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Old 01-12-2010, 05:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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TJ - Full Circle Build

Ok.... Long story short, I started out with a new TJ 12 years ago, and after many rigs and lastly my stalled small buggy project, I've stepped into another TJ. This one is more/less a collection of parts. #1 is a complete roller minus drivetrain, dash apart. It was hit in the front and has unknown damage. Its a former wheeler, dents/damage all over. It's the parts whore. #2 is a clean tub that's been comp cut already, hood, grill etc.. Mix/Match of colors. Frame has already had lower link brackets cut off.


updated to reflect current direction:

Current Plan/Direction
2.2 Ecotec
R150
Toy T-case (w/ 4.7s)
Ruffstuff Toy 8" housing +6 long side w/ Elocker / Tacoma TRD 8" Rear (elocker)
2" Lowers w/ Ballistic Joints / 1.5" uppers w/ 7/8" Heims
14" ORIs
TG 8" full hydro ram/orbital w/ PSC CB pump
35" KM2
New custom 2x4x.188 frame
Integrated 1" BL
Hi-Line rear floor/fenders
Lift = guessing 2"-3"

Original Plan/Direction
Jeep 2.5
G54 NOTE: The W56 Toy trans can NOT be used, only the bell swaps, with some input retainer work it might work.
Toy T-case
Toy axles Front/Rear
3/4"+ 7/8" heims/inserts
TG 8" full hydro steering setup
36 TSL Radials.

SO after many hours reading the TJ builds.... I'm thinking of.....
Minimal suspension lift (zero if it will work)
High Fender cut hood deal.
1" Body Mount Lift
Pull motor up some.
Push front out 4" slide rear back 2"
Links - yup, layout dono..
==================================================

I'd like to keep the tub more/less intact. but otherwise what are some cool ideas you guys might have tucked away.. The one build with the front frame recurved looked interesting.

I'd like to dump the track bars, rear is np. front might need some planning for low lift.

So my questions are... (keeping in mind this is gonna be a medium size jeep)
What have you done on your TJ that you wish you hadn't?
What did you do right and are happy with.
What did you waste your time doing that didn't amount to shit ?

Input? Suggestions on my plans ?

It's not home yet but I snapped some pics when i was looking them.. I'll see if I can find the pics...

==================================================
I've modified my overall direction a little as the project has evolved.
I wasn't happy with some aspects of the stock frame and felt it was limiting me. I almost opted to sell off the project as I was finding so much I wasn't happy with. That ultimately lead me to making my own frame. After turning that corner everything started falling into place much better.... Follow along with my build...
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Jeep TJ Build Up - Ecotec, Toy axles etc..
Ecotec - Technical Info
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Old 01-12-2010, 06:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Suggestions:
  • Throw a doubler in there OR a 4.0 OR a turbo
  • Comp cut with anything smaller than 39s or 40s looks ridiculous to me
  • You got the axles yet? I would run FJ55 axle housings if you can find them. They should be 58" WMS vs the mini truck 55" which is just too damn narrow (I would know)
  • Find elockers if you can get 'em cheap (I've seen thirds go for $250 each with 4.10s)
  • Don't even bother with 3/4 heims, go 7/8 or JJs/bushings

Things I did on my first TJ build that I didn't like or would do differently:
  • not fuck around with ARBs or bigger shafts unless I was breaking the stock shit (HP44/9 combo on 37s)
  • do more research
  • find a shop that is dependable, has good tools, and good hours for me to work
  • don't buy all my shit brand new when I'm on a damn budget
  • don't try to go bigger just because you can. go bigger when/if you need to or you're ready

Hope this helps, looking forward to this build. I'm currently collecting parts for something similar - FJ80/TRD Taco rear for my TJ. Will have twin stick'd D300, Aussie in the front, and spool in the rear with longarms. Should make for a badass cheap combo when I'm done
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Old 01-12-2010, 07:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Parts: I have axles already, TRD e-locker axle w/ 5.29s, though I'd like to get a 8.4 bigger chunk setup... Also have 2nd elocker chunk and new 5.29s in box for front.

x2 on the comp cuts with small tires. Its already cut, but I've got some 1/8" alum, prolly cut some corners to fill it back in.
Gonna put 4.7s in t-case

shop - N/A I will be doing it all, will post the tech as I go

!bigger = smaller. I'm actually stepping down from a 1ton - Leaf Jeep 38s etc.. Just want more drivable, easier beach trips slightly smaller setup. Still capable of reliable running medium trails regularly.

