2004 LJ Build - JeepForum.com
Search  
Sign Up   Today's Posts
User: Pass: Remember?
Advertise Here
Jeep Home Jeep Forum Jeep Classifieds Jeep Registry JeepSpace Jeep Reviews Jeep Gallery Jeep Clubs Jeep Groups Jeep Videos Jeep Events Jeep Articles
Go Back JeepForum.com > General Jeep Forums > Jeep Builds > 2004 LJ Build

Introducing MONSTALINER™ UV Permanent DIY Roll On Bed LineRIGID LED Light Blowout Sale - All Sizes, All Series, all Stainless Steel Door Hinge Pins

Reply
Unread 08-20-2013, 07:58 PM   #1
yoopermk
Registered User
2004 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Chesapeake, Virginia
Posts: 33
2004 LJ Build

Well, I purchased my first Jeep in July. Made a deal with my wife that if I sold my motorcycle, I would replace it with a Jeep. Lucky for me, she was all for it and it was "green light". Found a 2004 LJ in my area with 65K miles on it and not a spot of rust and hardly a scratch which I was able to get for a very reasonable price. I'm feeling the addiction already.

I love reading people's build threads and my hopes for this thread is for it to be a place to discuss my build and to draw on the experience of other forum members. I have no doubt that I'll have some problems along the way as this is my first build and I'm hoping there'll be some people out there who can assist along the way. I also plan to use this thread as kind of a log book of my experience and that perhaps it'll help out Jeep builders in the future.

My first order of business was to replace the factory top which was getting pretty ratty. It had several rips and was starting to dry rot and smell. Picked up a Bestop Trektop NX and fought with it for about an hour on a 90+ degree day before getting it on. Looks good though I think.

998431_10151717224057521_1557758371_n.jpg  

Last edited by yoopermk; 08-23-2013 at 05:36 PM..
yoopermk is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 08-20-2013, 08:07 PM   #2
yoopermk
Registered User
2004 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Chesapeake, Virginia
Posts: 33
Next up is a lift. I did a ton of research and thinking and finally decided on the Currie LJ JJ 4" with Antirock and double adjustable uppers. Decided to go with the Rancho RS7000MTs over the 9000s since I'm not sure I'll take full advantage of the adjustability and I can use the cost savings elsewhere. Also putting in BPEs right off the bat. Lift, shocks all on order and awaiting delivery and some free time to start the project. Hoping to have it done sometime in September. I want to do it all myself which is also a reason I elected for a short-arm kit. I don't have a welder and am not too sure I'd trust the quality of my welds to put my kids in a vehicle I had done any hotwork on.

Now to decide on tires and wheels. Was originally thinking of going with 33x10.5x15 BFG ATs so I could stick with my stock rims for a while but now am thinking about going up to 12.5s and maybe 16" wheels.
yoopermk is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 08-20-2013, 08:14 PM   #3
FunkyJeepz
Registered User
2004 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Orlando, Fl
Posts: 106
Good looking jeep and what a great deal! I'm building a 04 LJ also, you're gonna have a blast with it! On the tire question, I'm running bfg km2s 33x12.50x15 on the stock ravines (same wheel as you) with a 1.25" wheel spacer until I get new wheels. I don't rub on turns at all but I will when really flexing, but that's on a 2" lift. Check out my build if you want an idea.
FunkyJeepz is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 08-21-2013, 08:52 AM   #4
jmichaelsjeep
Member
2006 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Edgewater, MD
Posts: 126
Nice start to your build!
__________________
06 LJ RUBI, with stuff, and more stuff planned :)
jmichaelsjeep is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 08-22-2013, 09:10 PM   #5
yoopermk
Registered User
2004 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Chesapeake, Virginia
Posts: 33
Decided to go with 16x8 Pro-comps. Nothing fancy but wanted after some serious thinking, decided to go a size bigger. There seems to be a lot more tire choices in 16" but I'm leaning towards the Goodyear Duratracs in 285/75x16. Those put me at a true 33" with about 11.5 width. Although they are load rating E, I'll roll the dice and hope that the combination of suspension and tire pressure I can make it ride decent. But, whatever, it's a Jeep, not a Caddy. Shouldn't be much worry about the shorter sidewall on the 16 since I don't do a lot of rock crawling or sand. Love the look of the duratracs too. Can't wait for the UPS truck to start making daily stops at my house.
yoopermk is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-31-2013, 06:43 PM   #6
yoopermk
Registered User
2004 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Chesapeake, Virginia
Posts: 33
So between work, kids, holidays, travels, etc. etc. I never actually kept up with my build thread as I wanted to. I was hoping I could keep a journal of sorts of my experience installing my first lift so I'd have something to refer back to but I obviously failed at that miserably. I did however successfully install my lift and put on my new tires yesterday and I have to say I'm pretty excited about how it turned out! I had some troubles along the way but I did one corner at a time and learned a little each time to make things go easier as I went. Not bad for working alone at night for a couple hours after the little one went to sleep. It was slow but paid off.

