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Old 06-24-2019, 02:41 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Rexenator View Post
This is more of me thinking out loud than actually considering this option right now. If anyone has any experience or thoughts on this, please let me know.
If 35" tires are your end goal, then I see no reason why you shouldn't use the JK axles, particularly since you already have them and understand the areas of weakness.

Some thoughts as they came to me:
A1) As you know, the JK D44 tubes aren't the strongest around, though easily remedied with a good sleeve/truss. The C's are an area of concern as well, but options readily available.

2) Brackets are simple - I would call any of the common online retailers like Barnes, RuffStuff, etc. and let them you know you need a set of perches and shock mounts to fit the JK axles and I'm sure the customer service reps all have the tube diameter memorized to heart by now.

D) I know you're thinking a V8 swap is in the future, but likely plan on regearing. 35"s and 4.10's generally suck pretty hard with any semi-modern overdrive transmission.

4) I know 2 JKU guys running V8's in their rigs on factory D44's (both Rubi's) and they have no issues with the axles holding up. There is a local guy with a Hellcrate-JKU also running factory Rubi axles and he usually all 707 horses quite often.

5) JK lug pattern is an advantage IMO - plenty of aftermarket options including beadlocks that are commonly found lightly used on the local sale pages.

The real question - what axles (and tires?) are you thinking for the JK?

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Old 06-24-2019, 12:37 PM   #32
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Pretty much my exact response.... labels for the points and everything (A1,2,D,4,5)

I am real happy with my v8, 35's, and 4.56's.

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Old 06-24-2019, 07:36 PM
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If 35" tires are your end goal, then I see no reason why you shouldn't use the JK axles, particularly since you already have them and understand the areas of weakness.
The real question - what axles (and tires?) are you thinking for the JK?
If you had asked me that when I bought the JKU, I would have immediately responded with "Full width Dana 60s fully built to support 37s in the hard rocks." Now, two kids and a couple moves later I'm looking at my primary use for the JKU: Overland on washboard roads, with the hard off-roading limited mostly to getting to and from a campsite, with the occasional road trips out west to play in the harder stuff (granted now a lot of the harder stuff will be done in the YJ). Because of that, priority is something safe for my kids to be in and reliable enough to not strand me during/after wheeling on a road trip.

I noticed that Dynatrac sells a beefed up Dana 44, with 1/2 tubes, larger forged ends and stronger ball joints. They even have the option to build the axle with more built in caster if I decide to add a little more lift to accommodate 37s (or I could just get a set of Metal Cloak fenders, decisions decisions). This would resolve 95% of the issues with the stock Dana 44, with the added advantage of bolting up directly and compatibility with existing parts for my JKU.

For the YJ, this would require me to find a JK dana 44 rear axle (to match width and lug spacing), but those are extremely easy to find in junkyards / classifieds since the JK was out for over 10 years and the prices on them aren't too bad. This would require a regear and lockers, but I'd be stuck doing the regear anyway with any axle combo. The goal is still to get on 35s with as little lift as possible (probably will go MC flares on the YJ), which I could probably do with upgraded shafts up front and a Ford 8.8 in the back, but I like to keep my options open.

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Pretty much my exact response.... labels for the points and everything (A1,2,D,4,5)

I am real happy with my v8, 35's, and 4.56's.
How much better do you think a V8/35s would be with 4.56s vs 4.10s? My JKU has 35s with 4.10s and it drives pretty nice with the factory 3.7L minivan engine. Granted it has a 6 speed manual with two overdrive gears, and 4:1 transfer case which make drivability better both on and off-road.

Also, one of the things I like most about Jeeping is the build itself, so cost and performance are not the only considerations I have when selecting parts. My wife frequently asks "Why do you need a 500 horsepower motor and Corvette suspension geometry on your 67 Firebird?" and my response is always "Why not?!" The same goes for my Jeeps. Now I'm not talking about building a mall crawler here (no skinny tires or underglows for me), but sometimes the best feeling comes from completing a more extensive build and just knowing that you have the extra capability if you ever need/want it.
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Old 06-24-2019, 08:39 PM
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Just a small update today. Got the turn signals working, I completely missed the pins on one of the connectors going to the instrument ribbon cable thing (it was wedged between the pins and the plastic housing so it felt like it was connected when I reinstalled it). Also installed a Bestop bikini top. I had a SpiderWebShade on there, which looked great but I found that the sun was burning me alive here in Florida. No hit at all on SpiderWebShades at all, they are quality products and I still run one with my JK, I just needed something that would provide more shade with the YJ. Still need to flip those shackles around, hopefully I’ll find some time this week to do that.
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Old 06-25-2019, 02:01 AM   #35
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Maybe it's just me but it sounds like the JKU you have serves a very important niche and role - a family/overland rig. Would going to bigger axles and 37" tires add any appreciable benefit to the rig? Perhaps some, but honestly it doesn't sound like much to me. With 2 wee-ones of my own, a lower, easier to load and get into, and more stable rig that can haul everything you need seems like something you already have and already do well with. Sometimes, and I struggle with this too, it's good to "leave well enough alone!"

