The Blackflags Build Thread

Theblackflag

Mall Crawler
Vendor
Joined
Oct 1, 2018
Messages
133
Age
20
Location
Bozeman MT
#21
Been really lazy about updating this lately. Few things that have happened...

Found out I broke the spider gears in the front diff again... yay...
IMAG0688
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr
IMAG0690
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr

Put oil in it and pretended I saw nothing. Went wheeling to go break it some more
IMG_0652
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr
IMG_0674
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr
IMG_0642
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr

Bought a used front locker. Gave it a thorough inspection
IMAG0754
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr
IMAG0761
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr

And did a shit load of wiring and got all my LEDs working
IMAG0722
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr
IMAG0731
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr
DJI_0048
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr
DJI_0044
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr
DJI_0045
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr
IMG_0713
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr
 

AssBurns

will wheel for beer
Staff member
Joined
Oct 1, 2018
Messages
2,238
Location
Yucaipa, CA
#22
Been really lazy about updating this lately. Few things that have happened...

Found out I broke the spider gears in the front diff again... yay...
IMAG0688
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr
IMAG0690
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr

Put oil in it and pretended I saw nothing. Went wheeling to go break it some more
IMG_0652
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr
IMG_0674
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr
IMG_0642
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr

Bought a used front locker. Gave it a thorough inspection
IMAG0754
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr
IMAG0761
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr

And did a shit load of wiring and got all my LEDs working
IMAG0722
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr
IMAG0731
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr
DJI_0048
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr
DJI_0044
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr
DJI_0045
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr
IMG_0713
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr
Looks good! I bet you are pretty stoked about that front locker!
 

Theblackflag

Mall Crawler
Vendor
Joined
Oct 1, 2018
Messages
133
Age
20
Location
Bozeman MT
#23
Looks good! I bet you are pretty stoked about that front locker!
I'm honestly more stoked on the gears. It'll be so nice to be able to use 4th gear again and maybe even reclaim a few mpgs. The added traction will be nice but I know that front locker is just gonna get me into more trouble and break shit lol
 

Theblackflag

Mall Crawler
Vendor
Joined
Oct 1, 2018
Messages
133
Age
20
Location
Bozeman MT
#25
You wondered how me and @AssBurns go through so many CVs and your not front locked yet? Let's see how your CVs like your front locker. Lol
Challenge accepted haha.

I know plenty of guys with front lockers who wheel the shit out of their trucks and don't break even half as many CVs as you guys. For me the front locker is more there as a fail safe and so I quit grenading these weak ass stock gears
 

AssBurns

will wheel for beer
Staff member
Joined
Oct 1, 2018
Messages
2,238
Location
Yucaipa, CA
#26
You wondered how me and @AssBurns go through so many CVs and your not front locked yet? Let's see how your CVs like your front locker. Lol
Challenge accepted haha.

I know plenty of guys with front lockers who wheel the shit out of their trucks and don't break even half as many CVs as you guys. For me the front locker is more there as a fail safe and so I quit grenading these weak ass stock gears
We'll see how that goes! Typically you think that you'll only use it when you need it, then you realize how boring that gets, and start trying to find how far you can really push your rig. I'm starting to realize that stock CV's truly cannot hold up to much abuse. I just broke one a few weeks ago backing down an obstacle with the locker on still. Just a tip. If you feel like things are just not moving while on the gas, STOP. :rofl: Most of the CV's I break are from trying to climb something and too much power goes through the stock CV's and just snaps. Not even full lock or bouncing hard. Just too much torque through weak parts.
 

Theblackflag

Mall Crawler
Vendor
Joined
Oct 1, 2018
Messages
133
Age
20
Location
Bozeman MT
#27
With the recent hacking of t4r Ill be trying to do duplicate posts over here of my build thread so there is some sort of a backup.

Lots of exciting things happening in the near future to the truck so I need to get this updated. A few weeks ago I decided to get everything as ready as I can for rebuilding the diffs. So I pulled the rear 3rd member out and put my spare that I literally found in the trash at the steel yard way back at the begining of the summer. Its an older V6 3rd member but it has factory 4.30 gears and is in excellent condition, this allows me to still drive the truck while Im building the other two diffs.

With both diffs out I cleaned up the rear 3rd and then decided to do an autopsy on the original front diff since I had never been able to figure out how I managed to break it. First step was to open up the case. Ten bolts and a few smacks with the deadblow later I had the clamshell separated and the carrier removed. And apparently sitting for a year didn't make the damage look any better. Look at all that glitter.
IMAG0817
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr

A closer look at the case revealed some heavy scarring from gear chunks getting wedged in between the ring gear and the case. The rig gear also had some light chipping on the toe of almost all the teeth.
IMAG0818
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr

I spent some time wiping all the chunks out and then I removed the pinion and the bearings. Not surprisingly several chunks fell out of the pinion bearings but the races and bearing rollers themselves actually were still in pretty good shape all things considered
IMAG0833
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr

