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Old 06-21-2011, 07:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Gone Postal : Mail Jeep Build

Okay guys. I just finished up my YJ build and now I'm bored with nothing to do. So what I found was an old Postal Jeep - '83 DJ-5 Mail Jeep in okay condition. Runs but tranny is bad. Clean title. So here is my plan. I photoshoped what I want the jeep to look like. My inspiration is the build that Marsfab in NC did called "Mild CJ5 Build". If you haven't seen it you should check it out!

My mockup...I am a graphic designer so I had to see what it would look like. I like drawing pretty pictures. i hijacked marsfab's cj5 with their cool jeep wall art. I photoshoped my jeep with the CJ-5 that marsfab built since the wheelbase and specs will be really close to that cj-5.


my inspiration for this build is here. Marsfab is a local shop that does excellent work on any type of 4wd. This CJ-5 is bad ass!
http://www.nc4x4.com/forums/showthread.php?t=94675

My goal: #1 to build a fun weekend wheeler that seats 2 and can be beaten up with little worry. #2 build it CHEAP! but still dependable. #3 build something i've never seen before.

Plan is to use a Jeep Wrangler 6cylinder, 5spd and NP231 transfer case with all the computer and wiring from whatever model I find (anyone got one they wana sell cheap?)
Final Drivetrain Choice: '01 5.3L LM7 w/ 130k miles, SM465 granny 4spd & NP231 w/ 2wd low.

axles & gearing:
the owner is throwing in a full width ford 9" rear so that is what the rear will consist of. i'll add a spool and run 5.38s probably
front axle: i gota hp44 full width front from a '76 f-150. spool or cheap locker and 5.38s.
Final Axles & Gearing Choice: (Rear) full width ford 9" w/ 5.14 gears, spool and ford 8.8 rear disc brake homebrew conversion. (Front) '76 Ford F150 High Pinion Dana 44 w/ 5.13 gears, Auburn Pro LSD diff & matching 5.13 gears, Chevy 10 bolt/dana 44 knuckles and spindles for left side flattop high steer arm, rebuilt axle as needed.

suspension:
front: SOA with factory rear DJ-5 2.5" springs, relocate and outboard the front hangers to get the extra wheelbase and space to mount the steering box.
rear: SOA with shackles attached to custom built rear bumper using XJ leafs.
Final Suspension Choice: (front) SOA w/ YJ 5-leaf packs (will eventually add extra main leaf), Shackle reversal and 2nd hand gas shocks. (rear) SOA w/ XJ springs flipped, will add durango or ranger extra main leaf because the springs are already sagging, cheapo gas shocks outboarded for extra stability.

steering:
switch to left hand steer unless i can find a right hand wrangler steering box. anyone got one?
flattop knuckles and high steer with tie rod ends.
Final Steering Choice: Ended up keeping the jeep Right Hand Drive with a 2wd Chevy Saginaw steering box w/ custom built pitman arm, 3/4" heim joints and crossover style steering flipped for RHD. Custom steering box mount on outside Right Hand side of framerail.

wheels and tires:
37"-39.5" tires. either iroks, pitbull rockers or maxxis creepy crawlers...whatever i can find the best price on. wheels will be cheap steelies or used beadlocks.
Final Wheel/Tire Choice: 36x13.50x15 Irok Bias Ply tires w/ cheap black steel wheels.

Other additions/changes (that are screwing up my "budget build" : Full Interior Custom cage, Custom rear corner armor, rock sliders, rear cage tied to floor in at least 6 points, Custom bumpers, All new floors, Custom fuel cell mount, Custom motor mounts, etc, etc.

right now i'm gathering parts, scraping and cleaning everything i can so i can get off to a good start and building the suspension.

the cool thing about the mail jeeps is they have a partially boxed early cj-5 frame. they have an 81.5" wheelbase which is the same as early CJ5s and I've just never seem one built so I figured I'd give it a shot.

Last edited by 95yjjeep; 10-25-2012 at 09:58 AM.
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Old 06-21-2011, 07:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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this is what it looked like it got unloaded from the tow truck. you can see the ford 9" also.




yes it did have a fan mounted to the headliner.


removed all the old interior and stuff that is getting scrapped.


my mail jeep next to my yj i just finished.


got the 9" cleaned up and painted.


got to work on the rear.


bumper is built from 2"x4" .188 wall DOM rectangle tubing, 1.5" DOM and custom built bumper mounts. i bent a piece of 1.75" DOM to add a custom touch to the bumper and to keep from running into the shackles if i back up into anything.


i used barnes 4wd spring hangers and some other tabs and brackets. they make super nice / strong parts. i welded up the cross brace and welded the perch on.


another.

