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Unread 03-31-2007, 03:18 PM   #1
imbezol
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'04 RME TJ Build Thread

Part 1: Introduction and Buying my First Jeep

My bro Davin bought a Silver '03 Sport in May of last year. Two of my really good friends, Calvin and Jon, had Jeeps too, one a Green '97 TJ Sport and one a White '05 Rubicon. They'd been telling me forever that I needed to get myself a Jeep. And Calvin (Green '97) let me drive for most of a weekend out wheeling and it was a blast. My bro getting one was the icing on the cake.

So I looked at lots of Jeeps in the autotrader and stuff but didn't find anything that really caught my eye. Then about a week after my bro got his I found one on a lot that really caught my eye. It was an '04 Rocky Mountain Edition, had 31x10.5" BFG Mud Terrains on it, nice aluminum rims, beautiful embroidered seats, blue paint with dark grey painted fender flares, the same grey again on the Rubicon rocker panel guards, cruise, etc.. I loved it (I think the tires did the most for me!) and promptly bought it.






I instantly started having a tonne of fun with the Jeep going offroad and it was only about 3 more weeks until another of our good friends got a Black '00 Sport. So we have a nice little group of tight friends with Jeeps now and it's just about perfect. Jon has the nicest Jeep so far with his '05 Rubicon since he's got a RE 4.5" Superflex lift, 33" tires, and lots of other goodies.



So.. the race is on to get the Jeep built up. We've been on some serious wheeling trips and I'm looking forward to making this Jeep into a whopping machine. As of this writing I'm not too far along with the Jeep yet, but I want to keep a build thread that I'll add to as I go and I can one day look back on and get some laughs. I've always found reading other's threads really interesting as well, so this is my thread.

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Unread 03-31-2007, 03:25 PM   #2
imbezol
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Part 2: My First Mods



The first thing I did was remove the milk jugs from the front bumper of the Jeep. With the fairly aggressive looking tires I have on it made the tires more visible from the front of the Jeep, and made the Jeep look less like a mall queen.

The second thing I did was remove the chrome inserts from the front of the Jeep 'cuz "Chrome Won't Get You Home". Heh.. actually the reason is that I wanted to go with the Blue I have already, the Grey I have already, and Black as the color scheme for the Jeep.

Calvin and I each painted the headlight bezels black.



I later added side marker light guards, signal light guards, and headlight guards.



To make things more fun out on the trail I also added a Cobra 75 WX ST CB Radio with a firestick II antanae. I like that the radio is so easy to mount but thinking about it now I do plan to get a full sized radio in there some day because I like having the front plate with dials and visible feedback on signal strength and such. The small indicators on the handheld are ok but not really possible to watch while driivng.
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Unread 03-31-2007, 03:41 PM   #3
imbezol
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Part 3: Rear Bumper w/ Swing Out Tire Carrier

I plan on going big with my Jeep at some point. And that means I need a solution for the rear tire because the stock mounting bracket just won't cut it.

With the help of my cousin who owns FireFish Industries we set to work on creating a new rear bumper. We roughly copied the Warn design with a couple niceties that Warn doesn't have such as the rear clevice mount points and chain hooks for the hitch reciever. We built the entire thing with the exception of the clevices and the latch.




Had it powder coated in town by Black Cat powder coating and they did a great job.







Last edited by imbezol; 03-31-2007 at 03:58 PM..
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Unread 03-31-2007, 03:56 PM   #4
imbezol
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Part 4: RE 2" BB

Saving up for a big lift takes some time and I was getting anxious. I thought doing a 2" BB would get me sitting higher than my bro (lol) and ease my anxiety for a bit.

Calvin and I have been weekend garage buddies lately and he helped with this install too.




Back:



Front and back gained exactly 2 inches.
Of course this only satisfied me for about a week.
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Unread 03-31-2007, 04:07 PM   #5
imbezol
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Part 5: New sliders!

I decided to upgrade the sliders on the side. The stock Rubiconish ones were nice for taping the feet off on the way in the Jeep but I wanted to be able to bounce of tree stumps or even park in a parking lot without worrying about door dings! So I donated my old sliders to Calvin for the help and put some Shrockworks on it.










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Unread 03-31-2007, 04:08 PM   #6
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Unread 03-31-2007, 04:14 PM   #7
Jeepguy1977
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So far so good. One thing i'd add in there at some point is an Nth Degree Tummy Tucker. I'm still at stock height just running that at this point and it's been great.

www.nthdegreemobility.com
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Unread 03-31-2007, 04:16 PM   #8
imbezol
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Thanks!

