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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My Ongoing YJ Build, D60/14B, LCOG SOA, Doubler, etc. etc.

Time for a new edit to my 1st post. I started this build thread back in 2008. Ever since then it seams I have been following the same path many have done. I started out with outdated tech and am slowly doing things over and over again as the time and money come in. I seam to have a trend fof following the same progression as the technology has over the years. So as of the date of this re-writing, I am still ridding on leaf springs and will one day get on links and coils. I hope... Eventually this thing will either be sold off for parts like so many projects have in the past or it will become a crazy juggy, wheeled a bit, then sold off for parts. At least I am being realistic. :p

I wetted my Jeep appetite with this Gem. 1983 CJ-7. I paid $500 for her. She was rotted, the brakes were funky and it wouldn't idle. I fixed it up with some sheet metal patches just enough to drive, loosened a stuck check ball in the carb, and put the rear brakes together correctly and drove her with pride for about 5 summers.


What I started with. 1990 YJ, $1000, would not idle, blown trans, NO rot! Well... A little rot. Behind the rear shock towers. But I didn't find that until I cut them off.

I couldn't just tear right into it. I had to see why this thing wouldn't idle and tool around in it a little bit. The Jeep would not idle because the weber carb that was installed needed a ground to activate the anti-dieseling fuel cutoff solenoid. Through the 2 or more adapter plates, gaskets, and RTV the carb never got the necessary ground. One ground strap and the Jeep purred like a kitten. But the damage was already done. After countless times of starting the engine while it was in gear, the trans was toast. The stock D30 did not appreciate those 14" wide tires either and the death wobble was intense.

So I proceeded as planned and tore it the fuck apart.


I had this motor lying around that was going to go in my pickup truck but that never happened. So this was the starting point of my madness. The motor is a 383 stroker that I built up during my short 6 month stint at what is currently UNOH in Lima, Ohio. I only spent about 6 months there before dropping out and going to RIT for Mechanical Engineering. I know... Here we go... Another long winded know-it-all engineer...:shaking: Yup... guilty as charged. I will rant till I am blue in the face and tell you how wrong you are until I am proven to be wrong as well. But I like to think that I will admit it when I am wrong. Sometimes :flipoff2:.

Back to the motor (picture taken in my livingroom in college):

I always wanted a TPI motor when I was in high school so that is what I had to build. The block is a 1-piece rear main seal , 4-bolt main variety out of a late 80's police car. The heads are one of the first versions of SBC heads offered by Air Flow Research. Pistons are hypereutectic, crank is cast, OE rods, roller cam (206I, 212E @.050"). I know now that this cam is just too small. It makes gobs of torque off idle but falls flat on it's face at 2500rpm...

For fueling I chose Accel DFI. I wish these new self tuning options existed back when I made my wish list in 1999... The DFI, TPI manifold, and that tiny cam are all going to tossed aside in favor of more modern tech when I stop spending money on suspension and drivetrain.

So with this motor in the mix I did not trust my original choice of early bronco D44/9" axles combined with my goal of a minimum 36" tire and quickly made the choice to go with a D60/14B combo. I also needed to have a manual trans that could take the abuse so I googled "badass offroad manual transmission" or something like that and picked up an NV4500.

The suspension plan was SOA on stock leaves. After that it was figure it out as I went. I have learned a ton since I started this project. There are a lot of things I should have done differently from the beginning and my fabrication skills and confidence have come a long way.

Here are some shots from the beginning of the first build up. These should fill in the gap I created when I messed with the original post awhile back. Then the chronology of the rest of the thread should make more sense.



