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Grand_Seltzer last won the day on August 31

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About Grand_Seltzer

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    04 Jeep Grand cherokee
  • Location
    Clinton, TN

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  1. I think I actually have this mount as it was included with the kit I originally bought. I'm just too proud of the current location to want to change it lol
  2. So unfortunately, I'm asking this out of blind opinion due to the fact I've never connected this to a SWR meter nor do I have enough friends to do distance checks. But I've always been curious if this is a good scenario for a NGP antenna. While riding in a smaller group, I don't believe my signal is any issue but I want to make an improvement if it would be worthwhile. My current midland GMRS MTX275 antenna is mounted to an aluminum bracket attached to the body behind the rear pillar. The bracket is screwed directly into the body. But because it's on a small surface plane, along with being blocked by the body, I'm curious if going to a taller NGP antenna like this https://www.ruggedradios.com/collections/mobile-antennas/products/point5-gmrs-antenna Would be a reasonable upgrade to get a little more performance out of my Radio. Obviously, I'm not very radio savvy but just wanted to get a sanity check. I really don't like the idea of going to a magnetic antenna on top of the body out of personal preference.
  3. A labor day weekend full of Labor! Saturday started out with my Son's 1st birthday! We've had a lot happen in the last year and it was a great time to celebrate and reflect on this last year since he was born. Sunday, the jeep party got started! I had a host of things I wanted to do, most I did. It really started with one project that spiraled into 3 or 4.... I was able to remount the solar MPPT controller to a new spot in the engine bay. My original install was pretty loose to decide how things worked and if I wanted to change anything. I still have some changes I will likely want to make but all good things come with time. I moved the MPPT to the drivers side in front of the firewall, which reminded me that I have a ZJ washer bottle that would eventually mount pretty close to there as well. So add on project #2. I extended the battery wiring for the mppt and ran the solar panel wires all over to the new location and it worked out beautifully. Once that was done, I moved onto getting the ZJ washer bottle in. By this point I had some finger blisters and quickly realised that washer fluid on blistered skin really burns! lol I was able to get both pumps and the level sensor moved over, I did have to extend the wiring for the level sensor but that was expected from the countless others who have done this in the past as well. With Those two projects done, I felt good and on a roll. It was time to work on something I definitely needed to finish... THE WINCH! When we installed the front bumper a few months back, we did attempt to fit the winch and could see their were issues with fitment. Primarily on the passenger side, The motor housing just needed more clearance. I looked up the assembly on the winch and found the housing on that side def had some extra material I could get into before I touched the motor itself. So I ground off some of the housing on that side, got it to fit better, Then had to grind off some material on the back of the winch to get it to slide back slightly to get the bolt holes to line up... Then Once I finally get to bolting it down, I forgot the fairlead.. I tried going at it from the front, but Just didn't have enough room for a wrench to set the nuts. So off the winch came again, on with the fairlead, go to mount the winch down again and... more grinding... just enough to use a rubber mallet to get the winch to sit down past the fairlead nuts. Note to self, if the fairlead is ever coming off again, I'm installing nutserts. That was too much of a PIA. By sunday night, I was getting pretty beat down and losing my shade and patience to continue on But the winch was in place. Monday, Started as early as I could and started hacking up the grill to get everything finished. I really like how this came out, I really didn't want to go through remote mounting the controller box so I just cut the grill to fit and I'm pleased with the results. I also had a Factor 55 prolink I bought off a friend 7+ years ago I was excited to install... only to realize after how much it stuck out compared to how everything else sits so flush. So I did go ahead and order a new flatlink e that should be here tomorrow. I spent the rest of the day admiring my work and cleaning the garage of the boxes I refused to throw away. Although I had a steering stabilizer I kept staring at on my Jeep parts shelves that I finally gave into installing. Now, I've always been one to have next to non working stabilizers throughout my jeep life. I usually either bash them into a rock or they just leak out. So this is the first time I've felt this jeep actually feel so calm, almost numb, in the steering wheel. I took it up and down a little 1/4 mile bumpy gravel road behind my street and I was surprised how well it did. I could nearly take my hand off the wheel and just truck down this road without feeling like the steering was going to yank one way or another. Today I was able to get some time to start measuring for new driveshafts. Rear is coming from IRO and the front is coming from a local shop. I have a grand plan to install a 231, but I am just not able to prioritize it for the rest of this year. I have the 231, and extra 247 to gut the input shaft from so I don't have to gut mine. And all the stuff to rebuild the 231 with new chain, 6 pinion planetary, and SYE. I ended up just ordering a 'Hack n tap' Kit from IRO, turns out the end of the 247 is already drilled and tapped... So I was able to sneak under the jeep today during my lunch hour, measure for a front shaft and pulled the rear shaft, slap on the new yoke and measure for the new rear. Next week I'm hoping my shafts come in. Monday, my jeep is going to a friends shop to have the IRO bumper wings completed since they need to be welded together. Fingers crossed my Driveshafts will be arriving by then and I will have him install the new shafts and adjust the rear pinion for the new DC shaft. Man that was a long post. TLDR, Did some stuff, ground my winch to uncomfortable levels, measured some stuff, more stuff to do next week.
