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  #256  
Old January 10th, 2016, 20:09
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XJEEPER XJEEPER is offline
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Re: XJ Buildup III

I invested a lot of time on home projects in 2015, so not many updates, but I did squeeze in a few Jeep projects that I have yet to post.

In July, I noticed that my front tires were showing some signs of cupping on the inside and when I checked the ball joints......both lowers were super-sloppy. My maintenance records didnít show a BJ replacement since the inner-C knuckle rotation project, so these joints have at least 75,000 road miles on them, plus a couple of dozen rock crawling excursions, with some two-track hooning and dune jumping thrown in.

Wanting to install a stronger ball joint setup this time around, I researched the available options and settled on the Teraflex HD JK/WJ ball joints. They are well-built units that include adjustable lowers to compensate for wear.

Teraflex offers a non-knurled version and a knurled version to compensate for slightly stretched mounting holes.

Teraflex is a local Utah company, so I dropped by their new West Jordan HQ and snagged a set in the non-knurled flavor.



Installation is much like any other ball joint, strip everything off the inner-C and break out your BJ tools.



When installing the lowers, you will need to pay close attention to how you clock the grease zerk hole, so that it can be accessed to service the ball joint with lube.

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Last edited by XJEEPER; January 10th, 2016 at 20:23.
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  #257  
Old January 16th, 2016, 15:31
Jeepedo129 Jeepedo129 is offline
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Re: XJ Buildup III

Looks good Jeff, those look beefy.
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  #258  
Old February 28th, 2018, 18:35
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mbryson mbryson is offline
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Re: XJ Buildup III

Quote:
Originally Posted by XJEEPER View Post
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......

JEFF, any chance you could update the pics since the PhotoBucket debacle?
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  #259  
Old March 1st, 2018, 11:44
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PhotoJared PhotoJared is offline
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Re: XJ Buildup III

Quote:
Originally Posted by mbryson View Post
JEFF, any chance you could update the pics since the PhotoBucket debacle?
Use google chrome and add this extension:
https://chrome.google.com/webstore/d...bifiaedg?hl=en
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  #260  
Old March 2nd, 2018, 10:36
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XJEEPER XJEEPER is offline
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Re: XJ Buildup III

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhotoJared View Post
Use google chrome and add this extension:
https://chrome.google.com/webstore/d...bifiaedg?hl=en
^^^This. The majority of the pics are visible with the Chrome extension, but a few indicate that they have been moved/deleted.
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Last edited by XJEEPER; March 2nd, 2018 at 10:40.
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  #261  
Old October 25th, 2018, 15:49
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XJEEPER XJEEPER is offline
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Re: XJ Buildup III

I've spent a lot of time on other projects over the past few year and the Jeep projects have been left on the back burner, but I do have some updates to share.

The JCR Rear Quarter Armor that I purchased.....several years ago, had been sitting in the corner of my garage, collecting dust. It was high time to finish this project.

Due to the fitment issues of the units that I received, the Upper Quarter Armor with integrated taillight boxes did not fit without contacting the hatch, so I resolved to remove the box section and I used a hole saw to port the armor, which would allow the stock taillights to adhere to DOT-approved function, yet still provide protection to the stock taillight housings.



Once the armor fitment was dialed in, I sent them off to the body shop for a coat of PS5 Silverstone Metallic paint to match the body. I also had the shop repaint my Bushwacker Flat Flares, which had seen a bit of trail scuffing since their install.



For those of you who have installed this armor or similar, installing the passenger side is simple when compared to the driver side, as the fuel filler housing and bracing requires some Gumby-like arms to reach some of the bolt points.
I applied urethane body panel adhesive to the top and vertical edges of the body-facing side of this armor during final install, so as to keep water and dust from entering through the top and sides, but still allow for drainage of moisture out the bottom, if it happens to get between the armor and the body.



Finished product, with flares reinstalled.



More to come.........
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  #262  
Old October 26th, 2018, 12:27
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XJEEPER XJEEPER is offline
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Re: XJ Buildup III

I installed the TnT Customs Y-Link lift in June 2007 and in the 11+ years since that install, I have logged over 100k miles. The Y-Link uses RE Superflex bushings at the axle end and Summit Machine Flex Joints at the crossmember mount.

Both have performed well, but as I was pulling the front lift apart to perform some cleanup and corrosion-abatement (repaint everything), it would also a good time to perform a bushing refresh.

