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Varg In Jeep's Clothing

Discussion in 'Builds and Fabricators Forum' started by ITLKSEZ, Aug 20, 2015.

  1. Jul 9, 2021
    fhoehle

    fhoehle Sponsor

    Harford Township, PA
    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2012
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    1,343
    I will not give you instructions to do it a certain way. I will patiently wait and check the Varg thread occasionally and eventually I have confidence that you will force yourself to do it the best way possible.
     
  2. Jul 20, 2021
    ITLKSEZ

    ITLKSEZ Hope for the best, prepare for the worst

    Post Falls, ID
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
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    6,304
    I have a working weekend planned for the jeep. I still need at least two loads of dry firewood for this season, and all of my normal firewood spots are either on lockdown or on fire. And the areas that aren’t on lockdown, there’s a stage 2 fire restriction in place that limits chainsaw use from 1am to 1pm.

    There’s a spot I always pass when riding that has endless supplies of the type of wood I need, but what is a 25 minute singletrack trail on a bike is a 2-hr FS road in a jeep, and that’s after 2 hrs of pavement to get to the dirt.

    My plan is to head out Friday afternoon with the jeep and the big trailer, get to the location Friday night, camp on the trailer, then start bright and early Saturday morning on site (if I didn’t get mauled in my sleep by a grizzly).

    The load I’ll get will be too big to safely haul home on the freeway with the jeep, so I’ll carefully take it down to where the RV is parked, and I’ll drag it home with that one of these weekends.

    In preparation, since I recently hit the 3000 mile mark, I changed the (burning hot) oil.

    [​IMG]

    I noticed a little oil pan damage that I must’ve picked up the other week when out with fireball and tomasinator. This dent is 17” off the ground; probably wasn’t from a speed bump at DQ. :cool:

    [​IMG]

    I also removed the rear seat for room for saws, straps, and other logging equipment.

    [​IMG]
     
    fhoehle, dozerjim, Twin2 and 7 others like this.
  3. Jul 20, 2021
    Ol Fogie

    Ol Fogie 74 cj5 304, 1943 mb 2020 Sponsor

    Jasper Georgia
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    Nov 24, 2019
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    Be careful up there alone with a chain saw. and keep an eye out for fire.
     
  4. Jul 21, 2021
    ITLKSEZ

    ITLKSEZ Hope for the best, prepare for the worst

    Post Falls, ID
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
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    I’m still messing with the rear suspension. :cry:

    The spring rate felt perfect, the shock valving was good, but without an overload spring, I was having a bottoming issue during extreme landings ( :rockn: ) where the bumpstops couldn’t stop the axle housing from contacting the gas tank, and the axle tube from hitting the exhaust. I added a second set of bumpstops to help, but it’s a bit of a bandaid. Also, when I swapped shocks f/r, the shorter front shocks were limiting droop out back.

    With the huge weight loads I’ll be carrying this weekend, I was nervous about the springs being overloaded. I’m trying one last combination of springs: the top 3/4 YJ springs, and the Dakota overload spring.

    [​IMG]

    I know what you’re thinking: the Dakota spring was too stiff before with only two springs above it. How will adding another leaf to the pack make it any better?

    It’s a strange conundrum where adding an additional shorter leaf above the overload leaf will force the pack to travel further to wrap around the overload leaf before forcing it to flex. Adding a leaf should, in theory, lower the spring rate in the normal operational range.

    It raised the tip of the rear bumper by 1”, but it’s not enough for me to notice.

    [​IMG]

    If I hate it, I can always swap it back, but it should be just what I need for this weekend at least.
     
    johneyboy03, Muzikp, fhoehle and 7 others like this.
  5. Aug 3, 2021
    ITLKSEZ

    ITLKSEZ Hope for the best, prepare for the worst

    Post Falls, ID
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
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    6,304
    I finally broke down and accepted that this front-end shimmy isn’t going away without some more hardware. It is minor, it comes and it goes, but it’s there, and it’s annoying as :poo:. The worst is when I’m flying down the highway and traffic comes to a sudden stop. It develops a horrible wobble from around 50-35 under hard braking.

