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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well it's time to start my TJ Build. This is my First TJ, and I sold my 1982 CJ and my 2000 SS Camaro to fund it. I have about a $500 Monthly Budget to put to this Yellow thing I call Roxie, lets see what I can do with that.

Here are some photos of what she looks like now. About the only thing that isn't stock are the tires. When I bought her she had Goodyear Wrangler Silent Armor, Load Range E 265/75R16's on her.



Decided to put a build table of Contents, here ya go:
SmittyBilt XRC Front Bumper & Winch Install
2004 Yellow Factory Half Doors
Custom Home-made hard Top Hoist
Smittybilt XRC Rear Bumper and Tire Swing
Warrior Products Mirror Relocation Brackets
BDS 2" Spring Lift
JKS Quick Disconnects

BDS Steering Stabilizer
MetalCloak Fenders and Rockers
Mickey Thompson Signature Series Wheels and Baja MTZ Tires

Well more to come later
Mike

BTW, JeepForum is kinda slow around 9:30 at night....lol:rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Bought some goodies

Today I started buying parts. I have went back and forth on my plan on what to upgrade first. One side was saying suspension first, the other side was saying Armor/Winch.

Well today I made up my mind and pricing had a lot to do with it. I purchased a Bumper and Winch for the Jeep. I found a good deal on Ebay for a Smittybilt XRC bumper, and their XRC 8000lb winch. I went ahead and spent the extra $$ on the synthetic rope. Figured it would take away the headache of re-winding it later on...lol

Anyway I saved $50 on the winch and got free shipping. On the bumper I saved $100 on the price as it is marked at Quadratec and 4WD. I liked the ARB bumper, but didn't want to put an additional 150 lbs on the front of the jeep.

I'll post some pics as I get them in.

Mike :wave:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well I got my Bumper and winch in past week and got to actually get them on my TJ. Here's a couple of pics of how they were shipped.

Here's the Wrapped Bumper, it was wrapped very well, and took a lot of cutting with a knife to get it unwrapped.



Here's a shot of the bumper all unwrapped...



And a shot of the winch in it's shipped box...



and the opened Winch Box..



And the Winch out of the box in it's wrapping...



So as far as Smittybilts shipping and packaging, I am impressed. No dings or missing parts. Even though the bumper's box has some damage, the bumper was wrapped so well that it survived shipping just fine.

Continue on next post for install...

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Install of bumper and Winch, Part 1

Well after I unwrapped the goodies, I pulled the TJ into the garage. I moved all the tools I would need from the tool bench to the floor by the jeep...Yep, this spring I am moving the tool bench closer to the spot I work on the vehicles...lol

Here's a shot of the TJ with the old bumper...


First things first, pulling off the Factory Fog lights. A 13 MM socket and a couple of wrench turns and the first one was hanging by it's wire harness..so I disconnected the harness and then moved to the other one. I disconnected the wiring harness first this time and unbolted the light from the bumper.

Next I grabbed my Torx T-50 socket and noticed that it was too small to remove the bumper...DOH! Off to Sears to get a T-55. Before I left I did another blast of PB Blaster on the Bolts holding the bumper on.

When I got back the Bolts came right out.

See the Right tool works...most of the time...lol


The bumper came off real easy and was laying on the floor next to my old CJ's Springs and Bumpers...lol. Man do I need to make a salvage yard run.

A shot of the TJ with no bumper. Note I left the sway bar cover on...just to see if the new bumper would fit with it...


I took a wire brush and a shop rag and cleaned up the frame and cross-member where the sand and dirt had accumulated. Then gave it a shot of rattle can for rust prevention.

Here's a shot of the dirty frame & cross-member


I then went to the bumper in the box. Before I get to the mounting and install, I thought I'd show you the finish of the bumper...All the welds look very clean and well done. The paint is that textured finish, and looks nice too. I would have rather had smooth black as that can be touched up with a can, but for the price I paid, I can live with the texture.

Here's a shot of the welds at the Clevis Mount and the side of the Fairlead mount.


