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TTB Jeep JK

Castle

Member
Yup, I'm swapping out the solid axle from under my 4 door JK for a TTB setup. Here's what we're starting with:

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Typical Jeep mods. Dynatrac axles, Nittos, Reel drivelines, and a bunch of other stuff.
Bouncing through rocks at 2mph isn't fun anymore so I'm turning my rock rig into a desert mob monster. Well, that's the goal anyway.

The plan is to start off with a D44 TTB which I already have broken down and in the process of getting cleaned up. It's from a 95 bronco with bolt on calipers, but no ABS provisions. The beams I purchased ($150 on craigslist hub to hub) were in amazing shape. Lots of surface rust and oil buildup inside the beams but otherwise in great shape. All the bearings, seals, etc looked perfectly fine and everything felt nice and tight with no play in anything. Even the ball joints still look good but we're still going through it to see what can be salvaged and re-used and what needs replacing.

I've got a 2005+ Super Duty Dana 60, Dana 44 TTB, and a beefed up JK Dana 30 sitting in my garage with a ProRock 44 under the jeep now.
Plan on selling the PR44 and Dana 60 to fund the project while running the Dana 30 as a 2wd beam axle while I work on the TTB.
The outsides of the beams aren't looking so bad now but the insides are still poop. Ill clean them out when I cut the ends off to extend them out. Should have easy access to the insides then.
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Looking for a 72" WMS-WMS, so somewhere between 3.5"-4" extension on the beams. Don't plan on a "cut & turn" unless some restriction prevents me from getting the beams to sit where they should at ride height.

For the rear, we're not quite sure which way we want to go yet. A typical go-fast 4 link is the obvious choice, but a double triangulated 4 link with shocks over the axle would be much easier and quicker to fab while keeping weight and costs down. 18" shocks with a conservative angle should net 20" of travel in the rear. Coupled with 16"-18" up front with 4wd and a long wheelbase seems like a killer combo.

I'm likely going to have to stretch the front out a couple inches to clear the passenger side beam and pivot and will pull the rear back a couple inches as well to have room for the rear seat when the shocks come up through the tub. I should be somewhere around 120" wheelbase all said and done with either rear suspension option.

Motor is still stock, but when the rig is done, suspension built, cage burned in, and all safety equipment in place, we're going to drop in a Gen III Chevy iron block, 4l80e, and turbo. I'll probably buy a salvage 3/4 ton HD van or truck so I can take my time in pulling everything apart and not have to source all the little stuff.

My goal right now is to get the beams rebuilt, then we'll work on getting pivots and steering mocked up with wheels/tires attached and suspension cycling.

For steering I'm thinking of running two pitman arms at opposite ends of the frame rails in an idler setup. Kind of like this guy. By using two identical pitman arms, the geometry between the two will be nearly identical. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I should also be able to use drop pitman arms if I need to rather than run bracketry down without placing as much strain on the sector shaft since the idler rod is supported at both ends. I could also use TREs instead of heims for easy to find replacements. Of course this is the idea now, I'm sure much will change as we go.

Stay tuned for updates.
 

JDDurfey

Well-Known Member
Chevy used the double pitman arm set up in their pickups for years. So why the double pitman set up instead of swing steering? I would love to do a TTB Jeep XJ. I have the XJ, just no time.
 

Bert is my name

Well-Known Member
Super lift used to build a steering linkage close to what you are talking about. It was junk. Custom swing set will offer you the ability to get rid of bump steer and get this thing to handle correctly along with the required strength. Chevy idle arms are failure prone on the street. Offroad will trash them in no time.
 

Castle

Member
Not going to use stock chevy parts or configuration (except maybe the idler bracket from a 2500HD/3500HD) and I've seen the abomination that is the super runner system or whatever it's called before, not doing that either. This will be a custom setup... you can't exactly just bolt Ford or Chevy stuff into a JK.

With single swing my PS tie rod would be mounted at the pitman arm which would not provide very good angles. I could run a double swing setup but why do that if something else would work just as well and would provide for a more simple design that can be fixed with easily sourced parts? That's my logic anyway.

With setting up a custom idler rod, I can put both tie rods at the chassis exactly where I want them. I can run a line from the radius arm mount at the chassis, through the beam pivot, and from there place my tie rod mounting point on both sides.
 

Castle

Member
Been gathering materials and such before I reach the point of no return and start cutting everything out from under my front end.

Also got a new welder, an Everlast multi-process unit. Tig, stick, and plasma cut from one tiny box.

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Going to order some uniball kits shortly to replace the bushing on the beams. Ill start building a jig for the beams tonight so I can keep everything true as I burn in the uniball cups and extend the beams a few inches. I'm thinking of cutting the beams on the smaller section of the beams rather than outside the radius arm bolt holes like everyone else does. I'll be welding my radius arms to the beams and having that extra space, however small, will likely be valuable as I try and get every inch of up travel I can. Thoughts?
 

Castle

Member
Also sold my old bumper/winch and started cutting back the frame rails, they stuck out forward of the grill by a ridiculous amount.

The combo weighed in at over 180lbs, glad I dumped it. I immediately felt the difference of driving without that weight hanging off the front end.

This really helped to see what kind of space I had to work with.

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I need to get a move on with this swap. My tie rod and drag link ends are all shot and I don't want to replace them while I'm trying to swap them out...
 
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Castle

Member
Alright, got some work done over the weekend. Gutted the entire front end and some junk under the hood as well. Lots of plastic to throw away and brackets to fab.

