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Unread 12-05-2013, 08:01 PM   #46
kevinofhardy
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My speedometer always read a little fast with my 235, and when I went to 31s it didn't seem to change that much. I think this just showed how incorrect the speed sensors on the side of the road are. My brother and I took our jeeps out a week ago and he claimed that my speedo was 5-10 MPH fast. This confirmed that I really needed to fix the speedo gear.

I also wanted to correct it to get the proper MPG readings. I was normally getting 17-19 on my 235s. I didn't get to much of a chance to test MPGs with the 31s and 3.07 gearing since I installed my new axles with 3.55s soon after. Since that time I have been getting a reported 16 MPG consistently. I also wanted to correct the speedo gear to avoid a speeding ticket/going to slow(usually not a problem for me).

I have been hesitant to order mine since I wasn't sure if there would be any differences with my 5-speed. I could not find any reports of trouble so I got the recommended 32 tooth gear and an o-ring. The temps all this week are between 5* and 20* f, so I am hoping for a slightly warmer day soon since I do not have a garage to work in. I will post my process and results when I get it installed. For those that have done this, is it pretty straight forward?

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Unread 12-05-2013, 08:15 PM   #47
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With these ridiculously cold temps my battery is showing its age. It did this to me last winter, but it performed perfectly throughout the rest of the year so I didn't replace it. I would normally take this as a sign to get started on my dual battery setup, but I bought my mom a set of tires for her car since hers were bald. This was a big problem for her because the 6-10 inches of snow we got this week isn't melting with these lower temperatures.

I have heard that Odyssey makes a better battery than the optimas and Sears sells a rebranded Odyssey for a lot cheaper. I am thinking of going this route for now and then when need and funds allow getting a second battery. I don't have much of a need since I don't really have many electrical draws like lights yet. If anyone can give me a good reason to go with one or the other I would appreciate some feedback.

I have another question... My headlights take about 2-3 minutes to turn on. They don't start dim and get brighter, but they just stay completely off then just pop on after a few minutes. This started when the temperature dropped so I am assuming that is why. This isn't terribly important, but if this could become a bigger problem I would like to address it now.
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Unread 12-06-2013, 04:09 AM   #48
K-R
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The sears high end battery is the way to go. Look for coupons/
Discounts, etc. I think mine was 180 all in...
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Unread 12-07-2013, 12:26 AM   #49
Modstock
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Good to see another Utah'n on here. Great build.
Battery prices have shot up so an Optima is not that far off anymore.
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Unread 12-07-2013, 08:32 PM   #50
Flowpro
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Very detailed and impressive build thread you have here. Nice work.
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Unread 12-07-2013, 08:35 PM   #51
kevinofhardy
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Thanks for the feedback and interest. It is really motivating to know that people read this thread.

It has been snowing a lot recently and I just have to say that my tires are amazing. The Kelly Safari is an excellent tire. The only trouble is that I cannot do donuts like I used to because I get to much traction...

After my wheeling trip with some Jeep forum members last week I have not bothered to reconnect my sway bar links. I have been on the freeway, in the city, and played in the dirt and snow and I am enjoying them being off. I do have the stiffer V8 ZJ springs and my bilsteins are on the stiffer side so that helps. I have yet to test it in the canyon, but I have enjoyed my lack of sway bars.

The bad thing about this kind of snow is that it coats everything. I got under my jeep and used a pick to knock all of the ice off. My wheels wells were almost full to the tires, and my entire gas tank skid had about 4-6 inches or ice encasing it. After I got it off I went right back out and played in the snow again!... I will wait till it stops snowing again before I get under there ti knock it off again.
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Unread 12-07-2013, 10:30 PM   #52
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I ditched my rear swaybar but I recommend getting some disconnects for the front. You'll want a front S.B. for freeway/city duty .
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Unread 12-08-2013, 12:10 AM   #53
kevinofhardy
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I ditched my rear sway bar when I did my shackle brackets and other rear end mods. I have a set of JKS disconnects up front except for the disconnect part. The guy I bought it from claimed it was complete and I didn't know enough about what I was buying at the time to notice immediately. So right now they just mount on the oem axle mount.

