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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
2005 LJ – The “Marathon” Build

After 3 years of being in the Jeep community I have decided to start a build thread to record and share my experiences with y’all. I have received an enormous amount of information and inspiration from the other great build threads on this and other forums.

My first order of business was, of course, to pick a good name for the build, “Marathon”. As you will see, I am not in a rush. (But I do have a theme song brought to you by Rush!)

I am going to use the first post to show the lump of clay that I started with and roll out a series of subsequent posts to show the changes that have been made up until now and then address plans for future mods.

Bone stock 2005 LJ with 75K miles:

  • Leaking oil from the valve cover, oil pan, and rear main seal
  • Cruise control not working
  • New soft top
  • New windshield
  • New radiator
  • Rust free

The day I bought it in Sept 2014:
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
About the Jeep: 2005 Wrangler TJ Unlimited, 4.0L, 6 speed manual (NSG370)


Its name is “El Jeepo”. The nickname just kind of happened, so I didn’t put any thought into giving it a cool or clever name.

First repairs:

  • I was working on a short term job in Beaverton, Oregon and had no shop set up. I had the guys at Clutch & Brake Doctors fix the leaks and change the fluids. I mention them by name intentionally because they are straight shooters that did good work.

  • Fixed the cruise control. The vacuum line that attaches to the intake manifold was dry rotted. Quick replacement and it was working.
First Mods:


 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Tunes!

Now the tunes! 600+ watts of ear ripping sound.

  • Kicker 8” Subwoofer (40CWD84). I installed this in the factory location in the center console. I did need to rip out the factory amp, and do some cutting to fit the 8” sub.

  • Kicker Amp (12CX300.1 , 300 watts for the sub). This is mounted under the steering column.

  • Memphis Audio 5.25 inch speakers for front. I have a template for creating the mounting brackets in the factory location where the weird factory 2-way speakers are installed in the dash. PM me if you would like a copy of the template.

  • Alpine amplifier (KTP-445A, 45 watts x 4 channels)

  • Alpine CDE-121 Head Unit (45 watts x 4 channels)

  • Alpine 6.5" speakers for rear pods (SPS-610)
All that is left of the factory equipment is the antenna and a few feet of speaker wire. It is a sleeper install. None of the components stand out (no speaker box behind the seat or amp sticking out from under the seat) or would appear like anything special to the casual observer.



In honor of the musical theme of this post, here is a link to my build thread theme song:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fW3tGc6Wo1M&spfreload=10
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Next couple of mods:

  • Tuffy security box under the driver seat.

  • Installed the GM filler hose to stop the gas overflow problem with the LJ. Well worth the $ and time to put an end to gas spitting out at the end of a fill-up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Headrest Mod

I have two children that occasionally ride in the back seat, so for safety reasons I went looking for an aftermarket replacement back seat with headrests. I could not find one for the LJ. I ended up buying a similarly colored 3rd row seat from a crashed Dodge minivan. I stripped out the framework from the donor seat, chopped it, shaped it, and then welded it into the LJ frame. I ended up with adjustable rear headrests that have a factory like appearance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
95% of the time the top is down on El Jeepo and during the summer isolated thunderstorms pop up every afternoon in Central Florida. When I see that the rain is getting close, I just pull over and put the soft top up. I just go safari mode. It has been 2 ½ years since the windows have been on it, so it takes about 2 minutes to be buttoned up enough to ride out the rain. There were several occasions when I misjudged how close a storm was and the Jeep and I ended up completely soaked. Not a big deal except for the carpet. So the next big mod was bed lining the tub with Monstaliner.
 

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Diggin the build and the color!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Next came a lift.

  • Zone 4.25” Combo

  • Metalcloak adjustable trackbar

  • BFG KO2s 33x10.5x15. I like the look of the ‘skinny’ tires.

  • Spidertrax 1.25 inch wheel spacers. I wanted to stay with the Ravine wheels.
Photos:

  • Before and after

  • Modifications to the spare tire mount. Included longer bolts and spacers from hardware store. And some trimming of the plastic and the rubber bumper.

  • Lifted!
 

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Beauty. Where are you mounting your amplifier for the speakers? (not subwoofer)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Beauty. Where are you mounting your amplifier for the speakers? (not subwoofer)
The Alpine power pack had room back behind the head unit. If it had not fit there, it would fit under the steering column next to the subwoofer amp. I have seen a few photos from other installations with 2 amps under the column.
 

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Next came a lift.

  • Zone 4.25” Combo

  • Metalcloak adjustable trackbar

  • BFG KO2s 33x10.5x15. I like the look of the ‘skinny’ tires.

  • Spidertrax 1.25 inch wheel spacers. I wanted to stay with the Ravine wheels.
Photos:

  • Before and after

  • Modifications to the spare tire mount. Included longer bolts and spacers from hardware store. And some trimming of the plastic and the rubber bumper.

  • Lifted!
Daddy likey!
 
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