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GCL06 08-17-2011 01:54 PM

Nick's (GCL06) Build Thread
Oh man, this is gonna take a while. I've been thinking about making one giant comprehensive build thread and finally have some free time (gotta love college). So here we go, from the early days to the present and to be kept up to date :thumbsup:

First off, a current list of mods down to the details:
-Hunter Brushguard
-Snappy's Fog Lights
-Chrome Turn Signal Bulbs
-Tinted Turn Signals
-Tinted Tails
-Aftermarket Hitch
-4" Superlift (rear complete)
-Midland 1001z CB
-AirRaid Powerwire
-Homemade PVC CAI
-Thrush Welded Muffler
-Rola Roof Basket
-Taillight Guards
-Tinted 3rd Brake Light
-Red Interior LEDs
-10k HID Headlights
-Painted "Jeep" Emblems
-Removed Air Dam
-Painted Grill
-Ported/Polished TB
-33" Toyo Open Country Mud Terrains
-18" KMC Rockstars Without Center Caps

The Beginning
I picked my '06 Laredo 4x4 3.7L up at Carmax. 17k Miles, $15,000.

I needed a hitch since there was a lot to tow working at the garden center:

^Cost $380 for parts, wiring, and install at Uhaul

Then I said those fateful words, "I only want a brushguard. Lifts cost too much and this will be enough." So I bought my Hunter Brushguard on eBay for $190.

Of course before long the brushguard needed fogs. Picked up some cheap $30 fogs off eBay from a company called Snappy's Lights. Didn't wire them up at first (I REALLY hate doing wiring), eventually ghetto rigged it, then ripped out the wiring with plans to do a whole bunch of wiring all at once someday haha.

Then came a Thule 2 board snowboard rack and a set of Ultra Goliath wheels to go with my RK 3.5 X-Factor lift kit. Don't even know how that jump was made.

I also ordered a set of Bilstein shocks. I painted the rear pair:

I soon put the RK lift in. I had never really touched a wrench before doing that install. My ever so patient mom stood back and watched in fear as I spent the weekend dismantling my new ride. Turned out I learned a lot and had some fun in the process, not to mention doomed myself to become a habitual mod guy...

Here's a link to the install guide:

The new tires were 265/70/17 Nitto Terra Grapplers.

Had to take care of the pinch weld. Cut off parts first with a metal saw but resorted to a torch and hammer eventually.

Next up was the tinting. I used VHT Nightshades to tint my turn signals and tails. I would later tint the 3rd brake light once I had a set of allen wrenches:

GCL06 08-17-2011 02:03 PM

Re: Nick's (GCL06) Build Thread
Then it needed to sound as mean as it looked. I picked up a Thrush Welded muffler from a friend for next to nothing and had it put in at a local shop for something like $30. You can get some great deals paying in cash :thumbsup:

I didn't want to pay $300 for a cold air intake so I decided to make my own. Figured it might not be perfect but I had already learned a little about decreasing marginal returns...I also put in an AirRaid Powerwire around this time too.

Here's a link to the build:

And the final product, wrapped in muffler tape:

I heard good stuff about Flyin'Ryan's ported and polished throttle bodies and got ahold of one for myself around this time too.

The power mods made a noticeable difference for sure.

GCL06 08-17-2011 02:05 PM

Re: Nick's (GCL06) Build Thread
I got the chance to take the Jeep up to the mountains for some snowboarding with friends. Ended up towing one of their cars off the ice.

And got a good chance to take a comparison pic:

Somewhere along the line I put in some red LED wheel well glow but took it out before too long due to annoying wires.

Got tired of seeing the amber in my headlights so swapped the stock turn signal bulbs out for chrome ones.

So far:

01grand 08-17-2011 02:12 PM

Re: Nick's (GCL06) Build Thread
Very nice looking Jeep! I have never seen a custom made CAI before. Good work, keep it coming! :thumbsup:

GCL06 08-17-2011 02:24 PM

Re: Nick's (GCL06) Build Thread
Soon some minor paint jobs to clean up the undercarriage.

And some tail light guards off eBay:

And one of my favorite photos:

Next up - CB radio. Went with a Midland 1001z. Took out the cubby beside the steering wheel, cut out the back to run the wires through the firewall, and put in the CB.

Got a couple 4' fiberglass antennas from eBay too. Didn't wire them up before taking them off to put on new mounts but those are still a work in progress...

Made my original pair of mounts.

Mounted up:

Soon went on a trip throughout South Carolina with a friend.

The fogs were still wired (ghetto rigged) at the time:

Wanted my "Jeep" emblems to match the black/white color scheme better so decided to paint them. Peeled them off using a hairdryer and old gift card and reapplied with 3m tape.

Around now I had saved up for another toy. I got my '84 Blazer with a 12" Superlift on 40' Super Swampers. Took forever to get the title details worked out and now still need to run by the DMV to get it registered whenever I can get myself to go in that hellhole. The Blazer has a tranny leak and isn't yet registered so I haven't done but besides replacing the worn out tires with some 39" Super Swampers from Craigslist and gutted/painted/re-carpeted the interior. Buying this beast slowed down my Jeep funds obviously.

