Sab-a-dab-a-doo! The back-country LJ build has officially started

sab

"Semper Discens"
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Ever since the LJ came on the scene, I was fascinated by it. Work and life kept me busy, and most of my spare time was spent building and riding motorcycles and snowmobiles. However, I always wanted to build a Jeep. Now, later in life - and facing my mortality - about three years ago, I decided I'd better find that LJ and build the Jeep I always wanted. I started looking for a low-mileage LJ after Covid was in full-swing.

Finally, in June, 2021, I found a one-owner 2005 Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon halfway across the country with less than 50,000 miles on it. The owner and I hit it off, and I ended up hopping on a plane, checking it out, writing a check, and driving it home. On the way home with it, I stopped at an old friend's house (we'd worked together at one time, but moved on to different states, and I hadn't seen him in many years) to compare his 2006 LJ to mine (he's @06LJR on here), so the joyous occasion was even more joyous!

In the almost three years since I bought the LJ, I've been slowly making mods to it while amassing a pile of parts for it. I still have a very busy life, so it's been tough to dedicate a bunch of time to the LJ. I've rebuilt two other vehicles in the interim, and I think I'm finally getting to the point where I can start the build! Actually, continue the build would be more accurate, since I have been very slowly making progress on it over these past years.

I've always been a backcountry-minded feller, spending a lot of time in places most people never go, so the idea with this build is to put together a vehicle that will get me anywhere I want to go in relative comfort. In addition, I plan to do some occasional rock-crawling with it, since my body can no longer take the abuse of riding things with handlebars.

I'll start this build thread with a picture of the rig from somewhere in Georgia on the way home - on the day of purchase (June 19, 2021):

