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  1. 11 points
    She is named after my 2nd cousin - Grace Mildred. I had only met Grace 2x in my life, probably 20 years ago, and she seemed pretty nice. In 2018 her home in Paradise, CA burnt down, and she was in a hotel in Chico CA with her dog, widowed, age 90, with no children, no belongings except her and her dog and her car. So I flew in and drove her to her brother's in NY. We got along famously on that one week trip in December across the snow filled US 80, and every time that I visited my mom and dad in nw PA, I went to see her. We talked often on the phone. She passed in October 2022 and I still miss the dear friend. This one was from her, for her. Meet Millie.
  2. 10 points
    Here's some from my haul! A mix of Fuji and iPhone for your viewing pleasure. 😊 Massive thanks to @theksmith for putting together a truly epic and enjoyable adventure for everyone! You can click on any of these images to open a high resolution copy. You can also access these photos, a few videos, and more on my Google album. Feel free to download whatever you want! The drive up in Flagstaff Stopped for a quick look in the rain in Monument Valley. It was DUMPING when I was climbing the Moki Dugway Some of the booties I got to chase on the trip, like @squinko's! An allergy blizzard! The "Giant Washout" Climbing back out of the wash with @Bradywgn71 @J2DXPLR's exceptionally equipped rig Awesome signage day 2 Extremely interesting geology at our lunch spot on Day 2. @Ladybug we we're thinking these impressions or "shadows" might be plant life or coral. Dinner! @Rawhyd showing off that AAL Navigating the labyrinth Our fearless leader @theksmith exploring an abandoned half-track truck. @gearhead's bulletproof YJ @kaspily showing some leg Mt. Navajo dominated the horizon for much of the trip "The Brothas" checking things out from on high @J2DXPLR taking a light stroll Grey Mesa and the Sheep Path. You can see the steps and wagon path cut into the righthand rock face I think I found the hole in the rock! 😁😳 We didn't make it to this point, but I hiked up to the top of Grey Mesa to check out what might be ahead. The 10%: If you know, you know. Camp Climbing Grey Mesa Our 10% turned to 10,000% rain. The sketchy part: Headed back to camp: The ladies of ORP: Last night at camp: The 10% strikes back: @gearhead makes questionable parking choices: How'd he even get up there? A parting glance.
  3. 10 points
    just got back from Alaska, and a highlight of the trip was the all-day backcountry tour we did where we drove a couple of Argo 8x8 Conquest 950 Outfitter series rigs with aftermarket tracks. the adventure was through Destination Alaska Charters, a family business in Homer. the owner Scott was our main guide, along with one of his employees, Timmy. we got to do all the driving though. this part of Alaska in the summer is primarily really wet mud. often where there's grass or brush, there's still insanely deep mud waiting just an inch below the surface - found as soon as you step or drive there. 20230612_124032.mp4 even 6x6 side-by-side rigs get stuck easily here. but this is where the fully sealed, smooth bottom, high-floatation Argo's excel. they aren't very fast (maybe 11mph max), but they churn through muck and can float in rivers. they even have built-in bilge pumps! with the optional tracks installed, the 8x8s are *nearly* unstoppable. we did manage to need the winches a couple times though! 20230612_115158.mp4 the Argos have a hybrid skid-steer type system that is a bit sensitive and takes some getting used to. there's a normal looking handlebar, but turning it actually engages brakes on either side so you get sort of a tank steering effect. we didn't manage to find any wildlife besides ptarmigans, but we did see fairly recent tracks from a moose with 2 calves and some huge prints from a bear that seem to be tracking them. this tour was expensive, but IMO totally worth it to experience driving a unique type of rig in one of the most scenic areas of the country. and for those that know me, i'm sure you're wondering... no i didn't wear my trail flops as they provide these suave waders instead!
  4. 9 points
  5. 9 points
    well the "lost" motor mounts decided to show up late last night! i was able to get the engine in and put everything mostly back together today. probably need a couple more hours in the morning to wrap up and then hopefully it runs!
  6. 9 points
    Gadget started to have short spikes of running a little hot (230*) randomly even though it's been cool weather. i also noticed the coolant overflow tank getting filled almost every time i drove (then getting sucked back to nearly empty when the rig cooled as it should). i bled the system multiple times and replaced the radiator cap, but then i also noticed the exhaust smelling sweet on initial startup. so last week i used a block check type fluid test and confirmed my suspicion, Gadget has a combustion leak. she continues to seemingly run fine (other than getting warm) and does not throw any codes. however, i spoke with Joe at On Point Performance and Offroad and he informed me that continuing do drive with coolant entering the exhaust could ruin the catalytic converters. those are over $1k each, so she's been parked since confirming the leak. Joe also said in his experience with the 3.6L it was about equal chance of being a cracked head vs just a head gasket. the only way to know for sure was to take it apart and send the head out to be checked. based on several factors, i decided to put in a whole reman engine instead of digging into the top end... Gadget has 164k miles on her and I've had horrible luck with this engine since day 1. besides the typical oil cooler replacements, she's already had 1 complete new head, another camshaft, and had rocker arms & lifters replaced at least 4 times (i've lost count)! and i have what appears to be a large rear main seal leak currently. there's also not that much more labor to replace the entire thing versus a head. i'd hate to spend the effort on a head replacement only to have the other side leak soon after or need to replace the oil pump, etc. the 3.6L engines are at least plentiful. so despite the overall complexity of the DOHC layout and VVT system, a remanufactured long block can be had for $3,500. or, a completely new long block from Mopar is just under $7k. for that price difference i've decided to roll the dice on the reman and just hope to get 100k miles before i have to tear into it again. i also still have a dream of swapping in a 5.7L and 8 speed trans at some point. so if the remain can get me by for another few years, maybe i could acquire parts for that swap in the meantime - a man can dream right? FYI, a full gasket set for these engines is over $300! while i'm in there, i'll also replace a few sensors and the only remaining original coolant hoses (to the heater core and oil cooler). so that will bring the project total with tax & shipping closer to $4,400. ouch! thankfully i can do all the labor myself which saves several thousand dollars. the reman engine should be here Thursday or Friday, so I'll start working on pulling the old one mid-week.
