A little time passed, and we had spent it doing minor here and theres on the jeep. Spending money on stainless steel bolts, and this and that. We also worked on Jeff's Scrambler quite a bit. It was time to tackle a bigger task, and I voted on the steering column because mine was in rough shape and had alot of slack in the tilt. We headed off to ALL the junkyards in a 40 mile radius...but we didn't see much of anything interesting. In fact the most interesting things we saw were this half sunk spring:
And this old baby
Seriously, thousands and thousands of cars but no Jeeps and no steering columns that would have fit. Oh well, I guess I could try rebuilding mine:
Ok this got complicated fast:
I'm seriously starting to feel like this is above me:
I took many, many more pictures but I didn't include them because A. there already are awesome breakdowns of these things on the web, and B. I'm not sure I am going to rebuild mine. There were tons of broken things and stuff missing. I could order the parts but I'm just not sure I'm going to.
I decided to drop this for now and go to something else... the SLE and Driveshaft!
After some frustrating research, I found what I needed at Tom Woods Custom Driveshafts. The customer service there is absoluting amazing...which I found out later and will tell you about.
I had to take some measurments...
Notice anything wrong from the last pic? Well, the important wrong thing? xD
I sent Tom my measurments and while I waited I decided to do the fuel line. Jeff's son-in-law, Billy, got us some AWESOME stainless steel line from the oil field trash pile where he works. This will look nice, albeit a pain to get in there:
Electrical tape underneath the mounts to prevent metal-to-metal rubbing:
Man that looks so nice, I was so grateful to Jeff and Billy for this!
So FIRST problem...I didn't put the shims in to make the diff output yoke point toward the output shaft on the transfercase...I had 2 degree shims that came with my lift, but those were a joke. I was an idiot to not do this step BEFORE sending Tom my measurements...but I didn't know any better.
I got ready to put the new 8 degree shims I ordered in:
I don't have a picture of them...but after I drilled them out to match my Rubicon Express "perch dowels? and put them on I realized 8 degree was not NEAR enough!!! So that was 40 dollars down the drain. If anyone wants these let me know..they are nice, they just don't work for me. I had to order $15 perches from Summit to make this work for me.
So first it was time to get the old ones off:
While grinding I had an accident and the grinder jumped. It hit my arm and I got a nasty burn and a cut which JUST missed a major blood vessel. THANK YOU GOD! I was very lucky.
I eventually finished...this took the whole day...
Next session involved welding, which is fun.
OH MY GOSH ITS HIDEOUS!!!!!
It held up to a sledgehammer though, so I should be good.
At this point I got my shiny new driveshaft. It was awesome. I laughed, I cried, and then I cried some more...but this time because it did not fit because I made three horrible errors (one of them was not known until this time today). I did not point my outputs toward each other, which I described earlier, and I measured the thing wrong...I didn't do 12" O clock to 9" O clock, which is the right way. So I paniced and starting thinking of ways to fix this.
I decided the only thing I could do was drop the transfer case. So I started experimenting:
But then if I got rid of the transfer case drop I had another problem...a 33 degree plus problem...which would equal CATASTROPHIC failure as per the Tom Wood's website. I don't know exactly what that means but I knew I didn't want that. The only thing to do was measure it right and send it back and bite the cost. Stupid, expensive mistake on my part.