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Discussion Starter #202
Friday. I'm installing the Ford E-Locker now. I finally had the backlash right and accidentally bent the shim stack putting it in for the last time, so had to order more shims, waiting for those now.

I got drawn for a Javelina hunt in February in Arizona, so I'll be taking another road trip then and running some of the Table Mesa trails while I'm there as long as I can take leave.

What are some good off-road parks in central Texas? I've done Hidden Falls and Long Ranch, and plan to hit Katemcy Rocks next month. What else is there though?
 

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Wolf Caves in Mason is awesome, Barnwell mountain in east texas is really good as well, I'm hoping to start getting out of state next year for some long trips.

You know a guy last name Adling?
 

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Discussion Starter #204 (Edited)
I took the whole family up to Barnwell Mountain last week, it was pretty fun. My wife has a '96 4Runner with an SAS that I've been working on more than the Comanche lately. I still don't have the electric locker wired on the MJ up and that stopped me over and over at Barnwell. I've been following a thread on here where everyone is trying to figure out the easiest/cheapest DIY method for wiring it up. Turns out you're not supposed to just run straight 12V to it, it's a pulse width modulated (PWM) signal where it has straight 12V, then cuts it back and modulates it, so a controller is needed. My switch is installed and the locker is installed with the wires sticking out, I just need to wire it. Barnwell video links below.

Barnwell Mountain Day 1

Barnwell Mountain Day 2

Between day 1 and day 2 of wheeling I spent half a day fixing things. The 4Runner developed a miss and needed a spark plug, the MJ took out a rear upper control arm joint. Somehow the lock screw that keeps the threaded side pre-load spanner nut from backing out came loose, the spanner nut backed off to the point that it came out and then the poly race came out. I couldn't just put it back together because the spanner nut got all bent up. I was lucky enough to find a machine shop three miles from the hotel. The owner was pretty cool and agreed to help me out. He machined a new piece that morning to replace the destroyed part and helped me reassemble the entire joint so I could get back out there and wheel the next day.
 

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Discussion Starter #205 (Edited)
Has anybody found a good free image hosting site to replace photobucket yet? My rocker panels are pretty beat up from rock crawling so I finally started to make some rock sliders. I cut out the passenger side and got that one on, just need to finish up all the supports for it. I'm cutting the rear fender another 1.25" all the way around as well to allow for more uptravel out back.
 

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Has anybody found a good free image hosting site to replace photobucket yet? My rocker panels are pretty beat up from rock crawling so I finally started to make some rock sliders. I cut out the passenger side and got that one on, just need to finish up all the supports for it. I'm cutting the rear fender another 1.25" all the way around as well to allow for more uptravel out back.
I've been using postimage.org with good luck for about the last eight months.
 

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Has anybody found a good free image hosting site to replace photobucket yet?
well, as a matter of fact the Comancheclub can now host all your MJ pics! :D just drag-n-drop from your computer. (it's completely free, though we do ask that you stick to uploading mostly Jeep pics so we can keep our expenses in check) Plus we just opened a new forum dedicated to the biggest and best MJ builds. yours certainly fits that bill!


https://comancheclub.com/forum/41-mj-hardcore-tech-epic-journeys-to-greatness-now-open/
 

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Discussion Starter #209
I had to pull the front fender off to finish welding the slider to the body, and that meant taking the grille and header panel off as well. When I took the header panel off I found it was broken in at least a dozen places from when I get really twisted up on trails and my front tires grab the top of the fender. There was no way it was going back on without a lot of repair or purchasing another one. I didn't like how the headlight and turn signal hung down so far away out on the edge anyways, so I decided to make some changes. I just started with a basic idea in my head and tinkered away throughout the day. This is where I ended up. Overall I like the look of it even though I'm not done yet. I will be cutting a hole in the bumper to add a small round turn signal/running light. Let me know what you guys think.


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Discussion Starter #211
I chopped the rear frame behind the cab and rebuilt it using 3"x3" 3/16 wall tube. The rear bumper is 2"x3" 3/16 tube welded in with a built-in hitch. Everything is triangulated.The rest of the frame front to back has been plated and the front crossmember has been cut out and rebuilt into a hidden winch mount made of 1/4" plate. The roll bar is tied into the frame too front and back. Someday I'll continue the cage forward and down the a piillar to the rockers. The pictures used to show it all.

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Discussion Starter #212 (Edited)
Mostly done with the front end fix, calling it a night. Driver side is done too but the paint has to dry before I can install it. I ordered some flexible LED strips that will just stick to the front of the end caps and flash orange for the turn signal.

I got one more support back to the frame done on the slider as well, one more to go, then just have to do the rear fender and fender well on this side.


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Discussion Starter #213
Got the front bumper end caps complete and the rear fender redone on the passenger side. I also finally put my Grand Prix seats in and installed brass kingpin bushings in the front D60 right before my wheeling trip to Colorado. We travel with eight people on these trips, my wife or 16-year old son drive our second vehicle, a 1996 dual ARB SAS 4Runner. It sits quite a bit higher and is not near as stable as the Comanche.

