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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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.

Tire Motor vehicle Automotive tire Wheel Automotive design

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.
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive exterior Bumper Automotive wheel system

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.
Tool Bicycle part Wood Household hardware Auto part

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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
I am going to keep this page for a running tally of parts and cost.

Spent:

Daystar 1" body lift $150
Axles $1000
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

Needed:
Advanced Adapters Engine mounts
Ballistic 14" or 16" Air Shocks
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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.
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive exterior Bumper Automotive wheel system

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.
Automotive tire Bumper Trunk Hood Automotive exterior

I will be boxing the brackets to the frame because they hang out so much.
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Bumper Automotive exterior Hood

This shot is at ride height. I was a little concerned that the raduis arms would hit the frame at full compression.
Automotive tire Automotive exterior Rim Bumper Gas

This is with the jack stands in the front lowered to full stuff. I still have a little room to go.
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Bumper Gas Electrical wiring

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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
112 days until BJHF

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
Doesn't look like I will be using the Astro Box. I don't like how the pitman arm sits about 8" below the bumper. Since I am going for LCG and will be running 35" tires I think it is too vulnerable. I am going to try the Astro arm on my stock box or maybe my stock arm. Haven't made a final decision yet.
Tire Automotive parking light Wheel Vehicle Car

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.
Automotive tire Bumper Wood Gas Automotive exterior

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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
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.

Motor vehicle Bicycle tire Wheel Automotive tire Hood


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.

Wheel Tire Land vehicle Vehicle Car
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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.

Automotive tire Bumper Gas Tread Machine


Automotive tire Wood Motor vehicle Bumper Engineering


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".

Automotive tire Motor vehicle Bumper Bicycle part Rim
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
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?

Tire Wheel Automotive tire Bicycle tire Synthetic rubber


Tire Wheel Motor vehicle Automotive tire Tread


I also decided on a location for the cool Ballistic Fab skulls.

Automotive tire Automotive lighting Hood Motor vehicle Automotive design
 

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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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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.

Tire Automotive tire Tread Hood Automotive lighting

Before

Tire Automotive tire Hood Tread Motor vehicle

During

Tire Automotive tire Hood Automotive lighting Motor vehicle

After

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.

Bumper Wood Automotive exterior Automotive wheel system Gas


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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
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.
 

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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.
I like traditional. It looks more normal and you'll have better access to the bolts later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
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.
 

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have you given f250 shock towers a thought?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/321010800171



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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have you given f250 shock towers a thought?
f250 towers wont work with coilovers or air shocks.

OP looks like the setup wil work well. I was actually contemplating a similar front setup using a bronco frontend for awhile. I cant tell from the pictures but why do your shock hoops look so tall? I know guys who fit 14" shocks under the hood. And in the rear I'd mount the hoops normally making it easier to tie them together or to the cage. Either way you run the hoops you may have to rework the wheelwells.
 

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f250 towers wont work with coilovers or air shocks.


OP looks like the setup wil work well. I was actually contemplating a similar front setup using a bronco frontend for awhile. I cant tell from the pictures but why do your shock hoops look so tall? I know guys who fit 14" shocks under the hood. And in the rear I'd mount the hoops normally making it easier to tie them together or to the cage. Either way you run the hoops your going to have to rework the wheelwells.
good to know. didn't know that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
My shock towers are tall because I am trying to keep this thing low. I could definately cut them and make them lower, but then I would either need to raise my ride height or use a shorter shock. neither of those options work for me.
 

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My shock towers are tall because I am trying to keep this thing low. I could definately cut them and make them lower, but then I would either need to raise my ride height or use a shorter shock. neither of those options work for me.
I get your trying to keep it super low but what kind of up travel are you shooting for looks to me like your going to end up with about 3" upfront and 11" down. Depending on your front shaft length you'll prob have to strap the shocks to 12" or run a 2 piece shaft to keep it alive. Without the motor in there not sure where the axle lands in relation to the crank pulley which usually limits the up further. Just an observation from dealing with mine almost binding at droop and hitting the radiator at bump using 12" shocks. I'd mock up a few things before finally burning in the shock mounts. Here's how mine turned out. (http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f12/yj-gets-some-coilovers-1121183/)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I appreciate the information. These are all worries of mine. It isn't easy building a rig this low. I am currently building for 4" up and 10" down. I will definateld by building or buying custom D-shafts for both ends. I need to get my engine back soon so I can finalize the position of everything and determine shaft lengths.
 
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