Well, I've made a little progress lately. Mostly, I've been waiting for parts.
I pulled out the 8.25 and started working on the 14bolt.
I threw it under the Jeep just so it felt like I was making progress:
It looks like the diff might contact the gas tank, but I will most likely be raising the tank anyway.
The shackles as shown will probably contact the edge of the shackle boxes during articulation. To solve this, I thought about making my own long boomerang shackles to get a better shackle angle and avoid contacting the box. I know I could use shackle relocation brackets, but I'd rather keep it simple and use the oem mounting locations. Besides, a bolt-on relocation bracket makes me nervous. Then I found these shackles by IronMan 4x4 Fab, which are designed to accomodate my springs and use the stock mounts.
Here they are next to my RE shackles:
I don't have a picture of them mounted on the Jeep, but they gave me a good shackle angle, and I don't think I'll have a contact problem.
I gained about an inch of lift over RE spring packs and RE shackles with this new setup.
Next, I decided to make some spring plates. I know I could buy some for ~$40-50, but I like making my own stuff when it seems practical. Besides, the material was available for free. I got some 1/2" plate (I know-overkill) and did this:
The offset on one edge was due to my material being 1/2" wider than I needed, and I'll incorporate an offset bumpstop plate into that eventually. So, it will only look strange temporarily.
As I mentioned earlier, I want to keep it streetable. I'm doing a disk brake setup in the rear, which gives me 2 options for production calipers: chevy 3/4 ton fronts or eldorado rears. The eldorados have a parking brake feature (mechanical parking brake required for inspection), but I've heard their braking performance, as well as the parking brake performance, is poor. The chevy front calipers have a pretty good reputation, so I'll use those. To solve the parking brake dilema, I ordered a transfer case brake from All Pro Offroad. I searched around online for a while to try and find someone who made a rotor to fit a RE hack 'n tap flange pattern to no avail. I could get a complete NP231 kit, but it requires upgrading the splines, and would require a new driveshaft. So, I ordered this kit from All Pro (a Toyota outfitter), and re-drilled it to fit the hack 'n tap. I can retrofit this product to fit my application for about half the price or less than a complete 231 kit would run me.
In other news, I found a set of new dodge steel wheels locally for a good price. I want to use a stock wheel to tuck in the overall width. Since fender flare coverage will be required for the street, I want them to look the least stupid as possible. I know this much backspacing means that the hub will stick out beyond the tire, but I'll see how bad it is once they're mounted on the axle. Hopefully this setup won't create a problem with my lower links up front. I have another set of wheels with 2 or 3 inches less backspacing that I could put another set of tires on in the future. I also got a set of 38.5x11x16 SS Boggers. They measure just shy of 37".
While waiting for parts to arrive, I spent a little time trying to figure out how I want to modify my non-winch bumper to accomodate the newly-acquired winch. I think I have a pretty good idea now:
As it sits now, the Jeep has no rear axle, shocks, springs, or gas tank. Everything under the cargo bay is stripped off so I can get to work reinforcing everything. I'm going to complete everything in the rear, and then flip it around and build the front.
Well, I want to trim the rear fenders and lengthen the wheel wells. However, I haven't had the right size ubolts yet so I can mount the axle. The ubolts are scheduled for delivery today, so hopefully I'll make good progress this weekend. I did manage to cut and fold the rear last night. When I cut open the driver's side, about 5 lbs of dirt fell out, haha. Sorry for the lousy pic, I forgot to charge my camera again.
Once the fenders are figured out, I can pull the axle off again and go to town on the sheetmetal.
Well, a little progress... I started working on unibody reinforcement in the rear. I found some pre-bent 1/8" plate at the local steel supplier, with the dimensions very close to what I needed. Making my own stiffeners was surprisingly easy and didn't take as long as I thought it would; and steel was $.50/lb. After some cutting, bending and drilling, I ended up with this:
I'm probably going to raise the gas tank halfway through the floor, so I'll box in the frame rail on the inside too.
Maybe I can come check it out sometime, this is gonna be a great rig.
Originally Posted by NHJeep4x4
To bend the plate for truss, I whipped up a handy little brake for my shop press, out of some scrap 3/8" plate.
I've heard you need at least a 20 ton press for this, but my 12 ton seemed to handle it. Here's a 4" wide piece of 3/8" I used to test it.
I figured if I could do 3/8" plate, then I should try 1/2". Let's just say I need to make a new upper crossmember for the press, and I won't be bending that heavy of material again.
Yeah, you should check it out; it's at my parents' house. I'm there often.
Just a thought; I don't plan on upgrading the transfer case at this time, however...
My DD is a 2000 Ram 2500 Cummins and the transfer case (np241) is busted. When you turn the front output flange, you can hear parts jingling around inside. The case structure is fine though. I'm replacing it with a good used case in the next few days. The old 241 case would be free, other than parts for the rebuild (don't know what's wrong with it yet). Also, I've heard that these might fit with an adapter plate? Both transmissions are auto (23 spline), but I'm unsure if it's a compatible spline cut. I'm wondering if rebuilding this 241 for the Jeep would be worth it and what significant improvements there are. The ratio is 2.72; I think a 231 is 2.62? What do you guys think- would this be a worthwhile option for the future?