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Old 12-02-2018, 05:26 PM   #126 (permalink)
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Look here!



Managed to get out and do some wheeling!

Kept it pretty mild on the maiden voyage, but sure did have a lot of fun. Ran around with some Jeeps for a while. No action shots, only a few posers!









Max stuff worked out perfect for these tires, will have to figure out something for fitting 40s though!






And the carnage:





Couple scratches on the skid plate and beadlock rings, made for a PERFECT first trip in my eyes!

Rig performed great, felt super stable and far more capable than anything I've ever been in before. Will need to swap the 100/150 springs out back for 150/150 ASAP though. I'm not sure if the springs broke in a little or something, but pretty quick after getting there I was riding 1" from getting into the bumpstops. Didn't bother to mess with preload anymore because I've already got it cranked pretty good, enough that I know these springs got to go to get where I want to be. Definitely got used to hearing the stops hit the pads today.

I loved how stable it felt, although even with the swaybar in the softest position I feel like the front suspension does more work than the rear. I'm not sure that is bad though? Definitely makes it feel predictable, but I'm concerned that going up a spring rate out back is going to make this more exaggerated. Maybe it wont be so bad once the rear is sitting at the right height?

Going into the weekend we had 6+" of snow on the ground so I was not super pumped on taking this thing out because I'm not a big fan of snow wheeling but it rained A LOT Saturday and today it was about 50 degrees so the snow was basically all gone...which was great! Lots of water holes, thankfully the Michigan sand kept it from being too sloppy and muddy though.

Was a great outing, already ready to get back out there. Probably going to have to head south once or twice this winter...I'm not going to be able to wait until April-May to do this again.

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Old 12-02-2018, 06:11 PM   #127 (permalink)
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Great build! Glad you got out to use it 🤘🏻
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Old 12-04-2018, 09:23 PM   #128 (permalink)
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Looks great!

Are the specs in the beginning of the thread still accurate?

15" stretch?
110" wheelbase?
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Old 12-04-2018, 10:39 PM   #129 (permalink)
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Looks great!

Are the specs in the beginning of the thread still accurate?

15" stretch?
110" wheelbase?
Ended up with 14.5" stretch and 110.5" wheelbase!
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Old 12-05-2018, 09:35 AM   #130 (permalink)
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great work. nice to see you rescue that thing! Cheers!
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Old 01-13-2019, 05:03 PM   #131 (permalink)
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So after that run I spent the next nice weekend cleaning it up real good to inspect everything. All looked good which made me happy. It was about 45 degrees so I decided to take it out for a short cruise on the open road where we identified our first issue. I noticed it first about 50 mph, then a little later at 30 mph too - some driveline vibration. I pulled it back into the barn and first thing grabbed the front driveshaft and gave it a shake...the pinion was wobbling. I later figured out that I must not have tightened down the pinion nut enough when swapping the yoke for new driveshaft, however at the time I thought one or both of the bearings must be going bad.

If you recall from way back in the thread when I introduced the axles, the front only had a limited slip and it was my intention to swap it for a real locker during the build however it became an item that wasn't a must to get it going. I was fine with wheeling it with the limited slip a few more times but since I was going to have to tear it down to replace bearings I figure this would be the right time to swap the differential too. I decided to go with a Grizzly for the front, and at the last minute made what I hope was a wise decision and upgraded to 35 spline. I felt fine on the 30 spline with the limited slip, but with a real locker the potential for front shaft breakage increased a lot. I also eliminated the Central Axle Disconnect (CAD) two-piece passenger side shaft with the new one being a normal long one piece. Also put in the "Seals-It" EAS25875 seal on each end, these look pretty sweet! Lastly new non-greasable Spicer SPL55-3X U-joints for each side, plus one as a spare.



Definitely more beef, glad I decided to do it now and worry less about breaking shafts. I did the entire disassembly with my trail tools to make sure I had everything I need to do the job trail side should it ever be required - all good.



