65th Anniversary Desert Crawler Build

Mark2006Dmax_TJ

New Member
Jun 24, 2018
19
Tucson
Hi All,
Bought a 65th Anniversary Edition back in April. I've been wanting a Wrangler for many years, and life finally got out of the way (so to speak) so I pulled the trigger. The goal is to build a capable rock crawler. Nothing special about the anniversary addition. I really like the old school Alcoa wheels and it's nice that it has the rear 44 already.

Although I've been cruising around this site for a while, this is my first post. Many of the mods so far have been based on other members input (the products and how to install!), so thank you all for the help!!!

So here is the progression of my build so far:

Clearly stock
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I was agonizing over the wheel/tire combo for a few months! Originally I thought I would go with a steel wheel, but I really like the look of the stock alcoa wheel. So I decided to keep the wheels and go with Spidertrax spacers.

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Tires are 35x12.5

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Installed a 3" Teraflex lift

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On road there is no rubbing at all, but as expected, I had to limit the up travel significantly to minimize rubbing while flexing. I've done some trimming, and will do more. I like the classic jeep look, but will likely go the metalcloak route eventually.

After a few months for financial recovery I installed Ironman lower adjustable control arms and Teraflex adjustable track bars
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Needed a little help from my pickup and a come-along (very carefully) to get the control arms installed!

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Keep in mind that I am doing this in the middle of summer in the desert!! Not super smart, but I really wanted to get this build off the ground.

So now that it has cooled down, had to make a safety mod...should have done the led headlights first.
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This weekend I finally got my spare installed using the MORryde reinforcement kit.

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So you will notice that many of the mods may seem familiar since I made them based on the recommendations of folks on this site!

A huge shout out to Chris for all his help from his thread about stock equipment to his product recommendations!!!!!!

So after all that, here is what is next:

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That is a NP241RO out of an 04 Rubi!!! I just picked it up today!
Not sure where to begin, but excited for the challenge and the end result! I've done searches and have seen swaps in like a 98 tj but have not found a thread with a swap into a 03 to 06.

So, now I ask for some help.....can anyone point me to a site or thread where someone has done the 231 to 241OR swap? Would it be worth having the stock drive shafts modified, is it even possible? I believe this will mate directly to the NSG370 six speed?

Any tips would be greatly appreciated! And of course, if anyone has any questions about what I did, why or how, I would be happy to help too.



Thanks
Mark
 

CasperLLY

TJ Enthusiast
Feb 12, 2018
122
US
How do you feel the new tire care will hold up. Been looking at something similar and a carrier on the bumper. Can't make up my mind

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
 

Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Sep 28, 2015
35,362
Salem, Oregon
Wow, that thing is looking great so far! Keep up the good work.

How do you feel the new tire care will hold up. Been looking at something similar and a carrier on the bumper. Can't make up my mind

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
Get the Exogate. Mine holds my 35" spare just fine. It's beefy as hell and definitely worth the money!
 
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Mark2006Dmax_TJ

Mark2006Dmax_TJ

New Member
Jun 24, 2018
19
Tucson
How do you feel the new tire care will hold up. Been looking at something similar and a carrier on the bumper. Can't make up my mind

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
The MORryde is very stout. I'm very happy with how solid the tailgate is with the 35 hanging on it. Time will tell, but I think it will hold up. The Exogate looks to be very similar.
 
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Mark2006Dmax_TJ

Mark2006Dmax_TJ

New Member
Jun 24, 2018
19
Tucson
I'm not sure the swap will be that difficult. I think it's just bolt on for the most part. Unfortunately this is the only thread I've found on it:

https://wranglertjforum.com/threads/nv241-rock-trac-transfer-case-swap.2964/
Thanks for the reminder on the thread, great info there. I was hoping it would not be too tough since Jeep likely used as many common parts as possible between Rubi and non 03-06. Thought I would do a quick compare of the Rubi vs X exploded design views on the Mopar parts website to id any obvious parts differences and get parts ordered before I dive in. Really hoping to use the stock rubi drive shafts with only the 3 inch lift to save $ for other stuff (like the re-gear & lockers).
 
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Mark2006Dmax_TJ

Mark2006Dmax_TJ

New Member
Jun 24, 2018
19
Tucson
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Today I got the 241OR installed. Took about 3 hrs to drop the 231 and install the 241...you were right Chris, very straight forward. I will provide a write up on how I did it soon.

Now I have to decide what to do with drive shafts. I got the Rubi drive shafts with the xfer case. I would expect them to work. The rear bolts right up. Looks like the front would work too if I get a 1330 flange for the D30 up front? I would think the usable lengths for both front and rear should work too? Does that sound right? I'm a little concerned with the length.

Thoughts?

Thanks
 

Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Sep 28, 2015
35,362
Salem, Oregon
View attachment 64420
View attachment 64419

Today I got the 241OR installed. Took about 3 hrs to drop the 231 and install the 241...you were right Chris, very straight forward. I will provide a write up on how I did it soon.

