Build thoughts for 2005 TJ

TJ05

New Member
Feb 7, 2019
6
Michigan
This is my first post, and I am happy to be a new member of the forum. I am looking to get some ideas from some other tj owners.
So, my Jeep is an 05 tj. I live in Michigan. When I bought it, the owner was a mechanic and he bought it from a customer of his who kept the Jeep in South Carolina for its entire life up until the last two years, so it is completely spotless rust free. It’s got 130,000 miles and I plan on making this Jeep last a very long time. I’m a full time college student, so I don’t have unlimited funds but I also don’t cheap out. I want quality parts that won’t fail me when I’m on a trail etc. when I bought it, the seller told me it had a 3 inch lift, I think it looks more like a 2.5 but who knows. I have 33/10.5 tires on it right now. Warn winch, front and rear bumpers, led headlights, and a few other things.
Basically, what I’m looking for is to clear the same size tires but 12.5 wide instead of the 10.5. I’m clearing fine right now but I suspect they would rub with the wider tires on it. I don’t want to go to 35’s with the D35 in the rear currently and I don’t want to regear from 3.73 just yet. I was thinking of buying teraflex springs, or another brand, in 3/3.5 inch springs, bilstein shocks, and a SYE if I have to. I’m wondering if this would be okay or cause more problems than I already have? Thank you!
 

astjp2

TJ Enthusiast
Aug 22, 2018
752
Utah and Alaska
I would stick with the 10.5's for now, you live in snow and the narrower tires seem to work better in snow. I live near teraflex, I remember when then were Mepco 4x4, look at the currie springs, Snyergy or anyone else but teraflex... you an install a 1.25" body lift and stick with the springs you have. Shocks and good control arms are more important than the springs. Tummy tuck, motor mount lift, and the correct drive shafts are where I would focus. You can consider outboarding your rear springs, that will vastly improve your ride. @mrblaine Blaine on here is a good resource. Might be worth a trip to california to visit him to get a few mods done if you dont have the skills. Good luck. Tim
 
OP
TJ05

TJ05

New Member
Feb 7, 2019
6
Michigan
I would stick with the 10.5's for now, you live in snow and the narrower tires seem to work better in snow. I live near teraflex, I remember when then were Mepco 4x4, look at the currie springs, Snyergy or anyone else but teraflex... you an install a 1.25" body lift and stick with the springs you have. Shocks and good control arms are more important than the springs. Tummy tuck, motor mount lift, and the correct drive shafts are where I would focus. You can consider outboarding your rear springs, that will vastly improve your ride. @mrblaine Blaine on here is a good resource. Might be worth a trip to california to visit him to get a few mods done if you dont have the skills. Good luck. Tim
Thanks Tim,
I appreciate the advice. I understand what you were saying about how the springs aren’t as important as shocks or control arms, but would I run into problems if I bought 3 inch or 3.5 inch coils and kept stock control arms for now? I love going off-road and trails I can find, but I don’t do any heavy rock crawling right now as I have to drive it home too. So would I be safe buying 3/3.5 springs, shocks and maybe control arms down the road and a 1/1.25 inch body lift?
Thanks
 

astjp2

TJ Enthusiast
Aug 22, 2018
752
Utah and Alaska
I would start with a body lift, then a Motor mount lift at the same time. Once you have those installed, then go with a Tummy Tuck. You will gain about 3" of breakover with that and should look at a double Dardan driveshaft. Then you can do your suspension lift, using the stock lower arms, need adjustable upper arms to adjust pinion and caster angle...3-3.5" is fine. Once you have the lift installed, order your shocks. Just get a good name brand, Rancho's Bilsteins and Fox are 3 of the more common ones. I would outboard the rears, then you should be able to get 5-6 up, 5-7 down depending on how you set it up. Then you are set...I planning on running 34-35's with a similar combination on my LJ once I get that far. Tim
 

cplovelace

New Member
Jan 20, 2019
4
Texas
X2 for sticking with 10.5's, I have 12.5's and will be going down to 10.5 when they're done.

