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  #1  
Old 08-03-2006, 01:41 AM
Blake Blake is offline
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Join Date: Dec 22, 2005
Location: longmont, colorado
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Build a waggy with SOA and 37's for $2500 - complete with pics!!

This is not intended to be a complete write up. It's just my experience with the SOA and overall build of my '83 Waggy. This post PROVES that you can go SOA for around 400 bucks.

The jeep drives, steers and handles amazingly well. It sits on the stock axles and leaf springs. I've been driving it around in this configuration for about 3 months now. It has very little body roll (comparitively speaking - it's no sports car). Taken it 'wheeling 3 times. It's my daily driver to and from work. It has the AMC 360 and 727 tranny that gets about 10MPG I also did some minor fender trimming and 3" body lift to fit the 37's. The tires don't rub at all.

I bought and built the ENTIRE jeep for just over 2,500 and did all the work myself. Keep in mind that I am a computer guy and not a mechanic, therefore I possess no special mechanical abilities. I also took my time and got the best deals possible, even got some parts from the local junk yard.

I purchased the Jeep bone stock in December 2005 and started building it right away.



Here is what I did for the SOA:

Stock front vacuum disconnect Dana 44
  • purchased two spring mounts for $20
  • got a longer front CV drive shaft from an 80's XJ with 5 speed tranny - $30 from the junk yard
  • purchased a single high steer arm for $50
  • got a passenger side flat top knuckle from the junkyard for $15
  • had the knuckle tapped for high steer $50
  • new ball joints $100 (I think)
  • lengthend the stock drag link by sleeving it with 1" ID dom (1.5" OD), welding the ends
  • ground the driver side pumkin where the leaf spring perch goes - also had to do some grinding on one side of the perch to make it fit.
  • used the stock ubolts and stock spring plates
  • tack welded the perches where I thought the caster angle was good - as it turns out, you don't have much choice in the caster angle because the drag link is so close to the passenger side leaf spring.
  • once I was satisfied that the caster angle was good, I welded the spring perches to the axle solid
  • unbolted the hard brake lines from the frame (but I'm planning to get new longer brake lines 70 bucks??)
  • welded a long bolt on both of the spring plates so that I can run the stock sway bar
Stock rear AMC model 20 axle:
  • removed the e brake cables (they are too short for SOA)
  • left the front mounts on the rear springs alone
  • fabbed a shackle flip for the rear of the rear springs using home depot 1/4" steel for $20
  • I am currenlty using the stock rear brake lines - I had to remove the T fitting from the rear axle in order for the lines to be long enough - free (but I'm planning to get new longer brake lines 30 bucks??)
  • used the stock rear drive shaft
Misc. expenses:
  • new 37" mtrs and wheels $1100
  • 3" body lift $100
  • used front 4.10 thick gears $80
  • new rear 4.10 gears $180
  • R12 A/C recharge $160 (ice cold A/C)
  • Tune up $50
  • belts and hoses $50
  • motor and tranny mounts $75
  • purchased jeep in running condition for $160
  • 727 Tranny rebuild $100 (I used the stock TC)
  • longer shocks from Advanced Auto $80
Total money spent for all SOA components not including gears, tires, etc = around $400

Total money spent on tires, wheels, tune-up etc = around $2100

Grand Total for Jeep built as you see it below for $2500

So I'm sure some people will say that I cut corners, but the Jeep is SOLID and drives GREAT. I can go 80mph down the hwy and LET GO of the steering wheel while the jeep drives straight down the road. It's very quiet inside, so you can actually carry on a conversation while going hwy speeds (pretty cool for a 23 year old truck on 37" mud tires). It wheels pretty good, but it's no rock crawler. I built it mostly for camping and scenic rocky mountain trails, but high enough so I can roll over any obstacles in my way

Future plans include a front lockrite, front lockout hubs and some 2" wheel spacers and hydroboost brakes.

See pics below

Driver side





Front passenger




Passenger front




Passenger front




Driver front





Drag link




Driver side shock



Passenger side shock



Passenger side rear spring - front of the spring is in the stock location



Driver side rear spring - front of the spring is in the stock location



Driver side rear spring = shackle flip



Passenger side rear spring - shackle flip



Front drive shaft angle - no vibes - even at hwy speeds in 4wd



Passenger side rear axle - I had to cut some of the muffler off (I plan to have this professionally lengthened)




Drive side rear axle - I removed the brake line T fitting (untill I get lengthened brake lines) Looks like the breather hose needs to be lengthened too




Rear pinion angle






Front CV shaft (shaft from 80's XJ with a 5speed)



Entire length of the stock rear driveshaft




Better view of the front drive shaft





My three jeeps The yellow TJ has 33's



One of my go fast toys (2003 polaris predator race modified)





