2004 Jeep TJ Rubicon Custom Build
Custom Build Jeep

2004 Jeep TJ Rubicon Custom Build

  • Base for build 2004 Jeep TJ Rubicon
  • Complete frame off build
  • Built for Overland Use with Rock Crawl Capabilities

2004 Jeep TJ Rubicon Custom Build

As long as I can remember I always wanted to build a vehicle for off road travel … more overland but able to crawl the rocks when necessary. It's that Eagle Scout mentality that I developed during Boy Scouts … be prepared. For years I drove a Toyota Land Cruiser FJ40 and FJ60. I drove these two Land Cruisers for nearly 700,000 miles. When it came time to get a new vehicle to replace my 2000 Chev Tahoe I decided it was time to get something I really wanted. I looked into another Land Cruiser FJ40 but to get one that had been restored would set me back in the neighborhood of $45-60k without it being hardened for off-road travel. Clearly a project that could cost me near $60-80k. A lot more than I wanted to spend or had to spend. So I embarked on building this 2004 Jeep TJ Rubicon in the early spring of 2018. The 2004 Rubicon was a logical choice as a starting platform. It came with front and rear lockers on Dana 44 axles … a great foundation. The engine was pretty bulletproof. Not too big, not too small. Lots of parts and options available. Finding one with the right history turned out to not be a big issue. Davis Auto in Richmond, VA had just started stripping down a 2004 that only 100k miles and had only been driven for about 6-7k miles in the last 8 years. To top it all off, this Jeep had never seen salt. Working with Davis Auto and doing some of the work myself, this is what we came up with. It is not perfect but damn close to it. And, given enough extra money, I could make it perfect. But for today, really, really close to perfect is all I need. The initial build was completed in July 2018 with the usual ongoing additions/upgrades/etc that all Jeep owners go through.

Dupont Kevlar Exterior. The Rubicon body was stripped and a two tone graphite gray and black finish was applied. This Kevlar will hold up in the toughest environments and will require no attention other than a rinse off. The Kevlar process was about a 8 day procedure to strip the entire body, prep and spray. It is sprayed with a commercial application system, much like Line-X, using industrial grade equipment. Three coats of this was applied to make the exterior as close to indestructible as possible.

Remaining things on this build … it never ends. There are two remaining things I want to add to this build … beadlock wheels and a supercharger. I haven't decided on which beadlock wheels I want to go with but currently leaning toward the Black Rhino Garrison Matte Black Wheel or Hutchinson D.O.T. Beadlock Wheels (about $1,200). For the supercharger, I am definitely going with a Sprintex Supercharger - #257A1001 (about $3,600). If I hit the lottery, I'll replace the axles with Dynatrac Pro Rock Series 60 Rear Axle Assemblies with Detroit Locker or G2 Axle & Gear Front Core 44 Axle Assembly with Eaton E-Locker. One can always dream.

Even with the beadlock wheels I'm sticking with 35" tires. 37" tires will require me to regear from 4.10 that is currently in it and is too hard on the wheel bearings. These are two costs that I don't want. At it's current gearing it flies down the highway … does 80 mph without a problem. Also Davis did a great job with the suspension. This jeep tracks perfectly with no bounce or wander – no death wobble here.

Below is a complete build list and a photo gallery of images taken during the build.

