Nameless Build - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 32 Old 12-14-2015, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
FsJuicyJ
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Nameless Build

So a while ago I was looking into purchasing a decent vehicle that would be great in the snow and hopefully last without having too many issues. I made sure that the next vehicle I bought would be either 4WD or AWD after how awful the last winter was here in Mass. So, after lots of research and searching, I bought a 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo with the 4.7L V8, 125k miles, blown shocks and struts, and bald tires from a small used car dealer in Connecticut.

It definitely needed some TLC, and I didn't really have any intentions of turning it into what it is now when I bought it.

After getting it inspected I had my mechanic replace all of these things: (so no pictures )

Rear pads, shoes, and rotors along with general brake service in the rear
Zip tying the parking brake cables so it'd stop smacking my drive shaft.
New oil pressure sending unit to stop an oil leak
New rear pinion seal, again another leak

Here's a picture about a week after I bought it (June 2015), and another to where it is now (March 11 2016)
I apologize in advance some of these are bound to be out of order.

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Screenshot_2015-12-13-11-32-21-1.jpg   IMG_20160309_194706.jpg   Photo Apr 02, 5 08 53 PM.jpg  

Last edited by FsJuicyJ; 12-14-2015 at 12:05 PM.
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post #2 of 32 Old 12-14-2015, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
FsJuicyJ
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One of the first things I did was plasti-dip all the chrome badges black. I don't like how chrome looks, and I have black trim not chrome so it looks much better having the badges match the trim. This was also around the time I tried offroading for the first time, and I really enjoyed it, so I decided to build it up from this point on.
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post #3 of 32 Old 12-14-2015, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
FsJuicyJ
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Since I didn't have a ton of money at the time, I stuck to changing aesthetics since it was easy and didn't take up much time.

I swapped all of the interior lights to LEDs, they did "glow" however, so I soldered some 470 Ohm 1/2 Watt resistors to the overhead console LEDs, which eliminated the "glow". At the same time I plasti-dipped the rims black, and did the rear liftgate light mod (before and after picture below) along with getting LED reverse lights for greater visibility.

I love the liftgate light mod. I drive at night a lot and being able to see in the rear is amazing.
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FB_IMG_1450023580785.jpg   FB_IMG_1450023556260.jpg   FB_IMG_1450023548804.jpg  
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post #4 of 32 Old 12-14-2015, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
FsJuicyJ
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Around this time I started hitting lots of roadblocks with the Jeep. I purchased a set of Monroe Sensatrac rear shocks, along with a Rough Country Budget Boost, and tried to install the lift. I ran into not being able to get the clevis bolts out, and not being able to remove the strut to add the spacer. I tried two times with hand tools to install it, but didn't have any luck. Instead I installed the rear shocks so the ride would at least be better having one set of not blown shocks.
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20151213_112812.jpg   20151214_121101.jpg  

Last edited by FsJuicyJ; 12-14-2015 at 01:24 PM.
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post #5 of 32 Old 12-14-2015, 12:04 PM Thread Starter
FsJuicyJ
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I also repainted the plastic trim pieces Krylon black satin, and the Jeep looked much better, especially on the rear
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post #6 of 32 Old 12-14-2015, 12:12 PM Thread Starter
FsJuicyJ
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I was finally getting ready to try to put the RC lift on again, but from an entirely different approach. I ordered some new Sensen quick strut assemblies, and 2 new clevis fork bolts. This time I had a shop with air tools, torches, and vices all designed for 18 wheelers to use.
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post #7 of 32 Old 12-14-2015, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
FsJuicyJ
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You'd think having overkill air tools would make the install a breeze right? NAH, not even a little bit. It took the 2 of us 4 and a half hours just to take the driver's side strut out and put in the new one. We have to torch out the bolt holding the strut to the clevis and replace it, along with cut the clevis bolt out of the LCA and air hammer it out. When installing the new strut, we had to take the axle nut off and remove it from the knuckle in order to get the strut on. On the passenger side we ran into the same issues, but the clevis bolt to the LCA would not come out. I ended up ruining the bushing that was there before getting it out. Around 8 and a half hours later we had reassembled the front and called it a day, having half of a lift on and very poor braking from all the rust and debris we knocked onto the rotor and the caliper.

