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“Thought it was done” build / blog

Gollywomper

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Corning CA
I figured I would post up the history and progress of my 98 TJ.
It may be nothing more than for my own therapy.
After a trail ride January 2018, I decided it was time for an upgrade from my 95’ YJ. No matter what leaf springs or shocks I put under that thing, it just rode rough.
So began the search for a TJ. I searched everywhere and looked at a lot of different TJs from stock to built. I had $7k to add to what ever I could get out of my YJ. Early in my search I found a Jeep that interested my very much but was just a tad out of budget until I sold my YJ. It took several weeks to get the YJ cleaned, smogged and sold. I assumed the Jeep I was interested in had sold by now. A week after I sold the YJ I was searching through Craigslist and noticed the add was still up, an old add but it had not been removed. So I texted the guy sure enough he still had it, Luckily the add only had a couple pics and no discription of what all the Jeep had installed. So I arranged a meeting time and made the 2.5 hour drive to look at it.
Long story short I hauled it home on a trailer And the fun began.

7439CC14-A166-4B3C-945E-CBA1F3D85E08.png
 
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Gollywomper

Gollywomper

TJ Addict
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Joined
Feb 9, 2019
Messages
2,760
Location
Corning CA
I quick rundown of specs when purchased.
Hodgepodge 3.5” SL
1” BL
Dana 44s front and rear
5.13 gears
rubicon lockers
Poison Spyder front fenders
Warn rear bumper
Warn rocker guards
Warn steering box skid
Warn winch
35” km2s
Decent stereo system 10” sub behind rear seat. Amp under steering column.
Sure I’m missing some stuff.
I still believe I got a heck of a deal. It did and still does need some some tweaks.

84693BEF-50F2-41C8-8D28-C5AAC43D4F2D.jpeg
 
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Gollywomper

Gollywomper

TJ Addict
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Joined
Feb 9, 2019
Messages
2,760
Location
Corning CA
I have made many repairs and adjustments.
Replaced front TB with metal cloak.
Installed New adjustable lower CA in front, they were fixed.
The locker switches were wired to battery and no safety precautions for accidently hitting the switches. So I installed a safety switch that has to be flipped before they will turn on.

476BDD5B-676C-4E50-A447-4834D049895B.jpeg
 
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Gollywomper

Gollywomper

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Corning CA
It had the dreaded harmonic drumming vibration at 60+ mph. So I first checked pinion angles. The rear pinion angle was out by 7. Thought that would be it, nope. Adjusted to within approx 1. Felt vibrations lessened, but harmonic remained. So I removed rear then front and drove without each. Problem went away when front was removed. I found the front was out by a lot. Adjusted pinion up until vibe stopped. It is within 2* of DS angle. Still have a slight vibration above 65, but not a harmonic pulsing mind numbing vibration.
That’s when I discovered the whole track bar interference and read how to properly set bump stops. Had the front set pretty close.
While fighting a stiff steering issue, the term “scrub radius” was explained to me. Due to haveing 3.75 back spaces wheels and 1-1/4 wheel spacers my scrub radius was very excessive. I removed the spacers and now I can turn with my locket engaged. So at this point I decided it was a good time to revised my front bump stops due to tires being moved in. So I rechecked my front and have it set. Once I raise my front upper shock mounts 1” I will be using 100% of my rancho 999255 fronts.
 
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Gollywomper

Gollywomper

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2,760
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Corning CA
Which brings us to today’s project. The rear. So I removed the tires and dropped the axle. Removed springs. Check at full bump....bam. Diff cover hits gas tank skid. So I adjust the lowers all the way forward. Clearance is ok there now. Tires rub at rear but still have 1/2” clearance at the front. So should I shorten the lower more to center wheel in wheel well? I believe I know the answer....ugh. Again why would a company sell a control arm that does not adjust short enough. 😡
The track bar I believe is stock with a raised axle bracket. Well that hits on the tankskid bracket. Will an adjustable TB fix that after removing axle bracket?
Then on to these crappy uppers. Non flexing rubber bushings will need to be addressed as well.
77426
 
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Gollywomper

Gollywomper

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Corning CA
Front side of tire in wheel well. 7742777427

Back side.
77428
Looks like it will be close, but if I shorten my lowers the tire might just squeeze in there. What do ya think?
 
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Chris

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Looks like a nice rig!

Isn't that always the case though? We "think" it's done, but it never really is. I don't think it's possible!
 
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Gollywomper

Gollywomper

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Messages
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Corning CA
Looks like a nice rig!

