some peel coat rugged matte black once i get it flat to my liking. As silverstone metallic is so hard to find a match for, i'm considering doing some kind of design on the rear in matte black in the future. Thinking of either racing stripes or a horizontal band. Also considering the possibility of doing the back hatch and roof in black with stripes on the hood as i've got some dings on the hood that need addressing.
tried to replace a window regulator that went out on me last winter. Supposedly there was a newish one on the parts jeep so i pulled it off and installed it on mine. Hooked up the switch and gave it a test run and all i hear is crunch crunch crunch. I'm guessing the the cables screwed up on the reel. The window is currently held shut with packing tape until i can get a new regulator.

On a better note, the jeep i'll be pulling the drivetrain and other misc parts off will be getting here tomorrow after work.
the jeep i'll be stripping was delivered tonight. '04 freedom edition. I gave my coworker the money and list of parts i was going to pull and when he gave the list to the guy he was picking up the jeep from, he said he didn't care what i took off and gave him back the list. He wouldn't sell me the whole jeep

i noticed on the windshield an oil change sticker with due by 78,xxx miles and a due by date in 2012. I hooked up a battery and charger and checked the odometer and its at 76596 miles so it looks like the jeep hasn't driven 2000 miles in 5 years. Registration expired 5/16 and insurance cards ran out in 2015.

I checked the oil and it looks a bit mucky(not black, not a milkshake, just milky) and smells of gas. Not sure what to think as the jeep's been sitting so much & so old oil. I'm told it ran and drove fine when my coworker picked it up and drove it to the guy who bought it's last fall, about 35 miles.

While i was waiting on my coworker to show up, i pulled the handle off the rear hatch and sanded/wire wheeled off the tiny rust bubbles that i spotted as i primed the the other rust/ding repairs i've done on the gate.

My main goals for the weekend are to pull the window regulator out of the freedom edition and get my passengers window back to working. Then get the rear hatch body work finished. Then i'll start pulling parts off the parts jeep and getting them cleaned up and installed.

Project Thumper:

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
Ravenbar is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the JeepForum.com forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid e-mail address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome