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Old 05-16-2014, 01:25 AM   #1
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2004 TJ Tonka Toy 3 in Currie lift Installation

Aloha All,
A while ago I decided to start collecting parts for a 3 in lift for my 2004 TJ "Tonka Toy". Started the build on May 4th, just completed the mods this past Tues the 13th, not working this past weekend.

Tonka Toy started as a Wrangler X with a 6 cylinder and automatic transmission, Dana 35 rear and Dana 30 front axles. Currently running 16in ProComp Al wheels and Goodyear Armortrac 265/70R16 tires.

I spent many hours cruising Wrangler forum for relevant posts and recommendations, as well as posted a few questions of my own- receiving excellent response.

As a result I am extremely happy with my build. The resulting lift I installed is smoother and quieter than the stock Wrangler X setup, and simply "flows" over rough roads. And just as important looks great!

I chose to install 3 in progressive springs, Currie upper and lower arms, Currie front and rear adjustable track bars, Currie rear track bar bracket, Bilstein 5100 shocks, Advance Adapters (AA) Slip Yoke Eliminator (SYE) and a Tom Woods CV shaft.

Living on Oahu has its advantages- but one big disadvantage is shipping anything to the islands- as a result I took advantage of Amazon Prime for what I could and the bulk of the rest of the gear came from Savvy, with shocks from shock warehouse.

Running out of time tonight- but over the next couple days I'll share what I learned as a newbie doing my first lift installation- for starters:

Some of the things I learned:
  1. The holes on the rear axle brackets for the upper rear arm mounts are square- not round- a rat tail file easily opens up the holes to 7/16in for the new bolts
  2. On Wrangler's with automatics- the fwd cross member a transmission skid plate do not have to come off to install the SYE conversion (but you will have to remove it/modify it later anyway to clear the front drive shaft
  3. I found it easier to install the Tcase oil pump to the aft case half before joining the halves (contrary to the videos I saw on Utube).
  4. You CAN do a SYE conversion on the jeep and greatly appreciate the Wrangle forum inputs on this topic
  5. An impact hammer is highly recommended. especially for disassembly
  6. Currie track Bar bracket- need to remove the left rear upper arm to get access to install and torque the bolts- need to remove the big bolt to assemble and torque the 5/16 bolts- complete installation of brkt before final attachment of left rear uppr control arm
  7. Watch out for the ABS brake leads- they parallel the brake lines- but I saw very little regarding ABS leads in the forums.
  8. When installing Currie rear Bump Stops- start with the top and a loose spring, otherwise I found it almost impossible to get them on
  9. Have a magnet handy to catch the metal filings from drilling out the mounting holes (better than getting a metal splinter in your okole!)
  10. You can install and square everything up without ratchet straps
More details on these and other lessons I learned over the next couple days. And pictures after I figure out exactly how to attach them.

Mahalo, Mark
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Tonka Toy, 2004 Wrangler X, 3in Currie lift, arms track bars, AA SYE, Tom Woods CV Shaft, Warn Zeon 10-S. Eaton TrueTrac front and rear.
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Old 05-17-2014, 10:53 AM   #2
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My sequence of installlation

At the top level-
AA SYE installation
Rear Suspension and CV Drive shaft
Front Suspension
Alignment initial then certified
Hawaii reconstruction inspection

In general this worked well for me, but for some reason the front installation went smoother and faster than the rear, perhaps because of more access (no gas tank), or perhaps because of the experience I gain working on the rear suspension.

SYE and drive shaft are required before the rear suspension is finalized in order to set proper pinion angles.

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Tonka Toy, 2004 Wrangler X, 3in Currie lift, arms track bars, AA SYE, Tom Woods CV Shaft, Warn Zeon 10-S. Eaton TrueTrac front and rear.
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Old 05-17-2014, 11:18 AM   #3
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Jacking and Support and "floor condition"

I used 4x 6 Ton jack stands under the frame (for height) and 4x 3 ton jacks for the axles. I also had two floor jacks. Compared to what I was spending on the mods, $65 for a pair of 6 ton jack stands was cheap- especially since I was going to be spending some serious time under the jeep. The 6 ton jacks gave me 24in clearance under the frame and enough clearance to drop the axles all the way down to unload and install the new 3in springs w/o resorting to a spring compressor.

Make sure the pavement, driveway, or whatever surface under your jeep is in good condition and smooth. My driveway was old and cracked and had little pukas (holes) everywhere which continuously aggravating as my creeper wheels got stuck!
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Old 05-17-2014, 11:59 AM   #4
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Advance Adapters SYE Installation

Between Wrangler forum, YouTube and the web there are lots of excellent videos and instructions on how to do a SYE conversions.

