Taking Death Trap to the next step (1 Viewer)

workingdog

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So, this is going to be a build thread for my '66/'67 fj40. Currently on fj60 axles, 6.0l GM V8, 4L80, fj60 transfer case with AA 4.0 gear set. And, both rear quarter panels and wheel wells are trashed.

IMG_4927.jpg


After following the Knorr Brothers @55guy on the Rubicon for Rubithon, I realized that I need/want to go to 40's with a longer wheel base and a little more height (as little as needed). And then on my next trip I blew up a birfield and that kind of sealed the deal for making some improvements.

We've reached a point where it does not appear there's any way to do this incrementally anymore, so we are committing to diving in for the next year. I'm going to restore the garage to a garage (it had been converted to an in-law unit by PO and the garage doors are now french doors), kick my son's band out, and move in there.

I've been told I can't run 40's on my fj60 axles, even with RCV shafts. That I HAVE to go to dana 60's. Okay, But, to accommodate 40's I also need to go up at least 2 to 3 inches (rig is currently sprung under). And, lengthening the wheelbase (I did a head stand on the way into the RTF property and had to be drug up on the way out) is hard to do with springs.

So, the plan is to stop doing half measures and jump in and do it all. Dana 60's front and rear, stretch the rear of the frame and modify it to accommodate links, 4 link rear, 3 link with track bar front, coil overs, built new tub as Ramination did here My '64 FJ40 Build - Cave Cricket. Build new front fenders. Have the tub off the rear and the fenders and aprons off the front, we'll have decent access to both axles.

It's going to be a while before the garage is ready. We can start by taking the roll cage off and doing the body tear down outside. But, for now, I'm just trying to work on the details like desired wheelbase, track width, ride height, link design, parts I'll need. Buy new or used axles, etc. etc.


Here is my beginning build plan right now



  • Workspace/Garage
  • Garage door
  • How?
  • Is it high enough? No, it’s not
  • So, what has to be done to get it high enough?
  • Gable end this end (both ends)? That is the least amount of work
  • And it fixes everything else
  • Need to fix the bowing walls
  • Truly workable carport from back of garage to a car length in front of garage.

  • Design
  • Set track width goal
  • What is the current track?
  • What is the desired track?
  • What wheels are we going to run?
  • Set wheelbase goal
  • Is a stretch required
  • Set ride height goal
  • 40” tires
  • Preliminary link/coilover design

  • Tear down
  • Remove roll cage (outside with gantry)
  • Remove the front fender, grill and aprons (and keep)
  • Brace tub to locate B pillar
  • Remove the tub, cut from body behind gas filler and gas tank
  • Throw away quarter panels and wheel wells
  • Keep existing floor and rear sill
  • Remove fj60 axles and sell them
  • Set rig on jack stands
  • Remove all suspension mounting points on frame

  • Frame work
  • Clean, inspect, and repair the frame (at this point it’s accessible except for the middle)
  • In rear, remove rear curve down and stretch 10* inches
  • 2x5 or 2x4 0.188 wall box tube
  • Figure out how to mount 4plus bumper at the right height.
  • Box frame where necessary
  • Optional - Remove 3 inches front frame to move front bumper in

  • Axles, suspension, and steering
  • Buy Dana 60 axles front and rear – buy new and rebuild or buy new?
  • Used axles still need to be narrowed, new axle shafts, 4.88 gears, lockers, knuckles, truss
  • Which is a lot of work and expense
  • Buy coil-overs – 14” of travel, start with 150/150
  • But link kit, hoops, and other parts for links coil-overs, steering and cross members
  • Finalize wheel base and ride height
  • Lay out four link in rear and three link with track bar in front including hoops for coil overs front and rear
  • Coil overs in rear to fit inside new full height wheel wells
  • Figure out steering
  • Rear link mount cross member
  • Front link mount cross member
  • Finalize four link Including all mounting tabs and crossmembers
  • Tack all mounts in, use PVC links and.
  • Tack in in coil-over mounts to axle and hoop mounts to frame
  • test cycle
  • Once good, weld them in and weld up links

  • Body
  • Stretch floor 10 inches - in the middle or at the gas tank
  • Storage where gas tank would be?
  • Buy new quarter panels with top lip
  • Extended quarter panels 10 inches as needed
  • Fabricate new wheel wells that are full height (replicate stock texture or buy reproduction wheel wells and make them taller)
  • Turn rear doors into tailgate
  • Assemble quarter panels, lip, floor, wheel wells, to body including frame for tailgate
  • Build (or buy) new front fenders, trim apron to fit for ride height
  • Modify roll cage for new tub
  • Don’t stretch, maybe add a kicker to the back.
  • modify body mounts to work with new wheel well height

  • Engine bay
  • Relocate power steering cooler
  • Reorganize engine bay
  • Work on firewall as much as possible
  • Fan and shroud on radiator
  • New radiator?
 
