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Unread 12-04-2012, 02:02 PM   #1
TroubleNEO
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Trouble's 06 LJ Rubi

So I've been lurking and posting here for awhile now and figured that it was about time to post up a build thread. This thread and the Jeep itself probably won't see much action until the warm weather returns. In the last year since I've bought my LJ I've learned a lot here and other places. My Jeep is by no means anything special or "Hardcore" but I hope with time and knowledge gained I can eventually turn it into what I've been picturing and thinking about since I bought it.

Mod/Parts list to start with, then some pictures, and a pretty long winded summary of what has led me to where the Jeep is now.

Parts/Mod List -

Front Axle:
Rubi 44 w/ Factory Locker
G2 Chromoly Shafts 30/27 Spline
Dana/Spicer 5-760x - Full Circle Clips
Synergy Suspension Ball Joints

Rear Axle:
Rubi 44 w/ Factory Locker
Ten Factory Chromoly Shafts 30 Spline

Engine
Factory 4.0L
FlowMaster Super 40
Custom exhaust from Oil Pan back, mini cats hollow, underbody cat delete (Cheap alternative to replacing dead cats)

TCase:
Factory 241OR

Trans:
6 Spd NSG370

Wheels/Tires:
5x American Racing Baja 15x10
5x 37x14.0r15 Super Swamper Irok's

Body/Armor:
Poison Spyder Front 3” Defenders w/ Full Length Side Panels
Poison Spyder Rear Full Corners w/ 3” Defender Flares
Poison Spyder Ricochet Rockers
Poison Spyder Hood Louver
Poison Spyder Steering Box Skid
Poison Spyder Valance Plate
Smittybilt Stinger
Jeep Medic ¼” TCase/Trans/Engine skids
UCF Diff Covers F/R
Savvy Tailgate Skin
Genright Rear Crossmember Plate Bumper


Suspension:
4” Currie Springs F/R
Currie Front HD Trac Bar
Bilstein 5100’s
Rough Country Long Arms (UT 4link Rear/Radius Front)
Replaced Rough Country Joints w/ Currie Johnny Joints
Undercover Fab Control Arm Brackets
Currie Antirock Front
Factory Rear Swaybar with fabbed Heim Links
1.25” JKS BL
1” JKS MML
Black Magic Brakes Johnny Joint Washers

Steering:
Currie Currectlync Steering
Lee MFG HD Saginaw box, modified for 03-06 bolt pattern, ported/tapped
PSC Pump
PSC Reservoir
PSC 6" Stroke Assist Ram

Interior:
Custom Twisted Stitch Vortex Front Seats (No Rear)
B Pillar Harness Bar
Corbeau Camlock 5PT Harnesses
Monstaliner Tub
Console trimmed forward of cup holders w/ JK Shift Boot

Misc:
RCI Fuel Cell w/ Genright Pump Ring
Aeroquip Fuel Fittings
Artec Fuel Cell Mount
Tuffy Slide Out Trunk
Homebrew co2 Onboard Air
Kinetik 1800 Battery
Artec Battery Box for Kinetik 1800
Durango 160A Alternator Swap
0 Gauge Alternator Wire and Battery/Engine/Chassis grounds
Stinger LED Voltage Monitor
Tom Woods Rear Driveshaft
Novak Cable Shifter
Warn 9.5ti Winch w/ Warn Plate
Locker Mod (Lock in any TCase range)
ORO License Plate Light
Trucklite LED Tail Lights

Upcoming plans:

Clayton

Things I am thinking about or considering:

Engine swap or 4.0 stroker. My 4.0L is getting noisy with a loud clacking on cold start that takes 15-30 secs to come on and then goes away when warm. After doing some light reading the 5.9 Magnum seems like a great swap.

New front bumper for better approach angles, not a big priority.


Oct 2011 (Purchased) -

The day after it came home with me:






Pulling into the garage to start the lift and during:







First time leaving the pavement after the lift, winter was here by then. Pictures taken at a small test course built behind a friends work with some equipment:











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Unread 12-04-2012, 02:04 PM   #2
TroubleNEO
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Trouble's 06 LJ Rubi: Fuel cell tech, suspension work, etc ongoing

Spring finally came, first day with the top down. I'll never forget that day, I was still a little iffy on the Jeep and having doubts here and there about buying it. From that day forward I never looked back, I was hooked:



April 2012, oops:









After putting the Jeep on it's side I was a little rattled. I considering giving the sport up for a day or two and then came back to my senses. I love wheeling and I've never given up on a damn thing in my entire life. After a decent amount of wrenching and money dropping the Jeep was back and looking significantly different while being a little more durable to the complete disaster that is my driving style.







