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Unread 06-02-2009, 02:34 PM   #1
StrokedWJ
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WJ: 9" axle swap/build/help

I've slowly been collecting parts for my rear axle swap over the last year or so. Now I'm taking a continuing ed welding class at the local CC and ready to start preparing the axle to go under the back of the heep. So far I've ordered 4.56's, Detroit locker, LCA, spring buckets, & shock mount tabs (ballistic) and I had Moser re-drill the axle shafts to 5x5 bp.

I've got custom LA's on the WJ made by a local friend. It uses radius arms up front, with a 3-link in the rear (2 long lowers + the factory upper A-Arm). I'd like to keep the rear suspension as is so I can keep the exhaust system in tact. I also would like to re-use the WJ's brakes on the 9 due to needing a E-brake to pass inspection and cheapness since I already have a complete set of rear WJ brakes from a WJ that was parted out.

My plan is to tack weld the LCA, spring buckets, and shock mount tabs on at home using my Clarke 130EN welder, then burning them in using a 220v welder during class. I thought I'd be best to get the shock tabs and LCA brackets as high up as possible on the axle for more clearance, i.e. around the axle center line. Is that correct? or is there a reason the factory design has the shock and LCA's below the axle? For the pinion angle, I'm going to measure the angle my current axle is at and add a few degrees (~10*), then weld on the spring buckets at 0*.

For the disk brakes, I did a quick mock up with the WJ caliper bracket and rotor to see that the hat of the WJ rotor was too deep. I will need to custom make a weld on caliper bracket using the plasma cutter at school. Any tips or pointers?

Also looking for recommendations for the upper mount. I have purchased a new a-arm upper ball joint and was thinking about making a weld on truss which the ball joint would bolt down to similar to the OEM setup.


Obviously this is my first time doing this, so any help or advise is appreciated.

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Unread 06-07-2009, 05:08 PM   #2
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A couple of weeks ago somebody posted a technical drawing of the ZJ rear axle from Claytons website. At that time, there was nothing on there for the WJ, but last week Clayton came out with some High Clearance Brackets for the WJ rear axle, so now theres a WJ diagram up too. Its going to be extremely helpful in laying everything out.



So armed with the diagram, I set to work. Got the center of the axle measured out and started with the spring perches. I had to fill in some gouges I made with the cut-off wheel during removal of the OEM spring perches first. Then I tack welded the spring buckets on. I set the pinion angle to 14* and tacked on the spring buckets at 0*.

Isn't my "workspace awesome?!?! Don't ask me WTF the idiots were doing that built my crawlspace door 3 ft. off the ground...


I'll burn them in completely using a 220v Miller during class on Tues. After doing some reading on MC and Pirate, most people weld the LCA mounts on so that the mounts are flush with the axle centerline. It'll push the axle back about 1", but my arms are adjustable, so it should be fine.
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Unread 06-07-2009, 05:34 PM   #3
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I know you want to keep your exhaust in tact, but the factory a-arm limits you in terms of adjustability once you get to a certain point. You may not be there now, but I see 35's in your future. My only suggestion would be to reconsider a 4-link and have a local exhaust shop make it work. I know I've seen a few rigs over on MC that have retained stock exhaust with Clayton's rear.

Good stuff, keep us updated.
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Unread 06-17-2009, 05:28 PM   #4
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Got the LCA mounts, spring perches and shock tabs welded on. Tomorrow I'll get started on the mount for the upper A-Arm...still gotta figure out brakes :shrug:







My newbie welds:




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Unread 06-17-2009, 05:39 PM   #5
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maybe add a tiny bit quicker wire speed but those welds arent bad at all.
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Unread 06-17-2009, 06:15 PM   #6
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Nice looking welds. Looking forward to seeing some updates. Its going to look sick under the WJ.
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Unread 06-17-2009, 09:34 PM   #7
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So here's the plan for the upper mount.


The two red lines are 4x2 c-channel and the blue line is 3/8" plate. The A-Arm ball joint will just bolt down to the top plate.

This is what I've figured up from looking at the suspension calculator.



I'd like to get the antisquat up closer to 90%, but I don't know how much higher I can realistically mount the axle side of the uppers. Anyone know if my estimate for the WJ's COG is close?
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Unread 06-17-2009, 10:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YHC2000WJ View Post
So here's the plan for the upper mount.


The two red lines are 4x2 c-channel and the blue line is 3/8" plate. The A-Arm ball joint will just bolt down to the top plate.

This is what I've figured up from looking at the suspension calculator.



I'd like to get the antisquat up closer to 90%, but I don't know how much higher I can realistically mount the axle side of the uppers. Anyone know if my estimate for the WJ's COG is close?
WTF IS that thing using windows 98/2000? i do see a linksys wireless card icon in the corner tho.
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Unread 06-17-2009, 10:51 PM   #9
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win2k ftw!
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Unread 06-17-2009, 11:53 PM   #10
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win2k is for losers, win 95 is where it's at.
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Unread 06-18-2009, 06:21 AM   #11
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LOL, someone said the same thing over on MC. That comp is from ~ 1998 and the only one I've around not running vista. I couldn't find a 4 link calc that worked in vista...
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Unread 06-18-2009, 07:27 AM   #12
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Looks like its coming along nicely.

Is it going to be high pinion or low pinion?
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Unread 06-18-2009, 08:38 AM   #13
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Its LP. I had a Currie Hi9 center for it, but a piston broke in the engine over the winter and I had to sell it to fund the rebuild/stroker.
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Unread 05-15-2010, 09:05 PM   #14
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Still working on this a little bit at a time...getting closer to finishing it up. Here's my take on getting the WJ disc's on the 9. My 9 has the big bearing, late style ends. Here's the redrill and grinding I did to make the caliper bracket flat.


And I took a little off the piece inside the rotor hat. The clearance here was really tight since the rotor sits a little deeper on the 9 than the 35.


I got a 1/4" spacer from Currie that is supposed to be used with their Explorer disc brake setup and had it pressed on with some new bearings. I had to cut off a small piece of the axle retainer to clear the Currie spacer. Here's the setup. From the inside-->out, caliper bracket(not pictured), axle bearing/seal assembly, Currie spacer, axle retainer.


I had to take a very small amount of metal out of the center of the rotor to make it fit over the 9" axle flange. I kept taking very small amounts and test fitting so that the rotor was still a hub-centric fit. Instead of using a 1/4" spacer between the rotor and axle flange like AP, I found that 2 washers stacked between the caliper bracket and caliper created the proper spacing. Here's the rotor and caliper mounted with the washers as spacers.




Also picked up a H-case Detroit (3.25" bearings) and a Strange Nodular case. Had the 4.56 gears setup and the guy painted the outside of the case and epoxied the inside for free .

One thing I noticed today...with the redrill the caliper is situated at 12 o'clock, pretty much straight inline vertically with the axle housing. I believe the stock orientation is ~ 3 o'clock. Should that cause any problems? Also, not 100% sure on e-brake fitment since I'm just mocking up with some scrap WJ calipers I picked up but I believe there's enough room to fit.
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Unread 05-16-2010, 06:30 PM   #15
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Looks good man, this is basically how im planning to set up my 9'', do you know the part number for that currie spacer? btw, won't that take away a 1/4'' of spline to spline contact in the carrier, or is that not something worth worrying about?
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