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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Ramp pic

Here's a shot of my jeep with top off and half doors on, on the ramp at the first Topeka Expert Offroader's club meeting.

Not too bad for a stock suspension Rubi.


Happy Trails,
:wave:
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 · (Edited)
Future Plans,

Thanks for the comments firejeep97.

I have looked and searched and thought on how I want to set my rig up. Alot has been said for Long Arm suspensions, Short Arm suspensions and how high I should go and how I should keep the CG low.

Now remember, this is now my only vehicle, unless I borrow my Wife's traverse or my Daughters Trailblazer..lol

So after much thought and comparison of other users rigs I have decided to break the norm and to keep the CG Low.

So here's what I am saving up for now, in the order that I plan on buying and installing the mods. Note the goal is to be ready this late fall for Deer Season.

1. MetalCloak Fenders and Flares
2. The Matching Smittybuilt XRC Rear bumpber and tire carrier
3. 2.5 Inch OME or BDS springs and Shocks
4. Move the Air Locker pumps under the hood.
5. 33 Inch Goodyear Duratrak tires

This should get me through the winter and deer season here in Kansas. Next spring I want to get a tummy tuck early in the year, so I'll prob be looking at

1. 1 inch Body Lift
2. 1 inch Motor Mount Lift
3. New Exhaust system
4. Raised Transfer Case bracket/shield. Most likely the Undercover Fab Works. May go with the no lift needed one.
5. Electric Radiator Fan with variable speed controller.

The Electric Fan and controller mod I did on my 1982 CJ and I really like having the ability to turn the fan off on water crossings and to have the fan cool better when I am crawling.

Well that's the plan for now..I'd like eventually to run 35" tires. But those will have to wait for the last stage of updates, and that will be when I have no more payments on the Jeep. When Roxie is payed off, (2 years) I'll look at

1. Some 4" BS wheels
2. 35" Goodyear Duratrak's
3. Re-gear to 4.88's

That would do it for me..of course there's always changes to any plans...lol

Happy Trails. :wave:
Mike

2. re-gear to 4.88
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Build a Hoist

Well today I decided to build a hard top hoist, mostly cause I wanted to be able to take the top and put it on without the help of my Wife and Daughter...lol

After visiting every parts, Hardware, home improvement and farm store in Topeka, I had all the parts I felt needed to build it. A couple of pulley's, some angle and box iron, some nuts and bolts, some rope and a $39 winch from the farm store.

Here are some shots.

Shots of the frame that will sit on the top of the Hardtop


The Cross member bolted together.


One of the four bumpers to put on the bottom of the frame, Just can't put metal on top of my top...


The pulley mounted on the garage support pillar.


One of the pulleys. I first tried angle iron for this but it was too weak. So I used some 12 Gage box iron. I wanted to suspend the pulley between two rafters to split the weight of the hardtop up.


The Finished hoist and frame assembly. Note the top on the floor, it worked enough for me to get the top off. But I had to do some adjusting on the balance.


A side shot of the hoist and frame.

All in all it took about 2 hours to build and balance. The shopping for parts took about 4 hours spread over two days. And the last shot is my Jeep with the new BeStop Safari Top


In all actuality, putting the top on was more of a chore than building the hoist. The old Bikini Top for my old CJ was a hella lot easier to put on than the new one here...but it sure is nice and doesn't flap like the old one.

Enjoy and Happy Trails. :wave:
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Looks great do you have any closeups of the hooks that lift the top
I'll post some tonight, I just used the rafter hooks from Home Depot..I'll get some shots of the top in the air for ya,

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Thanks Alex and NRiver! TULSA! I have been down there once or twice. 22 years in the Air Force took me all kinds of places..lol

Any good trails down in OK?

Happy Trails
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Additional Hoist Pics

Sorry it took so long, here are some pics of the hooks I used for the hoist. Just simple Rafter hooks, but I had to drive all over town to find them.

Mike



 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Rear Bumper Ordeal

Hello all,

Just a quick update. On May 21st I ordered a Smittybilt XRC rear bumper and Tire Swing from the parts place that has the number 4 and the initials for Wheel Drive.

I don't normally like posting negative comments so all I will say is that I was told both parts were in stock, but yesterday they were still not shipped and after calling the parent company, I was told it would be until next month before they we're shipped. I canceled the order.

So, Yesterday, I went to Ebay to look for the bumpers. I found the tire swing for $213 from Summit's Ebay store. I called Summit and checked the pricing, sure enough that's the price. That's like $40 cheaper than the other place. So I checked on the Bumper and Summit had it for...ready?....$299..OMG! That's $100 cheaper. So I asked if they had them in stock..they did and I ordered them. Shipping and Handling was only $29.

I received an email this morning with conformation that both were shipped. Summit said they have all kinds of Jeep parts, suspension and what not..they have my business now...I plan on checking with them before any other place.

So expect some new photos on the build....

BTW, I went with the XRC rear bumper for two reasons..
1. I already have the XRC front bumper and I am really pleased with it.
2. I wanted a bumper with a class III rated hitch, that can handle at least a 37 inch tire.

Happy Trails!
Mike :wave:
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Smittybilt XRC Rear Bumper and Tire Swing Away

Well this past Thurs and Fri the bumper and tire swing came in. So here's the build-up.

The boxes came from Summit Racing and we're in good shape.

Tire Swing Box


Tire Swing Contents


Bumper Box,


Bumper Box contents


Here's the Bumper unwrapped


And some extra shots of the bumper. The only ding was this small on on the corner.




Continued on next post....
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Smittybilt XRC Rear Bumper and Tire Swing Away part 2

Some shots of the nuts and bolts of the bumper


Next I removed the factory bumper and cleaned up the frame and back plate.

