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  1. Last week
  2. WTB: Jeep TJ Rubicon w/ manual trans, hard top, cold factory A/C, less than 100K miles in excellent condition and NO rust. If anybody knows anybody selling their grandpa's garaged-kept Jeep hit me up!
  3. A long hot weekend but got some things accomplished. Basically, got the new 5.5" Metal Cloak(4.5 TJ) springs in and was able to mount up the new wheels and tires. It does drive down the street but my turning radius to avoid rubbing is horrendous. So Will be doing some functional trimming soon.
  4. Earlier
  5. Upgrade weekend ahead of the Rubicon trip later this year. Replaced the rear factory rear axle shafts with some chromoly shafts from Dana Spicer. Part numbers: 10043168 10043169 The shafts came fully pressed together - bearings, race, and included new preinstalled wheel studs. Overall the install was "easy" once I got past a stuck rotor on the driver side. Had to use some PB blaster and some heat to remove the retention bolt, and then had quite a bit of trouble getting the rotors off. I'd read that sometimes the emergency brake drum shoes can make it more difficult to remove the rotor, so I loosed the brakes a bit with the adjuster in each rear e-brake housing. More PB Blaster, more heat, and some gentle hits from a rubber mallet eventually got it off. The passenger side was a lot easier. I probably spent about an hour on the drivers side - the passenger side was a lot easier to remove. I was a little surprised by the amount of corrosion on the inside of the rotor and the mounting surface of the axle shafts. Especially considering we're in AZ and the Jeep rarely sees water. Cleaned it up the best I could with a wire wheel. Here's a shot before the clean up. Removing the shafts was a breeze with the help of an axle-puller / slide-hammer. Here's a comparison shot between the cleaned up OE shaft and the new Dana. Another comparison - new on the left, factory shaft on the right The factory shafts are in great shape and will make for some nice spares. No signs of twisting. Shaft install went off without a hitch - got the new one through the axle seal and the rest was like clockwork. Here's one of the cleaned up rotors. I added some anti-seize to the retention bolt to help with getting it removed next time. I've read that you can add copper anti-seize to the mounting surfaces to prevent future issues - I couldn't find any locally, so I'll order some online. A quick test drive and everything seems to be in order! I did notice that my e-brake isn't as "strong" as it was prior - I'd adjusted them back to where I thought they started - but apparently not enough. I'll have to pull the drums/calipers again and adjust them a little tighter. Hoping these new shafts should have more strength to handle my new 37 tires and reduce the risk of a break on the Rubicon 🙂
  6. 70,460 miles Oil change today. 7,000 miles since the last change. Oil consumption appears to have stopped since @OnPointOffroad replaced my leaky oil cooler. No oil consumption at all - measures 5qts coming back out. 🙂 Last change it had consumed 1/2 quart. Still running Mobil1 Full Synthetic in 0w20. Scored a combo deal at AutoZone with Mobil1 and a Mopar filter, $35 off! Constantly have trouble finding cabin air filters locally (2 Autozones and an O'Reilly) - they're always out.
  7. that was my first thought when i saw the rotor - however the caliper seemed to float ok, it moved on the slide pins freely. also, compressing the actual pistons to make room for the new pads required the same force on both driver and passenger side (using a c-clamp). the only other thing i could think was that a clip got loose and was somehow wedged in there. by the time i took it apart, it was missing one clip and one was severly mangled - but obviously the pad had traveled further than it was ever designed to at that point. i'll check them often over the next little bit and see if there is any indication of that side starting to wear faster again. i guess i could check temps on both sides after driving a bit and see if that side is getting hotter (i.e. dragging). as far as i know the rotors in this big brake kit are custom and only available from Teraflex. it was $160 with tax & shipping.
  8. I disagree w/Teraflex. I think you have a stuck caliper. They are designed to "float" when the brakes are released. applying the brake causes the caliper piston to move towards the disc applying the inner pad, The caliper then moves backwards bringing the outer pad into contact with the rotor. (Equal/opposite reaction). When the brakes are released, slight lateral of the rotor pushes the caliper away as well as the disc piston seal relaxing which retracts the inner pad. Chances are the caliper slide surface on the knuckle is dirty or possibly worn, same for the caliper itself.
  9. so i pulled a bonehead move - i didn't check my brake pads often enough (they don't have squealers) and destroyed the front passenger rotor! interestingly, the driver side still had quite a bit of pad left. Teraflex said that meant i didn't have them bled well enough. i.e. there was still air in the driver side somewhere preventing it from pressing as hard and therefore it didn't wear out as fast. this morning i replaced that rotor and all the front pads. then bled everything normally, followed by the ABS bleed procedure multiple times (using the OBDJscan app), then did a regular bleed a few more times. hopefully i got all the air out this time. also, FYI, the front pads for the Teraflex Big Brake kit are the same as a 2006-2010 Dakota or Ram 1500. i ended up getting Bosch pads next day on Amazon Prime because the Teraflex ones were going to take till next week (not to mention the TF are 3 times the cost). i was not able to find any brand with squealers for this application!
