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CharlesM4 last won the day on March 10 2022

CharlesM4 had the most liked content!

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About CharlesM4

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  • Rig
    2018 Toyota Tacoma 4x4 Off-Road
  • Location
    Apache Junction, AZ

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  1. In the Jeep XJ there is a wiring harness for the cabin and one for the dash. I had already went through and remade cabin harness to just have the tail lights and fuel pump wires. The dash harness took quite abit longer, but I still managed to pull 3 pounds of wire out of the thing. You have to appreciate my wife putting up with me working on my wiring harness in the bedroom but its the kind of work best accompanied by a movie. I had put colored tape over everything I didn't need and remove it back to the fuse box, then pulled the fuse and clipped out the wire. Down to the basics: Did I forgot to rewire the cars horn? Yes. Unrelated I have decided to put the horn on its own circuit. The other issue I had to go after was replacing the cat. I went to Autozone to buy one and the only thing they had local was $500, ouch. I said no to that, and went with a universal 2.5 inch cat for $60 and with some help/parts from my dad, I got it welded together. It ended up leaking after I had it in so I went with some wrap to seal it up. I has a very satisfying crackle when it comes down from high revs now. Forgot to take a picture of the weld, but just imagine something shamefully bad. The fiberglass wrap gets really hard so its adds some structure and the pinhole leak is sealed up. To be honest, I expect in 3-5 years it might start leaking again, hopefully I am a better welder by then.
  2. Got some more project time in, and a couple more upgrades knocked off the list. I had some really ancient (prob factory) battery terminals on there, and the negative was barely holding on. After ignoring it too long, I ended up having to use some vice grips on the negative terminal to get it to start. Gave everything a good cleaning, went with the screw down terminal style. Pretty happy with the results so far. Next was my lower control arms. Two problems, first they where too short, second, they limited my droop. Went with some rough country solid units. You can see on the old one where it was coming in contract with the bracket Finally, with the fan changes I seem to have my coolant temperature completely under control, but my intake temp was still climbing over 210. The jeep came with a ram style intake, and it sounds really good, so I decided to kill two birds with one stone. I gave old Betty some nostrils so she could suck in cold air and I could hear those sweet intake sounds. Hole saw + some trim did the trick and during my last run the intake temp stayed well below 190, an improvement of around 20 degrees. Temp, steering, and electrical are all in a better place, and the front has more flex then ever before. Pretty good for $130 worth of parts. Until next time
  3. On the trip through Cottonwood with the group I discovered a few more issues with old Ms. White. First and foremost, she was getting up to a pretty scary 230ish degree. I have heard around 260 is when damage happens, but these engines like to be around 210-220 degrees. When I got the Jeep the Aux fan relay was removed and the fan was unplugged. The connector for the fan was broken so I thought maybe that was why and reinstalled the fan I had originally removed with the connector repaired and relay replaced I waited for the truck to get to 220 degrees for the fan to kick in. It made an awful sound, like "whap whap whap whap" so I shut the truck down. I was pretty frustrated because you have to remove the full front grill to get the fan in and out due to the giant mechanical fan and shroud that does not even keep my engine cool. I had to go.... Thats better... As it turned out the electric radiator fan from my buggy was a perfect fit, and since it was a "push" fan, I was able to tuck it in where the AC condenser used to sit. After some test I found that she was idling about 2 degrees cooler then with the stock mechanical fan. It was an improvement but not near as much as I was hoping. I decided to add in a second electrical fan using the factory aux fan spot. This was nice because the ECU will auto kick it on at 220. The one I had was shot, and I thought that it would be hard to replace. Turns out you can get one for 75 bucks at Autozone. Without the mechanical fan and shroud it goes in with just two bolts and comes out just as easy. The next problem from the trip was when my tire was stuffed it was hitting the fender hard. I no bumpers in the coils so I guess thats no suprise. I measured what I needed and was able to get 5 inch bumpers next day from amazon. Crazy world. Put one of my ramps on a pile of dirt at my dads house for a very scientific test. Now shes get just the perfect amount of stuff. Cant wait to try the new changes out on the trails, here is the other side, just barley touching the ground. My lower control arms are limited my droop. Thanks for reading 👋
  4. CharlesM4

