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Old 12-22-2011, 07:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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97 XJ D60/14B 37x12.50

Hi Everyone,

I have been lurking around pirate for the last few years and found it to be an invaluable source of information. I haven’t posted much because I never felt like I had much experience/information to add. I researched a whole bunch of similar builds and actually posted this build on another site. I thought it would only be fair to post my junk here because if it wasn’t for all the other builds I would have been lost.

A big thank you goes out to “the freeak” he gave me a lot of advice throughout the build. There had to be 100’s of e-mails.

Since the jeep is done (for the most part) I tried to group the build thread by componet rather than chronologically.

I picked my Jeep up a few years ago as a fixer upper at a measly $1,250. The Stealership quoted the previous owner $2k for the repairs it needed (U joints, Gaskets, Exhaust Header…) So I fixed her up knowing that I was planning on lifting it enough to clear 31" tires with no fender trimming. Next, while out playing paintball, my buddy sheared a Dana 35 shaft in his truck so I knew it was time for an upgrade. I got a 9" diff out of a full size bronco, rebuilt it, shortened it to match the HP D30 Front, threw in a locker and re-geared front and rear axles to 4:11's. Next I built some rock sliders, bumpers and a set of tube doors…
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My Dad picked up a 20' enclosed trailer for his camaro and I bought a 97 Dodge 12V to tug it around because the Envoy he used to pull the open trailer wasn't up to the task. Now, having a new-to-me vehicle to do my around-town-running I came to the conclusion that the jeep's daily driving days were nearing an end. For one I found that over time it got harder and harder to pass inspection. One garage even gave me a hard time because my flares (stock TJ rear flares) were too wide per the vehicle code (Vehicle code = 3" - Stock TJ flares = 3 1/4")… Not to mention the jeeps on-road manners were worsening... So I decided that I might as well have some fun!

13 months later here is the end result (not finished but driveable):
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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And here is how it got there….

When I started this project back in the beginning of November 2010, I stopped and considered upgrading the D30 front with an air locker and 30 spline shafts to survive a larger 35" tire, however, it also needed unit bearings, Ball joints and re-gearing. At this point I started looking for an upgrade…. People wanted a small fortune for the Ford HP Dana 44's that were for sale on Craigslist in my neck of the woods and the mediocre upgrade hardly seemed like it was worth the time and $$. So I found these for sale a few miles south of where I live:
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally I planned on building this rig so that it would fit in my Dad’s enclosed trailer… however I found that the weight and width limit would require me to remove and install the tires every time I loaded and unloaded the trailer… I finally realized that this would get old real quick. So I picked up an open trailer and will make the fenders removeable for loading and unloading the jeep.
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I have always hated my Rusty's adjustable upper control arms, (I needed them to correct my pinion angle and kill my driveline vibration) they clang and bang all the time and it is really hard to tighten the jamb nuts. Time for a 3 link.

The plan:
Dana 60 out of 89’ Ford F350 w/ Spartan Locker and 4:11’s
14B out of a 1978 K20 w/ Detriot and 4:11’s
Ruff Stuff XJ Stiffeners
Dana 300
Hydraulic Assist
3 Link Front
Stock Leaf Rear
37x12.50x16.50 Used Hummer Tires
16.5” DIYBeadlocks

I began by disassembling the D60, while taking several pictures along the way and storing everything in marked Ziploc bags
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I ordered a set of beadlocks from DIYBeadlocks.com and found a set of rims on craigslist… the rims are a bit wide for my liking but they will do for now. I picked up the beadlocks when DIYBeadlocks.com was having a sale last winter and I designed my own pattern… after laying them on the rim I quickly realized that I should have had the center opening cut a little bigger… Luckily, due to the offset I can get in there with a swivel so it isn’t the end of the world… they will do for now.
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Since the inside of the rim did not have a bead I decided to build my own out of some cold rolled 3/16” mild steel bar and got the idea for the locking plier guide from Sceep
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I mounted the tires and installed the beadlocks with a little help from my dad (and ether)
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Definitely have some serious coning going on… anti coning rings to come soon.

I decided that I wanted the crossmember to have a removeable center section to avoid having to disassemble the entire front suspension to drop the tranny. I also tried to make each tab/part key to the crossmember to maximize weld area and make the material carry as much of the load as possible.

