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  #121  
Old February 6th, 2010, 07:44
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Gravesdiggerxj Gravesdiggerxj is offline
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Re: XJ Buildup III

^ He just wheels it now. Somehow he doesn't have the itch to keep building until it isn't street legal like the rest of us... Lol
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  #122  
Old February 11th, 2010, 11:45
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Re: XJ Buildup III

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSandman View Post
VERY nice build man!

I love the front bumper design as well. At first, I was looking to a beefy, heavy steel setup, but the prerunner style is definitely growing on me. I didn't notice, but what's your front recovery?

I have two horizontally mounted tow hooks that mount up high under the main tube.

How do you like the T&T truss setup? Yes, it's a great pre-fabbed setup, arguably not as strong as a below housing truss, but a decent compromise.

That looks like a JKS track bar mount also, true? Yes
I was thinking of fabbing a truss for my D30, but it looks like the T&T is a proven design, just gotta swallow the price. Time is money.......

Definitely enjoyed reading through your build thread, can't wait for another update!

EDIT:

One more thing I wanted to ask, how did you bend the tubing for the front bumper? Do you have a bender or did you take measurements and had a local shop do it?
I have a couple of buddys with benders. I have the drawings to build my own, just haven't got around to it yet.
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  #123  
Old February 11th, 2010, 14:00
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Re: XJ Buildup III

Im so jealous at how clean everything is kept Awesome Build
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  #124  
Old February 13th, 2010, 09:36
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Re: XJ Buildup III

It's been a while since I've updated this thread, thanks to all for the compliments. Bottom line, the rig works well but as previously stated, it's a work-in-progress.

One of my recent mods is to make the jump to WJ brakes and custom steering. The Vanco brakes work well, but I really wanted the benefits of strong, precise steering too. My modified OTK Currie setup worked well, but still had the limitations and negative characteristics of any Inverted Y setup.

Here's the summary of my WJ brake swap:



In addition to these components, I puchased new WJ rotors at $31.00ea and also purchased Moog WJ balljoints (Moog PN K3134T $55.31ea and K3185 $97.97ea......yup, not cheap) to ensure that I wouldn't experience the issue of wallowed-out knuckles, as many have who used XJ balljoints with the WJ knuckle swap.

I'm guessing that the price of the WJ BJ's is the main reason that folks attempt to reuse their XJ BJ's....at the expense of trashing their WJ knuckles when the holes wallow out. Weigh the cost of this, factoring in having to source new knuckles and weld on new JKS spacers, plus labor. Just use WJ ball joints......... you'll be money and time ahead.

Wanting to run the steering over the knuckle, I installed Goferit weld-in tapered TRE inserts. The stock TRE taper needs to be drilled out to 3/4" to accept the insert.






I then welded the TRE inserts to the knuckles, as well as the JKS hub spacer...sorry, no pix of the JKS spacers welded on.

Not wanting to mess with rotor to caliper spacing issues that some have experienced when using Explorer Sporttrac rotors with the WJ brake swap, I decided to redrill new WJ rotors to the XJ 5 x 4.5" bolt pattern.

I used a rotor with the 5 x 4.5" pattern as a template to transfer the pattern to the WJ knuckles, then circle-scribed and center-punched each hole and drilled new holes using my drill press. I drilled smaller pilot holes for each first to prevent "bit walk" and maintain hole spacing accuracy.

Not wanting deal with the rotors seizing onto the hubs/studs in the future (I live in Utah + salted roads in winter = rust) I drilled the 1/2" wheel stud holes to 17/32" to minimize this issue. The rotors are hub-centric and not stud-centric, fwiw. This entire process took less than 1 hour to complete both WJ rotors.

With the WJ ball joints installed, the rotors drilled and everything painted, I bolted everything up and checked clearances. On a side note and since the question has been raised in the past, I'm running TJ unit bearings with XJ unit bearing bolts with plenty of threads using the JKS spacers.





Custom steering to follow......
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Last edited by XJEEPER; February 13th, 2010 at 09:41.
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  #125  
Old February 13th, 2010, 11:18
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Re: XJ Buildup III

Absolutely beautiful work as usual Jeff. You are a master. I think I'm gonna have to stop by one of these days and oogle up close... if'n ya don't mind.
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  #126  
Old February 13th, 2010, 19:23
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Re: XJ Buildup III

Instead of using WJ steering linkage, I selected 1.50" OD .250" wall DOM tube with weld inserts and Tera offset TRE's. The Tera units are 7/8" thread x 16 tpi.
The offset TRE's provide the tierod and draglink clearance needed to clear the diff, trackbar bracket and coil buckets. The pitman arm TRE is not offset.














I've been very happy with this steering setup. Steering is precise and I love the absence of bumpsteer. I've not seen the need to run a steering stablizer. The WJ brake/steering combo is one the best mods I'd done to enhance overall drivability, it's they way the XJ should have been equipped from the factory.
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Last edited by XJEEPER; February 13th, 2010 at 19:30.
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  #127  
Old February 21st, 2010, 23:20
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Re: XJ Buildup III

Hey what brand of trackbar and trackbar frame mount did you install? Where did you get the heim joint to swap in? Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by XJEEPER View Post
Here's the front axle installed. I swapped out the poly bushing on the axle end of the trackbar for a heim, as there seemed to be too much play in it. Solved the problem. Everything works well together.




