So we bought a Jeep—2006 LJR

DaveF

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2018
Messages
1,287
Location
Bothell, WA
So last summer we bought our 2006 LJ Rubicon. Our goals were simple… have fun, meet new people, spend time outdoors, and for me, finally learn to wrench on a vehicle. Since then I’ve read (and learned) TONS here on this forum and though we haven’t been out off road in it yet, we recently signed up to take the Jeep to the Silver Valley Jeep Jamboree this coming June.

With that in mind I’m trying to get the Jeep ready, and as I’ve poked at it the past few months I’ve learned the previous owner really didn’t set it up for off road success (in my mind).

Here’s where it stood…
  • 4” suspension lift (OME Springs/Shocks/Steering stabilizer)
  • 1” Body lift
  • Stock engine mounts (I think)
  • Stock drive lines
  • Stock upper control arms
  • (I think) OME lower control arms – not adjustable
  • Stock track bar
  • Stock drag/tie rod
  • Stock sway bar with no disconnects
  • Dropped pitman arm
  • New 35x12 Cooper STT Pros (including spare) on 16” rims which didn’t have enough back spacing to keep the tires from rubbing on lower control arms
  • Stock 4:10 gears
  • Stock weak assed brakes
  • Smittybuilt front bumper
  • Smittybuilt rear bumper/tire carrier
  • Smittybuilt winch (steel cable)
  • Stock or no under armor

Issues I’ve found:
  • Frayed front seat belts
  • Tires rubbed at full turn on lower control arms. (Fixed by adding washers to steering stops)
  • Bump Steer (fixed by installing OEM pitman arm)
  • Front axel is off center (will be fixed when I install the Currie Drag link I have purchased)
  • Drag/tie rod bushings not the best (have purchased Currie Correctlink to replace this)
  • Based on information given to me in another thread, the control arms (lowers at least) need to be replaced as they have no room for flex
  • Lacked braking power
  • Aftermarket stereo sucks and doesn’t turn off with ignition
  • Smittybuilt rear tire carrier rattles like crazy
  • I am too short (fixed by adding 1.5” lift to seats)
  • My wife is too short (fixed by getting stirrups and grips to help her get in the Jeep)
  • Speedometer off
  • Exhaust sticks out in a way that it seems it would get crushed dropping off a ledge

Putting all that together, I’m trying to get a list of what I need and or want to do, both long term and for what needs done before June. Items crossed out are done. Right now I’m trying to figure out what to do in what order… what really should be done before June… any suggestions would be appreciated

  • New front seat belts
  • OEM pitman arm
  • Install Black Magic BBK
  • Install new track bar (Currie)
  • Install new drag/tie rod (Purchased)
  • CB Radio (required for Jamboree)
  • Currie Antirock
  • New Lower (and upper?) control arms
  • Re-gear
  • 1” MML
  • Armor underneath (need to figure out what I should get, and if I need any before June)
  • Tummy Tuck
  • New DC Drive line?
  • Wheel spacers to get steering back
  • Soft top (want to take hard top off for summer but have something to block wind/rain at times)
  • Air compressor
  • New seats
  • New stereo
  • Hydro Assist
  • replaced rear brakes

Current look:
20201127_115223.jpg


20180728_113938.jpg
 
Last edited:
I recently installed a Savvy engine skid mated to the OEM transfer skid. Just had to drill 4 holes in the transfer skid to mount it. You can easily add the rest of the Savvy skid system later if you don’t get to it before June.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: ozarkrubi
I recently installed a Savvy engine skid mated to the OEM transfer skid. Just had to drill 4 holes in the transferskud to mount it. You can easily add the rest of the Savvy skid system later if you don’t get to it before June.

Awesome... I was wondering about that actually.
 
Sounds like a solid, well sorted build list.

You might not need the CV driveshaft on the LJ, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to get one anyways.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DETOUR
  • Like
Reactions: MountaineerTom
Installed my new Currie front track bar — had a hell of a time getting the old one off. Now to figure out if the thing needs grease or if it's good from the factory.

