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Unread 08-30-2011, 08:08 PM   #1
jose_p_adams
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1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
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Project Smokey a build that spun out of control

I thought I would share my build. I bought my jeep about 2 years ago. It had a 4 inch lift and 35" tires. It had a Dana 35 with 3.07 gears and stock rear control arms. I had a few failures from wheeling and recognized that I needed to make some upgrades.

This started out as what was supposd to be a simple rear axle swap but it spun out of control and now I have 2 one ton axles in my garage.

I am starting with the rear axle. The plan is a ~5" stretch in the rear with a triangulated 4 link. I will be using coil springs with frame modifications to allow for the stretch. I have a genright comp tank since it is important to me that the jeep stays street legal and fuel cells = not street legal here in PA. I am going to use the TNT zyros hiline rear corners because I think they look very good on Project Redlyner. Tires will either be 37" or 39-40", depending on what fits and is still street legal etc. Tires will come later.

So here are some pictures:

This is my 14 bolt rear when I got it home. I'm actually a little embarassed by it. I had to cut the drums off of it because they were seized. It is a cab and chassis model so the WMS is 63.5" making it a nice width for a TJ in my situation.


Here it is all cleaned up


Here it is all dressed up with rotors and a little paint. It still isn't fully painted .Some wheels and tires I picked up cheap to use with the new axles are stacked up in the background. they are stock H2 wheels/tires




So at this point I just finished removing the Dana 35 and fuel tank over the last 2 evenings. Manhandling axles by yourself is no fun, even dana 35s. There is a little bit less real estate on the C&C 14B but I think that it will work.



You can see my Dana 60 in the background waiting to get put back together. It needed new king pins



So as you can see, I have a lot of work to do and I will update this thread as I make progress.

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Unread 09-05-2011, 07:29 PM   #2
jose_p_adams
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Got some work done this weekend, big thanks to Labor Day for that. I managed to remove the muffler, tailpipe, tow hitch, tail lights and rear fender flares/inner fenders. I also cut all of the stock rear control arm mounts off as well as the stock spring buckets.

I had planned to re-use the stock spring buckets but unfortunately I found that the passenger side bucket had rusted out.



There was also a lot of rust on the frame as well. It passed the hammer test but I may reinforce that area.

Some other pictures.

Rear crossmember cleaned up and primed. Lots of cleaning up left to do on this one.



Rear frame with brackets and buckets removed. My precision with the grinder wasn't quite surgical.



So now I just have to remove the tailgate which is going to mean drilling every torx bolt. Then I can install the corners and fuel tank so I can start mocking up my new rear axle.
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Unread 09-05-2011, 09:08 PM   #3
Sgt.Fuzz
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[COLOR="Blue"]My build: [url]http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/fuzzbucket-build-1126577/[/url][/COLOR]
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Unread 09-06-2011, 05:12 PM   #4
jose_p_adams
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Threw a corner on to check out how it's going to look. This will open up plenty of wheel well.

I like it but I think I'll have to do some trimming to get it to fit with the Savvy sliders I have.

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Unread 09-08-2011, 05:01 PM   #5
jose_p_adams
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Due to record flooding in my area, I was off work today and got some work done. I got the frame and cross member cleaned up and painted. I also put a few welds down between my 14 bolt chunk and tubes. I didn't weld it all the way around. Just put about 2 inches down in 4 places (2 on each side).



I actually did each weld in 2 passes with my MM211. I didn't do pre or post heat. I just cranked the welder up to max power and went to work. The first pass welds cracked immediately in the 'crater'. The 2nd pass did not crack on any of the weld. I am going to keep an eye on it and make sure I dont have to go over anything before installation. I haven't decided if I'm going to weld the full circumference or not. Considering the fact that I haven't ever done any significant damage to a dana 35, I feel like the 14 bolt will be OK.

So, due to flooding, I'm off again tomorrow so I will be installing the fuel tank (either full blown install or mock up) and installing the corners. Any suggestions on how to cut the rear fenders? I was thinking sawzall. Is there something better?
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Unread 09-12-2011, 08:08 PM   #6
jose_p_adams
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Got a little more work done this weekend.

I got my fuel tank installed and the axle moved into place under the jeep. This is the location where I have the axle mocked up.



I also got the frame side control arm mounts installed. I bought the clayton Mounts because the KORE webside wasn't working when I was buying things. They have the uppers and lowers all in one piece. I would have preferred to have the lowers more inboard than these mounts place them but I think I have read a lot of good reviews about setups similar to this so I took a chance. I had to cut about .75" off of the top of them since I don't have a body lift. They also don't box the frame in on 3 sides unless you weld on the top plate that they come with. I haven't done that and I'm not sure that I will because I don't think that I can even access them to weld them to the top of the frame. If I had it to do all over, I would be more patient and buy the KORE brackets.

