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Unread 11-02-2012, 10:44 AM   #1
ArticRubi
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From Rubicon to Icon. 4-link, Tons, and Atlas build

Winter is approaching here in New England. As I've recently required some indoor work space and my rig is no longer a daily driver, it's time for a noteworthy off season project. I won't be breaking any new ground here, as a matter of fact, inspiration to do this comes from a couple of web wheelers on that "other" forum I'm talking about cjcraig7 and Co4Lo. If anyone has read their build threads, you'll know where this is going, if not, it's well worth the read. I hope the Mods don't mind me linking these threads, there's some really nice tech in both:

cjcraig7's JKuggy build

Comp Cutting and Stretching a 2-door

So what are my plans? Maximum travel while maintaining a low center of gravity. The goal is 16" travel coilovers at all 4 corners while maintaining a similar ride height to where I am now. The goal is to be about 4" over stock suspension height, plus the added height of a 42 - 44" tire. Stretched wheel base for optimal approach and departure angles, 4-linking the front and rear. I'm shooting for 106" with an 8" rear stretch and about a 4" front stretch. Incorporated into the LCOG theory is removing the factory fuel tank and installing a fuel cell and relocating the evap system. A flat belly skid will be fabricated, the idea is that with 16" travel shocks, there should almost always be a wheel or two getting traction. Lots of grinding on the skid here.

There are a couple of components I'm adding to increase durability and function:
First, Solid Axle will be supplying a set of Dana 60's. Both are 70" wide WMS - WMS, 5.38 gears, 35 spline inner and outer shafts ARB's in both, kingpin front, RCV's, full float rear, 8 on 6.5 lugs. The axles are fully ABS functional.
Second, an Atlas 4-speed transfer case. 4.3:1 ratio, overall 11.70:1 with planetary engaged.

This is going to be a learning process for me and I hope it will be for a lot of you. I have never designed a suspension before and until last year, I'd never "built" a 4x4 rig....if you call a bunch of bolt-ons and some booger welds building I'm doing this for two reasons:
First is to test myself, I've always felt that with proper preparation and knowledge there isn't any task I can't accomplish. This will certainly test that theory.
Second is to be able to run a rig I won't outgrow and I can constantly challenge both it and myself.

As "to-do" lists come and go throughout the project, I will update this post as I progress.

Axle delivery is in approximately 7 weeks, during that time I hope to accomplish:
* Pull NP241
* Mate the Atlas 4 speed
* Drop fuel tank
* Relocate evap system
* Fit fuel cell
* Relocate engine bay electronics. Batteries to rear, fuse panel to firewall, ECU to firewall, ABS controller to firewall
* Fix oil leak, I think it's the oil pan seal
* New transmission crossmember
* Plumbing for full hydro, replace steering gear with orbital valve
* Fabricate new flat belly skid. 3/8" steel, gusseted to hell and back. Working with a local metal shop, they're going to use their press brake to bend it to the transmission crossmember lines.

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Unread 11-02-2012, 10:46 AM   #2
ArticRubi
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Step one accomplished yesterday. Pulled the NP241, it has a new home that's been patiently awaiting its arrival. In the process I've dropped the transmission crossmember to be replaced with a heavy duty unit. More to come soon.



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Unread 11-02-2012, 11:27 AM   #3
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Very nice! Got word today that you should have 4 new boxes there next week!

-Jason
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Unread 11-02-2012, 11:36 AM   #4
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All that just to cruise around town?

Just kidding of course and you’re going to have one hell of a rock solid Jeep when all said is done. I wish I had half the money and time to mod my Jeep as you do. Looking forward to watching as your build progresses, good luck.
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Unread 11-02-2012, 12:04 PM   #5
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Can't wait to see.
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Unread 11-02-2012, 12:52 PM   #6
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Sounds like a plan. Full hydra steering as well I would assume? Plan on frame modifications up front to fit the tires? Can't wait to see it done. You will love the stretch I am running 109" and it climb like a goat.
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Unread 11-02-2012, 11:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedirtman
Sounds like a plan. Full hydra steering as well I would assume? Plan on frame modifications up front to fit the tires? Can't wait to see it done. You will love the stretch I am running 109" and it climb like a goat.
Yep, full hydro. Looking at the Artec truss and ram mount, they make good stuff and it gives me a platform to mount the upper links to. I figure I'll have hands pretty well full fabricating the suspension, it looks like a real nice unit that'll take a bit of the guess work out of things.

How much frame modification have you done? I figured the crash bar was as good as gone, have you had to go as far as notching the frame?

