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Someguys 04


someguysjeep

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wanted a Jeep since i was 17, saw a CJ with a v8 on 36's and it just stuck in my head.
32yrs later i found 1.

a khacki 04 6cyl auto, 79k, a hardtop and a 2" spring lift, on 31's, frame had been treated in and out and it was very clean for this area (Ohio). don't think it's seen salted roads, and it still hasn't.

so i got advice from someone i thought new about wranglers, his 1st advice was to get Hi-lift jack, a proper lift and 35" tires and get wheelin.

so after purchasing my jack i proceeded to try and decide on a lift kit. RE was suggested to me, but after some digging i came up with a bolt in short arm Currie or MC sys, MC won by a few $ and better marketing.

i didn't know dick so started to google stuff and read whatever i could, it was then i stumbled onto wrangler forum. i read for wks and started into this roller coaster adventure.

i gonna touch on what all i've been through but not detail everything to save time n space. but i'd gladly elaborate if it's requested.

so over the next few days i'll get this thread up to speed with my trials, defeats and stupid mistakes with a couple decent mods in between, so stay tuned it gets real stupid b4 it starts to get better.
 
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someguysjeep

someguysjeep

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1st up. i got wobbles hittin bumps on the highway at 40 or better, tracked this into the ball joints on the passenger side and just swapped all 4. it also had a few steering bushings that looked questionable so after trying a crossover kit (<mistake), i went for the Currectlync (<ding ding ding, we have a winner).

2nd issue was minor low pulsing vibrations from the drive line. for this i used a Currie +1" MML and +1" BL.
and since my body mounts were kinda dry i opted for a Daystar kit (<mistake, shoulda kept some rubber).

next up was the lift. MC 3.5" lift kit. i used a sticky from WF and was meticulous about setting this lift. i relocated the top pads in the rear to allow the springs to sit straight. and when finished, with the weight of the rig on it's wheels, i can loose and spin each and every CA bolt, nothing is holding any bind at rest.

now i fell victim to all the D35 i junk you'll blow it up talk. and began seeking a TJ D44. and learned that to run big tires you need better shafts in the D30, so i sank 900$ into RGA's w/ big u joints. (<still in the box, brand new)

about then i got it out wheeling for the 1st time and had fun, but was afraid to push it and really try anything challenging.

not long after i come across this axle, listed as a D44 for an XJ. sounded odd so i asked a few ?'s and had him send more pics. he claims it's 60" wide WMS-WMS, and i can clearly see an E locker plug, and it has bare tubes, so i go look (2hrs away). as it plays out this is a D44 crate axle 65" WMS-WMS and it has an E locker plug and sensor installed. he'll take 350$. it was clean, it turned free and quiet, so i took it. with no real idea of what i had. it was a D44 that was a few inches wider than i really wanted, and it may have a locker, is all i really knew.
turned out it's basically a JK Rubi axle with no brackets. and it has the factory JK E-locker and it matches my current gear ratio.
i'm not disappointed in my decision to take a risk and buy the axle, but i was uneducated about what i was truly seeking and got lucky AF really.

now my thought's are, what the hell do i do with this thing? (<rhetorical, i'm not done yet)
 
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someguysjeep

someguysjeep

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only have a couple pics of it as i got it, most of my older pics were lost when my other computer fried.

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jeep.PNG
 
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someguysjeep

someguysjeep

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the D44 i picked up, and few of the MC lift and new upper pad.

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someguysjeep

someguysjeep

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there were little things i had to do like relocate the exhaust tube that was contacting the CA. and i pulled the carpet and rolled in some Herculiner (<not bad, spray in would have finished nicer).

next up was high line fenders, while i sourced parts for this axle.
this was something i saw and liked and just wanted to try. i raised the factory fenders and removed the inner for GR's high line aluminum panels, and piped in a ford air bottle fed from the cowl.