Rubicon Photo Gallery

Jeep Rubicon Build Detail Shopping List

My 2004 Jeep TJ Rubicon   Build as of 28Aug2019
Custom Builder - Davis Auto Sports Link  
Product Product URL Cost
Base Vehicle
2004 Rubicon (Blue Book Value-Car Fax)   $14,000.00
Custom Leather Seats Product Link $624.00
Smittybilt Storage Box Product Link $390.00
BedRug Floor Liner Product Link $265.00
BedRug Tailgate Liner Product Link $40.00
H3R Performance HG250B Fire Extinguisher w/ mount Product Link $225.00
Daystar KJ71031 Upper Dash Panel Product Link $20.00
Pioneer AVH-3400NEX (including install) and backup camera Product Link $1,100.00
Polk Audio DB522 DB+ Series 5.25" Coaxial Speakers with Marine Certification, Black Product Link $79.00
Polk Audio DB462 DB+ Series 4"x6" Coaxial Speakers with Marine Certification, Black Product Link $69.00
Metra 72-6512 2 Pin Rectangular Speaker Connector for Select Chrysler Vehicles (2) Product Link $16.94
JBL BassPro SL Product Link $250.00
10 lbs. Power Tank Package C w/ Roll Bar Mount Product Link $780.00
Viper Security System/Remote Start 5305V (including install) Product Link $650.00
Cobra C 75 WX ST CB Product Link $120.00
GraBars Front Handles (Wild Boar) Product Link $40.00
WeatherTech Front Mats Product Link $55.00
Workman NF-40 CB Radio / Stereo Power Noise Filter Product Link $27.00
Jeep Steering Wheel Cover Product Link $10.96
Smittybilt 791005 Clinometer Product Link $25.99
GPCA Hardtop/cover Quick-Release/Removal Thumb Screw + Washer + Tie-Down D-Rings Kit Product Link $36.95
Speed Dawg M504JP-EBK-5RDR Shift Knob Product Link $65.97
Takavu RR-2-3-1 Car Ashtray Product Link $17.97
Hi-Lift Jack RC-875 Roll Cage Mount (For Jeep JK) Product Link $57.99
RAM X-Grip Large Phone Mount with Handlebar U-Bolt Base Product Link $60.99
Crown Automotive Blower Motor Product Link $79.99
Misch 4X4 JBBTJ250D BigBoy Driver Side Bracket Product Link $76.95
Smittybilt G.E.A.R. Overhead Console for 97-06 Jeep Wrangler TJ & Unlimited Product Link $180.00
Midland - MXT400, 40 Watt GMRS MicroMobile Two-Way Radio Product Link $250.00
Rugged Ridge 13551.07 CB Radio Mount Windshield* Product Link $27.43
Cyclone LED 2-Light Universal Under Hood Lighting Kit - KC #355 Product Link $89.00
Rampage Products 779301 Extreme Sport Grab Handles   $13.59
Ram Mounts (RAM-B-149Z-UN9U Handlebar Rail Mount with Zinc Coated U-Bolt Base and Universal X-Grip Iii Holder for Large Tablets Product Link $100.49
Pioneer NDBC8 Universal CMOS Surface Mount Backup Camera Product Link $68.96
Coiled Phone Cable for Car (4 Feet, 1.2 Meters), Retractable Car Charger Cable - Black Product Link $15.78
Vertical Bulb Trim Seal Bulb Diameter: 0.55" Flange Size: 0.039" to 0.14" (5 Feet) Product Link $9.99
Exterior Lighting    
20" Cree LED Light Bar Product Link $160.00
Rear Backup Lights $150.00
KC HiLiTES Jeep TJ 97-06 LED Front/Read Marker Lights - Blackout $370.00
10" Cree LED Light Bar Product Link $140.00
Rigid Industries 55008 7" Round Headlight, Set of 2 (Heated, Non JK) Product Link $495.00
KC Lites 8" Pro-Sport HID Pair Pack System - Black - KC #851 Product Link $249.99
KC Lites 519 LED Area Flood Light System (C Series C2 Pair) 2 Pairs Product Link $195.18
Light Switches Product Link $97.00
Rough Country MLC-6 Multiple Light Controller Switch Hub Product Link $200.00
Exterior Items    
Rampage Products 76610 Semi-Gloss Black Rear Recovery Bumper with Swing Away Tire Mount Product Link $620.00
Bushwacker 10920-07 Flat Style Flares Product Link $550.00
Inner Fender Liners Front   $150.00
Inner Fender Liners Rear   $150.00
Factor 55 Pro Loaded - Red Product Link $143.00
Poison Spyder Hood Louver Product Link $139.00
Wind Deflector, roof rack Product Link $158.00
Track Rack, Sport Series Product Link $771.00
Rotopax Mount, 4-Gallon Gas, Roof Rack, Square Tubing (2) Product Link $94.00
Rotopax 4 Gallon Gasoline Container Product Link $99.95
Rotopax LOX Pack Mount (2) Product Link $119.90
Drake Off Road JP-190021-LK Locking Hood Hold Downs Product Link $140.00
Quadratec Stainless Steel CB Antenna Mount with CB Antenna Product Link $125.00
MicroMobile® MXTA11 6db Gain Antenna and Hardware Product Link $80.00
