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My '88 Mj Streetable Autocross / Road Racer Build


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I was asked if I would be looking to add a front air dam and/or side skirts.........

 

Yep.

 

 

If I make one, I'm looking at doing a rubber sheet mounted to the bottom edge of the bumper and come around to meet the lower corner of the front flare.
 
The early S-10/S-15/Bravada air dams also look like they'd work well:
 
0078.jpg
 
563866_4057594915930_54525974_n.jpg
 
"Skirts" I'm on the fence about.
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I lowered an MJ also, with similar goals to yours. As far as lowering the front is concerned, the biggest issue if, keeping factory mounts and geometry, are the upper control arm mounts. I lowered mine as much as possible and dropped the lowers the same amount. This allowed me to shorten the bumpstops and lower the truck further. Even with a custom tracbar, notched axle, and relocated axle mounts, the axle mounts would contact the motor mount and or unirail preventing me from dropping it any further. This was at 3-3.5" of drop on 2wd springs.

 

Here's a few pictures to give you an idea of what I did. I hope this helps.

 

eru7u8y7.jpg

 

yzu3uqe9.jpg

 

There's a build thread on here named George. It was a fun truck, I miss it.

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  • 2 months later...
From another thread here, I found a Canadian who's reproducing all kinds of vinyl decals for cars and trucks. He has an Ebay business called "prop_kulture"

 

Contact: email: stripetheworld@yahoo.com phone: 226.791.2160  or search for him on Ebay.

 

Kinda putting the cart before the horse by getting a stripe kit for a truck that isn't close to being ready for paint yet....but for the race MJ, I wanted to do the sportruck hockey stick stripes like these:

 

jeep-comanche-sportruck-05.jpg?i

 

Asked if they could be modified a bit...... :D

 


 

He also makes the early Eliminator stripe and emblem kits.  Got a kit for the '90 I have future plans for, just in case he quits making them in the near future.  He sent extra bits of the kit which is cool, in case I goof something up.  The kits come with the "Jeep" letters for the tail gates too.  CHEAP considering what ya get and shipped from the great white north.... Eliminator kit was $49, the RaceTruck kit was $79.

 

1280px-1990_Jeep_Comanche_Eliminator.jpg

 


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  • 3 months later...

Stomping around my local boneyard looking for other stuff I stumble on a '94 Country with this nearly mint red grill and bezels. Snatched em for this project.

 

 

Unfortunately.... This project is at risk of having to be let go. The wife informed me recently that, while she likes our SRT8 Grand, she's not putting up with driving it in the winter anymore (can't get Blizzaks for it and all other winter tires for it are $400+ each....). Shes also not a fan of the stiff ride and MPG. She drives a long distance 5 days a week 8-5, I feel her pain. So we've decided to trade in my '11 Ram Cummins 3500 on a '98-'02 Ram Cummins 2500, to get outta that payment, and get her a '14 Grand Cherokee Overland or Summit.... that she can put Blizzaks on, has a better ride, and gets better MPG.

 

This means the SRT8 becomes my daily driver.....yeah I'm not hating on this idea at all.....:D

 

Hoping she'll let me keep the raceTruck....but hard to argue when I will have the SRT8.....:dunno:

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Nah, I've got too much time and money just in fenders to get rid of the dually MJ project..... I've paid more for the 2 sets of fenders than I did for the dadgum truck....LOL. 

 

Hoping to make some progress on that before November.  May not get it running, but hope to get the axle under it, wheels polished and tires mounted, front suspension sorted and the stroker engine/trans setting in the engine bay.  Then next spring/summer work on getting it running/driving.

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May be time to get one of those expensive life insurance policies...

 

Loving the build, I want to lower my black MJ but I'm not too sure how I feel about cutting springs. I guess when it comes to lowering our trucks it's pretty much all custom fab work huh?

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Believe it or not, cutting the coils worked better than installing 4cyl coils.  I've done both and I MUCH prefer the ride and handling of the cut OEM coils over the 4cyl coils.  The best part?  If ya don't like it, stock coils are a dime a dozen and easy to put it back to stock.

 

The rear with lowering blocks leaves a bit to be desired as it is.  It jumps and bucks a bit more, but the addition of a traction bar to prevent axle wrap will end that issue.

 

I'm really hoping I can keep it.  I really wanna get the rear disc swap, rear sway bar, rod end steering and WJ brakes added to this truck and see what it all does for performance.

