06 red LJ


Feb 10, 2023
Northern California
I have acquired a completely unmolested and rust free specimen with 120k miles on it in last February. Other stuff interfered and I did little with it, though have acquired most needed parts. Building it up for pleasure riding in the Sierras.
I have little experience with Jeeps my other family cars at the moment being 2019 4Runner and 2021 Landcruiser with very moderate upgrades (rockrails, +1 tires and lifts and such).


Progress so far as you can see most everything is stripped. I have installed PSC big bore steering box and master cylinder from big brake kit. Interior was repainted with some rattle cans and covered in armorlite mats. With wheels wells from Bedtred, as Armorlite kits did not cover that part when I was ordering.

Rest will document here.
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Progress today was that I finished rebuilding transfer case. Installed JB Conversions SYE super short kit with 1350 flange. Front yoke also 1350 from Adams.
Internals changed to wide chain and HD mode shifter, and 6 pinion planetary with new shift fork. As I will add Rubicrawler in front, wanted something beefier.
Internal of stock unit had been as new, but changed all seals, bearings and rings anyway.

Had to cut up cage and gut the blind hole bearing in the cover to be able to pull it.
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Transmission that you see in the above picture is a rebuilt unit from ATC diesel. It had to make a second round trip
To them to install a brand new rear planetary, so that Rubicrawler would mate to it. First time around they did not use my core, and some splines under the spud shaft in extension housing had been mushroomed. New rear planetary solved that.
Waiting to be put back.
For new steering box I bought new older/shorter steering shaft as the advice to just collapse it a couple inches did not sit well with my OCD. While at it replaced motor mounts with MORE, stock height.
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Where are you located in N CA? I am in the Sacramento area with a LJR. There is a group that tries to get together for runs every now and then.
About to do list.
Axles I bought from Curry. Dana 44 front and Dana 60 rear, stock width. Big brake kit from Vanco/black magic, 17”, rear disk came with Curry. ARB lockers. Probably wil order RCV axles. Adam’s shafts after I measure them.
Spidertrack minimal spacers to Icon Pro internal beadlock wheels with General 35” tires.
Linkages from Curry with upper control arms from Metalcloak aluminum.
Half inch body lift.
Front and rear rockjock sway bars.
Front, rear bumper and skids from Underground Fabworks. Aluminum where possible.
Starter and 240a alternator (want to run onboard welder) from mean green. 1ga cables from Jeepcables.
Fenders (aluminum) and rails and corner guards (aluminum) and tire carrier and rear lights from Metalcloak.
4” lift springs and shocks from Metalcloak.
Bought half doors on EBay. Latches, hinges from somewhere. Bikini top from bestop.
Tuffy console, shifters from rubicrawler and B&M
Kenwood headunit with front rear cameras and some Focal speakers.
Red (!) leather upholstery, rear seats deleted.
Many other bits that I will eventually document here.

Yeah, not a price conscious build, but why the hell I worked in software if not to afford nice toys.
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Err. Damn. Was checking that SYE was torqued to spec and apparently one of 5 bolts got stripped.

Need to drain transfer case. Remove covers ( damn I hate RTV. Everything should have proper gaskets). Clean it up. Helicoil.

Why is it always like that.
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Helicoil inserted. Dabbed it in rtv before inserting to hopefully eliminate potential for leaks.

Also used “Optimum” Permatex instead of Ultra when assembling - I think it is far better and indeed easier to disassemble and clean.
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So the lesson is that no two or more aftermarket solutions just fit together.
Fancy thick carpet, rubicrawler/transfer cable shifters, B&M auto shifter. Brackets don’t fit, consoles sit too high for boot and full range of transfer levers, boot that came with B&M too small for Tuffy hole, and parking brake hits front console part. Need to add some to nuts to bolt console down, and parking brake plate in the way.
I think I will punt on all this, just needed to install all shifters in place before dropping transmission back in.

With help of two friends, massaged transmission back in place. Then I realized I might have misplaced or threw out that little bottom bell housing cover plate. Dang.
But not before a little panic attack when I was connecting new fancy purple ATC diesel torque converter, and one of the bolts would not match. It seemed one hole was misplaced by 1/8”. I did not get to extract it all back out and contemplate as it has another set of threaded holes - unlike stock unit. Rotating 45deg, second set bolted in just fine. Hope that one hole is a fluke or serves some hidden purpose.
Now how the heck I find a replacement cover plate.

Good news is that BM shifter cable was of just appropriate length. I have seen reports stating it’s too short. I am not yet sure it was a good choice, but I like that all the shifting now lacks all those stupid brackets and pivots and what not.

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Minimal progress today of plugging Mean Green starter in ( nothing was wrong with OEM, I am just wasting own money).
And then staring intently at transmission cooling lines mangled thread and contemplating if it is ok to just clean up couple spots with a file before ugga dugga them into a fancy upgraded transmission

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Installed transmission, rubicrawler, transfer case. Set up Rubicrawler and transfer cable shifter (so much neater, hope they work as well as the look) and transmission B&M shifter (I think now that could have been skipped, but shifter cable is also nicer ).

Then I realized I forgot to put the filler/dipstick tube in. After a lot of screwing, by two of my friends failing too, we just could not thread it in.

Then I remembered I am replacing body mounts and adding 1/2” lift any way, so jacked up body and was able to put dipstick tube in, and even screw it’s bracket to the upper bell housing bolt. Ginormous ratchet extension I have previously acquired came in handy.

I wish extension pucks for lift had some concave low surface. I don’t like it just sitting on top of those Dorman mount replacements I got.

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Also since I was at it, replaced all oxygen sensors with whatever NTK this forum suggested. Also touched up frame rails under belly pan and rear crossmember to which bumper is bolted. Only minor rust, but now it looks better at least.
Nice build. I am doing much of the same and agree many mods from many suppliers = opportunities to solve problems!
very nice!
Which transmission cooler are you using and where did you mount it?

I am not going to use an extra one right now. ATC Diesel folks had been ok with that as their large oil pan and better oil pump and torque converter supposed to keep it cooler. They warrant it for 5 years/500k miles for 300hp without cooler and 400hp with a cooler. I only have stock 4.0.
Maybe I add one later.
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