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Thread: A tale of two jeeps - the outlaw

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  1. #1
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    A tale of two jeeps - the outlaw

    So... I've been on the hunt for a new (to me) Jeep since I had to unload my 2011 JK... the $700 a month in fuel was just killing me... as was the strain from puckering my a$$hole every time I took it wheeling... terrified that I would break it and be unable to get home or make it to work the following Monday. So I traded my Jeep in on a KIA Soul (which I love actually) and began the search for the jeep that was right for me.

    Because cheap is what I was going for - I began looking for YJ's... I'm not a big fan of the 4.2L or the hybrid cyborg confused electric manual carburetor air injection thingy... however, I love that they are usually kickin' around for cheap (usually because they are slowly rotting away), the simplicity of leaf spring suspensions is something that is appealing to me and YJ's seem to be a dying breed.. so I wanted something that not everyone else had.

    What I'm going for is something that is reliable and has good road manners for the days I want to take it to the beach or cruise to work, I want something that isn't too built that it's a pain for my wife or my future kids to climb in and roll with, but I also want something that is trail capable.. I'm not really into any redicutarded rock climbing or anything like that - I just like to cruise through the trails and enjoy the nature, the odd bit of mud, and some off camber climbing.

    What I decided on was a YJ with 33's and a 2 inch lift, if I need some more height I'll go for a comp cut and a highline fender.

    So... after some searching... I gave up, and then one day I was out at the local wrecking yard looking for a new axle nut for the mother in law's van... and I spotted these two beauties.

    Big Red
     photo 1_zps801d2f18.jpg

    andBlue Thunder
     photo 2_zps8080709e.jpg

    Basically Big red came into the wrecking yard because it had taken it in the rear and it kinked the frame, this in conjunction with the holes in the floor and the rotten rear shackle mounts made it a write off. But once the owner of the yard spotted Big Red's sweet tramp stamp on the hood, he decided to restore it. He was sporting a mullet, reebok high-tops and a bass pro shops hat if that helps to explain how the air brushed mural appealed to him.

    Big Red's tramp stamp

     photo 3_zps9405d506.jpg

    "Go fast or go home - I feel the need to increase the speed" - really, someone thought this was awesome at one point.

    So essentially the wrecking yard started doing the body and put in new floor pans and painted it, and then were going to figure out what to do with the frame.

    Then Blue Thunder rolled into the yard as the result of a rollover that actually separated the tub from the frame... but the frame was good so the yard planned on swapping Big Red onto Blue Thunder's frame.

    Then they lost interest... so they both sat for about a year and a half... became a burden and I picked em both up for a song.

    The front of Blue Thunder's frame was fuct - the front horns had broken/rusted off and a motor mount was missing/busted... plus it was a 2.5 frame and Big Red was a 4.2... so I decided I didn't want to waste my time trying to do the frame swap.. So Blue thunder got torn apart

    I stripped the axles, tires, trans/transfercase, rear seat, springs, sway bar, exhaust and a few other goodies... as well as lopped off the back section of the frame as I thought it was in 'good' shape and it was in much better shape than Big Red. After that... Blue Thunder went to the big jeep yard in the sky.



     photo 6_zpsa49aac44.jpg

     photo 7_zps63e33418.jpg

     photo 5_zps273c5cb9.jpg

    My plan was to cut the frame on Big Red and sleeve and graft on the back section of the frame from Blue Thunder... but once I got the rear frame home and had a good look at it... it was pretty rusty.. had some shackle bushing rot, gas tank xmember rot... but more importantly, it was twisted.... so out went that idea.

    Then I decided it was just simpler to do a 'backhalf' - I put it in quotations because, by definition, I'm cutting the back half off of the frame, and building something new from there back... however I'm essentially going to re-create what was there... but add in a few bits of engineering nuggetry while I go.

    Here's the kink in Big Red's frame, drivers side, just in front of the rear front hanger mount.

     photo 8_zps608c590b.jpg

    So I decided that I was going to cut the frame at the kink - the frame is straight at that point forward, and leaving the spring mount will give me a measurement point that I can align everything to.

    So I tore out the axle and springs and got ready to cut the frame.


    I don't have any pictures of that... not really exciting... but I do have this gem, the neighbor kid cruised over in their jeep to give me a hand - I had them knock the rust off the frame
     photo 10_zpsb9aafc20.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Big Red3.jpg   Blue Thunder.jpg   Big Red2.jpg   joe.jpg   old frame.jpg  

    thunder.jpg   thunder2.jpg   Big red frame kink.jpg   axle.jpg   bignlittle.jpg  

    Last edited by pnut; 10-10-2013 at 09:48 AM.
    1957 Chev 3100 task force (in proggress)
    1991/87/89/95 YJ - The OutlaW SOLD
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  2. #2
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    So essentially I cut off the body mount just in front of the leaf spring hanger and cut the frame flush with the mount - this gives me just over 7 inches before the frame squeezes in for the skid plate and all that stuff.

     photo 11_zpsab465a6e.jpg

    I decided to build the rear frame out of 2x4x.125 tubing... I looked into .188... but didn't really think the "strength" outweighed the weight and cost... plus all stock Jeep frames are .125... and they can take a total poop kickin'... so if Jeep thought it was good enough... so do I.

