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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Another little update with bigger news. As many of you know, a project will always take a few left turns midway. To keep a long story shorter here it is...

After thinking about this project very hard (since I didn't have money for parts) I realized that I am basically building 70% of a jeep. All I was swapping over was hood, fenders, grill, bumper, and interior stuff. (Decided to go straight for the tons). With this in mind and realizing I have an emotional attachment to my TJ which I do enjoy as a short wheelbase, I decided that I am just going to be building this "brute thing" from scratch, ground up, as a new jeep. This decision also came to be when someone on the local classifieds posted an entire TJ interior (HVAC, airbags, wiring, seats and belts, charcoal dash and all) for a good price. So needless to say, I just need a few body parts and an ax-15/231 which can be had at a junkyard for next to nothing.

The blueprint for this new jeep is as follows.

5.9/AX-15/231 t-case
Superduty 60/Sterling 10.5 with 5.13's and ARB's
3/4 link long arms with Metalcloak Duroflex bushings and ORI's so it rides great on the street
40" rubbers and some wheels I have picked out (surprise)
And lastly, a new color! Since I am not swapping parts from my TJ, I won't be doing the red (probably). I am leaning toward Midnight Special, but who knows how it'll end up. I will still try to be posting info that can relate to people building a brute from a TJ so they get their answers, but yeah... Hard left turn for the better I hope.

The other bottom line of this build is do it right the first time. Period. If I can't afford the parts I want, I'll wait till I can. I never want to look back at this build and say I wish I would've done something better.

Anyways.. I hope y'all still enjoy the build!
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
With that being said, here is an update on the build...

I found a good deal on some axles so I've gotten them all cleaned up and ready for trusses when money allows. Also, if anyone is wondering how much a front dana 60 weighs... Here you go. With rotors, no calipers, open carrier.



And the sterling under the frame. I will weigh it later.



I had ordered towers for my ORI's and got them mounted where I believe they will be happy. Don't worry, they are all just tacked until I get the entire suspension set up and cycled to confirm fitment.





And all 4... Sorry for the garage mess.



Lastly, I have a 5.2 from my old ZJ I am using as a core for a 5.9 and I got that weighed too. This is fully loaded with oil but minus the A/C compressor.



So yeah it doesn't weigh much more than a straight 6. I believe they are right around 600.

The motor mounts have been cut off and the frame is basically ready for ORI's to be mounted and the motor but that is not going to happen for a while. I got more of the frame coated on the inside so it won't rust while it's sitting. The next step is to slowly gather the trusses, control arm mounts, joints, and DOM, and then the ORI's. Once I have everything, I will get the axles sandblasted and all of the brackets mocked up. After that is set up, I will worry about gears and lockers and full axle rebuilds. Then it's on to the wheels and tires :) Until next time!
 

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The other bottom line of this build is do it right the first time. Period. If I can't afford the parts I want, I'll wait till I can. I never want to look back at this build and say I wish I would've done something better.

Anyways.. I hope y'all still enjoy the build!
Fantastic way to approach this. That is why my build took 4 years.
 

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Another little update with bigger news. As many of you know, a project will always take a few left turns midway. To keep a long story shorter here it is...

After thinking about this project very hard (since I didn't have money for parts) I realized that I am basically building 70% of a jeep. All I was swapping over was hood, fenders, grill, bumper, and interior stuff. (Decided to go straight for the tons). With this in mind and realizing I have an emotional attachment to my TJ which I do enjoy as a short wheelbase, I decided that I am just going to be building this "brute thing" from scratch, ground up, as a new jeep. This decision also came to be when someone on the local classifieds posted an entire TJ interior (HVAC, airbags, wiring, seats and belts, charcoal dash and all) for a good price. So needless to say, I just need a few body parts and an ax-15/231 which can be had at a junkyard for next to nothing.

The blueprint for this new jeep is as follows.

5.9/AX-15/231 t-case
Superduty 60/Sterling 10.5 with 5.13's and ARB's
3/4 link long arms with Metalcloak Duroflex bushings and ORI's so it rides great on the street
40" rubbers and some wheels I have picked out (surprise)
And lastly, a new color! Since I am not swapping parts from my TJ, I won't be doing the red (probably). I am leaning toward Midnight Special, but who knows how it'll end up. I will still try to be posting info that can relate to people building a brute from a TJ so they get their answers, but yeah... Hard left turn for the better I hope.

The other bottom line of this build is do it right the first time. Period. If I can't afford the parts I want, I'll wait till I can. I never want to look back at this build and say I wish I would've done something better.

