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clintrivera 12-24-2012 09:50 AM

Taming the BEAST! 5.3L V8 Powered TJ-6
 
The Beast


On a trail ride this year a member nicknamed my Jeep "The Beast". It's a fitting name, unfortunately, and the reason I recently tried to sell it. It's loud, it's big, it's ugly, and it's all around not very enjoyable to drive any distance.

Since giving it away isn't an option I needed to focus on this winter's build and set clear objectives. This has to be a vehicle I want to drive, and drive on a regular basis. It has to be much quieter. Ride nice. Drive nice. Good storage. Nice sound system. Lastly, it needs to look good too.

Most of the trails I like to run here in the Northwest aren't exactly Johnson Valley. It's mostly dirt, mud, roots, tight trees, and moderate climbs. Not much in the way of rocks. The way my Jeep is setup now almost makes it boring it's so easy. I think we all have been there. Build the rig, can't make an obstacle, build the rig bigger... Eventually the rig is basically too big on the street and is only fun on extreme "either I make it, or I total the rig" sort of challenges.

To know where we are going, we first need to know where we are.


clintrivera 12-24-2012 10:04 AM

The PLAN (Rough Draft 1.3)
  • TJ-6 (15" frame stretch to unlimited length) entire stretch to be in front of rear tires. Completed
  • Ditch Rubicon Express Long arm - build mid arm 3 link front, triangulated 4 link rear, keep 3" Currie / Savvy springs Completed. switching to 4" Currie springs
  • Swap the axles to: Front: JK HPD30, 4.10 gears, alloy alxes, ARB Rear: JK D44, alloy alxes, ARB Completed. (purchaced ARB rear and Nitro 35 spline rear axles)
  • 35" Aggressive A/T or Mild M/T tires (purchased Falken Wild Peaks)
  • Sell soft doors and buy full hard doors Purchased.
  • Add cat converter and large muffler, reduce exhaust diameter Went with Dynomax VT. No cat for now. Kept 3" exhaust
  • Add armor, raise skid as far as practical with no body lift Purchased Barnes 2" skid. Removed body lift
  • Locking storage?
  • Nice sound system Planning on 7" tablet for audio and Nav. Purchased Polk 5.25 speakers.
  • Lighting
  • Possible spare tire carrier in tub
  • Pull factory gauges, PCM, and associated wiring and replace with Autometer gauges
  • Paint
  • Add on to factory roll cage

I'm sure there's more to come, but that's the "short" list. The speed of the build will be financially limited and depend quite a bit on how much I can sell the old stuff, and the deals I find on new.

clintrivera 12-24-2012 10:12 AM

I'm going to try to build everything I can, and buy parts where practical. So, with that thinking, I decided to spend a little on more fabrication tools.

http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/h...psde5748f7.jpg

This will be nice for cutting out brackets, skid plate, removing axle brackets, etc. I'm working in a standard 2 car garage, so space is limited. I decided I would mount the cutter below my welder.

http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/h...ps6b5a8816.jpg

My girlfriend bought me a harbor freight 20 ton press for my birthday (she calls it the big red "H"- I told her it's actually orange, but it's more red in the coupon I gave her...) Anyway, I wanted one mainly to put Swag's press brake into.

http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/h...pscc670fe4.jpg

And used it to make this

http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/h...ps94b26a65.jpg

Some scrap angle iron, some wiring, and ....

http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/h...ps312e74d1.jpg

OR-TJ 12-24-2012 11:27 AM

So are you going to get a donor jeep to do the frame and tub stretch?

This will be a good one to follow :thumbsup:

Jason 12-24-2012 11:36 AM

What's your reasoning on ditching the D44s for the HPD30 and 8.8?

Bong_Holyeo 12-24-2012 11:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jason (Post 14667654)
What's your reasoning on ditching the D44s for the HPD30 and 8.8?

I was wondering the same thing as well, they shouldn't get in the way of achieving any of the goals and criteria you set for the build. But i like the idea of TJ-6 stretch and making it more daily driver friendly.

sailsurf7713 12-24-2012 11:59 AM

I'm on board for this build. Very much my kind of thinking and very similar to where I'd like to go with my build.

I'm a bit lost on the rear 8.8 as well. I would just replace the factory locker in the rear 44, personally, if that. The HP30 I understand. Substantial improvement in pinion angle and little to no decrease in strength.

Interested to see how the chinese plasma works out as well.

