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Old November 10th, 2013, 02:37 PM   #1
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Default Run of the mill TJ Build

Moving my build thread over from Misftits, then UPJeeping, now here. Hopefully more traffic can add comments about what I did wrong and add input to tweaking plans.

Build started about April 2007 and wheeled again September 2013.

Copy paste from my other threads, so its missing a bunch of posts without pictures, but I plan on posting updates to this thread over the next few years of the project. :lol:

Starting off with a 2000 Jeep TJ with the 4.0L I-6 and a 5 spd manual trans. Its spent its first 3 years as a bolt on Jeep with a gay tan soft top. About 2005 I put a D44HP in the front and a D60 rear and changed the suspension a bit (radius arm front, leaves back). Everything has always just been thrown together without much consideration to how things look. If it worked, it stayed. I was given the front and rear axles for free (good price) and didnít really spend much on the suspension (free coils, leaves, shackles, radius arms etcÖ). It ended up working surprisingly well, so good that I never really went back and fixed the things I hacked together, they held up! Iíve added things to it here and there like a small exo cage on the front, OBA, etc.. but always done in my driveway when it wasnít raining or snowing.

My plans were mainly to finish what I started, but with a few upgrades along the way. Iím starting with the rear suspension and axle, and working my way to the front. My goal has switched from a 2 seat Jeep to a 4 seat multipurpose vehicle.

Lower it down a few inches while still running the current 36ís
Making room for more passengers, 4 ideally
Lowering the gearing via doubler (231+D300)
Make the suspension work better
Steering??
Lighten it up where I can
Frame modifications
Stretch another couple inches
Link the rear suspension
New Radius arms in the front??
Rear disc brakes

Iím building it to go trailriding with my wife and kids, but have the ability to hit the harder stuff without problems if I desire.

Not hard-core, but itís a buildup.

April 2007, moving it into the garage to start the rebuild.



September 2013, first shake down run.
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Old November 10th, 2013, 02:44 PM   #2
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Fugly! Cut off all the stuff I wanted to do over.....ended up with just the frame and body.





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Old November 10th, 2013, 02:48 PM   #3
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First order of business: Fix the damage a failed throw out bearing did to the transmission. Welded it up at work and smoothed it out. Lost .004" on the diameter, but should be OK.



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Old November 10th, 2013, 02:54 PM   #4
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Trans back in, now on to the doubler. How hard can a doubler be, really?

Got some autocad files from Tab and had our waterjet guy cut some plates out for me. Tried to make my own shaft, but while looking for the specs, I found just the shaft for $90, so I bought it instead of making it. D300 from a wrecked CJ....hope it works!

So, cut my 231 in half, welded the plate on the back, drill some holes around it, clock it where I think I want it and drill all the rest of the holes. Easy. Hard by yourself though!





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Old November 10th, 2013, 02:56 PM   #5
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I liked it

Look forward to the progress
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Old November 10th, 2013, 02:59 PM   #6
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I wanted to make a different kind of shifter for the D300, so I tried a combination of rod ends. This worked awesome on the bench. But real world, it failed. The Push/Pull style rod ends failed. Too much force on the shifters and the cheap joint pulled apart. So I made a replacement part out of Stainless to replace the joint. Bottom picture shows old on top, new on bottom. Shifters are all out of stainless....because I could!



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Old November 10th, 2013, 03:06 PM   #7
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Once the doubler was mounted up, I moved on to the rear axle.

I was running a D60 from a '79 Ford, 30 spline with a Detroit, drum brakes. When I tore the axle down, I realized I actually twisted a spline on the shafts and I broke the plug welds on the axle tube and twisted the tube a few degrees from the center section.

So, my plan was to switch to a spool and go to 35 spline in the back. Being a cheap ass, I put in manual labor instead of dollars and went with some Dana 70 shafts that were about 3/4" longer. Splines hit, so I couldn't just shorten the shaft. I needed to bore out the spindles anyways, so I added a spacer in the axle tube to make the axle wider and accept the stock sized D70 shafts.



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Old November 10th, 2013, 03:08 PM   #8
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I finished the rear axle with a disc brake swap. Bolt on caliper brackets needed a spacer to fit right, so I made a set at work.



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Old November 10th, 2013, 03:17 PM   #9
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I spent a TON of time making my D44 HP into a passenger drop axle and retubed it to get rid of the cast in C's from the radius arms. I actually built a large press section with a hydraulic jack to press the tubes into the center section and had it as it sits below.....




Then my buddy Kieth calls to tell me he found a Dodge Dana 60 front that is already driver drop. Free. You can't pass that up. So it got a Spartan locker installed and Spicer Ujoints. Rebuilt the kingpins and cleaned it all up. Had to turn the hubs down and press in new studs, again I'm a cheap ass and didn't want to buy things, I gladly pay manual labor for my stuff.









