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Old 10-06-2014, 10:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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FJ40verland build - more questions than answers

As many might have seen, I've been asking a lot of questions about axles, transfer cases, and such recently... really, there is a purpose.

So rather than starting at the beginning, I'm starting the thread with what happened today. I'll fill in the blanks about how I ended up with this and why later

Progress update:
new to me front axle which still has its bits inside (as opposed to the one that came with the rig that was missing bits)


the transfer case will not go in through the top...


that block of wood is a new way of mounting motors (hehe)


the trans pan is flat to the frame, the engine is at 7* and the transfer case is just below the frame (failure)....



That means I might be cutting the floor to move it up... though I need to set the bottom link suspension brackets to be sure... I might make a skid plate or skid plate mount that also holds the suspension parts....

with headers... or better, did you know that S-10 conversion headers will work pretty slick for this project?




and with the steering box sitting about where it goes


so I measured a tentative rear driveshaft... 18".... that is too short, I'm going with a 38" or 40" tire - so I can move the axle back 3 1/2" to give me a 24" (on an angle) driveshaft... which is better. I guess the thing this really determined is a gear splitter (which is 7" longer) is a bad idea and I need to go with the Atlas case (which is more expensive)... however, if I lower the motor, things could be better.... I dunno, will have to give this some thought
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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As I figure that posting your project on Pirate is the 4x4 equivalent of having your Doctoral thesis peer reviewed before publishing - I welcome input. I have a plan in mind, short wheelbase, stone-cold reliable, cheap to run with the parts I have build.... with that said, started my 1950 Buick Sedanet as a mere engine rebuild for a 70 Skylark that would be cool with turbos. Today, it's still not done and I have more of everything in the car... twin turbos, sleeved motor, girdled, roller cam (455), aluminum head 16 injector, MS3x controller... anyway, the point is, I'm willing to listen to other ideas... but with that said, I already have a project that has utter spun out of control (with no end in sight)... this project fills the time while I wait for things I can't (machining) to happen.

with that said, the next post starts the story.
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Plenty of Clubs in the North West. Cascade Cruisers is my old club. Lots of great help .
Join the PNW4x4 club. worth ever penny!!

Ditch that steering box, do a GM box. Attention to the Dist and firewall are what you need to keep in mind.

X-case from the top, (face palm).....................

Thats a pre 76 front, time for a disc set up. HINT.... same parts as a Mini truck!!! 76 vented rotors, 86 calipers...........

Fucking Yuppys priced me outa the LC market, had 7 at last count. Now its CJs.......

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Old 10-06-2014, 10:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My first 4x4 was a 1971 FJ40 with an unlikely 302 ford motor in it. It really was (and I'm utterly a GM guy) the perfect motor for it. 33" tires and the short stroke large bore 302 was a excellent match. I was in college (1989) at the time. Eventually it tried to kill me with carbon monoxide poisoning so I sold it (dumb move, but I was a kid so fricken sue me). Since then I've owned 7 FJ40s, 2 with 302s, the other 5 with straight 6s in them. I cut my teeth on the Rubicon trail with one of those straight 6 beasts.... I still miss the stares of people wondering why I kept shifting the automatic (3 on the tree).... it was a 57 (don't start, FJ40 folks, I know they didn't import them until 59 - but the title said 57 - so argue with the state of Nevada, not me).

This one came on a lark. I was an avid bicyclist - but got hit enough times by either dumb, inattentive drivers (and a couple on purpose) that it finally started hurting more to ride than I got enjoyment... and then this was posted.

how could you not fall in love with that? best of all, I traded my last road-race bike for it... it was a nice bike, but still, a depreciating asset in trade for one that appreciates... especially since I had some of the major bits hanging around like the motor, trans, and rear axle (now do you understand why I was leaning towards a Ford 9"?)
I figured I'd build with a Vortec 350, roller cam, 350 hp/400 torque motor, I considered, then dismissed after a discussion on here using an AX15. I'd love a NV4500, and even thought I had one ready to go - but he sold it the day before.. so at this point, it's a turbo 350 which will more likely be a 4L60e before it's said and done... I was going to use a Dana 300, but again, you folks convinced me that for the slight weight savings - a NP205 would be a better choice.
why, I don't know, but someone put a minitruck rear in this '40, with like 2.23 gears and a locker... but I have 9" fords, lots of 9" fords... so a call to avtek for their truss and I'm in business (though still looking for a 4.11 third member).