I will say drilling larger holes on both ends freaked me out a bit...

Trackbar.jpg
 
  • Like
Reactions: MountaineerTom
Looks like you have the big brakes on it? how are they? My next upgrade. And did you install wheel spacers? I have 1.25 but they are not hub centric and i am thinking of ditching them or upgrading to hub centric since my TJ has bad vibrations.
 
Installed my new Currie front track bar — had a hell of a time getting the old one off. Now to figure out if the thing needs grease or if it's good from the factory.

I will say drilling larger holes on both ends freaked me out a bit...

View attachment 74636


It looks like from the picture, that you or the previous owner drilled a new axle side trackbar hole. Moving it over to the hole on the left will get you deeper in the mount and allow you to actually adjust the trackbar. You’re pretty close to the edge of that mount.
 
I’d say you need the upper and lower control arms and the wheel spacers. Then cycle the suspension to set your bumpstop. You should be ready to wheel then.

The other stuff can wait. I’d slso wheel it lightly before I went to the event so I knew what I was getting into. The rig will be very capable, but learning what lines to take, speeds, et al is very important.

Congrats on a LJR! Great rig
 
  • Like
Reactions: DaveF
Looks like you have the big brakes on it? how are they? My next upgrade. And did you install wheel spacers? I have 1.25 but they are not hub centric and i am thinking of ditching them or upgrading to hub centric since my TJ has bad vibrations.

Love the brakes, made a night and day difference! No spaces, though I'm thinking about it since the PO didn't put correctly backspaced wheels on it... :(
 
It looks like from the picture, that you or the previous owner drilled a new axle side trackbar hole. Moving it over to the hole on the left will get you deeper in the mount and allow you to actually adjust the trackbar. You’re pretty close to the edge of that mount.

I didn't see another hole at the time, though in the pic above I do see one maybe... I will have to take a look at home.
 
So been a while but finally got some things done.

1. CB is installed, but haven't tuned it yet.

2. Found what I think is the commonly spoken of rear main seal leak.

3. Moved the track bar to the hole farther to the left... thanks @Hotchef181818 for pointing this out. It does look like the PO made a new hole when they lifted it, which maybe explains how they 'adjusted' for the lift without changing the trackbar??

4. Installed my Antirock!

5. Tracked down what I believe is the cause of my evap leak... problem is I'm not sure I have the knowledge/tools to fix it so may have to go to the shop :( This hose/connector is snapped in half...

20190325_144249.jpg
 
So last summer we bought our 2006 LJ Rubicon. Our goals were simple… have fun, meet new people, spend time outdoors, and for me, finally learn to wrench on a vehicle. Since then I’ve read (and learned) TONS here on this forum and though we haven’t been out off road in it yet, we recently signed up to take the Jeep to the Silver Valley Jeep Jamboree this coming June.

With that in mind I’m trying to get the Jeep ready, and as I’ve poked at it the past few months I’ve learned the previous owner really didn’t set it up for off road success (in my mind).

