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Old 12-08-2011, 02:37 PM   #26 (permalink)
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that is really looking bad ass!!
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Old 12-08-2011, 05:52 PM   #27 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the comments! I have to thank my bro for the help with build. It would have been hard lugging around those axles myself!
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Old 12-15-2011, 04:36 PM   #28 (permalink)
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Got a chance to go over the suspension, tighten a few things, and take some more pics...

I need to relocate the upper rear spring mounts, but so far they haven't seem to be lacking any performance.






Here you can see the clearance that was made to the Kilby gas tank skid to the clear the 14b with the Ballistic 3/8" diff cover.



I marked the area that it needed to clear, plasma cut that section out, flipped it inside-out and re-welded. The tank sits in the skid cradle a little snug, but it's a little flexible and seems to be doing okay. The only issue so far has been when I fill up the tank. It seems to expand and when the pump shuts off, it pukes back a little gas. No major issue, but I thought I would mention it.... a lot cheaper than buying an aftermarket aluminum stretch tank for $600 plus.






My garage helper was curious to see what I was doing...



Non-tech pic. For the Shepherd fans...
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Old 01-01-2012, 05:12 PM   #29 (permalink)
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Spent the last of 2011 on the trail at RC. Awesome weather for the end of December, was able to take the top down later in the day without freezing. Overall the rig did well, but had to pull cable on the trail 5 hill climb. The suspension was working well, but since I'm gun shy with blowing another bead, I was only running about 12psi in each tire and might have made the climb with lower pressure.

I'm really liking the fact that the transition from the control arms to the belly skid/cross member are flat. When researching for my build I noticed that most rigs have protruding lower control arm mounts at the frame similar to the stock mounts. Having this smooth transition has seemed to help "slide" over obstacles that I previously would have gotten hung up on.

















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Old 01-01-2012, 06:27 PM   #30 (permalink)
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cool, looks like you had some fun with it!
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:26 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Awesome build I luv the jeep Time for some tube fenders and steel 4" flairs,,,should keep the po po off your butt

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I'm really liking the fact that the transition from the control arms to the belly skid/cross member are flat. When researching for my build I noticed that most rigs have protruding lower control arm mounts at the frame similar to the stock mounts. Having this smooth transition has seemed to help "slide" over obstacles that I previously would have gotten hung up on.
Nope not even the case bro,,,you just sit there like a turtle. The less shit you have down there the better. Get rid of as much metal as you can, then you can drop down the suspension and lower your center of gravity.

Its an extreme pain in the ass getting that belly this flat. After all that work I wondered if it was really worth all the extra fab,,,,,,,,yes,,,,every trail I go on. but I live in big boulder country. After a year of wheeling I went out and inspected my mounts. No damage, but Im sure eventually it will happen, but Im certainly not going to drop my belly to save a little rock rash on some link mounts.



The jeep below has zero lift and a flat belly,,,and yes the link mounts hang down. It just doesn't make sense to think if tiny little link mounts are bad than having your whole skid plate hanging down is good




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Old 01-16-2012, 05:12 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Awesome build I luv the jeep Time for some tube fenders and steel 4" flairs,,,should keep the po po off your butt



Nope not even the case bro,,,you just sit there like a turtle. The less shit you have down there the better. Get rid of as much metal as you can, then you can drop down the suspension and lower your center of gravity.

Its an extreme pain in the ass getting that belly this flat. After all that work I wondered if it was really worth all the extra fab,,,,,,,,yes,,,,every trail I go on. but I live in big boulder country. After a year of wheeling I went out and inspected my mounts. No damage, but Im sure eventually it will happen, but Im certainly not going to drop my belly to save a little rock rash on some link mounts.



The jeep below has zero lift and a flat belly,,,and yes the link mounts hang down. It just doesn't make sense to think if tiny little link mounts are bad than having your whole skid plate hanging down is good

I get your point, but don't necessarily agree 100% or I would have built it that way... Both have their advantages and disadvantages. I've lost count of the number of the times I've lost forward progress due to the "factory style" control arm brackets hanging up on obstacles. Now I can slide over them without a problem. Sure, I lost about 1.5" of ground clearance, but gained the ability to keep my momentum on when sliding over obstacles.

