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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ok, so a few folks have asked me to post up pictures and do a quick run through of what I did with my stretch, transmission, 3 link front, etc etc so I am going to throw some stuff in here just to help out and give a positive resource with some ideas.

Before I get a bunch of BS about running a D44 front, which I know I will, I want to throw out a few of my positive sides to the D44 in my setup.

It was cheap out the box for the complete axle, I sold off the brake stands and calipers for more than I paid for the entire axle. It is lighter than a D60, parts are more avail and cheaper to find, has more clearance with my 38s, the stretch was easier because of having less meat in the front, from the housing. Also, I have already aquired the means to go bigger and so far after a few outings and some pretty decent flogging, everything is holding up pleasingly well. Jhama78 can vouch for a night run with some wicked buzz box hill climbs and some clutch drops that other said would have smoked the D44. So whatever, I'll ride it till it breaks.

Specs on the build:
'97 TJ 4.0
D44 '79 F-250 D44 Front
8 lug outers
Blackbird caliper brackets to clear 15"s
Yukon 5.14s Cryo treated
Aussie in a Cryo-ed Carrier
Alloy USA Shafts and Premium lockouts.

Eaton HO72 Rear
5.14s w/ Detroit
Ruff Stuff Disc Conversion
2.5" housing shave

SM465 w/ Novak replacement shaft
NP231D-HD
38" Maxxis Creepy Crawlers
2" x .500" Wall Chromo Lowers

6" front Stretch with Reverse Rotation Box
PSC Hyrdo Assist

Ok, so here is a brief run through. Came across a rear end that looked cool in the Junkyard, so I picked it up, did some research and found out it was an Eaton HO72. Found a few sets of gears and lockers for it and then shaved the housing. Disc brake conversion using Dan's brake brackets... I actually bought a set from him before he actually listed them for the Eaton.





Set it up with a double triangulated 4 link using a custom cross member that I put together and also using adjustable upper brackets that I also fabbed up myself. The upper rear arms are 2' x .250 wall, and are actually my old lowers from my booty fab long arm kit.




Then started in on the Front axle which was a steal in itself. Built a front truss out of 1/4" plate and threw some cross through tubes in there. I was going to go with a wishbone front but scrapped that and went 3 link on the driver's side.



Here are a few pictures of the 3 link front setup.



 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
So here are some pictures of what everyone has been asking about...

The steering setup.

I used a Reverse Rotation Astro Box from a '94 IIRC Astro 2wd Van. The Safari AWD boxes will not work. It was sent to PSC, drilled and tapped for assist, picked up a ram, pump, reservoir etc from a friend who was going full hydro.

In order to run the box I notched the front cross member, some guys said it was going to make it weak, steering angles would be screwed up, etc etc. I did the steering box notch before the above pictures of the pan hard setup.
I am not really worried about box failure or frame failure up front because my winch plate and front bumper completley boxes the front frame rails together with some 1/2" A50 on top and with 1/4" angle in front and bottom.

I am using Harsh Terrain arms and I have to admit that I DO NOT like them. Wouldn't buy them again for use with the heim setup. Live and learn.










Track bar clearance for the Steering box.

 

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Discussion Starter #3
Then started to setup the 4 link rear setup. Double triangulated. I ran calculations over and over.

I am at about 25" bottom of frame so it sits tall for 38" but with the coils I decided to build with a little more compression than the coilover and air shock guys seem to.

Built my own upper brackets with a few different positions for adjusting my AS.







 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Started to mock up for shocks and decided to snag an idea from some of the Yota boys that I hang around with and built some hoops for the front and rear like what they use.









BTW, I also hacked up the factory coil buckets and seperated the shock mounts from them and then re-welded them 6.5" forward from their stock location. And the rear mounts are about 2.5" back from their factory position.

My lowers are 42" up front and 38" out back.
 

