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ElectricWizards 2000 TJ Sport Build

ElectricWizard

Jeep Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Sep 22, 2018
487
Portland, OR
Build Summary:
  • Forest Green 2000 TJ Sport w/ 4.0 & NV3550, OEM hardtop.
  • 31x10.5 R15 Goodyear Wrangler DuraTrac Tires, OEM wheels.
  • 4.10 Gears w/ Eaton E-Lockers, Dana 30 & Super 35 (Post #205 - #226)
  • 3" TeraFlex Flex Arm Lift Kit w/ Bilstein 5100 Shocks
  • Advanced Adapters SYE & Tom Woods Rear Driveshaft
  • RT OffRoad HD Steering Kit
  • Warn M8000 Winch w/ In-cab Controls (Post #9)
  • ARB Dual Air Compressor (Post #21)
  • KC Gravity LED Headlights
  • Rugged Ridge LED Taillights
  • Garvin Wilderness ATS Front & Rear Bumpers
  • Garvin Wilderness Rock Rails
  • Rubicon Rocker Guards
  • Crown Performance Stainless Brake Lines
  • Rugged Ridge Dual Battery tray w/ Optima Blue Tops & Hellroaring Isolator (Post #9)
  • Sony Headunit w/ Polk Speakers (Post #67)
  • Cobra 75WXST CB Radio w/ 3' FireStik FireFly (repaired in post #163)
  • Dual Switch Panel Mod (Post #183, #187, #203)
  • Tuffy Hood Lock
  • Interior LED Lighting Upgrades
  • Bedlined Tub
  • Custom Yakima Roof Rack

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History:

I purchased the TJ in 2015. The Jeep was mostly stock, came with factory hardtop, has no AC, Dana 35 rear, and was totally rust free! My plan for the TJ was to do a mild build capable of traveling forest-roads in all conditions, and to gain access to remote areas for camping and hiking trips.

All the work done to my TJ, with the exception of an alignment, has been done by me in my driveway or my crowded garage. I learned just about everything doing tons of research on the forums.

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Future Projects:

So far the build has done everything I've wanted without issues, but it is a Jeep and will never be done ;). Some of the things I'd like to still do include:

  • 33x12.5" DuraTrac tires. I've been happy with the 31x10.5" tires, but the wider tires should help more in the deep snow.
  • Fog Lights/Bumper Mount Lights. I love the KC Gravity LED headlights, they're bright and have a great pattern! However there is a dark spot a few feet in front of the Jeep, it'd be nice to get some extra light down there particularly for FS roads at night.
  • Interior restoration. My interior is pretty sun faded and sports the typical door panel cracks, I'd like to fix those issues and get everything looking nice and new again.
  • Custom overhead console. Eventually I'd like to install a ham radio in the Jeep, and it wouldn't hurt to have a place for another interior LED light up front.
  • Compass & Temp Rear-view Mirror Upgrade. Certainly not a necessary feature but I would really like having the ability to know the temperature.
  • Heated Seats & Bartact Covers. Do I really need to explain myself here? ;)
  • Exogate/MORyde Hinges. My tailgate could use a bit of help; it is a bit squeaky and rattly.
  • Anti-rock/SwayLOC. Not 100% decided on what one I'll go with, but I know I want one or the other!


I will continue to update this thread as the TJ continues to evolve. If anybody has any questions please feel free to ask! :)
 
Last edited:
OP
ElectricWizard

ElectricWizard

Jeep Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Sep 22, 2018
487
Portland, OR
Damn, that's a pretty TJ. Forest Green is definitely one of the best colors ever released for TJs. Those are some beautiful shots that you captured as well!
Thanks! Photography is one of my passions, it and Jeeps go well haha. I definitely agree about the forest green, I thought I wanted black but totally fell in love when I saw this one.
 

Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Sep 28, 2015
37,933
Salem, Oregon
Love that color, and I particularly love that last photo! If I were you, I'd submit that photo for the ride of the month contest next month. That is an awesome photo.

Where was that photo taken by the way? It looks like Oregon. I ask because I'm down here in Salem, Oregon.
 
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ElectricWizard

ElectricWizard

Jeep Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Sep 22, 2018
487
Portland, OR
Love that color, and I particularly love that last photo! If I were you, I'd submit that photo for the ride of the month contest next month. That is an awesome photo.

Where was that photo taken by the way? It looks like Oregon. I ask because I'm down here in Salem, Oregon.
Thanks, Chris! I will keep the contest in mind.

Yup, all those pics are in Oregon. Last two are on Bennett Pass in the Mt Hood NF.
 
OP
ElectricWizard

ElectricWizard

Jeep Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Sep 22, 2018
487
Portland, OR
Very cool, I'll have to venture up there sometime in that case. That's a very awesome photo.
Definitely recommend it, one of my favorite areas around Mt Hood. It's got a bit of everything: dangerous exposure, views, meadows, lakes, you name it!
 
