I am rebuilding my old 87 Wrangler for the Bantam Jeep Festival this June. I began tearing it down after the first festival almost 2 years ago and it is time to make a final push to get it done. I went to the festival last year without a Jeep and I will not let that happen again. I will update more when I have more time, but at least wanted to get this thing kicked off.
This is the current state of my Jeep...I have a few things to finish up don't you think?
OK, here is the master plan.
I have a set of newly aquired axles, HP D44 front and 9" rear. Both axles have been recently completely rebuilt. The 9" even has a disk brake kit and locker. These were from someone else's unfinished project.
I picked up a 95 Grand with the 5.2 for $200. The 5.2 is off at my local Vo-Tech School for rebuild and I will be using the 46RH auto tranny as is for now. I will rebuild that later.
For suspension I am using the Ford Raduis arms that came on the axle up front and a 4 link out back. The 9" came with links, but they are going to have to be completely redone to work for my build. The lower links are currently 47". I am going to try to keep this as close to stock ride height as I can. This is going to take some careful planning.
This is my first build to this magnitude. I have been scouring this site and others and think I have a pretty good handle on what I am doing, but always welcome advise from thos that have been here before.
Picked up a steering box out of an 89 Astro van today. Not sure yet if I am using the whole box or just the pitman arm, but I have options now.
Also got my pistons today. The guy that put them together for me even cleaned up the old rods. They look brand new! they are going to Vo-Tech in the morning so they can finish up my 5.2.
I am going to keep this page for a running tally of parts and cost.
Daystar 1" body lift $150
Donor Grand Cherokee $200
Maabco engine rebuild kit $585
Piston installation $50
Ballistic Fab order
Shock Tabs $2
D44 Shock Mounts $11
Inner Frame Mount $42
HD Frame Link Mount $92
Shock Hoops $140
Cool Weld on Skull $2
89 Astro Steering Box $20
Advanced Adapters Engine mounts
Ballistic 14" or 16" Air Shocks
A photoshop rendition of what I hope to achieve. Notice the raised front fenders and severely trimmed rear. I am planning on raising the rear inner fenders almost to the top of the tub.
113 Days until BJHF
Got my first new parts added to the Jeep today. It is great to finally be building instead of tearing down. Got a box full of goodies yesterday from Ballistic Fabrication...most of my link and shock brackets. I say most because I forgot to order the rear axle link brackets. They should be here Monday or Tuesday.
These Brackets from Ballistic are great. They are mounted at a bit of an angle on the frame due to the length of the radius arms putting them on the angled part of the frame and the Ford raduis arms angle in a bit.
I will be boxing the brackets to the frame because they hang out so much.
This shot is at ride height. I was a little concerned that the raduis arms would hit the frame at full compression.
This is with the jack stands in the front lowered to full stuff. I still have a little room to go.
Also started looking at my steering. I installed the Astro steering box. I really don't like how low and far out the pitman arm is. I am going to try the pitman arm off of the astro box on my stock box and see how that works out.
No go on the Astro box? I have one cleaned up and will be trying next week. I'm having doubts after hearing several of you change your mind.
112 days until BJHF
I tacked a shock hoop in place so I could measure for shocks. It looks like I will only be able to fit a 14" shock on there. I was hoping to get away with 16", but I would not be able to keep it as low as I want and fit the 16". The shock hoops are going to stick up through the hood a little as it is.
I am mounting the hoops on top of the frame instead of to the side. I welded some plate on the frame to add some strength at the points where the hoops will attach. The front of the hoop is right where the factory reinforcement plate is so I just added to that.
Any thoughts about mounting the hoops on top of the frame? They are leaning out towards the tire 10 degrees which will put the shock at 10 degrees as well.
109 Days until BJHF
Got both front shock hoops burned in and the cross bar started tonight. Gotta pick up a piece of tubing to connect both shock hoops to make sure they stay where they are.
I went into the garage and it was raining, it started getting a little smoky so I opened the door and there was an inch of snow. Spring can show up any time.
I started on the rear tonight. I am going to end up with right around a 102" wheel base. Got more of my Ballistic Fab mounts tacked in place on the rear axle as well as my upper and lower link mounts to the frame. I am going to double check everything in the 4 link calculator one more time before I go much further.
I am going to have to cut down my current links a bit. The lower links are currently 47". I am cutting them down to 32.5".
101 Days until BJHF
I started mocking up the rear shock hoops tonight. Not sure which way to go yet, but I am leaning towards the more traditional upright set up. The passenger side has the hoop leaned out with the shock mount on the inside. Any thoughts?
I also decided on a location for the cool Ballistic Fab skulls.
the pictures... they are HUGE!
sweet looking build. looks like you are the one that needs to help me with my suspension after i start the links on the new frame.
Yea..I know the pics are huge. I need to go back and edit those.
Anywho...Got a little done tonight. I patched the last remaining rust hole in the frame. Both sides had holes under the old rear shock mounts.
I also started fabbing the supports for my front control arm mounts. I am going to make a piece to cap the ends as well.
Now I am just waiting on my Tubing Notcher to show up so I can finish building my rear links. Once I get them put together I can articulate the axles and make sure everything works so I can finish weld all of the brackets. I ordered the Harbor Freight Notcher. Everything I read basically said "you get what you pay for but it gets the job done". We will see. After I get the Jeep back together and running the next phase will be tube fenders and a cage so I will definately need the notcher for all of that.
Oh yea...I almost forgot...I bought another Jeep today. I picked up a 95 YJ with a 4cyl and 5sp and no front or rear axles. I paid $200 for the whole thing. I need the family style cage out of it and the NP231. The rest of it will be going to scrap soon unless someone needs something from it. let me know quick because I wont have it long.
Abouth the NP231. I have read that I can pull the 23 spline input shaft from my NP249 from the Grand Cherokee and put it in the 231 so it mates with my tranny. Does any one know for sure if that is possible? I now have three t-cases and none of them are the one I need. I have the stock NP207, the 249 out of the 95 Grand, and now the 231 from the 95 YJ.
I was thinking about the same thing about the bolt access. Also, I am running Air shocks and will need access to the Nitrogen valve.
have you given f250 shock towers a thought?
super easy to stick fast to your frame and cheap as dirt. they give you about 6" extra travel over stock mounts. they can be out boarded on the rear or used to replace your stock front mounts. i will be going this route if i ever link my tons.
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