Compliments of redrelyt12 @ jeepforum.com
In the process of updating
I figured I'd start a build thread for a few reasons.
1. Keep track of my upgrades/maintenance.
2. More reason to buy new stuff!
In the summer of '11, I decided to get the Jeep I really wanted. Misty, the 2006 Unlimited Rubicon!
So this is where I'll be starting this build.
And this is where she sits today.
2006 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon
· Stock 4.0L I-6 engine
· Stock NSG370 6-speed manual transmission
· Stock NV241 Rock-Trac 4:1 transfer case
· Stock Dana 44 front and rear locking axles
· Stock axle shafts
· Stock 4.11 gears
· Tom Woods Double Cardan Rear Driveshaft
· Spicer Front Ball Joints
· Zone 3" suspension lift
· Zone Hydro shocks
· Daystar 1" BL
· Brown Dog Offroad 1" MML
· Ultimate Currie Steering Kit
· Currie Anti-rock Sway Bar
· Rancho RS5407 Steering Stabilizer
· Metalcloak Chromoly Front Adjustable Trackbar
· Rokmen Mercenary Winch Bumper
· 2x Smittybilt D-rings (Front Bumper)
· 2x Smittybilt D-rings (Rear Bumper)
· Bestop Bikini/Duster Combo
· 5x 35” Goodyear Wrangler MTR on 15” iON Alloy Style 174 wheels
· A to Z Fabrication sliders
· Dirtworx custom rear bumper
· Xenon Flat Fender Flares
· Hyline Offroad Hood Louver
· Sylvania Silverstar Headlights
· 4x IPF 968
· Banks Intake
· Banks Headers
· Banks Catback
· CATCO Stainless Catalytic Converter
· Quadratec Floor Mats
· Wet Okole Seat Covers
· WarmSeats Waterproof Seat Heaters
· 2x Daystar Switch Panel
· 4x Daystar Rocker Switches
· Quadratec Grab Handles
· Rear View Mirror w/ Compass and Temperature
· 9.5k lb Quadratec winch w/ synthetic cable
· Jump-N-Carry Portable Jump Starter
· 48” Hi-Lift Jack
· Hi-Lift Jack Handle Keeper
· Hi-Lift Jack Off-Road Base
· Pioneer GM-D8604 Class FD 4-channel amplifier (100Wx2, 200Wx1)
· Polk DB5251 (Nalin adapters in front)
· Polk DB651s (Sound Bar)
· 12” Ported MTX Subwoofer
· DieHard Platinum Battery
· GM fuel filler hose modification
Have, still need to be installed:
· Rokmen Steering Box Skid
· Monsta-line Interior
· Vanco 15" Big Brake Kit
· UCF skid plates
· 2x Gas Cans
· CB Radio/Antenna
· Gas tank skid plate
· New soft top w/ 2-piece soft doors
· Rokmen LWB Aluminum Trail Corner Armor
I'll start off with a little background. When I was 16, my dad and I split the cost of my first Jeep. I learned to drive stick on my '97 Wrangler Sport. Bought it with a 4" suspension lift and 33s.
I used and abused this Jeep offroad, running into trees, mud pits, the works.
I had a lot of fun with it, but being in high school at the time working part time at an ice cream shop, I simply couldn't afford gas at $4.50/gallon.
Sold the Jeep to buy a 2000 Maxima 5spd. Quick car, fun to drive, but I missed the Jeep. Moved to Alabama to go to school at Auburn University for a year, and then transferred back home to UConn. When I decided to start commuting, I bought another Wrangler!
Bought it stock with around 182k miles on the odometer, planned to have it as a second vehicle. Plans never go as planned, and the transmission died in the Maxima so the Jeep was then a daily driver.
Got some Christmas spirit!
I had this Jeep for a year or two, put on a lot more miles, and finally sold it to a friend and bought Misty.
Well when I bought the Jeep, I knew already that there was an exhaust manifold leak. Unfortunately, being a college student and having a little more in payments than I could handle, I waited to replace the manifold until emissions were due. Unlimicon already had a Banks catback exhaust, so I ended up getting a set of Banks headers from quadratec. Naturally, installation never goes as smoothly as you'd like, so it took a few hours longer when I didn't realign the intake manifold correctly and put the gig back together.
