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Old 01-25-2008, 02:19 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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My YJ Build

I have started a YJ build page www.smokymountaingillies.com/yjbuild.html

I am turning my '94 Wrangler 4.0L (168k miles on the clock) into a true offroader. Obtained a Dana44 front/AMC 20 set of axles from an '86 Waggy.

Here is what we plan to do:

Spring over Axle Lift
4.88 r&p w/ Aussie Lockers
Slip-yoke Eliminator
Putting x-joints in front axle
Add rear Disc Brakes
35" Mud Terrains
Warn Hubs
Adding appropriate body armor and tubular bumpers.

I still plan on using it as a part-time daily driver. I have other vehicles so it doesn't need to be my errand runner.

I welcome all comments, encouragements, and instructive advice.

Happy 'roading all

Last edited by MountainGillie; 01-25-2008 at 03:32 PM.
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Old 01-25-2008, 02:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Looks good... now help support the great resource this site is and buy a red star...

Any reason u went with a 20 instead of a D44?? Specially being a rear 20.....unless it was free i guess.

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Old 01-25-2008, 02:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Black Sheep View Post
Looks good... now help support the great resource this site is and buy a red star...

Any reason u went with a 20 instead of a D44?? Specially being a rear 20.....unless it was free i guess.
I got both axles for $275 total. The only junkyard waggy we could find nearby had a &*#%'ed up front, so we pulled the rear axle shafts for spares, along with the tie-rod and pitmann arm.

As for the red star... I plan on it eventually. My wife is one step away from beating me to death with a tire iron for what this is costing. I still need to join the Southern 4wd Association so I can be a member of my local club.
I will get to it once I am done sleeping on the couch.

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Old 01-30-2008, 06:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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New toys arriving

Aussie Lockers, Ring and pinions, and warn hubs have arrived. Still waiting on u joints.

Still have to obtain brake parts (combo of junkyard and new), a tie rod end (see my other thread, wheels and tires to be ready for my swap.

I know in the near future I am going to need new body bolts and I want to swap to urethane bushings when I do. Should I lift it 1" (the prices for 1" lifts are really not much higher in price than for stock height ones"). And for that matter what kits do people recommend.
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Old 01-30-2008, 07:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You should have bought my axles. Same axles only with a detroit front and a spool rear. Could have saved you some money.
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Old 01-30-2008, 10:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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That sounds like a nice build. Thats exactly what I've done to my rig. SOA with Waggy springs and axles (44/AMC20) on 35". I'm running Aussie lockers front and rear as well. You'll definitely want to get/make a anti-wrap bar, on my first run out I broke the u-joint on rear drive shaft. Some other little things I found helpfull:

Brake lines that are longer and fit the banjo bolt and hard lines - Raybestos
BH 38622 & BH 38623. I don't remember what truck these are from (dodge something) but get the rear rubber line and it will bolt up to the rear lines.

New bump stops

My master cylinder didn't do a good job at stopping the larger brakes, so I'm using an E350 M/C. Works great.

Keep the D44 slugs in case one of your warn lockouts break.

For tie rods and drag links, use and cut the drag links from a mid 80's blazer. Then just cut to fit, if you leave the odd left hand thread you'll have an easier time finding the proper right hand tap. These are very beefy rods.

Use the heavier 3/4 - 1 Ton ends with some cross over steering arm.

Your pitman arm from the YJ will not be long enough to get a full turning radius. You can use the Waggy arm, but if you keep the sway bar it may interfere.

I don't know what you plan on using for springs but I suggest mixing your YJ and Waggy springs. This will give you a nice flexy rig, give it about a 1-2" lift, and you can orient(?) the Waggy springs to stretch the rears back about 2"s.


Oh yeah, weld the AMC 20 pumpkin to the axle tubes. This will help to prevent them from spinning.

