Posted by: Mark Polk | 2013

Jeep MJ Build – The Plan

The Plan:

I told Tyler we needed to have a plan and a budget before we did anything to the truck. I explained to him that when I was in the military the first step was to perform a Technical Inspection or TI on a vehicle to determine everything that was wrong with the vehicle and that would require parts or labor to repair.

Getting Started

Getting Started

So we put the MJ on the lift and started the inspection. We wrote everything down so nothing would be missed or forgotten. We inspected the underside, the engine compartment, brakes and the interior and exterior of the truck. When the inspection was complete we pritorized the list, separating the essential repair items from the cosmetic and nice to have items. My number one concern was to make the truck mechanically sound and safe for Tyler to drive. I told Tyler if he had money left at that point he could work on the nice to have stuff.

This was not going to be a restoration project. It was going to be Tyler’s daily driver and the process needed to be affordable if he had realistic expectations of getting it on the road. He just turned 16 years-old in December and signed up for the Driver’s Education course this spring. This gave us some time to complete the project if his money holds out. To earn additional money for his truck fund Tyler cut grass, raked pine straw, baby sat for neighbors, washed and waxed cars and got a summer job cleaning fishing boats when they returned from fishing trips each day. After paying for half of the truck Tyler had $600 dollars left in his truck account. When it was time to buy parts I shopped around for the best prices I could find in an attempt to save whatever money we could.

We ordered the parts we would need to make the truck mechanically sound. We replaced the brakes, the oil pan gasket,  rear main seal, the rear differential cover gasket, rear axle pinion seal, the rear transmission seal, and the catalytic converter and muffler. This was a good experience for Tyler, learning different components on the truck and how things work.

Jeep MJ Undercarriage
Jeep MJ Undercarriage

After completing the majority of the mechanical repairs we moved on to other essential repairs like replacing the instrument gauge cluster, driver’s side seat belt, driver’s side mirror, wiper blades and the rear view mirror.

When I felt comforatble with the truck’s mechanical condition I let Tyler spend some of the remaining money on cosmetic items like a new grill, header panel and some materials to start the body work.

Join us next time when we search for some reasonably priced tires for Tyler’s truck. 

Click here to go to the next post:  Tyler’s Jeep Build – Tires & Lift

Mark Polk

RV Education 101

RV Consumer

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