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  1. #1
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    Project Nina....Aka "What Did I Get Myself Into?"

    So what started off as "buy another jeep for a DD" has turned into "what did I get myself into?" (Thanks to this forum! )

    Almost bought a 2008 JK with 35K stock, but got the great advice of "don't buy a jeep, build a jeep," so I found a niner on CL right around the block from me. (Pulled up and there were 2 platinums for sale sitting there.) Mine was a little rougher of the two, dude snagged some of the goods from my niner and swapped them to the other before he put it on CL, (Grill, rims, cup holder inserts, probably more that I haven't noticed yet.)

    So as of right now, she appears to be stock, 139K bright platinum, although maybe the PO upgraded the exhaust...(looks newer, couldn't find any names on it though, and I'm out of town right now.)

    The Pros:

    I own her
    She's a niner
    Picked her up cheap
    139K
    Interior is in great shape
    Runs like a beast


    Cons:

    -The PO didn't treat her right (I always seem to pick up the tainted chicas)
    -No e-fan (There was a 3.0 Taurus Fan uninstalled under the hood....factory fan wiring harness was cut!)
    -Needs some body work (nasty ding on pass quarter panel, minor rust on driver rear quarter, rust on inside bottom of driver door, rust under hood)
    -New York ZJ (rust underneath)
    -Driver door ZJ sag
    -Tailgate was froze, fixed it, needs liftgate struts and window support struts
    -Driver door missing 5.9 emblem
    -probably a bunch more to update


    So depending on how rough she is once I start breaking her down and replacing some parts, that will determine how far I'll go with her. I've got a decent budget to work with, which will be right around the price of the stock JK.

    Didn't do much to her yet since i'm across the country, but changed the oil, flushed the coolant and took her through the hills on a chilly night.

    First up on the list when I get home:

    Flush tranny/transfer case/lubricate steering linkage
    Mark VIII e-fan swap
    K&N FIPK
    3" catback exhaust (if needed) Magna cat, either borla x1 or fm muffler
    Brass cap/Rotor
    Magnecor KV85 Wires
    MSD Blaster Coil
    Autolite 3923 Plugs
    Doug Thorley Headers
    Clear Corners
    interior LED swap
    cup holder insert
    liftgate struts/window support struts
    platinum 5.9 grill
    Holley 52mm TB
    Mopar Valve Covers
    M1 4bbl Intake Manifold

    If all goes well:

    MSD 6AL or Crane ignition
    SCT Tune
    Poly Motor Mounts
    Vanco Big Brake Kit
    Addco front & rear sway bars
    B&M Tranny Cooler
    lowering springs
    bilsteins
    Rims & Tires (undecided on which ones)
    Vortech SC
    etc.

    Here's round 1 of pics...only what I have with me.

    So, hopefully she's worth the upgrades, otherwise she's going up 4" and going the off road way, and i'll be looking for another 5.9 as the speedster!
    (excuse the pics, phone cam sucks.)

    IMG_20141204_211748.jpg IMG_20141204_211729.jpg IMG_20141224_141115.jpg IMG_20141224_141138.jpg



  2. #2
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    Right on man looks like you have some plans. I personally would reorganize the lists a little but it's a good start. I have a full extra fan assembly that uses a ford motor so it should plug and play for you. 2hunnit shipped for the new guy. Was going to hoard it but figure that silly because if I hav a front needed that kills the fan I've got more to worry about. The tune should come before intake, especially 4bbl, for the love of god don't spend full price on a shitty K&N. Look on eBay for the bored TBs, I had te Holley it's meh. As far as ignition I jus picked up the DUI kit and really like it and would recommend that over what you listed with NGK BKR6E plugs. Well that's your introduction to my over-opinionated ass. Take it for what it's worth.....which is a fortune
    '98 Grand 5.9 "Black Pearl" totaled
    '98 Grand 5.9 "Eleanoir"
    "No Officer, all four tire tracks are mine, it WAS all wheel drive......yes ma'am Im aware this structure is normally used to 'park' cars"

  3. #3
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    Thanks for your input, sorry for the late reply. I appreciate your opinion and everyone's here. Haven't had much time to post lately but I've been lurking for some pointers along my endeavour. Probably should've picked up the fan assembly from you, but I managed to score a good deal on a Mark VIII fan.

