Budget Iceland Offroad ZJ build

zero2wow

SOA old xprez...
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Vancouver
State
WA
#21
It happens more than a lot of folks from the lower 48 would suspect. My sweetheart and family are from AK.. My father-in-law hit three since the sixties. Two in the same season.

I think that is a good decision to put money into safety equipment like you've done.

z
 

AK-RWC

Legacy Registered User
SOA Member
City
south central
State
AK
#22
Very little Scrambler work, but lots of 5.9L ZJ work, on both my wife's and our friend's 5.9L. Here are some highlight photos:


Still need to build a storage box in the back where the spare tire is, and I'll incorporate a mount for this speaker/sub into the box.



Welded a roof-rack in anticipation of needing someplace to put the spare tire. I'll probably get rid of this when I get a rear bumper that includes a tire carrier.



Added pencil beams.



Did an aluminum plenum on our friend's 5.9L. The first gasket didn't take, so I had to do this job again about three weeks later.



Also added a catch-can to that ZJ. (This, and the plenum, are on the list for my wife's.)



Major transmission service: band adjustment, all new electronics (pressure sensor and both solenoids), found and replaced a broken accumulator spring, welded in a nut for a drain plug, new filter and fluid, deleted the one-way check-valve for the OEM cooler, added an auxiliary MOPAR cooler from a '93-'97. (For some reason, Chrysler didn't put the auxiliary cooler on any '98 ZJ, and relied solely on the radiator cooler.)



Trimmed the rear leading edge in anticipation of 32"s and ultimate cutting and installation of the rear flares.




Trimmed the front and got those flares installed. Also got the rock-rails on.
 

AK-RWC

Legacy Registered User
SOA Member
City
south central
State
AK
#23

Made a tool to test the Track-Loc. Turns out it's in great shape! Took right around 130 lb-ft to break it loose, which is well within the 30-200 lb-ft range provided for in the FSM.



Cleaned up the OEM stainless exhaust tip.



Welded/Bondo'd/painted the rear cuts.



32"s on.
 

AK-RWC

Legacy Registered User
SOA Member
City
south central
State
AK
#24

Full set of Husky floor mats installed. Definitely a good idea! We both like them.




Rear flares positioned and drilled. I decided to mount them and then cut so as not to remove any more steel from the uni-body as necessary.





Cut and welded.






 

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
#25
I so want one of these set up just like this. I freaking LOVE the look with those flares and that size lift/tire :bow:
 

AK-RWC

Legacy Registered User
SOA Member
City
south central
State
AK
#27
Thanks! It's funny how 32"s rubbed everywhere and looked so huge on this thing until I cut the fenders and added the flares. It'll easily clear 33"s now.

We had a long 4x4 club meeting last night and afterward I didn't feel like any additional garage time. Tonight I'll trim the rear door cladding, and maybe start grinding out my booger-welds so I can get some paint on the roof-rack.

I'm starting to think about the Hanson rear bumper:







I think it has the cleanest lines of any of the aftermarket ZJ rear bumpers, but I'm concerned that the hitch is only rated as a Class II. I'm thinking I may need to weld it into the existing OEM hitch sub-structure if I buy it.

The other problem: if I buy this bumper, that's just approximately three more months of doing nothing on my Scrambler, and it desperately needs some money thrown at it!
 

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
#29
Matt (forum/GR8TOPS owner) had a set of their bumpers on his lime green LJ for a number of years. Still some of the best craftsmanship I've ever seen in the Jeep aftermarket, those things looked incredible. I vote that you go for it :thumbsup:
 

AK-RWC

Legacy Registered User
SOA Member
City
south central
State
AK
#30

AAAaaand . . . rear cladding back on.




Also gave it a quick wipe-down inside to knock out the dust, and condition the leather. With the impending completion of the roof-rack, I decided to take this opportunity to re-ghetto mount the sub. Once the roof-rack is installed and the spare is on top, the next project will be building a speaker/storage box where the spare used to live.

