Savvy Shop Truck LJ Build - Wrecked to Wanted! - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 87 Old 01-16-2015, 06:30 AM Thread Starter
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Savvy Shop Truck LJ Build - Wrecked to Wanted!

Been building race cars for the last three years with great success. Three Overall King of the Hammers Everyman Challenge Wins, NORRA 1000 Unlimited 4x4 Win, two Ultra4 National Champhionships in three years. Savvy has two cars running next month at KOH and hoping for a fourth EMC win. Our new Unlimited car is dialed and ready.

So after building JKs and race cars I decided to go back to our roots and build some TJ/LJs. The Spartan LJS is nearing completion and you can view that thread. The Savvy Shop LJ is just for running around town and tackling a few trails. What I'm building is a LJ on 32" tires! Yes, 32" tires that can do the Rubicon and Moab.

You see I have buggies and Jeeps that are point and shoot and can do the most extreme trails in the US. But, when I first started wheeling it seems we had the best times conquering trails in nearly stock Jeeps. The Savvy Shop Jeep is just that but very capable. I'll explain the reasons why I chose the modifications throughout the thread and the parts that I have proven to be the best available. I show you these not to brag but what we are capable of.

The LJ that dominated KOH EMC 2012 & 2013


The Savvy/Currie 4500 destroyed the field at KOH EMC 2014 winning by nearly 2 hours


These two were built last year. Savvy JK14


Our new U4 Unlimited Jeep



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2003 TJ Project Unrolled

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post #2 of 87 Old 01-16-2015, 06:31 AM Thread Starter
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I found this wrecked 2005 LJ Rubicon.

Plan to install as many Savvy parts as needed. Keep a low COG and real lightweight. No corner armor until it is needed.

Build Sheet

Savvy Aluminum Bumpers & Winch Guard
Warn Zeon Winch (of course)
Savvy Mini Boatside Aluminum Rockers (to be introduced at KOH15)
Savvy Under Armor - Aluminum Drive Train Skids
Savvy Gas Tank Skid - Aluminum with lifetime warranty
Savvy/Currie 3" Suspension Lift - Aluminum control arms and Johnny Joints everywhere
Currie Antirocks
Savvy LED Billet Tail lights (maintains that classic look)
Savvy Transfer Case shifter kit
Savvy Ultimate Steering
PSC Ram Assist
Black Magic Big Brake 16" Kit
BFG 256/70-16 MTs
sPOD Control Center
Magnaflow Exhaust
JKS 1.25" Body Lift
Savvy 1" motor mount lift
PSC Defenders (Came off the EMC LJ)


I quickly dismantled it and made a roller out of it. Just needed the obvious grille, fenders and hood. Luckily the Spartan LJ sports fiberglass so the hood and grille were just collecting dust. Under the hood a new water pump, fan clutch, belt and radiator.




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2003 TJ Project Unrolled

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post #3 of 87 Old 01-16-2015, 06:49 AM
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following this build

As for me and my family, we will ride for Christ
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post #4 of 87 Old 01-16-2015, 06:50 AM Thread Starter
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This was a Saturday morning effort





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post #5 of 87 Old 01-16-2015, 06:52 AM Thread Starter
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This is actually our 1/4" hardcore aluminum front bumper and later you'll see one finished. The OEM swaybar will be replaced with a Currie Antirock later in the show.


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post #6 of 87 Old 01-16-2015, 07:03 AM Thread Starter
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When I first started wheeling and really had no control of my TJ (read no ram assist and not knowing how to wheel) I would constantly rip the tail lights off. I did what everyone else did was put those round LEDs on. But, I was never satisfied with their performance or looks. What we built was a aluminum 6061 billet housing with a flush mounting LEDs. So I get the classic Jeep look but a tail light that is tough and bright. Along with being DOT/SAE compliant and LED side markers to be legal.

OEM Tail lights


LED Housing - The Type 3 Mil Spec anodizing has not faded in 5 years. Grounding is your friend. Almost 99% of the the calls I get are bad grounds. You'll notice the counter sinks and ground lugs and be grinded clean to insure a tight connection. The tail light housing grounds to the body via the three SS mounting screws.


