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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The Baconator - Rubi on 42"s - Picture Heavy

This build thread is more for the archives/ideas or just one more thing to flood the UJ Build thread links. The build was completed over this past summer, but it took a while. Its a friend's Jeep that was having a hard time keeping alloy axle shafts alive in the Rubi 44s with 35" Mud Grapplers (read "driving style") so mutual friends and peer influence talked him into spending some money on new parts. The Jeep went under the knife at a shop nearby owned by a mutual friend. Work was started, problems with parts and vendors arose, the shop owner got busy with other work needed to be done to pay the bills, the Jeep owner got busy with his own company and needed to pay other bills rather than buy parts, etc etc. Jeep ended up sitting for a good bit of time with all the Rubicon goodies sold, and only the HP60 and 14B parted out, cleaned up and the rear links tacked. After a while an agreement was made to move it to my garage and for the owner and I, and other friends to work on it so that the shop owner could get his space back for some projects he needed to roll out the door and so that the Jeep owner could get his Jeep back on the trail and wheel with the rest of us again.

I ended up with it for the duration of a winter. After I did a bunch of work to it, it went down the road from the house for some tube work, and then up to northern virginia for some more details, and then finally back in my hands for a few post shakedown de-bugging things. So thats kind of the story.

This build was originally posted on JU... so it basically gets no views over there and is more than likely help here. The big thing with this Jeep was the front stretch with behind the knuckle steering, and hydro assist on 42"s and its still rather low COG. Most of the work is not a new concept, by anymeans, but the rig is cool I think and it might be able to help someone out.

'03 Rubicon
42" SXIIs on 20" Trailreadys
14 Bolt Rear - ARB, 5.38s
'78 Ford D60 Front - ARB, 5.38s, RCVs w/ flanges, Reid knuckles,
Atlas II 5.0
14" Sway Away Race runners
2.0 Sway Away Bumps, all corners
Full traction belly, with 4 link rear, 3 link front, 2" x .500 wall DOM lowers.
QA1 Rock Ends at every link end.
Genright EXT tank
PSC Hydro Assist w/ Reverse Rotation Astro box

And now begin the Copy and paste. I'll try to edit and combine posts as I go to make things sound more present tense.

Pictures...

As it came to me.


14 Bolt and bent upper links?



QA1 Rod ends are NICE! 40 degree flex.


Missing hardware


Stretch panels have been sitting a while.



Nice coil overs.


 

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Ok, so I got some time to work on this thing finally. I had been out of town for work all week and now that I am home I was finally able to unwind with a few brews and some metal fab tools.

Pretty much everything will be some custom stuff mixed in with brackets from Dan at Ruffstuff and there were some parts ordered from Ballistic before they got the boot from P4x4.

The following frame notch stuff are parts that I drew up and had a friend cut.

So, needed some more room for the frame, coils and tire to share the same real estate so got some cutting in.



Drew up some CAD files and had some stuff cut.



The frame main plates are 3/8" thick and the rest is 3/16" thick all A50 steel.



Little bit of MIG lovin.



And here is the finished product of the frame notch. The new frame section is 3/8" + the factory 3/16". Should be sufficiently stout.





 

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Discussion Starter #4
More pictures of the rear notch.









Got the rear sitting on its own weight for the moment. Shocks are going to be sent to get charged soon though so that will come back apart and I still need to install the bump can mounts in the rear.

But here is some more work that has been done.

Fenders and radiator gone.



Picked out a new Radiator that will give us more room to stuff the D60 in and fit the steering box and such.



Got the Ballistic Fab truss welded on.


Nickel welded that to the housing. I actually let the Jeep owner play with the TIG. For the amount of experience he had, which isn't much, he didn't do too bad.






Got the steering box rebuilt. Drilled tapped, new seals, etc. Its an Astro Reverse rotation box. Same mounting pattern as the older TJ boxes before they went to that mercedes stuff.



The box is getting rotated flat... so gotta make room. Don't worry, we welded in some material behind the radiator to temporarily hold the frame horns from splitting due to the engine weight.




And last not least, we got the Atlas installed and clocked as flat as possible. Originally the owner wanted the 6.0 but Matt at Independent4x4 told the owner the primary gear was smaller or something. He went with the 5.0 instead.
1350 CV flange out back, and 1350 yoke up front.

