Build. the General Lee, tons, 40s, stretch, etc - Page 7 - JeepForum.com
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post #91 of 354 Old 05-14-2020, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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Pretty productive day today. I started by getting the exhaust finished up.









Nice and high up out of the way. Should be well protected from the rocks. I am just waiting for my Motobilt order to arrive with the tabs in it. I have to weld one to the frame to attach the rear exhaust hanger to. It honestly probably isn’t even necessary but I planned for it and already welded the exhaust side bracket on so I may as well.

After I finished up the exhaust I turned my attention to the brake lines. I started with plumbing the rear axle. I have a 30” braided SS line dropping from the frame to a trick little T block I got for cheap from Jegs. Shot SS line to the calipers, and 3/16” hardline make up the rest of the runs. And yes I still need to secure the lines under the perches. I just haven’t really thought up a good way to do that just yet.





Front axle is set up the same way with the same materials.





I also ran the frame line from the front to the rear axle with a break and some SS flex lines that will go to the ball valve in my center console that will be my parking brake. I did a few other small odds and ends. I have a few more things to wrap up next week and then I think it’s time to test fit the tub back on and see what all I am going to have to hack up for clearance.


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post #92 of 354 Old 05-14-2020, 07:18 PM Thread Starter
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Well I don’t want you degenerates thinking I haven’t been getting any work done. I haven’t done much in the way of big stuff the last few working days but I have been slowly chipping away at some of the smaller details and items on my punch list. Mostly stuff that is going to be more difficult to access and do once the tub goes back on for test fitting. Much of this stuff hasn’t been picture worthy. But here is a few small updates on what I have been up to.

First little project was relocating the breather fitting on the rear axle. Since I clocked the pinion up for a better angle the factory breather was sitting in a bit too vulnerable of a spot and angle for my taste. So I plugged the original with a threaded plug sealed with silicone then drilled and tapped a new 1/4” NPT hole over on the passenger side between the spring pad and the wrap bar. I’ll route a hose from this up to a vented catch can in the rear wheel well.





My Black Friday Motobilt order finally arrived with the tabs I ordered to finish the rear exhaust hanger. So I got that welded to the frame and installed the bushing and bolted it up.





Ordered up and installed this panel mount 1/8” NPT high pressure ball valve from McMaster Carr to function as my line lock on the rear brake line. It will be installed in the center console near the shifters for easy access.



Also got some 3/8” Goodyear rubber air hose for the airlines to the bumpers for my on board air. I was originally going to run this thru the passenger side frame rail but quickly discovered that was going to be exceedingly difficult due to the skid mounts and other obstructions now present inside the frame rails. So I’m going to install clamps along the inner rail like I did for the fuel lines.



Since it’s now going to be exposed on the rail I encased it in some abrasive resistant sleeve.



Just need to order more of the appropriate sized SS clamps to secure it with.

I also built and routed the AN lines for my transmission cooler.





I filled the Stroker with 6 quarts of engine break in oil from Jegs and got the oil pump primed. Installed the distributor and the plugs then roughly installed the plug wires and heat boots. Still need to clean up the plug wires with some dividers and such.




I still have a few more little detail type things I want to tie up before I go to test fit the tub back on, but I am making steady progress. I’m putting off the big job of blowing the Dana 60 apart again to replace the inner axle seals that are apparently bad. Wish I had bothered to do it when I had it blown apart the first time.

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post #93 of 354 Old 05-14-2020, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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So I had some time to kill this morning and I decided to start looking at options for gauges. I am planning to do a flat aluminum dash and want do do a cluster type set up as opposed to individual traditional gauges. So after looking at pretty much every major gauge manufacturer out there and what they have to offer, I naturally set my sights on these two pricey options from Dakota Digital.

I am really leaning towards the HDX-2200 unit. In the dark grey color scheme. It’s got everything built in and Dakota Digital offers expansion modules so I could add on a GPS based speedo drive which would also give me compass and altimeter features built right into the cluster. Same with adding like a transmission temp sender. Has turn indicators, high beam indicator, etc all built in as well.

https://www.dakotadigital.com/index....od/prd1145.htm



The other option I am considering has all of the same features as the 2200 but in a slightly slimmer package. Again I would go with the dark grey I think. The HDX-2017.

https://www.dakotadigital.com/index....od/prd1075.htm



I think the big determining factor on which one I go with is how much space I have above the steering column. I’d like to mount the cluster above the wheel like it is in my Ram and leave what used to be the majority of the gauge cluster area open for other things in the new dash.


In other news I ordered a few more parts today. Hoping this week to get the inner seals of the 60 replaced and button up my last few odds and ends on the frame so next week I can round up a couple of buddies and test fit the tub back on the frame and see what I need to modify for clearance and start working on the other tub additions I have planned.

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post #94 of 354 Old 05-14-2020, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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Spent the day today tieing up some more of the little loose ends. First I secured my air hose from the rear bumper up to the engine compartment.



