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Newest Jeep addition - 2005 Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon Sahara "Rubihara"

JeepScrambler

CJ-oholic
Lifetime Member
City
Claflin
State
KS
After several months of hard searching with some pretty strict search criteria I finally stumbled upon my newest Jeep. It is a 2005 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon Sahara Edition. The Jeep has the NG3-370 6 spd manual transmission which was a must! I purchased the Jeep out of Arizona where it has spent its whole life. It has 38K miles with some of that mileage coming from time spent behind a motor coach. The Jeep still has the towing setup on the front which I plan to leave. Other than the towing setup, different bumpers, and high lift jack hood mount (that I will remove) the Jeep is all original, which is how I plan to keep it. I am still on the fence about removing the aftermarket bumpers and going back with the stock stuff though.

Also looking at possibly installing a set of N-fab nerf bars to allow my wife to climb in and out without sliding off the edge of the seat bolster and permit easier access to the back seat to put a car seat in and out for our 5 month old daughter. Still looking for some insight on the N-fab stuff and if it requires any drilling to install their nerf bars on the LJ, I definitely want no drilling.

As many of you may know the Unlimited Rubicon Sahara Edition was only in 2005 with 1000 total being produced. Along with a few other Sahara only features, each one has a badge with a designated serial number. Mine happens to be "0002 of 1000"! So far, all I have done to the Jeep is install black husky floor liners and put on the correct Sahara spare tire cover. There is also a new rear drivers side fender flare on its way I will need to install as the current flare has a small section missing on the back lower edge. I will get a few updated pictures with the correct tire carrier installed. This is my first "new" Jeep except for my '06 Grand Cherokee Overland that my wife now drives but so far I have been really happy with the purchase. All the plastic takes some getting use to but the AC and fuel injection help make up for that! The Jeep will serve as a very minimal daily driver so I should be able to keep the mileage low as long as I can keep myself from driving it all the time! I know its not a Scrambler but something about this long wheel base stuff sure is addicting!








Has two small dents on the very front edge of the drivers side fender










 
Last edited:

red mistress

Red Jeep Collector
City
Piney woods
State
tx
Nice & rare LJ !

LJ is my favorite Jeep that I've ever owned.

Last of the true Jeep as we all know them.
 

JeepScrambler

CJ-oholic
Lifetime Member
City
Claflin
State
KS
Thanks guys, this Jeep is quickly becoming one of my favorites! Other than the OPDA issue with the 05-06 TJ/LJ's, anything else I need to keep and eye on? This whole LJ thing is completely new to me. Like Red Mistress said, definitely the last of the true Jeeps as I know them!
 

spankrjs

Scrambler Junkie
Lifetime Member
SOA Member
City
Biloxi
State
MS
I put 140,000 miles on my 2005 TJ Rubicon, before I traded it for my 23,000 mile 2005 LJ Rubicon:thumbsup:

My only problems (I kept my 05 stock, was a daily driver, did a few long trips, and did go offroad, too)

1) The OPDA failed on mine around 130,000 miles. It did not fail completely, but it got so loose as to throw the "CAM POSITION SENSOR FAILURE" check engine light. I had no cam damage, and the gear on the OPDA still looked fine. The bushings wore out on mine, after all the miles. A new OPDA from the dealer is only around $130, easy enough to keep a spare in the back if you are worried about it. You can also pop off the top plastic cap and check for play periodically, if you are so inclined.

2) The front axle oil seals started to seep a little on mine. The factory uses very hard seals, they will eventually groove the shafts. I installed "speedy-sleeves" on my shafts, new seals, fixed it right up. Mine started leaking past the 100k mark, and just a little.

3) The blower motor resistor fails quite frequently, you will lose the lower speeds of the fan. It is fairly cheap, and it is easy to change out.

4) I had the "multi-function" switch (headlight stalk) fail on mine, the dash lights would dim/brighten by themselves. It was fixed under warranty.

5) I had a check engine light around 15,000 miles. The cats went bad. Changed under warranty. Also, check the cat to exhaust pipe bolts if you have a slight exhaust leak, they will loosen a bit, happened to me around 75,000 miles.


Other then that, no issues. Mine was a 6 speed (wish my LJ was a 6 speed). I still had the factory clutch. Never had any issues out of the transmission. The clutch linkage would make a slight sound every once in awhile, like the fork/pivot ball was dry, but I never had any issues besides a slight clicking sound every once in awhile.

All in all, my 05 did great, so I bought another one, this time a LJ Rubicon:thumbsup:

That is just my experience/:twocents::cheers:
 

bigwalton

Alaskan Postal nutjob
FORUM MANAGER
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
Wow, fantastic find! Rarest of rare for LJs :bow:

I have replaced the rear main seal on mine and had an odd engine sound that made me replace the oil pump with a high volume unit (which is when I did the RMS) and install a proper oil pressure gauge in an a-pillar pod.

They have an issue with the gas tank that usually shows up around 70k miles or so where the vent fails and it keeps the auto-cutoff feature on gas pumps from kicking in so you end up with fuel gushing down the side of the Jeep. There's a couple ways to fix that, i posted a thread about my install of the fix (out there online in lots of places) on JeepLJ.net.

