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ShutterBug
12-12-2014, 11:46 PM
When I first bought my JK (my first Jeep) I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I didn't even know about JK Freaks or even what a build thread was. But I kept records of what I did and when I did it, so I figured better late than never!

Here she is in all her glory they day I picked her out from the dealer on August 4th, 2014.

2014 Jeep Wrangler Sport Auto

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And once we got her home.

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ShutterBug
12-12-2014, 11:50 PM
It didn't take long to find JK Freaks and some other JK forums and I found my first mod!

12 days after bringing her home, I did the grill mod. I used wire lathe painted with black plastic-dip I bought from Lowes. I couldn't find any progress pics or finished pics except for this one.

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ShutterBug
12-12-2014, 11:52 PM
This was a daily occurrence at my office for quite some time.

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ShutterBug
12-12-2014, 11:59 PM
Peeled off all the Wrangler/Sport decals off the sides of the Jeep.

Ordered a set of Smittybilt SRC Side Armor/Steps from Amazon.

Took a drive out to the 4 Wheel Parts year end sale in Columbiana, Ohio and ordered some new tires and wheels. Had them installed at the 4WP on Brookpark Road.

Mickey Thompson ATZ P3
285/70/17

Rugged Ridge wheels.

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ShutterBug
12-13-2014, 12:04 AM
Ordered a pair of OR-FAB bumpers from Northridge 4x4. I was really excited to see how they looked on the Jeep once they were installed.

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ECHO
12-13-2014, 07:30 AM
Lookin Good!

ShutterBug
12-13-2014, 07:55 AM
Took her wheeling for the first time in April at Southington Offroad. I was impressed with what this thing could do. Open differentials and 3.21 gears! Aside from the tires and bumpers, it was pretty much stock.

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Met some of the JK Freaks for the first time. Couldn't wait to go back!

ShutterBug
12-13-2014, 08:09 AM
Got an AWESOME deal on a set of Bushwhacker flat fender flares from a fellow JK Freak. There was a little missing hardware, but I was able to find it easily enough at O'Reilly's auto parts. Bushwhacker even sent me a whole set of replacement weather stripping free of charge.

The hardest part was getting up the courage to rip the old flares off! Did this in my Dad's garage as it was a little chilly that day, if I recall correctly. Took me 9 hours. But, a bunch of that time was spent trying to figure out just how to do the "Marker Light Mod." I rewired the marker lights, so that when on, they also act as turn signal indicators.

Before:

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After:

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ShutterBug
12-13-2014, 05:07 PM
Removed my chrome Jeep grill badge. I taped around the old one before removing it. I used dental floss to cut the adhesive and then some Goo-Gone to get rid of any residual adhesive. I add a black one I picked up on the eBays.

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ShutterBug
12-13-2014, 08:19 PM
Finally added my matte black JK Freaks Ohio sticker to the Jeep. It was my intention to keep the entire Jeep black, with blacked out stickers. But after having this on for 6 months now, I may be changing that up.

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ShutterBug
12-13-2014, 08:23 PM
Add my Mag Light to the side of the driver's seat. This was a pretty easy addition. Picked up the Mag Light mounting kit and screwed it to the plastic trim on the side of the seat. I also added the Mopar door sill guards. Stepping in and out of the jeep with mud and rocks on my boots was sure to scratch the sills up.

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ShutterBug
12-13-2014, 08:32 PM
I decided to go to the 2014 JK Freak Fest at Rausch Creek. But I wanted to add a little additional protection to the underside of the Jeep. The stock skids just don't protect enough. I didn't have the money for a full set of Rock Hard skid plates. I heard some buzz on another JK forum about an engine skid plate from the same people that make the cheap knockoff bumpers, e-AutoGrilles. These were priced for $109, which may have been a mistake on their part, since they are now going for $200.

It came packed fine and went in fine, except one of the bolt holes didn't line up on the cross bar. I might take it off next spring and fix that. Should be easy enough.

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ShutterBug
12-13-2014, 08:46 PM
2014 JK Freak Fest

Went to my first Freak Fest and had a blast. I happened to have won a bumper in the raffle! It was a really nice bumper from Expedition One, but it wasn't the bumper I really wanted. I already had OR-FAB front and rear bumpers on the JK, but they haven't impressed me.

JCR Offroad was at Freak Fest and I have always admired their bumpers. I was able to make arrangements to have a JCR Dagger shipped to me and to have the Expedition One bumper taken off my hands. Big win!

I think we ended up with three JK Freaks hats, too.

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ShutterBug
12-13-2014, 08:52 PM
The OR-FAB bumpers on my Jeep are strong enough, but the powder coat on these bumpers is horrible. They started rusting within weeks of being installed in January. I fully expected to get SOME rust on them after wheeling with them a little, but these started almost immediately. Especially at the welds. This tells me the powder coater didn't clean the weld properly before applying the coat.

After months of back and forth emails with OR-FAB, they finally agreed to take the bumpers back and arranged shipping at their expense. I was disappointed in the quality of the powder coat, more disappointed in the run around I seemed to be getting from OR-FAB, but satisfied that they finally decided to take them back and I ended up with 100% of my money back.

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ShutterBug
12-13-2014, 09:02 PM
My son and I went out to the Jeep Bantam Festival in PA. The guys from JCR Offroad were gracious enough to deliver my new Dagger front bumper to me at the festival! Without missing a beat, my son says, "Let's go put it on!" So off to the grass parking lot we went to take off the old OR-FAB bumper, which was going back anyway.

I also picked up a Smittybilt Gen 2 X20 10K Comp winch. I like this winch because it's wireless and has synthetic line. Of course, my son had to have that installed, too.

I was glad to oblige, knowing that he was going to be leaving for the Navy in just a few days after getting back home.

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ShutterBug
12-13-2014, 09:10 PM
Order a couple Tereflex heavy duty differential covers from Rebel Off Road. You can see the major difference in thickness between the stock and after market covers. The stock covers are like paper.

This was a fail simple install. I opted NOT to use a Lube Locker but to use off the shelf RTV for differentials I picked up from my local auto parts store. After removing the old diff fluid and the covers, I scraped off any remaining RTV from the factory. Some of it didn't want to come off, so I put a wire wheel in my rotary tool to make sure it was perfect. I cleaned out the gears with brake cleaner and made sure there was no other debris. After applying RTV to the new diff covers, it was just a matter of lining up the bolts and tightening them down.

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ShutterBug
12-13-2014, 09:43 PM
Took her wheeling at Southington Off Road. Sank it at Preacher's Pass. I knew I shouldn't have gone this way.

Thank goodness for drain plugs.

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ShutterBug
12-13-2014, 09:52 PM
Well, I decided the whole Black on Black thing just wasn't working for me anymore, so I decided to add some color to the Jeep. Took out the trim rings around the vents and the doors, as well as my D-rings and painted them blue. Not too much color, but just enough.

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ShutterBug
12-22-2014, 08:11 AM
Trying to get caught up on all of the mods I made this year. Bear with me a little as it's been a crazy few weeks.

I also realized that if you're reading this thread on Tapatalk, it doesn't show the post titles. I've been putting the date of the mod in the post title. Many of these were done months ago, so check out the web view if you want to get an idea of the timeline.

ECHO
12-22-2014, 08:31 AM
Looking good my friend!

Minner
12-22-2014, 10:55 AM
Very nice


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

muddyman184
12-22-2014, 08:22 PM
Looks good so far

ShutterBug
12-24-2014, 08:18 PM
Not sure how I missed this one.

I built a bracket to attach my CB antenna to the space behind my license plate bracket. I modeled it after something I saw on the interwebs. I had just picked up a welder and I wanted to try my hand at fabricating something small.

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ShutterBug
12-24-2014, 08:25 PM
Got my new JCR Crusader Mid Width Bumper (http://www.jcroffroad.com/product/JKR/JKRC.html) to replace the OR-FAB bumper that had rusted too early. I ordered the backup lights as well and wired them to the reverse lights. Man, they are bright. I am going to change that so they are switched instead.

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ShutterBug
12-24-2014, 08:28 PM
Put on some stickers that I have had for a while. Just hadn't gotten around to putting them on.

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ShutterBug
12-24-2014, 08:35 PM
When I installed my winch I picked up at the Jeep Bantam Festival, we made a mistake and cross threaded the nut on the ground lug of the winch. I called Smittybilt to buy a replacement and they told me they don't sell that by itself, but that they would send something out to me. I was also having an issue with the wireless module where the winch would activate by itself. A few weeks later, a really heavy package gets delivered to my house.

Smittybilt sent me an entire new winch! Although they did send me a winch with wire rope instead of synthetic. I had to de-spool all of that wire - which is VERY heavy - an re-spool my synthetic. Say what you want about Smittybilt, but they did right by me.

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ShutterBug
12-24-2014, 08:42 PM
Put a Fumoto valve on my oil pan. With the oil pan skid plate installed, getting to the oil pan plug is a bit of a bear. Plus, once you pull the plug, the oil will just shoot on top of the skid if you don't put something to deflect it. The Fumoto valve has a port that a rubber tube can be put on. Just flip the valve and the oil drains. Since the skid is protecting the oil pan, there's no danger of it getting damaged off road.

ShutterBug
12-24-2014, 08:47 PM
Decided to take off the Smittybilt side steps and replace them with JCR Classic Sliders. Looking forward to putting them to the test.

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ShutterBug
12-24-2014, 08:57 PM
I have Rugged Ridge wheels on my Jeep that I bought from 4 Wheel Parts a year prior. Rugged Ridge has a rim protector designed to protect the rim when wheeling. My rims have quite a few scratches on them already. I've been wanting these protectors for a while.

Speed2005 had a set he wasn't using, so I finally convinced him to sell them to me. But they were painted Mango Tango. That wasn't going to work for me. So I painted them blue.

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In order to install them, I had to remove these decorative bolts that were already in the rims. They were rounded over and had hex key slots. But 50% of them were so damaged, that I couldn't get a hex key in the slot at all. Some were so seized in the hole that they were easily stripped. In some cases I was able to hammer in an oversized torx bit in some of them and was able to get them out. For the others, I had to use a Dremel to flatten two sides of the bolt and use a Vice Grip to twist it out.

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The new ones look great!

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ShutterBug
12-24-2014, 09:10 PM
Time to upgrade the tires! I got tired of getting stuck in situations that friends with 35" tires were able to get through.

A fellow Jeep owner was selling his 35" Duratracs and his wheels. I only wanted the tires, but another forum member (Torque) wanted the wheels. So we all met up at Discount Tire to have the seller's new wheels and tires installed and his old ones unmounted. The seller's original wheels would go on Torque's Jeep with Torque's new 37" tires and the Duratracs would go on my Jeep with my Rugged Ridge wheels. It made more since to make an appointment and have them do it all at once.

It was a loooooonnnnnnggggg day.

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7 hours after our appointment time, they finally got us in the bays.

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I won't go into a lot of detail on how bad of a day this was. Let's just say it is highly unlikely that I will be going to Discount Tire again anytime soon. I felt like they lied to us and tried to cover up their mismanagement. We had an appointment, but they placed us in the computer as a walk-in so it wouldn't be reflected on performance evaluations on how long appointment holders wait.

I like the way the looked once installed.

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ShutterBug
12-24-2014, 09:11 PM
Early Christmas present came. My Rock Krawler 2.5" X-Factor lift!

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ShutterBug
12-24-2014, 09:14 PM
Spent the day trying to rig something up to help me set all of the control arms for my X-Factor lift to the proper length and to assist in torquing down the jam nuts. These jam nuts have to be torqued to well over 200 foot-pounds without misaligning the joints. Not sure if this will do the trick or not.

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ShutterBug
12-24-2014, 10:06 PM
With the 35" tires on the Jeep, I didn't feel comfortable with the spare being on the tailgate. I'd rather not just delete the tailgate carrier and put the spare in the back since I do use the back of the Jeep from time to time.

JCR Offroad to the rescue!. Installed the JCR Shield Tire Carrier (http://www.jcroffroad.com/product/JKSC.html) to carry the load.

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ShutterBug
12-24-2014, 10:15 PM
All the parts and some tools I need for the lift install are all organized and ready to get loaded into the Jeep. Mav204 volunteered his triple stall heated garage for the project.

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ShutterBug
12-24-2014, 10:24 PM
December 21, 2014 - Lift install day one.

With the help of Mav204, Rockstar and Speed2005, I managed to get the front started.

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The Rock Krawler X-Factor lift includes both upper and lower control arms for the front and rear. The lowers contain a bend to provide a little more ground clearance. These things are heavy.

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After about 8 hours, we got the front complete, plus the exhaust spacers from Tereflex I also picked up. Removing the exhaust bolts was a bear, but that was after Speed2005 had to remove my engine skid to get to everything.

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You can see the difference in the rear versus the front. This was after removing the front budget boost spacers and JKU springs. The rear still has a 1" spacer and JKU springs.

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ShutterBug
12-24-2014, 10:28 PM
CyberTom was gracious enough to stop by and help finish the lift. He brought along these massive 6 ton jack stands that really raise the jeep up to where we need it to be. Day two was a full 12 hour day. We ran into a couple of issues that delayed a few things. Plus, once the lift was done and let the suspension settle, we had to torque all of the control arm bolts down to spec.

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ShutterBug
12-24-2014, 10:31 PM
I had Torque's GoPro set up on a 2 sec. time lapse to capture the lift. Turns out 2 seconds was too short of a duration as it filled up the memory card sometime during day two. But here's the video I made from what I was able to use.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tZE4f9eY7g


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5tZE4f9eY7g

Iron-Armor
12-25-2014, 03:12 AM
Looking good bro. Good to see quality install skills being used.

ECHO
12-25-2014, 10:10 AM
Great setup Greg.. Looks like your ready.. !!

Billbikes
12-25-2014, 11:39 AM
Looks great. I wish I had all those bodies when I did mine, but it still went on fine, lol.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

ShutterBug
12-25-2014, 06:24 PM
Great setup Greg.. Looks like your ready.. !!