Next I began putting the engine wiring harness back in place. Spent some time removing some wires I won’t be using, then spent even more time tackling my irrational hatred of split loom plastic tubing. I just hate the way it looks. So on Black Friday I picked up a pretty *****in high temp wire covering kit from Jegs. Spent a fair bit of time today removing the old crappy looking, cracked split loom factory crap and installing this nice new wire sleeve in its place.





I still have more of this to do on the passenger side but I am holding off on that for now because I am going to have some more wiring modifications and removal to do as well as routeing when the body goes on.

Also went ahead and installed the wire separators on the plug wires.




Then I got a hold of a buddy and made plans for him to come over next week and give me a hand putting the tub back on. So stay tuned, next week the main body is going back on the frame so I can start seeing what I will have to modify for clearance. I will also be building some storage compartments in the back for the kids to stow their gear and start on the dash and center console among other things once the body is on.

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post #95 of 354 Old 05-14-2020, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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Well big day today. Got a couple of friends over and we slapped the body back on the frame. It was about at that point where I realized that age old adage, one step forward, two to five steps back.



And here is issue number one. Gonna need to do some major floor chopping to make room for the Atlas. I was anticipating this, but it’s looking like it’s gonna be more than I thought.








In addition to the major floor surgery for the Atlas, I have to do some trimming of the tub in the rear wheel wells to clear the rear air bumps and cans and allow access to the top pinch bolts.

The other big issue which again I was afraid would be the case, my pretty exhaust is too far out from the frame and runs right under the hole in the rear floor where my fuel cell is to drop in. Gonna have to rework the exhaust and move it a couple of inches closer to the frame.

So yeah, busy day of cutting sheet metal ahead of me tomorrow.

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post #96 of 354 Old 05-14-2020, 07:20 PM Thread Starter
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So today I got down to work addressing my clearance problems on the body. First I cut up the floor to clear around the Atlas. Once I had enough room for that I discovered the heim on the anti wrap was also contacting the body, so I also cut out the section of floor above that.





After I got enough space cleared around the Atlas and the anti wrap bar to get the tub sitting down on the body mounts I realized I had to do more cutting to make space for the front driveshaft. Essentially widening the entire transmission tunnel.



What the hell. It’s only sheet metal after all. So once I had a huge gaping hole cut in the floor to get the tub down on the mounts I started in on covering it back up. I will admit I just kind of started winging it with some 16 gauge I had floating around. Probably should have broken out the cardboard to make it a bit more accurate but whatever. Started with a top plate made from a sheet I had floating around that was roughly the right size.



Once I had the top piece somewhat burned in I broke out the cardboard to make the first side panel.





Bit more cardboard aided design helped me cut out a back plate which I burned in.






Plenty of room for the front driveshaft now.



I still have a few small areas to plate over and I still have to build the cover over the anti wrap bar, but it’s going fairly well so far. Seat mounts on the passenger side are going to be interesting but I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.

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post #97 of 354 Old 05-14-2020, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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Back at it today. First thing I did was finish up the new floor. Added a section to cover the anti wrap bar area and finished sealing up at the front at the firewall.







Once I had the floor finished up I borrowed a page from YJUnlimiteds book and got to building some storage compartments. I decided to box in the area in front of the wheel wells on both sides. I will put some marine hatches on top of these and they will be used for the kids to store their gear. One on each side means each kid has their own gear compartment to keep stuff in. I will also be adding some switches to each side for the kids to control their individual accessories but that will be a future update.















I need to get over to IMS to pick up another half sheet of 16 gauge as I don’t have enough left to make the top plates for these right now. Also need the hatch covers to come in (they have been ordered) so o can cut the holes for them in the top plates before I can burn them in. That will be the first task to complete next working day.

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post #98 of 354 Old 05-14-2020, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
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Had a pretty productive day today. First goal was to finish up the kids storage bins. The marine hatch covers I ordered from Amazon came in which enabled me to cut the top plates.









Both sides pretty much done. I haven’t drilled the mounting holes for the hatch covers yet. Probably going to wait until after I do the Monstaliner to permanently install them.


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post #99 of 354 Old 05-14-2020, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
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After the bins were done I turned my attention to some other odds and ends. First thing was getting the Artec Battery mount situated. I had originally just drilled the firewall and installed some nutserts but the more I thought about it, the more I felt that wasn’t really strong enough to support the weight of the battery. So I took some 2” x 1/8” flat stock and made some backing plates. I used some 1/4” weld nuts welded into the plate and tossed some 1&1/4” dimples in them.





Then welded them to the inside of the firewall to help spread the load of the battery. Overkill? Probably.



Mount installed



Last thing I did was get the Summit Racing heater unit mounted up to the firewall. I was going to weld the brackets to the firewall but discovered they are aluminum. So that was out. Drilled and installed some nutserts instead.





Apart from that I soaked the brake pedal/steering column mounts in evaporust in preparation for paint and mocking that stuff in next.