Here’s where it stood…
  • 4” suspension lift (OME Springs/Shocks/Steering stabilizer)
  • 1” Body lift
  • Stock engine mounts (I think)
  • Stock drive lines
  • Stock upper control arms
  • (I think) OME lower control arms – not adjustable
  • Stock track bar
  • Stock drag/tie rod
  • Stock sway bar with no disconnects
  • Dropped pitman arm
  • New 35x12 Cooper STT Pros (including spare) on 16” rims which didn’t have enough back spacing to keep the tires from rubbing on lower control arms
  • Stock 4:10 gears
  • Stock weak assed brakes
  • Smittybuilt front bumper
  • Smittybuilt rear bumper/tire carrier
  • Smittybuilt winch (steel cable)
  • Stock or no under armor
Issues I’ve found:
  • Frayed front seat belts
  • Tires rubbed at full turn on lower control arms. (Fixed by adding washers to steering stops)
  • Bump Steer (fixed by installing OEM pitman arm)
  • Front axel is off center (will be fixed when I install the Currie Drag link I have purchased)
  • Drag/tie rod bushings not the best (have purchased Currie Correctlink to replace this)
  • Based on information given to me in another thread, the control arms (lowers at least) need to be replaced as they have no room for flex
  • Lacked braking power
  • Aftermarket stereo sucks and doesn’t turn off with ignition
  • Smittybuilt rear tire carrier rattles like crazy
  • I am too short (fixed by adding 1.5” lift to seats)
  • My wife is too short (fixed by getting stirrups and grips to help her get in the Jeep)
  • Speedometer off
  • Exhaust sticks out in a way that it seems it would get crushed dropping off a ledge
Putting all that together, I’m trying to get a list of what I need and or want to do, both long term and for what needs done before June. Items crossed out are done. Right now I’m trying to figure out what to do in what order… what really should be done before June… any suggestions would be appreciated

  • New front seat belts
  • OEM pitman arm
  • Install Black Magic BBK
  • Install new track bar (Currie)
  • Install new drag/tie rod (Purchased)
  • CB Radio (required for Jamboree)
  • Currie Antirock
  • New Lower (and upper?) control arms
  • Re-gear
  • 1” MML
  • Armor underneath (need to figure out what I should get, and if I need any before June)
  • Tummy Tuck
  • New DC Drive line?
  • Wheel spacers to get steering back
  • Soft top (want to take hard top off for summer but have something to block wind/rain at times)
  • Air compressor
  • New seats
  • New stereo
View attachment 74360
Awesome setup you have here! I'm was wondering if you know the curb weight as you have it setup? I know what manufacture stats are, but looking for "real world" actual weight when fitup nicely like yours. I want a tow vehicle for my RV, but I'm limited on weight. Thanks.
 
Awesome setup you have here! I'm was wondering if you know the curb weight as you have it setup? I know what manufacture stats are, but looking for "real world" actual weight when fitup nicely like yours. I want a tow vehicle for my RV, but I'm limited on weight. Thanks.

So funny enough, yesterday I was googling for trailers and was looking for the same info. I've never weighed mine so I can't help you. I am going to when I can find a place and time to do so though. I need to find a light trailer as I'm thinking of towing mine behind my Canyon.
 
So funny enough, yesterday I was googling for trailers and was looking for the same info. I've never weighed mine so I can't help you. I am going to when I can find a place and time to do so though. I need to find a light trailer as I'm thinking of towing mine behind my Canyon.

Jeeps are great for flat towing. I'm currently towing a 92' YJ, but looking to upgrade to a TJ. Weight is my biggest problem because I'm towing behind an LTV Serenity (ie: Mercedes 3500 Sprinter) and the GCWR is only 15,250lbs. You may not have a problem with your Canyon, but don't forget to add the curb weight of the Canyon loaded with stuff, towed vehicle, and trailer to make sure it does not exceed GCWR for both Canyon and tow.

2019-04-04 04.27.46.jpg
 
So I ended up the technical lead on a project at work that consumed every spare moment of my life outside of actually doing stuff on the Jeep or using it, and kind of dropped this thread :(

A friend of mine who was following along has finally nagged me enough to try to get this going again so here's the updates since last April…

First, as to towing, I ended up trading in the Canyon and buying a 2019 GMC Denali HD 1ton Long Bed SRW + a 7k flatbed trailer. We also ended up buying a truck camper so we can tow the Jeep around and sleep in the camper :)

For the Jeep, I've done quite a bit some before the Jeep Jamboree in Idaho (which was awesome) and some after.

