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Old 10-09-2015, 06:30 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Super Duty WJ Build

I'm in the process of swapping axles in my '00 WJ to Ford D50/Sterling 10.5 using the Clayton Long Arm trans crossmember and rear 4-link mounts as my foundation. Axles are full width '99-'04 Super Duty fair using deeper offset '05 17" wheels to pull the wheels/tires in under the fenders a little. Trying to keep it low on 35s, have removed the front bumber fascia, intend to move the front axle forward about 2", and use 4" springs all around. Fender trimming and Bushwacker flares if necessary. WJ will be a daily driver and weekend trail rig.

In the front: Decided to go with a 3-link instead of the Clayton radius arms by installing a passenger side upper control mount to the top side of the Clayton crossmember. Although not optimal, I can get 4" of vertical separation between the upper and lower control arm mounts at the frame. I used the 3-link calculator and the numbers come out pretty good using ARTEC upper and lower control arm mounts for the Ford D50/D60. All control arms will be fab'd from 2"x.25" DOM with 2.5" JJ-type end links.

In the back: I trussed the Sterling 10.5 to locate the triangulated upper axle mounts and tacked axle spring mounts and lower control arm mounts. I've got good axle control arm mount vertical separation that is adjustable from 8-11" and the Clayton rear control arm mount gives me 4" separation at the frame. Again, control arms will be 2" DOM with 2.5" end links.

Couple of questions for you all.
1. How much is too much oversteer in the rear? I'm at +3 on the 4-link calculator and the frame control arm mount locations are set by the pre-fab'd Claytons. I don't have much leeway at the axle either except for locating the upper control arm mounts on the truss and up and down adjustment built into the lower spring mount/control arm mount combo.
2. I have heard of unitbody "frame" cracking at the welds on the Clayton rear control arm mounts over time. I was going to reinforce both the front crossmember and rear control arm mount areas of the frame with .125" steel plate to spread the load over a greater area of the "frame" before I weld in the Clayton stuff. Has anyone here experienced the frame cracking at the mount welds and does my plan to reinforce the frame rails make sense... or is it overkill?
3. Anyone here successfully make the Ford Super Duty axle ABS sensors work with the WJ ABS and speedo? Heard the I can use a signal converter from Summit Racing. Any experience/insights would be appreciated?

Long winded, appreciate the help.

Ty
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Old 10-09-2015, 09:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Up on jackstands at anticipated ride height



Truss and lower spring/control arm mounts tacked into place on the Sterling 10.5"



Rear axle mocked up for axle, mounts, and control arm fitment. Wheels are OEM '06 Ford Super Duty 17" with worn out 265/70R17s mounted. A set of 315/70R17s are on the way

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Old 10-10-2015, 02:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Buehler, Buehler?
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Old 10-10-2015, 07:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Just went through the exact same build/axles, eventually said fawk it and built a firewall buggy out of it. Too much sheet metal to deal with, compromises everywhere with cage/suspension design. Just my $.02.

Not a fan of claytons rear link for that exact reason (geometry/seperation). It works, yeah, but tweaking the mounting points will get you closer to 0 or even a bit of understeer.

If you're plating the brackets/frame just fab your own brackets. Frame separation is very limited without having rock-anchor lowers, or punching the uppers through the floor. And yes, Id highly recommend plating the frame as much as you can. At the least in the control arm areas. I haven't seen a frame crack at said areas personally, but for a couple hours of fab work, its worth your peace of mind. Especially hanging those heavy ass axles off them vs the d30/44a.

I know agitatedpancake had some Clayton welds start to crack. But a support brace or adding some gussets would address that.

Start getting creative with the panhard/steering. That was the biggest hurdle when I still ran the factory steering and tried to tuck the 60 up front.

Axles are stupid wide even for the wide ass WJ body. Get ready to trim a lot out of the fenders and front "bumper" areas.

