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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
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2004 Jeep Wrangler [TJ]
Build Thread & Ownership Log​

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Summary:

All-Around Utility and Reliability
My Jeep isn't great at anything in particular, but is mediocre at many things.

It has poor road compliance due to the solid axles front & rear.
There is plenty of NVH.
It has poor fuel economy.

However, there are some redeeming points.
It's decent offroad.
Winter driving is fun! (RWD + 5-speed + snow = oversteer)
I have been able to fit anything I want in the cargo area.
It can pull a small trailer, and has pulled many cars via tow straps.

I've even pushed parts cars/project cars around with my front bumper. How many vehicles can do that without damage?

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Modifications:

Exterior:
  • Rubicon Express 2" Budget Boost Suspension Lift
  • Skyjacker Hydro 7000 Dampers
  • Pro Comp ES2000 Steering Stabilizer
  • JKS 1.25" Body Lift
  • M.O.R.E. 1" Bombproof Motor Mount Lift
  • JKS Quick Swaybar Disconnects
  • Nate's 4x4 Model 1 Front Bumper
  • Nate's 4x4 Rear Bumper w/ Tire Carrier
  • Rokmen Rear Frame Tie-ins
  • Five Cooper Discoverer A/T³ Tires (265/75R15) (30.6x10.43x15)
  • Dealer and TJ Badging Removed
  • Safari Mirrors (Powdercoated)
  • IPF H4 Conversion Lenses
  • IPF X51 Fatboy Bulbs
  • SUVLIGHTS.COM HD H4 Harness
  • Hella Rallye 1000 Driving Lights (Wired to OEM switch w/ 12ga harness)
  • Colormatched Half Doors w/ Soft Uppers
  • Custom Rear License Plate Mounting
  • Mopar Trailer Wiring Harness
  • Hella 500 Fog Lights (100w Yellowstar Bulbs and 12ga Harness)
  • Colormatched (Solar Yellow) Shackles, Roll bars
  • Removed Running Boards

Interior:
  • Custom Rear Cargo Shelf / Locking Trunk
  • Removed Rear Seats & Belts
  • Husky Liners Floor Mats (Front and Tear)
  • Bestop Door Guards
  • Removed Visor Stickers, Dash Buzzer, and Shift Light
  • Removed Factory Rollbar Padding, Aftermarket Padding Installed.
  • Drilled and Tapped 8-Ball Shift Knob
  • Quadratec Domelight Switch
  • Quadratec Grab Handles
  • LED Interior Lighting
  • Wheelskins Leather Steering Wheel Cover
  • 2lb ABC Fire Extinguisher
  • Custom Switch Panel (10x Mini Switches)
  • A/C Compressor Disable Switch

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Specs at time of purchase (May 9th 2007):
  • 4.0L Inline 6 with 5-Speed Transmission (NV3550)
  • Dana 30 & Dana 35 Axles (3.73 Ratio)
  • Solar Yellow Paint
  • Sport Package
  • Dual Top Package (Hardtop & Sailcloth Softtop)
  • 7 Speaker Premium Audio
  • Air Conditioning
  • 76K Kilometers. (47K Miles)

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The Backstory:
(From original post in September 2008)

From a young age, i've wanted to go off the beaten path.
Somewhere along the way, I was captured by the styling and simplicity of the Jeep Wrangler, and right then I knew i'd eventually have one.

Over two years ago (2006), I started the hunt for my jeep.
I had some stringent criteria: I wanted a yellow TJ, with the four liter straight six and five speed manual transmission.

After some research i started looking specifically for a TJ with a Dana 44 rear end and 3.73 gearing.
Due to the lack of selection around here when it comes to jeeps, I had to settle for the Dana 35 rear axle.
All my other criteria were met.

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I've always been driven to modify and improve, and this naturally extends to vehicles. Pretty much right after I got the jeep, I placed an order with quadratec for a bunch of small (mostly interior) parts.

Somewhere in there, I made a thread asking how to take the (very stuck) doors off :)laugh:) and went for my first drive doorless. Shortly after that, I finally got the hardtop off, and the soft top down. :thumbsup:

I also bought some flat end caps from the dealer, and did some flexing (for pictures) after disconnecting the swaybar.

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
...Continued

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The jeep stayed basically stock for more then an entire year, while I gathered parts up in the basement. I waited until next spring to start the install.