With the new struts, bolts and RC spacer this is what the front end was looking like.
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20151214_120955.jpg   20151214_121038.jpg  
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post #8 of 32 Old 12-14-2015, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
FsJuicyJ
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After a couple days driving with half a lift I finally got around to installing the spacers on the rear. On the drivers side I didn't have any issues, but on the passenger side I broke the bolt that holds the bumpstop in place, which would also hold the spacer in place with a new bolt RC provides. At this point I was so frustrated trying to get this simple spacer lift on I said "screw it" and put the spacer on anyways without a bumpstop, the pressure from the spring holding it in place, and at this time I replaced the front rotors, pads, guide pins, and boots. One of the pins had seized so I had to torch it out which also ruined the boot. Here's a couple pictures of my missing bumpstop and the new rotors, and a before and after of FINALLY HAVING THE LIFT ON
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20151214_121251.jpg   20151214_121352.jpg   FB_IMG_1450023525178.jpg  
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post #9 of 32 Old 12-14-2015, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
FsJuicyJ
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I brought the Jeep to my mechanic to get it aligned, and asked about getting some new tires since the ones on there were bald, unevenly worn, and had mismatched brands. He pointed me to someone else and he asked if I wanted bigger or the same size. I obviously wanted bigger ones, and we were looking at different sizes and kinds, when another mechanic there asked what size I had now (235/65/17) and he offered me an entire set of 255/65/17 Hankook Dynapro's off of his WJ from before he added his 4 inch lift, for ONLY $150!! I don't think I've ever said yes so fast in my entire life. It only cost me $210 after balancing and mounting. I'm very grateful he was able to do that for me, but I guess that's what happens with Jeep owners

New tires aside, the rear axle is leaking on both ends. I don't know if its the hubs and seals or just the O-rings. I need to pull the axle shafts out and look, but I don't know when I'll have time to do that. This is pretty much where the Jeep is at right now. I have future plans of getting some LED offroad lights, bigger tires, and replacing the HVAC lights and probably some other things but I don't know when any of that will happen.
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20151130_150230.jpg   20151214_120917.jpg  

Last edited by FsJuicyJ; 12-14-2015 at 02:35 PM.
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post #10 of 32 Old 12-15-2015, 04:58 PM
yem514
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Hey there, nice looking jeep!
I am thinking of purchasing the same rear shocks as you have.
How do they ride? With or without the lift. Are they too stiff? Do you feel every small bumps/pothole?
I might put them but I dont tow with the jeep, that's my main concern...
How are the front sensen strut and coil?
Waiting on your review haha thx
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post #11 of 32 Old 12-15-2015, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
FsJuicyJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yem514 View Post
Hey there, nice looking jeep!
I am thinking of purchasing the same rear shocks as you have.
How do they ride? With or without the lift. Are they too stiff? Do you feel every small bumps/pothole?
I might put them but I dont tow with the jeep, that's my main concern...
How are the front sensen strut and coil?
Waiting on your review haha thx
Thanks for the compliment!
The Sensen front struts ride phenomenal. They're only about a month old, so longevity wise I can't say how they'll hold up.
As for the Monroe's, they're pretty stiff, noticeably more so before the lift than after since I put them on before the front struts and lift.
Now that they've settled they're not as bad but still pretty stiff.
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post #12 of 32 Old 12-16-2015, 06:11 AM Thread Starter
FsJuicyJ
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So the other day I had some free time and decided to try to remove the broken bolt where my bumpstop should go
and put in the new bolt along with reinstall my bumpstop.

It didn't work out so well. I drilled through the bolt and tried to use an easy out but it broke inside the bolt.

Now I'm going to have to find someone to weld a nut onto the easy out and extract it.
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20151215_130633.jpg   20151215_131041.jpg   20151215_132011.jpg   20151215_131105.jpg  
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post #13 of 32 Old 12-21-2015, 11:44 AM Thread Starter
FsJuicyJ
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Took a little detour on my way home through a couple trails.
I'm very pleased with the performance of the lift and the bigger tires.
Also came across this while on the trail.
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post #14 of 32 Old 01-04-2016, 12:02 PM Thread Starter
FsJuicyJ
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Steel Armadillo switch plate arrived, along with a relay harness and switch. Decided to start setting it up before installing it.
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post #15 of 32 Old 01-04-2016, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
FsJuicyJ
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Pretty straight forward install, take out the cubby, put the larger plate in, then smaller one over it and tighten it down.

The allen bolts are 9/64, (not listed in the directions) luckily I had one. Pretty obscure size if you ask me.
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