Action shots:

Top of Red Cone trail Colorado 12,400 feet in elevation



Middle fork road - near red cone

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Last edited by Blake : 08-04-2006 at 02:21 PM.
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  #2  
Old 08-03-2006, 02:48 AM
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83 BEAST 83 BEAST is offline
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very nice work!!! the pics look great! that makes me REALLY want my beast running right now! great job!
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  #3  
Old 08-03-2006, 06:11 AM
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Bama Burden Bama Burden is offline
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Looks good. Do you notice any body roll while going through corners?
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  #4  
Old 08-03-2006, 12:04 PM
Blake Blake is offline
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It has some body roll, but not to bad. I plan to replace the spring bushings and replace the sway bar bushings, but it's not high on the list.
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  #5  
Old 08-04-2006, 09:15 AM
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NVJEEPER NVJEEPER is offline
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nice pictures and Wag
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  #6  
Old 08-04-2006, 12:05 PM
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TBone89GW TBone89GW is offline
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O got to get my sheet together!

Great job!
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  #7  
Old 08-04-2006, 12:21 PM
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jode jode is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shepherdblake
T
  • got a longer front CV drive shaft from an 80's XJ with 5 speed tranny - $30 from the junk yard


Did it just fit on there with no modifications required? If so, that is a VERY pertinent piece of info, and it would be great if you could post some more info on your drivetrain configuration (motor, tranny, t-case) so that people who do this in the future can benefit from that little tidbit.

Also, I'd be interested in seeing a nice daylight picture of your rear pinion angle. Did you use any shims at all?
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  #8  
Old 08-04-2006, 02:00 PM
Blake Blake is offline
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Join Date: Dec 22, 2005
Location: longmont, colorado
Posts: 2,123
Quote:
Originally Posted by jode
Did it just fit on there with no modifications required? If so, that is a VERY pertinent piece of info, and it would be great if you could post some more info on your drivetrain configuration (motor, tranny, t-case) so that people who do this in the future can benefit from that little tidbit.

Also, I'd be interested in seeing a nice daylight picture of your rear pinion angle. Did you use any shims at all?

The front CV drive shaft from a 5 speed '80s XJ is a few inches longer than a stock waggy front shaft. It works perfect. With no modifications at all (bolt in).

The rear pinion angle is very good with no shims or modification of the leaf spring perches. No vibrations.

As stated above, my waggy is the 360/727/np229/D44/M20 drivetrain.
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  #9  
Old 08-04-2006, 02:16 PM
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Slick Willie Slick Willie is offline
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Congratulations Blake. I'll tell you what, I like your style. Most people post up ideas of future plans, get opinions, and mainly get run off from thoughts of springing over onto stock axles and such. You? You just gathered info (maybe already knew or something), put it together, built it cheaply, and heck it works. Some people will bash you for stock everything and methods of modification. And a lot of people talk about "I don't recommend it" and what works - what doesn't, what has broken - what hasn't, but I haven't seen a lot of information along with pictures of it. So good job man. It's good to see something done that no one else does, giving us some real info, and keep us updated in the future on how everything turns out. May I suggest taking it kinda easy on trails. But it looks good.

Thanks for the front driveshaft info. That will come in handy. On the rear, you said you just used the stock shaft? How bad did that stretch it? And I guess you didn't rotate the spring perches any, did you?
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  #10  
Old 08-04-2006, 02:27 PM
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chr1s chr1s is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slick Willie
Congratulations Blake. I'll tell you what, I like your style. Most people post up ideas of future plans, get opinions, and mainly get run off from thoughts of springing over onto stock axles and such. You? You just gathered info (maybe already knew or something), put it together, built it cheaply, and heck it works. Some people will bash you for stock everything and methods of modification. And a lot of people talk about "I don't recommend it" and what works - what doesn't, what has broken - what hasn't, but I haven't seen a lot of information along with pictures of it. So good job man. It's good to see something done that no one else does, giving us some real info, and keep us updated in the future on how everything turns out. May I suggest taking it kinda easy on trails. But it looks good.


d@mn straight~
I like it cuz I might being goin SOA someday
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  #11  
Old 08-04-2006, 02:35 PM
Blake Blake is offline
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Join Date: Dec 22, 2005
Location: longmont, colorado
Posts: 2,123
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slick Willie
Congratulations Blake. I'll tell you what, I like your style. Most people post up ideas of future plans, get opinions, and mainly get run off from thoughts of springing over onto stock axles and such. You? You just gathered info (maybe already knew or something), put it together, built it cheaply, and heck it works. Some people will bash you for stock everything and methods of modification. And a lot of people talk about "I don't recommend it" and what works - what doesn't, what has broken - what hasn't, but I haven't seen a lot of information along with pictures of it. So good job man. It's good to see something done that no one else does, giving us some real info, and keep us updated in the future on how everything turns out. May I suggest taking it kinda easy on trails. But it looks good.