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nice roach.
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Lookin forward to seeing this thing being beat on some more this weekend... Cya Friday Alex. :grinpimp:
 

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nice roach.
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This isn't your rig... fess up... its really Eric G's!!

thats messed up travis... :grinpimp:

:laughing::laughing::laughing::laughing:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
why not just cut out the factory tube x-member and put in some rectangle tube?
Because I didn't feel like messing with the core support mount under the radiator and rebuilding that. This was the least amount of re-fab work to acheive what I needed. Not to mention my 1/2" thick x 6"-8" deep winch plate across the top works plenty sufficient for the cross member.

Any updates???

Yea, I've got some stuff. I'll get it on here tonight if I can.
 

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alex do you have a skid running from your link crossmember to your actual crossmember, or another crossmember further up the jeep?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
alex do you have a skid running from your link crossmember to your actual crossmember, or another crossmember further up the jeep?
I was lazy and made it ALL integral. True that I have to support the Jeep to drop the trans and case, however, I did allow myself panels to get to things if I needed to without dropping the whole shooting match. The rear of the skid is where the triangulated lowers mount, just under the driveshaft, but the link brackets are rotated up a few degrees and gusseted to absorb some of the torsion. As for the fronts, they are part of the cross member / belly mount angles that I used that sadle the frame rails. Pics tonight.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
So next was on to Drivetrain stuff...

Decided that I wanted more Crawl ratio and also wanted to leave myself open to eventually upgrade T-cases to a STAK or Atlas in the future (even though I am thinking Klune+EB D20 at this point) but anyways.. I decided to ditch the AX-15 for something old... Gotta keep with the theme, so, for $70 at the local yard I grabbed an SM465 out of a Frito Lay delivery van. It was a '78 GMC P-30. So that means I needed an adapter. Novak was the way to go. I had to swap the mainshaft too, and went ahead and put new bearings in the thing. Syncros were actually fresh as it appeared the transmission had been apart before. Later I discovered that it in fact HAD been apart before and the re-builder had smashed the sintered Iron bushing for 2nd and reverse... Not good as I had to scour the entire country to find a pair as Novak was out of stock for what they estimate to be about 4 months. ie, I would still be waiting on this stupid bushing. But I found one... and got it all back together with the new mainshaft.

Blasted and primed before the tear down.


Top cover removed.

Inside view of shift forks.


Mainshaft still in case.


Rear main bearing and stock 35 spline 2wd output.


Mainshaft pulled


Countershafts and lower gears.


Some LOVE over the years on the Reverse idler... I didn't replace it and it actually goes into reverse rather smoothly.


Bare case and reverse idler.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
So once I got the case gutted I had to pull all of the gears and modes off of the mainshaft and then install them, with new bushings, onto the Novak suplied 23 spline mainshaft.. That was an adventure. I had a big black bruise under by left thumb fingernail from when I assembled this stuff in early January and as of May the bruise was still there... 1st and reverse are some HEAVY gears when trying to save the whole cluster from falling off the press. Saved it, but at the cost of my thumb. Sadly no pics of the thumb fail.

Pictures...

This is the bushing type that had been smashed and split by the previous rebuilder. The trans appeared to have had very few miles put on it since the last overhaul as the synros and bearings all appeared to be new.


The old 35 spline shaft and the new 23 spline shaft.


Gears swapped over.


Novak adapter plate kit.



And the trans all back together and pretty..




And here it is bolted up to my NP231DHD that I pulled from a '98 V8 Durango. It has a wider chain and a 6 spur gear planetary as well as the case is already pre-clocked for more clearance under the skid plate.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Some more Pics of the driveline install... The SM465 barely fits but it fits and works. I added some MT90 to it, even though folks said it didn't matter, but, I tell you what this thing shifts awesome. I can pretty much grab 1st gear when I want too even though there is no syncro. Just rev match. Its fairly quiet too. At first it had some whine but thats all gone.










Got the rear painted and started to get it all back together.
Installed Fill and drain plugs.



Hydro assist stuff.


 
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