Mot's 2005 "X" Rocky Mountain Edition OEM+ Build

psrivats

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Jun 4, 2018
1,336
OR, USA
@mots really fantastic write ups. Thanks for sharing. Once I get my Jeep back In going to work more on cabin sound deading as well.
 
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Mike the Silver TJ

TJ Enthusiast
Jan 10, 2019
133
Jacksonville FL
Wow you spent a lot of time writing! I dont have time to read it all right now but wanted to say we have almost the same Jeep. 2005 RME Silver, 6 speed. Purchased last summer with under 52k on it. Tires, wheels, lift were already on it. They were pretty much exactly what I would have installed if I bought a stock Jeep so I think I got a pretty good deal. Same goes for the Bestop.

ZqtTJUzQSdqrZ2j+z+q%gw.jpg
 
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Mike the Silver TJ

TJ Enthusiast
Jan 10, 2019
133
Jacksonville FL
July 10, 2018
Added a couple complementary items to the stereo:
1. Proclip center console vent dash mount for 2003-2006 Wrangler (item #853223) and Pixel XL phone holder. I've not seen a better phone holder on the market, these are made specifically for the vehicle. I have used these in my last few cars.
2. Added rapid charge USB charger into cigarette lighter. Can't recall the brand, but I got it on Amazon for like $10-12

Now my 2005 Jeep has the same capabilities of pretty much any new car. One of my goals have been met!

July 11, 2018
New Wheels and Tires are in!

Wheels - American Racing AR172 Baja, 15x8, black alloy, 3.75” BS (-19 offset)
Tires - BF Goodrich KO2 32x11.5x15 A/T

I am very happy with the wheels. After the $50 BFG rebate and Tire Rack sale on the wheels ($88/each), I was able to get all 5 for less than $1500 including shipping, mounting/balancing, center caps, and black lug nuts. I just had to instal myself, easy peasy and worth the effort.

For only a bit more than steelies, these alloy wheels are well made and they balanced nicely at only ~19 lbs a piece. I liked the look of the Soft 8 steelies, so these were a great choice for me. With real steelies, you really have to watch out for the cost. Many seem cheap, but then you find out lugs and center caps are not included. And some of the cheaper 15x8's weighed 29 lbs. The lightest ones I saw were ~26 lbs. I liked the idea of less weight on my tire carrier, ball joints, suspension, and less weight for the brakes to handle etc. The 32" fit on the stock carrier without modification and is nice and secure.

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Another goal down, but now the Jeep really needs a lift! I drove around for a bit on the 32's without issues or rubbing, but it was sitting pretty low! Love the BFG's with the RWL out...old school for an old school Jeep.

View attachment 50817
Can you post a picture of the Proclip in your jeep? I wanted to get the Angled Dash Mount so it does not block the windshield but their site says its only for automatic transmission.
 
OP
mots

mots

TJ Enthusiast
May 11, 2018
784
OH, USA
Wow you spent a lot of time writing! I dont have time to read it all right now but wanted to say we have almost the same Jeep. 2005 RME Silver, 6 speed. Purchased last summer with under 52k on it. Tires, wheels, lift were already on it. They were pretty much exactly what I would have installed if I bought a stock Jeep so I think I got a pretty good deal. Same goes for the Bestop.

View attachment 71626
Can you post a picture of the Proclip in your jeep? I wanted to get the Angled Dash Mount so it does not block the windshield but their site says its only for automatic transmission.
Awesome, I saw one of our twins yesterday on the road near where I work. Also black wheels :).

Here is apic of the ProClip mount. I posted about it in another thread, but it should probably be here too.
https://wranglertjforum.com/threads/rugged-ridge-dash-multi-mount.7527/page-2#post-273661

7F56EF2B-6610-40FE-A8D6-169BB1C84029.jpg
 

Mike the Silver TJ

TJ Enthusiast
Jan 10, 2019
133
Jacksonville FL
July 18, 2018
After much debate, I decided to have the professionals down the road install my lift. I received a bonus from work and that sealed the deal. I didn't feel like wrestling with 13 year old rusty nuts and bolts and I knew they could do it in a day while I was off working at my day job, as opposed to me wasting a whole weekend, LOL. The shop installs many BDS TJ lifts and had many local Jeeps as examples in their portfolio to demonstrate their work. They also do re-gearing and many full-on hard core builds and custom fabrications. The owner also lives in my neighborhood, so I needed to befriend these guys anyhow in case I ever need something!