First Picture!.jpg


Ain't she a beaut! Since that day, the following has been done to the rig, roughly in this chronological order (hyperlinks direct to pre-build-thread posts on here related to the activity, and how the change affected the weight of the rig at the end of each change in bold text, when measured):
  1. Removed OEM Lug Nuts and Installed McGard Lug Nuts/Locks
  2. Installed Buchanan Precision 1.5" Seat Riser Kit - gained 3.24 lb
  3. Removed Cold-Air Intake and Replaced with Stock Intake - lost 3.53 lb
  4. Removed OEM OPDA and Installed Crown OPDA - lost .11 lb
  5. Installed Bartact Seat Covers
  6. Installed SpeedoHealer (the LJ came with metric 33" tires on it, but no speedo change) - thanks to the generosity of @mrblaine! - gained .33 lb
  7. Removed Rubicon Rocker Guards and Installed RockSlide Engineering Electric Steps Kit with Armor (I have a short wife, and my knees and hips ain't what they used to be!) - gained 146.12 lb
  8. Replaced Door Handles on the Full Doors
  9. Installed MORyde Tailgate Reinforcement Kit and Hinges (modified for tail lights and powder-coated OD green) - gained 24.59 lb
  10. Installed HyLine Offroad Spare Tire Carrier (modified to fit on the MORyde bracket and powder-coated OD green) and installed snubber spacers - gained 8.09 lb
  11. Removed OEM Head Unit and Installed Alpine iLX-W650 Head Unit and Metra Dash Kit - lost 2.39 lb
  12. Removed Walmart Battery and Installed NorthStar NSB-AGM24M Battery (it already needs to be replaced and they won't warranty it because - eBay purchase during Covid) - gained 21.82 lb
  13. Removed RanchHand Rear Bumper and Installed Dirtworx Rear Bumper with Hitch and RockHard Frame-Bumper Ties (I use a cargo basket for meat coolers when hunting) - lost 11.35 lb
  14. Removed SmittyBilt XRC-8 Winch (Steel Cable and Roller Fairlead) and Installed Warn M8274-S with cover and Wireless Remote System (Barnes M8274 Mount) - gained 26.52 lb
  15. Installed TRE Safety Thimble and Safety Thimble Fairlead - gained 3.25 lb
  16. Removed Ranch Hand Front Bumper and Installed Savvy Front Bumper (powder-coated OD green) with Hooks, Light Mounts, Winch Guard, and Hardcore Corner Guard Kit - lost 78.8 lb
  17. Installed Quadratec Plug-n-Play Tow Hitch Wiring Harness - gained .53 lb
  18. Installed License Plate Frame with LED Light - gained .44 lb
  19. Removed OEM Tail Lights and Installed Savvy LED Tail Lights and License Plate Relocation Kit - gained 2.91 lb
  20. Installed Alpine Front Camera (eventually to be replaced with three separate cameras - thanks for the idea, @Apparition!) - gained .48 lb
  21. Installed Alpine Third Brake Light and Rear Camera - gained 3.60 lb
  22. Installed TeraFlex Hand Throttle Kit (for both on-board air and winching) - gained .50 lb
  23. Installed ORO York Compressor Kit - gained 35.28 lb
  24. Removed OEM Alternator and Installed Singer 270A Alternator - gained 1.34 lb
  25. Removed K-C A-pillar Light Brackets and Installed Rockhard 4x4 A-pillar Light Brackets (powder-coated OD green) - lost .84 lb
  26. Removed (4) PIAA Driving Lights and Installed (4) Rigid 36204 6" Driving Lights (2 on bumper, 2 at bottom of A-pillars) - gained 2.92 lb
  27. Installed 50" Black Oak LED light-bar mounted on HyLine Offroad aluminum brackets (powder-coated OD green) - gained 20.98 lb
  28. Installed Black Magic Big Brake Kit, New Rear Brakes, and Wizard Brackets (thanks for making top-notch products, @mrblaine!) - gained 7.74 lb
  29. Installed Revolution Gear Rear Chromoly Axles - lost .47 lb
  30. Installed 00 Power Cables (self-made) - gained 4.81 lb
  31. Installed Secondary Power Distribution Center (thanks for the guide, @Steel City 06!) Note: This was later removed, to be replaced with a Switch Pros system.
  32. Installed Custom Lower Switch Panel from Custom 3D Fab. Note: This was later removed, to be replaced with a Switch Pros system.
  33. Installed Upper sPOD Switch Panel (thanks, @PNW_LJ!) Note: This was later removed, to be replaced with a Switch Pros system.
  34. Installed Black Magic Brakes Raised Front Swaybar Brackets and Reverse-taper Knuckle (more fine products from @mrblaine!) - gained 2.29 lb
  35. Installed Clayton Offroad Front Spring Retainers (because the Rubicon Express springs that came on it have a short free length) - gained .15 lb
  36. Installed Savvy Steering Box Skid (powder-coated OD green) - added 2.19 lb
  37. Installed Wouxun KG-1000G Plus GMRS Radio - gained 5.75 lb
  38. Removed OEM T-case Shift Linkage and Installed Savvy T-case Cable Kit. Note: This will be removed and replaced with the Atlas shift kit.
  39. Installed Savvy Body Lift - gained 7.74 lb
  40. Installed Savvy Engine Lift - gained 2.38 lb
  41. Installed Fumoto USA Quick-drain Oil Valve
  42. Removed OEM Shift Tower and Stick and Installed B&M Shift Tower and Stick - gained 1.54 lb
  43. Installed Repainted Hood Shroud and Color-matched Headlight Bezels
  44. Installed BMB Front License Plate QR Bracket (yet another great product from @mrblaine!) - gained 1.47 lb
  45. Installed Color-matched GenRight Corner Armor (wanted Savvy, got tired of waiting) - gained 41.21 lb
  46. Removed Factory Full Doors and Restored and Installed Factory Half-doors with New Bull Dawg Uppers - lost 19.97 lb
  47. Installed Hard-coated Aluminum Front Recovery Eyes (thanks, @sunnysideup_lj!) - gained .61 lb
  48. Installed Painted Fender Flares (OD green)
And that brings us up to date (April 27, 2024). The "Official Build" starts now! I'm following the lead of @NashvilleTJ with this first post intended to be maintained as a directory for the build. Below, the black text means that task is complete, while the grey text means it's an upcoming, yet-to-be-started task. The page numbers are hyperlinked, for the reader's convenience:
  1. Fix Cracked Fuel Filler Nipple on Tank
  2. Reinforce Top Tank of Radiator (an idea to prevent the common cracking failure)
  3. Move Rear Frame Up To Match Body Lift
  4. Install Savvy Gas Tank Skid
  5. Install Fire Extinguishers
  6. Install "The Wiz" for GMRS Radio
  7. Remove Axles from Jeep
  8. Install Atlas 4-speed Transfer Case
  9. Make and Install Transmission Cross Brace
  10. Install Savvy Mid-Arm Kit Frame Brackets
  11. Install Genright Body Lift Brackets
  12. Make and Install Transmission Skid Plate (thanks for the aluminum, @mrblaine !)
  13. Install Savvy Engine And Transmission Skid Plate
  14. Install Savvy Mid-Arm Axle Brackets Front and Rear
  15. Install Rockjock4X4 Mini-Skids
  16. Install Revolution 4.88 Gears Front And Rear
  17. Install ARB Lockers Front and Rear
  18. Install RCV Front Axle Shafts
  19. Modify and Install Barnes Diff Covers, Modified with Hard-facing
  20. Design, Make, and Install AR400 Differential Skids
  21. Install New Spicer Ball Joints
  22. Install Rockjock4X4 Bump Stops Front and Rear
  23. Install Axles in Jeep
  24. Install Rockjock4X4 4" Coil Spring Set
  25. Install Dorman Extended Front Brake Lines
  26. Install Rockjock Currectlync System with @mrblaine 's 4340 Tie-rod
  27. Install Rockjock Front Tracbar
  28. Install Hydro-assist System (PSC parts with @mrblaine 's BMB kit)
  29. Install M.O.R.E. 1" Steering Riser
  30. Add Towers for the Front Fox 2.0 Shocks with DSC Reservoirs (11" travel)
  31. Outboard the Rear Fox 2.0 Shocks with DSC Reservoirs (12" travel)
  32. Install Fender Liners
  33. Install New Tom Woods Driveshafts
  34. Install Hutchinson Rock Monster 15x8 Bead Lock Wheels (thanks, @Bigfoot-NM !) And Tires (probably BFG KM3s)
  35. Install Oil-Coalescing Filter for York
  36. Install ARB Mini Compressor (thanks to the discussion here)
  37. Plumb ARB Lockers Front and Rear
  38. Install Switch Pro RCR-Force 12 Switching System
  39. Install LUX Rock Lights
  40. Install Front Cameras
 
