Having read a bunch of other guys build threads I decided to start mine and have it follow my WK's evolution. Hope you enjoy!
Still stock on the outside,few improvements under the hood.
Current upgrades are all fuel economy focused and all done DIY; getting mpgs up so that big tires don't hurt it too bad when I do the lift and all.
- K&N air intake mod,
- spark plugs,
- ignition coils,
- throttle body cleaned,
- EGR valve and
- PCV valve replaced;
Tomorrow on schedule are both front O2 sensors, and maybe the grill mod if I have enough time.
EGR valve was definitely the biggest challenge, due to its location. Youtube and my stubbornness definitely helped a lot .
Found the original dealer pics...
Note the "IMITED"...
Check out the steering wheel... this pic actually makes it look not so bad but its basically ruined. Need to mod that at some point - I hate the regular wheel covers
Super clean on the inside otherwise:
Also power steering was completely shot but the dealer promised to take care of it... all in all came away with what I thought was an amazing deal of $5.5k but it did have 125k miles on it...
And below are the pics from after I put in the K&N CAI - not sure how it is that I dont have a "before" pic but it had a regular 4.7L V8 air intake box in the middle. I kinda liked the look of it before better, but K&N is K&N..
Grill mod completed.
It took me a while to find the right expanded sheet metal and I was just getting ready to order it from Ace online, when I ran into it at Hingham lumber which turns out is also Ace hardware store.
I was set on getting the 3/4 one and I am really glad that I did since it looks great imo. It is sprayed with metallic rustoleum.
Rough Country lift and wheel spacers are on their way
Still working on finding the right tires... looking for used ones for starters; it doesnt seem too hard to find a good deal on 255/70/17 BFG muds around here, but anything bigger is few and far between
RC 2" lift arrived, as well as the wheel spacers. I bought another ronin II for a spare, got 6 BF Goodrich Mud Terrains 255/75/17 for $220 off of CL (four in decent shape with some 40-50% tread left, other two close in % left but unevenly worn - will be fine for a spare).
Other installed updates: ignition switch, front two O2 sensors. I tried to replace them (O2) myself with WK jacked up but quickly realized that lying under it did not provide me with enough leverage. I suppose that I could have taken the wheel off and approached them via wheelwell, but I took her to a local mechanic who swapped them in for me for $0 charge. A bottle of scotch = well deserved.
Now that the lift is about to go in, I started thinking about my stock struts and shocks... I know everyone will advise me to switch them out since its an '05, and Im already going in there; My question is what shocks & struts should I be looking at and what about springs - if I go with Bilsteins 5100 front and back, will my stock springs fit? Or do I want to change them too? I have read a couple of different threads on this but didnt get a definitive answer about what the preferred setup would be. Would the Bilsteins 5100 add more lift on top of my 2' spacer, or would they just be a more durable alternative to stock? Sorry for the noob questions and thanks for your help. Links to either threads or products would be much appreciated. Thanks!
Here are a few late pictures from doing the grill mod. Whenever I start a mod I get carried away and only much later remember to take pictures. So my apologies for not providing a full step-by-step but you should be able to fill in the blanks pretty easily.
As you can see in the pic below - I cut the mesh in two pieces, had to tailor each to fit around the tabs up and down; drilled holes for screws in the black uprights of the inner part of the grill and secured them with the biggest washers I had. The mesh itself is actually much, much sturdier than I originally expected and I had my reservations about how well it will fit because it had to bend to follow the curve of the base - but tightening the screws made it fit perfectly.
Here's also a few pics from replacing the ignition switch. Now that I have done it, I could do it again in likely 1/4 of the time it took me that day, but boy is this a pain in the @ss when you dont know what you are doing...
Finagling this thing out was tough, especially because I didnt know whether it is supposed to come out and if I will rip any wires in the process. However it did need to come out bc there is one screw that could not be reached otherwise.
Just sealed the deal with Kolak - I'm getting Blisteins 5100 all around and will just use RC spacers on the back since 5100 struts are adjustable And from everything I read, this is considerably better setup then spacers lift. If anyone wants the front spacers for RC lift let me know.
I have to say that I am very pleased with ignition switch replacement. Such a relief. The only reason I did it, although a big one, was because the old one was really flimsy and I once knocked it into off with my knee. "Luckily" this happened on a not so frequent but otherwise very, very steep and windy (as in curvy) downhill, in the evening. As you know, when this happens - you are left with no power steering and no lights, just to mention a few. The fact that it was curvy downhill certainly added to the moment...
