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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #1
I have been hanging around Pirate for a while and have read a
To of information about Flattie builds. I have yet to even make a purchase of an old Willys.

I have been busy the last few years building an M715, and now that it is pretty much done (never really done)' I am wanting to build a Flattie. I want to keep this one somewhat of a budget build. yeah, I said that about the M715 too and now it is too nice. The M was my first real project and I learned a lot, but I feel like I am still quite the amateur. Anyway, here are some questions I have.

I want to go with a mild stretch, but keep the body stock length. It looks like a new frame is in order. I saw Mieser has a frame plan in his thread. Looks like that might be a good place to start.

I have a chance to purchase some CJ axles - Dana 30 and 44' 4 wheels discs, 5:38 gears, lockers, and full float conversion. I have also noticed many are running Waggie axles. Will the CJ axles be wide enough? I would like to run 35 - 36 inch tires.

As for other drive train, I think I would like to run a GM 4.3. I know the SM420 or 465 are good transmission choices. As for a transfer case, I would like to use a D18. It looks like for gearing to stay away from the early MB units. Any preference on what model to look for?

Also, even with 35 inch size tires, it looks like I would need to run an overdrive if I want reasonable RPM's on the road with 5:38 gears. Is is best to run a transfer case OD, or is it an option to run something like an NV3550 transmission?

Last, I see where many are running stock YJ springs. I have also read where some are running Waggie springs due to the offset pin. What are the preferences here?

I know many of these questions have been asked and answered somewhere in another thread. Believe me I have been reading. Thanks in advance for helping a newby - haven't even started yet. If anyone knows of a good starting candidate Willys, let me know. I have a couple to look at over the next week.

Oh, I know everyone likes pictures so here is the M715.



 

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old school idiot
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your pics aren't showing for me. 30/44 are great axles for a flat fender. narrow waggie axles are a good choice but are wider and will require outboarding the front springs, not a big deal. 4.3/465/d18 is an excellent choice but don't rule out t18 or t98 trans. look for big pin dana 18's from the late 50's early 60's they are a little stronger with the 1 1/8" pin verses the 3/4" on the early ones. you can see the pin on the back of the case in the center. when you have a major hack fest going on its just as easy to use offset pin springs as any other. off set will gain wheel base which will give you more room the work with. building flat fenders are all about compromise and space management. enjoy :smokin:
 

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On my flatty i'm running a 4.3L tbi, t18 and dana 20. the front axle is a scout d44 that has been completely reworked to run chevy knuckles, disks, ford hubs, hi steer and i turned the c's. the rear axle is a scout d44 that i didnt really need to do any thing special to. for springs i went with stock yj springs and mounted soa. the frame is a stock frame that i plated and added 2x4 cross members front and back stretching it 4". the springs are out boarded a few inches. useing the stock frame is something if i did it again i would not go this route again. I'd build one from scratch. tires are 36' bias ply iroks. cage is 1 3/4" dom.
axles are 58" wide wms-wms. wheel base is 88". I'm happy with my jeep. it's a tonne of fun and is super light.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
APU, I really like the way your Jeep sets. I am thinking of stretching the wheel base a couple inches each way. I don't think I want to lengthen the body. I will probably need to cut the fenders to make a little more room inside since I am 6'2".

I did make my first purchase toward the project today. I picked up a Dana 300 for a good price. I may be making a road trip Tuesday to pick up some already built Waggy axles. They were under a YJ, but the guy is switching to an LS engine and tons.

Also, I figured out how to post pictures. I am a little slow on the computer stuff. anyway, here are a couple of pictures of my M715 project. I figure the Flattie will fit well with the military theme.

All input is welcome. I can use all of the help and advice I can get.

[URL=http://s906.photobucket.com/user/Troop2865/media/image.jpg4_zpsnn9id6b5.jpg.html]
[IMG]http://i906.photobucket.com/albums/ac268/Troop2865/image.jpg4_zpsnn9id6b5.jpg

 

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welcome aboard and your truck looks great!!

first you say you want to use a dana 18 for the project, but then you say you bought a dana 300, so that's confusing. Is the rear axle you are buying a centered pumpkin(sounds like it would be since it was in a YJ), thus the dana 300 works, or is it offset, thus the dana 18 works??

