Thanks for the compliments...
I bought the lights on E-bay. Around 200.00 light output is great. I recommend using sylvania silverstars instead of stock light bulbs.
The hansons were money well spent. As soon as I have time, I'll mount my new toy.... milemarker hydraulic.
I've got my winch going on soon. Then when the winter rolls around it will be off the road (got to keep it from rusting), I'll be installing my set of front axleshafts w/ u-joints. I also bought a set of spydertrax spacers that will go on at the same time. I'll also be installing my set of Iceland fender flares. If anyone is interested, I'm going to do a small story on the install. I've got a different idea on how to cut the body than the way that is shown in the instructions. Towards the end of the winter I'll have my rocker guards and skidplating complete. The rockers will be similar to Hanson's. I think after that my rig will be well set up for the trails.
Right now I'm running teraflex 2" spacers and 265 75 16's trxus mud terrains. I think my next purchase will be a set of JKS contol arms. I'm thinking for the springtime. After that will be the last phase of my buildup... the axle swap. I've already discussed it with the finance department (wife [smilie=bal_cool.gif] ) and we've decided that portals will be possible in a little over a year. The portal axles along with my 2" lift and fender flares will give me the room to fit a set of 37x12.50 Krawlers.
well I've done all the math... and after swapping in custom conventional type axles, I would still need to lift it for bigger meats. Now that would also need to include everything associated with installing a long arm correctly; driveshafts, sye, steering correction, trackbar correction, brakelines, etc.
Not to mention all the welding to the unibody that I would have to farm out. I don't feel comfortable welding to metal that thin. All that adds up in cost. There are also downsides like stresses being put on the "frame" in places where it was never meant to be, handling quirks of the long arms themselves, and the loss of ground clearance due to the arms.
Portal axles are going to be a HUGE expense, but in the end the cost of both options are similar.
The pluses are, high pinion diffs, ARB's, wilwood brakes.... a 1.5 ton rating!!
The axles would allow me to use the stock suspension, steering, and track bar geometries. No obscene driveline angles. No modifications to the placement of the control arm mounts. Then there's the insane amount of ground clearance under the axle when mounted with 37's.
with these axles and my Iceland flares I could even run zero lift and still cleanly flex 35" tires... pretty cool huh?
I will update as the build moves forward. And yes, I think the lights were worth the money. Not everyone may agree but I value form and function. Although the lighting is an improvement over stock, I wouldn't say that its 200 dollars worth of improvement. Part of what you're paying for is looks. If you're looking for good lighting and a more modern look to your headlights, these are the way to go. If what you need is the most superior light output, your money is better spent on HID's.
i agree. just get factory replacements so they're ultra clear and put HID bulbs in it....i have seen people sand the foggyness off so they're clear like northwoods 5.9's lights instead of having that crap all on it, but that seems pretty hard.
Strada you need to read my plans a little more closely... Portal axles.
Portal axles will give me a 4.5" drop of the wheel's centerline. That moves the the top of any given tire size away from the fender 4.5". Now add 2" of lift and you've moved the tire and wheel Assembly away from the fender the equivalent of a 6.5" lift. Now do the amount of serious body cutting that the Iceland fender flares require.... and 37" tires, here I come.
Oh, and did I mention? The axles have a 1.5 ton rating!
Check out these pics and keep reading...
This guy is running a 6" short arm lift with the flares and I've seen photos of the rig with the front tires stuffed pretty well. I will be reworking the inner fender a little differently than the way they do it, which will give more clearance. Now take this into account.... we all know the weird handling that a 6" short arm can have, the way the tires are pulled in towards the center of the vehicle because of the stock arm's arc of travel, and how as you lift, with a short arm at least, you start decreasing the amount of available down travel. A bigger tire will call for extended bumpstops effectively giving you a shorter amount of uptravel and ultimately a shorter range of travel overall. Well I hope at least most of us understand this especially you, Strada.
Now consider this.... the portal drop is a completely vertical and plumb 4.5" drop, keeping my tires centered in the wheelwell. The 2" spacers will very slightly pull the wheels toward the center of the vehicle, but its nothing that a set of adjustable JKS control arms can't fix. Hell, if I find I need to, I can even move the wheels out beyond the stock wheel base. I've still got your attention right?
Now where a 6" short arm pulls the axle a certain way as it flexes, my axle will move more like stock. The front axle on 6" and shorts, for example, will move forward as it compresses and backwards as it extends. My setup will move more like the stock range of motion (when a rig is still at stock height and the arms are relatively parallel to the ground), as the suspension compresses and extends the axle will travel up without the forward and down without the backwards. At least not to the degree that a 6" does. Still following me?
Now if we look at the track bars, I'll be close to the stock geometry with the small, actual 2" lift. With a tall lift regardless of short or long arms, the only way to keep the stock angle is to lower the mount at the frame or raise the mount on the axle. Either way is bound to create a weak point. An adjustable track bar will only center your axle. It doesn't take care of the angle which gets severe with larger lifts. This causes your axle to move left and right as your suspension extends and compresses. This is one cause of bumpsteer. My steering linkage will be at close to stock angles. Which will also reduce bumpsteer. And let's not forget the dreaded deathwobble, not much of an issue at stock or close to stock geometry. I can keep going on with driveshaft angles and so on and so on and so on.... but I'll leave this all for the build up. But I think you get my point. Trust me... I'm not a rookie.
The only concern I would have would be the stock unibody CA mounts.
Those are notorious for ripping off with lots of lift and tire ( or particularly savage use offroad. )
What do these portal axles weigh? A Dana 60 front axle weighs about 550 - 600 pounds fully dressed. A stock Dana 30 is half that.
Also factor in leverage. Your stock CA mounts hold your axle above and below the axle tube. Though you will still be holding the new axles in this manner the portal boxes may act like levers. Think of it like the same effect you get in a leaf sprung suspension when someone puts lift blocks between the spring and the axle perch. They would end up with a much higher tendency for axle wrap. The effect in a four link style suspension ( with a "conventional" axle ) would be like having the lower CAs mount just above the axletube and the uppers another fourish inchs higher than they are now. This could increase the amount of stress the upper unibody CA mounts " sees " under regular use i.e. acceleration, braking, rock crawling, etc.
Am I wrong about this?
Otherwise I LOVE the concept. Nice rig too BTW. :mrgreen:
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