This truck started as a 2.5L 4 cyl in '93. I bought it in '96 with 95,000 miles and drove it as a 4 cyl for 8 years. The move from 33" to 35" tires finally pushed me to the engine swap in late '04 with the help of Dan Shepley and other Hudson Valley 4 Wheelers club members. The swap was my mental and physical therapy while I was having Chemo treatments for 5 months.
- GM '02 4.3L Vortec V6 engine.
- AX-15 5-speed manual trans.
- NP231 Transfer Case with, 4:1 ratio, 2wd/lo, HD chain, and SYE.
- Tom Wood drive shafts.
- Ford 8.8" rear axle w/ARB and Superior CroMo shafts.
- Dana 30 front axle w/ARB and Superior CroMo TJ style shafts.
- Warn front hub manual conversion kit.
- 4 wheel disk brakes.
- 4.88 gears.
- 35x12.5-15 BF Goodrich M/T KM2 tires.
- 15x7 alloy wheels (I added the yellow).
Body and Suspension
From stock, the first lift was a 2.5" spring swap, then a Skyjacker 6" monoleaf kit for a while, then a Spring Over Axle change in '06.
- SOA w/1.5" Rubicon Express SOA springs.
- Home made front bumper.
- Olympic rear bumper (since 1997, first mod).
- Tomkin receiver rear tow hook.
- AtoZ Rocker Guards.
- CJ 'Jeep' tailgate, w/YJ swing and electric release.
- Flush mounted stock tail lights.
- Gen-Right rear corner guards.
- Xenon Flat Fender Flares.
Almost everything on the truck has been replaced or modified, every drive train part for sure. Motor, rear axle, trans, front sheet metal, bumpers, steering box (from a '98 Durango), even the frame (northeast U.S. rust), have all been replaced. The only moving part with the true 175,000+ miles of the vehicle is the top half of the steering column.
- Made my own soft top from scratch, short cab style.
- Warn M8000 winch with synthetic rope, rebuilt in 2014.
- York onboard air w/2.5 gal tank, air quick connect added to grill and rear.
- Tom Woods T-Case mounted disc parking brake (4.88 times the brake force!).
- Staun automatic air-down deflaters set to 8 PSI.
A lot of interior work was done over the years. The dashboard was replaced in 2010 with one from DoubleD Fab.
- Custom flat dashboard.
- Full Autometer gauges.
- JVC Media Player
- Home made console (like a Tuffy, only my way).
- 13" Grant GT steering wheel.
- Spare tire in rear bed when off-roading (no rear seat) for a clean tailgate.