It’s finally done and I can breath a sigh of relief. This repair was the worst problem area on my Jeep with the most in depth skills needed for a good outcome, skills I did not have. As fiercely independent as I am, I also realize when it’s time to ask for help and I feel I need to recognize the people that have helped make my project take shape better and sooner than it would have without them.
First and foremost is Forrest Peasley, because without your generosity in letting me use your shop I would have had to make use of outside labor at a substantial cost, something I really can’t afford. Second, but not any less is Johnny Peasley who’s kind words and great skills allowed me to take on this project with the confidence in knowing I had a friend behind me. I owe you both a debt of gratitude that words seem unable to completely encompass. I’ll just say Thank You and hope it’s enough.
As for the project, RUST is the word of the day!
Typical New England rusty frame! This section was so bad I just cut off a large area to find sound metal again so we could weld on replacement pieces. I should have taken this picture with my finger straight up through the bottom of the frame. That’s right, there’s a hole through the bottom! This would have broken soon and left me stranded as that large bolt hole in the side is where the spring is attached and the 2 holes on the right held the bumper on!
After cutting out the bad area I ground down the metal to prep it for fitting the new panels and for welding. The new parts came from a company called “Safe-T-Cap” and they were an almost perfect fit right out of the box. Excellent engineering!
Just a little bit of trimming, clamp them in place and start welding. I couldn’t weld if my life depended on it, so this is where Johnny took over.
Johnny is an excellent welder and the end result speaks for itself.
The old bumper support was too far gone so we added a piece of C channel to tie the two frames together and then I painted the new steel with rust prohibitive paint.
Next came the 4 inch suspension lift including new springs and shocks, new steering rods and ends, a new anti-sway bar with disconnect ends and a new exhaust system.
This kit was from “Rough Country” and included all the necessary hardware, and the new exhaust featured “Walker” pipes, a “Magna Flow” catalytic converter and a welded “Thrush” muffler. The sound is a little louder than stock but not annoying like some.
Next I added a “Hi Lift Extreme” jack with hood mounts for those times when I need a BIG lift! And finally some interior improvements for storage.
Overall I’m very pleased with the progress so far and I look forward to my time in the woods this coming summer. I have many other friends to thank for their contributions as well, and they know who they are. For now let me say how much it means to me to have others interested in what I’m doing, and to those willing to help along the way. I have been a very cynical person for many years, not believing in the goodwill of others, but maybe I was wrong. Maybe I can find a small slice of society to fit into. We shall see. (Ooops, cynical again!)