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Discussion Starter #1
All,

It has been a year since I started a frame-off on a 1978 CJ5 I picked up for $1200. It has been a long, hard road restoring the jeep. Recently, the torsen-gleason differential in the AMC 20 (talk about a combo) shredded itself to bits. I decided it was time to execute a mid-duty axle swap upgrade, SOA, re-gear, rear air-locker, and OBA (oh and don't forget moving up a tire size of course).

See what I have done to the jeep so far and where it stands today. I have meticulously recorded my garage adventures spread out across almost 100 postings. Some are stories, some are commentary, but all are good times wrenchin. I posted some slide shows at the top of the blog of the past year's work.


http://jonathansjeep.blogspot.com
 

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Cool build! Definitely brings back a lot of memories of when I did my first build/restore.

I just got finished converting my YJ from SOA to SUA in the rear and a 3-link up front. Before you get too far down the SOA path, take a look at some options for keeping the COG lower. Obviously there are a billion ways to do it, but SOA will net you 6" of lift with 0" springs, and if you reuse your current ones, it's going to be even higher. Your Jeep looks pretty cool SUA, and it's probably very stable. It's a little more work to keep it lower, but well worth it. Here is a pic of my Jeep with 1" of lift, SUA rear, 3-link front, and 37" tires.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks for looking and the input. I understand the jeep will get more tippy but I have taken the following measures:

-I picked up a set of STOCK YJ springs vs whatever lift I was running before.
-I will be running a ford 8.8 out of an explorer and a waggy axle in the front, these axles are around 10" wider than what I was running (narrow track axles @ approx 50").

I haven't worked out the math, but it seems my gain in track might offset my gain in height. Also the heavier axles will help too.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
This post has some flex shots,.I never ramped it. I wish I did that way I could compare before/after.

http://jonathansjeep.blogspot.com/2009/12/crawlin.html

Nothing Radical:


33"x12.5 tires, narrow track axles, SUA, I think 1" body and a few inches of suspension lift, unsure of suspension amount as I didn't install the lift.
 

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Do you have an action shot or poser flex pic of this jeep? I want to see what it looks like w/ the tires flex/stuffed? THANKS
I am curious as well, sure looks like those tires will be stuffed and unable to flex at all with the tires as close as they are to the fenderwells.

I thought i was pushing the limit with sua leafs with major trimming and 2.5" lift fitting 35's. On a ditch test I have 1/2" clearance before tires hit fenders, and the fenders are cut/moved 3" higher than stock.
 

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Oh, we are talking about knoxville. Yeah when I saw that picture, I was like wtf, no way!
Cool..I was thinking the same thing, though it is 3 linked in the front, but it sure looks "slammed" to me...Though I have seen them work if they are set up prpoperly...Key word "Properly"....But I try not to come out and bust balls..Im running 37's SOA w/ RE 1.5s and Im stuffing the front tire on a poser rear flex, no bumpstops yet (Sorry, I idont have any trail pics yet, Im still building)...all stock sheet metal still....These SUA concepts will work, but you have to do it "right" to work out all the kinks...goodluck w/ this build..I like the jeep you have...
 

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Thanks for looking and the input. I understand the jeep will get more tippy but I have taken the following measures:

-I picked up a set of STOCK YJ springs vs whatever lift I was running before.
-I will be running a ford 8.8 out of an explorer and a waggy axle in the front, these axles are around 10" wider than what I was running (narrow track axles @ approx 50").

I haven't worked out the math, but it seems my gain in track might offset my gain in height. Also the heavier axles will help too.
Yea, your estimate should be right, and I based my SOA build on the same type of thing. I was running 60's SOA with 0" springs. Proportionally it is about right, width to height, but it still was too tippy for me on hills and off camber stuff.

It's all a learning experience for sure and figuring out what works for your tastes. :D I ran an 8.8/HP44 before 60's, and it's a solid combo that you should be happy with.

In response to the other questions, I'll throw up a separate thread on here as to not pollute yours.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Yea, your estimate should be right, and I based my SOA build on the same type of thing. I was running 60's SOA with 0" springs. Proportionally it is about right, width to height, but it still was too tippy for me on hills and off camber stuff.

It's all a learning experience for sure and figuring out what works for your tastes. :D I ran an 8.8/HP44 before 60's, and it's a solid combo that you should be happy with.

In response to the other questions, I'll throw up a separate thread on here as to not pollute yours.
Yeah, not grinding on you too hard. Ideally one would run as low and wide as possible. Terrain forces us to run bigger tires and bigger tires force us to be innovative.

Insofar as the proportions, they should be close. And if you want to get crazy with math:
For a rigid object (First order approximations ensue), say it's center of mass is (Cx,Cy,Cz) and track width Tw

On a vehicle it would be like x out the nose, y out to your left and z is up. I am going to assume the center of mass for Cx is in the middle or Cx=Tw/2. As for Cy, well I am not too concerned about rolling over my hood or bumpers for this calculation (I should be).

If you lift by a height of l (lift the entire center of mass) and widen each side by w then you can arrive at the following relation:
l=w*Cz/Tw

Meaning that you must always scale both accordingly, e.g. if you lift your vehicle l=0.1Cz then you must widen by w=0.1Tw.

