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"Oki": 4x4tographer's 2018 Jeep JLUR

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Just clicked over to 60,000 miles!

 

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Minor update to my Smittybilt 5.56cfm air compressor set up.

 

AJFCJaWE1AYRxgDp9MZtMWsyHKeXHbK8sFybN9zH

 

While my compressor was sitting on the floor in the rear the plastic on the air gauge shattered. 

 

AJFCJaUgM7k2DOrJ2iJ3QqYtT1vTYGktqjc1w1pg

 

The gauge and air fitting were hose-clamped on to the end of the original hose the compressor came with. After watching this video on modifying the compressor for a pressure switch, I figured it'd be easy to just ditch the hose all together and with the guage/fitting flopping around.

 

To make it work, you have to adapt the Smittybilt metric fittings over to whatever you're using. In my case, I picked up an M12 male to 1/4" male NPT fitting on Amazon and removed the hose entirely from the compressor. 

 

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I reused my brass t-fitting and added a replacement pressure gauge and relocated the quick connect fitting I've been using. I replaced the broken gauge with another from Winters, however this on is a little better built with a thicker glass face and is filled with glycerine to help prevent vibration damage on the needle. 

 

My old gauge was always read a little higher than reality by about 6-7psi. Hopefully this new one is a little more accurate.

 

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A dash of thread sealant and a few turns of a wrench and this mod took all of 15 minutes to complete.

 

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AJFCJaXe2ZVb889uHrTMecoyLkzGa47FY5pdP95U

 

And there you go. The solution to a floppy hose! 😁

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AJFCJaXU5chy10IKeUo_Rv1r4nvW3_Ys8bml_2zh

 

60,425 miles

 

Took the Jeep over to see our good friend Joe @OnPointOffroad to get some maintenance knocked out and some ball joints installed. Always happy with the work Joe does on any of our vehicles, Jeep or otherwise. Can't recommend him enough and it's always great to talk with him and pick his brain on different topics.

 

The last time we were in to see Joe we got to talking about the 8 speed ZF transmission in the Jeep JL and the service interval. Jeep seals these trannys "for life" - but that's not reallllllly true. Maybe it's because most American's these days trade their vehicles in every 2 years and roll over that sweet, sweet negative equity.

 

Since I'm in the "severe duty" category, Joe recommended a 60K service interval for the transmission for a new filter and fluid. So there you go.

 

 

Additionally, Michelle gave me some new Teraflex HD Ball Joints for my birthday back in February. We had those installed as well. They're STOUT and I was really impressed with the apparent quality and design of the new ball joints. Twin zerk fittings on each one allows you to easily grease them up and they allow for adjusting pre-load anytime you need in the future.

 

AJFCJaWCnhALWeApmDe0uzaGUsdGV_sC5w5gs7SE

AJFCJaUhkHPZZHwr8k0NAt8QAt6xY1dNsxS2sLrb

AJFCJaVtl48Lvp_GpWGNbqlu3Q5HUPHL4eYV45jk

AJFCJaVXWJnbsKdKe_z3J4woKlN7caaxI0uXA7tG

 

 

Lastly, I've been getting some wobble on certain predictable sections of my local roads at certain speeds. Was suspecting a loose trackbar at the axle. Clayton's install instructions called of 90ft/lbs of torque. I recently increased the torque to 105 and that seemed to dampen the wobble a bit. Joe noted that factory spec was around 160ft/lbs (I can't remember the exact number) so they tightened her up. 

 

On the drive home, no wobble. And the new ball joints are great! I'm getting a more firm feel from the steering and feel more "stable" on our local windy roads. So far, pretty happy. 

 

The last thing to talk about is some cupping on my front Yokohama Geolandar G003 tires. We thought this might be contributing to the wobble, so Joe was kind enough to switch the fronts with the rears so see if there was an impact. Can't really narrow the wobble down to the tires since the trackball torque was upped - but we did notice a shift in braking behavior. The Jeep used to pull left on hard braking, now it pulls right a bit. Possibly chalked up to the tires. 

 

 

All-in-all, that's all I have to report. Looking forward to the next run later this month when we check out Smiley Rock trail and Mingus Mountain!

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Long before I bought my '17 Ram, I watched a How-to Video on changing the ATF in the 8 speed transmission.  Not as simple as a Turbo 350 or 700R4, but not to difficult. Hardest part is having the correct tool to refill the transmission.   I will say, I love the V6/8 speed combination in my new Jeep.  It has some great acceleration and really does a nice job climbing the hills out of the Verde Valley.

