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New to spanners TJ Build


UKTJ
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Thanks V, I'm already running spacers, although currently only on the rear. I tried them all round and back or front only and decided that the best wet road handling was rear only. No prob to go to all round but may have to extend my side bars at the front a bit. Have you had problems with the rather short looking wheel bolts/lugs? Should I replace if I go to 35"?  I guess I'm going to be fitting bigger arches too?

The only problem I've had with the lattice is cleaning the things!  If my memory is right I had what I call 'pepperpot' alloys on my first Jeep, a new XJ 4.0l ltd SE in '93. I still rate it amongst the best motors I've ever had!

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My lattice wheels took a long time to clean properly. I switched over briefly to Jeep 5-spoke steels but I found they were a frequent mud trap behind the wheels and would often be way out of balance driving back from events.

 

For steel wheels I prefer American Racing AR-767 as they don't clump mud inside the wheel and they are very strong. There are other brands selling similar 'D window' style wheels in the UK now.

 

For alloys I prefer a 'pepperpot' style wheel for strength, weight, non-clumping and ease of cleaning. I have teflon coated American Racing Mojave wheels on one XJ. They are discontinued now but the AR172 Baja is a close likeness.

 

I have Spidertrax adapters on my Ford 8.8 to go from 5 on 4.5" to 5 on 5.5" stud pattern. The adapter is the same thickness as Spidertrax spacers. The engaged stud length on the adapter is the same as on my front hubs (D44 CJ style). If your spacers take OEM studs, you may be able to press them out and replace them with longer studs. I think the ZJ had the longest wheel studs.

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Cheers thanks, gr8 info once again.

I can't remember the make of my spacers. I think they are German with the various European approval stamps. Their stud length is good, its the stock hubs on the YJ that are short in my view, same on Chrysler axle too! Perhaps I will  fit longer ones whilst its all in bits once I can sort out my parts issues.

 

ps My idea I thought of a year or so ago works which I thought I'd try. There was a discussion re alloy wheels etc that corrode onto hubs etc and are difficult to remove. I think you had to make a puller! I cleaned all my hubs and spacers and smeared a THIN wipe of silicone mastic on the tight mating surfaces before fitting. After about a year or so they came apart easily( a thump with a large rubber mallet) with much less signs of corrosion. Its worked for me!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I originally had Olympic rectangular rock rails but these were a little wimpy in comparison to the Poison Spyder 'Rocker Knockers' that replaced them. They stuck out a little bit, but no more than my extended flares. They were wide enough to give more than a toe hold when getting in and out. I used them plenty of times against rocks and they didn't bend.

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I had a simlar set up when i had my TJ,

2½ inch suspension lift

1¼ inch body lift

1 inch motor mount lift

And 33 inch tyres

I had no driveline vibration issues,

As a rule its when you start going above 2½ inch suspension lifts then you will need to start looking at a new driveshaft and sye.jeep.thumb.png.230dbb5c36240ea87585acb1e8403043.png

 

Edited by Chris
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A small update.  As suspected, Santa brought me a CB, to be precise a President Bill CB.  It is tiny, I mean really tiny, I can't really believe how they can make them this small (please don't explain this, it will go over my head).

 

I have located the antenna on my back bumper for now.  There were holes there and the one I selected needed only the smallest amount of attention with a file for the 'snail' mount to pass through it.  It is very easy to get the cable up under the rear wing and through an existing grommet into the boot.  The cable then runs with other cables along the tub, down into the passenger footwell and then up behind the glove box.  Easy to do and zip tie in place.  I then managed to poke the cable up the back of the dash and out of one of the left hand sets of wholes where the HVAC comes out onto the windscreen as the 'grlll' section is wider than the HVAC outlet.

 

1433665057_antenna2.thumb.jpg.856aee8a0745258c882e8d36f68f8a9b.jpg

 

grill.thumb.jpg.38e2092d7226744ee9d4dc1ebf4b3d35.jpg

 

I could have just screwed one of the mounting brackets that comes with the CB onto the tray on to the top of the dash.  But ideally I wanted to avoid making holes in the dash and the bracket would not lift the CB up enough to clear the edge of the tray.  My solution was to shape a piece of scrap wood to sit in the tray.  I used some extra strong velcro to attach this to the bottom of the tray (after removing the rubber mat that sits in the bottom of it) and fixed the mounting bracket to the piece of wood.  There was also enough room to fix the mic clip next to the CB (the mic clip is the only part that is not black and I will probably spray it at some point).

