Discussion in 'Builds and Fabricators Forum' started by FinoCJ, Oct 3, 2014.
Thinking a bit about my next big jeep project...trying to decide whether to go with a 4 speed swap or installing a selectable locker in the rear. The goal here is to improve off road capability with the most bang for the buck - say in preparation for a Rubicon trip next summer. I am leaning toward the locker...but a bit intimidated by differential work. I think it would give a huge traction improvement for less money than the 4speed swap. But the new BDS springs have really helped with traction and I air way down with MTs. The 4speed would probably cost more and take more time with fabrication for all the aspects (floor tunnel mods, crossmember etc), but I am pretty comfortable with what I think needs to be done. As I have 4.88s with 3.15 tera low gears, my CR is already at 47, which just gets the job done...not good but hard to justify a swap to a 4speed IMO.
As a total dream...a 3rd option would be TBI...most expensive, extensive and complicated in all aspects...whaddaya you all think?
I'm a sucker for 4-spds, and I almost always lean that direction first. But with your crawl already ok, the locker might be the better option. Low gearing is actually a detriment without optimum traction, since you need more momentum to get you over some stuff.
I'd personally probably go 4-spd first, and weld the rear to hold me over until I'm ready to put the locker in. But I'm a bit of a medieval hack sometimes.
ARB, and pay to have it done..
stick with the carbs... FI systems are the devils tool on not native applications..
a 4 speed is just fantastic, but you will be in 2x as much as compared to the ARB
I love the 4 speed and would totally do that first if I were you. I was about to weld my rear to hold me over until I built another D44. I got the Jeep in place, bought cans of spray cleaner, the welder ready, pulled the diff cover and... Power Lok . Just got new clutches for it yesterday. All that to say I'm all for the 4 speed and welded rear.
I wouldn't be intimidated by differential work, I did my front axle and it wasn't that bad after A LOT of studying and youtube sessions and talking to friends that know how to do it.
Back in the day the ideal setup for the Rubicon trail was ARB front and rear and a low geared 4spd. Now that all the newer jeeps have taken over, the Rubicon is not what it used to be. Much harder for our era of jeeps. I used to live close to the Rubicon and have relatives that help put on the Jeepers Jamboree. That's what they told me anyway.
I think that you should just accept the fact that you will eventually install ARB front and rear as well as the 4 speed. The sooner you accept this fact the sooner you can start explaining all the benefits to your wife....
My wife knows that its none of her business as to how much money I spend making the jeep "safer" for her to drive.
Welded rear is not really an option for all the street driving I do. If I go locker, I will probably re-research selectable lockers again (ox, arb and Eaton), but Eaton is the top of the list from previous research.
For me - I did the OX lockers and SM465 at the same time. The FI was as much for the wife as me and there is NO WAY I can explain how much better it is than a carb in off camber and other situations. The rig just does not 'stop' - ever - unless I turn the key.
FWIW - I'm doing the EFI on my nieces project. Should be done this winter. Your more than welcome to pop down and take a look at things while we are in up to our eye balls on stuff.
Just completed a little jeep improvement project - new reverse/back-up lights. There is nothing necessary about back-up lights, and if they didn't originally come on my jeep I wouldn't care, but since they are there they should work! When I got the jeep 6+ years ago, there was some weird tail-light wiring spliced into a trailer plug etc, and the old ones (I think OEM) didn't function. I cleaned up the wiring, new bulb, transmission blade connector etc, and got them working, but they seemed to always be a bit iffy (mostly I think it was a grounding issue from the housing/studs into the body). I would play with them a bit, clean up the corroded mount studs etc and they would usually work for a while. Went to do that this time...and the nuts were frozen on the corroded studs to the point that both studs broke off on one, and one nut stripped out on the other. So I bought some complete unit Crown replacements (could have just replaced the studs I guess) and mounted them up. I cleaned off a little paint around the stud mount to ensure good ground, and hopefully they will work for a long time - a lot of replacement stuff (made in china is clearly on the box) is not as good as OEM these days - so we'll see. The plastic lenses are nice and clear with new bulbs so they put off a bit more light.
Just got my seats back from upholstery shop. My lowbacks are not original to my ecj5 - I believe they are from an intermediate cj5 - but they came with my jeep and work quite nicely, and I found them very comfortable. It was just the seams were ripping apart and some of the wire tensioners were broken etc. I look into (and even bought and returned) a set of the smittybilt lowbacks (Another Ecj5 Seat Replacement Question...).
I did like the smittybilts and considering the price ($129 and can often be found at $99 during sale events) I thought they would be fine. Wife much preferred the original seats for comfort (much better bolster). So, for 3x the price I got the old seats re-covered and added seat heaters while at it. Again, its hard to justify the additional cost, but for my extra money I get to keep the fold and tumble aspect, don't have to fabricate any brackets to match up to the aftermarket seats, get better ergonomics, support and bolstering, a better marine grade fabric that should take more abuse than aftermarket, installed heaters, a happy wife who will enjoy riding in the jeep even more, and got to support an old local family business (highly recommend Klint's Custom Auto Top and Upholstery in Denver). After we agreed to the work to be done and price - he gave me the 'upgrade' panel and pleated seams along the longitudinal seams for no extra charge that I had wanted but decided not to pay for. These seams allow for more give in the fabric and reduce the stress on the stitching where the fabric often eventually rips out (as mine had done) and should increase lifespan greatly. Now to get them installed....
I used these seat heaters per recommendation of the upholstery shop - they are the midgrade option with both the seat bottom and back heating elements and a low and high setting. They pull a max amperage of 4.5A per seat on high. Temp range is 101 - 109F for low-high.
They look nice!
The seat heaters are nice one of the best upgrades I have done.
Always good to get jeep package....
Time to step up my game....Eaton e-locker
have a ski weekend planned this weekend and a jeep run for the following weekend. Guessing I can't get this in before then so will wait until after next week's run. If I got this figured right its
1) check backlash measurements
2) remove axle shafts
3) mark position/alignment and remove bearing caps
4) remove existing trac loc differential noting position of spacers - will I need a case spreader?
5) unbolt and remove ring gear from differential.
6) bolt ring gear to new locker carrier...we will see how tight a press fit this really is.
7) install locker carrier back into differential housing with original shim placements, bearing caps and check backlash. If all good finalize to proper specs.
8) reinstall axles.
*as this is the e-locker, somewhere between steps 4 and 7 I will need to drill a hole in diff housing to allow wiring through.
9) run the Rubicon with ecj5 crew in july
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