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Topic Review (Newest First)
07-15-2012 08:13 AM
htkrph
Quote:
Originally Posted by netlohcs View Post
Those arms are defintely interesting. If they were adjustable and hadnt already ordered the curries, I would at least consider them.

Anyways, today was kind of a lazy Saturday so i decided to go down to the shop and start putzing around with installing my new front lower control arms. Ive never done this before - wasnt so much concerned with not being able to do it, but I wanted to not rush myself and make sure that I did stuff right the first time.

First off I decided to just pull one of the factory arms out and do some of my own measuring. Arm came out pretty easy -



Old and new, together in a happy pile

nothing beats when you take the stock control arms and you feel how weak and light they are, then grab the new arms and you how much better built they are than the stock ones! cheers man!
07-14-2012 06:18 PM
netlohcs Those arms are defintely interesting. If they were adjustable and hadnt already ordered the curries, I would at least consider them.

Anyways, today was kind of a lazy Saturday so i decided to go down to the shop and start putzing around with installing my new front lower control arms. Ive never done this before - wasnt so much concerned with not being able to do it, but I wanted to not rush myself and make sure that I did stuff right the first time.

First off I decided to just pull one of the factory arms out and do some of my own measuring. Arm came out pretty easy -



Old and new, together in a happy pile

07-14-2012 02:16 AM
97flexy
Quote:
Originally Posted by netlohcs View Post
Also, just curious but does anyone have any secret trick for getting the boots on to these things? I'm sure I can get it done but it seems like its going to be a little tedious. Any suggestions?
They are GREAT shocks! I have the 15" travel shocks from them. But my shocks didn't have that funky top. This is what my shocks looked like.
That is my stock front shock next to my new front shock

I love those shocks and if your staying with a short arm lift and you don't want to rub your lower CAs check these out....
Rusty's Control Arms - Custom for Stock Wheels (pair) - TJ/LJ Wrangler, Rubicon & Unlimited ('97-'06) - Jeep Control Arms & Accessories - Jeep Suspension
I was going to get these but than I decided to build a long arm suspension.
07-12-2012 06:37 AM
netlohcs Well, the new shocks went on without any major issues, I didn't take any pictures of the install because it was so straightforward. I do have some intersting stuff to report in regards to the change in ride quality and body roll, but I don't have time right now to post what i'd like to. I will try to make time later today or tomorrow to comment on it.

I did however get my next toys in the mail today - New Front lower control arms from currie The goal of adding these (for the time being) is to eliminate the tiny bit of tire rub that I currently have on them. Having these also opens up more options for me down the road, and I will most likely replace all of the control arms with these as funds and time become available.

So for now just a picture, but soon I will post more in depth regarding the new benefits of the Rancho shocks.

07-05-2012 04:37 PM
netlohcs Also, just curious but does anyone have any secret trick for getting the boots on to these things? I'm sure I can get it done but it seems like its going to be a little tedious. Any suggestions?
07-05-2012 04:36 PM
netlohcs Just got these in today. Hopefully the perform better than the factory ones that have leaked out all of their oil I'll update everyone after they are installed as to any difference they make regarding the antirock up front.

06-29-2012 07:27 PM
netlohcs I ordered 4 rancho 9000xl shocks today, I'll keep you updated as to what the ride is like after they are installed I'm hoping it will make a positive difference, but I fear that the extra body roll is going to be significant. We will see.
06-29-2012 11:17 AM
jgorm
Quote:
Originally Posted by netlohcs View Post
Anyways, I took my jeep for a test drive with the antirock on its firmest setting, and there was defeinitely what I would describe as a substantial difference between the factory bar.

I know that I probably need new shocks also, but even with new shocks I'm not sure if i'm going to be satisfied with how much body roll the antirock allows. It is definitely quite a bit more than stock.
That is what I've expected. It's good to hear an unbiased opinion on the AR. I'm in the same boat and don't like body roll.

Quote:
Originally Posted by netlohcs View Post
and might get comments such as "durr its a jeep durr... its not going to ride like a sports car". But to be honest with you, I think that people who say that sound kind of ignorant.
haha, me too. I think the same thing when people say that their jeep "handles like its on rails". They must have never driven a vehicle that really handles because even if you lowered a jeep 4" from stock and put low profile, wide tires on it, its still never going to handle like a performance car.
06-29-2012 04:21 AM
netlohcs We trimmed the links down as short as we could, however even at their shortest they do not allow the arms to be parallel. I may hunt for some shorter links, but i have a feeling they might be kind of hard to find, seeing as one of the threads is reverse. The bumper went back on and thankfully the arm did not hit anywhere else on the bumper, and no other trimming was needed.

