One of the most beloved Jeeps of all time is the long version of the Jeep Wrangler TJ known as the Unlimited produced from 2004 – 2006 known by enthusiasts as the LJ or “long Jeep”. Only 40,000 were produced, making it one of the most coveted Jeeps. Last week, we met up with Emily Everett-Nelson to check out her incredible beast of a Jeep she just acquired. But this Jeep is not a true LJ it is a normal 2003 TJ that has been stretched to look like an LJ. Regardless of how it has come to be, we were pretty excited to go and check it out.
You can see the Jeep has been repainted a beautiful color, which some of you Jeep nerds may notice is the rare color is the Inca Gold. A color that only came on the 2003 Jeep TJ Rubicon, of which only 212 units of them were built. We believe that the original color of this Jeep actually is the Inca Gold, possibly making it one of the rarest TJ Jeeps.
The good ol’ trusty 4.0L was ditched for a Chevrolet 5.3L with a Texas Speed cam kit with custom long tube headers now producing a hefty 400 horsepower. A 4L80 transmission was mated to the V8 with an Art Carr Gate shifter to handle the power it is now making.
Underneath the Jeep, are Fox Coilovers and bypasses all around and custom four-link suspension in the front and rear. It is equipped with a Ford 8.8 rear end with a stock Dana 30 in the front with 4:11 gears. The rear half of the frame was cut off, and a custom tube rear end built accommodating a 25-gallon fuel cell, cargo for fuel cans, and a cooler.
It is a beautiful Jeep, and we can’t wait to see what she does with it. Her husband, Jessy Nelson, is already crafting plans on modifying the back cage to make it more of an adventure-ready cruiser for her and all of her furry friends. Of which those modifications will include redesigning the back half and making a tray for storage.
We are stoked for this project and can’t wait to follow along.
Story and photos by Jason Stilgebouer / Dusty Summit
Chassis: Custom Built 2003 Jeep Wrangler TJ
Engine: 5.3 Chevrolet V8 400HP
Exhaust: Long Tube Headers and MagnaFlow Exhaust
Transmission: GM 4L80 with Art Carr Gate Shifter
Axles: Ford 8.8 and High Pinion Dana 30 4:11 gears LSD
Tires: 35” Cooper Discoverer SST Pro
Wheels: Walker Evans Beadlocks
Armor: GenRight Off Road Fenders
Suspension: Custom four-link
Shocks: Custom Fox Coilovers and Bypasses.
Safety: Custom roll-cage