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Unread 12-04-2012, 02:07 PM   #3
TroubleNEO
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My long winded bull**** story from when I bought the Jeep, up until where I am now, read at your own risk.

I got into wheeling in the spring of 2010. I originally had a Hummer H3 Alpha w/ the Offroad package on 35’s. For what it was, it was pretty capable and a lot of people were shocked it went the places it did. It had a mild shackle lift, a torsion bar lift, Bilsteins, Magnaflow Catback, AirDoc intake, a PCMForLess tune.

I loved my H3 dearly, and if I had been able to keep it I would. Most people are not aware you could get the H3’s with a 5.3L V8, 4:1 TCase, and F/R Lockers from the factory and saw them simply as girly grocery getters. It was one damn good looking truck in Birch White with all the chrome removed including the front grill. To this day I still miss just how comfortable of a vehicle it was, it had one of the most brilliant traction control systems for snow I’ve ever had the luxury of driving. Even with the mild lift and 35’s it rode like a Cadillac.

But I digress…after two seasons of wheeling I came to realize it was just never going to be what I wanted it to be. It was simply too bulky, and the body/fenders/bumpers far too delicate to do the things I wanted to do and keep up with my friends on the trails. After paying to have all the body damage fixed included caving in the driver door and nearly ripping the fender off it was time for it to go, and when it did it lasted less than a week at the dealership. It tore my heart out to see it go, I just hope whoever bought it is having as much fun in it as I did.

This was the H3 as it sat shortly before letting it go:



Around the same time I was considering a Jeep a close friend of mine texted me while I was sitting at work with a link:

“Check this out, 06 LJ Rubicon w/ 73k sitting at a dealership an hour away, 100% stock except for a Warn 9.5ti on the front, look at the price too.”

“I’ll pick you up after work, we’re going to look at it tonight.” I responded.

I drove down with two friends, and we went over it with a fine tooth comb. No marks or scrapes on the underbody from ever being wheeled, lockers worked fine, trans was smooth as butter, and someone was even dumb enough to leave a $1,300 winch on the front before they traded it in? The Jeep was completely stock minus the winch, and a Tuffy slide out trunk, and a Tuffy overhead CB compartment. I was back to buy it the next night. I even beat them up on the price and then got them to shave another $200 off the price because the winch remote was missing.

I ended up finding the winch remote under the rear seat once I got it home.

All three of us ended up at a nearby BW3’s for beer and wings. I felt like I had just gone down a rabbit hole and as we were sitting there I said to my friends, “You guys are going to help me lift this thing right?” with a grin. “Of course” they said, and so it began in October of 2011.

I did not do as much research as I should have, and many things would have been done differently if I know now what I knew then. I wanted it lifted, and I wanted to go wheeling, end of story. I made what has now turned out to be the terrible decision of buying the 6” Rough Country Long Arm kit. I figured why not, the price was about what I had in my pocket to play with at the time and the install looked simple enough. I can honestly say I will never buy anything RC again at this point. The folks there have been nothing but great, every time I’ve broken something they have sent me out parts no questions asked. At this point I’ve replaced the brake lines once, the front track bar twice, the rear track bar once, and I am on my third rebuild of their wannabe Johnny Joint “X-Flex” joints. The lift had been on for less than a year at this point. At the same time I got the lift I traded off the factory wheels and tires plus some cash to a friend who had the five 35’s KM2’s on 16” American racing wheels. I never would have ran 16” wheels but for the deal I got and what I had in my pocket I wasn’t about to pass it up.

While out wheeling in April of this year, bad luck combined with inexperience resulted in me laying the Jeep over on the passenger side pretty violently. Lucky the top and doors were not on. The steering, front sway bar, and most of the control arm joints were a total loss. There was fender damage, the tub was dented up pretty good, my windshield frame took some loving, and I soon had a leaky steering box thanks to the damage done to the steering during the roll.

After putting it on its side I realized that I wanted to start playing at a higher level. During the roll I bashed my head hard enough on the Tuffy Overhead rack to have me throwing up and disoriented for about a week. The Tuffy Overhead came out and got sold, the Tuffy slide out trunk went back in, I bought a fire extinguisher mount and an extinguisher, called Leo at Twisted stitch for a set of seats, welded in a harness bar, grabbed some 5 points, and started looking into beefing up or completely replacing the cage.

