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Old 03-30-2009, 01:57 PM   #1
Chili Palmer
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Default Just another LCG XJ on 35's...

Figured I'd start my build thread here now that I'm making some real progress...

A little history...

I bought the XJ back in '07 but it sat for quite a while. Last summer we built the axles and then towards the end of last year I started on the wheel wells, etc.

It's an '84 XJ, 2.8L V6, NP207 and it came with a CAD HPD30 and a rear NON c-clip D35. I've added a NON-CAD HPD30 from a '93 XJ (?) and an XJ D44.

The first time I saw it...




Most current pictures...





**********
I have cut and paste from another forum so it may seem outdated compared to where I'm at but I don't feel like retyping everything and I wanted as much info as possible in this thread.
**********

Game plan...

Body:

As you can see I chopped the top and built some custom wheel wells. I can't figure factory doors on it anymore because I fattened out the body panels where the lower ridge was (the hinge actually sticks out about 1" from the body) so I plan on fabbing up some doors of some kind...

You can also see I've started the boatsides...

Suspension:

It's got some 3" springs up front of unknown origin (F150?) but the back only has some 1" shackles. Without all the weight on there (top, glass, rear hatch, interior) that's all it needed to match the front.

Drivetrain:

The engine that's in there now (2.8L V6) is a piece of crap but it runs. With any luck I'll be able to do 4.3L V6 with a 700R4 in the future - I would like to do this and the doubler at the same time...

It has an NP207 in there now but I have an NP231 sitting in the back to throw in there. I'll be picking up another 231 for the doubler sometime this summer. I may actually use the NP207 for the doubler because you only use the front half and technically the 207 has larger parts in it...

The only thing I would like to do different with the axles is a non-disco D30 up front. I want to truss it eventually and with that disco crap I don't know that I could. If I can't find a CHEAP non-disco D30 housing in the next few weeks I'll install what I have into my current housing and then pick up a non-disco housing and truss it in my spare time then just swap everything over...(3/30/09 update - I found a HPD30 housing for $45 so I bought that and installed the 4.88's, Alloy shafts and Aussie into that...)


Check List:

Items in red are completed!
Items in blue I have started...


Purchase/install grill - completed!
D30 4.88's - completed
D30 Aussie - completed
D30 Alloy shafts - installed
D30 rebuild - completed
D44 4.89's - completed
D44 spool - completed
D44 rebuild - completed
Cut front wheel wells - completed
Cut rear wheel wells - completed
Install lift - completed!
Wire up rear brake lights - lights purchased - pending!
Wire up front lights - we've wired them up and the wires are sitting under the dash waiting on fuse panel!
Wire up fuse panel - bought a cheap 6 spot fuse panel (thinking I need two) - panel is installed but I'm going to be installing another one.
Re-wire all electronics! The PO had essentially removed all wiring from the inside except 6 wires that went to the ignition switch (with no fuses btw!) but left everything under the hood. I have since removed the old fuse box and all un-needed wiring under the hood. Once I finish the boat sides and rear quarters I can run the wire for the tail/brake lights and I'll rewire everything else (ignition switch, front lights, etc.) at the same time.
Frame stiffeners - completed!
Boatsides! - completed!
Build cage - coming soon - will be tied into the boatsides
Dash - not sure what I'm going to do here yet but I've got some ideas...
15" x 8" rims - have 1 - need the other 4!
Upgrade steering - probably going to add a ZJ tie rod now but eventually move to a Currie (or similar setup) in the future.
Install seats - completed!
Install NP231 with new front DS - earlier XJ's use a crappy GKN style DS that looks like it would snap when you give it gas - pending! I've got the 231 but I need the correct DS!
Flip rear springs for a little stretch - winter '08/'09? - Decided to wait on this for quite a while - not sure if I'm even going to do it now...
231/231 Doubler kit - fall/winter '09?
Do something with the engine and tranny...

I've got a billion pictures (ok - maybe 300 or so ) to sort out and upload so hang in there...



Last edited by Chili Palmer; 10-25-2012 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 03-30-2009, 02:04 PM   #2
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********
Pictures fixed!
********

D44 Gear Install

Specs

Cherokee D44 (not sure of the year but it's obviously '87-'90)
Spool
4.88's

First let me preface this with how NOT to install D44 gears!

