Mods that I have a love/hate relationship with - JeepForum.com
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post #1 of 31 Old 03-21-2020, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
Waternut
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Mods that I have a love/hate relationship with

Over the evolution of my Jeep, there have definitely been mods that have been done that I absolutely love and appreciate but also hate at the same time. I’ve tried to keep this more about major mods that many people dream about rather than little things like seats, fender flares, etc. Thought it would be good to get them out in the open so other can maybe learn from my mistakes and decide if the work and money is worth it or not. I've added a final verdict to each to say whether I'd do it again even knowing there are things I hate about it. If you've got some mods you've done, it may be worth adding to the list.

1. Big tires – This is a two part. One part is the actual tire size and the part is my tire choice. When I broke my front axle, I got forced into a stronger front axle which forced me into different wheels. Having already spent a bunch of money on an axle upgrade, I just bought some used 38.5x14.5x15 TSL bias ply tires. I won’t own bias ply tires ever again because they flat spot so quickly and cause issues with handling on the road. The other issue with bias ply is partly to do with the lack of weight in my Jeep and the large tire size. I’m currently deflating these tires to 3 psi while I go wheeling and they don’t really look deflated. At 2 psi, the tires start rolling over the rim but at 5 psi, they don’t really deform much. As for the size… My mentality was that bigger tires would get me out of the rocks better and do less damage but the reality is that the bigger tires increase my capability and I’m trying harder and harder lines and doing more damage.
Verdict – I would still go to a big tire but it would be a radial.

2. Full hydro steering – This is the hardest one to decide on. It is unbelievable offroad and makes life so easy. There is no tie rod to bend or hit on rocks, no drag link to worry about, no pitman arm to break, no death wobble, and it doesn’t matter where the axle is anymore. However, it is a little sketchy to drive on the road which has spoiled some of the joy of having a Jeep in really nice weather. Some of the sketchiness may be the crappy tires but still it's way more sketchy with full hydro.
Verdict – If you ask me right now if I would go full hydro again or just do hydro assist, the answer would simply be “I don’t know”.

3. Automatic transmission – The V8 swap is positively one of the best mods I’ve ever done. I love love love firing up a Jeep with a burly V8 and watch everyone’s heads turn. However, the choice to go with an automatic is soiled things a bit. For rock crawling, I’m so happy I have it and it allows me to focus on the line a lot more. However, the 4L60E that I have has been a constant source of headaches and I really miss banging through the gears on a nice sunny day. I rebuilt the first one and had a shop rebuild the second. Neither have been problem free and the shop rebuild was worse than what I did on my first ever attempt.
Verdict – I’d still do it but I’d probably pay a “trusted professional” to build it for me.

4. 4 link rear suspension – This one is less about the actual mod and more about the work and money to do it right. Originally, I was unhappy with the road ride on my SOA suspension but honestly had no complaints offroad. So after dreaming and researching for a year or more, I chose to install a triangulated 4 link to make a better on road ride while still giving me a better offroad ride. From an offroad perspective, it’s unbelievable. My rear suspension will max out before the front suspension even flexes which is nice but the balance is wrong now IMO. As for the on road ride, it wasn’t really any better. The back of my Jeep is just so light that all the shock tuning and spring rate work that I’ve done has only made minor tweaks to general road harshness. All the work, money, setup, air bumps, etc. just didn’t seem worth the money/effort to me in the long run.
Verdict – I wish I would’ve stuck to SOA suspension and just gotten better leaf springs. That said, I’ve been debating 4 linking the front and spending even more money just to bring the balance back but I’m trying to resist that.



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post #2 of 31 Old 03-21-2020, 04:52 PM
bruinjeeper
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Interesting idea for a thread.

Also really informative on guys trying to go to that next level like you have.

You dont really hear honest opinions on links or hydro steering.

Quite enlightening. Thanks for sharing.
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Stop whining about the 'ride' - If your YJ ain't wrangling your soul free, then might I suggest you buy a stationwagon... at least you can fit all your bull**** in the back.
~YJOTM MAY '16~
~YJOTM JULY '19~
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post #3 of 31 Old 03-21-2020, 08:46 PM
wizekrakr
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I'm running some of the same mods as you are. You say your 4L60E trans is a constant source of headaches. Can you elaborate some there. Onroad or offroad? What are you unhappy with? My swap to the v8 and 4L60E was also my first ever automatic transmission rebuild. I am really happy with it. Verdict: Would I do the v8 and 4L60E swap again. Hell yes. No question.