Long way to go if I were to catch up to you!

A little more armor (EVAP and LCA skids) and I'll feel a lot more comfortable on the blues (and mild, and I do mean MILD blacks) at RC for FF4 this year.

Billbikes
12-25-2014, 06:50 PM
The jeep will be more than capable for more than mild blacks, the driver will follow soon enough! Great looking rig now.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

ShutterBug
12-28-2014, 02:55 PM
Ringer welded my track bar bracket in place today. Zip tied the ABS and brake lines to the shocks this afternoon as well.

Few more tiny things to button up.

darkknight1999
12-28-2014, 06:12 PM
When I installed my winch I picked up at the Jeep Bantam Festival, we made a mistake and cross threaded the nut on the ground lug of the winch. I called Smittybilt to buy a replacement and they told me they don't sell that by itself, but that they would send something out to me. I was also having an issue with the wireless module where the winch would activate by itself. A few weeks later, a really heavy package gets delivered to my house.

Smittybilt sent me an entire new winch! Although they did send me a winch with wire rope instead of synthetic. I had to de-spool all of that wire - which is VERY heavy - an re-spool my synthetic. Say what you want about Smittybilt, but they did right by me.

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You have a nice looking build man!

As a side note, you might want to double check with Smitty about installing a syn line on a winch hub made for a steel cable. The nubs are not the same on most other winches. You need to have the right hub to run a synthetic line. In your case you might be able to just switch the hubs since you have other unit still. But I would look into it though. ;)

ShutterBug
12-28-2014, 07:20 PM
You have a nice looking build man!

As a side note, you might want to double check with Smitty about installing a syn line on a winch hub made for a steel cable. The nubs are not the same on most other winches. You need to have the right hub to run a synthetic line. In your case you might be able to just switch the hubs since you have other unit still. But I would look into it though. ;)

It's the same hub on both. The difference is this sheath that the ship with the synth line. The sheath goes all the way to the end of the line connected to the hub and, when spooled, covers the first layer of rope, giving it the friction it needs. Ask me how I figured that out - the answer is the hard way. :)

darkknight1999
12-28-2014, 08:41 PM
Oh lol... its ok... that's mostly a Jeep thing I think... trial and error. lol

I mentioned it because both Warn and SuperWinch have different hub for each. When I spoke to Superwinch they said the rope actually cinches tighter on the hub... Warn said the same thing. Both said it will work for a while but it will fail suddenly. I have a cheaper model Superwinch Tiger Shark 9.5 that I was going to put a synthetic line on, but Superwinch told me no... lol

Course that could just be Superwinch trying to get me to buy the winch I really want... which of course is like $1200 bucks... lol

ShutterBug
01-11-2015, 03:43 PM
Learn from my mistakes

I made a couple of mistakes while installing my lift that I did not detail prior to this post. Neither of which make the Jeep underivable or unsafe. But my pride kept me from being public, but I decided it was more important to detail them here and hope that someone else can avoid making the same ones.

Mistake #1. Use the right sized bolt.

I bought the Northridge 4x4 Grade 8 hardware kit to go along with the lift. I wanted to use stronger hardware, plus be proactive in preventing any future death wobble. I assumed all of the 9/16" bolts would be used. I did't read the sheet that came with the Northridge kit completely to realize that there were 2 extra bolts that were 14mm, just slightly smaller than 9/16" (14.3mm). Thinking that both front track bar bolts were the same, I used the 9/16" bolts in both the frame and axle side holes. Little did I know, that the Rock Krawler flex joint has a 14mm bushing. Somehow, we managed to get the 9/16" bolt into the bushing, but when I went to take the track bar back out, the bolt would not come out. It's stuck and it is stuck good. Nothing we tried worked to get it out. I have a few ideas to try, some of which will destroy the rubber bushing and sleeve in the joint, but I have already received replacements for those from Rock Krawler. Once I get the bolt out and rebuild the joint, I am going to shave the extra .3mm from the joint bushing sleeve (making it 9/16") and use a new 9/16" bolt, since that's the size of the frame side bracket.

Mistake #2. Trust your instincts, do what you know you should do, and don't panic.

Part of the install process was to insert Tereflex exhaust spacers between the exhaust manifolds and the Y-Pipe. This pushes the exhaust cross over back about an inch or so, giving the drive shaft more space to droop. Even though the Jeep is only about a year and a half old, the bolts in the exhaust flange were a bear to get out. Ringer gave me a tip (after the fact when I asked him for some advice to fix my mistake chronicled below) of heating up the flange and using some PB Blaster on the bolt, reheating it and then getting a wrench on the bolt.

Once the exhaust was apart, the clamp on the Y-Pipe was nearly impossible to get loose. So I opted to just cut it off and replace it.

Once everything was apart, getting the Y-Pipe pushed back into the pipe leading to the catalytic converter was a challenge. I don't think there's enough room in the pipe before it's diameter shrinks to do what the Tereflex instructions say. Well, I managed to get it partly back together, but nowhere near where it needed to be. One of the new flange bolts was barely in the flange and had probably another 3/8" to go before fully seated. But it was in such a horrible location, there was no way I was going to be able to tighten this down with the corrosion in the threads of the flange nut. It was fine to drive, so I decided to tackle it another day.

When I had a free Saturday, I took the Jeep back down to Mav204's garage to button up the exhaust spacers and to put the skid plate back on. Ringer had suggested using a tap to clean out the threads in the exhaust flange. It would make it easier to get the exhaust back together the right way. I started with the passenger side flange. Used an M8 x 1.25 tap and was able to clean out one of the two flange nuts. On to the other one. The whole time I am doing this, I didn't even think about using some cutting oil as the first one was very easy to get through. The second one gave me a little resistance. My instincts told me to back out the tap, put some WD40 on the tap and go easy. "Oh, just another 1/4 turn and I'll do that" was the though I had. Trust your instincts. No sooner had that thought crossed my mind that the tap snapped off in the exhaust manifold.

I don't recall the exact expletives I hurled at that point, but I imagine several were no more than 4 letters long. Now, the prudent thing would have been to calm down, relax, and think about the right solution to remove the broken tap. That would have been prudent, but that's not what I did. I figured I would just drill out the tap some how. Yeah. Right. I think I broke 3 different drill bits. Had I stopped to think, I could have put some heat on the flange, expanding the steel, and using something to unthread the tap from the hole. Problem solved. But I didn't do that and I ended up making the situation worse.

So now I have an exhaust that I still need to get back together, but I had to move forward. I used a new tap on the driver's side, taking extra care and time on each flange nut. I think I spent 90 minutes on that side. I also removed the entire Y-Pipe and cut about an inch off the end the goes into the catalytic converter. Reinstalled everything, easily put the 3 bolts back into the manifolds that I could, and rigged some wire through the 4th hole to help keep it all together. No exhaust leaks, so it's staying this way until it gets warmer.

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My neighborhood mechanic thinks he can burn it out, even as close to the transmission lines as it is.

I also learned that the spacers push the exhaust cross over to below the transmission cross member. In order to reinstall my skid plate, I had to stack up an inch of washers and use a longer bolt to make sure the skid had room between it and the exhaust. Hit that too hard, and you're cracking the manifold or worse. I am led to understand that the exhaust manifold is part of the cylinder head on the 3.6L and is a $350 dealer part.

I'm pissed at myself, and embarrassed, because I knew better, but was impatient, and did the wrong thing anyway. I can look back on this and sorta laugh. I didn't blow up my engine and a wheel didn't fall off. Life goes on.

Learn from my mistakes. Please.

Senayski
01-11-2015, 04:30 PM
Hmmm my 9/16 went in no problem anf comes out like butter. Thats weird

ShutterBug
01-11-2015, 04:38 PM
The axle side of the track bar bracket (the one with the spherical joint) is 9/16. Apparently, the frame side is 14mm. Rock Krawler confirmed this with me. I can only assume they may have made a change to the joint.

Ringer
01-11-2015, 04:41 PM
Since the 9/16" bolt fits properly in the frame bracket holes, I would use a 9/16" reamer to the bushing in the RK end and make it so you can use the larger bolt. If you need to, I have the reamer.

ShutterBug
01-11-2015, 04:55 PM
Once it warms up, Ringer, I will take you up on that.

Did you ever get to Jonny's bumper?

Ringer
01-11-2015, 05:19 PM
Once it warms up, Ringer, I will take you up on that.

Did you ever get to Jonny's bumper?

Nope. He had other plans and couldn't make it.

Ethan_Newago
01-11-2015, 10:12 PM
Nice job, I'm excited to copy some things from you! :greatpost:

markinohio
01-11-2015, 10:55 PM
Thanks for posting mistakes/issues you had doing the lift, Greg. You just made life a lot easier for other folks changing the bolts out. A lot of people wouldn't have posted that.

Your problems almost make me glad I have a 2007 with a manual. I'm sure I'll run into issues as well. It just seems to be how things work when I work on the Jeep. Much swearing will be involved, too, LOL, but hey, I was in the Navy for 6 years, so I do have an excuse for swearing like a sailor.

ShutterBug
01-12-2015, 09:27 AM
Thanks for posting mistakes/issues you had doing the lift, Greg. You just made life a lot easier for other folks changing the bolts out. A lot of people wouldn't have posted that.

Your problems almost make me glad I have a 2007 with a manual. I'm sure I'll run into issues as well. It just seems to be how things work when I work on the Jeep. Much swearing will be involved, too, LOL, but hey, I was in the Navy for 6 years, so I do have an excuse for swearing like a sailor.

LOL. Well, I debated on if I was going to post it or not. I'm glad I did.

Thanks for serving. My son is an AM stationed at Eglin AFB with the F-35 maintenance squadron attached to VFA-101. Him being Navy and his Mom and I are both ex-USAF, it's kinda funny that he ended up at an Air Force base!

ShutterBug
02-08-2015, 04:09 PM
Haven't done much with the Jeep since it's been cold up in these parts. So cold that I got tired of either jumping in a cold Jeep in the morning, or running out to start it, run back in to wait for it to warm up. I bought a remote start from Amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00J0IKPIU/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

This one came pre programmed for a Jeep Wrangler and included a range extender.

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I had actually "installed" this a couple weeks ago. When I first got it, I plugged it in, programmed it for my key, and just left all the wires hanging there. I didn't care. I was tired of being cold. :) It took all of 10 minutes. After being sick for a week and dealing with Snowmagedon 2.5, I didn't have time to finish the install.

Today, I spent a couple of hours zip tied everything up and ran wires from the unit to the wires under the fuse box for the parking lights. When the remote starter is active, it turns on the parking lights. I also mounted the antenna for the range extender to the windshield.

The range extender isn't necessary, as pushing the lock button on the FOB three times activates the starter. I'm just out of range of that from my second floor office to the parking lot, thus the need for the range extender.

Considering I spent $150 on this, I give it very high marks. A Mopar unit is $225, plus you still need to have a dealer flash your computer (add another $100). So for less than half of "stock" this is way worth it.

shoupadupe
02-24-2015, 01:24 PM
Subscribed, I'm here in Cleveland too, so if you ever need help wrenching let me know.

markinohio
02-24-2015, 02:55 PM
Nice remote starter, don't think I'm going to try it on a manual, though.

Thanks to you, your wife, and your son for all serving, too.

jkuhl1233
02-25-2015, 09:11 AM
looks good!

GreyGoose
03-06-2015, 08:36 PM
Nice !!

ShutterBug
04-03-2015, 08:23 AM
Installed a JCR Offroad Evap Skid. The instructions on their website seemed our of date. They made it sound like you left the old skid in place, which mad no sense to me. I got rid of the old skid. There's not much to it, so I think I guessed right. :)

The hardest part was removing the connectors to the canister. There are these little U-clips on the hard lines that you have to pop out in order to remove them from the evap. I found a video on youtube that described it. Didn't keep me from breaking one. Doh! No worries. It went back together OK and the two halves of the clip are holding the line on. I will replace them as soon as I can find a source.

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OhioLion
04-11-2015, 12:34 AM
Are you still using that e auto grill skid? If so how has it held up? Specifically any damage to the bolt heads that aren't recessed?

ShutterBug
04-12-2015, 07:37 PM
I am still using it. Seems to be holding up well. I know for certain these bolts hit some big rocks at Southington this past trip.

I would rather have an exposed bolt head that I can use an extractor to get out than use those rounded over washers that recess the bolt head. I've seen some pictures of this washers so mangled by rocks that there was no way to get a socket into it to extract the bolt.

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Casamtb
04-12-2015, 10:47 PM
I just put on the mountain off road oil/tranny skid. Beefy, but i was wondering about the bolts too. I wonder if you can get hard rock to sell the ramped washers only to protect the bolts or if anyone has seen an aftermarket set?

ShutterBug
04-13-2015, 08:25 AM
Rock Hard will sell the washers separately, as I was interested in doing that at one point. I don't remember how much they wanted, but I decided it was more than I wanted for what it was going to give me. JMHO.

Now, if they were titanium and guaranteed not to get all mangled, well, then, I still wouldn't buy them because they would be too damn expensive! :)

Casamtb
04-13-2015, 11:17 AM
I guess we can just change them once a year easy enough for $10. ...or not run over stuff. (mmwahahahaha)

OhioLion
04-13-2015, 11:18 AM
I am still using it. Seems to be holding up well. I know for certain these bolts hit some big rocks at Southington this past trip.

I would rather have an exposed bolt head that I can use an extractor to get out than use those rounded over washers that recess the bolt head. I've seen some pictures of this washers so mangled by rocks that there was no way to get a socket into it to extract the bolt.



Thanks for the pics!

ShutterBug
04-13-2015, 01:53 PM
I guess at $8 a piece, they aren't too bad.

http://www.rockhard4x4.com/product_p/rh-6000-sw-496.htm

I'm still concerned that of the washer is damaged, or bent, you'd never get a socket in there to take the bolt out.

