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Old 01-15-2019, 09:27 PM   #101 (permalink)
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The battery terminals were a bit of hack job from the PO, so decided to go ahead and rewire everything on the battery side. 2 gauge wire for the primaries, with 4 gauge from the alternator and 6 gauge body ground. Bought a neat little hydraulic crimper off Amazon for $36 that does everything up to 2/0 wire, a bunch of tinned crimp-on lugs, split loom wire harness, heat shrink with adhesive and some military style terminals and rewired everything. Also got the wires for the winch run. I still have a little more to do hooking up the 10 gauge leads from the center console switch panel and the electric fan, but that should be pretty easy.











Another couple tidbits that showed up recently were the EMF High Angle TRE's and the 7075 drag link from Wide Open Design. The TRE's are a really neat design and completely adjustable/rebuildable, so this should be the last ones I ever have to purchase.





It's getting really close to being done with this stage, but I'm not sure I'll have much time to work on it before heading to KOH on 2/2. Just flying out there and not taking a rig. A local buddy of mine is racing in the 4600 class, so I wanted to go out there and give him a hand. Should be a great time and another chance to get some ideas on the next phases of the build.
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Old 01-17-2019, 02:41 PM   #102 (permalink)
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Damn. Came for the front stretch ideas, stayed for the build. This thing kicks ass. I'll be doing my stretch differently as I only need an inch or 2, your front end is really coming together. Tip of the hat, sir. beautiful work.
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Old 01-17-2019, 04:03 PM   #103 (permalink)
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Thanks for the compliments! Its been a great learning experience so far, already thinking about the next phases, obviously my timetable in post 1 was a little off
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Old 01-23-2019, 06:35 AM   #104 (permalink)
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Nice looking build! Definitely getting some new ideas after scrolling through
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Old 01-23-2019, 06:37 PM   #105 (permalink)
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Thanks, means a lot from someone with your skills!
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Old 01-25-2019, 02:28 PM   #106 (permalink)
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glad to see you right back on the horse since the accident. Looks great so far
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Old 01-27-2019, 03:36 PM   #107 (permalink)
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Thanks! When it happened some of my wheeling buddies figured I was done with offroading - turns out it wasn't a safer hobby ; but giving up just because I rolled wasn't even a thought in my mind. I can say I'm not really a fan of long, steep climbs, but I haven't thought about stopping.
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Old 01-27-2019, 04:18 PM   #108 (permalink)
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but giving up just because I rolled wasn't even a thought in my mind. I can say I'm not really a fan of long, steep climbs, but I haven't thought about stopping.
Word. Long steep climbs make me nervous too. Those climbs (which we have alot of in this area) are one of the core reasons for the stretch I did on mine. Love the build. So clean. Keep up the great work and thanks for sharing!!
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Old 01-27-2019, 04:31 PM   #109 (permalink)
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So as soon as you are done would you like to come work on my Jeep please...……. I guess I need to bring it to you so that you have all the tools....

Awesome work and really have enjoyed reading your build.
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Old 01-27-2019, 06:39 PM   #110 (permalink)
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Word. Long steep climbs make me nervous too. Those climbs (which we have alot of in this area) are one of the core reasons for the stretch I did on mine. Love the build. So clean. Keep up the great work and thanks for sharing!!
Thanks! After I rebuilt it from the roll at Stoney Lonesome, the first trip out was to Sheriff's Jeepfest in GA. We went on ride at a private club spot and one of the first things was a long steep climb. I was a little nervous, especially after watching the two Jeeps in front of me try and climb it a couple times and they weren't able to make it up, as it was mud-slick. They turned around and took a bypass. I told myself, you've got an automatic now and it should be easy - and it was


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So as soon as you are done would you like to come work on my Jeep please.... I guess I need to bring it to you so that you have all the tools....

