IFS "Go Fast" JKU Build - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 39 Old 06-20-2019, 08:47 AM Thread Starter
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IFS "Go Fast" JKU Build

Hey all, I've got a build thread running over at race-dezert.com where Im documenting my swap over to an IFS setup using a Ford TTB front axle.

I've been a long time consumer on information here at jkowners and love the JK platform so I would like to run a thread here as well. As the JK's age and become cheaper, I see other shadetree builders like me become more willing to try more extreme stuff while they daily drive their JL's and Gladiators. If that ever happens, I hope someone may learn find and learn something from my build. I've already made progress, so Ill start filling in my thread with info and pictures.
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post #2 of 39 Old 06-20-2019, 09:20 AM Thread Starter
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Yup, I'm swapping out the solid axle from under my 4 door JK for a TTB setup. Here's what we're starting with:







Typical Jeep mods. Dynatrac axles, Nittos, Reel drivelines, and a bunch of other stuff.
Bouncing through rocks at 2mph isn't fun for me anymore so I'm turning my rock rig into a desert mob monster. Well, that's the goal anyway.

The plan is to start off with a D44 TTB which I already have broken down and in the process of getting cleaned up. It's from a 95 bronco with bolt on calipers, but no ABS provisions. The beams I purchased ($150 on craigslist hub to hub) were in amazing shape. Lots of surface rust and oil buildup inside the beams but otherwise in great shape. All the bearings, seals, etc looked perfectly fine and everything felt nice and tight with no play in anything. Even the ball joints still look good but we're still going through it to see what can be salvaged and re-used and what needs replacing.

I've got a 2005+ Super Duty Dana 60, Dana 44 TTB, and a beefed up JK Dana 30 sitting in my garage with a ProRock 44 under the jeep now.
Plan on selling the PR44 and Dana 60 to fund the project while running the Dana 30 as a 2wd beam axle while I work on the TTB.
The outsides of the beams aren't looking so bad now but the insides are still poop. Ill clean them out when I cut the ends off to extend them out. Should have easy access to the insides then.







Looking for a 72" WMS-WMS, so somewhere between 3.5"-4" extension on the beams. Don't plan on a "cut & turn" unless some restriction prevents me from getting the beams to sit where they should at ride height.

For the rear, we're not quite sure which way we want to go yet. A typical go-fast 4 link is the obvious choice, but a double triangulated 4 link with shocks over the axle would be much easier and quicker to fab while keeping weight and costs down. 18" shocks with a conservative angle should net 20" of travel in the rear. Coupled with 16"-18" up front with 4wd and a long wheelbase seems like a killer combo.

I'm likely going to have to stretch the front out a couple inches to clear the passenger side beam and pivot and will pull the rear back a couple inches as well to have room for the rear seat when the shocks come up through the tub. I should be somewhere around 120" wheelbase all said and done with either rear suspension option.

Motor is still stock, but when the rig is done, suspension built, cage burned in, and all safety equipment in place, we're going to drop in a Gen III Chevy iron block, 4l80e, and turbo. I'll probably buy a salvage 3/4 ton HD van or truck so I can take my time in pulling everything apart and not have to source all the little stuff.

My goal right now is to get the beams rebuilt, then we'll work on getting pivots and steering mocked up with wheels/tires attached and suspension cycling.

For steering I'm thinking of running two pitman arms at opposite ends of the frame rails in an idler setup. Kind of like this guy. By using two identical pitman arms, the geometry between the two will be nearly identical. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I should also be able to use drop pitman arms if I need to rather than run bracketry down without placing as much strain on the sector shaft since the idler rod is supported at both ends. I could also use TREs instead of heims for easy to find replacements. Of course this is the idea now, I'm sure much will change as we go.

Stay tuned for updates.
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2008 JKU Sahara on jack stands with suspension completely removed, engine completely exposed, crossmembers cut out, and wiring harness dangling by the firewall. Soon, IFS front suspension with trailing arm 4 link in the rear.
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post #3 of 39 Old 06-20-2019, 09:25 AM Thread Starter
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Been gathering materials and such before I reach the point of no return and start cutting everything out from under my front end.

Also got a new welder, an Everlast multi-process unit. Tig, stick, and plasma cut from one tiny box.



Going to order some uniball kits shortly to replace the bushing on the beams. Ill start building a jig for the beams tonight so I can keep everything true as I burn in the uniball cups and extend the beams a few inches. I'm thinking of cutting the beams on the smaller section of the beams rather than outside the radius arm bolt holes like everyone else does. I'll be welding my radius arms to the beams and having that extra space, however small, will likely be valuable as I try and get every inch of up travel I can. Thoughts?