I saw some of the other threads about this and some guys questioning the likelyhood of this actually happening, but I have to tell you - at 6'6", considering that there is only so far I can move the seat back and still be able to reach the steering wheel, and considering that no matter how low I put the seat, Im still way high up - knocking the key out mid drive was a real and constant possibility. Better safe then sorry.
On a separate note - I would like some of your guys' input on the following:
Since I got my WK this summer, I did a bunch of things to get its MPGs up from its 13.3 stop&go level. Also to mention, my hwy MPGs tend to wary rather drastically, sometimes giving me 17mpgs, sometimes barely 14 in very similar driving conditions and habbits i.e. cruising and using gas as an occasional boost to the momentum. As mentioned in the thread earlier, I did the following:
- K&N CAI
- new champion spark plugs (old ones must have been original '05 ones since their gap was 0.8 when I took them out)
- new ignition coils where needed
- O2 sensors x2 (front)
- cleaned the front (gate) of the throttle body (should I have taken the whole thing off and cleaned the back?)
- EGR valve
- PCV valve
- PCM Adaptive Memory cache flush
Also wanted to do the thermostat, as I bought the part itself, but it is on the bottom in a 4.7L engine and it looks like I would have to do the radiator flush in order to do it and I wasn't prepared for that at the moment. When warmed up currently, my thermostat gauge never sits straight up, it is always maybe some 2-3 degrees or so to the cold side.
Now, with all these things done, I expected to at least gain 2 MPGs but I am basically up just .7 to about 14.0 and that is on a good day. From everything I read so far I am suspecting an exhaust manifold leak, but I dont hear anything in particular that would tell me that is the case. Then again - Im no mechanic. When started in the morning, cold, the whole engine is a bit more loud then what you would expect it to be, but the loud that Im talking about sounds kind of the way that K&N CAI breathing sounds. No clicking like some other folks mentioned. The exhaust itself seems ok, and I am really dreading the possibility of an exhaust manifold being an issue. Any thoughts would be much appreciated. Thanks guys.
So - Bilsteins 5100 arrived from Kolak and I was aiming for a half decent day of weather to put them in; Today happened to be one so I hooked up with a friend and dove in.
Mission = Bilsteins 5100 all around; RC spacer lift in the rear, front struts set on highest setting, no RC spacers in the front.
Did the back first...
EASY. And by that I mean Lego easy. The bolt on the bottom of drivers side shock gave me some attitude but... thats barely even worth mentioning really. Did both sides with pleasure and lots and lots of glowing about how handy and capable I am.
Attacked the front...
Removed fuse boxes, windshield washer fluid tank, got to the bolts for struts, took care of them; dug in on both sides simultaneously, removed and suspended the calipers, took off UCA nut, swaybar bolt, ABS, removed the bolts from where the bottom fork pinches the strut to hold it in place, took the nut of the clevis fork bolt...
I wish I knew to look this up before I started... Holly crap! That f**** bolt was frozen solid in its bushing.
If you live up north where salt is commonly used in winter time - YOU WILL FACE THIS ISSUE. So plan accordingly. My WK is a double whammy as it spent some time in Michigan and now here...
...I soaked it silly with PB, tried hitting it over and over with an assortment of tools; tried gripping its head (what little of it is there) after bending the lock tab - absolutely not even a wink.
It became clear this was not happenning today since it already got dark out and the forecast for tomorrow predicted heavy rain. Putting it all together, unfinished, in the dark, after a full day and a 5 hr struggle with one f**** bolt was just indescribably aggrevating. Stripped a lug nut; also the swaybar bolt on passanger side, while torquing it to factory specs(?wtf?).
So now with the back liftted and stock front, my WK looks like a center about to snap a football...
Weather permitting, I'll get in there again and attempt to disconnect everything from LCA and lower it further with strut fork attached. I feel that I might need to remove the UCAs completely to get it out, even though I read that some folks managed to do it without that step.
Keep it soaked in PB blaster overnight. Keep spraying PB blaster on it tomorrow morning, and try to get your hands on some air tools. Otherwise it's just gonna be a blowtorch and elbow grease. Another option: buy the replacement bolt and cut that sucker off...the possibilities are endless; however, it's gonna be a pain in the a** no matter what.
'15 JK 2.5" lift on 35's
'06 WK 3.5" lift on 33's (Sold)