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Next up is some cutting. Have to remove the coil buckets, shock brackets and track bar bracket. When that's done Ill have a completely clean slate to work with and can start mocking up my beam pivots. Good thing I have lots of cardboard stashed away...
 

Castle

Member
Have to wait until this weekend to cut off the remaining brackets.

In the meantime, I found I nice long piece of 2x6x.120 wall tube in the scrap heap at my local steel supply. Perfect for setting up my jig for extending the beams. Getting it mocked up with the beams to see how much of it Ill need then Ill cut it to size and clean it up. I'm also going to have the beams sandblasted, there's so much gunk I can't get out of the inside of the beams and I want squeaky clean parts.
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Got my uniballs from Ruffstuff earlier this week also, beefy stuff.
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I'm thinking of cutting the beams and extending them further in than most do. Somewhere around here:
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Should have some more interesting stuff to show after this weekend.
 

partybarge_pilot

Well-Known Member
You almost don't need high misalignment's. The narrower you can make those mounts the better off you will be. If your radius arms are long enough and your not trying to get 22" of travel you can use strait spacers. Otherwise your axle is going to get real close to those.
 

Castle

Member
Otherwise your axle is going to get real close to those.
Sorry, I'm not visualizing what you mean here. Can you explain further? I can see that having misalignments of this size are not necessary but am failing to see how they are detrimental. If I would be fine with narrower ones how can a little extra misalignment hurt?

As far as travel 22" would be awesome, although I'm not quite shooting for that. I previously mentioned 16"-18" but am definitely shooting for the upper end of that spectrum. 2wd for a while, but will be using RCV shafts when I'm ready to stuff shafts in.
 

Castle

Member
Got some time in yesterday and started cutting. Point of no return: passed.

Dropped my beams and knuckles off at my local powder coater for some sand blasting. A bunch of nasty junk was still attached to both and I was done scrubbing rust and dried oil from the beams.

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I'm going to relocate the battery to the rear and move the fuse box up against the firewall where the battery previously was. After removing and cutting out the now excess plastic from the tray, this will give me plenty of room and a nice place for shock hoops to live.
This means moving a whole mess of wires and connectors which have been baking in the engine bay for 10 years and are brittle as ****. Fun stuff.

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Attachments

Castle

Member
Sorry for the delay. I do have updates and quite a bit of progress. Ill post some pictures and such later this evening.

I've also gone ahead and decided to swap engine/transmission now. Everything is cut out from the front end and the the core support is out too, there's literally just the frame rails. Swapping in a new motor will never be this easy again so I bought an LQ4/4l80e combo and it should be on it's way soon. Plans are to run the new power plant mostly stock with the addition of some valvesprings, cam, injectors, and oh yeah, a big fat whistly boi! This is my first major fab project and will also be my first turbo build, should be fun!

I'm almost done extending the beams and getting my alignment numbers where I want them. I built a jig out of steel straps and clamps so I can fine tune every aspect of my alignment one piece at a time but also as a whole assembly. Imagine the entire axle assembly suspended on spider legs almost, but I can extend or shrink down the legs individually. Hard to describe, but you'll see what I mean when I post up some pics tonight.

Ill be shooting for a similar ride height as I had before, give or take a couple inches. Based in my previous experiences with 4x4 stuff and past problems I've encountered, here are is where I sit:
* Pinion pointed up to the t-case 4°.
* 0° Camber.
* 12° Caster.
* Toe I don't have set yet since my passenger beam is still under the knife.

I built more caster into the beams than came OEM. I like a lot of caster and with 12° at ride height, I should have some positive left over at full droop. I hope anyway. These numbers are all with a true 0° camber/caster bushing. If I need to make minor adjustments I still have those.

At this point nothing is set in stone. I've built everything thus far to be strong enough to old together for mockup while still being fully reversible without too much trouble. I know I've likely disadvantaged up several times over and just haven't realized it yet which is why I did it this way.

Example:

Those large uniballs are going to make packaging fun.
@partybarge_pilot , you sure were correct here. My PS axle shaft was hitting the DS beam pivot bolt. I've shaved it and the nut down for now since this is still all mockup hardware. What I might end up doing is using some thick-ass steel on the inside leg of that bracket, and just tap/thread it. Just an idea at this point. Once I have everything mocked up under the rig and I'm cycling my suspension, Ill come back to this. Then Ill see what my options are based on actually seeing the problem as the suspension cycles.

I've decided to go standard go-fast 4 link out back. Got trailing arms from Ruffstuff, one is complete and the other is almost done. I've also got 2.5x14" Fox coilovers and 2.0x4" Fox bumps for each corner, a 32g cell which will go behind the axle, and a few other goodies like PTFE stainless hose, various fittings for power steering/brakes/fuel, the Chevy 1 ton idler bracket, the RHD JK pitman arm, etc. There's probably more which I've forgotten but Ill post up pics and more details tonight.
 

partybarge_pilot

Well-Known Member
Countersink the plate and use a countersunk allen. I had to do this on mine with 1" uniball pivots. Wish I had just gone with the strait spacers as they are much narrower and provide enough articulation.
 

Castle

Member
Cutting up and splicing axle shafts for the beam extension. I'm not doing a proper splice job here because I don't intend to actually use these in 4wd, just using them as part of the "jig" to make sure shafts will eventually fit. Also got the old bushings cut out with a hole saw and cut the DS beam.




 
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