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Technohead 05-30-2012 11:05 AM

The Second Coming: Eric's New ZJ Build
 
Its time to get a build thread going for my new rig. I'm starting to get nervous that I will be rigless for the whole season so hopefully this will create some extra motiviation.

All I am basically doing is swapping everything from my '96 ZJ which has a rusted unibody and 260k on the engine to a '98 ZJ with only 130k and a near mint condition unibody. Along the way I need to replace a few parts and tweak a few aspects from the previous build. Sounds easy, right?

Here's a picture from the last time my old rig was on the trail back in February and a picture of the final resting place :( :

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...12/pic-003.jpg

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-003.jpg

Here's a couple pictures of my new rig:

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...-03-15-001.jpg

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...-03-15-002.jpg

Let the misery begin!

Technohead 05-30-2012 11:05 AM

I'll be swapping over the entire suspension including axles, control arms, springs, shocks, track bar, and limit straps. Cutting the old suspension brackets off and reusing them would be too much of a PITA so I cruised down to Clayton's shop and picked up some new brackets:

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...-03-15-003.jpg

I got 2+ seasons from the Moog ball joints before the uppers started to get sloppy. This year I will be giving the new Synergy Suspension ball joints a shot. I also need to rotate the rear spring perches about 10 degrees and will replace the front axle u-joints as a preventive measure:

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-006.jpg

Raw materials for my new rocker sliders and front bumper winch guard:

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-005.jpg

Stripping down the old rig starting with the bumpers and front suspension:

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-007.jpg

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-008.jpg

The radius arms do a number on the passenger side upper control arm bushing. I'm running a Johnny joint on the driver side upper but keep the rubber bushing on the passenger side in order to prevent too much binding:

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-011.jpg

Oops. What's wrong with this picture? I will have to adjust the front control arms a bit shorter in order to keep the Johnny joints from bending again. This kind of sucks because because the arms are already as short as I wanted. I wish the tubes were an inch longer.

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-012.jpg

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-013.jpg

Cleaned up front suspension parts and gave them a fresh coat of paint. Installed the new ball joints. U-joints are still work in progress:

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-009.jpg

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-010.jpg

Technohead 05-30-2012 11:06 AM

The original axle-side steering stabilizer bracket design interfered with the tie rod. Especially when the tie rod is bent which is all time. The first picture shows the where the tie rod was interfering with the bracket and the second picture shows the new design. I want to add a small gusset to the new design but need to wait until the axle is installed in order to make sure it clears the track bar.

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-014.jpg

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-015.jpg

I'm adding a winch guard to my front bumper mainly as a place to mount some Hella lights. The lights will be used on camping expeditions up North and removed for normal trail rides. Fit is everything when it comes to fabrication so I made a special jig for the compound tube cut.

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-017.jpg

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-018.jpg

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-019.jpg

I've started building the new rocker sliders. The previous design used 4"x4" tubing. This time I am using 3" x 5" tubing and slightly bigger steps so that they stick out an extra 1 1/2". Elias 4x4 did a perfect job bending the tubing to my specification.

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-016.jpg

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-020.jpg

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-021.jpg

Technohead 05-30-2012 11:07 AM

I was hoping to install the front bumper last weekend. Part of the job is relocating the evap cannister which hangs too low. Accessing the evap cannister requires removal of the lights, grille, and header panel which went fine.

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-022.jpg

The bumper bolts on where the factory tow hooks are bolted on and this is where the job went bad. In principle, removing the tow hooks is a 2 minute job with an impact wrench. Of course all 8 of the bolts were frozen and the impact wrench was only able snap 2 of them. I had to torch off the heads of the other 6 which sucked because they were hard to access. And of course its not good enough to cut the heads because the ends of the bolts stick out and won't allow the backing plate to fit through the frame as shown in the picture below. Now I need to use the Sawall to trim the bolts. And this is where I called it a day.

