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Thread: First Jeep. Why did I wait so long?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Exeter, NH
    Posts
    867

    Default TK-421, my first Jeep.

    Bought this old girl last year in September.


    Came from previous owner with a 4" lift and a Banks exhaust. Also a torn-up soft top, leaky radiator, and an awful driveline vibration over 55. First thing to go was the top, then a new radiator, then did a SYE/Tom Woods shaft and got rid of the T-case drop. Pretty much got the bug right there and decided things were going to get fun.

    To give her a little distinction, I plasti-dipped the front fenders, door insets, and cowl, and bedlined the flares.


    Then she got a winch, a couple cheap fog lights, and the ends of the bumper cut off.


    About this time I had worked out that the ultimate goal would be to get 35's under it. To that end, I found an 8.8 and a second D30 that I could build over the winter as funds would allow. The plan was to ARB-lock both axles, truss the rear, and re-gear to 4.56. This is my daily driver, so I wanted good road manners as well as trail capability.


    D30 with the locker installed. I did do my own ring and pinion setup, after many, many hours of research. It took half a day to do the first one, then it got easier the second time around. I know everyone suggests taking it to someone who does it all the time, but half the point of building this rig is doing everything I can myself. It wasn't as bad as I thought, and the gear pattern is half decent. I've got about 500 miles on these axles, so it's about time to change out the original oil and see how they're breaking in.


    At this point, I got impatient of doing all this work and still having a puny-looking Jeep, so I got the 35's and threw 'em on there. Mastercraft Courser MXT's 35x12.5x15 on steel wheels. It was all pavement driving, and they were only going to be on for a couple weeks before I finished the axles, so I went ahead and gave up on highway driving for the sake of coolness.
    Before:

    After:


    So now, in order to get 5th gear back, I was forced to hurry up and finish the axles.
    I changed out the front axle in a few hours. Knocked the existing knuckles off and just replaced the center section, made it a quick and easy bolt-up job.

    (While I'm thinking of it, does anyone recognize that adjustable trackbar mount? It uses the stock track bar, but attaches the upper ball and socket end on a pivot with two adjustable rods to make the track bar adjustable. Can't find it anywhere if I ever have to replace it.)


    Next I had to finish the rear.
    Got the r/p setup, the locker installed, and the Artec truss and all the mounts welded up.


    Shot a little black Rustoleum on it before installation.


    No turning back now, gotta finish if I wanna go home.

    New calipers, rotors, e-brake shoes, etc. Locker all hooked up, new 1310 yoke, pinion angle set at 18degs.


    Got a deal on another forum on a set of 8 Currie adjustable Johnny Joint control arms, gave the old girl a 4-wheel alignment once they were swapped out. Much better than those stamped sheetmetal stockers. I was able to dial in the pinion angle just right, along with getting the axle perfectly centered under the wheel wells. Less squeaking than the old rubber bushings, too. Can't wait to see how she flexes out with these puppies. Not a speck of driveline vibes up to 75 either. Pretty psyched.


    Put this panel in to control all the goodies. Also a Cobra 75WXST for communication. (Thanks to YJFire for selling me the panel.)


    As she sits today. Had to get the Rugged Ridge 7" stock style flares to cover the tires. They still don't completely cover in the front but fingers crossed someone will give me a break.




    Still to come is some rocker armor (with a step so I can stop leaping into my car), probably going to do a 1" body lift at the same time, since the rockers I want are tied into the body mounts and require removing them anyway.
    1" coil spacers for the front to make her sit level. Between the winch and the bigger rear axle there's a bit of rake going on.
    Some rear corner armor, to both protect the corners and cover up some shoddy bodywork, and then I'm going to go with flush mount LEDs for the rear.

    As for right now, I'm just waiting for the first ENH-organized run to jump in on and test out all my handiwork.

    Edit: I dunno why half my photos disappeared... Should be good now.
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    Last edited by FreakinJeep; 07-18-2015 at 12:43 PM.
    '99 TJ, 5.9L Magnum V8, Atlas-4, Waggy 44s, Custom link susp F/R, 37" Pitbulls, etc etc etc, OMG what happened to all of my money?
    She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid. I've made a lot of special modifications myself.