My primary references (other than Wrangler Forum) were:



Tom Woods Slip-Yoke Eliminator Kit Install on TJ Wrangler: Off-Road.com

I had two major deviation from what was shown in the video/instruction- 1) I did not remove the Tcase from the jeep and instead chose to do the conversion from under the jeep (no problema!) 2) Hooking up the oil pump to the pickup tube (a pain) was ultimately done before assembling the case halves.

I have an automatic transmission- so one of the things not discussed anywhere was that along with the transfer case mount and skid plate, the transmission skid plate also has to be removed- unfortunately both nutserts for the transmission skidplate we spun. Not ready to deal with this at the time, I had enough clearance under the jeep to remove the tcase skid plate/mount without removing the transmission plate by rotating the tcase skid aft edge down. BTW- you will eventually have to remove or modify the transmission skid plate left fwd attachment to provide room for the fwd drive shaft to move with the suspension to full extension.

Once I had access to the tcase, everything went fine and according to instructions up until I had to re install the tcase oil pump. I could not move the tube down enough (running into the inside case) and move the oil pump up enough (floating gear on output shaft) to get the tube into the port. In the end I ended up re-removing the tcase half (re-cleaning and reapplying sealant) assembling the oil pump to the tube on the aft case half and reinstalling the whole works- because of the two alignment holes this worked out very well- and I know my oil pump is connected.

After the oil pump everything else went back together easily- watch for the shaft oil seals- the lip of the rubber seal can fold back under when installing the output yokes if you are not careful.

One other deviation to note- I never fully removed the fwd drive shaft from the tcase- there was enough wiggle room I could remove the chain from the shafts without pulling both out- I left the chain suspended from the fwd shaft while I replaced the main output shaft. This way I did not get the chain "dirty" nor have to worry about chain orientation on reinstall (if it matters).
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Old 05-18-2014, 12:44 PM   #5
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Rear Suspension Control arms and Track Bar

With the AA SYE installed, I now had the components I place to properly align the pinion to shaft angles, so I began on the rear suspension.

Once the wheels were removed I placed a floor jack under the axle and lowered it until the shocks were at full extension, I then removed the shocks, as well as the stabilizer links.

Once the shock were removed I figured I could slowly lower the axle until the springs were free- I did this carefully and slowly so I could check for anything like brake lines, ABS leads etc which might impede the travel. The only thing I came across which limited the travel was the axle vent line- which comes off the rear break junction block. I ended up removing it and planned to extend the 5/6in hose during installation.

Lowering the axles the springs popped free and clear, removed the bump stops, removed the stock track bar, and prepared to in stall the new upper and lower Currie control arms. First I wanted to drill and tap the holes in the Lower spring mount for the lower bump stop- center punch 7/16 drill and a 1/2-20 tap made easy work of it- my only concern was how thin the pad was and if there was enough thread to get a good grip. I then mounted the upper bump stops.

Note: recommend having a magnet handy to catch/collect all the metal cuttings.

Next- was the control arms- lots of discussion in the forums regarding lengths- I had 3in springs, Currie instructions showed lengths for 4in lift-
Front upper arms - 15” c-c
Rear upper arms - 13 1/2” c-c
All lower arms - 15 3/4” c-c
Figured this was close enough for a start-

I loosened all the bolts before proceeding- then replace lower control arms one by one and then the uppers as a pair due to the different length required for the change in pinion angle, checked the stock dimensions primarily to see if there was any differences in lengths left to right- fortunately there was not (at least at the limit of my measurement capability of 1/32in). Fortunately in my case once one arm was in the other went right into place with barely a wiggle. Bolts were only finger tight at this point.

Instructions say upper control arm mounts need to be drilled out to 7/16in- I found the axle side mount "holes" were actually square- but easily filed to the slightly larger size with a round file- the left side frame holes were easy to get access to with the drill, but the right side frame bracket is right next to the muffler- which I did not really want to remove..... the round file did the trick here too.

As for orientation of the arms I simply laid on the creeper to see how many grease fittings I could reach from one spot- perhaps not the best hard core wheeling option- but works for my daily driver.

Note: During both disassembly and installation I simply used the floor jack under the axle to move it up and down a bit to get bolt holes to line up- never once had to use a come-along or ratchet strap.

Next I started on the rear track bar bracket- I got the 9121N version which requires welding- it looked beefier than the alternative and I have a MIG welder. To get access to drill and tighten the bracket bolts you will have to remove the left upr rear arm at the axle. (good thing I left the arm bolts loose for now to include the lock nuts on the adjustable arms).

At this point I have yet to install any springs- I cycled the axle up and down with the jack using he bump stops to check positioning and alignment of the axle, and especially looking for interference between the new track arm bracket and the gas tank and wire harness. I installed the Tom Woods CV drive shaft and made some adjustments to both upper and lower arms- moving the axle back as allowed by available clearance to tank, and to set the pinion angle in line with to just below the new shaft angle.

