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post #1 of 21 Old 06-11-2014, 11:05 AM Thread Starter
toximus
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2004 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Rhinelander
Posts: 620
Red the LJ

Current pic:



I figure I might as well start a Jeep build thread now that I'm going to be working on it more.

This is my plan thus far, it's always changing. If you have any suggestions for parts/brands that'll work better, let me know in the appropriate discussion threads linked in each stage!

This build will be starting with a 2004 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (LJ) with an automatic transmission and be going for a street legal low center of gravity build.

Upgrades:

Accessories:

Have and need to install:
Want:
  • Clean frame and coat in POR-15 and Eastwood Internal Frame Coating (internal first), and topcoat. Add fluid film between frame and skids.

Removed:
  • Teraflex taillight CB mount
    changed taillight style in 2016
  • K40 antenna
    I couldn't get a proper ground and tune with my setup
Suspension and Geometry:
My lift discussion thread.
  • Currie AntiRock swaybar | Currie
  • JKS 1.25" Body Lift
  • Iron Rock Off Road Motor Mount Lift | Iron Rock Off Road
  • OME2934 - Front ZJ Springs
  • OME2949 - Rear LJ Springs
  • Bilstein 5100 series front shocks
  • RE monotube rear shocks
    Same part as Bilstein, however Bilstein branded was on back order.
  • JKS #126 front adjustable trackbar
  • MetalCloak Long-Travel Rear Adjustable Track bar | MetalCloak | Instructions
  • 1.25" rear bump stop extension | Tapped to 1/2-13 | Performance Accessories Spacers
  • .5" front bump stop extension | Tapped to 1/2-13 | Performance Accessories Spacers
  • Savvy front lower adjustable control arms | Savvy
  • Johnny Joint Washers | Writeup

Have and need to install:
Want:Suggested reads:
Do I need bumpstops?
Correct bumpstop lengths.

Removed:
  • JKS Swaybar disconnect | JKS
    Didn't fit with my new bumper

Recovery:
Suggested read: Recovery Gear Basics
  • Keeper 20ft Tow Strap | Amazon
  • Smittybilt 3/4in D-rings | Amazon
  • HiLift Jack
  • HiLift mount for rear
  • Warn 9.5cti winch
  • ARB 20,000 lbs Snatch Block

Want:
Removed:
Axles:

Have and need to install:
Want:
Removed:
Drivetrain:
  • Transmission pan drain and coated with POR-15. Used a Currie 95070 weld in bung
  • LubeLocker 42RLE gasket.
  • Teraflex hand throttle | How to install a hand throttle

Have and need to install:
Want:
Steering and brakes:

Want:
Lighting:
  • Delta H4 Headlight Conversion Kit | Quadratec
  • Headlamp bezels black
  • Hella Rallye 4000 Euro Beam Lamps | Amazon
  • Installed flush mounted Trucklite LED taillights.
  • Relocated trailering lights plug. The old plug was cracking so I used a new Hopkins multi-tow wiring kit for a Chevy Silverado and flush mounted it right into the rear body panel which turn out really nice.

Want:
  • LED headlights
  • Rock lights
  • Fog lights

Removed:
  • Front Light Guards
    They didn't fit with my new headlights
  • Rugged Ridge Turn Signal Guards
Skids and armor

Have and need to install:
Want:
Parts that have been serviced/fixed/replaced:
  • Radiator replaced, ~30k miles 2010.
  • Radiator replaced, July 2015.
  • Rear diff fluid. ~78k miles, fall 2016.
  • Oil change ~79k miles, late 2016.
  • Transmission flush ~79k miles, late 2016.
  • Front diff fluid. ~80k miles, early 2017.
  • Full brake fluid bleed. ~80k miles, early 2017.
  • Front bumper weld nuts. ~81k miles, March 2017. | Post 20
    Remove broken bolts and bumper, insert and tighten new nuts on bolts to hold in place, tack nuts.
  • Transfer case skid bolts. ~81k miles, March 2017. | Post 20
    Replace rusty old bolts with new ones as preventative maintenance.
  • Replace rusted Currie antirock hardware and paint rusted arms. ~81k miles, March 2017 | Post 20

Things that need to be serviced/fixed/replaced/adjusted:
  • Fix trailering lights harness wire were melted.
  • Paint rusted oil pan
  • Replace rear fender flare nutserts.
  • Replace MetalCloak inner fender nuts.
    Stainless steel nuts from MetalCloak are actually steel.
  • Diff cover socket head bolts are rusting.