 

1139083989_wood1.thumb.jpg.538077a5119e2f27f7bffb6c2288b945.jpg

 

350763044_wood2.thumb.jpg.4e2679a7df718eb349622633cbe12cf1.jpg

 

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One thing I think I need to do now is add some sticky backed foam strip to the rear passenger light as I think the antenna is going to bang up against it.  ALso, at the moment the CB will be powered using the cigaretta lighter adapter it came fitted with, but once I have some of the correct ring terminals I will run the power behind the dash, through the firewall and connected it directly to power from the battery.  This will be cleaner and from what I have read results in reduced interference from other electrical items in the Jeep.

 

I am not sure if I need to source an SWR meter to tune it, but can't really test it until I am somewhre with others with CBs around.

Edited by UKTJ
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An SWR meter would be useful, buy (cheap) or borrow. It is the aerial that needs tuning, (there should be some adjustment somewhere) most modern ones purport to be tuned for CB frequencies, but position of aerial can affect the SWR, particularly if partly screened by bodywork, so it needs checking.  (Some modern CB radios have built in protection against poor SWR, but don't rely on this)  1.0 is ideal, rarely achieved, anything under 1.5 is ok. Lots of info on internet of you want more. A low SWR reading (close to 1.0) means more radio power is 'getting out'. Higher readings mean less power, so reduces the range a bit.

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3 minutes ago, jerryg said:

An SWR meter would be useful, buy (cheap) or borrow. It is the aerial that needs tuning, (there should be some adjustment somewhere) most modern ones purport to be tuned for CB frequencies, but position of aerial can affect the SWR, particularly if partly screened by bodywork, so it needs checking.  (Some modern CB radios have built in protection against poor SWR, but don't rely on this)  1.0 is ideal, rarely achieved, anything under 1.5 is ok. Lots of info on internet of you want more. A low SWR reading (close to 1.0) means more radio power is 'getting out'. Higher readings mean less power, so reduces the range a bit.

@UKTJ where are you based? I have one you could borrow?

 

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1 hour ago, doodle said:

@UKTJ where are you based? I have one you could borrow?

 

Thanks doodle, very kind of you.  I'm very north Hampshire in a village called Eversley.  Anywhere near you?

Guessing it needs mains power, so not something than can be done at an event?!?

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47 minutes ago, Mike WK2 said:

I also have one you can borrow, I’m just north of Stevenage. 

Thanks Mike.  I grew up in Letchworth, so used to know Stevenage well.  Rarely in the area now as I only have one elderly uncle living there.

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Doesn’t need mains power, just sits in line of unit and the aerial cable connection. 
 

Could  be done at an event no problem, if your planning to go to Salisbury, I am fingers crossed. 
 

Can bring it down with me. 

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Bracknell. Over the hill!!! And as mentioned above doesn't need mains. Plugs in unit 

 

Edited by doodle
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1 hour ago, doodle said:

Bracknell. Over the hill!!! And as mentioned above doesn't need mains. Plugs in unit 

 

Small world!

It would be great if I could pop over some time, not just to do the SWR tuning, I'd also like to get a look at those Poison Spyder Defenders you are running.

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20 minutes ago, UKTJ said:

Small world!

It would be great if I could pop over some time, not just to do the SWR tuning, I'd also like to get a look at those Poison Spyder Defenders you are running.

Anytime... Off next week if that helps?

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On 30/12/2021 at 22:12, doodle said:

Anytime... Off next week if that helps?

That’s a very kind offer and sorry not to have replied sooner, but I got caught up with New Year and then the return to work.  It now looks like I could get away early tomorrow (Friday) afternoon, does that still work?  Short notice now I know, so completely understand if it doesn’t.

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Loads of information about cb radios, swr meters and aerial tuning in the Technical section.

You will also find information on TJ lift kits and suspension that members have posted previously.

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On 06/01/2022 at 09:04, UKTJ said:

That’s a very kind offer and sorry not to have replied sooner, but I got caught up with New Year and then the return to work.  It now looks like I could get away early tomorrow (Friday) afternoon, does that still work?  Short notice now I know, so completely understand if it doesn’t.

Sorry mate. Back at work. 

I'm on for the weekend nights and off now Tuesday afternoon. 

