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Jake's 99 XJ continuing build

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Post  Jake 1/20/2014, 11:29 pm

Figured I'd just start putting stuff in one place now.

Bought her april '13 for $3450 with 128k miles.
Jake's 99 XJ continuing build IMG_20130519_162639

4.5" RC lift (+2" spacers?)
SYE
Double cardan rear ds
'Custom' heavy duty steering
33x12.5's
Winch bumper

First order of business was getting a sub in there, pretty anemic sound without it.
Jake's 99 XJ continuing build IMG_20130518_190358
Jake's 99 XJ continuing build IMG_20130519_162807

Second order of business was getting a CB in there in time to go on a couple NSJ runs.

At some point I realized that the frame had been damaged by the PO from overloading the hitch:
Jake's 99 XJ continuing build IMG_20131011_145353
Jake's 99 XJ continuing build IMG_20131011_145321

Which eventually led me to the next post..


Last edited by hobhayward on 1/23/2014, 9:40 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post  Jake 1/21/2014, 12:00 am

The dimensions of the cherokee's uni-frame at the back is 2.25" x 4.25".

I was able, after lots of searching to find 2.25"x.25" square tubing. Expensive because its a random size and expensive to ship because I couldn't get it locally.

Tubing:
Jake's 99 XJ continuing build IMG_20140111_162430

Frame inserts welded up:
Jake's 99 XJ continuing build IMG_20140112_151919

On the lift:
Jake's 99 XJ continuing build IMG_20140118_120840

Jake's 99 XJ continuing build IMG_20140118_125536

Gas tank out, sawzall in action:
Jake's 99 XJ continuing build IMG_20140118_131750

Bottom of frame cut out, shackle boxes next.. sawzall and an angle grinder with a cutoff disk made short work of the frame.
Jake's 99 XJ continuing build IMG_20140118_133007

Getting the liner for the fuel filler lines out was a pain:
Jake's 99 XJ continuing build IMG_20140118_141703
Jake's 99 XJ continuing build IMG_20140118_142735
Jake's 99 XJ continuing build IMG_20140118_143350

Ready for a little prep
Jake's 99 XJ continuing build IMG_20140118_142846

Painted and first insert clamped up
Jake's 99 XJ continuing build IMG_20140118_165148
Jake's 99 XJ continuing build IMG_20140118_165022

Skip a few steps because obviously I stopped taking pictures when it got interesting
Jake's 99 XJ continuing build IMG_20140118_183657
Jake's 99 XJ continuing build IMG_20140118_183639
Jake's 99 XJ continuing build IMG_20140118_183631
Jake's 99 XJ continuing build IMG_20140118_183704
Jake's 99 XJ continuing build IMG_20140118_195940

Unfortunately the shackle location we chose was too far forward, as I discovered the leafs had sagged on the drive home
Jake's 99 XJ continuing build IMG_20140118_212514

Moved to the furthest back spot today and man is ride quality way better than it ever has been (shackles were vertical previously). Still not a great shackle angle but it'll do for now until I get some extended shackles and use one of the higher holes.
Jake's 99 XJ continuing build IMG_20140120_220527

Last thing to do is plug weld through the floor to the frame inserts, we ran out of time though and its already unquestionably beefier than the stock setup. Also need to drill holes for the hitch to mount up.

Afaik this is the first time this has been done so comments are more than welcome. I'll update this when I finish the final details and probably post a better write up on some of the cherokee forums.
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Post  Mark 1/21/2014, 6:52 am

Way to go Jake! It's no longer a crispy critter and now it's stronger than it ever was.
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Post  CrawlingForward 1/22/2014, 2:42 pm

Woot!

Nice documentation, btw.

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Post  Andrew Miller 1/23/2014, 12:38 pm

Nice work!

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Post  Jake 1/23/2014, 10:26 pm

Thanks guys, I owe a lot to my friend who's shop/MIG we used. Hopefully finish up the welding and hitch mounting soon!

Replaced a worn trackbar heim today with a fresh one from ruffstuff, impressed by the quality so far. Threw my steering off a bit due to a tiny change in axle centering? I.e. maybe an 1/8th of an inch of change between the old and new and it went from 11 oclock = straight ahead to 1 oclock = straight ahead. Anndddd my awesome 'custom' hd steering has a no longer adjustable drag link. Thinking about replacing the y-link setup with a new one due to a wonky setup with the rod end that connects the drag link to the track bar. Or actually maybe swapping the rod end for a heim.