    So to start, the 2x4 is a little tall for the jeep frame, so I had to make a little notch so it would fit inside, then the 2x4 is a little narrower than the jeep frame, so I welded a strip of 2x.125 flat bar onto the outside of the tube, so it will fit tight inside the jeep frame and allow me to rosette weld the insert in a straight line on one side of the frame. On the other side I'll do a staggered rosette

    Here's a picture of the insert that I made - i allows for 7inches to go into the existing frame as a 'sleeve' I'll then rosette weld the sides, and weld the two tubes together and fish plate it all.

     photo 12_zps2a5f8aad.jpg

    So rather than try and mimic the curve that's in the Jeep frame, I thought I'd take a page from an article I read in JP mag a while ago, and it basically had plans for an old CJ/YJ frame out of 2.4 tube, I guess if you measure the distance from the centre hole of the rear,front spring mount, to the centre hole of the rear frame shackle bushing, the distance is 4"... so rather than piss about with 17 pie cuts, I just cut both 2x4s at a 45 degee, stacked em', welded' em and then gusseted it with 3x.188 flat bar cut to shape. Filled the ends in with some 2x.125 flat bar and voila - frame rail.

     photo 13_zps147e1da9.jpg

     photo 14_zps6ed948d1.jpg

    You can see in the one photo the flat bar welded to the outside of the insert to make it the same size as the jeep frame

    Now because I'm a tard, I cut both of my inserts out of the same 5' piece of 2x4... so by the time I was done both inserts and one frame rail.. I had two pieces of 2x4 that weren't long enough to do the other side.. FAWK... so now I gotta pick up some more steel and I can get back at er'

    Stay Tuned...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails framecut.jpg   frame insert.jpg   framerail box.jpg   framerail gusset.jpg   framerail.jpg  

    Last edited by pnut; 10-10-2013 at 09:50 AM.

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    thats a cool find
    http://www.youtube.com/user/piratexpress1369a
    96 ZJ 4.0L 33x15 BFG'S

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  4. #4
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    Stickybongsmoking is offline Yes, this is gawd damn muthafockling CTD NUT.
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    Redicutarded! ┼wesome new word! Good luck with your build....






    Carry on. That is all.


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    Quote Originally Posted by CTD NUT View Post
    Redicutarded! ┼wesome new word! Good luck with your build....
    Redicutarded was the result of too much Captain Morgans in one night.... I got a leg up and started slurring my words... Redcutarded was the ONLY good thing to come out of that night

  6. #6
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    Well, got some more steel and got a little bit of work done last night... started off with another bonehead move I cut the 45 degree bevel for the insert going the wrong way...FAWK.
    So I had to whip up another one... the good news is, when you're doing something for the third time... it's a lot easier and faster.
    This is the one with the wrong angle, but it's a better shot of the insert with the plates I welded to it so it's an exact fit for the stock frame.

     photo 16_zps280786eb.jpg

    Some sweet liquid metal glue action...

     photo 17_zps8c3837fb.jpg



    Gusset clamped and welded on

     photo 19_zpscfdb2203.jpg

     photo 18_zpsb992f90d.jpg

    While I was waiting for the molton metal to cool - I started drilling some holes in the frame for the rosette welds once I insert the new frame rails - not the largest holes.. so that's why I did a few of em.

     photo 20_zpsed87d2b3.jpg

    The shop dog cruised out to lick my face while I drilled out the frame...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    At that point in time it was 10pm so I decided to shut er' down
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails frame insert2.jpg   weld.jpg   framerail clamp.jpg   frameweld.jpg   framerosettes.jpg  

    Last edited by pnut; 10-10-2013 at 09:54 AM.

  7. #7
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    So.. this weekend I was thankful for time in the shop

    got some more work done on Big Red - unfortunately it's little time consuming stuff - so despite a solid 5 hrs of work.. there's not a lot of productivity.

    First thing, Friday the parts fairy arrived and brought me some new poly body mounts and rear frame shackle bushings.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The next step was to figure out where I needed to install the sleeves in the frame rails for the new bushings - I tried to measure the old frame to get some specifics but was having a hard time trying to calculate the height of the old shackle mounts in comparison to the lower spring mount in the rear - from what I could tell it was about 3.5 inches higher, because I didn't drop the back of the new framerails when I built them the lowest I felt I could get it was 4.5 inches higher, so I think I'll just correct this with some longer boomerang shackles when I put the suspension back together.

