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Old 07-05-2013, 07:39 PM   #241
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Originally Posted by zmotorsports View Post
Thank you very much for the compliment. I enjoy posting pictures and details about my build. Hopefully it will inspire others to tackle more jobs themselves.

My bumper will be back from the powder coater on Monday and then I can install it and set my winch/lights in place. Then the next project will be an onboard air system that I am putting together.

Mike.
Damn overachiever! You just put some poor Chinaman out of a job Mike.
Awesome bumper, Such clean lines and welds. Keep it coming Amigo.

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Old 07-16-2013, 10:37 AM   #242
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As always, very clean, functional and with extreme attention to detail. I'm curious about your choice of wire rope vs. synthetic. Do you prefer traditional wire or was it simply cost driven?

I take it your Jeep is rarely driven at night given the stock headlights and the removal of the factory driving lights. Are the Hella's designed to be used on the road or off road only?
Thank you for the compliments.

As far as cable vs. synthetic rope, there are pros and cons to both. The synethetic ropes are much lighter and easier to work with but they do have to be changed out every few years mainly due to the UV that breaks them down. There are some that say they are excempt from the UV factor but over time they all break down. Cable or wire rope, is sturdy and stands the test of time. I don't use my winch much so for my purpose the wire rope seems to be the best alternative.

My headlight housings are stock but I have replaced the bulbs with high output bulbs. They work much better than stock and yes it is driven in the dark. It is my daily driver and gets driven in the dark every day.

I like the Hella's for that extra bit of light when driving on lonely two-lane highways at night. They are quick to illuminate and extinguish if an oncoming vehicle approaching, unlike the Hella Optilux HID's mounted on my windshield hinges. The Black Magic lights are only 55 watt but throw the beam way out ahead of the headlights and are DOT approved.

Mike.

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Old 07-16-2013, 10:38 AM   #243
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Damn overachiever! You just put some poor Chinaman out of a job Mike.
Awesome bumper, Such clean lines and welds. Keep it coming Amigo.
Thanks, I appreciate that. Sorry to all the Chinese, that wasn't my intention.

Mike.
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:03 AM   #244
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Okay for the last two nights I have been installing my on-board air system. After selling my WARN Powerplant I have been missing not having air. Driving to a fuel station to air back up after running a trail flat sucks.

I was going to fabricate my own compressor mount for a Viair 400C and then mount a tank and install a pressure switch for the system. I started to make a list of everything I was going to be needing such as fittings, air line, etc. and it started to add up quickly. I had done quite a bit of research and looked at some that other people had put together and although many looked like nice setups, I was quite surprised to see many cobbled together systems and not very clean installs.

I was doing a little more research when I stumbled across a complete kit from Dominion Off Road. First I thought to myself, yeh right, complete kit. I can't tell you how many times I have laughed at that claim. However, this one is different, it had every fitting, switch, wire and air line. The price was a bit steep at first glance but after looking at my notes and adding up everything that I was going to spend piecing a system together the price all of a sudden seemed very reasonable.

I want to make a couple of points however, this system would be a simple bolt in deal on a fairly stock JK/JKU. That said, with my JKS Steering box support and my aftermarket transmission cooler it became quite a bit more work. I had to get quite creative with the brackets for the air tank and in the end the air tank ended up sitting about 2" higher than originally designed. It fit but it is a tight fit. I just want to forwarn anyone running either of these mods that they will spend more time mounting the tank than the rest of the kit combined.

Okay, warning out of the way, now on to the install.

Here is what I got from Viair, the 2-gallon tank, 400C compressor and the pressure switch designed to open @ 150 psi and close again @ 110 psi.


The Dominion (DOR) air manifold after I installed all of the fittings and Viair pressure gauge. This is probably a nicer piece than I would have been able to find. This is a nice billet aluminum block with a black oxide finish.It comes as just a billet manifold and you have to install all of the fittings. There is not a lot of room so component placement is somewhat critical to ensure a nicely fitting final product.


