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Premium Member
2005 limited edition Willy's Jeep, 4.5" Rubicon Express lift, 33in tires on 15in steel wheels.
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75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #21 ·
So today I set the frame back on the stands, and reinstalled the swing arms to work on the placement and mounts for the airbags. I pondered on that for a while, because truthfully, I wasn’t sure how to proceed. So, I knew about where I wanted the ride height to be, and I knew that with 33-inch tires on the trailer, that would be about 16 ½ inches from the hub center to the top of the tire. So, I took a section of tubing and measured 12-inches up to 17-inches, in 1-inch increments, then I clamped the indexed tubing to the frame to support the swing arm at the prescribed height.

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Then my friend and I took one of the airbags and compressed it as far as it would go, and measured it (2 ½-inches). Then we carefully filled it with air to get the full height of the bag (8 ½-inches +/-) at least as close as we could. We figured approximately 5 ½-inches of travel. These are firestone airbags, rated at 2500 psi each, meaning that we can mount them in front of the axles, taking advantage of the leverage, to increase their travel.

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With that pretty much figured out, I moved on to fabricating the top mounting plates. I prepared myself for round two with the plasma cutter, hoping it would go better than with cutting the axle tube. This time I used a straight edge, and believe it or not, a used, worn out horse shoe, to help with the radius. And it worked.

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A few holes later, and a lot of grinding, and I have the top plates ready to mount.

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I went by my metal supply house and picked up some 8 x 8, and 4 x 4-inch gusset material in 3/16-inch to use for bracing the top plates, and the bottom plates. The material was there for me to use; however, it would mean that I had to cut it out and clean it up, and I decided not to do that.

Done for the day, so I will be back to work on it in a few days.



Happy Trails!
 

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Premium Member
2005 limited edition Willy's Jeep, 4.5" Rubicon Express lift, 33in tires on 15in steel wheels.
Joined
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75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Today I worked on the air bag mounts. I started the top plates yesterday, and today, I worked on the bottom pates and gussets.

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I spent more time pondering the angles for the airbags, and came up with the angle I figured was the right one. It looked good at any rate.

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For the angle, I cut a piece of 1” by 3/16” by 2” steel flat bar, and welded it on one side of the top plate. Once I had everything ready, I measured and tacked the lower mounts in place on the swing arms. Then I took the AB, with the top mount installed on the bag, and mounted it to the bottom mounts on the swing arms. With the swing arms propped up at the determined height, the top mount rested on the frame in position, and I tacked it in place

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After checking everything again, I repeated the process on the other side. Once satisfied, I tacked the frame gussets in place on both axles, then welded everything in place.

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Next time, I will look at the shock mount locations.

All for now.



Happy Trails!
 

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Premium Member
2005 limited edition Willy's Jeep, 4.5" Rubicon Express lift, 33in tires on 15in steel wheels.
Joined
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75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Not too much progress today, as it was another day of mostly pondering. I did cap the ends of the bushing pivot supports, and I did hook up the air lines for the airbags to make sure they held air, and to see what the suspension travel was.

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The suspension Travel is going to be about 8 1/2 -inches. The suspension is 4 inches fully compressed, and approx. 12 ½-inches fully aired up. What I am pondering now is the shock mount locations, and the length of shock I will need. I am looking at a pair of shocks that my friend has that are brand new, and are for a minivan, and it looks like they may have the travel I need. The other thing I am pondering, is how I want to route the air lines to the front of the tongue for ease of access, and where to run the trailer hook up cable, and junction box for the trailer lights and power and brakes and so on. For the air lines, I'm leaning towards tacking 1/2-inch tubing along the suspension arms and the back of the pivot brace, and into the back of the tongue tube. I can then route it up and terminate at the valves near the hitch, at the end of the tongue. The trailer wiring harness will route through the tongue much the same way, only starting from the other direction, and exiting the back of the tongue tube, and connecting to the J box.

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That’s all for now.

Have a safe and sane “Independence Day!”



Happy Trails!
 

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Premium Member
2005 limited edition Willy's Jeep, 4.5" Rubicon Express lift, 33in tires on 15in steel wheels.
Joined
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75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #24 ·
So, today I worked on the tongue. I needed to drill the holes for the hitch, and I needed to cut a slot in the side of the tube for the wiring harness to exit. And my friend recommended that I slot the top and bottom of the end of the tongue, to be able to clamp the end over the hitch, in order to eliminate any movement, which translates to noise.

