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1,057 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Buggy Build Custom Creations MOD Class

I figure this time I would start a build thread and at get some of my sponsors some publicity.
Sponsors: well right now only for my CJ but I expect them the fallow me over to my buggy racing.
Heavy Metal Concepts: you have all seen the video but he also make sponsor packets see my sig.
Corbeau: Seats
Tom Woods: Drive Shafts
PSC Steering: Steering
Polyperformance: A lot of everything.
Inner Air Lock: Bead Locks.
Miller Welds: Mig Welder 252
Clayton Offroad: Suspension design and fabrication work and support
Baileigh: Horizontal Band Saw
I’m always looking for more support, from, axle shafts, EFIlive/tuning, Oil Accumulator, bump stops, winch, Did I mention I'm a tool nut so tools sponsors would be great too, every little bit helps.

Just to give you a quick back ground on me.
I'm Justin Williams, I started a side business building jeeps etc. "Custom Creations LLC" I wished it would take off and I could do it full time, I got more realistic and now just do it as a “hobby” mostly my own and friends/family work.
I work full time as an engineer and part time as a mechanic.
I’m one of those guys who spends all the money on tools to build a budget jeep.

My last build was my CJ-5 you can find it in my signature. I never made a build thread I was too busy building it. I went with a simple leaf spring design and geared it toward RCrocs class 2 basically something simple to get out and start wheeling, I think we built the whole jeep in 3 months, just myself and my friend/spotter Josh King. But it took a couple years to refine the build. I sure learned a lot in that build. This next one I’m taking my time.
We are pretty competitive in our class, with season finishes of 4th, 2nd, and 2nd.

Now the it’s time for me to step up my game.
The high speed bug bite me and I’m hooked.

As an engineer I like to build something a little different than everyone else. I know I could have gone with an LS motor turbo 400 14bolt and D60 a very common well proven drive train.
But I’m going a different route. Beauty of this sport no right or wrong when it comes to buggy designs.

So I started a build thread on my local jeep forum first so this is kind of broken up.
I’ll keep it update. Like I just got all the clutch components in so I can finally confirm that the engine tranny will mate together.
I’ve change my mind on parts a million times I’ve read about every thread out there, and done as much “research” as I can.


1,057 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
AX-15 bolted up to the Ecotec.

Got the D50 gears to fit in the D44 housing.

Started working on the Unit Bearings. Just need to drill the holes.

Had to open up the rotors too.


1,057 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·

Anyways modeling around full compression right now.
That is on 16 ORI struts with 10" compression 6 extension.
I made the bottom of the rims level with the skid plate, figure that is a good starting point, not to bottom out off a jump with low air pressure.


1,057 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The Chassis is on the wide side I have the T-case between the seats and the seats are mounted to the skid, of course I can always redesign the whole thing.
Good thing about designing on CAD I can just move things around and it doesn't cost anything but time.
Since I don't have the money to finish I have the time.

I was jut tossing around different Ideas. I added a 3rd tank incase I go on long weekend trips just use 2 for normal stuff.

Also tried to put the spare so I have the best visablility.

1,057 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I just got the clutch and pressure plate in the mail so I can confirm it will all work very soon.
I also started taking out the balance shaft. I had to get some aluminum to plug off the oil passage so I'll be working on that very soon.

I have almost all the parts to build the axle housing I just have to spend a little time cleaning them up and shaving the D60 while they are nice and small.

I have plenty of work to do before I spend a lot of money.
I'll keep you updated as I go.

1,057 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That exhaust might be a little uncomfortable for the passenger,but might just be nice and toasty for the winter in Ct:D
Its hard to see but it runs directly up the center of the windshield.
It is so hard routing the exhaust under the seats and everything plus heat rises.

I see some people routing the exhaust out the front or side it still blows back in your face. Figure over our head is the best way.

Basically it will be like having a wide windshield spreader bar.
And there is a bunch of dead space between the driver/co-driver head area figure I could utilizes some of that.

I'm obviously gong to shield it off so we don't get burnt when we roll.


1,057 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Sorry I thought I posted my receipt up higher but got carried away with the pictures.

I’ve change my mind on parts a million times I’ve read about every thread out there, and done as much “research” as I can.
I'm trying to build around cost effective and readily available components, and only custom parts are ones I can do myself.
My last jeep has an Iron Duke to a 904 with the chevy bell housing most uncommon transmission ever tried to get a spare was only able to find 2 in California.
Ecotecs, AX-15 both common.

Had all the parts when I found out about EFI live and how easy it is to run of the OEM stuff so changed my mind and sold the other parts and bought a used wiring harnes.
Ecotec naturally aspirated for now.
Spark MSD distributor, ignition box, coil, and wires. 4 Paddle Reluctor Wheel, MSD P/N: PRD15377
Fuel: Propane, they sell intake flanges to build your own Intake, I already bought one.

(I have an automatic right now and it is great for crawling however expensive, and it is really hard to find a 4x4 automatic that will bolt up to a light weight 4cly. Since the AX-15 bolts directly up to the Ecotec that is what made my decision, maybe I’ll upgrade to an Auto down the road for now this should work.
AX15 internal slave Needs to be earlier gear option with smaller pilot bearing.
Sky Bell housing (GM PN 89060089)
Clutch 84 4cly camaro (1-1/8" 10spline 9" dia) Centerforce makes one that is 9.125 I got it just barely fits.
Pressure Plate
Jeep Hydraulic Slave
Pilot bearing from a 91 XJ (center bearing fits both crank and tranny perfect) Napa # B041

So I saved up for a used atlas thank you Zach from AtoZ.
too many options I want to leave room for all.
Atlas out of my price range for now.

