Trying to build the ultimate expedition jeep... - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 36 Old 08-05-2009, 03:01 AM Thread Starter
IH8ROADZ
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Trying to build the ultimate expedition jeep...

Over the next few months I am going to be putting together the ultimate jeep tj for the type of wheeling I do.I like to stick to jersey and PA trails, but find myself going a lot of unplanned places on the road less traveled. As of now the Jeep sits stock aside from some 35" MTZ, OME shocks, 3" full traction coils, and 1" bl & mml. Aside from that its a completely stock 99 TJ. What I want the TJ to have is basically set up for anything and everything someone could experience out on the road or trail. So just so you can get a feel for what Im looking for Im a 20 year old eagle scout, I go camping as much as possible and love to wheel whenever I can find a new spot. So basically in my head this is how everything pans out.

First off are the repairs and trying to diagnose what parts are needed. As of now all interior gauge,hvac controls, and shifter lights are out. Im not sure what fuses to check but Ive been told its most likely the headlight switch.
Second repair is the transmission which shudders the entire jeep from stop all the way into second gear if I press down the skinny pedal too hard. Ive been told its most likely the front clutch pack. So thats going to be a rebuild which Im sure will not be cheap. But at the same time I will be following the write up wheeling98tj did for adding a breather line off of the trans and plugging the stock one so that water fording doesn't affect the trans in the future.
Third repair is still up in the air as of right now. When i come to a stop at a light it sounds like a loud metal vibrating on metal noise and once in a while when in reverse it gets extremely loud but disappears as soon as I shift it into park. My guess as of now is the notorious manifold crack on the 4.0 I6. I'll have to seafoam it and see what happens as Ive spent ample time under there making sure the heat shield and muffler pipes are rattling on anything.

Now the more fun part of adding some accessories to the TJ. The first one I absolutely need is a rear tire carrier so I can get my full size spare out of the back. For this I think Im going to go with the Treks Rear Tire Carrier as I like the design and for some reason I like the fact that it's not attached to the bumper. For the rear bumper im going with the Treks rear frame crossmember which completely repalces the rear crossmember. The stock crossmember is cut out and this one bolts and welds in place. I think together they make a very good combo.
Rear Frame Crossmember:http://tntcustoms.com/page.asp?pageid=261
Rear Tire Carrier:http://tntcustoms.com/page.asp?pageid=287

After that will be a Hi-Lift Extreme Jack so I can actually put this spare on if need be. i have decided to go with either the tough stuff or warrior products hood mount for this not sure on which one yet. Any input on either of this is a great help.

Then I move to safety which is a big concern for me. I'll be going with the rockhard4x4 bolt in cage which will be nice to have something to mount a cb onto as well as handles to get in for the smaller people in my life as I am 6'5" i dont really need it. Then I move onto seats as my eleven year old seats have seen MUCH better days. Besides that I really cant take the vinyl on those hot/humid summer days sweating anywhere touching the seat. Im going to upgrade to a 5 point harness style seat. I will be going for the corbeau Baja RS seats with a cloth front and vinyl back with the 5 point harnesses. Also the rockhard4x4 harness bar to support the shoulder harnesses.

Then storage for all the gear I want to constantly be carrying. I figure Im the only passenger in my rig 90% of the time and once in a while have another passenger, and very rarely have people in back so I figure those maybe ten times a year people are in my back seat will have to be overlooked so I can have a Tuffy full size drawer in the rear as well as the wheel well lock boxes. Also I would like to add the full center console and glove compartment by Tuffy as I have never heard one bad thing about their products and more SAFE storage in our tj's is always welcomed.

Also a garvin sport rack for the roof will be fitted for 360 degrees of lighting to attach to it which I have always wanted. I want to be able to have instant lighting in any direction at night. So Im going to have 4 front facing KC Rally 800 series lights long range, on the right and left side I will be running some type of rectangular fog or driving light not sure which beam pattern is better for this. Then a pair of KC Slimlites on the rear again not sure which beam pattern to go for. On the windshield will be another 2 slimlites in a long range beam pattern. Then on the front bumper will be a pair of PIAA fog and foul weather lights. Then underneath will be the ORO led rock lights for some night wheelin. And two reverse lights intergrated into the rear bumper. This may seem like overkill for a lot of people but I love my lights and in pitch black by myself in the woods I want to have plenty.

