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Unread 07-13-2012, 04:16 PM   #1
Zetto
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2006 LJ Wrangler 
 
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Location: Denver, CO
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Savvy/Currie inspired LJ




Index
Bringing home the LJ
Headlamp wiring harness upgrade
Optima Red Top
BF Goodrich T/A KO 31x10.5x15
Failed O2 sensor
Mopar Step and nutsert
KC Windshield SlimLite and Carling Contura rocker switches
Tuffy 131 security storage drawer and Die-Tech Off-road mirror brackets
Tuffy Security Door Lockers
Currie front AntiRock
Soft top
Shopping for new suspension
Tuffy glove box
American Flag decal
Four X Doctor Rocker Guards
Spidertrax 1-1/4" spacers (WHS-002)
Moab powder coated semi-gloss black
SpeedoHealer SHV4A-J01

I created this build thread with two things in mind. First, I wanted to put together a sort of guide other members can follow when building up their own rigs. I spent a lot of time researching and feeling out the success and failures other members encountered. Second, I wanted a means to document the progress I make to my LJ and get some input. I plan to include as many pictures as possible when doing installs. I am open to and encourage feedback, overall I hope you enjoy.

First lets start off with the back story.

Back in 2007 I ran in to some mechanical problems with my own vehicle. I was fortunate enough to have a good friend who let me borrow his 2000 XJ. I had never driven any Jeeps before although they had always caught my eye from growing up camping and hiking. I quickly fell in love to say the least, the XJ was equipped with a 4.5" OME lift, 33", lockers front/rear and was a blast to drive.

Here is an older picture before the final lift but it gives you an idea (This is also how I came to fall in love with the OEM Moab).



Fast forward a year to 2008, I was under budget constraints but knew I wanted an XJ of my own. I found a local 88 XJ in pretty good condition with 180K. Boy was this a lucky find, I was able to pick it up for $1,500. The interior had been reupholstered, had the 7 speaker premium Jensen audio system, the extra comfortable tilt seats and the vehicle included a binder with service records dating back to day one including the original window sticker.



I picked up my new XJ on a lovely Saturday morning, topped off the tank and headed to the the In-N-Out on Sand Canyon Rd in Santa Clarita. We had planned this run weeks before I even laid eyes on the 88 XJ and it coincidently all lined up. From there, a half dozen of us continued up Sand Canyon Rd to Forest Route 3n17 (AKA the Santa Clara Truck Trail). We stopped to check out the old Nike Missile site, poke around and a few others snag the cache.

We continued along 3N17 until we reached the Northfork Ranger Station. Here, we stopped for a quick snack and restroom break. The rangers were very friendly and happy to chat for a bit; or just happy to come across someone willing to talk. I imagine they get an interesting bunch of people through there be it hikers trekking the Pacific Coast Trail or meth heads that are lost and looking for their grow spot (I speak from experience, we have bumped in to a number of these in the Angeles Forest over the years and it can be very uncomfortable to say the least but I digress.).

Staying on 3N17 we continued up to the Mt. Gleason. We stopped briefly in the campground and continue along to check out the AT&T Line Tower (When the road reopens I highly recommend checking this area out. There is a great view and I hope the line tower is at least somewhat intact).

Overall is was a great day and further sparked my interest in off road adventures. However, it reinforced that I enjoy scenic mountain trails and have no interest in mud.

Forth of July weekend 2009 we made a trip up to Mammoth Lakes and did some camping at Convict Lake. While there we took the XJ up the dirt road to Laurel Lakes. The road is rather easy and could easily be traveled by any vehicle with moderate clearance if conditions are in your favor. We made it to a few hundred yards below the Laurel Lakes Trail before we ran in to snow blocking the road. We hiked the rest of the way passing by a few other hikers. A friend tried fishing the lake with no luck. In the Summer this is a common hunting area for quail.

We made a few additional camping trips in the Angeles Forest and out by Yucca Valley.

OK, maybe that was more than a little back story but it is all about character building right? Plus, this is my build thread .

