Stock-Ish TJ Build - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 34 Old 04-16-2017, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
Stock-ishTJ
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Stock-Ish TJ Build


2002 Jeep Wrangler 4.0L 5 Speed

To start off, I purchased my TJ back in early 2013. Keep in mind this is the first Jeep I’ve ever owned. I just recently joined Jeep Forum and I thought it would be a cool idea to start a build thread. I am currently piecing together the next stage of my build. Going Front/Rear wheel base stretch, Currie RockJock Dana 60’s, Coilover’s, Hydro Assist, and 40” tires. While I wait for parts, I thought, why not start from the beginning…. I have plenty of pictures of previous “stages” of my jeep build.



Here it was in all its new (to me) glory. It had 62k miles on it, a 2 inch coil lift/ 2 inch puck spacer lift, blown out Fox reservoir shocks, and 35” BFG all terrains..... Not to mention a heap of other issues. LOL



I bought it mid summer with no windows besides the rear (that was a great idea). That picture was the first time I saw it in the dirt and I was hooked.

Fast forward… I began to weed through the issues it had. The radiator went the second week I had it, you can only imagine. I had found a pair of matching full doors. Purchased a new Best Top Trektop NX (pn# 56820-15) and some new shoes. AKA 35” General Grabber Red Labels and some 15” Procomp Street locks in flat black.



Now this jeep rode like crap. I experienced death wobble for the first time and was not about it. I did a whole bunch of web searching. So I ended up replacing the stock steering with the heavy duty Currie Currectlync steering system (pn# CE-9701) and stock tracbar with the Currie tracbar (pn# CE-9120TJJ). Ditched my steering stabilizer and haven’t felt the wobbles since!

As I got more and more into off roading, when I would take the Jeep out, the suspension wouldn’t even budge. It physically could not and would not articulate at all due to worn out suspension components.



So what does any girl do you ask? I started researching an easy bolt on suspension system. I have had nothing but good experiences with Currie products so I went with their 4” Coil Lift/Control Arms (pn# CE-9130H & CE-9100). Installed some fresh Fox Reservoir shocks in the front (pn# FOX-985-24-109) and some Fox IFP shocks (pn# FOX-980-24-645) in the rear. Now he was styling...



Now I wanted to spruce up the outside appearance. I purchased some Poison Spyder 3” Tapered Defender flairs front/rear. (pn# 14-02-040 & 14-05-B70) These fenders gave me the look I wanted while also allowing for more up travel for my 35" tires.





Time goes by with no issues with the jeep..... Until I spun a carrier bearing race in the front housing (Dana 30). After taking the cover off and inspecting the front end, I noticed that the spider gears were all pitted (Stock gears and carrier at the time). I ended up picking up some 4.56 Motive Gear Ring&pinions/install kits (pn# MGK-110). Also threw a Eaton Limited slip in the rear housing (Dana 35 pn# DL912A569). The 4.56s made for a great crawl ratio mated with my 5 speed. The Limited slip worked beautifully too.




That is enough for today, hopefully I'm not boring anyone!

I've got more on the way for those that enjoyed my post so far. Happy Easter!


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post #2 of 34 Old 04-18-2017, 09:24 AM Thread Starter
Stock-ishTJ
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Update #1

Good morning fellow Jeepers.

Referring to the last picture in my previous post, was the time I realized how important rock sliders were on an off-road rig. I was super excited for my first trail “damage”.



Of course I got some rock sliders when the funds were sufficient. I wanted to keep the body armor all the same brand, so I looked no further than Poison Spyder. I really like the sleek look and durability of the Rocker Knockers (pn# 14-08-060). I may have taken advantage of a good deal and snagged myself a front BFH w/ Trail stinger as well (pn# 14-16-020-DS). but who’s judging?





I had to test out my new sliders right away…and scratch up that fresh color match in the process. In that photo was my first time running Holcomb Creek/Dishpan trail, Big Bear CA.