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Once I accomplished all of that, I tacked the tongue in place. Once I verified that it was true, I welded it in place.

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I have more welding to do on that, but for now, that will do.

I have ordered two new wheels, which will go with the old trailer when I sell it (the old wheels match the jeep, and will get new shoes and be mounted on the new trailer). I have ordered the wiring harness and J box. One of the next things I will order is the fresh water tank. The tank will be 25 gals., 38” wide by 20.5” long, and 8.5 “High. (The tank will be mounted differently than my original diagram shows it). I am currently trying to find out if they have that tank with baffles before I order it. I will be working on fabricating mounts for the tank, and the batteries, which is also on the list of things to do. If anyone has a suggestion for batteries, I am looking at what is available, but I want to make sure my choice will hold up to the abuse they will get, mounted under the frame
That’s a wrap for today. Enjoy the rest of the holiday everyone.

Happy Trails!
 

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Premium Member
2005 limited edition Willy's Jeep, 4.5" Rubicon Express lift, 33in tires on 15in steel wheels.
Joined
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75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Today, my time on the trailer was spent fabricating brackets for the bump stops mostly. I took and cut a 2" piece of 2 x 2 x ¼” tubing, and cut it in half length wise, drilled a hole in the center, and welded a nut on the underside. This will be a 1-inch base for the bump stop to mount too. I then tack welded them in place. Then I took two ¼” thick, 2” in diameter disks, and welded them to the point of contact from the A arm to the bump stop. I installed the bump stops to make sure everything lined up. Once satisfied, I finished welding everything in place. The bump stops are off of a stock jeep wrangler.

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By then, it was 90 degrees in the shop, and I was running out of steam. But I did install one of the airbags to continue the process of trying to figure out the correct sizing for the shocks.

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With the shock mounting brackets in a estimated position, I aired up the bag to it’s full extension, and came up with a measurement of; 17 ¼-inches eye to eye. My normal ride height is 13 ¾”, I came up with that number by airing down the air bag to an axle position I wanted, and measuring the distance between the A arm and the bump stop (3 ½”), then subtracting that from the full extension figure. And the fully collapsed figure is 10 5/8”. So, I need a shock that opens up to 17 1/2-inches, and fully collapses to 9 ¾” - 10”. I am also going to install a 16” “suspension travel limit strap” on the shock mounts for protection.

That wraps it up for today.

Happy Trails!
 

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Premium Member
2005 limited edition Willy's Jeep, 4.5" Rubicon Express lift, 33in tires on 15in steel wheels.
Joined
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75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Today, I spent my morning playing chess. What I mean by that, is I had to figure out how to get the tires and wheels off the old trailer, and get them down to get new tires mounted on the existing rims, but then mount the old tires that came off those rims, on a new pair of wheels. The new tires and old wheels go on the new trailer, and the old tires and new wheels go back on the old trailer. What I did was hook up the trailer, and go down to 4wheel parts, to see what they had in stock. They’re going to have to get them from other stores. My jeep is in need of new tires anyway. So, I bit the bullet, and purchased 6 new tires, plus mounting and balancing for 8, because of the old trailer wheels. Then went to the shop and dropped my spare off, and the new wheels, then headed over to my son’s house to leave the trailer on stands, and take the tires back to the shop, until they have the new tires in stock.

So, when I got back to the shop, I worked on placing the lower shock mounts on the A arms, then tacked them in place. When I made sure they were in the right position, I welded them for good.

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I still have to locate the right spot for the upper shock mounts, but I am closer to finding the right size shocks.

When that was done. I flipped the trailer over, and mounted the trailer wheels on the trailer to see how it looks. I was very happy with my measurements and placement for the axles, and the A arm bushings.
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I pondered a few more things, but it was 103 today. And when it got to 90 in the shop, I called it quits.



Happy Trails!
 

