The Cheap Wrangler Build...

eric m

New member
Well to give a bit of a back story until two weeks ago I had a moderatly built grand cherokee till I got hit...


Well with my limited funds I found and bought a '97 wrangler se with a 4cly. 5spd. For $1800.


The basic build plan is to make it a reliably dd that I can still play with pretty hard on the weekends, so far I've swapped on my 31" duratrac's from my grand and have replaced the o2 sensor and blower motor resistor and rear pinion seal.

The plan is to use as many parts off the grand as I can and build it up with a divorced dad's budget...


Sent from my Devour using Jeepz

Good luck with your build. Looks like you got a pretty good deal. And the smile on the face of the little one in the back seat makes it all worthwhile.
808CJ7 said:
Good luck with your build. Looks like you got a pretty good deal. And the smile on the face of the little one in the back seat makes it all worthwhile.

It does and thank you.

Sent from my Devour using Jeepz
Just got my Zone 2" spacer kit with the upgraded nitro shocks, now I just gotta pull my adjustable track bar and swaybar disconnect off of my gr. Cherokee and put it all on the wrangler.

Sent from my Devour using Jeepz

It took a bit to get the free time to get it all on but the lifts done and I've been enjoying it for a few weeks now...


The next project is to fab up some sort of brush gaurd/deer deflector and get that mounted up.

Sent from my Devour using Jeepz
I've done a few more things (sorry no pictures at the moment, their will be soon) : fabbed a bit of a brush gaurd on the factory bumper and ditched the plastic bumperets. Also replaced my rotting muffler and tail pipe with a simple glasspack, my "cat back system" as it were cost me a staggering $20. Getting more air out left me at a disadvantage on the intake isn't a perment solution but I cleaned up and installed my turbocity intake and "max flow" filter from my grand. It fits thanks to the T.B. spacer installed by a previous owner. It almost feels snappy now :)

Sent from my Devour using Jeepz

That's a 2 inch with 31s you got on there? Looks really nice still deciding where to go with mine
tjsurf151 said:
That's a 2 inch with 31s you got on there? Looks really nice still deciding where to go with mine

Sorry for the delayed response, yes it's a 2" lift with 31x10.50's. Thanks for the compliment.
Where to begin, it's been pretty hectic for awhile and most of what I've been doing has been maintenance type stuff, but most recently I replaced all of my shot control arms with Zone lowers and BDS uppers.



I painted these all to match.

Also I've been working on a rear bumper with swingout tire carrier. It's been progressing slowly due to lack of free time but this is what I started with








This has led up to where I am at currently,


I still need to quite a bit to it, but it's getting closer.
Last edited:
I hope to have the bumper finished and installed in early June barring maintenance issue's the next big project is to install the 1.25" body lift I picked up for it.

It's finished and installed. So far it works quite well, I just need to do some tweaking on the latch pin.
In Holmes county, it's no where near cinnci. IM like an hour west south west of canton if that helps.
I was in Cincinnati this weekend, wife and I went and saw Indians/ Reds game. Pretty nice town, friendly people.

Small update: got my new to me tires from a fellow forum member, pieman1963, great guy to deal with and couldn't be happier with the tires and the price.


Bfg km2's 285/70R 17's, or 33/11.50R 17's in English. Mounted them up on some crager soft 8's, still need to get a fifth wheel so I can have a full size spare.
While waiting for xmas bonus/tax return time to bring the funds for some cool upgrades, I thought I'd showcase some $30 modifications I've done.

Front bumper:
Last year I removed the plastic end things and welded a center hoop in place Withe intention of doing more,


This year (I'm really good at procrastination...) I trimmed the bumper for clearance boxed it in with .125" steel and added some reinforcements to the hoop,




The goal was to add clearance and protection over the stock bumper, but not to add much weight. I think it worked.
While the bumper mod was free (except for my time which isn't all that valuable as my paycheck will attest) the steering box brace set me back about $5 dollars in hardware,



With the larger tires I'm running I don't want to rip the steering box off the frame and I also didn't want to spend $60 on one so a combo of heavy wall tube (not pipe) some .188" plate and some .188" strap steel I went to work. It's stout and is holding up great so far.

It's been a bit since I've updated anything and I suck at taking progress pics...that said...



Here we have the infamous TJ fender rot...there are a lot of nice expensive aftermarket solutions to this problem but I didn't want to spend my cash that way so...



Pre welding


Installed and painted. They're not bad and they do the job but I might go back and make another set and tweak them a bit.


  • ForumRunner_20140301_185740.png
    359.8 KB · Views: 409
  • ForumRunner_20140301_185844.png
    364.2 KB · Views: 468