4-cylinder cross country crawler build

Well my transfer case is fixed. Didn’t have a snap ring on the input shaft so in 4low when running the planetary gears it would just slide inward of the case disengaging the whole gear and only would the shifter fork going back to 2h would it push it back in. That shaft also would move so much that the trans output seal would touch nothing so it was just dumping oil out the back when it happened. Also smashed my shock so bad it turned into a maraca.
Both have been fixed and took a great trip to Kilgore idaho camping. 5th gear is impressive now where 50-70mph it’s usable even going up hills and the elevation. With the gears I’m also getting over 20 miles to gallon. Somewhere in 20-25 miles to the gallon. I’ll have to trip it next time but impressive non the less.

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Just read through your build and I'm impressed by your tenacity to build your Jeep in the parking lot! Loved the story of the trip to get the axles, now that's an adventure! I'm not a college kid, but a dad, and my Jeep is just a toy, so I can't throw a bunch of money at it at once and you motivate me to just chip away and enjoy the process!

Do you have any more info from your DIY highlines?

Keep it up!
 
Just read through your build and I'm impressed by your tenacity to build your Jeep in the parking lot! Loved the story of the trip to get the axles, now that's an adventure! I'm not a college kid, but a dad, and my Jeep is just a toy, so I can't throw a bunch of money at it at once and you motivate me to just chip away and enjoy the process!

Do you have any more info from your DIY highlines?

Keep it up!

Thank you lol. It’s a fun journey learning as I go and it keeps me well occupied thinking at what I want to do next (and afford) all while still just driving it everyday. The parking lot doesn’t bother me except it’s beyond filthy to lay on and I’m limited to my tools. With the goal of well built tj on 35s I feel like it’s actually possible to chip away part by part and not compromise the build unlike a lot of dude I see doing stretch and tons but do one parts at a time which often leads to them redoing a lot bc all the fabrication needs to be done together to get set properly.

As for the high lines I’m an open book but I haven’t made my own forum page for it but I think I should bc I’ve had a lot of people ask about them but I took a video intending to post it on YouTube but just never got to compiling it. I also hope this makes sense trying to explain it without photos. The general idea is raise the rear part of the fender up 3.5in and drill new holes in the fender to match the tub holes. Move the front section on the grill up one hole and then cut the inner support on the fender that holds the shape around the grill. Then drill 3 holes from the outside of the fender through the grill just above the stock bolts and run a bolt through tightening then bottom to top to squeeze the fender around the grill for the new shape. That’s basically it for the actual fender then obviously cut the hood and I had to notch my flares to fit over top of rock sliders without it looking funny. For battery supports I just cut off the tub side supports and have them holding on the fender which seemed to have no issue till now where I hit my fender wheeling, bowing out the side of the fender so the passanger side with the battery now has a bit of wiggle and you can see the side has a lot of warping from the hit and now weight. If ya need more clarification let me know and I’ll try and find a few photos for it too.
 
Here are a few photos of the day I did them. Shows the rear well but can’t really see the front that we’ll. Edit: yes I did raise the rear more so it was flush with that tub line in the end. Not having that flush would drive me crazy.

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Thank you lol. It’s a fun journey learning as I go and it keeps me well occupied thinking at what I want to do next (and afford) all while still just driving it everyday. The parking lot doesn’t bother me except it’s beyond filthy to lay on and I’m limited to my tools. With the goal of well built tj on 35s I feel like it’s actually possible to chip away part by part and not compromise the build unlike a lot of dude I see doing stretch and tons but do one parts at a time which often leads to them redoing a lot bc all the fabrication needs to be done together to get set properly.

As for the high lines I’m an open book but I haven’t made my own forum page for it but I think I should bc I’ve had a lot of people ask about them but I took a video intending to post it on YouTube but just never got to compiling it. I also hope this makes sense trying to explain it without photos. The general idea is raise the rear part of the fender up 3.5in and drill new holes in the fender to match the tub holes. Move the front section on the grill up one hole and then cut the inner support on the fender that holds the shape around the grill. Then drill 3 holes from the outside of the fender through the grill just above the stock bolts and run a bolt through tightening then bottom to top to squeeze the fender around the grill for the new shape. That’s basically it for the actual fender then obviously cut the hood and I had to notch my flares to fit over top of rock sliders without it looking funny. For battery supports I just cut off the tub side supports and have them holding on the fender which seemed to have no issue till now where I hit my fender wheeling, bowing out the side of the fender so the passanger side with the battery now has a bit of wiggle and you can see the side has a lot of warping from the hit and now weight. If ya need more clarification let me know and I’ll try and find a few photos for it too.

