Sunday, November 8, 2009

JeepSpeed – Transfer Case Upgrade

It’s been over a year since we stripped down our JeepSpeed Cherokee. We got someone to build our roll cage since then so now it’s time to start building the truck. Randy purchased a whole lot of stuff for us to install and yesterday was the first build day.

We started at 8:30am at Randy’s parents’ house. I was a bit disappointed that no one else showed up. We had a lot of enthusiasm when we decided to start this project but mostly it’s been Randy and I so far, both money and labor. The first task was to get the truck off the trailer and into the work area (under a canopy in the driveway). Since the driveway was on a slope and the truck is not running, we ended up towing the trailer down the street to a flat section, unload the truck, then tow it using a rope back up to the driveway. It was weird “driving” the truck without a seat and trying to steer without power steering.

The truck sitting on the trailer. The rear end is up so high becuase the racing leafsprings have already been installed and there is no weight in the back w/o the fuel tank.

Our original goal was to do a couple of things today, including work on both the front and rear suspension. However, since the truck had so much rust (originally from Illinois), it took forever to remove the nut and bolts holding everything together. The first item on the agenda was to upgrade the 4WD transfer case with a shorter and stronger main shaft. We also ended up removing the exhaust pipe/catalytic converter/muffler to get better access to the transfer case.

Extra 4WD transfer case that Randy bought along with an upgrade kit. We ended up pulling apart the one under the truck so he will probably reselling this one.

Back of the truck after we pushed it into the workspace. The big hole is where the fuel tank used to be. We have to replace it with a fuel cell for safety reasons.

The transfer case upgrade looked simple on paper: remove from car, open it, take out old main shaft, replace with new main shaft and tail housing, reassemble the case, and reinstall. After 8 hours of work (with a lot of help from Randy’s dad), we managed to replace the shaft and reassemble the transfer case but didn’t get to reinstall it back under the truck.

Rear driveshaft. One of the retention clamps was missing where the axle joins to the rear differential. From the amount of dirt and rust, I think it's been missing for awhile. Good thing the drive shaft didn't fall off while driving on the freeway. I also noticed that all 4 tires were from different brands... I've never seen that before. We're going to replace all the wheels and tires (probably with BF Goodrich tires so we can get pit support from them).

The current transfer case under the truck. It would take forever to disconnect both driveshafts and the transmission.

We sawed through the exhaust pipe to get rid of this section. We'll probably build a new exhaust to the side... just like Jesse James on Monster Garage!

The JeepSpeed truck sitting on jackstands. It was easier to work underneath with the truck up on stands but it was also a bit nervewracking. Randy brought out a wheeled "creeper" for me so it was easier for me to move around on my back under the truck.

Open transfer case with both shafts removed.

Randy holding on to the new main shaft while his dad tried to figure out how to remove some needle bearings without a hydraulic press. We ended up just pounding them out of the drive gear with a hammer. :)

Nightfall (1 second exposure at f/3.5). After all this work, we only managed to replace the main transfer case shaft. This truck build will probably take a lot longer than we planned.

I was so tired at the end of the day even though I didn’t do much since I don’t have much experience working on cars. I can’t imagine doing this everyday as an auto mechanic.


BTW, the original post was created in Windows Live Writer. Typical of Microsoft, the preview only works with Internet Explorer. I tweaked with the formatting until it looked right under preview but after posting, I viewed the page with Safari (Mac OS X) and it was all messed up. I had to use the basic HTML editor in Blogger to fix everything. The photo uploading tool was pretty good though so I may use Writer to upload (not sure where the photos are stored though) then edit the text online.

No comments: