Building the LJ and TJ Jeep Wrangler for Overlanding
Show Notes for Podcast Episode #54
Building the LJ and TJ Jeep Wrangler for Overlanding
Matt Scott shares his recent purchase of a 2006 Jeep Wrangler LJ Rubicon, and the challenges of modifying it properly for both trail and travel. Matt and Scott discuss available aftermarket components, and the joys of a simple Jeep.
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Full Transcription below:
[00:00:00] Scott Brady: Hello and welcome to the Overland Journal podcast. I am your host, Scott Brady and I am with my cohost, Matt Scott in the house and we are enjoying a Papago orange blossom beer because I prefer fruity beers as well.
Matt Scott: As do I.
Scott Brady: There you go. Now you know all you need to know about overlanding.
Matt Scott: People always say that we like girly drinks. They're just better.
Scott Brady: They just taste better. To me at least.
Matt Scott: I don't know. Like, I just never got the taste for like, Hmm I want to drink something that's very high alcohol that tastes like peat.
Scott Brady: Yeah and somehow when you look like a Neanderthal, you can drink a girly beer and it just seems to be fine.
Matt Scott: I just don't care what people think... so.
Scott Brady: Well, you have the advantage of not looking like a Neanderthal.
Matt Scott: I mean, it's just oranges are better than dirt.
Scott Brady: Or IPA's.
Matt Scott: IPA's are like the male... Okay. If the basic B word female thing is the [00:01:00] frappuccino. The basic bro thing.
Scott Brady: IPA.
Matt Scott: IPA.
Scott Brady: I think you're right.
Matt Scott: The Frappuccinos for men. It's always...
Scott Brady: It's true. No, it's true.
Matt Scott: I can't do them. It's the bitter, like I can't... I just don't.
Scott Brady: First drink is okay and then you, by the time you're halfway done. You're like, why am I still drinking this? That's how I feel. This one's refreshing.
Matt Scott: I'm happy with my choices. I guess other people can be happy with theirs, even though they're clearly inferior... so. Not the people, but their choices of alcohol.
Scott Brady: Lets talk about something that's not inferior, like your new TJ long wheel base, which is awesome.
Matt Scott: Yeah. So I bought a 2006 Wrangler unlimited Rubicon. I guess in the Jeep sphere that's kind of a unicorn.
Scott Brady: It is. They're super rare.
Matt Scott: I haven't looked up the exact production figure, but I think it's, I've seen, I've read that they made 10,000 unlimited Rubicons. I've read that they've made 14,000 unlimited Rubicon. On the unlimiteds, which for anybody that's [00:02:00] not listening, they made them for two years while the Jeep TJ was made from 97 to 2006. The unlimited was only made for 2005 and 2006 model years, which makes it fairly special.
Scott Brady: I mean, by any standards, 14,000 units of something is rare, right? There's like very special cars that are only at 14,000.
Matt Scott: They made 14,000 Ferrari 458s.
Scott Brady: There you go.
Matt Scott: It's just a random figure.
Scott Brady: That's how rare they are.
Matt Scott: Yeah. I really like it.
Scott Brady: It's kind of like Ferrari red.
Matt Scott: It's kind of like Ferrari red. It would really match a Ferrari really well, you know? So I bought this thing and I bought it on eBay.
Scott Brady: How did that go?
Matt Scott: Listen, like the eBay side is what it is. They're just the facilitator. But I will just say that the guy didn't clean the two inches of dog hair out of the cup holders, and I drove it [00:03:00] like two miles to the little country gas station by my house. It was like sputtering to get into the thing all eight control arms gone. All aftermarket stuff. Both track bars gone.
Scott Brady: How many miles do you think were on that suspension?
Matt Scott: That I don't know. I think it was like Skyjacker or whatever... something like that. Terrible. I mean, literally like the parts were... the car was from 2006. So let's just say that they were put on in 2006, they were falling apart. I mean, the truck only has 90,000 miles on it.
Scott Brady: That's not a lot of miles.
Matt Scott: It's not a lot of miles. The OE stuff wouldn't have even been in. Actually, there were two stock upper control arms...
Scott Brady: Like in the back?
Matt Scott: In the back, which are the ones you actually want to replace because of pinion angles. So [00:04:00] the experience of buying it sight unseen at night... yeah, it was what it was like, I got a pretty good deal on it.
Scott Brady: That's right. You did get a fair deal.
Matt Scott: And I got a pretty big deal on it. But you know, any of the stuff that was on there I had to replace.
Scott Brady: Now that top was kind of rare.