ShutterBug
04-13-2015, 02:00 PM
Installed these Bestop 2 piece soft doors over the weekend. They are super lightweight. The top separates from the bottom easy.

But they leak like a sewer grate! LOL!

I adjusted them as much as I could, but I think in any kind of reasonable rain, I'd get soaked. I'll probably keep them anyway, because it's cheap insurance. I'd rather run doors off all summer and have these in the back for the 20% chance of rain forecasts. I always put the doors back on just in case. Now I won't.

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ShutterBug
04-19-2015, 05:57 PM
When I put my lift on, I added exhaust spacers. While trying to make my life "easier" I decided to use a tap in the exhaust flange so the inserting of the new bolts would go smoother. That didn't go so well (http://www.jkfreaks.com/forums/showthread.php?17642-ShutterBug-s-Build-Thread&p=376098&viewfull=1#post376098), to say the least.

So I finally got around to taking it to my local mechanic who was able to take a torch to the exhaust flange, clear the hole, and properly mount the spacers for good this time.

52037

ShutterBug
04-19-2015, 06:08 PM
I went back and forth on what control arm skids to buy. I had decided on a set from one manufacturer, ordered them with the promise I would have them before the Friday before a wheeling trip to SOR. Not only did they not arrive, but the manufacturer lied to me in the process. I didn't even open the box. Sent them back.

I ordered a set of Off Road Evolution EVO Rock Star Skids and a set of Artec front weld-on skids.

I installed the Rock Stars in my driveway. It was the first time I made such a permanent modification to the Jeep. The Rock Star skids raise the shock mount up 1.5" (added ground clearance - yay!) but requires you to cut off the lower 1.5" of the control arm bracket.

The first one took a while - probably more so because I needed to build up the guts to take a sawsall to the bracket. One thing I did find out, was that the rear control arm won't go back in unless the axel is at normal ride height. If the axel is drooped at all, it won't go into the frame side bracket.

BUT, not only do I get another 1.5" of ground clearance, but another 1.5" of rear droop!

The original bracket unaltered:

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After cutting off the bottom of the bracket, the shock mount and the sway bar link tab:

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After grinding off the old welds:

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The finished product:

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ShutterBug
04-19-2015, 06:10 PM
Ringer was gracious enough to help me out once again with the welding portion of the front control arms skids. It's amazing the quality of work you can get done for little more than a quality stout beer. :)

52042

ShutterBug
04-19-2015, 06:17 PM
A while back I bought 5 wheel rings from Speed2005. They were painted Mango Tango orange, and that wasn't going to work for me. I had painted them once, but I did a lousy job and it peeled and some orange was coming through and I couldn't have that. I took a grinder and a flapper and made sure all of that paint was gone.

52043

Waiting for a coat of POR 15 to dry before I prime and paint them the RIGHT color. Again.

drtyrat30
06-26-2015, 07:12 PM
Your build is inspirational. I just bought my 2dr jk last month and have been researching all the mods I'm going to do. I have decided on the same lift as you, just wanted your opinion and review of it. Is this the 2dr specific x-factor 2.5" lift that uses the 1.5" 4dr coils? Also do you know what kinda lift height you achieved after installing. I want to run 35" tires and flat fenders also so I'm deciding if I want the 2.5" x-factor or 3.5" for the 2dr. Thanks for any info. And thanks for you and your families service.

ShutterBug
06-26-2015, 11:07 PM
Your build is inspirational. I just bought my 2dr jk last month and have been researching all the mods I'm going to do. I have decided on the same lift as you, just wanted your opinion and review of it. Is this the 2dr specific x-factor 2.5" lift that uses the 1.5" 4dr coils? Also do you know what kinda lift height you achieved after installing. I want to run 35" tires and flat fenders also so I'm deciding if I want the 2.5" x-factor or 3.5" for the 2dr. Thanks for any info. And thanks for you and your families service.

Thanks for the compliment. I do like to show off my rig, but more importantly, I wanted to share what I learned with others, it's how I learn, too.

This is the pre-JK/JKU specific classification, so it is what they currently sell as the 3.5" 2-door lift, although the joints on the lower control arms have since been improved.

I absolutely love this lift. Took it to Rausch for JK Freak Fest this past May and it was night and day from the budget boost I had before - which may be obvious to some. Some of the same trails I had done before felt so much more comfortable in this lift. Plus the 35s made a big difference, too.

I measured the shock length and I gained a full 3.5" of lift. Which surprised me considering I have a steel bumpers and a winch.

It took a long time to install, a garage lift would make this much easier, and you have to spend the right amount of time adjusting the control arms and lok-titing the jam nuts. But once you have it dialed in, I think you'll love it.

drtyrat30
06-27-2015, 12:08 AM
Thanks I think that helps me make up my mind to go with the New version RK X-Factor 3.5. I plan on Bumpers, winch, armor ect. So it looks like you still have plenty of lift and the option to go 37's if you ever wanted. I think I will order the kit from northridge with bilsteins and maybe a pair of the Artec spring perches to correct coil bow if it's a problem. Might have to get a new frt driveshaft also. If you have any other pics of your jeep I would love to see them. Thanks again and take care.

ShutterBug
06-27-2015, 07:06 AM
I bought my kit from NR4X4 myself. It does come with some correction wedges. I don't think you will need the drive shaft, but, even if you do, wait until the stock one breaks. :)

Looking forward to your build thread!

drtyrat30
06-27-2015, 10:57 AM
I bought my kit from NR4X4 myself. It does come with some correction wedges. I don't think you will need the drive shaft, but, even if you do, wait until the stock one breaks. :)

Looking forward to your build thread!

Yeah I was hoping NR4x4 will have a Fourth of July sale before I place my order. 1 other quick question a few of the rims I'm looking at ie: Method NV's and Pro comp Rockwells in 17x8.5 only come in a 4.75 Backspace, I know RK suggested 4.5 BS. Wondering if they would work, I'll be running 35" Trail grapplers.

I'll get a thread started as soon as parts start showing up...

Mallicon
06-27-2015, 11:49 AM
Did you need to make any other adjustments I the rear when you did the Evo shock relocation, is it just a cut and bolt on affair?

GreyGoose
06-27-2015, 06:42 PM
Looking good man ! How have you been mAking out with the soft doors ?? Having no garage makes running doorless next to impossible around here and I mean I could keep putting them back on and off but probably gunna wreck em that way

ShutterBug
06-27-2015, 09:16 PM
Yeah I was hoping NR4x4 will have a Fourth of July sale before I place my order. 1 other quick question a few of the rims I'm looking at ie: Method NV's and Pro comp Rockwells in 17x8.5 only come in a 4.75 Backspace, I know RK suggested 4.5 BS. Wondering if they would work, I'll be running 35" Trail grapplers.

I'll get a thread started as soon as parts start showing up...

My wheels are 4.5" and I have no issues at all. Can't say what 1/4" would do.

Tell Northridge you are form JK Freaks and they will give you a slightly better deal. Their RK packaged kits are pretty heavily discounted already, so it won't be a lot.

ShutterBug
06-27-2015, 09:19 PM
Did you need to make any other adjustments I the rear when you did the Evo shock relocation, is it just a cut and bolt on affair?


Well, it was more like, measure, measure, measure, 2nd guess myself, measure, cut some, measure, cut some more, measure, grind (a lot), try it on, cut and grind some more, bolt it on.

The second side went a little smoother. :)

No other adjustments. You do need to make sure you have the right shock lengths for these. Since you are relocating the shock mount 1.5" higher, you need to make sure your bump stop will bottom out before your shock does.

ShutterBug
06-27-2015, 09:21 PM
Looking good man ! How have you been mAking out with the soft doors ?? Having no garage makes running doorless next to impossible around here and I mean I could keep putting them back on and off but probably gunna wreck em that way


Love the soft doors. Haven't had the regular doors on since before the Bantam Festival. Makes it so much easier to go doorless and not worry about rain.

They are NOISY at highway speeds, less so when the windows are unzipped or not on the door.

GreyGoose
06-28-2015, 10:26 AM
How much water gets in if the jeep is left parked in the driveway and it starts raining pretty good ? I have seen people driving down the hwy and literally seen gaps on the tops of the door from the wind lol

ShutterBug
06-28-2015, 08:03 PM
None. Unless I leave the door open. :)

I was working on the Jeep on Saturday, I had left the door open, went inside, and it started pouring. I forgot all about the door. By the time I remembered, I had and inch and a half of water in my rear seat foot well. Oops. :) Drain plugs rule!

As long as the doors are closed, I don't get any water in (at least not any more than a few drops). They don't fit like factory.

GreyGoose
06-28-2015, 08:54 PM
Thanks man jeep is looking good !

ShutterBug
10-11-2015, 09:54 PM
Not really a modification to the Jeep, but it's in it anyway!

54137

I wanted to speed up the few times I use the turnpike when going on Jeep events. I live in Ohio, but I got these from the Massachusetts DOT. MassDOT does not charge a monthly fee, and you don'y have to pay for the device. You set up an account, they send these to you. If you're account goes below a certain amount, the auto charge the card. The balance never expires.

I love those EZPass lanes!

ShutterBug
10-11-2015, 09:57 PM
This is how to park a JK with an axle seal leak!

54138

Noticed a spot on the driveway. Took it to the dealer and they did the work under warranty.

When I went to pick it up, I walked up the the Jeep and there had to be a quart of gear oil sitting next to the passenger tire. Wish I had taken a picture.

By the time my ride had picked me up, she was already back in the lift and apart.

54139

Knock on wood. Haven't had any leaks since!

ShutterBug
10-11-2015, 10:04 PM
I've been wanting to add some lights to the Jeep, and love the idea of the sPOD. But it's just not in my budget. I like to make things, so over the last 5 or 6 months, I have been collecting parts, ordering stuff from eBay and Amazon and built my own box to hold the relays and fuses. I mounted it in the engine compartment on some homemade brackets from some scrap steel I had (I love having my own welder, even if my welding sucks!).

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I have enough room for 5 relays, which is the same size as the switch panel I picked up (Daystar) and some OTRATTW switches. The bumper and windshield lights operate as normal. The Rock Lights and Rear Lights are a three way switch. When in the center, they are off. When up, they are on. When down, they are controlled by either the dome light or the reverse lights.

ShutterBug
10-11-2015, 10:05 PM
I've had this for a while, but just now got around to putting it on.

54143

ShutterBug
10-11-2015, 10:09 PM
I was under the Jeep looking at any rust spots and noticed my drive shaft is probably close to dead. The CV boot is torn all the way around and the slip joint boot is melted from the exhaust crossover. It's just a matter of time.

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ShutterBug
10-11-2015, 10:15 PM
Ordered a new Adams Driveshaft (1310 with solid joints) from Northridge 4x4 on Monday, had it on Friday, installed it on Saturday. I had already taken off the stock front drive shaft. That was harder than I expected. The front pinion flange bolts were a bear. The impact couldn't get one of them to move so I had to use some heat in it. The small bolts in the transfer case flange have no room to work around.

Installing the new one was pretty straight forward. The instructions on the Adams Driveshaft web site were easy to follow. Not only did I get this quick, and the install was easy, I got a little extra axle droop!

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ShutterBug
10-11-2015, 10:28 PM
Forgot to mention, I picked up a HiLift jack at the Bantam Jeep Heritage Festival in Butler PA. I also pickup some cheap LED cube lights. They aren't Rigid's, which are not in the budget, but they are bright enough for what I need them. I mounted 2 spots on the windshield and 2 foods on the bumper.

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Navyvetnorwich91
10-11-2015, 10:38 PM
Not really a modification to the Jeep, but it's in it anyway!

54137

I wanted to speed up the few times I use the turnpike when going on Jeep events. I live in Ohio, but I got these from the Massachusetts DOT. MassDOT does not charge a monthly fee, and you don'y have to pay for the device. You set up an account, they send these to you. If you're account goes below a certain amount, the auto charge the card. The balance never expires.

I love those EZPass lanes!

Yup we are from Mass and EZP saves a Shit ton of time and aggravation!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Jus Jim
10-12-2015, 01:43 PM
Nice thread, good info here. Nice looking rig.

ShutterBug
11-03-2015, 09:41 PM
Well, this just happened.

54267

DChew, a fellow Freak contacted me when he read a post I made about my plans for a front D44. He just replaced his Rubicon axles and offered them to me at a deal too good to pass up.

They both have the factory Rubicon locker but have been re-geared to 4.88. I had only planned on going to 4.56, but this gives me the option of 37" tires, should I dare to venture there.

The front has RCV axle shafts. The rear, stock shafts, but those will get replaced with G2's or Ten Factory. They both have aftermarket pinion yokes, which may necessitate a new rear shaft and some changes to my 1 month old Adams drive shaft on the front.

This will take some work. Both were set up for coil-overs, and have been modified. I have no desire to run coil-overs at this time, however. The rear LCA brackets have been completely removed and will need to be replaced. They have some surface rust. Nothing a wire wheel and some Rust Bullet can't cure.

I'm looking forward to this. It's gonna be great! Hoping to have this done by March 2016. Cross your fingers!

DChew
11-04-2015, 05:45 AM
Hey Greg they already look better sitting on fresh corrugate! Couple things... I found four rear axle nuts from those if you want them. Also, I need to take off my factory locker harnesses since I now have ARB lockers and those harnesses are literally hanging around with nothing to do. I'm not sure how those come off but if you want them I will save them for you.

Good luck with your new winter project. Nice meeting you.

Ciao,
Dave

ShutterBug
11-04-2015, 08:43 AM
Dave,

YES! I would love the harness. Saves me $100 or figuring out how to jerry rig those plugs.

Axle nuts? Like in lug nuts? Not worried about those. If it's something else, better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. :)

Great meeting you as well. You mentioned photography when we talked on the phone. We'll have to chat on that next time I come out and visit.

