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Discussion Starter #1
Figured I'd make a build thread as I'm just getting started on this long project.

14" ORI's on a 3" lift with stock width axles (was going to go 16" but decided there's no point in stressing my drive lines and pushing clearances to the limit for very little gain). The challenge is, this is my only vehicle and I drive it to work.

No kits, just buying steel, brackets, ORI's, and rod ends. It's more fun that way, and you usually end up with a better product because no compromises are necessary.

Recently finished getting a 3-link rear installed. It uses the Rock Krawler frame cradle, Artec truss, and home made lower frame mounts above the frame rail.

Lower mounts and 3-link:

https://flic.kr/p/LJx7ei

https://flic.kr/p/Lq6Pzy

https://flic.kr/p/MHbyqb

These are Rock Krawler link ends, but I made the arms myself to get the lengths just right for my custom mounting points. Don't care for lower arm mounts below the frame rail like what's in their kit (and like what 90% of people seem to do). For what it's worth, I put way too much bend in that upper link the first try so don't copy that.

https://flic.kr/p/LbqQSy

The clearance on this suspension is very, very tight all around (upper link is less than 1/4" from both the frame and driveshaft at full compression), and the lower links are just over an inch from the tires. Given it two hard trail days and no issues yet, though.

https://flic.kr/p/LNJeXG

Will need to do a lot of trimming when I get 37's on. Planning to stretch out the control arms to gain another 2" of stretch but that'll come further down the road.


Next up, making a track bar with spherical ends and installing the 14" ORI's in the back. Planning to completely chop the frame, install a new cross member, and move the frame in 6" to clear the ORI's on factory width axles while keeping them outboard and fully on top of the axle. Being a daily driver that must work every Monday, getting a reliable CAD model of any plan is critical and got the suspension clearance almost perfect on the first try.

https://flic.kr/p/LNH3Zm

https://flic.kr/p/LNLJj6

https://flic.kr/p/LNLJjX


After that, dealing with my very broken muffler and exhaust (moving the crossover to gain clearance), 3-linking the front, then shoving ORI's in there. Then a tummy tuck which will involve making a high-clearance aluminum fuel cell to go in place of the stock tank losing a few gallons. I really don't want a fuel cell inside or behind the axle.

And some weekend where I'm bored and waiting for parts I'll make an aluminum rear bumper and tire carrier to shed that 198 pound ACE bumper (nothing against ACE, but seriously, nobody should be hanging 198 pounds on the back of a JK, and that doesn't even include the spare tire).
 

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Looking forward to following this build, and I admire your cad work. The tummy tuck is something the jk/jku could really benefit from.

I've been worming on my own tummy tuck on my JKU. It's a slow process though reshaping the fuel tank and skid on the rocks over many years...you'll probably have yours done before mine, lmao
 

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Based on your CAD model, your towers don't look nearly high enough. We run 16" ORIs and our towers are almost even with the top of the body where the top connects. With 14s, you should be well into the vehicle, especially if you set them correctly to run about 40%-50% of chrome showing.

I'm surprised you need to build a new frame. Most of us just french it. Check out Ringers build of JK Karl, he did 14" coilovers on a stock axle 2-door with a 4" stretch. If you want some other ideas, you can check out the build of our JK. We did a flat belly as well. http://www.jkowners.com/forum/modified-jk-tech-dept/254874-invest2m4s-broke-budget-build;-tons-40s-triangles.html

Always helps to see what others have done, can save a ton of time and headache. Good luck and feel free to ask questions. Nice start though.
 

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Glad to see you are working outside the box. If you are doing a cage as well you can do the upper mounts on the cage instead of a tower. It might save you some weight and open up the rear a bit more for clearance. If you are going to cut that rear frame section out give your self plenty of room in there. Don't weld the new member in there too tight as you may want to change it up in the future. No real reason to have the tolerances too tight.
Most people including me built too tight and had to cut it out and re do it once you get it done and flex it out in real life. The cad software does not always show how things actually flex on the trail.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Based on your CAD model, your towers don't look nearly high enough. We run 16" ORIs and our towers are almost even with the top of the body where the top connects. With 14s, you should be well into the vehicle, especially if you set them correctly to run about 40%-50% of chrome showing.

I'm surprised you need to build a new frame. Most of us just french it. Check out Ringers build of JK Karl, he did 14" coilovers on a stock axle 2-door with a 4" stretch. If you want some other ideas, you can check out the build of our JK. We did a flat belly as well. http://www.jkowners.com/forum/modified-jk-tech-dept/254874-invest2m4s-broke-budget-build;-tons-40s-triangles.html

Always helps to see what others have done, can save a ton of time and headache. Good luck and feel free to ask questions. Nice start though.