Last edited by 95yjjeep; 06-21-2011 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 06-21-2011, 07:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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rear axle in place. the frame width is pretty narrow so i'm going to outboard my shocks as far as possible so it's stable.


shackle angle with weight. i anticipated 200 more lbs of weight and the shackle angle is where i want it.


i started cleaning up the front high pinion dana 44.


painted.


x2. everthing that is painted will be kept. i won't be using the ford knuckles.


rear width.


front 2wd axle, shocks and springs removed.


i had fun with the grinder. i'll add some DOM later on but this will work so i can mock up the front axle.


wirebrushed and painted the frame before i started on the bumper & spring mounts.

Last edited by 95yjjeep; 06-21-2011 at 07:58 PM.
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Old 06-21-2011, 07:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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front bumper welded in.




weld up close.


i welded the inside of the frame also so it's as strong as it can be.


i added some frame stiffeners and i'm mimicking the outboard design that MarsFab did for the cj-5. it's the best looking design i've seen so i thought i'd give it a shot.


you can see the 3/16" plate i cut and welded to the side of the framerail.


up close of the passenger spring hanger welded on.


you can see the front stretch. it should net me about 7" of stretch in the front. the back ended up being 9". the front springs are the rear 2.5" springs that i wirebrushed and threw a coat of paint on. they're probably worn out so if i have to replace them i'll get some 2" bds springs for a yj and use them up front.


this is the frame stiffener where i fully welded in the to top and bottom of the framerail. it shouldn't come off anytime soon.

Last edited by 95yjjeep; 06-21-2011 at 07:40 PM.
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Old 06-21-2011, 07:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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i fab'd up some gussets for the front spring hangers. driver side.


another.


passenger.


i also added a grill hoop tonight to finish up the front bumper / spring hangers. the front end is complete...with paint.


all the tubing used in my build will be 1.75" DOM in .120 wall minimum. simply because i only have a 1.75" die for my jd squared tube bender.


front end painted.


another.
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Old 06-21-2011, 07:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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the shackles i'm using up front are some daystar YJ shackles that i had laying around. i cut them down and re-tapered the angle and re-drilled the 1/2" hole.


vouala!

Last edited by 95yjjeep; 06-21-2011 at 07:43 PM.
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Old 06-21-2011, 07:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Just as a suggestion, Downhill welding on mig is generally frowned upon, I know I got yelled at for doing it in the fab shop even on non structural stuff when i was just starting out.

Not trying to change you or your way's just thought you might like to read the info.

This might help:

The bold section in the "conclusions" section is the fast answer.
Uphill/downhill test results


Build looks sick and i subscribed.
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Last edited by Crawford; 06-21-2011 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 06-21-2011, 08:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
Just as a suggestion, Downhill welding on mig is generally frowned upon, I know I got yelled at for doing it in the fab shop even on non structural stuff when i was just starting out.

Not trying to change you or your way's just thought you might like to read the info.

This might help:

The bold section in the "conclusions" section is the fast answer.
Uphill/downhill test results


Build looks sick and i subscribed.
thanks for the heads up. i learned this technique from an old timer. i'll try the uphill method and see how that works for me.

glad you like the build! i'm excited about it. i'm ready to get some wheels and tires...o yeah, and a motor, tranny, transfer case, etc, etc. haha.
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Old 06-21-2011, 08:21 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by 95yjjeep View Post
thanks for the heads up. i learned this technique from an old timer. i'll try the uphill method and see how that works for me.

glad you like the build! i'm excited about it. i'm ready to get some wheels and tires...o yeah, and a motor, tranny, transfer case, etc, etc. haha.
Yeah, I've played with it myself using fillet welds and I've noticed a lack of penetration as well, considering the nice gusset job you did on the front bumper I think you should be ok .
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Old 06-21-2011, 08:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Cool build! You should Keep the sliding door somehow.
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Old 06-21-2011, 09:08 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
Just as a suggestion, Downhill welding on mig is generally frowned upon, I know I got yelled at for doing it in the fab shop even on non structural stuff when i was just starting out.

Not trying to change you or your way's just thought you might like to read the info.

This might help:

The bold section in the "conclusions" section is the fast answer.
Uphill/downhill test results


Build looks sick and i subscribed.
Meh, thats BS. If you really really know what you are doing with a MIG - downhand welds are just fine.
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Old 06-21-2011, 09:12 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Meh, thats BS. If you really really know what you are doing with a MIG - downhand welds are just fine.
I have never had a single inspector, or instructor suggest "downhand" or "downhill" welding to anyone using mig. I guess they don't know what they're doing though.

