I picked up an LJ a little while back and I thought I would be fun to create a build thread here to watch the process of converting it from stock to ROCK! This year I'll be bringing the LJ out for a few Discount Tire Sponsored events so if you recognize it please stop me and say hi.
Without too much talk here's what we're starting with.
Fully Stock 2004 LJ 4.0 Auto (she's going to grow up quick! )
Where to start....... Well, not all of it is figured out yet but new suspension is a must, we've got to have more flex and at least a little more lift if we want the LJ to keep up with the pack. High clearance bumpers, skids, sliders and some corner crushers should help protect it on the trail. For wheels and tires 35's should be a good step up from stock, and there's a new 2011 wheel design that would certainly look sharp on it. For performance an upgraded exhaust and intake should help it breath and gears will also need to be upgraded.....
After browsing pages and pages of bumpers for the LJ I settled on a front and rear bumper from Hanson Off-road. I was looking for a mid length front bumper with a moderate sized stinger and winch mount. For the rear, I was looking for a rear bumper with an integrated hitch and heavy duty tire carrier. Hanson had exactly what I was looking for and.. its all made in the USA.
Installation: The directions were clear and all hardware was included. I installed these by myself but having an extra pair of hands would have made my job a little quicker. Some drilling was required for the rear tire carrier but for the weekend warrior installing these bumpers should be a breeze
Quality: Photos don't do these bumpers justice. These are some of the nicest bumpers I have seen. The quality of the welds, the fit and the finish are all top notch! These are made using 3/16 steel. They are powder coated with a semi gloss black and all mounting hardware is grade 8.
Some Notes for others considering these bumpers:
Front bumper: If you are temporarily mounting your stock Fog lights to the winch plate you will need to lengthen the fog light wiring. This wiring is not included.
Rear bumper: With the factory center brake light removed an aftermarket center rear brake light will need to be purchased and installed. I'll update this post when I have completed this step.
I'm not running their long arm kit, but I love my Full Traction short arm kit. The thing flexes like a beast offroad and rides great on the road. I'm extremely happy with their workmanship and fit. I think you'll be happy as well!! They're a bit pricey upfront, but worth every penny in the long run.
Americans sleep safely in their beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do them harm...
Happiness is a Barrett M82A1 .50 caliber and a target at least a click out........
I come in peace. I didn't bring artillery. But I'm pleading with you with tears in my eyes, if you f**k with me, I'll kill you all.....
I'm working on the suspension now. I snapped this quick pic of the rear last night before it got dark. Fingers crossed, I should be done installing the suspension tonight! I can't tell you how impressed I have been with the parts and customer service at Full Traction. Full Traction has really done there homework here and the quality of their parts is outstanding. I am no pro mechanic so I have sent my fair share of questions to the guys at Full Traction. They have been very, very helpful. More pics to come...
The lift is on! I finished it up late last night. It was too dark for photos so I'll snap a few today and post them up by tomorrow. Tomorrow the Jeep is scheduled for an alignment and the exhaust installation. Friday, if all goes as planned, the new shoes will be bolted up.
I've got some light on and off-road miles planned for the Jeep this weekend I can't wait to start breaking in the new suspension.
I was hoping to get out and snap a bunch of flexed up photos this weekend so you could get a good look at the Full Traction lift but this is the only picture I managed to take. I was just south of Prescott, AZ this weekend at about 7000ft in elev. It dumped on us pretty hard. Friday night there was no snow, this is what it looked like yesterday morning..