The real problem is that they are to long. Even adjusted as short as possible. I just noticed that they top of the links is hitting my body. I have two nice punctures in my body from them... this it's the main reason that I have not reconnected them.

I am not ready for more lift yet, so I am hoping to trade for a shorter set.
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Unread 12-14-2013, 10:51 AM   #54
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HD Engineering No lift XJ Shackle Relocation bracket Install


I purchased this set from Brian at HD in May 2013 for $130(they have gone down in price to $100 so get them now!) They were shipped the next day and arrived at my doorstep very quickly.

I was amazed at how heavy the box was when I picked it up. Poor USPS girl may have needed a few days off after delivering it. I opened it up and the bracketry and hardware are crazy. It is all ¼ inch and looks like it could support a tank.

I was pretty new my XJ and real modifications so I was really nervous about cutting it up since it was so clean. I put off the install for a while and finally got to it on 09/20/2013 when I rebuilt my whole rear end.

Install:

First support your jeep on jack stands and drop everything. I took out my rear sway bar for good, disconnected the shocks on both ends since I would need new ones for the amount of flex I would be getting with these relocators.



I left the u-bolts on to drag the springs down. Disconnect the OEM shackle from the shackle box. I had new JKS boomerangs so I disconnected the OEM shackle from the leafs as well.




Lower the axle now that everything has been removed. This should give you much better access to the spring hangers.





Now that all of that is out of the way you get to start cutting. Remove the entire OEM shackle box to the frame rail and the rear crossmember. I had a 4.5 inch angle grinder with a cut off wheel so I had to cut in stages.






Once I had the bulk of the material removed I switched to a grinding wheel and flattened the cuts down flush to the body.









Now that I had it all cut out I was almost ready to mock it up and drill through the floor. I did not have a hitch when I started this so I had to get some nut strips. I picked them up from the dealership(cost a ton…) I slipped those inside the frame rail and secured the main bracket through the frame and with a bolt in the OEM shackle location.





I marked the holes through the brackets.



Now it was time to pull the interior apart to get access to the floor.









I left the brackets in place and drilled from the bottom to make sure they were accurate.





As everyone has had to do I had to trim the brackets. I used card board to mock out the amount I had to trim and then I trimmed the plates. If you are going this far with your mods then cutting a few plates is not a problem at all.





Each side needed to be trimmed a bit different to clear. I wanted to keep the most plate that I could for strength. Not much really needs to be trimmed.

As you can see my underside was stupid rusty… I think this Jeep was originally from the northwest (dealer sticker on the hatch) and it had a lot more rust that I thought when I bought it. I took this time to grind everything from the rear seat back to bare metal. This is why I dropped the gas tank and everything else. After I got it all painted and ready It was time to finish the install.

I noticed some very slight metal crinkled by the rear cross member on the passenger side. This actually made impossible to get the brackets in the right location. I pounded it back into place as best I could, but I ended up having to grind a little on the rear most portion of the bracket where the bumper bracket mounts.



This may not be necessary on your install, but due to the slight damage I had it was. I did it on both sides to ensure that the bracket sat as far back as possible against the rear cross member.
This also meant that I had drilled the holes in my floor in the wrong place. I was able to pretty easily open up the holes a bit with the grinding wheel and a de-burring bit on my drill.
This allowed the brackets to fit perfectly where they should be.
Now for the hard part…
I wanted the brackets to be the first thing against the frame rail since I was adding a hitch and gas tank skid at this time as well. I used the extra pair of plates included with the brackets to space down the front of the skid.