DChew
11-04-2015, 10:34 AM
I mean the 4 nuts that secure the axle to the housing on each side. You probably have the set for one side, I have the set for the other. Something like 1/2".

Dave

sikm3
11-04-2015, 10:38 AM
Curious, how long did your OEM drive shaft last (miles wise)?

ShutterBug
11-04-2015, 01:28 PM
Curious, how long did your OEM drive shaft last (miles wise)?

It wasn't the miles that did it in, it was the flex.

The stock drive shaft's diameter and design of the CV joint limit how much down travel it can safely handle. As my front axle drooped, the shaft, in the area of the slip joint, would hit the exhaust cross over. Also, the boot that encapsulates the CV joint would hit the flange, causing the flange to cut into the boot.

I put in exhaust spacers, but it wasn't enough. A 4-door has the option of replacing the exhaust Y-Pipe with one that goes behind the transmission crossover. The 2 door has no room behind that crossover, so a new Y-Pipe was not an option.

The new drive shaft uses a more traditional yoke at the transfer case and has a smaller diameter. I will probably max out my shock length before it has a chance to hit the exhaust again.

But it was replaced at around 27K. I could have rebuilt the CV joint using Tereflex's high-pinion joint for $150, but it would not have solved the exhaust issue. On a 4 door, it might be a good option if you don't want to spend $400 on a better drive shaft.

ShutterBug
11-06-2015, 01:47 PM
I mean the 4 nuts that secure the axle to the housing on each side. You probably have the set for one side, I have the set for the other. Something like 1/2".

Dave

I will probably need those, although I am leaning toward replacing the hardware with new.

Since I'm probably going to upgrade the shafts anyway, do you think it is worth replacing the seal retainers, etc.? I'm not very versed on the complexities of the axle housing sub components. From what I understand, most aftermarket shafts come with the bearings loose. But I have seen some (Nitro) in which they come complete with bearings, tone rings, seals and retainers for $475. Quite a bit more than just the axles and bearings, but a lot less hassle.

The bigger question is will I be able to cut those EVO brackets off cleanly enough and get LCA and shock bracketry welded back on. If any of those things are questionable, it's going to make it damn near impossible for me to use the housing. I'm building a couple of "carts" to put some jack stands on so I have an easy way to move these around in the garage to get into all the nooks and crannies.

The rear is the one that prompts the bigger questions. I think the front should be extremely straight forward.

AND, the unintentional bonus! This is giving me a good reason to go out and buy a better air compressor. Mine is just a little 4 gallon deal that works fine for super small stuff, but I now want something in the 30 gallon range. 60 would be too nice, but too big for my garage. But, alas, I still can't afford to get anything too good. I need to keep it in the sub $200 category, so if you know of anyone, please let me know.

DChew
11-07-2015, 05:29 AM
Seems to me so many people directly replace shafts with just the bearings that come with them you should just try that. But like you I have very little experience inside the housings.

I think removing the brackets looks harder than it is. They are big but it is only the weld area that has to be removed. The bump stop pad will be in the way but other than that it should be pretty accessible with a grinder. Like you say as long as you rotate the housing around to keep it comfortable to work on. Good idea on the carts.

The guy who did my welding had to cut off part of the passenger EVO air bump bracket frenched into the frame. Probably 10" of weld line and 8" of 3/8 plate. Took him 10 minutes to get it out of there and ready to weld.
👍

Ringer
11-07-2015, 07:38 AM
Get new bearings and retainers for the new shafts. That way you can have trail spares.

I would say leave the brackets on. It will give me more points of reference and I can have them off in ten minutes with the plasma.

ShutterBug
11-07-2015, 08:28 PM
OK. The coil over brackets will stay on until you get them.

Hoping for some Black Friday deals and plan on picking up the Artec D44 truss, front LCA skids, and rear LCA brackets.

Do you have an opinion on the EVO truss vs. the Artec truss? It was mentioned to me today that it doesn't require welding to the cast steel and bridges the differential. They're both about the same cost.

Ringer
11-07-2015, 10:11 PM
OK. The coil over brackets will stay on until you get them.

Hoping for some Black Friday deals and plan on picking up the Artec D44 truss, front LCA skids, and rear LCA brackets.

Do you have an opinion on the EVO truss vs. the Artec truss? It was mentioned to me today that it doesn't require welding to the cast steel and bridges the differential. They're both about the same cost.

I have seen the EVO, and it looks good as well. I haven't installed one yet. You could be the first.

HDFLHX
11-07-2015, 10:18 PM
We put the evo truss on mine. Like it a lot. Way less work, but I think the Artec is beefier.

HDFLHX
11-07-2015, 10:27 PM
Here is a pic of mine when we started test fitting it.
54302

DChew
11-08-2015, 08:29 AM
Dave,

YES! I would love the harness. Saves me $100 or figuring out how to jerry rig those plugs.

I looked under there, and of course at least in the rear the wires go up and bundle with the rear lights and other things. Do You want me to cut them at the point they branch off the main harness? That would be about 2 feet of wire.

ShutterBug
11-08-2015, 09:33 AM
Whatever is easiest for you. Do you still have your sway bar motor hooked up? I think that harness also includes the sway bar wiring, so I would be careful. Those plugs are impossible to find, having those is what's most important to me.

DChew
11-08-2015, 10:47 AM
E disco is long gone. I have the EVO no limits.

ShutterBug
11-08-2015, 11:34 AM
I figured as much. LOL.

ShutterBug
11-15-2015, 04:09 PM
A couple of quick updates.

First, seat warmers! Well, first AND second ... I'll explain as you keep reading.

I bought a set of seat warmers off Amazon a few weeks ago. While the weather was still warm, I figured I'd put them in. I chose to remove the seats to make it easier. The first step is to pull back the upholstery. The back is fairly easy, once you get this full length slip separated from the back of the seat. This was a little tricky, but using some trim tools, I was able to get it loose and pull the upholstery up.

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As you can see, each side and the middle, is a strip of velcro to which the upholstery attaches. You'll notice that there are a couple small slits in the heat pad to allow the velcro to attach. It's important, DON'T CUT THROUGH THE CARBON FIBER MESH. You'll ruin it. That's why this is the second update. Whoops. I had cut through so much of the mesh, that it hardly generated any heat. Oddly, I convinced the seller to send me out a whole new set of pads since there was nothing in the instruction that indicated just how much of the mesh can be cut. Disaster averted.

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The seat is a little more complicated. As I pulled back the upholstery, it exposed these plastic rods in the fabric attached to pieces in the foam with metal rings.

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I cut these with some decent wire cutters. Then used some pliers to pull the pieces out of the foam. It's OK to cut the pad where there is no mesh, so I made sure to remove only the area where I could get away with it.

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Back to those hog rings. I didn't feel like spending too much on an upholstery specific set of pliers, Ringer gave me a tip and I picked these up at Home Depot. They are sold for using hog rings on fencing. I also bought a pack of clips. They're probably twice the gauge of upholstery rings, but they'll do.

54380

These things are pretty neat. You set the clip in the pliers and when you squeeze them, they close nicely

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Once the clip was in the pliers, I put one end into and around the upholstery rod and dug it into the foam to get it around the anchor in the foam.

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I ran the wires under the seat. I didn't take any pictures of how I ran the wire, but the switches were mounted in the dash and I ran power from the 12v outlet.

They take a little time to heat up (10 minutes or so) but they do a nice job of keeping important parts warm. :)

54384

While I had the seats out of the Jeep, I put back on my neoprene seat covers - these have done a really good job of keeping my cloth seats clean.

I also picked up a used pair of Smittybilt G.E.A.R. seat covers from another forum and put those on as well.

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They match the tail gate organizer I picked up a while back.

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ShutterBug
11-15-2015, 04:14 PM
No real update on the axles. But I made these two carts on 4" wheels so I could move them around a lot easier.

54388

This will also make it easier for me to roll them on the back of a trailer, should I find one to borrow. Ideally, I'd like to get one of those Harbor Freight fold up trailers. I don't have a lot of space, and no room to store a trailer. That fold up deal will store nicely behind my shed.

karls10jk
11-15-2015, 09:28 PM
Can you post a link/ price on those seat heaters? Are they the same ones Ringer did?? Not that it gets "cold" here, but I've been a little spoiled by the seats in the GTI recently.

ShutterBug
11-15-2015, 10:46 PM
I'm not sure if it's the same one's Ringer was using. Try this link on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008D2LIRG?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00

Because of the way Amazon works, you'll get different prices depending on who has these in stock. I only paid around $40 for mine.

kyle521
11-16-2015, 09:18 AM
How did you wire the heated seats? Straight to the battery?

ShutterBug
11-16-2015, 10:58 AM
No. I wanted them to shut off with the Jeep. They are wired to the accessory outlet (lighter plug) in the lower dash panel - on their own fuses of course. I should have wired them to the battery, with a relay on the switched power, but I was tired and got lazy. ;)

karls10jk
11-16-2015, 11:53 AM
I think those are the same or very similar to what he has, thank you for the link!

ShutterBug
11-16-2015, 01:16 PM
My current shopping list

Here are the items I hope to be getting soon for this project. I still have at least a few weeks before they can go to Ringer's.

* Artec Front Axle Truss
* Artec Front LCA Skids
* Artec Front Track Bar Bracket

It may be that the rear LCAs are going to be OK. I'm going to take some measurements tonight. If not:

* Artec Rear LCA Mounts w/Skids
* Artec Rear Track Bar Bracket (if needed)

Once all the welding is complete, I'll be adding these:

* Ten Factory Rear Axle Shafts (complete)
* Synergy HD Ball Joints
* Synergy HD Tie Rod

I've considered adding the Synergy drag link, but I'm going to stick with the EVO flip that I already have on this axle. I will eventually replace it as well as their sector shaft brace.

If I see an awesome Black Friday deal on the shafts and/or Synergy items, I'll get them at the same time. If not, they can wait until early January.

I'm hoping my front drive shaft will be OK. I have to remove the flange adapter and have it re-balanced, plus pick up some U-Bolts to attach it to the front yoke. Adams Driveshaft is asking for some post-install pictures and they will tell me if the shaft will be long enough. If not, it's $125 plus shipping to have it sized.

I want to avoid needing a new rear shaft - why fix it if it ain't broke. Ideally, I need to find a stock rear flange and replace the yoke that's on there now. Then I'll be able to use my stock drive shaft on the rear. It'll get replaced, just not now.

I'm still trying to figure out what I want to do for a rust preventative. I've been leaning toward Rust Bullet. But I will likely have to wait until I all of the welding is done. Apparently Rust Bullet has to be sanded in order to top coat it if it has been more than 6 hours. I've also looked at Miracle Paint and POR-15. Both are good products, but Rust Bullet is UV safe.

I'm hoping that by early February, or sooner, this will all be ready to go on the Jeep. Can't wait!

ShutterBug
11-21-2015, 06:21 PM
Possibly a slight change of plans. Instead of an Artec truss, I think I am looking at one from Barnes 4wd (http://www.barnes4wd.com/Pro-Series-Jeep-JK-Front-Axle-Truss_p_381.html). Looks to be a little beefier than the Artec.

I've also decided to cut off the old EVO raised track bar brackets. The way the front one is designed, it gets in the way of the truss. The rear would be in the way as I try to get rid of some of this rust.

Some progress on the rear:

54499

Before:

54501

After:

54500

It's likely I will be cutting off the stock bracket as well, after I take a bunch of measurements, photos and diagrams. The Barnes bracket looks to be a replacement, rather than a bolt over.

Haven't done much with the front. That's coming soon. I am, however, thinking I might need new seals. The shafts have been sitting in the housing for quite a while, with no outer support of a bearing. I would have to think those seals are deformed by now with that weight sitting on them. It would be a lot easier to replace them now than after the axle is installed. I've never done anything like that. It looks easy enough, keeping the parts of the diff in the right order and configuration, seems to be the hardest part. At which point I would leave the shafts out until install day. Not sure what I am going to do with that.

ECHO
11-21-2015, 07:32 PM
You need to rent a sandblaster..

ShutterBug
11-21-2015, 07:49 PM
I thought about that. But the mess it would make! Plus, from what I have read, it seems that no matter how well you plug the holes, that stuff still manages to find its way into the tubes and pumpkin. This is a lot more work, but it's cheaper and it's safer.

ECHO
11-21-2015, 07:55 PM
I thought about that. But the mess it would make! Plus, from what I have read, it seems that no matter how well you plug the holes, that stuff still manages to find its way into the tubes and pumpkin. This is a lot more work, but it's cheaper and it's safer.

I hear yeah.. I have been sanding on my winch for several hours.. so I feel your pain having to do a whole axle or axles

DChew
11-23-2015, 05:49 AM
Looks good there! Nice work on those.

AR13
11-23-2015, 07:38 AM
Just caught up on your build thread, nice progression and looking good!

ShutterBug
11-23-2015, 01:10 PM
Order the axle truss, front LCA skids and both track bar brackets from Barnes 4WD this morning, taking advantage of their 15% off code. I'll now be able to get to bare metal on the housing where these will attach.

I should be ordering the Artec rear LCA brackets this week as well. The only thing I don't like about this brackets is they keep the shock mount in the stock location. I kind of like the fact my EVO Rock Star skids give me an extra 1.5" of clearance.

http://www.barnes4wd.com/assets/images/Jeep%20Specific/Misc%20Jeep%20Parts/JK%20Front%20axle%20truss3.jpg

http://www.barnes4wd.com/assets/images/Jeep%20Specific/Jeep%20Skid%20Plates/FrontLowerControlArmSkid2.jpg

http://www.barnes4wd.com/assets/images/Jeep%20Specific/Misc%20Jeep%20Parts/FrontTBLifted2.jpg

http://www.barnes4wd.com/assets/images/Jeep%20Specific/Misc%20Jeep%20Parts/RearTB3.jpg

ShutterBug
11-26-2015, 11:35 AM
Well, I decided to go all out and replace the rear lower control arm brackets. Ordered a set of Artec from River City Offload yesterday (thanks Marcus!)

