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2002 Bella Blue, WJ Build

52529 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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While on my back switching oxygen sensors, I noticed my ground strap was damaged. Broken. Dangling. This strap is actually a twin strap with one lead to the exhaust pipe and the other to the pipe hanger mount on the transmission. I have not been under here looking around for a while but I know it was all intact the last time I dropped the exhaust myself. But that was years ago.
Hood Automotive tire Motor vehicle Bumper Automotive exterior

Gas Bumper Automotive exterior Electrical wiring Cable

I recently sent Bella to the shop for warranty service on a leaking rear main seal for the Jasper engine they put in. So that is twice they dropped the exhaust... It seems they were not careful with the strap.

So I went to the auto parts store and got two ground straps off the shelf. Trimmed to length and crimped on a new ring terminal. Soldered the end to try to prevent fraying. Good enough.
Hood Automotive lighting Automotive tire Automotive exterior Fender

Sensitive content, not recommended for those under 18
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Shoe Leg Human body Automotive tire Wood
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Lol @ censored content! That dirty exhaust pipe.
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Lol @ censored content! That dirty exhaust pipe.
That's so filthy. I can't believe you shared it on a public forum. Also, it has now been added to my regular rotation. So. Thanks for that. :sneaky:;)
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That was so disgusting I almost put you on the ignore list........ ;)
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Looks good! I am pretty sure that ground strap is probably broken on ever single WJ out there...
Looks good! I am pretty sure that ground strap is probably broken on ever single WJ out there...
I figure the engineers put it there for a reason and who am I to argue
Technically it's called a radio noise suppression ground strap.
Technically I'm an engineer and it makes no difference for my radio lmao.
Didn't change how mine sounded either, but the Jeep engineers must have wanted it there for a reason. That's why I replaced mine when I found it broken.

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Didn't change how mine sounded either, but the Jeep engineers must have wanted it there for a reason. That's why I replaced mine when I found it broken.

True, certainly can't hurt.
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