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Old November 10th, 2013, 03:23 PM   #10
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Worked on boat sides next. Cut off a surprisingly rusted rocker and hoped I didn't take off too much. Welded up a combination of angle iron and 3/16" plate to cover the space. Planning on using the bottom of this as my new body mounts.



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Old November 10th, 2013, 03:23 PM   #11
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I need to do turkey, try to bring this up to current state tonight....
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Old November 10th, 2013, 03:33 PM   #12
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You've done some great stuff Lucas. Very nice work.

How's that cowl?
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Old November 10th, 2013, 07:34 PM   #13
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So, axles are at a good point, boat sides are done, next I need to do was to get the rear frame section built. When I cut things apart I wasn't quite sure where I wanted to go with the suspension; coils, air shocks, coil overs. By the time I got here it was about 4 years!!! into the build. I changed my mind a few times about the direction to take the Jeep, but by now I decided to take a simpler approach to everything, trying to build my Jeep for trail riding and just having fun with it.

So, I decided on going back to coil springs all around. So, the rear frame section turned into 2" round to make the bumper and body mounts and coil mounts tucked in and up. I had made my own tubing bender using some plans on line, I actually made about 6 of these and I traded random things along with cash towards my project.

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Old November 10th, 2013, 07:38 PM   #14
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Nice work!
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Old November 10th, 2013, 07:56 PM   #15
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Suspension. I wanted a ride that didn't surprise me. I wanted my acceleration and braking to not effect my suspension. I didn't want lift, or squat, or roll steer. So, after many measuring sessions and long searches for what the hell all the numbers mean on that 4 link calculator, I ended up designing my own triangulated 4 link.

It was interesting to see my initial numbers put into the 4 link calc. If I just put things where I thought they should be based on "rule of thumb" stuff, and where I could easily fit things, I had results that were opposite of all my "goals"! So, I played with it at least 6 more times, seeing what was possible, what moves made things better etc....I had to learn all the crap so I could make better decisions.

After driving it now, I'm thrilled with the results! She stays planted, doesn't try to move around on me when I gas it, it feels like it isn't there.









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Old November 10th, 2013, 07:58 PM   #16
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Old November 10th, 2013, 08:02 PM   #17
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All my links where 2"x .25 wall on the bottom and 2"x.12 wall on the uppers for the rear suspension.

I machined all my own ends as well. I used stock TJ lower control arm bushings all around, and turned these ends to press them into.



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Old November 10th, 2013, 08:18 PM   #18
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Moving up to the front suspension. While I am using coils, I didn't want to back myself into a corner by making things specifically coil only. So, I planned the front with some expandability in mind. I build the shock hoop large in case I move up to coil overs in the future. I also made the coil upper mount adjustable so by cutting two welds I can slide the upper mount up or down around 3" to fine tune it to different coils I might end up using.

I ended up with a 3 link in the front. Again, the computer was used with the 3 link calc to figure out how things worked together. I was really surprised by the frame mount side of this suspension. Moving the upper arm mount around effected things more than I imagined. It also made things tighter than I hoped around the exhaust.

I bought some random brackets from Ballistic Fab about 4 years before and I was able to use 90% of the stuff I bought by modifying it; cutting in half, using left and right together, etc... Helped save time on the build for both the front and back. Only brackets I could use without modifying were 4 coil perches.











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Old November 10th, 2013, 08:21 PM   #19
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Lower links were a compromise. I would rub a little bit with no offset, but I wasn't sure if my next tire would be wider or if my offset would ever change. So, I bent the links and added some metal to the bent area just in case.








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Old November 10th, 2013, 08:31 PM   #20
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Steering. I collected a few FSJ boxes thinking I would either upgrade the box or tap it for hydro assist. Then fitting the D60 up front and trying to keep the height low forced me to push the axle forward to the point that having a steering box was going to be a packaging nightmare.

So, I took the leap to full hydraulic steering on the cheap. I sourced the ram from Surplus Center, as well as the hoses. I bought a cooler tube from the local parts store along with a magnetic filter inline doohickey. I ebayed an orbital valve I hoped would provide the right turns lock to lock. Picked up the rod ends from Ruff Stuff. I cheaped out by making the mounts, clevis and using my factory power steering pump.

Result: Awesome. At idle I can one finger turn lock to lock as fast as I need to without over running the factory pump. Online world said my Jeep would explode. I think its a combination of the ram, the orbital, and luck. Highway driving its weird still, I need to do an alignment with another person, its hard holding a tape measure by yourself, she is a little twitchy.





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