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Discussion Starter #102
2019-04-26 Walnut Canyon Trail (Superior, Pinal County, AZ)

Had a full day of wheeling a moderate trail known as Walnut Canyon Trail. For those from AZ, there is also a Walnut Canyon in northern AZ near Flagstaff. This trail is the southern trail by the same name, located in Superior AZ.

Trail Map: https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?mid=1Tmkm0vPPK8F4_PwnwLwbWC2Yvc8&hl=en&ll=33.14795407582259,-111.068465&z=13

Trail Info: https://hikearizona.com/decoder.php?ZTN=16328

Photo Apr 27, 8 58 15 AM.jpg

Photo Apr 27, 10 58 21 AM.jpg

Photo Apr 27, 11 47 28 AM.jpg

Photo Apr 27, 11 43 13 AM.jpg

Photo Apr 27, 2 37 14 PM.jpg

Video clip of me almost getting stuck on the other bank. I either forgot to lock my hub, or erroneously unlocked it, but luckily my rear e-locker and the MT/R's grabbed enough mud to sling me through...

 

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Discussion Starter #103
On top of the SUV dilema, I've come to the realization that the YJ will only work as a "family Jeep" for about another year or two. My daughter can no longer sit in the back, unless she sits dead center. She's now only 1" shorter than my wife (at the age of 11.5!)...
Well that didn't take too long... 6 months and my almost-12-year-old is now taller than my wife and her hands and feet are larger as well! We can only have the four of us in the Jeep for 10 minutes max before being someone in the back gets uncomfortable.

So... TL-DR/long-story short - I'm acquiring some parts to turn the YJ into a dedicated wheeler about 2 years from now. So far, I've picked up a D300 from an '86 CJ (in case I want to go passenger side drop), as well as a 14BFF. The D44's underneath the YJ now will be put to good use as they will literally bolt in place on a 1980+ Grand Wagoneer and with a modern O/D transmission and V8 swapped in place, the 4.88's will be perfect for a set of 33" A/T's. I'm unsure as to what front axle to go with. The 05+ Super Duty Dana 60's are monsters, plus they're cheap and readily available. They're a bit too wide though IMO, so I am looking into cutting them down and going with a set of Reid Super Kingpin knuckles to match the 67" WMS-WMS width of the 14B. I'm also considering finding a mid-80's Kingpin D60HP out of a F350. Both will be plenty strong on a 3500 lb rig running 40"s. For suspension, I may use the YJ as my first foray into the 3- and 4-link world (with the help of a friend and very experienced suspension builder).
I've been reflecting on what I had started planning for, but have further refined my plans some. Having taken the YJ through some moderately aggressive side trails on recent adventures, I really like how narrow and short the YJ currently sits. The ability to squeeze onto UTV/ATV trails, turn on a dime and handle switchbacks without hesitation makes me hesitant about removing the D44's for a set of full-width tons. The only alternative I'm considering would be a 78-79 Ford D60 since it's about a narrow as you can get while still having enough open axle tube length to be useful, though I have considered finding a later year Ford KP D60 and simply shortening up the width to match the 14B rear. This, alongside some modern 17" beadlocks would only net a ~3" increase in track width. A comparable aftermarket D60 with similar widths would also be acceptable I suppose, but I have to imaging finding a Ford axle would be easier (but something for me to keep in mind).

Here's what I've dialed in on my list of "must haves":
- 3-link front, 4-link rear with 12-14" coilovers - I'm looking at the Motobilt setup for a few reasons, namely being ease of install and it appear to have much of the trial-and-error taken care of. Being Motobilt, it's safe to assume that it's exceptionally made and top notch quality in general.

- Wheelbase stretch - I'm not sure just how much I'll shoot for, but probably ~100-102" as this seems to be ideal for "Jeep width" axles. Should I upgrade to narrow-width tons, I'll probably shoot for 103-105".

- Lowered stance - I'd like to keep the Jeep as tall as it is now, but have more travel for the intended tire size (see below). To accomodate, I'm leaning toward a set of tube fenders but overall a lowered stance. I don't have a set amount of drop in mind, but will follow the mantra of "as low as possible, as tall as necessary".

- Full cage with seat mounts and more comfortable seats - If I'm going to push the YJ harder and harder, it's gotta be safe!

