Well I have been meaning to do a build thread for some time now.
I built and wheeled the heck out on a xj for several years. I was happy with it but It was time to look for a TJ.
In the end I was wanting a capable TJ on 35's. I am sure 37-itus disease will strike me down eventually.
Rough Country 4" Long Arm Lift - complete
Good Year MT/R 35 x 12.50 -15 - complete
Pro Comp 7032 wheels -- complete
Home brew - bumpers/tire carrier, rock sliders, winch mount - complete
Smittybilt tube fenders and flares front/rear - complete
Smittybilt XRC-8 with rope - complete
Under Cover Fab skid - original 2" deep version - complete
Lopro tranny mount - complete
Rusty's HD tierod - complete
LEDs front and rear - complete
Genright - hood vents - complete
Home brew front bumper
Superior shafts front and rear - complete
I am in a situation where this is a "kick-around" toy and not my daily driver. I also have a truck and trailer that I will use to get me to the trail most of the time.
I looked several months for a deal. THere are way to many 4 bangers out there!!! I was planning on settling for a early TJ and not spend more than $5-6K. Looked at a few and passed up a few. Then one day on CL there was a one day quick sale on a 03 Rubi.
It was more than I planned on spending up front, but I am sure that I will be money ahead in the end. It was about an hour from the house. I grabbed a envelope full of $100's, a buddy, and handgun and went to look at it. It was night time and out in a rural area. You never know about CL and scams. At least if was going to be robbed, I could go down shooting
Ended up being a ligit Rubi from an one owner lady. It had high miles and one small spot of rust on the back of the tub. SHe was trading it in the next day and already had a deal hammered out, so she posted it on CL for a quick sale to not lose as much on it. It had spent some time in NY. She would not come off her price any at all, so I left jeepless that night. For what ever reason I called her back the next morning, she accepted my offer. I was back home by noon with high mileage, Black 2003 Rubicon, w/NV3550.
The big joke was that I had a Lowered jeep. It did set a little low on 31's.
I bought it in March of 09 and just ran around town, to the kids ball games and such for the rest of the year, I never had the top back on it the first 9 months. I was still wheelin the xj at this time.
My work slows down in the winter and gives me a little more time to mess with. I started ordering parts. First was a 4" Rough Country LA kit.
I have a buddy in our club ( Bluegrass 4x4.org
) that has an awesome shop with a lift. Black Betty spent a few days over there in Jan 2010.
Point of no return - BTW: sawsall worked great for this. Mike was the cutting/ welding guru for this project.
Pitman arm was one of the only stubborn nuts we had to deal with. I think we had to cut off one other bolt, a rear trac bar bolt.
** I had been spraying every nut and bolt under this jeep for 9 months with PB blaster and WD.
I went for the weld on version
THis was a very complete kit, install was fairly straight forward. I was and still am very happy with my choice.
I had a set of Rubi wheels and 33's from my xj. Here is how it set after leaving Kenny's shop with the new lift installed.
I had slight vibs, but it drove great. It was actually nice to drive. I drove it almost everyday for the next month or so in the cold weather.
I eventually bought a double cardian drive shaft for the rear. I found it at Tattons
, he has a ebay store. I called him directly and ordered a 1330 CV rear shaft. A lot cheaper than a Woods shaft.