  10. this morning we changed the idler & tensioner pulleys and replaced the serpentine belt. no-name Jeep has 99k miles on her currently.
  11. Brady installed some chinese JKS clone disconnects off Amazon this morning. several reviewers said the bushings didn't last long in them. fortunately i happen to have a set of real JKS replacement bushings in my pile of parts, so we preemptively swapped those in. i also still had the little hold-up loops that i had made when i ran regular disconnects on my rig, so he was able to have those too.
  12. @shellback91 for #2 Drink a big glass of water, put a few rocks of salt in your mouth and let them dissolve slowly. You'd be amazed at how well this works. I carry some of that Pink Himalayan salt with me now.
  13. Not for me, it has limited articulation
  14. i agree on those corners, the flat paint doesn't go well - solid upgrades though man, can't wait to see it with new bigger tires!
  15. Almost forgot, front Diff got a little love since I wanted to also check out inside to make sure noises I was hearing wasn't anything internal. But I actually bought this cover before I went into the hospital last year. Probably worth more than the Dana 30 its mounted to, but at least I'll feel a little better if I need to take out my aggression on it on the trail.
  16. Little last week and weekend update to the build: I got my rear quarters installed from MVF. They look great, but I still want to make a few modifications. Two of the screws that were nutserted into the body didn’t fully line up, so I’ll be clearancing the holes to fit. I’ll also be top coating the rear quarters with a gloss black paint. I’m not thrilled with how the flat black powdercoat looks over the glossy body. Finally, I’ll be running a silicone sealer around the edges to prevent any dirt from standing behind them over time. I also did a trans service with a little upgrade. The 545rfe pan is quite exposed right in front of the front cross member. The fluid didn’t seem burnt, but I have no idea when the last trans service was done. I decided to take the opportunity to change the fluid and filters. I replaced the pan with a pan from amazon that actually had a drain bolt and it aligned with the new skid plate from Taboo Customs. Waiting for Josh from Bleepinjeep to drop off some of their alignment bars before I finally swap my springs for the taller ones. Then I will finally start trimming fenders to get my new wheels and tires installed. I did test fit one of the new tires one side of the jeep and yeah, trimming needs to happen lol. HK has said my new rear bumper should be built within the week so hopefully I will see that sometime this month. UPS should love me if they haven't already. I'm thinking once its on, it will make me want to do a tank tuck so I'm a little torn between a diy tuck or just ordering affordable offroads tank tuck kit. That's all my 2:30am brain can take for an update.
  17. The gang and I completed a shortened version of the run I had scheduled. (I'll explain in a little bit) It was good to see everyone again and meet some new folks too. Thanks to everyone who came out and explored with me, I had a blast! I did not take any pictures for some odd reason so I am looking forward to seeing yours. Those in attendance were: @4WLNRN @OffroadFun @Visket @Franky @Rawhyd @JEMSA @Mick Bowers Shout outs: @Rawhyd- Thanks for tail gunning and keeping the gang together and for looking over the maps and working through getting a camp spot on Friday! @Mick Bowers- Thanks for cooking dinner for everyone Friday night! It was a great spaghetti dinner. Everyone who kept tabs and checked up on me to make sure I was hangin' in there okay on Saturday. Most of us stayed in Alamo on 6-6 at the Sunset View Inn, a quirky but neat little hotel. My room was the Fantasy Room. The post for the run has pictures of some our rooms. it was a little weird and the bathroom smelled weird. Not a "holy cow someone had bad Mexican food" smell, but more like a moldy smell. Other than that all was well. Friday Morning we all gathered up and aired down around 8 A.M. then hit the road shortly after. We headed a mile south to the Delamar Ghost Town trailhead. The name of the game on this trail was dust, it was everywhere. Not unexpected as this area is in the middle of the desert. We crossed over the Delamar Lake bed which kicked up a bunch of silt but it was still a cool thing to do. We saw some wild horses along the way, that was pretty cool too. The trail got a little more exciting/fun once we made it past the lake. Nothing to crazy, just some off-camber parts and some ruts and rocky parts. We made it to the remains of the town of Delamar and did some exploring. It was pretty cool too see all the remains of houses scattered through out the little valleys and up on the hillsides. All the building remains gave the vibe that this place used to be a busy little mining town. Once we were done there we headed north toward the Silver State Trail System. On the way up we stopped and visited the Helene Cemetery. As expected this cemetery is old. Some of the headstones were well over 100 years old. From there the roads to the SSTS were smooth and dusty. We stopped for lunch at the Chief Mountain trailhead. Here there was a picnic areas with shade and restroom "facilities". Once done with lunch we made our way towards the Pan American mine. The trail was a mix of smooth roads, some off camber, and some rocky parts. We also saw some more wild horses along the way. Glenn said he saw a deer, I was too busy looking at the mountains that surrounded us and missed that wildlife. We climbed in elevation as we made our way to the Pan American mine. There are signs that say