2005 Jeep Unlimited (LJ) "Slow Roast" build - Great Lakes 4x4. The largest offroad forum in the Midwest

Go Back   Great Lakes 4x4. The largest offroad forum in the Midwest > 4x4 Talk > Rig Builds and Pics
GL4x4 Live! GL4x4 Casino

Rig Builds and Pics Introduce your rig or post a buildup here.

greatlakes4x4.com is the premier Great Lakes 4x4 Forum on the internet. Registered Users do not see the above ads.
Search
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old January 22nd, 2011, 07:42 AM   #1
1x1_Speed_Craig
Simplify...
 
1x1_Speed_Craig's Avatar
 
Join Date: 11-09-05
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 7,545
iTrader: (122)
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Default 2005 Jeep Unlimited (LJ) "Slow Roast" build

At age 34 (I'm almost 40 now), I bought my first and only new vehicle ever - a 2005 LJ - as a spring/summer/fall daily-driver. I have always stored it in the winters, and driven a cheap "winter bomb" to keep the LJ out of the salt. I love the thing, and have pretty much babied it, to say the least (until more recently...read on).

Here's a stock shot of my LJ. Looking back, it looked pretty "wussy" on those stock-sized tires (not that it's huge now, but...). I also bought some OEM Rubicon rocker guards back in 2005, but have been too much of a puss to drill holes through the body to mount them. Actually, I just haven't had the need for them up to this point, and installing them hasn't been a priority.




A couple years ago, when the Wrangler GS-As were starting to get a little slippery (plenty of tread left, but the compound got kind of hard/slippery), I sprung for some 31" BFG KM2s and a budget boost. It's a great set-up. The handling is still great, and the tires aren't horribly loud for being a mud-terrain design.




Enter a Fall 2010 visit to Rocks and Valleys with my daughters (met up there with Crawler and his wife). One word...ADDICTED! So were my daughters. Mira was begging me to get a locker so we could do the Black Diamond trails.



Notice the custom "striping" on my door? It's a scratch that goes the full length of the driver door and into the quarter panel. I'll have to see if it'll buff out. It's the only real "carnage" (used very loosely) from the day. My girls were worried. They were like, "Dad, are you going to be OK?". It was all good.



So there it is. Upgrades will be simple weekend projects - nothing to pull too much of my time away from my family/girlfriend, nor working on Mira's XJ with her. For the haters, no I won't be selling it, and no, I won't be parting it out.

More updates to come.


Craig



Current Plans/Status (updated 4/2/2012):
I want to give a H-U-G-E thanks to RockSolid Performance for all of the guidance, custom work, and great service. Thanks guys!



Full-Traction long-arm install under way...
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	2005_lj_stock_sm.jpg
Views:	3704
Size:	258.1 KB
ID:	73477   Click image for larger version

Name:	lj_2in_bb_bfgs_sm.jpg
Views:	2576
Size:	84.2 KB
ID:	73478  

Last edited by 1x1_Speed_Craig; April 2nd, 2012 at 09:30 PM.
1x1_Speed_Craig is online now   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old January 22nd, 2011, 09:24 AM   #2
Spudy
Redneck Excavator
 
Spudy's Avatar
 
Join Date: 05-13-07
Location: Lakeview 48850
Posts: 1,191
iTrader: (12)
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Send a message via AIM to Spudy Send a message via MSN to Spudy Send a message via Yahoo to Spudy
Default

hey man get in touch with me when you go to do the bumpers. Come over and we can build some for ya.
Spudy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 22nd, 2011, 06:42 PM   #3
littletrucker
I'd hit that
 
littletrucker's Avatar
 
Join Date: 09-15-10
Location: Bear Lake 49614
Posts: 1,570
iTrader: (5)
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Default

Nice looking jeep you got there.. Thought you had pictures of 2 different jeeps for a second, in the top 2 it almost looks white.. You can see its more a sliver color... Cant wait to see how it turns out.

