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Topic: Neomonk21's 2005 Rubicon Build Thread (Read 2652 times)

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  • Neomonk21
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Neomonk21's 2005 Rubicon Build Thread
So my friend convinced me to start a build thread.  You can read his thread here:  Hawk's YJ-7

My first Jeep was a YJ and I sold it about 5 years ago to another friend.  He was able to "finish" it and it's looking pretty good.  It wasn't long after that I decided I needed another one.  I finally was in the position financially to get rid of my Mazda 6 and get another Jeep.  I found a 2005 TJ Rubicon 6-speed that I liked so I bought it.  It only had 86,000 miles on it and no rust that I could find.  It was really in great shape and I could not be happier with it, other than having a car payment again.

Here is a pic of one of the first "offroading" trips.


All cleaned up and topless for the first time.


Current pic as of 4/5/2017


I'm going to keep a list of mods here in the original post.  I'll post write-ups of mods as I do them in the replies below.

Oct 2016 - Rough Country 1" Body Lift, Brown Dog 1" Motor Mount Lift [DONE]
Nov 2016 - UCF Extra clearance Skid [DONE]
Nov 2016 - Zone 3" suspension lift [DONE]
Nov 2016 - JKS adjustable track bar [DONE]
Nov 2016 - Locker Pump Relocatoin [DONE]
Dec 2016 - FIX DEATH WOBBLE [DONE?] (this included new ball joins, new front upper control arm bushings, and steering stabilizer
Dec 2016 - 4x Cooper Discoverer A/T3 Tires (265/75R16) [DONE]
Dec 2016 - New tie rod ends [DONE]
Jan 2017 - New fuel injector cylinder 3 [DONE]
Mar 2017 - Core 4x4 Tier 3 Control Arms [DONE]
Mar 2017 - Adams Driveshafts Extreme Duty driveshaft [DONE]
Mar 2017 - JKS Adjustable Rear Track Bar [DONE]
  • Last Edit: Apr 06, 2017, 09:39 AM by Neomonk21

  • Neomonk21
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Re: Neomonk21's 2005 Rubicon Build Thread
Reply #1
One of the first things we did was build a hoist in my garage so I can remove the hard top by myself.  I haven't mounted it on the ceiling yet but that project is pretty much complete.  I want to rearrange some things in my garage before mounting it properly.

First major mod was a 1" body lift and 1" motor mount lift.  I went with the Rough Country body lift and Brown Dog motor mount lift.  They went on easily and I'm happy with them.

I think this is an after pic of the BL and MML install.  Please ignore the messy garage.


Now here comes the fun part.  Shortly after getting my Jeep I experienced death wobble.  It only happened once and I thought it was an isolated incident.  Well, as time passed it happened more frequently.  After putting the BL/MML lifts on it happened four times in one trip.  This is when I decided it was a serious issue and had to do something.  Yes, I should have addressed it sooner.  At first we thought it was the tires being out of balance.  When I rotated them I thought it went away.

We got under my Jeep and started tearing things apart.  Turns out my track bar ends were rounding (luckily not the mounts) and my tie rod end on the Pittman side of the drag link had some play.  Time to make a decision.

My ultimate goal with my Jeep was to put a modest 2-3" lift on it and run 33s.  It was my daily driver so I didn't want to get crazy with it.  I also wanted to get rid of the shovel, aka the transfer case skid.  I had already order an Under Cover Fab Extra Clearance skid plate with pump mount and had it ready to put on.  Now I needed to replace my track bar.  In my mind it made sense to get an adjustable track bar in preparation for my future lift.  Unfortunately, most adjustable track bars require at least some kind of lift.  I wasn't really prepared to purchase a lift at this time but to get my Jeep back on the road I had to.  It's easy to justify upgrades if you really want them.  [laugh]

Two weeks ago, Trailhawk and I put my skid on.  Or we at least attempted it.  We ran into a few snags with the pump mount and tub clearance.  UCF claims their skid fits with either: A) 1" BL, B) clearancing your tub, or C) buying their low-pro mount.  Well, in my case this wasn't true.  I still had some issues with clearance with a 1" BL and I didn't really want to clearance my tub.  Also, the skid seemed to raise everything up higher than advertised so I had some issues with my shifter. 

The pump mount simply did not fit anywhere on the skid.  It's supposed to be a "direct stock replacement" but that is definitely NOT true.  We are going to have to get creative with that but it's a minor issue.  The transmission mount is the show stopper right now.  I think my only solution is to order their low-pro mount.  I am disappointed in this because the skid is advertised to work without it if you have a body lift.  It sucks having to shell out another $125.  I guess that's an idiot tax for not doing proper research.  Don't get me wrong, the skid itself is great and I know I'll be happy when it's finally on.  I just am not happy having to buy additional parts that I wasn't planning on buying.

So that brings us to yesterday.  I come home to see a few boxes on my porch.  Looks like my birthday present to myself showed up on my actual birthday!  Yay!  [rockon]

Once again, ignore the messy garage.

