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Old 10-02-2015, 10:29 PM   #126 (permalink)
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I've always thought having flat angles at ride height was optimal for ride quality and overall flex. I'll be driving this on the street as well as the trail. I'm planning to bend the track bar above the diff and possibly notch the passenger frame above the track bar to give me 4-5" up travel, which should be enough for the trail running and rock crawling I do.

Edit: I'm reading through your build thread now (Diablo169) to check out your steering setup, but I'm going through the whole thing and haven't gotten to it yet. I've been daydreaming of throwing some coilovers on the front like you did instead of using coils and springs as I had planned, just haven't convinced myself to spend that much, at least not yet. I don't feel like waiting until tax return time but if it drags out past Christmas I could probably buy some. How much of an improvement are the coilovers as just compared to coils and shocks?

Edit: I saw your steering and track bar, but you went full hydro where the track bar angle really won't matter much as far as steering feel. Having the track bar mount higher at the frame would definitely be easier to build though and offer more up-travel for the diff, but I think the bend I'm planning will achieve the same thing. How much vertical separation between the links did you run on the axle end? Cool buggy by the way.
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Last edited by cooleysix; 10-03-2015 at 09:49 AM.
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Old 10-03-2015, 04:01 PM   #127 (permalink)
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Finished up most of the axle side track bar bracket.



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Old 10-09-2015, 08:18 PM   #128 (permalink)
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Positioned the coil buckets in place, they are stock units off of a '79 F-150. I then redid the LCA axle side mounts to incorporate support for the coil buckets and lower the LCAs a bit to give me more axle-side vertical separation. I ended up with about 8.5" of separation and the LCAs hang about an inch below the axle tube. I also worked on some more frame reinforcement pieces that incorporated the new radiator supports. I threw on the coils and it is now sitting on its own weight again. There's a lot left to do before it's driveable though.


These two help me all the time by cleaning the garage when I'm done each night. They're also good at fetching tools and bolting/unbolting stuff. This is around 3.5" of suspension lift over stock, I'm using ZJ V8 front springs with 2" spacers.


The LCAs hang down a bit below the axle tube now, it was a compromise between high clearance and enough vertical separation.







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Old 11-13-2015, 05:11 PM   #129 (permalink)
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Making small progress. I tested what will be full bump a couple days ago and made a few tweaks so everything cleared. I have 4.25" of up-travel. Shock tabs are in and I finished all the welding on the front axle and painted it, then worked on the radiator mount a bit and started beefing up the frame side track bar bracket.







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Old 11-25-2015, 08:14 AM   #130 (permalink)
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I reinforced the body side upper control arm mount quite a bit, including tying it into the LCA mount below it, then closed up the hole in the passenger side floor I made to get the mount up high enough and reinforced it up there too. I used seam sealer and painted the floor

I also finished up the radiator mount and painted everything, then installed the radiator and front trim pieces again. I'll be heading to the junkyard in a couple weeks to get a dual electric fan for the radiator to replace the Taurus fan I had in there before. The taurus fan hangs down past the radiator into the space I want to use for a winch someday. I'll also try and get a couple sway bars that I can use since the stock front one doesn't work anymore. I'll measure beforehand but I'm hoping a full size truck one might be wide enough to clear the new track bar mount. Also considering a rear sway bar from a newer dodge pickup or something for the rear. Currie Anti Rocks would be nice, but they're so expensive I'd rather not go that route.









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Old 11-25-2015, 08:34 AM   #131 (permalink)
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are you planning on adding more material to your bumper to protect your lights/fenders??

looks good keep up the good work. always loved comanchee's
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Old 11-25-2015, 08:42 AM   #132 (permalink)
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I am, but not immediately. I have three nuts captured on the front outer edges of the bumper, along with two below on each side. Those will be used to attach bolt-on end caps eventually. Right now the focus is just finishing it before the new year because I'll be moving in March and have to get the house ready and pack up.
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Old 11-26-2015, 06:15 PM   #133 (permalink)
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I installed the front axle and put the seat and carpet back in on the passenger side. I also removed the junkyard '79 length D60 inner axle and replaced it with a chromoly piece, then filled it up with gear oil. I also started the engine for the first time in about a year and a half, then pushed it out of the garage and back in to reposition it so I can work on the rear gears. It just needs driveshafts, an electric fan, rear gears, rear brake lines, possibly a bent track bar or a pitman arm with less drop if I move the track bar up, then later on more body mods to fit the tires better at full flex, extended bump stops and limit straps, longer front brake lines, and a bunch of other small stuff.