  7. 9 points
  8. 9 points
    another successful Offroad Passport holiday party in the books - what a great way to kick off the new year! i hope everyone had as much fun as we did. it's always nice to meet new members and catch up with folks we haven't seen for a while. a big THANK YOU to everyone for bringing all the sides and random stuff we needed, making it a fun low-stress event, and for not leaving a scrap of trash behind - you all rock! also, special thanks to: @4x4tographer for cooking, leading the easy ride group, getting things setup, and generally being so awesomely helpful! @aimee for cooking, helping setup/teardown, organize the chaos, and all her support! @Yodamom for helping setup, teardown and generally organize/direct the shenanigans! Anne Marie for running the cookie contest! Brady for driving separate with all the junk we needed to bring! @johnpa for tailgunning and Lori for helping us learn to count! @Jbjr for stepping up with the propane last minute! @lofreqjeff for handling the job no-one really wants but is so important - trash duty! CONGRATULATIONS to @Curly's wife Devon for her yummy winning oatmeal cookies - enjoy your new ORP shirt! and a special mention for our runner-up Brynna who was only one vote shy of a tie for winner! hope to see you all on the trail again soon!
  9. 9 points
    Started today by washing Barbie for the last time. Sold her this afternoon. My first Jeep, first 4x4. 18 years of ownership. More than anything else, this Jeep changed our lives. We have met so many fine people and had so many memorable trips. She is headed for Apache Junction with a young man and his dreams of building his first jeep. I hope he enjoys her as much as we have.
  10. 8 points
    great photos everyone! thank you for posting them. i only have few to add, i was mostly busy looking for the trail ;) coming into Camp Verde on the way up. stopped for a snack at the tiny Native American ruins just before Hall's Crossing. just starting to head in on the trail towards the Giant Washout on Thursday afternoon. nearby storms were already visible early Friday. just tiny Jeeps in a vast barren landscape. Friday night we stayed at "Frenchie's Camp". all the crazy weather did make for more interesting photos. impending doom coming from behind camp. the forecast called for a 1/2" of rain on Saturday - i think we got all of that in a couple hours. we sat halfway up the climb to Grey Mesa at "Dugway Camp" for the 2 hour delay-of-game. multiple waterfalls formed right before our eyes. some of us walked up higher on the trail to scope it out while we waited. back at camp, some lichen for @Lichen! Sunday morning the moon hung out over camp with clear skies just in time for us to leave!
  11. 8 points
    We had a great trip to the AFNM today to check out some ruins and petroglyphs. Thanks to everyone who made it out........saw some familiar faces and new ones! The weather wasn't bad at all! The petroglyphs were phenomenal! The trail down from the escarpment to the Brooklyn Mine has experienced some significant erosion.......the trail rating for that portion could now be borderline 'moderate minus'. But with some careful spotting everyone made it through with no issues. Here are a few pictures:
  12. 8 points
    on to the inside all the little things like Brady's old floor mats and grab handles were swapped in. then we got the new-to-us Sony head unit installed, thanks for that @mesach. we used a PAC RP4-CH11 wiring harness and interface module to retain the steering wheel buttons and provide a reverse output to trigger the rear camera. the Jeep already had headliner inserts, i think they are the Bedrug version. we swapped in some LED bulbs i already had for the overhead lights. the cloth seats were the only thing we couldn't really clean up well. they need a carpet shampooer or steam cleaner. worst case if they don't come clean then B can get some covers for them. next we ran all the wiring for his sub. we decided to secure it with just a tie-down strap so that he still can easily access the jack and other storage area under the rear deck. B will have to get a black strap since all i had handy was this obnoxious orange thing! here's the final pile of things we removed: and how she looks now: a shot of our matched-color Jeep fleet ;)
  13. 8 points
    Hello everyone! Excited to announce the Offroad Passport Club's 2024 Event Lineup! There are 12 official events on the 2024 itinerary! Many are multi-day overland style adventures, along with day/night runs, the Holiday Party and the 15th Annual Dirt Formal Gala (which is returning to the Cinders for 2024!) Trail ratings range from easy to extreme, and are located primarily in Arizona, though we'll also visit California, Nevada, Colorado, and Utah! Some trips are live NOW - others will be posted and opened for sign-ups as the year goes on. Be sure to check out the Adventures section of the site from time to time to keep on top of the latest! Massive thanks to all of the club members who stepped up and volunteered to plan and lead these trips. These folks were willing to commit to leading their adventures well in advance so that other ORP members can plan ahead. We also try to have a full year's worth of events on the calendar so prospective new members can see what a vibrant and active club this is! Most of these trips are open to members of the Offroad Passport Club only, so if you haven't upgraded yet - don't miss out! The Holiday Party and the Dirt Formal Gala are open to any basic members.