Last edited by nstg8tr; 01-30-2008 at 10:30 PM. Reason: Added more stuff
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Old 01-31-2008, 06:44 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Wow... thanks for the detailed info

Thanks nstg8tr...My buddies have a lot of experience, but they are bronco guys. Obviously each rig poses unique challenges. If you have a chance, send me a picture of you rig. I need inspiration.

Touching on a bunch of your points:
Anti-wrap bar: is that the same as traction/ladder bar mentioned in a prior post?

Brake lines and MC: Thanks for the advice. That one should be easy

D44 Slugs: Keeping 1 and giving one to the buddy who is helping me with the build so he has a spare as well.

Tie Rod: your suggestion went a bit over my head, but I am sure someone on this end can help me decipher it.

Pitman Arm: We swiped the one from the waggy when we grabbed (most) of the tie rod. Hopefully it fits without any trouble (yeah right)

Springs: We hadn't thought to grab them out of the waggy. Maybe next PullaPart trip. There are a couple of axleless Waggies with springs just hanging there.

Welding Pumpkin: Sounds easy enough

Again... thanks everyone for your advice. I know I sound like a dumb newbie (if it walks like a duck...). I know I can just ask one of the guys that is helping me with my build, but I want to try to figure this stuff out without bothering them 8+ times a day at work.

This board has been very helpful, and yes I _AM_ going to buy a red star once I am done ordering parts for the build.
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Old 01-31-2008, 11:40 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Something else to consider and cheap. Use the front drive shaft from the waggy, it's a double cardon design - perfect for your SYE. Have it cut down and balanced after you put in your axles. Another option is to use the front drive shaft from an XJ.

As for the steering stuff - In my post I said to get the drag link from a 80's blazer, I meant to say tie rod. This tie rod will need to be cut down to fit between the steering arms of the waggy D44. When you cut the tube you want to cut the length off from the right hand thread. This way you keep the left hand thread - its really difficult finding a tap thats left hand thread in the correct size. Usually a machine shop will have the right hand tap and only the really really good ones (or 4x4 shops) will have the left.

You'll want to get 2 tie rods from blazers, this way you can make your own tie rod and drag link.

You can use the existing waggy steering linkage, but when I was rebuilding mine I had to replace all the warn out/old stuff anyways so I thought I'd beef it up some. In the end it worked out cheaper using the blazer stuff.

The anit-wrap bar is the same thing as a traction/ladder bar. This is one I built using tractor links. Easy to do and real cheap.

If you haven't noticed so far my budget is real small for 4X4 fun so no shiny bling - just good stuff that works!



You can see the tie rod and drag links in this pic



Some other random thoughts...
Go and remove the shock mounts and move them so they don't hang below the axle.

Get some ford F250 shock mounts for the front. You'll get rid of the dorky factory pin mounts and also increase your shock length. The rear frame shock mount should be fine but I'd recommend you look into getting extensions (make or buy, I chose to make mine - let me know if you're interested and I'll snap some pics)

You'll need to do something for the front drive shaft. I use square trailer hitch tubing - lots of slip travel and bullet proof. It does vibrate at higher speeds but I rarely drive that fast in 4x4.

This is your build up thread, so I'll let you steer it
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Old 01-31-2008, 12:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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wow you guys make me REALLY happy that i live in Aridzona. My axle had surface rust but nothing liek that! NUTS! and no mud either :P just rock and traction.
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Old 01-31-2008, 12:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I have a lot of the same info you just got but with pics in my build thread.

I used a suburban lower front drive shaft yoke and xj lower front drive shaft yoke to make a square driveshaft. That combo of yokes slip right into, with minimal grinding, the square shafts. I live at the junk yard so i find all sort of cool shit and info. Goooo scavengers!!!!!
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Old 01-31-2008, 06:43 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks for all the info guys. I am helping Mountaingillie with the build. After building early broncos it should be interesting with heep.
nstg8tr could you post a pic of your skid plate with the shackle so we can have a clue. I thought the tubes on the waggy 20 were already welded? We will look into the tie rod thing. Two questions did you have to re-reem the knuckle for the ends you used? 2. Did you have to do the high steer (who's arm) or will the drag link fit with the SOA?

