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 Post subject: it has begun
PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:11 pm 
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hi everyone. my name is jason and i own an '02 KJ. This one has quite a story behind it. i don't currently have pictures handy, but i will get some. SFA swap has been on my mind since i bought it, but we'll come to that soon.
it came to be in my posession in december '04. drove from TN to TX immediately after it's purchasing. and then in feb '05 a drunk driver pulled out in front of me giving ,e no option but to t-bone him. his truck wrapped around the frontend and the jeep came completely off the ground doing a 180. TOTALED! insurance debacle followed by me keeping it, still paying for it, and slowly doing the $7,000+ repair for around $1200 out of a storage unit. street legal again in july.
the day it was up and runnin again got new rubber and headed out to colorado. fell in love with it there(i hated it when i bought it, viewed it as the killer of the cherokee). in august while back in TX i hydrolocked the motor. literally grenaded the internals.
over a year later with it sitting in the garage useless, while still paying for it, new motor for a grand total around $2200 for everything.
sometime in early '07, while discussing the first wreck at a red light, BAM!! mustang plows into me on the back passenger corner/tire. bent rear axle. insurance fix.
great vehicle all the way to and from TN until finally moving back. and then feb '09 i wreck into the back of a trail blazer and i hit the trailer hitch dead center on my front crossmember. TOTALED! insuarnce pays the remainder of the loan, i salvage it. repair it, yet again, to street legality for roughly $1100.
so here we are. all of this has lead up to years of saving money and finally beginning to purchase parts with confidence. this past has lead to what will become an enormous project crammed into a fairly short period of time.

next ... how it is now and what is in the works.


Last edited by heepyjeepy on Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: not ready to start yet, but here's what's goin on...
PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:30 pm 
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'02 KJ sport. 3.7L with luckily the stronger 45RFE. NO LIFT!! there is no point to invest money in the IFS. i have hated since day one. i am currently sitting on 31's. well, i just got some used tires to hold me over till the build and they are metric now. they measure slightly over 31" i trimmed both the front and rear fenderwells for adequate clearance. i get slight rubbing at full lock in the front, but nothing terrible.
stock 15" wheels. yes, 15's, not 16's. ironically the spare is a 16". custom intake. no heat shield, but it works very well and sounds great to me. moog balljoints and tie rods. other than that. it's stock.
it definately doesn't look stock since there is no front bumper cover(gets in the way. doesn't do much in a wreck. i've established that), no wheel well covers. and trimmed fenders. i cut about 1 1/2" to 2" off all around. cut the pinch weld completely out in the rear to the seam sealer. it is plenty strong. been hit and didn't warp at all. been offroading a lot and twisted it up no problems. no cracks, no tears. all of this will be re-worked anyways. trimmed some frame in the front. don't be shy. it's quite sturdy. just cut what you need to. i could have easily fit 33's with no lift, but i would have needed new wheels to alleviate some rubbing. 31's work for me now.
it's beaten and battered, but it still runs and drives great. alignment issues since one frame-rail is about 1/2" kicked out towards the passenger side in the front, but it's been that way for years and been driven over 80,000 miles and so far since then i'm only on set 2 for tires.
the '02 libby's came from the factory 1" higher than the '03+ models. despite that one inch, plus the added height from the oversized tires, if i park next to a stock new and in great shape libby, i'm dead even or a hair shorter. needless to say my suspension is shot and seen its days and is ready for a re-do(but those 31's still fit).

next... the plan


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 Post subject: Re: not ready to start yet, but here's what's goin on...
PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:53 pm 
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If you can come up with a Dana 44 for the front it's the best option for sure, I'm doing mine with a Dana 30 built too the moon only because it's what I had laying around + I like the added clearance of the small pumpkin (I have a set of 1-ton axles for when it turns into a truggy :) ). I think I may be the first guy at least on here to cut the hatch area to build a cross member to allow for longer shocks back there. That Cross member will also be my spare tire mount/carrier, Yes it will be in the useless dinky cargo area. To many people on here are thinking inside the box, It always makes me think Dude you are doing a SAS cut that crap up and build something stronger. You will run into a lot of you can't do comments trust me, some stuff that can't possibly be done is done on my Jeep. Good luck and welcome to the SFA Show.


