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johann_peralta

SAS r50 :)

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Hello, My name is Johann and here is what I've been up to lately (SAS). 

 

I've been collecting parts for the swap for close to two years now. Mostly waiting on good deals on parts and tools. Recently I was gifted a motor picker, and that was one of the last tools I needed to start the swap. So about 4 days ago, it began. 

 

A few months ago I bought a 97 pathfinder for 300$US. It had shot wheel bearings up front, and as expected, very worn down suspension components up front. The ad had no pictures so I had no idea what i was going to go look at... As soon as I saw that is had a steel bumper, I knew I was buying it. Its a manual, and runs fine, other than suspension issues up front, which made it the perfect candidate for the SAS I've wanted to do for years. 

 

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So soon after i acquired a hilux snorkel for free and mounted it to the r50

 

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A few days ago I moved the big pathy (my green one) out of the shed, laid down some wood, and backed up the white one to be stripped down. 

 

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It took about 5 hours, but I got the car way up on jacks (the jacks are welded to the rims and tires are flat) and removed the entire subframe. That subframe is WAY heavier than I thought!

 

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So the subframe is what holds the motor up, so to remove the subframe, I put a thick strap around the motor, and a jack under it (to hold it in place). Next I got the motor mounts I made and temporarily installed them to make sure they fit. 

 

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I then decided that the frame was going to get reinforced anywhere that something was getting added. so I added a piece of steel behind it. 

 

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These motor mounts were then welded in. 

 

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I then did the same exact thing on the other side Once they were welded in, the motor was now being held up with no subframe! This was the hardest part so far because there was barely any space under the car with the jack in the way. Now with the jack out from under the car and with more space, I started cutting and removing all the old steering stuff. everything from the firewall up was removed. there are two little brackets holding the original steering bend box (90*, not sure the specific name for it). I cut those out with a reciprocating saw. 

once all the old was out of the way, I ground the "frame" down to raw metal (where the new jeep steering box would go)

 

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when I went to mom up the steering box, it wouldn't fit because the wheel well was blocking the back end from sitting on the rail, so I eyeballed it and cut a slot into the well to allow the box to sit. Once up, I mocked up some steel reinforcement plates to the frame, drilled them & the frame, and temporarily bolted up the box to make sure everything fit. 

 

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Tomorrow the box will come back out so I can trim the reinforcement plates up to size better. Once they are trimmed up, the box will be mounted, plates tacked in, box removed and the rest of the plate will be welded in. 

 

I started tinkering with the shaft connecting the wheel to the steering box and am debating on how I am going to splice them together. Probably will cut to length, weld, sleeve, then weld the sleeve to both ends. Any better ideas?

 

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the left one is the jeep one, the right is the stock one. I need to connect the top piece from the left one (goes onto the steering box) with the bottom of the right one (goes into end of steering on r50)

 

I started off by making the steering link to go from the steering wheel to the Jeep steering box. I sleeved it with some SUPER thick tube, and drilled holes in the tube so I could weld in the holes. Once all welded I Painted it black and installed it. 

 

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Next I welded up the steering box reinforcement plates

 

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I had a custom power steering line made at the "local" hydraulic shop. Runs from the r50 power steering pump to the Jeep steering box. The return line I just used hose clamps for, as that is what the original used on the jeep. I have to make a little retainer bracket to hold the "loop end" of the hose, so its not swinging around or rubbing onto anything. Ill bolt it onto one of the oil pan bolts. 

 

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I rolled the axle underneath the car for the first time! as it sits, i'm content with how well things are lined up. 

 

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I make a cardboard template for the trackbar bracket, but forgot to take a picture. More than likely ill get that all welded up and installed tomorrow. 

 

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Things left to do: cut out the trackbar bracket and weld it on, make/buy longer trackbar, weld on 4 link brackets, weld up 4 links,  make coil buckets & frame reinforcements in that area, install custom brake lines & purge system. probably missing some stuff here and there, but its been a long week lol

 

ALSO sorry that these pictures have been coming up sideways and upside down.... I haven't any idea how to fix that. Ill try a different website next time to get picture into a URL form. Pictures are too large to use the "drag files here to attach , or choose file" option. Sorry! 

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Looks like some beefy work so far; those motor mounts look pretty strong!  Can't wait to see how this comes together.

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So here is the trackbar bracket and crossmember. Its two sheets welded onto a frame reinforcement. I will show later on how ill finish the crossmember. debating on welding a top and bottom onto it, or just put bars in between. not sure yet... It sits higher than the oil pan and radiator/condenser, so i'm not too worried about it catching on anything. 

