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Picked Up The 04 Wrangler Project

Discussion in 'Quitters' Club' started by bigjohn, Aug 17, 2020.

  1. Aug 17, 2020
    bigjohn

    bigjohn Active Member

    Kelso Wa
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
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    1,068
    Well we picked up the wrangler project from my brother in law. My sister in law rolled it on their way home 4 years ago and its been sitting in his in laws field since. It was a beautiful jeep prior. He had poison spider flat fenders and rocker guards, 35s, a nice winch bumper with an awful stinger, sitting on a Rubicon express 4.5" lift

    I picked up some junky rollers in town for $20 and went up and winched it on the trailer. Once home I hooked up the rear driveline, bolted the coil rail back on and motored around the property a bit with no brakes.

    The first thing was to dung out the moldy nasty interior. I stripped the seats and carpet and pressure washed them, then hit the tub. I pulled the doors apart and vacuumed the broken glass out and used the 75's winch to pull both the door window frames back straightish. I'm going to mess with those and can hopefully make them work with glass again because hard doors are stupid expensive.

    Outside of that now I'm buffing paint back to life while I wait for parts. I'm trading a poison spider cage for a black hood, fenders and windshield frame and stock roll bar. It seems odd but this like all of my projects begin as budget projects to get on the road. I can bend another cage or add onto this one later on in life. I'm also buying wheels , 35 tires and fender flares from him.

    The front track bar is bent and the rear track arm /upper control arm mount was broken off in the accident and rewelded but it was all wrong so I torched that one off and ordered a new one from Barnes. That should be here tomorrow.

    Here's where it sits now
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  2. Aug 23, 2020
    bigjohn

    bigjohn Active Member

    Kelso Wa
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
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    1,068
    Still plugging away. Daddy daycare all weekend so progress is slow but Mahe a few trips to Estacada, the shop about an hour and a half away with the needed parts. Friday I went down and picked up the used wheels and tires, roll bar and front track arm. As is my ring, I drank a bunch of beer that night and polished the wheels.

    Today I got back to the shop for a few hours to pull the hood and front fenders and rear flares off the donor, and picked up the windshield frame and hinges. After returning I got a few minutes to mount the windshield and replace the hood. Tomorrow I'll work on removing the old inner fenders and installing the new ones.

    Also Thursday the track arm /upper Connell arm mount came in so I welded it together and welded it on. Of course then I learned about a rear geometry correction mounts jeep west makes so I'll likely be doing this again in the next few months.

    We're getting pretty excited, especially Anna. It won't be perfect but it should be a decent looking jeep.



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  3. Aug 23, 2020
    Bigdaddy13

    Bigdaddy13 Member

    So.Cal
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2019
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    556
    Lookin' great!
     
  4. Aug 23, 2020
    ITLKSEZ

    ITLKSEZ Hope for the best, prepare for the worst

    Spokane Valley, WA
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
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    6,667
    Just found this. You got a killer deal!
     
  5. Aug 25, 2020
    bigjohn

    bigjohn Active Member

    Kelso Wa
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
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    1,068
    Thank you very much guys. Getting closer to a road test . Got the new fenders and rear flares on last night. The front driver hard brake line broke the other night, so I'll make up a new one and bleed the brakes again. Then it's just finish installing bolts to the windshield frame, roll bar, install the new front rack bar. Anna was nagging me last night about when she'll get to drive it:madwife:. The reality is there'll be more bugs to work out I'm sure, and we need to wait for the salvage title to come to her brother, then transfer to us.

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  6. Aug 25, 2020
    Dave Deyton

    Dave Deyton Member

    Fuquay-Varina, NC
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2003
    Messages:
    855
    Looks like a great project. Nice! a Rubicon you can build how you want.

    Dave
     
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  7. Aug 30, 2020
    bigjohn

    bigjohn Active Member

    Kelso Wa
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
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    1,068
    Got a ton of little things done this week. The cage is all bolted down, same with the fenders. I moved the sway bar fender mounts from the old to new fenders. I'd run over the roll bar harness after pressure washing the bare tub to spliced in some new wires and mounted the speaker /light pods. This was different because apperantly this roll bar is from a 97-02. So is the windshield frame because my visors don't work. Also the hinges are apparently aftermarket because they don't fit well at all. They'll work but I'll buy some used OEM black hinges of ebay at some point . I also spent some time detailing fender flares and hit the new body parts with the buffer to better match the existing.

    I took it for a drive down the hill to the store today and if say it went well. I'm going to give the alignment a rough check up, it was twitchy at about 60mph. Otherwise she's very close. Shockingly no rattles or shakes or anything like that. And it handled fairly well in the curves up and down the hill . Still waiting for a few parts to come in but but I'm making a strong push for next weekend Anna driving it to run some trails at browns camp. I'm towing the 75, and this will be the first time out this summer.
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  8. Sep 4, 2020
    aallison

    aallison 74 cj6, 76 cj5. Has anyone seen my screwdriver?

    Green Cove...
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    Nov 24, 2006
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    1,929
    Nice jeep. I want those rims.
     