Thanks for the answers, we will have more I am sure.
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Old 01-31-2008, 09:11 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I can't take credit for the traction bar setup. There's lots of ways to build or buy one. Below is a website that I fora general design.

http://home.comcast.net/~t.molnar/

I did make some changes but they were minor - you'll see that Tibor (the guys handle in the site above) bolted the traction bar cross member to the top of the YJ cross member. I didn't, instead I bolted it through the frame sides. Here's a drawing that I made for someone else but it describes what I did. The red vertical lines are welded to the traction cross member, then I bolted it through the frame. (the drawing shows the vert. pieces being on one side and then the other of the frame. this was an example, I put mine on the inside)



For the bottom pivot/shackle point of the traction bar (cross member side) I used the old trac bar from the D35. I just cut the track bar and kept the bushing mount so I could weld it to the cross member.

The tubes on the '20 are spot/plug welded. I chose to weld the tubes to the pumpkin. Due this in 1 inch beads and let it cool to the touch before continuing further.

For cross over steering you'll need to find a flat top knuckle from a chev D44 (I think a 10 bolt knuckle will have them too - someone else might chime in here). Have a look at Mr N's great steering article on sources of knuckles.

http://77cj.littlekeylime.com/flatop_knucles.html

Once you have the knuckle and its been machined flat you can get the hi steer arm. I used an Over The Top arm (OTT - they're local), I doubt you could go wrong with Parts Mike though. When you get the Hi steer arm just tell them how you intend to use it and he/she/it will machine the right size hole. Here's Parts Mike's site - lots of good info

http://www.partsmike.com/tie_rodid.html
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Old 02-01-2008, 09:47 AM   #13 (permalink)
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nstg8tr I understand the machining of the knuckle, but was wondering if you or anyone knows can you use the normal steering set up with a SOA or does it have to have the high steer. From the picture I can not tell if drag link will connect to the tie rod with the leaf spring there.
Thanks for any clarification.
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Old 02-01-2008, 10:33 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I wasn't able to use the stock drag link with my setup. It was at to much of an angle and would've caused bump steer. At the time I didn't have drop pitman arm that would've made up the difference.
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Old 02-01-2008, 11:48 AM   #15 (permalink)
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search ebay for having the knukle machined its cheap and fast. The guy is also a pirate member. Partsmike has tons of info and helped me alot with everything

you dont need hysteer right a way, go with cross over steering so you need only one hysteer arm and flat top knuckle. Waggy came with flat top knuckles in 76,77
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Old 02-01-2008, 07:33 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I have seen that on ebay. We will have to look into that. We may go heim steering instead of tierod ends, who knows. Thanks for the info on the knuckles. I guess one more question, Is the Heep knuckle the same as the Chevy. I know the spindle bolt pattern is the same, any other differences.
nstg8tr any chance of a close up of the drivers side spring mount. From everything we have read you cut and gring the webbing on top to weld the spring pad, and cut and grind a groove in the underside for a u-bolt. Any pointers you feel like giving?

MountGillie just called to say that the x-joints came today. So it looks like we will be gearing and locking the axles next weekend.
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Old 02-02-2008, 11:33 AM   #17 (permalink)
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knuckles the same but spindle taper size is different from chevy and therefore the hub also. You can take the spindle off either a 10 bolt front or 44 along with all the brakes hubs and backing plates. I keep my search to pre 86 chevy's, blazers mostly at pick n pull. Im pretty sure the build thread in my sig will answer a lot of questions
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Old 02-02-2008, 11:34 AM   #18 (permalink)
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http://www.4crawler.com/4x4/ForSale/Shims.shtml

good link
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Old 02-04-2008, 07:28 PM   #19 (permalink)
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AMC 20 Welding

nstg8tr how/ what did you use to weld the center section to the axle tubes on the '20? Any special type of welding rod/ wire? Any other pointers? What else could I do to make this axle stronger? Please be detailed and speak slowly as this is my first build. Thanks
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Old 02-05-2008, 09:48 AM   #20 (permalink)
 
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Question Change of Plans... going Spring Under

After long consideration of everyones helpful posts, and discussions with GWBronco and members of ET4wd (our local club) I am leaning towards going spring under. While I know that it is a larger investment up front, I believe that there will be less monkeyrigging with the steering, possible need for new/modified knuckles, possible spindle conflicts, among other problems both forseen and unforseen.

