Token the 2001 TJ

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    Token the 2001 TJ

    This is the story of a little Jeep named Token and of our adventures together.
    Seriously though I am creating this thread to document my ownership of a 2001 TJ, so it will be on going or I may just quite posting one day never to be seen or heard from again....who knows.
    I bought the Jeep not quite a year ago. I convinced a friend of mine, Lee, to buy a plane ticket and fly to Colorado with me to look at and purchase a 2001 TJ. We then drove it back home to NW Arkansas. That was an adventure in its self and Lee does a pretty good job of telling the story, he can chime in with the who story if he would like. But in short we made it back with out much trouble. I will definitely be doing another trip like that again some day, hopefully with as much success.
    Here is the Jeep as it arrived safe at home from the trip.
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    A picture from the trip, Colorado is beautiful!
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    Some specs of the Jeep. It has the gutless 2.5L 4 cylinder and weak AX5 transmission and of course the NP231J transfer case. It had well over 200K miles on it at the time of purchase. It has a 2.5" coil spring spacer lift, IronRock Offroad rear longarm kit, an HD DOM tierod and draglink with heims, 8.25 rear axle and stock D30 front axle. A P.O. added heavier duty lower control arm mounts on the D30 and it also has a HD front track bar. Both axles have 4.88 gears with lunch box lockers. It has 35" BFG tires. It came with a few other goodies like rear tub corner armor, rock sliders and Blue Torch Fab front tube fenders. That's pretty much how it was setup when I bought it. Admittedly not much has changed but I have made a few upgrades, changes I will tell you about. I drive it to work and I have wheeled it a few times since I got it. My goal is to have a reliable wheeler but something I can still drive to work. Kinda of a mild version of a Ultimate Adventure rig. This Jeep is a good start. I had a "Rockcrawler" before and I hated only taking it out once or twice a year and it sitting in the garage the rest of the time. I am a tight ass and if I have something it needs to be used or its likely to be sold.
    Here is a picture from the P.O. at Moab:

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    So thats my first post. More to come.
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    #2
    So the first thing we noticed when we got the Jeep out on the road was that when you let off the throttle there was a terrible noise that came from what we thought was the rear axle. We stopped and investigated and concluded that we had no idea what the problem was so we kept driving assuming that the problem would show itself somewhere between Colorado and Arkansas.We made it to Arkansas without any catastrophes. But after a few weeks of driving the Jeep to work and around the area the rear driveshaft removed itslf from the rear axle yoke. Destroying the rear yoke and the driveshaft itself. I bought another stock rear shaft and went to install it, I found that it was to long. You could make it fit in between the Tcase output and the rear yoke but not with out a pry bar. So, whoever installed the rear axle setup didn't bother to make the driveshaft the proper length. So I grabbed one of the spare XJ front driveshafts I had laying around and made a two piece rear driveshaft, I also purchased a SYE from Advanced Adapters.
    Here is the rear driveshaft:
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    It is unbalanced and poorly made but it will work for now. Vibrations are minimal. While I was installing the SYE I decided to put new chain, bearings and seals in the NP231J. I even had plans to install a 6 gear planetary but the ebay seller I bought one from never sent it. So together it went with out it.
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    These blind hole pullers work nice for needle bearing removal.
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    Oh I almost forgot, (see this is why I make threads it helps me remember what I have done) I also installed a Teraflex 2Low kit. I had taken the Jeep wheeling once up to this point and for the wheeling I do, creek beds and tight woods, I decided I missed having 2wd low range. It was easy to install and I feel it was money well spent. I wish they still made the 4Low kit I would have done that as well. A lower lowrange would be nice too.
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    I think that pretty well concludes the Tcase rebuild. This did solve the rear axle noise problem.
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    Comment


      #3
      Next on the list was a new front bumper and winch mount. Said friend, Lee, also has a TJ and was looking for a front bumper/winch mount. He contacted AtoZ Fab on a forum of which will not mention the name of but many of you probably transferred here from there and the vendor hooked us up with two front bumpers at a very reasonable price.(Thanks AtoZ Fab) I removed the homemade winch plate that was welded to the front frame horns of the Jeep and painted it up.
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      Here is the AtoZ Fab bumper. We opted for the D-ring mounts as well. Nice and thick and sturdy.
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      D-Ring mount.
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      Here it is all finished up. Now AtoZ sells this as a base to build on too. I have managed to dent the left edge of the bumper but I really should of caped the ends.
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      Well thats it for this post, exciting stuff ehh?

      Comment


        #4
        I replaced the steering gear once it began leaking more than what I wanted to tolerate. I replaced it with a Dodge Durango steering gear. Most of you know this is a common upgrade, I guess. I am still not 100% sure what the benefit is, I understand it is more better in some way but I am not sure how. I have seen it disputed that it is not any "stronger" than the Tj gear. Perhaps it provides more of a hydraulic advantage when bigger tires are used? I have also heard it mentioned that the gear ratio is different, so it maybe more of a mechanical advantage over the TJ gear? I honestly cant tell much difference. All is know is its doesn't leak fluid all over the place like the old gear did and that's good with me. The powersteering line for the high pressure side looked alittle rusty so I replaced it while I was at it.
        My little helper.
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        Ok then, next thing to address was the lack of bumpstops. The front tires were contacting the front fenders. So I ordered up some Daystar extended bumpstops.
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        With a tire.
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        I did not address the lack of rear bumpstops. I need to do that but I think I will hold off on that job when I have the rear apart for another fix.
        Thats better.
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        Are you still awake?