I then installed the track bar. I jacked the axle to the where I thought it would be, and adjusted the bar to fit and loosely bolted in place.

Satisfied with my initial alignments, I snugged up all the bolts- just enough to remove any gaps (not torqued), and prepared to install the springs.
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Tonka Toy, 2004 Wrangler X, 3in Currie lift, arms track bars, AA SYE, Tom Woods CV Shaft, Warn Zeon 10-S. Eaton TrueTrac front and rear.
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Old 05-19-2014, 01:02 AM   #6
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Rear Spring Installation

Without the springs installed I was able to easily cycle the axle from max extension to hard against bump stops to be sure nothing was binding and brake lines, parking brake cable as well as ABS lines all traveled with no issues.

I had thought installing the springs should be easy- but it turned out to be a lot more complicated than I had imagined- Currie bump stops are also spring retainers both top and bottom. The other complicating factor is the angle between the lower supper spring supports due to the rotation of the axle for the correct pinion angles.

After many attempts, the sequence that finally worked for me was:

1) install the upper bump stops with the spring hanging from it
2) Jack the axle up just enough so that when you push the lower end over the lwr spring axle mount the spring stays
3) Jack up the axle a little more to bottom the spring on the pad-
4) Install the lower bump stop components.

Finally I jacked up the axle until the jeep lifted off the rear frame jack stands- checked and adjusted the track bar to center the axle. I measure how far off center the axle was, lowered the axle to unload to track bar axle bolt, adjusted the length then used the jack (up or down) to allow easy installation of the bolt. I'll repeat this once the entire installation is complete and Tonka Toy is sitting on its wheels.
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Old 06-05-2014, 01:57 AM   #7
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Awesome!
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Old 06-06-2014, 12:18 AM   #8
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Thanks for the support Jeep porn! I've been off island at a graduation in Ohio for the last couple weeks, I need to get back and finish this build- Over the last couple days I modified the transmission skid plate so will add that to my experiences.
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Old 06-06-2014, 01:46 AM   #9
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Front Suspension

As odd as it may seem, the front suspension installation went twice as fast as the rear- I'll attribute that to the experience with the rear suspension and easier access to all the components (no gas tank).

I followed nearly the same sequence as with rear:

Removed shock absorbers: As usual turning the upper mount nut also turned the shock absorber- since I was replacing the shocks, I used a vice grip to hold the shock skirt while I unscrewed the nut. Careful at the lower end- may have to remove brackets holding the ABS leads.

Next removed the stabilizer links and positioned the stab bar out of the way.

To allow the axle to drop max distance I also removed the draglink ball joint at the pitman arm, and disconnected the track bar at both ends and removed it.

Lowered the axle, and removed the springs!

I removed the control arms and replaced them one by one- The Currie recommended lengths for the arms:
Front upper arms - 15” c-c
All lower arms - 15 3/4” c-c
matched the stock arms I removed. However, from a prior wheel alignment I knew that the caster was only 5.5 degrees and I wanted to be closer to specs of 6.0 to 8.0 deg, so I lengthened the lower control arms by one full turn. Heck I have adjustable arms I may as well set everything up correct. (more on my alignment later)
Once the arms were in, I drilled and tapped the lower mounts for the bump stops and verified the installation of the upper bumps stops- I cycled the axle (up and down) to make sure the bumps tops were aligned.
I then approximated the proper axle height and installed the front track bar. There were no modifications for the front track bar and it bolted right into place, with only a minor bit of finagling to get the axle side nut plate in position to be engaged by the bolt.
Now unlike the rear springs where the lwr bump stops would fit between the coils, the front coils were too close together so I removed the lower bump stop puck and used tape to suspend it in the middle of the spring while I installed the spring.
Same sequence as rear springs- install upper bump stops, fit spring over upper bump stop, pry spring onto pad, install lower bump stop.
One other complication I ran into installing the front springs was the bracket for the stabilizer link prevented me from easily sliding spring into place and I ended up using a flat tire iron to pry the spring around the bracket and into place.
With the springs in place I jacked up the axle far enough to pick the jeep off the frame jacks to check and center the front axle with the track bar.
Once centered I lowered the jeep back onto the frame jacks and installed the front shocks- thinking back now- since I have gas shocks maybe I should have installed the shocks before I centered the axle but did not seem to make a difference in the end.
At this point I removed and replaced the front brake lines with aftermarket 4in longer, stainless steel brake lines.

I also replaced the front quick disconnect stab links with longer ones.

Almost done, I reconnected the front drive shaft, and check the pinion angle to be sure I did not move it too much seeking a better caster angle.

