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Author Topic: The Silver Bullet - resurrection of a TJ  (Read 3930 times)
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Jeepsnbuses
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The seller and trader of many things.
« on: March 06, 2018, 07:41:35 AM »

Been swamped for the past week or so trying to pull this together, but as of yesterday I have a TJ.  For free!

Alright, not entirely free, but in exchange for some goods and services my good friend gave me an old 2002 TJ he had sitting around.  Stating the obvious, it was a little worse for wear.



A friend of his wrecked it years ago and for whatever reason didn't bring it to the insurance company for repairs.  Sat on it for a year, then gave it to my friend because he owed him money.  Title history would note me as the second owner.  Sat at my friend's place for years, was occasionally driven around the property, then was eventually parked and left in the woods.  Such a shame.  On Sunday I was able to fire it up and actually drove it out of the woods, then power washed it.  











So what does it need?  A lot, but nothing that is unfixable.  

- Body work: both front fenders, a new hood, and somewhere down the line a replacement driver's rocker panel. I tentatively plan to cover up the rust that has started and hopefully it passes inspection. The door locks and closes fine, so I should be good?  Damage pics are below. Would be curious to get opinions of others on these...
- Needs a new soft top and windows. New top frame will come along as well.
- Needs a windshield.
- Needs tires and some new matching wheels.
- Needs new front turn signals.
- Needs the front bumper straightened or replaced.
- The front axle was beaten up pretty bad in the accident. The DS control arm mount snapped off altogether, and the PS control arm mount is about halfway attached.  So a replacement 3.07 D30 is in order.
- Needs a general interior cleaning, of course. Lots of leaves and sticks inside.
- Needs some HVAC controls.
- Needs a new ignition lock cylinder/tumbler.  The key was stuck in there and would start the Jeep, but when I eventually wrestled it out I think something else jammed up inside. Now it won't start. New tumbler it is...I've heard you can re-key them to use your old key?
- The clutch safety switch was toast. I've done the old plug-a-10a-fuse-into-fuse-port-#20 to start it, but would like to fix this correctly eventually.
- The shifter boot is a little loose and needs to be reattached. I think I need a shift bezel.
- General fluids across the board, spark plugs, tune up.





Note DS control arm below...



The good. There is some good here. Like I said I drove it out of the woods, drove it around to where I washed it.  It has working heat and has factory A/C, though it was tough to test while it was 45 degrees outside.  The 4.0 is in great shape and felt OK despite running on gas that is no joke 6+ years old. Since it's been sitting around for so long, the frame is awesome. Very awesome.  Plans are to POR15 or undercoat it one way or another, especially if it's just going to be sitting around for a while.  I'm going to Line-X or bed rug the interior as well, once it's all cleaned out and the seats are removed. The carpet has been gone for years and the floor pan rust is super minor.  The mileage is also low.







Yesterday I picked up a used 3.07 Dana 30, and a used hood. A lot of the research I did on axles told me to "just regear since 3.07 sucks," "junk the Dana 35 while you're under there," etc. I'd really like to just focus on getting this thing roadworthy again, then worry about doing anything to it.  It would be damn cool to have a 72,000 mile, all stock TJ to cruise around in.  Besides, there is way too much work to be done here before I should think about any sort of modification.  Excited to see where this goes!
« Last Edit: April 05, 2018, 09:51:29 PM by Jeepsnbuses »

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2002 TJ Sport
Tow rig: 1973 Thomas school bus RV conversion. It's slow.

- Adam
highlandercj-7
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« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2018, 07:54:03 AM »

Congrats, that is awesome! Good bones to work with 72K and a solid frame, the other stuff is easy. A good low mile drive line, perfect frame and those hard doors it can easily fetch $4K parted out. That's a huge win!


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HighlanderCJ-7
ogre45
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Winchester,VA
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2018, 08:06:33 AM »

Nice find!

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Alex
1969 Jeepster Commando in work
2018 JKU Golden Eagle,Teraflex leveling kit, EVO oil and trans skid
Jeepsnbuses
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The seller and trader of many things.
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2018, 08:34:03 AM »

Thanks. The more I look over it and clean it up, I'm finding tiny little things that will be a bear. Looks like a lot of of the bolts in the front axle may need to be cut out due to rust...the front end won't be easy. For whatever reason it seems like the brunt of all rust on the entire vehicle is concentrated in the front axle.  I was able to remove all the control arms from the donor axle without issue though, so I've got that going for me, which is nice.

Busted 30 to be removed:


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2002 TJ Sport
Tow rig: 1973 Thomas school bus RV conversion. It's slow.

- Adam
highlandercj-7
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« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2018, 08:51:14 AM »

The good news is there are tons of TJs with busted frames to score cleaner running gear. I found a good deal not long ago on a Rear TJ 44 and 30 with 373s. I believe $700

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HighlanderCJ-7
sirjames186
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05 LJ
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2018, 08:58:04 AM »

Well shoot, I'll have a front D30 geared to 3.73 available cheap in week.  Also have a stock TJ steering setup (drag link and tire rod) for free if you need that.  I was just hanging onto it for a trail spare, needs to boots, but otherwise it works.

It's pretty easy to find bolts for all these things too, so I wouldn't hesitate to just cut the old ones out.  I wouldn't worry about replacing the rocker panel either.  Pull the dents out the best you can, covert the rust with something so it doesn't eat everything, and then cover them with rock sliders.  Way easier than welding in new stuff.  Also, I wouldn't just cover the rust for inspection.  Hit it with a rust converter, Rustoleum makes some in a spray can and it'll save you a ton of work down the road.  I say all this as someone who did that a year ago, and I'm paying for it now.  My passenger rocker panel and a spot on my rear corner are totally rusted out.  It's going to be a pain to get fresh metal in there before I can cover it.

