Another Scrambler Purchase/Road Trip - UPDATE- BODY ON FRAME AGAIN

spankrjs

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Biloxi
State
MS
I installed the weatherstripping to the vent window frame in this order, using lots of lube:

Bottom first:

IMG_20190330_103716145.jpg

Then front edge:

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Then top:

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Then the back edge:

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Screwed on the top:

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Then tightened the nuts/spacers/washers on the bottom:

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The hardest part is getting the bottom rubber to snap into that channel. It is a huge PIA.



A few years back, when I finally installed interior door panels, I used wax paper as a "water shield". The wax paper worked great. Where I messed up, I used 3M weatherstripping adhesive to glue it to the door panels. Big mistake. That stuff is a PIA to get off of anything!!!!!!!!!!

Notice the nice black lines:

IMG_20190330_162520622.jpg


This is the only stuff I could find that would remove it, without hurting the paint:

IMG_20190330_162555980.jpg

That stuff is expensive, about $25 for that can, and is very strong smelling, but it works. I would dampen a rag with some remover, rub it on the glue, the glue would soften, and start coming off. After about 1/2 hour on each door:

IMG_20190330_162533625.jpg
 

spankrjs

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Biloxi
State
MS
Since the wax paper worked great last time, I went ahead and used it again, to make new "water shields". The "water shields" protect the back of the interior door panel from getting wet. Even with all new weatherstripping, rain water leaks in around the window. With out the shields, the cardboard would get wet, and eventually fall apart. I also used window glazing putty to attach the "water shields" to the doors. It stays soft and sticky, easy to reuse or remove in the future. The thin strips work great!!!!!


IMG_20190331_112907368.jpg

I used this size wax paper, it was the perfect height to cover the opening in the door:

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You can see the outline of the putty behind the wax paper. This putty must be similar to the stuff the factory used?

IMG_20190331_112921881.jpg

The bottom of the door panel has two long horizontal slits in it. You are supposed to tuck the weather shield into the slits. This makes sense. If you don't do this, water will run down the shield and leak inside the vehicle. By tucking it into the slits, any water will run down inside the door, and then leak out the drain holes in the bottoms of the doors.

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IIRC, I purchased my interior door panels from Collins Brothers, but they are made here:

IMG_20190331_131858639.jpg

The panels have held up pretty good, look pretty good for none OEM. But, on the back side, where the vinyl is glued to the panel around the edges, the vinyl has started to come off. I tried to glue it back on, but that was a disaster. So, I used some clear Gorilla tape to tape them back in place. I pulled the vinyl tight, wrapped it back around the panel, then taped it in place. So far, so good.

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The tape is not visible from the outside, so the repair is invisible.

And just for JeeperDD (who reminded me a few years ago), I reinstalled the chrome pieces that secure the panels along the top:

IMG_20190331_135024993.jpg

That's it for now:wave:
 

spankrjs

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Biloxi
State
MS
More work on this one, trying to get it ready for Nationals.

I purchased my Rubicon Express 4.5" lift for this one back in 2010. It has been on this Scrambler for 9 years, 32,000 miles, and more off-road adventures then I can remember all over this country, driving there and back, no trailer.

After my first Moab trip, the rear was not sitting level. I removed all the u-bolts, spring bolts, put it back together, and it was fine. This issue might have been caused by spinning an axle tube and welding on new spring perches at the Moab campground, at night, LOL. Two of the RE shocks eventually blew out, I replaced all the RE shocks with Bilsteins. I have also tore up spring bushings, but that is to be expected, with the use this Scrambler sees. I have not ever tried to warranty anything, have heard horror stories, my system is so old they would probably laugh at me. Anyway, all in all, I have been happy with this lift, would buy it again. I have tore up some parts, but I would say that is more from my use/abuse then any real fault with the product.

The RE leaf springs are soft, which is good. They ride great on the road, flex well off road. The only problem with the soft springs, they eventually wear out, start to sag. On my tan Scrambler, which I sold, I had to add an extra leaf to the rear packs on relatively new spring packs. With the V8 and Detroit locker in the back, the rear felt too soft at high speeds. An extra leaf in the rear packs fixed this issue, and it still rode great.