Looking forward to the long wheel base. I'm currently at 96.5" and the real steep stuff can get a bit sketchy, if I don't pop up its usually tons of wheel hop. I have a 2k lb atv winch I'll be putting in as a dedicated suck down.
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Unread 11-03-2012, 12:16 AM   #8
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this is going to be awesome. hopefully my build becomes something like this in the near future.
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Unread 11-03-2012, 06:17 AM   #9
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I cut the front crash bar off trimmed the rear bumper down about 4" and frenched the frame in the rear for the outboard coil overs. I am currently running front and rear 3 inks but plan to mount a new fuel tank under the tub in front of the axle and do a triangulated 4 link, something like carolina truggies did with their race rig. I am just running 40's so I am good up front but I have seen those cut into the frame for more tire clearance. nemesis did their frame but not sure if they ever cam out with the bracket/brace they made but it looked real nice. I was thinking of a suck down winch as well if I can find room for it.
This is going to be a sweet ride.
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Unread 11-03-2012, 08:11 AM   #10
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Gotcha, that's more or less what I was expecting to have to do. I've been wanting to chop the rear frame for a while, I slam my rear bumper on every steep departure as it sits now. I should be fine just out boarding the rear coilovers without having to French them into the frame, the rear axle is 70" wide. I know the flange for the full floater is a bit wider than a semi floater, guess ill have to wait and see when the axles come in.

Not sure where your hydro plumbing is, but the passenger's side frame rail is a great place for a suck down winch. Rather than having the cable straight to the axle, set a small pulley on the center of the axle, then run the cable through to driver's side frame.

Intend of getting back to work on Tuesday, gotta help a buddy build a 60 this weekend.
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Unread 11-03-2012, 10:13 AM   #11
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Going to be a nice build.

Make sure your suckdown winch has a good brake. Some of the smaller winches don't have a brake.
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Unread 11-04-2012, 08:45 PM   #12
thedirtman
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When that atlas gets there you will want to drop the tranny down to mount it otherwise you will have to notch the cross member in order to get it in.
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Unread 11-07-2012, 09:55 AM   #13
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Fairly productive work day yesterday, spent a couple of hours getting my shop cleaned up and installing some shelving units, generally getting things organized for the build. After that I decided to go ahead and get in to the fuel system, so I removed the gas tank and evap canister. There sure is a lot of room between the frame rails once that stuff is out of the way. I also got most of the cat back, up to the Y pipe removed. Got a bit of work left on that, but I'm going to shelf anything on the exhaust until after getting the front links built. Also fully removed the transmission crossmember and set the tranny on a jack stand.







I had a few more hours left in the day so I decided to go ahead and start in to getting the inner fender walls cleared. This is a good time to bring up the issue of tracking your progress. I picked up a notebook and started making detailed notes and drawings of everything I'm taking apart, sure it's fresh in my mind now but I'm sure it won't be in a few months. I got the battery disconnected first, then decided to move to the driver's side. I removed the sPod and ARB compressor for relocation, then got into the main part of the job. First I removed the ABS computer, just a few bolts holding it in place. Then I moved to the ABS module and mapped all of the brake lines before disconnecting. After that came out I pulled the massive plastic piece which everything mounts on. Right not it looks like relocating should be a fairly easy job, we'll see if that holds true after I get the Ram 1500 master cylinder in there. I'll be running all new hard lines and keeping the ABS module in the system. At least all of the wire runs are getting shorter, I may have to separate some of the looms to get the 2 AC harnesses, alternator harness, and the "whatever-the-****-i-disconnected-from-behind-the-headlight" to fit, but it should be a fairly simple process. The fuse pannel on the passenger's side will be a bit more difficult. Looks like there are wire looms stretching not just to the rear, but also forward out of the pannel, so there's a very good chance I'll have to spend some time making one or two of the looms longer. Will be starting this project on Thursday. A few pics of the cleared fender well, you can see my old coilover tower waaaaay down there There's literally enough room to drive a Fiat through there now.





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Unread 11-07-2012, 09:58 AM   #14
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I got a 3 ring binder and a 3 hole punch as well to place all the invoices and documentation for everything that I swapped out as well as how much fluid went into different parts and the mileage when they were replaced.
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Unread 11-07-2012, 10:05 AM   #15
ArticRubi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thedirtman View Post
I got a 3 ring binder and a 3 hole punch as well to place all the invoices and documentation for everything that I swapped out as well as how much fluid went into different parts and the mileage when they were replaced.
That's a good idea, certainly works well with the idea of keeping everything organized. Only down side is it will remind me of how much money i'm spending, so maybe I'll take some black Sharpie to the bottom line on the invoices Seriously though, documentation is going to be the only way I get through this build, there's so many sub-projects to get a nice functioning unit as the finished product.

Side note, got the fuel cell from Genright ordered, also a new transmission crossmember from Synergy.

Any thoughts on tires? I absolutely love my Sticky Treps, they outperform basically everything I've seen. Only down side is they only come as large as 40" (which, according to my source, measure in at about 41") I'm also considering the PBR bias plies, 42x15.50R17 flavor. Anything else I should have on the list?
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