Here's one in natural finish

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post #7 of 87 Old 01-16-2015, 07:17 AM Thread Starter
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Under Armor installation begins. You must install a body and motor mount lift like most raised belly ups. Our is not different in that regards. What makes ours unique is we use aluminum for the skid and steel for bolt in cross members. No welding needed but if you can weld in a couple of frame tabs it will become even stronger. You'll see this in most of our products is the melding of materials to get the most strength possible. You can not bend 6061-T6 in tight 90° without it breaking or compromising it hardness.

Motor mount spacer blocks install (we no longer make these as too many of you already have MML)




The trick outer C's for the structural cross member. These attach the x-member side to side.

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post #8 of 87 Old 01-16-2015, 07:23 AM Thread Starter
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We need to dimple the tub so we can get the 241 t-case up. I just put the floor jack under the t-case and lift it up till it can go any further. You can also put a big socket on top of the t-case where it hits and that will help dimple the tub. You can see the circle where the socket was. We are raising the t-case up 3-4" so you need to do this so the tcase doesn't make contact and vibrate you teeth out.

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post #9 of 87 Old 01-16-2015, 07:23 AM
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nice excited to see the end product.

His:00 TJ "Fiona" stuff/stuff/stuff
95 ZJ 3.5" w/242 swap-Sold
Hers: 15 JK Sahara-3" Teraflex
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post #10 of 87 Old 01-16-2015, 07:25 AM Thread Starter
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You should install the cable shifter at the same time while the transmission is lowered. Much easier now than when it is all bolted up. When raising the drive train up the OEM mechanical linkage gets bound up. We replace it with our cable shifter kit. Make sure when installing it that the slide rods are as straight as possible. You can install them on both sides of the levers and you will break the cable if they are not straight.


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post #11 of 87 Old 01-16-2015, 07:31 AM Thread Starter
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So now we can install the main cross member of our UA kit. This raises transmission 3-4". The exhaust will actually go up a bunch as well. You can just see the painted x-member. I like to loosely fit everything in to mae sure it is all adjust before tightening it all down. The trick to getting our x-member in is to leave one of the C's backed off. So you just raise teh x-member in palce and pop the C on.



What's unbelievable is how clean the underside of this LJ is! The T-case looks new.


Test fit the main skid to make sure all of the holes line up. 3-4" of more ground clearance of stock! That's a 6-8" tire size gain!


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post #12 of 87 Old 01-16-2015, 07:46 AM Thread Starter
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Installing the Savvy/Currie suspension lift

We start on the front by ripping everything off. Nothing old will be reused!

A lot going on here. We are drilling the spring perch so we can install the Currie bump stops. This will help encapsulate the springs so you don't drop one on the trail. We cut off the passenger side upper control arm mount so we can install the Currie JJ Front Housing kit. Probably the most needed but seldomly done mod. The rubber bushings are rigid and won't let the front axle articulate smoothly. This makes the front mount so much stronger it is recommended that you beef up the frame side.


It is a pain to get those OEM bushing out but once you get the Johnny Joint in makes it all worth the effort. I've seen countless control arms and upper frame mounts torn or twisted because this was not done.

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post #13 of 87 Old 01-16-2015, 08:28 AM
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Your special parts are boxed up and should be delivered to Corona today.

I am Savvy
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post #14 of 87 Old 01-16-2015, 09:08 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrblaine View Post
Your special parts are boxed up and should be delivered to Corona today.
Thanks Blaine! Looking forward to installing the 16" Black Magic Big Brake kit!

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post #15 of 87 Old 01-16-2015, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Savvy View Post
I found this wrecked 2005 LJ Rubicon.

Plan to install as many Savvy parts as needed. Keep a low COG and real lightweight. Now corner armor until it is needed.

Build Sheet

Savvy Mini Boatside Aluminum Rockers (to be introduced at KOH15)
I want to see pictures of these!

Certified Web Wheeler
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