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Discussion Starter · #541 · (Edited)
I am so jealous, You are going to stiffen your frame all at once. The solution I came-up with on my sway-bar seems like it will work just fine, As my driving on the street is rather tame and the front end doesn't move up and down much at all. The discos are about 1.5"s shorter which will stay clear of everything. I wish I could find a sway bar that is about an inch wider. Sorry I didn't get a chance to snap some pics. got real busy installing an irrigation system.

Is your steering system a Curry-link? From the photo it looks a lot like mine.
You might run into issues with the sway bar hitting going over speed bumps or potholes. From what i understand the sway bar should be level with the ground if your suspension travel is 5" up, 5" down. Most suspensions are 7 up and 3 down so the sway bar points slightly upwards (like mine).

Yep, its a currie currectlync steering. Works great. People always comment about the huge bars under my jeep. Haha.

I hope i get it all the frame stiffening done at once but we will see how much it'll cost to tack the front and rear on. Middle is definitely goin on there. I don't have a welder or know how to weld and since we move so much, it'd be pointless to buy a welder to add to the pile. I'd love to learn to weld.
 

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I know they might still rub, These sway bars disco's have a little narrower mounting bracket. I really didn't have any issues with my frame until I mounted the curry-link on mine. It doesn't flex at all.

I (with DWtim) got my front stiffeners welded on. It wasn't to hard. I like making things in my garage if I am not to beat from working.

You can see where the JKS disco's were rubbing.
 

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One of the other things the P.O. did wrong that may have prevented the frame fatigue, was that they mixed up the mounting plats for my bumper. They had the heavier duty plate on the wrong side. Figured that out when we pulled the bumper to do the stiffeners.

Man I have dumped a lot of $$$$ into this this rig during the winter. I hope to do even more next winter. (Gears and front locker maybe?)
 

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Discussion Starter · #544 ·
One of the other things the P.O. did wrong that may have prevented the frame fatigue, was that they mixed up the mounting plats for my bumper. They had the heavier duty plate on the wrong side. Figured that out when we pulled the bumper to do the stiffeners.

Man I have dumped a lot of $$$$ into this this rig during the winter. I hope to do even more next winter. (Gears and front locker maybe?)
Yea, I've put some money in this lil guy.. i think total project cost is at 5k including the tires and multiple alignments and still more to go on. First time I've dropped it off to have someone else work on it. Doing front mid and rear frame stiffeners all tomorrow. I'm excited I'm gettin it all done now and kinda sad I'm not doing it but i know it is in good hands. I may have them rebuild my steering box after i check a few things on its loose steering first. The place is well known for their ram boxes..
 

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It would be nice to have someone you could trust on the stuff you either don't know how or the time to do. Also would be nice to have the cash. How much is the labor going to cost on those stiffeners?
 

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Discussion Starter · #546 ·
It would be nice to have someone you could trust on the stuff you either don't know how or the time to do. Also would be nice to have the cash. How much is the labor going to cost on those stiffeners?
Yeah I like doing everything myself but i just cant buy a welder because how often we move and not being able to ship gaseous products. 6 hrs labor for the front mid and rear frame stiffeners, grind and prep the area and spray with under coating once tacked on and drill a hole at the end of the cracks of the b pillar, weld it back and spray some paint on it.. they will have to remove the suspension to get the front on and the fuel lines for the rear so i dont think 6 hrs is bad at all. Plating the whole rail from bumper to bumper.
 

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[email protected]$60-$80 per=$380-$500? I was figuring at least $500 + for all that work min. Which from a seasoned welder would not be bad at all for all that work.

I wouldn't have my welder except I needed to build a few things for my Biz. trailer. Told my wife I could buy this welder for $500 of someone on C.L. build what I need and get my money back when I re-sale it if I needed the money. Ha! sell it Right?? Now I want an acetylene torch, arc welder and a real tub-bender.
 

