Build. the General Lee, tons, 40s, stretch, etc - Page 6 - JeepForum.com
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post #76 of 354 Old 05-14-2020, 07:09 PM
Jeff88
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If someone described those tail lights to me, I would say I hate them, but seeing them...I think they are really cool.

It would be really awesome if they were frenched.

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post #77 of 354 Old 05-14-2020, 07:09 PM Thread Starter
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Ok so I didn’t get a whole hell of a lot done today. Spent a fair bit of time prepping the house for the weekend as the wife and I are leaving the kids with the grandmas here and heading up to Big Bear to celebrate our ten year wedding anniversary and get a bit of alone time without the kids.

However I did finish welding the braces and such in place on the Artec ram mount. That was where I hit another snag. I went to go lock down the clevises to the ram to start mocking up my steering links and discovered I do not have an Allen wrench anywhere near the correct size to tighten them in with. Anyone know offhand what size these things are? I tried a variety of different bolt heads and nothing really fit right. 3/8” was close but too loose. 7/16” is too big. Guessing it’s metric. So instead I went ahead and installed the passenger side Sky Manufacturing high steer arm and stud. Old vs. new. No idea who made the original arms but I wanted the knuckle tie in style.





For anyone curious I painted these with some orange Duplicolor Metalcast paint. It’s basically a candy clear coat. The more coats you lay the darker the color. They almost have a copper hue to them, couple minor runs but I like how they came out. I painted the Ram mount clamps the same way.

Wife and I will be occupied the next few days so I’ll get back on this sometime next week.

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post #78 of 354 Old 05-14-2020, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
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Well this was one of those weeks where life got on the way of the build. We wound up getting a new loft bed for my daughter with a desk built in beneath it so that consumed most of my day. About all I had time to do was install the clevises to the ram and mount the ram up on the Artec mount. Was really hoping to get the mini tie rods knocked out and wrap up the steering this week.


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post #79 of 354 Old 05-14-2020, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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Ok so I decided to go ahead and cut the links down a 1/2” each so I have some toe adjustability. So I got the mini tie rods done and welded up.



The. I went ahead and dropped the front axle back out with the help of my cherry picker. I also used it to go ahead and flip the axle upside down so I could finish welding up the Artec hydro mount along the bottom to the tubes.





After that I wrapped up from the inner C out with some masking paper and tape in preparation for some paint.



My first coat of choice was Chassis Saver by Magnet Paints, the makers of Monstaliner. It is similar to POR 15 except that this stuff is UV stable and does not need to be topcoated. (I will be topcoating it anyway as I won’t be doing the boring black axle look)


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post #80 of 354 Old 05-14-2020, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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For the Chassis Saver I went ahead and put down three thick heavy coats on the bottom of the axle. Tube, diff, and the Artec mount all. I figured this area is going to see the most abuse against the rocks so I went heavy with it. I will also be laying down multiple layers of my topcoat on the bottom when I do that next week.



After that cured and dried for a while I rotated the axle back upright and laid down two coats on the top side as well.



Also did a fair bit of painting of other bits and pieces for the front axle. The Rubicon Express boomerang shackles for the front, the mini tie rods for the Hydro steer, the sleeves for the knuckle bolts, and the front spring plates. Oh and the Ruffstuff diff cover for the front.



That was about all I managed to get done before I had to go pick up my daughter from school. Next week I plan to drill and tap for the third stud on the spring perch, topcoat the front axle, finish burning in the lower shock mounts on the rear axle and pull it out for the same paint treatment the front got.

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post #81 of 354 Old 05-14-2020, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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Well I was hoping to get the front axle wrapped up today and get the rear out and get a couple of coats of Chassis Saver on it, however I only managed to get halfway to my goal. I had a hell of a time manhandling the 60 back up under the Jeep and getting it all lined up by myself. However the 60 is now done and permanently installed under the front of the Jeep!

I started with installing the new Ruffstuff Diff cover and a Lubelocker gasket.



Cover is installed with 1” long 3/8” grade 8 bolts and lock washers. Then I filled it with fresh gear oil as I realized this would be way more a hassle to do once the ram is installed. Also as you can see, for the top coat I went with a grey Hammered finish.



Once the diff was topped up I started getting the Ram in place.



Then installed the links, knuckle bolts and sleeves, chopped down the knuckle bolts and u bolts and hit the tops with a flap disc to smooth them out.







And lastly I installed the front air bumps and put jack stands under the axle so the front is now sitting on its suspension instead of stands on the frame.



I did remove the rear axle and get it in position to start painting it as well but ran out of time for the day.

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post #82 of 354 Old 05-14-2020, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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Ok so Supermotors is back up so as promised, here are the pictures from Monday’s work. As I mentioned I went ahead and painted the rear 70 the same way I did the front 60.



2 coats of Chassis Saver making sure the bottom of the massive diff got some extra coverage.



Followed up by several top coats of Rustoleum Hammered Grey spray paint with the bottom getting a few extra coats to protect from the rock rash.



