I've enjoyed reading the thread so far. You are right, tires and flares in the beginning made a drastic difference and it just keeps getting better. Sweet ride.
Partial hijack, but if you wouldn't mind, could you give me some more details on the top hoist you made? Anymore pictures? Specifically, how is your frame built to hold the top.
I really need to get a hoist rather than depend on friends to help me with my top... I'm just sure I can do it cheaper than the $190 or so it would cost to buy one outright.
Thanks for the kind words. It's about to get a whole lot cooler lookin' now that I've found a job. (Got laid off a month ago)
For the hoist I used some strips of unistrut, some big J hooks (visible in the pics), and some smaller threaded J hooks (not really visible) to connect the big J's to the struts. I used 3 of each hook.
The winch is a Harbor Freight special. $25 bought the winch, hook, and cable. All I had to buy were some pullies I mounted to studs in the wall/ceiling. Total outlay of cash was maybe $50 for everything.
Lunch at Travis' parents' place. Nice view off their back porch:
Now for some trails:
And Joey and Travis playing in the creek. Joey ended up sucking in a ton of water into his CJ5's 304 so we pulled the plugs, cranked it for about 2 minutes to get all the water out, cleaned off the plugs, etc. and it fired right up!
Yesterday my Trailready beadlocks came in! I got four mounted up, but they didn't send me a valve stem for the last one so it'll have to wait. The ride so far (with 10 oz. of Innovative Balancing beads) is fine 'til 70 mph and it starts getting unsettling up front....and my death wobble has returned. I'm suspecting one of the fronts is out of round, not out of balance. I'll work on that Friday night or Sunday.
Rear driveshaft is squeaking. I suspect the u-joints need greasing after the mudfest last time I wheeled.
Today I picked up a Poison Spyder Trail Cage and my Ruff Stuff Specialties front and rear diff covers showed up in the mail.
1. They shorted me one valve stem. No biggie. I called them the next day and they were putting one in the mail. It just meant I have to run around without a spare for a few days, right?
2. The valve stems don't accept the valve core filter that comes with the Dynabeads. It's because the stems are angled. No biggie. I'll be getting rid of the beads sometime soon anyway. I wouldn't bother Trailready about this issue since it's not their fault.
3. The center caps said "Eagle Alloy" on them despite the fact that I had steel wheels that I suspect were Cragars. As it turns out, they don't fit well and got crushed between the wheel and hub surface. So I removed them.
4. I've been fighting an imbalance or centering issue. I suspected this with a beadlock. I didn't directly attribute this to the wheels and suspected my mounting method needed work. While I didn't attribute this to the wheels, I would ask them about any helpful tips or suggestions they may have to improve it.
So I got the wheels on the Nov. 28th. On the 29th (the next day) I told them about the missing valve stem. This past Friday (8 days later) I called again since I haven't received the valve stem yet. I also wanted to inquire about some of the other issues I noted above.
1. Missing Valvestem: "It went out two days ago (a week late). It just sat on someone's desk all last week. Not sure why." I thought that sucked, but not that big a deal. I'm getting tired of running around with no spare, though!
2. Center Caps: "Well, the steel wheels don't ship with center caps. We just sent you some from a set of alloy wheels, but they don't fit properly." Gee, thanks for telling me that my very expensive wheels don't come with center caps!! I'll just order them myself from Cragar.
3. Imbalance/Centering: "Actually that's most likely the wheels. Yeah, those steel wheels are very untrue." Again, GREAT! So these expensive wheels aren't likely true. Again, something I would've liked to have known beforehand. Maybe I would've opted for aluminum wheels instead.
In the end, these aren't HUGE deals to me. But I was a bit disappointed. I expected a bit more given the cost of the product I purchased. These wheels are expensive! To be honest, everyone at TR whom I've spoken with has been very polite and helpful. I'm still glad I got the wheels and I'm sure I'll get the imbalance issue resolved, but I typically hold my vendors to a higher standard....especially one with such a good reputation.