That being said, if you're intending to wheel the YJ hard, it would make sense to focus on the YJ. Dollar for dollar, you'd be hard pressed to find a set of axles beefier than a set of Super Duty axles, which can be had for very cheap. These may be overkill for 35" tires, so another option would be something similar to mine ("Jeep width" D44's). You'd easily do well with 35" tires and can do so relatively easily and affordably (compared to buying JKU Dynatracs, then modifying those JKU factory axles to work with the YJ).

Regarding the 4.10/4.56+ - it really depends on what trans you're going to use. The OD ratio of the later GM auto trans is 0.70:1, so it doesn't mind some gearing for sure! I run a V8 in my Ram with the same OD ratio and 34" tires and run 4.88's...
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Old 06-25-2019, 08:54 AM   #36
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How much better do you think a V8/35s would be with 4.56s vs 4.10s? My JKU has 35s with 4.10s and it drives pretty nice with the factory 3.7L minivan engine. Granted it has a 6 speed manual with two overdrive gears, and 4:1 transfer case which make drivability better both on and off-road.
My thoughts here are if you have an axle with 4.10's already in there. Put it in there and run it. If you find that you need a little more address it then. The type of driving / wheeling that you do could differ from what others do. If you end up getting new axles I would definitely look at 4.56's or maybe 4.88's. My Jeep hasn't made it above around 40 mph yet since my home made rear drive shaft says so. I really can't say much about highway driveability, but it sure does work good in the dirt.
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Old 06-27-2019, 08:47 AM
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Maybe it's just me but it sounds like the JKU you have serves a very important niche and role - a family/overland rig. Would going to bigger axles and 37" tires add any appreciable benefit to the rig? Perhaps some, but honestly it doesn't sound like much to me. With 2 wee-ones of my own, a lower, easier to load and get into, and more stable rig that can haul everything you need seems like something you already have and already do well with. Sometimes, and I struggle with this too, it's good to "leave well enough alone!" [IMG class=inlineimg]https://www.wranglerforum.com/../images/smilies/smile.gif[/IMG]

That being said, if you're intending to wheel the YJ hard, it would make sense to focus on the YJ. Dollar for dollar, you'd be hard pressed to find a set of axles beefier than a set of Super Duty axles, which can be had for very cheap. These may be overkill for 35" tires, so another option would be something similar to mine ("Jeep width" D44's). You'd easily do well with 35" tires and can do so relatively easily and affordably (compared to buying JKU Dynatracs, then modifying those JKU factory axles to work with the YJ).

Regarding the 4.10/4.56+ - it really depends on what trans you're going to use. The OD ratio of the later GM auto trans is 0.70:1, so it doesn't mind some gearing for sure! I run a V8 in my Ram with the same OD ratio and 34" tires and run 4.88's...
Agreed, 35s with the current lift are probably best for how I currently use the JK. It’s so hard to just leave things alone with these Jeeps! Regarding gearing, I plan on running the AX-15 I have with the V8 (will have it rebuilt, probably by Novak). I’ll toss some numbers into a gear ratio calculator to see where I want to be. That said, anything has to be better than what I have now (factory gears, 33s, a whopping 2200 RPM at 55 mph in THIRD gear.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rexenator View Post
How much better do you think a V8/35s would be with 4.56s vs 4.10s? My JKU has 35s with 4.10s and it drives pretty nice with the factory 3.7L minivan engine. Granted it has a 6 speed manual with two overdrive gears, and 4:1 transfer case which make drivability better both on and off-road.
My thoughts here are if you have an axle with 4.10's already in there. Put it in there and run it. If you find that you need a little more address it then. The type of driving / wheeling that you do could differ from what others do. If you end up getting new axles I would definitely look at 4.56's or maybe 4.88's. My Jeep hasn't made it above around 40 mph yet since my home made rear drive shaft says so. I really can't say much about highway driveability, but it sure does work good in the dirt.
Yeah I definitely see the benefit to more gear off-road, and agree on the approach to try it and change the gears if I think I need more.

