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2000 TJ Ol Yeller

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

  1. penk

    penk TJ Enthusiast
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    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.

    04687de4371aa2ea682fd4cf80bd6953.jpg

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

    83a6c565021034bfb49a3f7a8f6b44f6.jpg

    Now out for a ride...

    geek. berlin, ma. 2000 TJ. http://planet-geek.com
     
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  2. penk

    penk TJ Enthusiast
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    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 TJ Addict

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    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 TJ Enthusiast
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  5. badlieutenant

    badlieutenant TJ Addict

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  6. penk

    penk TJ Enthusiast
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    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.

    Onward!
     
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  7. penk

    penk TJ Enthusiast
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    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.
     
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  8. Chris

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

    penk TJ Enthusiast
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    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
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    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):
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00020CAUG/?tag=wranglerorg-20

    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 TJ Enthusiast
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    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
     
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  12. JMT

    JMT The Jeep Guy
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    Keep the updates coming. Sounds good (no pun intended)!
     
  13. Chris

    Chris Administrator
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    Looks like you did some serious audio work there! I'm sure that does indeed sound much better.
     
  14. penk

    penk TJ Enthusiast
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    Winter means getting back into working on the Jeep (wait, does it? Oh heck, dunno. Vacation is a good time to do stuff). For ages now I've had a back flip seat sitting in the garage, with no brackets in the TJ to install into. Yesterday was the day!

    I bought new brackets and screws a few months ago, so I should have all the things neeed. What had been holding me up was worry about the Monstaliner that the previous owner had coated the entire tub with. It was over all the screw holes and mounting points, so that needed to be removed before installing.

    I had help from a friend with some extra tools, and we were able to use a blow torch to heat up the monstaliner that was covering the side bracket screws, and, using a small pick, get the material out of the torx (torque?) head enough to get a good solid mating of the socket. Those screws came out fine, but there was also material in the holes in the floor of the tub where material had dripped in while painting.

    We tried using the torch and screws to see if we could get the material out of the way, but it didn't work (the screws would just jam up). In the end we used a tapping set to re-groove the holes and we were able to seat the screws into the floor of the tub

    After that it was just a matter of putting the brackets in and dropping the seat in place. It fit like it was supposed to, but I realized I was missing a part. There's a C-clip or something similar that goes on the front bar that keeps the seat from sliding sideways when folded up. That clip was missing, so I'll need to go find that before I can declare this useable.

    The next step will be to get a seat belt set (hellooooo ebay) and install those. When that's all done, I'll finally be able to take the family out for drives and wheeling if they want to come along! It'll be nice being more than a 2 seater.
    TJ-seat installation 1.jpg Tj-seat installation 2.jpg TJ-seat installation 3.jpg
     
  15. VallenMaes

    VallenMaes TJ Enthusiast

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    @penk when you find those clips post a link. i need some as well!!!
     
  16. penk

    penk TJ Enthusiast
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    @VallenMaes I found a forum post where someone posted pics of the clips, but I haven't found someone who makes / sells them.
    upload_2017-12-23_20-38-11.png

    Since there's not a lot of lateral pressure on this clip, I think anything that keeps it relatively in place should be fine. I'm considering a hose clamp or something like this: https://www.mcmaster.com/#98395A227

    Dunno, I'll let you know. Still need to get seatbelts :)
     
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  17. penk

    penk TJ Enthusiast
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    About a week and a half ago I posted on the "what did you do to your TJ today" thread pointing out the next project days work. Here's the build update from that days work.

    We booked the auto bay for the day, and hauled the jeep in around 10am. It was snowing outside, so I got as much snow off and let the rest melt off - still had to mop up the shop floor a few times to keep our feet from getting cold. Yuck.

    readytostartwork.jpg

    The first thing to fix was the lower door sills. Along the bottom of each door is a metal plate that basically glues to the body. I understand the goal is to keep crunch boots from dinging the paint on the door, but it's a little bit of a hack. The old sills had completely delaminated and were falling apart. I pulled them off months ago (they're just held on with VHB tape) and ordered a new set from Amazon.

    sill-before-cleaning.jpg

    Most of the work here was cleaning off the old tape and gunk that was on the body. In the end it looked great and the paint wasn't damaged at all. There was a little staining from rust run off, but that's expected for an 18 year old vehicle. I have to make a small pitch right now for plastic razor blades. If you're scraping off gunk, glue, and other debris from a painted surface, plastic razor blades are AMAZING. They allow you to scrape away at the glue residue without damaging the paint. That, combined with using WD40 and a hot air gun to turn the glue into beads of glop, I was able to get the entire sill super-clean.

    sill-after-cleaning.jpg sill-all-done.jpg


    Using simple green and some paper towels, I got the last of the oils and residue off, and the frame fairly sparkled with cleanliness. It was a like a new jeep! door. frame. Well, okay, one step at a time.

    Next project was a problem with my horn. This sounds goofy I know, but I have a little electric air horn that I've been trying desperately to get working correctly (alas, these things are stupid-cheap). We needed some extra hosing and remounts, but got it working. It's not nearly as dramatic as I want, so I may need to replace it again. The goal here was just to get it so the poor fellow would pass inspection (which is now, er, over a year out of date. _cough_)

    The last thing to do was the big project. I'd been throwing a check engine light and an error code showing a bad O2 sensor. The codes were a little confusing, but a few power up and down cycles narrowed it down to Bank2 Sensor2, which is the 'downstream' sensor on (apparently) cylinder 1-3? (why that's bank 2 i don't know, just is).

    o2sensor-before.jpg

    Picked up a spare sensor that should have been the right one, and hauled the jeep up on the lift. This sensor isn't that hard to get to, it's on the back of the manifold, just below the cat. We had an O2 sensor wrench (which looks like a fixed socket with a slot on one side for the wire). We put some kroil penetrating oil on it, let it sit for 15 minutes, then tried to undo the sensor

    That sucker WOULD. NOT. MOVE.