Cool build by the way
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Old 01-16-2012, 05:42 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Built a tire cradle for the rear of rig this weekend. I found a Tuffy drawer on CL for cheap (mounted to the factory rear seat mounts) and then use 1.75 DOM to secure the tire to the bars on the cage that connect from the B to C pillar. I will be nice to get the weight off the rear and less hanging off the back.

I'll just be using a study ratchet strap for now to secure it.













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Old 01-16-2012, 07:47 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Nice man. Now you can actually see out of the back of your Jeep...

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Old 01-17-2012, 09:13 AM   #35 (permalink)
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Very nice work on the spare tire rack.

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Old 01-25-2012, 04:38 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Now that I have the rear tire in the tub, I began working on the new rear bumper.





Similar to the flush bumpers, but with a little more beef in the mounts… What a PITA to cut these out with a porta band, 4.5” grinder, and jigsaw. These are 1” thick.











I’ll be keeping the frame tie-ins I previously made for the old bumper and adding some additional mounts to the sub-frame. I’ll also taper the ends and some corner guarding to protect the “schoolbus” like rear end of the LJ.
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Old 04-11-2012, 06:07 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Okay, so time for another update.....

Rear bumper is done. I'm concerned that the corner guards will get crushed over time since they are only .120 wall, but they can always be replaced. Overall, I think the look is growing on me, but more importantly I reduced the rear overhang by 4" and dropped about 60lbs off the rear of the Jeep. Add that reduction with the rear tire relocate, takes a lot of weight of the rear of this pig.

I added some reinforcement plates to the frame




After paint:




Also used some tax refund for some 14" STX ORI's for the front. The overall goal here was to get rid of the coils so that I can increase the front track bar length. I had to remake the frame track bar mount for the 3rd time (which is not the easiest to remove the from frame, especially if you are working on the ground).





I used the Genright coil over kit at a guide (just by viewing the online pictures), but made the decision to integrate the shock tower brace on the rear of the mount instead of the front (near the radiator).





I searched the internet and found that most guys with coilovers use the Buick 3.8L air box from the mid to early 90's (or they use a cone filter which I'm not a big fan of). I hunted all over the junk yard to find one of these but was unsuccessful. I did however find an air box from the lat 90's Dodge Avenger was about the right size. In the end, I gained 9" of length for the front track bar. This should aid with the excessive bump steer when driving on the road.

Using 115psi in the lower charge and 350psi in the upper for 4" of up travel. Seems to flex pretty well, but have yet to get it out on the road.





I'll get some pics of the air box mod later. Shakedown run planned at RC this weekend.... I'll report out later. Here's the driveway flex shot;

.....
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Old 04-11-2012, 06:18 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Old 04-12-2012, 04:56 AM   #39 (permalink)
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In the end, I gained 9" of length for the front track bar. This should aid with the excessive bump steer when driving on the road.
Good looking LJ.

Did you extend the trac bar as much as you could, or was this required to get the trac bar the same length as the drag link?

It could just be the pictures, but the two (trac bar & drag link) don't appear to be parallel? This could be adding to your bump steer issues.
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Old 04-12-2012, 08:44 AM   #40 (permalink)
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Good looking LJ.

Did you extend the trac bar as much as you could, or was this required to get the trac bar the same length as the drag link?

It could just be the pictures, but the two (trac bar & drag link) don't appear to be parallel? This could be adding to your bump steer issues.
Good eye. Possibly, but the major issue was that it was too short (approximately 28" when I was running coils"). It was also not parallel to the drag link. The new longer track bar is also not parallel with the drag link either, but it's way better than the previous version (length and angle). I would have to notch the frame on the passenger side to get it parallel, which also means that I would have to shorten it to clear the body of the ORI at full stuff. There are always tradeoffs...