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The first order of business - how does my sequencing look? I think I have things thought out, and in the right order, but if y'all see anything that doesn't make sense, please let me know!
 
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Second #38

I’d forget the air tank and use a dedicated locker pump. It’ll barely need to run.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B004P919D4?tag=wranglerorg-20

Unfortunately, I already have the tank. Obviously, that doesn't mean I'm committed to use it, but my thought was the York will only have to run a short time to fill the tank, and the tank will work for a bunch of locker actuations. What else am I overlooking?
 
Unfortunately, I already have the tank. Obviously, that doesn't mean I'm committed to use it, but my thought was the York will only have to run a short time to fill the tank, and the tank will work for a bunch of locker actuations. What else am I overlooking?

IMO simplicity. No regulators, tanks or anything are needed with that locker pump. Mount the solenoids directly on it run the air lines to it.

The only drawback is it will take a little bit of space under the hood, if you have it.
 
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Could just use the locker pumps you already have. They're wired up and ready to go!
I think either way works.
 
IMO simplicity. No regulators, tanks or anything are needed with that locker pump. Mount the solenoids directly on it run the air lines to it.

The only drawback is it will take a little bit of space under the hood, if you have it.

Agreed. I have had a York longer than I have had ARB lockers. It was much simpler and space efficient to keep the York separated from the lockers and just use the small ARB pump.
 
Unfortunately, I already have the tank. Obviously, that doesn't mean I'm committed to use it, but my thought was the York will only have to run a short time to fill the tank, and the tank will work for a bunch of locker actuations. What else am I overlooking?

I have a York & run my ARB's off the York. I'm VERY limited on underhood space so trying to fit even a small ARB pump IMO is a waste since you've already got the York. I used a kit from Power Tank to hook up my ARB's. https://powertank.com/products/power-tank-to-arb-manifold-install-kit
I guess if you've got all sorts of room running the ARB compressor wouldn't matter other than it's redundant since you have the York.
And Yes BTW having the small tank does keep you from having to hear your York run as often. I can't tell you the exact number but you'll get 10 + cycling of both Frt & Rr lockers before the tank needs to refill.
 
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Glad the SPOD panel worked for you! Look forward to seeing more of this build.


And with that..

This thread is worthless without pics
 
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I have a York & run my ARB's off the York. I'm VERY limited on underhood space so trying to fit even a small ARB pump IMO is a waste since you've already got the York. I used a kit from Power Tank to hook up my ARB's. https://powertank.com/products/power-tank-to-arb-manifold-install-kit
I guess if you've got all sorts of room running the ARB compressor wouldn't matter other than it's redundant since you have the York.
And Yes BTW having the small tank does keep you from having to hear your York run as often. I can't tell you the exact number but you'll get 10 + cycling of both Frt & Rr lockers before the tank needs to refill.

The ARB pump goes onto the unused ABS tray. On my recent highline install where there is even less room, the pump lives deep down in the back of the inner fender. This occupies less bulk then a tank and regulators and the added plumbing.
20240407_152923.jpg
 
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The ARB pump goes onto the unused ABS tray. On my recent highline install where there is even less room, the pump lives deep down in the back of the inner fender. This occupies less bulk then a tank and regulators and the added plumbing.
View attachment 522359

A dual ARB also fits on the ABS tray, and is a better option if combining locker operation and tire fillup.
 
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The ARB pump goes onto the unused ABS tray. On my recent highline install where there is even less room, the pump lives deep down in the back of the inner fender. This occupies less bulk then a tank and regulators and the added plumbing.
View attachment 522359

I have other items on that tray so don't have the room. If you do have the room great. But I still don't see the need for the York & the ARB compressor. And you don't need a air tank to run the lockers off the York. So the only added bulk is the manifold which is smaller than the ARB compressor. Add a regulator would occupy little space also.
But to each their own.
 
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A dual ARB also fits on the ABS tray, and is a better option if combining locker operation and tire fillup.

I ran the dual with my lockers. Also ran the dual with a tank and my lockers. My opinion is the dual sucks for lockers.

I now have the dual on the abs bracket and the locker pump on the inner fender.

I highly recommend the locker pump if space allows.
 
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