1989 Cherokee

DirtyChemist

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Stock steering box drilled and tapped for hydro assist.
Started with a 1/8” pilot hole and stepped it up three or four times before stopping at 29/64.
Harbor freight 1/4 NPT tap cut just fine. I didn’t cut the tap to make a bottoming tap. I need to find what size fitting I’ll need for hydraulic hoses and get an NPT to AN fitting. This is definitely more intimidating than challenging. Having a reason to walk away, or only an hour to work on it seemed to help. I’d drill a few seconds, remove chips, and keep going. I used the grease you can see in the first photo on the drill bits and it helped pull chips out while drilling.

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DirtyChemist

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Welder up the passenger side front frame stiffener. I THOUGHT I’d be saving myself time for future work. I think I just killed time one Thursday afternoon. This would have been smarter to do with the axle removed for the swap. I took the coil spring out to weld it up properly and not leave big gaps. Best decision I made was to do LOTS of mock up before welding. Second best decision was taking breaks to let the metal cool.

Halfway through welding. Since this is the passenger side I learned a lot to do for the driver side. Mostly more grinding. I couldn’t get any welds where the stiffener meets the unibody near the rear. I used a mixture of uphill and downhill welding. Some overhead was required, but a lot of it could be done straight on thanks to lots of prep work and mock up.


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Mock up. I made sure to be 100% confident in my welding and mock up when doing this. Multiple clamps helped get the stiffener as close to the body as possible. The two clamps in the picture close together got the stiffener contacting them unibody where it bends. I wanted this in there good because I’ll be adding shock towers to this.
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Trying to put the cool spring back in sucked. Nothing wanted to line up so I got exhausted and just shortened the lower control arm to make it all work. Doing it right would mean removing the lift and reinstalling it. Not interested in reinstalling a lift I fully intend to remove. I didn’t do the driver side because removing the track bar bracket wasn’t appealing, and I wanted the Jeep out of the garage for the night. I have the front piece but I’m not sure if it would be necessary with the bumper bracing the same area, I don’t think I could reinstall the bumper or take it off safely, and I’m not sure tue bumper would fit over it with the extra ~1/2” of metal.
 

DirtyChemist

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Premium Member
Put of boredom and due to air quality being 300+ I fit up my passenger side rock slider. I bought these used and spent a fair amount of time getting everything to fit properly before tacking then finish welding. It started out as two pieces. One was the slider, and another bolted/welded to the frame. The two were possibly bolted together I say possibly because I was never able to get the sliders to line up without big gaps everywhere when bolted together. Since I have added a removable transmission crossmember, and mid section frame stiffeners they were not going to bolt up anyways.

This is probably the only visible weld. I made sure to include the welding I did OVER the tack weld (yes it was that big) so no one thinks I’m some kind of professional. I think the pretty portion on the left is an appropriate step width and tie in, but I’m no expert. I’m just community college escaped. Proudly.
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This is left of the photo above. I could have used just this but where is the fun in only showing 2 inches of welding? It’s already going to look badass when on the jeep. This will be overhead so I’ll look badass when someone thinks I welded this well overhead.
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DirtyChemist

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Thanks. Not rushing anything. I don’t have a deadline to meet so I’m able to think about things a lot more and plan them out.
 

DirtyChemist

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Premium Member
Welded the passenger slider on. Now to repeat this entire process on the driver side. Requires motivation. Maybe in a few days.

Sits above the unibody about 1”.
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It’s actually straight. About 1 5/8” away from the body at the lower bend in.
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DirtyChemist

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Goal for the weekend is to get the rear axle in. If anyone wants to help out I’m more than glad to meet new people.


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DirtyChemist

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Pinion angle set. Tack welded the Ruffstuff +2 perch kit into place. Bolts must be cut to length because the rear bolts are directly above the axle.

Pinion angle is about 3 degrees less than the driveshaft. Oddly, I paid $300 for a driveshaft shop in Carson City to put the flange on this and I THOUGHT cut it to length. When I pulled it out of the Dana 35 it was fully compressed with ZERO slip extension AT FULL DROOP. Stupid me must have never looked at it. I wonder how many problems it’s caused.

The plus 2 perch kit will probably work out great and now I’m wondering what I’ll do for bump stops. The factory ones obviously won’t work anymore. Bump stops might work if I weld some 3/16” plate to the rear unibody ‘frame’ to distribute the stress. A four link would PROBABLY fit but I don’t even know where to begin to plan out a 4 link. I will need to cut and fold the rear for sure and cut the wheel wells to fit a set of 35s I picked up.


