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Unread 12-12-2011, 09:11 PM   #1
Hendrix
TJOTY 2013
 
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1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Nashville
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Another TJ build with not so much bling,except where needed. Very few bolt on mods, and a ton of custom mods.




I acquired a 1997 TJ project that had been abandoned by a few previous owners. I felt like the TJ needs another chance to make it out of the garage for good and not to go to the crusher.

Now on with the plan. I want to build this Jeep by the EJS 2013. I am not really set on a final date, But I figured a year would be good. I do not plan on updating the build daily nor do I plan on working on the Jeep everyday of the next year. So, I will add good updates every week or so when progress is good.

Here is the low down. The Jeep has a clean frame, no rust at all. The body is also rust free. The Jeep came to me as a frame and tub, with a 4.0 and AW4. The AW4 will be going in my other Jeep, and the 4.0 will probably get parted out. (I still do not know what I want as a power plant.) 5.3 and a 4L60 is what will probably end up in it.

Most of the parts used in this build will come from Junkyards, trash bins, dumpsters, wrecked TJs, and any other donated parts...

What I have collected so far.

I thought I would add a price list to the build as I go along..

Bought the Jeep for 200.00
Sold the door surrounds on ebay +145.00
Sold the sound bar on ebay +95.00

So far, + $40.00

(4) Old style MTRs 37" really just 35" tall 150.00

Total money out of pocket today 1-2-12 110.00

Bed components, Sides, Factory corners, Belt rails, 450.00


Tacoma Bed inner assembly Free
Front suspension links (JJs and Mid arm links)
Rear XJ leaf springs
Stock Hood Free
Stock grille shell Free
OEM radiator Free

JK D44 rear with 4:10 gears and track loc 300.00
Stock front fenders and rear flares Free

Body work:

Custom cut tub to make 2 seater cab
Custom Highline stock fenders
Hendrix Hood mod with vents
Custom wrap around bed assembly with drop down tail gate (53" bed)

Frame work:

Relocate the steering box bracket for front stretch
Custom frame built front bumper with grille hoop and winch protector
High clearance front lower link mounts
Custom Coilover hoops up front
Custom shock hoops in the rear
Custom rear leaf hangers
Custom back half rear frame for leafs and extended WB for bed / Reason "Simplicity, Red_Smoke says it works"
Ruffstuff anti-wrap kit

Total out of pocket: 2-20-12 $960.00


Pictures to come soon.....

I will reserve a few posts so please no comments till I get about 10 posts saved to keep the build clean in the future.

It may look dumb with 10-11 posts reserved, but you guys will thank me 2 years from now when trying to look at the build.


Photoshopped version of this build. Thanks to XJAbuzer.


The real thing.







Last edited by Hendrix; 02-22-2013 at 07:01 PM..
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Unread 12-12-2011, 09:12 PM   #2
Hendrix
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I did not get as much done this weekend as I wanted to on the Jeep. But, here are a few pictures of what I am starting with.
The fender is just sitting there for mock up . I have a good set in Missouri I need to pick up still. They will be highlined with custom stock flares.




Yellow paint marks are where the cuts for the cab.



Drill out all the spot welds in the belt rails marked with yellow paint pen. I will reuse the belt rails in a different arrangment to keep the stock look and so my custom half cab will fit properly.



Here is the only rust I found in the whole Jeep. I will sandblast this and put some rest preventive coating on it and respray Black when the time comes for the Jeep to get painted.



Approximate WB and stance. I set the tires about where they will be when she is finished.




Random pictures of the parts collected.


Tires, 37x12.50x17 2 are good the other 2 are just for mock up. I can get the other 5 the guy has in January.




XJ rear leafs stock I may add a leaf later on.



Most recent picture of the Jeep complete. I will post all the final assembly of the Jeep here in the First Post.



Edit on 2-24-2013
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Unread 12-12-2011, 09:12 PM   #3
Hendrix
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Truck cab

I started out this morning by cutting the back end of the tub off 6.5 inches from the center of the door surround line up hole in the top of the tub. As you can see in the pictures I drilled out all the spot welds in the tub rails for the soft top. I will reuse these to make everything line back up properly and for the modified soft top to fit.





