Muzikp's Sometimes Driveable Build

Discussion in 'Builds and Fabricators Forum' started by Muzikp, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. Aug 11, 2017
    Muzikp

    Muzikp Sponsor Sponsor

    Sacramento Ca.
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2016
    Messages:
    275
    Should have started a thread a while ago but wasn't sure I would produce enough content to make a thread worth while. I'm now convinced I will produce content so here we go. Going to post a bunch of old pics here just to get caught up.

    Since pictures are worth a thousand words...

    Brought it home, much rejoicing
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    Daughter loves it, still rejoicing
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    Loves it enough to put a temperature gauge in it, a little less rejoicing
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    Then we took it on a very light wheeling trip, very light. This is a strange photo, she actually parked in the water here but you can't tell.
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    Here's a boring video of the very light wheeling trip.


    And the throw out bearing started screaming at us on that trip so apart came the clutch
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    And I broke the clutch fork spring due to ignorance how to get it apart, think I bent it backwards or forwards too far or pulled on it or something. Whatever it was I was dumb. It may have been broken before but I can't be sure.
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    Then the starter went out shortly after that
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    At this point I was beginning to think all our time would be spent keeping it running and no time for improvements. But it seemed to stabilize so we moved forward with upgrades.

    The very light wheeling trip taught us we needed lockers and disc brakes. So the D30 followed me home one day, and it came with a new carrier for the right size gears to match the rear and new u-bolts and spring plates.
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    Got new gears, rebuild kit and locker for Christmas
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    Got them installed and the axle rebuilt, although it's still waiting for paint
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    Rich M. and 75 DJ like this.
  2. Aug 11, 2017
    Muzikp

    Muzikp Sponsor Sponsor

    Sacramento Ca.
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2016
    Messages:
    275
    Studied Focker's disc brake thread over and over and decided I didn't have all the pieces needed yet to do the swap. I still have a single circuit master cylinder. I decided to keep driving it as is and work on other stuff.

    Took off the "going to the mall" rear bumper because, well... it's only good for going to the mall. If anybody needs to go to the mall let me know, I have just the bumper for the job.
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    Quickly realized one of these was in order so it followed me home.
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    Learned that those need a bunch of other stuff so all this followed me home.
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    Fortunately my daughter learned to weld in her after school robotics program in high school. My intent was to have her teach me, but I realized early on it was better to just have her do it.
    The Jeep came with no spare tire and no way to carry one even if it had one. We set out to remedy that and began making a spare tire carrier based on some ideas I saw on this site.
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    My daughter was proud of her solid work to this point.
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    Eventually we got that finished up and my son tested the strength of the rack.
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    It was time to move forward with a rear bumper. You'll notice the swiss cheesy rear cross member in this pic, it was super flimsy and flexy.
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    I bought a really thick 3" wide piece of steel and we welded it to the cross member.
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    Funny thing is we didn't even notice one side of the cross member was longer than the other until we had welded this on. So after wearing thru an entire cut off wheel both sides matched.
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    Started cutting out the bumper
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    Bought a spare tire and rim off Craig's for $25 (I felt like that was a good deal).
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  3. Aug 11, 2017
    Muzikp

    Muzikp Sponsor Sponsor

    Sacramento Ca.
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2016
    Messages:
    275
    Bumper and tire rack done and installed
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    Painted
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    Moving on to boxing the frame. Wanted to do this before removing body lift since it's nice to have the extra space to work under there. Cutting out all the plates is super tedious
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    But they were fitting nicely
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    From the back cross member to the cross member over the axle the plates are welded top and bottom continuous.
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    Beyond that the plates are all stitch welded to try and spread out the force and keep the frame from cracking. It's all a grand expirement, this is probably not the way the experts would go about it, but to me some reinforcing is better than none. I don't like the clutch pedal stuck on the floor when you get in the rocks.

    Also the rear cross member is welded continuous top and bottom and it's the only place there are vertical welds on the plates. The rest of the plates are not welded vertically. You can see the stitch welding on the frame rail in this pic (not the cross member).
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    There are also some diamond shape plates on the outside of the frame rails wherever it wasn't practical to box due to stuff in the way. There is a small berm nearby where we would go drive one tire onto it and see if we were making improvement in stopping the extreme flex. It for sure worked. The clutch is now useable even at the max amount of flex I'm willing to give it.
     
  4. Aug 11, 2017
    Muzikp

    Muzikp Sponsor Sponsor

    Sacramento Ca.
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2016
    Messages:
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    Now we are all caught up.

    Two things I really dislike about this Jeep. The fenderwell headers and the 2" body lift. I have never liked these fenderwell exit headers. To me they just don't look good and are in a super sketchy location when crawling thru the rocks. And I don't understand the motivation behind body lifts, raise my center of gravity and gain no ground clearance. I guess if you want to run a bigger tire with no suspension changes the body lift makes sense, but a bigger tire with no suspension mods doesn't make sense to me.