The rear on my Red Scrambler finally started to sag, feels a bit loose on the highway at high speeds, feels way too tippy/soft off-road, especially on side hill. So, I am going to add an extra leaf to the rear 6 leaf packs, making them 7 leaf packs. This should give me some height back, and help stiffen up the packs. I might add a leaf to the front packs, too, but surprisingly, they still feel/work fine.

Anyway, these are the extra leafs I bought, though it was funny that I ordered four identical part numbers, but got two pairs of slightly different leafs:

IMG_20190408_181544469.jpg

IMG_20190408_181552343.jpg

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The part number is listed on the above picture. I believe they are marketed toward YJ leaf packs, they work just fine on their CJ leaf packs, too.

http://www.rubiconexpress.com/Suspe...0.aspx?t_c=1&t_s=101&t_pt=5488&t_pn=R/ERE1400

I also bought new u-bolts, main eye bushings, and shackle bushings, have plenty of new spare center pins, just in case, and good to have spares:

IMG_20190408_181615966.jpg

This little 1' level shows the sag:

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The front frame height, off the floor, 29-1/8":

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The rear cross member height, off the floor, around 25-7/8":

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So, the rear is down about 3-1/4"!!!!!!

Nice in progress shot:

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Too bad these springs still don't have this arch when they are mounted up on the Scrambler!!!!!

IMG_20190408_191140733.jpg
 

spankrjs

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Biloxi
State
MS
Amazingly, all of my rear spring bushings/bolts are still in great shape. I tore up one center pin while removing the nut, but other then that, pretty lucky so far.

To add a leaf to the pack, clamp the pack together with a big C-clamp, take out the center pin, and also remove the two other bolts that kind of hold the pack together.

Picture of a leaf pack in pieces. I am adding the extra main leaf below the second leaf, so third one down from the top in the following pictures
:

IMG_20190408_192503187.jpg

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When I went to reassemble the leaf spring packs, I used a really long 3/8" bolt as a center pin to keep all the holes lined up, then easily clamped the pack back together:

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Once the pack was clamped fully together, I removed my really long centering bolt and replaced it with the correct center pin, and finished:

IMG_20190409_172443487.jpg

While I had the packs apart, I cleaned them up. Surprisingly, no real rust on the leafs, not a lot of grime, either. Took about 10 minutes per pack to wipe down the leafs.

Bolting the leaf packs back in place:

IMG_20190409_193655467.jpg

With the leaf springs at full droop, the top leaf just makes contact with the little bolt retainer things. I do not think that you can have more then seven leafs using the stock pack clamp thingies, an 8th leaf will not fit:

IMG_20190409_193704828.jpg

Need to finish up the re-installation, go for a test drive, and repeat on the front end, if necessary.

That's it for now:wave:
 

spankrjs

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Biloxi
State
MS
Finished installing the extra main leafs to the rear packs last night, finished installing the leaf packs on the Scrambler, and at first I was disappointed.

I bounced the Scrambler up and down, snugged up the main eye and shackle bolts, and the rear was still down:

IMG_20190410_173021532.jpg

It did pick it up a bit, 26-1/2" versus the initial 25-5/8", so 7/8" gain:

IMG_20190410_173049586.jpg

I drove it to NAPA to pick up some grease, and also used it to drop off the five chrome wheels to the tire shop to get new tires installed. So, after the 10 mile drive, and removing the five chrome wheels from the bed, I rechecked the rear end.

IMG_20190410_181608343.jpg

Now, the rear was up a hair. I do not think that the weight of the five chrome wheels made much of a difference, I think driving it made the spring packs settle in/up? Anyway, the tape measure does not lie:

IMG_20190410_181740827.jpg

Now, the rear is at 27-1/8", versus the original 25-5/8", so I gained a total of 1-1/2" of lift back to the rear by adding the extra main leafs to the rear packs.

So, I am happy about regaining some height back. I am more happy with how it drives. The rear is no longer "too squishy" feeling, and it still drives smooth. I am going to go ahead an add an extra main leaf to the front packs, too.

