View Full Version : Off Road Tech Thread



Hiram357
09-03-2006, 11:45 PM
So since we have this nice fancy forum now :D I figured I would start a thread about things that can be done to a vehicle to make it more Off Road Worthy! And so to start it off... a website that I've been gawking at for the last hour that I felt I just had to share with someone... :D

http://www.go.jeep-xj.info/

The G Team
09-12-2006, 08:54 PM
Well, just dropped a "G" at Summitt Racing! Here's what's on the way: Dynomax Blackjack headers, Catco high-flow cat, Dynomax cat-back exhaust system, 1" TB spacer (will bore TB to 60mm to match), 20 McGuard "Tough Nuts" lug nuts for new Alcoa forged aluminum wheels due in tomorrow, Surco roof rack with Hi-Lift jack and spare tire mounts. Got my Mopar gas tank skid plate (used) in today. The K&N FIPK and Sylvania headlights should be here this week, and "just" won a '99 intake manifold on eBay--another 25 HP at the rear wheels, so they say! So much stuff, so little $ :-(

Hiram357
09-12-2006, 09:15 PM
Well, just dropped a "G" at Summitt Racing! Here's what's on the way: Dynomax Blackjack headers, Catco high-flow cat, Dynomax cat-back exhaust system, 1" TB spacer (will bore TB to 60mm to match), 20 McGuard "Tough Nuts" lug nuts for new Alcoa forged aluminum wheels due in tomorrow, Surco roof rack with Hi-Lift jack and spare tire mounts. Got my Mopar gas tank skid plate (used) in today. The K&N FIPK and Sylvania headlights should be here this week, and "just" won a '99 intake manifold on eBay--another 25 HP at the rear wheels, so they say! So much stuff, so little $ :-(


:eek: (that's as close as an emoticon get to a jaw dropping...) Ya need any hlep puttin the stuff in?

The G Team
09-12-2006, 09:27 PM
Well, I think I can handle the roof rack and the K&N. My mechanically inclined buddy is supposed to have some free time in a couple of weeks--he has pretty much every tool known to man, as well as a lathe and other machine tools so we should be able to manage the boring of the stock TB and the intake and exhaust install. Plus, there is still the rear locker to install. Now I've gotta start saving for the lift and tires and some more armor!

Hiram357
09-14-2006, 08:04 PM
I've got a loose ground somewhere... I know it's there sometimes the left light will dim, sometimes a relay will chatter, sometimes the fuel gauge won't come up... but nothing is consistint, that's why I'm convinced it's a loose ground, but I've been searching and searching, and I can't find one... any good ideas how to find my problem area without ripping out every chunk of conduit in the jeep?

Hiram357
11-22-2006, 11:36 PM
*sniff* it's hurt man... it's hurt real bad... the transfer case is gone.. :(

attroll
11-23-2006, 12:06 AM
*sniff* it's hurt man... it's hurt real bad... the transfer case is gone.. :(
What are you saying. You lost your transfer case? If so how?

dí76
11-23-2006, 08:14 AM
*sniff* it's hurt man... it's hurt real bad... the transfer case is gone.. :(


So you next car is going to be a kia sportage. That seems like the perfect cache mobile for yah.:)

Truely though I am sorry for your lost. I send my condolences.

The G Team
11-23-2006, 10:05 AM
Man, sorry to hear that--did you take it out on an obsticle or did it just grenade (perhaps the post-lift SYE might have been a good idea afterall!). FYI Davis's Garage (junk yard) in Oakland has some late model XJ's, including, IIRC, a 2000 complete with engine and all (I just bought my 8.8 rear axle there).

Hiram357
11-23-2006, 11:40 PM
What are you saying. You lost your transfer case? If so how?

Front planetary gear wore out... $1600 to repair, $1400 to replace whole case.(its not lost, i still know where it is.)


So you next car is going to be a kia sportage. That seems like the perfect cache mobile for yah.:)

Truely though I am sorry for your lost. I send my condolences.

a kia sportage huh... well im thinking of a four letter word for that idea...
LOVE that idea! :rolleyes:


Man, sorry to hear that--did you take it out on an obsticle or did it just grenade (perhaps the post-lift SYE might have been a good idea afterall!). FYI Davis's Garage (junk yard) in Oakland has some late model XJ's, including, IIRC, a 2000 complete with engine and all (I just bought my 8.8 rear axle there).

