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BigTuna117

Big Tuna's "Building the Dub!"

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the rig looked good in person!

Thanks! As did yours!

That was a pretty funny coincidence. I was sitting there fueling up, and I turned to Jeff and said "Is that the Jeep I think it is?"

 

It was a pleasure to meet ya, and hopefully I'll be seein' ya on the trail pretty soon.

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Likewise, it was good to see you again too ksmith! We need to get the clubs together for a run soon!

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Well, I took some time out of my day to change out my radiator hoses, thermostat, serpentine belt, and do a coolant flush. Everything went well. No more coolant leak from the thermostat. HOWEVER, it looks almost like someone ran some of that coolant system sealer junk though it at one time or another, so I'm gonna keep watching her like a hawk. The cooling system has been flushed twice in the last 3 years, however (once when the new radiator was installed, and today), so I probably shouldn't worry TOO much about it. After today, the only original cooling component is the water pump, and it seems to be going strong. The old serpentine belt was in surprisingly good condition, so I saved it and threw it in my hide-a-tire hole with the rest of my tools and spare parts. it never hurts to have spares, especially with all the rubbery parts that dry rot out here in the desert.

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Well, tomorrow's the last day of 2014! It's been a good year, and I figured I'd give an "end of year report," given some of my original goals for the build have changed slightly, and what I'd like to do next year, as far as the Jeep and such.

 

Well, when I started building the Jeep I didn't realize how much I'd enjoy working on the rig, and how much fun the traveling and wheeling would be. This year has really tested my mechanical mettle (such as installing the lift with 1 jack stand, 2 bottle jacks, and the stock jack) and has really opened my eyes as to the improvements that the Jeep needs, as well as additional tools I need to invest in. I have also learned more about mobile tech and it's place in the cab, with the Nexus 7 mount-up earlier, and moving up to the Galaxy Tab Pro 10.1" which will get it's appropriate mount in the coming weeks.

 

And I guess that's where I'll start. The Nexus 7 setup has been decommissioned... Not so much because it will be replaced soon, but because the tablet stopped working. The original 2012 N7 was riddled with technical problems, as I found out. I guess it was a good thing I bought an extended warranty. I think the funds I receive back for that will probably be used to buy a dual battery solenoid, and more tools.

 

Which brings me to the Jeep. In 2015, I'd like to get a few things done for sure. A secondary battery will let me re-route a lot of the accessories I'm running (such as lights, amps, and a power inverter) to a secondary "house battery." I'm hoping this will take a good amount of strain off of having only one battery.

Soon, I hope to buy rock rails too. I have an IRO TC/Cat skid sitting in the garage, waiting to be bolted on. Although this will technically finish up "Phase 2" I'm gonna roll right in to "Phase 2.5" Which will include some sort of spare tire solution (I don't much care for it on top of the roof rack), additional lights and LED light conversions, The dual battery solenoid install, and a few other little bits here and there to make the Jeep a little bit more liveable on long trips. After that, we'll roll in to the the third and final "phase" (though of course, that won't be the end of the build, just the final list of planned additions). We'll see how the Jeep performs in the coming months, and decide what to do with it once we know where it's shortcomings are.

 

Well, that's all I can think of for now. Hopefully I'll see y'all on the trails soon!

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Happy New Year!

 

I guess you could say I started the new year off right by switching things around and putting the new tablet setup together. I learned a lot from the old setup, and tried to implement what I learned. First off, I converted over from a stick on/ suction type mount to a bolt in.

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I went for the Arkon 22" gooseneck mount as I didn't want to risk the suction cup style losing adhesion and dropping my new tab pro onto the shifters screen first (although it's surprisingly lighter than my Nexus 7 was).

 

Secondly, I changed out the cheap 12 volt plug that I had previously installed in the dash for a marine grade one inserted into the center console. I figured this way, ia least if something like the charger breaks, it won't be such a PITA to replace. I also like having a cover attached to the plug.

