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theksmith

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Everything posted by theksmith

  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. Amazon shipping apparently lost my new motor mounts! the replacements are supposed to arrive Saturday. :( i took a few minutes yesterday to clean up the OEM wiring harness. all of the loom had cracked off - i guess due to heat, time, and having moved it around to work on the top-end so many times before. i re-wrapped all the exposed wire sections with Tesa 51036 tape.
  4. 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.
  5. thanks Mike! i do have jack stands of various sizes, i just had to get everything lower than any of them could - that was the reason for using the 2x4's. it's just a 6' x 1" Keeper brand sling from Amazon (it is rated for overhead lifting): https://amzn.to/3OKGdnD
  6. i got mine, along with an inexpensive filter for my binoculars from https://bhphotovideo.com - the binocs were very helpful and gave a different appreciation of the annular eclipse that we recently saw in UT.
  7. 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!
  8. well i did manage to extract the old engine on Friday... yes, those are 2x4's supporting the axle. no, it's not a great idea to support a vehicle with wood. just don't get under it while doing so! had a couple bummers while doing this. found that the driver's side motor mount is pretty trashed. passenger side not horrible, but might as well do them both i guess. a set of Mopar ones is $500, which is ridiculous, IMO. so i went aftermarket on those for $190. second issue was as soon as i moved the a/c compressor, one of the rubber lines sprung a leak and started spewing all the 1234YF refrigerant out. one of the reasons i didn't remove the front clip was so i wouldn't need to have the a/c system evacuated and then re-charged. but now i need a new line AND will need to have it filled. at least it was the shorter/cheaper discharge line that leaked - Mopar part # 68214489AB.
  9. i had one many years ago and sold it when i moved, then had to borrow one to do the engine in my WJ... figured it was time to own one again. not sure exactly where i'll be storing it yet though! ;)
  10. 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!
  11. had not heard of the "Shocker Hitch" before - that's a neat little contraption. did you add the angled frame pieces forming the triangle at the the tongue? i'm surprised they are only bolted-on.
  12. 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.
  13. received an oil analysis report from the oil change i did a couple weeks ago. just further confirmation of an internal coolant leak...
  14. that's even funnier because i was just outside figuring out how to position Gadget to do this project in the garage - can't work on her in the driveway (HOA). got a nice diagonal parking job going on... just had to deflate the front tires to 5psi to get the flipped-up hood beneath the garage door opener! 😅
  15. 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.
  16. also somewhat related, the euro JK's have a horizontal adjustment screw instead of just a vertical one. we actually have a screw there too, but it lacks the torx hole in the head. the easiest fix (if you feel you need left/right adjustment) is to use a Dremel to put a slot in that screw's head. see here for photos... or you can swap in the actual euro adjuster screw, see the write-up here...
  17. for up/down adjustment, i've always heard mark the centerline on a wall the same height as the center of your headlights, then backup about 25ft and make sure the upper cutoff of the lights is slightly below that line. that way you know they are aiming down at least. as far as how much below the line they should be, advise varies greatly: "manufacturer's recommendations can vary as well — GM calls for zero variance between the center of the beam and the headlight's centerline, while Toyota allows 1/2" variance. Chrysler allows for as much as 2-6 inches, while Nissan specs are as much as 3 1/2" variance." however, none of that takes into account the overall height of the headlights like you asked about - it's just basically saying every vehicle's headlights should slope downward at some specific angle (depending on car brand). realistically, the more lifted your rig, the more they could slope down to achieve the same lit-up distance in front of you as would a non-lifted rig. if you find something that quantifies that distance, or somehow otherwise considers your overall headlight height within the calculation, please do share! hell, just finding a wall with a 25ft perfectly level lot in front of it is a challenge! just as a reference - i'm at 5" of lift on 37's and my pro-comp LED lights have a very well defined cutoff. i have them aiming down about 2" below center at a rough distance of 25ft. i don't get flashed by oncoming drivers and still feel the visible distance at night is decent.
  18. that's a mighty nice trailer Steve - and great job on your additions/mods to it as well!
  19. went out for a little bit yesterday and managed to avoid most of the mud!
  20. nice trip report, thanks for leading this Ryan. glad i decided not to go, i hate mud! great photos though - especially like the winter wonderland shots.
  21. 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 ;)
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