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I suspect with stock springs and the reduced weight of the replacement body your going to have plenty of height. Your springs will be close to being topped out I bet. So droop is not as prevalent. Your going to have over 2 ft longer wheelbase though 86"? vs 112" and I bet more frame flex than Rango. The car will feel different, your fanny will be higher off the ground, you will have more compression and less droop, be driving an automatic (more two footing) and the trick will be to get the F-up to feel close to the Jeep balance wise. If you can come close (which I believe is possible) it might be just like driving a little bigger clown car!:)
 

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Discussion Starter #122
I suspect with stock springs and the reduced weight of the replacement body your going to have plenty of height. Your springs will be close to being topped out I bet. So droop is not as prevalent. Your going to have over 2 ft longer wheelbase though 86"? vs 112" and I bet more frame flex than Rango. The car will feel different, your fanny will be higher off the ground, you will have more compression and less droop, be driving an automatic (more two footing) and the trick will be to get the F-up to feel close to the Jeep balance wise. If you can come close (which I believe is possible) it might be just like driving a little bigger clown car!:)
I think the Lexus got the softer springs from what I have been researching. I think the front end will be ok. With an iron block 5.3 up front and an 8274 on the bumper I think the front end will be ok as far as spring rate. The stock springs where a little soft....so a little less weight should firm them up slightly and give me a touch of lift. I am more worried about the rear suspension. The back end is going to be LIGHT compared to stock. I will only have a small aluminum bed basically. I guess having the fuel tank behind the rear axle should help a bit. I want to make that about 25-30 gallons so that should be about 200lbs. The factory tank was ahead of the rear axle. If the rake of the chassis is too much I will machine a small spacer for the front to level it out....and then adjust the shock length to match.

I would like to try and maintain about 50% uptravel from the suspension. If I make the shocks longer I will need to adjust the bumpstops down slightly. Most of that stuff is all pretty simple.

I am going to try and set the engine/trasmission/t-case so they clear the front suspension with it at full bump with factory bumpstops. That should be a good place to start.....

The wheelbase will be an adjustment. 112 vs 85. That is a 27" difference! That will be an adjustment for sure, but a good size I think. I think that is about right with a 40-42" tire.....108-112 of so. This chassis was a little longer than I wanted still, but for an oem wheelbase it's pretty good. There where not too many vehicles with a nice boxed frame, link suspension, decent axles, lockers, 4 wheel disc, etc. I came very close to using a JKU frame, but I think its just a little long.

I don't think the J80 frame is going to flex at all, especially with the body being a lot lighter. Most of the frame is 2+" wide by about 6" tall and a full box section front to back.

Automatic will be fine. I had a auto TJ back in the day that I loved. I don't mind left foot braking. I am very interested to see how the 6l80 transmission works out. The gearing on paper looks to be phenomenal. 54:1 in low range with a top speed of 65mph or more! That should eliminate the high range to low range to high range shuffle on the trail. I like being able to run between obstacles a little faster. I think that type of gearing should be very interesting in the snow and sand too. Heck, in HIGH range the gearing is still 20:1!

Seating position will be a little different. I am going to try and lower the seats from the stock FJ40 position a little. The seats won't be on the floor like Rango, but only a few inches up I hope. I have to try for a little bit less cramped seating position than Rango. My knees aren't what they use to be.

Overall, I would be very happy if I could make this vehicle feel as stable and predictable as Rango. I think it will be close. It is going to be about 78-79" wide to the outside of the tire. Hopefully about 18-20" of smooth belly clearance. 112" wheelbase. The approach and departure angles should be very close to 90 degrees. A smaller body with a front and rear taper. There also won't be a top to get in the way on the back corners. Should be pretty neat really.....

Blah blah blah....
 

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Discussion Starter #124
I was doing a little measuring this morning....

It looks like the body is about 27" tall from the floor to the top of the cowl ( the peak of the hood )

The frame is 6" tall in the belly section.

An LS engine with a truck pan and intake is about 32" tall.

27+6 is 33" of vertical space available for a 32" tall engine to the bottom of the frame.

That is good news. At least I can get close to a flat belly most likely. The hood slopes down from the cowl a little. I need a little space for clearance. The floor isn't going to be directly on the top of the frame...that will add 1/2-1" pretty easy.

