Build Thread JHF Trail Chassis

MNorby

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Dec 31, 2016
109
I see both you guys are running offset rear differentials. Are you doing for more centered ground clearance or common spare inner shafts with front or some other reason?
 

woody

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Oct 12, 2010
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Toquerville UT
I see both you guys are running offset rear differentials. Are you doing for more centered ground clearance or common spare inner shafts with front or some other reason?
All of the above....our 300m Branik front/rear inners are identical....the JHF diffs will "drag" over the same spot (less thinking about clearance)... plus added protection for the JE Reel driveshaft (using the links)...additionally @Lil Rich is planning a rear winch mounted to the axle and this offers plenty of centered space to install (I may do the same, not to that point in my thinking yet)

The overall idea is to have a very trailable chassis with some comp capabilities built in....12gal fuel cells, but offset to the drivers side, so when the passenger seat/panels are pulled there is no visibility issue... offset radiator, etc. It's been...mmm...entertaining? to figure it all out....Rich has FAR more experience than me, but I occasionally toss out something that sticks :p
 

MNorby

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Dec 31, 2016
109
Good thoughts, thank you. What WMS width did you go for?
What drive shaft u-joints you plan on using?
 

woody

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Oct 12, 2010
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Good thoughts, thank you. What WMS width did you go for?
What drive shaft u-joints you plan on using?
WMS is 70 (pretty standard for a trail rig). I know a few locals that run narrower for comps, then add spacers for the trail.

I'm a Toyota guy....so the rear shaft will be 100% Toyota joints. The front will need a 1350 at the yoke, then Toyota from the carrier to the case. JE Reel is building with OEM Toyota supplier parts, and it's hard to beat the strength and longevity of their stuff. I believe the front driveshaft in my 1996 80-series is stock, with only 299,000 mall crawling miles on it :p (the rear has taken a dent or three, and runs a JE Reel with Toy joints now)
 

woody

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Oct 12, 2010
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Fun with dash panels...this is gonna get cozy...

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Measure 30x, drill once?
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And, mockup gauges fit!!
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MNorby

Spotter Required
Dec 31, 2016
109
WMS is 70 (pretty standard for a trail rig). I know a few locals that run narrower for comps, then add spacers for the trail.

I'm a Toyota guy....so the rear shaft will be 100% Toyota joints. The front will need a 1350 at the yoke, then Toyota from the carrier to the case. JE Reel is building with OEM Toyota supplier parts, and it's hard to beat the strength and longevity of their stuff. I believe the front driveshaft in my 1996 80-series is stock, with only 299,000 mall crawling miles on it :p (the rear has taken a dent or three, and runs a JE Reel with Toy joints now)
My old rig was 69 wms/ 88 overall and seemed to work good with 110wb sounds about on course for yours. Never been around toyota shafts but always hear they work well. Your talking about the 1350 at front output of tcase? Is there nothing available to use toyota joints on the Dana 300 to keep everything the same?
 

woody

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Oct 12, 2010
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Toquerville UT
My old rig was 69 wms/ 88 overall and seemed to work good with 110wb sounds about on course for yours. Never been around toyota shafts but always hear they work well. Your talking about the 1350 at front output of tcase? Is there nothing available to use toyota joints on the Dana 300 to keep everything the same?
I don't believe there's room to do a flange on the front output, and I also have never found a yoke-style connection for anything Toyota. Most of my rigs are mixed-joints...even the FZJ80 runs smaller Toy front u-joints and the larger rears....from the factory. My old FJ40 front two piece shaft was 1310 to Toy to Toy. The joys of cross-breeding :D
 

woody

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Oct 12, 2010
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Toquerville UT
Dash layout...

Top panel has three round 12v connection points
  • left: 12v display plus two 3.0 USB ports for phone charging
  • middle: standard boring 12v cig plug (I've been meaning to start smoking.........)
  • right: dual 30a Anderson plug (one will be for comms)
Radio mounted on the right side of the panel, main battery cutoff is left corner, reachable from the drivers seat and VERY obvious to anyone outside the car.

Facing panel has:
  • start button
  • 30a lighted ignition toggle
  • 30a lighted fan toggle
These three are together because frankly, if you turn the car on you turn the fan on. Never quite understood having your electric fan switch randomly located next to lights or something. If someone has to move the car, it's "switch, switch, push"....and yer off. Fuel pump relay will tie into the ignition (I think). There is room to add another if I decide to. @Lil Rich hates relays, not sure I care, but a 30a switch won't care either.


Gauges are 2-1/16....what's installed are old, but the new ones will be a mechanical oil, electric water and electric trans.

Switches left of shifter, top double is front and rear winch in/out Carling switches
Switch left of shifter, bottom single is the rear ARB Carling - I find NO reason to run a separate compressor/locker switch, so I'm combining them into one.

The winch and ARB switches are in easy reach just off my right knee, super easy to find. All will be backlighted....just waiting to cut the finish hole for the ARB, since the trim plate hasn't arrived yet and I don't want it sized wrong.

Lighting likely going to be added where space allows, potentially right of shifter, maybe somewhere else. Hardly a critical item that needs to be within drivers reach at all times.

Rear steer switch will be added onto the M4O shifter on a custom alum panel, just below 1st....I think....still a few things to decide there.

