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Iron Cross Customer JK and TJ Wrangler Bumpers now at ROCKZONE 4.25" combo lift for TJ available at Rockridge4wROCKRIDGE4WD Introduces a NEW Jeep Wrangler JK *led* tail

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Unread 10-09-2011, 02:28 AM   #466
kyle_craig
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For those following my build, scroll down for some pictures of the axle swap and stretch being exicuted!
....To make the latest pictures understandable for those who may be new to my build thread, some homies and I did some major work on my Jeep this weekend. We swapped out the old Dana 35 rear axle for a stronger Dana 44 unit from an older Canadian Wrangler YJ, installed an air activated locking rear differential from a newer Rubicon edition Wrangler, and swapped out the bouncy rear coil springs for some more stable and flexy leaf springs from a Jeep Cherokee XJ. During the whole process we pushed the entire rear axle assembly rearward about 5" (thanks to a Genright brand stretch tank for clearance) to extend the wheelbase from 93" to 98" for stability and overall ride quality. Between plenty of bull****ting and puttsing, all of this was knocked out in a day and a half. If anyone is curious about this swap, has questions, or has any input feel free to PM me or leave comments here. For those skeptical, yes it's a TJ on leaf springs...sure its different, but it works well and I'm very satisfied with the changes in general.
Here are some pictures:

The good 'ole Dana 35 pulled...never failed me...


New Dana 44, locked, geared to 4.88, and ready to rock


Got all the old brackets cut off and grounded down


Figuring out where the axle needs to sit for a 5" stretch


Making progress...


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Unread 10-09-2011, 02:39 AM   #467
kyle_craig
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Old coil spring brackets all cleaned up with new leaf spring brackets tacked in


Final wheelbase under it's own weight. The wheelbase was 93" pre-swap...ended up with a 98" wheelbase (5" stretch). Combined with leaf springs it should be much more stable when things get steep


Body cut...no flare


Fairly subtle once the flare is moved rearward...just what I wanted.


low and slow....


pre-fender flare cut


Departure angle isn't too bad


All buttoned up
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Unread 10-09-2011, 02:47 AM   #468
Imped
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That turned out looking pretty good man, nice work. Looking forward to some more pics.
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Unread 10-09-2011, 02:51 AM   #469
kyle_craig
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The dude helping me with the swap had a big long stainless brake line from a previous build...it threaded into the line splitter and worked perfect


The pinion angle is right on...with the perches where they are it was too steep, so we added a 5 degree shim on each side and it's straight as an arrow. This was easier than cutting the perches off and re-welding them


All set up, flap wheeled, and painted...


We bolted the wheels on, I paid the dude that set up the gears and let us use his shop, and my buddy and I left. On the way home we stopped at a wheeling spot to check things out. I ended up getting stuck...I high centered on a big boulder....BUT I would've never made it as far as I did without the locker and new found flex of the leafs out back. Here are some action and poser shots from the wheeling:


It droops so much better than it did before








I'm exhausted so I'm going to sleep. I'll check in with you all tomorrow!
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Unread 10-09-2011, 05:42 AM   #470
JJeeper09
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Looks awesome Kyle. Digging the rear setup with fenders. I bet your pumped!!!
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Unread 10-09-2011, 07:43 AM   #471
ibjeepin95
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Awesome man! Looks pimpin'! You do know your PM box will fill up with questions from me in the near future, right? How is the on road ride?
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Unread 10-09-2011, 08:46 AM   #472
Hendrix
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Thats awesome. I love how you started and finished all in a weekend. Then tested her out by hitting a trail all in the same day.

Sent from planet X.
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Unread 10-09-2011, 12:06 PM   #473
stone
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Your jeep turned out great. I really like the look with the flares pushed back. Nice build!
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Unread 10-09-2011, 12:41 PM   #474
kyle_craig
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imped View Post
That turned out looking pretty good man, nice work. Looking forward to some more pics.
Thanks a lot man. As far as it going smoothly, projects always have their speed bumps. We ran into a couple of issues that will need to be cleared up. First off, something is up with the passenger rear drum, we couldn't get it to bleed right...the brakes are real spongy which is unacceptable. Also, my fenders are currently my bumpstops, so I'm thinking I'll be trimming them slightly more and setting up bumpstops, there just wasn't enough time this weekend to do these things. Lastly, the locker was sent in to me in a box full of styrofoam BBs. I got most of them cleaned out, but couldn't get the ones out that were packed in behind the pressure plate that allows the locker to un-lock. When initially driving it, the locker was popping and catching it's teeth to momentarily lock up. In the 3 hour drive home, it did this randomly for about the 1st hour. I think the BB's must have dissolved because it hasn't done so since.

