Posts Tagged With: ARB

Gauging the Results

Happy New Year (observed)! Yes, I have some actual *progress* to report on the JeepMonster! It’s not a lot, but at this point I’ll take anything.

AutoMeter sent me an email back in November, saying they were having a sale through the end of December on everything they offered. That’s right, *everything*. Depending on how much you bought, you could end up getting as much as $250 back!

Well, time passed way too quickly (I was busy with other projects, and family, and birthdays, and other holidays), and all of a sudden it was December 30. I knew I wasn’t going to have time on New Year’s Eve to order anything, so I hunkered down over my keyboard, stared at the screen, pondered some notes I wrote a long time ago about what I want (and need; they’re not necessarily the same thing), and placed an order. It didn’t quite garner me the full $250 rebate, but it will be enough for $150, so I’m happy with that. I didn’t see the point of trying to figure out another $200 in spending to get another $100 back.

So here’s what I ordered. These all come from AutoMeter’s Jeep(R)-licensed line. Naturally, that adds to the cost of each item, but I *am* building a Jeep, after all, and I don’t want any confusion on that point. 😉

  • Speedometer
  • Tachometer
  • Voltmeter
  • Fuel
  • Water Temperature
  • Oil Pressure
  • Engine Oil Temperature
  • Transmission Temperature
  • Transfer-Case Temperature (2 – one for the Spicer 18 case and one for the SCS “Magic Box”)
  • Axle Temperature (3 – one for each axle)

I’m also going to get the following gauges. AutoMeter doesn’t make them in the Jeep line, so I’m getting compatible-looking units from other companies.

  • Engine Hours (Teltek; has a non-resettable display to show total hours and a resettable one for time since last [oil change, overhaul, repair, whatever])
  • Air Pressure (Viair; will let me monitor my onboard air supply from the dash)
  • Outside Air Temperature (Teltek? Not sure yet)
  • Compass (?) (There might be a built-in compass in the GPS I will have)
  • Clock (?) (There will probably be a built-in clock in the sound system head unit I will have)

And then there’s all the other stuff that I want / need on, in, or near the dashboard:

  • Headlight switch (includes cabin light rheostat)
  • Three ARB switches
  • Turn signal, cruise control, and high-beam indicators
  • Sound System head unit & two speakers
  • Four A/C vents
  • Dual-battery management system master switch (?)
  • 12-volt power port(s); USB charging and (maybe) data port(s)
  • HVAC controls
  • Auxiliary light switches (rock lights; work lights; driving lights, etc.) and associated indicators
  • On/off/auto switch for electric engine fan
  • Seat heater switches
  • Onboard air switch
  • GPS unit

With all this stuff, I think it might look more like an airplane cockpit than a Jeep, but hey, it’s my project so I can do what I want, right? 🙂

I regret there aren’t any fancy photos this time, but it’s hard to take pictures of something that doesn’t exist. Maybe next time.

Categories: Gauges, JeepMonster, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Axles! – Well, two of them…

Today I put the tires on my front and back axles (the middle one will be a while getting back to me).

I actually *started* to put the tires on the front axle yesterday, but I didn’t reckon with the floppiness of the two ends with no tie rod to hold them together:


So they sat this way overnight while I tried to figure out a way to get everything to cooperate with me. My first thought was to level it out so the pinion was pointed in the right direction (toward the back of the Jeep instead of at the floor). However, when I tried that, everything just flopped the other way and the pinion ended up pointing at the ceiling. So I had to think of a Plan B. I finally came up with a “temporary tie rod” (actually a broomstick and some lightweight rope) to keep the tires in one position relative to each other, and then I used the rest of the rope to lasso the pinion and keep it from rotating back toward the floor:


Then I tackled the back axle. By comparison, this was a piece of cake. Since the ends are fixed, I simply jacked up one end and put the tire on, repeated with the other end, and voila!


I guess this is as good a place as any to give you the specs, so here goes.

The three axles are all 60 inches wide, from wheel mounting surface to wheel mounting surface. I measured the back axle’s overall width this afternoon with the tires on; it measures 74 inches. Since the Jeep’s body is only 60 inches wide, the tires will extend past the tub about 7 inches on each side. [This detail will become relevant eventually, when I start work on the body.] The axles all have the same gear ratio of 4.57:1. This is especially important for the back two axles, of course, since they’re always going to be connected and both will always be powered. If they didn’t have exactly the same gear ratio, this setup wouldn’t work. Having the front axle match the gear ratio also makes life simpler when I’m in 6wd. It’s not *as* important for the front-axle ratio to exactly match the back axle(s), because when your front axle is also driving, you’re typically on soft surfaces (dirt, mud, snow, air) that allow wheel slip, but if they are the same, then slip is minimized.

All three axle housings were built by Currie Enterprises, based on a Ford 9-inch axle design. The center sections for the front and middle axles were also built by Currie and include ARB Air Lockers. Both are a low-pinion style of center section. The center section for the back axle is a high-pinion style, was built by TrueHi9, and also includes an ARB Air Locker. All three axles have disc brakes; the back two axles also have small drum brakes for the parking-brake system. I plan to use these parking brakes in pairs, with the driver-side brakes connected to one brake lever and the passenger-side brakes connected to a second lever. This will allow me to manually brake one side or the other of the back two axles, helping reduce the Jeep’s turn radius.

I’ll be running 35-inch-diameter tires on the Jeep. While they’re not super-huge – at least, not in today’s world of 40-inch and larger tires on Jeeps – they’re plenty big for my purposes. They also satisfy one criterion for an expedition I hope to be invited on someday: the Ultimate Adventure that’s put on every year by Petersen’s 4Wheel and Off-Road magazine. Among other things, every vehicle on this adventure must be on tires at least 35 inches in diameter. I don’t know yet what brand I’ll be using, or even what tread style (all-terrain or mud-terrain). The wheels are 15×8 chrome-plated steel. I chose them because they get the job done and they’re reasonably priced.

Categories: 6wd, 6x6, axle, Jeep | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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