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Unread 11-04-2012, 09:28 PM   #1
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Patrick's 2000 TJ Build Journal

I won't lie ... I am addicted.


It all started with my 2000 XJ. I loved that thing but ended up going to far with it as a daily driver...


Then I fell into a 93 YJ, 04 TJ then a 97 TJ. They all came and went for different reasons...



All had their good and bad but from each one I learned a little something.

The 97 was my latest and I sold it due to a sketchy job situation, but vowed I would return to the Jeep game as soon as I felt comfortable doing so.
I picked up a 98 XJ for DD purposes and have been happy driving it pretty much stock....

But I still wanted a "wheeling Jeep"...

When I finally felt really good about looking for another one I started with modest intentions. I made a budget for myself and went looking and found so many good prospects but none of them "spoke to me". I almost bought a 97 that was in stock MINT condition, but from prior experience, I had already learned that MINT means I will be afraid to scratch it. Then I looked at one that was super high mileage but dirt cheap ... again, from prior experience I have learned that a high mileage vehicle is fine, but only from the right person, and it wasn't. I kept finding nice Jeeps or good deals or unique fixer upper opportunities but none of them "spoke to me".

So, I let myself settle down and formed a game plan. I took several jeeps I was looking at and make a spreadsheet that broke down my final goals and what each thing cost. This helped me narrow the field and figure out what a Jeep is actually worth to me. That's when I came across a VERY nice (but not MINT), slightly modified (but nothing I wouldn't do) TJ from a very nice guy who was selling it because he wasn't driving ti any more due to a medical condition.

I went and saw the Jeep and instantly knew it was the right one for me.

So I finally picked up my newest Jeep ... a 2000 TJ from what I will call a very "loving" owner.
I have agreed to give it the best home that I can, wheel it and send him pictures as often as possible.

Overall it's in great shape and I'm stoked to have it home.

The good:
2000 TJ
88K
6 cyl
Sahara
D44 Rear/D30 Front
AW4
sliders
Corners
Fabtech bumpers
PIAA lights
Custom subwoofer in rear seat
Came with a Garmin 60 series and a custom mount
2" Procomp Spring lift
31x12.5 procomp mud terrains
Rancho 9000 adjustable shocks
Centramatic Balancers
Custom rock-crawling tummy-tuck
JB Super-Short SYE
Sahara and safari mini-tops and a full weather tech cover

The bad:
Radio is on the fritz (powers itself on and off)
The cruise won't hold (this is due to the AW4 swap and the cruise module not understanding the downshifts)
The AC needs a charge (or parts + charge)
AC wiring issues (The TJ hot wires issue)
Rear seat subwoofers are toast
I have trouble code p1694.
No reverse lights

When I picked up the Jeep I went ahead and brought it in to my favorite shop down near Austin for a little work. I asked them to look at the AC wiring, reverse lights (they did the initial AW4 swap) and to look into the poor mileage (12mpg by my measure). I also asked them to install a transmission temp gauge.

Unfortunately, the bung they installed in the tranny pan is leaking which I noticed after getting it back home (2 hrs from the shop). They said they couldn't fix the reverse lights and that the AC wiring checked out fine. I'm starting to fear that they didn't try to fix the reverse lights or look at the AC wiring at all. So I find myself counting the minutes until the morning comes and I can call them about this.

To distract myself I have ordered a new TJ AT shifter bezel (they had retained the XJ bezel with the swap which is to big for the console) and a new hood prop. I also spent some time today going over the paint a little and cleaning it up.

Man, I can't wait to get this thing out on the trails!

My long term plans for it are a front 3 link long arm, 4 link rear, mild stretch, ARBs, 33/35s and I'd really love a true D44 front. It's going to be a long, slow process but I think it will end up being plenty capable.

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Unread 11-10-2012, 08:45 PM   #2
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I started off this morning by pulling the skid & then the transmission pan to get at the crappy bolt in bung the shop had used.


Yes, that is a nice piece of armor!

I gotta say, I'm pretty disappointed with the shop's work right now.
Without going into too much details lets just say they did this absolutely, 100% NOT the way I had asked.



Anyway, my welder isn't hooked up so I brought the pan over to a buddy with a smaller wire feed to just weld the bung in. It's not the prettiest, but it seems to be liquid tight and that is all I care about.


I got it all back together and took it for a test drive tonight and other than the transmission not getting as warm as I expected, everything seems to be OK. I'll put it through it's paces tomorrow to see if I can generate a little more heat.

As a side bonus, I got the new shifter bezel in (looks a bazillion time better) and found a hood prop rod to put in. I know a lot of people toss theirs but I like not having to slam the hood against the windshield all the time.