The gear setup wasn't too bad. I read Billavista's guide twice before tackling and was less pumped on doing the job after each read however once I got going it wasn't that bad, just tedious going round and round with the pinion depth, preload, backlash and pattern. Once I started to figure out how one variable impacted the others and could anticipate the change required I got sloppy with my notes but I bet it still took about 18 setups to get it all where I was comfortable. It was a rare 50 degree weekend, so I didn't mind spending the better part of the day outside under the rig learning!

I also finally threw the new brake rotors for the front axle on, probably ordered these a year ago just never got to pressing the studs out of the hub and mounting these new ones up until now.



Got the Racelines cleaned up and lookin good again



And lastly, finally got the windshield installed. Went with a generic one piece window gasket and oh my, I wanted to hurl it out the window. It undoubtedly did not help that it was 20 degrees today, but even when heated with the heat gun it SUCKED. My thumbs are so sore...but it is done.



And then...once I got the tires back on and windshield secured I took it out for a quick rip in the backyard. I also strapped the GoPro on the front to get a visual on the shocks and bumpstops going through their stroke. About 7 minutes in to playing around I got a whiff of coolant - looks like the o-ring for the heater core line let go somehow as it was pumping coolant out around the hose barb that sticks into the water pump housing. Brand new, 50 miles on the sucker.

So that ended the day for today!

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Old 01-14-2019, 09:16 AM   #132 (permalink)
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That's smart as hell to use your trail tools in the shop to do common trailside work... Little forehead slap moment for me I'll be doing that from now on

Love your rig, your hard work shows.
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Old 01-14-2019, 12:07 PM   #133 (permalink)
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Did your window rubber have a locking strip? I had to search like hell to find an outfit that sells it. It's a lot easier to get the window in than the non locking style. Did you use the rope trick?
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Old 01-14-2019, 12:22 PM   #134 (permalink)
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Did your window rubber have a locking strip? I had to search like hell to find an outfit that sells it. It's a lot easier to get the window in than the non locking style. Did you use the rope trick?
Below is what I used:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1



It's one piece, so there isn't a a separate locking strip as it is all one piece if that makes sense? They also sell a two-piece which I think I'll try the next time around as I can't figure how it would be any harder to install. Don't know anything about the rope trick, would it have worked with this stuff?
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Old 01-14-2019, 07:35 PM   #135 (permalink)
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Hopeful that the coolant issue was just because the o-ring was partially crushed/pinched. Put a new one on and added some coolant specific RTV around it for extra insurance this time, and oh boy did I make a mess of coolant on the floor.

Starting to play with the bumpstops a little. They've been at 50 psi based on some of the info I gathered here, during my little run yesterday I was able to hit some very small jumps and crossing ruts and whatnot on my dirtbike track that got into the bumpstop travel pretty good. First of all, I'm still super pumped with the suspension and the way it soaks up the terrain. That said, based on the video I was able to get and the little o-rings that are on the bumps I never maxed any of them out but I also knew everything I was hitting because it is my backyard - on one hand I was more comfortable bombing around since I knew where every bump and jump would be but on the other hand I'd like a little more stopping power for accidentally hitting something too hard. I was also surprised to see in the video that the bumps rebounded slower than expected. I suspect this is due to the relatively low pressure, but I figured they'd have almost no rebound dampening but clearly they do have quite a bit? Anyways, in the front I bumped up to 75psi and in the rear they're now up to 100psi. Maybe tomorrow I can rip around the track some more and feel the difference. Still have to play with the compression adjusters on shocks too!
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Old 01-15-2019, 07:00 AM   #136 (permalink)
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Below is what I used:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1



It's one piece, so there isn't a a separate locking strip as it is all one piece if that makes sense? They also sell a two-piece which I think I'll try the next time around as I can't figure how it would be any harder to install. Don't know anything about the rope trick, would it have worked with this stuff?
I see how that works. Not sure if it's better than two piece I got. I have only installed one small window for testing. I have a couple big windows to do in my future.

