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Discussion Starter · #61 ·
I've been wheeling every weekend for the last few months. I've been talking to all the local veterans (probably staying here for some time to come) about what they are running, what they have had good and bad success with, and one of the most hard-core guys I ran into told me to stick with the D30 front but put RCVs in it. Said he has never broken the D30 with RCVs but broken a couple of D44 w/o (he has tons of rigs and wheels them hard). That would be a much cheaper option that allows me to put money into other things that add more performance instead of just insurance.

Full Cage is on my list still, but I am a bit more comfortable with what I can do without flopping her, or so I think....knock on wood and all that. So I might push that down the list a bit but not too far. I think deeper gears in the transfer case is better money spent. So maybe re-prioritize as:

  1. RCVs in front, Chromo in rear....axles seals need replacing anyway.
  2. T-case love.... Atlas 5.44:1 would put me in the zone for the really hard obstacles with the manual, but quite spendy, likely together with tummy tuck
  3. Full cage
  4. some combo of 3/4 link, and trusses

I've been prioritizing my upgrade/wishlist based on my last trips. I don't have them exactly in order because of $$, but here is my reasoning (welcome input).

  1. Full Cage (I almost rolled, because I am doing all the hard lines)
  2. Synthetic line for the winch and soft shackles.
  3. Front axles swap. G2 Axle and Gear has a HP44 with choice of lockers, chromo shafts, bolt in that is an attractive price. I don't have the shop space to really beat that price.
  4. Tummy tuck. Probably TMR's skid plate and universal cross member.
  5. Needs some stretch... probably done with a couple of the next items
  6. 3 link/4 link.
  7. Rear axle upgrade. Maybe a D60 since it isn't much more expensive and with 35s I won't worry about outgrowing or breaking it. I am putting this at the last unless I break my current D44 with Detroit lockers. But the Detroit I hate. It bangs all the time and it is squirrely as hell in wet or icy conditions.

Obviously some can be done together but that gets costly in one chunk. I am even more assured that for quite a bit in the near future nothing bigger than 35s is on the horizon. We were able to do stuff even with 33s that all the others did and the rest has to come up to par to meet it. I just don't think the wheelbase of the TJ merits anything more unless you are doing some extreme stretching but I am like some others here and need to drive to and from the trails. This is no trailer queen.

Anyone have experience with G2 Axle and Gear axles? Because I am in Canada, a lot of American brands are stupid expensive (e.g. Currie) especially after importing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #62 ·
For those that suggested a HP30, what vehicles/year did those come out of? YJs of a specific? Would my ARB air locker and gear move over easily into it, or would I need to change? It is an interesting option.
 

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For those that suggested a HP30, what vehicles/year did those come out of? YJs of a specific? Would my ARB air locker and gear move over easily into it, or would I need to change? It is an interesting option.
All YJs 87-95 had HP Dana 30s. The ARB should move over, I am not 100% sure if the gears would so might need to check that. Most if not all XJs have HP30s too.
 

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A locked & armored LJ
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XJs are a good source for HP30s. Look for the later years.
ARB will move over.
However, you will need new gears as the HP is a reverse rotation.
You can also cryo treat the gears to increase the strength.

T-Case - you could consider finding a 241OR from a '03-06 Rubi. Gives you 4:1 ratio.
Easier to package than an Atlas.
Just a thought
 

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Discussion Starter · #65 ·
Our season is officially done till May. That is all the public [crown] land trails as we hand them over to the snowmobile clubs. It is mostly an agreement we have with them as we, the collection of Jeep clubs under the guise of the Ontario Federation of 4 Wheel Drivers, collection of ATV/SxS clubs and the collection of snowmobile clubs, all work together to keep access to these trails with the provincial government. By the way, I am really quite impressed with the folks I meant through two groups, one official club I joined and another unassociated club who many of us also wheel with. Plenty of women wheelers in the group as well. Friendly, not too many know it alls, etc.

There are some guys with large plots of land that invite people up for winter wheeling and I became friends with two such guys this season and went to one of their places already. There is also a dedicated 'park' that is on the smaller side but has year round trails. The issue is I'd rather not drive the roads a lot in the winter as the salt does murder on your frames/body and I am doing all I can to keep the frame solid for years to come. This means it is mostly modding season!

A couple of pics from the last run of the season last weekend. There was some light snow in sections. It was a pretty tame trail for the most part with only one moderate obstacle that closer-to-stock Jeeps with open diffs had issues with as it was pretty greasy, but it was fun to get out anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #68 ·
Need to figure out if my lift is the right height.

Height to bottom of frame rail is 21.5", the middle of the axle hub is 17". My shocks 21.5" long eye to eye, maybe a tad more, 7" exposed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #69 ·
Last week I went out to a shop that specializes in building Jeeps. They do a lot of LS3 swaps and even had a TJ on the lift (or I should say the body was on the lift, the frame was under it lifted only a little). That one was getting an LS3/4L80e, TMR tummy tuck and 3/4 link TMR based suspension that was very mid-arm like. They were also stretching it to 104" with a fuel cell in the tub.

