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32 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I cant seem to find the jeep I want to buy so I decided to build my own. I want to combine all of the features of cj, yj and tj that I like into one Jeep. The main use will be for cruzing the beach and camping in the woods with my family. I would like this rig to be able to tow a good size trailer like a 6x10 or a small boat. Most of my mechanical experience has been building mustangs so I know the ends and outs of the ford drivetrain and therefor this thing is getting a 5.0 with an AOD tranny. The 4x4 use will be mainly for mud and sand so keep that in mind. Im looking for experienced suggestions of what are the best materials to use in this rig. Just rember this is a practical rig built for fun and it has to look cool (not hardcore). So here it goes. This is what I have collected so far.

97 TJ with good title no real damage had bad fuel pump and starter sold engine and tranny. Jeep is red but I really want a white one so it will probably be painted.

The Plan:


88 4x4 AOD out of a bronco with advanced adapters output shaft to a np231

96 ford explorer 5.0 (high mileage but runs good)

RJM standalone EFI wiring harness

SYE ( whats the best brand to use? ) Im thinking AA

shifters? lockar for the aod? stock or novack for the 231?

radiator? research tells me that CSF 3 row would be best. ( where is the best place to buy one? Im in georgia )

I think i would like to have side pipes or cutouts? this thing is partially a hot rod.


98 xj dana 30 HP. ( has 3.07's need to locate carrier and 4.10 gears )

98 ford explorer 8.8 4.10 gears with disk brakes

springs? (need suggestions here ) progressive rate? whats the max lift witout longarms. Stability is more importaint than flex here.

shocks? ( suggestions here )

maybe change the rear to leaf springs for the 8.8 instead of coils? Im thining this would be better for towing and cost less than brakets etc for changing the 8.8.

wheels n tires? I have a set of ravine wheels to roll it around on. Im thinking wheel spacers with 33 10.5's or 35 12.50's bfg's. I really like bfgs. Why did they stop making KMs?. ( suggest others wheels n tires )


bestop Highrock bumpers front and rear

Fender flares 3-4" maybe tube fenders? What the coolest thing out there ? I dont really like the highline look.

Black dash? what year TJ's had black interior? I picked up a dash out of a 99 thats almost black ( argent or somthing like that ) what years had true black interior that will fit a 97?

hardtop - white or black ( looking for a nice one in Georiga that dosent cost more than my jeep )

Also anybody got any stone white tj parts out there hit me up. I've got a bunch of red stuff I'd trade for it or sell.

· Registered
109 Posts
towing with a TJ is a bad idea, cause of how short the wheel base is.
That completely depends on what you are towing. I have towed two decent sized seadoos on a trailer before, besides power on hills, it towed great. I regularly pull a lawnmower on a heavy 10" trailer, and several times I have pulled two 4-wheelers on that same trailer. Also, the seadoos was on the highway. Only complaint with towing ever is 3.55 gears. Only had trouble stopping once, and that was because I was on a really slick wet road, and back then my rear brakes hardly worked.

To the OP, if you want really stable springs, the 4" rough country springs are really stiff, but as a result, they don't ride very well. 4" is definitely the max for short arms, if you don't need the lift, save yourself some trouble and go with a 2.5" or so. for the shifter the the 231, I have never had trouble with my stock shifter. If you have to buy one, just get an aftermarket, but if you have it, and it will work, save the money.

· Registered
32 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Thanks for all of the advice on towing etc... A seadoo or sailboat will probably the the largest thing I'll tow. I know the jeep has the weight.

Made some progress....
Found RC 4" lift kit new on cragslist and it is half installed with the HP Dana 30 so I'll have those stiffer spring in the rear.

Bought a AA SYE

Sold my dana 35 so it looks like my 8.8 will have to go in.

after installing the lift kit on the front the track bar dosent seem to be able to reach the new bracket. Do I need to purchase an adjustiable track bar?

Found a good deal on brand new bfgoodrich 33 12.50's 600 out the door. I would have rather had 35's but I couldnt resist the price.

Where do you find FOA shocks? are they gas?

a few pictures here


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9 Posts
after installing the lift kit on the front the track bar dosent seem to be able to reach the new bracket. Do I need to purchase an adjustiable track bar?
The trackbar can be reused. drill a hole, same dia. as stock, 3/4" toward the drivers side. Or go buy an adjustable.

I would be careful using the 30 with the v8. if you gas it too much your scatter chunks. You can beef up the 30 or think about uping to a dana 44 or even and 8.8 front. seen a few, never had a mind to do it myself.
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