It all start last year when it was rear ended (pretty hard) basically bowed the frame upwards, i tried to convince insurance company it was totaled and blah blah blah... but money talks and they had it repaired, afterwards i took it to about 3 different places explaining the light grumble underneath and my concerns of stress from the shaft being rammed upwards... everyone told me i had nothing to worry about... which brings us to current times. I got tired of all the shops in the area so i bit the bullet and brought it to the dealer (i have high hopes that they may be more pro about it, but unfortunately at twice the cost...) the closest refabbed transfer case was in Newark NJ, and with the holidays it will hopefully be here by friday. :(

i brought up my consideration of an sye to the Jeep mechanic and he said that the 3" wouldn't cause a problem like that, and that the problem was more than likely the combination of the accident and 120k miles. but it shall live again... i still have hope :o

The G Team
11-24-2006, 10:55 AM
Wow--$1400! I'd be shopping JYs hard before laying down that kind of cash, I think.

Here's search results from car-part.com:

http://www.car-part.com/cgi-bin/search.cgi

There are dozens of 231's within a few miles, from $200 and up.

I would think that any impact hard enough to do that kind of damage would have totaled the truck--there is only so much one can do to repair a unibody "frame" that has bent.

I know there are differing opionions about SYEs on small lifts, but even a 3" lift DOES change the drive-line angle and can put more stress on the transfer case. I think a couple hundred bucks for an SYE (or $30 for a drop bracket) is cheap insurance (just MHO, of course).

In any case, hope to see it back on the road soon!

Hiram357
11-24-2006, 10:03 PM
Wow--$1400! I'd be shopping JYs hard before laying down that kind of cash, I think.

Here's search results from car-part.com:

http://www.car-part.com/cgi-bin/search.cgi

There are dozens of 231's within a few miles, from $200 and up.

I would think that any impact hard enough to do that kind of damage would have totaled the truck--there is only so much one can do to repair a unibody "frame" that has bent.

I know there are differing opionions about SYEs on small lifts, but even a 3" lift DOES change the drive-line angle and can put more stress on the transfer case. I think a couple hundred bucks for an SYE (or $30 for a drop bracket) is cheap insurance (just MHO, of course).

In any case, hope to see it back on the road soon!

well.... after the accident the jeep was within $400 of being totaled... and even though i had my words, they still opted for repairs (which did consist of replacing half the frame...)

(the $1400 also included their diagnostic crap..) the transfer case itself was $1,000, and me being the believer in "you get what you pay for" I decided to go for the "factory approved" which i have now learned means just the same as their "TRAIL RATED"!!! yeah big friggen joke that is! i took it for a drive down the highway tonight... and i cant go over 60 without the thing feeling like its gunna come uncorked!!! factory trained techs and service my... im not going there on a family website! (apologies) i am having much anger right now... (test drive was only 15 minutes ago).............. :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: (im buying a toyota...)

firefighterjake
11-25-2006, 11:05 AM
(im buying a toyota...)

I'm sure you're being facetious . . . but I can tell you that Toyotas are wicked tough and difficult to break . . . just ask TRF -- his Toyota went up Harris Mountain with no problems!

Hiram357
11-25-2006, 01:08 PM
I'm sure you're being facetious . . . but I can tell you that Toyotas are wicked tough and difficult to break . . . just ask TRF -- his Toyota went up Harris Mountain with no problems!

Hehe.. im very close to being serious.... (i'll pretend i didn't read the harris mt. comment...)

Here's what makes me want to get a toyota...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nD0UVI99R8Q

but heres why i love jeeps...
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=7270258632860038644&q=top+gear+toyota

but maybe if i hit the lottery...
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-7552393116309073490&q=top+gear+toyota

The G Team
11-27-2006, 10:32 PM
Update us on the
J(ust)
E(mpty)
E(very)
P(ocket)
situation--inquireing minds want to know!

Hiram357
11-28-2006, 08:54 AM
Update us on the
J(ust)
E(mpty)
E(very)
P(ocket)
situation--inquireing minds want to know!