  14. 8 points
    WOW! What a trip! 😎 It was so great to see everyone, old friends and new friends alike! Our family had a heckuva good time on this one, exploring an area we've never been, and seeing a celestial event like no other. Massive thanks to everyone that made the big drive to hang out with us: @theksmith @johnpa @J2DXPLR @Visket @Alexis For this trip, we congregated near Mexican Hat, Utah, which was just a few miles from the centerline for the path the moon's umbra would take as it transited from the PNW down into Central America - pass right right through the Four Corners region. Just 6 hours away and with plenty of trail options to explore, it was a natural choice! We selected John's Canyon for the trip - it was rated as a moderate trail and would serve as a good "gatekeeper" to filter out the Prius drivers and get away from the big crowds that would descend on the region. In the below map, I marked where we stopped to view the eclipse - note the blue centerline for the umbra - we were approx 3-4 miles from "center". John's Canyon Trail was rated as moderate - but we found it to be very easy. It was a smooth dirt road for the most part, with a few minor dips. Any stock, 2WD high clearance SUV would have no issues on the trail all the way up to the John's Canyon Waterfall, where you'll need some flex and good clearance. From that point on, the trail is more "traditional 4x4" territory. We meet up "early" in the morning at 7am MDT, just 30 minutes before sunrise at a 7-11 in Mexican Hat. The trailhead was a quick jaunt up the road about 4 miles. As we passed through the area you could see the local authorities prepping for a crowd. The EMTs and LEOs had set up a base camp on the corner and there were port-a-potties around. Further up the road we ran into small crowds of RVs, van lifers, and campers. As we stopped to air down, the sun rose. Our sleepyhead friends know how to boogie! They caught us up just as we were stopping to air down. The sun had just broke over the canyon walls behind them, illuminating their dust wake. Airing down and enjoying the rising sun! In terms of weather.... what weather? This is a look west from the trailhead at Cedar Point. The famous Muley Point is hidden behind this formation. @Alexis taking in the views: Along the way we saw a great many things! The trail was fun, winding through the canyon, hugging the walls. There were interesting boulders and petroglyphs along the way... and of course plentiful views of the Goosenecks below through which the San Juan River has slowly carved out the canyons over the millennia. Look closely - this view of these petroglyphs is from the road - they're easily the largest I've ever seen. This rock face was perfectly flat and approximately 30-40 ft across. We stopped here for the eclipse, just inside of the "new" Bears Ears NM. Here's a view looking north. What a great place to witness the eclipse! A photo of the spot on iPhone: We watched the eclipse just over this ridge: Speaking of eclipses: Full annularity at approx 10:29 am MDT Now - we all know the moon isn't perfectly round (neither is the Earth for that matter). It's a spheroid and has mountains and craters. If you look closely at the below photo, you can see those mountains and high-points at the southern pole of the moon interacting with the edge of the solar disc: During a TOTAL Solar Eclipse, this would result in something called Baily's Beads, which you can see with the naked eye during a Total Eclipse (not safe during an Annular Eclipse). Another shot of the mountains at the edge of the solar disc: Moving out of annularity: One last shot:\\ During the eclipse, we noticed the air temperatures began to fall as the moon's shadow passed over us. We also noticed a red shift in the light around us. You can see this if you look closely at this Timelapse: https://photos.app.goo.gl/4dNYMX2cP8yB7F7R7 After the festivities and some lunch - we spent about 3 hours sitting and marveling - we headed down the trail a bit to John's Waterfall. After the waterfall, some of the group split off to head deeper into the canyon to camp. The rest of us made our way back out the way we came. All in all - a wonderful trip. I really enjoyed hanging out with you all and sharing in this once-in-a-lifetime spectacle!
