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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I've owned this jeep for about a year and a half, since I bought it off my dad after my 18th birthday when he upgraded to a JKU on curries and 40s. He had owned it for about 12 years when he sold it to me, so its been around for a while. He wheeled it for the last 6 years he had it, then I bought it and have continued to do the same. Over the years its been patched together suspension wise, due to shitty design on the pro camp lift. But its made it just about everywhere and even makes much more built rigs look bad on occasion. The undercarriage has gotten bad enough that everything has slop, so now its time for the real fun. Keep in mind that this is a daily driver build, so its going to stay mildly cut and there's a relatively tight budget being a 19 year old college kid with a bad addiction to expensive hobbies.

So now that all the BS you guys don't care about is over with lets get started
The jeep is a 1999 wrangler with a 4" pro comp lift that was on it when we got it. Its a 4.0, manual mostly in molested on 33s. A few months back we made a mild sports cage for it out of 1.75x.120 DOM.

The Plan:
1976 F150 HP44 and 9"
Front end 3-4" stretch
HP 44, ARB, 5.13, Rieds, stock shafts, Mile marker hubs that came on the axles
High steer
3 link longarm with Ruffstuff brackets with Artecs ultimate coil buckets
When current setup inevitably breaks, better shafts and hubs or flanges

Rear end 4-5" stretch with homebrew backhalf
Ford 9", Stock 31 spline shafts, Stock third, 5.14, lunchbox locker
Triangulated 4 link with Artec frame brackets and coil buckets
Disc brake swap with e-brake
Once the stock stuff lets go, 3.25 bearing third, Detroit/grizzly, 35 spline shafts

wheels and tires are some 17" kmc endure beadlocks that ill be redrilling for 5x5.5 and undecided which 37s to go with.

This is currently my DD and when it gets out of the shop it will continue to be, so I have Genright 4" flare highline fronts and blank corner guards. It won't be comp cut and the tank will be replaced by a home made unit in factory position, I want to keep my backseat. Currently planning on making my own rockers, that have a mini boatside of sorts, we'll see how it turns out.

All of the work is being done in our backyard shop by my father and I, The goal is to have the drivetrain portion finished for presidents weekend then finish the rest on of weekends so it doesn't miss the spring wheeling season.

I've learned a lot from pirate and love reading a good build, just hoping mine lives up to pirates standards. Don't be afraid to question something or give suggestions.

First pic is about six months ago at a local spot
Second pic is how it sits now
third is the cage off for final welding and paint
Last two are pics of the cage.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
These are most of my axle components, as well as some suspension brackets.
Still need an ARB, gears, and currently making sure my plan for rear brakes will work.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Only expecting fronts to last 6 months to a year, so if I drive smart hopefully they will. The stock axles taught me more of the finesse side rather than hammer down and bounce up it.

Planning on rotating the box up and more vertical for a little more room. It'll be tight but really want to make it all work.

That's a really cool idea with the stock tank, but I'm planning on ditching the plastic tank completely. It may still be ambitious but I'm hoping to be able to get 14 gallons by using all available space. Most of its just getting the thing torn apart and seeing what sits where.

Should have some real updates early to middle of next week.

Also just want to know people's thoughts on 1.75 .120 for my upper on the front. It should only be push/pull without any side loading. Anyone have a reason why it wouldn't work?
 

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Also just want to know people's thoughts on 1.75 .120 for my upper on the front. It should only be push/pull without any side loading. Anyone have a reason why it wouldn't work?
If you have to ask, it's probably not built for peace of mind.

Unless there is a space constraint, I'd go 2 x .120, or 1.75 x .188

Hell, I'm running 2 x .250 wall up and down on my front. :rolleyes:
 

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Only expecting fronts to last 6 months to a year, so if I drive smart hopefully they will. The stock axles taught me more of the finesse side rather than hammer down and bounce up it.
I've heard of guys breaking stock D44 shafts on 35's on their first wheeling trip, but maybe you'll have better luck if you stay off the skinny pedal. RCV's seem to be the best bang for the buck vs chromoly shafts and u-joints.

