sdillinger's ownership thread
I wanted to share my Jeep with everyone. I'm calling it an "Ownership" thread rather than a "Build" thread, since I'm not really building anything at this time, just making small improvements. See my intro thread for basic specs, plans, and pics from when I first bought the Jeep:
While it says Sahara on the side, it's really an SE. Somewhere in it's life somebody put a Sahara sticker and pinstripe on it. While I cant stand it when people mislabel their cars to make them look nicer than they are, the sticker is staying for now. I paid for a Sahara so thats what I'm driving lol.
After four months so far, I'm pretty happy with it, I just wish I could drive it more. It takes me pretty long to finish jobs due to money and time constraints. The engine and trans are stock and I plan to keep them that way. I like the 4" suspension with 33's, so that setup will remain as well. I need to make some "adjustments" to the sway bar, track bars, and bumpstops. It really appears that this lift was designed for zero flex.
My major future plans are to install a SYE so I can raise transfer case back up where it should be. Then I want to upgrade the axles, change the gearing, and add traction devices. The plans are a rear Ford 8.8 in the distant future. The front I will probably just strengthen up a bit.
I should have taken more pics for what I have done so far, but I will take more as the build continues.
The first thing I did was rip out all the carpet, roll bar pads, center console, etc for cleaning. The Jeep was filthy everywhere. I tried to clean the carpets, but the only one worth saving is the back cargo area carpet. The rest of the floor will receive some type of lining eventually. I also removed the dual steering stabilizer, ipod controller, stickers, and rear 6x9 speakers in boxes that were mounted to the rear wheel wells.
Replaced the coolant temp sensor. Removed the stock sound bar and took it apart so I can replace the speakers in it. Lubed all the moving body parts (doors hinges latches seats etc) with some lithium spray grease.
Then I cleaned the Jeep up enough to get it dirty again and took it to the Badlands Offroad Park. Here are some pics of it clean. The TJ on 35's belongs to my uncle.
On the trip I broke both front axle u-joints and shaft ends. Other than that I was very happy with the way it performed. There are some pics from the trip in this album:
Badlands 8-30-09 pictures by hbflash - Photobucket
Since I got a good deal on some XJ one piece axle shafts, we eliminated the CAD. It wasnt until after driving with axle lube spraying out that I learned that you have to add a seal for the conversion. So I bought the Seven Springs Customs CAD elimination kit. I just finished installing the kit and seal, it was a pretty easy install. Passenger side now has a used XJ shaft with new Brute Force U-joint and a parts store new hub bearing assembly. Drivers side has a used but good condition shaft and U-joint from an unknown junkyard vehicle.
Changed engine oil. Replaced clutch master cylinder and front brake pads. Lubricated the chassis. Tightened the driveshaft ujoint straps (they were loose enough to turn by hand!) Cleaned K&N filter. I dont really care for the K&N kit, but I am keeping it for no other reason that its already there. I will be putting an Outerwears filter cover on it.
This brings me up to date to my current projects below:
Since I bought the Jeep, the speedometer hasnt worked. I'm making some progress on that. I tried a different speed sensor to no avail. I removed the ribbon cable behind the gauges and it doesnt seem to be in TOO bad of shape. I will be checking the continuity and trying to fix that as well.
My uncle hooked me up with this used rear bumper for a good price. I was told its a Road Armor, maybe somebody can verify the brand. It's for a TJ but it looks like it will mount up.
Well I was poking around with a screwdriver cleaning out the bumper mounting holes, scraping some rust off the rear of the frame, and I poked some rust THROUGH the frame. Looks like I'm in need of some frame repair. This will be done before I mount the bumper. I bought the DaveyGeeps kit. I just need to get it welded in.
The rubber fuel line by the tank was leaking a steady drip with the engine running. So I cut the hose back some, replaced the clamps and fuel filter. My drip is now a spray. No fun. I hope to get into fixing that this week. If I cant get it fixed I will have to drop the tank and replace the rubber hose in it's entirety.
Once the above issues are resolved I will be happy just to be able to drive it again. I havent decided what to do next. It wont be anything major as I am trying to save up for a trailer.
I got some useful stuff for Christmas from my wonderful family: JKS disconnects, Harbor Freight Farm Jack, and Bushings for when I fix my frame I can replace them.
Thanks for checking out my thread. Questions/Comments/Suggestions/Criticisms welcome.
Well I've had the Jeep for a few years and its going pretty well.