I cut the back panels off the tub section at the factory seam to use as the inner structure for the cab panel. This will also give me the top of the tub needed to give it the Jeep look with the top down.



I added a section of box tubing to the bottom of the floor for strength and to give something to weld the sheet metal on the cab panel to also. I will also make some ribbing to weld the sheet metal to as it rounds the corners of the cab. For now you can get the general idea from these pictures.





I also cut the removed belt rails down to the desired length and clamped them to the top of the tub. Tomorrow I will tack weld the panels together and make the patterns for the skins out of poster board.



I finished the upper rail for the cab panel today. I started out by trimming the rest of the side of the tub from the cut off section of the tub. I needed to get a total width of 36.750 to fill the old tail gate area. I had to section in a 3.250 section of metal for the total width of 36.750. I did this by adding a sleeve to the back of the panel to give my weld something to burn into. Its easy to see in the pictures below.





I added a temporary stiffener to the back panel to help keep things in line while I get it all tacked together.






Then I picked up some poster board to make the patterns for the sheet metal skins. I have to do some final trimming before I can transfer to the 16 or 18 gauge sheet metal. I have not decided what size to use yet. But, I needed to get an Idea how much i need and the poster board gives me an idea what the cab will look like finished. I also have the belt rail ready to go back on the top of the cab panel. But, I am waiting till I skin the out panels before I add the belt rail back to the cab.

Here are a few pictures of the inside of the cab. The lockable storage will be welded in tomorrow night. Then it will all get a nice thick coat of Black Upol liner very soon.

I boxed the corners in to give the cab some more rigidity and integrity. I have some expandable foam to put in between the panels once I flip the cab on its back to spray the bottom with bedliner also.







The cab is pretty much all welded, I will go over the whole thing and make sure there is nothing i have missed.


Last edited by Hendrix; 01-02-2012 at 03:59 PM.. Reason: Uploaded more pictures.....
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Unread 12-12-2011, 09:13 PM   #4
Hendrix
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I got a little more done on the cab in the last week or so. Here is the low down. I called up my favorite metal supplier last Friday at 9 am hoping to get my skins by 4:30 before they close for the week. He said how about Monday, I said call me if you can get them done and I will pick them up on my way home from work. They came through on a short notice. So, I skinned the back of the cab on Saturday and made the ribs for attaching the corner skins on Sunday.




I took the driverside corner skin to work on Tuesday and heated it with a torch to get a start on the radius. I got it close enough to fit to the corner last night and then trim to fit tonight.



I started out by welding the cab panels back together and welding the belt rails back to the top of the cab.





Then cleaned all the welds up and started welding the corner panel on the tub.






Custom Corner armor built from Rokmen rocker panels and Short corner armor.








Then finish up the inside. Stay tuned tons more to follow....
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Unread 12-12-2011, 09:14 PM   #5
Hendrix
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She is a roller.

Alright guys and gals this is the first time this Jeep has had all four wheels on it at the same time since the original owner brought it back from Georgia 3 years ago.

There is still tons of little fab projects left, but the major hurdles are over its time for the last 100 meters...

Things I have to do before i can actually flex it out .

Frame side track bar relocation
clearance the frame on the passengerside to allow the track bar to clear.

grind off the ballistic fab coil buckets on the axle.

install the steering gear and make a temporary drag link.

__________________________________________________ _________

The transition between stock frame and new frame.

This has been welded up and flap disked down smooth. I thought I had a picture. I will post one later.



Gas tank mounts and the shock towers will be frenched in the frame.


Trans crossmember mounting point driver side.


Driver side upper and lower control arm mounts.



Here are the rest. Still lots of work to do.

Look at all that clearance. She has a great smooth belly.




From the front.



Need to remove the coil buckets and shorten the lower arms.












The main goal now is to finish everything under the cab section of the frame.

The rear fish plates, Trans mount on the crossmember, clock the transfer case and install, paint the section under the cab section of the frame. Then its ready for the sexy cab.


