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mooseinabox

'88 Pioneer 4.0 4x4

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Passenger side time! Now remember, when I bought the truck and looked underneath, the driver had a few pinholes and the passenger side was spotless. When I first pulled the carpet, I couldn't really find any rot on the passenger side. Boy was I in for a surprise.

 

:sad2:

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Ground down and marked out.

 

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Technically after I cut this out, my truck was rust free truck. :beerbang:

 

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Panels cut out and set down. These ones are 16 gauge because that's what Lowes had in stock.

 

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Middle piece went in first.

 

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All welded in.

 

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As far as the rust goes, I'm at a bit of a stand still for the next few weeks. My coworker has to fill in at another shop until a new hire is made. I still need to grind down the welds, get the upper rails sandblasted, weld them back in, and coat the floors. I still haven't decided what products to go with, but now I have a few weeks to decide. I know my top coat will be lizardskin, at least, along with the rest of the interior getting that treatment.

 

One thing I'm a little concerned with is how I'm going to sandwich the floor nicely between the two frame rails like the factory did it. I have a bit of a gap between the floor and the lower rail, and looking at pictures, they're supposed to be touching. I guess I'll try to get them as close as possible when the top rail is welded on, and then seam seal any gaps. :dunno: I kind of overlooked that issue and I'm a little disappointed it's not going to be perfect. 

 

 

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So at my old shop we had this customer with a Wrangler. 2004 Rocky Mountain Edition with like 25k miles. 4.0 5 speed, absolute gem. Well, it had these super nice bullet holes wheels that I absolutely loved. I looked closer and they were Alcoas. I looked even closer when I was doing the tires and saw Chrysler part numbers. :dry: Come to find out these are factory wheels for that edition, and from that point forward that was the wheel I NEEDED for my truck. I searched high and low for a while and no dice. Kind of gave up and ended up with the Ravines, but every now and I'd do a quick search to try to find them.

 

Well, fast forward to a couple weeks ago. I was on Davey's website (daveysjeeps) doing my daily search for cool trucks, when I see a YJ with a full set of those coveted Alcoas! I messaged him asking if was interested in selling them separate, knowing full well his answer was going to be no. Well guess what, he said no. :roflmao:

 

No surprise, but the point is moments after I go on facebook and search "5x4.5" within 100 miles. I scroll and scroll and scroll and I see an ad for 5x4.5 wheels with just this one picture posted like 10 hours prior.

 

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I message him asking trying to get some details and he said they're aftermarket wheels for sure. I bug him enough to go get some pics of the inside barrel, and I see the little Chrysler logo. :banana:

 

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Another picture I squeezed out out of him.

 

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Everything checked out, and the price was right. I knew I had to be fast, so right when I got off work I drove 100 miles each way to get my dream wheels. Unfortunately, they weren't "like new" like he described. Two wheels have some curb rash on them. Oh well, I'm still happy.

 

Back home with the new shoes.

 

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Bolted up for a test fit. They have identical specs to my current Ravines, which makes sense since you could also get Ravines on the Rocky Mountain Edition.

 

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So my spare tire is 30x9.5, which is the size I'm considering switching to. Well, that or 31x10.5. I put my spare tire on one of the Alcoas to see how the whole package would look.

 

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I don't know about you guys, but that wheel looks so good on that truck. WOW! :bowdown:

 

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I put them back in the boxes for now until I get them restored and pick a tire size. 

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Finally updated!

 

I've always hated the reverse rake this truck had, but didn't do anything about it until now. I picked up some Rubicon Express 1.75" coil spacers from Summit hoping to level everything out.

 

Swaybar disconnected, shocks disconnected, and spring compressed.

 

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The compressor on the left decided it didn't want to stay in place anymore and I almost lost a hand. :doh: I was able to carefully remove the other one, then loosen that one until it popped back on the coil. Then I had to put them both back on and compress the spring again since it fell out of place when the compressor moved. NOT FUN.

 

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It's pretty level now. Not sure if I'm content though.

 

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So I'm at a crossroad with the little truck and I'm having trouble deciding which way to go. Here's my options, and if you have any input, please comment!

 

- 1.75" coil spacer (current), 30x9.5, stock 3.07 gearing

- 1.75" spacer, 31x10.5, WJ arms, change axles with different gearing - either 3.55 or 3.73

- 2" lift, 30x9.5, stock gearing

- 3" lift, 31x10.5, WJ arms, regear

 

My biggest issue is I feel like the upgrades are going to snowball. Also, I don't know anything about lifts and in researching I've found everyone has their own opinion about brands, what you need or don't need with certain heights, gearing, and axle choices. I wish I could find a nice Comanche D44 so at least my axle would've came out of a MJ originally, but I know those are slim pickings. Oh well, no rush to decide I guess. :(

 

It's hard for me to find the line between keeping this truck original like I always planned, and doing upgrades to improve upon stock both mechanically and aesthetically. I will never cut fenders or go with a massive lift, but I think a couple inches higher and a bit wider of a tire would look really good. If I didn't have to regear, this would be a no brainer, but changing axles was not something I ever wanted to do.

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Here is mine with a 3in lift in the front only (I need to do something in the back) with 31x10.50s for reference. 159654C6-73F9-4F1B-9547-798BE2BF91A6.jpeg.afd5f198dadda86af046018575162180.jpeg

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2 hours ago, 89 MJ said:

Here is mine with a 3in lift in the front only (I need to do something in the back) with 31x10.50s for reference. 

 

That looks so good! That's exactly how I want my truck to look except in red. What gear ratio do you have? It looks really level for only being lifted in the front.

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1 hour ago, mooseinabox said:

 

That looks so good! That's exactly how I want my truck to look except in red. What gear ratio do you have? It looks really level for only being lifted in the front.

It is really level, but when I have stuff in the back, it looks to squatted. I have 4:10s. 

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