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Thread: Flyboy161's Littlebee

  1. #1
    2004 Wrangler X flyboy161's Avatar
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    Default Flyboy161's Littlebee

    I bought my Jeep in December 2007 after my Dodge truck burned up its transmission. On a whim, I went to the local Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep dealer to see what they had. The salesman asked me what I was looking for, and I said, "How about a Jeep Wrangler, with a 4.0L engine and a manual transmission." He showed me a few bone stock used Jeeps and then I saw her sitting there. A 2004 Solar Yellow Wrangler X with the Rocky Mountain Edition package. 4.0L and NV3550 5 speed transmission and 24,000 miles on the clock. The RM edition had Rubicon rocker guards, painted fender flares (the larger Rubicon flares), logo seats and nice chrome Alcoa rims. We haggled for awhile, and when I say awhile, I literally mean almost 8 hours. Their Jeep came down a little over 3,000.00 and my truck went up 9,200.00. All of us were satisfied and I drove the Jeep home. Here she was that day...

    I won't bore you with the next 24 months rather I'll say that I enjoyed driving her in stock form. She is my first Wrangler but not my first Jeep. Previously I owned a 95 Cherokee Sport. Nearly six years later my wife and I were sitting looking at another build "Labor of Love" that I posted on here and she asked, "Do you have one for the Littlebee?" Well, I really had no excuse, I meant to write one but I just never did. So here it is; There's a lot of pics and it's going to take me a few days to get it all in here, but I think you'll enjoy the ride.:tea:
    "It is in my opinion that owning a jeep must be like raising a rebellious teenager: the more you try and love it and nurture it and get nice things for it, the more it says "screw you!! I'm doing drugs and drinking because I hate you!!!" And your stuck taking it to the hospital "

    Labor of Love build
    http://www.militaryjeepers.com/commu...-Labor-of-Love

    My build thread
    http://www.militaryjeepers.com/commu...61-s-Littlebee

  2. #2
    2004 Wrangler X flyboy161's Avatar
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    After nearly 2 years of driving the little yellow Jeep and after a promotion at work AND retiring from the Air Force Reserves, I decided to splurge and lift LittleBee. I went with the Rubicon Express 2 inch budget boost because I'm cheap like that. And at the time I just wanted a slightly different look. All things have a purpose and a reason though and the BB would come in handy in 2013. Before the lift...

    And after...

    Earlier in 2009 I found a set of factory fog lights on CL and wired them in. I added a relay to the power distribution center using an empty socket where the Rear Window Defogger would have been if I had a hardtop. I popped a switch in the center bezel on the dash and wired it it all in. Of course I didn't take pics until April when we had a freak snow storm...

    Last edited by flyboy161; 08-30-2013 at 12:20. Reason: Spelling
    "It is in my opinion that owning a jeep must be like raising a rebellious teenager: the more you try and love it and nurture it and get nice things for it, the more it says "screw you!! I'm doing drugs and drinking because I hate you!!!" And your stuck taking it to the hospital "

    Labor of Love build
    http://www.militaryjeepers.com/commu...-Labor-of-Love

    My build thread
    http://www.militaryjeepers.com/commu...61-s-Littlebee

  3. #3
    2004 Wrangler X flyboy161's Avatar
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    Now we'll fast forward to February 2010. I'm starting to get the bug. Build it, change it, make it better than it was. You know the drill... First up a little hack and re-weld on the front bumper. Remember, I told you: I'm cheap!




    We went to Jeep Beach also in 2010. My wife and I had a blast! I'm hoping to do it again in 2014!
    "It is in my opinion that owning a jeep must be like raising a rebellious teenager: the more you try and love it and nurture it and get nice things for it, the more it says "screw you!! I'm doing drugs and drinking because I hate you!!!" And your stuck taking it to the hospital "

    Labor of Love build
    http://www.militaryjeepers.com/commu...-Labor-of-Love

    My build thread
    http://www.militaryjeepers.com/commu...61-s-Littlebee

  4. #4
    2004 Wrangler X flyboy161's Avatar
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    Also got a Highrock 4x4 rear bumper. At the time I bought it, it was one of the only rear bumpers with a receiver hitch built in that actually had a tow rating

    Around my birthday in November 2011, I got a Bestop Bikini, Duster and wraparound windjammer.