As far as the rope trick. You put a small rope/string in the rubber channel. Then you start the widow in one side. You pull the string right next to the window. As you pull the string, it pulls the rubber out to the front side of the window. I've never done it, but I've seen a professional window guy do it quick and easy.
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Old 02-11-2019, 05:37 PM   #137 (permalink)
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I was hoping that my multi-panel rear view mirror would be sufficient enough to not have to run side mirrors, and it does OK at giving a view of what is behind but not well enough to back up because you lose things on the sides way before you get to them. On top of that, when strapped into the harnesses it is nearly impossible to turn enough to see.

So, built some mirrors...may or may not be a coincidence that KOH was going on last week!

I see they're only $35 bucks at Ruffstuff, but I really needed something to do...finishing the build has got me BORED! Was actually supposed to be wheeling at Badlands on Saturday, but got canceled last minute so I built these instead.

Here is one done, and next to it all the parts needed for the second one.



A roughly 3" x 8" rectangle of sheet metal, 1" wide x 8" long piece of 0.120 and ~20" of 1/2" diameter tubing. The mirrors are 5" diameter convex trucker mirrors, the ones on the front passenger corner of nearly every semi on the road.

Took the sheet metal and bent it over a piece of 2" DOM (same as rollcage), used the press to get it started then finished with hammer in vice. Bent the 1" wide piece in the break to 65 degrees on each side, one inch in from the end.

For the tubing, I don't have a die for 1/2" BUT...remember that differential I pulled from the 60 a couple posts ago?





Boom. The differential area is about 6" diameter, giving a 3.25" CLR for the bend. The 1/2" tube was easy enough to bend by hand, bingo!

The three pieces ready to mate







I was skeptical of the convex over a regular flat mirror, but we will see. They were only ~$10 so worth the shot.
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Old 02-11-2019, 05:46 PM   #138 (permalink)
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Oh yea, I also built a little bash bar for the steering assist ram up front. I'm worried about it taking a hit off a rock/boulder and bending or damaged enough to not work so I thought I better come up with something.

Picked up some 1" x 0.250" wall DOM, in combination with some corner gussets in all four corners as well as vertically at the axle end. I'm more confident about it surviving an accidental bash into a rock, but still a bit concerned about falling off a rock, landing on bash bar and pushing it up into the ram particularly on the tie rod side.



This view below shows how it is open and makes it look weak - I think my solution to prevent it from bending up should I let this fall onto a rock will be to plate it on the bottom, this should add some rigidity and also allow me to add more gussets to the axle.



Thoughts?
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Old 02-11-2019, 08:56 PM   #139 (permalink)
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Thoughts?
Bash tube for the ram is a little small IMO. Mine is 1.5" 1/4 wall DOM and welded to the axle in 4 places, the 2 center tubes angle upwards a little which makes it a lot more resistant to bending upwards. Haven't had a problem with it bending or denting in 5 years.
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Old 02-12-2019, 07:30 AM   #140 (permalink)
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Bash tube for the ram is a little small IMO. Mine is 1.5" 1/4 wall DOM and welded to the axle in 4 places, the 2 center tubes angle upwards a little which makes it a lot more resistant to bending upwards. Haven't had a problem with it bending or denting in 5 years.
I skimmed through your thread and see what you're talking about. Yours does look beefier, does it hang down below the bottom of axle tube? Comparing pics it seems like my ram is mounted a touch lower than yours, thus giving less room under it and the reason I went with 1" instead of something bigger so that I didn't lose ground clearance (my original plan was to use 2" until I tried to mock it up...)

I definitely have the possibility of adding a couple more connections at an angle like you did to give it some rotation resistance - I will compare this to my other idea of plating it and...well essentially doing the same thing with gussets from the plate and axle tube.

I like your idea better.

Thanks for the input.
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Old 02-12-2019, 07:46 AM   #141 (permalink)
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I skimmed through your thread and see what you're talking about. Yours does look beefier, does it hang down below the bottom of axle tube? Comparing pics it seems like my ram is mounted a touch lower than yours, thus giving less room under it and the reason I went with 1" instead of something bigger so that I didn't lose ground clearance (my original plan was to use 2" until I tried to mock it up...)