Want an easier route, build an xj or a buggy. Nobody builds hardcore, full body WJ's for a reason

Edit: I haven't seen the SD sensors wired to the WJ. I still have to figure out my own speedo honestly. I see 3 options: one of the front 60 hub sensors, the rear ring gear tone ring, or a speed sensor in the trans. If the signal is compatible (WJ sensors are 2 wire. One is 12v, one is signal. Im not an EE ) and it's just too slow/fast for the WJ ABS module/ECU, pick up a universal speedodrd for ~100 bones and be done.
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Old 10-11-2015, 06:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Gatorayde, I appreciate your reply and insights on this swap. I have previously looked through the Low COG WJ thread, other WJ built threads, and also your build to determine what the obstacles to completion were going to be - I guess I'm just preoccupied with on-road drivability and reliability. Went over to my buddy's house yesterday who has built a few long arm TJ and JK suspensions - he told me to quit overthinking it and just do it. Probably good advice in my case. That and my wife hounding me to get it done are my motivation. OlivedrabCJ7 had some good info in his posts too.

Also have a '98 XJ that I'm thinking of converting to a tube chassis sometime in the future...or just sell it. Wife tells me that I have too many projects and too little time. See signature.

Guess the bottom line is that I just need to slide the front axle under there and start figuring it out. Thanks again, more to follow...
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Old 10-11-2015, 11:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Your plans are simple and sound IF you stick to them. I only really see complications if you decide to go crazy with the "might as well" ideas. 35 with some trimming and full widths will be a good combo for a daily that wheels on weekends and those axles would keep you reliable. The Claytons setup is not perfect but you will rarely find someone who didn't like theirs if they had them. And you are already addressing the biggest complaint of the front radius arms. I have a friend with a wj on 37 and Claytons and it has great manners for how huge it is (he is on a 8-9 inch lift).
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Old 10-13-2015, 09:44 AM   #7 (permalink)
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BW, thanks for the reassurance on my basic plan. Like what's inside all of us gearheads, I have a tendency to want to make things "better" and take every opportunity to "upgrade" when I have stuff apart - which usually means more time and $$ to complete the project. I'll try to take your advice to heart and stick to the plan. Picked up some sheet steel yesterday in order to reinforce the control arm mounting points, and may move the rear control arm mounts forward a little if it looks like I can improve the 4-link calculator numbers. Other than that, going to put my time into the front axle this week - got to trim 2" off the driver's side pumpkin casting to fit the angled ARTEC D60 LCA mount to the axle tube, weld the tubes to the pumpkin, and slide it under the body to mock up the control arms and steering links.

Tires should be delivered today too, hope to get time to mount them this week.
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Old 10-13-2015, 09:48 AM   #8 (permalink)
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What tcase are you running? I swapped in a 231 and you can wire it up to run off the speedo on the case to one of the abs wheel wires. Still haven't figured it out 100% on the wiring end.


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Old 10-13-2015, 01:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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ABS uses a pulse off a tone ring.

just count the teeth on the tone rings. if they are the same you should be good to go. If not you will need a new ring with the right amount of teeth or some sort of a signal converter.

i would say fuck it and pull the ABS system all together. its super shitty while off road anyways.
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Old 10-13-2015, 03:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
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ABS uses a pulse off a tone ring.

just count the teeth on the tone rings. if they are the same you should be good to go. If not you will need a new ring with the right amount of teeth or some sort of a signal converter.

i would say fuck it and pull the ABS system all together. its super shitty while off road anyways.
To add on that, there's a thread on JKO about wiring the SD sensors to the JK ABS system, to give you some ideas.

And agreed, ditch the entire ABS setup, wire a speed sensor/converter directly to the ECU. The WJ booster/MC works perfect with the SD brakes. T line to the front, and a prop valve to the rear and be done.

And be careful cutting too much of the casting out for the drivers LCA mount. Always felt nervous till it was trussed C to C. Artec's truss wont fit without a lot of stretch (for the 4.0 oil pan at least). Good info/pics here for some ideas:
https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/balli...-60-build.html
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Old 10-13-2015, 05:38 PM   #11 (permalink)
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BW, thanks for the reassurance on my basic plan. Like what's inside all of us gearheads, I have a tendency to want to make things "better" and take every opportunity to "upgrade" when I have stuff apart - which usually means more time and $$ to complete the project. I'll try to take your advice to heart and stick to the plan. Picked up some sheet steel yesterday in order to reinforce the control arm mounting points, and may move the rear control arm mounts forward a little if it looks like I can improve the 4-link calculator numbers. Other than that, going to put my time into the front axle this week - got to trim 2" off the driver's side pumpkin casting to fit the angled ARTEC D60 LCA mount to the axle tube, weld the tubes to the pumpkin, and slide it under the body to mock up the control arms and steering links.

