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Unread 08-12-2007, 07:20 PM   #1
gearheadjlm
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Camp Lejeune, NC From Ohio
Posts: 257
My Build:

Well, here's what I started with:


And here's as it sits now in the parking lot


I am going to start my own build thread, since most of the stuff I do is cheap and on a budget. I am a PFC in the Marines, and the pay checks are small. However I do have access to good resources, such as welders and a shop. So, since I am making most of what I do myself and this is a learning experience I am going to post before I do, so I can get feed back and suggestions on my idea's. Here's what my goal is:

It's common to see people have around 3" on a budget, but I am going to go for 5". And still make this a comfortable vehicle for on my way home to Ohio (700mile drive from Camp Lejeune), but yet be very capable on the trail.

Plan to do so:

4"Superlift coils + 1" Coil Spacer. Spacer was free, and coils were $90

- For the front I could save a few bucks and get Rusty's 3" coils, then use a 2" spacer that I all ready have or, get the 5.5" coils for $110. I will need opinions here. It'll be about a $11 difference

Lower Control arms:



Took more a few hours to make the jig, and then to fab up 4 fixed lower control arms. They use the stock rubber bushing that is $6.99 at AutoZone. They are 1" long then stock arms. I did this to keep the axles in they're original position.

For the uppers:
[
$127.00

I plan on using these on the frame ends of the uppers. This this will allow me to have adjustable uppers, letting me adjust my pinion angle. I will still use rubber on the axle. This give me a rubber bushing on every control arms which will still flex decent, but help the rides on the road. Now, since I am not going long arm: I plan on lowering the control arm mounts about a 1.5" to help the angle of the arms. These mounts wouldn't be the cheaper bolt in ones, but actually be welded mounts, 1.5" wouldn't be enough to get hung up of rocks or make anything week, but will help the angle significantly.

Track Bars:
That kit comes with 4 left hand, and 4 right hand heims. I will only need 4 of them for the control arms. The other 4 can be used to make my own adjustable track bars.

Drive Shafts:

I am not sure how the front drive shaft does at 5" of lift, how ever my plans with the rear is this:

Lift the body 1.5"


These took me some time at a band saw, but cost me only a few bucks.
The hard ware can be bought at the home depot. The t-case drop bracket is easly made.

Lift the engine 1.5"
- I will use the same rubber bushings that I made the control arms with and make my own lift motor mounts.

Tummy Tuck:

I am not sure how much I can actually do a tummy tuck, but my plan is to go with a set up like seen here:

Once again I'd be using the same bushing, and will probably have to have it lower then what they did in this picture. But the idea would be to get the output shaft of the tranny at a good angle towards to pinion. I think this may cause trouble with my front drive shaft, but that will be easy to correct. Then build my skid. Now, with the tranny angled, I need to try to create a longer distance between the output and pinion. the lift itself and the extended control arms should create a good distance. Now, I would be able to adjust my pinion angle and make it parallel to the output shaft. Have then drive shaft lengthened, and the angles of the ujoints should be decent. This will be much more cost effective then a SYE.

Since I am going to be lifting the body, I also plan on raising the gas tank. Modeling this thread here:
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/showt...highlight=tank

Well, this is my plans over then next few weeks. I will post as I go, I would highly appreciate idea's and concerns about my plan. thats why I am posting ahead of the time. I am unsure what will need to be addressed with the steering, shocks is also something I am debating, will probably go with Skyjacker Hydros since I have heard good, and they are affordable.

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Unread 08-12-2007, 07:46 PM   #2
98tjsahara
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Uhh, your not going to have any kind of skid plate for the T-case?
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Unread 08-12-2007, 09:02 PM   #3
gearheadjlm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 98TjSahara
Uhh, your not going to have any kind of skid plate for the T-case?
No, I will have a skid, but I will be doing a cross member separate from the skid.
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Unread 08-12-2007, 09:12 PM   #4
snellav
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sounds like a cool project. keep us updated
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Unread 08-12-2007, 09:14 PM   #5
McLovin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 98TjSahara
Uhh, your not going to have any kind of skid plate for the T-case?
many vehicles that off road alot don't. Samurai's and yota's don't have any skid plating there from the factory.

I like your idea's. They look good, it's cool you have the skills to do that. You should check out some square tubing for the control arms. Clayton off road uses it. I have friend who did a custom mid arm 4 link using the square tubing it is hella strong stuff.
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Unread 08-12-2007, 09:26 PM   #6
gearheadjlm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn_c
many vehicles that off road alot don't. Samurai's and yota's don't have any skid plating there from the factory.

