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Old November 21st, 2011, 02:21 PM   #201
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I was just flipping through and saw her sitting there. Love this project and hope to get my daughter involved when she gets a little older.
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Old November 21st, 2011, 03:00 PM   #202
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I got the remainder of Mira's dash items removed tonight...naked firewall. It'll make doing the rest of the floor pan patches considerably easier, and will allow me to make a template for the firewall holes to compare against that of the '99 XJ (dash/wiring/engine donor).

I have had my xj firewall look like this before. pita to get the heater box out to replace the ac evaporator core. If it was me i would probably throw a new one in while you have it out. That way you never have to pull it out again.
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Old November 22nd, 2011, 07:22 PM   #203
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Thank you all for the great comments! When my dad called me and told me about the magazine, I would have screamed, but I probably would have broken my dad's ear drums. I guess i'm a celeb now.

-Mira
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Old November 26th, 2011, 03:58 PM   #204
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Maeve (Mira's little sister) actually helped me out in the garage today, and was a great little helper! She liked watching me weld, and seemed pretty interested in the process. She, of course, laughed at me a couple times I forgot to connect my ground wire prior to welding. Anyway, here's the progress.


Front view of Mira's completed (minus paint & replacement "skull" diff cover), disc-braked, trussed Dana 44 rear axle.


Close-up of front of truss. I welded a couple 7/16" nuts on the inside on both sides of the center section as a mounting point for a potential differential skid plate down the road.


Close-up of passenger-side Dana 44 rear. The M.O.R.E. shock mounts gain us about 1" of additional ground clearance over the stock shock mounts.


Another center section shot. I cleaned up & painted the inside of the truss, and also the top of the cast center section prior to welding on the truss so it'll be easier to seal up from the elements.


On the rear of the truss, I drilled a hole, and welded (from the back) a 7/16"-20 bolt to mount the OEM '05 LJ brake line splitter. The little tab below is just to keep the splitter from rotating around.


Here's a close-up of one of the truss welds. I did a double-pass weld with my Millermatic 135...worked very well. I haven't done many double-pass welds, but given the thickness of the material, it was the best route to go with my 115V Miller welder.
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Old November 30th, 2011, 08:20 PM   #205
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I started on Mira's "poor kid's (and dad's) heavy-duty control arms" tonight (stock LCA on the bottom, newly-plated LCA on top). I bought $4 worth of 1 3/4" x 3/16" plate today, and welded one piece to the bottom of the stock LJ control arms. I stitch-welded them a little at a time to minimize warping. The grinding is just the initial pass...it'll look better once I'm done.

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Old December 1st, 2011, 06:49 PM   #206
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Drat...I realized that the stock control arms will NOT work with the JKS mini skids I already welded on the axle. I'll need to get aftermarket LCAs after all. If I hadn't put the JKS mini skids on the axle, this would have been a good idea, IMHO.

Craig
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Old December 1st, 2011, 06:52 PM   #207
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That truss looks pretty sweet.. The welds look good too
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Old December 1st, 2011, 07:18 PM   #208
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That truss looks pretty sweet.. The welds look good too
Thanks. I'm pretty happy with the welds...not bad for an "office guy", eh? It'll look even better once I get it painted (hopefully this weekend).

Craig
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Old December 1st, 2011, 07:50 PM   #209
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Drat...I realized that the stock control arms will NOT work with the JKS mini skids I already welded on the axle. I'll need to get aftermarket LCAs after all. If I hadn't put the JKS mini skids on the axle, this would have been a good idea, IMHO.

Craig
The mini-skids can't be modified to work?
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Old December 1st, 2011, 08:00 PM   #210
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The mini-skids can't be modified to work?
No. They're already on, and there's not much room in there. Of course, the instructions mentioned stock LCAs wouldn't work (minor detail I didn't catch when installing them ).

Craig
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Old December 4th, 2011, 10:24 AM   #211
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Trussed Dana 44 almost done...currently in primer. I hope to have paint finished this week (the Eastwood primer/paint requires 24 hours between coats). My perfectionist ways are killing me...I have a couple blemishes on top of the truss that I'll probably re-sand & re-prime. Nobody will ever see it when it's installed, but it'll bug me if I don't fix them.

