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Maertz 12-04-2013 04:40 PM

Maertz's Half *** Build Thread
Figured I should finally work on getting some basic info on my build up on here. It will take awhile to get it all updated, but will keep working on it. This was my first jeep, and I learned from many of my mistakes. Rambo in the yj section also helped me a ton in the later steps of this build.

This is Where i started out...

First thing I added was a Bestop Narrow Bumper. I belined it to match the rear bumper I had gotten as the front one was glossy.

I then added these pos rampage side steps. At first didnt think I would ever get to extreme and they really helped the short girlfriend get in...Still a waste on these.

Another wasted add on here was the Airraid cai I installed. I was a sucker for thinking i needed this at the time...

Next on the list was a rear bumper. I went with a ****tybilt tubular for some stupid reason. At the time id say it probably had to do with how inexpensive they were.

I also had installed crappy utility lights...

Maertz 12-04-2013 04:46 PM

Next i added a Magnaflow Cat back exhaust. Again more wasted money as this thing sounded like *** and was just waiting to get beat on.

Next I added some rims. Im a sucker for black on white look.... These have gotten beat to crap over time, but held up fine. I wish I would have went steel so I could have welded on bead lock rings later though. O well, there only 8" wide so there technically poor mans bead locks.

Seen as i like to wheel alone when I was in Wisconsin i figured i would put on a winch. I got the xrc 8. This thing has been through alot and never let me down. If i were to do it again I would have just gotten a 10k.

The new rims gave it a slightly wider stance...

Next on my list was to ditch the carpeting as my dog has white hair and it was annoying as all hell. I bedlined everything. I used rustoleum bed liner. Its held up very well. I also chiseled out all of the sound foam stuff.

Maertz 12-04-2013 04:59 PM

Got to test all of this out briefly. At this point I probably had no idea what a sway bar disco was if I had to guess looks like its still connected...

After that I installed a zone offroad 3" lift. Yet another waste of money, but at the time it served me just fine. At the same time I installed some 35" Mud Grapplers and a Dual Steering Stabalizer. I also installed synergy 1.75" wheel spacers.

I also chopped the fenders down.

Next up was some coast 1310 drive shafts.

I clearly didnt have this correctly. ALso over greased the hell out of it.

Also added a cb and antenna. And the ****tybilt oversize tire carrier.

My next up was to finally adress some of the strength issues.

Maertz 12-04-2013 05:06 PM

Again as i love the black on white look I painted the riddler dif covers.

They installed easily.

Also installed were the gussets,sleeves,gears.

I then removed my stock reverse light bulbs and cut out the housing a little to fit in the wall-mart rock lights.

Got some more time to test the lift and all the others installed.

Maertz 12-04-2013 05:14 PM

I opted to remove the cai and utility lights i had on and installed some ebay led lights and lightbar. I also Installed a chinese replica snorkel... Go ahead flame away.

Installed some basic tailight guards..

Next i removed the magnaflow exhaust and installed an MBRP offroad exhaust. Much happier with this one.

Also installed a poison spyder evap skid while i was there.

Next I ditched the ****tbilt rear tubular for an eautogrilles swing out tire carrier. This thing has been beat on pretty good and I have no complaints at all. Sure the coating got its *** kicked and it got dinged a little on rocks, but all in all i was happy.

Mounted my hi-lift to it by drilling 2 holes and putting 2 bolts thru them..

I then bought a hitch cargo rack from harbor freight for like 75 dollars and cut it up a little.

Grinded my swing out bumper to prepare it for the cargo carrier.

And walla.

Maertz 12-04-2013 05:18 PM

That was about it in Wisconsin, I then packed up and for some reason moved to Albuquerque New Mexico...

Once I got here and got to experience he new type of wheeling to do, alot of my build plan changed.

Now comes alot more of the fun stuff...

ROCKR8R 12-04-2013 05:21 PM

Have you since replaced the Zone kit? Dual steering stabilizer qualify as a waste of money too? :)

Nice, build. How most of us learn, trial and error.


Maertz 12-04-2013 05:29 PM


Originally Posted by ROCKR8R (Post 18252226)
Have you since replaced the Zone kit? Dual steering stabilizer qualify as a waste of money too? :)

Nice, build. How most of us learn, trial and error.


