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ZJ Woody

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  1. I have some very Sad news to report !! I got a call around 2 pm today from Pat White letting me know that Sam passed away suddenly yesterday. She wanted me to post this on the website and she will contact me with the details when the funeral arrangements are made. I have to admit that I have not stopped crying since she called. Sam and I were not as close as we could have been do to I live in Nevada but he always included me in what he was doing when ever he could. Sam White has probably been on and lead more Jeep trips than most anyone else. He will be sorely missed by all. In the next few days it may be fitting to start a post of pictures of Sam on our trips to remember him by. Goodby my friend, I will miss you so very much !! Woody
  2. Yes I will still wheel with you, please no autographs though 😄 Steve, I will be at EJS again this year probably April 3rd and 4th. April 1st and 2nd I have to lead a group on the White Rim Trail. Let me know what your plans are and maybe we can get together. Woody
  3. Just found out a couple of days ago that my '98 Grand is going to be on the cover of the March 2015 issue of Petersen's 4Wheel & Off-Road magazine. Harry Wagner wrote a nice article about it, got a few facts wrong, like the transfer case being a 242 when it is a 231 but all in all it came out good. I guess I can go ahead now and put a few scratches and dings in it. Woody
  4. Kris: Well it's been over a year now that you asked this and I have had the ZJ out for testing. The rear military type limited slip did not work out and was replaced with an ARB air locker. The hand brake set up was two small calipers on the rear discs that were useless. we replaced them with full size rear calipers and ran it as a separate stand alone system with separate left and right brake handles so that it could be used as a cutting brake. This system also cannot hold back the torque of the 5.9L at idle with 5.38 gears. The only time that it can work as a secondary or parking brake is with the tranny in Neutral or the motor turned off. We installed a fan cooled coil for the transmission behind the front bumper which kept the transmission cooler but did not help much with the engine running hot at 70 mph and above (a problem even with most stock 5.9L engines). We took a look at the air flow patterns through the new aluminum radiator with the electric fan and determined that the cooling system seems to be doing it's job. It appears to be the extra advanced timing built into the 5.9L computer that reaches max advance at the higher rpms of highway speed. I am going to add an engine oil cooler before I would want to de-tune the advance as the engine only runs at about 220 deg max and does not get any hotter. The temperature immediately comes back down to under 200 degs (I have a 180 deg T stat) when you drive at 60 mph or less and never runs hot on the trails. Other than that I really have not had much time this year to take it out on runs as I have been spending most of my time building a new model railroad for my grandsons to see at Christmas and paying for my daughter's September wedding at the Hilton on the beach in San Diego, CA. As I mentioned on the other Jeep site: "I could have bought a brand new JK Rubicon for what her wedding cost me and it only lasted 4 days. A new JK would have lasted at least a week or two." :-) I took a picture last year of both of my ZJs side by side and the full size axles, 35" tires & 8" lift of the '98 ZJ sure makes the OEM axles, 32" tires & 6" lift on the '96 ZJ look SMALL. Woody
  5. I am leaving for Delta, UT in a couple of hours. See you in Hanksville on Tuesday. Woody
  6. I also have been running the BFG KM2s on my '96 ZJ and have been happy with them. I have heard about sidewall defects in the Goodyear MTRs but do not know for sure how extensive this is. I can tell you this, I have been on two of the longer Jeep trips this year so far with another club, one to Moab, UT and one to Death Valley, CA. On both of those trips I witnessed two different Jeeps, both with Goodyear MTRs have a tire failure due to what appeared to be a sidewall defect. On the last trip the tires were aired down to around 16 lbs and the sidewall cord ripped and was poking out of the sidewall. It appeared as though the tire was not damaged from outside the sidewall as there were no cuts, or marks on the sidewall at the spot where it failed. I would do some more research on the Goodyear MTRs before making your switch. Woody
  7. Since I am the only one heading to Hanksville from the North (Reno, NV) I won't be running into anyone on the way. I will be heading East on Hwy 50 across Nevada on Monday and I am planning on staying at Delta, UT Monday night the 13th. That will make for a short day to Hanksville Tuesday and I should be there by mid afternoon to check into the Whispering Sands Motel. See you Tuesday, looks like we will have Sunny and Warm Weather!!! Woody
  8. John: When you break down, if you can hang on for 2 weeks we will rescue you and pull you out to pavement. Woody
  9. Karen: Yes, I will be bringing the new '98 ZJ to the Maze Trip now that I know that it gets just as good or better gas mileage on the trail as my '96 ZJ. It's back in the shop right now to have the rear suspension adjusted after the Moab trip. First trip with a load and the rear coil overs settled somewhat, also installing a better radiator as it ran fine on the trail but would run a little hot on the highway at 70 mph. The show in Moab was fun but I guess you didn't see anything you just had to have cause I didn't hear any loud "WOW". Woody
  10. Diane: Trophy Trucks generally start at $250,000.00 and on up. My ZJ was expensive but my pockets are not that deep. I was at Easter Jeep Safari last week in Moab and we had to race just to get from one end of the White Rim Trail to the other in 12 hrs. (including stops for pictures, lunch, and a walk onto Mussleman Arch) Ran into Jim G., Steve S. & Karen H. at the manufactures' show. We all had a good time, Woody
  11. This should be a great group and a fun trip. I just need to figure out what my gas mileage is going to be on the new rig. It has plenty of power with the 5.38s and I am hoping I can get over 10 and closer to 12 mpg on the trail. AND NO MIKE, I am not carrying gas for you like I did in Idaho. Woody
  12. Kris: The WJ has the same 1/2" bolt pin on bearings for a hinge that the ZJ does but because of the more rounded rear of the WJ it looks like they had to extend the mounting off the bumper to get clearance for the tire. I agree it doesn't look quite as nice but I bet it is built really strong. Woody
  13. Rusty: What doesn't show in the pictures is the joint near each bumper in the 1-5/8" OD tubing. They used a male/female internal connection that is secured with an allen head bolt that allows for the front or rear bumper to be removed but does not show.
