Name: Cliff Dell
- Frame stretched 7+”
- Pure Jeep tank, custom mounted for more stretch and ground clearance
- 102” wb
Suspension (all custom):
- 3 link front w track bar
- 4 link rear, triangulated
- 28” arms w JJ all around
- 12” Fox shocks, 4” Currie springs
- Currie anti-rock front & rear
- AW4 trans
- JK Rubicon D44’s front & rear, Superior shafts, Reid knuckles, front is sleeved, trussed, and gusseted. 5.38 gearing
- 37” MTR’s on 17” Racelines
- Custom flat aluminum engine, trans, & gas skids
- Savvy corner armor, cut for stretch.
- Metal Cloak fenders & flairs (modified for stretch)
My TJ was very capable (33’s, locked front & rear) and I was satisfied with it until 3 things happened. 1) I rode with Robert Yates for an afternoon at JV and discovered how well a “Blaine Built” suspension can work, 2) I spent time in a friends LJ on steep waterfalls and liked the stability of the longer wb, 3) I spent an afternoon on Sun Bonnet with the Savvy gang (my lack of ground clearance caused me to need winching at least 12 – 14 times that day).
The rebuild (over the summer of 2011) had two primary objectives, 1) make it very drivable on the street for expedition type trips. I wanted to be comfortable driving 5 hrs on highway to one end of the Mojave Trail, then live out of it for 3 days on the trail. 2) be very capable on JV Hammers.
There were many key decisions as the build progressed, but the major decision was to build it for 35’s w my existing TJ D44 and an HP 30, or go to heavier axles and 37’s. When Blaine noticed a JK HP D44 in his driveway (belonged to Gerald), that started the ball rolling toward 37’s. From that point forward the entire build was designed to accommodate that tire size. Every steering link, control arm, spring perch, shock mount, bump stop, sway bar mount, etc. was built by Blaine for the 37’s – no more, no less.
Lastly, I wanted it to look somewhat as if it had come from the factory. Thus the aluminum fenders & corner guards were painted body color. The steel flairs and sliders were sprayed black.
Pic 1 explanation – rear stretch in-work:
1) cover plate over 7+” frame extension. Note the raised body mount, the 1” body lift puck is gone, more importantly the body mount is 1” further away from rocks.
2) frame arch pushed back, body wheel opening not yet cut
3) JK D44 positioned (control arm mounts, truss, out-boarded shock mounts, etc. not yet in place)
4) Stretch Tank mocked in place. Note the bottom of the tank is the bottom of the frame rail; this is several inches higher than the standard position for this tank. Later, the gas skid was fastened directly to the bottom of the frame
5) The frame rear was chopped off 7+”. My old rear bumper is now the rear cross member and it is raised 1” (body lift pucks removed in rear). Great departure angle.