Planning on rotating the box up and more vertical for a little more room. It'll be tight but really want to make it all work.
Are you cutting out the stock front crossmember, too? I was only able to get 1.5-2" front stretch with a D60 and leaving the steering box in the stock location.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm going to try and move the steering box forward with some mild trimming first. if that doesn't work I'll cut it all out. 4" is optimistic, but I'm hoping I can get 3" out of the front. Having the smaller pumpkin of the 44 should be helpful.

My wheelbase goal is at least 99" while keeping the rear end with fenders. Cali cops are assholes and id rather not be harassed. Already did some quick measurements and with the new wheels and axles I should only be about 2-3" wider overall.

The only reason I'm considering the 1.75x.120 is I'm trying to cut weight where I can. That being said, 1.75x.188 is an interesting option.

anyone have any experience with the wildwood mechanical spot caliper? They seem to be kind of a cool caliper.

Mechanical Spot Brake Caliper Right Hand, 0.81" Rotor Width - Kartek Off-Road

My idea for rear brakes were jk rears redrilled to 5x5.5, with forged dynalites and the mechanical calipers for an e brake, any reason this wouldn't work well?
 

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My wheelbase goal is at least 99" while keeping the rear end with fenders. Cali cops are assholes and id rather not be harassed. Already did some quick measurements and with the new wheels and axles I should only be about 2-3" wider overall.
I'm at 99" wheelbase with ~1.5-2" stretch in the front and 4" in the rear, stock fenders/flares.

My idea for rear brakes were jk rears redrilled to 5x5.5, with forged dynalites and the mechanical calipers for an e brake, any reason this wouldn't work well?
8.8 brakes are also easy to install on the 9" housing ends...
 

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I've heard of guys breaking stock D44 shafts on 35's on their first wheeling trip, but maybe you'll have better luck if you stay off the skinny pedal. RCV's seem to be the best bang for the buck vs chromoly shafts and u-joints.
Its all relative to how abusively you drive, I ran 36's up too bald ass 42's on my hp44, and it lived. Sold them too a buddy, and he ran them under his yj for a couple more years till he went tons and CO's. He was on 38's and was fucking brutal to them, except if it started to bind, he got out of it.

This was all out west around Vegas, Johnson Valley, ect.
Thinking about it, I bought all the internals from him a year ago, and its all back in my garage to build another hp44.
I have seen people break chromo 14 bolt shafts, nothing is indestructible.


EDIT: mrrisotto I love your avatar!
 

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I had to cut out my front cross member and ended up pushing the steering box to the very front of the frame rail. I was able to net about 4" stretch this way. I don't see being able to get more than 2" keeping it in the stock location. I also got about 5" of stretch in the rear, with 42's I still have a full fender, it just kind of wraps around the back of the corner. My wheel base is around 101"
 

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I would agree that it's going to be hard to get more than a couple inch stretch in the front without some significant mods. TNT makes a box relocation kit that supposedly gives you about 3", but it's not cheap.

I'm in the middle of stretching mine 6" in the front, but it's a fairly significant change to everything up front: http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/jeep-non-hardcore/2394658-project-safer-hobby-tj-front-stretch-more.html

Another option is the Astro box, which pushes the pitman arm out front, but that has it's own problems as you are probably talking a 6" minimum stretch and having the pitman arm sticking out in harm's way.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm at 99" wheelbase with ~1.5-2" stretch in the front and 4" in the rear, stock fenders/flares.



8.8 brakes are also easy to install on the 9" housing ends...
What years should I be looking for on the 8.8? Do the backing plates bolt on like the 9" drums did? I'm looking for options, the Currie kit's badass and I looked at that and it would be cheaper for me to do the combo listed above, but I'm definitely open to other options being that its still pricey. I know 85 bronco front rotors paired with chevy 3/4 ton calipers is cheap and works great, that was actually the initial plan, but it leaves me with no e-brake.

I had to cut out my front cross member and ended up pushing the steering box to the very front of the frame rail. I was able to net about 4" stretch this way. I don't see being able to get more than 2" keeping it in the stock location. I also got about 5" of stretch in the rear, with 42's I still have a full fender, it just kind of wraps around the back of the corner. My wheel base is around 101"
2" isn't as much as I had hoped for, but I could get close to that without any relocation of the box? If that's the case it may be the route I take, it could save a lot of time. Did you manage to keep you gas tank close to factory location? Or did you just move it into the tub.

