More goodies arrived today for Project KJ, the ’05 Liberty CRD being built to take on the 2013 Ultimate Adventure. This special delivery comes from our friends at Fox Racing who just dropped off a set of 14” stroke, 2.5” remote coilovers and 2.0 bumps to be mounted at all 4 corners. We’ll have more on these as they get mounted in place over the next couple days as we move closer to getting this chassis rolling again. One month to go until the start of the 2013 Ultimate Adventure. Follow along with the build up at BDS Project KJ buildup.
Special Delivery just came in from our friends at JustDifferentials.com, 5.13 Nitro gears, master overhaul kit, Ox Locker with air actuator for the front along with Nitro 30-spline axle shafts. In the rear we’re going with 5.13 Nitro gears, ARB Air Locker and 35-spline Nitro axle shafts. Both lockers will be plumbed into an ARB twin air compressor. All great parts going into our Project Liberty CRD. Stay tuned for more…
BDS Project KJ Update: This week the guys are busy working on the suspension of our little Liberty CRD. Up front, lower control arms are fabbed up and the unibody has been reinforced to mount the LCA brackets. Upper arms and track bar mount going in soon. In the rear, a triangulated 4-link has resides to improve suspension travel and eliminate the need for a rear track bar as space is limited. Fox Racing 14” remote 2.5 coilovers and 2.0 bumps are in route to the shop to install next week.
After cycling the rear suspension, its becoming apparent that much more trimming will be necessary to clear the 40” meats. It’s something we had planned on with a modest preliminary cut, but the extent to which we will need to trim and rework the fenders will be extensive so we can get the full potential out of our new suspension.
We had some comments regarding the location of the spare tire. It’s tough to fit the 40” rubber, but here’s what we had in mind at the moment (see photos) To keep it as low as possible to increased visibility and keep the center of gravity down, we are considering recessing it down into the floor a couple inches and trimming the tailgate to allow it to occupy the inside of the tailgate when closed. In doing so the thought is to build a fuel cell for the bed (between the rear seat and spare tire) that would accept the OEM fuel sending unit and allow us to use the OEM fuel door.
There’s plenty going on in the shop this week as we make progress towards a Liberty based trail rig. Nearly every day we’re receiving parts for the project and hopefully she’ll be mobile in the coming week(s) with new steering, suspension, axles, t-case, and driveshafts.
It’s been a few weeks since we checked in on Project KJ, the ’05 Liberty CRD being overhauled in BDS’s R&D shop for this year’s Ultimate Adventure (UA). When it comes to building a rig for the UA, it’s got to be capable on any terrain; mud, rocks, dirt, sand, snow, and even asphalt. Reliability is key as each day of the week long 1000+ mile adventure is filled with trails, highway time, and varying weather conditions. The rig needs to carry driver/co-driver, food, camping gear, and spare parts.
At this point the guys down in BDS’s R&D shop are making progress on the Liberty. Cage is in and they’ve been going through finish welded all the seams. 1-3/4″ x .120 wall DOM tubing was used to secure the passenger compartment and extends forward into the engine bay to reinforce the frontend integrity now that the unibody and IFS subframe have been scrapped. Front and rear coil-over mounts are being built in as we’ll as we eagerly await the arrival of our new 14″ Fox 2.5 remote C/O and Fox 2.0 bumps any day now. Our PSC JK steering box is mounted to the front “framerail” after taking the time to sleeve and plate the unibody. OE steering shaft linkage bolted right up and won’t require much further modification. We’ll have more on this in our next post/video update.
Our wheels made it in from B.A.D. Wheels. They are a 17×10 with 3.5″ backspacing to get our desired stance and allow a bit more room for the suspension/steering components. They feature several cool design features for safety and rapid air deflation. For now we’re mounted them to a set of 40″ Maxxis Trepador radials to continue mocking up the rig. We’ve got a set of the brand spankin’ new 40×13.50×17 DOT approved Nitto Trail Grapplers on order with expected arrival at the first of June. We’ll have a closer look at the wheels and tires at that time.
For now enjoy a few pictures I grabbed while down at the shop today. As parts arrive we’ll see a quick transformation as this rig gets closer to being mobile again.
Judging from the forums comments and some of the phone calls we got in the last day, we may have lost some of you with our last update about the roof chop. Group consensus was to go for it and we’ve got a couple ideas on how to cleanly finish it off that we’ll address a bit later in the build. With the roof off the guys got busy working on the rest of the cage. One thing we’re still deciding on is what’s the best option for mounting a fullsize spare. We don’t want to stick it off the back like a Wrangler and we don’t want it to half-hazzardly strap it to the roof. At this point we’re looking at options to get it inside behind the rear seats so it’s easily accessible but still gives the driver a line of sight out the back window. It’s times like this we wish we didn’t have 40s.
Up front the radiator has been removed and hopefully steering will be going in first of next week. We’ve also cut out the obtrusive lower corner of the floor/firewall on each size and fill panels are going in to net us extra clearance for the tires at full stuff.
Anyways, just a quick update on the progress, let us know what you think…
If this is your first time checking in on BDS’s Project KJ build, check out the rest of the buildup to see how we’re transforming this ’05 Liberty CRD into a capable slow-slung trail rig to take on the 2013 Ultimate Adventure hosted by Petersen’s 4Wheel & Offroad Magazine. (Project KJ Build Link)
After a few weeks getting sidetracked on new product development projects, the guys down at BDS’s R&D shop found some time to continue working on Project KJ, our ’05 Liberty CRD. The biggest change, the top is gone. We did this for a few reasons; it allows us to store a full size 40″ spare tire and gear, makes the cage much more accessible so we can tie it into the rest of the unibody, and it just looks cool in my opinion. At this point its just a rough cut, we still plan to cut a bit more before closing the cab back off for a weather tight seal (hopefully).
Another challenge is the steering. Ditching the factory rack-and-pinion steering rack in favor of a traditional steering box will allow us improved clearance and will tie to our Liberty’s new JK axles. After some investigation, we went with a PSC Motorsports‘s JK steering box with cylinder assist to help turn the 40×13.50 Nitto Trail Grappler DOT tires on 17×10 B.A.D. beadlocks that we have on order. PSC got the parts right out to us and after a quick test fit it appears the steering box will mount on the unibody and steering linkage without to much struggle. The radiator will likely need to be swapped to eliminate the interference between the steering box and radiator outlet hose.
At this point the cage work is continuing, steering box is being prepped, suspension linkage is being mocked up and Fox 14” remote C/O are on order. Plenty more body mods over the next couple weeks. Stay tuned for updates as Project KJ starts taking shape. Follow along and join the discussion on Facebook, YouTube, BDS Blog, LostJeeps Forum, Jeep Forum and JeepKJ Forum.
Latest YouTube Update Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHLQ6P835X0&feature=youtu.be