*The major part of the build is done, but as admin around here, thought it would be good to practice what I preach and post up my build from last season. This is all cut and pasted from my build on pirate4x4.*
This build might be different in the fact that it's being done in a two car garage in the middle of the city with 7 foot celings, a 110v welder (to tack stuff together) a torch and 2 $10, four inch angle grinders from HF. We've got no fancy lifts, and the need to keep the wife happy with house work too. I'd REALLY like to get this done before summer. So, let's see if we can make this happen, eh?
Parts collected so far:
Chev dana 60 front 4:10
14bolt rear 4:10
18" SAW airshocks
LOTS of Ballistic Fab brackets
full hydro steering
a pile of 1.75" .120 DOM tubing for a cage
First, the motor went in. I put that infront of the stock t150 3 speed and dana 20tc. The best was that 300hp put right back to the stock amc20 rear end...
that lasted about a week, driven on the street at the time. Then i decided to stretch the rear and 4 link it with coils. I made all those damn brackets by hand and even worse, attached those to my amc20 rear end, convinced by others that the one piece axles were my ticket to paradise.
Since i have very limited fab tools and my brother has a tig, he welded up all my ballistic fab parts. they do a really nice job with their parts but waiting 2-3 weeks before getting them and paying double for shipping than anyone else is painful though...
I was expecting some pretty beefy stuff, but this is BEEF compared to what i'm used to seeing.
I got the rear 4 link all tacked into place. ran the numbers on the 4 link calc and came up with 86% anti squat and 0 degree roll axis, so i should be happy with that. the uppers are adjustable at the frame to go up or down about 4% on the numbers.
Next, I got my tube bender all finished up with the help of my brothers daft welding skills. I also bought Bend Tech Pro for all the design work of the cage and any tube work I'd need in the future. If you're even thinking about getting to this level of fab work the $300 for the software will pay off in spades, trust me on this one.
I also got REAL tired of going at a project of this size with a 4" angle grinder, so bought the best Chinese horizontal/vertical band saw and floor standing drill press i could find. They are grade A piles of shit, but the saw actually cuts straight and it's about a gillion times better than an angle grinder. Anyway, I made some gusset plates and welded them to the frame where the shock hoops were to be mounted, then tacked the hoops in place. The rear is starting to take shape!
With the front axle set into place i noticed that the axle hit the frame before it got to full compression, so something needed to be done about that. The torch made quick work of the frame forward of the engine mount. This will be replaced with tube. There's about 50 different ways to make the frame to tube transition and this is the way i picked. It's hard to do without making it look too booty fabalous. I think once i get the plugs welded in and run a fat bead 'round the outside, it should be plenty strong. For the end caps on the frame, i used some 2" square stock that's 1/4" thick and cut the welded seam side off with the band saw. A quick bevel with the grinder and it tapped right into place.
Got the front of the frame bent up and welded in. My calibration of the bending software left me about 3/4" off, but Cris at Bend Tech was quick to solve that problem. Also got the front truss bent up and tacked into place, and i'm finding out that space is a little harder to come by fitting a 4 link in the front.
Got the front shock hoop bent up and scratched my head as to where the passenger side shock is going to mount.
I came up with this, which turned out alright, now i just need to make another one for the drivers side that doesn't look like some Busch league after thought.
I'll probably need to chop off the shock mount portion of the lower link bracket to make it look decent, but it sucks to cut up a nice clean bracket in place of a home made garage one.
Now, i've got this thing setup about as low as i can, but just so happens the bottom of my radiator lines up perfectly with the top of my truss and i've got about 1/4" of clearance at full stuff, so i may have to ditch my fancy stockish radiator for an aluminum one from speedway. their only $110, which seems too cheap. They look like i could gain a good inch or two in clearance on the bottom side, which would be a nice comfort zone from where it's sitting now.
Made a little more progress over the past couple weeks. finish welded everything, got the front 4 link installed, shock hoops mounted and it's all sitting on it's own weight for the first time since November!
here's a nice little tech nugget from Kurt (1tonwillys); a starter out of a 95 Tahoe is half the size of a stock 350 starter, which REALLY helps when squeezing a 4 link in the front of a cj5. Just make sure your block has the offset starter bolt pattern.
I also got the cage semi-finalized and it's a bitch trying to fit a decent looking cage in a cj5 package. I'll probably add some door spreaders in and need to find a way to tie the rear lower halo into the shock hoops.
Last night I got the steering valve mounted and the column back in. turned out pretty good, I think. Now i'm on the hunt for some hydraulic lines; anyone have a favorite place to order from? I was going to hit the local Northern Tool, but they only stock a 48" line and i need 2 72"ers to make it from the valve down the upper link to the ram.
I also took delivery of a set of S10-350 conversion Hedman Hedders because they look like they just might work. it's a REAL tight fit in there.
We're onto the exhaust portion of the build, and that means we're getting close. I wont be making the maiden voyage this weekend unfortunately; the little stuff keeps tripping me up. Like this for example... Not sure why I'm so frustrated or why i expected to just buy a part that would fit. The only thing left on the rig that's actually jeep is the speedo that doesn't work and the glove box. So to my suprise, the s10-350 conversion headers didn't work on the drivers side at all. So, eff it. I'm cutting the hell out of my brand new headers and making them fit. Cant believe no one is making a set of sbc headers that fit in a CJ5, with a 4 link, full hydro steering and still sitting at stock height...