Well, if everybody and their brother has a build thread, I might as well add mine if only to show the chronology between what I bought and what I turned it into.
I went looking for a Liberty Limited, preferring the older rounded style, but nobody had one. There were several dealers with Larado WKs, but I was looking for a Liberty for the fuel mileage and maneuverability. One dealer opened the door on a WK and it felt like the smell reached out and slapped me across the face. The fabric seats smelled like a hobo’s a$$ smoking a cigar.
The last dealer had a Liberty but it was a lower end model. He walked me over to a black WK Limited but I told him I wasn’t interested. He convinced me to take it for a ride and I wasn’t a hundred yards down the road when I told him I’d take it. The Hemi and the features of the Limited sold me. I would happily discover later that it had the QDII. I almost had him swap the chrome wheels for some stockers, but I figured I could resell them and pick up some stockers cheap and use the left over money towards the new tires.
PURPOSE: I bought the WK to get me to trailheads for hiking and backpacking. I’m not going to take it rock crawling or mud bogging, so a lift will be added late in the game or not at all. It’s also my daily driver, so the mods need to be geared towards that.
This is what I bought; 2005 WK with 20” dubs and a weird red pinstripe. The pinstripe peeled right off, but the wheels, as nice as they were, had to go.
The dubs sold pretty quickly and I found five stockers off an Overland from a local forum member. Here it is outside the tire shop with the new 265/65-17 BFGs. They’re E load range, so they’re pretty tough and stiff, but I didn’t notice much change in the Jeep’s ride and only a little more road noise.
Next I went looking for some front end protection. I like the pre-runner bar look, but I found out our options are very limited. Looking around town I saw some WKs with bull bars and one with the full brush guard, but I wanted something different. I bought the Matrix set-up because it was unique, if not in the forums at least around town. I added the rubber dock bumpers.
Now I need some lights. The Forest Service roads are seriously dark at night, which comes fast under the trees. It’s funny that I don’t see anything when I’m hiking, but on the drive out with bright lights you see all sorts of wildlife crossing the road. I was looking for performance over a name, and having flown Starlifters for over 17 of my 20 years in the Air Force, I started looking for some surplus landing lights. Since nothing was compatible, I redirected my search towards light and experimental aircraft lighting. That led me to hidfoglight.com who make a couple products for that market, but both were big bucks and not easily mounted. Since they sell 4”, 7”, and 9” HID lights for reasonable prices, I picked up the 4” floods and 7” spot beams. This gives me total coverage both near the jeep and way down the road. The floods are canted outward a bit to light the area outboard of the headlight beam.
It was about this time that I took the jeep in for its first tire rotation. Suddenly the right front tire was (just barely) touching the upper control arm bolt. Dang. The aftermarket wheel options are just as bad as the brush guards; few and far between. I need something to move the wheels outboard, but I don’t like spacers. The tire store won’t do free rotations with them, and I’m more inclined to keep the rotation current if I don’t have to do it. I decided to bite the bullet and order five Pintlers from AEV. Perfect.
After sleeping uncomfortably in the back of the jeep a few times I got a rooftop tent from Cascadia Vehicle Tents.
Along the way I installed the Yaesu FT8800 dual band radio that was in my previous car, and a Whelen PA/siren rigged to only fire the air horn and PA. It’s mostly done now. When 4xGuard was closing up their doors I bought the front receiver, and some black painted shackles. I got the rear guard from Al when he got the site spun back up.
Poor grammar is something up with which I shall not put.
^^^ Well the rear guard doesn't weigh that much and if you won't be adding sliders then the rear should be fine. If you plan to add the Matrix and front Guard and are worried about the weight, you could add XK hemi coils to better handle the weight. Of course that is if you don't want a lift and just want some weight management. Otherwise OME is your friend
Here's another one from the Blinded by the Light series:
I consider a lift from time to time, but until I find another vehicle I can't put this one down for the time it would take to install. I like the Pintlers a lot, it was money well spent. They widen the track enough to make a difference in how it looks without being too much, plus they clear the bolt.
Right now I need to get some maintenance done. The parking brake has been inop since the first week I got the jeep, and I have all the parts, but I loaned my floor jack to a neighbor over a year ago and he hasn't brought it back. He moved and whenever I see him he mentions he's almost done with it. At this point I think I'll just go buy a new one. The old clunker was on its last legs anyway. I have some serious warped front disks, and have new ones but I can't install them until I get the jack.
I didn't notice any change with the added weight of the skids and matrix. They're not that heavy.
Poor grammar is something up with which I shall not put.
I like the lights dude... I actually went to that link, because I like those lights, and I've been planning a light-redo for my cargo rack and 4xG Matrix. It appears they are out of stock of the 4" series.