Tires should be delivered today too, hope to get time to mount them this week.
Ive been working on a 05+ sd axle set for my WJ, anyways this is what they look like after I cleaned the casting. I did get the full artec truss for my front 3 link (I based it off the clayton's kit but with different dimensions)

I'm looking forward to your build.



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Old 10-13-2015, 06:24 PM   #12 (permalink)
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What tcase are you running? I swapped in a 231 and you can wire it up to run off the speedo on the case to one of the abs wheel wires. Still haven't figured it out 100% on the wiring end.
Going to save some money now and stick with the stock NP242 until it shits the bed - at that point I'll move on to a NP231.

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ABS uses a pulse off a tone ring. just count the teeth on the tone rings. if they are the same you should be good to go. If not you will need a new ring with the right amount of teeth or some sort of a signal converter.

i would say fuck it and pull the ABS system all together. its super shitty while off road anyways.
From what I've read, easiest way the get speedo is to use the Dakota Digital signal converter (SGI-5) to get the signal right from the rear Sterling 10.5" ABS sensor for the computer/speedo to use it. Will probably end up disabling the ABS altogether if it holds me up from completing the swap.

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Originally Posted by gatorayde View Post
To add on that, there's a thread on JKO about wiring the SD sensors to the JK ABS system, to give you some ideas.

And agreed, ditch the entire ABS setup, wire a speed sensor/converter directly to the ECU. The WJ booster/MC works perfect with the SD brakes. T line to the front, and a prop valve to the rear and be done.

And be careful cutting too much of the casting out for the drivers LCA mount. Always felt nervous till it was trussed C to C. Artec's truss wont fit without a lot of stretch (for the 4.0 oil pan at least). Good info/pics here for some ideas:
https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/balli...-60-build.html
Great info on the WJ booster/MC. I was going to use the stock parts since my booster is new... and it's not like I'm converting the rear from drum to disc which would require significantly more rear circuit volume. The prop valve is a good call.

I didn't plan to truss the front, was just going to burn the tubes into the pumpkin and call it a day since I'm putting the upper control arm mount over on the passenger side, the short side doesn't have the leverage placed on it like the long side, and didn't need a UCA mount over the pumpkin. Also figured that this axle was found under the front of a Ford Power Stroke Diesel (my '04 PSD Excursion weighs 8400 lbs unloaded with a full tank of fuel!) so life under the WJ should be a relative vacation. I expect that the ball joints and unit bearings will last a lot longer too! I'm all for keeping it simple and planned to use the leaf spring perches as the base to locate/anchor the lower spring pads to the tubes. The center to center distance of the SD front leaf spring pads is 37.75" versus 37.5" for the WJ coil spring pads. I bought a pair of the weld in WJ replacement lower spring pads. Although the leaf spring pads sit closer to the axle tube than the stock WJ coil spring pads, I figured I'd just make up the difference in pad height with a 6" front spring while using a 4" spring in the back.

Tires came in today - a set of Treadwright Guard Dogs in 315/70R17. I've had a set of the 37s on my daily driven '88 Dodge Ramcharger for over 4 years and 40k miles - they've been great and have worn well despite all the road miles. Also have a set of 315/75R16s on the Scrambler. Overall, I've found the Treadwrights to be a good value for a moderately big off road tire so I bought another set for the WJ. They look good and cost $200 each shipped to my door in 7 days.

Again, appreciate all the input and will post questions, my effort/experiences, and pictures as I go.

Ty
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Old 10-13-2015, 08:00 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Doc, appreciate the pictures of your work. I've scribed the 2" cut line around the casting and will start cutting with the Milwaukee hand bandsaw tomorrow after work. Hope to get a nice cut like you. I thought about trying to "notch" the casting to fit the LCA mount to the backside of the axle tube without cutting all the way around but just didn't see a good way of doing it cleanly and efficiently. Are you welding the tubes to the pumpkin or just going with the truss?

