2005 LJR Flame Red

DeltaNu1142

TJ Enthusiast
Joined
May 27, 2019
Messages
163
Location
Maine
OK, my TJ journey started today. It's been a long day, so this will be pretty short. I may or may not get into it some other time, but I started the buying process of this Jeep in October of last year. I picked it up today with 147,502 miles. It's a 2005 LJ Rubicon 6spd... a rare rust-free specimen here in the northeast. My understanding is that the previous owner didn't drive it in the winter. It came with a hard top installed, four extra wheels & tires (including spare), cold AC, hot heat, all stock except for a custom-painted hood. No CEL, all gauges work. Shifts smooth. It has new brakes and tires. I drove it about two hours home. It's smooth up to 80 mph, except for a wobble if I hang out at 55 too long. I can accelerate or brake out of it, so I'm assuming it's a front tire balance issue.

IMG_0451.JPG


I don't have any immediate plans for it, other than transferring the title and giving it a good cleaning. I do have some spare parts ready to go on (half doors, '97 replacement hood and grille) that might find their way onto it in the next few weeks. It needs tailgate weatherstrip, so I should get one of those ordered. I don't like the chrome nerf bars... but I think I'll want to keep a step rather than sliders.

If I keep this rig, it'll be a family runaround vehicle and hopefully the NSG370 will hold up until my son is ready to start driving it.
 
No new developments today, but I wanted to add some detail to yesterday's post.

I arrived home with 147,624 miles. I noticed a brake pad smell and found the front calipers (passenger side in particular) were likely dragging. The driver side disc is a bit scored. I let it sit for an hour or so, rolled it out of the garage, and found the calipers were freed up. That'll require some investigation.

I'm considering saving myself the work of replacing the grille and hood and just getting the hood repainted. I ordered some Delrin inserts for the door hinges as well as some CJ7 lower door hinges to make up a wall-mounted door hanger. I sprayed the hinges with PB Blaster in preparation for removing them. I'm sitting on a pair of half doors with Mist Gray panels. My interior is whatever the black color is called, so I'll want to dye them. And I'm not 100% sure the driver half door inside handle works.

I noticed the passenger side fender likely suffered some small impact with something at the bottom outside corner at some point (barely enough to see in the photo). The paint looks fine but the fender below the turn signal is a little tweaked. I'll probably give it a whack from underneath with a 2x4 and a mallet.

I got an OEM soft top with the Jeep. As this will be summertime vehicle only, I'm definitely planning on getting rid of the hard top and installing the soft top... but since it's been sitting in storage for I-don't-know-how-many years, it's really dusty and doesn't look to be in that great a shape. It has at least one small hole. I may get the chance to attempt to install it this weekend.
 
Nice looking LJ! Do you know if the OPDA was changed out to a newer aftermarket Crown version?
Thanks! No, I don't know... but I've read all about it here on the forums, so it's something that's on my list to keep an eye on. No funny noises yet.

I can tell you that the previous owner--who passed away last fall--was meticulous in caring for his equipment (mechanically, anyway). This Jeep was not driven in the winter, which up here means it wasn't subject to the road salt that cuts vehicle lifespans in half, or worse.

I told myself I wasn't going to mess with it too much too early, but I have built up a parts pile and have a few things ordered. I've noticed the tailgate sagging on the OEM hinges. It snagged the passenger tail light sometime before it got to me, and so that needs replacing. The carpet is wrecked and the seats are dirty, so if I get motivated to do something about it this summer I'll get a full BedRug and Bartact seat covers.

Parts on hand:
  • MorRyde tailgate reinforcement and hinges - FB marketplace buy
  • Half doors
  • 2" OME lift springs (2933/2949) - another "can't afford not to buy it" FB marketplace purchase (will put together lift parts as I find deals)
  • Claytone LED back-up bulbs (will probably replace the tail light first)
  • Delrin door hinge bushings (see edit)
Parts ordered:
  • tailgate seal
  • Delrin door hinge bushings
Parts I'd consider buying if I found good deals:
  • BedRug front & back
  • Seat covers
  • bikini top/shade
  • adjustable track bars
  • shocks for 2" lift
  • 1" body lift
  • 285/75/16 tires
  • upper shift boot
I have plans for an audio upgrade, but that's way off in the future and if I decide I'm keeping this Jeep long term.

