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post #1 of 11 Old 04-29-2018, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
aspider
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2003 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 36
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Pony Express Jk

This past winter I was able to purchase a used RHD 2D 08 jk as a replacement for my tj. It had a host of issues (leaking radiator, wicked death wobble, burning oil) that let me pick it up for a good price. It's primary use is as my workhorse on a rural postal route, with a side use as an adventure vehicle for excursions with my family. It's very much an evolving work in progress, and this thread is meant to document my fumbling adventure(s) with this lovable jeep. It will be a modest budget build in all likelihood.

Current pic:
4/18


Current list of installed upgrades and mods:
Dv8 FS-18 front bumper
Bilstien 4600 shocks
Falken Wildpeak at3w tires (10 ply)
LED headlights
Kicker 43CSC654's in the front and soundbar
Kicker 43CST20 tweeters
Teraflex rear tire carrier cb mount
Firestik cb antenna and firering coax cable
Husky liner mats
Ram phone mount
MSM visor panel
Rancho steering stabilizer
Rugged Ridge front splash guards
Bartact roll bar fire extinguisher holder
Dv8 RS-10 rear bumper
Dv8 TC-6 tire carrier
Rugged Ridge locking fuel cover

Upgrades and parts awaiting time to install:
Metalcloak heavy duty tie rod
Metalcloak heavy duty drag link
Rocksport steering stabilizer
Kenwood Excelon KDC-X501
Kicker CompRT 43CWRT672 sub
Grabbar handles
Yitamotor 52" LED lightbar
Apollointech A-Pillar 4-Switch Pod / Panel & Source Control System
Superwinch TS9500 winch
17" aluminum rims


Upgrades I'm lusting for:
10th anniversary hood
Good hood latches
Better steel wheels
Rollbar molle attachments
A rollbar highlift mount
Foglights for the bumper


"I gave up drinking once -- it was the worst afternoon of my entire life." (Bogart)

Last edited by aspider; 05-20-2018 at 05:51 PM. Reason: updated modification list 5/20
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post #2 of 11 Old 04-29-2018, 04:55 PM Thread Starter
aspider
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2003 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 36
Garage
Fall of 17:

Picking her up from the previous owner.



She had super bad death wobble over 40 mph, a blown steering stabilizer, a cracked radiator, and was gulping oil when I picked her up.

Step one was to have the ball joints replaced and to order a new radiator and better steering and suspension components.

After getting her back from the balljoint replacement and having the rancho steering stabilizer the death wobble was gone.

The next step was to pull out the cracked radiator and install a new one. While pulling out the old one, I was hit with the smell of a bait shop. I found a grasshopper graveyard on the lower section. I'm thinking of installing a mesh screen behind the grill to protect the radiator better.



After the radiator swap, I installed some Bilstien 4600 shocks to help with the disgusting level of body wobble on dirt roads.

"I gave up drinking once -- it was the worst afternoon of my entire life." (Bogart)
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post #3 of 11 Old 04-29-2018, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
aspider
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Posts: 36
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Christmas season '17: Peak season at the post office. The dark ages. The only upgrades I had time to install were the MSM visor attachment, and the Bartact fire extinguisher mount.



After peak season ended, I took a couple weeks to let my body recover. Then I installed the new speakers.

"I gave up drinking once -- it was the worst afternoon of my entire life." (Bogart)
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post #4 of 11 Old 04-29-2018, 05:15 PM Thread Starter
aspider
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Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 36
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Early spring '18:

My assigned route is over a 100 miles running through the Ozark Mountains. It's very rural, mostly dirt trails and goat tracks. It's beautiful, and I love running it. That said, it can be very unkind to the vehicles that traverse her.

On a particularly rainy day, sections of my route were being shutdown after I had already delivered to the houses therein.

It was fun to test out the limits of the jeeps ability to cross running water and submerged roads. Sadly, somewhere on one of the sunken roads, I hit a washed out section too hard and it destroyed both of my front Hankook tires and messed up my tierod ends.

By the time I returned to the office, I had good sized embolisms and a patch of bare wire on both front tires. :"(

Time to order beefier steering components and some new tires.









I placed an order with Metalcloak for their HD steering kit, and went to the local tire shop to order some Falken 10 ply all terrains.

"I gave up drinking once -- it was the worst afternoon of my entire life." (Bogart)
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post #5 of 11 Old 04-29-2018, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
aspider
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Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 36
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Late March '18:

WOOOO! A random day of sunshine. Time to catch up on installing some of the components I've been to busy/cold to install. I really want to get my cb/weather radio combo installed. I'd feel more comfortable being able to hear weather alerts/call for help in areas without cell signal during tornado season.