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Premium Member
2005 limited edition Willy's Jeep, 4.5" Rubicon Express lift, 33in tires on 15in steel wheels.
Joined
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75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Hey, I just wanted to mention, that my friend, whose shop I am able to use for this build, is thinking about selling the white MJ, that is in many of the pictures I am posting. The body and bed are in great shape, and although it has high miles, It runs well. I has the I6, and a 5 spd trans. It is 4 x 4, the axles are D 44's out of a Cherokee. If there is anyone who is interested, PM me for more information.
 

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Premium Member
2005 limited edition Willy's Jeep, 4.5" Rubicon Express lift, 33in tires on 15in steel wheels.
Joined
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75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Today started out like any other day on this project, but little did I know that it would turn and bite me in the [email protected]#. I started out cutting all of the pieces I need to complete the frame. I had a bunch of 45-degree angles to cut, plus I needed to cut 45’s on both sides, front and rear, of the frame end caps (that’s where I got bit).

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Anyway, I got all of the parts cut and cleaned up with the grinder, and I had three of the four end caps cut. However, I needed to change the cut off disc, cuz it was too small at this point. So, I changed the disc, and set up the last cut, and well… a picture is worth a thousand words;

Sensitive content, not recommended for those under 18 Show Content
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So, after a little first aid, I finished the cut (with just a little more respect for the tool), and called it quits. After locking up the shop, I went over to my son’s house, and had my future Daughter-in-law, take a look at it (to make sure I didn’t need stitches), she thought I should go, but I opted out. She is a nurse (which is why I went over there in the first place), so, she dressed it for me, and I called it good.

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Happy trails!
 

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Registered
2006 Rubicon, 4.0, automatic (stock for now)
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958 Posts
Hope you get better soon! I would definitely clean that cut to within a 1/4” of its life. Those cutting wheels can leave junk that will become a nasty infection. The build is looking awesome though!
 

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Grumpy Old Guy
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4,271 Posts
Superglue. It will make your life a lot easier for the next two weeks. Clean, clean, clean the wound. Use a syringe with sterile water (boil) a little salt and jet spray it clean. Use sterile gause to dry and seal with a coat of superglue. Let dry for 10 mins and apply one more coat.
 

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Premium Member
2005 limited edition Willy's Jeep, 4.5" Rubicon Express lift, 33in tires on 15in steel wheels.
Joined
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75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Hope you get better soon! I would definitely clean that cut to within a 1/4” of its life. Those cutting wheels can leave junk that will become a nasty infection. The build is looking awesome though!
Thanks for the well wishes. DE breading with alcohol should have done the trick. It hurt like a son-of-a-gun, so I hope it worked.
 

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Premium Member
2005 limited edition Willy's Jeep, 4.5" Rubicon Express lift, 33in tires on 15in steel wheels.
Joined
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75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Superglue. It will make your life a lot easier for the next two weeks. Clean, clean, clean the wound. Use a syringe with sterile water (boil) a little salt and jet spray it clean. Use sterile gause to dry and seal with a coat of superglue. Let dry for 10 mins and apply one more coat.
Sounds like you've been down this road before. Thanks!
 

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Premium Member
2005 limited edition Willy's Jeep, 4.5" Rubicon Express lift, 33in tires on 15in steel wheels.
Joined
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75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Took Sunday off to rest, and I am still nursing my thumb anyway. This morning, I got to the shop early, to make sure that I was ready to hook up the trailer, and take it down for new tires. Where I cut the 45’s on the frame were kind of sharp. So, I took the grinder to them to clean them up a bit. Installed the hitch on to the trailer, and hooked it to the Jeep. Towed it down to 4Wheel parts, parked, and got in line.
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Once I was checked in, I walked over to “Brandon’s” restaurant for breakfast (Yummy!). then I walked back to the shop, to wait for the jeep and trailer to get done. By 3 o’clock, they were done. Packed up the other trailer wheels and tires, and ran them over to drop them off at my son’s house. This is the first load for the trailer.

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That’s all for now.

Happy Trails!
 

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Premium Member
2005 limited edition Willy's Jeep, 4.5" Rubicon Express lift, 33in tires on 15in steel wheels.
Joined
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75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Today, my goal was to tack the rest of the frame pieces into place. Unfortunately, my thumb is very much still an issue. It doesn’t hurt really until you try to use it, and well, everything I needed to do, involved the thumb. Well, I toughed it out, and met my goal.