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Old December 7th, 2011, 01:04 PM   #212
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Here in Michigan, Mira must be excited about sledding season, as her idea for a photo with her new JCR Offroad transfer case skid was to sit on it like a sled. Crazy kid. I took advantage of a Black Friday sale at JCR to pick up this, and a couple other items for Mira as an early Christmas(ish) gift.


Another shot of Mira with the JCR Offroad skid, and also a set of their new front Unibody Tie-In brackets that wrap underneath the frame, and tie into the sway bar mounts. These are nice pieces to beef up the front sheet metal where the stock bumper mounts. NOTE that while she's a unique pre-teen in regards to owning/building her own Jeep at age 11, she's completely typical in that her cell phone is never out of her reach.



Speaking of front bumpers, JCR Offroad unveiled an economically-priced “DIY” front bumper on Black Friday, as well. It’s all CNC-cut, and comes in a tidy little (literally…approximately 12” x 30” x 1”) package. I picked one of these up for Mira, as well.



Here’s what the assembled JCR Offroad DIY bumper kit looks like assembled & installed. It should look very nice on her XJ.
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Old December 7th, 2011, 04:48 PM   #213
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Funny, I asked Daryl a month ago if they planned to offer their new bumpers as a DIY kit and he replied no. I guess things change. Looks good, keep it up!
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Old December 7th, 2011, 04:50 PM   #214
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Funny, I asked Daryl a month ago if they planned to offer their new bumpers as a DIY kit and he replied no. I guess things change. Looks good, keep it up!
I remember you asking that and thought it was weird when I saw them for sale.
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Old December 7th, 2011, 06:02 PM   #215
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Funny, I asked Daryl a month ago if they planned to offer their new bumpers as a DIY kit and he replied no. I guess things change. Looks good, keep it up!
I really think it's a great idea for someone with a welder and some time (I really don't have much of that, though ), taking a tight budget into consideration. I'm curious to see how they do, as I think it'll open up a big market for online buyers given that shipping will less than an assembled bumper.

Craig
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Old December 7th, 2011, 07:02 PM   #216
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Funny, I asked Daryl a month ago if they planned to offer their new bumpers as a DIY kit and he replied no. I guess things change. Looks good, keep it up!
I don't think the DIY bumpers are the new Crusader series. I believe they are more to their old style bumper.
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Old December 8th, 2011, 08:50 AM   #217
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Funny, I asked Daryl a month ago if they planned to offer their new bumpers as a DIY kit and he replied no. I guess things change. Looks good, keep it up!
We are not offering the Crusader Series bumpers as a DIY. These are their own design (which looks more like our old style).
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Old December 10th, 2011, 06:55 PM   #218
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We want to give fellow (hometown) Jeeper Ron Peterson (cj8ron) a HUGE thanks for sponsoring Mira's project with a new "facelift" header panel (grill), and several other Cherokee parts that will help Mira's XJ project. Ron looks somewhat stoic in this pic , but we had a good time introducing Mira to him and chatting, checking out his Jeep collection, etc. Thanks again, Ron!

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Old December 10th, 2011, 07:34 PM   #219
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1x1_Speed_Craig View Post
I started on Mira's "poor kid's (and dad's) heavy-duty control arms" tonight (stock LCA on the bottom, newly-plated LCA on top). I bought $4 worth of 1 3/4" x 3/16" plate today, and welded one piece to the bottom of the stock LJ control arms. I stitch-welded them a little at a time to minimize warping. The grinding is just the initial pass...it'll look better once I'm done.


rumors around the internet suggest boxing in the stock control arms really limits flex.
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Old December 10th, 2011, 07:45 PM   #220
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rumors around the internet suggest boxing in the stock control arms really limits flex.
It's a non-issue since we won't be using these, but logically, I can't see how it would limit flex any differently than an aftermarket tube control arm would (assuming bushings on both ends, and not high misalignment joints).

Craig
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