Bty34 TJ build

The freespool on my winch has gotten a little stiff. Pulled the gearcase off it to clean and regrease. Even had some help with the cleaning part. I think it feels quite a bit better even though the old grease didn't look that bad. Hopefully it's not all in my head.

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When I installed the rear axle, I had a hard time getting the vent line out from under the truss without kinking. I thought I might get away with the short "s" hose and connecting it to the stock 5/16" breather. It worked ok, but would occasionally (like 1/4 of the time) push oil out the vent. I finally committed to drilling a hole through the truss to switch it all to 3/8" hose. I drove it 4 hrs each way to Rush Creek and didn't notice any oil residue. So far it's a success.

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Can't believe I got so far behind in this thread.

Updates have somewhat been in spurts. Been relatively minor clean up stuff after the work last year.

Went down to Rausch Creek for a weekend with the family. It was my wife's first time driving, so we avoided the reds. Covered a decent amount of ground with just the two Jeeps.

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I've been putting off replacing my torque boxes for long enough. Between the rust and repeatedly dropping the jeep on body mounted sliders, they are looking pretty rough. Drivers side is the worst, so I'll start there and see how far I get.

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When I bought the Jeep back in 2004 it had a salvage title and had been repaired by a local body shop. The left rear corner was crunched and spliced back together. Apparently when he did the seam across the rear floor pan he just overlapped them 1" and tacked the top of the joint together. Without any seam sealer, it collected dirt/salt and rust. Plan is to deal with that at the same time.

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Removed some of the front section of torque box. The floor was a little thin where they overlapped and opened up when I went at it with the cup brush. I debated about using a sheet of 18ga to patch it, but Im going to order a floor pan and do a bigger area.

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I'm becoming less and less of a fan of bedliner. Raptor doesn't seem as bad as herculiner, but the coating seems to stay together well enough when it debonds from the metal that it's hard to tell it's been compromised.

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While I'm hacking the floor apart I might as well add some clearance for the upper links. Picked up a 12" piece of 2.25 OD tube.

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Unbolted the cage and lifted it enough to get it out of the way.

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Wasn't too bad under the b pillar. I'm thinking I'll go just outside the old seam all the way to the outside rather than splicing in a strip.

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Starting to look like something. Welding in the tube made things a little harder for what seemed like 100 rounds of test fitting.

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Got the torque box off and cut out the front floor pan. Since I had the full replacement panel, I put the cuts where I thought it would match up easiest rather than just doing the rust areas.

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Decided to flange the front section rather than butt weld.

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Pretty well test fit and ready to start prepping for welding. Required a lot less revisions than getting the right gaps for butt welding.
 
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I'm pretty happy with how the heights matched up after the flanging tool. It was a lot quicker than all the test fitting it would have needed to be able to butt weld it. With seam sealer on both sides I think it will hold up ok.

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I'm becoming less and less of a fan of bedliner. Raptor doesn't seem as bad as herculiner, but the coating seems to stay together well enough when it debonds from the metal that it's hard to tell it's been compromised.

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That looks like it had 0 prep work and applied directly to the factory paint :oops:

Torque boxes have been on my list for some time. I've had a replacement section for 4 years now. The center section is pretty much gone, this gives me some motivation. Awesome work.
 
That looks like it had 0 prep work and applied directly to the factory paint :oops:

Torque boxes have been on my list for some time. I've had a replacement section for 4 years now. The center section is pretty much gone, this gives me some motivation. Awesome work.

Wait, I thought you Colorado guys didn't have to deal with rust!
 
It definitely has turned into a little more than I had planned, but that's how it usually goes.

Got a little distracted by the skid plate while laying under the Jeep. When I installed the Atlas, I settled on the 15° clocking position, partially because of how high it let me shove the transmission. I wasn't able to fully utilize that as the Atlas hung slightly lower and it also limited the allowable height for the center of the stiffener.

Looking at how the skid is holding up, I need to make some changes.

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It's bent about 1/4". I think it bent enough to contact the corssmember and then the added support was enough. I knew the rear brace was on the light side, but I didn't remember anything more than dragging on the skid.
 
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Here's what I'm thinking. The 3/8" 6061 is pretty strong (2400 pounds) but deflects 2.4" with that load. It should spring back though on its own.

With the steel brace added, it adds some strength, but also permanently deforms at much lower deflection. I need to pull the rear brace to confirm, but I'm thinking it's bent and preventing the aluminum from returning to flat.

My current set is roughly in the red. The aluminum and rear angle will permanently deform around 600 lbs. and shortly after contact the center cross member which adds another 1000 lbs of strength. Since that isn't bent, I probably only had 1/3 of the Jeep resting on the skid.

The yellow boxes are close to what I remember the Savvy UA being composed of. All together 5k pounds for the Savvy seems reasonable and a good target.

It really helps the strength of the Savvy arrangement to have the cross member bolted to the skid and the isolation between it and the transmission mount. Since I have the bushings at the frame, I think I need to keep the 1/4" gap I have currently.
 
Pulled the bolts out of the rear stiffener. The aluminum plate is bent, but pretty minimal.

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Modified the rear brace for the skid with another piece of angle I had laying around. Also added 1/2" of drop in the center. The aluminum should accommodate that without remaking the plate. Should by some time for a more permanent solution.

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My math is putting the modified brace up around 3,700 lbs. before permanent bending. Not quite 5k, but better for the short term. Test fit with the aluminum went ok, bolts were able to draw it together pretty well.

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Countersunk one additional bolt on the Atlas as it was rubbing on the bent up skid plate. Also pulled the studs in the Atlas and clocked it one position flatter (roughly 7° now).

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I'm leaning towards making a whole new brace for the rear of the skid. 1 3/4" tall on the ends, 2 1/2" in the center, 3/16 web and bottom flange, 2" wide x 3/8" flange on the top. This should also allow me to swap out the 3/4" skid spacers at the frame for 1/4". Total capacity should be north of the 5k lbs. I was shooting for. Before I do that I need to get the body back on and Atlas position finalized.

I did cut the transmission mount off the cross member. The transmission bolts were about 3/16" higher than the bottom of the crossmember and I think every little bit helps. Also made the exhaust hanger bolt on while it was out.

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