EDIT: Amazon's fast, man. Door hinge bushings just hit my doorstep.
 
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Had a 'whoo-hoo' moment immediately followed by a 'boo' moment. The driver side full door came off like it was put on yesterday. The passenger door... not as much. Looks like I'll be going at it with a floor jack later.

EDIT: I took another pass at the door and got it off by lifting and pivoting on the hinges. It came up and off about 1/16" at a time.

Those bushings though... I'm deforming the removal tool with a hammer and they're not budging. I have them soaked in PB Blaster while I do some other work.

EDIT 2: Driver door done. Paint is a mismatch. I'm OK with it for now:

IMG_0471.JPG


Oof, it looks much worse in photos.

Lots of heat and hammering got the bushings out. But I'm not done... I got the last bushing out (pass lower), but the removal tool is now so deformed that it's stuck in the hinge. Heat and hammering and this is as far as I've gotten:

IMG_0472.JPG


The paint was in much better shape when I started. I'm displeased.
 
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Had a 'whoo-hoo' moment immediately followed by a 'boo' moment. The driver side full door came off like it was put on yesterday. The passenger door... not as much. Looks like I'll be going at it with a floor jack later.

EDIT: I took another pass at the door and got it off by lifting and pivoting on the hinges. It came up and off about 1/16" at a time.

Those bushings though... I'm deforming the removal tool with a hammer and they're not budging. I have them soaked in PB Blaster while I do some other work.

EDIT 2: Driver door done. Paint is a mismatch. I'm OK with it for now:

View attachment 527710

Oof, it looks much worse in photos.

Lots of heat and hammering got the bushings out. But I'm not done... I got the last bushing out (pass lower), but the removal tool is now so deformed that it's stuck in the hinge. Heat and hammering and this is as far as I've gotten:

View attachment 527709

The paint was in much better shape when I started. I'm displeased.

If you can get the doors off, the bushing should be removal with punches and/or cold chisels. Not familiar with that removal tool you're trying. Looks like that tool make the situation much worse by filling the hole.

More pictures and I'm sure we can recommend a path ahead. That last one looks very mangled and tough to tell recommended path forward.

If you plan to color-match the doors, at least you have a time/opportunity to repaint that hinge. For short term, color-matching spray paint would keep the rust away. Do your best to preserve the OEM hinges - the aftermarkets seem to get poor reviews.

When you get the OEM liners out, use aftermarket Delrin replacements. Many options available across the internet.
 
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Some considerations for your upgrade list:
  • BedRug front & back - You may want to look at a company called ACC. I've used RockAuto (Interior -> Flooring) to find the right color code. They offer OEM-style carpeting. Something to consider.



Good luck on the Jeep. Look forward to following along.
 
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Thanks - the bushing removal tool is like a stepped punch that came with the Kentrol Delrin bushings that are now installed in the other three hinges. It worked, until it didn’t. Now I’m expecting to have to drill and punch it out.

Your three bullets above… I’ve been lurking these forums for the last several months while waiting to pick up this rig. I read the seat foam thread awhile back. I’m familiar with the ACC carpet option but I want to go with BedRug for durability. I ordered my tailgate seal from Rock Auto. And yes, solid lift pucks are the way to go. I have a BMB brake upgrade on my list to look at later on.
 
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Busy day. Got the bushing tool pressed out of the hinge, but I'll need to touch up the paint.

Tackled the saggy tailgate hinge by starting the MorRyde install. I bought it used, cheap, but it doesn't show any signs of ever being installed except for missing a few bolts. Those will have to come from the hardware store tomorrow.

