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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What's up JF,
I decided to make a thread about my new to me 2005 LJ. Not even 4 weeks ago I had been enjoying my '98 TJ when it would finally lose the fight against rust. Having done an axle swap on it the previous year (rust induced), and with the frame in its condition, the only viable repair was a new frame. With only a week and half of time before I would have to move back to school, I knew I didn't have time to commit to a frame swap.

I was sad and frustrated, my baby was dead in the driveway with so much life left in it. Even friends and family were saddened to hear the news, after all, who doesn't love a good ride with the top down and doors off.

I spent a few days crunching numbers and looking for good condition frames, even getting repair quotes from a few shops. Nothing was looking promising and I needed to make a move. That's when I decided to start looking at a fresh start, A new Jeep.

After a long week of looking at and crawling under countless wranglers (and even venturing into New jersy used dealerships….Yikes!) I found a prime candidate. It was a trade in 2005 Silver LJ with a 111k on the odo and a frame soo clean I would eat off of it. I was able to work on the price, and the financing was great, So I pulled the trigger and bought my Second Jeep.(From a Volvo Dealership of all places)



The drive home went smooth, She ran strong and smooth, clutch felt great and I loved the 6 speed…I was grinning ear to ear! But Like in true Jeeper fashion, my mind was racing with ideas and the urge to give it the much needed TLC(and De-Chrome!) it needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Here we gooo!


With my '98 as my donor vehicle, I set off removing parts to be transferred over to the new Jeep. It was bittersweet work, but for the greater good!
I started off by swapping little parts, such as the battery and entry guards and removing milk jugs.

This LJ came with a hardtop and full doors, and While I was going to miss the top off days, I'd rather start off with the more expensive option and buy a soft top down the road. Plus the rear defrost and wiper will be great for the winter. A quick solder and some heatshrink and My rear defrost was ready for ice.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
De-Chrome!

Next I removed the chrome front piece, and this is what I discovered on the grill beneath it.


I had armed myself with 3 cans of plasti-dip, and started the taping process. (I also removed the cowl section underneath the windshield to get full coverage and so I could run the wires for my daylighters I would be attaching)


While the lines are not perfect, I used good quality painters tape and pulled it while the plasti dip was still wet and I'm happy with the end result. With the headlight bezel and retainer ring, I sanded and used a flat rustoleum paint, It gives a different finish than the plasti dip, but I'm not sure if I like it yet.

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Paint the Faded!

I really wanted to make this jeep have a two tone look, and the faded hardtop was really bothering me:thumbdown:. The weather was perfect for painting, so I picked up 6 cans of Krylon Fusion Satin, some 320 grit sandpaper with a plan to paint the hardtop. I was a bit nervous going into this project, I didn't want any streaks or blotches on the finish so I was very careful to prep it correctly.
With the hard top removed, I set it down on a fold able table with a couple storage bins to raise it off the ground. This allowed me to clean all surfaces. With the hard top scrubbed clean, I proceeded to sand it down with a palm sander(***be sure to wear a mask!***). I wanted to keep the eggshell texture of the hardtop, but I also wanted to remove any scratches.



After making sure every surface was sanded, I washed the top again, rinsed it really well, and then was sure to wipe the surface until every wipe came out clean.
With some helping hands, I then moved the top into the shade I taped off some surfaces

\
The whole time I was sanding and taping, I had left my spray cans in the sun to warm up and thin the paint. I'm not sure if that helped or hurt, but my end result came out fine. I used 6 cans total( I didn't use the end of the cans, as they begin to spurt and shoot unwanted drops of paint) and here is a picture taken about 20 mins after the last coat.:highfive:

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Fender Swap!

I left the top off for a few days to enjoy my jeep in it's true nature, and also because I wanted the paint to harden before subjecting it to road hazards. In the meantime, I removed and cleaned the bushwhackers off my '98

Followed by removing the fenders off the LJ…



And the end result…Looking good!:highfive:



More to come!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think one of the best investments made for my jeep was getting Tuffy Full Center console:drool:...Seeing as This jeep Will Be going Topless often, Naturally, transferring that in would be the next step
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
While I was waiting for Crutchfield to get me the newer style dash kit for My Head unit, I decided to swap in my Kicker 5 1/4" speakers into the new dash, and try to cram my Polk db651's into the speaker pods. (For the polks to sit correctly,I ended up using the plastic brackets they came with and just popped off all but 4 of the best tabs)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wiring!!! Lots and lots of wiring!

After getting the speakers were tucked away and mounted with polyfill, It was time to wire up a new harness. Since the dash was already open, I also decided to run the wiring for my Daylighter switch, (Which would also be covering where the Previous owner did a hackjob installing a satellite radio mount. :thumbdown:)

Also, since I installed my Tuffy Center Console, I had to remove my stock Center Subwoofer (which was blown), I decided to roll the dice and Pick up a slim mount powered subwoofer, so I had to run RCA cables and do all the amplifier wiring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Add a little bass!