Edit:

sorry for hijacking your build thread, no longer replying to the welding topic, it's been debated to death online and in the field. A good book to have is "welding skills by B. J. Moniz" Expensive but will answer any question you probably ever had.
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Last edited by Crawford; 06-21-2011 at 11:18 PM.
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Old 06-21-2011, 10:31 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Off to a good start! My parents both worked for the USPS and brings back good memories of my dad's old postal jeeps. Can't wait to see a build of one! HOWEVER, you got to keep it right side drive, or else it won't be a postal jeep anymore. Subscribed.
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Old 06-21-2011, 11:11 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Vertical Down Welds

Vertical down welds should only be used for sheet metal work where melt through is a concern. They should never be used in a structural situation. AWS D1.1 Structural Steel Welding Code states that vertical down welds should only be used to fix undercut and even then it is required to have a Procedure Qualification Record and a Welding Procedure Specification to use a vert down weld. If I find a vertical down weld in my shop the welder gets aquainted with the carbon arc gouger and a grinder really fast Please research the proper methods of welding before doing anything critical. A really good book that you can pick up for really cheap is The Procedure Handbook of Arc Welding put out by the Lincoln Electric Foundation. This will answer just about any general question about welding.

Can't wait to see how this build turns out. I always liked DJ-5s. Please leave it RHD. That is the best part along with the sliding doors.
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Old 06-22-2011, 04:40 AM   #15 (permalink)
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thanks for the input guys.

i will see what i can do with the right hand drive. i am losing the doors though. no real way to keep them unless i did some gay lambo door mounts or something. i am planning on adding tube doors to the sides. i am definitely keeping the back door and i'll be designing new USPS stickers for the back and sides....i am a graphic designer.

i bought a toyota ifs power steering box for this build to keep it right hand drive but that box is so dang big it'll stick up 6" above the inner framerail on the passenger side which i'm not too happy about. i'll snap a pic of it and see what you guys think.
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Old 06-22-2011, 07:12 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Build is cool always thought of building a dj and its nice to see somethnig different besides one of the million tj's floating on here they are cool too just seems like every other build is one

Last edited by Crawlworks; 06-22-2011 at 07:15 AM.
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Old 06-22-2011, 09:55 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Definitely dig this build! I remember seeing a killer right hand drive DJ well built here. Really sweet and clean work, keep it coming!
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Old 06-22-2011, 10:05 AM   #18 (permalink)
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thanks for the input guys.

i bought a toyota ifs power steering box for this build to keep it right hand drive but that box is so dang big it'll stick up 6" above the inner framerail on the passenger side which i'm not too happy about. i'll snap a pic of it and see what you guys think.

Go full hydro?
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Old 06-22-2011, 10:19 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Use a 80-96 F-150 steering box or a 1988-99 IFS Chevy box. It will sit on the outside of the right side frame rail similar (since they both mount inside of the driver's side rail.
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Old 06-22-2011, 10:43 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Pics in post 5 and 6 broken? Or is it just my computer?
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Old 06-22-2011, 10:46 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Pics in post 5 and 6 broken? Or is it just my computer?

Just you. You don't want to see the pics if downhill welding makes you cry.
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Old 06-22-2011, 10:55 AM   #22 (permalink)
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I would start over on the rear springs, outboarding them as much as possible.
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Old 06-22-2011, 11:01 AM   #23 (permalink)
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I like it. I have always liked the idea of building a Postal Jeep!
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Old 06-22-2011, 02:54 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Build is cool always thought of building a dj and its nice to see somethnig different besides one of the million tj's floating on here they are cool too just seems like every other build is one
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Originally Posted by geberhard View Post
Definitely dig this build! I remember seeing a killer right hand drive DJ well built here. Really sweet and clean work, keep it coming!
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I like it. I have always liked the idea of building a Postal Jeep!
thanks guys! i definitely like the idea of building something a little different. i'm glad you like my work so far. i should have the front shackle mounts done by this weekend. then i'll bolt up my 37" iroks that are mounted on my yj to see how it looks.
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Old 06-22-2011, 02:55 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I would start over on the rear springs, outboarding them as much as possible.
i'll probably 4 link the rear later on. i want to get it rolling again so i can get started on the motor swap. the springs look even narrower since the axle is 67" wide WMS and the body is less than 60" wide.
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