Next how I set my toe angles.
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Old 06-14-2014, 12:04 PM   #10
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Tranny Skid Plate Mods/ Nutsert replacement

The first problem I ran into with my build was removing the tranny skid plate- the nut-serts were spun. I ended up leaving it in place while I did the rest of the mod up to the point where I needed to re-assemble the front drive shaft- lifted, the tranny skid plate interfered with the drive shaft. Quick post to Wrangler Forum and LJ Dave had the answer and gave me my way forward.

Nutserts:
To get the tranny skid plate off, I ended up cutting/grinding the bolts heads off. I had tried the various other recommended techniques like prying down on the skid plate while turning the bolt- no luck- pretty sure I had plenty of forces as I was deforming the skidplate a bit.

Once the skid plate was free I ground the nutsert flange flush to the frame and drove it into the frame rail. Using various magnet gizmos I attempted to remove the old nutserts with no success- guess they are rattling inside someplace but I can't hear them.

I ordered replacement nutserts and tack welded these in place before compressing the nutsert- it worked perfectly.

Tranny Skidplate Mods:
When I discovered I had an interference problem, I had an idea of how I might solve it, and it was confirmed by LJ Dave. Bend a piece of 1/4in thick x 3in wide steel bar to shape and weld in place.

Rather than take a lot of measurements- before I removed the skid plate I used a piece of 3/8in copper tubing which I bent to my desired shape and scribed the skid plate fwd frame for cuts and angles. (BTW I've used copper tubing many times in the past to create odd shaped templates- even used it once to create a complete template for a custom exhaust installation for a Ramcharger which then bolted right into place first time).

Once I had the template I removed the skid plate and re-attached the front drive shaft.

Feeling "naked" with no tranny skid plate- I cut the left front frame mount from the skidplate and remounted it with the remaining 3 bolts- 1 on the right frame and 2 at the tcase skidplate. This was actually pretty solid and I briefly considered leaving it that way. While fine for roads, off-road it would be something I'd worry about, I could flex the skidplate ever so slightly by hand.

With a temp solution in place I set about fabbing the fix-
I cut the frame side mount along the scribe line and loosely bolted in place
Checked clearances with my template.

About here I got my father's day gift a bit early - a plasma cutter! OMG no more numb forearms from the sawzall!

While laying under the jeep I realized if I simply welded the bar in place I'd probably have to take the drive shaft off to remove the skid plate and get access to the tranny- I decided to add a bolted interface at the skid plate to facilitate installation and removal without having to mess with the driveshaft.

Used a torch and my template to bend the steel bar-
Cut a short piece for the bolt interface.
Tack welded the flange in place in the skid plate, bolted the new piece and stub of original frame mount in place (loosely)- checked fits, grinding a bit to get a good joint, tack welded the frame mount side, removed for final welds.
Reinstalled all and bolted up tight to check before cleaning and painting.

Pics below should do better than the words....
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Old 06-18-2014, 10:39 PM   #11
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Alignment

There are several posts which discuss how to set the toe on your jeep so I won't go into a great deal of details here.

Like described elsewhere I used aluminum bars, 36in long, clamped to the front wheels- see pictures below. I've done this before on my 2500 Dodge Ram but this was much easier.

Almost forgot to mention- make sure the jeep's weight is fully on the axles (jack stands) so that the draglink/tie rod geometry is correct.

Basic process is to measure the distance between the bars at a specified location fwd and aft of the wheel and compute the angles. I set up an excel spreadsheet to make that the calculations so all I had to do was take the measurements. (if I can I'll attached the spreadsheet - if not email me for a copy)

Reading the jeep service manual- you set the right toe first with the drag link then adjust the tie rod to set the left wheel toe setting. For the right front wheel, I simply stood a long way back behind the jeep (no wheels mounted) and sighted along the right rear wheel to get the front right aluminum bar parallel (figured this was close enough for initial setting). Make sure and check every time you make an adjustment that the steering wheel remains centered.

Next I simply made my measurements, and adjusted the tie rod to get the desired angles.

Drive test was next- steering was a little too responsive- (too much toe angle) so I backed it off a bit (1/8th turn was more than enough adjustment at a time). Drove much better this time. Jeep was driving so good I was almost afraid to take it to Goodyear for an alignment.

Finally after waiting a few days I noticed a slight feathering on the outside edge of tires so decided to take it in. I had bought a 3yr alignment so it didn't end up costing me anything. If I didn't have to get an official alignment for Hawaii reconstruction I would have simply relaxed the toe angle a little more.

See PDFs from alignment below-
Following first alignment, toe wasn't too bad, but caster and thrust angles were not in "spec". Jeep drove fine, but what's the point of adjustable arms if you are not going to get your alignment totally in spec!

