Author Topic: Irish_Wake's 2000 TJ Build  (Read 4280 times)

Offline Irish_Wake

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Irish_Wake's 2000 TJ Build
« on: November 11, 2019, 07:34:32 PM »
See below line for original first post

Update as of 1/31/2021

Full Specs as she sits now

35x12.5r17 Mickey Thompson MTZ P3
17x8.5 Raceline Monsters
MC Aluminum CAs
4" Currie coils
1.25" JKS Body Lift
NV3550 5 spd
241OR 4:1
Front G2 Core44 ARB Chromoly 5.38
Rear D44 Yukon Grizzly Chromoly 5.38

UCF Aluminum Extra Clearance TCase skid
UCF Aluminum Engine Skid
Savvy Aluminum Gas Tank Skid







All of my parts (read: all the parts I think I will be needing) Have finally gotten in, so I guess it's time to start a build thread.
Here's where we're starting, a 2000 TJ Sport, pretty much bone stock, apart for some no-name aftermarket wheels.



Some of you saw her as she sits now at last month's Flagpole ride.  I've driven her since I was 16, and recently bought her from my family this year.  Apart from a new check engine light every 4 weeks, the only trouble she's given me are the 28" highway tires, which have about as much traction as a wet hardboiled egg.  After these years, however, its time to upgrade, and hopefully do it right.

Here are the plans for "Stage I" along with parts I have purchased either new or from forum members:

- OME 2" lift
- JKS 1.25" Body Lift
- Trackbars, end links, and d/c's
- MML
- Savvy Transfer case cable linkage
- 33x12.5r15 (Specific tire TBD, looking at Duratrac, KO2, and Falken M/T01)
- OEM Ravine Wheels (thanks alpineovernappa)

and where the "half" Sporticon comes in,

- Rubi D44 Rear
- Rubi 241OR Rocktrac (thanks Runner)
- Double Cardan ds

And of course a pic of the goods (sans springs, they just got delivered)



My Roadmap right now looks like
1. Install Body lift and MML
2. Swap 241 T-Case in (micro-tuck, as I'll be using the Sport skid/crossmember) and Cable shifter
3. Drop rear axle and replace rear suspension components.  Install D44
4. Install front suspension lift components
5. Regear front D30, or source 4.11 takeoff
6. Measure for driveshaft, order, and install

I'll be doing this after work and when I have time on weekends, which, combined with my tandem garage situation (width of a 1 car), this might be rather slow going.  My hopes are to have this done by the end of the month, but we'll see what troubles I run in to.  This is by far the biggest mechanical undertaking I've made, so hopefully I don't get in too far over my head.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2021, 07:18:15 PM by Irish_Wake »

Offline Runner

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Re: Irish_Wake's Half-Sporticon Build
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2019, 10:21:29 AM »
Out of all the tasks here, the rear will be the most challenging, but it's not hard at all.  FWIW, here's a few tricks that will make removing the old rear and installing the replacement a lot easier:

 - Make sure you have two 6 ton jack stands, for supporting the frame in front of the rear lower control arms
 - Before removing any suspension, place two smaller 3 ton jack stands under the axle to support it.  I generally will set the height of the two smaller stands at about 2 clicks up on the teeth, but you may need to play with the height. Using the smaller stands on the axle allows you to handle it much easier and reduces the risk of having it fall off the jack.

Once the axle is sitting on the 3 ton stands, and the frame on the 6 ton stands, I remove the:

 - Remove rear driveshaft
 - Remove the parking brake cables from the parking brake bracket - this set of long reach hose pliers is your friend when trying to get the cables out of the parking brake bracket -  https://www.harborfreight.com/3-piece-long-reach-hose-grip-pliers-37909.html
 - Remove the parking brake cables from the upper control arms
 - Remove rear shocks
 - Remove rear swaybar link bolts on the frame
 - Remove rear lower control arm bolts on the frame
 - Remove rear upper control arm bolts on the frame
 - Use the jack to raise the rear enough to clear the small stands
 - Then lower it until you can remove the stock springs (be careful not to go to low, because the rear brake line is still attached)
 - Raise the rear back up, just enough to support it again on the small stands
 - Remove the frame side trackbar bolt
 - Disconnect the rear brake line from the frame
- Lower the rear and remove it (With the rear out, you can now remove all the control arm bolts from rear, if needed)

Installing the new rear I follow a similar order, but install the rear upper trackbar bolt next to last, and the shocks last.  Hint here, make sure you have a rachet strap, because you'll have to pull the rear either to the driver or passenger side to get the upper trackbar bolt to line up.  I may have missed a small detail or two, but I've done this enough that it's second nature.  If you get stuck on anything feel free to give me a call.



