SilicaRich's Overland TJ Rubicon Build


Wandering Inverted
Hello guys and gals. I'm also a member of Wrangler Forum, however, my build plans don't quite satisfy the tastes of most there so I've come here, although, if I ever have tech problems I'll likely be making trips back over. I'm new to this forum and thought I would go ahead and post up my TJ Rubicon's build sheet from the day I bought my TJ to today, I do apologize ahead of time as I do not have all the photos anymore to document every step I've taken towards my build.

In October, 2013 I bought my 2005 Jeep TJ Rubicon with 33506 miles. Here's what was on her upon purchase:

-Paint Code PV5 (Impact Orange)
-6 speed NSG-370 (had the common bent shift fork issue so reverse did jump out)
-Front & Rear Dana 44s with factory lockers
-factory fog switch and harness w/ out fog lights
-factory 4.10 gearing
-factory 241 transfer case
-factory radio and speakers
-factory grey hardtop (Yes grey! 2005 was somewhat the oddball year lol)
-factory 242 (4.0) engine
*Yes there are other factory items that came with the Jeep but they are more boring than what was previously listed so I won't be listing every. little. detail:)

(Mods by original owner)
-4" Pro Comp lift
-33"x12.5"R15 ******** Cepek Radials
-15"x10" Pro Comp Aluminum rims
-Ranchhand Front Bullbar
-IPF H4 Headlight conversion


By February of 2014, I had made a few more additional mods:

-swapped the Ranchhand for an ARB Deluxe Bullbar
-ARB bumper w/ tire carrier
-Warn M8000 w/ steel cable
-AFE CAI intake (my stock one had a massive hole in the box:Wow1:)
-Magna Flow exhaust kit
-Smittybilt nerf bars
-Smittybilt GEAR seat covers
-Smittybilt overhead GEAR console
-new Pro Comp stabilizer
-Bilstein 5100s
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In Summer of 2014, I suffered a blown sidewall from absolutely nothing and decided it would be smart to invest in some higher quality tires. I ordered set of 33"x10.5"R15 BFG KOs and a set of 15"x8" Pro Comp 7069 Series
Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 5.35.21 PM.jpg
Afterwards I scheduled a trip to Colorado with my brothers and dad to get my first taste of offroad and test out the Jeep. It was an absolute blast and the Jeep performed flawlessly.

*I'll post up an album of my Colorado trip later

I'll go ahead and skip ahead to the current product today (September 2015):
-Gobi Ranger Rack (I need to post a write up of this installation)
-IPF 968 Series lights
-New NSG-370 shifter assembly
-New clutch
-New throwout bearing
-New pressure plate
-Trek Armor seat covers (Smittybilt GEAR covers are POS)
-Removed Smittybilt GEAR console (POS)

As of now, I'm fairly at a dead stop with mods, however, the ultimate goal of this build is to be a fully functional, daily drivable, overland Jeep. Although I've taken some strong steps in the right direction towards this build, I still believe I'm far from my finished product and I'm currently NOT overland ready.

Here's a list of absolute needs I believe I need (these are subject to opinion and please feel free to comment your ideas):

-CB Radio
-Replacement OPDA (If don't understand read up on Jeep Laughing Monkeys)
-Get a vibe figured out that occurs when I brake at higher speeds
-Air compressor
-figure out transmission noise and get it sorted out under its warranty

Here's a list of wants that are also subject to needs (again feel free to comment regarding what's listed)

-Currie Johnny Joints and adjustable control arms
-2" to 3" replacement lift
-Jerry can mount (spare tire mounted preferably)
-Tuffy overhead console
-Tuffy center console
-aftermarket radio

This is just the list so far guys and probably missed somethings and it will likely be fairly slow. I'm now a freshman engineering student at the University of Arkansas so school work is always first. However, I'm looking forward to being apart of this forum and becoming a part of the overland community.:wings:
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Very nice, and I like where you're going with it! I have to agree with your decision to ditch the tall lift. 2-3" would be perfect for that Jeep, and Pro-comp suspension is junk. I'm not saying that out of internet snobbery, purely experience. I'm not sure what TJ lifts are best, but I've been super happy with my Old Man Emu setup on the JKU so far.