it is private property but the gate is non-existent so we kept on truckin'. There's an old cabin on the hill behind the mine that looked to have an amazing view. The entrance to the mine itself is huge, big enough to drive a Jeep into. Glenn was down there and took some pics. From there we went up the road to where I thought we'd make camp at the Comet Mine which according to a sign says it is under video surveillance. I quickly realized there was not enough room for all of us , the ground was rocky, and there was debris everywhere. I wanted to go further North to the Mountain Lion Mine and perhaps camp there. Glen and I looked at the maps and talked it over. We both noticed the road out that continued to the Mountain Lion Mine looked pretty chewed up past the Comet Mine so for the safety of all we decided to head back South and head west across Deadman's Crossing. This was an easy trail about 22 miles long. We did not find camp until almost the end at Hamiton(This is the correct spelling 🙂) Spring. This was a good camp spot with enough room for all of us. We all set up camp and @Mick Bowers went about cooking dinner for everyone. A nice spaghetti dinner with rolls. After covering about 100 miles, including some back tracking, this was a welcome meal and much appreciated. After dinner a wind storm, no dust just a strong wind, came up and cooled the temps down significantly. Saturday Morning I woke up feeling like a hot pile of garbage. 🤬 I talked things over with a few folks and we decided the best approach was to poll the group to see what they wanted to do. I was going to head south at the end of Deadman's crossing and make my way to HWY 318 then home. We had covered a lot of ground Friday so Saturday was shaping up to be a short day anyway. I gathered up the group and let them know my plan. Those who did not want to go with me could go to Pioche, we were close enough. We reviewed those directions and everyone but @4WLNRN and @Rawhyd wanted to go that way, they followed me out. That trail out was very lightly traveled and had some challenging spots. A good fun way to end the weekend. Lessons Learned: Weather forecasts generally lie, it was hotter than anticipated. So next time I go up there it will be earlier in the year. It was a little too warm in the daytime and took a bit to cool down at night. Bring Liquid IV or some sort of drinks with electrolytes. Come up with a Plan C to fill in time on the second day if we cover a lot of ground on the first day. All in all this was a great trip with a couple of hiccups but that is how things go sometimes. Thanks again for coming along everyone!
  18. Here are three different radius bends made with different diameter 1/2” drive sockets when I was fooling around
  19. It’s been so long since I’ve posted updates. Maybe I’ll get around to it this week. Lots of stuff done. Metalcloak 3.5” GC, Undercloak, ARB Twin, lots of electronics. Gears and lockers in a few weeks.
  20. love it! i have this pre-made thing that is similar in concept but it can't alter the bend radius like i'm thinking you can with different sockets.
  21. Made my version of a metal bender on saw on “the gram”. The bender I copied was was welded. The two pieces of angle iron were salvaged from a previous project. Note: Only the holes marked with red and black were used with the bender. All other holes were preexisting. 1/2” square stock, 3 1/2” long, drilled and tapped 1/4-20 and bolted to the angle iron with CCS’s Both ends of the square stock don’t need to be drilled. I only drilled them both because I had the drill press set up Here I have bolted a 1” and a 24mm deep socket approx. 1 1/4” dia. on to the angle iron The angle iron pieces can be slid in relation to each other to accommodate various thicknesses of material. Note the test pieces on the bench in the background made in 1/8” x 2” material. These bends were made cold, by hand, with very reasonable effort.
  22. this evening's project was replacing the driver seat bottom cushion (Mopar part #68194641aa, about $230). my old repair (done back in 2019) was still holding the original foam together, but the side bolster i patched in eventually got soft and smooshed just like the OEM. the whole cushion had my butt pressing it down for nearly 170k miles now, so it was time to just do a full replacement. the original foam showing my old fixes: the new one is a different color of foam and seems springier than i remember the original ever being. i used 3M Super 90 spray adhesive (basicly a contact cement) to attach the original heating element to the new foam. the leather above the side bolster had started to fold over and crease, but was still holding together... i reinforced it on the back side with some old t-shirt fabric and more 3M spray adhesive (the red), my first attempt to stiffen up the side (blue) is still holding strong. this whole project took about 30 minutes and besides sockets/wrenches, it only requires some decent side cutters, hog ring pliers, and a few new hog rings. all back together with a stiff outside bolster and i don't sink down in the cushion as much anymore. there's a nice firm but springy feel to it. in the photo above, you can see the front outer corner of the leather is worn near the seam quite a bit. i'm sure i'll have to replace the whole lower cover before too long. hoping to get a couple more years out of it though.
  23. Got around to adding the new Hole in the Rock BOH badge - and a special package showed up, just in time for 110* temps!
  24. Nice job Kris. I will admit however when I first glanced at the picture you posted I thought your Jeep had met it’’s demise. Glad I was wrong
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