Awesome work and really have enjoyed reading your build.
Thanks - It would be a bit of a journey, but you're welcome to bring it
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Old 01-27-2019, 07:19 PM   #111 (permalink)
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Getting some of the details wrapped up. Not a lot of progress, as I've been spending a lot of time sanding aluminum. The aluminum inner fenders had a fair amount of scratched and bend marks, so I decided to sand everything down and give it a brushed aluminum finish. It's probably a waste of time, considering that they are going to be scratched up from rocks, etc, but at least they will look good one time. Played around with a lot of different combinations of various grits, and sanding methods and came up with something that seems to work pretty well. DA sand with 80 grit, then block sand in one direction with 180, followed by 220 and then red Scotchbrite. Contrary to "normal" sanding where you typically switch directions to go 45-90 degrees opposite direction for each subsequent grade, it seemed like sanding in the same direction with each grade worked best. Just had to make long, smooth strokes to avoid little starbursts. Here's a pic of the DA sanded surface and a finished part.



Finished the passenger side, and it came out looking pretty good:




Got the axle back under it and started bolting things back up. Apparently the potatoe camera has a fish-eye effect that I wasn't aware of and makes the 37's look like they are 18" wide





Gradually checking off all the little stuff as I can. Re-routed the axle vent tube along the top link with the brake line and added a breather:





Hope to finish sanding the driver's inner fender and get it installed this week before heading to KOH.
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Old 02-01-2019, 09:28 AM   #112 (permalink)
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Fantastic build!
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Old 02-01-2019, 12:46 PM   #113 (permalink)
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Thanks!
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Old 04-07-2019, 07:55 PM   #114 (permalink)
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2 months later, I guess it's way past time for an update. Had a great time at KOH. My buddy from Tampa who I went to KOH 2016 finally got his 4600 car back from the builder and was able to fulfill his dream of racing KOH. This was his first time off-road racing and a brand-new car that he really didn't have the time nor place to test it until he arrived at the Hammers about a week before the race with his co-driver, who also had never raced.

They did some shock tuning, but didn't do much pre-running since they didn't want to break the car and they didn't have much in the way of spare parts. I got there Saturday and we did our best to try and fix a bunch of little things. They bent one of the bumps stops during testing and we ended up getting some Kings and building a bigger landing pad, which was what bent the original Daystar bumps.

My other buddy Mike from Tampa flew in Tuesday, so for the big race on Wednesday our pit crew was me, Mike, and the driver's wife. Fortunately, John (driver/owner of 4686) had been talking to some of the other 4600 drivers and we were able to co-pit with Kracker Fab Racing. They were great guys and we could not have done it without them, especially trying to cover multiple pits with a three person crew.

Being part of the pit crew was a new experience and Mike and I had a great time. John did outstanding for his first time, making it 110 miles before he ended up flopping it. There was not any recovery crews close, and they were going to be DQ'ed on time, so they called it. Our pit partners did much better, coming in 3rd in the 4600 class. It was great to celebrate with their team in Hammer town.







I didn't take near as many pictures as the first trip, but it was really neat seeing the Trophy trucks run. Unfortunately, never got to see any of them up close.



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Old 04-07-2019, 08:22 PM   #115 (permalink)
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It's been slow going, but I have been making gradual progress. Sanding/brush finishing the inner fenders took a LONG time to get them looking right. After I got the drivers fender done, it was time for some wiring. Did quite a bit cleaning up the factory wiring harness and modifying for the items like the horns, windshield washer, and evap cannister valve, which all all moved from the original positions due to the high line fenders.









I swapped over to an electric fan, so I had to add the wiring for that as well, including a temp sensor in the upper radiator hose. The wiring diagram that cam with the fan had the option to wire it so you could override to have the fan on all the time, but I also wanted the option to turn the fan off for water crossings, etc. So I added a double pole, double throw three way switch and an LED indicator light that will come on when the fan is on. It wouldn't fit in my existing switch panel, so I added it to the center console, and fabricated a little switch guard to keep it from accidentally being switched off.



In typical fashion for me, in order to install the switch, I had to take out the seats, and then looking at the natural aluminum finish on the console it didn't match the nice new brushed finish on the inner fenders, so I took at the panels off and gave them the same finish as the fenders.