Jake's 99 XJ continuing build Messenger_5831555033748942952_13903510651123747
Jake's 99 XJ continuing build IMG_20140123_201308



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Post  Mark 1/24/2014, 7:43 am

Track bar adjustments affect toe.
Adjust track bar to center the front axle then adj toe, then adj steering wheel straight ahead .
I wouldn't go crazy with the heim joints, they do not seem to last very long,, MY 02,,

Does that track bar heim have two different mounting flange sizes ( at mounting surfaces where bolt head is and where heim meets the frame bracket?)
If so I would mate larger mounting surface to the frame bracket. Maybe pic is an illusion i don't know.
There is alot of force being applied on the track bar to frame bracket mounting point and that tends to loosen the thru bolt. BECAUSE IT IS A SINGLE SHEAR SET UP unlike the other end of the track bar which is a double shear set up.

Replace steering with zj v8 steering linkage ? it works well, i have it on my other TJ.
I believe Ryan is running the ZJ set up.
I have the currie steering linkage set up on my TJ and it shows no signs of wear what so ever on tie rod ends, been on for about 100k kinda hard miles.

http://boston.craigslist.org/sob/pts/4300853080.html

Does any of this make any sense? TO ME IT DOES!
Everyone has different views and opinions on this stuff so do a little homework, it will help you in the end and save you time, money and aggravation.


Last edited by Mark on 1/24/2014, 10:39 am; edited 9 times in total
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Post  Mark 1/24/2014, 8:08 am

http://boston.craigslist.org/sob/pts/4300853080.html
Currie says do not run a drop pitman arm with this set up (I called them)

----- OR -----

1 #DS1312 Tie Rod
1 #DS1238 Drag Link
2 #ES3096L Short Tie Rod Ends(1 by pitman, 1 by outer driver side)
2 #ES2079S Adjustment Sleeves
Auto Zone stuff works ok.
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Post  Jake 1/24/2014, 12:12 pm

Thanks for the insight Mark. Not an illusion, the larger diam misalignment spacer is the 'safety' version, its big enough that the outer part of the heim cant get over it if under some absurd circumstances it were going to come off.. Does make you want them on both sides for more surface area though.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I would think toe was only affected by the tie rod? Track bar misalignment just shifts the whole axle to one side.

I've been eyballing this steering setup for a little while.. But my current steering setup works and there's things that need replacing so it's gotta be pushed down the list for now..

http://www.ruffstuffspecialties.com/catalog/YLINK.html
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Post  Mark 1/24/2014, 1:15 pm

That steering set up looks quite rugged,
Moving the track bar Can/will affect the y set up geometry and change toe to some extent, best to do adjustments in the order previously mentioned.
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Post  Jake 1/24/2014, 1:44 pm

Potential source of confusion: I'm not familiar with the stock steering setup, and the existing steering on this is a y-link setup same as that ruffstuff setup.

Sorry for the bad pics, but the tie rod is the only thing that can affect toe in this setup. The center of steering will be moved by trackbar adjustments but that's it.. What I don't like about this setup is that the tie rod adjuster is welded, and the rod end that connects the drag link to the tie rod is at a poor angle. Thinking that the tie rod should be rotated forwards 90* to improve that but I haven't tried it yet.

Jake's 99 XJ continuing build IMG_20130923_171415
Jake's 99 XJ continuing build IMG_20130531_080537
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Post  Mark 1/24/2014, 2:21 pm

Are you not running a front sway bar?
Just realized that the set up that you have is different than stock, looks more like a yj set up, toe will not be affected like stock set up when you move the trac bar,, you are correct,, I just noticed that yours wasn't stock. Hmm, need to wear glasses. Not all of my ramblings are relevant to your set up then.

Centering the wheel is done at the tie rod that attaches to the pitman arm.
If you try to do it at the track bar you will mess up the front axle center, one tire will be sticking out more on one side than the other,, that makes it track improperly.
Centering the fromt axle is a different procedure ,that is done at the track bar.

-STOCK STEERING LINKAGE-
If you put 2 jack stands under the sub frame in the front with wheels totally off the ground the toe will be off as compared to it sitting on the tires.
It will have more toe in,, opposite when suspension is compressed it will toe out more.
What i'm saying is that everything affects something else down the line.