54544

Spent the better part of 3.5 hours, 6 cutting wheels, and at least one flap disc, but I went from this:

54548

To this:

54546

On to the driver's side!

ShutterBug
11-29-2015, 05:06 PM
Another few cutoff wheels and at least one flap disc and the driver's side is done. As soon as the Artec brackets get here this week, I'll know where I need to remove the rest of the paint.

54567

DChew
11-29-2015, 05:34 PM
Do you realize how much work it was to put all that on?? That 3 degree LCA mount / rear shock combo was a bear!
You're killing me smalls. 😄

Also, that setup I had with high-clearance long arms and bolt on coilovers was one of only a few ever done. EVO stopped offering that combo soon after I ordered mine.

Probably a good reason for that...

Looking good!

ShutterBug
11-29-2015, 08:27 PM
Do you realize how much work it was to put all that on?? That 3 degree LCA mount / rear shock combo was a bear!
You're killing me smalls. ��

LOL!

Those things were the devil to get off. I was cursing EVO the whole time. It was probably still easier to take off. But they each took 2-3 hours to remove and clean up. Trying to be super careful not to nick the tube (I still did in one spot - not enough to worry about) and then spending oodles of time with a flap disc. That while wearing a dust mask, glasses (that loved to fog up at inopportune times) and a face shield that seems to be a dust magnet. With both doors to the garage open front to back for some ventilation, I was still suffocating. LOL! Hopefully, I didn't breath in too much of that rusty dust.

ShutterBug
11-29-2015, 08:28 PM
Felt motivated to get the front track bar bracket off.

54569

Seeing what it will look like once the Barnes 4WD truss is in place.

54570

ShutterBug
12-03-2015, 09:50 PM
Hope I didn't need any of this. LOL

54618

Getting ready to prep the front LCA skids, front and rear track bar brackets and front truss pieces. This stuff is beefy. Most of this is 1/4" steel. The Artec rear LCA brackets/skids should be here tomorrow and will get added to the pile. Need to clean them up with a scotchbrite and make sure all the tabs fit into the holes and then paint it all with weldable primer.

54619

AR13
12-04-2015, 07:44 AM
That's a lot of cool looking metal :)

darkknight1999
12-06-2015, 11:28 AM
Gosh now I can't wait to order my Artec kits...
👍🏻 looking good!


Sent from my government tracking and monitoring device...

karls10jk
12-06-2015, 11:49 AM
That kit looks less involved than the Artec kit that's in my garage. Do you have any plans of putting preload on the axle when you're welding it? I've got one to weld up and getting my ducks in a row as you are.

ShutterBug
12-06-2015, 12:22 PM
What you see on this table is not just the truss. The truss is 9 pieces and is pretty simple. The vertical pieces on this kit are actually thicker than those that Artec sells.

The rest are the two track bar brackets (front and rear) and LCA skids for the front.

Ringer is doing all of the welding for me, so I couldn't speak to his technique. He's done quite a few, I trust him completely.

ShutterBug
12-06-2015, 12:29 PM
Well, I finally decided to bury my dead stock steering stabilizer. It's rotting corpse has been attached to my tie rod for far too long.

54638

Bought a Teraflex heavy duty SS on Black Friday.

54636

I also flipped it with a Dominion Off Road flip bracket I picked up from a fellow Jeeper.

54637

Ringer
12-06-2015, 12:42 PM
That kit looks less involved than the Artec kit that's in my garage. Do you have any plans of putting preload on the axle when you're welding it? I've got one to weld up and getting my ducks in a row as you are.

No preload for welding it. I tack the day lights out of it and then take my time on the welds allowing it to cool. If welding the cast I will pre and post heat as well.

I've done about a dozen or so and even had one put on an axle jig after and it was straight as an arrow.

karls10jk
12-06-2015, 03:08 PM
Thank you for the advice Andy, sounds like it should go smoothly when I get around to putting it on. Are you pre/ post heating with mapp, propane, oxy/act?

Ringer
12-06-2015, 03:43 PM
Thank you for the advice Andy, sounds like it should go smoothly when I get around to putting it on. Are you pre/ post heating with mapp, propane, oxy/act?

I preheat to 400-600F, using oxy/act. Also, high nickel wire is ideal, but I've never had an issue with standard.

ShutterBug
12-08-2015, 06:21 PM
Brown Santa showed up today. One step closer.

54642

ECHO
12-08-2015, 06:43 PM
:thumb:

DChew
12-09-2015, 05:42 AM
There ya go! Nice.

Invest2m4
12-14-2015, 05:08 PM
I preheat to 400-600F, using oxy/act. Also, high nickel wire is ideal, but I've never had an issue with standard.

I am of fan of the Crown Alloy high nickel MIG wire (http://www.crownalloys.com/TechSheet/R44.pdf). Not cheap, but ideal for welding to cast (and then you can also weld the rear tubes to the center section). You technically do not have to pre or post heat it, but a guy on Pirate did some testing and found that a little bit made things better (200 degrees). Alternative is to TIG with NI-55 or NI-99. Let me know when you guys plan to weld. Maybe a good weekend for me to swing out and I can bring the spool and Ringer can take it for a test drive.

ShutterBug
12-14-2015, 05:38 PM
Tentative schedule is the morning of the 30th.

darkknight1999
12-14-2015, 06:28 PM
Brown Santa showed up today. One step closer.

54642

Sweet! :wootrock:

ShutterBug
12-30-2015, 07:46 PM
Spent the day at Ringer's burning some steel! I can't thank him enough for spending part of his holiday break helping me out.

Authors note: When reading the below, when encountering the word "we", please substitute the phrase "Ringer, while I watched," in its place.


I kept the axles on the carts I built. Made it easier to load them on a trailer.

54820

All of the brackets and truss pieces are ready to go. Everything was wiped down with acetone, the edges cleaned with a scotchbrite pad and primed with weldable primer.

54821

The rear was fairly straight forward, Artec LCA brackets and the Barnes 4WD track bar bracket. We only needed to figure out just where the LCA brackets needed to go. The Artec web site didn't give any details. Using my Jeep and the stock mounts for reference, clamped up the new bracket and welded it in.

54822

These things are pretty stout. (Note: the axle is inverted in these pictures.)

54823

54824

The Barnes 4WD rear track bar bracket was next. It is just massive. This thing is going nowhere!

54809

54810

The front was next. First, test fitting the Barnes 4WD truss. This truss is beefier than the Artec, all 3/16" instead of a mixture of 3/16" and 1/8" steel. And, according to Ringer, was much better fitment.

54811

Welding in the truss took a long time. To prevent any warping of the axle tube, we could only weld small beads at a time, moving from one side to the other, front to the back, waiting to allow it to cool in between.

54812

54813

When welding the truss to the cast differential housing, it's necessary to heat it up first to prevent the weld from cracking, as the two metals heat and cool at different rates, plus have different metallurgical properties.

54825

Next was the Barnes 4WD front track bar bracket, again, beefy. The holes are drilled for 14mm bolts, and my track bar uses 9/16" bolts, so we opened them up with a 9/16" reamer.

54816

Next up, Barnes 4WD lower control arm skids! (View from the underside of the axle.)

54817

Lastly, since the previous owner had run coil overs, that required removing part of the spring perch, we had to fabricate a new spot where the spring will index.

54818

All in all, it was a very long day. Over 7 1/2 hours from start to finish.

54819

I cannot express how much gratitude I have for Ringer and the JK Freaks community.

Can't wait to bounce these off some rocks! (but maybe not too hard. ;))

Next step is some mild clean up grinding, a wire wheel to clean up some slag (for some reason, the truss was throwing more than the rest), finish cleaning up the rust and getting some paint on them. I still have parts to buy. But my schedule of getting them installed in February or March is still on track.

ECHO
12-30-2015, 07:47 PM
Looking real good!! Your lucky you live close to Andy

ShutterBug
12-30-2015, 07:51 PM
Looking real good!! Your lucky you live close to Andy

True Dat!

Ringer
12-30-2015, 09:44 PM
Should do well for you Greg. I liked the Barnes truss and brackets. The fit was perfect on them. No get those suckers in.

karls10jk
12-30-2015, 09:51 PM
That looks like some intense welding there. Those brackets are crazy stout. No issues with burning them to the axle tubes?

darkknight1999
12-31-2015, 10:42 AM
Looks awesome!


Sent from my government tracking and monitoring device...

Ringer
12-31-2015, 12:04 PM
That looks like some intense welding there. Those brackets are crazy stout. No issues with burning them to the axle tubes?

Nope, just welding 1/4" to 1/4". Just had to take our time with burning it all in. Ran the welder set to 180 amps.

DChew
01-01-2016, 02:08 PM
Awesome job there guys! Looks fantastic.

markinohio
01-01-2016, 03:12 PM
That looks really good, you do nice work Andy.

ShutterBug
01-03-2016, 09:09 PM
Unexpected purchase!

With this axle project going on, the last thing I had planned on doing was spending money on something that wasn't part of it. But sometimes when a deal is too good....

When I bought the Jeep, it only had the standard radio in it. No touch screen, no nav. We've had navigation in the last two vehicles my wife has driven, and I've wanted to add it to the Jeep. The plan was to pick up an aftermarket radio, like a Kenwood or a Pioneer AVIC (I want Apple CarPlay).

As has happened more and more recently, my plans and their timing changed once again. I found, on Detroit's Craig's List, a listing for a Jeep JK Wrangler OEM 730N RHR radio. It's the one with the TomTom navigation in it. Although I like my wife 430N (Garmin) better, for $400, I had to try and get it. These things sell for twice that.

I arranged with the seller to ship it to me, rather than meet up. As soon as I opened up the box, I knew something was wrong. There is no way this was out of a JK. The mounting tabs were on the top and bottom, not the sides, and it appears the seller had cut the bottom tabs off in order to fit it in his JK. Ugh! I was pissed. I later found out this was likely out of a Challenger SRT. Included in the box was the microphone and the plug for it.

54877

I tried installing it anyway, just to see if it would even work in my Jeep. It mostly did. The mic in my JK wouldn't work, but the included one did. The USB in the center console does not work. And I was having problems getting my iPhone 6 to pair with it. I eventually found a forum where a member is hosting DVD images of the updated software for the radio (not the NAV). I downloaded it and was able to upgrade the radio, bluetooth problem solved.

For those interested in updating their MyGig:

http://www.mydrive.ch
u: mygig@soxag
p: gasolio

I still decided to return it, but the seller was being a jerk. I tried to work with him, but he wasn't going to budge. I opened up a claim with PayPal. I originally had the seller send me a PayPal invoice, hoping it would help protect me. But the only thing he put on it was the part number and that it was a 730N. Not that it was out of a JK. I still had a decent claim, I think I had a chance of winning it, even though he deleted the CL ad. But I knew I wouldn't find another radio like this for that price. So I spent New Years Day fabricating some brackets to mount the radio in the JK and to get it to look reasonably OK. It's not perfect, but it's close. I did convince the seller to refund the shipping, PayPal fees as well as the $10 I had to spend to get a security code (he didn't have the original VIN).

I still need to fix the center console USB - that shouldn't be hard, outside of pulling the center console to get to the port and running a cable from the USB port on the back of the radio.

54876

When a deal seems to good to be true, it probably is. Had I known this was not out of a JK, I would have passed. Knowing what I know now, I'm glad I didn't.

karls10jk
01-03-2016, 10:50 PM
So as long as it's still high speed canbus, we can make these work? You're correct that the 730's are stupidly expensive.

ShutterBug
01-03-2016, 10:57 PM
So as long as it's still high speed canbus, we can make these work? You're correct that the 730's are stupidly expensive.

That's what I understand. I verified that the CANBUS speeds were all the same, but didn't see any reference to the part number not being a JK radio. The crappy resolution photos on the CL ad didn't show the mounting locations. I trusted the seller. Lesson learned

I do like the fact I didn't have to buy any extra device for the steering wheel control, plus my EVIC still shows the Sirius channel, etc. and now it shows the upcoming turn when in NAV mode. The aftermarket stuff won't do that. Plus, being a stock radio, it's less likely to be a target for a thief.

ShutterBug
01-16-2016, 07:21 PM
Back to the axle build. :)

Before I install these bad boys, I want to double check that the gears were done right by the shop that did them. I know at least one thing is wonky, the actuator bracket for the rear locker isn't right. There's a tab that fits into a slot on the actuator, and it's not even close. I bought a new bracket, hopefully, I can take care of this myself.

I also bought some Prussian Blue - man that yellow stuff is EXPENSIVE - painted the ring gears. I put a load on the pinions and tried to run a pattern. Being blue, it's not as clear as the yellow, but here they are. I just don't know if these are within tolerance, or do these need to go to a drive line shop for new gears and install.

Any R&P experts out there, please feel free to chime in.

The rear:

55032

55033

The front:

55034

55035

ShutterBug
01-19-2016, 09:30 PM
So I figured I'd spend an hour or so tonight and remove the ball joints on the front housing.

If only it were that easy! Hah!

With the housing loose, I can't put a breaker bar on the ball joint press and get any good leverage, so my only option was the impact wrench.

Took me nearly two hours and a lot of heat, and a little sledge, to just get one side off. I'm saving the other side for later in the week.

55054

realunlucky
01-19-2016, 11:48 PM
Read your whole build good work. From budget to new axles with all the goodies. They will take all your money. Thanks for sharing

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

Tennessean
01-20-2016, 08:39 PM
I went thru thread but didnt see if you re-geared from 3.21 If you did what did to decide ? Question 2 looking back what would you have made a priority now as opposed to then ?

Lee

ShutterBug
01-20-2016, 08:52 PM
1. The Rubicon axle housings I will be putting in have 4.88s in them.