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Discussion Starter · #548 ·
[email protected]$60-$80 per=$380-$500? I was figuring at least $500 + for all that work min. Which from a seasoned welder would not be bad at all for all that work.

I wouldn't have my welder except I needed to build a few things for my Biz. trailer. Told my wife I could buy this welder for $500 of someone on C.L. build what I need and get my money back when I re-sale it if I needed the money. Ha! sell it Right?? Now I want an acetylene torch, arc welder and a real tub-bender.
Im pretty sure hourly is 110$. Its not bad considering they have to take off the springs and shocks to get behind there and disconnect everything going through the rear drivers side of the frame (gas lines etc). It'smm been a decade since I've seen under 80/hr. It is alot of money but add the welding equipment price, overhead costs and it would take me much longer than 6hrs. Prolly more like 20 to 30 hours. Haha. And it's been done right.
 

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Im pretty sure hourly is 110$. Its not bad considering they have to take off the springs and shocks to get behind there and disconnect everything going through the rear drivers side of the frame (gas lines etc). It'smm been a decade since I've seen under 80/hr. It is alot of money but add the welding equipment price, overhead costs and it would take me much longer than 6hrs. Prolly more like 20 to 30 hours. Haha. And it's been done right.
Yeah, I have no idea what a welders labor rate would be. But I am sure it will be worth every penny spent. I wouldn't have the money to have it done. Good thing I took classes while I was I high school at the tec. center. 2yrs welding and 2yrs Auto body and paint. It was great I only spent half a day in reg. high school. I am not as good with those things as some one who does them for a living but am adequate enough to get the job done. The one thing I will more than likely not be able to do is the re-gearing. I don't want to mess-up on parts that cost that much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #550 ·
Yeah, I have no idea what a welders labor rate would be. But I am sure it will be worth every penny spent. I wouldn't have the money to have it done. Good thing I took classes while I was I high school at the tec. center. 2yrs welding and 2yrs Auto body and paint. It was great I only spent half a day in reg. high school. I am not as good with those things as some one who does them for a living but am adequate enough to get the job done. The one thing I will more than likely not be able to do is the re-gearing. I don't want to mess-up on parts that cost that much.
I did auto tech when i was in school in the 90s. If this wasn't a bday present, i would have just done the mids. I've thought about doing a lunchbox locker (lockright) and havent found a downfall besides the clicking and that the JK guys are all "no those are garbage, you need a arb airlocker.." i figured i could do the lockright by myself but im not aure about gears either. I wouldnt think itd be terrible. Just measuring and adjusting the play by shims. Dial calipers, micrometers, etc would be essential. Thankfully, I don't feel the need to regear at 31" tires.
 

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What I would like to do is install my Ford 8.8 W/limited slip and disc brakes. And e-locker in the front with 4.56 gears. The other option would be to leave the 8.8 with the 3.73 gears it has and do the front w/ e-locker to match. Then turn to the transfer case and install the 4:1 ratio Teraflex up-grade.
But I am with you 31's and the 3.55 gears that were swapped in when I put in the axles from an auto are good enough for now.

My son-in-law had a Rubicon and it had e-lockers front and back. It was real nice that at any time he could lock things up and unlock them once he was over the obstacle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #552 ·
What I would like to do is install my Ford 8.8 W/limited slip and disc brakes. And e-locker in the front with 4.56 gears. The other option would be to leave the 8.8 with the 3.73 gears it has and do the front w/ e-locker to match. Then turn to the transfer case and install the 4:1 ratio Teraflex up-grade.
But I am with you 31's and the 3.55 gears that were swapped in when I put in the axles from an auto are good enough for now.

My son-in-law had a Rubicon and it had e-lockers front and back. It was real nice that at any time he could lock things up and unlock them once he was over the obstacle.
E-locker and rubi lockers are great, i just can't see spending 2-4grand when its not even worth that much for lockers. I could do front and rear lunchboxes for 700 bucks(in my garage). Mine has stock gears for manual which i believe is closer to 3.73. Im thinking that if I'm going to dump over 10grand in this, I'll just sell it and get an older rubicon. It's a DD and weekend warrior with the family so I'm not expecting it to be the top crawler out there. I just want it reliable and cheap. Plus i still got some leaks and steering to work on before fixing something that aint broke..
 