I installed the Genright 4 link kit in the rear with ORI struts and I have Deaver 4.5 inch springs up front. Offroad is awesome. I am still trying get my struts dialed in to find the best streetability ride. It's not bad but there are some peculiarities with the struts that i'm not comfortable with yet on the street. Still trying different pressures and strut settings. Verdict: I'm 62 years old and probably don't need a 4 link suspension in the rear of my YJ. If I can't get the struts dialed in to my liking I may replace the 4 link and struts with Deaver springs and shocks in the rear.
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post #4 of 31 Old 03-21-2020, 09:19 PM
papa tiger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wizekrakr View Post
I'm running some of the same mods as you are. You say your 4L60E trans is a constant source of headaches. Can you elaborate some there. Onroad or offroad? What are you unhappy with? My swap to the v8 and 4L60E was also my first ever automatic transmission rebuild. I am really happy with it. Verdict: Would I do the v8 and 4L60E swap again. Hell yes. No question.

I installed the Genright 4 link kit in the rear with ORI struts and I have Deaver 4.5 inch springs up front. Offroad is awesome. I am still trying get my struts dialed in to find the best streetability ride. It's not bad but there are some peculiarities with the struts that i'm not comfortable with yet on the street. Still trying different pressures and strut settings. Verdict: I'm 62 years old and probably don't need a 4 link suspension in the rear of my YJ. If I can't get the struts dialed in to my liking I may replace the 4 link and struts with Deaver springs and shocks in the rear.
I'd say your on the right track with onroad and off road dirt and creek clawing with that choice.

Puter is hooked up, working at home now, yeah !
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post #5 of 31 Old 03-21-2020, 09:19 PM
backupoffmefoo
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Mods that I have a love/hate relationship with

The AMC 401 swap. It LOVE it when itís running right... but mine has had problems ever since I made the swap. My 4.2/T5 combo with TBI injection was reliable and always ran pretty well. (Although fairly gutless even with 4.56 gears) When I went with the 401 my problems started with the decision to go with headers. My under hood temps were real hot and I was getting vapor lock as the fuel lines ran the same route as the passenger side exhaust (dual exhaust) and the muffler was right next to the fuel pump and fuel filter. I Put a lot of money in my radiator/dual fan setup and wrapped the lines with heat tape, vented the hood... which helped a bit and came out with a nice look. (Pic attached)... replaced the water pump which made a big difference... but eventually went with an in tank fuel pump from Novak. That helped a lot and I havenít had it lock up since on a hot summer day. Iíll probably wrap the headers this summer even though I really didnít want to in case they get muddy and cause rust.

In the end I donít think Iíd go back to the 4.2/T5... but man it was a simple, easy, and reliable setup.

The 401 sounds mean as hell and the torque is off the charts... I just spend a lot more time and money keeping it running.


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post #6 of 31 Old 03-22-2020, 06:51 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wizekrakr View Post
I'm running some of the same mods as you are. You say your 4L60E trans is a constant source of headaches. Can you elaborate some there. Onroad or offroad? What are you unhappy with? My swap to the v8 and 4L60E was also my first ever automatic transmission rebuild. I am really happy with it. Verdict: Would I do the v8 and 4L60E swap again. Hell yes. No question.
All of the above. I should call this thing Murphy for Murphy's law. Initially, I bought a "working" transmission. However, since you have to pull out most of the guts of the transmission to change the output shaft, I figured I'd have a look. All of the clutches were burned and all of the seals were hard as rocks. Maybe it did work but it didn't look like it would last for long so I inspected all of the wear items...and ended up replacing all of them. After the rebuild, the 1-2 shift was so harsh that it would bark the tires with very light throttle. Then the 2-3 shift was sluggish. Bypassed the TCC valve and that calmed down the 1-2 shift. Replaced the wiring harness and all solenoids to fix the 2-3 shift. It was finally working properly! Took it wheeling one day and when I got done, something wasn't right. I guess I didn't notice it in 4Lo but I had lost 1st and 4th gear, reverse was slipping, and it wouldn't shift from 2-3 unless I was completely off the throttle. Limped it home and opened it back up. Couldn't figure out what was wrong.

