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Unread 07-14-2012, 08:20 PM   #16
jmccallie
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Nice xj, keep posting wheeling pics (with the the scenery haha). The wife and I would love to move to Alaska! Nice to know you guys love your jeeps up there too!!! Gods country!

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Unread 07-14-2012, 11:27 PM   #17
tofuzeppelin
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Hey Welcome to the Forum ... You sir have a Nice looking Jeep. Do you still have the stock air intake or did you opt for the cowl short cut? How do the 4.10s do spinning the new meats? Also glad to see your hatch works, any chance for a video down the road of your Beast hittin the trails?
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01 TJ with some stuff
01 XJ with no rust
76 Ford with both

WTB TJ hard top, let me know what cha got
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Unread 07-14-2012, 11:34 PM   #18
AKIQPilot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin108 View Post


I urge you to read up on how to safely strap a vehicle to a trailer. By using ratchet straps in this manner, you are putting horizontal loads on components engineered for vertical loads. It's not safe at all!

As opposed to telling me how wrong I am securing my rig I challenge you to show me how you strap yours.
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Unread 07-14-2012, 11:48 PM   #19
AKIQPilot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tofuzeppelin View Post
Hey Welcome to the Forum ... You sir have a Nice looking Jeep. Do you still have the stock air intake or did you opt for the cowl short cut? How do the 4.10s do spinning the new meats? Also glad to see your hatch works, any chance for a video down the road of your Beast hittin the trails?
This is an off road only XJ so the 4.10's work very good. I do most of my wheeling in low range except for the smoother trails and I shift into 2 High. . The vast majority of our trails are fairly slow going with deep bogs and some steep dirt/mud hills. I find myself in Drive most of the time but up the steeper stuff i shift down into 1st and let the motor rev out some. When I first bought this Jeep I thought I would need lower gearing but after a full week of wheeling I know for sure it doesn't need lower gearing.

When I'm in mud or technical trails or up steep terrain I keep the RPM's somewhere between 2400 and 3000 depending on how gnarly the terrain actually is. The automatic tranny does very good, I am quite surprised how much easier it is to wheel than the other TJ's in our group with manual transmissions.

I have a bit of video, I will try to make a few you tubes and see if i can get them to post.

The air intake is completely stock. I was contemplating a XJ snorkel but have decided against it. I can go through over 40" of water now and I don't have any business going into water deeper than that. But the main reason is I don't like the XJ snorkel on the drivers side. I prefer to have a cleaner line of sight out that side and the snorkel would take away some of my ability to see. We wheel with the windows up a large percentage of the time because of all the mud so being able to see obstacles is important.
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Unread 07-13-2013, 11:15 AM   #20
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Well it's been a little while since I updated this thread. I've made several changes to my rig and they all made huge improvements. In no particular order:

I decided it was time to look for more traction. Most of the rigs I wheel with are on AG tires and I needed to do something to improve my chances of keeping up with them. I decided to cut the small lug out of my boggers. There are many different ways of accomplishing this. I used a hot chisel blade on an air hammer. Worked fantastic and was very controlled. Every lug came out perfect and there was no damage to the adjacent lugs.



These tires are 38.5 X 15 X 16. They were basically brand new. Under 100 miles on them before I took the knife to them. I left about 1/8: of the lug to help prevent punctures from sharp rocks and sticks.



The tires clean out much better. The performance is night and day difference. They aren't AG tires but they are a lot closer than they were. If they do start to Que Ball a slight blip of the throttle and they are clean instantly.



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Unread 07-13-2013, 11:36 AM   #21
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I completely upgraded the steering and track bar system on my XJ. I went with a couple of kits from Dan at RuffStuff Specialties. 7/8" heim joints and 1.5" .250" wall DOM. Dan's stuff it top notch. Great prices and super fast shipping. When ordering I thought maybe I didn't need the 7/8" stuff but because my rig is off road only I just went for overkill. Well the 7/8" kit is perfect, not overkill at all. It looks and works so much better than what I had before I just can't get over how much confidence I have in my front end now. Steering knuckles ware drilled out to 3/4" non tapered and I used all 3/4" grade 8 hardware.





The steering arm angle is much improved over stock but I'm still not happy. I purchased flat top steering arms and sent a passenger side knuckle down to the guys at BonzParts for some machining. This will reduce the steering angle and raise the tie rod about 2" above where it is now. Here is how it looks now. I will post additional pictures when I get the steering system where I really want it.



I bought a different frame side track bar mount and will be fixing my mess there in the near future. I'm also building a frame support cross member to tie the two sides of the frame together under the motor. Overkill maybe but you can't be too careful with these unitbody chassis.