Who you with? I served in Ft Lauderdale on MSG duty with the State Dept back in '07 to '09 but have since retired from the Corps in '13 with 25 years. I now support the Navy up in the beltway. Not what I thought I'd be doing after retirement but it pays the bills and supports my hobbies.
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Old 10-13-2015, 08:07 PM   #14 (permalink)
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New rubber came today.



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Old 10-14-2015, 02:05 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Doc, appreciate the pictures of your work. I've scribed the 2" cut line around the casting and will start cutting with the Milwaukee hand bandsaw tomorrow after work. Hope to get a nice cut like you. I thought about trying to "notch" the casting to fit the LCA mount to the backside of the axle tube without cutting all the way around but just didn't see a good way of doing it cleanly and efficiently. Are you welding the tubes to the pumpkin or just going with the truss?

Who you with? I served in Ft Lauderdale on MSG duty with the State Dept back in '07 to '09 but have since retired from the Corps in '13 with 25 years. I now support the Navy up in the beltway. Not what I thought I'd be doing after retirement but it pays the bills and supports my hobbies.
I thought about notching the casting just enough for the lower control arm to fit too, and then I thought about platting the driver's side tube/casting with 1/4' stuff so that I could make a lower control arm without having to cut the pumpkin as well.

The reality is that I wasn't crazy about welding on the casting, and I figure that a clean circumferential cut would spread energy more evenly where the tube meets the pumpkin. I used a sawzall, 4' grinder, and a carbide bit (for cleaning the edges). I wish I had a band saw, it would've made some sections much easier and faster to cut.

Yes I will be welding the tubes to the pumpkin just in case, I'm sure the truss is plenty, but since I'm there, what the hell.

Errr, it's nice to meet a salty devil dog. I did some time with 3/2 and loved it, hell I still miss my grunts. Unfortunately I took a beating on my spine while playing in the sand box, and once I realized that I could never go back to division I cut my losses. I was transfered to Portsmouth naval hospital where I was medically retired. After little over 5 years of active duty service I returned back to south fl in 08'

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Old 10-14-2015, 04:35 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Doc, thank you for your service to the Corps and I'm sorry to hear that your time was cut short by injury. Hope that you are making the best of your physical woes.

So, thought about you all said about taking that first cut to the pumpkin and am thinking that I'm going to try to notch the backside of the casting to fit the LCA mount in there without cutting all the way around . What's the worst that can happen, that I have to remove all of the excess casting? And I'll weld the tube to the casting all around too. I think the 4" cutoff wheel will be the tool of choice followed by the sawzall and chisel. It'll all be good. Photo of the intended area to be removed:

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Old 10-14-2015, 05:00 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Doc, thank you for your service to the Corps and I'm sorry to hear that your time was cut short by injury. Hope that you are making the best of your physical woes.

So, thought about you all said about taking that first cut to the pumpkin and am thinking that I'm going to try to notch the backside of the casting to fit the LCA mount in there without cutting all the way around . What's the worst that can happen, that I have to removed all of the excess casting? And I'll weld the tube to the casting all around too. I think the 4" cutoff wheel will be the tool of choice followed by the sawzall and chisel. It'll all be good. Photo of the intended area to be removed:

The portion thats located inferior to the highlighted area will likely have to be removed as well. In fact you will have to angle your cut to the inside of the casting in order to compensate for the artec lower control bracket offset (it hangs lower than the highlighted area, and it's angled medially)

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Old 10-14-2015, 05:30 PM   #18 (permalink)
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see the angled cut in the casting? you will need to take some from there, so the bracket seat all the way on the tube.


this second imagine shows you why you need the relieve cut, and how the bracket sits on the ridge that used to run along the bottom of the pumpkin.



I have a 05+ version of the pumpkin so there are small differences. However; this will give you an educated idea of what I had to do for mine. Sorry for the crappy pictures, I just walked in my garage and hastily snapped them, I wanted to help you visualize it better.

