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Unread 09-28-2013, 09:47 PM   #1
AGDubyaJ
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AG's 3-link mid-arm build!

Hey everyone! been on the forum a while, in the WJ and ZJ sections mostly. March of this year I acquired my 98 XJ sport- 4.0L, AW4, NP231 case, and a chryco 8.25 rear. 178,000 miles on it, Interior was in O.K. shape, paint is oxidized on the hood, roof, and some areas on the side... Paid $1800 for it.


heres how it sat on 30s- the PO had crunched in the bumper and grill when she hit a row of mailboxes So I built a simple bumper for it... dont really like how it turned out, gonna build another.




Drove it stock for a while, and started getting death wobble- every control arm bushing was shot, track bar bushings were dead, steering in O.K. shape.

WARNING- all the suspension fab work on this jeep was done with an OA torch, an angle grinder, and a stick welder- had I had proper tools; it probably would have turned out much cleaner.

Then, I came across these on craigslist for $150- 5 Johny joints, Stainless steel seamless tubing for link material, some funky brackets, threaded inserts, and 7" TJ coils

The funky Pass. side bracket- no way I was gonna run these things for my link brackets.


SO, I decided to start building... I started my making my new brackets and torching my lower control arm brackets off.

heres what I came up with for my drivers side lower- all 1/4" plate, gusseted, reinforced, holes for rosette welds, welded em up with good ole' 7018. They are pretty stout.


And heres the Pass. side upper and lower partially welded on the Jeep- cant find the pics of the bracket by itself... It is a one-piece type construction, made of 1/4" plate, gusseted and reinforced the holy bejesus out of it. Frame side link separation is not adjustable, but it is set at 5" which is plenty. clears the exhaust by 1/8", also blew a couple holes in the uniframe welding em on... PENETRATION BABY




For the axle side upper bracket, I just purchased another JJ and adjustable link tower from Poly-Performance- cheap and effective. Axle side separation is adjustable from 6.5" to 7.5". Used the factory axle side LCA brackets, gotta reinforce em with some more 1/4" plate lol. Working on an axle/upper link brace the runs from the pumpkin to the UCA mount- dont wanna twist the tube out of the pumpkin or shear the bracket off the tube... that could be bad.

I had a brand new- still in the box, WJ track bar from RC- heim on one end, factory type bushing on the other. Built an adjustable "drop" bracket to accomodate the heim, gonna fully weld that sucker to the jeep. Had to cut 1" the track bar and rod end- It was about 1" too long to work with the bracket I built- design is also very strong and didnt want to change it. all 1/4" wall stuff as well.


mocked up the angles with some rope and they look good, BUT i'm getting BAD BUMPSTEER NOW!!!

Didnt get too many pics of the 3 link build itself as I was in a hurry to get it done... its my DD! Then I went on the hunt for some cheap tires and rims- SCORE!!! found 5 TJ moabs w/ (3) 285/75 herc terra tracs w/ 75% tread, and a goodyear MT/R. But, heres how she sits now-






For the rear I went with an S10 bastard pack. Used the XJ main leaf, S10 main w eyes cut off, S10 2nd, and S10 3rd. Put me right at 4.5" in the rear. Shackle angle is ****ed, but it still rides and flexes O.K.

Still waiting on my cheapo rustys shocks (yes, Ive been driving w/ out shocks lol- just around town), also found some YJ lines on CL- think ill jump on em. rear driveshaft angle is pretty bad, and my slip yoke is EXTENDED, gonna do a hack N tap and another front shaft.

stay tuned- lots more to come!

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98 XJ- 4.0L, NP231, AW4, chryco 8.25, 4.5" mid arm 3-link, 285/75 Herc terra tracs on moabs, V8 ZJ tie rod, fabbed bumpers...
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Unread 09-28-2013, 10:12 PM   #2
MOBBiN
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Looks good. Post up some more pictures of the mounts when you get a chance?
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Unread 09-29-2013, 12:48 PM   #3
Camfam07
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for realz! get some pix up so we can see what ya did there. looks like your moving right along with this build.
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Unread 09-29-2013, 01:22 PM   #4
AGDubyaJ
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heres some pics of the mounts as requested... only thing i dont like is that they robbed 2.5" ground clearance, would have built them above the frame rail, but I just couldnt come up with a solid design. but compared to long arms or drop brackets, they still sit plenty high enough for what ill be doing. They are not the prettiest by any means, but very strong and functional. All the holes were drilled nice and straight, all edges rounded/ beveled, lots of bracing and gusseting material added.

pass. side lower


pass. side rear view


drivers side lower


pass. axle side-


axle side- looking towards frame mounts



they will look a lot better when they are all bedlined... still gotta weld on my sliders, and finish up a few welds on the brackets before i can put any paint on em though. control arm angles are great. @ 6.5" separation at the axle, the upper is almost flat, lowers are almost flat as well- maybe 5* angle or so.