- V8 swap - already planning on this so this is an obvious. My 4.0L is running well (sans the rear main that is dripping slowly), but let's face it - a mild 5.9L with fresh rebuild will put out ~400 ft lbs of torque at peak, and +250 ft lbs just off of idle. This will match well with the t-case upgrade below and my intent to keep it a manual transmission.

- Atlas 2-speed t-case upgrade - I want to keep the 5-speed, so additional gear reduction is needed for the extremely technical trails I want to run. Mainly I just like using a manual trans when wheeling, but have seen the advantages first hand lately in steep, long sections coming out of the canyons. I can go into 4Lo and run the entire mile or more stretch in 2nd gear without having to touch the brakes. The TJ's and JKU's with autos were constantly on the brakes and you could smell them at the bottom. It's mostly a matter of preference, so I need to plan on making it as effective as possible...

- 37"-38" tires w/beadlocks - clearance for the pumpkins and links and strong bead retention.

- Hydro assist steering - 37" tires + rocks will demand a stronger steering setup.

As I said, my current plan is to keep the D44's as I believe that they can manage a set of 37" BFG or MT/R's as is, so with a set of upgraded axle shafts (front and rear), that should give me plenty of added strength "buffer". The advantages of the D44's over a set of tons would be lower weight and better ground clearance (and they're already in place and built :) ).

Thoughts?? Opinions??

 

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Sounds just about prefect to me. That amount of torque combined with that tire size could become an issue for the 44's though. If you are careful I'm sure they would survive, but what's the fun in that? :) Maybe tons with a big offset wheel? H1 wheel?
 

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Discussion Starter #105
Sounds just about prefect to me. That amount of torque combined with that tire size could become an issue for the 44's though. If you are careful I'm sure they would survive, but what's the fun in that? :) Maybe tons with a big offset wheel? H1 wheel?
I guess the nice thing about selectable lockers is that if you really want to get stupid, I can always run them unlocked, which tends to offer some "give" within the axle and prevent kabooms. However, I'm a low-&-slow guy and even now tend to pick good lines and crawl over stuff. I figure if there are heavy JKU's running around town on itty-bitty 1/4" thick tube D44's and D30's with 37" tires, that mine should hold up okay in a lighter rig. The ring gears on mine are smaller, so I suppose if I run into some issues, I could always upgrade to the Jana D44 kits which utilize the larger JK-sized ring gears.

Then again, if I get to that point where axles are going boom more often than I want, I could simply do as you said and upgrade to a set of narrow tons and run H1's or similar (and then and simply install a larger set of tires to get my ground clearance back).
 

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Well that didn't take too long... 6 months and my almost-12-year-old is now taller than my wife and her hands and feet are larger as well! We can only have the four of us in the Jeep for 10 minutes max before being someone in the back gets uncomfortable.



I've been reflecting on what I had started planning for, but have further refined my plans some. Having taken the YJ through some moderately aggressive side trails on recent adventures, I really like how narrow and short the YJ currently sits. The ability to squeeze onto UTV/ATV trails, turn on a dime and handle switchbacks without hesitation makes me hesitant about removing the D44's for a set of full-width tons. The only alternative I'm considering would be a 78-79 Ford D60 since it's about a narrow as you can get while still having enough open axle tube length to be useful, though I have considered finding a later year Ford KP D60 and simply shortening up the width to match the 14B rear. This, alongside some modern 17" beadlocks would only net a ~3" increase in track width. A comparable aftermarket D60 with similar widths would also be acceptable I suppose, but I have to imaging finding a Ford axle would be easier (but something for me to keep in mind).

Here's what I've dialed in on my list of "must haves":
- 3-link front, 4-link rear with 12-14" coilovers - I'm looking at the Motobilt setup for a few reasons, namely being ease of install and it appear to have much of the trial-and-error taken care of. Being Motobilt, it's safe to assume that it's exceptionally made and top notch quality in general.

- Wheelbase stretch - I'm not sure just how much I'll shoot for, but probably ~100-102" as this seems to be ideal for "Jeep width" axles. Should I upgrade to narrow-width tons, I'll probably shoot for 103-105".

- Lowered stance - I'd like to keep the Jeep as tall as it is now, but have more travel for the intended tire size (see below). To accomodate, I'm leaning toward a set of tube fenders but overall a lowered stance. I don't have a set amount of drop in mind, but will follow the mantra of "as low as possible, as tall as necessary".

