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ExWrench's Oddball Mods + Sneaky Stretch


Random Dude
May 19, 2020
Member Number
East Bay, CA
My fellow JKO and PBB survivors,

I'll be rebuilding my JKO thread (7 years of JK & random oddball stuff, & a metric shit-ton of photos) here on Irate4x4
Just getting this started because not having it done will bug the shit out of me - like I need another incomplete project :laughing:

Will attempt to re-create it as it appeared before VS destroyed JKO (and PBB), piecing it together in my spare time.
This task looks like a tedious PITA and I'm busy right now, so please ignore this thread for at least a week or two.

EDIT: and . . . DONE! :grinpimp: - I got everything rebuilt this weekend, so feel free to tell me what I did wrong 7 years ago :flipoff2:

ExWrench's Oddball Mods + Sneaky Stretch

02-04-2013, 08:53 PM

Hey All,

If you haven't seen my clusterfook of a thread in the Welcome Room, you might want to check that out HERE <JKO link deleted>

I'm finally getting off my ass (had time to spare, barely) to huck up some pics and a few words about the wierd crap I've done to my Rubicon.
I don't have the time to make a tech-worthy "build thread", but I do have time to show what I did differently . . . which is a lot of it.
There are 10 as-good ways to do anything I did here, and I'm sure there are a couple of better ones, but I'm happy with all I did, so :flipoff2:

Enough bullshit and disclaimers - look at the pretty pictures, you monkeys!

Brand new, unmolested 2010 2 door 12 speed - it's never been close to that clean since.
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Here's what it replaced. 2007 Access Cab TRD Offroad 4X4 Tacoma. Decided to ditch the Tacoma rather than SAS and 35s (which was next).
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Did the "stubby" front bumper chop. Meh, fun waste of time.

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Tried the Rugged Ridge mirror relocation brackets. Great on driver side, worthless on passenger side.
That shit's in the garden shed waiting to sell / give away.
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Cut down the third brake light stalk to shine through the spare rim. Totally happy with this mod. Only replaced when building tire swing.
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VHT brake caliper paint is pretty durable if you cure it at high heat. The oven was out of the question (I like being married).
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But the barbecue worked fine - IR thermometer is great for verifying temperatures, soup cans make great risers.
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My jerry can and cowl grille screen have also been through my Weber "curing oven".

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Nice start. Keep it rolling.

I'm not even going to bother reading till you get 4-5 pages in..................................so lets go...............................embrace the suck, become one with the suck.
02-04-2013, 08:56 PM
Jeep came from dealer with McGard locking lug nuts. What cheap pieces of shit!:flipoff:

Aluminum foil was to protect rim paint while I welded big-ass nuts onto the locking lugs after the "key" socket failed without impact.

Replaced with Gorilla locking lug set - totally happy with these. Every lug is a lock, and the key is an impact socket, not an art project.


Craftsman flex head 1/2" ratchet stores well and works fast. Bought a spare just for the Jeep - this purchase makes me happy every time I use it.

On the subject of factory stuff I threw away in disgust, the glove box was swapped for a Tuffy unit. Love this bit of tweeker resistance.

Other factory stuff I considered garbage were the fog lights, headlights, bumpers and horn. Bumpers were embarassing, horn was outright dangerous / useless.
Pair of Piaa sports horns (hi tone, lo tone) sounds like safety equipment, not a cutesy, bare-minimum money-saver for Chrysler.

Also visible in the pic above are Chrysler hood lock (good stuff), swaybar motor relocation (home-brewed), P/S cooler for hydraulic winch, MileMarker 9000# hydraulic winch, and KC fog lights.

I enjoy having Hood Lift gas springs on the hood. Did not enjoy that their brackets and instructions did not make a working assembly, and that I had to fudge it with washers.

I could mill spacers in 15 minutes for both sides and make this look trick. I leave it shitty looking out of spite.
I'm not vain - why make them look better than they chose to be? I'm over it. That's my Hood Lift story.

02-04-2013, 09:06 PM

VHT brake caliper paint that's close to deep water blue and the barbecue curing oven make this modificatiion sneaky.

Made a screen out of expanded steel to keep crap out of the cowl. Works great. Also used removeable rivets in place of POS xmas tree rivets.

Zip-tie fix for hood flutter. Self-explanatory?

Bent some copper tubing to help cool air on the way from OBA compressor to manifold and tank.

Cut a wedge of 1-1/2" ABS pipe to angle air gage toward driver.

Desert racers' trick, or so I was told. Make a stand-off out of fuel hose and a zip tie. No vibration, no chafing, less than a buck.

I didn't want to lay on my back in snow, mud, or the mall parking lot to look up at my OBA tank drain as it pissed in my face.
So, I remoted it to behind the front bumper - I love this mod every time I use it. Easy to find, easy to operate.
02-04-2013, 09:07 PM

Front Bumper

Kept the MileMarker hydraulic winch from my Toyota - offered to sell it at full price, because I would have bought it again new.
Front bumper started as 2" x 8" x .188" wall tubing. Winch is mounted to a single .188" wall, but mostly in compression.

Notice the sexy hole-saw corners and time consuming straight cuts. Guess who doesn't have a plasma cutter.

Spent a little time sculpting the shackle tabs. I think they look cooler, and sharp edges kill knees as well as paint jobs.

I stood the shackle tabs up for a few reasons:

  • to tie front wall of bumper to back wall where bolted to frame
  • to not bang my knees on them when dicking around under the hood
  • for the hell of it and because I had never seen it done before

Front wall of bumper is continuous - I pie-cut the back, bent it closed, and fully welded it inside and out before grinding.

3/16" plate for top of bumper. I chose 30 degrees for the bumper wings, and mirrored this on the top plate for symmetry.

Plate sitting on top of bumper attaches to top plate and back side of wing portion.

Duplicolor etching primer in a rattle can has not let me down yet.
Tab in foreground is to add a 9/16" grade 8 bolt in shear to the fight against the winch tearing the front bumper off.

I know, I know . . . no improvement over the factory bumper. Sorry. :flipoff2:

Bumpers and sliders are painted with Duplicolor rattle can truck bed liner. Works OK, lasts OK.
02-04-2013, 09:08 PM

Rear Bumper

Rear bumper also started out as 2x8x.188" wall tubing. All added plate is .188" thick as well.

Bumper brackets are 1/4" x 4" - I'm betting they will hang in for the duration.

Guess who still doesn't have a plasma cutter. Notice super sexy drill holes and jigsaw perfection. (Shackle tab hole).

Same as front bumper - cut a wedge, figure out how to bend it back together, weld the crap out of it, etc.
Also, I had to notch out and plate over the bottom center of bumper to drop it down over the trailer hitch a tiny bit to get the right height.

This is a contour gage. It doesn't cost much. This makes matching the body profile possible when cutting a top plate for the back bumper.

Still no plasma cutter. Enjoy the hacking, grinding and swearing while making room for tire swing spindle.

Here's something you won't see from anyone trying to be cost-competitive: recessed license plate well. I dig unique and functional.

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02-04-2013, 09:08 PM

Tire Swing, Take One

If you're going to build a linked tire swing, this could save you a fookload of headaches. I would have liked to read this before.

My work involves sweating over a few thousandths of an inch, so I like my fab time to be free-form and artistic. This was not the problem.

Transfering reading from magnetic protractor to layout on tubing. This also was not the problem.

Making a large plate out of smaller pieces of plate - still not the cause of any problems.

Drilled plate, installed on tailgate, and mocked up and tacked clevis for rod-end link to tire swing. Still no problem . . .

This MarthaFuquar right here was the problem! I didn't know any better, and my research pointed to this being a good idea.

I was using a single bumper on two inclined tabs to provide vertical support and a horizontal limit for the "loose" end of tire swing.
Ahh, the elegance of simplicity - until you figure out it's a SHIT design. Here's why: the body and frame move independently (if you wheel).
When the body and frame flexed, the spare tire/swing would bounce or rattle, and anything that rattles eventually costs time.
Fuck this design!

