1989 Cherokee

DirtyChemist

Well-known member
Put in another PVC link. They’re about 1/2” different in length. About 40” long center to center. I’m just going to roll with it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone measure links with this setup, and perhaps I’m doing something wrong. Axle measured by the same guy using the same eyes in the same garage at different times of the minute it took to do this so I’m probably off by a bit. It will get sorted out when it’s final.

Also had to drill the track bar mount. I think it was 7/16 or 3/8. I drilled it to 1/2” and need to go to 9/16 for the hardware I’ll be using.

I need to seriously look into a flatter pitman arm. Perhaps it would allow me to use crossover high steer. I don’t know how much stress would be on the joints. Again. It just LOOKS like it would be a lot at full stuff if I was trying to steer, but maybe Hydro assist would take the stress away.


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DirtyChemist

Well-known member
Pulled the transmission crossmember and fitted up and upper link. I measured everything as much as I could and spent a lot of time punching numbers into the 3 link calculator spreadsheet from Pirate just so I could decide to go passenger side upper link. I’m sure there is an advantage to driver (why else would it be so hard?) and passenger side is faster/easier/gets me what I need. Should end up being 9-9 1/2” of link separation when it’s all done.

For the upper link I am using a Barnes 4wd radius arm bracket I ordered before fully committing to a full 3 link. It fits a 2 5/8” wide joint and just needs to be drilled for a 9/16” hole. I will also need to trip the top of the bracket closes to the slider. It’s contacting the bottom of the unibody and not letting the bracket fully mount like it needs to. After that I’ll look at drilling the last three holes on each side for the flag nut things Rusty’s wants drilled for mounting this through the unibody into the cab.

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DirtyChemist

Well-known member
I put together my upper link mount. This required test fitting a few times to get it placed just right. It’s actually a Barnes 4WD Radius Arm bracket that I chopped and modified to work. The joint is in there super tight because I didn’t put any kind of washer or spacer between the joint and the ‘bracket’ when I welded it up. It’s a tight fit to get a grinder in there for some clearance and obviously the easiest way to install the joint is from the top.

I’ll need to cut a bolt down. The nut you see in the photo will be close to the unibody. One idea is to weld a nut on the bracket and never worry about it. Another is take a long bolt, cut it to the length I need, and thread the nut on the bolt as needed.

I ended up going over these welds with a second pass (thank you TMCC welding Instructor Scott Holcomb) because it made me feel safer knowing the bracket won’t rip off. I welded the inside twice as well. What you can’t see is the big arch on the small side of the bracket where 2” DOM tube would go.


I actually had this welded on this side once, and it ended up being wrong. So I had to do it twice. Also had to drill the holes just a tiny amount for a 9/16 bolt to fit. I honestly expect to need to cut the Rusty’s crossmember bracket for the joint nut/threaded insert to clear at full droop. That’s a ‘later me’ problem as my buddy once said.


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DJRENO

Active member
I appreciate the story, but is all that work gonna get you that much more capability? What it the marginal return?
 

DirtyChemist

Well-known member
Actually, that's a pretty important factor in life, especially these days.

Hahahaah well yeah. The Jeep is supposed to make me warm and fuzzy all over.

If your comment was about making the bracket it’s just what I had.
If it was about double welding….well I just don’t want it to break. I don’t know what strength this stuff requires and something like a link bracket might be extremely challenging to trail repair. The mentality was ‘you never have enough time to do it right but you always have enough time to do it twice’ plus some ‘just so it right the first time’ and ‘if you can’t weld good, weld a lot. If you CAN weld good…we’ll then weld a lot good.’

Being happy is the ultimate goal. Even when I’m driving down a dirt road on own tons in a cherokee that isn’t as cool as someone else might think. Still should put a smile per mile.
 

DJRENO

Active member
Hahahaah well yeah. The Jeep is supposed to make me warm and fuzzy all over.

If your comment was about making the bracket it’s just what I had.
If it was about double welding….well I just don’t want it to break. I don’t know what strength this stuff requires and something like a link bracket might be extremely challenging to trail repair. The mentality was ‘you never have enough time to do it right but you always have enough time to do it twice’ plus some ‘just so it right the first time’ and ‘if you can’t weld good, weld a lot. If you CAN weld good…we’ll then weld a lot good.’

Being happy is the ultimate goal. Even when I’m driving down a dirt road on own tons in a cherokee that isn’t as cool as someone else might think. Still should put a smile per mile.
My comment was about the whole build, but Cool. How about: Especially "when I’m driving down a dirt road on own tons in a cherokee that isn’t as cool as someone else might think. Still should put a smile per mile."

