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wellvrsd 08-23-2013 03:47 AM

Hardcore OM617 TJ (oxymoron?!)
This projects stems from a camping trip I went to Colorado for, back when I was living near Seattle. At the time I had the choice of driving my Nissan Titan and getting 12mpg, or my 330Ci which gets 30mpg. Of course my cheap *** drove the car, and dragged the bottom all over the rocks on the dirt road/campsite.

So I decided I needed a vehicle that could get me down the road economically, and still get me around if I needed to do some driving off road as well. Initially I was thinking lifted Audi TT (may still happen), but one day I was reading about a guy who put a MB Diesel out of a Sprinter into his Tacoma, and it got me to considering possibilities.

I settled on the OM617 partially due to having previous experience with these engines, but primarily due to cost. I drove the donor home for $700, and I’m going to get all of that back parting it out. I chose the TJ for the coil springs, then figured out I wanted ORI’s after I had bought one. At least I like the round headlights better.

My apologies if I’m longwinded.

wellvrsd 08-23-2013 03:47 AM

As it sits: Frame and axles cleaned of all unnecessary brackets, ready to start welding:

wellvrsd 08-23-2013 03:49 AM


I chose WJ quadradrive axles as I felt they give me the most bang for the buck. Quality LSD, upgraded brakes front and rear, and 3.73 gears which will put me about 1800rpm @ 70mph running 33" tires. I'm in them for $350 total.

The rear will be 4-linked, the front 3-linked.

The front will be stretched 5-6" to accommodate the OM617's oil pan. Assistance will come from an Astro van steering box.

The rear may be stretched up to 2" to help lengthen the driveshaft.

ORI's are cheaper than Springs/Shocks/bumpstops/brackets/Anti-Rocks.

wellvrsd 08-23-2013 03:50 AM


wellvrsd 08-23-2013 03:52 AM

ACC Elimination

In the end, I would like the belt to have only the water pump and alternator on it. I will most likely go with an electric vacuum pump as well.

wellvrsd 08-23-2013 03:53 AM


I intend to keep the jeep low to minimize how much brick is punching a hole in the air, but I need the engine to clear the axle, and I want a flat belly as well. The way to do this is massage/cut the firewall/trans tunnel as necessary.

wellvrsd 08-23-2013 03:53 AM


wellvrsd 08-23-2013 03:54 AM

Index if necessary.

wellvrsd 09-01-2013 01:55 PM

Some pics of the process so far:

One of the first things I did was pull the 4.0L out of the jeep and get some cash for it:

The car was taking up too much space, so I started cutting it up:

It would have been an absolutely horrendous job if I would have had only the angle grinder or the sawzall:

Only the important part remains:

Picking up a new tub:

A convenient way to move the tub around:

freaknajeep 09-01-2013 06:30 PM

So is this gonna be 2 or 4wd???

G Beasley 09-01-2013 09:56 PM

Love the diesel builds , look forward to watching you build this .

wellvrsd 09-03-2013 08:15 PM


Originally Posted by freaknajeep (Post 15861382)
So is this gonna be 2 or 4wd???

4WD, Grand Cherokee axles front and rear.

Your question and the fact that my buddy at work was looking at rat rod jeeps on the chive got me thinking. A person could probably build a 2wd rat rod version in the neighborhood of 2500lbs. I wonder what kind of mpg that could get. I may have to try that some day. There are quite a few vehicles ahead of that in line though.

wellvrsd 09-03-2013 08:21 PM

I never match mark anything, or make any other reference points on anything before I just dive into a project. It's something I'm working on.

So now I'm trying to figure out about where my axles were originally, and how far forward from the front axle the panhard frame mount was. Based on looking at some pictures I've come up with the following locations, which put me at about a 94.5" wheelbase with the center of the panhard mount ~3 foward of the center of the front axle. Anyone want to way in on my guesses? The lines on the vertical portion of the frame are where I think the axle centerlines were.



wellvrsd 09-06-2013 07:52 PM

Any help on the post above?

I got to spend a nice big chunk of time out in the garage today welding. Unfortunately I spent two hours of it fixing a screw up. I initially welded the rear upper link so high that it wasn't going to clear the tub. (I refuse to get a body lift) The good news was that I managed to figure out how to fix it without new parts. I was actually on hold with Ballistic ready to order brackets when I figured out where I could cut and reweld the brackets I had without changing any dimension other than the height. I'm glad they had a long wait, it probably saved me $100.

Here's my pile of brackets all welded up: (as well as a set of spacers I picked up off of craigslist for $100, and an HF angle finder. That angle finder is exactly the same as the one Lowes sells for double the price)

Some slag standing up on it's own:

The Monstaliner box suggested I take a picture with the box "on the hood of your rig". I figured it was worth hauling the hood out for:

G Beasley 09-06-2013 10:00 PM

I will pull front dimensions for you tomorrow , but the rear will be different on mine .

The time now is 01:59 PM.

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