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someguysjeep

someguysjeep

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i know i'm forgetting things. like i built new bumpers, that were just temps, sold those and built new 1's.
a stubby with a brush bar up front and flat plate rear, and i'm not sure either of those are permanent.

i bought a Rampage fastback soft-top. (sold the hard top few months back for 800)
i put some blk matte steelies on it. with BS to eventually fit 12.5's.
i found a light bar for cheap, and did that (since been removed).
gas tank skid was crap so i picked up a Savvy GTS.
when i did the lift, i made a cross member for the TC to rest on independent of the skid, shoved everything up and made a temporary 2" deep skid.
the cross member sucked and i reworked it. but something mrblaine recently said impacted me, and i can do better. so it may change again.

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someguysjeep

someguysjeep

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Location
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i also installed a Savvy shift cable.
and wheeled in it a couple more times and then decided to take on the new rear axle.

reading of some of the benefits triangulation can support beckoned me that direction. but lack of knowing how to held me to OE link locations. and a truss, for future upper link placement, when i could be better prepared to attempt it.
the truss was a bad idea i'll be shaving height from it when i do rework the links.

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someguysjeep

someguysjeep

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soon there after (don't even have the rear axle in yet) one Sat morn i wake and find on Marketplace. a JK Rubi front D44 housing for 150$, empty and stripped, nothin but the carrier straps, guy swears to me it's true (not bent). so 3hr ride over to pissburg, PA.
and lemme interject this tidbit as well. i know i can build the 30/35 to run 35's but not at 5.38 for my auto trans. so this is also part of the equation.
the guy seems square the housing looks true and the straps are marked to match and the C's have already been gusseted, so i took it.
and now yall know why the RGA D30 front axle shafts still sit NIB. that diversion from not being properly planned cost 900$. nobody wants um, been up for sale for 750 for months, not a single inquiry.

scored a JB SS SYE, got the rear axle in. and connected all that with a Tom Wood DC shaft.
i fit the rear with standard Jk rotors, calipers and pads.

rear is now 4" wider than the front, and the front D44 is a long way off. so i snag 2, 2" wheel spacers for the front end (TJ to JK lug) and get some new blk alloys (5on5) and 2nd hand 35"MT tires. and got gear set broken in.

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someguysjeep

someguysjeep

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think this puts me at the beginning of last winter now.
and she sat until spring, with no garage to work in and no tolerance for the cold anymore.
but i did strip the JK brackets and beef up the front axle at work. i beefed the tube and mounted another small truss to support a 3 link.
i made a huge mistake/oversight here, i clam-shelled the tube with 1/4 pipe (forgot to mention i also did the rear axle). the mistake came from not cutting the existing tubes and rotating the C's to increase the castor vs pinion.

it then got 4 new synergy ball joints, salvaged knuckles, new spicer unit bearings. i scored new chromy shafts of marketplace and they got new spicer joints. followed by new standard rotors.
next was to secure new gearing, so i went with RGnA again and got JK rubi 44 5.38 RnP's and master sets for both axles. and an air OX locker.

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someguysjeep

someguysjeep

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we'll start back up spring this yr.
i want to 3 link this front axle in and it's not gonna happen with a short arm kit. IDK when it was but i just don't like the feel of the SA sys, it feels like stilts not suspension to me.
i started by removing all my front end frame link brackets. and to be truely honest i did reference a proven sys. with some minor deviations that may or may not pan out.

gimme a drum roll now, i'm about to jump off a cliff here.

i find out a friend is in bad health and having $ problems, being unable to work. he won't take hand outs, but he did have something he wondered if i might be interested in, that he had recently ordered for his big 4x4 truck. and he hits me with 25% off a pair of 14" ORI struts and he'll toss in the fill kit.
i had no flippin idea what the hell an ORI strut is or does. but he needed help, so i gave him what they were purchased for (and almost puked on my shoes when i saw the invoice). about 4wks later i received the struts.

now i could have passed and let him hang, but that's not me. so now it becomes can i use these, or do i sell um and take a hit.
i asked a couple people who's opinion i trust about ORI's, and got answers like, if they were any good more people would use um, and 14" travel won't really fit in a TJ.
i did some reading and watched some vid's and decided to try them out, and accept the challenge of fitting them.

i worked 60-70hrs a wk this year and had no real time to build. and the delay of figuring how to incorporate the struts had me stalled for over a month b4 i even laid hands on um.