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At it's current height, it's still 4x4.  I haven't removed anything, just cut the coils and installed blocks.  Everything still clears ok.  It's tight all around the D30 diff especially at the upper control arm mount - within a couple inches of the motor mount bracket but even when the suspension bottoms out on the bump stop, it doesn't hit.  The driveshaft clears everywhere it needs to.

 

My brothers over on NAXJA put up a plea for me to leave it 4x4 and go with a 242 as well.  Would certainly be interesting......  

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  • 3 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Got the annual notice to get this rig emissioned and registration renewed......... ugh.  Always the dreaded "Will it pass?" anxiety.....

 

So, today I dragged it out of storage and ran it down to the sniffer station.  While waiting, I surf Craigs and I come across a fiberglass air dam for an early '90's S-10.  It REALLY looked like it could work as an option for the $400+ Archer reproduction......no not even close in appearance, but definitely in function.   Guy was asking $100 and willing to meet me after my emissions test.

 

I go out and look it over put it in front of the truck and I think I can make it work.  I offer the guy $40 and he takes it!  

 

It's designed to go over the original S-10 bumper so my first fitment will be to take off the end caps and bumper pads and see if it'll hang on the MJ bumper and how it looks.  I think the first set of indentations (for S10 turn signals) may interfere with the bumper so I may have to cut some clearance holes in the bumper.  If it looks good that way, I'll have to shorten the ends that go back to the fender wells.  They're about 3"- 4" too long.

 

If I don't like how it looks covering the bumper, then I may hang it from the bottom of the bumper and cut off that lowest part of the dam where the 2 narrower indentations are. The turn signal indentations could make for some nifty brake cooling vent intakes......... 

 

Unfortunately, the guy couldn't remember the manufacturer of this bumper cover, he customizes trucks and said this got stashed in his garage attic for years........  I'll see if I can find something out about it.

 

oh and the truck passed with flying colors....... :D

 

Anyway, here's a couple pics of it sitting in front of the MJ:

 

 

 

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I'm really beginning to stick to the 4x4 idea.  I'm thinking it should be easy to find a WJ low pinion D30 with the big brakes and CV's and a 242.   

 

Probably put the work into dropping the control arm mounts an inch or so - mostly to give that driver's side UCA mount and the motor mount a little more room and better arm angles.

 

Steering will be simplified using tube and rod ends.  I'm thinking I should be ok to stick with a stock track bar, but might look at putting a large rod end in place of the tie rod end.  Maybe just shorten an RE aftermarket adjustable track bar and put a bolt box on the end of a stock track bar frame bracket.  

 

Also, having run some auto cross in the SRT8 events....... I'm gonna remove my side mirrors and put one of those long multi view mirrors in the cab.  Those door mirrors really get in the way when you're looking for the cones.  

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Did you wind up doing anything to the rear end to help curb your axlehop issues yet?

  

No.  But I Have ideas.  A local NAXJA guy has a pretty nifty idea he wants to work with me on.  But I gotta get this road/track worthy first and see if it's even an issue.  I'm mostly concerned with spring wrap and it causing the truck to lurch/surge forward and backward under shifting and acceleration.  I doubt "hop" will ever be a problem like it would on a drag truck.

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  • 1 year later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Ok so I decided to get serious.  Sold the '01 Dakota 5.9 R/T........ regretfully as I really did love that truck....... but having 3 MJ's sitting in storage just got ridiculous.

 

So, I brought the raceTruck home.  It will serve as errand / run around driver duty in place of the R/T truck.

 

With that said, I need some advice from those running "track" XJ's and MJ's........ steering.

 

This truck needs the steering buttoned up badly.  Seems silly to put stock stuff back on it since it's all kind of bunched up together in front of the axle.  What say you all about simplifying it and doing a simple rod end (heim) and straight tube set up?

 

I'm thinking of keeping the truck 4x4 and feel that a low pinion D30 from a ZJ with WJ knuckles and big brakes would be a proper front set up.  Given that the WJ knuckle on the pass side has the upper drag link arm on it, why not do rod ends/tube steering that connects the pitman arm to the upper arm of the knuckle, then ends/tube from right to left lower knuckle arm?

 

I'd have to keep the stock track bar as it needs the diff clearing bend in it.  I don't believe the stock track bar will interfere with the straight tube steering design.

 

Basically this, but putting the heims: on top of or below the pitman arm - looking to achieve the least angle here; below the upper pass knuckle arm; and keeping the tie rod heims under the lower knuckle steering arms.

 

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