I like your idea's. They look good, it's cool you have the skills to do that. You should check out some square tubing for the control arms. Clayton off road uses it. I have friend who did a custom mid arm 4 link using the square tubing it is hella strong stuff.
I will probably use round for the uppers simply because the Heim Kit will fit right into the tubing, then I just have to weld them in. The lowers turned out very nice, and the square tubing was easy to work with. Next weekend I am going to be working on my control arm mounts. As far as skills, I am working on my welding skills, I first started in high school, working for a excavating company, then I went to trade school for machining, but since I have been in the Marines, I had to give up that stuff, it feels good to get back into it. I think the best way to learn how to weld is to learn the basics about how welders work, then pick on up and start welding. I will keep things updated, I bought this fancy digital camera and love taking pictures, so I hope by the time I finish this build, I will be able to help some people who are on a budget, but want to go big.
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Unread 08-12-2007, 09:53 PM   #7
JeepRocks86
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looks good, how do you like camp lejeune?
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Unread 08-12-2007, 09:57 PM   #8
gearheadjlm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepRocks86
looks good, how do you like camp lejeune?
I actually like it a lot here. I wanted to get deployed but looks like it wont happen till 2009' but I have been taking advantage of everything available to me such as the hobby shops, and couple of 4x4 shops in the area.
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Unread 08-12-2007, 10:33 PM   #9
TJ=MT Pockets
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I am not going to knock what you are doing, heck, i admire anyone that wants to fab their own junk but 5" lift and a flat skid makes for some pretty tight rear DS angles. I hope you are planning an sye. Also, if you are fabin up the control arms already, why not just go long arm? It would be a better route than lowering the mounts. Why go through all the effort for the flat belly and fabin your own CA's to only lower them?

Again, not knocking you but i just can't see going through all the effort to only end up lowering the CA mounts.

Also, what is your goal? Tire size etc. If you are only going to run 35's, why not stick with a 3" susp. lift and 1.5" bl? It would make the flat belly easier and you wouldn't need to lower the control arms at all.

ETA--I re read your post----there is no way you will be able to run a flat belly and 5" lift without an sye. Heck, for that set up, you will probably want to go with the super shorty sye.
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Unread 08-13-2007, 07:36 AM   #10
Scotch740
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I have that TC drop bracket from my JKS 1.25" BL for $5 + shipping its yours. Unless you already got it made. It is pretty simple and I understand enjoying making things yourself.

Doing a TC crossmember like that will make your drive line angles worse than mounting it to the plate. I did my own on my stock Unlimited. BEST MOD YET! However my TC shifting is screwy even with a AA bracket. I am going with a NOVAk shift kit.

Check out my FLAT TC skid write up.
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f37/home-made-flat-tc-skid-write-up-w-pictures-429497/
You will need a SYE with no lift and a Flat TC skid on a SWB wrangler. I almost need one with my Unlimited with no lift.

GO for the full coils up front. That lets you level it later with spacers without using spacer on top of spacers.

Also for 5" of lift and making your own stuff I would second the Long Arm. Since you alreay spent the $ on the parts you might as well go with the LA since all the rest is is your labor and some frame brackets for them which will be easy enoguh.
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Unread 08-13-2007, 07:26 PM   #11
gearheadjlm
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TJ=MT Pockets
Quote:
I am not going to knock what you are doing, heck, i admire anyone that wants to fab their own junk but 5" lift and a flat skid makes for some pretty tight rear DS angles. I hope you are planning an sye. Also, if you are fabin up the control arms already, why not just go long arm? It would be a better route than lowering the mounts. Why go through all the effort for the flat belly and fabin your own CA's to only lower them?


Again, not knocking you but i just can't see going through all the effort to only end up lowering the CA mounts.
The reason I do not want to go with long arm is because in order to set up a nice long arm, things get complicated, and also, it's more time and money. Steel gets very expensive once you start getting long lengths of it, however, short pieces, like the one's I made my lower control arms with, were free from scrap. The fabrication of a long arm would cost a lot just for the material. Dropping the brackets 1"-1.5" will be very simple, quick, easy and effective. The arms are longer then stock, and will be at a very acceptable angle.


Quote:
Also, what is your goal? Tire size etc. If you are only going to run 35's, why not stick with a 3" susp. lift and 1.5" bl? It would make the flat belly easier and you wouldn't need to lower the control arms at all.
My goal is 33's or 35's. The reason I don't want to just go with 3" is because I am already at 4" and want a little more. I don't like body lifts all that much and don't want to go beyond what I need to to raise the engine, skid, and gas tank.

Quote:
ETA--I re read your post----there is no way you will be able to run a flat belly and 5" lift without an sye. Heck, for that set up, you will probably want to go with the super shorty sye.
I want to avoid a SYE. simply because it is expensive. With the ideas I have, I think I can do it, give me a chance on this. Also, if I do find a way to make it work, I am sure other budget guys will appreciate it. If I don't then I will look into a hack'n tap, but will probably save up for the super short sye.


scotch740
Quote:

I have that TC drop bracket from my JKS 1.25" BL for $5 + shipping its yours. Unless you already got it made. It is pretty simple and I understand enjoying making things yourself.
Thanks, but I all ready have mine fab'd up, or else I would have jumped on your JKS lift.

Quote:
Doing a TC crossmember like that will make your drive line angles worse than mounting it to the plate. I did my own on my stock Unlimited. BEST MOD YET! However my TC shifting is screwy even with a AA bracket. I am going with a NOVAk shift kit.
I was thinking about this, I will probably mount to the skid, I am unsure how much of a tummy tuck I will be able to do, from what I was looking at, it'll probably drop about 1" below the frame, but thats a hell of a lot better then stock. I am expecting a lot of trouble with t-case link age.