Things change I'm planning on centered shocks plus I got a good deal on a set of Fox 2.0 14" coilovers.
I initially wanted 14 front and 16 rear, I will still design the chassis around 16 rear and lower the bracket for the 14 if I ever want to upgrade.
I‘m design full bump the rims level with the skid plate.
Figure about 10” up 6” down seams the 16” struts seam to fit in my model pretty well.
I like the ORI strut design. I’m on the East Cost to no long whoop sections out over here so I’m not worrying about fading at this point in my racing.

Figure I would go 3 links both front and rear 3 links take up less real-estate over triangulated 4 links.

Rear Axle
HP D60
TJ 35 spline shafts
5.38 gears
Spool just simple light strong.
Torino Set20 flange and GM Standard brakes 79 G1500 calipers, 99 Dodge 1500 rotors, and Speedway motor weld on brackets.

Front Axle
Things change just going with an OEM 90 ford BJ D60 with custom knuckles.

This got a little tricky I wanted to design my front axle to be about to a little less strength than the rear.
A HP60 front is stronger than a HP60 rear so I went with a supper duty D44 Basically think of it as a 44 with 60 u-joints and ball joints. Plus HP 60 are expensive to find.
HP D44 (Jana 54) D50 gears I have a stock gear set I was able to grind the housing and modify the bearings to get the D50 gears to work in the D44 housing.
5.13 Air Locker offer in 35 spline I’m waiting for 35 spline D44 spools to be available.
I’m going to run the Ford Super duty D50/60 knuckles and Cs.
Use the Unit bearing version from 3/22/99 to 2004 F250,F350,F450 the D50 are a lot cheaper.
I machined the hubs to 5 on 5.5 bolt pattern and I’ll open up the spindles for 35plines when upgraded.

The D50 uses 30 spline similar to D44 and D60 uses 35 spline which is available upgrade.
So I’ll run the stock 30 stuff right now.

I will also fabricate my own Knuckles so I can setup my own steering arms.
And run smaller brakes, the same brakes as the rear.
So happens the 79 F250 D44 used the same size seals as the D50/60

Master: Willwood triple set
CNC cutting brakes
Dodge 1500 2001 down rotors (1999 used, 2000 different hat height and width). Machined out to fit over hub.
Calipers, 74 Chevy K20 (GM standard 1/2 ton)
Calipers, 79 Chevy G1500 (GM standard 1/2 ton) accidental buy brake lines attach too far inside.
Dodge 1500 2001 down rotors. with centering spacer.
(Cutlass/Cadillac with E-brake calipers to meet E-brake rules.) If Needed

PSC Full Hydro,
Ackermann set up for max turning of each tire not the best for high speed but this can be adjusted with fabricated knuckles
I'm planning for 40° of steering.
TC PSC pump with PSC bracket for the Ecotec that goes in place of the A/C compressor.

Universal Combo CU-59272-01 Griffin 31/19 located in the rear

2 Seater
Front engine Try to keep everything low so I can see and lower CG for performance.
Mild Steel common 1.75x.120 wall for the majority of the chassis.
2X4-3/16wall frame rails.
Wheel Base around 110.

Corbeau, Baja XP

HD Polyethylene sheets fabricated to make a body, a lot easier to work with than lexan.

5on5.5 what ever I can afford for Mod Class has 37" max tire and no stickies.
Probably run my 35" Cooper STT that I own for now.
I chassis is built around 39.5 allows room to grow.
Inner Air Bead locks is what I currently own.

355 Posts
Sounds good Justin, can't wait to see it. You should have never went to Clayton's LOL.
Quick question, why are you using Dodge rotors over 95 Bronco/F150 rotors? Just wondering.
Good luck!

1,057 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Sounds good Justin, can't wait to see it. You should have never went to Clayton's LOL.
Quick question, why are you using Dodge rotors over 95 Bronco/F150 rotors? Just wondering.
Good luck!
Ford rotors are designed to go behind the hub I guess they can make them work Dodge rotors are designed for the front the only 5 on 5.5 knock off rotors that I could find. there were a couple for KIAs

I'm friends with Clayton he helps me out a lot.

1,057 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Do you have a photo of the D44 gears next to the D50 gears for a size comparison?
Search Jana 54 you will find a bunch of info but I figured out how to do it myself.

Here is some comparison for you.

60 50 44 30

44 50

44 top 50 bottom

Strength chart
Model........Ring gear size".....Max momentary output torque FT-lb
D35 super.......7.79..............2700
Toy 8"............8.0 ................NA
GM 10B...........8.6...............4500
GM 12B...........8.875..............NA
D60 30sp........9.75...............5500
D60 HD 35 sp...9.75...............6000
D70 HD...........10.5...............8800

1,057 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
making it work

measured pinion depth in 50 housing

measured depth in 44 housing
Difference is how much deeper the pinion has to go.

Believe it or not but the D50 actually uses smaller bearings.
So to get my pinion deeper I went with a shorter bearing that still had a higher load rating than the D50 bearing. and shaved it down a little.

I hacked off a pinion from a D30 yes a D30 D44 and D50 all use the same size pinion shaft and preload bearing.

One of the carrier bearings needed a little shave too.
In all it isn't all that much work.
I did not add the baffle I figure it bounces around enough the oil will get to the pinion. We'll see I can always go back to d44 gears or get a D60 center section and splice it in.
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