02-04-2013, 09:09 PM

Tire Swing, Take Two

So we can agree that the single inclined limiter is a crap design, right? Here was the first step taken to remedy.

Add a strike plate to the top of the tailgate for bumpers to hit.

Add some bumpers to tire swing to hit strike plate at top of tailgate.

Ditch the bumper that I spent hours making trick little pocketed bracket and strike plate for.

This worked OK, but the tire swing was still not supported vertically on its "free" end, so I convinced myself it could fatigue the spindle eventually.
Also, I could convince myself that the tire swing might be able to flex up-and-down and fatigue, using my single bumper pair as a fulcrum.
I'm a pretty harsh critic when it comes to my own stuff. When my spare doesn't break loose and decapitate you, you're welcome.

02-04-2013, 09:09 PM

Tire Swing - Third Time's a Charm

WTF is THAT?!! :eek:

This is the key to a tire swing about which I never stress. Specifically, this is a small block of HDPE, but other materials would be OK.

I cut all the art projects off the tire swing, extended the vertical tube, and plated the bottom.
Threaded into that bottom plate is a 1/2" SS carriage bolt with a head that I polished smooth.

Notice also in the picture above, I now have pairs of bumpers at the top and bottom of the strike plate on the tailgate.
Bumpers are adjusted to be coplanar. Adjusting rod-end link takes slack out of tire swing if needed.

Carriage bolt supports free end of tire swing, but does so on bumper which moves with frame, hence no fatigue of spindle.

I'm not at all saying to do this. However, I'm suggesting you skip the frustration of trying that other crap.
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02-04-2013, 09:10 PM

Maintenance Records, My Way

I used to do mobile service and fleet maintenance. Nothing is sacred, especially if I plan to keep it.

When I'm not throwing graffitti under my hood, I make purdy peetchurs about how to huck the tires around, as well as maintenance records.

Flip side of 5-tire rotation diagram has tire history.

Ziploc bag is a great way to preserve documents under dirty or wet conditions. This vehicle sees both of those conditions.

02-04-2013, 09:10 PM

More Random Oddball Stuff . . .

Here are a few more things I'm pretty sure few others have done, maybe for good reason. Anyway, check this out:

Take an Altoids can, rip the lid off, put door edge guard on, glue rubber in bottom, and velcro to center console.
Voila! - the change cup that Chrysler should have put there!

Oh, I also cut a couple of inches off the shifter and drilled and tapped the end to put a Hurst t-handle on. That was "cool", but not good enough.
On a whim, I pulled the Hurst shift handle and threaded on a golf ball - LOVE this shifter! It's as perfect as the factory knob was idiotic.

Note to self: add shift handle to the list of crap Chrysler F'd up on when making this Jeep.

Made the foot plate of my HiLift jack a quick-release deal, and made a vertical receiver on back of back bumper.
Jack is below roofline for minimal wind- and branch-resistance.

PAINT YOUR FOOKIN' ROOF WHITE! This is the best 5 dollar modification I ever spent an hour to do. I only painted the top of the roof.
Most people never notice, and now there is no 140 degree air inside when Jeep has been parked in the sun.

Custom high-tech clearancing operation using advanced ball-peen technology (Tuffy rear deck was rubbing rear door. Door was easier to move.)

Inside rear door (tailgate) is a great place to put crap you don't want to dig for. I chose a flashlight, a Leatherman, a spare knife, and door prop.

Door prop plugs over one of the tire swing bumpers. It's just a piece of fuel hose, a copper fitting, and some heat shrink.

When I forget about it, it just folds over and shits itself out rather than denting or damaging anything.

Before I did my rear stretch (should be coming up real soon now . . . see below) I pre-ran the course:

Shown are 2-1/2 inch lift with 0 stretch, 2 inches, 4 inches, and 8 inches. 8 has relocated gas filler and fenders. All just MS Paint doodling.
02-04-2013, 09:11 PM

Way back when, I added Poly Perf. tubes to stock Rubicon sliders/rails. This made it look cool, but made the rails that much more likely to fail.
So, i made some trick (I think) mounts that give me all the confidence I need.

At the same time, I made a retainer for the HiLift that won't let it slide out and collapse, but lets the jack articulate.

Also, the whole side of the Jeep always got shit on by the front tires,

so I made a filler panel - I LOVE THIS MOD!

Random: here's a 2.5" lift with 32s and 35s for comparison.

Random-er: cheap piece of shit Chinese vise I broke because it looked like a decent vise. Replaced with Ridgid brand vise made by Peddinghaus in Germany.

Shop tip: when you slit tubing lengthwise, it will close up, grab your cutting wheel, and piss in your Cheerios. I figured out a cool work-around.

Made 2 screw jacks out of 1/2" bolts and nuts, clamped against them in the vise, and cut the whole length in one shot with no drama. :D

OK, that gets most of the other crap out of the way - on to my "stock-ish" sneaky stretch. :bounce2:
02-04-2013, 09:11 PM

So I stretched it to 100" (99.75 :flipoff: ) at the rear only. I reworked the inner fenders with a heat gun and reused them.

From the back, it looks "stock" body-wise.

Bumpers, sliders, linked tire swing, jack and jerry can mounts are all my original stuff.

I'm on 35" MTR/K worn down to 34" right now. Will replace with same or 37" MTR/K when these wear out.

I cut the body to make room for 37s, because I know I won't be able to resist.


Didn't move upper coil buckets - no place to pull body. I moved upper bump stops back 4", welded on a new upper TB mount 6" behind stock,

and made shelves on the front of the axle to get the coils where I need them (and cut off old TB mount and unneeded crap).
Rear upper shock mounts are Poly Perf. "coilover mounts" weld-in crossmember - TOTALLY HAPPY with Synergy parts.
Rear upper arms are Currie JK rear upper arms I cut, slugged, sleeved, and welded.
Rear lower arms are Currie JK front lower arms to save me the fab hassle - this was enough of a pain in the ass as it was!

TB is Teraflex monster front and rear - I dig 'em. TB axle bracket is Teraflex, just because that's what I bought way back when.
One of the best bang-for-buck mods I did was to get the axle side of the rear track bar as high as possible.
I don't know yet if there's room to get the swaybar back in there, but I really don't miss it right now.

What made this possible was getting the muffler in front of the axle, and cutting the tailpipe off right before the track bar.
Soon, I'll probably try to get more muffler and tailpipe under the back now that I'm done moving shit around.
MBRP exhaust isn't quite obnoxious, but it still pisses me off from time to time.
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02-05-2013, 05:26 AM
Ringer said:
Looks good. Always a big fan of the DIY projects.
Thanks. I appreciate the time you are putting into your build thread. People, check out Ringer's build thread if you have not already.

02-05-2013, 03:15 PM #14
SlvrJK said:
Nice work man, definitely a cool build. And let me guess, you're an engineer?
I just moved from my company's engineering department to be the Quality Assurance Manager.
I've been a laborer, mechanic, fabricator, field service manager, maintenance manager, CNC Programmer, and Manufacturing Engineer.
And I'm proud to be a badass with a push broom, hammer, or shovel. Nobody can bullshit me, so that's handy.

02-05-2013, 05:38 PM
tiltz said:
Looking good! What is next?
Thanks. The next "short list" is all fookin' expensive chit. Top pirorities would be RCVs up front, CroMo shafts out back, and Trail Ready beadlocks
After that economic parking ticket, I would like to do hydro assist, a ProRock 44 Unlimited housing up front, 5.13's, another Woods D/S, and 37"

tiltz said:
I think you should have saved yourself more placeholders:flipoff2:
No shit. I wanted to grab a few more, but it looked fucking ridiculous before I started filling 'em in.

02-05-2013, 05:58 PM
pluke the 2 said:
engineer or x military with all this fucking lingo!
you could have just put pictures up and got the same end result from us! :flipoff2:
nice jeep bud!
Sorry, I was hoping the purty peechurs would make up for the articles. :flipoff2:

02-05-2013, 06:05 PM
boboborino said:
Ya looks good, nice work
Thank you!
OK, I'm going to try to finish filling in the blanks.