I think the NV3550 would be a better choice vs the t-case overdrive, but again it all depends on what t-case you are using(dana 18 or 300) for us to give you good advice.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have decided to go with a centered differential out of a Wagoneer. I think the extra width of them vs. the narrow axles and having the Dana 44 front if I am going to run 35-36 inch tires is an advantage.

As for the NV3550, I see they make a wide ratio and a close ratio, as well as they lit a HD. Which would I look for? MAybe I can find a 4.3 with that transmission still attached? According to the Grim Jeeper gear ratio calculator, that would put the Jeep at about 58 mph at 2000 RPM's on the highway. It won't get a lot of highway time, but I want it to be street legal.
 

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Your going to have a hard time fitting a NV3500 in a flat fender with just a mild stretch.....like 12" long or less rear drive-line probably.
 

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APU, I really like the way your Jeep sets. I am thinking of stretching the wheel base a couple inches each way. I don't think I want to lengthen the body. I will probably need to cut the fenders to make a little more room inside since I am 6'2".

I did make my first purchase toward the project today. I picked up a Dana 300 for a good price. I may be making a road trip Tuesday to pick up some already built Waggy axles. They were under a YJ, but the guy is switching to an LS engine and tons.

Also, I figured out how to post pictures. I am a little slow on the computer stuff. anyway, here are a couple of pictures of my M715 project. I figure the Flattie will fit well with the military theme.

All input is welcome. I can use all of the help and advice I can get.

[URL=http://s906.photobucket.com/user/Troop2865/media/image.jpg4_zpsnn9id6b5.jpg.html]
[IMG]http://i906.photobucket.com/albums/ac268/Troop2865/image.jpg4_zpsnn9id6b5.jpg

Thanks again for the props.
sounds like your well on your way. i look forward to seeing what you come up with.
Btw. Sweet M715
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Put some money down on some axles and will pick them up soon. They are Wagoneer Dana 44's. 4.88 Yukon gears, with Yukon Grizzly locker in the rear and Tru Trac in the front. East coast high steer set up and Ruff Stuff covers front and rear. Currently set up for a YJ.

I am still looking for a good body if anyone knows of one. Still not sure on the transmission, but I see where some guys are running automatics in Jeeps that don't look stretched. Not to sound dumb but how are they doing that if the NV3550 is tool long? Thanks
 

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Put some money down on some axles and will pick them up soon. They are Wagoneer Dana 44's. 4.88 Yukon gears, with Yukon Grizzly locker in the rear and Tru Trac in the front. East coast high steer set up and Ruff Stuff covers front and rear. Currently set up for a YJ.

I am still looking for a good body if anyone knows of one. Still not sure on the transmission, but I see where some guys are running automatics in Jeeps that don't look stretched. Not to sound dumb but how are they doing that if the NV3550 is tool long? Thanks
A few inches can be gained by moving rear axle back
 

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The nv3550 is going to be tight, but there are a few things you can do to help out. Novak has an expensive but super short output setup for the d300. Depending on which year d300 you have there are two different length outputs--but the Novak kit is shorter.

If you do a high line and/or move the front fenders forward (many have done this on here, SVARAS first build is a great example), you can use the space to slide the drivetrain a bit further forward. And you can push the rear axle back a bit as well.

I would also take a good look at the Aisin transmissions, such as the AX15 and R150/151 used in the v6 and turbo toyotas. (They are of the same family) . The ax15 will easily adapt to the d300 but the r151 has a wider gear spread (4.15? First vs 3.83 ish IIR). They are getting rare though. Marlin also has a wide ratio gear set for these (5.xx first) but the rest of the gear spread looks terrible and they aren't cheap either. You would have to research this but there are certain combinations that allow use of the ax15 tail housing on the Toyota trans, although with the Chevy engine there may not be any reason to run the Toyota parts (other than to run the lower ratio gears--and they're not really different enough to make it worthwhile).

This is from memory, I might be off, but I believe an AX15 with d300 using the short output shaft is only another 1.5-2" longer then the typical 4 speed granny setup that many people run (I think 27" from the back of the bellhousing vs 25.5" with say an sm420/d18 combo). The d300 being centered output is going to be generally higher up so that will make the driveline angle worse than the d18 setup.