Matt Scott: That was the reason why we bought it. So it had a paint matched safari top on it. The company that makes them, I want to say it's great tops, it was... I don't know if it was their project vehicle or it was like a family members truck that they used as a show display vehicle. So the entire Jeep was repainted when the top went on. And the cool thing with that is it matches perfectly. That's really nice. Everything's in good shape on it it's just that there were really subpar parts put on it and I [00:05:00] think, you know, that just verifies what I've been saying for a really long time is buy once cry once, like we put TeraFlex control arms and stuff on there, and I know that that stuff will last a long time, and it's serviceable instead of being able to replace a bushing I had to throw away in an eight control arm. So yeah, you probably saved yourself like a Big Mac by going with some crappy Jeep lift, but what's the long-term here. That's actually the thing, you know... what I'm trying with this LJ... so I'm trying to build a classy Jeep and it is to me.... the TJ LJ shares way more in common with a world war two Jeep than it does mine being a 2006, then a 2007 JK. There's not much really in common with them on the JK side, but this still has a tub. It still has the straight [00:06:00] six. It's still a... it's a Jeep. Right? I'm not saying that the JKs in jails and stuff. I mean they're immensely better vehicles.
Scott Brady: Yeah. They were revolutionary as opposed to the TJ being evolutionary from the YJ and from the the CJ and everything else.
Matt Scott: So, you know, the plan is to just kind of have like this modern classic project that we can... well one it provides some perspective for me as to how crazy these cars have gotten. One of my dream cars when I was in high school was an LJ. That was the cool car. That was the cool Jeep.
Scott Brady: It was, it still is.
Matt Scott: It still is the cool Jeep. So I'd like to have one that's just not ruined. Unfortunately, you can't just send it to AEV anymore. You can't get the fender flares and the Highline stuff, which is, if anybody is listening that has a set of Highline fenders. [00:07:00] I will give you whatever you want for them.
Scott Brady: Exactly.
Matt Scott: My phone number is [REDACTED]... so the idea is we're going to get some classic looking bumpers. We're not really going to turn it into a rock crawler because... I don't know, my Gladiators probably better than most things.
Scott Brady: But this will also easily do the Rubicon all day long.
Matt Scott: For sure. You know, so it's got those Dana 40 fours.
Scott Brady: And he put on some 1552 wheels, which look great.
Matt Scott: The analog wheels. Yeah. So you know, what we're doing with it is that the theme is modern classic and with this safari top, I think it's going to be a really fascinating project. We're going to be talking about it on exhibition portal. We're going to be talking about it as a company project through adventure imports on our social so that'll start launching here soon, but we're trying to do a back to basics vehicle. We're not trying to make an old truck new, [00:08:00] you know, the amount of work that you have to do to put 35s on it on a TJ or an LJ is... I mean, you are cutting everything off, and welding on rock crawler, three link, whatever suspension, which is just not something that we're interested in doing. I could buy a stock JL Rubicon for less money and have more capability right off the bat, I know some people will argue with that, but come at me...
Scott Brady: With your IPA.
Matt Scott: With your IPA. Um, yeah, so it'll be fun. Dakar, our rescue Greyhound loves it. We got this bed. We took the back seat out.
Scott Brady: Perfect Dakar transport.
Matt Scott: Well, with the safari top. He can like launch himself into it, cause he's a very big dog. He can launch himself into the back and he doesn't like hit anything and then he has this bed that's half [00:09:00] the size of Texas in the back and he has like this little window on the safari top that he like sticks his nose out. I'm like...
Scott Brady: Thats so perfect.
Matt Scott: It's... you know, I was looking at CJs. I was looking at FJ forties. I was looking at Series Land Rovers. I was looking at Defenders. I really wanted a Defender 90, but I just like...
Scott Brady: Yeah, it's a big investment.
Matt Scott: Yeah and I just, if I do want to use it, I just don't trust those vehicles really at all. You're either getting a Questionable import at this point or you're getting something that somebody has touched in an effort to make a bunch of money on and flip it and, you know, they put quilted Northern seats everywhere, like with like the cross stitching, because apparently that just makes an agricultural tractor a luxury vehicle. So yeah, the [00:10:00] whole defender thing just got really annoying. So we kind of are just going to do our own thing.
Scott Brady: It's perfect.
Matt Scott: It's a classic car that just happens to have been built in 2006.
Scott Brady: Yeah, it's perfect.
Matt Scott: It's one of those things that, you know, it kept going. Whether or not the TJ in hindsight should have run as long as it did, knowing how much of an evolution the JK was. It's interesting.
Scott Brady: It's a fun Jeep to drive around.
Matt Scott: It's fun. It's fun.
Scott Brady: That's what it should be.
Matt Scott: Not gonna do any kind of crazy lifts or anything. The plan is to build a simple vehicle that is attainable for most people. What we're doing to granted this LJ applies to stuff that people can do in a, you know, a YJ or a TJ or anything. The idea is that you don't need every widget you don't need massive tires. You don't need crazy suspension. You don't [00:11:00] need frivolous stuff. Just go out and have a fun time.