While doing the wipe-down, I discovered overspray on both rear door panels. I panicked, and went through an entire can of brake cleaner while rubbing vigorously. It worked, but afterward I totally felt like this:
 

AK-RWC

Legacy Registered User
SOA Member
City
south central
State
AK
#31


Roof rack painted and installed. Also took the Hi-Lift apart, painted it, and put on some lithium grease.
 

AK-RWC

Legacy Registered User
SOA Member
City
south central
State
AK
#32
Wow; I really haven't been keeping up with my build thread here. I admit that my primary thread is on TSF. I've done the aluminum plenum, added a catch-can, replaced all the coolant hoses, upgraded to an all aluminum radiator, and put in a FlowKooler water pump, in addition to some modifications for the e-fan switches. Look at my TSF thread if you're interested in the details.

Here's the latest:
Front output shaft bearing is on the way out in the NP231. Since I pulled that case from the '95, it now has around 300,000 miles on it. I think it's had bearings done once before, but either way, I can't complain. But since I have to open it up again . . . UPGRADE!

The final parts just arrived, so now she'll have the 6-pinion planetary, and 1.5" chain, with the SYE:



The Atomic Fireball came with the rebuild kit. Seriously.

Per Novak,
The standard duty OEM 231 transfer cases are capable of transferring from 1600 to 1900 ft. lbs of torque (as claimed by NVG - actual experience puts this number quite a bit higher).
Wide chains, larger planetaries and stronger mainshaft/tailhousing assemblies (see Tailhousings, below) are also available if even more strength is desired. With such upgrades, a transfer case capable of handling 2900+ ft. lbs. of torque is attainable. This is a result of good engineering and refinement.
The Jeep New Process / NVG 231 Transfer Case
 

AK-RWC

Legacy Registered User
SOA Member
City
south central
State
AK
#33
Finally got around to the installation:



I ran into some minor but frustrating issues doing the rebuild, but it's all back in the ZJ. Unfortunately, the grinding noise which prompted the rebuild is still present, and even a little louder, and sounds to me like it's more plainly carrier bearings. Oops. Thankfully I'm already sitting on a Dana 30 set-up kit and a Detroit TrueTrac torque-biasing LSD.

In the meantime, I just ordered a rear driveshaft from Adams Driveshaft. The price was outstanding and I've heard fantastic things about their customer service.
 

AK-RWC

Legacy Registered User
SOA Member
City
south central
State
AK
#34

Driveshaft from Adam's Driveshaft showed up just a couple days after I ordered it. I'm incredibly impressed with the quality, service, etc. It was built and in the mail less than 24 hours after I ordered it, they'd already painted it, and it came fully greased, with the hardware, and a free t-shirt! All components were Spicer. And I went with the correct 1330 u-joint at the pinion rather than a conversion joint. I went ahead and installed it in the parking lot at the post office, and re-adjusted the shifter linkage.



All was good except for a slight vibration that kicks in around 55-60 mph, so I ordered adjustable rear upper control arms from Core 4x4 on eBay. I asked for the OEM Clevite bushings since ride is important as it's my wife's DD. I'm also impressed with the quality for the price, and the prompt delivery. DOM tubing, and they came painted!
 

AK-RWC

Legacy Registered User
SOA Member
City
south central
State
AK
#35
Still had vibration, which went completely away when the front driveshaft was removed. New u-joints and rebuilding the double-cardan resolved a lot, but I completely missed that the slip-joint had also gone out, so I ordered a matching from shaft from Adams. That resolved 90% of the vibration, but pointed more to the front axle.

I'd picked up an XJ HP Dana 30 a year ago, but was waiting until things got really bad before building it. Things finally got bad. I took it in for an alignment and found out that not only was the pinion seal leaking, but so was an axle seal. Oh, and it was full of water, even though I'd changed the fluid in the spring and hadn't done any water crossings since then. Even my wife finally asked on our last trip with it (when I didn't want to drive it because of the axle), "What's that noise coming from the front end?"

Full on turd polishing commenced:






ARTEC truss, ARTEC LCA mounts, ARTEC UCA bracket, IRO bushing sleeve, Synergy yoke gussets. I already have a Dana 30 TrueTrac that someone gave me several years ago. The R&P were theoretically Alloy USA, but the ring gear itself has a Dana-Spicer part number on it. Same thing with the set-up kit: ordered as Alloy USA, but it actually came with a set of Timken bearings. I drilled and tapped the TeraFlex cover for the high-pinion fill level. I know Solid, etc., make them with the HP level already, but I thought I'd save money with the Tera cover. Some people also complained about the Solid cover hitting the track-bar with little-to-no lift.

