PDA

View Full Version : First XJ build


Possumb84
August 11th, 2017, 09:46
Hello all! Been creeping on here for a few years, but haven't posted yet. I'm about to start building my 00 XJ. It'll be primarily a rock crawler, but I will have to drive it to the trails(Atleast for a few more years). Right now it sits on 4.5" RE front coils, 3.5" RE rear springs, 2" lift shackles, HD offroad no lift shackle relocation brackets, Chrysler 8.25 3.55 gears and a lockright solid diff cover, relocated axle shock mounts flush with axle tube, HP D30 3.55 gears and a lockright ruffstuf diff cover, RE fixed LCA's, Currie LCA skids, RE adjustable track bar, HD tie rod, RE sway bar discos(red ones), 35 12.5 15's, NP231 with SYE (don't know the brand), transfer case skid, JCR quarter panel and taillight armor, roof sliders (not sure of brand) JCR rock sliders, had a old style JCR winch bumper(selling it today, switching to a stubby bumper haven't settled on a brand yet), 8K Traveller synthetic rope winch, 98 Xj 4.0 with adapter plate for intake, coil packs just sit there with no hold down bracket, e fan switch in cab, AW4.

When I bought it it was sitting in 31's, shackle relocation and shock relocation were not done, and the front coils were 3.5, so it sat raked in the front. Took it to Uwharrie a few times and was pretty impressed. Went to 35's over the winter ( wanted to be able to get up the first ledge on Daniel) relocated the shackles and shock mounts and swapped the 3.5 coils to 4.5, and trimmed the fenders a little more. Got to take it one more time before My wife had to dd it for a few weeks while her Tahoe was in the shop and the radiator blew, and blew the head gasket.

So that's when I decided that it was time to build it the way I want it. I'm on a limited budget due to have 2 young kids, but times not a factor since it's not a DD. Plans are to keep the axles, and stay on 35's. Going to re-gear to 4.88's maybe 5.13's, keep the lockrights. Bump stops front and rear. Rear shocks through the floor. Frame stiffeners. Pull the motor trans and t-case, address all leaks and minor issues. Those are the things that are set in stone(for now).

Things I'm on the fence about are:
Steering, I know I want some type of 1 ton set up, just not sure on wich one.
Control arms, adjustable lowers or long arms? Liked the looks and ease of install of the IRO 3 link. Lift will stay at 4.5"
Axles, should I truss them? Would rather my U joints and shafts be my weak point for easier trail repair if something does break, so not really wanting to to much other than gears and trusses. Also thought about doing WJ knuckles and brakes, and probably do liberty rear brake swap.

I will be doing most of everything myself, except some of the welding (in the process of teaching myslef) and tube work(rear shock hoops).

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. TIA!

Possumb84
August 16th, 2017, 10:10
Some pics of when I bought it last winter and after I leveled it out and put 35's on ithttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170816/c32a804f9d668b1d2a2963ffb9b9319e.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170816/61574fc95d034dd8be82eadac7c2392a.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170816/aafa52542e692868a32387d033111a33.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170816/219378f47d285216560f9dd3134ee6d2.jpg

Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk

smokeyyank
August 17th, 2017, 16:20
Howdy, personally I'd swap axles if you want to go to a 5.13's. 4.88's would be the max I'd go on a D30 and 8.25. As for your lift and steering ?'s If you want a 1 ton set up the Currie system is awesome but $$$. I'd look at doing a WJ swap as it will address a lot of issues and improve steering geometry and bigger brakes is a plus. Stinky fab has a kit that allows you to piece together your own parts for a decent price. I'd avoid control arms and just go with a long arm setup. The IRO isn't a true 3 link, it's a neat concept but the pinon caster thing is an issue. If you want to 3 link Clayton hands down, but again $$. You could also fab your own links if your feeling frisky. I'm not a fan of radius arm set up's but some are. Serious Offroad has a great setup if that is a route you want to take. Good luck!

Possumb84
August 17th, 2017, 16:38
@smokeyyank Thanks for the info. Yeah I think 4.88 is what I'll do on the axles.
One of the ?'s I have about the steering I forgot to mention is, OTK or UTK set up and why. As for a true 3 link can you school me on that?

Nimrod
August 18th, 2017, 02:59
Great looking rig!

I'm not going to offer any advice on the build because I'm just not that technically savvy and I'd hate to steer you wrong. But I am curious about the roof sliders. Can you post up a picture or two of the mounting points?