1) Do NOT start off with a D30 install kit...
2) Do NOT forget to put the oil slinger in before installing the pinion seal...
3) Do NOT expect to get this done in 4-5 hours if you've never done this before or if you do either of the 2 above mentioned things...

Ok - on to the install...

We started with the D44 that's been sitting in my garage for at least 6 months. This pic was actually taken towards the end but it's the only one I have of the entire axle...


Then we took everything out of the old axle, cleaned it up and prepped the new stuff...

Empty housing...


Clean housing...sort of, this was the initial cleaning - it was pretty much spotless when we went to install the gears...


Here's the spool fresh from the box. They get shipped with some type of coating that keeps the rust off - that coating is a pain in the but to remove - I'll be getting a parts washer before I do gears again!


And here she is all cleaned up sitting next to the old carrier with 3.07's.


We put the ring gear in my oven at 170 deg and put the spool in the freezer. They were both in there for approximately 1 hour and when we took them out and put them together they went right together. We then installed the ring gear bolts using locktite and torqued them to spec. (FYI - the D44 and D30 ring gear bolts are the same size (3/8" x 24) so we did not notice our error yet...)

Here are the old parts. We put them in this container and the piece of paper towards the top indicates what parts are what; i.e. ring gear side, non-ring gear side, etc. The container is a sliding shelf from a truck tool box, I have two of them and use them all the time for projects like this, they work great.


Here's dogman grinding down the old bearings to make setup bearings, while he was doing that I was cleaning the axle.


Reassembly...

After we (dogman) made the setup bearings we started by putting the outer pinion cup in. We started installing it with a piece of wood and dead blow hammer but it eventually gets to deep so you can't hit is anymore but as you can see by the pic below we used the original cup and just put it in upside down (on top of the new cup) and used the dead blow hammer to seat it properly.


Next we put the new inner pinion bearing on...


As it turns out the bearing in the pic above was in fact one from my D30 install kit! When I was getting my stuff off the shelf I had to pick up the D30 install kit to get to the D44 install kit. I handed the gears to dogman and then put the D44 install kit on top of the press - well after standing there for a minute and talking to dogman I just walked to the bench - with the D30 install kit in my hand! Since this was our first time doing anything like this we didn't notice it right away; we finally noticed it when I went to install the pinion in the axle. I guess I was unaware that the pinion bearing cups (at least the inner) are identical in outside diameter as the D44 and the inner diameter of the inner pinion bearing is the same also. The angle of the bearings are slightly different which is how we figured out they were wrong...when I was installing the pinion it was not sitting as I thought it should and dogman said "the old one was like that" (without actually looking at how loose it was) and then while we were checking things out it was obvious something was not right then dogman said "Is that the D30 install kit?" - and the rest is history...

We then installed the pinion (with the correct stuff) using the original shims, inner setup bearing cup, outer setup bearings and origianl pinion nut. Since we were only checking for pinion depth we did not install the oil slinger. We then installed the spool and did an initial pattern check. From the pic below we decided the pattern was right between an ideal pattern and a competition pattern (as described here) so we left it as is.


Last edited by Chili Palmer; 01-20-2012 at 06:59 PM.
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Old 03-30-2009, 02:05 PM   #3
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The coast side was a little off, from the pic below we decided it the pattern was running a little towards the heel but we figured it was close enough and we'd check it after setting backlash.


From this point on we didn't take a whole lot of pics because you can only take so many pictures of measuring shims...

Since we were using a new carrier we started with the original shim pack but soon found it was to thin. We put the dial indicator against the side of the carrier and and moved the carrier (with the carrier bearing caps on but lose) back and forth to decide how much we needed to add. We also checked the backlash to see how much we needed to add to the ring gear side of the carrier (for every .010 in shims the back lash moves approx. .007, i.e. if you move .010 from the ring gear side, RGS to the non ring gear side, NRGS, you will open up the backlash by approx. .007). As it turned out we needed to lose about .003 to .004 in backlash and we needed to add approx .010 total for back lash we put .005 on each side of the carrier. This was still a little lose and we ultimately ended up adding approx .015 to the original shim pack.

