Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
theksmith

TheKSmith's 2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee WJ Limited 4.7 H.O. - The Do-It-All Rig

Recommended Posts

Hey man awesome rig and great build im swapping in a JK HP D30 up front right now, im having hell with pinion angles right now. I bent the stock axle pretty much into a smiley face on one trail. I had the axle givin to me so I figured id just use it. If theres any way we could PM id like to pick your brain about a few things on your rig I want to do to mine. Heres a few pictures. Just a 4inch LA on 31s.

 

thanks and sure thing - just ask away right here, someone else might find the info useful or have better answers than me!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My main focus is on your axle swap, now I read you had a shop do the swap but also from what ive read your a smart guy so on the front axle did they have any problems with the coil spring perches on either the body or the axle? Another concern of mine is the trac bar mount, did you have them put a new mount on or did you have them put an aftermarket one on? Reason I ask is because im trying to get by with just the stock mount for now. Im going to be fabbing up my own trac bar this weekend to work with the stock mount but if the stock mount wont work then im not going to mess with it. Also when you cut your rear fenders would you happen to remember the measurements of how close you got to the rear doors and the lines you did all the way to the rear bumper? or just some close up pictures would be awesome. As of right now that's all I can think of but im sure ill have more questions once I dig into my axle tomorrow... O what angle is your front pinion set at?

Edit: Do you have the measurements of the front long arms?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
My main focus is on your axle swap, now I read you had a shop do the swap but also from what ive read your a smart guy so on the front axle did they have any problems with the coil spring perches on either the body or the axle? Another concern of mine is the trac bar mount, did you have them put a new mount on or did you have them put an aftermarket one on? Reason I ask is because im trying to get by with just the stock mount for now. Im going to be fabbing up my own trac bar this weekend to work with the stock mount but if the stock mount wont work then im not going to mess with it. Also when you cut your rear fenders would you happen to remember the measurements of how close you got to the rear doors and the lines you did all the way to the rear bumper? or just some close up pictures would be awesome. As of right now that's all I can think of but im sure ill have more questions once I dig into my axle tomorrow... O what angle is your front pinion set at?

Edit: Do you have the measurements of the front long arms?

 

we used completely new bracketry including coil perches (hacked up the IRO kit). check out this build thread by Shinobi (interestingly he called his BlackWidow also), i think he kept the stock perches from the JK axle: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f197/shinobis-wj-build-thread-blackwidow-692903/index41.html

 

i'm not sure what my pinion/caster is - the shop welded the brackets with it more in favor of good caster and then i rotated a bit more forward to try and relieve some of my vibes... so i have a very slight curve in my coils i think. i'd say target caster of 5* and then if you have vibes rotate the pinion up 0.5* to 1* (or down if that helps, it's a strange world sometimes).

 

for track bar mount on the axle, i used the poly performance one - their site is down right now so i can't give you link, but it's giant thick bracket that also comes with steering stabilizer tabs. i used a custom length clayton JK trackbar, but i think you can probably use most any adjustable one.

 

i also needed the poly performance JK drag link, the stock WJ won't likely work, the JK ones have a bend in them (a stock JK one might work if you got the steering stuff with the axle). same goes for tie-rod, you'll need a JK stock or aftermarket one - WJ one won't work. i kept my stock WJ pitman arm.

 

honestly mine is so custom, i'm sure you can find better info about a low-budget swap (keeping all the JK stuff you can) from google, jeepforum.com, or mallcrawlin.com.

 

oh, i don't know how long my front arms are set right now, but since we used custom tabs on the axle it wouldn't do you any good. they could be higher or lower than the factory mounts you're dealing with, or the hole could be further/closer to the tube too.

 

i'll try to take pics of the fender trim for you later. EDIT - found come good pics in this thread: http://offroadpassport.com/forum/showpost.php?p=4151&postcount=131

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

any info on those valve cover gaskets??

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
any info on those valve cover gaskets??

 

sorry no - just PM'd him on facebook again for you though!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

it's been a while since i posted anything new on the rig... so what's Lafawnduh been up to lately?

 

 

we did a couple runs on Thanksgiving weekend...

 

IMG_7799.JPG

 

IMG_7805.JPG

 

and she found a large ditch on the second one! story here: http://offroadpassport.com/forum/showpost.php?p=42505&postcount=9

 

23068836959_adf8a1103a_h.jpg

 

 

then a couple weeks later i noticed that i had a small leak in the upper middle of the radiator. not sure if it was from the impact... i didn't hit the radiator support at all, but it seems like it would be quite a coincidence that the leak started soon afterwards.