2008 JKU Sahara on jack stands with suspension completely removed, engine completely exposed, crossmembers cut out, and wiring harness dangling by the firewall. Soon, IFS front suspension with trailing arm 4 link in the rear.
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post #4 of 39 Old 06-20-2019, 09:29 AM Thread Starter
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Also sold my old bumper/winch and started cutting back the frame rails, they stuck out forward of the grill by a ridiculous amount.

The combo weighed in at over 180lbs, glad I dumped it. I immediately felt the difference of driving without that weight hanging off the front end.

This really helped to see what kind of space I had to work with.





I need to get a move on with this swap. My tie rod and drag link ends are all shot and I don't want to replace them while I'm trying to swap them out...

2008 JKU Sahara on jack stands with suspension completely removed, engine completely exposed, crossmembers cut out, and wiring harness dangling by the firewall. Soon, IFS front suspension with trailing arm 4 link in the rear.
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post #5 of 39 Old 06-20-2019, 09:38 AM Thread Starter
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Alright, got some work done over the weekend. Gutted the entire front end and some junk under the hood as well. Lots of plastic to throw away and brackets to fab.















Next up is some cutting. Have to remove the coil buckets, shock brackets and track bar bracket. When that's done Ill have a completely clean slate to work with and can start mocking up my beam pivots. Good thing I have lots of cardboard stashed away...

2008 JKU Sahara on jack stands with suspension completely removed, engine completely exposed, crossmembers cut out, and wiring harness dangling by the firewall. Soon, IFS front suspension with trailing arm 4 link in the rear.
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post #6 of 39 Old 06-21-2019, 05:10 AM
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Wow, very cool. Great pictures. One beef with you though man. Get some more support under that rig with as much as you're going to be under it. I knew someone that had a mustang fall on them when they were under it. His jackstands slipped and it killed him. Keep up the good work and keep the pics coming. Awesome!

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post #7 of 39 Old 06-21-2019, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by RedRock0740 View Post
Wow, very cool. Great pictures. One beef with you though man. Get some more support under that rig with as much as you're going to be under it. I knew someone that had a mustang fall on them when they were under it. His jackstands slipped and it killed him. Keep up the good work and keep the pics coming. Awesome!
Thanks and I agree with you completely. I've been giving those stands some serious side eye but I haven't really spent much time underneath it yet.

Ill probably pick up the HF 12 ton stands and put them under the frame rails up front. Those stands are pretty tall.

2008 JKU Sahara on jack stands with suspension completely removed, engine completely exposed, crossmembers cut out, and wiring harness dangling by the firewall. Soon, IFS front suspension with trailing arm 4 link in the rear.
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post #8 of 39 Old 06-21-2019, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
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Have to wait until this weekend to cut off the remaining brackets.

In the meantime, I found I nice long piece of 2x6x.120 wall tube in the scrap heap at my local steel supply. Perfect for setting up my jig for extending the beams. Getting it mocked up with the beams to see how much of it Ill need then Ill cut it to size and clean it up. I'm also going to have the beams sandblasted, there's so much gunk I can't get out of the inside of the beams and I want squeaky clean parts.







Got my uniballs from Ruffstuff earlier this week also, beefy stuff.





I'm thinking of cutting the beams and extending them further in than most do. Somewhere around here:




2008 JKU Sahara on jack stands with suspension completely removed, engine completely exposed, crossmembers cut out, and wiring harness dangling by the firewall. Soon, IFS front suspension with trailing arm 4 link in the rear.
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post #9 of 39 Old 06-21-2019, 12:04 PM Thread Starter
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Got some time in yesterday and started cutting. Point of no return: passed.

Dropped my beams and knuckles off at my local powder coater for some sand blasting. A bunch of nasty junk was still attached to both and I was done scrubbing rust and dried oil from the beams.







I'm going to relocate the battery to the rear and move the fuse box up against the firewall where the battery previously was. After removing and cutting out the now excess plastic from the tray, this will give me plenty of room and a nice place for shock hoops to live.
This means moving a whole mess of wires and connectors which have been baking in the engine bay for 10 years and are brittle as ****. Fun stuff.






2008 JKU Sahara on jack stands with suspension completely removed, engine completely exposed, crossmembers cut out, and wiring harness dangling by the firewall. Soon, IFS front suspension with trailing arm 4 link in the rear.
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post #10 of 39 Old 06-22-2019, 05:19 PM
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I can't see in my mind where all this is going yet but kudos for biting off a project like this.