Now I have to decide what to do with drive shafts. I got the Rubi drive shafts with the xfer case. I would expect them to work. The rear bolts right up. Looks like the front would work too if I get a 1330 flange for the D30 up front? I would think the usable lengths for both front and rear should work too? Does that sound right? I'm a little concerned with the length.

Thoughts?

Thanks
Glad to see you got it done and it went smoothly. It's not too difficult of a job as you learned. Do you have a lift, or did you do it on jack stands?

Anyways, if you were to do a write-up, that would be awesome, especially since people ask about this swap from time-to-time.

As for the driveshafts, I'm not sure what the answer is, but I know one person who did this swap is @Kevin E, so maybe he'll chime in and let you know what he did for his driveshafts. I believe the rear one needs to be extended slightly, but I'm not sure about the front.

You may have to post this in a new thread just incase you don't get any responses here. More people will see it that way for sure.
 
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Jeepin14s

New Member
Supporting Member
Oct 22, 2018
8
Central IL
How does the MORryde reinforcement kit work with your tail light guards? Does it clear or did you have to make any modifications?
 

JMT

The Jeep Guy
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Feb 27, 2017
7,310
Texas Hill Country
How does the MORryde reinforcement kit work with your tail light guards? Does it clear or did you have to make any modifications?
It clears my stock headlights masterfully. You can do away with the strap that keeps the tailgate from banging into the light. There's enough clearance that I'd guess with light guards it would still clear.
 
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Mark2006Dmax_TJ

Mark2006Dmax_TJ

New Member
Jun 24, 2018
19
Tucson
Jeepin14s - I did not make any mods. I thought about cutting the MORryde plate or just removing the light guard, but turns out it works really well to just reinstall the tail light guard with the small overlap over the plate. There is a foam pad on the back side light guard which helps a bit with the fit. I'm sure there is a small gap near the plate, but you can't see it because the hinges block it. I'm really happy with how it turned out. Here are some pics


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MallCrawlOnTons

TJ Enthusiast
Dec 9, 2018
284
West Georgia
View attachment 64420
View attachment 64419

Today I got the 241OR installed. Took about 3 hrs to drop the 231 and install the 241...you were right Chris, very straight forward. I will provide a write up on how I did it soon.

Now I have to decide what to do with drive shafts. I got the Rubi drive shafts with the xfer case. I would expect them to work. The rear bolts right up. Looks like the front would work too if I get a 1330 flange for the D30 up front? I would think the usable lengths for both front and rear should work too? Does that sound right? I'm a little concerned with the length.

Thoughts?

Thanks
Your Jeep is looking good.
Glad you kept the wheels. I like the look of those wheels out of most tj wheels.

What kind of drivetrain did the doner rubicon have?
Do you have a 44 rear axle or 35?
The 35 rear pinion snout is somewhere around 1” shorter I believe. I can’t remeber where I read the number, so I can’t source it right now. Unsure about the 30 vs the 44 snout length.

The front and rear shaft should bolt in if the rubi had the same drivetrain with the exception of the 1” extra snout on the 44. But that may be okay with a lift installed.
You could also run a conversion u joint for a little while until you get a 1330 yoke.

Edit: just read you have a 44 rear.
 
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Mark2006Dmax_TJ

Mark2006Dmax_TJ

New Member
Jun 24, 2018
19
Tucson
Thanks! I'm really happy with the set up.

Turns out the rear rubi shaft works perfect since there is a 44 in the rear. I replaced all the ujoints and adjusted the pinion angle to eliminate a vibe. I did have to put a conversion joint on the rear to interface with the 44.

I have not gotten the 1330 yoke yet, but I did think I could use a conversion in front until I took a closer look (after buying the joint and went to install it!). The front shaft CV joint only accepts a 1310 since the CV configuration constrains the ujoint in both axes. I think the only choices I have are a 1330 yoke at the xfer case or new front shaft with 1330 joints with a conversion ujoint at the 30.

JB Conversions does not have the 1330 yoke I would like in stock and have not tracked down another that I know would work. So the Jeep is 2WD until I figure something out!

Thanks for the feedback!
 

MallCrawlOnTons

TJ Enthusiast
Dec 9, 2018
284
West Georgia
I have not gotten the 1330 yoke yet, but I did think I could use a conversion in front until I took a closer look (after buying the joint and went to install it!). The front shaft CV joint only accepts a 1310 since the CV configuration constrains the ujoint in both axes. I think the only choices I have are a 1330 yoke at the xfer case or new front shaft with 1330 joints with a conversion ujoint at the 30.

JB Conversions does not have the 1330 yoke I would like in stock and have not tracked down another that I know would work. So the Jeep is 2WD until I figure something out!

Thanks for the feedback!
Run the rubi shaft up front too and run a conversion joint at the Dana 30 side if you need to.
 
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Mark2006Dmax_TJ

Mark2006Dmax_TJ

New Member
Jun 24, 2018
19
Tucson
Ok, I see where you were going! I've been so hung up with fact that the rubi shaft is 3" shorter than the original that I I really did not consider that. Worried that the slip joint would come apart at full extension.

I'm going to give it a try.

Thanks!