- Full cage with seat mounts and more comfortable seats - If I'm going to push the YJ harder and harder, it's gotta be safe!

- V8 swap - already planning on this so this is an obvious. My 4.0L is running well (sans the rear main that is dripping slowly), but let's face it - a mild 5.9L with fresh rebuild will put out ~400 ft lbs of torque at peak, and +250 ft lbs just off of idle. This will match well with the t-case upgrade below and my intent to keep it a manual transmission.

- Atlas 2-speed t-case upgrade - I want to keep the 5-speed, so additional gear reduction is needed for the extremely technical trails I want to run. Mainly I just like using a manual trans when wheeling, but have seen the advantages first hand lately in steep, long sections coming out of the canyons. I can go into 4Lo and run the entire mile or more stretch in 2nd gear without having to touch the brakes. The TJ's and JKU's with autos were constantly on the brakes and you could smell them at the bottom. It's mostly a matter of preference, so I need to plan on making it as effective as possible...

- 37"-38" tires w/beadlocks - clearance for the pumpkins and links and strong bead retention.

- Hydro assist steering - 37" tires + rocks will demand a stronger steering setup.

As I said, my current plan is to keep the D44's as I believe that they can manage a set of 37" BFG or MT/R's as is, so with a set of upgraded axle shafts (front and rear), that should give me plenty of added strength "buffer". The advantages of the D44's over a set of tons would be lower weight and better ground clearance (and they're already in place and built :) ).

Thoughts?? Opinions??

Wow, we really are on a similar journey. :drinks:

I'm at the "d44 and 37's" stage now, and with chromoly axles all around and chromo joints in the front I'm feeling really good about it.

On paper, ball joints and R&P are my weak links and the Jana K4 situation is a good answer for the latter. A properly stopped cylinder on the hydro assist ram and halfway intelligent wheeling practices should help the former.

I at ~61" WMS and 97.5" wheelbase and I LOVE the stance and narrow width in the woods.

Was very reluctant to go "full width" mostly because I don't love the look (and I admit that's important to me) and I have been assuming it would make for a less casual daily driver.

Then I came across a set of built 60's I couldn't pass up - a '78 kp60 at 67" wms and a ff60 rear at 65" wms. Freshly built, never installed, new disc brakes, lockers, trusses, almost perfectly set up for my jeep, and a price I felt I couldn't pass up.

So now I need to trade up from the 15" wheels and I'm looking at beadlocks and 38's, and I grabbed a 241ORfor crawling with the 5 speed.

The front is 3 linked with coilovers (big fan), and I'm just about ready to link and stretch the rear to 103" wheelbase.

So anyway - I think you're on a real good track. I think when it comes to hydro assist I'm either going to spend the $$$ on the PSC gear or go total home brew
and just drill and tap the box and buy a ram and hoses somewhere cheap. I tried to split the difference and go with AGR but they are apparently a scam.

I'm with you on keeping it to 38's.

As for ride height, I want to get the front and rear down to around 2-3" up travel till I'm at full stuff. Links fairly flat, lot's of down travel.

Cage wise - I have the AtoZ front and rear weld in add-a-cage, and custom made frame tie-ins for 6 points of contact. Functionality-wise, in my opinion, it could use more triangulation behind the seats, and a reinforced B pillar. Looks-wise, I don't mind the front section but the rear bit isn't working for me. If I were to do it again 'd go a little more "sport cage" style instead of working with the family roll bar.

But you're looking to seat 4... are you looking at additions to the factory bar or a whole new cage? Looking forward to seeing whatever you come up with.
 

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Discussion Starter #107
@ROGER B - we for sure are on similar paths then!

I have a few things to do in the near future, like get the cage figured out and swap in the V8 still and order the Atlas. I thought about the 241O, though unless I find a deal like yours (which isn't likely - they're going for $1600+ out here and many "Jeep specific" yards snap up the wrecked Rubi's for part out), I'm just going to suck it up and get a 2-speed Atlas!

