1949 KB2-R Build

Hello everyone, My name is Eli and this is my first post & my 2nd Off-Road Build

I've been reading other builds and decided that if I add mine I might one day reach my goal.
Goal 1 Drive it
Goal 2 Off-roading with my brother
Goal 3 Travel America

Lite Backstory
I have gained most of my knowledge of cars from building/working on them. From building my first VERY LOW quality 1956 Chevy truck restomod. Got it from junkyard to the road. I have made many mistakes that I wish not to repeat. With those mistakes, I've learned how I can continuously make the next rig more drivable, reliable, functional, and easier to maintain.
Other strong takeaways.
#1) Bleed once - I've re-bought so many things on Build #1 which in turn wasted so much monies.
#2) Think maintenance - I want the removal and replacement process to be as easy as possible.
#3) Strong foundation - Can't build a strong truck on a weak chassis.
#4) Aftermarket Support - For me this is critical. The more knowledge floating around the better. Parts are a little cheaper too.
#5) Solid Axles - <3

The Story
While I was meandering on Craigslist (all good thing start with Craigslist) I found this abandoned 1949 International KB2 project. I am a super fan of off brand trucks. I loved the paint (patina) and the body style. So I called the guy up and went to look at it. It was missing almost everything - No engine, trans, or glass. Missing 2 wheels and only enough lug nuts for one wheel. Left rear hub was gone. Driver door wouldn't open. Passenger door won't stay closed. The thing it had going was it's super cool looking truck, wasn't too far away and it had a New Mexico title. With all that going wrong I still thought the price was right. We made a deal and set a time to meet up to get this truck off his property.

It took about an hour to get it in the trailer. I had to use 2 floor jacks & 3 cherry pickers to get the truck on my trailer.
Sweet truck body in my possession...Check

Now that I have this rad truck, I need some type of modern chassis underneath. 1949 Suspension wasn't going to cut it. I have some key requirements for the foundation of this build. Strong Off Road pedigree, solid front axle, factory e lockers, and good aftermarket support.
You might be thinking why is this in the Jeep section... there is more to come.

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My brother was perusing CoPart and stumbled on this BURNT to the ground 2014 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon.
Off Road Pedigree - Check
Solid Front Axle - Check
Aftermarket Support - Check
Factory E Lockers - Check
The fire didn't deter me since all I wanted was the frame and the axles. Plus, my Brother's off-road truck started off as a burnt truck. Plus people sell Rubicon suspension all the time on Craigslist. $400 tops and some new hubs, easy day.
In the pictures, we could tell that someone put A LOT of money in it. but 90% wasn't usable.
My Brother swung by CoPart to make sure it was a rear Rubicon Wrangler ( E lockers). Once confirmed I decided we were going to bid on it. After a short bidding session, I won the auction at $1600. After taxes and fees the left paying $2550, that a smoking deal. It was picked up by my Bro and dropped off at my parents house.

Plan #1 with this Wrangler
Buy regular take off Rubicon suspension to get everything working.
Rip the body off
get it rolling and ready for the body swap.

Once home and upon further inspection of my newest purchase, I found out I'm going to spend A LOT more monies getting this to a rolling chassis. This Jeep was 100% aftermarket underneath. 4 Inch Teraflex pre runner lift kit, Teraflex Front D44 Axle housing, Teraflex D44 rear housing and 5.13 gears. The front end was toast but the rear was still good to go. I had to do a lot of research to figure out what goodies were installed on this Jeep.
RCV Front axle shafts
Front to rear skid plates ( I think Metal Cloak)
Expedition 1 Front Bumper
Rubi Skid
Poison Spyder rear bumper
Rough Country Muffler Guard
TeraFlex HD drag link and tie rods
TeraFlex Spare tire Carrier
TeraFlex HD hinged (Half melted)
2 Fuel Trophy rims survived.
Warn winch - Burnt
Rockslide engineer rock sliders - Burnt
Aluminum front and rear fender - Burnt
ARB twin Air Compressor - Burnt
S Pod - Burnt

The 4 ball Joints on this thing alone cost over $200. Then there is the Steering ball joints, track bar bushings, springs, and the whole suspension rebuild kit. $$$$$😥

Plan #2
A. Save monies
B. Bleed once. Spend the monies to get all the proper replacement parts because I have too...
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And just like that, it is now Jeep related ;)
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The Overall Plan
I want this to be a capable off-road truck. Still rocking a vintage vibe. Fun to drive and enjoyable/comfortable.

Main Mods/Repairs
LS Engine Swap, the 3.6L looks like it over heated at some point.
Wiring harness
Rebuild RCV front axle shafts
Custom Drive shafts
More wiring
Steering system needs to be fabbed up.
Fuel tank. Looks like the fire started there.
Cooling system

Would be nice to have...
Air Conditioning
270* Awning
40inch Tires
Advanced Adapter Atlas 2 Speed Transfer Case
Bed Rack
Hard Shell RTT
Air Compressor
Front & Rear Winch
360* LED Lights
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Very interesting.................I like the thoughts, but am at first concerned about the structural compromise to the frame from the heat. What are your thoughts?
Very interesting.................I like the thoughts, but am at first concerned about the structural compromise to the frame from the heat. What are your thoughts?
Personally, I don't think there will be any issues. The frame did take some heat but not to the point it was compromised, IMHO. But I'm no scientist.
This is my Brother's truck, that we built. This is how it started out and currently configured. I cut the frame to shorten it and welded it back together. It's been on the road for over 3 years and never had any problems with it. It weighs in over 6000 lb.


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Since I have the JKUR frame in a rolling state. It was time to get the KB2 International to the front yard (the operating room). Many vehicles have died here. Few have drove away. Dragging it to the front yard turned out to be a task. It was digging into the ground. which makes sense since it only had 1 wheel. With 4 low and Diesel power it was out matched.
The KB2 Body/frame needed to get clean it up so it will be ready for the body swap.