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  9. Sep 4, 2020
    Dave Deyton

    Dave Deyton Member

    Fuquay-Varina, NC
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2003
    Messages:
    855
    Those fender flares always fade out. Hit son's with some Krylon paint and made them look good again.
    You got that looking good. Looks like a great rig to hit the trails with.

    Dave
     
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  10. Oct 11, 2020
    bigjohn

    bigjohn Active Member

    Kelso Wa
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
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    I've still been plugging away at the tj. We finally got tags so we've both been driving the heck out of it. It's still very much so a budget project so we've been very frugal. We found a tattered but functional soft top with hardware and door surrounds for $50. Once we got that on I could tweak the doors to fit better. We swapped in new door glass and surprisingly got it to run to within about a quarter inch from the upper seal. Hopefully I'll find a set of decent affordable doors at some point. These are fine for now. Outside of that it's just been little stuff, replacing the original steering stabilizer, installing a winch and cb, ect. The winch turned out to be a junker, the motor gets very hot just running with no load, so I'm out $20 there, haha.

    Last weekend we hit the trail again. Anna did really great, does very well with picking lines and is really getting a good feel for it. I took the cj of course. We had intended to run some moderate trails maybe ending with fire break five, one of my favorite trails there and a black diamond. She ended up running that with ease, and the crushers filter at the top. I barely had opportunity to spot her because she'd already be through by the time I could park and run back. All in all Anna's very happy with her jeep and were both enjoying using it to commute.
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  11. Dec 3, 2020
    bigjohn

    bigjohn Active Member

    Kelso Wa
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
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    We have a few trips under our belt with the tj now. Anna is doing great with it, still learning the nuances like throttle usage but she's enjoying it. I scored an inexpensive hard top last night, popped it on today by myself. That was interesting. A few weeks ago I found a NIB warn vr8000 for about $100 off so I swapped that on. The smittybilt bumper shows up today so it went on as well. The rear tire carrier bumper audio came in but I his it on the barn attic until Christmas. The Mopar oem rubicon hood decals are also here but saving them for Christmas as well. I'm still waiting for the wife to wake up and see her jeep.

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  12. Dec 4, 2020
    jzeber

    jzeber Well-Known Member 2022 Sponsor

    Morgan Hill, Ca
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  13. Dec 4, 2020
    Twin2

    Twin2 not him 2024 Sponsor 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

    Virginia Beach, VA
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    Brown santa going to be busy this year . well the elves too :D
     
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  14. Dec 4, 2020
    bigjohn

    bigjohn Active Member

    Kelso Wa
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    The sliders are poison spider, maybe an older style than those you posted. There's also a poison spider steering gear protector you can just see under the bumper.

    I hadn't seen that rough country rear bumper, that's very nice! I picked up a Redrock rear bumper with carrier on black Friday for about $110 off.
    https://www.extremeterrain.com/redrock-4x4-rear-bumper-yj-tj-j100565.html
    If I'd seen this I likely would have bought it for the better latch.
    The lift is rubicon express short arm 4.5". It works well but the bilstien shocks were very stiff. They seem better with the hard top and winch /bumper but I may try a set of rancho 5000x shocks at some point.
     
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  15. Nov 23, 2023
    bigjohn

    bigjohn Active Member

    Kelso Wa
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
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    1,068
    Hmm, swung by this thread to add a few updates but the other pages are missing:shrug:

    Well I’ll update anyway because I was just working on it again last night. I ran it up to Winlock last weekend to continue working on that property cleanup and engine part sale and while driving home in the dark I was reminded how terrible the factory headlights are. With the f100 immobile for awhile and on hold, I said heck with it and “borrowed” the Holley retrobrite led headlights and swapped them into the wrangler. I like that these lights look like somewhat regular with no goofy halos or any of that. I’d installed some hella led driving lights but they’re not what I’d thought. They throw lots of light but you can’t use them around other cars. After installing these and getting them readjusted, these lights made a world of difference. Running up and down my rural road last night was awesome. I’m sure they’ll be terrible in the fog but I’ll deal with that.

    Otherwise not much new going on with the jeep. I trailered it to the family lake property last summer in CA and ran it all over while there for a week. It’s daily duties have been diminished the last few months with the arrival of the little beater 2.7 4x Tacoma but it’s time well come when the snow starts flying.

    Other updates over the last few years include a Currie anti rock bar, replaced both upper control arms front and rear, a rebuild 1350 joint ton woods rear double cardan driveline, and zj steering linkage along a few other things I can’t recall now. I’ve driven it all over including to CA with a pellet stove in the back and 9’ atv ramps strapped to the roof.

    On the to do list are a few things including an adjustable rear track bar at sooner point, and a battery sooner than later. My last few red top optimas are not in great shape. I’ve had both for north of a decade now, along with the blue top in the cj. At some point soon the red top in this will need replaced with something. The odyssey for it runs almost $400. With other priorities at this point it’ll probably just get a Walmart battery.

    Anyway, here’s the lights.
    IMG_4633.jpeg
     
  16. Nov 24, 2023
    Danefraz

    Danefraz Well-Known Member 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

    Chico CA
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    awesome, enlightening update.
     
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