SJ’s TJ

Full hydro was great. Steering was great. I never had any issues and the speed of the steering was excellent. It certainly made the build easier not having to account for a steering box. The orbital was pretty easy to place.

Does your steering wheel stay centered?
 
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Ok, so I completed the shakedown run yesterday and I have some good news and some bad news.

Bad news first. My drivers side front ORI strut now has a full on leak that causes it to lose support which makes that side dive more than it should so that needs rebuilt. Turns out I did not trim my upper CA frame bracket enough to clear the drive shaft at full stuff so I ground a slight notch in the driveshaft which ended the day prematurely. We tried adjusting the track bar to move the axle over, but it wasn’t enough given all the other tight tolerances I have for the front axle. Also, I would occasionally stall out when on climbs which didn’t make sense since I’m now in an automatic.

Luckily, the whole point of the trip was to find things that need to be addressed before going on bigger trips. So in that regard mission completed. Trimming the bracket more shouldn’t be an issue so that should be a fairly easy fix. The strut rebuild is annoying, but not terrible (tried to save buying used and it got me). I’m guessing my stalling issue is just more adjustment on the IAC so that shouldn’t be too hard either.

On to the good news. Holy crap is this Jeep capable. The one ton axles made a huge difference with overall stability of the rig in hairy situations. There is something to be said about having heavy wide axles. Those bad boys just stay planted. The 40” tires provide a lot of ground clearance which makes everything easier. Going from 4-banger to a V8 is amazing. When I gave it throttle, it just went without hesitation. It was really mind blowing. We didn’t wheel for very long so only got a few pictures:

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I wouldn’t even attempt an obstacle like this before and it was a total non-event and super fun. I will say overall nothing really felt sketchy like they did before. Positions that used to fell tippy just felt fine. This goes back to my comments about the axles previously. Overall still had a blast even though it wasn’t long enough.

Soooo cool. Very nice job on all the work to date. Once you get everything dialed in, it's going to be an absolute blast to wheel! 🤩
 
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When driving on the road it stays pretty centered. Return to center isn't great. If my rig was not a dedicated off-roader I'm not sure I would go full hydro. I drove it on the highway and it was ok, but I wouldn't do it for long periods of time.

I debated going full hydro but was on the fence about it. Shure would have made some things easier.

Bummer about the issues but it sounds like you've got them figured out and know what you need to do. I've got to get well so I can go out and work on mine and get it out on it's shakedown run.
 
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Soooo cool. Very nice job on all the work to date. Once you get everything dialed in, it's going to be an absolute blast to wheel! 🤩

Thanks for the kind words Rich. It was a blast for the limited wheel I did with it already. It truly is a completely rig with capabilities I can't wait to test further!
 
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I debated going full hydro but was on the fence about it. Shure would have made some things easier.

Bummer about the issues but it sounds like you've got them figured out and know what you need to do. I've got to get well so I can go out and work on mine and get it out on it's shakedown run.

Full hydro is definitely simpler in terms of positioning the axle and steering box. Yes Rick, I'm really looking forward to the results of your shakedown run as well. So get better quickly my friend!
 
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Here is what I’m dealing with in terms of my driveshaft rub:

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As you can see I had this concern already and had moved the lower CA mount more outboard and trimmed the upper CA bracket. It just wasn’t enough even after trying to adjust the track bar to move the axle over. My plan is to trim it further and cycle the axle and see. The combo of the Atlas and super duty 60 just pushes that driveshaft further to the driver side. I’ll get it worked out.
 
I haven’t provided an update in awhile. Not sure if I mentioned it before, but I’ve been dealing with brakes that just aren’t working as they should. I updated the master to the properly sized Wilwood master that matches the calipers I have.

The results were still lacking as I had to stand on the brakes just to get the rig to slow down. It wasn’t safe at all. I come to find out that my aftermarket cam doesn’t produce vacuum at idle to provide to the booster.

So the solution is to ditch the booster and plumb in a hydroboost unit from busted knuckle. They modify the stock unit to work with PSC full hydro to have better flow so steering isn’t reduced while braking.

I also added their recommended brake pedal to complete the setup. I don’t have a picture of the pedal, but here is the hydroboost and master setup all plumbed in:

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New hoses were needed between the pump and the orbital then the addition of a return line to reservoir. The brakes are insane now. Best brakes on all my vehicles. Such a game changer. I’m excited to get the rig back on the trails next month.