Or as retardatwork describes it in his build thread:
" Anyone who says they want to do a springover because its cheap is either rich,has tons of time and is a damn good fabricator which i know there are plenty on this board, or they are doing it the wrong way"

So the plan now is to go with a 4" Rough Country Lift, and 1-2" of body lift.
I need to replace all of my body bolts and bushings anyhow, so I might as well lift it. I am wondering if 4" suspension/1" body is enough to 35" tires, or if I should go with 2" now and just get it over with. Will 2" make much of a difference for on road use?

Oh yeah, we are building the axles Friday. I'll post pics on my build page over the weekend.

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Old 02-05-2008, 10:00 AM   #21 (permalink)
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It would not be monkey rigging if you follow the advice everyone gave you. Your drag link angle is going to be worse going spring under, causing some pretty good bumpsteer. You only need one knukle and one hysteer arm. I had a four inch skyjacker kit before my SOA and it rode like crap. My valving on the shocks were less and it was still way too stiff and I had the soft ride springs. If you weld or have friends willing to weld for you this is a huge step backwards.

To each their own good luck

BTW stay with a 1 inch BL and figure out your bumpstops before you hit the trail. Trust me on that one. I rubbed reall bad and snapped my axle first time out with the 35's. I was running 4" springs SUA 1 inch body lift
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Old 02-05-2008, 10:03 AM   #22 (permalink)
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What about Quadratec waggy springs all the way around SUA. They are long and soft and have an offset. Take advantage of those welding friends while they are willing to help.
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Old 02-05-2008, 10:23 AM   #23 (permalink)
 
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ugh...

Ugh... every time I think I have it figured out, it gets more complicated. I will keep chewing on this and let you know. I have a couple of weeks to make up my mind. Getting the diffs regeared is the immediate concern.

I guess it goes back to the addage about opinions and buttholes... but everyone last night said that SUA rides better on-road than SOA, but now I am hearing the reverse.

As for Body Lift... I am only going 1".

Thanks again everyone.

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Old 02-05-2008, 01:12 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Maybe we should back up some and ask the questions, what type of terrain and wheeling do you want to do? What do you envision your jeep to look like after you’re finished with it? How much is the end goal worth to you?

You need to consider these questions carefully, and truthfully so that when you’ve spent your time, money, effort and friends you end up with something that you want to drive in daily ;-)

I’ll go first seeing as I’ve been down this road. I’ve never documented my thoughts this way and there seems to be something cathartic in doing so - hopefully its not too long. Maybe it will help others thinking of doing the same, who knows.

When I first thought of what my jeep should be I started with the tires for the environment I was going to wheel in, and what I thought looked best. After staring at a lot of jeeps on this and other boards, asking questions I ended up at 35”s. It was big enough and I thought it looked proportional. Also I learned afterward that it seems to be the sweet spot in terms of size. Not big enough to be breaking axles every month, and super common in the 4x4 community – meaning deals could be had.

Next was what axles could be found to run the tires. It turns out that the D44 seemed to be the best choice. Again common, easy to find parts and the right width for the wheeling I do (real tight trails). All that was left after this was how to fit the tires to the rig.

