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Technical Information => Fabrication => Topic started by: frijolee on November 07, 2016, 03:09:20 PM

Title: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on November 07, 2016, 03:09:20 PM
I might as well have titled this thread:  Where the F has Joel been?

Well after I snapped my Jeep Cherokee's track bar mount hauling the FJ40 into my garage, I ended up doing a pretty healthy round of mods to the XJ that are *almost* done (taking my girls 4 wheeling this weekend so it better be).  Anyways, I've had a running build thread on my XJ (Jeep Cherokee) over at Naxja for some time now.
http://naxja.org/forum/showthread.php?t=1081640 (http://naxja.org/forum/showthread.php?t=1081640)

NoRotors is still the "home forum" and I figured this might give some folks an little entertainment and I figured I'd post up the latest efforts.  It's still a stock Jeep 4.0 so it wasn't quite worthy of a build thread so I'm shoving it here in fabrication just because there was a lot of that.  Commentary appreciated as always.

-Joel


Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on November 07, 2016, 03:12:12 PM
This was written for another forum so forgive me if some things come across out of context. 

Picking up from the track bar failure...

______________________________________

Remember all the dual shear track bar stuff we talked about earlier in this thread?   Yeah, apparently I should have moved out faster doing something about that.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJtrackbar2.JPG)


Did the criss cross strap trick to get it home.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJtrackbar1.JPG)


In skimming through prior posts, I've had recommendations for off-the-shelf dual shear track bar mounts from Clayton, Rubicon Express, and Rock Krawler.  Is there any reason not to just fortify the existing bracket and turn it into a double shear?  I have a plasma cutter, spare 1/4" plate steel, and welding capabilities.

Someone remind me, what are the rules about pivot geometry?  I think it was basically node to node, have track bar and drag link run parallel at ride height (and as equal length as possible to keep them parallel through travel). 

I'd like to use what of my BDS kit I can.  I will be adding a bend to my drag link as well since that got pointed out.  I do still have this 2" ballistic joint laying around.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJtrackbar3.JPG)


But some of you guys didn't like it much and suggested it would wear quickly.  There were suggestions of a Johnny Joint (any particular size??) or just a 7/8" heim.  I kinda think I'd like to avoid a heim since this rig is pretty street friendly.  I'm really tempted to run the joint I have, since it's the fastest fit I can see.  Is the wear a problem of keeping it lubed or is this just fundamentally the wrong joint for the job? 

Pressure's on since I need to get this fixed quickly and the rest of my projects aren't running at the moment (rx7 at body shop and others are a long way off).  You can only steal the wife's car so often, before you start to violate the "happy wife = happy life" rule.  Any final advice or specific links would be greatly appreciated.

-Joel



Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on November 07, 2016, 03:13:11 PM
Track bar redo...

The BDS stud was fatigue cracked just about all the way through before it actually let go.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJtrackbar5.JPG)


Former 2" joint (which was sloppy to boot) and new 2.5" johnny joint.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJtrackbar6.JPG)


BDS uses solid bar.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJtrackbar7.JPG)


Solid bar is hard to weld.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJtrackbar8.JPG)


Pre heat, sharp tungsten, and a tiny weld deep in the root.  Better.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJtrackbar8a.JPG)


Now we're getting somewhere.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJtrackbar8b.JPG)


Seemed like I was fighting my setup the whole time.  May have been the gas bottle hitting the dregs, but man I ground out a lot as I went along.  Should be plenty of weld though...

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJtrackbar9.JPG)
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on November 07, 2016, 03:14:04 PM
On to the bracket side:

Paper doll study after cutting off the bottom inch or so of the stock bracket.  This would have been nice because it aligned to the new side plates better than where I ended up.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJtrackbar10.JPG)


Round 2, doll.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJtrackbar11.JPG)


Major change was shifting it forward to be sure I'd clear the truss.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJtrackbar12.JPG)


New tool.  Finally had an excuse to use my plasma cutter.  I'm a fan. 

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJtrackbar13.JPG)


Tacked, clearances looking good.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJtrackbar14.JPG)


Now that's what welding some thick stuff is supposed to look like.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJtrackbar15.JPG)


Weld through primer on the bits I can't paint later (price tag might as well say clutch your ankles but it works well).

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJtrackbar16.JPG)


Tying in a side plate:

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJtrackbar17.JPG)


 Vertical mid gusset helps carry the load from the aft plate up to the bolt pattern.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJtrackbar18.JPG)


I ran out of Argon and had to switch to MIG to finish.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJtrackbar19.JPG)


Painted and ready for install (assuming tonight)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJtrackbar20.JPG)


Outside:

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJtrackbar21.JPG)
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on November 07, 2016, 03:15:34 PM
What have folks done on the axle side track bar connection point?

One end is going to be a great deal more beefcake than the other and I'd like to avoid this:

(http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v638/Stretch67/bracket.jpg)


Simplest approach seems to be just adding a double plates on the outer surface But adding thickness compounds another potential issue: I'd really like to shift the track bar closer to the axle if I can. My tie rod has always rubbed the bolt head as I approach full lock and bind anywhere in the steering system ain't happy.  Anyone know what's hiding back there if I try to cut it out and replace the box?
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on November 07, 2016, 03:16:22 PM
Here's a couple notes finishing up the track bar stuff...

I did end up reinforcing the bottom trackbar/axle interface.  I figured can ditch the washer the bolt was using and not be much worse off in terms of tie rod interference.

Little plate of probably 0.095" (basically a doubler)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJtrackbar22.JPG)


Weld-through primer on both inside faces.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJtrackbar23.JPG)


Burned in and painted:

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJtrackbar24.JPG)


Johnny Joint assembly was a PITA.  This is a 2.5" CE-9110P by the way...

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJ_JohnnyJointAssembly0.jpg)

Looks simple enough.  Although, I'm not convinced the two big washers actually fit in the bore (it'd be close and I didn't check ahead of time).  After you weld on this, the bore isn't quite perfectly round and those washers definitely need a healthy shave on the perimeter. 

So after a washer finally fits all the way down against the step, then you ram one of the rubber bits down in the hole (greased, but it's still so tight it's not easy), drop in the ball, swear at the other side when you realize you can't get that in the hole straight enough for the interlocking bits to line up. 

Switch to the press.  Line the two rubber bits up perfectly and press it in with a big socket.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJ_JohnnyJointAssembly1.JPG)

Seems to be working but it's spitting the grease back out the fitting hole.  Install fitting to see if you can force great everywhere rather than it just taking the path of least resistance.  Re-press and find that the two rubber bits are so tight to the bore that now the grease hydraulically locks the system and you can't press it.  Remove fitting, finish the driving the upper half home.

Pull it out of the press and realize: A) the upper rubber bit isn't perfectly flat so your alignment of the two halves must not be as good as you thought.  B) There's no way you're getting that gnarly heavy snap ring the groove without some serious side pressure to hold the washer down.

So then you pull everything apart, re-evaluate your setup and start again.

The right way to do this (or at least what worked for me): 

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJ_JohnnyJointAssembly2.JPG)


Use a smaller socket (just enough to pick up the washer ID), press-in the entire assembly all at once so the sides are sure to be lined up with each other.  The snap ring dangles over the top so you can snap that around the socket, which just fits.  Release pressure.  Add grease fitting.  Pour yourself a fireball on the rocks for a battle fought and won.
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on November 07, 2016, 03:17:21 PM
ZJ rear disc brakes started but I ran into an issue with an axle shaft...  More on that in a second. 

1) Support car, remove wheels, remove outer brake drums. Can you tell which side had the bad shaft seal?

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJ_ZJbrakes2.JPG)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJ_ZJbrakes3.JPG)


2) Open up the rear end to access C-clips, remove axles.  Note, Truetrac's have an access port and a spacer instead of a cross pin.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJ_ZJbrakes1.JPG)

3) Disconnect e-brake lines, not using either of the factory lines. 

Note: E-brake cables seem to be one of the bigger points of uncertainty with this swap and various folks have done different things.  Following the advice of this thread: http://www.cherokeeforum.com/f2/zj-disk-brake-ebrake-cable-36835/ (http://www.cherokeeforum.com/f2/zj-disk-brake-ebrake-cable-36835/), I settled on using the ZJ driver brake line and NAPA p/n 95064 for the passenger side.  Supposedly no need to do any crazy looping of cables and the best fit of available options (passenger is a little longer but that's not bad for a lift). 

4) Remove drum brake internals with the four nuts at the backing plate.  Remove the brake line last and be ready to catch drips.  I used several layers of syran wrap and zip ties.  Do it tight enough and it won't leak. 

Still to come:

5) Grind open ID bore of the ZJ backing plate.
6) Install all the new bits pretty much like how they came off the ZJ
7) Reroute brake lines (need the ZJ soft lines for this)
8) Install ZJ prop valve.


But the reason I stopped where I did...  was cleaning up a bit and noticed I have some wear on the bearing surface of one of my axles.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJ_ZJbrakes4.JPG)


Actually looks worse in a macro picture than in person, but you can still feel it with a fingernail.  On a scale of "minor" to "you're F'ed, change that NOW" how would you rank this?  I will swap it out as soon as I can but I don't know that I can get a new shaft prior to my planned road trip Monday morning.  It wasn't making noise, and ironically, this was the shaft side that wasn't leaking.  Effectively, am I an idiot for even considering driving another 1000 miles on this--with a day of wheeling to boot--before changing it out?  Assuming I'll need a bearing too.

What manufacturer do you guys like for the late model (29 spline) 8.25" shafts?  Is it time to go chromoly and keep the stocks as trail spares?  97-01's are a bit more rare in the local junkyards, but I can check.
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on November 07, 2016, 03:18:09 PM
The Santa Fe Springs Pick Your Part claims it has two late model XJs, a 97 and a 2000. Decide it's worth it to show up and grab shafts. Found both. One the rear axle is gone but the other is whole. Sweet.

Go to pull it the shafts and the cross pin retainer bolt strips. DAMMIT!!!!!  I'm F-ed.  No way to get those out now. If I were at home I'd weld a nut to it.

Debate seriously yanking the full axle but I have no idea if these shafts are any better than what I have.  Screw it, not worth it, looks like I'm ordering axles and gonna assemble this twice (assuming I can even get my list done to take it in the first place).

This sucks.  Hot. Hungry.  Tired. Dirty.  Long list still needs to be done today.

Well at least it's lunch time. I need a happy meal.  Carne Asada Fries.... Yeah that ought to help.
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on November 07, 2016, 03:19:00 PM
Mmmmm, carne asada fries...  The ultimate Southern California happy meal.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/CarneAsadaFries.JPG)


Well, I didn't finish the Jeep in time for my camping trip... but you know what?  It was OK.  I still made huge headway at getting the Jeep sorted and Kings Canyon was still rad in the family hauler even if we did zero off roading.

It was still big and beautiful...

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/KingsCanyon1.JPG)


And the girls loved the outdoors, especially the creek stomping.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/KingsCanyon2.JPG)


So now we're back and it's back to work.  Frame stiffeners are well underway and so is the rear suspension redo.  A few questions: 

1) Bastard pack setup...  I'm blending a set of BDS 4" springs that sagged with something random I pulled out of a junkyard MJ.  Planning to swap in the middle two MJ leaves for the similar length BDS leaves and see where that puts me.  1.5-2" lift would be ideal vs now. Any opinions on pros/cons of the big dog bottom leaf from the MJ vs. the two smaller leaves (bottom most) with the BDS?  Here's what I'm playing with:

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJBastardPack1.JPG)


2) Picked up a set of Daystar extended bumps (4.1").  How much engagement I should build into the bumpstop before the shocks bottom?  Shocks will be Bilstein 10" 5100s.

3) The nose of the Daystars is more rounded than stock (see http://www.daystarweb.com/productdetail.php?productID=369 (http://www.daystarweb.com/productdetail.php?productID=369)) so I'm debating adding a dedicated perch for bump engagement on the axle tube.  Something like an extra leaf pad that I could stack shims on. Good idea or no point (aka bare tube is fine)?

Thanks for the advice as always.
-Joel
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on November 07, 2016, 03:19:39 PM
Found a possible answer on the bump stop engagement.

http://www.fourwheeler.com/how-to/0904or-bump-stop-tech/#photo-08 (http://www.fourwheeler.com/how-to/0904or-bump-stop-tech/#photo-08)



Unless anyone else has more specific feedback I'll likely set mine at 1" plus the full height of the cutout window (another 3/4" maybe? need to measure) before shock bottoming as my starting point. 

A few questions still outstanding above.
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on November 07, 2016, 03:20:26 PM
Iím way behind on these updates but at least Iíve been making some good progress so hereís some more info.

Frame StiffenersÖ supposedly key to XJ longevity.  Since I decided it was worth upgrading my Jeep a bit more, I bought the full front/mid/rear kit from HD Offroad Engineering. 
http://hdoffroadengineering.myshopify.com/products/xj-frame-stiffener-set (http://hdoffroadengineering.myshopify.com/products/xj-frame-stiffener-set)  Reviews on fit were good.  I likely the goldilocks ďjust rightĒ thickness at 0.135Ē and the time savings having someone else burn and bend these easily justified the cost.  Plus it's cool to support someone who's really focusing on the XJ.

Downside was that Iíd screw up the width of my fancy mid skid since that bolts in from the sides.
 
