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  #1  
Unread 11-06-2015, 09:39 AM
Johnnyairtime Johnnyairtime is offline
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Default 2005 LJ Rubicon w/highline fenders (new to me! and my intro)

Hello all...

I'm new here, and new to 4wheel off-roading. Coming from a family who rode and raced dirt bikes, it's a different thing to crawl and be belted in. You see so much more, then speeding by it all tapped out and eyes bouncing around in their sockets. A nice change for sure! I'll still ride 2wheels, but racing isn't too affordable these days. Now it's back to camping and enjoying my surroundings with the dogs and wife.

I was sitting in camp (in our local desert, 1.5hrs away) with my wife and Dad. He's 81 now, and I'm 47 (48 this month... oh goodness!) and to this day, I still need my dad's approval on some things. Here's how it played out... as we sat there, I watched a Suzuki Samurai pull out of a nearby camp. I mentioned how nice it would be to not have to put all kinds of gear on... and, to load the cooler and head out for fun with shorts and flip-flops on. My wife immediately agreed, and the more we talked... my Dad did too.

Once home, I bought a Samurai. Took a good year to build it how I wanted it, then realized I had to trailer it everywhere as it was too much a rock crawler and not too practical. I sold it.

I then bought a Grand Cherokee out of Salt Lake City UT. Drove it home, and it too became a project. It seems I have to re-do most everything I buy, simply because I'm overly meticulous. With that... the Cherokee is done, and super nice...
... but, I fell in love with a Rubicon (TJ) with less then 25K miles. The owner I met in Moab... he was "thinking" of selling. Mind you, this thing was MINT... had Nth degree lift, onboard air, etc, etc. I came home from Moab (in October of 2015) and sent him an email. I didn't think I'd be able to afford it, being it KBB'd at $21,000 without any of his additional items. So, I set out looking at LJs.
Fast forward to now (not even a whole month later) and I flew to Billings Montana where I bought a 2005 LJ Rubicon, with a highline kit sitting on 37s. I never even knew what AEV meant, or stood for until last month. Oh man... I'm in for a lot of info in a short amount of time, as I read and research. Lots to learn for sure!!!

Oh, about the LJ... I love it!!!
Sadly, last week... I got word that the TJ I loved so much, IS up for sale now and was to be sold for MUCH LESS then I could have ever imagined. I was actually sickened as I drove to work that day. Had even thought it best to sell the LJ and go after the TJ... that was, until I got back home and realized my love for the LJ.
My LJ came with;
47K miles, an "AEV tummy tuck", and oil & trans skid plate, RCV front D44 axles, AEV Highline fenders and hood, Rancho 4-5" lift kit, 4:88 gears, (5) 37" tires, rear bumper and swing out tire carrier, Tuffy rear cargo slide out box, Front bumper, 8000lb winch, off-road lights and windshield brackets, locker bypass switch, rear quarter armor, rock sliders, and is a Rubicon! (My main reason for looking/buying was the 4:1 transfer case) ... I thought it to be a great starting point for my first Wrangler!

I've since swapped the front springs for Metal Cloak Dual rate 4.5", Metal Cloak (adjustable) aluminum upper arms and standard steel lowers and removed all coil spring spacers (leaving the rear 3.5" Pro Comp springs). Replaced the front windshield, added a bolt in roll (sport) cage, swapped my Cherokees winch in (a 9500lb), welded up an exhaust leak, swapped the wheels out for my Cherokee wheels (all black vs: simulated silver bead locks) ... etc, etc.

My Cherokee (with long arms) still rides better on the road, but I really like the LJ and all it brings with it. Mainly, no more welding up body panels from my last outing! Hence the love for a framed vehicle!

Future plans?
- Trying to make it ride even smoother (Nth Degree long arm?).
- Trying to hold back my sh*t eatin' grin everytime I drive it!

This is how it sits today;
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  #2  
Unread 11-06-2015, 03:46 PM
lucky73 lucky73 is offline
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WHOA nice one!
some guy in WISCONSIN is selling Mopar bumpers that would match

if youre going to drive at night you may want upgraded headlights

Last edited by lucky73; 11-06-2015 at 03:50 PM.
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  #3  
Unread 11-06-2015, 04:58 PM
Johnnyairtime Johnnyairtime is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucky73 View Post
WHOA nice one!
some guy in WISCONSIN is selling Mopar bumpers that would match

if youre going to drive at night you may want upgraded headlights
Thanks! Lovin' it so far.

Mopar bumpers? Got a link?

Headlights - already have JK lights to retrofit to HID Bi-Xenon projectors.

Off-road lights at the A-pillars will come off, and I'll be going LED bar and LED pod lights. Simple and clean(er) look.
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Unread 11-06-2015, 06:25 PM
Ben Hedrick Ben Hedrick is offline
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Nice!! Welcome to the club! It is a fun club.

Ben
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www.BenHedrick.com
HEDRICK Speedsports
2007 5.7L HEMI Sahara Unlimited - Sold
2010 6.1L HEMI Rubicon Unlimited - Sold
2011 6.4L (392) HEMI Rubicon Unlimited - Sold
2002 4.0L AEV Brute - Sold
2003 6.4L "Stroker" HEMI AEV Brute - Sold
2005 4.0L SC AEV K9 Brute
2014 345 HEMI Rubicon Xpo Adventurer
2000 4.0L AEV 112 Long Wheelbase
2006 4.0L AEV Brute Rubicon
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  #5  
Unread 11-06-2015, 08:32 PM
bathindian bathindian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnnyairtime View Post
Thanks! Lovin' it so far.