Here is my 2 favorite pictures of the day...

sooooo much clearance...


And All 4 tires and wheels on the ground.


Sorry there has not been much detail explanation. Pictures are worth a 1000 words right....

Last edited by Hendrix; 03-20-2013 at 08:59 PM.. Reason: Added pictures of the frame and suspension work.
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Unread 12-12-2011, 09:14 PM   #6
Hendrix
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I picked up some Rokmen Highline fenders with flare from Imped. I bought him a new set of Flareless for his rig to weld up so I can have his for the Dumpster Truck.



I spent the last 3 nights cleaning up the welds and repositioning the flares a little on the base of the fenders. I decided to give you guys a visual of the Jeep as a whole. As you know it this is the most complete the Jeep has been since It slid off the trailer into my garage.

Highlines bolted up and mated back with Impeds (Connor) hood for mock up only. I have another hood I will be chopping up for this project. I was just excited to see the body as a whole.





















Now that I have a complete body. I will step up the body work to see If I can get her painted by the end of October.





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Unread 12-12-2011, 09:15 PM   #7
Hendrix
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Custom half cab hard top

Custom half cab hard top I built from a Steel Horse 2 piece hardtop.

I started by removing the side windows and hatch, then the cloth headliner material. I saved the hedliner material to glue back in after the transformation.

First cuts, There will be many more before the top is one piece again.

Mocked up on the cab

Fiberglassing the 2 cut pieces back together.

Bonding the 2 tops pieces together to make one.

finishing the body work in 80 grit sand paper to prep for Slick sand polyester primer.

Primed with 2k High build primer

Sealer before the first coat of base

Base/Clear.




Hardtop on.



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Unread 12-12-2011, 09:16 PM   #8
Hendrix
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Here is what we are all waiting on. The Bed:


I started off by taking a cut out from the tub to my local metal shop. He used his brake to replicate the Jeep body panels for me. Then I called up the local Jeep parts department for 2 LJ belt rails and a Passenger side repair panel for the corner of a TJ tub.

To mate these together I used our frame rack platform to brake over the rear edge of the new sheet metal side panel. This will give me the flange to weld the factory corner to my custom made side panel. I used to LJ belt rail to align all the panels while I use our Pro Spot panel welder to reproduce the factory style spot welds as best as I can. My plan is to make the bed look as close to factory as possible . All the way down to the exposed spot welds in the side panels.

I used the new corner on the passenger side.





I trimmed the panel out of the used tub section I had originally planned on using for the bed assembly. Then cleaned the panel up and clamped in place with the new LJ belt rail.



I know its along way from being a complete assembly. But, I needed to get a few rough measurments for the floor supports and side supports. The shelf out of my cabinet was perfect for clamping the tub panels together at the tail gate area. This is only temporary for the pictures.





I will take a few more pictures of the way everthing attaches as I go.

Here is the back of the bedsides showing how they attach. Plug welds in the flanges.





I have been looking at this Taco Box we had sitting waiting to be dumped in the dumpster at work. Today I was so bored at work I took some quick measurments and hauled the box in the shop. The box was replaced because of the damage to the rear from a collision. This stuff the bed is made of is so tough we have hit it with a sledge hammer and did not even make a mark.



I cut the damaged area of the back and then started the process of transforming.



First glance I thought the box was the right height, But after a few measurements I needed to drop the new bedsides lower about 2 inches. At the same time I thought I was going to have to cut the box in half to make it the right width.

I cut the top edges off the sides and trimmed on some of the side supports. Then refitted the bed sides. After a few hours I came up with this.







I made this little pattern for the top edge of the front of the box. I will make the top edge out of a piece of 1.5 x 1 " box tubing with a split in the bottom to slide over the top edge of the Taco box.



Here are some of the spot welds made with the resistance welder.





Few more of the bed in progress.



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Unread 12-12-2011, 09:16 PM   #9
Hendrix
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Updated today Sunday More bed pictures.