OP
ElectricWizard

ElectricWizard

Jeep Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Sep 22, 2018
487
Portland, OR
I figured I would make a post detailing some of the mods I've done thus far, and how my implementations might differ from others. Here are the first few:

Dual Battery Setup

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One of the first major mods I did was my dual battery setup. As my main use for my Jeep is for trips to remote areas I wanted to have a second battery purely for backup. The system would be setup to have all normal load on the primary battery, whereas the second is only switched in when needed.

The battery tray I chose is the Rugged Ridge 11214.52 Dual Battery Tray.
I was able to get a good deal on two Optima D34M Blue Tops. These ones worked well for me as they are a deep cycle battery that is also capable of being used for cranking.

Installing the battery tray was quite easy and straight forward: remove the old one, bolt on the new one. The only hiccup with the install was having to slightly relocate the power distribution center; the instructions stated this would be necessary for some models. Guess who had one of those models!

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I had to take a small notch out of the ribbing on the outside edge of the top half of the air box so the distribution center could sit above it. Surprisingly this doesn't make changing the air filter any more difficult, awesome! That gave me plenty of room to modify the bracket and get the distribution center forward more.
I probably ended up moving it farther forward than necessary, but more space is better, right?


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The isolator I chose was the Hellroaring BIC 95300B. I picked this unit because it did exactly what I needed out of the box. The isolator will keep the backup battery isolated unless the primary battery drops too low, or you manually switch it in (more on that later..). The isolator will also maintain the backup battery, keeping it fully charged automatically.

Lastly, I ended up making my own battery cables since I own the proper hydraulic crimping tool. There is plenty of info regarding that online, but if anybody wants details I'd be happy to share.


Winch Isolator

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When I installed my winch I wasn't in love with the idea of having a full-time connection from my battery to my bumper. My thoughts were in the event of a crash, or some "locals" wanting to steal my winch, I didn't want my Jeep to end up creating a spark show or burn down.

I ended up installing a 500A Solenoid in series with the winch power line from the battery. This solenoid is then controlled by my in-cab controls (more on that..) to enable the winch. Mounting the solenoid was simple, since I went with the Hellroaring isolator I had this solenoid bracket left over from my dual battery tray.

In the rare event the solenoid fails the cables are long enough to be bolted together onto one terminal, bypassing the isolator. The tools needed for that are always in my winching/off-road tools bag.


In Cab Controls

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My in cab controls are a customized 12VoltGuy panel. I wired the "WINCH" switch to power my winch isolator solenoid, and the buttons to the right are (top, bottom): out and in controls for the winch.

The switch in the middle will manually combine both the batteries, I'll usually use this while I'm winching.
 
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psrivats

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Jun 4, 2018
1,544
OR, USA
Excellent build and outstanding photos @ElectricWizard !

I've been on Bennett pass (in a Subaru though, doesn't count hahaha) but never been able to capture the beauty the you see in my photos. Your photos are truly spectacular. I'll have to take my TJ up there sometime before it starts raining!
 
OP
ElectricWizard

ElectricWizard

Jeep Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Sep 22, 2018
487
Portland, OR
Geeze. And I thought my seat risers were a job.

Impressive Mr. Edison.
Thank you! Complicated electrical projects are my specialty ;)

Excellent build and outstanding photos @ElectricWizard !

I've been on Bennett pass (in a Subaru though, doesn't count hahaha) but never been able to capture the beauty the you see in my photos. Your photos are truly spectacular. I'll have to take my TJ up there sometime before it starts raining!
Thank you too! I'll be sure to share plenty more pics as time goes on, since everyone loves them ;)
At least you were in a Subaru; last time I went up there someone was trying to take a Corolla up there!
 
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ElectricWizard

ElectricWizard

Jeep Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Sep 22, 2018
487
Portland, OR
While I haven't been there yet, I can only imagine how that went! :risas3:
He actually thought it was a different road and was very happy I came across him haha. Guess he didn't see the signs warning about "storm damaged road, high clearance vehicles only".
 
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ElectricWizard

ElectricWizard

Jeep Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Sep 22, 2018
487
Portland, OR
A few notes about your great build.

500A Solenoid
I really like the winch isolator, now another thing to do.

Hellroaring BIC
The Hell Roaring isolators are great. Built in Montana. I put one on my fj55.

This will be fun to watch
Thanks! Definitely one of the other reasons I chose it too.
It looks like very beautiful country up that way, I hope to make it out there eventually.

Chris, if I click on the above links to amazon do they automatically set the purchase to hel this forum?
No I just set those links up for anybody who was interested. Maybe he'll be able to get you a link to do that?
 
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