Congrats! now formulate a plan and then dont stray too far from the plan for your build.
Well, I have to go by experience here. I have broken every D30 I have had in some way or another. Usually axles on the front. My (tri county gear) D44 did very well, the Currie had a few advantages, it was cheaper and a Hi pinion.RE steering gear? What does RE stand for in this context? Used to that meaning Rubicon Express, but I don't think they make a TJ steering gear and if they did I wouldn't buy it. For 35s I would just run your OEM steering gear until it had a problem and then I would call PSC. On steering I would change the steering links to Currie Correctlync.
While that is a nice front axle it is a big chunk of $$s that isn't 100% necessary to run 35s. With alloy shafts the D30 in there now will do fine with 35s. Sounds like you already bought the D44 though so it is what it is.
Atlas also is nice, but a big chunk of $$s and something that is pretty big. Most here find a tight tummy tuck, which is tough with that big a case, to be more useful on the trails than the upgraded TC. And the TC you have is likely a 231 (not a 28_).
The transmission is a 32RH (and yes, it is a modified TF 999). It is a very solid transmission and I wouldn't think for a second about changing it.
Eliminating ABS doesn't require any special lines or prop valves. All you have to do is cut the wires and pull a couple fuses. Plenty of us (myself included) have done that.
What CAI do you plan to do? It is correct that removing the OEM box helps with doing fenders, but most CAIs are not an upgrade and just draw hot air from under the hood. Look at doing cowl intake if you want real cold air intake.
Pusher fans can be difficult to fit (most use the space in front of the radiator for transmission and/steering coolers) and are really not necessary with TJs if the cooling system is properly functioning.
What brakes does D44 come with? At 35s OEM TJ brakes start to be potentially marginal and many will consider Vanco BBK.
That 5" RE long arm is not real popular around here. Rather than spend time and money modifying it if it were mine I'd probably pull it completely for something like Currie 4" short arm and a 1.25 BL (which will help you fit the Atlas) and sell the RE kit to somebody else.
Those TNT fenders are tube fenders? Again if it were me I'd buy some of the formed options (e.g. Poison Spyder, Nemesis) rather than tubes. Generally though I wouldn't bother changing fenders unless going to true highlines. OEMs will fit your 35s and support 5-6" of uptravel. Clearance gain claims from most non-highline aftermarket fenders are minimal to non-existent.
For armor and bumpers did you look at any of the aluminum options? Saving weight can be meaningful in performance.
You are spending a bunch of money. Might be a good idea if you did a bunch of reading here in TJ Tech before spending anymore or doing anything that prevents you from returning things you've bought already. What you know as far as mods and brands from CJ world doesn't all map over to TJ world.
Thanks!Welcome to the dark side, Tommy. Looking forward to seeing what you do with the TJ. Loved your work on the CJ - must have been hard to part with.
Your choice obviously on the axle, but plenty of D30s on 35s with alloy shafts wheeling well and for a long time in JV and other difficult wheeling spots. U-joints are the weak point well before alloy axle shafts, R&P, etc. and that doesn't change with your D44. And you can actually get TJ shafts now that use the JK u-joints so easy upgrade there also.Well, I have to go by experience here. I have broken every D30 I have had in some way or another. Usually axles on the front. My (tri county gear) D44 did very well, the Currie had a few advantages, it was cheaper and a Hi pinion.
Yes, RE is Rubicon express. And you are again correct, it is not a steering gear but the links. I looked them over and chose these as they were as close to what I would have (and have) built, but fast forward with no build time. I am confident they are strong.
The Atlas will be much less expensive in the end to get to the final drive ratio that I had in my CJ, It was a steady worker and would do as I asked. My intent is to build the same with an Automatic. In fact, the Automatic is the only reason I sold our CJ. It is all centered around this option. To do a Auto in the CJ was going to be another $4k (probably $5k the it goes for me). I sold our CJ in a moments weakness when the buyer did not flinch at my asking price. Could not pass it up. Now the TJ has MANY more nice things like doors (ohh yes!!Doors) AC, a true working heater, crank up windows (how awesome is that?).
I did look at the aluminum options, not much more expensive but much harder to repair and keep maintained. Weight is a viable concern.
I'll keep the trans for sure OK, so do we call it a 32RH or TQ999 around here??
There are not many "brands" for the CJ any longer. A lot of custom stuff that is well made and probably worth every penny, but I preferred to make stuff. My idea so far was to buy what I know to work and figure out the rest here in this section. The CJ section is loaded with great people and LOTS of knowledge, I'm hoping the TJ section is the same, I'm new and am open to ideas.