  15. 8 points
    Out with the old and in with the new. I traded in the 2020 Gladiator Mojave for a 2023 RAM 2500 Rebel HD. I wanted 5th wheel towing capability but I did not entirely want to give up offroad chops. The Power Wagon is light in payload and towing, but this new Rebel HD at 2750 payload and 16800 towing (as configured) splits the difference between a Power Wagon and pure street towing pickup. This a new trim level for the 2023 model year. You can get them with either a 6.7L Cummings or a 6,4 Liter HEMI, but beware due to the softer than street suspension of the Rebel, the diesel engine cuts nearly a thousand pound off of the payload and 2K pounds off of towing. Also, diesel models cannot be had with the factory winch option as the intercooler goes where the winch would. Because towing and factory winch, I ordered the HEMI option. Strangely enough, Stellantis anticipated high diesel demand and produced the first batch as entirely diesel. I had to custom order to get a HEMI. Modifications will be light. While I want to create a new "overland" build, distinct from my JLUR which is meant as my technical route vehicle, I want to maintain towing capacity. So for now, no lift is planned and since the factory tires are already 34", I'll leave the wheels and tires alone for now. The most I'd probably go with in the future is 35s. I'm not one good with naming, so I'll probably stick with calling it the "Rebel". Despite no lift nor aftermarket tires, the highest point on the Rebel, the top of the GPS, SiriusSM, and cellular antenna, is higher than the highest point on my JLUR lifter 3.5 inches and sitting on 37s. It's sitting at maybe a hair under 6' 10". But given the wheelbase, I'm not sure it would clear well in parking garages, like the Phoenix Airport calling for <= 6'10". TBD. It was custom ordered with the 6.4L Hemi, RAMBox, winch, sunroof, every towing option including rear air suspension, dual alternators, and the 12" console. At 5'6", sitting in this thing makes me feel kinda tiny to be honest. It does fit in my garage, but just barely. There is no getting past the front or rear of it with the garage door closed. Some options are mutually exclusive and unfortunately not all marketed options were available (eg: trailer reverse steering, digital rear view mirror) but I ordered just about every option you could get in April 2023 for a HEMI Rebel intended to tow and still go back country. 2023 RAM 2500 Rebel HD Olive Green Pearl–Coat Exterior Paint (two-tone over Diamond Black) 6.4L V8 Heavy–Duty HEMI MDS Engine with 8–Speed Auto ZF 8HP75 Transmission Power 410 hp (306 Kw) @ 5,600 RPM Torque 429 lb.-ft. (582 N•M) at 4,000 RPM Dual alternators (380 amp total) BW 44-46 electronic shift transfer case w/ 2.64 low range Limited–Slip diff with electronic locking rear and conventional diff front axles 4.10 Axle Ratio Automatic–Leveling Rear Air–Suspension RamBox Cargo Management System w/ Bed Utility Group Power Sunroof Factory installed Warn Zeon 12 Winch Towing Technology Group Center Stop Lamp with Cargo–View Camera, Surround–View Camera System, Blind–Spot with Tag Trailer & Cross–Path Detection, Trailer Reverse Guidance Trailer Tire Pressure Monitoring System Safety Group Lane Keep assist, fwd collision warning, adaptive steering Level 2 Equipment Group Leather everywhere, front cooled and heated seat, rear heated seats, and heated steering wheel 12" Display w/ 17 speaker Harmon Kardon Audio Bi–Function LED Projector Headlamps Adaptive forward lighting (follows steering up to 15 degrees) Auto dimming rear and telescoping side-view mirrors Adaptive Cruise Control Like the Power Wagon, the Rebel HD has 11.1 inches of clearance and a water fording depth of 30 inches and a 429 RTI (ramp travel index). Misc Stuff: 8HP75–LCV Transmission Gear Ratios 1st 4.71 2nd 3.14 3rd 2.10 4th 1.67 5th 1.29 6th 1.00 7th 0.84 8th 0.67 Reverse 3.30 Battery: Group 65, maintenance-free, 730 CCA
  16. 8 points
  17. 8 points
    40 years in Yuma. We used DV as a vacation spot in July. 😎
  18. 8 points
    So we were literally standing at Traitor’s Gate at the Tower of London on the 4th and one of the Yeomen wished us a “Happy Treason Day” 😆
  19. 8 points
    The views were awesome. Thanks for another great run. So happy to find that Mrs Shellback really isn’t a figment of your imagination 🤣 Some Pics from the day.
  20. 8 points
    So, I was under the impression that the cabin we visited on Saturday was called Moki cabin, but it turns out it is either Aspen springs cabin or Houston cabin. I found out the main cabin burned in 1976, but I couldn't find a picture of it. The forest service is supposed to have photo, but my google-fu failed me on that one. I did find a picture of the barn taken in 2019, it was in a bit better shape then. I pulled this write up off the forest service site for the cabin: For much of its length the Houston Brothers Trail wanders along the bottom of Houston Draw, a picturesque little valley through which a spring-fed perennial stream flows. T he scenery here is mostly pastoral with a few photogenic rock outcrops and aspen groves to remind you that you are in Rim country. This trail served a number of purposes during a heyday that stretched over most of the first half of this century. The Houston brothers were ranchers who used it for moving livestock from one part of the range to another. The Forest Service used the trail to move fire guards into isolated forest cabins where they were on twenty-four hour duty during times of high fire danger. Evidence of both of these pages out of the trail's history is visible at a number of locations, including a cabin site which Gifford Pinchot, father of the U. S. Forest Service singled out for its peaceful beauty. Today this trail is part of the Cabin Loop trail system, which provides an opportunity for Forest visitors to relive an aspect of Forest history while they enjoy the area's natural beauty.
