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Old 11-10-2015, 06:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Joel's multipurpose 40 on 41s

New project getting started... 1972 FJ40. This is what happens when you ask a five year old to pose by your new rig.




Backstory first, then on to the build.

Over the last year or so I've been debating putting serious axles and suspension under my current 1999 Jeep Cherokee (which I've loved as a great all around-er kind of vehicle).

The Jeep in question if you're curious.
Joel's multipurpose XJ build (rocks/boulevard) - NAXJA Forums -::- North American XJ Association

I decided to carry over the rocks/boulevard description for this one since that's still pretty much true.

The XJ is simple from the outside but I've had fun building things for it. This is a scratch built tire carrier with two positions for running the spare low or high, all critical welds cleaned up for fatigue resistance.




I made a variety of aluminum armor for it because I can. The top one is a double deck, ribbed and riveted. The exhaust is mandrel bent stainless so a big mid skid helped me in keeping that happy.






You know that old joke about sending your girlfriend to buy muffler bearings at the car shop? Yep, I ran one... It's linear bearing for thermal expansion and moves about 3/8" as the car warms up.




Anyways, Polaris RZRs have been ruining my perception of happy power-to-weight off road. That said, most of the side by sides on the market are really fragile and seem to be constantly breaking drive-line stuff. I was at a ride and drive event where we didn't have enough vehicles and so I jumped in my XJ and started taking folks on hot laps. On the one hand, my rig was pretty capable and will go most places. However, at the end of it I was forced to admit: The I6 4.0L that everyone in the Jeep world seems to love...

...is kinda gutless...

So I could add an LS swap to the wheels, tires, axles and lockers I was looking at, but then I'd end up spending a total of $17k on a vehicle that would never be worth more than 11k or so. And I live in CA so I'd have still smog challenges with an engine swap. Time to go shopping. I'd looked casually a few times and never seen much that got me jazzed. However, the very same night I decided the XJ's power train wasn't up to it, I ran into one I was so stoked on I literally walked straight into the kitchen with laptop and told my wife I wanted to buy a vehicle.

A couple weeks and a few crazy logistics later, I have a new project to introduce...

Last edited by RustyNailJustin; Today at 07:59 PM. Reason: Title
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Old 11-10-2015, 06:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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1972 Land Cruiser, though really how much of a Land Cruiser is left is up for debate.



Clean 1972 title
2000 vette LS
Turbo 400 trans
Atlas 4 speed transfer case
Double triangulated links front and rear
Dana 60 front, 14B rear (both shaved)
ORI struts
and a big stack of spare parts:



Most of the frame and driveline work is complete, but the other hand, there's no exhaust, no cooling, no electrical, and minimal floorboards. The body has been cut and boat sided by about 5" with 3" of that cut out of the door frames. I have doors but they need to be shortened.

Oh, and because I'm an idiot I can never buy interesting vehicles locally I picked this up in Kennewick WA and I live near Disneyland. I maybe should have had it shipped but I really wanted to see it in person and a road trip sounds rad.

There's a heck of a lot of country on the west coast between it's northern and southern ends:




Even saw some rain (this was sunrise front of my in-laws place in Clarkston on the Idaho border)




Good news was that I picked on my of oldest buddies halfway up CA and so it was bro time for ~32 of the 46 hours in the car.




Tow vehicle gives a better idea of scale.




And now it's home... My kids dig the "new Jeep" and I might let the name stick since it amuses me greatly (sacrilege I know).


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Old 11-10-2015, 06:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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There's a steering ram up front but no dash, no instruments and no steering wheel (have the OEM in a box but unlikely to run it). Former owner could certainly weld though.




Back is pretty small considering I'm coming from an XJ. Going to need some careful packaging for sure.




Nice looking node up in the roof.




Shock towers are in and the geometry looks good, but some additional welding needed. Last guy was pretty clever with use of removable cross members which will help serviceability.




Not only is the rear 14 bolt trussed, he actually sleeved each of the dimple die locations to keep it from packing with mud. There's a bunch of spots where this kind of attention to detail shows. My kinda builder for sure.


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Old 11-10-2015, 06:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Only about 1/3 of the floorboards exist so I have a ton of fab work ahead of me. Somehow I need to snake headers and exhaust through the boat sides and custom headers took me stupid amounts of time last time (I also have a 429 ci LS2 RX7).




There's also a good bit of rust I'll need to deal with. It's doesn't need to be perfect but once I get into it, the temptation of pushing it that extra little bit is going to be high... :halo:




The goal is really just to be a faster, more fun, more hardcore version of the XJ I'm replacing (which I loved for being an all around performer). I want it to be capable offroad in the rocks and desert whoop-de-woos. Running fast in dirt is a ton of fun so the extra power should help. The heavy axles won't help going fast but that comes with not wanting to have to baby throttle in the rocks.