At that point it also got the Currie Steering, Antirock sway bar, Lee MFG steering box, control arm joint rebuild, lowered to 4” on Currie springs, Bilstein shocks, and a few other things. I also had come to realize just what a terrible design overall the RC lift kit was. The bolt on control arm bracket acting as a TCase drop, and not having any vertical separation at the frame on the rear had to go. I went with the UCF brackets, did a BL/MML, and threw on the Jeep Medic Tummy Tuck skids I had picked up used from a friend. Also during that time it got all of the body armor to cover the tub damage, and I fixed a couple normal wear and tear things I was eating up while wheeling.

After the roll I picked up a set of Dana 60’s, one being a mint condition 79 Ford HP out of a running driving Snofighter F-250. It had like new brakes and flanges on it. I also picked up a set of 39.5 TSL’s on H1 beadlocks. Sadly after sitting on the parts for a few weeks, researching, running some rough dollar figures, and looking at my current work space situation I decided to hold off on going one tons for now. During my research I really started figuring out exactly what I wanted to do, and an axle swap turned into “Well, I might as well run ORI’s if I’m doing all the work, I better find a 14b for the rear, and heck, why not stretch it and go full hydro, etc.” and sadly, all of that was not in the budget and I wasn’t going to slave over something that wasn’t what I wanted it to be.

I unloaded the parts to some friends who would put them to use quicker than I would and committed to learning to wheel what I had better, and improving on what I could. I figure at the absolute least I need to get my roll cage situation sorted out before thinking about an axle swap.

So, all of that in the last year since I’ve owned the Jeep leaves me where I’m at now. I love my Jeep and probably won’t be getting rid of it unless life forces me to. Someday it will be sitting on tons, when and where is still up in the air and I’m content to wheel what I have for now.
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Unread 12-05-2012, 10:57 AM   #4
dayriesw
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Great looking LJ as is now. I really like the armor. Why did you go with a saginaw box? Was you stock box not up to duties?
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Unread 12-05-2012, 11:31 AM   #5
TroubleNEO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dayriesw View Post
Great looking LJ as is now. I really like the armor. Why did you go with a saginaw box? Was you stock box not up to duties?
I decided to go with the Saginaw box after looking into replacing the ZF box and seeing that I was going to drop close to $400 for a reman. Combine that with the fact that I knew I wanted to go hydro assist sometime in the near future and after research I found that the ZF boxes are less than ideal for that application. I’ve read a lot of reports of people ending up with tons of wander porting/tapping the ZF box. I guess on top of all that given that the Saginaw boxes are extremely common and most of the big power steering players are familiar with them, servicing and getting them rebuild should be pretty easy if needed.

After researching and calling places I decided on the Lee MFG box, which is a 97-02 Saginaw box modified with a bung to mate up to the 03-06 ZF steering box bolt pattern. At the time I did not have easy access to a welder and I didn’t want to bother any of my friends to help me modify the frame to fit a normal Saginaw box. I looked at the PSC boxes and being new castings they were a little more than I wanted to spend at the time. At the end of the day what sold me on the Lee MFG box was their customer service. Tom and his wife gale spent a lot of time talking with me when I would call, and Tom also asked a lot of questions about my specific application and usage to make sure I got exactly what I wanted.

I ended up getting sent a box with the wrong input shaft on it by mistake and they were great. They overnighted the box back, turned it around same day, and overnighted it back. I’m sure overnighting a heavy steering box is not cheap and probably hit their profit margin on the sale pretty hard. On top of that they even threw in three quarts of their power steering fluid.

The thread where I was trying to decide what/who to go with is here:

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/st...r-etc-1377902/
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Unread 12-05-2012, 01:57 PM   #6
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That is great trouble. I often use manuf. who have great support for just that reason. Thanks for the info.
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Unread 12-05-2012, 07:31 PM   #7
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Love the LJ , the DeFenders look great .
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Unread 12-06-2012, 07:22 AM   #8
TroubleNEO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G Beasley View Post
Love the LJ , the DeFenders look great .
Thanks, couple little things left to do on them. The bolts that need the nutserts have to be taken care of still. I didn't get a nutsert tool with them like I did some of the other stuff I bought. Seeing that the bolt heads were mostly the same size I didn't stop to think the threads probably weren't.

I went into the garage and grabbed the nutsert tool I got sent with the front flares and set a nutsert for the rear flares only to find out that it's not the right size.