Before the Jamboree:

1. Added 1" wheel spacers, this fixed my rubbing for the most part. I'm still looking for some good wheels with correct back spacing though.
2. New Currie steering installed
3. Savvy engine/oil pan skid mounted to OEM transfer case skid
4. Fixed my evap leak
5. Took off the Hard top (still for sale) and put on a new BestTop soft top
6. Picked up a portable air compressor Viaair
7. Fixed the rattle in the rear tire carrier by adding a shim behind the small rubber bumper on the tail gate

With all that, we had a blast at the Jamboree, then decided on the way home to buy the truck, camper, and trailer (and bought them in the next 2 weeks). We when went to the Trail Jam at Naches Wa and had more fun, broke a u-joint and had an front inner axle seal leak on the way home… but had a blast!

Since then, I've completed:
1. Tummy Tuck with the Savvy kit, M.O.R.E engine 1" lift, and replaced existing sub 1" body lift with Savvy 1.25" lift
2. Savvy gas tank skid and tucked it up an inch
3. Regeared 5.13
4. New Chromoly front axles
5. New rear brakes
6. Learned to weld and bought a welder!

We also just signed up for next years Jeep Jamboree on the Rubicon Trail which I'm super excited about. Future plans include:

1. New Diff covers since I'm beating up the stock ones :(
2. Front lower control arm mount skids
3. New Fenders front and rear with rear corner armor
4. New Winch
5. New LED Headlights
6. … … … does it ever end?


Some Pics (so it happened)

The new tow vehicle:
20190630_121139.jpg


With truck camper:
20190720_123931 (2).jpg


After Tummy Tuck:
20191103_122757.jpg


Other Misc Pics:
20190621_131745.jpg
20190707_135615.jpg
66398999_2195660840531138_556349275882127360_n.jpg
 
So I ended up the technical lead on a project at work that consumed every spare moment of my life outside of actually doing stuff on the Jeep or using it, and kind of dropped this thread :(

A friend of mine who was following along has finally nagged me enough to try to get this going again so here's the updates since last April…

First, as to towing, I ended up trading in the Canyon and buying a 2019 GMC Denali HD 1ton Long Bed SRW + a 7k flatbed trailer. We also ended up buying a truck camper so we can tow the Jeep around and sleep in the camper :)

For the Jeep, I've done quite a bit some before the Jeep Jamboree in Idaho (which was awesome) and some after.

Before the Jamboree:

1. Added 1" wheel spacers, this fixed my rubbing for the most part. I'm still looking for some good wheels with correct back spacing though.
2. New Currie steering installed
3. Savvy engine/oil pan skid mounted to OEM transfer case skid
4. Fixed my evap leak
5. Took off the Hard top (still for sale) and put on a new BestTop soft top
6. Picked up a portable air compressor Viaair
7. Fixed the rattle in the rear tire carrier by adding a shim behind the small rubber bumper on the tail gate

With all that, we had a blast at the Jamboree, then decided on the way home to buy the truck, camper, and trailer (and bought them in the next 2 weeks). We when went to the Trail Jam at Naches Wa and had more fun, broke a u-joint and had an front inner axle seal leak on the way home… but had a blast!

Since then, I've completed:
1. Tummy Tuck with the Savvy kit, M.O.R.E engine 1" lift, and replaced existing sub 1" body lift with Savvy 1.25" lift
2. Savvy gas tank skid and tucked it up an inch
3. Regeared 5.13
4. New Chromoly front axles
5. New rear brakes
6. Learned to weld and bought a welder!

We also just signed up for next years Jeep Jamboree on the Rubicon Trail which I'm super excited about. Future plans include:

1. New Diff covers since I'm beating up the stock ones :(
2. Front lower control arm mount skids
3. New Fenders front and rear with rear corner armor
4. New Winch
5. New LED Headlights
6. … … … does it ever end?


Some Pics (so it happened)

The new tow vehicle:
View attachment 129908

With truck camper:
View attachment 129924

After Tummy Tuck:
View attachment 129930

Other Misc Pics:
View attachment 129929View attachment 129928View attachment 129927
Solid looking LJR. Clean, classy build. Love it all. Quadratec rims right? Looks great