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Typical /f12 Hooligan
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6,815 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been working through other projects for the past three years - the Wilicon project as well as two we sold. Now the Wilicon is on a one-year shakedown mechanical run before we blow it apart again, upgrade what needs upgrading, and do the body and paint.

The MJ PLAN: Take a stock 1986 longbed MJ and graft onto it a 1998 TJ rear frame section, bob the longbed, slap in a 4.0 with AW4, and set it up for fun.

  • 4.0 with AW4
  • Metalcloak aluminum short arms
  • 3.5" MC Dual Rate Springs
  • ACOS adjustable spring spacers and bump stops F/R (for tuning the level)
  • CavFab Alpha Steering System (CrossOver & OTA TrackBar)
  • Currie AntiRock front sway bar
  • Boostwerks Ultimate XJ Steering Brace
  • TJ Rubicon D44 front and rear axles
  • TJ Rubicon RocTrac transfer case
  • Adams F/R Driveshafts
  • TJ Rubicon Air pumps for lockers
  • Electric OBA with tank
  • Home Fab Overland style bed rack with in-bed spare
  • Home Fab Hidden front winch bumper
  • Home Fab rocksliders
  • Home Fab rear bumper
  • Black Magic Brakes F/R (maybe BBK)
  • 15" Rims (TBD)
  • 35" AT Tires
  • Bucket seats with center console
  • Air conditioning
  • and other crap I haven't figured out yet.


And So It Begins...


Day 1.

Objectives: Strip the engine bay, remove the fuel tank, remove all the bed bolts, pressure wash the engine bay and get it ready for 4.0 mock up.

The MJ is a 1986, so there will be some issues with the factory firewall and the 4.0. That said, it's only metal. We are confident it will not pose a significant issue. we scrapped everything in the engine bay and the V6 today. removed the exhaust, the fuel tank, and removed all the bed bolts.

Pictures:
In the shop - finally!
Automotive parking light Tire Wheel Car Land vehicle


The V6
Motor vehicle Vehicle Car Automotive design Automotive air manifold


Stripping it out
Motor vehicle Vehicle Automotive tire Automotive exterior Gas


1 hour out
Motor vehicle Automotive tire Vehicle Gas Automotive wheel system


Ready for the pressure washer
Vehicle Car Tire Automotive lighting Hood


cleaned up
Car Vehicle Motor vehicle Hood Automotive tire


Hood Wood Motor vehicle Automotive tire Automotive exterior


WHat's next - We cut the frame in half!
 

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Typical /f12 Hooligan
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6,815 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Removed the bed to get at the frame today. Then replaced the heater core on my daughters YJ.
 

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Typical /f12 Hooligan
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6,815 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Day 2.

Today I drove the Teal Nightmare to the shop after stuffing the back half of a 98 Jeep TJ frame inside. Drove the XJ to put some miles on it to set all the sensors for the SMOG test this week.

The plan is simple: Graft the back section of a TJ frame onto the MJ frame to preserve the wheelbase, get a factory 4-link set up in the rear, and move the fuel tank to the rear as well. We will bob the bed to match the TJ frame - leaving about a 6' bed, but may (will most likely) have to rework the fender wells to match the TJ frame hoops over the rear axle.... it's only metal.

Laying the TJ frame over top of the MJ frame, it eyeballs like it will work just fine. Once we set the TJ frame on, we had a bunch of crap to install on the XJ, so the rest of the day was spent on that.

Pics:

Tire Wheel Vehicle Motor vehicle Automotive tire


Automotive exterior Gas Composite material Auto part Metal


Tire Wheel Automotive tire Vehicle Tread
 

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Typical /f12 Hooligan
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6,815 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
DAY 3

♪ The First Cut is the Deepest ♫

Not a lot to say. Cut the Frame and lined them up. Got some math to do, but pictures will tell the story... so here goes.

Fitting the brace:
Automotive tire Composite material Gas Bumper Automotive exterior


Welding in the brace:
Automotive tire Engineering Gas Machine Electricity


Cutting: we left the factory front bed mounts as an index point for aligning the bed.
Automotive tire Bumper Tradesman Gas Wood


Separation anxiety:
Wheel Tire Automotive tire Hood Motor vehicle


Mind the Gap:
Motor vehicle Wheel Automotive exterior Gas Wood


never got the key for the wheel locks - nothing that a welder and some beat up lug nuts wont fix:
Tire Automotive tire Hood Wheel Motor vehicle

Automotive lighting Fluid Cylinder Gas Auto part


Shortest bed version:
Motor vehicle Automotive tire Bumper Automotive exterior Floor


We had planned on inserting the interior support about 2 foot into the uni-body under the cab.. until we saw this piece about 10.5" inside.. going to have to figure this out.
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Bumper Rim Automotive exterior


more pics next post
 

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Typical /f12 Hooligan
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6,815 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
DAY 3 (Continued)

The TJ rear section still had the bends in it. Have to cut them off.
Wood Bumper Gas Automotive tire Automotive exterior


We leveled the frame to check for warping. it's pretty damn straight.
Wood Flooring Engineering Machine Metal


Had to get creative on the chop saw. Used a package lift we have at the shop to raise the chop saw to the tube.
Motor vehicle Saw Automotive tire Workwear Abrasive saw


Sparks!!
Saw Wood Metalworking Circular saw Gas


Finishing off the ends by hand:
Fluid Tool Metalworking hand tool Artisan Gas


Eyeballing the fitment. the TJ frame is narrower and smaller tube. BUT it's only metal. we have a plan...
Automotive tire Motor vehicle Hood Vehicle Bumper


Gap at the factory 119.6" wheelbase:
Asphalt Aircraft Vehicle Composite material Engineering


More to come..
 