I was also doing a little more research, and Mopar sells brand new versions of the JK/JL rear axles and they can be had for $1700. When you consider the cost of gears and an elocker alone (probably $1300-1400 before installation), and whatever a Ford 8.8 at a pick and pull place goes for ($200-500?) that makes going this route more economical (finding a used axle even more so). Of course this would require a new front axle to match the width ($2200 new), but considering the price of gears and lockers and other upgrades my Dana 30 would need I think it this would come in pretty close. Of course I would need spring perches and shock mounts (not expensive), and I can weld those on myself no problem.

Just more thinking out loud, but I appreciate everyone’s inputs and suggestions.
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Old 07-02-2019, 04:05 PM
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I was hoping to get a bunch of work done on the YJ in time for Independence Day and the weekend, but unfortunately I ended up with acute appendicitis on Friday and had to go to the ER to have my appendix taken out. The doc tells me I'm not supposed to lift anything over 15 lbs for the next 6 weeks, so it looks like I won't be doing any hard wrenching on the YJ for a bit (I did re-glue the rear view mirror button on, and it lasted 2 hours before falling off this time ). I also flipped my shackles around so they are hanging correctly now, but that's all I'll probably do for a bit.

With all of this free time, I've had plenty of time to shop around and figure out the direction for the next phase of my build. I want to be able to enjoy the YJ for the rest of the summer, so I'm not prepared to put any major mods into it until fall sometime. That gives me time to start accumulating some parts on the side so I can have everything ready for the big upgrade. It took me a little longer to get the YJ up to standards, so the lines between phase 1 and phase 2 of my original post got a little blurred. That said, let's just call this new direction for the build "Phase B". Here's what I'm thinking:

Mechanical/Suspension: The goal here is to safely run V8 power with 35s. I have put a lot of thought into going the 4 link route, but I don't foresee myself needing that level of capability any time soon, and I really would like to stay true to the character of the YJ so I'll be going with leafs.
  • LM7 V8 Swap - all adapters and mounts from Novak, upgraded radiator with electric fans
  • AX15 Transmission - Rebuild (currently works pretty good but needs new synchros for 2nd and 4th)
  • NP231 Transfer Case - Rebuild (probably hasn't been done and should be prior to V8 swap). It currently has a SYE of unknown brand so I need to research it. Depending on what's on there I might swap it for a SYE from a reputable source.
  • Driveshafts - Adams
  • 3" Lift - 2.5" RE 1430 springs, RE 1/2" lift boomerang shackles, new u-bolts
  • Shocks - Fox IFP or similar, will upgrade mounts with MORE shock hoops (front) and shock extension adapter (rear)
  • Axles - Still thinking about JK Dana 44s, or I may just pull a Ford 8.8 for the rear, keep my Dana 30 up front and upgrade both with new shafts, gears (4.56) and Eaton E-Lockers
  • Steering column/box - definitely something wrong with mine. I can feel a ticking when I turn the wheel. I checked the linkage and there is no interference. one or both of these parts will rebuilt so I have rock solid steering.
  • Wheels/Tires - 17" wheels (for bigger brakes) with MTRs
Body/Armor/Cosmetic: Really everything here was selected for functionality. Metal Cloak fenders let me run 35's with minimal lift, which will minimize issues with handling and steering for street ability (road trips) while still getting the offload performance I'm looking for.
  • Fenders - Metal Cloak Overlines with 4" or 6" flares depending on overall width
  • Rear Bumper - Leaning toward LOD Signature Series with the integrated tire carrier, the bumper is actually for a TJ but I am told it fits the YJ, has some nice features like integrated backup lights and mounts for hi-lift/shovel/rotopax/etc.
  • Front Bumper - Poison Spyder BFH with brawler bar
  • Rocker Armor - Metal Cloak rockers with integrated step (matches up with flares)
  • Winch - Warn Zeon 8s (very happy with the 10s version on my JK, but probably don't need the full 10k for the YJ)
  • Replace windshield frame and glass (going to get glass with rearview mirror button already attached )
  • Soft Top - I'm up in the air here, I like the benefits of a full soft top, but the factory YJ top is a PITA to take up and put down. A Bestop Supertop costs $$$, so I'll probably just add a wind jammer and duster cover to my current strapless bikini and just run with it.
  • Paint - will get some dents removed and have the exterior only repainted in the factory Radiant Fire color. There is a local body/paint shop that I am interested in using for my 67 Firebird, so I'm going to use this as an opportunity to check their work before I drop big bucks on a classic car restoration.
Electrical: Not much work here, add a CB and a few (tasteful) lights, radio is shot and needs replacing.
  • Aux Fuse Panel - Bussmann custom fuse/relay panel
  • CB Radio - Cobra 75 WX ST with 3' or 4' Firestik and external speaker
  • Stereo - Replace, haven't decided components but it will be a simple head unit with 4 channel speakers, probably run an amp for the speakers but won't have a sub (initially)
  • Lighting - Will run Rigid flush mounts in the rear bumper (backup lights) because thats what fits, likely KC LED round lights on the A-pillar and maybe on the bumper to maintain an age appropriate look
Interior: Mostly restoration type stuff.
  • New seat upholstery - might need new seats, almost all of the factory foam is missing, drivers seat does not adjust, back seat had something living in it at one point....
  • Bedrug or vinyl flooring
  • Tuffy 6.5" locking center console - I currently have an 8" console of another brand, it is too wide and interferes with the seatbelts. The Tuffy 6.5" is the perfect size and can be keyed to match the accessories in my JK so one less key to carry around.
  • Replace sun visors (currently missing)
  • New seatbelts - current ones are shot
  • Bestop Roll Bar Covers - threw mine away because they were torn / faded beyond recognition