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 Post subject: Re: not ready to start yet, but here's what's goin on...
PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:56 pm 
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i have new axles. sterling 10.25" full-float 1-ton rear from an '88 f-250. HP dana 44 3/4 ton front from a '79 f-250.
both are 8-lug.
fully custom suspension front and rear. true triangulated 4-link rear with 14" coilovers. 4-link front with a panhard bar. no radius arms. i hate them. why would you put coil-overs on a system that is designed to bind up? yes they are easy. but i dislike the geometry they provide and the stress placed on a single link.
frame issues with the front are not an issue for me. this jeep will have the frame from the firewall forward removed. gone. will be making new true frame rails and have a structure of a rock buggy in the front. all factory body panels will go back on. from the outside it will look stock((body wise)mostly)
the rear will get re-worked some to move the tank backwards. custom bumpers will be added front and rear. custom fender flares will be bolted to the new frame structure and will be tube/sheet metal. 37" tires are on the menu. they are metric, but i believe they actually measure out to 37.6" tall and about 14.5" wide.
custom rockers will be integrated into the unibody and the pseudo frame rails that will still be in place will receive additional support. a new crossmember will be fabbed for supporting the suspension links and have a skidplate incorporated in.
stock motor is goin back after some touch-up items. tranny may get a rebuild and shift kit. maybe. i need a new TC. transfer case will(for the meantime) only receive a SYE with a tailshaft speedo. i believe i will be going the route of troy's speedo fix. i thought about tryin to use the tone ring in the sterling, but i'm unsure about it right now. i think the stock KJ sensor will fit, but the tone ring is a different size/different number of teeth. still pondering and open for suggestions. but i do think troy has it best with the wiring issue.
still debating springs and such. 500 seems super stiff. but with all the extra weight i think i might try the 450 over 500.
goin with 5.13 gears. detroit in the rear. still contemplating the front... kinda a money thing. really like the OX locker. i enjoy the mechanical shift over a switch or button.
at the writing of this, the axles are sandblasted and primered. steering gear is on the way. PSC cylinder assist gear for ford truck/van. numerous parts in the garage for the axles. money there, just not spendin it just yet. takin this build slow and plannin things out well.
work will begin in january '12. did i mention i'm doin this all myself, with the help of some friends when i need an extra hand. all out of a 2 car garage in the middle of the suburbs. used to do mechanics professionally, but i didn't enjoy working for shops. i do things on the side now for much cheaper for friends and family and i'm working on opening a 4x4 fab shop with some friends. in the future ... anything you see on here i can and will do for someone else. the adventure begins in a few months. i will get some current pics and some from wrecks if i can find them.
i really wanted a little input and to finally join the crew and talk with people pretty close to the same page as me.


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 Post subject: Re: not ready to start yet, but here's what's goin on...
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 12:07 am 
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What Brand CO's are you going to run? We are running a set of FOA's on mine up front with the upgraded seals,Billet dual spring kit and reservoirs. They are cheap and pretty well made.


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 Post subject: Re: not ready to start yet, but here's what's goin on...
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 12:03 pm 
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i had already decided on FOA shocks ever since i saw they were the official shock sponsor for KOH. checked 'em out and saw their prices and i was sold. going to go with eibach springs. suspension links will be home-made from 1 3/4" tube, 1/4" wall with joints from ballistic. wanted heims originally, but the added cushion from the ballistic joints sparks my fancy. all the brackets for both axles are from ballistic but the trusses will be home-made as well. i also have gussets for the 44's c's. it is going to be quite overbuilt. did i ever mention this is my daily driver, and still will be after the build?


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 Post subject: Re: not ready to start yet, but here's what's goin on...
PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 7:27 pm 
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When are you going to be getting started? I'm interested to see the tube front end come together, It may be an option for me when I go to FW 1-Tons.


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 Post subject: Re: not ready to start yet, but here's what's goin on...
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 1:49 pm 
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the teardown is planned to start in january. i have other things to take care of until then and i'm still accumulating parts. i will get some pictures on here once i have time as well as figure it out. i'm a mechanic, not a techie so bear with me.


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 Post subject: Re: not ready to start yet, but here's what's goin on...
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:37 pm 
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Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image


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 Post subject: Re: not ready to start yet, but here's what's goin on...
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:45 pm 
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here it is after being pieced together from that wreck, new tires, and immediately going to colorado.
Image
Image

then i got the front fenders trimmed up and put back on. i never liked how i cut the front of them, but i left it until i just took them off for good.
Image

at this moment that's all the pictures i have. i need to take more and try to find others. all these pictures are from 2005.


