Wow, been a long time... still thinking about the build, but still short on cash. I've been in contact with Kolak and we have a preliminary plan for a 3" OME, but I'm STILL not decided. I'm really torn because I would like to eventually run 33's on this thing. If I go with a 3" lift, I'll be limited to 32's I think. Maybe that's good enough until I can get some real axles and go all the way with 'em.
Anyways, over the last year and a half, the leak in the heater core finally got too annoying to ignore. Time was limited, so I paid the shop to replace it. NEVER AGAIN! While they were tearing things apart, I asked them to install some new heater hoses. There probably wasn't anything wrong with the old ones, but so much rubber under the hood was starting to get very brittle. Better safe than sorry.
Unfortunately, they put the hoses in backwards. Sure, I had heat, but the thing was constantly gurgling. I'm thinking that the system can't purge the air when the coolant is flowing backwards through the heater core. There's a more detailed thread
about it, but here's how the stealership put the hoses in:
Nice! It was annoying, and I knew I couldn't leave it like that, but it was winter, and I really didn't want to mess with it.
I also had them replace the evaporator while they were in there. Common sense would suggest that they also replace the O-rings, but they didn't do that. I also found out later that it's a really good idea to replace the receiver/dryer assembly, but they didn't even think about suggesting such a thing. They also didn't notice that the high pressure hose from the compressor started developing cracks. So much for being experts.
The AC wouldn't hold it's charge. It blew cold when I picked it up, but by the time we actually needed to use it 5 months later, it only blew cold for a day. Took it back, they couldn't find anything wrong with it, but added 9oz of refrigerant (wow, nothing wrong?). It blew cold for about a week, then nothing.
While I was trying to figure out my next step, the radiator intake blew apart. fortunately, it happened just as/before the wife got to where she was going, so the engine never overheated. Thank G for that!
This was on a Sunday. I knew this was a decent size job to begin with, so I decided to get a little more done while I had it apart. I don't remember what all I had to order or from where, but it took a week to get all the parts together.
I also did some teardown in the evenings, but couldn't really do much until the weekend. I did manage to break the CCV vacuum line while removing it from the resonator. Ordered it on Thursday, picked it up on Friday, but they ordered a PCV line instead. No biggie, that probably needs to be replaced too. I'll deal with the CCV lines later and rig the old one until then.
Oh, earlier that week, my wife won a $500 gift card from Home Depot. I spent some of it on this, which couldn't have come at a better time. I was dreading having to work around the skid plate or having to remove it by hand. With this, it only took a minute.
Also picked up 2 new batteries, a set of sockets, and a set of extensions.
I'd rather have a pneumatic wrench, but without a garage, there's no room for a compressor yet. The 18v cordless is better than nothing and will definitely be along for any serious wheeling trips.
When the weekend finally rolled around, I got a bit further into it.
Unfortunately, I did this.
I don't know if I could have avoided that or not. I probably could have gotten those nipples out and reused the lines, but I opted instead to get new ones rather than trust them. Of course, that's a dealer-only part, so I had to wait until Monday to order them. I ordered the new CCV line at the same time.
I picked up the new lines on Tuesday, but couldn't do much until Friday, when I was working from home and managed to find enough time to get everything put back together. Unfortunately, not in time to get my AC recharged before the shops closed.
First thing Saturday, I took it over to the shop to get the AC charged up, but while the tech was pulling a vacuum, he pointed out that the high pressure hose had a ton of micro cracks, and that while it was holding a vacuum, it was probably a good idea to go ahead and replace it before charging the system. At $100 (r134 and labor), I couldn't help but agree. So I ordered the line from Advanced, but it wouldn't be until late that day before it came in. So much for a weekend on the road with AC.
Finally got the AC charged up on Memorial day, and 12 days later, it's still going strong.
I was thinking about doing the water pump too, but it seems that people recommend OEM which is prohibitively expensive for now. I skipped that. I also considered doing the valve cover gaskets and while I ordered them, I skipped it because they're absolutely clean except for a bit of buildup near the CCV port on the driver's side. I'm pretty comfortable in the thought that they are not leaking.
It was also suggested to do the idler and tension pulleys, but for whatever reason, I didn't do those either.