Well.... after they told me everything was all set, and that they test drove it not once, but twice! I felt glad that I took it to the overpriced 5 star service at Central Maine Chrysler.... so I called the wife and told her she could come get (and i headed back out to the woods to get my 30 pointer) later she called saying that there was a bad rattle, so she took it back... the muffler was loose, oh by the way there was a front bushing they didn't replace because they didn't have it (they told us after we brought it back) then when I got home it was my turn for a test drive... I took it onto the highway... and i couldn't go over 60 without the thing feeling like it was going to wobble to death and blow apart... so I took it in on sat morning (instead of going hunting on the last day of the season...) and they said the only guy that could look at it wasn't there that day... bring it back friday (they were really concerned for my safety...) so i said ok have a nice day, called the wife and had her put a hold on their check. Afterall they do have a sign over there counter that says "PAYMENT DUE UPON COMPLETION OF WORK" :mad: :mad: :mad:

That's the 5 Star service for ya!

The G Team
12-02-2006, 10:52 PM
Man, bad luck! The hold on the check should give you some bargaining power. Hope they can/have got it straightened out for 'ya.

Hiram357
12-03-2006, 12:13 AM
Man, bad luck! The hold on the check should give you some bargaining power. Hope they can/have got it straightened out for 'ya.

well they didnt charge us for their last service to it... which ended up that they balanced a tire... I'm not going to go into details about it right now because I'm still fuming over the whole thing.. but my advice... DONT LET CENTRAL MAINE CHRYSLER ANYWHERE NEAR YOUR VEHICLE!! :D

The G Team
12-03-2006, 12:51 AM
They don't call 'em "stealerships" for nothing. Hope the issue is taken care of so you can spend money of fun parts rather than necessary ones.

Hiram357
12-03-2006, 10:50 AM
They don't call 'em "stealerships" for nothing. Hope the issue is taken care of so you can spend money of fun parts rather than necessary ones.

yeah, necessary parts suck... but apparently I need to buy some new tires now, i think im gunna try rotating them then replacing the so-called messed up one with the spare first. (so glad the dealership went out of their way to try this)

The G Team
12-03-2006, 11:20 PM
Hmmm...so the one tire just went bad? Weird! What are you thinking for tires, 30x9.5s again, or try to squeeze some 31s under there?!

Hiram357
12-04-2006, 09:05 AM
Hmmm...so the one tire just went bad? Weird! What are you thinking for tires, 30x9.5s again, or try to squeeze some 31s under there?!
well, i do get some rubbing with the 30s when she's stretched out, i think ill stick with those. (whaddya know about the camber of the tires? I'm wondering if maybe a misalignment is causing problems... but tire wear is all even...)

Hiram357
05-23-2007, 05:13 PM
SOOOO MIKEY..... Is it lifted yet??? I don't see any pictures posted yet... Driven by your office on the way home from work about every day this week and haven't seen it sittin out, is it still drivable???............. :confused: :confused: :confused: ;) ;) ;) :D :D :D

The G Team
05-23-2007, 08:22 PM
It's not leaving the garage till it's done. Still waiting for some parts--Currie HD tie rod and draglink was $409.00 Friday. The TNT Customs belly pan shipped today--that was $289.00. Found out my front ARB I got used is missing a couple parts--that was $102.00 today. Still need to order tires--that will be right around $800. Plus I've decided to upgrade the brake booster and M/C to post '95 parts--there goes another $200 or so. Installing the axle shafts and gears/locker in the front will likely be $300 to $500 in labor--it just never ends!

Having to rebuild all the brakes on the 8.8 put us behind, plus we are now custom fabbing brake lines. Anyway, I hope to get the lift at least started this weekend. There's only so much time and money to go around--sigh! I'll post some pics as soon as I get something of interest done.

Hiram357
05-23-2007, 09:20 PM
It's not leaving the garage till it's done. Still waiting for some parts--Currie HD tie rod and draglink was $409.00 Friday. The TNT Customs belly pan shipped today--that was $289.00. Found out my front ARB I got used is missing a couple parts--that was $102.00 today. Still need to order tires--that will be right around $800. Plus I've decided to upgrade the brake booster and M/C to post '95 parts--there goes another $200 or so. Installing the axle shafts and gears/locker in the front will likely be $300 to $500 in labor--it just never ends!

