Alright. TJ flares part 2 happened today. Scan back through the thread for before pics of the rear flares. Here's a quick step by step.
1 - remove old flares and fender liners (optional, but the liner becomes a PITA if you try to keep it)
2 - apply a bunch of masking tape around the wheel opening. This helps save your paint while you cut, and gives something to draw the cut line on
3 - clamp the TJ flares in place and trace your cut line. I lined up the front of the new flare with the stock wheel opening
4 - Cut out the traced line. IMO this is best done with a jigsaw and from back to front. You have more control than a grinder. I've done it both ways, and the jigsaw is definitely preferred. After the initial cut (purposely a little smaller than final), I used a grinder w/ a flap disk to smooth all the rough edges and slowly open up the cut to the proper fit.
5 - After you have the flare fitting properly, clamp it back in place and mark holes to be drilled. I chose to use the original 3 holes in the front on each side and drilled holes in the flare to match. The rest I marked on my tape which was still applied and drilled the new holes to match the existing holes in the flares. Install the flare using the original hardware
6 - pile all the tools you ended up using during the install onto your service cart so you can get it all back into the garage
7 - admire your work.. Still need to plasti-dip these flares but I didn't have time today
8 - Optional. I wanted to keep some of the protection of the fender liner where is shields the drain channel under the floor, and in the back to protect the light wiring. I had to cut the liner up a bit to remove it so I just used 2 sections to cover the very front and very back of the inner fender. I'll be spraying bed liner inside the fender as well once we get a chance to pressure wash some mud out.
Spent some time yesterday to remove and plasti-dip the rear flares. I also sprayed bedliner in the rear wheel wells since I'm not using the original liners. Still letting it all dry so no finished pics yet.
We'll be taking it to get some paint and body work this weekend. It should look pretty sweet when we get it back. I don't really care about paint, but Amy wants it to look nicer. As long as it makes her happy.
Amy posted this to FB after I got her the new seatbelts for Valentines day. It made me LOL..
Since then, we ordered a new Bestop replacement top with tinted windows (my old top was a bit stained from many years of use), some new door handles for the 1/2 doors (again, old, faded, broken spring), and I ordered some new rails for the tub to replace the one I smashed. It has worked fine, but the old ones would look pretty crappy with the new paint.
Also, we dropped the Jeep off at my buddy's place for paint as planned. I've been getting a few progress pics back. I won't be able to post any more after this until it's finished because Amy said she didn't want to see it again until it's done.
Stopped by my buddy's place last night with the new parts and got the last few pieces installed on the Jeep. New color looks great. We we planning to bring it home last night but waiting on a new windshield to be installed. Probably looking at Monday.
I haven't updated this in a while. I haven't really done any work to the Jeep in a bit, we've just been driving it. Well about 2 weeks ago it died on my wife while she was driving home from work. I checked it out and found it was blowing the fuel system ecu fuse. Had to have it towed back to the house.
Today I had a friend come check it out and he was able to find the issue. The O2 sensor wire was run from near the fuel rail in front of the exhaust manifold and it had burned through 1 of the wires for the O2 sensor. This was grounding the wire and blowing the fuse. We disassembled the plug so I could add some heat shrink over the burned section of the wire, then put it back together and the motor fired right up. I replaced the wire loom and ran it between the PS pump and the intake to keep it from burning again.
While he was here, I had him check out the issue we had with the turn signals. They worked in the back, but the dash indicators and front signals didn't work. He poked around a bit and found a loose connector under the dash. I'll need to pull it apart and make sure there is no corrosion, but it was a nice 2 min fix for an issues we've had for years.
I also borrowed an old Chrysler diagnostic computer and ran a check for codes. The only issue that came back was the idle control motor which I suspected for a while since the motor doesn't like to idle when cold. It was a productive day for sure.
I've been shopping for a new bumper/tire carrier for this Jeep for a few weeks. I had narrowed it down to a couple options when I decided to change my focus to the ride. The springs on the Jeep now are from a CJ and they ride pretty bad. They are extremely stiff. I also still need to get the 8.8 cleaned up and ready to install so we can use 5th gear.
So in the pursuit of ride quality, I ordered a set of OME 36r springs to run all around. They should be here on Monday.
I started cleaning the 8.8 as well. Apparently the explorer owner who donated it liked driving with the e-brake on. There was no pad left on the e-brake, just metal. Other than that it looks good so I'll just work on moving the perches and run a 1330/1310 conversion u-joint to get that installed.
I got the OME bushings last week. I also ordered a set of Crown greasable shackles. I was going to need new front shackles either way, and figured a greasable set would compliment the new springs. they were only ~$50 for a complete set, front and rear. They are 1/4" plate, and 5-3/16" center to center. They came with grade 5 bolts which I wasn't thrilled about, but it will be fine on this jeep. For the money, they are a great option for a mild rig.
Spent about 4hrs today and got the OME springs installed. Everything went well with no unexpected issues. This was to replace the 2.5" CJ springs (skyjacker) that the jeep came with. The jeep has always had a jarring ride.
I figured it was a mix of the springs and shocks (rs5000s in front and some cheap rough countrys in the rear). After swapping to these new springs I can safely say it was all the springs. After installing the fronts I ran around the block and the difference was night and day. The jeep rides smoother than my brother in law's stock 05 LJ Rubicon. For anyone wondering, believe the hype about OME.
Here's a couple pics after the install, and the take off junk. Going to give the springs away if a local wants them. I wouldn't feel right selling them. They were that bad.
I just placed an order with Barnes for some new steering parts. Since the suspension actually moves now, the bump steer is really noticeable and the dead spot in the inverted t is bad too. I replaced the tie rod but it didn't resolve it.
Going with heims and running the drag link to the knuckle. With the lift this keep has the drag link should be flat so no bump steer, and no dead spot. I'll update once I get the parts and get started.
Here comes the beef steering. Totally unnecessary as far as strength, but it was cheap and easy to put this together.
I've got the links cut and tacked, and did a quick test fit. It should work great. I need to order a mount for the steering stabilizer as well. I'll have it welded and painted this evening, then plan to bolt it in tomorrow morning after the paint dries.