Now it was time to focus on the carrier, this is where the damage really starts to show. The two small spiders didn't have a single tooth that wasn't chipped, cracked, or other side damage. The side gears that connect to the CVs fared a little better but still had significant damage. I still couldn't see any signs of what could have caused the gears to chip so badly and like I have said before I don't use a lot of wheel speed and compared to some trucks Im running pretty small tires. Then I spun the gears a few times and the cause became very clear

There was an assload of slop in the gears and it seemed like they really weren't machined very well, to begin with. I looked closer though and saw this.
IMAG0821
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr

See that nice 1/16th inch size gap between the side gear and the carrier? yeah thats not supposed to be there, this was causing the massive amount of slop and I think at some point what happened was I took a tight turn in 4wd and when the drivetrain went under tension the two side gears slid outward untill they hit the case and this allowed the gear contact patch to decrease a ton and then the teeth fractured and later chipped off.

After all this was done I took the two clamshell halves out to the car wash and spent some time hosing them down and getting all the grease off so I had a nice fresh case to start the rebuild with.

The last thing I needed to do was clean out the ADD tube since it was also full of chunks and gear paste. I was fully expecting the outer ball bearing to be trashed but after a really thorough inspection, I determined it was in great shape and I will be reusing it. Overall shot for those curious of what the ADD system looks like without the tube

IMAG0862
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr

At this point with the diffs Im just waiting to buy a press and get everything setup. Should be happening this week.

The next big thing that happened was a surprise to me. I was talking with a friend and they floated the idea of selling my bumpers. At first I was like no way, but then I thought for a bit about how I had been wanting to change some things up with them and they both were in need of some paint. After awhile I said screw it, threw them up for sale and had them sold in less than 2 hours. and this was the result the next weekend
IMAG0875
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr
IMAG0877
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr

And the naked 4runner lurking in the back
IMAG0876
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr

Ive got the new steel for the bumpers but Im waiting for the new body mounts and 1 inch body lift to be delivered and installed before I start the fab work. And yes Im running a body lift and I give zero shits. Heres why, it raises the COG hardly at all, doesn't affect suspension geometry, and despite what everyone says, I have never seen a 3rd gen on 35s with no body lift that doesn't rub. It may be limited but rubbing is rubbing. To me it just made sense to save myself hours of work trimming and it will also allow me to get a really good approach angle with the new bumper. I still will be tubbing for 35s but It should be a whole lot less.
 

AssBurns

will wheel for beer
Staff member
Joined
Oct 1, 2018
Messages
2,238
Location
Yucaipa, CA
#28
With the recent hacking of t4r Ill be trying to do duplicate posts over here of my build thread so there is some sort of a backup.

Lots of exciting things happening in the near future to the truck so I need to get this updated. A few weeks ago I decided to get everything as ready as I can for rebuilding the diffs. So I pulled the rear 3rd member out and put my spare that I literally found in the trash at the steel yard way back at the begining of the summer. Its an older V6 3rd member but it has factory 4.30 gears and is in excellent condition, this allows me to still drive the truck while Im building the other two diffs.

With both diffs out I cleaned up the rear 3rd and then decided to do an autopsy on the original front diff since I had never been able to figure out how I managed to break it. First step was to open up the case. Ten bolts and a few smacks with the deadblow later I had the clamshell separated and the carrier removed. And apparently sitting for a year didn't make the damage look any better. Look at all that glitter.
IMAG0817
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr

A closer look at the case revealed some heavy scarring from gear chunks getting wedged in between the ring gear and the case. The rig gear also had some light chipping on the toe of almost all the teeth.
IMAG0818
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr

I spent some time wiping all the chunks out and then I removed the pinion and the bearings. Not surprisingly several chunks fell out of the pinion bearings but the races and bearing rollers themselves actually were still in pretty good shape all things considered
IMAG0833
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr

Now it was time to focus on the carrier, this is where the damage really starts to show. The two small spiders didn't have a single tooth that wasn't chipped, cracked, or other side damage. The side gears that connect to the CVs fared a little better but still had significant damage. I still couldn't see any signs of what could have caused the gears to chip so badly and like I have said before I don't use a lot of wheel speed and compared to some trucks Im running pretty small tires. Then I spun the gears a few times and the cause became very clear

There was an assload of slop in the gears and it seemed like they really weren't machined very well, to begin with. I looked closer though and saw this.
IMAG0821
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr

See that nice 1/16th inch size gap between the side gear and the carrier? yeah thats not supposed to be there, this was causing the massive amount of slop and I think at some point what happened was I took a tight turn in 4wd and when the drivetrain went under tension the two side gears slid outward untill they hit the case and this allowed the gear contact patch to decrease a ton and then the teeth fractured and later chipped off.

After all this was done I took the two clamshell halves out to the car wash and spent some time hosing them down and getting all the grease off so I had a nice fresh case to start the rebuild with.

The last thing I needed to do was clean out the ADD tube since it was also full of chunks and gear paste. I was fully expecting the outer ball bearing to be trashed but after a really thorough inspection, I determined it was in great shape and I will be reusing it. Overall shot for those curious of what the ADD system looks like without the tube

IMAG0862
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr

At this point with the diffs Im just waiting to buy a press and get everything setup. Should be happening this week.