Were you able to reuse your factory air box or what are you doing in that regard? What about the washer fluid tank?

A lot of guys talk about the issue of having to reshape the fender around the grille and it having to be deformed. My TJ was pretty recently refreshed and painted before I bought it so I don't want to do anything that will look hacked. It's so clean and my wife would be quite unhappy if I botched it! lol

I'm interested in any pictures and videos that you have to share!
 
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We're you able to reuse your factory air box or what are you doing in that regard? What about the washer fluid tank?

A lot of guys talk about the issue of having to reshape the fender around the grille and it having to be deformed. My TJ was pretty recently refreshed and painted before I bought it so I don't want to do anything that will look hacked. It's so clean and my wife would be quite unhappy if I botched it! lol

I'm interested in any pictures and videos that you have to share!

I went ahead and did a Thor cowl intake, as well as I got this square tank for my washer resivoir on Amazon that’s smaller. I didn’t try to see if the stock airbox would fit so I can’t say for that but my buddy got ps highlines and is still using stock washer fluid box so that might be possible but could be the shape of his inner fenders allowing that. I also moved the fuse box just farther inward with just a new drill hole and bolt.
Yes for the shaping around the fender I did crack my paint a bit. My driver side fender is oem while my passanger is some Chinese crap I’ve repainted my self and the oem doesn’t look too bad in my opinion but if you look you can see the cracking on the front face where the bend is really harsh. For my Chinese fender I have paint chipping everywhere with the spot I also smacked it so it hides the paint chipping from the bend but doing the highlines on that crap fender definitely cracked the paint more.
If you’re really good at bending metal and can take you’re time it’ll look fine but for my self with that poo fender this was just a temporary solution to get my tires from trying to rip my flares off when I articulate and it does it very well. I have zero regrets considering it costed basically nothing to do but I will also say that these are temporary till I can afford some genright aluminum.
 
I went ahead and did a Thor cowl intake, as well as I got this square tank for my washer resivoir on Amazon that’s smaller. I didn’t try to see if the stock airbox would fit so I can’t say for that but my buddy got ps highlines and is still using stock washer fluid box so that might be possible but could be the shape of his inner fenders allowing that. I also moved the fuse box just farther inward with just a new drill hole and bolt.
Yes for the shaping around the fender I did crack my paint a bit. My driver side fender is oem while my passanger is some Chinese crap I’ve repainted my self and the oem doesn’t look too bad in my opinion but if you look you can see the cracking on the front face where the bend is really harsh. For my Chinese fender I have paint chipping everywhere with the spot I also smacked it so it hides the paint chipping from the bend but doing the highlines on that crap fender definitely cracked the paint more.
If you’re really good at bending metal and can take you’re time it’ll look fine but for my self with that poo fender this was just a temporary solution to get my tires from trying to rip my flares off when I articulate and it does it very well. I have zero regrets considering it costed basically nothing to do but I will also say that these are temporary till I can afford some genright aluminum.

The4bangertj,
I just ran across your thread while I was looking for air inlet options after just now completing, yes it's true, DIY highlines. Just finished up on Sunday. I have a K&N cold-air intake, but now the filter is wedged in under the strut rod and there's no room for a shield. I wanted to get your thoughts on the Thor cowl unit, and also find out what washer bottle you found on Amazon, if ya didn't mind.

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The4bangertj,
I just ran across your thread while I was looking for air inlet options after just now completing, yes it's true, DIY highlines. Just finished up on Sunday. I have a K&N cold-air intake, but now the filter is wedged in under the strut rod and there's no room for a shield. I wanted to get your thoughts on the Thor cowl unit, and also find out what washer bottle you found on Amazon, if ya didn't mind.

