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Old 25th May 2012, 22:06   #16
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Default re: My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD

Hi,
Your observations on tyre wear/ scuffing?

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 25th May 2012, 23:06   #17
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Default re: My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD

Quote:
Originally Posted by svsantosh View Post
since you have done so much, get a right offset rear axle housing and call it even. the right to center prop shaft will give issues in long run.
Hi Santosh,

Right now, I have swapped my rear axle tubes. Now, I have a right offset rear diff housing. I have measured (jugaad, using rope) the length of the axle tubes on the left and right, till the hub, and it is same as OE 540 ones, with 51"(?) track.

However, the moment I get a rear diff with LSD's, I will swap the current ones, as those have already gone through two axle tube swaps in the lathe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Your observations on tyre wear/ scuffing?
Hi Sutripta,

The tyres that came with the Jeep were already half worn out, and had uneven wear on each and every tyre. Especially on the front left. Moreover, I haven't driven the Jeep much with the PS. Maybe just about ~1000kms. So, cant comment authentically.

But then, I had been closely watching the tyres on every drive (I could literally, as I had spacers and tyres were jutting out) and unlike in smooth tarmac, when driving in uneven surfaces at speed, the tyres were like wobbling. Not like unbalanced, but more like slight king pin wobble, but consistent. And you cant feel it in the steering wheel.
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Old 26th May 2012, 11:31   #18
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Default re: My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD

Dhanushs, stunning report man! You've been bitten by the Jeep bug and how. 4x4 is a must-have for any Jeep, and your latest Jeep is a huge step ahead of the first. I'm especially happy to see a healthy buyer-seller relationship in today's marketplace.

I believe in spending all the time & money in bringing a Jeep back to good health in one shot itself. Every rupee spent on good labour & part saves you atleast 3 in the long run.

You plan on selling the earlier Jeep?
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Old 26th May 2012, 13:22   #19
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Default re: My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhanushs View Post


Note: Many Many thanks to fellow bhp'n Jeeva for guiding me towards this purchase, and for staying with me all along the restoration, giving some valuable tips and feedback. And, Spike, do I need to thank you more? I'm tired of thanking you for all the help and advice you have given me! .
Dhanush, you are one lucky guy to have friends like Jeeva and classmates like me by your side.

What make are those mounts?

Hope you get all the work done before I visit Wayanad.

Spike
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Old 27th May 2012, 13:54   #20
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Default re: My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Dhanushs, stunning report man! You've been bitten by the Jeep bug and how. 4x4 is a must-have for any Jeep, and your latest Jeep is a huge step ahead of the first. I'm especially happy to see a healthy buyer-seller relationship in today's marketplace.
Thanks Rush!
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
I believe in spending all the time & money in bringing a Jeep back to good health in one shot itself. Every rupee spent on good labour & part saves you atleast 3 in the long run.
Very true. The peace of mind thereafter is priceless. Also, as my experience goes, it also helps knowing your Jeep inside out. You have all the information about the condition of each and every part, approx time when they are going to fail, etc.. etc.. which makes it quite easy in diagnosing problems in the future.

For example, if I have humming in my diff, I'd suspect the main gear, which I have seen is a bit worn out.
Quote:
You plan on selling the earlier Jeep?
Well, its turned out to be a real workhorse. So, we just might replace it with the OMNI. Not yet decided.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SPIKE ARRESTOR View Post
Dhanush, you are one lucky guy to have friends like Jeeva and classmates like me by your side.

Quote:
What make are those mounts?
TVS. They take rubber from Kerala to TN, make these mounts and sell it to us for xx times the price.. :( :( .. Jokes apart, I hope those are really good.
Quote:
Hope you get all the work done before I visit Wayanad.
After Monday, only the body part will be remaining.
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Old 28th May 2012, 13:47   #21
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Default re: My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhanushs View Post
You have all the information about the condition of each and every part, approx time when they are going to fail, etc.. etc.. which makes it quite easy in diagnosing problems in the future.
Brilliant mate! Just the ideology that every true blue car lover needs to have! And is the difference between appreciating a car only because she goes very fast, looks good and handles well as against appreciating her for what she really is and will be. Not only does this help in diagnosing problems, but more importantly helps to become one with the car and understand her conversation when she starts talking to you in everyday situations.