I'll provide some feedback on how it handles on the road, once I get my inspection squared away.
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:56 AM   #41 (permalink)
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Looks good man. Looking forward to seeing it in action this weekend.
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Old 04-13-2012, 07:45 AM   #42 (permalink)
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Well played sir!

Outstanding project! I've been working on my non-hardcore project and am thinking about building a new skid pan. Soooo, my questions are:
- Did you buy or bend the 3/8" steel for your mounts?
- What material did you use for the belly?
- Are those carriage bolts? If so, how do you get to the the nuts in the center?

Thanks
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Old 04-14-2012, 02:14 AM   #43 (permalink)
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Outstanding project! I've been working on my non-hardcore project and am thinking about building a new skid pan. Soooo, my questions are:
- Did you buy or bend the 3/8" steel for your mounts?
- What material did you use for the belly?
- Are those carriage bolts? If so, how do you get to the the nuts in the center?

Thanks
I took a sheet of 3/8" thick, 10" wide x 6ft long and had a buddy (who works at a fab shop) bend it in a "z" pattern with a big press. I then choped and welded that to make my two sides for the center skid and links to bolt to.

The belly is 5/16" sheet, with some 1/8" 1x1 angle in a cross pattern for bracing.

I used carriage bolts and just reach through the back or front to tighten them up. I'm 6'3", so I have a reach advantage...
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Old 04-19-2012, 04:33 PM   #44 (permalink)
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Rc 4-13-12

RC went well. Nothing major broke, but the rear spring on the passenger side did unseat from the lower axle mount twice and get pinned up against the caliper. Once on Otters trail (didn't realize this until I was all the way through the trail) and once in the Comp area playing around on one of the hill climbs. It was an easy fix on the trail, and I just need to make some spring retainers to permanently fix it. Overall, I'm really impressed with the ORI's as they performed outstandingly. I can't wait to get the funds and time to put them in the back.

On another note, I added a set of Corbeau RS seats, and they are well worth every penny. What a difference...

I was leading the group, so I didn't get many pics.

Otters trail






And the playground




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Old 04-19-2012, 06:18 PM   #45 (permalink)
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Can we get some pics of the seats? You seem like a tall guy. Do the seats help you fit better in the jeep?
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Old 04-20-2012, 03:32 PM   #46 (permalink)
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Can we get some pics of the seats? You seem like a tall guy. Do the seats help you fit better in the jeep?
Nothing custom with the seats other than the hip bars that I had already built when I had the stock seats.

I'm using the Corbeau brackets that replace the stock ones. So this means I loose the ability of the seats to tilt forward for rear access, but I'm not planning on having a rear seat in this Jeep for sometime. I also chose these because the adapters that Corbeau makes set me about 2-3" taller than the factor and my head would be above the bar between the A and B pillar. (My buddy who is a little shorter than me has the adapters, so I was able to trial them before buying the brackets.)


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Old 04-20-2012, 03:38 PM   #47 (permalink)
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Cool thanks. They look good!
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Old 04-21-2012, 07:48 AM   #48 (permalink)
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Excellent build... Any more pictures or details on the rear brake setup? Maybe the brackets?
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Old 04-24-2012, 06:08 PM   #49 (permalink)
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Excellent build... Any more pictures or details on the rear brake setup? Maybe the brackets?
I removed the factory 14b drum brackets and made my own that matched up to the Ford brakes. Sorry I don't have of the brackets after they were cut.

The only downfall to this set-up is that the calipers do not sit up high on the rotor due to the e-brake cable orientation. They also stick out from the inside of the wheel (towards the center of the axle) about .75" further than they need to since the rotors are for a semi-float 60. (i.e. the rotor hat is wider to cover the axle flange.)

There are always compromises with any set-up. This seems to be working well (the e-brake will hold the Jeep no problem, even on a 45 deg grade) but I may have to replace a few caliper slider pins every now and then.

Also added some rear spring retainers.





I used Ford Explorer passenger rear brake lines for the flex hose.



This is probably the best picture I have of the bracket.
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:16 PM   #50 (permalink)
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ORI feedback

Nice ride! How are the ORI's on and off rd?
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