    I had my daughter sit in the driver’s seat and rock the wheel back and forth for 25 minutes the other day (which was about 23 more than she wanted to) while I crawled under, over and around the front end looking/feeling for any source of play.

    The only problems I found were a tiny bit of play in the heim joint, and a nearly imperceivable amount of slop in the steering box. Another contributing factor is the rotors are slightly warped, and I believe the tires aren’t perfectly dynamically balanced.

    Yesterday I broke down and bought a Rancho steering stabilizer, and I got it mounted up this morning. I wanted it mounted to my tie rod (which is behind the axle), and fitting it was beyond tight.

    I made a clamp to fit around the front axle’s 3rd member. I tacked some scrap together to form some arced plate for the round parts.

    [​IMG]

    I dragged a spare Toyota axle in and threw it up on the bench to make fabrication a little easier.

    [​IMG]

    Here it is installed.

    [​IMG]

    I extended a tab and bolt into the 3rd member’s webbing to keep the clamp safe from coming loose or getting ripped off on a rock.

    [​IMG]

    The notch in the radius arm makes it look like I planned for this all along. :whistle:

    [​IMG]

    The difference this stabilizer made is unbelievable. Any and all shimmy, wobble, deflection, etc… is gone. Hard braking shows zero tire shake, and bumpy roads and potholes are smooth as silk. I have to admit, I was one of the ones who believed steering stabilizers are bandaids for some underlying issue, but it’s the only thing that will cancel out a pesky resonance.

    :bananatool:
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2021
    fhoehle, mortten, Twin2 and 11 others like this.
  6. Aug 4, 2021
    johneyboy03

    johneyboy03 The green beast

    Quebec, Canada
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
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    Nice Job as always :)
     
    ITLKSEZ likes this.
  7. Aug 4, 2021
    Norcal69

    Norcal69 Out of the box thinker 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Northern California
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    Sep 6, 2014
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    I have been wondering since you first mentioned it......
    Could it be that under hard braking, the chassis going down, the axle is rolling forward causing a loss of caster and change the toe?
     
  8. Aug 4, 2021
    Lockman

    Lockman OK.....Now I Get It . 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    White City, NY 14617
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    Dec 4, 2018
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    2,216
    You are a wizard, my Friend . Back to the springs, though. For loads , think about coil over shocks ? Plus , I fitted some Monroe MaxAir shocks , up front, for the plow weight . It helped a ton on my XJ, for the extra weight I carry for service work ? :shrug:
    ....Richie
     
  9. Aug 4, 2021
    ITLKSEZ

    ITLKSEZ Hope for the best, prepare for the worst

    Post Falls, ID
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
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    I think the braking aspect of it has more to do with warped rotors and the tires not being perfectly balanced.

    I think I understand your question, but from what I understand, a shimmy can develop from too much caster before it can from too little, and I’d be surprised if my cow mat bushings have enough give to make a measurable amount of difference. And darty-ness that’s associated with a toe issue has never been present.

    I’d sooner believe that the squat of the front end is increasing the caster, but I’d think that for every degree of caster that is gained by the front suspension diving during hard braking, it is again lost by the lift of the rear end as the weight shifts forward. My front suspension only has a total of 2” of uptravel before it hits the bumpstops.

    I have a theory… I’m no engineer, so I don’t have the education or resources to prove it, but…
    Virtually all trucks/jeeps with coil sprung front ends came from the factory with steering dampeners, where many leaf sprung vehicles didn’t. I have to wonder if a track bar locks the front axle in place so rigidly, that it leaves no side/side play in the front end for small deflections or wobbles to fade away and die; no built-in dampener, if you will. Rather, the deflections compound, reach a resonating tone, and transfer that resonance directly to the rest of the vehicle.

