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Moses and @biggman100 @BadDriver4x4 thanks for taking the time (a full year ago!) to respond to my inquiry. A little update: I found a mechanic out in Suffolk County, NY who is supposedly the local Jeep expert. I drove the hour to visit, nice guy, knows his stuff, but I think he was a bit un-enthused about me supplying all of my own parts, and he has a full schedule - and he knows that an picky, educated customer with a rusty Jeep is a bad value proposition! He never got back to me with a quote. Well, arm be damned, I decided to take my time and do the work myself. Some parts: - Full brakes (calipers/rotors, drums/cylinders, new soft lines) - Axles (front u-joints (Spicer), ball joints (Spicer), knuckles, hubs (Timken), bolts, lug nuts) - Susprension (Old Man Emu springs/bushings/shackles/u-bolts) - Steering linkages/links - Plus all-new hardware (McMaster), and MOPAR parts where they made sense or where they are still available. Besides the springs it is essentially stock, just a mild lift. - Lastly, some brand-new MOPAR lamps & lenses, and a nice new Made in USA "Softtopper": http://www.softopper.com/jeep-suv-tops/jeep-wrangler-yj So far I have taken her all apart and I am just about complete with rust removal & treatment (POR-15, I couldn't pass on the opportunity to tackle some rust - dropped the tank too). I am using a lot of Omix-Ada parts also, and am pleased with the quality. I also am impressed with the Centric calipers, which are nicely zinc-plated. The job is taking longer than anticipated (going on 3 weeks) but I can not wait to experience the difference, "before & after", after 230,000 hard miles. Cheers! Some photos here & attached: http://imgur.com/a/GXhzV
Hi folks, thanks for having me. I've owned my '95 YJ since 2002, in that time I've totally rebuilt the Jeep (meticulously swapped out the I4 for the I6), put 230k miles on her, and acquired another Jeep ('01 XJ). Been a member of JeepForum.com and several other boards since then. Anyway, I'm the type of mechanic who uses a torque wrench on his oil pan drain bolt. A couple of years ago I permanently injured my arm, and I still work on the Jeep but not as easily as I once could. Here in NYC / Long Island, there is a lot of talent, but I have some serious difficultly meeting the type of detail-oriented quality mechanic that I want. I've met lots of good guys at decent shops, but most of them are sloppy, never read a shop manual, rarely pick up a torque wrench. Quick to use the wrong fluids, substitute an improper bolt. A lot of times that is OK on a Jeep, but I want better. Does anybody a) know any great mechanics in NY, or b) have any tips on how to find a great mechanic myself?