Finished "Phase 1" with the Currie 4" Short arm with double adjustable uppers front and rear, Currie adjustable track bars front and rear, Rancho 7000MTs, JKS BPEs, 285/75-16 General Grabber AT2s. Got the alignment set and it handles and rides great. Only have a slight vibration between 10-20 mph that I just can't get tuned out. Subtle pinion adjustments and I just can't dial it in perfectly. Hopefully I'm not missing anything but in hopes I can just do it right, I ordered up a SYE and drive shaft from Tattons. Hoping it arrives in the next couple days. That should clear up the vibration.

The only outstanding item lift is to modify my front skid. After the lift, the front drive shaft hits the cross-member. I'll probably just notch it out with the grinder so I have room for travel until I save up a little extra coin to get a whole new skid. Christmas was good to me with some gift cards for parts too so I might have to burn those up on a bumper. Not sure if I'll go front or rear with tire carrier. Leaning towards doing rear first so I can get the bigger spare off the factory carrier and door hinge. I'll wait until I can get a winch before doing the front.

If anyone has any questions or advice, please let me know.
1525026_10152086326007521_306750930_n.jpg  
yoopermk is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 12-31-2013, 09:37 PM   #7
G Beasley
Registered User
2005 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Eden, NC
Posts: 5,291
Nice work on the LJ so far . It looks like both sets of arms could be adjusted out to gain a little wheelbase and center the wheels in the wheel well .
__________________
Free stickers and picture hosting at Jeep-Owner.com
G Beasley is online now   Reply With Quote
Unread 01-01-2014, 07:02 AM   #8
yoopermk
Registered User
2004 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Chesapeake, Virginia
Posts: 33
I thought so too but the rear lowers are adjusted out as far as Currie recommends. Once I get the SYE I'll dial out the uppers a bit to get the pinion angle right but I don't think it'll make that big of a difference. Luckily I guess since the wheels travel in an arc under compression, the axle will center a bit more as it moves up. It does "look" a little off though I agree. Although I can definitely live with it, I'm always open to suggestions.
yoopermk is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 01-14-2014, 07:27 PM   #9
yoopermk
Registered User
2004 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Chesapeake, Virginia
Posts: 33
Just finished up putting my SYE kit in my t-case and putting a new U-Joint in the front shaft while it was out. First SYE kit I've ever done and it was relatively easy. Thanks to several threads on here and a great set of directions, it went pretty smooth with the exception of those damn snap/lock rings. After fighting with a couple of them long enough to wear out my patience, I finally ran down to the auto parts store and picked up a set of lock ring pliers. Man, having the right tool for the job makes things much easier. Letting the silicone set up over night and I'll fill it up and install everything tomorrow night. Hopefully she'll be ready to take for a spin.
1546396_10152111529287521_1091450522_n.jpg  
yoopermk is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-12-2014, 10:50 AM   #10
TFERV
Registered User
2004 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Goshen, Indiana
Posts: 223
Nice build, looks great!

I have an extra set of bran-new Trektop NX side windows for LJ if interested. Would make a nice spare set for trails.
__________________
TFERV
04 Wrangler Unlim LJ, 3" lift, 33x12.5x15 Falkens on Alloys, Olympic Bumpers, Trektop NX..
TFERV is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-12-2014, 06:27 PM   #11
yoopermk
Registered User
2004 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Chesapeake, Virginia
Posts: 33
Thanks! Love my LJ. Had to check out yours as well and like what I see. Wish i had some $ for extra side windows but am saving up for a rear bumper next. Just picked up a set of Hanson sliders. Really liked the style and looks of the ones with the formed step. The wife seems to like them as well since the little step makes it marginally easier to get in. They bolt directly to the tub but I don't plan on doing any heavy crawling so I'm not too worried about that. They are well made and heavy so they should hold up well to whatever I plan to put them through. Plans change of course

