Eric's Postal Build Thread (was: Postal rebuild thread)

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
#1
I've decided to keep this as my overall "build thread" for the postal since this was really the start of it at the general state that it will be for a very long time (not ever done of course).

I noticed I need to relink a bunch of photos because I lost two sites where I stuck some of my old pictures. Making this a current thread again will help motivate me to do that.


March-April 10 Update: New Bestop Supertop pic, upgraded headlights, OBA
June-July 09 Update: Linked the thread for the 4.0/AW4 swap (from 97 XJ, OBDII)

EDIT: for completeness, I need to explain why I started the 05-06 rebuild... A woman pulled out in front of me and I had nowhere to go but to hit her in the front left corner of hers, the front right corner of mine. It took out the front right spring, steering stabilizer, damaged the fender, firewall and bumper. I took it to a local frame shop to have it checked out to make sure the frame wasn't damaged and got an estimate/settlement from insurance based on fixing it at the Jeep dealership.



I finally started in on the Postal tonight... it came home from the frame shop on Friday afternoon. I didn't get to play with her until tonight because of a previously scheduled honey-do task installing some laminate flooring...

So, I had a Scrambler with a busted front suspension on it... what would you do first? Pull the springs? Disconnect the tie rod? Pull the U-bolts?


Heck no, you slap the new winch and bumper on the front end to see what they'll look like :D I just couldn't resist...





THEN and only THEN, do you start pulling the front suspension... everything's loose but the brake lines.



I also found out that the right tire hit the back of the wheelwell which pushed the wheelwell back. With the brace from the wheelwell to the firewall, it pushed the firewall back in too...

Nice thing is that the Scrambler owner/body man at the shop it was at called and told me that he'd found this out while working to weld up the frame. He said that he didn't bother to make mention of it to the shop because they'd already gave their estimate and that it would have caused problems with the other lady's insurance adjustor. He said he would be happy to come over and fix it himself so I didn't have to deal with insurance anymore! I thought that was real nice of him... it's really not that big a deal.

Anyhow, I'll get back at it tomorrow...at least she's on the road to recovery finally!
 
Last edited:

Stouttrout

Registered Jeep Nut
City
Sour Lake
State
Tx
#2
The bumper and winch look good. I like that bumper, that was a good find. You didn;t have that on when you hit her?
 

Truck

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Manassas
State
Va
#3
Boy, you didn't waste any time did you :D That is going to look nice when done. Glad that thing is back home.

Truck
 

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
#5
Truck said:
Boy, you didn't waste any time did you :D
Huh? She was sitting out there for me to play with for an entire 24 hours before I laid a finger on her!!! It was killing me to be sitting on the floor of our bedroom playing with flooring while I could have been fixing her.

The bumper was a very nice find, the rest of that -5 was somewhat a disappointment when I started digging into it (and why I was so eager to part it out after the LJ was ordered), but those bumpers are gonna look SWEET once I get them cleaned up and painted.

Now I need to figger out how exactly that winch mounting plate gets assembled. It didn't come with hardware except to mount the winch and fairlead. It appears to need some Gr. 8 carriage bolts...
 

FELNTPSY

Booty Fab Master
City
Morehead City
State
NC
#6
Eric,

you might want to look into getting the hardware from Warn. That looks like the same mounting plate that mine uses. If so, you'll need a couple of metal sleeves to run through the frame and then the bolts go thru those so that you don't get any movement once it's mounted.

Good luck.
 

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
#7
:confused:

WTF? Why wouldn't that hardware have come with the plate???

I haven't had a chance to look into it yet... sounds like that's what I need to track down then.
 

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
#9
The Plan

Just so you guys don't think I'm slacking off too badly... there has been work done on the Postal, some actual work (grinding/cleaning bumpers, buying and stripping a rear axle) but mostly planning (I can't do anything without overthinking it big time).

Alright, there were a couple of issues to work out before I could figger out what the heck I'm going to do. Mostly stuff in my head as to where I really wanted this thing to end up...

What I realized in asking you good folks about a couple of axle/suspension options is that I never want to build my postal to the point where I can't drive it to work, to camp with the family, on the highway, etc. I'll buy another Jeep (or build my XJ when it's retired from DD duty) before that happens. (thanks again for that post Tom!)

With that in mind, I looked for what I thought would be a really solid setup that would never see more than 35" tires. For better or worse, here's the final setup that will be going on the postal over the next few months:

AMC 20 HD from a Waggy 61" WMS width SUA
Waggy D44 front, same width, SUA w/ outboarded springs
Aussie lockers with 4.54 gears
6-lug 33" or 35" tires
HD steering from GoFerIt offroad (possibly a custom box mount too)
Steering box brace (thanks Mules!)
RE 4.5" HD lift kit
Warn 9500i
Runck bumpers
PSC Rocker Knockers
PSC Crusher Corners w/ LEDs
Yellow top Optima
CB/Firestick
Dual stick my D300
Stereo/speaker install (had it for a while, just needs installed)
1" body lift (only if needed for 35s)

I think that's all of it... I was thinking of trying to put a 4.0 head and FI on it, but in looking at the amount of work that I'm going to have with all of this, I think that I'll save that until after it's mechanically sound and running again rather than complicate matters with another major project.

I found the Waggy 44 that a guy is trading me for a set of lift shackles!! :D Going to get it on Sat.

I picked up the HD 20 last week and have it stripped down to the housing.

I'm almost done grinding on the bumpers and they'll be primed and sprayed with Hammerite. If I can get back from work at a normal time one night this week, I should have them primed inside of a couple hours.