Since I had waited too long, the crack in the manifold to deteriorate the precats, which clogged the main catalytic converter. Breaking down on the Mass pike is not fun, even with AAA, at 9pm on a Sunday night. After waiting at a rest stop for an hour for the tow truck, I learn that he is affiliated with the pike, and can only drive me off the pike. Now it's 10:30, and he finally gets me to his shop and tells me I can go ahead and call the next tow truck.. What? I had to get a separate tow truck to being me back home. I finally get home around 2am with work at 7am. Had to buy a new catalytic converter assembly, but being the cheap guy I am, I made the mistake of getting a low quality piece, which had welds that were too hot. The assembly broke at the hanger causing another leak. I was able to ride it out until I bought a new assembly, and luckily everything is great now!
The tires on the Jeep when I bought it were getting a bit bald, so I got a used set of tires for a great deal, but they were a bit small and lame...
That summer, I decided to paint the headlight bezels as well. (kind of tough to tell)
Next step was to paint the grille black! One of my favorite, cheapest upgrades.
This past summer, I was able to get some better socks and shoes for Unlimicon, as she desperately needed them.
That is pretty much where she has been. Did a little bit of off-roading..
And lastly this past weekend, my friend and I had some fun during the blizzard..
But not much fun digging her out..
Well next up on my long list of plans will be seen after I get my tax return.
Well let's see, for starters:
- UCF Skid Plate System
- Front bumper - deciding between the ARB Bullbar and the Body Armor front formed winch bumper
- Rear bumper with spare tire carrier - looking at the Body Armor again, but wish it had a trailer hitch
- 1" Brown Dog MML
- 1.25" Zone Offroad Bodylift
- Deciding between the 3" and 4" Zone Offroad suspension lift
- 35" Duratracs mounted on the stock moabs
Mind you this isn't all being purchased with the tax return!
And then just general maintenance and beefing up the necessary components
Next step for Misty is to decide what brand of rockers to put on. I want something that won't cause me to lose any clearance, and also desire a step for a certain 5'3" special person. I like the design of the JCR sliders..
..but I really don't like the installation procedure. I want something that will line up with the factory Rubicon rocker panel mounting holes.
Anyone know of anything like that?
I skimmed through until I saw pictures
Ended up ordering the Rokmen Mercenary front bumper with the tube, fairlead, and light mounts. Also got the Rokmen steering skid.
Was planning on getting the AtoZ sliders with steps, but they were closed by the time I got back from the gym. I have to call to get the JF discount.
You're right about the customer service, they've both gotten back to me extremely quickly.
Agreed. I love the look with the blue filtered lightforce lights on it shown in their stock photo as well.
Considering something like this, but with an 8" sub.
Anyone in the area any good with fiberglass?
So Misty has been leaking just a tiny bit of coolant. I don't yet know where the leak is coming from, but at 135k miles, I figured it's time to replace the radiator as some general maintenance.
There has also been an annoying vibration between 2000 and 2400 rpms or so. Why do things always go wrong when I finally have the money to upgrade! I guess it's better than not having the money to fix the problem at hand...
The squeak problem is still lingering as well.. I really need to take a ride around to find the problem area.
On a more fun note, brown santa has been good to me lately, but I myself am getting annoyed by a bunch of parts piling up rather than going on Misty.
Polk Speakers have been sitting around for a while. Waiting for me to get off my lazy a** in some daylight.
Daystar body lift, also waiting for sunshine and the MML to come in. Figure it'll be easier to do them at the same time.
Seat heaters that I'm also waiting for a free day to get started with.
Lastly, AtoZ sliders, need to be painted and installed.
^^These are freaking heavy! I was not expecting them to weigh this much, but I guess that's the cost of protection.
After the body lift install:
It doesn't look like too much of a difference, but I can definitely feel the extra inch getting in and out of her!
Began painting the front bumper:
Just picked up this top from craigslist and ordered the deck cover. :-D
What do you guys think about something along the lines of this crude drawing I made with Paint? I think it'd give a more standout and unique look.
Edit: Not my Jeep, found it on the forum with the painted hinges.
I was thinking the same bedliner material I used on my grille.
As seen here:
I've had the urge for a while to do some more spending. Any ideas? I'd prefer maintenance spending at this point.
I'm thinking a Tom Woods Rear CV Drive Shaft. Anyone know the differences between the two on the quadratec page other than the different lift heights?
