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Updated on Nov 29, 2012
This is my Old Offroad Beast.
I no longer have this Jeep - it was sold in September 2012 to make way for my expanding family (i.e. MiniVan).
I now have started over with a 2006 WK 5.7L Overland (see the trend for top model, largest engine?)
See the page for this new endevour here:
It was a great ride and fantastic test base for learning. In the 8 years I owned the "2" Jeeps I went from being lucky to have one of these rare Jeeps to being lucky it saved my life.
In all the years I had them they went from this...
The "do over" started like this...
And ended up like this...
This is a video from one of the 2010 snow storms: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8_VzPLA7Us
This is my 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee as I bought it in 2004. I had a 2 inch lift on it with Old Man Emu shocks on it.
This was ok but the person who did this just stacked poly bushings on top of the original rubber bushings, which were deteriorating.
So I decided to re-do the whole suspension. This is how it started, with a 3.5 inch Rubicon Express Super Flex lift with 2 inch Daystar spacers.
This is what the suspension now looks like now with 5 inch rusty's coils in the front and Rubicon Express 3.5" front coils in the rear.
One day while driving along the highway I noticed a clunking sound from the rear. When I arrived at my friend's house I noticed the rear upper contol arm bracket on the driver's side had completely ripped off the frame and the passenger side was hanging on by a thread. After I changed my shorts I realized that rear suspension was shot. It was time to go to a long arm kit to fix this issue (The driver's side bracket had previously broken but not come completely off!) So with little knowledge on how to weld I chose Rusty's Offroad 5.5" Long Arm kit. After a long drawn out install the kit has worked out great. I did have to get a new drive shaft because the stock one was too short. This new drive shaft has a 1350 joint at the slip yoke and the stock 1330 joint at the axle. Below are some current pictures of it.
Here are some pictures after I finally go it offroad. The Flex is amazing with the long arm kit!
I just changed the tires to 285/75/16 Definity Dakota M/Ts. The previous tires I had were Firestone's Destination M/Ts. I would have gotten them again but they have dropped their Bridgestone M/t Tire line and now the Firestone Tires are the same price as what the Bridgestones were - at $250 a tire? I DON'T THINK SO!
After adding the Rusty's offroad lift the front and rear axles returned to their correct positions in the wheel wells. The lift using short arms had pulled the axles back a couple of inches. Now I needed to get longer drive shafts. I got the rear one from my local drivetrain shop - it was more than I wanted to pay but having the rear slip yoke about 1 inch in the transfer case was not desireable. This new rear shaft has a 1350 joint at the transfer case and has the stock sized 1330 joint at the axle. The Front came from CJ Tatton in UT. This driveshaft is not only a lot beefier than my old one but the turn around time was amazing. The price was also unbelievable.
Turning the front is the stock Dana 30 (TJ Dana 30s after 1997) which has 4.10s and a detroit truetrac. The Rear is the love/hate Dana 44a. I have never had a problem with it and it now has a new Trac(trash)-Lok and 4.10s to give me some extra boot. Unfortunately the trac-lok is the only available option for the Dana 44a unless you have an open differential then you can add an Aussie Locker. I had the factory trac-lock so paying $250 for an open differential only to gut it and add a $400 Aussie Locker was too pricy.
For the rear I use Rock-it Part's glider to save my Aluminum rear from certain destruction. Only problem is... the skid bolts into the differential housing. It is made out of Aluminum. Hit it hard enough and the bolts rip out and take the threads with them. Not a good Set up. So I modified it attaching it to the axle tubes using U-bolts
Here it is pre-modification. I am having Mountain Valley Customs make me a truss and skid for this so the glider will soon be gliding into the trash.
Here it is post-modification
This of course was a temporary fix as I mentioned above. I recently took a hike out to Mountain Valley Customs to get their truss and have it welded on. Here are some pictures of its progress as they fabbed it up.