2. That's a really good question. I would have skipped the 33s for sure. LOL. Honestly, I would have to go back and look at everything again, but I don't think I would have done much different. Everything seemed to fall into place. If I had to start over from the very beginning, I probably would have ordered a Jeep with the limited slip in it, just to make things a little easier than open diffs. But once you learn how to drive it, open diffs aren't as limiting as it would sound.

My priorities, once I realized I wanted to go off road, were about the armor. I skimped a little where allowed, but tried to protect the Jeep as much as possible. There's more I want to do, but my drivetrain is priority #1 right now. Once the axles are in, I'm not really sure what or when the next mod will be. So many things on the list:

* Rubicon t-case
* Trail cage
* Full skid plates
* New seats wit 4 point harness
* Rear corner armor
* Steel fender flares
* LED headlights
* Rear cargo protection
* and the list goes on .......

Tennessean
01-20-2016, 09:16 PM
Any plans for lockers ?

realunlucky
01-20-2016, 10:17 PM
Thought the axles had rubicon e lockers in them

Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

ShutterBug
01-20-2016, 10:45 PM
Any plans for lockers ?

The Rubicon axle housings contain the factory electronic lockers.

gbheavy
01-21-2016, 02:40 AM
Back to the axle build. :)

Before I install these bad boys, I want to double check that the gears were done right by the shop that did them. I know at least one thing is wonky, the actuator bracket for the rear locker isn't right. There's a tab that fits into a slot on the actuator, and it's not even close. I bought a new bracket, hopefully, I can take care of this myself.

I also bought some Prussian Blue - man that yellow stuff is EXPENSIVE - painted the ring gears. I put a load on the pinions and tried to run a pattern. Being blue, it's not as clear as the yellow, but here they are. I just don't know if these are within tolerance, or do these need to go to a drive line shop for new gears and install.

Any R&P experts out there, please feel free to chime in.

The rear:

55032

55033

The front:

55034

55035
Did you get anybfeed back from your pattern? Are those used gears?

ShutterBug
01-21-2016, 08:46 AM
Did you get anybfeed back from your pattern? Are those used gears?

I did on some other forums. I plan to take them to a drive line shop this weekend if the weather is decent.

These gears are in the Rubicon housings I acquired. They were new when they were installed. They have 30K+ miles on them, IIRC.

gbheavy
01-21-2016, 11:09 AM
Was the majority say so that the pinion was too high? And as soon as you change that your backlash is going to change,etc.,etc, and that, becuse there used and have 'acquired' their own pattern that it would be soo much more fun to take it to the driveline shop,lol? Basically I'm just wondering what helped make your descision to take it in? Its one thing to sit here and guess,but i enjoy reading your build and what you have to say,good knowledge here!! And thanks to those pics ill NEVER buy the blue stuff,hahaha!

ShutterBug
01-21-2016, 11:30 AM
The yellow stuff was so much more expensive. And since my goal was diagnostic, I went cheap. If I had an inclination to do the work myself, I might have made a different product choice.

The backlash appears to be way too high, which is likely a problem with pinion depth. Not having access to a press, etc., it makes more sense to get a second, more professional, opinion.

Since these have so many miles on them, and the previous owner did not experience any problems, it may be that they are just fine.

gbheavy
01-21-2016, 11:54 AM
2 thumbs up! Right on the yellow stuff,#happymasterkitscomewithyellowstuff,lol. I should've said I was refering to the rear when asking,the front does look pretty happy and with that many miles you wont get better.I would never make any recomendations with this type of thing to anyone,but if it was me i would'nt touch the front. The rear looks like the coast is walking off(?) but with 30k it might not get much better? If you dont mind,post up what they do to it if you get a chance? Ill bet 4.88s sound good right about now,lol? But imho,those gears got 100k+ left on the road. It'll be fun to hear what yhe experts say

Tennessean
01-21-2016, 07:06 PM
Where did you find the Rubicon axle and gears ?

ShutterBug
01-21-2016, 09:41 PM
Where did you find the Rubicon axle and gears ?

A fellow JK Freak.

ShutterBug
01-21-2016, 09:47 PM
Well, another 90 minutes, and another 1/2 bottle of MAP gas (not really, it just felt that way) and the other side is done!

The top one came out fairly quickly, less than 10 minutes. The bottom, as expected, was MUCH more difficult. I had to heat it up repeatedly. Got out the wire wheel and cleaned all of the rust off of the top of the joint and the adjacent C. Even used a little Pb Blaster after the heat, and then applied more heat. I'm wondering if that didn't help more than I think.

I've helped do ball joints a couple times before, and by far, these were the most difficult. I'm sure there are quite a few factors that went into that.

I also completely removed the rear shafts. Hoping to take these to a drive line shop on Saturday and anything I can make it easier, and less labor, and cheaper, I'm going to do.

55064

JMG Designs LLC
01-21-2016, 11:50 PM
Sounds like you've earned yourself a cold one


Or dozen!

ShutterBug
01-24-2016, 12:25 PM
Quick update on the gear situation.

I took the axle housings to Davis Race Car in Madison, OH to have Jason take a look at them, just to set my mind at ease. After checking the backlash on both the front an rear, they were BOTH within spec. The front was .006 and the rear was .007. The patterns were acceptable. Great news!

My great news was short lived. :(

While I was there, I wanted him to replace the rear pinion yoke with a stock flange, so it would mate with my rear drive shaft. Once he removed the yoke and started tightening down the pinion nut on the flange, the pinion quit moving. Which means there is either no crush sleeve in the pinion, or it was over tightened prior. We hadn't even started torquing down the nut enough to even start to crush it, had it been intact.

So rather than take any chances, I decide to leave them both there, have them each disassembled and the pinion checked. The gears were fine, they will not be replaced, at least not at this point, unless he finds something else. Plus, I'm going to have him replace the inner seals while he is in the front.

I have really broken the budget on this mod, I think I've pretty much shattered it. LOL!

BUT, I am still ahead of the game had I gone a different direction (i.e. new housings, etc.)

Invest2m4
01-25-2016, 09:58 AM
Quick update on the gear situation.

I took the axle housings to Davis Race Car in Madison, OH to have Jason take a look at them, just to set my mind at ease. After checking the backlash on both the front an rear, they were BOTH within spec. The front was .006 and the rear was .007. The patterns were acceptable. Great news!

My great news was short lived. :(

While I was there, I wanted him to replace the rear pinion yoke with a stock flange, so it would mate with my rear drive shaft. Once he removed the yoke and started tightening down the pinion nut on the flange, the pinion quit moving. Which means there is either no crush sleeve in the pinion, or it was over tightened prior. We hadn't even started torquing down the nut enough to even start to crush it, had it been intact.

So rather than take any chances, I decide to leave them both there, have them each disassembled and the pinion checked. The gears were fine, they will not be replaced, at least not at this point, unless he finds something else. Plus, I'm going to have him replace the inner seals while he is in the front.

I have really broken the budget on this mod, I think I've pretty much shattered it. LOL!

BUT, I am still ahead of the game had I gone a different direction (i.e. new housings, etc.)

I've been down that road too many times to count. Even now I way over estimate the cost, and I still break the budget. You're making a good decision to get things right now though. Then you can have a worry free season of wheeling this year.

ShutterBug
01-25-2016, 10:20 AM
I've been down that road too many times to count. Even now I way over estimate the cost, and I still break the budget. You're making a good decision to get things right now though. Then you can have a worry free season of wheeling this year.

I hope so. But I realized this morning that I made a mistake yesterday that could SAVE me money.

When I took the axles up and the pinion flange, and the whole fiasco with it, I have no idea what I was thinking, but I had grabbed the wrong flange. I had grabbed the front pinion flange instead of the rear. What an idiot. So the fact the pinion locked up was more likely due to the little dust shield on the front flange hitting the pinion seal and tightening against it. The correct flange is on its way to the shop as I write this. My wife must love me at least a little. :)

I've come to the realization that, regardless of reputation, taking Jeeps (or parts thereof) to a shop that does not specialize in Jeeps or off road vehicles is a mistake. I'm sure these guys know gears and drive lines, but had they had more experience with Jeeps, he would have recognized I brought the wrong flange. NE Ohio, outside of 4 Wheel parts, has no off road shops, at least that I have ever heard about. And I never considered taking these to 4 Wheel Parts - not sure why. I think I have learned a lesson.

It still may be that the rear needs to be taken apart and looked at, but my suspicion is that it's fine, and the right flange just needs to be put on. I'm undecided on if I will still have them take it apart and replace the crush sleeve or not. Grrrrrrrr. I feel kinda stupid. :(

ShutterBug
02-01-2016, 11:24 PM
A couple of updates.

Got the housings back from Davis Race Car on Saturday morning and the situation was much better than expected. Jason went ahead and took apart the rear carrier and the pinion to make sure everything was OK. Everything checked out just fine. He did notice the bulkhead connector for the locker was broken, so he replaced that. Put it all back together and installed the stock pinion flange. Even after all of that, the total bill was only $65.13. He could have easily charged me a lot more. Super nice guy. He came highly recommended, and now I know why.

Davis Race Car is about 45 miles from my house. I borrowed a trailer from my old boss for a while to drag the housings from place to place. Went and picked them up, got about 500 feet from my house and CLANK, CLANK! I looked in my side view mirror and saw the front housing hanging over the side of the trailer by the ratchet straps I tied it down with. Oops. I don't believe it hit the ground, but pretty scary. I lifted it up and put it back on the trailer. I wish I had taken a picture. No harm, no foul. But I'm glad it happened on my street than at 75MPH.

After I got them home, I was looking over the axles, and noticed this:

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This is where the truss on the driver's side is welded to the pumpkin. Not sure what happened. It could have been related to the above mishap, but could have also been a cold weld? Texted Ringer and took them back to his place Saturday evening.

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All fixed! Thanks, Andy!

karls10jk
02-02-2016, 12:00 AM
That crack looks about the same as the cracks I had when I was playing around with welding on the stock manifolds. It's better that it's caught sooner than later.

Ringer
02-02-2016, 12:01 AM
Never had that happen before, but good we caught it. Cleaned it up, preheated, welded, and wrapped it in a weld blanket to cool nice and slow.

D_engel
02-02-2016, 02:27 PM
I've never seen a bead crack like that from shrinkage. Glad it was just the bead and mild steel vs. a cracked cast section

Ringer
02-02-2016, 02:55 PM
I've never seen a bead crack like that from shrinkage. Glad it was just the bead and mild steel vs. a cracked cast section

Agreed. I've never seen one crack across the weld like that. Definitely wasn't a cold weld. I intentionally moved a little fast there as it was right next to the electrical connectors, but was still at 175 amps. I say we blame it on Greg's erratic trailer driving skills😉

ShutterBug
02-02-2016, 04:49 PM
I say we blame it on Greg's erratic trailer driving skills��

Agreed.

- - - Updated - - -

Got these back from the sand blaster today. They look so shiny. Now to paint them blue!

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darkknight1999
02-02-2016, 08:29 PM
Wow looking good!


Sent from my government tracking and monitoring device...

ShutterBug
02-13-2016, 03:34 PM
Painted the steering knuckles and diff covers.

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Still need to clean off the machined surfaces on the knuckles with a Dremel.

Got the bearings in today. These are NOT what the cross reference says I should use for a 2014. The only difference was the length of the ABS wire. These were much easier to find and a lot cheaper.

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I'll be ordering the Teraflex ball joints and some Lube Lockers this weekend.

cixelsyD
02-13-2016, 09:17 PM
Nice! I like how all the blue is tied together thru the whole Jeep. Nice work!

ShutterBug
02-18-2016, 06:28 PM
Teraflex HD ball joints came in, plus the Lube Lockers came in today. I almost didn't get the LLs but I figured - might as well. LOL!

Took a little break from the axle for a cheap upgrade to the interior lights. Ordered a few of replacements from Super Bight LEDs for the license plate light and the interior lights. Definitely a noticeable improvement in brightness. Any brighter, and they'd probably be annoying.

License plate:

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Interior:

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The part number for these was WLED-CW5-CBT (cool white). For $3.95 a piece, and $2.99 for shipping, how could I go wrong?

karls10jk
02-18-2016, 06:32 PM
I had LED lights in the dome light and they didn't put the light where you needed it if you were looking for anything on a map or in the glovebox. Hopefully yours will be a different scenario and if that's the case then I may have to follow suit.

ShutterBug
02-20-2016, 12:27 PM
When I ordered the LEDs, I decided to put something in the Special Instructions box that everyone else leaves blank. Except for maybe Ringer. :)

I entered something to the effect of "Please include an original drawing of a Unicorn. Your artwork will be judged on originality and effort and not accuracy. Please give it a name."

I noticed this on the bottom of the box today as I WAS about to throw it away. A+

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Ringer
02-20-2016, 12:41 PM
Nice! I do this all the time, but it is to have them draw a Jeep in the rocks.

markinohio
02-20-2016, 02:00 PM
I noticed this on the bottom of the box today as I WAS about to throw it away. A+

That is pretty cool. Whoever did that has real talent.

Think I'll order some of those lights and ask for a Jeep in the rocks like Andy......

speed2005
02-20-2016, 08:29 PM
Haha awesome!

ShutterBug
02-20-2016, 11:45 PM
I spent Saturday doing more work on the axle housings. Today was rust prevention and paint! With 60+ degrees, this was the best day I was going to get for a while.

Finished taping off parts of the housing I didn't want painted - locker plugs, pinion yokes, diff covers, etc. and applied 3 coats of Rust Bullet Automotive. This stuff, I am told, is pretty awesome for preventing rust. Needs 50+ degrees for ideal temp, so today had to be the day. But you have to follow the directions. Comes in cans, and it is expensive. The quart I bought was $45. Plus there is a special solvent you have to use. No way I was going to brush it on, so I bought an HVLP gravity feed spray gun.

You just need to remove the loose scale, although I went a little better than that, and paint it on. The Rust Bullet reacts with the rust and hardens it, locking it in place. I had to apply at least 3 coats (to get .0006 inches), waiting no less than 4, and no more than 6 hours between coats. Any longer and you have to wait 24 hours, scuff everything with 150 grit sandpaper, before you can apply another coat. First coat went on at around 10:00 this morning. Then at 2:30 and again at 7:00.