Scott Brady: You really don't. I mean... and maybe we just like riff on TJ's for a while longer.
Scott Brady: So on the TJs, I remember, I mean the only new car I ever bought up until recently was a 2000 TJ. So I had a 2000 TJ Sahara that I bought when I was still working in manufacturing. It was the first time I've ever bought a new car. I bought it down in Phoenix. I mean I felt like I like won the personal lottery that I just finally got to that point in my life that I could afford a car payment like [00:12:00] that and that I could afford to have a new vehicle and I had this Venture Craft trailer that was this little pop top trailer and it was also white and I put matching Sahara fenders on it. And I did very little to that vehicle. I did an ARB front bumper to it and a Warren winch and I installed a two-inch TeraFlex suspension system on it with the lower control arm. So I could adjust for the death wobble and all that stuff. Yep. And that was it. I eventually put some steel TJ wheels on it with 33 by 10 50 tires on it eventually, but I ran the stock tires for a long time. The thing I didn't like about it was the three speed automatic. That was terrible, and so is yours a four speed?
Matt Scott: Mine's a four speed, but it's electronically controlled.
Scott Brady: So that's a big advantage.
Matt Scott: It's basically the [00:13:00] same trends that carried over into the JK. Okay. I'm not saying that. It's great. I'm just saying that it's better than...
Scott Brady: Way better than a three speed. The three speed was rough, but it was such a fun vehicle and I drove it all over Arizona. I mean, it was so capable right out of the box. I mean, it's just incredible how capable a stock Wrangler is even of that era, and then a mutual friend of ours, Brian Dearman, around the same time when I started to meet all these guys on the various forums before everything was even called overlanding. This was back in the four-wheel drive trips forum days. And Brian Dearman, who's been a long time member of the community, he goes to the Overland expos, well traveled. He bought a maybe... what was the first year of the Rubicon TJ.
Matt Scott: 2003.
Scott Brady: Okay. So he bought the first year of the Rubicon and he... because he wanted to not affect the warranty. He drove that thing [00:14:00] everywhere stock, like bone stock.
Matt Scott: The form factor of them is what really gives them the capability. They're pretty small vehicles. The axles stick out much farther. Their wheels and tires stick out much further than the body, you know, amazing approach, amazing departure, amazing-ish break-over cause they had that... the transmission skid plate or transfer case skid plate hangs way down. They're fascinating.
Scott Brady: I remember this was early in like my more four-wheeling centric days and Brian went... he did all the trips that we did, all the stuff we did down to Mexico. He also did all of the really hard trails that we did in Arizona and then in, I think maybe around 2004, I did my first trip across the Rubicon. I had a YJ at that point that I'd done like [00:15:00] the full ARB kit to and the reason why I did that is when I was in the air force. I went on this club run one time in Idaho, and there was this couple that showed up with like a brand new YJ that the ARB catalog had been thrown out and it had like 33 9 50s, old man EMU, air lockers front and rear. It was so clean and I just remember just being wide eyed, like this is the coolest Jeep I've ever seen and of course it did everything on the club run easily because it was dual locked and most of us could maybe afford a locker for the rear or whatever. So I always wanted to build a YJ like that and I did. I ended up building a really nice YJ. It was the first vehicle I drove across a Rubicon, but the guy that came along and his name escapes me right now, but he also had a stock 2003, 2004 Rubicon TJ unmodified and we went through the whole Rubicon together and neither of us had any issues. I think I [00:16:00] bent my exhaust a little bit. I just remember being terrified as I first went into the gatekeeper back when there was a gate keeper on the Rubicon and there was these huge rock crawlers all around, getting welded and grinders are going and I'm thinking, what have I done? I'm never going to... and of course it was no big deal. If you just drive on the main trail and not drive like an idiot, but yeah, it was such a fun experience and it shows just how capable these very stock or near stock vehicles really are.
Matt Scott: Yeah. I mean, I think the process that we've had with ours... starting to build it. We have some longer term really fun plans with the car, and kind of like I was saying initially that it showed up in a lot worse shape than we thought it was. So we kind of had to do a lateral and fix the stuff so we could actually drive it in the meantime, [00:17:00] but it's a nice thing to be able to go back to the TJ LJ. Cause it makes you realize how much jeep has actually listened to their customer. I think if you walked into the Jeep world in JK or even JL, you're like, oh these things are just amazing. Like 37s? Yeah cool, whatever. Well, if I want to put 37s on my LJ and I want to do it right.
Scott Brady: It's a huge endeavor.
Matt Scott: It's a process. Like, I mean, you're talking. Axles you're talking. I mean...
Scott Brady: Highline, fenders, all that.