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-023.jpg

bananaslug 05-30-2012 11:28 AM

Yeah swapping everything over sounds simple enough, but my back is sore just reading this haha

Timo_90xj 05-30-2012 12:27 PM

Nice build going on :thumbsup:

Some of the above pics show why I wouldn't really care running radius arms anymore if I were to go long-arms. I did have T&T Customs Y-links on my XJ and loved them for the most part, but boy do they cause a lot of stress on some of the suspension parts :D Since you're using a standard johnny joint on the other upper, have you given any thought that you would modify the passenger side upper link tower for ie. 1/2" or 9/16" thru-bolt and use a single upper to get rid of the binding to run a "3-link" radius arm system in the front? With a 1/2" or especially 9/16" bolt you wouldn't need to worry about the bolt snapping, and you could carry the extra upper as a spare :thumbsup:


Quote:

Originally Posted by Technohead (Post 13645372)
I've started building the new rocker sliders. The previous design used 4"x4" tubing. This time I am using 3" x 5" tubing and slightly bigger steps so that they stick out an extra 1 1/2". Elias 4x4 did a perfect job bending the tubing to my specification

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-021.jpg

Looking at the pictures of your old ZJ the box steel rockers seem to be bolted on.. or is just because of the size of box steel (4" x 4") used on the old ones that the rockers hang so damn low? With the 3" x 5" tubing I'm pretty sure you could get similar results I did on my ZJ. I used 2" x 4" welded to a 2" x 2" box steel + 1.75" OD tubes for rocker replacement. I cut the rockers about 3/4" below front doors - bottom of rockers hang only about 1/2" lower than floor level which IMO is pretty much perfect.

Technohead 05-30-2012 02:13 PM

With the bushing blown out like that I was for all practical purposes already running a "3 link" radius arm design. Clayton also suggested switching to a 1/2" or 9/16" bolt. For now I just want the damn thing running and will replace the bushing more often.

The old rockers were welded directly to the pillars. Zero bolts. The new rockers will be attached exactly the same way.

Timo_90xj 05-30-2012 02:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Technohead (Post 13646368)
With the bushing blown out like that I was for all practical purposes already running a "3 link" radius arm design. Clayton also suggested switching to a 1/2" or 9/16" bolt. For now I just want the damn thing running and will replace the bushing more often.

The old rockers were welded directly to the pillars. Zero bolts. The new rockers will be attached exactly the same way.

Ok, that's what I thought.. it was the size of the old rockers that fooled me a little. Welding is the only way to do it right :thumbsup:

I hear you on getting the damn thing running, I've had my ZJ on axle stands since February :nuts: I need to get wheeling before my head explodes :D

Technohead 06-15-2012 08:24 PM

Both the front and rear bumpers from my old rig have been sandblasted, painted, and bolted on to my new rig. Of course this "bolt-on" job also included cutting, grinding, drilling, and welding. The evap canister was raised out of the way as part of the front bumper install:

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-024.jpg

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-025.jpg

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-026.jpg

The rear axle is almost out of my old rig. The coil buckets are way off and need to be rotated about 15 degrees:

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-027.jpg

Technohead 06-15-2012 08:26 PM

I pulled the trigger on the suspension install earlier today:

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-028.jpg

Here is why its good to tear the suspension down for inspection every now and then. A crack was starting to form in the track bar bracket. A big reason why is because it was only welded together from the outside:

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-029.jpg

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-030.jpg

Fixed:

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-031.jpg

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-032.jpg

Relocating the rear spring buckets:

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-033.jpg

Barring disaster things should move fast now. My goal is to get the rear axle mounted tomorrow and then the front axle Sunday.

BlackDaddyZJ 06-15-2012 09:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Technohead (Post 13728309)
I pulled the trigger on the suspension install earlier today:

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-028.jpg

Here is why its good to tear the suspension down for inspection every now and then. A crack was starting to form in the track bar bracket. A big reason why is because it was only welded together from the outside:

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-029.jpg

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-030.jpg

Fixed:

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-031.jpg

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-032.jpg

Relocating the rear spring buckets:

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-033.jpg

Barring disaster things should move fast now. My goal is to get the rear axle mounted tomorrow and then the front axle Sunday.

this is looking real good. are the claytons brackets weld in? im thinking of geting the brackets and just making the arms myself at work. are you using the stock tie rods or something stronger?

