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Thread: Project RubiSolace, a 2005 Jeep Wrangler TJ Unlimited Rubicon

  1. #1
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    Project RubiSolace, a 2005 Jeep Wrangler TJ Unlimited Rubicon

    My first Jeep was a 2009 Jeep Wrangler JK Unlimited Sahara, which I purchased in February 2013. Over the course of its short lived life of only 11 months I learned that I wanted something a little more "Jeep" and less "Soccer". With that mentality I shortly traded the JK for my current LJR back in January of 2014. To this day I have no regrets on that trade and would do it a thousand times over.

    The original addiction in semi-stock form the day I purchased it.


    Over the course of addiction came 35" tires, Metalcloak lift, and Konnect 4x4 bumpers. This just so happens to be when I started to realize the JK was not the Jeep for me, sadly after I dropped a pocket of change into it.


    Without further due, here is the actual Jeep this thread is going to be about.



    The Jeep came with a fair amount of modifications from the previous owner, however, I am only going to be reusing the Jeep Medic skid plates, Four X Doctor differential guards, Rock Krawler steering, and front chromoly axle shafts.
    Last edited by Demlockian; 04-25-2016 at 01:49 AM.
    2005 Jeep Wrangler TJ Unlimited Rubicon

  2. #2
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    Re: Project RubiSolace, a 2005 Jeep Wrangler TJ Unlimited Rubicon

    Phase one just recently began during my vacation back from Japan to get PRK eye surgery at Lackland AFB, Texas. Initial modifications include:

    • LetzRoll Offroad Racing (LROR) custom fabricated 3 link front with 3.25" 7075 T-6 aluminum control arms housing 1.25" bore chrome-moly heim joints. Everything is mounted to a LROR custom fabricated Dana 44 axle truss with knuckle gussets.
    • LetzRoll Offroad Racing (LROR) custom fabricated 4 link double triangulated 6" stretched rear with 3.25" 7075 T-6 control arms housing 1.25" bore chrome-moly heim joints. Everything is mounted to a LROR custom fabricated low profile Dana 44 axle truss.
    • 14" Travel ADS Racing 2.125" Emulsion coil overs in front.
    • 13" Travel ADS Racing 2.125" Emulsion coil overs in rear.
    • GenRight Offroad high-line steel body armor package (bumper to bumper).
    • Eibach Micro-Cellular Foam bump stops mounted on the lower coil over shaft.
    • 37" Mastercraft Courser MXT Mud Terrains wrapped around Allied Racing RT81 Beadlocks (balanced with 10oz DynaBeads).


    A quick preview at LetzRoll Offroad of the new rear suspension working its magic. In these pictures the front end is still the prior owner's 4.5" Rubicon Express short arm kit. I might be able to squeeze a little more flex in the rear if I upgraded to hydraulic bump stops and trimmed some sheet metal, however, I don't really see a need.

    Since my hobby is rock crawling in Arizona and not high speed desert running I don't see a practical need to spend upwards of $1,500 on ADS bump stops. Maybe after the Hemi swap though...




    Everything you see on this pallet is from GenRight Offroad (minus the 37" Mastercraft tires stuffed up front). Its about 7:30PM Wednesday and I leave for Okinawa, Japan on Sunday. Can you say busy weekend?


    A quick teaser shot of the magic in the rear.


    Here you can see the factory gas tank remounted to the rear most cross member.


    Got the Jeep sitting up front and ready for the tear down. Hardest part is thinking of what to start with.


    My father and I decided to tackle the most difficult and time consuming task first, the front high line fenders.


    Here is my make shift toolbox and work area. Nothing like that 60" SnapOn toolbox I got spoiled by on the Flight line.


    Time to cut the hood! We used a pair of calipers to measure a 3" line down the hood per GenRight's instructions. To cut the hood we used a Ryobi Jig Saw with fine metal cutting blade. Watch out for areas that are double walled as the blade with definitely slow down some and might catch you by surprise.


    The first side is cut! I let me father keep a Rubicon panel as a victory trophy.


    Not shown here but the hood didn't come out as wanted. I confirmed with calipers that we removed exactly 3" from the hood (measured pre and post cut), however, the hood does not sit flush when closed. Once the latches were reinstalled it raised the hood about an inch and a half which in turn caused a large cap between the grill. I am debating to try a different set of latches or hood pins. However, I am starting to lean towards an AEV heat reduction hood for best performance.
    Last edited by Demlockian; 04-26-2016 at 12:57 AM.
    2005 Jeep Wrangler TJ Unlimited Rubicon

  3. #3
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    Re: Project RubiSolace, a 2005 Jeep Wrangler TJ Unlimited Rubicon

    Here you can see the first fender installed. Honestly, it was harder to remove the factory fender than it was to install the GenRight fender.


    Due to my time constraints I opted to not drill the hole behind the headlight for mounting the fender. When LetzRoll Offroad installs the front coil overs I figure they are going to remove the fender for clearance. At that time I will have them drill the last bolt hole and install the hardware. I would rather pay $20 to save some time and hopefully make at least one trail before heading back to Japan for 16 months.