Here is what I went with keeping with my OEM+ plan:
  • 2” BDS Lift (BDS springs + NX2 shocks)
  • NX2 steering stabilizer (maybe not giving any performance gains, but hey it looks cool and the stock one looked beat!).
  • JKS “Quicker Disconnect” adjustable front sway links for 0-2" lift.
I'm very happy with the lift height and the ride is nice and compliant on-road. A bonus was that the NX2 shocks and stabilizer have a silver painted body that matches my bright silver TJ.

Before and after:
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July 19, 2018
Manifold-back exhaust installed. As I reported back a few posts, I was getting the dreaded CEL with code P0421 (Warm Up Catalyst Efficiency Below Threshold - Bank 1). It kept coming back after I cleared it several times, at least once every 200 miles and sometimes more often. Usually it was by itself (typically means the cat is bad). Along the way, I also received the P0153 (CAT slow response bank 2 sensor 1) 2 times.

The stock manifold was still in decent shape at 102k miles, but the mid-pipe (downpipe with 2 pre-cats + 3rd cat), O2 sensors, and cat-back were original. I also had a very strong suspicion that there was some blockage in one or more of the cats because the Jeep didn't readily allow me to push past 3500-4000 RPM. Many others have reported the same on TJ's around the 100k mark.

It was time get 'er done and make this thing run properly with no CEL's. Here is the system I went with. To my surprise, I was able to do this in a very economical fashion.
What a difference! The TJ exhaust is now flowing properly again and I can easily and smoothly take it up to redline. There was definitely some blockage in one or more of the cats. With the new exhaust and the XP985 spark plugs, the TJ is running like a champ. Since I am writing this post one month later, I can also say that I have run 4 tanks of gas without a CEL.

Some think the Banks cat-back is a noise maker, but it is barely louder than the stock exhaust on the later TJ's with the 3 catalytic converters. On older TJ's with the single cat, it will be a bit louder.


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Now our Jeeps are waaaay too similar. I got the same code today except bank 2 vs 1.2u5yN%v2TZC4mF+rGMRxKQ.jpg
 
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Jpodell

New Member
Dec 28, 2018
18
AR
I had nearly the same thought process on lift/wheels/tires. Ended up with steelies and 31x10.5 KO2s. 2 inch lift will be put on eventually. Cheers!
 
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JMT

The Jeep Guy
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
Feb 27, 2017
7,310
Texas Hill Country
Caught up to post #31 (sweating). This is some crazy detail describing the mental road that we probably all went down.

Great work, of course, but you already knew that. Beautiful rig and great decisions, especially to build it. Another case of getting the Jeep mod bug, but keeping it as simple as possible. Well done
 
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OP
mots

mots

TJ Enthusiast
May 11, 2018
784
OH, USA
Caught up to post #31 (sweating). This is some crazy detail describing the mental road that we probably all went down.

Great work, of course, but you already knew that. Beautiful rig and great decisions, especially to build it. Another case of getting the Jeep mod bug, but keeping it as simple as possible. Well done
Haha, thanks for reading and the nice comments JMT! It really is a challenge to make sensible decisions that fit the needs and budget. Couldn’t have done it without you guys and this site!
 
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OP
mots

mots

TJ Enthusiast
May 11, 2018
784
OH, USA
The TJ gets a brother! Don't worry @Chris, it is a 2 door!

I traded in my lowered and beloved VW Golf because I couldn’t take the white knuckling anymore on the bad roads. It was only mildly dropped 1”, so about like the Golf R stock stance. I had already logged 3 costly incidents where I had either tire and/or wheel damage. Not to mention several other holy shit moments! I even downgraded from 18’s to 17’s and it only helped out a bit. I was driving the TJ in the Winter because of this, even on days when I didn’t need the 4WD. I now that feel I have a better vehicle that will better retain it’s value and can properly handle the streets we have around here!

