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theksmith

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

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On 5/19/2021 at 6:21 PM, 4x4tographer said:

 

 

 

nice editing @4x4tographer!

 

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On 5/19/2021 at 6:21 PM, 4x4tographer said:

 

 

I love it! That's awesome!! 

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Posted (edited)

i recently started to notice Gadget wandering, especially on the freeway. it was getting to the point i kept finding myself thinking "damn, it's windy today", then i'd look at the side of the road and all the bushes and trees would be perfectly still!

 

i knew i hadn't changed caster or toe recently, but i double checked the toe and also torqued the adjustable preload on my Teraflex ball joints. then i went looking for something loose...

 

the first thing i found was what looked like a fair bit of play in the front adjustable Rough Country track-bar bushings, so i pressed in new ones.

 

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while that was out, i saw that the frame-side bracket hole was just starting to wallow out.

 

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welding on a thick washer is an easy fix, but i already had a front Synergy track-bar brace on my wishlist, so this was a good excuse to order it. i'd also seen a fair bit of side-to-side movement in the steering box sector shaft when doing the dry-steering "jiggle test", so i added a Synergy sector shaft brace to my order.

 

i went ahead and put the track-bar back in while i waited on the braces to arrive, and did the 9/16" bolt swap while i was at it. more info on that bolt upgrade here...

 

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unfortunately the new bushings didn't make a noticeable improvement, but i hoped those along with the upcoming braces would add up to something.

 

after installing both braces, i found out my Rough Country track-bar was going to hit the new sector shaft nut. this was mainly because i have a taller axle-side bracket as part of a drag-link flip kit. so i ended up needing to also spring for a Synergy front track-bar which is bent a little different and just clears that new nut under full articulation.

 

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i wasn't done yet though... the sway bar was just barely rubbing the edge of the new sector shaft brace.

 

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the rubbing wasn't hurting anything except my ears and my OCD, and would probably self clearance eventually, but i had an easy fix in mind.

 

i smacked the sway bar over towards the drivers side about 3/8" with a BFH. then added a 2-piece 1-1/4" bore shaft collar to the bar, just inside the passenger side bushing, so that it can't work its way back.

 

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of course then the bar rubbed the end of this round frame cross-member on the passenger side. fortunately a light touch with the grinding wheel fixed that!

 

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so after getting all the worms back in the can, i took Gadget for another flex test and nothing seemed to hit or rub anymore. 

 

but what was i doing? oh yeah, that wandering feeling...

 

well, it did all add up to a fix i think - she once again stays going whichever direction she's pointed on the freeway, yay! in fact, Gadget feels more stable than in a long time. it's funny how we don't really notice something going bad slowly until it gets just plain awful.

 

one minor drawback with the sector-shaft brace is that it transmits more of the road "texture" to the steering wheel - i.e. i feel more vibrations from little bumps/ridges/cracks in the road now. it's not a huge deal, but worth mentioning. 

 

Edited by theksmith
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Again, nice write up as always.

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Posted (edited)

Now that you chased the mechanical gremlin all over your Jeep before it jumped off let’s just hope it doesn’t end up on B’s Jeep.

The gremlins  are never really gone. They are just hanging around waiting. 
 

Seriously, nice work.  And before the heat index goes nuclear.   

 

Edited by jgaz
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Posted (edited)

photo from a few weeks ago...

 

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haven't been able to get out lately - putting in a lot of work hours right now plus it's a zillion degrees.

 

it was still over 100* at 2:30 this morning!

 

Phoenix-night-temp.png

 

Edited by theksmith
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quick drive this morning near Lake Pleasant. wasn't so hot out away from all the concrete and asphalt... till the sun came up anyway! ;) 

 

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scored a deal on Facebook marketplace for 5 very lightly used Toyo Open Country M/T 37's on 17" Black Rhino Barstow wheels...

 

i don't love or hate the rims, but they did let me get rid of the spacers i was running for the stock wheels, so that's good. the Toyo's would have been my second choice if i was buying brand new tires. they are 13.5" wide, which also isn't ideal - but i got all 5 wheels & tires along with TPMS sensors already installed for less than i would have paid for just 5 new tires.

 

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  • had to adjust the Teraflex spare tire carrier, remove the wheels spacers, and slightly modify my license plate mount
  • also adjusted the speedo using the OBD JScan app
  • still need to flex-test and may need to adjust bump-stops
  • need to re-gear soon, which was expected
  • aftermarket brakes just moved way up on the priority list

 

so it's only one tire size up, but man it's a different world... i could wrangle the 35s on and off pretty easily whereas i could barely get these 37s installed, they weigh considerably more. my braking and gearing weren't ideal before, but still very manageable - both suck now with 37s. basically, i would not recommend anyone with a JKU go to 37s unless you really plan to do difficult rock-crawling trails.

 

...but it does look AWESOME!

 

they fill up the extra space from the Nemesis fender flares perfectly and should help with my chronic belly clearance issues on difficult trails! ;)

 

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