Matt Scott: It's a big deal, and I think that we kind of get a little too comfortable with how easy these vehicles are to modify, because clearly somebody's kind of been listening. Like the fact that I can do a basic two-inch lift. I mean, I'm talking... I do Springs and I do [00:18:00] shocks and like some Sway bar extensions. A factory Mopar lift on a JL or a Gladiator fits 37 inch tires. I would have to... I would have to cut everything basically down to a bare frame if I wanted to do it right. To do 37s on that car. So that's why when you're in the Rubicon, so much stuff was breaking is because Billy Bob decided to weld this on there. And the other thing... nevermind with that. But the thing that we've realized, it's really hard to get good quality Jeep stuff. We bought a lot of products for this initially that we just ended up sending back cause we're like, you sell this to people?
Scott Brady: Why do you think that is?
Matt Scott: I don't know. The amount of junk suspension stuff that is out there for the TJ. The amount of junk bumpers. I don't know if people look at these vehicles as being [00:19:00] disposable.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Or maybe it's just a, so it looks a certain way maybe.
Matt Scott: Yeah. Maybe they're not functional accessories. The stuff that is very functional has a drastically different aesthetic than what I'm looking for. I want to be able to in an Overland truck I want to be able to hit a deer and I want to be able to not be stranded. Well, when you cut the fenders off and you're running a hood and a bumper, that's two inches wider than your frame rails. Like that's the style for TJs and LJs and everything right now is to turn it into this rock crawler. Even though... I mean, I guess if you're looking for a body and a frame. I mean, you're replacing everything else.
Scott Brady: I think they can work, and that's maybe the joy of the Jeep is that you can buy a stock one, take the top off and just have an awesome daily driver. You can also take a JK or a [00:20:00] JL. Slap forties on it with some, with some axel upgrades and that works too as a rock crawler, and then you can also easily travel with them and part of what inspired us to want to talk about the TJ and the TJ long wheel base is the fact that people like Dan Grech
Matt Scott: Drove the Pan-American in his.
Scott Brady: When he drove the Pan-American highway, he took a soft top stalker TJ and did the entire length of it and had a great time, and I think one of the things that's most endearing about his story is that he had dreadlocks and this guy just wanted to go travel to Ushuaia and he's like, I'm going to take my Jeep. He didn't even think about what stuff do I have to put on it, or how do I need to modify this vehicle? He literally, with a soft top... like the things that we would never recommend people do, he did with ease and like he didn't get his Jeep stolen and you think about a soft top, like, oh [00:21:00] you're going to get...
Matt Scott: Well here's the argument is... yeah. The idea of driving a TJ to Ushuaia sounds crazy, but the idea of driving a BJ 70 with a quarter of the horsepower and worst suspension suddenly sounds great. Or an FJ 40 sounds romantic, right? You know, this is to me the TJ is that, you know, if we think if we were to fast forward 10, 15 years, think how archaic that vehicle is going to be. I mean, it's a steel tub. You know, there's not much going on with it. There's really no... does it have ABS?
Scott Brady: Some of them did later.
Matt Scott: I think it does. I think mine would cause that's an 06, but you know, maybe they have abs like... You know, bed lining the inside is a upgrade. Yeah.
Scott Brady: I think that's what makes [00:22:00] them, I think a unique consideration is that they're not that expensive when you compare to most Jeeps. Jeeps will always be expensive for their time because they're timeless. Right? So they'll always be valuable, which is another thing that I think makes them an advantage. So you do something like Dan Grech did where you drive this TJ all the way down. I bet you can bring that thing back and sell it essentially what you bought it for.
Matt Scott: And the parts are so cheap. Like I want to say, I've said before, like that the XJ is a great vehicle to travel in because... but an XJ and TJ are functionally the same thing. For most of their drive-line componentry and things. Like after going through the 80 series thing of, you know, $1,700 factory alternator for that car. Parts are just insanely expensive. Now that's Toyota stuff and the quality of, you know, [00:23:00] early nineties Toyota versus mid two thousands Chrysler. The Toyota stuff's still better full stop, but you're looking at $15 tie rod ends. So yeah, there's your point is that you can take that Jeep to whoever you want. Any mechanic can work on that. If a mechanic can't work on a TJ.
Scott Brady: They shouldn't be a mechanic.
Matt Scott: Run.
Scott Brady: I wonder how prolific they were down in south America. I know that they got them in Argentina, but I don't know much about where else they were in south America.
Matt Scott: They don't really have, I mean... like I had a 99 TJ, that was the terrible one. When I first worked here...
Scott Brady: I remember even then, like you, you had an, a love for that car. Cause it was like your first four-wheel drive.
Matt Scott: There's something about TJs to me that are just simple. Like, I don't [00:24:00] think that a TJ is trying to be anything. Like you don't see TJs with the angry grills that people put on their cars.
Scott Brady: You don't see very many frowning grills on TJs.