We started doing tests for clearance and found out that, while the arm itself hugs the frame rail much more tightly, when the link is installed in the first hole (firmest setting) my tire rubs on the link itself. Because of this, we had to move them back two holes. After doing some measuring, we determined that the links would be able to be in the 2nd hole without any rubbing, but didn't change it for the time being.



After this, I took out all the washers in my steering stops, and am happy to say that of the turning radius that I lost, I have gotten about 90 percent back. I discovered that the tire actually BAAAREEELLLY rubs on the lower control arm when it is at full lock, and as such I think that is a sufficent excuse to purchase some new currie adjustable lower control arms in the near future. I wanted to get them anyways, right?

One of my biggest worries with the antirock was the additional body roll. I drive my vehicle in town a lot, in what I would describe as a "spirited manner". Ok, I'll admit I drive like a banshee. A banshee that is 10 minutes late. And has to pee. Anyways, I took my jeep for a test drive with the antirock on its firmest setting, and there was defeinitely what I would describe as a substantial difference between the factory bar.

I know that I probably need new shocks also, but even with new shocks I'm not sure if i'm going to be satisfied with how much body roll the antirock allows. It is definitely quite a bit more than stock.

In the future, I may toy with a few other ideas, such as possibly figuring out a way to use the antirock pieces in the factory swaybar location, or possibly talking to currie and seeing if they would be wiling to make me a custom bar that is not machined down in the middle (the bar ends are 1" or 1 1/4", but the center section of the bar is machined down to 3/4").

I know I may get flamed for those "out of the box" ideas, and might get comments such as "durr its a jeep durr... its not going to ride like a sports car". But to be honest with you, I think that people who say that sound kind of ignorant. Anyways, I'm not all that concerned with what other people think, because I know exactly how I want my jeep, and I love it to pieces And it makes me very happy. I can't help but smile every time I look at. Sometimes I even talk to it when i'm walking up to it... and tell it hello... and that I like to drive her... and thank you for being such a good jeep. Anyways, back on track...

For the time being, I'm actually quite happy with the antirock. The product quality is top notch, and installation was easy. I'm going to drive it for a while before I worry too much about trying to firm up the anti-roll, and enjoy being able to turn tightly in parking lots and the like. Anyways, hope everyone is doing well out in jeep land, and I'll make sure I post more if I do any more work.

Peace out for now!
06-29-2012 04:02 AM
netlohcs We got the poly bushings pounded in, but had to remove some rust/junk from the tubes first. Even after that was done, it was significantly harder than I thought it would be to pound them in. It took many healthy whacks with the 5 pound maul.



After the bushings were in, the arms slid right on. The kit is well designed. There are bolts that stick out from the frame rail for the steering box, but the antirock arm clears them nicely, while not sticking out from the frame excessively.

In the instructions for the antirock, it says that it is designed for a jeep with 4 inches of lift. Mine has none. I was worried that the arms would be slightly too long, and would hit on the spring. They don't though, and clear nicely.

06-29-2012 03:57 AM
netlohcs I busted out the grinder, and had the bumper cut in fairly short order. After looking at the antirock, I worried that the arms on the new swaybar kit might actually make contact with the bottom of the bumper. It would be close though, so I wouldnt really know til I test fit it.

Bumper cut:


One of my buds helping out



working on getting the old swaybar off

06-29-2012 03:54 AM
netlohcs Back at it!

Its definitely been a while since I posted anything - life has been busy. Just over 2 weeks ago my wife and I had our first child, a son It just so happens that he turned out to be the absolute cutest baby in the entire world... at least I think so He even got his first jeep ride already

Anyways, on to the jeep. Since my last post, not much has changed. I drive her daily, and really enjoy the handling of my jeep overall. One of the guys that works for me drove it a month or two ago and commented "wow, this thing handles really nice. I thought it would be way sloppier with the big tires".

The only complaint I had with all of the work that I did so far was that I had to shim out my steering stops (4 washers I think, maybe 5) in order to keep my tires from rubbing on the sway bar. It wasn't anything horribel, but we had a customer come in with a TJ, and as I was pulling it into the shop, I realized just how crazy tight a TJ's turning radius is, and I missed not having that in mine

Because of this, I decided to act on what I had planned to do for a while - add a currie antirock swaybar. These swaybars hug the frame rail much more tightly, and would allow me to take out most if not all of the washers on my steering stops. So I ordered one, and it arrived this week.

