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Old 03-24-2013, 07:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Another WJ Build

Damn, already accidentally deleted what I wrote once, let's hope it doesn't happen to me again haha.

This jeep came to me 2 weeks ago with a pile of parts, and an owner that wanted it done fast. I said game on! Here are the specs:

4.7 WJ, 545RFE, getting a 231

Front:
Ford HP44, .5" axle tubes
Custom 3 link, 2" .250 lowers, 1.5" .250 upper with Ruffstuff heims all around
14" FOA Coilovers
High steer, 1 ton TRE's with 1.5 .250 DOM steering
Custom Truss, track bar and shock mounts
Ballistic LCA Mounts

Rear:
14 bolt, Ruffstuff disc brake brackets
Custom 4 link (already in place by owner)
Ballistic LCA mounts
Shaffers Offroad truss (have annoying problems with this)
12" FOA Coilovers

On to the action:
Here's how the jeep arrived, 35"s open diffs on stock axles and been through the Rubicon


Cleaned up the 14b and dropped the truss and control arm brackets on it for mockup


Found out the Shaffers Offroad truss was somehow only set up for 1.72" wide joints. I looked back at their website and they only offer 2" and 2.625" width options...don't know how that happens to the part files on their end. Needless to say the 2" wide Ruffstuff heim would not fit in there


So I had to either completely rebuild the truss or chuck the misalignment spacers up in the lathe and take some width off. It does not effect the joints ability to acheive full rotation


Then this is the truss that has peices of tube that slide in to surround the bolt heads for the control arms. The truss is cut out for 1.5" tube, so they sent 2 sections of 1.75" tube...after grabbing the right sized tube I installed them all sleek like


Had to extend the upper control arms a little bit so cleaned up a 1" diameter sleeve in the lathe


Some final welding on the truss




All new Timken wheel bearings and seals front and rear, Koyo in the diff.


Axle in place, hub on and wheel mounted. I decided not to post up the pics, but we have the wheel studs billavista notes in his 14b disc brake swap article, and they are definately not going to work. The splines don't engage the hub until the stud is approximately 1/8" from being seated, not nearly enough engagement for me especially after personally fighting studs that spun in the past.
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Old 03-24-2013, 07:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Full uptravel not flexing, 1" from the fender. Might need to cut more fender in the long run


Axle side coilover mount






Frame side coilover mount


Some more welding


This is on the frame rail, pretty close to where it ended up


Final positioning, full bump


Full droop
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Old 03-24-2013, 07:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Assembled with springs


Aaaand back on it's own weight! About to start on the front






Cut the tie rod to length on the front 44 today. I have pictures somewhere of the D44 truss I built, but apparently didn't get them in this group of pics. It's form fitting and welded to the cast front and back with a reinforcement rib that will run right under the UCA mount.


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Old 03-24-2013, 08:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Cool

Looks great, the front diff and the oil pan are gonna be good friends.
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Old 03-24-2013, 08:45 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks man, we'll see how it all plays out. The diff might get close but I expect the UCA mount to be pretty dang close to the frame rails when that happens. Heck, on my personal WJ with a Ruffstuff 9" housing just about everything hits one thing or another at the same point, and the housing isn't one of them :P. I'm shooting for 6-7" uptravel in the front with those 14" coilovers. We'll see if I can acheive that. If not, he'll have more droop available for sure!

Last edited by AgitatedPancake; 03-24-2013 at 08:46 PM.
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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dig that truss.. keep the pics comin
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Old 03-24-2013, 10:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Looks good.

Clean work.
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:58 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Did you flex test the rear? I would think the tires will hit the coilovers with them mounted outside the frame.
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Old 03-25-2013, 10:53 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks, Nate I definately like the look of a clean low profile truss to get the job done, and I've had great success with cast welding so I do when I can.

Dave, it will be close but should be alright. The coilover is mounted within 1-2" of the OEM shock position on the frame side, I had to cut the OEM mount off to put it where I did so it's honestly not all that intrusive into the wheel well. The rearward slant gives some extra tire clearance as well. I'll snap some pictures in the next day or two with articulation. The other bonus is the owner was actually extremely suprised at how narrow the stance ended up and was already talking about wheel spacers or different wheels to shift each side out another 1.5" or so, which would make it a non issue if it is now.

I'm doing some work on a hot rod today, then I'll be back at this thing with more front end work and those flex pics
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Old 03-26-2013, 11:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Didn't work on this thing today, but I did get the DOM for the lower links, upper link and track bar today. I spent my afternoon building floorboards for a rat/nostalgic 1932ish rod. This thing is badass, I've been working with the owner on and off for almost a year. About ready to run and drive then I might post some pics in General 4x4 or chit chat or something.

