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Discussion Starter #1
Here's where I stand; 66 Bronco, 44 front, 9" rear, 302 engine (with a knock) with truck avenger carb, four wheel disc, limited slip front and rear, roll cage, power steering, 33" mud terrains.

My ultimate goal is to have something I can wheel without too much worry of limitations or body damage that can fit my family of four.

What happened today. Besides that engine knock that I'll be fixing with a new fuel injected 302 in the next couple months, I destroyed my twin stick dana 20 gears at LBL. Now what?

Go Big: 37-39.5" tires, OX lockers/ARB, Atlas II, new front control arms, Rock Sliders
Go Medium: 37" HMMWV tires/wheels, regear Dana 20, selectable front locker, new front control arms, Rock Sliders
Go Mild: Regear Dana 20 and continue to save for Tube buggy
Alternative- any combo of above mentioned?

Here's some pics, really interested in your input. Thanks.
 

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That is a nice looking rig!

For what it's worth I run 37" MTRs on 15" steelies, 4.5" wild horses lift, ARBs front and rear (with upgraded shafts and CTM u-joints up front). Stock/twin-sticked D20 with the 300M rear output and a mild 351w that's still carb'd for the time being, and an NP435 with 4.11 axle gears.

Overall this setup works well for me. EFI would be a nice upgrade, as would lower transfer case gears. I don't like axle gears that are much lower without overdrive since I drive my rig to and front the trail. I've conquered the Rubicon and a few other fairly difficult trails along with a lot of lesser trails for fishing/camping trips.

An Atlas t-case and an NV4500 are on my longer-term wish list but my current configuration does most of what I want it to. Rocker armor (or cut them off and run some heavy sliders) are a big help, as are rear quarter guards from BC Broncos. I've smacked my rear quarters a bunch of times and the guards paid for themselves.

Good luck. Where are you located?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I live in Clarksville, TN. I actually have an engine already lined up, just waiting for my buddy to ship it out to me.
 

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i know the buggy bouncin stuff is pry pretty cool n all. but i dont see the point in buying a 40k minimum rig to wheel in.

please; whichever direction you decide to go, stick with the bronco...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm definitely keeping the bronco but its more a question of how much and how hard to wheel it.

I've had a buggy before and I liked it for all the reasons I dislike the bronco, namely fear of body damage.

Any ideas on how to go about this t-case rebuild? Any sites that have a good deal on new gears (lower gears)?
 

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Go fullwidth HP44/9" and stretch the wheelbase a little and run 36-37's on it. You'll be able to keep up on most of the big dog stuff, still have room for the family, and the wider-longer will keep it more stable... not to mention fullwidth will help reduce body damage.
 

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To be completely honest you would be miles ahead if you just went with an atlas now. With having to regear your dana 20 you can easily be into it $800-$1000. Not to mention the extreme duty output if you do not have one yet. A lot of the guys that i speak to daily are into their dana 20 $1500+. At that price your quite close to an atlas. And your dana 20 is still a dana 20, not to say its a bad tcase, but its not an atlas.

-Nik
 

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It's hard to tell someone what size tires they need.
Only you know.
I'd personally just get ome more stock gears in the dana 20 and run it until you can swap it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Alright so today I realized that I left a dana 20 back at Ft. Rucker in AL. Luckily I have a buddy down there now and he went and found it in the field I originally abandoned....I mean stored it in.
So I'll throw those in the next week or two and run them until they let go too.

Wild Horses you're right on about the investment into the dana 20. I did some research the last couple days and new gears are about half the price of an Atlas II. There are alot of extras you have to invest in with the Atlas though ie shifters and drivelines but I do think the extra $1500ish would be worth it. So I do think this will be my option if and when the new old gears go out.

So what next?

I have a welder and pipe bender and can bend up some rock sliders pretty easily so that's definitely on my list.

What I'm debating now is between a few things and what would give me the most benefit here in TN. I didn't realsize how different the wheeling here is compared to UT until this last weekend.

Options:

1 Engo 9K winch ($300)

2 37" HMMWV tires and 16.5 double beadlock rims (3.5" BS) $700-$1200

3 Lockers: Rear mini-spool or lincoln (can you weld a limited slip carrier) $0- $200
Front OX/ARB $800-$1200

4 Front Radius arm extension, DIY $150ish

I've got about $1K to work with on this right now what do you think?

45acp I like full width and I agree with most of what you're saying but the trails around here are fairly tight and I personally like the look of the narrower axles

TN1776 I think the quarter guards are a good idea and after seeing them color matched in the latest CRAWL magazine I agree they look pretty good
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Here's a few more poser pics
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Nice bronco, One qustion what kind of paint is that? Looks sweet!
Thanks it was my first garage paint job. It's the Metalic Green duplicolor they sell at AutoZone. It comes pre-mixed and goes on pretty easy.
 

