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Old December 16th, 2011, 09:32 PM   #1
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Default TREC Class C "ZJ"

The plan is to build a jeep to compete in the TREC series at the Badlands Offroad Park.

First a little history:
I bought the Jeep used in 1996. It had 36,000mi. I immediately installed a 4.5” Rubicon Express lift kit, 34” TSL’s, a locker in the rear, a limited slip in the front, 4.11’s and a Tomken bumper w/ mount for portable winch. I carried a 9500# Warn winch in the back for when needed. I built it this way because it was my daily driver and I was heavily involved with Two Trackers and Jeep Jamborees. The Grand Cherokee was perfect for this as there was plenty of room for my 3 small children, a cooler, supplies and the winch in the back. Plus my wife enjoyed the power windows and A/C. She doesn’t enjoy the mud and rock bashing that I do in my bigger TJ.

90,000mi and 7 years later I parked the Jeep for future use. When my oldest daughter turned 16 in 2008 the ZJ became her ride to school. 2010 I thought about trying to save it but the rust was to overwhelming so I tried to sell it.
FS/FT Grand Cherokee 4.5" Lift # 4:11 # posi ***Keeping it. Sold - Great Lakes 4x4. The largest offroad forum in the Midwest

But my daughter did not want to part with it. So Amy drove it till the summer of ’10, and then it was parked again because of a tranny leak. For the next year and half I let my other daughter Cary use it at Silver Lake but not on the road as the suspension is wore out.

So that brings it to this past fall and the Trailmaster Challenge. At the last minute I decided to enter it in the race as I had plans to cut it up anyhow. WHAT A BLAST!! I had run the first race in my TJ w/42’s and hated it. I parked after two laps, hard to steer thru the woods and no suspension. But with the zj the race was totally enjoyable, it steered thru Holy Moly like a dream, and was catching some awesome air going across the “fields”. That is until with about 45min left to race and I thought I had lost 4wd. I could not climb one of the hills so I got out and noticed that the front axle was no longer in one piece. Once Cary and I walked backed to the pits we found out we were in second place at the time that we broke, Damn it!
So now I am bitten.


Last edited by COYOTE; December 17th, 2011 at 01:10 AM.
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Old December 16th, 2011, 10:34 PM   #2
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lookes like my zj after my first trip to silver lake subscribed
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Old December 16th, 2011, 11:53 PM   #3
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THE PLAN

I thought the Jeep ran pretty well in the Trailmaster Challenge race. Just needs to be beefed up to take the hard landings and survive 3-4 hours of racing.

In the TMC race I lost brakes during the second lap, very detrimental to speed. So reroute brake lines and add protection.

Due to all the sweet air I was getting apparently it was hard on the front axle. So beef up the front Dana 30, because I still want to feel that lightness over bumps and hills.

I tend to hit a lot stuff while going thru the woods and just for safety I want to cut roof off and “cage” it. I plan on running bars inside the door skins also.

Maybe truss the rear axle.

Another words toughen it up. I was happy with the power of the 318. Really impressed with the steering throughout the race and suspension worked great.

Don’t want to spend a lot of money doing this and that’s what is great about the “C” Class. You are not allowed to change any of the running gear. You are required to maintain stock body panels and look.

I’ve already built the new front axle. I’ll document that next. Once that is installed we’re getting the saw out. Can’t wait!

Last edited by COYOTE; December 17th, 2011 at 12:36 AM.
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Old December 17th, 2011, 12:33 AM   #4
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First time trussing an axle so be nice.

I first spent half a day designing and trial fitting metal. Finally came up wth this.





Here is my donated axle. I had to cut off lower control arm brackets and clean up.




I added some gussets to help keep everything straight.





I tacked on the bottom truss and then went for it. While burning it on I welded a couple of inches at a time at different areas so I would'nt bend the housing, but I stayed at it so the axle would only have to cool once. When I looked up once I was done it was 2am.







Last edited by COYOTE; December 17th, 2011 at 12:39 AM.
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Old December 17th, 2011, 12:49 AM   #5
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Next day I added some gussets onto the sway bar mounts




Then welded on the new lower control arm brackets





I also boxed in the passenger side upper control arm mount




Then the black spray bomb



I did add some holes for drainage and tie-downs

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Old December 17th, 2011, 05:28 AM   #6
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Nice, Frank. Subscribed.
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Old December 17th, 2011, 05:56 AM   #7
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That looks to be a very beefy D30.
Nice
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Old December 17th, 2011, 06:25 AM   #8
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what is holding the rig that is hanging from the roof?
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tube bending and gear installs pm me for info! gears installed for $150 and up per axle.
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Old December 17th, 2011, 06:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
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what is holding the rig that is hanging from the roof?
I was wondering the same thing
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Old December 17th, 2011, 06:34 AM   #10
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Looks like you're going to have fun this summer. Do you work for Gordon at Rock Solid? I see all the work is being done at his shop.
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Old December 17th, 2011, 06:37 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbchevy View Post
what is holding the rig that is hanging from the roof?
Quote:
Originally Posted by curbdog17 View Post
I was wondering the same thing
I'm guessing it might be Gordon's crane lift, that thing is
It looks like his shop (Rock Solid)
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Old December 17th, 2011, 06:40 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curbdog17 View Post
I was wondering the same thing
Its a hook off a tow truck, and a bracket welded to the I beam.






Back to the build------ you might need a pilots license for this jumper
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Old December 17th, 2011, 09:06 AM   #13
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looking foward to seeing this build...I will tell you c-class is not cheap, but it is affordable
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Old December 17th, 2011, 10:09 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightKrawler View Post
Looks like you're going to have fun this summer. Do you work for Gordon at Rock Solid? I see all the work is being done at his shop.
No I'm unemployed so I hang out there and help Robert and Gordy when I can. Can't lay around around the house and watch Oprah all day.
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Old December 17th, 2011, 10:09 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curbdog17 View Post
That looks to be a very beefy D30.
Nice
Might not be a "60" but wieghs as much.
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Old December 17th, 2011, 10:11 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by High Center Hancho View Post
looking foward to seeing this build...I will tell you c-class is not cheap, but it is affordable
Do you run the full size Cherokee? The one that lost a knuckle last race?
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Old December 17th, 2011, 11:40 AM   #17
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Quote:
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Do you run the full size Cherokee? The one that lost a knuckle last race?
nope...that was johnnyj...I run the rzr class and I was the one that almost bite it on the big jump...all due to the dust, I couldn't see the jump and I didnt hit it with enough speed
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Old December 17th, 2011, 11:52 AM   #18
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you may want to read the rules I don't know that you can cut your roof off and still stay in c-class.

Hosejockey broke his front dana 30 exactly the same as you in a trec race last year.
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Old December 17th, 2011, 12:21 PM   #19
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Quote:
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you may want to read the rules I don't know that you can cut your roof off and still stay in c-class.

Hosejockey broke his front dana 30 exactly the same as you in a trec race last year.
Read the rules, roof will go back on over cage. Need to maaintain look of Jeep.
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Old December 17th, 2011, 01:54 PM   #20
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good luck with the build racing is addicting. and that big jump is bigger then it looks we took our c classer over it twice last race before they shut it down and it was a hell of a ride.
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