Matt Scott: Like very frumpy looking. I mean, you do see some horrible... like that was like the era of shitty builds, right? Like, products that were knocked off by company A, then knocked off by company B, then knocked off by company C.
Scott Brady: They just make them worse
Matt Scott: Knocks off the fourth knockoff of the roof... remember that roof rack that I bought.Not knowing any different than like...
Scott Brady: It was just like wobbling.
Matt Scott: It could have been made of straw.
Scott Brady: You couldn't put anything up there safely.
Matt Scott: Nothing. Again, there's so many bad parts for these things and I think what I'm... you know, one of the reasons why I'm doing this [00:25:00] project is I think that some of these things need to be saved. They can't all be cut up into buggies. Just buy a UTV at that point. Like, I don't know why you're spending $40,000 on, you know, generates suspension even though it's awesome. When you can get like 28 inches of travel out of a Can-Am.
Scott Brady: But I think that's what's happening. I think a lot of that is happening, which is good.That way people can... they can do their UTV thing and yeah. Do their day trips.
Matt Scott: I mean I'm in a weird environment. I recognize that I'm super fortunate to have the things that I have. I mean, I work 14 hours a day so I can have them, and I take a lot of risk, but to have the earth roamer and the gladiator, I've always had a lot of redundancy, whether that's because of a business needs or my vehicle ADD at the time, but I'm excited to go to Moab in this [00:26:00] thing and throw my swag in the back with my dog and like my cooler and just like kinda go back to basics. I'm excited to take it down to Baja. You know, just run it down the beach in San Philippe or whatever. You know, it's maybe not something that I want to live out of for an extended period of time. It's just fun. It's like a four wheel motorcycle. It's a dirt Harley. I mean, that's kind of what JKs... or sorry, what TJs are it seems in prescott at least. There's so many impressive. I mean, there's so many Jeeps in Prescott.
Scott Brady: There are. Certainly the most popular vehicle that I see around town.
Matt Scott: But I think the problem with the TJ is like, how do you build it? Which direction do you go with it? Because these older vehicles as parts become scary. The prices go up and then you have to start maintaining vehicles and replacing things while you're in there.
Scott Brady: And there's no [00:27:00] more AEV suspension for TJ.
Matt Scott: I don't know. Dave? Dave, are you listening?
Scott Brady: Dave... How about a limited run of the Highline vendors, Dave? So what is the go-to suspension options right now? Let's say you want to go with an inch and a half to two inches of lift. What do you typically look at? What are the couple high point options?
Matt Scott: Well... so this is the thing, an inch and a half or two inches of lift gets a 31 inch tire on that car. Like the Rubicon came with thirties stock. They were like 30.5.
Scott Brady: 30 by 9 50s. Yeah, basically.
Matt Scott: 2 45, 65 16s.
Scott Brady: Something like that.
Matt Scott: So we've decided to run a. 2 85, 75 16, which is just under a 33 inch tire. We need four inches of lift to do that, which just like blows [00:28:00] my mind cause you can put that on anything. Like the gladiator comes with that stock now. So as far as, I don't really know, there's so many options that are out there.
Scott Brady: Now what did you go with on yours?
Matt Scott: We did... well, we're working right now with what was on the Jeep, as far as the Springs. We had to do JKS track bars, because of how the frame side was previously drilled out for a Heim joint. Other than that, we're going to pretty much stick to TeraFlex on everything. They still seem to support that vehicle.
Scott Brady: Very much so.
Matt Scott: You know where a lot of other companies have just moved on, which maybe that's why there's so much crap out for these is... I don't know if there's not a market for it or what, yeah we did the TeraFlex arms.
Scott Brady: And what do they have for bushings?
Matt Scott: They have a rubber [00:29:00] bushing in one end and then kind of a Johnny joint style on the other. It's really, really hard to get away from any kind of performance joint.
Scott Brady: Just for noise, right?
Matt Scott: Um, yeah and literally the best that we could find was an arm that had it just on one, which then still attenuates some of that. Then it does give us the flex, you know, again, like going back to how much work these things take to get, you know, mediocre performance out of them by modern standards. There's a lot that you have to do. The kit that I would like to do is, is this TeraFlex long arm orange kit, because right now my angles on my control arms are...
Scott Brady: It's probably why the other ones failed so miserably. I mean if you think of every impact is just not letting the suspension go upwards and travel through a normal range. A lot of that energy is just going right into the joints. Yeah. I think a long arm [00:30:00] makes a lot of sense.
Matt Scott: Theres also these mid arm kits that Jen Right and Savvy do. Those are definitely the high end. But these are... so much of these Jeeps are like still have the king of the hammers rock crawling era, in the same way that the destiny of the Gladiator and the Forerunner and the Tacoma is to become an Overland style truck. The destiny of the TJ was set in 97 because that was the big thing to be a rock crawler. So there's really nobody... nobody is going back to revisit these old platforms because people already...