I mostly mention the AX15 because I think it's a better transmission, but not everyone shares my opinion!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
It has been a while since I posted. I have been reading a lot of the threads on here and I am amazed at the ideas and craftsmanship. I have had many of my questions answered, but I have probably come up with just as many new questions.

I have also been searching for a Jeep to start my build, and I have located one about an hour from here. My starting point will be a 52 M38. It appears to be very solid, but is missing the left front fender. It comes with two grilles and hoods, although one grille is probably not usable (a good wall art piece).

I have also collected some additional parts. Here is the list so far.

Wagoneer axles Dana 44's. They have 4.88 Yukon gears, rear Grizzly Locker and front Tru Trac, East Coast Gears flat knuckle and high steer with one ton rod ends and heavy 1/4 wall rods. They are set up for a Wrangler YJ. I believe the rear needs a new pinion bearing, otherwise they are in good shape.

AX15 transmission with 80,000 miles. I am not positive I will use it, but I got it for a good price. I purchased it from the same guy I got the axles from.

Dana 300 from a CJ. Appears to be solid, but will be gone trough.

I am still not sure what drivetrain combo to run. I like the idea of having the overdrive since I have the 4.88's. I am thinking of running 36 - 13.5 - 15 Iroks for tires and according to a gear calculator, I will be running 3200 RPM's with an SM420 and about 2600 RPM with the AX15 at 70 mph. I am not sure how much driving I will be doing at 70, but I want the Jeep to be highway worthy. I am still leaning toward running a 4.3 GM engine, but haven't ruled out a 4.8 pr 5.3 either.

I am still not sure what springs to run. I have read where some are using stock YJ spring, while others are using rears from a stock setup and still others are using Wagoneer springs due to the offset spring pin. I do want to stretch the wheelbase a bit, both a couple of inches toward the rear and a few toward the front.

I am not sure yet about whether I want to stretch the tub. I don't think I want to, but I am 6'2". I guess I need to modify the inner rear fender, then mount a seat and see how it feels. As for the front, I am not sure I want to do the Meiser style fender modification or simply add some space as Svaris did on his first Jeep, just to the rear of the fender. So many choices$&/!!!.

As for the frame, I am leaning building my own. The frame on the Jeep I am purchasing looks real solid. I have seen where others have lengthened the stock frame and boxed it for strength. Still a bit up in the air on that one too.

Thanks for letting me ramble. I will post some pics when I pick up the Jeep later this week. Keep the suggestions coming. I am open for all ideas and advice. Thanks again.
 

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Ford Bigot
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It has been a while since I posted. I have been reading a lot of the threads on here and I am amazed at the ideas and craftsmanship. I have had many of my questions answered, but I have probably come up with just as many new questions.

I have also been searching for a Jeep to start my build, and I have located one about an hour from here. My starting point will be a 52 M38. It appears to be very solid, but is missing the left front fender. It comes with two grilles and hoods, although one grille is probably not usable (a good wall art piece).

I have also collected some additional parts. Here is the list so far.

Wagoneer axles Dana 44's. They have 4.88 Yukon gears, rear Grizzly Locker and front Tru Trac, East Coast Gears flat knuckle and high steer with one ton rod ends and heavy 1/4 wall rods. They are set up for a Wrangler YJ. I believe the rear needs a new pinion bearing, otherwise they are in good shape.

AX15 transmission with 80,000 miles. I am not positive I will use it, but I got it for a good price. I purchased it from the same guy I got the axles from.

Dana 300 from a CJ. Appears to be solid, but will be gone trough.

I am still not sure what drivetrain combo to run. I like the idea of having the overdrive since I have the 4.88's. I am thinking of running 36 - 13.5 - 15 Iroks for tires and according to a gear calculator, I will be running 3200 RPM's with an SM420 and about 2600 RPM with the AX15 at 70 mph. I am not sure how much driving I will be doing at 70, but I want the Jeep to be highway worthy. I am still leaning toward running a 4.3 GM engine, but haven't ruled out a 4.8 pr 5.3 either.

I am still not sure what springs to run. I have read where some are using stock YJ spring, while others are using rears from a stock setup and still others are using Wagoneer springs due to the offset spring pin. I do want to stretch the wheelbase a bit, both a couple of inches toward the rear and a few toward the front.

