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Discussion Starter #1
This is my journey of building my dream jeep. The project is starting off as a 1997 Jeep Wrangler, a Goatbuilt 1200 TJ/LJ Chassis, Fox shocks, Spidertrax axles, and a bunch of other badass parts. I am hoping to have it ready for KOH 2020, that's the goal anyway.

Description of the chassis from the Goatbuilt website:
The concept is to build an all-out no compromise buggy that will use TJ/LJ doors, windshield, Top etc. This will be fully enclosed with functional doors and a top and all the amenities of a TJ jeep.

You will need to cut up a TJ/LJ tub and use the cowl, door surrounds, tub top rail and tail gate surround. You would also use the windshield, tailgate, hood and grill. We have fiberglass cowls, hood and grills available.

Our initial design will be based on an LJ tub length with 110″ wheel base. This uses the same proven suspension geometry with the subframe and all the suspension brackets we use on our Ibex buggy kits. The rear suspension uses 36″ trailing arms for packaging. We plan on making optional rear configurations that are TJ tub length and a comp cut version, but that will not fit a full top.

The main frame is constructed of 2 x 3 x .120 steel tube, the rear fenders are 2 x 2 x .120 tube and the main cage is 2 x .120 DOM tube. The front tubes and other tubes are 1-3/4 x .120 DOM. This will be a full CNC cut and mandrel bent weld it yourself kit, or we can weld it for you.


I started building parts for this chassis while the final design work was taking place, so I have a little bit of catching up to do. Let's start with the rear axle.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
First order of business was cutting the housing to length. I wanted a centered housing and slightly offset pinion, I used the Spidertrax Calculator and got everything laid out. I used a hose clamp and some Dykem blue to scribe a line on the housing to indicate the cut mark.





Once the housing was cut to length, I needed to fit the unit bearing end cups. I used a magnets to get it close enough to tack, then used a digital angle finder to get it square.







At this point, I installed the axle seal housings.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The truss a Goatbuilt part, Part No. 1132-263. Description from the website:

• Universal design fits 3 to 3-1/2″ axle tube diameter
• Provides optimum upper control arm geometry with the subframe.
• Laser cut and formed from our exclusive 3/16 100ksi high strength steel
• Integral lower bump stop strike pad for optional air bump mounting kit
• Designed to use 2-5/8″ wide x 5/8″ suspension joint, holes can be drill out for larger bolts, truss can be modified to use the smaller 2″ wide suspension joints.


















 

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Discussion Starter #8
I fit up and welded the caliper brackets next. I had an order of LS engine accessory brackets to go to the plater, so I tossed them in. :smokin:







 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
The rear axle is about buttoned up. Just to be totally upfront, if the welds look perfect, uniform, and robotic, I DIDN'T DO THEM. Ha-ha. I have a good friend that works at the Roadster Shop, and has a motorcycle building business out of his home shop. He is an amazing fabricator and welder. I buy the beer and food, and he lays down the dimes. Check him out at FyrehillFabrications.com and @fyrehill on instagram. Onto the pictures.















 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I am very pleased with how the rear axle turned out. However, I did notice one glaring issue that will need to be addressed. I wanted the fill cap centered on the housing, and centered on the plate it is welded to. After it was burned in, I realized it would be the first thing to hit if I was to back into a rock or obstacle. I have a few solutions in mind, but that will happen later down the road.

That is it for today. I will try to update every few days. Thanks for checking it out and following along, if not something something bleach, something something blender.....:laughing:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
BLING!!!


Where ya at in WI?
For real man. I have been drooling at pictures of these types of builds in magazines since I was a little kid. I have worked my butt off, saved every penny I could for the last two and a half years, eliminated any semblance of a social life, sold off my supermoto and snowmobile to make this happen. I really can't friggen wait to beat the crap out it.

I grew up in Menomonie, but moved down to the Lake Geneva area to work at Goatbuilt.
 

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For real man. I have been drooling at pictures of these types of builds in magazines since I was a little kid. I have worked my butt off, saved every penny I could for the last two and a half years, eliminated any semblance of a social life, sold off my supermoto and snowmobile to make this happen. I really can't friggen wait to beat the crap out it.

I grew up in Menomonie, but moved down to the Lake Geneva area to work at Goatbuilt.
Thought the shop looked familiar.

Let me know when you come west into MN :smokin:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Trailing Arms

The next thing I started working on was the trailing arms for the rear suspension. They are a Goatbuilt part, Part No. 4316-2-36. Description from the website:

Universal dual shock trailing arm kit. Perfect way to add dual shock mounted trailing arms to your rock crawler, Ultra4 race car or pre-runner. Our unique design keeps the lower shock mounting bolts below the center-line of the link yet maintains ground clearance under the shocks. Mounting the shocks below the link center-line forces the trailing arm upright, this lets us use a bearing on each end and not a bushing that will wear out. The laser cut box tube design simplifies the fitting and welding time for much easier assembly than our competitors.

Includes all the precision laser cut parts to build 2 trailing arms. The main component is a laser cut 2x4x .250 wall rectangular steel tube, just bend the bottom up and weld the side seam. The inner shock pocket is laser cut and formed out of 3/16 100XF steel and the side gusset plates are 1/8 100XF steel. The front bearing is a 1″ ID uniball, rear rod end is a 1″ ID X 1-1/4 RH thread. The rear rod end receiver incorporates a pinch bolt and is made of 4140 chromoly.

These are available in 2 different lengths, 36″ and 52″ center to center of the rod ends and they can be easily cut down to shorter lengths.





This is how the laser cut rectangular tube as it comes off the laser.





After cleaning and prepping the arm, I bent and tacked it in position. I took an angle grinder and a grinding wheel and made a nice v groove for the weld.







 

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Discussion Starter #17
After welding, I ground the weld flush that is under the side plates, and prepped the arm for the second TIG pass.





At this point I fired up my little easy bake oven and started pre-heating the square rod end receivers. Once up to temp, we welded them to the tube. While everything was still hot (keeping our interpass temps up) I quickly fit the side plates and burned them on. At this point, all the welding on the chromoly rod end receiver was complete, and they slow cooled in welding blankets overnight.





A few days later I had my buddy over and he welded them out.





 

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Discussion Starter #20
BLING BLANG !

Great work

john
Thank you. This has been an incredible learning experience. Gotta give props to Drew at Goatbuilt for putting up with the millions of questions and providing guidance as we have built this. Also shout out to all of our industry partners that make killer products.

Exciting! Glad to see a build thread, this might seal the deal for me on a Goat Built vs WOD.
Since I work for Goatbuilt, I may be a little partial to our chassis. I am hoping to have the build thread up to date in the next week or so. So just hold tight before you pull the trigger on a new chassis.
 
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