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Spiderwebshade @ JeepHut.comTHE NEW! VANCO DUAL MODE 15/16″ Big Brake Kit w/BlaSavvy Billet LED Tail Lights

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Unread 11-14-2010, 09:52 PM   #76
87warrior
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2003 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Junction City, Kansas
Posts: 1,603
November Update
- I have removed the passenger side upper 'frame' rail and floor board. Next up is the driver side. There are still a few hidden spot welds from keeping it from coming off. Once those are free and clear, the truck will go to get soda blasted followed by a chassis coat of POR15.

AND... temptation bit me in the butt. I picked up this D44 front axle out of a 2005 Rubicon with 17K miles today. It has the 15" Vanco Big Brake kit (EBC Green Pads), ORO U-Turn steering with 7075 Aluminum Tie Rod (new TRE's), RE Track Bar, RockCrusher Diff Cover, 4:10 Gears, Alloy USA Axle shafts and Alloy USA axle seals. Has a busted front locker (typical for the rub lockers when loaded up). Figure $2500 in after market parts




My plan is to take the ORO Steering, trackbar end, shafts and seals out of this axle and install them in my Rubi. All of the stock stuff I take out of my axle will go into this housing for the Comanche, resulting in a stout axle for my project truck...

Rubi D44 going into the MJ will contain:
- 4.10s
- Rockcrusher Diff cover
- Vanco Brakes
- Replacement locker

I will need to get the rear MJ D44 overhauled and geared to 4.10, locker included.

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86 Comanche (Heavy Four)
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Unread 12-12-2010, 10:19 PM   #77
87warrior
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December 12 Update:
Progress has been slow and cold weather has set in. However, I managed to make some forward progress on the truck.

The floors had me slowed down. They need replaced and I did not want to do a patch job around the frame rail, so I spent a fair amount of time locating, drilling, and popping the spot welds along the upper frame support. This was done in preparation for the sand blaster as well, so the inside frame rails can be treated with POR15. It took a long time, but they came off straight with minimal deformation:


To my surprise, the inner frame is very solid with only minimal surface rust along the passenger side:



I also removed the sheet metal, doors, and dash from the MJ (again). After spending a few hours with the XJs steering column sub frame, I think I have come up with a solution to use the factory MJ parking brake pedal assembly. I will be using a bench seat so the typical XJ parking brake handle wont work for my application. I will also be using the XJ steering column brace that is spot welded to the cowl, for proper fit and structure.

Here you can see the TCU bracket and markings on the firewall where it will need to be mounted:


After a lot of careful measuring and comparing, it seem the HO firewall needs fewer modifications to it than the Renix era firewalls need when doing this swap. Two holes need welded shut, two need modified (steering shaft/engine harness grommet), and one needs added (above the blower motor).

Also got the AC/Heater box pulled from the XJ along with the engine harness and other under hood components.


Hopefully I can get the final fitment of the dash done in a few weeks so I wont have to drill any more holes in the firewall after the body shop gets it.
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Unread 12-13-2010, 01:09 PM   #78
1jack5
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Its, looking good!
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Unread 12-13-2010, 06:37 PM   #79
redjeep1992
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liking the MJ man can wait to see it finished
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Unread 12-13-2010, 07:14 PM   #80
32xj
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MJ's are so sick! I would trade my XJ for one in decent shape in a heartbeat! lol very nice/stout DD build
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'95 2dr 5 speed...rollin on 32's.. 4.25" lift up front and 5.5" out back...I need some spacers..and 33's, and an Aussie, and 4.10s, and a selectable locker for a d30 and the list goes on and on lol
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Unread 12-13-2010, 08:05 PM   #81
87warrior
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1jack5 View Post
Its, looking good!
Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by redjeep1992 View Post
liking the MJ man can wait to see it finished
Ha! Me too. I just dream of the day she fires up, then the wheeling trip I will take to the Rockies

Quote:
Originally Posted by 32xj View Post
MJ's are so sick! I would trade my XJ for one in decent shape in a heartbeat! lol very nice/stout DD build
I thought I bought a decent 'rust free' one I was all giddy to get my first MJ and paid the man way to much money. She should be good for another 200-300K miles when I am done
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Unread 01-19-2011, 07:18 PM   #82
87warrior
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January
Minor interior update

I pulled the heater box from the XJ and got it mounted in the MJ. This required drilling one hole to the right side of the blower motor.