Here is the DOR compressor mounting bracket with the Viair compressor mounted on it. Not any different really than any of the others on the market, pretty straighforward. I was actually going to fabricate my own but by the time I had it powder coated the cost was actaully right in line with a purchased one. I know, I know I never thought I would have a bought and paid for bracket vs. one that I fabricated but rationale told me to use my head for a change and buy one. This is a nice piece and the powder coating is a nice finish.


Here is the complete assembly (bracket, compressor and air manifold) bolted into the Jeep. A couple of tips here, first you will need to slightly bend the A/C line towards the engine. Do this by slowly and gradually pushing it towards the engine and in a wide arc. Hard to explain but don't just force it over, use one hand to hold or guide the bottom where it is mounted and the other hand higher up for some leverage and try to "curve" the line in towards the engine rather than just force it over and end up kinking the line, it is only aluminum. Second, after removing the two nuts from the master cylinder, hold it in towards the brake booster and have a second person hand you the compressor/bracket/manifold assembly. DO NOT let the master cylinder come away from the brake booster as this can be a PITA to get back in and there is an o-ring seated inside that must be in position or you will have brake issues.

Tight but it fits nicely.


Tank installed. This easily took up the majority of the install time due to all of the aftermarket components that were in the way.


A-pillar removed. I am glad I did such a good job of labeling and routing the wiring so this step was somewhat simple.


Switch and pressure gauge installed.


Back side of my A-pillar. Plumbing for the pressure gauge, wiring for the switch and all of my wiring for the volt meter, oil pressure and transmission temperature gauges. Zip-tied and routed as neatly as possible for such a tight space.


Pretty busy interior panel.


Installation completed. All wiring and air lines covered in casing and tied out of the way nice and neat.



The only thing about the kit that didn't appeal to me was they had designed the kit to have the air couplers located in the driver and passenger kick panels in the cab. The purpose was that they put their air lines in through the doorways to air up. I didn't care for this so I installed one in the driver's kick panel just to have there, doubt I will ever use it but it was an easy addition to just tee off from my in-cab pressure gauge. I didn't mount one in the passenger side but chose to mount one on my front end between my bumper and my towbar mount. I am used to having the air up front after having my WARN Powerplant compressor/winch and I liked it at the front better. I routed an air line up to the front fitting and then installed a rubber cover over it.


Now I am back to being able to air up after a fun filled day of running the trails without having to keep my fingers crossed to find a filling station with a working air compressor.

Mike.
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Old 07-18-2013, 09:14 AM   #245
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On to one other item that I have been wanting to address. Although at first I liked the idea of having an electronically activated disconnect for the sway bar, it is much nicer in thought than in reality. The motors for these have quite a high failure rate and although I have not had any issues with mine there is one draw back. When coming to a section of the trail when I want to kick out of 4-low and get some speed, the sway bar reconnects and then next time switching back into 4-low I have to unlock it again. I know it is not a big deal but it bugs me, I want the swaybar disconnected until I am ready to reconnect it. I was going to install a take-off X or Sahara swaybar and then just use standard disconnects but I decided to try this EVO No Limits Rubicon disconnect. It is a very quick and easy installation, takes less than ten minutes including taping up and wire tying the connection out of the way and out of sight.

Simply reach under the front bumper and turn the know clockwise to disconnect the sway bar, when done wheeling and airing up, simply reach under and turn it counterclockwise to re-engage the swaybar. Quick and simple.

Here is the motor that needs to be removed. There are three bolts requiring a 15MM wrench to remove after releasing the lock on the plug and disconnecting the electrical.


Removed and on to the spare parts shelf.


The EVO No Limits disconnect installed.


On a side note I wish to add that if you want that annoying light to stop flashing after removing the electric motor/actuator you will need to use an AEV Procal or equivelant to turn off the swaybar dash light.