Edit: I filled up the 2 blank posts I had reserved above. Tiltz was right - I should have reserved more.

Question: should I post one last time in my Welcome Room thread to link to this one, or is bumping that thread a dick move? :D
Dancin' Dan says it pains him when that gets bumped, but does anyone have a good reason not to?
02-05-2013, 07:46 PM

:D Finished Off the Stretch

(Copied over from "that" thread) <-- (2020 IBB clarification: referring to shitstorm Welcome Room thread on JKO)

I'm too fawkin' busy to do a build thread right now, so this'll have to do. Accept my sincere apology from the heart of my bottom. :flipoff2:

I only planned to drive it as a front wheel drive for 2 days, but the local driveline shop said they couldn't re-tube the factory shaft. :flipoff:
Tom Wood's to the rescue. I hucked the new flanges and 1310 shaft in and corrected my pinion angle (eyeball guess at fab. time with no d/s was off by 3 degrees). Smooth at 80! :bounce2:
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Showing routing of brake line and hose for now. Track bar bracket is 6" back from stock spot. Bump stops back about 4".
Brake hose does not contact the track bar bracket, but a little fuel hose slit lengthwise and a few zip ties give me an extra layer of warm and fuzzy just in case.
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These are the shelves for the lower coil mounts. I plan to add gussets underneath that straddle the brake cable, but it'll hang for now
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Other end of e-brake cables zip-tied up to bottom of crossmember (the big zip tie like the cops used to tie up your drunk cousin Bubba at the State Fair).
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Detail of how I trimmed the flares. If I go to 37s, this part might get a little more sparse or wispy.

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Here's the mismatch I faced for inner fender re-use. There's an area that wasn't flat, preventing this from being easy . . .
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Patient 5 minutes of progressive heating followed by brutal 5 seconds of violent beating = inner fender with flat-ish enough profile.
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Zip-tied inner fender back to hole drilled in the lip on the flare that the mounting clips go on.
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And I now have a "stock-ish" JK with a ~100" wheelbase (99.75 :flipoff: ).
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I plan to pull fenders back off and hit fenderwells with a couple of coats of rattle can Duplicolor spray truck bed coating, then reassemble.

However, in this weather:

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Fuck that.
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02-05-2013, 08:48 PM

SlvrJK said:
Originally Posted by ExWrench
I just moved from my company's engineering department to be the Quality Assurance Manager.
I've been a laborer, mechanic, fabricator, field service manager, maintenance manager, CNC Programmer, and Manufacturing Engineer.
And I'm proud to be a badass with a push broom, hammer, or shovel. Nobody can bullshit me, so that's handy.

Hahah good deal. This engineer likes the direction this build is going. Definitely adding some ideas to the ol' memory banks.

Thanks. If you knew me, you'd know this isn't a "look at me" thread - it's an attempt to save people time and money.
I just want to give people a quick look off the beaten path so they can make more informed decisions.
I have no problem with cookie-cutter stuff, but some people never look around. I research the shit out of stuff like this.
If you ever think there's only one option: shoot if it's life or death, but sleep on it beforehand if you can.
Oh, and normal is boring. Fuck up on purpose some time. It's liberating. :D
Disclaimer: do not fuck up on purpose in a situation that may cause injury.

02-06-2013, 08:06 AM
toymaster said:
Congrats on the stretch. I have contemplated the same techniques you have used. If you do not mind would you tell me why you moved the TB
bracket 6" instead of 4", seems close to the shocks now. Since you did not move the coil positions it appears you could have actually moved less
than 4" if the TB angle warranted it. What am I not seeing??
I'm positive you know this but the whole 99.75" thing can be fixed by just pushing the front out that sacred 0.25". Not sure your specs on the front
by even on mine with a large sway bar disconnect skid and over sized steering linkage can be pushed out 0.75" pretty easy (these two are the first
to come into contact with each other on my set-up without any other fab work).
Good job! :beer:

Thank you. I moved TB bracket 6" because pinion angle correction put it 6" behind stock location. It is close to shocks, but I have a solid 1/4" of
air at the closest point during suspension cycle.
I'm not hung up on numbers. The whole "99.75 " was for humor. I might push the front out a little, but my front bumper just clears true 35s
(not KM2s) and I'm not sure I want to modify it.

Ringer said:
Details of your stretch looks great. I think a lot of people don't realize that a small stretch or big stretch is basically the same amount of work.
Thanks, and :word: *
*05/30/2020 Note: RIP a few of JKO's unique smilies. :shaking: :idea: . . . Maybe Austin can revive :rockon: and :cwm13: ?

Ringer said:
What length bump stops are you running? I am running 1.5" bumps, an there is physically no way for the exhaust to do a post axle dump. Mine is
going to be pre axle as well.
I have 3" of bump stop in the rear, left over from Teraflex 2.5" spring lift. When I have time, I will make 2.5" or 2" rear bump stop extensions to
replace the 3" ones.
Yeah, I need to see if I can shoot over the axle on the passenger side, but the exhaust exit may be in its final location.

02-06-2013, 03:55 PM
Goon said:
You crafty bastard! lol nice work.

[4th Wall Break]

gt1guy - you're right, thread rebuilding is a soup sandwich :laughing: . . . :frown:

- you're an animal for powering through it :rockon: <-- (RIP JKO smiley)
02-06-2013, 07:51 PM
More Pics, Monkeys!

Shop tip: plastic coffee (or bean dip) can lid makes a great template or paint mask. Useful garbage.
Holds up great to Sharpie or spray paint compared to cardboard, and you can scribe against it.
Fits in the recycling can just as well after you F it up. :D
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Shop tip: aluminum foil is killer for masking large or odd areas.
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Stretch detail: These are my lower coil mounts. Poly (Synergy) weld-on lower coil mounts I bought before the stretch bug bit me.
I just cut 'em flat and welded them onto the brackets I made out of a piece of 2x2 receiver stock I had lying around.
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Here's how much droop I'm getting from Bilstein 5125s with Poly rear coilover mount bar up top and Poly lower coil mounts 2" above stock.
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Coils now unseat at top (retained on bottom) so I got some Teraflex upper coil isolators with coil guides.
They work great, but I want to get longer springs because the last couple inches is "bullshit droop" with no sprung weight on axle.
Here's where coilovers would make the stretch easier: I want a specific (same) ride height from a longer spring. Research, trial, and error time.
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CB antenna used to be mounted on tire swing near center. CB antenna could not coexist with open rear window and was over-constrained by spare tire.
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Here's where it used to live (left side of top, already cut off - why make that shit over?)
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Notice also, spare tire lowered 2" recently. Spare tire bracket to be welded in place once I buy my final wheels.

New location for CB antenna, right over center of rotation of tire swing. Plenty of room to bend the phook out of the way.
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I'm missing a few months of pictures from when my phone died a while back, but I have more oddball shit to share. Just need to take new pics. :D

02-07-2013, 07:44 PM

SlvrJK said:
Check out poly's springs. The free length on them is longer than most, makes them very difficult to unseat. My old teraflex springs used to unseat
every so often , can't get the poly's to unseat for the life of me, and they are a progressive spring so they ride much better and handle the weight
of all my armor.
Thanks. Good to know. They were definitely on the short list. Maybe now they are the list.

tiltz said:
ExWrench, I know you said you chose not to move the upper coil bucket back because you didn't want to lift the body.
I am planning on removing that crossmember entirely, but don't see removing the body as a necessity. Were you thinking that welding up the top
side of the upper mount would require removing the body, or just that everything would be easier to access with the body removed?
I am thinking a long sawzall blade will do the trick.
Yeah, I'm sure you're right. I'm happy with what I did. Any more stretch and I would have needed a different solution.
Also, I wanted to do as much of the work as possible while not in contact with 32 degree concrete. It was fookin' freezin' here.

mbryson said:
Wow, lots of food for thought here. Thanks for posting your mods up. (I've had my 2012 JKU for two weeks, it's time to make it mine, right?)
I strongly suggest you go wheel it before making any changes. You will better appreciate your purchase and your modifications.
In the picture below I had done diff. covers and welded rails onto the factory Rubicon slider-ish rail thingies. Otherwise stock.
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02-07-2013, 08:16 PM

More Chit to Consider

When the rear fully droops out, wheelbase is 2.5" shorter than at ride height.
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Visual comparison: 2.5" lift (3" ft, 2" rr) vs stock height 2 door Rubicon
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Color is off, but this gives you an idea of the coverage of my rock lights.
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Brand new 35" MTR/K just clears the front bumper. I built this bumper to limit this Jeep to 35s.
Might modify front bumper for front stretch and/or 37s, or might stick with the plan. 37s are tempting. :bounce2:
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While we were airing up, my wife spotted wood chunks that got in the bead while aired down.
She said this proved that we need beadlocks. I love her very much.

