Steeler, Another LJ Rubicon - JeepForum.com

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post #1 of 92 Old 08-05-2015, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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LJ Rubicon named Steeler Build/Rebuild

Moving my build thread over here, I frequent here more often than the rubicon owners and thought Id share my Jeep adventure and pocket burner...

Name is Andrew and Ive named the LJ Steeler, cause Im a diehard Steelers fan, someone mentioned the name when I was hammered so it stuck.

As with any Jeep owner there's always a back story.. Grew up in a Jeep family, Dads been wheeling since the 70s in his CJ5 and continued with Jeeps til today and passed that on to me. Ive had a few Jeeps, ZJs, an XJ, XK Commander but never a Wrangler.. So I began looking for an LJ, didnt think Id find a Rubicon in my range. Well, after 2 months of searching I found this 05 LJ Rubicon out of Ft Myers Fl where my parents live. It had 118k on it, 6" RC short arm, DC driveshaft, clean as a whistle, 38x15.50 TSLs on 15x14 Centerline Forged wheels.




Day I took delivery, required a special transport. It wouldnt fit on a regular truck, it measured 80" high and 80" wide cause of the tires...







At this point, Ive searched and searched trying to see what way I wanted to take the build. Im on a budget since I have a wedding to pay for and wasnt sure on many things. First order of business was maintenance, obviously. So plugs, pack, valve cover, intake filter, oil, coolant, transfer case, diffs, TPS threw a code as well as CPS, new wheel studs as one was broke and figured Id do em all for peace of mind, TREs etc.. It has the stock gears and with 98 lb tires, although it looked cool this just wasnt practical for a DD and weekend warrior, so I planned on selling that wheel and tire set up. I also removed the single fog light and installed Truklite LEDs.



Thought it had a wicked stance...


After cleaning it up a bit..


It didnt take long to figure out the OEM top has seen better days, so I sold it and picked a nicely used Trektop NX.





I found out later its missing the plastic piece on the windows but whatever, Ill get some replacements eventually... This is where I decided it was time to move on from the 38s and ridiculous offset wheels. I ended selling the TSLs and buying 5 MTRs for about the same price, so now I have a spare. I still have the wheels but decided to pick up 17x9 ATX Ravines for the MTRs. I really liked the concave look and imitation beedlocks. I sort of have buyer remorse with not going full on beedlock but I love the way these look. I thought at the time 4.5 BS was enough but i was rubbing at full lock and even after adjusting steering stops wasnt enough.





Quick trail ride...


G2 1.25" spacer install
Before

After


I definitely like the stance better but it kind of sucks when you drop COIN on new wheels only to need spacers, guess thats on me for not researching enough. Oh well, Ive ran them before without issue..

I found a great deal on some Genright HiFlares for the rear and grabbed em for future install...


After all this, I felt it was time to take it out and see what the wheeling experience was like. Ive wheeled others but never and LJ Rubicon, so I picked one hell of a nasty weekend to go. It had been raining for 6 days straight so Uwharrie was a mess, clay is a *****!!!







Was a lot of fun and was pretty surprised with it capabilities but I kind of expected it be awesome! Im an absolute neat freak so very next day...







05 LJRubi Currie 4" Springs, Savvy Fox shocks, MC trackbars, MC CA's single adj lower double uppers, 37x13.50 Cooper STT Pros on 17x9 ATX Ravine, MC Overlines front, Genright rear, Revolution 5.38s, Carolina Driveline driveshafts, MCAI
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post #2 of 92 Old 08-05-2015, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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This is where the build thread had stopped on the other forum. At this point I realized I needed some upgrades, steering, fenders etc... I started with cleaning up the axles with some basic Rustoleum so they look more presentable and "clean", also did the rear bumper.




I thought at this time I needed new control arm bushings so I considered swapping in Currie JJs but didnt have the funds so I got new bushings for the time being. I went to install them but every bushing looked great! But this meant i didnt know where my noises and "play" was coming from. It ended up being the ****ty RC trackbar, so I grabbed a used Clayton installed a new bushing which was a pain in the ***!



As you can see from the picture this thru out my drag link and trackbar angle so I got an OEM pitman arm which helped a lot! Was still getting death wobble which I narrowed down to passenger tierod end that was just replaced. I realized I needed something better but couldnt swing Currie. I went with the ZJ upgrade which has done alright but still isnt what I need.