More on the bed. I picked up the bracing I had made for the bed sides and rear crossmember. Here are some pictures of the modified versions of them. I cut a wedge out of the sides and folded the top back in and tack welded it back together to form an angled top on the fronts of the bed sides.



Now a picture of that brace tacked in place to the outer skin of the bed side.



Another shot of the bed side.



Here is the corner brace that will help strengthen the tailgate area.



That brace inside the bed.



Here is the bed side in location .



And the finished side tacked together, I just need to finish the welding.





I spent a little time today cleaning up the end of the bed floor and fitting the rear Valance crossmember.





Here is the automotive adhesive I am using for bonding the SMC to the metal sides of the TJ bed.

(ASA)



Here we go I worked for about 7 hours on Saturday to finish most of the bed assembly. I started out with welding up the crossmember for the back edge of the tub ( valance below the tailgate ) Then added some of the Automotive structural adhesive(ASA) to the composite tub and the metal valance. Then clamped in place with vice grips to cure for atleast 4 hours while I was doing other things. Then I finished spot welding the bedsides with the prospot resistance welder. I also added a piece of 3/4 box tubing to the bottom edge of the upper rail of the bedsides to give me a straight bonding surface for the upper portion of the bedside to the inner tub. I decided to try to roll the wheel edge of the bedside. ( i did not know how it was going to look) I took out my hammer and dolly used everyday at work, and started hammering the edge up against the dolly working it slowly as I moved along the edge. I am pleased with the final result. The rolled edge added strenght and cosmetic value to the bedsides.

I hate typing so here are some pictures and more detail descriptions.

Rear Valance in place ready for ASA:


Hammer and dolly action on the inside of the bedsides;




Prospot in action. I did this because I wanted the exposed spot welds on the outer panel of the bedsides. Because Jeep uses them on the (CJ-YJ-TJ)



Exposed spot welds:


Finished bed assembly: all spot welds done, Plug welds are done. I will finish the braces to bolt the fronts of the bedsides to the composite tub today and weld them to the outer panels later on this week. I also need to add the front cross brace at the top of the bed assembly, Fill the holes from the old swing out hinges, add some nut plates for the CJ tailgate.







I will add a few of the bed after it comes out of the paint shop in Primer only for assembly then back apart for paint later this Summer.
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Unread 12-12-2011, 09:17 PM   #10
Hendrix
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Bed fit to the frame and tub....


Painted bed. I thought long and hard about the color choice. I wanted it to pop, and turn some heads so I figure the New holland Blue from the 2012 JKU would do the job. A lot of people refer to this color as Blue crush.







While in the paint booth.







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Unread 12-12-2011, 09:18 PM   #11
Hendrix
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Here we go fellas the suspension taking shape.

I started out Saturday by tacking some brackets to the top edge of the frame. I ended up with 7 inches of seperation at the frame end and 7.5 at the axle. All the brackets are tacked in place and ready for some final flexing. Then I built a high clearance track bar bracket on the frame and tacked a bolt to use for mock up on the passenger side knuckle.

Pictures start here:

Fish plate location for the back half. There will be one on each side of the frame rails, then boxed on the underside.




Front track bar bracket made from .250 plate and boxed with 3/16 with speed holes for a bit of style.




Upper link brackets that will be tied into the lowers once the uppers are fuly welded.



I will need to modifiy the motor mounts on the frame to clear the upper arms later this week before I can cycle cycle suspension.

Super High clearance with a very lower COG. Just the way I like it.




Just clears the Harmonic balancer.



One from the top.









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Unread 12-12-2011, 09:22 PM   #12
ajf1994
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Sub'd from the start! Sorry for that interruption; I missed that direction. Can't wait to see more!

First question...
Why'd you decide to go with leafs in the back?
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Unread 12-13-2011, 12:38 AM   #13
Sgt.Fuzz
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It'll be interesting to see how you apply lessons learned from the Flop Project to this build. Subbed to go along for the ride.
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Unread 12-13-2011, 07:44 AM   #14
Jason
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Sub'd. I want to build a truck.
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Unread 12-13-2011, 12:44 PM   #15
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Subscribed!
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