Congrats buddy. It was much deserved
Name: Tony Mester
Mods (optional): Currently:
2003 Jeep Wrangler Sport that is street legal, daily drivable, and still financed.
---40x16-17" Swamper TSL LTBs on Allied 17x9" "Daytona" style steel beadlock wheels.
---NV3550 transmission(OEM)... likely to be an AW4 swap in the nearish future
---Dana 300 t-case - AA input shaft w/ clocking ring to make it closer to flat, HD 32 spline rear output(1350 CV), High Angle Driveline transfercase parking brake(stops the Jeep FAST considering the size and weight), 1310 front yoke(still stock for the time being)
---D60 front axle with 35 spline inners and outters
---D70HD rear axle, 35 spline full floater
---5.86 gears and Detroit lockers front and rear(cruise at 2300 rpms on the highway... perfect)
---Front suspension is custom long arms built by myself... the lowers are 2.25" dia 3/8" wall DOM with Ruff Stuff heim joints at the axle and Ballistic bushings at the frame end. Upper control arm is 2.0" dia 1/4" wall DOM w/ 3.0" Ballistic joints. Track bar is 1.75" dia 1/4" wall DOM with 7/8" heim joints at both ends. I reused my Full Traction 3" front springs... due to mounting and axle diameters there is actually about 4.5" of lift in the front if you compare axle centerlines to the frame with my axle vs stock axles. Front is also stretched forwards about 4" from stock.
---Rear suspension uses a set of XJ leaf springs flipped around backwards(so the short side is at the back... better departure angle) with I think 6.5" shackles... it is set up for a LOT of downtravel and about 4" of uptravel. The leaf springs are JC Whitney HD XJ springs, with XJ main and second leaves added into the pack for a little more height and weight carrying capacity. I have roughly 4.5-5" of lift in the back. Also I built a traction bar to control axle wrap... it is a "slip and twist" style that uses no shackle... it works great and keeps the bar out of the way and keeps the rear anti-squat % low which translates into no hopping.
-82" outside of tires
-82" tall(top of center of soft top bow)
-28" under the front bumper
-26" under the rear bumper
-22.5" under the belly pan
---Steering stuff: I tapped the OEM Mercedes steering gear for hydro assist(search if you are interested!), it is powered by a PS pump out of a WJ Grand Cherokee w/ 4.7 that I modified for more pressure and flow, and it powers a 1.5" PSC hydro assist ram. Also have a PS cooler. Steering linkage consists of 1.5" dia 1/4" wall DOM tubing and 7/8" heim joints... all the bolts are 3/4" grade 8 with either step-down spacers or high-misalignment spacers where appropriate. I'm using a Waggy pitman arm(longer and flatter than stock TJ) to get full turning. The D60 high-steer arm is from Branik Motorsports.
---Belly skid... I made the belly skid myself out of 1/4" steel... I made it so that it "wraps" around my traction-bar crossmember then slides forward for 2 bolts to hold it all in place. I bent it first time out, but I was piecemealing it together the day before... I will be straightening it and adding bracing and it should be good then.
---Cobra 75 CB
---U-pol Raptor spray in liner on the tub(did a write-up on the stuff... search!)
---CJ-looking rear tail lights... they are incandecent and look much better than LEDs on a TJ IMO... courtesy of Walmart
---JK front turn signals
---What did I do to make it street legal in VA? I added some removable lights on poles that attached to the axles and extended out over the tires... they look kinda funny in the daytime(though not incredibly noticable at first) and look like epileptic fireflies at night!
I got my TJ a couple months after graduating high school in 2007, almost immediately after that I left my job to go to another dealership for more pay... and thus the downward spiral of Jeep shenanigans began! If you refer to my build thread, you'll see that I planned on only 33s at first, and 35s for the "crazy" build... well while I was on 33s and looking to go up in tire size... I realized I would sink over $10k into my Jeep to be on "just" 35s... nothing really wrong with that, but for the price I could build something way better than bolting stuff on... I found Pirate 4x4 and bought a welder... then I just *happened* to find a set of built 1 tons for sale when I got my tax return.
I tried at start building my Jeep up in hopes that it would be done before my wedding in July of 2009, unfortunately it was only rolling at that time, but it slowly but surely got into a drivable state, and just recently was able to actually wheel it.
I found it incredibly hard to sum up my "story" into a nutshell for TJOTM, so if you want all the details, then you'll have to sift through my 100+ page build thread for the THOUSANDS of pictures and a lot of good tech and how-tos throughout worth reading. It's my "build" thread but a lot of it goes hand in hand with my life... from my marriage to my upcoming move to Ohio... If you have some free time, please take a look.
(Whoever sees this... I'm not sure if posting a link to my build thread is allowed or not, but if so, could you please add it right here for me?