My first 4 link build - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 54 Old 07-12-2019, 09:36 PM Thread Starter
Waternut
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My first 4 link build

So after a ton of time debating and researching a 4 link rear, I decided to pull the trigger. In 2 afternoons after work, I was able to strip everything off the frame and axle. Figured I was making quick and solid progress but the tricky part is starting now.

The basic plan is to keep the stock fuel tank but maximize as much wheelbase as I can muster without going off the deepend. If I decide I need more wheelbase later, I'll lengthen the links. I am using Fox 14" coilovers and will be using square links made of 2" x 0.25" wall steel. Most of the brackets came from Barnes4WD and the joints are 1.25 Trailgear Creeper joints.

Things I've already learned so far...
1. I've spent months researching and hours under the Jeep measuring and planning but that's already going out the window.
2. At full bump, there is NO room under the jeep for any parts.
3. Speaking of room... I've got an engine hoist holding up the back of the jeep so I can raise it high enough to roll the axle out and jack stands under the frame for when the engine hoist needs to move to get the axle out of the garage. Then I've got a jack under the trans to hold it up since I need behind the skidplate and a jack stand under the pinion to hold it up. There's no room for me under there either.
4. Consumables are getting consumed at an alarming rate. I've used 4 flap discs, 5 cutoff wheels, and 4 plasma cutter tips already.
5. With a plasma cutter, welder, grinder, cutoff wheel, and a fan for cooling me, the wires are always tangled.
6. The frame angles outboard under the skidplate so even a 20 fitting and maxing out the joint flex will not get my links pointed to the center of the axle so on to plan H at this point...haha

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post #2 of 54 Old 07-13-2019, 10:10 AM
wizekrakr
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Can't wait to see all of that go together. I used the Gen Right kit to link the rear on my 89. Some lessons I learned. I was able to move the axle back 1 inch. I figured that by checking clearances at full stuff. What I didn't take into account was that the rear axle will probably never be at full stuff on both sides at the same time. If one side is at full stuff the other side is in droop. I could have moved the axle back another inch or maybe more and still not hit the stock tank skid. Also I wanted to keep my E-brake operational. Had to completely redesign the brackets and cable set up for that. With the rear axle out, now is the time to fab and build a skid plate for it if you want one. So much easier than when under the jeep. Looking forward to see the progress you make.
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post #3 of 54 Old 07-13-2019, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by wizekrakr View Post
What I didn't take into account was that the rear axle will probably never be at full stuff on both sides at the same time. If one side is at full stuff the other side is in droop. I could have moved the axle back another inch or maybe more and still not hit the stock tank skid.
I'll look into that but I always figured the axle rotated about the center so even stuffing one side still puts the diff in about the same spot. Although, I guess if it's even an inch lower, that will give some additional clearance with the angles of both parts. Either way, this is how I'm currently positioning the rear axle at full bump. Once everything is in place, I'll adjust the link lengths slightly as needed. I'm probably going to cut off that little roll in the tank skid as well since it's almost 1/2".
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post #4 of 54 Old 07-14-2019, 06:18 AM Thread Starter
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So I had to modify my plans for the upper frame link mounts due to the angle of the frame where I wanted to mount them. I suspect most people mount everything further back where the frame is straight. Mine are basically over the last skid plate hole. Since I was trying to maximize link length, I figured the best way to push the frame mount angle out enough was to box the frame around the mount to get the angle I need. That caused the lower mounts to get pushed more inboard to make room for the joints. This actually ended up being a good thing for roll axis angle but reinforcing that lower mount is going to more critical. I'll probably add another piece to reinforce it once I get it positioned. There will be a lot of load on that lower link which is translate into a lot of torque on the frame.

I also learned that mounting the lower axle mounts as far as I could outboard backfired a little. I couldn't get the bolts in. I debated cutting the tack welds and moving them inboard but decided to just cut the dust shield on the axle instead since everything else was positioned pretty well. I thought that would be enough but I'll have to take the brake rotor off anytime I need to pull that bolt since that was in the way as well. Hopefully, I won't have to mess with those bolts that often though.
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post #5 of 54 Old 07-14-2019, 08:33 PM Thread Starter
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Well I've burned through about 4 lbs of welding wire so far and got forced to stop since all the stores are closed. It's coming along nicely though. There have certainly been several hiccups but so far nothing the plasma cutter and some new welds can't fix. The diff does lightly touch the gas tank skid but that is also with both tires at full bump. I'm more concerned with bottoming out on the tub so I'll probably set my bump stops here, shave the tub support slightly and let the bumps squish a bit.
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post #6 of 54 Old 07-14-2019, 09:40 PM
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Are you planning on tying the link bridge in anywhere else? All of that torque can wreak havok as the pinion tries to climb. Ive seen people 1/4" plate trusses warp.

Along with my Artec Truss I used their pinion support that bolts on the flat spot with 3 holes next to the pinion snout.

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post #7 of 54 Old 07-15-2019, 03:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Randonexplosion View Post
Are you planning on tying the link bridge in anywhere else? All of that torque can wreak havok as the pinion tries to climb. Ive seen people 1/4" plate trusses warp.

Along with my Artec Truss I used their pinion support that bolts on the flat spot with 3 holes next to the pinion snout.

