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Turned out beautiful man, I'm almost done with mine maybe I'll see u at the badlands this year?
 

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Discussion Starter #122
Planning a trip to the Badlands soon. Been talking to a couple of the Illinois guys that were supposed to go to Moab this year. It will probably be a couple more weeks until this quarantine thing settles down. I definitely need to get it out on a shake down run. There really isn't anywhere nearby here - either Missouri or Indiana.

I still have a couple of things I want to clean up a bit. I need to run a smaller bore master cylinder. The one I have now causes the pedal to be very stiff with little travel. I think I am going to switch to a cast iron Corvette style 1 1/8 bore. Everything I have read says that should be correct with 4 wheel discs on D44's. I need to be careful on the size of the unit since everything is a tight fit.

I also think I am going to switch out the standard power steering pump for a high volume one like the one from PSC. I think there may be too much demand on the stock pump for the power steering and the hydroboost. I may consider adding a hydraulic assist in the future, so the better power steering pump would be beneficial.

Alien jeep, when do you plan on being done with yours?

I have a trip to Colorado planned for this summer. I can't wait to get this thing out on the trail.
 

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I hoping to have mine done within the next few weeks, or before I have to go back to work so everyday I'm cranking it cause I keep thinking that my boss is gonna call one of these days to tell its time to go back!
If everything works good with mine I would def. Love to do a moab trip for once in my life!
 

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that looks really good! Top seems to fit pretty good too, did you have to modify the bows at all?
 

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Discussion Starter #129
I did not have to modify the bows. I tried to get the bow sizes before I designed my cage. I got lucky in that the rear of the upper cage pushes out on the top just below the rear bow. Fortunately, it is not enough to distort the top much. It does push out just a little under the rear bow.

I appreciate the comments. As I look at others' builds on here, I am humbled a bunch. This is the biggest project that I have done mostly on my own. Watching everyone else's' build has helped a lot. I am learning to do more and more, but I got a really late start. I have had a lot of Jeeps and 4 wheels drives over the years, but mostly just lifts, bigger tires and wheels, and bolt on stuff. Heck, I didn't even have a welder until about 10 years ago when I retired from my first career. Wished I had started a long time ago. Thanks to everyone on the Willys forum for the help. Some what to do and some not. I got the what not to do many times on my own as witnessed by my metal scrap pile.
 

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Got the top on. There approximately 3 hours install time is about 5, at least at my speed. It turned out good, but some of the instructions left a bit to be desired.

I put the spare tire on. Boy is that thing heavy. Notice the ramp I rolled it up with. If I ever get a flat on the trail, the getting the spare off will be the easy part. I would really like to get some Trail Ready beadlocks, but since I stayed with 15 inch wheels, I have some doubt they will clear the Wagoneer calipers.
What was the reason for the vent/fender stretch? Because of the V8 or the 4L60e? I am planning a 5.3 as well... very tasteful stretch... I didn't notice at first. I'm running a 465 so my rear driveshaft should be a bit longer.
 

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Rig turned out awesome, great work.
 

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Discussion Starter #132
Thanks guys. Still working out a few bugs. The master cylinder that came with the used Hydroboost was too bit so I replaced it with a Corvette style 1 1/8 inch bore from Speedway. The pedal feels a lot better now- not so hard and the pedal travels more.

I had put a new power steering pump on it since I was having problems with the one that came on the engine. I thought if I ever wanted to run hydraulic assist it wouldn't hurt to run a better pump. I ordered a pump from PSC and installed it along with a fluid cooler. It may just be my imagination, but the steering feels better/smoother than before.
 

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Discussion Starter #133
What was the reason for the vent/fender stretch? Because of the V8 or the 4L60e? I am planning a 5.3 as well... very tasteful stretch... I didn't notice at first. I'm running a 465 so my rear driveshaft should be a bit longer.
Sorry for the slow response. I did stretch the front to make room for the 5.3. I had to do it running the 4L60 transmission, otherwise I would have never been able to get an appropriate length rear drive shaft. I am running an electric fan, and there is about 3/4 inch between the fan motor and the front of the engine. I do have about 3-4 inches from the engine to firewall. I would guess you could get by with a little less stretch running a manual transmission, but I am not sure an LS series engine could be done without the stretch without firewall modification. Since I did "bolt in" stretch panels between the fender and body, I thought it would be cool to vent them. It was pretty easy as I simply cut out the center and spot welded some heavy gauge perforated steel from the rear. If I had do the hood over, I would have used a thinner gauge steel, but mine worked out ok. The steps I made fit over the factory steps and I pie cut and bent angle iron to make the curves. The metal is tied into my rock slider/lower body guards which are made of 1/4 inch x 2 inch angle iron (also pie cut and bent to follow the body lines). The sliders and steps tie into the frame mounts for the roll cage.

I love the LS engines. Fairly straight forward swap and great after market support. Reliable and easy to make more power. I am not a big GM fan overall, but I think the LS series engines are one of the best engines ever made.
 

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Discussion Starter #134
I recently took the Jeep to Colorado for vacation. It was the first time it has been off road. I was very pleased overall with how it performed, although I have a list of things I want to tweak. We did Iron Chest and Tin Cup near Buena Vista, and a couple of trails near Breckenridge. It performed well on the road also, and could cruise at 65 MPH. We drove in some heavy rain, and I learned some defrosters would really help.

The main question I have is regarding the leaf springs. In front, I am running General Springs stock Grand Wagoneer springs, 5 leaf, 960 pound rating. They are mounted spring over. In the rear, I am running BDS 3.5 inch lift YJ springs. The Jeep sits fairly level, although it seems very slightly lower in the rear when I have the spare tire mounted on the rear (it is heavy). The front tires barely rubbed the fender when the suspension got twisted. The rear tire barely rubbed the rear of the fender opening at full twist.

I would like to lift the Jeep one inch all around. I can simply go with a 4.5 inch lift spring on the rear. But, when looking at options for the front, most add a leafs list 1.5-2 inches of lift, and I really don't want to make the front springs stiffer. I also thought about adding a longer add a leaf and then removing another spring from the pack. ARB makes one that they say will not affect the ride (I have never seen one that didn't). The other issue with the front is I can't add additional thickness to the spring pack or it may cause the high steer tie rod to rub the spring (it is close now).

I am open to suggestions. I know I can order a custom spring pack from someplace like Alcan, but I guess I am cheap, and looking for other options.

Not a lot of pictures, but here is one from Iron Chest and another near top of the mountain near Breckenridge.
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