If I found a good D60, such as the 78-79 KP, I would consider going straight to tons. I found a balljoint D60HP from a mid-90's Ford that is in parts - not a bad option to get cut down to 65" or so. Part of my reservation though is that I've met a lot of people who've gone to tons and 40"s, who have then turned around and sold their rigs to get a more moderate wheeling rig. I did the same with my Ultra Classic - went full Paul Yaffe Bagger, to then realize it wasn't what I wanted and didn't enjoy it as much as I thought, so I ended up getting a bone stock Road King. I still need to do some soul searching there; I don't know the coordinates of where I'll end up, but I at least know I'm headed in the right direction...

I'm with you on travel and have always followed the 1/3 up, 2/3 down setup when possible. Once I get my tube fenders (really, once I decide what "look" I prefer, since the "look" is important to me as well), I'll have a better idea of space and how low I'll be able to go.

I do NOT need seating for four. As a matter of fact, the reason I've start to plan "Phase III" of the build is due to the fact that she'll be a 2-seater only in the near future, which opens up some options for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #108
2019-05-05 Butcher Jones & Saguaro Lake Coves

We spent Cinco de Mayo YJ style - hitting up the local lake coves with the Jeeps

Known as the Saguaro Lake Coves and Butcher Jones OHV area, it's a moderate trail with lots of challenging climbs and some steep terrain for those wanting to play. The main trails run along the ridgelines, while all the fun trails head down into the canyons. There are a few stops by the lakes which can attract some crowds, though the latter cove #s (3+) are usually quieter since they require some skill and a modest rig to get there (not too many soccer mom rigs out there in general, but generally speaking Coves #1 and #2 are fairly easily accessible with some good tire placement and basic skills).

Trail Info: https://funtreks.com/off-road-trails/saguaro-lake-cove/















 

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Discussion Starter #109
KC HiLiTES Windshield Lights & KC HiLiTES 124 SlimLite

After finding myself in the desert a few times in near pitch black darkness with only my headlights, I figured it was time to have a few more lumens onboard. A few of my buddies suggested a 50" LED lightbar across the top... :puke:

Once the vomit taste in my mouth subsided, I decided to find some age appropriate options for Bleu. I settled on a set of KC windshield brackets and a set of the 124 SlimLites ("Driving" beam). I ran the wires in what (I hope) is a good option between the tub and windshield cowl weatherstrip.

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Speaking of the windshield weatherstrip, I decided to change mine while I was at it. It's the "Make Auto" brand from Amazon. It seems nicely made - it's plenty soft and the holes were a perfect fit.

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Had to do some maintenance as well - the rear wheel seal on the passenger side was leaking a bit after the river crossings a few weeks ago. Not difficult, but still a PITA since you have to cut the bearings off carefully with the disc backing plate in the way most of the time:

IMG_3851.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #110
2019-05-26 Broken Arrow Trail (Sedona, AZ)

With the long weekend, the Mrs. wanted to know if I wanted to take the Jeep up to Sedona and explore a bit... well duh :)

We settled on Broken Arrow Trail. It's a popular trail, particularly with the "Pink Jeeps" and other Jeep/4x4 Tours in the area. It's rated as "Difficult" in the AZ Off-Road and Trail book, but I think that's simply a way to help keep the tourists away. It's a mild to moderate trail at best, and that's if you hit all the obstacles along the way.

The views are absolutely stunning though and totally worth the 2.5 hour drive from the Phoenix valley. Although the entire trail takes no more than 1 hour with stops along the way, the 360º panoramics of the rocks and cliffs make every photo a Kodak moment!

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Discussion Starter #111
A bit of Jeep Karma has paid off...

I had a few Jeep parts hanging around that were in good shape and rather than sell them, I figured I'd see if anyone in the local YJ club needed them. When I offered up a factory spare tire carrier, someone hopped on it quickly. When they came to pick it up, we both recalled meeting before. It turned out I had actually sold his friend my old NP231 for his XJ. We got to talking Jeeps and learned that he had a near-new Bestop (USA made version) softtop that he was looking to get rid of.

It was late in the evening and had some work travel coming, so we made arrangements to talk later in the week. Well long story shortened, I ended up picking up the top, door frames and top frame for a whopping $125!

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Speaking of picking things up... In my recent attempts to figure out what I want to do with the YJ when it enters "Phase III" (aka a more dedicated trail rig), a few things have fallen in place. I picked up a stripped down 1997 F350 Dana 60 for next to nothing. It had a carrier and a LH knuckle, but no R&P and no axleshafts...