I had attended a local Jeep meet, where a small group of us decided to go night wheeling. Where of course, I broke for the first time… We were pretty much through the entire trail, when I broke on the very last obstacle. Talk about my luck! LOL



I caught the rear end hop one too many times and blew my stock LR axle shaft into pieces. haha



Luckily, I had received some hand-me-down stock spare axles from a friend a few weeks prior… and good news, I had them with me that night.


Thankfully, I had some really great guys with me that night and they got me back rolling in just a few hours with very minimal tools/supplies.

After that incident, I was determined to get rid of my Dana 35. I used it and abused it with 35s for quite some time, I’m surprised I didn't break sooner. So, I began looking on my local craigslist and found a good deal on a rear TJ Rubicon 44 housing with a used Detroit locker.





I had already had my heart set on running 37” tires, so I decided to change up the gear ratio to compensate for that. I went with 4.88 Motive gears (pn# D44-488GX), complete install kit (pn# RA28RUBMKT) and some Ten Factory Chromoly shafts (pn# MG22135). To finish off the rear end, I ordered a heavy duty Currie diff cover (pn# 44-1005CP) and all new brake parts from my local Pep boys.



Lots of curse words later, we had the old rear end out.



Now I had the choice of putting more money into my Dana 30 or replace it….. I ended up finding a gutted Rubicon front 44 on the good ol' Craigslist, that came with a used ARB locker. Again, to match the rear end I purchased some 4.88 Motive gears (D44-488GX), complete install kit (pn# RA28RUBMKT), Ten factory Chromoly axles (pn# MG22165), Timken unit bearings (pn# HA597449), and Currie Diff cover (pn# 44-1005CP). We did the Ball joints, since it seemed stupid not to. *Crown Heavy duty Ball joints (pn# RT21003). Hot glued on an Artec Dana 44 axle truss (pn# TJ4403) with C-gussets (pn# TJ3010) and called it a wrap.





Front end went in and I was so excited to have 4WD back… And yes to those wondering, I purchased my Reid racing knuckles at home depot. They were on sale for $3.95 a piece.



The shake down run went great, no issues what so ever. I was absolutely loving the new set up… But wait, did I mention that I really, REALLY wanted 37s. I mean I needed new tires anyways, my generals were pretty low on tread! Whatever I needed to tell myself to justify it right?




I picked up some 37/12.50/17 Nitto Trail Grapplers and Walker Evans Beadlocks. Go big or go home right? They really put my Generals/steelies to shame. I really like the Trail Grapplers, they grip like crazy in the rocks and are quiet on the street. Win/Win if you ask me.



Now we were in crunch time to get the Jeep ready. I attend Jeepers Jamboree on the Rubicon every year. It is my favorite event to go to, hands down. For anyone that doesn't know what I’m talking about, I highly suggest you look into it.



I took advantage of a Jeep forum discount on Under Cover Fab Works and got a skid plate system (pn# UCF077). These skids are crazy heavy duty and well made…emphasis on heavy. lol

Also I had always had issues with my transfer case shifting into neutral from 4low. I researched the Novak shifter cable for the NP231 and read nothing but good reviews (pn# SK2XC) purchased from Savvy Off Road. The install was simple enough and now my shifter issue is gone.








Hoping these part numbers/information is informative and helpful. Anyways, hope you all have a great day!
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post #3 of 34 Old 04-24-2017, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
Stock-ishTJ
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Update #3

Recap from last post. We hustled to get the jeep finished for our 9 hour drive from Southern California to Placerville. My jeep couldn't have performed more flawlessly, I had no issues what so ever. That has been the longest trip to date that I’ve done…. From the trek there, to wheeling 22 miles, to the trek back. No trailering for this girl!