    Drillin' some holes in the frame rail

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The bushings I got were 1 7/8 on the frame side, and approximately 1.5 on the inside, so I picked up some 1 7/8x.25 tubing to make the sleeves. I picked up a hole saw from TSC, I was a little disappointed they didn't have any Starret hole saws... the only one they had in 1 7/8 was a "Mibro".. I was a little nervous... and then when I opened it up and saw that the instructions were entirely in Spanish I became a little more nervous. All in all it was a nice setup, the mandrel and pilot drill were all included with it - the slowest the drillpress would go was 700 RPM but I went 'slow' and used a crap ton of cutting oil to keep it cool and it seemed to do pretty well.

    Some drill press action

    Click image for larger version. 

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    So now that I had holes, I needed sleeves - unfortunately I don't have access to a band saw or anything so I just fired up the angle grinder and a cutting disc and cut my pieces at 2.5" - the same as the leaf springs, and then cleaned them up with with a grinding disc on my fisher price bench vice.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    When I went to put the sleeve in the hole it didn't quite fit - probably 1/32 too large so I fired up the Demel and enlarged the holes a little -I can't seem to find my carbide burrs so I had to use the sanding drums... they worked sirprisingly well... I only went through two.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    So if you remember - in order to get the frame rails to fit inside the jeep frame I had to 'shim' the one side, so I offset the bushings in the new frame rails to keep the geometry of the stock leaf springs.

    Some sweet sleeve weld action.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I wanted to see if I had my measurements right, so I tossed in a frame rail to see where the bushing would sit - it ended up just in front of the rear-most body mount - where it's supposed to be.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Next I started cutting the old bumper off of the chunk o' frame from Blue Thunder - it's 2x4.. but it weights like 8 trillion pounds... so it wouldn't surprise me if it's .25 wall or .188. I like the bumper because it has two d-ring shackle mounts as well as a hitch receiver - plus its in great shape other than a little surface rust.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The plan is to butt weld this to the end of the frame rails, and then I'll fish plate it to the outside, top and bottom of the frame rails - I'm going to cut this to the width of the frame as there might be a comp-cut in the future so I'd rather chop it now than later.

    About this point I busted a cutting disc on the booger welds, got hungry and needed a beer so I called it quits... stay tuned.
    Last edited by pnut; 10-09-2012 at 10:31 AM.

  8. #8
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    Nice progress on your build Chris. BTW your welds looks better than mine. What are you using to glue you metal together?
    Keep up the good work, I might have to come by to look and see.
    92 RENEGADE

    ECNALUBMA NA SI PEEJ REHTHO YM

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    A tale of two jeeps - project Big Red

    Fawk ya! Go for it! How about day glow orange! Tremclad rolls on great if thinned properly!

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    WARNING! I am about to do something really fawking STUPID!!!!!!
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by thing1 View Post
    Fawk ya! Go for it! How about day glow orange! Tremclad rolls on great if thinned properly!

    Sent from my BlackBerry 9780 using Tapatalk
    Tremclad sprays even better if thinned more

  11. #11
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    This post is brought to you by the letter M..... for Motorhead





    Ok, so it's been a while... but I FINALLY got out to the garage for some work this weekend.
    Still some more tedious stuff - but it's coming along, actually starting to look like a frame now.

    So the first order of business was to start making the mounts for the gas tank and skidplate.

    I took some 2" x .125 angle and drilled all the necessary holes for the skid plate. I also needed to notch a little relief in it because it needs to fit around the hitch receiver that comes through the back.

    Said mount:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Then I welded it to the inside of the bumper and added some gussets to add strength. I probably didn't need to, seeing as how I stood on it to test out the structural integrity, and it didn't move with my 300lb ass bouncing on it.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    For the front side of the gas tank - I thought I'd take this opportunity to improve on stupid Jeep factory engineering.
    Here is a picture of a factory YJ suspension (with the exception of the SOA)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    You'll notice the shock mount location is totally fawked - first off the lower mounts hang down way below the axle, and to top it off - they're in front of the damn axle.... that would never get caught on a rock... WTF?

    To make matters even worse, the shocks tilt forward towards the front of the vehicle. Not that I'm an expert, but I've been reading Petersons 4WD Chassis and Suspension Handbook (bitchin' read - highly recommend it), and in regards to getting the best performance out of leaf springs, you always want to mount your shocks so they are matching the same motion of the springs. So, with the shackles of a YJ leaf being at the back, the springs move up and back, therefore the shocks should be tilted back too. So that's what I'm gonna do.