Also want to replace the u-joints in my front drive shaft and axles, along with the ball joints that Andy and I replaced for Kate. Spicer parts happen to be the recommendation here, right?
Lastly, some black magic stopping power.
Finally opened up the bumper and sliders from powder coating!
They look great!
I'll shoot the company an email tonight, see what they're going to do about it. I was so excited to install these this weekend...
In other news... It's going to be a long day on Sunday!
It's too bad that so much of the stuff to install is going on the bumper.. We'll see if I'll have to bring it back up to the powder coating place..
In other news, I still have my component speakers, seat heater, tonneau cover, and bimini top to install!
I've never been a huge fan of stopping to take pictures, but once in a while I had to step back, smile, and say I have to photograph this.
So I ditched my friends going out to the bar to get a good nights sleep on Saturday to wake up at 7am for some breakfast. Went back to my Dad's house and got started! First thing to go on was the bumper. I remember from removing Kate's bumper that you have to get the winch on before you can install the bumper.
Next up was the rocker guards. Having the factory Rubicon sliders helped a lot. The two outer lower bolts lined up directly with the new mounts, so we just drilled out the set nut and used the two bolts to line the guard up.
Used a sharpie to mark the holes and... drilled Misty... Installed the gasket next. It fit really well.
Next up was to blind all of the a**holes
Lastly, take a poser pic!
At this point I was pretty hungry, so we stopped working for the day. Never got around to wiring the lights, and the ground bolt on the winch snapped, so I'll have to get another one. We were able to use some jumper cables to use the winch and reel the line in.
After lunch, I couldn't resist the urge to have some fun with my new toys!
That's where she sits now. I still have some stuff to button up in the next few days. Hopefully the weather cooperates!
So I got back a little earlier than usual from Boston today, and it was a BEAUTIFUL day outside. I decided to get that damn soft top off.
Cracked open a beer...
...and took the duster out of it's box.
Put the duster on first...
...and then after a round of golf with the birth-giver, I installed the rest of the top.
I like the look so far, but now I'll have to pull into the driveway so that if it rains, it doesn't run forward into the cab.
So yesterday i placed an order with tom woods for a new rear drive shaft. Double cardan! Woo!
Also, being the beautiful day that it was, i spent the afternoon rewiring the sound system; hiding wires, new front component system, and connecting it to the amp. I didn't take any pictures, but if anyone cares, i can. Is not final yet, but it's a good temporary solution.
It's been a while since I've updated the thread, so I'll just show a bunch of pictures from Go Topless Day.
And a video (gotta click it):
I mentioned previously about putting in the new speakers, well here is the only picture I have thus far
So after Go Topless Day, a friend of mine threw a party at his new house. I just figured I'd share some of the aftermath...
For my birthday, my Dad got me a gift card to amazon.com, so I figured I'd use the money to get a new Hi-Lift jack!
And I finally got around to ordering my Tom Wood's Custom Driveshaft...
The install was going smoothly, except I had to realign the rear end for the bolts to fit. I used the Hi-Lift to raise the back tire to spin it and everything lined up. I was so happy to get the new driveshaft in, until the time came to lower the Jeep back down... The Hi-Lift wouldn't recede. I had to use the factory jack to lift Misty past the Hi-Lift to pull it out. The jack is supposed to go back down click by click but it wasn't working. I'm not sure if it was user error or not, but I guess I'll have to find out at some point.
Until then, I highly recommend Tom Wood's. Not only was he easy to deal with and personable, but this bumper sticker alone is enough to have my recommendation.
Went for a quick drive and.... NO VIBRATIONS!
So I want to do a flush of the fluids. Misty hasn't been running perfectly since that water crossing and she's almost at 150k. Have a lot of driving coming up and want to make sure everything is in working order. Just to make sure I'm not missing anything...
o Engine oil
o Transmission fluid
o Transfer case
o Power steering
Am I missing anything?
So on my way home, I found out my left front caliper had seized. Made the front brake job come sooner than I had intended. Luckily, advance auto parts had everything in stock that I needed, so I got the front pads, rotors, and calipers changed along with the manual transmission fluid last night.
And goodbye life...
Been having some bad shaking when hitting bumps going around turns and a little leak in the driveway. Looks like coolant, which really sucks because I just replaced the radiator and hoses...