Tomorrow I will be removing the last of the chrome trim pieces (just not my style) and digging into the radio.

I'll keep yall posted.
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Unread 11-12-2012, 10:44 AM   #3
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I hate when shops do work like that. On a side note 12 MPG probably isnt bad with those tires. I had 31x12.50 (very few companies make this size) and got about 13 or 14 MPG. Also I bet your speedometer was not re calibrated so it will be off a bit anyway.
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Unread 03-04-2013, 10:08 AM   #4
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Finally some updates!

Ordered 4.88 gears, zip lockers and an ARB CKMA12 compressor. Hope to get them installed next weekend.

I also ordered some daystar 1" spacers to help me fit some 33s I found locally. $300 for a set of 5!
I'm going to put them on some 8" wide wheels though because them came on 12" wide (I think) monsters!
img_2474.jpg  
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Unread 03-11-2013, 11:06 AM   #5
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Will be a mad dash to prep for the Jeep Jamboree in Llano, TX next week. The TJ is currently under the knife getting 4.88s and zip lockers. Hoping to have it done by Friday of this week so I can break in the gears this weekend.

I got the ARB CKMA pump and switches installed before I dropped it off ... and it was more time consuming than I anticipated.

I got the pump mounted on the tray right under the brake booster, which is a fairly common place. The adjustabiility of the ARB came in handy too because fishing it all in there once the compressor was mounted was ... interesting.
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Unread 03-11-2013, 11:10 AM   #6
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It seems my shifter handle is VERY close to the dash, so my first few attempts at mounting the switches didn't go well. This is where I killed all my time.

It is good enough for the trip, but I am absolutly going to investigate some alternate options once I get back. The way I initially wanted to do it would be better (not as recessed) but I will either need to bend my shifter back or possibly snag oue out of an XJ. I "think" the one in there now is from a TJ and as you can see, it is almost straight up.
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Unread 03-11-2013, 12:32 PM   #7
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I randomly found this on ebay and it looks like the XJ shifter handle is angled back farther than the TJ.

Will definitly have to look into that after the trip.
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Unread 03-13-2013, 07:09 AM   #8
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I got a call from the guy doing my gears last night.
Apparently with the stock control arms the front driveshaft binds up at full droop... which is no bueno with a trip coming up next week!

I'm certainly not going to get the shaft shortened so I'll have to dig up some new LCAs, preferably adjustable.
Nothing like adding on to the list at the last minute!



I was planning on doing a full suspension, trackbar, etc when I got back but "ain't nobody got time for that"!
At least not this week.

Will have to see what I can get done with LCAs up front then will look into a better lift setup.
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Unread 03-13-2013, 09:09 PM   #9
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Mild setback....
The bolts holding in the ring gears had been "abused" and my gear guy said he prefers to replace them.
Cheap enough but the drops are adding to the bucket!


I also added to the bucket myself considerably more by ordering a new front bumper.
I really just liked the old Warn on my 04 so I have one on the way. It "should" be here in time but I don't think the hoop will make it for the trip.

Spacers are going in which will net about 3.5" of front lift and 3" in the rear and should clear the 33s. I'll probably have to add to the bumpstops and will almost certainly be upgrading the suspension after the trip.
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Unread 03-14-2013, 03:43 PM   #10
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Got the bolts in and axles are in the works.


Also .. I ordered a "hot mess" of parts today.
Rear Control arms
Adjustable track bars
Bump stops & extensions
extended brake lines
ARB tire inflator kit
CB

Still need to find a bracket & antenna ..... gonna be a LONG weekend of wrenching. My only real complaint is that I doubt I will have time for many pictures.
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Unread 03-14-2013, 04:56 PM   #11
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Went ahead and ordered a 75WXST, a Firestick and Browning mount. Will set it up similar to the 04 when it all gets here.
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Unread 03-16-2013, 08:47 PM   #12
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Although I ordered a full set of front and rear uppers and lowers, all I got in by the time I left this morning was a set of lowers and the rear uppers!

I also got some JKS adjustable trackbars, bump stop extensions, brake lines and diff covers.

So while Junior finished up the gear installs, I swapped out the trackbars, rear uppers and put the lowers up front. I figure this will give me a little adjustment options on both ends.

I did note that the driverside trackbar end now seems really close to the front diff cover. may require some grinding on the fin of the cover.

Blows ice cold now with the new o-rings and 2 cans of juice. Hopefully the wiring behind the dash holds up right?

New brake lines up front from a mid 90's chevy truck ensure no binding. Stock lines were tight at droop and full clock, probably really bad if I stuffed one side completely.