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im gonna be at turkey bay this weekend if you wanna ride. plan on being there sat, sun, and mon if nothing breaks
 

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Alright so today I realized that I left a dana 20 back at Ft. Rucker in AL. Luckily I have a buddy down there now and he went and found it in the field I originally abandoned....I mean stored it in.
So I'll throw those in the next week or two and run them until they let go too.

Wild Horses you're right on about the investment into the dana 20. I did some research the last couple days and new gears are about half the price of an Atlas II. There are alot of extras you have to invest in with the Atlas though ie shifters and drivelines but I do think the extra $1500ish would be worth it. So I do think this will be my option if and when the new old gears go out.

So what next?

I have a welder and pipe bender and can bend up some rock sliders pretty easily so that's definitely on my list.

What I'm debating now is between a few things and what would give me the most benefit here in TN. I didn't realsize how different the wheeling here is compared to UT until this last weekend.

Options:

1 Engo 9K winch ($300)

2 37" HMMWV tires and 16.5 double beadlock rims (3.5" BS) $700-$1200

3 Lockers: Rear mini-spool or lincoln (can you weld a limited slip carrier) $0- $200
Front OX/ARB $800-$1200

4 Front Radius arm extension, DIY $150ish

I've got about $1K to work with on this right now what do you think?

45acp I like full width and I agree with most of what you're saying but the trails around here are fairly tight and I personally like the look of the narrower axles

TN1776 I think the quarter guards are a good idea and after seeing them color matched in the latest CRAWL magazine I agree they look pretty good
Do you drive this thing on the road on a regular basis? What gear ratio are you running?

Winch - If it works, it's a good deal. But the Smitty winches aren't bad and are about the same price.

HMMWV tires/wheels - Not a bad idea, but if it's rarely driven on the street, you should go with a more aggressive tire for southeastern wheeling. HMMWV rims are heavy by the way.

Locker - Rear: Spool rear is not a bad idea, but it will put a lot of stress on the axleshafts. If it is not driven on the street, then I'd go spool in the rear anyway.

Locker - Front: I wouldn't spend that much $ on the front locker, especially if you are on a budget. There are other very viable options out there for front lockers. I'm not recommending it, but for the price of an ARB, you could weld the front, and go full hydraulic steering (something to think about; you'd have $ leftover). My suggestion would be to go with a Detroit, and unlock the lockouts. If you have drive flanges, then pull the front driveline when on the street.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
im gonna be at turkey bay this weekend if you wanna ride. plan on being there sat, sun, and mon if nothing breaks
I appreciate the offer, I think I'm going to be doing as much prep as I can to get ready for the new gears though not to mention my wife loves a long weekend for projects on the house. Post some pics of the trip though.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Do you drive this thing on the road on a regular basis? What gear ratio are you running?

Winch - If it works, it's a good deal. But the Smitty winches aren't bad and are about the same price.

HMMWV tires/wheels - Not a bad idea, but if it's rarely driven on the street, you should go with a more aggressive tire for southeastern wheeling. HMMWV rims are heavy by the way.

Locker - Rear: Spool rear is not a bad idea, but it will put a lot of stress on the axleshafts. If it is not driven on the street, then I'd go spool in the rear anyway.

Locker - Front: I wouldn't spend that much $ on the front locker, especially if you are on a budget. There are other very viable options out there for front lockers. I'm not recommending it, but for the price of an ARB, you could weld the front, and go full hydraulic steering (something to think about; you'd have $ leftover). My suggestion would be to go with a Detroit, and unlock the lockouts. If you have drive flanges, then pull the front driveline when on the street.
I was driving it about 20-30 miles a week on the road. I have had a vehicle that had the spool in the rear that was a daily driver and I wasn't a big fan so I was definitely a little weary of it. It's a good point about the added stress on the shafts too.

Gear Ratio is 4.11. It's pretty good for running around town but I think will be a little high if I go to 37's or larger when I'm out on the trail.

I have been thinking the same things about the HMMWV tires/wheels as you said. I was originally really hung up on the necessity for bead locks having come from Utah, but after wheeling this last weekend and seeing that no one had them and their tires operated pretty great on the terrain at 20 PSI I'm thinking your right that the added weight of the rims wont be worth it.

As for Lockers I still think that (besides a functional T-case) it was what I was lacking most. The Posi actually worked pretty good at slow speeds on rocks (counterintuitive) but as soon as I got some wheels speed the diff's started acting like they were open.
I think I'm willing to risk a little rear axle stress due to a spool.
I do have hubs up front so I could just keep them unlocked running around town. Besides increasing my turning radius offroad with the positive lock up front are there any other disadvantages to welding up the front?
I may just do this incrementally too and try out the spool in the rear and see if I'm more satisfied with the Broncos ability to climb hills?
What do you think?
 

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Those HMMWV tires are junk, they are very stiff and seem do to poorly off-road.
You can buy them for the wheels, then sell the tires to a street truck as they do wear really well.
 
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