I have a Corvette with manual steering, I love it - but I'm not in love with it for 4x4s...


I bought a Scout 2 box... in seeing what people were doing, I really liked the minority who used the scout box because it moves the box back into the engine compartment (so I can put a winch other than a 8274 on it)


so beside these, I actually bought (which is a new one for me) all the cut parts to put a 3 link/panhard front and 4 link double triangulated rear suspension


at this moment, I'm planning on using lift coil springs from a JK or similar front and rear... but I may find some Kings and that would change.

what's kind of funny (to me) is I found one of the original wheel cylinders from my 1st FJ

what's funny about it is this... I was a college kid who had been around cars most of his life, but didn't know a lot about cars (and was too afraid to look silly to ask... now, I don't have that problem - if I know, I know, if I don't... I'll ask)... but the 1st 40 had terrible brakes. I spent a lot of money on a mechanic trying to fix it.... went through several master cylinders... just before I sold it, I found out the problem when I accidently hit my brake pedal while my dad was standing by.... only 2 shoes were working on the entire truck - all the rest were frozen... rebuild them, bought like $10 worth of rebuild seals and I had brakes....
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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So I have plenty of 4x4s... and it's just my wife and I.
her rig

that she uses for her K9 Search and rescue activities
her search dog (there are two of them, they look very similar)


my DD

and dog


and a D2 that I'm putting a 300 TDI diesel (I'm irritated at it because I bought it from a crook - and at this point, I don't know if I'll ever drive it even if I finish it - the latest was the removed some of the seal between the adapter and transmission - so it leaks and I need to pull the trans again to fix it.)


If I could have come up with a clever argument, the motor from the D2 would be in the land cruiser... hell, toyota took LR's axle design, and they both are right/right differentials... it'd truly be a bolt in... but alas, my wife wanted the diesel and I "made" her pay for it, so technically it's hers.... and while the State of Washington says community property, I don't want to divorce her to get the motor...so there it rests and soon (like within 6 weeks soon, it will be running)...

my truck
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Old 10-06-2014, 10:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I like IT! BUT a Toy needs Toy axles and X-Case.. That Vette is sweet!!

Your rig, do what u want.

Let me guess, you have a Med Card for the herb??

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Old 10-06-2014, 10:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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1. Don't get hung up on having a "flat belly," with a shorter wheelbase it may actually worsen important things like driveshaft angles.

2. A th350 and np205 sucks for anything that you would like to use the word "crawling" after. Snow, rock, etc. Unless your overland build requires a true twin stick transfer case with front dig, a np 241 or 208 may be better suited and will gain you nearly a full point in reduction. Just saw that you mentioned a 4l60e, to which I would say that is a great option, with the 241 that it came with. Lower first gear and OD, what's not to like?

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Old 10-06-2014, 10:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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lol @ herbs, but no, I'm doing this sober

I've thought seriously about the 241, but other than the bolt on rear plate - there is no way to get rid of the slip yoke. The slip yoke just isn't long enough for the travel I want from the suspension. I raced a turbo 350 for years, they can be made pretty stout... here's my prediction, in the end it will be a 4L60e with all the goodies and an Atlas 2 (I dream about a 4 speed Atlas, but, while I'm pretty good at arguing, that argument wouldn't even start to fly with my better half).
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Old 10-06-2014, 11:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I suppose there is some explanation about this '40. The guy I bought it from has 2 '40s. One has a Toyota diesel in it that is not parallel with the frame, he got this '40 because he wanted a quick project... the diesel would have been quicker - but I digress, when I looked at the rig, I swear I thought the front driveshaft was in it.... it wasn't, nor was there anything in the front differential. (when I asked him about it, I honestly believe he had no clue... nor did the PO to him know... really). I had noticed the centered rear, but kind of dismissed it... once I started working on it, I found the transfer case had been gutted, then some kind of redneck engineered yoke was bolted onto the transmission output shaft.... as I already had the 9" ford, and a bunch of parts for it, it was a simple solution to use the 9" (especially since I knew I was doing a linked suspension)... 9" are the sbc of rear diffs, everyone makes parts for them and they are cheap...
the transfer case, not centered rear differential - so it was a non-starter (unless I'd figured out how to pry that 300 tdi from my wife) even so, I'd have used the Land Rover differential.
With that said, the front differential is looking to stay Toyota; but truth be told, that will be the only metric bolts on the entire rig... Years ago, I was a Toyota fan, Toyota made me not so much of a Toyota fan with a car that should have been lemon'd, but wasn't and was sold to me without telling me that it was bought back... anyway, all toyota is a non-starter.

