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CJ5 wild stretch and full build (Big Booty Judy)

1Sinner

Just won't quit
CAL4
Joined
Feb 22, 2021
Member Number
3533
Messages
998
Loc
Edwards Commiefornia
I started off calling it cj6½ (for the extra 6 inch stretch) but this weekend she became Big booty Judy.

started this in late August last year and have enough progress to post. Joined Irate today, because after a long time idle on Pirate I finally figured out where everyone went.

Over the years, I've built a ton of stuff, wagoneer, TJ's, several samurai. But this is my first truly ground up, all new or refurbished components build.

started by reading over tons of material regarding cj5 body tubs, mount locations, OAL etc. And layed out a frame for a cj5 tub, with long fenders, a 20" rear stretch and a 6 inch door stretch. Ending up 2" shorter OAL than a JK 2 door....

After building the frame I called a few friends and dug up a nearly free cj5 tub, long hood, grille and fenders.

Tub had been rolled hard and had a half inch list to port, and was glued together with bondo and silicone. As I was cutting it up anyway I didn't really care and got to work chopping grinding and blasting.

bear with me for the picture dump that follows. Long story shorter, body fell on the frame the first time with no grinding or cutting, research paid off.

will be on 37s, Corp. 14 rear, 10 bolt front, 3 link front, double triangulated 4 link rear, all corners on coilovers, 6.0 LS2/6L80E/Dana 300 with full amenities including heat and A/C. I've done 100 percent of the fab work. Follow along if it floats yer boat.

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And this brings us to today. Body is almost complete, Highlined the hood 3" so I can build some lifted tube fenders, motor and trans is en route. Axle is on jackstands so I can see the track width. With an ass that phat she had to be called big booty Judy and my wife is always telling me I'm spending to much time in the shop with my girlfriend. Follow along for more. Guessing I'll be about a year or two out before it's drivable.

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I am seeing the light at the end of my tunnel on my project but I remember when I was at the stage you were at I thought I’ll have this done in a year LOL life interferes so you’ve got a realistic goal there just make sure you keep the wife happy meanwhile because mine came out in the shop the other day and looked at the project and looked at the seats that I was going to reuse and she says you need to buy new seats and I want them to be heated to
You cannot believe how fast the phone got to my ear jump while you have permission LOL
 
I am seeing the light at the end of my tunnel on my project but I remember when I was at the stage you were at I thought I’ll have this done in a year LOL life interferes so you’ve got a realistic goal there just make sure you keep the wife happy meanwhile because mine came out in the shop the other day and looked at the project and looked at the seats that I was going to reuse and she says you need to buy new seats and I want them to be heated to
You cannot believe how fast the phone got to my ear jump while you have permission LOL

I bet the phone and wallet jumped out of your pockets. My wife is pretty good about it all. She enjoys our time in the desert so she's excited to see it finished as well. I know I'm pushing hard for a finish line and life does definitely get in the way (along with the other custom work for others I usually end up picking up along the way). 90 percent of the hard parts are either ordered and on the way, or have been collected over the last several years and are on shelves ready for layout and install. It's the details that take so much time. My biggest final expense will be the coilovers and the engine tuning. I'll be doing paint and body work as well.
 
Working on the 3" taller tube fenders with 3.5" formed flares to match the cut on the hood. Using a little cardboard aided drafting I worked up my template to cut some 10ga plate for top and flare material. Template fits both sides with no adjustment needed as I took extreme care to square the body up as I built it, along with the frame. Each fender will also have a 1.5c inner lip with rivnuts every 4" to attach an aluminum inner fender for mounting accessories and electronics.

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Got the fenders skinned today with 10ga. Thought they turned out nice. Still have some grinding and clean up to do.

Also thought I'd add that I ran outta talent the other day. Double barrel rolled when I had a front blowout at 45+. Put me into an unrecoverable slide. Harnesses did their job and walked away without even being sore.

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Bear with me, but I need some outside the brain thoughts for non-standard mounting of the upper triangulated links for my build. Bear in mind I'm trying to keep this thing as low as possible and not have to cut the floor to clear the upper links at full stuff. 35% up travel (6-8 inches) 65% down travel (10 to 12 inches). I can't upload a sketch at the moment. Will do so ASAP. I want to push the upper links forward and slightly down over the "nose" to the 14 bolt pinion casting. Just far enough that the top of the link bracket rides flush with the top of the diff cover casting. This will maximize up travel while maintaining a lower stance. It will also cause the pinion to rotate down during down travel cycles and rotate up more significantly during up travel. Is there any reason why (with a properly set up double cardan driveshaft) that it won't work, or cause too much articulation steer? I realize it's not the way most want to mount the upper links as I will also have to spread them slightly farther apart than over center, but will it function? Why or why not?
 
I *THINK* I know what you are describing, but I think a napkin sketch would clarify haha
 
It sounds like you are bringing the upper link closer to axle center which will increase the forces it sees. As long as your link material is sufficient it will be fine.

The front-back location of the link doesn't really matter as much (within reason) as the distance measured perpendicular from the link to axle center.

​​​​​​looks like a really cool project.

Some advice from a dummy: Write down as much as you can either here or just scribbled in a notebook somewhere. The worst thing on a multi-year project is forgetting why you did what you did or having to redo work because you forgot some other small detail.
 
Ok, here is the aforementioned napkin sketch. Been at work and have zero cell service on site. Thoughts, comments, concerns...

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Ok, here is the aforementioned napkin sketch. Been at work and have zero cell service on site. Thoughts, comments, concerns...

It's generally better to not have anything sticking below the axle, though plenty of OEMs do it. Having the upper mounts closer to the centerline increases the forces on both links. Pinion rotation may or may not work the way that you think it will. The locations of all links drastically affect it. As for articulation steer, it probably won't effect it any more than if they were above the centerline. Having to spread them out will likely help with articulation steer.
 