So, the extra main leaf additions have helped "revive" these spring packs. That being said, it probably still is not as good as brand new spring packs. But, for around $160.00 for all four extra main leafs, pretty good bang for the buck. If this helps me get another 10-20,000 miles out of these spring packs I will be happy. We will have to see.
 

spankrjs

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Biloxi
State
MS
Well, since the rear leaf spring pack additions went so well, let's do the front:

IMG_20190412_174705371.jpg

Original five leaf pack removed, that center pin head looks funny:

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Yep, bent center pin. I have bent/broken quite a few of these over the years:

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Cleaning up the leaf springs and associated parts:

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Adding the extra leaf to a spring pack, using a long bolt to pull the spring pack back together:

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And a freshly assembled six leaf front spring pack:

IMG_20190412_184521931.jpg

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spankrjs

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Biloxi
State
MS
That was going too easy. The second front spring pack also had a bent existing center pin, too.

IMG_20190413_085446771.jpg

The center pin issue was no big deal, I keep a bunch of extras. I also have extra u-bolts and leaf spring bushings, sleeves, and bolts. The one thing I don't have spares of, and of course, was the one thing I needed:

IMG_20190412_190149209.jpg

The front shackle hanger bushings, on both sides, were slightly tore up; and the center holes where the shackle bolt goes through were also elongated.

Seems like I have tore these up before. The Rubicon Express lift DOES NOT include new shackle hangers. I installed M.O.R.E HD hangers when I rebuilt the Scrambler. Even though the hangers are "HD", they use the small, stock size Jeep CJ shackle hanger bushings. IIRC, the bushing OD is 1", the center bolt is 1/2", not a lot of meat, so no room for a metal sleeve around the shackle bolt at the hanger. I am not sure if this is why these bushings keep getting tore up? There was no noise or loose feeling suspension handling issues, I only noticed the damage because I pulled it apart. One other note - The RE lift uses the wider 2.5" YJ springs, but includes "conversion shackles" that let you keep the stock CJ width 2" front shackle hangers. Not sure if this contributes to the problem, either?

The BDS YJ conversion I installed on my green Scrambler came with new shackle hangers which use the larger YJ bushings, and a steel sleeve around the shackle bolt. It also uses a wider 2.5" shackle hanger, to match the front leaf spring width. Not sure if this is the better way to go or not?

So, waiting on parts:

IMG_20190414_113335197.jpg

I ordered three sets of front shackle hanger bushings, two sets of rears, plenty of spares for next time LOL :wave:
 

spankrjs

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Biloxi
State
MS
Got impatient waiting on bushings, so I went ahead and hung the leaf springs through the shackle hangers without them:

IMG_20190415_185423368.jpg

By doing this, I was able to install the u-bolts and u-bolt plates to the axles, so just waiting on the bushings now:

IMG_20190415_185414993.jpg

I can place a bottle jack under each spring pack, jack it up a hair to free the shackle, slide in the bushings, repeat on the other side, then finished.

Bushings came in today, so I hope to finish the front suspension tonight :fingerscrossed:
 

spankrjs

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Biloxi
State
MS
All my bushings showed up yesterday, lots of spares now!!!!!!!!

IMG_20190416_172653456.jpg

I ordered three front sets, two rears. Each package contains enough bushings to do one end. So, I will use one packet of front bushings to replace both front shackle hanger bushings, have two spare sets for the front and rear.

Close up of the part numbers, left is for the Front (2" wide CJ), right is for the rear (2.5" CJ):

IMG_20190416_172700877.jpg

These bushings are for aftermarket shackles that are flat, NOT domed for stock shackles.

And installed:

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All of the broken parts, front and rear:

IMG_20190416_174715507.jpg

Rear - one center pin I stripped out while removing it
Front - both center pins bent, both front shackle hanger bushing sets, passenger leaf spring shackle end bushings

And this:

IMG_20190416_191948023.jpg

That is a driver side front sway bar lower attaching stud. These screw into the RE u-bolt skid plates. I bend these on the front, they use the same parts on the rear for lower shock mounts, I bend them here, too. I keep spare LOL.

I finished getting the front end back together, put it on the ground, bounced on it, then snugged up the shackle/main eye bolts. The front is showing to be a hair low:

IMG_20190416_192049598.jpg

After I drive it some, this will probably change.

Just need to finish greasing all the suspension bolts and rear driveshaft, then I can test drive.
 
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