    It's still a learning process for me but this forum has been extremely informative and helpful to me and I thank you all for that. Now...onto the build progress!



  4. #4
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    So this winter really sucked for me, on top of the 7 ft of snow before I got the niner, the snow and weather after that were brutal, downright unbearable. Temps were well below freezing, and there was a stretch of below zero temps (daily high!), so you can imagine what it was like working in an unheated garage, even with a heater! No bueno.

    I bought the niner for the winter, as this was the first year i was jeepless in a decade. Unless you like cabin fever, you need a jeep around here to venture anywhere, even out of the driveway. So, without doing much, I ran her as a DD/snow machine, and she never let me down once. Didn't get stuck, always started right up, and I put some hard miles on her as I travel for work. She's a beast!!!!!!

    First order of business: New battery was thrown in, day of purchase. Nothing special for now. (Optima in the future with upgrades.)

    Check engine light: Bought a code reader...cylinder misfire...time for a tune up.

    IMG_20150412_203323.jpg
    IMG_20150412_203331.jpg
    IMG_20150412_203349.jpg
    IMG_20150412_203413.jpg

    YA THINK????? Correct me if I'm wrong, but those Champion plugs...might be the ORIGINALS! Somebody replaced the "easy ones" to get out with Bosch...but it took me PB blaster, a few tries with a breaker bar, then a soaking overnight...then a 2 ft breaker bar, and luckily they came out without snapping. FUN TIMES.

    Next, swapped in some Magnecor KV85 Wires. (Which I may sell because I want blue wires now...) Autolite 3923's replaced those mangled ones.

    Distributor Cap bolts were stuck pretty good too. But eventually got it, and swapped in a brass cap & new rotor. Ignition coil works good, but had the msd blaster sitting there. Ignition coil bolts were jammed up, so the stock one stayed on for a while. But tune up complete. She barely lets me turn the key before starting up!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Digital5.9; 05-08-2015 at 11:46 PM.



  5. #5
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    Attachment 7449

    Talk about a damsel in distress. She needs some loving.

    Attachment 7450

    So that's what we're working with.


    E-Fan Mod:

    Lincoln Mark VIII fan with harness soldered into factory wires...easy swap of ford motor if ever need be.

    I was lucky enough to solder in the garage at 12 degrees, outside it was -11.

    FAN WIRING:

    Black (ground) / Blue (low speed) / Brown/orange stripe (high speed)

    JEEP WIRING:

    Big Black (Ground) / Green (Low Speed) / Orange/ White (High Speed)


    I then used a 4" grinder to smooth off the tabs on the mark viii fan so that it clears the steering box. The trick to getting the fan in there is pushing up against the fan's plastic shroud as you are pushing it against the radiator and down into place. It's a tight fit but it has plenty of clearance from the belt and pulleys.
    Attachment 7451


    Lower Radiator Hose Switch:

    http://shop.advanceautoparts.com/p/c...t191/3464660-P


    Solder that into factory wiring small black is ground...tan goes to yellow.



  6. #6
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    New battery connections were a must:

    IMG_20150304_194552.jpg

    Quick disconnect negative for all the work that's to be done...both for about $7 at advanced auto.


    Time to clean up some shipwrecked parts:

    IMG_20150304_194647.jpg

    IMG_20150304_194654.jpg


    Little bit of love:

    IMG_20150307_154715.jpg
    IMG_20150307_160647.jpg

    Can't even believe that is the same t-stat switch housing...hopefully it still works....



  7. #7
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    Time for new hose(s):

    IMG_20150412_203537.jpg
    IMG_20150412_203550.jpg
    IMG_20150412_203625.jpg


    Might have to rename this project "Horror Story"
    Last edited by Digital5.9; 05-09-2015 at 01:32 AM.



  8. #8
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    Installed:

    IMG_20150309_174830.jpg


    Moar paint:



    IMG_20150416_003638.jpg

    Power Steering Pump from my 5.2: (Niner reservoir had a slight leak)

    IMG_20150416_003658.jpg
    IMG_20150416_003732.jpg

    Cheapo $ store metallic silver works wonders! Had it laying around, same with the blue and matte black auto paint. Cheap quick mod...easily added 50-75+ hp per paint session.