This skid is VERY heavy Duty and performed flawlessly the next day at Rausch Creek (Shown below). (Although I can not say the same for my rear driver's side shock.) It has a skid that extends to the end of the pinion and has a strap to keep it there. All this for $150!!! They even bought me lunch. OUTSTANDING customer service. Keep the customers happy and fed.
I have also added a Rusty's Offroad thicker transfercase Skid plate. I had Mountain Valley Customs weld on Rusty's Dana 30 Axle truss too when I went out there.
I found in Sepember of 2008 that Blue Torch Fab was making Dana 44A Heavy Duty Diff Covers so as soon as the were avaiable I ordered one - pretty damn nice for $140!
I recently added Rugged-Ridge's HD Steering set up. It uses a tie rod that goes from knuckle to knuckle and gets rid of the Y set up that came with the jeep - a very good set up - I added Wheel Spacers though to move the stock rims out a bit from the drag link end. The Wheel spacers make it look and steer a lot better. I was able to adjust the steering stops out a lot once I added these.
Along the way I was able to locate a Fuel Tank skid plate and front suspension skid plate (doesn't do much now!) for my jeep as this did not come with the skid plate group. At first I tried to retain the Jeep's stock appearance on the outside by not adding any huge bumpers or roof racks. But as time went on and the offroad obsitcals got bigger so did the jeep and the armor. The Pictures below are from 2005 when I got 265/75r16s for it.
The tires, as you can see from above, were from Firestone.
I was running 285/75r16s, as these are the max tire I'd want to put on the stock rim. The below images show how it looked as of 2008 with new tires from PepBoys (tires don't need to be expensive to work). The Firestone tires by this time had gone up in price and were almost $200 a tire. The Definity Dakota M/Ts were $140 a piece. Much better on the wallet.
Ok I got bigger tires - I found a scream'in deal on a set of the new Goodyear MTR Kevlar tires so i now have 35x12.5r15s - anyone want to by the old ones? $750 best offer for the tires and wheels! 5 wheels and tires - two are practically brand new!
Recently after rear ending someone and then backing into someone I decided I needed some steel bumpers so that way next time I can do some real damage.
Here are the front and rear bumpers I got from a guy I found on Ebay - his name is James and his email is Jamscal@att.net. Here is his Ebay Id http://myworld.ebay.com/jamscal/ He did a great job on front and back - the back bumper is almost an exact copy of the factory one just in steel! It looks awsome!
I got them unfinished and then primed them and painted them a color that best matched the factory color - but that came in a cheap can and was rustoleum!
Here are the pictures of how it progressed. You need to do a bit of cutting in the front to get the bumpers to fit - this is true of any bumper being applied to a Grand Cherokee. The Cutting is very minimal and VERY easy to do. The metal is pretty thin.
Here is how it looks today after adding new front and rear bumpers and a winch. Unfortunately I had to go with a Chrome Laredo grill I had bought as a spare because the factroy 5.9L Grill stuck out too far and there would not have been enough room for the winch. I went with a Smittybilt XRC8000 winch because they are cheap and they have gotten some good reviews.
Here is a picture of me and my partner in crime Fred. Without his help most of this project jeep would never have gotten done. This is at Rausch Creek and he was there with his 96 Cherokee which has a 9" Rubicon Express/Rusty's sourced lift.
This is how it started out with a 4.5 Rubicon Express Lift.
Here is Fred's Jeep on 35s as it is now - pretty bad-ass huh?
Page 1: Intro, Suspension and Axles - this page Page 2: Performance Mods Page 3: Transfer Case Swap Page 4: Interior Mods Page 5: Trip To Paragon Adventure Park Pics Page 6: Trip To Rausch Creek Pics Page 7: PA Jeep Pics
Page 8: Jeep Wreck
Displaying entries 1-5 of 49
bad ass jeep man. 5***** check mine out
Front and Rear bumpers really set it apart from the rest, good job! 5 *****s
Nice setup! Must be alot of fun driving. Check out my SUICIDE cruiser.
Nice !!!! I love those bumpers !! 5Starz*****
sweet ZJ bud check out mine if you can cheers......
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