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Old 04-08-2010, 08:55 AM   #1
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New Project!

Tonight I am going to pick up my newest Jeep project...a 2006 LJ. It's auto with 3:73's & Dana 44.

I have already built 3 TJs, but this will be my first Unlimited.

My goal is to have a Jeep with good road manners, but will also have the look and capability to do some mild off-roading.

Need suggestions on the following:

Tires - I want to run 33's, but don't want to go wider than 11.50's. Nothing too aggressive as i will also be driving on the highway, but tires that clear well.

Wheels - 15 or 16 inch...leaning toward polished aluminum...I like the extra width and usually my Jeeps require the 7" fender flares to cover the tires. PA doesn't allow much tire to stick out!

Lift - I'm looking for at least 3 inches of lift and thinking about 1 inch of body lift and 2 inches of spring lift or JKS ACOS spacers with the original springs.

Shocks - I currently have Skyjacker hydros on my TJ and am looking for shocks that are a bit softer. Everyone seems to like the OME's on this site...Do they provide a nice soft ride?

That's it for now...I'll keep you guy and gals updated on my build.

Any feedback???
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Old 04-08-2010, 09:06 AM   #2
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I'll be keeping an eye on this thread. I'm currently waiting for my warranty to expire so I can start modifying mine. It will be interseting to see how yours turns out. As far as the lift goes, I am thinking more or a 2"BB and maybe a 1" spacer. No body lift.
Right now I am running the Goodyear Duratracs. Great AT tires. They handle smooth and quiet on the road, have a lot of grip in all kinds of weather conditions and love to play in the dirt. I haven't really had them on severe terrain yet but after a year, I still love them. Keep us posted.

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Old 04-08-2010, 09:39 AM   #3
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Nice Jeep JD! I also see you are a BMW fan. My wife and I have BMWs as our daily drivers...nice cars, but I like my Jeeps better!
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Old 04-09-2010, 08:35 PM   #4
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Any suggestions on lift? Looking for a lift to work with 33x11.50's. Thinking OME 2.5 lift with 1 in body lift.

Any suggestions??
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Old 04-09-2010, 08:52 PM   #5
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IMO - I'd suggest the following:

Suspension Lift: Rubicon Express 3.5" short arm kit and throw in the their mono-tube shocks.
Tires: You have nice rims already so I would keep them and go with BFG AT-KO's 33" x 10.5" x 15.
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Old 04-09-2010, 08:57 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by nater344 View Post
Any suggestions on lift? Looking for a lift to work with 33x11.50's. Thinking OME 2.5 lift with 1 in body lift.

Any suggestions??
Im a big fan of my OME 2.5 kit with 1.25 BL and bombproof MML. It will even be nicer once the tube fender flares go on.
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Old 04-09-2010, 09:08 PM   #7
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4.5" RE suspension lift long arm, MAYBE a 1.25" BL

35x12.50 r15 wheels
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Old 04-09-2010, 09:09 PM   #8
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Great suggestions!! Now you've got me thinking. BTW great choice nater!!
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Old 04-11-2010, 07:43 AM   #9
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Thanks Joe...I'm pretty excited about this build. So far just took the spare off along with the mounting hardware. I also replaced the boxing glove bumper ends with rubber armidillo ones.

Bignuke and Talon - OME an RE are the two brands I am considering. I need enough room to clear 33's and my biggest concern is road manners.
How do they ride compared to stock suspension?
Where are the best deals on these brands? I've heard great things about DPG.

Thanks for your help!
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Old 04-11-2010, 08:19 AM   #10
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I have the 2.5" OME + 1.25" JKS on my TJ. I think its just about the perfect balance. Much improved road manners (over my old lift procomp I think w/ Rancho shocks). The ride is much smoother and more composed, but you still wont mistake it for a caddy either....you know youre in a jeep.
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Old 04-11-2010, 08:22 AM   #11
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The long arm lift will cost ya more but it will ride way better on and off road!!! If ya got the cash go for the long arm !
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Old 04-11-2010, 09:41 PM   #12
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I have a $7k budget for this project, but I would like to update my garage with an 80 gal compressor and some decent air tool, so I'm thinking probably $5k on the Jeep. Air tools will make all of my projects much more enjoyable and will keep more of the skin on my hands!

