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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
For those of you stopping in for the first time , this is the jeep as it sits now (updated April 25, 2015)




Table Of Contents
Modification ................................................................ Starting at (click for link)
Steering box skid build ..................................................................... Post #5
Modifying rear axle spring perch to clear shock body.............................. Post #16
Step-by-step Aussie locker install into a D30 ........................................ Post #33
Painting the faded stock fender flares .................................................. Post #43
Craigslist find: DND rocker guards installed .......................................... Post #60
RE hand throttle install ..................................................................... Post #75
Currie Anti-rock install ..................................................................... Post #123
Rear crossmember bumper build ........................................................ Post #154
4" Flush mount LED tail lights ............................................................ Post #160
Solid differential cover (D30) ............................................................ Post #227
ZJ tie rod install ............................................................................. Post #281
Power steering pump & box replacement ............................................ Post #310
Savvy 1.25" BL and Body mount relocation .......................................... Post #391
Brown Dog 1" MML Install ................................................................. Post #410
Full Cage Build (Post 832 for finished pics) ....................................... .. Post #482
Savvy tailgate skin and Rokmen corners ............................................ Post #776
U-pol Raptor lining the tub ............................................................... Post #820
RCI 2161 Fuel Cell Mount/Install..........................................................Post #918
Rear Coil Bucket Relocation/ 2.5" coil swap...........................................Post #997
Custom Front UCAs with RuffStuff heims, Currie bumps, BDS 3" coils.........Post #1003

Fabrication Links
Front Bumper and Winch plate Build
Rear Crossmember Build
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
From the beginning

What I started with...
1997 Jeep Wrangler SE
2.5l 4 banger engine
5 speed and Np231
D30 front, D35 rear

Here is a few pics from the ad when i bought it. I picked it up in November 2008



I paid a little over $3000. PO always kept it in the garage and never took it off pavement so it was clean and spotless underneath, especially for a '97

I had already planned to start upgrading it the minute i got it home. Bumper end caps came off that day.
About a month later I had accumulated the parts i needed for the lift.
Fabtech performance series 4" lift with johnny joints on both ends of the lowers, 33x12.50 Pro comp MT's and black steelies, custom SS breaklines
I decided i didnt want a transfer case drop and decided to spring for an Advanced Adapters SYE and a Tom Woods custom CV shaft, I also got RC x-flex uppers to set the pinion angle properly.
I found a set of Custom4x4.com sliders for cheap and picked them up for rocker protection and steps. Took the grinder to my front bumper and chopped the ends and installed tow hooks.

Here is a pic after i finished installing the lift and a few other goodies


My jeep ran pretty good for a 4 banger on 33's but trying to get to the trails was a pain in the ***. I started looking at regear options.
I ended up having the front and rear re-geared to 4.88 by Mike @ Delmarva Offroad. This really helped out a lot with highway drivability. It's not fast but it's not my DD so slow doesnt bother me too much.
Here are a couple pics after i finished reinstalling the axles under the jeep. Also painted the drag link, tie rod and trackbar to match the diff covers and sway bar that i painted when i did the lift.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Okay so now i was really starting to get into the whole Jeep thing. I'v always loved wrenching on cars and trucks so i was always looking for something to do on my jeep.
Well, while searching for aftermarket bumpers i decided that i didnt like any of the options in my price range so what could i do.
I decided to buy a welder. it's been something i'v wanted to have for awhile and figured its probably going to be the most valuable tool to have when it comes to building my jeep. A few months ago I purchased a Hobart 187 MIG welder and also got a 60cf tank of shielding gas and solid wire from my LWS and i began practicing on any scraps I could get my hands on.

This led to my new front winch bumper :2thumbsup:


Built with an incorporated winch plate and fairlead mount for my new M8000.
The whole build of my front bumper can be found in the fab section here My Front Bumper/Winch Plate Build

This will be a slow but hopefully steady build so enjoy :thumbsup:
let me know if you have any questions or comments.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Thanks!

Today i started working on building my own steering box skid plate. I used cardboard as a template to come up with the angles and started cutting out pieces of 1/4" plate that i had left over from building my winch plate.






This is what i'v done so far. Its just tacked up. It's all i could do today since i ran outta cutting disks for my grinder :brickwall I'm gonna try and get some tomorrow and continue working on it.
 

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i made my own front bumper as well and i also need to built the skid plate for the steering box...how did you bolt it on from the side? and nice weld.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Thanks, I used the bottom of the 3 bolts that hold the steering box to the frame. When I was looking at other steering box skids to get an idea of how to build it i noticed most use that same bolt on the side, the bolt that goes through the bottom of the bumper, and then a third bolt that you drill into the crossmember.
I just added a tab to my front bumper and bolted it there too so i'd have 3 bolts securing it on. Seems pretty strong, I jacked the jeep up on the skid and i couldn't see any deflection.

Mike
 

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steering box looks awesome you should paint it red to match the red theme, i did mine like a brush aluminum color makes it sorta stand out then just black.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Yea it started out with just the diff covers being red. Then when i pulled the axles for gears i decided i'd paint the other parts too. I really like the contrast. I think the black and red theme just "looks right" on my jeep
 

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Great build so far, love what you did to the front bumper. I'll keep watching this one!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
Thanks for the comments guys!
I havn't done much with the jeep the last few days. I'm working on sorting out my garage and also selling a few things to make some extra money for jeep stuff
I did do alittle work on my jeep today. When i did my sye and dc driveshaft and rotated my pinion up, instead of relocating the lower shock bracket i decided to notch the lower spring bucket to clear the shock body. Well the shock body was still contacting the spring perch when the axle was at full droop. So, i finally got around to taking care of that today

Just a little work with the grinder and now i have the proper clearance :thumbsup:

This is a pic of the passenger side at full extension


And this is the drivers side, plenty of room now
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I think i'm probably going to order an aussie locker for the front soon and also in the next month or so would like to come up with something for a rear bumper and tire carrier. Right now my 33x12.50 MT/R is mounted on the stock tire carrier and resting on the bumper for support so i want to get it off of that and onto something more adequate :)
 

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Awesome Jeep man. Looks great with all the red accenting! Gotta love the red and black theme!
 
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