Last edited by littletrucker; January 22nd, 2011 at 06:46 PM.
littletrucker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 22nd, 2011, 06:52 PM   #4
pistol pete
I do vinyl stickers
 
pistol pete's Avatar
 
Join Date: 02-01-09
Location: south haven michigan
Posts: 654
iTrader: (3)
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Default

sweet jeep, i like the wheel base of the unlimiteds, cant wait to see more
pistol pete is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 22nd, 2011, 07:13 PM   #5
chadcooper55
expert jeep disassembler
 
chadcooper55's Avatar
 
Join Date: 08-28-08
Location: kent city mi
Posts: 8,055
iTrader: (20)
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Default

I love the lj's, one of these days I will buy one. Give me a shout if ya need anything craig.
chadcooper55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 22nd, 2011, 07:19 PM   #6
dougstephvoor
Supreme Chancelor!
 
dougstephvoor's Avatar
 
Join Date: 03-21-10
Location: Saranac/Michigan
Posts: 2,230
iTrader: (3)
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Default

I have the JKS disconnects and like them very much.
Since you like the jeep so much I have a suggestion for you, if you do hard wheeling make sure the spare tire is not on it, as the first thing you will do is cave in the rear tail gate from the spare tire hitting stuff, and it is hard to believe but I was rubbing my spare on the ground when going up and down hills.

Also, if you put rock crawler bumpers on it, you will fold up the front fenders if they are short bumpers. The longer bumpers will get hooked more but they will protect you going around the hard corners near the trees, the short bumpers will let the fender flares rub on stuff and the next time you get out and look both fenders will be folded in.

But it sure is fun.
dougstephvoor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 22nd, 2011, 08:14 PM   #7
1x1_Speed_Craig
Simplify...
 
1x1_Speed_Craig's Avatar
 
Join Date: 11-09-05
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 7,545
iTrader: (122)
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Default

Thanks all. I drove a '94 YJ prior to the LJ, and the added length/space/wheelbase is better in every way than SWB Jeeps, IMHO. I'm really glad I bought this Jeep when I did.

dougstephvoor - thanks for the tip on the bumpers, too.
1x1_Speed_Craig is online now   Reply With Quote
Old January 23rd, 2011, 05:11 PM   #8
phittie1100
Senior Member
 
phittie1100's Avatar
 
Join Date: 11-27-05
Location: Burton, MI
Posts: 1,868
iTrader: (16)
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Default

Gas tank skid is a must - I don't know if it's the longer wheelbase in general or the slightly longer rear overhang but we mangled the stocks skids on both of our LJs. The current one took such a beating that the cross member is going to need to be replaced before I replace the skid. But no complaints here, I love the extra room inside, the longer wheelbase rides better and lets me tow my camper (3500#) without any issues.
__________________
Paul - 2005 Wrangler Unlimited
KD8PAV
phittie1100 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 23rd, 2011, 05:20 PM   #9
shawn
Resident HVAC/R Jambi
 
shawn's Avatar
 
Join Date: 11-05-05
Location: Milford/Commerce
Posts: 10,160
iTrader: (24)
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Send a message via Yahoo to shawn
Default

I love my LJ, you won't ever be disseminated. And, you are building slow but sounds like you are going about it right, I kinda just jumped in fairly heavy with mine.

But after owning a 97 TJ, then building my CJ (that thing was an awesome trail beast!), and still owning and driving an 01 TJ, I have to say building an LJ was the best decision.

I installed a Full Traction Long arm (4"), regeared (4.56's) and locked the D30 and D44, and have a descent bumper and good winch, running 33" Trxus. I'm really happy with where I'm at. I have some good rock sliders, but still need to get a trans skid (CHIEFWOOHOO!!!!) and then a gas tank skid, then a good rear bumper/tire carrier.
shawn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 24th, 2011, 08:02 AM   #10
green50gt
Got rocks?
 
green50gt's Avatar
 
Join Date: 04-16-08
Location: Goshen, IN 46528
Posts: 2,787
iTrader: (50)
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Default

Craig I've ran an Antirock on several TJ's I've built and really they are amazing. A bit pricey as compared to discos, but not having to get out and jack around with them is truely priceless. You get plenty of wheel travel and your poor rear sway bar doesn't do all the work. IMO.
__________________
I heart Jeeps
green50gt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 24th, 2011, 09:51 AM   #11
1x1_Speed_Craig
Simplify...
 