Having to rebuild all the brakes on the 8.8 put us behind, plus we are now custom fabbing brake lines. Anyway, I hope to get the lift at least started this weekend. There's only so much time and money to go around--sigh! I'll post some pics as soon as I get something of interest done.

a phrase I never understood that i've seen on the back of jeeps... "Real Jeeps aren't bought, they're built..." I'd like to know where those guys get all their parts for free... :D

sounds like you've got one heck of a weekend. (good thing its a long one)

The G Team
06-05-2007, 07:23 PM
Finally, some progress! Front coils, shocks, swaybar quick disconnects, adjustable UCAs, LCAs, coil over spacers and trackbar are installed. Should be around 3.25" lift right now, and makes those 235x75s look a little small:

http://www.jeepforum.com/gallery/files//5/6/8/1/6/D3003.jpg

Hopefully we'll get the rear done next weekend.

The G Team
06-12-2007, 06:18 PM
Rear springs are out. All four rear shock bolts broke (to be expected). Driver's side spring came out OK. Then, the passenger side upper shackle captive nut (inside the frame) broke off. Then the front spring bolt seized up inside the bushing. Ended up burning off the rubber bushing with a torch, and then removed the hitch and bumper to access the rear of the frame. Opened up the frame access hole with a sawzall and hit the loctited-in bolt with the torch. Got it out, but what a PITA! Now we have to decide how to fix the shackle mount. A pox on road salt!!!!

My mechanic Stu putting the torch to the poor Jeep:

http://www.jeepforum.com/gallery/files//5/6/8/1/6/Rear-Spring-001.jpg

Hiram357
06-12-2007, 10:00 PM
same thing happend to mine when i pulled em off, but we opted for the less flamable (safer unsober) tap & die method :D

The G Team
07-05-2007, 08:45 PM
The rear axle is finally under the Jeep. It should be moving under it's own power by the first of the week so we can drive it to the garage to get the front gears done. The 33" Mud Terrains should be in anytime--the next project will be getting them to fit in the fenders. There is light at the end of the tunnel!

Hiram357
07-05-2007, 09:21 PM
The rear axle is finally under the Jeep. It should be moving under it's own power by the first of the week so we can drive it to the garage to get the front gears done. The 33" Mud Terrains should be in anytime--the next project will be getting them to fit in the fenders. There is light at the end of the tunnel!

ya think youll make it to MOAB and back in time for the event... :rolleyes: :rolleyes: ;)

The G Team
07-06-2007, 02:19 PM
Yes, yes, yes....um, no.

Now the plan is to get as far as SD (Badlands). As time and money get shorter, so does our iteniary. Rubicon in '08 is the plan now.

Hiram357
07-06-2007, 03:02 PM
Yes, yes, yes....um, no.

Now the plan is to get as far as SD (Badlands). As time and money get shorter, so does our iteniary. Rubicon in '08 is the plan now.


Well... make it to the event... I found a special hill just for you!! :D :D :D

(I'm spending all I can to just keep mine running right now... first the a/c died, clutch went out on it... now the distributor went to poo... have to replace the whole thing...)

The G Team
07-09-2007, 07:56 PM
Well... make it to the event... I found a special hill just for you!! :D :D :D

(I'm spending all I can to just keep mine running right now... first the a/c died, clutch went out on it... now the distributor went to poo... have to replace the whole thing...)

Wow, you are just not having good luck! It looks like we may be around for the event after all--looking forward to it. Bring on the hill! Picked up the 33s from Wally World this afternoon--now to make 'em fit. The Jeep should move under it's own power tomorrow to head to the Ford garage for the front gear install.

The G Team
07-15-2007, 06:06 PM
Well, the Jeep is mobile, but only 2WD at the moment. Tomorrow we'll do the initial gear break-in (15 minute drive, half-hour cooling time). Found out the bearings ARB sent are the wrong size for my air locker, so have to deal with that tomorrow--hopefully they can FeDex the correct ones so we can still get the front end done this week.