Isn't that always the case though? We "think" it's done, but it never really is. I don't think it's possible!
I was looking for a stocker or maybe lifted on 33s. But kinda fell in love with this thing. Has been a bit of a project the last year. I figured I would skip the inevitable with this one, you know where you build it to 31s, then decide 33s might be better. Only to throw away a lift kit, 2 sets of tires and a regear cause bigger is always bettering wind up on 35d anyway.
Been down that road with my Samurai build years ago. I built that thing until it was so over built I didn’t like it any more. Lol
 
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Gollywomper

Gollywomper

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Corning CA
So back to my questions, I think they got buried it my ramblings above.
With my tire hitting the rear of my wheel well and having room in front. I shorten my CAs to center the tire at full bump, correct?
Guessing I should do that then attack the track bar hitting the gas tank mount. Since it may be fine after moving the axle forward.

I don’t know why it is such a hard thing for me to grasp....shortening the wheel base on a lifted Jeep. Lol just don’t seem right. :D:D
 

Chris

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I was looking for a stocker or maybe lifted on 33s. But kinda fell in love with this thing. Has been a bit of a project the last year. I figured I would skip the inevitable with this one, you know where you build it to 31s, then decide 33s might be better. Only to throw away a lift kit, 2 sets of tires and a regear cause bigger is always bettering wind up on 35d anyway.
Been down that road with my Samurai build years ago. I built that thing until it was so over built I didn’t like it any more. Lol

In my case I started with 31s and a 2" lift, then I went to 33s and a 4" lift, and then finally 35s and a 5" lift.

Knowing what I know now, I just would have saved all the money I wasted and went right to 35s from the start.

Still, if I were to do it all over again, honest to goodness I'd just get 31s, a 2" lift, and drive the hell out of it.

I know exactly what you mean hen you say that you over built your Samurai so much that you didn't like it anymore.
 

Chris

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So back to my questions, I think they got buried it my ramblings above.
With my tire hitting the rear of my wheel well and having room in front. I shorten my CAs to center the tire at full bump, correct?
Guessing I should do that then attack the track bar hitting the gas tank mount. Since it may be fine after moving the axle forward.

I don’t know why it is such a hard thing for me to grasp....shortening the wheel base on a lifted Jeep. Lol just don’t seem right. :D:D

Why is the tire hitting the rear of your wheel well? Is this when you're flexing out the suspension, or even just driving down the road?

The important part with the control arm length is that your axle is centered under the vehicle so that on full stuff, your lower bump stop pad is aligned perfectly center with the upper jounce bumper.
 
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Gollywomper

Gollywomper

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Corning CA
Why is the tire hitting the rear of your wheel well? Is this when you're flexing out the suspension, or even just driving down the road?

The important part with the control arm length is that your axle is centered under the vehicle so that on full stuff, your lower bump stop pad is aligned perfectly center with the upper jounce bumper.
Yes at full bump it hits the rear of the tub. The rubicon express lowers only adjust to stock length, bad engineering. I will pull them and shorten them so that my wheel is centered in the opening at full bump. The stops are close now, but with pinion angle being a bit off now it is hard to tell for sure. Guess bottom line is to quit overthinking and just put stuff where it needs to be to clear.
 

Chris

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Yes at full bump it hits the rear of the tub. The rubicon express lowers only adjust to stock length, bad engineering. I will pull them and shorten them so that my wheel is centered in the opening at full bump. The stops are close now, but with pinion angle being a bit off now it is hard to tell for sure. Guess bottom line is to quit overthinking and just put stuff where it needs to be to clear.

Ahhh, well you may just have to set your bump stop enough so that it keeps the tires from crushing the rear of the tub. I say that because the axle needs to be centered like I mentioned above, and if the tire continues to contact the tub after that, your only options are adding more bump stop, or cutting out the rear fender arches and adding tube fenders.

You could of course stretch the wheelbase as well, but that's opening up a huge can of worms.
 
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Gollywomper

Gollywomper

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Ahhh, well you may just have to set your bump stop enough so that it keeps the tires from crushing the rear of the tub. I say that because the axle needs to be centered like I mentioned above, and if the tire continues to contact the tub after that, your only options are adding more bump stop, or cutting out the rear fender arches and adding tube fenders.

You could of course stretch the wheelbase as well, but that's opening up a huge can of worms.
Don’t go talkin about stretches here in this thread.....
I just ran out and took a couple pics at close to full bump. As close to as I could with track bar/tank mount issue.
Definitely could move forward some

Drivers side. .
77433
Pass side.
77434
Couple pics of track bar.
7743577436
 

Chris

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Gollywomper

Gollywomper

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Corning CA
I removed my lowers before work this morning. I hoped I would be able to just cut a bit off both threaded ends, but upon inspection that would not work as the female threads only run about 2” into the short section of the control arm. 77452

So the long tube had to be cut shorter. So first I removed the threaded rod.
77453
Cut tube to needed length. Turned down old weld off threaded rod in a lathe.
77454
Set to proper length.
77455
Welded as needed.
7745677457
 
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Gollywomper

Gollywomper

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Corning CA
I think if I decide to cut the fronts down. It may be easier to cut the tube on the long side of the link. Remove whatever length needed, then sleeve it internally. The weld the seam and add a few plug welds.