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Old October 20th, 2008, 11:23 PM   #1
Grunto
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Welp, after waiting a long ass time I finally got around to starting this project. One reason I wanted to do this so bad was because my whole IFS front end needed to be nearly rebuilt (All the balljoints were bad, CV boots torn, brakes needed to be done, needed new shocks very badly, oil cooler lines needed replacing since I had oily scum all over everything). I wanted something more worth my money and time, something more reliable in the end.

1997 Sonoma
2" Body lift
HP44 front
Ford radius arms
2" Lift coils (Thank you comanche38)
Axle sits a about 3 inches forward from stock
1992 Astro steering box
4" TJ drop pitman arm
9" rear
Turned leaf springs around to help with departure angle
Home brewed 2" lift shackles
35" Wrangler MT tires on some steelies (Thank you wickedlowss and wilinsonlevi)

My goal at this point is just to get it road worthy, and wheel it on the weekends. Nothing to crazy. That is the reason I ended up using the factory Ford radius arm setup. I just wanted to keep it cheap and get the actual swap done to get rid of all the IFS.

Teaser pictures:
Attachment 32508Attachment 32509Attachment 32510

To do:
Panhard bracket
Steering link
Finish brakes
Driveshafts
Shocks
Front swaybar
Level the rear out with some 1" or 2" blocks
And of course, a fiend skull on the rear quarter panels

Like I mentioned before, I did not really have much money coming into this project.

I am pretty fucking proud of myself considering I did almost everything on my own and I have never done anything like this in my life. The only lift I have ever done was a 2" body lift on this truck. Plus with the conditions I did it in made it pretty tricky at times. I did this in the dirt and on uneven ground.

A couple things I wish I would have noticed and changed earlier in the project:

Coils are a little angled in towards the truck. I tried to make the coil buckets sit off the frame a few extra inches but it was not enough. I also did not notice how much different the frame rails were from eachother early on, so that messed with my measuring a little.

Future plans:
3-Link front
4.56 gears and rear locker
Rear disc brakes
T-case doubler setup
Bumpers
Swing out tire gate
On board air using AC compressor
Roof rack
(Can't really think of the others at the moment)

I want to give credit to Luke, Ryan, and the other guys with Twisted Creations for letting me use their tools, space, and for giving me a hand or opinion when I needed it. Luke also did majority of the MIG welding for me. I can TIG well, but my MIG welding skills are pretty rusty.


Last edited by Grunto; August 3rd, 2011 at 10:03 PM.
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Old October 20th, 2008, 11:29 PM   #2
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will not lie man that is pretty badass. looks like a prerunner dude. you still think you will ahve it ready for the weekend?
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Old October 20th, 2008, 11:31 PM   #3
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Thanks. The rear is gonna sit low for a little while. I think I might just snag a pair of ZR2 leafs to fix that.

Yes, it will be ready for a little bit of virgin trail riding this weekend... Unless something happens... Which I hope not.
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Old October 20th, 2008, 11:35 PM   #4
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lots of work to do this week huh. gonna have front and rear shafts?
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Old October 21st, 2008, 12:09 AM   #5
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I will have at least a rear. The front will be pretty easy, just don't know if I will have the front balanced this week.

Worst case scenario, I will have 2Lo
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Old October 21st, 2008, 12:11 AM   #6
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gonna balance the front of a wheeler? how fast do you plan on running them trails man? whats the main idea for this truck. just a wheeler or double duty?
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Old October 21st, 2008, 12:23 AM   #7
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It's a daily driver, or will be I should say. I know I'm gonna want 4hi for Winter so I will probably end up having the front balanced for sure.

For the trails though the front won't really matter to have balanced then?
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Old October 21st, 2008, 12:32 AM   #8
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no it ownt hurt nothing if its balanced. i just wasnt sure what the need was to balance the front of if it was just a wheeler.
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Old October 21st, 2008, 12:59 AM   #9
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Roger that.
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Old October 21st, 2008, 12:04 PM   #10
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Nice job choosing an axle off a ford product. should help with reliability.

all hail the mighty boue oval!
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Old October 21st, 2008, 12:23 PM   #11
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Looking good..I need to start my own build thread for my new J20 wheeler..eh it will happen some day
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Old October 21st, 2008, 12:42 PM   #12
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im far from a chevy person but that does look cool
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Old October 21st, 2008, 12:45 PM   #13
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awesome work man.
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Old October 24th, 2008, 10:07 AM   #14
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Thanks

Last fab day! I pretty much just have to gusset something and make shock mounts.

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Old October 24th, 2008, 11:20 AM   #15
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Looks good. I considered doing that same swap to my ZR2 back when I had it. I would like to see more pictures.

How are you doing your driveshafts? Cut down?
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Old October 24th, 2008, 11:36 AM   #16
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I got an aluminum shaft from some kind of full size from a buddy, I am just shortening that down for the rear.

For the front, I have not decided exactly what I am gonna do. I have to modify my Y-pipe and a crossmember to clear it first. I'll have that figured out sometime next week I think.
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Old November 3rd, 2008, 10:50 AM   #17
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Well I got it on the road. Got my shocks on yesterday and it drives great so far. I drove around in a small field the other night and am really excited to actually wheel it. I am going to try to get my front driveshaft in sometime this week. I also don't have my rear brakes hooked up at the moment, thus the retarded loop in the line (I gotta find some hoses that are longer).

Here are some pictures though. I have a lot of little tiny stuff to do still, so I have some dangling lines and stuff at the moment.







Sorry for bluriness, I R bad photo taker
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Old November 3rd, 2008, 01:51 PM   #18
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Looks good man, glad you could use those coils.
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Old December 12th, 2008, 02:11 PM   #19
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I like it.

but, why did you mount the front end with the tire not in the wheel well?
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Old December 12th, 2008, 02:36 PM   #20
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i like that body style alot, nice work
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