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Unread 08-01-2009, 06:58 PM   #1
bddisi
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1997 TJ Wrangler 
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Cleveland TN.
Posts: 899
Not A Build Thread

I like to think of this more like the history of, or the technically challenged, evolving into....something. I would like to familiarize jf members with my jeep. As I will not be trying for the August TJ of the month, But will be trying to get another chance at a later time. I do think the build thread is a great way for everyone to get to know a member and a jeep. I also realize that every one that does a build thread isn't doing it to better their chances on a contest. I do regret the fact that I haven't taken the time to document my upgrades and mods. To be honest, I get so jacked up before during and after that I don't want to slow down to take pics. I will work on this.
Here goes.
My Jeep, 1997 Wrangler, purchased in 1998. First mods, New tires BFG 35x12.50 mud ta.
When I bought the jeep it had 35x12.50 BFGs on it, with a 2in bb and 3in body lift. It belonged to a guy, who's dad was the mgr of a Toyota stealership.
I drove the jeep for a pretty good while before doing much at all to it. After I bought the first set of tires and wheels, it was on. The Bushwhackers were next, and then the Teraflex long arm and Ford 8.8. I bought the 8.8 from Domination Chassis. It came with my choice of gear, so I chose a 456. Since my front d30 didn't match, I worked a deal with a local 4x4 shop. I would trade my rear d35 to them for in exchange, them setting up the 456, and Detroit Trutrac in the front. This worked out well. I now had a front Detroit Trutrac 456 geared d30, and a rear Ford 8.8 with 456 and Ford trackloc lsd.


Here is the first d30, with a few mods. Rockcrusher diff cover and Rustys hd Tie rod. The 8.8, had repacked the clutches in it. I had them so tight that once I finally got the spider gears in there, I had to hammer the pin in with a 2lb hammer. It works great off road. And I save $$$$. I also was tired of the lower long arms and the stock length uppers, I had however changed them to JKS adj uppers, they were still short arms. So my buddy and I came up with the idea of front radius arms. We took the uppers and joined them with a bracket we fabbed up. It worked great, and was quite easy.

I thought, that was easy enough, lets do the rear. So we did.

There were a lot of smaller mods along the way, like extended brake lines, slip yolk eliminator, Rusty's trans skid plate, steering box skid. Poison Spyder sliders. And then Drum Roll Please... One of the best mods I have made thus far, no shoo shoo.
36x13.50 IROKS.

Them dawgs will hunt. Even before I packed out the 8.8, and learned how to drive the Detroit Trutrac, these tires will help you get there. While participating in the Tellico Dixie Run 2008, I had problems with the 8.8. I was going up School Bus trail, and the rear end sounded like you threw a bunch of large gravel in there. The cap bolts on the carrier had came out. Not broken, not stripped just simply fell out. The result of this was the ring gear stripped the pinion gear or vise versa. Anyway it was fubar. I had to drive like 20 miles back to Murphy NC, to the motel, at like 8mph. I removed the rear d shaft and crept back. When I got the jeep home and looked at the gear and seen what happened, I sent Jay, at Domination Chassis some pics, they were stand up people and stood behind their work. They paid me for the labor to set up the new gears and they bought the new gears. I then Purchased from a JF member a lp d30, with 488 gears, and a Eaton E locker. I got the hp30 home and cleaned it up welded a truss on there and painted it. Also added superior tube seals, to the cromo shafts.




I then needed a new gear for the 8.8, I got a Yukon 488 for the rear and since I had set the previous gear up in the 8.8, I felt this one would be no problem. With the new gears installed, we went on a few wheeling trips.


I had a few issues with the radius arm setup. While there is a big debate about the wrenching effect, and the hopping of the rear radius arm. One of the things I noticed, was the abnormal wear of the rod end bushings. So After lowering the jeep, at the advise of JF members, and living with that a while, I then decided it was time to get rid of the radius arm set up. I researched the forums and parts stores for prices on various long arm kits. I said *****it. I purchased a Hobart 187, a HF band saw and a couple of Dewalt grinders, a HF grinder, and a drill press. I then started the calculations for triangulating and building my upper rear control arms. After several drawings and measurements. And after getting familiar with the welder. I was ready. I first built the rear truss.