 

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I then decided that anything that was welded to the frame was also gonna have a bolt or two running through it as a back up. Just incase. So the engine mounts, and all the frame reinforcements got a bolt or two through the frame. 

 

 

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Here's how I ran a bolt through the new crossmember as another reinforcement. The bolt on the left is off center because i wanted it to go through the frame reinforcement also. If I would've planned this better, I would have extended the reinforcement to the left further and then centered the bolt. It'll do though. I did the same on the other side and in the back. These angle bar were 3/8" thick and took 2 cut off wheels just to make each piece... super annoying to cut with an angle grinder! PS, everything is being cut with an angle grinder, so lines won't be perfect..

 

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I cleaned up both sides of the frame on the outside, and drilled the reinforcements to fit the existing holes (I ended up removing the abs bracket and cleaning further up into that corner but didn't get a picture). Ill weld them in tomorrow most likely and mount the coil buckets to these. 

 

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I finished up the 4 link brackets today. They are bolted in and then the reinforcements are welded in with a few passes. Ive never done anything like this before so i'm more than willing to take in come ideas from y'all. Thanks! 

 

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Would it be possible to add any kind of triangular gussets perpendicular to the 4 link mounts to keep them from potentially bending sideways?

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13 hours ago, mjotrainbrain said:

Would it be possible to add any kind of triangular gussets perpendicular to the 4 link mounts to keep them from potentially bending sideways?

 

 

I can weld on something to the face which would help, good idea!

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12 hours ago, onespiritbrain said:

How thick is the metal on that bracket?

 

The reinforcement plate behind the bracket is 3/16". The bracket itself is 1/4".

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Kinda tough to tell in the picture, is your mount just the one plate or do you have another on the other side of the joint (like how the rear link brackets are built)? If you've got two, you can tie them together to firm things up.

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On 12/31/2018 at 8:42 PM, Slartibartfast said:

Kinda tough to tell in the picture, is your mount just the one plate or do you have another on the other side of the joint (like how the rear link brackets are built)? If you've got two, you can tie them together to firm things up.

 

 There is two on each rail. one on the inside and one on the outside. The inside passenger were the hardest to get done because of the brake and fuel lines running right there. 

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Today I finally ordered the Heim kit and got the coil "buckets" test fitted up. I plan on gusseting them and tying them into each other. 

 

 

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welded up a tube inside the coils so that the top end cant wiggle around or fall out for that matter. The spring's rubber pad thing (I forget what the part is called) slides over the tube snug as a bug in a rug. 

 

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Also made some brackets for the bumper since the old ones were total junk (can see how the old welds burnt through the metal right above the eye's hook). Luckily I had a piece of 1/4" sheet metal laying around. 

 

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Got the airbag/intake back in and re installed the bumper. It's a TJM bumper that came with it when I bought it. No others markings on it other than the sticker on the top right, so not too sure what it was for originally. Im gonna flap the front middle piece of the bumper and paint it over. Once I get the winch mounting plate ill install the 12k winch I have in the trunk. 

 

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got the rollers on today. Used the 5 to 6 lug adapters to get the r50 pattern to work. Figured if i'm going to use spacers they will be done right. Loktite and torque wrench. 

 

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Upper links all set up, and then got rid of the jacks! Finally on its own weight! 

 

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Tomorrow i'll finish the bottom links and the trackbar bracket hopefully. Drilling the knuckle and pitman arm to run heim steering also. 

Those are 235/65/15 incase you are wondering.

 

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Well here she sits "done". I need to go back to trim & adjust some little things, paint the links and some brackets, double check everything is tight, etc... 

 

I broke the radiator while cutting the brackets for the steering box off the rail, so once I get a new rad in, it'll be hitting the backyard for a test drive!

 

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Got the car out and back into the shed so I can get working on the rear end. Really would like to extend the current 4 link with sleeves, but another part of me says heim joints all the way around... IDK yet! Here are a few pics I took while moving it around. 

 

Also, if you have any ideas/suggestions for the front or rear end, id love to hear them. Constructive criticism is great. I want to do a pinion brake setup.. but we'll see

 

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I put the jack stands under the car (right on the rail, in front of the lower trailing arm bracket). the back wheels are barely off the ground... So i'm either gonna have to put a foot of wood under the jack stands, or get ones that are a foot taller. Either way, its pretty annoying. 

 

Rear currently has 2" lift coils. The goal is to see if I cant get ahold of longer springs that fit this. That or longer springs and weld on a spacer. 

 

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I know Land Rover springs are the latest hot thing, maybe that will have a length that at least gets you close to what you need?  Not sure how much you need though, that may not be even close.

 

If it were me, I'd do entirely new trailing arms rather than sleeve the existing ones; I know it would make me much more comfortable cruising it around that way, and especially so offroad if you intend to wheel it.

