Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Current XJ state and the path...of frustration.

Well, I would just show you a picture and say the Jeep is ready to head offroad, but that's just not my style. So you get a full yet condensed version of the past couple months of work.

After finishing the lift and attempting to drive some, I came to the conclusion I was going to need a slip yoke eliminator kit as the vibes around 30-40 and horrible grinding type noise on deceleration were just to much to handle. So being the frugal, guy I am I ordered a hack and tap kit including driveshaft from Iron Rock Offroad.

I started out taping off the proper length of shaft to leave and took the grinder with cut off wheel to it...that went pretty well, but after that things go downhill.

First came drilling out the shaft. First problem was I ended up slightly off center with my pilot hole and thus the hole was off center a bit. I figured it shouldn't matter much since it was just pulling two flat surfaces together and thus being off slightly shouldn't make much difference, so I went with it. Had a bit of issue with the provided drill bit as it wouldn't cut for anything, so I ended up having to buy a new bit. After getting that the drilling went fairly smoothly. Then came the tapping...

I called myself being extra super careful. Two 1/4 turns and then back it out. It all went well until I decided to make one final pass after I figured I was far enough...you guessed it, broke the tap. At first I naively thought I could drill the tap out. Long story short, 4 or so hours later I managed to back the tap out with a hammer and chisel.

So, after that drama it was time to mount the yoke. I put it in place and started tightening it down not realizing the back of the yoke was hitting the larger end of the back of the shaft and not sitting flush with the end of the shaft...so I completely bent up the center section of the yoke that was supposed to sit flush on the shaft. Looks like it should work right?

Well this, combined with my off center drilled hole, plus roughly cut off yoke to make it fit at all lead to more vibs.

Of course, at first I didn't realized what exactly the problem was so I spent hours upon hours trying to shim the rear axle exactly right in order to fix the vibs. I did end up with pretty much the perfect angle, but still had vibs.

Once I figured out it was the yoke I spend more hours pulling and repulling the yoke trying to flatten the center and trying to fix my problems. At one point I had it pretty good, but kept trying for perfect and never really got back to that pretty good point. So it was time to spend more money. Ordered a real SYE kit and put it in. Took 5-6 hours with the transfer case still in the jeep, so overall less time than the botched hack and tap. Not completely perfect, but 100% better than it was. I think to be perfect I still need to fix the front axle angle with some adjustable upper control arms. Not happening right now though.

Only issues at all with this job were I didn't have a proper pair of snap ring plies for snap rings than need compressed and not spread. Made a pair out of some old needle nose pliers that work like a charm though. Other issue was that the bolt hole for the speedo sensor bolt was metric instead of SAE, but I knew about this ahead of time and took the housing to Lowes and got the correct size bolt.

So that brings us up to the end of last week when I got the following.

Mounted the 31" Goodyear Duratracs up in about and hour on Friday night. Put 6oz of Airsoft BBs in each tire to balance them. They went on the new Cragar Soft 8s really easy. So know I could actually go offroad if I want. Still need some recovery points, but that should be coming pretty soon. For now here how she sits lifted with tires. Starting to get excited again...

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