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Discussion Starter #1
I know I am a new member and I am posting in the hardcore tech section... but I am not new to the forum or to jeeps, though I am only 17, I have spent countless hours on this forum researching and learning everything I ever wanted to know about Jeeps and Rock crawlers. Here is my plans for the ultimate full body XJ build. I know it will cost some coin but this is what I want...

1995 Jeep XJ with 97+ front grille, full bodied but comp cut, rain proof and hopefully mudding-proof (inside).
Custom built 2x4 and 2x6 Steel ladder frame in place of uni-rails, tied into a roll cage, hybrid cage and exoskeleton
all unnecessary factory structural metal will be cut out for weight reduction (because almost tube frame)
Mercedes 606 (24valve 6 cylinder turbo diesel) Fully mechanical, 465 LB wet weight, tuned to 400hp and 700lb/ft
Air-to-water intercooling, water and oil cooled compound turbo setup, Rear sump High clearance oil pan
NV5600 with Gear Vendors overdrive
Atlas 4-speed Transfer Case (Strongest ratios) 48 possible ratios! (except you can't shift GV under 20 mph)
Woody's Built Double cv Driveshafts lined up perfect driveline geometry.
Curie 'Rock Jock" Front Dana 60 HP housing, upgraded axle tubes, RCV joints + chromoly shafts
Curie Dana 70 Rear housing, upgraded axle tubes, Chromoly shafts (both axles have rotated housing for clearance)
8 lug wheel patterns, 4.11 Ring and pinions with 1.5x ratio 4.25" lift portals 6.15 effective axle ratio
Air controlled OX Lockers and Covers using ARB switches, pump, lines, and accessories.
Ironman4x4fab double triangulated 4-link front and rear long arm kit (full belly pan with adjustable geometry mounts)
thick wall chromoly tubing arms, monster Johnny joints everywhere
42" tires (you can't lose on 42's!) on 8 Lug 17" KMC forged aluminum bead lock wheels
Approx. 3.25" lift (low center of gravity build) aiming for level control arms at ride Hight (on portal axles and 42's)
112"+ wheelbase (minimum needed for perfect 90* approach and departure angles)
Warn 12,500LB winch and tow hooks everywhere
Fully armored with skid plates and rock sliders (with well built exoskeleton), pinion Guards
80+ gallon? fuel (diesel) cell in place of back seat (custom floor for more room since rear axle is move back so much)
1 ton Disk brakes front and rear
PSC Hydro Assist/full hydro combo, retain steering box and drag link but uses full hydro steering pump and double ended ram. (best of both worlds, but does limit front flex a little 'cause drag link).
King 3.0 external reservoir RACE coil overs ordered for maximum allowable travel on my set up
Currie Anti-Rock sway bars front and rear
Simple Homemade off-road high clearance hidden winch bumpers front and rear.
Hood vents, trans. cooler, upgraded radiator, intercooler, power steering cooler, A/C, mechanical and electric fans.
Oil cooler and oil filter relocation kit (for clearance)
Rear tire carrier, rear hatch converted into wrangler style 2 piece gate set-up.
Premier power welder and upgraded alternator, dual battery set up and off-road lights
Aiming for 6000 Lb's (remember the engine is lighter than the 4.0! It's no 4BT)
Raptor liner primer and paint/liner on everything that can't be or isn't powder coated.

I am currently in school for Automotive technologies (repair, building, restoration), diesel/heavy equipment mechanic, welding and metal fabrication. I am not afraid to tackle any project the entire jeep can be down for as long as needed and will be completely torn apart and cut up, no floor, uni-frame thing, drivetrain, interior, and be sand blasted before I begin. I will have a shop and am accumulating tools.

So is this the ultimate full body jeep build or what?
 

