Marn's '73 Wagoneer

Dr. Marneaus

Member
Premium Member
Well, progress was made!

With the help of a VERY GENEROUS member on jeepforum, who not only donated some steel, but also his time and tools and expertise this morning to help me knock this out. and when i say help me, i mean allow me to help him do about 90% of the work, haha.

For references, here's how it sat when I bought it.





I could barely back it into my driveway without scraping the concrete with the back bumper.

So, my plan was originally to add some blocks essentially, between the frame and the brackets on the torsion axle.



So, I headed over to his house with that in mind.

We ended up going a different, much simpler route. First we dropped the axle.




We grabbed some 20something inch long chunks of angle iron, and just used them to create a lower mounting surface for the axle brackets. So rather mounting to the bottom of the frame, they were mounted about 3"lower. There were flanges on the side of the frame that centered the axle, and the axle brackets bolted to the flanges (bolts were horizontal) Well, we just used the existing hardware and holes to mount the angle iron, then mounted the axle to that through the top of the brackets, rather than the side, through existing holes.

had to drill a few extra holes. whoops. measure once cut twice is the motto, right? haha.




So you can see how we mounted the angle iron, and then just bolted the axle to it. Easy Peasy.


preview looked good!


drove it home and it sits sooo much closer to level now, its awesome. When I add the bigger tires it should be almost perfectly level, and if not, close enough.

 

Dr. Marneaus

Member
Premium Member
Wellllll.....done.

Since you all like pictures so much!



It's sitting level in this pic....i'm going to need to build a step, its alot higher than it was before.



Approx 7.5-8" worth of ground clearance to the axle.


The best part...my plates came in yesterday :elkgrin:
 

Dr. Marneaus

Member
Premium Member
That should give you all a little bit to read, haha.

Soon to come is the info on the axle swap....that took like 18 months.
 

raging renix

New member
Man everything about this rig is rad. The only thing i would do different is put an lm7 or something in, you could get more power and way better fuel economy. Would be an easy swap in a big ol pig like this plus the engines are super cheap.
 

Dr. Marneaus

Member
Premium Member
Man everything about this rig is rad. The only thing i would do different is put an lm7 or something in, you could get more power and way better fuel economy. Would be an easy swap in a big ol pig like this plus the engines are super cheap.

Thanks man.

I absolutely would love to do a vortec swap, but for the next few years it's not likely. Wedding/honeymoon in a month, then need to buy a house in the next year, then finish off student loans....it'll be a while until I can dedicate myself (physically and monetarily) to any big projects on the truck. :-/

in the meantime I am hoping to get fuel injection set up though. At least that should make things a bit more reliable.
 

raging renix

New member

Dr. Marneaus

Member
Premium Member
What kind of efi? http://www.fourwheeler.com/how-to/engine/1411-hopping-up-an-amc-360-v-8-the-hunt-for-power-part-1/ This is a 3 part series on building up one of these bad boys looks like it might be of some help to you
At the end of part 3 you see them talk about comparing to an ls swap and they hypothesis it could have been cheaper to throw in an ls. But it would depend on if you could do it all yourself and it sounds like you got a lot on your plate haha. Good luck man!

Planning to to do either a junkyard swap with Chevy TBI parts or if I feel frisky and want to spend a little I will pickup a kit from Bill over on binderplanet
 

Dr. Marneaus

Member
Premium Member
$500ish to $800ish depending on how much new stuff you want when doing a junk yard swap seems to be the average.
 

Dr. Marneaus

Member
Premium Member




So, after all the aforementioned crap I determined that I needed better brakes. More or less the last thing on the truck that hadnt been gone through was the axles. I figured they'd need a rebuild anyway (closed knuckle D 30 had a knock when turning in 4x4, the felt gaskets were dry, blah blah blah). I had an option here. I could convert the D30 to disc, or I could "drop in" a set of late model D44's that were already disc. SUPPOSEDLY it was as easy as that.

I'm going to go into SUPER spark notes mode here because this damn axle swap took something like 15 months to get sorted out.


I had spoken with a number of people who had done the same. I eventually located a set of axles from a 77 quadratrac wagoneer. They were factory disc up fron, offset read (which I was told would be fine) and were 3.54's which was a requirement. I didnt want to drop down to 3.07's which was worse than my factory 3.31's.

It was brought to my attention b somebody that the offset q-track rear WOULD NOT work with my centered D20 transfer case. I didnt think it would be an issue since the early 70's rear axles were offset slightly anyway (this is required in order to fit the gas tank on the earlier years). Turns out a narrow track quadratrac is the FURTHEST offset of any FSJ axle. This is because on the wide track axles, the right side tube is 2" longer, left side is the same, so they shift the whole assembly to the left 1 inch so it actually has less offset for the diff. I decided to stop the progress and mount up the rear D44, as is, to see if it would cause any driveline issues.

Long story short, It did.


I had some pretty bad driveline angles going.




Anyway, I proceeded on because I couldnt tell if there were really any issues, i knew there were some minor vibes, but it didnt bother me. Eventually once I got it all finished up, I was having MAJOR vibrations, my driveline was shifting under load so much that it was hitting my muffler and when towing the camper I could barely be on the throttle going up hill without the thing feeling like it was going to vibrate apart. I took it to some drive line shops where I was told my a tech that my angles were "atrocious".