Since I was going on a big ride in a few weeks, I desperately needed another trans so I contacted a rebuild shop and swapped out my transmission for a rebuilt one. This, of course, meant I had to tear down both transmissions to swap out the custom shorty output shaft. Got the new trans installed and....it didn't work right. Felt like I was power braking it. Tore that one down to swap out the shafts and take it back under warranty. The shop owner told me he had one ready to swap out so I drove out to get it only to find that he sold it to someone else before I got there. Long story short and a lot of cussing later, he finally had another transmission ready for me but only after I desperately bought another 4L60E that turned out to be from an S10 and wouldn't work. Thankfully, that guy was willing to buy the S10 trans back. Tore the rebuilt trans down to change the output shaft and it worked fine but felt a little sluggish and wouldn't lockup the torque converter. I dropped the trans twice to see if I could figure out the problem and ultimately gave up. Threw my hands in the air and figured a little sluggish and a non locking torque converter were just going to have to be good enough....it's been that way ever since but it does work....kind of.


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post #7 of 31 Old 03-22-2020, 07:00 AM
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I regret getting high arch SUA springs to go tall, get to 35's. Later swapping to SOA was an amazing difference, all good. We know the SOA convert can be intimidating, but to me, once dialed in, its perfect.

'93 YJ, '02 GM 4.3V6, SOA, dual ARB's, 8.8+D30(WarnHubs), 4.88s, 35" BFG KM2s, AX15, NP231+4:1+SYE+2LO, York OBA, Warn M8000.
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post #8 of 31 Old 03-22-2020, 10:36 AM
jsawduste
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wizekrakr View Post
I have Deaver 4.5 inch springs up front.
Verdict: I'm 62 years old and probably don't need a 4 link suspension in the rear of my YJ. Deaver springs and shocks in the rear.

Edited your comment a little.


I to have been on the fence about linking. However after looking at the big picture running Deavers in SOA at all 4 corners simply works Pretty Darn Good for all around usage. At 62 also my wheeling doesn't warrant anything more than what's already there. You will not regret running Deavers.
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post #9 of 31 Old 03-22-2020, 11:05 AM
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It would be weld on Beadlock wheels.
Pros: being able to run single didget air pressure.
Cons: Heavy as heck!
Verdict: Yes I would do it again.

93 YJ SOA 2" springs front, XJ springs rear w/main leaf added, High pinon 9 inch rear detroit locker front Dana 44 ARB 4.56 Gears, 36 inch Irok tires too much to list.
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post #10 of 31 Old 03-22-2020, 11:39 AM
wizekrakr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waternut View Post
All of the above. I should call this thing Murphy for Murphy's law. Initially, I bought a "working" transmission. However, since you have to pull out most of the guts of the transmission to change the output shaft, I figured I'd have a look. All of the clutches were burned and all of the seals were hard as rocks. Maybe it did work but it didn't look like it would last for long so I inspected all of the wear items...and ended up replacing all of them. After the rebuild, the 1-2 shift was so harsh that it would bark the tires with very light throttle. Then the 2-3 shift was sluggish. Bypassed the TCC valve and that calmed down the 1-2 shift. Replaced the wiring harness and all solenoids to fix the 2-3 shift. It was finally working properly! Took it wheeling one day and when I got done, something wasn't right. I guess I didn't notice it in 4Lo but I had lost 1st and 4th gear, reverse was slipping, and it wouldn't shift from 2-3 unless I was completely off the throttle. Limped it home and opened it back up. Couldn't figure out what was wrong.

