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2003 Black Wrangler X - Texas Jeep

Discussion in 'Wrangler TJ Builds (1996-2006)' started by The4x4Guys, Apr 21, 2019.

  1. Jun 8, 2019 at 10:45 AM
    #41
    The4x4Guys

    The4x4Guys [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2019
    Member:
    #3048
    Messages:
    175
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Bob
    Vehicle:
    2018 Black JLUR
    Mopar 2" lift, 37" BFG KO2's, KMC Rockstar 17" wheels, JCR Offroad front and rear bumpers, WARN Zeon 10-S, CoolTech CB Radio Kit, Rock Slide Engineering step sliders, TeraFlex adjustable steering stabilizer, Rock Krawler adjustable track bars,Magnaflow dual tip black exhaust.
    My apologizes for the lack of posting on my build/restore/refurbish of the 2003 TJ. The work I've been doing has had a few misc postings dealing with install issues, but mostly there hasn't been much to post about or to share any pics of the work that's been getting done. Here is a list of the things that have been accomplished since the last post:

    1) I pulled all the spark plugs and installed new Iridium tipped Auto Lites, along with a new coil rail

    2) I also pulled the fuel rail and injectors. Installed refurbished injectors and a new fuel rail since old one looked pretty bad (after 208,500 miles its no wonder)

    3) While I had the fuel rail off, I installed new manifold, fuel rail and injector insulation blankets from Design Engineering. That cleaned up the look amazingly well.

    4) I also installed new transmission hoses from the factory metal ones to the radiator. This is a temporary update until I pull the grill to paint it and then install the B&M transmission cooler at that point.

    5) I then removed the transmission skid plate to get better access to the transmission oil pan. i dropped the pan, removed the old gasket, resealed the pan and topped off the tranny fluids. I did have an issue with the nutserts, which I ended cutting out and putting news ones in.

    6) As you may see in other threads, I also inspected all the pinions seals for signs of leaks and the only one that was wet was the front differential seal. Getting it off was straight forward with a bit of effort, but getting the new one back on was a bit of a struggle. In the end, I used the seal that I got from my local Mopar dealer which did not have the cover/oil slinger, but it fit like a glove (if you had to use a wooden block and ball peen hammer to put gloves on) :)

    7) Starting tomorrow, I am dropping the transfer case skid plate (the larger one, as I already have the transmission skid off to service the transmission). I already have a bottle jack with wood block supporting the transmission and my floor jack supporting the skid itself. I've removed the four nuts holding the transfer case to the skid and have loosened one thread each of the six bolts that hold the skid, luckily no spinning nutserts so far. If so, I know how to cut them out and re-install new ones.

    Finally, Santa Claus has started delivering my new parts to start the upgrade part of this build thread. So far he has brought me - brands are a surprise until I get some pics and links:

    - a cat back exhaust system with black tipped tail pipe (its a black Jeep)
    - four two inch lift coils and four two inch longer shocks
    - a steering stabilizer and bracket to mount it

    St. Nick claims that he has given FedEx for delivery to my garage the additional parts:

    - eight adjustable control arms (uppers in black, lowers in red)
    - replacement transfer case cable
    - two track bars (front and rear) in red
    - rear sway bar and longer end links (front and rear)
    - new steering cross over kit with new drag link and tie rod (in red)
    - one inch aluminum spacer body lift kit that also replaces the stock rubber mounts
    - one motor mount lift set

    I also still need to get the rear main seal replaced, but I've decided to let a Jeep garage tackle that, if I had a lift I would try it, but without a lift it looks a bit tight for me to tackle it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
    UrbanCowboy likes this.
  2. Jun 10, 2019 at 3:06 PM
    #42
    The4x4Guys

    The4x4Guys [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2019
    Member:
    #3048
    Messages:
    175
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Bob
    Vehicle:
    2018 Black JLUR
    Mopar 2" lift, 37" BFG KO2's, KMC Rockstar 17" wheels, JCR Offroad front and rear bumpers, WARN Zeon 10-S, CoolTech CB Radio Kit, Rock Slide Engineering step sliders, TeraFlex adjustable steering stabilizer, Rock Krawler adjustable track bars,Magnaflow dual tip black exhaust.
    Today was an eventful day in the garage on the 2003 TJ project Jeep. Here is what was accomplished, with a few pics.

