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  #1  
Old March 22nd, 2015, 06:33
ftwelder's Avatar
ftwelder ftwelder is offline
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The Jeep in my door yard

I got my '94 XJ 4dr. about a year ago. It was easy to own at $500 and I figured we could use a 4X4 on our wood lot. We used to van-camp quite a bit and with the kids out of the house, no need for a back seat or extra room. The truck came with a the 4.0/AX15 combo, a 3" OME lift and had been pretty well maintained over it's long life. The bad was severe rust holes and a couple of dicey repairs on the door hinges and blower motor. The truck had been painted OD green and had a DIY bumper/tire carrier and at one point had almost lost it's top to a sawzall as there is a cut about 1/2" long on the rear corner.

I have a little welding shop and specialize in making bicycle frames. I don't know much about jeeps but since getting this one I have been doing a lot of research. I know I have made a lot of mistakes but the road is a long one and it is what it is. On a side note, I know it takes a lot of work to produce a quality thread (not my strong point) and most any quality you do find below will have come from builders before me on and also the fine book "the ultimate Jeep cherokee book" by Eric Zappe. Thanks to all of you in other words.

I don't have an indoor spot to keep the vehicle and I don't always have money buy things but I do have lots of machines and materials and as you know there are so many things to be done. Onward

The first thing I did was try to go wheeling. It had 29" tires and stock 3/1 axle ratios and didn't seem to go slow enough and had this weird "rocking" thing when you let the clutch out, it felt like everything in the drive train was loose so I bought some stock motor mounts then woops..

I let go of the wheel for a moment on the way to work (I live on a nasty road) and the vehicle made a hard right and I ended up in a ditch with my headlights touching the ground. I sort of panicked and went WOT and started banging the shifters and some how ended up back on the road. I pulled over and one of my front tires was about 3" too far back.

I got to work and took a quick look underneath and noted LCA brackets were buckled. the lady across the street was selling her ZJ for $700 so I bought it and and put the XJ on stands with the intent of fabbing a new bracket and moving on.

I worked on offroad cars twenty five years ago and at took a while to grasp the scope of work that had been done since then. I did far too little research and sitting there with the front wheels off I started thinking since the axle would come out to replace the control arms and axle brackets I may as well do some upgrades. I started drawing the basic suspension geometry in autocad to see what was going on. I had seen some hack drop brackets in my searching and noticed I had spacers above my coil springs so opted to relocate the LCA axle brackets higher rather than lowering the rears and about 10 mins later had researching pushing the axle forward to put the spring directly over the axle. After computer foreplay I came to the conclusion that I would need to also relocate everything but It was a nice spring day about a year ago and I felt like welding.

30 161 by barnstormerbikes, on Flickr

30 162 by barnstormerbikes, on Flickr

30 160 by barnstormerbikes, on Flickr
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  #2  
Old March 22nd, 2015, 06:48
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ftwelder ftwelder is offline
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Re: The Jeep in my door yard

I had decided on a three link and that I would eliminate the rubber spacers above the springs and use a 4X2X1/4 rect. tube as my truss and built aftermarket type spring pads.

I figured I would be replacing most of the floor and plating the frame since I like welding so much I did just that, I plated top/bottom/inside/out in the areas I would be working. I cut out the front cross member and while I was in there installed Brown Dogs and bought a couple more assorted ZJ's for low money and had a big alternator and I could mod the bracket at this point. I had cut into the frame quite a bit and was aware of how the steering box was fixed from the factory. I made a tool using a hole saw mounted on a smooth arbor and bored out all the steering box holes and wavy gussets (only three holes ) and tubed the inside, slugged the box holes with 1/4" wall tube and plated everything. The new bosses were made extra long to replace the spacer and offer extra room for the exploder box I rebuilt with the help of westtexasoffroad. I drill the box also.

I fabricated a new tubular cross member for the front. cantilevered around the steering box and put my radiator mounts slightly closer to the motor. Before closing the frame off I put four 3/4" coupling nuts "well attached" to the unibody and plating.

30 154 by barnstormerbikes, on Flickr

I then scored a 8.8 sploder axle and cleaned it up.

30 165 by barnstormerbikes, on Flickr

I had saved a bit and was ready to pull the trigger on an OX locker when some 'tons showed up on CL from a '89F350 and I pulled the trigger. I know about welding castings and so I "cuffed" the end of the casting on the driver side and fully attached the axle tube to the housing with plating. I cut some of the stock perch and built my brackets connected to everything.

