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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings all. Back in the fall of 2017, I picked up a 2005 Jeep Wrangler LJR. Haven't documented the build to date but figured I'd share it with the inter webs.

Most of the parts that started the build came from my old 2005 LJ.

Backstory: I previously had a 2005 Jeep Wrangler LJ that I built up during 2016/2017 (https://www.wranglerforum.com/f322/2005-lj-build-1937314.html). Took it to Moab, Hot Springs and basically wheeled the shit out of it. Had a second knee surgery on my left knee and decided that a 6 speed wasn’t for me anymore.

So the search started for an automatic LJ. Didn't care about the color, just wanted an LJ and it had to be an automatic. The search didn't last long, as I found a 2005 LJR at a dealership in Fort Worth on the first search. Drove over there, made a deal and took it home.

Initial plans were to rob my old LJ like a midnight liquor store, but ended up leaving some parts on it to sell it (gears, lockers, belly up skid, and armor). The parts I swapped over were the bumpers, winch, front fenders, lift kit, wheels and tires, soft top and some other odds and ends.

Pic of the LJR the day I bought it:






Pic of the old LJ before I stripped it:






Pic of the LJR after the initial swap:






Pic of the old LJ when I sold it:

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Once I sold the old LJ (blue one), I started sourcing parts to make it as capable as the blue one or better. Took it out on it's maiden voyage in December 2017 and quickly learned that the stock 4.10 gears were not gonna cut it with 35" tires.

Pic of it's first wheeling trip to Gilmer, TX:

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Initial mods were small: LED light bar on front bumper, LED tail lights, picked up some half doors and got them painted solar yellow. Then started to get it ready for Moab in April (5.13 gears, chromoly axle shafts, steering box skid, antirock sway bar, new tires, and a Poison Spyder hood louver)

LED light bar:



Trip to Bridgeport in February 2018:



New LED tail lights:



Half doors painted:



Poser shot:



Shake down run in April 2018 before Moab:



Poison Spyder hood louver:



Antirock swaybar:

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Took it out to Moab, UT in April 2018 and some things happened along the way. For starters, my Dodge Ram (tow rig) shit the bed in Amarillo, TX (main bearings went out in the engine and with 325,000 miles on a gas motor, I kind of expected it). Ended up renting a U-Haul and continuing on the trip. First trail we did was Moab Rim and of course I had to put it on its roof coming down the Z turn.

Damage was minimal and I was pretty lucky to not get hurt. Windshield and frame for destroyed, half door was smashed in on the drivers side, dent in the hood, soft top and door surrounds got destroyed, cage supports were compromised and small dents on the sides of the Jeep.

Pics right before I laid it on its roof:



Something went wrong:



Back on it's feet:



And kicked the windshield out and wheeled it for another 4 days with a less than stock sport cage before coming back to Texas:







 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Once I got it home and insurance paid me my monies, I started the rebuild. Installed a new windshield and windshield frame, genright fastback cage and some small odds and ends (new half door, new speakers, bikini top, seat covers, metalcloak front fenders, tuffy console, and other shit)









 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ditched the rear fender flares, installed a 1.25” JKS body lift, 1” brown down offroad motor mount lift, and installed a UCF engine/transfer case skid.







 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Future plans include some rear flares of some sort, possibly full corner armor, gas tank skid, and continuing the wheel the piss out of it.
 

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Glad the flop wasnt to bad. Looking good!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
In case anyone wants specs on the build so far, here they are:

2005 Jeep Wrangler LJ Rubicon
Lift/Tires:
- 2” Old Man Emu lift
- Metalcloak track bars front and rear
- JKS 1.25” body lift
- Brown Dog Offroad 1” motor mount lift
- 35” Goodyear MTR tires on 15x8 black steel wheels
- ZJ tie rod conversion

Exterior/Armor:
- Metalcloak Frame Built front bumper
- Poison Spyder BFH rear bumper
- Metalcloak arched tube fenders in front
- Smittybilt 9.5K winch
- UCF rocker guards
- Metalcloak steering box skid
- Metalcloak diff cover
- UCF transfer case/engine skid
- Poison Spyder trail corners
- TNT rear license plate mount
- Offroad Only led tailights
- 10" LED light bar on front bumper
- Hella H4 conversion headlight lenses and bulbs

Drivetrain:
- G2 5.13 gears
- G2 chromoly shafts front and rear
- Factory Rubicon lockers
- Novak cable shifter
- Transmission cooler

Interior:
- Genright fastback LJ cage
- Bartact seat covers
- Tuffy center console
- Tuffy under seat drawer
- Powertank 15 lb CO2 tank
- Bestop camo bikini top
- Spider Shade mesh top
- KC Hi-Lites flush mount interior LED lights
- Memphis M Class dash speakers, wakeboard 6.5" roll bar speakers
- Alpine Bluetooth stereo

and a bunch more shit I’m probably forgetting.

And after reading through this list, it's clear that I'm a Metalcloak whore. I need an intervention
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Update:

I have been racking my brain since the rollover about how I was going to deal with the top (or lack thereof). I was planning to run just a bikini top since the Jeep is garage kept but wanted to have a full top for long trips to Hot Springs and Moab.

With the Genright cage setup, I was limited to a factory soft top or hard top. The genright cage doesn’t allow me to mount my old trek top since it’s a fastback style and my trek top got destroyed in the rollover anyway.

I knew a hardtop was gonna get destroyed when wheeling, so I knew a factory soft top was my best option. I was able to find a nice used soft top from someone with an LJ that ditched his factory top for a trek top. #happy

 

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Nice Jeep fellow Texan. Btw, how much gap did you have with the PS rear bumper and body lift?

It left about a 2” gap between the bumper and the body. It doesn’t look bad. I’ll see if I can grab a picture of it.
 

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Thats how insurance works. I see no problem with it. Though it varies from company to company, plenty of others have done the same. Read your policy and find out if you are covered. Mistakes happen, that's why insurance is there. I know of one individual who broke the entire axle tube on his JK, insurance covered it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thast how insurance works. I see no problem with it. Though it varies from company to company, plenty of others have done the same. Read your policy and find out if you are covered. Mistakes happen, that's why insurance is there. I know of one individual who broke the entire axle tube on his JK, insurance covered it.
I wouldn't care if people did have a problem with it. My Jeep, my money.
 

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Thats the spirit!
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Another update. Was looking for rear storage since I don’t run a back seat. Found a shittybilt security drawer on the book of faces for $50. All it needed was the lock to be re-keyed, so I just bought a new lock. It was meant for a JKU but it fits just fine. Was able to mount it to the stock rear seat belt mounting holes. Also moved my power tank and fire extinguisher to be more accessible (not pictured).

 

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Another update. Was looking for rear storage since I don’t run a back seat. Found a shittybilt security drawer on the book of faces for $50. All it needed was the lock to be re-keyed, so I just bought a new lock. It was meant for a JKU but it fits just fine. Was able to mount it to the stock rear seat belt mounting holes. Also moved my power tank and fire extinguisher to be more accessible (not pictured).


Ive been wanting to do this myself, but raise it a couple inches off the floor to slide things underneath. Good find!
 
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