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Bradywgn71

Bradywgn Build - Grand Cherokee Overland 2002

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With only 4 days of my vacation left, it's time to get my Clayton 4.5" lift on. I don't have any air tools and I'm doing this by myself so, I hope I can get it done by Sunday night. This is my daily driver. I started by laying out the cross member and getting the paint cleaned off the frame rails before installing it.

 

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I hooked up my new Hobart Handler 190 with some MIG mix gas to get the brackets welded on. I hadn't welded for the 3 years since moving to Arizona and I didn't have any scrap steel to practice on so, I set the dials to the recommended settings and let her rip. I think it looks acceptable.

 

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Another example of rubber deterioration on my Jeep. I think I've found some of the source of my "wandering" steering.

 

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New front upper bushings installed.

 

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Suspension components are removed from one side at a time and then the lower control arm mount is cut off. No turning back now.

 

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New long arm and 4.5" spring installed. I also installed new spring insulators because... they're rubber and they looked awful too.

 

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Picture of rear isolators. I don't have a picture of the front ones but, they were just as ugly.

 

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Finished up the front install with a JKS adjustable track bar, Bilstein shocks and Heavy Duty Moog SSD107 steering damper.

 

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On to the rear, measured, tacked, measured again and then welded up the rear brackets and frame rails reinforcements.

 

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The muffler was in the way so I removed it. My WJ has 3 catalytic convertors so, it actually doesn't sound awful without the muffler. I'll have to figure out the exhaust at a later time. I'm thinking of following theksmith's lead with a much smaller aftermarket cat and move my muffler more toward the transmission cross member. Until then, no muffler. As you can see in the following pic, the factory cat is fat and is the lowest hanging point under the belly.

 

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Rear arms, springs and shocks installed.

 

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JKS disconnects for the front stabilizer bar.

 

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Pile of parts removed...

 

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So... I got her back on her tires and took her for a easy test drive at 8:00pm Sunday night. It needs a professional alignment. I have no idea if it's square and true. I tape measured to the best of my ability but that only goes so far. It has a slight pull to the left and has some driveshaft vibes at 45 MPH and up. I do have the double carden front shaft so, I should be OK there but I think the pinion/caster angle needs tweaked. I did adjust the drag link to straighten the steering wheel. It rides firmer yet smoother. My WJ still had original 120000 mile shocks on it and torn up bushings before this lift so, no wonder it was a handful for me at the Cinders in the whoops. Since I finished it after dark, I don't have any pictures of it all done yet. I'll post a couple when I get a chance.

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looks like the rear pinion could go up a bit... first take out the front shaft and drive it to verify that its' the rear causing the vibes, then start rotating the rear axle a little bit at a time and testing.

 

oh, and nice job - damn you weld purdy!

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He's welcome to mine but I don't think they're in the condition he's looking for. The bushings are pretty worn out and from my understanding, the oval bushing is not available separately to replace it. You have to buy a new arm with the oval bushing included. The passenger side arm took a rock hit and has a bend and scrapes in the leading edge.

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Thank you for all the compliments! It's been a lot of work in a short time and I'm happy to see it looking more like it means business!

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X2 on your welds. Purdy! What is the Lincoln or Miller equivalent of the Hobart-190? Did you do a single pass or double? Did you pull your welds or push them? I am learning to weld. You have very clean welds. :)

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It's awesome to see so much progress on your rig! It's really looking good.

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The rig looks awesome! I'm actually doing almost the exact same thing to my dub. All I'm waiting for is the Clayton's kit to get here. Ordered 2 months ago... :mad: But it'll be worth it when it gets here. The only things that will be different on mine are the diff cover and rock sliders, as I haven't ordered either yet.

 

If you don't mind me asking, once you get the pinion and everything dialed in, do you think you could post measurements for your control arms all around? Clayton has ballpark numbers for a 6", but I don't know how much difference there will be with the 4.5" lift and I'd like to at least get it as close as possible to correct on the first try. For the pinion angle, is it acceptable to just aim it at the t-case as close as you can, or will I need an instrument to measure the actual angle in degrees?

 

I too am interested in your welds/the Hobart Handler 190. Single or double pass on those welds? They look super clean!

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