Technohead 06-16-2012 04:42 AM

Yes, the brackets are welded to the unibody.

I am running the Currie CurrectLync steering system.

CTeunuch 06-30-2012 05:24 PM

Looking good Eric, now hurry up so you can hit some trails this summer! You planning on going to Fall Crawl?

Also, are you still interested in the AEV's I have? Shoot me a PM if you are.

jtackerman28 06-30-2012 10:35 PM

is that a Rubicon express bracket?

Technohead 07-01-2012 03:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CTeunuch (Post 13800069)
Looking good Eric, now hurry up so you can hit some trails this summer! You planning on going to Fall Crawl?

Also, are you still interested in the AEV's I have? Shoot me a PM if you are.

I'll be at Fall Crawl. Trail 6. Assuming I have a rig by then. Definitely still interested in the wheels. Need to do some math before sending a PM.

Technohead 07-01-2012 03:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jtackerman28 (Post 13801338)
is that a Rubicon express bracket?

Yes. I'm less than impressed with the construction. Adding a couple short beads to the inside would have made the bracket alot more durable.

jtackerman28 07-01-2012 08:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Technohead
Yes. I'm less than impressed with the construction. Adding a couple short beads to the inside would have made the bracket alot more durable.

Thanks now ill know to keep an eye on mine!

Technohead 07-07-2012 08:59 PM

Progress. Rear suspension is IN. Somehow I seem to have ended up with a couple extra inches of lift which renders my shocks, bump stops, and limit straps useless. I figured rotating the spring perches would have made a little difference but not that much. Hmmm.

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-034.jpg

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-035.jpg

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-036.jpg

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-037.jpg

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-038.jpg

squashman702 07-08-2012 07:15 AM

Monster truck status in the rear. Looks like 7" of lift now?

bananaslug 07-08-2012 02:43 PM

Shorter springs would be easiest it seems like. Looks more like 9" in the rear. Measure the hub to fender, i bet its crazy. I am seriously jealous of those axles tho

Technohead 07-23-2012 11:49 AM

Front axle is in:

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-039.jpg

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-041.jpg

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-043.jpg

I've broken a couple OEM engine mounts over the past 3 seasons and both times the fan blade shattered the shroud which in turn sheared the fan blade clean off. Hopefully these poly engine mounts from Ironman 4x4 will solve the problem.

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-040.jpg

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-042.jpg

Swapped in my built NP231:

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-044.jpg

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-048.jpg

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-049.jpg

Steering box, pitman arm, and linkage is all bolted up:

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-050.jpg

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-051.jpg

Brakes are mostly done. Proportioning valve and lines to the rear and drivers front are in. Still need to run the line to the passenger front (which is a NIGHTMARE):

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-052.jpg

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-053.jpg

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-054.jpg

Exhaust is in. Still need to add a hanger in front of the rear axle. The factory setup does not have one but its absolutely necessary for off-road use:

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-055.jpg

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ild/pic-56.jpg

Even got myself a fancy exhaust tip: :D

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-046.jpg

Credibilty:

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-045.jpg

Ocean State Jeepsters next camp-n-wheel is now less than two weeks away and its looking like I will be trail ready in time. Still to do includes:
  1. Finish plumbing the brakes and bleed the system
  2. Bolt in driveshafts & steering stabilizer
  3. Add fluid to the diffs
  4. Install cold air intake
  5. Replace battery terminals and wire up the winch
  6. Install rear shocks and limit straps

The above are the must-do items. If time permits I will also:
  1. Finish cut-out rocker skids
  2. Fab a new belly skid
  3. Install CB
  4. Install new sound system
  5. Build storage solution for the cargo area

BenHoleton 07-23-2012 03:46 PM

I definitely want to see a storage solution done! I am going to do something with mine. Have a few ideas. Just haven't built it yet

squashman702 07-23-2012 07:15 PM

Any issues with the Ironman mounts? CTeunuch's are becoming a nightmare.