  4. Well, Finally kicking back and starting to touch some new projects on the wj. One I have started working on this last weekend was a solar system. When I installed my Iceco JP40 fridge, it didn't take long to realize it was going to be a drain on my battery. Granted I do have a optima yellow top which I have run down once or twice now and it's bounced back pretty well. I needed to supplement if I had any intention to have the fridge running continuously. I found a company called Lensun actually makes hood mounted solar panels for the Jeep WJ as well as other vehicles and after staring at it for a while, not sure if I actually liked the idea, I finally pulled the trigger. The system comes with 2 65watt panels as well as optional MPPT controller and vinyls for the hood for the panels to mount on top of. When planning to mount the vinyl I remembered actually had bought a WJ trailhawk hood vinyl last year shortly after I bought the jeep so I ended up cutting the center strip out and using it along with the included vinyls from the kit, it looked like a poormans trailhawk, but I preferred this look vs not having anything between the two. Once I got done spraying my kid with soapy water getting the vinyls off the backings and getting them layed down, I let them bake for a few hours while I waited for a friend to come by and help lay out the actual solar panels. I layed down a border and interior runs of 3m VHB tape on each one and once Steve arrived, we used Masking tape to create an alignment so once it went down, it was down for good. The solar panels came out better than expected to be honest. I still have some loose ends to finish. We did loosely hook up the entire system with the included MPPT controller to verified it worked after metering out the panels themself to verify they were working, However I am finding its not quite charging to its potential, the app is terrible, and their are loose load wires that don't plan to be connected to anything (yet) but yet by default the system was discharging upto 5 watts to... nothing. So the controller is questionable on its own merits. I did decide last night to buy a new MPPT from Victron and after watching many videos on the subject and playing with their app, I feel much more confident switching over and having the ability to control exactly how I want the system to operate. I do also want to lay down some silicone around the edges of the panels to prevent any water/air/debris from getting under them as well. The new MPPT will be here tomorrow and I'll get to have the fun of deciding on a mounting spot and cutting and reusing the wires from the original mppt to utilize on the victron. I'm still going to be using this a as a main battery maintenance/charging system. However I am feeling the itch that a secondary battery is coming.. I really like the idea of my primary battery always being maintained and charged, but I don't like the idea of always pulling from it to run my fridge outside of simplicity of the system.