  21. 7 points
    We are just back from being tour guides to friends from Michigan... Globlin State Park, Hanksville, UT Capitol Reef NP - Torrey, UT Bryce Canyon NP Zion NP Shafer Trail - Moab 7 Mile Rim - Moab Castle Valley - Moab
  22. 7 points
    Seems like upgrade central around here as I get prepped for the Rubicon later this year. A more "long term liveability" upgrade was a new Mopar OEM hard top. After 6 years of ownership, and with the dawn of permanent work from home, I don't drive the Jeep as often as I used to and rarely have the top down on the Jeep. I've been trying to up my game in terms of interior storage and a lot the solutions I've been exploring (shelves, molle panels, etc) are all restricted by the inner mechanics of the soft top. The hard top really opens up some more options to maximize that unused space around the C-pillars and above the rear deck. Additionally, getting into the rear of the Jeep is a heck of a lot easier with a lift gate, as opposed to needing to unfasten the soft top every time I open the rear. Finding a hard top has been a bit of a chore, as they are constantly on backorder. Most retail sites, like Northridge and Quadratec, have 6mo backorders on them. I was able to work with Joe @ @OnPointOffroad to order one through one of his suppliers with delivery to the shop. From order to delivery it was only 28 days! WAY faster than I thought it'd be. I pre-stripped the soft top components and then rolled over to Joe's, where he graciously let me use a little space in the shop to install the top's latching hardware. The crew there helped me lift the top up and into position (WAAAAAAY lighter than the JK hard tops), and away we went! The difference in ride quality is pretty major - much quieter than the soft top. I'm also looking forward to the extra A/C comfort during the summer scorchers this year! Just 2 days later I headed out for the Hole in the Rock overland trip, where it rained like cats and dogs two of the three nights. Zero leaks! And I stayed nice a cozy. The Premium Twill Soft Top has been great all this time. It's proven to be extremely durable and has put up with numerous scratches from tight trails, low tree branches, an encounter with a rock wall squeeze on Smasher Canyon, and even being hit by a drunk SxS driver on the Backway to CK. 😁 My only "serious" damage to the top was a puncture by a pointy tree branch that I backed into that pierced a hole in the rear window. I've had some tape over it for about 2 years. All this time I've had minimal issue with it. My only real complaint is the related to the stitching coming loose around the bottom left and right sides of the rear window panel from repeated openings/closings over 6 years (probably well into the THOUSANDS of cycles). My only other complaint is how "tight" it gets in the winter cold when the material shrinks a bit - it can make it difficult to get into the rear or stretch it for a secure close - but that's just the nature of soft top life! I love the functionality of the soft top - it's EASY to drop the top on a whim. I can have the three rear windows removed and the top fully retracted in just a few short minutes. The track system Jeep devised for it with air struts makes flipping the top back a 1 handed operation, with a second handle making retracting the roof into the boot a breeze. I also like the multi-functional "modes" you can put the top into. You can run with the full top, just the front flipped back, the front flipped with the rear panels removed, "bikini mode" with just the rear panels removed, and of course, fully retracted. I've never had any issues at highway speeds in any of these "modes". For the moment, I'm holding on to the soft top. I just need to give it a good, respectable cleaning, and find a good way to store it in the garage. Until then - I'm loving the utility, quiet, and "coolness" of hard top life!
  23. 7 points
    finally found a new rig for Brady last week, just over a month after Fiona was totalled. Brady, his friend Eric, @aimee, myself spent the weekend giving the new ride a little love to get her dialed in before B took her back up to Flagstaff. she's a 2016 JK Sport in Granite Crystal - yes that's the same year as my JKU and the same color as it and our Grand Cherokee - we're all matchy matchy, lol! private party sale here in Phoenix, single owner, great shape visually (other than really dirty inside and out), 95k miles on the clock, seemingly good mechanical shape. here she is right after picking her up and giving her a bath. besides the year and color coincidences, there were other signs B was fated to get this particular Jeep... the previous owner shares Brady's birthday, his name is also Chris, and we found a Talladega Nights dvd left in the stereo after we got it! she also came with what appears to be Rancho 2.5" lift coils and a rear trackbar relocation bracket, but with Teraflex bump-stop spacers and their 9550 shocks. she also has a Rough Country exhaust that has a decent mild sound. options like factory remote start, cruise control and even power windows/locks are all welcome upgrades from Fiona! first things first first thing was an oil change. we checked all the other fluid levels and will change them when Brady comes home for spring break. the only mechanical problem we could find was the rzeppa joint on the front driveshaft (at the t-case). this is a common failure with 2.5" or larger lifts on a JK. Brady just removed the front shaft for now so it wouldn't seize up on him while he's in Flag. we have a Teraflex high-angle version of the joint on order to install when he's home next. so for now the new ride will just have no 4wd. cleaning up the exterior first mod was getting Fiona's old wheels and tires on. we had also saved the adjustable Teraflex tire carrier from Fiona which was needed to fit the offset on those wheels. we'll still need to get a new aftermarket hinge at some point to support the weight of the 35s. out with the old: in with the new: we also removed the factory license plate bracket and installed his old magnetic plate/camera/3rd brake light mount. we were able to tap into the wires the existing wires for the camera and just needed to tap the passenger rear running light to power the plate light. keeping the wiring looking clean: the previous owner must have really liked his bullet antenna as he used a ton of red Loctite to install it. so that required a pair of vice grips and a half rotation at a time on the longest mounting stud ever created! the PO had been a little rough on the freedom panels. i only had a generic black touch-up pen, but that still looked better than all the white fiberglass spots showing through. the plastic cowl corner covers had to go as well. fortunately there were none of the common dents in the underlying metal. they did leave some scratches behind that we couldn't get out. i'm sure a professional buff one day will clean that up. we did have success reducing this big scratch on the rear quarter panel with a little rubbing compound: after: Eric and Aimee did a great job removing all the decals from the sides of the rig. we also removed a bundle of wiring for the RGB rock lights and headlight halos that the PO said no longer worked anyway. here she was after all those changes: Brady is leaving the side steps for now until he gets real rock rails. he said he also doesn't mind the front bumper but would like a smaller one eventually. continued...