First things first, I had to modify my Bestop Highrock bumper, because the tube that the swaybar goes through was partially covered.

04-19-2012 04:23 PM
chop110 Oh and by the way, I have read the whole thing too. You don't mention it, but I see you caved in and bought the AEV front flares as well. Good call, the time and money spent on the aluminum flares would have been too close to the cost of the $100 AEV flares.
04-18-2012 07:23 PM
Vosty3 I too would prefer to keep my TJ as low as possible on 35's I have no idea what lift is on my rig still need to research it more. Switching out from the Pocket style bushwackers to the flat style gave me a lot of clearance and the flat would give you more clearance then your stock fenders if you can find a way to mount them up after the custom work you already put in and keep you from kicking up rocks.

Before (It rubbed going into gas stations)

Jeep by Vosty3, on Flickr

After (I havent rubbed since and hit several trails) Only side view I have from when I had pocket style on front and flat in back

2012-04-12_09-47-58_114 by Vosty3, on Flickr


Prosser by Vosty3, on Flickr
04-18-2012 06:15 PM
chop110 Dude, you seriously have some mad body work skills! Looks awesome. More pictures!!
04-13-2012 09:50 AM
Westbrook Still Amazed. Looks good.
04-13-2012 09:01 AM
97flexy are those AEV fenders? and you are running 35s right? I'm hope'n to get 36s this weekend and try to stuff them under the jeep... I know I'l have to cut, but what I have to cut is the question.
Your Jeep is looking really good!!!!!
04-11-2012 11:39 AM
stuckinwater Ur fenders look like they are supposed to look like that!! Amazing job
04-11-2012 10:26 AM
jgorm looks great!
04-11-2012 02:10 AM
netlohcs Got to go on a little weekend trip up to the Keweenaw peninsula in the U.P. of michigan. I got to give the jeep its first real workout driving up a Rutted out ravine filled with basketball/slightly bigger size rocks. I was happy to say that even with two fairly large guys sitting in the back, I did not have ANY issues with scraping or tire rub in the back. Granted the rear sway bar was still connected, but I was very pleased with this fact.

We went to a place called Cliff drive, and took some fun pictures up at the top:





Me and my jeep



Note the bumper box that I got just before the weekend. Its made by Bestop specifically to mount on the Highrock series of bumpers. Construction is very nice, and it is not nearly as imposing as I was worried that it would be. Biggest complaint is that online it said it came with a locking latch - but when I opened up the package this was definitely not the case.

Up next (in the next week or so) is an AEV oil pan skid, which came in the mail today.

Other more long term plans include the matching rear bumper counterpart that has an integrated tire carrier. I've also been reading up on the AIROCK air suspension systems, but that will be quite a long ways off, if ever

Anways, I hope you guys enjoy the pictures!
03-16-2012 02:38 AM
97flexy [QUOTE=netlohcs;2100407]AND THEN!!! Tuesday night rolls around. What a story.

Things I had left to do:
New swaybar links to install
finallly install both side fenders
Mount battery
mount evap system
rewire all of the electrical (I turned the battery around so the positive post is on the inside and not so close to the hood)
reinstall my ARB air compressor, ARB manifold, and hook up airlines for lockers


It was 7:30 pm. Weatherman said "the storm" would start at 8, and we would be getting an inch an hour for a good long time. Yikes. I needed to get this thing done, if for no other reason than I needed to get my wife to work across town!

Tuesday night I did not sleep. I worked straight through the night. Fortunately I had two of my friends help me for a few hours to do the swaybar, and help with some of the electrical stuff. Without them I would not have gotten it drivable on time.

When done, the passenger side fender looked like this:



Note the cheesy O'reileys air filter. This is temporary, as are the sweet zipties that hold down the electrical box. I must say though, for being zipties, that bugger is on there quite well!!

