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Unread 07-26-2011, 03:18 PM   #1
RD58
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A Few Newby 2004 Jeep TJ Unlimited ???

Hello, I posted this in the introduction section, but I figured that it may be more appropriate here since I have some technical questions. I researched it pretty well, but would appreciate some opinions and advice.

I Just bought a slightly used 2004 TJ Unlimited with 62k, the wife and I are pretty excited. She already has a 1998 Jeep Cherokee with 171K that is pretty much stock with the exception of new wheels and an upgraded exhaust system.We looked at a handful of the LJ's (learning the lingo) and we liked the longer wheelbase for a variety of reasons.

The LJ we purchased is in very good condition. We loved the way it handled and loved the overall appearance. It came with both a soft and hard top which was a big factor in our decision too (even though the soft top is a little beat). It has a 2-3" lift, not quite sure, looks like 2.5" to me. It also has pretty used 31"x10.5" tires on it that need to be replaced.

I have been doing quite a bit of research on this forum and it has been very useful. We are going to use this Jeep as a third car for fun, mainly driving around town and some light trail use to start. I would like to change out the wheels, tires, soft top and possibly the fender flares (last one is contingent on the OK from the boss/wife ). Here are my thoughts:

- 5 Cragar Series 342 wheels, 15x8"
- 5 Grabber Red Letter Tires, 33X12.50R15LT
- A Bestop Trektop
- Bushwacker 6" Pocket Style Fender Flares or maybe something cheaper

My main concern is tire size and ride-ability. I obviously like the look, but I also want it to manageable on both the street and off road. I think that size tire would fit well with the lift and 4" backspacing on the rim, but I'm not sure. I have no qualms about running a 31" or 32" tire or going with a different brand of tire.

Based on the pictures can anyone guesstimate how much lift there is on my Jeep? We're picking it up on Monday so I don't have it in my possession as of yet. Any comments/advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again,
RD




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Unread 07-26-2011, 03:20 PM   #2
unlimitedlj
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Looks like a 2 inch puck lift basically spacers. Not bad but, your ride will be a little more bouncy with that vs taller springs.
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Unread 07-26-2011, 03:21 PM   #3
unlimitedlj
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Looks to be in great shape though. For a good price I would buy it in a heartbeat. Sky is the limit for mods on those too.
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Unread 07-26-2011, 03:23 PM   #4
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For 33s to work and have good flexing you need at least a 3 inch lift mine is a 2.5 inch with 32x11.50s and I have just enough room to flex. 33s for me and I coudn't flex much at all.
picture-040.jpg   picture-041.jpg  
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Unread 07-26-2011, 03:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RD58 View Post
I Just bought a slightly used 2004 TJ Unlimited with 62k, the wife and I are pretty excited. She already has a 1998 Jeep Cherokee with 171K that is pretty much stock with the exception of new wheels and an upgraded exhaust system.We looked at a handful of the LJ's (learning the lingo) and we liked the longer wheelbase for a variety of reasons.

The LJ we purchased is in very good condition. We loved the way it handled and loved the overall appearance. It came with both a soft and hard top which was a big factor in our decision too (even though the soft top is a little beat). It has a 2-3" lift, not quite sure, looks like 2.5" to me. It also has pretty used 31"x10.5" tires on it that need to be replaced.
it's got a Skyjacker 2" Budget Boost. and it looks like they didn't install the front bumpstop extensions, but its really hard to see from that picture. you'd want to make sure those are in place front and rear.

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Originally Posted by RD58 View Post
- 5 Cragar Series 342 wheels, 15x8"
- 5 Grabber Red Letter Tires, 33X12.50R15LT
- A Bestop Trektop
- Bushwacker 6" Pocket Style Fender Flares or maybe something cheaper
1. Go with aluminum wheels if you can afford it, they are easier to balance and lighter weight than steelies.
2. To fit 33s you'll need 2" front and rear bumpstop extension with the BB. A 1" BL would also be recommended.
3. Whatever floats your boat.
4. Waste of money. They don't call em Bushcrackers for nothing. Keep the stock flares & trim them or go to Rubicon flares, or wider stock style flares so the tires tuck into them in flex.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RD58 View Post
My main concern is tire size and ride-ability. I obviously like the look, but I also want it to manageable on both the street and off road.
OME (Old Man Emu) lift and shocks are often recommended for their great on road ride and off-road ability.
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Unread 07-26-2011, 03:40 PM   #6
flying_bosun
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- 5 Cragar Series 342 wheels, 15x8"

Inexpensive steel wheels, possible balance and/or quality issues, but no first hand experience.

