Aug 12, 2012

Minor mods to the TJ

I've had my jeep for a few months now and I completely love it. I love driving it. I love the maintenance. And I love reading about all about it. I really enjoy reading about the modifications a lot of guys make to their TJ's over at It's a tremendous information source and the members are both helpful and encouraging. Nearly all of my jeep questions have been answered after a few minutes of searching the forum. Although, having the Illustrated Parts Catalog is also a must.

I've put a few bucks into the jeep so far. First off was a new set of Mickey Thompson Baja MTZ's. Pricey but exactly what I wanted. This jeep is my daily driver but I also want to be able to wheel through the woods with it when I get the inkling (which is most days on the way home from work). The Mickey Thompsons set me back $1000 for four of the 33 X 12.5 X R15 but I love the way they hook-up, look and sound. By the way, I highly recommend I got the tires cheaper than anywhere else I could find, they shipped the same day and directly to my local shop who also gave me a discount for using

This jeep came with a pretty capable set-up with a 4" Skyjacker suspension lift and a 4 liter, inline 6 cylinder engine. Still, if I got stuck there were no recovery points, so I picked up a receiver hitch mounted shackle and a couple of hooks for the front bumper. I need to spend a little time in the machine shop at work this week. I want to take a few inches off of the square stock of the rear shackle, and drill some new holes so it doesn't stick out so far in the rear. I made sure that the bolts for the front hooks attached through the bumper and to the frame. I don't want my bumper getting yanked off; that's dangerous and would be incredibly embarrassing. Still, the bolts which came with the hooks are Grade 5 and I'll be picking up some stronger Grade 8 bolts this week. The Grade 8 bolts I have in mind are phosphated black so they won't stick out like these zinc plated ones. The hooks set me back $24 and the hitch mounted shackle was $30. I had to buy a T-55 Torx bit to remove the stock bolts in the bumper which set me back $6.

Getting in and out of the jeep takes a bit of a step up. I picked up a couple of roll bar-mounted handles. Nice to grab when stepping up-in and down-out of the jeep. comfy to hang on to while on the road as well. Only $15 for the set.

The previous owner installed quick disconnect ("discos") swaybar links. I can remove the clevis pins and pop my swaybar links out for independent suspension travel at the front wheels. So much fun! They were pretty corroded so I de-greased them, cleaned them up and gave them a few coats of red Rustoleum just for longevity.

Lastly, and this one's a bit overkill, but what the hell; I mounted a Class A, B & C fire extinguisher behind my seat on a vertical section of roll bar. Now, I hope to hell I never have to use this, but I really like having it. Looks comforting to me. $25.

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