    Also joined a local club and started the armor process
    AEV oil pan skid
    "It is in my opinion that owning a jeep must be like raising a rebellious teenager: the more you try and love it and nurture it and get nice things for it, the more it says "screw you!! I'm doing drugs and drinking because I hate you!!!" And your stuck taking it to the hospital "

    Labor of Love build
    http://www.militaryjeepers.com/commu...-Labor-of-Love

    My build thread
    http://www.militaryjeepers.com/commu...61-s-Littlebee

  5. #5
    2004 Wrangler X flyboy161's Avatar
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    If you plan on taking your Jeep off road, armor is a necessary evil. I opted for the AEV oil pan skid, Skid row steering box and radiator skid plates. I'll post up some pics of the latter skids but here is my write-up on the AEV skid.
    I'll start out by saying that this is a beefy piece of metal. And after putting a grapefruit sized dent in my oil pan on the Rubicon Trail in my Cherokee, I knew this had to be one of the most important things I could do.
    Remove the two lower transmission bolts


    Next locate the two empty bolt holes in the side of the block per the directions. There is one on each side of the block. Not the red one


    I cleaned out the threads by running a tap into the holes

    The hole marked with a yellow arrow and the matching hole opposite attach to the block

    I put the skid in place, attached the rear bolts and then the ones in the block


    Instant protection. Some people say that all the force of an impact on this skid transmits up to the motor mounts, well, that may be true, but I'd rather replace the motor mount than an oil pan or worse
    "It is in my opinion that owning a jeep must be like raising a rebellious teenager: the more you try and love it and nurture it and get nice things for it, the more it says "screw you!! I'm doing drugs and drinking because I hate you!!!" And your stuck taking it to the hospital "

    Labor of Love build
    http://www.militaryjeepers.com/commu...-Labor-of-Love

    My build thread
    http://www.militaryjeepers.com/commu...61-s-Littlebee

  6. #6
    2004 Wrangler X flyboy161's Avatar
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    I also made a Hi-Lift Jack holder for the roll bars. I saw this in Quadratec's catalog and thought, I'm cheap. I can make this so...









    "It is in my opinion that owning a jeep must be like raising a rebellious teenager: the more you try and love it and nurture it and get nice things for it, the more it says "screw you!! I'm doing drugs and drinking because I hate you!!!" And your stuck taking it to the hospital "

    Labor of Love build
    http://www.militaryjeepers.com/commu...-Labor-of-Love

    My build thread
    http://www.militaryjeepers.com/commu...61-s-Littlebee

  7. #7
    2004 Wrangler X flyboy161's Avatar
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    For Christmas I upgraded my front bumper to a Smittybilt Classic, with a winch plate and an XRC 8 winch


    Here you can see that buying something off the shelf can be plagued with problems. In this case the three holes do not line up. Nothing a little drill motor can't fix!



    "It is in my opinion that owning a jeep must be like raising a rebellious teenager: the more you try and love it and nurture it and get nice things for it, the more it says "screw you!! I'm doing drugs and drinking because I hate you!!!" And your stuck taking it to the hospital "

    Labor of Love build
    http://www.militaryjeepers.com/commu...-Labor-of-Love

    My build thread
    http://www.militaryjeepers.com/commu...61-s-Littlebee

  8. #8
    2004 Wrangler X flyboy161's Avatar
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    A late arrival was the Spectre Performance Cold Air Intake.



