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2000 TJ Ol Yeller

Discussion in 'TJ Build Threads' started by penk, Jul 10, 2016.

  1. penk

    penk Member
    Thread Starter

    Had to come up with some name. I'm gonna wing this as my "build log" for the TJ I picked up 2 weeks ago. This is not my first Jeep (had a JK Sahara for a while) but my first "I'm gonna fix and build it myself" project. It's not my daily ride so downtime is ok.

    Specs on Yeller :
    108k miles
    No visible rust damage other than the beginnings of decay on the bushings and some fittings. Fenders and body look great.
    Manual (duh)
    I have a hard top but mostly I leave the bikini on and put the cover on at night.

    A previous owner has done some work, some i need to undo, some i need to fix.

    8k XRC winch and smittybilt bumpers.
    Hurley t stick knob (yuk)
    Some aftermarket exhaust that gives it a beautiful rumble. Love that.
    31"x10.5 tires no lift
    Cold flow air intake
    Entire tub done in bed liner (even over roll cage bolts and rear door contacts. Grump)

    Things Ive done.

    * Big tires caused rubbing on lower sway bar (I think, easy to see where). Added half inch spacers (see other thread) and no more rubbing!
    * Rear upper brake light was out. Wasn't the bed liner , it was a dropped wire on the inside of the body near the rear door contacts. Just had to snake my hand up and plug it in again. Easy!
    * Air horn was shot. Ordered a replacement but the horns were too long. Reused the old compressor but cut the bell off one horn. (See pic). Still no and loud and will now pass inspection.
    * Remote for winch was broken. Replaced (eBay, $12. Gotta love it)
    * Replaced all the missing drain plugs.
    * Have tube steel doors so did the fuse 4 surgery.

    It's a delight to drive. My next steps are going to be a little more work.

    * Flush and refill the transmission. Have good oil for it and a hand pump and the right size Allen wrench (huge). Probably do that this week. Second gear grinds when downshifting unless you really baby it, I hope this'll help.
    * Absolutely need to do something about the stereo. Stock blows fish chunks. This is easy territory for me, so I'll do 4 new speakers and an external amp and a good head unit. Probably do a di.pl head unit now with proper adapters, then do the dash mods for a double din later.
    * Speaking radio. Seems many clubs require CB radios and I'm ok with that. Jeep looks good with comm gear and antennas. Just need to figure out my mounts and wiring.
    * I need lift. I'm thinking just 1.5" spacers now o give it a little.mor clearance and a better look, and go for new springs later.
    * This may irritate people. I want to put my back seat back in. I love 2 seaters by not being able to carry someone else EVER is a pain. It'll probably b flipped up most of the time but I need it. Brackets arrived yesterday now just need to figure out how to install em.

    I'll try and keep this thread up to date. I'm not as heavy a modder as you guys but I love tinkering so maybe someone will find this useful.

    Here's some pics:

    New horns installed. They're loud.


    This rust patch under the front left fender worries me. Temped to wire brush it all out to see what's under it. Ideas?


    Now out for a ride...

    geek. berlin, ma. 2000 TJ. http://planet-geek.com
    Travis and UpperMI like this.
  2. penk

    penk Member
    Thread Starter

    Well crap. So at the beginning of this thread I put in a set of spacers to stop the rubbing. Well, that worked peachy, btu apparently i didn't tighten down my lugs enough (air wrench down to a couple whacks after fully engaging == not torqued enough), and this happened:

    2016-07-16 15.33.37.jpg

    Well, that's fixable, I got a set of new lug nuts, but only one would thread. Looks like one of the lugs damaged the threads on the end of the stud, so no threading there. With 4 lugs, I'm getting a big of a steering wobble at 50+mph, so it's really not as safe as it could be. :(

    So I'm now looking at replacing the stud, which doesn't look TOO hard, but is something I haven't done before. Wheee.
  3. badlieutenant

    badlieutenant Moderator Staff Member

    That rust patch is a cap/cover thingy. Either take it off and scrub it, treat it, and repaint it... or just get another one.