Mopar bumpers? Got a link?

Headlights - already have JK lights to retrofit to HID Bi-Xenon projectors.

Off-road lights at the A-pillars will come off, and I'll be going LED bar and LED pod lights. Simple and clean(er) look.
Welcome to the forum ...bumpers are long gone though.
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2005 Rubicon TJ
AEV 3" Springs, Bilstein 5100 shocks, Currie Control Arms, Currie front anti rock, Currie Front Adjustable Trac Bar, Rear Trac Bar relocation Bracket
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  #6  
Unread 11-07-2015, 04:59 AM
Ben Hedrick Ben Hedrick is offline
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Here is your Mopar bumper. Brand new they are $700. You can also get them from your local Mopar/Jeep dealer with no shipping.

Ben

http://www.quadratec.com/products/12112_103_07.htm
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Ben Hedrick
www.BenHedrick.com
HEDRICK Speedsports
2007 5.7L HEMI Sahara Unlimited - Sold
2010 6.1L HEMI Rubicon Unlimited - Sold
2011 6.4L (392) HEMI Rubicon Unlimited - Sold
2002 4.0L AEV Brute - Sold
2003 6.4L "Stroker" HEMI AEV Brute - Sold
2005 4.0L SC AEV K9 Brute
2014 345 HEMI Rubicon Xpo Adventurer
2000 4.0L AEV 112 Long Wheelbase
2006 4.0L AEV Brute Rubicon
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  #7  
Unread 11-07-2015, 06:26 PM
Johnnyairtime Johnnyairtime is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Hedrick View Post
Here is your Mopar bumper. Brand new they are $700. You can also get them from your local Mopar/Jeep dealer with no shipping.

Ben

http://www.quadratec.com/products/12112_103_07.htm
Thanks Ben...

I see that bumper on some Jeeps (in this forum), but I'm not much of a fan. I don't have the stock (fog) lights, and wouldn't retain them since they don't put out enough for us in the desert. So the end 'hoop' would be useless. Otherwise, I do like how clean it is.

If I get tired of the bumper the LJ came with, I'll build a new one (I've been a hobbyist fabricator for 20-25yrs).
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  #8  
Unread 11-07-2015, 07:11 PM
Ben Hedrick Ben Hedrick is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnnyairtime View Post
Thanks Ben...

I see that bumper on some Jeeps (in this forum), but I'm not much of a fan. I don't have the stock (fog) lights, and wouldn't retain them since they don't put out enough for us in the desert. So the end 'hoop' would be useless. Otherwise, I do like how clean it is.

If I get tired of the bumper the LJ came with, I'll build a new one (I've been a hobbyist fabricator for 20-25yrs).
I do not care for the stock fog lights either and you're right they DO NOT put out much light. I've even upgraded the bulbs to 100W's and nothing.

Here are two styles I've got with, with the Mopar bumpers. I've done the Baja Design's and the ARB Intensity's. MUCH better.





Ben
__________________
Ben Hedrick
www.BenHedrick.com
HEDRICK Speedsports
2007 5.7L HEMI Sahara Unlimited - Sold
2010 6.1L HEMI Rubicon Unlimited - Sold
2011 6.4L (392) HEMI Rubicon Unlimited - Sold
2002 4.0L AEV Brute - Sold
2003 6.4L "Stroker" HEMI AEV Brute - Sold
2005 4.0L SC AEV K9 Brute
2014 345 HEMI Rubicon Xpo Adventurer
2000 4.0L AEV 112 Long Wheelbase
2006 4.0L AEV Brute Rubicon
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  #9  
Unread 03-24-2016, 01:38 PM
Johnnyairtime Johnnyairtime is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 8
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Good day all...

Been enjoying my Rubi, and don't have much to talk about... but, my smile is always bigger when out and about. Love this LJ.

Been knocking out small upgrades here and there.

- inboarded the rear shocks
- frenched the rear shocks (outside of frame)
- fixed the top rear coil mount (straightened coil)
- replaced the shocks (RS9000 to Fox 2.0 with reservoir and adjuster)

... those rear shocks made a HUGE difference in how it rides. Wow!

- swapped out the RC front track bar, for a double shear RE with frame side mount. No more bobble or whobble at 35-40mph
- swapped the steering for Currie Correctlync. Drives even better.
(I had two tie-rod end issues, one on the old steering at pitman arm and one on the RC trackbar at frame side - since replaced, drives better then new)

- Removed the JKS sway bar disco's and stock sway bar, and went with the Terraflex Dual Rate Sway bar system.

Other little tidbits I can't think of right now...
I'll get some better photos of it in use when I can manage. Right now, they're just poser shots from being out and about.

BTW, I'm *thinking* of selling off my highline fenders/flares to go with (TnT) hyline tube fenders. Why you ask? Well, I'm scared and stressed each time I take it out that I'll damage a fender or flare, and have a hard time finding a replacement. I LOVE how it looks with the highlines, and that (most) people don't even notice. That stock, yet not stock look... is awesome. But the stress is going to kill me. Yet, it does keep me from trying things that might cause some body damage. No fun in that!

(below pictures are from Baja Mexico - where I followed some buddies on a trail we usually ride on dirt bikes. This trip, I took my wife so she could see the terrain and not have to ride her ATV or drive her Rzr)
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Last edited by Johnnyairtime; 03-24-2016 at 01:45 PM.
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  #10  
Unread 03-24-2016, 01:43 PM
Johnnyairtime Johnnyairtime is offline
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Shots of the new front trackbar
(welded and bolted)

And the rear shock mounts
(frame frenched, and lower mounts outboarded)
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