1x1_Speed_Craig's Avatar
 
Join Date: 11-09-05
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 7,545
iTrader: (122)
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by phittie1100 View Post
Gas tank skid is a must...
Good input! I didn't bash my tank at R&V, but it was on my mind to be careful of it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by shawn View Post
I installed a Full Traction Long arm (4"), regeared (4.56's) and locked the D30 and D44, and have a descent bumper and good winch, running 33" Trxus. I'm really happy with where I'm at.
Shawn - Is your LJ a manual or automatic? Mine's an auto. Impressions of the 4.56s with 33" tires? I'm currently leaning toward 4.88 gearing based on input from a knowledgable front axle manufacturer. They feel the 4.88s are a better quality in regards to manufacturing/QA. I hadn't heard that previously, though.


Quote:
Originally Posted by green50gt View Post
Craig I've ran an Antirock on several TJ's I've built and really they are amazing. A bit pricey as compared to discos, but not having to get out and jack around with them is truely priceless. You get plenty of wheel travel and your poor rear sway bar doesn't do all the work. IMO.
Great to hear the first-hand experience/endorsement. I'd really prefer to go the Antirock route for the reason you mentioned. Thanks again.


Craig
1x1_Speed_Craig is online now   Reply With Quote
Old January 24th, 2011, 12:28 PM   #12
babyjp95
average guy
 
babyjp95's Avatar
 
Join Date: 02-15-09
Location: Lakeview/Mi.
Posts: 472
iTrader: (6)
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Default

I Love my LJ as well but I went a different route, I as well drove a YJ before but I ran 35's on mine so that's the route i went with the LJ. I got a Fabtech 6" longarm with 35" BFG's and Metalcloak rockers w/step on mine. Unfortunately I didn't get as lucky as u with my first wheeling experience with my LJ, mine rolled over 22k as we left the campground the morning or it's first trail. It was Drummond Island and I managed to go through 80 some miles of trails and just put a couple dents in skid plates underneath then we hit a rolling field and I went over a knoll wrong and caved in my rocker, (hense the Metalcloak) then ran the rear D.S. corner across a tree while getting winched up a hill cause I still had the GS-A's. Hope u keep enjoying yours. I no I do mine
babyjp95 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 24th, 2011, 12:32 PM   #13
chadcooper55
expert jeep disassembler
 
chadcooper55's Avatar
 
Join Date: 08-28-08
Location: kent city mi
Posts: 8,055
iTrader: (20)
Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Default

i only have about 2500 miles on my antirock on my TJ but on and off road it seems to work very well. i would definitely recommended it. well worth the price tag.
chadcooper55 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 24th, 2011, 10:20 PM   #14
shawn
Resident HVAC/R Jambi
 
shawn's Avatar
 
Join Date: 11-05-05
Location: Milford/Commerce
Posts: 10,160
iTrader: (24)
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Send a message via Yahoo to shawn
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1x1_Speed_Craig View Post




Shawn - Is your LJ a manual or automatic? Mine's an auto. Impressions of the 4.56s with 33" tires? I'm currently leaning toward 4.88 gearing based on input from a knowledgable front axle manufacturer. They feel the 4.88s are a better quality in regards to manufacturing/QA. I hadn't heard that previously, though.





Craig
Never heard that before. I battled for months trying to figure out what gears to put in, 4.56's or 4.88's. My decision is going to be a bit different then yours. I didn't need the gears for off road use (although it's a BIG help), because I put in a Ruby 241OR. So I have a 4to1 low range. I plan on going to 35's on my next set of tires, and I feel the 4.56's are just about right for 33's or 35's. Heck, with the 4to1 and my gearing and tires, it seems too low for Michigan wheeling, so I hope the 35's help that out a little. I do know this, the pinion gear for a D30 4.88's is REALLY small, the 4.56 one is small but makes me feel more comfortable.