Thats cool you were able to keep the battery under the hood. I moved my battery to the cargo area in the jeep.
03-12-2012 12:46 PM
Creepy Crawler Wow, great story and build. I just read the whole thing from start to finish in one go! I love build threads, maybe I'll actually start one now.. Haha
03-04-2012 07:45 PM
StaffCaptainZ06 It took me a bit, but I read the whole thing lol!
03-04-2012 07:34 PM
StaffCaptainZ06 This has been an awsome read man! I can't wait to see what you have done next!
03-04-2012 04:59 PM
Westbrook Your Jeep looks so cool, one of the most unique Jeeps I have seen on here. I love the look of the huge tires and not much lift and it still looks pretty stock even with the major mods that you have made. I can't wait to get my Duratracs now that I've read your experience in the snow. Good job with all the work looks awesome so far, keep it up.
03-04-2012 03:19 PM
GoldenSahara00 Very nice man. Jeep is looking awesome good stories too!
03-04-2012 02:12 PM
rda616 Great work so far. I can't wait to see the end results with front flares on. Looks great!
03-04-2012 02:49 AM
c1skout looks great! I've always been a fan of big tires with little lift.
03-04-2012 01:58 AM
netlohcs
Quote:
Originally Posted by onejsmith View Post
...That would be why I would be thinking of a belly-up kit like Teraflex has to raise the middle of the bottom of your Jeep. It's not a big expense, but it isn't totally cheap either. Dig yourself out a time or two and you will agree I think.
You are totally right! I haven't posted anything about it as of yet (probably due to the fact that when i even BEGIN to start thinking about major mods past this my eyes start filling up with $$ signs like Wile E. Coyote and a big anvil falls on my head), but I definitely would like to remove the factory "shovel" and get my belly up as close to the frame as possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onejsmith View Post
The other thing I don't see in your plans is the differential gearing that should be done. I haven't yet read all of the posts you have so I don't know what axles you have. If you have a D30 in the front and a D35 in the rear, your 35" tires are going to stress those axles to the max. You will experience a lack of power with the stock gears. With the 35" tires, you should be running at least 4:88/ 1 or 5:13/ 1 gears to bring your engine RPM back into the correct power band for the power that your 4.0L puts out. Without the gear change, your mileage will suffer and the power loss will be very noticeable.
If you can, I would recommend upgrading the axles to D44s or better.
Yeah, I'm not sure If I stated it specifically anywhere in this thread, but I was lucky enough to get a D44 rearend. I went to 4.56 gears when I had my ARB airlockers installed. At that time I was thinking 33"s were my target tire size. Would I rather have done 4.88s knowing what I know now? Probably. But I'm definitely not spending another 1400 just for that small change

I got to take it out on the highway today and its quite nice actually. I love my accelleration, so 4.88s would probably make my "butt dyno" a little happier, but its defnitely not a slouch by any means. Another thing to consider is that my tires are in fact closer to a 34" than a 35". Not a huge difference, but worth noting.

Thanks for the input, I really appreciate it! having people comment is what fuels me to post more pictures
03-04-2012 01:44 AM
onejsmith
Tire upgrade with no lift

Quote:
Originally Posted by netlohcs View Post
Hey everybody - a few new "toys" arrived today and i'm kind of excited, so I decided I would make a post

I am putting bigger tires on my jeep, decided on the Goodyear Duratracs. They were seemingly one of the only tires I could find that had a fairly aggressive tread pattern but still got good reviews for all of the different winter driving conditions, snow, ice, etc. The rims I chose are the AEV pintlers, designed specifically for TJs.

My "original" plans were to do somewhere in the 33" range, but I read one too many posts about people with 33s saying they look small after a while, or that they can't wait to upgrade again.. etc. So I decided to just go big the first time. The tire I got was a 315/70/17. That comes out to be 34.4" diameter and 12.4" wide.

You probably noticed that I said "tire", and not tires. I decided that for the time being I am going to start with just one, as my plan of action is somewhat different that most people. I am hoping to keep my jeep as low as possible, for a few different reasons.

Reason number 1 - My wife had bone cancer in her left knee when she was 18, and as a result needed to have a full knee replacement. I thank the lord every single day for the fact that she is even alive and with me today, however for her its a little more frustrating. She used to play all sorts of sports but is no longer able to. She cannot even run any more, and I know it just kills her inside. Anyways, when I started talking about doing lifts on my jeep I could just see the sadness on her face, and I instantly knew why. She hates being reminded of her limitations, and struggling to get into a jacked up Jeep would be very frustrating for her. She didn't even have to tell me, I could just tell. Because of this, I want to keep my jeep absolutely as low as possible. Every single inch counts.

Reason number 2 - its my daily driver. I do lots of city driving, in traffic, cornering, and the like. I really REALLY want it to stay absolutely as stable as possible. I won't be getting to buy another DD for a good long time, and as such I don't want to screw up the one I have.