Springs can make a pretty big difference depending on what you're running. I can't tell you how many posts I read that kept me from upgrading my springs when all along they were the problem. I replaced CA's and shocks with no help and once I replaced springs, my problems were fixed.

If you're running 3/3.5 a SYE would be a good way to go, but you may need adjustable control arms to correct your pinion angle. Your other option is a transfer case drop, but that will sacrifice your ground clearance. If you're staying at 33's, 2.5 might be a good height to stay at. Otherwise you're looking at $500 for the SYE and driveshaft, plus another $750-1300 for control arms depending on brand.
 

TJ Hunnicutt

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Apr 5, 2018
139
Texas, USA
Def look at a SYE at anything above 2 to 2.5" lift. I am personally not a big fan of the body lifts as they are only for clearance and do nothing for your flex/off-road ability. Depends on what you're after.
As for shocks, I'd suggest the Old Man Emu (OME) shocks over the Bilstein's. The OMEs have a suppleness on the road that the Bil's lack but still take on the bouncy bits just as well IMHO.
 
OP
TJ05

TJ05

New Member
Feb 7, 2019
6
Michigan
I would also suggest checking out this thread as well:
A Beginners Guide to Lifting Your Jeep Wrangler TJ

You're going to get a lot of differing opinions on different things. My opinion is that you can never go wrong with Savvy or Currie parts.

In my book, they build the best stuff out there in terms of lift components and such.
Thanks Chris, I agree completely for the Currie/Savvy parts. If I was to buy a complete lift it would absolutely be the Currie 4 inch. Another thing I was thinking about was also a set of quality fenders to gain some room in the wheelwell. Unfortunately I do like the look of the stock fenders more. If anything I will probably start with a small body lift and go from there. Overall, what I’m looking for is more room to move in the wheelwell for the 33’s, my tucks my 33’s pretty nice I just want some more room.
 

mots

TJ Enthusiast
May 11, 2018
772
OH, USA
Welcome friend up North! My BFG KO2's 32x11.5 have done great in the snow, but arguably the "pizza cutters" will do better in the snow with the same tires. That said, I'd rather have my 11.5" A/T here in the snow and ice as compared to a 10.5" M/T tire, so that is important to remember as well.

As suggested by the guys, a BL, MML, and a tummy tuck do seem to be a good direction for you now, if the current lift is good and you don't have driveline vibes on take off or otherwise. I am assuming you must have a t-case drop if you have a 2.5-3" lift. That could be removed with the MML. It would be best if you can post up some pics so the experts here can see the suspension setup you have (front and rear) as well as a pic of the transfer case that I am assuming is dropped. If you measure your front and rear springs, you can see exactly how much lift you have (there are several posts on how to do this and compare to stock spring heights).

Also, a word of advice if you plan to keep the Jeep for a while and are going to be driving it in the Winter. I'd budget some money now for cleaning, sanding/ prepping, painting/sealing, internal frame coating, and then continued general protection for the frame and underbody (Fluid Film every season etc.). If you are going to drive it in the Winter, this is something you'll have to keep up with every season. It will still be a losing battle over time, but it will at least slow the decline.
 
Last edited:

Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Sep 28, 2015
34,502
Salem, Oregon
Thanks Chris, I agree completely for the Currie/Savvy parts. If I was to buy a complete lift it would absolutely be the Currie 4 inch. Another thing I was thinking about was also a set of quality fenders to gain some room in the wheelwell. Unfortunately I do like the look of the stock fenders more. If anything I will probably start with a small body lift and go from there. Overall, what I’m looking for is more room to move in the wheelwell for the 33’s, my tucks my 33’s pretty nice I just want some more room.
Yes, you can't go wrong with Currie or Savvy. When I had my Savvy short arm lift, I bought it in pieces. I bought the 4" Currie springs, then the Savvy control arms, and then I paired it with JKS track bars (Currie track bars are awesome too, just a lot more expensive). That's a really good setup, and for the arms and springs, you'd probably spend around $1600 give or take. Certainly not cheap, but the Currie springs are the best 4" springs I've found in terms of the specs, and the Johnny Joints in the control arms add a lot to the cost, but they're a tried and tested design which should last you for at least a decade before you even have to rebuild them (which is nice, because most control arm bushings you can't rebuild either).