Cutting brakes will be to the immediate right of the shifter....likely I'll be looking between the levers at the gauges :)

PXL_20201223_232034875.jpg
 
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woody

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Oct 12, 2010
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No fuel gauge? Just make sure you are full at the start of the day and know you won't run out?
Might add one, but it won't take up dash space....fuel senders are notoriously problematic in a buggy, roll/flop once and you jar them and they stop working. A 12 gallon cell is plenty for a single day anyways.

I spent the last 4 years on propane, where you don't just "fill up" in the morning....you grab a spare tank. Keeping fuel in the tow rig and topping off in the morning will be super easy....and it won't take more than a trip or two to understand how thirsty the rig is.

The cell is getting a Holley Hydromat, so it will use 99% of any fuel available :)
 

whiterhino

Spotter Required
Nov 10, 2020
35
michigan
Might add one, but it won't take up dash space....fuel senders are notoriously problematic in a buggy, roll/flop once and you jar them and they stop working. A 12 gallon cell is plenty for a single day anyways.

I spent the last 4 years on propane, where you don't just "fill up" in the morning....you grab a spare tank. Keeping fuel in the tow rig and topping off in the morning will be super easy....and it won't take more than a trip or two to understand how thirsty the rig is.

The cell is getting a Holley Hydromat, so it will use 99% of any fuel available :)
I somewhat agree. The gauge in my YJ (aftermarket tank/sender) started out spot on. Now, a full tank (17 gal) = 3/4 on the gauge. WTF Empty on the gauge = 8 gallons left. (1/2 tank) Since I burn about 8 gallons on a full day of wheeling I just make sure I fill up or show at least a half tank (maybe 12 gallons) on the gauge. Although not accurate, the gauge is a good indicator of where I am at. I've tried to figure out what changed. I've run new wires, checked ohms, etc. Everything checks out but for whatever reason it's not accurate. Maybe it's due to your comment above about roll/flops. It's seen it's share. :)

I teach in my classes to never be "that guy" and just make sure you start the day with a full tank.
 

woody

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Oct 12, 2010
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Toquerville UT
Cutting brake mount....thicker alum, with 3/16" strap to support. Add a few nutserts and it's mounted. The shifter will be mounted on a pedestal, next on the fab list.

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woody

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Oct 12, 2010
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Toquerville UT
This weekend was "fun with transfer case linkages"

First, deciding how to attach to the t-case shift rods....my current case has the threaded AA rods, but they will be swapped out for stockers shortly.

These were made with about 1" of 5/8" ID tubing, 1/4" bolts to pin to the shift rods, and a 5/16" bolt cut off to be used for the shifting.

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Then, shifter forks....placing the pivot point directly ahead of the case was impossible, too much else in the way. Using the cast aluminum factory D300 shift points would have put them into the bottom of the passenger seat. (plus, mine were cut off years ago....) So, I cut apart the AA linkage bracket, made a new pivot point bar, then added custom 1" x 3/16" bent shift forks to fit into the 5/16" pins.

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All in all, plenty of room....the linkage brackets are now mocked onto the installed case to double check for clearance with the passenger seat. Shift rods will mount parallel to the top of the square link pivots, then bend up about 3" behind the pivot. Should put them into a good leverage position as well as keep them clear of the cutting brakes.

Clears the trans by less than 1/2" :)

PXL_20210104_041605578.jpg
 
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woody

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Staff member
Oct 12, 2010
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Toquerville UT
T-case shifter: "done"...other than some welding. In low/low (forward), it just clears the cutting brake system, both the fittings, the body, and levers at full pull. Right (front) lever clears the seat by an inch or so in high, plenty of room in low. Good reach/leverage point for the driver.

What a PITA...

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woody

eternal noobie
Staff member
Oct 12, 2010
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Toquerville UT
Sitting in the driver's seat now (I'm that guy...).... every control is reachable by either hand...cutting brakes are a bit of a reach with the left hand, but doable in a pinch...

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woody

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Oct 12, 2010
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Toquerville UT
Great work. I'm enjoying watching your build. What's the plan on pulling the Trans when needed? Tube Clamps on the whole dash section?
Trans should come out the bottom easy enough....it went in that way ;) Engine hoist from above to lift/release as it moves back, then onto a jack to lower down. Ideally it never comes out...

ideally....

Although, I do have a full set of tube clamps for the dash bars....just hoping to not need them.
 
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whiterhino

Spotter Required
Nov 10, 2020
35
michigan
Trans should come out the bottom easy enough....it went in that way ;) Engine hoist from above to lift/release as it moves back, then onto a jack to lower down. Ideally it never comes out...

ideally....

Although, I do have a full set of tube clamps for the dash bars....just hoping to not need them.
Never say never. LOL
 

OldRocDoc

Spotter Required
Dec 26, 2016
42
Never say never. LOL
Indeed!!! I just had to pull my tranny and TC to replace the front seal in the TH400. What a PITA😫 The IDIOT that built this Old Red Farm Truck did it so the Atlas has to come out the top and the transmission out the bottom.🤣

Glad to see Woody taking the time to do things right.
 

knapp870

Spotter Required
Oct 23, 2020
39
Lincoln NE
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