So it begins

Jeep_RN

New Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2024
Messages
3
Location
Chicago
Hey y'all. Joined up because I just bought a slightly clapped out 2000 TJ. The price was right (4k) and it had the engine and transmission I wanted (4.0, 5MT). I'm not new to working on cars. I can change my own oil, do brakes & rotors and have replaced a couple of clutches. I'm a nurse, so I think I've got a pretty good mind for understanding processes and a decent diagnostic brain.

I'm looking for her to be my daily driver. My hospital is about 5 miles from our condo, but once a week I do need to take her about 25 miles rt on the Chicago freeways to get to the clinical site as I work on my doctorate as a nurse practitioner.

As for recreation, we recently bought some land off of forest service roads in the Eastern Sierras, and we'd like to drive her from Chicago to our land in California, do backcountry discovery trails in Idaho, Colorado, Arizona, Washington and Oregon. We'd probably run a rooftop tent, and camp out of that.

I've tried to measure the front springs to get a sense of the lift that's on her. I'm coming up with 2.5". She's on 33" mud tires right now. She runs...OK, and is pretty rust light. The skid plate over the gas cap is rusted out, but the frame is pretty ok. Right now she feels.like she's all over the road and will require a ton of suspension work before I can safely take her on the freeway. Anyways, I'm open to suggestions on what type of lift/suspension/tires Ishould be looking at for this use case. Thanks in advance.

K

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First thing I would do, and did do, is check into the ZJ Steering Conversion...
Its cheap enough, easy enough, and prevents you from chasing your tail for weeks.
Provides peace of mind that everything is good/new.

Everything you need is here in this thread.
https://wranglertjforum.com/threads/zj-steering-upgrade.11895/

OR you could opt for a more expensive option such as the Currie Correctlync if you've got the funds, and want the best of the best.
https://www.rockjock4x4.com/CE-9701

Although the Correctlync sounds like absolute overkill for what you've described you'd like to use the TJ for.

After that, if for some reason it STILL drives wonky, I would start checking into control arms.
There's a common theme with secondhand lifted TJ's that previous owners will re-use factory arms without even checking them.

Chances are, they're probably worn, if not already failing.
Lucky for you, at a 2.5" lift, you can cheap out and get some OEM style arms for fairly cheap.

If you've made it this far, you shouldn't have any more issues, unless it's something wild/out of ordinary, like bent/broken mounts, frame damage, etc.

I would argue that Control Arms & Steering Components are 95% of the reason TJ's are "all over the road"
If both of those are dialed in correctly, it SHOULD in theory drive great.
 
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Reactions: Shank
First thing I would do, and did do, is check into the ZJ Steering Conversion...
Its cheap enough, easy enough, and prevents you from chasing your tail for weeks.
Provides peace of mind that everything is good/new.

Everything you need is here in this thread.
https://wranglertjforum.com/threads/zj-steering-upgrade.11895/

OR you could opt for a more expensive option such as the Currie Correctlync if you've got the funds, and want the best of the best.
https://www.rockjock4x4.com/CE-9701

Although the Correctlync sounds like absolute overkill for what you've described you'd like to use the TJ for.

After that, if for some reason it STILL drives wonky, I would start checking into control arms.
There's a common theme with secondhand lifted TJ's that previous owners will re-use factory arms without even checking them.

Chances are, they're probably worn, if not already failing.
Lucky for you, at a 2.5" lift, you can cheap out and get some OEM style arms for fairly cheap.

If you've made it this far, you shouldn't have any more issues, unless it's something wild/out of ordinary, like bent/broken mounts, frame damage, etc.

I would argue that Control Arms & Steering Components are 95% of the reason TJ's are "all over the road"
If both of those are dialed in correctly, it SHOULD in theory drive great.

I appreciate the reply. The bushings in the front lower control arms kind of look like the side of a biscuit, if that makes any sense. Like the rubber has split into layers.

I joined a local DIY garage and have some time booked this weekend on one of the lift bays so I can better see what's happening.
 
Pressure was the frame inside, out and pick your poison of treatment. These frames rust from the inside out and they salt roads in your area. Congrats on your new adventure!
 
Pressure was the frame inside, out and pick your poison of treatment. These frames rust from the inside out and they salt roads in your area. Congrats on your new adventure!

Good advice. It seems most people don't know about rust prevention. A couple drain holes on each side, some eastwood internal frame paint, then use a coating of your choice (fluid film, krown, etc). Absolutely do NOT use a rubberized coating.
 
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Good advice. It seems most people don't know about rust prevention. A couple drain holes on each side, some eastwood internal frame paint, then use a coating of your choice (fluid film, krown, etc). Absolutely do NOT use a rubberized coating.

So you're saying I shouldn't take it to Zeibart? Does that even still exist?