This is how I mounted the shallow mount sub, facing downward on the bottom of the rear seat. Basically shoved a piece of thin ply (maybe it was a solid wood shelf I cut down?! Forgot, I'll have to check) in between the the metal wire frame and the foam cushion. I ran the power cable from the hole in the firewall along the drivers side under the carpet, and the RCA/Signal cable along the passenger side. It's not as cool as the SirgCal setup I dream about:drool:, but It's stealth and will have do for now.:thumbsup:
 

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I like it! We are thinking of doing something similar with our hard top for the LJ but not sure how long it will last like that. Did you clear coat finish it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Notes On Krylon Fusion

I like it! We are thinking of doing something similar with our hard top for the LJ but not sure how long it will last like that. Did you clear coat finish it?
Thanks! I was very excited once the top was painted, It really brought a new life back into this jeep, I'd say go for it!.:2thumbsup:

Initially I planned on doing a clear coat over the Krylon fusion, but after thinking about it, and reading these paragraphs I decided I would rather leave it just paint for simple touch-ups later. :cool:

Note: This info came directly from Krylon about clear coating their Fusion Paint.

"Thank you for your inquiry with Krylon. While the Fusion is a hard, protective, durable finish on its own, the film is not impervious. Keep in mind, Fusion is still a paint coating and can be nicked, scratched, or damaged. Consistent friction or direct pressure with a sharp object will damage the film. Please allow the last coat of Fusion to dry for 7-10 days to reach the film's maximum hardness and cure time.

If you would like to add a sacrificial clear coating over the Fusion, I would suggest using the Krylon Low Odor Clear Finish or the Minwax Polycrylic. Both of these clear coatings may be applied to a fully cured Fusion paint film. Please allow the last coat of Fusion to dry for at least 7-10 days before top coating.

NOTE: Technically you are applying a clear finish that will take the brunt of daily wear and tear before the underlying paint film. The clear finish will not be any easier to touch up and recoat then just applying an additional coat of the Fusion paint. This is the reason we do not offer a clear finish in the Fusion Line. The clear finish will not be any more durable than the Fusion paint film; but may not show the wear as quickly because of the transparent nature of clear films.
"

I'll Be sure to update this thread soon, I have more to tell!:thumbsup:
 

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Great work so far on the LJ. I really want to do the hood paint mod and paint my hardtop. Maybe seeing how good yours turned out will motivate me?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Gorgeous LJ, Keep us posted on updates! BTW rust does suck. Glad we don't deal with it in Texas.
Thanks!! And I'm always jealouse looking at pictures of CJ's and Yj's from your area with less rust and corrosion most tj's have up here!:laugh:

Great work so far on the LJ. I really want to do the hood paint mod and paint my hardtop. Maybe seeing how good yours turned out will motivate me?
Go for it! It was a little time consuming, but if the weather is good the paint will dry fast!:2thumbsup:

I guess I should update this thread now. My deathwobble returned Last week :thumbdown:.......annnnnnddddd the jeep has been under the knife since:rtft:
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Preparing for its first winter

To fix the deathwobble That appeared After I bought it (didn't happen during test drive, or hour of highway driving home.....DOH:mad:) I got the tires balanced, and rotated the front cupped tires to the rear. The tires had likely never been rotated, and the rears were still prefectly square:thumbsup:. I also replaced my loose steering, ZJ tie rod Upgrade FTW! This thing is beefy and the deathwobbles were gone!


And that was it for awhile! I got to enjoy my new jeep in a bunch of upstate NY snow storms during this great winter.:cheers2:

Also With my '98 Sold, and the tractor in the shop, there was plenty of room in the garage for the LJ. (Found out New owner fixed the '98 frame, she's on the road again:highfive:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Throw all the RTV away!!!...or just store it somwhere

With my front and rear diff leaking oil, I decided to pick up a couple lubelocker seals and a pair of grab handles for the rear passengers.


Guess which diff cover is ready for the seal, and which one isn't:eek:


I used a razor, some steel wool and a little bit of 320 sandpaper to make both mounting surfaces Super clean


And a quick shot of paint to clean up the covers...Later I would pull the plugs and reinstall with teflon tape.


A nice cheap upgrade, I was itching to do work on the jeep all winter but was pretty broke and decided to wait. That didn't last too long, After I got my job this spring and my deathwobble has since returned, I found a great deal on a Used OME Lift and decided to kill deathwobble forever:rtft::cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Boxes!

Since the tires had gone from "Perfect" to "Unbalanceable" in under 5k miles...The fronts were cupped badly, and what appeared to be a slice in one of the sidewalls?! I needed new tires!!! Got a good deal on some 33x10.5 BFg KO. Decided because 1st gear is basically useless, and since I want to lower my highway RPM in 6th from 3k down to mid 2k.
Annnddd It didn't help I had already starting piecing together parts for a lift (Ome springs and shocks!!!) and since I needed a new trackbar and LCA bushing, I was going to do the lift right!

And a box came in:drool:


But while I had a few days to wait..for more goodies to arrive, I decided to fix my wheels! Ravines that have probably been never been cleaned once, annndddd probably kissed a few curbs:thumbdown::nono: Decided to go with the Graphite and Silver colors, But it would prove to be a bit of a challenge for my painting skills:cheers:

These pics were taken after Degreaser and scrubbing...The inside shot is after and a actually scraping brake dust, chunks of asphalt and who knows what with a razor, These were going to need some work!


 
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