Anyway, here are some pics of the mounts and my mock up PVC control arms:

You can see my mangled exhaust in this one:



Here is a wider shot.



I still need to get the axle side brackets\bridge tacked in place which will be a little more work than getting the frame side brackets in place. The goal is to get everything mocked up by the weekend because I am picking up my DOM that I will use to make the control arms. I bought a 20 ft stick and will need to cut it to transport it so the more accurate I can be, the better.
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Unread 09-14-2011, 08:30 AM   #7
REDLYNER
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It's going to be a monster! Good luck!

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Unread 09-15-2011, 04:35 PM   #8
jose_p_adams
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REDLYNER View Post
It's going to be a monster! Good luck!

Thanks! I really like yours so I'm hoping it ends up looking kind of like it.
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Unread 09-15-2011, 05:47 PM   #9
jkl
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and my vote is for 40s
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Unread 09-15-2011, 06:17 PM   #10
TJjeepguy
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great start on the tj, I hope someday (after I pay off the college debts) I can build a 1 ton tj. Good luck. Subscribed!
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Unread 09-16-2011, 03:57 PM   #11
jose_p_adams
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkl View Post
and my vote is for 40s
We'll see. I'd love it if I can make them work.

Thinking about doing rear flares similar to these:

http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1005014

Going to have to check out the vehicle code and see if that is gonna work but I like the look of it.
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Unread 09-25-2011, 03:51 PM   #12
jose_p_adams
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Made a little progress on the jeep this weekend. I have all of the links cut to length and mocked up. I think that the lowers may be a little bit too long as I have about 1/4" of clearance between the tank and differential cover. Here are some pics.





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Unread 09-25-2011, 06:32 PM   #13
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Impressive work. Look forward to seeing more. You should post a "before" pic of your TJ so we get an idea as to what you're starting with.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmosing View Post
Cleaning this thing up is similar to a slightly abused pornstar throwing on a bunch of makeup to try to hide her eternal scars, but I think she doesn't look too bad
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Unread 10-01-2011, 04:01 PM   #14
jose_p_adams
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As requested, here is a picture of my jeep before I started hacking it up:



This is "big rock" at rausch creek. I just drove the front tires up there for a picture.

I got a little more work done. I tacked all of the links together and thankfully everything clears. So I cut the fender and threw a tire on:



The tire is a stock H2 tire which measures just about 35" x 12.5". This photo was taken with the axle jacked up as high as it will go without making contact with the rear crossmember. I may have to notch it to make way for the upper links and brackets.

I stuck a tape on the cotter pin on the front axle and here is the wheelbase I measured about 100 inches.



Here are some shots looking parallel to the rear bumper across the jeep. The back of the tire is just slightly past the tank.





I put a jack stand under the passenger side tire and drooped the drivers side. This picture was taken with the center of the axle on the passenger side ~15" higher than the driver side. I stopped because the tire was making contact with one of the rear fender internal braces which is going to need further trimming (I just cut it quickly to make room for the tire). There was still about 2 inches between the tire and frame.



I think that there should be room for 39's with things the way they are. Overall I'm happy with how it is working out though there are some small adjustments that need to be made.
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Unread 10-23-2011, 02:15 PM   #15
jose_p_adams
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Made a little progress today with passenger side frame modifications.

Made a notch in the arch to accomodate the stretch. I decided to make the cut essentially flush with the cross member. This was a bit of a learning experience but I got it done.



After the notch, I put some 0.25" plate.



There is about 0.25" of overhang to accomodate the plate I will place on the frame:



The only thing about this is that it moves the outside edge of the spring bucket 0.25" further which makes it a little more likely to get into a tire. I flexed the axle out and it didn't seem like it was going to be a problem but I think I'm going to look into it a little more before I call it good.

I didn't get a picture of just the plate but you can easily imagine what it looked like. I also should note that in the last picture, is as what will be full bump. The johnny joints are pressed against the cross member. I may try to create some more room for additional suspension travel when I get some bigger tires and know it will be usable.

Here is another angle of everything (sorry for the lousy photo):



Then I threw a spring in just to make it almost look like an actual, usable jeep again.



That is a 4 inch lift spring which is about 16" in the picture. It will compress to about 12" when the jeep sits on it's own weight. I'm not sure if I will need to reduce the spring height or not. I'm going to wait until I get the front done to decide.

For now I am working on making modifications to the drivers side. The difficult part will be making sure that both sides are cut identically. After I get the spring mounts done, I will fully weld the axle brackets and then start working on shocks. Not real sure how I'm going to deal with those just yet.

If anyone has any thoughts, I'd like to hear them.
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