I'm a little late starting this thread so I'll try to catch you all up as quickly as possible.
Most pictures should be "thumbnailed" and you can click on them for a larger version.
My long term goal for this TJ is to be street friendly but as stout as possible on 35s. I've thrown around the idea of a mild V8, Hi9's and an atlas but I'll likely end up with a stockish drivetrain, long arms & stretched rig on 35s. Cage is a must as well and is very high on the current (as of this writing) list.
I a little back story on me is that I started out on this forum in the XJ section and built up what I think was a really nice XJ:
Over time though I yearned for an open top and I got my hands on a YJ. I put a lot of time and work into the YJ and it too came out very nice:
But, since I had moved to TX from LA, suspension became a little more important. After much debate, I settled on a 04 TJ Rubicon in January of 2009 and here is what I got:
It came with the usual Rubicon goodies as well as the "fantastic" tube bumpers. It was missing the spare and the tires were shot. Ac fan didn't blow on low, dented tailgate and the usual slight rear main leak.
It also had some pimptastic leather seats...
It was a big change from my YJ which I had built for more of a mud/trail vehicle. Although I knew I wanted this to be more of a rock rig I still had to add a little lift as I'm not a fan of the super LCOG builds. I think they have their place and all but I prefer a happy medium.
The first few things I did was to can the tube bumpers and add a lift. I had an RE lift on my XJ that I really liked so I decided to give that a shot. I also sold the seats in favor of crappy stock seats (no use tearing up nice seats when I can sell them for some decent $$$).
After doing some serious wheeling and dealing on craigslist and ebay I ended up slapping together a 4.5" front system and a 3.5" rear system. I did this because every TJ I saw with RE 3.5" springs all the way around looked low in the front to me. I don't like the raked look so I went with taller springs up front.
Here is the install gallery and a few select shots...
Rear is done:
Note that Tommy R is here drinking my beer ... er ... helping
It came out perfectly level so I'm happy with my spring choices. Wish I could say the same for the LCAs (will cover that later).
I also picked up some Nitto Mud grappplers already mounted to some Moab wheels.
And now ... just for fun ....
Here it is with the 33s and no lift:
My 31s sold faster than I thought and I had to park it like this for a few days as suspension parts rolled in. I did not drive it this way and I highly advise you don't try that.
My plans at this point were to save up some cash for bumpers, gearing and 35s ... which I'll cover next time.