Since I was going on a big ride in a few weeks, I desperately needed another trans so I contacted a rebuild shop and swapped out my transmission for a rebuilt one. This, of course, meant I had to tear down both transmissions to swap out the custom shorty output shaft. Got the new trans installed and....it didn't work right. Felt like I was power braking it. Tore that one down to swap out the shafts and take it back under warranty. The shop owner told me he had one ready to swap out so I drove out to get it only to find that he sold it to someone else before I got there. Long story short and a lot of cussing later, he finally had another transmission ready for me but only after I desperately bought another 4L60E that turned out to be from an S10 and wouldn't work. Thankfully, that guy was willing to buy the S10 trans back. Tore the rebuilt trans down to change the output shaft and it worked fine but felt a little sluggish and wouldn't lockup the torque converter. I dropped the trans twice to see if I could figure out the problem and ultimately gave up. Threw my hands in the air and figured a little sluggish and a non locking torque converter were just going to have to be good enough....it's been that way ever since but it does work....kind of.
Wow, you had quite the experience with that transmission. When I was going into mine to install the tail shaft. I put a rebuild kit in even though it didn't need it. Every 4L60E trans aficionado I spoke with told me to be sure and install a "shift correction kit" which I did. My only problem was after I installed the tranny I emptied the bucket of solvent and found a plastic bushing in the bottom of the bucket that needed to go back into the trans. So I got to enjoy the experience of pulling the tranny out a second time and nearly a complete disassembly to install the bushing. It's what I call "paying the stupid tax".
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post #11 of 31 Old 03-22-2020, 12:36 PM
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Cooper Evolution MTT tires. I don't need muds as it's more of a garage queen than an offroader. It's the 5th car so sees probably <1000 miles a year.

Pros: but they are so beautiful!
Cons: ride quality is noticeably worse than all seasons.

Would I do it again? Difficult one ... would probably go for BF Goodrich KO2 instead.

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post #12 of 31 Old 03-22-2020, 01:33 PM
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That transmission story sounds almost the same as the transmission in what used to be my daughter's and now my 2000 XJ. Aisin Warner AW4 automatic. Rebuilt once by a shop that was dropped by AAMCO as I found out later and after the tranny failed again just out of warranty. Then a "bench" rebuilder trusted by my trusted mechanic for big jobs screwed that up twice. With the AW4 it seems the only way to go is a total reman box. But the 4L60E surprises me with that many problems.

89 YJ Parts Bin Special titled as 84 CJ7; parts ranging from 1984 -2000; 4.2L with AX-15. 2000 XJ Sport 2WD with a troublesome AW4.
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post #13 of 31 Old 03-22-2020, 02:33 PM
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For me it was the 5" lift springs..
It did what I needed at the time but I would never do it again.

Jim...

SGT USMC.


......YJOTM June 18......
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post #14 of 31 Old 03-22-2020, 04:31 PM
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OBA:
I love having air for the horns and for the trail, but I've redone my system twice now and I'm still not happy with the way I did it. Now I have a blown regulator and I'm considering just redoing the whole system again instead of just replacing the regulator. I'm not happy with the way I wired the system, and I should have used air brake line with pushlock connectors.
Bottom line: I'd still do OBA, but I should have done it in more than two days and done it right the first time.

Nearly every wiring project:
Again, when my Jeep was a DD it was really important for me to get projects done as fast as possible. Every wiring job I did as cheaply and quickly as possible. As a result, my wiring was a hack job and I really need to finish redoing the rest of it. I've fixed many of the problems I used to have by adding an under-dash fuse panel, but I still need to fix my horn wiring and the air compressor wiring. My on-dash controls for the winch could stand to be cleaned up as well.

WJ Knuckle Swap:
Yes. In fact, I want to do it on every Jeep I own now. Definitely worth it, especially now that I know you can use TJ unit bearings and get rid of the spacers.

Bench seat:
The Ranger bench seat is pretty comfortable, and I don't have any complaints about the seat itself. However, we have a second (and a third, lol) Jeep now, so I don't really need the bench anymore. Also, my kids are going to have outgrown the front seat here in a few years. I guess in the meantime it's worth it. Once they have outgrown the bench, I'll probably end up swapping in some bucket seats.

Tummy Tuck:
Single best mod for ground clearance. There is simply no better way to gain 4" of ground clearance. It still amazes me what I can crawl over without hitting my skid.

I guess overall I'd say that I don't regret any of the mods I've done, but I do wish my Jeep hadn't been a DD when I did most of them. I'm slowly redoing a lot of things that I did in a hurry back when it was a DD.
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post #15 of 31 Old 03-22-2020, 05:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WestfieldMX5 View Post
Cooper Evolution MTT tires. I don't need muds as it's more of a garage queen than an offroader. ]

Nice Renegade. I donít see many of these anymore. I got one for my son at 17 and he refuses to sell it.





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