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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am relatively new to the Jeep world but not new to the offroad world.
My last toy was a Suzuki Samurai that was setup nicely for about anything I was willing to drive it over or through. I had a guy contact me with "name your price cause I want to buy it" approach. So I went from a completely built up Samurai to a completely stock Jeep.
From this :

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Once the Samurai was sold I found my current 2005 LJ Rubicon Sahara the next week. The first and only Jeep I've ever driven or even looked at buying. It just seemed like a decent start so I was done shopping for a Jeep. It didn't have a scratch underneath it and appeared to have never been taken off road.
To this :
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
First order of business was a new top. The original top had a small golf ball sized hole in the corner of it.
I went with the Softopper LJ01 top.

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Initial thoughts on the top was that it fit good and was pretty decent.
Now I am doubting my choice in tops as it is loose fitting and flaps when driving on the freeway. I will have to see what other options are available when the top needs replaced again.


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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Next order of business was dumping the SmittyBuilt tube bumpers and side step.
I was able to sell the front bumper and the side steps. The rear bumper I couldn't even give it away until the recycle/trash guy stopped and took it away for me.

I had a local guy build a front bumper for me. Came out pretty decent for what I wanted.

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While he was building the front bumper I can across plans on another forum for a LJ trunk. I wanted something to keep items secure in the back area and also to keep things out of sight. I also added some clamps to the roll bars in the back to attach a High Lift jack horizontal across the back.

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Next was fitting 35" tires. I went with GoodYear MTR tires and ProComp 15" steel rims. The steel rims were warped and wouldn't balance so I ended up with a set of cheap ProComp alloy wheels in the end.

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To fit the 35" tires I installed Metal Cloak Overline fenders front and rear. I also did the Metal Cloak sliders.

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I set it up for flat towing with a Reese A-frame type of tow bar.
I used a set of Warrior Products tow bar adapters to be able to tow it by the D-ring shackle points.

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and wired the lights using a plug in harness from etrailer. Complete plug in setup and works great. It uses the factory lights when towing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The Currie 4" lift with Bilstein 5100 shocks. Also did the AntiRock and CorrectLync at the same time.

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Bestop Highrock rear bumper was added next. I liked that it would hold up to a 40" tire so I figured it would be plenty strong for my current 35" tire and would hold a 37" tire if I ever went up to that size.
It also attached to the rear door with a cam making it one motion to open the tire carrier and the rear door. Works great and very glad I went this route.

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Because of this forum I figured out my Rubicon Sahara was a limited edition.
A few phone calls and some researching revealed I had #0090 of 1000 built.
I found this website about them : 2005 Rubicon Sahara Edition

A few weeks later I had my correct dash plaque from Trish at Imperial Marketing.

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I went through my local dealer to get the correct "Sahara" side decals. Expensive but with only 4 showing on hand for the entire US I figured I had better get them now as they may not be available later.

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I like your lock box. what gauge of metal did you use?
Can't remember exactly. I think the guy said it was 12ga and when I measured it was close to .09 thick, so guessing that is correct.
I couldn't get a good thickness measurement due to the edging on it.

I've seen some made out of aluminum diamond plate as well. A lot of different ideas out there for something like this.

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Front SkidRow steering box skid on now. It worked perfect with the split in the front edge of it so I could press it straight and bend it to fit with my aftermarket front bumper. 20 ton press straightened it out nicely without even messing up the powder coating.

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Forgot about my Cobra 29LX CB install. I mounted the antenna on the rear tire carrier. Routed the coaxial cable through the vent on the tailgate and then up the roll bar all the way to the front. I hard wired the CB directly to the battery.
The little rack mount is made out of 3/4" square tube. I used rivet nuts on the header of the softopper and the b-pillar to mount it up there. Works great and is a solid mount.

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I found a picture of the rear HighLift jack mounted across the back. Works great and serves a double duty as a tether point for the topple strap on my munchkin's car seat. I lost the factory tether mount when I installed the rear cargo cover.
 

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Does that HighLift jack get in the way of the frameless soft top? That would be a great place to mount a high lift on my LJ.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Does that HighLift jack get in the way of the frameless soft top? That would be a great place to mount a high lift on my LJ.
Nope, top fits fine.
I do have the base plate of the jack removed and I did trim a couple of inches off the top of the jack.

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Today was the UCF gas tank skid / UCF rear diff cover / Barnett front diff cover.

Diff covers were very straight forward. Rear cover was super easy to get to with the gas tank out. I used Lube Lockers for the diff seals. Worked great and no messing with the RTV sealant.

No instructions with the UCF tank skid, heck it didn't even come in a box. Arrived with a UPS label stuck inside of it. One mounting tab was bent but nothing a hammer couldn't straighten out. I watched the Rokeman tank skid install on youtube to get an idea of what connections to unhook and how they do an install. Gas tank was very tight in the skid. It actually shaved some plastic of the gas tank off while forcing the tank into the skid.