We dropped the tank to replace the rubber fuel lines and weld up the passenger side of the frame. Since I had the tank down I picked up a Warn fuel tank skid plate from Amazon for cheap. During reassembly we cleaned up the back of the frame and mounted the used bumper.
I put some cheap Eclipse speakers in the sound bar and cleaned that up.
I got a trailer and have been able hit the trails without having to worry about getting home. It figures I havent broken anything since I got the trailer.
My wife bought me an ARB quick deflator. Sorry no pic.
I kept the carpet and rear seat out and installed a tool box. I dont know the brand my dad has had it sitting around a while. Its bolted down with quick releases.
I bought a used 33" tire and a new steel cragar to use as a spare, a rugged ridge spair tire mount, and five black Gorilla center caps. It feels much better to have a spare tire. I also picked up the Gorilla telescoping lug wrench, as the stock one under the hood wouldnt work with the aftermarket lug nuts. Surprisingly the stock scissor jack works fine with the spring under lift. I'll have the farm jack for the trail but the stocker will work great on the road.
I had to take of the tail light guards. With the spare tire I couldnt open the tailgate up enough for the hatch to clear the top of the tire. Flush LED's will come at some point, but are not a priority.
Did some maintenance items also: fan clutch, IACV, electronic flasher, front calipers and rotors, battery, fuel cap, and new gauge bulbs.
I got a used cluster from ebay with a clean ribbon circuit hoping it would fix my speedometer. Still no luck on that. I've just been using GPS speed.
I removed the track bars and sway bar, and sold the quick disconnects. The springs are plenty stiff theres no noticable body roll without the sway bar.
I also grabbed a used winch. Its a 1st generation Superwinch LP8500. I paid $150 with the roller fairlead. The previous owner modified the solenoid mount to move it higher above the spool. This reduces the cable scraping against the bottom of the solenoid. Superwinch fixed this in generation 2 by moving the solenoid off to the side. All I need is a winch mount plate and I'll be good to go. I'll be keeping the stock front bumper. I wont have a pic of the winch until I get it mounted.
My plans are continue enjoying this Jeep while keeping it as cheap as possible with used parts. Although I am saving up to do something about the 3.08 gears, open diffs, and D35.
It's been slow going as I'm on a super budget and also have a car project, and my pickup is showing it's age and needing some monetary attention.
In order to take the bump stop extenders off of my leaf springs, I had to replace the u-bolts. I used the Rancho RS721 kit. I already have extended bump stops, so the extenders were limiting the travel quite a bit. My springs are super stiff so it made little difference, if any.
I also picked up a used Superwinch LP8500 and mounted it up with a Rough Country winch plate. I was able to keep my chevy tow hooks and I think it looks pretty good.
My only complaint was I had to cut some pieces out of the bumper because the winch plate stuck out further than other ones, which I did not know at the time of purchase. I used an angle grinder and hammer. It's not pretty but I don't mind.
Nice looking YJ man keep it up.
Ugh. Another fuel leak from the filter area. This is the third one in three years. Hopefully I can get into it this weekend. I think my entire back section is new rubber up to the hard line. Hopefully it's just a bad clamp. It's hard to find decent hose clamps. Everything I find is Chinese junk.
I tightened the cheap clamps as much as possible and doubled them up on each hose. It seems to be holding. Please let me know if you know where to get high quality OEM grade hose clamps.
Purchased and installed a pre-filter also. Hopefully it will extend the time between filter cleaning. Also I need to get the engine bay cleaned up!
I did some shopping at Amazon. Superwinch winch cover. ARB 26,500 lb 10' tree strap. Rugged Ridge 30,000 lb snatch block.
I think I may turn the winch cover around, at least until that giant white superwinch logo is dirty.
On my last offroad trip in April, I hit the wrong pedal backing down a hill that I failed to climb. I hit a tree pretty hard. My stock tail lights stuck out further than my bumper, and the passenger side light made a direct hit to a tree. I wasn't too concerned about it, I wanted flush mount tails anyways. But when I got back to the parking lot and tried to put my doors back on, something was wrong. Although the tail light was smashed to pieces, it appears to have transmitted a lot of force through the body. It's creased in two places. It's OK though. I was able to pound the tail area straight from the back side. It looks like there may be enough adjustment in the door hinge to move the door forward enough so it closes. I just need 1/8" to 1/4".
I got my tails installed this weekend.
I also cut some holes in my garage drywall and mounted some loops to the cross beams in the attic for a DIY hard top hoist.