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So far, my initial feelings towards the Tab Pro (10.1") are very good. Normally I prefer closer to stock flavors of android, but I'm relieved to say that Samsung has really put a lot of work into TouchWiz since the days my Galaxy S3 was running it. My first thought after receiving this tablet was "CyanogenMod will run great on this," but ultimately, TouchWiz doesn't skip a beat, and runs completely flawlessly on this device. Even better, the Android 5.0 Lollipop update is expected to release in the next few months, and should bring further speed increases!

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One of the reasons this tablet interested me was it's ability to split screen apps, and it works quite well on apps it supports, but rumor has it Android M (6.0?) will probably have this feature built in.

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So I recently was able to make a trip to Lake Havasu, and used it as an opportunity to test out the new setup. PegasusNAV 2.0 Works near flawlessly. All of the problems the Nexus 7 had have been resolved by this tablet. GPS is much more accurate, and refreshes MUCH quicker, the extra processing power solves the problems that the N7 had with having apps like CoPilot and Google Play Music open at the same time. It also can have the screen on for long periods of time without overheating or even getting remotely warm. Also, it doesn't deplete the battery slowly with the charger plugged in when GPS is on.

 

I also picked up this:

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T-max Dual battery system. I'll be installing it soon, however since I plan to have one battery up front and one in back, I'm gonna hold off and replace the 8AWG wire it comes with with 0AWG. Other than that, it seems to come with everything, and seems to be pretty well made. We'll see how it ( and the T-Max air compressor I purchased along with it) handle in the coming months. I also ordered LED's for my gauge cluster, as I have a few lights flickering, and it's finally annoying enough to replace. I'll update again when I start installing the Dual Battery System.

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Yesterday and today I spent giving the Jeep some good TLC. Yesterday I rotated the tires and found some slight surface rust. I started hitting it with the wire wheel, and today I painted all of the exposed areas. Although I cleaned up the surface rust well, I still shot those areas with rust reformer.

While I was at it, I applied a fresh coat of paint to the wheel wells. I figured, I had the tires off, I might as well!

Rn1bK4a.jpg

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Alright, it's been a few weeks in the works, but I finally have the Dual battery setup functional at last! I decided to go ahead and upgrade some things such as wiring, so it took a little bit longer to install. I looked at many different systems when I was choosing, and went with the Westin/T-Max system for a couple of reasons. First off, it was inexpensive, in fact, it was about the same (before the extras I bought) as the kit Painless sells.

 

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Second, the solenoid is controlled by the unit in the cab. You can actually attach a solar panel or charger to the second battery, and the unit will link the two batteries once that one is charged!

 

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It comes with the controller module, solenoid, and all lengths of wire to install it. I decided against the dinky "crimp on" fuse for the controller, and the 4 (or was it 8?) gauge wire it came with. Instead, I decided to replace the wire it came with, and the fuse box for the controller with a more sturdy "weatherproof" one, and swapped the battery wiring for some nice 0AWG wire. I also added 250A fuses at each battery, as a failsafe. I decided to use 0AWG in case I decide to migrate the engine battery back to the hide-a-hole too. I still haven't decided if I want to do that yet.

 

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(note: for some reason imgur has become impossible for me to use, so I'm gonna be uploading them here)

The battery is the same model that I have up front, Since I didn't want to buy something else and make the system act all wonky (from what I understand, you want same amperage across both batteries, which makes sense.)

 

So, as far as routing goes, I ended up just doing the same way most do, down the inside of the uniframe rail on the driver's side.

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I figured it has worked well for others, so I loomed the wire and ran with it! I mounted the solenoid a bit above where the steering shaft leaves the firewall, on the most open spot in the engine bay.

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The battery is strapped down in the Hide-a-hole with multiple points. One ratchet strap straps it to a point I bolted in, which keeps it from "walking around" and a "trio" of points bolted in keep it securely in place from any jumping around. This also allows me to still keep some things in there for daily use. My compressor (in it's bag) fits perfectly in the space between the straps, just opposite from the battery.

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Looks great, always nice to get the under carriage clean and freshly painted.

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Looks great, always nice to get the under carriage clean and freshly painted.

 

Yes indeed! It certainly gives it a much more clean look. I just need new Headlight assemblies and She'll look 10 years younger!

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