The front bumper will be the stubby bumper by gen-right afixed with their bolt on stinger. I have no real reason to add the stinger aside that I love the look of it and have always wanted a mild stinger on the front of my TJ. On top of the bumper I have not 100% made up my mind but Iam strongly aiming towards the Superwinch EIP 9.0 because it is the only one I have ever seen that is rated to be fully submersable which is a biggie for me because I love my water fording and trail riding. So my next endeavor will be an ARB snorkel kit followed by raising all the vent lines.

Some underhood and hood upgrades will include a dual battery setup with the mean green alternator to handle all of those lights, winch, and future audio system.

From there I will be armoring the jeep up with rokmen stryker's corner armor which I think is a very cool concept and will do it's part to protect a very vulnerable part of the jeep.http://www.rokmen.com/products/corne.../strykers.html

Complimenting them will be rokmens rock sliders which seem bulletproof compared to some other brands. My big concern with sliders is if they are strong enough to use the bar as a hi lift jacking point and these seem like they won't break a sweat.

Then underneath the jeep will be a rusty's offroad radiator guard, gen-right steering box skid, 33 engineering trans skid, skid row engine skid, and rokmen gas tank skid.

From there its just a whole bunch of little things that I won't waste time getting into like lite dots and new rubicon flares and what not. Everyone let me know what you think about this build. As soon as it get's under way in the next few weeks i will be posting pictures as well as some write-ups. If anyone has any input at all please share. Id also like to get everyones input on every little thing I should carry in the jeep at all times with the added tuffy storage such as tools, recover equip, etc. The more extreme the detail the better thanks a lot for any input.Happy Wheelin....

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post #2 of 36 Old 08-05-2009, 03:14 AM
gixxerphil
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I Like Where This Is Going
Crawled


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can you get a good pic of your muff set up ?
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post #3 of 36 Old 08-05-2009, 03:19 AM
bebout
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Depending on the type of "wheeling" you do you may want to start on the drivetrain and do a regear and possibly do an S35 seeing that you have a D35. Maybe it's just my way of thinking and all, but some of the cosmetic upgrades could wait till you get a somewhat suitable rig. Just my
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post #4 of 36 Old 08-05-2009, 06:02 AM
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go search around in here

http://pirate4x4.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=102


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post #5 of 36 Old 08-05-2009, 06:37 AM
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You forgot the most important parts--drivetrain and suspension. You have bone stock axles and 3.73 gears on 35s. Lower gears will do you wonders. Fill out your profile correctly and replace "stock" with the correct model name. You may also want to look into a stronger rear axle, such as a Dana 44 or ford 8.8. If you want to stick with the D35, at least do the Super35 kit. Suspension--I'd remove the spacers. That's more height than you need for 35s and increases your center of gravity quite a bit. Your ride will improve as well. And if you like your water crossings, a cheap and easy thing to do is front outer axle seals. AlloyUSA seals are greasable and sell for $50 or something. They work very well.

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post #6 of 36 Old 08-05-2009, 08:34 AM
ex m38a1er
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I'm with you...but wouldn't a Lj be a better platform for this...Staying tuned
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post #7 of 36 Old 08-05-2009, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bebout View Post
Depending on the type of "wheeling" you do you may want to start on the drivetrain and do a regear and possibly do an S35 seeing that you have a D35. Maybe it's just my way of thinking and all, but some of the cosmetic upgrades could wait till you get a somewhat suitable rig. Just my
X2

I'm going through a similar process but completing mechanicals first. Don't mean to be over critical so don't take this the wrong way but mechanical improvements, and I understand you're doing several, will provide more value over cosmetic ones in the long run. Not that I don't enjoy the cosmetic improvements...I do.
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post #8 of 36 Old 08-05-2009, 12:39 PM
treadway47025
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Expedition Rigs Are Great!!!!!
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post #9 of 36 Old 08-05-2009, 01:34 PM
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x2 on the axles ... with 35's your front D30 should be fine, but the D35 in the rear could use a little attention (like said above, swap in a D44 or Ford 8.8, or add a Super 35 kit). I have 3.73 gears and I'm on 33x10.5" and it's fine, but I imagine that 35x12.5" could use a jump to 4.56 at bare minimum ... some would argue 4.88.

