When it comes to trail rigs, the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon is about as good as it gets from the factory. And with the added wheelbase and cargo space available in the Unlimited version, you get a rig that can both climb better and carry more gear than any of its siblings. Not a bad place to start, if you ask us. That's why we decided to borrow a brand-new '06 LJ Rubicon and deck it out with all our favorite essentials in aftermarket suspension and drivetrain upgrades. Follow along as we take Jeep's best-to-date to new heights. Special thanks to the wrenches at Train's 4x4, who can transform just about any vehicle from showroom-stock to trail-boss in just a day's time. Maybe Jeep should have called them "Flexicons" instead. Right out of the box, the Jeep Rubicon Unlimited outflexes just about anything on the road. Ours scored an impressive 607 on our 20-degree RTI ramp. However, with just a few slight tweaks (disconnecting the antisway bar and lowering tire pressure) we were able to gain a few more valuable inches, pushing our RTI score to 637.Maybe Jeep should have called them "Flexicons" instead. Right out of the box, the Jeep Rub This is the Rubicon Express (R.E.) LJ 5.5-inch five-bar long-arm suspension system we ordered. All the parts came packed in boxes that were both clearly marked and well-isolated with packing material to ensure a trouble-free install. Rubicon Express has been designing and manufacturing Jeep suspension and performance parts for well over a decade. Because of the close proximity to the Rubicon Trail, all of its components are well-tested for trail durability and on-road worthiness. Some noteworthy features include 4130 chromoly control arms, serviceable Superflex Joints and Grade 8 fasteners.This is the Rubicon Express (R.E.) LJ 5.5-inch five-bar long-arm suspension system we orde Here, you can see how the axles are supported under the Jeep; note the new bumpstop extension installed on the lower spring pad.Here, you can see how the axles are supported under the Jeep; note the new bumpstop extens With the Jeep secured on a lift, the shop's owner, Mark Train, removed all the factory suspension components. Once this was completed, he then proceeded to remove the factory lower control-arm mounting brackets from the frame. During this process, Mark took a great deal of care to prevent cutting into the framerails and fuel lines. At first a plasma cutter was used, then a 6-inch grinder was used to clean up the edges.With the Jeep secured on a lift, the shop's owner, Mark Train, removed all the factory sus This photo demonstrates the difference between the Rubicon Manufacturing's Extreme Duty monotube shock and the factory units. R.E. tunes these shocks specifically for each application to deliver maximum control while not compromising ride quality, high-speed stability, or comfort. We like these shocks because they feature good-sized (46mm) metal velocity-sensitive pistons and solid nitro-steel piston rods. No chrome to chip or peel like other shock shafts. Additionally, these units are U.S.-built and feature Viton seals, robotic welds, a durable powdercoat finish, and they are available with remote reservoirs. Oh, and they come with a lifetime warranty.This photo demonstrates the difference between the Rubicon Manufacturing's Extreme Duty mo Next, the factory bellypan was removed to gain access to the underside of the framerails. Each rail was marked and center-punched for accurate drilling. The new R.E. bellypan requires two 1-inch holes on the bottom of each framerail. Here, Mark is starting one of the 3/16-inch pilot holes.Next, the factory bellypan was removed to gain access to the underside of the framerails. 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | » | View Full Article Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!