We talked about my rig and they are going to get me a quote to:

1) install a np241
2) do the TMR TT
3) do a similar 3/4 link mid-arm suspension
4) outboard the rear shocks (they french in the shock towers)

I'd really like to see how similar their 3/4 setup is to the Savvy mid-arm kit. I could just order the savvy but here in Canada it would cost easily more than double as the shipping costs are super high, we get hit with 13% duties and the currency exchange isn't exactly in our favor. So I downloaded the link calculators and now I need to start figuring out how to use it.

We talked a bunch about my current constraints which are the rig can't get any taller at all; I already rub quite a bit getting in and out of my garage and I already found the only garage in my area that fits my Jeep as my building's garage is about 7" too short. It is also my only vehicle and I need to keep my backseat for my 'step-son' and need some area for grocery getting.

35" tires are here for the next couple of years and I'd like to optimize my rig the best I can, namely I would really love to improve its climbing ability and stability. This thus far seems to be my biggest limitation with my current setup on the Curries 4" lift. We have many many obstacles that are rock ledges/walls or what we often call whalebacks. They are what I consider the most fun challenges in our area and I'd like to improve the performance on these obstacles.

Anyone by chance know approximately what the starting values in the link calculator would be for a TJ on the currie 4" lift? I'd like to model what I got first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #70 ·
So I deposited money today to get the parts ordered. I am doing the Savvy midarm upgrade, outboarding the rear shocks, a tummy tuck and some chromo axle shaft upgrades. Stuff adds up fast. Hopefully I will get it all done before spring, so I can do a lot of wheeling this summer!
 

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Discussion Starter · #71 ·
Been a while since I made an update, but the shops are all slammed. I got around to installing my Savvy rear LED lights and I am really quite impressed with them. They look great, OEMish but the build quality is another level and they don't protrude nearly as much.

Automotive parking light Tire Wheel Land vehicle Car


I installed a couple of rock lights from Procomp. The kit came with 6, but I only found logical places for 2 thus far, up front. Not sure where to put the ones near the rear and haven't thought about where to run the wiring.

Tire Wheel Automotive parking light Land vehicle Automotive side marker light


I wired up one of the little mini pod LED lights on my bumper but ran out of wire to do the other. :surprise:

Tire Wheel Automotive parking light Vehicle Automotive tire


Lastly I put a license plate holder and 3rd brake light that goes on the spare tire. Its Metalcloak like the tire carrier. It didn't come with any instructions but I did manage to find the instructions online. The wiring diagram on it is wrong compared to my wiring on my '02. I located the service manual and the wiring guide for the rear wiring cluster on the back passenger side. I managed to wire up the 3rd brake light but the license plate light still eludes me. It seems it should be the Black/Yellow wire and that is what I did but it doesn't come on with the lights.
 

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Discussion Starter · #72 ·
Still waiting on Savvy to ship the mid-arm upgrade before I can schedule my work to be done on my Jeep. We are in full force wheeling season now. I have already ran trails twice this season (we don't open trails till May 1 and we were at stay at home orders till this week, but more of us would wheel in small groups).

I still haven't snagged the 241 t-case yet, but I am leaning heavily on doing so. I also am seriously considering a full cage, but the cost is pretty damn high. Honestly am mildly considering the Smittybuilt bolt on cage because it doesn't need to be painted still and I could install it myself. Downside is it can't easily be tied to the frame afaik. Poison Spyder's cage is twice the price (~$2k CAD), the shop quoted me $1400 install :surprise: (not the kit, the fully welded one!) and the paint shop thinks it is $600-800 to paint. That is quite a lot more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #73 ·
Finally got to do the (in)famous Greens Mountain this weekend for the first time. Technically this is my second season of wheeling if you don't count the times I went with my dad 15+ years ago. This trail isn't our hardest trail but it is non-stop obstacles the whole trail. All of which are pretty darn steep boulder faces basically. Was such a great time!

One thing though, is now I need to replace the u-joints in my front drive shaft as it is very angry. >:) I managed to not break it but it is making one hell of a racket. I opted out of running Greens again the second day as I feared I would break the shaft half-way in and force everyone to spend the rest of the day pulling me out. It isn't exactly a trail you can do in 2wd.
 

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Discussion Starter · #74 ·
So it turns out that it wasn't just my front driveshaft, it was both. :surprise: Apparently the rear was worse. I am glad I didn't do Greens again then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #75 ·
So last weekend I did Greens Mountain again, but it has poured for a whole week before. Let me tell you it was a completely next level of difficulty. The photos of the descent on the rock faces were just controlled slides. Most of the climbs were pucker-fest where you absolutely couldn't crawl like last time. Only the skinny pedal was going to get you up (or your winch, or the go around). I took a couple of go arounds but only after trying more than a few times.

I learned it was better to start in 2nd with a manual in these conditions, or even 3rd, which was foreign to me. Bear in mind this is my 2nd year of wheeling. I had only just started some 15 years ago and didn't go again since last year.