I would consider the suspension seat special over at 4xFix.com ... I just bought a pair and they seem okay ... basically a knockoff of the Mastercraft seats without the badging. The vender is on the Pirate4x4 forums as JeepSWAG and is selling pairs for really cheap: http://pirate4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?t=775557

There's a thread on JF about them, just search. I also have info on them in my build thread (in sig) ... just waiting on the brackets to get here that I forgot to order with the seats.

Good luck with the build! I suspect this is going to be done over years not months since you're in school and all that stuff is thousands of dollars together.

2012 Crush JK Rubicon on 2.5" and 37s
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post #10 of 36 Old 08-05-2009, 04:20 PM
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For the rear bumper, I suggest you talk to BESRK here on the forum. He is Eddie of Ground Pounder Fabrication, and he's awesome to work with. See his thread in the fabrication forum for pics of what mine looks like. Just got it installed. Fantastic stuff.

Plus, to be honest I wouldn't trust the tub to hold up a 35" tire long-term. It may be fine, and those areas are reinforced, but it seems rather unnecessary.
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post #11 of 36 Old 08-05-2009, 05:52 PM
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And every one has still forgot one of the most important things, a Vanco Big Brake kit to stop those 35s. That would be the first thing I would if you have any thought of safety at all. The roll cage can wait, you need better brakes, then consider the rear axle as others have said, a regear, and HD steering system (tie rod and drag link for sure) the worry about the cosmetic crap.

Max

2003 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon
4.0L, 42RLE, Dual Tops, Full Doors, JKS Front Disconnects, Cragar Soft 8 Black Wheels, 33x12.5x15 Goodyear Duratracs, .75" Front Coil Spacers, Bushwacker 6" Flat Fender Flares, Skid Row Steering Box Skid, LubeLockers, Rubicon Locker Mod, OBA, Cobra 19 Ultra III CB, 3' Firestik, Rough Country 2.2 Steering Stabilizer, RC 1.25" BL, RC 1" MML, RC Grab Handles, Fog Lamp Bent Pin Mod, 4" Apline S Series Speakers, Kenwood Excelon 6.5" Speakers, 6.5" JL Audio 6W3V3 Subwoofer (in center console) w/MTX Thunder 202 amp, IPF H4 Headlight Housing, Sliverstar H4 bulbs.




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post #12 of 36 Old 08-05-2009, 06:26 PM
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post #13 of 36 Old 08-05-2009, 06:28 PM
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post #14 of 36 Old 08-05-2009, 06:44 PM
JohnyPro
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Check this out! http://www.expeditionswest.com/

I'd like to do something like that, maybe with fewer lights in the distant future!

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post #15 of 36 Old 08-05-2009, 06:50 PM
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As he stated the more suggestions the better to inform him of exactly what running 35's with a 35/30 combo through what ones definition of an expedition vehicle should be.

I'd suggest thinking about kicking the 35's and swapping to a 33. The benefits of a sweet MT 33" IMO will far out way a 35 when it comes to keeping the vehicle low, centered, have excellent articulation, and still have some money left over from not having to upgrade certain things to run the 35's to be able to buid a more than capable rig on 33's. I've run both 33's and currently have 35's and I'm headed back down due to constantly breaking things even with "44'S." Rubi 44's so not to special but still atleast a little stronger.

Second thought would be to add lockers to your list. With a damn good set of 33's and front and rear lockers with molly shafts and a 3-4" lift, I cant think of many places that this vehicle wouldnt be able to go. Add things from your above list such as snorkel, seats, bumpers, rack, and upgraded electrical system with waterproofing as much as you can, as well as bring it back to a standard correct running machine and I feel it would be an unstoppable rig.

Take a few hours and run through the stickied picture thread at the top and get some suggestions too if needed.
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