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Old 07-16-2014, 05:42 PM   #1
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Brutus, the 2004 Rubicon

Greetings all!

I figure it's about time to start a thread to plan and track progress of various mods to Brutus, the 2004 Rubicon (Bruticon?). Since purchasing Brutus in April, all I've done is drain/replace fluids (I like to start fresh), clean the TB/IAC, hit a few forest roads around the Big Bear area, and enjoy the So Cal summer weather with the top down, but I plan on starting with the lift in the next month or so.

The stuff that came with Brutus:

-3" BL
-Eagle Alloy 15x10 wheels
-33x12.5 Yokohama Geolandar AT-S tires
-Skyjacker Hydro shocks

The stuff that I plan on purchasing and installing as the budget allows:

-Zone 3" lift along with a 1" BL that I've already picked up.
-JKS front adjustable track bar
-Currie Antirock swaybar
-Rokmen High Clearance belly pan and engine/transmission skid.
-Dirtworx rear bumper/tire carrier and probably front bumper.
-Some form of on-board air system for airing back up

That's it for now, though I'm sure more fun things will be added as I go along.

Advice and suggestions are welcome!
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Old 07-16-2014, 05:59 PM   #2
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Love that white!

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Old 08-03-2014, 02:20 AM   #3
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Love that white!
Amen!
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Old 08-03-2014, 02:27 AM   #4
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Update #1:
The lift and front trackbar have officially been ordered and should be arriving this next week! Now to figure out a Saturday/Sunday with nothing else going on to install it...
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Old 08-08-2014, 06:24 PM   #5
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Zone lift and JKS trackbar have finally arrived! Unfortunately I have to work this weekend, so installation will have to wait until next weekend...
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Old 08-14-2014, 07:22 PM   #6
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Officially starting the removal of the 3" BL and installation of the 3" SL/ 1" BL tomorrow after work! I've already begun spraying down every nut and bolt with PB Blaster, so hopefully it will all go smoothly... My girlfriend is on camera duty, so I'll post as we go.
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Old 08-18-2014, 04:55 PM   #7
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Well, my girlfriend decided to hang out in the pool and the air conditioned house instead of sweat in the garage with me so no in-progress pics, but all that really matters is the end result:
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Old 08-18-2014, 05:26 PM   #8
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looks great. where are you at in socal? I just picked up a tj and am located in newport/cdm
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Old 08-18-2014, 05:28 PM   #9
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A few things to note:

1) Removing the 3" BL and components required to make it work was kind of a PITA (thanks PO!). On the flipside, installing the 1" BL was fairly easy.

2) The instructions that came with the Zone lift were very clear so the installation was fairly simple and straightforward. Same with the JKS trackbar.

3) The fan rubbed ever so slightly on the bottom of the fan shroud, so I did drop the transfer case a bit to angle the fan up until I get around to the MML. Other than that I haven't noticed any vibes.
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Old 08-18-2014, 05:32 PM   #10
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looks great. where are you at in socal? I just picked up a tj and am located in newport/cdm
Thanks! I'm in Brea (North Orange County), but I'm usually down in Newport a few nights a week at my girlfriend's place.
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Old 08-18-2014, 05:38 PM   #11
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nice! If you ever wanna meet up to get some dirt on the tires, or for a beer, shoot me a pm. Would love to meet some fellow jeepers in the area!

Vernon
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Old 08-19-2014, 05:12 PM   #12
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Sounds good, man! I'll send you a pm in a bit!
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Old 08-19-2014, 05:19 PM   #13
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Today's excitement: Ordered all new u joints (only needed one but I figure I may as well replace them all while I'm at it) along with a ZJ tie rod, drag link and tie rod ends.
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Old 08-22-2014, 12:52 AM   #14
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I've been noticing a weird clunking sound that lasts for a second when I take off from first and after shifting into second. After doing some searching and reading, I bought a replacement transmission mount from Napa and voila, the noise is gone!
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Old 08-22-2014, 12:54 AM   #15
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Looking good, now I just need some time to hit some friggin' trails!
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Old 08-22-2014, 10:50 AM   #16
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Lookin good man!
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Old 08-22-2014, 11:06 AM   #17
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Hehe Brutus...hopefully there is no betraying involved Ceasar

Nah nice looking Jeep man. Keep up the build
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Old 08-22-2014, 12:07 PM   #18
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Very nice!
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Old 08-22-2014, 12:29 PM   #19
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Hehe Brutus...hopefully there is no betraying involved Ceasar
Ha, hopefully not, but I guess we'll see what happens come March...

I thought I might be clever and do a custom license plate with some variation of "Et tu Brute", but it turns out that EVERY possible spelling that I could think of has already been taken.
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Old 08-26-2014, 12:59 AM   #20
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The ZJ tie rod, drag link and ends all came in today, so I spent my evening removing the old and installing the new. I'd post a pic but the SD card in my phone decided to take a dump. I'll try to post a pic up tomorrow. In the meantime, Mr. Conway Twitty:
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Old 08-26-2014, 06:38 PM   #21
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Great project ..... looking forward to your results.
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Old 08-30-2014, 12:22 AM   #22
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Finally remembered to snap a pic of the new tie rod and drag link!
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Old 08-30-2014, 12:34 AM   #23
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In other news, I just ordered 4 Bilstein 5100 series shocks from Autoplicity for under $290 shipped
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Old 08-30-2014, 08:43 AM   #24
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How the install go on the ZJ conversion? Thinking about doing it myself.
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Old 08-30-2014, 10:54 AM   #25
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In other news, I just ordered 4 Bilstein 5100 series shocks from Autoplicity for under $290 shipped
Good choice. I run the 5100s and love them. Excellent on and off-road
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Old 08-30-2014, 02:03 PM   #26
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How the install go on the ZJ conversion? Thinking about doing it myself.
It wasn't bad at all, only took a couple of hours working by myself and taking my time. A 4 lb hammer, pickle fork and pitman arm puller make it pretty easy. My pitman arm puller is still buried in a box from moving, so it took me quite a few whacks with the pickle fork and hammer to get the bolt out that holds the steering stabilizer to the drag link.
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Old 08-30-2014, 02:23 PM   #27
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Good choice. I run the 5100s and love them. Excellent on and off-road
Awesome! I'm looking forward to them and to getting rid of these crappy Skyjackers!
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Old 09-15-2014, 01:43 PM   #28
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Installed the Bilsteins this weekend, and all I have to say is HOT DAMN they ride nice! I'm heading up to Big Bear for 6 days starting on Thursday so we'll see how they hold up to wheeling.

Next on the list: Install the Brown Dog 1" motor mounts (should be here in a couple of days), order and replace the 2 busted skid plate nutserts, and replace all u joints. The fun never stops!
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Old 09-15-2014, 01:55 PM   #29
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Installed the Bilsteins this weekend, and all I have to say is HOT DAMN they ride nice! I'm heading up to Big Bear for 6 days starting on Thursday so we'll see how they hold up to wheeling.

Next on the list: Install the Brown Dog 1" motor mounts (should be here in a couple of days), order and replace the 2 busted skid plate nutserts, and replace all u joints. The fun never stops!
Make sure to show off those stickers that came with the shocks
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Old 09-23-2014, 11:56 PM   #30
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Nicely done so far, I love seeing other white Rubi's

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