(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/7DSC_0497Custom.JPG)


Iíll have to fix that to install stiffeners but still went for it.

The stiffeners ship bare (no box!) tack welded together in two bundles with labels stuck on random faces.   It kinda seemed chincy, it kinda cracked me up, but they still arrived without damage so I guess it works. 

Started prep by drilling out the 6x skid plate points per side.  I was planning to reuse the hole positions but wanted the stiffeners in tight to the rails and was worried what might happen if these gloried rivet nuts ever failed and spun.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJStiffeners1.JPG)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJStiffeners2.JPG)


I ended up with 9 jackstands supporting the vehicle.  2 on the gas tank skid, 2 big 12 ton jobs on the front bumper, 2 on each axle, and one for the transfer case. 

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJStiffeners3.JPG)

The BDS transmission subframe was left in place, dangling down.  I took this up and down a bunch of times doing trial fitments.  It dangles by the weld nuts as it would have to slide in above the frame rails if you took this all the way out.

Pro Tip:  Donít drop a lower control arm on your head, especially a long arm.  9 stitches (3 internal) and a tetanus shot laterÖ

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJStiffeners4.JPG)

Funniest moment in the ER.  My wife grabbed a book and is reading to us while we transition from the various waiting rooms.  Didnít think about it, but we happened to be re-reading on of the Harry Potter books.  Talk about dudes with FAMOUS FOREHEAD SCARS!  I was laughing for a while after I realized that, even while they were trying to sew on me.

Ok, back to the projectÖ

Grabbed some remnant stock from work and sliced up a bunch of little disks so would have some proper threads to engage into by tapping this after the fact.  Used magnets to hold it while I burned them in and felt clever with my forethought (more on this later).

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJStiffeners5.JPG)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJStiffeners6.JPG)


After I ground these most of the way back flush, I moved over to prepping the actual stiffeners.
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on November 07, 2016, 03:21:33 PM
Fit was quite good but could be improved ever so slightly.  Rear of the mid stiffener was notched with a 1/4" step on both sides to clear the leaf spring mount.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJStiffeners7.JPG)


I also notched around the two frame rail gussets on either side.  Hereís my estimate.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJStiffeners8.JPG)


One of the rear stiffeners was missing a couple rosette holes so I added those back in.  Grinding disc made a decent circle cutting guide.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJStiffeners9.JPG)


Last comment would be that I took about ľĒ off the top curve to the left of my gusset notches.  Actually both top and bottom radii could be larger but I wasnít going to add material back in.  Not sure if these were late model changes (Iím a 1999), but Iíll try to get this to HD Offroad to see they want to make some subtle improvements.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJStiffeners11.JPG)


Did a few rounds of bending in appropriate places to optimize fit since tack and hammer fitment only gets you so far.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJStiffeners12.JPG)


All stiffeners and frame rails also received a healthy dose of weld through primer before I burned these in.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJStiffeners13.JPG)


Here was the last trial fit and you can see what I meant about the radii.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJStiffeners14.JPG)


Last thing to do was to add the holes for E-brake cable tray and my specific trans subframe.  Thatís not that interesting so I didnít stop to grab a picture.

All in, I was still a pretty happy camper as I got welding.  Rare mug shot, because I liked the mad scientist hair (this was at some point before I smacked my dome).

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJStiffeners15.JPG)


Notes on welding next...
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on November 07, 2016, 03:22:35 PM
Thoughts on welding frame stiffeners.

1) Donít even both trying a tig welder (too many gaps and overhead work jammed against rails and/or the floorboards).  Probably obvious, but worth stating.

2) A 110 V mig is plenty for these, I blew through the frame rail twice as it was (frame rail is thinner so itís not hard to do).  Iím using a little Millermatic 135 on the bottle and it kicked ass and took names.

3) I also used a big wire wheel to get things close and then only removed paint with a flapper disk at each point I planned to weld.  Iím really doing all I can to keep this healthy long term and sandwiched metal can be a corrosion risk.  Then it all got wiped down with denatured alcohol prior to the weld through primer (U-POL #2).

4) I started from the middle using a combination of a floor jack and 2x4 from below and C-clamps from the sides.  On the first rail I started jumping every three holes, but having looked at how far the heat affected zone goes I donít think concentrated heat is much of a problem for the rosettes.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJStiffeners16.JPG)


I experimented with a few different methods and sequences of burning.  I found that if you just weld in a spiral from the middle all the way out to the stiffener the rosette hole is large enough that you can blow through the rail.  To be fair, I was welding pretty hot.  It also can end up with a pretty big weld (more to grind later).

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJStiffeners17.JPG)



Doing this on jackstands sucks.  Sitting on the ground left my head banging against the rocker at eye level and it was hard to see without putting your spine in a pretzel to get low enough.  I got a little lost on one...

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJStiffeners18.JPG)



The best technique I worked out for the rosettes was this:

1) Start with a ~2 second pulse in the middle of the rosette hole.  Itís just welding on the rail at this point but itís building up and getting things hot (especially helpful when thereís any kind of gap between rail and stiffener.

2) Pause long enough for the glow to get back to kind of a dark cherry red.  Maybe

3) Do a finish pass tracing the classic MIG cursive letter ďEĒs around the perimeter of the hole tying stiffener to the build up you made a few seconds ago.   

After doing the side rosettes I added the stitch welding along the edge.  Some folks claim you donít want to weld the whole edge else as its good to have some frame rail maintaining parent material strength.  Made sense to me so I stitched the seam between every other rosette hole.  On the stitch welds I did do two passes from end to end to keep the heat moving around (every other stitch on each pass).

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJStiffeners19.JPG)


I basically did 100% of each vertical face on the mid stiffeners before moving to the bottom surface.  On the bottom fact my rail had a few dents that formed a little gap in places.  The horizontal leg is also pretty short.  As such, here I stitch welded first (and got my 2x4 smoking a few times in the process).

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJStiffeners20.JPG)


By the way, if you do blow through the frame rail while welding on the bottom surface itíll drop a decent size blob of molten metal so you do NOT want to be directly underneath this thing, itís just too easy to do that. 

If you do drop a blob of molten metal on your driveway, when you go to weld up the hole you just made, you may or may not notice that you just set the driveway on fire next to you.  Not that Iíd know anything about thatÖ  Just saying.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJStiffeners21.JPG)


Very last area I did was the gaps for bending on the mid stiffeners.  Brian (HD engineering), nailed the placement on these.  I used a filler pass on rail only to shrink the gap a bit and then did a full pass swinging back and forth all the way to the edges welding uphill. Seemed to work out pretty well.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJStiffeners22.JPG)

By the way, the rosette weld on the right in the pic above is a pretty good example of what I was shooting for.  I did grind all the rosetteís back to flush since I need a relatively flat surface to tie my big skid plate back into.  Iíd picked up a big dog 8Ē angle grinder at a garage sale a while back and used the heck out of that thing.  The masking tape at the top helped avoid getting shavings behind the stiffener.  Iím planning to use seam sealer after I get it painted.

Expect the ground to be pretty furry with shavings by the time youíre done grinding.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJStiffeners23.JPG)


Front frame stiffeners tuck behind the front bumper side plates so Iíll need to move my jack stands before I tie those in.  Process should be the same.
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on November 07, 2016, 03:24:03 PM
Remember those frame rail steel plugs?  Didnít work want to thread as planned!

Sometimes when youíre pushing hard trying to get something done you make decisions that come back to haunt you.  Sometimes shortcuts work out OK.  Sometimes you think you can get away with more than you can.  Iíve often told non-car people that wrenching on cars is about overcoming the unexpected difficulties that crop up.  Whether itís the rusted bolt you just broke, or the part that didnít quite fit like expected, you can never productively finish projects unless you can find a way to overcome those challenges.

I knew Iíd set myself up for some pain, drilling 12x holes through ~1/2 steel by hand.  Thatís not easy nor particularly fun no matter how you slice it.  For drilling steel I like using about 1/8Ē bit.  Bigger and itís too slow.  Smaller and itís too easy to break bits pushing with enough force to get it to cut (and not just smoke the bit).

First four pilot holes drilled OK.  I was using basic Harbor Freight Titanium Nitride Bits (their basic machinist set).  Hole 5 gave me a bit of a challenge, had to break out the drill doctor.  It was still kinda slow cutting so I reached for the small set of Dewalt split point bits I had and drilled all other 8 positions without too much difficulty.

Whew, hard part past Iím thinkingÖ  Now that I have pilot holes I should be in the clear.  Jumped up to an "H" sized bit (Ti Nitride again) as Iím only planning to tap for M8 bolts and they donít have to be huge.  Again first four holes drill fine.  5th holeÖ  Will not cut.  Drill doctor again, make sure the bit is perfect, plenty of cutting fluid, varying pressures, varying speeds.  Will not cut.

Iím not ready to give up so I head over to HF and buy their machinist cobalt set.  Those werenít out when I originally bought my other ones a decade ago.  Yes, you can get stuff thatís more bad ass, but Iím pretty careful and Iíve had decent success using their stuff in the past.  Cobalt set still runs $110 in drill bits, they're a little brittle but good in a pinch.

Take it back home and manage to drill all the holes.  #5 on driver side is still the sticky spot but at least I prove the drill doctor works on cobalt bits too.  Split point on that bit gets a bit shaved down in sharpening but I can live with that.  Any time Iím reaching for a cobalt bit this big Iím going to have a pilot hole already.

OK, time to tap this thing. 

Iím up again the bottom side of the rig, but I figure out I can use a square drive socket and wrench to apply torque with good force and still keep the tap stable and straight.  Definitely going to use this trick again...

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJStiffeners24.JPG)


Again first four holes go OK.  Takes some significant torque to cut but itís working.  I can feel it start to bind up so Iím reserving regularly to break my chips.  I have Tap Magic cutting fluid dripping off this thingÖ  Basically Iím doing everything right that I know of.

Hole 5:

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJStiffeners25.JPG)


Back out the tap and it's fubar'ed about as deep as I cut... Dammit.  Couldnít feel the difference between cutting threads and the plug ripping the teeth off my Craftsman tapÖ  What the F was this metal?  The stiffener itself cuts like butter by comparison.

So I take the bar stock I used into work and we break out the hardness testers.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJStiffeners26.JPG)


Exterior of the bar measures 27 HRC.  Thatís not mild steel but it isnít too ridiculous.  Head machinest sends me home with a bad ass tap, supposedly rated to 45 HRC and some Castrol Moly Dee cutting fluid.  We also talk about opening up the pilot holes a bit to make things easier.

I get home and drill all the hole out to a ďJĒ without much difficulty.  I start using the bad ass tapÖ  chase the first four holes and get some decent crap cleaned out of there.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJStiffeners27.JPG)


Hole #5, get it startedÖ  ITíS CUTTTING!  Iím being as smooth as I can beÖ  I just start to feel the chips loading, I hear the tiniest of cracking noises, so I go to reverseÖ and promptly break off the tap in the hole.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJStiffeners28.JPG)


Well, Iím not fitting an EDM under my car to burn out a tap and/or cut threads.  Iím doubting this is tappable at this pointÖ and I owe my machinest a $30 tap.  Screw it Iím done.  Sometimes, you can overcome the difficulties, sometimes you have to know when to cut bait and run.  Iíll just have to add fresh holes in a different position.

I wish this story had a happier ending, but for the moment itís mostly a cautionary tale.   I was just pushing too hard to keep things moving that a shortcut in material choice burned me bad.  Live and learn.

I was frustrated enough that I couldn't stand tapping another hole and I moved on to other things... 

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJStiffeners29.JPG)


-Joel
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on November 07, 2016, 03:24:31 PM
So now that Iíve added frame stiffeners, here comes the skeptical partÖ  Everyone swears by frame stiffeners but it always seemed to me like a really inefficient way of adding torsional rigidity to a unibody.  On the one hand I know that a cage tied into the roof pillars would be orders of magnitude better, but Iím trying to keep this family friendly.

My XJ already had welded rectangular tube at the rockers, but Iíve heard of folks whoíd hit down hard enough on these to collapse the body above.  As such I decided that if I was going to do frame stiffeners, the least I could do would be to tie in the rockers and end up with more of a ladder structure on either side of the body rather than discrete parallel stiff elements connected by only sheet metal.  This was the plan from first ordering frame stiffeners so I did it immediately following.

I started into this planning to use two 2x2s and two 2x1ís stingers on each side, with the 2x1ís allowing me to keep enough clearance to the prior hole pattern for the big aluminum mid skid.

Plasma cutting w/ guide.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJStiffeners30.JPG)


Cleaned up and ready to bend ends inward.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJStiffeners31.JPG)


Not shown: welding the angles, adding drain holes, and a quick shot of weld-through primer on the insides, but here they are burned in.  Slightly larger spacing up front than for the back three to clear my BDS transmission subframe bits.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJStiffeners32.JPG)


Since I was abandoning my planned mid skid hole locations (see drilling/tapping fiasco posted above), I ended up making a few more of these stingers and running the equivalent of 2x2s everywhere.

My rocker is 3/16Ē wall which is a little more than my MIG is supposed to be used for.  I used a MAP gas torch to preheat the rail and was happy with the penetration and results. 

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJStiffeners33.JPG)
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on November 07, 2016, 03:25:42 PM
Thanks Nick, I used the tip on a separate root pass, burning my rear shock mount back on.  I'll get pics of that in a bit.  I'm falling behind on posting vs. building again, so maybe I just fire these in smaller pieces.