Scott Brady: They moved on to the JK and the JL.
Matt Scott: There's no empirical reason to choose an LJ or a TJ for Overland travel over anything made after it. Except for smiles and a [00:31:00] challenge
Scott Brady: There's a funk factor that I think is really charming.
Matt Scott: I love it.
Scott Brady: I've seen some really nice clean long wheel-based TJs out there, you know, you look at like a white long wheel base with a little bit of a lift. Or an original Rubicon. With the tan hard top. I think they look great. Put an ARB bumper on the front of it.
Matt Scott: Well that's what we're doing is we're trying to make it just a classic looking vehicle... so I don't know. Whenever you get a new car, you're like what can I do to it? Well, since this is basically a buggy by modern standards, The 2003 to 2008 Ram truck Hemi, powertrain... slides in real nice.
Scott Brady: So is that, is that version 2.0,
Matt Scott: I don't know man... like I know that I [00:32:00] shouldn't, and it's a horrible idea, but there's just something about having like a 400 horsepower, little tiny Jeep to run around town that just... although, we've started to do some trail runs and stuff now with it that it's not going to just evaporate into a million pieces of four wheel parts, crap. So it still rides like junk, you know, it's like you kind of get spoiled. Like you get into the gladiator and you have proper control arm, geometry, you have 37s like it's so much better and then you like go into the parking lot at your trail head and you're like.
Scott Brady: It's like you have, you have to air down just to hear yourself think.
Matt Scott: Yeah, exactly. So, yeah, I'd like to do stupid things.
[00:33:00] Scott Brady: That would be a fun one though. I mean, I would love.
Matt Scott: To just have this ridiculous resto mod, TJ, like I'm going to get excited here. Like if I could put, like I want to say that the six one SRT engine is what is most appropriate for that vehicle. You can do the 392, 64, and all of that stuff.
Scott Brady: Say that all again but slower next time.
Matt Scott: The 6.1 liter SRT, Hemi V8.
Scott Brady: That would be so insane. Like how do you not die when you put that in there?
Matt Scott: I mean, you can put a Hellcat in there if you really want.
Scott Brady: But again, how do you not die with 1960s suspension technology and 700 horsepower? How do you not die?
Matt Scott: Very carefully.
Scott Brady: I guess.
Matt Scott: I mean, it really is 1960s suspension technology. Like honestly, anything that Jeep put on that car in the suspension department, you pretty much have to replace.
Scott Brady: They just had a different [00:34:00] purpose back then. They really did. I mean, the... if you look at the YJ and definitely the TJ was an evolution in the positive way, but these were light duty vehicles. These were meant to be used for the day. You put a couple sleeping bags in the back maybe. They weren't really good with a hard top. They were better with a soft top. They were really just meant to be these light duty recreation... They were their UTV of their day, and they just really aren't meant to be overpowered or overdriven or over tired. They're really not intended for that.
Matt Scott: So that's the, that's the thing, right. Is you can recognize the vehicle for what it is and that's the smart choice... or you can put a Hemi in it. And I have to say, like, it doesn't ride bad. I really think if you know, well, Mike McMods brute [00:35:00] is sitting over here and I'm just like, Mike, if you don't pick that thing up, I'm going to start stealing parts from it. Cause he's got all that AEV nth degree suspension.
Scott Brady: It's all there.
Matt Scott: Like when you lift a TJ or an LJ, like three inches. The spring is at like a...it's like an arc, a weird, it's like a 30 degree radius. I mean, it's weird. So you have to like cut that off and like relocate it to like the center of the hoop of the axle. I'm calling it a hoop. I don't know why I'm calling it a hoop. He's got the little widget that does that for me. And he's got the, like the control arm relocation brackets, which moved them down I want to say like three or four inches. Everything's stock. We can't get that stuff anymore.
Scott Brady: No, you can't.
Matt Scott: Which is fascinating to me, because they need it.
Scott Brady: Yeah for me, if I was going to [00:36:00] focus on the pinnacle, TJ, it really is the brute that's parked next door here at the office.
Matt Scott: Yeah but dack doesn't fit in it.
Scott Brady: That's true. But for me, for Scotty version to have the truck, the pickup truck...
Matt Scott: Well also Arins dog can sit on the center console.
Scott Brady: That's true. That's so true. Chihuahua its still dangerous because of the dog.
Matt Scott: A hundred percent way more likely to get bit by that Chihuahua then my grey hound.
Scott Brady: For sure.
Matt Scott: But we love that Chihuahua.
