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About blaze

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Basic Info

  • Rig
    Dinosaur (2000 Grand Cherokee)
  • Location
    Leadville, Colorado, USA

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  1. Welcome to the WJ life . Just remember though it all, that this is FUN! Every broken part and upgrade is an opportunity to learn and better yourself and your rig. Looking forward to the build!
  2. blaze

    Family WJ Build

    Well, i was planning on waiting for this winter to do the next round of upgrades, but unfortunately, breakage is going to push up that timetable and shift things around a bit. My plan was to upgrade the front axle and put a selectable locker in. But, the rear lower shock mounts have broken... I am not a big fan of the shock relocation brackets on the Rough Country lift, obviously. I don't really need them with the wheel spacers i run. So, now i am in the process of trying to round up another open rear axle and going to put a lunch box locker in it. I have driven with lunch box lockers before, so i know what to expect in changes in on-road handling. And, since this is really my weekend warrier rig, and not a DD, i think this is going to be the most economical route to go for now. So far, other than this, i have had no issues with the 44HD in these. I don't really have any plans to go up to anything larger than 35" tires, and even that I am going to hold off for quite a while, well, as long as i can contain the bug , So I dont really have a need to upgrade to a bigger axle at this point. When i do that, i am going to go ahead and order new shocks, and springs. I put in spacers a while back when i put the rear bumper on, and have liked the height its been at, so time to finalize it.
  3. blaze

    Family WJ Build

    Wow, it has been why too long since i have been on here. Life has been crazy. Last October we welcomed our 4th. So we are now a family of 6. That being said, things have been a bit hectic. I have however managed to make a few upgrades over the last year, and gotten to get out a little with the family. First item of need, was a 3rd row seat to fit the growing family They are super happy with it. They just love the fact that they don't have to be in car seats. The seat is made by Little Passenger Seats. Shipping takes a bit, but they make it to order, and make it to match. Has built in seat belts to fit kids. Just had to pull back carpet and drill some holes. Uses a back plate to bolt though. I'm happy with it, and it is serving its purpose quite nicely. Next, as many of you had pointed out, I do tend to wheel by myself more often than I like. I am careful to not get in over my head and not push things too far, but, there is always the unknown. I really have wanted a winch to give a little more piece of mind for self recovery. Not so much to allow me to go farther, but always allow a way out . So, I light of time and money, i just went with a Rough Country winch Plate. This was cheap, quick, and allowed me to get on with wheeling this summer. So far happy with it. I have used it 3 times. Once for myself, which wasn't really needed, but hey, needed to test it out and get familiar. And then winched 2 other people out. So far, very nice to have, great piece of equipment to have.
  4. blaze

    Drew's 04 WJ

    Lookin great so far! I like it. I like the rock rails too, and i have decided that is definitely one of the best mods one could do.
  5. blaze

    Family WJ Build

    Yes, definitely not our first rodeo, but yeah, they were determined and refused to even entertain the idea of tossing in the towel . Must be doing something right!
  6. blaze

