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theksmith

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Everything posted by theksmith

  1. 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...
  2. Thanks to the generosity of our members, Offroad Passport now has an AED device we can carry with us on remote adventures. We certainly hope to never need it, but realize one can be essential to saving a life in certain situations. What is an AED? An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a lightweight, portable device that delivers an electric shock through the chest to the heart when it detects an abnormal rhythm in order to change the rhythm back to normal. Irregular heart rhythms keeps the heart from pumping effectively and can cause it to stop. This requires treatment within minutes to prevent death. The sooner the heart's rhythm is restored, the greater the chance there won't be permanent damage. Remote Adventures Due to the remoteness of many of our expedition style trips, professional medical assistance can often be several hours away (at best). Now that AEDs are available for public use without a prescription, they must be considered as an addition to any serious emergency/first aid kit. Anyone that leads an overland adventure for Offroad Passport is welcome to borrow the AED for their trip. I'll be reaching out to our members that most-often lead these type of trips to discuss how to be prepared to use the device if needed. Unexpected Generosity Offroad Passport members @Stacey and Scott purchased this AED device as a way to give back to the club. I was extremely humbled to accept such a large and important donation from them. My understanding is that Stacey was able to save a life through her use of an AED at her work site, and that is why this particular donation is important to them. A huge THANK YOU again guys!
  3. Fiona is no more. she was hit by a Mini Cooper running a light while Brady was making a left turn - 2 days before Christmas. fortunately Fiona did her job as a big hunk of protective metal and Brady was OK. the other driver was fine too thanks to the Mini's airbags and crumple zones. at first glance, it was obvious the front axle had snapped in two, but we thought we might be able to rebuild her... however, the door and tub had also been mangled, and then we realized the frame bent allowing the whole front end to shift slightly. so not only was she totalled, but it really wasn't worth buying back from the insurance since we'd need a professional body shop for a lot of the repairs. so we stripped everything that wouldn't increase her valuation - floormats, ditch lights, grab handles, etc.. then we put back any OEM parts we'd saved such as the headlights, speakers, etc. and finally, off she went to the salvage yard. once we found out that the assessor was only giving us around $200 for the wheels and tires, we bought 5 factory takeoffs from a llantera downtown for $300 and swapped those for our aftermarket ones. so for $500 invested (and a bit of a PITA labor to swap them at the salvage yard), we got to keep well over $2k worth of wheels/tires (we'd just bought those tires a few months ago). then we realized Black Rhino had stopped making those wheels but we needed a replacement for the smashed one! we were very lucky to find one still listed on 4wheelparts.com - it was even discounted since it was the last one they had. and Discount Tire replaced the destroyed tire thanks to the road hazard certs. so B still had no Jeep, but he did have a nice stack of 5 matching wheels and tires! all of us had been scanning Autotrader, Craigslist, FB Marketplace, Cars.com, KBB, Carvana, etc. on a daily basis trying to find another 2-door JK, with an automatic, hard top, in good shape, and affordable. i can tell you the crazy used car prices have cooled slightly in the past year, but a good deal still goes insanely fast (same day posted usually). well, fast-forward to last week and we finally found a great replacement for Fiona - so stay tuned for the new build thread!
  4. how will you remove the tank once you have a hard-top? ;)
  5. the Rolls OHV area is mostly sandy so it's good when wet, there are still a few spots that get muddy though. could always go up 4-peaks too, and then down the back side if you want a longer day.
  6. what a bummer and PITA for you. sorry to see this man!
  7. great way to enjoy one of our nice central AZ winter days! Mike, thanks for organizing/leading this run and for the trip report.
  8. FYI, the map link doesn't work correctly for me either, takes me to the correct general area but no pin
  9. Seems you better get one soon if you want one! https://moparinsiders.com/final-edition-of-the-jeep-wrangler-rubicon-392-will-debut-later-this-year/
  10. great advice - don't over-plan/buy to start with, wait till you see a need. a 4 door is pretty much required if you want to sleep in it, or do longer trips. get the new rig first, and basic camping supplies if you don't have them already (a small stove, other kitchen supplies, sleep stuff, good folding chair, small headlamp, shovel, water container, ice chest, etc.). then, besides whatever lift & tires you think you need for the type of trails you want to do, a tailgate table would be my first mod. the Trailgater has been the gold standard, but Frontrunner also makes a similar one for a fair bit cheaper (last time i looked anyway). just keep posting up as you have more questions!
  11. 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!
  12. yes indeed. i have a splitter and a regular 20lb tank should be more than enough to power our 2 blackstones through feeding this size group! thanks again Jim - you're a lifesaver!
  13. Really looking forward to seeing you all on Saturday! Looks like it will be a tad chilly, but mostly sunny and no rain or major wind in the forecast. Here are some last minute reminders... If you are bringing a side dish, please also bring serving utensils. Everyone, please bring a table if at all possible. Don't forget your wrapped present for the gift exchange, and your cookies if entering the cookie contest! The following items are the essentials, if anyone listed here can't make it, please let me know ASAP! Propane: @4WLNRN Paper Plates, Plastic Cutlery, Napkins: @johnpa Trash duty: @lofreqjeff Buns (hamburger and hotdog): @Riddler Condiments (ketchup, mustard, relish, mayo) & Fixins (cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions): @Eugene Cans of soda #1 (in a cooler on ice): @gearhead Cans of soda #2 (in a cooler on ice): @PaJazz Ice Teas: @Arden Helgeson Water bottles: @Curly Final count looks to be about 42 people planning to attend (wowzer!) @Riddler & @Eugene - I'm planning to get about 40 burgers & 20 hotdogs. Thank you everyone!!!
  14. Welcome back! look forward to meeting you on a run.
  15. welcome to the site! that's a great looking rig already, can't wait to see the next phase of your build.
  16. sorry to hear that, get well soon! those who haven't signed up for anything yet for the potluck - Kenneth was bringing the potato chips, so let me know who wants to handle those now. thanks!
  17. Please note that I had to change the Hole in the Rock Trail trip from early May to last weekend in April. Still a 4 day trip, new dates are Thursday 4/25 - Sunday 4/28. I will get a sign-up thread posted sometime in the next few weeks!
  18. that would be awesome man because i suddenly have less space available as Brady has to ride with us now. i do have a splitter so we can run both grills off of your one tank. thanks Darryl!
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