I first built this monster, hulk of steel.

As you can see, it was well thought out, the brackets for the arms to bolt to, go all the way back into the truss. I however didn't use this truss. The measurements I used for this truss, would have made the long arm uppers hit the frame just rearward of the lower arms mounting point. I though about this for awhile and decided to redo it. I came back with this.

If you look close you can see the rear truss, I made it out of 2x2 1/4wall .
I made it so it would be low profile and when I welded it to the 8.8, I did not weld it perpendicular to the diff cover. I had seen where people had done that and had problems with it getting into the gas tank. With the lengths of the upper arms calculated, I proceeded to build them. I used 2in .250wall dom. I researched the forums and various 4x4 shops for prices on rod connectors. J Joints, heims. Wow, expensive. So I had a idea. I took the upper JKS adjustable arms and cut them in half. I took a flapper disc to them and took the paint off. With a large micrometer, I measured them as I massaged them with the flapper disc. When I had them where they would barely go into the 2in tube, I drove them in with a mallet. I welded them around the base and drilled two holes in each end and welded that also. They turned out great I think. One end is bushing and the other is total swivel. The other good thing is that they are in the 2in tube, about 4.5 in deep.

The next challenge was to build the connecting bracket for the frame end. This would have been easy if I didn't already have the Teraflex bracketing in place. I had to figure how to put the bracket on top of what was already there. After a few flawed designs, I finally got it. It had to be at the proper angle and had to have the proper angle for where it was mounted.

Not that great of a pic, but if you look closely you can tell what I mean. It was time to try it out, to check for clearances. I did this with a fork lift.


Never being content, I had other issues I wanted to address. My shocks I had gotten were not TJ specific. They also had around 15+ in of travel. The problem was the bottomed out on the trails. Not only on the hard stuff, but on small bumps too. My solution was to outboard the rear shocks. I looked at several mfgs product, and costs, wow. I built my own. 1/4in plate and some measuring, a little drawing on cardboard, some cutting with the HF bandsaw, and some grinding. I came up with my shock towers. Next was to cut the frame. I measured and looked and measured. Man I must have made 400 trips from one side of the jeep to the other. Then I laid the cutting wheel to it. No turning back now. I followed the instructions on Poly Performance site to do the cutting. I stopped just as the back side of the frame turns outward. I tacked that side in and went ahead and moved the axle shock mount. Well I actually took it off the axle and boxed it in, so I could mount the limiting strap to it. I then bolted the shock up, with nervous tension, hoping all would work well. It looked good clearance was good. I then went on to the other side and did the same. I had it all mocked up and it was going to work. I tore it down welded it up and this is what I had.

I then went back to the fork lift and checked everything again. It was fine. Close but fine. I had created another problem though. When I had triangulated the upper rear and got rid of the rear trac bar, I had really freed up the rear end. With no rear sway bar, the jeep drove like a turd on the street. I didn't really get to check it on the trail, but I was thinking it would be as before with to much flex, or to loose flex. I tried to put the factory sway bar back on. It would have worked, but it would have hit the brackets on the truss. I had seen the rear Currie Antirock and wanted to try that. I knew I really liked the one I had on the front. So I ordered one. I got it home and read the instructions. Oh no. This thing goes on that side. The instructions said to mount it on the back side behind the axle. The way the AntiRock was made and the way I had my shock towers, was not going to work together. I almost decided to send it back when I thought, why not the other side. I had my buddy help hold it in place while I checked what would need to be done to make it work. I had to grind the lip some, the one below the rear tub. I also couldnt use the bolts they sent to bolt it to the frame. He held it in place while I tacked it up. I jacked it up in several positions to see if things were going to clear. Looked good so I welded it up. I also had to weld the axle brackets too. I had to put them half over on the spring perch. Not in the way of the spring but close.