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We had to deflate the tire completely and use prybar and needle nose pliers to clean out debris. Sealed up fine.

Here is Poly rear upper coilover mount installed, before removal of Poly rear upper shock relocators (up 2, back 2.5).
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02-07-2013, 09:25 PM

tiltz said:
Originally Posted by ExWrench
Yeah, I'm sure you're right. I'm happy with what I did. Any more stretch and I would have needed a different solution.
Also, I wanted to do as much of the work as possible while not in contact with 32 degree cocrete. It was fookin' freezin' here.

Just making sure you didn't know some secret info that I wasn't aware of :koolaid:
I don't want to take the body off for my build, either.

No, I don't know of any secret snags. Sorry to alarm you if I did.
I get the impression you have your shit together and are realistic, so if you see that it can be done, it can.
If you have a lift to work on, it might be a cake walk. Crawling on frozen concrete with bad knees, it could suck a bit.
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02-07-2013, 10:00 PM


Made CB mic mount from stainless sheet. You can buy perfectly good ones pre-made. I could not. Templated cuts and bends with 4x6 file card stock.

Need a clean hole through nylon or polyester carpet? This kicks ass at that. Heat up a piece of rod you have locked in Vise Grips.

Plunge the red-hot rod into the carpet (Jesus, that sounds dirty) where you wanna' make a hole.

And Voila! Clean-edged hole that will not fray. :thankyou:

E.T.'s head here is my 3rd brake light bracket from 3/16" plate. 2 holesaw holes properly placed, then connect the dots with a jig saw or Sawzall.

Speaking of hole saws: a long time ago I could afford the hole saw but not an arbor, so I made this hillbilly workaround:

I cut off a bolt, chamfered the end, threaded it through the arbor threads, and put a lock washer and nut on. Drill chuck clamps on bolt threads.
Just have to pre-drill the pilot hole. I have a full hole saw set now, but I use this for nostalgia and because it still works great. :koolaid:

Personal note: I hate doing body work, but I will sculpt steel all day long with an angle grinder. Diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks.
Watching this develop as I worked was relaxing and fun. Spending the same time sanding body filler would just piss me off. My heart's not in it.


02-07-2013, 10:47 PM

Few More Tidbits of Oddness

Stainless steel foil duct tape, for when you want to half-ass patchwork as diligently as possible.
I may actually just clean this area off and add a couple more layers of foil tape before spraying bedliner.

Tuffy products kick ass, but the pulls on glove box door and console insert door leave room for improvement.
There are no burrs, but they have sharp-enough edges from the stamping operation without subsequent deburring.
I cut short sections of jumbo heat shrink (think McMaster-Carr, not Radio Shack) and made the handles friendly.

Prop rod for Tuffy security deck enclosure, jumbo heat shrink on tip and hard drive magnet glued on for storing prop horizontally.

'Nuther view of prop rod to show heat shrink and magnet. Magnet glued on because it's not the kind that attracts aluminum.

Indoor-outdoor carpet for sound damping and non-skid on the Tuffy deck. Made a frame to hold carpet in place when driving topless in a hurricane.

Random: as I was digging through photos, this made me laugh. 2.5" lift and 35s on my 2dr make a stock Rubi 4dr look like a lowered racer.
Except for all his fookin' stickers, the black grille and the 2 spare doors, that's what my Jeep used to look like. I now have no stickers.

That's most of the crap I can think of. Hope you found one or two new things to think about.

If you detest sentences ending with prepositions:

That's most of the crap of which I can think. Hope you found one or two new things about which to think. :flipoff2:

02-09-2013, 06:55 PM

tiltz said:
I have an odd garage. It is one car wide and 2 deep. It protects me from the elements, but I am very familiar with that concrete.... lol.
I wish I had a lift. Maybe one day. For now I will be bent over at weird angle suffering while I hack away :D
On a side note, I bought something off of craigslist a while back. I met the guy at a warehouse that had about 20 Porsches in it and a couple of post lifts. It turned out to be a Porsche Racing club. Some of the members of the club got together and rented out the warehouse. They hadsections partitioned off with tape on the ground; each with different cars, workbenches, tool boxes, etc. The guy said he paid under $100/month for his portion. Cool idea for a co-op garage.... Now to get a bunch of Jeepers together
Tell me the Jeepers wouldn't end up doing a lot of creative "testing" in the parking lot.
Rent a place with a loading dock so you have a waterfall obstacle on-site :bounce2:

Originally Posted by SlvrJK
Check out poly's springs. The free length on them is longer than most, makes them very difficult to unseat. My old teraflex springs used to
unseat every so often , can't get the poly's to unseat for the life of me, and they are a progressive spring so they ride much better and
handle the weight of all my armor.
Originally Posted by ExWrench
Thanks. Good to know. They were difinitely on the short list. Maybe now they are the list.

Ordered Poly PPM-8064-20 springs this morning.
Thanks for a push in the direction I was headed.
Now if I hate 'em, I can blame your bad judgment instead of mine.

jkoiiiiojk said:
Great Job on all the fab work! Love a good DIY JEEP build!!
Thanks. Glad you dig it. :D

02-10-2013, 06:50 AM

Originally Posted by ExWrench
Ordered Poly PPM-8064-20 springs this morning.
Thanks for a push in the direction I was headed.
Now if I hate 'em, I can blame your bad judgment instead of mine.
Haha I'm ok with that.

02-10-2013, 11:39 PM
That's some great work! I'm inpressed with the rear bumper. Never seen a resesed l-plate before. Very cool.

02-11-2013, 12:50 AM
jeeperjkj said:
Just read through the whole thread. Nice work. Definitely a lot of great ideas there.

02-12- 2013, 12:26 PM

Originally Posted by ExWrench​
....I strongly suggest you go wheel it before making any changes. You will better appreciate your purchase and your modifications.
In the picture below I had done diff. covers and welded rails onto the factory Rubicon slider-ish rail thingies. Otherwise stock.
Probably good advice but I don't see that happening. The pile of parts for the JK is getting a bit overwhelming and they need to get put on PDQ. Tires and boxes and such
are making it hard to walk through the garage to get to the house. I just got my ARB parts today. My front ring/pinion is here and I need to stop by and pick that up.
Depending on weekend plans, I'm either having fun with the woman or putting the Jeep together.
To "wheel", I still have this. The JKU is kind of an exploration/driver type rig. I like your ideas, though.

(that's my 15 yr old at the wheel....he's got his learners permit, so we had him learn a little)

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02-12-2013, 02:16 PM

That's some great work! I'm inpressed with the rear bumper. Never seen a resesed l-plate before. Very cool.
Thanks. The license plate well also gives me an extra step.
License plate serves as a toe-kick so I don't scuff my bumper. :D

jeeperjkj said:
Just read through the whole thread. Nice work. Definitely a lot of great ideas there.
Thank you. Hope you "stole" a trick or 2 on your way through.

mbryson said:
Probably good advice but I don't see that happening. The pile of parts for the JK is getting a bit overwhelming and they need to get put on PDQ. Tires and boxes and such are making it hard to walk through the garage to get to the house. I just got my ARB parts today. My front ring/pinion is here and I need to stop by and pick that up. Depending on weekend plans, I'm either having fun with the woman or putting the Jeep together.
I don't blame you at all. I would probably do the same thing, but I advised of the "best" route.
I was just lucky enough to have a trip happen before the boxes started piling up . . .
I assure you, I have no more self-control than you do. :bounce2:
Oh, and I love your "wheeler". That's sweet! Your kid is lucky to learn in that.
12-26-2013, 03:26 PM

Not dead yet . . . just been busy

So . . . it’s been 10-1/2 months since I updated this thread - probably about time?
Sorry, but life got in the way of play time. :crybaby2:

Enough of my bullshit whining! Look at the pretty pictures, you monkeys!