Pics of what I'll be starting with... (edit: rocks and big tires NOT MINE)
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Old 01-12-2010, 08:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Is it a Taco rear with the TRD locker? How bout the front? You can still use those thirds, birfs, knuckles, etc with a 55 housings but the inner shafts and actual housing are slightly longer. You may not even need both inner shafts, just one possibly. I highly recommend you get those extra 3"
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Old 01-12-2010, 09:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I have a wheeling 'stock' 97 TJ running on 35 KM2s with a 2.5l/auto. To compensate for the larger tires, I had to go to 4.88s, but that was the steapest I could with a TJ D30 front axle.
The toy trans/tcase setup is surely different and possibly a positive addition behind the 2.5l (Jeep right?). Haven't quite followed the topic of the swap behind the 4.0l, but if you have to use the AX-15 bellhousing, you'll have to get one from a mid/late 90 Dakota with 2.5l.
Anyways, I've got 2" poly rear spacer, ACOS front, articulating arms/track bars, and 1" body lift. I use bump stops to save the compression on the shocks. Can't remember the shock body length, but 12" sounds right.
D35 went long time ago, so 8.8 was put in.
Overall, the TJ has worked well. The tires do put a sluggish effect on the little motor. Offroad, I have little more control, but at times, I don't have enough in D/4lo. I usually do have to keep it in 1 or 2/4lo to climb obstacles.
Still running stock belly skid, but hopefully that will change spring with a 231/300 doubler. I'm also looking at adding a D30R from late model XJ to bring the front ds higher.
The biggest hurdles on a low riding TJ are the lower control arm brackets (especially rear) and the stock belly skid. The front ds with the low pinion does get knocked at times, but its livable.
As for side panel protection, there are lots of steel blanks out there to facilitate your wheelbase you want.
Going with the 36's, you are going to have some clearancing to do with the height of a stock height suspension. So you may have to have some frame to axle separation (lift).
With all this tech and fab anyways, why add a 1" body lift to a stock frame and body setup? Might as well look at channeling the body on the frame to raise the floor closer to the seat height, then clearance the floor to the trans/tcase. The toyotas have a smaller seat height to floor distance. So adapt that measurement into the TJ. You probably plan to add a family cage anyways so the seats would be tied to that.
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Old 01-15-2010, 06:21 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I have some of the technical stuff sorted out, I'm just moving the component from my buggy build to the TJ platform. Where I'm looking for input is on TJ specific mods. Not just bolt on stuff, but creative options.

Some answers to questions (and a few more)
-Yes I have a 2003 TRD elocker axle complete, w/ 2" spacers for the front axle. Again, though I'd like to get a non-TRD (8.4) axle/housing/diff.

-Jeep2.5-> G54 - Plan crafted after reading info here on Pbb, info ws more/less referenced, and more importantly confirmed, in the big bell housing pictorial threads. Basically AX5 input shaft and input bearing retainer/throw out bearing slide tube, is swapped into the W56 trans. Use 2.5/AX5 bell bolted to G54. From transmission body/face forward is all Jeep parts, that point back is Toyota.

This will be a trail rig with some weekend or occasional trips to work.

Yes I agree the lower arm brackets hang low, BUT fortunately the brackets have already been cut off the one frame so I can install new ones where I like.

-- Thats sorta what I'm looking to understand the pro/cons. without a 6" lift do I really need 40" LCAs? or is 20"- 30" suitable. (stock is 16")

- Lift needed - Yes I'm hoping to use as little as possible..
- Travel - I'd like 14" front 12 rear

- Reading last night the new JKs lowers are 22" and just doing some simple right angle math going from 16"-22" offers a high advantage. Much more reduced control arm angle change over a normal 12-14" travel. ALSO keeping in mind with a low/no lift setup I wouldn't be static with a big angle found with 4"-6" lifts. But possibly flat. So a 24"-28" lower while not able to produce chart shattering flex might be easier to package and provide significant gains (over stock).


NO major body surgery I'd like to stay away from the snow ball effect. I realize I may be sacrificing ultimate improvements, but that is a line I have drawn. I've found that most of my other projects got so overwhelming due to 'while I'm here i might as well do X' issues. Having some skill is one thing, having time and $ to complete tasks is another.

