grogie· I Like to Camp
At the time of this posting, my Jeep is now 10 years old so I thought I'd create a build thread as its evolved a lot (and slowly) over the years. Right now I think it's what I want for the next 10 years. After that, the Jeep will probably go to 35" tires and become a towed Jeep. But we'll see?Current List of Modifications:
- Metalcloak duroflex aluminum control arms
- OME HD springs (with front 3/4" spacer)
- Front and Rear Detroit TrueTracs
- Currie AntiRock
- JKS track bars
- JB Conversion Super Short SYE, Spicer CV rear driveshaft with rear Dana 44
- Bilstein 5100 shocks
- BDS steering stabilizer
- Drop-Kick Slyders (Linex coated), Bad Apple diff guards, oil pan skid, Rusty's radiator skid
- Savvy aluminum front bumper (painted)
- WARN M8000 with controller under the hood, wireless remote, Vicking synthetic winch line, and MaxTrax
- Derale 20561 transmission cooler
- AtoZ rear bumper with built in tow receiver
- Prodigy P2 brake controller with Mopar 7-way wiring harness
- Savvy Black Magic brakes
- Rubicon model flares (1" wider than stock, and painted)
- Custom built expedition trailer with a Tepui roof top tent
- 285/75 (33") MT/Rs (previously 32")
- 16x8" Mickey Thompson Classic IIIs (previously 15x8" Eagle alloy wheels)
- KC headlights, KC foglights, and an AEV rear third brake light.
- Crown OPDA
- Rear Tembo Tusk slide on a false floor
- 42SS Snomaster fridge/freezer
- National Luna Split Charge System for dual battery charging and monitoring.
- Two Odyssey Xtreme AGM Batteries
- Sucking gas bumper sticker.
Well buying it new, I first had to get the Jeep paid off before I could justify to the better half on spending more money on it to for one lift it. First of all, I like the look of a stock Jeep and from the beginning I had the idea to build a Jeep that I could comfortably and safety drive 70 mph across multiple states, camp, drive some awesome Jeep trails, and then drive it back home. I was also aware of trailers that guys were either buying or building and towing behind their 4x4s, which I also had that idea in my head such as a small, lightweight popup for camping. But I knew that I had to first get the Jeep setup to pull a trailer...
I grew up out west and did a lot of camping. As a teenager, campsites usually consisted of finding a hunter's campsite along an old log road. My dad use to carry a chainsaw to clear fallen trees if needed, so our campsites were remote. Later I use to borrow a girlfriend's dad's lifted Jeep CJ for camping, which was a beast to drive. It was tipsy and had bad brakes, but I loved driving it to find out where Jeep trails went? That lead to me test drive a new Wrangler YJ. I knew I wanted to own a Wrangler someday.
Fast forward, it was finally time to buy my own new Jeep. After I got my wife boozed up over dinner and took her for a test drive of a 2005 TJ, I immediately wrote a $500 check to order my 2006 TJ Sport. Well the Jeep arrived home ten years ago this month on Nov. 11th, 2005 and it's been a love affair with what my wife calls the redheaded mistress :kiss:.
Options at the time included a rear Dana 44 and with the rare option having ABS. I drove it straight from the dealer to a tire shop and traded in the stock tires for a nicer set of A/T Revos. The next morning:
Right away I decided that I was going to drive it to Colorado the following summer so I ordered and installed an oil pan and transmission skid plate. (Okay, it's not exactly heavy duty, but its worked as right away with a stock Jeep, it was getting rubbed on.)
I also installed Mopar's iPod Kit. This was before about anyone else had iPod integration, so this was pretty cool to have! I had a thread here on JF about it which at the time had a lot of views. (2019 Update: Added the Wi-Mi Wireless Bluetooth Car Adaptor that my iPhone connects to.)
On my way to Colorado for that first trip, I stopped at a family owned auto-body shop and installed a set of Rubicon rocker panels for some rocker protection.
On that trip for one I drove it to the top of Imogene Pass. I was rather impressed with where a stock Jeep could drive to. It was this trail that was the first time that I had to use the four-wheel low to climb a step section at 11k feet elevation.
Following that trip, I had to have the stock radiator replaced as it must have received damage as the bottom was fairly out in the open, so I added a Rusty's radiator skid plate to protect it. Since then, no more radiator problems.
Next and thanks to a Christmas present, I installed a hard top lift in my garage and the following summer was the first time the top came off. This was a memorable day being that a Jeep's top just has to eventually come off! Also at this time, I had removed the stock flares and replaced them with Rubicon flares. I also had these flares painted black and clear coated by the family shop (which I like the look of!).
My next purchase were Drop Kick Slyders by Detours, that bolt onto the Jeep's frame. They came powder coated, so I sprayed them with a bedliner and then additional coat of black paint. Originally I saw these advertised to go along with the stock Rubicon rocker panels.
Fast forward a few more years. The Jeep was just a year away from being paid off. So while attending a 4x4 jamboree I bought new polished aluminum alloy wheels for an eventual lift and new tires. These are made in the USA built wheels by American Eagle. They're like moving mirrors, and can be kept polished or they still shine when dirty. Since then I have minimally kept them polished, and they may get replaced when I need new tires again?