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Unread 06-21-2010, 07:02 PM   #1
G Beasley
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2005 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Eden, NC
Posts: 5,311
Retro Rubicon LJ build

I havent had a 4wd that could be driven on the highway in a long time and I was getting tired of trailering everywhere so I started looking for a LJ Rubicon last Thanksgiving . Within a week I found this with 60k miles for a great deal and it was semi local .

This is the first picture I took of it once I unloaded it from the trailer . The next day I took it out back to have a little fun .

I immediatley liked the softer ride than I had in my samurai , but it was lacking some in capability . I knew with some time and research it would be much more capable , but for the time being I contented myself with cleaning it , getting a new top and some Line X .


I removed everything from the LJ and added a custom milk crate seat . I trailered it over to Line X and then when I got it home I put it all back together just in time to drive up to Lake Erie for work . (Seeing a trailer habit yet )


This was the 1st time in 7 years I hadnt driven a dually CTD Dodge on a trip and I really enjoyed the TJ . So I went full bore into researching here on JF and ROF and I ordered up an Old Man Emu super ultimate setup from DPG offroad .

I came home from six weeks on the road and this is what I had waiting for the Rubicon .


The thread has gotten a little long heres a spoiler pic of what the LJ looks like as of August 2013 .


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Unread 06-21-2010, 07:26 PM   #2
G Beasley
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2005 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Eden, NC
Posts: 5,311
I went ahead and put the 33x12.5 Destination MTs on with no lift just to see how bad it was going to be ...




Before during and after .

It wasnt driveable but I sure liked how it looked a lot better .

The lift I went with is med OME coils and JKS adjustable short arms . I want to keep my rig low and stable as I want my wife and kids to enjoy being on the trail . I have also gotten older and dont feel the need to make the hard line every time anymore , heck I am just happy to get in the woods away from society on a rocky road .


1st up was the coils so that I could get them in pretty quick and still drive the jeep if I wanted to .




I removed the swaybar links and then moved on to the shock .


Drivers side shock came out nicely , but the passenger side had to have the shaft cut with a cut off wheel .

Then the spring came out .

Heres the OME next to the stock Rubicon spring .




Next up was to install the bump stop , I think the spring pad is made from depleted uranium as it is thick and took a while to drill . A little cutting oil helped a lot and I used the self drilling screw to cut in the threads .
Once it was all test fit I removed the bumpstop and put it inside the coil spring . Then I pushed it into place with the help of a spring compressor . Once it was in place I reached through the coil with a 1/4" ratchet and ran the screw in .

And heres the first corner completed .
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Unread 06-21-2010, 07:37 PM   #3
kyle1228
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1987 XJ Cherokee 
 
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Location: Los Gatos, CA
Posts: 241
You literally have exactly what I'm looking into! You have a great looking Jeep on your hands. Good luck with the lift!
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Unread 06-21-2010, 07:39 PM   #4
G Beasley
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2005 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Eden, NC
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I decided to yank the trac bar and drill out the mount .


Impact chisel with a pickle fork adapter is your friend .

Wrestled the drill into place and drilled the hole out .


The other side came out easy and it went back in fine .
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Unread 06-21-2010, 07:52 PM   #5
G Beasley
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Location: Eden, NC
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Rear spring and shock swapped out . I got lucky and all of the bolts came out pretty easy .





Heres the links cut down and with the threads cleaned up .

I had to cut the new links down so it gave me an excuse to use the bandsaw and grinder .
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Unread 06-21-2010, 07:58 PM   #6
Skytard
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1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
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Location: Wichita, Kansas
Posts: 926
looks good, how much lift?
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Unread 06-21-2010, 08:16 PM   #7
G Beasley
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2005 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Eden, NC
Posts: 5,311
Went ahead and put the JKS arms in on the rear .

It went well once I ignored the directions . The directions said to remove one arm at a time and , but I found it much easier to swap them in pairs .

The rear trac bar went in at the same time and it was perfect the first try . I was very happy to say the least .


I swapped the front arms out in pairs and it went pretty nice too .

This is what it looked like with the suspension and body lift finished . And this is where it stands for now . I have a Savvy gas tank skid ready to go in and I am going to bend up a cage next . I will post more pics when I make some more progress .

