Finally bought a jeep!

Old 11-15-2018, 11:31 AM
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Default Finally bought a jeep!

Hello all, my name is David Ramirez and I'm glad to be here! Let me start with a brief history and work our way to the present. As a young boy I had 1 passion, cars. I spent my preteen years scouring hot rod magazine and Patterson 4wheel and off road magazine and fell in love with 2 vehicles, the venerable 1970 chevelle ss and the glorious xj! Well, as the years went on my tastes and interests changed but I never gave up the love I had for those two vehicles. Due to the people I grew up with I tended to lean more towards the go fast pavement crowd and less of the off road stuff and until recently never even owned a 4wd vehicle! (I almost can't believe that now lol) what brought that love back was my job, I'm a heavy equipment operator and the job sites we go to often have less than forgiving roads leading to them and my 2wd 2500 ram wasn't cutting it, the transmission went out and so I went in search of a 4x4. At this point it was purely out of necessity, I had no dirt bound aspirations other than getting to my paycheck. So I bought a 2001 eddie bauer ford explorer and I simply fell in love. I know this is a jeep forum but the ford explorer, at least the first 2 generations of them, are extremely capable off road, so much so that it's hard to believe the lack of aftermarket support for them, especially the generation I own. Anyway I bought some bigger duratracs and one day while driving home got the wild hair to run down the river bed (the only off roading available near me) and I was hooked. I started planning on some sort of lift and a winch and all the goodies, most of which I'd have to build myself. Now this explorer has close to 200 thousand miles and being a mechanic I can tell the tranny is probably only gonna give me another 50,000 if I'm lucky so of course that got factored into the plans. So here I am, neck deep in a long term project, my first off road project I might add, when someone at work backs into me with a caterpillar scraper! The damage was just cosmetic thankfully but my company told me to get estimates and they'd cover the damage. The damage was estimated at 5400$ because it's an eddie bauer and the parts are getting scarce so that's how we arrived here, I started weighing the price of my planned upgrades along with the looming tranny rebuild sometime in the near future and had a thought. What if I say screw it and buy an entirely different rig? One with aftermarket support and a reliable drive train? Then like a flood, memories of sick xjs I drooled over all my childhood took over my mind and at that point the only cure from insanity was to buy a jeep. I ended up finding a 92 with 33s and a 4.5" lift. the jeep has 236000 miles but the engine, tranny, and transfer case have less than 100,000 miles on them. I've done a bit of research but I'm still learning, I found out that I have a high pinion Dana 30 which is good but the 35 out back, not so good. The cool thing is that I'm buying a parts explorer to fix mine and so I'll basically be getting a free ford 8.8 to swap in. Anyway I just thought I'd introduce myself and possibly take you all along as I build my new baby!







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Old 11-15-2018, 12:10 PM
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Welcome to the site and to XJ ownership Alildirtnvrhurt !

Nice looking first jeep. you will soon forget about the Ford.
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Old 11-15-2018, 12:25 PM
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Thanks, and yeah, I feel like the explorer is gonna fade into the mist, but I'll keep it around for when I'm doing major steps on the xj. I'm thinking frame stiffeners are probably pretty high on my priorities, I've got hard wheeling in my sights and I've always been wary of ubibody construction.
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Old 11-15-2018, 12:30 PM
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Looking at your pics a steering upgrade also if you have some hard wheeling planned don't want to be walking because of a bend or break. Just a thought its on my real short list!
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Old 11-15-2018, 12:37 PM
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Yes, stock tie rods scare me lol. I'm looking at an otk steering kit, and also the critical path long arm upgrade as I plan to bring the lift up to about 5.5 and run 35s. Then I gotta re gear because it still has factory gearing on 33s, but if I'm gonna regear I might as well wait for the Ford 8.8 and get lockers, and if I'm gonna get the Ford 8.8 might as well truss it, and if I'm gonna truss the back I might as well truss the front and if I............... Yeah, I go through this with every project as I'm sure you're all very familiar with.
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