A Rock-Ready LJ onthe “Cheap”
When Tim Conaway rolled into the parking lot for final registration and the vendor
show on the first day of the 2017 Jp Dirt ’N Drive presented by Jeep, we knew we were looking at something very special. The paint and bodywork were bright and flashy, but extremely well done. Many of the mods were custom-built by Tim, and as he said, “done on the cheap.” However, nothing looked cheap.
The 2005 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited (LJ) looked like something out of a high-end, professional custom 4x4 shop. Although the engine (4.0L), trans, and transfer case are basically stock, from there on down it gets a lot more fun. The front axle is a narrowed ’83 Ford King
Pin 60 and the rear is a shaved ’95 Chevy C&C 14-Bolt. Both axles were completely rebuilt by Tim, feature custom-made trusses and brackets, and carry 5.13 ARB Air Lockers. Cadillac brakes work the rear.
Tim built a custom suspension system that stretched the already long wheelbase of the LJ another inch in front and 6 inches in the rear, using his own custom-fabricated control arms, shock mounts, and track bars. He does admit that Johnny Joints and Rubicon Express bushings helped make it all work, and TeraFlex SpeedBumps were used front and rear. A Durango steering box works with a hydraulic-assist ram and RuffStuff high-steer arms to wrangle the huge 40x13.50R17LT Toyo Open Country M/T tires mounted on 17x9.5 Raceline Monster wheels.
To save even more cash (for future Jeeps and bigger and better mods later), Tim also made the front and rear bumpers, bellypan, front fenders, rock sliders, and the highline hood. If you can’t tell from the photos, take our word for it—the custom fabrication work is top-shelf stuff. Tim’s ’05 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited LJ was just the sort of rig we like to see on the Jp Dirt ’N Drive presented by Jeep. It was well built, with a rich blend of good accessory equipment, custom builder parts available in the aftermarket, and owner-built parts and pieces that Tom fabricated to best fit his specific four-wheeling needs.