    If you want a new stereo check out the RoadNav S160. Fits perfectly.
  4. penk

    penk Member
    Thread Starter

  5. badlieutenant

    badlieutenant Moderator Staff Member

  6. penk

    penk Member
    Thread Starter

    Next update. So the loose lugnuts were fixable - or at least re-threadable. I was able to get 5 lugs on each wheel - ordered a full set of 20 new lugnuts to make everything match. But I was getting one heck of a vibration / shimmy at around 55mph. I was worried about getting into DEATH WOBBLE mode, so I took it to the local shop to have the wheels rebalanced. Yep, they were -all- out of spec. But they had a problem getting the front left wheel back on - with the spacers on, they couldn't get the lugs to thread. So we pulled the spacer, got the lugs on, and I drove home.

    I have a new set of 'active' spacers that have their own studs, so I'm planning on an afternoon of pulling wheels and rebolting things, once the outside temperature gets below "ZOMG".

    The rebalancing of he wheels however definitely fixed the shimmy, so I feel a lot safer on the road.

    Now if I can just figure out the squeaks coming from the front suspension. And the occasional squeaks that sound suspiciously like either a ball joint or a wheel bearing. When it's up on the jacks, I'll wiggle the wheels to see what moves and see if it's a bearing.

    Chris likes this.
  7. penk

    penk Member
    Thread Starter

    Thought I'd keep this thread up to date with the latest bits going on Ol Yeller. What I ended up doing is handing the entire thing over to http://www.bostonjeepz.net/ with instructions to do a stem to stern deep inspection. They originally were a little hesitant. Most TJ's of this vintage (2000, that's 16 years ago) are really on the edge of being worth putting major work in. Frame rust, body rust, cracked heads - any of these could basically mean "This jeep is recoverable, but you're going to put gobs and go s of money into it." Fortunately, after doing a 2hr inspection, Dave at BostonJeepz gave me the "This thing is in remarkably good shape. We can work with this." HURRAY.

    So here's what we did.
    * Replaced the entire front left hub assembly. The studs were in rough shape, the bearings were all but gone, best to rip it out and replace it.
    * Left hand ball joints replaced
    * Axle joint replaced (LH)
    * Add on stub end shaft
    * Right hand ball joints replaced
    * Axle joint replaced (RH)
    * Replace tie rod end and sleeve and pittman arm
    * Upgraded the damper arm
    * New plugs and major clean out, injectors cleaned and serviced

    Turns out the synchros on second gear are basically gone, so now power-downshifting for me for a while. That's going to be a major job that's not needed now. I'm just pretending I"m driving a pre-synchro truck. Still working on my double-clutching.

    All this coupled with the new balanced wheels have made this guy WONDERFUL to drive. Very stable, not a hint of a wobble, shake or instability (other than the normal "you have a short wheel base vehicle on big tires. It can be skittish). I found myself yesterday driving at pushing 80mph and it was nice and stable (cept for the skittish part... had to be careful on rougher parts of the highway)

    I have a series of 'next projects' going on. I'll do another post shortly about what's going on with the audio upgrades I'm doing, but the secondary path is rust management. I have several dings in the paint now that are rusting (nothing 'through' but enough that I'll need to sand, prime, and repaint - probably no filler), and of course coming up with a regular maintenance plan for the frame and underbody. I live in Boston, and the TJ lives outside most of the time. I need to have a plan to do regular maintenance on it to keep the rust monster at bay.
  8. Chris

    Chris Administrator Staff Member

    Salem, Oregon
    Sounds like they did a great job and it's running good as new (minus the transmission).
  9. penk

    penk Member
    Thread Starter

    Here's the second post. I did the final plunge and replaced the head unit and speakers. The speakers were really the easy part. JVC CS-DR520 5 1/4" in the sound bar, Kicker 40CS4644x6" in the dash, and a "JVC KD-X33MBS Digital Media Receiver" in dash head unit - sort of neat that if you don't need the mechanicals of a cassette player and/or CD player, the unit gets VERY small. Basically a computer, buttons, a display, and an amp. I picked the JVC because it has line level outs, which means I can add an amp later, more on this in a minute.