Lots of stuff to order as yet, but the wheels have all been set in motion ;) Just waiting on a quote before giving the go ahead.

Let the fun begin! If I'm lucky it will all be done in time for Oak Ridge this fall. :cool:
 

2K1TJ

Still Scramblin'
City
Rockmart
State
GA
#11
bigwalton said:
I found the Waggy 44 that a guy is trading me for a set of lift shackles!! :D Going to get it on Sat.


He got any more? I'll find something to trade! :p

I think you got the better end of that deal :rolleyes: :D
 

Truck

Scrambler Junkie
LIFETIME
CJ-8.com Member
City
Manassas
State
Va
#12
Quote:Originally Posted by bigwalton
I'd be real interested to add this to the LONG list of crap that I have on the to-do list!
Qoute: Originally Posted by Truck
If you would quit attending baby showers and the like maybe you could do some manly stuff like work on your JEEP!!
Truck
Just so you guys don't think I'm slacking off too badly... there has been work done on the Postal, some actual work (grinding/cleaning bumpers, buying and stripping a rear axle)
Needing to prove your not a complete girlie man I guess... :D :p :D
and NO I'm not going to let you live this down, besides what are friends for. ;)

Truck
 
Last edited:

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
#13
Randyzzz said:
Eric, where's the pic?
Pic of.....??? Be specific man. I have the before pics of the bumpers, I was waiting until I got the afters... I think I took a pic of the rear axle too but never got to download it. It just looks like a 20 without a tape measure to note the extra beef :D
 

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
#14
2K1TJ said:
He got any more? I'll find something to trade! :p

I think you got the better end of that deal :rolleyes: :D
Yeah, I haven't seen this thing yet, so keep your fingers crossed. It's just a dead stock 44, but this way I can spend for real nice lockout hubs instead of having to go cheap on those... I was budgeting at least $100 for the axle itself! :D The guy got it to use under his -5 along with an AMC20 HD too, but he found a great eBay deal on a WIIIDE J-20 front axle that he decided to use instead. Lucky me!
 

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
#15
Truck said:
Needing to prove your not a complete girlie man I guess... :D :p :D
and NO I'm not going to let you live this down, besides what are friends for. ;)

Truck
Ugh, yes... I was feeling like a whuss. Thanks for reminding me good buddy :p (you're SO out of the entourage now!)
 

kohldad

SOA Member
City
Goose Creek
State
SC
#16
Sounds like the Postal is going to be a nice beast and extremely unique when you get done with it. If you want to go w/35s and still have a nice DD, would strongly suggest you going to SOA, stock springs and SRS. It will ride real nice with only some nose dive on heavy braking. If you want to see what it looks and feel right, come on down to Uwharrie opening weekend as I'll have my Scrambler there. Its sits a little higher than would like for a daily driver, but the extra clearance under the axles makes trail riding very nice. Have Brian with the 5 and another friend with a 7, both SUA and both have problems with hitting the u-bolts on the rocks, even at Uwharrie.
 

sevensandeights

sevensandeights
SOA Member
City
Mckean
State
PA
#17
The axles should do well for you. I have a buddy in my local club who did that exact swap a year ago. He put ARB's in though and has wheeled it pretty hard since without problems. He also stayed SUA and is running 36's with a a spring lift and mild body lift.
 

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
#18
kohldad said:
Sounds like the Postal is going to be a nice beast and extremely unique when you get done with it... Have Brian with the 5 and another friend with a 7, both SUA and both have problems with hitting the u-bolts on the rocks, even at Uwharrie.
Yeah, I'm looking at this HD 20 wondering why it isn't used more often in the rear of CJs...

As for the SUA/SOA I just don't see the issues and trouble being worth it for me with this one. I loved the ride on-road with my BDS springs and the RE kist should only be an improvement. I like a Jeep to feel like a Jeep... Kate's LJ rides nice but it's just not "jeep-like".

The RE kit comes with Ubolt skidders to minimize the hanging on the SUA setup too... I think that's a great touch.

I'm set on the SUA now, so stop trying to talk me out of it :D ;)
 

bigwalton

Picture cravin' AK Postal nut
Staff member
SOA Member
City
Dexter
State
MI
#20
Here's the first (and largest) wave of parts... I can't wait for all of this to show up on the doorstep! :D

I'm taking full advantage of the Northridge4x4.com "5%" discount with free shipping :D They quoted some SILLY low prices on some of this for me!

Rubicon Express Hand Throttle
Hi-Lift Jack Jacket Protector
60" Hi-Lift Jack Red (because the Rubicon needs one, my 48" will go to it)
Optima Yellow Top
Poison Spyder Rocker Knocker CJ8
Poison Spyder Crusher Corner CJ8
Rubicon Express CJ 4.5" Suspension System
Cobra 75WXST CB Radio & Firestick II Package
Poison Spyder LED Round Taillights

Here's the plan for the rest. I'm headed to pick up/tear down a D44 and to drop off my HD 20 tomorrow at a shop where I'll have full Detroits and 4.56 gears installed in both. Then I'll add some Warn lockouts to the 44. Both will get all new seals/bearings/etc.

I'll get a custom drag link/tie rod setup from Big Daddy/Goferit along with a HD steering box mount for RHD.

For now I'll stick with the TrXuS 33s that I have and I'll keep my eyes out for a deal on 35s down the road. I'm going to be getting these Goudy beadlocks to mount them up (the all black ones):


Throw in a Borgeson HD steering shaft and it'll be all done ;)

Did I miss anything?
 
Top