Mike.
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Old 11-07-2013, 08:49 AM   #246
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Well after my little incident of kissing a rock with my tie rod on the Snakes a couple of weeks ago, I decided to take that out of the equation before this weeks trip to Moab. I did some research and ended up purchasing the Rock Krawler HD Tie Rod. It is made of heat treated 7075 aluminum which is 1.625" in diameter, compared to the hollow 1.5" OEM tie rod. First impression is great, looks like a good solid product. Rather than use OE tie rods you actually use rod ends from the drag link that are located at the Pitman arm. These are much stronger than the OEM/OE JK tie rod ends.

Mike.

Here is the tie rod upon opening the package and inspecting. I also installed Mopar OEM drag link ends. Part # 52060079AE (2 required).






Remove the OEM steering stabalizer bracket. On the 2007-2010 1/2 model JK's you can re-use the OEM bracket you just have to use the new U-bolts in the Rock Krawler kit. On 2010 1/2-newer JK's the instructions say to purchase the earlier model steering stabalizer bracket. However, I thought the newer bracket looked nicer/beefier so I merely modified it.

Here it is removed from the OEM tie rod.


I had to open the bracket up a bit as the OEM tie rod is 1.5" and the RK one is 1.625". I simply put it in the vice and used a large crescent wrench to open it slightly. Once opened up I used a die grinder/cutoff disc to trim the edges a little.


I then found a piece of pipe that measured the 1.625" diameter to form the bracket around. I simply put it in the hydraulic press and formed it right around the pipe. With the edges trimmed it worked perfectly. Afterwards I bead blasted it and repainted it gloss black.




Completed and ready for action.
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Old 11-07-2013, 08:51 AM   #247
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A little update.

While servicing my Jeep on Friday night, I noticed how exposed the EVAP canister is under the Jeep to damage from rocks. I know there are many, many companies out there building protection/skids for these canisters but I simply cannot bring myself to buy one, I have to fabricate one of my own.
Here is where I started. I bent a piece of 4" wide by .250" plate and drilled a mounting hole that will fit directly under the EVAP canister mounting bracket using the same bolt.


I drilled a 1.250" diameter hole to create a large radius where one of the lines need to clear.


The hole opened and radiused for clearance as well as the other two pieces ready for welding that will complete the rear mounting bracket.


Rear mounting bracket welded.



Rear bracket completed and ready for paint.


Rear bracket painted.


Start of the front mounting bracket. This will sit on top of the EVAP canister mount and use the two bolts that secure the canister to the crossmember.


Front bracket tacked together and ready to remove for welding.


I decided to angle this front piece upward slightly.


Completely welded and ready for a quick coat of paint.



Installed and ready for the trail.

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Old 11-21-2013, 07:34 PM   #248
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I have been checking out your build up and I must say you are talented when it comes to metal fab. I don't like the Jk rake so I just installed the JK adjustable coil spacers for my 14 Rubicon. Keep up the good work and I will keep up with your build.
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Old 01-02-2014, 11:31 AM   #249
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I have been checking out your build up and I must say you are talented when it comes to metal fab. I don't like the Jk rake so I just installed the JK adjustable coil spacers for my 14 Rubicon. Keep up the good work and I will keep up with your build.
Thank you. I appreciate that.

Mike.
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:10 PM   #250
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"Awesome" extremely impressive and inspires great admiration. Your Rubicon Build Project is very informative, detailed and well executed.

It reminds me of my "first" 1979 CJ-5 Renegade Jeep Build project. Of course, I was way younger back in those days working as an A&P mechanic at Aircraft Overhaul at Pan American in Miami Florida.

Now you have to plan another road trip to Miami Florida so you can give me some advice on how to improve my 2013 (2) door JK Sport Unlimited.
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Old 01-04-2014, 05:22 PM   #251
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"Awesome" extremely impressive and inspires great admiration. Your Rubicon Build Project is very informative, detailed and well executed.

