Q. Have you guys ever done an article or project to put Ford Super Duty axles into a Jeep? I have an '00 TJ that the motor is in the machine shop being stroked to 4.7L. I picked up a matched set of axles from an Excursion and need ideas for the suspension build. If you have any info I would be forever grateful to Four Wheeler to get it. I have searched the Web endlessly and haven't found any info or projects involving these great axles.
A. Well, this would make kind of an interesting combination. I've been trying to picture just how much offset the front differential has and if there is sufficient room for the coils to mount, being that the Jeep frame is considerably narrower than the Ford truck frame. I would think that you could carefully cut off all the brackets that mount the coil springs and the control arms from your present front and rear axles, and relocate them onto the Super Duty axlehousing. When you cut off brackets like these, you always remove a bit of material, but this should work out just fine due to the larger diameter of the Super Duty axlehousing. Because the upper link mount for the TJ front suspension is a cast part of the housing, you will have to fabricate a mount. This should not be too hard to do.
I would think that you would want to go to a crossover-style steering system, and you want to be sure that the track bar is on the same plane as the steering drag link. It's also very important that the mounting point on the axle be quite stout as quite a bit of load can be placed on it when the suspension articulates. You might also look into Rubicon Express (www.rubiconexpress.com) as they offer these brackets. You do realize that the tires will stick out a considerable amount of distance past the fenders due to the much wider width of the Super Duty axles? Part of this could be eliminated by going to some wheels with a considerable amount of backspacing.
Q. Concerning Willie's Workbench ("The Dreaded Death Wobble," June '08): I had a terrible wobble in my '50 CJ-3A. It's running a small-block Chevy and a Chevy power-steering box. After checking just about everything you mentioned in your article, I checked the sector-shaft adjusting screw. It took nearly three complete turns to get in proper adjustment. Problem solved. The Jeep now goes straight as an arrow with no hint of a wobble. I hope this helps other readers.
A. Thanks for the suggestion. Wow, that is a lot to turn a steering-box adjustment screw. You must have had a lot of play in the steering. I usually don't like to tell people to play with the steering-box adjustment-especially on power steering-because improper adjustment can lead to a binding problem and excessive wear to the gears. Factory service manuals show that special tools are required to do this adjustment instead of just a wrench and a screwdriver. Lots of people like you just do it anyway and have no problem.
I would suggest to anyone trying to adjust their steering box this way to jack the wheels off the ground, and make the adjustment by loosening the nut on top of the box, turning the adjusting screw, say, half a turn at a time, until the play is taken up and then perhaps even backing the screw up a bit. Now be sure that you can turn the steering wheel to full left and right lock without any binding. You will want to do this with the engine not running.
Busted Bolts: How to remove them, and how to avoid 'em I was helping a buddy install a suspension lift on his YJ when I heard him mumble a swear word. A quick glance in his direction revealed that a bolt that held the front brake-line clip to the frame had twisted off. The break was almost flush with the framerail.
Before I go into how to get the bolt's shank out, let's talk over how the break could have been prevented. Number one rule: Lots of penetrating oil, and be sure to give it time to do its job. Rule number two: multiple applications over days are better than just an hour before attempting to remove the bolt. Heating the bolt up with a propane torch to the point of just being too hot to touch, and then spraying it with whatever magic lube you choose to use, also helps. This way, you're also using thermal shock to help loosen the corrosion.