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The thor cowl Intake it ok. Its pretty noisy with a suction noice when the throttle is open and speed is low and in super deep rain can get choked up a little but never to the point of sputtering or miss firing just lugs a but more. It doesn’t bother me enough to change it but it’s definitely not as nice as stock. This is the tank I am using for windshield fluid. Then just used a hole saw on the nipple to the diameter of the motor, I don’t remember the diameter off the top of my head but I still have the hole saw but it’s at a buddy’s house rn.
Dorman 603-001 Coolant Reservoir Bottle, White Universal Fit https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000E35UV2/?tag=wranglerorg-20
 
The thor cowl Intake it ok. Its pretty noisy with a suction noice when the throttle is open and speed is low and in super deep rain can get choked up a little but never to the point of sputtering or miss firing just lugs a but more. It doesn’t bother me enough to change it but it’s definitely not as nice as stock. This is the tank I am using for windshield fluid. Then just used a hole saw on the nipple to the diameter of the motor, I don’t remember the diameter off the top of my head but I still have the hole saw but it’s at a buddy’s house rn.
Dorman 603-001 Coolant Reservoir Bottle, White Universal Fit https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000E35UV2/?tag=wranglerorg-20

Thanks so much!
 
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Been a while so I figured I’d keep this atleast updated for my self, it’s been lack luster in terms of actual modifications but has been very busy for other reasons. If ya don’t want to read it all I did a genright battery tray, odyssey battery, moroso battery terminals, jeepcables, a tail pipe rather than a muffler dump, and swapped trans fluid to redline mt-90.

a long story short my wife’s car had a cross threaded oil filter before we owned it (I didn’t know about) so when I did a change and tightened the filter as tight has I could it still leaked all the oil out and my wife didn’t recognize the difference from the maintenance light and no oil pressure light light. After it turned itself off I spent days flushing and cycling oil to try and save it, I’d drove again but the motor sounded bad, but after about 5 months it finally burn out. So my wife and I are down to just my Jeep again so keeping it well running is top priority. The next few thing I would even want to upgrade on the Jeep would also cost so much (Swayloc, mid arm, outboard) I’ve started to get into other hobby’s more like firearms, rc crawlers, and still snowboarding when I’m not in school to keep me busy without dropping a few grand since I can’t.

Now as far as the Jeep stuff it came down to doing a genright battery tray, new battery, battery terminals, battery cables and a new metal cloak rear track bar that my dad got me off marketplace since used parts in eastern idaho are non existent. Then also did motor oil which isn’t anything to even mention but did put redline mt-90 in the trans again since this is a junkyard trans a shop put in while I was stuck in Arizona getting my axles and I have no idea what fluid they used. The redline smoothed things up more than I was expecting.
The battery I had was a cheap random brand lead acid which i was already wanted to get rid of bc of the genright mounts the battery at an angle and i was worried that would kill it as well as my winch wasn’t working which i had a hunch it might have been my stock terminals with a crappy mounting and corrosion so i decided to not just to do the battery but terminal connectors which also forced me to do after market cables from JeepCables.

Had to trim the genright tray for the odyssey battery which I was mad bc it fit fine for my old battery and I even powder coated it. The rest of the tray was an easy install and seems to be really nice but will see how much abuse it holds to before I have to brace it off the fender or another spot on the fire wall.

The jeep cables and terminals were super nice to organize all my connections and currently every connection has its own bolt on the terminal connector and with some cleaning the ends off my winch works again. Install was super straightforward for that so nothing to mention about that.

Also did a tail pipe since I found one for 50 bucks on Amazon to help with the drone in the cab rather than a down pipe straight from the muffler. I still have an exhaust leak on either my headers or the connection from header to the mid pipe/cat that’s a little annoying but is only an issue at higher rpm’s.

All in all the Jeep is running well, all my issues are resolved except I have a vacume leak for my hvac vents that I can’t find but after about 10min of highway driving it looses vacume and closes the vents which I then just have to engine break to get the vacume back. Other than that my 4wd has been solved, lockers and gears have had no issue and my battery system should be of no concern for a little.

Photos include the Jeep projects as well as other side fun such as rc crawler and gun projects.