And I have an Auto. I need to fix the speedo calibration real soon, my shift points are out of wack.
shawn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 14th, 2011, 08:03 PM   #15
1x1_Speed_Craig
Simplify...
 
1x1_Speed_Craig's Avatar
 
Join Date: 11-09-05
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 7,545
iTrader: (122)
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Default

Well, I've been pinching my pennies, and pulled the trigger today by ordering some stuff from Unlimited Offroad (thanks again for the guidance, Jared ). Coming soon...
  • Nth Degree Tummy Tucker (and other) skid plates
  • Currie Antirock (front)

Can't wait to pick the stuff up and get it installed (getting Spring fever). Once my budget recovers, I'll be looking at a gas tank skid.

Craig

Last edited by 1x1_Speed_Craig; June 9th, 2011 at 10:20 PM.
1x1_Speed_Craig is online now   Reply With Quote
Old February 14th, 2011, 09:39 PM   #16
shawn
Resident HVAC/R Jambi
 
shawn's Avatar
 
Join Date: 11-05-05
Location: Milford/Commerce
Posts: 10,160
iTrader: (24)
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Send a message via Yahoo to shawn
Default

Yeah!! Those are some good upgrades right there, glad you got to talk with Jared. Those guys are giving some pretty dang good prices on lockers and shafts. Those RCV's are in my immediate future also.
shawn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 15th, 2011, 08:56 AM   #17
SHARPMACHINE
F-U-CANCER!!!
 
SHARPMACHINE's Avatar
 
Join Date: 09-29-06
Location: MONTAGUE MI (BY THE SAND BOX)
Posts: 4,532
iTrader: (25)
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Default

Looking forward to seeing the install of some of this stuff. I want me one of those antirocks.
lookin good!
__________________
Hay, look at me... I have a signature.....



RIP FULLSIZE4LIFE
SHARPMACHINE is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 26th, 2011, 03:44 PM   #18
1x1_Speed_Craig
Simplify...
 
1x1_Speed_Craig's Avatar
 
Join Date: 11-09-05
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 7,545
iTrader: (122)
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Default

It's like Christmas morning for me today. Currie was late getting the Anti-Rock shipped out, so I'll have to have that shipped to me when it arrives at Unlimited Offroad. BIG thanks to Jared at Unlimited Offroad for helping guide me with these purchases, and taking good care of me. It was great seeing you, and taking a tour through the shop today.

Craig

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	2011_lj_upgrades.jpg
Views:	2120
Size:	122.4 KB
ID:	75059  
1x1_Speed_Craig is online now   Reply With Quote
Old February 26th, 2011, 10:53 PM   #19
green50gt
Got rocks?
 
green50gt's Avatar
 
Join Date: 04-16-08
Location: Goshen, IN 46528
Posts: 2,787
iTrader: (50)
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Default

Hotness! Very interested to see what all has to be done in the way of the tummy tuck.
__________________
I heart Jeeps
green50gt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 27th, 2011, 08:03 AM   #20
1x1_Speed_Craig
Simplify...
 
1x1_Speed_Craig's Avatar
 
Join Date: 11-09-05
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 7,545
iTrader: (122)
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by green50gt View Post
Hotness! Very interested to see what all has to be done in the way of the tummy tuck.
Thanks. CLICK HERE for the install instructions. I didn't compare if they're the same as the hard copy I got with the skid plate. I will say that the skid plate design has changed just a little from the photo on AEV's website, and that they did away with a separate supplemental hardware kit for automatics. More to come...

Craig
1x1_Speed_Craig is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply
Great Lakes 4x4. The largest offroad forum in the Midwest > 4x4 Talk > Rig Builds and Pics

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:58 PM.


Powered by: vBulletin, Copyright 2000 - 2012, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2014 DragonByte Technologies Ltd. Runs best on HiVelocity Hosting.
Page generated in 0.34836 seconds with 84 queries