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 Post subject: Re: not ready to start yet, but here's what's goin on...
PostPosted: Wed Aug 10, 2011 5:02 pm 
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and I thought my girls KJ was some work.

Goodluck with the swap. Make sure you have every piece possible before you start.

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2005 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon TJ- Impact Orange
4'' RK LA, 35's KM2's, Warn front bumper, Warn rear bumper with tire swing, Warn gas skid, Nth oil skid, 4.88's, Alloy axles shafts F&R, Rokmen Corner armor with led's, and Rokmen sliders, custom back-up lights from gen-right, piaa 510's, IPF green glow fatboy's up front.


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 Post subject: it has begun
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:47 pm 
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i don't get on much since i don't have the internet at home, but i have begun the swap. i will get pictures up eventually. so far things are going well. my jeep is heavily stripped to address the larger issues that i have not seen anyone address on here before. it's down to the frame in the front. and soon there will only be the "framerails" left up front. dropped the cradle and noticed my passenger framerail is off square by a whole inch at the very end. i will be removing the factory wheelwells and fenders from the firewall forward. some cutting has already begun. the 44 fits very nicely and will give me a good track width. the flares will be custom made from tube and sheet to balance out the look of the wider stance and i will be redesigning the front grill support to match the shape of the grill and not leave strange gaps under the headlights. i've also been thinking about making the grill be on a hinge with quick connects at the top to allow it to fold down for better access to the radiator should i have to do future work. the wheel wells will be tube and sheet with gracious amounts supports to tie it into the original unibody. from the ouside it will still look stock body wise except for the fenders and bumpers. i'm paying close attention to the details to make this appear it came this way. wish i had pics to post. lets just say at the moment with my baby sitting on jack stands just in front of the rear lower arms, i can pick the front up with one finger. to my knowledge this is the first swap using a 44 in the front instead of a 30. it is very beefy being from a 79 f250. many upgrades in store for it to make it as strong as possible. only thing i'll be missing would be rcv axles which are much farther down the road to make it like a stock 60. also i'm starting to work on figuring out how to use the tone ring in the 10.25 rear for my speedometer. same setup as the 8.25 but larger. i'll get to that. would love to know everyone's thoughts so far with my choices and i WILL get some pics up here.


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 Post subject: Re: it has begun
PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2012 7:23 pm 
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Your the 5th known SFA KJ to use a D44 up front,which all are Ford HP44's.

If the tone ring/sensor is a 2 wire AC signal type system you can make it work with the speedo,just will need a converter box like the Dakota Digital's to dail in the signal to display the correct speed.If it's a 3 wire hall effect sensor system it will not work.


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 Post subject: Re: it has begun
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 6:41 pm 
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the original sensor in the 10.25 was 2 wires and it does use a tone wheel. talking with nevada speedometer, the only thing they arent sure of is the type of signal the factory ford sensor provided. i'm going to see if the size of my stock jeep sensor will fit in the hole for the ford sensor and run it off that tone wheel along with the dakota recalibrator to dial it in. they pretty much just told me to try it and see what happens. tjjk, you mentioned this would be the 5th swap with a 44. i would like to know more about the others besides yours(forgot you are runnin a 44 front and 60 rear i believe). i only ever seem to find 30's on here. i've takonnect them togetheren a lot of inspiration from your build btw. yours seemed to be the most documented here for a good while. i actually first saw your jeep on the rock lizard web page. the only other issue i'm having to sort out is connecting my steering shaft to the gear i have. i have a box from a 96 f150 that's already been drilled and tapped for hydro assist that has a different input than the stock steering on the kj. stock is rectangular smooth and what i have is round and splined with one flat spot for alignment. currently dealing with borgeson for shaft pieces to connect them together as well as make it longer to reach where i would like the gear to sit. been working on other things recently but finally all cleared up to dedicate my time to the jeep. will keep things posted as progress is made. pictures WILL be coming since i know thats really what most people want.


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 Post subject: Re: it has begun
PostPosted: Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:48 pm 
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The very 1st SFA KJ used a 3/4 ton HP44,there is a CRD SFA using a HP44,another CRD that already has a HP30 will be switching to a HP44,USAFCOP's SFA KJ has a HP44 up front,and them mine that are known to have D44's up front.

I just ground off the Ford steering box input shaft to fit into the KJ's steering shaft,took like 30 seconds with a flap disc and has worked perfectly for almost 3 years.


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