High travel, high clearance & high octane, a streetable adventure LJ story

mrblaine

TJ Guru
Supporting Member
Nov 20, 2015
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Quail Valley, CA
Ok! Bear with me. The GR brackets are part of my thinking. Couldn't this be an opportunity to raise the skid equal to the thickness of the frame brackets and shims? The skid would need to be clearanced for the frame nutserts or the nutserts would need to be replaced with a sleeve for a through bolt. And the outputs would be a hair higher.

I realize this is less than an 1/8" gain, but it's there to be had, right?
It is there to be had if you want to do one of two things. Either grind the flange off the nutserts down flush to the frame or counterbore the top of the mounting holes in the skid to account for the nutsert flange thickness. One of those options is viable, the other is not. ;)
 
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jjvw

0-60 in 18 seconds
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Feb 17, 2018
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Colorado, USA
It is there to be had if you want to do one of two things. Either grind the flange off the nutserts down flush to the frame or counterbore the top of the mounting holes in the skid to account for the nutsert flange thickness. One of those options is viable, the other is not. ;)
I know a guy who sells replacement frame nutserts! :)
 

mrblaine

TJ Guru
Supporting Member
Nov 20, 2015
2,951
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Quail Valley, CA
Subtract 1.75" for the skid, if I recall.
Yes and no. It is like the clearance design of rear axle center sections. It isn't the low point only, it is also the width of the low point. Having 13" of low point down the middle of the rig is far better than having the full width 1.75" lower all the way across.
 
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jjvw

0-60 in 18 seconds
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Feb 17, 2018
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Yes and no. It is like the clearance design of rear axle center sections. It isn't the low point only, it is also the width of the low point. Having 13" of low point down the middle of the rig is far better than having the full width 1.75" lower all the way across.
Super 35 vs 8.8 kinda sorta
 
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toximus

toximus

TJ Addict
Mar 29, 2018
1,051
756
Northern WI
I flattened my pitman arm for mockup. The OEM arm measures about 5.5" center of hole to center of hole (CTC), for the mockup I am starting with this spacing and will change if needed.

20181215_OEM-pitman-arm.jpg


20181215_cut-pitman-arm.jpg


20181216_flattening-pitman-arm2.jpg


20181216_flat-pitman-arm-mockup-welded.jpg


20181216_installed-flat-pitman-arm-mockup.jpg
 

mrblaine

TJ Guru
Supporting Member
Nov 20, 2015
2,951
3,225
Quail Valley, CA
First on the agenda is connecting up the parking brake. When I started this build, this part we thought was going to be a challenge. It ended up being super easy and only a few brackets were needed.

I started with a 304 stainless steel remnant. It feels great to be making chips again!

View attachment 65873

These cable adapter links were made with 1" of separation between the holes:

View attachment 65874

I previously mentioned that I made and welded on parking brake retainers. What I did was I cut and drilled a small tab of 1/4" steel and used a 3-1/2" hole saw at the bottom of them to match the curve of the axle tube and then welded a short support leg onto that. Here's a picture from back when I made them:

View attachment 65875

And here's a good look at the parking brake assembled:

View attachment 65876

Once I got the parking brake off the list, UPS delivered the 10mmx1.0 to -6AN fitting I was waiting on. I removed the diff cover and quickly chased the threads and got the new fitting in. I topped it with a PTFE lined stainless steel hose with a 90* fitting on the near end. This solution is going to clear the bridge perfectly and at the other end of the hose I can go back to a barbed fitting to finish bringing the breather up to the firewall.

View attachment 65877
Here you go as promised with a slight delay for which I apologize.
Your connecting link made with nothing but hand tools. Cut with a cut-off disc in a hand held grinder, drilled and deburred with a hand drill, finished with a flap disc in a hand held grinder.

DSC_4694.JPG


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toximus

toximus

TJ Addict
Mar 29, 2018
1,051
756
Northern WI
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toximus

toximus

TJ Addict
Mar 29, 2018
1,051
756
Northern WI
This afternoon I installed the driver's side knuckle that I had previously sent to Black Magic Brakes to be fitted for front brakes.

Before installing I shot inside the axle tubes with a little paint.

20181216_paint-tubes.jpg


I'm not sure I'll be taking the axles back out again before finishing so I installed everything properly. The RCV boots are always such a pain to get on and off when it's cold so I really hope I don't need to take the knuckles off again. I should have set the garage temp to 80F...then they pop right on! SuperDutyPSD is a great resource for the 1999 - 2004 Ford F250-F450 style Dana 60 knuckles that Currie uses. I followed their balljoint article which covered all of the torque specs that I needed. http://www.superdutypsd.com/ball_joint_article.php

To set the knuckle side axle seal I used an OTC 6695 Axle Shaft Seal Installer that I had modified a few months ago to account for the larger diameter 35 spline shafts. Having this tool makes pressing the seals a 5 minute task.