    '97 ZJ
    , 2" spacer lift on 30's, 'The Beater'

    KC1KAX

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Lebanon NH
    Posts
    2,967

    Default

    Nicely done, it looks great and sounds effective as well.
    Gone now :( -2000 Jeep Wrangler Sahara, 2" BB, 4.88's, TT F&R, 33x10.5 km2's, xrc8 winch, uniden pro xl520 cb, 4' wilson
    Gone now too :( -2008 Rubicon, uniden pro xl520 cb, 5' wilson Silver Load, JCR engine skid, JCR evap skid
    Present-2012 JK Sahara-KO2's plus neat stock stuff

    Buy a Gazetteer

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Manchester
    Posts
    5,771

    Default

    Looks good. I am not usually a fan of white but the black and white contrast is really cool.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Paul (FSHJNKY)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Antrim, NH
    Posts
    558

    Default

    Jeeps looks great! Love the Artec truss on the 8.8, I put the same one on my waggy 44 and love it!

    That trackbar bracket looks odd. It actually looks like a combination drop bracket and brace which allows you to use the stock trackbar by just lowering the frame side of it. Notice you also have a drop pitman arm to match the drop of the trackbar. It looks like it is dangerously close to hitting the differential cover... may want to check for clearance at bump. It may be worth looking into a fully adjustable replacement trackbar which will replace the whole drop bracket. Currie makes a nice one with a Johnny Joint at the frame side. You would also need to swap over to a stock pitman arm to correct geometry back to factory.

    I look forward to seeing it out on the trails come beginning of the season!
    WAGGLER: 1999 TJ: currently in pieces.
    Build thread
    Member: Team Overbuilt
    Shop Build Thread

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Exeter, NH
    Posts
    867

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FSHJNKY View Post
    Looks good. I am not usually a fan of white but the black and white contrast is really cool.
    Yeah, I was NOT a fan of the white/spice when I got it, but I needed a vehicle and it was the only decent one I could find within my short time frame. The black/white is definitely growing on me though. Sometime this summer I'll probably ditch the tan carpet and paint the interior plastics black too. I'm a wicked Star Wars nerd, so I've considered doing some kind of Stormtrooper-themed deal.

    That trackbar bracket looks odd. It actually looks like a combination drop bracket and brace which allows you to use the stock trackbar by just lowering the frame side of it. Notice you also have a drop pitman arm to match the drop of the trackbar. It looks like it is dangerously close to hitting the differential cover... may want to check for clearance at bump. It may be worth looking into a fully adjustable replacement trackbar which will replace the whole drop bracket. Currie makes a nice one with a Johnny Joint at the frame side. You would also need to swap over to a stock pitman arm to correct geometry back to factory.
    That's exactly what I was thinking. It looks like it drops the upper trackbar mount and makes it adjustable at the same time. I figure it came with the lift but I can't find a lift manufacturer that includes something like that. I just had to change out the lower trackbar bushing, but the upper ball and socket was still good. When that wears out, I'm gonna chuck the whole business and replace it with a Currie to match the control arms because MORE JOHNNY JOINTS!! It's far enough forward that it does clear the diff cover, thankfully. Just another thing for the never-ending list.
    '99 TJ, 5.9L Magnum V8, Atlas-4, Waggy 44s, Custom link susp F/R, 37" Pitbulls, etc etc etc, OMG what happened to all of my money?
    She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid. I've made a lot of special modifications myself.

    '97 ZJ
    , 2" spacer lift on 30's, 'The Beater'

    KC1KAX

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Barrington NH
    Posts
    1,675

    Default

    Looks good!
    ScerbFab LLC
    Offroad Fabrication & Performance - Barrington, NH
    Aftermarket Parts and Installations

    (603) 309-2030
    www.scerbfab.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Exeter, NH
    Posts
    867

    Default

    Been too long since I bought Jeep parts. I got itchy fingers while I was online yesterday and ordered rock sliders, a steering box skid plate, rear corner armor, and a 1" body lift...

    I may have a problem.
    '99 TJ, 5.9L Magnum V8, Atlas-4, Waggy 44s, Custom link susp F/R, 37" Pitbulls, etc etc etc, OMG what happened to all of my money?
    She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid. I've made a lot of special modifications myself.