Technohead 07-23-2012 07:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by squashman702 (Post 13910025)
Any issues with the Ironman mounts? CTeunuch's are becoming a nightmare.

Have not even started the engine yet. Tell me more. Vibration?

biggoofy 07-23-2012 07:58 PM

The v8 mounts have never had issues only the I6 due to variation in the uniframe from assembly plant to assembly Plant

CTeunuch 07-23-2012 08:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Technohead (Post 13910114)
Have not even started the engine yet. Tell me more. Vibration?

I don't think you have anything to worry about. The 4.0's apparently suffered from OEM production differences in the unibody, which caused line up issues for the mounts on the body side. There's a thread on Mallcrawlin about it in the vendor's section.

Jeeps looks good. Where are you guys wheeling?

Technohead 07-24-2012 05:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CTeunuch (Post 13910387)
Where are you guys wheeling?

A private property in Southern NH that used to be a campground. I call it Disneyland for Wheelers.

Technohead 07-31-2012 07:52 AM

Back in the saddle!!!

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-058.jpg

:D :D :D

At first I was getting the click-click-click when I tried to start it. Tried jumping without success. Charged the battery overnight and still nothing. Hooked the battery directly to my winch. Nothing. Its a one year old Diehard Gold. Sears tested the battery and came clean with a replacement. Started the engine up and after about a minute it starts smoking and screeching. Forgot to fill the steering system. Ooops. Hope its OK.

Finished bleeding the brakes, installed the rear limit straps:

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-057.jpg

Toe is way off so in about 10 miles I peeled a bunch of rubber off the front tires. Otherwise, so far so good. No leaks from the brakes, diffs, or t-case.

There is a rather annoying rattle coming from the front. Sounds like the fan shroud or something in the grille or header panel. Might be somehow related to the poly motor mounts. Speaking of which, they do not transfer nearly as much vibration as I expected. I like.

Still some details left to work out before the camp-n-wheel this weekend. Adjust the toe, rehab then bolt in the front driveshaft, replace liftgate supports, add one more hanger to the exhaust, install new head unit and cb, make the belly skid (if the steel ever shows up), wash, wax, and Armor All. :D

CTeunuch 07-31-2012 04:46 PM

Man that would look good on some AEV's;)

Sounds like you don't have too much to do before the weekend. Good luck and get some good pictures!

Technohead 07-31-2012 05:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CTeunuch (Post 13950824)
Man that would look good on some AEV's;)

Yes it would.

Just bought a new mountain bike and my daughters tuition is coming due. Still interested though . . .

CTeunuch 07-31-2012 05:30 PM

I'm picking up some 35's later this week, so they'll be on the market. One rim is dented and leaks, otherwise they're in good shape, ~40% tread and some dings in the rims. I'm going to put them up for $300, but I figured I'd give you first refusal.

Technohead 07-31-2012 05:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CTeunuch (Post 13951014)
I'm picking up some 35's later this week, so they'll be on the market. One rim is dented and leaks, otherwise they're in good shape, ~40% tread and some dings in the rims. I'm going to put them up for $300, but I figured I'd give you first refusal.

Hmmm. I did not realize they had tires. Remind me what they are?

CTeunuch 07-31-2012 06:47 PM

33x12.5x17 TrXus MT's, load range E. They flex well at ~8 PSI, and don't ride too terribly for how thick the sidewalls are.

Technohead 08-01-2012 06:02 AM

Tunes!!!

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-059.jpg

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-060.jpg

Everytime I do a radio, which is about every ten years, I'm reminded how much I don't like wiring. Figuring out how to make this thing work with the factory Infinity amp was a nightmare. I had the "plug-n-play" harness kit with instructions specific to 96-98 Grand Cherokees. Unfortunately, the instructions say connect the blue wire to the blue wire to power up the amp when in reality you need to connect the blue wire with the white stripe to the blue wire. In any event, its done now.