If you set the toe on an empty vehicle and then check it with a full load of gear in it and a full tank of gas, the toe will be different.
Because of the y set up.
If you do not set it up correctly you can get bump steer .
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Post  Jake 1/25/2014, 11:01 pm

Yup, too bad my drag link isn't adjustable =/ depending on which direction it needs to go I might get a bit out of the rod end that connects to the tie rod.

Nice spot, no sway bars front or back, PO cut the link mounts off the front axle.. I have a sway bar, brackets, bushings and mounting hardware ready to go in, just need to fab up some new link mounts and weld them on. Also need sway bar links of course, been waiting on a guy over on jeepforum who builds adjustable quick disconnect ones for $80, might give up and order the parts myself, basically rounds out to the same cost as what he's charging though =/.

On another note I went down to billerica today to pull an 8.8 with open 4.10's. Unfortunately didn't have the right deep socket to get it off and neither did they, ran out of time, but I'm going back to pick it up next Saturday. $265 after tax and they're just gonna pull it for me, maybe not the best price, but not unreasonable. In apparent good shape with disks and 120k on the 97 explorer its coming out of.

Planning on this swap kit, hard to beat $200 including a truss: http://www.ironrockoffroad.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=IROR&Product_Code=IR-XF88BK&Category_Code=F88S
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Post  Mark 1/26/2014, 6:30 am

Jake, you are going to need the drive shaft flange from the explorer or get a yoke that fits the 8.8 because the explorer has a flange at the pinion.
I am using the shaft in my TJ from my YJ that has an 8.8, I had to change the rear u joint out for a dual size joint.
You will need a 1310 / 1330 conversion u joint or You can get the correct flange adapter at the ford dealership for $25 either 1310 small joint like xj or 1330 big one like the 8.8.

265 is a fair price for the 8.8 and the fact that it has 4.10s and disc brakes is great.
That truss looks fine and it comes with the perches and e thing else that you need.

As far as sway bar links go, I wouldn't use the jks because you always get grease all over your hands/clothes and the bushings get sloppy real quick.
You can get new front sway bar link mounts.

I had them on my TJ, got frustrated and got a currie anti rock, it's much better never having to disconnect, if I could only air down without getting out of the jeep that would be great!
If the tie rod bottoms out and won't screw in enough to center the steering wheel, cut some of the threads off of one tie rod, Done it before.
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Post  Jake 1/30/2014, 1:11 pm

Thanks Mark.

ANy thoughts on how the anti-rock compares for on road driving? Obviously better than no sway bar, but as good as the factory sway bar? I'm considering it but it may be something I do down the line, for now I'll be content with the factory sway bar to get me stable on the roads lol.

As to that flange, I've read you can pull a 1310 flange adapter off of some other models that used the 8.8. Going to try to find one of those on Saturday when I go down to pick up ze 8.8.

Now the only thing I'm wondering about is whether to replace all the bearings while I'm building this up, before it goes under the jeep. And if I do, do I go from a crush collar to a solid spacer setup? Ideally I would do both of those things while it's out because it'll be way easier than down the line, but if everything's in spec its kindof hard to justify the price and the effort.
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Post  Mark 1/31/2014, 6:54 pm

I found this  http://forums.corral.net/forums/general-mustang-tech/1246940-8-8-pinion-solid-sleeve-vs-crush-sleeve.html
The anti rock is noticeable on the road, more body roll than stock but better than being disconnected when off road.
There are 5 settings on them, I have mine on 4th softest setting.
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Post  Jake 2/2/2014, 10:33 pm

The loot:
Jake's 99 XJ continuing build IMG_20140201_144749390_HDR

Picked up a new front shaft as well to replace the one I have with a wobbly slip yoke. U joints and centering ball are even in good condition, $50.