  9. #9
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    Anybody need some stock valve cover studs?
    IMG_20150417_152851.jpg

    If that's what you want to call them. I prefer ROCKED, or a few other choice terms. They weren't all 7/16, some were 3/8, some were fitting better with metric, some needed deep well sockets pounded on, some needed pass through sockets, the back ones needed to be taken out with vise grips, one even came out with my hands. Let the good times roll.

    IMG_20150417_152859.jpg

    While you're down there...adios heat shields.

    IMG_20150417_153034.jpg

    Ha. Wow.



  10. #10
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    IMG_20150417_152917.jpg
    IMG_20150417_152943.jpg
    Was expecting to see much worse, but inside was pretty clean.


    IMG_20150417_152955.jpg

    New gaskets and valve covers.


    IMG_20150422_090152.jpg
    IMG_20150422_090215.jpg

    Now you can see why blue wires are a must. Had no clue I would go this direction of color it's "the way she goes."

    - - - Updated - - -

    Jeep valve covers are a little bigger than stock, which makes it fun to install. Easiest way for removal and installation is with two people. It was much easier for me since distributor cap was out, could get to the back side of covers and bolts much easier. Also, didn't have battery, alternator, bracket, ps pump, ps lines, or ac in the way. You may still be able to move them in with a few parts still connected, but you can remove ac from its bracket...gently lift lines up and ac comp up...place on top of its bracket, it stays out of the way just enough.

    One person holds wires and lines out of the way and keeps gasket lined up...other guides covers in, and aligns their side of gasket/cover holes. Took about 2 mins to have both in. Used 3m gasket adhesive, but i wasn't a fan. It's extremely sticky, and gets all over, but if used sparingly might work ok for one person trying to maneuver valve covers etc. Don't get it on your hands, it stays there for a while.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Had a slight leak from the water pump housing somewhere...it was the water pump inlet tube...O-ring was shot. Tube moved when putting the valve covers in. Easy fix, just happened to magically come across it on the interwebs. $10 at autozone, use some water pump RTV to create a seal, new tube and o ring made a popping sound and sealed it up.

    No leaks, sounds the best it probably has in years. Runs smooth, very quiet at idle, surprisingly. She purrrrrrrrrrs.



  11. #11
    Member xaza's Avatar
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    Looking like a lot of work going to be needed to bring this thing back to pristine. How bad is the rust?
    We do not remember days, we remember moments.

    Cesare Pavese

  12. #12
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    Looks like you've got a lot done in a relatively short amount of time!


    What Blaster coil did you go with? The MSD and ACCEL coils that look like our stock ones are good enough for most of the mods that we do, even the fairly serious stuff.
    On this newer stuff the ignition boxes aren't really necessary - no reason to go to a 6AL until you get around to the Vortech SC. (I think it's preferable then, although I'm not even 100% sure of that)


    And like Tanner/lilbullie said - there are less expensive alternatives to the K&N CAI.

    I personally like the K&Ns, but wouldn't buy one at full cost. There's ebay kits for CAIs and/or they can be pieced together other ways. A lot of auto parts stores carry the Spectre stuff - it's not exactly cheap but it has lots of options for piping etc.

    I'd go with something that has an elbow for flexing like the Spectre stuff though. I think that's one of the downfalls of the K&N design that cause it to crack - it's a solid piece with no flex, and is meant to be clamped down onto the heat shield. The rocking and rolling of our doughnut style motor mounts doesn't seem to agree with that setup, when the mounts are worn the movement's gotta be so much worse.
    For that reason I don't clamp mine down on the heat shield, that's seemed to work out pretty well so far.


    For the TB, check out BLKDAKRT in our vendor forums. Everyone's really happy with his product and you can't beat the price.


    Also, when you get around to the intake, the front one or two bolts have a tendency to seize up and snap off. I'd pre-lube them a bit although I don't think it really penetrates into the areas that matter. (can't hurt, lol)
    Usually it leaves enough of the bolt shaft sticking out that (once the intake is off) you can get at them and remove them with more lube, vice grips and a bit of constructive beating

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by xaza View Post
    Looking like a lot of work going to be needed to bring this thing back to pristine. How bad is the rust?
    Absolutely, I basically rescued this niner from going to the scrap yard. She's definitely pretty rough, and sat for a while, which is why some of the parts look shipwrecked. It's got a clean title though, and 141k, which after more and more research that's a pretty decent starting point, as i'm still seeing them go for about 6-10 times more than what I paid for the Jeep, with over 200K.

