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Unread 12-29-2009, 09:19 AM   #1
E_ROCK
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1993 YJ Wrangler 
 
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Rear YJ Stretch

Project StretchiE(rock)

For info on the front stretch, Click here

I was originally going to four link my rig with a stretch, but I will not have the funds. I have a little E_Rocker on the way in April. So, I am scaling back the project to a cheap stretch using junkyard springs. I have never been happy with the rear suspension of my jeep. It just doesn’t seem to get as much travel out of the rear leaf springs as I would like. The ride is also very harsh. I am hoping that longer springs will help out with both the ride and make the jeep more flexy. The total wheel base for my YJ will be around 104”.

The plan:
  1. Replace stock rear cross member with new one (4”x2” or 4”x3” HREW tubing or figure something out with 1-3/4” round HREW)
  2. 5-6” stretch using a bastard Ford Ranger packs. The shackles will be mounted to rear cross member and the leafs will be hung using new frame side mounts. Utilize old shackles or pick up some boomerang shackles if needed.
  3. New shocks and mounts
  4. New bump stops using Timbren springs
  5. New gas tank or fuel cell: Genright Crawler EXT
  6. Replace bent axle with junkyard one. Reinstall ARB and gears, possible stuff with Moser chromoly shafts
  7. Build an axle truss
  8. Extend traction bar and fabricate new truss mount
  9. Lengthen rear driveshaft
  10. Build new swingdown tire carrier
  11. Install CJ fold down tail gate

My jeep should look a lot like this in the rear Tombraider’s old YJ.

The reason:
My axle tubes are bent as seen in this picture. I figure if I have to remove the axle, I might as well improve some things I have been unhappy with. You can actually see camber in my rear tires. One of the pictures I drew blue line. You can see how bad this axle has gotten.



I also have a broken rear cross member.

My old tire carrier was one of my first fabrication projects. It was way too heavy and the weight was too far from the vehicle. I almost ripped the bolts through the cross member after some dune jumping out in Moab. A new cross member is needed. The new cross member with have the shackles hung from them. I will also be building a new swing down tire carrier. I was also hoping with the tire carrier to come up with a way to get my high lift mounted to it.

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Unread 12-29-2009, 09:21 AM   #2
E_ROCK
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The build:

I went to Upull&pay out in Aurora, CO and found this little gem. I bet this little axle doesn’t even know what is in store for it.

I haven’t pulled the BOM, but I believe this rear axle is from 1988 Grand Wagoneer.

I also need some springs to make some junkyard bastard packs. I am trying to go cheap, so no Alcans this time. Plus, I didn’t have very much luck with the durability from the rear springs. They are sagged and appear to have a slight bend in the main leaf of the rear driverside pack. I am very impressed with flex of Chevy 63” springs. One of my friend’s runs them in his 4runner. I know I can’t fit those in my jeep and I don’t think they would work with my rig’s weight. But, the goal is same: cheap, flexy, longer, and available packs. I found this outstanding guide leaf spring guide by Mr. N (same guy with all the great D44 info).

http://erock.rockfrogs.org/Picture/r...af_springs.png

This was really helpful because I could start taking some measurements on my jeep and have a spring picked out before hitting the yard. I took a spare shackle and held it up to the jeep near the rear cross member. The measurement from the eye of the existing shackle to the one I held up was about 8”. If was to use stock length springs, this would simple be an 8” stretch. But, I have a limited factor. The Genright tank will only accommodate a 5” stretch. That means I need a spring that is 3” longer on one side then my stock length wrangler springs. My springs are 22-11/16” on one side according to the leaf spring chart and actually measurements were pretty close. A 5” stretch means that I need a spring about 25.5” on one side. I chose to pursue Ford Ranger packs due to high availability at the yard and the length seemed just right. The Ford ranger springs are not designed for a truck that carries much payload like a ˝ ton truck, so I figure that these springs will be soft and flexy. I hit the junkyard two more times and brought home 5 packs. I have two 4 leaf packs, two 3 leaf packs, and one 2 leaf pack. I plan to cut up two main leafs and add them to one of the other packs. The fifth pack is to have a spare main leaf.


Pulling junkyard spring packs sucks! I figured that it would be easy. Sawzall through the u-bolts and remove the two spring bolts. How hard can that be? Well, every spring bolt was seized to the bushing sleeve. I tried prying them with long bar and just ended up bending the bar. I also couldn’t yank on the bar too hard because the rear of the trucks aren’t supported very well in the yard. I really don’t like dying under a truck in a junkyard. You can’t cut bolt heads off due to the design of the mount. I tried to cut through the sleeve and bolt. But for some reason, the sawzall just wouldn’t cut through the sleeve, even with brand new blades. My last choice was to cut through the mounts. They are odd enough shape that the best places to cut is right were my saw will not fit. In addition, batteries just don’t last long. I took an inverter to charge my packs. You can’t leave your tools unattended, so you have to pack up everything to leave the yard. My pack charger has a hot battery cool time. So, I would have to start up the truck and run the A/C to try and speed up the process of cooling down the batteries. The batteries take like 30 to 45 minutes to re-charge. After my third junkyard trip (one for the axle, two for the springs), I had all the leaf springs I need.

