Fubars snow jeep build

Discussion about deep snow wheeling, vehicle builds, trip reports, etc
Fubar
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Fubars snow jeep build

Postby Fubar » Sat Oct 05, 2013 9:40 am

Hi I'm new to the forum, I found this site while researching the topic.
I live In northern Alberta, so cold weather and snow are around 8 months a year, and I've recently developed an interest in snow wheeling via YouTube and the guys who take the old logging roads up the mountains through deep snow and yada yada yada...

I'm on to my 3rd jeep and am slowly collecting pieces. I'm moving in the spring back to Calgary, and also saving my pennies for a new truck. The 98 TJ is my dd for the time being.

My goal is to build a streetable rig , that's relatively lightweight ( or doesn't have unnecessary junk) that performs well in the snow mainly. I admit I don't wheel too, often last time was several years ago. I'm more in it for the 'project' aspect, but I plan on getting more involved in the sport when it's all driveable.

What I've collected so far:

98 jeep tj, 2.5L ax-5, 4:10s (stock) 240000km
Axles: dana60 & 14bolt
Motor: chev. 305 '98 vortec. (1st year of the vortec efi)
Trans: sm465
TC: np205 or np231. ( I will go with a doubler or crawl box of some sort)

Plans:

Keep a flat belly, stretch the frame/tub 15" to LJ length, lockers front and back, low crawl ratio at least 110:1, 40" tires +-, winch, alum armor, beadlocks and other stuff.

I know I may be handicapped off the start with a heavy drive line, but the motor is actually lighter than the I6 jeep 4.0, so add a bit here save a bit there sorta logic. I want to do it right the first time around and not be wishing after the fact.

Still contemplating leafs vs links, I know links are the thing to do these days but leafs from what I read May perform better for what I'm after.

I'm keeping the axles full width so this thing will be low wide and long. Dimensions are something like 68" wide axles, 108" wheelbase, and not much of a lift what ever is needed to clearance tires and drive line.

Anyways I won't have much to throw up here for a while but I figured a little new action on the forum wasn't a bad thing.

Also I'm up for meeting locals ect. My folks have a cabin in salmon arm, BC so I hear there's some good action out there.

Any insight on items for a purpose built rig are appreciated .. As I'm in the planning phases .. I need to know this stuff

-Matt

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Nobody
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Re: Fubars snow jeep build

Postby Nobody » Sat Oct 05, 2013 7:19 pm

Welcome to the forum and thanks for posting your plans. I look forward to seeing some progress. Hopefully you work faster than I do!

Regarding your build, I have the same philosophy of having a vehicle that drives down the street comfortably. My bronco has a fuel injected 5.0L, and with 36's and 4.56 gears, it's just not enough power sometimes. Having big HP is not at all necessary, but when conditions are just right, it's something you'll wish you had! So with 40's, that 305 will probably have you wishing for more at times.

On axles, I'd probably steer away from the 14b just due to weight alone. As you know, those things weigh a ton! Depending on driving style, you can get away with a front dana 44 and rear 60, although with 40's, I'd lean toward 60's front rear. I'm sure you've seen some videos of Snowbatman99 on youtube. He runs jeep dana 30's front and rear with 38's. I know he's broke a time or two, but overall he's very successful with those axles.

I'm not really sure there would be any benefit to links over leafs or vise versa. I know leafs up front can cause some steering linkage headaches on some vehicles.

I run a soft top on my bronco all year. I'm really not crazy about it in the winter, but I don't care for the weight of the bronco hard top. If I was building a dedicated snow wheeler, I think I would pick something with a hard top and more of the creature comforts than my Bronco. But I'm too hard core for that ... :rolleyes2:

What's the reason for wanting to stretch?

Lastly, have a plan for on-board air. If you will be running a compressor, consider making your bumpers or rockers double as air tanks. Or a lot of folks just carry the CO2 Power Tanks
WINTER IS HERE

Fubar
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Re: Fubars snow jeep build

Postby Fubar » Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:06 pm

Yes I've seen snowbatman and the jantz guy with the big red jeep on YouTube. Those were sort of my original inspiration. I was going to build a jeep regardless, but I figured I'm a winter person and a snow jeep fits the bill.

I hear you with the weight of the axles as I don't have many buddies in the area or a engine hoist, so I've heaved those suckers around. I built each one a rolling stand just to move them around.

I'm going with disk brakes so I think that puts the axles at about 400 a piece. I'm guessing the stock ones are more like 200 each. So I did gained fair bit.

I'll be going soft top only, so that's a few saved.

Circumstances aren't ideal but parts and availability and cost are solo different across the boarder. Things are impossible to find and when you do they're 3 times the American price.

I'm at $50.00 for the 14 bolt ( guy had not idea what it was) and 300 for the d60, about200 for the engine and 200 for the TC/trans. So I'll take what I can get. I got a steal on most of these parts because I've been collecting over 2 yrs.

As for the small block chev v8 I was dropping in, I didn't think I would be lacking power to be honest. Maybe I over estimate it's power but it's defiantly a step up from the current 4 banger. The sbc motors can be made wild with the vast aftermarket support if I needed but I'm not much of a speed guy.