First up, bastard pack build.

Tore everything down in my entry way so I could join in on a movie the wife had on.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJBastardPack2.JPG)


MJ leaves use a 3/8" center pin rather than the XJ's 5/16" so I drilled out all the leaves to match.  Spring steel will drill, but you need a sharp bit and cutting fluid.  I did about half with my standard HF set and then jumped up to the Cobalt for the rest after I sharped the bit for the second time.

Spread out and looking rusty...
 
(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJBastardPack3.JPG)


Went a little crazy with an angle grinder and wire wheel.  I hate rust.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJBastardPack4.JPG)


I did discover that aggressive use of a wire wheel makes for perfect edge deburring so I hit all the center pins holes I'd drilled larger with that to avoid stress risers.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJBastardPack5.JPG)


Much nicer.  Yeah, couldn't help it.  Even cleaned up the leaves I'm not using so I can play with them later.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJBastardPack6.JPG)


Set up a sawhorse station and gave all the leaves I will be using a thorough acetone clean and paint (primer plus rattle can epoxy enamel).

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJBastardPack7.JPG)


So how many leaves to use?  Never did get distinct advise so I decided to start simple and just swapped one leaf.  It's one that was a direct replacement (no clips).  I could swap another in if I want more but I'd need to redo the leaf clips so I decided to start small and see how it looked.

At rest it gained about 2".  Here's one side assembled vs. the other mains unconstrained.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJBastardPack8.JPG)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJBastardPack9.JPG)


Have to see how it lands once I get them installed.
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on November 07, 2016, 03:26:23 PM
Random welding projects to post today.

Finally got around to welding my rear shock mount back on.  Since the axle has been clocked for pinion alignment, the shock was bottoming on this mount first. 

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJShockMountFix1.JPG)


Decided to try for a bit of extra room so I re-clocked the mount slightly so they'd sit more evenly at the current axle orientation.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJShockMountFix2.JPG)


Scribe shows how much I moved it.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJShockMountFix3.JPG)


Burned in.  Dual pass per Mauler's suggestion (Thanks)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJShockMountFix4.JPG)


Also added a touch of weld to the other side since these mounts were previously only welded on the sides.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJShockMountFix5.JPG)
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on November 07, 2016, 03:27:03 PM
Well, I tried full compression without the leaf springs.

Best guess if I want to engage the bump 1" before the shocks bottom I should be using a 1.5" standoff in addition to the longer Daystar bumps.  I had maybe 3/4" clear passenger, 3/8" driver but my pinion angle was only ballparked with blocks.  I could also make the standoff 1" tall and run spacers to really dial it in.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJRearBumpstop4.JPG)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJRearBumpstop6.JPG)


It actually leaves a good amount of clearance to the fenders (albeit flexed out is probably minimum fender clearance and I'd like to go 33's for my next set, it's on 32s and 4:10 gears now).

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJRearBumpstop7.JPG)


Does that all look reasonable?

The axle is quite a floopy noodle without the leaf springs.  I wasn't thinking about the fact that the offset shocks (front/rear of axle) would try to make the axle pivot in yaw as I raised it.  The above pics should be for elevation only.  Fore/aft I'll have to set separately.

By the way, are shock boots a good idea or a bad idea?  Seems like they could trap junk but should prevent debris thrown by front tires from striking shafts.  I'm not that convinced they'll live regardless so maybe I just run them till they die.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJRearBumpstop5.JPG)


-Joel
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on November 07, 2016, 03:27:38 PM
Prepping all my stuff to finally put the rear bits back together.  Noted my junkyard ZJ backing plates had some pretty nasty grooves in them, decided to do something about that.

Wire wheeled the interfaces to clean up before welding (here's both sides to get an idea of before and after)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/ZJBrakeMountFix1.JPG)


Tig welded with a bit of pre-heat and 309L filler rod.  These were probably the first castings I've welded on that I though actually welded nicely (no sputtering or weirdness).

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/ZJBrakeMountFix2.JPG)


Ground back by hand (angle grinder/flap disc) to the proper profile.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/ZJBrakeMountFix3.JPG)


OCD satisfied...  Now moving back to other things.
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on November 07, 2016, 03:28:13 PM
Made some progress over the weekend:  New axles, bearings, and seals completed.

Pressing on the ZJ wheel studs (slightly longer):

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJAxlesSeals1.JPG)


I've used my HF press more times than I can remember.  Good tool.  Extra shims help keep things off the shiny parts in back.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJAxlesSeals2.JPG)


By the way, I'm not happy with whatever XJ owner was the asshole and returned a used axle to Amazon (Ok, we'll pretend it was a Durango owner).  Different packaging, what's this?

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJAxlesSeals3.JPG)


Used axle confirmed...  Couple nicks and evidence of studs pressed prior.  Too late to exchange for another so I built it up and installed anyways.  May have only been a test fit as at least the bearing surfaces were virgin...  I guess it's my bad for not checking my *ish when first received.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJAxlesSeals4.JPG)


Bearings in the C8.25 are damn tight in there.  My slide hammer and hook weren't getting it done, so I made a tool.  I modified another slide hammer tool that had broken one side of some lightweight hooks. 

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJAxlesSeals5.JPG)


Got the idea from some similar things I had seen online but most were universal and I wasn't sure they'd do what I wanted without cutting them to match.  This took an hour and bit to fab but at least was free.

Checking fit:

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJAxlesSeals6.JPG)


I had to plug weld the T from the backside so it'd stay tight the threaded bit.  It just barely slides in the hole.  My tool is too big apparently (wait, who said that?  ;) )

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJAxlesSeals7.JPG)


5-6 good bangs and the bearing was out.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJAxlesSeals8.JPG)


Here's the other hook I'd tried and failed to use, comparing to my custom version.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJAxlesSeals9.JPG)


Part numbers on the new bearings and seals. 

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJAxlesSeals10.JPG)


Seals were easy to come by (bought before I found my chewed up axle), bearings a bit harder and it was a much better deal to get them both at the same time.  So now I have extra seals but whatever.  "Torrington Brand" means Koyo bearings (at least in this case)... 

Assembly is straightforward so no pics of that.

-Joel
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on November 07, 2016, 03:29:07 PM
Finished up the ZJ rear disk brake project. 

Reminder, that was started back here:
http://www.naxja.org/forum/showpost.php?p=246380863&postcount=314 (http://www.naxja.org/forum/showpost.php?p=246380863&postcount=314)

Wear in backing plates cleaned up here:
http://www.naxja.org/forum/showpost.php?p=246408043&postcount=356 (http://www.naxja.org/forum/showpost.php?p=246408043&postcount=356)


Backing plates bores need to be opened up a touch. 

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJ_ZJbrakes4a.JPG)


I thought I was going to get decent measurements for y'all, but it turns out the axle end has a taper so the measurement I took for that wasn't right.  What you'll actually end up doing is grinding the opening until you eliminated right around 1/2 of the chamfer that's on the inside edge.  Check a lot and install frequently.  If it's too small it'll rub on test fit and leave you a nice mark on the hole where you need to grind more.  In hindsight, it's far easier to do it this way than to try to hit a measurement and keep it round.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJ_ZJbrakes4b.JPG)


The existing studs will be too short for the ZJ's backing plate (it's thicker) so drive those out and replace with 3/8" grade 8 bolts 1.25" long. 

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJ_ZJbrakes4c.JPG)


I used nylocks since that's all my hardware shop had on hand but an all metal lock nut (aka c-lock nut, deformed metal nut, or deformed thread lock nut) would be better if you have them handy (nylon in a nyloc can risk melting if it gets really hot).  Assumming you have coarse thread bolts you torque to 18 ft/lbs.

Bearings and seals in.  Greased the seal surfaces for longer life.  Also a decent shot of clips and springs.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJ_ZJbrakes5.JPG)


Note, the adjuster screw wants to be dialed out so the e-brake shoes almost but don't quite rub.  Bottom spring keeps the adjuster from rotating so be sure that's engaging the adjuster star well.

Shafts in, c-clip etc installed at diff end.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJ_ZJbrakes6.JPG)


Rotors on (after a light sanding).  Pads hook from the top, spring on the outboard pad that helps prevent pad taper on the bottom.  Engagement surfaces at backing plate lightly greased.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJ_ZJbrakes7.JPG)
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on November 07, 2016, 03:30:12 PM
ZJ Rear Brakes (continued...)


Next I spent some time trying to figure out how I wanted to run the brake lines.  I thought I could do better than several setups I've seen (hard line loop-de-loops and/or a tight bend in the flex line) and I wanted this to be a bit more
OEM looking.  Here's the factory stuff... 

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJ_ZJbrakes8.JPG)


I debated tying that bracket directly into the u-bolts on exposed threads but then my hard lines wouldn't be long enough and I didn't want to redo those fully unless I had to.

I ended up with a compromise position that let the flex line have a gentle bend and still engaged the hard line in a good spot.  The trick was cutting off part of the ZJ's flex line support and welding and bent angle in place instead.  I quenched the weld with a quickness to avoid melting the flex line.  That angle is then tapped and bolted to the leaf retainer plate. 

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJ_ZJbrakes9.jpg)


To get a nice bend in the hardline I bend it straight first (couple pliers working slowly), then shifted a bit out toward the end and bent up using a 1/4" tubing bending over the top of the spring wrap.

Works on both sides equally well:

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJ_ZJbrakes10.JPG)


Ebrake cable is the ZJ cable on driver side and a NAPA p/n 95064 on the other.  This works perfectly.  I did add an adel clamp (aka P clamp, not shown) at the top of the diff to help support the long cable.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJ_ZJbrakes13.JPG)


My e-brake cable splitter was looked pretty bad.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJ_ZJbrakes11.JPG)


So naturally cleaned that up using XJ splitter bit with the other ZJ parts.  ZJ has a different splitter so I couldn't use that but all other pieces are zinc plated and were in much better shape.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJ_ZJbrakes12.JPG)


Lastly swapped out the prop valve internals.  XJ on top ZJ on the bottom. 

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJ_ZJbrakes14.JPG)


Make sure your reservoir is empty or you'll have a mess on your hands.  Reminder of the prop valve appears common (quick shots comparing ports, again XJ up top)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJ_ZJbrakes15.JPG)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJ_ZJbrakes16.JPG)


...so I found it easier to swap internals only rather than all the lines and mounting.

I'll have to post driving impressions when it's up and running, but it can't be worse than the XJ's drums (especially considering one of mine was covered in diff oil from the leaky axle seal).

-Joel
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on November 07, 2016, 03:31:04 PM
Side bar quote from the other thread since I wrote a tech heavy response that'd be way out of context otherwise..

Quote from: VAhasnoWAVES;246410327
care to educate me? what exactly is the purpose of swapping out the proportioning valve? increased flow and/or pressure to the rear with the addition of rear calipers?

i ask because i was asked during my axle swap if i was swapping the valve. it was my understanding that people do so to increase pressure to the rear brakes. the previous owner of my axles reported that the rear would lock up way before the front with his proportioning valve modifications, though i dont recall exactly what he did. it stops great (aside from a plugged up bleeder... i cant bleed one front caliper completely, so there is a slight pull) so i never dorked with it. its largely a trail rig, and i know i could resolve the brake issue, but i dont notice it offroad. the overdrive pulley, high flow power steering pump, super deep gearing (high RPMs at normal speeds), and hydro assist make it far scarier to drive than the brake issue to be honest. its a little twitchy... lol. but turns amazing off road.

you just seem like the kind of person who doesnt do things for no good reason, and, "everyone else does it," isnt a good reason to me.

for the record im on GM calipers on all 4 corners, dodge 25/3500 master, (stock) dual diaphragm booster and proportioning valve.
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on November 07, 2016, 03:31:29 PM
VAhas...

Thanks for the kind words. I can try but take this with a grain of salt as it's basically the result of a bunch of reading and a touch of practice. I'm operating on some basic rules of thumb and the assumption that the factory generally did stuff right to give me a baseline. Then, if I can keep the system ratios similar to stock, I should be good. This gets harder if you're starting from scratch but I'll try to help.

From the most basic... Any brakes that are powerful enough to lock up the tires are powerful enough. If you're dealing with a race car (or any other repeated heavy braking environment) thermal mass comes into play. For 4x4 stuff we mostly care about power, not brake fade so I'll set that aside. Assuming your brakes are powerful enough to lock up at least some of the tires and the fronts lock up first, you'll slide in a straight line (plow). If the rears lock up first and you're turning at all, you'll spin. That's why we always want the front to lock up before the rear.

That said, performance braking is all about getting the REARS to carry as much of their share of the braking as they can. That one statement in a nutshell seems to be the #1 secret of braking. At the same time, it isn't super intuitive since the rears might only be 20% of the braking potential under heavy brakes given weight transfer. However, if the fronts are at the threshold of skidding either way, it's all about getting the rears to do the 20% they can (without sliding first) rather than the 10% they might try to do if your system isn't set up right.

Make sense?

Getting the brakes to share load well between front and rear is first about sizing the parts and second a function of the proportioning valve. First a couple notes on braking power. Braking power is a function of the total ratio of force into the pedal vs. force exerted at the contact patches. That means we have to consider the following factors affecting system gain (power):

-Leverage of the pedal vs. master cylinder rod.
-Power from brake boosters
-Hydraulic ratios of master cylinder (dual piston in a single bore) vs. slave (aka caliper) cylinders
-Coeffecients of friction of the pads
-Radius at which force into rotors is applied.