Wheel spacers can be a bit pricey and it may be better to spend more on properly back-spaced quality rims.

- 5 Grabber Red Letter Tires, 33X12.50R15LT

No experience, no comment

- A Bestop Trektop

Some guys are really liking the frameless system, but no matter what, be sure it's Bestop with Sailcloth material. Costs more, but well worth it.

- Bushwacker 6" Pocket Style Fender Flares or maybe something cheaper

Not a fan personally. I don't like the look, but that's opinion. I'd get OEM Rubicon flares, they're wider than standard.

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Unread 07-26-2011, 03:42 PM   #7
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Cool, learning a lot already, thanks for the responses.
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Unread 07-26-2011, 03:53 PM   #8
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I just want a basic set of black rims. Does Pro Comp make a good wheel? How about the Pro Comp Series 8069? Would something along those lines be better? I don't mind spending more if it's going to cause me less stress and aggravation in the end. As for the tires, I may just stick with 31's or 32's for now.
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Unread 07-26-2011, 04:30 PM   #9
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Looks like a nice LJ you have there. Wish I had an '04 due to the opda problem with later models. I didn't see if you had a manual or auto, but if you go up much in tire size with an auto, my advice is to budget for regearing. I did not and really wish I had.
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Unread 07-26-2011, 04:48 PM   #10
unlimitedlj
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Yea 04's only came in 42RLE's so a regear with 32 or 33s is in order if you go 33s go 4.88s if you plan to keep it under that 4.56s. Honestly though even though I love my 4.56s I wish I had gone 4.88s just to have that extra edge but, its leaps and bounds better than 3.73s it had on there.
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Unread 07-26-2011, 04:52 PM   #11
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Ever think about just beadblasting your stock rims then powdercoating them black? Should be able to having it done for less money than a pair of Cragers............
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Unread 07-26-2011, 05:14 PM   #12
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A few after thoughts:

I'd also do whatever necessary to stay with 16" rims. 15s are getting increasingly difficult to source tires for from what I gather.

OME shock and springs are great on road and off.

Use the grimmjeeper link in my sig for a gear calculator to see where you want to be gearing-wise
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Unread 07-26-2011, 05:38 PM   #13
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I try not to get involved in peoples build plans, because it has a lot to do with personal preference. But, I will say that I would NOT ever install pocket flares on an off-road Jeep. I did it. It reduced uptravel (even 6" flares), so I trimmed them, it still rubbed and they kept getting popped off by the front tires, I trimmed a LOT more, is still happened. They literally act as "pockets" to catch every bit of mud you drive through. They are brittle and catch on every thing. When I finally ripped one off completely on a tree I danced a jig, ripped the other three off by hand right then and there. Then I threw them in the back of the Jeep where they stayed until I was close to a garbage can. Once there I danced some more as I happily threw them away.

Do you want to know how I really feel?
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Be very careful with the wife mod. Uninstallation can be extremely expensive. Wife mods have been known to take the Jeep and all other mods during the uninstall process. Also, make sure you service your wife mod properly as often as humanly possible. Wife mods not properly serviced may malfunction or uninstall themselves at any time.
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Unread 07-26-2011, 05:48 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by NotURMailman View Post
Do you want to know how I really feel?
I gave mine away to a guy that bought some other Jeep odds and ends for free. I think that also offers some insight on Bushwacker's worth.
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Unread 07-26-2011, 08:47 PM   #15
RD58
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Thanks for all of the info. I may keep it the way it is now and have some fun before changing stuff up. Hell, I don't even have the thing yet, lol.
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