Had to replace my stock subwoofer, which tore itself apart.

Had the blower motor resistor issue Raymond mentioned.

Sign on at www.jeeplj.net, you might know the admin over there :D

congrats! :cheers:
 

skiptown

CJ-8 Member
Member
City
Madison
State
WI
Very nice find! Your patience paid off.

I love my 2006 LJ not a Rubicon plain old stock Wrangler Unlimited.. Red with the dual tops. Its my daily driver. My heater resistor went out as well. I lost my digital odometer some time back, the trip odometer still works, dont get that LOL. I think my sub woofer should be replaced. I need to replace the steering stabilizer shock because its starting the death wobble. Other than that its been a good ride. Its been to Camp Jeep and one Jeep Jamboree so its had it fun in the woods and its a happy Jeep. Last thing it needs is a new set of tires before winter.

Have fun with it!
 

JeepScrambler

CJ-oholic
Lifetime Member
City
Claflin
State
KS
I appreciate all the help on what to look out for! Sounds like I might go ahead and order a blower motor resistor and have it ready to go. I've read some about the fuel tank vent issue, is it something that just happens all at once or does it gradually get worse? I need to go ahead and check the OPDA for play as well. My Jeep has the "S" in the 8th vin number location but I am not sure where my engine serial number is located to see if it is one that is mentioned in the TSB. Either way, I might go ahead and get a spare OPDA. Has there been a permanent fix yet for this issue? My sound system still sounds really good so I think my sub doesn't need changed out just yet. Just signed up on jeeplj.net a few days ago, I used my same ID I have on here!
 

spankrjs

Scrambler Junkie
Lifetime Member
SOA Member
City
Biloxi
State
MS
I appreciate all the help on what to look out for! Sounds like I might go ahead and order a blower motor resistor and have it ready to go. I've read some about the fuel tank vent issue, is it something that just happens all at once or does it gradually get worse? I need to go ahead and check the OPDA for play as well. My Jeep has the "S" in the 8th vin number location but I am not sure where my engine serial number is located to see if it is one that is mentioned in the TSB. Either way, I might go ahead and get a spare OPDA. Has there been a permanent fix yet for this issue? My sound system still sounds really good so I think my sub doesn't need changed out just yet. Just signed up on jeeplj.net a few days ago, I used my same ID I have on here!

The resistor is pretty easy to change, not the end of the world when it goes out, just aggravating to lose the lower fan speeds:thumbsup:

My first 05 started the gas spitting thing around 60-70,000 miles, like BigWalton said. It was still under warranty, Chrysler would not fix it, told me to pump the gas slower:( They did recall some JK's, and the TJ's, IIRC, use the exact same parts, but they will not recall them. Anyway, once you get used to it, its not that bad. I would always fill up the first 13-15 gallons fast, then stop pumping for second, and fill up the last 2-3 gallons slow, no problem:thumbsup: My LJ does not do this, yet:thumbsup:

All of the 05-06 4.0's use the same OPDA. The recall only applied to certain vehicles, but they all use the same part. And actually, the older 4.0's use a slightly different OPDA, with similar construction, that can fail, the 05-06's just get the most press. No "permenant" fix. Dorman makes a replacement OPDA, but Dorman stuff is kind of hit or miss IMO:twocents: For such a critical part, I would trust OEM, or a "higher quality" replacement part. NAPA lists them, for like $350, but I never got one in my hands to see if it is an "improvement". No permenant fix, but some people mod them for grease fittings/oil spraying. The grease Mod looks better/simpler IMO. Chrysler has not redesigned the part, the new replacements are 100% identical to the originals. IMO, the quality control at the plant that made/makes the OPDA is all over the place. Some people have compared many of them, and the tolerances are all over the place. Some people have failures at 5,000 miles, mine lasted 130,000 miles:shrug: Even with this issue, and it is simple to swap the part out before it fails and causes major damage, I will take the 4.0 over any of the current Jeep engines:twocents:

I never blew the speaker in my other 05, or my current 05, y'all must jam out harder then me:shrug::thumbsup:
 

AdamH

Scrambler Junkie
BENEFACTOR
Gold Member
Lifetime Member
SOA Member
City
Mt Holly
State
NC
Congrats but I do have a question. The Sahara badge - I have never seen one mounted on the passenger airbag. Every one I have seen was on the blank panel on the lower center dash where the ashtray was back in the day. Do you also have one there?

I love my Rubicon LJ - you will love yours too. :)
 

AdamH

Scrambler Junkie
BENEFACTOR
Gold Member
Lifetime Member
SOA Member
City
Mt Holly
State
NC
there is an owner's registry that a guy from Rubicon Owner's Forum put together if you are interested. web page is rubiconsahara.com
 

Cincyjeeprs

CJ-8 Member
Member
SOA Member
City
Cincinnati
State
Oh
Needs more dents.

I didn't know there was ever a Rubicon/Sahara package. I just thought it was either/or. I always thought that would make a perfect combo. You just proved it. Beautiful.
 
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