We started tearing into the suspension in the Jan. '04 issue ("Project Hot Dog, Part 1") and quickly found out that some of our plans had to go straight into the trashcan. We ripped through Plan A of using the stock springs and perches and have since torn up part of Plan B, so we're to Plan C of getting the 49-inch tires under our '73 J-2000 nicknamed "Hot Dog." We retained the Mountain Off Road Enterprises (M.O.R.E.) spring mounts up front, but we replaced the 2 1/2-inch lift springs with some Skyjacker 4-inch lift springs for a '74-and-later FSJ. We want to keep the truck as low as possible with only minimal uptravel to keep it stable. The 2 1/2-inch lift springs with our relocated spring mounts would have worked just about perfect with 44-inch tires, but there was nowhere near enough space for 49s. Here's where we are now with Hot Dog. And even if you aren't building a budget monster there may be some tips in here you can use on your own rig.
Up front we added 10-inch-travel adjustable shocks, urethane bumpstops and a coat of camo paint just like the rear. The factory Rockwell tie rod and ends were in good shape, so we left the assembly alone behind the axle.
There was no way Hot Dog was rolling out of the garage on its wheels and tires. Even the neighbors made fun of us while we were building it. That is until they saw us easily push it out on these auto dollies that we bought from Mantaray Motorsport Racing. We got a set of four 16x16 dollies that hold 1,500 pounds each for $149.95. Put your Jeep project on 'em, and you can push it around anywhere you want in your garage or shop. In the next issue keep your eyes out for the tire-fitment frustrations, driveshaft dilemmas, plumbing problems, and axle-wrap intricacies we had and their solutions.
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