20180523_OTC-seal-tool-bore.jpg


I then installed the Yukon locking hubs. I previously was concerned about the axle shaft moving too far into the diff housing so I had RCV groove the stubs. However this is now positioning the "slugs" too far in for the manual hub to unlock. I left the stub snap rings off for now.

20181216_yukon-hubs-installed.jpg
 
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toximus

toximus

TJ Addict
Mar 29, 2018
1,051
756
Northern WI
I can definitely see a road trip this summer to come and see this beast! Awesome build and it's nice to see some of your skillsets grow through the project progression.
It's crazy how that works. Things that I had to mull over a year ago I now immediately know what to do and can get it done in a fraction of the time. I've been trying to prioritize learning during this build rather than getting it done. This means that sometimes I end up redoing something 5 times even if it was good enough the first time.
 
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toximus

toximus

TJ Addict
Mar 29, 2018
1,051
756
Northern WI
toximus said:
I tried installing the replacement axle skid that I was sent when my axle didn't arrive with one. I can't make it fit. I think it's actually a skid for the RJ60 and the RJ60VXR may share the skid with the 70. It has become clear during this build that Currie has a disconnect between their shop floor and customer service when it comes to the RockJock 60 VXR. The knowledge and support from them has been filled with lots of misinformation. I'll give them a call on Monday to try and get this skid issue resolved.
I called Currie. They make 3 axle skids: 60 (60-9085), 60VXR (60-9085B), and 70 (70-9085). They were unable to make the exchange for me directly so I contacted Ricky (4LowParts, where I bought) and he was able to contact Currie and make things right. This is where purchasing through a seller who's willing to take the time to help is worth it.
 
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toximus

toximus

TJ Addict
Mar 29, 2018
1,051
756
Northern WI
The transfer case started dripping again by this afternoon. I don't think I was able to crush the crush washer enough to seal it and I don't want to torque the plug any more. At this point I don't see any real benefit in the sight beyond the fun factor and it really isn't fun anymore. As soon as I can find my OEM plugs I'll be switching back.

20181217_sight-glass-leak-round2.jpg
 
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toximus

toximus

TJ Addict
Mar 29, 2018
1,051
756
Northern WI
20181217_tierod.jpg


I previously drilled the steering arms to allow for a 3/4" bolt. The bolt is grade 8 and 8" long with mechanically locking Stover nuts on the ends. It's possible that I'll need to go with a slightly longer bolt. I eyeballed the knuckles to what looked straight and measured between the center of the steering arm holes. 54" eye to eye at the bottom (where the tierod will be positioned) and 52.5" eye to eye at the top for my 65" WMS RJ60 axle.

After accounting for the rod ends and tube adapters, I cut 1.25" OD .120" wall DOM tubing for the tie rod to 48". I have been using a Makita LC1230 saw for this build which allows me to work faster than using an angle grinder. You could easily get by with a cut off wheel on an angle grinder, sawzall, or handsaw if you don't mind spending the extra time.

I am using FK heims in 3/4" eye with 7/8-14 threads (RSMX12T and RSMXL12T) on each end to make it adjustable while on the Jeep. The FK rod ends are high quality PTFE lined so they should last in my relatively corrosive environment. FK jam nuts will keep the ends tight.

With the tie rod mounted on the axle I tested for clearance on the diff cover at both locks. It fits perfectly! If I modify the steering stops any to allow for more steering angle which I can get with the RCVs I may need to clearance the cover.

20181218_tierod-clearance.jpg
 
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toximus

toximus

TJ Addict
Mar 29, 2018
1,051
756
Northern WI
In order to ensure I am keeping the tires off the frame I needed to install the rotors onto the unit bearings to set my wheel mounting surface (WMS). Bolting on the calipers at the same time will show me the spacing around the coilovers that I need to be aware of.

Late Spring I had sent a front knuckle and unit bearing to Black Magic Brakes to be fitted for front brakes. They were returned with my new brake kit and ever since I haven't yet had the chance to install them since I was working on the rear. This F450 adapter style big brake kit uses a J8/Ram caliper to allow for proper braking force and bias with the rears for a TJ.

The kit comes with a single page of about 8 one line notes for installing and the install of this kit is stupid easy.

The rotors are machined to be hub centric on my unit bearings. They just slide on:

20181217_unit-bearing.jpg


20181217_rotor-installed.jpg


The adapter bracket is machined from aluminum and is a work of art. It gets bolted to the knuckle:

20181217_caliper-adapter.jpg


20181217_adapter-installed.jpg


The pads get loaded into the caliper (I'll install the pads after I'm done with the front.) and the caliper is bolted to the adapter bracket:

20181217_caliper-installed.jpg


The banjo bolt and bleeder get threaded in:

20181217_fittings-installed.jpg


I already have the Durango master cylinder from a previous brake install. But if I didn't, that would also need to be installed.

And that's all there is to it!