It's generally better to not have anything sticking below the axle, though plenty of OEMs do it. Having the upper mounts closer to the centerline increases the forces on both links. Pinion rotation may or may not work the way that you think it will. The locations of all links drastically affect it. As for articulation steer, it probably won't effect it any more than if they were above the centerline. Having to spread them out will likely help with articulation steer.

Understood, and obviously link length, separation, angulation all come into play. I just don't believe I've ever seen a setup done quite like this and if there's some industry reason why that I've completely missed. Likely going to have to go slightly below axle centerline to keep the link separation I need. It's not specifically a rock crawler. More of a planned multi tool for sand, high speed desert and some rocks.
 
Understood, and obviously link length, separation, angulation all come into play. I just don't believe I've ever seen a setup done quite like this and if there's some industry reason why that I've completely missed. Likely going to have to go slightly below axle centerline to keep the link separation I need. It's not specifically a rock crawler. More of a planned multi tool for sand, high speed desert and some rocks.

I've seen this approach once or twice in pictures, but definitely not common. Its probably because there isn't much reason to do it in most setups. Putting them on top is easier. If that's the intended use having them hang below the axle isn't that big of an issue, Jeep has brackets below the tube since the TJ. Just thought of another thing to keep in mind. Normally a truss also braces the axle to bending. I'm not sure how much this approach would be able to do that.

As a side note, it may work better to box the link ends into the truss. And if using normal rod ends have the bolt vertical through the truss.
 
I've seen this approach once or twice in pictures, but definitely not common. Its probably because there isn't much reason to do it in most setups. Putting them on top is easier. If that's the intended use having them hang below the axle isn't that big of an issue, Jeep has brackets below the tube since the TJ. Just thought of another thing to keep in mind. Normally a truss also braces the axle to bending. I'm not sure how much this approach would be able to do that.

As a side note, it may work better to box the link ends into the truss. And if using normal rod ends have the bolt vertical through the truss.

This is just the basic conceptual drawing. I will be boxing the truss into a supporting structure for the tubes, easier to see the concept as a line drawing without all the floor. If I can get the articulation out of the heims I need to while boxing them into the truss and running them vertical I may. Great idea, that one hadn't crossed my mind.
 
This is just the basic conceptual drawing. I will be boxing the truss into a supporting structure for the tubes, easier to see the concept as a line drawing without all the floor. If I can get the articulation out of the heims I need to while boxing them into the truss and running them vertical I may. Great idea, that one hadn't crossed my mind.

Simplified drawing makes sense. The setup I remember seeing was on a Jeep forum, TJ based I think, on Metalcloaks vendor thread about their builder rod ends. He had the bolts at an angle to each other alongside the diff.
 
Please continue the thought train on truss mounting. Got the front fenders back off to grind and smooth edges in prep for bodywork later. Got both the front and rear axles smoothed out in prep for trusses. Kinda bummed though. Pulled the cover off, standard k20 ratio for 78 was 4.10. Could have squeezed by for a bit without the expense of lockers and regear if it had the standard ratio. Original owner opted for fuel saver 3.73s and an open carrier. So much for a disc brake conversion and simple reseal for now.

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Not much new to report. But I did get the engine and trans in today. Along with a pile of boxes over the last week for the dana 300 rebuild, rear disc brake kit, and a pile of fancy wiring stuff.

No real progress because I've been working on a customer project. 72 chevy k20 that hadn't run since 89. Got it running...... and about 2 minutes later the dash started billowing blue smoke from rat chewed wiring or a myriad of wires shoved into the fuse block and held in place with fuses to power random accessories.. so now I'm putting a new harness in it too..

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Alright, Alright, don't hammer me for leaving the gears in the housing. I could care less as they're no getting reused (3.73 open) and it's just more material to help soak up that heat and I'm not welding the truss to the iron center section anyway. Not much progress otherwise. Just some little body stuff, like reusing the latch bumps after I cut and high lined the hood, finishing up some seam welds, etc. I was originally going to start on the links and motor mounts this weekend, but after I opened all my bracket boxes I realized I had forgotten to order or pick up the 9/16 hardware :mad3: so that put me dead in the water. Finally finished the rewire on that chevy customer job so that's outta my hair and I can squeeze some time back on my rig. I hope.. I have other people asking for fab work and backhoe work and that kills my extra time, but also Helps fund the build. So what's a guy to do. :usa:

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Nothing too exciting today. Just flushed out the welds on the hood bumps and installed the latches. Makes some firewall plates to fill the holes in the butchered panel. Now it's a ¼ inch thick and should easily support a pedal assembly and hydroboost. Filled about another 40 screw holes in the floor while I was at it.

You guys sure don't comment much.

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I like the detail work on the hood bumps where the latches catch. Looks clean.

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Thanks. When it's finished I want people to have to really look at it to figure out what's just a touch different about the entire rig. The downside is that there isn't a standard body panel on the darn thing besides the windshield frame and the tailgate.
 
At least a hundred screw and rivet holes later... and more than a handful of patch panels, the floor and firewall no longer resemble European cheese of the Swiss variety. Next up, transfer case rebuild. Mostly because I'm out of 75/25 mix and don't feel like running to town to get my bottles filled right now. That, and I'm waiting on the adapter to mount the transfer case to the trans, then the Drivetrain can be installed.

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Have you plugged you numbers into the 4-link calculator? I think you'll be surprised at how much pinion angle change your design is going to result in.
 
Have you plugged you numbers into the 4-link calculator? I think you'll be surprised at how much pinion angle change your design is going to result in.

Not yet. Still pondering this little conundrum. Likely looking at pushing them laterally instead of forward.
 
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