With my oddball setup, the Poly rear upper coilover mount bar leaves the upper shock bushings a little pissed off because of the angle.
No immediate problem, but I probably need to go to Heim-ended shocks or reconfigure the rear upper mounts in the future.

The smart money is on “it’ll get fixed when that shock eye starts rattling”. :D

Little better photo of parking brake cables, showing how they will slide up and get out of the way as the rear suspension compresses.
It’s always nice when some shit just works out on its own and doesn’t have to be re-invented. While I’d rather be good, I’ll take luck any day. :bounce2:

I tried the Poly PPM-8064-20 rear springs per SlvrJK’s suggestion, but I pulled them out the next day and put my Teraflex rear coils back in.
The Poly coils felt great, but they gained an inch of ride height while they gained an inch of free length, so I went back to my lower setup.

I’m looking for a couple more inches of rear spring free length with only 2” of lift on the back of a 2-door.
I know Rock Krawler and Metalcloak are doing rear springs with longer free length these days.
If anyone has first-hand experience with these, please let me know.

The MBRP exhaust with the muffler before the axle (cut off over the axle) gave me room to do the stretch, but had more drone than I could accept.

I put a Supertrapp diffuser over the end of it as a short-term solution (maybe only a year or two
Eventually, I plan to relocate the evap. can and put a big oval muffler (maybe Flowmaster) where the MBRP can is now.

Here’s the Hurst T-handle I had on my shifter, and the golf ball that replaced it.

For my purposes, nothing could be a better shift knob than this golf ball. It’s nice to be “done” with part of a project.

More to follow soon. Sorry again for the long delay (unless you're pissed about it, in which case :flipoff2: )

12-26-2013, 04:41 PM

More Random Shop Tips

Nitrile gloves, 8 mil thick, have never let me down. Depending on what I’m doing, I wash my gloves and set ‘em aside at the end of a project.
When doing hydraulics or other dust-sensitive tasks, I Windex my gloves and wipe them clean before delicate / assembly work.

Thinner nitrile gloves (4 mil, 6 mil) and all the latex gloves I’ve tried gave up WAY too early.

You should always have at least 2 spare rolls of electrical tape. Anything that doesn’t need stitches: you can tape it up, put your gloves back on, and get back to work.

Note: DO NOT TAPE YOUR FINGERS TIGHT ENOUGH TO CUT OFF CIRCULATION! You want to wrap injuries “almost loosely”.
The only thing to tape tightly is a smashed fingernail – sometimes you can prevent blood blister formation under the nail and keep the nail.

I love this tool, a Moeller Fluid Extractor Pump. Other brands and styles work well, also.
It’s supposed to allow you to suck your engine oil out through the dipstick tube, but that doesn’t work on my JK or my old F250.

(EDIT: the pump works fine, but the dipstick tubes on the JK and the F250 engines do not reach the low spots in the oil pans.)

However, I use the shit out of this thing for unassisted brake bleeding and for power steering work.
The above picture is this pump pulling ALL the fluid out of my system through the disconnected return hose. Pump, box, lines, cooler: all empty – NICE!
The picture below is this pump pulling ALL the air out of my system as I refilled it. I shit you not, there was no bleeding left to be done – ALSO NICE!

For years, all my spare hardware and weird shit lived in coffee cans.
I would dig through the can or clear off a space and dump it out to sift for the treasures I needed.
Devoting one shallow drawer to being a “shit drawer” is one of the best shop modifications I have ever done.

Not only don't I have to dig through a coffee can, I don’t have to clear off bench space for sorting. This is 2 coffee cans and a sorting table all in one.
I still have coffee cans of extra crap, but they are the stuff I won't need on any kind of regular basis.

Scrap of tubing, scrap of plate, and the remains of a dead ceiling fan (I don’t throw mechanical shit away without picking its bones clean).

This is my turntable for prepping and painting rims – more on this a little later . . .

Hose slit lengthwise and pushed over the rim of a 5 gallon steel pail to protect freshly painted rims while my ass is forcing tires onto said freshly painted rims.

If (when) you change out your ball joints, it’s not a bad idea to clean the rust and crap off the inside of a bore before pressing in your new ball joint.

Instead of working my fingers to the bone, I rolled a piece of Scotch Brite loosely, shoved the right size socket into the center, and gave the whole thing a half-turn. – DONE!

A little bit (or a lot) of anti-seize on the threads of a new puller will allow it to break in and smooth up without galling.

Seriously, slather the shit out of it – it will pay for itself in performance and durability.

Just don’t get good anti-seize on good clothes :shaking: – they will be your "new" shop clothes (ask me how I know . . .) :D
12-26-2013, 10:57 PM

Body Lift (No, Really . . .)

So, I put on a 1” body lift (NOT to fit 24” rims :flipoff2::laughing: )

I bought a M.O.R.E. 1” body lift kit, and I have only good things to say about it.

I also bought a Rough Country shifter adapter, but could not use it without modification - WTF?.

30 thousanths of an inch is a MILE in my world, so either the NSG370 in JKs has had different size shifters, or someone at RC is smoking toothpaste. :dunno:
Rather than ream out the adapter, I decided to bail on it and go another route.

I cut the rubber isolator at the base of the shifter handle apart and extracted the formed steel sleeve out of the center.

Total pain in the ass. That sucker is not made to disassemble!

Made a small steel tab and welded it to the shifter handle and the steel sleeve from the isolator.

Mopar did a good job here at reducing NVH (noise, vibration, and harshness) and I take full responsibility for undoing one of the things they did well.

Here’s the remains of the stock shifter boot and the factory foam seal from the top of the transmission to the tunnel.

Shifter boot is notched intentionally at the 6 o’clock, but just torn at the 12 o’clock location.
If your 6 speed seems noisier than new in 4th and 6th, I’d check for that rip.
The replacement inner shift boot I bought was a higher revision and had improved molding. Maybe Chrysler fixed that after my 2010 was made?
The foam seal came apart as I removed it, but was otherwise OK except that it now needed to be an inch taller.

Time for a big hunk of scrap EVA foam (ethylene vinyl acetate – like tennis shoe midsoles) and the old kitchen knife that lives in the garage now.

The foam just needs to be closed cell foam that’s a little heat- and weather-resistant. EVA foam was what I had a chunk of, and it’s held up OK.

Had to do a little shaping and sculpting to get the top and bottom to look like the top and bottom of the old foam stack.

If you care to critique my sculpting, you’ll have to shove your head up under my Jeep.
If you want to critique my sculpting, I will suggest shoving your head up somewhere else . . .

The notched out area in the foam is to keep the transmission vent from getting blocked or plugged.

The transmission vent is the black plastic nub in this picture. It’s at the left front corner of the shifter mounting plate.

Shoving this foam monstrosity into place was a lot like mounting a tire, but a fragile tire on a wrong-sized rim (tedious pain in the ass).

I made an EVA foam top piece to seal out most of the transmission noise, but had to bail on it.

It made the shifter want to pop out of 2nd, so I chucked it. Oh well, at least I tried it.

My sliders did not move up with the body. I needed more room for them to flex without pushing into the body. Here’s my 1” “lift” for the screws that go through the tub pinch seam.

I also reinforced the horizontal tabs since they would now be mating with body lift pucks.

The fasteners and the sheet metal body nuts for the tabs above got upgraded as much as possible .