On a related note, something you are fooling with is something I've been considering myself. I've been wanting to remove the LS in my jeep and rebuild it for boost. Both options for boost will not be "easy" but if I go the turbo route I need a place for it and the engine bay is cramped as it is. I was considering relocating the battery and then moving the tipm to the glove box. Do you think there is enough harness to push it inside the firewall? I think it would be pretty slick to open the glove box for access of the fuse block / tipm and would create the room I need.
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post #11 of 39 Old 06-23-2019, 12:08 PM
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I don't know exactly what your plans are or how much room you need, but if you wanted to keep the battery in front it is possible to fit suspension up to the hood line and keep everything in there.

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post #12 of 39 Old 06-23-2019, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Dkjeep View Post
I can't see in my mind where all this is going yet but kudos for biting off a project like this.

On a related note, something you are fooling with is something I've been considering myself. I've been wanting to remove the LS in my jeep and rebuild it for boost. Both options for boost will not be "easy" but if I go the turbo route I need a place for it and the engine bay is cramped as it is. I was considering relocating the battery and then moving the tipm to the glove box. Do you think there is enough harness to push it inside the firewall? I think it would be pretty slick to open the glove box for access of the fuse block / tipm and would create the room I need.
Here's an example of a TTB fully drooped out where you can see the axle shafts a bit.



Ill be swapping in a boosted gen 3 Chevy iron block for power when suspension/chassis/safety work is done. Fitting a turbo in there is one of the reasons why I'm bothering with it now, while everything is out in the open and being cut up.

And yeah, there is definitely enough harness. In fact, I've got too much harness coming through the firewall. You will be extending some stuff though.

2008 JKU Sahara on jack stands with suspension completely removed, engine completely exposed, crossmembers cut out, and wiring harness dangling by the firewall. Soon, IFS front suspension with trailing arm 4 link in the rear.
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post #13 of 39 Old 06-23-2019, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
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I don't know exactly what your plans are or how much room you need, but if you wanted to keep the battery in front it is possible to fit suspension up to the hood line and keep everything in there.

Ill eventually swap in a gen 3 chevy iron block with a turbo. With the turbo and my desire to shift as much weight as possible towards the back I went ahead and just decided to move it.

Excellent packaging skills though, jesus christ that must have been fun.

2008 JKU Sahara on jack stands with suspension completely removed, engine completely exposed, crossmembers cut out, and wiring harness dangling by the firewall. Soon, IFS front suspension with trailing arm 4 link in the rear.
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post #14 of 39 Old 06-25-2019, 06:01 AM
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have you sold the dynatracs yet? if not, what are you asking?

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post #15 of 39 Old 06-25-2019, 03:05 PM
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Awesome project man! I dig seeing out of the box builds.

What size tires are you planing to run?

If you want to shift as much weight to the rear as possible, why go with a iron block LS? All the work spent moving batteries to the rear, TIPM moved back and whatever else you're planing, is going to be for naught by introducing almost another 100lbs right up by the front axle. It wouldn't be as bad as not moving those things but, your F/R % might not change in the end.

Another thing to possibly consider..........rip out all that retarded factory wiring, run the engine stand alone and wire the chassis like a hotrod.

Are you wanting to keep all the factory creature comforts intact?

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post #16 of 39 Old 06-25-2019, 04:05 PM
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Iíve always wonder this but, whatís cost difference of running stand-alone vs having the engine run through the CanBus?


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post #17 of 39 Old 06-25-2019, 04:39 PM
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F’n rad project.... can’t wait to see this thing come together
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post #18 of 39 Old 06-26-2019, 08:53 AM Thread Starter
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Awesome project man! I dig seeing out of the box builds.

What size tires are you planing to run?

If you want to shift as much weight to the rear as possible, why go with a iron block LS? All the work spent moving batteries to the rear, TIPM moved back and whatever else you're planing, is going to be for naught by introducing almost another 100lbs right up by the front axle. It wouldn't be as bad as not moving those things but, your F/R % might not change in the end.

Another thing to possibly consider..........rip out all that retarded factory wiring, run the engine stand alone and wire the chassis like a hotrod.

Are you wanting to keep all the factory creature comforts intact?
Plan on sticking with my 35's for now. Still plenty of life left, the 35's will be easier to get more up travel out of, and since I'm still running the 3.8 they'll also be easier to push down the road.

The iron block LS from 2000-2006 in 4.8, 5.3, or 6.0 are cheap (like $500 cheap), easy to source, and take big boost all day long. Don't have to worry about modern computer systems with these either like DOD/AFM or VVT. I'd even run a boosted *gasp* 4.8 if I found a good one for cheap. It's fairly easy to put out 500-600hp with any of those engines and a halfway decent turbo.