I want to be able to take the family camping and haul stuff at Home Depot. Frankly just the thought of loading up the roof of this with plywood makes me smile. Do I have and idea what it'll take to make a load path to do that? Nope, but I can figure it out.

It also needs to be able to tow. I want to be able to haul cars in a pinch and I'll likely need a smaller trailer for camping. That's one of the things that has me stoked about the strut setup. From what I've read on the ORI's, it sounds like changing pressure on both sides sounds of the piston will let me change the effective spring rate.

Last but not least, it'll serve as a fall back to the RX7 when that's getting work done. In the meantime I need to get the RX7 back on the road with a quickness so I still can't really get into this for some time yet. I'd really like to have it stashed in the garage and that can't happen until the garage is functional and given we bought our first home about a year ago, there's been a ton of work on attics, lights, electrical etc, going on.

Hope y'all like it.
-Joel

Last edited by frjiolee; 11-10-2015 at 07:23 PM.
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Old 11-10-2015, 08:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks for posting! I like it. We have all have dreams of the ultimate rig that can Run a Ultra4 race on Friday and pickup plywood at Home Depot on Saturday.
I am excited to see what you can pull off. It looks like a really good starting point.
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Old 11-10-2015, 09:49 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Was wondering who got that thing, great start an looks like you'll be adding to the cool factor. It's the because I can build
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Old 11-10-2015, 09:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Looking forward to this
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Old 11-11-2015, 03:17 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Awesome project for sure. What's the wheelbase on this thing. With full hydro, I dont know if I would want to tow vehicles with it, but everything else on your list seems very doable.

Im looking forward to this build for sure.
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Old 11-11-2015, 08:53 AM   #9 (permalink)
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110" wb, 82" to outside of tires. Fits on a standard 7' wide car trailer but barely.

Billavista's tech articles on full hydro steering were really what gives me hope of running full hydro reliably. It sounds like some of the issues with centering and feel can be addressed with careful design. Getting a value with "manual mode" built in also dang important to me since I will haul my family in this and having no steering on loss of power isn't acceptable.

BillaVista.com-Performance Off-Road Systems Hydraulic Steering Tech Article by BillaVista

As to towing... I'm not saying it has to tow well as I don't think I'd try anything too crazy, but hauling cars on flat roads at 55 mph is hopefully doable. I'll start with a little utility trailer and work my way up.

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Old 11-13-2015, 05:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Glad to see this build being finished here. I'm now planning on how I can get rid of my 4runner, keep some kind of POS wheeler, and start building a 40 similar to yours.
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Old 11-20-2015, 11:15 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Ok, just so I can say I've been doing something on the FJ.

I did make a quick car cover. This won't make it into the garage until the RX7 vacates space and I a) didn't want to admit to my HOA how rough this is and b) wanted to keep it out of the elements and try to keep all that bare steel from rusting immediately.

Took some misc car cover I had and tried it. It fit over but wasn't close to covering tires so I cut up and sewed in a tarp. Random frijolee fact: I know how to sew, iron, cut hair, and cook. My mother is so proud...






Discovered Harbor Freight sells a DIY tarp grommet kit. Sweet. That'll help keep things in place...




I was out of town on a week when we had rain on the horizon. No time to get a proper cover made (California Car Cover can do so, but it'd be better if I had the fenders done and sitting at ride height). I checked whether the cover I had was water proof and was meet with a resounding no. I at least opened it all up to see if I could get some plastic under it.

FYI, I kinda get the impression there will be a lot of pictures taken in the dark on this project.

Good news is that I jacked it up to check out what ride height might be. Looks wicked, but this sucker is going to be big!






And I did have enough drop cloth lying around to get it protected as best I could on short notice.






I really need to paint the raw steel with something, but I can't easily do that until I get this on a slab in my backyard (which still needs to be poured).

-Joel
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Old 11-20-2015, 11:52 AM   #12 (permalink)
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It does make the Jeep look kinda small.
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Old 11-20-2015, 01:04 PM   #13 (permalink)
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It does make the Jeep look kinda small.
No kidding! I was laughing about that the whole time. Should look even nuttier once I make fenders for the FJ (CA requirement).
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Old 11-20-2015, 01:19 PM   #14 (permalink)
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that thing looks nasty. looking forward to this build
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Old 11-21-2015, 11:47 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I think full hydro will be fine on the street. My only suggestion if you plan on doing this is to get a higher turn lock to lock orbital. Something with 3 or higher turns lock to lock should work well. Also get a return to center orbital.
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Old 11-21-2015, 06:08 PM   #16 (permalink)
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that thing looks nasty. looking forward to this build
So is his HOA
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Old 11-22-2015, 07:59 AM   #17 (permalink)
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To keep that bare steel fresh without painting, try mavcoat. My stock class race truck has no paint on anything but body panels. You can weld over it, it lasts for a long time.
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Old 11-23-2015, 10:03 AM   #18 (permalink)
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So is his HOA
That's why I need to get my slab poured! That work is queued up to start December 1.