Searching local Craigslist, I came across a needle in a haystack. A fully welded, ready to install Poison Spyder Laser-Fit cage for the TJ. (pn# 14-19-010-W) It was already power coated red, not my first choice for color, but it has grown on me. (Excuse the garland on my bumper, I get festive )



During the install, we only broke 3 of the torx bolts that held the stock cage in, and trust me those were a pain in the butt to drill out. We replaced all hardware with Grade 8 from my local hardware store. Now with the new cage, I lost the factory sound bar. My front dash speakers were stock/blown out, so driving around with hardly any sound/music for a few days drove me crazy. I looked into boat style speaker housings for one simple fact, “roll bar mounts”. I came across Crawl Tunes, which is awesome because they are actually made for off-road vehicles. (pn# TC-6.5)



I paired my Crawl Tunes with my pre existing Kicker 6.5 inch speakers out my sound bar (pn# 206DS60), stuffed them with pollyfill, and powered them with a Kicker Hideaway AMP/Sub woofer (pn# 11HS8). Purchased some Kicker 4 inch speakers for the front (pn# 40CS44), and boy did I not realize what good (working) speakers sounded like until then.

Now with the new cage I also had to ditch my fastback Bestop. Which was a total bummer because I loved everything about that top. But, what can you do… So I found a new Factory Mopar soft top w/ frame on Craigslist. (color- khaki)

I received a Swag Offroad aluminum flat back kit (pn# 4TGFBA) as a gift from my better half. Which I absolutely love and recommend because it serves so many purposes… Seat, table, extended bed, etc. When I get to purchasing some aluminum corner guards, it will look much better with the aluminum tail gate… In time right?



After the tail gate install, I decided I wanted to go mostly all aluminum body armor. It just so happened at that time, a buddy of mine was selling front aluminum Poison Spyder high line fenders (pn# discontinued). A little Scotch Brite and they shined up nicely.



*Referring to above picture* It’s pulling roughly 28-29” up front (ground to bottom of tire) and 30” in the rear. I am eager to see what it will be pulling when my build is done.

Now…. Im caught up to real time. I decided about a year and a half ago I was going to take the jeep to the next step, so I began saving. I get why they say “Just Empty Every Pocket…It never ends, but I truly enjoy every part of building my jeep. I’ve learned so much in just 4 years, and I wouldn't change the countless amount of money I’ve dumped into it.









As of right now the Jeep is on the lift; Tires/wheels, housings, suspension and gas tank are all out. All rear bracketry has been cut off and I’ve been taking my time grinding everything down smooth. I will be working on the front tomorrow after work.



I will pick back up tomorrow. Hope your Monday goes smoothly
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post #4 of 34 Old 04-28-2017, 08:32 AM Thread Starter
Stock-ishTJ
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Update #4

Quick update......I can officially say all frame mounts are "off". The rear part of the frame is ground down and looking good. We tackled the front last night. The front towers are off, lower/upper control arm mounts are off... and the track bar mount. Removing the shock towers were surprisingly simple, but that track bar mount could make you want to rip your hair out. :





****These pictures are not the finished product!! I still need to go through and grind everything down. Then prep the frame and start staging parts.



I placed an order for some of the last minute parts, all purchased from Gen Right Offroad. A twisted pitman arm w/high steer mount (pn# STK2501), high steer double sheer kit (pn# STK5755), and some axle/frame mounts for the new front trac bar.

I got to pick up my rear RockJock 60 VXR from Currie. The front end is unfortunately not done yet, due to some out of stock parts. These axles were so worth the wait, I can't wait to use and abuse them. lol



Rear end specs: 67" WMS to WMS, Full float, 40 spline, ARB air locker, 5.13 gear ratio, 3 1/2" tubes, and upgraded brakes. I chose the RockJock 60 VXR over junk yard axles due to the rotated center section, I needed all the help I could get in the drive line angle department. But also, The fact that it has a lot of other great features. I had to order the rear end with an axle bridge for mounting purposes.