Quote:
Check out my FLAT TC skid write up.
http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=429497
You will need a SYE with no lift and a Flat TC skid on a SWB wrangler. I almost need one with my Unlimited with no lift.
Looks great, I have been fine with my driveshaft up till 3", 4" it were I could tell the drive shaft need addressed. Like I said, I have some idea's I wanna give it a shot.


Quote:
GO for the full coils up front. That lets you level it later with spacers without using spacer on top of spacers.
Thanks! I was thinking the same thing! I am going with the full 5.5" Rustys.


Thanks for the comments. I know that the SYE is a scetchy topic, I am stubborn though and wont spend that much money until I try something myself, this coming weekend I plan on finding out if I will be able to come up with something or not.
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Unread 08-13-2007, 08:19 PM   #12
Scotch740
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I'm all about having to try things to believe them, haha done that a lot.

Just be prepared to spend the money on a SYE and CV. Also keep some longer scraps of steel to make proper arms for your rear axle when you do so you can get the proper angle.

With the extra length of the unlimited ANY lift I do I will be doing a SYE and CV. Doing a Flat TC skid or a tummy tuck doesn't just raise your TC it changes the angle in its self. If I had kept the engine level with everything I would be fine even with a BB I think but I think I am now pointed higher than stock. ie I raised the engine 1" but raised the TC 2.5"

If you are droping the skid 1" you can incorperate a seprate crossmember pretty easily with only raising your skid 1/4". Have the crossmember attach to the 1" drop and meet up with some 1/4" plate in the middle. Make the plate sit slightly lower than the drop if it dosen't do it by itself and when you put your skid on it will just contact it.

I suggest the 33 engineering trany mount. Worked very well for me, but it was the most expensive part of my mod.
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Unread 08-13-2007, 09:19 PM   #13
TJ=MT Pockets
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I wish you the best of luck--you will need it .

I admire your ambition but my dad always told me not to be penny wise but dollar stupid. I think you will just be wasteing your time and money trying to get it to work and you will just end up spending more to fix it right or end up putting more time into it to put it back the way it was.

I will be following this thread along to see your progress, i hope you prove me wrong. I just don't see how you are going to get 5" of lift and a belly up to work without an sye. I had to use a 1" TC drop when i was runnin 3" springs before i did the sye. When you get to 5" lift and a belly up you are getting close to a 7+" lift because of the raised belly. There is no way to make that work. You will be vibrating like mad and chucking u-joints and maybe even destroying your tailshaft and pinion bearing.

I seriously wish you the best with your project.

Oh, and a big to you for serving in the usmc. Thank you for serving our country.
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Unread 08-13-2007, 09:43 PM   #14
mrbates
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good luck, i will be watching this post--keep us updated
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Unread 09-23-2007, 09:23 PM   #15
gearheadjlm
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Update!

Well I gave up on trying to go without a SYE. Like I was told, its easier and better to just go with it. So, I should be ordering it this week.

Well, before I post my progess, i'll put some wheeling pics up:





New parts and upgrades:

Well here's my control arms that I made. didn't go with how I orginially was going to, but I saved a lot of money the way I made them, and they are stronger. So here's some pics:

Front Uppers (haven't finished the rears yet):




They are at 15.5" fully closed and can extend out about 17" (that is eye to eye)
They will use the original rubber bushings.

Lowers:




Very simple design, Measures 17" eye to eye, and uses the original rubber bushings. I would really like to put a johnny joint on one end of them, however, that'd be about $35 per arm, and that would really add to the cost. I think that the rubber bushings will flex enough for me.

I have installed Skyjacker Hydro shocks, for a 6" lift, and am VERY happy with them. I had the stock shocks with extensions before, which was just ridicules. I also have Rusty's 5.5" Springs awaiting to go onto the front. I installed the JKS motor mount lift. I lifted the gas tank 1.25 to go with the body lift, It's amazing how much that little bit makes a difference! I made a shift linkage drop bracket, but have not installed it, I need to, or I need to adjust my linkage, because it likes to pop out of 4Low. Once I install the SYE, I will be doing the "tummy tuck" and hopefully wont run into linkage problems. As far as track bars are concerned I was going to make my own, but am thinking about getting the Skyjacker front that comes with the steering stabilizer. I'll probably still make the rear track bar my self. I also extended my swap bar links, I want to get a nice set of disco's but that requires more funds. This may not look pretty but it helped my ride (compared to stock length links and 4" lift) and was free, and only took about 45 minutes. With some improvement in funds, I have also decided to order 33" Xterrain tires and blackies this week, along with many other needed items. I am also looking at a winch but don't know what winch would be the best bang for the buck. Well, next weekend will be more progress.

Overall, I have saved a lot of money making my own parts. Some of it isn't the prettiest however it's been a learning experience and much more pride. My overall goal with this is a very capable road worthy Jeep (still comfortable to do long highway trips), but doing it on as much of a budget as possible.
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Last edited by gearheadjlm; 09-23-2007 at 09:39 PM..
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