    Step one, remove the factory air box

    Step 2, relocate the wiring harness and ground per the instructions


    Step 3, remove the cowl



    The ground wire attached to the firewall is relocated to the driver's side



    Now you see a great big empty space to mark the hole for the pass through duct. Measure twice, mark, measure again, check and the drill.


    As it appears inside the cowl:

    And voila! Assembled and looking snazzy

    *Followup* This is a cool setup. I like it. It doesn't do anything that I can see except move the intake from behind the passenger headlight to up a few inches in the cowl. I had no issues with rain ingestion. If I had any improvements in mileage I didn't see it. The MAIN benefit I see is a bunch of free space so I'd have a place to install "something" later
    "It is in my opinion that owning a jeep must be like raising a rebellious teenager: the more you try and love it and nurture it and get nice things for it, the more it says "screw you!! I'm doing drugs and drinking because I hate you!!!" And your stuck taking it to the hospital "

    Labor of Love build
    http://www.militaryjeepers.com/commu...-Labor-of-Love

    My build thread
    http://www.militaryjeepers.com/commu...61-s-Littlebee

  9. #9
    2004 Wrangler X flyboy161's Avatar
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    Time for more armor. I went on a trip to Durhamtown Plantation in Union Point Georgia. I ended up high centered on a rock and dented the factory transfer case skid plate, otherwise known as "The Shovel."

    So I did some research and decided to got with Undercover Fabworks. Matt Walton was awesome to deal with and very helpful. So I wanted the best ground clearance I could get and he helped understand everything I needed to do. In order to do the high clearance skid, I would need a 1.25" body lift, low profile transmission mount and a 1 inch motor mount lift. I ordered it all. I also decided to lift the gas tank an inch as well and replace the .032" skid there with 3/16" armor


    Ah yes, Christmas in January 2012!
    "It is in my opinion that owning a jeep must be like raising a rebellious teenager: the more you try and love it and nurture it and get nice things for it, the more it says "screw you!! I'm doing drugs and drinking because I hate you!!!" And your stuck taking it to the hospital "

    Labor of Love build
    http://www.militaryjeepers.com/commu...-Labor-of-Love

    My build thread
    http://www.militaryjeepers.com/commu...61-s-Littlebee

  10. #10
    2004 Wrangler X flyboy161's Avatar
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    Robins AFB
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    The body lift was pretty straight forward. JKS makes awesome products and their directions really made installation a snap. Motor mount lift was easy as well. Another JKS product and by doing the motor mount lift I didn't have trim the fan shroud...Bonus!

    Next up, transfer case skid. Step one, support the transmission

    Step two, remove the transfer case skid plate...


    Step three, this is the transmission mount. You have to modify this piece to accommodate the lopro mount.


    The lopro is on the right. Notice the differences


    The upper part of the transmission mount is retained for re-use but requires a little mod to fit the lopro.

    I cleaned it up a bit. The threaded studs sticking up have to be cut shorter. Install the nuts you removed earlier and then trim them per the directions

    Here I've marked where you have to trim this provides clearance for the lopro and the skid plate crossmember

    In the directions they talk about cutting this support for the catalytic converter hanger. I didn't see the need so I didn't cut it. Happy to report I'm glad I didn't. The muffler would've been pulled down on the the skid plate

    Here the lopro is installed. The arrow points to an extra mount hole.


    Here the skid plate is installed

    Remember the trimming I had to do to accommodate the crossmember? Yeah. I didn't trim enough.

    So, here is a comparison before and after

    This makes it obvious the gain in ground clearance
    "It is in my opinion that owning a jeep must be like raising a rebellious teenager: the more you try and love it and nurture it and get nice things for it, the more it says "screw you!! I'm doing drugs and drinking because I hate you!!!" And your stuck taking it to the hospital "

    Labor of Love build
    http://www.militaryjeepers.com/commu...-Labor-of-Love

    My build thread
    http://www.militaryjeepers.com/commu...61-s-Littlebee

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