I definitely have the possibility of adding a couple more connections at an angle like you did to give it some rotation resistance - I will compare this to my other idea of plating it and...well essentially doing the same thing with gussets from the plate and axle tube.



I like your idea better.



Thanks for the input.

Mine might be a tiny bit below the axle tube but not a big deal. Build it burly enough and you wont ever worry again Can you build the skid around the cylinder? Instead of under it. Would buy you the clearance you need. Could also put a small bend in the middle tubes so the ram clears them. My ram is VERY close to those center tubes but if I bent them near the ends Id have more room to move the skid up. My skid sits pretty far off the axle, I could stand to bring it in closer.
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Old 05-09-2019, 05:07 PM   #142 (permalink)
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Well, here we go again!

So I picked up a trailer. I was looking for a used trailer with 5,000lb axles, wasn't really looking for a whole project but this one popped up at a fair price. That said, as soon as I got to pick it up my head was spinning - it was only a 72" wide deck instead of 82 like normal, plus it was a drop deck. I couldn't tell at the time because of all the snow but the deck was in bad shape and all four tires were in worse shape than they appeared at first glance, again due to the snow. But it met my two criteria, used and a pair of 5,000lb axles. Plus I was planning on building drive over fenders on whatever trailer I picked up so why not dive in to another project, right?



It was a Cronkhite 2400 or something like that. Rather than a car hauler it is designed as an equipment trailer so it has the drop deck - something that was not desired by me. In addition, despite being "16 foot long", the deck was only 15 foot. Oh yea and remember it's narrower than a normal car hauler. Why did I buy this????

Notice how the rear tire in the picture is going flat, yea it had a nail in it.

So, as you do I got to measuring it up and cussing about how stupid this purchase was...at least it was pretty cheap.

I decided that I would extend the trailer deck two feet on the back. I did this so that the rear of the FJ wouldn't be hanging off the back of the trailer (see picture of FJ on it below, it definitely would have otherwise). Generally the trailer axle centerline is about 2/3 of the way back the trailer for a bumper pull, this extension on the back puts my axles more like 1/2 way but I figured this was OK since it wont be holding any weight (in other words, shouldn't hurt me from a tongue weight perspective).



And the drive over fenders. 2" HREW





Test fit the new deck, now 17'. As you can see, I essentially widened the trailer enough to fit an extra 2x10 on each side. This lets the FJ sit on their comfortably without hanging off the edge like on a normal/unwidened trailer



The test





Then on a nice crisp 45 degree afternoon I threw down some paint, Massey Ferguson grey.



And here is the only picture I have of it right now after it was assembled. I've since added a bunch of reflective tape though



Still a few things I want to do to it, some things I found on the trailer thread on here but at the end of the day I am happy with it. I've towed with it a handful of times already and it pulls great, plus the brakes on these 5,000lb axles kick the crap out of the 3500lb axle brakes on my Dads trailer! All in I'm at about $2,500, that includes purchase of trailer, all the metal to raise deck, new deck boards, fenders, widen, new hitch, five new tires, a spare wheel, new lights, rewire, tax and plate. More work than I wanted, but I think I did ok?

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Old 05-09-2019, 05:28 PM   #143 (permalink)
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So I've got a little seat time in the FJ, took it out to Silver Lake sand dunes on opening weekend which was fun. Lets be fair, it is underpowered for duning, and we can fix that but dune running wasn't what this was built for anyways. As the day went on I started to get more comfortable bombing around though which helped my ability to go places as well as increasing the fun factor. I wheeled with a couple others, no pictures other than this poser shot though.



As the day wore on there was a common theme, the transmission wanted to run above 200 degrees and I'm not happy with that. The dunes aren't the intended purpose of this rig, but it'll be there a few times per year. So I have a Derale 16 pass with dedicated fan to go in now, this will replace the 8 pass with no fan (set in front of radiator). I knew it was a long shot, and it worked OK for crawling but the 8 pass couldn't keep up in the dunes even though I was moving 30-40 mph most of the time it was running. Then again, I don't blame it...you ever try walking up one of those things???



BUT! In between then and now I did another trip to Moab, went out there on the two wheeler again. We got out there just as EJS was wrapping up.



