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Jeep Wrangler Modifications

mgarviemgarvie Posts: 17
edited February 2014 in Jeep
Maybe someone can point me in the right direction on how to rewire my 2006 TJ lights. I just missed a deer driving home from work AGAIN and I want more light!

First of all, how do I change my fog lights so that they stay on when my high beams are on? It sure would be nice to see them little critters on the side of the road before they they throw themselves under my tires.

Secondly, I'm going to add some driving lights on a light bar or on a windshield hinge bracket. Where can I find some easy to understand instructions on how to wire them up so they come on with my high beams? For ease of use and to spare my fellow drivers from being blinded, separate switches don't seem like an option,

And last on my list, can someone recommend a good quality driving light for long range on a country road? Bambi will thank you for it.

Thanks Folks


  • dmrapdmrap Posts: 4
    I just became the proud owner of a 2005 Wrangler Rubicon. I am interested in getting the best running board/side step, but I am concerned about installation. I particularly like the "Rock Barz" by Warrior Products, because they are very low profile and will not impeded off-roading. The problem is that they must be drilled into the frame.

    Does anyone know of a good running board that does not require drilling?
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    You will more likely get a reply if you stick with the main Jeep Wrangler discussion.

    tidester, host
  • dmrapdmrap Posts: 4
    The top of my web page says that this IS the Jeep Wranglers Owners Forum. I assume from your message that it is not?
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Click on the link I provided in my previous message and you'll see it's a different place! :)

    tidester, host
  • dmrapdmrap Posts: 4
    I see. I have no idea how that happened, but I apologize!
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Not a problem! :)

    tidester, host
  • o2curiuso2curius Posts: 12
    Does anyone happen to know what elec. fan I can use in my TJ.e.g. Cavalier, Tempo? If any at all? I ave sen the Be Cool kits in my catalog but I don't feel like spending $189/fan plus $89/wiring kit plus $49/mounting brackets for it. I have the SE model so I have 3 blanks next to ashtray for the switch. Any help would be cool, thanks.
  • jplymanjplyman Posts: 90
    I thought it would be great if we could have a fourm where people could discuss and share modification that they have done or want to do to thier Wranglers. It would be great if we could keep this to DIY modification and those that cost under $500 -

    Can't wait to see all the ideas that are out there.
  • jplymanjplyman Posts: 90
    Hello all -

    I was wondering if anyone has built thier own insta-trunk for an Unlimited. If so what materails and was it difficult or easy.


  • I am putting an AMC 360 in my 1988 Jeep Wrangler YJ. Does anyone know if the motor mounts from a 1978 CJ-5 will work? Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  • i want to remove the side steps that came with my 05 rocky mountain edition wrangler and add rocker panels to give my jeep the rubicon look. can i do this, john? how much does it cost for those things? can i remove that small hump thing near the front wheels that is on the x and other models but not on the rubicons? thanks for your help
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Eastcoastdiver eh? Scuba? Just got back from 1 week in Bonaire. :)

    The Rubicon rocker guards really don't help a whole lot and are more cosmetic, IMO. The small plastic flare CAN be removed pretty easily. I did it on my SE and added Toys by Troy rockers. Not less than $50.00, but improve the protection and looks of the Jeep, IMO.

    You might be able to find some on eBay or some of the Jeep-specific forums from folks who took em off their Rubicon for the heavier duty armor like the TbT, A to Z Fabrication, Shrockworks, or Poison Spyder rocker guards.

  • i'm sure you got your money's worth diving bonaire... i'm very jealous.

    i'll take a look for those products you mentioned. will they give me directions to slap them on the jeep? or do i just have to instinctively know how to do it? same with ripping off the small plastic flairs...

    you're obviously writing to a piss-poor "mechanic" and i need your help. the one project i did was take out the entire interior and have a rhino liner sprayed on. i bolted everything back in but EVERYTHING rattles now, noticeably louder than before.

    thanks for your help and happy diving,
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Jackson, Bonaire was nice. :)

    Most come with directions, and pretty good ones. Their sites will usually have the instructions you can download. Probably the only thing you'd want to have to install them is some kind of floor jack that you can use to lift them into place and hold them while you drill the holes in the tub (yes, you have to drill some holes).