Not much more to say for this update. It's hard to get a lot of work done when you work and only have weekends/nights free. Anyways...back to working on this thing tonight.
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post #5 of 34 Old 04-28-2017, 09:15 AM
JK08JK
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Looks Awesome! You're going to love the Currie axles, I have some friends that run them and they can take a lot of abuse!
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post #6 of 34 Old 04-28-2017, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
Stock-ishTJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JK08JK View Post
Looks Awesome! You're going to love the Currie axles, I have some friends that run them and they can take a lot of abuse!
Thanks so much! Its been along time that I've been dreaming of this build. They are definitely going to be a big upgrade for this little TJ.
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post #7 of 34 Old 05-01-2017, 08:50 AM Thread Starter
Stock-ishTJ
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Update #5


Sunday we got a decent amount done. All mounts have been completely ground down and we prepped the frame and link mounts for welding.

I decided to go with an off the shelf stretch kit for ease and time constraints. I ordered a Rock Krawler 5" rear stretch (hard to give a pn# due to fact of only ordering certain pieces of stretch kit), we are going to extend the arms out about inch to get around a 6" total rear stretch.

*Mounts come painted/powder coated which is awesome.*

These mounts are heavy duty. They clamp around the frame rail, and they act as the mounting points for links and transmission skid.



You have to grind down the frame bungs to slide the mount onto frame.



We had to remove the 3rd Catalytic converter/muffler to get the mount on. So, when the jeep is on all fours, I'm going to have to take it to my local muffler shop and see what he can do...



Here the mounts/frame are prepped and ready to be hot glued.



These are burned in and I don't think they will be going anywhere. Now, because I didn't want to give up any rear cargo room. I ordered a Gen Right Crawler Comp 23 gallon gas tank (pn# GST2053). It allows for a 7" rear stretch with Dana 44s and 6" with a Currie Rock Jock 70 so my Rock Jock 60 should clear just fine.



I went with the bigger 23 gallon tank vs the stock 19 gallon, I figured, why not fill up less? I picked up a replacement fuel pump as well, my old one was working when removed but I didn't want to take my chances. (I went with a Delphi replacement pn# FG1353)

Thats all I got for today, I will be back with another update soon!
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post #8 of 34 Old 05-05-2017, 12:10 AM Thread Starter
Stock-ishTJ
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Update #6


Since I last posted we got a decent jump on mock up. Once all the welding on the frame brackets got done, we got the new transmission skid plate in and began to hang the control arms.



I also removed my rear PS fender flares due to the fact I can no longer use them.

With the arms hung, we got the rear end under the jeep and took some measurements for the upper link mount.





I purchased the mount from Gen Right, (pn# RSM-4020) which is made specifically for the Currie Rock Jock axle bridge. Once it was all tacked in, we threw some ratchet straps on it so it wouldn't hang past full droop.
*Side note: No, Pinion angle is not set yet.



Moving on to Gas tank install... Now, Gen Right suggests a minimum of 1" body lift for their gas tanks. We installed it (because who listens to directions) with no body lift whatsoever. So for those wondering, it can be done... It is a tight fit for sure without it. No lines or hoses are touching but we clearanced some pinch seams on the tub that were close just for peace of mind.





So beyond excited to see it coming together! I got to pick up my front housing today! We should have the front end hung tomorrow so I'll post pictures/build specs then, Goodnight.
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post #9 of 34 Old 05-05-2017, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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Update #7

Happy Cinco De Mayo everyone!

Super quick update tonight... We got the front end installed.





Front end specs: 68" WMS to WMS, 35 spline, Detroit locker, 5.13 gear ratio, 3 1/2" tubes, Warn locking hubs, new cast diff cover w/upper link mount, upgraded brakes and just like the rear, the VXR's have a load bolt and drain plug.

We are building custom high steer/trac bar for it. I will post more on this when that starts.

Thats really all we got done for tonight, planning on working on it for a full day on Sunday. Anyways, cheers to the weekend!
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post #10 of 34 Old 05-09-2017, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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Update #8

I began laying out body armor over the weekend and made sure I had all hardware to bolt them up. I don't know how many times I have received parts with missing hardware.