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Unread 07-13-2012, 04:17 PM   #2
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Fast forward to 2010, the XJ was approaching 240K miles and on its third or fourth set of "major" maintenance. The alternator, starter, battery and water pump all failed over the course of a few weeks and the rear main seal was in desperate need of replacement. I was in a better financial position and decided it was time to retire the XJ (I sold it for $1,500, breaking even if you exclude maintenance). I had made my mind up I wanted a Wrangler but was not all that fond of the JK (Although they have grown on my considerably the past two years). After doing some research I decided I had to have an LJ. I was rather fond of the impact blue color and I wanted a Rubicon model in automatic. Unfortunately, after a few weeks of searching I was unable to find anything. In retrospect I should have kept hunting but I settled on an 06 LJ was ~25K miles in good condition. The LJ was mostly stock, the previous owner installed a 3" budget boost and longer shocks (I have still been unable to ID them, see later on). I believe the PO may have had some sort of side steps installed due to mounting marks on the frame under the rocker guard. From what I can tell the vehicle was taken off road as the doors and windshield frame have their fair share of scratching from what I assume to be tree branches.









The following weekend a friend (Stock JK) and I headed up Little Tujunga Canyon Road to 3N17. We did a little bit of wheeling in the approved areas and it was a blast. The LJ was still new to me but after getting home and putting around town I noticed it sounded "different". Sunday evening, after filling up the tank the MIL illuminated. I pulled out the trusty OBDII/CAN code reader and received a code for an exhaust leak (I am still trying to locate the specific code from my records). This lined up with the noise I heard earlier that turned in to an obvious exhaust leak. In the morning I found the bolts on the headers were loose, a quick tighten and problem solved.
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Unread 07-13-2012, 04:17 PM   #3
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Headlamp wiring harness upgrade

With any vehicle I have owned I always upgrade the exterior lighting. In my search for upgraded lighting I discovered the wiring gauge used for the OEM headlamp is less than ideal. I planned to make my own harness when I found a used ARB IPF M002 wiring loom for sale here on JeepForum (This is actually the reason I ended up signing up on the Forum). In the past, I have always been a big fan of Hella. Unfortunately, my usual resource Susquehanna MotorSports was going through some internal issues and could not get me a pair of the 7" round E-Code headlamps in time for a trip to Mammoth Lakes. I was fortunately enough to source a pair locally. The plan was to leave for Mammoth after work on Friday night. Fortunately, the ARP wiring loom arrived that same day and I installed it before taking off. Just installing the wiring loom with the OEM sealed beam headlamps was a noticeable improvement. When I added the Hella and some decent bulbs to the mix it was a tremendous difference (I got a good deal on the used wiring loom. If that option was not available I would have built my own wiring loom. Considering how pettily the OEM headlamps are I highly recommended you do the same).
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Unread 07-13-2012, 04:18 PM   #4
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Optima Red Top

The Mopar battery lived a long life but decided to kick the bucket a month in. I replaced it with an Optima Red Top. Here is another situation where you should really evaluate your needs. In retrospect, I should have at the least gone with a Yellow Top. After learning and personally discovering Optima quality is not the same as it used to be (You will hear more about this later) I would have gone with the Sears variant.



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Unread 07-19-2012, 05:13 PM   #5
Zetto
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BF Goodrich T/A KO 31x10.5x15

In August of 2011 a few stray nails took out the passenger front and rear tires. I factored in my distaste for playing in the mud, the necessity for a long life tire and the requirement of a all terrain quickly narrowed down my selection. I had experience with the BF Goodrich T/A KO from the XJ I borrowed and this was the obvious choice. I went with the 31x10.5x15, looking back I could have gone with a 32" or 33" tire but I was naive and foolish at the time. However, I would have had to deal with speedo calibration and a slightly more sluggish Jeep (If that is even possible?). This is one of those situations where I am trying to point out fully evaluate your situation and goals of the vehicle. It will only cost you more money in the long run.







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Unread 07-19-2012, 05:14 PM   #6
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Failed O2 sensor

Late August the MIL illuminated for the second time. I pulled out the trusty OBDII/CAN code reader and identified P0152 indicating O2 sensor. To rule out any false positives I cleared the code. The P0152 quickly returned so I picked up a OEM equivalent Bosch, big mistake. I went through 3 Bosch units before I finally switched to the OEM NGK. If you are ever faced with one of the O2 sensors codes suck it up and purchase the OEM NGK from Napa or the dealer.
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Unread 07-19-2012, 05:14 PM   #7
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Mopar Step and nutsert

Even though the LJ was only on 31", with the 3" budget boost puck that that the previous owner installed the girlfriend was having trouble getting in. Not yet ready to commit to drilling the body and installing rocker guards I started the hunt for an OEM set of steps. My search quickly paid off and I found a set for sale here. I set out to install them and soon discovered I needed to install the nutserts. A quick search of the trusty JeepForum and I had my answer courtesy of Peanut72.