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Old 10-14-2015, 05:48 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Thanks Doc. Pictures are helpful. You start work on the Sterling 10.5" yet?
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Old 10-14-2015, 06:11 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Thanks Doc. Pictures are helpful. You start work on the Sterling 10.5" yet?
No problem, I'm sure ill be asking all kind of odd stuff here and there as soon as I start to really tear into mine.

Unfortunately I have not gotten a chance to get going on the sterling, Ive only cleaned it, and disassembled what was on my way. I can only put in a couple of hours at any given time so projects tend to take me a little longer than they really should, I will be cutting some square tubbing out of 3x3x1/4' for the rear truss in the next 2 weeks. clayton and east coastgearsupply make rear wj bracket kits, but they are pricey. Since I'm not in a hurry I decided to make my own and put that money for the gear/locker fund.

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Old 10-19-2015, 08:43 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Whittled away at the drivers side pumpkin on the D50 - made enough room to fit the Artec LCA mounts to the Super Duty axle.


Also welded in the LCA mounts.



And from the underside.


Full shot of the axle. Working on fitment of the driver side lower coil mount up against to pumpkin tonight and maybe slide the axle under the front end. Once there, I can determine UCA tower clearance and placement and tack it in place and determine CA lengths. Also need to take about 1" out of the exhaust crossover pipe from under the motor (4.0L) to give a little more room on the passenger side for UCA movement.

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Old 10-20-2015, 12:12 PM   #22 (permalink)
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WJ with tire mockup. This is about where I want the ride height when the WJ is all done, 21.5" under the frame rails on 35s using 6" front and 4.5" rear springs. I have a set of 2" springs to initially use as a point of reference and then I'll order the appropriate lift springs from there.



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Old 10-20-2015, 06:05 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Got the coil spring mounts fitted to the existing leaf spring pads - had to cut a flat edge onto the coil spring mount to make if sit flat against the pumpkin and clearance the driver side casting a little to provide some room for the rubber isolator and spring to fit in there without rubbing. Have both front coil mounts tacked into place. I like how it's turning out.



Driver side mounts.


Passenger side mounts.


Full axle.
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Old 10-21-2015, 12:50 PM   #24 (permalink)
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I just finished a similar build. Im wondering why you went through all this just to run a 35" tire? I went with 37" pitbull radials which are a full 1" taller than any other 37 I have seen, and it still hangs the diffs on everything. You will want to shave the diffs and look at bigger tires if you are going to wheel this in the rocks.

My build thread: https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/jeep-...ow-cog-wj.html
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Old 10-21-2015, 06:45 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I just finished a similar build. Im wondering why you went through all this just to run a 35" tire? I went with 37" pitbull radials which are a full 1" taller than any other 37 I have seen, and it still hangs the diffs on everything. You will want to shave the diffs and look at bigger tires if you are going to wheel this in the rocks.

My build thread: https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/jeep-...ow-cog-wj.html
35s for now, with the potential to go bigger after it's dialed in and working well. I also figured that I could get the Jeep back on the road more quickly if I didn't go through the extra pain of fitting the 37s right now. The WJ will be used as a daily driver and light trail rig initially - I have 2 CJs that the kids and I generally wheel with.

Was able to get the axle up on jackstands in position under the front of the WJ and slapped the tires on it for rough fitment. Looks like I got lots of room with the shorter pinion length of the D50 and not too much tire sticking out from under the fenders. I like your solution to interference between the trackbar mount and pumpkin at max stuff - looks easy enough to relocate the trackbar end up higher and lower the bumpstops a little to prevent metal on metal contact with every big bump. Some photos from tonight:









Got to mock up the control arms tomorrow and see how the mounts, control arms, and coil springs get along under there. Also need to study the steering linkage and trackbar for fitment.

Can someone with 6" front springs and the 4.0L give me a static, compressed spring length from their WJ - trying to determine the weighted coil spring length at ride height. Thanks in advance.

Semper Fi!
Ty
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Too many projects, not enough time! '88 AW150, CJ5, CJ8, Ford GPW, WJ, and a Powerstroke Excursion.
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