IMG_0482.jpg


The heat gun was the real hero today. I was heating each hinge bolt before putting the impact on it and each came out easily. I thought, "maybe I should just skip the heat," and the next couple didn't budge.

I need to do some research on the spare carrier. I'm still on OEM Rubi wheels & tires, but will be going to larger tires in the future. I don't know if I'll need the offset mounts or if I'll have to change up the snubber depth at that time.

The previous owner definitely had a dog, as evidenced by the hair throughout the interior... and the rear seat belts. These are going to have to be replaced:

IMG_0474.JPG


EDIT: the MorRyde tailgate and hinge kit included a very robust tire carrier. Looking around on the Internet, I realize it's not part of the standard kit. In fact, I don't even see anywhere that MorRyde even made a tire carrier for a TJ. I'll get a photo of it tomorrow.
 
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I discovered the spare carrier that came with my MorRyde reinforcement kit is actually a brand-new OEM carrier, but with the studs positioned for a 5x5 bolt pattern. I may or may not reposition those studs to use it. It's just so nice & clean, it'd be a shame not to install it.

I got plates on today, so I took it out for a spin. I think I'm really going to like having a Jeep. I doubt I'll give it a formal name & badge it that way, but I'm thinking we might just refer to it as "Ol' Reds." Reds being plural, because, well...

IMG_0487.JPG


The Jeep is '05 Flame Red, the half doors are '97 Flame Red, and this hinge is a Rustoleum 2X gloss primer that from now on I'm calling "Desperation Red."

The Fairchild tailgate seal arrived today. I'll get that on as soon as I can get the old gummy adhesive off. I've ordered replacement OEM rear seat belts and a replacement OEM passenger side tail light.
 
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I installed one @Claytone reverse light. It took all of five minutes... most of that time was trying to figure out where the transfer punch was... and because I grabbed only one of the lights to install, I missed that it was conveniently taped to the other one.

Tested, working, brightly.

I'll put the other one in when the replacement tail light gets here. The housing of the one that's on there suffered some damage from the old saggy tailgate hinge.
 
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Got my first CEL today! Do I get a fender badge or something...?

147656 miles. P0133, checked and reset with the OBDLink MX+ adapter and app. I'll keep an eye on it and check the O2 sensors as needed.
 
I just failed the state inspection (racket) for some minor stuff:
  • torn wiper blades
  • loose fog lights - didn't notice
  • missing battery tie-down
For wiper blades, I'm going to order the PIAAs. For the fog lights, I need to find my security Torx bits... I know they're around here somewhere. But for the battery tie-down... I don't even see any holes in the tray to accept the hooks. I'll need to do some research and a fix before the state will bless my vehicle with a sticker. Worst case, I think nylon webbing wrapped around the tray and battery would work.

No CEL after driving around this morning. I'm wringing the 4.0 out a little more, maybe there's some buildup.
 
55136959AC
Nice, found it. And I see how it mounts in this thread. However... I don't like it. I prefer the J-bolts. I'd like to modify mine for J-bolts if possible.

Should go in like this one I found a random photo of
Yeah, that's from the thread above. I don't like it, at all... it doesn't seem effective in the least. I don't see a hole for it, and I don't think there's room for it:

IMG_0502.JPG


I think I'm going to have to pull the battery and have a look.
 
It’s tight in there for sure.
You’ll have to pull the tray to modify it for J hooks … and that means hunting down replacement clip-nuts for the tray! I’ll be interested to see how it goes. I had big aspirations to replace mine too but ended up just popping in a new OEM tie-down “block”. Good luck!
 
Nice, found it. And I see how it mounts in this thread. However... I don't like it. I prefer the J-bolts. I'd like to modify mine for J-bolts if possible.


Yeah, that's from the thread above. I don't like it, at all... it doesn't seem effective in the least. I don't see a hole for it, and I don't think there's room for it:

View attachment 528944

I think I'm going to have to pull the battery and have a look.

Your battery doesn't look like it's sitting correctly. You can see the area where the wedge goes but the battery should be pushed rearward.