CARR® 110551 - LD Black Hoop Steps Product Link $150.00
Warn VR10-S Winch Product Link $794.00
ARB 3450150 Quadratec Edition Front Stubby Bull Bar Bumper Product Link $542.00
Paramount Automotive 97-06 JEEP WRANGLER TJ ROCKER GUARD W/ STEP BOARD (2) Product Link $424.00
Dupont Kevlar Coating   $3,900.00
Rugged Ridge Black Aluminum Locking Gas Hatch Cover * Product Link $89.99
Rugged Ridge 11229.01 Black Powder-Coated Non-Locking Gas Door Cover Product Link $60.00
Bolt Lock® - Jeep Spare Tire Lock Product Link $47.80
Custom Spare Tire Cover* Product Link $90.00
Maximus-3 Front License Plate Mounting Brackets Product Link $65.99
Safelite Windshield $159.42
Wheels and Tires    
AX202 Wheels (5) Product Link $1,110.00
Falken Wildpeak M/T Tire (5) Product Link $1,375.00
Wilwood Brake Calipers (4) $520.00
Black Magic Rear Brake Rotors/Pads Product Link $229.00
Black Magic Front Brake Rotors/Pads Product Link $239.00
Front Wheel Bearings Hubs (2) $300.00
Rubicon Express Oil Pan Skid Product Link $103.00
Rubicon Express Transmission Skid Product Link $144.00
Rubicon Express Transfer Case Skid Product Link $205.00
Rubicon Express Fuel Tank Skid Product Link $154.00
Rubicon Express Rear Sway Bar End Product Link $31.00
Rubicon Express Sway Bar Disconnects Product Link $123.00
Rubicon Express RE1517 Rear Stainless Steel Brake Lines Product Link $55.00
Rubicon Express RE1553 Front Stainless Steel Brake Lines Product Link $86.00
Rubicon Express 5.5 Inch Extreme-Duty Long Arm Lift Kit with Rear Track Bar Product Link $2,900.00
ARB Dana 44 Differential Cover - Red (2) Product Link $412.00
Fox Racing Shox 2.0 Performance Series Smooth Body Reservoir Shock - 985-24-110 (4) Product Link $1,120.00
Jeep Steering Upgrade 1-ton | Over the Knuckle Product Link $349.00
Fox® Racing Shox 985-24-072 2.0 Performance Series IFP Steering Stabilizer Product Link $152.99
MagnaFlow Competition Series Exhaust Systems Product Link $457.00
Banks Power 51334 Stinger Bundle, Power System for use with 2004-2006 Jeep 4.0L Wrangler Product Link $903.00
Engine Work   $2,000.00
030 BORE    
Odyssey 34-PC1500T Automotive and LTV Battery Product Link $295.99
New Ignition Switch/Steering Column $65.00
New Starter $150.00
New Fuel Lines/Pump/Etc. $350.00
O2 Sensors (4) - Mopar $249.96
Recovery Equipment    
Medic - The Recon | First Aid Kit - Black / Advanced Product Link $300.00
Hi-Lift All-Cast Jack 42" Product Link $103.00
Hi-Lift Jack ORK Off-Road Kit Product Link $63.49
ARB ARB505 E-Z Deflator, Orange Product Link $38.94
ARB 10000011 Speedy Seal Tire Repair Kit (Universal) Product Link $42.40
Cree Head Lamp Product Link $33.49
3' x 4' to 6 'x 8' Latex Cargo Net with 22 Nylon Hooks, 3.2" x 3.2" Tight Mesh Product Link $17.99
Various Stuff Sacks $50.00
Agawa Canyon - BOREAL21 Folding Bow Saw Product Link $68.95
Gerber Bear Grylls Compact Firestarter [31-002554] Product Link $19.99
Gerber Bear Grylls Ultimate Pro Knife, Fine Edge [31-001901] Product Link $67.50
Warn 92090 Epic Winch Hook - 12,000 lbs. Product Link $59.49
Paracord Planet Mil-Spec Commercial Grade 550lb Type III Nylon Paracord 50 feet Product Link $6.99
Smittybilt 13051-B Soft Shackle Rope 7/16 in. X 6 in. Soft Shackle Rope (2) Product Link $51.98
Warn 92095 Epic Tree Trunk Protector - 2" x 8' Product Link $84.99
Fiskars 375581-1001 Chopping Axe, 28-Inch Product Link $32.76
Bond LH015 Mini D Handle Shovel Product Link $15.99
Original Quick Fist Clamp for mounting tools & equipment 1" - 2-1/4" diameter (2) Product Link $24.82
ARB ARB705 2-3/8" x 30' Recovery Strap - 17500 lbs Capacity Product Link $72.00
Warn 92097 Epic Snatch Block - 5,000 lbs. Product Link $63.74
Daystar, Black D-Ring Shackle Isolator pair, protect your bumper and reduce rattling, KU70056BK Product Link $12.99
Smittybilt 3/4" Quick Disconnect D-Ring Shackle (4) Product Link $59.96
Smittybilt 2830 9 Piece Torx Set Product Link $23.00
BaoFeng BF-F8HP (UV-5R 3rd Gen) 8-Watt Dual Band Two-Way Radio Product Link $62.89
Custom Build    
Custom Build Labor (106 hours)   $5,300.00
Wire, Cable Ties, Bolts, Nuts, Shrink Wraps, Paint, Rust Killer, etc.   $325.00
  Total $52,741.45
* No longer installed on the Jeep