Wow, i forgot to update this and now I'm thousands of miles from home. So basically, we ended up having trouble with the upper control arm mounts and placement. Placed a few calls to ECGS and apparently more than a few ppl were calling in about that very thing and they were working on getting a good blue print set up. Meanwhile, fatigue and cold was setting in causing James and I to second guess our application of the control arm mount which resulted in us cutting it off a few times. Finally, we started really running out of time (I was due to ship out soon and James was running out of the precious little free time he had left) so we decided it may be best to bring it in to a shop to have the control arm mount issue situated. I had spoken to a guy with a shop who had a jig set up for the the 8.8. He actually ended up calling me about the upper control arm mount and had the same issue we did, but he finally was able to fit it and get me squared away. Ironman Control Arms adjusted nicely and then it was time to wire up the locker. James wired the locker up in a fairly short amount of time, the light on the switch came on, i took it for a spin and was sure it was locking. The following weekend, my brother came by to visit a week later and I took the jeep for a quick shake-down. I was able to "fly" up a section with ease that I had never been able to before without taking 1hr and 3 spotters. I was pretty satisfied I had a working locker. Days later I would come to find out it was pure luck I made it up there because my locker was NOT working at all. We went over the wiring and could not understand why. THe switch showed the locker was engaged, but the diff stayed open. I placed a call to EATON and a tech had us check the ohms and resistance throughout the system and was puzzled when still the locker wouldnt engage. He then asked us if we were sure the plug was well seated. The locker has a weather proof plug that comes out of the back of the diff and connects to the harness, allowing it to be unplugged to service the axle. THe plug was actually too thick and wasn't allowing the wires to properly make contact. We then just cut it out, soldered the wires together, and then heat shrunk it to seal it up. The locker finally engaged and disengaged as it was supposed to. First real impressions with it...WHAT A DIFFERENCE!!
Im thoroughly happy with the route i took. I gained a strong axle, disk brakes, amazing control arms, proper bumpstops, and a locker all from one build! I learned ALOT and I saved some money too. Even with the trip to the shop at the end, pulling the axle from the junk yard and piecing it together still ended up cheaper than buying it pre-made from ECGS. I also replaced my wheel bearings before I left as I noticed they were shot on my last wheeling trip. I also noticed my suspension was finally on its last days. I bought the $300 Rough COuntry 2.5" kit 4yrs ago and have driven daily and wheeled. After a day of wheeling on the last trip, I could feel EVERYTHING from a pebble to a rut. THe ride isnt what it used to be and the kit is showing its age. Still, i would ABSOLUTELY advise RC to anyone who is shopping on a budget as I was when I bought it. But now, I want to replace it this summer once and for all with as good of quality as I can. I am leaning towards and all around Old Man EMu set up and keeping the 1"BL so I can fit 35s in the future. If not OME, than a good spring and Bilstein combo.
Welding up the tubes:
Axle ready for install:
Some flex shots, testing out the new arms and bumpstops, no rubbing.
Testing out max flex and needed the locker to climb this:
Next project: Diesel swap and suspension this summer! When I get home I'll put up some close ups of the new control arms and the rear axle. I do have some pics earlier in the thread of the new arms when i pulled them out of the box. Basically did Johhny-joints upper and lower on the front and poly upper and lower in the rear.
98 2.5l. 33"Toyo, OME 2.5"+ 1"Body,IronMan control arms, Currie/IronMan steering, Front Eaton locker, 8.8rear,4.56gears TO DO: Diesel Swap