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Unread 08-01-2009, 06:59 PM   #2
bddisi
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Location: Cleveland TN.
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I almost forgot I had also added a suck down winch. I followed the instructions on the Stu site and it worked to a tee.

The only problem I have had with the suck down winch is the cable broke. I will have to replace it with synthetic line when I can. I was bored one day and decided to beef up my truss on the hp d30. And while I was at it I would go ahead and three link the front. I cut 1/4 in plat and fabbed this up and welded it down.



With the truss beefed up, I was ready to build another long arm. After the measuring and calculating, I made a bracket for the frame, tacked it in to place. Cut the 2in dom for the arm and did the front the same way I had done the upper rears. I cut the JKS in half and placed it in the 2in dom. Welded it up. Then bolted the arm in to place. I read several posts, on which side to place the arm. I felt it was builders choice. I placed it on the driver side and attached the axle connection on the diff.


I also built a brace to go from the passenger side of the jeep to the trac bar mount, just for insurance.

Its kinda hard to see but its just above the diff cover.
Then I chopped the front bumper and added a thing for my lights.

Then I decided the Xenons were getting in the way. I was scratching them and bending them. I decided to go with Smittybilt tube fenders with the 3in flair. They come in black texture. I couldn't have this on my rig. So I sanded the top sides and painted them. Thats about it. Sure there are a lot more things I have done, Here are some pics you can see for your self.





Thanks for looking and being patient enough to read through. Comments and questions are welcome.
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Unread 08-01-2009, 07:01 PM   #3
bddisi
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Location: Cleveland TN.
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Sorry, here is a pic of the rear Antirock.
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Unread 08-02-2009, 08:40 AM   #4
bddisi
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This is the old d30 with Detroit Trutrac. I really liked the trutrac. After learning how to manipulate it with the brakes, it worked quite well. I now have the Eaton E locker in the hp 30, and I am still trying to get familiar with it. With the Iroks aired down and locker engaged, steering is tuff. I am currently researching hydro assist. I like the way my jeep looks and the way it drives on and off road. BUT, I am so on the fence that my butt hurts.
I have been reading build thread after build thread, on 1 ton axle swaps, stretch wheelbase. I really think I want to go that direction. Here is the situation. We have a group of about 8 to 10 jeeps that go wheeling. All the rigs are modified some. Some are similar to mine. However, I am the one that is always trying that rock ledge that no one thinks they can do. Or going up that hill that looks like you would flip over on. Yet there is another group that I have went with that passes noting up. I find that I am the one that has the most difficulty on the trails they ride. Its like being the middle child, to old to play with little bro's toys, and to young to play with big bro's girlfriend. I still want to be able to drive on the street. I enjoy driving my jeep to trails, to work, and to other functions. So what ever I do, it still has to be street able.

http://eastcoastgearsupply.com/images/F56492
I was thinking something like this for the steering. Or this.

Any one have any experience with either of these? Also, does anyone have any input on doing the one tons. Like how to do it and keep it drivable and looking good. I cant afford Dynatrac or Currie Rock Jocks. If I do the tons, it will be buy the most affordable and refurbish to work for as little $$$ as possible. Some thing like a 60 for the front and rear, or 60/14bolt. I would like to just get a 60 for the front and cut it to fit, do a super 88 in the rear, and stretch to 103in, or so. I know that is still getting in to $$$$, but I will take my time and gather all parts before I break my stuff down. I will also do all the fab work. Any one think there will be a problem with the 8.8, super 88 kit, holding 39.5 Iroks??
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Last edited by bddisi; 08-02-2009 at 08:41 AM.. Reason: wrong pic
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Unread 08-02-2009, 11:55 AM   #5
mightydog78
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omg................ that gave me chills

very awesome rig
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Unread 08-02-2009, 12:07 PM   #6
wrangler2007
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Location: dalton, georgia
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Looks good
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Unread 08-02-2009, 04:46 PM   #7
bddisi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrangler2007 View Post
Looks good
Thanks, ...Dalton, Ga?? You can't be far from me. I am about 2miles across TN line on 60, or what you call Cleveland hwy. Road trip next weekend, large group going. If you're interested pm me. OH, better put something technical in this so I don't get flamed. As to the posts above on the d60/14bolt, I have found locally a 1990 d60 from a f350, with matching rear Sterling, I can get for around 1100.00 for the set. The d60, I know something about. The Sterling, I am not familiar with. Anyone know anything about these? thanks.
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Unread 08-02-2009, 07:44 PM   #8
LSU_TJ
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Nice rig man.

