The 208 TJ Build Begins

208_TJ

New Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
18
Location
North Idaho
First and foremost, I am new to the Jeep scene and I look forward to learning what I can from all of you out there. I have plenty of skills and will be doing nearly everything myself, however I love to hear how others approach things or the learn about the tried and failed techniques. Building, wrenching and all out custom building vehicles is not new for me, just owning a Jeep is new.

So to get the story of the Jeep. I recently bought this from a local seller. There was not much done to the 2004 TJ besides a 4" lift and 33 12.5 15 wheels and tires. It did come with a military style trailer that is matching in color (black) with a custom 3 link suspension with matching wheels and tires. The jeep has the 4.0 liter, manual transmission and 106k original miles. No rust, no wrecks and all around good shape. $4,500.00 seemed like a great deal for the combination of jeep and trailer so I had to jump on the deal quickly.... somehow I was chosen out of the 100s of people wanting this one.
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My goal is to have a jeep that I can drive from my driveway at any given time and in any season. I plan to build it somewhat overland style (that is what the trailer will be mostly for). The jeep itself will take me deeper and farther into the woods and deserts than any of the other vehicles I have owned so far. I am an outdoor adventure type of person so this will help me with that tremendously.

Some things will be very simple and others a bit more over the top for the final build. As most of the other projects I have built or been part of over the years, the direction of the build changes along the way. So please if I change directions from here, please do not crucify me. haha

I will be keeping the 4" pro comp lift that is on it and working out any bugs as I continue to build it and use the jeep. (we often do not know what it needs until we start using it for how we want)
I have a living room full of parts that need to be installed and I am looking forward to some decent weather to make that happen... Wish I had a large shop!!

This is a list of the items either on it currently or sitting in my house waiting for my time.
I have already installed the following:
new soft top ( Bestop TREK NX soft top)
Rough Country 50" LED light bar with RC brackets
LED headlights with painted bezels (have to separate yourself somehow from the rest of the black jeeps)
custom mounted switches
custom mounted CB mount and CB, replaced
Pioneer single Din CD player
Upgraded 5.25" front speaker with conversion mounts and speaker buckets.


4" pro comp lift
33" BFG All Terrains
4.56 gears
aussie locker front
Detroit true trak rear
Chromoly shafts
upgraded U joints
custom front and rear bumpers with spare carrier
Smitty X20 10K winch
rough counrty 50" black series light bar
LED headlight upgrade
LED under bumper and under body rock lites
LED flood lights flush mounted in rear bumper
dual battery with independent accessory fuse / relay box
Aftermarket radio install with 5 1/4" front speaker conversion
Select Increments Quad pod enclosures for 8" subs and 6 1/2" rear speakers
Rockford Fosgate 5 Channel amp
CB Radio
Back Lighted accessory switches
Best Top Trek soft top
Custom off road trailer for overland camping in the process as well.
 
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208_TJ

New Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
18
Location
North Idaho
Light bar and LED lights installed.. Much needed upgrade from the factory lanterns that are said to be headlights..
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for the
 

bobthetj03

vibrajeep
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Joined
Feb 3, 2017
Messages
10,627
Location
NorCal
Welcome to the madness! Let's see that Jeep trailer. You show me yours, I'll show you mine? LOL!
 
Joined
Feb 11, 2020
Messages
31
Location
Clarksville, TN
$4500?! That sounds like a great deal! I like your plan of waiting to upgrade based on what limits you find after you use it for a while. You MIGHT save some money that way.
 
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Hobbes62

Member
Joined
Jul 20, 2019
Messages
87
Location
Winder GA
Nice! I'm from the 208 born and raised. Moved to GA for a dream job two years ago (first time living out of ID). Jeeps awesome! I'll be following this build to see what you do in comparison to mine. When I get back some day I've got some killer spots!
 

DetroitTJ

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2019
Messages
155
Location
Detroit, MI
Looks like a great project. It’s really difficult to find a running, rust free TJ for that price.
 
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208_TJ

New Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
18
Location
North Idaho
The front and rear lockers, 4.56 gears and chromoly shafts go in!!
As much I want to say this was easy and a success, I am letting you all know a few areas where I should have done some comparing before moving forward on installing components. The rear went very smooth. Pulled the existing axles and open diff out easily without any concerns.. even the pinion gear removed easily (that should have been my first clue that things were going too smoothly). The rear was swapped with the Detroit automatic locker, 4.56 R &P and chromoly shafts. Put it all back together, new fluids and a quick trip around the block before jumping on the front. I do have to say, it will take some getting used to with the sounds and feeling of the auto locker on the back. Much noisier than I thought and the "lash" will likely be the biggest thing to get used to. They say the noise and slack is completely normal, does anyone else have experience with that locker that wants to give some input?
I move on to the front.. take everything apart just as any tutorial or instructions would have you do, I ended up separating the front passenger hub assembly apart (not on purpose) just to get it off (it would not come off easily and fought me the entire way). Once that was over, both axles pulled out and i could remove the R & P / front diff. Breaking my 1 1/8" socket trying to break free the pinion nut brought me to the parts store for another. The old Craftman's socket finally met its match. Nut 1 - Socket 0.. Now this may not be the right way to do things, but it worked.. I ended up cutting a small piece of wood shim and placing it in a soft rag, fed it into the gears as to create a way to stop the turning of the pinion gear so I could get some real torque on the stubborn nut. Finally.. I got the SOB!
Things progress as normal.. I take off the ring, install the Aussie locker then install the new 4.56 ring. During this time i have the bearing that goes on the pinion shaft in the oven.. heating up to slip on (old trick I learned when rebuilding dirtbike engines). This is where I should have been comparing the old with the new. I never set the 2 shafts side by side, highly recommend to do that for those that buy parts online. I am ready for the installation now and for those that know, the pinion shaft is the first thing to go back in. Well it is not fitting! It will not go in the bearing that is in the diff housing. The supplied shaft is 1" longer and different diameter. As one could imagine that created some issues as these machined parts need to be perfect!! I now have to wait for the replacement and hope it is correct. Made progress but not as much as I wanted.
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