One question for all of you guys, do you have any cool solution to bring an ABS tone ring back into a setup with old axles like these? WJ's run their speedometers off the ABS tone rings, and if you have no speedo input the auto tranny gets unahppy. I've been thinking about machining a tone ring to press onto a yoke for something such as a 14b or 9" with removeable pinion support, but that can't be the easiest way. Any way to convert the signal of a regular gear driven speed sensor to tell the WJ's computer the correct information?
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Old 03-27-2013, 12:56 PM   #11 (permalink)
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speed sensor

I just want to say I'm a big fan of your work. That tubing sunk into the side of your jeep for an exo is just freeking awesome!! I just installed a 231 in my wife's 99 wj and I've been eyeballing putting a set of axles I have laying around in the jeep when she gets a new ride. I came across a few threads that were very insightful. Matter of fact, your in one of them!! It doesn't look too hard to me. The only bad thing is you loose ABS. That doesn't bother me to much though. I left the pigtails on the speed sensor wiring just for this mod one day.

NP231 speed sensor voltage requirement

electrical help! - NAXJA Forums -::- North American XJ Association
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Old 03-28-2013, 06:04 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Some pretty good ideas in here, 98 and later explorers have the same problem.

Relocate Rear Abs/Vss Sensor?? - Ford Explorer Ranger Enthusiasts "Serious Explorations"


I personally like the notched t case flange then running the signal you get off that to an inline signal converter so that your speedo reads right

I've been using a Dakota Digital SGI5 for a few years and its been flawless and easy to use/set up

Universal Speedometer Signal Interface
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Old 04-02-2013, 11:58 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Thanks guys! Those are some awesome links and will definately help me out for not only this WJ, but my other WJ when I swap an HP60 and Sterling 10.25 into it. I want to come up with an economical solution, we'll see what ends up happening.

Here's something for all of you to get a chuckle out of. I pulled my fab table too hard across the floor, and a peice of ruffstuff axle tube (3.5 3/8" wall) fell off...guess where it landed?


Started tearing apart the 14b and cleaning up the internals


5.38"s with a grizzly locker. I have the pinion set up just a HAIR deep, I'm honestly starting to lean towards deeper pinions due to deflection and breakage I've been seeing. Granted this is a 14b so it really shouldn't be breaking, but still.




Here it is fully built, but with a cover that is still rusty


I went to town with angle grinder, die grinder and bench grinder wire wheels to knock all the old rust and crap out. Wiped everything down and hit it with the best (cheapest) flat black money can buy


Then today I made minor adjustments to the axle side coilover buckets, and reinstalled the axle. It is in place for good, though I will be pulling the coilovers 1 more time.

Last edited by AgitatedPancake; 04-02-2013 at 11:59 PM.
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Old 04-03-2013, 12:16 AM   #14 (permalink)
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That sucks about the grinder. I like to hang onto my burnt up tools to pluck parts off of down the road in case of shit like that.

Axle looks good. Hows the tire/coilover clearance?
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Old 04-03-2013, 06:51 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Looks good foo that truss looks awful firmiler lol.
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:43 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Lobster I put the grinder back together with some soldering and generous heat shrink application, good as new! No new pics of the coil over vs tire clearance, I'll do that once the front is done, I'm on a bit of a roll now haha.

Got a lot of pics to show ya. Starting with this, what I feel are a GREAT option for wheel studs during a 14 bolt disc conversion. The customer bought the studs listed in the BIllavista swap article, they were the same length as stock (too short), and didn't engage the splines until 1/16" away from seating. I've had studs spin on me before and I say fawk that. That was not enough for me so I found a much better option, Dorman 610-189 It has full length splines like OEM, but is 1/4" longer.






Had to mount the calipers on the front of the axle to avoid the coilover, and swapped them side to side to keep the bleeders on top.


Half built haha


I pulled the 247 tcase, and followed up by dropping it on my hand


So I ripped it's heart out.


The customer gave me a 231 he wanted put in, so I had to swap inputs with the 247. Top is 231, bottom is 247


So now we have a long input 231 and short input 247, looks a little different haha.

Last edited by AgitatedPancake; 04-11-2013 at 10:45 PM.
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Old 04-11-2013, 10:44 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Now I had to modify the shifter setup to acommodate the extra ranges. Later (4.7?) WJ's have the original hole, and one similar to the one I drilled. I believe to acommodate the 242HD which wasn't available on these earlier WJ's.


