TerryMason's 2005 Jeep TJ Build

TerryMason

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Staff member
This is the build of my 2005 Jeep Wrangler. It's an SE model, with an automatic transmission, and the 4.0 engine. It was pretty much stock, with some 31s and some bling rims. As for my build goals, this is my daily driver, and I'm not a welder, so as you can tell, most of my first mods are simple things (i.e. seat covers), then I move on to bolt on stuff, until we get where I am today (axle swaps and SYE installs).

I've owned my TJ for a couple of years now, so there will be some catching up to do on this thread. To get started, here's how the Jeep looked when I took it home.

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Bolt on madness

The first thing that I did was to head over to 4WD.com and order up some bolt on stuff:

Some mirror movers (they mount the side mirrors to the body of the Jeep) so that you can run without doors

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Some clear lenses - they replace the orange lenses

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Tow hooks for the front bumper

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Grab handles

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Husky floor liners
http://www.jeepz.com/forum/product-reviews/22129-huskey-liner-floor-mats-jeep-wrangler.html

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Some Wet Okole seat covers
http://www.jeepz.com/forum/product-reviews/21337-wet-okole-seat-covers.html

Before:
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After:
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Upgrading the sound system

Next I upgraded the sound system in my Jeep. I started by replacing the factory head unit with an aftermarket mp3 / ipod compatible one. You can see the full install here:
http://www.jeepz.com/forum/accessories/24018-radio-install-wrangler.html

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Next I added some base to my setup by putting a 10 inch subwoofer inside of my rear seat. Read that full install here:
http://www.jeepz.com/forum/accessories/22414-subwoofer-inside-jeep-wrangler-rear-seat.html

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I finished it off by installing an amp using Skinny Pedal's TJ amp bracket. It mounts the amp up above the brake pedal, out of site and the elements. For my amp I chose an Alpine PDX 1.600 - it's a one channel 600 watt amp with a very small footprint.
http://www.jeepz.com/forum/product-reviews/31154-skinny-pedal-jeep-tj-amp-bracket.html

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Body Lift

I wanted to run larger tires, an eventually do a belly up skid plate, so I installed a JKS one inch body lift

Before the body lift:
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After the body lift:
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The JKS kit was pretty complete.
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2.5 inch spring install

I had gotten tired of the 2 inch budget boost lift, so I decided to swap form some 2.5 inch Rough Country springs. I kept the Rubicon Express shocks from the old kit.

New vs old springs
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One side done:
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With the 2 inch budget boost
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With the new 2.5 inch springs
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Front lower control arms

The new longer springs were not playing well, and ended up giving me a light case of death wobble. I decided to install new new adjustable lower control arms
full install - Jeep Control Arm Install


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BFG KM2s

Some new larger tires - 33 inch BFG KM2

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Ford 8.8 rear axle

At this point I decided to try my first big boy mod. I dropped in a Ford 8.8 rear axle. This is quite a bit beefier than the stock Dana 35, and would be a good basis to build on. I rebuild the limited slip in the Ford axle and decided to run that for a while until I can afford a select-able locker.

Limited slip with 3.73 gears (matched my Jeep)

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As it looked when I took it home:

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The S spring is what applies tension to the clutch packes (one on each side of the spring). This is the LSD (limited slip differential).

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It took more work than expected to clean this thing up - that and about 10 cutting wheels.

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Welded up and ready to install

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A new solid brand diff cover and some RTV. The stock diff cover is paper thin.

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These are parking brake cables from a Jeep ZJ. They mate up perfectly to the Ford 8.8

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Axle installed in the Jeep

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Here you can see the Spicer yoke adapter that allows my Jeep driveshaft to adapt to the Ford 8.8.

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Costs:


Ford 8.8 Axle
limited slip and 3.73 gears = $175


Diff Cover
Solid differential cover = $65
Solid Axle Heavy Duty Ford 8.8 Differential Cover


Gear Oil
Mobil 1 75-140 Synthetic = $19.99 x 3


Friction Modifier (for the LSD)
Summit Racing $5.95
Ford Racing Friction Modifier M-19546-A1 - SummitRacing.com


Bracket kit from Mad4wd.com
1 x TJ Wrangler Rear Axle Bracket Kit (Axle Kit-TJ) = $199.00 + shipping
TJ Wrangler Rear Axle Bracket Kit [Axle Kit-TJ] - $199.00 : Mad 4 Wheel Drive
Total: $216.11


Yoke adapter
Dana Spicer Ford 8.8 Flange Yoke Adapter 1310 U-Joint = $25.99 + shipping
Total $31.64


Yoke bolts - 12mm x 1.75 thread 12 point. Ford PN: N800594-S100.


Brakes
Advance Auto Parts
Wearever Silver Brake Pads MKD667 - 35.33
Wearever Silber Brake Shoes NB701 - 23.99
Wearever Brake Rotors YH145052 78.73
(i paid 126.27 for all brake parts)


Currie Disc Brake Hose Kit - $36.95 + shipping
Currie Enterprises Racing Rear End Categories
Total - $46.36


Labor:
Weld on Brackets = $200

Grand Total - 926.30 :shock:
 

It just never ends. There's always always something else that we want for our jeeps. I think you'll be happy with the 8.8. I put one in mine and altho the old D35 haden't gave out yet, The 8.8 gave me peace of mind.
 
It just never ends. There's always always something else that we want for our jeeps. I think you'll be happy with the 8.8. I put one in mine and altho the old D35 haden't gave out yet, The 8.8 gave me peace of mind.

I'm a fan of the 8.8, and the LSD in it isn't that bad (I haven't run with a true locker yet, so don't have too much for a basis of comparison). I did learn a few things during the 8.8 install:


  1. you shouldn't try and mount the swaybar in the stock location (mounts under the upper control arms). Instead put the mounts next to the control arms. The reason is that the TJ swaybar isn't big enough to clear the 8.8's pumpkin, and will contact the axle.
  2. don't reuse the ABS hole as your axle breather. I originally mounted it there, and not only would the swaybar hit it, but the ring gear would force gear oil all the way up my breather hose, so that I'd be leaking stinky gear oil from up above my gas filler (where the axle vents). I had to move it back to the stock spot.
 

Savvy upper control arms

In preparation for a SYE I installed some Savvy adjustable rear upper control arms. These things are beautiful - I just hope they weather well and continue looking slick.

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Nicely done, I am noodling this or a D44 if I can find one. There is a guy that builds 8.8's local will do the re-gear and locker of my choice (i buy he installs) for a pretty decent price. BUT the whole C-clip thing is still kind of a hang up. I know about the c-clip eliminator kit but... but not 100% yet.
 

Nicely done, I am noodling this or a D44 if I can find one. There is a guy that builds 8.8's local will do the re-gear and locker of my choice (i buy he installs) for a pretty decent price. BUT the whole C-clip thing is still kind of a hang up. I know about the c-clip eliminator kit but... but not 100% yet.

You many not have to do a regear, if you're using some stock Jeep gears (3.73, 4.10, etc). As to the c-clip, I don't think it's as much of a problem, since the 8.8 has disc brakes. If you break an axle, the disc brakes will hold the axle in, and let you limp off the trail.
 
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