I also got the new front bumper on and we came up with a temporary fix for the rear tire, which is now way to big for the stock carrier. I will have to build another rear bumper after I return from the trip. Or add on a sing out to his one and beef up the mounts.



My take away from the day:
Holy crap, having a lift is awesome.
...No, I mean a shop lift.
Being able to stand upright and have the suspension drooped and get to everything ... on my wish list when I hot the lottery!


Also, air tools ...
After today I feel like all my hand tools "are so 2012".


Tomorrow I will be putting miles on it, installing the ARB tire inflation kit and flipping around the shocks. They are RS9000s and the rear knobs are facing backwards, which makes them very vulnerable IMO. Hopefully they will fit turned around. I'm also planning on trimming the rear spring perches while I have the shocks off in case we decide to add a few turns to the rear uppers. I didn't really detect any vibes on the way home but I'm certainly going to be checking out the pinion angle to ensure it is all good to go. I can't quite remember how I fixed that on my 04 but I think the shock brackets ended up being cut and moved around.

I'm also going to install an accessory fuse block like I have done in every Jeep I have ever had. Just to power some of the accessories I am planning down the road. CB should be here Monday so I wantto be as prepared for that as I can be. For once I'd love to be able to pack and relax the night before leaving for a trip.


As I figured I didn't get many pictures but I was able to snap off a few. Nothing too exciting. We've all seen a lifted TJ, but this one is mine.
img_2565.jpg   img_2566.jpg   img_2569.jpg   img_2570.jpg  
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Unread 03-17-2013, 07:11 PM   #13
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Another good long day of turning wrenches!

I got my rear spring perches trimmed so I should be able to throw a turn or two into the upper control arms to improve the CV angle. It's not horribly off but I know it could be better. I'm just not sure how much space I will have between the trackbar and the gas tank skid if I start rotating the housing back. Course I do have the CV bracket that may help in that department....

I also got the shocks spun around to protect the knobs.

Installed the ARB tire inflation kit and rechecked for air leaks. At least now I can air back up (even if slowly) for the drive back to town each night. From what I remember of the last trip it was a decent drive back to the camp each night.

I noticed that with the ghetto fabulous spacers we installed to get the spare onto the stock mount the tire was no longer touching the little bumpers. So I purchased some misc stuff while at Lowes to get it spaced out. Not quite perfect but this is all temporary until I build a rear bumper.

then I ran into a speed bump. I had intended on installing the tool box that I had in my 04 ... but I guess I left part of the brackets in the 04 when I sold it. So I had to run down to Lowe's (again) to pick up some angle iron and cut it down to make the brackets. Of course I decided to improve over what I had done last time, which just added time to everything, but I'm happy with it.

Ran out of time and energy to install the accessory fuse block so I may have to just jumper the CB off of something when it gets in (obviously a temporary solution).
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img_2587.jpg   img_2586.jpg   img_2588.jpg  
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Unread 03-17-2013, 07:41 PM   #14
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Nice work!
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Unread 03-18-2013, 12:08 PM   #15
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Took the day off to do some "bump testing".
Front is done, just need to retorque it all.

For those that don't already know about TJ aftermarket diff cover and trackbar issues (like me yesterday at 5PM) here is some "light reading":
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/tj...it-fit-738948/

I have found that with stock uppers, RE lowers (will measure them) a JKS adjustable trackbar (will measure it), stock pitman arm, stock steering linkage and a solid diff cover ... I would have been crushing the hell out of the trackbar if I ever hit a solid bump. Stock diff cover I think would have been fine. If I were to do it all over again I would keep the stock diff cover and get the Warn diff guard. Just more room for everything.

Lots of pics for yall to gawk at and you will get the general idea. With a 2" bump extension, even at full bump, I was able to get everything to squeeze in there. I even went over and did some clearance work on the sway bar mount for about 1/2" past full droop and turned all the way, just to be "safe". I think the track bar will end up being OK for me for the time being. Long run I want double shear. So when I go up to 4.5" springs up front I will likely go to the RE bracket& mount and an extra 1" of bump extension. We'll see how it all works out.

First few pics are of how badly everything interferes before I did any grinding. I was surprised. Eventually you will see things fitting better and then the shocks at full stuff and max articulation. Of course with the poly bump stops I highly doubt I will EVER get the axle stuffed that hard (I tend to be a gentle wheeler) but it is nice to know I can jump it if the zombies attack.
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img_2604.jpg   img_2605.jpg   img_2606.jpg   img_2607.jpg   img_2608.jpg  

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