I pull out the box from rightchannelradio and start attempting to wire in the antenna.



The Teraflex mount install was a piece of cake.



Running the aux cord was a bit more difficult. With the help of a friendly twist tie and a coat hanger sacrifice from the SO (shhh don't tell her where it went), I was able to weave it through the door.







I added a few zip ties to keep the aux cord secure.



Next, the cover was snapped back on, and then I began to run the able under the carpet in the cab.





Next I drilled out the grommet for the door and reinstalled it.



I think it turned out ok. I will finish the wiring and cb install one I get my hands on a switch pod.


"I gave up drinking once -- it was the worst afternoon of my entire life." (Bogart)
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post #6 of 11 Old 04-29-2018, 05:42 PM Thread Starter
aspider
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2003 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 36
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April '18:

After an eternity of wet and cold days, a perfect spring day appeared! Time to retire the jar of fireflys that the OEM calls headlights, and wire in some LEDs. Also, I happened to score a good price on a Dv8 bumper with an integrated winch mount.








I'll install the turn signal lights, power plug, fog lights and winch at a later date.

I really like the aesthetics of the bumper and headlights though. Now I covet upgrading the back too. :P

"I gave up drinking once -- it was the worst afternoon of my entire life." (Bogart)
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post #7 of 11 Old 04-29-2018, 05:52 PM Thread Starter
aspider
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Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 36
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This weekend. I took my first stab at trying to improve some of the jeeps oil consumption issues. She is very thirsty, chugging a quart every 400 or so miles.

I pulled out the old PCV valve and installed a new one. I noticed the hose covering it had a zip tie over it and a crack in it. I'm apparently not the first to look here. I plan on trying some seafoam next weekend.







I also found the signs of a leak in the front right corner of the engine bay. It appears to be an oily substance, but I'm not sure what it is, or where it's originating from.







I hear a faint hiss when driving with the window open, and an occasional noise like a playing card hitting a bicycle spoke. It's disconcerting. If anyone has any ideas what it may be, I'd appreciate the input.

"I gave up drinking once -- it was the worst afternoon of my entire life." (Bogart)
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post #8 of 11 Old 05-20-2018, 06:02 PM Thread Starter
aspider
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Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 36
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I finally have a free morning to tinker with the jeep. I was able to score a rugged ridge perforated grill insert off of ebay for $15. The downside, is it didn't come with the mounting hardware, so I had rig up some DIY attachment. A quick trip to home depot for some anchor mounts and guerrilla glue seems to have done the trick. Hopefully it holds up until I can make a better solution.


Before:






After:

"I gave up drinking once -- it was the worst afternoon of my entire life." (Bogart)
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post #9 of 11 Old 06-07-2018, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
aspider
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2003 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 36
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Late may 18:

I was a busy month but I was able to squeeze in the time to install a rugged ridge locking gas cover.






Some kind soul decided to knocked my fender loose in the parking lot. I zip tied it back on for a temporary fix until new mounting clips arrived.



Once the new clips arrived, I cut off the zip ties and remaining old clips.



Then snapped on the new clips to get the fender back in shape.



I'm contemplating what type of aftermarket flares and liners I want to save for.

"I gave up drinking once -- it was the worst afternoon of my entire life." (Bogart)
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post #10 of 11 Old 06-07-2018, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
aspider
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2003 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 36
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Memorial weekend:

UPS santa delivered my new bumper and tire carrier.





The 10 ply tires and steel rims have been working a number on the tailgate hinge and tire carrier. The carrier has a massive stress crack in it. It was time to move all that weight to the bumper and replace the hinges.





The first step was to yank off the old plastic bumper and install a new DV8 RS-10 bumper.





I decided to trim a section of the tire carrier mounting plate to allow for the use of the center port I was using to run the cb coax.



The next step was to install the TC-6 tire carrier.






"I gave up drinking once -- it was the worst afternoon of my entire life." (Bogart)
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post #11 of 11 Old 06-07-2018, 05:15 PM Thread Starter
aspider
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2003 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 36
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I managed to get off early today used the free time to install some MORryde HD hinges to relpace the worn out oems.

The bottom hinge was very egged out. It was causing the tailgate door to drag on the new steel bumper.





After pulling off the oem hinges, I taped off and painted the area under the hinges before installing the MORrydes.





Sadly the bottom hinge didn't aline perfectly, but a few minutes with a dremel, file and some paint and that issue was corrected. The last step was to grease the zerg fittings on the hinges.



It opens and closes perfectly now. No more having to lift the tailgate up and over the bumper when open/closing it.

"I gave up drinking once -- it was the worst afternoon of my entire life." (Bogart)
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