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Old 02-16-2013, 08:23 PM   #101
CaffeineSam
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My Jeep's tires are smaller.

I feel wronged...

This is awesome.
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:12 AM   #102
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Just ordered the shocks for the rear of the wagon and I am picking up the springs that I need this week. I also picked up an extra set of 740 struts and springs over the weekend so I can start cutting and welding on them. Who knows, this could actually happen this weekend if the shocks get here in time!
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:15 AM   #103
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Stripped down the strut assemblies last night to get them ready to cut and extend. Will get pics next time it is light out when I am working on it. Turns out the struts I picked up had some inserts in it that look fairly new. They are just standard gas charged inserts but I am certain they will be better than what I have now.
Rear shocks are supposed to arrive tomorrow. I have two sets of Jeep springs on hand to try out in the rear. I think that is all I need unless I end up needing some hockey pucks, if so, Academy is down the street.
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:17 AM   #104
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So, yesterday it happened....

Thanks to Decklan's (dmcgee) help, we knocked this thing out and got the wagon in the air. Started with cutting the strut tubes and patching in 2.75" spacer tubes (cut from a spare set of strut tubes).



I made sure to mark the tubes before I cut them so I could clock the spring perch correctly. I used two pieces of angle iron and 4 clamps to hold the tubes in line with each other, tacked the tubes between the angles and then removed the bracing and welded them all the way around. This was a time consuming part of the project. I tried to take my time and make sure everything was done properly the first time and more importantly, made it safe.











After the strut tubes were modified and ready, I cut a 2.75" long piece of 1.75" od tubing to use as spacers below the strut cartridges so when I tightened up the gland nut, it held the cartridges tightly in place. I used stock strut cartridges to try and retain as much of a good ride as I can. After that, it was a matter of re-assembling the suspension. The control arm had to be pulled down quite a bit to seat the strut on the balljoints. This is the part I am not really happy with. The angle of the control arms is pretty steep and the design of the control arms is not conducive to this kind of angle. I will likely loosen up the radius arm bushings a little tonight to see if I can get them to relax a bit. Right now, the suspension is trying to rebound itself due to stress on the bushings making the front suspension very stiff.
While real work was going on on the front tubes, Decklan was screwing around with the rear springs out back. We decided to use the Jeep ZJ springs for this and added one hockey puck per side on top of the spring mount as well as the factory .25" thick spacer. Soon, I may decide to add a second hockey puck back there to facilitate heavier loading. The springs were pretty straight forward but note that the calipers had to be removed from the axle while doing this. The rear brake lines are not long enough for this much droop in the axle. Eventually, the brake line mounting bracket was removed from the body and a psacer tube was made to lower the attach point of the brake line and give it enough room to travel with the axle. The speedo wires have enough slack, but the attach point to the body was disconnected so it can travel with the axle as well. Shocks used on the back were from a '97-ish Dodge Durango. The eyelets had to be swapped out from the 740 shocks so the spacer tube would be long enough to be captured in the body/trailing arm. Washers could be used to do the same thing I suppose, but that would be extremely difficult to reach up into the body to add them to the top mount.









For the rear, I see the need for an adjustable panhard bar. If I could add about .5" to this bar, that would probably center it up very well, but an adjustable would let me fine tune it. The rear diff is currently being pulled over to one side more than the other, so while it rides nocely, I will fix the panhard one way or the other to correct this alignment.
After the tires were fitted, the real work started. The body had to be massaged quite a bit to fit these huge tires. In the rear, the wheel liners were removed and the arch was hammered in a bit to gain clearance to the front of the tire. Also, there is a body seam 'flange' (if you will) in front of the tire which we hammered flat to the wheel well. This seemed to help the rear quite a bit and only rubs a little when the axle is flexed.
In the front, more work was required. Of course, trimming the bumper was first and then the next problem came with the fender/rocker at the rear of the tire. There is a bit of dead space behind the rocker so after removing the wheel liner, the roker was hammered in so as to tuck it into the wheel arch and gain clearance. Next issue was the front of the wheel arch. When you steer hard over, the tire would rub on the body that houses the battery and the washer reservoir. Both of these hard corners had to be hammered in to clear the tire. Additionally, the fender arch rubs under hard cornering or braking so the fender lips still need to be rolled and I will then be able to stretch the fenders over the tires for added clearance. Later on, I plan to cut out the hammered sections and add flat sheet metal sections to make it look more asthetically pleasing. It sounds like we beat the crap out of the body, and I guess we did...and normally I do not like permanent body modifications such as these. I reminded myself that it was a cheap car I bought as a driver and not to worry too much about it. The hammering did the job quickly when it had to be driven to work the next day.













