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749 Posts
Discussion Starter #1,341 (Edited)

From this 2mm-14g cold rolled galvanised steel, I am going to make a battery tray.

My folder has trouble folding a narrow edge as there is not enough leverage against it, so did it by hand over the edge of the bench. I sometimes start with a wider piece and cut it back after folding.

My Chinese made folder can't handle this at all so back to my old home built one. Still use it for things like this.

I am using a DIN75 case battery, mf/info as it exceeds the original stock donor specifications for the HEMI V8. They have a ledge running around the bottom of the case which the double fold at the back of the tray will sit over.

I put two nut inserts in so that the angle piece will press down on the front ledge of the battery case holding it down. This is the way DIN batteries are most often held in place.

I installed the inserts from the bottom as thought it would be neater. The two flared holes reduce the weight while adding stiffness to the bottom and giving drainage.

Also going to use nut inserts to hold the battery tray in place on the cross members. Normally the collar around the insert sits proud, but I want it flush so you don't get a build up of dirt between the tray sides and the cross member. So I re-ground a drill bit that matched the outside diameter of the insert with flat cutting edges like used when drilling sheet metal.

Only drilled just enough so that the collar sat flush.

Drilled the centre out to suit the insert. You can also buy special bits to do this exact job of creating the recess for the insert.

The nut inserts work like a heavy duty rivet except the mandrel doesn't stay in the rivet once finished. You actually screw the mandrel into the insert and thread it back out again afterwards.

I used four M10 inserts to hold the tray in place. It has to hold a 20kg-44lb battery.

The underside of the bed floor will be level with the cross members on the left of picture. I have 30mm-1.25" clearance above the battery. Gives me enough height to clear the 15mm-5/8" front lip of the tray when fitting and removing the battery. The mufflers run under the tray but are 125mm-5" away from the bottom of the tray.

749 Posts
Discussion Starter #1,344

Still more frame changes! I lowered the spare tyre winch cross member down so that the top was flush with the chassis after coming up with a better idea to make the bed floor sit flat on the chassis later on. Then I saw an opportunity to reduce the rear overhang as well, so off comes the cross member.

Making a brand new one from 100x50x5mm, (4"x2"x3/16"), RHS. I like to include the end caps for the frame ends at the same time. It increases the weld area of the cross member itself while reducing the total welds needed to adding a separate cap later on.

Adding a new receiver hitch into the cross member like before.

Bevelled the cross member as well and the receiver for best possible weld penetration when doing a flush fit.

Welding completed. I always take photos before any grinding in case the certifying engineer needs to know the quality of the weld afterwards.

All ground flush ready to install. If I leave it like the stock configuration, the rear cross member is seen below the tailgate.

So what is different? Well when I dropped the winch cross member to make it flush with the top of the chassis, I saw that by going back to the original width cross member, and raising the hitch receiver height slightly, I could move the cross member forward by 75mm, (3"), over the tyre to help reduce the rear overhang. Should make a more balanced look the side profile of the bed once it is made.

The hitch receiver now acts as one of the supports for the tyre.

I also came up with a way to connect my Jeep jack handle to the tyre winch. I made this adapter that fits the winch end.

The adapter then just slots into the jack handle shaft.

Now a bit of time on the lathe for the next part. This is 304 solid stainless bar.

The machined part is the new hitch pin. I am making a extended hitch pin from a 304 stainless steel gate drop bolt.

I bored the end of the hitch pin collar an interference fit so I could press it onto the drop bolt.

The drop bolt has tangs normally for holding the bolt up when you swing open your gates. Well I have made it so it locks the pin into the closed position. The tang has to pass through a slot in the bolt support with the handle horizontal and then it locks tightly once the handle is down.

To slide the pin out you just twist the handle up and side it back. The pin collar acts as a stop against one of the bolt supports so it cannot be pulled out too far. Simple but effective.

The jack shaft rests nicely on the hitch pin too when winching the tyre up and down. You can see now it would have been hard to access the hitch pin if it had not been extended off to the side.

I noticed some flex in the winch cross member so have reinforced it.

749 Posts
Discussion Starter #1,353

Time to sort out the handbrake. I had drilled out all the spot welds from where the cables came into the cab under the donor's back seat. The threaded boss was where the fuel tank strap bolted in which you can see in the background on a separate bracket now as the fuel tank is only supported by the chassis and not the body.

Mounting the handbrake was easy as just bolted straight back where it was inside on the donor floor pan.

I ran the cable through the rear wall after fitting a grommet. It was easy to know where to mount the plate as it had to go directly over the existing fuel tank strap mount. The bolt even threaded into the original boss as well. Cables just hooked up as before and didn't even have to adjust the handbrake!