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Gearing

E-locker and rubi lockers are great, i just can't see spending 2-4grand when its not even worth that much for lockers. I could do front and rear lunchboxes for 700 bucks(in my garage). Mine has stock gears for manual which i believe is closer to 3.73. Im thinking that if I'm going to dump over 10grand in this, I'll just sell it and get an older rubicon. It's a DD and weekend warrior with the family so I'm not expecting it to be the top crawler out there. I just want it reliable and cheap. Plus i still got some leaks and steering to work on before fixing something that aint broke..
Actually if you have a manual you probably have 3.07 gearing. That is what mine had and I think most manuals came with. When I bought mine it had 33" tires, Horrible in every way. So I swapped in axles from a Cherokee that had an auto-tranny which comes with Chrysler 8.25 plus 3.55 gears. I also dropped down to 31" tires. That alone made a world of difference both on the street and the trail.

I can see why you would go with lunch box lockers, they are cheap and pretty straight forward. The main reason I want a selectable up front is, for the wear and tear on the vehicle when it is locked on the trail. I would like to only have it locked when I really need it to be.

I also don't want to do the rock crawling thing. Just want to have some fun exploring the back country. But I do want to have something that I can use in to do most trails I come across with out worry. For me it is hard to justify spending so much on some thing that is not driven that much. But it is like most of my hobby it keeps me out of trouble.

The way I see it if I go ahead and put the Ford axle under my XJ and have to re-gear the front axle to match I might as well put in a selectable locker as I will have to change the carrier anyway. At least building our XJ's a little at a time we can still use them for what we intend to as we customize it to our liking. I really don't want to do the gears and locker until I have the at least 2 grand to invest at once. Until then I will do what ever nickel and dime stuff I can afford and play all summer long on the week ends.
 

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Discussion Starter · #554 ·
Actually if you have a manual you probably have 3.07 gearing. That is what mine had and I think most manuals came with. When I bought mine it had 33" tires, Horrible in every way. So I swapped in axles from a Cherokee that had an auto-tranny which comes with Chrysler 8.25 plus 3.55 gears. I also dropped down to 31" tires. That alone made a world of difference both on the street and the trail.

I can see why you would go with lunch box lockers, they are cheap and pretty straight forward. The main reason I want a selectable up front is, for the wear and tear on the vehicle when it is locked on the trail. I would like to only have it locked when I really need it to be.

I also don't want to do the rock crawling thing. Just want to have some fun exploring the back country. But I do want to have something that I can use in to do most trails I come across with out worry. For me it is hard to justify spending so much on some thing that is not driven that much. But it is like most of my hobby it keeps me out of trouble.

The way I see it if I go ahead and put the Ford axle under my XJ and have to re-gear the front axle to match I might as well put in a selectable locker as I will have to change the carrier anyway. At least building our XJ's a little at a time we can still use them for what we intend to as we customize it to our liking. I really don't want to do the gears and locker until I have the at least 2 grand to invest at once. Until then I will do what ever nickel and dime stuff I can afford and play all summer long on the week ends.
Your right on the gears. 3.07. I must've been thinking of something else. The stock gears and 8.25/d30 is good enough for me on 31s. The lock right locker isn't an all out spool. It disengages around corners which is why i want to go with that one. The jeep keeps me outta trouble as well. We do have some pretty rocky terrain here out in texas to rock crawl but without lockers, it'll be difficult. I do some with the family but nothing serious.

I need to install upper control arms and bushings, fix the slop in the steering, fix the oil leaks and it should be everything i want from it.
I'll take pictures and let yall know how the frame stiffeners went when i pick it up. Hopefully it'll be done tomorrow.
 