    1) Installed four new O2 sensors. I didn't have any codes, but in trying to update as many serviceable things as I can on a 16 year old Jeep, these were next on my list.

    2) Supported the transmission with a bottle jack and dropped the transfer case skid plate. The was amazing little rust, just bit of surface rust around the bolt holes and where the skid made contact with the frame. I used a wire brush on my drill and took all of the surface rust off both the skid and the frame and gave it a quick shot of flat black Rustoleum. Here are both skids with the touch ups done, but the factory paint looks great - I even power washed the old grease and dirt build up.

    IMG_0539.jpg

    3) Next I drained the transfer case at topped off with fresh ATF+4 fluid.

    4) Since the transfer case skid was off, I decided to tear out the old cat-back muffler and tailpipe. Thank you Dewalt sawzall for making it a 15 min project.

    IMG_0541.jpg

    5) I then broke open one of the many boxes of new parts to install.

    Here is old system and the new Banks Power Monster Exhaust System. I like the beefier sound, solid without being annoying.

    IMG_0543.jpg

    IMG_0544.jpg

    Don't worry, the old bumper is a gonner, but I am still deciding on what to replace it with.....
     
    aggrex likes this.
  3. Jun 19, 2019 at 4:38 PM
    #43
    The4x4Guys

    The4x4Guys [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2019
    Member:
    #3048
    Messages:
    175
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Bob
    Vehicle:
    2018 Black JLUR
    Mopar 2" lift, 37" BFG KO2's, KMC Rockstar 17" wheels, JCR Offroad front and rear bumpers, WARN Zeon 10-S, CoolTech CB Radio Kit, Rock Slide Engineering step sliders, TeraFlex adjustable steering stabilizer, Rock Krawler adjustable track bars,Magnaflow dual tip black exhaust.
    Well the project went into a multi-day stall due to the exhaust system install issues. The front hanger was misaligned by several inches and after taking to Banks tech support the mystery was solved....DOH! I had removed the transmission and transfer case skid plates to service both items and to replace the transfer case linkage in preparation for a body lift.

    Despite the fact that I had a jack supporting the transmission, the transfer case and attached exhaust system (cat) had dropped enough to cause an alignment problem with the exhaust hangers. Once I re-installed both skids plates (what a trick that is), I was able to finalize the exhaust install without an issue.

    I want to point out the transfer case linkage replacement because of how clean of an install it is and it support the impending body lift. Here is the factory linkage that I removed:

    img_0553-jpeg_0d9dadf71a58315b1efd1fa74709168c23935441.jpg


    And here is the Steinjager replacement cable installed with a link to the cable for TJ 1997-2006, here is a link to the Steinjager cable for the Rubicon (same years). It is so much cleaner of an install and works great.

    img_0583-jpeg_9f72e6d4cdeb23ee63a05ee54a8e5beae75fb0e0.jpg


    Lastly, I want to shout out to the broken bolt gods about the pay it forward good karma I earned this week. While working on the Banks exhaust issue, I noticed that the front hanger bracket was only being held by one bolt. On inspecting closer, I saw that a previous owner had broken the head off the lower bolt holding the bracket. Rather than leave it that way, the OCD in me made me remove the upper bolt and bracket, drilled out the broken bolt and tapped and re-inserted a new bolt to hold the bracket firmly as god and our Jeep overlords had intended.

    img_0569-jpeg_92ea8493cab07421435b3243915da61cbc55ce40.jpg
     
    aggrex likes this.
  4. Jun 20, 2019 at 6:58 AM
    #44
    Awrench

    Awrench Well-Known Member

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    comments- you seam to be moving thru this quickly - yeah there are always issues bolts, rust, ect.

    the money burn rate is high here. Why did yu choose refurbished injectors over new? the o2 sensors were jeep or NTK/NGK ? as other brands ma be problematic.
    On the Tcase linkage those bolts look a little to long - and cleves pin? - But just a thought your build.
     