Along the way, I got the itch. I really wanted to LJ to stand out after going to some car shows locally and having these JKs, some wheelers and some mall crawlers get all the attention. So I ended up finding someone who need yellow stock fenders, sold them and picked up Metal Cloaks Overlines. I love these things! I did all the paint work on the front and rears on my patio.





Obviously I needed to see how much better it was wheeling when Im not constantly rubbing tires on all four corners so two days later...





Definitely loved the added ability and it seems to flex fairly decent for short arm and RC. Ive certainly done some other things, bedlined the inside, macs cold air intake, trans service etc... I decided recently to purchase Monstaliner and redo the inside so thats coming up next. Also 4WPs had a shock sale on so I ordered some 5100s to replace these garbage shocks in here, couldnt swing Fox right now. Other than that just driving it everyday enjoying the hell out of it. Future plans are bigger than I can even write but I hope to upgrade to rear 4 link and something different upfront, maybe a Clayton or RK kit. Really want to keep the stock driveline but we will see. Thats all for now, Cheers!

05 LJRubi Currie 4" Springs, Savvy Fox shocks, MC trackbars, MC CA's single adj lower double uppers, 37x13.50 Cooper STT Pros on 17x9 ATX Ravine, MC Overlines front, Genright rear, Revolution 5.38s, Carolina Driveline driveshafts, MCAI
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post #3 of 92 Old 08-05-2015, 07:09 PM
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Looks sweet
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post #4 of 92 Old 08-06-2015, 01:03 PM Thread Starter
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Ive ran into some transmission issues the last few days... It started delaying when going into drive, if I shifted from park to drive it'd delay but if I went straight to 1 it wouldnt. This lead me to believe I may have a sticking valve body or something along those lines. Until yesterday I didnt have any major issues, well I was driving around for awhile and it seemed to lack get up off the line felt almost slipping. So when I could I stopped shifted to first and gave it more throttle. It definitely slipped a bit! I checked the fluid and according to some posts Ive been searching on it was lower than it should be so I added some more today. Can never rely on dealers to do things right.. We will see what happens, going for pressure test and health check tomorrow... If anyone has any insight let me know. May consider NV3550 if the 42rle needs to be rebuilt

05 LJRubi Currie 4" Springs, Savvy Fox shocks, MC trackbars, MC CA's single adj lower double uppers, 37x13.50 Cooper STT Pros on 17x9 ATX Ravine, MC Overlines front, Genright rear, Revolution 5.38s, Carolina Driveline driveshafts, MCAI
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post #5 of 92 Old 08-06-2015, 03:38 PM
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The original owner was running 38x15.50's with no upgrades to the axles? I'm not an expert but jesus that's insanity
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post #6 of 92 Old 08-10-2015, 07:37 AM Thread Starter
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Yup, previous owner was a chick who drove it around town and on the beach. Hardly a concern for me. At least she upgraded the brakes. Did the monstaliner this weekend and its so much better than the bedliner I had before. I sanded it mostly off but tech support at monstaliner said with the duplicolor you just need to get most or all of the rough spots down. Went on great and Im loving the end results. Still havent diagnosed trans issue yet, hopefully will get that done this week



05 LJRubi Currie 4" Springs, Savvy Fox shocks, MC trackbars, MC CA's single adj lower double uppers, 37x13.50 Cooper STT Pros on 17x9 ATX Ravine, MC Overlines front, Genright rear, Revolution 5.38s, Carolina Driveline driveshafts, MCAI
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post #7 of 92 Old 08-10-2015, 09:11 AM
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Nice looking LJ. My son has an 04 LJ and I may be a bit biased.

Mike.
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post #8 of 92 Old 08-10-2015, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zmotorsports View Post
Nice looking LJ. My son has an 04 LJ and I may be a bit biased.

Mike.
Thank you sir! Just went over your build too, would love to his after seeing yours hahaha

05 LJRubi Currie 4" Springs, Savvy Fox shocks, MC trackbars, MC CA's single adj lower double uppers, 37x13.50 Cooper STT Pros on 17x9 ATX Ravine, MC Overlines front, Genright rear, Revolution 5.38s, Carolina Driveline driveshafts, MCAI
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post #9 of 92 Old 08-10-2015, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 06JeepXKHEMI View Post
Thank you sir! Just went over your build too, would love to his after seeing yours hahaha
I don't want to hyjack your thread but here is a link to my son's build thread.
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/z...funds-2838298/

I will have to tell him to update it as it has undergone many changes since he posted last.