For the hell of it, I looked by looking at new JL’s and test drove a 2019 Sport with the 3.45 axle ratio. These JL’s are very car like, even more so than the JK. They said 20% better road manners than the outgoing JK, but I’ll say 10% better…maybe. And it probably that 10% could be made up for or dramatically minimized by tire, tire pressure, and shock choice. Brand new, the costs for a JL were ridiculous even after negotiating 5% below invoice on existing stock or new order. And, I really still can’t decide if I like the JL's much better than the most recent JK’s. I would say definitely not for the ridiculous amount money they want for them brand new, unless you have to have the latest modern tech built in at the factory and the slightly better road manners. Even then, I'd say look for a low mileage CPO JL. I also didn't want to think about frame welds, LOL. And seriously, if you want to customize the Jeep or can deal with the still adequate JK tech, you are much better off picking up a used JK with low miles (get a CPO JK or JL if warranty matters and save a couple thousand). I also looked at a couple new 2018 JK Rubicons that were marked down. A pretty good deal considering what some folks paid for them, but I really didn’t feel like dropping too much into a loan for a second Jeep as my daily driver. These new JK Rubis were no better priced than a bare bones automatic 2019 JL Sport and had no factory Bluetooth option added for a brand new 2018 Rubicon JK, LOL.

To avoid the bigger loan, tax bill etc. instead, I picked up a super clean single owner 2016 JK with 30k miles for damn near half the cost of a new JL Sport. It also had upgrades that the new 2019 JL Sport didn’t have that actually matter to see (better axle ratio, LSD etc.). It’s also hard to find any blemishes or rust anywhere and the soft top and interior is also in perfect condition. After cleaning it up myself when I got it home, I finally found a super tiny ding without a paint chip on the driver door that you really have to look hard for in the right light and some small scratches on the rear bumper under the spare tire from when someone was loading something. Amazingly, I have not found any paint chips or blemishes on the front, hood, fenders, sides, or flares. I honestly don’t know how they drove this Jeep for 30k.

Now I can rest the TJ properly as more of a hobby Jeep and hopefully preserve it’s value in the years to come.

2016 Willys Wheeler
3.73 Axle ratios
D44 Rear with Trac-Lok Rear (mechanical LSD)
D30 Front
Performance Suspension (same as Rubicon)
5 speed automatic transmission
Tow package - now I don’t need to upgrade my rear stock number on my TJ to carry bikes!

No big plans for the JK. Just a daily driver that I will be putting some slightly larger KO2’s on (33’s instead of the stock 32’s). The stock BFG MT's (originals) are not going to cut it for me. As I’ve found on my TJ, the KO2s handle so much better on the street, especially in the snowy, icy and wet conditions we have around here. And they are whisper quiet by comparison with the MT's. I’m sure fuel economy will slightly increase as well. In the future when the suspension is tired, who knows...maybe 35's, a re-gear, and a modest lift.

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Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Sep 28, 2015
35,362
Salem, Oregon
A 2-door I can handle ;)

I've driven both the JK and the JL. The JL is indeed more car like, but I attribute that to much more sound deadening material, thicker glass, probably better tire pressure (and load rating), and other minor things.

Of course the big joke I find is that some of the JK Rubicons are going for the same price as JL Rubicons, which really makes me laugh.
 
Reactions: mots

IPerkWVU

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Feb 11, 2018
680
Indianapolis, IN, USA
The TJ gets a brother! Don't worry @Chris, it is a 2 door!

I traded in my lowered and beloved VW Golf because I couldn’t take the white knuckling anymore on the bad roads. It was only mildly dropped 1”, so about like the Golf R stock stance. I had already logged 3 costly incidents where I had either tire and/or wheel damage. Not to mention several other holy shit moments! I even downgraded from 18’s to 17’s and it only helped out a bit. I was driving the TJ in the Winter because of this, even on days when I didn’t need the 4WD. I now that feel I have a better vehicle that will better retain it’s value and can properly handle the streets we have around here!

For the hell of it, I looked by looking at new JL’s and test drove a 2019 Sport with the 3.45 axle ratio. These JL’s are very car like, even more so than the JK. They said 20% better road manners than the outgoing JK, but I’ll say 10% better…maybe. And it probably that 10% could be made up for or dramatically minimized by tire, tire pressure, and shock choice. Brand new, the costs for a JL were ridiculous even after negotiating 5% below invoice on existing stock or new order. And, I really still can’t decide if I like the JL's much better than the most recent JK’s. I would say definitely not for the ridiculous amount money they want for them brand new, unless you have to have the latest modern tech built in at the factory and the slightly better road manners. Even then, I'd say look for a low mileage CPO JL. I also didn't want to think about frame welds, LOL. And seriously, if you want to customize the Jeep or can deal with the still adequate JK tech, you are much better off picking up a used JK with low miles (get a CPO JK or JL if warranty matters and save a couple thousand). I also looked at a couple new 2018 JK Rubicons that were marked down. A pretty good deal considering what some folks paid for them, but I really didn’t feel like dropping too much into a loan for a second Jeep as my daily driver. These new JK Rubis were no better priced than a bare bones automatic 2019 JL Sport and had no factory Bluetooth option added for a brand new 2018 Rubicon JK, LOL.