        Comment


          #5
          Next thing, I was tired of having the spare tire take up the all the storage in the back of the Jeep. I needed to put a seat back there for my little one to ride with me as well. I really don't like tire carriers but this one caught my eye and was cheap.....and the lady was selling a steel rear bumper with it.
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          Now I really liked the rear bumper that came with the Jeep but it was made of thin tube that was already dented and it would not play nice with the new tire carrier when the tire was mounted on it. So I was forced to use the bumper that came with the tire carrier. It also has a receiver hitch which I like.
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          It also came with those D-rings. Hell of a deal.
          After this I took it for a wheeling trip to Hot Springs ORV park. It was on this trip that I discovered just how terrible to stock Tcase shifter linkage really is. So I ordered up a Novak cable shifter, I highly recommend it. I installed it according to instructions and it required absolutely zero adjustment.
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          I hope you all are enjoying this bolt on marathon.

          Comment


            #6
            I actualy did this not long after i got the Jeep. Someone had removed the stock air intake system and stuck a pod filter on the throttle body. Now this is probably fine, but I just did not like it and decided to do an experiment.
            You can see the pod filter here in this pic. That is Lee replacing the Alternator on our trip bringing the Jeep from Colorado to Arkansas.
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            Here is the air intake temp with the pod filter on top of the TB.
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            Here is the CAI i pieced together.
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            Intake temps after the CAI.
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            Now isn't that just interesting. I think that pretty well brings us up to date.
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            I am driving/wheeling it daily. I am fixxing or upgrading as things wear out or break. I can tell you I will be repairing rust in the rear of the frame in the near future. If your a TJ owner you know what I am talking about. I will probably use SafeTcap kit for that.

            Comment


              #7
              What a unit!

              👌

              Comment


                #8
                Come on over and check us out.

                https://www.facebook.com/groups/Rock...?ref=bookmarks

                Glad to see a fellow NWA guy on the board.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by junkytj View Post
                  Come on over and check us out.

                  https://www.facebook.com/groups/Rock...?ref=bookmarks

                  Glad to see a fellow NWA guy on the board.
                  Thanks! I am a member of the FB group. I have been attending Rocktober for several years. Appreciate all you guys do.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Nice. Will have to have a beer or something this October.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by junkytj View Post
                      Nice. Will have to have a beer or something this October.
                      For sure! Hollar at me.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Well its time for an update alot has happened in the past week. I changed the oil in the 2.5L, was prepping for a trip to Hot Springs ORV. DIrectly after the oil change I then drove it to my brothers house maybe 7 miles away and I noticed a bad noise coming from the engine upon arriving at his house. I drove it back home and around the farm alittle and the noise got worse. I pulled the valve cover to make sure it wasnt a lifter or bent pushrod. All seemed to be in working condition. I also did a compression test and cylinders tested from 160 to 180psi. So I did the reasonable thing and went and bought a 5.2L ZJ to swap the engine into the TJ. Now I know, because several people told me I am making a mistake and should put in a LS engine. They are probably right but I am known for making bad decisions. So here is the donor, a 1996 Limited ZJ, 5.2L, 44RE and NP242.


                        So why a ZJ and not a Ram 1500 or Durango or a Dakota? Well this was $500, also the ZJ's have the starter on the passenger side, the exhaust manifolds fit nicely in the Wrangler, the powerstering brackets fit between the fenders and I don't feel bad at all tearing a ZJ apart. I also have previous experience with a 5.2L ZJ. I drove one for about a year and I really liked the 5.2L. It got as good of mileage as a 4.0 l and it has 100 more HP and V8 sounds. For this ZJ the P.O. told me it had no forward gears. I found the front drive shaft removed and a hole in the tcase.

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                        So I began removing it from the ZJ. A cutting torch and tractor is all you need.
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                        I eventually liberated the engine from the ZJ.
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                        Oh I forgot to mention I did a compression test on the donor, each cylinder tested a few pounds within 150psi. The plan is to get a ECM from a 2002 Dodge Durango, merge the ZJ engine harness with the TJ engine harness and my gauges and what not should work nicely. From what I have read I can take the 23spline input out of the 242 and put it in my NP231, which is currently 21 spline.
                        Last edited by rustybottoms88; 06-09-2020, 07:55 AM.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          The jury is still out on whether I will use the 44RE or buy a AX15. The bellhousing on the 44RE is broke up but I think its fixable.
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                          If I kept a standard transmission it would make the wiring alittle less of a headache. To be honest I enjoy wheeling with a automatic alittle more than a standard. The standard tranmission leaves me wanting a crawl box when with the auto I can just ride the brakes. Anywho I'll decide soon. I guess next order of business is to pull the 2.5L out of the TJ. I'll post with a update eventually.
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                          Comment


                            #14
                            Looking forward to seeing where this is going.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by rustybottoms88 View Post
                              So I did the reasonable thing and went and bought a 5.2L ZJ to swap the engine into the TJ.
                              Boo! See if I Roadkill a vehicle across the country with you again.

                              Comment

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