Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Moses,

It's been a while since I was on the site. Things have been very busy for us. We finally sold our home in San Diego, and we moved my mom to Memphis, as Uncle Sam has decided to keep me here for another three years. 

Lots of good wheeling this summer and fall with my local club. The itch to do more challenging trails has set in, and I feel like I'm about at the limit of my stock axles. I have sourced a full width Dana 60 rear with 4.10 and a disc brake conversion complete. The same stalled project yielded a 70's vintage Dana 44 from a Chevy truck. It's a 4.10 with lunch box locker. 

I have a M.O.R.E. full width axle shackle reversal kit that I scored NIB for 75% off! This will mount up the front. I finally decided to mount Genright rear armor and trim the wheel openings. Turns out there was a fair amount of bondo on one side, so the body wasn't as pristine as originally thought anyway. I also have matching front tube fenders waiting to go on. In addition to the body armor, I got a set of DOM tubing rock sliders from White Knuckle Off-road. Awesome pieces!  Beefy and a great fit.

The axle swap is in the planning stages and I'm sure I'll have more questions, but my immediate conundrum is planning steering upgrades. I already have a frame to gearbox cross brace and I will install the M.O.R.E. HD four bolt mount--the model that moves steering gear forward one inch to help clear the HD axle tie rod and drag link. 

I was looking at options like the Hummer H1 box, but it is near impossible to find reman right now. I also have looked at building a hydro assist mechanism using a standard gear box ported and tapped to supply it. 

My initial research indicates this can be very successful, especially with a slow ratio where the pitman arm isn't likely to "outrun" the hydraulic ram. I would also install an inline cooler for the power steering fluid. This will all be to help move 37X12.5X17 rubber--probably beadlocks. 

Do you have any thoughts or initial impressions? I feel like this is pretty ambitious, but heck, I disassembled it piece by piece once already, and I have solid support from a mechanic friend. He has 220V welding capability and access to hydraulic line fabricating equipment. 

I included a couple recent shots to show where she sits today, as compared to when I finished the restomod with your help. 

IMG_3825.JPG

IMG_3826.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good to see you back, 60Bubba!  The Jeep looks great, your family is settled and "home" for the foreseeable future.  Doesn't get any better...See my comments below:

10 hours ago, 60Bubba said:

Moses,

It's been a while since I was on the site. Things have been very busy for us. We finally sold our home in San Diego, and we moved my mom to Memphis, as Uncle Sam has decided to keep me here for another three years.

Good news!  Nice to have a home base for some time... 

Lots of good wheeling this summer and fall with my local club. The itch to do more challenging trails has set in, and I feel like I'm about at the limit of my stock axles. I have sourced a full width Dana 60 rear with 4.10 and a disc brake conversion complete. The same stalled project yielded a 70's vintage Dana 44 from a Chevy truck. It's a 4.10 with lunch box locker.

I've liked this approach for its wide track width, which offsets the C.G. change of a substantial lift and bigger tires...A plus is OEM replacement parts, and the '70s front axle has a free-wheeling hub provision with substantial, K-truck stamina.  We had a '73 Chevrolet K10 SWB 4x4 years ago that was among our all time favorites with this front axle and a 12-bolt rear axle.  The SM465 manual transmission boasted a 6.55:1 first gear ratio.

I have a M.O.R.E. full width axle shackle reversal kit that I scored NIB for 75% off! This will mount up the front. I finally decided to mount Genright rear armor and trim the wheel openings. Turns out there was a fair amount of bondo on one side, so the body wasn't as pristine as originally thought anyway. I also have matching front tube fenders waiting to go on. In addition to the body armor, I got a set of DOM tubing rock sliders from White Knuckle Off-road. Awesome pieces!  Beefy and a great fit.

Nice functionality and look!

The axle swap is in the planning stages and I'm sure I'll have more questions, but my immediate conundrum is planning steering upgrades. I already have a frame to gearbox cross brace and I will install the M.O.R.E. HD four bolt mount--the model that moves steering gear forward one inch to help clear the HD axle tie rod and drag link.

All wise and necessary considerations.  Big tires mean more unsprung weight mass and massive steering resistance at crawls.  These steering gears can dance off the frame from far less; the brace is practical, the bigger tie-rods make sense from a safety perspective.  I was a passenger in a TJ Wrangler that snapped a tie-rod in a rock crawl and required emergency trail welding.  (See http://www.4wdmechanix.com/moses-ludels-4wd-mechanix-magazine-jeep-trail-welder-series-portable-ready-welder-2/).  Heavy duty steering linkage would have been advised here.

I was looking at options like the Hummer H1 box, but it is near impossible to find reman right now. I also have looked at building a hydro assist mechanism using a standard gear box ported and tapped to supply it.

That's an option, cross-linkage is a prospect, too.  For ideas, check out Full-Traction Suspension's steering cross linkage if your lift gets substantial. 

My initial research indicates this can be very successful, especially with a slow ratio where the pitman arm isn't likely to "outrun" the hydraulic ram. I would also install an inline cooler for the power steering fluid. This will all be to help move 37X12.5X17 rubber--probably beadlocks.

I knew there would be a "big tire" punchline.  This is the size I run on our Ram 3500.  Not as extreme as some sizes, but get ready for the unsprung weight mass and get a lift bar for raising these wheel/tires into position during tire rotations!  I'm looking for the right lift bar. 

Do you have any thoughts or initial impressions? I feel like this is pretty ambitious, but heck, I disassembled it piece by piece once already, and I have solid support from a mechanic friend. He has 220V welding capability and access to hydraulic line fabricating equipment. 

There's a precedent for each modification you propose.  It comes down to "need" versus "want".  If your driving environments and family recreation demand this kind of upgrading, others have blazed the path.  You're not breaking ground, just tying up the Jeep for an extended period of time during the upgrade work.  The individual plans each make sense if you have a "need".  My overall concern is safety, and the wide axles do help offset the high C.G.  That, to me, is a family-driven upgrade.

I included a couple recent shots to show where she sits today, as compared to when I finished the restomod with your help.

Very cool Jeep CJ and very much worth keeping.  With the new Rubicon Unlimited JK or JL Wrangler tottering on a $50K MSRP, many 4x4 enthusiasts will opt for your approach.  My Jeep focus is vehicles like yours through the Caravan-powered 3.8L JK models, and as a matter of conscience, I cannot encourage the magazine's viewers and forum members to buy a new Jeep vehicle in today's market.  Our '05 Ram 3500 Quad-Cab 4x4 (purchased new like your Titan) and the '99 XJ Cherokee are keepers...My values are driven by 50 years of professional wrenching experience and an ample tool supply that my wife calls, "More than enough!"  (You never have too many tools, especially those that pay for themselves, right?)  I can keep these vehicles in top shape, reliable and safe for a very long time.  At 163K miles, the Ram/Cummins just toted our 30' 2000 model Holiday Rambler trailer (8400# loaded, GCW around 17,000#) to the SEMA Show as if it were a new truck...Frankly, I still enjoy the creativity of restorative work, preventive maintenance and performing sensible upgrades.  The bigger plus:  We haven't juggled a car or truck payment since 2008.

Keep us posted!  

Moses

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

×
×
  • Create New...