    The speaker installation was a breeze. Have to hand it to Crutchfield, it's still the best place purchase equipment. The old speakers popped out fine, and using the adapters provided, I just plugged the new leads in, and remounted.
    2016-09-29 17.57.43.jpg

    The in-dash speakers were just as easy, using an adapter plate to match the TJ's mounts to the speakers. Was done with them in about half an hour.

    The head unit was more work, as expected, but nothing untoward. I found out the previous owner had not screwed in the plastic facing around the stereo, so it basically just popped off in my hand. Crutchfield provided the wiring harness and after soldering everything up, I remounted things.
    2016-10-13 17.31.27.jpg

    One problem I had was finding a place to set the ground. THere was no ground strap behind the old head unit. What I ended up doing was running a lead out to a screw just in front of the windshield:
    2016-10-13 17.49.41.jpg
    which looks like it's being used as a ground elsewhere, so that was easy.

    All assembled, it looks great
    2016-10-14 11.02.23.jpg

    So, how does it sound?

    Better. Definitely an improvement over the stock stereo (banging two rocks together would be better than the stock radio), but with the hard top on, the space is just so echo-y and flat, mid-ranges are killing my ears. I'm enjoying it to be sure, but it needs more.

    Next steps will be either a single or dual amp to allow e to drive some more power into those speakers, as well as a subwoofer. If I can put power into the sub to get the low end without blowing out the midranges, I should do better.

    I am also considering acoustic treatments on the inside. Anyone put carpeting or some soft material under the roof to deaden the echoes a bit?
  10. Chris

    Chris Administrator Staff Member

    Salem, Oregon
    Glad you're liking the new sound system. This is something I've been meaning to do on my TJ for a while now, and really need to get around to. I don't expect the kind of sound system you'd get in a nice BMW, but I suppose anything would be better than the stock setup.

    As for sound deadening / acoustic treatment, I used this stuff on my previous BMWs (which had really nice sound systems):

    Check out the reviews on that stuff and you'll see it's very, very highly regarded. I think that most high end audio shops use that stuff as well for their custom installs. It really works at keeping the outside noise out, and the inside noise in.
  11. penk

    penk Member
    Thread Starter

    So the great next step has started moving forward. See https://wranglertjforum.com/threads/audio-buildout-amp-location-and-tweeters.4711/ for a discussion on the process, but I'm installing a set of two channel passive crossovers, new tweeters, and a nice big amp. The goal is not to have studio quality sound, but to have enough range to enjoy music, even at moderate road noise, which is tricky even with the new HU and speakers.

    Today I installed the tweeters and crossovers, and reprogrammed the HU to balance things out better. I had been pushing things hard in the sound bar to make up for the poor high range coming from the shin-speakers, but that meant al the highs were rattling around in the tub. Now that I have dash tweeters, I can put most of the highs on the front speakers / tweeters, and let the sound bar carry most of the mid and bass.

    The crossovers ended up being larger than I expected (a little bigger than a cassette box each), but there was room behind the climate control panel to place them. I ended up making new patch lines from the HU to the crossovers, and back to the speaker leads. All came together in about 2 hours.

    The result? MUCH better. I had to tune down the highs on the front speakers, because of tweeters pointing at my head, but the overall sound had much better range, and since I wasnt trying to squeeze highs out of the lower speakers, much better balanced. I'm going to remount the tweeters so they're flat on the dash, and drill a hole for the wire. There's no reason for them to pointing out like this, and it's actually a little jarring. And it'll look better flat.

    The amp will be next, which requires a new mount under the seat and some more wiring, but with that I should be able to really drive the speakers properly, and not have clipping problems.

    dash-installation.jpg tweeter-on-dash.jpg halfway-through-installation.jpg
    Rob5589 and JMT like this.
  12. JMT

    JMT TJ Enthusiast

    Keep the updates coming. Sounds good (no pun intended)!
  13. Chris

    Chris Administrator Staff Member

    Salem, Oregon
    Looks like you did some serious audio work there! I'm sure that does indeed sound much better.

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