And last but not least, I picked up this in May:
We got started on the axle build. Here is the parts list of items already purchased:
8.8 Yukon Grizzly
8.8 rebuild/install kit USA Standard
8.8 Ford Racing 4.56
D30 Eaton Truetrac
D30 rebuild/install kit USA Standard
D30 Reverse Cut Motive Gear 4.56
Driveshaft ECGS 1310 Spicer
8.8 YJ Mount kit ECGS
SYE Advance Adapters
8.8 Brake Kit - Pads, Rotors, Shoes, Cables, Lines - ECGS Centric
8.8 1310 Yoke ECGS
8.8 Outer bearings and Seals - National
Ebrake Hardware Kit - Carquest
Dust shields, Backing Plates
I still need to purchase D30 axle sleeves and I'm sure a few other miscellaneous parts. I need to take a really good look at the front driveshaft and front axle U-joints when it all comes apart. If they are marginal they are getting replaced. I'm sticking with the 27 spline OEM type axles except for the eliminated CAD which is already in place.
We are currently bench building the 8.8 before we bring the entire Jeep in the shop. Everything should be completed by March.
We got the 8.8 housing cleaned up and the 4.56 gears and Grizzly locker installed. We also welded tie down loops to the sway bar mounts instead of cutting them off. This will eliminate needing to thread an axle strap between the housing and the brake line when I load the Jeep on the trailer.
Also I'm giving up on the parking brake for now because I cant afford any new reasonably priced backing plates. I'll save the cables, shoes, and hardware in case I can get to the junkyard in the spring to find some decent plates.
You can also see the tubes welded to the center section in these pics.
The build went as planned except for the D30 axle sleeves, parking brake, and unexpected need for a front drive shaft.
I kept all the parking brake parts in the case I ever come across some decently priced backing plates. The only issue will be is that the grizzly carrier needs to be removed to get the axles out.
The disconnect D30 has some size inconsistencies in the disconnect area which will prevent the sleeves from being an easy installation. Since we weren't going to be welding on the housing to install the sleeves, I just sent the gussets back to the manufacturer as well. I dont do any high-speed stuff so I think the housing will hold up as-is.
Everything else was pretty straightforward.
My wheels were starting to rust a bit and two of them were leaking pretty severely at the outer bead. Dirt and moisture got in there somehow and turned into this rust-cement material that prevented a good seal. I had them dismounted, then I bead blasted them and painted them with a rattle can. Then I had the tires remounted, this time with the white letters in.
One of the unit bearings needed replacement.
With the SYE installed my skid plate is back up where it should be.
ECGS driveshaft, EGCS 8.8 yoke, and AA SYE
With the extended boomerang shackles the spring doesnt hit the bumper bracket anymore. Hitting bumps on the road is WAY nicer.
When we removed the front driveshaft it was very bent and the slip shaft was seized solid. The seized joint probably caused the bending. Got a new front DS with thicker wall tube from Indiana Drive Line.
As she sits:
The first run with the new parts was the Two Rivers Jeep Club 4x4 Safari. Pics: http://s87.photobucket.com/user/hbfl...0Safari%202014
I was very impressed with overall performance. The better ride from the new shackle setup. The easier drivability that came from going from 3.07 to 4.56. The traction from the grizzly and trutrac. All amazing. Feels like a different Jeep!
I think the stuck front shaft was limiting travel in the front. I'm now getting heavily into my front fenders. Tube fenders will be next.
Also some body damage from scraping against some big logs. This will all be addressed when I do the fenders and some type of sliders in the future.
Thanks for reading.
I haven't done much to the Jeep in a while. In fact, I didnt even go wheeling at all in 2015. I was hoping to change that in 2016. My son and I went to the Badlands a couple weeks ago. He's never been offroad before so I was planning on taking it easy. We cruised around in the "trucks only" area and he was having a blast, especially driving through the creek. So on the way out, I wanted to hit the tubes, which I've been through probably 20-30 times. I didnt bother checking the depth first. Big mistake. The front end went straight down into the water and the engine locked up. When the back end went off the ledge, the jeep evened out, and water started coming up through the holes in the floorboards. I climbed out over the hood and noticed all of the oil floating on top of the water. I winched myself out and found someone to tow me back to the parking lot. I'n not sure what else is damaged but I know I put a rod through the oil pan. I'm currently researching my options for an engine. I'm definitely going with a rebuilt long block, I just need to decide the source.
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