I ordered the Zone 3" lift with a JKS adjustable track bar.  This lift gets great reviews and fits in my budget.  It took me a while to decide on which lift to get because there are so many options out there.  I think this one will work well for me for a few years.

I hope to get all of this completed in the next few weeks.  I really, really hope some of these upgrades fix my death wobble.  I also hope I don't have to mess with my driveshaft after the lift.  Time will tell.


Edit:  I ordered a JKS track bar, not a Rough Country track bar.
  • Last Edit: Nov 10, 2016, 09:59 AM by Neomonk21

  • Tonellin
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Re: Neomonk21's 2005 Rubicon Build Thread
Reply #2
Nice rig! love the color...if time allows I think you should consider relocating locker pumps to the engine bay.  It's a simple process and you never have to worry about water/mud damage

I'd be wary of diff clearance and longevity issues with that RC TB

  • bobthetj03
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  • I'm not worthy!
Re: Neomonk21's 2005 Rubicon Build Thread
Reply #3
One of my favorite colors for a TJ. Word of warning about the low pro mount, it's not always a plug-n-play install, and you'll get minor engine vibes at idle. You'll get used to it.
My Jeep takes me to some pretty cool places!

  • Neomonk21
  • [*][*]
Re: Neomonk21's 2005 Rubicon Build Thread
Reply #4
Nice rig! love the color...if time allows I think you should consider relocating locker pumps to the engine bay.  It's a simple process and you never have to worry about water/mud damage

I'd be wary of diff clearance and longevity issues with that RC TB

Sorry, I was wrong in my original post.  I actually bought the JKS track bar and not the Rough Country track bar.  I bought so much stuff the last few weeks that I couldn't keep it straight in my head.  Hopefully the JKS track bar will clear for me.


One of my favorite colors for a TJ. Word of warning about the low pro mount, it's not always a plug-n-play install, and you'll get minor engine vibes at idle. You'll get used to it.


Yeah, that's why I really wanted to avoid the low-pro mount.  I know there will be some grinding to get it to work.  I was really hoping I could find a different solution.  I think I only need to drop the transmission about 1/2"-3/4" but there's no way to modify the stock mount that I can see.  Older models have a different mount that can be modified but unfortunately I don't have those mounts.

My biggest reason for dropping the transmission down some is the angle of my rear driveshaft.  It seems awfully steep for what should have been a minor increase in height from the skid.


  • 357transam
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  • Flapdisc Fanboy
Re: Neomonk21's 2005 Rubicon Build Thread
Reply #6
As they said above, love that color. Welcome to the forum!

  • Florpro
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Re: Neomonk21's 2005 Rubicon Build Thread
Reply #7
Welcome to Jeep_Owner. Nice rig👍🏻

  • G Beasley
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  • Admin
  • Sawzall Surgeon
Re: Neomonk21's 2005 Rubicon Build Thread
Reply #8
 Good looking Jeep , welcome to the board.

  • Tonellin
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Re: Neomonk21's 2005 Rubicon Build Thread
Reply #9
Sorry, I was wrong in my original post.  I actually bought the JKS track bar and not the Rough Country track bar.  I bought so much stuff the last few weeks that I couldn't keep it straight in my head.  Hopefully the JKS track bar will clear for me.


Yeah, that's why I really wanted to avoid the low-pro mount.  I know there will be some grinding to get it to work.  I was really hoping I could find a different solution.  I think I only need to drop the transmission about 1/2"-3/4" but there's no way to modify the stock mount that I can see.  Older models have a different mount that can be modified but unfortunately I don't have those mounts.

My biggest reason for dropping the transmission down some is the angle of my rear driveshaft.  It seems awfully steep for what should have been a minor increase in height from the skid.

Good choice the JKS track bar is supposed to work great

  • LBJ
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Re: Neomonk21's 2005 Rubicon Build Thread
Reply #10
so shinny  ;D  welcome [thumbsup]


  • Neomonk21
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Re: Neomonk21's 2005 Rubicon Build Thread
Reply #12
Some updates.  We more or less got the front finished.  I think we just need to adjust the sway bar links.  I painted my shocks Kubota orange and it is a decent match at 20ft.  Up close it is definitely brighter than my Jeep's orange.  A little dirt will fix that.





Here is a pic of the stance with just the front finished.  I forgot to measure the front before putting the lift on.  :-\


But we measured the back!


We got the spring on the rear passenger side...


...and the trackbar relocation bracket installed on the driver's side.  It was a major PITA.


Next we'll pop the last spring in and get the new shocks installed.  Then a few minor things and the suspension will be done.  Now just waiting on the lowpro transmission mount.
  • Last Edit: Nov 18, 2016, 08:34 AM by Neomonk21

  • G Beasley
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  • Sawzall Surgeon
Re: Neomonk21's 2005 Rubicon Build Thread
Reply #13
The trac bar mount is a pain, I just go straight to a new trac bar now on my rigs.