GCL06 08-17-2011 02:28 PM

Re: Nick's (GCL06) Build Thread
Wanted some more black on the front end so I painted the grill with the same flat black as the emblems.

Took some welding classes at a local community college through my highschool for a semester and made my next pair of antenna mounts. Still working on how I want to mount them. Most likely going to just weld them onto the Jeep. The pic was before I drilled the holes through.

GCL06 08-17-2011 02:53 PM

Re: Nick's (GCL06) Build Thread
Then a LOOOOONG break. Income slowed, stayed busy with college and scholarship applications, drowned in school work...

Through this period my schedule was - up at 6 to take the girlfriend home and go to school to nap, out of school early (thank you welding and construction classes) to rush to work at noon, work till 6 at the garden center literally 7 days a week, school work till 11ish when I picked up the girlfriend from waiting tables at the sportsbar, go to sleep at 2ish and start over again.

THEN I got put on bonuses at work for this past spring. Paychecks leapt up to double what they had been while working less hours. Saved up and planned for some big moves.

Mom got me a Rola roof basket for graduation:

Took a couple beach trips with the guys. Saw the perfect plank spot and hopped right on:

Practiced safe driving rules :D Not so hard to get someone to be the driver when they all love driving the Jeep.

Figure it'd be a good time to introduce myself as well. I'm Nick. I'm 18. I just got to college at the University of South Carolina this past weekend but beforehand had a great time back in Charlotte, NC. Worked at a garden center for 3 years while constantly coming up with other sources of money from working on people cars to mowing lawns to moving furniture...and pursuing a life as an entrepreneur. Majoring in business at college, probably going to focus on accounting to get to know the works behind the financial aspect of businesses.

I spend all my time with friends. Travel with them a lot going on random trips to the beaches, mountains, and lakes around the Carolinas. Love to snowboard and be on the water.

Back on topic - started spending those Jeep savings!

Rockstars and Toyos - $2220 out the door. Yes, that would be my room those tires are in. I moved out rented a room nearby to my parents' houses and we had no garage there so I had nowhere else to put them.

To preview:

Once the Superlift parts came in I had just over 2 weeks left before leaving for school and there was a 10 day trip to Rome and Paris. The parts too were laid out in my room until I got back and installed the rear end.

While in Europe I ordered in a couple more things - red interior LEDs and a 10k HID headlight kit.

GCL06 08-17-2011 02:57 PM

Re: Nick's (GCL06) Build Thread
Once back from Europe things got hectic. Tied up all the loose ends I could in Charlotte while working on installing the rear end of the lift all day for 3 or 4 days till it got dark. Finished the rear end the night before I moved down here so it's currently in my dad's driveway on two wheels with plans to take it to a shop this weekend or next to have them install the front end components. Sorry for the phone pics.

After what I went through rushing to finish the rear end with such limited tools, limited knowledge, limited access to internet I was done with installing this kit myself. A word to anyone else who considers doing the work themselves - I learned a ton again, I had some fun, but it's a real b!tch! Lots of drilling through thick steel from very uncomfortable positions without a garage with a lift. Really beat the hell outta my hands.

GCL06 08-17-2011 03:09 PM

Re: Nick's (GCL06) Build Thread
I'm planning for what's next now.

Probably JBA UCAs to come soon. I've got a busted ball joint on one side so I might replace the UCAs now rather than spend the money on a ball joint now just to replace them later.

Probably doing some changes with my sound system (stock at the moment). Thinking 2 12" JLs, a decent/good amp, and a nice headunit, maybe with a nav screen and all. Stock speakers seem sufficient for the time being.

Waiting to see what Saguaro4x comes up with for rear bumpers with tire carriers. I was ready to get their old one, went to their site and saw it was off the market to be redesigned to be easier to make and (best of all) cheaper.

I will be opening up my headlights to paint a lot of the chrome the same flat black and spray the VHT tint on the turn signal reflector itself.

I'll be retinting my tails soon since the VHT has slowly worn off over the past 20 months since I originally sprayed it.

The antennas will probably go back on down the road, both functional this time.

Have a lot of wiring work to do/redo cleaner. Fogs, CB, PA, antennas...

Ordering some LED reverse bulbs today.

Maybe a front bumper with winch mount someday if a design I really like comes out.

chance 08-17-2011 03:46 PM

Re: Nick's (GCL06) Build Thread
Jeep looks awesome my friend, I love the wheels!

GCL06 08-17-2011 04:18 PM

Re: Nick's (GCL06) Build Thread

Originally Posted by chance (Post 467874)
Jeep looks awesome my friend, I love the wheels!

Appreciate it! I had my eyes on em for a long time and finally went for it.

JeepCoop 08-17-2011 04:29 PM

Lookin good brother. Nice build!!

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