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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Earlier this year, my family grew and I quickly learned that trying to fit a car seat, stroller, and dog into my TJ was quite a challenge. I shopped around for a JK but couldn't convince myself to like it. Then I found the coveted LJ Rubicon. The previous owner put some work and lots of goodies into it and it has definitely been used, but it only has 34k miles. Let the tear-down and re-build begin.

The LJ came with several parts already installed:
- 2" BDS coils and Doetsch shocks
- TNT Customs adjustable control arms all around
- Serious Offroad heavy duty steering
- JKS quick swaybar disconnects
- JKS 1.25" body lift
- JKS adjustable front track bar
- JKS adjustable rear track bar
- MORE motor mounts
- lots of spare parts

I tore down all of the armor and bumpers and shed 500lbs of weight. Need to decide what all to put back on.



First things first, I replaced all the fluids, including engine oil, transmission, transfer case. Still need to do the diffs. For the winter I put on a set of 33x12.5x15 Wrangler Duratracs on ProComp 7069 15x8 alloy wheels.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wow she's beautiful. What're your long term plans for it?
Thanks! By spring, I'd like to be on 35s. A few mods I'll do for sure is a tummy tuck and full skids. 4.88 gears. A 3" lift with proper bump stops. Possibly a CV driveshaft.

Besides that, I'll have to evaluate weight vs. performance. I would like to keep the rig as light as possible without compromising in areas where protection matters. I have soft doors and would run a soft top in the summer which sheds approx. 300lbs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Mounted a set of Rokmen LWB sliders. At 49lbs each, they are heavy duty. They line up perfectly with the wheels openings. I had to buy shorter 2" bolts so they don't stick up as much through the floor boards.

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Installed a set of seat covers. They make the dog hair and mud cleanup so much easier.

 

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Looks good. Will be interested in seeing how the build pans out. You also got a rare color, welcome to the shale green family!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Cleaned up and adjusted my steering. I've seen mixed reviews on the inverted T steering, but so far, I've been pleased with the Serious Offroad Under the Knuckle setup. No bump steer, no dead spots, no wobble. We'll see how long it lasts. The tie rod does hit the track bar bolt at full right turn though.


 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I took a pass at the TNT adjustable control arms. The Summit Machine flex joints look in great shape, but the rear lower control arms themselves are beyond seized. I soaked them in PB blaster, used a torch, a sledge hammer, and pipe wrench with a 10 foot extension. The adjustments will not budge. On the bright side, I fixed the annoying delay and clunk in the driveline. Anytime I'd accelerate using the lower gears, I'd hear a clunk and experienced a subsecond delay in taking off. I torqued the lower control arm bolts and transmission mount bolts to spec and both the clunk and delay are gone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Multitasking. Brewed a batch of tasty Oatmeal stout. In between, found some time to replace the brake pads on all four sides.

 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Removed the built-in bumpstops from the Doetsch DT8000 shocks which gained me another 1.5" of uptravel. Instead, installed the appropriate bumpstops on the front lower spring perches. Cycled the suspension. At full compression, the 33" tires still have enough clearance. At full compression on one side and full droop on the other, I barely clear the fender flares, hit the inside fender lip, and steering becomes prohibitive. It'll be time for tube fenders soon.





 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Dialed in my front suspension. Removed the adjustable control arms for now and replaced with stock arms. The previous setup didn't take advantage of full articulation as the JKS trackbar hit the pumpkin. Centered the axle and set the toe-in at 1/8". At full compression, I still have 1/8" clearance between the tierod, trackbar, and front diff cover.
The front shocks are 13.5" collapsed, 22.5" extended. They match well with the BDS 2" lift coils at 18.5". Coil ride height puts me at 13.2" with 5" uptravel and 4" downtravel. Cycled the suspension again to make sure that everything clears.





 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Spent some time armoring the front of the Jeep. While at it, I installed collars on the sway bar to prevent side-to-side movement. BlueTorchFabs stubby bumper, winch plate, a Superwinch 9.0s winch with synthetic rope, and a Warn steering skid plate.





 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Next up, heavy duty skids. Pulled the gas tank to install a Rokmen skid, gaining an additional 1" of clearance. Also installed the Rokmen high clearance belly pan, tucking the belly up by 2". The heavy duty Rokmen transmission skid now protects the oil pan and transmission. The protection comes at a heavier penalty. The belly pan is 73lbs vs. 41lbs stock. The gas tank skid is 56lbs vs. 27lbs stock. The transmission skid is an additional 48lbs. That's a difference of 109 additional pounds. At least the weight is where it benefits center of gravity.





 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The LJ rear corners have quite a bit more overhang than TJs. A set of Rokmen corner guards will provide better protection. To make more room for the wheels, I went with a set of Xenon 4" flares. Full steering should now be unobstructed.

 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Front Xenon flares finished. I was debating between the CCfabs fenders or just flares and decided on the flares. More flexible, lighter, work better with the Rokmen skids and corner guards, and still offer additional clearance. I may need to cut into the rear fender once I go to 35s though.

 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
In preparation for a taller lift, I installed a set of adjustable Rokmen control arms with Johnny Joints on both ends.

 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
With the different electronic gadgets accumulating (CB, heated seats, light bar, etc.) it was time to add another fuse box with additional power leads. I was looking for a clean setup that's easy to get to. I decided on a Painless Performance Cirkit Boss 7 Fuse Block.



 
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