Project: Underestimated - 2001 TJ LCG Build - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 71 Old 01-13-2019, 06:15 PM Thread Starter
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Project: Underestimated - 2001 TJ LCG Build

Okay, so here i go with another Jeep build. Some said "what do you need another Jeep for, aren't 2 jeeps enough?" My answer "No.... my 2015 JGC is for work, my 2002 JGC is for when I want to wheel in comfort or just drive down to the city (Buffalo NY) & not worry about parking, my 2001 Jeep Wrangler will be to just bomb around in!" I'm sure everyone (or anyone) reading through this thread will totally understand..............

Just for visuals, here are my 2 Jeep Grand Cherokees:

2015 Limited


2002 Lorado - When I bought it


2002 Lorado - Now (1/13/19)


If you're interested in my 2002 JGC build you can find it here: https://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/...ld-wj-3831897/

Okay now that we have that out of the way, I'm gonna give you a little background on the little guy I decided to call.... >Underestimated<

The Definition of Underestimate(d) is:


I got inspiration from Fred @ MotorTrend Dirt Everyday. He built a little 4 banger "Tube sock" a while ago & I thought it was actually a pretty cool build.

Video's of Tubesock:



About 3 weeks ago (End of 2018 / beginning of 2019 I decided to start my search for a 4 cylinder Jeep TJ that would be around $3,000. Now living in Buffalo NY of all places in the world I wanted one with little to no rust......... anyone living in the Rust Belt knows that's not really possible, but I thought if I shoot for the sky I may end up with something not horrible.......

I know, I know everyone is Laughing at me for me thinking I would end up with something not rusted to crap...

After looking at a lot of TJ's that had the bodies falling off them I came across this little jem...





The jeep is from West Virginia & was totaled out because of the front end accident. I ended up paying $3,000 for it along with some added fees for NYS to accept the Jeep because it has a Salvage Title.

More photo's














The Jeep is about 2 hours form me, I drove down 2 weeks ago & bought it, now all I have to do is get a trailer & go pick it up.

In the mean time, I've been searching craigslist & Facebook Market Place along with the interweb.....

> > > > The Plan < < < <
Keep all the parts under $5k (not including the purchase of the Jeep) & do a LCG (Low Center of Gravity) Build.
2.0" to 2.5" Suspension Lift
Front & Rear Rock Crawler Bumpers
5.13 Gears F/R
Lockers (Either both Yukon Zip Lockers or Zip in the D30 & a Tru Trac in the Rear)
Axles: keep the D30 (HP30 if I can find one quickly, MAYBE keep the D35, but search for a D44 out of a TJ). I don't wanna do a 8.8 swap. That defeats the budget of $5k.
Winch
35" tires
Monstaline complete outside
High Line the stock front fenders & trim the rears

I know, I know everyone will hate me for saying I may keep & lock the D35, but we don't have Rocks here in WNY, mud & dirt. I've swapped axles in my past Jeeps (XJ & WJ) but I don't really want to do that this time around.

The following parts have been purchased so far:
Hood, Full Doors, Fan Schroud, & Grill Supports: ($500.00)






* the doors need some work, they have some cracks that need to be welded up & some misc. cleanup & the hood has a few dents and some rust that I'll take care of before Monstalining it.

Grill: ($50.00)








* Grill is actually in really good shape, again some sand blasting and prep work & it'll be in good shape.

New Passengers Fender: ($91.00)


* The NYS DOT has to do a "Special" inspection because of the Salvage Title, they basically go through the vehicle to make sure there isn't any stolen parts on it. Again, this is only done because it has a Salvage Title. So my plan is to put the new fender on the jeep, straighten out the hood & grill then take it down for the inspection. The reason I'm not going to put the Hood & Grill on is because I don't have any receipts for them & they will probably give me a hard time because of that. After it passes i'll swap in the parts I purchased off Craigslist / Marketplace.

Steering Box protection: ($35.99)


Rims: ($250.00)
15x8






Hood Latches: ($15.55)


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

List of parts to purchase next, when ever that is...

Lift: $999.95
Rough County 2.5" X Series Suspension Lift w/Upper & Lower Control Arms


Winch: $300.00


Tires:
35" x 12.5 x 15 BFG KM3 tires (4 not 5. I'm not going to run a spare tire for now)



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Builds:
2002 WJ-ARB's f/r, swapped D44A, 4.5" Clayton, 33" SST Pro's, winch, armor, and other doo-dads
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post #2 of 71 Old 01-13-2019, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
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I maxed out on my photos for the first post, here is the continuation of POST#!

Rear Bumper: ($153.99)
Pro Comp Rock Crawler w/Shackle mounts & Trailer Receiver


Front Bumper ($174.99)
Smittybilt Front Bumper w/D Rings


Winch Raised Mounting Plate: ($113.99)
Smittybilt Winch Mount


Gears, Lockers, Master Installs: This is a touchy section. I will be scolded by SOOOO many of you, but I don't really care. This little build is just a bomber, not a DD, not a family rig, nothing... so pricing for this section will very on what I actually end up doing, but here's the range: ($2,400.00 to $1,780.00)
Goodies will include the 5.13 Gears, Lockers/TruTracks, Master Installs & ARB Compresser.