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1979 F150 351w np435 on 37s. 1995 YJ 4Banger with 5speed on 31s. 2000 XJ 4.0 auto on 31s.
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Pretty ambitious. I've just got 3 questions, what is the total budget for this going to be? Why do you need 80+ gallons of fuel? Why do you want a 42" spare? It seems like it will be hard to keep the weight down.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I have no clue what the budget will be, I'm guessing that I could go out buy the most expensive diesel GMC 3500hd duramax high country for what this going to cost me. so $75,000 or a little over? The cheaper the better but I fear that everyone would drive a jeep like this if it was cheap. Over the course of 2-3 years saving that much money... I think it's doable.

80+ gallons or as big a tank as I can economically fit inside the vehicle without ruining all my cargo space... I just want a ridiculous range for overlanding. The guys on UA (ultimate adventure) always seem to have a problem with range. It will be a diesel cell with walls to stop sloshing and weight transfer.

Why wouldn't you carry a full size spare? If I'm out on the road not every tire shop will have a 42" tire. I would plug the one that went flat and carry it around. I don't want it on the roof in order to keep COG down.
 

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Please take this as advice. Unless your parents are paying for school start simple. 30k and above is going to eat at you. The interest is going to haunt you. Even when you graduate it will take a while to get a job that will pay you anything decently. Sure you own you’re own tools. You expect double min wage if you’re in Cali but employers will find a way around paying that.

Get an xj lift it, lock it. Learn about car control and different lines then go ham on a epic build.
 

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1979 F150 351w np435 on 37s. 1995 YJ 4Banger with 5speed on 31s. 2000 XJ 4.0 auto on 31s.
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Well good luck man. Let us know if this project ever actually happens
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Well things work out really good for me because I made straight A's in middle school and have been part of the National Honor society and applied for an Early College High School and they have me take all State mandatory High school classes in about 60% of the time as a normal High School, a condensed and accelerated curriculum. Then they pay for me to take any AB-Tech community college classes of my choosing for up to 3 years. I am signed up to take all three years, welding, metal fabrication, Diesel and Heavy equipment, and automotive. I don't pay a dime until after the 3 years. I know all about student loans and how evil they are. I also don't like taking handouts but I feel like this schooling opportunity was too good to pass up.
 

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Not to discourage you, as it sounds like a killer dream, but I would definitely start with something a little more manageable and budget friendly to get your driving skills where they need to be prior to building something extreme. I would definitely ditch the 80 gallon fuel cell concept from your build. At ~8 lbs/gal 80 gallons gives you 640lbs of fuel, on top of a 200lb spare and all the tube weight from frame, diesel, exoskeleton and dana 60/70 combo. Extremely heavy rigs don't wheel well in a lot of conditions. Just my .02 cents. good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Yeah, I saw an 8000 LB Jeep Comanche on UA that couldn't hang with everyone else. So weight is important.
 

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Yeah, I saw an 8000 LB Jeep Comanche on UA that couldn't hang with everyone else. So weight is important.
Another important factor to consider is a place to build your dream rig. If the parts fell into your lap tomorrow to do your build, where would you do it? I know for me personally it took almost 40 years to get to the point I had property and a shop to complete a full build. Mine has been going on for over half a year with many more months to completion. Would be hard to convince a friend, or family to let you store your project for months at a time in their space before you can complete it. The best way to complete a project of this level is to completely plan it out. build a real parts list, plus ancillary costs, figure in an extra 10-25 percent on top of that for all the little doodads you missed. Figure out your timeline and the things that you have to rely others for expertise. If you do all of that and begin gathering parts before your build, you have a real chance to finish it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Another important factor to consider is a place to build your dream rig. If the parts fell into your lap tomorrow to do your build, where would you do it?
That is a very good point, I am just having fun planning my dream jeep for now. For now I need to finish my schooling and get a good paying job so I can build or buy a shop of my own.