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Last edited by toximus; 06-11-2014 at 05:35 PM.
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post #2 of 21 Old 06-11-2014, 11:13 AM Thread Starter
toximus
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2004 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Rhinelander
Posts: 620
Reserved.


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post #3 of 21 Old 06-11-2014, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
toximus
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2004 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Rhinelander
Posts: 620
The story thus far

Well, I got my Jeep used in the Winter of 2010. Despite being 7 years old already, she didn't was in great shape and only had a few issues that didn't need attention right away.

I immediately put together a list of upgrades I wanted to do, and put them together into batches that would easily be done together. Much of that is reflected in my current list.

Now after 4 more years I've had time to figure out what my needs are and the weaknesses the LJ currently faced in my environment. The Winter season can last 8 months and where I wheel the snow can reach into many many feet. For daily driving alone, I've had to go through fresh snow above the bumper with drifts reaching above the hood. My old tires couldn't handle these conditions so I upgraded to Duratracs, and bought recovery gear to not only help myself but get everybody I came across unstuck too (current off trail recovery count stands at around 20 cars)!

I've upgraded my bumper to one from Rokmen, and gone through a few antisway bar replacements as my stock links busted and my new bumper did not allow the JKS quick discos.

One of my goals is to drive up to Alaska in the Fall and return as the snow starts to fly, for this I feel my Jeep is not ready. While many guys build their Jeeps for the rocks, I'm building mine for the snow and will be documenting it here along the way!

Stay tuned!


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post #4 of 21 Old 06-25-2014, 08:18 PM Thread Starter
toximus
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2004 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Rhinelander
Posts: 620
Parts are slowly starting to trickle in for my lift!

JKS 1.25in body lift:


Bump stop extensions:


As more parts come in I'll be updating the album with more pictures of the parts.


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post #5 of 21 Old 01-10-2017, 02:29 PM Thread Starter
toximus
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2004 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Rhinelander
Posts: 620
Wow! A lot has changed in my life and on my Jeep since right after I last posted in this build thread. All good stuff! I'm updating my build info and future plans in the OP and will try to catch you guys up over the next week on everything I've done with some pictures. I'd be interested in build list critiques after that!


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post #6 of 21 Old 01-11-2017, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
toximus
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2004 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Rhinelander
Posts: 620
Shortly after my last build post in 2014 I bought a house with a large garage -- great for Jeep building! And that next spring I found a keeper who encourages me to work on my Jeep! The previous owner used the house as a summer vacation home so we've been busy this last summer making it a nice 4 season home (added a lot of plumbing, lights, storage room, extended roof vents to clear winter snow, etc...). There's still more to do (and always will be I'm sure) but I can finally slow down on the house project and devote more time to wheeling and wrenching.

Here's what I've done on my Jeep over the 2 years or so:

Fall 2014: Installed stronger ZJ tie rod and ends. Instructions at Stu-offroad. This turned out great. That next winter a friend and I were out winter wheeling and he bent his stock tie rod on a chunk of ice, made me thankful to have done this easy and cheap upgrade.

October 2015: Pro Comp 15x8 3.75" BS Wheels (7069-5865) and stepped up to 33" Duratracs. Finally properly backspaced wheels and the 33s are nice in the rocks.

April 2016: Installed Cobra 75WXST CB radio and K40 attenna on Teraflex taillight mount. I did this install quick on a warm day right before going to Drummond Island.

July 2016:
My stock tailgate finally stopped closing due to the weight of the 33" spare so time to upgrade!Installing the flush mount lights felt a bit strange putting big 4.5" holes into the back but using a cardboard template they turned out great and after that I feel like I don't really mind putting holes into my Jeep anymore.

October 2016 - added a transmission pan drain and coated with POR-15. Used a Currie 95070 weld in bung and LubeLocker gasket.

Drummond Island:








Return trip on the ferry:


Test fitting the bumper prior to LineX:


It's always fun when you need a new tool for a project:


I setup a paint studio and here's the Poison Spyder tailgate hanging with a few coats of primer:


Drilling for the taillights with hole saws:


Fitting the taillights before the rear end paint:


Cutting out for the trailering socket:

You can see the evap bracket back there, luckily on the LJ it doesn't need to be relocated but I did have to cut a large amount of the bracket out to fit the socket.