In the meantime I did some free/cheap modifications like rollbar padding removal, and spare tire removal in preparation for a new rear bumper (Pictures: April 17/08)

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Finally starting with some more extensive modifications
May 15/08
1.25" JKS Body lift












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May 16/08
M.O.R.E. 1" Bombproof Motor Mount Lift






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May 28th and 29th 2008
Got some mild trail wheeling in, and took some more suspension flexing pictures.







 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Camping

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Aftermarket Bumpers, Half Doors, 31" Tires, Hella Lighting

Now comes the fun part.

In the space of about a week after my final highschool exams, myself and some friends went crazy on the jeep. We had a camping trip coming up, and were attempting to get everything done beforehand!

I ran out of time, so I had all the painting done at a shop.

  • Four 31"x10.50 Cooper ATR Tires (Stock GSAs were BALD and I needed tires before camping)
  • Nate's 4x4 Front and Rear Bumpers
  • Hella 500 and Hella 1000 Lighting w/ custom 12ga harnesses and switching
  • Colormatched Half Doors, Rollbars, and Shackles

It turned out that my friend's boat had broken down, so we ended up wheeling every day for an entire week instead!

We didn't stop often to take pictures or video outside of the jeep, there were bugs everywhere!
However I do have some great footage on my YouTube account.

www.Youtube.com/PaniciJeep

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
...Camping Continued

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On the very last day before we were set to go home, we got stuck.
My first time getting stuck!

I took a line too far to the left, where the trail had washed out.

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We were wheeling alone, but were taking it pretty easy (being hundreds of miles from home).
Luckily a friend-of-a-friend came and gave us a tug with an ATV. It was just enough to free the Jeep.









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Back at camp, we stripped most of the interior out and hosed it off.
We got home uneventfully, and I washed out at least a few pounds of mud from under the jeep. ;)

During August, I mostly just drove around top and doors off.

The rear driveshaft harmonic balance failed and separated around this time. I pulled the rear shaft and drove around in front wheel drive.

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Suspension Lift

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Over a few days at the end of august, a friend and myself completed a 2" Rubicon Express Budget Boost, and then got some more suspension flexing photos in september.

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Towards the end of september, I got some maintenance done, as well as a few misc mods.





















 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
August '08

In August 2008, I took the windshield down, and spent a few days enjoying the weather.

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I've had five 33x12.50 Cooper STTs waiting in the tire shop for almost 8 weeks now, waiting on my backordered Eagle Alloy 187s to arrive.

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
33" Tires and Reverse Light

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Made a Custom 3rd Brake light (14 red LEDs) / 55w reverse light / worklight (Oct 28/08)

It's wired with a 3-position switch in my 10-mini switch panel. I can turn the 55w light on manually, or have it come on automatically with the reverse lights. I can also completely disable the 55w bulb.







3rd brakelight (14 red LEDs)


Reverse light


Work light/Tailgater defence ;)


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Summer 2009.

Set of Five 33x12.50 Cooper STT Mud Tires
Tire shop initially mounted the tires backwards. Realized when we got them home, and shop switched them for free.

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Very nice build sheet so far. Looks like you have planned your mods well. Its clean.

Pick up the wave length of Yellow in a little physics class?
 

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I'm staying in VA beach right now. Lots of jeeps down here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
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February 2011 Update
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  • Rear foglight/3rd brake light bracket broke off. I saved the light but haven't fixed it yet.
  • Hella Rallye 1000 covers snapped off over the winter. One of the Hella 500 covers broke. Running without any covers for now.
  • Picked up a stone chip in one of the Hella 1000's.
  • Throttle Position Sensor has been failing for about a year now. Misfires almost once per drive. Need to replace the sensor.
  • Bumper Swingarm hinge is loose. Metal bracket is actually deforming.
  • Hi-Beams don't work. I suspect my aftermarket H4 harness is failing.
  • Heard what I thought was a front u-joint failing, but then gave it a wash to get the salt out and haven't heard the "birds chirping" sound since.
  • Just hit 100,000Km recently.

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And how about a few pictures with all this news!

Pulling Carpool II, a hottub on wheels that my team created.
http://www.mecvt.ca






 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
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August 2011 Thread Update

I have become involved with motorcycles, and now have a Yamaha R6 sportbike (which is becoming a trackbike.)

I almost sold the jeep (had it listed for sale), but decided to keep it. I'll need something to tow my bike to the race track.

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Edit for pictures of R6. Also Jeep on tow duty















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I did sell my set of 33" tires and Eagle Alloy 187s.
Used the cash to buy nice helmets for my dad and sister who also ride.

 

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Nice looking jeep man! Kinda like mine, dont sell it!
 
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