    We were running the risk of bending the O2 wrench, so we ended up cutting the leads and fitting a closed end wrench around it. It still wouldn't move. We were not going to use a breaker bar or anything because the last thing we wanted was a damaged manifold or a ripped off O2 sensor.

    o2sensor-meets-blowtorch.jpg

    In the end, it took about 45 minutes of kroil, a blowtorch to heat it, and gentle working back and forth to get it to start moving, and then it... unscrewed, just like it was supposed to. It wasn't easy by any stretch, but it backed out of the hole and lo, there it was in my hand. Magic. Replacing it was almost anticlimactic. We put on some copper-based anti-seize (that stuff was hard to find), and remounted (CAREFULLY) the sensor (you can't let the sensor touch anything going in, particularly the antiseize).

    o2sensor-finally-removed.jpg

    Getting the pigtail disconnected from the harness is awkward as hell - it's toward the back of the block, close to the firewall. It's easy to get one arm into there, but you really need two hands to unclip the old connector and plug the new one in. I ended up breaking the clip on the old one and pulling it out, which made me feel a little guilty, but it allowed me to get it clear and clip in the new connector.

    o2sensor-new-installed.jpg

    After making sure everything was where it should be, we hooked up the OBD display again, and started the engine. Lo, B2S2 was now showing a real value (not just '1.0v'), that fluctuated up and down. This is not a 100% slam dunk, but it showed real data. There still coul dbe a problem in the other sensors. We cleared the codes, saw that we were getting the 'insufficient data' warning (expected because the engine hadn't gone through a few stop/start cycles), but declared victory.

    Some lessons learned.

    O2 sensors are a bear to work on. I knew that going in, but it was still good learning. As with anything rusty and dirty and old, be patient - you can work it loose, just take your time.

    Having the right tools is critical. I don't have my own garage to work in, I use the auto bay and tools at http://makeitlabs.com/ - which gives me some of the better stuff ,but I still need to bring a lot of my own things. The plastic scrapers, the O2 wrench, a good butane torch, proper antiseize, all are things a shop should have. Now I want me own garage :)

    That was almost 2 weeks ago. I've run yeller 4-5 times on errands and a few long drives, and no error code has popped up again. Feel damned good about that.

    Onward!
     
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  18. penk

    penk TJ Enthusiast
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    Very small update today before we go in for the big project. Replaced the lifters on the back of the hard top so the glass finally goes up and down like it should. It's the small things.

    This afternoon we're hauling it in to replace the ball joints. This should be fun :)
     
  19. penk

    penk TJ Enthusiast
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    (Copying this from the 'what did you do to your TJ today' thread, mostly so I can keep this build log going...)

    Well nuts. Last night was Replace the Ball Joints Night. Which, honestly, almost went okay. Got the wheel off (had one very nasty lug nut that wouldn't move. Broke off the aluminum cap on the lug, so went down one size on the impact wrench and managed to get the lug off. Swapped that one out for one from the spare. I may be replacing all my lugnuts soon, because those capped things are for the birds).

    Got the caliper off, the axle nut cover and the axle nut (yay 36mm impact sockets!!), and got 2 of the 3 hub bolts out. You see where this is going....

    upload_2018-5-4_8-59-19.png

    The last bolt was pretty well rounded off (long before I got to it). We had pre-soaked the bolts in Kroil (you can see it in the picture), but there was just no getting a grip on this one. First of all, are these things supposed to be spline bolts? I had a hanger-on last night telling me those are supposed to be reverse torque bolts but I have my skeptical face on.

    So, we considered options like welding on some scrap or an old socket, and twisting the bolt out, as well as heating it with a torch and trying to get a grip on it, but it was getitng late and I needed to get home, so we buttoned everything up and came home.

    Now i'm in the "fuck it" stage, and will probably hand it to my local garage, with the ball joints, and say "Here, you do it." I'd much rather do this myself, but this is beyond my meager mechanical skill set. :(
     
  20. penk

    penk TJ Enthusiast
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    Back from the shop, they were able to remove the bolt and replaced the upper and lower ball joints, all in under 2 hours. Made the right decision here.

    I talked with the guys for a little while and got some details.
    • A standard propane torch just does not have enough 'oomph' to loosen up really stuck bolts like this. You need a shop torch to apply a helluva lot of heat. Today i learned...
    • They got the hub bolt loose after heat and hammering on a socket they were okay damaging / losing. I've talked to a couple other people, this seems to be a fairly standard procedure. If I ever build out my garage, I'll keep this in mind.
    • One other note - when doing heat like this, be careful of the ABS mechanism (you can see it in the previous picture - the gray wheel that looks like an inside out gear). that needs to be moved out of the way, as the torch splash can damage it.

    I feel super-bad about not being able to complete the work myself, but I learned a bunch, and will be ready for the next project (which is probably the rear seat belts, after I put the soft top on!!! :)
     

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