    The small plastic flare extensions are simply bolted on. If you look under them, you'll see what you need to loosen. Once off, take a rubber mallet and tap the sheet metal flat if it is bowed out a bit from around where the bolt was through the body.

    Many people use some kind of liner between the rockers and tub to prevent metal/metal contact (rust and noise). I used Tough Stuff gasket guard and it works VERY well.

    Here is my TJ with just the rockers.


    You can see the holes I drilled along the top. I also had to do some on the underside. Just be sure to wear goggles. :) I followed the install process outlined by Stu Olson at his website.

    I added a few holes when I finished the side armor.

    Granted, these both cost more than the $50.00, but they can save you from serious damage, much more so than the Rubicon guards, which are more cosmetic IMO.

    To address your rattles, what all did you remove?
    - Seats
    - Seat belts
    - Rear seat
    - Center console

    Other than that, not much should need to be removed, unless you have amps or other stuff installed in the tub. My guess something in the center console isn't attached properly, as I'm sure your seats and seat belt latches are all secure. :shades:

    Rhinolining/Line-X is something I REALLY want to do at some point, so any pointers you have on that would be appreciated. :)

  • Thanks for the directions and pictures. That goes a long way for me, and I certainly appreciate it.

    I took out the seats and center console. I think the noise was originally coming from the center console... but now that i put my hard top back on it's a lot louder. i think i need to try putting both of those guys back on again.

    i will keep looking on jeep websites for the brands you recommended. and the gasket guard will definitely be added into the mix as well.

    i'll be sure to put up some pictures once i manage to get this done!

  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Just make sure that you tighten everything down. I used Dynamat inside my tuffy console to help quiet things down, like rattles and vibrations from the subwoofer. That might help.

    Look for loose change, washers, etc that may be bouncing around in there too.

  • yesterday i took a ride in my friends jeep and holy mackeral was it amazing. first of all, he sorted out my rattling hardtop with a few quick turns of the wrench. then we took off the sidesteps and mini flares in the front. now i can't wait to get those rocker panels in the mail!

    i can already tell what my next project will be, but it's sort of expensive so it might take a while. my friends jeep has one of those k&n air intakes or filter things and steel exhaust... he says it adds horsepower and you get better miles per gallon. is this true? plus it sounds really good. i think i might want that :)

    thanks for your advice paul.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Air intake benefits are minimal at best. You may introduce more particulates into the air intake since they don't generally filter as well. But this is a hot debate.

    The exhaust may be freer breathing which may help a bit in the mileage and horsepower gains, but again, I'm not knowledgeable enough to answer better. Some say you'll see gains, some say you won't.

    Glad he fixed your rattling. I have a soft top only, so don't know much about tightening a hard top down.

  • Paul,

    I know this question doesn't pertain to either the removal of side steps or mods under $500, but if I have your attention I'm going to ask anyway. I'll also post to the tire/wheels section.

    I know the BFG 31"x10.50" AT tires are the fave of this forum but I want to know if I can goa little wider. After doing the conversion (as found on quadratec's website) I found a 31"x12.50" tire made by BFG... LT325/60R15. Here is a link to the website:

    31" diameter will obviously fit, if it's getting recommended to stock Jeeps all over this forum. What mods, if any, need to be done to accomodate the extra 2" of width in the tires I want? I know backspacing plays a large role, as told by Tom in another post to this forum this past spring. Will just a new rim with different backspacing do the trick? or will fenders need to be trimmed?

    Thanks, Jackson
  • tsjaytsjay Posts: 4,591

    Backspacing doesn't just have a "lot" to do with it; it has "everything" to do with it.

    You will need wheel spacers, like Paul uses, if you want to keep your factory wheels, or you will need new wheels with four inches or less of backspacing.

    Paul is comfortable with his wheel spacers, but they are pretty controversial, and you will find many people that will tell you to avoid their use. I have no experience with them myself, but I would probably not use them on my Jeep.