The goal is to complete Phase B in time for Jeep Beach 2020 (April 26).
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Old 07-02-2019, 04:47 PM   #39
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Seems like a solid plan to me. The only thing I may consider at this stage would be a little wheelbase stretch. Maybe a wagoneer spring for 1.5" stretch per end. A little more wheelbase does add stability.
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Old 07-02-2019, 05:28 PM
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Seems like a solid plan to me. The only thing I may consider at this stage would be a little wheelbase stretch. Maybe a wagoneer spring for 1.5" stretch per end. A little more wheelbase does add stability.
That’s not a bad idea. How would that affect shock mounts/steering linkage? I would need to figure out the back trimming end too. Metal Cloaks rear flare mount requires a small trim (they call it “mod cut”), which I’m pretty sure is assumed to be centered. Do most people leave the rear openings alone for 1.5” of stretch, or do they just trim a little farther back? A mild stretch helps with the driveshaft angles as well so I’m definitely considering this.
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Old 07-03-2019, 08:17 AM   #41
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Thatís not a bad idea. How would that affect shock mounts/steering linkage? .
You said that you had lots of time on your hands to research things and plan. I figured I would help keep you busy.
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Old 07-03-2019, 09:26 AM
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You said that you had lots of time on your hands to research things and plan. I figured I would help keep you busy.
Well it worked, I spent a few hours yesterday researching the stretch with Wagoneer springs. It looks like I want to find two sets of front springs from a 76-91 (7 pack version), which should net 1.5-2" of stretch in each direction, as well as ~2" of lift. The springs use 9/16" bolts, so I'll need to drill out my shackles and get larger bolts (easy). It looks like stock waggy springs are reasonably easy to find, and new replacements aren't much more than YJ lift springs so I should definitely be able to find some.

The rear poses a couple of issues: fuel tank clearance and wheel arch trimming. The fuel tank hasn't been an issue for some people, but it looks like going with an axle with a larger pumpkin might have some clearance issues. For trimming, most people are getting around it by going with small trim and a set of TJ flares. Since I'll be using MC flares, I'll either need to move the mount back a bit, and maybe still have to trim the mount a little bit since the axle will move back further under compression. Or, I could just use a set of MC rear flares for a TJ, I just need to call MC to ask about fitment.