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To keep that bare steel fresh without painting, try mavcoat. My stock class race truck has no paint on anything but body panels. You can weld over it, it lasts for a long time.
Interesting looking stuff. Couple links:

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/08...37263064986937

https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/08...37263064986937

My question was whether it was paintable or not. These guys are right up the street from me so I called and talked to them. Answer: since it displaces water, you have to remove it if you want to paint. However, per the folks I talked to should come off without much difficulty with a good wipe down of MEK or Acetone.

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Old 12-01-2015, 01:25 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Slab work is starting today so I'm getting excited and starting the planning stages. Since this rig has a long way to go I'm working my way through parts and priorities.

In back, rear seats have priority so I ordered a Bestop TrailMax II from a Jeep CJ application. Once I have that mocked in I can finalize fuel tank plans and verify how much storage I may or may not have left in back.

I'm thinking that pedals and steering mounting come next. Snaking headers won't be easy but since I'm planning custom headers I'd rather force those to compensate. I'll likely need to push the firewall forward somewhat.

Radiator I can move on pretty quickly as I don't think anything besides the winch controller is competing for space up front.

Does anyone have recommendations on a high (higher) mount alternator for the vette LS1? I have a conflict to resolve as some part prioritization has already occurred.



Recommendations on remote mount air conditioning units would be helpful as well. Not sure if vintage air has anything like that, but there's no way it's fitting down in the stock location.

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Old 12-01-2015, 01:53 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Where are you located? I've got a corbeau suspension bench that fits between the wheel wells collecting dust and still in the wrapper that I'll let go at significant savings if you can pick it up in San Diego.
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Old 12-01-2015, 04:57 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Where are you located? I've got a corbeau suspension bench that fits between the wheel wells collecting dust and still in the wrapper that I'll let go at significant savings if you can pick it up in San Diego.
Thanks for the offer... I think I may have seen that earlier and was tempted. My front buckets are Corbeau already. The downside was that narrowest Corbeau bench seats were 36" wide and I'm sitting right at 34" at a few frame notches for the rear suspension travel. I might have been able to cut or modify it, but the added effort was high for a small savings.

If the Bestop matches poorly, I'll let you know. Supposedly they are 34" so I've got a shot. Summit had a black friday deal going so I'm only into this $230. You did have the 36" wide one right?

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Old 12-01-2015, 06:17 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Wicked 40 build you have going on.
Look at what Randy @ Bomber fab is building regarding your alternator relocation. This product thread is on page one in the vendor section under Engine, Trans n TCASE
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Old 12-01-2015, 07:17 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Thanks for the offer... I think I may have seen that earlier and was tempted. My front buckets are Corbeau already. The downside was that narrowest Corbeau bench seats were 36" wide and I'm sitting right at 34" at a few frame notches for the rear suspension travel. I might have been able to cut or modify it, but the added effort was high for a small savings.

If the Bestop matches poorly, I'll let you know. Supposedly they are 34" so I've got a shot. Summit had a black friday deal going so I'm only into this $230. You did have the 36" wide one right?
I think so. It is whichever width don told me to get and fit between the factory fender wells (I ordered it when I was deployed). I can check the width if you decide you want it. I'm asking $250 for the $350 seat.

Regarding accessory brackets, I'm using Drew's stuff from Goat Built (also in the vendor section). Check the Kaiyote thread for pictures of where they put things. I think he's got brackets for both car and truck spacing.
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Old 12-03-2015, 04:25 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Wicked 40 build you have going on.
Look at what Randy @ Bomber fab is building regarding your alternator relocation. This product thread is on page one in the vendor section under Engine, Trans n TCASE
That's a really trick setup. Thanks for the tip. It would mean switching over to F-body stuff, but that's not too big a deal.

Direct link if anyone else is curious:
Bomber Fab LS Motor Billet Alternator Brackets – Bomber Fabrication

Anyone have thoughts on an appropriate power capacity? It's an extra $165 to jump from their standard 105 amp to 140 amp capacity. Winch and maybe some extra lights are the only non standard power draws I'd be planning.

I have extremely limited space to put a muffler so this sucker will likely be kinda loud. I may or may not put a radio in it at all.
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Old 12-09-2015, 01:07 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Back seat came in and kids seem to like it.



This is a Bestop Trailmax II Fold and Tumble, picked up from Summit on Black Friday. Bestop TrailMax II Fold and Tumble Seats 39440-01 - Free Shipping on Orders Over $99 at Summit Racing

Not quite as hardcore as a suspension seat but the lost space with big bolsters on each side was going to hurt me. This actually measures right around 33.5" wide (a touch under the published 34" spec so it should be perfect for me. I ordered not knowing for sure whether car seats would fit but that looks like it'll be fine.

It is short though.




Even with the headrest all the way up it lands just below centerline on my noggin (your average 6' white dude).

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