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Great White Buffalo slow build

5769 Views 40 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  SLAGdawg
Hello everyone, I got my first real jeep (had a WJ before) in the fall of 2012. It is a 97 TJ named the Great White Buffalo. The build will be slow because I'm in college, so money is a little tight.

This is how it looked when I bought it off the used car lot. The only differences from stock were a winch, mismatched mud tires, and a lined interior.

The first thing I did with the jeep before upgrading anything was take it on a trail ride at Hawk Pride Offroad in North Alabama with some guys from my local Jeepaholics Anonymous group.

The first mod I made was to start the GWB's growth spurt. This is a 2.5" spring and shock lift with a rear tracbar bracket.

Next up was a little rocker armor because I suffered a little love there at Hawk Pride. These aren't sliders, I plan on fabricating my own sliders.

I had to miss spring break this year so I got a little bored back at home and plastidipped my wheels just for a new look until I saved up enough money for bigger tires and wheels with better backspacing.

Found like new front and rear bumpers for good prices so I pulled the trigger on those. Around the same time I bought a Rancho steering stabilizer and installed it.

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Thanks Bob, I follow your build pretty regularly.
Thanks Bob, I follow your build pretty regularly.
And you thought your build was slow! Mine's ultra super slow, lol!
If you're going to 33's, you might want to consider 4.56's. Your automatic would be much happier with that ratio IMO.
Haha this is all I've done since I got it last fall and all my extra funds which don't get spent on "extracurriculars"

Yeah I know. The 3.07s are no fun with 31's, so I don't even want to think about them with 33's. I'm thinking of doing the 8.8 swap with 4.10's and pulling a front axle from a 4 banger with 4.11. From there I'll move up to 4.88 when I'm ready for 35's.
I got some PIAA 520's mounted up a couple weeks ago (I got one of them for $10), just now took a picture of them this weekend while I was doing a little posing while on a ride. I'm also including a few pictures from the trip. My only damage was a crushed fender flair.

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done anything with the jeep lately man?
mshows577 said:
done anything with the jeep lately man?
No I'm going back to school Saturday so I've been saving up for that. If I get a job in Starkville the next purchases will be MC arched fenders, axle swap kit for my 8.8, 35s, and some black soft 8 style wheels.
nice man. im almost done with mine. got a good internship over the summer and i been working on it non stop. ill be movin back to starkvagus today
mshows577 said:
nice man. im almost done with mine. got a good internship over the summer and i been working on it non stop. ill be movin back to starkvagus today
Aight man well pm me sometime next week and we'll meet up
So I was trying to organize and actually plan out my build. Feel free to comment and constructively criticize. The mods above the line I plan on doing in order. Below the line is just whenever funds allow. I'm sure there are plenty here who understand this.

MC Arched Fenders $599
35" Kumho's on Level 8 Tracker 15x8 $1400
Ford 8.8 w/ Artec truss $180 for axle and $330 for truss
Regear to 4.56 Approximately $1500
Currie steering or ZJ tie rod $480 or $86
EBC Yellow Stuff Brake Pads $150
Centric Premium Rotors $90
Chromoly D30 Shafts about $500
Aussie for the front $250
MC Duroflex Arms $700
MC Rear Fenders w/ corner armor $600
Sliders $400
OR-FAB Tire Carrier $675
OR-Fab Tube doors $320

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For 35s, I would be on the currie setup (and am)... skip the zj tr stage.

I have an aussie in my front 30 with superior outers and stock inners, 4.88s and all that. Broke an outer once which is why I have the superiors but this setup is pretty good on my 35s that gets wheeled hard and driven home.

I have heard great things about the vanco, yet have NEVER seen anyone run it. Personally, I think the yellow stuff works pretty well for a small fraction of the price.

The metal cloak rear tub armor (to me) looks unfinished with the arbitrary line they stop at (front of armor) and not got the door. I would recommend just about any of the 100 different companies that makes the armor that goes from door to tailgate.

Plan look good but when you total it, it hurts.

If you get a chance, come to Sicily to wheel one day. The club challenge is coming up in november and will probably be the largest gathering of built rigs around our parts. Link the park in below (not the best website), but it is great wheeling.
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The ZJ tie rod is just so much more cost effective.
Thanks, that's why I'm gonna go ahead and upgrade before I lock it.
I'll have to look into that.
Yeah I am not all the way sold on their corner armor, or their rear tubes for that matter. I haven't researched that area enough, so that's fairly tentative.
I know, especially with me being a college student.

I'd love to come to Sicily. I know one of the clubs I participate has been there before, but recently there have been lots of trips to Hawk Pride and Superlift. I'll see if anybody wants to head over for that in November.

Thanks for the input. I'm still fairly new to jeeps (this is first one and had it <1 year) and I'm trying to do it right the first time.
I've been having some death wobble and a metallic sound in my front end lately. Looked up under the front and found this.

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Yea...that might cause some drive issues. I would recommend you get that glued back up there. Build looks good thus far.
Talked to a few guys from my club and it will be getting taken care of this weekend more than likely.
Are you going to do aftermarket lca brackets? They aren't that expensive & much beefier than stock

Sent by a messenger bird
Here are a few pictures of the fix. We just patched the existing bracket and welded it back up. I am going to be going to BTF brackets when I figure out what I'm doing with the front axle.

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Hawk Pride is about 5 miles from me. Still haven't been, but now that I'm back in a Jeep, maybe I'll get the chance. Great looking TJ, love the white ones.
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