To adjust the caster I lengthened the front lower control arms 1 turn each. I briefly thought about only lengthening the left arm, but that would put some cross stress into the axle I worked so hard to avoid on initial installation.

To correct the thrust angle, I loosened rear right upr and lwr arms, lengthened the right lower control arm 1/4in and re-adjusted the right upper control arm to match the hole (low cross stress). I arrived at the 1/4in by multiplying the tan(thrust angle) x 40in (distance between lwr control arm mounts at axle). Not precise- but got me close enough.

Second alignment came back all in spec (see below)!

Now to complete this mod- I have to go through "Hawaii reconstruction" where they check to make sure everything I did is "safe". General opinion is this is a money maker for state.

Next mods will be aluminum half doors and soft top for summer driving.

I really enjoy my Tonka Toy!

If you've read this far- Mahalao Nui Loa!
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File Type: pdf Wrangler alignment 5-20-2014 redacted.pdf (79.4 KB, 24 views)
File Type: pdf Jeep Alignment 06-18-2014 all good redacted.pdf (95.8 KB, 24 views)
File Type: pdf Jeep Toe Set Calculator (2).pdf (84.0 KB, 24 views)
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Old 08-13-2014, 01:01 AM   #12
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Summer Attire!

Aloha All,
Been a while since I posted an update- I had just finished removing the hardtop and setting up the summer attire, and then Iselle and Julio started headed my way... at least I learned it only takes and hour and a half to remove the soft stuff and put the hardtop and full doors back in the jeep!

Fortunately storms never really made it to Oahu, thanks to the big island- please keep all the folks in Puna in your thoughts- it's still pretty rough going there, and probably will be for a while.

OK- my summer attire consists of Smittybilt Cargo net, RR Quick release Mirrors, Rampage Black Topper and windshield channel, a Bestop Tailgate bar kit, and Aluminum half doors I painted to match.

I picked up the Harken Hoister kit 200# which works like a champ, once you figure out how to set it up, and the release the jam. (More on this later)

In the next couple days I'll get into the details and lessons I learned with aluminum doors, PPG paints, Harken Hoister, and installing the topper and cargo nets.
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Old 08-14-2014, 04:04 AM   #13
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You have a awesome TJ build my friend
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Old 09-05-2014, 01:16 AM   #14
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Savvy Aluminum Half Doors

Purchased a pair of Savvy Aluminum half doors for my TJ.

In the box came panels, top rails, bottom angle stiffener and the latch mechanism, hinge brackets and all the required hardware (stainless no less). I did end up replacing the some of the hex head fasteners with button head socket screws. There was also a mix of stainless nylock nuts and standard lock nuts.

In my kit there was some braided steel wire but no indications/instructions on how to use it. So I fabricated my own inner door release by adding a short piece of aluminum attached to the latch bracket, some nylon bushings and washers in three places, and routing some fishing leader line around the nylon to the front of the door to make it easier to open from inside.

Once I had assembled the doors, I loosely attached the door brackets, positioned the doors on the jeep and tightened the bracket fasteners. Closed the doors and adjusted the latch position.

Once I had the doors in place I noticed a bit of rattle at the latch- the diameter of the latch rod on the body, was smaller diameter than the opening in the latch, so that even with the latch closed there was way too much clearance- my solution was to cut a short piece of nylon tube to fit over the latch rod. This worked great- snug closure and no rattle when driving.

Painting... PPG paints- I had never used PPG paint- but I like doing things myself, and I like learning new things- if you are not that type of jeeper then moneywise- taking the doors to a shop to paint is clearly the easier and cheaper way to get great looking doors. I love my doors- and if you want to try it- definitely talk to a PPG paint dealer/expert they have all the instructions and resources you could want. Many steps for aluminum- cleaning and etching the aluminum, epoxy primer, color coat and clear coat, lots of steps but doable if patient.

One last item on the aluminum half doors- they don't engage the dome light switch on the door frames, so you will need a dome light switch spring to keep from draining your battery!
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Old 09-18-2014, 12:01 AM   #15
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PPG paint sequence for my aluminum doors

Meant to add this for anyone who is contemplating PPG paint. The results are spectacular but it takes preparation and patience.
Step Description
1 DX533 cleaner
Mix DX533 1:3 with water
Apply cleaner to aluminum
Allow to react 2-3 minutes
Rinse-water should sheet over surface

2 Aluminum Conditioner
Apply to metal straight
Allow to react 1-3 minutes until golden color appears
Rinse well with water
Dry

3 Prime with DPLF same day
Throughly mix 2:1:1/2 for min 5 minutes
induction 30 minutes
Apply 1st coat
wait 10-15 minutes
Apply 2nd coat
wait 90 minues

4 base coat
mix 1:1 with reducer
apply 1st coat 50% overlap
10 min flash
apply secon coat 50% overlap
1hr before clear

5 clearcoat
mix 4:1
1st coat
3-5 minutes
2nd coat
1.5 hr air dry
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Old 09-19-2014, 11:44 AM   #16
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Warn Zeon 10-S addition

Aloha All,
Since I currently have open differentials in my Dana30 and 35 axles I rationalized having a winch was a good way to go until I have the $$ to replace at least the rear axle with a Dana 44 and a locker... ...OK! I wanted a winch.