(Last spring while chasing down some loose steering it got all new linkage and an IRO track-bar as well.)
 

AK-RWC

Legacy Registered User
SOA Member
City
south central
State
AK
#36

I had a couple friends help me with gear install last Tuesday night. My one friend in particular used to work in a drivetrain shop and has tons of experience setting up gears.


Then I took Wednesday off of work so I could get the axle assembled and installed to relax and enjoy the rest of my Thanksgiving vacation. Nope. When I slid the right-side axle shaft in, it was painfully apparent that the housing was bent. We took the paint off the bottom edge and confirmed it with a steel table square. The bend was most prominent where the two vertical front/back supports get welded in directly underneath the UCA mount, which would be consistent with the amount of heat applied to that area. BUT my friends and I came up with a plan right then and there using stuff I had on hand:

I cut two slits in the truss, and slit all the side supports along it's length.




Using a 12-ton bottle jack and a length of chain wrapped from yoke to yoke, the axle went straight without much pressure. This confirmed to us that the axle was most definitely straight before we put the truss on. My friend who did the welding got a little impatient since I was there with him, but at the same time I was there because I didn't expect him to do all the work for me, and I knew it would be a 10-12 hour process of welding and cooling before we even got to the differential heating procedure. Unfortunately, that resulted in him welding the truss base up quickly, and jumping right to the diff without having bothered with the pre-heating of the cast before I even realized what had happened. Either way, I'm not at all pissed at him; this was a buddy-deal offer by him to do the welding for me since he's got a nicer welder and is a better welder than myself. He took it pretty hard that the axle warped, and offered to buy me a new truss and find a new housing, etc. I told him not to worry about it since I was pretty sure we could correct the existing one, plus it's not like this was a professional business transaction or anything.



I let it sit like that as I progressively went back and forth increasing pressure, checking on shaft alignment, and adding thicker washers and more tin for spacers.



This looks pretty d@mn close to me! I cut off the bits of washer that were sticking out and re-welded all the slits.



Fully assembled. My wife told me to stop being cheap and buy new u-joints and bearings. I picked up Spicer u-joints for the axle shafts, but got cheap hubs from Amazon. Those got topped off with new hub-nut kids from NAPA, and I did additional painting to clean up the scratches on Saturday.


Slapped it in on Saturday night, and took it out for the 20-minute initial break-in. The gears were a little noisy.




We then went out with some friends roughly 50 or so miles away to get Christmas trees. My wife drove the whole way and kept it at 55 mph. The trail was probably 4 or 5 miles, and then she did another 50 miles back home.


On Monday, first thing, I took it in for an alignment. Camber was within factory spec! Which means we got the axle straight! It's a driver! Turd officially highly polished! Gears also quieted right down after the break-in was done.


The truss and driveshaft don't appear to have any conflicts with the oil pan, and she did flex the axle out a little bit on the trail. I'll take a few pics the next time I get a chance. But keep in mind this also has a ~3.25" lift, and extended bump-stops.
 

AK-RWC

Legacy Registered User
SOA Member
City
south central
State
AK
#39
Summer time means tire changeover season!

The friend who we originally got the 32" BFGs from is upgrading her XJ, got a good deal on some 36" IROKs, and thus had her "old" 265/75R16 (metric 32x10.5) on four Moab (Rubicon TJ) wheels to sell. The stars aligned, and I immediately sold the 32"s and had the 265s arrive a few hours later. The spare was on a steel 7" wheel but had never touched the ground, and she had an extra 4 Moab wheels (that I helped find for her, ultimately so she could have a matching spare) that were included. I ended up picking the best 5 of the 8 wheels, and thus had two tires remounted. Any way, end result is 100x better than the old honeycombs:


I may now end up getting the Ultrastars with the studded tires blasted and powdercoated. But that can wait until fall.
 
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