  5. Hey Everyone, It's been a long while since my last update, quite a few things have happened in my personal life not long after I was starting mounting up the new winch bumper from IRO. About a week after I started mounting the winch bumper I fractured my big toe on my left foot on my sons birthday running up the stairs which was much more inabiling than I would have imagined. Didn't feel that bad at first but the pain got worse through the day to the point I was very much limping at a snail's pace. About a week after that, I was dealing with headaches/migraines that went on for about 4 days before I started consulting with an urgent care. I still wasn't getting any relief and finally went to an ER, they fed me a migraine cocate through an IV.. and it still didn't help. While I was there I had a strange episode where I lost feeling in my left hand. Immediately told the dr and they didn't think much of it, no slurred speech and the feeling came back pretty quickly and I was sent home not long after. The next morning I woke up, head pounding and vomiting. At this point it was apparent this was more than a migrane and my gf drove me back to the emergency room. They started to do a work up on me and after an MRI and some blood work, I was admitted with signs of meningitis. After a few days, lumbar puncture, another MRI, and vampires stealing my blood every day, Viral meningitis was confirmed. I spent about 5 days in the hospital and about day 3 or 4 I began seeing a telledoc neurologist that was looking at my mri's who confirmed I actually had had a stroke from the inflammation caused in my brain. I was actually discharged a few days later, still with a lulling headache and motion sickness but glad to be out. About 2 days after getting discharged, feeling kinda crummy overall, I felt the sensation of my left hand going numb again at home while everyone was outside. I was able to get up and go to the porch and tell my girlfriend to hurry inside while I did the only thing I could think could help which was to chew up one of the prescribed aspirins. I could barely open the bottle and by the time my girlfriend got to me, I had set myself on recliner as I told her what was happening, she called 911 and they confirmed it looked like I was having a stroke. Couldn't Smile on both sides of my face, left hand was numb and I was feeling it along the left side of my body. I felt worse that my kids had to witness the ambulance come and the paramedics drag me out on the stretcher than I actually probably physically felt. After a few more days at the hospital the neurologist was at, more test, another lumbar puncture, 3 more mris, brain scans, echocardiograms, the diagnosis pointed to indeed viral meningitis, but they also found a PFO(basicly a hole in my heart between the left and right side), and I was starting to have random twitching in my left hand. They found I was actually having focal(localized) seizures in my brain causing the tremors and what may have caused the stroke symptoms since I didn't lose any cognitive ability during those events. After about a week and a half of antivirals IV and a hand full of pills every day, I was finally feeling relief of the headaches and was feeling much better when they finally released me. It's been about 2 weeks since I was Discharged and I am feeling much better. My toe is healing and I'm continuing to take handfuls of pills every day including blood thinners which may continue for the rest of my life since the PFO is something that can trigger stroke in younger men(I'm 32 by the way) and anti seizure medication... I still feel a light twitch in my left hand when I wake up every morning. After my next neurology appointment, I'm going to try to be a little bit more active with the jeep again, I still have a bit of medical bills to pay out. But I still need to finish the front bumper. But I'm already feeling so much better I started a gym membership where I've been enjoying walking again and using the hot tub and sauna to help with the soreness and inflammation. I've researched regular sauna use actually reduces stroke risk by about 60%. I hope to continue to improve my health over the next year + and come back better than I have been before. One limp and step at a time. This is the first time I've sat down to write all what happened down outside of keeping friends and family updated. But I'm dieing to work on the jeep again and finally hit the trails again.
  6. Been a minute since the last update. Only a few new things going on, A month or two ago I did apply to be a trail guide for On X offroad and was approved so I'm very happy to be able to contribute to their software and help more people like me feel confident in the trails they're hitting. Got all LED lighting replaced on the interior, I haven't replaced the selectable map lights yet due to my overhead console screw being nearly stripped. However, once removed I intend to replace those 2 with Red LEDs. I also Picked up a nice little cargo box for the back, I do intend to mount my new fridge to it but I keep going back and forth with the loadout in the rear so I maintain having a spare with me as much as I feel i need to and until I have a rear mounted tire carrier. I was doing some research on all these dual piston high cfm compressors. Seems its mostly all the same compressor with different branding, maxi tracs, morrflate(although this does come with a pressure switch, stop and go, trickflate... ect. I got the stop and go compressor from amazon and did mod it for a QD and pressure switch. I did also piece together and assemble a 4 way tire inflation kit, however I used Plastic PTC hoses and fittings. The only down fall seems to be it prefers to stayed in its coiled position and has just been a handful. So I have some flexzilla hose on its way to switch over to. I would like to hard mount this in the future with an air tank. I did also Find ICECO sells 'Second Hand' portable fridges on their ebay website so I decided for 230 it was worth finally pulling the trigger on a 12v fridge. This one is the JP40 and it seems to be working fairly well, however it is making me look into solar solutions to keep an adequate recharge on my battery when I'm not driving for a few days at a time. As I mentioned before, I have had a notable rattle in the rear of my jeep pretty much since the long arm kit was installed, I did find a leaky shock not long ago and after talking with IRO about getting it replaced under warranty(I found warranty was 90 days from time of purchase) even though the shock wasn't installed until late January and been installed for approx. 60 days, it was not able to be warrantied. I did finally pull the shock and found it to be bottoming out with about 4" of extension still left. Now that the shock is replaced, it still unfortunately did not fix my rattle. I do have a Warn Winch and new front bumper to go on in the near future. I have a trip to kentucky this weekend, should be fairly easy run and a few 'more difficult trails' but doesn't sound like anything a long arm v8 wj with varilocks can't handle. I will try to get as many shots as I can this weekend, hopefully all goes smoothly.