    This is my first real project anything. I've owned jeeps for a while now, but usually my mods consisted of a new battery, all new wiring, new head unit, new speakers,crazy amps, and crazy subs. My last jeep hit 149 db and came in second at a bass off, and my buddy's brother that I bought the jeep from hit 151 and beat me out!

    Being a DJ, I need my bass and I need it loud!!!


    Other than that, I would fix the parts that were broken, and my mechanical knowledge was limited. So this has been an awesome experience for me so far.




    Surprisingly the rust isn't horrible, I was expecting way worse. There's only a few spots on the body to worry about, the rear driver wheel well, pass quarter panel, little under driver door, and little at hood latch.

    I'm throwing on a new paint job anyway, sticking with factory ps4 to freshen it up, as I also was lucky enough to notice the auto dimming fluid leaked onto the driver door.

    As for parts, i'm cleaning up what I can, and replacing what is totally shot. I have a 97 5.2 for parts, very clean engine compared to the nine, which i'll be snagging a few more things from.


    More horror story pix:

    IMG_20150427_151827.jpg

    IMG_20150427_153837.jpg

    IMG_20150427_153846.jpg

    My driveshaft is shipwrecked, but some of yours make me feel ok about mine!

    Did notice that rust on the frame rail early on, so i sprayed her down when i could to wash off the salt over the winter. POR 15 and stabilizing the unibody rust is my next project. Also looked into the TNT Frame Stiffeners, but my uncle and my buddy are master welders, so just in case I have that route covered as well.

    Lots of work is needed, but at this stage I feel that it's worth it to save the nine. Even if I just keep this one as the DD/ winter monster, because I still have my eyes on that mint nine where I bought mine.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Z88Z View Post
    Looks like you've got a lot done in a relatively short amount of time!
    Thanks, I've really put it into gear now that the weather is starting to break, it was still in the 30's and below freezing about a week or two ago, so I've been battling the elements now that the 5.2 is in the garage getting stripped.


    What Blaster coil did you go with? The MSD and ACCEL coils that look like our stock ones are good enough for most of the mods that we do, even the fairly serious stuff.
    On this newer stuff the ignition boxes aren't really necessary - no reason to go to a 6AL until you get around to the Vortech SC. (I think it's preferable then, although I'm not even 100% sure of that)
    I went with the MSD Blaster 8228 and the accel wiring harness. My coil was frozen to the bracket, so I removed the bracket, and am going to relocate the MSD to the backside of my heat shield for my CAI.



    And like Tanner/lilbullie said - there are less expensive alternatives to the K&N CAI.

    I personally like the K&Ns, but wouldn't buy one at full cost. There's ebay kits for CAIs and/or they can be pieced together other ways. A lot of auto parts stores carry the Spectre stuff - it's not exactly cheap but it has lots of options for piping etc.

    I'd go with something that has an elbow for flexing like the Spectre stuff though. I think that's one of the downfalls of the K&N design that cause it to crack - it's a solid piece with no flex, and is meant to be clamped down onto the heat shield. The rocking and rolling of our doughnut style motor mounts doesn't seem to agree with that setup, when the mounts are worn the movement's gotta be so much worse.
    For that reason I don't clamp mine down on the heat shield, that's seemed to work out pretty well so far.

    I ended up opting out of the K&N FIPK, and went with the Spectre Air Hat/plenum, and a K&N filter. Looks way meaner, flows better, and cost less to make a custom CAI than the K&N kit, so thanks for everyone's help in that decision.


    For the TB, check out BLKDAKRT in our vendor forums. Everyone's really happy with his product and you can't beat the price.
    After more research, I would definitely go with the BLKDAKRT TB. A lot of my research involves comparing the best parts for my rig, so my list will always be changing. Plus i'd much rather toss some $ around to the vendors here for a solid product.