35s on an 18” wheel from a dodge truck. Cheap knockoff tires the guy said wouldn’t balance. I think they were spray painted black otherwise they’re just cheap coated black wheels.
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First install of the rear axle. Pinion was set to match the transfer case angle. This was way too low and just looked wrong. If you look close you can see the bolt in the spring perch going straight into the axle.
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Surprisingly the rear end isn’t much wider than the front. I should actually measure it to get an exact difference because now I’m curious. On a 13.5” wide tire the tire stick out about halfway so ~6 3/4” on each side. The fronts are a 12.5 for reference.
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Pinion angle set using the stupid long driveshaft. It might work for light driving when I move the rear axle back an inch or two. I put in a 1310/1350 combination u joint just to make it work short term. If you look closely you can see where I burned through the frame welding frame stiffeners on.
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The poor quality photos are because the rear camera on my phone broke (dropped the phone too many times) and the front facing is all I have until I get a new one.
 

jsipe007

Member
Looking good!

4 link sounds scary but it really wasn’t bad in the rear. Really easy to over think haha.

One step closer to wheeling!


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DirtyChemist

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Looking good!

4 link sounds scary but it really wasn’t bad in the rear. Really easy to over think haha.

One step closer to wheeling!


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Honestly, I’m just not sure where the link bars would go. All I’ve read is the gas tank MUST move, or a fuel cell goes in, and there is too much in the way. I really don’t know where I’d mount the link bars unless I can come up with some way to make a cross member, then figure out how to bolt it in. It seems easy I’m just totally inexperienced.


I was being asked when I’m doing the front. After the time and patience I’ve put into the rear I’m definitely not tackling it in a weekend. WAAAAAY too tempting to rush and regret.

Definitely looking forward to wheeling in it. I might have to start posting run requests here to get experience. Maybe even ask people to invite Facebook groups like the Battle Born guys
 

DirtyChemist

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Welded everything up. Still need to do brake lines and parking brake cables. Hopefully this is how it should be done. I just welded a lot because it never looked good enough.

The axle is moved back as far and the 2+ Perches will allow in this photo. Shocks have more droop but are being limited by the leaf springs. I angles them because I thought it would be better than mounting them very close to the housing.

Does this make it a half ton?

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RARECJ8

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Maybe I missed it. Why secure leaf to axle with the threaded flanges? If a bolt breaks/shears off in there can be a pita. Or god forbid over torqued and stripped. Why not use stronger easy to repair standard u bolts? Those grade 8s might fail under hard load. U bolts offer some give.
 

DirtyChemist

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Premium Member
Maybe I missed it. Why secure leaf to axle with the threaded flanges? If a bolt breaks/shears off in there can be a pita. Or god forbid over torqued and stripped. Why not use stronger easy to repair standard u bolts? Those grade 8s might fail under hard load. U bolts offer some give.

It’s a U bolt eliminator kit. Comes as part of the 2 inch perch stretch. HOPEFULLY I don’t over torque it and I SHOULD have chased all the threads before hand, but didnt.

 

DirtyChemist

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Snapped one of the grade 8 bolts last night. My own dumb fault for never chasing threads. I’m going to try drilling and retapping.
 

DirtyChemist

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Damn, dude.

Yup. The stupid is strong late night after a bad day of work. ‘Let’s get the bigger pry bar because the power tools aren’t working. Screw waiting for tomorrow. Screw thinking bigger tools are a problem MAKER’.



Also found out ‘someone’ (me) bent the ears on the driveshaft slip yoke installing a u joint (see bigger tools above) so it’s either $225 for a driveshaft I’ll end up replacing, OR a brand new 2 5/8” 0.095 wall thickness 1350 CV driveshaft (plus tax obviously) from Drive Line & Gear in Sparks.
I’m honestly leaning towards just biting the bullet and buying the more expensive shaft. Paying $225 to have this one work short term seems like a waste of $225. Buy once, cry once. Never enough money to do it right the first time, but always enough money to do it twice.

Maybe I’ll move the axle forward an inch and see what the length needs to be then. Probably smarter to go with the ‘mama bear’ extension driveshaft measurement (2”) instead of baby bear (1”) or papa bear (3”).


