"Pacing myself" build


Daily driver
Original poster
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Feb 3, 2017
Clearlake Ca.
It all started a little over 10 years ago when shopping for my dream Jeep, not knowing what the heck I was looking for. My only criteria at that time was, 5sp manual, AC, and a hard top. Oh, and unmolested. Looking back, I wish I would have done some more research, but I think I got lucky for the most part. Couldn't quite pull off a Rubi, so I found a 2003 TJ Sport with 40K miles. It was bone stock, one owner with 30x950x15 all terrains, Dana 44 rear/lsd with disc brakes. And the bug hit me! Sadly, I didn't take any pics when I purchased it, so I'll start out with few of the first mods I added shortly after purchase.
As you can see in the photo, I added a OME 2.5" lift, 31x1050x15 BFG KM's(first gen),and a Bestop fuel cap cover.
See, right there where you've got it with the 2.5" OME and the 31" tires, I LOVE that look.

If I could do my Jeep over, I would go with this exact setup. Hell, I had this EXACT setup, but I sold it for a 4" Currie lift and 33" tires. Now I LOVE my Currie lift and the 33" tires, but the issue is that where I'm at, and the type of stuff I do, it just doesn't warrant a 4" lift and 33" tires. I've got some massive overkill going on, and that's something I didn't think about when I built it.

Anyways, great looking TJ, I really look forward to see more of what you're doing with it. White is such a classic color, and looks so good offset by the black trim.
Thanks guys! Yep, the small lift and 31's served me well for 80% of the trails I explored. Wishing myself I would have stayed that way and just focused on a TT and under armor. Oh well, we all can relate with the gotta go bigger bug.
Ok, so moving on, my first summer with the Jeep was approaching. Top was coming off. Summers here can be brutal, so I decided to pick up some Spidy shade goodness, duster/windjammer combo. Also picked up an Olympic rear bumper with hitch receiver so I can tow my utility trailer.

My wife is vertically challenged, so you'll also spy some Warrior rocker steps in this pic.
Installed my used Alpine head unit and some new speakers. That Alpine has been thru 3 vehicles and still keeps ticking.

Upgraded to wipers to PIAA silicones. Best blades I have found. I can get 4 winters out of them.
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In an effort to keep the ole rig looking sharp, it was time to clean up the faded flares, so some SEM trim black to the rescue.



Read a thread somewhere where a guy used a magic erasure to clean up his hard top, so I thought I'd give it a try.


Bella approved!
Winch time. Warn M8000 to the rescue.

Living in Cali, gotta keep it legal, so license plate holder thanks to some scrap aluminum sign material and mag light holders.
Having more time than money, I tried my hand at re-working the stock front bumper a bit.


Thought it cleaned up the front ok for now. Also pictured, blacked out headlight rings, and Rampage H4 headlight conversion because, umm, TJ candles suck! For some reason I was in a grey phase, so my Rockmen steering skid and OME SS got dusted.
Puppies wanted to go for a jeep ride, but fitting 175lbs. of dog plus our gear was a bit tough, so I fabbed up some additional storage solutions.

I wanna go!

I welded up a basket, and fabbed some cross bars to bolt to the roll bar with muffler clamps. Worked just fine.




Puppies were happy!
Looking good man, I really love what you've done with it so far. What size tires / lift did you end up putting on instead of the 2.5"?
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