Again, nice job on your LJ. It looks amazing.

Mike.
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post #10 of 92 Old 09-16-2015, 07:34 AM Thread Starter
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A few updates, got a Derale trans cooler installed about a month ago to help keep it from overheating which is was, bad. Also drained fluid in the pan and refilled. Tons better now, no pics of that cause we have all seen them before. Last weekend we installed Revolutions 5.38s and its a ton better obviously. Also a new high angle front driveshaft went in from Carolina Driveline, great prices for anyone who is looking...







Speedo is off by 6 mph so 65 mph at 2200 RPM is good for me for what I use it. I have a SpeedoHealer waiting to go in this weekend. Ive had some codes pop up for O2 sensors so I picked up 4 OEM ones to swap in, rather get them all replaced and see what type of mpg improvement the gears have done for me. And here's how she sits today after fixing the alignment, axle placement issues I was having. Will soon be getting a Currie trackbar as the Clayton one just isnt panning out as I thought it would...


05 LJRubi Currie 4" Springs, Savvy Fox shocks, MC trackbars, MC CA's single adj lower double uppers, 37x13.50 Cooper STT Pros on 17x9 ATX Ravine, MC Overlines front, Genright rear, Revolution 5.38s, Carolina Driveline driveshafts, MCAI
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post #11 of 92 Old 09-21-2015, 10:31 AM
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Nice work. Turned out great.

Mike.

My 2011 JKUR Build Thread
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/zmotorsports-2011-jkur-build-3349913/
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post #12 of 92 Old 09-21-2015, 12:48 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you, trying to keep up with your work! Now it appears the inner axle seals are leaking slightly, not a huge deal. Going to replace those when I hit 500 miles for fluid change and recheck everything to make sure its within spec.

05 LJRubi Currie 4" Springs, Savvy Fox shocks, MC trackbars, MC CA's single adj lower double uppers, 37x13.50 Cooper STT Pros on 17x9 ATX Ravine, MC Overlines front, Genright rear, Revolution 5.38s, Carolina Driveline driveshafts, MCAI
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post #13 of 92 Old 10-06-2015, 03:45 PM Thread Starter
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Just a quick update, after running down caster/pinion angle issues and not enjoying the ride for a few reasons Ive recently ordered 4" Currie springs, Fox shocks and will be readdressing the RC lift that my Jeep came with. Its quite apparent it'd require a lot of work to get this set up to perform to my liking and isnt in the cards as of right now. Long arms, triangulate rears and to the liking are not realistic for me just yet so this seems like a logical thing to do plus IVe seen some stellar example of LJs with 4" lifts and 35/37s that really have a great look. Not being able to enjoy my Jeep due to a jarring ride is just not fun anymore. It does pose some questions as to whether I should get an aftermarket track bar in the rear as of now its a relocation bracket. Not sure what Ill do but I may swap of the Clayton one I have now for an MC one to help with clearance issues Im sure Ill run into.. Ill update this once everything arrives.

05 LJRubi Currie 4" Springs, Savvy Fox shocks, MC trackbars, MC CA's single adj lower double uppers, 37x13.50 Cooper STT Pros on 17x9 ATX Ravine, MC Overlines front, Genright rear, Revolution 5.38s, Carolina Driveline driveshafts, MCAI
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post #14 of 92 Old 10-12-2015, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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Had a local Jeep club meet this weekend and got to flex the lift out one last time before the new parts get here... First time on a ramp, interested to see what differences the lift change will yield







05 LJRubi Currie 4" Springs, Savvy Fox shocks, MC trackbars, MC CA's single adj lower double uppers, 37x13.50 Cooper STT Pros on 17x9 ATX Ravine, MC Overlines front, Genright rear, Revolution 5.38s, Carolina Driveline driveshafts, MCAI
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post #15 of 92 Old 10-13-2015, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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LJ is in the shop getting a new torque converter installed to fix some issues I was having. I also ordered front and rear MC track bars to compliment the new lift. Everything should be here next week. Debating on a BL or not...

05 LJRubi Currie 4" Springs, Savvy Fox shocks, MC trackbars, MC CA's single adj lower double uppers, 37x13.50 Cooper STT Pros on 17x9 ATX Ravine, MC Overlines front, Genright rear, Revolution 5.38s, Carolina Driveline driveshafts, MCAI
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