The only thing left to buy is the Savvy under armor . I am making my bumpers and sliders and then its finished ... hahahahahaha .
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Unread 06-21-2010, 08:41 PM   #8
G Beasley
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2005 LJ Wrangler 
 
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Location: Eden, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle1228 View Post
You literally have exactly what I'm looking into! You have a great looking Jeep on your hands. Good luck with the lift!
Thanks , I hope yours will work out as well for you as mine has for me .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyler1997TJ View Post
looks good, how much lift?
Thanks . It has a 2.5" OME coil lift with a 1.25" JKS body lift . I have about 500 miles on it now and I love how it rides vs stock .
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Unread 07-05-2010, 08:11 PM   #9
G Beasley
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2005 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Eden, NC
Posts: 5,311
I have been driving the LJ more and more and last night I took my family out in it for the 1st time to go see the fireworks . On the way home a deer leaped in front of us and went into the grill .





I think I may try to put the inner section of a CJ grill out and weld it into the now bent TJ grill . The fenders are going to get cut flat and I have a new bumper ready to weld up . I have been on hold build wise as my wife had me do this .

Now that the deer has attacked , I am free to work on the rubicon again .
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Unread 02-02-2011, 07:10 PM   #10
G Beasley
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2005 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Eden, NC
Posts: 5,311

I got the antirock on last month , no complaints with it at all . Pretty easy to install and I dont notice it on the road . Best of all no more disco'ing when I get to the trail .

Started out by measuring ten times and drilling the holes for the JK signals .
I used a 3 and a 1/4" holesaw and it was the perfect size for the housings I got from Rock Auto .

Fished the wires back through the newly drilled and painted signal hole . I was able to use an existing hole for the wires .
I used a sawzall blade with light pressure to cut notches in the light flanges so I could index the lights to tighten them and not use silicone to hold the housings in .
Here you can see the notch . I offset the slots in the grill so these go in then twist an 1/8th of a turn . They are very tight but fit great .
The first light is in and wired .
Deer damage getting ready to go away .
Detail of the wiring , there was plenty of length for the fog light connection . I used an existing hole on the bottom of the grill to drop the fog light wiring through . If I didnt have body lift this would have been a tight fit .
I painted all the exposed surfaces with Mopar touch up paint . It blends in pretty nicely .
Heres the drivers side wiring all snaked through . I did have to pull the coolant reservoir to gain access to the hole to snake the wiring through .

Passenger side completed .
Finito !

From the side .
Time to start the tube work on the front . I think it will look a lot like the Rokmen when its done . I could make something different ,but the Merc is perfection to me .

I also picked up a dana 44 for my wifes XJ . I think I am going to put an OX locker in it before it goes back in . Gotta keep my wife happy and I think I am pretty lucky that a Dana 44 made her happy .
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Unread 02-04-2011, 08:45 PM   #11
G Beasley
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I bent up the front hoop and got it all fitted to the bumper plate . The duct tape lets me stand back and look at the position of the tubing as I go along . Hopefully tomorrow I will get the two other tubes notched and tacked in place . Then I can pull the entire assembly off and finish welding it .
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Unread 02-04-2011, 09:09 PM   #12
Skytard
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1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
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Location: Wichita, Kansas
Posts: 926
not a big fan of the LJ but your doing a great job. Keep up the good work.
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Unread 02-04-2011, 09:19 PM   #13
G Beasley
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2005 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Eden, NC
Posts: 5,311
LJs seem to have a love hate fan base . When I got it I needed the space for the kids and my wifes stuff more than anything , but once I rode some distance in it I was in love . I do have a CJ 5 so I like the short wheelbase stuff too , but its for playing around out back or short trips ... it sucks to get old .
Thanks for the kind words , I have had a lot of fun building this one .
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Unread 02-05-2011, 12:18 AM   #14
verman
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2005 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Collinsville, OK
Posts: 21
Thank you for documenting your build, it will help immensely when my parts arrive from DPG.
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Unread 02-05-2011, 12:33 AM   #15
MCObray
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Location: Orygun
Posts: 1,555
Love the stance & color of your LJ. I'm puzzled on how people don't like LJ's... they look a lot better than TJ's in my book.
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crappy paint , jana k4 , lj , needs to go wheeling , old man emu , rubicon unlimited , savvy offroad
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