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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Background: Sam & Lucie have a plan to travel all over the world in this clean 1970 Jeep Cammando they picked up recently.
First, however, they wanted to modernize the drivetrain using parts Sam has been collecting. So, they dropped the rig off at Triple X Traction, in Seaside, CA to have renown fabricator Toby Lavender work his magic.

The goal with this build is to provide a reliable vehicle capable of tackling third-world roads with confidence while providing comfort to Sam and Lucie during the multi-year trek across the globe. An emphasis was placed on using parts that are readily available virtually anywhere they go. As such, Sam insisted on Toyota axles and transfer cases, a stock Chevrolet 4.3L Vortec V6 and the tried and true GM 700R4 transmission. Watch as we combine these stout components under vintage sheet metal over the next few months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Removing the entire front clip made it much easier to sleeve the driver side frame rail for mounting the Toyota IFS steering box.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Steering shaft clearence

With the steering box mounted to the frame rail, and the engine in place, it was time to mock up the steering shaft to see if the stock 4.3L exhaust manifolds were going to work or not.
 

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Sam knows just about everyone and every fab shop in the world so I'm honored that he chose Triple-X Traction to build his rig.
If you don't know Sam, I bet you at least know his old rig "Slinky"...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Brake booster mods

While Toby paused to sort out exactly how to route the steering shaft and exhaust, he focused his attention to the necessary revisions to the Toyota brake booster. Notice the re-located round eyelet on the plunger shaft.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Front Axle

The front axle for this build is also a Toyota unit with a OEM 3rd member and electric diff lock. Additionally, this front axle has a crossover hi-steer setup already installed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Suspension

Sam wants to keep the cost of this project in check while also retaining as much simplicity as possible. Ideally, he would be able to replace virtually any part of the drivetrain and suspension with readily available parts, even if that means using stock components from an auto salvage yard. As such, we ordered a pair of Old Man Emu 2.5" lift Jeep Wrangler YJ front leaf springs. OME has very good distribution globally, so if Sam were to ever bust a front spring, it's likely he would be able to get a replacement with little effort.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Back in the late 1990s-early 2000s Sam ran a website called SierraRockCrawlers.com (now defunct)
Some of you long-term PBB guys might remember his epic walk through the box in Slinky (brand new at the time) at the Carnage on the 'Con, July 4th 2001.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Speaking of Box...

Some additional parts arrived yesterday that would enable Toby to figure how exactly how the steering shaft would sneak by the drivers side exhaust manifold.
For reliability sake, we want to retain OEM style exhaust manifolds. We believe the 4.3L Vortec V6 came out of a Chevrolet S-10 pickup, however these engines also were found in Astro Vans, S-blazers, Jimmys and full-size pickups. We suspect one of the many manifold configurations is bound to allow the necessary clearance. This one if from an Astro van.
The steering shaft is a universal unit from Borgison.
 

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Nice work.

I really love seeing something on leaf springs being built on the PBB.

I am a little upset with you guys though. Since I have been searching for a commando recently, I am sure this little project will drive up the price for some of the piles around here.

Keep up the great work!
 

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Got some progress done on the steering.
Even something as seemingly simple as making a steering intermediate shaft is a huge ordeal, as usual every little thing has to be modified.
We had to pull the column and remove the main shaft so I could remove the rag joint flange that's crimped on the end and weld on a U-Joint yoke.
The Rag Joint Flange was splined and flared on so it had to be machined then pressed off. Then I was able to bore the yoke so it fit snug, press it on and weld it. I also welded the lower column bearing race.
 

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The pump can needed to be modified too.
The angle that the return came out wouldn't work with the weird exhaust.
I cut off and brazed the stock return closed, then made a new tube and silver soldered it into place.
Figured it was a good time to re-seal it too.
 

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