Well, as anyone following this thread can guess, I was unable to finish the Jeep in time for the trip. On the Thursday before the holiday we got the body back on and started reassembly but when it came time to put the steering linkage back together the pitman arm had too much of a drop. The only other pitman I had was a different type of spline so I called it off. Basically, even if I'd had the steering and the rear suspension done it would have still been an overnight race to finish it so I bowed out. Makes me wish I hadn't spent $130 bucks on two day freight on the control arms
After I threw in the towel we worked on my buddies rig and shored up a few things.
Initially I wasn't even going to go but he said "hell, just drive your Suburban down there. If it breaks we'll just go back down there and trailer it home." So that's what I did
The 'burb is a 1987 3/4 ton with an injected 350 and 3.73 gears. It rides way rough and is plenty ugly but it ran like a top on the way down, was much more adept offroad than I thought it would be, and drove the whole way home with no problem other than the rear brakes making a little noise(got some mud in the shoes I think). I never even had to put it in low range, couldn't believe how well it did.
Pic of the burb.
Within a day I had our hosts shooting Yukon Jack and had a great time. Both couples had a couple somewhat built Jeeps and we did more trails than anything but it was a blast. I had my dog, his best friend, and my buddies other dog who hates the other two in the back of the burb through all the trails. I've never seen them happier.
Only bad thing was my phone died and I couldn't get any pics
I also slept in a camper for the first time. Air conditioning ain't all that bad come to find out. There was a burn ban on anyways so sleeping outside wouldn't have been the same.
So after spending a three day weekend camping and wheeling we took a week off from turning wrenches. We were both sorta burned out by the last month and caught up with family and friends for a while. First time we made it back to the shop was last Sunday and we didn't do much.
My phone had been screwing up so I wasn't taking pics but I've got the steering gear mounted in another spot, got a new pitman that will work, and rerouted the steering lines(not shown in these pics).
and the linkage hooked back up
Here's the front end of the arms I had built. The other end is a fixed bushing.
When we went to set the body on I just cut the metal out of the way. It will be a straight cut back from the top of the wheel opening to the back on the final cut. Here's how the Jeep looked the Thursday before the holiday.
I managed to burn up the sawzall on the passenger side and torched the far side. It was ugly and I'm not gonna show that pic
Tonight I torched off the old shitty truss, grinding the axle smooth again(bout 45 minutes of grinding), made a new and much better truss, welded it on, and began remeasuring for the control arms. Gonna make the brackets for them in the next couple days. Put the column back in, added length to the steering shaft so it'd reach the gear, and took off the taillights, they'll be replaced by smooth mount ones.
Lenghty post that's short on pics but since my phone is working again I'll post up some more in the next few days. As always, thanks for reading