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theksmith

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Everything posted by theksmith

  1. paid the car wash for a hand-wax and interior "super clean" and then went over the exterior again myself with Chemical Guys HydroSpeed Ceramic Quick Detailer. she looks great from a few feet away! this is the first time i've used the HydroSpeed. my normal go-to is their Synthetic Quick Detailer. it did give a deeper gloss and really made it slick as hell. however, it's also more than twice the cost of the Synthetic Quick Detailer, so i'm not sure it's worth that unless it survives more than 1 wash - we'll see!
  2. some info on detailing options: a speed wax or spray wax will run you around $50 at a car wash and is not worth the money at all in my opinion. it's no different than using a quick detailer type spray yourself and will wash off quickly. a carnauba based "hand wax" costs $75 to $100 and will hide some scratches and make things shiny for a few washes. this is what i typically get 3 or 4 times a year. i can usually get them to throw in an interior detail with the hand wax for the $100. i don't often trust a car wash detail shop do a machine buff or polish because i've had their level of "professional" ruin paint on a previous rig. however, if you go this route, to use a clay bar and then machine buff is probably $150, though you can often get a "complete detail" including these steps for $150 to $200 if you negotiate. the problem is *if* they do it wrong, the final wax coat will hide any problems for a few car washes and then suddenly you'll start to notice swirl marks all over. it's easy for an amateur to burn/swirl the paint by using too much pressure or speed or by not cleaning things really well before buffing (clay bar is a must beforehand). a true "paint restoration" from a dedicated detailing shop (mobile or otherwise) will cost you $300 to $500. this is how you remove most of the scratches. they will go over your car several times with a buffer and different grades of cutting/rubbing/polishing compound and then finish with a quality wax or ceramic coating. it takes time to do it right (especially with deep scratches like our offroad rigs get) and that's why it's expensive. professional "ceramic coatings" are currently all the rage. they run $300+ and are best done on a property restored paint or brand new car, though alone they can hide some scratches for a few washes. these coatings are a replacement for wax offering a deeper shine, lasting longer, and repelling (beading) water and pigeon crap much better than traditional carnauba waxes. for reference: i just had Gadget hand waxed at Jackson's car wash, and then went over her completely myself with Chemical Guys HydroSpeed Ceramic Quick Detailer. note that a "quick" ceramic product like i used doesn't have the same level of SiO2 chemical that a professional ceramic coating would, but still helps increase the shine and water beading and should hopefully survive a couple washes at least. here's a closes-up showing that many of the scratches are still visible, but you can tell she's much shinier overall and looks great from a distance (sorry i didn't get a before shot):
  3. carnage report from Rocktoberfest 2021: the new wheels got some major gouges, but the fake bead-lock rings worked very well at keeping their valve stems and rest of the wheel out of the rocks. i slid downhill and drug my driver rear Nemesis aluminum fender flare against a boulder while on the Safelite trail. it held up great though - didn't bend and didn't transfer any damage to the body. i've already filed the rough edge back smooth and touched it up. of course the rock rails and skids got scraped-up quite a bit... just doing their job though! i did come down on the driver side rail hard enough to bend the middle of the hoop though (also on Safelite). i haven't re-painted them yet, but did file/sand out the sharp gouges. the only costly damage appears to be my rear driveshaft - not sure when this happened. unfortunately it's dented at that one deep gouge, not just scratched. i'm worried about that being a weak point which could lead to it twisting during some future hardcore trail. an aftermarket shaft was already on the wishlist, but now it's top priority. happy to report no new body dings except for a couple small scrapes on the rear of the hard-top from backing into tree limbs while trying to get a different line at an obstacle on Black Inky Spring. Gadget did good - she's getting a hand-wax for a reward!