(Now some may thing upgrading my axle might be cheaper- but not on Oahu- lack of availability on island and shipping an axle from the mainland are seriously big bucks and..... I wanted a winch).

I selected a Zeon because its WARN, and I like the symmetric styling, I originally thought 8-S but for only $100 more 10-S, why not- power reserve is always good.

Couple lessons up front: read both the winch and the synthetic rope installation manuals completely- had I done so I would have saved a little rework time...
1) the little aluminum tear drop shaped thing with a 5/16" marking on it in the hardware pack is what retains the rope to the drum.
2) the long black sleeve in the box is the abrasion sleeve for the rope-- NOT a protective sleeve for the power cables- though it installed and looked like it would have worked great at that job as well! Actually considered leaving it in place and ordering another sleeve for the rope- but that would have delayed installing the rope.

I had previously purchased a WARN 37170 winch mounting plate to make sure the mount and winch was compatible with my stainless tube bumper. The only mods I needed to make was to remove the aux light mounting tabs where I had my fog lights. Note: depending on your bumper config- the removed tabs can be used as shims under the mounting plate. I also used a washer on top of the sway bar bushing retainer to match my bumper mount thickness.

I bolted the winch to the mount before installing on the jeep. With the front bumper and the fwd bolts on the sway bar bushing retainers removed- it was a simple and easy task to move the winch assembly into place as I had my daughter guide the cables between the sway bar, grill and radiator along the passenger side frame.

I loosely installed all 6 bolts winch mount bolts plus the bottom two bumper mount bolts- checked for fit and interferences before tightening up everything.

I then finalized the routing of the power cables up along my AC lines, between the fuse box and the air box to the battery. I used a short length of 3/8in rubber tube split lengthwise to cover the edge of the grill near where the cables passed. Cable lengths were about perfect. (in case you notice the battery- a DIEHARD Platinum is on the short list). Tested operation of the winch.

Now came time to install the rope..... about this time I read the instructions and realized that cable protection sleeve I installed was actually the abrasion sleeve for the rope......(see lesson #2 above).

Abrasion sleeve installed on the rope I was ready to connect the rope to the drum. This was the only step where I things got frustrating.

You are supposed to use the long black tie wrap provided to pull the rope loop through the winch drum- believe me it is very tight- it doesn't just slip through. I broke the tie wrap before I could even get the loop started through the anchor pocket hole... I considered reaming out the hole-

Looking closer I noticed a little ridge of flashing still remaining on the aluminum drum casting- so got out my rat tail file and gently smoothed the inside of the anchor pocket. Once the ridge was gone I was able to pull the rope loop through- still with gloves and a lot of force- it's tight.

The loop is small and tight (not at all like pictured in the instructions), and getting that puck into the loop took some work, getting all the fibers around the puck and then light hammer taps to get the loop seated back in the pocket wasn't easy either- I used a punch in the puck pocket to tap it into place- I would not recommend hammering on the rope- it will likely cut the fibers.

Once Rope secure- took jeep out to the driveway, stretched out the rope and rolled up the line.

Have a cover and a Prolink on the way to complete the installation.

Pau Hana!
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Old 09-19-2014, 07:38 PM   #17
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Hello there, do you have a dimensions for aluminum door? Cad file maybe? Thanks
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Old 09-19-2014, 10:23 PM   #18
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Aluminum doors were purchased from Savvy Off-road. I did not fabricate them from scratch, hence no drawings. Sorry.
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Old 09-29-2014, 09:21 AM   #19
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hey what are those wide things under and inside the shocks ? do they sit on top of them? they look robust . i do not have those but i got the jeep like this .



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Originally Posted by goodinmw View Post
As odd as it may seem, the front suspension installation went twice as fast as the rear- I'll attribute that to the experience with the rear suspension and easier access to all the components (no gas tank).

I followed nearly the same sequence as with rear:

Removed shock absorbers: As usual turning the upper mount nut also turned the shock absorber- since I was replacing the shocks, I used a vice grip to hold the shock skirt while I unscrewed the nut. Careful at the lower end- may have to remove brackets holding the ABS leads.

Next removed the stabilizer links and positioned the stab bar out of the way.