 

Whatever suits you. I'm sure we can work around ? 

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On 11/10/2021 at 12:58, V said:

Because YJs and CJs are leaf sprung, there is a lot to be gained by keeping the spring arch relatively flat. A leaf spring that has a lot of curvature will not ride as smooth as a leaf spring with a lesser arch. CJs and YJs are also designed for a Spring Under Axle (SUA) configuration. This type of mount is more forgiving under engine torque as it is less likely to destroy the OEM spring curvature. Heavily arched leaf springs often ride hard and loose their curvature over time. SUA configurations require enormous curvature to achieve bigger lift heights, if not, they will use longer shackles that make the Jeep feel loose and wobbly. It is true, a small body lift on a YJ or CJ can be a very effective tool to tune the body and chassis for bigger tyres but it will only ride like stock in a straight line and it will still have the same entry, exit and break over angles as stock.

 

TJ, JK and JL Wranglers are all coil suspension with suspension arms, they behave differently to leaf sprung suspensions. The geometry of suspension arm pivot points dictates how well the Jeep handles both on and off road. The original geometry is designed to perform at the stock ride height, with anti-squat (on acceleration) anti-dive (on braking) and the roll centre being important criteria for the designers. The original handling is often compromised in some way when fitting a suspension lift kit that uses the factory suspension mounts. Some performance characteristics are enhanced, some are reduced. Increased articulation and suspension travel often comes at the price of more roll induced by suspension compression.

 

In both suspension implementations Centre of Gravity (CofG) pays a big part in how the Jeep handles. The suspension on a solid axle Jeep will have a roll centre above the axle. Both axle roll centres are unlikely to be at identical heights but a straight line that connects them is the roll axis for which the body pivots on. Without changing any suspension components, a body lift shifts the CofG higher up and further away from the roll axis which subsequently increases body roll. On side slopes, or uneven ground that puts the driver in a seat clenching moment, a Jeep with a CofG too high above the roll axis is more likely to roll over than one with a CofG closer to the roll axis.

 

The factory set geometry of a TJ chassis allows for a reasonable amount of modifications before handling suffers, a lot of small lift kits like the OME improve handling quality over the stock setup but they are not designed to be used in conjunction with body lifts. A lift kit that uses longer coil springs will shift both the CofG and roll centres higher, but the distance between them will not move as much as using a body lift. Longer coil springs will force the Lower Control Arms (LCAs) to ride the road at a steeper angle causing a harsher ride over bumps. There is a limit to how far a short-arm lift kit will ride smoothly before additional compromises like control arm drop brackets are required. A better way for bigger tyres is to dispense with the factory geometry which is why a long arm kit is purpose designed for the lift height and tyre size.

 

Over the years I have seen a lot of modified YJ's. The most capable off-roaders of those on bigger tyres (33"+) that have remained leaf sprung have gone to Spring Over Axle (SOA) with flatter leaf springs. They are just as flexy as a good coil spring setup. SOA is the standard setup for an XJ rear suspension.

 

Just, in case I have lost anyone along the way. The easiest way to imagine the difference between how a body lift and a spring lift behaves is to think in extremes. Imagine two lifted Wranglers (ignore all mechanical complexities), one with a 12" body lift, the other with a 12" suspension lift. The centre of gravity of both Jeeps will be higher than stock. The spring lift Jeep having slightly higher CofG than the body lifted Jeep that has it's chassis closer to the ground. The roll axis will be lower on the body lifted Jeep with a greater distance between it and the CofG. Which Jeep would you rather drive on country B roads? Which would you prefer to drive offroad?

Surpisingly, this confirms all the above! Centre of Buoyancy could equate to the resistance to roll given by the track-width and spring stiffness etc...?

IMG_9216.jpg

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On 10/12/2021 at 23:02, V said:

...

 

Check your alternator health properly before buying a replacement battery of any brand. A failing alternator can kill a battery, a failing battery can kill an alternator...

 

After yesterday's failure to start I left the Jeep on charge all last night and have just started it fine.  The battery clearly needs replacing, as I was out for about an hour last weekend, so should have had a good charge on it and should not have discharged that quickly.

 

I had a look online to see how to test the alternator.  Following the instructions I found I checked the voltage with the engine off, 13.2v.  Then checked again with the Jeep running, 14.3v.  The online instructions I found said a 1v increase when the Jeep was running was an indication the alternator was healthy.  Do those in the know on here agree?