  24. 7 points
    well, after several test drives - nothing is spewing or burning, so i guess good? ;) i noticed 2 differences right away... first, it doesn't rattle like crazy on startup for a few seconds anymore! not sure what that was about. i didn't find any sloppy rocker arms in the old engine. i read somewhere it might have been the timing chain until the hydraulic tensioners came up to pressure? second, there's a bit more vibration now in cab. i don't know if that is because the motor mounts are just new or because i went with a random brand instead of OEM. it's not horrible, i'd still choose some vibes over the additional $300 for the OEM mounts in an offroad rig. oh and seems like it fires up slightly faster. it's not like the old one cranked for a long time, but the new one just seems to start a split second faster. otherwise there's no noticeable difference in power that i can tell. i mean the old engine seemed to run OK too, it was just a time bomb.
  25. 7 points
    Sunday was spent swapping everything over to the reman engine, including plenty of time cleaning parts. this "abrasive filament" die grinder cup works well to remove RTV after an initial scraping. i use carb/choke cleaner rather than brake cleaner for a final wipe-down as it seems to be less harsh on any surrounding plastic parts. it's a good idea to check all the block bolt holes before putting the engine back in. sometimes a few will get gunked up during the reman engine cleaning process and it's a lot easier to fix them up with a tap before anything is back in the engine bay. i had one motor mount bolt hole and this bellhousing mounting hole that needed a little love. i'm just waiting on my new engine mounts, there was a delay in shipping but hopefully they show up today. as far as the reman engine, it's all put together now except the rear main seal and flexplate which i can do once it's off the stand and on the hoist.
  26. 7 points
    received the new engine yesterday and got it mounted to the engine stand. i needed to work so that was the only progress made toward this project!
  27. 7 points
    got the engine nearly ready to pull today, but stopped to assemble my new engine hoist and folding engine stand. the reman engine is on schedule to arrive tomorrow and i'll need the hoist to unload it. i also made some quick attachment points for the hoist out of a 1/4" thick bar i had in my scrap pile and some thick washers. apparently the exhaust header mounting bolts are the generally accepted place to lift the 3.6L from. i could hook the leveler's tabs to those 4 bolts directly, but it takes up a lot of vertical space and i'm trying to pull this thing without removing the front clip/radiator/condenser/etc. so instead i'm using a 6'x1" lift sling (strap) doubled over to 3' to hook the hoist too. tomorrow i need to remove: a/c compressor, power steering pump, flex-plate bolts, bellhousing bolts, loosen the motor mount bolts, and take the wheels off to lower the front end - then i can try to yank this POS! total time into this project so far is 9 hours.
  28. 7 points
    That's one hell of a calendar line-up! Huge props to @4x4tographer, @shellback91, and @gearhead for taking the initiative to plan and lead so many wonderful adventures. I think @Ladybug might have a trip or two up her sleeve still as well. Everyone be sure to thank these guys when you attend one of their trips! Just FYI, last minute runs are OK too. I know a lot of us randomly get the urge to do a day or night run on an upcoming weekend. If anyone ever needs help posting to the calendar or forum, just PM me. We'd love for you to share a run on this site! It coudl be "open to anyone" or for "club members only", it's totally up to you as the leader who can attend and what rig limit you are comfortable with. I look forward to seeing all of you on a trail sometime in 2024!
  29. 7 points
    More views as we hike down to the canyon: Enormous cottonwood on the canyon floor: After what seemed like an eternity we made it to the cliff house: Final picture:
  30. 7 points
    i built my own propane powered campfire-in-a-box using an old toolbox @Number7 got from a yard-sale. i've had this a while but didn't get to test it out for an extended period until the recent UT Annular Eclipse Trip. since it didn't explode or anything, i figured i could finally do a short write-up on it! ;) DISCLAIMER: this is just something i did - i'm not suggesting anyone else try it. you might blow yourself up, i suppose! the finished product: the box itself appears to be a SpeeCo 75015 "Tractor mounted toolbox". it was just barely wide enough to fit an 18x6 "H" shaped burner. on the end of the burner, i added a 1/2" air mix valve, then a 1/2" female to 3/8" male elbow, and finally a 3/8" propane quick connect fitting. the mix valve helps reduce soot by adding air in to make the burn leaner. i used teflon tape on all the joints. the burner was secured using one-hole EMT mounting straps and recessed about a third of the way down into the box. i had to make a hole of course on one end of the box for the fittings to stick out. i then cut a rectangle of expanded steel mesh to fit over the burner. i drilled several air holes around the box below the burner, and also cut a large hole in one end of the box so that i could store the hose inside. everything starting to come together: i purchased an 8ft steel braided hose with adjustable 20psi regulator and added the other half of the quick-connect fitting to it. a 10psi regulator would be more appropriate, but the 20psi was all i could find in that style/length hose. here's the hose and a lighter sliding into the box for storage. i made a door out of aluminum to keep that stuff in the box. i used a little brass hinge i had laying around and pop-rivets. the door is held closed just with tension. i drilled a couple holes in the wrap-around edge to line up with 2 pop-rivets to provide a positive snap-in location. to help spread the flames out for a more natural/interesting appearance, i added these super light-weight ceramic fiber fire pebbles. i was going to add some small latches on top, but it turned out the fake pebbles sit high enough to put tension on the lid when closed so the existing hasp holds it shut nicely. testing it out: note that the air holes all around the box below the burner turned out to be critical! before i drilled those, when i turned it off most of the flame would go out right away and so as the hose emptied, a small bit of propane would slowly fill the box up - then that would suddenly ignite from the last bit of dying flame and make a surprising little boom! it's easily adjustable with the regulator from a small "ambience" setting to full on "i'm cold, make some heat!". i made this specifically for a larger group to sit around when there is a wood fire ban. i think it came out fairly compact considering it's intended use. it fits nicely in my rear footwell and weighs next to nothing. the final step after the recent successful campout test was to cover it with some Rust-Oleum High Heat flat black spray paint. we used almost my entire 10lb tank of propane in one evening while in UT, so it's definitely best suited to campouts where i could bring along a full-size 20lb tank. we did have it up high enough to actually feel some heat though! on a very low setting i might could get 2 nights out of the little half-size tank.