    Family WJ Build

    Wow guys, its been a crazy summer. I have been terrible about updating stuff on here, so, sorry for the quick dump of things done. I also have been terrible at pictures.........but alas Well, As i had stated earlier, we are expecting child #4 sometime this month, so, that created a delema with seat belts in the jeep. The plan was to install a 3rd row seat. That being said, spare tire needed to find a permanent home. I went back and forth about building, having someone else build, and buying off the shelf. I ended up just buying off the shelf because of the time factor. I ended up with this from Rockhard 4x4. Pretty affordable, receiver built in, includes hi lift carrier, bolt on, modular jerry can carrier, and additional basket option. Installation unfortunately didn't go as smooth as one would hope. Apparently my WJ had a slightly different setup with pinch seams on the back end, and i had to do some trimming that normally wasn't needed. Oh well, have gotten used to cutting on it. Then, had some issues with the aluminum nut to hold swing arm. Well a few hours with a thread file, and a new nut, and we were in working order. Over all i like it. I think it was worth the price. Only things i didn't like was i had to cut some off the bumper in the wheel wells to open them back up. Exhaust hits the bumper (need to do some trimming there). And they didnt have any kind of plan for the trailer wiring plug, so right now i just have it tied up underneath and pull it out when pulling the trailer. Well, that kicked off the next project. The new bumper was just slightly heavier. You know, 3/16 steel vs plastic, meh..... Well, that squatted the rear suspension another 3/4". I had already been thinking of trying to go up to 6", as the original 4" rough country lift really only got me 3 3/4" So, i decided to test the water with some spacers before i bought springs and shocks. Since i needed different height front to rear at this point, figured I would just buy a set of 2 1/2" spacers and cut them down to what i needed. Let me just say, its not worth the effort. I had to cut down the front ones to get things to sit level how i wanted. The fronts are tapered both inside and out, so, not just as easy as using the table saw on it. Unfortunately, i didn't get any pictures of the process, or any pics of the end result very well. Overall, i do like the stance quite a bit better. Getting the extra 2" of ride height also really helped with our fall run up Iron Chest. We had a blast, great views. Now its time to save up some more and most likely lay low for a bit until the new little one makes there debut. Next up, new springs and shocks, and a 3rd row seat!
  7. blaze

    Family WJ Build

    Well, i ended up buying a little toyota pickup bed trailer. The price was right for my current situation. It has some sort of lift on it, no idea how much, and is sitting on 32's. So, now i have another project , like i needed that..... So we decided to test it out and go on a little one night campout Happy family, loving it But, apparently, up here in leadville, we were not done with the snow yet , ah well, everyone still had fun, and no one wanted to come home, so it was a complete success. So, now to figure out what the priorities are again. I think i need to paint the trailer for sure, to try to slow the rust a bit. It would be nice to get all the tire the same size and bolt pattern, but not sure i want to spend the funds that way, so still debating about that. And also debating a 3 axis hitch for it. So, not sure how much to spend, and how much to just let it be until i go for what i really want, so time will tell.
  8. blaze

    Family WJ Build

    Thanks for the reply Ob1jeeper. So, I tried pointing directly in line with driveshaft with front pinion. No change to noise, but as you stated, is created many other issues with caster, as well as spring perch angle issues. So, because of no change, I moved thing back down to better handling and spring perch angles. Since I swapped in the 242 HD, I can switch to 2wd, and all noise goes away. So, at this point I am stumped. So I figure my only option is drive it till something gives and I know what it is. Since it is not a daily driver, and I can quiet it up for on road, I am not too worried, time will show what it really is. Thanks for the help though, and if nothing else, it is always a learning experience.
  9. blaze

    Family WJ Build

    Well, not a lot has changed on the build. Haven't had much time.....But, things just got a little more complicated. Turns out that we are now expecting our fourth child. So, that brings a whole bunch of complications to everything. So, trying to figure out how to move forward. I really like the WJ, and really don't want to start over with a bigger vehicle. I did find a company that makes a 3rd row seat. Little seats, they are a little spendy, but seem like they would work well for the little ones for a while. But, that means no cargo room anymore...So, that means trailer....oye. This is not our family daily driver, just the fun weekend vehicle, so this is not for day to day driving (wife has an Excursion for that ). So, if any of you have any words of wisdom, advice, ideas.......I am all ears at this point.
  10. blaze

    Family WJ Build

    Well, I adjusted all the front driveshaft angles and alas, I still have the exact same noise. I have racked my brain over it, pulled everything apart, twice, and I still cannot figure it out. So, the only thing left to do is drive it until I know what it is . Everything mechanical seems sound. The vari-lok is not functioning anymore on the front axle as well. So, I will be saving up to upgrade to a locker most likely sometime next year......unless something breaks before then. So I figure at that point I will be doing a full overhaul on it, and should replace any possible part that could be making the noise.
  11. blaze

    Family WJ Build

    Ok, so front pinion points down 3.5*, driveshaft at 9.5*, and transfer case points up 7*. Since this has a double cardian on the transfer case side, I'm guessing I need to point the pinion up a bit.
  12. blaze

    Family WJ Build

    I will definitely take you up on that. Should be able to get those numbers tomorrow sometime.
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