I had to take the 247 shift lever, cut it down and give it a rotation so it's range of motion matched the factory cable which has 2.75" of movement. Shifts awesome.


All done, going to get a hack N tap SYE as soon as he gets it to me.


Front axle under destruction


Get that turdy outta here


I started looking more in depth at frame side link mount locations, had to cut the outside 4" off the crossmember. Lost two bolts, I'll add them back somewhere else to keep strength.


I'm holding the LCA mount around where it will be, UCA mount relatively close to final position. We'll see what happens with fuel and brake lines


And as a royal pisser icing on the cake, someone yanked the cat out of my cousins yota, IN OUR FAWKING DRIVEWAY last night. Ballsy fawkers around here apparently
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Old 04-17-2013, 11:22 PM   #18 (permalink)
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The front end has been back under construction the last few days.

I've started locating all the links on the axle, and you can see all the cast welding and reinforcement work I did.


Half the drivers side LCA will be landing on the cast. I'll be fully welding it there and reinforcing it with mild steel, no worries there. In later pictures you'll see I've swapped the heim for the uppre control arm from this side of the bracket, to the other side for body clearance. I'll have to readjust the calculator, but I don't forsee any problems.


I got things rolled under the jeep for the first time, found something that sucks a little bit. A compromise the owner had to make. At approximate ride height, there was only 5" between the tie rod and oil pan


This was with about 1" to go. Not enough, I told the owner he could have more uptravel if we moved the tie rod down. It took me a while to figure out a good solution for locating it, but I'll be putting it on top of the factory knuckle or on bottom of the high steer arms. The height will be the same either way, but each gives it's own benefits.


Even that threw me a curve ball. someone already drilled out the factory knuckles for 1 ton TRE's, from the bottom. So thats where the tie rod will be for now, until I get the weld in inserts to correct it.


Here's the reason for the shift of the upper control arm


Today I yanked the pitman arm off. Ended up being a fighter. Maxed out my impact on the pitman arm puller, penetrating oil, sledgehammer, heat from a torch, and still took over a half hour to pull off. Once I FINALLY got it off I drilled it to 5/8" and reamed it to accept the 1 ton end.


Then made the lower control arms, 2" .250 with 1.25" Ruffstuff heims


And shortened the tie rod I had already made, turned it into a drag link. Then cut a new tie rod. It will be flipped once I get the spacers. End of the day I got the lower links in also. Tomorrow I will build the track bar and upper control arm. Check everything's clearances through travel and get prepped for finish welding and setting up the coilovers

Last edited by AgitatedPancake; 04-18-2013 at 12:15 AM.
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:46 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Wj pitman arm

I installed a drop pitman arm on my wife's wj and it fought to the end also. I maxed out a snap-on impact and puller plus beat it with a 3lb sledge. Ended up taking a cutoff wheel and slicing it most of the way through and it weaken it up enough to pull off. Took me the better part of and hour and a half!! I've never had one be that stubborn. Looking forward to seeing how you reinforce the cross member!
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Old 04-18-2013, 02:13 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Anyone else only seeing red "x's" for the pictures?
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Old 04-18-2013, 02:25 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Nope they work for me
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Old 04-18-2013, 02:50 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by j_mazala View Post
Some pretty good ideas in here, 98 and later explorers have the same problem.

Relocate Rear Abs/Vss Sensor?? - Ford Explorer Ranger Enthusiasts "Serious Explorations"
Why not use the speedo in the 231 tail housing?

Also why not plate the unibody where the upper coil over mount is?
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Old 04-18-2013, 09:22 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Beat95YJ View Post
Why not use the speedo in the 231 tail housing?
I didn't think the 231 used a square wave signal like the abs system used, but after some googling it looks like it does. So tap into that and run a signal converter to get the speedo to read correctly and you should be good to go unless I'm missing something stupid
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:20 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Honestly one area I've never taken the time to fully understand the signal patterns and which ones are different, and why they're different. Thanks for the help there, I've got to get myself understanding it all!

Carolina, thankfully this pitman arm involved no broken tools this time haha. The 1 ton ZJ I built a couple years back ended up breaking an arm off a pitman arm puller, it hit the back wall of the garage before I even knew what happened, glad it went in a safe direction hah!

Beat95YJ, the frame rails will be getting plated when I pull the coilovers one last time. I have the mounts in place, will plate around them and plate to the mounts so the load will be distributed nicely.

j mazala thanks for all the info, I've got some reading to do!
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Old 04-21-2013, 04:08 PM   #25 (permalink)
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What spring rate did you/ owner pick for the coilovers?

sent from my commando
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