[From Him] Jeep Build #1
It took me a long time to get my first Jeep. I had to fix and destroy many less desirable vehicles before I was worthy enough to have the wind in my hair and no protection from falling out the side and making contact with the road below. The year was 2012, Tia and I were in Maine, and my truck began act up. This poor truck had been through hell, I had put over 80,000 miles on it in one season of work, and just as myself and my truck were on a much deserved vacation, the old Ford decided it did not want to start anymore. Now, I am no mechanic, but I am handy enough and resourceful enough to look up common problems on internet, and I was able to limp the truck home from vacation with a few taps of a hammer on the fuel control module, or something like that. Like I said, I am not a mechanic. Once we got home, it wasn’t a week and I had traded the truck in on my first Wrangler.
The first Jeep I bought was a 2007 Unlimited. This was the first year that Jeep came out with the 4 door Wrangler. It was sporting a monster 3.8 liter V6 with 200 hp and a 6 speed manual transmission. This Jeep opened my eyes to a world of unlimited aftermarket parts, a community of nice people waving as I drove by, and freedom from roofs and doors. This Jeep was so special, that it was there on my wedding day. Over the 3 years I owned this vehicle, not much customization was done to it. The only thing I did to it was clean up and paint the oxidized door hinges, installed fog lights and a Smittybilt tubular front bumper, Best Top bikini top, tonneau cover and wind jammer, and a dual exhaust kit.
The second Jeep I purchased was the first new vehicle I have ever bought. It was a 2014 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited. This had a special ordered trim package that gave the Jeep an aggressive look right off the assembly line. It had Rubicon shocks, hill climb ascent, black Rubicon wheels, and aggressive mud tires. This year had the upgraded 3.6 liter V8 with closer to 300 hp and an automatic transmission, which was a great improvement over the previous motor. We drove this Jeep everywhere. It was actually part of our first Beer and Mountains tour where it traveled from NY all the way to Nashville and back. This vehicle didn’t need much for customization and I really didn’t want to start messing with my first new vehicle. It was perfect the way it was, and we kept this for another 2 years before trading it in.
Today we are lucky enough to have two Jeeps in our fleet. The first is a 2017 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Sahara. We loved our 2014 Wrangler and both of us had some sadness trading her in on a new one, but we were tempted by all of the bells and whistles that the Saharas offer. This came with several more comforts than our previous Jeep, such as Bluetooth, heated leather seats, and navigation. Tia really wanted to go back to having a manual transmission. After a few months of scouring dealerships in the northeast, we finally found the perfect fit. The only trouble was, this being the brand new and fancier Sahara, and the fact that it’s Tia’s daily driver, it’s a little too nice and too expensive right now to really modify or take off-roading, so I was on the lookout for my own. Our most recent Jeep purchase is a newly acquired 1991 Jeep Wrangler (YJ).
My new YJ is going to be to topic of discussion over a few blog posts. I bought this Jeep with minimal rust and minimal problems. The body has 189,000 miles, but the motor was replaced recently, and the transmission was rebuilt. This Jeep has a 5 speed manual transmission and a 2.5 liter 4 cylinder motor. It is the perfect starting point for a build. I have always wanted a project vehicle to work on, and what could be easier than this. I have already started a list of modifications and projects.
2.5” Rough Country Lift Kit - Purchased and next blog post
Led Bar lights
New Soft Top
Everything listed above is something fairly new to me and will come with many challenges, but like our motto, I’ll always try something once. So stay tuned for future videos, blog posts, and Instagram stories documenting this process. If you have any suggestions or questions, please comment on these posts.