Painting the back half of the Jeep:


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post #7 of 21 Old 01-12-2017, 05:36 AM
BlueJay0228
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2005 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Novi
Posts: 12
Garage
sounds like a solid build plan, look forward to see how it progresses

"Sticks and stones may break my bones but hollow points expand on impact"
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post #8 of 21 Old 01-15-2017, 05:21 PM
Tsb123
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Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Brandon
Posts: 5
Garage
Sounds like your going to have a awesome platform when you finish. It always helps having an" encouraging Keeper " in your court !

Black 2005 Unlimited
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post #9 of 21 Old 01-26-2017, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
toximus
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2004 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Rhinelander
Posts: 620
Thanks for the encouragement guys!

Today I installed my Teraflex hand throttle and did a little write up over here: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/ho...ottle-3978601/

I still need to work out a mount for it on my dash, in the meantime it's still going to make winching so much easier not having to peddle it at the same time.



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post #10 of 21 Old 01-27-2017, 11:24 PM Thread Starter
toximus
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2004 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Rhinelander
Posts: 620
After trying for the last year to get a K40 CB antenna that I got for free working with the rest of my setup, I caved and bought the right parts for the job and it now works nicely! I tuned the antenna in the dark on the side of a hill in the woods tonight and got an SWR reading of 1.5. Good enough for now!

My nice new 2ft Firestik with a spring and quick disconnect:



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post #11 of 21 Old 02-03-2017, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
toximus
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2004 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Rhinelander
Posts: 620
It's -2F in the garage today so beyond way too cold to work on the Jeep so I'm back to tinkering and getting parts lined up for this summer. Besides that, I prepped my wife's Passat for an italian tune up in an attempt to clear a CEL, and replaced some missing bolts on the ATV light bar that'd shaken loose.

I was placing a larger order anyway so to take advantage of combined shipping I bought a few small parts I needed. I noticed my brake caliper boots were torn when I changed my pads back in October so I got new boots from Crown, breathers from OMIX-ADA, Dorman parts to fix my leaky CCV, and spare bolts for my diffs to replace a few that got chewed on the rocks.


Something that I have been meaning to do practically since I bought the Jeep in late 2010 was to have a fire extinguisher on board. In fact I even bought the Rugged Ridge roll cage mount for it way back in January 2011. So here I am just over 6 years later finally completing this project.


Here it is mounted in the Jeep! This is the H3R Performance MaxOut 2.5lb MX250R. The H3R comes with a decent mount so looking back I probably didn't need to get the mount from Rigged Ridge for it. But hey! I was new to Jeeps and back then it was a gateway drug.


I debated with going with Halotron but I can't justify the price and I'm not sure where I can get that recharged locally. In the end I figured if I use it I'm cleaning up fire damage anyway, what's a little more clean up...? Hopefully I never answer that question for you.

Well, that's all for today. I need to send back some junk rusty lug nuts so I'll try to get those swapped tomorrow before the snow hits and I need to plow.


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post #12 of 21 Old 02-04-2017, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
toximus
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Rhinelander
Posts: 620
Just a quick peak at the new lug nuts before I start plowing.

The DPAccessories lug nuts (Amazon) I put on roughly 6 months ago are starting to rust pretty good in the rears. They have maybe 4k miles on them tops and about 3 months of winter. I had bought them because my stock nuts had lost half their caps and I didn't want to carry an extra socket in case of a flat to match the smaller size once the caps fall off. I spent a little more to get them in black to match my rims so I was a bit disappointed to find they weren't holding up. Luckily they offered to do a full refund for me once I pay to ship them back.

DPAccesories on front:


DPAccesories on rear:


Here's the new McGard 84563BK (Northridge4x4, they are mislisted as JK only):






At first glance the black chrome from McGard seems to be a lot thicker than the coating on the DPAccessories nuts plus they include a lifetime warranty against rust.


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post #13 of 21 Old 02-04-2017, 03:30 PM
Remko
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1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Windsor, ON
Posts: 189
Quote:
Originally Posted by toximus View Post
Just a quick peak at the new lug nuts before I start plowing.

The DPAccessories lug nuts (Amazon) I put on roughly 6 months ago are starting to rust pretty good in the rears. They have maybe 4k miles on them tops and about 3 months of winter. I had bought them because my stock nuts had lost half their caps and I didn't want to carry an extra socket in case of a flat to match the smaller size once the caps fall off. I spent a little more to get them in black to match my rims so I was a bit disappointed to find they weren't holding up. Luckily they offered to do a full refund for me once I pay to ship them back.

