Jolene’s Garage

Jolene’s Garage

As you can see, I’m big on outdoors, off-roading and performance driving. How does one do these activities? With vehicles of course!

Here you’ll find information on my various projects, both current and past.

Current Projects

Project Ragnarok

2011 Jeep Wrangler Sahara 2D

After my truck bit the dust in 2011, I ended up falling on this 2011 JK Sahara when a local bank was trying to sell off repos and turn-ins. Being totally broke at the time, I jumped on the opportunity out of desperation, but there hasn’t been one moment of regret. She may only have a 2.5″ spacer lift with 33″ General Grabbers, but she has held her own through all 112,000 miles and counting. Since the Ragnarok is getting older and out of warranty, there will be big upgrades to come in the near future!

Specs

Engine: Chrysler 3.8L V6
Transmission: 42RLE four speed auto
Gearing: Dana 30/Dana 44 3.73 open
Lift: 2.5″ Body Lift
Tires: Nitto Trail Grapplers 33×12.50R18
Other Mods:
– HikeIt throttle controller
– Teraflex brake master cylinder
– Cobra 25 CB radio
– 2015 Sahara leather heated seat swap

Project Fenrir

2000 Jeep Cherokee Classic

After putting a beating on the Ragnarok and getting heavy tires, I realized I needed a beater daily driver that I would keep stock…yeah, we see how that turned out. Fenrir, my 2000 XJ Cherokee, quickly became a tinker and improve project, leading to moments of joy and moments of frustration. This Jeep has proven the old saying “Just Empty Every Pocket,” but has been well worth the while.

Specs

Engine: AMC 4.0L HO L6
Transmission: Aisin Warner AW4 four speed auto
Gearing: Dana 30/Chrysler 8.25 3.55 open
Lift: 3.5″ Rubicon Express Short Arm Lift
Tires: Cooper AT/3 31×10.50R16
Other Mods:
– RuffStuff front and rear steel diff covers
– Chromoly axle shafts
– JB Conversions SYE and NP231 rebuild kit
– Tom Woods driveshafts
– KJ rear disc brake conversion
– Novak cable transfer case shifter
– Rough Country HD steering
– Rubicon Express track bar
– Four-hole fuel injectors
– Extended idle switch
– Limited conversion with overhead console
– WJ leather seat swap
– JL Audio sound system with kicker sub
– LED light conversion
– Electric fan conversion
– JCR Offroad battery tray
– JCR Offroad center console frame

Project Odin

1973 AMC Javelin

American Motors had always fascinated me. Despite the odds against them from the big three, they pushed their innovation to the limits using the limited resources they had. The fruits of that labor produced one of the most underrated muscle cars: the Javelin.

In the summer of 2017, I came across Odin on Criagslist somewhere out in central Pennsylvania, but unfortunately did not have the cash and missed the opportunity. However, fast-forward to early 2018 and the same exact car ended up for sale in New Jersey. I wasn’t missing my opportunity to get one of my favorite muscle cars.

Odin is currently in pieces in my shop being resto-modded back to her factory color with various modern improvements. The goal is to keep her looking as factory as possible.

Specs

Engine: AMC 360 V8 2BBL
Transmission: Mopar TorqFlite A727 Three-Speed Auto
Gearing: AMC 20 2.87 Open
Lift: 3″ Rear Shackles
Tires: BFG Radials
Other Mods:
– Davis Ignition HEI with custom plug wires
– Transmission shift kit (unknown kit from previous owners)

Project Thor

1996 Chevrolet Camaro Z28

My mother had a 1968 Camaro that she would talk about when I was a kid. Then, my sister had a 1979 Z28 that she would take me out in. Camaros run in my family and I finally had an opportunity to get a fourth gen Camaro for dirt cheap. The LT1 had a head gasket problem, as well as the car needing lots of costly work to pass inspection. Given the lack of funds, lack of knowledge and lack of tooling to drop the engine from under the car, it ended up sitting for years.

