Greetings from Key West, Florida. I'm down here finally getting a vacation before work starts again bright and early Sunday morning and the next thing I know 6 months have gone by. Enjoying the 80 degree weather with family while the girlfriend is unfortunately home with the puppy (half a foot of snow, and sub-zero temperatures!).
Hopefully next week a lot can get done on the Jeep. The steering shaft came in, meaning that it can be installed and tested out to see if that fixes for once and for all my horrific steering issues. I also bought the JKS Johnny Joint rear track bar to replace the POS Rough Country one that I've got. If you remember, this is the 2nd Rough Country since it was replaced under warranty, as the heim joint has started stripping out of the tubing again. Luckily I noticed this while under the Jeep checking all suspension links, and not while driving down the highway and having the axle shift hard to the driver's side.
I've been doing a lot of thinking as to what will happen with the Jeep mods-wise in the next months leading up to Wheeling Season 2013. My goal honestly is to have the rig in the right shape to run OFR again with no issue, no winch, and no worries. I'd also like to be able to tackle MaBell on the harder lines than I took last year without thinking twice about it. I'm not saying the Jeep isn't in a great place, but I think with a few well directed mods it could be lightyears better than it is currently. I'll post up about my decisions in the next couple days and I'd really like input back from a few of you about the things I'm thinking of.
Back in Boston for a few weeks. Luckily I had time on Sunday to put the Jeep up and replace the track bar. As I described before, the Rough Country (0-6" lift) track bar had stripped out and the heim joint was VERY close to letting go from the DOM tubing. I ordered the JKS one from Jason at Jeepin' Outfitters for a great price and he had it here in under a week. THIS THING IS CRAZY! I really wasn't sure what to expect as I have no JKS products, but the tubing is twice the size of the R.C. one, the heim joint was replaced with a Johnny Joint, and the substantial weight difference left me feeling good about the purchase. The other great thing was the amount of thread on the Johnny Joint portion of the bar, as it reassured me that it would actually make the reach to the axle mount when the RC barely did. This should be a good purchase in the long run.
Also, as of last night, the Jeep is dropped off at my buddy's shop to have the new HD lower steering shaft installed, and the e-brake tightened. I know I could easily do both of these things, but it's cold out and I frankly don't have the time to do it in the next few weeks. Jay is going to spend some time going over my steering and hopefully fix the dead space in the wheel. He's a long-time Jeep guy and was telling me that his YJ has had the same problem before, even after replacing the ball joints/tie rod/drag link/hubs/pitman arm/steering box as I have done. Anyway! Should be good. Frame work is also scheduled to do with a guy in the club during the 3rd week in January. Schedule depending I might try and get the cage in then as well.
Here are a few photos... including one of the new Walker exhaust that I put in with an immediate turndown. Jeep purrs, nothing special or loud. I like it. Installation was easy as the inlet to the muffler was a perfect match for the outlet of the catalytic converter. It's a little bit longer than the Banks Monster muffler, but I purchased one of the cheap exhaust hanger repair parts and mounted it around the tail pipe turndown with that. To hang it, I bent the last half inch of the hanger bracket and bolted it up to the e-brake bracket on the top of the tub. It hangs perfectly and has no contact with the driveshaft which is great! This should stick around until I go with a tummy tuck and then we'll do it all again haha.
Yup haha. Been meaning to get that fixed, just haven't had time.
Originally Posted by bmosing
I like my jks track bar as well. Nice and beefy as you mentioned and has plenty of thread on the JJ side. The exhaust looks like it came out nice too. Keep up the good work Ryan!
Hopefully this one will work out in the long run! Thanks for the kind words
Originally Posted by brokeagin
I have been stalking your thread for 94 pages as time allows and I have to say great writing and great job on the Jeep!
Glad it's entertaining! Only 15 pages to go till you're up to date... it's been slow recently due to work, but hopefully there will be some good mods in the next few months to get it to the end of this build stage and in a good spot as a whole.
Originally Posted by Kodiak17
Have the same muffler, you like it? Builds flowing nicely.
Works fine for my needs (my needs: it stays on, passes inspection, muffles the exhaust... that's about it) I honestly just went on the Advance Auto Parts website while I was at Home Depot one day and ordered the cheapest one they had for immediate pickup. It's awesomely quiet, which is fine cause I'm not one of those "exhaust-fanatic" guys, and mated perfectly to the outlet of my cat. 10 stars in my book.
Well the steering shaft was replaced in the Jeep. I haven't driven it in a week or so and last night went to start it, only to find out it was COMPLETEEEEELY dead. The 14 degree weather probably didn't help any, but I figure that after 5 years on this AutoZone Duralast battery, it's time to put a new one in. As much as I'd rather not, I think I'm off to Sears to buy the P4 Die Hard Platinum battery that everyone raves about. My biggest concern is getting it to fit into the T&T's battery tray, but I suppose I'll just have to see how that goes.
Pics and fun stuff to come. I've got the day off and a few things to install!
New battery, at the cost of $230, picked up 10 miles from here at the Burlington Sears store. While it's heavy as a bit(h - approx 55lbs - it fit right into the T&T tray which was my biggest concern. Now that I've got this nifty piece of electronics with it's 135 minutes of reserve battery power, I'll be getting new battery terminals for my cabling just to bring the whole thing a little more up to date.
Old one was pretty ugly. Stamp was 01/09 on the Duralast... a decent run for a $70 battery.