Joined
Feb 5, 2003
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424
Sounds great !!! BUT Stop !!! Look at Tim W. fj40 from the club , Come awnnnnnn out to MUD-n-er- eye in April ,So you can see what the guys are running , I think a 14 bolt rear is the best way to go ( still cheap $ to buy) and dana 60 up front save lots of $$$ keeping 8 lug , You definitely have a good game plan ,and a good rig to build , Good Luck ! My 2 cents
 
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x2 on the 14B. use cab chassis hubs or DRW hubs. makes it 63" wms. 60 rear will not hold up. Narrow up a front 60, 5" and call it a day.
 

workingdog

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Santa Rosa, CA
Thanks for all the great input. I don’t like 14 bolts, pumpkins are so huge. I like the idea of the van Dana 60 mentioned.

I was also just told that I should fun full width axles with 5” of backspace. You get the same track as if you narrowed the axle, but also get much improved steering, less scrubbing, less pressure on the steering system.

I'm also getting feedback to not link the front, it will lose all streetablility. That I should spring over the front and link the rear.
 
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workingdog

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Thanks @Lil'John, that's very helpful. We are going to be doing this in our garage, and using the 4 bar linkage calculator - and stealing from as man people as we can.

Was that 40 stretched at all? Don't suppose you have a picture from the side and know the wheel base?
 

workingdog

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Talk to me about wheelbase. What can I achieve without stretching the frame? I found a post from 2005 that said 'I've got a leaf sprung '40 which sits at 102 with 39.5x18 boggers. Works very very well.' Can you really get to 102 on leaf springs?
 
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workingdog

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Okay, so I'm trying to make this easier.

Here's what I'm thinking of now.

No need to stretch the frame (or body) I can get to 102 to 104 as it is by 4 linking the rear. I'll still need to
  • Get a junk yard dana 60 for the back (shafts, gears, lockers, brakes)
  • remove the trashed rear quarter panels and the wheel wells - so that gives me good access when they are off
  • modify the frame
  • install the 4 link and coil overs
  • raise the ride height 2 to 3 inches so that I can fit 40's but I'll keep running 37's for now.
  • New drivelines as needed
  • install new quarter panels and full height wheel wells (all the way to the lip to accommodate coil overs)
In the front - for now - just use blocks or shackles to raise the front enough so the rig is level.
and then drive it on 37's and sort out any issues
I should be able to do all this over the winter.

I've found I work best if I can chunk the project down as small as possible and get the rig running in between. It keeps me motivated and it keeps problems from accumulating to the point I get overwhelmed.

The next step would be to install new front fenders at a height that will accommodate 40's
Then I can get new tires and wheels when it makes sense and I have the $3,000 it's probably going to cost

And, then, when it makes sense, I can get a dana 60 for the front, work it over, and then either spring over the front or link the front as I think makes the most sense.

Once the rear is done and it's on the road again, I can wheel it at any stage - on 37s, on 40s - with the FJ60 axle in front - which will allow me to evaluate how things are going.
 
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So here"s the problem you will have ,, 6 lug front and 8 lug rear , when all is said and done your going to want 8 lug !
My brother did all this , First up grade for a fj is a stronger rear axle ,Ok so he gets a 14 bolt ,and buys (special ) 6 lug hubs for it ,
All good until years later he wants a dana 60 front axle that 8 lug ??? His fix was (special 6 lug outters for dand 60 )
All money waisted just to keep 6 lug ??? and to not buy new wheels . ho ho ho
 

workingdog

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Sorry, Using blocks to get the front up and level with the back so that I can link the back, run it for a while and decide what to do with the front.
 
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I would stretch the body and frame if I were you. Its more work but the truck will look way better. I would also consider a 100 series rear axle, they are pretty strong. You can weld up the axle flange holes and drill them out to whatever lug number you want. I have a 2" body lift on my 40 and really like it. It allows for more up travel. If you did a 2" body lift and raised the fenders you would have quite a bit more room for tires and it would take very little work to do. Some people don't like the look of body lifts. You can look at my build and see if you like the look of it or not. I personally am happy with the look but it might not be for you.
 

workingdog

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Ya, I'm aware of all that. I'm hoping it's only 2" or 3", which people run all the time, And I'd only run it for a while on the street so I can sort out the 4 link in the rear. I don't think I'd ever wheel it.
 

workingdog

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Okay, doing design stuff while waiting for the garage remodel to happen.