All of the above gives us the potential twisting force (moment) into the wheel assembly. However since this is a torque, you divide by tire radius to get the horizontal reaction force you can put into the contact patch. Even without the extra mass this is why bigger tires put strain your brakes and it feels like the power has gone down.

We're only really going to play with a few of the factors above. Most folks aren't changing the pivots on their pedals to get more system gain (but you could). Boosters will affect the overall system power but donít do much for a front to rear balance (great thing to go after if you have weak brakes though). Theyíre a bit of a black box if you ask me since thereís some internal valving that matters, but generally diameter and number of diagphrams are a good indicator of power.

If I were designing a system nearly from scratch in a 4x4 Iíd keep the OEM pedal geometry, pick a booster with matching master cylinder from a vehicle a couple classes larger (which it sounds like you did), then pick from the options available for rotors and calipers trying to keep the front and rear diameter/piston sizes in the ballpark of a known vehicle, and finally fine tune bias with pads and prop valve. The reason Iím spending all this time on the build up is to point out that if you have the wrong calipers/rotors in too dramatic a ratio (say way oversized rear caliper pistons), the prop valve canít compensate and youíre SOL.

To see if you're in the ballpark, I tend to start with an existing OEM design and compare from there. In this case what we care about are overall power and the balance of force between front and rear. As such, it becomes a game of balancing ratios. If you throw a big brake kit on car that gives you 20% more leverage due to increased diameters--all things being equal--you'd want to either increase the force in the rear by a like amount (can be a combination of rotor diameter, piston area, or pad coeffient of friction) or else decrease the piston area on the fronts by 20% to compensate. However the later would mean you didnít increase braking power so that added diameter only helps with thermal mass (brake fade). Weíre putting on big tires so we want to up power at the end that needs it.

You might consider putting together a little spreadsheet on a known 4x4 with 4 wheel disc brakes and start comparing ratios. Grand Cherokee might be a decent place to start. At some point Iíll end up doing this for my FJ40 since itís using front brakes on the rear axle. You do this for front and rear and compare. I seem to recall fronts generally run a bit bigger so letís a say it works out to total of a 3:2 ratio.

So that brings up back to the prop valve. Under light braking the tires theoretically COULD share about 50% of the braking force if give or take 50% of the vehicles weight is on each end (round numbers again). This is a good thing on a street car because you can slow the vehicle with less effort and get more even braking wear. However, the harder you brake the more weight shifts and any tire can only exert the cofficient of friction of the contact patch times force normal (weight of the vehicle on that tire) before it slides.

Without a prop valve, using the 3:2 ratio I suggested above, the front tires would always see 60% of the effort and the rears would always see 40% of the effort (not quite 50/50 optimal, but weíre rarely braking that lightly anyways, thereís always some load transfer). However if weíre braking hard, particularly with our higher CGs, itís easy to get a great deal more than 60% of the weight of the car onto the front tires, and the rears would skid first. No bueno.

Proportioning valves are pressure limiting devices. Thatís why theyíre only ever installed on the rear brakes (never want to risk limiting pressure to the fronts). Each one has a setting after which they start limiting the fluid pressure reaching the rear brakes. Itís a curve (and the point of major change in influence is called the knee point). The few OEM prop valves Iíve tracked down info on maxed out their influence cutting the pressure down by ~1/2. Now suddenly our theoretical setup with ratios that started in the 60/40 range can operate in the 80/20 range when youíre on the brakes hard. Cool.

So back to the XJ/ZJ prop valve question that started all this. Why would you change a prop value? Youíre seeking to change the amount of pressure limiting the valve does to better align to the system gain ratios of all the other parts used.

Compare the two internal prop valve springs in the picture I posted above. The wound wire is pretty similar diameter, similar free coil spacing, dramatically different length. Because theyíre compressed into a similar void the longer spring is going to be exerting a lot more pressure on the fluid passage before the fluid is reaches high enough pressure to compress the spring, move that piston within the valve and allow whatever influence on the fluid pressure it does. Now I didnít do the math on this, but by inspection we can tell theyíre dramatically different in how much pressure limiting theyíre going to be doingÖ which affects the ratio of front to rear braking, which affects how much work the rears can be doing, which affects how quickly I can stop.

If we did try the math on the ratios of wheel cylinders and leverage for drum brakes vs. disk brakes and piston area, we could figure out if itís up or down, but in this case I donít really care. My guess would be the lighter ZJ spring makes pressure limiting come into play sooner which means the ZJ brakes are inherently more powerful and have to be kept in check. [and F-me I just noticed I posted them backwards above, ZJ is the shorter... damn 's no after editing policy!!!!!] However, I could easily have that logic backwards and I can't remember if the reviews by others had the rears as too strong or too weak without the change. I can say that the brake systems on the XJ and ZJ are otherwise pretty similar so Jeep seems to be using a change in the prop valve to compensate for the differences in the brake system power between drums and disks for the relative system gains of the parts in use. Just knowing that means we have a shot at being in the ballpark and meant I definitely want to run the alternate prop valve internals. Even then, it'd be safer to run the whole thing, since subtle changes in hydraulics matter, but that was a great deal of extra work so I went with the wisdom of the internet and did internals only. Looking at it, you might be able to do spring only, but I had the other bits so why not?

The thing is, without knowing which calipers youíre running where (and tracking down specs on the caliper pistons) I canít tell you if a prop valve change would be good for you or not. Itís not just disks vs. drums either. If you went from Jeep disks to a GM drum (not that you would, but just as a point of argument) and the GM drums happened to use huge wheel cylinders the change in the prop valve could take you in the wrong direction (hence why itís worth doing some comparison to known vehicles.)

When in doubt if your rears lock up first, try a pad with more bite up front. You could also jump to an adjustable prop valve (biggest downside with those tend to be manners under light braking, you might not care). If the front locks up first, youíre safe but leaving braking power on the table. If you donít have enough braking power period, then upsizing both ends can be done via added leverage (rotor diameters) or increasing caliper piston sizing (clamping force via hydraulic ratios). Upsizing booster adds power via vacuum assist. Master cylinder changes and pedal leverage changes affect both power and how firm the pedal feels.

That turned WAY WAY longer than I intended but it was a least entertaining to write. Hope it helps.

-Joel
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on November 07, 2016, 03:32:09 PM
Couple random cleanup topics for this AM.

Finished the POR15 on the middle section of my stiffeners.  Same process as I outlined on the floorboard repair.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJStiffenerPOR15.JPG)


I really hate rust, so I decided to try to prevent water intrusion and sealed all the longitudinal seams.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJSeamSealer.JPG)


I debated the seam sealer for a while actually... I feel like sealing the edges could be a double edged sword.  If I do water crossings or otherwise submerge the rails I could trap water that gets past bolt heads and the like, but with general rain driving and the like it'll keep the vast majority of water from getting between the stiffeners and the frame in the first place--the kind of water that's running down the rail from the outside.  Since I see rain more than I see water crossings, I went for it and sealed it up.  I am keeping the end seams open so that it can weep water out fore/aft if some does get in there (which already happened when I was cleaning up from some brake fluid mess after the prop valve change).

After POR and seam sealing, I went back with some underbody coating.  This stuff had great reviews on Amazon so I tried it.  Seems to have a nice light texture.  It's not smooth (which some reviewers claimed) but does go on pretty evenly compared to some I've used.  60 grit comparable maybe?

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJStiffenerUnderbody.JPG)


Between all my weld through primer, POR, seam sealer, and underbody coating, I think I've pretty much done all that can be done.

Finally, when I was poking around under hood I noticed a heater hose splitting so that got replaced too.  There was some decent crap all around the fitting, so I probably need to do a fluid flush and read up on checking for electrolysis.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJSplitHeaterHose.JPG)


Time crunch is on now...  Taking the girls camping in Johnson Valley next weekend.  Pretty much just need to finish the rear bottom frame plating/bump stops.  Then rework my mid skid mounting.  Check fluids.  Nut and bolt check on all the areas I've touched.  The front frame stiffeners may need to wait, but we'll see how I do over the next couple days.

Found a sweet shot of Cougar Buttes (not mine but no photographer listed to credit).  Good reminder of why we do this stuff.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/CougarButtesSized.jpg)


Happy wrenching,
-Joel
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on November 07, 2016, 03:32:45 PM
Made a bunch of progress this weekend.  Working toward functional rear bump stops.  "Trippled" had pointed out that function rear bump stops can cave in the factory frame rails (Thank you sir!).  So I needed to plate at least the bottom surface of the rear rails rather than just the sides (HD stiffeners rear sections are side only).

First step:  Measurements.  Check marks just mean same as opposite.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJStiffeners34.JPG)


Getting better using guides with my plasma.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJStiffeners35.JPG)


Curve to fit:

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJStiffeners36.JPG)


Burned in my rosette holes.  You guys should be used to all the weld through primer by now. 

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJStiffeners37.JPG)

Oh in the above you can see also where I repaired the muffler heat shield as well.  It was tearing through in several locations (probably galvanic corrosion at fault), so I cleaned that all up, oversized the fender washers and gave it a heavy coat of BBQ paint to help keep things isolated.

Since I want the bump and twisting loads to transition both to the underlying rail and to the outerside stiffener, I decide to weld this new one all the way rather than stitching it. 

Root pass.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJStiffeners38.JPG)


Full pass.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJStiffeners39.JPG)


Rosettes...  Left access for the rear sway bar mount points just in case.  Also planning how to plate the curving shock clearance area (the one part where I'm plating to the inside of the rails).

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJStiffeners40.JPG)
 

Turns out if you've been wrenching all day and have dirty fingers it's damn easy to make a template by rubbing paper.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJStiffeners41.JPG)


Passenger:

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJStiffeners42.JPG)


Driver (this one took a bit more forming).

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJStiffeners43.jpg)


I apparently didn't take a shot burning these in but you get the idea.  Stitch welds to the native rail.  Full passes w/ root (if needed) from stiffener to stiffener.

More to come.
-Joel
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: digitalsolo on November 07, 2016, 07:59:57 PM
That thing is looking good Joel.   I was about to comment on adding seam sealer, but then you did it.  :D

You could run an Eastwood internal frame paint kit through them to help seal them more internally if you like.  It's a paint can with a tube attached.   I used it to seal the back side of the bracing on my Mustang hood/trunk to prevent corrosion on unpainted areas.
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on November 07, 2016, 08:19:43 PM
Thanks for the tip.  I'll have to check that one out...     :)
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: 65imp on November 08, 2016, 12:08:25 PM
Lotsa overhead welding there Joel-y.  Good to see minimal burns on ya.   ;)
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: gc3 on November 08, 2016, 01:05:02 PM
jeez the things you have to do to a unibody rig!

looks like good work, sucks when you realize you make a job harder on yourself.
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on November 08, 2016, 02:55:05 PM
Here's the last bit (for now)

Made standoffs for the bump stops since I didn't feel like digging out the rusted bolts from the interfaces I had before.  Decided to put these standoffs on the frame side to save the unsprung weight.

Started with a piece of scrap 3/16" 2x2 tube I cut in half.  I'm using multiple engagement points to ensure I have fore/aft adjust-ability.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJRearBumpstop8.JPG)


Cutting an arc to match the frame rails.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJRearBumpstop9.JPG)


Welded nuts on the inside:

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJRearBumpstop10.JPG)


Burned them in (more weld through primer).

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJRearBumpstop11.JPG)


POR15 (grey because it's all I had left).

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJRearBumpstop12.JPG)


Note, one end is boxed to the frame rail the other is open as I didn't want it to be too stiff torsionally least I give my self unintended stress risers.

Since these are only 1" tall (well, maybe 1 1/8" with the stiffener underneath) I'm starting with a 5/8" aluminum spacer I whipped up to ensure the bumps engage in time.  I might lessen this down the road.

More underbody coating as well.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJRearBumpstop13.JPG)


Alignment looks pretty good under shock compression.  Rear end finally ready to be buttoned up for real.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/XJRearBumpstop14.JPG)


Started doing the front to rear nut and bolt check and that's where I left it last night.
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: FabChild on November 18, 2016, 03:10:47 AM
Looks Good Joel!
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: digitalsolo on November 18, 2016, 07:36:49 AM
Agreed, is thing is super cool.
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on November 18, 2016, 11:31:29 AM
Thanks fellas.  It needs more power, but it's still pretty capable.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/JVNov16-7.JPG)
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: freeskier7791 on December 06, 2016, 09:45:05 AM
Looks like the johnson valley trip was a success!  I like that front bumper.
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on October 12, 2017, 01:25:48 AM
After starting a new job I finally started spending some money again.

Daddy got a new pair of shoes.  33x12.5r15s

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/DisneyDesertDays4_1.jpg)


And immediately took the family camping...

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/DisneyDesertDays4_2.jpg)


Was kinda stoked that in the first 12 hours of driving on these more than half of that was on dirt.  Woke up to a beautiful morning in Jawbone Canyone a bit above Mojave.  The jeep was clean for about 5 seconds.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/DisneyDesertDays4_3.jpg)


Then it wasn't.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/DisneyDesertDays4_4.jpg)


I can't tell you how stoked I am that my girls love jeeps and dirt.  Really makes my heart warm.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/DisneyDesertDays4_5.jpg)


Some beautiful canyons and what not...

