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Topic Review (Newest First)
Yesterday 09:15 PM
DMANbluesfreak Now, onto more pirate-worthy updates.

Pulled the axles to get started on the next round of mods.


Which, as a reminder, are:
  • 34" 2-Row All-Aluminum Radiator (to replace current radiator w/ pinhole steam leak) - [Done]
  • Ox Locker w/ Air Actuation (20oz CO2 Cannister for now)
  • 5.13 Gears Front/Rear + Install Kits (to replace my undergeared 4.56s)
  • PSC 1.75" Diameter Ram (to replace current damaged 1.5" ram)
  • Flat Belly Skids and Hardware for Mounting

Radiator swapped (new vs. old):


Normally, I'd regear the 14b under the truck since they're so easy, but I also wanted to shave it some more (13b) which would suck a lot under the truck, so I pulled it, too.



I didn't start on the rear except for draining the fluid and pulling the shafts, but I got the front completely disassembled. Turns out, it's a good thing I'm regearing...




I noticed a little bit of endplay on the pinion last year and was hoping it would hold on until I did the front locker swap, so I'm glad I didn't delay any more.



03-25-2020 05:51 AM
DMANbluesfreak
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twmdodge99 View Post
I dig the fender flares.
Thanks man!
03-24-2020 06:44 PM
DMANbluesfreak
Quote:
Originally Posted by wvracer821 View Post
Sounds like the shut down is treating you good haha. What radiator did you go with? I already have the bigger one in my truck but Iím sure Iíll need a new one eventually.
https://www.radiatorexpress.com/prod...218409/1432053

This one. At the time, the ACDelco one wasn't much cheaper but now it is. I probably wouldn't have paid $100 more for this one.
03-24-2020 05:51 PM
Twmdodge99 I dig the fender flares.
03-24-2020 05:19 PM
wvracer821 Sounds like the shut down is treating you good haha. What radiator did you go with? I already have the bigger one in my truck but Iím sure Iíll need a new one eventually.
03-24-2020 04:50 PM
DMANbluesfreak I also ordered some goodies for the truck to keep me busy during the coronavirus shutdowns.
  • 34" 2-Row All-Aluminum Radiator (to replace current radiator w/ pinhole steam leak)
  • Ox Locker w/ Air Actuation (20oz CO2 Cannister for now)
  • 5.13 Gears Front/Rear + Install Kits (to replace my undergeared 4.56s)
  • PSC 1.75" Diameter Ram (to replace current damaged 1.5" ram)
  • Flat Belly Skids and Hardware for Mounting

I'll start with the radiator since it's literally bolt-in.

The next three are all related (since the hydro ram mounts to the diff cover), so I'll pull the axles to regear them and clean them up. I'll also do the 13b shave on my rear axle while I'm under there to gain even more clearance.

The belly skids need a fair bit of fabrication and LOTS of drilling to install the 58 PEM/weld nuts in the frame and crossmembers.

Pretty stoked on all of these upgrades. Taking my time on all of them since... well, since I'll have time
03-24-2020 04:40 PM
DMANbluesfreak I also finished up the flares. Not my best work, but I had to redo and scrape off the old epoxy when it didn't hold. Ended up using 3M 04247, which is strong as hell, but only has a 30 second working time.






The wheel is still not centered in the wheel well. Since the inner fender is still there, I could only open it up at the weird downward angle. But hey... I think it's better than the 2/3 of a flare I was rocking before.


03-24-2020 04:34 PM
DMANbluesfreak IDK if the pictures in the last post are fixed... but either way.

New front shocks!


Built some extenders to get the shocks away from the crossmember... you can see that they're quite close at ride height and I'm pretty sure they touched when flexed.


Who needs a plasma table?






I also took the opportunity to fix the factory-style shock mounts which hung down below the axle centerline and moved them up, using shorter shocks (12" instead of the old 14") to still achieve the same uptravel... slightly better actually.




And the money shot! Look, completely smooth axle tubes!
03-17-2020 09:36 PM
DMANbluesfreak Been hacking away at smaller projects lately, and probably will continue to do so as we get more and more locked down for quarantine.

