I've had a habit of checking Jeep listings and parts listings on daily bases on craigslist, ebay,,etc. When I moved to Saudi, this habit didn't change I started doing the same thing in local ads. Except, it's really slow. Jeeps are not really popular here. As this is Toyota territory. There are Hiluxs, 70 series and 40 series cruisers all over the place. If you don't like a toyota, then a Nissan Patrol is your only other choice for serious desert treks. And so Jeeps, TJs specifically are not really common. And to make things worse, Chrysler never offered the LJ for the Middle East. I don't think it was offered outside of North America as a production pipe line vehicle for other regions. But I could be wrong.
With that being said, the chances of me finding another LJ here are very small. So the daily lookout was mostly for TJs. But even then, they're either beat up or asking too much for them.
The other logical choice is to import an LJ from the states. However, the Custom laws for the GCC require that the vehicle be at most 5 years old or newer. So there's no way to import an LJ.
In late 2012, I came across a listing for a white 2005 LJ. So immediately called the number but the owner changed his mind. And decided not to sell it. Which was a real bummer. I offered almost double the asking price. But he still refused the offer and said that he would call me should he want to sell it later. Keep in mind, that a stock LJ looks goofy and plain silly. Of course, to us enthusiasts, it's a perfect platform to work on and build up. I tell you the obvious, because here, no one sees the potential. So if I come across another LJ, it's probably going to have a low asking price compared to a similar condition TJ.
Fast forward to 2015.
The LJ pops up again!! This time, the asking price is even lower, so immediately we got in-touch with the owner who lives on the east cost, and made the deal. 3 days later the Jeep showed up here. and straight to the workshop it went.
It's an 05 LJ with 78K miles on it. Auto and clean inside out.
The build list:
Prorock 60 front
ProRock 80 rear
Atlas 4 speed
The objective is to have a good rock crawler, yet retain good manners on road.
You guys are now up to speed on this project. Sorry for the lack of updates on the other ones. Hope to find time and dig up the build pics and get the others up to speed.
LJ Build thread - Spider
TJ Build thread - Chinook
JK Build thread (soon)
J8 Build thread (soon)
Brute Build thread (soon)
This hobby is not about who can shop the best, it's about creating things that did not exist before. It's about giving a machine a soul and making it an extention of your persona.
There is always someone who can spend more than you can. Don't measure your self worth against others. You can create, you can be fast and you can fail. It's all part of life.