Fast forward to today. The block is ceased and rusted. The rear axle is leaking. All four tires are rotted out. The list goes on and investing in the Gen II LT1 just doesn’t seem worth the money. So what to do with my poor 96? Electric Camaro!

While the project is on-hold, the plan is to rip out all of the combustion engine components and replace them with a powerful motor and lots of battery packs. Sure, it will lose the SBC sound, but it will give Teslas a run for their money.

Specs

Engine: Chevrolet Gen II LT1 350
Transmission: 4L60E four speed auto
Gearing: GM 10 bolt 3.23 limited slip
Tires: Rotted out and random

Project Freyja

2016 Chevrolet Camaro 2SS

When my 96 Camaro bit the dust, I thought all hope was lost of ever owning a Camaro. However, after hunting for the right car for years, I finally landed on this yellow 2016 2SS. Sometimes you just know when a car is meant to be yours and I bonded with this one instantly.

One may ask the question: “How is a car this new a project?” Well, instead of restorations and modernizing, there’s always more power. While no modifications are planned for the next year, since it’s a CPO car, the engine will not remain stock for long. By the time we’re done with it, Freyja will walk a ZL1 easily.

Specs

Engine: GM Gen VI LT1 6.2L V8
Transmission: Tremec TR-6060 six speed manual
Gearing: GM 3.73 limited slip
Tires: Goodyear Eagle F1

Previous Projects

The Silver Bullet

1994 Chevrolet S10 LS

During my high school years, I dedicated most of my time to the navy JROTC. My instructor was a decorated navy captain and pilot, who to this day I still hold great respect for. Being a part of that gave me so many great memories, including a bunch of us squeezing into this tiny truck to make it to various events.

When I was 17, I had the opportunity to spend time working on the U.S.S. Shreveport, which is still to this day one of my favorite times in my life. After returning home, I remember seeing Captain’s truck in my driveway, which frankly scared the crap out of me. That’s when my mother handed me the keys and said “it’s yours.”

From 2002 to 2013, I took this truck everywhere. It gave me the opportunity to get out and explore everywhere I could. The opportunity to visit small towns and large cities alike, meeting different people of different backgrounds and seeing the differences that make us all the same. Understanding that while people may disagree on what is perceived to be more important topics, we’re all one people. It’s the travels that I took with this truck that gave me the worldliness I needed to be a better person.

I did my best to keep the truck alive, even though I drove it hard. Two engines and two transmission rebuilds later, she finally gave up in 2013. With the body rusting out, then engine having leaks, the transmission refusing to shift out of second and the body damage, it was time to let it go. I sold the truck and put the money towards paying off Ragnarok.

To this day, I regret selling my S10. If I ever come across it again, you better believe I’m buying it back.

Specs

Engine: Vortec 4300 V6
Transmission: 4L60E four speed auto
Gearing: Unknown

The Van of Doom

1992 GMC G2500 Vandura

It’s interesting to see the kinds of vehicles most kids end up with in high school. From old station wagons with 500,000 miles on them to rusty old pickup trucks, I was no exception.

In 1992, the original van, a 1979 Chevy G20, ended up having engine problems. I was still in the single digits and fixing cars wasn’t yet a talent of mine, so we instead ended up with this monster conversion van that looked like an airplane inside. Fast forward to my teenage and college years and this van, dubbed The Van of Doom by my friends, became a staple among us. Whether it was ten of us piled in for JROTC events and yelling “ROCK THE BUS,” praying it will make it up the mountain or doing burnouts in the school parking lot (I wouldn’t recommend doing that in today’s world), people still remember this legend of a vehicle.

Unfortunately, a failed temperature sensor was ignored for too long and the engine ended up eating itself alive from overheating and coolant leaks. I started working on pulling the engine to be my first rebuild, but the owner had the van towed away and crushed while I was out of town.

Specs

Engine: SBC L05 V8 350
Transmission: 700R4 four speed auto
Gearing: GM 14 bolt, unknown ratio