Got the Steering Column/Brake pedal brace finally bolted through the A pillar cab side, less the upper right bolt. The back side of the mounting hole is in an open space between panels on the back side. Will get a stud welded in place for the missing mount. In addition the MJ parking brake mechanism is mounted and moved freely in conjunction with the aluminum brace:


99 XJ brake booster and pedal assembly bolted in place:


(booster clears the lip in front of the cowl but needs clearance cut like the XJ)

Here is a reference picture for anybody pondering this swap:

The green locations are the mounting holes for the '97+ steering column/brake pedal brace.
I gained access to the lower right hole via the hole were the door wires go through, utilizing a wire to hold the bolt and prevent it from falling. This bolt will be welded on the inside to prevent it from turning and falling between the cab body panels. The upper left is the mount I have not yet finished. The cowl seam comes down and prevents access as it sits. Hopefully a stud and be welded on the inside of the cab to support.

The yellow locations are the factory MJ parking brake mounts
The two mounts on the right are still being used while the third on the left has been relocated. I used a button head bolt through the relocated parking brake bracket to clear the locking mechanism, secured with a nut against the bracket, then through the lower left (green) XJ aluminum bracket and hole. You can see the 2nd nut on the button head bolt shared with the aluminum brace to hold the unit in place.

Another reference shot from the inside firewall. You can cearly see the factory MJ dash with a paper template of the XJ dash indicating how different the steering shaft holes are.


Fusebox is also mounted on the passenger a pillar/kick panel.

After making several calls to equipment rental stores and doing a lot of reading online, I picked up the 20lb pressurized abrasive blaster from the dreaded Harbor Freight. I also stopped by Tractor Supply and got 2 bags of their Black Diamond media. Have a respirator, hood, goggles, and gloves. Need to get some ear plugs.

Harbor Freight Blaster
Black Diamond Abrasive

Also have a moisture filter mounted to the blaster plumbing. I will be tackling this project out in 9" of blowing snow on Saturday. Oh Joy!
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Unread 02-08-2011, 09:27 PM   #83
87warrior
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The truck saw the light of day for the first time in over a year a few weeks back. It was quite exciting to just move it around, after filling a flattened tire.


BTW- I really like how it sits with no weight. From my calculations, this would be a 2-3" lift.

Started to blast with my new Harbor Freight 20lb blaster and Black Diamond media from Tractor Supply. This is how it started:


It took awhile to get the blaster setup and working correctly. Used up the two bags of media and almost got the rear frame rails cleaned up. The undercoating was tough/slow going, but the Black Diamond media cut through it with two passes. I need to get more of the media and finish up the rear frame rails, under the cab and engine bay.

The finish:


This was my first pass, with the smallest nozzle so it is a little splotchy:


The finish should react well with the POR15 3-step paint process. It is a very lightly etched surface that is smooth to the touch.

Made some more progress on the frame....

This was in the way, so I removed it:


Some of the post-blasting-pre-update pics:





This is the worst of it. Located above the rear bumpstop location.


After some blasting, the under carriage:

(I need to degrease the rest of it. I burned through A LOT of media trying to blast the 1/4" layer of grease over the under coating)


Just how good is that cab corner... blasted until the sheet metal quit disappearing.


Cleaned up spring hanger:


Progress was quickly halted when a rain shower dampened the used media while I was in town at lunch. Just turned the media to mud. I was able to reuse some of the media I previously collected and bagged. A simple 6" strainer from the Walmart kitchen section was used to filter the used media. Worked perfect!
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Unread 02-22-2011, 08:48 PM   #84
87warrior
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Finished blasting the frame/chassis. Took much longer than I anticipated, but the HF blaster held through it all and is ready for more

Overall Shots:



Engine Bay:


Passenger Inner Fender:


Driver Inner Fender:


Under Carriage:



A few spots need cleaned up, but I will use a flapper wheel on an angle grinder. Now I need to brush on POR15.
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Unread 04-04-2011, 07:56 PM   #85
rs74
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How is your progress coming along?
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Unread 04-06-2011, 10:25 PM   #86
87warrior
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rs74 View Post
How is your progress coming along?
Seems I have forgotten to update

I coated the media blasted frame, floor that wont be replaced, and inner fender wells with POR15.