It's getting really close now to starting it up. Just have to drain the old gas, set the toe and hook up/bleed hydro assist and brakes and tighten all the links. I will still have to do some work on the rear to get the height to match the front and some shocks, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

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Old 04-07-2019, 10:56 PM   #116 (permalink)
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I don't remember reading in the thread what you are doing about your parking brake? With your center console you can't use the stock one. Just looking for ideas on what you did if you are going to use one.
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Old 04-08-2019, 07:09 PM   #117 (permalink)
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What to do about a parking brake has been up in the air for almost 5 yrs . I've been all over the map on a solution. Probably the most creative was using an actuator to have a push button electric parking brake, drawback was it was going to be ~ $400. Simplest solution was a 1/4 turn high pressure ball valve on the rear brake line. Super cheap and works, drawback is that it is hydraulic as opposed to a mechanical brake. We don't have vehicle inspections in FL, so it wouldn't be a regulatory issue. It would be pretty easy to do, as long as I can get some acceptable double flares on the brake lines.

The other option which would be ~ $150 is to add a standard mechanical handle at another location in the cab. The current e-brake assembly under the tub is a Lokar universal cable assembly (rear is a Teraflex disk conversion) in order fro it to work with the 4 link. Lokar makes a universal handle and cable assembly that would attach to the factory cable feed through into the tub and I could route the flex cable from the center location where it comes through over to the drivers side on the floor between the seat and the door opening and mount it there. It would be out of the way and easily accessible.

So far I haven't decided which way to go, but I haven't really had a need for an e-brake either here in FL.
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Old 04-12-2019, 01:54 PM   #118 (permalink)
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I has been something I have been trying to figure out also if I go with a custom console like yours. Since mine isn't street driven much and like you we don't have an inspection I have looked at the ball valve to the rear brakes. Helps when winching or on steep hill climbs also. I have a Tera CRD60 rear with their disc brakes also. Plus I've been looking at adding a driveline brake to my transfer case.

So what is your estimated startup date?
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Old 04-14-2019, 09:18 AM   #119 (permalink)
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So what is your estimated startup date?
Hoping to be in the next couple weeks. It's probably only 8-12 hrs of work to finish a few odds and ends, but between a 50 hr work week, business travel and taking care of a small home farm there just isn't much "me" time
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Old 05-14-2019, 07:49 PM   #120 (permalink)
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So a milestone moment the weekend before last - It's Alive!! I was going to drop the tank to drain the gas, and then a buddy suggested to just disconnect the line at the fuel rail and then jump the fuel pump relay to pump the 3 yr old gas out of the tank. Found a spare fitting to attach to the feed line, figured out the proper terminals to jump and could hear the pump running, but nothing was coming out. Disconnected the line at the tank, and still no joy. Dropped the BTF tank, pulled the pump and the problem was immediately obvious:



The filter sock was in pieces and there was a bunch of junk in the bottom of the tank. Cleaned everything out real good, bought a new pump, re-installed the tank and got regular fuel flow out of the line. Bled the hydro assist and after a few times cranking it fired up. Ran a little rough for the first few minutes and then cleared up.

First time out of the shop in a little over 3 years:




I took it for a short test drive, and it seemed a little more unstable than what I remembered. The hydro-assist also didn't seem to be overly powerful. It felt pretty much like normal power steering. The other thing was that the transmission seemed to be hunting gears and acting a little strange. The engine temp seemed like it was running a little over 210, which was a little higher than before, so I was worried the new radiator/electric fan weren't going to be enough. Good news was that there was no check engine light and no new leaks.