I picked up a York ac compressor for oba and will have to figure out how to mount that up. The hollow side rails idea is cool, I might steal that one from you :cool:

And lastly the stretch, I don't know the short wheel base on the tj makes it kind of awkward off road to me. I'm toying with the idea of a flatbed / brute conversion sort of thing to haul gear and drop a few lbs.

Maybe I won't stretch the frame but move the axle back at the least. The stock wb is like 95" or somthing! With 70" axles it will be like driving a cube haha :idea:

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Re: Fubars snow jeep build

Postby EBSTEVE » Sun Oct 06, 2013 10:03 am

Moving axles vs stretching is the way I would go, easier and it will give you better approach and departure angles. As for a flat bed, it sounds great but often the steel gets heavy fast and can be heavier than original. If it was me I would not reinvent the wheel, stretch it, keep it low. As for links vs leaves, I went with links because I could do it for almost free at the time but I don't think its any better for the snow, its actually more probes go wheel hop.

Fubar
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Re: Fubars snow jeep build

Postby Fubar » Sun Oct 06, 2013 4:32 pm

Thanks for the input ebsteve & nobody

I do prefer the look of a short jeep with a good stretch and comp cut wheel wells. Maybe 6" back and 2" forward. I'd like to get in the magic 100" mark. It's about 95" now stock roughly.

I heard links sort of drive the tire downward into dips where as leafs being stiffer do the opposite and don't let the tire droop into the holes as much. ie. around trees or whatever.

If I did any kind of tube work I would make it aluminum. Considering the cage too. I would have to do more research to see if that would be strong enough.

Also if i went links route aluminum for those.

So I'm wondering is a low vehicle the name of the game? I mean you need some lift but a 10" monster truck is no advantage here , am I right?

On a side note
Today I ripped the covers off the axles to see what I'm working with. Looks like I need a regear- sitting at 3.55 front and 3.73 rear.

Also the 14b has some sort of posi or limited slip thing but I can't tell. Any input ?
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Re: Fubars snow jeep build

Postby Nobody » Tue Oct 08, 2013 8:28 am

Lower will certainly help on the side hills.

Can't help on the 14b, but there is some advantage to having selectable lockers. with the use of line locks, you can force the uphill tires to dig in. It would be a nice feature at times.

Maybe you should throw that dana 60 in the rear. For a dedicated snow wheeler, rear steer is the shit.
WINTER IS HERE

Fubar
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Location: Calgary, Alberta Canada
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Re: Fubars snow jeep build

Postby Fubar » Sat Oct 26, 2013 5:25 pm

Not much progress has physically been made, but I scoped out the guys I need to reprogram the PCM and trim the fat from the wiring harness. PCMforless.com and jimsperformance seem to know their stuff and at a good price too.
I'll send the harness off next week.

I've got an odd ball engine so I have to learn as I go.

I did however get the block ripped apart. It only had 130xxx km on it supposedly, and looks pretty clean.

I'm going to order up a compcams or lunati cam kit next week. I'll be going with a hydraulic roller rv cam, new springs and lifters. It will be grunty down low which will be nice in the bush.

Probably change the rings and get a hone job while it's apart too. It's going to purr like new.

I'm still learning, this is my first 4 wheeled engine rebuild.

:beer:

Sorry for the lack of excitement, but good bones are important to me


Nobody, I defiantly have put some thought into that one. I think I'll have a hard time keeping it street legal with rear steer, streetable is high on my list. I have fun taking toys out in chaos of snow storms :D

And I looked up the poundage for the axles the dana 60s 50 lbs heavier than the 14bolt. Just have to run bigger meats I guess

Fubar
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Re: Fubars snow jeep build

Postby Fubar » Sat Nov 02, 2013 9:47 am

going to drop off the block today at the machine shop.
decided to just rebuild it stock and clean it up. the cam and parts I needed cam to a total of 1200.00 , I just couldn't justify that for the engine build alone... esp since the motor only had 75,000 miles on it.

it did have some leaking gaskets though and a bunch of sludge and a block heater freeze plug was busted. so disassembly wasn't completely a waste.

I will still hone and re ring as well as new cam and crank bearings as needed.

one question for you guys- do you use the block heaters only our rigs? should I replace mine or just run standard freeze plugs. also I came across oil pan heaters.

since it will be a purpose built rig. mainly used in cold weather, it's something to consider. anybody have opinions on this?

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Re: Fubars snow jeep build

Postby Nobody » Sat Nov 02, 2013 10:18 am

It doesn't really get cold enough where I live to need a block heater, although I wouldn't mind having a block heater in all of my vehicles. My Bronco is spoiled and gets to live in the garage. Fuel injection is nice too, I just turn the key and go.

edit: Are you talking about a 12v block heater that works while the engine is running?
WINTER IS HERE

Fubar
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Re: Fubars snow jeep build

Postby Fubar » Sat Nov 02, 2013 4:12 pm

the kind that you plug into a 120v outlet. I guess if I'm starting the engine in the winter then yes I should re install it.

here's a cool oil pan heater I came across. just rtv'd right to the bottom of the oil pan for better lubrication upon start up in cold weather. same idea 120v plug
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