With 3 days left before Fall Fling, I started my front bumper. I planned on fabbing it to accept a winch that ideally would be recessed below the bumper and recessed into the front crossmember, which I will rework/strengthen. Time didn't allow for this, so I wound up with this.

Main tube is 1.75" DOM, hoop is 1.50" DOM and the side braces are 1" EW. I already had the 1.5 hoop from another bumper project and decided to use it, even though it was smaller than the main. Turned out OK.




Lower braces installed



I was on a dead run on this and didn't get as many shots as I wanted....I finished de-slagging the welds and quickly threw on 2 coats of Krylon on Thursday afternoon. I finished packing the Jeep while the paint dried and bolted in on before we hit the road to Moab so I never even took time to snap any installed shots, so this one will have to do.



Since I didn't get my Viair compressor installed, my ARB's were open for this run. Hells Gate was unusually slippery from a morning storm and sand tracked up from below, so I wound up taking a tug after sliding off the wallI, which allowed me to test the bumper brace as a tow point......yah, I meant to do that

The rig worked well, but as with any newly built rig, needs some fine tuning. I still need to install bump inserts in the coils, add a center strap to tune the droop because with 12.5" travel shocks, there is articulation o' plenty. Gotta get the ARB's plumbed and then work on sliders and rear bumper armor.........you know, a rig is never really "done".

Stay tuned................
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  #128  
Old February 21st, 2010, 23:22
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Re: XJ Buildup III

Hey what brand of trackbar and trackbar frame mount did you install here? Where did you get the heim joint to swap in? Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by XJEEPER View Post
Here's the front axle installed. I swapped out the poly bushing on the axle end of the trackbar for a heim, as there seemed to be too much play in it. Solved the problem. Everything works well together.

...
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  #129  
Old February 22nd, 2010, 06:15
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Re: XJ Buildup III

Quote:
Originally Posted by QuillsXJ View Post
Hey what brand of trackbar and trackbar frame mount did you install here? Where did you get the heim joint to swap in? Thanks!
The trackbar is "XJEEPER" brand.....fabbed out of DOM tube, small RE joint on the frame end and 3/4" X 16 heim on the axle end. I purchased the heim and tube weld insert locally from Ben Hanks Racing. http://www.benhanksracing.com/index.php?p=shop

The trackbar frame bracket is a modified stock bracket. I fabbed this piece also, but JKS sells the lower piece to modify your own bracket.

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  #130  
Old March 2nd, 2010, 20:16
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Re: XJ Buildup III

Did you do anything special to weld the spacers to the knuckles? I'm not an expert but I thought the knuckles are just cast steel. Not cast iron. I was watching "Trucks" when they did this on a Grand Cherokee. Looks like they pre-heated and used a mig welder. Did you mig or stick it? Did you use any different rod or wire? Did you weld all the way around?
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  #131  
Old March 15th, 2010, 16:31
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Re: XJ Buildup III

Quote:
Originally Posted by EMD-Jeepin View Post
Did you do anything special to weld the spacers to the knuckles?
No, I had them soda blasted prior to welding so they were nice and clean.
I'm not an expert but I thought the knuckles are just cast steel. Not cast iron.

I was watching "Trucks" when they did this on a Grand Cherokee. Looks like they pre-heated and used a mig welder. Did you mig or stick it? Did you use any different rod or wire? Did you weld all the way around?
WJ knuckles are not cast steel, but nodular iron.

I bolted the unit bearings to the WJ knuckle with the JKS spacer in place and then tacked the JKS spacer to the WJ knuckle in several spots, using my Miller 175 and .035 wire. I then removed the unit bearing assembly and welded the spacers on solid using a manual pulsed method.

No mumbo-jumbo voodoo, pre/post heat concerns here......however I did throw the knuckles in 5gal buckets of dry sand and let them cool down slowly, just for fun.
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  #132  
Old March 15th, 2010, 17:38
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Re: XJ Buildup III

Jeff, I want to be like you when I grow up.


Since I'm building another XJ, on 33's, for a driver it's nice to look back over your build and get some ideas. Maybe I'll bring it to Moab one of these times and we can play follow the leader.
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  #133  
Old April 15th, 2010, 20:09
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Re: XJ Buildup III

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goatman View Post
Jeff, I want to be like you when I grow up.


Since I'm building another XJ, on 33's, for a driver it's nice to look back over your build and get some ideas. Maybe I'll bring it to Moab one of these times and we can play follow the leader.

Hehe, growing up is over-rated!
I've gleaned plenty of tech from your builds over the years, hope you can benefit from some of mine. Looking forward to seeing your new rig and getting out on the trail with you........btw, I have a condo in St George......I'm still exploring the desert down there for new challenges. We should plan a weekend....
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  #134  
Old April 16th, 2010, 00:42
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Re: XJ Buildup III

This is one of my top 5 XJs of all time. I will be using it (a lot of it) as inspiration in my next build. Keep on coming with those cleanly done, well thought out modifications so I can keep drooling all over my keyboard.
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  #135  
Old April 19th, 2010, 05:38
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Char-Broil Char-Broil is offline
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Re: XJ Buildup III

What size lift and tires are you running? I am doing a similar setup with my 2000, Rubicon Rims, 3.5" RE leaf pack (as you may know, got about 5" lift from them) 3" front springs with ACOS... Looking to keep it super clean and not fender trim like yours, saw it on the front page of and had to know what you are running. Love it man!
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