Good news. I was a little worried about that with the truck engine. With the deep pan the engine/transmission is going to be up into the chassis pretty dang far....
 

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If it gets close there are shorter pans available. My pan on my new Suburban holds 8 quarts, but does not look deeper than my 2000 that holds 6.
I made the frame comment as a comparison to the Jeeps homemade frame that I believe is stiffer than any production frame on a light duty vehicle. Even though the frame on the Cruiser is stout, it also relies on the body for stiffness a little too. You won't have that anymore, It won't be detrimental, but it ain't no Rango frame.
You will love the 6L80, the 4.00 first gear, under driven high range and gears will be pretty nice I think.
The hood is a bit longer than the Jeeps so the slope will help with forward visibility. Since you are going to have a near 90 degree approach and departure angles are you going to triangulate your line of sight to the ground or the middle of the axle at the hub? If you have nothing past the front of the tires, I would use the hub. It's kind of crude but I've used a 5 gallon bucket to adjust seat position to were I can just see the top of the bucket.
 

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Discussion Starter #126
The hood is a bit longer than the Jeeps so the slope will help with forward visibility. Since you are going to have a near 90 degree approach and departure angles are you going to triangulate your line of sight to the ground or the middle of the axle at the hub? If you have nothing past the front of the tires, I would use the hub. It's kind of crude but I've used a 5 gallon bucket to adjust seat position to were I can just see the top of the bucket.
Huh?
 

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Discussion Starter #127
If it gets close there are shorter pans available. My pan on my new Suburban holds 8 quarts, but does not look deeper than my 2000 that holds 6.
The older pre-2007 truck pan has a 6 degree sloped bottom and is 8.60" to the front edge of the sump from the top surface of the flange. You also have a drain plug to deal with that is about 3/8-1/2" deep.

The 2007+ truck pack is about 7.42" to the bottom of the pan from the sump and 8.42" to the bottom of the oil drain plug.

I have to use a 2009ish or newer engine to get the 6l80e to work right.

I would like to keep the stock pan if at all possible. The truck pans oil really well without any extra money in baffles and accumulators. The 6L80 is pretty deep also. The truck pan on the 6l80 is suppose to oil better than the shallow car pan also. I plan on keeping both as stock as possible to keep cost down....$100-500 for oil pan solutions adds up fast.
 

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Adjusting the seat height in the car so you can see the top of the bucket 15 to 20 feet ahead of the car. Put the bucket out in front of the Jeep and see what your line of sight is. My bad on the description, my technical writing skills are lacking!
 

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Discussion Starter #129
Adjusting the seat height in the car so you can see the top of the bucket 15 to 20 feet ahead of the car. Put the bucket out in front of the Jeep and see what your line of sight is. My bad on the description, my technical writing skills are lacking!
Ah.

Seat position is going to be dictated a bit by the stock windshield height and how 'deep' I want the crown on the top panel. With the nose being so narrow without much of a fender I don't think visibility will be bad at all. I have a really long torso so the seat usually has to go lower than it would for most people with a normal length frame. I kinda got short legs and a long torso/arms.

I'll play around with it. I am looking for a more normal seating position on this one. Kinda like you would see on a normal US pick up or later jeep.

I will likely be pulling a lot of the crown out of the roof panel to make everything look lower and blend in a few of the ideas I have for a cage. It won't be flat....but it won't have 4-5" of crown like the stock top panel.
 

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I'm probably built the other way. I'm 6'1" and have a 32" inseam. I think my torso is shorter than my legs, which makes setting in a lot of vehicles difficult or impossible at my age (63). Between my long legs and my girth, small cars are out of the question. My Forest Service Hotshot days of 195 lbs and a 32" waist are long gone!
This is why it is imperative I put a tilt wheel in my flattie and change up the seats.

The tub and top changes sound labor intensive, but I'm sure you have done drawings and such to check proportions. You have solid, practical thought processes on all your builds, that look deceptively simple, yet carry hidden tricks and technology. Its fun to watch and thanks for sharing!
 

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Discussion Starter #132
The tub and top changes sound labor intensive, but I'm sure you have done drawings and such to check proportions. You have solid, practical thought processes on all your builds, that look deceptively simple, yet carry hidden tricks and technology. Its fun to watch and thanks for sharing!
I'm basically only starting with the cowl and door openings. I am building everything else from scratch...