Had a blast again, and now that the rig is running my desire to get out there with it is EVEN GREATER!!!! But, we need to get the bugs worked out, like the trans cooler...oh yea, and the misfire on two cylinders.

I noticed it at the end of the dune trip and then it went away until this past week I took the ol' lady to town to get ice cream in the rig and it started missing on the way home again. Dove in, wires looked good, swapped injectors around but still missing on cylinders 1 and 8. Swapped the plugs into different positions and boom, the misfire followed. My boy and I put new plugs in this evening and all good now. Damn things only had 142 miles on them!!!!


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Old 05-09-2019, 05:54 PM   #144 (permalink)
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Jesus you make my life seem boring

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Old 05-09-2019, 06:12 PM   #145 (permalink)
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That and I cant imagine that thing had any trouble getting up any of those dunes

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Old 05-09-2019, 08:25 PM   #146 (permalink)
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That and I cant imagine that thing had any trouble getting up any of those dunes

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The only one I couldn't do was the super steep part of the last hill in the one way section. That said, most fail on that climb. I still feel that I'm underpowered though, maybe because I'm more used to the power to weight ratio of the quad and dirt bike where you can shoot up any hill without even thinking about it ahead of time but still, if you're not pushing 500-600 hp you're low on power in the dunes...at least in my opinion.

Anyways, you ever get out there?
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Old 05-10-2019, 02:18 AM   #147 (permalink)
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Yeah, usually I'm in a 80hp tracker embarrassing stock jeeps on 37s that cant drive well enough to even get up test hill though... so I'm thinking our standards are a little different

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Old 05-14-2019, 09:53 AM   #148 (permalink)
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Trailer turned out sweet. I like the expanded metal on the inner edge to help climb over it.

How're the width extensions supported?

Not a Toy fanboy or anything, but your FJ makes me rethink things a little
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Old 05-14-2019, 01:06 PM   #149 (permalink)
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Hey man just read through the entire build - I love the attention to detail and keeping that old iron around instead of just going entirely new on everything. You mentioned being new to the area and needing some wheeling friends - shoot me a PM.

I'm just getting back into it and my rig is almost done (getting everything prepped for Jeep invasion at Silver Lake at the end of May). It isn't anywhere near the level of yours, but I've already got it into some spots it shouldn't have. TJ with 5.3 LS, PSC hydro assist, add-ons to factory cage, locked F/R, 35's, etc etc (no build thread on here cause it's too mild). I am getting back into this after getting finishing up college and buying my first house/garage. Looking for some others to go wheeling with as well.

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Old 05-15-2019, 05:41 AM   #150 (permalink)
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Trailer turned out sweet. I like the expanded metal on the inner edge to help climb over it.

How're the width extensions supported?

Not a Toy fanboy or anything, but your FJ makes me rethink things a little
Thanks a lot!

Yea the expanded metal was a must. The first time I was on the trailer I spun all four trying to back off of it! LOL! In fairness the tires were wet and the metal bare, but still pretty embarrassing! I may add some more on the top of the fenders because I have spun the tires a few times climbing onto the trailer without ramps.

The extensions are supported with some well hidden support tube and gussets! You can sort of see in one of the side shots above the tube that runs from frame to the outside tube. I had to notch the wood to make it fit.





The rest are just triangle gussets, plus where it ties into the fenders.

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Hey man just read through the entire build - I love the attention to detail and keeping that old iron around instead of just going entirely new on everything. You mentioned being new to the area and needing some wheeling friends - shoot me a PM.

I'm just getting back into it and my rig is almost done (getting everything prepped for Jeep invasion at Silver Lake at the end of May). It isn't anywhere near the level of yours, but I've already got it into some spots it shouldn't have. TJ with 5.3 LS, PSC hydro assist, add-ons to factory cage, locked F/R, 35's, etc etc (no build thread on here cause it's too mild). I am getting back into this after getting finishing up college and buying my first house/garage. Looking for some others to go wheeling with as well.
Hey thanks a lot! PM coming at ya!

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