  31. 7 points
    I have a hard time getting my head around the mentality of this group. I wish I could find some follow up info. Best info if you’re able to open the link https://www.facebook.com/100067787659206/posts/injured-hiker-kanab-creek-grand-canyon-national-park-north-rimabout-6pm-friday-9/637813388488244/ A bit less detail but same info in an easier to open link for some https://www.azfamily.com/2023/09/17/man-with-traumatic-injury-rescued-after-friends-left-him-alone-grand-canyon/ Some pretty cool footage from the rescue helicopter approaching the injured hiker. God bless these first responders. https://fb.watch/n8aHFsleWX/
  32. 7 points
    i recently switched from Apex AutoLYNX sway bar disconnect system to the ORO SwayLOC. there was nothing wrong with my AutoLYNX, they just didn't have quite as much travel as my shocks, and so i wasn't able to take advantage of all the potential articulation. the SwayLOC mounts to the factory locations but is a selectable dual rate system. it has one really light bar for off-road and then a stiffer bar for on-road. the on-road setting is supposedly a bit stiffer than the OEM sway bar, which is a nice bonus for a lifted rig on the highway IMO. the off-road bar is so small that with a heavy rig, i don't really think it does much. i certainly doesn't limit my articulation any when fully flexing out for a poser shot! to switch on/off-road mode, you simply flip a spring loaded lever. you don't have to be perfectly level, just flip it then drive and the latch will engage or disengage as soon as the axle hits level for a split second. note the 2 black "arms" here pointing different directions. this is what happens when the system is in off-road mode (unlatched). basically the 2 sides of the axle are only connected by the internal small torsion bar at that time. when you flip to on-road-mode, the arms latch together and both the small inner and large outer torsion bars are then connected. this system took a fair bit longer to get installed and dialed in than the AutoLYNX. most of that was because of my rig's aftermarket complications. i had to shift everything to one side to clear my Synergy track bar brace, install some spacers to clear the VKS Fab frame chop bumper, and get the links adjusted just right to clear my flipped drag link but not let the arms hit the front-most body mount brackets. the AutoLYNX just worked without any modifications and i think they are still the best solution for most people. of course after it was all dialed in, i eventually painted most of the new components black ;) anyway, i'm happy with the new system. it was an expensive way to get just a little more articulation, but the SwayLOC can still grow with the rig (like if i ever go to coilovers)!
  33. 7 points
    did an oil change and tire rotation this week, then we had a last minute fix before B and Fiona headed off to college yesterday... the Discount Tire dude noticed the rear sway bar link bushings were almost completely gone (dry-rotted and crumbling away). Amazon Prime delivered these inexpensive replacements in a day and B swapped them out Friday evening. rolling into Flag yesterday afternoon:
  34. 7 points
    Just returning from a massive trip through London and throughout Ireland. In Ireland we rented a car and a series of AirBnB - traveling the Wild Atlantic Way, the Ring of Kerry, and the countryside in south/central Ireland. Along the way I spotted a few interesting 4x4 rigs and wanted to share what some of the Irish are driving. Mitsubishi Pajero - Gen 2. I had the pleasure to spend a lot of time around these when we were stationed in Okinawa and love these (lots of really neat little off-roaders in Japan - including the Hillux, Delica, Jimny, Samurai). This specimen was spotted just feet from the Cliffs of Kerry and looked well-loved. Mitsubishi Pajero, 4th Gen. This one was in downtown Dublin. I've never seen a 2 Door (modern) Land Cruiser before. This bad boy was a turbo diesel and sounded like an absolute animal. This VW camper van was a brand new rental from Black Sheep. It was pretty nice looking. I frankly wouldn't mind one for myself. Some larger BFG KO2s and a mild lift and it'd probably meet the needs of 90% of the overlanders out there. Then we get to the ONLY Wrangler I found.... Was pretty much given the Miami Special. Had more wrapped up in "aesthetics" than capability. An expensive matte wrap, a 4 slot grill (why?), eBay bumper, and about $2-3K in KatSkinz quilted upholstery. Suspension was bone stock. Behind it was a nice G-Wagon - but let's face it, they're all nice. I also spotted (but didn't get pictures of) several Toyota Hiluxes, a TON of classic Defenders, and a FJ40.