Thanks for the front driveshaft info. That will come in handy. On the rear, you said you just used the stock shaft? How bad did that stretch it? And I guess you didn't rotate the spring perches any, did you?

I posted some pics of the rear drive shaft, as well as others - I also updated the first post with some additional info.

I don't think it really "stetched" the rear shaft much (meaning that it still has plenty of travel).

Thanks for the compliments. This is not the first jeep I've built. The first was an 1980 CJ5 (waggy axles/SBC 350, injectected, etc). I've also put a simple 4" spring lift on a 1975 scout II and lifted my wifes TJ (the yellow TJ in the pic has a $200 lift).

My whole point is that I see TONS and TONS of posts talking about "oh well you can't setup your own ring and pinion" or "an SOA cost 1500 bucks" or this and that. That irritates me to no end. I firmly believe there are too many "web wheelers" out there who just repeat what they read online. This stuff is not hard. As I said, I am a computer guy (I run 911 for the entire nation). I'm not a mechanic.

I believe that ANYONE, who has some decent time and tools can build a rig on a budget. All you have to do is reasearch (boards like this for example), take your time, don't be afraid to use junkyard parts and have confidence.

I never paid much attention to waggys until I saw them build that one on the Trucks show last year. At the time I had a Scout II that was rusted all to hell (they all are), loud, lot's of body roll, etc. I told my wife that I wanted a waggy (one of the main reasons was affordability and junk yard parts availability). One month later I found this waggy on craigstlist and got it for $160 bucks (instantly became my daily driver). Now it's 8 months later and the jeep is basically done.

I'm sure this post will help others in the future - that was my main intent. Posts like this are what I believe makes boards like this so successful.
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Last edited by Blake : 08-04-2006 at 02:39 PM.
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  #12  
Old 08-04-2006, 02:58 PM
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canders7 canders7 is offline
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Correct me if I am wrong, but as a byproduct of the rear lift method, pinion angle is inherently corrected to some degree. Because the front spring mount for the rear springs was not altered it allows for the pinion angle to rotate up as the rear spring mount was lowered. At the same time this also moves the rear axle ever-so-slightly forward as the rear spring mount is lowered as well. In that case the rear d-shaft doesn't stretch as much with how I understand the typical rear shackle flip is done.

Edit to say, by the way, nice job.
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  #13  
Old 08-04-2006, 04:41 PM
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jode jode is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by canders7
Correct me if I am wrong, but as a byproduct of the rear lift method, pinion angle is inherently corrected to some degree.

That's right, and in fact, in this pic:



It actually even looks like it is OVER corrected. Amazing that there are no vibes. That's good luck.
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  #14  
Old 08-04-2006, 04:47 PM
Blake Blake is offline
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I will probably move the front of the rear springs to the lower position one day. The only reason I didn't so that is because you have to remove the gas tank and I'm lazy.

I am going to retract what I said earlier about no vibs. It has a VERY, VERY SMALL amount of vibes when you initially take off from a stand still. Not enough to worry about, or even notice. I think that going to the lower mount of the rear spring will "even out" the angle and make it absolutely perfect.
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  #15  
Old 08-05-2006, 07:57 AM
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your rear shackle angle is sweet. How much does that thing flex? From your pics I would be hard pressed to believe your front shaft would not bind with very minimal droop. Good job on the low dollar build.
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Old 08-09-2006, 11:06 AM
Blake Blake is offline
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I haven't wheeled it while the sway bar was removed, but so far, it flexes pretty decent considering the sway bar is connected.

No problems with the front shaft either....
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Old 08-09-2006, 10:07 PM
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I've been itchn" do do a spring over, just need to find the right flat top knuckle!
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  #18  
Old 08-12-2006, 11:22 PM
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where did you find reference to which trucks had flat top knuckles?

Thanks
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  #19  
Old 08-13-2006, 06:06 AM
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malodin malodin is offline
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Can you post up some more info on the rear shackle flip? ive got all the neccesary steel i need, but cant quite picture how you did it in th pictures that are there.

Thanks,
Alex
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  #20  
Old 11-14-2006, 02:55 PM
Blake Blake is offline
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TTT

Since writing this post the AMC 360 engine locked up on me, so I replaced it wtih a built AMC 401 with GM throttle body.

Everything is working great and the jeep is still my daily driver

My gas mileage increased a little since installing the TBI.
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