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12 hours ago, 4x4tographer said:

AJFCJaXU5chy10IKeUo_Rv1r4nvW3_Ys8bml_2zh

 

Bada$$! Nice write up too.

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12 hours ago, 4x4tographer said:

AJFCJaXU5chy10IKeUo_Rv1r4nvW3_Ys8bml_2zh

 

60,425 miles

 

Took the Jeep over to see our good friend Joe @OnPointOffroad to get some maintenance knocked out and some ball joints installed. Always happy with the work Joe does on any of our vehicles, Jeep or otherwise. Can't recommend him enough and it's always great to talk with him and pick his brain on different topics.

 

The last time we were in to see Joe we got to talking about the 8 speed ZF transmission in the Jeep JL and the service interval. Jeep seals these trannys "for life" - but that's not reallllllly true. Maybe it's because most American's these days trade their vehicles in every 2 years and roll over that sweet, sweet negative equity.

 

Since I'm in the "severe duty" category, Joe recommended a 60K service interval for the transmission for a new filter and fluid. So there you go.

 

 

Additionally, Michelle gave me some new Teraflex HD Ball Joints for my birthday back in February. We had those installed as well. They're STOUT and I was really impressed with the apparent quality and design of the new ball joints. Twin zerk fittings on each one allows you to easily grease them up and they allow for adjusting pre-load anytime you need in the future.

 

AJFCJaWCnhALWeApmDe0uzaGUsdGV_sC5w5gs7SE

AJFCJaUhkHPZZHwr8k0NAt8QAt6xY1dNsxS2sLrb

AJFCJaVtl48Lvp_GpWGNbqlu3Q5HUPHL4eYV45jk

AJFCJaVXWJnbsKdKe_z3J4woKlN7caaxI0uXA7tG

 

 

Lastly, I've been getting some wobble on certain predictable sections of my local roads at certain speeds. Was suspecting a loose trackbar at the axle. Clayton's install instructions called of 90ft/lbs of torque. I recently increased the torque to 105 and that seemed to dampen the wobble a bit. Joe noted that factory spec was around 160ft/lbs (I can't remember the exact number) so they tightened her up. 

 

On the drive home, no wobble. And the new ball joints are great! I'm getting a more firm feel from the steering and feel more "stable" on our local windy roads. So far, pretty happy. 

 

The last thing to talk about is some cupping on my front Yokohama Geolandar G003 tires. We thought this might be contributing to the wobble, so Joe was kind enough to switch the fronts with the rears so see if there was an impact. Can't really narrow the wobble down to the tires since the trackball torque was upped - but we did notice a shift in braking behavior. The Jeep used to pull left on hard braking, now it pulls right a bit. Possibly chalked up to the tires. 

 

 

All-in-all, that's all I have to report. Looking forward to the next run later this month when we check out Smiley Rock trail and Mingus Mountain!

Thanks for posting Joe’s comments and thoughts on the 8 speed.  
I don’t believe in “lifetime” when it comes to rotating  automotive power train parts.  I was just thinking about servicing my 2017 Ram’s transmission the other day.

 

Joe rocks!

 

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37 minutes ago, jgaz said:

Thanks for posting Joe’s comments and thoughts on the 8 speed.  
I don’t believe in “lifetime” when it comes to rotating  automotive power train parts.  I was just thinking about servicing my 2017 Ram’s transmission the other day.

 

Joe rocks!

 

 

FYI - the "8 & 9 speed transmission fluid" for these newer rigs is more than double the cost of ATF+4!

Edited by theksmith
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Glad we got the wobble to go away!!! I think honestly, it was a little bit of all 3 things contributing to the wobble. Just a quick note for those with the 8 speed trans (8HP50/60/70/80)...The JL/JT Wranglers are the only ones with serviceable filters in the trans. They use a metal pan and 2 small nuts to hold the filter to the bottom of the pan....on all the rest of them, the entire pan needs to be replaced as the plastic filter housing is plactic welded to the pan and serviced with a new plastic pan. I have not yet had the chance to confirm nor deny the use of the metal pan on any other 8HP Trans.....