  35. 7 points
    So in April our transmission started slipping when we were climbing up from the Colorado River to Peach Springs. We changed two sensors and it slightly helped but it was clear that second gear got toasted. So we thought we were being smart and thrifty and got a transmission from a salvage company shipped to a shop near us. The shop put this in only to find out the transmission was worse than what we have and now the Jeep wasn't driveable!! We did get a refund for the transmission but we're out the freight shipping costs. We continued saving up money and gathered quotes for a transmission rebuild and compared this to just buying a used XJ that was compatible. Needless to say two months went by. Quotes were as high ask 5k for a vehicle not worth that!! We found out that used XJs are insanely priced right now and couldn't find the right deal. In the end Chris found Martin's Performance Transmission Repair in Prescott Valley. They had to order parts but got the work done quickly once the parts arrived and the quote never raised. The owner of the shop was a super nice and knowledgeable guy. Out damage was $2300 to the budget but way better than the average of 4k to 5k quoted around this area and in Phoenix. So far she is driving great and has a year warranty. Fingers crossed we get another 200K miles on this transmission.
  36. 7 points
    Freya hit 25k miles and was treated to an oil change and multi-point inspection spa day at the dealership, then i changed her air filter... and she got new tires! those Falcon's AT3/W wore out in 25k miles. one was at 2/32nds tread and the others were at 4. i've rotated them at every oil change (5k miles) and they did wear very evenly. we never had any noise or vibration issues. i've not heard of anyone else wearing out AT3/W's that fast, nor did the guys at Discount Tire. i'm hoping we just got some from a bad batch because we went with them again for the replacements. at least the new ones were less than half price thanks to Falcon's 55k mileage warranty, but we still had to pay for mounting/balancing and insurance certs again. you never seem to realize how worn your tires really are until you see the tread depth on the shiny new ones:
  37. 7 points
  38. 7 points
    Here is the few pics I took this time. This was a fun and easy trip.
  39. 7 points
    This natural spring flowed out of the rock and across the meadow. A pretty pond near the aircraft arrow. A ground view of the directional arrow. Used to guide pilots before Radios were common. The entire thing reads " Phx 75"
  40. 7 points
    We had really nice secluded campsite away from the crowds. A nice fire that night as well. The weather was great,not too cold at night and just right during the day. Saturday morning we walked down to the old cabin site. I've been told it was a line camp for the Housten brothers cattle company. It was a very lush, beautiful area. Old Stove
  41. 7 points
    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. 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!
  42. 6 points
    great day, perfect weather! everyone conquered this trail - no straps or winches deployed - woot! everyone did a great job of helping spot each other too. thanks @gearhead for leading, and thank you @4x4tographer for letting me ride along. as our fearless leader, Mike got the honor of going first through the tippy section of Chevy Hill. then it was Ryan's turn. here's Glen's well built rig climbing one of the several long, loose, steep hills: Mike coming down the "hill of many ledges", followed by Ryan as second-victim again... apparently i only took photos of red Jeeps yesterday, lol! it was really cool to see you all taking on something a bit more challenging than you might be used to and kicking its ass!
  43. 6 points
  44. 6 points
    My wife went missing. The police told me to expect the worst. So I went to Goodwill and got all her stuff back!
  45. 6 points
    thanks @Bradywgn71 (Sarah) for these shots of Gadget doin wok on our Smasher canyon run! i also really liked this artsy shot from @4x4tographer:
  46. 6 points
    and it just keeps getting better... @OffroadFun has already added a couple more day trips to the calendar - thank you Jack!
  47. 6 points
    After seeing a facebook post indicating a rather (to me) unusual program about used luggage, I began calling various agencies I thought would be able to provide an answer as to it's validity. After reaching a couple of dead ends, late Friday afternoon, I was referred to a phone number that I was told may be able to help clarify this FB luggage story. When I made the call this morning, I was pleased to learn that there is indeed a used baggage donation program (not well advertised), that accepts donations of luggage which is gently used and clean. These luggage donations are used in support of situations where kids in less than great situations, need luggage (as opposed to carrying their belongings in a plastic garbage bag) for temporary re-housing, such as foster care, kids at risk, etc. SO: If you have gently used luggage that you want to part with, rather than dumping it, or donating to Goodwill (etc.), may I suggest you consider donating to OCJ Kids, (address & contact info is below...) NOTE: They are closed this Thanksgiving week. OJC Kids 21630 N. 9th Ave. Suite 103 Phx, AZ 85027 Hours: M-F 9am - 4pm 602-429-2171
  48. 6 points
    Added my first Duck to Bumble. My Daughter gave it to me. She was so excited to have found a "Bumble Duck" to match the Jeep. And we found a plush Bumble at Hobby Lobby in the Xmas aisle.
  49. 6 points
    i was up early doing some solo exploring before meeting everyone for the recent Mogollon Rim Overland trip. i ended up on a new-to-me section of the rim. here's a map link to where that was taken, at the end of a very bumpy and overgrown trail. also thanks @4x4tographer for these shots of Gadget and myself during the trip:
  50. 6 points
    Heaviest building in the world. 4.10 million tons. It is sinking 6mm per year. Bucarest peoples palace
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