For paint I'm going to use Monstaliner ($200.00)


I have it narrowed down to 4 colors.


Colors in the same order as above:
> Yank My Doodie < - - - - - - > Pass The Bubbly <

> White < - - - - - - > Smurfadelic <

I'm sure there will be a bunch of other Misc. Items needed such as:

Cable Shifter: ($137.99)


SYE & Rear Drive Shaft:


Some Color inspiration Photo's:






Kinda like the White Top on this one. If I go with a Hard Top this may be a good idea.




Annnnnnnnd that's where I am now.

To anyone that plans to follow, thank you in advance.

To those that are gonna criticize my plans bring it on. This is a fun build, something I can get my nephews in and have fun with.



Oh, and why the name "Underestimated", welp, Never Underestimate the little guy!

Builds:
2002 WJ-ARB's f/r, swapped D44A, 4.5" Clayton, 33" SST Pro's, winch, armor, and other doo-dads
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post #3 of 71 Old 01-13-2019, 07:53 PM
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I like it. Listen to no one.


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Quote:
Originally Posted by molshove View Post
Oh...and if you love your rig, do not buy rough country, or skyjacker anything :)
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post #4 of 71 Old 01-16-2019, 08:07 AM
cmgorman94
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To my knowledge 5.13's aren't available for the TJ D30/35 combo. 4.88 is as deep as you can go. I have a 4 cylinder TJ that I regeared the Dana 35 and kept open on 35s. I had two separate carrier failures, a ring gear failure, and spider gear failure before I cut my losses and upgraded to a TJ D44 and have had zero issues since. I would also look at some sort of steering upgrade, even if it's just the ZJ tierod.
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post #5 of 71 Old 01-16-2019, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmgorman94 View Post
To my knowledge 5.13's aren't available for the TJ D30/35 combo. 4.88 is as deep as you can go. I have a 4 cylinder TJ that I regeared the Dana 35 and kept open on 35s. I had two separate carrier failures, a ring gear failure, and spider gear failure before I cut my losses and upgraded to a TJ D44 and have had zero issues since. I would also look at some sort of steering upgrade, even if it's just the ZJ tierod.


5.13ís are available for the YJ 30/35, I know because Iíve shopped them as I own that crap. Iím not sure on the TJ, my wifeís TJ has a 44 rear with 3.73ís, 33ís and the 6 speed so itís not a big deal.


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Quote:
Originally Posted by molshove View Post
Oh...and if you love your rig, do not buy rough country, or skyjacker anything :)
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post #6 of 71 Old 01-16-2019, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Recon26 View Post
I like it. Listen to no one.


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Thanks Recon26, I've had a long list of Jeeps (XJ's, TJ's, WJ's, ZJ's, WKII, etc) and every build I did was for different reasons. My WJ I just built the right way. Spent a ton of money, but it's an awesome rig. The WJ's are more capable than most think, and get crap'd on by so many Jeep guys. My goal on this one is to just keep it inexpensive ie Rough Country lift & the D35...... Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmgorman94 View Post
To my knowledge 5.13's aren't available for the TJ D30/35 combo. 4.88 is as deep as you can go. I have a 4 cylinder TJ that I regeared the Dana 35 and kept open on 35s. I had two separate carrier failures, a ring gear failure, and spider gear failure before I cut my losses and upgraded to a TJ D44 and have had zero issues since. I would also look at some sort of steering upgrade, even if it's just the ZJ tierod.
cmgorman94, they're available now through Revolution. I'm up in the air on the 35. I am looking to track down a TJ D44, but who knows. Even if I find one, people think they're gold plated.....

http://rwkhaussupply.com/drivetrain/...-and-rear.html


Quote:
Originally Posted by Recon26 View Post
5.13ís are available for the YJ 30/35, I know because Iíve shopped them as I own that crap. Iím not sure on the TJ, my wifeís TJ has a 44 rear with 3.73ís, 33ís and the 6 speed so itís not a big deal.


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Recon26, the D35 rear axle never should have been put in any JEEP (XJ, TJ, WJ, etc) they are just plain old junk. I know because I snapped my D35 axle in my 1999 TJ I had way back & I was only on 31's.

Thanks for following so far, fingers crossed I can pick up the TJ this weekend. We're supposed to get some pretty crappy weather this weekend.

Builds:
2002 WJ-ARB's f/r, swapped D44A, 4.5" Clayton, 33" SST Pro's, winch, armor, and other doo-dads
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2001 TJ-T.B.D. as I'm still buildin' it
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post #7 of 71 Old 01-19-2019, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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Update time....... Me and a good friend of mine went to pick up little old underestimated today even though we're supposed to be getting a really bad snow storm. 6:00am I left my house to meet my friend at his house & by 6:40 am we were on the road. Yep & they were right snow storm was commin' in.

We made it there by 9:30 & were loaded up & chained down by 9:50 am.





I'm not gonna lie, it was a long ride home...... roads got worse & snow came down heavier & heavier every mile.

Here she is in tow.