Hiram357
07-15-2007, 10:21 PM
Well, the Jeep is mobile, but only 2WD at the moment. Tomorrow we'll do the initial gear break-in (15 minute drive, half-hour cooling time). Found out the bearings ARB sent are the wrong size for my air locker, so have to deal with that tomorrow--hopefully they can FeDex the correct ones so we can still get the front end done this week.

For sendin the wrong ones i would demand that they send em overnight... ;)

The G Team
07-16-2007, 08:02 AM
For sendin the wrong ones i would demand that they send em overnight... ;)

That would be nice--we'll find out today. At least the rear end is done so it IS drivable, even with no front DS for safety. We still have to shoe-horn the new meats on--I knew they were gonna be big, but they completely dwarf the 235x75s. :eek:

The G Team
07-16-2007, 08:37 PM
Well, today was the first trip with the lift installed. The goal was a 10-15 mile excursion to break-in the new gears in the 8.8. Everything went well; the OME lift feels great and even with the half-worn 235x75s, the 4.56 gears were fine. The ARB locked up just right when we hit a gravel road. We flew over some railroad tracks that would have bottomed out the stock suspension w/no problems...THEN, we hit a little bump in the road, about the size of an expansion joint at 45 MPH and ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE. I now know exactly what Death Wobble is all about--dammit!

Prior to the test run, we did a tape-measure alignment and purposefully left off the OME steering stablizer. I am hoping it is simply the alignment as the tires are fine, balanced, and checked for equal pressure. Front DS is currently not installed, so not an issue.

Anyway, it is going into the garage Friday for the front axle/gear/ARB/DS install and will get a professional alignment. Hopefully this eliminates the problem.

Here's a pic--lift came out to just about 3" front and rear:
http://www.jeepforum.com/gallery/files//5/6/8/1/6/Jeep_Lifted_235s.jpg

Hiram357
07-16-2007, 11:51 PM
Well, today was the first trip with the lift installed. The goal was a 10-15 mile excursion to break-in the new gears in the 8.8. Everything went well; the OME lift feels great and even with the half-worn 235x75s, the 4.56 gears were fine. The ARB locked up just right when we hit a gravel road. We flew over some railroad tracks that would have bottomed out the stock suspension w/no problems...THEN, we hit a little bump in the road, about the size of an expansion joint at 45 MPH and ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE. I now know exactly what Death Wobble is all about--dammit!

Prior to the test run, we did a tape-measure alignment and purposefully left off the OME steering stablizer. I am hoping it is simply the alignment as the tires are fine, balanced, and checked for equal pressure. Front DS is currently not installed, so not an issue.

Anyway, it is going into the garage Friday for the front axle/gear/ARB/DS install and will get a professional alignment. Hopefully this eliminates the problem.

Here's a pic--lift came out to just about 3" front and rear:



LOL!!! I don't feel so bad knowing you spent all this money and still got the death wobble... I was feeling ripped off when I had my first experience... :D Did you change out the stabalizer and track bars? those were the big factors with my death wobble and instabilities.

The G Team
07-17-2007, 08:10 AM
LOL!!! I don't feel so bad knowing you spent all this money and still got the death wobble... I was feeling ripped off when I had my first experience... :D Did you change out the stabalizer and track bars? those were the big factors with my death wobble and instabilities.

Yup, heavy duty JKS Adj trackbar installed. Now, and this may be at least PART of the problem, I have a new OME stabilzer but purposefully left it off as a test. From what I've read, a properly set up suspension should not require the stabilzer. We'll try in again after the front end stuff is done and the "real" alignment.

PS I was hoping not to have DW, but in the back of my mind I knew it was a possbility--I would hate to have experienced that w/o any prior knowledge of DW--it sure does get the adrenaline flowing!

Hiram357
07-17-2007, 05:09 PM
Yup, heavy duty JKS Adj trackbar installed. Now, and this may be at least PART of the problem, I have a new OME stabilzer but purposefully left it off as a test. From what I've read, a properly set up suspension should not require the stabilzer. We'll try in again after the front end stuff is done and the "real" alignment.

PS I was hoping not to have DW, but in the back of my mind I knew it was a possbility--I would hate to have experienced that w/o any prior knowledge of DW--it sure does get the adrenaline flowing!

shouldn't require a stabelizer?!?!?! don't forget that you are still driving a jeep... :p If you can get yours running right without a stabelizer, i want to know who does your alignments...

