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Iron Sharpens Iron
May 19, 2020
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So, a few folks asked me for a build thread on the all aluminum Jeep I am building from parts mostly sourced on Pirate.

I really liked the idea of a Jeep rod, but really want performance, not a shitty ride. I also found an all aluminum CJ2 tub here that was widened and lengthened to actually be usable.

Considering that I also had some Corvette suspension kicking around when I noodled that purchase, I pulled the trigger on it. I also found adapters for the Vette sub frames that I had, so I really wanted an all aluminum frame, welded to the tub to make it unibody... and worked with @zachv (RIP) to design an aluminum cage that's going into it.

So I had a rendering done about 2 years ago and now having changes made to that rendering, as we made some design changes.

This is closest to what we decided on

New Aqualu aluminum body, widened 5” and lengthened 7”.

Aluminum 2"x4" frame rails, welded to the body, as is the cage for an all aluminum monocoque design. Think incredibly rigid unibody like very fine race cars. She does not twist in corners.

2019 Corvette Suspension, new from GM, all of it.

2019 Corvette Z51 Big Brakes steel brakes with hawk pads. New from GM/Hawk.

Ride Tech coil over shocks and Delrin bushings for a Vette. New from Ride Tech.

2009 rear Corvette Z06 19x12 rims on all four corners.

6th Gen Camaro rear differential and axle shafts go into the 2019 Corvette 33 spline wheel bearings.
Has GMPP 3.92 gears and e-locker/LSD in it. Also has plumbing for a differential cooler.

Engine is Gen5: LT83 . That's a forged LT1 crank, forged rods with forged Mahle pistons, a whopping cam, DOD/AFR delete and an LT4 blower in a new L83 block with all new high-end wearables built by Chad Golen. We kept the direct LT4 injection and factory harness. There is a massive air to water cooler in the chin, under the custom bumper and frame cover.

All fuel and transmission lines are AN.

All brake lines are stainless.

Manual master cylinder is by BAER.

Chassis harness is all new, American Auto Wire, along with Swap time converted, new GMPP engine and transmission wiring.

Steering column is by Flaming River, as is the stainless steering shaft to the all-new Flaming River Corvette power rack and pinion.

Gauges are Dakota Digital HDX-2017 powered by their BIM for CANBUS.

MK15 Mod4 Vietnam era practice dummy bombs were internally coated after TIG welding the water fill shut and adding stainless fuel fills to the top. You can fill the fuel tanks (there’s 2 bombs and one fuel pump carrier) from either side of the Jeep.

Transmission is a truck based new 8L90E, paddle shifted via Twist machine “shrifter” paddles, has a B&M dip stick/trans fill.

The cooling fan and fuel pump are PWM by the factory ECM.

All lights are LED, including JW Speaker Headlights and very custom and very bright fog lights.

Aluminum cage is all custom, miter cut and slugged at all TIG welds.

Sony touch screen is in an all-aluminum console, with a boat housing to protect it from the weather with four boat speakers mounted on the cage.

This “jeep” is incredibly light and very overpowered… the only thing slowing it down is aerodynamics. It was built to be able replace any part of it locally, from the dealership.

It's currently on a bug-fix after build world tour with Automotive Excess in Laconia, NH. I will have it dyno tuned after that tour ends. I am sick of working on all projects.

Think Ariel style race car, but with real styling.

You'll see in later pics, some of the changes.

The inspiration for this particular one is a B25 - When I thought about this, it was Memorial Day. My Grandfather flew off the Hornet and ultimately became a Squadron Commander and Navy ace. He was aboard the Hornet when Doolittle took off.

Originally, was going to ship this to JR to build, but as we all know, life throws a lot at us and it's happening in my shop instead.

I will get a JR build at some point ...

The funny thing is that this has been a two year plan, with work in fits and starts, but we ended up build a 4 of these after we started this one.

Now we're back on this one, doing all the different things.

So, I will reserve a few posts, so I can catch everyone up to where this one is and if of interest, keep it going forward.