Anyways.. I hope y'all still enjoy the build!
I originally thought this thread would be a hack job due to some comments in your original post. It is anything but... Nice freaking work so far.... very nice.

I hit the same crossroads that you have on my tub restoration... Why regret it later?
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
I originally thought this thread would be a hack job due to some comments in your original post. It is anything but... Nice freaking work so far.... very nice.

I hit the same crossroads that you have on my tub restoration... Why regret it later?
Hey now... It still would've been done right.. Just not up to some peoples standards of "tons or the highway" haha. But yeah I understand why you may have gotten that impression. Thanks for the compliments! :smile2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
Newest update: Got some things coated in Chassis Saver and 2K Epoxy Primer. This is a slow-moving project due to funds, and I was starting to see surface rust on some of the body and frame that I had sandblasted so that wasn't sitting well with me. I decided to put chassis saver on parts of the frame that I knew were not getting welded on anymore. The bigger part was doing the epoxy on the tub. It made me nervous as I don't have a spray booth and I had heard about all of the isocyanates in coatings such as this.. Well, it turns out that there are none in the 2K epoxy primer from magnet paints (monstaliner). Plus, if you roll it and it's not super hot out (and the metal isn't hot) it doesn't emit much odor at all. I still wore a chemical respirator though. Anyway, here it is...

First up was the bottom. Because this was a rough surface, I went with chassis saver. This stuff is awesome. I highly recommend sandblasting as it makes it stick so much better, but a good sanding would work. The underside of a TJ tub has a bunch of uneven crap so I just spent the extra bucks and blasted it. Well worth it. I also did the firewall in chassis saver as it is good with oil and chemicals. Should make cleaning the engine bay easier.





Hey Magnetman, how's this for a hood shot?















I'll be honest, Rolling this stuff is tricky. I brushed about 90% of it. Only rolled the big flat spots. It'll be easier to roll on the bedliner over the top with the shorty rollers.



In this picture, you can see the chassis saver I applied to parts of the frame. Also, my pimpin new rims and rubber that I'll be rockin on the trails! Haha



And finally... I got the tub on the frame so it is all rolling and movable and a little easier on garage space since the next few steps in the build are the expensive ones...



It'll be a few weeks or months between posts here in the summer as I offroad almost every weekend for work. Hard life.. Plus money isn't exactly growing on the trees at my house and the next few steps are costly. Up next I will be gathering axle trusses and brackets and the control arms and joints so I can make this a true rolling chassis. Then will be ORI's and gears, lockers, and axle rebuild crap plus maybe brakes. Stay tuned!
 

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Awesome build! Looking great! i like your cab closeout panel. I used the dinoot panel for my home built brute, but wished I had built a steel one. I'm not real happy with the fiberglass panel, but too late now. I know what you mean about time and money. Ive been building mine for 6 years and I'm nearing the end. My bed is 6ft long with the wheels centered in the bed. I'm not to sure about the 6ft bed. 5 1/2 feet might look better. I'll know when its all together. I may have to run bigger tires to make it look right. Check out my build. You may get some ideals on what and what not to do. https://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/my-jeep-wrangler-truck-build-1316771/
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
Awesome build! Looking great! i like your cab closeout panel. I used the dinoot panel for my home built brute, but wished I had built a steel one. I'm not real happy with the fiberglass panel, but too late now. I know what you mean about time and money. Ive been building mine for 6 years and I'm nearing the end. My bed is 6ft long with the wheels centered in the bed. I'm not to sure about the 6ft bed. 5 1/2 feet might look better. I'll know when its all together. I may have to run bigger tires to make it look right. Check out my build. You may get some ideals on what and what not to do. https://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/my-jeep-wrangler-truck-build-1316771/
Thanks! Trust me I've read through your thread a ton, but you did add some new stuff I haven't seen. Good work on the bed. I think I was planning on copying yours from the start. I just think 6' may be too long for me, but maybe I'll regret only 5'8". Who knows... haha. I am debating between 37's or 40's. I still want to be able to drive it on the street well. My boss had a JK on 44's that did 80 like a caddy though so I know if its done right, it shouldn't matter. I guess we'll see what money allows.

I definitely love the idea of just using trailer fenders in the bed. Seems easy and quick but still looks good. Do you think that 16g is enough without needing vertical supports as the bedsides? I am still trying to imagine that in my head. I see you did them in the front portion but none in the sides.

Also, it looks like you just did plug welds to connect the fenders to the sides, and the fenders to the frame. I just fear that something would get damaged and you would want to replace it.. Did that cross your mind?
 

