2005 Rubicon; A Rubi Brother

So I finished up the Jeep on Saturday, or at least what needed to be done to make it driveable. Front pinion is set, and the exhaust is back on up to the muffler. It’s definitely more droney without the tail pipe on but I’m hoping I can take care of that this week or next when I order the new muffler. Then it’s on to a new rear DS ($400, yikes), and a TC shifter so I can button up the skid. I’ll eventually relocate the locker pumps but for now I have them tucked safely between the frame and the body above where the skid will sit.

Comparison photos. It’s very strange not seeing the skid, but it’s definitely exciting!
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So tell me now - aren't you happy that you went with this instead of UCF for the effort involved? :)
 
So tell me now - aren't you happy that you went with this instead of UCF for the effort involved? :)

My wallet sure isn't lol. But the Savvy stuff is a nice setup. That custom crossmember is a game changer.

Here's a video in the cab at idle. I'm not sure how well the audio translates what I'm feeling but I think once I attach the new exhaust and switch out the TC shifter it will make a world of difference.
 
Oh and in case you were all wondering.
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Just shy of 3” of clearance from the lowest point of both skids. Nice!
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I’m going to finish dialing in the front pinion and hopefully I don’t get in a fight with the jam nuts. I have to relocate the locker pumps, but until I get the exhaust system, shock clearance at the spring perches, and DS resolved, I’m not going to be driving it. When all of that stuff is resolved, I’ll get the engine skid installed.

Another tidbit, my stock TC linkage still works after some tweaking 😅 But one of the brackets is touching the tub so it will definitely be transferring vibs. Something will get put in its place eventually.

We are going to have a good time putting some scratches in that pretty skid plate....Turkey Creek part two?
 
It may never be a problem for you but I had trouble keeping my rear upper bolt from moving with just clamping force of the nut. I ended up putting a larger washer that fit between the two cam adjustment stops to center the bolt and made my adjustment with the arm.

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I made mine, but something like this....
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It may never be a problem for you but I had trouble keeping my rear upper bolt from moving with just clamping force of the nut. I ended up putting a larger washer that fit between the two cam adjustment stops to center the bolt and made my adjustment with the arm.

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I made mine, but something like this....
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This is something I’ve always struggled with accepting. I 100% understand the clamping force concept, but the sheer amount of force placed on control arms and trac bars leaves me so skeptical that the bolt can actually prevent the joint from sliding in a slot like above. For instance, how does the stock trac bar hole on the front axle always seem to get wallowed out? No one ever can give a straight answer on that without contradicting the clamping force theory.

I moved the ones you circled above, so I will keep an eye out. My front lowers didn’t look like the moved but I threw some marks on them anyways so I can check in the future.
 
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This is something I’ve always struggled with accepting. I 100% understand the clamping force concept, but the sheer amount of force placed on control arms and trac bars leaves me so skeptical that the bolt can actually prevent the joint from sliding in a slot like above. For instance, how does the stock trac bar hole on the front axle always seem to get wallowed out? No one ever can give a straight answer on that without contradicting the clamping force theory.

I moved the ones you circled above, so I will keep an eye out. My front lowers didn’t look like the moved but I threw some marks on them anyways so I can check in the future.

Not saying you will. Just sharing my experiences.🤷🏼‍♂️
 
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This is something I’ve always struggled with accepting. I 100% understand the clamping force concept, but the sheer amount of force placed on control arms and trac bars leaves me so skeptical that the bolt can actually prevent the joint from sliding in a slot like above. For instance, how does the stock trac bar hole on the front axle always seem to get wallowed out? No one ever can give a straight answer on that without contradicting the clamping force theory.

I moved the ones you circled above, so I will keep an eye out. My front lowers didn’t look like the moved but I threw some marks on them anyways so I can check in the future.

The holes wallow out because the bolt looses clamping force. That can happen either by a nut loosening, or more likely someone going over torque on the bolt and permanently stretching it, so that it doesn't develop the correct clamping force.
 
Not much has happened since I finished the crossmember. I’ve been driving around my general neighborhood on small errands or going to the gym and the vibs at idle have definitely smoothed out a ton as things have “settled in” so to speak. I think getting the new TC shifter on there and finishing out the exhaust so it doesn’t drone in the cab will be a game changer in that regard.

I talked with @DaveC a bit and checked out his custom tuck setup and I actually think I might be able to use the stock muffler in there. My thread regarding eliminating the third cat was resourceful and I think for now I will be leaving it in there unless I see an issue with it in the future.

I do have a trans cooler I got from @PurpleTJAZ way back when and I think it would be prudent to get that operational as well to help lower heat in the general area.

Getting close to buttoning things up, it’s just the little things now!
 
Another update. Not a ton of work done, but I did some mocking up with the exhaust and skid in place. And and and I at least have pictures to share!

So, turns out my stock muffler will work with the tuck!

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Ok well....mostly :D

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At first glance it looks just fine, but unfortunately, the rear structural brace for the skid comes right up against the end of the muffler. Oh so close!

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So as it stands, this is where the stock exhaust pipe now sits in relation to the muffler.

