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'98 Sahara build: "Staying the Course"

Squatch

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98-tj-jpg.jpg

1998-tj-jpg.jpg


I've been hesitant to start anything so bold as a "Build Thread", as my schedule sometimes doesn't afford me the time to build anything. But, it seems I keep interjecting comments and whatnot on other threads regarding the direction I'm heading with my TJ, and about my parts accumulation, as-of late, so I guess it's time.

The pics above are my '98 TJ Sahara as-found. It had been sitting for over a year in that spot, untouched. I bought if off a friend who was the original owner. It has both the hardtop and the convertible top set-up. The rig has 204,000 miles on the clock, and is a 5-speed. I paid $750 for it (he offered it to me for $500, but my conscience wouldn't let me). I am now discovering what a $750 Jeep really costs...

I got the vehicle running after doing a full tune-up and replacing the battery. The rear axle (D35) is toast. Crunching noises and locks up periodically. So, after doing some research, I found a D44 was the preferred axle, and went on a search. I found one, and only one, advertised on Craigslist. Turns out it was a reputable, albeit very expensive, local Jeep wrecking yard/shop. Being green at all things Jeep, I ended up paying almost double what I would later find the same axle selling for. It was so bad that I refuse to reveal what I actually paid to get the thing into my possession. Trust me, though, I've since learned a thing or two, and have made parts purchases that qualify as sensible, if not downright "steals".

So here is a list of parts accumulated thus far, and their cost:
D44 with 3.73 gears "open"..................................too much $$$
Toyo A/T II 31X10.50R15LT C (five of them)........$675.50
Full tune-up parts...................................................$105
Battery....................................................................$125
Stainless steel tailgate hinges (new-Craigslist)......$60
Floor pan replacement panel..................................$56
OME 2" HD springs (full set-"new"-Craigslist)........$206 ($150 plus tax/shipping)
Rancho RS5000X shocks and steering stabilizer...$246
JKS quick disconnects............................................$155
TJ-specific car cover...............................................$98

There's more coming, and the plan is to attack it all in one shot when the weather warms up, and I can roll my Rambler convertible project out of the garage, and the TJ in. It'll be my "staycation" project.

Still to come:
Dirtworx front bumper
Warn M8000-s winch
Five new wheels
Eaton E-locker

Will post pictures when the fun stuff begins. Input is always welcome, and appreciated. Thanks!

upload_2018-2-16_18-57-0.jpg
 
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bobthetj03

vibrajeep
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LOL I never would have thought of that, because...you know...I'm standing... ;)
Take a seat with your beverage of choice, stare at your rig, and tell me I haven't properly dubbed thy chair's name appropriate.
 
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Squatch

Squatch

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You have a really good parts list for being so “green.” I am impressed. Simple yet very effective and I am excited to see it come together.
Greener than my TJ when it comes to Jeeps, my friend. But not to cars, in general. I've owned over 300+ vehicles, so I've learned how to navigate around 'em a little... :D
 
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Squatch

Squatch

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Awesome @Squatch! Glad to see you start a build thread! Good stuff coming! I like it brother!
Thanks, @JMT. I'm a little self-conscious about posting things pertaining directly to my build. There are so many more on here that know so much more than I. But folks on this forum tend to be pretty forgiving and tolerant of rookies and their misdirection, so I took the plunge. Appreciate the support, brother!
 
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Squatch

Squatch

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Glad to see you have started a thread on your Jeep! Looking forward to following it.:)
Thanks, my friend. Still acquiring parts. I'm fighting the urge to get the new rims right now. It's easier to stack five new tires in the garage than it is tires and rims! But part of me can't wait, because I haven't seen another TJ on this forum with the wheels I'm going with. In fact, I only found two online that are running 'em. Some will appreciate it, and others won't, but it will be uniquely mine, that's for sure. I'm feeling like a kid at Christmas!
 
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lowranger

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Thanks, my friend. Still acquiring parts. I'm fighting the urge to get the new rims right now. It's easier to stack five new tires in the garage than it is tires and rims! But part of me can't wait, because I haven't seen another TJ on this forum with the wheels I'm going with. In fact, I only found two online that are running 'em. Some will appreciate it, and others won't, but it will be uniquely mine, that's for sure. I'm feeling like a kid at Christmas!
It's a great thing! Put on what ever you want and what makes you happy. If you want the rims now.....I say get them...make that Jeep YOURS.
 
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