Rich
« Last Edit: November 12, 2019, 10:27:33 AM by Runner »
2004 LJ - Built to wheel, but hides in the garage :(

Offline Jeepsnbuses

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Re: Irish_Wake's Half-Sporticon Build
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2019, 10:42:29 AM »
I will throw my hat in here as well and recommend sourcing a 4.10 D30 from a 4-banger TJ. Unless you decide to go with a heavy-duty locker and chromolys right out of the gate, finding a used axle will be way cheaper and easier. Far too many 4-cylinder TJs have rusted to pieces out there, making their axles easy to find.  I picked mine up from another club member. 

Find one, confirm no leaks, do a fluid swap for good measure, and you'll be good to go.
2002 TJ Sport
Tow rig: 1973 Thomas school bus RV conversion. It's slow.

- Adam

Offline Irish_Wake

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Re: Irish_Wake's Half-Sporticon Build
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2019, 11:27:53 AM »
Out of all the tasks here, the rear will be the most challenging, but it's not hard at all.  FWIW, here's a few tricks that will make removing the old rear and installing the replacement a lot easier:

 - Make sure you have two 6 ton jack stands, for supporting the frame in front of the rear lower control arms
 - Before removing any suspension, place two smaller 3 ton jack stands under the axle to support it.  I generally will set the height of the two smaller stands at about 2 clicks up on the teeth, but you may need to play with the height. Using the smaller stands on the axle allows you to handle it much easier and reduces the risk of having it fall off the jack.

Once the axle is sitting on the 3 ton stands, and the frame on the 6 ton stands, I remove the:

 - Remove rear driveshaft
 - Remove the parking brake cables from the parking brake bracket - this set of long reach hose pliers is your friend when trying to get the cables out of the parking brake bracket -  https://www.harborfreight.com/3-piece-long-reach-hose-grip-pliers-37909.html
 - Remove the parking brake cables from the upper control arms
 - Remove rear shocks
 - Remove rear swaybar link bolts on the frame
 - Remove rear lower control arm bolts on the frame
 - Remove rear upper control arm bolts on the frame
 - Use the jack to raise the rear enough to clear the small stands
 - Then lower it until you can remove the stock springs (be careful not to go to low, because the rear brake line is still attached)
 - Raise the rear back up, just enough to support it again on the small stands
 - Remove the frame side trackbar bolt
 - Disconnect the rear brake line from the frame
- Lower the rear and remove it (With the rear out, you can now remove all the control arm bolts from rear, if needed)

Installing the new rear I follow a similar order, but install the rear upper trackbar bolt next to last, and the shocks last.  Hint here, make sure you have a rachet strap, because you'll have to pull the rear either to the driver or passenger side to get the upper trackbar bolt to line up.  I may have missed a small detail or two, but I've done this enough that it's second nature.  If you get stuck on anything feel free to give me a call.



Rich

Thank you for the writeup, this is going to be extremely helpful when I get to that step!

I will throw my hat in here as well and recommend sourcing a 4.10 D30 from a 4-banger TJ. Unless you decide to go with a heavy-duty locker and chromolys right out of the gate, finding a used axle will be way cheaper and easier. Far too many 4-cylinder TJs have rusted to pieces out there, making their axles easy to find.  I picked mine up from another club member. 

Find one, confirm no leaks, do a fluid swap for good measure, and you'll be good to go.

That's ideal, I'll keep my eyes peeled!  Sad to see a Jeep rot away, but might as well take advantage of the situation.  Anything drastically different in swapping a front axle vs rear (steering concerns?)

Offline Runner

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Re: Irish_Wake's Half-Sporticon Build
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2019, 12:15:39 PM »
Anything drastically different in swapping a front axle vs rear (steering concerns?)

