Hello !
Northern Virginia Jeepers Association
February 22, 2018, 09:23:05 PM

Pages: [1] Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Ol Blue the little LJ that could  (Read 523 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
sirjames186
Offline
Club Secretary
*
Posts: 1905
05 LJ
« on: November 14, 2017, 12:02:58 PM »

In honor of making the final payment on my jeep, here's a build thread and a backstory.  I think every jeep has a story, and it's not just a sum of its parts, but the memories made it in as well.  So I'll be talking about some of those in addition to technical specs.

July 2015
My Subaru was finally starting to die, so a car search began.  Even as a kid, I always wanted a jeep, but it was never practical when it came time for me to buy a car.  I remember wussing out once and taking truth during a game of truth or dare when I was 12 and asked: "What would make you the happiest in life?"  I replied a jeep and a dog.  Everyone thought I was crazy for not taking a million dollars or something, but that's not my style.  Anyway, the stars finally aligned this time, where I needed a car, had a stable job, didn't have a family or anything yet to stop me from being stupid, so I made the choice and started the Wrangler hunt.  I tend to buy a new car every 7 years or so, and in 7 years I wanted to be married and have a family, so it was now or never in my mind.  I didn't know squat about TJ/LJ/JK/JKU I just knew I wanted an unlimited, and I liked the look of the ones prior to 2007.  Go figure I'd pick one of the rarer jeeps as the one I had to have.  I spent close to a month searching and finally had it down to 2 options.  One was in upstate PA (almost NY upstate) and the other was a salvage title in Leesburg.  The one in Leesburg had everything I wanted, blue, soft top, auto, but the salvage title had me on edge.  I had a 40+ email chain thread going with the dealer, plus a couple phone conversations about what was done before I even set foot on the lot.  They really took customer service to the next level.  They even sent me pictures of the damage before they repaired it.



After checking with my insurance to make sure they would cover the jeep, and talking to lots of other people about the pros and cons, I decided if everything checked out on the test drive I'd be ok with the salvage title.  I don't plan on ever selling this jeep, and that seemed to be the biggest con of a salvage title.  As long as all the mechanical stuff checked out, I'd be good to go.  In hindsight, I really should have checked the jeep over more, but I got lucky.  They had sprayed everything down underneath so I didn't see any rust, the floor pans were all clean, and the fender damage was all replaced.  I didn't know about the ODPA, or where to check for other rust issues, or anything really.  The repairs looked solid, and I was hooked after the test drive.  I paid the man and brought it home.

Day 1 at home, hasn't been that clean since


2016
As soon as I got it people started asking me if I was going to lift it/put bigger tires on it/whatever else.  And to be honest, at first, I didn't see a need.  I didn't want to go do rock crawling, running flagpole was a thrill and I just enjoyed taking the top and doors off.  I was living the jeep life at it's purest.  Looking back on it, I'm glad I waited too because I would have made so many stupid choices.  I upgraded random stuff as it broke, or changed some cosmetic things, but nothing too serious in the first year.  

Quick overview of first year parts includes: painted the grill black, front bumper (first experience with rusted and broken bolts, yay!), radio with a USB input, rebuilt the rear brakes, fresh spark plugs, new oil pan, rear main seal, motor mount lift, body lift (more broken bolts fun), bartact seat covers, ODPA, and swapped out the interior lights for LEDs.

Blacked out grill


New bumper



2017
Once I hit that 1 year mark I started to look into getting a lift.  My driving skill had increased and I had pushed the stock suspension about as far as it could go.  I was ready to go wheeling and have fun instead of rattling my teeth out.

Pushing stock limits at the Cove for DST







I spent the next 6 months looking at various companies, comparing ride quality, lift height, cost, extra things needed (SYE and stuff mainly), future upgrade/expansion options, and my usage.  Since I already had the MML, and BL installed (bought used off a guy), I ended up going with the Old Man Emu kit.  I wanted to stay in the 2.5-3 range so I didn't have to get an SYE, and I hadn't heard a single bad thing about OME.  The lift also set me up well for stuff in the future.  It can run 33s as is, allows a tummy tuck to be installed (thanks to the BL and MML), and with highline/metal cloak style fenders can easily fit 35s.  Having helped a couple different people install lifts, I knew doing this on my own with an older jeep was asking for trouble, so I decided to take it to a shop and save some frustration.  Enter Full Awn Fab and that great debacle. It ended up taking 3 months to get the lift installed (feb-may), and a couple different things were either broken or done poorly by the time I got it back.

