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Unread 02-06-2012, 09:29 PM   #1
bigt2317
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2005 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Leander, TX
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BigT2317's 2005 LJ Rubicon build

So I just picked me up a new to me 2005 LJ Rubicon. This is my first jeep and after doing a TON of research I decided to go with a LJ over a TJ for the extra space for my family, gear, and the overall extra wheelbase. My goals for this build will be to make it a streetable AND capable wheeler since my wife like the idea of driving the jeep (on road only) and I'm the big offroad guy.

After looking for a while trying to find a impossible jeep ('05 or '06 rubicon, manual trans, hard top, that has NOT be beat to crap) I found this stock jewel. I'd much rather buy something stock then have to tear off some cheapie parts the PO put on there to make it "cool".

It has 82K miles on it, has a CAI on it, professionally spray lined tub, bikini top, soft 1/2 doors, and some really loud Thrush muffler. The only issues it has are it looks like the rear main is leaking, and typical rock chips and dings.

The PO offered to by the like new copper street tires back from me for $100 each so I jumped on that and ordered my some 15" flat black procomp cheapie wheels along with some cheap 31"x10.5 dunlop mud rovers. I'm putting the stock rubicon 16" wheels for sale locally, FYI. These cheap wheels and tires will hold me over until I can afford to, and or, figure out what direction I want to go with the jeep. One thought is a mild (~3") long arm lift with a hyline fender setup or a "normal" 4"-6" lift either way running 35" tires.

I figure my main problem with the hylines are going to be my low breakover angle which being a LJ doesn't help that so I'm unsure of which way I want to go right now.

ANYWAYS, here are some pics of my new toy!!









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Unread 02-08-2012, 07:01 AM   #2
Peterpsc
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If you haven't already, check your OPDA.

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/20...ilure-1144202/
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Unread 02-08-2012, 10:47 AM   #3
bigt2317
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peterpsc View Post
If you haven't already, check your OPDA.

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/20...ilure-1144202/
Thanks, I've read up on it until my eyes hurt! I'll pull it and give it a check before to long
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Unread 02-08-2012, 03:35 PM   #4
jermeyg
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Congrats on your purchase! Before you start your build plan be sure to read a few builds on this JF. There is a lot of information on here. Tons of experience and trial and error. I would suggest reading any thread that Mr. Blaine has worked on, imped, Hendrix,redliner, savvy, glockster and there are many more. Lots of research before spending a penny.
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Unread 02-08-2012, 06:14 PM   #5
bigt2317
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jermeyg View Post
Congrats on your purchase! Before you start your build plan be sure to read a few builds on this JF. There is a lot of information on here. Tons of experience and trial and error. I would suggest reading any thread that Mr. Blaine has worked on, imped, Hendrix,redliner, savvy, glockster and there are many more. Lots of research before spending a penny.
For sure! I tend to spend too much time researching before I pull the trigger. I mean I'll debate and read up on wiper blades for hours and hours until I finally just buy 'em. Once I make a purchase I have a sense of relief knowing that the reaserch is over! haha
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Unread 03-08-2012, 12:53 PM   #6
bigt2317
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a little update, I sold the factory Moab wheels locally ($325) and sold the tires it came with back to the previous owner for $400, so that left me on jack stands and in need of new wheels and tires. I got 5 black procomp steelies 15x8's and put some 31x10.50 dunlop mud tires on there for the time being. Being that funds are low after buying the jeep I can't put the lift I want on right now so I'll wheel it stock for a while until these tires wear down some and then start building it all up.




I checked my OPDA and the gear does show a good amount of wear on it so I ordered a new one and will mod and install the new one shortly.

gear wear


The camshaft gear looks okay so thats a relief.




Then two weeks ago I replaced my rear main seal. Everything went good and smooth, started it up for a few minutes after and no leaks. Then I drove to get it inspected about 30-45 minutes away and when I parked I noticed a large amount of oil under the jeep. I looked to be the rear main again so I assumed the I tore the seal or a score on the crank ate the lip of the seal up. I started another thread about the issue here: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f19/r...tions-1336347/
Well last night I got around to putting the oil pan back off and it looks like the oil pan gasket got messed up during the install.


When I had the pan off I looked in the gap at the trans dust shield/spacer and didn't see much oil at all right where the rear main seal is so I'm hoping it was just this pan gasket. I put a new gasket on the pan and let the RTV to cure for about 15 min to get a better hold on the pan, I then put RTV on top of the gasket where needed and tried to reinstall the pan.

The gap where the pan seals between the transmission and rear bearing cap is TIGHT. I slide the pan into place and pulled it back out to check that the gasket was still in the right place and what do ya know, it happened again. I reset the gasket and put the pan back into place 3 times before I could slide it up at the perfect angle. It seems the bearing cap catches the lip of the oil pan gasket and pulls it in towards the pan when tightened. I let the RTV cure overnight last night so I didn't start it up and check for leaks again yet, I'll do that tonight.