Wandering Inverted
Super nice jeep. Welcome to Expo.
Thanks! I look forward to it
Very nice, and I like where you're going with it! I have to agree with your decision to ditch the tall lift. 2-3" would be perfect for that Jeep, and Pro-comp suspension is junk. I'm not saying that out of internet snobbery, purely experience. I'm not sure what TJ lifts are best, but I've been super happy with my Old Man Emu setup on the JKU so far.
Thank you! I totally agree with you, Pro Comp springs though are actually not too bad, it's their shocks that are horrific. Problem is that these springs are probably between 6 or 7 years old and have definitely run their course. Pro Comp springs are decent but are definitely cheap and not designed for quality for a prolonged period of time. I'm thinking about either running a 2" to 3" frankenlift or just dumping the money on the OME HD kit. Either way, I plan to run OME HD springs. Thing is that I love my 5100s and if I get the OME kit, I will likely swap out the Nitrochargers immediately (I'm NOT doubting their quality) for the Bilsteins. This will be sorted out though when I have the money to invest in it:). Currently my biggest dilemma on 'wants' is whether to run 265s or 285s. To my knowledge 265s are really 31.6" in diameter, however, I've heard they are more of 31"s once mounted, and 285s are really 32.8" in diameter but I've heard they are closer to 32s once mounted. In the end, I really just want to run 32"s since that still makes me plenty capable yet very road friendly at the same time. Plus 4.10s with my transmission are the proper ratio to run 32"s, means no regearing for me. Decisions, decisions, decisions:)

Dan Grec

Expedition Leader
Very nice!, makes me miss my brilliant little TJ.

I still see an LJ Rubicon in my distant future.



I am also happy with my bilstein 5100's. I am sure you can just get the springs from any OME dealer without paying for the OME shocks. I put a rough country 2.5" lift on mine. I like the springs but had to upgrade the shocks. Point being the high end shocks made a huge difference.


Wandering Inverted
Summer of 2014 Colorado trip albums are up!

Just a heads up, I have uploaded several photos of my Colorado trip from last Summer and should be available to look at on my profile. Again, just a side note, to go into chronological order, start at the last page of each photo album.


New member
Nice to see another TJ getting some overland treatment. Jeep forums just seem to care about crawling over rocks, just not my style. Good luck with it.

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Wandering Inverted
Winter Plans

Nice to see another TJ getting some overland treatment. Jeep forums just seem to care about crawling over rocks, just not my style. Good luck with it.
Thank you for the encouragement. Also, very pleased to know that there are other TJ owners out there that share a passion other than building a rock crawler. Best of luck to you too, and I'm drooling over your trailer :drool:

Also a quick revision on my list of mods mentioned on my first post;

-I forgot to mention limb risers which would fall under 'wants', however, I feel that I could build my own for much cheaper than the kits available. If anyone has or knows a write up on some homemade limb risers for their TJ with no drilling (into the hood or body) please let me know
-Also, I'm considering pulling off and selling my Smittybilt nerf bars. So far they are the only Smittybilt product that hasn't been a royal pain for me, but have now run their coarse. I barely even use them to get in the Jeep, 6' with long legs has its benefits. I would much rather invest in rock sliders that have a dual purpose, but again that will have to wait because of cost reasons.
*Another thing I forgot to mention is some trimming on my rear bumper. My rear sway bars for my rack rub slightly and I need to take a Dremmel or some sort of cutting tool and trim off another .5-1 cm

I also have some winter plans for when I get back into Houston that I'll go ahead and share. Like stated, I already have a seller lined up to pick up a set of OME 16"x8" Moabs for $250. These also come with a set of 31" BFG KOs, 4 with 80% tread and one with 60%. I intend to remove the rims to be put in storage and immediately throw the set of tires up on CL for $550, however, I expect to sell them for $450. With that money I then intend to invest in a Crown or Dorman replacement OPDA for $110 (safety blanket to avoid Laughing Monkey issue in 05-06 models). After that I'll have some spare cash that I think I'll just keep to invest in later mods and maybe spend a little on cheap interior mods (Dash lighting, LED strips, shifter cloth, and I'm looking at buying a wood burl shift knob from a guy on Wrangler Forum that makes them as a hobby).
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New member
Two of the biggest improvements that I made to my TJ were more comfortable seats and better headlights, sorting out the previous owners lift was one of my first additions to get it to a point where I felt comfortable hitting the road with my family and I am happy with what I changed but I wish I would have bought the seats right off. My 98 had a reman engine put into it right before I bought it but I have had the fun of replacing just about all the other wear items that always come out of nowhere. Keep a good $400 on hand for the unknowns and when you do replace something buy the good stuff. Header or exhaust manifold you only want to do once along with a good radiator. Cage was also one of the things I was on the fence about but after seeing how little protection the factory stuff has it was a easy decision when the funds allowed. I'm putting in a Tera low conversion this weekend on mine to get close to a 4-1 low range to help out on the inclines and just to freshen up the tired transfer case. Its been a while since the SYE and it has been marking its territory after long trips in the heat we have been having.


Wandering Inverted
Off to Big Bend!

Great news! My brothers, dad, and I are getting a trip together over my winter break to hit Big Bend. I don't have much for details besides a phone call with my dad but expect more details to come up in the next few months.