It reminds me of my "first" 1979 CJ-5 Renegade Jeep Build project. Of course, I was way younger back in those days working as an A&P mechanic at Aircraft Overhaul at Pan American in Miami Florida.

Now you have to plan another road trip to Miami Florida so you can give me some advice on how to improve my 2013 (2) door JK Sport Unlimited.
Thanks. This time of year Florida sounds great. I just shoveled some of the "sunshine" off of my driveway this morning.

Mike.
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Old 08-03-2014, 01:58 AM   #252
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Mike, really dig the new front bumper you fabbed up. pretty cool to be able to build a better bumper than a mainstream co. Much more winch torque possible with the winch low like that. Major props my friend. I've been missing in action. Bought an FJ and been busy with it. Yes, I kept the JK.

Went to Ouray twice in July. It was Epic. Let me know if you want to get together for a dall trip up there. We'll be going for sure.

Hey, did you know there were random pics of gorgeous women in your build thread?? Weird. Keep em coming!
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Old 08-03-2014, 10:03 AM   #253
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Mike, really dig the new front bumper you fabbed up. pretty cool to be able to build a better bumper than a mainstream co. Much more winch torque possible with the winch low like that. Major props my friend. I've been missing in action. Bought an FJ and been busy with it. Yes, I kept the JK.

Went to Ouray twice in July. It was Epic. Let me know if you want to get together for a dall trip up there. We'll be going for sure.

Hey, did you know there were random pics of gorgeous women in your build thread?? Weird. Keep em coming!
Hey long time to see. Glad to see you kept the JK though.

We will be in your neck of the woods hopefully sometime in the next couple of weeks for our annual Ouray, CO trip.

Yeah, I don't know what the deal is with the random pics. Tinypics is the photo hosting site that I use and they must get random pics showing up in there.

Mike.
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Old 08-03-2014, 10:13 PM   #254
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Nice. Have a great trip and take lots of pics.
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Old 08-20-2014, 11:08 PM   #255
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I had mentioned earlier that this will also be my toad for towing behind our coach. I need to fabricate a towing crossmember/bracket to attach my towbar to. I have seen other options out there such as the adapters to hook up the towbar to the "D" ring brackets but that is too far off of the ground.

On my 1996 ZJ, I fabricated a front bumper and incorporated the towbar attachment points into the design and they also served as my recovery points. It actually turned out very nice but the ZJ was not as high off of the ground as our JKU. I was also looking underneathe and noticed how vulnerable the front swaybar electronic disconnect actuator is. I decided to kill two birds at once so I fabricated a front bracket/crossmember that also offers protection for the actuator. I took into account the approach angle and set it slightly back behind and below the front bumper so as to not encroach into my approach angle.

This is what I started with, 1.5" square tube x .250" wall and .375" plate for the attachment points. I made a template for the small brackets and then drilled them and cut the outside dimensions on the bandsaw. The 1.5" square opening I cut with the plasma cutter. I then bolted them together and ground on the disc sander to size them all the exact same on the outside and used a rotary bit to deburr the inside.


Here are the brackets seperated and ready for installation.


On the sides coming down from the frame I used 1/2" plate.


After deburring and a test fit.



Test fit and tack welded.


After final welding and ready to go off to powder coater.
Any chance I can commission you to build one of these for me? I really like this setup!
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Old 08-22-2014, 06:51 AM   #256
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I could probably build another one. It would be easier to have the Jeep to test fit if you are local and that is possible.

Mike.
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Old 04-08-2015, 08:37 AM   #257
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Bit of an update as I have been MIA lately.

I need to fabricate some new suspension links/control arms for my Jeep. I have a BDS long-arm suspension system on it but the bushings they used are proprietary and I have had to replace them twice, this will be the third time, in less than 50k miles. Not acceptable, so I am building new links to accept the OEM style Clevite rubber incapsulated bushings at the axle and then I am going to use Currie's Johnny Joints at the frame connection. These are proven to be a much more durable setup.