Was with a great group of guys, some I knew, some were new. The guide is a like a 30 year veteran and doesn't mess around with guiding. He is loud clear and accurate. Turns out, these exact guys are in a video of another trail I will discuss in the next post.

I have to edit the video or post it somewhere to share, but in the 3rd picture, I came razor thin to doing a massive roll because I turned a hair too soon and my rear tire bit a huge rock, front was locked and it kicked me massively sideways. Had to get winched off (2 different trees) and even still there was drama. I think I was sent 3 or 4 perspective videos, which means I need to learn how to edit them into one short vid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #76 ·
I think I might be sharing too many photos for a build thread, but for me these pictures tell a story about why I am building and what seems to me to be working or not working well. So it is part and parcel.

Today on the way home from a 2 trail run, which I'll discuss later, I stopped by a Jeep TJ part-out specialist, machinist/fabricator/modified. He had I'd guess more than a dozen TJs/LJs in various states of affair. One was being modded, the rest were getting parted out or restored maybe? Anyway, I came away with one np-241 (marked 241 J) as I am definitely adding it to the roster my guy is doing with the TT, axle-shafts, and Mid-Arm, and now a 241 Swap (I think maybe the DS, front is on last legs anyway, and at least yokes).

I have a list of things I want sorted and try to tackle them one by one. In the above case, parts weren't shipping so things backed up massively.

Anyway, back to the former Green's Mountain group. I was forwarded a video of a trail we spotted today, that last week's group did and made a video of. This trail is serious! Timbers #1 One of our harder trails here.

 

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Discussion Starter · #77 ·
So last week I went camping at our local Ray's Place/Minden Off-road Park for the annual COORJC BBQ and was suppose to do our most popular trail Scotch Line. I got a little ways into the trail and seriously bad noises were going on with the drivetrain. I determined it was the drivetrain because I can put it in neutral rev the engine and no bad noises, but leave it in neutral and roll down the hill and the noises are there. I guess it could be the TC, but the TC is coming out very very soon to be replaced with the np241.

My shop finally gave me an appt next week so hoping he can sort this issue out as well. I am guessing it is the front diff. I just replaced all the U joints in both drive shafts and we (all the experienced guys and myself) looked at all the u-joint in the shafts and front axle and they look good. I guess it could be the shafts as well. I am also guessing it the front as that is where the sound seems to be coming from. The air compressor also quit working, probably related. Anyway, my shop ordered parts to service the ARB locker because it was giving out before this.

I was suppose to be getting RCVs for the front D30, with the idea of trying to make it work long enough before I jump to 1 tons in a few years down the road. Now I am contemplating whether I should get a G2 D44 front instead. Should be good for 37s which is probably big enough for a TJ anyway. Rear can go 1 ton when needed.

Planned upgrades are really adding up!! Good thing my job is going well. :grin2:

1) going to switch to beadlocks soon. Was leaning to Trailready's but they are in the Raceline territory in terms of price while Dirty Lifes are half the landed cost here.
2) considering the G2 HP44 JK R&P front axle.
3) installing the NP421
4) suppose to be getting chromo axles shafts for my rear D44 and the RCVs for the front.
5) pricing out a full cage with frame tie ins.
6) The Savvy mid-arm upgrade has yet to ship but that is already bought. ***

*** holy hell has the experience with Savvy been a nightmare. I am not sure exactly whose fault it is, although I have a pretty good idea, but my shop doesn't ever want to deal with them again going forward. Apparently they never answer the phones or emails. This isn't the first time either. Now they said they don't show our order and I already sent them the money in end of March.
 

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Discussion Starter · #78 ·
Got back from a trip to Banff with the misses. Super beautiful! Did lots of hiking and touristy stuff, no wheeling. Picked up my Jeep from the shop tonight. The installed my RCVs, rear chromo shafts, replaced the ARB seals, replaced the wheel bearings, rear brake shoes and pulled the front drive shaft.

The front drive shaft despite having its U-joints replaced was shot. As in the part of the yoke that is welded to the shaft on the DC side was cracked and the centering ball was shot too apparently. Other shop must not have saw this when replacing the U-joints. He asked if I wanted to send it out to fix it but as soon as the Savvy mid arm kit arrives (it finally shipped!) I will be putting in the NP241 at the same time and it requires different drive shafts apparently, so no point in fixing it for a month of wheeling. End of September is the earliest he could slot me in to do the Savvy kit and the NP241.

At least things are progressing forward. August is a pretty nasty time to wheel here because of the bugs. The mosquitos are big enough to carry you away and the black flies are little bastards too.
 

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Your front DS will be fine. Just chance the front output yoke on the 241 to a 1310 style. The 241 comes with a 1330.
That's what I did when I swapped a 241 into my previous '02 TJ.
 

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Discussion Starter · #80 ·
Your front DS will be fine. Just chance the front output yoke on the 241 to a 1310 style. The 241 comes with a 1330.
That's what I did when I swapped a 241 into my previous '02 TJ.
Out of curiosity, would this be a downgrade on strength in any way? I managed to find a spare front DS dirt cheap off of one on my club members that I will use until the t-case swap, so I can still wheel.
 
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