Ordered the zj tie rod conversion and I'm going to see if that helps, otherwise I'll have to look deeper into this.
Have to search for a leak too. Yaaayyyy...
Put on the Currie anti rock and it got rid of most of the issues so far! There was actually quite a bit of play in the stock sway bar rod ends which I believe caused most of the problems. Next step is the heater core!
Spent Saturday replacing the heater core, and let me tell you it's a terrible job... good father/son bonding time, which is always great. I might have screwed something up with the heater shrouds because the top vents don't blow as much as they should/used to.
Steering wheel seems pretty loose now so I have to look at that at some point too.
Still need to recharge my A/C lines after discharging them
Sunday was spent FINALLY wiring my lights. Couldn't plug in the day star switches yet because I don't have the right spade connectors, but I'm getting them today.
Also got around to lazily putting the seat heater in under my seat cover. I'll get around to actually putting it in the seat when I take the seats out to bed line the interior. Need to lengthen the wires to reach the dash still which is the job for today.
Well... clutch is slipping. Yay...
Well I've really been enjoying my heated garage!
I spent this afternoon upgrading my instrument cluster to LEDs.
Don't have a before, but here is the after of the heater controls...
Installed a new rear view mirror with thermostat, compass, and reading lights.
Now, does anyone know how to configure the thermometer? It doesn't seem to be working.
Lastly, is a new stereo receiver. Connects pretty well to my phone to play spotify. I got sick of using an auxiliary wire to connect to my phone.
I also got a chance to work on my new (to me) Camaro. I'm excited Thanks, Andy!
Only one I've taken so far
So... When I was packing up my Jeep to move into a new apartment, it was on a hill in my Mom's driveway. As it sat there, with the transmission engaged and the emergency brake on, it would roll down the driveway, bit by bit. I knew the emergency brake was lacking, but I wasn't aware that my clutch was slipping.
Low and behold, I decided to head to rock auto and pick up a new clutch and flywheel. Last Saturday, my Dad comes over to begin the clutch job with me. We get a bunch of stuff taken apart, and then get to the shovel. After trying to budge it with a standard 1/2" ratchet, it wouldn't move. Thinking that we're a bit lacking on tools, we decide to put everything back together. Everything goes back together well, until we go to start the Jeep. Press the clutch in, which is pretty stiff, and then hear a snap... Oh dear...
After checking out the slave cylinder, the rod doesn't appear to be lined up with the clutch fork. We're thinking, 'Wow, really? What do we do now?' So we head over to Sears to get some more tools (breaker bar and other things), and then back to my apartment. Knowing the Jeep won't run, and not having anything better to do, I start taking the Jeep back apart on Sunday. I get everything unbolted up to the transmission bellhousing and transfer case, and then my Dad comes back over to help out.
I don't know whose idea it was to invent the external torx, but they should be tortured. The upper passenger side bolt was FUBARly stripped, but we somehow got the bolt out. Thank you, Grandpa for all of the tools!
Now, using a combination of ratchet straps and a floor jack, we manage to lower the bellhousing and transfer case. This thing is HEAVY and AWKWARD. It seems the center of gravity on this is not on its actual plane.
We change out the clutch and the flywheel and begin to put everything back together. The assembly goes pretty well, using the same ratchet strap/floor jack combo, and then we go to start the Jeep, and it won't start... At this point, all I can do it put my head down and want to start hitting the Jeep with this brand new breaker bar...
After doing some research, the flywheel sold by rock auto is the wrong part. The new flywheel has different timing patterns than the old flywheel, so it's time to take everything back apart and replace the new flywheel with the old flywheel. This was a major pain, but we had already done the job at this point so it went much better.
After re-lowering and re-installing the transmission with the old flywheel and new clutch in place, we finally got it back to a workable position, and started the Jeep. SHE RUNS!
We go to put everything else back together, and try to start her again, and... click click click... For some reason the starter isn't engaging. It sounds like the teeth just don't want to grab onto the flywheel. We try tinkering a bit with the starter, like putting a washer on one of the sides so the teeth are closer to the flywheel, but to no avail.
The battery starts showing signs of weakness and so I use my jump starter and wala! She once again runs!