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When I swapped the axles over I found that my bushings were shot also. I swear I would go to turn off the highway it would feel like it wasn't going to turn at all. Pretty scary. I went ahead and pressed in new Moog rubber bushings. Luckily I have a buddy that has a heavy duty press. I would love to be able to afford new adjustable lower and upper control arms with Johnny joints on the frame side. I feel like that would work better than rubber bushings. But for now the steering and front end feel solid, so I figure if it isn't broke don't fix it right??

As long as I don't just say the heck with it and order everything I would like to do to my XJ at once, My wife will pretty much go alone with most up-grades that are needed to keep my rig reliable. (she really hates though it when out of the corner eye she sees me order something with out warning her).

The nice thing that is nice about Colorado is you have every type of trail imaginable. I am really looking forward to June, I am hoping to do some trail at least twice a month. There is just to much going on in May and I should be all caught up at work by June.
 

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Discussion Starter · #556 ·
When I swapped the axles over I found that my bushings were shot also. I swear I would go to turn off the highway it would feel like it wasn't going to turn at all. Pretty scary. I went ahead and pressed in new Moog rubber bushings. Luckily I have a buddy that has a heavy duty press. I would love to be able to afford new adjustable lower and upper control arms with Johnny joints on the frame side. I feel like that would work better than rubber bushings. But for now the steering and front end feel solid, so I figure if it isn't broke don't fix it right??

As long as I don't just say the heck with it and order everything I would like to do to my XJ at once, My wife will pretty much go alone with most up-grades that are needed to keep my rig reliable. (she really hates though it when out of the corner eye she sees me order something with out warning her).

The nice thing that is nice about Colorado is you have every type of trail imaginable. I am really looking forward to June, I am hoping to do some trail at least twice a month. There is just to much going on in May and I should be all caught up at work by June.
Which bushings caused the steering issues? Control arms? After i put in my uppers, if it still has the wandering play, I'm looking at adjusting the box. I just don't know where else to go. It's a pretty big side to side with no turning.. 4-6" in steering i would say. Some days i think it feels worse than others.

I hear Colorado has some nice scenery. We just have desert here in Tejas. Hoping to go through Colorado when we visit family in North Dakota.
 

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My upper bushings where so shot they looked as bad as motor mounts get. The other problem I found was that my track bar drop bracket was sloppy. I tried tightening my steering box but that was before I found the track bar issue. With all the issues I was having I thought up-grading to a Durango box would solve some of my ails. So I invested in one from E-bay and bought a ARG high volume pump. It is so nice to have everything so solid in my steering now. The one thing that I think will improve driving on the highways and bi-ways would be a good AT tire. But my KM2's have 70% tread so at the rate I drive my XJ it will be a couple of years before I need to up-grade them.
 

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My KM2s drive just fine. Nice and straight.
 

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My Km2"s are great tires, But like any mud tire, They are a rougher ride and noisier than a good AT tire. I am looking at 32" Pro-Comp extreme AT radials.
 

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Discussion Starter · #560 ·
My upper bushings where so shot they looked as bad as motor mounts get. The other problem I found was that my track bar drop bracket was sloppy. I tried tightening my steering box but that was before I found the track bar issue. With all the issues I was having I thought up-grading to a Durango box would solve some of my ails. So I invested in one from E-bay and bought a ARG high volume pump. It is so nice to have everything so solid in my steering now. The one thing that I think will improve driving on the highways and bi-ways would be a good AT tire. But my KM2's have 70% tread so at the rate I drive my XJ it will be a couple of years before I need to up-grade them.
I'm thinking i may adjust the steering box to see if that is the key on sunday if i feel upto it. I have the upper control arms and bushings to go in, i just haven't had the time or dropped it off. The upper axle side bushings are pressed and it will need an alignment (requiring adjustment to length of uca and lca) so i might just have the alignment place do it.

I dont mind my big(31") meaty tires. They hum on the highway but i like it. Mine werent nearly as expensive or highly rated as km2's though.
 
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