While the buggy was at AA-Fab I decided to swap out the existing warn winch for a Warn 9.0RC winch due to the size and weight. The new winch actually only weighs a couple pounds less than the one that was on there, and the existing one is finding a new home on the back of the rig!
I also sold the 39.5″ Irok Radials (about 75% to 80% tread) on 15×10 Aggro II Beadlocks and decided to replace them with 39″ Red Label Krawlers and Walk Evans beadlocks.
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Back to AA Fab to assist in the motormounts to get the engine supported again.
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Day 2 at AA Fab went by quick, the frame was cleaned up, the front after the grille chopped off, and it was ready for measurements for coilover frame brackets and bump stops.
It didn’t take long to realize it would be more work to make things fit than it would be to chop the frame off near the firewall and make the entire front out of 1.5″ DOM tubing. This is the way we went!
Day 3 – remove the old frame, and all the other metal to go along with it!
This is what was removed from the front of the buggy. A bunch of steel, tube, and original frame! This sucker weighed a lot!
With the metal removed, radiator removed, and wires and hoses all tied up the front end started to look smaller, and ready for additional tube!
At this point after discussing with Adam the plans for the front of the rig we decided it best to TIG weld the entire front end (except for a couple spots on the axle) to keep it consistent with the center chassis tube work done by Bill aka Welder Boy. Let me say Bill and Adam’s tig work is amazing!
Day 3 wrapped up with a ready-to work on front end!
As the months passed I had less and less time to work on the buggy it seemed all I had done up tell now is order parts, pick-up axles and start cleaning up the paint.
During this time period a partnership preseneted itself, and I teamed up with Adam @ www.AA-Fab.com to complete the major fab work on the front-end to accomdate the new coilovers, 3 link suspension, and new steering system. Little did we know what we had in store for us!
Dates and times get fuzzy here because I was so busy, Adam was busy and the buggy was not top priority for me.
Plans changed for the buggy, and we decided to not use the 60 I had found, and superiors were taking SO LONG they went to a spare set of shafts and Bobby Long 60 CVs were ordered to replace them. Luckily for me and thanks to Bobbys fast shipping the CVs arrived in less than a month.
New Buggy Plans
After dropping the buggy off in short time we realized the front-end was not setup well to accomodate the 3 link suspesnion, and coilovers so the entire front frame was hacked near the firewall, and was to be rebuilt minus the high-tube fenders which were planned to be incorporated into the new front-end.
The jeep how it appeared when dropped off @ AA-Fab in Elk Grove, CA.
You probably notice the Chevy dana 44 I had to barrow to get it down there, and some hummer tires as well as missing paint, and new paint in certain places… like I said I had very little time to do any work myself : (
We got the rig into a long-term position @ AA-Fab, and then removed the axle, popped the hood and had a look at what kind of room we were dealing with for mounting the coilovers, and air bumps. If you know the story behind this rig then you know it’s been evolving for many many years, and like anything that’s evolved things have been added and fewere taken away The rig was in need of an overhaul clean-up too, this would come much later! For now it was front suspension, and building the custom front axle time!
The guts of the beast!
The other side of the engine compartment.
Not much room to mount coilovers, and air bumps even if we were keeping a full width axle under there (which we were not).
Day one at AA-Fab complete!
This is the first of many build-up posts regarding my new to me buggy. It is not “up to date” as I got this thing almost exactly 4 years from this posting… wow time flys. So, I am starting this build at the start, and going to catch it up to present time!
When I purchased this buggy from Jeff AKA H8Monday I had my `94 YJ on 1 Tons and was wheeling that so the buggy was not a top priority to get finished for me.
I ended up selling my Jeep a few months later and picked up a Polaris Sportsman 800 and have wheeled the crap out of that thing all the while the buggy sat waiting for some attention.
Since I purchased the buggy I have moved four times, started a business, quit my day job, got married, and purchased a house that I continue to remodel so the buggy and time to work on it are very little. I could not have gotten to where I am today without my sponsors and partners. www.AA-Fab.com – www.RuffStuffSpecialties.com – www.ShopIH.com Luckily for me they have had time for my build more than I have, and unfortunately I have not personally contributed as much fab work to the build as I would have hoped. (Update: Now 4 years later I am finally starting to wrench on it, and put the finishing touches on it!)
The rig started out looking like this when I purchased it from Jeff.
Jeff kept his front axle so after getting the rig home I returned the front axle, and the rig started out on jack stands.
I new that I was going to put a dana 60 up front like my other rig and started scouring the web looking for a deal on one.
I ended up finding a Ford HP60 and 14B combo in Los Angeles and made the trip and picked them both up.
My plans for the buggy build were.
- HP60 Front w/allows & CTMs
I purchased CTM U-Joints, and Superior Shafts to go with my 60.
- Full hydro steering w/Station(POS) goodies.
- Coil over Front suspension (Currently leaf spring)
That was the original basic plan, just put parts back on it, and wheel it. The rear had worked fine for Jeff so my plan was to leave it all the same and just get it running again.