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Update on Big Ugly


txdslshop

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So, it has been a busy few weeks adding new rear boxes and trying to get things ready for our Christmas trip to the Grand Canyon Railroad. At the last minute, I aquired a gem of a little 80k mile Diesel Liberty and I surely couldn't leave it at home. LOL So, a little engineering utilizing my lift and a couple days fabricating and it looks like the liberty will be making the trip!!! Here are a few pics. Jeremy

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A little engineering...
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That last pic was the first drive up the ramp on the truck and I realized I could move to the right close to 6 inches!!! So, I am happy with the way it turned out. Now to finish up my shorty stacks and move my Hitch back to it's rear position on the bed so I can actually turn!!! It was close. I have a touch over 3 foot of room with the hitch forward. The rear position will give me enough for a 4 door JK I am hoping!!!! Just waiting on the Ecodiesel to come out in the wrangler for a couple years first. I did go to a shorter muffler and will be building some angled stacks out of aluminized 5" pipe tomorrow. Wish me luck!! Not much room to sneak them out above the grab handle.

 

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I would be really interested in your weights (steer, drive, trailer) once you get everything configured and hooked up. If you happen to be running through the scales anyway and are comfortable sharing.

 

Looks like a really nice job on the ramp build. What kind of tie downs will you be using?

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Thanks all!!. I haven't scaled the truck lately. I know that the 5th should unload quite a bit from the front either way. I will definitely swing through a scale if I see one on our trip. I am curious as well. I currently have 8 5/8" Grade 8 bolts bolting through the 3/16 angle and the 3/16 diamond plate decking with the bolts close to a cross member wherever possible. I also added D-Rings so that I can even ratchet strap the front portion down to the bed if I decide to. Gotta love that mag drill!! One of my favorite purchases for this bed build. Not sure that there is a known capacity, so to speak, on the rear position as I guess that would be determined by my welding skills and how much the 5th unloads the front axle. I do know that the truck pulls like a dream in either position (Hitch) and I have no doubt that the forward jeep position won't change that. I previously hauled in the rear position when I was hauling my 2 door JK rubicon. But, someone came along and offered me stupid money for it. LOL So, the liberty is our new ride for the Volvo. This is actually my second diesel liberty to own. The first one gave us 200k miles trouble free before moving on to a new owner. Anywho, I will be using a laso style strap on all 4 tires and a couple ratchet straps pulling mid-frame to help keep the sway down. I welded a couple D-Rings about half way down the front where the angle braces cross the upright 2x2 tubing. I will be crossing a couple straps pulling from around the tranny crossmember to help squat it a bit and give a bit more security. And finally, I will most likely add a loop or two of chain left loose on a front control arm for SHTF type of situation where everything comes lose. Just to keep her on the rack. Pretty sure I am approaching overkill. ;) Jeremy

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I toyed with the idea of a weed burner and just couldn't make myself do it. I have been sniffing Firetruck Exhaust at work for 25 years and in my shop working on diesel pickups for 17. I love the fact that when my truck is idling, I never even hardly smell exhaust and definitely never have it blowing on my feet!!! LOL

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Sorry, I missed the driving up part. Yes, I simply drove it up and it was actually very easy. I have a spot of truck frame between the stacks and in front of the bed that will be getting a winch in a month or two. I intend to add a snatch block or two that will allow me to winch the jeep up if the need arrives or I get tired of having to crawl out of the jeep. But, the angle iron ramps actually make a good ladder for getting up and down. And allows me to set the emergency brake as well. Jeremy

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Not sure if you have been following this: http://www.rvnetwork.com/index.php?showtopic=125911, but some interesting perspective on loads and loading. Its partly why I asked about the capacity of the hitch that far back. I only would wonder what the loading would be the front axle and how that would affect steering when all loaded. Hate to experience loss of steering control due to too much rear weight on that lever!!

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I extended the frame about 60" on my HDT and the hitch is at the end of this extension. It is tandem so the hitch is about 9' from the center of the axles. We carry a Subaru Forester on the bed at an angle. Not as steep as this one and load a RZR under the front of the car. We have been using it this way since the RZR's came out and before that a number of years with just the car. Our HDT has a 42" small sleeper and a short wheel base. Because of the short wheelbase and small cab I never bothered to weigh it but it drives really nice. With the 5er that far back plus the car and RZR along with 2-100 gallon water tanks, tool boxes and generator the weight on the tandems is significant. With airlockers this truck has pulled out of some nasty spots. I wouldn't worry about the hitch that far back. Good shocks seemed important so I changed them during the build. We pull a Teton grossing about 22,000 so the loaded truck is a lot heavier than the trailer.

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Nice, I really like your setup. Are you able to let the Jeep roll back and sit before you start it so the oil goes back through the motor without having to start it at that angle? Or do you have any concerns starting it at that angle on a cold startup?