The junkyard leaf springs needed new bushings. I decided to remove the the Ford one piece rubber bushings by cutting them out with a hole saw. It worked pretty well, but be prepared for a stinky mess. The rubber heats up, gets gummy, gets flung everywhere, and smokes. Don't expect your hole saw to look the best after your done either. The new poly bushing require that the internal metal shell in the eye of the spring be removed. I cut a line in the shell with long sawzall blade, but not complete through it. Then I hammered a chesal next to the line.




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Unread 12-29-2009, 09:23 AM   #3
E_ROCK
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I ordered this badboy! Click me!


When I received my Genright EXT tank, I looked everywhere for the gold plating, but I didn't find any.

The tank is really high quality.




All the TIG welding looks top notch.



The tank has baffles and has a baffle area right where the fuel sending unit is located. It acts as a sump without being sunk down.



The one flaw.
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Unread 12-29-2009, 09:24 AM   #4
E_ROCK
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I also ordered up a couple of more parts from Ruffstuff Specialties.
Way Back Shackle Hanger


3 hole D44 2.5" wide spring perches
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Unread 12-29-2009, 09:24 AM   #5
E_ROCK
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I removed the rear axle, gas tank, bumper, and leaf spring packs.


And I started cutting off brackets and bumpstops.


I put some wheels on my bench to move it around the garage and out to the driveway on nice days. Today was nice! :supz:
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Unread 12-29-2009, 09:25 AM   #6
E_ROCK
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I worked on adding hinges for the fold down CJ tailgate. Much easier to work in that area when the axle, suspension, and gas tank is removed. The area on YJs where you need to bolt the hinges to the vehicle is boxed in and not accessible.
Back without holes punched yet


Side view of boxed area


From underneath


I put the hinges on the gate and marked my holes. After I knew where the hinges needed to be, I went under the jeep and cut some access holes.


I then cut some plate so that the sheet metal will be sandwiched between the plate and the hinge. I tack welded some nuts to the plate.


One thing I didn't think about until after I was done. Instead of plate, I should have used a piece of "L" channel. That way forces on the hinge/plate will just push downward into the bottom of the boxed area. I may go back and redo them. I want to make sure the gate is durable enough that I can stand on it and load gear. Another advantage is I can run a bolt through the "L" and bottom of the boxed area. That way if you want to take your hinges off, the plates don't move on you. I hate when you think of good ideas after you are done.

Tailgate mounted


I finished the day by cutting off the frame side leaf spring mounts and my traction bar mount.
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Unread 12-29-2009, 09:26 AM   #7
E_ROCK
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There is also something I needed to take care with all the suspension removed. I have a very small tranny leak. It is easier pulling the Atlas T-case and tranny apart when all the rear suspension is removed from the jeep. Here is the bad news

I found a crack in the mount of my AX15 tranny. I really expected just a seal problem, but it looks much worse.


I made my own tranny mount when I build my tummy tuck skid with the Atlas install. Click here for the details

This will set the rear stretch project in the back seat for a bit. I sourced a used tranny and will have to figure out a way to go back to a stock-ish mount with the TT skid.

This is the replacement tranny. I cleaned up before putting it in.


Since the tranny is out, I might as well replace the clutch too.
Old clutch



The non-rear stretch build continues.... I took the flywheel to Carquest to be resurfaced.
Resurfaced Flywheel


The new Centerforce II clutch


I spent alot of time spinning my wheels on what to do with the tranny mount. I decided that I am running out of time, so I returned the mount back to stock. The stock mount is taller than the one I made. So, I had to bolt the mount to the skid plate rather than the cross member. Since the bolts poke through the skid, I needed a way to protect them. I had some extra angle iron sitting around and chopped everything up at 45 degree angles. All there is left to do is put a plate over the top and drill two hole large enough to get a socket through it. I know that I will be kicking myself later when I get hung up in the rocks because of the bolt protection.

The stock mount. I had to trim it up a bit to get it to fit.


Here is the bottom of the skid plate.



I finished up the tranny mount bolt protection. Not ideal, but I didn't want to spend a whole bunch of time on this. I can revisit this later if I get hung up a lot (or just buy a TF or AEV bellyup skid).


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Unread 12-29-2009, 09:27 AM   #8
E_ROCK
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I have one more non-rear stretch project. I have always wanted an ammo can console. The console is much easier to mount with the T-case out of the way. So, I bought a 40mm ammo can on an online retailer. The small 40mm can fits my jeep much better, than the typical 20mm can that most YJ guys put in. I just bolted it to the floor.