CTeunuch 08-10-2012 04:23 AM

Hint, hint...

http://neow.net/forum/index.php?showtopic=106812

Travisf90 04-07-2013 07:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Technohead (Post 13645367)
I'll be swapping over the entire suspension including axles, control arms, springs, shocks, track bar, and limit straps. Cutting the old suspension brackets off and reusing them would be too much of a PITA so I cruised down to Clayton's shop and picked up some new brackets:

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...-03-15-003.jpg

I got 2+ seasons from the Moog ball joints before the uppers started to get sloppy. This year I will be giving the new Synergy Suspension ball joints a shot. I also need to rotate the rear spring perches about 10 degrees and will replace the front axle u-joints as a preventive measure:

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-006.jpg

Raw materials for my new rocker sliders and front bumper winch guard:

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-005.jpg

Stripping down the old rig starting with the bumpers and front suspension:

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-007.jpg

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-008.jpg

The radius arms do a number on the passenger side upper control arm bushing. I'm running a Johnny joint on the driver side upper but keep the rubber bushing on the passenger side in order to prevent too much binding:

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-011.jpg

Oops. What's wrong with this picture? I will have to adjust the front control arms a bit shorter in order to keep the Johnny joints from bending again. This kind of sucks because because the arms are already as short as I wanted. I wish the tubes were an inch longer.

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-012.jpg

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-013.jpg

Cleaned up front suspension parts and gave them a fresh coat of paint. Installed the new ball joints. U-joints are still work in progress:

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-009.jpg

http://i262.photobucket.com/albums/i...ld/pic-010.jpg



Alright so I'm in the process of doing this I know this is an old thread but I hope to get a reply I wanna do the 3x5 tubing also cause I have no rockers what so ever. I'm curious as to what wall thickness you are running I can get 3x5x.25 for 6.25 a foot at a local metal yard they also have 3x5x.375 for 9 a foot now it doesn't really matter the price to me but I'm just curious if the .25 wall will be strong enough

CTeunuch 04-07-2013 07:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Travisf90 (Post 15262787)
Alright so I'm in the process of doing this I know this is an old thread but I hope to get a reply I wanna do the 3x5 tubing also cause I have no rockers what so ever. I'm curious as to what wall thickness you are running I can get 3x5x.25 for 6.25 a foot at a local metal yard they also have 3x5x.375 for 9 a foot now it doesn't really matter the price to me but I'm just curious if the .25 wall will be strong enough

IMO .25 is too thick, I ran .188 2x6 in my XJ and it was almost overkill. You could run .120 and skin the outer corner with an extra layer of .120 angle iron if you really wanted to try to save some weight.

What's up with the ZJ Eric? Headed to the May NEA meeting?

Travisf90 04-07-2013 09:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CTeunuch (Post 15262888)
IMO .25 is too thick, I ran .188 2x6 in my XJ and it was almost overkill. You could run .120 and skin the outer corner with an extra layer of .120 angle iron if you really wanted to try to save some weight.

What's up with the ZJ Eric? Headed to the May NEA meeting?

Alright that's why I was asking I figured someone that has done it already or knows better would give me an answer thank you much apprenticed

Technohead 04-08-2013 04:25 PM

DON'T use 1/4". Way too heavy. 3/16" at most. With a proper design you can even get by with less. Keep in mind that it ends up attached to sheet metal.

P.S. I never got the sliders done last season. And now my rockers are caved up into the doors. Good news is that I am working on the sliders at this very moment in prep for the coming season. Stay tuned.

Technohead 04-08-2013 04:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CTeunuch (Post 15262888)
What's up with the ZJ Eric? Headed to the May NEA meeting?

I'll be there. Hoping to wheel afterward. Rig is kind of FUBAR'd so if I bring it it will be on a trailer.


The time now is 09:28 AM.

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