I managed to get a little more done. TJ frame rails are 2.5" X 4" X a little less than 3/16" thick. Of course no steel yard in the world carries this size so I had to make due with some 2" X 4" X 3/16". I basically cut it in half and welded some 2" wide 3/16" thick strap to widen it. Here's what I ended up with.
It took along time to get these to fit the frame rails, but after half a day's work I had this accomplished.
Everything went a lot easier than I expected. I even slid the back half of the frame into the front by myself. It's around 1/8" longer than it should be, so I'm going to take a little off the frame rails to get it just right. I'm glad I took the time and made some marks on the frame to tell me where I was before.
I also started getting parts in. They actually came in faster than I expected. Just waiting on the Metal Cloak joints that should be here Monday, and my tires that should be here any day now.
I had a pretty big non Jeep related setback. My snowmobile blew up on the way back last weekend, and I'm going for a snowmobile trip president's day weekend so I had to scramble to get the engine apart and order parts. Looks like a cooked rod bearing took out both pistons, both cylinders, and the crank. Around $1400 worth of damage!
So the snowmobile is taking up what little space I had left in my garage, and I can't really do anything with the Jeep until it is out of the way.
It was time for me to break in my Swag Offroad press brake and bend up a axle bridge for my upper links. Decided 3/8" x 5" would be plenty strong for my use. A little while later and this was completed.
Time to throw some links together. I chose 2" X .25" wall square tubing for my lower links. Length ended up being around 38" center to center. Should be plenty strong and is cheaper in my area than DOM. The only issue I had was the Metalcloak barrel isn't quite 2" so welding the inside and outside edge was tricky so I didn't get weld into the snap ring groove. If I was going to do it over again, I would use 1.75" X .120" wall and sleeve it with some .25" wall tube inside, or just use threaded ends on both sides. (Metalcloak uses 1.5" X .1875" DOM for their arms)
Made some frame brackets out of some 3" X 6" .1875" thick rectangle tube. Took me some time, but it let me practice more metalworking and it's nice to say I built everything myself - if it doesn't come apart on the freeway and kill me that is!
Tacked a frame side bracket into place. The axle is about where ride height should be. The lower link is nice and flat, should ride nice.
Nice solid fab work , takes a lot of guts to cut your rig in half .
I try to buy HF only for tools that see little use. I spend the money for good stuff where it counts. Thanks for the compliment, that means a lot coming from you!
Originally Posted by Kodiak17
Nice fab... why not tuck the frame side mounts up more?
Thanks. With the low lift height (3") and the up travel I'm trying to keep, I either needed to have lower frame side mounts or lower axle side mounts to keep the control arm from contacting the frame. Even where it is, it's really close to the frame at full stuff. Once I have every thing in place I'm going to cycle everything and revisit the mount to see if it can go higher. I'm not too concerned though, since where I wheel massive clearance isn't required.
The sick part is not being able to drive it this whole winter. I'm going to start putting more work into it. I will go crazy if I can't drive it when it starts to warm up.
Originally Posted by haves0090
Those control arms are badass! Nice work
Thanks! Clayton uses the same material on their control arms and they have a lifetime warranty on them, so I think I'll be fine.
Originally Posted by G Beasley
Dont get me wrong , I have some simple HF stuff too . But if its anything of consequence I get good quality tool . And lastly you are welcome .
Completely agree. I paid some cash for my welder, bender,compressor, and hand tools. There are some smart buys at HF, notably their grinders are pretty good for $20.
My snowmobile blew again so I'm saving up to buy another one. The Jeep is going on a strict budget and I'm going to cut some stuff out of this build and wait till next winter to finish some of the "extras" like ARB's, interior stuff, and probably gauges. That does mean the build will go faster now, and I'll be driving it sooner rather than later.
I have one of those. It's sits in my tool box while my 4.5" grinders get all the action. I haven't found any use for it that my 4.5" hasn't been able to fill.
Originally Posted by Sundowner
Same here. Nice work on this, so far.
My front D30 came with a broken driver side axle. I made a call to a junk yard that specializes in Jeeps and had one shipped out. They shipped the passenger side to me. So - I shipped that back and got the correct one today.
Even comes with a good U joint.
I was playing around with my axle bridge and came to a conclusion. Plumbing an ARB after I weld it on is going to be not fun. At all.
So.. Should I bite the bullet and get an ARB and matching 35 spline axles now and make it easy on myself? Decisions, decisions.
Put in a long day of grinding dust and sparks. I'm now the proud father of my very first triangulated four link. Everything went pretty well considering this was my first time and I was making everything from scratch.
Both my upper and lower links happened to come out at 28". I've read that the upper links should ideally be 80% of the distance of the lower links, and through no planning on my own I actually hit right around 80%. I've cycled the suspension and nothing funny happened, and I only have around 2 degrees of pinon change from full droop to full stuff.
Upper link brackets made from more 3/16" wall 3"X6". I'm going to brace the top of the tower with more 3/16" plate.
Pretty happy with how everything came out. I still need to throw the gas tank up to see if I clear that ok.