Back-40 Build

I hate you now. No, the torque spec is not 25 lbs. No we don't use Tee Nuts to repair stripped holes. Use a Timesert. If you wanna snag the heli-coil kit for 8mm x 1.25 which has the correct size tap in it, then I'm glad to send you a couple of Timeserts that work in through holes. Helicoils don't work well in through holes, they are for blind holes.

Figured that would get you going.
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Started the day picking through a buddy’s scrap pile. Found some steel that will work fine for mounting seats.


Got about half way through one for proof of concept. Will follow up on that.

I switched to the bigger priority pieces. Got her rolling!


Missing shocks still, as they have yet to show up. But she’s rolling. Driveline are in. She’s mostly square and aligned.

Still looking like I’m gonna have some serious bump in the rear — pinion angle didn’t bail me out as much as I had hoped. And a weird split of travel (5 up, 2.5 down?) but that might settle in with fine tuning.

Another bump question: the front upper bumps are extended on long extensions. Maybe 2.5” and they are definitely, no doubt factory. There is some serious binding with the coil in articulation. How do people address this?
Fixed the front bump tower colliding with the coil. I needed to adjust caster some to pull the front driveline off the stock skid at full extension, and that fixed it.
More detail on the DIY seat brackets...PRP wanted $100/side for brackets that mounted stock TJ seat sliders to PRP seats. I thought I'd seen somebody do it with 2" angle iron, so I went hunting around a buddy's junk pile for options.

Couldn't find any angle that would give me enough width to fit the brackets on the seat, but I did find some flat bar that allowed me to move the new center-most "track" inboard to accommodate, along with some channel stock that was just about perfect height for the vertical seat brackets. A few holes and bolts, and it's good to go.

Added benefit that I was able to make longer "tails" on the seat channel so that I can slide the seat back even farther. At 6'3, that was a welcome improvement. Plus now I can probably find that nifty extinguisher mount that I think @Jerry Bransford has/had right in front of his seat.

Wall o'text:

Made a little progress on the "fiddly" stuff this week.

  • Lockers are all hooked up and operational, front and rear bumpers are on.
  • Had a mystery coolant leak near the top of the radiator post-body/motor mount lift. Still haven't nailed it down. I tightened all the hose clamps this morning. Hoping that takes care of it.
  • I dealt with the (apparently common) issue of 2nd and 4th gears being susceptible to "jumping" out of gear post body/motor mount lift. Fixed that.
  • Mr. Blaine was cool enough to send me a couple hardware bits to fix the brake issue.
  • Got the steering stabilizer hooked up after figuring clearance on fucking everything with the currectlync. In retrospect, I should have trashed the huge dumb fox steering stabilizer that came with the axle and gone cheap and narrow. Oh, well.
  • Tightened up some interior trim screws to limit at least a little bit of rattling.

Been ordering/acquiring a bunch of spare parts because I really don't know what will break next weekend:
  • U-joints
  • Driveshaft bolts
  • Misc. hardware
  • Spare axle shafts for the Dana 30 front
  • All the fluids

I think I messed up pretty good and didn't order the gas tank skid in time — it won't be here before next weekend. Yikes.

This weekend will be the last big push before Dusy.
On the "must do" list:
  • Install bump stops.
  • Re-torque EVERYTHING underneath. Between me and my buddies helping, we had a lot going on and the beer to go with it. So it's worth the once-over.
    • I need to drop the skid (again...sigh) to re-torque the driveshaft bolts. While I'm down there, I might do the savvy cable shifter.
  • Trim, Paint, Install Genright mini boatside sliders.
  • Install passenger seat.
  • Install winch (which requires a little battery cable work)
  • Install hardwired fridge outlet in the cargo area.
  • Install steering box skid
  • Install soft top.
On the, "it'd be nice to do" list:
  • Get sound/heat barrier down on the floor. This will require a shitload of cleaning of the tub floor.
    • Would love some input on how long this actually takes to do well.
  • Get bedrug down on the floor.
  • Give her a quick bath — at least get all the sap off the windshield.

Outside of that I need to get a spare key made, test-fit all of the camping/jeep gear in the back, and buy a few other safety-oriented things and I should be good to go.
Fixed the front bump tower colliding with the coil. I needed to adjust caster some to pull the front driveline off the stock skid at full extension, and that fixed it.

Your axle wasn't centered? For extra bump in front hockey pucks on the lower spring pad work well. Also you may want to just clearance the skid rather than give up caster.

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With as much work as you put in in this short amount of time that has to feel amazing to hop in and drive. Dusy is gonna be so rewarding. Nice work.
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Alright, back at it post-dusy (it's sat through a busy fall).

So, some stuff broke:

Pulled the rear axle and did a little surgery to get new control arm/track bar brackets from Barnes 4x4 welded up. I briefly considered outboarding, since it was out anyway...but I see tons and coils in the (somewhat near) future.

More to come...front axle gets overhauled, gas tank skid, new fenders, and then some little bits for quality of life.

Got MCE fenders on, had to do a little trimming, I might scallop the edges some, since it looks a little "square."



Got the new track bar/CA mount all fitted up, too (ignore the fresh and shitty rattle can).


I also screwed up and didn't register it after I got the "temp" registration back in August. That meant I had to smog it again. After waiting for an eternity for the tech to find the cat# (I had no idea wtf he was doing), it failed for high NO. Well shit.

Manifod, O2 sensors, and cat were new. So I started hunting around for what I was hoping was not a cracked manifold...did the ol' hook-up-the-shop-vac-to-blow-into-the-tailpipe and started spraying soap to look for leaks.


No big deal, couple cranks and that was fine.

Crawled underneath and:


The hanger busted the pipe somehow. Best I figure is I found that the manifold>exhaust connection was loose, so the force of that bouncing around put some added stress here.

We welded that up, and it goes back out for smog today. Should pass again...assuming the flood of O2 for however long didn't totally screw up my cat.

Up next:
  • New headlights (KC Gravity LEDs w/ the vision x high+low harness hookup)
  • Rock lights to help me be less blind in the dark (KC)
  • JK front marker lights + hook up the led markers on the MCEs
  • Dome/cargo lighting
  • The ARR CB mount
  • Savvy skids front-to-back
Then maybe a PSC box and relocating the upper coil seats in the rear.
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