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/DisneyDesertDays4_6.jpg)


Worked our way across the hills with a few buddies on motorcycles.  Killer views...

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/DisneyDesertDays4_7.jpg)


And the object of our search.  "Burro" Schmidt's tunnel.  One man cut 2600 feet through solid granite bedrock.  Took 38 years but pretty wild.  That tiny light was the end of the tunnel.  Pic about halfway in.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/DisneyDesertDays4_8.jpg)


Wicked sunset on the way out too.  XJ in it's natural habitat.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/DisneyDesertDays4_9.jpg)


We were out there all weekend and even managed to borrow a few toys.  Riding a quad with my daughters.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/DisneyDesertDays4_10.jpg)


Good times had by all.  Where else in SoCal do I need to go exploring?  Vacation is lacking so I'm limited by about as far as I can get from Orange County on a Friday evening.
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: gc3 on October 12, 2017, 08:52:40 AM
jealous of those views! not something you get to see offroading around here!
and the lack of tree branches scratching up everything!
I can't imagine trying to maintain a shiny black offroad rig!
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: digitalsolo on October 12, 2017, 02:57:51 PM
Looks like a TON of fun Joel!
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: markfluko on October 12, 2017, 03:24:47 PM
That tunnel looks wild. Would be pretty cool to check that out.
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: freeskier7791 on October 13, 2017, 05:35:35 AM
Cool!  Have you thought about going to parker?  Would be 5 hrs of driving each way.  Lots of cool roads and trails there plus the sand dunes and river.  I assume you have done most of johnson valley area as well?  Theres those dry lakes which are cool

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk

Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on October 14, 2017, 02:54:58 AM
I don't know parker, so that'll be a new one to look into.  I love Johnson Valley but need to find more folks to roll with.  Some of the trails there are so heavy it's easy to put yourself in a bad way if you don't have someone with you to spot who knows the lines.  I've been meaning to do more exploring in Big Bear as well.

Thanks for the tips.
-Joel
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: freeskier7791 on October 14, 2017, 05:28:36 AM
Parker is more open desert than rocks.  Have you looked into any local jeep clubs?

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk

Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on October 14, 2017, 11:56:39 AM
Parker is more open desert than rocks.  Have you looked into any local jeep clubs?

Haven't really, but that's partly because life has been full enough I feel like I'd be pretty inconsistent as an attendee.  I also would really need to get hooked up with the right kind of club.  You sort of want folks who aren't afraid to go hard, but careful.  If the group is too big then it's slow.  If the rigs are build to different levels of ability you end up dragging the stock guys through the hard stuff while the built rigs roll through like cakewalk.  Keep thinking I'll join one eventually but haven't gotten around to it.

Joel

PS Bonus sunset pic.  Gorgeous out there...

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/DisneyDesertDays4_11.jpg)
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: largeorangefont on October 19, 2017, 01:52:10 PM
Parker is 40 mins from my place in Havasu :)
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: freeskier7791 on October 19, 2017, 04:15:36 PM
Parker is 40 mins from my place in Havasu :)

2 Fun Places!
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on January 26, 2018, 10:13:25 PM
This thread is a bit off topic but I figure you guys like 4x4 stuff too.  I've been wheeling a bit while SoCal's weather is so perfect.  I figured if the rest of the world is freezing their bits off I should enjoy it a bit.

Quick jaunt with the "SoCal Trail Buds" had one dude with a decent camera and ended up with some of the best pictures I've ever had of my rig.  The one in the trees made the cover page of the Trail Buds facebook page!

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/SCTB_20171231_1.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/SCTB_20171231_2.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/SCTB_20171231_3.jpg)


There's a heavy Toyota contingency in the Trail Buds, but I represented for Jeep pretty well.  Working a hard line option that no one else took...  The rock vs. rocker potential was high.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/SCTB_20171231_4.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/SCTB_20171231_5.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijolees/SCTB_20171231_6.jpg)


-Joel
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: gc3 on January 27, 2018, 06:53:16 PM
looks fun! jealous of the sunshine
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: wickedrx7 on January 27, 2018, 10:47:14 PM
Awesome Pics!!! Looks like a ton of fun. 

My want/desire for an off-road rig is real!
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: freeskier7791 on January 30, 2018, 01:20:10 PM
Nice pics!  I like the one with the long grass in the foreground, what tires are those KM2s?
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on May 02, 2018, 03:58:55 PM
@freeskier7791, pardon I missed your question.  Yes, KM2s.  I really like them for all around use.

Been wheeling a bit...  Random shots from Cougar Buttes.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/CougarButtes0118_1.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/CougarButtes0118_2.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/CougarButtes0118_3.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/CougarButtes0118_4.jpg)


Grinning like an idiot while laying into the seatbelt.  Had to have the buddy get a close up.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/CougarButtes0118_5.jpg)
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on May 02, 2018, 04:07:12 PM
I finally also got the front frame stiffeners installed (which is what reminded me of this thread).  Less drama than the rears but still a lot of work. Had a slog to get mid skid, front frame stiffeners, coil bumps all installed in time for a SoCal Jeep run.  All worth it for the adventure with my daughters though. 

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/SoCalFest18_1.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/SoCalFest18_2.jpg)

A few of my favorite pics from SoCalFest follow but there are a bunch more here: https://www.naxja.org/forum/showthread.php?t=1148062 (https://www.naxja.org/forum/showthread.php?t=1148062)  The rock buggy was my favorite of the crew.


(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/SoCalFest18_6.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/SoCalFest18_7.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/SoCalFest18_13.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/SoCalFest18_16.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/SoCalFest18_21.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/SoCalFest18_24.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/SoCalFest18_28.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/SoCalFest18_32.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/SoCalFest18_33.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/SoCalFest18_34.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/SoCalFest18_35.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/SoCalFest18_38.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/SoCalFest18_40.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/SoCalFest18_50.jpg)

Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: digitalsolo on May 02, 2018, 04:11:07 PM
Looks like the Jeep works very well!    And, more importantly, it looks you all had a great time.   :D
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: freeskier7791 on May 02, 2018, 07:48:50 PM
Looks like a fun time! Glad you like the tires

Sent from my SM-G920V using Tapatalk

Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: wickedrx7 on May 02, 2018, 08:18:39 PM
Stop having fun and finish the fJ! Blakeís going to win. Haha
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on May 03, 2018, 09:09:04 PM
So the VP of engineering at my new job is a car guy.  He's pretty rad, has built all kinds of hot rods, raced a bunch of things and now drives a C7 ZO6 convertible.  Anyways, I had him over for lunch to show them the FJ and he couldn't stop raving about how it's going to be so wicked. 

Then he stops by my desk the next day and says "I'm going to give you two pieces of conflicting advice. 

First you really need to hustle and finish the fj40 because if you're building it for the family you may have less time to go do adventures with your daughter's than you think you do.  You turn around in 4 or 5 years and they're going to be teenagers, and then they may or may not want to hang out with dear old dad. 

The second piece of advice is that you need to ignore the FJ and go wheeling in the Jeep you have because you have less time to go have adventures with your daughter's than you think you might.

The good news is that even if the FJ takes you longer than you want you'll still have something rad for you whether the kids want to to come or not."

This was me following part two of the advice.  But yeah, So Cal can be pretty good sometimes.  The ball joints on the knuckles in my XJ are loosening up and starting to click, but no serious issues with the Jeep and mostly it was just an awesome weekend.

Joel

PS yes the VP and I already closed the deal on the traditional "I'll let you drive mine if I can drive yours!"  That Z06 is GOOD!  FWIW, the official review on my RX7 is that "Damn this thing is a riot!" (Said several times over while shaking his head).
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: largeorangefont on May 03, 2018, 09:46:34 PM
Nice update Joel!!
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: gc3 on May 03, 2018, 10:00:01 PM
that's awesome, so jealous. i need to finish the blazer
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on May 22, 2018, 04:11:00 AM
It's the fab forum, so what the heck, here's the write up I did for Naxja.org on Prothane coil bumps.

Prothane Coil Insert Bump Stops (w/ Bonus Front Frame Stiffeners)

I was happy with my rear bump stops but the front bumps kind sucked.  They were always harsh and one side kept trying to cut itself on the edge of my raised pad.  I decided to try the Prothane coil bumps.   There were quite a few positive reviews scattered over several threads.  A few good references.

https://www.cherokeeforum.com/f67/prothane-coil-bumps-221747/ (https://www.cherokeeforum.com/f67/prothane-coil-bumps-221747/)

http://www.naxja.org/forum/showthread.php?t=985677 (http://www.naxja.org/forum/showthread.php?t=985677)


Key facts:

-Most folks start with the Prothane 10.5” coil inserts and cut down to whatever they decide is their happy length.

-A washer or pad can theoretically be bolted where the OEM bump cup was before. I’m not sure if it’s only certain XJ’s have this position threaded, but a few folks claimed it was an m10x1.5.  Maybe the intent was to tap the hole to that since I’d think Jeep would be using imperial hardware rather than metric.  I went a different way (more on this later).

-Some folks add hockey pucks or some form of strike pad that nest on top of the bump.

-A few folks who test claim they’ve been able to compress the coil bump by about 60% (40% residual height at max bump.

-2” air gap until the point of first strike seems to be the most common measurement.  Some folks run all the way down at 1”.  NAXJA 4643 ran (runs?) a 3.5" airgap and 1.75" of prothane until it hits the hard bump.

-One of the downsides of the bump is that there’s not a hard travel limit so the hard bump alluded to above is a 1.5” UHMW rod that serves as an internal hardstop.   Mcmaster 5243T15 is one option.   I ended up using some 1 3/8” scrap I had lying around.

A couple sources of supply:

http://www.jegs.com/p/Prothane/Prothane-Coil-Spring-Inserts/762178/10002/-1 (http://www.jegs.com/p/Prothane/Prothane-Coil-Spring-Inserts/762178/10002/-1)

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=prothane%20coil%20insert (https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=prothane%20coil%20insert)


I started this project about 2 weeks out from SoCal Fest and barely made it.

In order to get enough droop to pull the springs I had to remove: shocks, tie rod, and drag link.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJProthaneBumps1.jpg)


When pulling that apart I found one of my shock bushings was trashed so rigged up another right quick from some spare parts.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJProthaneBumps2.jpg)


Bump pads I mentioned were a pain to get off.  Regular socket wouldn’t fit so I had to hammer in a 1/4" drive socket to get it apart.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJProthaneBumps3.jpg)


Hadn’t really played with the stock bumps before so went looking for the m10 some folks had mentioned. 

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJProthaneBumps4.jpg)


Nope, you just yank and it pops free.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJProthaneBumps5.jpg)


I was going to make a bolt in setup.  1.375” tube was about right to keep it aligned.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJProthaneBumps6.jpg)


But then I went digging.  I could probably drill and tap one side.  Other one?  Not so much.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJProthaneBumps7.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJProthaneBumps8.jpg)


I decided to weld in a bump stop plate (after confirming my spring could slip over this). I tried hole sawing ľ” plate but it just chattered too much.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJProthaneBumps10.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJProthaneBumps11.jpg)

 
Almost broke out the plasma cutter but for two plates it hardly seemed worth it.  Ended up getting creative with some extra hole saw support via some plywood and that did the trick.  3” hole saw, left me with about 2 3/4” pads.  Shown cutting is a smaller 1.5” plate for the bottom end.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJProthaneBumps12.jpg)
 

After that I just couldn’t weld to that lousy cup for the stock bumps.  Took some measurements, and decided a longer insert would be good for me and proceeded to cut off the stock cups.  Used an angle grinder to cut around the 75% of perimeter I ccould get to.  Slicing right on the middle of the weld worked nicely.  Beat it down with a hammer and finished it off with a sawzall.  By the way, angle grinder cutting discs come in either 0.040” or 0.060”,  if you have a lot of metal to move, spring for the thin discs (aka not what you get at harbor freight), they cut a great deal faster.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJProthaneBumps9.jpg)


For the bottom end, made a short 1.5” riser from 1.5” 1/8” tube and plate to help keep the insert from flapping around everywhere in there.  Note the ID of the insert is just under 1.5” so this makes for a minor stretch fit.  Then decided to get elaborate and make a threaded stud for the plastic hardstop.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJProthaneBumps13.jpg)


Note on the threaded stud bit.  Yeah.  DON’T DO THIS.  In hindsight (and following the experience of some wheeling) I should have just let the plastic rod float.  I’ll cut off the studs next time I’m in there.

 
But that’s given hindsight…  What I actually did?  Plenty of weld through primer like usual.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJProthaneBumps14.jpg)

 
I had so much of the front opened up at this point that I couldn’t help it.  I launched into the front frame stiffeners too.  I’d had the front HD Engineering bits floating around the garage for a while.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJProthaneBumps15.jpg)


Bend angles marked if you care, might be better to verify on your own rig.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJProthaneBumps17.jpg)


Impulse buy.  Much nicer scraper than the old school extender sheet metal version everyone has from the 60s.  Made short work of a 1.5 year old shipping sticker.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJProthaneBumps18.jpg)



Trying to keep 1/4" steel floating was a little tricky.  Only so many hands while working solo.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJProthaneBumps16.jpg)


Opposite side for the weld shot since my passenger picture turned out crappy.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJProthaneBumps20.jpg)


Process was much like the rear stiffeners I did a while back.  1) Mark stitch weld positions, 2) grind paint, 3) weld through primer, 4) Lotsa clamps.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJProthaneBumps19.jpg)


5) Burn it in

Once the side was on I decided to plate the bottom at least on the driver rail since it sees more axle loads from both steering and track bar.  Designed patches in cardboard and I was pretty happy with the fit of the results.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJProthaneBumps21.jpg)


6) Grind for a while.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJProthaneBumps22.jpg)


Quick plug here.  My last angle grinder died so I decided to try a good one.  Picked up a Makita 9564CV which was about the top rated thing on Amazon (https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00005Q7BE/ (https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00005Q7BE/)).  It’s unreal how much better this is.  Doesn’t blow out your eardrums, starts with a ramp up in speed so it never tried to tear itself out of your hands and somehow manages to be much smoother running.  It doesn’t vibrate anything likely my old $30 Ryobi used to.   For the longest time I thought angle grinders were a great tool to cheap on.  Just spins around right?  No precision needed.  If you’re in that school of thought, don’t use a nice one.  There’s no going back.

