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Very cool!

I must ask, why not use either d44 or d50 ttb for stronger ring & pinion?
I really like the build. Seems like it will work well. Cool motor choice. I was also gonna ask why you didn't go with the Dana 44 TTB. Seems like the full width beams would be a good thing as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #24 (Edited)
Very cool!

I must ask, why not use either d44 or d50 ttb for stronger ring & pinion?
You're not the first to ask that. :laughing:

Backing up a little bit...my overall goal for this thing is to keep it lightweight and simple. I raced a 5500+ lb XJ for a few seasons and all that weight does is make everything else need to be bigger, in an exponential way.

My goal for this one is around 3k lbs dry weight, maybe 3,200 ready to go. Power-to-weight being one reason; I'm not going to do it right away, but I figure I can build this motor to 300 HP pretty reliably, which will go a lot further in this truck than something that weighs 4k plus. And in keeping the power (and the tire size) down, everything else can be smaller and lighter too. I'm keeping the stock 2.62 gears in the 300 because I've always raced with an overdrive and low range around here...maxes out somewhere around 65-70 MPH at redline, and there are very few places on the East coast to hold that speed for any length of time.

That being said...he's how I've convinced myself of the HP35, for now:

- it's a larger gearset than the HP30 that all the Jeep guys run, and I've seen them take a relatively good beating on 35's many times. Shafts and u-joints being the weak link mostly.

- it's a non-load-bearing 3rd member so I don't have to worry about deflection in the housing from axle tubes, suspension, etc.

- it's an aluminum 3rd so it weighs next to nothing.

- With a full-case locker (and possibly through-bolted bearing caps; I've talked with Jantz about this briefly and we think it's possible to throw the 35 TTB arm up on a machine and do the same process he does bolting through the diff cover on other axles) I think it should have enough rigidity to it.

- 30 spline good quality stuff in & out (the RCV hardware is where I'd like to end up, getting information on their TTB prototype stuff has been difficult, but in theory it should be possible) should keep everything happy on 35's.

That, plus the 35 TTB arms use different lengths and pivots than the 44/50 arms, so I'd have to reconfigure everything to make that work. I know people make bolt-on relocating brackets to run the different arms but I'd like to keep the stock pivots for now.

Outers are a different story...worst case is I can relatively easily swap on a set of 44 TTB knuckles/balljoints/etc. I have a set of 50 arms and knuckles to experiment with grafting onto my 35 beams since I need to cut/turn/extend them anyway. I've got a few ideas here but I need to keep it a roller for now until I move into my new garage in a few weeks, which is why I've been mostly concentrating on the rear section.

We'll see I guess...if it proves to be a weak link then the upgrades are out there. For now I'm liking the really small unsprung weight from the 35TTB setup.

I am also slightly worried about bending wheel flanges on the 8.8...the ones in the Super 88 kit are much beefier and use the large 9" wheel bearings, but it's still a question in my mind. Just gonna see how that goes I guess.

I plan on cutting most of the frame off ahead of the TTB crossmember so I can build the steering similar to the AGR car. However if I *don't* do that, the front half of the frame will take any of the aftermarket Ranger stuff that's out there. So there's already a ton of info on how to make the front ends work and stay alive in these trucks...mine just happens to look a little different. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #27
That's reasonable justification. What's the motor weigh?
Fully dressed in factory form it's pretty heavy for the displacement; mid 400's I think. Guys have stripped weight off them though I'm not sure where...I've at least lost the A/C compressor, but supporting mods to make the powerplant work in a RWD configuration probably balance that out.

I'd like to find someone (Fidenza?) who can make me an aluminum flywheel for it...the starter/clutch/pressure plate are all Jeep-based the way I have the adapter set up.

Also, not the best for weight balance but I'm hoping to save a bunch by keeping a front radiator, the manual trans (weighs 89 lbs), and aside from the primary roll cage structure I'll be building the rest out of 1.5" mostly.

I know you'd mentioned in that other thread about how optimizing weight, gearing, etc is something often overlooked in these cars...this project is why I kinda laughed when I read that. :)
 

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Props for thinking WAY outside the box! :smokin:
 

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I've been wondering if you would be starting a thread for this, looking forward to the progress. Different engine choice, thanks for not putting a LS in it :laughing:
 

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holy bastardization of craptastic vehicles. get an ARB for the front end is my only suggestion. TTB is a funny animal.
 

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Love it! My first true 4wd vehicle was a 1st. gen Exploder. One suggestion, you might consider boxing the c-channel section of the frame. After folding the stock skid plate and replacing it with a reinforced one. The frame channel became the weak link. I tweaked mine several times and in the end actually twisted the entire channel section of the frame. The cage will likely prevent the twisting, but I'd still recommend boxing the channel.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
What have you decided to do for steering? A swingset style or....? I went with a modified stonecrusher steering with 1 ton t.r.e.s
Well I've got a bit of a problem...you can kinda tell in this pic, but the alternator is right in the way of where a steering shaft would need to go to connect to the box in the stock location:



I can *maybe* make it work by using some sorta carrier bearing arrangement...but ideally I wanna build at least a single (if not double) swingset arrangement for it, so if I'm gonna cut it all off I'll just build something from scratch with a different box setup. Thinkin like a WJ or JK box that has the mounts around the sector shaft instead of the body of the box.

I saw your build thread too...goin all solid axle & stuff :flipoff2: do you notice any bumpsteer with that setup when the passenger tire droops out? Looks like that might push the driver tie rod over a bit when it moves...although as terrible as the stock geometry is they still go down the road OK, so I know there's some fudge factor in there...

holy bastardization of craptastic vehicles. get an ARB for the front end is my only suggestion. TTB is a funny animal.
I have a Dana 35 ARB in a parts truck of mine but it's for the smaller spline count...do you know if I can just get 30-spline side gears for it or does it change the whole carrier too?

I was kind of wanting to go with an OX or E-locker in the back and stay away from the compressor & plumbing of an ARB...although I guess I could do a 30-spline E-locker in the front as well.
 

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im wondering why the 8.8 instead of a 9"
:laughing: He has zero luck with 9"s.


Looking great Chris. I can't wait to help dial it in. It's going to be very competitive.

So are you going to run a Taurus fan?
 
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