Possumb84
August 18th, 2017, 06:49
@Nimrod I'll get you some pics this weekend. The sliders replace the luggage rack and mount in the existing holes, then there's 4 cross braces.

Possumb84
August 18th, 2017, 11:19
Great looking rig!

I'm not going to offer any advice on the build because I'm just not that technically savvy and I'd hate to steer you wrong. But I am curious about the roof sliders. Can you post up a picture or two of the mounting points?

Just dug up an old thread on here, looks like HD Offoad made them.
http://www.naxja.org/forum/showthread.php?t=1008853

smokeyyank
August 18th, 2017, 11:28
@smokeyyank Thanks for the info. Yeah I think 4.88 is what I'll do on the axles.
One of the ?'s I have about the steering I forgot to mention is, OTK or UTK set up and why. As for a true 3 link can you school me on that?

Well if you go OTK it's going to get your tie rod up further away. Will also improve your geometry. Then you get in inverted y or a t set ups. Every one has an advantage and disadvantage. What you really want to focus on is getting your drag link and track a bar as parallel as possible. IMHO a WJ swap is going to be all around our best bet.

3 links are fairly simple. You will basically have 2 lower links that connect at a cross member and the lower control arm on the axle. Then a 3rd link that either goes on top of the diff or on the passenger side (all preference) that is also tied into your cross member. The links are all separate were as the IRO has 2 lower link with a radius arm 3rd link that attaches to the top of the diff. So its basically a radius arm setup missing 1 arm.

Here's a good link that goes over some basics

http://www.pirate4x4.com/forum/jeep-cherokee/816361-totm-front-3-link-suspensions.html

And another
https://nc4x4.com/forum/threads/link-suspension-basics.108936/

Another
http://www.bsfab.net/?p=118

Here's a true 3 link, notice 2 lower links and 3rd independent link on top.
https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSIs8_R5PwPEpkOi6OzeXHH0I4aIVZqL MwsCT1da4XND006nHOeoA

Here's a radius arm
http://www.seriousoffroadproducts.com/images/Large/Normal/Serious/SOPLA.jpg

Nimrod
August 18th, 2017, 12:30
Just dug up an old thread on here, looks like HD Offoad made them.
http://www.naxja.org/forum/showthread.php?t=1008853

Thanks. I did some searching last night but somehow missed that thread.

TRAILREADYXJ
August 20th, 2017, 13:06
Clayton also has a true 3-link although known more for their radius arm setup.
I really like this kit, tough as nails and preforms great without the unloading and binding you get with radius arms.
If you ever head over to Raleigh you're more than welcome to come check it out.

Possumb84
August 20th, 2017, 13:19
Clayton also has a true 3-link although known more for their radius arm setup.
I really like this kit, tough as nails and preforms great without the unloading and binding you get with radius arms.
If you ever head over to Raleigh you're more than welcome to come check it out.

I've been looking at that set up, seems pretty nice. What size lift are you running? Says on their website they recommend a 6" lift, I'm trying to stay at 4.5". Your set up looks like what I'm going for, how you like the 4.56 gears?

TRAILREADYXJ
August 20th, 2017, 14:13
I've been looking at that set up, seems pretty nice. What size lift are you running? Says on their website they recommend a 6" lift, I'm trying to stay at 4.5". Your set up looks like what I'm going for, how you like the 4.56 gears?

I'm at 4.5" with RE coils, shackle relocation, and bastard packs. I haven't had any issues staying at 4.5", the upper arm is super close when stuffed, but with proper bumpstops it doesn't hit and nicely stuffs the 35s.

Ideally I would have gone 4.88s, but I came across a set of 4.56s for the 8.8 in an axle at work for free since we won't sell used aftermarket gears, so I just went with that as it's not street driven all that much.

Possumb84
August 20th, 2017, 14:21
I'm at 4.5" with RE coils, shackle relocation, and bastard packs. I haven't had any issues staying at 4.5", the upper arm is super close when stuffed, but with proper bumpstops it doesn't hit and nicely stuffs the 35s.

Ideally I would have gone 4.88s, but I came across a set of 4.56s for the 8.8 in an axle at work for free since we won't sell used aftermarket gears, so I just went with that as it's not street driven all that much.

Good to know, thanks for all the info. Yeah next time I make it towards Raliegh I'll hit you up and check out the setup, you work @ ECGS?

TRAILREADYXJ
August 20th, 2017, 14:23
Good to know, thanks for all the info. Yeah next time I make it towards Raliegh I'll hit you up and check out the setup, you work @ ECGS?
Yep, I am the primary builder for all of the complete axle assemblies.