New shocks ordered for all 4 corners, because the 10+ year old 5150s were starting to feel pretty wallowy. Only got the fronts installed because I want to redo my rear mounts a bit to keep them from hanging down so low below the axle centerline. Unbelievable how tight they made the truck handle, even just on the front.


Even though I did gaskets about two years ago, I had a leak on the driver's manifold. Turns out there was some rust keeping it from sealing properly so I wire wheeled the manifold sealing surface and now the exhaust leak is finally gone. Good news is that all 6 bolts came out no problem.


Gave a tug at one of the rear flares and decided it was time to FINALLY redo the wheel well openings when a bunch of rust fell out. Even worse once I pulled the flare off. Good news is that I think cutting the existing rust out a few years ago paid off, they're not much worse than they were.


Cut the opening bigger, trimmed the inner fender/wheel well, and added some strength back.




And finally started chopping two sets of flares together for a super wide opening. Looks decent, but have to deal with the swoopy shape so the inner wheel well doesn't need to get cut. I'm calling it a nod to the 67-72 Chevys.
03-16-2020 08:44 PM
DMANbluesfreak

Basically cut a hole big enough and then make this mounting plate for it. The fuel pump will seal against this surface and the top clamp w/ 6 holes will bolt it down using the studs.

Like this:


Let me know if the pictures work for you. I did have to modify the slides and float on the fuel pump to make it fit, but you should be able to figure that out pretty easily
03-16-2020 01:48 PM
OldMan57
Quote:
Originally Posted by DMANbluesfreak View Post
The tank has a lip that is spot welded to hold the two halves together. I added some flat stock to the front and rear where the tank mounts for it to press against. That's how the factory K5/Burb tank was mounted. (It's a 31 gallon Square Body Suburban tank modified for the truck's fuel pump unit).
By chance, do you have any photos of the modifications you had to make to accept the truck's fuel pump unit?

I'm kind of in a similar situation looking at the late 90's Suburban fuel tank (42gal) to go in the spare tire location of an '03 2500LD frame. Fits beautifully with my own crossmembers, but what I don't want to do is cobble together the fuel pump unit. In a perfect world i'd put the '03 6.0 pump unit into the 90's Suburban tank, but I want to keep all electronics working and gauge happy, as well as not have to epoxy the pump unit in because a locking ring or O-ring didn't work out as expected.
03-11-2020 11:56 AM
DMANbluesfreak Need to get yourself a social media account of some sort :P
03-11-2020 11:20 AM
mcrob0202
badlands

wish I knew you were going got my jeep home now
03-10-2020 09:14 PM
DMANbluesfreak The tank has a lip that is spot welded to hold the two halves together. I added some flat stock to the front and rear where the tank mounts for it to press against. That's how the factory K5/Burb tank was mounted. (It's a 31 gallon Square Body Suburban tank modified for the truck's fuel pump unit).
03-10-2020 04:28 PM
OldMan57 Looking back at your posts from #1082, what is holding your fuel tank from bouncing up?

And what tank is that? Sorry if I missed it - half of your pictures don't load for me. They're just black circles with a "do not enter" type of white dash.
03-10-2020 01:51 PM
DMANbluesfreak Badlands is usually a good time, it just gets old doing the same stuff over and over. Which is why it's so exciting when I can make it up new stuff. I think going on more cross-country trips brought the magic back to Badlands because it's not the only place I wheel now.
03-10-2020 07:36 AM
Twmdodge99 Lookin good, looks like fun to me!
03-09-2020 09:27 PM
DMANbluesfreak Some perspective for the above line... it's gnarly. This obstacle is my new nemesis. I've already started thinking of other lines to try next visit.


Moved onto a different obstacle after the unsuccessful attempt. This is where my shock decided to become more than one captured piece.


Finally had the balls to climb this guy. But not after the first attempt had my front wheels in the air momentarily. Picked a better line and was able to properly crawl it.


The playground that used to be purgatory.