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Good work! I just got word from Module Masters in FL about my computer for my 2.5L manual that this is in fact THE most rare TJ they ever built. A 1997 four cylinder with a manual was extremely uncommon combination, there are very few of these around. They only had ONE computer available after they found out that my capacitors exploded and ate through the board, my original one is toast! I guess that's why it's so difficult to find any factory manuals with correct information for our particular flavor. Keep up the good work!
 
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This past few weekends were a blast working on the Jeep. Firstly I completely mangled my exhaust wheeling which also smashed my rear passenger shock yet again ( I think this is my 4th rear passanger bc I’ve smashed it on rocks). Had to cut up my exhaust to make it useable for the time being.


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Then I was able to finish my tailgate packout tool set up. I won’t say too much but here a link to why I did it and how it worked but I’ll post a few pics here. Here the link to the packout https://wranglertjforum.com/threads/diy-daily-tools-organization-system.78392/

This weekend was all power steering and rock sliders. My power steering box was leaking for a bit and I’ve noticed since it began to leak it got really loose so it was either do a full PSC (Blaine’s cooler but prob would hold off on the assist since I’m only on 33s) as amazing as that kit is the pump, resi, cooler and big bore box would cost close to 3k. For now I did the new lares box off rock auto for 300 and an Edelman pump and lines. Huge improvement over the 200k mile leaky box and pump I had.

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I also was able to get a set of cavfab sliders already powder coated for 100 bucks off their garage sale. While they’re not perfect I think that’s the cheapest set worth a damn that I can modify to be pretty good. Got them and added 2 more bolts on the bottom that mount to the torque box making it 6 across the bottom and 7 on top. I havnt yet received my 3/8 3inx40in aluminum flat bar to add a backing plate but I will be adding that as well. Definitely like no tube right now and actually like the color matched for some reason. We’ll see how they hold up and if they do I might buy another set one day to fill the logo with weld and make the front full length to some genright fenders or get some flux sliders.

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Forgot I also welded in some Currie mini skids. Tried to do a double pass on them after they cooled and the second pass made it look like poo. I’m no welder but I like to try and do a good job at everything I can but a lot to improve here still. Was trying to not to go too slow I burn through the original bracket but not sure if I was too fast. Any tips are appreciated.

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Forgot I also welded in some Currie mini skids. Tried to do a double pass on them after they cooled and the second pass made it look like poo. I’m no welder but I like to try and do a good job at everything I can but a lot to improve here still. Was trying to not to go too slow I burn through the original bracket but not sure if I was too fast. Any tips are appreciated.

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Not bad. Overhead welding at an angle while laying on your back is not easy. With that, it looks like you might be moving too fast. Your first weld was probably very convex so the second pass just piled on top.

The trick to making multiple pass welds is to make sure you prep the previous weld with a grinder. I like to make a little groove down the middle of my weld path. This gives me a visual line to follow & gives the weld better penetration.
@AirborneTexasRanger has been good at picking apart welds. He might have some tips for you!

It's what I do best 🤪
 
Not bad. Overhead welding at an angle while laying on your back is not easy. With that, it looks like you might be moving too fast. Your first weld was probably very convex so the second pass just piled on top.

The trick to making multiple pass welds is to make sure you prep the previous weld with a grinder. I like to make a little groove down the middle of my weld path. This gives me a visual line to follow & gives the weld better penetration.


It's what I do best 🤪

That makes a lot of sense, thank you. Did I really need a second pass on those in the first place?
 
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Added new late model mirrors on the full doors. The original ones were cracked around the housing so I was unable to tighten the adjustment. Every time the doors closed they would move so I just got tired of it. While I was there I adjusted the door hinges as they seemed to have moved just a bit making it little hard to close.
Then I made the backing plate out of 3/8 3in wide by 40in long 6061 flat bar which was cut down to 39in to fit. Set up, marked for holes, then drilled. Pretty easy to do and it was very apparent to see the benefit of such a large and thick surface area as you could see the whole tub and slider pull together and make almost no gap between the 2 rather than it pulling only a section of tub. I could have fit a 4in wide flat bar but was unable to find some. I also see how the savvy have another row of bolts below the top edge making it i believe 8 bolts through the tub and backing plate which is super cool to see so many points but I think the reinforcements made to these will serve me well.
It was fun to get looks from my neighbors in the apartment complex watch me vacuum up my aluminum shavings that were all in the grass from cutting and drilling.

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