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Old 07-23-2012, 12:20 AM   #1
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Gold Cobra

So here we go;

After flopping my XJ in a "crack" then destroying it in Tuff Trucks I went without a wheeler for awhile. I had an MJ and an XJ wheeler I decided I wanted something else this time. At first my plan was to build a CJ-5, then a late model XJ, then a TJ, then a JKU, but after talking with a few people I decided on a LJ Rubicon. After looking for a while I decided to get one that already had a few parts on it since the price of a modified one was practically the same as a stock one. After about 2 months I found one I liked about 100 miles away.

So here's what I ended up with;

It's an 06 Auto with 60,000 on the clock. RE long arms, 1.5" JKS body and motor mount lift, Nav, CB, 35" KM2s, bumpers, EPi9k SuperWinch, optima, and some other goodies too.

It was a ready to run rig, so without turning a wrench I took it wheeling a few times.

Also pictured is the soft top I scored free on Craigslist. Yes, free.

Also took it to NAXJAs NWFest (I'm the chapter president, even though I don't own an XJ or MJ anymore).

I also won an award there, "Bought not Built".

Up to that point, about 3 months, I literally did not turn a wrench on it, check any fluids, or look at anything for that matter.
So after NWFest, with a few runs on it, it was time to address a few things I didn't like about it. One theme I wanted to keep was to try and keep weight down.

First thing on the list was the front bumper. It was pretty stupid looking. So I spent $50 in steel and got to work. I wanted to keep it as light as possible and as high clearance as it could be without modifying the frame or crossmember so I could sell it later on if I needed to.

After a few days I'm pretty much done with it, the paint is drying as I type this. The top winch plate portion is 1/4" and the shackle mounts are 3 pieces o 1/4" welded together with the top 2 pieces using the bumper mounting locations. There are also a couple gussets on the inside. Because my basic tools, it took my a little longer than I would have liked, but I'm pretty happy with it.




It weighs 26 pounds. The old bumper weighed in at 59. I should get everything bolted back up tomorrow and I'll post some completed shots.

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Old 07-23-2012, 11:17 PM   #2
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Painted and installed.








I'm pretty happy with the final product. If I can ever sell my Harley I can buy gears. I've got a few other projects in the meantime though.

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Old 07-24-2012, 11:00 AM   #3
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Thats a sweet bumper!
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03 TJ Rubicon 2.5" OME Warn bumper Eng 10k winch on 33's finally
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Old 07-24-2012, 07:12 PM   #4
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Great bumper keep the build going and keep the pictures flowing.
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Forest Green Pearl TJ
4.0L/ 5 speed/ Rampage Soft Top
3" SL/1.25" BL/1" MML
Warn Rear/ ARB full width front Bumper
33x11 Wrangler MTR Kevlar/16" Ultrastar rims
Engo 12k cable
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Old 07-24-2012, 08:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Commando Solo
Great bumper keep the build going and keep the pictures flowing.
X2 this and that bumper is sweet
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Old 07-30-2012, 09:59 PM   #6
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Thanks guys. I'll try to keep pictures flowing as I get things done.

Got my new fairlead in the mail today. A Warn hawse fairlead for steel cable. I wasn't sure about running a hawse fairlead with cable, but after doing some research I think I'll be fine considering how often I'll be using it. If it becomes a problem I'll switch to rope.







It's a lot tighter to the bumper than the roller fairlead and weighs 1 pound less. It also looks a lot better in my opinion, and that's what it's all about, right?
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Old 07-31-2012, 06:26 AM   #7
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Yes sir that true! But it does look good with it
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03 TJ Rubicon 2.5" OME Warn bumper Eng 10k winch on 33's finally
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Old 07-31-2012, 09:09 AM   #8
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Gee you defiantly have taken high clearance to the max. Really good looking and has given me some alternative ideas for my own bumper when I get that far :0
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Old 08-02-2012, 06:47 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goblazers_6 View Post

It's a lot tighter to the bumper than the roller fairlead and weighs 1 pound less. It also looks a lot better in my opinion, and that's what it's all about, right?
If you decide to go with syn. winch rope and run an aluminum hawse fairlead, then there will be a big weight savings there also.

Donn
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Old 08-07-2012, 04:57 PM   #10
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Just ordered a set of 5.13s and install kits from RWKHausSupply.com. He said they would ship today too. So far the customer service from him has been outstanding.

I can't wait for this thing to be regeared!
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Old 08-14-2012, 10:20 PM   #11
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Gears showed up Friday. So I'll be taking to SpecFab in Kalama to have it regeared, I don't have the time to do it.

I also picked up a Currie Correctlync steering setup with 500 miles on it for $250. If I have time I'll put that on tomorrow.
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Old 08-15-2012, 10:10 PM   #12
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Gold Cobra is at SpecFab.



If anyone local needs gears setup, that's the place to go to. $150 an axle and they'll do it on the rig so you don't have to pull them.
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Old 08-15-2012, 10:50 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goblazers_6
Gold Cobra is at SpecFab.

If anyone local needs gears setup, that's the place to go to. $150 an axle and they'll do it on the rig so you don't have to pull them.
I like the exo-cage YOTA back there
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Forest Green Pearl TJ
4.0L/ 5 speed/ Rampage Soft Top
3" SL/1.25" BL/1" MML
Warn Rear/ ARB full width front Bumper
33x11 Wrangler MTR Kevlar/16" Ultrastar rims
Engo 12k cable
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Old 08-29-2012, 01:26 AM   #14
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I picked up Gold Cobra from SpecFab the other day, and I love driving it now. So much more power, especially on the highway. My first thought with the 5.13s was "god, I'm glad I didn't go 4.88". It's perfect in my opinion. Although my speedo is way, way off now.