The 30x9.5 tires are huge. In hindsight, I wish I had held out for a set of 235/75R15's instead, and I will be looking for a set now for sure. Bragging rights come easy with 30" tires, but as a daily driver, I think many problems would be solved by running a slightly smaller tire.

Overall, the project took about 8 hours with two of us working on it. Fortunately, and possibly for the very first time in history, we did not have to run to the parts store for anything during the build. I had gathered everything I needed and had it at the ready. The result of the project is positive. I am very happy with the turnout and literally stood in the driveway for about an hour last night just staring at it. It is hard to believe what has been created in such a short time. There are still bugs to work out of it and that was to be expected but I am happy to have driven it in to work this morning without issues. As I mentioned before, the front suspension is very stiff and I will work through it to make it more palletable, but in the meantime, it is a bit harsh on the side streets, even where you thought they were smooth before. But once you get the rig up on the highway, it is a very nice experience. I was taking it easy this morning on the maiden voyage, so I was just keeping up with traffic. This showed me I was doing about 55-60MPH most of the way and this was at about 2250RPM. Realistically, I think it was about 65-70MPH, but I did not bother to gps it at the time so I could concentrate on the drive.

Last edited by Rectilinear; 03-11-2013 at 01:35 PM..
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Old 03-11-2013, 04:59 PM   #105
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That thing is stupid
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Old 03-11-2013, 10:13 PM   #106
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Yes it is, thank you!! And I'm sorry.
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:28 AM   #107
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So I got under the wagon last night and I loosened the control arm and radius rod bushings while weight was on the wheels. This relaxed the bushings quite a bit and they reclocked themselves in that state. I tightened everything back up and hoped for victory.....no bueno. I believe my strut cartridges are bad. While they were newer (but used) units that still seem to have good pressure, they are doing the opposite of what a strut should be doing. When my stuts compress, they seem to "hold a vacuum" and will not allow the suspension to rebound. Eventually, the springs will overcome and the front end will raise itself back up, but on bumpy roads, they stay compressed and make the ride uncomfortable as hell.
Some say that the nitrogen has leaked out of them causing this situation. Some even say they will come back after driving on them for a few days. I think I just need to get some new struts and get it over with....
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:55 AM   #108
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After two days of driving on them and a little warmer weather, the thing is actually pretty cool to drive now. I guess the gas and oil may have switched places while I stored them fully extended and laying on their side (doesn't make a bunch of sense but that is what I have read). Guess it just took some cycles to get them back to normal.
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:57 AM   #109
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Looks cool. Only thing I have to question is the working angle of the lower ball joints. You lengthened the struts which puts the lower arms at an angle they were not designed to operate at. Suspension extension would be the enemy here as it could hyperextend the ball joint and pop it right out of it's socket, compression would put it back into it's working range. Best case scenario I see premature ball joint wear and frequent replacement. Worse case scenario the BJ gets popped right out of it's socket while driving.

Or, maybe you have looked into this already....
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Old 03-13-2013, 12:56 PM   #110
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Yes, this was considered. Fortunately, even at full extension, the ball joints are not in a bind. I am not concerned with them due to the lift and not just because they are brand new.

