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  #1  
Old May 27th, 2017, 22:51
The_Punisher The_Punisher is offline
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'97 XJ Project "Body Shot"

Hey folks! I've finally started building my Jeep. I've had other Jeeps and a '92 Chevy I sas'd with tons (5.13's, detroits, 38's). That's my experience level. More than lift kits, I can weld, but I'm not building my own chasis and sh**. I decided to start this to document what I'm doing, and ask questions here, rather than make several threads. I am going to be doing a few things different than most.

I got bit by the go-fast bug while stationed in San Diego. I really enjoyed it before then and was more into fast trail-riding than I was slow technical stuff, but really learned more about it in SD. I am now back in Alaska. Came up with 2 names. Body Shot and SVT-300. Body shot because I box, am a coach and love working the body. SVT-300 is a play on the Raptor SVT, 300 for 300 HP. And my newborn daughter had a serious problem with supraventricular tachycardia which is abbreviated SVT. Her heart rate reached over 300 bpm. So I thought well this Jeep ought to make your heart race :-) Plan to stencil each on opposite sides.

I had a 2013 Supercharged JKU with about 430 HP, (350 RWHP). It only had 9.5" travel, but good springs/shocks/bumps and it really got it. So I knew where I wanted to go from there. I traded it for a economical VW Diesel which was a blessing in disguise, because I got all my money back from both vehicles after that diesel scandal.

Jeep passes camera here @ 60 mph
https://vimeo.com/110739862

I've always been a fan of Jeep Speed and looked into typical "recipes". I was not able to afford larger than 2.0 fox shocks though. This was something I was always interested in, I've always been a fan of the XJ for the added wheelbase compared to a Wrangler of similar years, lightweight and good "go-fast" parts from the popularity of Jeep Speed.

1997 2wd XJ
AW4
180K miles
ZERO rust, SoCal/East County Jeep.
Bone stock

My Plan:
-11.6" Travel fox shocks front (eibach shock shaft bumps front and rear)
-11.1" rear shocks, largest for stock location. Using the Pythagorean theorem, I was able to figure out that 11.1" travel shocks in the stock location at their angle, would provide exactly 12" of travel.
-HP Dana 44 front/9" rear w/disc brakes
-5.13's
-Detroit rear/True trac front
-33x10.50R15 Toyo MT's
-1.5" front stretch/1" rear stretch (105" wheelbase)
-Short-ish arm w/RE drop brackets
-Deaver coils front/deaver leafs rear
-300 HP 4.7L Stroker with aluminum eddy head (Built by Russ Pottenger)
-AW4 with transgo shift kit/231 with hack 'n tap
-3 link front, mostly by dropping the driver-side UCA
-Building it as light as I reasonably can
-Goal weight of 3500 lbs +/- 100 lbs. 45% front/55% rear distribution
-Read a lot about over-steer so I could design her to want to over-steer more than under-steer. Want it to be easy and fun to kick the a$$ out
-Lots more........

Here are some pics, I have most of my parts. I'm slowly, bit by bit, painting it also.

Upgraded Thunderbird Caliper for the front D44 on the right, has a bigger piston. ONLY $25 off AutoZone! Metal piston too. Also have stoptech cryo slotted rotors and Hawk HPS pads.


Meant to paint hood flat black, prepping between coats, liked the faded look and left it


You can see this blue my wife and I really like. I also like duplicolor bedliner, did the sides and roof.



Wheels/tires patiently waiting in the spare room


Here are the rear shocks, all 4 have those shock shaft bumps. Had these on my JK's Fox shox and they are underrated and under-utilized in my opinion


Painting in the hangar at work. Boss said "you should just paint it in the hangar, we paint our fuc&%$#@ helicopters in the hangar!"


Rear 9". Got a Quick Performance 3rd member (Just so easy and not that expensive), ruff stuff disc brake kit. It has since been painted black.


Started the front axle, this is where it has slowed down


Made my 3 custom links. Lowers are about 19", upper is about 18.5" (obviously adjustable)


Had to clearance the coil/shock brackets. I pushed the axle fwd 1.5" by moving the coil bucket back and more or less putting the coil right over the tube. But now they get in the way of the LCA. Also notice the large washer welded to the LCA bracket. I moved the mounting holes for all of my control arms fwd/aft .75" to gain 1.5" combined, + the 1.5" stretch, to have 3" longer control arms. Might seem crazy, but I was impressed with the "short arms" on my JK and was trying to do what I could to get close to their stock lengths. Almost like a mid arm. Welded 1/4" steel washers from DIY4X to add strength and prevent holes from wallering out.


Lightweight batteries.


Staring, just praying to god it will be enough clearance at max droop haha

Last edited by The_Punisher; May 27th, 2017 at 23:35.
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  #2  
Old May 28th, 2017, 00:06
The_Punisher The_Punisher is offline
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Re: '97 XJ Project "Body Shot"

I'm rocking the RE axle swap bracket kit. Only ended up using LCA brackets, and coil buckets/shock mounts.