 

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Looks like a good start. :)

I have a question for you....why take everything apart and stick with the leaf springs (I am building a brand new frame for a CJ-5 and stuck with leaf springs and regret it now and I am not even done building it yet)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's a simple answer. Money... I can alsways do the fourlink later. I would have done the build even more incremental but I couldn't see doing anything if the drivetrain couldn't handle the 500 ft-lbs of torque that motor will put out. The one thing I am regretting real bad right now is that didn't I know that Eastern Offroad made a dana 300 flip kit for YJ's. I wanted the ford High pinion axle so I was stuck with a driver's drop t-case so even though I had two dana 300's lying around I stuck with the np 231 because I didn't want to shell out for the Atlas. Now I have the 231 with the JB conversions SYE and I want to ditch it and go witht he Dana 300 but the flip kit and the heavy duty front and rear output kits will set me back another $1300. I'm cluthing to my wallet for dear life right now but I might break down and switch before the project is done.
 

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Im glad I looked at your work. Im very interested on your front 60 install. I am about to install a front 60 in my YJ. But I will keep the shackles in the front.

Any advice I will greatly take. I will try and move my front axle forward about 5 inches. Oh yea, I will be SOA as well.

Nice work.
 

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But I will keep the shackles in the front.
Why?

When I was running SOA, the front of the springs were almost always the first thing that hit on big obstacles. If I had been shackle front, then I would have folded up more main leaves than I care to count.

The only advantage to shackle up front is being able to keep a short slip driveshaft. That alone is not worth it, IMO.
 

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That's a simple answer. Money... I can alsways do the fourlink later. I would have done the build even more incremental but I couldn't see doing anything if the drivetrain couldn't handle the 500 ft-lbs of torque that motor will put out. The one thing I am regretting real bad right now is that didn't I know that Eastern Offroad made a dana 300 flip kit for YJ's. I wanted the ford High pinion axle so I was stuck with a driver's drop t-case so even though I had two dana 300's lying around I stuck with the np 231 because I didn't want to shell out for the Atlas. Now I have the 231 with the JB conversions SYE and I want to ditch it and go witht he Dana 300 but the flip kit and the heavy duty front and rear output kits will set me back another $1300. I'm cluthing to my wallet for dear life right now but I might break down and switch before the project is done.
Flip kit is not necessary.

You could always just do HD rear output and cable shifters on the D300. I think Duffy (D&D Machine) makes flipped lever shifters if you would rather go that route. Probably get away with everything for under $500, but the 231 isn't a bad case as long as you aren't terribly abusive...

Or you could even do a 231/300 doubler and sell the 231 SYE to recoup some funds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I agree, the 231 is a good case. I'm just being the over-thinking engineer and I am worried about the front output being my weak link in the torque department. I know I am going to set my self up here for some potential flaming but I probably don't need to worry about being abusive to the rig when I'm done. Most of the use this Jeep will see will be my 15 mile commute to work and the 20 mile ride to the beach with my surf boards. The beaches are even closed to OHV's all summer because of the damned piping plovers... The most abuse I will probably throw at it will be heavy foot launches from stop lights, burnouts and attempted wheel stands to show off just how awesome the motor is. Yeah I know I could do that with a muscle car but some day I'll make it to a trail. I'm surrounded by water on all sides and there is no place to go wheeling.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
jpfrk2001, I agree with Jesster. Do a shackle reversal. I know it looks easier to keep them up front but you're already doing the work. Go big or go home, I was sweating my front suspension big time but it was easy in the end.
 

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I have a similar setup, HP 60 front 14 bolt rear, SOA Waggy\bastard srings front, XJ\bastard sprinsg rear, so wheelbase moved a lot. I have a SRS on the front, but honestly am not too crazy for it. Added a couple extra inches of wheelbase and as mentioned cleaned up approach a bit. I think if your planb is to eventually link teh rig, just skip teh SRS, and save some grief, like having to get a longer slip front shaft for more $$$. I run a square driveshaft front for long slipage that has had no problems. I woudl just say save the $$ for the SRs if you plan on links later on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The drive shaft comment brings up a question that I have been thinking about. What have some of you guys done to fully cycle the suspension in order to measure drive shaft slip travel, steering linkage/track bar clearance, etc. I was thinking about making up some plates and getting some long threaded rod to pull the axles toward the frame against the springs. If I had a buddy with a front loader I would use it to push down on the frame rails but I don't... If you look at the pictures you'll see my front springs are pretty much flat at rest and with the short length shackles, spring droop isn't excessive either. I could probably just do the math and trig it out as if the springs had no arc. Any ideas?
 