I am not sure yet about whether I want to stretch the tub. I don't think I want to, but I am 6'2". I guess I need to modify the inner rear fender, then mount a seat and see how it feels. As for the front, I am not sure I want to do the Meiser style fender modification or simply add some space as Svaris did on his first Jeep, just to the rear of the fender. So many choices$&/!!!.

As for the frame, I am leaning building my own. The frame on the Jeep I am purchasing looks real solid. I have seen where others have lengthened the stock frame and boxed it for strength. Still a bit up in the air on that one too.

Thanks for letting me ramble. I will post some pics when I pick up the Jeep later this week. Keep the suggestions coming. I am open for all ideas and advice. Thanks again.


That's a lot of questions. Here's my response in no particular order:
  1. Stretch the tub, I stretched mine at the door and in front of the rear fender
  2. Build a custom frame
  3. Get overdrive trans
  4. I'm a Ford guy, but if you are going through all the work of an engine swap use an LS engine
  5. Wagoneer Springs need to be beefed up for spring over duty
  6. AX15-D300 is a good choice. Plenty strong
  7. Run Toyota driveshafts between your D44s and the D300 - you will thank me later ( Dana 44 to Toyota Driveline Flange Adapter )
  8. Run an auto locker up front. Limited Slip in the front is a waste of time.
  9. Build with hydro assist.
 

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When you say your from Litchfield like in Litchfield park AZ? There are 2 good start Willys up right now in local fb sale pages
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I have been picking up parts for the build and I finally purchased an actual Jeep. It is supposed to be a 51 M38. The body tub appears to be a replica. It appears to be galvanized metal. The PO attempted to paint it without priming the body so the paint is pealing off. It came with 2 grills, only a right front fender, 2 hoods (one appears to be a M38 and the other appears to be a civilian model). The windshield looks correct as does the tail gate (hood and tailgate are non script). I have the front seats, steering column and wheel. It came with the engine, transmission, and transfer case. The frame looks very clean as do the springs and wheels. Someone put new shocks on it.

My plan is to use the body and sell the rest. I have ordered the steel to build my own frame. It should be here in the next week or so.

I have been reading a lot and I think the more I read the more I know, but it prompts even more questions. As I said earlier, the axles are Dana 44 Wagoneer and were set up for a YJ. I have questions on running spring under or spring over. If I run spring over, it looks like I can simply outboard the front springs with the current axle set up and be done. For the rear, I will obviously need to move the perches in to line up with the new frame. As for running YJ springs, if stock, is it best to run 4 leaf or 5 leaf setup? If I run spring under, obviously I need to move all of the perches and run lift springs. Will the lift springs be too stiff?

I was also looking at the inner fender behind the seats. It appears they are already within 1 inch of the front of the rear fender radius. As I measured it looks like the absolute largest radius that could be cut without going to a comp cut is 36 inches (most would have to come out of the rear).

I have been looking at tires and want to stay in 35 - 37 inch size and a 15 inch rim. With the 4.88 gears I feel like I am going to need some sort of overdrive. I picked up an AX-15 because the price was right. I have also been thinking of simply running a 4L60E. I have seen several 4.3/4L60E combos for sale. I know length is a concern, but I see many running TH350's. The 4L60 E is two inches longer. I know every inch counts with such a short wheelbase. I have thought about lengthening the doghouse to make room.

I know I have a long way to go before I get to some of these questions, but I want to make sure I have a good plan so I don't make foolish purchases (never done that before). :shaking: Anyway, here are some photos of some of the things I have been collecting. Ignore the overstuffed garage. It was raining and I simply crammed everything inside to get it out of the rain. It has been monsoon season this summer here.






 

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Congrats on the buy. First thing I would do to thd CJ axles is get chromoly shafts that take the larger u-joints. 35" tires are a good all around size that comes in a c-rating. Are you going to build a frame or use thd M38 frame?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The axles are out of a Wagoneer and the front has been modified to Chevy 1 ton high steer, and is supposed to have chromoly front shafts. As for the frame, I am building one based on the Meiser plan. I thought about modifying the stock frame, but after much reading, it seemed the consensus is it was too much effort. I should have the steel for the new frame soon.

As for tires, I know 35's probably make more sense, but.........bigger is better, right? 35's are certainly more reasonably priced. Once you go bigger than that prices seem to really jump.
 
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