The front poses some more difficult issues with steering clearance. I'll definitely need to get rid of the drop pitman arm. Most people are able to get around clearance problems by running SOA and a high steer setup. With the waggy springs, that nets a crazy 7-8" of lift, which is way too high for me. Since I will be staying SUA, I may have to get creative or get a kit to move the steering box forward an inch. Also, if I go with JK Dana 44s, it looks like the drag link mounts higher on the knuckle on the Dana 44 than it does on my stock Dana 30. This may help or may cause other issues, but is something to think about either way.

I have more research to do, but I'm liking this idea more and more. Thanks for fueling the addiction!
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Old 07-05-2019, 03:17 PM   #43
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It looks like I want to find two sets of front springs from a 76-91 (7 pack version), which should net 1.5-2" of stretch in each direction, as well as ~2" of lift
Correct but maybe you said that backwards? The stretch is indeed 2" based on centering pin location. When mounted SUA, you'll get roughly 1.5"-2" of lift. The 7 pack version can be a bit still, just a heads up, based on my discussions and when wheeling with a gentleman that has used both.

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The springs use 9/16" bolts, so I'll need to drill out my shackles and get larger bolts (easy). It looks like stock waggy springs are reasonably easy to find, and new replacements aren't much more than YJ lift springs so I should definitely be able to find some.
With my discussions with my wheeling buddy mentioned above, you can use aftermarket poly bushings for a YJ which would have the 1/2" bolt in the front location.

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The rear poses a couple of issues: fuel tank clearance and wheel arch trimming. The fuel tank hasn't been an issue for some people, but it looks like going with an axle with a larger pumpkin might have some clearance issues. For trimming, most people are getting around it by going with small trim and a set of TJ flares. Since I'll be using MC flares, I'll either need to move the mount back a bit, and maybe still have to trim the mount a little bit since the axle will move back further under compression. Or, I could just use a set of MC rear flares for a TJ, I just need to call MC to ask about fitment.
The back gets tight with the fuel tank. There is a DIY Mod you can do that works fairly well... I'm thinking of doing this with mine, even if I have to cut out a portion of the RR skid plate I have and welding it back together.

https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/jeep...fuel-tank.html

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The front poses some more difficult issues with steering clearance. I'll definitely need to get rid of the drop pitman arm. Most people are able to get around clearance problems by running SOA and a high steer setup. With the waggy springs, that nets a crazy 7-8" of lift, which is way too high for me. Since I will be staying SUA, I may have to get creative or get a kit to move the steering box forward an inch. Also, if I go with JK Dana 44s, it looks like the drag link mounts higher on the knuckle on the Dana 44 than it does on my stock Dana 30. This may help or may cause other issues, but is something to think about either way.
https://mountainoffroad.com/products...acket-87-95-yj

This will help you some...
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Old 07-05-2019, 09:31 PM
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Correct but maybe you said that backwards? The stretch is indeed 2" based on centering pin location. When mounted SUA, you'll get roughly 1.5"-2" of lift. The 7 pack version can be a bit still, just a heads up, based on my discussions and when wheeling with a gentleman that has used both.
Every thing Iíve read says to use the 7 pack springs, but Iím not sure why. Itís not surprising that they are stiff, it looks like they are rated for 1335 lbs each, so thatís like 2000+ lbs more than my YJ will weigh after all is said and done. Iím not sure why I couldnít use the 5 pack versions (rated for 960 lbs), other than maybe the 5 pack doesnít result in as much lift?

Quote:
With my discussions with my wheeling buddy mentioned above, you can use aftermarket poly bushings for a YJ which would have the 1/2" bolt in the front location.
Good to know.

Quote:
The back gets tight with the fuel tank. There is a DIY Mod you can do that works fairly well... I'm thinking of doing this with mine, even if I have to cut out a portion of the RR skid plate I have and welding it back together.

https://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/jeep...fuel-tank.html
That is a great idea, if I do this I might try it by first notching my rusted out factory skid to see how the clearance is, then do it on a replacement skid if it works out.

Quote:
https://mountainoffroad.com/products...acket-87-95-yj

This will help you some...
That is perfect, especially since it looks like I might be replacing my dying steering box soon...........
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Old 07-07-2019, 03:16 PM
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I decided to tackle my parking brake today. When I bought the Jeep, I could push the parking brake pedal all the way to the floor with no resistance. It was so light that I initially thought it wasnt even hooked up. I went to check the cables and I noticed that the adjuster was as tight as it could go and there was still a ton of slack in the cables, so I figured a replacement cable was in order. I bought just the front cable thinking it might tighten things up enough to work until I swap the rear axle (and subsequently get new rear cables). I slapped the new cable in today, tightened the thing down until it felt reasonable, stepped inside, pressed the pedal and got a nice firm engagement of the brake. I went around the back to check my work, gave the Jeep a good hard shove, and rolled it right into my work bench.