Front drive shaft rubbing on the exhaust because the axle wasn't centered


Bottom shock bolts either missing or fell out after not being torqued to spec


Plus the rear track bar bracket was loose, and he left a spinning nutsert on the transmission cross member so it wasn't tightened fully.  That was a fun clanking sound until I got it fixed.

As the weather started getting warmer, and with that extra room in the wheel wells, I noticed some rust was starting to show up on the frame.  Me and a wire brush became good friends that summer, and I slowly worked my way around the jeep cleaning and repainting the frame.  Still need to go back and do the interior, but the outside looks much better.

Before


After




Just before Camp Heep I finally had the money saved up for 33s and could ditch the "jeep on stilts" look of a 3-inch lift and 30s.








And that brings us roughly up to current times, where the future plans are new control arms and a full skid plate/belly up system.

« Last Edit: November 14, 2017, 12:24:21 PM by sirjames186 »

Logged

"I'm no longer ashamed to wheel with you." - Jeremy
Gr8Dain
Offline
BOD
*
Posts: 10194
I HATE RUST!!!!!
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2017, 12:22:06 PM »

Nice write up. I did not know that Jeep was ever as shiny as that first pic. Wow.

Logged

Dain

1984 CJ-8 Scrambler
3.5" lift
DD and trail toy

2015 JKU - Completely stock - Family mobile
sirjames186
Offline
Club Secretary
*
Posts: 1905
05 LJ
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2017, 12:25:55 PM »

Nice write up. I did not know that Jeep was ever as shiny as that first pic. Wow.

Thanks!  Yeah it looked really good off the lot.  I need to have it detailed before it snows and try to bring it back to that level.

Logged

"I'm no longer ashamed to wheel with you." - Jeremy
DAMTALL
Offline
Thread Jackin' 24/7
Committee: Events
*
Posts: 5256
JEEP stands for Personal Freedom and Happiness!!
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2017, 08:13:07 AM »

It looks good James!!  Did you plastidip the grill?  Thinking about it because my vinyl wrap is peeling.  Things are so much more simple on 33's!!

Logged

Big Mike - 2012 JKU Crush, 2.5" Teraflex Lift with Shocks, JKS Quick Discos, RockHard4x4 Skids and Evap Bracket, JCR Crusader Bumpers (mid-width front, mid-width rear with tire carrier).
sirjames186
Offline
Club Secretary
*
Posts: 1905
05 LJ
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2017, 08:43:01 AM »

I used duplicolor bed liner because I wanted something tougher, but honestly, it's not any tougher than paint or plastidip.  I can still dig my fingernail into it a year later.  If I had to do it over again, I'd probably just use rustoleum, but my grill is metal unlike the JKs so plastidip should work fine for you.

Logged

"I'm no longer ashamed to wheel with you." - Jeremy
DAMTALL
Offline
Thread Jackin' 24/7
Committee: Events
*
Posts: 5256
JEEP stands for Personal Freedom and Happiness!!
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2017, 01:04:07 PM »

I used duplicolor bed liner because I wanted something tougher, but honestly, it's not any tougher than paint or plastidip.  I can still dig my fingernail into it a year later.  If I had to do it over again, I'd probably just use rustoleum, but my grill is metal unlike the JKs so plastidip should work fine for you.

Dig in your bed liner and a dig to the plastic Jeeps!!  ROTFL  Finger  Jeep Wave

Logged

Big Mike - 2012 JKU Crush, 2.5" Teraflex Lift with Shocks, JKS Quick Discos, RockHard4x4 Skids and Evap Bracket, JCR Crusader Bumpers (mid-width front, mid-width rear with tire carrier).
sirjames186
Offline
Club Secretary
*
Posts: 1905
05 LJ
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2017, 01:09:41 PM »

I used duplicolor bed liner because I wanted something tougher, but honestly, it's not any tougher than paint or plastidip.  I can still dig my fingernail into it a year later.  If I had to do it over again, I'd probably just use rustoleum, but my grill is metal unlike the JKs so plastidip should work fine for you.

