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Jeep-Short Wheelbase All discussion of short wheelbase Jeeps: CJ, TJ, YJ and JK

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 01-03-2002, 11:06 AM
utahjeepr
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considering a whole new rig-opinions?

Well, as I have been working on the engine swap in my old 5 I keep running through my head all the things I need to do to it to make it more suited to the type of driving I am getting into. The 5 wheelbase is great sometimes, but on much of the newer hardcore stuff it is damned scary a lot of the time. The steeps keep getting steeper and the rough keeps getting rougher and 84" just ain't getting it anymore. I have been planning on stretching it with a new frame and more or less making a CJ-6 out of it. It also needs to go spring over, get new axles, etc etc. Basically everything I have now is going to go except the powertrain. Makes me wonder if I am not better off starting with something else.

The 5 wouldn't be going anywhere, my wife has been dropping anvil sized hints that she wants to start doing some driving on the less extreme stuff. It would still get the SOA on YJ springs eventually, and a good cage BEFORE I handed it down (I'm still kicking her out whenever things look ugly, I have definitly put the cage off for WAY too long) but other than that I could pretty much leave it as is and it would be a good Jeep for her.

My latest thoughts have been that I need to start building a new rig and start with a longer wheelbase. The current idea at the top of my head is to get a Comanche cap and clip, put it on a real frame and go from there. I realize this would be easier with (gasp) a Toyota or other mini truck cab instead of the MJ, but then I would have to get a different tow rig. I just couldn't haul a Toy with the M-715, it wouldn't be right. I'm kind of thinking about building a Mini-715 styled rig. Basically a homebuilt framed MJ with around 100"-110" wb and a custom bed, on heavy axles with a good powertrain, make my own rhino grill for it to match the 715 (and upgrade to round headlights) and maybe cut the roof off as well.

Might not ever do it, but it gives me something to think about while I spin wrenches on my engine swap.



September 11, 2001- We will not forget! We will not forgive!
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 01-03-2002, 12:23 PM
 
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Re: considering a whole new rig-opinions?

Another plan of attack could be to begin with a J-series truck. Around the part of US where I live they can be had for a reasonable price... esp when compared to CJ-8 or CJ-6. Less hassle involved to make frame shorter than to make a frame longer or to fab up entire frame - IMHO. Put whatever body configuration you would like on it. Get tricky and cut the J-truck cab down the middle to make it narrower [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/tongue.gif[/img]. Find a J-2000 or J-3000 (J-20/J-30) and get a reasonably stout drivetrain in the package as well. The rear is already springover. It is a complete vehicle, at beginning of project, which would be bound include many of those little things that can be a pain when building from scratch.

actually this can work with any FS truck, Blazer, Bronco, Mid-size truck, etc... but it kinda sounds like you would like to keep it Jeep based.

just another idea...


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post #3 of (permalink) Old 01-03-2002, 12:31 PM
 
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Re: considering a whole new rig-opinions?

Tom,
Another affordable option, is to use the commanche front clip, and cab, on a YJ frame. My stretch to 105" is a very simple, cheap and affective suspension. You could also take it one step further, and cut the frame just behind the cab, and tube frame it for a 4 link,( or double reversed 3 link, or whatever). In any case, the YJ frames are cheap, and easy to build on. Possibly you could get someone to throw in a set of YJ headlights also, just to make it really cool.

Jeff
89 YJ
(sensibly altered for occasional off road use)
Vision without Action, is a Daydream. Action without Vision is a Nightmare.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 01-03-2002, 03:56 PM
utahjeepr
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Re: considering a whole new rig-opinions?

Thanks for the ideas, I think I would rather start narrow than to narrow a full size. The YJ frame is a good idea. Hmmm, I happen to know where I might be able to score a reasonably priced TJ rolling chassis. Add a little stretch... a 4 coil "MJ-715". Hmmm, this could get interesting!

September 11, 2001- We will not forget! We will not forgive!
post #5 of (permalink) Old 01-03-2002, 04:35 PM
 
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uhm....disregard this... messed up..
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 01-03-2002, 04:35 PM
 
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Re: considering a whole new rig-opinions?

Now why do coils when you can do some nice 1/4 elliptical leafs?
[img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/smile.gif[/img]


=-Ben
94 ZJ - Work Commuter.
89 FSJ - 6-inch Rustys on the way!
87 YJ - 5' of lift, Xterrains 33's. ARB Snorkel.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 01-04-2002, 12:25 PM
 
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Re: considering a whole new rig-opinions?

The blurb about narrowing a FS truck body was meant as a joke, hence the [img]/wwwthreads_images/icons/tongue.gif[/img].
The front portion of a J-truck frame is about 5" wider than a CJ frame -or- about 2" wider than a TJ frame. Non issue - IMHO. The rear of a J-truck frame is wider than the front but so are TJ/YJ/CJ frames. May or may not be an issue - depends on plan for whole project. You mention: <blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>

MJ with around 100"-110" wb and a custom bed, on heavy axles with a good powertrain,

<hr></blockquote>

Many of the good powertrains are from FS trucks. Most any heavy axle is also from a FS and will need to be narrowed or left as is. What else is to narrow that really matters?
Consider - J-trucks had much higher GVWRs than any SWB. Parts like D44, D60, T-18, T-15, TH400, D20, strong frames & steering components were standard; factory engineered; no adaptors needed. Decent units can be found for $1000 or less. CJ (or MJ) bodies will fit on J-truck frames.
What is a reasonable price on a TJ rolling chassis? ...or a YJ frame? How much swapping and mods will be needed to handle big axles, big tires and maybe a big engine with that chassis? How much to pay for axles and/or drivetrain piecemeal?
A friend picked up a Chevy FS truck w/diesel V8, TH400, NP205, D60 and 14bolt for $300. Another scored a Suburban w/similar parts for $50. I picked up 2 J-series trucks for under $500 total.
I live and ride trails in Mid-West. I'm not anyone else but me so the rig I want needs to work for me and what I will do with it. I like simple. Simple has advantages. You asked. I posted an idea. If you don't like the idea, that is fine... no biggiee. Please, just don't poo poo too quickly.

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post #8 of (permalink) Old 01-04-2002, 03:39 PM
 
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Re: considering a whole new rig-opinions?

What about reinforcing the mj unibody and going with a long arm set up up front, bobbing the bed, cutting the fenders, adding a cage and the drive train you want and there you go. Sounds like a cool project. Or i remember one of your ideas was an model x tj and going with long arms and beefe axles and there you go.

BarrelROll

97 TJ

Wheel it or drive a minny van

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post #9 of (permalink) Old 01-05-2002, 03:21 PM
utahjeepr
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Re: considering a whole new rig-opinions?

Andy, don't assume I just discarded your ideas. Just the bit about narrowing a full size body. I'm looking at all kinds of approaches on this. I don't know what the final product might be. I may just end up using the 5 or I may go some other direction. I'm open to just about anything at this point. Until I get started I am not real set on a direction. Heck, I even measured the 715 frame to get an idea what I could do with a FSJ frame. About the only thing I am sure of is that I want it to be a bodied rig not a tube buggy and I have to be able to get a plate for it.

September 11, 2001- We will not forget! We will not forgive!
post #10 of (permalink) Old 01-05-2002, 03:59 PM
sas87yj
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Re: considering a whole new rig-opinions?

ok tom- i read the first paragraph and i will comment before i read anymore! then i will read more to see what your idea is. i say wait till this summer when the 03's come out and get the RUBICON. that would be the ticket- lift it and wheel it! save your winch and sell the 5 or just keep it for nostalgia- it's paid for.

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