Pulled it back in the shop and made a few adjustments over the next week. Pumped the tires up to 29 psi instead of the 22 psi I had originally tried - since that was what worked with the Toyo Open Country's - I had never ran the sticky Treps, so didn't really have a good refence. Swapped the manual computer for the auto one that I had bought and took it for another test drive. It was a lot more stable on the road, and the transmission was acting normally. Bad news was that I now had a Check Engine light and the fuel gauge was reading empty with a full tank of fuel. The code was P1495, which after doing some research is an emission code failure from a pump which was only on the CA-spec Jeeps - which mine is not. Apparently, the computer I bought off eBay was from a 99 CA Emission Jeep, so it is looking for a pump that doesn't exist and probably why the gas gauge isn't working either.

Took it for a ride into town to eat lunch and it worked fine. My buddies were checking it out and saw some clear fluid on the passenger lower link. There's no liquid over there, so I drove it home and then upon further inspection found a leak at the caliper. The banjo bolt was a little loose, so I tightened it down put still seeing a little leakage.



Next step will be to pull the line again and try another crush washer. May also have to grins a little relief on the caliper so that the hex on the fitting isn't contacting the caliper before the crush washer seats. It looks like there is a tiny bit of light between the hex and the caliper, but maybe it's not allowing it to get a good seal.

So my to-do list before a shake-down trip to Ocala's Hard Rock offroad park looks like this:

Fix leaking caliper
Replace front pads and rotors - it won't lock up the 37's, so going to try the Black Magic pads and Centric rotors that seem to have good reviews on the Jeep sites.
Adjust proportioning valve
Fix transmission pan leak
Install 5" Teraflex rear springs to get a little rake - it's sitting low in the back and I don't have the tools, etc. loaded.
Install new rear shocks

Will also be on the look-out for a 99 Auto, non-SKIM, 49 state computer. It runs fine, but would be nice to get rid of the check engine light and get a working gas gauge.

Overall, really happy to have it running again!!
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Old 05-14-2019, 08:22 PM   #121 (permalink)
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A couple more random thoughts I forgot to include in the previous post:

The engine temp problem seems to be a non-issue. With the other computer, the temp gauge was reading a steady 210, right where it is supposed to be.

The dual transmission cooler seems to be working as planned. The trans temp never got higher than ~ 165F, so the aux fan of the Atomic cooler under the hood has not had to turn on yet.

I am still not sure on the fan situation. The fan has a 200F thermostatic switch, and the thermostat is 195, so basically the fan runs all the time once the engine reaches operating temperature. Wondering if I should get a higher temp switch on the fan, so it runs intermittently, or just leave as-is?

The leak from the trans pan has been there for a long time. I installed one of the Mopar deep pans, and in the process of drilling the hole for the sender I think I tweaked the lip some. It leaked from day one. I tried taking it off and straightening it while everything was apart this time, and even replaced the factory gasket with another new one, but still leaks. Ordered another deep Mopar pan, so will try this again to see if I can get it to seal properly.
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Old 06-04-2019, 10:56 PM   #122 (permalink)
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Will also be on the look-out for a 99 Auto, non-SKIM, 49 state computer. It runs fine, but would be nice to get rid of the check engine light and get a working gas gauge.
I've got one, you pay shipping and its yours.
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Old 06-18-2019, 05:45 PM   #123 (permalink)
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Time a brief, but unexciting update.

Thanks to nhnissan I have a new computer that should eliminate the problem with the gas gauge not reading and the MIL being on. Unfortunately, it will be a little bit before I can try it out as the Jeep's back in the shop.

I've been driving it around for a couple weeks just to see how everything was working. On one of my Saturday lunch trips, one of my buddies had followed me home and he saw that the passenger rear wheel had a wobble. At the same time I had started think about a plan for the rear suspension. Since it was sitting a little low in the back, I ordered a set of Teraflex 5" rear springs. With the rig on jack stands, it looked like I had about 12"-13" of travel limited by driveshaft bind at full droop and the upper links contacting the frame at full bump. Unfortunately, there was only about 12" between the current upper and lower shock mounting points at bump, so there was no way to fit the body of a 12" shock in that space.