I wanted to keep the body as proportionate with the stretch as if it was stock. I ordered the GenRight Offroad Stretch Rockers (Steel/ pn #RCG-5003*) and Stretch Corner Gaurds (Aluminum/ pn #CNR-2013). These allow the body/wheel well to be "stretched" back 4 inches to make up for the longer wheel base.





The rockers come power coated black, which I'm sure is a plus for some people. I on the other hand will most likely change the color down the road. Anyways.... We got the corners clamped down, and began to hold the rocker guards up when we noticed they were too long (3 7/16 inches too long). We came to realize that the Poison Spyder Highlines don't exactly fit with a genright stretch rocker...





A little love and some touch up paint, they look like new and fit perfectly!







That's all for body armor for today... We still have to cycle suspension and cut the wheel well another 2+ inches in the back. So far I'm really liking the full aluminum rear with the flat back tailgate.

Next up is steering.. Stay tuned.
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post #11 of 34 Old 05-15-2017, 10:24 PM Thread Starter
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Update #9

So... We have been a bit busy but we found time to get started on the rear suspension... Checking clearances with the Rock Jock 60 VXR and Gen Right Crawler tank. This is close to what full bump is going to be set at...





We had to notch the frame since we decided to go big with the 2.5" coil overs (meaning 3.0" springs), we needed all the room we could get. I had ordered some 12" Ruff Stuff shock towers (pn #STOWER12) and Currie shock mounts (pn# CE-7100SML & CE-7100SMR). Once everything is cycled and happy we will be running a support bar between the shock towers front and rear with removable tube couplers for added strength/support.





I ordered 14" Fox 2.5 shocks with remote reservoir's (pn# FOX-983-02-105) for all 4 corners. I really like the black anodizing on these, they look super sleek. Also, I am blown away by how large these shocks really are when you see them in person.







I most likely will be running the 37's for a while until I can budget for 40's. I was lucky that we had a spare 40" w/wheel laying around the shop to cycle with. This is most likely how wide it will sit, depending on what back spacing wheel I go with of course. So far I am very happy with how it is coming together, we are cutting no corners on this build.



We also knocked out the custom tie rod, we used 1 1/2" .120 wall chromoly and sleeved it with 1 1/4" .095 wall chromoly to make it extremely strong. I don't think I will ever be bending this one, but I will sure put it to the test.

We drilled and rosette welded the two tubes together, and finished it off by tig welding the Currie bungs in. We went with Right and Left hand bungs (pn# CE-9116B & CE-9115BL) so we will be able to make fine tune adjustments with ease. For heim's I went with, FK rod ends (pn# FK JMX14T & FK JMXL14T [left hand]).







The tie rod will be raised much higher with some 1"x120" tube spacers for the heim's (since the steering uses 3/4" bolts), we are shooting for in line with the axle tubes.

Thats all I've got for tonight, we have the McKenzie's 250 race out in Lucerne Valley this weekend. So the Jeep has been somewhat on the back burner. Anyways have a good night everyone, I will have another update very soon!

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post #12 of 34 Old 05-25-2017, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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Update #10

So...This isn't much of an update at all, but at least it's something right? We had to put the Jeep on hold due to no time to work on it with the Baja 500 in a week. The TJ is currently off the lift and sitting in the corner... but that's okay, patience is key and good things take time.





This is what has currently stolen all the attention, it's getting ready for her big trip down to Baja. In as little as a week, it will be dialed and ready to go.



More updates to come, we will be back to working on the TJ very soon. I can't wait!
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post #13 of 34 Old 05-26-2017, 10:17 AM
gst95dsm
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Very nice, those axles are just a thing of beauty.
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post #14 of 34 Old 05-26-2017, 12:43 PM
NYGLT56
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This build is sweet.

Props for driving your rig. Too many trailer'd rigs out there
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post #15 of 34 Old 05-26-2017, 06:09 PM
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This jeep has gone places!
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