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September 19, 2019, 08:24:08 AM

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Author Topic: '97 TJ Build with my son  (Read 1803 times)
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Tmowell
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« on: March 14, 2019, 12:12:54 PM »

Decided that for my son's first vehicle we would build a '97 TJ. The TJ is a 2.5, that we were told had a blown head and was smoking really bad (words from a teenage cheerleader  Laughing ) It had also hit a deer, and the water pump was leaking as well. But it did have a brand new 3 speed Jasper transmission. Bought it for $1250



The plan for the build has changed many times but we knew it was going to need the engine checked, a new front fender, and then the mods started. The plan is as follows:

New front and rear bumpers
New armor: Smittybilt front tube fenders, rock rails, rear corner armor, and rear fender flares
Metalcloak 3.5" springs (Need help deciding which shocks to go with)
1.25" JKS body lift
Painting frame to prevent rust
Monstaliner paint, inside and out
Seat covers (looking for a front drivers seat)
33/35s tires

The build started out trying to determine whether we would leave the 2.5 in and rebuild, swap to a 4.0, or swap and go LS. Figured the best thing to do was to tear it apart and figure out exactly what was going on inside the motor. And found that there were 3 bent springs but the pressure was good. Had the head cleaned, valve job and new springs done.



Justin is currently removing all the rust from the frame and axles so we can use Eastwoods product "Rust Encapsulator Platinum" and then their Black rust prevention over the entire frame. and we have removed all the seats to determine the shape of the tub and prep for the Monstaliner



Did find this hole under all the carpet on the drivers side and could use advise on how to go about patching it.



This past weekend we removed the gas tank skid in preparation to remove the shocks and rust removal from the rear of the frame.



The final stage of Sunday evening was to do a little mock of what it would look like with the 35s on it


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Tmowell
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« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2019, 12:15:57 PM »

Now that I have caught everyone up on the build, I'll do a better job of blogging as we go with the build.

Still needing help with determining which shocks to go with because of the "looseness" of the Metalcloak springs, and I'm trying to determine what the best course of action is with the driveline and driveshafts. Can I use the OG or do I need to buy Adams since I'm putting the 3.5 lift under it?
« Last Edit: March 14, 2019, 12:35:22 PM by Tmowell »

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RFH_98TJ
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« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2019, 01:31:52 PM »

Nice start and write up!  Sounds like a great project for father and son too.  Are you sure you want to go with 35s?  I would think 33s were about it with a 2.5 if you want some power out it.  You'd definitely need to gear it real low (4.88 or 5.13?) I would think.  I have no experience with a 2.5 so maybe I'm wrong.

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98 TJ 4.0 Sport 5-speed - 4" lift on 33s, 4.56 on D30 with Lock Right and Ford 8.8 LS, more stuff to come

- Frank
Tmowell
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« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2019, 01:42:34 PM »

Thanks, and Iím thinking 33s because of the power issue. It does have 4.10s but also a d35 so the 35/ would help blow that up as well.

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overhead
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« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2019, 02:25:37 PM »

I'm on 4.88s with a 2.9ish engine and it turns my 35s great till I hit a hill without speed.

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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.
Runner
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« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2019, 05:50:03 PM »

Years ago I put my Son in a TJ.  In doing so, I resisted the urge to go larger tires.  My main concern was putting him in a vehicle that required sacrifices to handling and braking.  Based on that, I did a tummy tuck and ran a 32/11.50R15 tire.  He drove the Jeep, with a smile, and never complained about needing bigger tires. 

I also helped a friend build a Jeep for his Daughter, similar, but on 31" tires.  Both Jeeps went everyplace we could go on 33s, with only moderate contact on the skids.  In the end, they both learned to be better drivers off-road, while being safe on-road.  A setup like this wouldn't hurt performance, handling and braking would be close to normal, and the rears would hold out with no issues.  As is always the case, just food for thought!

As for the shocks, if you want to firm up the ride, Bilstein 5100s are the firmest shock I've ever run on a TJ.  I ran them with both a BDS and Metalcloak lift.


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2004 LJ, 1999 TJ Sporticon - "Owning a Jeep is a sickness. However, it's one I'll gladly endure!"
Jeep Freak
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« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2019, 09:09:38 PM »

that hole in the floor looks like the floor drain with the plug missing.

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'93 YJ SOA on 36s
'13 JKUR
overhead
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Crap, someone call Trevor.
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2019, 09:52:17 PM »

that hole in the floor looks like the floor drain with the plug missing.

It's a deceptive picture. You can put your hand through the outside of the hole to get to the drain hole in the secondary layer

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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.
Tmowell
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« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2019, 10:11:34 PM »

Runner, thanks for the advice. Iím heavily considering the Rubi takeoffs and 11.5x32.

As for the whole, as Overhead said it is very deceptive. Iíll have to get a better picture.

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crazyskier92
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« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2019, 05:11:14 AM »

I got a 6.0 LQ9 throw that puppy in there. Then whatever tires he wants it'll turn them.

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unleashd
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« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2019, 06:01:32 AM »

that hole in the floor looks like the floor drain with the plug missing.

It's a deceptive picture. You can put your hand through the outside of the hole to get to the drain hole in the secondary layer

Jeep Freak is correct. That is the drain hole. Here's what mine looked liked like before I started to clean it :O 



For reference, here's the layout of the floor pan on the Driver's side, for hole locations.


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Prakash

o|||||||o
2005  LJ

Quote from: Runner
A 3.73 ratio, or 4.10 for that matter, won't cut it with 32-33" tires and the 42RLE automatic.  4.88 is the sweet spot
Tmowell
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« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2019, 06:37:06 AM »

Have the driveshaft issue fixed, I picked up an Oliver driveshaft with SYE that fits the 4Ē lift.

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Tmowell
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« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2019, 08:51:55 AM »

Hereís a better pic of the hole. While itís not huge the rust still goes back a little more. I am not a welder so putting a new pan in would probably my be the best move, just need someone that could do it for me.





Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Tmowell
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« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2019, 12:35:50 PM »

Justin and I finished all the rust removal from the frame and axles last night. Used the Eastwood Prepaint Prep was done and I got the Platinum Paint-over Rust Encapsulator put on.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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RFH_98TJ
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« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2019, 12:44:07 PM »

But did you do the inside of the frame?

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98 TJ 4.0 Sport 5-speed - 4" lift on 33s, 4.56 on D30 with Lock Right and Ford 8.8 LS, more stuff to come

- Frank
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