2005 LJR Flame Red

Your battery doesn't look like it's sitting correctly. You can see the area where the wedge goes but the battery should be pushed rearward.
I thought the same thing, and you're probably right--but I gave it a shove and there's not a lot of wiggle room. I wonder if this Interstate battery is wider than OEM? I can always order the part from Amazon to see if it'll fit. I really don't like that tie-down method, though, as it doesn't seem like it'd hold in a rollover. And if I'm going to work on it, dammit, I'm going to go whole hog.

Does the OEM '05 hold down only work if there's a lip along the bottom edge of the battery? This one doesn't seem to have one.
 
Nice hood. You would get along well with @RINC. You guys could start a club or something 🙂
There's a story there... and it probably ends with me getting it resprayed.

Apparently the son of the previous owner was a world-renowned graffiti artist. This is probably him. So, his dad asked him to paint his Jeep's hood. It's not my style. I purchased a hood and grille from a '97 (both required because of the differences in the hood latch), but I'm not sure I want to go through the work just yet of swapping out the grille just to get rid of the hood. I'm going to a body shop either today or tomorrow to get a paint quote.
 
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I scraped away some of the corrosion and found a hole in the battery tray for the hold-down, barely visible in the photo below...

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I've ordered that OEM hold down, along with some 13" PIAA Super Silicone blades (p/n 95033).

I just noticed some oil spotting under the rear of the engine... possible RMS? Ugh.
 
There's a story there... and it probably ends with me getting it resprayed.

Apparently the son of the previous owner was a world-renowned graffiti artist. This is probably him. So, his dad asked him to paint his Jeep's hood. It's not my style. I purchased a hood and grille from a '97 (both required because of the differences in the hood latch), but I'm not sure I want to go through the work just yet of swapping out the grille just to get rid of the hood. I'm going to a body shop either today or tomorrow to get a paint quote.

Can we get a full pic of the hood? If that's his site he does some impressive work. Doesn't belong on a hood though.
 
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Can we get a full pic of the hood? If that's his site he does some impressive work. Doesn't belong on a hood though.
His sister is the appointed estate representative. She told me the story, and that they told her dad to clear-coat the hood after the graffiti job. But he didn't, and it's peeling pretty bad:

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This was a helpful video... I think I'm going to get an '04 tray and hold down on eBay. I've cancelled my OEM wedge order.
 
Rear seat belts are in. I'm really impressed with this eBay seller, baseline4x4. The belts were packaged really well, fasteners zip-tied to their mounting flanges, it made for a really quick install.

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Removed the milk jugs and starting removing the headlight trim rings. Planning to paint the rings flat black. One came out easily; the last screw (it's always the last screw) of the passenger-side bezel has a stripped Torx head. Evidently someone wanted to remove it before I did. I have spare screws, but I have to get this one out. I think I'll just Dremel the head off of it to get the ring out.
 
Removed the milk jugs and starting removing the headlight trim rings. Planning to paint the rings flat black. One came out easily; the last screw (it's always the last screw) of the passenger-side bezel has a stripped Torx head. Evidently someone wanted to remove it before I did. I have spare screws, but I have to get this one out. I think I'll just Dremel the head off of it to get the ring out.

Ah yes, the mascara look 🙂. Color-matched would look much better IMO. You can get matching paint and clear coat from automotivetouchup.com.
 
Color-matched would look much better IMO.
Ohh... I don't know if I've seen that. Got any examples? I'll do a search...

EDIT: Internet search delivered this, from a dead thread in another forum:

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I like it... but not enough to wait. I've already primed the fasteners flat black and removed one of the bezels. I know that site and will definitely be sourcing an aerosol can at some point to do this (oh... or have them done with my hood), but in the meantime I'll try out the 'emo' look.

If I comment in here that I've ordered an angry grille, though, you have my permission to alert the necessary authorities.
 
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Ohh... I don't know if I've seen that. Got any examples? I'll do a search...

EDIT: Internet search delivered this, from a dead thread in another forum:

View attachment 529207

I like it... but not enough to wait. I've already primed the fasteners flat black and removed one of the bezels. I know that site and will definitely be sourcing an aerosol can at some point to do this (oh... or have them done with my hood), but in the meantime I'll try out the 'emo' look.

If I comment in here that I've ordered an angry grille, though, you have my permission to alert the necessary authorities.

I sanded down and painted mine soon after getting it around 07. I've had to repaint them a few times due to rock chips. I finally gave in and picked up a set of black plastic rings to no longer need to paint them again... Food for thought if you see chips in the future.
 
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Well, I melted that last hole in the bezel while drilling out the head of the screw. Good thing they're cheap. Two should hold it in for awhile, anyway.

Scuffed, degreased, and sprayed with flat black primer:

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I'll have the shop hit them with Flame Red-ish whenever I can get the hood done. Worst case, I'll go get black replacements when they're chipped all to hell.
 
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OK, replacement tail light & Claytone backup LED installed. Fog light mount "fixed" with a junk-drawer stainless bolt and nut. Wiper blades installed (the white "PIAA" logo is trick, that's gotta be good for 2 hp).

I have the battery tray in hand and might put it in tonight... but it's hot up here in the NE today. Besides, the OEM hold-down doesn't arrive until next week.
 
I got motivated to do the battery tray so I can do more of nothing this weekend. The tray is Crown. The hardest part was threading the battery temp sensor through the hole. Now just waiting on the eBay hold down.

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Also took inventory of the incredibly dusty soft top that came with the Jeep. It looks like everything's there. I want to pull off the hard top and put on the soft top sometime in the next couple of days.
 
Started removing hard top hardware. What are these %&$#ing things? Used for alignment when installing, maybe? The front ones came out easy. The rear... I tried pliers, zip ties, hammering washers down around them... ultimately, I just cut them off with dikes.

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"Hey! I'll bet we'd sell twice of many of these little buggers if we installed them right behind the roll bar."
- Mopar, probably

Also installed the painted headlight bezels. I don't love it, I don't hate it. I think I'll like color-matched whenever I can get around to that.

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Top's off. Wife riding shotgun, kid and his buddy in the back seat. Behind the LJ's rear seat is a perfect spot for my 90-lb lab to lie down. I'm gonna like having this thing to run around in.
 
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Removed nerf bars, leaving these backing plates that appear to be inaccessible from inside the tub.

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The holes in the bottom of the body are sufficiently large that I don’t want to just leave them as is. There’s no rust and I want to keep it that way, so… I was thinking I’d cut and drill some aluminum stock, then install cover plates over all of them with new hardware, then cut the bolts short? Maybe make an RTV sandwich. Is there a better way?

What else did I do today… installed a dog leash on the rear roll bar. Got a TJ-sized Alien Shade on the way. Topped off the oil. I want to get on changing fluids soon: engine, diffs, trans, transfer case, coolant. And pinpointing my oil leak.