How would I drop some weight on this rig? The Mercedes OM606 engine is actually lighter than the Jeep 4.0! I know the NV5600 is considerably heavier than the ax-15 and even the NV4500 for that matter but It is absolutely unkillable and has better/closer ratios for every situation and it's torque capacity is needed for the engines 400hp and 700 Lb/ft. The OM606 weights 465 lb and the NV5600 weighs 360. Add more weight for the atlas 4-speed TC. 1 tons are needed for the 42's. The only way I can think to keep weight down is in the chassis and to go as light as possible on the armor where it is not so heavily needed. Make the exoskeleton simple and effective without using excessive pipe. Use thinner wall where possible without compromising vital strength in important areas. Still gonna be lighter than a lot of Jeeps wheeling on 38"+ tires and lighter than most built full size rigs but it will "fit" more places and be totally armored for rollovers and running against rocks and cliffs because of the exoskeleton. I will stick with around 40 Gallons total, try to retain the back seat and not take up a ridiculous amount of cargo space. The axle in the back will be far enough back that the tank will be built in the chassis ahead of the rear axle hopefully. Aiming for no more than 6000 Lb fully loaded with fluids. The heaviest xj I can think of is Darren Parsons, he has a hybrid cage and fully plated and stiffened jeep on 40's with 1 tons and his comes in at 5800. He also has a big ole fuel cell and an LS 5.3 automatic.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Get an xj lift it, lock it. Learn about car control and different lines then go ham on a epic build.
I already have 2 XJ's. A 1995 Cherokee Sport 4.0, 5 speed and a '96 Cherokee Sport 4.0 auto. The auto's chassis has less rust and the 3.55 axles, for a while I am going to put the lesser used '95 4.0 and the 5 speed in that jeep with the lower axles and run that around until I have all the parts to build it. I also have a 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.7 (4500lb) that I have taken offroading a lot more. I know it has the IFS but with QD2 (3X low range and automatic hydraulic lockers front and rear) it goes everywhere and with 330 HP and 400 lb/ft it tows 7200 lbs. I love all my jeeps. I also have experiecne with racing some lightweight off-road go-karts and mudding in some utility Honda four-wheelers. My friend owns a few willy's jeeps that I've driven on some tight, muddy, mountain trails. I will try to keep this XJ light but I want the body protected in the event of a rollover. I want it to be relatively, at least factory like, water-proofness. <6000 LB
 

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Not trying to be a downer, but with everything you wanna do you're probably gonna have the heaviest XJ in history.
 

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That's a lot of rig to gain experience off-roading with. I have found that the more capable the rig, the dumber things I do with it for the challenge! I simple rig with a decent lift and lockers (switchable) will allow you to try things with open diffs and challenge yourself learning lines and weight transfer. After a couple of times trying it open, you can lock one end and give it a shot again. All the while gaining experience with a much less chance of destroying things. Something slightly harder? Lock both ends and try it again. Worse than that - a winch is handy.
This is how my boy learned and he is an excellent off-roader and takes his vehicle places that others with much more capable vehicles can't make.
That would be my suggestion for you. Start mild and learn while saving up for wild!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Very cool, I think there are a lot of experienced off roaders on this forum I will take advice from. I have watched every Ultimate adventure ever made and did some research on many of my favorite rigs I've seen on the show and learned what components they use and how much travel and what engine and such. I love watching offroading videos of all kinds on youtube. I also have been loitering as an unregistered viewer on this forum for 2-3 years and have looked at a lot of the build threads on here. I have wanted to learn the pros and cons of different things on 4x4s and I feel like "on paper" i understand almost every component and it's purpose now.

I am just surprised no one has said drop the exoskeleton or go for a lighter transmission! I know what I am getting into with such an extreme rig but I am wanting to open my own automotive customs shop one day and this is the build I want to get my name out there with in the Jeep off-roading community. So I think I still need to get the weight down. How about aluminum armor on less vital components? Synthetic line? Don't want to drop a/c though.

Right now I am just Bench (racing) "wheeling", did I just create a new term? Anyway, I am about to type up another thread on another build I want to do on my other Jeep. I am going to get flamed because it is an IFS Jeep though.
 
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