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Roughly 4 hours later, I applied the top coat of matte black. You have to apply the top coat within 6 hours as well, or you have to scuff it up again. I've heard that if you don't do this, the top coat will just peel off. I screwed up and only ordered one can of black paint. Got lucky and it covered everything. I'll go back in a couple days and apply a second and maybe third coat of black.

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Still to do:

* Replace axle seals
* Install ball joints, steering knuckles, unit bearings and axle shafts
* Install diff covers
* Install and wire switches for lockers
* Install axles!

markinohio
02-21-2016, 08:19 AM
Damn, all that paint looks good, Greg.

It's going to be a shame the first time you have to dip all that nice work into the mud at SOR. :joyous:

Didn't you post a while back about wanting a small heater? I got one back in December, only used it a couple of times due to my wife's health issues but it heated my 2 1/2 car uninsulated garage from 18 degrees to 40 in less than 20 minutes. I was done melting the slushy snow out of my snowblower then so shut it off, but I know that sucker could have hit 50 easily. I also got a CO detector for the garage, better safe than sorry.

http://www.mrheater.com/forced-air-propane-heater-1247.html

ShutterBug
02-21-2016, 09:25 AM
I wanted the heater for this very project. Having a 60+ degree day helped not need it. BUT, I don't want anything with an open flame. With all the solvents and fumes, what I don't need is an explosion. :)

bpluzier
02-22-2016, 08:06 AM
Greg, not sure if you are already doing this, or even have this issue, but I noticed during my last flex test that the front shocks were hitting the frame. Apparently this is a common issue. I just ordered the Nemesis kit: https://www.nem-ind.com/jk-2-4-d-factory-44-front-shock-correction-kit.html

I'm surprised I haven't snapped a shock yet due to the amount of pressure on that shock body.

ShutterBug
02-22-2016, 08:19 AM
Do you have any photos of where it was hitting? I'm going to take a look at my shocks and see if there are any rub marks. Or is this a D44 problem only?

bpluzier
02-22-2016, 08:46 AM
Yeah, here's one when it's flexed out. You can see it's actually bending the shock. There are some marks on the shock body that you can see where I've re-painted that area that rubs. This would be a problem on a D30 or D44. The axle won't matter.
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ShutterBug
02-22-2016, 10:19 AM
Holy crap. That's crazy. I'll have to look to see if I see any rub marks.

More parts to buy. Yay. :( That much further away from rubi t-case, trail cage, bead locks, hydro assist.

karls10jk
02-22-2016, 04:29 PM
The brackets are cheap.....particularly in reference to everything else you've bought. Added bonus- you get another inch of downtravel.

D_engel
02-23-2016, 05:31 PM
Yeah, here's one when it's flexed out. You can see it's actually bending the shock. There are some marks on the shock body that you can see where I've re-painted that area that rubs. This would be a problem on a D30 or D44. The axle won't matter.
55362

Yea, I had the same issue. You need to move the brackets out about an 1.5" and turn them 90*. My shocks no longer contact, but still have a bit of a flat spot on the body from contacting

ShutterBug
02-23-2016, 08:30 PM
I'm hoping to get the axle seals swapped out on the front this weekend. If I can get that done, I can go ahead and put the front together as much as I can - ball joints, steering knuckles, axle shafts and bearings. They'll be ready to go in after that. I still have to work on the wiring, however, for the lockers.

My hope is, I will be ready to install them either the weekend of the 5th or the 12th. I really have no idea how long this will take - my guess is 4 hours each, so I might do this over Saturday and Sunday - who knows.

SOOOOO .... If you're in the Akron, OH area and feel like helping with an axle swap, send me a PM. Bring a heater. :)

Chuck-the-ripper
02-24-2016, 02:20 AM
Our builds have been going on for about the same time and are very similar. I got my rear finished up last weekend and just finished the painting and putting the ball joints in today. I'm pretty close to Akron, and I would love to help, but I'll also be I swapping my front axle this weekend, lol. Not sure if you've already planned it, but I've had my teraflex balljoints in the freezer for a couple weeks now. I installed them today in less than 5 minutes. Put a socket over top of them and with a few whacks they were all in. Good luck with finishing the build.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

ShutterBug
02-24-2016, 08:37 AM
I never thought about freezing them first. Pretty slick idea.

Chuck-the-ripper
02-24-2016, 09:08 AM
Makes things real nice. I also used some 400 grit sand paper in the holes to smooth it out, put a little antiseize in them to lube em up.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

ShutterBug
03-07-2016, 08:34 PM
A few quick updates.

While the axles were still in progress, I figured it was as good a time as any to replace the inner axle seals on the front housing. Mav204 came over and we went to work. I need to preface this by saying neither of us had ever done this before. But the procedure seemed simple enough. Remove the locker, replace the seals, put the locker back in. It's important to make sure that everything you take out has to go back in the same way. The shims, bearing races, bearing caps and bolts all need to go back into the same side and orientation as they came out.

First step, we put the housing up on the bench.

55457

After rotating it pinion down, opened the housing, snapped a few pictures for reference, and removed everything. I put each piece into a ziplock baggie with a piece of paper that indicated where it came from.

The seals didn't look bad, but, too late now. Took a piece of soft copper pipe and knocked out the seals from the outside into the housing, keeping sure not to knock any crap inside.

kjeeper10 was kind enough to ship me his Yukon seal press. this thing makes it a snap to install seals. I cleaned everything out and made sure there was no crud or grease where the seals were going.

55458

At Ringer's suggestion, I coated the outside of the seals with red lock tite. After setting one of the seals in place, and inserted the press, it was just a matter of using a wrench on the nut to press it into place. The other side was just as easy.

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55461

After the seals went in, it was time to put the locker back in. That did not go as well as planned. As hard as we tried, we couldn't manage to get the locker and shims back in at the same time. I tried putting the locker in with the shims on one side, then slipping the other side in, that didn't work. We tried to get both sets of shims in at the same time, and it just wasn't going in right. We tried just about everything, using a hammer to try and tap the shims in, but I ended up damaging the shims to the point where I no longer trusted they would be usable.

55466

I ended up taking everything back to Davis Race Car in Madison, OH and within about 20 minutes, with the help of a case spreader, we had everything back in with new shims. Jason Davis seemed to think the locker was in a little tighter than he normally would do, but there was nothing wrong with this install. Ran a quick contact pattern and it was perfect. The case spreader made a bug difference. Just needed to stretch the case a few thousandths of an inch.

Before taking the axle up to Davis, we installed the ball joints. I bought a set of Teraflex Heavy Duty ball joints and rented a ball joint press from Advanced Auto. The only problem was this set did not come with an angled adapter to match the angle of the steering yoke. A little with work with a grinder solved that. :)

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Still need to grease these, and Teraflex guarantees these for life, as long as they are properly maintained - a little grease every other oil change should do it.

ShutterBug
03-07-2016, 08:39 PM
Got started on the electrical for the lockers. I wanted them in the dash to the left of the steering wheel. After deciding where I wanted them, used on oscillating saw to cut out the opening.

55467

I set the housing in place for a test fit. The left side will be for the rear locker, the right for the front, and the middle for the indicators.

55468

I also installed the switch for the locker power. I wanted a way to disable the locker switches - just to keep accidents from happening. :)

55469

ShutterBug
03-07-2016, 08:56 PM
Took all the stuff, including the axle housing to Mav204's place for the axle install. He has a nice 2 1/2 stall garage to work in. I think the kitchen sink is in one of those boxes.

55470

This took a lot longer than I had estimated. I figured around 4 hours, ended up taking 12. Ran into a couple of hiccups.

A high school friend, Peter, had come over to help but had to leave early. Kermi-con came over and was a huge help.

Don't have a lot of photos, but hope to have a time lapse video in a few days.

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The finished product:

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After using a ProCal to set the final drive gear ratio, took it for a test drive I took this on the way home. Tracks with the GPS. Looks about right!

55475

Here were the few quick easy steps we took to swap the axles:


Put wheel chocks in front/behind front wheels
Support frame on jack stands.
Remove wheels
Drain gear oil.
Support axle on jack stands with cart.
Remove calipers - support with bungee
Remove brake rotors.
Disconnect speed sensor plugs.
Remove rear drive shaft from pinion. Support with bungee
Remove axle flange nuts (4 each side)
Connect slide hammer to lug bolts and remove rear shafts with parking brake assemblies
Plug the housing tube ends with rags.
Disconnect breather hose
Disconnect parking brake cables.
Remove lower shock bolts.
Remove lower track bar bolt.
Remove lower sway bar link bolts.
Remove upper control arm bolts.
Remove lower control arm bolts.
Take disconnected housing off jack stands and on a floor jack to get it out of the way.
Swap spring wedges, retainers and springs to new housing.
Swap bump stops to new housing.
Remove speed sensors from old shafts
Remove parking brake assemblies and dust shields from old housings
Install dust shields and parking brake assemblies on new shafts.
Remove old Rubicon shafts bearing races and replace with new races.
Put High Temp Bearing Grease in new shaft bearings.
Slide new shafts into new housing. Tighten 4 axle nuts
Install speed sensor in new shafts
Slide new housing into place under the Jeep
Install CA bolts - hand tight
Install Track bar bolt - hand tight
Install sway bar bolts
Install lower shock bolts
Connect speed sensor plug
Install parking brake cables
Connect diff breather hose
Install brake drums
Install brake calipers
Remove old diff cover
Clean differential face
Spray out inside of diff with brake cleaner
Install Lube Locker and diff cover
Put new housing on axle cart and slide into place.
Fill new axle with gear oil
Remove axle cart
Jack up Jeep and remove frame jack stands
Set axle housing on jack stands on ground.
Torque CA bolts
Torque TB bolt
Reconnect rear drive shaft
Replace wheels
Lower vehicle to ground
Check axle centering - adjust track bar if necessary
Use ProCal to set gear ratio to 4.88
Drive it.

Jasonb
03-08-2016, 07:01 PM
I swear I read about the mangled shims on RRCO's FB page:smile-new:

ShutterBug
03-08-2016, 08:28 PM
I'm sure you did. Seeing how I posted it there, too. LOL

Jasonb
03-08-2016, 08:30 PM
I'm glad a case spreader fixed you up

ShutterBug
03-08-2016, 09:00 PM
I'm glad a case spreader fixed you up

That's a "do not try this at home" technique for me.

ShutterBug
03-09-2016, 01:03 AM
How to install a Rubicon rear axle in 4 minutes or less.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DLKI6TWgTnQ

TXCoastie
03-14-2016, 03:07 PM
These time-lapse videos make it seem SO easy haha. And this is coming from a guy that got a wrench literally stuck in his swaybar this weekend :O

ShutterBug
03-14-2016, 11:00 PM
Got the front axle installed this past weekend. It was a little easier than the rear axle, mostly because we didn't have to beat any brake components off the old housing!

The new front was going to get dressed up a bit before going in. I had new unit bearings, so after inserting the axle shafts, got those bolted on. Getting the RVC shafts in wasn't too hard. I did use axle shaft guides I had picked up from 4 Wheel Parts to help get them into the diff without damaging the seals or dragging any much left inside the housing into the gears.

55529

These are little nylon washers. Two for each side did the trick. They live inside there just fine and have no affect on the axle itself.

I found out that the unit bearings I got had different length wire on the ABS speed sensor. A whole foot shorter than stock. I though about removing the ones from the Dana 30, but I really didn't want to spend the time to take the old unit bearings out just to get the sensors. I ordered new ones from Quadratec. Should be here in a couple days. As much flex as my lift has, I have no doubt I will rip these ones out.

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After we got the old housing out, we swapped over the tie rod, springs, spring retainers and sway link lower disconnects. The new axle had the drag link flipped, so no need to reuse that.

Putting the new axle back in was also fairly straight forward. Hooking the wheel speed sensors back up, behind the shock tower, blind, sucks by the way.

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Once we got the wheels back on, it was obvious I needed an alignment. The wheels were toed out pretty drastically. And the steering wheel was off center. We tried soaking everything in Pb Blaster and using some heat, but no go. Took it up to Goodyear the next day. The tech took 3 hours to get the tie rod and drag link loose. Best $85 I ever spent!

I still need to get the driveshaft lengthened - debating on if I should send it back to Adams or have a local place do it for me.

Lastly, I still need to complete wiring up the lockers to the dash switches.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fNcXj-1fhI4

Ringer
03-14-2016, 11:24 PM
Looks good. Glad to see it finally coming together!

ShutterBug
03-15-2016, 08:36 AM
Thanks! Couldn't have done this without a lot of help from good people like yourself, Ringer.

Dropped the drive shaft off at Cleveland Clutch this morning to get it lengthened. Adams said it was a little too short now, once the flange adapter is removed. Rather than shipping it back to Vegas, I figured I would just have it done locally.

ShutterBug
03-22-2016, 10:21 PM
Got the drive shaft back from Cleveland Clutch the next day. Very quick turn around. I am going to paint it, however.

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Took an angle grinder to the Barnes 4WD rear track bar bracket. The Rock Krawler track bar is so fat that it was hitting the bracket.

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I also had to rotate the track bar back a little. It was hitting the diff cover a bit. With it rotated, the bend will pass by the cover. The ARB cover is just so thick.

A couple more things checked off the punch list!

ShutterBug
03-26-2016, 08:58 PM
Trying to get this axle swap buttoned up. A few small details remain.

Painted the drive shaft yesterday. Went to put it in this morning. Did you know you can't mate a 1310 U-Joint on the end of a drive shaft to a 1350 yoke on the pinion of the axle? Of course, I did, but what I didn't realize was that the pinion yoke on the axle was a 1350. Oops. I have no idea why I didn't pay attention to that. Of course, I realized this AFTER I had attached the shaft to the t-case.