To allow the axle to drop max distance I also removed the draglink ball joint at the pitman arm, and disconnected the track bar at both ends and removed it.

Lowered the axle, and removed the springs!

I removed the control arms and replaced them one by one- The Currie recommended lengths for the arms:
Front upper arms - 15” c-c
All lower arms - 15 3/4” c-c
matched the stock arms I removed. However, from a prior wheel alignment I knew that the caster was only 5.5 degrees and I wanted to be closer to specs of 6.0 to 8.0 deg, so I lengthened the lower control arms by one full turn. Heck I have adjustable arms I may as well set everything up correct. (more on my alignment later)
Once the arms were in, I drilled and tapped the lower mounts for the bump stops and verified the installation of the upper bumps stops- I cycled the axle (up and down) to make sure the bumps tops were aligned.
I then approximated the proper axle height and installed the front track bar. There were no modifications for the front track bar and it bolted right into place, with only a minor bit of finagling to get the axle side nut plate in position to be engaged by the bolt.
Now unlike the rear springs where the lwr bump stops would fit between the coils, the front coils were too close together so I removed the lower bump stop puck and used tape to suspend it in the middle of the spring while I installed the spring.
Same sequence as rear springs- install upper bump stops, fit spring over upper bump stop, pry spring onto pad, install lower bump stop.
One other complication I ran into installing the front springs was the bracket for the stabilizer link prevented me from easily sliding spring into place and I ended up using a flat tire iron to pry the spring around the bracket and into place.
With the springs in place I jacked up the axle far enough to pick the jeep off the frame jacks to check and center the front axle with the track bar.
Once centered I lowered the jeep back onto the frame jacks and installed the front shocks- thinking back now- since I have gas shocks maybe I should have installed the shocks before I centered the axle but did not seem to make a difference in the end.
At this point I removed and replaced the front brake lines with aftermarket 4in longer, stainless steel brake lines.

I also replaced the front quick disconnect stab links with longer ones.

Almost done, I reconnected the front drive shaft, and check the pinion angle to be sure I did not move it too much seeking a better caster angle.

Next how I set my toe angles.
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Old 10-03-2014, 11:53 PM   #20
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Sorry for not responding sooner- was away....

Anyway- ?those wide things inside and under the shocks?
Not sure what you are speaking of but I'm guessing what you are seeing is the bump stops inside the coil springs?
They took a bit if figuring out to get them inside the coils.
With the Currie lift I also purchased the Currie bump stop extensions.
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Old 10-04-2014, 12:11 AM   #21
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Truetracs Next!!!

Eaton Truetrac carriers arrived today for both my Dana 30 and Dana 35 axles!!!
I decided on Truetrac after lots of reading of wrangler forum and considering my on road and off driving habits, tire size, lack of Dana 44s availability on island and budget.
I still have some parts/tools to get before I install them- bearing and shims to be specific, perhaps seals too though the jeep is relatively low mileage (52k).
More when I actually get started.
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Old 10-10-2014, 11:19 AM   #22
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Dana 30-35 Truetrac Carriers and Install Kits

Truetrac Carriers and USA Standard Gear Master install kits arrive this week. Waiting for a few more tools and a long weekend to install them.
Dana 35 is on left in the pics, the hole is to allow the axle spacer to be installed after the c-clips are on. Access hole cover is secured in place with a snap ring. Many more pics later when I actually get to the installation.
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Old 10-26-2014, 11:49 PM   #23
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Derale Tranny Cooler

Installed a Derale Tranny Cooler Part # 20561 today.
Took a bit longer than I anticipated, but got it in and TJ is drivable again.
Kit is pretty complete, however according to the component list mine was missing 6 of the 8 foam pads (not an issue for me).
I threw away the splice connector (prefer ring terminals) .
The length of the hose was just a bit too short for how I wanted to route the hose to the front well clear of hot exhaust, ended up adding about 3 inches.
Had to clean up the thermostat housing- there was a bur of metal hanging inside from the tapped hole for the thermostat.
Test drive went well, no leaks, no problems, but I can't tell if the fan ever came on-- not sure what temp it is supposed to kick on at. I have the circuit wired directly to the battery (through) the fuse and according to my IR thermometer cooler fins were at 165 degrees
Will post some pictures when I download them from my phone.
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Old 10-27-2014, 10:43 PM   #24
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According to Kevin at Derale Performance the thermostat switch is supposed to kick on at 180F.
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Old 10-27-2014, 11:17 PM   #25
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Derale Tranny Cooler TJ Install