Then I went ahead and got it positioned and bolted back in for good.









And reconnected the Anti Wrap Bar


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post #83 of 354 Old 05-14-2020, 07:13 PM Thread Starter
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The other project I got to work on this week while I was waiting for paint to dry was to start work on my flat belly skid plate. I have had this big chunk of 3/16” cold rolled steel sitting in my side alley for about 6 years now. It is leftover from when I built my welding table top. I bought a full sheet at the time with the intention to use the leftover for this exact purpose. Didn’t think it would take me this long to do it, but there you are. Little surface rust on it but I’ll get it cleaned up.



First thing was to cut it roughly down to size. I used a scrap piece of angle iron and some C clamps to make a guide rail for the plasma to keep my cuts straight.



Once I had it roughly the size I needed it I used my aluminum ATV jack and some stacked up scrap 4x4s to raise it up to the bottom of the frame rails so I can sharpie up where I still need to trim along the frame rails. It will basically run from the front of the trans pan to the back of the atlas and the frame bends along this area.



I will cut it close to flush with the outside of the frame rails and then weld maybe a 2” wide strip of 3/16” the length of it on both sides and drill thru and sleeve the frame and secure it with 1/2” grade 8 bolts thru the side of the frame keeping the belly completely flat. Maybe 4 to 6 bolts per side. I am also going to bend the forward and rearward edges up for some rigidity and I have some ribbing to add to stiffen the whole thing up. My goal for next week is to hopefully make a good dent in the fabrication of this skid. I also will cut a large channel for the front driveshaft. In the meantime, here are some more images of the rough in and clearances.




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post #84 of 354 Old 05-14-2020, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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Alright well today was fairly productive despite some family stuff chewing up some time today.

First task of the day was to install and set up the cable and linkages on the transmission for the Winters shifter as this won’t be accessible once the skid goes on. What I have read in the past was correct and I did have to slightly modify the bracket for the cable that attaches to the bottom of the transmission pan. There are a couple of reenforcement ridges on the tailhousing of the transmission that the bracket hits on. Wasn’t overly difficult to do. I just cut a little extra material off of the bracket where the cable retainer bolts to and it bolted right in.



Blue loctite was used on all of the various linkage hardware. I do not want this stuff to vibrate loose on me.




After that I went on to working on the belly up skid. First thing I did was take the plasma to it to trim the area that overhung the outside of the frame, make my cut out for the front driveshaft, and clearance areas for the anti wrap bar and rear driveshaft.



With that all done I took a cut off wheel and scored a deep channel 2”s in from the front and rear edges and bent that 2”s up and then welded it back together to give the skid some rigidity.


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post #85 of 354 Old 05-14-2020, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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Then I started working up the support skeleton. I picked up a bunch of cut off pieces in various lengths of 1/2”x1/2” x 1/8” thick angle iron from the drop pile at IMS a few weeks ago for a couple of bucks to use for this purpose.















So I basically framed out the area beneath the atlas to make sure that area of the skid is nice and rigid. I also cut a hole below where the Atlas drain plug is so I can change the fluid in the Atlas without dropping the skid. I still have a fair bit of welding to do on the rib cage of the skid and I still have to do the side panels that will actually attach it to the frame. I think this should make for a nice, rigid, strong skid the way I did it. Hopefully I can get it finished up and painted next week then it will be on to the exhaust, fuel and brake lines and Atlas cable shifters. Then when all that’s done it will be time to start test fitting the tub back onto the frame.

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post #86 of 354 Old 05-14-2020, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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Back to work on the skid plate today. Lost a bit of time as I managed to run thru the 40 CF tank of MiG mix I just got 2 months ago (a new record, a tank usually lasts me a couple of years) so I had to make a run to West Air for a refill. While I was there I also grabbed a 20 CF tank of Nitrogen as I will need that to fill my bumps and shocks at some point so I figured I may as well grab one since I was there.

So for the skid the first thing I did was sling it back up under the frame and get it all lined back up.





Once I was happy with where it sat and I rechecked all my clearances I ripped some more 3/16” steel to 2.5” wide strips to use for the side mounts. Got them all mocked up, made a few cut outs to go around the Swag body mounts, tack welded them on good and measured up and marked my mounting holes in the side plates and the frame. Gonna be some serious overkill as I will end up with 6 bolts per side holding this thing on. Three 1/2” bolts and three 3/8” bolts per side to be exact.



Then I dropped it back out and manhandled it up onto the sawhorses again to finish welding in the side plates and smooth out all the remaining rough edges from the plasma cutter.





Had just enough time to get the top side painted before I had to call it a day to go get my daughter from school. I was going to paint it black, but I still have a couple of cans of Hammered Grey leftover from the axles. So I am painting the skid the same way I did the axles. Couple coats of Chassis Saver making it extra thick on the business side of the skid, and a couple of coats of Hammered Grey. I actually think this will be better long term because it will be easier to spot any fluid leaks on the lighter color.