DW doesn't just get the adrenaline flowing... it gets a fresh change of underwear too!! my first experience with it, I thought my front tires folded in on the jeep (like the hummers do) felt like the whole jeep was about to come uncorked, so new stabelizer and upper track bar and it was back on the road. :D

The G Team
07-31-2007, 10:57 AM
So how did Day Two go? It's lucky we headed home as I don't think there is any way, other than perhaps hot-wiring, that the Jeep would have started again.

Even with a wrench on the key, turning it (until it broke the plastic) would not let it start. We ended up spending 5 hours changing the switch on the column up under the dash, then adjusting the Park lockout mechanism--what a PITA!

One of the wires to the ignition switch (not key lock cylinder) had overheated and melted the "track" inside the switch that allows the various key positions to make contact. When it was forced to start at the campground, it also popped loose the shifter-Park lockout rod from the piece in the upper column that it attaches to (so it caught on the column shroud when trying to turn the key).

After that, we addressed the DS vibe issue. It looks like the yoke on the front diff may have been "sprung" as there was some play in the ujoints. We gently seated them tighter to one side of the yoke and the vibes stopped. I'm hoping changing the yoke does not require any re-setup of the pinion shims as it is necessary to remove the pinion bolt to change the yoke. It never ends, does it!?

firefighterjake
07-31-2007, 01:07 PM
So how did Day Two go? It's lucky we headed home as I don't think there is any way, other than perhaps hot-wiring, that the Jeep would have started again.

Even with a wrench on the key, turning it (until it broke the plastic) would not let it start. We ended up spending 5 hours changing the switch on the column up under the dash, then adjusting the Park lockout mechanism--what a PITA!

One of the wires to the ignition switch (not key lock cylinder) had overheated and melted the "track" inside the switch that allows the various key positions to make contact. When it was forced to start at the campground, it also popped loose the shifter-Park lockout rod from the piece in the upper column that it attaches to (so it caught on the column shroud when trying to turn the key).

After that, we addressed the DS vibe issue. It looks like the yoke on the front diff may have been "sprung" as there was some play in the ujoints. We gently seated them tighter to one side of the yoke and the vibes stopped. I'm hoping changing the yoke does not require any re-setup of the pinion shims as it is necessary to remove the pinion bolt to change the yoke. It never ends, does it!?


Well you do have a Jeep. :D

At least you made it to the Event and back . . . I missed seeing you leave . . . you had problems starting it I assume from this post and opted to not stay in Lincoln I'm guessing? Was Hiram able to help . . . he has lots of experience in repairing Jeeps!

For the record, I think Mrs. G Team was right . . . modding the Jeep and then expecting to go to Moab in the same year probably was a bit ambitious . . . better to work out the bugs now and go next year.

The G Team
07-31-2007, 03:31 PM
I missed seeing you leave . . . you had problems starting it I assume from this post and opted to not stay in Lincoln I'm guessing? Was Hiram able to help . . . he has lots of experience in repairing Jeeps!


When we got back to camp the key wouldn't go back to the "lock" position, but I didn't think too much of it. After supper, we decided to see if we could find a motel in Lincoln and they key wouldn't turn enough to engage the starter. Hiram was able to force it hard enough to hit the starter, but we were afraid (rightly so, it turns out) that it might not start again. And yes, it is always "something" with a 13 y/o Jeep :cool:

firefighterjake
08-01-2007, 06:50 AM
When we got back to camp the key wouldn't go back to the "lock" position, but I didn't think too much of it. After supper, we decided to see if we could find a motel in Lincoln and they key wouldn't turn enough to engage the starter. Hiram was able to force it hard enough to hit the starter, but we were afraid (rightly so, it turns out) that it might not start again. And yes, it is always "something" with a 13 y/o Jeep :cool:

Fortunately Hiram has plenty of experience with broken Jeeps so you were in good hands, eh? :D

Actually the age of the Jeep doesn't necessarily have much to do with the reliability . . . I had a three-year-old Jeep Wrangler and after driving that Jeep I will never own another Jeep again (even though I loved driving that Jeep in the summer with the top off) . . . broken motor mounts, a blown engine, windshield wiper motor that died . . . and that's not the half of it.:(