Back to Basics: 2006 LJ "Stock+" build

Dean

Adventurist
Founding Member
#1
When I did my first book trip back in 2015 the '04 LJ I have was very mildly built. All it had was a 1" body lift, some 31" A/Ts, a winch, and some armor. Beyond that the Jeep was running on a stock suspension and gearing. Since then the '04 LJ has grown into more of an "adventure" vehicle with a full comprehensive suspension upgrade, front locker, deeper gears, axle shafts, skids, and most recently an LS V8 swap. In some ways it's become a bit removed from my initial goal to model a "budget minded approach" to things.

Enter, this li'l beaut:

2006 LJ (640).jpg

Yup, another LJ.

My goal for this one is three fold. First I need a daily driver and the old '03 WJ I was driving his 337k miles and was getting a little long in the tooth. This LJ only had 76k on the clock when I got it so it's in much better condition and a lot more comfortable to drive. Second, with a goal to get "back to basics" this rig allows me to get out and go without having to worry about the stresses and hassles of driving a "sponsored" rig and everything that goes with it. This is more incognito and carries no obligations with it. Lastly, when the times comes I can compare and contrast a stock+ build against my other modified rig and do some side-by-side stuff using the exact same platform.

Case in point, the first mod I purchased for this rig was a used bike rack. I plan on picking up my bike and my canoe when I head back to PA later this month. As far as future mods, she will get some minor upgrades like mono-tube shocks and smaller (yes, smaller) tires, and a basic M8000 winch (on the stock bumper). Oh, and new lights because everyone knows stock headlights suck on these older Jeeps. Beyond that the goal is to get out and do s***. So far she's lagged a few miles in the Blue Ridge Mountains (hence the dust) and will be doing some more this weekend.

So I'll at least have something "fun" to drive this summer while I sort out the motor/trans issues in my '04.
 
#2
Great platform as you know. I think the reality for the LJ is that to get it really more capable than stock... to the point it is worth it, you are looking at major investment. Funny, somehow not as true with the regular TJ, in my experience. The LJ shines in comparison for an all around use vehicle. More room, better on the highway, better towing ability, still with the benefit of a proven platform, engine, suspension design. Good luck with it!
 

Dean

Adventurist
Founding Member
#3
I think the reality for the LJ is that to get it really more capable than stock... to the point it is worth it, you are looking at major investment.
Yeah, my '04 is pretty well built up and it's super capable. That said, for the "overland thing" stock is fine, so that's what I hoping to advocate for with this build. Plus, reality is I just need a DD at this point and stock is fine for that too.
 
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