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Tyler's Jeep Build

christensent

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A continuation: https://www.jkowners.com/threads/2-d...336186/page-11

Jeep has been down for about 4 months, probably longest single period it's been out of commission. One more interesting little cracked-metal fix.

Found cracks right at the base of each front strut tower:

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Ran a simulation on the loading, turns out there is a stress riser right there and failure is predicted. By wrapping the tower around the bottom of the frame, the stress riser is eliminated:

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Next up, time for the fuel tank inspection, which I expected to go pretty poorly. I haven't taken the tank out in the roughly 3 years it has existed. The drain holes were plugged up by foam sheet (design flaw), and it was basically sitting in a swamp for 3 years.

Indeed, I found that the POR-15 had failed on the tank, and there was some rust getting into the metal.

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No leaks yet, but I always sort of wanted to make an aluminum tank instead, so took it as an opportunity. Figured it'd be a fair bit of work to try to re-coat the tank, so just moved it to the scrap bin.

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This time I left some drain channels in the foam sheet, so hopefully it won't be submerged in water for its life. In theory wouldn't much matter, but I think when it's that bad even Aluminum is susceptible to corrosion failure.

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Made it out of 5052 sheet with 4043 filler, which Facebook tells me will eventually crack for fuel-tank duty even though it is compatible filler, so we'll see how long it lasts. Maybe I get to do it all again some day with 5356.

Here's the home made bender I used.

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Which seemed to stand no chance of bending a 1/8" thick 39" wide sheet of aluminum. Messed around with different ideas for a while then came up with the trick that makes it bend. Throw a little 1/4" chunk of shim between the bender and the sheet, and slide it back and forth as you're pulling on the bender. This makes it only actually locally bend one location at a time, and after a few minutes you can work it all the way up to a 90 degree bend. Plus it cancels out the bowing of the bend from using a crappy home made bender that isn't very rigid, just do a few extra passes with the shim in the middle of the sheet.

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As it has been in a perpetual state for the last 2 years, the Jeep is very, very close to just being "done".
 

gt1guy

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Glad to see you here.

A doubler between the shock tower and the frame would have spread out the stresses also. I have zero faith in just about anything welded directly to the factory frame.

How many gallons is the new tank?

Did you finish the 4 link in the rear?
 

christensent

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How many gallons is the new tank?

Did you finish the 4 link in the rear?

It's about 20 gallons of actual volume, took 17 gallons until the pump shut off from completely empty. Definitely wish I had a bit more, but I carry 4 gallons of extra fuel and haven't had a real problem yet (definitely come close though).

Yes, the 4-link works great now with reduced triangulation in the lowers and a roughly -3 deg RAA. Haven't gotten very good pictures of it as it's very hard to photo sitting on the ground, I'll have it on a lift some day in the next few weeks probably.
 

christensent

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Snaked my exhaust further back to dump behind the axle pointing back below the fuel tank. Surprisingly it barely made it quieter versus just dumping under the drivers seat. Just a tiny bit, but I'll take anything I can get. I was expecting a night and day improvement by reducing tub resonance, but I guess not. Maybe I'll try to throw some baffles into the inside of this pipe section.

Now supercharger whine is driving me crazy on longer drives too... I hate loud vehicles.

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christensent

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Did it make any difference in smelling exhaust, or was that never a problem?

Never smelled any exhaust even slightly at any point, even sticking my head out the window on the trail, so no change on that.
 

christensent

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Have not been good about updating this thread... Here's the last 6 months.

Finally got 37's! So much more capable off-road and looks much better. I went from 35" load range C MTR"s to 37" load range D, the only thing I really hate about the D tires is hitting potholes is super harsh even aired down whereas the load range C tires absorbed potholes no problem if aired down. Other than potholes when aired down, I have no complaints about going to the D tire. They still air down real well at 1-2PSI for deep snow wheeling, they work better than the 35's did in snow. Sure wish there were good C 37's, but there just aren't so I'll live with this.

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Then my warranty replacement Sprintex supercharger (3rd one now) failed in the same way the 2nd one did. The press in bearing-support pin on the rear cover lost press fit, spun, wollowed out the hole, and allowed the rotor to contact the case. This seems to be a design flaw of the product, I heard of someone else who's also on their third replacement supercharger with identical failures.

The two Sprintex units with the identical failure, press fit failure on the rear pin:
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My solution was to weld studs onto the back of the pins and put nuts onto the rear side of the studs to hold the press fit in place. So far, no problems, I suspect this should solve that issue for good.

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I raised my track bar axle end up above even my notched frame by moving it outboard of the frame rail, and using an offset rod end. This was to correct a geometry issue between track bar and drag link that was giving me nasty roll-steer induced by the drag link/track bar geometry. Would cause it to go into steering oscillations sometimes on the highway when hitting a bump. I notched the frame to clear a 3" raised bracket, but I actually needed about 4" because I have so much caster after cut-and-rotate on the C's that it raised the drag link yet another inch.

