Srfnfly's 06 Rubi LJ
Edit: I decided to have a list of the parts here on the first page. I will do my best to update this when each part is installed:
- Savvy 3" suspension lift (Installed July 23-24, 2011)
- Rancho Adjustable Shocks (Installed July 23-24, 2011)
- Currie Steering (Installed July 24, 2011)
- Currie JJ Front Upper Housing (Installed driver side July 24, 2011, Passenger side welded July 27, 2011)
- 255/85R16 Toyo MT (Installed July 27, 2011)
- Tom Woods Driveshaft (Installed July 27, 2011)
- SpeedoHealer from Blue Monkey Motorsports (Installed August 5, 2011)
- Savvy BL/MML (Installed August 12, 2011)
- Novak Cable Shifter (Installed August 22, 2011)
- Savvy UnderArmor (Partially installed August 22, 2011, completed August 31,2011)
- Spidertrax Wheel Spacers (Installed August 31, 2011)
- Uniden Pro510XL CB Radio (Installed September 2, 2011)
- Firestik II 4ft Antenna (Installed September 2, 2011)
- Centric Brake Rotors with BlackMagic/Centric Pads
End of edit:
I figure I will start this thread from the beginning and then eventually get to the build. I may as well have a little fun with where I've been. So I hope everyone enjoys the story. Here it goes:
I guess there never really is a start to a person's Jeep story. I really have no idea when I first feel in love with the Wrangler, but I know I never thought I would have one. There just wasn't enough room to be practical for what I needed as a vehicle. Then all of the sudden, out came the Unlimited. It was perfect, but I really thought it looked a bit goofy. Thinking back on it, I am pretty sure it was just the stock size on the long body. It was just screaming to be bigger. Then finally, the Unlimited Rubicon was offered and I was sold. Of course I was was in college at the time, so it would have to wait. By the time I was in the financial position to pick one up, it was already 2006 and the JK had been announced. I waited it out through the summer and started shopping in the fall. I knew I wanted an unlimited with a manual transmission and couldn't find one within 100 miles of where I lived at the time. When I looked at home, I found a bunch at one of the dealerships about 15 minutes from my house. I went down to look and told the salesman what I was interested in. We went out on the lot, but came up empty on the first walk around. Then I asked why we kept walking past certain Jeeps and he explained that I had told him I didn't want the khaki top. I told him he was crazy, that top is grey :laugh: I had pictured "khaki" as the tan tops from years before. Boy was I wrong. And sure enough, I was in love. So over Veteran's Day weekend in 2006, I purchased my first Jeep. A brand new black/khaki 2006 Unlimited Rubicon with 37 miles on in. Sticker price was roughly $33,500 and I picked it up for $28,000.
Not my first picture of her, but just about the only one I have with the hard top on
So as a happy new Jeep owner, I drove back to Philadelphia with every intention of doing some research and getting her lifted. Just about the time when I was going to pull the trigger on a lift, I decided it was time to take a new job. Good news was that I was moving back to Virginia Beach after 7 years of being away. Bad news was that I was taking a job that started me at a little less than 50% the pay that I was making before. Unfortunately, this put the Jeep mods on hold. Of course I was having fun with it her anyway so all was good. The family of a good friend of mine owned a farm out in central Virginia and we would go out every few months to have some fun on the trails. This left lots of clean up, but it was so worth it.
Me enjoying the weekend
The after fun picture. I hate mud
Other than the visits to the farm, my Jeep was simply my daily driver. I wasn't exactly using the Rubicon for what it was truly capable of, but I didn't care. I was perfectly happy driving around with the top down and and the doors off whenever the weather was good. It was my beach Jeep and that long wheelbase no longer looked funny to me. Especially with my 9 foot surfboard strapped to the rollcage.
My parents driveway on a nice beach day:
In the Spring of 2009, I finally decided to come up with a hard top lift. The LJ hard top is entirely too heavy. Lucky for me, my parents offered up their garage to be my storage spot. The ceiling is somewhere between 12-14 feet high so the top fits above the garage door. It takes a little time since I have to take down the door opener, but I only use the lift twice a year. Once in the fall to get the hard top up there, and once in the fall to get it back down.