Here's a shot of where the frame connectors mount


And the rear of the TJ without no bumper and the back plate cleaned and a fresh coat of Rust'oleum.


Saturday I started the mounting..here's the bumper being held by my floor jack. The instructions say two people might be needed. I used a floor jack and two jack stands...lol


The instructions call for the drilling of 4 additional holes in the backing plate. I don't know if that's what it's called, but I am talking about the sheet metal that goes across the back of the jeep that attached to both ends of the frame. I drilled these out, being very cautious about not drilling into the gas tank. Once I got the bumper in place, I found there was no way to utilize these 4 holes without pulling the gas tank off...GRRR. Wasted time. This was the FIRST frustration during the install.

I put the big 3/4 in frame bolt and one of the 5/8 inch frame connector bolts hand tight to hold the bumper on the jeep.


Ok here comes the SECOND Issue. The instructions keep calling for 3/8" bolts..umm there are none. All the bolts are either 5/8" or 3/4". Typo I guess.

I then went back and put the other frame connector bolts in.


Continued on Next Post
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Smittybilt XRC Rear Bumper and Tire Swing Away Part 3

After all the bolts were hand tightened, I started to torq them down using the specifications provided by Smittybilt. I did the big bolts that go in from the bottom. These called for 65 Ft Lbs. I then went to the ones going into the frame from the connectors. Then I did the ones going into the bumper through the frame connectors. I started to torque them down and at about 20 Ft Lbs the nut in the bumper stripped out. THIRD Issue!!! UGH! I pulled the bolt out and the bolt was fine, but had the the remnants of the nut's threads.

I decided I didn't want to deal with returning the bumper as it was a pain to get in the first place. So I tapped out the nut that fit another bolt I had in the garage. I put some Blue Lock-Tite on the bolt and used a normal socket drive to secure it, tightening it to my left arm specifications...lol. I did this for all the other bolts that bolted to the nuts welded into the bumper.

I then looked over my shoulder and noticed the YJ frame connectors, they looked like they might fit..I put one up and put a couple of bolts hand tight in to see if they would...Sure enough!


I figured there no such thing as too much frame connectors so I put both of them on. Now there are two frame connectors on each side tying this bumper to the frame of my TJ.


I then started on the Swing Away mount. I didn't take too many pics of the install, but it was pretty straight forward. I did have only one problem and it's the FOURTH Issue. The instructions call for the installation of a Bump Stop Bolt with a backing nut. This would not thread in as there are no threads in the hole the instructions directed me to use. I left it off...as I couldn't see what it would be used for.

Here's a shot of the working stop that's built into the Swing Plate


and the stop Pin..


And the top of the swing shaft with grease fitting and rear light cable.


And the latch base on the bumper...


And the aluminum latch it self....


Continued on next page.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
Smittybilt XRC Rear Bumper and Tire Swing Away Part 4

Here's a shot of the swing away closed and latched...


Here's a shot of the D-Ring mount on the left side


and the Class IV hitch. (at least that's what the instructions said..


And a rear shot with the spare on it....


I did to the 3rd brake light relocation. That was simple enough and sorry, no pics..

Now he's my overall thoughts.

The build of the bumper is very very solid. It comes with two different handles for the latch, I kinda like the big billet one instead of the one shown in the catalogs and on the webpage. I am worried a little that since the handle latches in the up position that it might pop down, but for now it's tight enough that I don't think I will have to worry too much...for now.

I did call Smittybilt today and voiced my concerns with the FOUR issues I had. I was most concerned with the Nut that stripped out. The Tech/customer service guy was sounding like he was willing to ship me another bumper, but I told him that I was ok with the bumper as it was and that I just Loc-tite'd the bolts in....

He apologized and said that he'd relay my concerns up the chain. He did say that that bump stop bolt had been discontinued and that it should have been deleted from the instructions. He also said it sounded like I got a bumper accessory kit (bolts) that had been swapped out. (maybe for a foreign market?)

There's one more thing, yes this bumper has a Class III or IV hitch, but there's no place to connect the safety chains to except the D-Ring Mounts. There is also no place to secure the trailer light connection to. Both of which I consider a little minor. The Smittybilt rep said that he thought that was strange as the JK XRC Bumper has these.

Lastly when talking about the drilling of the 4 extra holes, he said that it was his opinion that the instructions should make mention of dropping the gas tank.

He again thanked me and asked for my Mailing address. Then told me he was going to ship me something for my time and effort in calling them with the suggestions...fair enough.

I do have some time to see how the bolts hold up on the warranty. Bumpy Gravel Roads and Trails here I come...lol Maybe I'll find someone to winch me up..

Overall, I would still recommend the bumper to a friend, or enemy..lol Out of 10 I would give it a 7.5 rating.

It could have been a lot worse..

Well I had better get back to tinkering...Hope you enjoy'd the build.

Happy Trails! :wave:

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Hey BlueShark,
Thanks for the comments,

yea I like the lines too, I am looking at Metal Cloaks Fenders so I can fit 35's with no lift...Although the plan it to go with either an OME or BDS 2 inch lift just to get some stouter springs that can handle my TJ with all the Armor, bumper, Hard Top and winch...lol

But my overall goal is to set her up as a Daily Driver that I can take hunting and go on a Trail Run now and then. I hope to make MOAB Easter Next year...
 

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I would love to do the metalcloak set-up but for an 18yo kid about to go to college, I couldn't buy those even if I wanted:laugh:

I was thinking about RC 2.5 lift or a 3" lift to accomodate for the heavy bumpers, winch etc.. and then run 35s on that. I have no clue what lift to get though, I'm gonna stick with the BB thats on it right now and add my 1.25 BL thats been in my closet for a while now haha.
 
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