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No big deal right? I figured I'd simply find the knuckles and brake related equipment and build up the internals with CM shafts - how hard could it be?? Well it turns out, these balljoint axles have some interesting quirks. In Ford fashion, Ford installed different knuckles every few years, meaning they used different brakes every few years. This can make finding the matching knuckle a challenge. To compound the issue, apparently the RH knuckles are often damaged - the tie rod end holes are often wallowed out, causing some issues and demanding top-dollar for RH knuckles (probably why this one was missing the RH knuckle). eBay has some for $450. I found a few national yards that wanted $350. This didn't include spindles, hubs, etc.

At the end of it, I felt like my "cheap" D60 would end up costing me the exact same amount of money as buying one complete. In doing my research though, it looked as though all BJ D60's - including the newer D60 Super Duty axles used the same balljoints and had the same C measurements (not including the Super 60's in the F450/550). I also noticed that many Dodge 2500/3500 guys running Dodge D60 fronts were installing Ford knuckles and converting to traditional spindle and hubs. I also learned that solid axle Dana 50's had the same knuckles as Super Duty D60's...

This got me wondering - could I simply source a Dana 50 for its Dana 60 parts (the knuckle, brakes, bearings and outer shafts) and use those to build a hybrid axle? Dana 50 parts are cheap and plentiful around here - entire axles going for less than $200...

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So that's what I'm experimenting with now :) I picked up this D50/10.5" combo for next to nothing (though it was a 3 hour drive round trip). These were taken from running, driving rigs recently and were 100% complete - even with tie rods in good condition.

In a bit of irony, I also picked up a Super Duty D60 from a 2004 F350. It was something I was in the progress of working on prior to even picking up the 1997 D60 and when the guy finally got back to me, he said I could get it for $450. I felt like a cartoon where the character quickly takes off and their hat slowly falls to the ground behind them. Needless to say, I jumped on it quickly! I could easily turn around and flip it for a bit more money, but I'll hold onto it now in case my D60/50 hybrid doesn't work out (or maybe I'll find another project to stick it under)...

Since my plans are to keep the YJ as narrow as possible but as wide as necessary, I am wondering if I could get away with shortening the long-side of the D60. I have a D70 smooth-bottom rear from my Dodge project hanging around. It is 65" WMS-WMS and have seen a few instances of cutting down D60's to 65-67" WMS. A 65" wide axle is only 4.5" wider than my current D44. With modern beadlocks and coilovers, I could easily stay within 2-3" of my current overall track width - something that will making wheeling on narrow AZ and Western States trails a bit easier on the paint!

Some other good news on the axle front - my daughter wants a Jeep, specifically a yellow TJ with a soft top :awesome:

This means my current D44's will go to a good home at just about the time we'd be ready to buy her a Jeep - it's a perfect kismet.
 

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Discussion Starter #113
What's your wheelbase goal?
Being the huge nerd that I am, I have compiled numerous data about WB and WMS width that I've seen in "readers rides" and articles in various 4x4 magazines. I've also had plenty of discussions with local guys running various setups and have bothered more builders at "Coffee and Crawlers" events than I care to admit to. From about 1.5 years of discussions of data tracking, here's the chart I put together with that data:

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At full width, I can gain back 2" of track width by running modern 17" beadlocks that have less backspacing, putting me ~3" wider on each side. This should still be skinny enough for many trails around here in AZ and I know a handful of TJ's and JK's running full width, 67-69" axles without too many issues fitting on trails.

If I cut down the axle to ~66" wide, I'd be targeting 103" WB. If I keep them full width (currently 69.5"), I'd probably shoot for 108". My hesitation is that it becomes very difficult to get above 103" without doing a big comp cut (which personally I don't like the look of).

So with that in mind, I've been intrigued by these YJ Unlimited builds that I've been following on social media:

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What these builds typically do is stretch the tub and frame, then run LJ corners and an LJ top. This brings the WB to right about 103", but you can get opened up corners that add 1-2". With a front stretch, you're right near 108" WB! No funky looking comp cut, fuel tank in the factory location, usable back seat, etc. With that WB and 37-38" tires, the YJ would be a fairly effective Jeep for any terrain, sans KOH style stuff, with enough space for trips to Moab, Rubicon, etc.
 