    So today I started removing the body lift. I have all the bolts out of the body mounts but haven't pulled the spacers out yet. Here's some of the spacers.
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    Here's the floor pan with one of the bolts out. Fortunately all the bolts came off fairly easy, not too much rust on this Jeep.
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    There are a few issues with removing the body lift. We had to notch the motor mount and weld in reinforcement so the saginaw steering shaft would fit after the body lift was off. That part is all done. The issue I haven't solved yet is this Jeep has an SM420 truck tranny in it which is really nice. But it's taller and when I pull the spacers out the tub will hit the top of the tranny. Someone already hacked up my tunnel cover and it's one of the only places on the Jeep where there is considerable rust.
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    I need to solve my clearance issue here. I know lot's of you have SM420's, how did you get them to fit? One option I can think of is to add a few spacers into the cross member and lower the tranny a bit without the fan going into the radiator. The other option is to cut up the tunnel cover more and make a new piece to bolt onto what's left of the cover. This would eliminate some of the rust I spose. Any thoughts?

    And here's where it becomes temporarily undriveable. I found a set of exhaust manifolds on Craig's for $25. Seemed too good to pass up.
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    Since the headers and exhaust needed some modification to remove the body lift I decided to just bite the bullet and cut the mufflers off and remove the headers. Mufflers and headers are in this pile of parts with the mall bumper (still available) and the D30 (still waiting for paint).
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    Headers off
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    I am so happy to see the nice clean look with that exhaust removed.
    Before:
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    After:
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    The problem I have now is fitting the exhaust manifolds. It looks like I need two of the ones on the bottom of this pic. The drivers side will dump forward and the passenger side will dump rearward. I guess I'll pick a side to install one on and start getting the exhaust plumbed and welded while I look for another manifold.
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    47v6 and Rozcoking23 like this.
  5. Aug 11, 2017
    Focker

    Focker Rust Never Sleeps Staff Member Sponsor

    Tri-Cities WA
    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2014
    Messages:
    4,319
    Nice... This will be fun to watch everything about your Jeep all in one place.
     
  6. Aug 11, 2017
    GraySkies

    GraySkies Always late, never finished...

    Western Washington
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2012
    Messages:
    125
    I really like your approach to this project. Fix the stuff you don't like, or that doesn't work well, but keep it running as much as possible in between. Wish I would have followed that approach :(

    That's awesome that your daughter is participating in building the Jeep with you! I think there is no way to overvalue how much this will benefit her in life.

    Subscribed!
     
  7. Aug 11, 2017
    ITLKSEZ

    ITLKSEZ Volvophilic

    Post Falls, ID
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2015
    Messages:
    1,768
    Rather than click "like" a bunch of times, here's one big one.

    Like.
     
  8. Aug 11, 2017
    Muzikp

    Muzikp Sponsor Sponsor

    Sacramento Ca.
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2016
    Messages:
    275
    I feel like the path from my steering wheel to the steering box could be straighter?

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    In all seriousness I started dealing with the issues to remove the body lift. One of the big ones is opening up the original holes in the floor for the pedals. A previous owner did a slightly better than awful job on getting the new holes located and attaching the steering column. Here's how it looked.

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    It could be a lot worse so there's that.

    Underneath it looked like this. I'm guessing the previous owner hit a no parking sign and decided to keep it.

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    Here's the clutch side out

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    The hole is almost big enough for the red bump stop thing to fit through now.

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    To get the brake pedal side out I need to remove the steering column. The no parking sign is riveted underneath that big plate for the steering column.

    Got that out

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    Maybe I can find time tomorrow to get the other half of the no parking sign out.

    Once that is done I can focus on how I get the SM420 to fit under the tub without cutting it up more. I think there is room to make the mount on top of the cross member shorter. I think I only need about 1/2" more space.

    Here's the current spacer under the muncie
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    I can probably use a shorter one to get the 1/2" clearance I need. I've got lots of room to tilt before the fan hits the radiator.
     
  9. Aug 11, 2017
    Lilbuff63

    Lilbuff63 Sponsor Sponsor

    Sonoma County Ca
    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2014
    Messages:
    46
    Looking good, are you cutting the frame plates with an angle grinder? I was trying to think of an easier way without having to pay someone. Might see if I can borrow my neighbors plasma cutter then clean them up with a grinder. Jeep is looking great, I like how the bumper/tire carrier turned out!
     
  10. Aug 11, 2017
    Muzikp

    Muzikp Sponsor Sponsor

    Sacramento Ca.
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2016
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    Thanks. I was cutting them with an angle grinder for a while. Then I switched to a sawzall and kicked myself for using the angle grinder. Sawzall made the task much much easier.
     
  11. Aug 14, 2017
    Muzikp

    Muzikp Sponsor Sponsor

    Sacramento Ca.
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2016
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    Two things I've learned about Jeep's. They are very small and there is no extra room for anything to move, shift or adjust without a cut off wheel and sawzall. The second thing is one modification leads to 11 others.

    I decided yesterday that since I'm going to all the trouble to switch to a dual circuit master cylinder which will need a new bracket to mount it and redo the brake lines etc that I might as well just do a hanging pedal and put a brake booster on there also. So off came the brake pedal and master cylinder and rest of the no parking sign that had 217 rivets holding it in

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    Removing the frame mounted master cylinder also frees up more space to squeeze exhaust inside the frame through that area.

