By way of an introduction, I'm a 23-year Army vet, a former tank commander, platoon sergeant, and Observer/Controller at NTC. Now, I'm a military contractor and run a modest, tactical gear channel on Youtube, The TSF Channel.
The TSF Channel differs from most in the genre because I concentrate on quality and presentation of information, something that comes easy as a long-time Army trainer and film school graduate. My photography outclasses most of what you'll see outside corporate sponsored channels, even though I have a crew of one: me.
Last year, I stated I wanted to build an expedition rig from a WJ, to support a new show I'm developing called, American Expedition. You can watch the trailer here.
Full disclosure: that spot was edited from a bunch of Ray Mears shows, simply as a teaser. Here's a sneak peak at the current state of what I'm doing, from The TSF Channel Facebook page.
For American Expedition, I want to concentrate on the historical context of American bushcraft, exploring the American outback to discover how we lived off the grid before there was a grid, consequently becoming the ultimate guide for preppers.
ANYWAY... Now that the expedition vehicle has been secured, I feel I can legitimately ask my questions as another fellow on this journey. I look forward to seeing y'all out on the trail.
For more on my background watch these. Feel free to share (AND LIKE, AND SUB). Some cool tank gunnery footage in there:
Now on to the build...
Last edited by TSF_Films; 03-27-2014 at 08:13 PM..
Reason: links didn't take
I recently paid off my lame daily driver, and suddenly had the fundage to bag a WJ. Like I said, I've been lurking here a while, researching, and finally decided on a WJ. I could have easily gone with a 4Runner, but nah! The show is called American Expedition. No rice burners, thanks.
So I found this thing, a 1999 WJ, rotting in the harsh sun in a lot full of has beens...
Last edited by TSF_Films; 03-27-2014 at 08:21 PM..
After I knocked off the California coastal crust, it seems I bagged a clean ride. The miles are admittedly HIGH. But the engine doesn't knock and there's no rust underneath. $4100 worth of balls! I forgot about the V8 experience driving my 4-cylinder economy car for so long.
Online I went. The plan is to get the IRO 6.5" Long Arm Lift on Cooper STTs. Unfortunately when I got her home, the MIL came on. I was hit with the infamous P0505 trouble code. After another $100 for a new IAC and TPS, I was back in business.
I also replaced the hood and rear glass support arms, along with tearing apart the tail lights and tweaking the contacts for the brake light bulbs, for that positive contact they need so well (sorry, no pics).
I decided, instead of the lift kit, to have the engine completely checked out. Last thing I need is to be in Death Valley, wheeling with my kid... Anyway, it'll probably be a pretty penny at the shop, so I chose to buy the wheels for the final project vehicle, and to shoe 'em with temps, some used tires for cheap, I can switch out later.
For wheels, I chose (5) Pro Comp 7069-7973, 17x9s from Autoplicity.com. Cost, $593 shipped from IL to CA for $8 after online discounts. They arrived 2 days after purchase.
For tires, I went to Mexican Tires in Victorville. I asked for size only, 265/70R17. Turns out he had 4 serviceable BFG TA KOs! @ $20/ea, I scored big-time.
Brand-used tires with new Pro Comps, including before and after...
Last edited by TSF_Films; 03-27-2014 at 10:22 PM..
But there was a problem. I read somewhere on here, a thread regarding the largest size tire you can put on a WJ without a lift. I guess I misread it. I asked around. One of the guys I work with owns Jeep Asylum on YouTube, a nice custom jeep shop in the Hi-Desert. I even sized em up before hand.
Yeah, right. We trimmed some fender on the front of the wheel well. I was going to do that anyway. I was able to turn the wheel L & R from 4-8 o'clock. Not good when you have to take the streets to the freeway. The new tire size gets the death wobble at 40MPH, but goes away at highway speeds.
I'll have to bust out the Dremel to do a proper bumper chop. Back to the research for me. Meantime, she's looking rather manly after the sex change operation. Like they say, it's the shoes that make the man...
So I bought the thing with an engine check light. The seller disavowed all knowledge. Said the engine check light was intermittent and that a smog check had been completed recently. "She should be good to go!"
Chrysler said the reason for the P0505 was due to a bad PCM. In fact, the short in it was so bad, it burnt out the new IAC I'd installed earlier. I needed to replace both, which they'd gladly do... for $1200.
So, a guy I work with has a Slimline II roof rack with a light bar on his 2005 4Runner. It looked pretty cool. I'd been going round and round over which rack to get because I intend to mount a Rhino-rack FOXWING awning. Most roof rack applications I've seen aren't wide or long enough. The Slimline II looked pretty original and sturdy.
Here's the install video from the guys at Front Runner Outfitters in Los Angeles:
After the tax windfall I received this year, I've ordered the following:
IRO 6.5" Lift Kit
Set of 5 Cooper ST/Maxx 285/70R17s
Proto Fab Winch Bumper and Rear Bumper w/ Tire Carrier
FOX 2.0 Performance Series Reservoir - CD Adjuster Shocks (front only) part #985-26-110
The Iceland-style Fender Flares from Poland.
Still need rear shocks to support the lift. The specs quote I got from IRO (Bilstein 5125s) didn't make sense, so I'm still researching.
All to be mounted/installed before summer, hopefully. More videos to follow on all.