I also don't want to go overboard and get a kit that I will never use even close to it capabilities. I have 400 acres and an old shale mtn that I play on and we hit the old RR tracks and trails locally, but I'm not a hardcore wheeler by any means.

Thanks for the advise fellas!

I'll post some pictures after things progress.
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Old 04-14-2010, 08:35 AM   #13
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CATITGUY- Did you get your OME lift from DPG? I am planning on ordering the OME Ultimate kit and was wondering how 33x12.5 look under it. How far do your tires stick out past your fender flares and what is the backspacing of your rims? I was also wondering how many inches of clearance you have from the top of your tire to the bottom edge of your fender flares.

So many questions....................


Thanks man!
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Old 04-22-2010, 07:21 PM   #14
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Well, I finally ordered my OME Ultimate kit from Dirk at DPG Offroad along with 5 15x8 polished aluminum rims. He was extremely knowledgeable and helpful and is getting me the new OME Sport shocks. Apparently they just came out, but I haven't seen them yet. I also order my rock rails, 33x12.5x15 tires, fender flares, new fog lights and Husky bed liner.

I'm also installing my new air compressor this weekend to make the build a little easier.

I'll post some pics after the goodies start rolling in.
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Old 04-26-2010, 08:27 AM   #15
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So far I mounted my new fog lights, entry guards, class III hitch, bumper ends and rock rails.

I also rewired my garage this weekend to accomidate the new 60 gallon air compressor...it will make the rest of the build much easier.
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Old 04-26-2010, 08:40 AM   #16
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I also would suggest the ome kit if you are not going with a long arm setup.
I am very glad I did, very smooth on road, and very flexy offroad. The combination of the 2" kit with the jks 1.25 body lift and 1" mml lets me stuff my 32's very very nicely.
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Old 04-26-2010, 10:53 AM   #17
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Well, I'm a little late in this suggestion, but I woulda gone with steel wheels if you're off-roading it, especially in rocks.
With steel wheels, if ya bend the bead area on the trails, ya can often bend it back. With aluminum, it often will break instead of bending.

Are ya planning on swapping gears? I have an '04 LJ, and with 30" (stock) rubber and stock 3.73's, it did great off-road.
I have 32's now and while it's not too bad on-road, I haven't had a chance to really take it off-road and see how it does.
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Old 04-26-2010, 01:34 PM   #18
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Hyper - I'm not a huge steelie fan and my polished alum rims on my TJ held up well, so I thought I would take my chances. I don't get out offroading as much as I would like, but would like to get more into it in the future. I am building up the LJ a bit better than my TJ for that reason. I have 400 acres in Western PA that includes an old shale mtn that I ride on and I also hit the old RR tracks locally.

I see you are from Western Pa...any suggestions on legal places to offroad?

I haven't done any planning regarding regearing yet...have to see how it handles the 33x12.50's I bought. Dirk from DPG Offroad seemed to think the 33's with the 3:73 gearing would be fine...time will tell.

How is your 04 with the 32's vs. the stock 30's? Noticeable loss in power?

Thanks for the suggestions...now you have me thinking.
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Old 04-26-2010, 06:54 PM   #19
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Tires came today...33x12.50x15 Cavalier Sport King AT's.

I had these on my TJ and they did well offroad and had great road manners.
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Old 04-26-2010, 07:15 PM   #20
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Looks like there is a lot of siping on the tread also, which I believe helps water flow thru them more efficiently. Can't wait to see some pics after they're mounted. Lookin good!!
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Old 04-26-2010, 07:15 PM   #21
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Def watching this thread.....and if you decide that you want to sell your soft top please let me know. Im having a helluva time finding one!
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:18 AM   #22
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Well, I finally finished the Jeep last night! Now I just need to have it aligned and inspected.

Friday night I put on the JKS 1 1/4 inch body lift and then called it a night.

Saturday morning I put on the JKS 1 inch MML. After that I installed the front JKS quicker disconnects which IMO have poor fit and finish...not impressed! I had to put the one mounting bracket in the vise and bend it to get the holes to line up. They also claim that they are powder coated...I've see rattlecan jobs that were more durable. The paint or "powder coating" is already flaking off on mine and they are brand new!