Here's where I'm at.
1. Tub is toast so I'm at least going to do a half tub. Scared of aluminum and prefer metal, so I'm leaning that way
2. I'M NOT BUILDING THIS AROUND A SET OF RIMS. I hate these rims (they were cheap). I haven't picked out rims yet, but I'm thinking Hutchinson.
3. I like the idea of the 2000 dana 60 for the rear. I'll start looking for one.
4. I'm thinking of going with a Currie front axle all setup the right width, gears locker, lugs, etc. all done
5. 8 lub all around
5. Keeping the 4:1 fj60 transfer case.

Things I'm current working on

Final track width. Wider than the fj60 axles on it now, but not full width. I actually like the current track width (it has wheel spacers) It wheels very nicely on the Rubicon. @Lil'John - why do I need to go full width if I go 40's? Just so they can turn? Rubbing?

Still working on wheel base. I'm leaning towards 102???? I understand Belly clearance and break over is an issue. Somewhere on mud I found a thread on wheel base where someone said they are 24" clear. s***, I'm only 14" clear right now (at the skid plate under the toy box). I'm assuming I've got to go up at least 2-3" to get the 40's to clear front and rear and to fit coilovers in the back. But, do I need to think more about drive train clearance?

In the rear the links seem relatively easy, the issue is coils and shocks. My plan is to move the wheel wells up in the new tub to just under the lip to be able to fit coilovers in that space without having them coming through the wheel wells so the tub is still usable. This is not some high speed desert rig, I don't need a huge amount of travel. But, why not just go with coils and shocks and make the packaging easier - what am I giving up? What am I gaining?

I'm hoping to learn enough CAD to model the thing so I can work this stuff out now so that when I get to work, I'm not sorting it out on the fly.
 

workingdog

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Okay, time for an update - but only on thinking - no actual progress has been made.

I've honed in on wheel base of 102" to 105" - no stretching of frame. Right now I'm assuming I'm taking the rear axle back about 6" and the front axle forward about 2" (I think there's enough room for the steering to accommodate that)
I've honed in on 23" to 24" of frame height (I'm at about 20" right now).
To accommodate 40" tires (the plan is Hutchinson wheels right now). The tires take me up about 1.5", so the suspension goes up another 1.5" to 2"
I'm still working on the track width. I'd like to be a little wider than what I have now which is fj60 axle width plus spacers.
I'm looking at getting a used rear dana 60 and cutting it down and upgrading it (35 spline shafts, locker, truss, 4.88, 8 lug, etc) and buying a new custom front axle from Currie or one of the vendors withe the same specifications
I'm also thinking I need to go to Atlas to get the the transfer case tucked up all the way. I was planning on keeping the split case with 4:1 AA gears, but I really want more clearance than it gives me

I'm still not sure if I need to cut the frame at the top of the hump in the rear and go straight back to make it work.
Use WFO link parts
King coilovers front and rear (I'm not going full desert racer, still determining how tall the rears are going to be, but I'm using the ICON chassis as an inspiration and they fit theirs in a the wheel well).

As to the rear links, here's what I'm headings towards
bottom link at axle as low as I can get it without turning it into a giant rock catcher, about 19"
Upper link at axle 25% of 40" tire height above lower link (10") or about 29" in WFO link thing on truss on diff.
Lower link about 38" inches long and goes up less than 10 degrees for a rise of about 6" to 7" or 25"
Upper link is about level (so 29" at frame) - leaving about 4" of separation.
Upper and lower links are about the same length to help the pinion point at at the transfer case through travel (caster doesn't matter on the rear axle)
New cross member built to hold the back of the atlas and the links.
12" to 14" King coilovers. Wheel well might move up, but I will not have a hole in the wheel well with the coil over sticking through. I'm going to keep a functional bed (has tank is under the front seats)

In front, I'd still like to leave it on leaf springs for now and take it to 3 link later, but I'm not sure how get it up the necessary 3" with a minimal amount of wasted effort. But, when I do go to 3 link, here's the plan

Upper link is shorter (75%) than lower links sacrificing pinion angle for maintaining caster on the road - this is going to stay a streatable rig that I drive around town for fun - as I do now.
Lower link design is similar to the rear.
 

SNLC

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I would look at Spidertrax axles.

Aftermarket upgraded housings are not that bad these days too $$ wise and well worth it in my opinion. Cost on the RuffStuff housing for example has really come down in the last five years.

Cheers
 

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