Bty34 TJ build

bty34

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I'll start out with where the Jeep is at currently, if anyone has any interest in how it got to this point, let me know and I can try to add some details.

Current configuration
2000 TJ Sport
4.0 stroker, NV3550, NP231 with JB Conv SSSYE
HP30, Detroit, Superior shafts, Currie steering with BMB hydro assist, BMB 15" brake kit
Dana 35, Superior 30 spline c-clip eliminator with e-locker, 4.88 gears
4" Currie springs, Savvy mid arm, 12" fox shocks
Savvy underarmor, ARB rocker guards
15" method beadlocks, 35" Pro Comp MT2

New parts
RJ60 front, 99-04 knuckles, Detroit, 5.38 gears
RJ60 rear Detroit for now
3.8 Atlas
17" beadlocks, 37" tires for now
Savvy rockers

The TJ works pretty well as it sits now, goal is to swap the parts and not make it work any worse. I picked up the axles and Atlas used, previous plan was just the new rocker guards and a 5.0 Atlas.

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bty34

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The 5.0 Atlas I ordered back in February started getting built before I cancelled it, so I'll sell off the 3.8 and keep the 5.0 as originally planned.

Started working on the rear axle. Ordered a Currie bridge for the upper mounts, but it is 2" taller than the Savvy midarm bridge I was running.

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bty34

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Cut the center out of the Currie bridge to lower it down to the top of the housing. Gained 1.5", so it's only 1/2" higher than the standard Savvy setup.

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bty34

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The Ruff Stuff mounts I bought are also a little taller. Cut them down to match the Savvy. Also added a stiffener to the back of the new top plate.

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bty34

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Since I don't have highline fenders, I picked up some 35's for the 17" wheels.

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tworley

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It already started out as a great build. Definitely curious to see your progress with the new RJ axles and atlas!
 
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bty34

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I'm going to loose a little clearance, but the extra gearing will be nice. We'll see if it's worth the work.

Ground down the angled portion of the casting to be 3/4" lower than the other set of holes, but parallel and then added a 3/4" spacer to the bottom of the bridge. After a test fit under the jeep, did the final welding and put my painting crew to work.

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bty34

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The existing vent on the cover of the Rockjock came up under the bridge. Found a 3/8" emissions line that worked about right to get it out from underneath without kinking.

Picked up a Gladiator/Ram control arm to chop up for the new transmission cross member.

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bty34

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Pulled the 37s and mounted up the 35s. Ran 2 wraps of gorilla tape on the inside bead on the first two. Didn't get much of a pop when the tire seated. Left the other two without. The safety bead on the Methods is wide, but not very high. I remember the 15s being more like normal. It is nice that the 17s have an extra set of holes.

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bty34

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Put the rear axle under the Jeep and located the lower shock mounts. The new axle is 61.75" wide, or a little over 1" wider than stock. My old wheels were 8" wide, 3.5" backspacing. New wheels are 9" wide, 4.5" backspacing. Net of all this is the tires move out 1/8" per side from the previous setup. It'll work fine for the 35s, but a 64" width would have been better.

I set the shocks for 1" of compression on the Currie bumpstops at full bump and 1/2" of compression when articulated.

For now I'm going to leave the rear antirock mounts for later. I put it in front of the axle a few years back. Under full articulation the tire gets close enough to the tub that there isn't room for the arm. Once the Jeeps drivable I'll move it behind the axle.

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bty34

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Started working on the Atlas. Based on Blaine's recommendation elsewhere I countersunk the last two fasteners on the bottom cover. They are through holes, so I put a set screw in each holes to keep shavings out of the case. Tried doing it with a hand drill at first, but the countersink didn't stay centered nicely. Switched over to the drill press and they came out nicer.

Test fit the case a couple of times, here is where I ended up for clocking. Hammered the tub a little on the driver's side and around the breather fitting. Transmission is close to the same location it was with the 231 and Savvy UA, 1/2-3/4" above the bott of the frame.

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bty34

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Crossmember is in place, just needs to be pulled and fully welded. Cut the ends off the Gladiator control arm and slid a length of 1.5" tube in the middle, welded to half a stock transmission mount. Ordered some 3/16" tabs from Barnes 4wd for mounting I'm debating about making the skid flat and using spacers at the frame rails to also accommodate the nutserts.

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bty34

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Finished welding the crossmember and got it back installed. Round tube would have given a little more clearance, but I had the square laying around. If I was doing it again I would probably go with smaller bushings. The one end of the Gladiator control arm is 3" OD.

Crossmember ended up 1/2" below the bottom of the frame. The bottom corner of the Atlas is 5/8" below the bottom of the frame. I'm debating about putting 3/4" flat spacers on the frame and keeping the skid flat.

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bty34

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Mounted the Savvy skid out of curiosity. It's 3/8" lower than normal due to contact near the edges. There is quite a bit of clearance in the center. Should be close enough to use as a template for the new skid.

Took a 1310 rear shaft I had left over and mixed it with a 1350 shaft to make a temporary rear shaft. I'll probably keep this as a trail spare and order a new one from Tom Woods when I'm all done.

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bty34

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Shifted to mocking up the front axle. Started with cutting off the stock frame side trac bar mount, which was a blast.

Then slid the axle under to see how it looked at full bump. This is 1" past initial contact with the standard Currie bumpstops and 2" forward from normal. The pinion yoke / driveshaft does make contact with the exhaust, but I think I can alleviate that with reworking the exhaust. The axle is 65" wide, but the pinion offset is 2" closer to center than a standard TJ. In the previous jeep they had added bumpstops and ran a two piece front shaft. I'd like to avoid both if I can.

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bty34

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Reworked the coil buckets that were on the axle. Cut off the stock shock mounts and then slid the mounts back 2" to help the new trac bar pass I'm front of them. Also added a nut for the bumpstops while they were off. Long carbide blade in the sawzall worked pretty well for moving the buckets.

Mocked up a new mount for the upper control arm mount. Set the caster at 6° and tacked it in place.

Ordered a set of Currie knuckles. I was going to send the knuckles I have out to Weaver for machining, but with shipping and a setup fee, the cost was pretty close.

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