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Old 02-10-2013, 08:34 AM   #1
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LJ project-$5k budget

I just picked up an 05 silver LJ with a 4.0' Dana 44 with 3.73 gearing, hardtop. It's real clean and will see some dunes and some trails for fun. As many jeeps, it will see mostly road time and I want it as drivable as possible. Extreme 4x4 I am not.

I have a $5k budget set aside for upgrades, so far the jeep has not been touched by the previous owners.

I'm looking for suggestions, here is what I have picked out so far, please critique or share your thoughts. The budget is semi flexible. I am new to the Jeep world and don't know what's out there other than lurking this board for awhile. I am mechanically inclined but new to welding. I've restored muscle cars in the past.

DPG Ultimate OME Lift heavy duty springs-self install-$1400
33" Duratracs-$1000
Mickey Thompson classic 2 black rims 3.75" backspacing-$700ish
Linex the tub and toss the carpet-$700

This leaves roughly $1800 for immediate add ons.

I was thinking rock sliders with a step(help the wife get in
Heavy spare tire carrier and or bumper/tire carrier
Front bumper non stinger type that can accept a winch
Fire extinguisher
On board air compressor

I already have recovery tools and a 60" jack.

What am I missing?

EDIT: what do you think about the value of replacing all the bushings with poly replacements as well as heavy duty tie rods etc.


Thanks in advance for your help?

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Old 02-10-2013, 06:39 PM   #2
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What u picked out so far sounds good. Lift is good and the tires are awesome. I have lj rubi. I run 3" bds lift and duratracs.

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Old 02-10-2013, 08:21 PM   #3
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Look up Monstaliner. I bedlined my tub by myself for $150. You just roll it on.

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Old 02-11-2013, 08:54 AM   #4
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I have an 05 LJ as well. you might want to consider a CO2 tank over the on board, its cheaper and faster, IMHO and will leave you more money for other mods.
maybe currie anti rock, I went with rockers and nerfs for the wife, seat covers, tuffy console, added additional lighting for night crawling; ebc brake pads, replaced stereo and speakers. I could go on and on.. kill switch; additional 12 volt outlets in the back;
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:18 AM   #5
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i looked ino polly for my lj and all i read was that its squeaky.. maybe consider currie, metal cloak, or rockmen control arms. i posted a q about running just lowers for now and go pointed towards metal cloaks newish ca's for their dd feel.. i know its not on your list, but something to think about
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Old 02-11-2013, 10:19 AM   #6
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u have an auto trans? mines a dog with just 31's and stock 3.73
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:48 AM   #7
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u have an auto trans? mines a dog with just 31's and stock 3.73
just regeared mine to 4.11s and added lockers too..
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Old 02-11-2013, 12:34 PM   #8
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I'm not looking to win any drag races with it. Is it unbearable or just slower than what your used to? I haven't really looked into what a rehear costs.
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:16 PM   #9
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I meant regear.

What are people running for their CO2 systems? I already have a couple 10lb tanks I use for brewing.
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Old 02-11-2013, 02:21 PM   #10
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Look up Monstaliner. I bedlined my tub by myself for $150. You just roll it on.

This, save yourself $500 and DIY. It takes about 2 days but is well worth it. The hardest part is prepping the surface.

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What are people running for their CO2 systems? I already have a couple 10lb tanks I use for brewing.
Guys around me use the powertank system.
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:02 PM   #11
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I'm not looking to win any drag races with it. Is it unbearable or just slower than what your used to? I haven't really looked into what a rehear costs.
i cant hold 55 up long hills, with little incline, and keep it in od... its bearable for my 31's.. i cant say how it would be with 33's but if i was gunna put 33's on id regear
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Old 02-11-2013, 03:15 PM   #12
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I have a 3.73 and 33s manual. And it's is a little rough going up hills but not terrible. If I were to get some money I would regear to 4.56
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:04 PM   #13
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How do your jeeps do at 70 with 31s? I can't believe the tire size makes that big of a difference!
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Old 02-11-2013, 05:16 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Bigc3031 View Post
How do your jeeps do at 70 with 31s? I can't believe the tire size makes that big of a difference!
Tire size vs gearing makes a huge difference. Imagine deadlifting 200lbs vs using a pully system.

I have a 5spd w/ 3.73's and 33" M/T's, 5th gear is useless unless your doing 70-75+ on flat land with little to no head wind. 4th gear is what I usually use for all around and 3rd is for the mountains (8% grade)

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Old 02-11-2013, 05:44 PM   #15
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$700 for linex is a waste of money. As said before do that yourself. I would say gears too.
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:51 PM   #16
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If you have the tools and skills to fabricate, you can make a nice OBA system using the York compressor. My project has cost me around 300-400 to set up the york on my 04 LJ.
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:29 PM   #17
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If I were you I would invest in a soft top.
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:52 PM   #18
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I meant regear.

What are people running for their CO2 systems? I already have a couple 10lb tanks I use for brewing.
I would use what you got then.. I got a Smittybilt unit, works fine but if you have the tank and regulator already, you are most of the way there. you only carry it when you need to and less hassle, IMHO.
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:53 PM   #19
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How do your jeeps do at 70 with 31s? I can't believe the tire size makes that big of a difference!
31s prob arent worth regearing.. however, I am running 33s and it makes a difference. 4.11s take me about back to stock, but if you are thinking of going to 35s, then go to 4.56s. I am sticking to 33s for the foreseeable future.
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:00 PM   #20
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I won't go 35s, 33s will be the absolute max for sure.

Judging by what people are posting I might go with 31s for now, do the lift, bed liner, etc. by the time I learn the jeep and get everything done I might have worn them out anyway.

I appreciate all the help guys, love all the info I've been soaking up!
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:05 AM   #21
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if you like how it drives with 30's then you would want 4.88 for 33's. the problem with our auto lj's is the 42rle trans' overdrive ratio.. my jeep had 31's when i bought it so if you do go with 31's then you will be able to see the power difference.. i would say 31's arent worth a regear
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:35 AM   #22
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How do your jeeps do at 70 with 31s? I can't believe the tire size makes that big of a difference!
not so bad.. what i dont like is that it shifts into od at 45 which is about 1250 to 1500 rpm's. plenty of power 1st-3rd with 31's. wish i could compair it to 30's but iv never had 30's and i really didnt pay attention when the PO had it

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