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tkind

MJ Truggy Build Questions

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Alright, so I'm new to the Comanche Club. I just picked up a POS 92' MJ with a 7' bed. Has the standard D30/D35 combo, 4.0, and a 5 speed manual trans. Needs a new crankshaft position sensor in order to run properly. I really want a dedicated vehicle just to take rock crawling, and I feel this is the perfect donor vehicle. I have a 2013 Jeep JK on 35's that I take to Rausch Creek Offroad Park (Tremont, PA), and it's also my DD. I can't afford to break anything serious, being as how I have no other vehicle to get to and from work. And I don't make a million dollars a year either, I just graduated high school in June of this year. So to finally get to the whole point of this intro, I want a truggy (wasn't sure if i made that clear enough). I'm only knowledgeable in JK's, so i only know the basics in MJ's. I'd like to start with axles. I heard a rear Dana 60 from a late 80's dodge pickup swaps in with no modifications (Fact or fiction?). Well, what about a front axle? I want matching widths, and I could care less if they're full width. Not looking to dump money modify the front axle to fit, but it seems to be almost inevitable. Would it be better to put a D60 in the front, or just D44? The next thing is that standard 6.5 inch lifts won't work with "new" axles (assuming, but you know what they say about that). I know I'll need to beef up the drivetrain as well. What transfer case does everyone recommend? I've heard no one can go wrong with a Dana 300. No short term plans for different motor or trans. Not opposed to the cliche Cummins 4BT/NV4500 combo, but one can only dream  :yes:. All feedback is appreciated, but let's keep it civilized. I'm only a dumb teenager  :thumbsup:

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No need to truggy to make a very capable trail rig. Also if it's in decent shape, a 92 is hard to come by, I'd hate to see it get hacked up into a truggy. No rear axle will bolt in no modifications except an axle from a Comanche. At the minimum you would need new perches welded on. Also, axle choices would depend on how big of tires you plan to go with. As for a front axle, the D30s are limited on strength. A lot of people shorten D44s from from older Ford pick ups. There is definitely more, but projects like this can get pricy quickly

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You didn't give us a lot of details about how big you want to build it. What is your target tire size and wheelbase? Can you weld and fabricate or afford to pay someone else to? What is your budget?

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Indeed, first decide how radical you're looking to go.  Tire size, suspension design and internal vs exo cage work or a combo of both will be the bigger decisions to commit to when looking at your build.  

 

You can build a VERY capable rig keeping the rear uni-frame and leaf spring set up.  But "truggy" generally lends it's name to those that cut the truck in half and build a tube frame and 4-link rear suspension in order to gain rigidity, wheel base change and articulation.

 

This is a truggy that a buddy built, originally with D44 axles on 37's.  It progressed to a 1-ton 44 front and ford 9" rear (when I owned it),  Now currently using a D60/14 bolt set up on 38's.   It's always been the same tube frame/exo set up with 3-link front and 4-link rear and has worked absolutely incredible on the trails.

 

 

 

945187_644391862252986_1477519103_n.jpg

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Indeed, first decide how radical you're looking to go.  Tire size, suspension design and internal vs exo cage work or a combo of both will be the bigger decisions to commit to when looking at your build.  

 

You can build a VERY capable rig keeping the rear uni-frame and leaf spring set up.  But "truggy" generally lends it's name to those that cut the truck in half and build a tube frame and 4-link rear suspension in order to gain rigidity, wheel base change and articulation.

 

This is a truggy that a buddy built, originally with D44 axles on 37's.  It progressed to a 1-ton 44 front and ford 9" rear (when I owned it),  Now currently using a D60/14 bolt set up on 38's.   It's always been the same tube frame/exo set up with 3-link front and 4-link rear and has worked absolutely incredible on the trails.

 

 

 

945187_644391862252986_1477519103_n.jpg

That looks great! It'd be a dream to build something like this

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I apologize, I should have elaborated. I did intend to keep the frame intact, so maybe truggy wasn't what i was really going for. A very capable trail rig is more like it. I picked it up for $300, otherwise I'd feel the same way about hacking it up haha. Floor pans are rusted out, rockers are rusted, bed is rusted, frame is alright, not awful. I figured it'd be perfect. I'd like to keep the stock wheelbase. And 37's are as large as I'd go, for now. I don't know how to weld or fab (shame on me), but i know people who can. My budget isn't very high, more of a "build as i get money" kind of deal

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I'm gonna toss out a BIG word of caution about building a dedicated hard core rig using a badly rusted MJ.  The uni-frame rails may look ok...... but inside, they're gonna be pretty bad if the rest of the truck is that rotten.

 

Definitely look into plating and a tube reinforcement in the form of a fully integrated internal cage that spans from the engine compartment back to the rear of the uni-frame, if not an exo.

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My frame used to seem solid. After hitting it on a rock obstacle last Sunday the truck seemed to be leaning left a bit. This is what I found.

 

10632574_744267192287849_102407959052699

 

The two white spots are daylight from the other side. It is ripped clear across the bottom and up the inside of the frame rail as well.

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