On another forum we were discussing exactly what was done to the Jeep from start to finish and why it took so long for a seemingly straight-forward modification.

This is what I started with.

I had to take a 1990 YJ SE and make it look like a 1992 Sahara

Summer of 2007

-painted jeep

-sold wheels/tires

-replaced speakers/wiring

-removed carpet

-coated interior with truck bed liner

-painted new wheels

-added front bumper fog lights

-replaced all exterior lights, markers, and seals

-replaced windshield

-tracked down and found correct Sahara-style seats

-replaced rollcage with correct type

-made and applied vinyl graphics

-replaced wipers

-replaced hood hardware

-added whip antenna

-bought spice padding for rollcage

-bought new fender flares which had to be repainted several times due to problems with the flex agent

-added fender flares

Summer of 2008

-added accurate soft-top hardware

-retouched interior with bed liner

Changed jobs, moved to Denver, that took up the vast majority of that summer

Summer of 2009

-found side steps

-fabricated lightbar from scratch

-painted lightbar and side steps

-added winch and winch plate

-replaced steering pump

-replaced slave cylinder

The rest of the summer was spent building the new Ecto.

Summer of 2010

-painted center console

-removed interior and applied bed liner

-wired winch-

-replaced muffler, catalytic converter, tail pipe, and headers

-remade front and rear plates

-painted second lightbar

-added soundbar and wiring

-added rear amber lamps (DA AMBERLAMPS) and wiring

Still on my to-do list is to paint the interior door panels and have my fiancees mom sew up some accurate Sahara pouches. Down the road I’ll likely swap out the front fog lights for more accurate models, the same goes for the rear lamps once the actual models have been determined. I hope by the end of the summer to have a large speaker wired up under the hood and hooked to an arduino board with dinosaur sounds.

Work was only done in summer months, I moved to a new city during one of the summers, deconstructed one car and built an entire new one during another summer, and I’ve largely been driving it around and enjoying it the rest of the time. The majority of work on the cars is spent fighting entropy. Keeping the vehicles themselves in running condition along with keeping their modifications looking good.

We went up into the mountains over the weekend for a celebratory romp through the mountains Spoiler (highlight to read):

before it rusts into the ground The very last bit of work was to (finally) wire up the winch. Once the solenoid was mounted under the hood, I added a few grade 8 bolts to the winch plate and we were good to go. A quick test of winching the Jeep up the drive way and my confidence peaked.

Leaving Denver and it’s triple-digit temperatures behind.

Since it was a Friday, we got to see a whole slew of outdoorsy-type people dragging their toys up for camping trips and whatnot. This was pretty good.

My first job was at a marina and there was this awesome ski boat with a corvette engine called “Erection.” One day I hope to see a thread of awesome watercraft names.

The first thing we did on Saturday was drive to the top of the mountain my folks live on. There used to be a radio tower on top, but it’s since turned into a cell tower farm for the whole valley. The BLM road starts off really small and winding, then opens up a bit into older logging roads.

Here’s a pretty decent view of Granby, Middle Park, Lake Granby and Grand Lake, and the Continental Divide.

We got to the radio tower after about a half hour. Little sheds with fences and power generators all over. It looked pretty close to an InGen facility, but the morning light was so harsh that the Jeep looked almost white. I decided to come back around sunset and we headed back down.

Another view, looking east.

Aspen arches are the best. Especially if you go slow enough that you can snap your best friend in the face with a bent branch.

If my buddy knew how to drive stick, then I’d probably have spent the entire trip staring straight up, the trees were gorgeous.

After the radio towers, we headed south to Winter Park and took Moffat Road up to Rollins Pass. This was the first road I took the Jeep up back in 2007, so I figured it would be nice to revisit with the completed vehicle. Old Moffat Road used to be where the railroad went up and over the continental divide before the big tunnels were built. Here’s an illustration from a 1922 issue of Popular Science.

When the tunnel was built, the railroad pulled up their ties and the path became a 4×4 trail. There are still a bunch of trestles and water towers up there, though. Neat stuff.

Moffat Road proved to be bumpy as ****, and also pretty busy. There is a ton of logging going on up there as the entire forest is slowly being killed by a massive pine beetle infestation.

We got to the top (about 11,200 feet), parked, and started to hike the rest of trail out east.

Beautiful, beautiful alpine tundra.

One of several old trestles. This section of the road is closed off, which is too bad because I bet driving over one of these is really ****ing fun.

After hiking out along the divide for two hours, we headed back to the Jeep and started down the mountain.



So, I guess, three years of working on tiny unnoticeable details?:smithicide:

We got back to the house in time for dinner, immediately after I shot back up to the top of the mountain to catch the sunset at the radio tower.

This was kind of fun.


Someone should ABSOLUTELY shop in some JP and InGen corporation logos on those sheds.

Yeah, that last one is a photoshop. But don’t for one second think that I’m not going to kinkos tomorrow to print a large version of that logo and make it into a cardboard stencil. That **** is happening.

Got a pretty awesome sunset on the drive back down. There must be a forest fire somewhere because the sky was all kind of red and orange even before the sun went down.

On Sunday we just tooled around Middle Park. Caught a big barbeque and parade thing in Grand Lake, had turkey legs, endured a pretty awesome mountain thunderstorm, the usual bull****.

We drove home through Rocky Mountain National Park, which is in the opposite direction as Denver but is like fifty times more fun. Had a pretty good laugh showing the park entrance rangers the “visitor pass” and “dinosaur specialist” badges I keep in the Jeep and trying to convince them to let us in for free to take care of a sick triceratops. This has worked in the past but I think the lady we saw didn’t have a sense of humor.

I’m a ****ing dork.

Very nice sunset views from atop Trail Ridge Road.

Pretty awesome weekend. I’m just disappointed I didn’t get a chance to use my winch  🙁