I have about $440 in this entire upgrade and the difference is unbelievable. No death wobble at any speed no matter what bump I hit and i don't even have a steering stabilizer.
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Unread 07-13-2013, 11:57 AM   #22
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It was time for some Winch maintenance so I did a complete rebuild on the planetary side of my little Warn M8000. The winch is very new but had ingested some water during it's very short time with the previous owner. The planetary side was full of water, rust and mud. I soaked every part in the parts washer and cleaned them spotless. I then soaked them in 2 stroke oil for a half hour then covered them with grease and put it all back together. Thing works so much better, it's like brand new. I use the winch on almost every outing so maintenance has become a weekly thing. I respool the winch after every weekend and inspect the cable for damage washing it and lubing it with AeroKroil as I rewind it. The neoprene cover keeps mud and dirt out of it when not in use.

I also ran all new power cables to the winch and from the battery to the chassis. I ran a 0 gauge cable to the control box and ground directly from the winch to my bumper. I also ran a 0 gauge cable from the negative side of the battery directly to the chassis for additional grounding capacity. In the process of all this I added a 350 amp 12v Accessory plug to the bumper so I have power available for jump starting and or doubling up on batteries without opening the hood.





The winch cover.

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Unread 07-13-2013, 12:31 PM   #23
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My XJ was starting to sag just a little in the rear and it couldn't take big bumps or drops very well without bottoming. It was really bad when i was all loaded up with 500lbs of camping gear. I pondered many different options including Monroe Max Air shocks and or spring overload shocks. My existing rough country shocks are in good shape and I didn't think it was a real good idea to put that extra load on the frame end of the shock so I decided it was time to rebuild my spring pack.

My existing springs in the rear were stock XJ with a single helper spring added to the pack. With the addition of longer shackles this gave me a super soft ride and fantastic flex. I've never had my rig on a ramp but on the trail it flexes really well and everyone I wheel with has always been impressed with how well it flexes. All this is great but if it can't drop off a 12" ledge while loaded without bottoming then it was not going to cut it. I found an old set of F250 springs at the junk yard for $20 and I went about building as set of custom springs for my jeep. I am a self proclaimed Shock Valving expert and a leaf spring is very similar to the insides of a shock absorber so I had a pretty good plan for what I wanted to do. I wanted a soft ride that could carry a decent load and wouldn't bottom out every time I hit a bump at speed or dropped off a ledge.

I took the top three springs from the XJ and mated them up with the bottom 3 springs from the F250 and bolted it all together. I used the factory plastic pads and the F250 alignment straps to keep things working smooth and staying in alignment. The combination came out perfect. Still a super smooth, soft ride i can hit bumps at almost any speed I want now. I tested it over the speed bumps in my neighbor hood and I can hit them at 40+ without even a hint of bottoming. The suspension rolls through those bumps like they were warm butter. Flex is slightly compromised but so far I have yet to lift a rear tire off the ground during wheeling.

For those of you wondering my lift blocks are made out of 3" X 6" rectangle tubing. They are welded to the axle just like a spring perch is welded to a stock axle. The funny angle allows the spring to flex really well but the axle doesn't try to wrap as much under acceleration and braking. Linda like a lift block and traction bar all in one. I got 2" of lift out of this spring pack combo and it makes my Jeep sit almost perfectly level now.



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Unread 07-13-2013, 12:52 PM   #24
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We do lots of Jeep camping around here and I needed a place to carry my recovery gear. I have been looking and looking for a roof rack but shipping to Alaska has kept me from pulling the trigger. At the 4X4 Meet and Greet in June I met a guy who had a rack he didn't need any more. It was just the size I was looking for and perfectly priced. It already had Quick Fist clamps for my shovel and a lock and ride bracket for my HiLift Jack. It's made out of aluminum and is 43" X 50" on the inside so my full sized 38" spare will fit right inside with no problem. I removed the factory sliding rails and used the existing bolt holes that hold the factory rails in place. I went to Fastenal and bought four 6mm X 80mm Allen head cap screws and bolted the rack directly to the roof. It works perfect. I mounted the rack just forward of center on the roof so the load would be more evenly spread over the suspension and so the lights wouldn't reflect off the roof so much.. The paint is pealing in some spots and this winter I plan to remove the rack and take it to my powder coater.

Here are a few pictures of how it sits. I have a high lift jack on one side, a shovel on the other side and an ax on the rear. I just ordered a 32" Combo 14400 lumin LED CREE Light Bar for the front and a couple 18watt LED floods work lights for the rear. I will update the pictures when I get the light bar mounted.





