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Unread 07-04-2014, 03:54 PM   #1
Solidkm
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1998 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: PA
Posts: 417
LJ Build.... I'm back in the game!

Back Story: I have been Jeepless for about 3 years, and this will be my 3rd build. I was overseas since August and somewhere around October a friend was asking me for advice and what Jeep parts to buy. Just from helping him out, I ended up getting right back in to it. I spent the next 9 months hunting for deals, waiting for free shipping offers, and mercilessly monitoring the classifieds on all the forums to secure the parts that I wanted.

The Goal: I wanted to spend money the right way, once. We've all done the whole baby step thing, where we end up spending money on the same area of the Jeep over and over. I wanted to apply all the lessons learned from my previous Jeeps as well as my friend's Jeeps that I have had a hand in. I wanted to best my previous build, yet retain street manners and drive-ability. My main squeeze is motocross, so the Jeep has to be able to pull my 12 foot enclosed trailer like a champ. A smart person would just buy a truck, I am not that person.

The Donor: I cannot explain how many laps around the country I did via craigslist searching for the right LJ. Out of 46,000 made in 3 years. Everything I was finding was either an automatic, or tastelessly modded. I decided that starting with a Rubicon was not for me; not for the price they were going for at least... even with 7 million miles on them. My prerequisites were easy, decent color ( read no khaki or blue ), manual transmission, absolutely no rust. While I was fine shopping throughout the entire country, I stumbled on this bad boy 120 miles from my house. Originally owned by a female, no molestation, black interior, and from the south to top it off. I called the dude from the Middle East, and I offered him a couple grand less than his asking price cash money via paypal. I sent daddy to go and get it, and it sat in storage for the next 6 months patiently waiting. . .



Early Stages of Planning: I had to have long arms. I would not entertain any idea otherwise. I have had RK on my previous Jeeps and I have been very satisfied. I strongly considered the Clayton stuff, the price was comparable with the RK LA upgrade, however it didnt come with the skid plate. Furthermore, I couldnt get passed how low the lower control arm mounts hang. Ultimately I went with RK. I received a screaming deal from Krawl Offroad and Jason is great to deal with. Lesson learned, next time I will make my own LAs. That seems to be what the cool kids are doing these days. I missed that boat.

Axles; The LJ comes with a rear 44 but there really isnt any good option for matching the front. My immediate thought was to recreate the HDHP44 I made for my last TJ. But I quickly realized that a 60 is the same price range....

TEASER


Power; Remember, I have a decent size trailer that needs to be pulled. I stumbled across the turbo from Banks. This was old news to some, but I had been away from the Jeep world for a while. I was thrilled and sold. Money was set... and waiting for the release early 2014. However I quickly realized that money was better spent on an LS. Staying true to my plan for this build, I purchased a 5.3 L33 for 1400 cash money. 1600 less than the turbo, 50+ more horses, and 50K less than the Jeep's motor. Lets do this.

#OOPS



Transfer Case; I toyed with the idea of the 300, but I wasnt smitten on the flip. I wanted a 241OR. This creature is about as elusive as dana 60 hubs. Between *******s refusing to ship the unit... even though I made handsome offers to make it worth their while... and other *******s thinking the 241OR was made out of gold. I got pissed off and bought an atlas for 300 more than some were asking for their 241s. This has been the thorn in the side of this entire build. There just isnt any cheap way to get strength and anything more than 2.72:1.

a 241OR just posted in the classifieds, but at this point I am kinda feeling the atlas. I can't decide.

Order of Operations; Build my axles. 60s can be found with 4:10s...perfect. No ring and pinion purchase needed. Once the axles are ready. I will prepare the Jeep frame for outboard shocks and install the lift. Once the jeep is sitting tall, I will tackle the V8. But first...the 350 needed a piston...



1997 Balljoint HP60 bracket removal






Preparing to shorten the long side 2.41 inches in order to run a 78-79 F250 Snowfigher long inner shaft. Doing this takes some of the width away, and keeps me from needing a custom shaft.









I set the pumpkin to level, and I checked all 4 corners. With the pinion level I was reading 5* at all four ends.





Stay tuned...things will be happening fast over here!

__________________
Popular 4WD formulas.
1. Building for the "smallest, lightest" platform equals building a suzuki samurai
2. A dana 44 JR is still not a dana 44 (Every .938" counts)
3. A ford 8.8 is the only axle that has the capability to snag rocks, and other obstacles. Avoid this axle
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Unread 07-07-2014, 05:16 PM   #2
Solidkm
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1998 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: PA
Posts: 417
I definitely recommend these diablo blades. I purchased Milwaukee's double duty prior to these diablos. The 1/2 tube laughed at the Milwaukees and I effectively wasted 16$



Grinded the weld flush to the inner c, and made short work of it once I got the right blades



inner c with the tube still inside



slit both sides...



after slitting the two sides.... one good tap with the hammer and you can see the separation line...

