 

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Discussion Starter #5
The owner decided to go with some Reids because they were available. SOLID wanted us to wait FOREVER to get a set of Ford knuckles from them, and we want to run the Big azz brakes on this thing so we are sticking with the big ford brake stands to run the twin piston calipers. So these were on the shelf and on sale. Merry Christmas and such.




I had a bunch more gussets cut out to play with...




Started to work on getting the new steering box mounted. Again, this is the reverse rotation astro box. We re-tapped the box to use 1/2" coarse hardware because it was easier to find 1/2" ID DOM to make sleeves with rather than the 7/16" ID DOM.



Pushed the box back to stretch the axle forward.





 

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Discussion Starter #6
High steer arms from MAD4wd.



Here is the tie rod material and the clamp we are using for the assist ram to mount to it. Should make adjusting and centering the assist ram easy, it doesn't create any HAZ in the tie rod and also lets us adjust the toe that much easier.





Finally got our front lower links back from the machine shop. 2" x .500" wall, machined LH and RH. Also had wrench flats milled into them. When we got them back though we could only get the RH joints to thread in 1/3rd of the way before they started to get way too tight. The threads were cut on the lathe, rather than with a tap, so it felt like the pitch was just a hair off. Luckily I had a 1-1/4" - 12 tap from when I did my links so I chased them and all was good.




Also had this nifty little wrench cut out of some scrap in the machine shop.




Picture of the driver's side high steer arm mounted.

 

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Discussion Starter #7
So here is the plan with the steering stuff. Putting the tie rod behind the axle. We can drill for Ackermann much easier this way, and because of the stretch and how low this axle is getting stuffed and the fact that we are running the hydro assist and not full hydro we are trying to pack 10 lbs of crap in a 5 lb sock. Our limiting factor on the reverse tie rod is the oil pan at stuff. I have a friend who is trying to talk me into notching the oil pan to get just a little more out of it and I don't think its worth it.




And I know that in the above picture that the tie rod fall at passenger's lock will put it into the top of the housing. We are trying to decide on whether we want to add spacers under the heims at the arm ends to make enough room to clear it, OR if we want to notch the top of the diff.

Adding some tear drop washers to the brackets. The previous builder had tacked these brackets onto the axle in the WAY wrong spot for the link numbers to work out and they had also been wallowed out with the wrong size bit. The bolts for the Rock Ends are 5/8", the brackets were originally 9/16". Someone, still to this day no one has laid claim, took a 1/2" drill bit and tried to open up the bracket to get the bolt through...:shaking: A lot of different people had their hands in this thing before it ever came to me. Fingers were pointed in many directions too... Ohh well. As a repair / reinforcement I had these cut to add some bearing surface back to the brackets in the correct spot.



Here is a picture of the top of the truss looking back to the t-case. Just BARELY enough room to squeeze the driveshaft and stuff through there. Also have to mount the upper link over the driveshaft still.




Looking down from the top gives an idea of where the axle is now as far as stretch numbers. We are looking at about 6.5" to 7" of forward stretch over stock.

 

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Discussion Starter #8
We also started to mess with the drag link trying to get it up as high and out of the way as we can to keep it from getting smashed and trashed. In order to keep the pitman arm and draglink safe we are going to try and mount it on top of the pitman arm. In the flat stock position the hardware wouldn't quite clear the bottom of the box and the bottom of the frame when at drivers lock, so we took the pitman, heated it, bent it, oil quenched it, then heated it elsewhere, bent it and quenched it again.. Results...

Before...





Bent the pitman arm...





And after the bend...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Front upper link, 2" x .250 wall DOM.


And it looks like things will clear at the lowest drop point for the tie rod and also the upper link looks like it will have plenty of room at full bump, I went full lock to where the tie rod would rise to the highest point and checked for clearance and it still looks good. I have to hand it to the boys at MAD4wd as these steering arms are nice pieces of work.



Started to do some flex testing on the front.



Mighty Close to the Grill




Sitting Static


 

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Did some more work on that front bumper and frame notch. Its not entirely done yet but you get the idea. The extreme taper is to make room for the tires to turn as tight as they can and the narrowness makes them the most forward thing for the largest area.

Front frame plates made out of 1/2" and capped with 1/4" flat bar.



Then cut and capped some 3/16" box tubing.



Then slid some D-rings in and started to build up the front.



Plenty of guard room for the steering box but still room for the 9.5ti.