Fortunately nothing was damaged. It looks like I need to inspect and adjust/replace the shoes. The parts are cheap, but I'm starting to question how much effort I want to put into this since I am going to be swapping the rear axle here in a few months or so...
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Old 07-07-2019, 11:33 PM   #46
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Excellent thread. Giving me lots of ideas for my bone stock 1992 Islander. Wife likes it the way is it and we get comments on it every time we drive it. Can’t keep them stock for long!
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Old 07-09-2019, 09:57 PM
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Excellent thread. Giving me lots of ideas for my bone stock 1992 Islander. Wife likes it the way is it and we get comments on it every time we drive it. Canít keep them stock for long!
Thanks for reading! Jeeps seem to generate a ton of "great" ideas, I've always found that the hard part is taking them and just getting it done (there is no such thing as a finished Jeep build).

@daddyjeep Speaking of "great" ideas, After 20 hours of reading the forums, 6 hours chatting with manufacturers, and 120+ hours of my wife refusing to talk to me because of my "obsession"....... I think I have finally figured out the bulk of what I need to do to implement a waggy stretch. It turns out the thing I thought would be super easy (modifying the rear wheel openings) is actually pretty challenging to do the way I want. I am 100% sure I want to use MCs removable flares, front and rear. After chatting with MC, they have indicated that there's really no way to use their rear flare mount kits to get a wheel opening that is centered on a stretched wheelbase Jeep.

Unfortunately, I am super OCD (ex. my rear axle on my JK moved <1/2" forward from my lift, and I am seriously contemplating $700 in control arms just to correct it) and I know it will bug me every time I look at the Jeep if things don't line up correctly. MC recommended that I buy a set of blank rear corner guards, cut the openings myself and then use what they call their "builders kit" rear flare mounts, which will need to be diligently measured and welded in place on top of the new corner guards. This also means I cannot run their rocker guards unless I want a 2-3" gap, so it looks like I'll probably have to go with GenRights blank corner guards and their stretch or boat side rocker guards (which of course means more $$$ ). Now I just need to figure out how I'm going to pitch this to my wife.....
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Old 07-10-2019, 08:45 AM   #48
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MC recommended that I buy a set of blank rear corner guards, cut the openings myself and then use what they call their "builders kit" rear flare mounts, which will need to be diligently measured and welded in place on top of the new corner guards. This also means I cannot run their rocker guards unless I want a 2-3" gap
Wouldn't the blank corner armor line up with the rocker guard as it should? I don't see why there would be a gap there just because the wheel opening is further back.
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Old 07-10-2019, 03:01 PM
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Wouldn't the blank corner armor line up with the rocker guard as it should? I don't see why there would be a gap there just because the wheel opening is further back.
It's because of how they cut their corner guards. GenRight's corner guards stop just under the door, and their rockers run the full length of the vehicle and fill the space below the corner guard.



Metal Cloak's corner guards actually extend below the door and cover a portion of the rocker. Then their rocker guards (which run between the front fender and stop about 6" short of the wheel opening) integrate with the corner guard to get full coverage. If I run the GenRight corner guards with the MC rockers, I'll have 6" or so of unprotected area on the rocker.

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Old 07-10-2019, 04:54 PM   #50
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Gotcha. You are mixing and matching. I thought Metalcloak was selling you blank armor that would still have the same notch to line up with their rockers.
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Old 07-10-2019, 06:58 PM
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Gotcha. You are mixing and matching. I thought Metalcloak was selling you blank armor that would still have the same notch to line up with their rockers.
Yeah, unfortunately they do not offer a blank panel, which would be super convenient for me. But I'm betting 99% of their customer base is only interested in their full system (flares, corner guards and rocker guards) with minimal modifications, so I can see why they don't offer it.
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Old 07-12-2019, 09:57 PM
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Haven't spent much time on the YJ, I've been busy getting the rear suspension ready for my 67 Firebird (swapping factory leafs/axle for Ford 9" rear, coilovers, control arms and torque arm, its going to be awesome!). I did however repair my horn (again) this week.