Also, I’m thinking my 4” Rough Country leaf springs are limiting up travel because they’re stiff. I might cut off the shock mounts and move them so the shocks are more vertical and see if it flexes more. Using a 2 post lift and dropping the 35” tire on a Jack stand really doesn’t get me as much flex as I’m expecting. I’m honestly expecting it to contact the body, but maybe I’m stupid and that much leverage on the outside tire should be enough to stuff the tire as much as possible. I mean…I had the Jeep lifted enough off the lift to think it was about to fall off until I stopped lowering it and leaned on the Jeep. HARS.
 

jsipe007

Member
Yup. The stupid is strong late night after a bad day of work. ‘Let’s get the bigger pry bar because the power tools aren’t working. Screw waiting for tomorrow. Screw thinking bigger tools are a problem MAKER’.



Also found out ‘someone’ (me) bent the ears on the driveshaft slip yoke installing a u joint (see bigger tools above) so it’s either $225 for a driveshaft I’ll end up replacing, OR a brand new 2 5/8” 0.095 wall thickness 1350 CV driveshaft (plus tax obviously) from Drive Line & Gear in Sparks.
I’m honestly leaning towards just biting the bullet and buying the more expensive shaft. Paying $225 to have this one work short term seems like a waste of $225. Buy once, cry once. Never enough money to do it right the first time, but always enough money to do it twice.

Maybe I’ll move the axle forward an inch and see what the length needs to be then. Probably smarter to go with the ‘mama bear’ extension driveshaft measurement (2”) instead of baby bear (1”) or papa bear (3”).


Also, I’m thinking my 4” Rough Country leaf springs are limiting up travel because they’re stiff. I might cut off the shock mounts and move them so the shocks are more vertical and see if it flexes more. Using a 2 post lift and dropping the 35” tire on a Jack stand really doesn’t get me as much flex as I’m expecting. I’m honestly expecting it to contact the body, but maybe I’m stupid and that much leverage on the outside tire should be enough to stuff the tire as much as possible. I mean…I had the Jeep lifted enough off the lift to think it was about to fall off until I stopped lowering it and leaned on the Jeep. HARS.

Are your shackles fully tightened? I tend to run lower than speced for my shackle bolts. I think factory spec is 90ft lbs. I run a locking distorted nut or nylock nut and only tighten to about 30ft lbs. My leaves were real stiff till I loosened and re tightened the bolts when the weight of the rig was on the suspension as well.

Sucks about the snapped bolt. Those are a pain to remove. Are they fine thread?

How bad are the ears on the driveline? I’d either run that till you get it going or order a new one and use that as a spare. Heck I’m still running my home extended driveline haha. I thought I’d get vibes but it drives down the road great. Haven’t gone over 55mph though.

Also, you could take off the shocks completely. No real need to have shocks with leaves, you can do some testing and see. Eliminate a few variables


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DirtyChemist

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Are your shackles fully tightened? I tend to run lower than speced for my shackle bolts. I think factory spec is 90ft lbs. I run a locking distorted nut or nylock nut and only tighten to about 30ft lbs. My leaves were real stiff till I loosened and re tightened the bolts when the weight of the rig was on the suspension as well.

Sucks about the snapped bolt. Those are a pain to remove. Are they fine thread?

How bad are the ears on the driveline? I’d either run that till you get it going or order a new one and use that as a spare. Heck I’m still running my home extended driveline haha. I thought I’d get vibes but it drives down the road great. Haven’t gone over 55mph though.

Also, you could take off the shocks completely. No real need to have shocks with leaves, you can do some testing and see. Eliminate a few variables


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Yes they’re fine thread. Why?

Unsure about how bent the yoke is. Didn’t LOOK bent, and I’m not a driveshaft expert. Pretty sure it was from a junkyard looking to go cheap on a driveshaft and now I was just trying to have a quick fix. Plan on my head was this could be a spare when I bought a bigger better badder one but now it looks like it won’t happen.

I’ll try removing shocks and see how it flexes. Good idea.
 

jsipe007

Member
Yes they’re fine thread. Why?

Unsure about how bent the yoke is. Didn’t LOOK bent, and I’m not a driveshaft expert. Pretty sure it was from a junkyard looking to go cheap on a driveshaft and now I was just trying to have a quick fix. Plan on my head was this could be a spare when I bought a bigger better badder one but now it looks like it won’t happen.

I’ll try removing shocks and see how it flexes. Good idea.

Doesn’t do ya any good after the fact but I was hoping I’d have a tap to chase the threads but I don’t think I’ve got fine thread over 1/2in diameter.

Fine threads are a bit stronger in shear strength than coarse but sure makes it challenging to get the threads started at times. I thought one of my u bolts was cross threaded but sent it anyway. Pretty sure it is not coming off anytime soon.


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