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Old 10-07-2014, 12:51 AM   #10 (permalink)
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JB conversions makes a SYE for 241
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lol @ herbs, but no, I'm doing this sober

I've thought seriously about the 241, but other than the bolt on rear plate - there is no way to get rid of the slip yoke. The slip yoke just isn't long enough for the travel I want from the suspension. I raced a turbo 350 for years, they can be made pretty stout... here's my prediction, in the end it will be a 4L60e with all the goodies and an Atlas 2 (I dream about a 4 speed Atlas, but, while I'm pretty good at arguing, that argument wouldn't even start to fly with my better half).
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Old 10-07-2014, 07:37 AM   #11 (permalink)
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lol @ herbs, but no, I'm doing this sober

I've thought seriously about the 241, but other than the bolt on rear plate - there is no way to get rid of the slip yoke. The slip yoke just isn't long enough for the travel I want from the suspension. I raced a turbo 350 for years, they can be made pretty stout... here's my prediction, in the end it will be a 4L60e with all the goodies and an Atlas 2 (I dream about a 4 speed Atlas, but, while I'm pretty good at arguing, that argument wouldn't even start to fly with my better half).
I wasn't referring to the strength of a th350, I was referring to the total lack of gear reduction with your planned combo. My first 40 came with that exact setup and it sucked. I swapped it out in favor of a 700r4 and atlas, but that is more than an overland build needs, IMO. There are SYE kits out there for the 241.
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Old 10-07-2014, 08:58 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I wasn't referring to the strength of a th350, I was referring to the total lack of gear reduction with your planned combo. My first 40 came with that exact setup and it sucked. I swapped it out in favor of a 700r4 and atlas, but that is more than an overland build needs, IMO. There are SYE kits out there for the 241.
I see that... I'm going the direction you're at with the 700/atlas... but at this point, I'm going to run what I've got - I'm rebuilding the motor so it's new with a better cam and doing the suspension (along with lockers). The budget won't allow (baring finding a super deal) those other two bits. However, it's pretty easy to swap a trans and transfer case. Plus, I will be watching for those bits over the course of the 12-18 months it's going to take to get this on the road.

Also weighing against it, I have an H3 Alpha with the 4:1 case and lockers front and rear... it weighs 1000 lbs more than the '40 - and in my wheeling with it, low range is pretty much useless.... I can't imagine that will change with the '40, however, I will build it with that capability eventually. I figure if I build it, I'll use it. I built a CRF500R and thought that the 500 was not necessary or at worse would kill me... now, I can't imagine having a 250.

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Old 10-07-2014, 10:14 AM   #13 (permalink)
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We're saying the same things...... the atlas is more than what is necessary both in strength and gearing for what you are saying that you want. I'm just providing my experience with a th350/ 205. Sure, you can swap a trans and case later but the 700r4/4l60e and atlas is 2+" longer. Just make sure you have several inches of "wiggle room" when doing your suspension bracketry and cross members. There is only so much room to work with.
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Old 10-07-2014, 10:23 AM   #14 (permalink)
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We're saying the same things...... the atlas is more than what is necessary both in strength and gearing for what you are saying that you want. I'm just providing my experience with a th350/ 205. Sure, you can swap a trans and case later but the 700r4/4l60e and atlas is 2+" longer. Just make sure you have several inches of "wiggle room" when doing your suspension bracketry and cross members. There is only so much room to work with.
I hear that... 18" is the length of the driveshaft right now and the angles are already terrible with the stock suspension. I'm going up 4" to clear the 38s, but also I'm going to move the axle rearward 3 1/2" (the highly technical way I determined 3 1/2 was the 38 is 7" greater diameter than the 31 tires on it... 3 1/2" keeps the front of the tire in the same place). I want shortest possible wheelbase (along with narrowest)...

this might help others understand why. I do search and rescue. Many things we do include driving up trails to rescue people, those trails are very narrow and full of obstacles - a quad doesn't have the clearance or people hauling capacity, the 6 wheel gator has the same issue (ground clearance)... so the narrower the better and the shorter wheelbase the better because most of the hiking trails have tight switchbacks.

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Old 10-07-2014, 10:31 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I was at 103" wb and my driveline was around that length (18-20"). My saving grace was that I had a hp60 rear axle. I also only ran about 2" of lift and ran up to a true 42" tall tire.