To avoid the bigger loan, tax bill etc. instead, I picked up a super clean single owner 2016 JK with 30k miles for damn near half the cost of a new JL Sport. It also had upgrades that the new 2019 JL Sport didn’t have that actually matter to see (better axle ratio, LSD etc.). It’s also hard to find any blemishes or rust anywhere and the soft top and interior is also in perfect condition. After cleaning it up myself when I got it home, I finally found a super tiny ding without a paint chip on the driver door that you really have to look hard for in the right light and some small scratches on the rear bumper under the spare tire from when someone was loading something. Amazingly, I have not found any paint chips or blemishes on the front, hood, fenders, sides, or flares. I honestly don’t know how they drove this Jeep for 30k.

Now I can rest the TJ properly as more of a hobby Jeep and hopefully preserve it’s value in the years to come.

2016 Willys Wheeler
3.73 Axle ratios
D44 Rear with Trac-Lok Rear (mechanical LSD)
D30 Front
Performance Suspension (same as Rubicon)
5 speed automatic transmission
Tow package - now I don’t need to upgrade my rear stock number on my TJ to carry bikes!

No big plans for the JK. Just a daily driver that I will be putting some slightly larger KO2’s on (33’s instead of the stock 32’s). The stock BFG MT's (originals) are not going to cut it for me. As I’ve found on my TJ, the KO2s handle so much better on the street, especially in the snowy, icy and wet conditions we have around here. And they are whisper quiet by comparison with the MT's. I’m sure fuel economy will slightly increase as well. In the future when the suspension is tired, who knows...maybe 35's, a re-gear, and a modest lift.

View attachment 75602

View attachment 75604

View attachment 75603

View attachment 75605
Looks like a nice Willys! I liked that package on the JKs but after having lockers in my TJ it would be hard for me not to have the option. For your DD that looks like a great set up for winter conditions.
 
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OP
mots

mots

TJ Enthusiast
May 11, 2018
784
OH, USA
A 2-door I can handle ;)

I've driven both the JK and the JL. The JL is indeed more car like, but I attribute that to much more sound deadening material, thicker glass, probably better tire pressure (and load rating), and other minor things.

Of course the big joke I find is that some of the JK Rubicons are going for the same price as JL Rubicons, which really makes me laugh.
That’s probably right. And you know I’ll sound deaden the JK too with Noico 80 at some point! If I ever upgrade the sound system, it will have to happen then for sure. I don’t want to poo poo the JL’s, but they are a 1.0 version and they have to recoup their R&D by increasing the prices. I feel better about a near maturity JK version that hopefully has the kinks worked out. If I was going to drop 35k, I would have definitely gone for the bare bones 2018 JK Rubicon on mark down and then sound deaden and install an upgraded stereo. Best value new for sure.

Looks like a nice Willys! I liked that package on the JKs but after having lockers in my TJ it would be hard for me not to have the option. For your DD that looks like a great set up for winter conditions.
Thanks! I have also always loved this package ever since it came out. I too think it should work well for me in the Winter and also year round with the soft top. Really looking forward to the full time Wrangler lifestyle, hahaha! The wife thinks I am crazy for buying another Wrangler. Doesn’t understand how different they are.
 
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02SteelBlue

TJ Enthusiast
Jan 29, 2019
110
New Orleans, La
Too bad I can't find a like button for the whole thread. Amazing work on your Jeep as well as your write ups!

I'll be sound deadening soon, so that particular write will be crucial.

Thank you for all the work you put into this thread.
 
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OP
mots

mots

TJ Enthusiast
May 11, 2018
784
OH, USA
Too bad I can't find a like button for the whole thread. Amazing work on your Jeep as well as your write ups!

I'll be sound deadening soon, so that particular write will be crucial.

Thank you for all the work you put into this thread.
Thank you very much! Welcome to the forum!
 
Reactions: 02SteelBlue