I started by cutting some thick walled mild steel tubing to size with the horizontal bandsaw before chucking it up in the lathe.


Boring the I.D. to size. This will also have a .039" step machined into it as the bushing itself has a two step ridge. I have calculated for a .002" interference fit at both ridges.


Now that the inside bore is to size I will turn the O.D. down to 2.750" giving me a little over .200" wall thickness.


Two down and two to go.


All four are completed.




Next up is to get the uppers machined and then I am ready to measure out some tubing and get to fabricating the new links.

Mike.
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Old 04-09-2015, 08:14 AM   #258
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Bit of an update as I have been MIA lately. I need to fabricate some new suspension links/control arms for my Jeep. I have a BDS long-arm suspension system on it but the bushings they used are proprietary and I have had to replace them twice, this will be the third time, in less than 50k miles. Not acceptable, so I am building new links to accept the OEM style Clevite rubber incapsulated bushings at the axle and then I am going to use Currie's Johnny Joints at the frame connection. These are proven to be a much more durable setup. I started by cutting some thick walled mild steel tubing to size with the horizontal bandsaw before chucking it up in the lathe. Boring the I.D. to size. This will also have a .039" step machined into it as the bushing itself has a two step ridge. I have calculated for a .002" interference fit at both ridges. Now that the inside bore is to size I will turn the O.D. down to 2.750" giving me a little over .200" wall thickness. Two down and two to go. All four are completed. Next up is to get the uppers machined and then I am ready to measure out some tubing and get to fabricating the new links. Mike.
Mike, nice fab work! Might I suggest using the metal cloak Duoflex joints for both axle and frame side. It would allow more articulation flex, smother ride and the ability to service them.

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Old 04-09-2015, 11:28 AM   #259
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Mike, nice fab work! Might I suggest using the metal cloak Duoflex joints for both axle and frame side. It would allow more articulation flex, smother ride and the ability to service them.

Fred
Thanks for the suggestion Fred, but I already purchased the Clevite bushings and Johnny Joints about a month ago for these new links. We also did the same thing in my son's LJ and it seems to work flawlessly.

Mike.
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Old 04-09-2015, 11:29 AM   #260
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Last night I got the two remaining sleeves machined. These are a bit smaller and will reside at the upper rear axle location with similar Clevite style bushings.


Sleeves completed.


All six sleeves completed and ready to start measuring, cutting and fabricating new suspension links/control arms.


Hopefully tonight after work the Jeep goes on the lift and work commences.

Mike.
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Old 04-09-2015, 02:48 PM   #261
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Old 04-12-2015, 03:56 AM   #262
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Old 04-13-2015, 06:55 AM   #263
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Thanks guys. Many more pictures coming as it was a busy weekend building new links.

Mike.
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Old 04-13-2015, 09:19 AM   #264
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Well it was a long weekend but I was able to get my Jeep suspension completely fabricated and installed.

Warning: Picture Heavy:

I put the Jeep on the lift and removed all front upper and lower control arms/links for duplication with Clevite bushings at the axle ends and Currie's Johnny Joints at the frame ends. The Clevite rubber incapsulated bushings will be installed into the sleeves that I machined earlier in the week, shown above.

Here is my lower link. I threw together a quick make-shift fixture to ensure setting the new links to the exact same length. I just used a piece of .750" square tubing with a .500" shaft welded at each end which the link slipped onto.


I then mocked up my new sleeve/Clevite bushing and Johnny Joint to calculate the length of the new tubing.


It was at this point the light bulb came on. I had new 1.750"x.250" DOM that I was going to use but where I was going to be using less length than what the original BDS links measured, why not just cut the ends off the BDS links and weld my sleeves and threaded bungs to. This would save me from wasting tubing plus eleviate me from having to bend up the links which would actually save some time.