  4. some more photos from @dzJeepChic of Gadget doing work at Rocktoberfest 2021:
  5. the 2.5" Teraflex coil spacers that Fiona came with have been crumbling apart in the rear for some time... we just kept sweeping up the chunks from the driveway for a while Brady had Columbus Day off from school and work, so we finally had a chance to replace the spacers and factory coils with 2.5" lift Teraflex Coils that @AZRNintheJeep242 had given us (thanks Darryl!). talk about dry-rotted, sheesh... one of the front spacers was cracked, and the other was OK - no idea why those were in so much better shape than the rear. anyway, Fiona is sitting pretty on 4 new-to-her coils now, and everything else seems to be holding together... so we're ready to go flex-test to see if any additional bump-stopping or fender trimming is necessary. hopefully we'll have time next weekend to do that and then Brady can finally start wheeling her!
  6. my paint restoration process is... pay someone else to do it!
  7. thank you for organizing/leading this and posting a trip report Marty - sounds like a great overnighter! ...and i agree with you, that portion of the Mogollon Rim is one of the best parts of AZ.
  8. from Rocks and Wheels (RAW) Rocktoberfest 2021 first day (photo credit @dzJeepChic)... try from the left: try from the right: try starting over: but in the end, shame for a thousand years on myself and all my descendants:
  9. i was wrong - sorry to blemish your good name!
  10. Yes unfortunately we were on that particular run yesterday - Black Inky Spring. However fortunately, Cream Puff and Gadget did not sustain any damage, though we did both have to pull cable on one obstacle.
  11. did the post gears break-in diff fluid change yesterday - Gadget's at 124,900 miles! and for only $36 and a few minutes of my time, i now have a more civilized hood opening experience. this hood strut kit was just 4 bolts on each side, no cutting or drilling.
  12. some background for those interested... Boulder Creek Ranch owns a tiny little square of property which cuts off all trail access to the "back side" of the Tip Top Mine ruins. they also have an agreement with the folks that own the mine to have a large metal gate on their property which cuts off access from the "front side". the ranch has grazing rights on a bunch of the surrounding public land and supposedly they nixed access because of vandalism. though i sympathize with their plight, i'm still not OK with them effectively blocking OHV access to hundreds of acres of BLM and State trust land by closing a route that has existed since well before my time on the Earth. back in 2016 a small group of us ran from Table Mesa to Tip Top Mine, then eventually found our way over to Lake Pleasant. the metal gate before Tip Top Mine was either non-existent at that time (or open and we didn't even notice it), and no-one was at the old shack owned by Boulder Creek Ranch. there were signs saying we were being recorded by trail cams, but no signs or anything barring access to the trails that ran beside the shack. Here's the 2016 trip report... then in 2019 another group of us tried a slightly different (and backwards) version of the route. that time we ran into a worker at the old shack who wouldn't let us through. i also noticed they had been busy upgrading many of the fences in the area. we did find an extremely brushy alternate route over to Tip Top Mine which bypassed that Boulder Creek Ranch property. however, we still ended up behind the new locked metal gate at Tip Top Mine. The 2019 trip report... cut to last weekend (2021) - we wanted to visit Packer - which was just a name and dot on a map along with some shacks in satellite photos as far as we could find. however, our secondary goal was to evaluate the trail as a potential way to get to the lake again from Table Mesa since it would bypass the entire gated Tip Top Mine area. it was an extremely long semi-circle route that heads North just a bit before Tip Top and then heads back South toward the ranch shack. however, as Ryan mentioned, there were a couple folks working at the shack and they wouldn't let us through to either way to connect to the lake, despite the trails only crossing about 200ft at the very corner of their property. i should also mention, both of the ways to get to the ranch shack from Lake Pleasant are quite difficult and not for the faint of heart. the route we took this time from Table Mesa to Packer was a strong moderate, but extremely remote and rarely traveled. i wouldn't recommend any of these routes be attempted alone.
  13. i'm sure he'll get those photos showing up soon... thanks for taking the time to document our exploration @4x4tographer! great trail - but LONG, rough, and BRUSHY - some of the new gouges i got are down into the primer! nice to have you along for the crazy ride @johnpa.
  14. awesome to have you back! great looking rig too!
  15. FYI, the yellow self-venting spouts are money well spent if you have a Rotopax or Fuelpax type gas can - eliminates the glug-glug to make filling your rig much faster. official rotopax version (~$13) off-brand version (~$10)
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