Scott Brady: We do absolutely no question, but if you take like Highline fender, the low-profile hood. The little cab, so then all the HVAC works great cause it's only trying to cool or heat, like five square feet. And then you've got a six foot bed on the back for me... like, yeah. I mean when I first got that truck here and Mike saying I think I'm going to sell it. I thought very, very seriously about it. It's [00:37:00] got the Cummins three liter turbo diesel in it. A five speed, heavy duty manual transmission.
Matt Scott: It's real good but what I'll tell you is even that Jeep probably needs $20,000 in stuff to make it function as you think it should.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Maybe.
Matt Scott: They're just never ending money pits.
Scott Brady: The only thing I think about on that Jeep at all would be when they tuned it, they didn't get the full RPM range. Like that engine is designed to operate up to 3,200 RPM. It like red lines, or the rev limiter comes in at about 2,850. So it just really affects the usability of the powertrain.
Matt Scott: If that had a V8 in it I'd be over on it. I'd be about it.
Scott Brady: You'd be all about it. I mean, I like the little diesel. You know, we just did a bunch of work on it to get it sorted so maybe it will be [00:38:00] available for sale.
Matt Scott: I think it's really cool.
Scott Brady: And in that color with that rack on there.
Matt Scott: It's beautiful.
Scott Brady: It's the only AEV built brute diesel.
Matt Scott: I mean, it's perfect.
Scott Brady: It is perfect in its own imperfect way.
Matt Scott: Yeah. I mean, LJ s and TJs, they're all just very imperfect. I mean, that's the thing is that it just becomes so much labor and so much time.
Scott Brady: Yeah. And they're also not new, you know? I mean these are older vehicles. These are getting up in age that you've really got to start paying attention to them.
Matt Scott: I think if I was to drop, if I was to decide to drop big money on mine, it would probably be on some dynatrack axles and when you're doing those axles, you then do your long arm or mid arm, like I'm really keen on the Savvy mid arm. It actually welds [00:39:00] onto the frame, which allows you to kind of like tuck up the transfer case a bit more. I like the TeraFlex too, I don't really know. I mean, I think this is... I would love, I would love for... I know that there's people that know way more about TJs and LGs. What works? Reach out. MattExplorer on Instagram.
Scott Brady: Please do. Yeah reach out to us.
Matt Scott: When I'm on Instagram, cause it occasionally annoys me and then I'm like, I'm not giving you my time for free Facebook. I just had to do some like business things on Facebook and they've gone the Microsoft route. Is there like... instead of having like that kind of visionary Steve jobs thing, which is like, no this is the way to do it. This is how you're going to do it. They're trying to accommodate like everyone and everything.
Scott Brady: And now it's impossible to do anything.
Matt Scott: Now its impossible to do anything. Like we were trying to run an ad on adventure imports for... We've got a bunch of max tracks extremes, and that was a good ad right there. No, but so we're like trying to... wow, this is a nice tangent, but we're trying to [00:40:00] like run an ad. We can't even figure this out. Like, cause this account isn't talking to this account. We don't have this installed on here.
Scott Brady: Why make it so difficult to take my money?
Matt Scott: Yeah. I like just, I just want to press a button. Just press the button.
Scott Brady: And that's exactly what Steve jobs would do. You would have a post that you would create and there would be a button on the bottom that you would push to say, promote this post.
Matt Scott: They kind of have this. Then they kind of lie to you.
Scott Brady: Cause then it doesn't then it takes you to six other screens.
Matt Scott: Yeah. Like, then I just get frustrated and yeah. We're just going to sell these things anyway. It's like, why am I wasting my money? Yeah, it's annoying. What were we talking about before I started ranting?
Scott Brady: Thats the thing about social media. It's almost like a TJ.
Matt Scott: TJ, you love it, but then you hate it.
Scott Brady: Then you have to do all this work.
Matt Scott: You love it. And then it's over 85 degrees outside. The AC in mine [00:41:00] also... the mint perfect. Had like a dime sized hole in the air...
Scott Brady: The condenser.
Matt Scott: The condenser. The winch cable was routed underneath the track arm, track bar up front, and then back up. It has not left me in good spirits with...
Scott Brady: With the eBays of the world.
Matt Scott: E-bay, it's not eBay's fault, but I don't know. I mean, like is it crazy to accept, you know, when you pay still decent money for a car that the guy washes it? There was like a quarter inch of mud on the outside. Like, I don't know if the person has looked at it. Like, you know...
Scott Brady: I think a lot of people, they don't really consider enough about how it would feel if they got the same treatment.
[00:42:00] Matt Scott: Yeah, that's a good way of putting it.
Scott Brady: You know, like how would this guy like to receive a truck that he just spent good money that he saved and worked hard for.
Matt Scott: This is going to pay the guy asking price and everything. I don't know. That's basically been the TJ.
Scott Brady: That's the life of buying used cars. I don't think there's much else to talk about TJs, I mean the bumper thing is interesting. Cause you can either, like you said, go super terrible, which means some kind of giant stinger that is socially irresponsible to drive.on the road.