  5. Jun 20, 2019 at 8:06 AM
    #45
    The4x4Guys

    The4x4Guys [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2019
    Member:
    #3048
    Messages:
    175
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Bob
    Vehicle:
    2018 Black JLUR
    Mopar 2" lift, 37" BFG KO2's, KMC Rockstar 17" wheels, JCR Offroad front and rear bumpers, WARN Zeon 10-S, CoolTech CB Radio Kit, Rock Slide Engineering step sliders, TeraFlex adjustable steering stabilizer, Rock Krawler adjustable track bars,Magnaflow dual tip black exhaust.

    Thanks for the input. The O2 sensors were NTK as I read that others could be a problem. I chose refurbished injectors because of price of new and the fact that this engine has 208,500 mile son it and I think I may be replacing it in a year or two. As for the cleve pins, I guess I didn't think they would be a problem, should I consider replacing them with a bolt of something else?
     
  6. Jun 20, 2019 at 8:23 AM
    #46
    Awrench

    Awrench Well-Known Member

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    no I did not see a clevis and bent cotter pin - basically wanted you to know I pay attention - sometimes- :) a second set of eyes if you know what I mean =

    PS: I mentioned burn rate seams scary fast
     
  7. Jun 20, 2019 at 8:39 AM
    #47
    The4x4Guys

    The4x4Guys [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2019
    Member:
    #3048
    Messages:
    175
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Bob
    Vehicle:
    2018 Black JLUR
    Mopar 2" lift, 37" BFG KO2's, KMC Rockstar 17" wheels, JCR Offroad front and rear bumpers, WARN Zeon 10-S, CoolTech CB Radio Kit, Rock Slide Engineering step sliders, TeraFlex adjustable steering stabilizer, Rock Krawler adjustable track bars,Magnaflow dual tip black exhaust.
    Burn rate, now you're sounding like my wife who just last night asked "does this project have an end?, how much have you spent?" LMAO

    The fact is that I still have to buy tires, wheels, front bumper and rear bumper, but then I'll be done for a long while. Originally, I bought this to fix it up and flip it, but along the way I've fallen in love with the TJ and keep thinking about keeping it, thus the thoughts of buying a re-built engine down the road if this one gives up the ghost. I also have a 13 year granddaughter who is thinking that this should be her first vehicle.....we will see...

    I have an online store that sells aftermarket parts for Jeeps, The 4x4 Guys . com (take out the spaces) and I am treating this as a marketing tool to highlight various parts and brands. I'm trying to avoid the vanilla brands or as I call them "belly button brands" (everyone has one) but sometimes my choices cause consternation among Jeep lovers and I get that. Not everyone has the same tastes, but we try to carry as many brand choices as we can get approval for. Some brands won't sell to a dealer unless they also have an installation shop, which I get. When someone asks for one of those brands, we are upfront with them and tell them we can't carry or sell that brand, we may have alternatives but would never cheat someone out of what they want. We aren't a big company, just a family run place, what we don't have in size we try to make up with in service.

    In any case, as I told my wife last night, I have a budget for this Jeep and once I've purchased everything I want/need I will have gone over it but not by a frightening amount, as I think i got a pretty good deal going into the project.
     
  8. Jun 20, 2019 at 8:40 AM
    #48
    The4x4Guys

    The4x4Guys [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2019
    Member:
    #3048
    Messages:
    175
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Bob
    Vehicle:
    2018 Black JLUR
    Mopar 2" lift, 37" BFG KO2's, KMC Rockstar 17" wheels, JCR Offroad front and rear bumpers, WARN Zeon 10-S, CoolTech CB Radio Kit, Rock Slide Engineering step sliders, TeraFlex adjustable steering stabilizer, Rock Krawler adjustable track bars,Magnaflow dual tip black exhaust.

    The only project I'm not willing to attempt on my own is a replacement of the rear main seal. If I had a lift, I might give it a shot, but I have a shop that will do it for $600. Does that sound reasonable?
     