With the correct tools in hand I started the install.





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Unread 07-19-2012, 05:15 PM   #8
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KC Windshield SlimLite and Carling Contura rocker switches

Around this time we had made several trips to Yucca Valley for camping. This often included some night time excursus and I felt the headlamps just were not cutting it. Being a nut for lighting as you learned earlier I ordered up a pair of KC HiLiTES windshield light mount brackets and KC HiLiTES 121 slimLite black 130-Watt long range light.





I did not care much for the included KC switch so I started looking for options. I was quickly directed to OTRATTW. I went a bit over board when placing the order but my mind was racing with different mounting options. I knew I wanted to maintain as stock a look as possible. For the time being an sPOD was not an option.

I decided the blank space next to the 12v outlets (On 97-02 the ashtray is installed here. For the 03-06 they switched to a cup holder ashtray) would make a great spot. I busted out the trusty dremel and quickly had a OEM looking setup.



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Unread 07-19-2012, 05:16 PM   #9
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Tuffy 131 security storage drawer and Die-Tech Off-road mirror brackets



Late June (2011) it was really starting to warm up in Los Angeles. I decided I wanted to take the top and doors off to enjoy the summer heat (I picked up a used bikini top and header channel in August of 2010). Prior to doing so I set two goals to achieve. First, I needed a secure way to store any stray items when parked. Second, I needed a good set of mirror movers.

Having seen their products in the past I started looking in to Tuffy. I quickly discovered they make a storage drawer for the LJ that allows you to maintain the back seats. Where is the fun in taking the doors and top off without friends to enjoy it with right ?. July 4th weekend I found a near mint storage drawer in Fullerton for $400. I made the trip over early Sunday afternoon, picked it up and had it installed in time to enjoy some BBQ with the family. Goal 1 achieved!



Stopped by to visit a friends warehouse one weekend, great excuse to do a little flexing.



Next up I needed a pair of mirror movers. I spent a few days researching different options. I was not interested in the cheaper options that often loosen up. I rely heavily on my mirrors, especially in the crazy LA traffic. I finally stumped upon Die-Tech Off-road out of Carrollton, GA. Their mirror brackets utilize the top door hinge pin and the dash mounts. This was critical as it places the mirrors in the exact same position as if the doors were on. Having installed a pair of KC HiLiTES windshield light mount brackets a few weeks prior I appreciated that these would not interfere. I called in and placed an order with Annie on the 25th, they shipped the 26th and I had them by the 29th. The quality is outstanding and I quickly understood the $49.99 price tag. I highly recommend these to anyone with the same concerns and requirements I had.



Goal 2 achieved! Finally time to reward myself.

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Unread 07-19-2012, 05:37 PM   #10
tlong
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Thanks for posting your write-up. I look forward to reading more!
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Unread 07-19-2012, 06:14 PM   #11
Zetto
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Tuffy Security Door Lockers

Once I took the top off I did not immediately get the doors off. Concerned about theft I once again looked to Tuffy and their security door lockers. Being cheap I found a used set on eBay for a fraction of the cost.









They arrived pretty beat up and rusty. A quick trip in the sand blaster took care of that









I hit them with spray paint but the outcome was horrible. I have yet to go back and clean them up and honestly need to find them .
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Unread 07-19-2012, 06:59 PM   #12
Zetto
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Currie front AntiRock

I keep a close eye on the JeepForum Classifieds and Craigslist. July 19th (2011) I came across a used Currie front AntiRock listed on both Craigslist and JeepForum by anderson5290. After a quick conversation I headed down to Corona that evening after work. anderson5290 has a really nice XJ so we sat around chatting for a bit.

The next evening after work I got started on the install (Unfortunately I did not get any pictures during the install so I snapped a few for the thread.).





Of course that meant I had to test it out .



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Unread 07-19-2012, 07:05 PM   #13
j5clark
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Nice LJ! How do you like the antirock?
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Unread 07-19-2012, 07:11 PM   #14
Zetto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlong View Post
Thanks for posting your write-up. I look forward to reading more!
Thank you! I still have to do the write-up on the Savvy/Currie 4", aluminum control arms and track bars so check back soon .
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Unread 07-19-2012, 07:13 PM   #15
Zetto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j5clark View Post
Nice LJ! How do you like the antirock?
I highly recommend it in the front regardless of how much lift you have. Based off of your setup it will compliment everything nicely (Are you running disconnects now?). Just make sure your bump stops are adjusted to the proper length and the fenders are not in the way to avoid damage.
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