Here's the thing with fenders. Unless you're going to some actual highline fenders which involve cutting your hood, you will gain nothing from aftermarket fenders.

Your best bet is to stick with stock fenders (especially since you'll only be on 33s). A 4" lift with 33s is perfect on stock fenders, and with 1" of body lift, you'll have more than enough room to clear those 33s without excessive amounts of bump stop. Believe me on that!
 
OP
TJ05

TJ05

New Member
Feb 7, 2019
6
Michigan
Yes, you can't go wrong with Currie or Savvy. When I had my Savvy short arm lift, I bought it in pieces. I bought the 4" Currie springs, then the Savvy control arms, and then I paired it with JKS track bars (Currie track bars are awesome too, just a lot more expensive). That's a really good setup, and for the arms and springs, you'd probably spend around $1600 give or take. Certainly not cheap, but the Currie springs are the best 4" springs I've found in terms of the specs, and the Johnny Joints in the control arms add a lot to the cost, but they're a tried and tested design which should last you for at least a decade before you even have to rebuild them (which is nice, because most control arm bushings you can't rebuild either).

Here's the thing with fenders. Unless you're going to some actual highline fenders which involve cutting your hood, you will gain nothing from aftermarket fenders.

Your best bet is to stick with stock fenders (especially since you'll only be on 33s). A 4" lift with 33s is perfect on stock fenders, and with 1" of body lift, you'll have more than enough room to clear those 33s without excessive amounts of bump stop. Believe me on that!
You said you bought it in pieces, did you park it while you were building? After thinking about it, I'd really like the currie lift for the quality of parts as well as 4 inches of suspension lift. I know at that height I would absolutely need a SYE, but would you say its a better idea to fork out the cash for the $2,600 currie lift or buy it in pieces? I'm trying to get a price together knowing what all of it will cost in the end. I'm sure after all is said and done with tires and wheels i'll be lucky to keep it under 4k.
 
OP
TJ05

TJ05

New Member
Feb 7, 2019
6
Michigan
Also, I figured I should probably post some pictures of the jeep we’re talking about.
77155
77156
77157
 

Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Sep 28, 2015
34,502
Salem, Oregon
You said you bought it in pieces, did you park it while you were building? After thinking about it, I'd really like the currie lift for the quality of parts as well as 4 inches of suspension lift. I know at that height I would absolutely need a SYE, but would you say its a better idea to fork out the cash for the $2,600 currie lift or buy it in pieces? I'm trying to get a price together knowing what all of it will cost in the end. I'm sure after all is said and done with tires and wheels i'll be lucky to keep it under 4k.
I bought it all at once, but I used different components. I used the Currie springs for instance, but the Savvy control arms, as I like their design better than the Currie arms, as they are aluminum and all double adjustable.
 
OP
TJ05

TJ05

New Member
Feb 7, 2019
6
Michigan
I bought it all at once, but I used different components. I used the Currie springs for instance, but the Savvy control arms, as I like their design better than the Currie arms, as they are aluminum and all double adjustable.
I understand, so I'm making an assumption it probably didn't cost you that full 2600 because you said you bought the JKS track bar etc. Then again, anything from currie/savvy is a shock to anyones bank account.
 

Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Sep 28, 2015
34,502
Salem, Oregon
I understand, so I'm making an assumption it probably didn't cost you that full 2600 because you said you bought the JKS track bar etc. Then again, anything from currie/savvy is a shock to anyones bank account.
I paid $1200 for the control arms, I want to say $400 for the springs, $500 for both front and rear track bars, so it was less than $2600, yes. If you add in another $350 for the Antirock, it starts to get close, but still not $2600.