Other side is the same.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJProthaneBumps23.jpg)

 
There was one slight problem.  Somewhere around here I decided to add a bit more weld to the bottom riser.  Jumped right back down and started to weld.  I was about 2 seconds on when there was a bit sizzle and pop, arc stopped.  What the hell?  Uh oh, I didn’t move the ground back down to the axle when I move from top to bottom.

Turns out control arm bushings are a decent isolator.  You’re not getting any current through those.  You know what does conduct electricity?  Braided stainless steel brake lines.

Crispy critter, my bad.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJProthaneBumps24.jpg)


Amazon prime to the rescue.


My wife did the POR15 (step 7) for me while I was at work (Thanks Babe!)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJProthaneBumps25.jpg)


Came home and seam sealed the top edges only (step 8) based on the theory I should let the bottoms weep if needed.  Then sprayed underbody coating over all that (step 9), finally (10) reassembly.

The coil insert themselves I cut down to 9” (7 rings instead of 8).  This is a little longer than usual since I removed the cups up top so you could probably order the 6 ring version to begin with if you’re not significantly lifted.  I was targeting a 2.5” air gap and ended up closer to 2”. The inserts cut fine on a band saw.  I cleaned up the edges with a belt sander. 

I then chamfered the ID on one end so it wouldn’t have a corner rest on the fillet welds around my riser.  Required?  Probably not, but I’ve been designing stuff too long to let it slide.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJProthaneBumps26.jpg)


I made sure the springs would slip over the flat plat I welded.  However, I forgot that I was running coil spacers.  They don’t slip over the protrusion.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJProthaneBumps27.jpg)


Screw it, sliced one side, flexed them around and added a hose clamp to be sure it stays put.  Maybe I’ll find longer springs at some point in the future, for now it’s good enough.

Here’s the hardstop insert threaded on my “shouldn’t have done it, stud thingy”.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJProthaneBumps28.jpg)


I cut this to a length such that it would bottom out about ĺ” before the shock does and that should also keep the oil pan maybe 1.5” away from my truss.  It would be more reliable to cycle the suspension with track bar and no springs, but I didn’t have time to re-assemble things twice so I based mine on measurements and went for it.

 
Anyone have hot tips for keeping the brake lines out of the coils?  Mine seem convinced they want to rub which I’d like to adjust.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJProthaneBumps29.jpg)


Everything else went back together pretty smoothly.


So how’s it ride?   You can feel the bumps engage but it’s never harsh and didn’t seem to hold me back from flexing.  To be fair, I haven’t hammered on anything yet.  1) I don’t really drive that way so a “big accidental jump” isn’t typical for me 2) had little girls in the back seat and 3) my ball joints were creaking and knocking all weekend (noticed it during reassembly but didn’t have time to do anything about it).   I could feel the coils knocking against the insert on occasion with I assume is partly due to the mounted hardstops.  As noted I plan to let those float.  On net, I’m happy though.  They’re cheap and work well what more do you want?

So that was my saga and hopefully it helps someone else out.   Event was worth it though.

Climbing a waterfall on Doran. 

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJProthaneBumps30.jpg)


-Joel
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: freeskier7791 on May 22, 2018, 07:20:08 AM
Nice work Joel, I am tired of my noisy Ryobi grinder too, any idea of the sound difference between the new one and your old one?


For the brake lines you could maybe ziptie to the shock but I really don't like that either.  I know it would be costly but I would get a way longer one and route it along the axle and then up behind the spring, more inboard.  You could always make little guides with some bent washers along the axle maybe.


I assume you have, but make sure your brake lines are long enough to not limit your travel at all
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: gc3 on May 22, 2018, 10:19:25 AM
looking good, that was a little more work than just adding bumpstops like i assumed.

for brake lines, it might make bleeding a touch more annoying but get both ends of the line pointing downwards so you get a nice big "U" droop, it should make controlling the line through travel a lot easier.

Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on May 22, 2018, 11:23:11 AM
Nice work Joel, I am tired of my noisy Ryobi grinder too, any idea of the sound difference between the new one and your old one?

Very noticeable?  Using the Ryobi if I jumped into something quick-like, I was consistently thinking: "ouch, where are my earplugs, this is no good, need them now!"  The Makita is more like "hmmm, I should probably grab earplugs, better safe than sorry".   :halo:

I do think I preferred a trigger switch with lock as opposed to only the slide and lock switch of the Makita, but I'm getting used to it.  If I'm just going after something fast I'm reaching for a cordless grinder but the power for moving metal isn't nearly the same.  I have a big dog grinder as well but that bastard is heavy so it's not something you use except for special occasions.  Even grinding on the Jeep stiffeners (which was quite a bit of metal moved) the Makita killed it while being so much lighter.  It's variable speed at a knob on the handle.

for brake lines, it might make bleeding a touch more annoying but get both ends of the line pointing downwards so you get a nice big "U" droop, it should make controlling the line through travel a lot easier.

Hadn't thought of going into the calipers from below, but I also think that would hang down pretty far and might run out of travel on extension.  Tying the lines off to something still has potential for some kind of rubbing.

The caliper end is easier since it has a clocking mechanism built in.  Unless I modify that feature, my only choices are straight up or straight down.  If thought about carving that up since a friend's rig has waggy axles and brakes which point thr brake lines aft and that looks perfect.

Right now the flex line on mine drops down vertically and forms a big "S" but the S pushes too far farward and it's hard to control the clocking of the S in yaw.  The bias of the line itself worked out fine on one side and is fighting me on the other.

I'm debating bending the Hardline and clocking my frame rail bracket backwayd by 45 degrees or so in the hope that this will shift the S shape aft enough to clear everything.  Just one of those things you don't think about until it's a problem.
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: digitalsolo on May 22, 2018, 08:04:40 PM
This Jeep has escalated a bit Joel.   LOL.   Nice work, thanks for sharing!
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on May 23, 2018, 01:42:42 AM
This Jeep has escalated a bit Joel.   LOL.   Nice work, thanks for sharing!

True, but I'm getting close to where I want it...  Only plans left are upgraded steering w/ WJ knuckles and fresh bushings/ball joints all around on the front suspension.  Other than, I'm just gonna use it. 

Unless I pop a motor.  Then I might have to put in a 4.7 stroker.  Depends if there's an end in sight for the FJ.   :halo:
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on July 04, 2019, 01:50:04 AM
99% of the time I love our new home. It's unbelievably gorgeous on the Big Island, amazing weather/sunsets all the time, so many things to see and explore, a job where I'm getting to do some pretty neat work... Kinda a fairy tale as evidenced by the crazy rainbows we seem to get several times a week.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders1.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders2.jpg)


That being said, real-life smacked me in the face the other day and ended up in a bit of a fabrication saga.

A while back I mentioned something about Hawaii's safety check program, and guys running garden trim to get fender tire "coverage," right?  Unfortunately, when I setup my jeep that way I don't have enough clearance for proper tire flex and I end up ripping the flares right off.

It seems like everybody else around here runs tire poke, so I figured when in Rome, and pulled all that stuff back off.  I prefer my rig without fender flares anyways.



Turns out the Waimea police department does not agree with my preferences...  :-(

Yep, it seems the locals can do whatever they want, but if you happen to be wearing a mainlander dress shirt on your way to work in a Jeep with some tire poke, that'll get you pulled over even if you are obeying the rest of the traffic laws.

The officer pulled me over as I was turning into the parking lot of my work as well, so naturally I'm sitting there getting a ticket the cop is parked right behind me lights flashing away.  Several of my coworkers are walking in for the morning and waving at me.  The heckling game was strong that morning.  ;-)

4x traffic infractions, one per corner, $72 per tire for $288 fine.  Ouchie... 

So I break out my metal supplies and a tube bender I bought from a friend before leaving and figured what the heck, I'll try bending some flat fenders.

Testing out the machine I started by bending up a stack of FD trans mounts bars (aka, development efforts in work).  I know I need a bigger garage, but it is expensive over here so when the time you have to work on it happens to be raining, you do your best.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders3.jpg)


That worked fine so it was time to try some multi plane bends.  Hmmm.... This is going to be harder than I thought.  Multiple bends end up being a tolerance nightmare.  If you are a degree off on a bend and a degree off on rotation, the end result 5 feet later is damn hard to get exactly what you intended (much less replicated in a mirror image for the other side.)

It kind of looks okay but I'm not really that happy with it either, particularly as I compare side to side.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders4.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders5.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders6.jpg)

More to come (a lot more).
-Joel
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: digitalsolo on July 04, 2019, 09:31:56 AM
The good news is that in a photo on the internet those look good.  :)

Have you watched "The Fabrication Series" on YouTube for tube bending?    He has an EXCELLENT guide and another one on notching that's just as good.
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on July 05, 2019, 12:59:51 PM
Re: fab series.  I checked out a few vids but not sure it was that one.  Most of the demos I found were all in plane where-as the multi plane is what killed me.  Gets better with practice but demarcated test bends ended up the best approach that I found thus far.

---------------------------

In a rare move for me, I actually gave up a project part way through.  As much as I wanted to be a bad ass and make my own custom custom stuff, I just decided that this was likely to be hard enough and time intensive enough that I was being an idiot and should just throw down for a set of Bushwhacker Flat Fenders.  They look decent, they're light, and between time and materials it was looking like I was gonna have way more cost (or opportunity cost) making my custom ish... 

So I pulled the trigger and bought them.

https://smile.amazon.com/Bushwacker-10922-07-Style-Fender-Flare/dp/B003VR4CG2/

Amazon even had a coupon going and the $420 I spent didn't feel too bad vs my $288 ticket, plus fitment looked to be pretty spot on.

Result: fitment WOULD be spot on... If you were starting from a stock Jeep, but I'm not.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders7.jpg)


The fronts might find the don't have some sheetmetal anymore. 

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders8.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders9.jpg)


The fender line looks decent up front.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders10.jpg)

But that rear fender you kissed with a tire in the whoops that's not quite perfect? Yep, that gap is almost guaranteed to suck dirt...

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders11.jpg)


You'll have to trim for your welded rockers too, but that's not a big deal...

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders12.jpg)


But now we reach the deal breaker:  Bushwackers are not compatible with cut and fold rear quarters. 

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders13.jpg)


No way I can live with this hanging off that far and now way to plug this in a manner that will last, look good and not suck mud.

I was prepared to weld back in some interfaces to allow these to mount (my fender lips having been trimmed and massaged before), but I just plain missed the whole "Bushwackers no likey the cut and fold bit".

Busted...  So back they go.  When return shipping only cost me $25 (if I'd shipped this on my own I guess close to $150) I made the call and back they went.

Sigh, looks like custom fab after all. Not the project I wanted to be working on.

-Joel
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: freeskier7791 on July 05, 2019, 09:50:03 PM
I know this is probably not your style, but what about ABS plastic pieces that would bolt on for street driving?  something to keep the cops happy and then you could remove for offroad
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on July 05, 2019, 10:16:55 PM
I know this is probably not your style, but what about ABS plastic pieces that would bolt on for street driving?  something to keep the cops happy and then you could remove for offroad

Lots of guys run garden lawn trim, I just tend to tear it off when I flex.  I was victorious but it sure took a bit...
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on July 06, 2019, 07:44:16 PM

So here's the kinda tolerances-killing-me crap I was talking about:

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders14.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders15.jpg)

Measure where you think the bend wants to be but you come up short.  Learn from your mistake and you can make your other side properly, but now you either scrap tube or deal  with the mismatch or something.

Dammit, I will not be defeated by metal fab! I am learning as I go, but you know what, this isn't really that structural apart so I'm just going to cut and weld this bastard to make it do what I want it to.
 
(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders16.jpg)


V groove bevel weld just about all the way through the thickness...  That's as close to a CJP (complete joint penetration) weld as I can do simply. It's not really structural so I just can't bring myself to sleeve this internally like I might on a chassis repair.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders17.jpg)


Much closer...

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders18.jpg)


For frame interfaces I learned my lesson on the slugs that hardened on me so I figured I could go the other way and pre tap some plate that I'd them match drill and tap the rest of the way through.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders19.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders20.jpg)


Problem is that it been so windy working on the driveway I can barely get these to tack, much less get a weld I trust.  Up front I finally cave and pull off the bumper attachment plates so I can bench weld them.
 
(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders21.jpg)

Still don't know how I can burn the rears in though.  That bit of steel isn't removable and I need to move a ton of stuff (including a non running Land Cruiser), if I'm going to pull this into the garage.