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Old 10-07-2014, 12:58 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I like the 241. You can find a 4l60 with a 241 all day for cheap. OR since it is overland, throw a 4l80 in there with the 241. Stretch the wheelbase a little in back, so call it a day.

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Old 10-08-2014, 09:40 PM   #17 (permalink)
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so did a bit more tonight
shock mounts need to go...

so I can set the steering box in place... ironically, it's the wooden motor mount that's now in the way.. but to fix that I need to set the motor


​and I am using the radiator from the Studebaker.... it kept the 500 caddy cool, so it should be fine for this.

tonights issue, though, and I'd like input.... the steering box... do I move the front axle forward 2"? if so, do I use the long Scout 2 arm or do I make a shorter one to get the ratio correct between the arm and the panhard bar? what if I don't move it forward? on most of the Scout 2 box stuff I've seen, people were keeping their leaf springs and the shock mount - thus the box was pretty much forced into the space between the shock mount and the radiator support. I don't have that issue...

thoughts?
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Old 10-09-2014, 08:45 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I understand your desire to stay at a short wheelbase, but packaging in a 4 link along with a non-stock drivetrain will be tough. It will most likely turn into a "well this is the only place it fits, so I guess it will have to go here". Not saying it can't be done and done well, but it will be cramped.

I pushed my rear axle back ~13" which has a 37" tire sticking out about 3" passed the back of the tub. My total wheelbase is 108.5".

Either way, I look forward to see this move along.
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Old 10-09-2014, 12:32 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I understand your desire to stay at a short wheelbase, but packaging in a 4 link along with a non-stock drivetrain will be tough. It will most likely turn into a "well this is the only place it fits, so I guess it will have to go here". Not saying it can't be done and done well, but it will be cramped.

I pushed my rear axle back ~13" which has a 37" tire sticking out about 3" passed the back of the tub. My total wheelbase is 108.5".

Either way, I look forward to see this move along.
I think you're right.... I did this math on another site
As it sits, the rear driveshaft is 18", I'm moving the rear back 3 1/2" to account for the 38s I'm planning on running, but that still makes a terribly short driveshaft - how bad? I plan on at least 12" of suspension travel.... doing my abc math (18" 30* and 90*) the driveshaft would need to be 27" to extend at full drop (and 53* driveshaft angle).... as they don't make stretchy driveshafts.... something must give... so by moving the axle back 3 1/2" .... I only need a 16 1/2" to 29" driveshaft at compression / full drop respectively with "only" a 48* driveshaft angle... 48* is within CV range... 53 is not. However, the combo case is 7" longer... the math on that is pretty bad - 23" driveshaft, and 66* driveshaft angle....
I was thinking of chopping the floorboard and moving the transfer case up; but I think that'd be dumb (at least, knowing what I know, I don't see how it would worth with my stated goal of stone-cold reliable)
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Old 10-09-2014, 12:41 PM   #20 (permalink)
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You need to lower something (tcase, lift height, etc)
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Old 10-09-2014, 12:43 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Its an overland build. Forget the flat belly. Its not a big deal.

a 16" driveshaft will vibrate like crazy unless you are runnig a super nice CV. I say stretch that WB as far as you can.

I am at 108" and I still think I would like to go longer. I want the room for a doubler in there. I just ordered my rear shaft and its 27" long. I have room for a longer drivetrain if I want it (which is the direction I was going).

38's with a short wheelbase (under 100) is not advisable. The more you stretch it the better you are.