Got lucky and Summit Racing had a Spicer 1310/1350 cross over U-Joint and a set of 1350 U-bolts. I've never replaced a U-Joint. YouTube to the rescue! Found a video that explained it very well and gave me the confidence to take care of it myself.

55616

I am a little disappointed that they only had a greasable joint. The other u-joints are all solid.

You can see the size difference here.

55617

Got the front locker wired up so I could put the dash panel back together. I put the locker power switch in the lower dash panel where my lights are controlled. I put the locker switches in the dash panel to the left of the steering wheel. All parts came from OTRATTW, minus the blue locker indicator LEDs.

The locker power switch is fed by a switched 12v supply, so it can only be powered when the ignition is on. This energizes a 40 amp relay which feeds, through a 15A fuse, the front and rear locker switches themselves, which in turn supply power to the lockers. I did not add a relay between the locker switches and the lockers. I felt that was redundant and unnecessary. The indicator LEDs are powered from the batter directly and get a ground from the locker indicator plungers in the diff housing.

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So the lockers cannot be engaged with the power switch off or the ignition off. But, if something is wrong, the indicator lights should still light up if the locker is stuck on. I'd like to say that the LEDs are purposely off centered. Maybe one day I'll fix them. It's just a blank panel in the middle that's removable. Next time I order from ORTATTW I'll replace it. I'm in no rush.

The last detail is to replace the ABS wheel speed sensors. The cables that came with the new hubs were only 24". The stock ones are 36". As much as my axle droops, I'd rip out a sensor on the first wheeling trip.

markinohio
03-27-2016, 02:53 PM
Looking good, Greg. Really like the switches and lights.

LOL'ed at this, sounds just like something I would do:


Of course, I realized this AFTER I had attached the shaft to the t-case.

U-joints are scary until you do one, then you think man, that wasn't that hard. First time I pulled my axle shafts I was terrified. I also used YouTube the first time I did one. Now I only run the Spicer U-joints on the axle shafts, they are way better than stock or the crap at Autozone or Advance. You can see the difference and feel it too. If I ever need to replace the ones on the driveshaft, I will use Spicers.

ShutterBug
03-27-2016, 04:08 PM
New ABS/wheel speed sensors installed (no pictures). Pretty easy to swap if you don't have that stupid dust shield in place. So glad I didn't put those on. The hubs were so new that taking the old sensors out was a breeze. The new wires are a full foot longer than the old ones. I zip tied them to the brake lines and they are the same length. If I'm popping one, I'm likely to lose the other.

The remaining to do items list is getting shorter. I need to check the front diff fluid again. I'm not 100% sure I have the right amount in there. I checked the level this morning and it was darker than I expected it to be. Not sure if I need to be concerned about this or not.

ShutterBug
04-01-2016, 07:33 PM
Yeah, here's one when it's flexed out. You can see it's actually bending the shock. There are some marks on the shock body that you can see where I've re-painted that area that rubs. This would be a problem on a D30 or D44. The axle won't matter.
55362

I never noticed this, until I was reading a thread on another forum about shocks. Your shocks are "upside-down" compared to my Bilsteins. The body of my shock is at the bottom and the rod is at the top. My guess is I have a lot more clearance when my axle droops. This may be why I never noticed this.

ShutterBug
04-18-2016, 05:30 PM
Some minor updates.

Took it to Southington for a dry-run. Everything seems to work as planned. I didn't go too rough on any trails. Just enough to see how the lockers were working - and they did great! Can't wait to push it even more.

The paranoid part of me was feeling a slight vibration at around 65 Mph after installing the lengthened driveshaft with the conversion u-joint on it. So I took it off and took it back to Cleveland Clutch. They rebalanced the shaft. Put it back in and I still feel the same, very slight, vibration. It may just be in my head, or it could be something else. Not sure. The front pinion angle looks OK, but I don't have an accurate enough angle finder to trust it. I know it should be a couple degrees off from center, and my bubble gauge seems to read just that. It's a double cardan joint at the t-case, so I know that input/output angles do not need to match. My mechanic seems to think that it's OK. It could be a tire ever so slightly out of balance, pinion bearing, or my imagination.

Leaving for Tennessee on the 27th. If my t-case doesn't explode, I guess I'm OK. :)

I finally installed my Ace Engineering door hangers I bought last July. These things are really nice. I mounted a couple of sections of 2x12 to a couple of the studs, then mounted pieces of 2x4 to them vertically. I lagged the hanger into the 2x4's. Without the 2x4's I wouldn't be able to flatten the doors against the wall without the mirrors hitting. They're pretty much going to stay here 90% of the summer. For longer trips, the doors go back on. The soft doors are too damn noisy.

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Ringer
04-18-2016, 08:34 PM
Looking good Greg! Glad to see its working out for you.

ShutterBug
04-18-2016, 08:58 PM
Looking good Greg! Glad to see its working out for you.

Almost. *sigh*

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ECHO
04-18-2016, 09:01 PM
That sucks!!

HoneyBadgerJK
04-18-2016, 10:02 PM
Everything is coming together very nicely. Looks like the monster of a JK is coming to life very quickly.

Kerm-icon
04-18-2016, 11:22 PM
Almost. *sigh*

The sad irony is that you bought the axle guides for the front to prevent messing up the seals and not the back, but they're the ones leaking...

ShutterBug
04-19-2016, 12:00 AM
The sad irony is that you bought the axle guides for the front to prevent messing up the seals and not the back, but they're the ones leaking...

Tell me about it. Oh well. My only fear is that the axles themselves have some rust on the shafts and that is causing the seal to fail, or worse yet, there is an abundance of metal shavings in the front diff. Yikes!

ShutterBug
04-20-2016, 08:24 PM
Brown Santa came today!

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Order a Tuffy Security Deck for the rear. This model is discontinued, but I wanted one sooner than I would have to wait for the new one to be released. Thanks to Fusion 4x4 (http://www.fusion4x4.com) for the quick ship!

No install pics. But it went in pretty easy. Took about 90 minutes. I had to loosen it up and readjust it a couple times.

I like the fact I now have a secure place to put things, especially when the top is down. It has some weather stripping on it, but I wouldn't call it weather proof.

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ShutterBug
04-20-2016, 08:27 PM
The sad irony is that you bought the axle guides for the front to prevent messing up the seals and not the back, but they're the ones leaking...

Hasn't leaked in 2 days. Fluid levels are fine, but it is pretty dirty. I'm having the seals replaced with the new style 2 piece seal on Friday. Taking it to a place in Streetsboro. I helped a friend change the seals on his GF's Jeep. The carrier came out and went in so easy. If my locker was this easy, I'd do it myself.

Chuck-the-ripper
04-21-2016, 12:03 AM
Sounds like your friend's girlfriend doesn't have any carrier bearing preload.

ShutterBug
04-21-2016, 04:30 AM
Sounds like your friend's girlfriend doesn't have any carrier bearing preload.

Came that way from the factory.

ShutterBug
04-22-2016, 11:50 PM
Took it to Nella Enterprises in Streetsboro and got it up on the lift. The mechanic was pretty cool. Listened to what I had to say.

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Discovered why the seals failed. I installed them perfectly, so says the mechanic. But the pinion bearing was worn and loose. Found a not-so-nice present on the end of the drain plug.

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That's a lot of shavings!

Which meant these were all junk.

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Replaced all of the bearings with a set from G2 @ Summit Racing. My driveline vibration is gone!

It was money I didn't want to spend, but money well spent.

ShutterBug
04-23-2016, 06:00 PM
Getting ready to head to Tennessee for the first Jeep Jamboree of this year. This will be my third Jamboree and I have 2 others scheduled this year.

My wife bought be a GoPro for Christmas a while back so I could video my trips. I have a few batteries and typically use an app on my tablet or my phone to monitor the video and to start and stop. But the bluetooth/wifi connection drains the batteries pretty fast, so I wanted to get something that was wired in and waterproof.

Put a water proof USB port under the hood. This is meant for a motorcycle, but works for Jeeps, too. :)

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Also bought a waterproof back for the GoPro case that has a connector for a wire that plugs into the back of the camera where the LCD screen would normally plug in. This provides power to the GoPro. Set up some connectors for the window mount.

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Also made a setup for the front bull bar. I used a handle bar mount my son bought me for Christmas last year, plus a BUNCH of connectors to get the GoPro horizontal again. :)

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All of that setup, I can run the GoPro app on the tablet in the upper console location.

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Can't wait to get some good video this year!

Casamtb
04-23-2016, 10:46 PM
Awesome

ShutterBug
04-24-2016, 10:29 PM
Finally put on it's name tag.

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ShutterBug
05-21-2016, 07:53 PM
This is what happens when you don't was the salt-laden snow off your rock sliders. These things were looking worse and worse. Short term fix was to take a wire wheel to them and rattle can the sliders.

Eventually, all of the steel will come off the Jeep, it'll get blasted and I'll probably do some kind of bed liner instead of powder coat.

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ShutterBug
05-21-2016, 07:56 PM
Took it to Rausch Creek for the 5th Annual JK Freak Fest.

Love the flex on this lift! This is going up Yellow Jacket. Pretty happy with how the Jeep is functioning these days.

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ShutterBug
05-21-2016, 07:59 PM
I wanted something the would prop the Tuffy deck open when I needed to get into something in the back. Got this idea from another forum.

A little aluminum angle iron, a hinge and some super lock velcro.

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Duffy sells some material to go on the deck for a non-skid surface, but it is uber expensive. This is tool box shelf material I picked up from Harbor Freight.

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ShutterBug
05-28-2016, 03:46 PM
Added some rear cargo lighting. Not super bright, but enough that I can see back there. Tied it in with my dome light.

I used a couple of strip LED lights I picked up on amazon, stuck those to some left over angle aluminum from my last project.

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ShutterBug
08-28-2016, 02:16 PM
Been doing more things around the house and just haven't had a ton of time to work on the Jeep. I'm behind on so many projects.

I did manage to get some stuff done today, with the help of my friend and fellow JK Freak, TJ. My stock cross member was in pretty bad shape. It's hard to tell from the photos, but there's some serious dents and damage there. That thing is a bit of a joke. Ordered a new one from JCR Offroad (http://www.jcroffroad.com).

Not only is the JCR cross member (http://www.jcroffroad.com/product/JKArm/JKSD-XM-PC.html) made out of thicker material, and it's welded all the way around, the put reinforcements on the inside of the box to give it some additional strength. It was an extremely easy install, overall. Much easier than I had expected.

Plus, I got a great deal on a JCR Offroad engine/transmission/exhaust loop skip from a forum member. I had to clean up the rust on it and repaint it, but I like this color better. :)

I had an engine skid (http://www.jkfreaks.com/forums/showthread.php?17642-ShutterBug-s-Build-Thread&p=372828&viewfull=1#post372828) on it before, but the JCR design is so much sturdier. The brackets that hang from the engine mounts look like it would take a brick of C4 to bend them. :)

While I was at it, I installed an aftermarket gas tank skid as well I picked up a while back. My stock "skid" was in really bad shape. I guess I need to pick better lines.

The only real issue we had during the install was getting the stock gas tank skid bolt holes to line up with the ones in the cross member. Not sure if the cross member was off, or the stock skid shifted. I only had a half tank of gas, but that might have been enough of it to shift a little. Plus, it was so bent near the front, that it mad have changed shape. Nothing a die grinder and grinding stone can't fix. I also painted over the rust spots on the stock skid before installing the aftermarket skid.

I did cut off the ears of the stock transfer case skid so it would fit flat under the engine skid. At some point, I'll replace it with something that covers more. I like the idea of a flat belly.

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It's too bad I almost have to driving over top of you to see these logos. :)

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Billbikes
08-28-2016, 03:06 PM
Looks great. Looking at doing the same in a couple of weeks.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

ShutterBug
09-11-2016, 08:07 PM
Some of you know I've been having some minor heat issues while daily driving. My coolant temp gets hotter than I would like it. Not dangerously hot (240 max) but hot enough that I wanted to try my hand at seeing if I can shed a few degrees. The option of a heat reduction hood is out of the budgetary question right now, so I decided, based on a friend's recommendation, on a Hyline Offroad hood louver. It's aluminum and comes bare or powder coated. I opted for PC. Ordered from Hyline directly and had it in two days.

I like this design over the Poison Spyder louver because the bolts are welded to the louver itself. I think it's a much cleaner install. Plus Hyline sends along a steel template that makes locating the few dozen holes that have to be drilled painless.

Things didn't start off too great. While removing the footman loop off the hood, one of the bolts busted off. Cheap junk. I'll be ordering a replacement soon.

Got the hood off, and with the help from TJPowel, we got it done in about 3 hours. Some things that are noteworthy.

The instructions have you drill 1/16" pilot holes. Have a few extra drill bits on hand. :)
A good hole saw could not be more important. But even if you are off a little, it's all hidden.
The outer sheet metal is glued or double-stick taped to the supporting structure. Took as a minute to figure that out.
Paint the exposed edges and the hood structure black or some other color.
Make sure you thoroughly test fit everything. I ran into some issues with the threads on the welded-on studs catching on the holes, making it nearly impossible to secure it flat. I had to remove it, enlarge the holes, and the test fit again. You don't want any binding at all.
Take your time, go back and forth between each side, front and rear, securing the studs with the nuts.



Here are a few photos and a short time lapse video.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQomKZjU4hs

tjpowell
09-11-2016, 08:44 PM
Looks good, it was fun to watch you cut the hood :)

markinohio
09-11-2016, 09:04 PM
Looks good, Greg. Those cuts are very similar to the PS louver. Wish I would have seen that one, might have went that route.

Did it cool it down any?

ShutterBug
09-11-2016, 09:18 PM
Haven't driven it any. I'll find out tomorrow on the way in to work and on my way home.

Billbikes
09-11-2016, 09:27 PM
Looks good. I like Hyline's stuff. Their origonal design was a two piece, I believe. I like this one better!