Thank you for noting this, I can see how this could be easily overlooked and be a potentially deadly situation.
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Old 03-13-2013, 01:39 PM   #111
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How's the final drive ratio working out with such large OD tires?
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Old 03-13-2013, 02:16 PM   #112
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Well, I cruise on the highway passing cars at about 2500rpm. I have no idea what my speed is, but I figure I am about 10MPH off. If I am just cruising and keeping up with traffic, I turn off the overdrive.

The one thing that I realize now since I have such mass to spin around on my axles....I need a center support bushing in the worst way. I would hear it clunk a bit in reverse when it was lowered but now it clunks around upon rolling off every stop. I have one on the way.
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Old 03-13-2013, 02:24 PM   #113
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Well, I cruise on the highway passing cars at about 2500rpm. I have no idea what my speed is, but I figure I am about 10MPH off. If I am just cruising and keeping up with traffic, I turn off the overdrive.

The one thing that I realize now since I have such mass to spin around on my axles....I need a center support bushing in the worst way. I would hear it clunk a bit in reverse when it was lowered but now it clunks around upon rolling off every stop. I have one on the way.
So the huge tires didn't make it hard to pull up a steep hill/pull a trailer? I thought it may have changed the final ratio enough to make it "geared quite a lot higher".

You know, sorta like from going from 4:10 gears to 3:25 diff gears
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Old 03-13-2013, 02:43 PM   #114
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Well, yes, it did. But I can drive the car just fine with no issues. Different gears would be fantastic, but for my purposes as a daily driver, I don't find that I really need them.

Granted, I have only been driving the car like this for 3 days now. Check with me after I have had more experience in the car and I may have a situation or two that could have been improved by gears.
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Old 03-13-2013, 02:50 PM   #115
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Lol with my 235/75 on my 940 1st gear does 55. I can't cruise under 65 an stay in od. I also have large turbo though.
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Old 03-13-2013, 03:28 PM   #116
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I like it. It kinda looks like a mid 90's Cherokee in those side profile shots
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:14 AM   #117
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Thanks grn, dammit that avatar gets me eerytime! It's just awesome!

As for looking like a Jeep, well yeah, a chopped and channeled lifted Jeep.

Borrowed a roof basket until I can get mine built....



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Old 03-21-2013, 01:28 PM   #118
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It looks so cool!
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Old 03-22-2013, 07:11 PM   #119
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Nice to see others who's not slammed like everybody else

I also cut the struts and lengthened them by 6cm, 5cm spacer(2 hockey pucks) in the rear and then 215/65 16" tyres. I think we have a bit stricter rules here in Sweden and a yearly inspection which I've not done yet with the mods so don't know if they'll accept it but in a month or so it's time.

This is how low it was when I bought it with sport coilsprings and I really hated it, was bouncing of the road in the turns.



Then I got the idea of lifting it and being able to race in the woods and don't have to worry about stones sticking up in the middle of the road and even doing some off-roading too as I installed a differential brake.














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Old 03-25-2013, 11:44 AM   #120
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Yes, yes....love your wagon!!

Been thinking about throwing on the 3 Hellas from the Lemons car like you have there, too.

So, is it just the three of us then??

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Old 03-25-2013, 11:44 AM   #121
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Yes, yes....love your wagon!!

edit// Twice as much says TB.

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Old 03-25-2013, 01:08 PM   #122
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So what's the most I could get away with on a 244? I'm constrained by no more than 2" larger rolling diameter than the largest optional wheel/tyre combo.

I'm looking at 215/75R16's, which work out at 27", only 2 1/8" bigger, so they may not notice... How much work would need to be done to get them under? Stiffer springs or a bit more work?
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:34 PM   #123
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I am now on a mission to find a cheap 7/945 and do this.
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:36 PM   #124
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This is what I want to do it to if it's still for sale in a couple of months...
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:35 PM   #125
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Here it is with the 30's. I've gotta get the other two soon. They fit without spacers surprisingly.

The above posts have made me want to get this thing cooler. Buying tires now.
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