All the best with your new Jeep!
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Old 30th May 2012, 23:13   #22
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Default re: My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD

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Originally Posted by VeyronSuperSprt View Post
Brilliant mate!
.
.
All the best with your new Jeep!
Thanks VeyronSuperSprt!
Quote:
.... more importantly helps to become one with the car and understand her conversation when she starts talking to you in everyday situations.
True!. You get to feel it deep inside whenever you drive. And, that helps you somewhat predict whats gonna happen next. Though, I'm still prepared for some surprises!
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Old 30th May 2012, 23:29   #23
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Default re: My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD

Steering:

So, steering..

This is one of the major updates I have given my Jeep! The vehicle, as I mentioned before was fitted with a Rack and Pinion power steering, and for reasons mentioned before, I decided to change it to normal box' type ones.
Quote:
(1) The steering angle was weird for a Jeep. The U-Joints were too small to allow change in angle. (2) After every OTR, my wheel alignment goes kaput. (3) Heard that bumpsteer will wear out tyre, though it was difficult feeling it in the wheel. (4) I suspect if Rack and Pinion can take the extreme stress whist OTR's. (5) Tie-Rod end life/status.
The entire steering assembly, from the tie-rods, till the steering wheel had to be changed.

So, my options were:
  • Change to normal Jeep (540) type box, which is located in the chassis long member (right), just below the firewall and comes with one too many linkages. The pros were: No cutting and shaving needed whatsoever, just buy one for ~5-6k and plug it in. The cons were: Steering effort is just unacceptable by today's standards. The play and predictability too were unacceptable by today's standards.
  • Change to Armada type worm and roller: Pros: No cutting and shaving needed, with it being located just like the above box', with same fittings. So, plug and play. Reduced steering effort than normal 540/550 type ones. Cons: I have heard bad (not sure) about ruggedness. Steering effort is still not upto today's standards. With 265 section tyres, it gets worse.
  • Change to MRCBT (NGCS/Pick-up) type box'. Pros: Steering effort much lower than both of the box' above. Lesser linkages. Cons: The steering box is located on the steering long member (right), but far upfront. Just after the radiator grille. So, lot of cutting and shaving needed!!..
  • Change to RCBT Power: Pros: Very much reduced steering effort.
    Cons:COST! , Same location as the MRCBT, so lot of mods in chassis need to be done. Ruggedness, I have heard is not much.
Weighing the pros and cons, I decided to go forward with MRCBT installation. Moreover, it was highly recommended by knowledgeable fellow bhp'n Jeeva.

Last edited by dhanushs : 30th May 2012 at 23:34.
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Old 31st May 2012, 00:24   #24
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Default MRCBT Steering Installation:

MRCBT Steering Installation:

P.S: Me and Mehcanic Ravi ettan, have tried our best to make this install as head ache less as possible. But, I'm no expert, there might be mistakes, please point out the same.

I got the steering box for ~6k and the wheel, tie rods, steering column, rods, shocks, etc.. for about ~2k. Total cost on the entire steering assy, from wheel till tie rods = 7,800k. Got it used.

The steering Assy, as got from Shivaji Nagar. While buying the box, I had taken extreme caution to see if there is play, and if there is any stuck ups. Also, made sure that the box had never been opened before.


My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-steering-assy.jpg

The drawing provided by Jeepgeorge or Rohan helped me to get an idea, a LOT.

My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-chassis-stg-bkt.jpg

Fenders stripped down and ready for measuring and marking where to cut the cross member.

My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-ready-marking.jpg

Cross member cut, so that the steering rod, and U-Joint may pass through.

My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-cut-cross-memeber.jpg

My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-cross-memeber-cut.jpg

A Pipe is inserted and inside which passes the steering rod and U-Joint. The pipe is installed to maintain the rigidity of the cross member. Please make sure the pipe is think and strong enough, to handle the stresses. I used a thicker-than-chassis pipe.

My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-pipe-inserted-cross-memeber.jpg

My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-pipe-inserted-cross-memeber1.jpg

After finalizing the angle and location of the pipe, it is spot welded. After which, the cross member opening, which does not cover the pipe, is covered using a metal sheet, as thick or thicker than the chassis. And then, the pipe and the sheet is welded in place.

My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-pipe-welded.jpg

My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-pipe-welded1.jpg

After which, for installing the steering box, three holes need to made in the chassis long member. Its being carefully marked.


My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-trying-out-box-u-joint.jpg

Holes drilled.

My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-drilled-holes-new-box.jpg

For the box to be seated properly, and to maintain the structural rigidity of the chassis, a C-Section is fabricated, with thick metal sleeves for bolts to pass through.
Note: Prior to installation of the C-Section, paint/ primer the areas welded inside the 'C'. As after the installation of C-Section, its difficult to paint inside the box' and chassis might rust.