Now, it steers perfect 80MPH+ on bumps or sudden swerves.

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Then last week, I raised my rear upper frame mounts to decrease my anti-squat. I was previously at 95% anti-squat, way too high for the driving I do. I raised the frame side 2-3/8" from where it was before dropping me to 62% anti-squat with 7" of frame side separation, and an instant-center near the front axle. Had to push the rod ends up through the floor. It is such a great improvement, went out to the desert yesterday and it is so much more fun to drive with some rear squat.

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christensent

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I bent my front Rubicon axle housing hitting a big ditch hidden under the snow, so decided to finally build real axles. Did a hi9, spider 9 housing, and 05+ superduty outers in the front. Rear plans are still TBD, but leaning towards a Gearworks 10" with 05+ unit bearings. Need to see how much body work I'd need in order to actually fit a rear high pinion.

I had a trip to Sand Hollow planned, and had 4 weeks left at the start of this project. So I ordered everything (remarkably everything in this build was in stock), got to work, and did absolutely nothing other than go to work and build this axle for 3.5 weeks. Finished literally the morning of departure.

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Made my own flat top passenger knuckle out of a $100 junkyard knuckle
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Shock mounts off the side of the inner C's:
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Had to notch the track bar through the frame and run it in a somewhat unconventional location directly above the axle. The 9" fabricated housings are just massive, no room for it in front, but it works out fine as it's a nice high roll center. Also had to move the steering box forward about 1.5", although I only ended up with probably a 1" stretch by the time everything was packed in tight at full compression.
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Then off to Sand Hollow, everything worked out fine.

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Dan

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Did you leave the factory tube in that C and bore it out enough to fit a 3.5" housing?
 

gt1guy

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Awesome job Tyler. Air lockers?

Did you end up with more or less clearance from the bottom of the diff to the ground?
 

christensent

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Did you leave the factory tube in that C and bore it out enough to fit a 3.5" housing?
That describes what I have, I could see the sliver of old tube left in the C. I did not do the machining though, if you order C's from Busted Knuckle that's how they do them.

Awesome job Tyler. Air lockers?

Did you end up with more or less clearance from the bottom of the diff to the ground?
Yes, it has the 9" ARB locker (which I hear might break, but we'll see how it holds up - all the fear around those are from 10 years back so hopefully they fixed the design by now, I haven't seen people talking about problems since the early 2010's).

It's a tiny bit worse than OEM, by a quarter to half an inch. I originally measured it out to be improved when planning this, but didn't realize I was using old housing dimensions from a forum from back when they actually were 9" housings. Not really such a thing as a fabricated 9" housing anymore, they're all 10" housings to support Gearworks. So I was a bit bummed when I realized I was losing ground clearance. Oh well, it's not much difference.
 
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christensent

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While working on my rear axle, I completely trashed my rear 1310 shaft. Yoke broke off, and splines twisted, on two different occasions.
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And while driving around on two bolt patterns, I got a flat on the wrong axle so had to do a trail tire swap
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Didn't want to buy a new driveshaft, so that retired the old D44 axle and I spent a few weekends in the shop finishing up the rear axle.

Went with another Spider 9 housing, this time with a Gearworks 10", 35 spline ARB and Branik shafts, Superduty 05+ unit bearing outers with S&S Fab bearing cups, and Busted Knuckle ultra-light brakes with Wilwood Dynalite calipers.

Pretty happy with how it came out, and no problems yet after a trail day.

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Loving that high pinion clearance, yet I still managed to tap the pinion on a rock on the first day out!

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Eliminated the awful OEM e-brake entirely and put line-locks in the rear

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Unit-bearing rear is pretty awesome, no hub sticking out at all.

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High-pinion means no more double-cardan! I won't be missing that one bit. At ride height, the driveline is absolutely straight. Pinion, transfer case, and shaft are all within 1 degree. There's no angle anywhere, so just went single-cardan and zero vibes on the highway.

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The one bummer is I warped the housing a bit. Tried to straighten it as best I could, got it about half way corrected and it just wouldn't take any more. Whatever, it's a full floater, doesn't really matter. Here's a home-made approximate alignment bar. Also messed up the third-member flange enough that I had to hammer the third member on to start onto the threads, but no leaks so I'll just run with it. In hindsight, probably not the best call to 100% TIG weld this. Maybe it'll motivate me to buy a MIG welder.

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gt1guy

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Well done.

You're right about a full floater not having to be perfect. A lot of folks will build in 1-1.5* of negative camber into their axles on road going cars.
 
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