Project Do It Yourself
Project Do It Yourself, a collection of effective and inexpensive modifications. Short Cuts
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| Main | Suspension | Front Dana 44 | Steering | 2.46:1 Dana20 | Tera Low Dana 20 gears | Body and Frame | Drive Train |

By: John Nutter - 6/2000

Project Do It Yourself

The humble beginnings. Nearly stock with only adda-leafs and longer shackles. This was taken during the 1994 Holiday season, near Big Bear Ca.
Middle aged, and showing it. Fall of 1999 at the Minnesota Minefield.
A definite improvement. This is the first obstacle on Upper Helldorado during the 2000 EJS.

I suffer from incrementalism. I've incrementally built my Jeep over the years, although I've tried to make the increments as large as possible. I've also been incrementally doing 'Project' articles without ever formalizing it into a cohesive build up. I'm going to try to put these puzzle peices together and show the whole low-buck, Do It Youself build up.

The goal of this project was to make a Jeep that could take on Western style rock crawling, Midwestern forest trails, and any sand hill or dune I could find without spending a fortune. Aftermarket parts would be limited by budget constraints, so they had to be chosen carfully. Also due to budget constraints, this project would have to be done in my garage with limited tools.

I'm including some of my older articles in this project. The Spring Over lift, narrowing a Dana 44 front end, high clearance steering, 2.46:1 Dana 20 gears and later the Tera Low 3.15:1 Dana 20 gears all went into this project. I think including them will help you make sense of how Project DIY got where it is. For June of 2000 I'm adding the sheet metal and frame work as well as the drivetrain work.

Associated Articles

DCP_1923.JPG ORO Fairlead for X-line Winch Rope
Winch rope is expensive, no matter who's winch rope you buy. If you buy a winch rope, you will want to protect it as much as possible. After years of cursing the steel cable on my Warn 8274, I finally broke down and bought an X-Line winch rope and X-Line fairlead from Off Road Only. The fairlead is anodized aluminum and installation is incredibly easy. Just 2 bolts.
A new Ladder Bar for Project DIY
After years of patching and repairing my old ladder bar it was finally time to build a new one. There were a few shortcomings to the original design that I wanted to improve upon and some changes that I'd wanted to make.
Photo by: John Nutter Do It Yourself Drive Shaft Tech
Don't be afraid! It's only metal. Shortening, lengthening, and re-tubing your own drive shaft is not very hard, but you won't be able to balance the shaft at home. The methods shown in this article are geared towards trail Jeeps that rarely see pavement and to trail repairs on any vehicle.
Steering Box Bracket Beef for '76-'86 CJs
While the stock '76 - '86 steering box brackets are fine for moderately sized tires, the reliabilty of the 2 piece, .18" thick stamped steel brackets comes into question when used with the large tire sizes seen on todays extreme trails. Sam's Offroad offers an upgrade over the stock brackets in the form of their one piece, .5" thick heavy duty bolt on steering box bracket.
Changing a U-joint Changing an Axle Shaft U-Joint at Home
Changing front axle shaft U-joints, what could be simpler? If you are asking that question you have obviously never dealt with severely rusted joints from an older street driven Jeep that's never been in 4wd and has an open knuckle front end. Many a Jeeper has discovered that newly acquired Jeep that has 'never been off-road' equals rusted front axle shaft U-joints that are thoroughly seized into the shafts as well.

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