By the way, I should probably mention that when you bring a vehicle to the island, you have 30 days to do a safety check for your new registration.  I'm assuming that's how long I have to get these fenders flares installed and the clock is ticking...
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on July 07, 2019, 04:17:27 PM
I'm taking my kids to school every day so still driving the Jeep.  Figure my ticket should give me a few weeks of immunity.  Nope, I get flagged down at a traffic stop and given ANOTHER ticket.  Another $288.  Same cop.  The guy wouldn't cut me a break even thought it had only been 28 days (not the 30 I thought I'd have).

His take: "28 days is enough."  My take, "Here's the pics of what I'm working on, it wasn't long enough for me!" 

He reminds me of the garden trim thing...  I don't WANT to run garden trim.  I'll just be taking it on and off a hundred times to continue progress.  Super frustrating, but I can't exactly pick a fight with a cop.  Even a complaint to his Sergeant could easily go bad as and I sure don't want to be targeted in a small town...

Nothing to do but stay the course. We're down to the last week of school so at least my wife can drive the kids in and I have my RX7 to fall back on... So now the Jeep is sitting in my driveway not moving.

The wind is unrelenting though.  I finally decided to pull the Jeep most of the way into the garage (partly shielded) and MIG weld weld the rear interfaces.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders22.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders23.jpg)


It's burned in but you can tell where the breeze caught me on the left side of the circle.  Whatever, it'll hold.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders24.jpg)


Back to tube work, it's a game of fractions of inches but I'm winning.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders25.jpg)
 
(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders26.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders27.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders28.jpg)


You know things like cutting off the tacked brackets shimming tube with some weld filler rod and re tacking with 1 degree different clicking. 

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders29.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders30.jpg)


Then naturally it's starts raining on all my raw steel.
 
(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders31.jpg)


I need a bigger garage... This is some bullshit.
-Joel
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: wickedrx7 on July 07, 2019, 04:32:55 PM
Progress looks good.

Why didnít you modify the bushwacker fenders to fit in the one area?
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: Cobranut on July 07, 2019, 09:37:23 PM
Why in the world is this cop being such an ASSHOLE???  He really needs some big gang thug with nothing to lose to give him an attitude adjustment. SMH
Besides, I can't understand why the law is so strict as far as fender coverage anyway.  What's the particular hazard in HI that doesn't exist in other states?
I ran a sand rail on the streets here in VA for years with NO fenders at all!
On a wet road it threw up 20 foot high rooster tails. LMAO
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: digitalsolo on July 07, 2019, 11:01:02 PM
Progress is looking really nice;  An incredible pain in the butt, but nice!
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on July 09, 2019, 01:35:51 PM
Why didnít you modify the bushwacker fenders to fit in the one area?

They are made of an unknown plastic.  Didn't figure a could cut and splice it smoothly enough to both look good and stay together.  They also use internal structure bits that we're going to be a challenge with my rear quarter ripple.  To accept all those compromises (and still have headache making it work) while paying an extra $400.

Wasn't into it. So I reversed course.
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on July 09, 2019, 01:47:31 PM
Each tube ended up having a 5th bend to hit the frame where I need to hit it.  Half bevel groove on these showing the full thickness bevel (and damn near CJP on the splice inboard which is cool).

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders32.jpg)


I tacked these on the rig (one evening with minimal wind) then burned in the plates on the bench.

Capped the ends because I could.  Used a hole saw in wood to guide the steel hole saw cut on the OD without needing a pilot drill.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders33.jpg)


That was some time intensive tube.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders34.jpg)


I also bought a couple big rivet nut drivers.  To date m6 was a big as I could set.  These go to m12 and by getting two I have a fall back if I failed one.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders35.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders36.jpg)

Two very different companies (or so it looks online) that seem to be made in the exact same factory.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B073VK3B7S

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07MBWXLR4

Kinda stoked on the speed release feature of the 14" version and the power available by the 16" handles.

Finally getting into the skins for these things.  Kind proud of how this worked out.  By making a tight fitting paper doll I could then do a crayon rubbing to get an ideal fit vs the tubes.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders37.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders38.jpg)


This is how you transfer to metal when each template is 50-51" long and your steel is only 48" wide.  Much cleaning with a stripper disc prior to this to get the major rust off this 16 guage plate.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders39.jpg)


When you're stuck working on something you'd rather not (and twice over bitter for a pair of tickets that locals don't seem to get) it's good to pause and admire a sunset or two.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders40.jpg)

 
I'm now rocking both Milwaukee's metal cutting circular saws.  The battery version is my go to when I need something quick that doesn't fit on my band saw.  Nothing moves metal like the big dog corded guy when needed.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders41.jpg)
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: shainiac on July 09, 2019, 02:53:04 PM
I have that 14Ē version, although branded under a different name. The speed release is very handy, but it takes a considerable amount of room to use. Itís damn near impossible to use under the car on jack stands without manually backing the threads out. Other than that, itís great and Iíve set several M10 rivnuts without issues. I kinda want a smaller 90* tool for doing small stuff like M6s in hard to reach areas. Your flange mounts look really clean. This should be a nice solution that can be removed and serviced as needed.
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: digitalsolo on July 09, 2019, 04:40:10 PM
Those are looking really good in the progress so far!   Nice work sir (I expect nothing less at this point though!)
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: largeorangefont on July 09, 2019, 05:51:59 PM
Why in the world is this cop being such an ASSHOLE???  He really needs some big gang thug with nothing to lose to give him an attitude adjustment. SMH
Besides, I can't understand why the law is so strict as far as fender coverage anyway.  What's the particular hazard in HI that doesn't exist in other states?
I ran a sand rail on the streets here in VA for years with NO fenders at all!
On a wet road it threw up 20 foot high rooster tails. LMAO

The ability to pay is a bitch.
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on July 10, 2019, 01:50:59 PM
The cop has been professional in my one-on-one dealings, he just lacks mercy.  On the second stop, it was supposedly his Sergeant who flagged me.  I don't get it though and some of the local rigs are pretty extreme.

Continuing...

----------

By the way, the metal circ saws just roughed out the shapes.  Once they were in strips I could do the fine cutting on my bad saw and finally shave to fit (a bunch with sanders and files).  I think I have 300+ test fits into this project.  Between tube and skins, 75 test fits per corner is probably a decent guess.

But hot damn... That almost looks like something!

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders42.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders43.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders44.jpg)


Bends were done by hand massaging over the motor on my bad saw since it was about the right diameter.

Once they fit decently, I needed to figure out edge trim.  Some folks making tube fenders put a vertical leg on the skins where they meet fenders.  Since I want the ability to take these on and off, I skipped that and used a plastic edge trim.  Something I had lying around so no specs on these ones unfortunately.

That said there are some kinks and bends that get interesting.  A lighter and some heat forming to the rescue.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders45.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders46.jpg)


So the next challenge I could see coming was welding the skins to tube.  By putting a lot of heat to the upper surface of the tube only I was inviting this to turn into a rainbow (and loose all that perfect fitment I'd been fighting for). 

Decided to stitch weld them down so laid out a pattern of 3/4" on 3"  I roughed out positions then adjusted to optimize how the welds landed where the skins ended.  What say you?Overkill or just OCD enough?

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders47.jpg)


Rust from the rain.  Sigh...

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders48.jpg)


Scotch Brite makes them happy again.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders49.jpg)


Tacking the ends of each stitch on vehicle.  Lots of clamps to keep the skin tight (hand bending isn't perfect.)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders50.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders51.jpg) 
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: wickedrx7 on July 10, 2019, 03:32:18 PM
Hot damn those look great!!! After you finish them I think you need to find that cop and say, ďsee, this is why it took me a month, I only do perfectionĒ.
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: digitalsolo on July 10, 2019, 04:44:43 PM
Yeah, those are looking better-then-pro.
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: Cobranut on July 10, 2019, 09:18:52 PM
Man, that is some nice metal work, especially considering you're basically learning as you go.  :bacon:
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on July 11, 2019, 12:43:59 PM
Random shout out to my old college roommate and awesome guitarist Jack Roan.  Jack was the one who taught me how to wind extension cords over-hand/under-hand.  Given how many times I had to roll my welding cart back and forth that was pretty handy.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders52.jpg)


Just with the tack welding the skins on car these "popped" a little bit when I pulled them off.  I actually debated whether to just leave them tacked and not risk even a proper stitch weld.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders53.jpg)


Instead I decided to get creative in how I was fixturing each tube.  Weld deformation functions by molten metal shrinking as it cools.  Since all welding is along the tube topside having this shrink would tend to rainbow the tube open.  Fixturing helps to resist motion but I decided to experiment, went further, and actually preloaded my tubes in an attempt that the relaxed welds should end up closer to where the tube started.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders54.jpg)


Sharpie mark on the weld table showing the ~2" compression I put these under vs original spacing.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders55.jpg)


It worked out unbelievably well.  Pretty much nailed it dead on what I hoped.  Overall length changed by maybe 1/8" whereas just tacking on vehicle had been more than that.

My TIG welding is doing better too.  By the way, the point of tack welding the end of each stitch is that it gives you a very obvious mark to stop at when you're welding up to a tack instead of starting from one.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders56.jpg) 
 

Backsides of tube where you can see the slight angle I put in the one.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders57.jpg)


Given the stitch welding, I used seam sealer on full length of the inside and between welds on the upper surface.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders58.jpg)


Turns out angle grinder stripper discs work great for cleaning up the extra seam sealer as well.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders59.jpg)
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: freeskier7791 on July 11, 2019, 03:24:04 PM
Really nice job Joel, I bet your improved tig skills also reduced the warping.
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on July 12, 2019, 12:04:43 PM

Not shown: undercoating the bottom sides.  Rust-Oleum engine enamel semi flat black on the uppers.  (I finally standardized my touch up paint.)

Results:

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders60.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders61.jpg) 

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders62.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders63.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders64.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders65.jpg)

Not bad if I do say so myself.  All in I have something like 105 hours work into these. 

My advise:  Rocking sans flares is always best, looks clean and keeps it simple. If you don't have a choice, buy the Bushwackers before you mod anything.  If you've already modded, find some less common option (there are a few others) and buy that.  Do this job as last resort only.

PITA, but at least it turned out nice.

-Joel

PS pics in the dark because I had to have finished shots to prove to the judge my vehicle was now compliant.  Fighting tickets...
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: Cobranut on July 12, 2019, 12:21:09 PM
I have to admit, that looks much cooler than plastic flares.   8)  Nice work Joel.
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: largeorangefont on July 12, 2019, 11:18:11 PM
Will they dismiss it  like a fix it ticket?
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on July 13, 2019, 05:14:29 PM
So what's the big deal says the voice in my head?  You knew the law and you got ticketed...  You knew what you were doing...

Well yes and no.  I knew the law, I just thought it was a formality and much like CA no one really cared.  Given some of the vehicles I see around town this seemed like a reasonable position.  Hawaii has a pretty distinct wheel style, particularly with trucks.  It's a lot of big offsets with wide smallish tires (contact patch via width rather than diameter) on even wider wheels.  I'd say the majority of lifted trucks have a least a couple inches of tire poke.

After I got tagged I started tacking pictures of vehicles around town.  A few of my favorites:

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders66.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders67.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders68.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders69.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders70.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders71.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders72.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders73.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders74.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJFlatFenders75.jpg)


So what happened?  When you fight a ticket in Hawaii you have three options.  1) Plead guilty, 2) plead guilty with mitigating circumstances, 3) plead not guilty and ask for a trial.  I did the middle option when I was first ticketed and wrote a letter noting the local style, how my tires tore the garden trim loose/how I care about not littering (true), and how it felt weird getting tagged in a mainlander dress shirt when I see more extreme "local" vehicles driving by officers nearly every day.

Then on the second ticket, I plead not guilty (given the less than 30 day thing), and asked to appear before a judge to discuss both tickets since I hadn't heard anything on the first one.

Got my installed pictures the night before court as it got down to the wire and then spent a full morning at the courthouse waiting for what seemed like dozens of no-insurance and excessive speed tickets (note to self: avoid +30 mph and >81 mph).  Good news what that anyone who brought in proof of insurance was getting cases dismissed.  First question the judge asked me was whether my vehicle was brought back into compliance (yes).  I brought pictures.  She seemed a touch confused what she was looking at so I offered my second set of photos: a stack from the build process and my receipt on the bushwackers.  I explained the "before" picture up front and she quickly grasped the effort associated.  It was neat to see her sit up a bit straighter when she asked who built these ("I did your honor, it was quite an intensive process as you can see").  She informs the bailiff that they can dismiss the infractions.

Woot woot!  I was expecting to get stuck on the first ones and let off of the second tickets worth.

She then goes on to inform me that she read my letter (first ticket), gives me a serious stare down over her glasses and informed me that "Yes, you should know that we do apply the law equally."  I was damn tempted to reply that this had not been my experience...  I had a third set of pictures with me, of about 70 something vehicles not in compliance, some of which are above...  I also could have also pointed out that there were 3 vehicles with extended tires in the courthouse parking lot that morning.

