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Old 08-03-2012, 04:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Filarski's XJ Pre-runner build (Now with TTB!)

Ryan and I finally started building his pre-runner. The plan is a family friendly 4 wheel drive built for the deserts of Baja but still capable of trail riding and daily driving when needed.

He bought this basically stock 98 Jeep XJ back in 2008 for $1300. The steering box portion of the frame was so badly cracked/shattered that the previous owners just wanted the un-drivable little Jeep out of their driveway.


Took a weekend to tear it down, plate it, weld it up and put it back together. Otherwise it was in perfect shape… for a Cherokee.
Ryan put a new set of 31’s on it, a Detroit locker in the Chrysler 8.25 and drove it daily for five years. Even doing some duty in Baja for the 09 Baja 1000 when he used it to pre-run his section of the course before the race.



For 5 years now Ryan patiently collected, bartered and bought all the parts needed. Now its time to put it all together…

We started by going through both axle housings. A Currie fabbed 9 housing with 35 spline Ten Factory shafts for the rear and a custom Ford 8” with 31 spline chromo shafts also built by Currie.
Both housings did some time under different race Jeeps so we wanted to clean, paint and replace all the bearings first off.



The rear housing came with a spool and a 620 gear ratio. After some discussion we decided to re-gear an Aluminum 3rd member that already had a Detroit in it that had been waiting to go in to my F150. Ryan’s project time table is ahead of my axle swap time frame so we agreed to use it and we’ll work something out down the road.
We picked up some 9” Motive Gear Performance 457’s from National Drivetrain to match the front.



Front Ford 8”
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Old 08-03-2012, 04:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Next we parked it in Ryan’s garage and stripped the old suspension and axles out of it to bolt up the new stuff.


Deaver race packs slung under


We re-used the factory spring plate and just made shock tabs for it.







We got both axles hung and the brakes plumbed. Ryan yanked the T-case and installed a Rubicon Express slip yoke eliminator and had Coast Drive Line in Ventura make some 1350 drive shafts for it.





New tires on and rolling.
From here we drove it one whole mile over to my garage and started doing the fab work.



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Old 08-03-2012, 04:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Getting ready to do some work…
Once we got it over to my place, we gutted the interior along with all the doors to make it easier to work around. And had a glass guy come take the windshield out.







We’ve been talking about racing the 1000 with this car next year so we built the cage out of 1-3/4 .120 DOM so we can get it SCORE tagged.

We went about the cage a bit differently than we have in the past.
We decided to do the dash tube and stub out for the engine cage first, then build the rest from there.
Our thought was it would be easier, save time and allow us to pull the cage out for welding.
I cant say it was any easier or saved us any time, but it allowed us to keep the A pillars nice and tight and get a full weld around the tubes headed out to the engine compartment.

This stupid tube took two people all day to squeeze behind the dash…


It took a ton of cutting and fitting to get a tube behind the dash.
We had to lose air ducting to the side vents but once we plug the whole it should blow out the center vents like mother effer…




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Old 08-03-2012, 05:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Got the main passenger section of the cage done. As planned it slid out pretty easily so we could weld the tops







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Old 08-03-2012, 05:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Cage is back in and we’re off and running with the rest of it.



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Old 08-04-2012, 12:09 AM   #6 (permalink)
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REally nice work!
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Old 08-04-2012, 01:29 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Awesome work Eric and Ryan.... looks verry good.
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Old 08-04-2012, 12:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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What did you do with the dana turdy? Rob needs one for the honey badger.
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Old 08-04-2012, 03:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Nice! I had that same exact XJ once, stripped off some parts and sold the rest. Still got some doors, hood, grill and headlights if you guys ever need any spare parts in candy apple red (freebies).
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Old 08-05-2012, 11:38 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Bitchen build, great fab work!
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Old 08-05-2012, 11:46 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Looking good! I knew you guys could not stay away from racing a station wagon too long- LOL
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Old 08-05-2012, 12:35 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Looks very good as always!
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Old 08-06-2012, 12:18 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Muchos Gracias everyone...

Made some decent progress this weekend.
One thing I skipped was the cage landing points and chassis stiffening.
We cut frame plates and some brackets that serve as the cage tie in, the nerf bar and allow us to mount a tube to help stiffen the chassis.







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Old 08-06-2012, 12:50 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
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What did you do with the dana turdy? Rob needs one for the honey badger.
Turdy's gone already. Wish we'd of known Ricky Bobby needed it...
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Old 08-06-2012, 01:36 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Ryan finished the triangulation and mounts for the PRP seats.



We started working the rear shock mounts.
Started by cutting the plates that join the two tubes. Then made a rough template to get a visual of the mount and then drew the rest in up CAD.



Cut and broke the main mounts and then made templates for the caps






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Old 08-06-2012, 02:00 PM   #16 (permalink)
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do you just use a flatbed scanner to get cardboard into the TMcad?
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Old 08-06-2012, 02:21 PM   #17 (permalink)
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do you just use a flatbed scanner to get cardboard into the TMcad?
On smaller parts, yes.
I've also just taken a picture of a pattern with my phone and then scaled it in the CAD software.
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Old 08-07-2012, 01:28 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Another thing we’ve been working on is the rear seat.
Ryan has a 7 and a 10 year old that need fit back there and your average racey bench/bucket seat just flat out doesn’t fit well in these things.

So in an effort to make the back as comfortable as possible (as possible, mind you) We decided to customize the factory bench by re-mounting it, shortening the back, moving the lumbar portion forward about 4 inches and adding padding on the sides and center to dish the seat.


This pic was taken before we added padding to the center, but I forgot to snap a pic before we sent it off to the upholster to have it covered and matched to the front PRP’s.
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Old 08-07-2012, 04:36 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Very nice guys, can't wait to see it in action.
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Old 08-08-2012, 12:03 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Looks good.
intrested in a october death valley trip?
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Old 08-09-2012, 06:31 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Looks good. I really like the way the sliders tie in and act as a chassis stiffener.
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Old 08-09-2012, 09:23 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Lookin' good. I like your Tecate CAD system.
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Old 08-10-2012, 10:33 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Lucky one of the Filarski's has talent
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Old 08-10-2012, 02:19 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Hey, is Mark still running the shop over at Coast Driveline, I used to take all my stuff to him when I lived in Ventura
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Old 08-10-2012, 02:43 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Hey, is Mark still running the shop over at Coast Driveline, I used to take all my stuff to him when I lived in Ventura
Actually, Mark just left recently. Really really good guy though...
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