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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Back story.......My wifes mother has owned this jeep since my wife and I started dating (been married ten years now) and every time I see it I ask her if she's gonna sell it to me. Well we moved away down to Florida and had a home built after I was medically retired from the military. Took forever to get the home built, lived in a hotel with the wife and kids for about a year. Well we are all moved in and as a house warming present my mother-in-law gave me the jeep! That's right, FREE-NINETY-NINE. Solid body, little to no rust, spare parts (nothing extravagant).

I have been researching the forums off and on for a while but since I didn't own a jeep I didn't join. Just silently stalking everyone's post and reading up on my imaginary jeep. I know the direction I want to go with it. Beach cruiser, camping buggy, occasional back and forth to work, and put it in some mud every once in a while. Going to swap the rear axel out for an exploder 8.8 and re-gear both for 4.56. Needs a new top. Want to throw a lift on, undecided on what size just yet so any input is welcome. With a lift comes bigger tires. Get the inside cleaned and lined. Bunch of other funsies to go along with it as I work everything out.

In any case, here is my problem. I've got the smaller 2.5 under the hood. Should I shoot for an engine swap or leave it be? I've seen the posts with turbo's and rather just swap it. I am pretty mechanically sound (aircraft mechanic for the last 13 years) and have always done all my own mechanic work (nothing crazy, this would be my first engine swap). I see a lot of positives for doing the swap but at the same time if I don't need to then I have more money and time for other projects on the jeep.

Figured I would start my build thread here with a question and some pictures of how she sits now.
 

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I would run it as it is. But be sure ALL fluids are good and general maintenance of look over for a jeep that is over 20 y. Unless you need to make it more able off road i would keep it as stock and use it. 4 banger going bigger tires will kill its power.

turbo a old 4 banger that was never designed nor i bet to easy to tune to a turbo. More air no matter how it is blown means more fuel or it would go lean and EGT will melt it down. what could go wrong and for what real gain say under 1200 rpms? Jeeps need low end torque, lower then turbos even fast spool tend to do much so you end up spooling. jeep wants lug power...

straight six next step if swap or just go V8. But if it runs good may have a decade left in it why mess with perfection and reliability of a simple 4 banger? My first jeep was a 47 with a flat head 4 that made half the power of your 4 banger. That thing stock ran the Rubicon back in the 70s. was rough but at just over 2k pounds it was nimble...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thanks Doc, I was leaning towards that and maybe approaching a swap later down the road. Jeep runs real solid and had the maintenance kept up on it (also ran through everything myself). I did manage to get a little done on it today. Figured I would start my yanking the seats out and get everything cleaned up and ready for liner. All I managed today was to get the seats out, which are trashed. Seems there is some rust and it was all over the mounts, still need to cut one out but didn't have time to go grab blades. So I will be ordering all of that tomorrow, maybe look into some new seats while I am at it. Quick pictures, nothing exciting, but everyone loves pictures......
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Little bit of progress today getting the interior of the TJ ready for Raptor Lining. It's a slow build, have to tackle it when I have time.

Finished removing all of the interior hardware today. Seatbelts are trashed, but have new ones. The back seat seatbelt bolt was rough, severely rusted. Nothing chopping the head off and breaking out the EZ out kit couldn't handle. Maybe said a few more choice words than I should have. Cleaned a chunk of the 20 years of crap out of the floor, still needs a lot more cleaning before I am ready to move on to the POR-15 kit but definitely looks better than before. My oldest jumped it and helped me tackle the rear seat bracket (since that's where he will be sitting).

Hit Ebay up and scored some seat brackets for the front. Going to need to jump on and find all the hardware I need to replace for everything, figured it it was out, the hardware upgrade was a must. Probably do that this week if I can find a breakdown of the hardware, sure it can't be that difficult. Also start trying to find a donor jeep for seats. The ones a yanked out are pretty bad (foam is bad, seats are ripped up, and I had to kill several things that came out of them). Few pictures of us tackling it today.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Quick update.

Wife decided to use as one of the flare extensions as a foot rest and needless to say it crumbled under her foot. Was going to leave them alone for a later swap out but the wife had other plans. I yanked off the old ones so the TJ looks a little naked. Ordered new ones and they got delivered yesterday. Throwing them on after I finish the interior.

Took a good luck at the soft top frame. It's trashed. Had some damage that had the potential to ruin the next soft top so ripped it off as well. Purchased a new frame, should arrive Friday.

Finished ruffing out the interior of the jeep for Raptor Liner. Tossed a POR15 kit on the interior. Just need to rough out the POR15 so the Raptor Liner will adhere to it. Looking to spray it this upcoming weekend. Still need to finish the tail gate so I can spray it, worked on it after I took these pictures so it's just about ready. Hoping the next pictures I post are of a completely sprayed tub!

Shifter Boot Bezel was toast too, so ordered another one of those and figured Id get a new boot while I was at it. Also got hardwired USB to swap the cigarette lighter with.

Cut off the roll bar covers because they looked like crap and all the zippers were corroded to the point I couldn't unzip them. Need to order more of those along with some foam. List keeps getting bigger and im having a blast!
 

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Looking good! Are you using the tintable Raptor Liner or sticking with black? I just sprayed the interior and exterior of my 94 all black in it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Looking good! Are you using the tintable Raptor Liner or sticking with black? I just sprayed the interior and exterior of my 94 all black in it.
Thanks! Went with the black, I like the black on red look and I'm sure I would screw the tintable stuff up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sorry for the turned picture, no idea why some do that and other don't. If anyone knows a fix for that let me know.

Raptor Liner is in and it looks amazing. It's a ton of prep work but I am really like the finished product. Took me a few goes to get my spray pattern right but once I had that figured out it was pretty easy sailing. Going to let it sit for a while to cure then throw the seats back in. On to the next mod.......
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Had some family come visit and was waiting on some hardware to come in so not a whole lot of an update. I did take out the useless cigarette lighter and throw in a dual USB fast charging port. Rewired everything and ran it up. Got to say, it's a small change but it looks a ton better. A few before and after pictures. Says it's waterproof, I'll test that out later........

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