CL Morgan's Cheap Jeep Build


Bought this today a 1997 Jeep Wrangler with 2.5L inline 4 banger, 5 speed & only 61,xxx one owner miles. Total budget including Jeep & Mods is $6,000.00

1997 TJ .jpg1997 TJ.jpg

First mods will be de-blinging it of chrome bumpers, nerfs & hardware.

Goodies ordered today:

Bestop Trektop NX in black with tinted windows
Bestop Trektop NX.jpg

Chassis parts like locking gas cap, door mirrors, Teraflex CB antenna mounts for both rear corners. heater knob, Trailready front bumper plus M.O.R.E. !" body & motor mount lifts.

MORE 1" BL.jpgMORE MM 2.5L.jpgimages-1.ashx.jpeg

Fender Flares & rockers from TJ Rubicon I have left over from previous jeep along with rear bumper/tire carrier.

Off a TJ Rubicon rolling chassis I have the following:

Dana 44s with 488s & detroit's

Nth Degree short arm suspension with tummy tuck tranfer case skid/stinger but may opt for OME lift or coils for a more ExPo friendly build.

NP231 TeraLow with 2WD low & SLE kit.

Tom Woods CV driveshafts.

Currie antirock front swaybar system.

Input appreciated & of course will update as mods progress.
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great find
what are you going to do with the old tan top and hardware?
Thought I'd add that I rather put take offs on Craigslist rather than fill a dumpster - do you need soft top hardware like door surrounds? I will see what there condition is when I install new top, top itself on scale of 1 to 10 is about a 5, no tears but shrinkage & clouded windows.

Mr. D

I have been looking for door surrounds. My jeep is a 2004 so I am unsure
if that year is the same as all tj's.


New member
Door surrounds are the same for all TJs. The 03 change was in the roll bars.
It is now possible to buy factory style door surrounds from Bestop aftermarket, but used are great - they don't really wear out. Just information, since we didn't used to be able to sell them and they were unobtanium.

That Trektop NX is a great top - thanks for the support. BUT you are definitely going to want to get the fabric warm before you attempt to install the first time. Unbox and leave it in a warm place for a day or so. These fit tight, and Steamboat temperatures won't make it easy to install.