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1 minute ago, mjotrainbrain said:

I know Land Rover springs are the latest hot thing, maybe that will have a length that at least gets you close to what you need?  Not sure how much you need though, that may not be even close.

 

If it were me, I'd do entirely new trailing arms rather than sleeve the existing ones; I know it would make me much more comfortable cruising it around that way, and especially so offroad if you intend to wheel it.

Not gonna lie, i was just digging around for the thread with the land rover talk lol. 

 

heim joint rear end wouldn't be too bad, its like 175$ for an 8 kit on rockwell off road. + another 3$/foot for tubing. Figure another 225$ for heim joint rear vs 20$ for spliced rear. (excluding brake line, random metal costs, pan hard bracket, etc...)

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I applaud your hard work and not being afraid to try anything! I think for the rear your going to have to do some custom work to lower the mounting point for the rear springs, otherwise you’ll be looking at a single spring that provides what, like 10 inches of lift? Lol. But, if you move the mounts down, then go with a HD spring like one of the LR options you’ll be in business. This of course goes along with re working the whole rear suspension to go with it, but you seem to already be on track with that idea. How do you feel about the angles the front and rear driveshafts will be at? Are you looking to lower the drivetrain at all to keep things more in line?  Definitely keep us posted on this! 

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On 1/25/2019 at 8:58 PM, Bax03SE said:

I applaud your hard work and not being afraid to try anything! I think for the rear your going to have to do some custom work to lower the mounting point for the rear springs, otherwise you’ll be looking at a single spring that provides what, like 10 inches of lift? Lol. But, if you move the mounts down, then go with a HD spring like one of the LR options you’ll be in business. This of course goes along with re working the whole rear suspension to go with it, but you seem to already be on track with that idea. How do you feel about the angles the front and rear driveshafts will be at? Are you looking to lower the drivetrain at all to keep things more in line?  Definitely keep us posted on this! 

Thank you. I'd like to keep the mounting points original for the rear links. If i redo them to lower them, it spells a lot more work for me. Im gonna get some more heim joints and use some more dom to make new links. 

 

its got 2" ac coils currently, so ill probably put a decent spacer in there and call it a day, for now. If it doesn't work well, ill look for longer coils. 

 

I tried for a while to understand the LR coil charts but I gave up after a while. I was getting confused between which coils worked, the 90 or the 110... if im not mistaken, the longest one was 5-6" lift for the LR? idk

 

The front driveshaft is gonna need double cordon joints id imagine. Ill figure that out down the line once everything has been tested. I just got the radiator for it today, so hopefully next weekend ill give it a spin. 

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On 1/25/2019 at 8:58 PM, Bax03SE said:

I applaud your hard work and not being afraid to try anything! I think for the rear your going to have to do some custom work to lower the mounting point for the rear springs, otherwise you’ll be looking at a single spring that provides what, like 10 inches of lift? Lol. But, if you move the mounts down, then go with a HD spring like one of the LR options you’ll be in business. This of course goes along with re working the whole rear suspension to go with it, but you seem to already be on track with that idea. How do you feel about the angles the front and rear driveshafts will be at? Are you looking to lower the drivetrain at all to keep things more in line?  Definitely keep us posted on this! 

Yesterday I stripped down the rear end completely, and you are absolutely right. Im gonna need to lower the brackets. Maybeeeee not the lowers but the uppers are most definitely going to need to be moved down. I didn't realize how far back the brackets were. In my head i saw them as about 2 feet further forward, but in reality the uppers are like a foot away from the axle and the lowers maybe 30"+-. the links in the front are probably 45" so this is a huge difference. Time to change my approach to the rear end. 

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Funny how things always look different in your head! :scratchhead:

 

I remember there was a thread ages ago on using lower links as upper links in a WD21, with crossmember relocation to match. IIRC the thread was called "Bang for the broke" or something along those lines. Might be worth looking up for ideas, though probably not that helpful on an R50.

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15 hours ago, Slartibartfast said:

Funny how things always look different in your head! :scratchhead:

 

I remember there was a thread ages ago on using lower links as upper links in a WD21, with crossmember relocation to match. IIRC the thread was called "Bang for the broke" or something along those lines. Might be worth looking up for ideas, though probably not that helpful on an R50.

thanks for the tip, I will look into it for sure!

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I found some used tires that were so cheap I couldn't say no, even though they weren't the size I was looking for. 40x15.5x20 Nitto trail grabbers. Something is probably going to break, but that's ok. Gives me a reason to fix it and make it better the next time around. 

 

Now I'm on the lookout for some rims.

 

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