    '97 ZJ
    , 2" spacer lift on 30's, 'The Beater'

    KC1KAX

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Manchester
    Posts
    5,771

    Default

    You have a Jeep. You have a problem.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Paul (FSHJNKY)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Seacoast NH
    Posts
    1,568

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FSHJNKY View Post
    You have a Jeep. You have a problem.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk


    True story!
    -Sam
    Audrey 1995 YJ Unlimited (LJ Stretch) SOA on 35's with Cherokee 4.0 / AW4

    LUCY...2005 Unlimited "LJ" Rubicon Sahara #495 Currie 4", 1"BL 35 MTR Kevlars on Moabs, Sold
    BETTY, aka...94 SE, Stroked 4.6, 4" lift,1" Booms,1" BL, , D30, w/ Aussie, 8.8 w/ LSD. SOLD
    2013 GMC Duramax 2500 Crewcab, on 33's

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Exeter, NH
    Posts
    867

    Default

    Repaired a bunch of collapsed rotted body mounts (SUUUUCKED), and installed a 1" body lift and the Hyline rocker guards at the same time.


    Also installed rear corners last weekend and changed out the taillights to flush mount 4" truck lights.
    Relocating the license plate and adding a third brake light this week, along with re-mounting my Firestik.

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    '99 TJ, 5.9L Magnum V8, Atlas-4, Waggy 44s, Custom link susp F/R, 37" Pitbulls, etc etc etc, OMG what happened to all of my money?
    She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid. I've made a lot of special modifications myself.

    '97 ZJ
    , 2" spacer lift on 30's, 'The Beater'

    KC1KAX

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Exeter, NH
    Posts
    867

    Default

    I think I thought of a name for the rig too. Going with the whole black and white thing, and being the nerd that I am, I'm reminded of an Imperial Stormtrooper.

    TK-421 it is.

    As in: "TK-421, why aren't you at your post? TK-421, do you copy?"


    Now that I think about it, I bet that's available as a vanity plate...
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    '99 TJ, 5.9L Magnum V8, Atlas-4, Waggy 44s, Custom link susp F/R, 37" Pitbulls, etc etc etc, OMG what happened to all of my money?
    She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid. I've made a lot of special modifications myself.

    '97 ZJ
    , 2" spacer lift on 30's, 'The Beater'

    KC1KAX

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Exeter, NH
    Posts
    867

    Default

    Last weekend I installed the used goodness I bought from Angri a couple weeks ago.

    UCF 1/4" Trans Skid (holy beef)


    Antirock


    Also relocated the license plate and wired up a cute little plate light/brake light doodad,
    and reinstalled the Firestik that I removed when I put the corners on.
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    '99 TJ, 5.9L Magnum V8, Atlas-4, Waggy 44s, Custom link susp F/R, 37" Pitbulls, etc etc etc, OMG what happened to all of my money?
    She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid. I've made a lot of special modifications myself.

    '97 ZJ
    , 2" spacer lift on 30's, 'The Beater'

    KC1KAX

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Exeter, NH
    Posts
    867

    Default

    So it turns out Mitch was right, the track bar actually does interfere with the diff cover. Found this after the run last weekend.



    Actually snapped the head of the top bolt off.


    Oh darn, now I have a valid excuse to upgrade something.
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    '99 TJ, 5.9L Magnum V8, Atlas-4, Waggy 44s, Custom link susp F/R, 37" Pitbulls, etc etc etc, OMG what happened to all of my money?
    She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid. I've made a lot of special modifications myself.

    '97 ZJ
    , 2" spacer lift on 30's, 'The Beater'

    KC1KAX

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Exeter, NH
    Posts
    867

    Default

    Time to get rid of this ridiculous mess. It's some mutt dropped/adjustable track bar that I can't identify, and a dropped pitman arm.
    Presumably it came with the lift kit that was on this rig when I got it. It contacts the diff cover during articulation, so it has to go.


    Ah, nice and clean. And I only broke the 5/8" drill bit twice while hogging out the upper mount for the bigger bolt.
    (SNAP, "dangit!" [grind new flutes on the bench grinder, drill ten more seconds, SNAP], "@#$!")


    Figured since I was tearing the front end apart anyway, I'd upgrade to ZJ steering.
    The finished product is: Currie adjustable track bar, Moog 1998 Grand Cherokee tie rod/draglink, and back to a stock height pitman arm.
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    '99 TJ, 5.9L Magnum V8, Atlas-4, Waggy 44s, Custom link susp F/R, 37" Pitbulls, etc etc etc, OMG what happened to all of my money?
    She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts, kid. I've made a lot of special modifications myself.

    '97 ZJ
    , 2" spacer lift on 30's, 'The Beater'

    KC1KAX

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Antrim, NH
    Posts
    558

    Default

    Looks great! Fantastic choice! How does the clearance look during articulation with the new bar? How does the new setup handle?
    WAGGLER: 1999 TJ: currently in pieces.
    Build thread
    Member: Team Overbuilt
    Shop Build Thread

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