Nice and high:
90 degree PVC to help the rope make the turn:
Good view of the routing of the ropes:
That pretty much takes me up to September of 2009 when I went on my first organized event. My brother and I tailed each other to Oak Ridge Estate for the 2009 Virginia Annual Four Wheel Drive Association Trail Ride and Poker Run. He had been several years in a row, but I had always been working that weekend. I was insanely nervous, but had a blast. Rocks are a completely different experience and I'm hooked.
It ended up being 200+ vehicles ready for some fun
Me going up CJ5
A series at Z-Ditch
Had to engage the lockers to get around the bottom corner. Stupid long wheelbase:
Coming out. I was told that tire was about 6 inches off the ground:
My brother's YJ
Over the next year, I went to the farm a few times to play in the mud, but that was about it for offroading. I love living at the beach, but it leaves me with a minimum of a 3 hour drive to get to any serious wheeling. Even longer to get to Uwharrie or Rausch Creek so I'm lucky to get offroad more than 4 times a year. The 2010 Virginia annual at Oak Ridge was the next major event for me. My best friend had so much fun just riding along with me and my brother the year before that he built up his Dodge Raider (small lift, 33s, lockers) and joined us in 2010. My girlfriend at the time (fiance now) joined in my Jeep and my sister in law came with my brother. It was actually a lot of fun having the girls come with us.
After the stock Liberty made it through, I couldn't exactly go around:
Playing around on Turtle Rock:
The Raider had some locker problems on the first day:
And now my oops moment. I was overly concerned with my passenger side hugging the tree and forgot to watch the driver side tire. It slipped in. Surprisingly though, I had exactly zero damage from this. Not even a scratch on the flare:
I had to wait as this became picture time for the whole group:
And I was winched out:
The Raider on Turtle Rock:
This Spring, I decided it was finally time for the lift. I have done a lot of researching over 4 and half years and have changed my mind several times. At first, I was going to do a spacer lift, then an OME lift. At one point, I was set on JKS arms with Rubicon Express springs and a combination of other parts. Then came the Nth or Clayton long arm. Somewhere around a year and half ago, I came to a plan that really didn't change too much. I was going to buy the Currie 4" lift, but swap in 3" AEV springs. AZJeepNewbie ended up going this route, and his build thread solidified my decision. I just needed to get the money collected and decide on shocks.
Fast forward to this spring and a conversation that I had with Gerald. He told me he was soon to announce the Savvy/Currie 3" lift. Gerald and I put together a nice little package and next thing I new, he had my credit card number :rofl: That was May 2 and now that I have all the parts, the build is planned for July 22-25.
I'm sure I'll have lots of questions, so please don't go anywhere. Also, feel free to post up any advice ahead of time. I'm new at this and want to try to avoid as many mistakes as I can.
So here is the list of parts:
- Savvy 3" suspension lift
- Savvy UnderArmor with Savvy BL/MML
- Currie Steering
- Rancho Adjustable Shocks
- Currie JJ Front Upper Housing
- Centric Brake Rotors with BlackMagic/Centric Pads
- Novak Cable Shifter
- Tom Woods Driveshaft
- Spidertrax Wheel Spacers
- SpeedoHealer from Blue MOnkey Motorsports
- Uniden Pro510XL CB Radio
- Firestik II 4ft Antenna
- 255/85R16 Toyo MT
Looks like it was fun!
That looked like a lot of fun! I'm surprised (and pleased) your Jeep survived the "oops" moment with no damage. Like I've said for years, "I'd rather be lucky than good." I look forward to getting back to trails like that once I get back to the states. Take 'er easy.
Picking up some parts. It's days like that one that make me really happy to have an unlimited.