The body lift blocks are aluminum, not plastic. I shot them with etching primer and black paint for corrosion resistance and to unbling them.

These tabs go over the old slider mount screws and the new ones that are 1” up, and capture the pinch seam of the tub when they are tightened down.

Here are the sliders with a fresh coat of primer before their latest coat of Duplicolor rattle-can bedliner.

The two mounts I added still go to the bottom of the body mounts, the horizontal tabs get body lift pucks, and the new higher screws go through the pinch seam.
12-27-2013, 09:38 AM

thedirtman said:
Looking good.
Thanks! I dig your triangulated 4-link in the back.
If I eventually rip my shit back apart for a ground-up rebuild, I'll probably go that route.
I'd love to ditch the track bar, but I'm totally happy with this (for now . . . )

thedirtman said:
That would have been a great opportunity to do a tummy tuck and to have moved the transmission and transfer case up 1" instead of all that work.

That was not the goal here. No great opportunity lost in my book.
I threw on the body lift for the following reasons:

  • To make room for 37s without lifting further or cutting the flares further (keep it sneaky)
  • To provide a better path from the power steering reservoir to the pump
  • To get the battery and PS reservoir another inch away from exhaust manifold heat
  • To give more room to route / work on crap under the hood and under the chassis
  • To give the sliders room to move around without denting the rocker panels further
  • To make room to correct the ridiculous shape of the driver's foot well
In the driver's foot well, there is a bump inward from the trans. tunnel in the most F'd up spot possible (near driver's heel).
I plan to fix that egregious design error (big fookin' hammer, more or less ) and that tiny body lift made room to do it.

It looks like your rig may be primarily a trail toy, but this is a daily driver / road trip vehicle for me, so this is important.
Besides, it just pisses me off that Chrysler thought it was OK to shape the driver's foot well that way ( :flipoff: the passenger, but the driver?)
Forcing the driver to sit pointed 5-10 degrees to the left of straight ahead is, in my book, Fargin' Reecawkculous.

12-27-2013, 09:45 AM
thedirtman said:
Mine is not a true daily driver, I have a truck as well, but I drive it as much as I can and have no issues on the road with drivability. Other then
tight parking spots :)

I was meaning to take up the space between the body and the transmission/transfer case due to the body lift. You could have simply added a 1"
spacer on top of the cross member to move the transmission up and you would not have had to mess with the shifter stuff.

12-27-2013, 07:53 PM #54
Originally Posted by thedirtman
I was meaning to take up the space between the body and the transmission/transfer case due to the body lift. You could have simply added
a 1" spacer on top of the cross member to move the transmission up and you would not have had to mess with the shifter stuff.

I picked up what you were layin' down, brother. I was just hip to a different Utopia, man.
(Translation: I understood you, but I have a different plan that prevents me from going with your idea).
Raising the transmission and t-case is a valid solution to the body and shifter challenge, with other benefits that outweigh most of the drawbacks.
However, it would refill the space where I plan to knock an area of the transmission tunnel the fook out of the way of my right foot.
I consider the driver's foot well of the JK to be ergonomically irresponsible, and I have found a way to correct this egregious design error.
A lot of people would consider this endeavor a waste of time, but it's my time to waste, so let's check . .

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. . . umm . . . yeah, I'm going to go ahead and do it. :D

EODtech said:
ExWrench you are so OCD about this stuff , but it is AWESOME!!!!!! I really liked this thread cause this has given me several ideas to work on around the house. I may end up shooting you some PM's about things as they come up while working on my new Jeep. Your ingenuity is truly superb!
OCD, huh? Well . .

EODtech said:
(1.)ExWrench you are so OCD about this stuff , (2.)but it is AWESOME!!!!!! (3.)I really liked this thread cause this has given me several
ideas to work on around the house. (4.)I may end up shooting you some PM's about things as they come up while working on my new Jeep.
(5.)Your ingenuity is truly superb!

1. Okay, a lot of my shit qualifies as OCD in looking for improvement opportunities (dammit, should I have made that a haiku? :dunno: )
2. Thank you! I was just shooting for "OK", so I will try to tone it down a little from awesome. :D
3. Please steal any of my ideas that you dig. I try to identify the crappy ones to save you some time.
4. Feel free to PM me (as long as you're not a creepy stalker or anything). :hide:
5. Thanks again! Glad you appreciate some of the wierd shit I come up with.
7. NEW TOPIC: Thank you for your service! May all of your detonations be intentional, Sir. :beer:

RANDOM : OCD checklist -
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12-27-2013, 09:56 PM

Beadlocks, Rim Painting, and Airsoft Balancing

First, on the subject of tires, this was the most (or only) enjoyable tire repair I have ever done.
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I noticed a screw in my tread when the Jeep was in my driveway, in the most convenient location possible.
The tire was not flat, the weather was nice, and I didn’t even have to move the vehicle!
Having to fix this tire with this little effort actually felt like a treat (How screwed up is that?).

Okay, remember the steel scraps and the ceiling fan guts? I give you: the “Supermatic Turntable 2000” (no, not really – call it whatever you want).
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My first version of this (about five years ago) involved wood screws, so this bastard is high-tech!:thankyou:

Spray painting my way around stationary rims got old really quick, so the carousel lets me take this:
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And a little bit of this:
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To get this:
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Note: all aluminum to be painted was scuffed with red Scotch Brite and wiped clean with Windex and a microfiber towel.

I’ve used airsoft BBs for balancing before (in 255/85/16s on my Tacoma), but this time I added some propylene glycol.
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The propylene glycol makes the beads redistribute a lot better than they do alone, and prevents dangerous clumping in ass-freezing weather.

AIRSOFT BBs: you don’t need anything “premium”, but don’t use the biodegradable, dophin-safe Prius-compatible ones.
I like the .20 gram BBs because they end up being almost exactly one ounce of weight per “fluid ounce” which makes the math a lot easier. :D
The propylene glycol has a density close enough to water that weight ~ fluid oz., same as the BBs. This would be hard to fuck up. :rockon:
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I used 8 oz. of BBs and 6 oz. of propylene glycol in each tire.

I’m sure someone has covered the shit out of mounting tires on beadlock rims, so I’ll skip that. The measuring cups and a funnel made adding balancing media easy.
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Trail Ready HD17 vs stock Rubicon rim with same tires – side view.
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Trail Ready HD17 vs stock Rubicon rim with same tires – angled view.
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Upon installation of the beadlocks, I got to start chasing death wobble:flipoff:, but that is a separate clusterfook, so I’ll deal with that separately.
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12-28-2013, 11:09 PM

EODtech said:
Ex that was a kick ass reply! With your Tacoma how well did the beads hold up with keeping the wheels balanced?

The 2007 Tacoma was my first time phookin' around with airsoft balancing, and I went back to traditional balancing when I sold it.
I put 10 oz. of .20 gram airsoft pellets/beads/BBs in each of the 255/85R16 (~33.5x10.5-16) BFG MT KM tires on the Taco.
1. 20% of the time, it was PERFECT!
2. 20% of the time, it was HORRIBLE!
3. 60% of the time, it was OK

A little insight into how the BBs act:

The BBs fall down inside the tire until about 25-30 MPH, where they transition to staying spread out against the inside of the tread.
The BBs stay flung out against the inside of the tread until you come to a stop (or close to it).

If I hit the transition speed in the Taco while going through a corner (like a curved freeway on-ramp), I would have a horribly unbalanced tire.
Occasionally, the beads would not redistribute properly after hitting an odd bump on the freeway and I would have a horribly unbalanced tire.
Either of the two scenarios above would require me to pull over and stop to regain good balance, unless I lucked out and hit a bump right to clear it up.

On the Jeep, I put 8 oz. of .20 gram BBs and 6 oz. of propylene glycol inside when I mounted the tires on the beadlocks.
Later, while resolving death wobble and shimmy issues, I added 8 oz. of distilled water through the valve stems.

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This brought me up to 22 oz. of dynamic balancing media in each tire, and the last 8 oz. did not make a huge difference.