Maybe there's some confusion with the towers in the CAD drawing? That's through the top of the wheel wells into the inside of the vehicle. Might even be an inch higher because the end cap isn't modeled (end of the ORI in the model is the bushing hole location). It's only a few inches further to flush with where the hardtop mounts so with 16's you'd be there.

This is setup for 40% chrome showing at around a 4" lift over stock height (not that it really matters how high I set it, up-travel limit sets the top of the shock tower).

I'm through-the-frame notching because it's 3-link + trackbar. You need about 1.5" more tire clearance to the shock compared to a triangulated 4-link. I'm sure I'll regret not doing a rear tank + 4-link forever, but I'm not going to undo that decision at this point. I didn't realize this particular limitation at the time of that decision. In the following two images, you can see that the 3-link + trackbar geometry pushes the axle into the body by nearly 1.5", whereas a 4-link would keep the axle centered through all motion.

Whatever, not a big deal. I personally wouldn't run those notches where people go all the way through and leave reinforced sheet metal as the frame anyways so I'd be relocating regardless. I know it seems to work, but it'd keep me up at night in engineering pain.

https://flic.kr/p/MJ34hw

https://flic.kr/p/MJ34jW
 

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Very interesting way to mount your lowers at the chassis. How much longer over stock do the arms end up being?
I missed that the first time I viewed the pics. You are talking about how it looks like the control arm brackets are mounted off the slider and frame? Am I seeing it right?
 

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I missed that the first time I viewed the pics. You are talking about how it looks like the control arm brackets are mounted off the slider and frame? Am I seeing it right?
Ya. They are mounted on the stand-off for the sliders. Nothing necessarily wrong with it, just never seen it done that way before. I think I'd really look into tying that inboard ear to the frame with a doubler plate of some kind. Spread out the load on the frame and reduce the leverage being applied through the stand-off.

Edit: It does look like the stand-off has a doubler under it. Didn't see it before.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Edit: It does look like the stand-off has a doubler under it. Didn't see it before.
The doubler is only in the finished picture... My friend said I was going to have a real bad day after seeing the initial picture so I added more steel.

I've also never seen anyone do this, it's held up great so far in the two days of use and has taken rock hits on the brackets.

Very interesting way to mount your lowers at the chassis. How much longer over stock do the arms end up being?
Lowers are 31"

https://flic.kr/p/MJW7Wm
 

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The doubler is only in the finished picture... My friend said I was going to have a real bad day after seeing the initial picture so I added more steel.

I've also never seen anyone do this, it's held up great so far in the two days of use and has taken rock hits on the brackets.

Lowers are 31"
I assume all the standoffs for the sliders used a doubler at the frame? That will actually help, being that they're all tied together through the slider.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I assume all the standoffs for the sliders used a doubler at the frame? That will actually help, being that they're all tied together through the slider.
Correct, it now looks like this with a plate that connects to both tabs plus the frame. If I ever manage to break this, it will have been a very fun day of wheeling.

https://flic.kr/p/LSGC7k
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Made my rear track bar adjustable and put 7/8 ruffstuff rod ends in. Was going to make a bent DOM trackbar but read about too many problems with that failing so ended up just sleeving my track bar since it's already the perfect shape to clear exhaust and diff and was plenty strong to start with.

Looks kind of silly but nothing wrong with it and a good cheap solution.

 

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Discussion Starter #14
Got the crossmember cut out and will relocate the frame and get the ORI's in next weekend. I really need to buy a plasma cutter, spent almost the entire day angle grinding and I still don't have the crossmember completely out and cleaned up.

I lifted the rear of the tub up 6" for work access. Seems to have worked great. Unless I'm setup for a real bad day next weekend, nothing has to be disconnected at all except some fuel lines.

Just seconds ago looking at these pictures I realized I have to do something with that fuel fill line when I cut into the tub for shock clearance. What do people typically do with the fuel line when outboarding shocks through the tub?

https://flic.kr/p/PeBhHC

https://flic.kr/p/NdXBja
 

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Got the crossmember cut out and will relocate the frame and get the ORI's in next weekend. I really need to buy a plasma cutter, spent almost the entire day angle grinding and I still don't have the crossmember completely out and cleaned up.

I lifted the rear of the tub up 6" for work access. Seems to have worked great. Unless I'm setup for a real bad day next weekend, nothing has to be disconnected at all except some fuel lines.

Just seconds ago looking at these pictures I realized I have to do something with that fuel fill line when I cut into the tub for shock clearance. What do people typically do with the fuel line when outboarding shocks through the tub?

https://flic.kr/p/PeBhHC

https://flic.kr/p/NdXBja
We replace the stock lines with braided stainless steel.
 
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