Inner C is ready to go back on, making a new width of 67 inches and without the need of a custom length shaft...
__________________
Popular 4WD formulas.
1. Building for the "smallest, lightest" platform equals building a suzuki samurai
2. A dana 44 JR is still not a dana 44 (Every .938" counts)
3. A ford 8.8 is the only axle that has the capability to snag rocks, and other obstacles. Avoid this axle
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Unread 07-07-2014, 07:30 PM   #3
Tonellin
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2006 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,126
This thing is gonna be awesome.

What size tires are you looking to run?
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Unread 07-07-2014, 08:17 PM   #4
Solidkm
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1998 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: PA
Posts: 417
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tonellin View Post
This thing is gonna be awesome.

What size tires are you looking to run?
Thanks brother.

I am actually only going to do 35s for now. I KNOW 60s are shortbus with anything less than 37s. I straight struggled with the 37 vs 35 thing. But my primary focus at this time is drive-ability and a great foundation. I can pull the trailer, and I can enjoy the V8 with out worrying about breaking anything. 2, 3, 4 years down the road... I can change the fenders...bolt on 37s or 39s... change the gears... and stamp it "done".

Thats where my head is at...
__________________
Popular 4WD formulas.
1. Building for the "smallest, lightest" platform equals building a suzuki samurai
2. A dana 44 JR is still not a dana 44 (Every .938" counts)
3. A ford 8.8 is the only axle that has the capability to snag rocks, and other obstacles. Avoid this axle
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Unread 07-07-2014, 09:07 PM   #5
goldensahara00
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2000 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: bedford, Pennsylvania
Posts: 141
Nice build, gona be a purpose built, reliable rig.

What tires are you going with? If going with something like the KM2 you could get a 37. They are lighter and run small. Or go with a 35 that runs more true. Tire selection is always fun.

Are you going to shave the 60s? I would really consider it, especially with smaller tires.
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Unread 07-07-2014, 10:09 PM   #6
Solidkm
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1998 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: PA
Posts: 417
I am thinking about going with the pro comp extreme all terrains. A local 4wd shop here usually runs buy 3 get 1 free and they are rated for 40k. I was pleased with them in the past.
__________________
Popular 4WD formulas.
1. Building for the "smallest, lightest" platform equals building a suzuki samurai
2. A dana 44 JR is still not a dana 44 (Every .938" counts)
3. A ford 8.8 is the only axle that has the capability to snag rocks, and other obstacles. Avoid this axle
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Unread 07-07-2014, 10:38 PM   #7
clintrivera
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2006 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Pacific, Washington
Posts: 2,498
Have you mocked the axle up at 67" WMS to see what It looks like under the Jeep? For my super duty axle 65" was the sweet spot to keep the diff out of the frame rail.

Also, I had my stock shaft cut down and resplined by Dutchman for around $50.
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http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/p...ed-lj-1741722/
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Unread 07-07-2014, 11:04 PM   #8
Solidkm
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1998 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: PA
Posts: 417
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldensahara00 View Post
Are you going to shave the 60s? I would really consider it, especially with smaller tires.
So I am totally cool with the expense and/or labor involved with shaving the 60s. But if I remember correctly there isnt much to gain on the 60 like there is on the 14B. I looked into shaving the housings, and even turning the ring gear.... I could be wrong, but I think the verdict was that the juice wasnt worth the squeeze
__________________
Popular 4WD formulas.
1. Building for the "smallest, lightest" platform equals building a suzuki samurai
2. A dana 44 JR is still not a dana 44 (Every .938" counts)
3. A ford 8.8 is the only axle that has the capability to snag rocks, and other obstacles. Avoid this axle
Solidkm is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-07-2014, 11:08 PM   #9
Solidkm
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1998 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: PA
Posts: 417
Quote:
Originally Posted by clintrivera View Post
Have you mocked the axle up at 67" WMS to see what It looks like under the Jeep? For my super duty axle 65" was the sweet spot to keep the diff out of the frame rail.

Also, I had my stock shaft cut down and resplined by Dutchman for around $50.
This is good stuff, I will be pursuing this. I feel that 65" is much more tolerable than 67+. I do not want the tires to stick out crazy far. I do know that the super duty 60s have a different pumpkin offset than the non SD ones...
__________________
Popular 4WD formulas.
1. Building for the "smallest, lightest" platform equals building a suzuki samurai
2. A dana 44 JR is still not a dana 44 (Every .938" counts)
3. A ford 8.8 is the only axle that has the capability to snag rocks, and other obstacles. Avoid this axle
Solidkm is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-07-2014, 11:30 PM   #10
Solidkm
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1998 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: PA
Posts: 417
Quote:
Originally Posted by clintrivera View Post
Have you mocked the axle up at 67" WMS to see what It looks like under the Jeep? For my super duty axle 65" was the sweet spot to keep the diff out of the frame rail.