You can figure all this out if you consider that Tw/Cy <= tan(theta) (that is the point where you will tip over).

Maybe I should build a model that actually has some rigor to it...

Hopefully no one fell asleep from math time. I should be out grinding.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
What engine do you have in it, that's a beautiful jeep BTW.
I have the AMC 304. It runs well and has around 58k miles on it.

It was a lot of work to get it where it is. If I did it all over again, I would've hit it up with some rattle cans and dropped in new axles, lockers, suspension, T18, and all the other upgrades I have planned. I had a lot of fun with my dash, the gauges, painting and all the hot-rod kind of stuff. I am pretty new to the 4x4 world and I just didn't know what to look for. Also keeping records, notes receipts, and the blog in order have almost been as challenging (if not more) as the actual work itself. I probably do WAY too much research also There exists a point where you have to finalize a plan and then DO IT.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Ok, here is where I am stuck.

I have a 1978 waggy dana 44 it is 6 on 5.5. I want to run 5 on 4.5 since that is what my ford 8.8 is. I have several options:


Option 1: Go to jeepgod's article on using chevy spindle with ford bearing and hub to get me to 5 on 5.5. Then I could either buy two sets of rims 5 on 4.5 and 5 on 5.5 and keep an adapter for the spare. OR I could buy a set of 5 on 5.5s and spare and run two spacers in the rear 4.5 to 5.5. (I am not sure how weak the spacers are.)


Option 2: I can pick up an entire 1978 dodge Ram Charger dana 44 for $150 this weekend. It has flat top knuckles and is 5 on 4.5. I would then bolt these dodge knuckles/brakes/etc/etc to my waggy axle. All that is fine so far, but it the axle is "full time 4x4" I am not sure what I would/could/should do about that. Does that entail slapping some warn hubs on it and calling it a day? Or is it more complicated?
I am running a Dana 20 transfer case.


Option 3: Buy the kit from this guy (if you guys don't buy it before i can):
http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/e...tem=370111074694&ssPageName=ADME:B:BODO:MOT:1


Option 4: Have the ford 8.8 axles/rotors drilled to 6 on 5.5 by moser (is this even something that is in the realm of possibility?).


Option 5: Run 6 on 5.5 in the front and 5 on 4.5 in the rear, carry a blank wheel and drill out the holes with OBA when the time comes or carry around one pattern, that gives a 50/50 shot


There has to be a cost-effective elegant solution and I am just not seeing it! Halp!
 

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Do you still have the D30? Does it have 6 bolt external hubs? If so those would bolt onto the Waggy D44. Add some adapters for the rear axle and you have a cost effective 5 lug solution.

If you have the 5 bolt ext hubs, forget it, they are junk.

I think my next suggestion would be to use the ford hubs and rotors. Then buy a set of adapters for the 8.8, they are about 1" thick. I don't think there's a good option for making an 8.8 into a 6 lug axle.

The 4.5x5 dodge stuff is junk, you don't want to use it.



Also, it looks like your seats are too high. You really need to have some clearance between the top of your head and the bottom of the cage. From your pics it looks like your dome is completely out of the roll structure.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Do you still have the D30? Does it have 6 bolt external hubs? If so those would bolt onto the Waggy D44. Add some adapters for the rear axle and you have a cost effective 5 lug solution.

If you have the 5 bolt ext hubs, forget it, they are junk.

I think my next suggestion would be to use the ford hubs and rotors. Then buy a set of adapters for the 8.8, they are about 1" thick. I don't think there's a good option for making an 8.8 into a 6 lug axle.

The 4.5x5 dodge stuff is junk, you don't want to use it.



Also, it looks like your seats are too high. You really need to have some clearance between the top of your head and the bottom of the cage. From your pics it looks like your dome is completely out of the roll structure.

I traded my D30 straight across for the YJ springs (slightly unfair in my opinion, but I got what I wanted). Thanks for warning me about the 4.5s, I called a shop in town and he referred to that axle + knuckle as a $150 boat anchor.

Looks like either digging up some D30 knuckles, flat top knuckles + ford hubs + rotors is in my future so far. And looks like some wheel adapters are also in my future.

The waggy is approx 61" wms wms and the 8.8 is approx 59.5". That puts the axles with 2" worth of adapters to within 0.5" of eachother with wheels with the same backspacing.

Can I use the current knuckles that I have on the waggy? Ideally, I'd pick up some flat tops and build from there. I'm just not setup/ready to build up a high steer at this point.

Yeah that cage/seat combo sucks and it sketchy as hell. My maiden voyage with the rig I banged me head super hard on it (even though I was trying not t). I was thinking about putting some foam around it, but that is just a bandaid on a bigger problem. The roll bar is stock (the seats are not) the front two points were added in with one of those hoop kits. I haven't taken any macro photos of the welds for the front hoop, but trust me, they are really scary. I do have plans to build a real cage for the rig. Also that cage has no triangulation, but adding that in wouldn't be a killer task for me.
 