Dig in your bed liner and a dig to the plastic Jeeps!!  ROTFL  Finger  Jeep Wave

haha, didn't mean to knock that at all!  You're lucky because you can take the grill off to paint, I had to tape everything off.  Also no need for rustoleom on something that won't rust lol

Logged

"I'm no longer ashamed to wheel with you." - Jeremy
Gr8Dain
Offline
BOD
*
Posts: 10194
I HATE RUST!!!!!
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2017, 02:09:28 PM »

I used duplicolor bed liner because I wanted something tougher, but honestly, it's not any tougher than paint or plastidip.  I can still dig my fingernail into it a year later.  If I had to do it over again, I'd probably just use rustoleum, but my grill is metal unlike the JKs so plastidip should work fine for you.

Dig in your bed liner and a dig to the plastic Jeeps!!  ROTFL  Finger  Jeep Wave

haha, didn't mean to knock that at all!  You're lucky because you can take the grill off to paint, I had to tape everything off.  Also no need for rustoleom on something that won't rust lol

Oh you can take the grill off if you want. May be a lot more effort. But you can do it.

Logged

Dain

1984 CJ-8 Scrambler
3.5" lift
DD and trail toy

2015 JKU - Completely stock - Family mobile
RFH_98TJ
Offline
Member 2018
*
Posts: 804
98 TJ 4.0 Sport
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2017, 03:24:37 PM »

You haven't ripper the steps off yet?

Logged
sirjames186
Offline
Club Secretary
*
Posts: 1905
05 LJ
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2017, 03:32:40 PM »

You haven't ripper the steps off yet?

Shockingly, no. I've bent them up pretty good, and I keep waiting for the driver's side one to break when I put my full weight on it, but it's hanging in there!

Logged

"I'm no longer ashamed to wheel with you." - Jeremy
TrailBird
Offline
Member 2018 VA4WD
*
Posts: 204
2017 WK2 Trailhawk®
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2017, 05:49:25 PM »

Very cool, James. Congrats on the final payment! I'm  Mr. Green.

Logged
JKrazy
Offline
Member 2018
*
Posts: 389
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2017, 08:38:47 PM »

Nice write up.  I've always liked your rig a lot!   Cheers

Logged

Mods, they never end.  My rig needs a sponsor!  Smile
dave2002ti
Offline
Member 2018
*
Posts: 824
« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2017, 04:40:30 PM »

Nice write up.  So did you get the dog?

Dave Apker

Logged
sirjames186
Offline
Club Secretary
*
Posts: 1905
05 LJ
« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2017, 04:52:21 PM »

Nice write up.  So did you get the dog?

Dave Apker
I've had 2 since then actually. Can't imagine life without one now.

Logged

"I'm no longer ashamed to wheel with you." - Jeremy
sirjames186
Offline
Club Secretary
*
Posts: 1905
05 LJ
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2018, 10:43:00 AM »

Metalcloak control arms are in!

Also welded some brackets to the frame to hold the sway bar discos.  No more zip ties for me! 

Many thanks to Turkeyman for helping me out and fighting the rust on two separate weekends.

Logged

"I'm no longer ashamed to wheel with you." - Jeremy
Pages: [1] Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by EzPortal
Officers:
President: Jeremy Long (JK_HVGC) | Vice President: John Davis (jdavis2nd) | Secretary: James Wesolek (sirjames186)
Treasurer: Danille Wilson (TJ Girl) | Member-at-large: Alex Zaiken (z4iken)

Board of Directors:
Andrew Harvin (HarvinJeep) | Dave Plummer (HAWAIICJ) | Sean McCready (Unl1mtd)
Jeff Wilson (jwilson2598) | Aaron Thomson (Jeep Freak) | Dain Wilson (Gr8Dain)

Founding Fathers:
Jason Markvart (LNDSRK) | Steve Scott (Islander90) | Josh Storer (Jastor)| Mike Finelli (BiggMike) | John Harper (Opie)

Disclaimer Statement:
All images from NoVaJeepers.net are exclusive to the Northern Virginia Jeepers Association. Any reproduction of exclusive Northern Virginia Jeepers Association material is strictly prohibited without written consent of the Northern Virginia Jeepers Association. Jeep®, Wrangler, Cherokee, Commander, Compass, Patriot, Liberty, Unlimited, Rubicon, SRT, HEMI and Grand Cherokee are copyrighted and trademarked to Chrysler LLC. NoVaJeepers.com, Northern Virginia Jeepers Association is not in any way associated with the Chrysler LLC.

Materials are copyright Northern Virginia Jeepers Association 2002-2011.


Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines | Theme Design by: Xarcell