I looked at the choices available to me. For SUA I was leaning towards Rubicon Express’ 4.5” Extreme Duty kit – cost around $1100 (Canadian). Real nice kit, seemed to include everything I needed and everyone using it liked the ride and flex. On the other hand I saw what a SOA yj could do, it looked like they could really flex and ride well – it also gave me a great platform for doing further mods. After coming up with some equipment lists for the SOA project it looked like it would be just a little more expensive than the Rubicon kit. It did require more engineering and I needed to invest a lot more time studying up, but it was I project I thought would be a lot of fun. This is key! If it’s not fun there’s no point…

It took a couple of months getting all the parts and pieces together, then another month working weekends to get it finished. In the end even my wife was impressed with the jeep. For me it wasn’t just the destination, it was the path getting there and doing the work myself that made me choose SOA. For me there is no one type of lift is better than the other, they both can perform well. Its what you’re willing to do.

If your club thinks that running a good SUA kit is good for the trails they run, then take their advice. If they’re willing to help you do a SOA and you want to learn a bunch, then supply lots of food and drink!

I’m not sure on how to reply about how a SOA rides, when I bought my jeep it had stock suspension on 31” tires. The thing rode like a tank but could solemn in traffic great - I never thought it felt like a true 4x4. After the makeover it feels like it should, I don’t do corners at 80Kph anymore but what do you expect. I removed the track bars and sway bars and the ride is pretty damn smooth. Much nicer than when I was driving on 31”s.
If you’re concerned about stability with a SOA design leave the sway bar on, it will firm up the ride and you can always get/make disconnects for it.
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Old 02-05-2008, 02:03 PM   #25 (permalink)
 
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in answer to nstg8tr...

In answer to your questions...

My club (East TN 4wd www.et4wd.org - click on Members to see the specifics on everyone's rigs) is a pretty diverse group. There are some guys who are more extreme than others, with some pretty serious rigs. We ride Tellico, Windrock, Harlan KY, and other places in the Southeast. There is a mix of SUA and SOA Jeeps of all years, Broncos, Toyotas, a crazy looking Samurai, and Joe's Scouts.

I am new to 4 wheeling, at least in the recreational sense(I drove Land Rovers all over Kenya a decade ago). My YJ, while it won't be my only daily driver, needs to be pretty street-worthy (I prefer not to run errands in my '02 Dakota 5.9L V8 with gas prices how they are)

While I am mentioning the Dakota, it has a tow rating of 6500#. I am not going to be able to get a full trailer capable of hauling my rig behind my truck. For shorter trips, I will be driving it to the trail, and down the road I am seriously considering getting one of those 2-wheel dollies to tow the Jeep behind my truck on longer trips (and for the peace of mind of being able to get it home when I break). It is extremely unlikely that in the next 5 years anyway that my YJ will be a dedicated off roader.

I am a realist in the sense that I know I am never going to have the most hard-core rig out there. I know that there are obstacles at Tellico among other places that I will probably never get over on 35" tires no matter which way I mount the axle.

I am learning a sh*t-ton about the mechanical aspects of my jeep, and I am definately having fun with it...so I don't feel that I can go wrong either way in that regard.


I guess the bottom line is this...
I have made a couple of good friends who are into wheeling in pretty major way (both run early 70's broncos, built from scratch, and do little if any road driving with their rigs). I happend to have a 94 YJ that was at a crossroads. Either I needed to get rid of it, or fix it in some way (it has some rust issues having lived in NE Ohio for the majority of its life). We were planning on paying to have it fixed and prettied up before I met the above mentioned friends. As it turns out, for a modest amount more $ I could take care of the body issues myself/with their help, and I could get into the off roadding thing at the same time. So that is the path I chose (with approval from the boss of course).

In the end (and yes I am enjoying the process along the way), I want a rig that is good on the road, and reasonably capable on the trails. I won't be making every club ride, especially in the summer because I am a fly-fishing guide and my Saturdays are usually booked. So I am looking at probably no more that once or twice a month at most taking it off-road.

I will be investing in a good winch, and I do not want to be a burden to others. Regardless of which way I decide to go axle-mounting wise, 35" tires, f&r lockers, and 4.88 gears are not going to leave me in a position where people are going to be cursing me behind my back.

So as Fozzy Bear once said, "when you come to a fork in the road, take it". I just need to get the fence post out of my butt and make a decision.
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