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I was just about to say the same thing. Make a bracket that will tie those holes into the truss. If you dont you are more than likely going to rip the truss off. There is a ton of force on those uppers. Also, on your frame side like brackets the fillet weld that runs up along side the mounting holes looks cold. Might want to double check that one weld. Other than that looks like you are off and running. Good start.

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post #8 of 54 Old 07-15-2019, 04:56 AM Thread Starter
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I was originally going to add some gussets to the truss on the front and back of the axle tube but I guess tying it into the holes on the diff housing would make more sense.

Impressive eye on the cold weld. I thought that one looked funny too so I welded the other side rather than just plopping another bead on top of it.


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post #9 of 54 Old 07-15-2019, 06:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waternut View Post
...The diff does lightly touch the gas tank skid but that is also with both tires at full bump....
Do you have a 1" body lift? If so, it looks a 1" gas tank lift would give you a enough clearance between the diff and gas tank. And give you more ground clearance for the gas tank, which is always a good thing.

I've rolled backwards off a large ledge before after a failed climb, and managed to hit full bump on both sides. It's definitely a rare occurrence, but it can happen

There's several threads on gas tank lifts. Here's one:

https://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f12/...-lift-1520623/
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post #10 of 54 Old 07-15-2019, 07:01 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StanF View Post
Do you have a 1" body lift? If so, it looks a 1" gas tank lift would give you a enough clearance between the diff and gas tank. And give you more ground clearance for the gas tank, which is always a good thing.

I've rolled backwards off a large ledge before after a failed climb, and managed to hit full bump on both sides. It's definitely a rare occurrence, but it can happen

There's several threads on gas tank lifts. Here's one:

https://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f12/...-lift-1520623/
Interesting... Yes I do have a 1" body lift. I'll look into the gas tank lift because that would be a very valid option, if possible.


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post #11 of 54 Old 07-15-2019, 07:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waternut View Post
I'll look into that but I always figured the axle rotated about the center so even stuffing one side still puts the diff in about the same spot. Although, I guess if it's even an inch lower, that will give some additional clearance with the angles of both parts. Either way, this is how I'm currently positioning the rear axle at full bump. Once everything is in place, I'll adjust the link lengths slightly as needed. I'm probably going to cut off that little roll in the tank skid as well since it's almost 1/2".
That roll is the straps for the gas tank. You can just take the straps off to get rid of it but then you will need to find another way to secure tha tank.

1995 YJ. 2 inch BDS Spring lift. 1 inch shackle lift. 1.25 inch JKS Body Lift 33x12.5x15's. Engo 10,000 pound winch.

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I gave the Jeep the required offering of $$, sweat, and blood, and everything works fine now. -- Jim
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. It started with a $200 axle, and a few thousand dollars later I was done :)
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Originally Posted by Luuca View Post
diagnose the real issue before you start going all Obama on it - spending mad cash you'll need for other important things.

Ask me how I know...
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this is also my second set of RC springs this year. I'd rather spend the money again and get something that will last.
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post #12 of 54 Old 07-15-2019, 07:32 AM Thread Starter
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That roll is the straps for the gas tank. You can just take the straps off to get rid of it but then you will need to find another way to secure tha tank.
Thanks for that info. I'll have to drop the tank to figure out a tank securing solution because I cut that roll off not understanding it's purpose. Guess I'll be doing the gas tank lift for sure now. I could probably weld that roll back on if the tank is high enough but we'll see.


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post #13 of 54 Old 07-15-2019, 07:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waternut View Post
Thanks for that info. I'll have to drop the tank to figure out a tank securing solution because I cut that roll off not understanding it's purpose. Guess I'll be doing the gas tank lift for sure now. I could probably weld that roll back on if the tank is high enough but we'll see.
I had to replace mine because My Jeeps PO thought things like that and washer fluid and seatbelts werent necasary. I got replacement straps from Autozone for $30. They didnt have that roll. They were flat T's that sit much more flush with the Skid that might solve both your problems.

1995 YJ. 2 inch BDS Spring lift. 1 inch shackle lift. 1.25 inch JKS Body Lift 33x12.5x15's. Engo 10,000 pound winch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnum View Post
I gave the Jeep the required offering of $$, sweat, and blood, and everything works fine now. -- Jim
Quote:
Originally Posted by ldso View Post
. It started with a $200 axle, and a few thousand dollars later I was done :)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Luuca View Post
diagnose the real issue before you start going all Obama on it - spending mad cash you'll need for other important things.

Ask me how I know...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Overhead View Post
this is also my second set of RC springs this year. I'd rather spend the money again and get something that will last.
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post #14 of 54 Old 07-15-2019, 08:03 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Siva283 View Post
I had to replace mine because My Jeeps PO thought things like that and washer fluid and seatbelts werent necasary. I got replacement straps from Autozone for $30. They didnt have that roll. They were flat T's that sit much more flush with the Skid that might solve both your problems.
Could weld that strap to the inside of the skidplate too since I've got to drop it anyway. Thanks for the insight.


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post #15 of 54 Old 07-15-2019, 09:31 AM
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It's a little late but is there a reason that you didn't want to go with something like the Artec truss and mount the link brackets horizontally? I'm guessing it was the flexibility of being able to put your axle end vertical separation the way you wanted it.

Hopefully you will have enough room for the coilovers between the frame and tire with the wheel spacers. It gets tight very quickly.


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