Hey look, I can edit all my posts:

So I had the suspension.... and I ordered the adapters for full corvette suspension before Wes even shipped me the body.

Ultimately, we ended up with 2019 Corvette control arms, except for the lower rear ones, C5 cradles, a C5 rack and pinion, 2019 Corvette Z51 brakes and so far, 2009 19x12 Z06 rear rims.

So, since we're running shorter than the 104.5" wheel base of the Corvette, we couldn't run the torque tube and rear mounted transmission the Vette did... and of course, I sold that stuff off years ago.. so we decided to run a 2017 Camaro rear differential and anti wheel hop shafts. We used 2011 33 spline Corvette hubs to mate up to the Camaro axle shafts and we could run the nice brakes and gain some real beef... and we can also run factory traction control that runs both the brakes and the eLSD.

At this time, I also planned to run a destroked LS2 that ended up being stolen by the engine builder (Tony Doyle in Deluth MN :mad3
and a 4L60E that I had built and sits on my floor today... there's a different engine and transmission that will be covered later... but this post is about the rear end and some of the changes we made...

So in these pics, you see mainly C5 components. Whelp, I have a C7Z06 and loved it... so I found C7 stuff to be stronger and really found a nice set of brakes for cheap. So off came all the C5 stuff and on went the C7 stuff.





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So by now, I have the body in house (this is still ages ago) and I can start noodling on how I put it all together... cradles are assembled... with C5 stuff at this point, but fuck it in 2020 we have the C7 stuff on, you guys can use the way back machine and see that we took it to my shop, instead of my garage.

As I said, original design was unibody... and fuck CAD, I can sharpie with the best. This was the prototype... the other ones we did have mandrel bent frames that get welded.

But yep, enter in some 2x4 Aluminum tube - 1/4 thick and start cutting that beautiful tub.





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Alright, since we're not the Corvette wheel base, had to forgo the torque tube and rear mounted transmission.

We decided on a 6th gen Camaro rear diff, with it's anti hop axle shafts and fit Z06 hubs into the Z06 rear suspension with Z51 brakes.

3.90 gears, e locker controlled by the ECM and a switch and a rear differential cooler.

good for about 780hp in this chassis.

Image from iOS (1).jpg
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So, since this is a prototype, lots of changes... that on the old thread weren't incorporated, as we were figuring stuff out in real time.

Been building this one for about 2 years, so you're seeing pics out of band, meaning final state, not the dink around with Gen 5 arms and then switch to Gen 7 for an example.

That said, this is an all aluminum build. We made our frame rails... production cars are mandrel bent.

So we did some fine CAD again 67080451_472636846631128_990372127917998080_n.jpg

and welded her up





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One pic in the first post, none of the rest will load... using Chrome on Win10 64bit if that helps...
In less than 24 hrs? Amazing what can happen with an Admin is interested/invested in the site and the community. Cheers Austin and I'll shut my trap so Grendel can get back to documenting this build!
Adding more pics, but they're a bit out of order... will fix them eventually. Will get the thread up to where we are now over the weekend.
I like it! Any chance you will run a fold down windshield?
So we stuck an LT83 into it. That's an all forged LT1 crank, rods with Mahle pistons, a whopping cam, DOD/AFR delete and an LT4 blower in an L83 block with all new high end wearables.

Had to mod the radiator.





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I am looking for a WW2 vintage dummy bomb... they would be water filled, blue (from the factory) and not that big to use as a fuel tank for this.

Wiring and graphics are next, BTW.
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my only suggestion, use "regular" looking headlights, not those bug-eye looking aftermarket headlights.

Other than that... :smokin::smokin::smokin:
I am looking for a WW2 vintage dummy bomb... they would be water filled, blue (from the factory) and not that big to use as a fuel tank for this.

Wiring and graphics are next, BTW.

If you're after the MK15 mod 4 there's a guy in ft worth selling them for $400 on several sites
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