BUT, discretion won the fight over valor, and there are few things worse than "stealing defeat from the jaws of victory" so I simply said "Yes your honor" and let it go.  To be fair, I don't actually know whether locals are exempt (some of this occurs but how systemic it is, I don't know).  It could be that the fender law is enforced only sporadically and I happened to get unlucky.  Hell, maybe some police chief's mother-in-law had a windshield broken by a thrown rock so the local police started enforcing again.

I do know, I'm stoked that I didn't have to pay $576.  I'll try damn hard not to be bitter admiring the local rigs, and what the heck, I had some good practice on tube fenders that I can apply to my FJ40 when the time comes. 

And I really am thinking hard about lexan fender skins for round 2.
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: largeorangefont on July 14, 2019, 12:32:48 AM
Well at least they dismissed them. That would never happen in CA. :)
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: wickedrx7 on July 14, 2019, 10:43:54 AM
Nice job on all accounts. Itís amazing when you actually talk to a judge and they actually respect you and donít just punish you for be real reason.

I know in the IL, the ticketing officer has to be in court for the ticket to stand, is that how it is in HI? If so, I would have loved to see his face when they both got dismissed.
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: freeskier7791 on July 16, 2019, 01:06:41 PM
That's awesome Joel.  And the locals taste in wheels and tires looks just like the average "yee yee" truck here in NC lol
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: kinger on July 17, 2019, 12:51:41 PM
First off amazing fab on the flares, my first thought was you should let me make them in volume and sell to all jeep owners LOL  The bushwackers flapping in the wind, half attached, on 90% of the ones I see... drive me nuts.  :) 

2nd - I think you were targeted for sure and it stinks.  Great that you have a judge willing to be rational though.  My experience with small town/villages is the cops and judges have to live in the same community and run in similar circles so that would never happen here. 

I think its her 'duty' to say they apply the law equally but I doubt that.  Also smart to bite your tongue even though the pictures of the ones IN THE COURTHOUSE parking lot would have been hilarious to show her (especially if you have a police car in the background or something) but would't have helped you I am sure, she can't control the officers in the field. 

Lastly love how you write your posts, great distraction on my lunch break! 
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on August 10, 2019, 02:39:02 AM
Well, ended up doing extended wheels studs, but it wasnít nearly as straightforward as Iíd hoped.

Had some friends in town so I took them up on a day trip into the hills and got a little dirty.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJWheelStuds1.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJWheelStuds1a.jpg)

 
Rental JL did fine, but if youíre looking to buy one of these: go Rubicon.  No lockers on the Sport model wasnít great.  It was a little crazy watching the brakes auto apply corner by corner and the power transfer back and forth back between wheels as traction control tries to help out, but itís still not the right setup though.

Anyways, we came down the hill and weíre headed back into town after 20 miles of dirt road and suddenly I realize Iím pulling hard right ever time Iím on the brakes.  We pause to be sure I didnít rupture a brake line or have a tire going flat, but nothing I can see.  Triple check Iím not in 4wd by rolling forward and back a few times.  Nothing obvious.  Keep driving.

About a mile from my house I start smelling brakes.  Get Ďer home hop out and Iím smelling brakes strongly on the left front.  Sure enough, that corner is cooking and 600 degrees hotter than the others.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJWheelStuds2.jpg)


Apparently I totally faded front left which is why it was pulling right.

Pull it apart and try to drive the caliper pistons in (this is a Teves WJ setup by the way).  One piston slides smoothly the other is frozen and barely moving.  Well, guess I found the issue.  I call around to see if I can find a rebuild kit (no), but the Napa in town does have rebuilt calipers.  Since these were just junkyard parts I decide to do both sides and upgrade the later WJ Akebonos (believe 2002 is the split so I had them spec calipers for an 04 and that was right).

Should just bolt on right?

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJWheelStuds3.jpg)


Wrong.  Iím running 15Ē wheels.  Turns out the Akebonos have just enough extra meat in the caliper body that Iím rubbing when I wasnít prior.  Bah.  Canít even take them back and stick with Teves now since I marred the calipers.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJWheelStuds4.jpg)


I did check fitment as I started the install process, but it seems I had just enough slack in my wheel stud holes that I fooled myself.  Once I torqued the wheels it pulled the rim into contact, actually squeezed the caliper floating part against the rotor too.  See rub marks on the rotor perimeter.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJWheelStuds5.jpg)
 

I only moved a few feet before I realizing it was wrong.  Bíah!!  Looks like itís time for the longer wheel studs after all.  While I could shave on the body of the Akebonoís I really wasnít into it so that means going back to a bit more wheel spacer.  Thatís ok.  I wanted to shove my tires out to the limits of the new fender flares anyways.

So digging into the WJ spec studs (thanks for the references Nimrod!) these studs claim they use a 0.627Ē knurl.  In measuring my parts, I was finding numbers in the 0.620 to 0.624 range but maybe they compressed as bit on install.  Note, this is a little confusing since my WJ conversion should be using TJ unit bearings and TJ wheel studs are 0.615Ē knurl and a bit under 1.5Ē long.  My studs are 1 15/16Ē long and seem to match WJ specs.  That means Iím not 100% sure what wheel studs I was starting with.  Maybe itís an aftermarket unit bearing thing or maybe itís a difference in TJ years for the specs I was checkingÖ  Not sure.

Either way, I didnít find anything off the shelf easily available in a 0.627Ē and I wanted studs closer to the 3Ē range.  I ended up buying 4 sets of ARP 100-7703.https://www.summitracing.com/parts/arp-100-7703 (https://www.summitracing.com/parts/arp-100-7703)

Figured the 0.625Ē knurl was close enough, shoulder length was right, and theyíre 1/2-20 pitch by 3.5Ē under head length.

Old stud knocked out ok, but I did need to trim my welded on knuckle spacer from the original WJ conversion.  Note the OEM style studs are BARELY are removable vs the body of the unit bearing.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJWheelStuds6.jpg)


The new ones wonít go back in.  The head is just a bit bigger and hangs up in pretty much the same place the old studs rub on removal.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJWheelStuds7.jpg)


In looking at the clearances closer this interference actually occurs for two reason.  The head of the stud is slightly large diameter but it also maters that the splined knurl on the ARPs is full length.  That means they have to be inserted straighter with more of the head portion protruding.  That also drives the head toward the unit bearing shell which is tapering outward.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJWheelStuds9.jpg)

I debated disassembling the unit bearings since it seems likely the studs were originally pressed into the hub bare.  That said, from what Iíve read, unit bearings arenít intended as serviceable items and if youíre crooked at all in the attempt to press the thing apart you destroy the bearing.  Mine are less than a year old so I wasnít excited about that.

Eventuallyóthough after some careful eyeballingóI decided to suck it up and just shave on my brand new wheel studs.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJWheelStuds8.jpg)


Shaved bits were painted for rust avoidance.  The good news is I was able to keep at least part of the shoulder all the way around so they still clamp down evenly.
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: digitalsolo on August 10, 2019, 09:28:41 AM
Ahhh, the joys of custom, combined with caring about doing it correctly.   Nice work Joel!
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on August 10, 2019, 03:47:25 PM
Install from here wasn’t too bad, albeit HOT DAMN that took some gusto to pull these home.  I used a 19 mm impact socket as my spacer.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJWheelStuds10.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJWheelStuds11.jpg)


It works, but I had an 1,000 ft lb impact gun set on kill and it still took a bit.  Definitely need to keep everything well lubed with antiseize for this job.  Note shown, but I also used a 1/2” fender washer to protect the hub after the first hole when I noticed it slightly marring.  It kinda burnished some of the gold off, but the integrity of the threads is sound.

Sacrificial lug nut was sacrificed.  I had to run a 1/2-20 tap through this after almost every stud was set and after every pull the nut was so hot as to barely be touchable.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJWheelStuds12.jpg)


Wheel spacers were something I had lying around for my Rx7 5x4.5 and 1” thick.  It was originally the style with its own lugs but I’m not really into that if I can avoid it.   I did have to open up the bores a bit but thankfully my baby lathe was just big enough.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJWheelStuds13.jpg)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJWheelStuds14.jpg)


Much better.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJWheelStuds15.jpg)


And it all clears.  I did have to cut off the ends of my lug nuts to turn them in into open end lugs and had to re-tap those as well.  Having a little gold peeking out is gangster, right?

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJWheelStuds16.jpg)
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: freeskier7791 on August 13, 2019, 07:21:35 AM
changing wheel studs is literally the worst.  I always destroy a lug nut and I am always worried about if the force to pull the studs in is actually ruining them.  Like you I always have to chase the threads.
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: cholmes on August 13, 2019, 01:36:56 PM
Can't tell from photos whether you used anti-seize on the knurls of the studs. I've found that doing so really helps with getting the studs in place and eliminates galling between the knurl and the hub. The studs stay in place fine, in fact, the heads of the studs seem to seat more firmly against the hub than they do when installed dry. Just a thought.
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on August 13, 2019, 03:56:59 PM
Can't tell from photos whether you used anti-seize on the knurls of the studs. I've found that doing so really helps with getting the studs in place and eliminates galling between the knurl and the hub. The studs stay in place fine, in fact, the heads of the studs seem to seat more firmly against the hub than they do when installed dry. Just a thought.

Good tip.  I went dry on the splines but after having seen how hard the first one was, I probably should have on the others.
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: frijolee on August 27, 2019, 06:38:19 PM
Jeep has a leaking power steering  problem thatís been kicking my ass so thought Iíd post up about it. 

99% sure I traced it to a failed o-ring between the reservoir and the PS pump.  Tracked down the size online (3mm wide, 14 mm ID) and ordered some viton parts from McMaster (P/N 9263K722).  Triple checked fluid compatibility so thatís fine.

Getting the pump out can be done in situ. 

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJPSleak1.jpg)


Little weird, it kinda looks like the o-ring was riding out toward the outermost lip, looking at the rub mark.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJPSleak2.jpg)


Fresh oil rings (high pressure shears on install)

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJPSleak3.jpg)


Looks like it seats fineÖ

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJPSleak4.jpg)


Öso I throw it back together.  Itís perfect for like two days then, it starts dribbling on my driveway again.

Bíah, pull it apart a second time.  Letís take a closer look.  Pump body looks fine, nothing coming out the back.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJPSleak5.jpg)


There is a tiny scratch mark in the pump bore.  Could that be it?

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJPSleak6.jpg)


Sand it out to be sure.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJPSleak7.jpg)


Reinstall with a new HP o-ring (again), reservoir o-ring is perfect so I use it again.  Iím good for 1 day, then it pukes as bad as it ever has.  Literally dumps about the full reservoir on the ground overnight.  You gotta be kidding me!

Pull it apart for the 3rd time.  Inspect the heck out of the reservoir.  Looks fine, only wet marks are all from that o-ring area.  Itís only been a couple days so the dribble trail is obvious.

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJPSleak8.jpg)


Iím starring at this thing and kinda stumped.  After one more look over I realize the tapered clamp bits that pull the reservoir against the body of the pump have gotten a bit loose.  Clamp those down a bit (overdid it in this shot but you get the idea).

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJPSleak9.jpg)


I even experiment whether I could stack two o-rings on there (Answer: no, it doesnít fit and even trying this says Iím running out of ideas).

(https://sites.google.com/site/frijoleels1fc/XJPSleak10.jpg)


Back together (again).  Good for two days (again).  Now leaking (again).  Itís not as bad a leak as prior, leaves a spot about the size of a softball every half day or so...

WTF man.  Iím serious ready to just replace the whole damn thing but itís annoys me not to be able to solve a simple problem.  Any ideas appreciatedÖ

-Joel
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: largeorangefont on August 27, 2019, 10:38:33 PM
Just dealt with a similar situation on my boat. Finally got it fixed after having it on and off 3 times and the pump repair shop twice.

Pump comes off in 20 mins, but cleaning the PS fluid out of the bilge sucks.
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: Cobranut on August 28, 2019, 10:12:53 AM
Just dealt with a similar situation on my boat. Finally got it fixed after having it on and off 3 times and the pump repair shop twice.

Pump comes off in 20 mins, but cleaning the PS fluid out of the bilge sucks.

One more reason I love outboards, especially the 2-stroke racing motors. 😎
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: digitalsolo on August 28, 2019, 12:38:51 PM
Insufficient compression of the o-ring?
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: freeskier7791 on August 28, 2019, 12:50:21 PM
Insufficient compression of the o-ring?

I would check the parker book/website to make sure the sealing surfaces are in tolerance
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: spacevomit on August 31, 2019, 11:36:45 AM
Can you weld an AN bung on there?
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: largeorangefont on September 01, 2019, 03:45:06 PM
Just dealt with a similar situation on my boat. Finally got it fixed after having it on and off 3 times and the pump repair shop twice.

Pump comes off in 20 mins, but cleaning the PS fluid out of the bilge sucks.

One more reason I love outboards, especially the 2-stroke racing motors. 😎

The newer 4 strokes are pretty bad ass. The new 450 V8s rip!
Title: Re: XJ Frame Stiffeners (or how to waste time on side projects)
Post by: Cobranut on September 01, 2019, 11:46:13 PM
Just dealt with a similar situation on my boat. Finally got it fixed after having it on and off 3 times and the pump repair shop twice.

Pump comes off in 20 mins, but cleaning the PS fluid out of the bilge sucks.

One more reason I love outboards, especially the 2-stroke racing motors. 😎

The newer 4 strokes are pretty bad ass. The new 450 V8s rip!

Maybe, but a 500 pound outboard motor would sink the type of boats I used to run.  :o LOL