    Also, when you get around to the intake, the front one or two bolts have a tendency to seize up and snap off. I'd pre-lube them a bit although I don't think it really penetrates into the areas that matter. (can't hurt, lol)
    Usually it leaves enough of the bolt shaft sticking out that (once the intake is off) you can get at them and remove them with more lube, vice grips and a bit of constructive beating
    Thank you for the advice! I've started cleaning up the outside of the intake as it was grimy, and foresee me fiddling around with the intake soon. I was thinking about just P & P my kegger, throwing a turtle in there and hitting it with the detail paint, but still very much undecided if its worth it, or to just buy the M1. Time will tell.



  14. #14
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    Some detail work once the sun finally decided to visit this part of the globe:

    IMG_20150428_155808.jpg

    IMG_20150428_155823.jpg

    IMG_20150428_155834.jpg

    IMG_20150428_155738.jpg

    IMG_20150428_155723.jpg

    Notice that stain where some douche spilled some greasy shit? Yeah that's what you get when people treat your ride like a taxi lol...karma is a B!!!!!



  15. #15
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  16. #16
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    Very nicely done! Just some advice, use worm clamps that are lined. I learned a very expensive lesson with my ricer mobiles and silicone hoses that regular worm clamps will damage/shred when you clamp down on them repeatedly. I personally go with the brand Precision since I know the part numbers I need and only have used 2 different sizes.

    http://www.amazon.com/Precision-Bran.../dp/B007Q4YD92

    Too bad you are a bit aways away from where I am in PA. I know a really good paint guy who has done wonders for the rust I have found on mine! I will be updating my thread with pictures soon.
    - Sandy

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoostinChick View Post
    Very nicely done! Just some advice, use worm clamps that are lined. I learned a very expensive lesson with my ricer mobiles and silicone hoses that regular worm clamps will damage/shred when you clamp down on them repeatedly. I personally go with the brand Precision since I know the part numbers I need and only have used 2 different sizes.

    http://www.amazon.com/Precision-Bran.../dp/B007Q4YD92

    Too bad you are a bit aways away from where I am in PA. I know a really good paint guy who has done wonders for the rust I have found on mine! I will be updating my thread with pictures soon.

    Thank you. I switched over to worm clamps cuz my factory clamps were shot and i had a box of them laying around. I had to cut out a few extra inches of the coil inside the spectre hoses so that they would seat properly around the switch housing (the factory ends are already cut back a bunch.) I have the spectre magnaclamps in my amazon shopping cart, and will make the upgrade either with those or the ones from your link. Definitely don't need any (more) problems that can be avoided. Thanks for the advice.

    As for the paint, I believe I have that covered, but i appreciate you trying to help out a fellow SFer. My buddy did his own custom candy paint on his 5.2, and will also be doing mine. After some debating, I'm sticking with the factory color and not the custom paint job I previously had in mind.

    I've checked out your build thread, it's impressive! I'll keep my eye out for the updates.



  18. #18
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    Custom CAI:

    Spectre Air Hat 98499 $100

    K&N Filter Rf-1027 $65

    (3) Spectre 4" Couplers 9771 $39

    Spectre 4" Polished Aluminum 45 degree elbow 9749 $18

    Spectre 4" Polished Aluminum 6" long straight tube 9719 $13

    Spectre 4" Polished Aluminum 4" long straight tube 9709 $10

    24" x 36" sheet of metal (my cost =$0)

    Super Seal Air Hat Gasket $10

    TOTAL COST= $255


    IMG_20150511_180135.jpg

    IMG_20150511_180153 (2).jpg

    IMG_20150511_180208 (3).jpg

    IMG_20150511_180218 (2).jpg


    After much research and advice from here, I decided to build a custom CAI as opposed to buying the K&N kit. Saw a few used kits, but went the other way due to the restrictions from the K&N. My custom kit came out cheaper than a new K&N kit, and should outperform it.

    I stuck with a 4" intake as opposed to smaller due to the size of the K&N filter and Spectre Air Hat. Since they were already at 4", it seemed illogical to reduce the tube size. There is obviously more flow through 4" anyways. Now I believe I need a bigger TB and an exhaust!