Running 3 link for less binding and less weight. Ditched the little truss and driver side UCA mount. Running a ruff stuff pass side link tower on axle tube. I even ditched the Ballistic Fab dif cover that came with the D44 and bought a standard cover to lose a few lbs, especially un-sprung weight.
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  #3  
Old May 28th, 2017, 13:03
The_Punisher The_Punisher is offline
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Re: '97 XJ Project "Body Shot"

Messy basement FULL of random parts



Drilled and welded washers on my drop brackets. Moved the rod end back as far as I could without it contacting the back/inside of the bracket.


Rubicon Express track bar bracket got the same treatment. I drilled it out to 5/8" and was worried there might not be enough meat left, so I welded on 1/4" steel washers here too.


Stock LH knuckle, and RH reid racing knuckle setup for high steer arm. Knuckles have been drilled out to 7/8" with taper bushing installed for 1 ton offset TRE's from ruff stuff. Called Reid to make sure I could run just their RH knuckle, because I believe on some applications you have to run both Reid knuckles.


You can see some of the basics of my on board air setup hiding in there


My solution for an offroad jack. I was going to weld a small floor jack to a "sled" like I've seen on some Jeep Speed rigs. I thought this would work well, has a decent foot print and will hopefully work on the trail to get a tire off the ground for a tire change. Bottle jack and jack stand in one.


These are sumo spring bump stops for the front of a JK. I got specs on several front and rear for what I'm doing from super springs. They have the compression specs, almost like spring rates. All 4 sumo springs I'm using, and the eibach bumps on the shocks are all 1000 lbs @ 50% compression. After 50% compression the rate increases dramatically. These will be setup to engage when the shock shaft bumps are at about 50% compression. Should be a nice progressive setup. Loved this setup on my JK.


I'm not running aftermarket bumpers, mostly for weight savings. I'm running Rusty's front recovery hooks, and a rear hitch with one of those D-ring deals in the hitch. I just want recovery points front and rear. I'm also not planning to run a cage....yet. Depends how fast this thing will go. Would eventually like a cage, seats and harnesses.

Last edited by The_Punisher; May 28th, 2017 at 13:10.
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  #4  
Old May 28th, 2017, 19:58
Exxon Valdez Jeep's Avatar
Exxon Valdez Jeep Exxon Valdez Jeep is offline
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Re: '97 XJ Project "Body Shot"

Get you a cage, if for nothing else, just to stiffen the unibody up and help it live. You won't regret it.

Nice build you've got going!
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  #5  
Old May 28th, 2017, 22:04
The_Punisher The_Punisher is offline
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Re: '97 XJ Project "Body Shot"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Exxon Valdez Jeep View Post
Get you a cage, if for nothing else, just to stiffen the unibody up and help it live. You won't regret it.

Nice build you've got going!
Thank you!

any recommendations for a pre-built one? Down the road I see myself trying to get more travel in the rear and putting shocks through the floor. But right now the environment up here is way too wet and muddy and the openings would have to be sealed well. But the cage would give me an area to tie into for rear shocks down the road.

Also, about how much weight do you think a cage adds?
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  #6  
Old May 28th, 2017, 22:12
The_Punisher The_Punisher is offline
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Re: '97 XJ Project "Body Shot"

I'm trying to find the right brake lines for the front. The thunderbird calipers on the D44 are 7/16"-24 banjos, what are the B-nuts on the hard lines in the front? Where your front brake hoses connect to that hard line?

EDIT: Finally found it....3/16" line with 24 tpi pitch, 3/8" fitting. Sound right?

Last edited by The_Punisher; May 28th, 2017 at 22:26.
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  #7  
Old June 1st, 2017, 22:11
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xjeepers2 xjeepers2 is offline
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Re: '97 XJ Project "Body Shot"

I agree with Exxon... If you want to go fast or slow for that matter a cage is a life saver! It may add some weight 100Ibs give or take but if you are going 4.7 it will be able to handle the weight. A wreck in the dirt at speeds in an xj w/o a cage would be a bad day! A decent pre build cage is D and C fabrication. I think he is still making them.
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  #8  
Old June 2nd, 2017, 09:43
Exxon Valdez Jeep's Avatar
Exxon Valdez Jeep Exxon Valdez Jeep is offline
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Re: '97 XJ Project "Body Shot"

I think 1.75 tubing, 1/8" wall is about 2lbs/foot. I used about 120 feet, ~240 lbs plus the welds, so it was the weight of friend and a cooler was my estimation.

D&C for a pre built cage, don't get that rockhard 4x4 cage!
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  #9  
Old June 2nd, 2017, 12:41
The_Punisher The_Punisher is offline
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Re: '97 XJ Project "Body Shot"

Yes the D&C is the one I've looked at and like.

How about these frame stiffeners from Currie? Anyone know if they will work with drop brackets? Think they're originally made by T&J/Barnett?

http://www.currieenterprises.com/JS-9411

Eh, I have now found plenty of pictures online of those things installed along with drop brackets. I suppose what they wouldn't work with is long arms, after removing the stock frame side LCA mounts.

