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muddysub's JHF buggy

Done messing with leaf springs and bodies, time to commit.


I've been meaning to do this for a while but I rarely sit down at the computer desk long enough to put something like this together. Since I have the week off (covid) I figured now is the time.

I moved to Minnesota in July of last year and immediately started buying parts, taking advantage of the cheaper prices on axles and stuff here in the Midwest. I grabbed a 14 bolt, then an engine and a dana 60 before the summer was over. In November of last year I drove to Wisconsin and picked up a Jesse Haines 2 seat chassis kit from Goatbuilt and grabbed a th400 on the way home. Choosing this chassis wasn't a quick decision, I looked at Fabn801, Bent fabrications, Bomber fab and Goatbuilt. I've been a Jesse Haines fan since the late 90s and Goatbuilt's JHF chassis always stuck out as a top contender. It wasn't the cheapest option but offered the best support with GB selling fuel tanks, interior panels, LS accessory brackets, drivetrain mounts, etc. One of the deciding factors was the 54" width of this chassis vs most of the trail buggy chassis out there coming in at 48." I'll be running +2 wide PRP seats and the rock lizards and bombers wont allow that.

These chassis can be assembled by anyone with competent welding & fabrication skills. After building Daisy, rebuilding the Toyota and building tons of stuff for customers at work I was more than comfortable putting this thing together. The fixture kit the Jesse developed for this chassis helps a lot, no way I'd try this without it. Throughout the whole process I only needed a second set of hands 2-3 times. As of right now the chassis is welded and I'm working on building the axles, from there I'll start on link bars and brackets. Once the axles and links are sorted out I'll mount the drivetrain. My Atlas is still a month or so out and I have to rebuild the TH400 and clean up the LQ4 so I'm not in a hurry there. No further interior work will be done on the chassis til the drivetrain and shifters are figured out.

Drivetrain plan:
LQ4 with Holley Terminator system, maybe an upgraded cam.
TH400 with a reverse/manual valve body and a 2400ish stall converter
Atlas, driver drop, 4.3 low range, 1350 yokes
14bolt with an ARB, 5.38s, maybe Yukon chromoly axles, shaved, trussed, stock disc brakes
05+ dana 60 with a spool, 5.38s, Branik 40spl chromoly axles with 1550 joints, trussed, JHF hi-steer with full hydro steering
1350 drivelines with a mid-ship carrier on the front shaft.

I'll try to keep this thread up to date as I work my way through this build.


Trim Level
Factory Options
2003 LQ4, 6.0l LS
TH400, full manual/reverse pattern valve body
Transfer Case
atlas 2 speed, 4.3:1
full hydro
links & coilovers
'05 dana 60
'04 14 bolt

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