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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I never started a build thread when I got my jeep and began to mod it. I want to keep track of it just to remember. And also so people can check it out if they're interested.

So my name is Sam. I got this 2004 TJ Sport in 2008. I got it bone stock from my older sister who wanted a gas saver with about 63,000 miles on it. It has the 4.0L I6, 42RLE Auto transmission, NP231 t-case, Rear D44 with disc brakes and a D30 front.

First thing I got for the jeep was Mirrors for taking the doors off. I wheeled it alot in some nearby hills while it was stock before doing much to it. I did a few things for looks, and some lights. Front headlight guards, rear headlight guards three KCs on the front bumper. And I got some rock rails for my B-day in 08. And I also purchased some 30x9.5x15 BFG All-Terrains.

The closest pics I have of it to stock:




I wasn't easy on the jeep at all. I wheeled it hard and often. I got it stuck in the hills mudding one night and had my dad come try to pull it out and couldn't get it. We left it there over 2 nights of solid rain. On christmas day 08 it stopped raining and we went back and were able to pull it out.

Pics after pulling it out:




I went down a pretty steep hill and bent my exhaust:


Then some other small mods around winter of 2008; I got a K&N intake (which I know is no good, it's gone now don't worry) and a cheap hood scoop. Also a new Alpine deck and all new speakers.

Next was the first stage of lift and tires
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I got a Skyjacker 2.5" lift kit for Christmas 2008. I picked up on some wheels for cheap from a friend. They were American Racing Baja's 15x10.

Obviously I was still pretty noob at this point, but I still wasn't about to pay for a shop to install my lift for me. I found somebody who could help and we got it done in one day. From 9am-1am with some breaks but we got it done.

All the kit was was coils, shocks, bumpstop extenstions and rear track bar bracket.



After it was done:


Then I got some 32x11.5x15 BFG KM2s for it:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I took it wheelin at Carnegie and I was still noob and thought the jeep was invincible. :rolleyes: I bogged the jeep all day until I hydrolocked it. Luckily it started back up and I still made it home. But once I got it there it died




Got a new battery for it which fixed it temporally, but voltage kept getting lower and turned out the alternator needed to be replaced also.

I got a few more things, A Hi-Lift and mounts for the hood. And also a Smittybilt Rock Crusher rear bumper with d-rings and a tire swing. Also a tire swing mounted gas can mount made by Rock Hard. And also a Uniden CB Radio.





I took it wheelin in some hills and found some rocks that were way too big for the jeep at the time and bent my tie rod. I was able to Hi-Lift out and bend the tie rod back enough to drive with the stock bottle jack.

Went to Hollister for the first time after that:


 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Next I wanted more lift. I still didn't really know what I was doing and wanted to do everything cheap, but oh well you gotta start somewhere. I didn't really research much and this is where I regret some things in the build because I did it all too many times and with cheap stuff. To achieve the additional lift that I wanted, I decided to add a 1.5" spacer to the 2.5" suspenion lift. I didn't take driveline or anything like that into account cause I didn't know better. I threw it on without extending sway bars or adding a t-case drop.




I got into some trouble and got stuck on the edge of a cliff


I ended up breaking the stock sway bar links and got some quick discos by Full-Traction.

I wheeled Blue Lakes/Deer Valley for the first time around this time. It was about September of 2009 at this point.



I ended up adding a t-case drop and some other random things like an auto transmission cooler. and I moved the lights to the windshield in anticipation for a winch. And tons of other little things
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sometime before I added the spacers, I re-geared to 4.10.

Not too long after adding the spacers, I hit a wall and bent a lower control arm/mount. I replaced it with RE fixed lowers and upgraded the coils to full 4" coils, and longer shocks also. I upgraded the tires from 32's to 33x12.5x15 KM2s.

Some of the next mods were, custom flat black paint for the doors, RE rear extended sway bar links, a Bank's exhaust, and Warrior rear diamond plate corners. I had some custom 'TJ Life' decals made and received an Olympic Slider front bumper for christmas 2009.







Of course wheelin in between all the mods. A friend of mine with a Hummer came on a Hollister trip and sunk deep in some mud. I ended up breaking a u-joint trying to pull him out :thumbdown:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
After that U-joint broke, I replaced it, but my driveshaft had already been tweaked, so I kept breaking u-joints. So I put in a Crown SYE and a Tom Wood CV shaft and ditched the t-case drop




I got Rough Country adjustable rear uppers to adjust pinion angle along with a Rough Country adjustable rear track bar and JKS angled track bar bracket. Next I got a pair of RE lower adjustable flex control arms for the front and moved the fixed ones to the back. I also got the Olympic Mountaineer rack and also added a Kilby steering box skid and a front differential guard.


 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Then on a trip down to Hollister I ended up breaking off the rear track bar/upper control arm mount on the rear axle.



To fix the broken mount, I upgraded with a Rock Krawler 4-link system, along with another pair of RE adjustable lower control arms with flex joints for the rear. I ditched all the Rough Country stuff. I also chopped the exhaust to turn down after the muffler to ensure no rubbing.




 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Locker time is right! I ordered an OX Locker for my rear D44.

It took forever to get it shipped in cause it was on backorder. So my jeep sat in my garage for 4 months waiting for the locker!

Once I finally got it, I pulled the axle and took it to a gear guy to properly set the backlash and all that good stuff.









 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Then I got some new rear shocks, Bilstein 5100's and took it out to Hollister for the day.

Then I had a problem, the new shocks, since they mounted with the can up, on the passenger side the shock was hitting the gas tank. The shock ended up coming loose and I lost the bolts. :( So I decided to take it easy and wheel lightly the rest of the day without a shock.

Which resulted in popping a coil. Luckily I was able to get the coil back in on the last click of my Hi-Lift jack and drive it home. :2thumbsup:









Here you can see the no shock:



Annnnnnd the carnage:



 

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Then I got some new rear shocks, Bilstein 5100's and took it out to Hollister for the day.

Then I had a problem, the new shocks, since they mounted with the can up, on the passenger side the shock was hitting the gas tank. The shock ended up coming loose and I lost the bolts. :( So I decided to take it easy and wheel lightly the rest of the day without a shock.

Which resulted in popping a coil. Luckily I was able to get the coil back in on the last click of my Hi-Lift jack and drive it home. :2thumbsup:









Here you can see the no shock:



Annnnnnd the carnage:



oh wow
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Next I went down to Frank Raines. We ended up getting stuck and had only planned to be there for the day.
We tried to dig it out until it got dark, then we walked down to the campground to find a place to sleep. We met some people who let us stay in their RV! And they next day we were able to pull it out with some guy's 2WD buggy.

After that I decided it was time for a winch, so I ordered one as soon as I got home.









Stuck:









Winch:





 
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