    Have you hugged your Jeep today?
  • Thanks for weighing in Tom. Because of guys like you and Paul I've felt more and more comfortable ripping things off my jeep and adding products I feel better about. I will most likely put on new wheels as well, but I will check out these spacers you are talking about. I am intrigued by the "controversy"... What could be so controversial about them? Do they break easily? Are they expensive?
  • mac24mac24 Posts: 3,910
    I've posted a reply, along with a changed title to help future searching, over in the newly re-opened Jeep Wrangler.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Hey, you ain't gonna blame us for ripping into your jeep. :)

    It's the FEVER! :)

    I've been very comfortable with my spacers. I don't see them as any different than a 4.25" backspaced wheel. I've checked the lugnut torque several times and EVERY time, it has been set at what I torqued them to when I last installed them (after a brake job). They've been VERY solid.

    Now that said, working on the brakes with wheel spacers DOES mean I have to remove 2 things to get to the brake drums or rotors. Not really a big deal to me as I have a warm garage I can work in during the winter and a cool garage during the summer (with a fan). :)

    The controversy about wheel spacers, as Mac has mentioned in another thread, is that older spacers were just that - a spacer - that fit on the factory lugs. As a result, you had less thread into the lug nuts holding the wheel on. These Spidertrax spacers that I use attach to the factory lugs. However, they also have lugs of their own to which the wheel actually attaches. You can see in this pic the spacer on with the factory lugs, and 5 separate lugs are available for the wheel to be installed.


    Notice, too, that there is that little lip on the spacers. That helps ensure you have the wheel mounted properly as well. Nice touch. The only 'mod' I had to do to install these spacers was to remove a c-clip that held the brake drum on. It would have led to the spacers not being totally flush and created a wobble. The 5 lugnuts hold it and the drum on pretty well. :)

  • have 6 cyl in my 87 wrangler want 2 put a 350 chevy do i need a adapator for trans
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Most likely.

    Check out Advanced Adapters. If anybody makes an adapter for engine/tranny, AA is the best one out there.

  • pkearpkear Posts: 26
    I have not yet but I have been looking at it. I would think it would be a simple as dropping a carpeted cut out sheet of plywood with legs in place. I also think having the top off (mines a hard top) would facilitate installation. My problem is on my 2007 with the rear subwofer I have yet to decide If I want to lose quality by muffling the sound or removing the speaker. I saw online that bestop (I think) has one for the 2007 designed with a cut out for the speaker but I still bet you lose sound quality. Maybe I will wait for them to make a basket type or better yet head to my uncle's with some steel tubing and expanded metal so I can make one using his pipe benders. Whatever I decide if I make one I will take pictures and do a step by step or at least as good as I can.
  • broombroom Posts: 6
    I am waiting to receive a 2007 Rubicon 2 door that I ordered. I want to put 35 inch tires on it for off road use and switch to the stock ones when taking road trips. I will buy new wheels with very little back spacing. I don't want to drop thousands into a suspension lift. I thought of doing a combination of a spring spacer lift and a small body lift. Does anyone have experience with a spring spacer style lift? Does it change steering and suspension angles to the point that additional parts need to be purchased to correct any changes? I know I will need to get an alignment after the installation, but I wondered if anyone else had experience re. road handling, drive shaft angles, caster angle, sway bar extensions, pitman arm, etc.? I'm looking at a 2 inch puck style lift. Thanks for any advise.
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    To fit 35's you won't need much lift on the new JK's. A simple budget boost should work just fine.

    ANY suspension lift, whether it is with springs/coils or spacers, will affect steering geometry. The amount of affect is based upon lift size. A 2" lift shouldn't affect it enough to matter. Your driveline angles will change a bit, but with the new JK's, I don't know if it would be significant enough to induce vibrations. If it is a 4door, probably not.

    Sway bar angles will be changed unless you have aftermarket swaybar links.

  • broombroom Posts: 6
    Paul, Thanks for the info. I think I will install a spring spacer lift kit. If my ride is affected too much, I can buy longer sway bar arms, adjustable track bars, etc. Hopefully, like you mentioned, a 2 inch kit won't require other mods. By the way, the new Rubicon is unstoppable with it's low low range, disconnecting sway bar, and electronic lockers front and rear. With a small lift and 35 inch mud tires, the only thing holding it back should be my unwillingness to get my new Jeep scratched or dented. -Jim
  • boobahboobah Posts: 18
    HELP!!!!!I have an 87 Wrangler, 6 cylinder, which blew the engine 3/9/07! It's in the shop, and I cannot locate a good condition engine for replacement! I'm in Northern,NJ, and am really desperate! Please e-mail [email protected]
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Consider alternatives...