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Unread 07-13-2013, 01:12 PM   #25
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As mentioned earlier, many of my wheeling buddies are rolling 42" or larger AG tires so my little XJ on 38's has a tough time keeping up. I decided to lock up the front axle. The rear was already welded so I just needed that extra little bit to keep all 4 tires pulling all the time. My budget limited my options so I did a little research and decided to go for a Drop In Lunch Box style locker. There are several different Lunch Box lockers out there and they are all fairly similar in how they operate. I knew my spider pin was worn so I decided on a Spartan Locker because it came with a brand new hardened pin with the kit. $265 shipped to my door UPS Blue Label. From what I read all the different style Lunch Box lockers are pretty equal in design , function and quality.

Install was simple and the locker works exactly as designed. The difference in performance is amazing. I can't get over how good this jeep wheels now. All my buddies with AG's are amazed as well especially when it's time to use a little side bite and climb out of a rut or up a slippery off camber surface. I can drive with my head now instead of using my right foot all the time. I've been on about 10 different outings now and I am so happy with this inexpensive upgrade I can't get over how well it works. Big Props to the guys at US Standard Gear and their Spartan Locker.

This is what the lit looks like. I snagged these off google images.



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Unread 07-13-2013, 01:36 PM   #26
AKIQPilot
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So besides normal maintenance and a few upgrades like new driveline U Joints and replacing a bunch of grade 5 bolts with grade 8 bolts thats about all I have done to my XJ this spring. I have 5 major changes for the future and they go something like this.

1. Slip Yolk Eliminator Kit install. I purchased the JB Conversions Super Short SYE kit and will be installing that this next week. I am having a custom driveline built by the guys at Jones Driveline in Wasilla AK and it will feature a serviceable CV joint, High Angle Yolks and a servicable slip yolk. I am excited to get this component upgraded because as of right now it's the weakest link on my Jeep.

2. Install my RAD Design Rail II AW4 Manual Shift controller. I bought this component last winter and misplaced it in my ever so messy shop. I did a huge shop clean out last week and I finally found my shifter. I am excited to get this installed so I can decide when to shift gears instead of that pesky TCM. I like the AW4 and it works perfect for me. Once I can control the shift points I will like it even more.

3. Buy and install RCV chromolly CV style front axles. This won't happen till winter because it doesn't fit into my budget. I've been beating on my stockish HP Dana 44 for a year and a half now with no issues but I know for sure this is a weak link on my XJ. The RCV axles should give me the confidence to hammer down through the mud when I need to.

4. Install my Flat Top High Steer knuckles and steering arms. This will get my tie rod 2" higher and improve my steering geometry. This may be overkill for what I do but it's cheap and I have the parts coming.

5. Beadlock my existing wheels. I love how narrow my XJ is and I do not want it much wider. Many of the trails we wheel on are barely wide enough for a UTV. With the weld on Beadlocks I will only increase my total width by +2" and I can safely air down below 4PSI without worries. I have been using 7.5PSI all summer and have not had any issues with losing a bead or driving a bunch of junk into the bead. My existing wheels are 16 X 7 with a 4.5" back spacing. I like everything about them but would like them slightly wider and beadlocks. This will also be a next winter thing as I just can't afford the down time right now.
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Unread 07-13-2013, 02:34 PM   #27
dsnyder24
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Love this jeep man, this would be pretty close to exactly what I want.
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Unread 07-13-2013, 03:11 PM   #28
AKIQPilot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsnyder24 View Post
Love this jeep man, this would be pretty close to exactly what I want.

Thanks D, it's a work in progress.

We wheel a lot around here. We probably go on 3 different trips every week all summer long. My wife just loves to get out in the woods, check out new places and play in the mud. Because of work schedules we find ourselves wheeling alone about 1/3rd of the time. Wheeling alone really makes you pay attention to every single little noise your Jeep makes. Whether it's the motor, the suspension or the winch every new noise means something new is happening.

I do a lot of preventative maintenance on my XJ. In addition to the upgrades I mentioned above I have repacked the front wheel bearings and hubs 3 times, drained and serviced the differentials twice and serviced both front and rear drivelines twice. We wheel in places were tow trucks can't get to. You have to be able to make it in and out on your own or it can put a serious burden on your buddies with buggies.

Just a few shots from some of the trips this summer.











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Unread 07-13-2013, 03:22 PM   #29
AKIQPilot
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A few more.

JK on 44's and a TJ on 42's. My XJ has it's work cut out for it. Except for a slight tug twice so far, I have yet to be pulled through even one hole or up one hill yet this year. I pick my line, I commit and I go for it. Besides the things mentioned above I couldn't be happier with my rig.













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Unread 07-15-2013, 02:42 PM   #30
sean883
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Nice jeep and nice scenery. I would love to go wheeling up there, even with all that mud.
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Your ego fits, the XJ should be fine with room to spare.
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