A little update:
I got the passenger side frame stiffener on.
Then I got started on the floor.
Here's how I cut the floor to tie into the frame rails.
I did something similar by the tailgate.
Next, I put a couple spot welds on each of the little tabs.
This process was my attempt at keeping the existing structure in tact. I have 1/8" plate to weld on the inside of the frame rails, which will be welded to the plate wrapped around the bottom as well as the top of the inside frame rail. I have pictures I can post later to help illustrate the idea.
I mentioned in an earlier post that the transfer case in my truck has not been working. When I would put it in 4wd, there would be a loud clunking/skipping noise and 4wd would semi-engage. A buddy of mine was going to swap them for me at his shop, but when he lined it up, the input shaft was too long for the mating surfaces to contact. So, I took both cases home and disassembled them to swap the input shafts. This gave me a chance to see what was wrong with mine. I had never checked the fluid in it until it broke. When I did, I saw that the fluid was practically non-existent, and what fluid was there was dark gray with lots of metal bits stuck to the magnet in the case. So, here's a friendly reminder to check your transfer case fluid.
The problem in mine turned out to be a worn chain. The sides of the chain have keepers to keep the chain on the gears. You can see below that these keepers have been worn off. When I opened it up, the chain was only halfway on one of the gears. I assume once the keepers wore off, the chain flopped around and stretched, which explains the semi-engagement.
Anyway, I got what I needed; the right size input shaft! Now I just need to clean the parts and put everything back together.
So, if I wanted to use my spare np241 for the Jeep, it would need a good cleaning and a new chain.
I got everything cleaned and re-assembled this weekend, and took the case back to my buddy's shop. Hopefully my truck will once again have 4wd soon!
I think I'm gonna forget about using this tcase as a potential future swap into the Jeep, because it needs a chain and oil pump, and I ultimately want a Dana 300 anyway. I won't bother with a tcase swap at this point, just trying to get the axles in for now. Hopefully I can accomplish something on the Jeep next weekend.
Well I managed to get a little done lately. I picked away at a few different little projects.
I finished off the inside of the frame rails in the back.
I'm working on a new crossmember to finish off the front of the floor opening. It's 1 1/2" x 3" x 1/4" tube with integrated adjustable shock mounts. I got started on the mounts:
After finishing the frame rails, I decided to tackle the wheels wells, which I had been dreading because welding sheetmetal is frustrating. Anyway, I marked them out based on the measurements I had taken a while back.
That's as far as I've gotten on that so far.
A couple days later, my mini spool came in the mail, so I opted for working out of the cold.
There's an option to buy a new crosspin with the mini spool on ECGS's website, which I didn't choose because I figured mine would be ok... which it wasn't. Apparently the previous owner of this axle gave it some serious abuse, to break a crosspin in an open differential.
I wanted to shave a bit off the 14bolt. I've seen the diy Undercover Fab shave kit for a diff cover with a 1/4" flange and 1/4" cover, but the Blue Torch diy regular cover has a 3/8" flange and is a little cheaper. Without the bottom bolt, I wanted a stiffer flange to ensure a good seal.
Anyway, the cover came in the other day. I bolted it down and welded in alternative locations to try and avoid warping, which worked like a charm. However, I wasn't able to bolt the cover down when I did the inside, so it ended up warping a little, but it still fits tight all around when bolted on. Here we go...
I cut out the bottom bolt hole and it became just like the Undercover Fab kit, except with a heavier flange.
I also got my pinion pilot bearing in the mail. This was tricky to find. I initially searched a lot online and was only able to find one supplier. I then ordered the wrong size bearing. I returned it, but they said that those bearings were no longer available. I checked around again and no one carried them anymore. So, if anyone else is having this problem, here's a tip. I went to the Timken website, where they have a part search tool. This gave me the part number as well as dimensions of the bearing. Then I googled the part number and came up with a few different suppliers. I bought one on eBay for cheap. It showed up and fits perfect. Now I can finally re-assemble the diff.
I also got the Ruff Stuff shock mounts installed.
I had to put the leaf springs back on and set the Jeep on the axle, to mark out the locations. Seemed like a lot of work at the time, but I am very satisfied with the results.
So that's pretty much it for now. I started to mock up the brakes this weekend, since I have the parts in now, but first I have to clean and paint the hubs. Then I can mount the rotors and press in the wheel studs.
Well I finished the rear crossmember this weekend. Here's what I came up with:
Then I took a notch out of this 1 1/2" x 3" x 1/4" tubing:
I mocked it up with an old shock I had laying around. I will flex it out when it's done and measure short and long lengths and order shocks accordingly. I've heard mounting shocks on an angle like this makes them less effective, so I'm interested to see how it rides.
I found I have 12 1/4" of clearance below the diff.
I also had a chance to paint my calipers and brackets.
I'm not looking forward to working on sheetmetal again, but I need to finish it up so I can mount the axle for good. That's probably gonna be next weekend's project.
To finish off the rear, I still need to:
-Finish wheel wells and build flares
-Install sheetmetal skid for gas tank
-Take care of misc. final welding and touch-ups
-Run new fuel lines
-Build tank enclosure
-Clean and paint spindles and replace seals
-Run brake lines
-Paint and assemble axle
-Get a longer rear driveshaft
-Build a rear bumper
I won't have the bearings until next week, but I did get new wheel studs pressed in. My axle is from a SRW truck (I'm pretty sure), but I used the dually wheel studs to give me enough thread if I choose to use aluminum wheels in the future. I tried it out with a spare aluminum wheel, and there's just enough thread. The DRW studs I used are Dorman part # 610-194. I got them from Autozone for $1.99/each. Here's a comparison with the original studs:
In other news, I was considering future options for Dana 60 drive flanges instead locking hubs, as well as a way to shorten the length of the hub. I probably won't do this for a while since I'm going to run a front spool for now. Anyway, I have a spare set of rear Dana 60 hubs, which are shorter than the front hubs. I was thinking about using these in the front with external drive flanges to try and gain at least an inch in clearance, but wasn't sure if the length of the stub shaft would become an issue. Anybody familiar with this? Here's a comparison between front and rear Dana 60 hubs:
Well I started working on the gas tank skid over the weekend. I wasn't able to bend the 1/8" material without cutting halfway through the back of the bend and then welding it shut. It took a while, but I'm satisfied with how it turned out.
A great fit!
The clearance is terrific; no more bumping the tank on rocks!
I also split the driver side wheel well and moved it back ~4 1/2" to match the passenger side. Other than that, not a whole lot of progress.
I was hoping to get more done, but some friends from out of state were visiting for the long weekend. The weather was perfect so we decided to go shooting and have some fun in the snow. Funny clip:
That's the closest I've been to wheeling since October; it was a lot of fun!