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July 2017 ROTM Ursa's 2005 LJ

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  • July 2017 ROTM Ursa's 2005 LJ

    We are bringing back the Rig of the Month by featuring a very well thought out LJ build done by Ursa. I'll let her tell the story about it:

    I had sold my 2013 JK Rubicon to a guy in Colorado and I was on the hunt for the coveted, elusive LJ. Months were passing, Jeepless, as I searched tirelessly for my precious. I checked AutoTrader,, Craigslist, became a member of 3 auto auction sites as well as Carfax, so I could run VIN’s. I searched nationwide, nearly every hour on the hour. Everytime I would find an LJ, it would be sold the day it was listed. On my birthday, October 2, 2014, a picture-less, description-less ad hit for an ’05 Wrangler at a Ford dealership in Wickenburg, AZ. Knowing 2005 was an LJ year, I ran the VIN. Results read “2005 Jeep Wrangler UNL RB” and I about lost my ****. Not only was this an LJ, but it was Rubi LJ; nearly impossible to find. I called the dealership. They had just accepted it in on a trade and it hadn’t passed their safety inspection yet so they were unsure if they could even sell the Jeep. I said I wanted it and asked for a call back when she was cleared for sale. I received the call within a few hours advising she was good to go. They also informed me they received 3 other cash offers for her, but since I was the first to contact them, they honored their commitment to me. They accepted a down payment over the phone and for $200, the dealership drove the car up to me at 10pm on 04 October 2014. And so it began……

    Her suspension was so compressed, her tailpipe sat about 11” off the ground. 22 November 2014, we wheeled her in Tie Rod; her first trail. I got her half up on the optional wedges at the south entrance, but her low-rider suspension and minimal belly clearance did not allow for her rear to climb up:

    Next steps (January 2015): 4” Currie lift, 1.25” body lift, Currie Currectlync steering, 2.0 Fox IFP shocks, 37” MTR’s and Black Magic brakes:

    Lift complete:

    Then came the Bearcat 880 CB radio, Poison Spyder hood louver, the Rugged Ridge hood lift kit and the Metalcloak Overline front fenders and half doors (originally pearl white and purple, which I painted black truck bed liner and installed lock cylinder and keyed the tumblers to match my ignition):

    07 January 2016, next were Undercover Fab ¼” carbon steel lower control arm mounts, Metalcloak adjustable bumpstops, home fab engine skid system and the Undercover Fab Ultra-High Clearance Skid w/LOPRO mount. My belly clearance went from 17” to a hair over 21”. It took a month of work and about 30 test-seats w/adjustments to get the tummy tuck and clearances just right.




    In April 2016, I did my hydro assist. Unfortunately, after I installed the new gear, pump, reservoir, ram and ¼” steel Teraflex skid plate, the gear leaked at the input shaft on her first run. PSC warranted gear and I had to swap them out. I finished this the night before our May 2016 Annual Marathon.

    During the Marathon, her rear broke. Thanks to my trail buddies, her rear driveshaft was pulled and I limped the final trail to finish the marathon. Assuming it was her gears, we towed her to Dan’s Driveline for a re-gear to 5.13:

    Long story short, her locker blew up and Dan’s had her entire rear disassembled. After pricing what it would cost to beef up the stock 44 vs going to a 60, I went 60….and boy, I went 60 hard. Currie Rock Jock 60 VXR, 66” wide, 3.5” tube, full float, 35 spline moly shafts, AR400 diff skid, 12” brakes, 4 pinion Eaton e-locker, 1350 heavy duty rear drive shaft. Has some issues with the install. Eaton e-locker arrived with a 35 spline gear kit on the passenger side…..and a 30 spline on the drive side. Eaton has to send a new side gear kit, which took a month and several phone calls to resolve.

    Got her back after 4 months. Took her to Sand Hollow. Realized her rear locker was not engaging. Yes, that’s right. The brand new Eaton e-locker was not engaging, even though it had power. Did The Maze with only the front locker:

    Back to the shop she went. By December 2016, she was warrantied and the rear locker was swapped. February 2017, new JCR stubby front bumper (with hood hoop and stinger) and 9500lbs winch.

    April 2017, LED dash and interior overhead/floor lighting conversion (intense blue and cool white):



    As of 2017, here’s the list of random maintenance I’ve done to her:
    New spark plugs, 4 new O2 sensors, new exhaust (3 new cats, new muffler, all new pipe), HID headlight conversion (dual beam), LED side marker and turn signal conversion, new battery, valve cover gasket (took 8 hours), evap canister, purge solenoid, 4 LED flood pods (1800 lumens), new thermostat & gasket, 4” aluminum seat risers, tranny flush, filter and AMSOIL add, t-case flush and AMSOIL add and 2 new front U-joints (which broke after driving through Rattlesnake Canyon for an hour, right as we reached the gatekeeper for Motino Wash:

    Here are some pictures of my rig over the years:
    CTI Flex:


    Two Leaf


    Sand Hollow

    Big Bear

    Last edited by Skirmish; 07-12-2017, 12:42 PM.
    2012 JK

  • #2
    Congrats! Well deserved, you sure have put in some work, that for sure!
    (Chevy) Dave


    • #3
      Originally posted by whitels1
      Congrats! Well deserved, you sure have put in some work, that for sure!
      What deserves to be mentioned is that she did most of the work herself.

      Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using Tapatalk

      \'93 YJ


      • #4
        And somewhere in there, I coated the frame in Chassis Saver.
        \'05 LJR


        • #5
          Awesome rig. Congrats!

          Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk

          2010 Deep Ocean Blue JKU sport, 3.5 Metalcloak springs, front upper and lower control arms, and steering stabilizer flip kit, onboard air, JCR Mauler front bumper, BFG 35x12.5" MT\'s on Pro Comp wheels and Rubicon axles.


          • #6
            Were most of your clearance issues with the UCF belly skid due to the 241 t-case, auto tranny, or something different? I talked with David on the trail about doing the same skid but I'm hoping I won't have too many issues (smaller 231 here). Awesome rig by the way!


            • #7
              Originally posted by Wrangler93 View Post
              What deserves to be mentioned is that she did most of the work herself.

              Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N910A using Tapatalk
              That's even more impressive, great work!
              (Chevy) Dave