I know with Genrights tanks leave enough room to move the axle back 5+ inches depending which tank you get, but its hard to justify over a grand once it gets to my door.
Does anyone other than Genright make a tank ring?
 

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What years should I be looking for on the 8.8? Do the backing plates bolt on like the 9" drums did? I'm looking for options, the Currie kit's badass and I looked at that and it would be cheaper for me to do the combo listed above, but I'm definitely open to other options being that its still pricey. I know 85 bronco front rotors paired with chevy 3/4 ton calipers is cheap and works great, that was actually the initial plan, but it leaves me with no e-brake.
Explorer's 95-01 I believe. They have internal drum-style ebrakes and are more-or-less a bolt-on for the "big bearing" 9" ends.

2" isn't as much as I had hoped for, but I could get close to that without any relocation of the box? If that's the case it may be the route I take, it could save a lot of time. Did you manage to keep you gas tank close to factory location? Or did you just move it into the tub.

I know with Genrights tanks leave enough room to move the axle back 5+ inches depending which tank you get, but its hard to justify over a grand once it gets to my door.
Does anyone other than Genright make a tank ring?
2" front stretch with a D44 should be do-able without moving the steering box. I went with a GenRight EXT tank and am very happy with it, except for the hole in my pocket. Free shipping and coupon codes are your friend - I paid $900 shipped for mine. How much stretch you get depends on the axle. I was able to squeeze 4" stretch with an E350 D60 (offset pumpkin), but had to cut part of the skid plate out to clear the diff. It's REALLY tight, but hopefully will clear. You should be able to get 4" stretch easily with the 9", possibly even 5".
 

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2" isn't as much as I had hoped for, but I could get close to that without any relocation of the box? If that's the case it may be the route I take, it could save a lot of time. Did you manage to keep you gas tank close to factory location? Or did you just move it into the tub.

I know with Genrights tanks leave enough room to move the axle back 5+ inches depending which tank you get, but its hard to justify over a grand once it gets to my door.
Does anyone other than Genright make a tank ring?
My gas tank is currently in the bed of the Jeep, I plan on getting the newer style genright comp crawler tank, I believe it holds 23 gallons and allows 6"+ stretch
 

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Discussion Starter #16
We got the rear axle mostly wrapped up, trussed, upper link mounts burned on, spring perches and lower link mounts are just tacked to check clearances. Starting to work on the front axle, should be doing mockup under the jeep on Wednesday/Thursday.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Today got the front axle busted out as much as possible without mock up. Only welded to cast in one small spot, Preheated and tigged with 310 stainless rod. Took about 3/8ths to half inch off the top of the pumpkin to keep the truss as low as possible, nothing too crazy just a little of the ribbing. Jeep failed SMOG today due to the computer not doing the cat and evap emissions test. Took it for a nice long drive, turning it on and off, warming up and cooling off, varying speeds, stop and go. So I'm hoping it passes tomorrow morning so it can go into the shop for tear down. Tags go out next month and it will be a lot easier while its stock than with it looking crazy underhood. Passing it now gives me two years to figure it out in the great state of Commyfornia :shaking::shaking::shaking:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Spent all day Wednesday driving around, doing drive cycles trying to get it to pass. Finally yesterday morning it came up that it was ready and passed with flying colors. So into the backyard it went, and we began tearing down the front end. Started mocking up the front end and measuring link lengths and trying to locate the third upper link.
 

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Did you make the trusses and coil perches yourself or get them from a vendor? If a vendor, who?

Axles look great, I'll be watching this thread. I'll be putting the same axle combo into my XJ with a coil conversion out back. As for your brakes, the 8.8 disc brakes are pretty straight forward onto a 9" rear axle. Its really common an should mostly bolt up. That's what I'll be running on mine.

Here is a discussion on it:
http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/9-inch-rear-disc-brake-installation.569272/
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
have a question when it comes to steering setup. The ruffstuff high steer arms have two holes pre drilled in them and I always see the front hole to the pitman, and the rear hole as the crossover bar. I may be wrong, but wouldn't I want the radius of my knuckle to be the same as the radius of the pitman arm? The rearward hole is almost perfectly the same length as my pitman. so any advice as how I want to line all of this up? Sorry for the low quality on the pitman arm, but it is enough to illustrate what I am talking about.
 

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