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I am still waiting for the shocks, so I can properly fit them in place, and well the upper shock mounts. Other than that, I am slowly getting it done. My water tank is on the way. I selected the 23-gallon tank for this build. Mostly for the dimensions; 39.5 x 14.75 x 8.75, which is a much better fit. The difference of two gallons, between the 23 gal, and the 25 gallon is no big deal, considering that I have never had more than 10 gallons on board any way. That’s twice what I am used too. That should be here next week, and I can get started fabricating the mounts for that.

I would appreciate some feedback regarding the best way to hang this tank, as I have never done that before. And I want it to be strong.

That’s all for now.

Happy Trails!
 

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Grumpy Old Guy
Joined
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4,271 Posts
Sounds like you've been down this road before. Thanks!
Old school Paramedic/mechanic trick. Cleaning it really well first to avoid infection.
 

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Premium Member
2005 limited edition Willy's Jeep, 4.5" Rubicon Express lift, 33in tires on 15in steel wheels.
Joined
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75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #37 ·
I have not done much on the trailer in the last week, just a few things here and there. I welded up the frame additions, and welded sections of small (5/8”) square tubing, to run the air lines for the air bags. Once again, I have been spending a lot of time pondering future steps. My shocks have still not come in, as of today. I did however, get the water tank today, but I am not gonna flip the trailer back over until I get the upper shock mounts welded in place, which I can’t do until the shocks come in.

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So, on another note, I was listening to someone talking about storage battery banks for the trailer. And the guy was saying, that the better way to go for longer battery life, is to go with two 6v batteries wired in series, over two 12V batteries wired in parallel. Any thoughts on that? It’s time to get serious about getting the Batteries purchased.

Happy Trails!
 

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Premium Member
2005 limited edition Willy's Jeep, 4.5" Rubicon Express lift, 33in tires on 15in steel wheels.
Joined
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75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #38 ·
Managed to make it over to the shop yesterday. I have been waiting for the shocks to get here, and they finally did.

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I spent most of the time, getting the upper shock bracket in the best location, for the amount of travel I have.
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Once that was set up, I tack welded the upper mounts in place, and cycled the A arms, to make sure I had full travel. Once satisfied, I welded them in place, and mounted the shocks.

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Once that was done, my friend Rick and I flipped the trailer over, and put the wheels back on. This should be the last time that the trailer needs to be upside down.

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With the amount of travel, I have in the suspension, it will be easy to level the trailer. Here is an example of the travel I have.

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The high side is about at full inflation, and the low side is on the bumpers.

Today I worked on getting temporary lights on the trailer, so I can go pay a visit to the DMV, to get the trailer registered. I was hoping to accomplish that quickly, and get down there today, but it was taking longer than I’d hoped. Always tomorrow. I did get the trailer hooked up though, so tomorrow will be the DMV.

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Happy Trails!
 

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Premium Member
2005 limited edition Willy's Jeep, 4.5" Rubicon Express lift, 33in tires on 15in steel wheels.
Joined
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75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Went to the DMV this morning, with the hopes of getting the VIN number, and getting the trailer registered. That did not happen. They said it had to be finished, and I told them that it was in the same state as a Harbor Freight trailer, it was assembled, and it had lights, and it was ready to finish out to my specks. But they stood their ground. They did however, give me a permit so I could tow it around, so that’s better than nothing.

When I got back to the shop, I installed the new “max coupler”, that arrived yesterday.

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That’s all I had time for today. I’ll be back at it tomorrow.

Happy Trails!
 

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Premium Member
2005 limited edition Willy's Jeep, 4.5" Rubicon Express lift, 33in tires on 15in steel wheels.
Joined
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75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Today I worked on the trailer jack. This was given to me, so it had the fitting that comes with the jack to mount to the frame already welded on, so I had to cut/grind it off first before I could mount it.

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After a little effort, I got it cleaned up, and ready to mount on my trailer.

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I used some DOM tubing ½ inch ID, and 1 ¼ inch x ¼ inch flat bar stock to make up the brackets. Tacked it all up for fit, then welded everything. The brackets that come with the jack are very loose, and it makes it hard to move the trailer around, so I came up with my own design.

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And when it is not in use, it is stowed horizonal, on top of the frame.

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I still have to make up the dock for that position, but I was hot and tired, so I called it a day.

Happy Trails!
 
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