In the middle of that we decided it was time to put the pinion in with all the new hardware. We installed the new inner pinion bearing cup (with shims behind it) and put the pinion in it's place. Then on the outside (outer) we put the shim in, put the bearing in (I went to put the oil slinger in but with the bearing not pressed on yet it wouldn't fit so I set it down...big mistake...), put the yoke on and used the old pinion nut to suck the yoke in so I could put the seal on. Once the yoke was sucked down I took the old nut off, installed the seal and started to put the yoke on...right about then I noticed that it was shiny under the seal...that's because the oil slinger was sitting on my bench and not under the seal where it's supposed to be... We ended up taking the seal out (destroying it of course), putting the slinger back on and using the old pinion nut to torque it to spec - when I get a chance I'll go pick up a new seal and install the new pinion nut at that time.

After the pinion was in we started working on the backlash again. After some trial and error we came up with our shim packs and decided it was time to put the new carrier bearings on. After we pressed them on and we went to install the carrier into the housing we found out that our new bearings were obviously not the same dimension of our old ones because the carrier was not going into the housing. I ended up pressing the bearings back off, taking out about .005 out of the NRGS of the carrier, by doing that the carrier was able to be put back in the housing. I then bolted the carrier bearing caps to spec (60 ft-lbs) When that was all done I rechecked the the pinion preload and the back lash and everything was in spec! I bu

As far as pinion preload goes - I've been reading that it is supposed to be 14-19 in-lb's but according to Spicer documentation it's supposed to be 20-40 in-lb's with new bearings, etc. As you can see in my specs below my preload is at 30 in-lb's and I'm supposed to gain about 3 lb-in when I install the new seal

Here's a pic of the final gear pattern...it looks to be just about right...


And the coast side seems to have gotten better also...


Final specs...

Inner pinion shim - .042
Outer pinion shim - .080
Ring gear side carrier shim - .027
Non ring gear side carrier shim - .043
Pinion preload - 30 in-lb's
Backlash - .008 (.006-.010 recommended)

Final notes:

Although it took most of the day to get this done (had to go out and get a couple of tools and we stopped and had lunch) it was definitely a learning experience and I had great time doing it and I'm looking forward to doing my D30 in the future. Having a press really made this a DIY job; without that press you'll either mess up a few bearings or you'll be driving back and forth to the parts store or whoever can press things on for you. I still need to get new axle bearings, fix the spring perch and fix one of the shock mount bolts and then I can put under the XJ - after I get a lift for the rear of course.

Last edited by Chili Palmer; 01-20-2012 at 07:00 PM.
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Old 03-30-2009, 02:05 PM   #4
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As you can see from this picture the shock threads are shot so something had to be done. I decided to cut the factory mounts off and modify them and raise them up for better clearance and so I don't have to buy new rear shocks! Next time I get to the hardware store I'm either going to buy a grade 8 bolt and weld it on or buy a steel rod and weld it on and thread the end - I'll probably just go with the bolt for ease of installation.



This is a good start...



Then I did this...actually I cut this one while it was on the housing and cut the other one after it was off the housing...you get the idea...



Here I'm doing some mock-up and trying to figure out how much room I'm going to gain. I ended up moving them up about 2.75" and in about 1". By moving them in I don't have to worry about a slot for the u-bolt and the shocks are still sitting at the factory angle...the location in this picture is not correct - here I was just measuring how far up they were going to be. The rear needs to be lifted about 2.5" to match the front so that's good enough for me!



Here's the final location of the mounts.





There - no more big shock mount hanging down!





Sprayed a quick coat of primer on it and called it good for the day!



Since this writeup I have welded on some grade 8 bolts for the shocks to mount too!

Last edited by Chili Palmer; 01-20-2012 at 08:46 PM.
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Old 03-30-2009, 02:05 PM   #5
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As you can see by these 2 crappy pics the wheel wells are a little small...something needed to be done...





Decided a little trimming was in order...

Mocking up my cut line...


What I took out...


After the cut...


Needed to hammer this pinch seem down...


After the hammer...


With tire on...

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Old 03-30-2009, 02:05 PM   #6
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The rear is a totally different story...

The Jeep sat in my garage for a very long time before I decided to trim the rear so I was able to think through a lot of ideas and I decided on cutting the whole thing out and building my own wheel wells...

Not sure what happened with the pics I had but you'll see both sides mixed in here...

Out with the old...






I also started cutting out the rockers for the boatsides at the same time...in this pic you can see the flap sticking out, I basically flattened it so there's no more body line protruding out...


Another pic of the rocker - or lack there of...


Here you can see where I bent the floor up so I could rivet the new panel to it; you can also see my "bend line" on the quarter panel. From there I bent the sheet metal in so I could rivet the new metal to it but still have a smooth surface on the outside...