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Unread 12-29-2009, 09:27 AM   #9
E_ROCK
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The best part is I am back on the rear stretch! I cut the old cross member out. To do this, I had to separate the body from the frame. I took out all but the two front body mount bolts. I have a little 2000lb winch that is U-bolted to a piece of 2x2" steel. It is easy to lay the steel across several trusses in the roof of my garage. The winch makes it easy to pick up the back body of my jeep by hooking up to the cage.




I want to be able to use a receiver hitch if I ever needed to tow something with the jeep. Receiver tubing is a little expensive, so I felt it was worth cutting off the receiver tubing from the old bumper.


The plan is to use some 2x4” tubing for the new cross member. I chopped the tubing so that it is a 1/2" longer than the outside to outside frame dimension (1/4" each side). The plan is to fab up some fishplate that matches the frame near the rear cross member. This extra 1/4" will give me a nice place to weld the fishplate to both the on the outer side of the frame and to the new cross member. The inner side will be gusseted with the biggest gusset that the genright tanks will allow for.

I cut a center square out for the receiver tubing to slide into the tubing. The receiver tubing will be welded on both side of the cross member for strength. For now, I left the receiver tubing long until I figure out how much will be able to side into the cross member without touching the Genright tank.



I notched the cross member so that it 1 1/2" sit between the frame rails with the rest of the 1/2" sit out from the end of the rails. Here is the picture of the test fitment.


That is all for now. Stay tuned for more!
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Unread 12-29-2009, 09:36 AM   #10
yjcrawlr
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Looks good e-rock. I don't know anyone that has used ranger springs but they look like the main leaf is better than my cherokee main leafs. I have removed the oe rubber bushing by setting them on fire and knocking them out while the rubber is hot. Is the genright tank going to allow for enough stretch? I looked into it when I did my 6 inch stretch but it wouldn't clear my big 14 bolt pig.
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Unread 12-29-2009, 10:00 AM   #11
E_ROCK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yjcrawlr View Post
Looks good e-rock. I don't know anyone that has used ranger springs but they look like the main leaf is better than my cherokee main leafs. I have removed the oe rubber bushing by setting them on fire and knocking them out while the rubber is hot. Is the genright tank going to allow for enough stretch? I looked into it when I did my 6 inch stretch but it wouldn't clear my big 14 bolt pig.
Thanks, nice rig you have there. Where about in CO are you in? I don't think I have seen your rig before. I haven't seen anybody uses ranger springs either. I hoping between the 5 packs of junkyards and my two Alcan packs, I can make something work.

I don't have a torch, so I couldn't burn the bushings out.

I am hoping the stretch is right at 5". At least that is what my stupid math skillz say! The Genright people say it can be done with a D44 (only 4" with most 1 tons). How is the 14bolt with only 37" tires? Man, I wish I would have done 1 tons from the start.
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Unread 12-29-2009, 12:07 PM   #12
fatwreck
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I saw your posts over on colorado4x4....and just read through your whole thread here. It's looking good. I'm looking forward to seeing how the leaf spring mounts turn out. Are you putting the rear mounts behind the new crossmember?
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Unread 12-29-2009, 12:56 PM   #13
E_ROCK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatwreck View Post
I saw your posts over on colorado4x4....and just read through your whole thread here. It's looking good. I'm looking forward to seeing how the leaf spring mounts turn out. Are you putting the rear mounts behind the new crossmember?
Yep, they should simlar to this using the ruffstuff waybacks:



When did you move to IL? I have always like your Indy pictures. There used to be a cool one at the waterfalls.
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Unread 12-29-2009, 01:36 PM   #14
TSEJEEPERS
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Looks good E Rock. Looking foward to see how the Ranger springs work out.
So do you think the crack in your AX 15 was because of the tranny mount that you fabbed? I am running pretty much the same type of mount but mine goes to both sides of the frame.
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Unread 12-29-2009, 02:48 PM   #15
E_ROCK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TSEJEEPERS View Post
Looks good E Rock. Looking foward to see how the Ranger springs work out.
So do you think the crack in your AX 15 was because of the tranny mount that you fabbed? I am running pretty much the same type of mount but mine goes to both sides of the frame.
I wish I knew. It is a very cloudy topic.

Some people say yes, that you should only have one mount at the tranny end. The engine and tranny mounts should form a triangle. Others say no, that I broke because I didn't match the material. Rubber at the engine mounts mean you should rubber at the tranny end. My fabbed mount has a poly bushing and the MORE 1" bombproof are rubber.

Some people believe it was from the drivetrain rolling and others believe that it was strictly from the frame flexing. Some people suggested an atlas support ring with my fabbed mount, other said to return it to stock with an atlas support ring, other said don't use the support ring at all.

I gave up all hope trying to understand. I am going to try the stock mount with the atlas support ring.
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