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1965 Jeep J20 Gladiator Build

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  • #61
    Now for the brake and clutch pedals... (apologies - was in a hurry and didn't get as many progress pics)

    After test fitting a TJ pedal assembly and realizing it would be more trouble than using the stock, I needed to figure out how to adapt a power brake booster and newer clutch master for the AX15 to the firewall and J200 pedals. I had a dual diaphragm booster in my attic from my CJ7 build that I converted to hydroboost when I did the 4BT swap. I bought a booster bracket from eBay for a YJ and a clutch master setup from an AX15 YJ. The YJ clutch master bolt pattern is vertical and not diagonal which was going to keep me within the boundaries of the J200's angled mounting plate on the firewall.

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    More cardboard (this time a cereal box) and I traced a pattern that would capture the J200 pedal bolt holes and I could trace my YJ bracket holes and new clutch master holes onto. I used a hole saw to match the dust boot diameter of the YJ bracket so that it would seat onto the plate and seal and then used a stepper bit to get to the 1 1/4" hole needed for the clutch master. Once I had the new component holes drilled onto the plate, I mounted the plate to the firewall and drilled the new holes through the existing mounting plate on the firewall, including needing to open up the circle to clear the new brake booster bracket dust boot.

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    The Off-Again Navajo brake booster has an adjustable coupling nut on the pedal side and once adjusted to the correct length to align with the J200 pedal, I slightly over-drilled the mounting hole to make it fit on the stock mounting point of the original jeep's master cylinder.

    For the clutch master, I wasn't able to modify the plastic push rod/plunger and it was about a 1/2" too long and the wrong diameter for the J200 clutch pedal. For this, I cut off the original mounting pin in the pedal arm and ground out a groove on the face of it. I used a 3/8 shoulder bolt cut down to length and set it in the grove and welded it in place to align with the plunger eye of the new AX15 clutch master.

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    And just like that, I have power brakes and a modern clutch master/external slave! Three functional pedals all in a row! When it goes together for the final time, I'll paint and seal the new adapter plate. I would also like to modify my Cummins pedal to support the original "Jeep" branded pedal.

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    • #62
      The last major piece of finishing up the firewall fab now that the pedals are done will be mounting the VintageAir Magnum IV Heater/AC to really help bring this truck into the climate controlled era. I've been waiting a few weeks for this to arrive and it just did on Sunday which was perfect timing. I have a plan and hope to get to work on it this week but here's a preview as I couldn't resist a quick test fit.
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      Next steps will be reinstalling the dash temporarily to determine permanent location of this unit and then building my mounts from there. I've got some ideas but so far thrilled with the fitment and prospect of AC! After I get this mount done, I can mark and start deleting all of the unused firewall holes. The cab is that much closer for disassembly and sheet metal work!

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      • #63
        The 3.0L diesel JL Wrangler cooling parts on order from my local Jeep dealer are starting to arrive - beginning with the big @ss fan! This PWM fan will likely be controlled by the Derale box available on the market with a trinary switch override from the AC compressor and Cummins fan command.

        The old Kaiser grill has around 215 in/sq of open air with the slots.

        Hopefully the charge cooler, AC condenser, and radiator are not far behind!
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        • #64
          Whoa, that build is turning out to be sick! I love the idea of using a JK frame, suspension, and axles, as the aftermarket potential for the JK is endless. The ride would also be much better without the old post-mounted leaf springs. I also think the R2.8 is an excellent choice of engine, as it would provide just the right amount of torque for some moderate off-roading, and the lack of power compared to a V8 can be compensated by the OD transmission for highway cruising. I have wanted to build a j series truck for years, and this basically the same configuration that I keep coming back to.

          I have a question regarding your transmission choice though. How do think the TR-4050 and the AX15 compare to each other? I know that first gear is much lower on the TR-4050, do you think it is too low to be useful with the R2.8?

          Also with your AC, where will you put the vents in your dash? This company in California called Icon did a Wagnoneer a few years ago and they replaced the ashtrays and the left-side heater controls these cool machined grilles.
          Last edited by fiddlemahn; 04-09-2022, 11:22 PM.

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          • #65
            Originally posted by fiddlemahn View Post
            I have a question regarding your transmission choice though. How do think the TR-4050 and the AX15 compare to each other? I know that first gear is much lower on the TR-4050, do you think it is too low to be useful with the R2.8?

            Also with your AC, where will you put the vents in your dash? This company in California called Icon did a Wagnoneer a few years ago and they replaced the ashtrays and the left-side heater controls these cool machined grilles.
            Thank you for the kind words! I've very excited for this and have been planning it for some time. The JKU frame will definitely be a game changer for this truck.

            I've had the pleasure of driving a few R2.8's with the TR-4050 which is a very nice transmission. That first gear is deep enough that depending on your RAR and tire size, you may end up driving it as a 4 speed with the diesel. I was originally planning to go that direction for me it came down to budget at the end of the day. I love the AX-15's and for how I'm going to use this truck, it should be perfect. I've driven a handful of R2.8's in different rigs with the AX-15 or an NV3550 and the ratios are great for this engine. If the time ever comes, I'll be able to upgrade this one one day to the 4050 if I start using the truck to tow more or find myself with consistently heavy payloads.

            Regarding the AC vents, I'm also deleting the original heater controls and plan to fit a round vent there and on the passenger side in same location. For centers, I may just do underdash on either side of the original 4wd indicator lamps. TBD. I think that I am going to move the wiper switch and headlamp switch up on the left side of the dash in the old location of the vent pulls. I could then use their original spots (and the one where the choke cable was) to put the Vintage Air knobs in a row. Plans subject to change

            Jonathan Ward and the Icon team did a great job on that one. I saw Winslow Bent and the guys at Legacy Classic Truck finished an R2.8 Honcho last month that looked great. I couldn't find many pics of it to see the engine install.



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            • #66
              I haven't towed with the TR-4050, but have towed a fair amount with the AX-15 even with 33s and 3.07s, towing ~3,500 lbs taking off in first on a steep hill isn't great, but it's doable. I simply don't like towing that much, because my TJ brakes are lacking. I have had to drag my big truck a quarter mile and when I went over the scales the truck is 8,500 lbs. I did it backward because the reverse gear ratio is a bit higher and I have a metal bumper in the front that I could have helped to slow it down if the truck went too fast downhill and if not the spare tire would have been hit if the brakes would have been a problem on the truck. I did that in 4 lo with the 2.72:1 and that was a little too fast, but ok.

              Part of me loves the idea of the 4050, but at this point if I was gonna do a transmission swap I would go with a 6speed auto. The 4050 would be high on my list though to replace the AX-15, but the AX-15 is so lightweight and though it couldn't handle the torque of one of these R2.8s turned up, it's still very light, pretty sturdy and relatively cheap ie it's got a lot of value, though it's not, possibly the ideal transmission for the the R2.8, but it's probably the best bang for the buck, especially since in my case would need to either lengthen my wheelbase or get a shortened transfer case to fit it under there.

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