That is what I did, cut the BDS bushing ends off and re-used the DOM tubing.


Link clamped in my mill to drill a hold all the way through the tubing for rosette/plug welds for the threaded bung/sleeve.


Mocked up on the fixture for a test fit, to ensure I cut enough tube to allow for some adjustment.


Threaded bung welded into tubing.


Few pictures of the front lower two links ready for prep and paint.






I opted to TIG weld the uppers due to the close thinner wall tubing of the Currie weld-on narrow JJ ends.


All front links sanded, prepped and ready for paint.


After allowing the POR-15 to dry overnight I then pressed the Clevite bushings into the machined sleeves on the lower links.


I then applied some anti-seize into the threaded bung as well as on the threads of the Johnny Joint and assembled then placed on my fixture to set to the correct length.


Front upper and lower links assembled and ready for installation back into the Jeep.



More pictures to follow.

Mike.
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BDS Long-Arm System/ 17x9 ATX Crawl wheels/35" BFG KM2's/ Plus much, much more.

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Old 04-13-2015, 09:36 AM   #265
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Before installation I noticed that on the front lowers the OEM are actually adjustable a small amount buy using an eccentric. This required the through holes to be slightly over-sized for the 14mm bolts. Although the bolts will be tightened and thus eliminating the slop I wanted a little more surface area on the shank of the bolt to eliminate any fore and aft movement once installed. This will give extra support so it is not merely relying on the friction of the clamping force of the fastener.

I machined four spacers that were 14mm inside diameter for the bolt and 1.5" OD by .125" thick. I then placed them onto the lower mounts using the bolts to hold in place while I stitch welded a couple of welds to secure them to the lower mounts.




Front suspension installed. I tightened the frame ends (Johnny Joints) but left the axle ends loose. You do NOT want to tighten the incapsulated rubber style bushings unless you have the vehicle sitting down at ride height, otherwise you will preload stress into the bushings and cause pre-mature wear/failure. I actually set the vehicle down with the nuts threaded on hand tight, drive the vehicle around the block bouncing it to let the suspension "settle in", then pull it back into the shop and tighten the axle ends.



Moving onto the rear links/control arms.

I clamped the rear upper links into the mill vise and used a large end mill to cope/fishmouth the link to accept the newly machined bushing sleeve.


I then chamfered the end to allow good penetration as the upper links are solid and not tubing.


The adjustable end for the upper is threaded tube so I coped/fishmouthed it the same way to accept the Currie Johhny Joint weld-on narrow joint.


Rear upper adjustable ends TIG welded and ready for paint.


Few pictures of the lower links all welded and ready for sanding and paint.








All of the old BDS link ends cut off and the pile of remnants.


More pictures to follow.

Mike.
__________________
2011 JKU Rubicon
BDS Long-Arm System/ 17x9 ATX Crawl wheels/35" BFG KM2's/ Plus much, much more.

Click here to see my 2011 JKU Rubicon Build Thread
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Old 04-13-2015, 09:36 AM   #266
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While the Jeep was on the lift I decided to scuff the frame rails down and freshen up the paint on the frame to match the newly fabricated and painted suspension links.






And lastly after taking it for a spin around the block, I pulled it back into the shop to torque the axle end down.


After tightening the axle ends and double checking all other fasteners I took it for its test drive. Now that all the play or slop is gone in the suspension it feels like a completely different Jeep. I hated pulling up to stop signs because I could feel the clearance and then again at take-off. Now nothing.:rocker: I even hit reverse and forward while power braking (well as much power as a Jeep has:bounce and no slop at all in the suspension. I hope to get many trouble free miles from this setup unlike the past 40k+ miles and several bushing replacements.

Mike.

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2011 JKU Rubicon
BDS Long-Arm System/ 17x9 ATX Crawl wheels/35" BFG KM2's/ Plus much, much more.

Click here to see my 2011 JKU Rubicon Build Thread
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