And a shot of the Grill Guard Bar weld


and the Fairlead mount and welding...


Continue to next post for more.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Install of Bumper and Winch, Part 2

Well I put the bumper on the front to check for fitment and alignment of holes. I put a couple of bolts loosely in the top to hold the bumper on, and then checked alignment. I crawled underneath to check the two holes down there and noticed that it was a little close. I then noticed that there was no way to get to the winch bolts if I didn't mount the winch first, so I pulled the bumper off to mount the winch.

The holes for the winch were perfect, and the mounting of the winch went easily. The winch docs didn't say anything about torque amounts, so I just torqued it to Mike Specs...lol

Then I slid the bumper back on the frame and put a couple bolts back in. Checked the center alignment and then hand tightened the first two bolts on the top. I then crawled under the front to put the bottom two bolts in. The fit was tight and I found that I had to use my legs to push up on the grill guard tube to get the bottom two holes lined up. I put the bottom bolts to hand tight and then put the last two bolts in on top. The bumper doc's didn't have anything about torque for the bolts, so I got the wrench out and torqued them down to about 45'lbs.

It's a tight fit for the top bolts, had to use a racheting wrench on the front bumper, and pulled it to where I thought it was about the 45lbs that I did the back ones. Then i went back and torqued them to roughly 70lbs. I then put the fairlead on.


Here's a shot of the bumper on the jeep and how the Sway bar cover and bumper matched up..


And a shot of the bumper on the jeep...


I had to quit for a little as I had to run and do some errands for the wife. When I got back, I went to work on the wiring. I wanted to mount the Solenoid over the motor of the winch, but after getting the bracket on, I found that the grill guard blocks the solenoid from being mounted there. So I put the center mount brackets back on and ended up mounting it over the rails of the cable spool.


I then ran the wires to the applicable connection. Wiring is simple, very simple and the instructions are very clear. The hardest part, was the ground connection on the bottom of the motor, a Very Tight place to work with my gorilla hands.


Another tough decision is the running of the power and ground cables to the battery. I have seen these wires ran several different ways, and I picked the "under the grill" Method as I just don't like running wires through the grill..just not clean looking to me. Here's a shot of the wiring, I am out of zip ties and loom..will have to visit the hardware store this week.


Next I hooked up the remote to test my wiring and to verify which way the winch spools. The remote is simple, but works as advertised. I have heard and read that it's not waterproof. Looking at it, I could see that it's not a piece of art, but it does do what it was designed to do, it spools the winch in and out...lol.

I bought the winch with Smittybilt's sythentic cable. I laid it out in the garage in an S Pattern, being sure to un-roll the spool as it was shipped. I then connected the end to the spool, ensuring the roped end fed into the spool the correct direction.

Next I put some a glove on my right hand and used my left to activate the winding of the cable. I didn't pull too hard this time as I was just wanting to straighten the cable up and practice on the feeding.

After it was all spooled on, I pulled it all back out. At first I tried the clutch on the side of the winch. That worked, but it's VERY hard to pull it out that way. So out engaged the clutch and used the remote to feed out the cable. I laid it back on the garage floor back in the S pattern.

This time I stood about 5 feet away and started the winch in to spool the cable back. On this pass, I wrapped the cable around my hand like a rappelling rope so that I could control the tension and pull the cable tight. It wound very easily and I only had to stop a couple of times to correct the winding. I don't have any clevis rings yet, so I hooked the cable to one of the clevis mounts, all done.

So now for the review....go to next page....lol :laugh:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Initial review of Smittybilt's XRC Bumper and XRC 8.0 Winch

Ok, so last night I had to drive my daughter to the airport in Kansas City, about 1.5 hours away. The forecast was for snow so I decided to take the jeep.

I lost about 1/2 inch in suspension with the weight of the bumper and winch. The jeep handled just fine and I didn't notice any characteristic changes in handling.

The bumper and winch we're still there when I got home and I heard no rattles.

