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Old 11-06-2012, 02:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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cj2a-ish pile of parts



Getting closer to a roller. Had an old tub that had been passed from friend to friend. It has been a planter, paint gun cover, kids play box, etc... some day it will roam the great outdoors again.

I had a pile of parts but no money. A few good friends of mine decided to unearth a few parts as well. Thats how it started....

Specs are a cj2a-ish tub. Years ago I cut out the floor and stretched the tub at the door opening. Frame is 2x4 3/16" steel from another rig we cut up a bit so it would kinda fit. Axles are out of an 04 LJ, engine is a 95 mustang 302 with an 87ish thunderbird tbi on it. Transmission is a np435 with a custom adapter to almost bolt a dana 300 to it. I am using a np208 out of a j10 for a transfer case. Suspension is what we had laying around. Grader ball style rear suspension, front might be a four link or grader ball.... not sure on that yet as the np435 and clutch fork take up a bit more room than I first thought.

My goal is to have a nice small light trail rig. Nothing fancy, and built on a shoe string budget.

Hoping to have a roller by christmas. Then move it back to my house and I'll rebuild the tranny, t-case, re-gasket the engine, and do the wiring. Hoping to have it on the road next summer.... or at least on a dirt road.
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Old 11-06-2012, 05:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I like those wheels
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Old 11-06-2012, 05:25 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I was thinking the same.....What are those?
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Old 11-06-2012, 06:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I like those wheels
Beat me to it
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Old 11-06-2012, 08:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I honestly don't know what the wheels came off of, they were from a friend. He had them in the back of his shop collecting dust for a while. I like them too!
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Old 11-07-2012, 02:10 AM   #6 (permalink)
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lovin another willys build...keep us posted....
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Old 12-26-2012, 12:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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How long is the stretch? What is the rise from lower frame to upper frame? Thanks
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:01 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Little work done on her. Ran into a problem with my tub, well not so sure it was a problem as much as it was just a ton of work trying to work around all the rust. A friend found another tub that is in much better shape. Still not sure how it is going to work out. Rear suspension is done, got a clocking ring to make the transfer case work (needed a spacer). Transmission/t-case mount is done. Still working on front suspension, starting to look like leafs or radius arms.









Special thanks to Ken, Corey, and Keith for helping me.

Last edited by 95steel; 01-11-2013 at 07:08 AM.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:06 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Stretch is about 8-10 in the door opening (might change as I just swapped tubs). Rear is pushed back about 2". Front is pushed forwards a bit (still working on it).
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Working on the front.
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:22 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Sweet man, keep her goin!
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Old 01-17-2013, 09:53 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Working on the front a bit. Front suspension is using the stock suspension mounts off the TJ. Custom "mid" length arms. Still need to get the track bar on it. It's bouncy now!

Started messing around with the steering, was planning on using a gear box off a 2500 dodge (big, kinda like the old Jeep J20 boxes). Fitting it is going to be a PIA. I don't want to extend the front of the frame, but putting the box where the steering works with out binding moves the box out too far forward. I have a few other gear boxes I need to try.
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:00 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I'm running a J20 big piston box on mine. Fitment wasn't too bad. Mine frame is slightly extended, but not much. On mine the key was pitman arm length. I ended up making a custom length arm to help everything work.
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:04 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I have a box full of pitman arms I need to dig through. I need to look through your thread for how you mounted your steering.
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:11 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I have a box full of pitman arms I need to dig through. I need to look through your thread for how you mounted your steering.
It was pretty conventional. I basically tried to mount the box level with upper mounting sleeves just under the top edge of the frame. This let me build in a mount for the factory tow hooks basically in the same spot as the steering box. I did have to slightly trim the grill for the hoses and steering shaft coupler.

I have a mounting template for the 4-bolt saginaw boxes somewhere also. I don't know if it would work with your steering box?
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:24 AM   #16 (permalink)
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It depends on what box I use. I have the dodge box and it is a 3 bolt box with a triangular pattern. I also have a box off a wrangler, wagoneer, and a z box. I thought I had an old caddy box somewhere too (makes the dodge look tiny, biggest piston size I have ever saw). Thanks for the offer on the template but I think I have one.

I just looked at your thread. I don't have measurements in front of me but it looks like I have less frame out front. I need to measure pitman arms before I get ahead of myself on this!
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Old 01-17-2013, 10:35 AM   #17 (permalink)
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It depends on what box I use. I have the dodge box and it is a 3 bolt box with a triangular pattern. I also have a box off a wrangler, wagoneer, and a z box. I thought I had an old caddy box somewhere too (makes the dodge look tiny, biggest piston size I have ever saw). Thanks for the offer on the template but I think I have one.

I just looked at your thread. I don't have measurements in front of me but it looks like I have less frame out front. I need to measure pitman arms before I get ahead of myself on this!
Just let me know if you want me to grab a measurement tonight. Mine is totally behind the 2" thick bumper so it might not be as bad as you think. My axle is pretty far forward in relation to the frame length. I am using approx 42" long centered pin springs. So rough numbers the axle is only about 20" behind the front end of the frame/bumper.
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:01 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Compared mine to a tj and a tj is about 4-5" longer from the center of the spring bucket to the end of the frame. I think with a little butchery it will fit. Might have to extend the frame a few inches, but I want to get some measurements first. I think the pitman arm I was using was for a dana 44 and I know the xj/tj pitman arms are shorter. I need to confirm what I was using for mock up first.

I guess when you are building a rig from discarded parts a few things are bound to be "interesting".
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:37 PM   #19 (permalink)
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XJs came with a bracket to mount the box flat against the frame, so you can use one of those as a template if you go with a 3-hole box.
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:31 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Those wheels are some old-school American Racing units from the mid to late 80's. Many a ride in my high-school parking lot rolled on those.
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:45 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Just a thought.

Do you think the current one will be level with all the weight on the chassis?

Can you make the rear trackbar longer?

The longer you can make the trackbar the less rear end 'wiggle' you will get like some lifted TJs have.
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:54 PM   #22 (permalink)
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That rear track bar is 8 inches longer than a TJ'S, designed to be near flat at ride hight. Raised it a few inches at axle end and did my best at the frame end. Original design was for it to be about four inches longer, my free chunk of cold rolled changed that!

For the front the suspension geometry is as close to stock tj as we can get it. Control arms are a little longer, using the factory track bar (trying to...)

I got stuck at work and haven't been able to work on the steering.
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:55 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:03 PM   #24 (permalink)
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We (meaning Ken) was able to get the dodge steering box to fit after I found the correct pitman arm. Had to modify the factory TJ track bar bracket a bit and tied it to the spring bucket.

Swapped tubs. We needed a little more room for the radiator and fan so we pushed the front of the tub forward a bit. This caused the stretch to grow. I now have a very large door opening. It looks better in person. I picked up some early 90's cherokee seats in near perfect conditon with brackets. Chopping the seat mounts and dropping them a bit (shorter). Floor is almost done. Working on shifters, steering column etc.. will be back at my house soon for electrical and drivetrain rebuild.

I have the xj hanging pedals. Looking at master cylinders. I am using stock TJ/LJ axles with disc brakes and want to run non power assist brakes. researching the older corvette MC to see if it will work. If not I guess I will figure out how to put power assist on it.
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