Finished up with a quick trail ride.


All in all an aweome trip with awesome friends. My buddy Steve broke a lockout and likely his rear locker on his 95 XJ and my buddy Kevin's power steering pump pulley cracked (plastic??!?!?) on his 99 XJ and would spin on the PS pump shaft when he tried to steer with any resistance. He limped it home while we followed after swinging into Lafayette, IN to grab a spare in case his exploded. Fortunately, it did not.

I'll post pictures of other peoples rigs and videos later this week.
03-09-2020 09:14 PM
DMANbluesfreak Then, I did some fluid checking and packed up to head to Badlands for the NAXJA winterfest. I'm pretty certain there were over 150 jeeps there, it was insane. Met some cool people and of course watched some jeep people wheel, so there was plenty of interesting stuff happening





To say I'm impressed with my truck would be an understatement. I made it up 4 or 5 new obstacles I'd never been able to get up without winching and one-shotted some of the trickier obstacles I'd done before. There's still a couple that I wasn't able to conquer (the one pictured above, for example), so that'll be the goal for next time

Nothing major broke, but a shock eye did fall victim to the decade-plus of salty winters and separate from the shock body on the obstacle pictured above. I'll be taking this opportunity to run 12" travel shocks out back (rather than 14") and move the axle shock mounts in-line with the axle tube so that I stop snagging them on things.

Conquering the climb near the slab in one-shot. Did it again for video and of course it took two or three tries


Some gnarly line near the pond. I tried this before in the wet and wasn't successful. I made it a bit farther this time, but it got so tippy, I decided to back out and try a different line. Doing so lodged my rear axle tube between two rocks and I ended up winching forward. I'll share video of what I'd consider a valiant attempt soon.






03-09-2020 08:56 PM
DMANbluesfreak While I was doing my sway bar I noticed my front spring perch was a little saggy.


So I burned in a new one. With a broken welding helmet so I did it with three sets of sunglasses and used the gun to block the arc


Then, since I broke a leaf spring last trip out, I took the good main leaf I had leftover and found a place for it to live.




It gives me spare bolts, too if I ever need them.



And then, finally, I started finishing up my skid plate system.




The skids will be made from Duracorr 300 which is a very hard Stainless Steel (harder than mild steel, but not quite AR400). Pretty stoked about that because now when the paint gets scraped off, they won't rust IMMEDIATELY lol.

Used the same cardboard cutouts to verify the new hole locations and sent the DXFs to my very gracious buddy who's cutting them for me.
03-09-2020 08:48 PM
DMANbluesfreak I'm not sure. But if you have a 99-02 with a fuel return system, I bet the 96-99 Suburban pump could be made to work.
03-09-2020 07:44 PM
OldMan57
Quote:
Originally Posted by DMANbluesfreak View Post
If you don't mind the tank hanging down more than mine does, a GMT400 suburban tank may be able to work and they're 42 gallons.
Does the stock fuel pump fit in that tank?

That would be amazingly easy then.
03-08-2020 04:04 PM
DMANbluesfreak
Quote:
Originally Posted by OldMan57 View Post
With the wheelbase-ectomy, was there ANY chance to save the original fuel tank?

I'm in a similar situation now, but it's a 34gal tank, and I don't want to lose my range.
There's not really any way to save the stock fuel tank aside from relocating elsewhere (and it's a weird shape) unless you're only shortening the wheelbase a few inches. The rear axle will hit.

If you don't mind the tank hanging down more than mine does, a GMT400 suburban tank may be able to work and they're 42 gallons.
03-07-2020 06:38 PM
OldMan57 With the wheelbase-ectomy, was there ANY chance to save the original fuel tank?

I'm in a similar situation now, but it's a 34gal tank, and I don't want to lose my range.
02-20-2020 11:20 AM
DMANbluesfreak
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twmdodge99 View Post
This thing is sweet. I don’t get in the Chevy forum often but I’ll be watching yours for sure. Definitely different like my build. The short wheel base looks awesome.
Thanks man! Means a lot coming from you. Your build is fantastic.
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