Another pic of the floor tabs bent up...


Part of the wheel well installed...




Working on the vertical panel...to bend it around the corners I made cuts 1" apart and 1" deep then used a cresent wrench to bend the tabs over. For the long straight bends I used either the cresent wrench or a pair of sheet metal pliers I have that are 6" wide and 1.25" deep...




Vertical panel installed...


Here you can see the "tabs" I created in the floor. They'll be covered up with bed liner at some point...


My resolution for the ends and the undersides...




All told there are about 300 rivets per side! Good thing my neighbor had a rivet gun I borrowed...

Last edited by Chili Palmer; 01-20-2012 at 08:55 PM.
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Old 03-30-2009, 02:12 PM   #7
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Looks like a good start man you have any drawings for a cage as of yet?
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Old 03-30-2009, 02:39 PM   #8
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For sliders I decided to go with boat sides...

Cutting out the old rockers...


Here you can see the "sub-structure" I built using 1/4" plate. The vertical piece has 15 3/8" grade 8 bolts holding it on and the horizontal piece has 6. They will eventually be welded to the frame stiffeners and tied into the cage also...






Cutting the slider to fit...


Test fitting...




Bending it in my home-made press brake...(Here's a write-up on that...)




Test fitting after the bend...








Tacking it together...

Last edited by Chili Palmer; 01-20-2012 at 09:04 PM.
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Old 03-30-2009, 02:39 PM   #9
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Here it is sitting on the welding table. Now you can see how the sub-structure attaches...


In the middle of welding it up...




In the middle of grinding it and capping the ends...


End caps on...




Other side grinded and capped...




And finally installed...!












This was definitely one of the funnest parts of the build for me. It took quite a while to get them done but I'm happy with the end result.

Now I can move onto the cage and bumpers...

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Old 03-30-2009, 02:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle View Post
Looks like a good start man you have any drawings for a cage as of yet?
Thanks and as far as a cage goes I've got some ideas but it'll be pretty basic. The front will be similar to the OR FAB for Toys by Troy cage but will have a little more bracing along with some grab handles. The back is going to have 2 down tubes from the back side of the B-pillar down to the rear floor - tying into the rear bumper in some way. The B-pillar will also be tied into the boatsides. Eventually I'll have some seat bars and some better seats but that's a little further down the road...

EDIT: Here's a pic of an OR Fab cage. The front down bars will be similar but they'll go all the way through the floor into the sliders (unlike the dash plates for this TJ cage). There will also be a main dash bar and then some vertical supports in the middle of the windshield like this \/ or this /\ ...not entirely sure yet - I need to figure out where they're going to tie into before I put them in.

EDIT: I have no idea what picture this was?

Last edited by Chili Palmer; 01-20-2012 at 09:10 PM.
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Old 03-30-2009, 04:11 PM   #11
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looking real good. nice build.
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Old 03-30-2009, 04:19 PM   #12
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You're not gonna mess with a sye or anything are ya? the reason I'm asking is cuz once you rotate the pinion for the sye, the rear sided shock mount goes down and the angle the shock mounts to it suffers, resulting in shock bushings wearing out. it's not a real big deal though.
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Old 03-30-2009, 04:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jakeWI View Post
looking real good. nice build.
Gracias...

Quote:
Originally Posted by muddeprived View Post
You're not gonna mess with a sye or anything are ya? the reason I'm asking is cuz once you rotate the pinion for the sye, the rear sided shock mount goes down and the angle the shock mounts to it suffers, resulting in shock bushings wearing out. it's not a real big deal though.
SYE will come in the future; when I do my 231/231 doubler I'll be doing an SYE but that won't happen for a while - next winter at the earliest! I'm not too worried about the shocks or shock mounts; the rears are factory shocks and I've got a few sitting around if needed when the time comes...

Last edited by Chili Palmer; 03-30-2009 at 04:37 PM.
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Old 03-30-2009, 06:09 PM   #14
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If I missed it my bad but how are you planning on putting dual cases under there, I havent done much research on it but I was under the impression that we didnt have enough room.
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Old 03-31-2009, 01:30 AM   #15
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XJ's have plenty of room for a doubler setup. A 231/231 (with SYE on the rear TC) doubler is only about 6" longer than a standard TC with no SYE and if you take a look at the rear DS you'll find there's plenty of room for that. The front DS actually gets lengthened about 6"...


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