Day one of the trip my steering was super twitchy and scary on the highway all the way to Colorado. I had checked all TREs and control arm joints before the trip, but rechecked them and I could feel a clunk in the drag link even though I couldn't see any play. I stopped at O'Reilly's and put some new tie rod ends in. It didn't help. I stopped two or three more times, changing the kingpin preload with my springless high steer arms, but couldn't get the steering better.

Day two, at the campground near Durango, I read through threads here on Pirate looking for ideas. I came across somebody with similar issues caused by an oversized roll pin side loading the brass kingpin bushings. I drove to Ace hardware, found a selection of roll pins, and used their parking lot to make the swap. They had the right diameter pins, but not the right length, so I cut a long one in half with the hack saw I carry on trips, rubbed it back and forth on the concrete to smooth the sharp edges, and reassembled everything. That fixed the problem.

Day three we drove the Red Mountain mining area and then Black Bear Pass. Black Bear Pass had two spots that had not been cleared yet with rock piles that slid down off the mountain covering most of the trail, angled to pitch you over the edge. I took the Comanche right over it without thinking much about it, but the rear passenger tire started to slip off the edge of the cliff so I gunned the motor, rode the edge a bit, then pulled it back up onto the trail. There was no way the 4Runner could take that side angle, so we re-worked the loose rock pile just enough to get the 4Runner over. It was nerve-racking but not too difficult. It was dark then, so we headed to Imogene Pass and found a cool camp spot to stay for the night.

Day four we ran Imogene Pass, checked out the old Tomboy Mine, enjoyed the scenery, and played in the water a bit. We also ran Governor Basin, and went to the Hurricane Pass trail to camp for the night. The Comanche would get hot if I was making it work hard going up steep hills, so I had to keep an eye on the engine temp and stop to let it idle and cool down several times. The rear right shock would bottom out easily as well since i had not got around to repositioning the axle mount lower for more uptravel yet, and I was carrying a lot of weight in the bed.

Day five we ran Poughkeepsie Gulch empty so we could go faster, but took out a brake line on the 4Runner a little before Lake Como. We pinched it off with vice grips, added power steering fluid to the brake system, then nursed it back to camp the long way. We packed up camp and headed on Engineer Pass to Lake City, then to a new camp spot at Hartman Rocks, right outside Gunnison.

Day six I visited Monty's Auto (Carquest) in Gunnison and ordered a brake hose that would be in the following morning. Since we couldn't wheel, I decided to try and get the MJ shock mount situation fixed. I found a local fabricator that cut, cleaned up, re-positioned, and re-welded the shock mount for me. I then ordered two new shocks since I had trashed one and Rancho no longer offers the shocks I had.

Day seven I picked up the brake line and got it on the 4Runner, then had a local machine shop modify my new shock bushing sleeves to work in my brackets. We then ran Devil's Punchbowl and Lead King Basin. We came back up Devil's Punchbowl at dusk on the way back to camp with a full moon illuminating the waterfalls, it was pretty cool.

Day eight we stopped in Pitkin for lunch, then wheeled to the top of a mountain pass, where I overheated the truck when my electric fan (Ford Taurus) died completely. It began to run rough at that point and didnt sound right. I rolled to the bottom with the engine off for the next few hours. We were supposed to spend another five days on the trails, including Chinaman/Carnage Canyon, The Gulches, and more. Instead, we decided to just nurse it home 800 miles to Texas.

It barely made it back to Texas, sputtering and running rough. I took the head off last night, figuring it was probably the head gasket. No such luch, there is a massive crack in the head from end to end. I'm now debating whether to replace the head with an upgraded heavy duty 505 performance race head ($800), or do an LV3 and maybe 6L80 swap (~$3000+ and a ton of time I don't have). My next PCS move is around six months away and I have to fix up the house.


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Discussion Starter #214
More pics from the trip.


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trip looks awesome, how was Pitkin? my good friend and his parents own the general store and sxs rentals there.
 

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Discussion Starter #216
Pitkin was a cool little town, not much there, but some nice homes and a good area.

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Discussion Starter #218
I went ahead and ordered the full race head from 505 Performance, I just don't have the time to deal with an engine swap right now. I also ordered some different rear springs and some rear bump stops to fix the harsh bottoming out I get when I'm on a rough trail loaded down with gear. I got the new electric fan put in last weekend. I'm still trying to decide what to do as far as the exhaust goes, I'm leaning toward the $120 header on eBay, or just keeping the stock manifold, which would kill a lot of the performance from the new head. I just can't see spending another $400 on a fancier header.

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Discussion Starter #220
They came out of a Pontiac Grand Prix, not sure what year. I had to fabricate the mounts to get them in, and I raised the seating position for better visibility. I love the way they feel, but they were a pain to put in. The seats don't fold forward for easy access to behind the seat storage. Previously I had two door Cherokee seats in there, but they were two squishy and I just didn't like how they felt. They were also old and thrashed.

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