Rear frame rail:


Cross member:


Floors and under the cab:



Inner fender well:


Front end:


I used less than a quart of POR15 and brushed it on with some of those cheap foam brushes. Seemed to work very well. Once new floors are installed they will be PORed. Then I applied their Tie-Coat primer on the rear rails followed by two coats of Chassis Black.

I found RUST forming at the TOP of the firewall/cowl/a-pillar seam. I almost left this area alone since it appeared rust free. If you blame the clutch master for allowing water in, you should remove the seam sealer in that corner as well.

Coated the back 1/2 of the frame with POR's Tie-Coat primer. This stuff surprised me. First off, IT IS BLUE! Secondly, it has the consistency of house latex paint


It requires a minimum of 24 hours to cure, above 65 degrees.

Went back to the donor to pull some more panels, this time for rust free steel for the body shop to use.


If you wanted to know what gives the A pillar its strength:


I used the spray gun that came with the U-Pol raptor liner kit and attached thehttp://www.amazon.com/3M-08998-Rust-Fighter-I-Application/dp/B0038D7GB2,a flexible wand for the 3M Rust kit, to spray the POR. *note: the wand does not thread securely to the U-Pol gun, so I wrapped the threads several times with Teflon tape* It came out very fine and sparse, so it took awhile to coat the inside of the frame rails but had nearly no waste. Also figured out that plain turpentine does a great job cleaning up POR15.
Getting close!!!



And....
I have been tinkering around with a Hidden Winch idea.

- D-Ring mounts
- Gussets for lateral strength with D-Rings
- Bumper only extended by 1"
- Pulling the bumper mounts back also brought the side plate back an 1".
- Winch plate has 4" of contact between winch plate and side plate on each side. (this is still more than my TJ's winch plate)
- Bracing around winch feet
- Removable fairlead mount is nearly the width of the winch and spaced away from the winch plate for drainage
- Nut Straps for bumper bolts

Hoping to cut out some physical models out of 1/4 foam board to build a mock up...

I tried a more integrated design approach after reading several topics on NAXJA about removing the front cross member. Seems to me that a solid bumper or winch plate can take place of the cross member if you extend plating down the frame rails. It is still pretty rough, but might be a good talking point



I have also included bumper mounting points instead of using the existing bumper brackets. I noticed Detours Fabrication did a similar thing with their backbone system. By doing this I would add steel the to back side of the factory bumper to prove lateral strength for the D-Ring mounts and provide a mounting location for the roller fairlead. The bumper should only be pushed out 1" from the factory location.

I have designed everything using 1/4" steel, the recommended thickness for a solid winch plate. The brackets extend 14" down the Unibody frame for additional strength (this is typical for the high end winch bumper set ups) and even brace the steering box. An additional set of Under Frame Straps utilize the front hitch mount design by tapping into the swaybar mount for more sheer strength. The winch plate is weld to the Unibody Brackets and Under Frame Straps and has 1/4" plate wrapped around plate for vertical strength.
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Unread 04-07-2011, 07:48 AM   #87
rs74
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It's looking good! Glad you are making some progress.
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Unread 04-07-2011, 08:03 AM   #88
87warrior
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rs74 View Post
It's looking good! Glad you are making some progress.
Thanks!

Getting the uni-frame done was a huge relief even though it took 3x longer than expected to finish. Having sand blasted, coated with POR15, sanded the POR15, applied Tie Coat, sanded the Tie Coat, then applied two coats of Chassis Black I know every square inch of that frame. Have also got removing the rear springs and axle in less than 5 minutes.

The body shop guy is getting ready for the truck. Once a stall opens up in his shop it will get C2C floor pans and rockers welded in and get a smooth coat of red paint.
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Unread 04-08-2011, 07:51 AM   #89
rs74
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I didn't realize that you had to sand the POR in between applications. Sounds like quite the process. I always wondered how that stuff worked.
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Unread 04-08-2011, 09:02 AM   #90
87warrior
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Sanding is only required if you wait more than 24 hrs to recoat. It is just to remove the gloss so the next layer sticks. I only have the weekends to do work so the POR was left to cure before I could re coat.
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