So...if anyone know hows to remove a nutsert without damaging the metal around it so I can set another one I would love to hear it. I thought up a few ways to do it, but they all involve pushing the nutsert into the body, and I really don't want to hear the damn thing rolling around in there for the rest of the Jeeps life.

Halp.
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Unread 12-06-2012, 08:46 AM   #9
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That sucks. I have looked into the defenders mostly because I really like the look and difference between those replacement fenders and other tube fenders. But what I don't like is how their website does not have any installation guides and how they basically tell you to figure it out and they aren't responsible for where you mount your under hood items and such. Now hearing about the nut sert tool.... I am not impressed, but they do look like a great different product.
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Unread 12-06-2012, 09:23 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dayriesw View Post
That sucks. I have looked into the defenders mostly because I really like the look and difference between those replacement fenders and other tube fenders. But what I don't like is how their website does not have any installation guides and how they basically tell you to figure it out and they aren't responsible for where you mount your under hood items and such. Now hearing about the nut sert tool.... I am not impressed, but they do look like a great different product.
Don't get me wrong, I love them and they are awesome fenders, but yeah. I can build a nutsert tool for the larger ones at any hardware store. As far as the instructions the ones I got were pretty solid, but I took one look at the fenders, then at the Jeep and saw exactly what I was supposed to do.

For the inner fender mounting that’s only for the highlines, which I’m thinking about eventually. For sure in the spring I’ll need to open up my rear wheel well a bit as I’m rubbing at full stuff . My wheel base is currently at 105” and I’m as far back as I can go before my track bar starts making love to my tank.

Which brings me to something else that has been heavily on my mind…

I’m also pretty conflicted about going with a fuel cell or not. I really, really want to since I wouldn’t have much into it over the cost of a good gas tank skid. However, losing the factory fuel filler is a huge “ugh” for me as I don’t want to be unzipping the top every time I need to get gas.

A fuel cell has been very heavy on my mind and I have a few options:

1. Where the rear seat originally went, but I want to get a Twisted Stitch rear bench eventually, getting sick of only having room for two people when not wheeling.

2. Behind the rear seats, and being an LJ I have room for it, this means the Tuffy trunk has to go and I lose all of my secure storage capacity. It’s nice not to have stuff flying around inside if I were to roll it again, also good for just being able to lock stuff up.

3. The Tuffy trunk sits up off the floor on adjustable “feet” I guess, is the best way to describe it. I could sink the fuel cell into the floor under it even with the frame rails. This is probably more fab work than I want to get into since I would need to weld in a box or compartment for it to sit in, however I might be able to get away with keeping the factory fuel filler going that route, but it would be a tight fit and there wouldn’t be a way to tell unless I was at that point in the project.
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Unread 12-06-2012, 12:34 PM   #11
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First and foremost however, this is what needs to be addressed before anything else. Keep an eye on the upper where it meets the lower. While I appreciate the free parts and rebuild kits any time I have an issue free is only free if I'm not rebuilding joints after every trip.

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Unread 12-11-2012, 07:11 AM   #12
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Merry Christmas! What kid wouldn't want to wake up Christmas morning and find this under the tree?!



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Unread 01-02-2013, 07:12 AM   #13
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Things should slowly but surely start happening now that we're over the holiday/new year hump.

I have a new set of Johnny Joint's for the control arms sitting waiting to be put on, also a new Currie front trac bar to get rid of the stupid RC drop bracket, pitman, and arm. It originally had the 6" lift on it which was dropped down on 4" springs. Tried adjusting the rear trac bar last night, have the Heim almost threaded all the way in and it still didn't completely center the axle. Going to try and pull the rear trac bar out completely and see how far I can get the Heim in. Also might chop like 1/4" off of the end of it and see if I can get it adjusted more. I thought I'd have enough adjustment but apparently not. Failing all that I will probably need to just spring for a new rear trac bar.

Another issue I'm having is that with the rear Control Arm bracket placement I am almost adjust all the way in on my lowers and I am dangerously close to the factory gas tank skid. Trac bar is barely clearing, and the diff cover will definitely make love to the tank. So I'm going to try adjusting the lowers all the way in and go from there. I may need to get a high clearance gas tank skid to clear everything. I was planning on it eventually, but not this soon.

I was on Pirate and found a set of Chromolys for a stupid price and bought those, they are also sitting and waiting on install.

