Radiator Install, Body Lift & Belly Armor

At the shop, the first thing I want to do is get the Jeep running so we can move it around easier.  We’ll have to move it in and out of the shop and/or from one bay to another on work days.  Customer work comes first!

It starts fine but with no radiator we can only run it a few seconds, so job one is the cooling system.  We installed the Champion polished aluminum 3 row radiator after flushing the cooling system and replacing the fan blade.  The old fan was bent in the wreck.

Champion Aluminum Radiator installed

With the cooling system up to par, I next installed the body lift.  I need a 1″ body lift to make room for the high clearance belly pan, and I’ll also install 1″ lifted motor mounts so the radiator, fan shroud etc. will line up right.

After that, time for the belly pan.  Cole was caught up on customer work so I let him do this on a work day.  TNT Customs includes a bung to add an additional belly pan bolt in the frame rail on each side.  TJ’s are known to have the belly pan threaded inserts spin in the frame rail, and we had a couple of ours do just that, so we decided to replace all of the existing ones with weld-in bungs like TNT puts in their kit.  Our local machine shop turned these out for us in short order, and Cole cut nice holes in the frame rails and welded in the new threads.  Nice work Cole!

Belly Pan Bung

Belly Pan Bung Installed

The TNT belly pan gained us about 3 1/2″ of ground clearance in the middle of the Jeep.  That will certainly be appreciated when I’m trying to get over big boulders.

Next up, fenders & body armor fitment.

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