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Typical /f12 Hooligan
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6,815 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Day 4

Set out today to set the bottom level from the front cab unibody frame to the TJ frame.

Once we verified the MJ cab was level front to rear, we took a couple of scrap heavy wall box tubes and pinned them onto the flat section of the MJ frame with the jack.

Automotive tire Bumper Automotive exterior Gas Automotive wheel system


Tack welded the tube to the MJ unibody frame.

Welder Automotive lighting Automotive tire Welding Automotive exterior


This gives us a level bottom edge as the index point to level out the rear of the TJ frame.

Tire Automotive tire Vehicle Motor vehicle Wheel


Once that was done, took the tj frame and laid it on top of our level set. using a floor jack, and 2 levels, we raised the rear until the front of the TJ frame was level and the rear was level from left to right.

Motor vehicle Automotive tire Vehicle Automotive exterior Tire


Once we had all points level, we welded on two "legs" onto the rear to hold the height and level for the TJ frame section. The legs also give us the ability to move the frame to set the wheelbase and square the TJ frame to the MJ frame.

Wood Automotive tire Gas Composite material Auto part


Once the legs were welded onto the TJ frame, we double checked it all for level. It was all dead on.

Automotive tire Automotive exterior Motor vehicle Bumper Gas


Next step is to use a plumb bob on the front axle tube and rear to ensure 119.6 wheelbase...

More to come.
 

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Premium Member
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13,724 Posts
It's not every day I get to see something like this go down. I'd have to stop by to see in person if I weren't across the country in Eastern Time. Pictures are the next best thing to being there though. Thanks for taking to the time to post it up here. :thumbsup:
 

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Premium Member
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Interesting the stiffener inside the rail, must be a stress point. Probably unneeded with 2' of TJ frame inside, but doesn't look easy to remove. Curious
 

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Typical /f12 Hooligan
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6,815 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Interesting the stiffener inside the rail, must be a stress point. Probably unneeded with 2' of TJ frame inside, but doesn't look easy to remove. Curious
I think you will find our solution to this "flaw" interesting.

You see the two holes in there? Imagine the end of our internal support box with two large grade 8 bolts going through those holes acting as studs. Cut an access port on the front frame, put in a heavy wall pinch plate, two G8 nuts, then burn it all in. Tie the rear frame insert to the MJ frame directly. Of course rosette weld and fish plate the insert etc.

Once that's done, tack back in the access port, and we then plate the frame from front to rear tieing into (becoming) the fish plates.

SOmething like that is what we are toying with since removing that structural piece will be a PITA.
 

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Premium Member
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That sounds like a good solution that'll allow some precision in squaring up. Maybe drill a few more weld through holes in the outer section then grind smooth for plating. You may be in virgin waters on this one.
 

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Typical /f12 Hooligan
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6,815 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Day 5

Today we set out to set the wheelbase of the MJ up, and to square up the TJ frame to the MJ frame so that we could start to fabricate out inner and outer frame connectors.

Using two plumb bobs on the front axle, we marked the center of the axle tube (right and left) on pieces of tape on the ground. We then did the same with two points on the back of the cab to ensure the vehicle did not shift during the measuring phase.

Using a long level, we set it up centered across the rear wheel hoops of the TJ frame, and used two plumb bobs to find 119.5". We then measured from the cab to the rear crossmember to ensure we were square. Also used the MJ frame as reference to center the TJ frame.

Automotive tire Gas Engineering Bumper Machine


Once that was done, checked and rechecked, we ran a bead along the TJ frame and the leveling extensions we tacked onto the MJ frame on Day 4.

Composite material Gas Asphalt Automotive exterior Engineering


Wood Gas Wood stain Hardwood Composite material


Automotive tire Bumper Wood Gas Composite material


As you can see, the MJ frame is wider and bigger than the TJ frame. We are going to fabricate a set of custom inner supports and a fame cover using our plasma table and solid works software. It all starts with some cardboard mock ups.

Motor vehicle Automotive tire Vehicle Asphalt Bumper


My build buddy and welder guy started making them while I set about cutting off stuff we were not going to need and grinding the section smooth for the fish plates/reinforcements.

Automotive tire Automotive exterior Bumper Gas Motor vehicle


Bumper Wood Automotive exterior Automotive tire Naval architecture


WHile he designs and builds the support sections, I am going to continue prepping the frames for mating.