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Thanks! Trust me I've read through your thread a ton, but you did add some new stuff I haven't seen. Good work on the bed. I think I was planning on copying yours from the start. I just think 6' may be too long for me, but maybe I'll regret only 5'8". Who knows... haha. I am debating between 37's or 40's. I still want to be able to drive it on the street well. My boss had a JK on 44's that did 80 like a caddy though so I know if its done right, it shouldn't matter. I guess we'll see what money allows.

I definitely love the idea of just using trailer fenders in the bed. Seems easy and quick but still looks good. Do you think that 16g is enough without needing vertical supports as the bedsides? I am still trying to imagine that in my head. I see you did them in the front portion but none in the sides.

Also, it looks like you just did plug welds to connect the fenders to the sides, and the fenders to the frame. I just fear that something would get damaged and you would want to replace it.. Did that cross your mind?
If I were to do it again, i'd use something thicker than 16 gauge..14 maybe? I had an issue in front of the inner fenders where I couldn't get the bed side perfectly straight. I'm not sure what happened, but it bulged out a little after the bed was assembled. i tried to shrink it, but it didn't turn out like I wanted it to. I didn't use any vertical supports on the side of the bed because I thought there's not much surface area, and the inner fender acts as a support. I did put a small support on top the inner fender to the top of the bed. I wish I had put a few supports on the bed sides to act as a place to add anchors or hooks and to help keep the bed sides straight. The supports on the front of the bed serve as a support and a place to put my high lift jack.

I want to run 35's. I think this will be a good size tire for the 360, 4.10's and an everyday driver. I hope not to have to replace any panels, ill be just sick if i do.

I need to set the engine in to get some weight on the springs so I can get my rear pinion angle set and welded. I want to run a set of aluminum heads on the engine to get some weight off the front end, but the price is holding me up right now. Every time I get a little overtime something breaks around the house and takes my edelbrock head money. its frustrating, I'm so ready to get this done! I'll be watching your build with envy...You'll probably get yours done before I get mine finished.
 

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Here is a picture of the support on top of the fender, and the inner fenders. They are really long, 40 inches. They take up a lot of the bed. Not that I’ll be hauling much. I’m not sure if I’d do the gas tank filler this way. It’s probably easier and cleaner to put it in the bed floor. You can’t really see it but the front of the bed side isn’t straight. It has a slight dip in it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
If I were to do it again, i'd use something thicker than 16 gauge..14 maybe? I had an issue in front of the inner fenders where I couldn't get the bed side perfectly straight. I'm not sure what happened, but it bulged out a little after the bed was assembled. i tried to shrink it, but it didn't turn out like I wanted it to. I didn't use any vertical supports on the side of the bed because I thought there's not much surface area, and the inner fender acts as a support. I did put a small support on top the inner fender to the top of the bed. I wish I had put a few supports on the bed sides to act as a place to add anchors or hooks and to help keep the bed sides straight. The supports on the front of the bed serve as a support and a place to put my high lift jack.

I want to run 35's. I think this will be a good size tire for the 360, 4.10's and an everyday driver. I hope not to have to replace any panels, ill be just sick if i do.

I need to set the engine in to get some weight on the springs so I can get my rear pinion angle set and welded. I want to run a set of aluminum heads on the engine to get some weight off the front end, but the price is holding me up right now. Every time I get a little overtime something breaks around the house and takes my edelbrock head money. its frustrating, I'm so ready to get this done! I'll be watching your build with envy...You'll probably get yours done before I get mine finished.
Yeah, I was debating between 18 plus supports, or 14 without. I will be making mine removable because it will mostly be a moderate wheeler. Your combo sounds like a great around town setup. And I don't know if you caught that I posted the weight of a 318 (close to 360) in one of my posts. And I remember seeing the weight of a 4.0 somewhere and I believe the difference was only like 60lbs but don't hold me to it. The 4.0 is a heavy pig. You could save more weight by going to an aluminum bumper or not running a winch honestly haha. But you wouldn't regret an aluminum head as long as you don't overheat.

I doubt I will beat you. I have zero suspension done, no powertrain other than an engine core, and no bed made and I am trying to save up for a house haha. But anyway, I know how the life thing goes in my own ways. I will be closely following yours for more ideas! I could barely tell in your bed so I wouldn't worry too much if I were you. Although with all the bodywork you did I'm sure you can't help it haha.
 