I know if I have to do this again I will for sure at least loosen the transmission bolts and slid it back just a touch so it won't be so dang tight. I'll post up when I know if this was the issue
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Unread 03-08-2012, 09:12 PM   #7
bigt2317
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I put everything back together and let it idle while reving some for about 10-15 minutes, no leaks. I took it for a drive around the neighborhood and after about 10 minutes of driving easy I stopped and looked under the jeep, damn oil drip again, not as bad as it was but still dripping. I pulled it back in the garage and it was dripping about a drip every couple of seconds. I wiped everything clean and watched and it only dripped twice after letting it idle for about 20-30 minutes, it seems to drip a lot more while driving rather than just idling. Best case is maybe it was some oil accumlulation from the first mess up that was held in the transmission bellhousing, seeing as the drivetrain is angled nose high. Hopefully that is the issue but we'll see. I'll drive it around more and see if the drip gets worse and post back up
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Unread 03-14-2012, 08:52 PM   #8
bigt2317
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I think it's fixed!!

So, the other day I got in the mood to track down the oil leak once again. Since the drivetrain sits nose high in the jeep that means the transmission bellhousing has a small area in the bottom of it where the oil can pool up. I blocked the front tires and jacked the rear end up as high as my big floor jack would go to tilt the drivetrain tail high and see if there was oil pooling in the bellhousing. The engine was not running and I got zero drops of oil, I then started the engine and oil began pouring out in a steady stream fom between the bellhousing and spacer/dust shield, like it did before.

I let it run like this for a minute or so then the oil started coming out slower and slower until it came to a drip every 25-30 seconds. I lowered the rear end and drove it for a couple of miles for a little test and pulled it back in the garage, now I got 2 drops over ~10 minutes. I wiped everything down good and drove it again for the next 2 days with zero signs of leaks on my garage floor!!

I guess the oil did pool up from the first leak and got "pushed" out by the engine starting and the clutch and everything turning. I'm keeping a eye on it for a while but this is a really big weight off my shoulders. I bought this jeep to get away from major work on vehicles for a while. I sold my '86 Ford bronco that I totally gutted and built up to 42" TSL's, one tons, built 460 big block, custom cage, custom dash, pretty much only thing stock was the body. I got tired of doing everything custom and having to "one off" all the needed parts.

With the oil leak hopefully behind me I can focus on the OPDA replacement, then I'll probably shoot for doing a MML, and a BL to make room for a future tummy tuck. I'll locate some bumpers and sliders to "hang" with the guys on the trail while still rockin' my 31's.
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Unread 03-16-2012, 05:13 AM   #9
G Beasley
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I wish my LJ was that color as the green gets HOT . Nice work on the rear main , all jeeps leak there its just a matter of time . As the bumpers and sliders what are you leaning towards ?
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Unread 03-17-2012, 08:49 AM   #10
bigt2317
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G Beasley View Post
I wish my LJ was that color as the green gets HOT . Nice work on the rear main , all jeeps leak there its just a matter of time . As the bumpers and sliders what are you leaning towards ?
mine is my favorite color, so I got pretty dang lucky to find one that was close, a 6 speed, had a hard top, and wasn't beat to crap. I've done a ton a rear mains in the past but never has one gave me this much of a fit. haha.

Not sure on what bumpers and sliders yet, what ever the best value is, I suppose. My buddy (Tommy R on here), is selling me his front stinger so now I need a rear bumper/tire carrier and a set of sliders. I'll have to wait a little bit until my money tree in the back yard grows a little more so I'll be researching which ones to get over the next few months.
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Unread 04-29-2012, 05:58 PM   #11
bigt2317
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a little update. I got the black procomp wheels on with the black lugs and black center caps.


Then my buddy Tommy (TommyR on here) gave me a poison spider stinger


I got one of the first phases of the building the the mail, a brown dog offroad 1" motor mount lift and Savvy 1.25" body lift were waiting on my doorstep. Here are some pics of the install




All done



This past weekend was the first time I took it out on the trails for I got a few poser shots

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Unread 04-29-2012, 06:07 PM   #12
f18wrangler
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That rig looks really good....the more i see LJ's the more i with i would have picked one up lol
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Unread 04-29-2012, 08:42 PM   #13
Tommy R
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Looking good! And look at that hawt TJ in the driveway. WOW!

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Unread 04-29-2012, 09:32 PM   #14
BadJeep2006
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I just finished my 2006 LJ Rubicon build. Feel free to ask if you have questions about anything.

Joe
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Unread 04-30-2012, 06:32 AM   #15
bigt2317
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Tommy - you know it, I always thought that way about short buses.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BadJeep2006 View Post
I just finished my 2006 LJ Rubicon build. Feel free to ask if you have questions about anything.

Joe
Thanks Joe, I'll keep that in mind.
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