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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Went ahead and installed the Novak kit for the transfer case linkage this evening.
The instructions were useless and don't try reading them before installing the parts as it will make you second guess the parts included in the kit.
The parts list is wrong and Novak guys will be pricks about it when asked. Their solution to answering a question about missing parts is to tell a person that they should have just started installing the kit without looking to make sure all the parts were included, then a person would realize the instructions were wrong and it has parts listed that you don't need and aren't included.... my question was then why even included the instructions. Almost worth the stamp to send the instructions back to Novak with some really good and accurate instructions on where they can shove these instructions since they are useless for the install.
The install was straight forward and simple without the instructions making it confusing. Pretty much remove and replace parts. Shifting seems a lot smoother even just rolling forward and back in the driveway. Hopefully this will stop the binding I had when offroad.

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Installed the Johnny Joint washers today. I just learned about these last week so ordered a set and installed them. They center the front bolt in the lower control arm mount. Without them your axle can be out of alignment as the pics show mine was. Kinda surprised these aren't included in the lift kits.
http://shop.blackmagicbrakes.com/Johnny-Joint-Washers_c80.htm

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The bolts in my Currie kit were plenty long enough to accommodate the thicker spacers that I was installing. Here is the lower control arm mount with the washers and bolt from the kit.

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As you can see the bolt wasn't centered in the slot.

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The spacers fit exactly in the lower mounts centering the mounting bolt.

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all put back together and you can see the bolts in the lift kit were plenty long enough to accommodate the thicker spacers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
UCF "Original Extra Clearance" 3/8 inch aluminum transfer case skid installed this week with the LoPro transmission mount and the 1/4 inch aluminum engine skid.
According to UCF the ground clearance is increased by 2.5", but of course I forgot to measure my before ground clearance with the stock skid.

Keep in mind this fit with NO BODY LIFT on mine !!

The transfer case skid fit fine and no instructions included or found online as they really aren't needed.

No instructions could be found on the install of the Rubicon pump bracket.
The Rubicon pump bracket was the wrong shape to fit anywhere I could find without some grinding/reshaping of it and then I had some scrap aluminum sitting around and made a bracket to fit with the UCF bracket to attach my pumps onto..... for the price of the bracket I could have made my own bracket and probably would have been easier in the end. It did not include any bolts. I reused the 4 factory bolts that attached the pumps to the stock skid by tapping the aluminum skid, worked great.

LoPro mount was simple enough and the online instructions were adequate. It was missing the fifth mounting bolt but no biggie.

The engine skid needed some grinding/shaping to clear the exhaust and one of the front supports needed some grinding to fit correctly. The instructions online were lacking and confusing. I couldn't get it to fit exactly how the pictures showed online but got it to fit good in the end. I figured this would be the easiest part to install but ended up being the most complicated.

Sorry the pics aren't better but hopefully they are good enough to get the idea.....


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So far I don't see you re-gearing or upgrading axels after going with the 35's. Do you think that will be necessary? Looking to go up from 33's to 35's and just wondering what you think. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So far I don't see you re-gearing or upgrading axels after going with the 35's. Do you think that will be necessary? Looking to go up from 33's to 35's and just wondering what you think. Thanks
I have stock Dana 44 axles front and rear and will eventually upgrade the axle shafts but from my experience more people run 35" tires on a stock Dana 44 axle with no problems than those that have problems. I am in no rush on the axle shafts right now but eventually they will happen.

I have a 6 speed manual and the stock 4.10 diff gears. The 35" tires made 1st gear usable now. With stock tires 1st gear (in high range) is so low it is almost not usable. I still take off in second gear sometimes with 35's. I will probably change gearing some day but with the manual 6 speed the gearing isn't bad at all. I've heard the auto transmission setup is totally different and needs to have some diff gearing redone to work decent.

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I had a problem with only being able to put fuel into my Jeep very slowly. The pump would just click off (like when a person tried to top off a tank) but I had to fill my tank this way. Before I could run it slow without problems. Running the fuel in fast would cause the fuel to spit out and onto the ground before the pump could shut off.

I found a thread over on another forum about spitting gas and filling issues.
Thread here : '05-'06 gas overflow fix - JeepForum.com

I unbolted the torx screws on the body, loosened the camp on the tank, and pulled breather hose off the filler spout. Pulled the entire assembly out to work on and it made it easy.

I figured the plastic plunger "thingy" in my gas tank was stuck closed, thus sealing my gas tank almost shut...... and it was shut -

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I took a screw driver and pushed the valve/ball looking thing and it slid right down. I was hoping it was a tight fit so I could JAMB it down in there and it would stay.... but it slide easily down, thus opening the tank to allow fuel in again.

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While I had the hose off I cut the valve/flapper out of the GM hose (part # 15131046). Of course I tried to fit the valve/flapper in my OE hose and it stuck so I didn't get a picture of it. I used WD40 and my 7/8" deep socket (backwards) and shoved the valve up inside the original hose. No heat needed on the hose on mine (as some in the fix thread used), just WD40.

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Here is pictures of the valve installed in the original jeep fuel tank hose. The flapper closes really easy with just a little bit of air pressure (blowing on it) so hopefully that will also stop all the spitting of fuel. Pictures are looking from the end of the hose that attaches to the gas tank.

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