Got to work today:
Jake's 99 XJ continuing build IMG_20140202_132356553
Jake's 99 XJ continuing build IMG_20140202_132411958
Jake's 99 XJ continuing build IMG_20140202_132900021
Jake's 99 XJ continuing build IMG_20140202_150026055
Jake's 99 XJ continuing build IMG_20140202_152908377_HDR
Jake's 99 XJ continuing build IMG_20140202_171917431
Jake's 99 XJ continuing build IMG_20140202_171944927
Jake's 99 XJ continuing build IMG_20140202_175613041_HDR
Jake's 99 XJ continuing build IMG_20140202_180200218

Almost done cleaning it up. Pretty sure one of the calipers is frozen, they're reallllly rusty so I'm probably going to pick up some reman units. The brake backings are in decent shape, need to be cleaned up but I'm glad I don't need to pick up new ones. New rear rotors are $15 a pop on rockauto, pads are like 7 bucks. Insane how cheap this stuff can be. Need new e-brake stuff as well.

Next up, gotta finish getting the rust off of the tight inside corners on the housing and the ends of the axle that I didn't get to today.

Coming tomorrow hopefully is the swap kit from IRO. Still need to order: brake stuff, diff cover.

Need to figure out: brake lines, e-brake cables. Also planning on checking the gear pattern and the backlash to make sure things are in shape for now. Hopefully leave the carrier and pinion bearings for when and if I throw a locker in there or re-gear. Need to figure the re-gearing our relatively soon after it goes in though, because I don't want to re-gear my d30 multiple times.

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Post  Jake 2/4/2014, 8:50 am

Goodies from IRO. Got some boomerang lift shackles as well to help with the shackle clearance issue.

Jake's 99 XJ continuing build IMG_20140203_175533695
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Post  Jake 2/23/2014, 9:00 pm

Got the lift shackles installed today to correct the heinous shackle angle I was left with after installing the HD offroad engineering shackle boxes. Had a fun time because the shackle boxes came with english hardware that's realllly effing close to the stock metric size, but naturally doesn't fit in the bushing sleeves that came in the IRO shackles. Pounded the first one in halfway and then couldn't get it out again. Had to ghetto fab a puller to get it out, was really glad it worked! Picked up some metric hardware and it's good to go. Feels like a caddy now compared to before haha.

Jake's 99 XJ continuing build 1393197501828

Jake's 99 XJ continuing build IMG_20140223_180022789

Ruffstuff diff cover should be here this week along with a tire carrier spindle for when I build a tire carrier bumper. Ordering the remaining brake parts for the 8.8 tonight. Need bearing and seals too, probably a NAPA thing.

Anyone know of a place that does sand blasting around here? I want to get the brake hardware for the 8.8 cleaned up, along with a few other rusty rusty parts.
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Post  CrawlingForward 2/24/2014, 1:04 pm

hobhayward wrote:
Anyone know of a place that does sand blasting around here? I want to get the brake hardware for the 8.8 cleaned up, along with a few other rusty rusty parts.

Don't know what your time or space requirements are, but if you're flexible, you might be cheaper and better off just to buy a media blaster from harbor freight. Apparently if you buy some extra lockwashers and caulk the seams, it's a surprisingly quality tool. Especially if you're doing smaller bits like brakes, it would work well.

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Post  Jake 2/24/2014, 1:09 pm

Oh man, I don't need that temptation haha. I'm gonna look into that right now.

In other news the beef from ruffstuff arrived when I was home for lunch today.

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Post  saxmanclay 3/1/2014, 10:10 am

Everything is looking nice!

I'll second the Antirock, especially on an XJ. My wife has it on hers and loves it. If you have it on the stiffest setting it feels like a stock swaybar.
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Post  Mark 3/2/2014, 7:02 am


Anyone know of a place that does sand blasting around here? I want to get the brake hardware for the 8.8 cleaned up, along with a few other rusty rusty parts.[/quote]


Most automotive machine shops,,,, there is a blasating place in groveland on route 97 almost at Georgetown town line,,,, also a place in Salem NH next to CANOBIE LAKE PARK.
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Post  Jake 3/2/2014, 6:07 pm

Thanks Clayton. The Anti-rock would definitely be nice but its a little too pricy to justify at the moment. I have ideas of how to build a ghetto anti-rock running through my head right now haha. Gotta take a look at see if there's room for welded on sway bar arm extensions.

Mark, thanks for that info, I found a place right over in Salem MA though, dropped the brake backing plates, e-brake hardware, and another part off there yesterday. They said it would be ~$40.

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Post  Mark 3/3/2014, 12:40 pm

That's good that you found a place to get it done and it doesn't seem over priced., keep up the good work. cheers 
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