    V8 comes to mind but you'll need wiring changes for it. :)

    Good luck finding a good donor. Perhaps even a newer 4.0 inline 6.

  • brandontbrandont Posts: 1
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    The generally accepted limit is 31x10.5" tires. Any wider and you'll rub at full turn. Any taller and you rub the fenders and flares when you hit a big bump/speedbump.

    Also, please turn off your caps. We don't like being yelled at.

  • I just purchased a 1994 Wrangler - beautiful condition but has what appears to be the standard steel wheels with 225X15 tires in like new shape. I wanted aluminum wheels but not sure if wheels from later model Wranglers fit or what wheel/tire combo would be best. - mostly lite off road and street use! I dont want to lift it but want a fuller look.

    Also anyone know of a good shop in northern NJ area that specializes in jeep parts etc.

    Any advice is appreciated.

  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Standard pattern is 5x4.5 and the TJ and YJ share the that measurement IIRC, so newer wheels should work. Assuming a stock height, I THINK you can put 31" tires on a YJ, but 30's WILL fit. Mud Terrains will look more aggressive and be louder.

  • thanks for the info.. If I use 8 inch wide rims will that have any adverse side effects such as rubbing or wearing components out.

  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Possibly. It is more a function of tire width and the backspacing of wheels, sometimes called offset. For example, my stock Canyon wheels have 5.5" of BS. With my 33x12.5" tires, at full turn, I would really rub the frame. However, adding some SpiderTrax wheel spacers, I changed the backspacing to 4.25" so the wheels effectively stick out more. Rubbing at full turn is no longer an issue.

  • Thanks again..appreciate all the info..I think I've got an idea on how to approach it now.

  • I've got a 2005 TJ Unlimited with a hard top, 31" tires and rubicon stock flares. I get some rub when I hit bumps and a lot of rub when enjoying the offroad experience. I also get a little lowrider effect as the hard top weight added to any cargo sinks the back end.
    I look to hit the trail on occasion, but I doubt I'll be doing any crawling and I drive alot.
    So I believe a lift is in order and I've seen kits range from $500-$3000. I was thinking about a 4". Who do you folks recommend? I've read that OME puts together a good riding package as I do drive my Jeep daily... my friend says Rancho is a great package, put he doesn't own one.

    Whaddia say jeep owners?
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    I'd personally avoid Rancho. Perhaps for pickups they're okay, but I don't know ANYBODY running a Rancho who likes it.

    OME sounds like a GREAT way to go, but I AM biased. :) Rubicon Express or Rusty's Offroad make good lifts too.

    I'd personally stick to a 3" suspension lift and make up the difference with a 1" BL. The smaller suspension lift affects steering geometries much less than a 4". At 4" you have to start worrying about other things.

    The OME kits from DPG Offroad range from a basic spring/shock type setup to one that include the body and motor lifts, adjustable trackbars for the axle centering after the lift, and adjustable control arms. Prices go from around 700 I think and up, depending on which you want. Dirk will be HAPPY to work with you and determine EXACTLY what you need and he won't sell ya stuff you don't.

  • Thanks Paul,
    I called Dirk @ DPG and he was very helpful. I ordered the ultimate kit and he helped me come up with some spring combinations that fit my needs - I'll let you know how it turns out. I'm doing the install myself... Hope I can handle it!

    - B
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Glad he was able to help ya! You'll really like the OME kit.

  • karlw90karlw90 Posts: 59
    Any recommdations on how to find a reputable place to install a lift kit? I am in the Chicago area, and I can't seem to find any place does lifts - most seem to just modify imports. I find it hard to believe that everyone does the installation themselves. :confuse:
    It seems OME is the way to go, assuming I get a 3" lift, how much do you think it would cost for the kit + installation?
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    Karl, do you have ANY mechanical experience at all? Do you have a socket set, channel lock pliers, wrenches, and a jack with jack stands?