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"I'm no longer ashamed to wheel with you." - Jeremy
overhead
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Crap, someone call Trevor.
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2018, 09:28:45 AM »

hit up scotts jeep yard on facebook, if you don't find it PM me and I'll add you. Scott is here on the board and constantly sells and parts out old jeeps. good guy to do business with.

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The only thing about a Yj that's reliable is its mechanic.

Joey to Mike- That's more like it! Never done.....just outta money at the moment.

atjeep-Every time a YJ passes inspection, an angel gets it's wings.
Jeepsnbuses
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« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2018, 09:47:51 AM »

Well shoot, I'll have a front D30 geared to 3.73 available cheap in week.  Also have a stock TJ steering setup (drag link and tire rod) for free if you need that.  I was just hanging onto it for a trail spare, needs to boots, but otherwise it works.

It's pretty easy to find bolts for all these things too, so I wouldn't hesitate to just cut the old ones out.  I wouldn't worry about replacing the rocker panel either.  Pull the dents out the best you can, covert the rust with something so it doesn't eat everything, and then cover them with rock sliders.  Way easier than welding in new stuff.  Also, I wouldn't just cover the rust for inspection.  Hit it with a rust converter, Rustoleum makes some in a spray can and it'll save you a ton of work down the road.  I say all this as someone who did that a year ago, and I'm paying for it now.  My passenger rocker panel and a spot on my rear corner are totally rusted out.  It's going to be a pain to get fresh metal in there before I can cover it.

Thanks, I'll note those suggestions. Like I said I've already got the replacement 3.07 geared D30 and it's pretty rust free. I'd of course prefer to move to 3.73 but for the time being I'm just focused on getting it roadworthy again with the 3.07s.  I probably would've done some more cutting this past weekend but the area in MD where I was at is still out of power, believe it or not. No power tools!

And that's good to hear about the rocker.  My initial impression was that it should be able to pass inspection in its current condition so that's reassuring. 

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2002 TJ Sport
Tow rig: 1973 Thomas school bus RV conversion. It's slow.

- Adam
Jeepsnbuses
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Posts: 1089
The seller and trader of many things.
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2018, 09:50:09 AM »

hit up scotts jeep yard on facebook, if you don't find it PM me and I'll add you. Scott is here on the board and constantly sells and parts out old jeeps. good guy to do business with.

I don't have Facebook! But I'll keep an eye out for him.  I met a real nice guy named Dan in PA this weekend where I bought the D30 and hood, he was also cool.  He's the one on Craigslist with these ads:

https://philadelphia.craigslist.org/pts/d/2000-jeep-wrangler-sahara/6497333734.html

Real good dude and has a total of four TJs right now. Gobs of parts all stored inside and seemed to be very knowledgeable about all things TJ.

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2002 TJ Sport
Tow rig: 1973 Thomas school bus RV conversion. It's slow.

- Adam
highlandercj-7
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« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2018, 12:46:49 PM »

Just a FYI, my Daughters 99 TJ 4.0L Auto (no OD) with 307's and 31's is doing good for that gear. It's also pulling 18-19 MPG It has no problem turning 90 MPH.

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HighlanderCJ-7
Jeepsnbuses
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« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2018, 02:01:51 PM »

Just a FYI, my Daughters 99 TJ 4.0L Auto (no OD) with 307's and 31's is doing good for that gear. It's also pulling 18-19 MPG It has no problem turning 90 MPH.

That's nice to know. I'll almost definitely stick with 30"-ish tires for the time being unless a smoking deal comes along for 31s. For something that will primarily see daily duty up and down Reston Parkway I don't have much need for more just yet.  That's some great highway mileage!

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2002 TJ Sport
Tow rig: 1973 Thomas school bus RV conversion. It's slow.

- Adam
highlandercj-7
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Posts: 1177
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2018, 02:36:36 PM »

5 Ravines with 31" BFG's

https://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/wto/d/5-bf-goodrich-tires-and-rims/6515096619.html


Four 30x9.50 BFGs on Crawlers.

https://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/wto/d/5-tires-and-rims-bf-goodrich/6508977284.html
« Last Edit: March 06, 2018, 02:39:27 PM by highlandercj-7 »

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HighlanderCJ-7
Jeepsnbuses
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« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2018, 04:06:59 PM »


Thanks. I've been on and off Craigslist constantly since starting this project and say both of these.  I'm holding back for now just because I've already sank some $$ into the TJ this past weekend.  I do like those Ravines in Herndon though......

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2002 TJ Sport
Tow rig: 1973 Thomas school bus RV conversion. It's slow.

- Adam
Jeepsnbuses
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Member 2018
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Posts: 1089
The seller and trader of many things.
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2018, 04:15:56 PM »


Thanks. I've been on and off Craigslist constantly since starting this project and say both of these.  I'm holding back for now just because I've already sank some $$ into the TJ this past weekend.  I do like those Ravines in Herndon though......

Darn it couldn't resist.  Sent him an offer, we'll see.

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2002 TJ Sport
Tow rig: 1973 Thomas school bus RV conversion. It's slow.

- Adam
Gr8Dain
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I HATE RUST!!!!!
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2018, 06:01:16 PM »

Wow. You really could not resist could you. There is not much time between your posts

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Dain

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

2015 JKU - Completely stock - Family mobile
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