I had previously mentioned that I had replaced the horn relay and could get it to click, but there was no noise from the horn. As I was probing to see if the horn was receiving power, I clicked the horn a few times and heard the relay, then clicked it a few more times and nothing... It turns out the horn contact inside of the steering wheel was both installed backward and the plastic cam that holds it broke, probably at some point while I was slamming the horn to probe for power (see pictures, the plastic cam should have a large tip that sticks out to house the contact).





Not a biggie, $8 in parts later (and $30 in tools to remove the wheel) and I had replaced the horn cam ring. For those who are having issues with the horn, here is the recommended method to debug it:
  1. Check horn button continuity - if you hear a relay click it is good, if not check continuity at the relay socket
  2. If continuity is bad - problem is in the button on the steering wheel
  3. If continuity is good - swap relay
  4. If relay now clicks and still no horn, check power at the horn
  5. If good power at horn - check horn ground (small wire attached to grill via a single screw)
  6. If bad ground - address, If good ground - replace horn

Unfortunately, in my case, the button and the relay were bad so I had to swap both. After that, the relay clicked reliably when I pushed the horn button, and my test light showed good power at the horn and a good ground, so I narrowed the last problem down to the horn itself. I bought a set of Hella trumpet horns (dual tone), mounted them to the factory location and wired everything up with weatherpack connectors. Everything works now, and was repaired for under $30 (not including tools).

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Old 11-24-2019, 04:04 PM
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Been a few months since I last updated. I've been working on a few other projects (JK and Firebird), and work has been keeping me pretty slammed. This weekend I took advantage of MetalCloak's week long Black Friday sale, and ordered up some front overline fenders and the rear mounting plates. My wife gave me "the eye" when I told her I wanted to drop that kind of money on fenders (I didn't even tell her that I still need to buy the rocker guards and flares for them yet!), but then she agreed and said they could be for Christmas. I felt a little bit like a kid trying to convince his parents to get a new video game console or something, but I'm going to be on the road a lot for work the next couple of weeks and we are going home to see our parents for Christmas this year, so it's ok if they have to stay wrapped up under the tree until then.

I've also sourced a rear axle from a 2017 JK rubicon. I'm going to order a Dynatrac ProRock 44 for the front of my JK in January, then I'll rebuild the factory Dana 44 to be re-purposed for the YJ.

I took the YJ to a couple of places to get quotes for paint, and the prices here are insane. One guy quoted me $4700, and that is just for an exterior respray of the factory color with me removing all of the trim, door handles, factory flares, etc. myself! I'm now considering just painting the Jeep myself. If I powder coat the front fenders, that really only leaves the body, half doors, tailgate and replacement windshield to be painted. I've never painted a vehicle before, but I've already had some practice doing body work on the Firebird. I've painted plenty of other things (mostly furniture) with a HVLP spray gun with good results, and I already have a PVC/plastic sheeting spray booth that just needs to be assembled in the garage. I'm doing some research now to see if this is something I want to take on. Does anyone have an experience painting their Jeep?
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Old 11-25-2019, 08:56 AM   #54
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I've painted plenty of other things (mostly furniture) with a HVLP spray gun with good results, and I already have a PVC/plastic sheeting spray booth that just needs to be assembled in the garage. I'm doing some research now to see if this is something I want to take on. Does anyone have an experience painting their Jeep?
If you are familiar with your HVLP gun already you will be fine. Of course you already know the prep work is almost more important that spraying the paint. Just lay down light coats so you don't risk getting runs. I have been considering painting mine again. My 12 year old Krylon is fading a bit and next time it will be done correctly.
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Old 11-30-2019, 11:58 AM   #55
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I've been getting some quotes for painting my W150 and RC projects and they're both in the same price range...

Honestly the pricing isn't that bad. I worked at a body shop over the summers in HS (pushing 20 years now) and they were charging about the same for a "shell paint", meaning a customer would bring in his car with no rust and minimal body work and if it was all torn apart, it would cost roughly $3800-4500 depending on paint choice. Any labor other than minimal prep (sanding and priming was included) was at the hourly rate of $95 (which was a tad high at the time but this was a well-respected body shop that specialized in old cars).
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Old 12-01-2019, 10:38 AM
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Of course you already know the prep work is almost more important that spraying the paint.
Agreed, I plan on spending the bulk of my time on the prep portions. At one point I was considering doing all of the prep/primer/sanding myself and taking it to a local place to be sprayed in a paint booth. As I found out, most places don't want to do this because of the liability. I don't blame them, I am sure many places have been bit by accepting bad prep work that ultimately resulted in paint flaking off or other issues.