My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-c-section.jpg

In the chassis long member, the area front the front of the radiator cross member, till the front bumper is now made a box section, both on the left and right long member. After which, steering box is installed.

My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-final-install.jpg

Paint where ever is welded.

Last edited by dhanushs : 31st May 2012 at 00:45. Reason: Editing title
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Old 31st May 2012, 00:40   #25
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Default re: My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD

Points to note while installation:
  • Make sure you use chassis-thick pipes and plates.
  • Align the pitman arm of the steering box properly.
  • Paint where ever is welded. Chassis rust can compromise its rigidity. Especially, as it flexs soo much.
  • Use TVS bolts ONLY.
  • Thick enough sleeves, for the bolts to pass through. The sleeves should be installed in such a way that the now box' section chassis long member does not buckle in.
  • Make sure you don't interfere with the chassis number.
Thanks Arka for the tips.

Last edited by dhanushs : 31st May 2012 at 00:43.
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Old 31st May 2012, 02:32   #26
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Default re: My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD

Dear Dhanush,
Congrats with the first upgrade!

My suggestion, no more mods or upgrades for couple of months. Drive it around, fine tune the steering and then think about the next upgrade.

Also rains are coming, and there are many Monsoon OTR and other events coming up. So keep your Jeep ready. No more excuses this time.

Will be there soon for a TD on your Jeep.
Cheers
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Old 31st May 2012, 13:53   #27
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Default re: My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD

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Originally Posted by JeepCaptain View Post
Dear Dhanush,
Congrats with the first upgrade!

My suggestion, no more mods or upgrades for couple of months. Drive it around, fine tune the steering and then think about the next upgrade.

Also rains are coming, and there are many Monsoon OTR and other events coming up. So keep your Jeep ready. No more excuses this time.

Will be there soon for a TD on your Jeep.
Cheers
Thanks Shibu!.

And yes, the upgrades have stopped for this season. Please let me know once you are in wayanad! We'll go somewhere.
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Old 5th June 2012, 22:49   #28
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Default re: My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD

Feedback after fitting MRCBT:

Pros:
  • Steering has lightened up considerably, when wheels are rolling. Absolutely NO effort @~50kmph.
  • When wheels are not rolling, the effort is just a bit lesser then the OE set up.
  • Better control at speeds than OE set up.
Cons:
  • Absolutely no steering feedback on road! Feels like the tyres are still jacked up.
  • Not sure if its because of the tyres, but tramlining is evident. The vehicles sways and steers itself, to track the road surface.
Overall a worthwhile upgrade. The overall steering experience is much..much better than the OE 540/550 ones. However, the -ves are a bit concerning, and hence, I decided to go it for the steering damper.

My Take: GO FOR IT! A WORTHWHILE UPGRADE!

Last edited by dhanushs : 5th June 2012 at 23:04.
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Old 5th June 2012, 23:08   #29
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Default re: My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD

Fitting the steering damper:

As I mentioned in my previous post, the vehicle was swaying and steering itself, in accord to road undulations. Ie, if the road is banked to the left, and suddenly the banking changes towards the right, the Jeep pulls and steers itself towards the right, and in some occasions its a bit scary. On a level road maintaining a straight line is easy, but it was not the same on uneven (not bad) roads.

Also, in off-road situations, the steering return, when.. say.. the tyre is on a rock, or climbing it, is sharp and hard!. Which is surprising swift and hard enough to hurt your fingers if you are careless and have not gripped the steering properly.

Even though the effort to turn the wheels was much..much lesser, there was some effort to keep the steering still. Hence the decision to fit a steering damper was made.

The installation is pretty much straight forward, and typical Jeep type. From a steering tie-rod to the chassis long member.

Installing the steering damper:


My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-damper.jpg

My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-damper1.jpg

My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD-damper2.jpg
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Old 5th June 2012, 23:10   #30
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Default re: My Jeep Story Continues! Now, the MM540XD

Feedback After Installing the Damper:

Well, I'd say, it was just worth it. There was a HUGE improvement in the Jeeps keeping its line in uneven roads. Lot less effort was transmitted to the wheel, and hence, maintaining or keeping the steering wheel position is now really easy.

Off-the-road too, things have tremendously improved! No more surprises at the steering wheel, and braking your finger bones. Wheel can be held steady with much less effort.

My take on Damper: Go for it!
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