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2002 Bella Blue, WJ Build

52591 Views 269 Replies 36 Participants Last post by  snobrdrkid07
2002 Bella Blue, WJ Build

It seems like build threads are a thing here, so here's mine. Meet Bella.

>>Factory Build Info

Table of Contents:


  1. 2.5" Lift: OME HD Springs & Bilstein 5100 Shocks
  2. Addco 684 Rear Sway Bar
  3. Factory 2004 WJ 30mm Solid Front Sway Bar (no pics)
  4. Core 4x4 Adjustable CAs (stock length)
  5. Ironman 4x4 UCA
  6. Kevin's Offroad Track Bar Bushings
  7. Rubicon Express Front Swaybar Disconnects
  1. Stereo Upgrade 2006: Fosgate Power & Infinity Perfect
  2. Stereo Upgrade 2020: DDIN Kenwood and Backup Camera
  3. Dual Battery and Trailer Charging Port
  4. 2awg Battery and Ground Cable Upgrade
  5. Auxiliary Lighting
  6. Mechman Alternator and 0awg Cable Upgrade
Other & Extras
  1. EBC Brakes (good!) & Synergy Spacers (removed)
  2. Whip Flags: Firestik mounts, Tusk holders
  3. 3M Undercoating
  4. Wolf Vinyl Decal (fight me!)

  1. Rear Upper Control Arm
  2. Rear Lower Control Arm (video)
  3. Front Control Arm Replacement
  4. Ball Joint Replacement
  5. Detroit Axle Control Arm Review

  1. Fuel Injector Connectors
  2. Left Valve Cover Gasket
  3. Right Valve Cover Gasket
  4. Water Pump Replacement
  5. Valve Stem Seals & Lifters
  6. Spark Plug Replacement (video)

Other Stuff
  1. Driver Door Wire Repair
  2. Rear Axle Bearing Replacement
  3. Headliner Repair? -- FAIL
  4. Hood Emblem Replacement

I have had her since July 2002, new to me and the only new vehicle I have ever owned.

Aside from the typical routine maintenance (fluids, filters, tires, shocks, brakes, ...), some of the things I have had to fix over the years. Note: at first I had all of my service done at the dealer or quick lube shops, but after a few bad things happened I started doing it all myself. Well mostly myself. Some jobs I still take to a shop if I feel like it's over my head or I just want somebody else to do it instead.
  • Rear axle "failure" and rebuild at 30k. Dealer stated the diff was empty. Odd, since they did all the service for me.
  • Rear axle "failure" and rebuild at 65k. AGAIN!!
  • Right rear TPM sensor replacement. Jiffy Lube smashed the valve stem for me.
  • Passenger side wiper arm replacement. Jiffy Lube strikes again.
  • Power steering hose, I think this was a factory recall?
  • Evap cannister hose leak. Was throwing a trouble code.
  • O2 sensor replacement. Threw a code so I was going to replace them all until I saw how expensive they are, so just did the one.
  • Climate control panel replacement. The A/C would not blow cold air and really had me stumped. Replaced the panel out of desperation and it worked.
  • EVIC overhead module replacement. Display just died. Got one without TPMS capability because I was running BFG E range tires that would constantly trigger high pressure alarms on the highway.
  • Parking brake cable replacement, TWICE. What is this about?
  • Window regulators on front driver & passenger doors
  • Hood, liftgate, & liftglass struts several times
  • Driver door panel replacement due to cracks in the arm rest. Done this twice too and need to do it again.
  • Passenger side power mirror, I suspect a parking lot incident.
  • Thermostat leak, replaced
  • Water pump leak, replaced
  • Radiator leak, replaced (& hoses)
  • Starter motor replacement, solenoid was dying and threatened to strand me.
  • Engine rear main seal replacement
  • Rear axle seals, bearings, pinion seal

Current list of things that need to be fixed:
  • Peeling headliner (failed 09/05/2020)
  • Driver door panel (arm rest)
  • Driver heated seat
  • Heated seat switches, some lights don't work (but the switch does!)
  • Clunks and creaks in the rear end (completed 11/01/2019)
  • Oil seep from valve covers (completed 03/26/2018)
Obviously I am in no hurry to fix these things ...