Short answer, yes.  Getting the stock steering removed can be challenging, but not hard.  When you put the front rear in, that's the time to do a ZJ steering conversion.  Here is a picture I put together that outlines the parts needed.  Just be sure to take measurements from you stock setup and set the new one to that measurement as an initial baseline.  Also, be sure to secure the steering wheel in place, so it can't turn when you've removed the steering components.  Turning the steering wheel while not connected can damage the clockspring, which requires removing the steering wheel to fix.

2004 LJ - Built to wheel, but hides in the garage :(

Offline jwilson2598

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Re: Irish_Wake's Half-Sporticon Build
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2019, 11:36:46 AM »
Anything drastically different in swapping a front axle vs rear (steering concerns?)

Short answer, yes.  Getting the stock steering removed can be challenging, but not hard.  When you put the front rear in, that's the time to do a ZJ steering conversion.  Here is a picture I put together that outlines the parts needed.  Just be sure to take measurements from you stock setup and set the new one to that measurement as an initial baseline.  Also, be sure to secure the steering wheel in place, so it can't turn when you've removed the steering components.  Turning the steering wheel while not connected can damage the clockspring, which requires removing the steering wheel to fix.



I'll second the steering upgrade, Super easy to do and made the steering way better on my LJ over the worn out junk.
Jeff

2020 Gladiator Rubicon Launch Edition, 35" Wildpeak AT3W, Warn VR12-s winch, Mopar winch guard, Redarc brake controller
2004 Wrangler Unlimited, 2" lift, 265/75/16 Wildpeak AT3W, Moab wheels, Mopar/AEV front and rear bumpers, JVC DDIN radio with backup camera

Offline Osiris

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Re: Irish_Wake's Half-Sporticon Build
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2019, 12:01:53 PM »
Anything drastically different in swapping a front axle vs rear (steering concerns?)

Short answer, yes.  Getting the stock steering removed can be challenging, but not hard.  When you put the front rear in, that's the time to do a ZJ steering conversion.  Here is a picture I put together that outlines the parts needed.  Just be sure to take measurements from you stock setup and set the new one to that measurement as an initial baseline.  Also, be sure to secure the steering wheel in place, so it can't turn when you've removed the steering components.  Turning the steering wheel while not connected can damage the clockspring, which requires removing the steering wheel to fix.



I'll second the steering upgrade, Super easy to do and made the steering way better on my LJ over the worn out junk.

Jeff, what did it do to improve the steering? Does it help with responsiveness or anything? I ask because I'm getting a lot of slop in my steering. It probably needs a new steering box but I thought I'd do the ZJ upgrade at the same time.
Bobby

There is a fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness". - Dave Barry


Offline Runner

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Re: Irish_Wake's Half-Sporticon Build
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2019, 12:31:06 PM »

Jeff, what did it do to improve the steering? Does it help with responsiveness or anything? I ask because I'm getting a lot of slop in my steering. It probably needs a new steering box but I thought I'd do the ZJ upgrade at the same time.

The steering box is only one piece of the puzzle, so I'd work one thing at a time when trying to remove sloppy steering.  In terms of the conversion, it's primarily a significant strength upgrade.  The stock tie rod bar is hollow and smaller than the ZJ alternative. The stock tie rods are also smaller and weaker.  Since you're planning to do it anyway, you could just install it and see if that helps with your slop problem.  As everyone knows, I'm anal about this stuff, so I would replace the drag link and steering stabilizer as part of the package. The conversion is a lot easier than removing the steering box!     
2004 LJ - Built to wheel, but hides in the garage :(

Offline Jeep Freak

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Re: Irish_Wake's Half-Sporticon Build
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2019, 12:36:46 PM »
Putting 33s on stock Ravine wheels you are going to want to add some wheel spacers to prevent rubbing on the control arms, etc. when turning.

As for your tire choices, I am on my second set of Duratracs on the JKUR. Great tire. Got about 65K miles out of the first set which is great for an aggressive AT tire. I've run the BFG ATs on my YJ and my previously owned LR Discovery in  the past, and loved the tire, just be aware that you'll only get about 40K miles out of them (which is what they are rated for). No experience with the Falkens.
'93 YJ SOA on 36s
'13 JKUR

Offline Irish_Wake

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Re: Irish_Wake's Half-Sporticon Build
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2019, 03:05:26 PM »
Putting 33s on stock Ravine wheels you are going to want to add some wheel spacers to prevent rubbing on the control arms, etc. when turning.

