The Evolution Of My Jeep TJ Wrangler on 40" Inch Tires
Hi , My name is Rusty Groves and i would like to share my story of 40 years as a Jeep enthusiast.
I haven’t always driven a Jeep Wrangler TJ. I’ve bounced around with many cars and trucks over the years. But like every other Jeep lover..I’ve always came back to what i love the most in a vehicle..”MY JEEP” and it hasn’t been Cheap.
The Image above is what the finished product looks like today 7/11/2019. I would like to show you the Jeeps i’ve own in the past that got me to this point. I originally started out with two 1983 CJ’s. The Images below are not my Jeeps i’ve owned but similar in look..I mean it’s been 40 years ago and i don’t have the original photos..You’ll just have to believe me..
My Very First Jeep Wrangler CJ was Brown on 33’s …I loved it.
My Second Jeep was also a 1983 Wrangler, all stock and Red. Not a Red Guy. I prefer neutral colors.
My 4th Jeep was also brown in color but on 38 inch tires..It was a 1979 CJ
Which brings me to the 2002 Jeep Wrangler TJ i drive today. Here it is when i first bought the Jeep 5 years ago in Miami FL. I am the second owner of this 2002 Jeep Wrangler. I purposely went as far South as possible to get this Jeep. I’ve owned other vehicles from up North and the rust issues have always been a problem. I spent almost 2 months searching the internet to find the most perfect fit for something to work with. I drove to 6 states to see a lot of Jeeps in person. Pictures on sites like Cars.com can look much better online than they do in person…so, I made trips across the country for weeks. The search for the perfect Jeep was costly. I spent thousands of dollars in Gas and Motel rooms just to find the perfect jeep for my project. I was able to do this because of my job. I am a Boiler Maker and that allows me to have off for months at a time. I ended up finding a very nice Jeep Wrangler in Miami FL. It fit all of the criteria that i was looking for in a Jeep. The mileage was a little high, but i can work with that.129,000. “And here it is”.
Small tires let me know i had something to work with. I’ve bought other Jeeps in the past that had already been Lifted/jacked up and the drivetrains were loose and sloppy. I wanted to be the first person to raise it.. Jack it Up.
This Jeep wrangler was the perfect Jeep for me to do what i wanted to do to it.
Even though this Jeep was 14 years old at the time, you would never know it. The underneath was like brand new and still is today. I have never taken this Jeep off road and don’t believe it has ever seen even a dirt road.. well maybe a dirt road.
I was living in Alabama at the time and was excited to get to work on modifying my almost new 14 year old Jeep Wrangler. I started by putting in a “SYE” Slip Yoke Eliminator and 35 inch tires. What was i thinking.!!! 35 inch tires were OK at the beginning but i should have went with 37's..Bigger is always better.. To Me
As time went by the 35’s looked small to me.. you have to understand where i come from. I was raise just down the road from Grave Digger. I’ve always been around big trucks. The Outer Banks of North Carolina has it’s share of Monster Trucks.. I Love Em.
The Beach is Full of Beautiful Jacked Up Trucks and Jeeps which looks like for miles. It’s Fake Fishing in the Outer Banks.. That’s what i call it.. Poles in the water and Beer in your Hand for as far as you can see. Not a lot of fish being pulled in.. A great place to vacation.
So.. back to today and what my Jeeps evolution has become. I posted at the top of this page one image. Here are a few more from different angles. But first let me tell you all of the modification that have been made just in the last 2 months. 8 inch lift with 40" Tires
This Lifted Jeep has:
6 inch Rough Country Lift
2 Inch Spring Spacers
SYE Slip Yoke Eliminator
4 New Bilstein 5100 Series Shocks , Gas Charged
New Gas Charged Steering Stabilizer Shock
5:13 Yukon Ring and Pinion Gears
I didn’t change anything else from stock. The Axle’s are stock the Brake Calipers are stock the steering has not been touched other than the Steering Stabilizer Shock . The reason for this is.. I never wheel this Jeep in the Mud or Rock Crawling. I’m sure there are people that will disagree with the set up, but for me.. It worked on my 1979 Jeep CJ with 38 inch tires.. and never had the first problem back then. This is a street only Jeep and i am pretty easy on my vehicles. It drives better than most would expect.. Very strait and comfortable for a Jeep.. I mean as comfortable as a Jeep gets.
I’m sure I’m forgetting something.. Although i probably shouldn’t. It’s definitely cost a small fortune at this point. $10,000 so far, and that’s just the cost of the lift and tires and gearing ….And to be honest, I will probably upgrade to 44’s when these 40’s wear out.. Bigger is better in my opinion.. you can never go high enough.
This is my Jacked up Jeep
Well…I hope you’ve enjoyed looking at my Jeep Wrangler TJ as much i as do.