so far, after buying the used parts off craigslist, stuff from poly-performance- JJ and link tower, shocks, hardware (all grade 8), and tires- Im only in around $700. CHEAP 3- link!!!
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98 XJ- 4.0L, NP231, AW4, chryco 8.25, 4.5" mid arm 3-link, 285/75 Herc terra tracs on moabs, V8 ZJ tie rod, fabbed bumpers...
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Unread 09-29-2013, 02:01 PM   #5
Camfam07
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sweet! I guess the title answers my next question! haha I was going to ask so your building short arms?? haha the title clearly states MID ARM, thats sweet man i'd like to see some flex shots and stuff of this seems like a pretty solid design. im curious as to why a few of the others on here have not chimed in on this one yet. shoot its not about looks on here as much as function.
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Unread 09-29-2013, 02:28 PM   #6
AGDubyaJ
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yea, I wanted to build long arms at first, but after a lot of reading and researching; mid arms articulate just as well, while not sacrificing ground clearance towards the center of the jeep. The lowers are at 24" right now, upper is at 25 1/2". It flexes quite nicely, only thing binding me up is the TRE where the drag link meets the steering knuckle. Ill definitely get some flex shots!!!
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Unread 09-30-2013, 12:55 PM   #7
AGDubyaJ
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So I adjusted the toe last night, set it close to 1/8" in... its driving MUCH better now. death wobble is gone, but there is still a little bumpsteer; gonna move the track bar up at the frame and see if that changes anything. also looks like I might need to push the front axle forward an inch or so, my wheel base is still right around 101" though?

also decided to yank the flares off and started eyeballing how i'm gonna trim the fenders, Ive got some serious rubbing going on. might try to use the stock flares, not sure yet. Also rub on my LCA's- not even close to full lock, looks like i'm gonna have to buy freakin wheel spacers and add some washers to my steering stops.

I think it looks pretty good with out flares though...
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98 XJ- 4.0L, NP231, AW4, chryco 8.25, 4.5" mid arm 3-link, 285/75 Herc terra tracs on moabs, V8 ZJ tie rod, fabbed bumpers...
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Unread 09-30-2013, 02:15 PM   #8
VegasGT
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Looks great. Id go ahead and trim, dont even waste your time with trying to make the flares work, been down that road before.

Glad to see someone else with a mid arm, I intend to build something similar once I get stiffeners and the balls to do it.
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Unread 10-01-2013, 07:35 PM   #9
AGDubyaJ
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^ Thanks man! its been a fun build, LOTS of work... took me almost a month to get everything done. definitely worth it though, very fun to drive now haha! cant wait to take it wheeling...

I actually wanted to do some uni-frame stiffeners of sorts, but just cant afford the steel right now... Im thinking of using a couple pieces of 3" x 1/4" strap @ 34" long to mount my sliders to, weld the strap to the uniframe rail and simply tie it in to the side plate on the brackets, then fishplate. so far, I've flexed the crap out of it, hit some gnarly potholes, and experienced some VERY harsh death wobble and the brackets have not shown any sign of movement or deflection, and there isn't any signs of weld failure. anything I add to it now, will just be added support for the uniframe.

I'm definitely gonna trim, gonna ditch the stock flares. now, Im just trying to gather up the confidence to cut and fold the rear, I had a bad experience on my last xj lol.
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98 XJ- 4.0L, NP231, AW4, chryco 8.25, 4.5" mid arm 3-link, 285/75 Herc terra tracs on moabs, V8 ZJ tie rod, fabbed bumpers...
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Unread 10-02-2013, 08:33 PM   #10
SFRautomotive
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Looks good
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Unread 10-02-2013, 09:08 PM   #11
AGDubyaJ
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^ thanks, much appreciated!

But heres some poser flex shots, this was in 2wd, didnt lose traction just started bending my fender in a little so I stopped lol... will take more pics once I trim and finish my new bumper.







rubs bad in the back too, as of right now, my fenders are the only thing limiting my articulation... however, the driver side coil was already unseated in the above pics.
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98 XJ- 4.0L, NP231, AW4, chryco 8.25, 4.5" mid arm 3-link, 285/75 Herc terra tracs on moabs, V8 ZJ tie rod, fabbed bumpers...
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Unread 10-14-2013, 09:43 PM   #12
AGDubyaJ
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heres a few more flex shots, trimmed the front fenders- no more rub. Also, got my extended brake lines on... man, this things got some articulation. The coil was about 1" away from falling out of the bumpstop post, and it still could have drooped further haha. not getting any up-travel in the rear though, my shackle angle is BAD.probably gonna make some shackle relocation brackets and/ or some longer shackles.





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