Next work day should see me finish painting and installing the skid and finishing up the Atlas cable shifters hopefully. (I started messing with them a bit today while waiting for the welder to cool down when I overheated it and waiting for paint to dry)

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post #87 of 354 Old 05-14-2020, 07:16 PM Thread Starter
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So the wife gave me some wrenching time today and I was able to get a fair few things accomplished.

First on the agenda was to finish painting and mounting the skid. I ordered some of those weld nuts that Todd mentioned and decided to modify it up a little. I drilled thru the frame and basically combined those with some 1/2” ID DOM that I machined out a bit to fit them.



I didn’t take any shots of them welded into the frame, suffice to say the mounts for this are completely overkill and beefy.

Then I went ahead and installed the skid. Still waiting on my bolt depot order to arrive with the correct length 1/2” grade 8 bolts but I used some longer ones for now just to hold it up in place.









After I had the skid on I turned my attention to starting the fuel lines. First order of business was selecting a spot for and mounting the fuel filter. I drilled the frame and installed a couple of 5/16” nutserts to attach the mounting clamp for the Russell fuel filter



After that I managed to build the hose from the fuel rail to the filter. That was about when I realized I didn’t order nearly enough hose ends. So I was forced to call it a day and hit the web to order some stuff. Placed orders with both Summit Racing and Jegs for everything I need to finish the fuel lines, brake lines, and hopefully the exhaust.




Speaking of fuel lines I decided to come back and add the adapter part numbers necessary to convert the factory YJ fuel system over to -6AN for anyone looking to do this in the future.

For the fuel rail adapter fittings to -6AN I used:
Russell part numbers
RUS-640853
RUS-640863

For the fuel pump Adapters I used:
Earls part numbers
EAR-AT165006ERL
EAR-AT165056ERL

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post #88 of 354 Old 05-14-2020, 07:16 PM Thread Starter
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So not really gonna get much accomplished this week. I have a work trip to Orlando for the week for a trade show. I did receive all my orders with the various and sundry parts I need to finish the fuel lines, brake lines, and exhaust from Summit Racing and Jegs.

As I was putting my various new parts on the shelf I decided it was high time I take a bit of a fab and wrenching break to try and clean the damn garage a bit. I’ve been wasting way too much damn time hunting for tools and parts lately and it’s been driving me nuts. So I spent a bit of time cleaning and purging and reorganizing, returning tools to their boxes, etc today. Should make me more productive when I get back to work.

I can see the floor under the Jeep!




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post #89 of 354 Old 05-14-2020, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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So I managed to squeeze in a couple of hours work today.

I started with installing nutserts for my fuel line clamps to keep it all attached to the frame. Unfortunately I somehow managed to break the 1/4” head of my nutsert tool while installing one. Guess I oversat it. So that ended that for the day until I get a new one. (Already ordered a replacement).

So I decided to turn my attention to trying to start figuring out the exhaust. I decided I should start by mounting the catalytic converter. So I made up a mounting flange to attach to the trans crossmember.

I took a scrap chunk of 3/16” plate (I have a lot of this) then put the converter on it and traced out the flange.



A few minutes with the plasma cutter and a touch of smoothing with a flap disc and the drill press net me this.



Welded the flange to a chunk of DOM that will house some poly bushings.



And all finished up and installed to the crossmember.





It’s a pretty good start and having the cat in place enabled me to more or less figure out what to do to connect everything up to each other. Had to order a few more pieces to make it all work though so I have to wait for that to arrive before I can go too much further on it.

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post #90 of 354 Old 05-14-2020, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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Got back to work on the beast today. Decided to keep going on getting the exhaust worked out. First task was to decide where I wanted it to exit. Before I had it exiting thru the body but I did t want to go that route this time. After looking at it for a bit I decided to cut a 3” hole thru the frame where the factory shackle hanger was. This should keep the tail pipe well out of the way so it doesn’t get destroyed on the rocks.

Used a hole saw to cut the holes in the frame then sleeved the hole with a piece of 3” exhaust tube I had left over from the exhaust on my Charger. Using 2.5” tube for the YJ so this is perfect.





Then I went ahead and welded some header flanges to my Magnaflow muffler. I am setting this up so I can easily remove pieces to service or replace as needed.




Next task was to figure out and fabricate the midpipe from the header to the cat. Obviously the factory pipe won’t work so I took a stock replacement YJ pipe and an XJ pipe I picked up and kind of chopped them up and welded them together to make what I needed.





Then I bolted the muffler up to the cat which I also welded a flange to.



I got most of the tail pipe fabricated by cutting and combining some pre bent tubes I got from Jegs. Unfortunately I discovered I should have ordered another 45* bend as that would be perfect to connect the muffler to the tail section. So I ordered another one from Summit. Once that comes in I will finish the tail pipe and burn in the hangers.

I also took care of running my rollover vent line to the front and started planning out the brake lines before I had to go get my daughter from school.

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