Made a stop by a local Parts Store & talked to Eric @ HowBill in Arcade. I have been debating what to do with the rear axle (as I stated above). My buddy thought we should stop by & see what they could do to get me a D44 out of a scraped TJ........ ANDDDDDD boom, they're gonna get one out of one of their shops for $400.00. I didn't think it was a bad deal.

I should hear back from in a week or so & if not I'll reach back out to him after that.

Finally got home & unloaded her. Put her right into the garage to give her a break & warm up as she's been outside for a long time.





Put the color swatches up against the soft top to see if I could narrow down the color.









Still undecided on the color, thinking blue maybe out because my WJ is blue (and wife said, no wait told me !YOU ALREADY HAVE A BLUE JEEP),



I still do want to do one of the Desert Sand colors....

Gonna be doin' this for a while...



Now the Jeeps home, I can start getting things going....


Builds:
2002 WJ-ARB's f/r, swapped D44A, 4.5" Clayton, 33" SST Pro's, winch, armor, and other doo-dads
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2001 TJ-T.B.D. as I'm still buildin' it
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post #8 of 71 Old 01-19-2019, 04:55 PM
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Not white


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Quote:
Originally Posted by molshove View Post
Oh...and if you love your rig, do not buy rough country, or skyjacker anything :)
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post #9 of 71 Old 01-20-2019, 07:10 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Recon26 View Post
Not white


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Recon26...... as you are the #1 contributor to this thread your opinion matters! And for your posts you win a trophy for the most replys / posts!



Congratulations!!!!


White is OUT! per popular demand.

Thinking about the fact that my wife mentioned the fact that I already have a BLUE jeep so this one won't be blue, my DD JGC is white, Soooooooo White's out as well.........

I think i'm leaning more to Yank my Doodle for the color.

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Builds:
2002 WJ-ARB's f/r, swapped D44A, 4.5" Clayton, 33" SST Pro's, winch, armor, and other doo-dads
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2001 TJ-T.B.D. as I'm still buildin' it
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post #10 of 71 Old 01-20-2019, 07:37 AM
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Yay, me!

Iíd like to thank Apple for my iPhone, Tapatalk for....this app, Jeep forum for Jeep forum, and all trails that have been so fun.


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Originally Posted by molshove View Post
Oh...and if you love your rig, do not buy rough country, or skyjacker anything :)
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post #11 of 71 Old 01-21-2019, 05:54 PM
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You ended up getting a steal on those doors and hood! Interested in seeing your highline modification
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post #12 of 71 Old 01-21-2019, 07:49 PM Thread Starter
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You ended up getting a steal on those doors and hood! Interested in seeing your highline modification
I think i did okay on the deal. The doors have some pretty good cracks in the structure. I'm going to have to do some welding & clean them up.

Concerning the highline, ya I've been watching a bunch of videos on YouTube. I'll attach them to the thread when I go through them again.

Builds:
2002 WJ-ARB's f/r, swapped D44A, 4.5" Clayton, 33" SST Pro's, winch, armor, and other doo-dads
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post #13 of 71 Old 01-23-2019, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caronaxtr2 View Post
I think i did okay on the deal. The doors have some pretty good cracks in the structure. I'm going to have to do some welding & clean them up.

Concerning the highline, ya I've been watching a bunch of videos on YouTube. I'll attach them to the thread when I go through them again.
I think both my TJ's have had cracks in their doors, never bothered me much. I bought my latest TJ with the highline already done half way. All the evap stuff still needs to be relocated. Ive been having issues with the air intake temps tho.
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post #14 of 71 Old 01-24-2019, 04:51 AM
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Smurfadelic was what i did on my YJ i had, it looks alot lighter in the sun, heres a pic to help you decide maybe
Attached Thumbnails
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1999 4.0L/AX15/231/TT/MML/8.8/4.88s/37s build in process
1989 YJ 5.3L/NV4500/241C/8.8/SOA SOLD
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post #15 of 71 Old 01-26-2019, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
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Smurfadelic was what i did on my YJ i had, it looks alot lighter in the sun, heres a pic to help you decide maybe
YJ looks really good. I'm still undecided on the grill. I thought i'd paint it black like yours, but now i'm not sure if I want to Monstaline it the same color as the Jeep.

How do you like the Monstaliner in general? I was really happy with it on my XJ, my buddy Monstalined his YJ Orange. It is such a good product in my opinion.



Quote:
Originally Posted by colt45gray View Post
I think both my TJ's have had cracks in their doors, never bothered me much. I bought my latest TJ with the highline already done half way. All the evap stuff still needs to be relocated. Ive been having issues with the air intake temps tho.
There aren't many cracks in the doors, but since I've never had full doors on my last 99TJ I was a littl concerned. You Colt45gray, you have any photo's of your jeep with the fenders Highlined? I'd love to see it.

On another note, why the user name Colt45gray? you a .45 guy?

Builds:
2002 WJ-ARB's f/r, swapped D44A, 4.5" Clayton, 33" SST Pro's, winch, armor, and other doo-dads
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2001 TJ-T.B.D. as I'm still buildin' it
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