    Here is a pic of the new crossmember I added, the back side houses the other piece of angle for the gas tank mount, and the front will be where I'm going to mount the shocks with tabs.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    As you'll recall in my previous post - I bought TJ shocks at a wicked deal, but they are a little shorter than YJ shocks, so I'm going to pick up some TMR tabs and mount he shocks on top of the axle and rake them back to mount to the new crossmember (2"x.125 square tube). This get them up out of the way, deal with the length issue, and eliminate the stupid YJ frame mount thingy that always rots off or shears.

    So then I ran out of things to do because I don't have my new gas tank straps, and I need to get the skid plate sand blasted. So to finish things off I capped the ends of the bumper.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Next on the agenda is the put the frame into place again so I can figure out the rear body mount placement, then take it out and weld on the body mount plates/gussets, then burn it home, install springs, install axle and start working on shock mount/locations
    Last edited by pnut; 12-03-2012 at 12:42 PM.

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    Are you still gonna call it "big red" if not Id like that Name

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    Looking good pnut as always, geter done!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeeper52 View Post
    Are you still gonna call it "big red" if not Id like that Name
    I think it will always be 'Big Red' to me ... however, I can see how the name won't be overly fitting once I change the colour.

    If I end up painting it green I think I may call it the green bastard.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    You can totally have Big Red.

  15. #15
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    A tale of two jeeps - the outlaw

    So I ended up getting some more work done this weekend, got the tub totally stripped, cut the fenders off and removed the hood.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Then pulled the tub off and wished Big Red farewell. The. Just for kicks, I inserted my back half... Fits like a charm, and looks bad ass!!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This week I'm hoping to burn it home and then start removing all of the rust on the frame and slopping on some chassis saver (or something like that, can't remember the name, but it'll put por15 to shame)

    Getting ready to set up the rear suspension, so I ordered some goodies from TMR, awesome stuff, and they shipped super fast. I had a couple of questions about their products and Tim himself responded to my email within an hour and actually attached cell phone pics in his response so I could gauge sizing.. Now that is service!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I'm gonna hide the skull somewhere on the back half.

    That is all.

  16. #16
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    Looking good Chris. keep up the good work.

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    A tale of two jeeps - the outlaw

    Got out and did a little more this weekend.

    Made sure the new frame was all level, with my fancy new degree finder, this helped because the frame isn't level on the jack stands, and my garage floor slopes towards the door for drainage.

    Old frame:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    New frame:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    - SWEET

    then went to work on burning it home... Bit of a challenge, I'm not very good at welding vertically so the welds aren't the prettiest... But I got some good penetration, so I don't have any concern that they'll ever fail... I'm no master fabricator so if you have any thoughts or concerns about this please let me know.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    It was nice to get back to some welding... Rather than taking stuff apart or sucking rust dust... I jus picked up a new helmet too, it's the "auto arc" which is Hobart, and I was really impressed with it, the viewing field is pretty large, and I really like the shield darkening adjustment being on the outside so you can fine tune it without having to take the thing off... Winning!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    More to come, I just got back from spending $80 on a bag of grade 8 hardware (FML) so I can start putting the rear suspension back together.

  18. #18
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    A tale of two jeeps - the outlaw

    Back at er' this weekend.

    For those of you who saw my inquiry, I found a problem with the location of the shackle mounts in the frame... Too far back.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    My measurements were cool, but YJ springs are designed to sit rather flat and the shackle sits almost at 90* under load.. No good.

    So I whipped up these puppies - in the true spirit of project OutlaW being worthy of surviving a Zombie apocalypse, the new shackle mounts are bomb proof.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    They'll rip off the frame before they ever fail.

  19. #19
    Join Date
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    Ingersoll ON
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    A tale of two jeeps - the outlaw

    So then I whipped up some shackles, as I didn't feel like spending 80 skins on new ones.

    1.5 x .25 flat bar

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Waaaay better shackle angle

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    Basically, when I moved the frame up, I moved the shackle mounts up 1.5". I was just gonna make longer shackles to compensate for this, now I'm about .25 lower than the stock shackle bushing locations. I made the new shackles the same length as a stock set, so one could say I gained .25" of lift, but with the new shackle angle being a little farther forward, I'll probably lose that height and maybe more because the spring will actually be working properly.

    While welding the new mounts in place I ran outta wire (FAWK), so to keep productivity moving along I focused my attention to the old axle so I could start getting it ready to mock up the new shock mounts.

    Step one- drain the fluid... And guess what I found.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    It's locked!!!! Sh!t yeah!!

    Lets hope the front is too!!

    Because my garage isn't heated the fluid was pretty slow to drain out, so I just left it draining as I only had another hour I could work anyway.

    More to come!

    I have absolutely no idea why my pics are upside down... stupid tapatalk
    Last edited by pnut; 02-19-2013 at 03:06 PM.

  20. #20
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    now that's a great surprise in the rear end
    91 Renagade
    frame replacement and more http://www.jeepkings.ca/forums/showt...91-yj-renagade

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