Another Slow Going 31's Project

Just.Thorne71

Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2022
Messages
73
Location
Syracuse, NY
Okay, so like the title says, this is gonna be a pretty slow, boring thread, but I was smart enough to save about a year and a half worth of pics to start the thread off. The basic build plan is to make a reliable, lightweight (and most importantly, daily-able) Jeep on 31s and roughly a 2 inch lift.

For background, I'm a first first year business student and currently commute about 20 minutes each way to school about 2-3 times a week for class. since I commute, I need to keep the Jeep reliable and DD-able, and I am working part time in construction, so making more than minimum wage, but not tons and 40s money. My dad had two stock YJ's back when he was in collage, a GMC Sonoma on 33s, before I was born a couple Tacoma's and a 09' FJ when I was little, and he currently has a Gladiator on 35s. so I've been exposed the different flavors of offroad vehicles, but budget and a distaste for 4 door wranglers lead to me buying a TJ in August of 2022.

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Stock besides some ugly wheels and a even crappier light bar, 1998 Wrangler SE with 135,000 Miles (motor Replaced with with another 2.5 at 100,000 miles), factory 3.73s dual top, and it came with the stock rally wheels (which I sold and now regret even though they were in bad condition) also came with a cracked exhaust manifold so that was first to get fixed. along with removing the side steps, hitch, and tail light guards, and milk jugs. Yoinking the interior out for detailing.

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Re-painted the flares, mirrors, bumper, fixed a few other small issues that are really worth writing about, and wheeled it on my buddy's property, his family has about 2,200 acres near the Adirondacks so that's where I do the majority of my wheeling. I hadn't started working at this point, so everything was done on a shoe string budget. bought new kicker dash speakers with the money from mowing lawns. Got a Alpine stereo and soundbar for Christmas, and bought a set of tan roll bar padding out of a wrecked Sahara. Welded up a Jerry can holder for the rear in my high school shop class as my "learn to weld" project.

I (for some reason) left the light bar until spring of 23' when I changed out the headlights for the FJ conversion headlights, and Hella 500s for the fogs, fixed the jank wiring that the PO left for me, Added a CB Radio and Firestik, and that's how I drove it for most of my senior year.

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Worked a lot over the summer, didn't do much to the Jeep, bought a used but good condition set of Rubicon express QD end links, 3/4' Daystar coil spacers to level the rake, and found a set of BEAT, spray painted half doors for 100$ (with uppers) grey interior panels, black uppers, but once I stripped destroyed silver spray paint I found that they were originally Dark Emerald, which I had only ever seen one other set in this color (listed for 900$) so that was a major win. I repainted the interior, changed out the handles, new door seals, and used some of the remaining paint on the uppers (Camel SEM interior is almost a perfect match to a spice Softtop in a pinch)

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I decided that I wanted to repair the surface rust on the floor pans before it got and worse, so I wire wheeled it down, sprayed anything that resembled rust with reforming paint, and laid down some 50mil Kilmat acrossed the floor and wheel wells. I'm not sure if this was the best decision in the long run as I do get occassional leaks but Ive just been keeping silica gel packets (no joke) under the carpet and that keeps everything nice and dry.

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I'm to the point now where I'm prepping for a actual build, here's what I'm considering as of now for next spring/ summer

Rancho RS5000x 0-2" Shocks
H&R Sport Springs (OME light duty 2'' Springs)
Possibly keep the Day star 3/4" spacers, depends on how it sits
Rancho steering Stabilizer
ZJ Tie rod
Replacement stock drag link (already have it, pulled it new in box out the back of a junkyard TJ)
Cheap Steelies or some vintage American Racing alloys from marketplace (found a Brand new set of American Racing 767's for $150)
31x10.50r15 Milestar Patagonia's, Mixed reviews, but I only put about 5-10k miles on the Jeep a year, and they are dirt cheap for MT's
Bestop Spice Bikini top and no drill header channel.
 
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Not exactly what I was ever hoping to post, but I got hit today on a grocery run, the guy behind me had a medical emergency (all the police would say) and blacked out, hitting the rear corner at about 40mph before he drove 15 ft down into a ditch. I'm willing to bet the tub, and what looks to be a bent axle is gonna total it out (State Farm). Police ruled the other driver at complete fault, I ended up getting really lucky, rolled across 2 lanes of oncoming traffic and managed to stop before I rolled into a roughly 20 ft ditch.