    Prior to doing my own lift, I had really only changed the oil on my cars. I am NOT mechanically inclined, but since I got the Jeep, I've:

    - replaced the entire radiator and hoses
    - replaced the thermostat
    - changed the brakes (front and rear) on multiple cars
    - dropped the gas tank to install armor
    - installed new electrical lighting etc.

    The point I'm making is that the OME instructions are VERY VERY easy, regardless of which setup you choose. OME's instructions are VERY good and step you through it. Instead of paying a shop to do it, you really can do it yourself. I KNOW there are at least 2 4x4 groups in the Chicago area. If you join up, you'll make some friends who can show you the beautiful areas around there offroad, and probably find somebody willing to help you for the cost of a deep dish pizza and some beverages for their time.

    You learn more about your Jeep, you can save probably about $400 in labor, and have the satisfaction in knowing you did it yourself.

  • beerhunterbeerhunter Posts: 6
    Okay, I got my kit from DPG, "the Ultimate", and when all parts were in I was going to do it myself with a friend. Then, while discussing the job at work, another pal, who happens to own a bodyshop, "says don't do it! Come on down to the shop and let us help you put it in." Thank god.

    I'm pretty mechanically inclined, and have done a few things on a car, and figure I can do anything with good instructions but the 7 hours we worked on that lift would have easily been 10 or more if I were on my own. The air guns, hydraulic lift, and plethora of tools were a great help and the use of all of his fancy extensions and swivel attachments made getting to the tough bolts easier. But because neither I or the guy helping me had ever done this before (and I had never seen the underside of my Jeep before) the reading of instructions and general deciphering of info took a little more time than expected. I could probably do the job now in 1/2 the time knowing the process. So, do it yourself, sure... but ask that pal with all the cool stuff to help 'cause it would have been a [non-permissible content removed] without all of the equipment and tools.

    BTW, I am going in for my alignment and I have driven about a 200 miles on it, do you think I've done any permanent damage. It seems to go straight when I let go of the wheel, but my steering wheel is not straight and that bugs.

    Dirk really took care of me and I really like the ride with the OME shocks and springs!! :shades:
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    I knew Dirk would take care of you. His ultimate kit is actually easier to install since you don't have to fiddle with the trackbar relocation bracket.

    Having a knowledgable helper who has the power tools will definitely make life easier! I did mine 100% alone while my wife and son were at scuba diving lessons in about 7 hours, and that included dropping the tank. I had only muscle-powered tools, but my Jeep was 100% rust free (from the desert of California).

    As for the alignment, you can do it yourself with just a wrench, a tape measure, and a helper. Follow the steps on and it will also show you how to recenter your steering wheel. It is ridiculously easy to do. If, after you do this, you don't feel comfortable with your alignment, then spend the $$ to get it done professionally. But I've used this method both after my lift and after replacing the tie rod and my TJ tracks straight and true.

    Let's see some pics of your lift!

    Here are a couple of mine this past weekend.



  • 4rider4rider Posts: 96
    I was reading a BL write-up the other day and it said that transfer case linkage drop is NOT needed when you have the MML done together with the BL. Is this is true?
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    This is gonna sound cliche, but it really depends on the Jeep. I did the BL and MML at the same time and I have ZERO problems with shifting in/out of 4wd hi or lo, and I have no gear shift issues with my AX-5 manual transmission. I also have a Tuffy console, and the size of the opening for the gears and shift lever is a bit different (bigger).

    With a 1" MML, the engine by the mounts will go up 1". The actual lift at the t-case is a bit less, so you MIGHT need the linkage drop.

    Most people do the BL/MML, then see if they need to do the linkage afterwards. Some MML kits come with that linkage. My JKS BL/MML setup did not but I didn't need it.

  • goducks1goducks1 Posts: 432
    I have the Smittybilt nerf bars with the integrated step and they did not require drilling on my 98 TJ.
  • 4rider4rider Posts: 96
    thx. I just went uder the Jeep and really could not tell for sure how much MML will lift up the t-case either.
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