I highly recommend the Goodyear Duratrac and the Kelly Safari TSR for perfect "inbetween" tires.

clintrivera 12-24-2012 01:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CoopCF5 (Post 14667609)
So are you going to get a donor jeep to do the frame and tub stretch?

This will be a good one to follow :thumbsup:

I'm going to try to find an unlimited tub and use the back half of it, then cut 15" of frame rail off a junked TJ for the frame extensions.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Jason (Post 14667654)
What's your reasoning on ditching the D44s for the HPD30 and 8.8?

I thought I would loose a few of you with that one. The D44's I have now are stuffed with 5.13 gears. Too high on the freeway for long trips. I figured I could sell the axles with every thing (pumps, cables, etc) and build a 8.8 (comes stock with 4.10's) and HP30 for less money than regearing my D44's, putting vanco brakes on the front, rear ARB with alloy shafts, etc.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bong_Holyeo (Post 14667758)
I was wondering the same thing as well, they shouldn't get in the way of achieving any of the goals and criteria you set for the build. But i like the idea of TJ-6 stretch and making it more daily driver friendly.

See above

Quote:

Originally Posted by sailsurf7713 (Post 14667764)
I'm on board for this build. Very much my kind of thinking and very similar to where I'd like to go with my build.

I'm a bit lost on the rear 8.8 as well. I would just replace the factory locker in the rear 44, personally, if that. The HP30 I understand. Substantial improvement in pinion angle and little to no decrease in strength.

Interested to see how the chinese plasma works out as well.

I highly recommend the Goodyear Duratrac and the Kelly Safari TSR for perfect "inbetween" tires.

The HPD30 should protect my drive shaft better - that's the main goal. The Everlast plasma cutters have a 5 year warranty - so better than most in that regard. If I was going to use it a ton, or for a plasma table - Hypertherm all the way - but I see no need to spend 3 times as much for my use.

I didn't think the Duratrac came in a 35? I'm trying to switch to 17" rims (if I can find the backspacing I need). I was thinking somewhere along the lines of the Pro-comp extreme A/T or Falken Wild Peaks.

MallCrawling 12-24-2012 01:39 PM

looking forward to this! subscribed

sailsurf7713 12-24-2012 02:58 PM

Duratrac comes in 315/70/17 in load range D. 34.4" tall. Which is about the same as most 35s.

Cherokee or Comanche 44 for the rear could be an option as well. Even a used S35. Isuzu 44 can be had with 4.10s also. And they're dirt cheap. Toyota 8". Food for thought. :laugh: Offset pinion and poor clearance don't make the 8.8 overly appealing to me, but it is a solid option.

clintrivera 12-26-2012 08:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sailsurf7713 (Post 14668528)
Duratrac comes in 315/70/17 in load range D. 34.4" tall. Which is about the same as most 35s.

Cherokee or Comanche 44 for the rear could be an option as well. Even a used S35. Isuzu 44 can be had with 4.10s also. And they're dirt cheap. Toyota 8". Food for thought. :laugh: Offset pinion and poor clearance don't make the 8.8 overly appealing to me, but it is a solid option.

That 315/70/17 Duratrac might fit the bill nicely.

In my neck of the woods, the Cherokee D44 is rare and expensive, and not available from the factory in a 4.10. I researched the Isuzu D44 -wrong bolt pattern, different bearings, and conflicting information on the net. If by S35, you mean a super Dana 35 - there is no way I'm running that behind a 300+hp V8 and 35 inch tires.

The 8.8 with the superior 8.8 kit would be perfect for me. The 15" stretch would negate the offset pinion issue and I've never had an issue dragging my rear D44 over things, so I think I'll be ok with the 8.8.

sailsurf7713 12-26-2012 12:12 PM

Wasn't thinking about the V8. Having a 120 hp makes me think about axles a bit differently :D. Yeah. 8.8 definitely makes sense. Can't wait to see this get started.

jorhay 12-26-2012 08:19 PM

best of luck with the re-build!

Ripper3494 12-27-2012 01:36 AM

subscribed, i really hope you do this

clintrivera 12-27-2012 09:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jorhay (Post 14678568)
best of luck with the re-build!

Thanks!

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ripper3494 (Post 14679745)
subscribed, i really hope you do this

Oh, trust me it is being done.

Tonight I pulled the axles and most of the suspension. Going pretty well so far. Axles going on craigslist tonight.


http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/h...ps529db1f3.jpg


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