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post #100 of 354 Old 05-14-2020, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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Came home to another big old box containing my PRP Daily Drivers. I got them with the +2” wide option for my fat arse. I decided to change from the Comp series I was originally planning to go with to the daily drivers. Mostly due to the side bolsters. The more I looked at it the more I thought the lower bolsters would make it a bit easier to get in and out of them. The wide option was a good call for me and they are very comfortable. Perfect match for the rear bench I got from them over a year ago.





And a repost of the rear bench from back on page 1 for comparisons sake.


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post #101 of 354 Old 05-14-2020, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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Back to work today. Started with getting the mounting sorted out for the Derale Transmission cooler.





After that was mounted up I turned my attention to the steering. I started by mounting the new Jegs steering column roughly in place. The factory YJ firewall plate fits perfectly. I still have to attach the upper dash mount to the column however. I’m thinking I am just going to weld the plate straight to the column.



With the column in place I started mocking up the steering shaft. I saved myself some coin and picked up a DD shaft, and the appropriate sized Borgeson joints for the ends to build my own as opposed to buying a prebuilt.





Once I had the shaft roughed together I could determine the mounting location for the orbital and burn in the mount bracket.








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post #102 of 354 Old 05-14-2020, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
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Once the orbital was in I went ahead and drilled the holes in the column and shaft to fully seat the screws on the joint ends.



The slapped a couple coats of paint on and fully assembled and installed the shaft.





Then I changed gears to the rear to work on the fuel cell. First I drilled and grommeted some holes to bring the fuel lines up into the tub.



Then I went ahead and dropped the fuel cell in and realized I have a pretty big problem.









So as you can see, I don’t really have enough clearance to run hose to install a fuel filler neck. When I had this installed before the filler neck faced the front and I cut a channel thru the wheel well and routed a hose up to a TJ filler neck mounted just behind the drivers side door. I knew I wouldn’t be able to run it that way again due to the full rear bench soo thought if I spun it 180* I could run the filler thru the tailgate. I just don’t see a good way to do that however. It’s too close to the fender. I also won’t have enough height or space running it Thru the fender. About the only thing I can think of is try to heat the filler neck pipe and bend them up, but I’m concerned that will wind up just kicking the tubes and I won’t be able to get gas into it. Can’t tig or otherwise weld aluminum so even if I cut a new fill in at the top of the cell, I’m not sure how I could seal these tubes off so they won’t leak.

Anybody have any suggestions? If I can’t come up with something workable I am thinking about ordering the Motobilt YJ fuel cell and recessing it into the floor like this one is. Though the dimensions are drastically different which means I will also have to patch part of the existing hole.

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post #103 of 354 Old 05-14-2020, 07:24 PM Thread Starter
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So as predicted today wasn’t particularly productive. Discovered I ordered the wrong starter so that has to be returned to Summit Racing and the correct one ordered so that didn’t get installed. I did manage to get the garage cleaned up and organized again. However I failed to locate the fittings for the orbital. Gonna have to call PSC to order another set as I don’t know what sizes they are.

I did hold the gauge cluster up to get a feel for what I’m gonna have to do to fit it. I think it should work quite well above the wheel. It looks like it sticks up a fair bit but when the windshield frame goes on I think it will still be under the glass. I am going to have to build out a shrine to mount it in for sure.



I also took some time to address some airflow concerns for the trans cooler. A few people commented about having not enough flow thru where I mounted it. So I popped it off and punched a series of both 1.5” and 1 1/8” holes thru the firewall behind it. Nice thing is the holes are actually below the floorboard and above the subfloor where the forward body mount is. No cab penetration at all.



I should have more parts rolling in this week so next week should be far more productive.

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post #104 of 354 Old 05-14-2020, 07:25 PM Thread Starter
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So as much as it pained me, I solved the fuel issue. Went ahead and snagged the Motobilt YJ fuel cell and mount bracket.



So the downside of this route was that I had already cut the hole for the old one. The Motobilt cell is about 6”s narrower than my Todd built original was which meant I had to rework the hole in the floor and patch in some of the area I had previously cut out. All well. Once I had the hole in the floor modified to fit the dimensions of the new cell I got to work on modifying the Motobilt brackets to work in a recessed configuration.

I took some 2” wide 1/8” flat stock and cut it to length. Drilled some 3/8” mounting holes in it, and added a couple of 1” dimples then welded it to the Motobilt brackets 6.5”s up from the base connecting both sides.





I did this front and back. I also added some gussets from my Ruffstuff shop supply set to help strengthen the mount. Test fitting it without the cell.








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post #105 of 354 Old 05-14-2020, 07:26 PM Thread Starter
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Once I was happy with it I went ahead and slapped the cell into the mounts and fit the whole assembly. This will come out again later for paint on the brackets and some clear on the cell.

I ordered a 45* filler neck with the correct bolt pattern from Amazon to let me hook it up to the TJ filler neck.









Then I tossed the rear bench in briefly to see where the best place to punch another set of holes would be to bring the fuel lines up into the tub.


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