Finished up the tire carrier this past weekend while enjoying the absolutely magnificent weather.
Simple processes, I just re-mounted the bumper and then added the tire carrier on top. In order to make it easier to mount, (because I was doing it by myself) I put the Hi-Lift jack on the passenger side and jacked it up until it was bolted up. It literally only took about half an hour to get everything set up and the spare bolted on. Funny part was though that the castle nut on the spindle was SO big that I had to pull out a very old C-wrench to get it tightened down. Even the largest (300mm) C-wrench wasn't big enough. This one I used is made of wood and metal, and is probably 50-60 years old. Worked great.
I put some washers between the wheel studs and the rim when I mounted it, because I bought an LED brake light from SuperBriteLEDs.com to replace the stock one. I'll go into more detail on that with a small write-up later this week during installation.
Anyway, here it is. About 2.5 days of work, 1 spool of flux wire, and 2 .003 welding tips.
12' of 2x2 3/16" steel tube - $70
Comp 4x4 1,000lb spindle - $65
De Sta Co 2,000lb latch- $30
LED Brakelight- $10
Came home today and took it out for a spin only to realize not one of my brake lights were working.
If you've experienced this, you've noticed that your brake lights aren't working. If the bulbs check out fine, and the fuse is fine, then it's time to replace the brake light switch. First off, if you're checking those prior things, the fuse for the brake lights is fuse #2, located 2nd from the top on the far right of the fuse box.
Now, onto the very simple swap of TJ brake light switches. There are two ways to go about this.... removing the dashboard under the steering wheel for good access, or just breaking your back in half and twisting into the floorboards of the driver's side. I chose the latter of the two.
Above the brake pedal, you'll see a plastic block with a black pin that is pushed against the pedal arm. There will be a wiring harness attached to this block. Start by removing the harness, it's got two clips on it so I used some pliers to gently pry back the plastic to allow it to slide out. Once it's out, you'll need to remove the plastic block by turning it and freeing it from it's mount. It's really as simply as a twist, so give it some love and pull that sucker out. Then just reverse the process for the new one to go back in. I had to push rather hard and then twist the new block in for it to stay. Then re-connect the harness and you're good to go!
As far as where to get the switch, I managed to get the only one that my AutoZone had in stock, for only $9.99. It was called a "TruGrade Stoplight Switch" and is part No. CR4834TG by the manufacturer, and #966621 according to my AutoZone receipt.
Took the TJ up to New Hampshire today and ran a trail that I was scouting for our club's next wheeling trip. Had a great time, but as I was driving up my CEL light came on. (This is the first and ONLY time it has ever come on during my ownership!) It ended up clearing itself, although I went by my mechanic's when I got back to Reading and he showed a Throttle Position Sensor code... said it may have just been a fluke thing and if it comes back to let him know.
The trail itself was fun, certainly a 4-lo trail, and one that I wouldn't have run alone without my Jeep's set up. At the deepest water crossing, the water was level with my t-case skid. Took some turns to find dead ends, but all in all I know it well enough to take the group there, since Geoff (CrawlingForward) also ran the trail this past weekend.
Awesome! Glad to hear it should be good. I think my main worry was just the water crossings, but if we take them slow and easy, I don't think anyone will be getting suck or sucking up that much water.
How'd the bumper do offroad? Any rattles?
Shouldn't be a problem for anyone, and I'll have the winch (apparently Matt bought one too?) And thankfully no tire carrier problems! You may have noticed the rope on the back during the rear-flex shot, I tied it on just to make sure it didn't go flying open. Luckily the latch didn't loosen at all so there was nothing to be concerned about.
Originally Posted by 2003X
Great trail pics.
Thanks buddy. Can't wait to take her out next weekend and get some more photos and time driving!! Certainly don't take it offroad as much as I'd like, but I have a feeling that's about to change soon
Went to AutoZone yesterday and bought a new distributor, cap, spark plugs, and wires. The spark plugs are AutoLite AP985 plugs. Total cost was around $70 for everything, with whatever the AutoZone warranty is. I'd never checked my spark plugs, so I figured that after 7 years of owning it and 20k miles (yeah, I've only put 20k on it since I bought it!) it was worth doing. The ones in there were Champion, so I'm sure they've been changed at some point.
Technicalities- the TJ is supposed to be gapped at 0.035.... the ones I removed from my engine were 0.050 - hopefully explaining the rough idle and RPM drops at stop lights. I almost died when I was in NH this week and it sounded like the engine literally stopped for a second then kept going. SO the new plugs went in, and so did the new wires. I couldn't get the distributor in because the screw is rusted and rounded out. I'm thinking I'll take a dremmel and cut a slot for a slotted screw driver to go in there. After that it'll all be done! Good news is that the TJ started right up and was smooth idling, as well as up to 4,500 RPMs in the driveway. I'll take her for a spin tonight.
*Silly reminder, if you change the wires/distributor, be sure to replace ONE WIRE AT A TIME so as to not mix up the firing order of the plugs.*
I did that exact same install with AZ parts 3 weeks ago (same cap, rotor, plug wires and spark plugs you show in the picture). My jeep ran ok before, but runs really smooth now. I think the biggest improvement for me was the cap/rotor: my old ones had alot of built-up crud on the contacts.