Following the swaybar links I installed the Old Man Emu front coil springs, OME Nitro Sport shocks, JKS adjustable front track bar and 7 inch extended fender flares to keep her legal.

Saturday afternoon I installed the Rear OME coil springs and JKS rear disconnects.

Go figure...even after soaking the upper shock mount bolts for several days with PB Blaster one of the bolts broke off in the frame. Eventually I got it out, but it slowed me down a bit.

Yesterday I put on the JKS adjustable rear track bar, mounted the rear shocks and mounted the tires. After I finished with the suspension I removed the rear bumper and painted the sub frame that the bumper mounts to with POR 15...turned out great!

The only parts that didn't come are my bumpstops for the front and rear. Hopefully they will be in early this week so I can go test her out a bit.

I am also ordering front coil spacers to level the Jeep a bit more. I don't mind a small rake, but don't want the front to be any lower than 1.5-2 inches compared to the rear. I'm still waiting for the coil springs to settle before I take measurement and order the coil spacers.

All and all the Jeep turned out well. Now to think up some more projects for it!
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:34 AM   #23
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Here are a couple pictures of the new Old Man Emu Nitro Sport shocks. Can't wait to test them out!
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:42 AM   #24
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Looking great! I painted the screws from the spare tire mount with touch up paint and reinstalled them in the holes in the tailgate. Looks really much cleaner... Just a thought!
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:43 AM   #25
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Looks good
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Old 05-04-2010, 10:20 AM   #26
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Hyper - I'm not a huge steelie fan and my polished alum rims on my TJ held up well, so I thought I would take my chances. I don't get out offroading as much as I would like, but would like to get more into it in the future. I am building up the LJ a bit better than my TJ for that reason. I have 400 acres in Western PA that includes an old shale mtn that I ride on and I also hit the old RR tracks locally.
Good reason
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I see you are from Western Pa...any suggestions on legal places to offroad?
I'm in the Mars-Evans City area. Not many legal places to ride around here
But check out THIS site. The guy that runs it used to work at a place called BeaveRun Motorsports. They had an off-road ride about every 6 weeks (yeah, pay to play )
He has recently gone on his own and just started the site I linked to. Check the "FJ Off-Road Club" forum. Although it says FJ, any 4X4 is welcomed. He's working on getting a ride going either May 8th or 15th. I'm in for one on the 15th.

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I haven't done any planning regarding regearing yet...have to see how it handles the 33x12.50's I bought. Dirk from DPG Offroad seemed to think the 33's with the 3:73 gearing would be fine...time will tell.
How is your 04 with the 32's vs. the stock 30's? Noticeable loss in power?
With the 32's, I can't say I noticed much of a power loss as compared to stock. Even at stock, with the stock 30's, there seemed to be a spot where the RPM's where just too low. Usually when starting up an incline (on road). Like the torque converter locks up too soon and doesn't unlock soon enough.
Haven't been off-road with the 32's yet, so no idea how that is, powerwise, and I will soon be getting a set of 31" Super Swampers for off-road fun, so I would think they'll be mighty close to stock for off-road, which I had no problems what-so-ever with.

Where area of W.PA are you from?
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Old 05-04-2010, 10:39 AM   #27
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Looks great! I just recently picked up my first Jeep. The wife loves driving it around town. She wishes it had abit more room so we might have to look for her a unlimited in the near future. Not sure we have room for another car lol we have a Ford Flex, F250 power stroke and now our 01 Jeep. We would running out of parking spots lol.

Very nice build I like the gray.
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Old 05-04-2010, 10:44 AM   #28
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Hyper - I'm about an hour north of Pittsburgh.
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Old 05-04-2010, 10:51 AM   #29
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nice project there!
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Old 05-04-2010, 10:51 AM   #30
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Here are a few more pics I took last night after I installed the spare on the back. I used the factory mount but took off the brake light. I like Jeeps without them, but I will feel safer with a spare on longer trips.

I will be putting my RE bumpstops on tonight and my 1 in RE front coil spacers should be in any day...to much rake.

FYI...these pics were taken on a downhill sloping driveway.

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