97Heep's Take 2 "Rubi" Build - Rubicon Owners Forum
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post #1 of 102 (permalink) Old 08-03-2015, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
Rubicus Maximus
 
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97Heep's Take 2 "Rubi" Build

Well, I've never started one of these build threads or own jeep update threads in the 12 years that I've owned a Jeep. So, I figured since this is such a well rounded and actually friendly/ helpful community I would take the time and share for anyone who cares .

Background: I bought my first Jeep in 2003 when a buddy of mines dad bought a 2000 TJ Sahara and we got to take it out and play. It was from that moment I knew my days behind the wheel of American Muscle Cars were limited and I wanted to be behind the wheel of my own Jeep. Well, in June 2003 I sold my 1991 Mustang LX Coupe and purchased a 1997 Jeep Wrangler Sport... It was from that moment on I fell into the rabbit hole...

...Fast forward to March 6, 2015...

I was tired of my 97 and instead of taring it down and rebuilding it I wanted to sell it and start over with a stock TJ or LJ (I do partly wish I had waited to find a LJ)... So, on March 6th I found myself waking up early driving to a local stealership to hand them a check for a 2004 Jeep TJ Rubicon with only 56,300 miles, one owner, and totally stock. I always wanted a Rubicon and finally found one with low miles and totally virgin! The previous owner was an elderly owner who sold it to get a Volvo. Her loss is my gain... and see the old lady I know it was babied .

The day I brought her home


Once getting her home I quickly got rid of the milk jugs on the front bumper and started planning her path. I always wanted 35's on my 97 and was limited by the D35 rear and didn't really want to invest into building it up so I stuck to 33's and 4:10 gears. With this and the D44's (understanding that the axle tubes are still a weak point) I am really thinking of putting her on 35's. The only limiting factor I have about going to 35's is I want this jeep to be able to drive 3,500 miles round trip to AZ, CA, CO, and UT to wheel and then back home to southeast Texas. I don't want to lose highway drive-ability and don't want to make it a trailer queen. So, 35's or 33's will have to wait.

But while I couldn't decide on a lift or tires I did know I wanted a tummy tuck and get about an inch more clearance under the gas tank. So... in went the Savvy UAM and GTS.

Savvy UAM


The UAM required me relocating the locker pumps so I moved them to the tray in the engine compartment under the hood.

The best thing was that it took care of the slight leak I had in the rear locker pump hose since I ran new hose front and rear

Savvy GTS



I also really like the look of low profile or flush mount rear LED lights but wasn't really wanting to cut the tub on such a virgin Jeep (just yet) so I installed a pair of Savvy LED rear tail lights.



So installing all this I just had fun driving her around until I got my summer vacation plans together. I realized I am going to spend some time in Colorado and knew that being there Mountain Biking I am going to be tempted to wheels the Jeep on some easy trails. Knowing this I installed a new front bumper and winch that was originally planed for install down the road, I just moved the time table up. And, so went the install of a Savvy front bumper and a Warn M8000 winch.



Forgot to also mention... I also scored a set of factory 1/2 doors from a local guy for $300.00 complete with soft uppers. Eventually I'd like to get them painted silver to match the Jeep and fiberglass uppers. The uppers that came with the doors were spice colored so I grabbed some fabric paint and painted them black to match my soft top and hardtop.



I also pulled the hard top when the weather warmed up and put the soft top on for the summer and my trip to Colorado.



And, almost forgot, to help compensate for the front end sag with the added weight of the winch I installed a set of Moog CC782 front coils (ZJ V8 coils).


That's about it. I am headed out to Colorado and will update this when I get back with hopefully some awesome shots of her stretching her legs on the trails.

Chris

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Last edited by 97heep; 08-03-2015 at 03:51 PM. Reason: grammar, spelling, other forgotten stuff
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post #2 of 102 (permalink) Old 08-03-2015, 05:02 PM
Rubicus Maximus
 
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Man, that is one sweet looking Jeep!

2005 Rubicon, 3.5" Lift

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post #3 of 102 (permalink) Old 08-03-2015, 08:42 PM
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Hello from the North end of 121. Good looking rubi. I also regret not getting a LJR I had my eye on.
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post #4 of 102 (permalink) Old 08-15-2015, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
Rubicus Maximus
 
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Finally got a chance to edit some of the images I took while in Colorado so thought I would share. Sadly I only got to run 2 trails, Spring Gulch Trail and Saxon Mountain Trail, but they were very enjoyable. Saxon Mountain Trail had 2 places along the switch back down to Georgetown, CO that were very technical and made things interesting. Sadly I didn't take pictures of these 2 areas (rock slides) as I was more interested in getting through them. Anyways... hope all enjoy.











View of the start of the Saxon Mountain Trail Switchbacks




and some pictures not of the jeep








and saw this group of Elk run across the road in front of me

Chris

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post #5 of 102 (permalink) Old 08-16-2015, 08:16 PM
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Nice pics. Thanks for sharing.
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Black 2003 Rubicon Set up how I want, with what I want, for how I use it. Just like everyone else.
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post #6 of 102 (permalink) Old 08-17-2015, 09:48 AM
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Man - wish I was there and not suffering here in Texas.
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John - WB5THT
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2006 LJ, not stock
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post #7 of 102 (permalink) Old 08-17-2015, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLACK RUBI View Post
Nice pics. Thanks for sharing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by johncanfield View Post
Man - wish I was there and not suffering here in Texas.
Thanks guys. The weather there was amazing compared to what we're experiencing right now in Texas, but for some strange manner I was so glad when I crossed back into Texas lol.

Only Jeep issue I ran into while in Colorado is it doesn't seem my suspension is cycling fully. When I would try to get some flex on larger rocks it seemed like the body would just lean and the springs wouldn't compress to the bump stops. I am wondering if there isn't enough weight on the front to help compress the springs... i dunno. I know when I jack up the jeep in the garage I am not able to get the springs to fully compress to the bump stops, and it doesn't look like the shocks are fully compressed either... I dunno....

The image above with me posing the driver front tire on the rock it seems like the body leaned more than the suspension actually just freely traveling. When I walked around it I didn't see anything binding...

Chris

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post #8 of 102 (permalink) Old 08-17-2015, 05:03 PM
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Nice pictures! It looks like you got a good dose of what Colorado has to offer.
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Brett | KEŘEBF |
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post #9 of 102 (permalink) Old 04-24-2016, 08:52 AM Thread Starter
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So it took me about 3 to 3.5 hours yesterday but I finally got the transmission and transfer case pulled. Once I got it out from under the Jeep (which was a challenge itself) I was able to see that the pilot bearing indeed needed replacing and the throw-out bearing was also pretty shot. I ordered the Lux gold from rockauto hoping that it would have the all metal throw-out bearing and to a great letdown it doesn't The part on the Lux bearing that slides on the sleeve that is over the output shaft is plastic. So this morning I wait till the parts store opens so that I can go see about getting another one that's hopefully all metal.




Video of the throw-out bearing spinning

So, now I just need to pull the fly wheel off, dust shield, drop the oil pan and then finally get to replace the rear main seal. I was contemplating not replacing it because I couldn't really get to the bolts on the exhaust but since the transmission is out not it's just 5 more bolts and I don't need to drop the exhaust. Anyways, that's all I have as an update on the Heep.

Chris

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post #10 of 102 (permalink) Old 04-24-2016, 09:08 AM
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Man, that's ugly looking!

John - WB5THT
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