Looks kinda like my brother from a different motha.......


.
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Unread 08-02-2009, 08:51 PM   #9
Xlr8n
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Very impressed with your drive to do the work yourself and to fab up what works for you rather than just buying and bolting. Nice rig!!
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Unread 08-02-2009, 09:15 PM   #10
bddisi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xlr8n View Post
Very impressed with your drive to do the work yourself and to fab up what works for you rather than just buying and bolting. Nice rig!!
Thanks,
I have done my share of buying and bolting. But I get really tired of checking prices and it seems they are going up every quarter. Inflation is a mother. There are a lot if things I can't build and will have to buy, if I want them, but with what I can save by building just a couple of things, may pay for the things I can't build. There are a lot of other people on here that do similar things. That is where a person gets inspiration.
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Unread 08-02-2009, 09:38 PM   #11
wrangler2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bddisi View Post
Thanks, ...Dalton, Ga?? You can't be far from me. I am about 2miles across TN line on 60, or what you call Cleveland hwy. Road trip next weekend, large group going. If you're interested pm me. OH, better put something technical in this so I don't get flamed. As to the posts above on the d60/14bolt, I have found locally a 1990 d60 from a f350, with matching rear Sterling, I can get for around 1100.00 for the set. The d60, I know something about. The Sterling, I am not familiar with. Anyone know anything about these? thanks.
Man I'd love to go, but I'll be on a mission trip with my church up in Buffalo, NY. Going with some adults and my college group. I know right where you are talking about! I'm waiting on my bow to sell for the S35 w/ c-clip eliminator and ARB then 35's and some steering work. So I'll be off the trails for about a month or 2 before I'll be out riding. Let me know of some rides though

About the HP30. Where did you get yours? I'm looking to get one after the S35. I'm not planning on locking the HP30 as of yet so I'd just put some gears in at the moment. Know of a good shop? I'm staying away from Ringgold Offroad and looking at Spicer even though their cost is much higher (happy with the setup Ringgold gave me though). You fabbed up a truss for the HP30? What else would you recommend for 35's on the HP30?
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Unread 08-02-2009, 09:54 PM   #12
bddisi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrangler2007 View Post

About the HP30. Where did you get yours? I'm looking to get one after the S35. I'm not planning on locking the HP30 as of yet so I'd just put some gears in at the moment. Know of a good shop? I'm staying away from Ringgold Offroad and looking at Spicer even though their cost is much higher (happy with the setup Ringgold gave me though). You fabbed up a truss for the HP30? What else would you recommend for 35's on the HP30?
Chromo axles are always nice. If you keep it open, and drive it reasonable, you should be ok. I got my hp30 from a jf member. The same day I picked up mine, my buddy picked his up for $175.00 complete. We had to re gear his with E locker and 456 gear, and he also went with the chromo axles. Pm me when you get ready to do the gears. I will let you know when we hit the trails again.
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Unread 08-02-2009, 10:51 PM   #13
wrangler2007
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Sure will! I plan on keeping the front open diff till I start wheeling more then go with a S30 kit
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Unread 08-03-2009, 02:21 PM   #14
bddisi
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A few more pics.






This last one was from awhile back.
I love when people look at my jeep and reply "You never take that thing off road, do you?" I just smile and say, lord no, I might scratch it. Truth is, if you are going to spend the money, put in the time and labor, and not take it off road, to what ever degree. Well thats kinda like having a hot wife or girlfriend and never nailing her. Just my opinion.
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Unread 08-03-2009, 02:33 PM   #15
-sean-
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bddisi View Post

Sorry, here is a pic of the rear Antirock.
How about some more info on your Antirock...
Part number?
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