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I've been getting some quotes for painting my W150 and RC projects and they're both in the same price range...
That's crazy, everything I've read says the average cost of a same color paint job is $1500-2400! Granted that "average" probably includes jobs of varying qualities (probably a bunch of $700 resprays with no trim removal and minimal masking). I guess I just expected that a small vehicle like a Jeep (with no top, half doors and no fenders) would be cheaper. I don't really want to spend that kind of money on a paint job when I paid nearly that for the entire Jeep, which is why I decided to go down this route.

I thought about buying everything from one of the online paint supply places (Eastwood or PaintForCars.com), but it looks like they only offer a small selection of colors and don't offer factory paint codes (I'd really like to keep the factory color). There are a couple of automotive paint supply places nearby, so I'm going to stop in to see what products are best for DIY. I'm not going to paint the Jeep until late-January (that should give me enough time to test fit flares and repair a few rust spots on the tub), so that gives me time to do more research. I really have no idea which brands/lines of paint are the best, so if anyone has any experience to share with this it would be appreciated.

The other issue I need to work out is my driver's side door. The top-rear corner of the door is smashed in, looks like someone opened it really hard into something or maybe the door was open and they hit something? I think I can get it mostly straitened out with some heat, hand seamers and a hammer. Also, not sure if this is related, but the rear edge of the door does not line up with the tub (notice that it pokes out ~3/16"). The front edge of the door lines up perfectly with the tub, so I'm not sure if the door is twisted or maybe the latch just needs an adjustment.

Finally, I snagged a few deals for the YJ during Black Friday sales. I ordered up a new stereo: Kenwood head unit and amp, new speakers for the dash and sound bar, and all of the odds and ends. I figured it would be a good time to do this when I drop the dash to paint. I also ordered a full BedRug carpet set and headlights. I almost ordered a set of Corbeau Moab seats, but didn't because I'm still trying to decide if I want to go with a suspension seat/harness or a conventional seat with shoulder belts. My MetalCloaks also shipped, and should be here this week. Hopefully I can find some free time to work on the Jeep and get some of this stuff installed.
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Old 12-01-2019, 02:01 PM   #57
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You can untwist the door shell by placing a block of wood (2X4) between the lower rear corner of the door and the rocker panel. Then push in on the top rear corner. It might take two guys if you aren't a "hefty" guy. The doors can bend easily, so try a little at a time until you discover just how much pressure it takes to bend the door shell in small increments.

As far as the "best" paint for a DIY job, the main brands of paint are all pretty much the same. Most of them will have the "economy" line and the "professional" line, or some similar names. What's most important is to use the same brand of paint all the way through the job. Starting with the primer, sealer, paint, hardener (and clearcoat if that's what you're using).
Most auto paint stores can set you up with everything you'll need. As far as advice, use caution when listening to a sales clerk. They may mean well, but I'd trust an experienced painter's advice ahead of that of a salesman's advice. Ask for an instruction sheet when purchasing your paint and follow the instructions.
When I painted my Jeep I used the "professional" line and went with single stage urethane enamel. Most, if not all, metallic colors are clearcoated.

The solvents and especially the hardener are extremely toxic. You'll need a respirator with the correct filters for which ever paint you're spraying.

One poster here built a spray booth out of 1X2s and plastic sheeting. I think he used inexpensive furnace filters and a household fan.

Keep us posted on how the job goes and post some pics of the progress.

Good Luck, L.M.
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Old 12-06-2019, 08:43 PM
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So my MC fenders showed up, along with some more goodies for the YJ. Sorry, no pictures yet since it isn't Christmas (promised the wife). My plan is to test fit the fenders with my current lift/tires (33s), and see how much I need to adjust that to give me the right amount of wheel gap for the Jeep after I do the axle swaps and 35s. The problem is I have no clue how much lift is on the Jeep right now, so I don't have a great idea about how much lift the replacement springs will need. Does anyone know what best way would be to measure the Jeep now to see how much lift it is running (maybe by comparing to another Jeep with known dimensions?)?

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