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I have compiled numerous data
I had a feeling you'd have put *a little* though into this....

I've kind of kept track of this as well and come to a very similar conclusion. I fully support your YJU plans and can not wait to follow that build. With all those D60 C's and knuckles laying around I wouldn't be surprised to see you building a custom rear steer axle either....

Concerning the gas tank staying in the stock location -
With the additional size of the sterling the axle it seems the rear wheel centerline would have to move forward to clear, increasing the rear overhang. There's the "heat and deform" mod to the tank to get 5ish" of headway or the ZILLION dollar Genright tanks.... compromises everywhere you look though.

As Gramps sits now, I'm at 97.5" wheelbase with ~61" wms.

My 60's are 67" front and 65" rear wms. The plan is to stretch the rear 5-6" and the front another 1-1.5" in for a total of 104-105" wheelbase. I should wind up just shy of a comp cut.... hopefully.
 

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Discussion Starter #115
I had a feeling you'd have put *a little* though into this....
You can take the Jeep out of the engineer, but you can't take the engineer out of the Jeep :rofl:

Concerning the gas tank staying in the stock location - With the additional size of the sterling the axle it seems the rear wheel centerline would have to move forward to clear, increasing the rear overhang. There's the "heat and deform" mod to the tank to get 5ish" of headway or the ZILLION dollar Genright tanks.... compromises everywhere you look though.
From the two people that I've been chatting with on the YJ Unlimited FB page (both running 14B's) they said that they have cleared the tank without issue. Both were running rear leafs and relocated the spring hanger, so perhaps they did move the axle forward a bit - I'll follow up with them to see if they have any more info to share.

I just sold a 14 bolt I had so I can't take any measurements, but the Sterling 10.5" looks fairly similar in size - maybe slightly wider in the center housing. My D70 is a tad smaller than the 14B, so there is at least some possibility of it fitting back there with hopefully minimal headache. I'm not afraid of a little extra sheet metal work and if I can "tuck" the tank up a little while I have it all torn apart, I may end up doing that anyway.

It may be dependent on how you actually stretch the frame too. I can't do the "heat and deform" method, as I'm running the Rugged Ridge gas tank skid and would like to keep that. I've already set the back end of the Jeep right on the skid and it didn't even blink supporting most of the rear weight on it.

The GenRight tank is nice but as you mentioned, apparently made of titanium and lined with 24K gold based on their price! lol

As Gramps sits now, I'm at 97.5" wheelbase with ~61" wms.
My 60's are 67" front and 65" rear wms. The plan is to stretch the rear 5-6" and the front another 1-1.5" in for a total of 104-105" wheelbase. I should wind up just shy of a comp cut.... hopefully.
By all accounts, that should be a very effective trail setup with nicely balanced width and length. What are you gonna do for the gas tank?
 

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Discussion Starter #116
Super Duty 60 Outers fit on an older D60 balljoint axle

Well, Step #1 of my experiment worked out - the early BJ knuckles and the D50/D60 Super Duty knuckles are quite similar and will bolt in place interchangeably.

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SD50/60 on left --- 1997 D60 on right

As you can see, there are some differences in tie rod location between the knuckles. On the SD50/60 axles, the tie rod mounts from above, while on the older BJ axles they mount from below.

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I will need to find some inner shafts for the early axle. These are 35 spline and take the same SPL-55 u-joint as the Super Duty axles do. The SD 50/60's come from the factory with the SPL-55-4x, which are the greaseable versions of the SPL-55-3x, which come standard on the older D60s.

CM shafts aren't badly priced - about $200 each side and I'm sure if I call my contact at ECGS that he can get me some better pricing if I order them with some other parts I still need for my Dodge rebuild.

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The 30-spline outer SD60 shaft vs the factory 19-spline stub shaft in my Waggy D44...
 

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It may be dependent on how you actually stretch the frame too. I can't do the "heat and deform" method, as I'm running the Rugged Ridge gas tank skid and would like to keep that. I've already set the back end of the Jeep right on the skid and it didn't even blink supporting most of the rear weight on it.
I've got the same skid and yeah, it's a beast. I've landed on it hard enough to where it felt like I compressed my spine and barely chipped the paint. If I did mod the tank this way I'd probably just invert the cut out section of the skid and weld it back in, then fill the gaps with 1/8" or heavier stock.