During the process of taking the wheels on and off to check clearances I ended up seizing one of the lug nuts on the passenger rear. So I went ahead and snapped the stud off and pulled the axle shaft. The bearing was missing a couple of rollers which were laying in the tube, which explained the vibration I had been feeling. I put the axle shaft between centers on the lathe and measured ~ 0.070" run out on the flange face, and the shaft had ~ 0.065" bow in the center. I pulled the driver side and saw about a 0.025" runout on that shaft. My guess is that this is probably something that happed during the rollover at Stoney Lonesome, and I just hadn't drove it enough t really notice, since it has been in the shop for 3+ years.

This led to my next adventure. As mentioned earlier, the origin of the axles was a little hazy. I purchased them from a Pirate member in AZ who had bought them from the original owner and had been used on a YJ. They were reported to be an early Teraflex axle, and talking t Teraflex it seemed possible. They are both low pinion 44's, but not Rubicon axles. The front has a Teraflex high steer kit, and both axles had Teraflex diff covers. Both axles originally had ARB's but the front was reported to have had a problem and replaced with a Yukon Grizzly.

The first clue about them being different came in 2014 when I tried to find a replacement for a bent backing plate for the rear drums. The drum was a larger than normal size, which from what I can recall was only found on export XJ's. Since I couldn't find a replacement backing plate, I replaced the drums with a Teraflex disc conversion at that time. So I knew it wasn't "normal". While I was checking the shaft run out I counted the splines and they were 33 spline axles, not the normal 30, although the lengths matched a TJ Dana 44. These were Superior shafts, so it looks like this was a Super 44 axle. I ordered some new 33 spline shafts, and then encountered the next problem. The backing plates were not TJ, but XJ ones; so the backing plates that came in the kit wouldn't work. Another order with my buddy at 4WP and I have the right backing plates and the right spacers to adapt the XJ plates for disc brake use.

I've been pondering the rear shock situation while waiting on the parts. I have a set of Barnes 4WD shock towers and the lower shock mounts, so I am thinking about just Frenching in the towers so I can run the longer shocks and take advantage of the available travel. It really wouldn't cost anything and would be a good temporary solution. Long term, I am planning to back half the frame with a Motobuilt kit and have the same Fox coilovers on the back, but that would mean a new cage, new fuel cell, etc., since I plan to bring the shocks up through the fender well and into the tub to tie into the cage. I realize it is some wasted, double effort, but other than a little time it is a pretty easy mod at the point.

As usual, this idea has snowballed a little. Since I'm already doing this, it's doesn't seem a huge step to push the axle back 4-5 inches at the same time. The BTF tank gives me plenty of room, so just cut/sleeve the 4 link bars, lengthen the drive shaft, and a little cutting of the rear tub and now it is stretched in the back as well

The two sides of my brain are currently fighting each other as to which path to take, once I get the axles back in and the new springs in place I can decide on which way to go.
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Old 06-19-2019, 04:09 PM   #124 (permalink)
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I'd wait until you do the back half kit.
When I did my CO's before the tons and a rear stretch I had the mounts frenched into the frame.
When I went to tons and a stretch I had to cut out the shock mounts and fill the frame so I could relocate the mounts.
I had allot of double work to do, kinda sucked.
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Old 06-19-2019, 07:21 PM   #125 (permalink)
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Appreciate the input (nice to see people are actually looking at this!) and I know it will be some extra work, but don't think it will be as much as you had to do unless I'm missing something? The back half would involve cutting off the back 3' or so of the existing frame and replacing it completely. So the part with the frenched in towers goes into the scrap pile and wouldn't be re-used. The coilovers would be angled forward through the tub and mounted to the cage and not to the frame.

I did contemplate doing the back half now, but then it would be having to do the double work like yours since the shocks would still need somewhere to mount.

I got a txt from my buddy at 4WP today and the retainer plates and spacers are in, so at least I can get the axle back together.

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I'd wait until you do the back half kit.
When I did my CO's before the tons and a rear stretch I had the mounts frenched into the frame.
When I went to tons and a stretch I had to cut out the shock mounts and fill the frame so I could relocate the mounts.
I had allot of double work to do, kinda sucked.
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