Ownership Verified: BCS repeatedly breaks, fixes, and re-breaks his Jeep

Dr_Grip

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My gas gauge suddenly can't seem to make up its mind on whether it works or not. It stopped working shortly after the deep water, then it worked only when driving downhill, then it worked fine, now it works intermittently. Probably just a loose connection somewhere.
If the fuel tank is below the vehicle, probably water got into the fuel gauge connectors, producing short circuits now and then.
 

JipJopJones

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You need to make a shallow rear bumper to compliment the no front bumper. Would look pretty cool.

Once again I reiterate how jelous I am that I can't be out wheeling my CJ right now
 

BerserkerCatSplat

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Not much to say lately, however I've expanded into the "Utility" section of SUV. :lol:



PO had done a complete hack job of the trailer wiring harness despite the Jeep being prewired for towing, so I've rewired it for basic functionality. I'll probably hack a trailer brake controller together this week so I don't have to rely on just the Jeep brakes. I'm only taking the car/trailer a few blocks for now, so not a big deal.
 
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TC

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I really like your project. The Jeep is badass. Makes me feel guilty for not doing more with my Toyota.
 

BerserkerCatSplat

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Thanks, TC! Don't feel bad, your Toy should be able to do the hardcore trails as-is, so just have fun with what you've got. You're way more set up to crawl rocks than I am, it's mostly mud out here.

I also forgot to mention I've ordered a pair of Hella 700FF's to (finally!) replace the broken front fogs.
 
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TC

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Thanks, TC! Don't feel bad, your Toy should be able to do the hardcore trails as-is, so just have fun with what you've got. You're way more set up to crawl rocks than I am, it's mostly mud out here.
I was thinking more of the fact that I haven't even started the poor Toyota up in 6 months. I think putting a spool locker in the rear was a bad idea. It makes driving around on asphalt a real pain in the ass. An Aussie locker may be on my shopping list soon. I'd also like to lower the rear end a bit, maybe get a normal size set of rear shackles, so it matches the front. I'd also like to unbolt the top and wheel it topless to see if that makes a difference on how top-heavy it feels.

BTW, what do you think about wheel spacers offroad? I have a set, but it seems like a real weak point, so I'm not sure if I should use them.
 

BerserkerCatSplat

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Yeah, I can't imagine driving on pavement with a spool without unlockable hubs. A lunchbox locker like the Aussie will be much better but also will have its own driving dynamic, ie if you give it gas in a corner it'll want to lock up. Lots of Jeep guys (especially ZJ/WJ guys) run rear Aussies as it's the only locker we can get for the D44a rear end.

I have no issues with wheel spacers. Are they going to add stress to your wheel bearings? Yes. However, it's the exact same stress as wheels with a smaller offset, so it's a wash. My spacers are bolt pattern converters, so they have holes to bolt down the existing lugs, and then the spacers have their own set of lug bolts. The spacers are 6061 T6 aluminum, which is very strong stuff. Bottom line, I have never heard of anyone breaking a SpiderTrax spacer while wheeling. Other (generally thinner) spacers are just a holed-out plate and you use extended lugs, I have no experience with that kind, mainly because they're smaller (<1") spacers and most guys don't need spacers that small. In general, though, I would use wheels with proper offset before running spacers, but if that's not an option go for good spacers. In terms of failure, a solid chunk of aluminum is going to be less likely to fail than a lot of other things on a vehicle. The only failures I've seen are guys shearing off the lugs by over-torquing the shit out of them.
 

BerserkerCatSplat

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Yeah, those spacers look fine and are the same metal as mine. My only concern might be that the spacers aren't hub-centric, which could be an issue if your wheels are hub-centric (but I highly doubt that.)
 

BerserkerCatSplat

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So, long time no update. I replaced the shot OEM fogs with Hella 700FF driving lights, and they are AWESOME. They make late-night lonely highway driving much safer when used in conjunction with the low beams.

Today I caught wind that there was a 5.9L Limited GC in the local boneyard, so after work I made a beeline for the place in the hopes that the rear end was still in it, even though I knew the engine/tranny/TC was already gone. Fortunately, it was still there! The (rather rare) 5.9s came with the stronger D44a and a Trac-Lok posi unit, a huge improvement over my open-diff D35. The D44a is a unique axle, it's called a D44 but has an aluminum center section with internals that are a hybrid of D44 and D60 stuff. The aluminum pumpkin is known to flex & eat carrier bearings if you really beat on it and run big-ass tires, but if you truss it you've got an extremely stout axle, noticeably stronger than the iron-pumpkin Dana 44. So, a couple hours of wrenching, grunting, (and hacksawing a control arm in half) later, the diff was out and loaded into the Jeep. $118! Looks like it might need the pinion seal replaced, so I'll do that before I swap it in. A quick on-site test indicates the posi unit is in good shape. Hooray for traction! Next step is to either order the MVC truss/skid for $150 or make a clone myself. Decisions, decisions.

Fun fact: this diff is internally identical to the one used in the Dodge Viper.






Despite the aluminum chunk, that thing's heavy as shit to lift by yourself. :lol:



BONUS EDIT


Here's the axle specs compared to its brethren, you can see how it's a sort of hybrid.

Dana 35
Ring Gear Diameter = 7.562"
Pinion shaft Diameter = 1.376"
Ring Gear Bolt Count = 8
Pinion Spline = 26
Cover Bolt Count = 10
Axle Spline = 27

Dana 60
Ring Gear Diameter = 9.750"
Pinion shaft Diameter = 1.626"
Ring Gear Bolt Count = 12
Pinion Spline = 29
Cover Bolt Count = 10
Axle Spline = 30

Dana 44A
Ring Gear Diameter = 8.5"
Pinion Shaft Diameter = 1.625"
Ring Gear Bolt Count = 10
Pinion Spline = 29
Cover Bolt Count = 10
Axle Spline = 30

Dana 44 Iron
Ring Gear Diameter=8.500"
Pinion shaft Diameter=1.376"
Ring Gear Bolt Count=10
Pinion Spline=26
Cover Bolt Count=10
Axle Spline = 30


D44a vs D35 ring & pinion:
 
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Der Stig

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Awesome build.

I like how you've maintained a low budget for a great trail rig.
 

BerserkerCatSplat

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As much as I love the power the 5.9 has, it's not that huge of a bump (245/345 vs 225/300) for me to really justify paying for the premium gas it drinks, especially at the MPG it gets. I'll probably rebuild a 5.2 and breathe on it a bit at some point, no rush though.
 

BerserkerCatSplat

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Man, the local Jeep community here rocks. Was discussing the new diff on the CJA site today and the guy I bought my input-shaft-donor transfer case from (for a case of beer) has offered to build me a copy of the MVC truss (also for a case of beer.) Success!
 

tigger

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Great find man. That Jeep just gets more and more badass.
 

BerserkerCatSplat

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Thanks guys. A poster over on JeepForum who's also a turbo brick fan has determined that the Eaton G80 lockers that came in some Volvo rear Dana 30 axles may actually swap right into our front D30's. Hopefully we'll hear more about that by the weekend. Junkyard front axle locker for $50? Don't mind if I do! :lol:
 

JipJopJones

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That'd be sweet if that was the case. Because as you said... $50 front locker... Very nice.
 
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