    50 degree weather and she is loving it! Has such a mean rumble now, and when she starts moving, it resembles a mild turbo/supercharger sound. I'm extremely happy with this upgrade, the power gain at this point probably isn't huge, but it is definitely noticeable.

    The IAT relocate is on deck.







  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital5.9 View Post
    Custom CAI:

    Spectre Air Hat 98499 $100

    K&N Filter Rf-1027 $65

    (3) Spectre 4" Couplers 9771 $39

    Spectre 4" Polished Aluminum 45 degree elbow 9749 $18

    Spectre 4" Polished Aluminum 6" long straight tube 9719 $13

    Spectre 4" Polished Aluminum 4" long straight tube 9709 $10

    24" x 36" sheet of metal (my cost =$0)

    Super Seal Air Hat Gasket $10

    TOTAL COST= $255


    IMG_20150511_180135.jpg

    IMG_20150511_180153 (2).jpg

    IMG_20150511_180208 (3).jpg

    IMG_20150511_180218 (2).jpg


    After much research and advice from here, I decided to build a custom CAI as opposed to buying the K&N kit. Saw a few used kits, but went the other way due to the restrictions from the K&N. My custom kit came out cheaper than a new K&N kit, and should outperform it.

    I stuck with a 4" intake as opposed to smaller due to the size of the K&N filter and Spectre Air Hat. Since they were already at 4", it seemed illogical to reduce the tube size. There is obviously more flow through 4" anyways. Now I believe I need a bigger TB and an exhaust!

    50 degree weather and she is loving it! Has such a mean rumble now, and when she starts moving, it resembles a mild turbo/supercharger sound. I'm extremely happy with this upgrade, the power gain at this point probably isn't huge, but it is definitely noticeable.

    The IAT relocate is on deck.




    well done, i'm running the spectre hat too on my 5.2 and i'm happy with it. my only concern is that the spectre one gets hotter the the stock plastic one.
    98 ZG 318 limited: np 242 swap, aussie locker, shift kit, optima red, 170lbs reduction, 5.9 vents, tcase skid, kn air filter, air ram, 1.7 HS RRs, SCT 93 oct tune, magnaflow muffler 12255, magnaflow hi-flo cat, spectre air hat, 2x52mm tb, 5.9 efan swap, ngk fr5-1 plugs, mopar perf wires, new cap 'n rot, maxxperf coil, iat relocation, roof lights, pirelli scorpions on masitaly 16x7 rims ET=0, ome HD coils +2",rubic exp +2"shocks, skyjacker ss, rubic exp adjustable front arms, jks rear+procomp front trackbar, prothane engine n tranny mounts, prothane sway bars bushings, drilled n slotted rotors, aeronautical front brake lines, purple led into front grill, hella h4s 100/55w, osarm h3s 55w.
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  20. #20
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    Metal get hotter to the touch than plastic at the same temperature.

  21. #21
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    Posts
    20
    Rep Power
    35
    Not much to report on the project as of late. Had it officially 1 year now, only put 3k miles on it so far. Work has been slow this year so that hurt the jeep fund, but will be doing my suspension in the near future.

    Mostly been doing basic upkeep and replacing wear & tear parts.

    20150720_210713.jpg
    Abs tone ring snapped...replaced with new pass side CV shaft. Figured I would do the ball joints and wheel bearing while i was in there. Couldn't get the wheel bearing bolts out from the knuckle, they fused to it. So i had to grind off the knuckle and replace everything. Found one online for $80...way better than the $339 autozone wants for it. Had to get the bolts from the stealership though. Also put on new calipers since the old ones were shot.

    20150715_183807.jpg

    Think it needed a lil lovin...

    20150729_200712.jpg

    Not sure if my ball joints were that bad or AZ just gave me a cheap ass ball joint kit...had to return it for a different one.


    Bought myself some much needed tools like a compressor, impact, mechanics kit, breaker bars etc, so at least now most of my projects run a little bit quicker without having to run to the store to buy the right tools for the job.


    Also did my NSS since my reverse lights only worked once in a while, think it was like $20, wasn't as much of a B as i've seen, my 1" deep impact socket fit it perfectly.


    Only other major upgrade (found it for $60):

    20151205_203756.jpg

    Niner Front w new grille.jpg

    Finally looking like a Niner.



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