UnderArmor all fit together. I wanted to know where stuff went before I was under the Jeep. I can not believe the imagination that must have gone in to designing this. MrBlaine is a genius :thumbsup:
Oh yeah, I forgot to say what I wanted to say in the first place - Great looking LJ. I might pick one up when I get back to the states this fall. I love my 03 TJ but I've learned that my two kids in their cars seats take up all the "extra" room in her. Anyway... great looking Jeep you've got.
Thanks MajDad. Believe me when I say I was both surprised and relieved when I found out there was no damage. My fiance was just kind of hanging in the passenger seat and we were talking about it. She stayed really calm considering. I distinctly remember feeling the tire slipping in and saying to her "we are going to roll over now." I wish I had seen her face :laugh: By the time I looked at her, she had both hands on the dash handle and was pressed in to her seat.
After the fact, she asked if I had been scared or if I was just seeing $$$. Truth be told, once I knew she was ok, I was thinking about how much it was going to cost me. Figured I had just pushed my lift off another year or 2. I still think about it occasionally and can't believe I got that lucky. I love your quote and actually use it myself all the time. "It's better to be lucky than good"
Can't wait to get down to VA beach and help put all the pieces of that amazing parts list together. let the girls hit the beach and let us start on the Jeep.
your going to cost me alot of money trying to keep up with you. we need to plan a few wheeling weekends, my club goes all over the east coast.
I can't wait for next weekend. I'm sure the girls will have plenty of fun on the beach. It's only a 5 minute walk from my place.
As for wheeling, I am still planning to get to Oak Ridge for the VA 4Wheel Drive Annual over Labor Day weekend. You should definitely come. Bring your wonderful wife and dog and we'll have some fun. Well us and about 200 other vehicles lol.
I edited post 1 with a list of the parts I will installing. Figured that would make it easier for people to know what I am doing.
This post of course is also a bump to bring this back up to top. Anybody have some advice for me? Build starts in 2 days and I'm trying to be as prepared as possible.
need pics on that savvy lift:cheers2:
i dont know where the OP is, but i can tell you that the springs, shocks, bumpstops, control arms, track bars, and steering all went on this past weekend. the jeep is at the shop currently getting the upper control arm axle side JJ's welded on, new TW drive shaft, new tires mounted and a full alignment done (steering and all control arms).
the only potential big problem is with the shocks in the rear. the Rancho's that were supplied with the lift may not be long enough. I know the OP is working with Savvy to address this. He needs to take some better measurements, but the LJ rubicon may not have seen a full 3" of lift.
the Novak, BL, MML, spedo healer and under armor will have to wait for another weekend.
we took a few pictures during the install, i'm sure they will be posted soon enough.
Well the lift install went ok over the weekend. We hit a few snags along the way, but found ways around most of them. The Jeep is currently sitting at Starr Motors in Suffolk, VA to have the tires installed, alignment completed, and the passenger side JJ Front Upper control arm mount welded on. So now it is recap time.
We started working around 8AM on Saturday morning. We started by removing a few things on the front end. First to go was the front bumper, followed by the front sway bar, front springs, and front shocks.
We decided to tackle the front control arms next. We started by removing both lowers. I honestly forget what we set the new arms to at this point. Lowers went in without any problems.
Front uppers went on next. This of course led to a problem when we tried to get the old bushing out of the Driver's side axle end. We beat that thing stupid and it wouldn't budge, so out came the drill. We drilled out the rubber to gain access to cut the inside of the bushing. Once that was out, the new JJ went in.
We reused the old bolt on the passenger's axle side bushing since I haven't gotten the Currie conversion installed yet. It was only driven that way for about 50 miles, as the Jeep is now at the shop.
While taking a break from the upper housing, we decided to drill for the lower bumpstop. This turned out to be out first major snag. We made it through with a small bit, then tried to widen it out a bit. The drill bit caught, and snapped off in the whole. Oops. That took a little over an hour to sort out, but luckily, I had help with the install. 2 of my buddies took to the task of finishing the front bumpstops while I began working on the rear end.
Plenty more to come, but it is time for me to go to work. These planes don't fly themselves (well they kind of do)
Nice LJ man, and good luck with the lift install
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