 

i did manage to drive it even with the slow leak to go chop down our annual Christmas tree from the national forest. this time Bradywgn and Kaspily brought their rig and got a tree as well! thanks to Sarah (Kaspily) for getting some photos:

 

12366118_10153443985673710_8800773768726111535_o.jpg

 

12375229_10153443986013710_2308077850571152646_o.jpg

 

12363210_10153443986183710_8045701382545643378_o.jpg

 

 

i changed the radiator out the weekend after Christmas, and then fixed the bent metal and broken header panel from the "hole" incident a few days ago. i had to take out part of the on-board hot shower system to fix the metal, and decided to leave it out for now as i want to re-do some of that system (http://offroadpassport.com/forum/showpost.php?p=42768&postcount=57).

 

IMG_7834.JPG

 

IMG_7879.JPG

 

IMG_7882.JPG

 

IMG_7885.JPG

 

the little aluminum "patch" works fine, i couldn't justify buying a new header panel since i had just bought that one a few months ago! i had to of course re-aim my headlights after putting it all back together - i did that last night.

 

 

the final minor update was yesterday's fix of the rear hatch that was sticking badly. it had gotten to where i had to hold the thing down while i pulled the handle all the way out and then it would finally open. i was able to change the alignment of the latch pieces on the body side to get it moving decently again.

 

IMG_7890.JPG

 

a good spray of some dry lube in all the moving parts brought it the rest of the way back to smooth operation.

 

IMG_7892.JPG

 

 

the Offroad Passport holiday party is this weekend (if it doesn't keep raining) - open to everyone, so come on out! info here: http://offroadpassport.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4372

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

can't catch a break with this thing lately - coolant started literally pouring from the water pump area last night!

 

i think it was the main seal leaking. it seemed to come from the whole bottom of the pump but the crankshaft harmonic balancer prevents you from being able to see in there very good. i went ahead and replaced the whole thing in case it was coming from around the pulley (though didn't seem likely since the weep hole on top looked dry).

 

FYI, on the 4.7L with the hydraulic cooling fan - you just need to drain the coolant and remove the serpentine belt. then remove the air intake resonator box, alternator and lower idler pulley. no need to mess with the fan, shroud, radiator, or any hoses, etc. it was pretty quick and i think i only needed a standard screwdriver and a 10mm, 13mm and 15mm socket.

 

IMG_7911.JPG

 

(radiator hose being off in the pic wasn't necessary for this, i just needed to replace mine)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i'd been meaning to re-do my front door panel arrangement for a while. ever since i got the new Eagletac light i didn't really need the giant Maglite anymore. the Eagletac is brighter than the LED drop-in i had put in the Maglite (~1200 lumen vs. 600) and the optional body extension allows for 3 CR123 batteries, which gives it a decent run-time as well.

 

then for Christmas, Aimee got me a new mini-machete that i'd asked for, the Kershaw Camp Knife 10":

 

61UU0NFSXBL._SL400_.jpg

 

the Ontario Knives SP-8 that i reviewed a while back is an interesting knife, but much more of a "chopper" than a light brush clearer - so it didn't work well for the typical stuff overhanging into a trail. the SP8 could almost be considered a hatchet more than a machete.

 

the Kershaw isn't exactly a high-end knife but it does get good reviews and the main reason i wanted it over the similar CRKT (or even the KaBar) was for the nice sheath, perfect for mounting to the door!

 

 

so here's the BEFORE shot:

 

IMG_7886.JPG

 

 

and the AFTER:

 

IMG_7924.JPG

 

 

oh, the new pouch is actually a shotgun shell holder from Voodoo Tactical, but it was just the right size for the area... since i haven't yet needed to take out any Zombies from behind the wheel, i'm just using it to store my Petzl Zipka headlamp, camp pocket knife and a lighter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It gets quite frustrating over here. If I had that on my door panel and got pulled up would likly get arested and charged. I have my little fiskars axe and a banana knife in my tool bag. if i got a copper on a bad day they could still have a go at me. I LIVE IN A NANNY STATE!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It gets quite frustrating over here. If I had that on my door panel and got pulled up would likly get arested and charged. I have my little fiskars axe and a banana knife in my tool bag. if i got a copper on a bad day they could still have a go at me. I LIVE IN A NANNY STATE!

 

if i was pulled over and asked if i there were any weapons in the vehicle (a common question), then i guess i should indicate that i have "a machete mounted to the door for brush clearing and that i don't consider it a weapon but someone might". however, i'm not sure if i'd even do that since it's not even visible from either side of the rig nor removable unless the door is open - seems like i'd just be giving the officer a reason to ask me to step outside. are any our members that are officers reading this - what are your thoughts?

 

in general, considering the overall appearance and purpose-built nature of my rig, i don't think it will be problem in most states here in the US... provided of course that i only encounter routine traffic stops and i'm not giving an officer a reason to expect trouble from me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...