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someguysjeep

someguysjeep

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b4 wrapping this season up i was able to build and fit my steering and suspension links.

the tie rod is 1.5" 7075 aluminum w/offset 1 ton TRE's
the drag is 1.5" 1/4 wall DOM, weld in bungs and 1 ton ends.
the TB is 1.5" 1/4 wall DOM, weld in bungs, HD heim at the axle end and a bushing at the frame end.
the CA's were meant to be 2" 7075, but cost drove me to DOM w/bungs, cannibalized MC joints on 1 end and new JJ's on the other for the LCA's. and 2 new JJ's for the upper.
i purchased a flat, blank pitman arm, so i could get proper steering throw and a couple more inches of tuck for the TR.

i clamped my frame end brackets into place and was able to fix the lower axle CA mounts onto the axle. as well as find a flaw in the truss i needed to correct. and guestimate my upper CA mount location on the truss.

i needed to clearance my driver side MM bracket for the UCA .
and notch the frame on the passenger side for the DL to have more room to tuck.

as it is with all links connected. the axle will fully cycle the 14" range i need, 7up/7dn. cleanly with no binds to any joints.

i do have 2 reservations about what i've built.
1st, i stuck with 2" when i went from my choice of aluminum CA's to DOM, and they are kinda heavy.
2nd is my TB. to fit and function clean i require a 3" offset, this is the reason for the bushing on the top end (it'll flop around on 2 heims). a bend over the OX diff cover might be possible but most likely require a custom bar. an offset around the diff works and fits well, but i made it from mitered and welded DOM. and am suspect of the forces it may see and if it will hold.

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someguysjeep

someguysjeep

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the 1/4" LCA axle mounts are set as far out as the C gusset would allow.
the 3/8" strut tabs are mounted on top of the tube at the bottom of the C's.
the truss is 3/8"x 3.5" flat bar, reworked. 1st design contacted the oil pan.
and the TB mount is 7" of thick wall DOM welded to the C, 3/4 x 8 gr8 bolt and inside /outside safety washers.
right now the 3/8" UCA mount is only tacked on the truss, i may/will need to make adjustments to control the pinion through the travel b4 making this permanent.

note: there are some rules as to link spread to control axle wrap. 1/4 of your wheel size between upper and lower link connections. for a 35" wheel you should have 8.75" of spread, IIRC the TJ holds about 8" on the OE set-up.
yall been running 35's with no concern of axle wrap that i've ever read about.
so, after i established the height of the top link, i came down 8" for the location of the axle lower link.

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someguysjeep

someguysjeep

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i think we're about up to the struts.
i fab'd some 1/4" towers, nothing fancy.
i made a couple jigs to hold the towers at the the right height from the axle.
hoops would have been lighter, but more of an intrusion through the fender into the engine compartment.
in the 2nd to last pic you can see the need to notch the frame to get that strut able to fully compress.

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someguysjeep

someguysjeep

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the axle is as forward as i could have it without moving the steering gear box.

the DL and TB are exactly the same length and pitch, you cannot see the TB behind the drag looking into the front end.
the DL and TB sit side by side at full up and the TR tucks up right below the TB. it functions clean.

the struts were leaned 3* back and 5* in. ORI recommends as vertical as possible at full stuff.

this gets me up to current really.

all the new parts that are not part of the chassis are inside, nothing is gonna be assembled to sit out for 4 more months of winter.
now that the weathers turned and the axle is inside, i am about to attempt my 1st gear set.

this is my 1st attempt at anything like this, i do try to research and learn and like to do things myself.
if you spot and can save me from a horrible mistake plz do.
but also, at this point's it's not possible reverse some of the things i've done without serious effort.
 
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someguysjeep

someguysjeep

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my next thing to address is.
i believe the ORI struts have drastically changed things.
the holding point for the weight of the front end is now above the motor. and the strut is supposed to have much less push-off than a spring or C/O. these are significant changes that will effect suspension set-up.

i don't think i have to worry as much about how they will effect the IC point of the axle, as much as i'm concerned with what might be the guestimated starting area for AS/AD.
and the COG has been moved as well, i'd think.