The guys at SpecFab were kind enough to throw on my Currie steering too.



They just "eyeballed it" on there to get me home, so today I aligned it and centered the steering wheel. Only takes about 15 minutes.

Here's a really good write up if you've never done it;
http://www.4x4xplor.com/alignment.html

Anyway, after that I got the Jeep all loaded up for the long weekend. I'm leaving first thing in the morning to drive the Washington Backcountry Discovery Route with a few friends. I'll post a few pics along the way.
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Old 09-01-2012, 12:34 PM   #15
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One leg left.
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Old 09-03-2012, 05:03 AM   #16
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What an amazing trip! Here's a write-up I put together.

http://www.naxja.org/forum/showthread.php?t=1089501
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Old 09-03-2012, 08:33 AM   #17
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nice score on the LJ + the free soft top! That looked like a fun trip!
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Old 10-02-2012, 12:04 AM   #18
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Anything new?
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Forest Green Pearl TJ
4.0L/ 5 speed/ Rampage Soft Top
3" SL/1.25" BL/1" MML
Warn Rear/ ARB full width front Bumper
33x11 Wrangler MTR Kevlar/16" Ultrastar rims
Engo 12k cable
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Old 10-02-2012, 01:39 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Commando Solo

I like the exo-cage YOTA back there
That YOTA is actually a DOTA, it's a dodge ram charger frame and drivetrain with a Toyota cab. Here's a picture from a few years ago. Before the nice tube work specfab and the owner did.

Goblazer, I forgot to post on naxja but I have a dark grey 3 spoke stock steering wheel from Dick's 91 part out that mnkyboy was going to try on his mj. If he doesn't use it, one of us will let you know.
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:15 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nickabis

That YOTA is actually a DOTA, it's a dodge ram charger frame and drivetrain with a Toyota cab. Here's a picture from a few years ago. Before the nice tube work specfab and the owner did.

Goblazer, I forgot to post on naxja but I have a dark grey 3 spoke stock steering wheel from Dick's 91 part out that mnkyboy was going to try on his mj. If he doesn't use it, one of us will let you know.
Not as pretty, there was a guy in my town who made a toylet small block Chevy in that body style Toyota pickup
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Forest Green Pearl TJ
4.0L/ 5 speed/ Rampage Soft Top
3" SL/1.25" BL/1" MML
Warn Rear/ ARB full width front Bumper
33x11 Wrangler MTR Kevlar/16" Ultrastar rims
Engo 12k cable
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Old 10-02-2012, 01:14 PM   #21
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I was thinking about removing the A/C to save weight and I planned on using the compressor to run OBA. The A/C works perfectly. Everyone I've mentioned this to says its stupid.



Should I remove my A/C?
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Old 10-02-2012, 02:00 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goblazers_6
I was thinking about removing the A/C to save weight and I planned on using the compressor to run OBA. The A/C works perfectly. Everyone I've mentioned this to says its stupid.

Should I remove my A/C?
I don't know what the weather is like at its hottest in Washington, but in Oklahoma when it's 100+ for a lot of the summer A/C is nice. It's always a personal choice though.
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Forest Green Pearl TJ
4.0L/ 5 speed/ Rampage Soft Top
3" SL/1.25" BL/1" MML
Warn Rear/ ARB full width front Bumper
33x11 Wrangler MTR Kevlar/16" Ultrastar rims
Engo 12k cable
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Old 04-27-2013, 01:08 AM   #23
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So I finally got around to tinkering with this thing.

One thing I've hated about this rig is visibility at night. I can't see out the windows and have a hard time seeing the trail/road on sharper corners. Time to resolve that.

Step one was to remove the window tint from the front windows, while I like the way it looks from the outside, I don't like its functionality. I took it off with windex and a razor blade.



Step two was to move my Lightforce lights from the windshield brackets. Hood glare wasn't an issue, but I could see them, and they were kind of in The way at times. Also they were branch magnets and it only took two runs for me to lose a filter. So I built a mount for them that bolts to the winch. Worked out well.





I put the toggle for them next to the locker override.



I got a pair of Vision-X LEDs for Christmas so I put them on the windshield brackets and angled them out a little. We'll see how this light setup works out.



I also got a Sirius dock for this thing so I can listen to Ellis while I wheel, RED DRAGONS!

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Old 07-01-2013, 12:01 AM   #24
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I built a hard tonneau cover cover for my LJ with 1/2" plywood. The goal was to have secure cargo with a lockable section to prevent the temptation of an easy theft. Front section is hinged for easy access and rear is doubled up to help support the weight of the 35" spare. I can jump on the thing. I was going to use 3/4" plywood but the price was outrageous. 1/2" is going to work fine.





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Old 07-01-2013, 12:12 AM   #25
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I also replaced my RE trackbar and bracket with the Currie unit. The RE unit is would contact the edge of my coil bracket and even the tie rod on a hard impact. Once that was in I headed out to NAXJAs NWFest for 3 days of beating on this thing. It did everything I asked of it, performed flawlessly and drove the 3 hours home just as good as the drive there. I'm really happy with the fixes I've made to this rig.



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