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Project "Tabs Jeep" a.k.a Project "TJScrambler" - part #5
 
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(02/14/2012) I got a great present for Valentine's Day. I sent the kids to daycare, I had the day off, and I spent the afternoon in the garage. Later on we had a big dinner and we chilled out. All around a very peaceful, productive, and overall nice day. Very rare to have this kind of time to myself, so I took full advantage of it and went to work on Tabitha's Scrambler.

It has been a while since I have worked on a Jeep for a day, so at the end of the day I was happy, tired, sore, and had cursed a lot, especially when I saw the welded ball joint... REALLY? REALLY? That is your solution for steering components? To weld the nut on? COME ON MAN! The good news though, the gear oil was clean and the gears in the old axles were very sharp and barely used, just as advertised.
 
 
I had picked up a cherry dash pad a while ago and I didn't have time to compare it to the old one I had. The new one is great, and the old one is too, but the new one is just not as used as the other one. I will sell off the second one to fund some more of the project.

I had also picked up a set of 1978 Jeep CJ-5 axles a while back and they had the 6 bolt calipers on them. So, I started to tear apart the front Dana 30 out of that set and also the dana 30 that is bolted in place of the rolling chassis. Basically I am getting the wide track aspect of the 1986 Dana 30 axle that I got from Eric at JerseyJeeps.net, the strength of the wide track Dana 44 outback, and the 6 bolt hubs that were prevelant on the older pre-1980 narrow track axles that were under all the CJ-7 and CJ-5's back in the day.
 
 
Some of you are probably thinking I am nuts to do all this work just for that, but in reality, the brakes are bigger, stronger and the hubs with one more bolt are a bit stronger on the older axles. The setup on the Dana 30 was frozen anyway, so I had to take it apart, so why not go a few steps more. I wanted to get new rotors, calipers and pads. When I tore it down, I realized I need new ball joints, tie rod sleeves to flip the tie rod on top of the knuckles, hubs, because one is broken, and finally a whole lot of grease as the bearings were a little light in that aspect.

All in all, I found out the old narrow track axles had 3.54 gears and those might end up in my wife's CJ-5 as she has 31 inch tires with 4.10's in there... so the 3.54's would be somewhat better with the 3 speed, and perhaps the 4.10's can find their way into the silver Jeep, but I digress, I need to find a whole lot more time to update all of that!

cb (02/14/2012)
 
 
(02/20/2012)So, the work continues on the big brake and hub swap on the TJScrambler project. It is going pretty smoothly, it is just all the rust and crap on the old axle is making it harder to come apart than I thought it would. The old narrow track axle is apart down to the housing and the old 1986 brake parts are all off and ready to go to the highest bidder. I will probably keep the narrow track axle shafts as we have 2 other setups that could benefit from having a spare set.

I didn't finish up the swap totally and I still have to strip the rear axle brakes down, but all in all, I am happy with the progress so far. I hope to finish it up today on the holiday we have! Pretty soon I will try to drop the engine and transmission into this thing so I can free up more room in the garage. When you put things where they belong, you tend to free up lots and lots of space!

cb (02/20/2012)
 
 
(02/26/2012) At the end of last weekend I was able to finish up the brake swap from axle to axle and get the wheels back on and tucked into place. This weekend, I wanted to get to the tie rod flip that I have always wanted to do, but it has somehow always escaped me. This time around, I wasn't forgetting to do it. I researched and was going to order up a kit and a reamer and when I tried to do it on a particular website, they couldn't process paypal, even though they accepted it. I bailed. I read some more and came across Go-Fer-It Offroad and a nice little product they make.

Basically it is an insert and a nut. For your 20 bucks, or in my case, 3 for $45.00 + shipping for a grand total of $50.50, you get a USPS box with a bag in it. The bag has what is shown in the picture. There are 3 inserts and 3 nuts. You get a paragraph of instructions. They simply condense down to the following: "Simply drill out the tapered portion of the knuckle to 3/4", tap in our insert, weld the lip and you are ready to go."
 
 
So, that is exactly what I did. I drilled out my knuckles to 3/4". The first one took some time as I was nervous, but with the others, I used the reamer first and then the drill bit. Went through quick and easy. I then cleaned up the knuckles, put the inserts in place and tack welded them in place. This will hold them until the knuckle comes off for final assembly. When that is done, I will weld the bottom as well and grind it all flush. Basically the came a little long, so this will clean it all up and make it look mostly factory, and with the knuckle off, it will make it easier to work on. I had to drape towels and things all around the finished parts so they didn't get damaged.

The tie rods went into place as expected and it really looks nice and there is like 5-6" more clearance now. This is probably going to be done to the silver rig when I get some more time and money. The stock tie rod looks so small in comparison to what is on the Scrambler. It is so big and beefy, it doesn't even compare. During this work today, as you can tell, I had to fix the hub nut tool. I broke mine as it had a cheap weld inside it and now that it is fully welded and a new coat of paint, it should work find for many years to come.

cb (02/26/2012)
 
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