30 188 by barnstormerbikes, on Flickr

30 186 by barnstormerbikes, on Flickr

I also installed my control arm mounts to the body. I want to keep the vehicle low and used the pin tube method right through the frame rail. There are additional brackets inside so everything is double shear. The upper takes some space but my wife has little feet so no problem.

30 155 by barnstormerbikes, on Flickr



I ended up having to bend my LCA's to be able to tuck without hitting the frame rails. I would rather bend them then tear out the brackets!
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Last edited by ftwelder; March 22nd, 2015 at 07:27.
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  #3  
Old March 22nd, 2015, 08:14
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ftwelder ftwelder is offline
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Re: The Jeep in my door yard

I can't find the edit button to add to the post.

You may wonder that is done inside the axles. The answer is "very little" I welded the front spiders. I plan to gear it this coming winter but I hope to have a 231/300 doubler finished and installed before winter. I have a CNC mill and I went ahead and reverse engineered the 231 range box and made the capped the case. I started rebuilding the D300 which will utilize the stock outputs for the time being. The doubler project in in a room that is still below 40 so I just run in there to grab stuff to dip in solvent and run back out.

Untitled by frankthewelder, on Flickr

Untitled by frankthewelder, on Flickr

My power steering pump was leaking and since I am planning a redneck ram upgrade I took the pump out and took it apart to see the condition of the internals. I found a lot of parts in there and tossed it in the trash and grabbed one from a 94 or 96 ZJ limited. I modded the bypass parts and removed the larger ZJ puller and popped on the XJ one. I ported the inlet and pressed in a tube spigot for a 5/8" inlet diameter. I used silicon bronze to TIG the spigot so it couldn't work it's way out taking care not to get it too hot. The pump is not a direct replacement and I had to drill the threads and use long bolts. I installed the pulley after putting in on the motor and used a straight-edge to make sure my alignment was good. The reason for the larger inlet was I was building a remove separator/reservoir for the PS fluid. I also modded an oil cooler from a saab for steering duties.

Untitled by frankthewelder, on Flickr

Untitled by frankthewelder, on Flickr

Untitled by frankthewelder, on Flickr

Untitled by frankthewelder, on Flickr

Untitled by frankthewelder, on Flickr

Next on my list was the brakes. I grabbed the double brake booster from the LTD with the master cylinder. I started measuring again and found like everyone else that the XJ and ZJ boosters have different mounting angles. I looked a bit more and found that they are actually the same angle if you turn one of them upside down. so I did that and found I only had to add a little length to the push rod and switch the end of the push-rod to the XJ one. I didn't need to use the spacer or bash the firewall and it fit right in. I discarded the valving and fabbed a bracket for a Wilwood brake proportioning valve and did the first two lines.

Untitled by frankthewelder, on Flickr

Untitled by frankthewelder, on Flickr

Here is a "sort of" photo of the pump.

Untitled by frankthewelder, on Flickr


Ill be back, thanks for looking.
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  #4  
Old March 22nd, 2015, 08:32
mtbxj87 mtbxj87 is offline
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Re: The Jeep in my door yard

Nice work!
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  #5  
Old March 22nd, 2015, 08:42
POSJ POSJ is offline
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Re: The Jeep in my door yard

That resevior definitely belongs in advanced fab...very nice job.
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  #6  
Old March 22nd, 2015, 17:11
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ftwelder ftwelder is offline
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Re: The Jeep in my door yard

thanks. As you can imagine I have a lot of questions. Should I make permanent steering stops on the steering knuckles or let the box/ ram do the talking? I am thinking about the rear suspension and what it will take to get it working including a stretch. I need 5" of boost and I think some of my leaves are shot. I had planned to fab new spring mounts for the stretch but it's beginning to make a linked rear seem cost effective. I have 4.5" coils for the front which are starting to seem too tall with the 2" of boost at the axle. It would be nice to find a 4" leaf pack for the back.
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Old March 22nd, 2015, 19:41
POSJ POSJ is offline
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Re: The Jeep in my door yard