Matt Scott: Why do people think these things are cool.
Scott Brady: They're not, well, I mean, they do have a function as a rock crawler, but the problem...
Matt Scott: When you have an Exo cage yeah. For it to also triangulate upon, otherwise, it just means that there's more weight on the passenger compartment and then you die. So buy more stinger bumpers, if you are the person who wants to have a stinger bumper.
Scott Brady: Yeah. I mean the stinger bumper works really well. If they go way far out there and... or like we had them on the trucks, the Hilux when we were crossing Antarctica, because we didn't want to fall into a [00:43:00] crevasse.
Matt Scott: I see an awful lot of those in malls in Illinois. Like when I go back home to Chicago, which I don't really do.
Scott Brady: But when you do.
Matt Scott: But when I, I do, I see so many stinger bumpers, like they just plague the Midwest, also fake... they're like. It went stinger bumper then fake Beadlocks.
Scott Brady: Yeah, that's right.
Matt Scott: They're terrible.
Scott Brady: Yeah. It was the beginning of the end of rock crawling.
Matt Scott: I do have advice for people that are looking to restore a LJ. It's wonderful. But by a two door LJ, you just, literally, what you do is you take LJ and then you swap the letters and it becomes a JL and you fix all of your problems.
Scott Brady: Now. I think they're charming and I think like, what Dan Grech did driving down to Ushuaia was incredibly charming and I think that if we keep them mostly stockish and where you get [00:44:00] to go to auto zone and you get to buy the $70 alternator and you get to buy the $26 control arm, like I think in my mind it's Rubicon version with like an inch and a half spacer lift and one or two inches taller tire. And then you just drive it.
Matt Scott: I hear that. I hear that.
Scott Brady: Or you go brute that mean that would be my option.
Matt Scott: I'm still hoping that someone out there... someone.
Scott Brady: On the interwebs.
Matt Scott: Someone will have an AEV Highline kit just sitting out there, like maybe it's sitting on a shelf. Maybe it's on your Jeep and you want to get rid of it and you want some nice flame red paint code fenders to put on your Jeep.
Scott Brady: That's it and on that bombshell. So that's our
Matt Scott: I'm out of beer. [00:45:00] I can't talk about TJ has anymore.
Scott Brady: We cannot talk about TJs anymore, but they are cool. Matt has owned two, I've owned one and I have so many great memories of mine. And again, take a look at Dan Grechs trip through the Americas in his soft top TJ.
Matt Scott: He's a YouTuber now.
Scott Brady: Yeah, that's right.
Matt Scott: I mean, I can't give him enough shit for that, but I mean, I'm a podcaster so, you know, we all got to hustle.
Scott Brady: We do.
Matt Scott: I don't know which one's worse.
Scott Brady: They're all some version of worse, right?
Matt Scott: Yeah. I'm just selling myself over the internet. We need to create a Only Fans but for Overlanding.
Scott Brady: Overland fans.
Matt Scott: Pay for my vacation here. I'm sorry. I said that out loud, but yeah. Anyway stay tuned on, I guess the LJ project.
Scott Brady: We'll keep sending updates.
Matt Scott: We're gonna be doing some videos of it, hopefully for portal. You'll see some editorial for it on the front page of extras in portal, you know, you'll be able to follow along on kind of day to day, [00:46:00] I guess, on the adventure imports, social media, which is just @AdventureImports. Practical. Easy.
Scott Brady: And then they can get ahold of you for the Highline kit @MattExplorer.
Matt Scott: And then you can get a hold of me for the Highline kit that somebody out there has or AEV wheels. That is another thing that I'm like... I want to go period correct. I'm like a pretentious snob of four wheel drive. Like I need it to be perfect.
Scott Brady: Yeah. That's okay. You're allowed to have it perfect.
Matt Scott: You know, I'm comfortable with that, but I guess the thing now is figuring out where we're going to take it. Although the next month gets very, very busy with getting married and then going on the honeymoon in the Serengeti.
Scott Brady: Which is going to be awesome.
Matt Scott: It's going to be so awesome. Except for the wedding, neither of us wanted a wedding. We've learned very quickly that the wedding is about everybody, but the people getting married.
Scott Brady: Yeah. That's probably true.
Matt Scott: But [00:47:00] stoked that you're going to be there.
Scott Brady: Well, I'm excited that you're getting married cause Laura is awesome.
Matt Scott: You're gonna be feeding me psycho hallucinogenic drugs.
Scott Brady: I will. We'll be in Colorado. It'll be fine. It's going to be totally fine.
Matt Scott: I don't do psycho hallucinogenic drugs. That was a joke, and on that bombshell.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Thank you all for listening and we will talk to you next time.