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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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