    4/2/22 Cottonwood Canyon Rd

    From this trip we went on
  5. Ol'Betty is definitely going to have alot of "character" The car gets her name sake from a Betty white zombie poster we have, so It looking a little hacked up I am ok with, but i want to make sure its rock solid on the trails. Got the hole in floor patched. I would say rust repair is about 50%. I have been doing a paint on rust converter -> rubberized rust sealer -> then a top coat of paint. 2 hours between each, so about 6 hours in total This is what I had just behind the passenger seat: Painted and Patched (Still working my way through this sign I have) I basically did the same thing on the under side with the addition of a ton of this stuff: And topped it off with some fine looking rubber: I hope people appreciates how hard I am trying to maintain the factory look/finish
  6. Rough weekend for the jeep. The rust in the dash/front was super bad, at first I attributed it to not being covered, but turns out the heater core was also leaking. The blower did not work and the thing does not have doors so I went the delete route rather than fix it. I decided to do the serpentine belt (and keep old as spare) and tension pully at the same time. They make an AC compressor delete kit, that was ordered so with all the parts in hand I got started. I decided to go front to back, so first I pulled the condenser, the new radiator really looks nice without it blocking the view. With that done, I got started on the compressor immediately broke two bolts in kind of the best way you can brake a bolt. With little nubs to take them out with. Its no surprise they broke though, check out these that came out. Been using this torch alot lately... With the bolts out the rest of the engine bay went easy. Best part is I can just reach down and touch my starter. Then I went to the inside, and our old friend rust really hit hard. As I was pulling the dash out it broke in half, I was kind of like in WTF mode. So it ended up in two parts on the floor of the garage, I used a saw to cut out just the part for the instrumental panel and moved along...Pulled the blower and filled the wholes with a an old sign and some rivets. All in all, our Zombie jeep is a little uglier then before but from a performance perspective she's in a really good place. Prior to removing the ac/heater/dash the Jeep was around 3200 pounds, so I am guessing its down to about 3000 now. That's around 700 pounds from the original curb weight, and since the AC clutch was squealing abit, its was prop robbing some power via the accessory belt.
  7. Rust is the worst! Prob not long enough with the PB blaster, I hit them in the morning and a few time throughout the day, prob 10 hours total. If the impact had not worked I prob would have just kept soaking them for a few days.
  8. This weekend it was about the front wheel bearings. Had a little noise coming from the passenger one, and it came off like a dream. Took it out and ran into @WILL E while testing it out in Bulldog. I should have known it was all too easy. With the passenger done I thought it would be nice to have new bearings on both sides, so I started the driver side. The axle nut was tight, I mean like 3 broken 1/2 inch sockets tight. PB Blaster like crazy, then I broke the first one, hit the nut with the old blue torch for 5 min, broke my ratcheting half inch, hit the nut for 5 min with MAP gas, broke my largest breaker bar last. Then I googled how to get off a stuck axle nut and was inspired but somebody who has said: "Some idiot prob put it on with a 1000 foot pound impact wrench." I could be that Idiot! I went to harbor freight, and found a 1050 impact that ran off outlet farriers for 89 bucks. Crazy place harbor freight. It immediately removed the nut, I broke more then 90 dollars in ratchets, this thing is epic. Old nasty ones, the driver side seems fine so il hang on to it for a trail spair. With all the rust fixed in the cargo area, I moved to the carpet under the rear seats and found my next project.
  9. I read on the google that Toe-out increases over steer and that's the fun one This week I have been dealing with some rust issues. Alot of grinding/steel wool. Try to get most the nasty stuff off. I ended up removing rear bench and carpet to get to all the bad spots, this is under the bench Same spot, ready for this rust converting primer I have. Used it on Sand Spyder before and it seems to do a good job: Bed of Jeep was same thing, rust converter, then the primer/filler spray (since I hit most spots with a grinder or at least a wire brush). Then I hit the whole thing with a Rubber Seal for painted or non-painted metal. That was after I hit it with one of those wire brush wheels on a drill just to rough it up to help it stick. Hoping it stops any more rust inside the body. Pretty sure it will be same thing up front, but thats a future me problem. I also had some rust under the body that got the same treatment but I didnt take any pics. It needed new sway bar links and bushings so I just pulled the front sway bar for now. I also deleted the vacuum reservoir and therefore the leaky vacuum line that was going to the bumper. And for those Taco people, here a Pic of the Icons coil overs we put in my dads truck. Easy job, except for getting the front end to flex enough to get the coil over in. If you decide to do your self, id also order new sway bar links and bushings since we ended up taking them off anyway. Felt good to get it out on the trail this weekend, cant wait to go again. This pic with Trail Toy behind was after watching him take the harder path, gave me and the kid confidence to try. Great time.