Not saying I won't revisit some modifications just not from the start. I'm trying to identify the tasks that help the most while not overly impacting any future work..


Any builds with a true "mid arm" on a TJ something in the 20"-28" range ? (searching mid arm stuff show'd JK BS)
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Jeep TJ Build Up - Ecotec, Toy axles etc..
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Old 01-15-2010, 03:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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My lowers are 26" . . .
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Old 01-15-2010, 03:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Search "midarm" in Hardcore and Newbie section.
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Old 01-15-2010, 05:21 PM   #9 (permalink)
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stjames- your thread was perfect, I didn't realize it wasn't a long arm when i read it the first time through. I've got it bookmarked for the high fender chop deal. Basically confirmed some things for me...

Gavan is coming over tomarrow so we can finally chop the bed for his CJ-10a project. (/forum/jeep-non-hardcore/842526-cj10a-short-bed-long-bed.html) he doesn't know it yet but I might rope him into going to get the roller TJ on sunday
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Jeep TJ Build Up - Ecotec, Toy axles etc..
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Old 01-16-2010, 01:25 AM   #10 (permalink)
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What happened to "Blue Jeep" you were building?
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Old 01-16-2010, 06:11 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Blue Jeep - Still have it, actually I'll be hauling the parts into my crawl space today. If I'm not able to sell it I'll set on it for a while then end up giving it away

In all honesty I'm just not seeing myself in a buggy in 5 years. But I do see myself beating around in a medium sized TJ on 33-36s.. I really miss the more simple middle of the road stuff. Not having to engineer every aspect of the vehicle. More able to (easily) drive it to work once a week, beach trips etc.. Those who know me and my affliction with chronic projectitus are probably collecting on their bets and makeing new ones on how long this will last... As long as I'm cut in, its cool

Truth is I love buggies and tell myself I might do one down the road, but reality is I'll probably buy one or at least a starter chassis IF I get that urge again. Possibly grow this one down the road into a more F-toy-ish on the jeep platform. Who knows... My 1ton on leafs (red jeep) is a nice rig but I'm wanting something more comfortable, better steering, smaller, lower etc.. Everyone is going bigger, I'm going smaller...

By the time I laid out redoing the things that need to be address on my 1ton, running 36s on D60/14b just wasn't a good plan. Redoing my (non-hydro assis) armstrong steering, adding links, small block/auto etc... added up to almost a complete redo on the rig. Thats what started the buggy project and collecting of 3/4 ton sized parts, I still think the collection of parts is good even if sitting under something else. And that ultimatly seemed to make the most sense when the TJ option came along.

Out to the garage...
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Old 01-16-2010, 09:28 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Another mid-arm build. http://www.jeepsunlimited.com/forums...d.php?t=403448
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Old 01-16-2010, 05:52 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Nice to see your getting this rolling.
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Old 01-25-2010, 05:54 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Jeeps are home ! and one of Iris our snow bangle cat attacking Steve the flying sling shot monkey, just because

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Jeep TJ Build Up - Ecotec, Toy axles etc..
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Old 01-31-2010, 05:47 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Installed a few of the 1" body lift pucks off the green jeep to space the body where it will end up. (will be making frame mount lift brackets at some point)

Chop here, cut there... Pulled the front up a little bit to make room to push the front out ~4" and add some room for the hydro steering junk, and keep it riding low..

Will be moving the front cross tube back to drop the winch tray down in.

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Jeep TJ Build Up - Ecotec, Toy axles etc..
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Old 01-31-2010, 08:57 PM   #16 (permalink)
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From the looks of the baby walker under your jeep it seems as though you got a little helping hand
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Old 02-01-2010, 06:12 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Haaa Those pics were while it was sitting at previous owners shop. Slave labor (aka kids) were not part of the deal. Recient pics are in my garage.
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Old 02-01-2010, 11:06 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I like how you did the front part of your frame. Same plans for the rear portion of the frame?
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Old 02-01-2010, 12:56 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I look forward to seeing the midarm comments and progress. I am leaning that way on mine once I get more funds.
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Old 02-01-2010, 06:43 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Rear - not much, just gonna flip the top spring plates. Notch out for a shock on the outside. Call it good.

Rolled the front axle under to see what things look like. Toy axle with turn stops removed, can turn lock/lock without hitting the frame so that's good.