The simplicity of those engines combined with cost and power potential make the weight gain easy to overlook.

I will be running it hot rod style. My goal is to purchase a complete 2500/3500hd, Express van, or one of the SUV's on the cheap or salvaged. Ill then swap over whatever I need without having to run around and source all the little tiny stuff.

As far as creature comforts, getting A/C working is the most important. Ill build a custom dash which will be fairly simple so I can just graft all the GM stuff in behind my dash panels as needed. When I first do the swap I won't worry about any comfort items though. The first goal will be to get it running.

2008 JKU Sahara on jack stands with suspension completely removed, engine completely exposed, crossmembers cut out, and wiring harness dangling by the firewall. Soon, IFS front suspension with trailing arm 4 link in the rear.
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post #19 of 39 Old 06-26-2019, 08:58 AM Thread Starter
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Iíve always wonder this but, whatís cost difference of running stand-alone vs having the engine run through the CanBus?


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For someone like me who doesn't care about having my rig look and function like it just drove off the dealers lot, it's a no-brainer to do it hotrod style. The "kits" for swaps cost more alone than I'll have in my whole swap. Donor vehicle purchase included.

2008 JKU Sahara on jack stands with suspension completely removed, engine completely exposed, crossmembers cut out, and wiring harness dangling by the firewall. Soon, IFS front suspension with trailing arm 4 link in the rear.
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post #20 of 39 Old 06-27-2019, 11:53 AM
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I paid ~$900 for my PSI stand alone engine harness. That was for LS3/6l90/TUTD/Dual fans.

You're still on the hook for all the other bits and pieces needed to slap the engine in....... that adds up quick.

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post #21 of 39 Old 06-27-2019, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
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I paid ~$900 for my PSI stand alone engine harness. That was for LS3/6l90/TUTD/Dual fans.

You're still on the hook for all the other bits and pieces needed to slap the engine in....... that adds up quick.
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I will be running it hot rod style. My goal is to purchase a complete 2500/3500hd, Express van, or one of the SUV's on the cheap or salvaged. Ill then swap over whatever I need without having to run around and source all the little tiny stuff.
I plan on using the stock ecu and harness. Not very attractive, but I can worry about prettying things up later.

A "swap harness" to integrate with the Jeep side of things would run around $2-$3K. About what I plan on spending on my donor rig.

Did you keep A/C?

2008 JKU Sahara on jack stands with suspension completely removed, engine completely exposed, crossmembers cut out, and wiring harness dangling by the firewall. Soon, IFS front suspension with trailing arm 4 link in the rear.
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post #22 of 39 Old 06-28-2019, 06:05 AM
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That's not a bad price at all. I'll keep tabs on your thread here.

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post #23 of 39 Old 06-28-2019, 06:49 AM
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A "swap harness" to integrate with the Jeep side of things would run around $2-$3K.
From who? I think its considerably more than that...


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post #24 of 39 Old 06-28-2019, 01:53 PM
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I plan on using the stock ecu and harness. Not very attractive, but I can worry about prettying things up later.

A "swap harness" to integrate with the Jeep side of things would run around $2-$3K. About what I plan on spending on my donor rig.

Did you keep A/C?
I'm running a Vintage Air system, all the stock AC components are gone.

I just went back and looked at my paperwork for the PSI harness, there's nothing about AC on it. My AC is stand alone too.


I've never heard anyone say they've bought just the swap harness from RPM or Motech. Can't really think of a reason why they wouldn't sell one. I bet it'd be north of 3k though. I still have a RPM swap kit that I bought........and then changed directions and didn't use.

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post #25 of 39 Old 06-28-2019, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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From who? I think its considerably more than that...
RpmExtreme has a harness for $2895. JSS has one for $2000. I think you're thinking of a swap "kit" which usually includes stuff like motor mounts, exhaust builder kits, maybe a fan/radiator upgrade, intakes that fit nice under the hood and stuff like that in addition to the harness. Those are in the $5-$7k range I think. Then you still need engine, tranny, and tranny-transfer case adapter among many other things.

Keep in mind this is harness only. Like @gt1guy said, you'll still need to source or build all the other little junk from motor mounts to exhaust and everything in-between.

Another reason why I didn't want to use a swap harness is you lose customer support as soon as you modify the engine, if it's not stock they won't support the product anymore. Since Im swapping in engine and turbo at the same time, this was an immediate deal breaker for me.
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