Yes i now have custom built my whole lift now except the springs and shocks. And yes dual ss was a waste I now run no steering stabilizer.

Maertz 12-04-2013 05:37 PM

Next was a real quick basic install of some hood louvers as its hot as hell down here.

My stock bjs were about shot at this point having about 1/4 of play. So i swapped them with some synergy ones. Prolly used way more tools then needed.

This was my bj press. Id recommended anyone else doing this to just get the tool...

Got tired of driving a few miles to air up so I installed a 5 gallon tank.

I installed the dual viair 444cs here.

Next up i did the rubi locker modification as the stock set up really annoyed me.

Also moved the winch controller into my dash.

Somewhere I bent my rear axle flanges so I installed some chromolys.

Maertz 12-04-2013 05:47 PM

Got tired of the short wheel base and no good control arms. Started making my own. I used 1-1/2od x .250 wall dom tubing. The rest of the bungs and rod ends I got from Ballistic Fab.

The front I ran into and issue because the axle mounts have massive bushings. Every other arm I could just drill out to 5/8 Bolts, not these. I had to reuse the stock end. So cut it off and weld it to the dom tubing I had.

Got the rear arms in and it will be pushing the axle back about 4" You can see where i will have to trim.

Here is the rear stretched and cut out. I dont have pictures, but I also had to move the coil mounts and trackbar. Track bar bracket I got was a ballistic fab weld together bracket. Not really for this application but it worked great. The coild mounts I welded to the axle using 1/4 flat stock for the Flat part and gussets.

I got new shocks at this point some 12.5" travel shocks. With the stretch I had to move the rear sway bar and track bar. I also had to move the shock mounts. I welded a square tube that perfectly fit down to the frame and added tabs.

Heres a better pic of where it fits.

Maertz 12-04-2013 05:56 PM

The front was also stretched about 1" but you cant really notice it to much. I should have went more...

Next up was a drag link. This was pretty straight forward...

At the same time i flipped it to the top of the knuckle and added a synergy track bar mount.

As you can see the pos dual ss is always getting hit so I removed it. Also fyi the drag link flip can be done safely on 2.5" on my rig. Everyone claims 3", but 2.5 is plenty safe.

Next up was a track bar and tie rod.

The 1.5"od x 1/4 wall tie rod got bent to **** the first trip...

I also made a rookie mistake and made the rod ends have mo alignment... This is what i got next.

So I upgraded to 1.75 od by 1/4... So far much better. Also used misalignment.

Heres everything installed.

Tested out the new shocks, and RK 3.5 coils.

Worked out ok. But my shock was rubbing the frame, had to move the lower mount out a little. Also contrary to what most say the rear sway bar does limit the flex about 3" in my tests. I removed the front sway bar as its useless. Keeping the rear is plenty.

Maertz 12-04-2013 06:06 PM

Did a little bit of trail riding...

Then we took a pretty intense trail and this happened...

Heres a closer look.

It also almost took out my bj.

We just pulled the shaft and drove home. I ordered up some alloy usa chromolys and havent had another problem....yet.

Learned the hard way on a few g5 bolts. So i swapped everything to grade 8.

Few more carnage pics...

Had some issues with the rear coils coming out. So I had to make some coil retainers top and bottom...

Some more wheeling and measurements...Testing clearance.

I have since moved to Farmington and havent done much since. Except Explore.

I will however be getting a metalcloak rear trackbar brace, so I will be installing that and making a rear track bar as well. SO that will be coming up soon. Heres a quick mock up.

Well thats my super quick recap. Im sure I missed a ton of stuff and I know i didnt go into much detail, I always forget to take pics...Slowly getting better...Ive learned tons just in this project alone...The whole time in albuquerque we were also working on this guys build.

Hes the one who helped do all of the welding.

BlkOpsRubi 12-04-2013 06:16 PM

Great build; and thank you for documenting what you have. I've learned so much by reading build threads, understanding the logic and decision making process for mods, and respecting those that go to the trouble to take pictures and write it down. :thumbsup:

BTW ... the wheeling pictures are just awesome!

Maertz 12-04-2013 06:24 PM

Thanks man looking back i still would have done stuff differently and documented way more. But all in all im happy!

When i get more time ill try and go into more detail.

ROCKR8R 12-05-2013 10:08 AM

So when are tons and coil overs?


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