  9. Jun 23, 2019 at 8:10 AM
    #49
    The4x4Guys

    The4x4Guys [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2019
    Member:
    #3048
    Messages:
    175
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Bob
    Vehicle:
    2018 Black JLUR
    Mopar 2" lift, 37" BFG KO2's, KMC Rockstar 17" wheels, JCR Offroad front and rear bumpers, WARN Zeon 10-S, CoolTech CB Radio Kit, Rock Slide Engineering step sliders, TeraFlex adjustable steering stabilizer, Rock Krawler adjustable track bars,Magnaflow dual tip black exhaust.
    The last two days were consumed with the 1" body lift from M.O.R.E. (Mountain Off-Road Enterprises) using their 1" aluminum pucks. That was my entertainment for Friday night. Luckily, there were no stuck body bolts, although two of them were very tight and squeaked on the way out. I used a breaker bar to get them loose a thread or two before I used the impact wrench to drive them out.

    Here is a pic of the M.O.R.E. kit which includes their aluminum pucks and bolts as well as the radiator bumpers that get replaced during the body lift.. Pictured is also their 1" motor mount lifts and steering linkage 1" lift bracket, the poly bushings to replace the stock bushings are a Daystar product. the lone fender washer isn't sued if you are doing both the body lift and the motor mount life. It is only used if you do a body lift only to deal with adjusting the radiator fan shroud. Since I was doing both, it just went into my spare parts bin.

    IMG_0586.jpg

    The body lift was done on Friday and it wasn't that big of a deal. The only issue I had was the front two (side) body mounts were just a shade smaller than the poly bushings metal sleeves. I suspect some corrosion had built up in the hole. I pulled out my trusty Dremel and used a sanding wheel to clean out the opening and then the bushing slipped right in.

    On Saturday it felt like I had been wrestling an alligator. I mean installing a 1" motor mount lift (MML) and a 1" lifted steering linkage bracket (all part of the M.O.R.E. kit). All is done, it took about six hours. If I dropped one more wrench or lost track of my flashlight one more time, I was going to scream. I'll bet I spent an hour looking for something that was dropped or right in front of me, but I couldn't see it. I spend another hour getting the correct size wrench, socket, extension, screw driver, impact wrench, etc.

    The job went fairly well, it took a bit of playing around on both sides to get the jacked height of the engine to match up with the newly inserted motor mounts so that the pass through bolt could be lined up. In the end, the passenger side didn't need any grinding to eliminate any interference between the frame and the motor bracket, it end up clearing by about 1/4 inch, which is good enough for me.

    I was exhausted and hungry, so tomorrow I will do a final check to ensure all bolts follow the German method of tightening bolts.....good-en-tite
     
    aggrex likes this.
  10. Jun 26, 2019 at 2:13 PM
    #50
    The4x4Guys

    The4x4Guys [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2019
    Member:
    #3048
    Messages:
    175
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Bob
    Vehicle:
    2018 Black JLUR
    Mopar 2" lift, 37" BFG KO2's, KMC Rockstar 17" wheels, JCR Offroad front and rear bumpers, WARN Zeon 10-S, CoolTech CB Radio Kit, Rock Slide Engineering step sliders, TeraFlex adjustable steering stabilizer, Rock Krawler adjustable track bars,Magnaflow dual tip black exhaust.
    Drove the Project TJ to a local shop today to have them fix the rear main seal. Of course it was like an old horse headed back to its barn (same shop the previous owner used) and the TJ decided to throw a CEL on the way there. I went ahead and asked them to check it out. Likely I jostled something with the BL or MML this past weekend (my guess is an O2 sensor) but they gladly added that to my tab.

    More to come when the TJ finds it way home.
     