  10. ZJ Steering Swap Complete. Old Tie rod was hallow and sad, easy to bend. New tie rod is solid and comes from a heavier rig. Here is the old stuff: Here is everything going in, and my super high tech alignment tool I also got new Tie Rod Sleeves, alot of parts list for the ZJ swap on XJ out on the internet. Moog says they fix the problems that cause manufacture parts to fail, and that makes me feel good, not sure if its true. I started with the track bar: With old track bar out and new one in/tightined and went ahead and pulled the Y link steering. It was a good thing I ordered another shock because I could not get that thing out for the life of me. After about 10 minutes of trying I relised I did not need to and just pulled the entire drag link. With everything out and cleaned, I gave the new parts a coat of black paint and started reassembling. After a tape measure alignment, I was off to the races. Steering wheel is way tighter and no surprise it still feels a little out of alignment. Il take it to the pros with there lazers Friday for a front end alignment. All in all, really happy with the solid tie rod, and always fun to use a grease gun!
  11. Im just back from the dentist, so im bringing a soft diet :). Kid would love a hot dog, thanks! Il bring some drinks/chips/string cheese and stuff for PB&J's if anyone else has a sour tooth.
  12. Id like to join with my daughter, our jeep could use a little shake out action.
  13. A few late nights but Ms White is coming along. New brake lines and front Coils/Shocks are in. Had to bust out the double flaring tool to make a new hard line for the rear. Looks way better with the Jeep tires, went to 32", they Rub.. Time to cut Now with more wheel space! Shes looking mean I am have been thinking a lot how to handle my open diffs. My mind is everywhere from Limited Slip, E-locker, or building out a new 8.8 axle, still have no idea 🤔. She lost so much weight that she is not begging to be re-geared like I thought it would be from the increased tire size. 1 Ton steering swap is next on the list.
  14. I really enjoy reading threw all of your build threads so I decided to start one of my own. This is the forth XJ I have had. This one started life as a 2-Wheel Drive prop car for a movie called Zombie Outbreak (It was so small I have not been able to find a copy). The real draw to it was it had sold at Barrett-Jackson the same year that my daughter and I first went. The link is still up as of this posting: https://www.barrett-jackson.com/Events/Event/Details/1996-JEEP-CHEROKEE--204775 There was alot of cutting before I thought to take a picture, if you check out the link from barrett, they attached alot of metal in less then secure ways, and was just for looks. The pic below is after I felt it was structurally pretty sound. It did not look as nice when I got it but it was for the most part mechanically sound. Its not so modest bakini top let way to much water into the doors and the electronics where gone and one door smelt bad. Stinky doors have to go, and they where never meant to be exposed to the elements anyway. It did look sick with no doors, but we need something to rest our arms on. I went with EAG Steel doors, Im a nerd and weighed the old doors and new doors, in total saved 125 pounds. Now that it did not stink I fixed some mechanical things, normal XJ stuff, radiator and coolant flush, new brakes and then removed the cruise control, rear sway bar, and hood insulation. Noise is a lost battle, and she needs to get that heat out. Hoping to cut some hood vents in the future. I did get it with a block style lift and the springs frowning in the way springs never shood.. I got a set of 17 inch Rubicon rims, a 3 inch rough country lift kit (no judgement), and some bushing off some other XJ owners on Craigslist. Right now I am in the middle of replacing all the suspension and then will swap the steering out with the stuff from a YJ. Still so much more to do but going to start with sliders, spacers, electrical. Diffs are both open best I can tell, might be lucky and have some LSD with bad clutch? I do got one of them fancy e-brake lockers. If you care about the deets: Engine: 4.0 Strait 6 Tran: 4 Speed Auto Transfer: 2.72 (New Process 231) Gear: 3.53 (I think, and im going to re-gear when I put in limited slip or Detroit lockers) Front Axle: Dana 30 (I think) Rear Axle: Chevy 8.25 Hoping to take it out on its first event soon
  15. Zomb-XJ build im working on, finally got rear leaf springs done. Craigslist Rubicon rims w/ K02s are going to look good.
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