    With the tires being a little out of balance, it explains the randomness of the times I notice it while not braking. When the imbalance of the two front tires oppose each other, they cancel out the imbalance and nothing is noticed. When the imbalances are in sync, a manhole cover, RR tracks, a pothole, whatever, can set it off. It never went into full-on death wobble, but more like a bad deflection, then less and less wobble until it disappeared. The whole process was over in a second or three, but on a bad road with a lot of cracks and unevenness, it could be constant until I reached a bend in the road to spin one tire faster than the other, i.e., misalign the imbalance in the tires, then it would go away.

    To note, a normal person might not even ever notice it. I just know enough to know that it was there, and it really bothered me. This thing was so close to perfect, and that was just the last little turd in the punchbowl.

    I just got back from a 100+ mile deep-woods jaunt with the kids, and it was spectacular. Again, not a hint of shimmy. I took an off ramp at full speed and hit the brakes hard, and I could feel the mis-shape of the rotors in the steering wheel, but it didn’t transfer to the tires. (I can see the edge of the LF tire from my seat.)

    The traction and stability this thing has, and the level of confidence it instills on dirt roads is insane. It runs on loose gravel like it’s glued to the road. If only it had a few more hp to blast out of the turns… :whistle:


    The two things I really wanted in this build that I couldn’t afford in the end were a rear sway bar and rear airbag helpers to work in conjunction with the OBA. Those will both still happen at some point in the future, just not anytime soon. The airbags would allow me to scrap that overload leaf. But for now, I’m pretty darn pleased with the way it is. (y)
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2021
    73 cj5, dozerjim, fhoehle and 3 others like this.
  10. Aug 5, 2021
    fhoehle

    fhoehle Sponsor

    Harford Township, PA
    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2012
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    1,343
    Like you, I have always looked at a steering damper as a band aid, but your reasoning is sound and it fixed the problem so that is what matters. I'm glad you got it figured out!
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2021
    ITLKSEZ likes this.
  11. Aug 6, 2021
    colojeepguy

    colojeepguy Colorado Springs

    At the foot of...
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    Apr 4, 2010
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    5,784
    This. Guys with degrees in automotive engineering designed those front ends, and they have steering stabilizers.
     
    fhoehle, mortten and ITLKSEZ like this.
  12. Aug 31, 2021
    ITLKSEZ

    ITLKSEZ Hope for the best, prepare for the worst

    Post Falls, ID
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
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    6,304
    I threw the Swampers back on to see if the steering damper was what they needed. Before, they were full-on death wobble anywhere above 35. No surprise, because they’re 25 years old, chunked, and I threw them on these CL rims of unknown history without balancing them.

    [​IMG]

    ZERO shimmy. :banana:
    I figure I’ll run these when I can around town to save the good tires from unnecessary wear and tear. They suck a bit of power, they’re loud enough that above 40mph I have to turn my radio up, and ride quality is… different, but there’s no denying how cool they look on an old flatty.


    Back when I was on my shopping spree for this build, I bought all new u-joints and new double cardan bits for the rear shaft, but the junkyard parts were in OK shape for the time being. I figured I’d run them until they showed signs of wear. Well, the DC was annoyingly starting to squeak during coast, so why not do the swap now before it fails.

    I think the squeak was due to the torn dust boot in the DC joint. The knuckle inside was mostly dry. The joints were actually in good shape.

    [​IMG]

    Disassembled…

    [​IMG]

    Reassembly was not something I was looking forward to, and for good reason. The last step in the process is to slide the last cap in place while holding the spring loaded knuckle down and out of the way. The tolerances are ridiculous, and I couldn’t get the cap on without cheating a little. I used the die grinder to form a radius in the one retaining tab. This is what I started with…

    [​IMG]

    And this is what I did. Just a few thousandths was enough to slip the cap in place.

    [​IMG]

    All new joints and reassembled.

    [​IMG]

    I hope that squeak is gone. :susp:
     
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  13. Aug 31, 2021
    ITLKSEZ

    ITLKSEZ Hope for the best, prepare for the worst

    Post Falls, ID
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
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    The squeak wasn’t gone!!! :gaah:

    I found it though. It’s that dang adapter shaft that I replaced in Moab. I guess the .007” that it’s off center will squeak if it’s allowed to run without some sort of lubricant in the splines. I grabbed some PB Blaster penetrating lithium grease to squirt in there, and it quieted right up.
     