The next big thing that happened was a surprise to me. I was talking with a friend and they floated the idea of selling my bumpers. At first I was like no way, but then I thought for a bit about how I had been wanting to change some things up with them and they both were in need of some paint. After awhile I said screw it, threw them up for sale and had them sold in less than 2 hours. and this was the result the next weekend
IMAG0875
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr
IMAG0877
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr

And the naked 4runner lurking in the back
IMAG0876
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr

Ive got the new steel for the bumpers but Im waiting for the new body mounts and 1 inch body lift to be delivered and installed before I start the fab work. And yes Im running a body lift and I give zero shits. Heres why, it raises the COG hardly at all, doesn't affect suspension geometry, and despite what everyone says, I have never seen a 3rd gen on 35s with no body lift that doesn't rub. It may be limited but rubbing is rubbing. To me it just made sense to save myself hours of work trimming and it will also allow me to get a really good approach angle with the new bumper. I still will be tubbing for 35s but It should be a whole lot less.
Just tub for 35’s before the BL, then you’ll pretty much be ready for 37’s next go around. ;)
 

Theblackflag

Mall Crawler
Vendor
Joined
Oct 1, 2018
Messages
133
Age
20
Location
Bozeman MT
#29
Just tub for 35’s before the BL, then you’ll pretty much be ready for 37’s next go around. ;)
That's exactly the plan lol. Keep my options open. I got a spare 35 from a friend and I'm gonna wrap like 2 inches of packing foam around it so I know I'll have enough room
 

AssBurns

will wheel for beer
Staff member
Joined
Oct 1, 2018
Messages
2,238
Location
Yucaipa, CA
#30
That's exactly the plan lol. Keep my options open. I got a spare 35 from a friend and I'm gonna wrap like 2 inches of packing foam around it so I know I'll have enough room
There you go! The hardest part about fitting tires is the top of the wheel well. I rub there a little on hard hits. 37’s would be a bitch without a BL. Tubbing the inner fender is a lot of work.
 

4runner DOA

Hold my beer
Staff member
Joined
Oct 2, 2018
Messages
4,267
Age
40
Location
OC
#35
That’s quite a bit. Remember how much 35’s helped compared to your 33’s?
I went from a 255 to a 315. That alone helped (and hurt), but yeah that 1" could make the difference from dragging your diff to clearing a rock.
 

4runner DOA

Hold my beer
Staff member
Joined
Oct 2, 2018
Messages
4,267
Age
40
Location
OC
#37
How did the 315' s hurt? I am going to start out on 255's when the current tires wear out.
Going from a skinny to a fat tire. I loved my 255s because they were nimble but still hooked up great on most trails. They did well the one time I did some actual crawling with them. I had 35s shortly after I did gears and lockers last year so never really got to put them to the test. The 315s are just heavy and bulky.
 

Theblackflag

Mall Crawler
Vendor
Joined
Oct 1, 2018
Messages
133
Age
20
Location
Bozeman MT
#39
Since Im waiting on a bunch of parts for rebuilding the diffs and my body lift Im limited on what I can do to make progress. So I shoved the diffs in the back of the shop and got to work making the main substructure of the rear bumper.

I choose to go with 1/4 inch steel this time around for strength and also spent a lot more time on it. I wanted to improve on the old bumper that admittedly didnt have the greatest mounting system or structure. And since I broke 5 out of the 6 bolts removing the old bumper it was a good excuse to make some better mounts.

I couldnt reuse the stock captive nuts in the frame since they had broken bolts in them and I didnt want to deal with drilling them out, so I made some captive bolts that can be slid into the frame and the drop down through two existing holes. Using 1/2" grade 8 hardware was a no brainier seeing as I want this bumper to have no chance of braking and I use it a lot for some really heavy pulls recovering some of the trucks I wheel with.
IMAG0908
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr

With that out of the way I started making the main frame and tow hitch frame. I didnt take many pictures because it was just a lot of measuring on the truck, building to of everything, than test fitting and fine tuning as necessary before fully welding it.

Here is the final frame, I added two more mounting bolts for a total of 4 on each side, 3 coming up from the bottom of the frame and 1 from the side.
IMAG0918
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr

On the truck
IMAG0922
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr

And some weld porn because I dont have pictures of much else. You can see I already have the recovery tabs welded on, this time I got some extra long tabs from Ruff Stuff, love that company, that will be both welded on the exterior of the bumper skin and now tied directly into the bumper frame for maximum strength.
IMAG0921
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr
IMAG0919
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr
IMAG0916
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr

And who says you need a CNC plasma table to get repeatable results lol. I picked up an everlast power plasma 50s last month since my last no name cutter crapped out. I love this thing, amazing cut quality that is on par with the hyperthem I use at work, CNC capability should I desire in the future, and a max material thickness of 7/8" all for under 1000 dollars.
IMAG0913
by Phoenix Black, on Flickr
 

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