Last edited by The_Punisher; June 2nd, 2017 at 12:50.
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  #10  
Old June 3rd, 2017, 14:06
The_Punisher The_Punisher is offline
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Re: '97 XJ Project "Body Shot"

Anyone have recent insight into Rugged Ridge racing seats?

I have read mixed reviews. They're attractive because they're not too terribly expensive and they bolt in without buying brackets separately.

Have they made any changes to their seats?

http://www.ruggedridge.com/rrc-off-r...-13448-53.html
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Old June 8th, 2017, 08:00
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XJ_ranger XJ_ranger is offline
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Re: '97 XJ Project "Body Shot"

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Punisher View Post
Staring, just praying to god it will be enough clearance at max droop haha
It probably wont be, but you can cut off way more material than that, and re-make a different shock mount that doesn't use the bar pin.

I agree - add a cage, but I wouldn't buy a pre-fabed or bolt in cage. If you don't have the skill or time or interest in doing it yourself, take it to a competent shop and have them weld in a custom cage that goes through the dash.
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As if the program is running with some high level of integrity and only the best of the best win.
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  #12  
Old June 9th, 2017, 20:40
The_Punisher The_Punisher is offline
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Re: '97 XJ Project "Body Shot"

Thanks for the reply.

Problem is I live in Kodiak, AK. I will live here until the summer of 2020 at the very least. I'm in the Coast Guard.

No one on island does transmission work (other than replacements), no one even does custom exhaust work which is one of 3 reasons I'm actually going to run an open header.

There are two metal supply and welding shops (Kodiak Metal Supply and Arc 'N Spark), both of which were not even familiar with DOM and I have to order that $hit online.

I know a lot of people will dislike this idea, but I have considered starting with the Rusty's single roll bar, welding on brackets up top to bolt it to the roof (where there's that "frame" type piece that runs across the inside of the roof) to tie into the unibody in more locations but still make it a bolt in deal, and then run a bar behind the front seats to run 5 point harness. I think one bad roll over and this would be better than nothing. I also think it would add SOME rigidity to the unibody.
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Old June 11th, 2017, 13:20
The_Punisher The_Punisher is offline
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Re: '97 XJ Project "Body Shot"

So I want to see if you guys think I'm crazy. I have 2 different plans for my intake. I like to be a bit different and I'm concerned about performance. My ONLY concern with my proposed setup is some of the deep water crossings I do up here.

I'll outline option #1

I want to hit 300 hp, I'll be rocking a good intake, 68mm throttle body and clifford dual outlet open header.....among other things involved in the stroker build.

I plan to modify the stock airbox to have a 4" round inlet (https://www.spectreperformance.com/s...aspx?prod=9148) that runs to a headlight intake funnel from spectre. https://www.spectreperformance.com/s...aspx?prod=9789

Then I'll run a drop in K&N in the airbox. And good 3" stuff from the airbox to the throttle body, ditching the stock air tube. Even a 68mm TB is smaller than 3" so I know a short 3" tube to the airbox will not be a bottleneck.

This is from an article about pro stock hood scoops:
“For every 10-degree increase in air temperature, there is a 1-percent decrease in horsepower. The air under the hood of a typical street car is heated by the radiator, exhaust system, and engine. In contrast, a hood scoop supplies outside air at ambient temperature. The difference in output between a Pro Stock engine inducting 100-degree air and the same engine running on 60-degree air is approximately 4 percent, or about 48 horsepower."

This should apply to any engine realistically. If I'm only hitting 285hp with a standard intake setup, and underhood temp is 100* (realistic), but my intake is seeing 60* outside air (again realistic here in AK even in the summer), I could see 285+4% = 296.4.

Here is what it looks like behind the headlight. The dimensions of that round headlight bucket area are perfect for that headlight funnel. Will take some cutting, but should be a breeze.


AND THEN I'm going to run these as my headlights. Mounted on my bumper as far apart as I can without blocking the headlight intake (so that from a distance at night the jeep is easily identifiable as a car/truck). These are Euro beam and SHOULD work well as headlights. I'll extend the stock headlight wiring so these will be controlled by the stock headlight switch
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...CM4NUY DVGV5D

Here is a picture of "one-eyed willy" using a similar intake


Also, headlight intakes are functional because it is one of the best locations for "ram-air". Anything on the hood has to be high enough to avoid the roughly 2" high boundary layer.

Last edited by The_Punisher; June 11th, 2017 at 13:27.
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  #14  
Old June 12th, 2017, 16:43
The_Punisher The_Punisher is offline
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Re: '97 XJ Project "Body Shot"

I have a 4x4 AW4 I got off of craigslist. I opened it up today to start thinking about the Transgo shift kit install

Found this bolt stuck to the magnet in the pan.


What do you guys think?? Seems like a pretty bad sign. Wonder if I should cut my losses? We do not have any kind of tranny shop or "transmission guy" here in Kodiak.
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Old June 23rd, 2017, 10:00
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lazyxj lazyxj is offline
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Re: '97 XJ Project "Body Shot"

Alaska has a lot of deep water crossings.
I would be concerned about using the headlight as an air intake.
My XJ's headlights have been momentarily under water a few times
One good gulp of water and the engine is history.
A cowl intake might be more appropriate.
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