Mounting the bumper and winch went very easily, and I did the entire install by myself. I could have done it in about 4-5 hours, but had to quit a couple of times to do errands, husband chores, church, a fund raiser breakfast and get some sleep.

Both set of instructions were very clear, had nice pictures and were easy enough to follow. If you can do an oil change, you can do both these with no problems. The only thing missing would be the torque limits, but that's not a deal breaker as most of us can use the net to find the bumper torque amounts. (70-80 pounds, depending on what you read)

I am VERY happy that I bought the synthetic cable. It cut probably several pounds off the front of the jeep and many people swear by it. I'll let you know in the future...lol

Both products have very fine finishes and I was completely happy with their shipping package.

I didn't use the light mounts that are located on the top of the grill guard, I need to get a pigtail extension for the two fog lights. Most likely I will mount some additional off road lighting...I'd like to find some rectangle lights for this to keep the profile lower.

I did watch the temp gauge last night with the trip to the airport, it ran no hotter than normally, but it was 36 degrees outside..lol

About the only complaint that I can come up with is the mounting of the solenoid. Because of the angle of the grill guard, there is no way to mount the solenoid over the motor. You'd think that Smittybilt's bumper division would have talked with the winch division. Either way, it's a minor issue as I plan on mounting the solenoid under the hood sometime next month.

Well I'll get some pics of the finished install with the cable today, my camera died by the time I got the cable on.

Thanks for checking out my build and happy Jeeping! :wave:

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Finished Install.

Well here ya go, a shot of the bumper and winch in the sun. You can see how i have the hook in one of the clevis mounts...enjoy..



Mike :wave:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
LOL Nice looking jeep

Hey there, nice lookin jeep...lol

what lift did you go with? I was thinking of doing Metal Cloak's Fenders and then just lifting the body 1" and doing a motor mount lift so I could do a tummy tuck. Then I could run 33's and still have nice clearance, but also have a low CG.

Unlike your's, this is my daily driver as I had to trade both my other vehicles in for this TJ...I think the wife was jealous of me having too many toys...lol

Mike :wave:
 

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I went with the 4" Currie lift. I was originally building for 33s as well, but a variety of things made me end up going for the 35s. I'm real happy with it so far.

I sort of want to do something else with my fenders.. but I don't know what yet. I've looked into the Metal Cloak's and they are every nice. I also sort of like the stock Rubicon fender look in a way though.. time will tell :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Fenders

well since you already have the lift for the 35's you could just get some of those fender Flares that look like flat fender extensions like the Xenon's or the Warrior Tube's.

I know some like the Warrior as they are metal tube flares, where others don't like them cause of the same reason, stating that the metal isn't forgiving and when you rub, it can damage your fender and your tub...

On a side note, did you have your Body Lift when you installed your rear bumper? I have heard of some problems with mounting the bumper when the TJ has no lift.

Thanks
Mike
 

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I did have a body lift installed at that time, but I don't really know that it was needed.

The bumper came with some bolts that were supposed to go sort of behind the gas tank (that you need to drill holes for). I didn't see any way to put those bolts in at that time, so I decided to wait until I had the tank off for the high clearance gas skid. Once I had the tank off, I decided that the metal was pretty thin there, and that with the other bolts and frame tie-ins, that these bolts are not really necessary. The other mounting points are more than sufficient IMO. You may choose to install them, I just don't see where they would do any good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
New Doors...well new to me...lol

Well I was looking around Craigslist for a rear bumper when I stumbled on a set of Factory Half Doors.

Normally I find half doors for around $400 - $500 but they are always some other color than yellow. This time I got lucky, Yellow half Doors in Florida for $450....I didn't even call the wife. Emailed the guy and then called him. Lucky for me, he was a 4x4 shop and I was able to use plastic.

I'll got them a couple of weeks ago..great shape. I'll try to take a photo or two tonight..

I can't wait for the weather to get nice so I can put them on..:wave:

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Pics of the Half Doors.

Well as promised, here are the pics of the half doors...sorry bout the color, these were taken inside under my den light...they are Solar Yellow just like my jeep..

Mike





 
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