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This post has some flex shots,.I never ramped it. I wish I did that way I could compare before/after.

http://jonathansjeep.blogspot.com/2009/12/crawlin.html

Nothing Radical:


33"x12.5 tires, narrow track axles, SUA, I think 1" body and a few inches of suspension lift, unsure of suspension amount as I didn't install the lift.
Super clean. Dig it. I've got the 7 in approximately the same condition. 3.5" total lift is all you need to clear 33's on a narrow trac axle. 304 is a great motor. The 3-speed that came in those is junk. Pop-In-Law has your setup with a T-18 and it works great, except he is running 4:11's, so he tops out at 65mph at 3k RPM. Rear drive angle/length was a huge issue for him due to the shorter rear shaft.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Super clean. Dig it. I've got the 7 in approximately the same condition. 3.5" total lift is all you need to clear 33's on a narrow trac axle. 304 is a great motor. The 3-speed that came in those is junk. Pop-In-Law has your setup with a T-18 and it works great, except he is running 4:11's, so he tops out at 65mph at 3k RPM. Rear drive angle/length was a huge issue for him due to the shorter rear shaft.
Thanks for checking it out.

I don't think I've ever had the jeep above 55 mph, too skittish on the road (might have been shackle reversal or incorrect shimming, who knows).

My target setup is 304->T18->d20->ford 8.8 and d44 with 4.56 gears and 35" rubber. I am thinking I will have to run CV driveshaft in the rear to pull it all off too.

Anyone else pull off the waggy swap in a CJ? What kind of steering problems did you run into? Did you go directly over to high steer? Or was a pitman arm drop enough to get you by until you could pull a high steer together? Anything I should look out for? Tomorrow I am going to start tearing into the waggy axle (grinding spring perches and fabbing the outboarded spring hangars). I am going to maintain the shackle reversal kind of setup that I have. Thoughts? Insert beating-a-dead-horse icon here.
 

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High steer or crossover is almost a requirement for SOA. You could probably make it work without it, but most of those setups are ghetto with bent draglinks. A drop pitman arm was not enough for the draglink to clear the passenger spring on my YJ SOA with 0" springs, so I initially did a crossover setup with the D30.

When I had the HP44/8.8 combo, I had to convert to the 5x5.5 bolt pattern. I bought wheels adapters for the 8.8, and as for the front 44, check out my list below. Oh yea, and I had to buy all new wheels. I will say that it is WAYYYY too much money for what you get. Especially since the 44 has the same u-joints as a newer D30 and the pinion is the same size as a D30. The biggest advantage that I see for a front 44 is the bigger brakes (don't forget to upgrade your master cylinder as well). I eventually sold it all and bought D60's.

The 8.8 is a GREAT axle. For the front, you may want to consider a newer HP30 (grab one out of an XJ for CHEAP), use 760X spicer joints, and run a crossover bracket on the passenger knuckle like the one from BTF ($150) for crossover steering. Note, you could also use this same bracket with the waggy knuckles.



5x5.5 44 conversion parts

HP44 out of a '79 Ford F250 (1/2" thick tubes)
- shortened from 67" WMS to 61.5" (removed 2.75" of tube from each side)
- shortened to use stock Wagoneer axle shafts from an '89
- caster set at 7 degrees
- spring perch width is 31.5"; YJ is 31"; holes drilled .25" toward the inside.

Axle Shafts
- '89 Jeep Wagoneer D44
- Spicer 760X u-joints

Axle Seals
- these are the seals next to the carrier bearings inside the housing.
- Axle Shaft Inner Seals: part# 13165

Converted to 5x5.5 bolt pattern
- '79 F150 Hubs and Rotors
+ inner wheel bearing: Set 37 (76 Chevy / 85 F-150)
+ outer wheel bearing: Set 45 (76 Chevy / 85 F-150)
- '76 Chevy K10 Calipers
- '76 Chevy Brake Pads
- mid '70s Chevy 31" SS brake hose. Fits Chevy caliper and 3/16" brake line.
- mid '70s Chevy spindles (small bearing)

Knuckles and Steering
- Chevy flat top knuckles
- Parts Mike super steering arms (1.5" thick)
- TJ pitman arm reamed out for 7/8" TRE
- '85 Chevy Blazer 7/8"-18 TREs and 1.125"x.188" wall DOM tube.
+ Tie Rod TRE's:
+ ES2233L for pass side
+ ES2234R for driver side
+ Drag Link TRE's:
+ ES2027L for pitman arm
+ ES2234R for pass side (mounts to TRE ES2233L)

Lock out Hubs
- Warn premium locking hub, Part # 20990
 

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Discussion Starter #20
There is a great option for the rear that I overlooked:

Superior axle and gear makes the "super 88" kit and it has the C-clip eliminator and all that good stuff. At any rate, it appears that the one-piece axles are drilled for 5 on 4.5 and 5 on 5.5. Of course that comes with a $600 price tag. I could reason that it is $500 because otherwise I'd have to buy adapters. I will do that kit down the road and the spacers for now.

So If I could get the front over to 5 on 5.5, I'd be golden. Looks Like I have to hunt down some chevy knuckles and ford hubs.
 
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