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theksmith

Late to the Party: theksmith's 2016 JK Unlimited Rubicon (Gadget)

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On 5/5/2023 at 8:17 PM, ob1jeeper said:

Looks pretty nice.  ;)     Just curious.   Had you considered inserting the bolts from the top?

 

thanks Steve!

 

the bumper manufacturer recommended putting them in from the bottom for clearance (and so you wouldn't mangle the exposed threads on rocks if you did drag). however, now that i'm using nuts about the same thickness as the heads and have hardly any thread showing, i guess it really wouldn't matter which direction they go in!

Edited by theksmith
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my steering is acting up again... so now i'm not sure if the new PS pump was necessary or just temporarily masked the real problem.

 

the symptoms are the same as last time, "stiff" steering part way through turns. it's like the power steering comes and goes during a turn, you have to suddenly use both hands full force and then it's easy again.

 

this time i did more troubleshooting. i disconnected the drag link from the pitman arm and verified the wheels and steering linkage all move easily/smoothly. the steering wheel was still intermittently hard to turn. so i also removed my Synergy sector shaft brace to verify it wasn't frozen up. same result, still stiff at the steering wheel. i noticed that i could also barely turn the sector shaft with a breaker bar at some points - it goes back and forth from fairly easy to turn to nearly seized as i go through a full rotation.

 

so there is definitely a problem in the steering gear box at this point. i don't know what a box going "bad" normally feels like, so not sure if this is a typical failure mode?

 

i have read that the OEM high-pressure hose has a teflon inner liner than can come apart after high mileage and lots of overheating cycles with the steering fluid - then pieces of that liner will get caught up in the steering box and/or pump, causing a failure. there is a newer OEM design or aftermarket hose to address this problem.

 

EDIT: more info on that poor hose design - it started in 2012 and was that way for about 4 years, so Gadget might have the gotten that style hose. i will be changing it out just in case.

 

 

Edited by theksmith
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well i guess every break is also a chance to upgrade!

 

i ordered PSC's "Big Bore XD" steering gear box. i got the version with the hydro assist ports (just in case i ever want to go that route), their improved high-pressure hose without the problematic liner, and their fluid cooler kit

 

all that stuff is a big portion of PSC's "JK Adventure Steering Kit"... however, i didn't just buy the whole kit because i don't really want to switch to their reservoir, fluid, pump, and longer serpentine belt. basically i wanted to keep things as stock as possible while fixing and upgrading the specific parts i have issues with.

 

also ordered a 46mm socket to attach the new pitman arm to the new huge sector shaft. and since i have a Synergy track-bar brace, i had to get the longer bolt kit for the PSC steering box.

 

i also noticed that the filter/screen in my reservoir has caught a ton of junk. for under $30, i just got a new one rather than trying to clean it up (part # 52126151AG). hopefully the Mopar PS pump i installed a month ago is still OK.

 

AJFCJaX5CPYQrxXZhZTdjbPX_TTTPC3EXNmiAu9V

 

Edited by theksmith
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old stuff is out, now just waiting on the new box to come...

 

AJFCJaWxTVE0XLQ6WH9MB6uJMqBPixk3CX32fb5L

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also finished installing the PS fluid cooler last night...

 

AJFCJaVCVV1U43MEzADbMCK-NB66SMLN7tod0Mkc

 

i'm using the kit's included hose and fittings to go from the steering box to the cooler, but needed a few additional things to get from the cooler to the OEM reservoir: a couple feet of 3/8" hose, a 3/8" MNPT to -6AN fitting, and a -6AN to 3/8" push-lock 45* elbow.  

 

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also had to replace the boot on the drag-link upper TRE since it got destroyed while separating it from the pitman arm.

 

then i remembered that a couple of the plastic mounting clip tabs on the front facia (grille) had broken off when i removed it this time. it's been on and off way too many times recently for various projects.

 

i made new tabs by bending little pieces of aluminum at right angles and JB-welding them on. pro tip: rough up the OEM plastic with sandpaper and also drill a couple small holes in the homemade aluminum tab and the JB Weld will actually hold pretty good. i've had to do this lots of times with interior plastic trim pieces on older vehicles.

 

AJFCJaWdL-yd0_IiO_VhPTGPRMeKQeRo3eiFHXD9

 

Edited by theksmith
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add a new torque wrench to the list of purchases... i've needed one twice recently that could go over 200 ft-lbs, so i bought one this time.

 

i think this whole steering project is done! i'll get to fully test it out this weekend on the Asbestos Point run.

 

comparison shots of the oem sector shaft and pitman arm versus the PSC upgrades:

 

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since i've been messing with steering lately, i figured it was a good time to go ahead and replace the clockspring to get my steering wheel buttons working consistently again. this looks like a big deal, but really only took about 20 minutes.

 

AJFCJaXBCNES_XZqibn5Ask92WDuH43hvrBd7Xy0

 

 

also Gadget found a crazy mud hole on the Asbestos Point run this weekend!

 

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Just now, theksmith said:

also Gadget found a crazy mud hole on the Asbestos Point run this weekend!

 

AJFCJaVWrdhiKjnH28pQFbXU56uYvG5RJFAJ_gWY

 

Mmmmmmmmm, chocolate doughnuts! 

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with the steering now behaving, i took care of installing that J8 brake master cylinder & booster upgrade this morning. it didn't make a jaw dropping difference, but the pedal travel/firmness is at least back to stock if not maybe slightly better feeling (it had gone downhill a bit after the Teraflex big brake kit install).

 

AJFCJaUAFO0BKKbJLxErs1uPYjA9F-EIsTIJywxr

 

here's the Mopar part number for the entire kit, as well as the individual components' numbers in case anyone needs them:

 

AJFCJaVJAFitVYn12E_XwiDGXDp9HyHpOyKceui-

 

Edited by theksmith
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