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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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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.
3108647

3108646
 

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Discussion Starter · #136 ·
Been a while since I posted. Life has been crazy busy and I haven't done much on the Jeep.

I did get it out to the Badlands Off Road Park in Indiana. The Jeep did well. The driver....? Took my youngest son and he drove quite a bit. He is building a Wagoneer on tons with a Hemi swap. We had a good time.

I have some rubbing on the front fenders at the top and the rear of the lower rear fender. I have spent a ton of time trying to decide the best way to adjust for it. The rear seems to sit a little low when the spare tire is on (that bugger is heavy) and the Jeep is full of gas and trail stuff. I was running BDS 3.5 inch YJ rear lift springs and stock 960 pound Wagoneer fronts. For now I decided to lower the front bumps stops and it seems good even when twisted up. For the rear I ended up purchasing some Rubicon Express 4.5 inch rear YJ springs.

I thought about doing the high fender conversion in the front and cutting the rear fender openings a little more, but that would result in a lot of body and paint work. I will see how things go with the new rear springs installed.

Will there be another Flat Fender Run at Moab next year? I have never been there and had planned on being there this year. I will be there in 2021 if they let the event go.

3111299
 

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Discussion Starter · #137 ·
I had finished the Jeep just in time for Moab last year, and as everyone knows, EJS was cancelled due to Covid. I have had the Jeep out on the trails a few times, and it works surprisingly well on the highway.

This year, I trailered the Jeep to Moab, as did my brother-in-law with his 4 door JK. We met a bunch of guys from Texas. We arrived Sunday afternoon and hit Kane Creek Trail. One of the Jeeps in our group broke a link mount, so after some work, we turned around and headed back.

Monday, we headed to Behind the Rocks. On one of the first obstacles, I gave it a little too much "bump" skinny pedal, and broke a rear axle shaft. I got it off of the trail and brought the trailer to load it up. I ended up going to Dixie and another 4x4 repair place in Moab seeing if I could find axle shafts. I thought I would rather replace them with Chrome Moly if possible. I could not locate axle shafts anywhere. Quadratec did have one Cm shaft in Pennsylvania, but it wasn't what I needed.
I ended up riding shotgun most of the rest of the week. My brother-in-law was very generous and let me drive his Jeep quite a bit. Unfortunately, I missed the Friday flat fender fun run. I saw the group gathering just off the highway as I was trailering home.

I finally found some chrome moly shafts for the rear. Dutchman made some for me and they will be here next week.

That will teach me to take "one more shot" when I should have pulled cable.

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Bummer you broke on your trip. Supposed to do that on the LAST day instead...! You really did a great job on your build. It's really well designed and balanced, with clean, excellent fab. Very cool.
 

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Discussion Starter · #139 ·
Thanks for the comments, but wish I had just some of your skills.

I just got the Dutchman chrome moly shafts in and drove it for the first time today. The old shafts broke right at the differential on both sides. The center section had to be pulled, but other than that the repair went well. The Dutchman axles look great. I had them press the bearings on before they shipped them.

I guess the next thought is regarding whether or not I go ahead and put chrome moly front axles or RCV's in the front. I currently have a Tru Trac front differential (it was in it when I bought the axles and I had never used one so I thought I would run it). It seemed to work pretty well in Moab. Obviously, if one tire begins to spin, it takes a second or two to lock up. If I had my way, I guess I would install some sort of selectable locker. Have often though about the cable shift Ox. I know there are a lot of opinions out there. Any preferences, and why?
 

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Thanks for the comments, but wish I had just some of your skills.

I just got the Dutchman chrome moly shafts in and drove it for the first time today. The old shafts broke right at the differential on both sides. The center section had to be pulled, but other than that the repair went well. The Dutchman axles look great. I had them press the bearings on before they shipped them.

I guess the next thought is regarding whether or not I go ahead and put chrome moly front axles or RCV's in the front. I currently have a Tru Trac front differential (it was in it when I bought the axles and I had never used one so I thought I would run it). It seemed to work pretty well in Moab. Obviously, if one tire begins to spin, it takes a second or two to lock up. If I had my way, I guess I would install some sort of selectable locker. Have often though about the cable shift Ox. I know there are a lot of opinions out there. Any preferences, and why?
Thanks for your nice comment too! My main skill is making scrap... I often build parts twice- throw out the first attempt, then try again to get it reasonably right the second time.

Great you got your rear axle back together! I've got Dutchman's installed in my front 44. Nicely made. RCV made the rear full floater 44 axles and they are really beautifully made, and even stronger alloy. Looking forward to seeing how both axles work when I eventually get to drive it. I think there's some tricks involved in installing front RCV's as far as getting the joint through the standard knuckle opening. I don't have direct experience though- just remember reading about some instal challenge- might be something to check out. They sure are well made though, and the company is good to work with too.

BKWUDZ Retro CJ3B build has OX lockers front (D30) and rear (D44). His is another great build and he's been driving it for a while so he may have some comments on how he likes them. Here's a link to the page of his build where the OX lockers show up: https://www.pirate4x4.com/threads/cj3b-retro-wheeler-project.2311186/page-3 I think he has some details on how he set up the shifters in his posts too.
 
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