Here's my latest pic. Hoping to pick up a new rear bumper before summer is fully here. The spare is riding on the bumper now and I don't want that weight back there too long.
1506576_10152293318602521_2572637016162741887_n.jpg

yoopermk is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-12-2014, 09:20 PM   #12
TFERV
Registered User
2004 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Goshen, Indiana
Posts: 223
Nice! Smittybilt XRC rock sliders are next on my list and painting my wheels black when I find the time. Gotta have some form of step sides for my short wife but eager to replace the weenie bars with sliders.
I'd be willing to sell the pair of windows for $150 + shipping cost if that sparks your interest at all.
Here's the latest pics of my LJ: image-1906286983.jpg image-512955074.jpg image-3175923873.jpg
__________________
TFERV
04 Wrangler Unlim LJ, 3" lift, 33x12.5x15 Falkens on Alloys, Olympic Bumpers, Trektop NX..
TFERV is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-27-2014, 06:26 PM   #13
yoopermk
Registered User
2004 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Chesapeake, Virginia
Posts: 33
So I went and ordered myself a new rear bumper/tire carrier. After too much thought and research, I settled on the Rock Hard setup. I haven't read or heard of anyone saying anything negative about their stuff. Seems they make pretty quality stuff. For the price, I like that the rig already has the hi-lift mount, antenna mount, lockable, big pin, etc. Got it 15% off for Memorial sale and free shipping so I'll take it.

Also picked up some Krylon Fusion and masked off my fenders. Was going to remove them but the PITA of dealing with those little screws changed my mind quickly. I have no patience for those small tedious jobs so I opted for masking tape and news paper. I gotta say they turned out pretty well. Forgot to snap a pic but the fenders were getting pretty faded so a fresh coat of black really dressed it up.

Also got a buyer on the line for my motorcycle which has me looking up gears and a locker. The 3.73s are fine for most of my use but she struggles at highway speeds and doesn't really like OD. Thinking of going 4.56s with a manual OX in the back. Local shop quoted me $2100 for the install which seems reasonable but thought I'd throw it out there to see if anyone has any thoughts on that price. The complete 2 axle install kit for 4.56s from Randy's is $865, the OX is $825, and the shifter is $120 so that brings the total in parts to roughly $1800+. Couple hundred for labor...I could see that. Thoughts anyone?
yoopermk is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-29-2014, 01:17 PM   #14
yoopermk
Registered User
2004 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Chesapeake, Virginia
Posts: 33
Ok, now I'm really soliciting for some advice here. I got a second quote for doing gears and a rear locker and it's double the first. I asked for 4.56s in the front D30 and rear D44 with a manual OX in the rear. The first quote was $2100 which as in my previous post was pretty good based on the parts prices I could find and a couple hundred for labor.

The second quote I got is over $4200! It's itemized: D30 R&P - $344, OX w/shifter - $1500, D44 thick R&P - $330, D30 install kit - $260, D44 non-Rubi install kit - $300. The other $1275 is in labor. Am I the only one who thinks this is absolutely crazy?!! Doing some research on the internet, I see a pretty big fat profit in every part listed here and $85/hr labor is nuts. Can anyone tell me why they would go with thick gears in the rear? Unless I'm wrong, why would thick be used if the carrier is being replaced by the locker anyway?

I know quality has a price and so does good service but this seems a bit extreme!
yoopermk is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 05-29-2014, 02:26 PM   #15
Mulvihill64
Member
 
Mulvihill64's Avatar
2002 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Clark / Glassboro, New Jersey
Posts: 427
The reason, or at least in my mind, is that few people are willing to do their own gear setup, so as long as all the vendor can get away with charging that, they will. Once in a while they will get an informed customer (like you) who realizes they are charging through the nose, but as long as you don't make a big stink about it, they can continue charging high prices, and losing a customer here and there is no big deal, because of the ridiculous profits they are making off everyone else. At least that's how I see it.
__________________
Mulvihill64 is online now   Reply With Quote




Jeep, Wrangler, Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, and other models are copyrighted and trademarked to Jeep/Chrysler Corporation. JeepForum.com is not in any way associated with Jeep or the Chrysler Corp.