What are you gonna do for the gas tank?
That's the main hangup.
I love having the back of the jeep open. The thought of a fuel cell back there... I know I wouldn't like it.

Right now I'm leaning towards getting 5-6" out of the plastic tank mod. It's relatively easy and cheap, I can keep the bomb proof RR skid, and I won't have to scrounge up the GDP of Lichtenstein to get the Genright unit. Although I do admit to keeping tabs on the used market for that 23 gal comp tank...
 

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Discussion Starter #118
I've got the same skid and yeah, it's a beast. I've landed on it hard enough to where it felt like I compressed my spine and barely chipped the paint. If I did mod the tank this way I'd probably just invert the cut out section of the skid and weld it back in, then fill the gaps with 1/8" or heavier stock.
Not a bad idea actually... wouldn't be too hard to do either. I would likely find a cheapo factory skid and do the mod with that first, make sure I had enough clearance, then mod the RR skid. I'm thinking if you cut out a chunk that looks like an "L", you may be able to simply flip it 180º and weld it back in place (may need to have to tweak it some), then just need some 1/8" filler panels on the sides.

That's the main hangup.
I love having the back of the jeep open. The thought of a fuel cell back there... I know I wouldn't like it.

Right now I'm leaning towards getting 5-6" out of the plastic tank mod. It's relatively easy and cheap, I can keep the bomb proof RR skid, and I won't have to scrounge up the GDP of Lichtenstein to get the Genright unit. Although I do admit to keeping tabs on the used market for that 23 gal comp tank...
I too don't want to lose the back area. Even if I don't run a backseat ever again, I want a flat area back there for a spare and for ease of getting tools/supplies in and out.

And we are very much alike - I've found one Genright YJ tank on the sale pages a while ago. It was unused and still pricey, but half of what they cost new. I didn't hop on it at the time, I think I was right in the middle of axles or something and just didn't want to spend the funds (back when the YJ was still just a "toy" lol). I should have known better, knowing what it was and the cost new (and knowing that I could likely turn around and sell it for what I paid or then some). I see TJ versions pop up more often so maybe I'll look into what it takes to install the TJ version into the YJ.
 

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Not a bad idea actually... wouldn't be too hard to do either. I would likely find a cheapo factory skid and do the mod with that first, make sure I had enough clearance, then mod the RR skid. I'm thinking if you cut out a chunk that looks like an "L", you may be able to simply flip it 180º and weld it back in place (may need to have to tweak it some), then just need some 1/8" filler panels on the sides.
That's the idea exactly.

I too don't want to lose the back area. Even if I don't run a backseat ever again, I want a flat area back there for a spare and for ease of getting tools/supplies in and out.
Well ever since the realization that my 37" spare doesn't fit between the wheel wells I've taken to leaving it on the trailer when I go wheeling. I just got a set of 38x17's for the tons... eventually I'm hoping to make a simple platform that sits atop the wheel wells for the spare with tools and spare parts beneath, but this leaves very little room for the cooler.... When it comes time for a multiday thing (Rubicon 2020!) I'll just lash the spare to the cage I guess. Unless after the wider rear end is installed I section the wheel wells for more interior space....


And we are very much alike - I've found one Genright YJ tank on the sale pages a while ago. It was unused and still pricey, but half of what they cost new. I didn't hop on it at the time, I think I was right in the middle of axles or something and just didn't want to spend the funds (back when the YJ was still just a "toy" lol). I should have known better, knowing what it was and the cost new (and knowing that I could likely turn around and sell it for what I paid or then some). I see TJ versions pop up more often so maybe I'll look into what it takes to install the TJ version into the YJ.
:drinks:
I recently saw the YJ EXT tank for sale semi-reasonably which gives 4" of room to stretch with a one ton axle... almost pounced but I would really prefer the 6" stretch capability and 23 gal capacity of the COMP tank. Maybe one will land in my lap, maybe not....
 

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I have the typical RCI 2162 fuel cell behind my rear seat. It holds fuel as it should, but that is all it is good for in that location. I was hoping to lower it through the floor so it was flush with the bottom of the frame, but my muffler had to live in that space. With the long arm links there was just no other place for a decent sized muffler. I have virtually zero storage. Do what you can to keep your fuel in the factory location.
 
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