I looked into putting in a centered axle and installing a different gas tank, and a bunch of other options, many of which included regearing at least one axle. Eventually I ended up hunting down a 74-78 narrow track cherokee with inline 6 and manual trans rear axle, which was literally the ONLY factory option that would put my diff back where it was supposed to be. They made me pay for it and it had to get freighted from montana, but it was the exact part that I needed.

It was interesting to tear down and rebuild these axles. Front got locking hubs, new ball joints, new outer seals, new calipers, rotors, pads, and all new steering components. Rear got new outer seals, and a new diff cover. All new brake hardware too.




Eventually it came out nice.

 

Dr. Marneaus

Member
Premium Member
out with the old...


in with the new


While doing some work I poked a hole in my gas tank, where a previous owner had done the same exact thing by placing a jack stand too close....


out she came...for like the 3rd time..... to get welded up.

Gross:


much better


ready to go back in with the hole repaired.







So, somewhere around this point we discovered that my brake system would not work. What this meant was removing literally every single piece of my brakes, including the steering column/pedal support, the bracket, the booster, the linkage the MC, adding a proportioning valve, and a BUNCH (though not all) of new lines. Again, in my ignorance, i overlooked this due to being given conflicting info.

This became a fiasco as well. I had 3 prop valves go bad on me (leaking from the little button on the front) and a number of other issues. I was able to drive it, but then within a week or two there would be a puddle under my truck coming from the prop valve. I cannot tell you how many quarts of brake fluid I went through trying to get this thing bled and working right. I also went through 3 master cylinders that would fail to properly bench bleed....and its not just me. I had other friends try their own methods and whatnot as well.

All this came out:

 

Dr. Marneaus

Member
Premium Member
all kinds of new lines



new booster from a 3/4 ton J20 (dual diaphragm) and new MC


Finally got a wilwood prop valve, but it only had 1 output so had to work in a T to fit the existing lines as pest as possible.


I had issues with the rear of the jeep squatting and rubbing when pulling the camper, as well as rubbing when offroad. I added a set of Monrose load levelling shocks when we fabbed up the new shock mounts. These raised the rear end about an inch and causes way less settling whent the camper was attached.



got hooked up with a heavy iron diff cover from a buddy who works for the manufacturer. Got it dirt cheap, so, it'll do! They were actually going to use my jeep to take the instruction photos, but it didnt work out because it was un-drivable at the time.


I actually have a second one waiting to go on the front some day. No rush to open the diff up though.

So eventually I came into the appropriate rear axle, mentioned above. Broke it down cleaned it up.


Note the offset difference?




At one point as well I put a little lunchbox locker in the rear, but it was unlocking every second or two as I was driving. It came back out that same day and I figured I could live without it.
 

Dr. Marneaus

Member
Premium Member
In she went....(u bolts have since been adjusted and replaced).


some new plumbing.


much much much better angles, this is factory (minus the fact that its lifted about 4"). We actually had removed my muffler...cut out some stupid thing that a previous owner installed in front of it to help it smog.......and moved the muffler about a foot forward to get it out of the way. Currently it still just has the turn down, a tailpipe is on my list.


Anyway, that was more or less the end of the axle swap saga, about 15 months in the making. Currently all seems well. The only minor issue I am having is that the drivers side front wheel locks up way too easy when you get on the brakes. There is a slight drag between the pad and rotor for maybe 1/4th of the rotation of the hub....so I'm thinking something is bent or warped and the pads are pre-heating and GRABBING that spot when it rotates around. Its not a huge issue, but something I definitely plan to address.

Ever since completing the axle swap form hell, I havent really done a whole lot to the truck because I've been trying to drive it, and enjoy it.
 

Dr. Marneaus

Member
Premium Member
Other than that....

I recently loaded the truck up (march 1st), and drove it to Reno! Made the trip without so much as a single hiccup. 10 hours at 50-55mph following the uhaul which was towing our 69 nova.



 

Toyota_James

The Mechanical Menace
Premium Member
Great build thread. You should have less than a foot and a half of fuel hose. It really needs as much hard line as you can get.
 

Dr. Marneaus

Member
Premium Member
Not much on the jeep recently, but finally done with the wedding and honeymoon so normal life can resume.

The other day I was driving out into the mountains to go to Virginia City, and noticed I was only running 35PSI oil pressure at highway speed and 0 PSI when idling. This was odd, as its always been over 50 on the highway and normally idles around 10 (13 is brand new factory spec, so 10 aint too bad).



Got all nervous. Checked oil level, it was fine, there was no noise and the truck was running fine. Figured (or should I say I HOPED) it was the gauge. Ordered new gauge set and copper line. Started an oil change and pulled the adapter for the pressure line. Saw this:



It felt like a piece of RTV or something. A good portion of it was in the hole.

Anyway, finished the oil change and buttoned that pressure line and fitting back up. Went for a drive into town on the highway and then came bombng up the hill back towards home to make sure it was good and warm.

Back to 55psi on the highway


Shame, I already bought 30 bucks worth of gauges and stuff and then ripped it all open. Oh well, i''ll still count this as an easy and cheap fix lol.
 
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