Which brings me to "links". I have no clue what I'm doing. Why is the RE longarm kit not liked? Why is a short arm kit preferable? Logic and math say a longer arms are better. I don't recall seeing a true crawler (purpose built, race or play) with short(er) arms. Again, I am new to non-leaf sprung rides, so go easy, use small words. LOL
Lets focus on these paragraphs. Probably my weakest knowledge. Let me address what I do know,With this move to links you should read up on link geometry and what it means for where the weight is carried on a TJ, how that weight transfers and reacts to the trail, etc. Almost all long arm "kits" make serious compromises as far as that geometry is concerned for purposes of ease of installation. Leads to poor performance. Additionally many long arm kits, potentially even including that RE kit, use a belly plate that does nothing to improve belly clearance in exchange for ease of installation. Poor link geometry and poor belly clearance are not remedies for success. Also, is that a radius arm kit? I can't recall. If so, another questionable design choice in this application.
Not sure what about logic or math make long arms better. As just mentioned the link geometry (if that is math) is worse for almost all off the shelf long arm setups versus OEM short arm. The Internet does love to talk about the angle of arms and the impact of that ride comfort but that is complete red herring if you are thoughtful about what shocks you buy.
Shocks are another interesting question. What are you thinking there? RE springs are known to have one of the highest spring rates out there for TJ springs. Very likely you are getting a full inch or more in excess of the advertised height unless the jeep is very heavy. Getting shocks of the appropriate size/length is very important to performance if you are spending this kind of money on a build.
Those are exactly radius arms. That upper arm connected to the lower has to rotate as axle cycles in contrast to both uppers and lowers connected to the frame. A design of questionable use, in particular as implemented by RE.Lets focus on these paragraphs. Probably my weakest knowledge. Let me address what I do know,
The RE kit does not have radius arms in front, by my definition. They are one arm pivoting at front of belly pan going to diff with a half/short arm connected to long arm. No radial movement. I can see trouble here. pinion angles, castor, etc..
The "belly pan mount" is literally flush against frame, maybe 1/2" (0.50") below frame and smooth (literally NO rock rash here or arms, don't think it has seen much action) I don't think it could go up much more.
Regarding math and design of long over short, My job entails building Automatic weld equipment. Whenever I can lengthen a pivot point, I do, It means I will be back fixing stuff less often. Longer pivot points apply more leverage in the direction being forced. Can a long pivot be forced too much? Yes, but the force is the offender not the length. Longer length gives larger radius/diameter. A larger diameter will traverse a given object with less force than a short diameter. Skateboard wheels vs bicycle wheels, 33's vs 35's, etc. That is what I meant about logic and math of long over short. Am I to assume it does not apply in link suspension? Or is it a TJ only variable?
Shocks, I have had good luck with properly tuned Fox 2.0 reservoir shocks. But if Something is better, I all ears. What about coilovers? is it feasible? Would keeping my existing springs and extending the shock perch/mount be beneficial?
We used to tease (in fun of course) over in the leaf sprung CJ section about having "limit straps", is this needed when only one end is attached?
Jeff, what width are your axles? That combined with your wheelbase gives you a lot more options. And I'm pretty sure you've spent a lot more time than the average person fine tuning things.Biff's points on the long arms are correct, but it is important to understand his comment on kits compromising for ease of - and sometimes straight bolt on - installation. There is a place for longer arms (flame suit on), that is why you have correctly pointed out that you don't see ultra 4 cars with short arms, and also why Blaine's mid-arm kit does use longer arms than stock. But given the size constraints of the TJ platform it is difficult to get the geometry correct to make them function well. I personally run longer arms, but I also run 14" coilovers and a 115" wheelbase which would not work well with short arms. It also took a whole lot of custom work to get the geometry in descent shape. That having been said, I probably could have gotten away with shorter arms, and it would have probably been easier to get my suspensions numbers in order.
Good point. I'm at 63.5" WMS to WMS (Pro Rock 60s). But even at that width I had to run 1.25" wheel spacers to clear the coilovers in the rear, so my effective width is 66". It is really, really tight accommodating all of the flex. And that's with only 2.0" shocks. I wish I had gone with 2.5s, but in retrospect that would have been even tougher and would have required an even wider axle, or a pretty radical back half similar to what Toximus did on his rig.Jeff, what width are your axles? That combined with your wheelbase gives you a lot more options. And I'm pretty sure you've spent a lot more time than the average person fine tuning.