DPAccesories on front:


DPAccesories on rear:


Here's the new McGard 84563BK (Northridge4x4, they are mislisted as JK only):






At first glance the black chrome from McGard seems to be a lot thicker than the coating on the DPAccessories nuts plus they include a lifetime warranty against rust.
The McGard's are the way to go, I've had them for 10 plus years and they're still good. Funny they listed them as JK only, as most Jeeps are 1/2" fine thread. I noticed that I had to go up to 13/16" socket instead of 3/4" when switching to them, but that's not a big deal as long as you have the proper tools. Nice build, post up more pics, we love pics.

TEALJ6 Build
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/tealj6-build-1428156/
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post #14 of 21 Old 02-04-2017, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
toximus
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2004 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Rhinelander
Posts: 620
Quote:
Originally Posted by Remko View Post
The McGard's are the way to go, I've had them for 10 plus years and they're still good. Funny they listed them as JK only, as most Jeeps are 1/2" fine thread. I noticed that I had to go up to 13/16" socket instead of 3/4" when switching to them, but that's not a big deal as long as you have the proper tools. Nice build, post up more pics, we love pics.
That's good to hear yours are still in good shape. They must have changed the size slightly as they now are the stock size of 3/4" (19mm). It's nice that they include extras for the spare tire too if you want to lock it down (although I could care less about the locks where I'm at).

My main Jeeping buddy has been getting ready for his kid to be born (due now in about a week) so I haven't been snow wheeling as much as normal but I'll be sure to get you guys some pics the next time I'm out! Right now my Jeep looks like a giant salt monster puked it out. I was planning on heating my garage and replacing some of the concrete for a 2 post lift last fall but I decided to add onto it first to make electrical easier in the long run and just put the lift in that side so I don't have to redo the concrete. That'll probably be summer 2018.


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post #15 of 21 Old 03-02-2017, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
toximus
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2004 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Rhinelander
Posts: 620
The weather got unusually warm last week and I started in on installing my lift in 50F weather on Friday. SO NICE!



It felt great to be in the garage with the doors open enjoying the warm weather until I came across a seized bolt in lower control arm it ended up being cold welded on both control arms so I had to cut them out with a sawzall:



This threw me off course a bit as I had planned to go the budget route when I bought everything back in 2014 for the lift and was going to reuse with control arms and just use cam bolts. Being Friday night I knew I wasn't going to have parts in until at best mid the next week so I continued on and ordered a set of Savvy's aluminum control arms and Blaine's Johnny Joint washers.







Many many rusted stuck bolts later I finally got nearly everything apart and what I could get installed after 20 hours of work by Sunday night. The rear shocks mount on the frame side were an absolute pain -- 3 of 4 heads just broke off the bolts. I plan to outboard the shocks eventually so I decided to drill and tap the existing locations for now and can do a proper fix this summer when I have the gas tank down while installing the skid.



By Sunday night I realized I didn't have few drill bits I needed and my tap handle wouldn't fit into the shock area so I ordered what I needed. I also stopped in at Ace to buy new bolts to replace (nearly) all of the old ones. There was a few bolts I couldn't find locally and ordered bolts by the boxes to get the few I needed.

My Savvy control arms came in on Friday and I coated them in Sharkhide that night and again before installing on Saturday (you can also see my MetalCloak Long-Travel Rear Adjustable Track bar there too which I also coated in Sharkhide because I had it out anyway):



By this time it got so cold in the garage that I pretty much just worked and didn't take time to take pictures but here's how the lift turned out:













  • OME2934 - Front ZJ Springs
  • OME2949 - Rear LJ Springs
  • Bilstein 5100 series front shocks
  • RE monotube rear shocks
    Same part as Bilstein, however Bilstein branded was on back order.
  • JKS #126 front adjustable trackbar
  • MetalCloak Long-Travel Rear Adjustable Track bar | MetalCloak | Instructions
  • 1.25" rear bump stop extension | Tapped to 1/2-13 | Performance Accessories Spacers
  • .5" front bump stop extension | Tapped to 1/2-13 | Performance Accessories Spacers
  • Savvy front lower adjustable control arms | Savvy
  • Johnny Joint Washers | Writeup

I didn't measure before hand but it seems to be roughly 2" of lift as advertised. Rides great too! If anything a little firmer than stock.


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