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  14. Sep 1, 2021
    ITLKSEZ

    ITLKSEZ Hope for the best, prepare for the worst

    Post Falls, ID
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
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    6,304
    I can say I gave them an honest attempt, but these Swampers are dead to me. They’re going up for sale. I didn’t build this jeep to handle like a car, only to put tires on it that make it ride like a buckboard wagon with loose wheels.

    I needed to run to Lowe’s this morning to pick up two sheets of 12’ drywall, and the big trailer is all that we have that’ll haul it. I hopped on the freeway without even considering the tires, and I couldn’t get that thing over 60mph, and the wandering was horrible. The other tires will haul that empty trailer at 75 without knowing it’s back there. And the noise!

    That was my last trip on Swampers, hopefully ever. Worst tires ever. :mad:

    [​IMG]
     
    73 cj5, givemethewillys and Fireball like this.
  15. Sep 1, 2021
    Buildflycrash

    Buildflycrash Blind and Dirty 2022 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Gulf Breeze FL...
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    I don't disagree Swampers are a bad choice for you but what did you expect?
     
  16. Sep 1, 2021
    ITLKSEZ

    ITLKSEZ Hope for the best, prepare for the worst

    Post Falls, ID
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
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    I get it, but this is as good as they’ve ever been.
     
  17. Sep 1, 2021
    73 cj5

    73 cj5 Not ready for the junkyard yet 2020 Sponsor

    Biloxi, Mississippi
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    :rofl: I had some 34" bias TSL's on my first truck. On wet pavement, they were downright scary.

    If you were closer I know a guy who might buy the tires. :whistle:
     
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  18. Sep 3, 2021
    johneyboy03

    johneyboy03 The green beast

    Quebec, Canada
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    Jan 15, 2011
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    Swamper are a beast on the trail but the are PITA on the road.

    :p
     
  19. Oct 11, 2021
    ITLKSEZ

    ITLKSEZ Hope for the best, prepare for the worst

    Post Falls, ID
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
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    I’m about ready to roll over 5000 miles on the odometer on this, so I thought I’d give an update on things.

    With the annoying odometer feature of [resetting the trip meter every time the key is shut off and therefor not adding the fraction of a mile to the milage], and also [sometimes not finding a satellite signal until I’m 4 miles down the road], by my estimate, the milage is showing about 8 miles short for every 100. So at 5000 miles, I’m probably closer to 5400.

    So what do I have to report? Virtually nothing. Everything has been working as it should. It’s been a very fun and dependable daily driver all summer. I have a small engine oil leak somewhere up front on the drivers side, but not enough to investigate. There’s a loud tinny vibration at deceleration at precisely 2100 rpm in the rear; I think it’s the metal brake line vibrating against the housing. The wheel shimmy has been nonexistent since the addition of the stabilizer.

    The tires have been fantastic. I have found that their happy zone for pressure, even on this light rig, is in the 38-40 psi range. Anything less and they feel wallowy. The traction at that pressure is still excellent, but it’s easy enough to drop it some if needed. Their limit is 80 psi cold, so it’s about mid-range for them.

    I’m still on the fence about eventually adding a turbo. It would certainly make it more practical for highway driving up hills and into strong headwinds, but necessary? Definitely not. I still can’t decide if it’s worth potentially losing a little low end power just to gain more on top. I think in the end I’ll just leave it alone and enjoy it for what it is; a fun, general purpose, do-it-all rig.

    It’s been below freezing here for the last few nights, and it’s getting harder to choose the jeep for runs to town. It’ll probably be less than a month before the plates get swapped off this and back on my car for the winter. Snow is coming, and so is the corrosive crap on the roads. :cry:
     
  20. Oct 11, 2021
    mortten

    mortten I can’t put my finger on it 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Peninsula, Ohio
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    They let you swap plates or is it an on the slight thing.
     
    Lockman likes this.
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