  7. All work and no play makes for a dull jeeper. Since the baby has been born and I work from home 75% of the time, I'm usually pretty tied down inside the house, at least until the baby is napping or until the mother unit comes home. And while I have been working on some small jobs on the jeep, I've been getting a bit anxious to get out on a trail. Looking at photos from here and other wj's, I've been watching a lot of dirt lifestyle and listening to budget overland on spotify.. Lets say, I finally had a bit of a break down today and as soon as Mother unit came home, I needed to hit a trail! I've been eyeballing this run on on X off-road for some time now. It was rated pretty tame, some technical sections but 75-90% doable in stock form. I ended up making my own trail of it that would be a little longer. I didn't have much time today but I was able to successfully run about half of it. I was pretty cautious overall because I still feel I'm fairly untested and I really went up alone, obviously I don't recommend this, but once I was in the area I was more relaxed to see another rig passing by every 30min-1hr, plus listening to local GMRS traffic I didn't feel so alone. I Definitely still have some kinks to work out, rear end really needs some attention, still quite clunky... Maybe next time I'll have a friend with to grab a few more action shots rather than the occasional scenic pose.
  8. It would have been fine if I was still 18. Back in the day, exhaust can never be too loud. I distinctly remember my old TJ, cutting the muffler off then running it for weeks open cat just dumped under the skid plate. I followed that up with a glasspack that was so long it basically was a joke. My last wj was still a full through exhaust but no muffler, honestly that sounded pretty decent from what I remember. My JKU went 1 year with a muffler before it was removed.. (I've never had to do emissions testing in my life btw lol) When the jeep was about a week from done, they called to let me know basically the muffler that was on the jeep wasn't going to work. We went back and forth a bit but I ultimately told them, hey let's not waste time on it, Ill order something up and just put a pipe in it for now to get to dump in the right spot so I can get home. Last weekend I finally got the magnaflow I ordered welded up and I'm quite pleased with the result. It has a nice deep idle tone that reminds you a V8 is under the hood but it doesn't scream down the road to remind you, your family and your neighbors of it. Before and after clips Before: https://i.imgur.com/g6RgmVl.mp4 After: https://i.imgur.com/KQrK7qG.mp4
  9. Forgot to post a good shot of the new steering.
  10. Well the WJ is back home after being built on in Virginia for a couple weeks. A few things changed as it was being built, I had to get slightly wider wheel spacers to clear the new steering. We decided to go to a 4.5" lift height vs 5.5" to save on additional drivetrain upgrades.. In the meanwhile I did pickup a np231 transfer case I plan to swap the 247 out with. Ultimately, the 231 is a simpler and more convent case until I've got enough time and patience to do a 241or as I was planning for in my last build. But the 231 has a plethora of upgrades like SYE kits and 6 pinion planetary, wide chain, it will be suitable enough for the interim. For now, the jeep is on its own weight but still needs a few things worked out. Biggest thing right now is it needs to be strung out and squared up and aligned. I found after my 4hr drive home the rear springs were very unhappy. I have already made a small adjustment to the rear arms, and it's better, but I decided not to do much else until I can have it fully aligned. I don't have any concrete to even set it all out on so I'm going to farm this job out locally to an actual 4x4 shop who has an alignment rack sometime this week. The list of goodies I am working with now to satisfy some curiosity; Trail Forged Long arm front and rear Trail forged ultimate steering kit with 1 ton Tie Rod ends and Raised trackbar Metalcloak TJ 3.5(4.5 for wj) dual rate spring front and rear Bilstein 5125s 11" shocks Front JKS quick discos A couple of things on the shelf that are on the to do list; New THOR intake New muffler(currently straight piped and dumped under the rear passenger seat, sounds fantastic if I was still 18) Auxbeam switch Panel 231 case as mentioned before ZJ washer bottle A grinder to start hacking up the front bumper Yeah that spring is not so happy!
