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BigTuna117

Big Tuna's "Building the Dub!"

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Well, I finally got the IRO A-Arm I bought LAST FREAKIN' YEAR installed. I managed to also install the flex joint upgrade on it, so the A-Arm is completely rebuildable, and rubber bushing free! On a side note, trying to remove the old A-Arm ball joint with a box end wrench and brute strength, I managed to pop my back (which has been out for the last week). Sometimes you fix the Jeep, sometimes the Jeep fixes you. 🤣

 

The old A-Arm bushings and ball joint were completely trashed. The bushings were wallowed out to the point that it had actually developed slop when braking or accelerating. The entire axle would not only shift, but also cause the entire rear end to slightly walk all over the road. I stopped driving the Jeep for a while, I waited for the weather to cool down enough to work on. I took on the task of adding a cooling fan to my Joying android headunit. Being an older model, it is based on the Rockchip PX5 CPU, which is notorious for overheating issues. A simple mod that can be done mostly in the shade of the garage! The saving grace is Joying's custom main board design, which has a decent cooling solution built in, just needs some air on it, especially in our summer. 

 

Overall, the Jeep is driving much better with the new A-Arm in place. Now that the entire suspension has been effectively replaced, all clunks and noise has been eliminated. First time in a long time. 

Now I can focus on what is wrong with the A/C again...

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no clunks is a beautiful thing! good luck with the A/C

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Solid work, I'm sure it's MUCH NICER TO DRIVE now! Sorry about your back though - OUCH! Great to hear from you...

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Well, my final days in the Arizona sun are upon me. In a number of weeks, I'll be moving to the cooler climates of Oregon, and that means I need to get off of my butt and get a few small issues fixed with the Jeep. Overall, she is running very healthy and should make the trip just fine.

-(Biggest Issue) Re-seal my Spyder headlight assemblies. Though these have served me well, the Arizona sun has definitely pounded the plastic pretty well. I do plan to replace these sooner or later, but for now I need to re- seal two of the ball connectors onto the assemblies on both sides. 

-Rebuild the joints on my trackbar- I purchased the flex joint upgrade kit from IRO, and the larger bolt upgrade for the lower joint from Kevin's Offroad. The upper joint is just being a booger to remove, and I have to completely drop the bumpstop on that side to complete the extraction.

-Fine tune fan Kick-On temp- increase temperature about 10-15 degrees.

-Retire front lightbar- the position is not ideal if I get the opportunity to install a winch bumper eventually. Bar will be re-sealed and used elsewhere. I may eventually install a roof mounted lightbar, and re-use the circuit.

-Tighten clamps on all coolant hoses. Trust me, if you go to silicon hoses, such as HPS, don't use a screwdriver or bit driver to tighten your hose clamps. Ratchet those suckers down as far as they'll go without the clamp breaking!

 

I'm also working on bringing my old hitch mounted tire carrier back into service. I was never terribly happy with my wiring harness on it, so I'm working on a more professional looking (clean) solution. I also discovered that Trimax makes a style of hitch clamp I may incorporate into it to get rid of much of the noise that plagues the design. 

 

Another project I'm pulling out of storage to finish (because it would be too awkward to properly pack) is a Grille I had freshly bought, de-chromed, and had Cerakoted in the Charcoal Grey color I prefer. Alot of people go for mesh inserts to freshen the look, but I have another idea...

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did you get a job in Oregon, or just wanting to try something different?

 

can't wait to see what you're planning for the grille project!

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My family is originally from Oregon. Moving to be closer to family, and to find something more of a long term career.

 

As far as the grille goes, I decided I really like the geometric plastic mesh alot of newer vehicles are incorporating. I wanted to make it subtle, yet stand out, much like the "Plan B" (the wire mesh mod, which always looks pretty sharp I think) I managed to cut out the sections straightly, and attach them using JB Weld Plastic epoxy. The epoxy was diffcult to get from going everywhere, however I found that letting it set for a minute or two makes it less prone to gravity than before. All in all it seems it came out sturdy... so far. 

Not quite done with it yet, but this is how it looks so far.

 

w8UYkMf.jpg

The mock up- letting the epoxy bond

 

dq56jES.jpg

How it looks.... Gosh, I never realized how bad the bumper looks! lol

 

Yet, it's not quite ready to install... there's more modification to come!

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On 1/5/2022 at 10:24 PM, BigTuna117 said:

Well, my final days in the Arizona sun are upon me. In a number of weeks, I'll be moving to the cooler climates of Oregon

Wow!!! That's huge news, sorry I missed it until now. Wishing you all the best in your new climate!! 

 

Hey, you can trade in your sombrero for one of these!!

 

happy jim carrey GIF

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I didn't quite take any pictures of the completion, but here's the completed look:

dufUCKm.jpg

I did add the marker lights, as commonly seen on alot of modern "utility" vehicles. I quite like the clean look, aside from having to spend several hours plastic welding and resealing the back of the passenger headlight. all of the amber markers along with the new ones have the same color tone, so it looks pretty good. I was able to center the markers and got them seated on pretty straight, too. Just a fun little project in the middle of packing and all of the other shenanigans going on. 

 

XjoEvl1.jpg

Soooooo, aside from how oxidized my headlights are, and the tired plasti-bumper, looks pretty good, I think. 

 

I also re-tuned the fan system to power on at 200F, rather than 180. This way the fan only really kicks on once the rig hits temperature. At highway speeds, enough air gets through the radiator that the fan isn't really necessary, Only really need it currently for slow, stop-and-go street driving. 

 

I also installed some upgrades to my JKS trackbar, Including the IRO flex joint kit, and the Kevins Offroad large hardware kit for the lower. I was running the Hard KOR bushings before, however the bushings are so extremely firm that I managed to actually wallow out the bushings! The upper is now a flex joint, and the lower is an IRO bushing (I've head really good luck with those) but with the oversized inner sleeve to match the significantly larger bolt.

 

... And with that, I did a torque check on the whole suspension, given all of the modifications I've done recently. All in all, the Jeep is pretty much ready to be loaded and moved when the time comes.

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