I'd like to do a tummy tuck for sure but I've heard there's a lot to be done for that to work. And I have slight vibrations from the BB at the moment so I'm actually going to be doing a transfer case drop for now.
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Unread 03-31-2007, 06:19 PM   #9
blacktjsport
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Good looking Jeep by the way!! Congrats on the D44 also. I wish I would have known about the D44 before I bought my Jeep 3 years ago. If you are thinking about doing the tummy tuck you have two options. You can do it now on a 2" BB where you would also have to do a sye, cv driveshaft and upper rear adj. arms. If you go with a higher lift later like a RE 4.5 or comparably higher lift, then you will have to have a new cv driveshaft built to accomodate the higher lift. I would advise on waiting til you do the higher lift until you do the tummy tuck and sye. This will make sure you only have to buy 1 cv driveshaft that costs $300+. HTH and I am getting ready to do my tummy tuck/sye in conjunction with my RE 3.5 SF lift with 35" tires.

-Matt
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Unread 03-31-2007, 06:47 PM   #10
imbezol
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Thanks.

I actually lucked out on the D44 because I didn't know that much about them when I bought it. I'm extremely glad I ended up with the D44 now though. I have plans to get a D44 into the front end eventually as well.

I plan on doing an RE 5.5" on it when I have saved up enough. So I'll definately need the SYE and CV for that, and maybe a tummy tuck would be a good mod to add to that step. For now I don't want to buy a driveshaft I'll have to throw out later. For the moment I'm thinking of going to 5.5" with 36" Iroks at some point.

This thread may be fairly old by the time I'm able to do that though. We'll see.
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Unread 09-10-2007, 11:48 PM   #11
imbezol
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It's been a long time since I updated this thread so now I'd like to add the modifications that I've done since my last post in March.

I upgraded my rims from the stock Alcoa aluminum rims that come with the RME to some Mickey Thompson Classic IIs. I really liked the stock Alcoas but I need more backspacing eventually. I like the wider stance my Jeep has now too.

The next mod that I got for the Jeep was a winch. I went with the Warn 9.5ti because they have excellent pulling power, they're sealed well, they're extremely reliable, and they look good too.



When I got the winch I had a temporary winch plate on the Jeep that a friend helped build at his shop. I had my front bumper on order but it hadn't arrived yet. Once the bumper finally got here the winch looked pretty good on the front of the Jeep.

With the rims but before the new bumper..



And with the new bumper..


Last edited by imbezol; 09-11-2007 at 12:30 AM..
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Unread 09-11-2007, 12:02 AM   #12
imbezol
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The next thing was some upgraded lighting and a snorkel. I ended up staying up until about 5am the night before a wheeling trip getting the snorkel install finished, but it was well worth it. I love the sound of the snorkel when you go hard into the gas. Plus I've put my Jeep too deep twice.. so it's good to have the peace of mind now.



I took off the Rocky Mountain Edition sticker because it would have been mostly behind the snorkel. I looked at getting another one of these from the dealership but they wanted $65. Maybe some day but for now the Jeep is fine without it.



And this was the only part I was a little nervous about.



And this part was easy enough.




Last edited by imbezol; 09-11-2007 at 12:28 AM..
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Unread 09-11-2007, 12:07 AM   #13
imbezol
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And the next wonderful mod I did to the Jeep was upgrading the tires to a more aggressive Super Swamper TSL Bias Ply. The tires are insanely loud on the road, have horrendous traction on wet pavement, aren't very reassuring on the highway, and have flat spots in the morning.. but I love them all the same. The offroad performance is outstanding.




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Unread 09-11-2007, 12:16 AM   #14
imbezol
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Our local club here here had a show and shine event. They had 4 classes you could compete in.

Street class - points for bling, shiny paint, upgraded stereo, etc..

Trail rig - points for winch, armor, cb, tire aggressiveness, trail damage, muddyness, RTI score, recovery gear, lockers, full size spare, etc etc..

The trail rig class was further broke down by tire size.

Stock class - max 31" tires (32" if it was a JK)
Modified class - max 35" tires
Pro modified class - over 35" tires

I ended up winning the stock class and score just over a 1000 on the RTI ramp! This pic doesn't show it too well but I went a bit higher than this to get my back tires beside the bottom of the ramp. I had my front driver's and rear passenger's tires aired down to about 7 or 8 psi and was disconnected.






Other small mods I have done..

I have onboard air under the hood courtesy of a SuperFlow MV50 compressor. I have a shovel mounted under the hood and a hi-lift jack inside. I put in a JKS adjustable rear trackbar to bring the backend back in line.

Coming up soon are some modifications to the rear bumper. I want to make the tire carrier portion again out of 2" tubing and add a hi-lift mount and jerry-can mounts. I also want to die-grind out the clevis mounts a bit so I can put in larger clevises and drill the pin hole for the hitch bigger and make the safety chain holes bigger.

I also have some other stuff in the works but I'll wait til it happens and I can post up with pics.

Last edited by imbezol; 09-11-2007 at 12:53 AM..
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Unread 09-11-2007, 12:30 AM   #15
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Awesome !!.. the jeep has definally come along way man... every mod youve done has made your tj look even better. I like your rocksliders. Nice choice.
Also, does that mean your gonna sell your current rear bumper? and start from scratch ? if so id love to buy your current one. let me know!
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