  11. Final update of the year. Hope you all had a fantastic holiday (s)! My wj spend close to 2 weeks at the local shop but finally got the fuel filter, fuel pump, the new 12 hole injectors and the oil change done before we had to boogie up to my parents house in Illinois. The shop ended up attempting to lift my jeep from the reach rocker and folded the pinch weld over and I'm pretty ticked about that since these are some of the cleanest rockers on a wj as you can find. Still working with them on this issue,but they did agree it wasn't right and will work with me on it. I did pick up a superchips f5 programmer while it was in the shop too. Yesterday I drove the wj from eastern tn to western Virginia for 4hours to a shop that will be handling the new suspension install. The drive there I actually got 19mpg while sustaining 70-75 and while I had probably 300-500lbs worth of parts loaded up in the back. I still really wish I could be doing this install myself but it just isn't plausible this time around. My garage,if I haven't noted, is a long small 1 car garage with no power. Even if I had power, I really couldn't get the jeep in with any comfortable working room let alone get it back out once it was done. I'm planning this next year to at least pave our driveways in, at least then I can have some more level space to handle maintenance. I'll post up some pictures later today. Everything on my phone is over 4mb
  12. Quick update, been accumulating all the parts for the lift and should have everything at this point. The long arm kit is pretty much done and ready, but I I've since decided to let the shop that built the long arms handle the install. The wj is currently at a local shop for new fuel filter, oil change, and since my new injectors arrived, probably those too. I dropped off to also do new stainless hard lines but the flex lines were so corroded they're holding off until I get my new flex lines in too. They did also manage to break a fuel line to the filter so it's sitting there until parts come in for that. Dropping off the wj on the 29 and won't be picking up until it's done early next month and is likely when I'll post the next update.
  13. Hey Everyone, Still in prepping phase for the lift. Been doing some maintenance in the meanwhile. I found out my oil pressure was dropping was because I was about 4qts low on oil... That'll do it. Found my valve cover gaskets were leaking, I never noticed a spot on the driveway because they conveniently leak onto the exhaust manifolds and just burn off. Got that taken care of. My new Yellow top, Alternator, and cables all came in and got installed. Was sitting on a set of spark plugs and knocked that out last weekend. The positive was that all the, likely original, old plugs seemed pretty even. Nothing really stood out with one over another. I'm currently sitting on a new fuel filter and a full set of pre-bent stainless brake lines I need to get installed in the next few weeks. I also ordered a set of new 12 hole injectors from Ksuspension. There's no rush on this though, I dont have really any major engine issues but I just wanted to take some time to make sure this engine is as healthy as it can be. I wouldn't be shocked if I drop a valve one day, it's a 4.7, it's not an if but when. As far as the lift is concerned, I believe everything is officially ordered now if I don't already have it. I am going back to Illinois for Christmas with the family, plan is to drive up, Enjoy christmas, But the week of the 26-30th is going to be a thrash week. Full long arm kit installed in 5 days to run and drive.
  14. I've been inactive on the jeep for a little bit. On September 2nd my son Barrett was born. There were some issues we were somewhat expecting based on the ultrasounds and we spend about a week in the NICU every night with him. Everything is good now and finally getting back to normal.. with little amounts of sleep... 😅 Finally getting back into the mood of things on the jeep, have quite a few things ordered. I noticed my oil pressure gauge was intermittently dropping a few days ago. Today I noticed it again but I was also noticing my voltage read on my radar detector dropping to 12.7-13.2 area. So new 2g cables from jeepcables are ordered, optima yellow top, and a 160amp Dakota alternator were all ordered tonight. I may add on a new belt and tensioner just as a 'since I'm here' effect. And a bigger order was made for the suspension. I originally bought some 3.5" tj springs and shocks from iro, I'm deciding against this and going a little bigger. 😉 Stay tuned.
  15. It is a very fast boot. sub 5 seconds.. I had a 12" android radio in my 2013 ford fusion, I loved the size but it was a ~30sec boot up and it was awful. My experience, at least of these last two tells me all android radios have their nuances.. This one is working out swimmingly, having a plug-n-play solution along with a new radio trim bezel is just a few reasons to look at this one.
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