I should have started a build thread three years ago when the Jeep still looked like this
I had always wanted a jeep, so I bought an '04 Sport with 64k miles on it, D44 rear, hardtop and full doors, and a 5sp.
This is how it sits today,
The equipment I'm running at the moment follows:
33" BFG KM2's
3" AEV Springs
JKS Rear track bar and bracket
JKS sway bar discos
OME N66 and N67 shocks (changing front shocks soon)
Undercover fab high clearance tranny skid
Rokmen adj rear upper control arms
Rock Krawler adj front upper control arms
AA SYE with explorer front shaft cut and balanced to fit
AA transfer case shift bracket modified to work with belly-up skid
Olympic rear rock bumper (very first "mod", cheaper than a tow hitch installed, lol)
Savvy step sliders
custom electrical accessory distro panel
Sears Diehard Platinum PM2 (marine version of P4, has extra posts on top, not side)
IPF H4 housings and fatboy bulbs
I have a ton more to do, the plan is 35's, full armor, upgrade front axle to HP30 or 44, 4.88's geared myself with ARB's.
I have a ton of photos from everything I've done to this point so I'll be backing up and going over some of the things I've done, issues I've run into, things I wish I had known when I started, that kinda thing. I need some fellow Jeepers to bounce ideas off of as I plan my next project, so enjoy, and thanks for reading.
Shortly after I bought it the wife and I were planning a road trip down the Redwood Hwy out of Oregon in to Crescent City, then back up the Southern Oregon coast. We were planning on towing a trailer and were going to need a hitch, so instead of buying a hitch I bought an Olympic Rear Rock Bumper with tow hitch. I paid about $175 for it, not much more than a hitch set-up would have cost really. Three years later and the bumper is still going strong. There isn't much I would buy from Olympic, but this is a great budget bumper and it's tow rated. I even used it to tow a buddy's CJ home 30 or so miles once. My transmission wasn't happy, and the bumper did flex a bit but otherwise performed well.
I also noticed a clunking under the transmission hump a couple months after we'd had it, the old transfer case shift linkage TSB issue. So I picked up the AA transfer case shifter bracket and a new bushing kit to move the linkage off of the tub. It worked great, until I did the tummy-tuck. I ended up cutting it up some then to make it fit, but more on that when I get to the skid.
There are a ton of posts and write ups on the UCF skids, so I won't go too much into that except to say its a great product at a great price. I had to have a new chunk of exhaust bent up to clear the front passenger upper control arm bracket...
This is how you shorten up the cat hanger when you don't own a welder yet
I also had to do some serious grinding to my AA shift linkage bracket. It was (still is in 4L) rubbing the tub. Before grinding it down I couldn't shift into 4L at all. I can now but it bumps and scrapes the tup a lot and drives me nuts. I see a Novak cable shifter in my future.
I drilled new holes just inboard of the old holes used to mount it to the t-case studs, bringing the bracket closer to the t-case by maybe .75"
I also removed some un-needed material from the top of the bracket where the linkage attaches.
I did an AA SYE, Rokmen upper control arms (I had Currie uppers, but with stock lowers they are too short) and changed my JKS trackbar in the back from OGS153 to OGS151 type. The JKS trackbars are almost the exact same. Check it out...
If I had known the only differences were the bend in the adj end, I'd have thrown the damn thing in a press and bent it myself. As it is I still need to bend the OGS151 axle end a bit to sit in perfectly, I just havent gotten around to it. I should have bought the Currie, lol.
I've been debating a HP44 cut down ala Hotrodhooligan, or just doing a HP30. In the end, I decided to just do a HP30 with an Aussie. I doubt I rally need more than that for 35s, and if I bend a housing they're only a hundred bucks at the Pick n Pull. A 3 link along the lines of Pcoplin and Blaines work on Robert J's is next. Grabbed the housing this weekend during the third off whatever you pull sale.
I've been wanting to re-locate the solenoid on my Superwinch EP9 to under the hood, and finaly got started on it today. My plan is to mount the plug for the controller on some expanded metal grating behind the grill so it's easily accessible, and run switches inside for in-cab control.
I only really have one spot to put the solenoid under the hood. There are a couple great flat spots where the stock air-box used to sit, so I need a bracket.
Cardboard is your friend...
The flat spots on the inner fender are all at different levels, so I'm using 3/8" ss all-thread to make studs for the bracket to mount to.
Superwinch makes a kit to remote mount the solenoid, but the leads are only 20" and its spendy. I did want the fancy rubber boots for the wires where they attach to the winch, so I looked the part numbers up in the remote mount kit and ordered them separately for less than $2 a piece. They were delayed getting here so I'll have to wait to wire that up until Monday.
Tomorrow I'll pick up the expanded metal and make myself a grill screen, then I'll have somewhere to mount the remote plug for the winch.
I picked up a nice covered toggle switch from Radioshack, and I need to get 2 momentary off-on SPST switches for the in-cab controls. Looks like with the Superwinch I only need to run 2 wires from the cab to the solenoid, in and out. The ground is not switched like a Warn. I plan to mount the switches in the plastic panel between the sunvisors.
More pics tomorrow when I work on the grill.
Oh ya HP30 is getting hot tanked, should be ready for pick-up this next week. Tools for re-gear are collecting, now I just need to make up my mind on WJ knuckes and steering, or just do Currie steering and Vanco brakes.
I finally finished the expanded metal grill screen, and got the winch remote plug installed in it and hooked up. I still need to wire in the in-cab controls, but overall I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.
It's secured at the bottom by some 3/4" aluminum angle that I made flat on the ends to bolt to the lower grill. The top is bent back to the rear and secured through the top of the grill with some SS 1/4"-20 bolts.
I picked up the HP30 from the metal cleaners, and all I can say is WOW. This thing had an inch of oily grime caked on it in some places, and look at it now...
I need to start getting some parts in for that thing, mini-skids, maybe some of blaines swaybar link brackets, and bend up a truss for the 3-link upper.
It was $84 bucks to get it cleaned, but worth every penny if you ask me. I would have never been able to get it close to that clean myself. I want to get a coat of primer on it ASAP, but need to get the currie mini-skids welded on, and figure out if I'm going to be able to swing the mid-arms now or not. I'd just as soon do it now because I have the axle sitting here nice and clean, but ARBs and gears are going to suck up a lot of funds. I still need a couple hundred bucks in tools as well to do the gears, need a in/lb torque wrench still, and I want to get a case spreader since ARBs have the carrier shims outside the bearings.
James at Evergreen Offroad cut me a deal on a Currie trackbar (9120TJJ) and mini-skids for silly cheap. I though he had quoted me the wrong parts it was so low. Check him out, seems like a good guy.
I've never done anything with the front trackbar, I've just dealt with the off-center axle these couple years, so I'm looking forward to slinging dirt equally down both sides of the rig, LOL.
I decided to install a cutoff switch on the winch, wish I had researched a bit before I build that solenoid bracket, cause I need a bigger bracket to fit in in there. I'm using a BEP Marine battery switch. It's rated at 275A continuous, 500A intermittent, and over 1000A starting. I've had the switch sitting around a while, but wasn't going to use it because I was worried about it not being rated high enough. I have a Superwinch, and they only draw a max of 350A at full 9k load, with a draw of 250A at 8k. I never put that much load on the winch and use a snatch block for heavy or real uphill pulls so I think it will work fine. In-cab controls are wired and work great. I'll post some pictures later today.
I've got a bunch of crap on CL hoping to speed up my funding, getting rid of my side steps for $75 bucks this morning, and hopefully some other stuff, carpet, back seat, rear bumper and things.