Getting this lined up was a pain in my ***. I had to widen a few holes, and pry bar the crap out of everything to get it lined up. It finally did get lined up and I torqued everything to spec for the U-Haul hitch I was installing.
The last part was getting the shackles installed. The JKS shackles are super beefy, but they were tight as hell getting them in the bracket. Trying to get the washer and nut on the shackle bolt was also quite difficult. I had to loosen up the entire bracket to get enough space to wiggle the nut on the bolt. I got it all done up tight and torqued it back down.
I had originally used a different hole that was farther forward, but the JKS shackle was contacting the bracket which you can see by the scratch on the shackle. So I had to take it out and put it back in again… I used the rear most bottom hole which gave me a perfect shackle angle for a smooth ride and the best flex.
I did not get any lift out of the bracket or the shackle because the lift is lost when you get the proper shackle angle compared to a vertical shackle. This I was not expecting so I was a bit lower in the rear than I expected. Make sure to factor that into your shackle choice.




Review:
Install was not much harder than I had expected. The design and strength of this bracket is amazing. HD Engineering did a fantastic job. The hardware was perfect for the factory nut strip and nothing was missing or left to be desired. I have as much flex in the rear then I do in the front with this setup. The ride is as smooth as or smoother than my old sagging springs even though I got the HD springs with a higher spring rate.
This was easily one of my favorite mods and if your shackle angle isn’t perfect then I highly recommend a set of relocators and HD offers both a lift and no lift option depending on your needs. Like I said earlier the price has dropped so now is a great time to grab yourself a set.
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Unread 12-14-2013, 11:14 AM   #55
MOBBiN
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Do you have the cut and gold done to your jeep?
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Unread 12-14-2013, 11:26 AM   #56
kevinofhardy
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No, I have not done it yet. I am waiting till I have a wrap around rear bumper before doing the cut and fold.
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Unread 12-14-2013, 03:58 PM   #57
MOBBiN
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And it wasn't too tight with a 4.5" grinder? That's the only thing I've had questions about.
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Unread 12-14-2013, 07:42 PM   #58
kevinofhardy
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That is a good question. It was pretty tight. I had everything else dropped including the gas tank which gave me some extra room. I had to make several small cuts and to get the bulk out then I used a grinding wheel to even it all out. My dad was helping me and we had a Dewalt on one side and a Harbor Freight on the other. Both were tight, but both worked. The driver’s side probably wouldn't have worked if I hadn't removed the filler tubes with the gas tank. Also, I couldn't use the extra side handle on either grinder.
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Unread 12-14-2013, 08:13 PM   #59
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It was surprisingly warm today at 23* so I wanted to get out and do some jeep stuff. It has been about 0-10 lately... I checked my brothers lug nuts since he said he felt some wobbling from his front passenger side. They were all fine, so that will be an investigation for another day.

The back of my jeep has been a little cluttered so I decided I wanted to clean it up. I took out my frozen water bottled since they don't do me much good. I had taken out the donut of a spare a while ago, and I have been feeling guilty for not putting something back in. I do not have a full size spare to match my 31s, so I grabbed the biggest mounted tire I had at the time with decent tread. It is a 245/70/15 on a boring steel wheel. I mounted it in the stock location and then reorganized everything else that I had in the back.





I had some trouble previously with my headlight bezel on the driver side. Both of the mounts on top broke and luckily it fell of while it was sitting in my driveway. I dropped in on the back seat to worry about later. It got stepped on when I gave someone a ride and broke the thin bottom edge. It was salvageable so I put it in my garage and have been sad every time I look at the grill since. This all happened several months ago...



I finally got around to using the bondo glass I bought and I filled the holes to create something to mount to, and I also used it to strengthen the broken part at the bottom. It still needs to be cleaned up and drilled for screws to go through it, but I think this solution will work very well. I may need longer screws to actually mount it though.

Cracked all the way through


Filled on the back


Filled in the holes all the way through
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Unread 12-15-2013, 09:08 AM   #60
Camfam07
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looking good! i like those new shackle re-lo's they look a bit diffucult to install?
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