I wouldn't put steering stops in personally, you start to stress the mount point of the ram and the balljoints when you put hydraulics into the mix. With stock steering obviously I would have permanent stops because there isn't that much force exerted. But the point of hydro assist or full hydro is to get more force(you seem to understand, this is for others that might read it). If the knuckles are at a mechanical stop the force is going to be transferred to the next weakest spot...either the TREs, balljoints or ram mounts. Just measure for the right ram length that you need and don't over range your u-joints.
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Old March 23rd, 2015, 18:35
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ftwelder ftwelder is offline
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Re: The Jeep in my door yard

Thanks for the reply. When I rebuilt the box I removed a bore spacer and modded the cap to increase the travel to 90 degrees like the original box. I hope I don't have to reverse that! The knuckles got TMR gussets and double shear brackets. I preheated and used a needle scaler on the welds as they were cooling. I don't plan to spend time on the highway and I hope these work out.
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Old March 24th, 2015, 06:21
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ftwelder ftwelder is offline
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Re: The Jeep in my door yard

Welded knuckle by barnstormerbikes, on Flickr

Welded knuckle by barnstormerbikes, on Flickr
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Old March 26th, 2015, 08:25
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Re: The Jeep in my door yard

Holy shit. You can weld.

Nice work.
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  #11  
Old March 26th, 2015, 12:04
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Re: The Jeep in my door yard

Very good work. I like it.
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Old March 26th, 2015, 15:07
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surf2snow surf2snow is offline
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Re: The Jeep in my door yard

I like your Wilwood proportioning valve layout. Question, what fittings are used?
I just ordered mine and would like a heads up on what I'll need.
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Old March 26th, 2015, 17:33
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ftwelder ftwelder is offline
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Re: The Jeep in my door yard

Quote:
Originally Posted by surf2snow View Post
I like your Wilwood proportioning valve layout. Question, what fittings are used?
I just ordered mine and would like a heads up on what I'll need.
The short story is the stock ZJ master cylinder I used has bubble flare ends (re used fittings) and the willwood uses the double flair. I borrowed a POS flaring tool and wasted a lot of tubing and more importantly time. I can't wait to find a Mac tool truck and spend whatever is needed. I also looked at a buying a small tube bender but ended up making one that could bend a .5" radius on the 3/16" tube. I was happy to find the Willwood part so I didn't need to hack in a pressure switch for the brake light. The "primary" brake circuit is the one closest to the firewall. On our vehicles, that would be the front. It took me a while to get that through my head. another thing to make note of is that there are two different fittings on the XJ master cylinder but it's only the nut and nothing else. Don't slip the wrong one on before you crimp the ends. There are a few sets of the fittings on the stock valve block, I wrecked a few before I realized channellock pliers work better than line wrenches on my rustbucket.

Thanks Blondjon, leaf. I have been welding for 45 years and many of you guys are way better than I am. May be not on aluminum TIG lol. I am pretty good at that.

2014 027 by frankthewelder, on Flickr


Here is the modified saab oil cooler
Saab oil cooler. by frankthewelder, on Flickr


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Last edited by ftwelder; March 26th, 2015 at 17:54.
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Old April 3rd, 2015, 03:43
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ftwelder ftwelder is offline
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Re: The Jeep in my door yard

I ordered $100 worth of hardware and should be able to use all new fasteners for the installation of the front axle. I started thinking about putting it together and realized it would be a lot easier to make something before installing the spring and decided to remove the stock stanchion to see what was in there.

Bump stops by frankthewelder, on Flickr

It turns out it's just a piece of very thin tubing. The inside diameter is close to 1-7/8" so I turned a piece of pipe to fit in there and welded in a 3/4" coupling nut. here is the test fit. My part is about 6" long (so I claim) and all I have to do is drill some plug-holes and remove the paint

Bump stops by frankthewelder, on Flickr

Bump stops by frankthewelder, on Flickr

Bump stops by frankthewelder, on Flickr

I found some sturdy industrial bumpers (shore 80A) with internal 3/4" threads and made some adjustable bumps!

Bump stops by frankthewelder, on Flickr

When I got the oil cooler I also got stubs of tube that go with the fittings. I cut them short and bent some 1/2" .049 DOM tube and spliced them up. I also ran a little bead around the end of the tubes to help the hose clamps do their job. The fittings are the same as used in the A/C system also and may be 12mm tubing.

Bump stops by frankthewelder, on Flickr


it's supposed to snow tomorrow but I am pretty sure I will drag the little wire welder out to install this weeks progress.
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Old April 3rd, 2015, 14:04
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Re: The Jeep in my door yard

following this!
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