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Thread: A tale of two jeeps - the outlaw

  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
    Build Linky: http://www.jeepkings.ca/forums/showt...roject-Big-Red

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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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    IN LOVING MEMORY ..DAYKOTA
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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.


    Sent from the 5th dimension
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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

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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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    Quote Originally Posted by PRIORITY 4 View Post
    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.
    BERNIE!! How did the axles work out??

    You're more than welcome to cruise by any time.

    I'm using an older Hobart 125 handler, the secret is .024 wire and a slow speed, gives you the time to run a nice bead, get good heat but not have a massive pool that you sometimes get with .030 or .035 wire which usually results in booger welds.

    My grandfather-in law was a lead body man and taught welding at fanshawe for 30 years, so i've been able to take advantage of an old timers experience.

  10. #10
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    So.... the updates are a little sparse on this post - but I felt the need to share what happened to me over the weekend, and I blame it entirely on the Dead Kennedys



    So I was rockin' out... all was normal, I was cutting up a storm and got the old bumper off of the frame section from blue thunder - score!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Then I cut down the bumper to get it the size that I needed, and began hackin' er' down --- what a bitch!
    It took forever, but once I got the first side cut, I realized why. The tube was 5/8" wall... jesus.... tank armor isn't even that thick!!

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This is where I blame everything on the Dead Kennedys.... I was so amped when I was measuring the width of the frame rails to know how wide to cut the bumper (I wanted it to stop at the edge of the frame rails so if/when I do a comp cut it will leave me lots of room) I measured the length inside to inside... when I should have measured everything outside to outside... so I cut the bumper about 6" too short.... FAWK!!!!!

    So then I thought well...maybe I could inboard it in the framerails... but then when I did that I had about an 1/8" from the bumper to the shackle bushing... so the shackles would hit the bumper when flexing... DOUBLE FAWK!!!

    At this point I decided to walk away... I was pissed... still am because now I have to go and buy more steel to do it all over again.

    So tonight after work I'm off to get 2x4x.188 to make a new bumper and some 2.5x.25 square tube for a new hitch reciever, and I'll start all over again.

    It's not entirely a bad thing though... because the frame rails at the front are substantially narrower, I might use the screwed up bumper up front, then I'll have a hitch receiver that might come in handy at some point.

    Lookin' for opinions - when I make the new rear bumper, what are your thoughts on tow points??

    I mean, for sure, D-ring shackles look awesome hangin' from a bumper, but from a recovery standpoint I'll have the rear hitch reciever as a tow point. Would there be any additional advantage from incorporating new shackle tabs?

  11. #11
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    Shackle tabs are nice on both sides, because you don't always want to pull at the midpoint, depending on the recovery. Just remember to go all the way through the bumper and weld both sides. I think I used some 1" x 3" solid bar, then rounded the corners and drilled in the 3/4" holes, might be 7/8" or 1" holes can't quite remember.

    Not sure I'd want to use that 5/8" wall tube, front or rear, that must weigh a tonne

  12. #12
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    Just wondering if you dont mind,was that a JK Unlimited you traded? Was it your daily driver and lifted with big tires resulting in mega gas?

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    Quote Originally Posted by irishjeeper View Post
    Just wondering if you dont mind,was that a JK Unlimited you traded? Was it your daily driver and lifted with big tires resulting in mega gas?
    Surprisingly it was just a normal JK sport (2 dr) with 3:73's, it was lifted 2" and had a 1.25" body lift, and just had the 'stock' rubicon 32" BFG's, I made some rock sliders/side steps from stock rubicon rock rails so I may have added 50lbs in tube and messed with the "aerodynamics" by lifting it

    It was just terrible... $80 to fill the tank and I'd be lucky to get 350 out if it before I had to fill up again but I drive highway to work, and with 3:73's and 32's I was right around 3500 RPM at 120km/hr (that might be high... I don't really remember... but it wasn't in the 'optimum mileage zone'). according to the econ, I was always pulling around 13-14 L/100km

    I know jeeps aren't good on fuel - but when I bought mine I lived 6k away from work. My wife and i figured we were a few years away from buying a house, and when we did, it would be in the same town I worked in ... so the crappy mileage didn't really concern me. Fast forward 13 months later an I was in a new house and had an 80km round trip venture to work everyday.

    Sold the jeep, bought a kia and get 450km for 40$

    Click image for larger version. 

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  14. #14
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    OK thanks. To bad, but you gotta do what cha have to. Love the square head lights. Heard good things about the Soul.

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    Axles has not make it under my jeep yet but probably do the swap this winter. I will give you a txt before I visit and drink your beer.

    Theory sounds good with fusing metal in one.

  16. #16
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    FINALLY got the chance to do some more work on Big Red... been spending most of the last couple weeks getting 'parts'

    So after the bumper debockle, I went and picked up some 2x4x.188 to redo the bumper.. so I got that, and then gave it to a friend of mine who is a certified welder in a mold making shop... which means sweet tools in which to make bumpers for your friends, this is what I ended up with.

     photo 24_zpsbdde277a.jpg

     photo 25_zps912344d6.jpg


    Should be ok... I know a lot of people weld through the bumper for tabs - these are just surface mount, but we made them large enough to get a wicked amount of contact, and therefore think they will be alright.. please don't H8 if you think I'm incorrect in that assumption. If anything, the hitch receiver is solid as FAWK, so if there's going to be some serious recovery, I'll use it as opposed to the tabs. Until then.. I'll use the tabs up until the point where they show me otherwise. I was outside at work the other day and we're having some work done to our building. There was one of those trucks with the forklift on the back, and the tabs that the forklift gets chained to are tabs just like that, not welded through (I checked-the guy thought it was a little weird when I started molesting his trailer)... so I think I'll be ok.