 

I have a 2005 Jeep Liberty CRD I picked up last January. I've always liked them and watched them over the years. I knew they had a good number of things that could be done to them to make them much more reliable, so when I found one that someone had put a lot of love into, I grabbed it. Then only thing I really wish is they had come with a manual transmission option. In fact, mines sitting in the garage right now with a sick transmission and I'm pretty bummed about it.

 

If you owned one before, I'm sure you know the timing belt is 100k, but since these were only made in 05/06 you are way over borrowed time on that belt since they are now 10-11 years old, even though you only have 80k on it. Hopefully you have records it was replaced or plan to do that soon since a broken timing belt makes a mess of things. Does your Jeep have any of the common mods they do to them? ARP studs, dump the cermic glow plugs, HDS Model 001 thermostat, EGR delete or ECO tune?

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I just looked through your entire build on this thing, it is pretty well the truck I was dreaming of. I am also a bargain hunter too, so when the right deal came along on a 387 Pete that I knew the owner of and how it had been babied for the last 8 years I compromised and got a full height Pete instead.

Anything you would do different bed wise if you were doing it again?

Would you build in the forward position for the hitch if doing it again? My thought is I don't know that I would take the time to move the hitch to the forward position even if the Jeep was staying at home.

I liked your ramp storage and you have me rethinking, my origonal plan was to do complete pass through storage behind the rear axles. In moving from a Class A with tons of basement storage I am thinking I need to build as much as possible into the truck.

Any advise is appreciated, we are working through the sorting things at the house and getting ready to be houseless now, so I may not get to start on my bed until I get rid of the house and have a bit more time.

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Thanks yall. I will try to answer a few questions. As far as the liberty, we are a regular diesel shop... So the Liberty was picked up with several broke rockers at 80K miles for cheap. It got the works, timing belt, rockers, water pump, idlers, tensioner, updated glow plugs, etc... Crankcase mod, unplugged MAF, GDE Tune, etc... I am sure I missed a few. But, you get the idea. LOL Anywho, the truck actually has a 6 foot long hitch mounting plate in it that allows the hitch to be rearward or 3 foot forward. And, If I would cut out one of the cross members I left at the rear, I could also go somewhere between the two. I honestly don't know that I would change anything on this truck. I picked it up cheap and have basically worked on it for a year building everything and fixing problems from neglect as I go. I wanted to be able to just pay cash for a cheaper truck and build it as money allowed. So as to not have to bother with a truck payment. Maybe when I am old, I will want a singled short truck for less overall length. But, I can't see us travelling without a Jeep of some kind as of now. (Possibly Never! ;) I still have boxes to add forward of the tandems and skirting between the front and rear boxes to enclose around the tires. But, it is time for Big Ugly to prove itself and earn it's keep before I finish the boxes. I loaded up everything today and headed 30 miles to a scale to see how it looked. This ticket is with the hitch in the rear position with just my fat butt in the seat and less than 100 gallons of fuel onboard. The truck drove nice as pictured today and I see that I can stand to add some weight to the steer axle. 4 kids and a wife along with all of their junk in the cab and another 150 gallons of fuel should add to that. I will also be adding a gen set and possible coach batteries under the passenger door at a later time.

 

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Looks great! Did you give up the JK of for the KJ?

 

That front axle weight id much lower than most are reporting. Mine was the lightest I had ever seen at 8K until your weight slip!

 

Your side exiting exhaust is probably borderline in our state where it has to be below 18" and above 72" if I recall correctly. Is it noisy?

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Stacks have a very nice tone to them and are actually really quiet. Obviously not as silent as the factory 51" mufflers, but they have less back pressure and no rust holes in them!! They have a bit of a very mellow bellow when the Jake kicks in and it sounds perfect. Height isn't an issue at a little better than 92" to the bottom of the opening from the ground.

 

As far as the Hitch... Lemme dig up a pick so you can see. I originally left a full cross member in and attached D-rings to it on each end thinking I was going to need the strength on the bed. But, I am pretty certain I can just cut it out if I decide to move the hitch forward a foot or so.

 

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Maybe these will help. If I want it in the forward position... I unbolt my hitch and use me cherry picker to drop it into the next hole in the bed forward of the D-Rings shown and bolt it down. Literally took me 20 minutes with my boy helping this morning to move it to the rear.
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CrazyCooter... I missed the question on ditching the JK for the little liberty. I had a 2 door Rubicon I had gotten cheap that was my driver and could double duty for trips in the volvo. Well... I more than doubled my money on it and decided to buy a new Pickup instead of another Jeep. So, the little Liberty is my new driver and Volvo ride. I kinda have a soft spot for the little diesels and would rather drive it than a JK as far as running around on the highway anyways. Can't be puttin all them miles on my new pickup. Because I certainly do not want to have to buy another one!!! LOL

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  • 2 weeks later...

I do. I am currenty in Carlsbad NM for the last night and will be back from our Christmas trip tomorrow. I will dig you up some measurements when I get back. Big Ugly decided to throw an injector code the night before we left and didnt make the trip!! My trusty Dodge is filling in. Lol

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