    The other side is on! Once again due to time constraints I opted to let LROR install the marker lights.


    Somehow I convinced a local Jeeper to help me out. RJ volunteered to mount all five tires to the Allied beadlocks, which turned out to be an entire day almost. He had to go around each wheel about six times to get proper torque.


    The new wheels and tires are finally mounted on the Jeep! Starting to get somewhere after all this hard work.


    Pulled the Poison Spyder trail corners to get an idea of the extra trimming required to fit the 37s and mount GenRight stretch panels.


    As a make shift paint booth I setup our families old 14x14 tent in the garage and attached a 20x20 box fan to a window for ventilation (air was filter pre-fan). For tables I picked up two 72" folding tables and wrapped them in 3mil tarps.

    The paint is DupliColor primer, universal gloss black, and clear coat. Overall I am pretty happy with the outcome for under $300. However, when I get the body repainted in 2019ish I will most likely repaint the armor with something higher quality.






    This is how the Jeep sits today. You can see how we trimmed to much from the front of the hood not realizing the hood latches were going to prevent the hood from completely closing (it closed perfect until they got installed).


    Coming up next will be the front coil over upgrade, inner fenders, high tub guards, boat sided rock sliders, swing down tire carrier and bumper, LED lights, and some other miscellaneous supporting mods. All of these mods should be accomplished within the next 45 days.

    Stay tuned and feel free to ask questions.
    Last edited by Demlockian; 04-26-2016 at 01:01 AM.
    2005 Jeep Wrangler TJ Unlimited Rubicon

  4. #4
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    Re: Project RubiSolace, a 2005 Jeep Wrangler TJ Unlimited Rubicon

    LetzRoll Offroad Racing (LROR) custom fabricated 3 link front with 3.25" 7075 T-6 aluminum control arms housing 1.25" bore chrome-moly heim joints. Everything is mounted to a LROR custom fabricated Dana 44 axle truss with knuckle gussets.
    14" Travel ADS Racing 2.125" Emulsion coil overs
    *Axle truss is going to either be upgraded or swapped out for an entirely new axle*





    Quick glance under the hood. Only question now is how am I going to fit in the HEMI/LS or Supercharger... Since my drive train only has 65,000 miles on it I am not yet sold on swapping it out, I have tons of life left in it.


    Side shot with all of the GenRight steel armor mounted; I still need to paint the tub guard.



    I was going to get the swing out, however, I didn't foresee myself easily loading up a 37-40" tire by myself very easily. Once I get the Jeep back I am going to swap out the pins for locking pins, help deter theft.

    Last edited by Demlockian; 01-01-2017 at 09:59 PM. Reason: Update content
    2005 Jeep Wrangler TJ Unlimited Rubicon

  5. #5
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    Re: Project RubiSolace, a 2005 Jeep Wrangler TJ Unlimited Rubicon

    Front Ford Dana 60 axle is mocked and in place, credit to LetzRoll Offroad. Build will consist of 5.38 Yukon gears with an ARB air locker.


    The rear GM 14 Bolt with disc brake conversion is also mocked and in place, credited to LetzRoll Offroad. Build will also consist of 5.38 Yukon gears and ARB air locker.


    Starting the front cage setup. To come is the windshield supports to include a V bar.


    Rear cage layout, more supports are being added to the B and C pillars.


    Front cage layout, more supports are being added to the B to A pillars.
    Last edited by Demlockian; 07-30-2017 at 02:33 AM.
    2005 Jeep Wrangler TJ Unlimited Rubicon

  6. #6
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    Re: Project RubiSolace, a 2005 Jeep Wrangler TJ Unlimited Rubicon

    Reserved; modified existing content and added new.

    Please see fourth post for new content.
    2005 Jeep Wrangler TJ Unlimited Rubicon

  7. #7
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    Re: Project RubiSolace, a 2005 Jeep Wrangler TJ Unlimited Rubicon

    Reserved; modified existing content and added new (see post #5 for newest content).

    Please see fifth post for new content.
    2005 Jeep Wrangler TJ Unlimited Rubicon

  8. #8
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    Re: Project RubiSolace, a 2005 Jeep Wrangler TJ Unlimited Rubicon

    I love the idea of using the Tent as a spray booth...brilliant!!!

  9. #9
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    Re: Project RubiSolace, a 2005 Jeep Wrangler TJ Unlimited Rubicon

    Thanks, I plan to redo the paint setup when I get to my next base. I kinda rushed everything while on vacation in Arizona.

    Pictures are up of the roll cage in progress.
    2005 Jeep Wrangler TJ Unlimited Rubicon

  10. #10
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    Re: Project RubiSolace, a 2005 Jeep Wrangler TJ Unlimited Rubicon

    Charouleau Gap and Three Feathers, Tucson (initial shakedown run).








    Pictures of the new tow rig, because I can. This setup is taking me to Alaska and then all over the state for trails!
    2005 Jeep Wrangler TJ Unlimited Rubicon

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