Also, I had my stock shaft cut down and resplined by Dutchman for around $50.

I just skimmed quick through your thread. I had seen it months ago but havent kept up with it. Nice work and a very nice finished product. So you went 5.5 springs, and you cut both axles to 65 inch?

did you move the gas tank to make room for the rear 60?

Did you change the master cylinder to accommodate the big brakes?

Thanks!
__________________
Popular 4WD formulas.
1. Building for the "smallest, lightest" platform equals building a suzuki samurai
2. A dana 44 JR is still not a dana 44 (Every .938" counts)
3. A ford 8.8 is the only axle that has the capability to snag rocks, and other obstacles. Avoid this axle
Solidkm is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-08-2014, 07:32 AM   #11
clintrivera
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2006 LJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Pacific, Washington
Posts: 2,498
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solidkm View Post
I just skimmed quick through your thread. I had seen it months ago but havent kept up with it. Nice work and a very nice finished product. So you went 5.5 springs, and you cut both axles to 65 inch?

did you move the gas tank to make room for the rear 60?

Did you change the master cylinder to accommodate the big brakes?

Thanks!
Thanks,

I'm using Metal Cloak's 3.5" springs. Both axles are at 64.5" WMS -WMS. Gas tank is in stock location, I pushed the rear axle as far back as it can go, barely makes contact at full stuff. This put the axle right back in the stock location the 44 was in.

Braking system is a Hydroboost setup from Vanco with a much larger master. Brakes are excellent, I could probably stop the earth from rotating if I wanted to.

Do you have A/C and Cruise? Do you plan on keeping these with the engine swap?
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Project Indecision: A Jeep Addicts 06 LJ

http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/p...ed-lj-1741722/
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Unread 07-08-2014, 09:45 AM   #12
Solidkm
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1998 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: PA
Posts: 417
Yes AC. I'm not sure about cruise but I'm not too interested in cruise. I plan on keeping the AC. I'm aware that frame modifications are needed.

I think you've inspired me to go 65 inches in width. I don't want the tires to be sticking out crazy wide. From what I can tell the pumpkin is cool w the frame as it sits now or in another inch if i go 65. So I think I will go 65s. It's too easy at this point. I'm a little worried about the V8 oil pan but I did acquire the F body small pan and will adjust fire when I get there.

Thanks !
__________________
Popular 4WD formulas.
1. Building for the "smallest, lightest" platform equals building a suzuki samurai
2. A dana 44 JR is still not a dana 44 (Every .938" counts)
3. A ford 8.8 is the only axle that has the capability to snag rocks, and other obstacles. Avoid this axle
Solidkm is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-08-2014, 12:22 PM   #13
goldensahara00
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2000 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: bedford, Pennsylvania
Posts: 141
I have never seen those on the trail but for a trail rig that might work well. '

I would be more worried about the diff position than width at this point, you can get a track width where you want with wheels. You don't want to narrow the front more than the rear for handling/tracking/turning radius characteristics. Good info on pirate for the difference in 60 width and diff placement. http://www.pirate4x4.com/tech/billav...ont/index.html. I'm sure you knew that.

I wouldn't get too worked up about width right now, as you are going to need new wheels to match the lug pattern on your 60s, so you can just choose backspacing at that point. Wider more numerically backspacing would be less leverage and wear on parts too.

I would get 2 shafts and get them both shortened/resplined just for the peace of mind.

Interested to see this come together now with that v8. Fitting a 60 front is always going to be fun especially when you get a large engine and stuff in there.

On a side note, where are you located in PA?
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Unread 07-08-2014, 12:44 PM   #14
Solidkm
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1998 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: PA
Posts: 417
I am in northeast pa, near wilkes barre / Scranton.

I have already secured hummer H2 wheels bc of the 5.5 back spacing. Plus it will turn heads when it clicks that those are hummer wheels! Anyway it was more of a smart but then a cool factor purchase. I had the axle under the jeep and it looked like 65 would work.
__________________
Popular 4WD formulas.
1. Building for the "smallest, lightest" platform equals building a suzuki samurai
2. A dana 44 JR is still not a dana 44 (Every .938" counts)
3. A ford 8.8 is the only axle that has the capability to snag rocks, and other obstacles. Avoid this axle
Solidkm is offline   Reply With Quote
Unread 07-08-2014, 03:41 PM   #15
goldensahara00
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: bedford, Pennsylvania
Posts: 141
Nice. You won't have any issues with width, then. You don't want to end up to narrow at this point. Most guys run ~3.5" with 35s. You have 4 inches more overall so 65 would be the bare minimum equivalent. At 67 you'll be around an inch wider per side, roughly. I don't think you'll have any issues at either one. Hummer wheels are tight though.

We are out of south central pa, near altoona. We are hitting Rausch August 1-3 with a big group from NY, PA, Jersey, MD, VA, NC, and a few others. I'm guess your rig won't be ready though. Maybe next time.
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