Absolutely! No snark intended, I was just trying to understand what your goal was. Be well.
 

DirtyChemist

Well-known member
I think one tons are more capable than building a Dana 30/35 combo because where a 30/35 combo would break a 60/10.25 won’t. I should be more capable of getting through harder trails without concern of breaking BUT I’m really capable of making bad choices.

 

DirtyChemist

Well-known member
Front truss, upper, and lowe link mounts fully welded in. I didn’t weld to the cast center section at all. I just ground it down for clearance on the driver side, and did more welding on the inside of the driver side link bracket. Uphill because ‘more penetration’ along with not being afraid to use some heat. Welding between the inner C and the lower driver side link bracket wasn’t easy, but I think it LOOKs good.

I also made a link bracket. I took a bunch of advice from irate4x4 and the upper link didn’t sieze itself up. I’ll need to cut down the bolt for the crossmember side of the link. In order to get a long enough shoulder length I had to buy a 5” bolt, but there isn’t room between the unibody and the upper link mount for a 5” bolt to fit. At least there is some room for a wrench so I don’t need to weld the nut to the link bracket.

I still need to burn in my frame side panhard bracket, weld up my panhard bar, and figure out steering. I might need a flat pitman arm which might suck at full stuff, but maybe I could use a stock arm and get away with it clearing everything. There is a size difference between PVC and DOM that is just enough to matter. I think it’s about 1/4”-1/2” depending on size. Just leave more room.


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I drilled out the track bar holes in order to get a bolt that would fit the misalignment spacers I have. I think it ended up being 5/8. I’m using a Caterpillar bolt which is the equivalent of Grade 8/Metric 8.8 according to their catalog.
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DirtyChemist

Well-known member
Ford knuckle
Gm tie rod

I went with a lower tie rod for simplicity, and because I don’t REALLY want to move the track bar bracket more. It’s currently 1/2” close to the axle on the frame side than axle side. I don’t know if putting it diagonal matters or not other than putting too much stress/bind on the heim joints at the extremes. I have a stock pitman arm from a Wrangler I could probably use to raise the drag link, but I don’t think the tie rod would clear everything mounted this high. I also don’t think I’ll be doing anything so extreme I need a tie rod this high. Perhaps I’m wrong and I’ll get to do all of this again in a few years

9BB1AC11-FE06-4AE6-AE36-96F1B02A8B28.jpegdrilled the knuckles just enough for the cotter pin hole to fit through the castle nut. I expect the hole to move down more when fully torqued.
really the part that sucks is having the arms to run a high tie rod, but not being able to. I’m over it.
 

DirtyChemist

Well-known member
Truss and axle are fully painted.
Tie rod has been welded up.
Drag link was made yesterday.
Bolts for each link bar are getting cut down to size. I ordered 5" bolts and needed to cut a few threads, plus the Rustys crossmember wasn't designed to have 5" bolts. It still needs the driver side 1/2 bolt added to it. Also the top nut/thread/sandwich plate things they included.
Also cleaning up some welds on the link bars before they go back in.

I still haven't touched the passenger side shock. I have no clue where I'll mount the reservoir so it is in a convenient location. I might try an NPT fitting to see if it will get me what I need (space) so I can put the 4 relays close to their original location and the starter relay "thing" with all the wires on it back in the original location.

Original "goal" was to have this done for the Reno Run, but I slacked a lot or just had no energy to work on it. It seems like it's close to being done until I start thinking of the stuff I will need to do before getting it out of the garage.
 

DirtyChemist

Well-known member
I removed the Dakota steering box and put the stock box back in because I tapped it for hydraulic assist. Fun times.
I teamed out the drop pitman arm as well. Since I’m not using the tie rod location in the high steer arms I have (waste of a few bucks) I’m going to put the drag link farther back. This will keep it parallel with the track bar, and my brain says it gives me MORE steering than having it go to the front location on the passenger side arm.

On ‘another website I frequent’ someone had mentioned moving the track bar axle side Mount farther out. I could if I was motivated. I’d have to buy a new mount and weld it on since this one is already fully welded in. Live and learn.

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Passenger link bar and drag link getting made pretty. Gotta look good for the school parking lot.
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DirtyChemist

Well-known member
Track bar welded in. Vertical up then a massive cover pass. This won’t be moving any time soon.
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I welded this from underneath coming at me. Pretty proud for how well the long part came out.
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