The Flex Joints really work well, but one negative of their design is that they are very hard to grease, i.e. there is little clearance between the ball and races to allow grease to penetrate and reside, with the end result being that they squeak. This noise radiates up through the body and is very annoying when on the trail.

I reached out to Summit Machine http://www.summitmachine.com/ to inquire about a joint rebuild kit and was pleased to learn that in their quest to always improve their products, Summit has designed a updated race for their Flex Joints, which is machined from a different material and also incorporates a machined spiral groove which allows grease to be evenly distributed throughout the joint, resulting an a smooth, silent ride.

You can see the difference between Gen 1(black) and Gen 2 races here:



I picked up rebuild kits for both Flex Joints, and swapped the internals out.
Lacking a torque spec for the threaded retaining ring, I guess on how much to tighten them.......and I guessed wrong. SNAP!!

I had stripped the threads on the Flex Joint housing, rendering it useless. I reached out to Julene at Summit for replacement housings and since they are local-ish to my area, I dropped by to pick up a new joint housing.

When I explained my torque error, Julene apologized for not have a torque spec on her website and grabbed 2 replacement Flex Joint housings and retaining rings, so that I could replace the one that I ruined and also the one that I "potentially compromised" with the incorrect torque.

I fully expected to pay for these parts but she insisted in not taking payment and again claimed partial liability for not having the torque spec readily available online. She went above and beyond any expectation and stands behind the Summit Machine products 100%. Very impressive customer service, to say the least.

Back home, I proceeded to remove the existing Flex Joint housings from the Y-Link long arms and weld the new housings in place. I was careful to remove the weld slowly so that I could retain the original position of the housing and ensure that I didn't alter the overall length of the arm. Mission accomplished, ready to weld on the new housings.





Better than new, with updated housings and races installed. Torque Spec for the Summit Machine Flex Joint is 55-60lb/ft . The updated Flex Joints were very easy to grease as well.
The Y-Link components got cleanup, primer on bare metal and a couple of fresh coats of Rustoleum, then I pressed the new RE Superflex bushings into the the long arms and also into the UCA mounts on the TnT Customs D30 truss assembly.





My Bilstien's were looking a bit hammered so while I had them off, I cleaned them up a bit as well.



I also took this opportunity to update the front brakes with some Black Magic WJ pads that I've had for a while. I ordered a full set when I replaced the pads on my TJ Disc-equipped rear D44 last summer, but the fronts still had plenty of material so I held off on installing them. The braking improvement with Black Magic pads front and rear is noticeable and I highly recommend them.



All buttoned up and ready for the trail. I also replaced my AntiRock swaybar endlinks with new rods and greasable heims, as the originals were worn and sloppy.





Time well spent, on my recent 1000+ mile overland trip, with 450+ miles logged off-road, the suspension was smooth, quiet and performed better than new.
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  #263  
Old December 5th, 2018, 17:01
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XJEEPER XJEEPER is offline
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Re: XJ Buildup III

Hood Louver Installation

It's no shocker that underhood temps are an issue on the XJ platform and in an effort to improve airflow and reduce temps, I ordered up a pair of louvers from GenRight, PN: LVR-1006, which are 15-1/2" long x 4" wide, made from aluminum and come powdercoated satin black.

As for placement, I looked for a balance of functionality and aesthetics and as I didn't want to cut any hood bracing, arrived at the location that is 6.5" rearward of the leading edge of the hood.



I masked off the area to be cut and covered the engine compartment with a tarp, then blocked up the hood so that I wouldn't snag anything underneath as I made my cuts. I then drilled holes in each corner of the area to be cut so that I would be able to start the saw from any direction.



I masked off the hood area to protect the paint from hot metal chips that the saw kicks out and then got after it. When I encountered the area where the hood bracing resides, I switched to a cutoff wheel to only cut the hood skin and not the brace.








Once both holes were cut, I lined up the louvers over the holes and then marked out the 8 holes per louver that would be used to rivet them to the hood. These holes were drilled and then I cleaned up the edges with a flap wheel and file and touched up the bare metal with some silver paint.




I attached the louvers temporarily with screws, as my plan was to paint match them with Chrysler PS5 Silverstone Metallic, but after they were on for a while, the color grew on me. The black louvers provide a nice accent to the silver hood, so I ended up riveting them on tight with the black rivets that were supplied with the louvers.


I don't have any before and after temp number to support the added cooling effect that these louvers created, but I do see a lot of heat escaping from them. I also notice that the hood is much cooler when on the trail, so there's your "palm of the hand" scientific data.
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