So the first part of my swap was to remove the gas tank to make clearance for a transfer case. I picked up a steel tank from a B2 along with the stock skid plate and straps. I made one cross-member for the front of the tank to bolt up to and welded the holes in the tank from the junkyard. A few minor mods to the fuel rail and sender to take the high flow fuel pump and to clear the bed when installed. Plumbed it all together with some braided stainless and Russell's fittings.
Also added a set of lift shackles to bring the rear of the truck up a couple of inchs, and I plan to raise the front to match. The goal is to clear 33" tires.
I know most of that isn't all that exciting but its necessary work...
Next up I have been working on the axle, its a HP D30 out of a 1998 Jeep Cherokee with the larger axle shaft u-joints. I know bring on the Haters... I have a set of Standard Gear 4.10's ready to drop on, and a Spartan lunchbox Lockers is on order. I am going to run a late model Grand Cherokee knuckles on the axle which will give me High Steer and Twin Piston Calipers. I am going to reuse the Jeeps lower coil buckets with the 6" Ranger coils I already had on the truck. This will require less modifications and I should be able to use the Rangers upper coil bucket, shock mount, and the stock Jeep shock mount with the Fox Shox.
I have stripped the axle bare, boxed in the upper control arm mount, and made a simple truss out of 1/4" diamond plate. Over the weekend I installed new ball joints and mounted the knuckles to check clearance for the steering.
The steering is going to use 1 Ton TRE's and the drag link, trac bar, and tie rod will be made out of 1.5 inch .25 wall DOM. Should be plenty strong. The suspension will be a radius arm setup that uses the stock upper and lower control arm mounts on the axle. Arms will be made out of 2 inch .25 wall DOM, with 2.5" Johnny Joints. All of the links will be adjustable.
I already replaced the power steering gear box with a new reman unit and have a drop pitman arm mounted to it along with new hydraulic lines to the pump. The frame has been stripped of all the original suspension and cross-members.
The pile of parts is beginning to stack up and I ordered a few hundred dollars worth over the weekend. The goal is to try and have the truck sitting on its own weight by the end of the month.
The trans is still up in the air... I want to run a World Class T5 with a Dana 300, but they have never been manufactured and Advance Adapters quit producing the kit years ago. I am hoping to build my own trans with a NWC T5 out of a Jeep CJ. Would also have to flip the T-case as its normally a passengers side drop...
A couple of other plans are some rock sliders and a front skid plate with winch. I am going to be real busy until the Dunes :)