I finally drove myself to work on Thursday morning, after a 5 day clutch job. It was a long and stressful experience, but it beats paying $1000 to a transmission shop to do a fairly straightforward, but time consuming job. I really don't see any job being much more challenging, and the important thing learned here is to make sure you have all of your tools handy and with you!
Think Andy will mind if I copy his wheels? He moved to Colorado, so I don't think he'll see them
Well I spend last night drilling approximately (or exactly) 56 holes in my Jeep. I know how much Kate loves the suspense, so I'll just stop here
Did some snow wheeling this past weekend
I've been a bit lax with updating my thread, but I have a few new things to show off. Only have pictures of one change, so Kate will have to wait again...
After reading Sundowner's thread, I really liked how the hood louver looked on Greta, and I thought the black would offset just as well on Misty. I shopped around for a HyLine Off Road Hood Louver Panel. It took a little while for me to get around to installing it, but my Mom recently look a trip to Utah to visit her brother so I had taxi duty. This meant that while she was gone, I was able to use her car as a daily driver. This game me plenty of time to install the Hood Louver Panel over the course of a few days, and of course, a few problems.
As I have read before, Jeep cut a few corners with production by assembling the vehicle and then painting it. This causes a lot of the Torx bolts to stick where they are. I removed 4 of the Torx bolts from the hood hinges, but then my Torx bit snapped and left the head of the bit in the bolt. Luckily, I had another bit, which proceeded to strip out the sixth and final Torx bolt.
I sent a PM to Hendrix, as he has dismantled many hoods before in his work. He suggested that I remove the cowl and remove the four bolts that hold the hinges to the rest of the body. I did this and was able to remove Misty's hood.
Hood taped off, two holes drilled, and the template installed.
I proceeded to drill 54 holes in the hood, if I remember correctly, and then cut out each of the larger holes for the louvers. I took another picture just to see how it would look. I like it.
I installed the Louver and reinstalled the hood with some new hex nuts.
I definitely really like the look of it!
More to come...
Well, I replaced the hinges on the hood, and I think they look pretty good. I couldn't just paint the factory hinges because I mangled the bolts and had to grind the heads off.
I want to do the same thing to the door hinges at some point as well.
As for the big news, everyone say hello to Misty's cousin. I haven't thought of a name for her yet, but it has to be something powerful. Not like Meg, because that's only three letters...
It has been so much fun driving her so far!
So in keeping with the silver/black theme, I replaced the door hinges.
I still need to replace the top hinge as well. In doing so, I'm also getting rid of most of the torx bolts on the body. Why they're designed this way in the first place is a mystery we may never know the answer to...
I also replaced the painted headlight bezels with chrome ones again, just to offset the black color of the grille. I think it looks a bit better having it broken up.
A few updates I've been lax wiith:
This is what we build at my job. Ruggedized LCD monitors that can hold up an LJR
Out with the old.
In with the new.
I'm a numbers guy... Always look forward to this... reluctantly...
And lastly, thanks a lot to Goodyear for making such crummy tires. These have less than 20k miles on them. Driver and passenger side fronts off the SRT8.
A wee bit bigger...
And I love it!
Got the lift installed! I went with the 3" Zone Suspension lift, and some goodies to go along with it...
Currie Ultimate Steering setup, which is the same Tie Rod and Drag Link as the Currectlync steering, but they've been heat treated, making them stronger.
Metalcloak Chromoly Adjustable Trackbar
Rancho Steering Stabilizer
I had been having some issues with shimmying, so after 150k miles, I decided to replace the front control arms. I figured I had a bad bushing. I got 3 of the arms to play nicely, but the front lower passenger side bolt seized in the crush sleeve. I had to cut the control arm and replace the hardware. I plan on upgrading to some adjustable control arms, but I figure it'll be nice to have a spare fresh set of arms for a trail repair, and it was a helluva lot easier than replacing just the bushings.
Considering selling my swingout carrier/rear bumper and replacing it with an exogate and an aluminum bumper. Thoughts?
Switched the front and rear tires, which made it much more manageable but not perfect. I have to toe the alignment in so I don't have to steer to get her straight again. I haven't done a long drive in her yet, but hope to get her on the highway today
Had a sad day this past weekend...
Misty has been sold. I know that I'll eventually get another Wrangler in the future, but that time may be a few years down the road. I learned a lot on the forum and I'm sure I'll stick around checking in on builds.