Winch saddled in there. And yes the owner is going to Syn line soon.





And I am proud of myself for thinking ahead on this one and leaving an access spot to get to the hardware for the drag link pitman end.

 

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Just installing gears and lockers and stuff. Pulled most of it all back apart. It got a new Mopar clutch, had the flywheel turned because it was warped pretty bad. Got the atlas put together except for a few pieces of the linkage through the floor, filled up with oil, etc. Have the gears installed in the D60 with the ARB in there. The air supply lines still need to be connected and stuff but thats not really pressing at the moment. The owner ordered some steering stuff from a friend of ours who is a PSC vendor. I believe that he is grabbing the CB pump kit, lines, cooler, and a 1.75 x 8" ram that we are going to machine our own Delrin stops to sleeves our final steering stops. Hrmm. I can't really think of much else. The Genright tank needs to be dropped because when it was mocked in at the last shop to have the jeep it was installed loose with not cover on the pump base so dirt and filings etc are in the tank and there is no fuel pump installed, etc. So between that and beefing up the Full Traction frame mounts, I should have plenty to keep me busy this weekend while the wife is out of town.

Pics...

ARB and 14 Bolt Ring Gear


5.38s


Hover Jeep


The port in the 14 Bolt truss for the ARB and vent tube lines to pass through.


Gears installed in the Dana 60


KORE cover
 

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Did a few more things today. Got the front bumper finished up the fuel tank dropped and a whole mess of fun stuff with that. The stock tank has been pretty much full since it was delivered to me. Well, I found out today that it was full alright.. of water... AND there was this big deal of a mess over some stupid $20 fuel filter... Someone said they bought one and it was installed in the tank and they wanted some money for the parts and their time on the install and money never changed hands blah blah blah, and it was on the list of reasons whey the Jeep was moved to my garage. Anyways, today went to find the "new" filter.. Only thing I found was the old one, full of crap and crusty and nasty. Well in the old tank of water, existed the fuel sender and pump assembly... so its been sitting out getting soaked every few hrs with all sorts of cleaners and air and such trying to clean it out as best as possible.

Got the Atlas linkage done and that finished up and started some work on the frame mounts adding some extra reinforcement to the Full Traction belly kit that we are re-using.


But, got the 14 bolt finished up, the front bumper finished up, and the track bar bracket welded to the frame after adding a little piece of reinforcement plate to cover up the tie down hole in the frame.













The dog was not impressed with the progress... also notice the 1.5 years of dust on the interior... this thing needs to move soon.
 

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Did some more work putting this thing back together. Gonna get it together enough and get it down the street to a friend who is doing the tube work on it.









The steering box still felt too sloppy so I decided to break it back open. Turns out the drive key had come out of alignment during the rebuild so things weren't fully engaging and thats were the slop was coming from. Then took and put a milling bit into the drill press and cut the square indexing splines out of the pitman arm so that we can index the arm properly on the box rather than having it a little offset to the drivers side like the box is stock. (Astro Van Box).

 

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So, started to get the front mounting locations for the front bump cans. Someone had actually stolen two of the four cans so I had to pull one off of the rear to use for mock up. Someone in my circle of friends/ associates had to have stolen it because the garage stays locked, only 3 of us have keys and whoever stole the parts had to dig through boxes and snag just the bumps and thats all they took, left the mounts and hardware. I am quite pissed off about it and this will be the last rig I build for anyone. (That ended up not being the case) There has been so much drama amongst friends and so many problems with making time frames meet... I am over it. I'll work on my own stuff from now on and maybe build an axle here or there but no more building stuff like this. Its making me hate my hobby and turning it all into work...

Anyways... Rant over... pics








 

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Also, the owner then went through a divorce so the Jeep moved around some more, it ended up having the tube fenders built by the cage guy. Ended up stored at my place again for a bit, then it went to Northern Virginia to be worked on by a fellow P4x4 member. He might chime in here somewhere... Here are some pictures of it post cage work.









 

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During its stay with the other friend it got...

ARBs completed
Air cans all mounted and ready to go
Amsteel Syn line
Cage pulled and painted
Fenders pulled and wet sanded and painted
Stretch panels cut and wet sanded and painted

Set of RCV... yep RCV D60 shafts installed up front with drive slugs.
Ride height adjusted with a completely new set of springs all the way around.










 
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