    I wanted to keep the tabs as close to the end of the framerails as possible as I thought it would be better for lateral strenght, and had I put them through the bumper it would have interfered with the framerails.

    The first thing I did was take about 8000 measurements from the old frame to try and determine how far apart my rails needed to be - once I figured them out I set everything up on my frame jig...err... workbench.

     photo 27_zps198fa61a.jpg

    Made sure everything was square and level, set the bumper on top and tacked it into place. Once it was tacked, I checked my measurements again at the bottom and tacked in a piece of t-bar I had umm.. lying around (at the house they were building down the street... I love living in a new subdivision) to make sure the bottom didn't pull in on me.

     photo 37_zpsdebaa0ba.jpg

    Then burned it home on the top and bottom.

     photo 29_zps6f0f84fe.jpg

    I know what you're thinking - the welds have crappy penetration (much like myself and most other married men), but that's ok. Essentially because the tubing curves at each corner, you end up with an 1/8" gap at the top and bottom where the tube meets, so I sped the wire feed waaay up to fill it and worked quickly (I kept burning through the end of the tube when it was slower). The top and bottom will be fish plated with 1/8" and the insides will be reinforced with 3/16" angle iron, and then there will be a 3/16" gusset/body mount in each corner at the top - it will end up being plenty strong.

    Not too bad for a Monday after a long a$$ day at work.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bumper.jpg   hitch.jpg   shackletab.jpg   framejig.jpg   Framemockup.jpg  

    framexmemberweld.jpg  
    Last edited by pnut; 10-10-2013 at 09:59 AM.

  17. #17
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    Looking good dude.

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    This post is brought to you by the musical stylings of The Jim Carroll Band



    Well... it's been a while since any real work has been done, but I got out to the shop for a couple hours last weekend.

    Made some fish plates for the top and bottom of the bumper/framerail meetin' area and burned em' in. They're 1.5x.125 flat bar

     photo 30_zps83c94f54.jpg

    Then made some 'gussets'/tie in's for the inside and outside of the framerail, I used 2"x.188 angle iron... so it was a little close to my shackle bushings. I had to get crafty so I used the holesaw I had for the bushing sleeves and carved a little relief out of the angle so it wouldn't interfere with the bushing sleeve.

     photo 31_zpsc92ffd74.jpg

     photo 32_zpsca32fd22.jpg

    Eventually there will be another gusset joining the two pieces with a triangular piece of 4x.188 flat bar, they will also double as the body mounts for the rear of the tub.

    That's about it really.... but I was doing some kijiji trollin' and found a sweet deal on a brand new set of BDS shocks... they are for a TJ with a 4" lift... I ran the part numbers and it looks like the back is .25" shorter than YJ shocks, and the front is 1.5" shorter than YJ shocks. I planned on rebuilding the front and rear shock mounts anyway both on the axle and the frame... so I didn't really care about the discrepancy in sizing - just means when I need replacement shocks I need to remember I need to order TJ shocks. They were a good price so I couldn't say no.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Next up on the agenda is to make some new super tall jack stands/supports, because in my infinite wisdom I didn't think that the wooden brace/stand that I built to hold the back of the tub up when I cut the frame off would be in my way... and it totally is. I needed to do something as the tub is still connected to the front two body mounts and the rad mount, so when I cut the frame I didn't want the tub to droop and screw something up.

    So the new plan is to make some tall stands that will sit outside the frame and support the tub so I can slide the new frame in and out while I test for gas tank and body mount locations. I'm thinkin inside the wheel tub where the roll cage mounts to... seems pretty solid.

    So to start making my custom el-cheapo stands I picked up a couple of leveling jacks for scaffolding from a rent-all place:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    The plan is just to get some steel tube and weld a plate on the top and then I can raise and lower the stands exactly where they need to be so I can fine tune the height of the tub.

    Not the most exact method... but it'll do the trick.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails guessetts welded.jpg   IMG_0809.jpg   IMG_0810.jpg   gussets.jpg  
    Last edited by pnut; 04-10-2014 at 11:16 AM.

  19. #19
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    Love the homemade jack idea, I can never get everything lined up perfectly so this would be great.

    Oh, and great job on the bumper and frame so far, I'm sure it'll be plenty strong enough, especially since you had a guy welding it that knows what he's doing.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by tealj View Post
    Love the homemade jack idea, I can never get everything lined up perfectly so this would be great.

    Oh, and great job on the bumper and frame so far, I'm sure it'll be plenty strong enough, especially since you had a guy welding it that knows what he's doing.
    Thanks, I'll post up the finished product of the jacks, I think it should work ok, I ended up getting 4, 2' levelers so if I get 2' sections of tube I'll end up with roughly 6' of adjustment.

    My buddy the certified welder did the bumper.. I did the rest.. And I have no clue what I'm doing
    Based on my extensive research on pirate... I hope I'll be ok... I guess I'll figure it out the first time I peg the rev limit on some rocks.
    Last edited by pnut; 12-11-2012 at 02:15 PM.

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