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Me and my parents had the Jeep towed home by AAA, And I spent the rest of the afternoon pulling off anything that I could before it gets to the insurance adjuster, luckily I hadn't put anything too intensive on so it mostly was just the following removed.

-Alpine Headunit - Replaced with OEM
-Cb and Antenna
-Sahara roll bar padding
-Soundbar
-Hella Fogs
-Tow hooks
-other misc personal stuff(tools and crap)

I ended up running out of daylight, and the jeep is going to a body shop to get appraised tomorrow but I'm gonna try and wake up early to get my nice headlights, dash speakers, and QD swaybar end links pulled off and switched with OEM. I'm glad the accident wasn't any worse, but its still really upsetting since this was my first car, and I was planning on keeping it forever.

Don't worry though, I've got my eye on a pretty clean LJ, so there might still be a silver lining.

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So sorry to see this happened!! On the plus side, you weren't hurt and now you're eyeing an LJ. (y)
 
yeah, Definitely got lucky, the other guys Subaru was decimated and he was taken away in ambulance, the jeep did its job well and kept me safe.

Well thats unfortunate man 😶,Glad your safe and the jeep protected ya !
God forbid stuff like this wont happen to us and me but one can never know to say the least...
Let us know man !
 
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Well thats unfortunate man 😶,Glad your safe and the jeep protected ya !
God forbid stuff like this wont happen to us and me but one can never know to say the least...
Let us know man !

I'm Having my parents deal with the insurance since I'm still on their policy, NY requires insurance for all drivers luckily, and his insurance should be paying out (but they will probably drag there feet on writing me a check). If it does get totaled, which it likely will, I have no intention on buying it back as I don't have the time or space to do a tub swap. I didn't look super closely at the frame, it wasn't Visibly bent, but by the way the lower control arm buckled I'm willing to bet its on its way to "a quite farm upstate" if ya know what I'm saying.
 
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I'm Having my parents deal with the insurance since I'm still on their policy, NY requires insurance for all drivers luckily, and his insurance should be paying out (but they will probably drag there feet on writing me a check). If it does get totaled, which it likely will, I have no intention on buying it back as I don't have the time or space to do a tub swap. I didn't look super closely at the frame, it wasn't Visibly bent, but by the way the lower control arm buckled I'm willing to bet its on its way to "a quite farm upstate" if ya know what I'm saying.

Gotcha,Wait so how much do you or your parents pay for insurance ?
For me it would be 1200 a month since im 19.... but under my parents it is only 180 and some change that i pay and im still covered ! We got statefarm and fullcover on my Lj,
and i don't know what ya mean on the "a quite farm upstate" part 🙃 Id like to know!
 
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Damn that really sucks. Happened on Soule road eh? I live not too far away and recognized the location.

Good luck with everything.
 
Gotcha,Wait so how much do you or your parents pay for insurance ?
For me it would be 1200 a month since im 19.... but under my parents it is only 180 and some change that i pay and im still covered ! We got statefarm and fullcover on my Lj,
and i don't know what ya mean on the "a quite farm upstate" part 🙃 Id like to know!

I’m 18, I don’t remember the exact amount that my parents pay, but I bet it’s around the same. “A farm upstate” is always the place that parents tell the kids the hamster is going to when it dies. I thought that was a more common phrase lol.
 
I would hammer that corner back out and then put some corner armor on it to hide the dent. Then get a rear axle if necessary.

It doesn't look like a difficult fix at all
 
I’m 18, I don’t remember the exact amount that my parents pay, but I bet it’s around the same. “A farm upstate” is always the place that parents tell the kids the hamster is going to when it dies. I thought that was a more common phrase lol.
Well hey luckily that's something less you ain't gotta pay. Cherish it my man !
but yeah i gotcha, i know what you mean now 🤣
Yeah no for me lots of gang related violence and stuff i wont get into that was in my upbringing so i just got it straight up when it comes to death, To each of they own but no phrases for me nor hamsters 😆,On a more positive note i got a Jeep and we live in the suburbs now 😁
Edit- i can't spell
 
The thought did cross my mind, but I’m not too big of a fan of how corner amour looks without a big lift.

Yeah i can agree with that too!
in my eyes its kinda like seeing a car with a widebody car with wheels tucked all the way in, Just doesn't look right to me
In my opinion unless your doing lots of off camber tight trails go for the armor even if you're essentially stock! Or at least have some sort of bigger tires and a bit of lift.....something 😆