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So just eyeballing clearances, I think my plan will be as follows. See proficiently engineered cut sheet below.
  • Cut muffler off at flange and bring muffler back by about an inch. Maybe 1-1/2" max (I am watching out for UCA clearance. Bringing the flange back at the cat would interfere with the rear skid brace. Hence why the muffler comes back and the flange stays.
  • Remove exhaust hanger from rear pipe.
  • Cut out a section of the downward angle of the exhaust pipe where it turns into the muffler, and bring it up until it matches muffler outlet height. Probably will make the cut right where the pipe appears to expand as it makes its downwards bend.
  • Adjust section of pipe and weld in the piece between the downward bend and the muffler.
  • Weld exhaust hanger onto pipe making sure there is tension on it. Therefore it is supported, and has no chance of sagging.
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In theory, I believe this will work. It seems like a fairly simple approach, which is the concerning part :ROFLMAO: I believe as long as I maintain the stock positioning of the arch in the rear pipe, I shouldn't have any exhaust interference when the axle stuffs. I just need to watch out for the muffler if I bring it back.

I think it's go time!
 
Another update. Not a ton of work done, but I did some mocking up with the exhaust and skid in place. And and and I at least have pictures to share!

So, turns out my stock muffler will work with the tuck!

View attachment 454122

Ok well....mostly :D

View attachment 454123

At first glance it looks just fine, but unfortunately, the rear structural brace for the skid comes right up against the end of the muffler. Oh so close!

View attachment 454124

View attachment 454125

So as it stands, this is where the stock exhaust pipe now sits in relation to the muffler.

View attachment 454126

So just eyeballing clearances, I think my plan will be as follows. See proficiently engineered cut sheet below.
  • Cut muffler off at flange and bring muffler back by about an inch. Maybe 1-1/2" max (I am watching out for UCA clearance. Bringing the flange back at the cat would interfere with the rear skid brace. Hence why the muffler comes back and the flange stays.
  • Remove exhaust hanger from rear pipe.
  • Cut out a section of the downward angle of the exhaust pipe where it turns into the muffler, and bring it up until it matches muffler outlet height. Probably will make the cut right where the pipe appears to expand as it makes its downwards bend.
  • Adjust section of pipe and weld in the piece between the downward bend and the muffler.
  • Weld exhaust hanger onto pipe making sure there is tension on it. Therefore it is supported, and has no chance of sagging.
View attachment 454127

In theory, I believe this will work. It seems like a fairly simple approach, which is the concerning part :ROFLMAO: I believe as long as I maintain the stock positioning of the arch in the rear pipe, I shouldn't have any exhaust interference when the axle stuffs. I just need to watch out for the muffler if I bring it back.

I think it's go time!

Raising the hangers wouldn’t have worked?
 
Raising the hangers wouldn’t have worked?

No I don't think so. I would have run into something like this, and based on my measurements I would have run into the same issue with the arch over the axle hitting the tub.
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Another update. Not a ton of work done, but I did some mocking up with the exhaust and skid in place. And and and I at least have pictures to share!

So, turns out my stock muffler will work with the tuck!

View attachment 454122

Ok well....mostly :D

View attachment 454123

At first glance it looks just fine, but unfortunately, the rear structural brace for the skid comes right up against the end of the muffler. Oh so close!

View attachment 454124

View attachment 454125

So as it stands, this is where the stock exhaust pipe now sits in relation to the muffler.

View attachment 454126

So just eyeballing clearances, I think my plan will be as follows. See proficiently engineered cut sheet below.
  • Cut muffler off at flange and bring muffler back by about an inch. Maybe 1-1/2" max (I am watching out for UCA clearance. Bringing the flange back at the cat would interfere with the rear skid brace. Hence why the muffler comes back and the flange stays.
  • Remove exhaust hanger from rear pipe.
  • Cut out a section of the downward angle of the exhaust pipe where it turns into the muffler, and bring it up until it matches muffler outlet height. Probably will make the cut right where the pipe appears to expand as it makes its downwards bend.
  • Adjust section of pipe and weld in the piece between the downward bend and the muffler.
  • Weld exhaust hanger onto pipe making sure there is tension on it. Therefore it is supported, and has no chance of sagging.
View attachment 454127

In theory, I believe this will work. It seems like a fairly simple approach, which is the concerning part :ROFLMAO: I believe as long as I maintain the stock positioning of the arch in the rear pipe, I shouldn't have any exhaust interference when the axle stuffs. I just need to watch out for the muffler if I bring it back.

I think it's go time!

I think you have a solid plan. I did basically the same thing except I did use a shorter muffler. I would also recommend putting a slip joint and clamp between the exhaust pipe and muffler. It will make removing one or other easier if needed in the future not to mention it is easier to weld not under the Jeep.
 
Ordered a Savvy TC shifter last night. Got a shipment notification first thing this morning. Sweet!

Going to order the rear DS today. Going with Tom Woods and they're out of Utah so I expect I will have this stuff in hand and installed before next weekend. Then I can go play around a bit.

I'm not sure I can get the exhaust done by then but for now it seems secure on the hanger so as long as I don't fume myself out I could do a little wheeling.
 
Started on the shifter cable install this evening. Ok maybe not the install portion, but I started the the prep portion!
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The original linkage and the front DS were removed, that way I can jump right back in tomorrow and get the Savvy cable dialed in.

I also decided to clearance my tub a bit more for the TC. I wasn’t happy with how close it sat to the tub, so I found that a piece of angle iron (about the size of a certain engine skid brace…..) sat over the two extrusions of the TC just right and made a nice clean dimple in the tub. I’m much happier with the clearance now.