Well what I learned from this was that paying for a replacement floor board was kind of a waste and I could use scrap metal cheaper to do the passenger side. Here are the before and afters.
The only regret here that I had to do later was drill bigger drain holes. Any one who has had a rusted out CJ can tell you how through all of the holes in the dash and windshield the collection point for water is the floor boards. I ended up sealing all of that but thats later on down the road.......trying to stay on topic.
Next was getting everything out for the Line X or rhino lining. I saved money by doing all of the removing of the seat belts and had everything temp installed so that when I got there all I had to dowas remove the seats and sport bar. Here are the pictures of the prep.
I payed a total of $500 for the interior Line X. Best money ever spent. The only thing I wished I had removed the heater and AC and had them blast the fire wall. Neither one worked but I didn't have a need to remove them then. Here are some of the before and afters with the bed lining.
After this I worked on small stuff my last few months in Vegas. A tire carrier for the spare. Fire exstiguisher. Soft top from BestTop. The tire carrior I belive is a warrior product. Was about $75 bucks. Fire exstinguisher was free from a friend. The Top was about $900 but a great investment. I keep a cover on her during the winter but the top still looks brand new. The elastic bands for stowing the side and back winds is strating to show its wear though from the elements.
Note - Fire exstinguishers are required on most trails and I would highly recommend one!
Note - The soft top is the only thing that keeps the exhaust I have mentioned earlier from coming into the cab. It just sucks on a nice day when you wanna ride around with the top off you risk the chance of smelling like an exhaust pipe. Pics below....note my beautiful girlfriend Mallory as my helper...lol
I also added what any cool Jeep needs and that is the ability to see at night and nearly blind anyone you come up to at night. I did this with KC high lights and mounted them above the dash at the windshield mount. Great setup and easy to install. I think sticker price was $190
At this point the housing market is crashing and I am getting close to leaving Vegas to move to Maryland. Here is a few pics of wheeling Vegas. Not much but I really didn't know the capability of my rig or take a lot of pictures when we were wheeling.
Shortly after that I found myself moving to Maryland. Here is a pic of the trailer I picked up and the Jeep loaded up ready to go.
Note - We all fall on hard time but selling that trailer was one of the biggest mistake I have made. It was such a great investment and now that I live in Maryland there is not alot of close four wheeling and taking a trail ready rig on the highway can almost be suicide.
Well after finishing the trip across country I found a new home in Maryland. One thing I had found out in this trip was my tail lights had gone out on the rig and that a small block chevy with a motor turned fan likes to over heat.
I can't stress enough to you new wheelers the importance of a temp guage for your engine. If your out on the trail and a hose comes lose or you begin to over heat (which happens a lot) the need to know what your engine and tranny temps are out will save you a great ton of time and money.
After several attempts to try and figure out my electrical flaws I broke down and purchased a Painless Wire Harness. This whole set up has several lessons I learned from.
Lesson Number 5
Buy the more expensive kit with the terminals already added. It is true that I did eliminate a great amount of wiring to things I just don't access but the amount of money spent on the extra terminals and the time lost cutting these terminals would have been worth the extra $100 bucks.
The whole kit I think cost me $465. Plus I was able to apply my chevy motor application with the Painless set up which made life a little easier. I did however spend a ton of money on odds and ends as you always do with any project.
You should always have a column that says miscelaneous in your budget build. I'd always add about an extra 25% to that column because there is always something that you forget or a obstacle with dollar signs you need to pass.
I can't stress enough to do this wire set up right the first time. It will save you a ton of time on back tracking later and trouble shooting. I would suggest heat enduced soder wire sleeves. These melt down and enfuse the wires together. Plus the heat shrink helps with keeping water out. Its not cheap but a great add on to ensure its done right. Lastly GROUND GROUND GROUND.....ensure you have a proper ground for all of your extra add ons....lights, radio, cb winch, ect. I had all of my items attached to one ground and things would mesh.....like my cb playing music. LOL
A great item to invest in is a steering wheel puller if your going to do this task. Don't buy a cheap one from Auto Zone. Mine was hell and ended up breaking. I went and bought a craftsman one and had no trouble. Now that the wire harness was being replaced this gave us a lot of time to fix and remove things I didn't and did need. The first Item we really did work to was the dash. This is a quick and easy item to really help your rig look nice. We strated by removing the old dash with the Jeep logo on it. I didn't end up replacing this item. Just never saw a need for it other than looks. Next was the dash itself. We sanded it down and then through a coat of bed liner on it to match my interior.
I will continue on this wiring problem a little later on as it falls into the timeline. The next step once we thought (keyword thought) the wiring was good to go moved on to dealing with my over heating problem. As I had mentioned before I would drive this Jeep around in Vegas and she would do fine on the highway......but get stuck in rushhour traffic and it was overheating time! The simple thought of this is that simply the belt driven fan cannot pull air through the radiator at the speed it needs to cool down a small block chevy.
Lesson Number 6
Do the expensive fixes right the first time......this saves you money even though it seems expensive.
This is the headache of a budget builder......trying to buy the right parts at the right time.
Here were the steps I went through
1 - I bought a six blade flex-a-lite motor driven fan blade. That helped but who am I kidding really showed no difference. That was $60 bucks down the drain.
2 - Someone suggested a fan shroud......this is a great idea but the only one that would have helped me was the one I meant to order. Instead of the 4 cylinder HUGE shroud I got a 6 cylinder tiny thin shroud from a Jeep dealership who, it just so happens, offers no refunds on specialty order items. Still we went to work and tried to make it happen. There was another $70 bucks down the drain
Here are both of these incorporated below.
Also took it out to see how it performed under pressure.
This I figured would do so we started gearing up for our first real event in Maryland. It takes place near Gore Virginia and is ran by a great bunch of guys. Big Dogs Offroad Park. Since my vehicle was down during the Wireharness introduction this would be my first real four wheeling event. My buddy Nathan who has helped me with most of the work since moving to Maryland said man that paint job has to go. I agreed with him and what is a builder on a budgets best friend when it comes to paint??? Krylon! Here is what we did.