  14. Kris: I got my rear bumper from Kevins OffRoad but it was made by Protofab. The rear swing gate for the spare tire is about the strongest one made that I have ever seen. The closing cam latch mechanism with safety pin is definitely the best around. Here is a link to Protofab: http://www.protofab4x4.com/ . Just for the record, my front bumper is a Hanson. I got that one strictly because I liked the looks of it. . The set up for mounting 2 fuel cans onto the rear swing gate instead of the tire, was fabricated in my shop. I wanted to be able to see out the back window without putting the weight of the tire up on the roof, so I mounted the tire inside on cross bars that stiffened the internal roll cage and kept it 10" off the deck. That way I could get my legs and sleeping bag under it in the back for sleeping without carrying a ton of camping gear. Woody Here is a picture of the rear bumper from the opposite angle:
  15. Jim: Your second in line right behind Dick Grover but you gotta sign a liability waiver in triplicate! Like Steve (ob1jeeper) said, a project like this requires a lot of help, time, and money but when your done you pretty well have something a bit different than everyone else. Now when I get to test it some more I will find out if that is a good thing or not. Woody
  16. Steve: On my '96 ZJ I did all the work myself, I was younger then. On this one, the '98 ZJ, because of the extensive suspension design and engineering that needed to be done, I had a local Reno, NV shop do the work. Samco Fabrication builds desert racers from the ground up and has been very successful with their designs. This Jeep because of the Chrysler Unibody (Unit-Body) construction was a challenge for all of us involved but ended up well done. It just takes a lot of time and money and a good idea of what will work best. Woody
  17. That was kinda my goal also. I wanted to be able to drive it on the pavement for a day or two to get to the trail, and be able to have a good trail rig that could also go fast in the dirt. The long arm links were tied in with channels running front to back under the body. Then the rear shock towers went up through the rear deck and tied into the internal roll cage which went forward and then down through the floor again just behind the front seats to tie back into the channels. (you can see part of this in the picture looking in the back through the lift gate) The front of the linear channels was tied in with tubing forward and up through the engine bay to connect with the front shock towers that were also tied across the back of the engine compartment side to side with a cross brace with the Fox remote reservoirs attached. (you can see part of this in the picture of the motor, the cross brace was powder coated orange) The linear channels underneath were further strengthened by connecting them with the rock slider rails on the outside and then further connecting the rock slider side rails with the metal bumpers front and back. The tubing is 1-5/8" OD X .188 (3/16") wall. This all of course added weight but made for a very strong and stiff body for going airborne. Here are some pictures of the axle work in progress and after it was finished:
  18. Finally nearing completion after a year and a half of modifying my other ZJ to be a "go fast in the dirt" desert racer. Thought you might like to see how it turned out. The short list of specs is as follows: Full Size HP D44 Front w/ Warn Hubs, Detroit Truetrac & 5.38 gears Full Size HP True Hi9 Rear, Spidertrax Full Float Axle Housing, Military Gear type limited slip, & 5.38 gears Fox Internal Triple Bypass Coil Over Shocks, 12" travel front, 14" travel rear. Hydraulic Bump Stops Complete One Off Specially Designed Suspension with Internal Roll Bar and Under External Uni-Body Stiffeners. Race Spec BFG 35 x 12.5 Baja TAs in the MT pattern, mounted on powder coated Method Desert Race Truck Bead Locks. Custom Fab Double Gas Can Holder on Tire Swing Out. JB Conversions HD 231J Transfer Case Tweaked 5.9L Magnum V8 with ability to use Regular Gasoline if necessary. (I want to see how much power and what kind of gas mileage I will get with this set up before I think about any major Engine mods) Woody
  19. Karen: You don't really think that I could sleep in the same room as snoring Jim,... do you? There are plenty of rooms at the Whispering Sands Motel. The only problem is that you won't be whispering when you see the price for a room,...you'll be YELLING ! Just short of a hundred bucks for one night's stay. Here is their link: http://www.whisperingsandsmotel.com/contact.php?gclid=CJq2roaRv7QCFWlxQgodnysA4A Woody
  20. Sam: When you get a chance,.. can you post up the name of the newer motel on the South side of Hanksville. I take it that you will be staying there and not Jim's favorite Dump on the North side. Also confirm that it will be the night of May 14, 2013. Thanks, Woody
  21. Karen: Only a retired school administrator or an IRS agent would have noticed our true identities.
  22. January, but I injured my knee falling off of an ATV Quad right after Xmas and havn't been on the trails since. Knee is all better now and I will be leading a trip to Idaho in August.
  23. Nothin' gets past Mike B. Welcome Tim, I guess Jim P. (RubiRed) told you that he was headed toward my neck of the woods at Lake Tahoe. I am hoping that I can rescue him from being the "shopping chauffeur" for a day next week while he is at the Lake. I have been working on getting my '96 ZJ ready for the Idaho trip. Woody
  24. Steve: Sounds like your almost ready to trade "ole blue" in on a Grand Cherokee. I do agree with your advice to start with small changes and modify your rig at the same time that you improve your skills. It's not the cheapest or fastest way to go but you do gain a lot of knowledge by starting with a stock rig first. You just need to go out on the trail with someone who has the knowledge to advise you and then winch or strap you out when you go too far. Many is the time when I had less fun because I was out by myself and could not afford to test my limits. Now that I'm old... I do sure like the comfort and ride of my ZJs. Woody
  25. The cost of a new house and you can't even take it off road!
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