Which brings me to my goal: Put 35s on my jeep while keeping it as low as possible. I want it to be a snow basher (is that a term? if not I just made it up ) and also be able to safely navigate the shores of lake superior. If/when I go on these trips I will most likely not have another vehicle with me, thus getting stuck is really not an option. I'm sure I could have gone with 33s and gotten to pretty much the same places, but in my mind the extra security of a larger tire surface area was totally worth it.

They say one valid test is worth a thousand "expert" opinions - I've done tons of research about what fits and what doesn't, and I pretty much got to the point where I just needed to start testing stuff. I plan to use this one tire/rim setup to clearance everything, and then once I know they fit, I will order the other 4. I plan to raise the front fenders about 3" (DIY), and I ordered just the rear fenders out of the AEV highline kits ( they were 100 bucks each).

If I need to (and I'm guessing I will) I will be installing a 1" JKS body lift, and probably a MML along with it. For the time being, the goal is to use the factory suspension. As time goes on, a very mild suspension lift is not out of the question. More likely would actually be that I buy some top of the line aftermarket control arms (currie or the like) to give me added strength in that department, but still keep the same ride height.

Articulation is not very high on my list of needs, and I know i'll probably get a little flamed for that... but I am what I am I know there will probably be a lot of the "why didnt you just go with 33s" opinion out there... but as I said I researched my stuff for a long time and I'm confident this is what I want

As some footnotes, I have already installed 4.56 gears and ARB airlockers front and rear. Before the jeep gets pulled out of the garage it will have a set of black magic rotors and pads. I do plan to upgrade the axles in my D30 up front at some point in time, however I do not forsee myself encountering any high traction situations in the near future that would put the stock shafts in jeopardy. Having the extra strength and peace of mind will be nice, but the 600-700 bucks could be better spent in other places right now. And no I don't have a Dana 35 in back, i'm not that dumb.

Well anyways, I highly doubt many people will read this whole post, I can't believe I typed this much :P I will continue to update this thread with pictures of my DIY highline as it progresses, and other upgrades as they come along.

A few pictures just to start - the first is of my new rim/tire posing next to my jeep. Looks pretty huge to me

The second is some of the preliminary test fitting I was able to do in the rear this evening. AEV seems pretty much spot on in the fact that if you run 35s with stock suspension you will need to trim the tub, but only in the rear of the well. I am hoping to keep the aftermarket AEV flares in the rear as low as possible.

If you even read this whole thing, Thanks if nothing else you should reply with a post that says "I read the whole thing" haha, it would make me happy to know at least one person read my "late-night-cant fall asleep have insomina and my sleep medication doesnt work" post
Yeah,, I read it all too and I am in your corner up to a point. Your wife should think a little more of you too.

My '06 former Rubicon has been major modified for a street legal Jeep. If I had it to do all over again, I would have waited for a JK in the first place. They are just that much better than the TJ with the medium length control arms.
If I were building a TJ again, much of your planning would be the same as mine. You don't need Big Foot height to do some serious Jeeping. The larger tires do come at some cost though.
In my opinion, making the fenders fit the tire rather than lifting the Jeep is good thinking... until you say your main reason is to bust deep snow.

Snow has some rules that most other obstacles don't. If you plan to travel in snow much over your axle height, most types of snow will eventually stop you cold (pardon the pun).
If your axle housings are pushing most snow types, they try to ride up on the snow and your tires, no matter the diameter, begin to raise up and lose traction with the ground. Even if they can bite will enough for forward progress, once you lose momentum you are stuck. If you are lucky, it will only be the tires and axles you will need to dig out. If you are not lucky, the belly pan and gas tank will be included too.
That would be why I would be thinking of a belly-up kit like Teraflex has to raise the middle of the bottom of your Jeep. It's not a big expense, but it isn't totally cheap either. Dig yourself out a time or two and you will agree I think.
The other thing I don't see in your plans is the differential gearing that should be done. I haven't yet read all of the posts you have so I don't know what axles you have. If you have a D30 in the front and a D35 in the rear, your 35" tires are going to stress those axles to the max. You will experience a lack of power with the stock gears. With the 35" tires, you should be running at least 4:88/ 1 or 5:13/ 1 gears to bring your engine RPM back into the correct power band for the power that your 4.0L puts out. Without the gear change, your mileage will suffer and the power loss will be very noticeable.
If you can, I would recommend upgrading the axles to D44s or better. With the 35s spinning with the throttle mashed to the floor, if a tire suddenly gets good traction, you will likely hear a nasty snap as an axle blows up.

Good luck with the rest of your build and may all your Jeep trips live up to your expectations. Happy Trails.
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