Project Pissed Off Wife: A Story of Indecision and Frivolous Spending

Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Sep 28, 2015
33,268
20,450
Salem, Oregon
#1
Okay, so for those of you that need a brief history and timeline, I'll start of by explaining things.

I started out with a 2005 TJ Rubicon (you can see the build thread for that one here: My 2005 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon TJ). I got tired of that mostly because it was black (I'll never again own a black vehicle) and because I thought I might like an LJ better, due to the extra room. So, I bought an LJ and had that for a while, but I found myself constantly lusting after the shorter wheel base TJ. I think it looks better (to me at least), I like the small and compact size, and I think it just looks more "Wrangler" to me.

So, I ended up selling the LJ and purchasing a locally owned, one owner, 2005 TJ Rubicon with 57k original miles on it and 100% rust free. It's Khaki in color with a Khaki interior to match. I was dead set on anything but black. White, red, silver, and khaki were, my primary choices.

The plan with this build is to keep it looking somewhat stock (i.e. stock fenders), but have a capable rig that will let me explore anywhere from forest service roads to Moab. I don't believe that there is a specific build plan one should follow for the type of terrain they wheel in. I think that's bullshit personally. I believe that if you have a good enough setup, you should be able to wheel anywhere and have it perform well. The exception being perhaps that some serious mud paddle tires would be better in the deep mud than a traditional M/T tire... but you get what I'm saying.

This build is focused around 35" tires as the maximum tire size, with stock width TJ Dana 44 axles front and rear. Those are the two constants of this build that will not change, and my goal is to build everything around them.

Here's a list of the mods I've done so far. I've added prices next to them in order to give people an idea of how much I have into my Jeep, but also to paint a good picture of how much it costs to build a rig like this:

Engine
Suspension / Lift
Exterior
Drivetrain
Recovery
Interior
Sound System
Wheels
Misc

Total Parts: $29,670
Total Labor: $7000~
GRAND TOTAL: $36,670

Yep... there's an honest to goodness $7000+ in labor. Outboarding the shocks front and rear and installing that Savvy mid-arm wasn't cheap, not to mention the RubiCrawler install and the re-gear.


Things I have planned for the future:

You'll find a number of progress photos scattered throughout this thread, But the most current photos of my TJ can be seen below:

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IMG_2512.JPG



IMG_2513.JPG



IMG_2514.JPG



IMG_2515.JPG



IMG_2516.JPG
 
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bobthetj03

vibrajeep
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
#3
Holy crap! The unicorn build thread has surfaced amongst the rubble! Sounds like a solid plan. I am quite jealous, and wish I could find a Rubi to start over with. Just an FYI concerning the Exogate. I've been running a 31" spare on the stock tire carrier for 10 years/125K miles with no indication of tailgate hinge wear. Just thought I'd mention that if you wanted to move that mod further down the list as funds allow.
 

JamesAndTheSahara

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
May 22, 2017
2,160
1,906
Auburn, AL, United States
#5
Okay, so for those of you that need a brief history and timeline, I'll start of by explaining things.

I started out with a 2005 TJ Rubicon (you can see the build thread for that one here: My 2005 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon TJ). I got tired of that mostly because it was black (I'll never again own a black vehicle) and because I thought I might like an LJ better, due to the extra room. So, I bought an LJ and had that for a while, but I found myself constantly lusting after the shorter wheel base TJ. I think it looks better (to me at least), I like the small and compact size, and I think it just looks more "Wrangler" to me.

So, I ended up selling the LJ and purchasing a locally owned, one owner, 2005 TJ Rubicon with 57k original miles on it and 100% rust free. It's Khaki in color with a Khaki interior to match. I was dead set on anything but black, but white, red, silver, and khaki were, my primary choices. I was able to take some of the mods off my old LJ, but for the most part I'm starting over with this one.

My plan for this is a "less is more" build. By that I mean that I always regretted having gone to a 4" lift and 33" tires on my old TJ. I bought into the whole "well, it looks cool" thing, and didn't really consider that for the type of stuff I do with my TJ, it was overkill. Out here in the PNW I like to do over-landing type stuff, beaches, and exploring forest service roads and trails. No major rock crawling for me, just mud and trails.

That being said, this new build is going focus around 31" A/T tires and a 2" lift.

Here's what I have done so far:

Here's what I have planned:

So the end result will be a TJ that is lifted 2.5" on 31" A/T tires with a tummy tuck. This should be more than enough for what I like to do, and it won't break the bank either!

As for pictures, stay tuned! I'll have some within the next week or so. It's at the shop having the cowl repainted. For some reason paint chipped of the cowl, which is odd because there was no rust or anything just a lot of huge paint chips in that area.
I like the gameplan, interesting choice on the shocks :). Tbh I wish i had just gotten the 5000x, wishing that real bad right about now.
 
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Chris

Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Sep 28, 2015
33,268
20,450
Salem, Oregon
#8
Holy crap! The unicorn build thread has surfaced amongst the rubble! Sounds like a solid plan. I am quite jealous, and wish I could find a Rubi to start over with. Just an FYI concerning the Exogate. I've been running a 31" spare on the stock tire carrier for 10 years/125K miles with no indication of tailgate hinge wear. Just thought I'd mention that if you wanted to move that mod further down the list as funds allow.
I'm trying to do the build right this time, especially knowing all I know now, and learning from my past mistakes. Before I was just building because I could, but now I'm building the rig to fit the trail.