Also picked up some new rubber for it last night that I found for a steal. Five 37x13.50r15 IROK's on American Racing Baja's. I don't like the new American Racing wheels as much as my old ones, you can tell the Chamber wheels my KM2's are on were made to be rubbed all over rocks, these not so much. These wheels came with the tires, and will be replaced with Beadlocks after I see where I am at with funds after doing all the work mentioned below.

I was surprised to see after some research that the KM2's I had and these IROK's are within .1 lbs of each other weight wise if the manufacturers websites are to be believed...

In order for me to feel comfortable running these tires I also plan on the Evo Offroad inner front axle sleeves with the outer seals, and Artec's new truss with Johnny Joint's to eliminate factory rubber upper CA bushings.

I currently have the Johnny Joints, Front Trac Bar, and Chromoly axles in my possession, everything else mentioned below will be acquired as funds and time to do the work allow.

So, list of "To Do" as soon as I can get the time and space to do it being so cold outside:

1. Replace all Control Arm Joint's with the new JJ's

2. Install front Trac Bar, remove drop pitman, install factory pitman, cut drop bracket off of the frame. Reinforce factory Trac Bar bracket on frame.

3. Center/Align axles under vehicle after everything is replaced. Front is currently out towards the passenger side, and rear is out a little towards the driver still. Also need to dial the toe out a little, too much toe in at the moment.

4. Check pinion angles after alignment and

4. Install front axle inner sleeve and Artec truss. This will involve removing and benching the axle. In order to properly install this stuff I will need to remove the carrier/bearings/seals because the pumpkin will need to be pre/post heated to weld the collar to the tubes, and also the truss to the pumpkin as per Artec’s specs.

5. Poly Perf balljoints, my current ones aren't gone, but they are the originals and could use replacing

6. Install chromoly shafts in the front while the axle is out, and also throw them in the rear.

7. Reinstall axle

8. Cycle suspension and see where I am clearance wise and work on the bump stop situation. I have 3” BL pucks I can trim to size and use in the front. I know I need a minimum of 2” with the Currie Trac Bar so I will probably go with that. My spring buckets were drill/tapped for this a while ago. I will also probably have to clearance the rear wheel wells up to the welds on the fenders. It rubbed a little with the 35’s but not enough to be concerned about. This will need to be addressed with the new tires.

9. Figure out the dead spot in my steering. It wasn’t there at first with the new steering box, but now it is. I am not sure if I’ve worn the steering box, or the drop tracbar/pitman/bracket is causing this issue with the Currie steering. I suspect I may have worn out a few TRE’s with the drop setup, the angle on the TRE at the pitman arm is far more extreme than I am comfortable with.

10. Drill out the broken bolt in my driver side bottom bumper bolt hole so I can install the steering box skid. A friend of mine graciously snapped the head of the bolt off while cranking it on the wrong way while he was helping me install it. No big deal, it should spin out into the frame if I start with a small drill bit and keep stepping up to a bigger size while using some heat.

(Down the road after a million other “little” things are completed)

9. See how bad my rear spring angles are and address that if needed.

10. Outboard rear shocks, will probably do this at the same time as a spring bucket relocation if needed

11. Finish Hydro assist setup

12. Build/Buy new seat brackets, adapters put the seats higher than I am comfortable with.

13. Figure out my roll cage situation, I will mostly likely go with the poly Perf rear LJ kit. As for the front, I am currently unsure of what I want; no one really makes a kit I like. I don’t really want to go through the dash for ease of installing/removing the whole cage for paint when it’s done, but I may have to end up doing that. I suppose I can take the entire dash apart to get the cage in and out and then put it back together once the cage is painted and in the vehicle.
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Unread 01-02-2013, 07:13 AM   #14
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Some pictures of the new rubber I got on:

edit: My mistake on the size, they are 36x13.50 IROK's but measure out to nearly 37". For comparison they are bigger than most advertised 37's. Not my first choice of tire, but wasn't going to pass them up at the price and shape they were in. I'm also in a much better situation wheel wise as far as backspacing goes than I was before.





.

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Unread 01-11-2013, 10:23 PM   #15
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Holy cow it's 60 degree in Ohio in the middle of January. Time to take advantage of that.

These will be going into the control arms tomorrow:



In addition to that I will be replacing the bushings on the front axle housing.

Finally, after holding the new JJ's up to the current control arms and brackets in the front, I think I will be extending my control arms just a little. I am not comfortable at all with that thread engagement and it will be easier than redo'ing brackets.



More pics tomorrow if I'm not too pissed to take them from doing the axle housing bushings.
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