In pics front axle is pulled 4" forward. Probably pull it out to 5". Frame rails sitting at 18" off the ground and axle on cart has the tires ~5" off the ground. Overall have about 3" clearance from the axle tube to the frame.

I need to setup the steering ram but it looks like that will just clear within that 3" pocket. Not to bad I guess...

Preliminary pass at fitting links up front looks good. ~18-20" uppers. and 24-26" lowers

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Old 02-19-2010, 03:03 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Did the frame cut on Foreman's TJ just after mine. He's also running full hydro and was needing some extra room up front. So by doing it on his right after mine, I was able to dial in and verify the numbers for the cuts. So here's some PBB old fashioned tech...

The 1,2,3 numbers were just reference numbers based on the height of his rig to the floor. (Mark the floor for consistent readings) We did the cuts with the 4.0L still installed, only the radiator and lower hose was removed.

Just to point out the both cuts need to be 90deg to the frame rail. The front cut is more/less straight across the frame rails but the V cuts are angle, simply use a square on the outside of the frame rail and eyeball the inside line to the square...

and to add... Foreman trimmed his side radiator support bushings to 1" IIRC and he reused the lower center radiator support bracket welded on upside down. with the mount modified/trimmed to 1/2"

My bend was a slight bit (1/8" more on the cuts) more and I ended up with 1/2" side bushings and I haven't done my lower center mount yet as I'm removing the front tube.

I don't take credit for this, only adding to what I found here...


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Jeep TJ Build Up - Ecotec, Toy axles etc..
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Stroke - Coumadin(warfarin) - INR - Heart Valve - Ask me (true story)

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Old 02-19-2010, 09:54 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I like the idea of the TJ with Toy driveline, pretty slick. I have been thinking abou the same setup. I got a TJ tub on stands awaiting the 5.3 and 4l80e with 60's. Then it becomes a 4k plus heavy crawler. Ya it might sipp the gas with the vortec engine, but everything is heavy and big. Smaller more nimble setups are lighter. I got my complete toyota driveling in my F-toy, it's all brand new, including a stage II LC engine and Marlin tranny/dual t-cases. Sad thing is if I tried selling the F-toy it would probably be with out driveline, due to high cost .

Keep up the pics. Sure you will have lots of room.

Running fuel cell?
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Old 04-06-2010, 08:41 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Quick update...

Decided on Navy Blue so the wife helped me rattle can some parts of the jeep. Did the firewall, hood and some under dash areas. Now I can start assembling some stuff as I go.

Made some progress with the front suspension. Finalized at 7" pushed forward. 4link numbers look good on paper and leave plenty of adjustability with the upper frame mounts.

Front axle - swapped on IFS hubs, got the ram mounted.

Pics show axle at full stuff. Though I left an out if needed of ~1" if I put a small notch in the frame rail the rest will still clear..

Oh ya forgot, front will be bobbed a little so the tires can turn fully.. Will have a recessed winch mount as the front cross member. Nose was shorted a little from the frame de-arch..

Sorta limited right now to 35deg. Not to bad almost everything starts hitting at this point anyway..

Some pics...

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Ecotec - Technical Info
2006 Ford e450-RV/Ambulance
Stroke - Coumadin(warfarin) - INR - Heart Valve - Ask me (true story)
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Old 04-06-2010, 08:55 PM   #24 (permalink)
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97 TJ 4.0/np435/d300/3link/4link finished, 1 tons coming soon
98 24v Cummins 50mpg towing 17k uphill


Ultimate Wrangler Build Ups and Swaps Thread
Builds, Swaps, Axles, Engines, Turbos, Diesels, Suspensions, Fab, and more!
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Old 05-17-2010, 07:12 PM   #25 (permalink)
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few updates... Did this a few weeks back. Felt like i needed more room for the new shocks and a more cleaned up front end.

Ended up moving the engine to the driver side ~1" to clear the upper pass. link better against the timing cover. These small subtle changes take time, but im happy with the results. My tube inserts should be here so i can fab the lowers links.

Gonna definitely be a mid-arm length coming in at 26" This was as long as I could go without more frame interference. But the axle movement is actually helpful on up travel as it will ensure plenty of clearance for steering ram and radiator.


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Jeep TJ Build Up - Ecotec, Toy axles etc..
Ecotec - Technical Info
2006 Ford e450-RV/Ambulance
Stroke - Coumadin(warfarin) - INR - Heart Valve - Ask me (true story)
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