Here we are exploring the Lost Coast some years ago. We found a remote deserted beach with a fire ring and stopped for lunch.

Follow along with my adventures with Bella on my dedicated thread:
Gman's Adventures with Bella Blue
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Very nice! I have to do this to mine. All but one of the 8 are broke on mine. By reading your thread makes me realize it was easier than I thought.


EV6 White Female Type A Fuel Injector Electrical Connectors (8 + 2)
A while back, I noticed the valve cover gaskets were seeping oil onto the exhaust manifold. Not really an ideal situation, and I hate oil leaks. So I went to the local O'reillys and picked up a gasket kit. Read up on the procedure in the FSM ... oh lovely, I have to move the electrical harness, which means disconnecting all the fuel injectors and ignition coils. Here is what one looked like after 175k miles, and before being touched by me:

Per the service manual, pull back on the red tab to unlock the safety, then push on the black tab to disengage from the injector. Attempting this, the red tab immediately broke into pieces, and the black tab snapped off.

I decided these connectors will need to be replaced, probably all of them, so I ordered a set of 8 (+2 extra) from Jim at The WJ uses the EV6 type. After speaking with Jim on the phone (which he answered on the first try, sweet), he told me he had a set of white face connectors with red locking tabs (not shown on the website), very similar to the factory style ... but NOT identical. He assured me any type of EV6 connector would work, but would probably have to replace the terminals.

The replacements arrived and I took a run at replacing the broken connector last weekend. Comparing the new to the factory terminal:

To remove the old connector, carefully pop the orange face off with a screwdriver:

Remove the rubber seal from the back side of the connector (the black plastic part just popped/broke right out/off to reveal the seal):

There are a pair of black locking tabs inside the connector that hold the terminals in place. Poke a probe in there to disengage the tab and remove the terminals:

Sadly, the gold terminals did NOT fit inside the new connectors. This means replacing the terminals. Here is what Jim sent me: a pair of terminals and seals for each connector:

Installing the new terminals means cutting off the factory terminals. I found there was enough slack in the harness to get this done.

And the finished product:

After reassembling, I am happy to report that the procedure was a complete success! She still purrs like a kitten. Rock. Now to replace the other 7. Then I can replace the valve cover gasket.
I thought about it....for a
I wonder if it's as easy for the other clips throughout the harness.....

Most of mine are broke too. I really wanted to rebuild the entire harness while I had my engine out, but time and money...
I ordered mine off Amazon Prime. It was Mopar and cheap too, I think about $17-20 and I got it quickly.

Glad my post was helpful to you! Yesterday the weather cleared so I got to work on the right bank electrical. But I got a late start and only managed to replace 3/4. There just isn't much room to work in there and the harness is very difficult to move around.

O'Reilly really let me down yesterday. I had to remove the PCV breather hose to find enough room to get at the fuel injectors. The hose split due to age when I tried to reinstall, so needed replacement. Seems O'Reilly does not carry PCV hose in bulk and only has a few specialty pieces. What kind of auto parts store does not stock hoses?
Looking good bud!! I'm liking that blue! Take an overhead pic when you get her finished!
If I woulda thought about it when I did my covers, I would have replaced the exhaust manifold while I had everything out of the way. Makes it 10x easier. In most cases, the passenger side usually isn't the problem, but my Jeep seems to be anything but "normal"
The drivers' side is the one that's notorious for loosing up and snapping bolts. I have to do mine.
But as they say, hindsight is 20/20
How much better does she drive now with new CA's? I absolutely can't wait to get mine replaced! Runs SO loose right now!!
Nice detailed write-ups though! Nice job!
Hey G, it's been awhile! I see all is good with Bella!
I got 2 things for Mopar still sells the liner for the doors. Few Factory dealer sites have them, Kolak can probably get them to.
Second, the rea swaybar.....perfect alignment of that thing is to have both ends where it connects to the links, that section of the bar should be as close to 90degrees as you can get it (tolerable variance is up to 30 degrees. What I did with mine was I use 1" spacers to mount the bar. I believe I got them from IRO. This will give more clearance for the bar and the diff cover. To change the angle of the bar you need to get longer end-links.
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