As for your tire choices, I am on my second set of Duratracs on the JKUR. Great tire. Got about 65K miles out of the first set which is great for an aggressive AT tire. I've run the BFG ATs on my YJ and my previously owned LR Discovery in  the past, and loved the tire, just be aware that you'll only get about 40K miles out of them (which is what they are rated for). No experience with the Falkens.
Yup, I'm planning on going with the spidertrax spacers.  I'm just holding off on the purchase until I'm ready to mount tires.  Might as well earn my fraction of a cent interest on it  ;(

Glad to hear about the Duratracs, That's what I'm leaning towards, although the fact its not my DD gives me some confidence in going with a M/T instead of A/T.  How have the Duratracs been in snow, on and off road?

Offline Irish_Wake

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Re: Irish_Wake's Half-Sporticon Build
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2019, 03:05:56 PM »
Anything drastically different in swapping a front axle vs rear (steering concerns?)

Short answer, yes.  Getting the stock steering removed can be challenging, but not hard.  When you put the front rear in, that's the time to do a ZJ steering conversion.  Here is a picture I put together that outlines the parts needed.  Just be sure to take measurements from you stock setup and set the new one to that measurement as an initial baseline.  Also, be sure to secure the steering wheel in place, so it can't turn when you've removed the steering components.  Turning the steering wheel while not connected can damage the clockspring, which requires removing the steering wheel to fix.



Looks like it's time to make a pick-a-part run  :tu

Offline Osiris

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Re: Irish_Wake's Half-Sporticon Build
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2019, 04:15:37 PM »

Jeff, what did it do to improve the steering? Does it help with responsiveness or anything? I ask because I'm getting a lot of slop in my steering. It probably needs a new steering box but I thought I'd do the ZJ upgrade at the same time.

The steering box is only one piece of the puzzle, so I'd work one thing at a time when trying to remove sloppy steering.  In terms of the conversion, it's primarily a significant strength upgrade.  The stock tie rod bar is hollow and smaller than the ZJ alternative. The stock tie rods are also smaller and weaker.  Since you're planning to do it anyway, you could just install it and see if that helps with your slop problem.  As everyone knows, I'm anal about this stuff, so I would replace the drag link and steering stabilizer as part of the package. The conversion is a lot easier than removing the steering box!     

Yep, I'd definitely be replacing everything while its apart anyways. I've done the box before and its a pain in the butt, in particular the pitman arm. After looking around, I've actually found a bunch of steering boxes with the arms already preinstalled lol I'd put money on it being my steering box though as its been fairly similar ever since
Bobby

There is a fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness". - Dave Barry


Offline Osiris

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Re: Irish_Wake's Half-Sporticon Build
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2019, 04:17:02 PM »

Looks like it's time to make a pick-a-part run  :tu

Here's a parts list and even amazon links:  https://wranglertjforum.com/threads/zj-tie-rod-conversion.2373/
Bobby

There is a fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness". - Dave Barry


Offline Irish_Wake

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Re: Irish_Wake's Half-Sporticon Build
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2019, 07:09:34 PM »

Looks like it's time to make a pick-a-part run  :tu

Here's a parts list and even amazon links:  https://wranglertjforum.com/threads/zj-tie-rod-conversion.2373/

Well that is way cheaper than I was expecting new.  Way easier than scouring yards, thanks!

Offline Irish_Wake

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Re: Irish_Wake's Half-Sporticon Build
« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2019, 07:16:29 PM »
Well, I've already broken a bolt off in the tub... Hopefully when I lift it up there will be enough sticking out to grab with vise-grips.





I noticed (should've been obvious) that the PB Blaster didn't defy gravity and make its way up the bolt to the threads, so for my last two bolts (above the gas tank/shock perch) I've drilled some access holes and filled them with Kroil. Got some rubber plugs and gaskets coming from Amazon, figure I'll pipe some rtv and slap a plug on it.



The first bolt is accessible enough I can drill it and retap if necessary, but if these last two snap I'm not sure how I'll go about getting them out. Will spray again tomorrow and try to get them out on Friday


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