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Old 11-26-2015, 09:45 PM   #134 (permalink)
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This thing is looking really good
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Old 11-27-2015, 06:28 AM   #135 (permalink)
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Awesome build.
You have quite the team helping you out.
Great job
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Old 12-13-2015, 07:58 PM   #136 (permalink)
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Thanks guys, I appreciate the compliments. I've been working here and there on small stuff. I tore the rear diff apart to find that the pinion bearings had spun on the pinion, so I couldn't reuse them as planned. The yoke had grooves worn in where the seal rides too, so couldn't reuse that as planned either. I have the new parts in and plan to start on the gear setup tomorrow. I'm just going to leave the limited slip in for now and run it until I can purchase an air locker or until I decide to just weld it up.





I also installed a 2000 Dodge 2500 master cylinder onto my stock '88 booster. I had to shorten the push rod slightly (1/4" or so) and create new lines from the master cylinder to the proportioning valve. 1/2-20 and 7/16-24 inverted flare tube nuts on the p valve and 10mm-1.0 and 12mm-1.0 bubble flare tube nuts for the master cylinder. I'm planning to upgrade to a dual-diaphraghm '96 XJ booster later. Nobody had one locally and I was under a time crunch. I got the brakes bled, we'll see how it does.



I also got my BTF DIY cover welded up, inside and out. I may have to clean up the bolt hole areas a bit with a die grinder still.

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Old 12-15-2015, 10:44 PM   #137 (permalink)
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I got the rear gears setup. Took me five iterations this time to get everything just right. That is the heaviest diff I've ever had to lift in and it was not fun doing it over and over with the axle still under the rig. Smashed a finger, cut another finger, hit the hand with a big hammer four or five times, nothing a few weeks recovery won't fix.



Here's another of my helpers. He kept pressing the horn until it got stuck with the horn on. It scared him so he left it alone after that.



Here is a tool I made to help with removing bearings.





On to the clutch replacement tomorrow.
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Old 01-08-2016, 09:40 AM   #138 (permalink)
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Got the clutch put in before I left for vacation. While on leave I got bored so I visited a metal shop in Arizona and bought some 3/4" steel. I drew up some d-ring mounts, cut them out, and drilled them (3/4 hole), then welded them on once I got home and modified my towbar to fit it so I can flat tow the truck during our next move. Got some 3/4" pins to attach them with at the local farm store. My brakes were not impressive when I drove the thing out the driveway and turned it around in the garage. I'm replacing the rear wheel bearing seal this weekend, filling it with oil, then it will be ready to drive while I work on the rest of the small items like the engine fan, bump stops, limit straps, wheel well openings, etc.
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Old 01-09-2016, 11:30 PM   #139 (permalink)
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Old 01-10-2016, 12:02 PM   #140 (permalink)
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Filled the rear axle with gear oil yesterday but I'll have to add some more later. I used 85/140 in sub 10 weather so I'm sure it will take more now that it's had time to flow down into the hubs.
I also did an alignment and torqued all the suspension bolts. Drove it to the store last night and to church this morning. Rides decent, but I will definitely put a sway bar or two on eventually.
Rear tires easily hit the fenders, even around town. I expected this to happen off road but thought it would be fine around town. I will probably lift it a little in the back as a temporary measure before we move, then do the necessary body work for bigger wheel wells later.
Gearing feels OK, but wish I had a lower first gear. Next up are the differential vent tubes, a leaking radiator hose, new blower motor, rework the roll bar so the tailgate can be reinstalled, and build an electric fan mount/shroud.
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Old 01-10-2016, 07:40 PM   #141 (permalink)
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Topped off the rear axle again, installed the rear axle breather hose, re-tightened the lower radiator hose clamp, then got stuck. My front axle truss is on top of what I believe is the breather bolt in the front axle. Can somebody confirm that the bolt on the top driver side of the front Dana 60 goes all the way through the housing and is used for the breather tube? I think I remember it going all the way through, but not sure. I'll have to cut the truss just enough to allow the bolt out. I also picked up a new blower motor, but the old one has been sealed in place with something and won't come out. I'll keep trying another time on that one.
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Old 02-13-2016, 05:58 PM   #142 (permalink)
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My front driveshaft was just barely too long, it would bolt up but it was fully compressed at static height. I didn't feel like spending more money on it, so I put all four wheels on jack stands so I could spin the driveshaft while I ground down the old weld, then, used a bearing splitter along with my hydraulic press to get the slip yoke off. I cut the tube down about an inch, pressed the slip yoke back into the tube, then re-installed it all pre-weld into the truck on jack stands. I used that as a make-shift lathe again along with my dial indicator to get it straight. I would just spin until I found a high spot, mark it, hit it with the hammer, and repeat. I got it to .003" runout pre-weld. Post weld it ended up with .020" runout, but that should work fine since I'm running with selectable hubs now anyways.

