Because Life’s an Adventure™ Cap-it enjoys the outdoors as do many of our customers. So for the first time ever ARB 4X4 Products has teamed up with Cap-it to build Ultimate Jeep TJ. Jeeps are a great platform to build from and we sell some of the best products in the industry for this project. On this build were going to be outfitting our Jeep with just about every conceivable ARB Product they make including Old Man Emu Suspension. As for the finishing touches we’ll throw some Mickey Thompson Tires & Wheels, Bushwacker Flares, Daystar Jeep Products and much more goodies. After the Jeep is finished it will be travelling around our 15 locations for viewing and also be hitting the trails.
Our Build starts with a 97 Jeep TJ Sport that has 240,000kms on a 80,000km rebuilt Fuel Injected 6 cylinder 5spd for just under $4000. It was a daily commuter from Vancouver to Whistler.
The Start of the Build.
Picked up the Jeep and started the tear down process
Within the next few days we cleaned out the Jeep and started dismantling it. We’re going to do a frame off rebuild on this Jeep. The reason for this is to ensure our project is going to be worthy of the trail and also be much easier to work on.
Now that we have the body off we’re diving deeper into the chassis as this has years of grime and corrosion on it. Seeing that we don’t have an engine hoist to yank the motor and tranny out, we’re going to use the bucket off our John Deere Tractor. I gotta tell you, this is much easier than using a cherry picker. If you got a tractor with a bucket, use it.
The main reason we’re stripping it down to the frame is to send it out for powder coat. Being 13 years old and seeing surface rust on the frame, we want a fresh clean look. After a closer inspection of the frame we double checked to make sure it was all solid. To our surprise the frame was not good at all. Although the rear frame section had surface rust on it, it was still in good shape. However the middle sections above the transmission/transfer-case skid plate was a whole different storey. The outside frame rail looked great but the inside was shot. It was packed full of crud and was literally rusting from the inside out. The frame was so thin in some areas that the first major trail we hit would have eventually bent or broke it in half. This was a huge set back, we did not expect this. After some discussion about this problem we decided to get another frame. After a few days of searching the local Off-Road forums to no avail, we lucked out and picked up a near new frame at a local wrecking yard for $400. This saved us a ton of work as we didn’t have to send the new frame out to get media blasted and powder coated.
Shown here is the top of the rear coil pockets that were basically disintegrating into nothing.
The Newer Frame
Check back shortly as we will be updating the Jeep blog often as the build progresses.