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Old 10-09-2014, 01:48 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Not a single thing you're attempting would I describe as "overland" in terms of build. Overlanding is a fucking yuppy word for "camping in style" here in the US. Everywhere else it describes self sufficiency and reliability as the foremost thoughts in designing a vehicle build. Nothing you've described in the building of your 40 remotely resembles any of the above statements.
Now, do you want a 40 you can drive to places like Fordyce, Rubicon, and Hammers and then hopefully make it home afterwords? Then I think you're possibly on the right track, but you also need to think of an end product and do your build to attain that goal.
As many have said, a short wheelbase on a 40 and links don't go together. You just don't have the space to make it work without sacrificing a proper link set-up. Not in the manner you're going anyway.
I'm at 102" on 37's with a pretty low belly height, and will move up to 38.5's for some extra axle clearance after the new year. That all being said, I'm running FJ60 axles with a 3" width advantage over the 40 axle and wouldn't at all want to be taller than the truck already sits with a shorter wheelbase and narrower track width. Talk about a tippy beast if that were the case.
I'd really sort what your desired outcome is from your build before moving further forward, just so you don't have to redo a ton of stuff.
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Old 10-09-2014, 04:22 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Not a single thing you're attempting would I describe as "overland" in terms of build. Overlanding is a fucking yuppy word for "camping in style" here in the US. Everywhere else it describes self sufficiency and reliability as the foremost thoughts in designing a vehicle build. Nothing you've described in the building of your 40 remotely resembles any of the above statements.
Now, do you want a 40 you can drive to places like Fordyce, Rubicon, and Hammers and then hopefully make it home afterwords? Then I think you're possibly on the right track, but you also need to think of an end product and do your build to attain that goal.
As many have said, a short wheelbase on a 40 and links don't go together. You just don't have the space to make it work without sacrificing a proper link set-up. Not in the manner you're going anyway.
I'm at 102" on 37's with a pretty low belly height, and will move up to 38.5's for some extra axle clearance after the new year. That all being said, I'm running FJ60 axles with a 3" width advantage over the 40 axle and wouldn't at all want to be taller than the truck already sits with a shorter wheelbase and narrower track width. Talk about a tippy beast if that were the case.
I'd really sort what your desired outcome is from your build before moving further forward, just so you don't have to redo a ton of stuff.
well fuck then, I'll just burn it all to the ground.

oh yeah, I use this for overlanding now... and I've done overlanding since, well, before it was called overlanding.





while your advice is entertaining... I think, rather than burning it to the ground, I'll listen to those who'd rather tell how to make it work than telling me it doesn't work. Yeah, I get it, it won't climb rocks... yet somehow Jeep manages to sell a bijillion linked JKs and that don't tip over.

anything else you'd like to say before you're ignored?

oh yeah, and I do sell tickets to the "I told you so convention"... until that conventions occurs - stfu. There, now you can see I can do dickhead too.
there is no chance on this entire planet that I'm driving the '40 16 hours to Rubicon (or further to the Johnson valley)... this rig is for the wheeling I do here.

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Old 10-09-2014, 04:26 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Its an overland build. Forget the flat belly. Its not a big deal.

a 16" driveshaft will vibrate like crazy unless you are runnig a super nice CV. I say stretch that WB as far as you can.

I am at 108" and I still think I would like to go longer. I want the room for a doubler in there. I just ordered my rear shaft and its 27" long. I have room for a longer drivetrain if I want it (which is the direction I was going).

38's with a short wheelbase (under 100) is not advisable. The more you stretch it the better you are.

Dima
16" is full compression, but I agree, that is too short - which is why the motor is going forward as far as I can get it and the rear end is going back 3 1/2"...

Let me frame this again, I play in the snow and the less you have hanging under the vehicle the better. Will it be flat? no, but that is the direction I want to tend. At this point, I think the wheelbase will be somewhere around 95" - moving the front forward 2 1/2" and the back rearward 3 1/2" Add the 2" I think I've found to move the drivetrain forward, and the rear driveshaft should be about 24" at rest...

As for the overland stuff, I plan on building a trailer with everything my camper has it in along with the RTT on top of the trailer

by way of background, I started wheeling in college (87) with a guy named Jim Bean. He ran a 50s MB on 44s - he managed this with a 4" lift. His motor was a 327. I only saw the rig off its wheels once in 2 years of wheeling... and that was sitting on his tail lights. He was doing wheelies in the parking lot of the local mall and got on it a bit too hard.
recently a friend did roll his MB on 38s... but in that case, I think a tank would have rolled too...

I've my eyes wide open on the balancing act, but if it doesn't go where I needs it to go - then it truly would be a worthless build. I need a vehicle that fits down a forest service trail that has more travel than a quad, and more capacity than a 6 wheeled john deere. It needs to tread as softly as possible so that when doing rescues, the tree huggers are impressed at how softly it goes up the trail.... We get shit clearing trails in the spring because we drive our rigs up abandoned logging roads...

Last edited by SuperBuickGuy; 10-09-2014 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 10-09-2014, 11:16 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I dropped it down about 2", but now it hangs at least 6" below the frame. Maybe clocking it would be the right option. Before I do that; I'm going to get the axles where they belong and visualize the links.... maybe the right thing to do would be attach the lower arms to the back of the skid plate (and front) if that works, then the case can stay this low.
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