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Originally Posted by JJeeper09 View Post
Looks awesome Kyle. Digging the rear setup with fenders. I bet your pumped!!!
I am very excited. I'm loving it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ibjeepin95 View Post
Awesome man! Looks pimpin'! You do know your PM box will fill up with questions from me in the near future, right? How is the on road ride?
I think it looks great too man. I'm really proud of how it came out. It droops so much better than it did on coils. As far as the ride goes it's worlds more smooth over bumps, around corners it has major body roll though. It's definitely softer than it was, but I like it. I think I'll have to fix my broken front sway bar links. I'm going to build some new disconnects from my old rear sway bar links. The factory front ball socket design on the sway bar is inferior. I might have to build a traction bar too. It definitely has some vibrations in the drive shaft when I take off in first gear. I attribute this to some spring wrap. I did have room to mount the shocks in the stock location with the 5" stretch. I was thinking of out-boarding the shocks as soon as possible, prior to the swap. After seeing it droop, I guess I'll have to unbolt the shock and see if it can even droop any more. Lastly, my rear shackle hangers are located exactly 1 inch from the rear edge of my frame. If you want a 5-6" stretch, I would say mounting the shackle hangers to the frame would be the way to go. I think any more stretch than 6", and you NEED to have them mounted to a cross member to get the correct shackle angle. As far as my PM box is concerned, I'll make some room for whatever questions you might have!


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hendrix View Post
Thats awesome. I love how you started and finished all in a weekend. Then tested her out by hitting a trail all in the same day.
I figured that was the best way to do it! Honestly, I could never have knocked it out that fast with out the great help I had. Now I just can't wait to wheel it again.

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Originally Posted by stone View Post
Your jeep turned out great. I really like the look with the flares pushed back. Nice build!
Thanks man! I'm really satisfied. I like the look too. From the front, an average Joe probably wont even notice. From the back it clearly looks stretched but is fairly subtle. I'm really happy.

I'd also like to mention a thank you to both Red_Smoke and Gribbles for patiently answering all of the questions that I had. You guys rock! Thanks alot!
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Unread 10-09-2011, 03:00 PM   #475
kyle_craig
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And...this morning the Jeep got a car wash, so I took some pictures of the finished product nice and clean.














Why I need to set up bumpstops:


The underside:
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Unread 10-09-2011, 05:46 PM   #476
Red_Smoke
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Looks good Kyle. That's a different arrangement than I've seen... under the frame rail and boomerang mounted opposite of how we've done it. Trying something new? Let us know if you any issues with shackle inversion.
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Unread 10-09-2011, 06:45 PM   #477
Hendrix
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Looks so good like that. Great work
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Unread 10-09-2011, 07:20 PM   #478
ibjeepin95
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I GOT to start mine soon!
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Unread 10-10-2011, 12:20 AM   #479
kyle_craig
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red_Smoke View Post
Looks good Kyle. That's a different arrangement than I've seen... under the frame rail and boomerang mounted opposite of how we've done it. Trying something new? Let us know if you any issues with shackle inversion.
Thanks alot! Yeah I wanted to be different. I was more or less forced to be different due to doing a 5" stretch rather than a 7". I'm really happy with it though.

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Originally Posted by Hendrix View Post
Looks so good like that. Great work
Thank you. I think it looks pretty cool myself.

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Originally Posted by ibjeepin95 View Post
I GOT to start mine soon!
You really do! Can't wait to see yours!

On a side note, since we've been getting snow already, I've decided I'm going to sipe my tires. Last winter's storms proved to be scary at times with my tires. I'm hoping to make driving a little more safe in icy conditions. I'm going to follow this thread to do it:
http://www.4crawler.com/4x4/CheapTri....shtml#Caveats
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Unread 10-10-2011, 09:03 AM   #480
ibjeepin95
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So, besides siping, whats next on the list?
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locked , stock appearance , stretched , tj on leaf springs

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