Good to know about the Exogate. If that's the case, maybe I'll just omit that from my build and save some money. An A/T tire is also a lot lighter than an M/T tire, so that's more reason I can probably get by with the stock tailgate. This is something I hadn't thought about until now.

Sounds good so far. One question, why the 1/2" BL? Seems like a lot of hassle for 1/2".
Rokmen states that in order to run their transfer case skid, you need a 1/2" body lift. I don't want to go any larger because I don't like the gap, and I don't want it too have too much height, otherwise the 31" tires start to look small.

when did you sell the black one? and get/sell the LJ??? I thought the black one your current rig?
I sold the black one years ago, got the LJ right after, then sold the LJ a few months ago, so I was without a TJ for a few months there (fortunately it was Fall / Winter, so it wasn't the end of the world).

I like your choice, i also prefer the shorter “real Jeep” look. Be warned Jerry will tell you about all the problems with the 05 but I know you know the score. I also agree with you on black rigs, I had 2 at the same time and neither was ever clean!
Yep, nothing against LJs, I just have come to really like the TJ look much better. The LJ looks a little odd to me unless it's on 35" tires, which is overkill for the street.

Oh, and I'm not worried about the 2005. My Black Rubicon was a 2005 and never had any issues at all. I think it's more or less who owns it and how they take care of it.

My 05 Rubicon is the last black vehicle I'll ever own. I owned 3 black vehicles before that and finally said enough is enough. It's next to impossible to keep them looking clean.
 

Jay P

TJ Enthusiast
Nov 6, 2017
583
438
West Jordan, UT
#9
I'm trying to do the build right this time, especially knowing all I know now, and learning from my past mistakes. Before I was just building because I could, but now I'm building the rid to fit the trail.

Good to know about the Exogate. If that's the case, maybe I'll just omit that from my build and save some money. A A/T tire is also a lot lighter than an M/T tire, so that's more reason I can probably get by with the stock tailgate.



Rokmen states that in order to run their transfer case skid, you need a 1/2" body lift. I don't want to go any larger because I don't like the gap, and I don't want it too have too much height, otherwise the 31" tires start to look small.



I sold the black one years ago, got the LJ right after, then sold the LJ a few months ago, so I was without a TJ for a few months there (fortunately it was Fall / Winter, so it wasn't the end of the world).



Yep, nothing against LJs, I just have come to really like the TJ look much better. The LJ looks a little odd to me unless it's on 35" tires, which is overkill for the street.

Oh, and I'm not worried about the 2005. My Black Rubicon was a 2005 and never had any issues at all. I think it's more or less who owns it and how they take care of it.

My 05 Rubicon is the last black vehicle I'll ever own. I owned 3 black vehicles before that and finally said enough is enough. It's next to impossible to keep them looking clean.
@bobthetj03 how did you fit a spare with 31s right?? With canyon backspacing and the stock carrier? I can’t get mine to bite on a thread but the tire is a Baja m/t. I wonder if that’s why or do you have an answer for me?


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bobthetj03

vibrajeep
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
#11
@bobthetj03 how did you fit a spare with 31s right?? With canyon backspacing and the stock carrier? I can’t get mine to bite on a thread but the tire is a Baja m/t. I wonder if that’s why or do you have an answer for me?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
A 31x1050x15 tire with the canyon's 5.5" backspacing fits snug, but nice against the factory snubbers. There was literally 1/8" of clearance for the 3rd brake light to fit without having to shim it up, so I left the 31 as my spare. As long as I put it on the front in case of a flat, I can get off the trail. Now that I am stuck on 33's, I will have to consider the Exogate so I can run a matching sparel
 
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Jay P

TJ Enthusiast
Nov 6, 2017
583
438
West Jordan, UT
#12
A 31x1050x15 tire with the canyon's 5.5" backspacing fits snug, but nice against the factory snubbers. There was literally 1/8" of clearance for the 3rd brake light to fit without having to shim it up, so I left the 31 as my spare. As long as I put it on the front in case of a flat, I can get off the trail. Now that I am stuck on 33's, I will have to consider the Exogate so I can run a matching sparel
Ohhh I see. I just need to try harder! Got it. Inspiration received!


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Starrs

TJ Expert
Aug 1, 2017
3,689
2,718
Indiana, United States
#16
You guys kill me! Wait until it gets back from being painted and I'll give you the before pic. I was told either this week or next week, so we shall see!
1 pic will kill you won't it lol. Hell I posted mine up when it had chrome nerf bars hahah no lift, factory original tires, and 12 years of dirt and grime on it that I had to claybar off. Post it up! Lol
 
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Chris

Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Sep 28, 2015
33,268
20,450
Salem, Oregon
#18
Come on Chris.....don't break the sacred rule ..... lead by example. I know you have at least one picture of it before you sent it off to be painted.
I actually don't. I'm looking for the photos the owner sent me before I came to look at it, but apparently they aren't stored in my iMessage archive like I thought they were.