    The floor looks really bad now but at least everything is off and I can start figuring out how to make it nice.

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    Then we moved the radiator up, which was as simple as putting it back in the original holes from the factory.

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    Done

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    And some minor mods to my new spare tire rack. I had some holes in the top of the mounting brackets thinking I might bolt a gas tank underneath thru the holes. Turns out there is no room between tailgate and frame to do that so had to cut these brackets shorter.

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    Then I jacked up the transmission to take the cross member off and lower the tranny enough to get the body lift off.

    Here's the cross member with the square piece of steel that was used as a spacer for mounting the SM420 to. That will need to be modified so the tranny can sit lower when the body comes down.

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    And you can see the body lift spacers in the background. I am so happy that body lift is off, but my Jeep is in many pieces now and needs a lot of work.

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    We got all the red bushings back in and the old bolts are temporarily through the holes until I can go get new ones. Somehow the old ones are 2" too long :D.

    Now that the body lift was out I could work on the cross member. I ended up taking off the square tubing and just going to steel spacers between the transmission mount and the cross member. It took several tries to get it all figured out, too low and the valve cover hits the firewall, too high and the tranny hits the tub.

    Here's how close the valve cover is to the firewall.

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    There is just no wiggle room. To make matters worse just when you think you have it set at the right height, bolt everything together, remove the jack and the rubber tranny mount compresses like crazy and it's all wrong :shock:.

    In the end I'm happy with how it turned out, I was even able to remove two of the big flat cross member spacers on each side which gives me like 1/2" more ground clearance. Cross member looks like this now.

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    After that was conquered we moved inside the tub to figure out how to clean up the mess where the tranny comes thru the floor.

    Needed a bit more trimming and adjusting.

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    The hole looks like this now. I was happy to find the tub didn't actually have any rust where I thought. The old tunnel cover that the previous owner had on there had some sort of brownish color epoxy stuff that looked just like rust. It came right off.

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    This week hopefully make a new tunnel cover for it that looks nice and fix the mess in the floor where the pedals and steering go. Would really like to make this thing steer again. Here it is without the body lift. Hard to tell from this angle but it looks sooo much better to me without all the space between the tub and frame.

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    73 cj5, givemethewillys and ITLKSEZ like this.
  12. Aug 14, 2017
    Focker

    Focker Rust Never Sleeps Staff Member Sponsor

    Tri-Cities WA
    Joined:
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    I'll be watching for this. :watch:
     
  13. Aug 14, 2017
    47v6

    47v6 junk wrecker! Sponsor

    Washington DC.
    Joined:
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    3,766
    The best thing about hanging pedals is the ability to install power brakes. Its what i did and I also installed a hydraulic clutch. To fabricate a manual clutch linkage for the hanging pedals would have been time consuming. Power disk brakes at all 4 corners make my jeep totally drivable in city traffic here in Washington DC.
     
  14. Aug 14, 2017
    Norcal69

    Norcal69 Member

    Cottonwood, Ca
    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2014
    Messages:
    467
    Did you buy the jeep in either Cottonwood or Burney, Ca?
     
  15. Aug 14, 2017
    johneyboy03

    johneyboy03 The green beast

    Quebec, Canada
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2011
    Messages:
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    nice jeep you have there.

    I'm not 100% sure but, the dana 30 with disq brake seem to be the widetrack version of the dana 30 use on a CJ.
    You may want to check the wms of you're current axle and the dana 30 to make sure it's the same.
     
  16. Aug 14, 2017
    Muzikp

    Muzikp Sponsor Sponsor

    Sacramento Ca.
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    Sep 27, 2016
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    Me too. I found a pedal on Amazom already that looks like it will work. I haven't looked yet to see where I pull vacuum from tho. I'll try and detail it out as best I can. Thanks.
     
  17. Aug 14, 2017
    Muzikp

    Muzikp Sponsor Sponsor

    Sacramento Ca.
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2016
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    Looking forward to being comfortable in city traffic. I'm planning on keeping the chain drive clutch assembly, I like how simple it is and it feels good. Do I need to change wheel cylinders on the rear when I go to power brakes?
     
  18. Aug 14, 2017
    Muzikp

    Muzikp Sponsor Sponsor

    Sacramento Ca.
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2016
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    Thanks. And yes that's exactly it, a wider stance is what I'm after. May eventually get rims with a bit more back spacing to pull em in a little but I'm all for a wider stance.
     
  19. Aug 14, 2017
    Muzikp

    Muzikp Sponsor Sponsor

    Sacramento Ca.
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2016
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    I bought it a few years ago in Brentwood Ca. But the guy I bought it from didn't have it very long, he owned an auto shop and was selling several vehicles. I'm not sure where he got it. Do you recognize it? Whoever did a lot of the previous mods to it did a pretty nice job, other than the body lift and cutting up the floor so bad I'm happy with all the other work they did. Might have been more than 1 person who knows?
     
  20. Aug 14, 2017
    johneyboy03

    johneyboy03 The green beast

    Quebec, Canada
    Joined:
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    Or get wheel spacer for the rear so you will match the front widnt.
     

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