1998 Sahara, Help Me Out Build Thread

fowldarr

Member
Nov 20, 2018
66
Coastal Oregon
Okay, this will be a slow build, so for those of you that like daily updates, I apologize in advance.

I am starting this thread for purely selfish reasons. So I can ask questions and hope that you all answer them without starting a new thread unless absolutely necessary.

So here Some obligatory driveway poser shots:

EC93A0E0-EE2E-4F66-87BC-EB13BF87F742.png


294F1DB4-B1AE-4AFD-A4AE-0E2C9C900A1C.jpeg


3CA07216-2415-403A-A523-2F8C7A8E1BF2.jpeg
 
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fowldarr

fowldarr

Member
Nov 20, 2018
66
Coastal Oregon
So, the first order of business is to make it more driveable. The PO didn’t know if it was lifted or not, but it is running 33x12.5. Based on useful knowledge found on this forum I measured the springs and determined it has a 2” lift (14” and 10” respectively).

The springs look ‘ok’ but the shocks are toast. They are rough country shocks, and according to the internet they are crap. May not have been crap when new, but I can tell you they are crap now.

I hear good things about Rancho shocks, but which model of shock do I need for a 2” lift? Or should I look at something different?

I should be clear that this is to make it driveable while I save up for a complete OME kit, but that will happen next year.
 
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Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Sep 28, 2015
36,261
Salem, Oregon
Help you out huh? I can help you out with some bumpers ;)

Kidding of course! But on the subject of bumpers, your fog lights seem to be directly in two entirely different directions.

I'll try to answer most of what you post.

If you don't get answers though, you may need to post new threads from time-to-time. Sometimes they get lost in the build threads (mine is a perfect example of that).
 
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fowldarr

fowldarr

Member
Nov 20, 2018
66
Coastal Oregon
Help you out huh? I can help you out with some bumpers ;)

Kidding of course! But on the subject of bumpers, your fog lights seem to be directly in two entirely different directions.

I'll try to answer most of what you post.

If you don't get answers though, you may need to post new threads from time-to-time. Sometimes they get lost in the build threads (mine is a perfect example of that).
Yeah, the lights needs adjusted and tightened.

So, about the shocks....?
 
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Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Sep 28, 2015
36,261
Salem, Oregon
Yeah, the lights needs adjusted and tightened.

So, about the shocks....?
As far as ride quality goes, Rancho RS5000X are the best shocks you can get without spending a small fortune. Sure, you could spend $1000 plus on shocks like me and have them tuned specifically for the vehicle, but that's a waste of time and money, unless you are really trying to build the hell out of it.

For a 2" lift, these are the Ranchos you'll want:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01963N4ZY/?tag=wranglerorg-20

You won't regret those. I've run Bilstein 5100s, Fox 2.0s, OME Nitrochargers, and Rancho RS5000X shocks. The Ranchos ride the best of the bunch, no contest.
 
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fowldarr

fowldarr

Member
Nov 20, 2018
66
Coastal Oregon
Okay, next question:

I have the dreaded exhaust leak, sounds like this is a really common problem. I think the recommendation is to buy one with thicker walls, but is there one that you all recommend?
 

Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Sep 28, 2015
36,261
Salem, Oregon
Okay, next question:

I have the dreaded exhaust leak, sounds like this is a really common problem. I think the recommendation is to buy one with thicker walls, but is there one that you all recommend?
The best solution for this is to take it to any good exhaust shop and have them build a new system on this. I had this done with mine and it only cost me around $250, and that was for everything. I was in and out in about 2 hours, and it looked great.

The problem with the aftermarket systems they sell is that they are a huge waste of money. They run around $550 and you usually get a poor fitting exhaust system that while advertised as a direct fit, almost always involves some minor bending and tweaking in order to get it to fit right.

I would never, ever recommend anyone with a TJ pay for an exhaust system they found online. Always go to a good local exhaust shop and have them do it. There may not be any around you, but it's a quick enough job that even if you were out on vacation or traveling, it would only take 2-hours of your time.

As for mufflers, have them use whatever they recommend. I've tried most of them, and they all sound the same.
 

glwood

Jeep # 13
Supporting Member
Sep 16, 2016
5,835
Albuquerque, NM
Okay, next question:

I have the dreaded exhaust leak, sounds like this is a really common problem. I think the recommendation is to buy one with thicker walls, but is there one that you all recommend?
First question is where is the exhaust leak? Manifold, downpipes, or further back? If you're asking about headers or aftermarket exhaust manifolds, the opinions vary widely.
 

JMT

The Jeep Guy
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Feb 27, 2017
7,617
Texas Hill Country
To stay on 33’s and use the new Rancho shocks you really need a minimum of 3-3.5” of overall lift. To achieve this you can keep the springs you have for now, but the shocks run long and you’ll need a 1.25” body lift to provide for them and properly clear the 33’s. Later you can go to OME springs.
 
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fowldarr

fowldarr

Member
Nov 20, 2018
66
Coastal Oregon
Okay, a little more help needed. It's great to get your thoughts, experiences and knowledge. So my question is, will you look at my butt?

All joking aside, and yes I'll post a picture later, I'm trying to figure out how much body lift I'm running, and I'm being lazy and don't want to crawl under the jeep until I get my garage cleaned out, and that will probably be after Christmas.

I think I have a body lift (after reading several threads). I am running 33x12.5's I have clearance and only rubbing at full lock. I have measured my coils and determined I have a 2" lift there (I assume rough country since that is what shocks are on it). So, how big is a stock butt crack? Anyone have pictures of a stock butt crack?

Show me your butts?

Do I need to start a separate "Show me your butt crack" thread?
 

bobthetj03

vibrajeep
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Feb 3, 2017
8,384
NorCal
It's pretty easy to tell. Just look at the rear below the rear door. This is no BL.
20160102_145539.jpg
 
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fowldarr

fowldarr

Member
Nov 20, 2018
66
Coastal Oregon

So, I have (in theory) 3" of total lift, (2" susspension, 1" body) which, as I've read, is the minimum needed to clear 33's.

I am still getting some rubbing when at full lock, so I guess it is time to look at my backspacing. (I figured it was fine, because the tires stick out further than I'd personally like them too), and also some research to figure out exactly what and where I am hitting.
 

bobthetj03

vibrajeep
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Feb 3, 2017
8,384
NorCal
a simple steering stop adjustment may be all you need to stop the rubbing at lock.
 
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fowldarr

fowldarr

Member
Nov 20, 2018
66
Coastal Oregon
Yeah, it's on my list. I'm lucky in the fact that the jeep is not my daily driver (I actually don't drive every day, my daily commute is 7 minutes on foot....if I walk slow).

So I get to slow walk the issues with the jeep, do my research, ask a lot of questions, and have an idea of what I am doing when I set to fixing it.

Exhaust leak, shocks and rubbing issues are my primary concerns right now.

After that, it is chasing down some oil leaks.

Somewhere in all of that it will get a thorough going through (change all fluids, check spark plugs and wires and all of that fun stuff)

E-brake cable needs adjusted

and some other minor things.

Overall, it's not in bad shape for having 220,000 miles on it.