  11. Dec 29, 2020 at 9:49 AM
    #51
    goinginjeep

    goinginjeep Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2017
    Member:
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    Messages:
    288
    Did you finish
     
  12. Dec 29, 2020 at 6:19 PM
    #52
    The4x4Guys

    The4x4Guys [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2019
    Member:
    #3048
    Messages:
    175
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Bob
    Vehicle:
    2018 Black JLUR
    Mopar 2" lift, 37" BFG KO2's, KMC Rockstar 17" wheels, JCR Offroad front and rear bumpers, WARN Zeon 10-S, CoolTech CB Radio Kit, Rock Slide Engineering step sliders, TeraFlex adjustable steering stabilizer, Rock Krawler adjustable track bars,Magnaflow dual tip black exhaust.
    Yep, I sure did, here is a list of everything that I did to the 2003 TJ:

    Parts Replaced
    Battery cables

    Valve cover and gasket

    Coil rail and spark plugs

    Fuel rail, fuel rail insulation kit, and fuel Injectors

    Heater hoses and clamps
Vacuum lines
    
Serpentine belt

    Transmission cooling hoses and clamps

    Radiator hoses and clamps

    Front and rear differential cover and gasket (Alloy USA)

    Cat-back exhaust, hanging brackets, and muffler (Banks Power)

    Front brake rotors and pads

    Rear brake drums and shoes
    
Transfer case linkage - (Steinjager)

    Hood/cowl weather stripping - (OEM)
    
Windshield/roof header seal - (OEM)


    Serviced Items
    Synthetic oil and filter change

    Replaced transmission filter

    Drained and replaced transmission fluid

    Drained and replaced transfer case fluid
    
Drained and replaced front and rear differential fluid

    Flushed radiator and replaced with Mopar coolant

    Replaced air filter


    Interior Upgrades
    New full upgraded interior carpet (black)

    Bartact seat covers (front and rear)

    Rugged Ridge console cover

    Weathertech floor mats (front/rear/cargo)

    Insane Audio radio with GPS navigation system

    Insane Audio backup camera mounted in trailer hitch (removable)

    Rugged Ridge armrests


    Exterior Upgrades
    New Mickey Thompson chrome wheels
    (5)
Gorilla locking lug nuts (20)

    33” BF Goodrich KO2’s (5)
    
Tuff Stuff 4x4 rear bumper with spare tire carrier
    
Tuff Stuff 4x4 front bumper

    Trailhead 13,000 lb. winch with wired/wireless remote

    Red D-rings - front and rear bumper (4)

    Camper King hardtop with locking glass rear window

    Smittybilt aluminum hood locks
    
JKS rear license plate relocation bracket

    Rough Country fairlead front license plate bracket
    
Fuel door (Smittybilt)

    Body armor (fender tops, door sill, rocker panels, rear corners) (Warrior Products)

    New OEM fender flares with white reflectors and amber bulbs

    Hood deflector (Tough Guard)

    Chrome side steps (Smittybilt)
    
Chrome grille cover (OMIX)


    Lifted Suspension
    Adjustable control arms (8) - (Steinjager)

    2” lift shocks (4) and coils (4) – (Rock Krawler)

    Rear sway bar and end links - (Steinjager)

    Longer front-end links - (Steinjager)

    Quick disconnect front/rear end-links also provided (Steinjager)

    Front brake line drop bracket – (JKS)

    Adjustable front track bar - (Steinjager)
    
Adjustable rear track bar - (JKS)

    Replaced steering system (drag link and tie rod) – (CurrieSync)

    Steering stabilizer – (Teraflex)

    1” Body lift - (Mountain Off Road Enterprises – M.O.R.E.)

    1” Motor mount lift brackets (Mountain Off Road Enterprises – M.O.R.E.)

    1” Steering geometry lift bracket (Mountain Off Road Enterprises – M.O.R.E.)
    
OEM body bushings, brackets, and bolts

    Here are some pics of the finished TJ

    IMG_1353.jpg IMG_1354.jpg IMG_1352.jpg IMG_1359.jpg IMG_1350.jpg IMG_1366.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2020
    goinginjeep and aggrex like this.
  13. Dec 31, 2020 at 3:54 PM
    #53
    goinginjeep

    goinginjeep Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2017
    Member:
    #1548
    Messages:
    288
    Sir, that is one SEXY jeep! Great Job!
     
    The4x4Guys [OP] likes this.

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