Yes, I tend to think of these projects like chess. I am always trying to think 10 moves ahead.

If I hadn't have dislocated two ribs on Saturday I might have gotten the tub chopped up....oh well...maybe this week.
 

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Ouch, heal up well.
I broke 4 ribs once stream fishing, pole in one hand, tackle box in the other. Slipped on a wet rock crossing the stream. Knocked the wind out of me but not too bad the rest of they day. Next morning I had to crawl out of the tent.
 

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That 3" behind the seat is going to be awesome as far as comfort goes, I wish we had another 1-2", 3" would be gravy in the CJ-10A as legs can cramp up on long drives from the heat and not being able to stretch them out.

I like where you are headed mounting the fuel cell below the bed floor, I wish we would have went that route, still might.

30 gallons sounds like a target I would shoot for.

Have you thought at all about putting the cell on the skid plate, between the frame rail and the driveshaft?

I like how it keeps rocks from getting hung up on the front side of the rear axle tube. upper links can get a little tricky.

Examples;

Odd rods -Hilux
Lance's -JK Wesley
Jesse H. -Pokey
 

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Discussion Starter #135
That 3" behind the seat is going to be awesome as far as comfort goes, I wish we had another 1-2", 3" would be gravy in the CJ-10A as legs can cramp up on long drives from the heat and not being able to stretch them out.

I like where you are headed mounting the fuel cell below the bed floor, I wish we would have went that route, still might.

30 gallons sounds like a target I would shoot for.

Have you thought at all about putting the cell on the skid plate, between the frame rail and the driveshaft?

I like how it keeps rocks from getting hung up on the front side of the rear axle tube. upper links can get a little tricky.

Examples;

Odd rods -Hilux
Lance's -JK Wesley
Jesse H. -Pokey
I sat in Kenny's CJ10 with the factory bench seat and it wasn't bad. I think adding another 3" will be about right....without changing the look too much for the FJ45-esk cab.

Fuel cell ahead of the axle vs behind. I need to find space for a decent size muffler/exhaust system. I think routing the exhaust past a mid mounted tank to the rear ( kinda like a JK ) would be challenging. I don't know if I could get 30 gallons on capacity ahead of the axle while maintaining good ground clearance. My goal is to get the belly skidplate very close to flat to the frame. Maybe extending the skidplate toward the rear axle to cover the muffler area would be a good compromise? That would provide most of the bonuses of both systems with only a small weight penalty.

Good stuff, thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #136 (Edited)
It's probably good I don't have this in a Land Cruiser section....the purists might hate me....



It's sure easier to move around now!



I moved the flat fender over to make room. Once I get the tub trimmed down a little more I will throw it up on the welding table. Pinching the doors and making the cage and floor should be interesting....
 

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I'm excited to watch this one take shape. What is the time frame? Did you make UA crony status and plan to take it next year?
 

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Discussion Starter #139
I'm excited to watch this one take shape. What is the time frame? Did you make UA crony status and plan to take it next year?
Time frame. I'd like to have it done by summer time. There is a local fathers day car show that would be a good goal. In some ways it could take forever, in other ways it should go pretty fast. The frame, suspension, and axles are already done :laughing:

UA. No idea. You just wait for a call.
 

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Discussion Starter #140
A little bit at a time.....



I am trying to get back in the habit of doing a little bit every day. That seems to be the best way to move forward for me...

The factory tool box has been removed. It was going to get in the way of pinching the door openings. Popping the spot welds with an air chisel seemed to work the best. There where also a few welds along the back that needed to be hit with a cut off wheel and then cracked with the air chisel.

This is still the 'formulation' phase to me. I am cautiously moving forward getting a better picture of how the tub is put together. I want the 'pinching' of the door openings to look as factory as possible. Right now the big questions are....

Where to pit cut the floor? It would be nice if it was just a nice straight pie cut front to back. Nothing like 3 foot long butt joint sheetmetal seam to weld on both sides....yipee! Here is a decent top view.



That to do with the big factory hat channel system under the middle of the floor. This basically ties into the transmission tunnel support system also.



The old fuel tank sump on the drivers side also needs to go....



That should be pretty easy to cut out and replace with a flat sheet.

Fun Fun
 
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