Rebuilding a Rollover Jeep JK
Rebuilding a wrecked Jeep JK is certainly no easy feat. But so far, this JK Forum member is moving right along!
Fixing wrecked vehicles is all the rage these days. Thanks to the wonders of the internet, it’s become quite fashionable (and easier) to do so. Not only do you have plenty of great information at your fingertips on how to fix stuff, you can also become quite the web star if you document the process yourself. Not to mention a hero among the many fans of your chosen project. And after seeing JK Forums member clark decide to document his Jeep JK rollover restoration right here in the forums, he’s quickly becoming our hero.
“This week I took a chance and bought a ’14 Jeep JK rollover from an insurance auction. I’m starting this thread to track my progress. And, honestly, help me keep track of the build many months later (my memory isn’t as good as it used to be). Tentative plan is to build an affordable trail toy that I can still take out on the road around town.
Here’s what I know about the JKU – it’s an automatic, no key, D30/D44, lots of damage. I have no idea if it runs or any indication of mileage at this point. From the damage, I believe it fell backwards and then landed on its passenger side. But hell, I could be completely off. Hood, side, and rear gate are thrashed. Open to theories here.
Anyway, my first step is to get a key. I need to make sure it runs before I start spending $ on other repairs. I’m heading over to the local Jeep dealer on Saturday morning with the Jeep on my trailer to get a key. It’s around $200 for the key and programming.”
Obviously, this poor Jeep JK is a massive, yet totally worthwhile project. But the OP at least got some good news when he took his ride to the dealership.
“The original key was broken off in the column. The service rep gave me the key that works the doors. I scheduled an appointment to go back next Saturday to replace the ignition cylinder. While I was there, they ran the VIN and we learned the Jeep is still under warranty until Nov. WHAT??? Score. If I have any mechanical issues, I’ll just need to clean up the body work before bringing it back in.
They photograph/scan all vehicles in the service shop, but not mine as it was on the trailer in the parking lot. Bonus, they printed out all of the maintenance and service records for me too. So I left the dealer with my paperwork, warranty, key, and no bill. They cut me a deal on programming the key and replacing the ignition cylinder – $175 all-in. I’m good with this as I’ll retain the factory setup.”
Soon, the OP had a new ignition cylinder and working key. The next step was removing some body parts.
And after changing the fluids and filters, it was time to start thinking about parts.
“First parts on the list – steering gear box, XRC fenders, and new hood. Next task on the wrench list – pull the front axle and calculate damages. It’s pushed at least 10″ to the passenger side, so not sure what’s salvageable. I’ve been talking to a member on this forum about a set of axles. No deal yet, but I am in the market for a Rubicon or better axle set with 4.88 or 5.13 gears and lockers. If you know of anyone that went to 60s/tons and is selling, please let me know!”
The next step was getting this beat up Jeep JK running again. But as you might imagine, that wasn’t a completely smooth process.
“My scanner is reading a ‘pending fault’ – PO452, Evap Emission Control System Pressure Sensor Low Input. But no other issues. It’s still smoking a little in the engine bay, but haven’t found the source yet. Not sure if it’s burn off or if there’s a leak.”
In the meantime, there’s nothing like a good parts delivery to lighten the mood!
Topfire Fury Hood
XRC Fenders (front and rear)
Stock gearbox (junkyard find)”
So far, this Jeep JK rebuild is coming along quite nicely. And rather quickly. Be sure and head over here to follow along as this once junkyard-bound ride is brought back to life!