Rubihara Revival


New Member
Sep 16, 2023
A quick recap and thanks to those on this forum for the education. I am on several other non Jeep forums and they have been a huge help over the years. I figured I’d bring this project over here and maybe someone will benefit.

Jeep info, some from the other post and other tidbits I have learned up to this point. Always wanted one of these (TJ era and a “long one” would be a bonus), but obviously I hadn’t done much homework. I’ve had a few FJ’s/trucks I’ve built over the years, and although I am always looking for a project, I already had enough before picking this up. I knew where this LJ was for a little over a year, but again didn’t really know what it was. After asking the owner a few times if he want to sell it, he finally said he would. I am ashamed to say what I paid for it, but I now know it will probably my deal of a lifetime. That won’t stop me from continuing to look! I did scramble with the trailer before he changed his mind.

Since bringing it home, I really focused on the cleanup it needed. It has been sitting for close to 5 years after the original owner became ill. He passed away a few years ago and it continued to sit out in the elements. I am in central CA, so luckily the weather isn’t all that bad but it had still taking a beating just sitting. I’ve never concerned myself with CARFAX reports on projects I bring home, but after learning what this was I bit the bullet and paid them. The report confirmed that it was a one owner, with nearly 60 service records. All were from a local Jeep dealer with the exception of one from Midas Mufflers. If you know their work (I’m sure not all of the shops!), I took a good look and no baling wire used to install a new muffler! From what I’ve learned, the owner bought it and it was used as a commuter, but that’s about it. He lived in the city next to where it was serviced, so all made perfect sense with the maintenance records.

I wish I had taken more before pics, but this is what I have. I got after it this weekend with the little Wagner steam cleaner. Forgot how effective steam is to clean things. Cleaned all of the plastic much better than I thought. Also cleaned up who knows how many mocha- latte- frappuccino drinks were spilled. After cleaning this up and looking at the seat again, I have my work cut out for me. Got the new ACC carpet so in the next week will get working on that. Shoe horned it in before I took any pics of the outside, so will post those down the road. The paint is not great, but not so bad that it will not stay as is!









Congratulations on the LJR! Welcome to the best forum on the internet. Lots of amazing knowledge and purist builders here. Nice canvas now that you’ve cleaned it up.
Thank you. For the purists or anyone else, were the bumpers and other black exterior pieces satin or matte/flat?
Thank you. For the purists or anyone else, were the bumpers and other black exterior pieces satin or matte/flat?

Frame was semi-flat black
Bumpers I don't know, but most go with satin black
There is an OEM paint specifically for the hardtop
Best to do axles in gloss black so that they don't accumulate as much dirt, debris
Have not spent as much time on this project as I wanted, but did get a few things squared away. I was finally able to talk with Melody at Imperial Marketing and she was very helpful. She was able to confirm this is #862 and the second plaque should be available. She requested an inventory check for it, so fingers crossed and waiting to hear back. Still waiting for the replacement decals to get finished and ship. Found a rear bumper locally as the one on it was pretty bad. Pulled both for some paint and also ordered some new headlight bezels since one was missing.

A friend found and I picked up an OME kit for a price I couldn’t refuse. It was installed on an LJ for about 500 miles before it was replaced by a currie short arm kit. It’s the 933/942 spring set and he said it went just over 2” with the same set up I have (soft top/ no added weight). I did order some of the 10mm spacers to play with when I install to level it out a bit.

Same friend, who I knew was into TJ’s but now has a heavily modified LJ, also passed along a new rear track bar and new front Rubicon Express track bar. Said the RE bar is not the best, but for my use should be fine. Wasn’t certain it would be needed for the OME kit, but I have it in the event it works out better than the stock bar. Rear has the bracket.

Does anyone have experience with this track bar and lift combo? If I’m not mistaken, their website says it’s used for 3.5” and up? So may not be able to use it even with the joint all the way in. Plan on making the time this week/weekend to see how it sits with these springs.



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I wouldn't buy RE. RockJock or JKS would be my recommendation.

Looking forward to the build--heck of a find!
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With the rain coming, I’ve had to put some time into a building project I have going so the LJ has’nt had much attention. I did get the suspension finished and sits pretty good, right about 2 1/2 in the front and a tad more in the rear. So it should settle good and level once the rear seat and spare are back, or close to it.

Went through general stuff like fluids, brakes, and when I got to the hoses and the engine bay…dang it if the heater core wasn’t leaking. Had hoped the liquid that I saw was from pressure washing, but really knew better. I’ve done my fare share, but a huge thanks to the write-ups making this much easier and not having to use the figure as you go method.

Found a great deal somewhat locally, about 3.5 hrs away, on an OE hardly used and properly stored khaki soft top. Frame, surrounds and all. One of those deals where the guy had both tops, but only uses the hard top when he uses a top at all. Fit like a glove…after my rookie mistake of securing the rear and not being able to get the front to latch. Had my daughter out helping and she suggested securing the front first and then the rear. Probably shoulda used YouTube because she wont let it go.

Also got the new decals from Pixel Decals and found out that Imperial, now called Helm?, had the replacement plaque. Hopefully they’ll bill me so it ships sooner rather then later.

Thoughts from anyone that has run load range E tires on an LJ. I really would like to run the Cooper St Max in a 265/75, but they only offer E’s. I’ve read mixed reviews about E’s on the street, which this will see more of than dirt. Otherwise it’ll be Duratracs because they do offer a C in this size. Any info would be appreciated.



Load C is recommended for a better ride onroad. Load E can give more stability off-road. The market is moving away from 15’s. 16’s are rare. 17’s are the future for now. Most of them are Load E.