The rear tires would rub the fenders fairly easily, so I lifted it up 5/8" as a temporary fix. Well, I finally got a spare tire and strapped it down in the bed. The extra weight makes it ride nicer and feel more balanced, but it also brought the rear back down that 5/8" again and the fenders rub all the time again. So I'm doing some minor cutting and body work again to fix it.

Here's a shot of the side I haven't cut yet to give an idea how much I'm taking off, just on the forward side for now.


I used 5/16" round bar for the edge after cutting it to stiffen things up and give me something solid to weld to.








I pie cut the inner fender and bent it back to meet up with the 5/16" bar as well, then filled the gaps, welded it all up, and covered it with rubberized undercoating.



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Old 02-24-2016, 09:50 PM   #143 (permalink)
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On to the driver side now. I'm sure i'll have to cut the back side more eventually, but I'm out of time, getting ready for a move.
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Old 02-25-2016, 07:42 AM   #144 (permalink)
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that looks awesome, I love the MJs. Keep up the great work...
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Old 02-25-2016, 08:29 AM   #145 (permalink)
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I think you nail the b new bed proportions. Looks great!
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Old 02-25-2016, 08:32 AM   #146 (permalink)
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Keep up the good work!!
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Old 03-16-2016, 08:06 PM   #147 (permalink)
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We're moving from Kansas to Virginia in a couple days, so all work has ceased, but I did flex it out locally a bit. I still have a ton of small stuff to do before I can wheel it. I need bump stops, limit straps, and I will need to cut out the forward side of the front wheel wells. I also had to go wider to get more turning radius, still waiting on the new spacers so the rear width matches again. I also moved the track bar up one hole on the body side mount to improve angles and roll center, and swapped in a Wagoneer pitman arm to get the drag link angle to match the track bar again. I had to cut out and triangle file the master splines on the Wagoneer arm to clock it correctly, and ream it for the ES2234 taper. I also swapped in the parts Mike offset TREs to stop the tie rod from contacting the diff cover like it was. I currently have 3.5" of uptravel on the front passenger side before the track bar mount hits the frame rail. I'll eventually notch it about an inch to get a little more uptravel.

Rear tire tucks up perfect after the rear fender mods with no contact.






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Old 03-16-2016, 08:11 PM   #148 (permalink)
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What part of Virginia are you moving to? I live on the nc/va line in mount airy. Look us up when you get settled. I have a mj build of my own now as well, in general 4x4.

Also here
http://www.nc4x4.com/index.php?threads/170413/

Love your build, good luck with the move

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Old 03-17-2016, 03:51 AM   #149 (permalink)
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Thanks, I'll check out your build. We'll be in Hopewell, a bit South of Richmond. I'll hit you up once we're settled. I plan to hit a few trails in the area in my Land Cruiser and in this once all the kinks are worked out.
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Old 03-27-2016, 09:27 AM   #150 (permalink)
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I put the rear wheel spacers on so the track width matches front to rear again, and clearanced the driver side front inner fender. I may need to cut out the marker lights and reconfigure the headlights, but I'm trying to avoid that to preserve the look of the Comanche front end. I had to relocate the ECM to the new portion of the inner fender. The curved surface made it more difficult to mount that.











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