I also changed the resonator slip over couplings to V-band ones. I tig welded them on the inside only.

I did this to make it easier to drop the resonators out when changing the battery from below.

Working on connecting the steering shaft to the rack. As I moved the axle forward 175mm, (7"), I need a longer shaft. The hypotenuse length would have changed by 160mm, (5.25"), so that is how much longer the shaft needs to be.

The top shaft is what comes through the firewall and is collapsible by shearing a nylon pin in the event of an accident. The bottom connects to that to go to the rack and has a sliding section to take up any normal flex.

In Australia we are not allowed the cut and weld steering shafts without the added expense of the weld being x-rayed and certified by an engineer. So I went to the wrecking yard to pick up another Jeep shaft from a KJ Cherokee of the same year hoping I could use parts from that. It is the shorter, lower one of the two.

I figured that I could flip the Cherokee one and use the upper section for a new lower one as it was longer than the Grand Cherokee lower one. Was about 50mm, (2"), longer than I needed but have a plan for that.

I drilled out the nylon pin from the upper section, on the right, and pulled apart the sliding section to use the rubber boot from the lower part. What I am doing is turning the upper section into a sliding section and the extra length I don't need simply rides up further inside.

Now, to join my new piece to the Grand Cherokee upper, I had to remove the uni which is staked into place. I thought it would just push past the stakes but it popped the top of the uni cap right off instead! Fortunately this was not the uni I was going to use as I was just trialing my procedure

So I drilled the stakes being careful not to drill into the caps or take too much from the shaft ears.

The last little bit after this I used a small cold chisel to chip away the remainder. You only need to do one side.

Soaked some WD40 on the caps and picked a socket just smaller than the cap for the staked side and another just bigger to press the other side into.

Carefully pressed the uni cross across as far as it will go to the other side. Tapped the ears to help it move any time the pressure increased. Then removed the cap so I could remove the uni itself.

Once out the reverse was done to install the other shaft to it just like changing a driveshaft uni. I restaked it by squaring off a nail punch and then hitting it in different spots than before. I supported the opposite side cap to make sure it didn't try to punch out the other side.

So the old KJ Cherokee upper is the new sliding lower of the WH Grand Cherokee. It was well greased with marine grease and then the boot was fitted to keep out water. It slides as freely at the original lower section without any sidewards play

Slipped on the bearing support in the same place as when on the donor. Will mount it off the inner guard once I make them.

There is plenty of clearance with a minimum of 40mm, (1.5"), all round.

The running angles are actually less than stock as the shaft is now longer than before.

749 Posts
Discussion Starter #1,358 (Edited)

To finish off the steering shaft I needed the column in place. Think this is the first time it has been fitted! To bolt it in I needed to refit the donor dash support frame which meant the A/C had to go in first and the brake pedal box to save pulling things to fit them later on.

Fitted the booster for the first time too and all just bolted in perfectly. The column is not only tilt but reach adjustable, I had to take both that into account before fitting the bearing support. The steering shaft actually pivots slightly through it when you adjust for tilt. I just made a simple bracket off the frame for a stronger support and to make it easier to remove the guard when necessary.

Back to the grille again. I have the turn signals chosen so had to fill in the stock holes as the new ones are a flush mount.

The filler piece I just made round and used some copper under the slots to fill them in.

Just used the mig this time as just do what my mood dictates sometimes.

Notice how much the metal rose due to the weld shrinkage. Like making a pleat or dart in material. I like to grind the bulk of the proud weld off top and bottom first before doing any hammering on it. Less material to move and the slower heat and cooling of the grinding help anneal or soften the metal a bit. Far from a full annealing process, but it can't hurt either. I dont have the weld cracking on me either during planishing.

Just by hitting hammer on dolly in the HAZ, heat affected zone, it is already almost perfectly flat.

Only now do I take the weld down to perfectly flat, because if you do that before hammering, you end up with a circle of thinner metal. Final planishing was done with a flipper and dolly.

I had spotted these turn signals on a great looking Willys Panel Delivery of Sam Hacker. He was kind enough not only tell me where he got them, but to then buy and send them to me as well.

They are a quality item with chrome plated cast steel ring and not just cheap plastic. They have 17 LED's and the circuit board is epoxy coated to keep it waterproof. Made by United Pacific to fit 39 Chevy Sedans.

At just over 75mm-3" in overall diameter, they are between the early and later stock ones in size.

I like how they mimic the headlight bezels for shape too.

I am thinking of getting another set for the rear in both amber and red.
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