Drove to and from work today (30 miles) , no leaks, good fluid level. As far as I could tell fan did not come on either. Verified I have 12V at the fan terminal, will check again tomorrow and keep my IR thermometer handy to see what temp is at the cooler fins. I've got the unit angled so it gets airflow even without the fan, plus my freeway drive in not that stressing for the tranny.
Some pictures below- tried to show how I routed the hose along the frame, over the driver side upper control arm frame mount and under the engine mount to clear the exhaust manifold/pipe. I needed to add 4 inches to the return line and splice the feed line to the existing line from the radiator using 3/8 in barbed brass hose connectors.
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Old 10-30-2014, 11:53 PM   #26
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Instrument Panel LEDs

While I'm waiting for a long weekend to install the trutracs...
Installed cool Blue LEDs in my dash....
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Old 10-31-2014, 02:28 AM   #27
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Old 11-08-2014, 10:47 AM   #28
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Dana 35 TruTrac carrier installation

Installed a Eaton/Detroit TrueTrac yesterday in my Dana 35 rear axle. 6 hours and only minor damage to a one thumb and one finger. Don’t know how you guys do it without a case spreader!I also had purchased a set of dummy bearings and a specific bearing installation tool

Popped the cover and drained the oil- first thing I noticed I can only describe as a slight burnt smell associated with the oil. Also oil looked dark brown to black in color.Don’t know if that is due to the trackloc friction additive or if this was the first time the oil was changed. Maybe the clutches were going? I read somewhere the tracklocs only last 50-60k miles.52000 total on the jeep. 10000 since I got it.

With wheels, and brake drums off- removing the axles was a piece of cake. Used 1/4in 12 point box wrench to remove the diff cross pin retainer and cross pin to access the c-clips. Pushing axles inboard- c-clips basically fall out. Note- driver side axle is the longer of the two.Axle bearings and seals look good so I chose to leave in place.With the axles out I could now turn my attention to pulling out the carrier.Marked the carrier bearing caps for proper reinstallation.

First time using the case spreader! I found some new muscles- its weighty, laying under the jeep trying to line up the pins with the case holes- it was trial and error until I got it to drop into place, snugged and clamped so it would not drop on my head.

Even with the case spreader it took a bit of finagling to get the carrier out. Since I planned to use the ring gear I was a bit concerned about possibly “dropping”it given my somewhat awkward position under the gas tank. I put an old piece of gypsum board under the axle just in case- figured that way I could avoid a damaged/chipped ring gear.Didn’t need, but It was nice to have there.Shims with the original carrier were one piece- 0.160 ring side, 0.1722 pinion side. Removed spreader from case.

I installed dummy bearings on the new carrier and measured the endplay and calculate the total shim stack thickness with 0.008 preload (without the ring gear installed). Used my impact wrench to remove the ring gear bolts, and then a BFH deadblow 46 oz size to tap the ring gear off the old carrier.I used the ring gear bolts and a dead blow hammer to get the ring gear on the new carrier- it’s a press fit so alignment has to be right from the beginning. My technique involve snugging the bolts, and tapping with the hammer- wasn’t long before ring gear was seated against the flange, and perfectly aligned with the bolt holes- thread locked and torqued the ring bolts.

With ring gear installed, reinstalled dummy bearings, and checked for proper backlash shim thickness.
With the shim thicknesses calculated, sat down with my micrometer and the shims provided in the carrier installation kits and built my shim stacks. Also installed the new bearings on the carrier, which was a lot easier than I thought it would be- with the specific bearing installation tool which stayed exactly aligned with the bearing as I drove it home.

Reset the case spreader- installed the new carrier and shim stack. Could have used a couple extra hands- between the carrier, floating outer bearing races, and two shim stacks, laying on the ground… took me a bit to get everything in place.Once everything in place, snugged the bearing caps, remove the spreader- torqued the caps and measured the back lash (0.005 lower end of the range).Checked the contact pattern – didn’t expect much change since I did not mess with the pinion, and it looked fine.

Re-installing the axles is the only place I ran into a snag- the axles slide right into place but when I went to place the c-clips I found the axle did not go in far enough that I could get the c-clips on- the ABS tone ring prevented the axle from moving in any farther and the radius on the pocket in the carrier prevented the c-clip from aligning with the axle.. I ended up with a very slight grind of a radius on the edge of the c-clip to allow it to just slide into place (see pics).Once the c-clips were in place- the puck cap and snap ring installed with no issues and I buttoned up the case with a new dana cover with a threaded fill hole.

All that is left is to fill the diff, re-mount wheels and test drive! Then start on the front Dana 30…… always something to do on the jeep!
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Old 11-08-2014, 10:52 AM   #29
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New Trutrac Install Pics

Installation pics of new carrier.
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Old 11-08-2014, 10:56 AM   #30
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TruTrac C-Clip issue

More pics of installation...
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half doors , sye install , tj currie arms and lift , warn zeon 10-s

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