2005 LJ

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2005 LJ

Postby tobyw » Thu May 05, 2022 9:58 am

I simply could not pass up the deal I stumbled into on this little gem. It's a 2005 LJ with a pile of road miles, but had clearly never seen the other side of a gravel road and was completely stock save for some routine maintenance part replacements over the years, Rubicon flares, and an aftermarket frameless soft top:

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After dragging it back home from the greater Spokane area and giving it a good once over, it was decided that this would become a v2.0 of my beloved 2004 LJ, which was purchased as a very similar pavement princess, and ultimately became my second favorite Jeep of all time:

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Unbeknownst to me, however, the female minion immediately called dibs on this outfit so the overall build plan will be slightly less purpose-built than before:

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Yep, I've wheeled one of those, too...

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Posts: 1781
Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 10:00 am
Location: Under the hood...

Re: 2005 LJ

Postby tobyw » Thu May 05, 2022 10:18 am

Ordinarily on a TJ-platform build, I start with rollcage upgrades and then build out the rest of it from there:

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Since this one isn't intended to be a dedicated off-roader, I'm going to leave any rollcage work for sometime down the road and instead focus on the suspension, recovery, and body protection aspects for now. With that said, I'm stuck in the supply chain nightmare waiting for the recovery portion of the build, but the suspension bits have started showing up on the porch so it's probably time to get started:

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The first order of business was to whip up and install my patented lower bump stops, complete with recessed threads be able to stack additional pucks if necessary to keep tires out of fenders. I also welded on a doubler plate for the track bar mounting bracket because the factory piece is tinfoil thin, but I didn't snap a good picture of that:

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Some quick trimming to the shock mounting bracket for control arm clearance at full droop:

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The minion decided she wanted to help, since it's her Jeep, so I put her to work assembling the adjustable control arms:

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And here we have the completed front installation:

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Hoping to get to the rear install this weekend...
Yep, I've wheeled one of those, too...


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Joined: Wed Mar 14, 2007 10:00 am
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Re: 2005 LJ

Postby tobyw » Mon May 09, 2022 10:30 am

Before leaving the front I added some 1" spacers to the lower shock mounts to allow a little bit of additional droop since the shocks are currently the limiting factor, and uptravel is limited by the bumpstops before the shocks bottomed out. There is now perfect harmony between shock uptravel and bumpstops, although the rest of the suspension does still have significantly more downtravel available... We may revisit shocks at a later date:

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The rear is just as simple as the front, with my world famous bumpstops, (4) adjustable control arms, and a riser bracket for the rear track bar. As with the front, uptravel is very well matched between the shock and bumptstop, but there is a lot more droop available than the shocks allow. I typically like to outboard the rear shocks on a TJ platform anyway, so again we may revisit shocks at a later date:

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Next up was a 1.25" body lift, which will ultimately pave the way for a high-clearance belly pan, but also provides some additional fender clearance without so much suspension lift as to cause funky control arm angles:

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And the final element for now is a 1" motor mount lift, again to help with the high-clearance belly pan. I've had these on the shelf for the better part of a decade, having won them in the raffle at the annual All-4-Fun event in Colorado some years back:

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With that, it was time to install the tires that I recently picked up from Screaming Toilet... The boy is currently taking automotive tech at Richland High, and they are encouraged to bring in their own projects for class work. So, I tasked him with mounting the new tires up on the factory wheels:

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A quick push of the broom to clean up the bomb that went off in the shop, and I backed it out for some quick shots as the sun was setting:

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Things are starting to take shape, visually at least, and there will be more to come as we start fabricating sliders, bumpers, and get the winch mounted up :thu:
Yep, I've wheeled one of those, too...


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Re: 2005 LJ

Postby tobyw » Wed May 11, 2022 11:30 am

Got tired of kicking the boxes around the shop so I installed the winch last night, even though I'm still waiting on the hawse fairlead to arrive :roll:

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If anyone is in the market for a budget winch (usually around $300 on Amazon), I would strongly recommend taking a look at these Smittybilt Gen 2 XRC units. This is the same winch I put on the boys' XJ and have been nothing but impressed with it, having already put it to significant use for not only recovery, but also pulling stumps around the pharm. It is extremely quiet, has a very reasonable line speed even under load, and the remote has a nifty magnet on the nose that allows you to lay it on the bumper/hood/fender and it won't fall off. Nice little touch...
Yep, I've wheeled one of those, too...


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