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The drive shaft comment brings up a question that I have been thinking about. What have some of you guys done to fully cycle the suspension in order to measure drive shaft slip travel, steering linkage/track bar clearance, etc. I was thinking about making up some plates and getting some long threaded rod to pull the axles toward the frame against the springs. If I had a buddy with a front loader I would use it to push down on the frame rails but I don't... If you look at the pictures you'll see my front springs are pretty much flat at rest and with the short length shackles, spring droop isn't excessive either. I could probably just do the math and trig it out as if the springs had no arc. Any ideas?

For the driveshaft:

Stuff the pumpkin side of the axle in the fenderwell, measure the distance, make square shaft with collapsed length equal to or less than said distance.

I just did that yesterday as a matter of fact.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'll do that but a square drive shaft isn't going to cut it for a Jeep that I intend to drive a lot. At slow trail speeds the square shaft is perfect and cheap but but when I'm heading up the road to a ski mountain in the snow at 20+ mph, I think it'll get pretty annoying.

Aside from flexing for the drive shaft. I also wanted to make sure any track bar brackets etc. that I have yet to fab up clear as well as figure out how tall my bump stops need to be etc.
 

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I hear ya, square is not for everyone. I drive my Jeep right now to and hopefully back to the traisl, and no vibration at 30 miles per hour when teh front hubs are locked. I think when I link teh fornt I may just go back toa regular round with teh regular slip, but for now, this works great, and beats a built driveshaft with longer slip that lasted very few years...
 

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the answer to being able to riv eon a square shaft is to use tractor PTO shaft. It is a rounded triangle configuration, in which it has 6 points of contact rather than four, as with a square shaft. Ive ran the shaft in my DD for over a year now and love it, its built with as much overlap as possible, and i drilled and tapped holes in each flat side for grease fittings, to keep wear at a minimum. It has not been balanced, I just cut pieces of drive shafts i needed for the right yoke sizes, and left about 6" of shaft to fit inside the PTO shaft. This ensures that the yokes are straight in the PTO shaft, and then just made sure the yokes were perfectly straight with one another, and welded it up. Ive ran it on the road up to 55mph in 4-hi, and had less vibration that I ever did with a stock shaft. And on top of all that, there is like friggin 2 feet of built in travel. If you keep it greased and push the dirt out of it with grease after every mud run, you'll minimize the wear and fight off any potential slop in the joint which would lead to vibrations.

PM me if you want any pics or have any questions.

I'm currently doing my build right now, XJ springs front & rear, GM D60/14BFF, 43" sx's, 231/300 doubler, and I already have the 4.8 stroker. I should have pics up soon.

And I did keep my shackle reversal I already had done previously, and just made a stoopid strong front x-member, bumper, spring hanger assembly
 

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I also have been running a PTO tubing front shaft for several years. Square and PTO both work fine, just make sure to weld them on as straight as possible to the driveshaft ends to minimize vibrations...
 

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What are you going to do about mounting your shocks?

I am in the same boat as you are on the limited space on the axle tube to mount shock tabs. I was thinking of mounting the tabs to my upper spring plates, But my up travel will be severely limited running the risk of bottoming out on my shocks.

I have thought about cuttin holes in my fenders and going into the engine bay. Oh yea, I have a turbo system I must work around also!

Just curious what you are doing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I haven't got that far yet. I did pick up a pair of shock tower hoops from blue torch fab. they are absoultley huge... I am not sure if I am going to use them yet. I will probably just mount the shocks outside the springs with tabs on the axle.
 
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