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Once we find a house and the jeep is inside a shop again I'm going to start cutting up my tub for a cab conversion. I already have a dodge 360 with 3spd 727 and dana 300 combo. Not bolted into jeep yet. I have a dodge dana 44 with one peice drivers side tube and Ford 9" rear instead of 1 tons. I only plan on running 35s. If you haven't mounted the engine in the frame yet I'm using engine mounts from from a late 70s cordoba. There super simple to build frame mounts for. I plan on stretching my wheel base about 6" and probably the rear frame rails about 12" for a small bed. I just need a spot to hold some tools and the spare tire. Your cab looks great so far. Keep up the great work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
Once we find a house and the jeep is inside a shop again I'm going to start cutting up my tub for a cab conversion. I already have a dodge 360 with 3spd 727 and dana 300 combo. Not bolted into jeep yet. I have a dodge dana 44 with one peice drivers side tube and Ford 9" rear instead of 1 tons. I only plan on running 35s. If you haven't mounted the engine in the frame yet I'm using engine mounts from from a late 70s cordoba. There super simple to build frame mounts for. I plan on stretching my wheel base about 6" and probably the rear frame rails about 12" for a small bed. I just need a spot to hold some tools and the spare tire. Your cab looks great so far. Keep up the great work.
Although I am nowhere close to done, I can say I think I am very glad I went with the 4 inches longer than a brute cab. I actually have a ton of room inside the cab for the important/non waterproof stuff and could likely fit a small to medium dog back there if I adopt one in the future. I am the same case as you with storage. I don't need a ton but its a nice option. The ZJ is sick of being a truck haha. Good plan for the half tons. I honestly am not super stoked for the full width due to some tight trails that may be near impossible for me now in this rig, but whatever. I still have the red TJ for the tight stuff I guess. I wish you all the best and if you have any questions please feel free to ask! Thanks for the compliments!
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
Time for another update! I wouldn't say its anything huge with the project directly, however, my progress is about to increase dramatically.. Because...



Baby Jeep! Also known as the donor jeep now. I feel bad because its actually a really clean bone stock one owner TJ, but that also means that it will be a great donor! I had to race people to get it for the price I got it for.. Told my boss I had to leave work early to be the first one there with cash haha.

Originally, I was about to buy 2 ORI's and all the rear control arm stuff so I could start mocking up suspension, but this is a big move forward because now I have all of my body panels (less a bed which is the last piece to this whole thing). With the labor day free shipping sale, I ordered another gallon of tintable Monstaliner and my new color! I was originally gonna do the same red as my TJ because it was going to be the donor, but now that I am building a ground-up rig, I changed my mind. Stay tuned for the new color choice! (If I didn't mention it already haha can't remember).

Anyway.. My buddy is buying the donor's 158,000 mile 4.0 because his XJ has a bad main bearing, so I will be able to weigh that in comparison to the 5.2. I already sold the hard top, and now I just need to sell some more parts so I can start buying suspension components!

But before I got to tearing it down, I had to make a little purchase to cool down the new 5.9 V8 powerplant... Always wanted to do one of these to the red TJ





Man, this hurts to do to a nice hood...





Tada!



And now the teardown can begin. 2 days and it's in pieces..



Engine ready to come out. Waiting on my buddy for removal.



The keep for now pile...



And finally... Freakshow is starting to look like something!



They are all just placed there until I return from my vacay. I will be sandblasting, 2k epoxy primer, and bedlining the grille, hood, doors, and windshield frame. I will remove the glass prior to sandblasting to remove all traces of rust, and getting new glass installed at a much later date. Why have 2 chips in the new project from day one?

That's all for now. Once I return, I will quickly get them stripped and primed so I can hopefully coat the entire body and components in their final color coat before winter sets in! Stay tuned!
 

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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
Also forgot to mention, in preparation for the rear suspension I was going to start, and because of a few sales, I ordered all my rear axle brackets and truss. I would like to give a huge shoutout to Artec for their quality, price, and incredible service. I placed my order during a free shipping promo because getting up to North Salt Lake to their store is very hard with my schedule. When I placed the order over the phone, they told me the trusses were about a week out and it would all ship together. No big deal as I didn't even need it for a few weeks. 2 days later, I received a text from one of their guys in the fulfillment center. He said he lived right out by me, and was more than happy to deliver my order that day on his way home, both to save the company money (big props for awareness of this from a business perspective) and to get me my stuff quickly. I said it was no rush but would be home if he felt the need to deliver it that day. Sure enough, he showed up and helped me unload it and put it back in the project corner. Top-notch service right there. As excited as I was, I opened it all up and played around with the new goods. I have yet to install and abuse it, but it sure feels like good stuff. I will gladly use every product of theirs I can on my build and recommend them to anyone as their products are high quality, US-produced with US-made steel, and local to me. No pictures yet.. But soon enough!
 
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