Possumb84
August 20th, 2017, 14:28
Yep, I am the primary builder for all of the complete axle assemblies.

Cool deal. I've been thinking about selling my locked 8.25 and going to a disc brake 8.8, if you come across a good deal on one let me know.

TRAILREADYXJ
August 20th, 2017, 14:36
Cool deal. I've been thinking about selling my locked 8.25 and going to a disc brake 8.8, if you come across a good deal on one let me know.

I'm not sure if he has a buyer lined up, but a guy in the wearhouse will be selling his. It's welded for an XJ with 4.5" lift and I know it's geared 4.88, but may just have a trac lock in it IIRC. Pretty sure it has 1541 shafts and new brakes though. I can check with him tomorrow and see what he's looking to get for it.

Possumb84
August 20th, 2017, 14:43
I'm not sure if he has a buyer lined up, but a guy in the wearhouse will be selling his. It's welded for an XJ with 4.5" lift and I know it's geared 4.88, but may just have a trac lock in it IIRC. Pretty sure it has 1541 shafts and new brakes though. I can check with him tomorrow and see what he's looking to get for it.

Is it the guy with black XJ? If so I saw it for sale on Instagram. Ge had it listed for a good price, but for my budget I'm looking for one that hasn't been built up yet so I can take my time on getting it done.

TRAILREADYXJ
August 20th, 2017, 14:46
Is it the guy with black XJ? If so I saw it for sale on Instagram. Ge had it listed for a good price, but for my budget I'm looking for one that hasn't been built up yet so I can take my time on getting it done.

Yeah, that's the one. And that's understandable, plus the 8.25 should do just fine in the meantime. I've had a couple of them I've beat on over the years and never had issues aside from pinion bearings, which I will blame on the prior owners lack of maintenance.

Evan03
August 20th, 2017, 22:51
Control arm drop brackets thats enough said

Possumb84
August 21st, 2017, 07:17
Control arm drop brackets thats enough said

Want drop brackets get hung up on rocks?

themauler
August 21st, 2017, 08:51
Want drop brackets get hung up on rocks?



Just as much as long arms slide across rocks, yeah. I would avoid the mess of drop brackets. Just looks messy IMO. I have yet to witness any problems with radius arms. 3 links just require more fabrication.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Possumb84
August 21st, 2017, 08:53
Just as much as long arms slide across rocks, yeah. I would avoid the mess of drop brackets. Just looks messy IMO. I have yet to witness any problems with radius arms. 3 links just require more fabrication.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

I've been following your build on NC4X4, how you liking the shocks through the floor?

TRAILREADYXJ
August 21st, 2017, 19:51
Just as much as long arms slide across rocks, yeah. I would avoid the mess of drop brackets. Just looks messy IMO. I have yet to witness any problems with radius arms. 3 links just require more fabrication.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


I agree with the drop brackets... Nobody that went long arms wished they went with DBs, but I've seen many with DBs end up going to long arms, myself included.

Radius arms don't have major problems, but they do unload more than a 3 or 4 link. You can see this simply by power braking something on radius arms and watching the front rise up, where a properly designed 3 or 4 link will not. The only time this could really hurt you in the real world would be on a really steep climb, so yeah, for most this won't be a real world issue. Also the caster changes as the suspension cycles with a radius arm design. Again this is something you will see more on paper than feel in real life.

The main advantage to a 3 link to a radius arm setup is that a 3 link doesn't bind and can offer more flex if all other factors are equal such as shock length, bumpstops, and coil rate.

VAhasnoWAVES
August 22nd, 2017, 07:44
The main advantage to a 3 link to a radius arm setup is that a 3 link doesn't bind and can offer more flex if all other factors are equal such as shock length, bumpstops, and coil rate.

radius arms having bind is a bit over rated and not as much of a concern as the statement makes it seem. does the system have bind in it? yes, it is inherent to the design. is it unacceptable? no, there is no more bind in a radius arm than there is in a 4 link, including the factory setup. BUT... bushing are needed to be able to take up the deflection caused by bind. radius arms flex just fine. a 3 link is not going to offer "more flex," simply because it is a 3 link. all it does is move the stress concentrations.

the unloading associated with steep climbs is also inherent to the design. youll get that with almost any bolt in application though. i never found it to be a giant issue. and correct spring/shock selection can do away with the wheel hop that often shows itself when the suspension unloads.