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  1. #1
    Old Timer Ddays's Avatar
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    The build/re-build of Gruff

    Hey all, thank you for taking the time to check out my build thread. Before I get started I want to first thank Eddie & Cindy for making this possible. I can't imagine how much time & energy you guys put into this website. It is awesome. Second, I want to thank all of the contributors out there for all of the great ideas I have picked up from all of you. I've waited a while to do this build thread so I could get my feet wet around the forum and get a feel for how everything works before I started. So after 2 months I still don't know squat but, oh well, on with the build...

    I have a lot of background to fill in to get to where I am at now, so this will be the first of a couple of those....

    We named our Jeep 'Gruff', from the old kids story, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, because, well, Jeeps can climb like billy goats. Additionally, my youngest daughter said that the Jeep was a he, and not a she. I had a build in mind and planned it out in 2014 during a very dark time for our family. I won't rehash my initial wave story when I joined WAL, but suffice it to say, this Jeep has a lot of my mother and father in it.

    So, I surprised everyone one day by pulling into the driveway with this spindly little guy in June of 2014
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    As far as options go I ordered Gruff from the factory with the hard top, towing package and that's it.

    The initial build list was this:
    3.5" RE Superflex lift
    4:88 re-gear with G2 gears
    Smittybilt SRC front & XRC rear bumpers
    Smittybilt 12,000 winch
    Smittybilt bolt-on rock rails
    ProComp Xtreme MT2 37" tires
    Fuel Hostage 18 x 9 wheels
    Sleeve & gusset kit for front D30 axle
    Truck lite headlights (got one thing right so far)
    Spyder Auto tail lights.
    ProComp light bar
    Buswhacker Flat fenders because of Pa laws requiring wheels be covered.

    And that's pretty much it. Free Smittybilt sticker to anyone that can guess where I went shopping!

    So here's what Gruff looked like after all this was done;

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    Not bad. Looks good and was built mostly with trails and muddin' in mind. Also, keep in mind that this was all done before I started any forum lurking so I bought what I did
    based on catalogs at that point. I added a couple things later, like these Body armor doors.
    6.jpg

    So we had a lot of fun the first Summer with some trips to our "mountains" up near Benezette and Medix Run, PA where we had a hunting camp. Lots of old gas well roads and trails to run around on.

    9.JPG

    And my youngest daughter, who was a junior in high school at the time, got to drive it to first day of school that year.
    She was very popular with the boys for some reason
    I drilled her on the specs & general workings of Gruff so if someone asked her what kind of lift we had, etc, she'd know what was going on.
    Funny, she developed an interest in general auto knowledge watching everthing get added to the Jeep.

    That pretty sums up everything that was done prior to my WAL lurking days. I'll add that part of the build story tomorrow.
    I promise, things get more interesting...
    Attached Images Attached Images
    • File Type: jpg 6.jpg (197.5 KB, 1127 views)
    • File Type: jpg 8.jpg (67.8 KB, 1119 views)
    Last edited by Ddays; 12-15-2015 at 01:21 PM. Reason: removed photo

  2. #2
    Old Timer Ddays's Avatar
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    So phase 2 started after finding the Wayalife Moab videos on Youtube last Spring. I realized that what I had built would probably do ok out West but I wanted to do more than be just ok. I wanted to be able to drive all the way there and have something that would hold up and then be driven all the way back to Pa. And then go again year after year.
    So after a lot of research lurking and talking to vendors I purchased the foundation of my re-build;

    Dynatrac PR44 unlimited front and PR60 rear.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    • File Type: jpg 10.jpg (164.6 KB, 1090 views)

  3. #3
    Old Timer Ddays's Avatar
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    11.jpg
    12.jpg
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    15.jpg
    5:13 gears, ARB's, RCV shafts, Reid knuckles

  4. #4
    Old Timer Ddays's Avatar
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    Got everything pre-assembled and ready to install with the help of my buddy;
    17.jpg


    18.jpg


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    I have to say that whacking on the end of these axle shafts to drive the plastic boot on these axles made me very uneasy.


    21.jpg


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    Ready to go!

    23.jpg

  5. #5
    Old Timer Ddays's Avatar
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    Sorry, no photos of the actual axle install. But they went in without issue and after a trip to the alignment shop to verify the rough settings everything was going perfect for about two weeks.

    And then this:

    24.jpg


    A young girl pulled across two lanes from a side road you can see to the right of the photo. A truck stopped to let her out and she thought he meant to go ahead and pull out and didn't look first. Luckily I was able to swerve just enough that I didn't t-bone her in the b-pillar because it would have been bad. Luckily she wasn't even scratched. Unfortunately her vehicle wasn't as lucky. After everything was taken care of at the scene I was able to drive home.

    I know Smittybilt has a fairly bad rep, but honestly, this bumper did hold up pretty good considering how hard this hit was.

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    I knew there was some frame damage based on the window breaking in this corner. I was driving doorless at the time and when i went to put the door on the driver
    side it had a gap near where the windshield was broken about 2" wide.

    26.jpg

    Then I noticed the passenger side spring was sitting back about two inches on the bottom.

    29.jpg


    So, off to the Jeep dealer's collision center. Jeep was left off to start the repairs on Sept 7th. As of today still not done yet.

  6. #6
    Nothing but a Thing JeepJeep75's Avatar
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    That really sucks about your jeep getting bashed. Glad you and other party are okay. Keep us posted on what happens to Gruff.

  7. #7
    Old Timer Ddays's Avatar
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    So after leaving the Jeep the dealer called & said I needed to come to review the work that needed to be done:

    This one caught me by a little by surprise!
    31.jpg

    Frame is pushed back 3" on passenger side

    32.jpg


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    Both motor mounts were broken. Transmission mount broken as well.

    58.jpg


    Bottom line was that a new frame is going to be installed. Damage estimate just under 5 figures.

  8. #8
    Nothing but a Thing JeepJeep75's Avatar
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    Wow! A new frame. Hope everything works out for you.

  9. #9
    Resident Smartass OverlanderJK's Avatar
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    Has it ever been in an accident? I didn't read the whole thread. How'd that happen?
    2012 Jeep Wrangler

  10. #10
    Guy with a Red 2-Door cozdude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OverlanderJK View Post
    Has it ever been in an accident? I didn't read the whole thread. How'd that happen?
    Yes he got into an accident a few weeks ago
    October 16, 2013, wednesday early evening, east of the pacific ocean, selectee for truly random and boring Parking lot photo of the moment grand platinum prize winner!

    2011 JKS
    EVO Bolt-on Coilovers, EVO 1/4 pounder w/ stinger, 35 Nitto Mud Grapplers, PR44, and some EVO stuff

    Awaiting install-
    On Order-
    Want list- 37's, Evo carrier and skins, PSC hydro assist



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