Edited by UKTJ
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Some modern cars designed to use calcium batteries will have a charge mode that can go to 16v. The higher voltage is to reduce sulphate on the battery plates. I have read about smart-alternators being able to properly recharge a calcium battery but I don't know if this type of alternator is software controlled by the car's ECU.

 

It is probably safe to assume that any solid axle Jeep made before 2007 has an alternator that cannot properly charge a modern calcium battery properly as the alternators were designed to use antimony batteries that are now scarce. If you have a replacement calcium battery, the engine needs to be run regularly long enough to get a good high current charge. If the car is infrequently used sulphates will form inside the battery that will eventually kill it. The battery can be recharged off the vehicle with a mains powered smart-charger that has a 16v desulphation mode for calcium batteries.

 

Just like E10 fuel, owners of old cars had no say in the introduction of calcium batteries. If you can't find an older tech antimony battery, you either have to drive your Jeep everyday or use a mains powered maintenance charger that has a desulphation mode fairly regularly.

 

I bought a Maypole 8A smart charger a few years ago and it has resurrected at least six seldom used calcium batteries for friends and family. I keep one of those batteries as a general jump start battery topped-up ready to go at all times.

 

Sometimes a calcium battery will refuse to recharge on a smart charger. Usually, the sulphation is too thick for the smart charger to break up on its own. I connect the dud battery using jumper cables to my fully charged jump start battery and leave it like that overnight. This enables the flat battery to pull as many amps as it needs from the jump start battery, much more than what a mains powered charger can provide. In the morning, when the jumper cables are removed, the dud battery can usually be recharged with a top-up charge from the smart charger.

 

I think my last antimony battery gave 14 years of service. With calcium batteries I was barely getting 2 years of use from them, until I started resurrecting them. I have gone beyond 2 years on my XJ batteries, 6 years on my van and 6 on my son's car. All of these batteries have been flat many times after lack of use.

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Been a while since I updated this, in part this was deliberate but I have some catching up to do.  One of the problems with leaving it a long time between doing anything and then trying to document what you did seems to be (in my case at least) trying to work out exactly what you were trying to show when you took pictures, but I will do my best.

 

First up was to fit the Crown heavy duty steering.  This is often referred to in the US TJ community as the ZJ tie rod swap, becuse the upgrade is basically using the tie rod from a ZJ.  This gives a much stronger tie rod which is solid, not hollow, and thicker thread on the tie rod ends.  The drag link is exactly the same, but I took the opportunity to update both parts as well as the steering damper as it can be bought in one kit.  Beware, these parts are handed, so you must get a right hand drive kit as a left hand drive one will not work - this is the main reason I went for the Crown kit.  It is available on Qudratec here...

RHD Heavy Duty Steering

And here it is when unpacked

1287962618_steeringkit.thumb.jpg.e769cab52ddeb4746ab938ae973e0e6a.jpg

No major dramas with the fitting process once I had worked out the best jacking points, or rather jack stand points.  It seems many jack stands sold in the UK are pretty much useless with a Jeep (even one that is not lifted) as they are just not tall enough.  I ended up reverting to the builders solution!

538569767_jackstand.thumb.jpg.a092429a610c5584763b5029ec1daa86.jpg

Once the steering was done I used a technique I found on the internet to set alignment.  Basically attach two straight edges to the brake rotors and make careful measurements / adjustments to the tie rod until the desired toe-in is achieved.  I found recommendations for 1/16 -1/8", which is what I ended up going with.

alignment.thumb.jpg.4d4e42e6c7de85de2dee43faecb1c7ef.jpg

 

It was all going to smoothly, then I decided to take the TJ out for a test run, uh oh.  The first picture below shows full lock one way, the second one full lock the other way 😳

645453597_oops1.thumb.jpg.a4e45f85778d763bed730df19a4c1287.jpg

 

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So an oil tanker in one direction, but more turning circle than a black cab in the other.  This was followed by some vigorous adjustement to the drag link to get the problem sorted!

 

At the same time as tackling the steering I also fitted some JKS Quicker Disconnects.  I am not very happy with these.  They are sold as fitting a RHD TJ, but they foul on the steering damper when you try to disconnect.  Apparently they can be made to work, but it is not an easy process.

 

Next post will cover the suspension lift.

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