More to come.
 

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Typical /f12 Hooligan
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6,815 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Day 6

Used the plasma table to cut out the parts for the frame "adapter".

Gas Engineering Machine tool Machine Electrical wiring


Hood Wood Automotive exterior Stairs Rectangle


Hood Wood Rectangle Grey Floor


Bent it up on the press and started tacking it together.

Motor vehicle Floor Bumper Wood Flooring


Going to finish it up tomorrow. More to come
 

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Typical /f12 Hooligan
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6,815 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Day 7

Finished up the rough weld on the MJ to TJ frame adapters/inner supports.

We are running full speed at the bulkhead tie-in idea we had, and creating a custom piece to fit inside the MJ frame, use a pinch plate to bolt it to the MJ inner-frame bulkhead, and come out with the correct offset and tube size to tie in the TJ frame.

Test fitting the end-cap to our interior tube:

Automotive tire Motor vehicle Bumper Wood Rim


Welding in the Grade 8, 7/8" bolts:

Motor vehicle Gas Wood Auto part Cable


Note: I noticed this pic has 2 tack welds and not the full perimeter weld we did later. sorry, didn't grab a pic of the full welds.

We are making a sleeve that covers our inner support adapter so that the fish plates sit flat on the top, sides, and bottom (since the two frames are different sizes). Here's a pick of one roughed in:

Automotive tire Automotive exterior Motor vehicle Composite material Bumper


Last but not least, these are the two Frame Adapter inner sleeves with some decent welds, but not fully welded nor ground yet. We want to test fit the inner supports before fully welding them and the grind-fest that will follow the full weld.

Wheel Tire Motor vehicle Automotive tire Vehicle


Shelf Wood Gas Motor vehicle Publication


Next time, we mark the position of the TJ frame as best we can, cut it loose from the tack welds, and test fit our inner supports and sleeves.

More to come...
 

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Typical /f12 Hooligan
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6,815 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Definitely virgin waters on this one and you guys ain't messin around.
I feel as if those viewing this build are either wondering what we are smoking or simply...

 

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Typical /f12 Hooligan
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6,815 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Day 7

Today we set about to test fit the frame adapters.

First thing we did was to mark, with yellow tape, the index points for the two rear "legs" and the Plumb Bobs off the top of the hoops. Then we cut the TJ frame loose from the heavy wall tube we are using to set out bottom level for the two frames.

Yellow Baseball cap Asphalt Automotive tire Gas


Then we pulled the TJ frame back out of the way and supported it with a jack stand.

Motor vehicle Automotive tire Tire Engineering Asphalt


Once that was out of the way, we test fit both sides of the adapters.

The MJ Side slid in and the two Grade 8 bolts seated through the existing MJ bulkhead inside the frame.

Yellow Floor Composite material Flooring Gas


Then we inserted the TJ inner side to verify fit.

Automotive tire Bumper Asphalt Floor Road surface


Once that was done, we started sliding the TJ frame onto the adapters and the adapters into the MJ frame.

Automotive tire Yellow Motor vehicle Bumper Asphalt


A few jiggles and pushes later, the two frames became one (temporarily) and the differences in size and width bridged by the frame adapters.

Tire Wheel Automotive tire Asphalt Motor vehicle


Motor vehicle Automotive tire Tire Vehicle Automotive exterior


The proof of concept complete, we now set about to fully weld the frame adapters, cut rosette weld holes in both frames, and find a place to cut the access holes to bolt the adapters to the inner bulkhead.

More to come. . .
 

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Typical /f12 Hooligan
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6,815 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Day 8

Now that we passed the sanity check, time to finish weld the frame adapters. Tom set about welding while I started the rosette weld holes in both frames.

Saw Welder Welding helmet Metalworking Welding


I started on the easy stuff - the MJ frame.

Yellow Asphalt Road surface Gas Auto part


Then I moved onto the TJ frame..

Automotive tire Bicycle part Bumper Automotive exterior Tire


and quickly realized I was better at destroying hole saws than creating holes..

Automotive tire Jaw Ingredient Liquid Cuisine


Eventually, the welding was done so we switched spots and I ground welds while he drilled holes. Once the grinding was done, we test fit the finished welded frame adapter and it fit perfectly.

Automotive tire Motor vehicle Hood Bumper Bicycle part


We slid the TJ frame on and the frame adapter into the MJ frame, then placed the adapter sleeve over top just to test fit.

Automotive tire Motor vehicle Asphalt Automotive exterior Bumper


Another shot of it mocked in...

Automotive tire Yellow Bumper Gas Asphalt


need to finish grind the other adapter and cut a few more holes..

More to come.
 

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Typical /f12 Hooligan
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6,815 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Wow, awesome build, I cant wait to see it progress! Looks like you guys are making quick work of it.
Thanks! I think it will take about 2 months before it is a runner, then another month for shakedown of the entire mechanical, and then another 2 months to get it blown apart and painted-cleaned up for final sign off as done.

men plan and God laughs...
 
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