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A couple of recent favorites from the Gala

 

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ADCreHeJJP0cU01dOweDdVeNFrqcsaGBg_FHI9zK

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Scored a killer deal on some LED rock lights from LUX Lighting. 50% off, which is really the deepest discount on a new product I've ever seen. They were using the code "CLEARANCE" if anyone wants to try it still 😁

 

Even without the discount, they're more affordable than other major name brands of lights:

 

  • LUX's LEDs are $25 per light
  • KC wants $29 per light
  • Diode Dynamics (who I adore) wants $40 per light
  • Black Oak LED - a Rigid knock-off brand, wants $49 per light
  • Rigid wants a RIDICULOUS $80 per light

 

All of the above, except LUX, require drilling to install.

 

I went with LUX Lighting's  "MAX WHITE" 8-light system with their "Pro Installer" box that can allow for 3 zones of lighting.

 

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What I like about the design is that they are a "no drill" install. All of the LEDs stick to the Jeep using some extremely strong magnets. The magnets pull double duty, serving to pull heat from the lights and dissipating it.

 

You literally find a place you'd like to put the light and slap it on. You can adjust it later, or if you leave enough slack in the wiring, make adjustments over time. 

 

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I picked up a wire fisher at Home Depot which made running the cabling through the frame the easier part of the entire install. I ran wiring from the front wheel-well all the way to the rear bumper in a matter of minutes. Best $20 I've spent. 

 

This particular model uses a flat ribbon style line as opposed to a "round" line. I found the added stiffness made it easier to manipulate and grab a hold of through the holes in the frame.

 

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ADCreHdxnNDWvogL1PH20r-INX2D_znowMwscL30

 

Here's a shot of one of the LEDs at the rear end of the frame, just above the body mount.

 

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ADCreHdzXHjTrZZ5om4na4ocrhzOgXkqVM0kyTH9

 

AUX Switches

To power it all, I used one of the JL's AUX switches. The JL comes from the factory with a set of 4 switches in total if you have the max tow package. This gives you 2 bundles of wires, one in the engine bay next to the main battery, and another in the passenger footwell. 

 

Each of the 2 bundles gives you:

  • 2x 40amp circuits on switches 1 and 3
  • 2x 15amp circuits on switches 2 and 4
  • 1 Ignition Accessory wire
  • 1 "always hot" wire

 

Using the UCONNECT system, you can independently program each button to operate as momentary or latching, operate off of ignition or battery, and hold their last state after a restart. 

 

"Approach" Lighting

I was interested in having the rock lights come on in conjunction with the courtesy lights in the Jeep. This way an unlock event would trigger the lights - they would shut off once the Jeep is locked or if the lights timed out (after about 2 minutes). I also wanted to them to be able to be manually controlled by one of the AUX switches. 

 

To accomplish this, I turned to @theksmith who has a similar set-up on Gadget. K kindly slapped together some contraption that accomplishes the goal. It includes diodes, a capacitor (I think. It allows for a gentle fade in/fade out of the lights), and maybe a relay? I'm not really sure - it's pretty much witchcraft if you ask me.

 

MASSIVE THANKS TO @theksmith for the help with this!

 

Here's a shot of it.

 

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To wire it all up, I had to tap into one of the courtesy lights in the passenger footwell. This would trigger the wiring harness that K built to send power to the lights. The diode would allow for me to press the AUX switch without routing power back into the interior lights. 

 

Leads connect to:

  • 12v constant power, which I pulled direct from the battery
  • Ground
  • Power output to the rock lights
  • Power input from the courtesy lights
  • Power input from the AUX switch

 

The power output from the magical doohickey is sent into the "Pro Installer" power distribution box that I received from LUX Lighting. I'm currently running everything as 1 zone, but have the option for additional zones. Technically you could save some money here and skip the box if you're running 1 zone. It does help keep the wiring neat and is easy to move or add additional lights.

 

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Here's a video of the functionality of the approach/courtesy light functionality (link)

Here's another video of the AUX switch functionality (link)

 

Here's another shot of the underside of the tub with the lights on:

 

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This bad boys are BRIGHT. Good coverage, thanks to the domed design. I can move them around a bit thanks to about 8" of slack I left in the lines, but I don't think I'll have to. 

 

If want to add more in the future, they're $25 each, which is cheaper than most of the bid name competitors like KC and Rigid.

 

One last glamour shot in the cul de sac.

 

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Edited by 4x4tographer
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