1. 20% of the time, it is GOOD to perfect
2. 20% of the time, it is BAD (but not horrible)
3. 60% of the time, it is OK to good

The addition of propylene glycol got rid of the Taco's problem of the beads requiring a ridiculous level of intervention on my part to get unfooked sometimes.
I do not worry about the transition point with my current setup, so the glycol is an effective lubricant (and anti-freeze).
However, the BBs have a worse axial imbalance on average in the 12.5" tires on 10" rims on my JK than they did in the 10.5" on 8" rims on the Taco.

In summary:

  • Adding lube to the BBs totally helps them correct for any RADIAL imbalance more quickly and accurately.
  • Narrower rims and tires are the only way to minimize AXIAL imbalance - the BBs cannot compensate for that.
  • A tall, narrow tire on a narrow rim would probably balance almost perfectly using BBs, glycol, and water.
  • Dynamic media balancing is great a lot of the time, but not all of the time, and sometimes it just sucks.
This coming week, I plan to pull the tires, vacuum and clean out all of the balancing media, and check the rims for axial and radial runout.
I believe that Trail Ready did a good job but I never checked the rims for machining accuracy, so it's time to verify that TR earned the faith I have in them.
If and when the rims pass my inspection, I will reassemble the tires and static balance them using a bubble balancer and tape weights.

I know that my MTR/Ks have some radial runout, and I changed rims when the tires had 15k on them, so they bring a bit to the shimmy party.
However, I had no major problems before I moved the tires over to my beadlock rims.
I had an immediate onset of death wobble on the shakedown run of my new rim/tire combination.

The death wobble itself was the result of a blown out flex joint in my front lower control arm, but the onset was from the new chassis dynamics.
Specifically, I now had my tires on wider rims with less backspacing. This provided the leverage to bring the shimmy to instigate the wobble.

Shit, it's late - time to bail on this. I'll get into the rest of that crap later.

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12-29-2013, 11:06 PM

Random Info Scraps . . .

Just realized I didn’t put up a picture of my entire Jeep with the beadlocks installed, so here it is:
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TrailReady HD 17s with Goodyear MTR/K 35x12.50R17.

There are a few things that happened before the beadlocks, death wobble, and hydro assist, so I’ll get them out of the way here:

Installing the body lift made me look closely at the forces acting on the body and frame, which led me to change the link between my tire swing and tailgate.
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If you look at the old link, it is pulling the body to the right a lot harder than it is pulling the tire swing forward, since it’s only ~15 degrees off the tailgate.
In a perfect world, this link would be at 90 degrees to the tailgate when closed, so that there is no sideways force between the body and frame.
The 2 hard drive magnets and the steel rod are just a mockup to figure out what I could get away with when moving the ends of the link.

I moved the tire swing end of the link as far away from the tailgate as possible to get a better angle.
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The tailgate end of the link is as close to center as I can get it without hitting the tire swing when opened.
This got the link to better than 45 degrees when closed, so at least I have more force pulling the tire swing forward than pulling the body sideways.
It works fine now. I'll probably leave it alone for a couple of years. :th_pray:

While I was screwing around with the tire swing, I made a little nest for my shovel in front of the spare tire.
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This is the filler plate I made to connect the new bracket to the tire swing and give the shovel the tilt and rotation I wanted.
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Totally happy with the DieTech OffRoad fire extinguisher mount.
I wish they made one for the passenger side, but you would need an extinguisher with the gage on the other side of the head (nonexistent) so I’m over it.
I put a steel hole plug over the nozzle as a cap to keep it clear. If I forget to remove it before using the extinguisher, it would blow off right out of the way.
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I had to learn how to get in and out of the Jeep without smacking it with my foot, but I dun lurned how to think gooder. :D

I sometimes have 3 large ammunition cans under the Tuffy deck, and I couldn't open the tub storage well cover without pulling the ammo cans.
So, I opened up a little dog house in the front wall of the Tuffy enclosure to let the ammo cans stay in the Jeep while I dig for crap in the storage well.
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I dig blue.
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Gloss white on the inside to help increase the light inside the Tuffy enclosure.
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Heavy duty smooth-ish non-skid tape inside so the ammo cans don’t rattle against the front wall, and don’t chip the paint off.

Couple of drilled holes and a couple of cheap tie-downs gives me a quick way to restrain a small Action Packer full of light stuff.
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RANDOM: Battery voltage after airing all 5 tires up from 0 to 26 PSI without engine running.
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Nice to know I can air up with the engine shut off without killing the battery.

RANDOM-ER: TJ, CJ, JK, FJ, Bronco, Blazer, XJ, Samurai, Subaru – IT DOESN’T MATTER TO ME.:flipoff2:
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I don’t wave to anyone just because of the vehicle they are driving.
When we get back in the boonies, we wave to everyone (but not because of the vehicle they are driving).

12-30-2013, 09:47 AM

Originally Posted by Ringer
Pics don't work

Originally Posted by Asmmns
They do for me

Originally Posted by Ringer
They work on the computer, just not the phone.
Don't use the phone. :thankou: :flipoff2:

Originally Posted by Ringer
Jeep is coming along nicely. I like the wheels. I just picked up a set of beadlocks as well, but the Jeep is down for winter mods, and
haven't been able to try them yet.
I saw those in your thread. Nice!
Last edited:
01-01-2014, 01:23 AM

Death Wobble, and “Collateral Upgrades”

If you have any questions after reading that, read it again.

I don’t care about your life, but you will be fookin’ up a perfectly good Jeep frame. :flipoff2:

Third of all, (and some will jump my shit for saying this) :shitstorm:

I researched the hell out of this on Pirate and JKO (“Pirate Light”?) before I did this, and I know it works after doing it.
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This “Band Aid” will keep you from wrecking shit until you can find the root cause and take appropriate and complete corrective and preventive actions.
This only makes the vehicle driveable. You still need to find and fix your root cause(s). Doing so should still be priority #1. Got it? Good.

This was the main contributor to my death wobble:
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One worn flex joint ($29 to fix) gave enough room for a shimmy to become self-perpetuating (and really fargin’ irritating).

My track bar bushings were good, bolts tight, and bolt holes in good shape. However, I upgraded all of my track bar and control arm bolts for peace (not “piece”) of mind.
I changed my unit bearings (old ones are still good enough to keep as spares) and swapped out my ball joints for Synergy ball joints.
Old ball joints were a little loose but within tolerances, and the Synergy ones were about the same after a couple of weeks, so I probably should have waited.
Also installed the Currie Johnny Joint upgrade for the upper control arm bushings in the front axle housing - nice stuff!

Not everything gets a pretty picture. My apologies to the illiterate and short-attention-span crowd (who are not reading this apology anyway).

One of my “collateral upgrades” (take the opportunity to do it all) was installing a Synergy Jeep JK Front Track Bar Brace.
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I had to shim the brace slightly to get the track bar bolt holes to align perfectly, but this is a nicely made bracket that saved me $100 worth of time.

A planned upgrade, the priority of which the DW elevated, was hydro assist – the ultimate steering stabilizer!
Here are a few photos of my steering box apart so you can see where the magic gnomes live.
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Box coming apart. Reference marks are always handy, and buy a silver Sharpie if you don’t have one.

The two small holes are the passages for hydraulic pressure to reach either side of the piston in the steering box.
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The two areas you drill and tap are each fed by one of these passages. The “+” is fed by the lower of these 2 holes.

The “+” in this picture is at the end of the passageway fed by the upper hole in the previous photo.
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The horizontal chamber below the "+" is where the piston on the end of the rack rides.

In the block on the left, there is a valve that directs hydraulic pressure to one of the two passages depending on which way you are turning the input shaft.
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The input shaft is also the worm gear that moves the rack. Hydraulic pressure on the piston assists the worm gear to move the rack.

Here are the two ports that feed passages that reach the two sides of the piston.
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The teeth on the rack (in linear motion) drive the teeth on the Pitman shaft (in rotary motion), and the splines on the Pitman shaft turn the Pitman arm.
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I got lucky: my Pitman arm was not sloppy, my seals were in good shape, and I didn’t fook up anything while I modified and reassembled the box.