BTW I never ran the 3 link through the calculator… I based my design on a few things that, from reading on here, I thought were most important… keep the links as long and as flat as possible (so that the axle would be more likely to climb up and over obstacles rather than moving down and back causing the jeep to drive over top of the axle)… keep the track bar as long as possible and as close in length and angle to the drag link as feasible… and to work with the space I had.

The square tube is 2 x 2 x ¼ the plate is 3/16” the tabs are all ¼” and the bolts are ½” grade 8.

Here is how it progressed from start to finish:
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:44 PM   #11 (permalink)
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last few
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:48 PM   #12 (permalink)
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It all got painted and installed to the Ruff Stuff 3/16” frame stiffeners to which I added a few ½” grade 8 nuts and some weld nuts.. A few prep/install pics:
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:49 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Then I began working on the front frame plating… 1/8” mild steel and I added a few holes with dimple dies, which I would never do again… way too much welding
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:50 PM   #14 (permalink)
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two more
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:51 PM   #15 (permalink)
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On to the Dana 60… Initially I bought a lot of fab parts from Ruff Stuff but later found out that I really couldn’t use them because the application required custom bracketry. All of the parts I got from Ruff Stuff were top notch… they would have saved me a bunch of time and I really regret not being able to use them. Here is the Dana 60 Evolution… the driver side tube was really short so part of the LCA/Coil mount bracket ended up on the cast part of the center section… I welded the mild steel to the cast with some high-nickel rod and the ol’ buzz box.
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:52 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I picked up a ford-specific knuckle reinforcement kit from a vendor on pirate and welded them up… my stick welding leaves much to be desired but I think it will last
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:54 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Once everything was mocked up and the suspension was cycled I finish welded everything and added a ram mount and some protection. I installed a Spartan lunchbox locker in the stock open carrier and topped everything with a diff cover by Ruff Stuff and High Steer Arms from Parts Mike.
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:55 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:56 PM   #19 (permalink)
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three more
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Old 12-22-2011, 07:57 PM   #20 (permalink)
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The LCA’s and UCA are all 2 x 2 x ¼” square tube. LCA’s have Ruff Stuff 1 ¼” heims on the crossmember side and poly bushings at the axle end. The UCA has a Ruff Stuff 1 ¼” heim on the crossmember side and a 7/8” heim on the axle side.

Originally I planned to attach the shocks directly to the LCA’s but the travel/twisting caused the bushing shock to bind… in the end the shocks got mounted to the LCA mounts.

The steering, drag link, and track bar are all 1 ¼” 0.120 wall sleeved with 1 ½” 0.120 wall DOM. The joints are Ruff Stuff ¾” heims
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:00 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I cleaned up the 14B, gave it a shave, added a truss and a 14B install kit from Ruff Stuff. The kit came with U-Bolts, Spring Plates, and Disc Brake Brackets. The kit uses ’78 K20 front calipers and rotors. I added a ball valve to the rear brake circuit as a mock e-brake and it works rather well. I also added a Ruff Stuff traction bar axle bracket and built a crossmember for the bar to attach to, the bottom of the track bar bracket is in-line with the bottom of the crossmember just in case a skid plate is in my future. I later revised the traction bar crossmember with a rubber bushing at the crossmember and a heim joint at the end of the bar. The traction bar is made of 2 x 2 x 3/16” tubing.
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:01 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I tapped the stock XJ box for Hydraulic Assist and picked up some hoses from DiscountHydraulicHose.com… they are the non-crimp type so a busted hose can be repaired on the trail. The ram has an 8” throw and is from Surplus Center… I disassembled the ram and added an internal stop to keep it from pushing against the knuckle stops at full lock. I didn’t make any pump modifications.
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:03 PM   #23 (permalink)
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I wanted to install a heim at the pitman arm and wasn’t confident in running it in single sheer, so I built a custom arm based off of the splined section from the stock arm – got this idea from ActionFab’s Cherokee build thread.
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:04 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I bought a Dana 300 from the freeak and picked up a Novak AW4-300 Adapter from a fellow board member. As you can see the mechanical linkage I made up is rather tight to the double carden joint, however, this won’t be a problem as I will be making a new front driveshaft with a single super-flex joint on each end… the double carden did not flex enough to achieve acceptable droop.
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Old 12-22-2011, 08:05 PM   #25 (permalink)
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The first bumper I made for the jeep placed my winch directly in front of the grill and though it really didn’t kill my approach angle the bumper had to go. I cut out the front crossmember and placed the winch directly behind it… now my approach angle is nearly 90*
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