You guys and gals that did your hydro tapping without disassembly have more faith than I do in the ability to remove all the debris.
I deburred and cleaned inside after drilling and tapping, and went full clean-room paranoid (within reason) at reassembly.
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The 2 capped AN nipples are where the hoses take off to feed my PSC ram.
The brass pipe plug is where I wanted to run one of the hoses (but I decided to not modify the coolant bottle, so I went "traditional").

EDIT: the above read "washer fluid bottle", which was incorrect (It was late. Shit was getting fuzzy).

OBA tank had to go because it lived where I needed to route some hydraulic hoses - bummer.
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Initial hydraulic hose routing – this helped me get over the loss of the air tank pretty damned quick.
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If my hose routing looks odd to you, it's because the hose from the pump is curving forward to the hydraulic winch.
Another hose runs from the winch and feeds the steering box.
Track bar adjuster sleeve only fits with the pinch bolts on top because of the raised track bar / hydro ram mount bracket.

01/16/15 EDIT: I looked up these links for a hydro. thread going on, so I might as well copy/paste here -
Links to Summit detail pages (easiest for me to find/paste quickly) of the hose and the 45, 90, and straight fittings:
Aeroquip FCG0615 Aeroquip AQP High-Pressure Hose | Summit Racing
Aeroquip FBM1386 Aeroquip Reusable Hose Ends | Summit Racing
Aeroquip FBM1389 Aeroquip Reusable Hose Ends | Summit Racing
Aeroquip FBM1302 Aeroquip Reusable Hose Ends | Summit Racing
Those pages have the Aeroquip part numbers also.
Those^ are the part numbers of the bulk hose and fittings I used to make my high-pressure hoses.

Hoses all buttoned up and hopefully needing nothing for quite a while.
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If you are going to spiral-wrap your hoses, it takes a lot less time and effort before installing the hoses.
I did it both ways, and it sucks a lot less when the hoses are not installed yet.

01-01-2014, 09:46 PM
Originally Posted by Monty
Nice write up!
Thank you! Hope you snagged a couple of tricks on your way through.
Last edited:
01-01-2014, 10:08 PM

A Few More Odds and Ends

To mount my hydraulic assist ram, I went with Poly’s weld-on raised track bar bracket and ram tabs (great parts).
Track bar is up 3" because of the bracket, and drag link is up 3" thanks to Reid Racing knuckles (totally happy with these).

I’m still on a 2.5” lift, so I borrowed Ringer’s idea and notched the frame rail for the drag link.

Hole saw to get corner radii, Sawzall in spots, 3" cutoff wheel in spots, and a 4-1/2" cutoff wheel in spots.

Ringer heated and formed a piece of 3/16” plate. I cut up a piece of 3/16” wall rectangular tubing.

Here is the finished product. Check Ringer’s build thread for killer pics and writeup of notching the frame (and thanks to Ringer for the idea :beer:.

I had the front fenders off in this picture so I could change the spark plugs.
I tried to change the plugs with fenders on, but that’s somewhere between impossible and just horribly frustrating. Thanks, Chrysler! :flipoff:

Changing the passenger side plugs from the top would be impossible-ish thanks to my power steering reservoir location, but this is doable:

Even stock, I vote rip the fenders off to change the plugs.
Suggest buying a box of fender clips, because you’ll probably waste a few when you pull the fenders off.

Here are the 3 ammo cans that I stretched the front wall of the Tuffy security enclosure to fit.
The piece of foam on top of the cans keeps them and the Tuffy lid immobile and rattle-free, and gives me something to kneel on on hard surfaces.

My prop rod for the Tuffy lid had one drawback: sometimes the lid would slide forward off its track (never at a convenient time).
This fixed that:

Drilled a tight hole through 2 panels and dropped a ball-lock pin through the holes. This pin will not come out unless you push the button on the head.

Since I had to ditch my OBA tank, I reconfigured my air system slightly.
I added a pressure regulator and gage upstream of the air chuck.

While I have up to 140 PSI at the compressor:

I have the air chuck regulated to tire filling pressure (26-28 PSI depending on my mood).

The beauty here is simplicity of use: clip the hose onto a tire, wait for the compressor to shut off, and move the hose to the next tire.
My fingers, knees, and back appreciate not being continuously part of the airing-up procedure any more.

To be continued soon-ish :laughing:
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01-01-2014, 10:58 PM

(Not So) Grand Finale!

After this, I'm finally out of pics and text (for now) unless someone has questions.

Here is a photo of the shovel holder completed.
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Stainless hose clamps hold the shovel securely, and are relatively tweeker-resistant with the hardtop on and tailgate closed.
A dollar’s worth of paracord holds my CB antenna below the roofline when needed.

My old tailgate-holder-opener-thingie did not work after I changed the tire swing link mounting points, so I came up with this:
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Stainless wire bent into a hook lays out of the way most of the time . . .
. . . and snaps into place when needed to hold the tailgate.
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It’s soft stainless wire, so it just straightens out when (not if
) I forget about it and close the gate.
I just grab the end with a pair of pliers and correct the shape as needed.

Vent tube is zip-tied to clamp it on the spud on top of PSC reservoir, ever since it popped off one time and pissed me off to no end.
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Short section of clear tubing goes to a brass barb that is zip-tied in place. I unplug the clear tube from the barb when I need to spin off the cap.

Don’t believe the torque values stated on the Lube Locker gasket instructions. They make you snap 5/16” bolts, and that costs time.
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I had one snapped bolt for a year with no leaks, and finally fixed it when I pulled the front axle housing to do some other work (tie rod was in the way).

RANDOM: alien spacecraft that landed in my driveway, or shoeless JK with rock lights on?
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Jeep porn: just a recent photo of my Jeep:
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And one with the tailgate open:
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OK, I think I’m out of cool shit (or whatever all this was) for a while. :bounce2:
Oh goody, I get to follow another new to here reposting. Keep up the good work 🍺
01-02-2014, 09:34 AM

<Posted by Terminator2>

Your Spring Unseating Issue.

I saw the rear spring unseating issue you have at full droop. Looks like you need about 2.5" more spring length to keep them seated (18-18.5" free
length from the looks of it). I have this same issue as well even with 18.5" free length springs I unseat them by 1.0" at full droop as the 3"
metalcloak shock relocates I have give me the equivalent of 29" extended length at full droop. I need to do synergy uppers to gain back lost
uptravel (18.4" equilavent collapsed length) but that is another issue. I have 19.55" long Currie Springs wating to go on the rear (and 22.6" fronts)
which will fix my rear unseating issue and allow for 30.5" extended length front shocks without unseating but unfortunately the Currie springs give
about twice the lift you want to run. I saw you tried the Synergy 2" rear springs and while they were 1" longer they gave 1" more lift (not
surprising) which you did not want and even so you would still unseat them by 1-1.5" because they are just under 17" free length. You asked about
MetalCloak 2.5" springs and I would have 2 concerns. 1st, with the relatively light weight of your rig you would likely get 3-3.5" lift in the rear so
you would be in the same boat as the Synergy springs with 1" more lift than you want. Second, Metalcloak claims them at 19.55" free length but
from pics I have seen they are about the same length as an OEM "16" front springs (17.5") at (17.75" roughly)

Here is a pic of 2.5" metalcloaks vs "16/59" springs and as you can see the rear metalcloak is just barely longer than the 16 spring (17.5" free
length). Even the front spring at a claimed 21.875 looks to be short of that by an inch or a little more than an inch. Fronts Look about 20-20.5" long
comparing to some 3.5" RK springs I have that are 20" front free length.
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Here are 14/56 springs (A 14 spring at 17" free length is 0.5" shorter than a 16 spring) arranged the exact same way but sitting next to +1" 4" currie (really 4.5-5" lift springs I believe) for comparison (19.55" actual length rears 22.6" actual length fronts). As you can see there is a huge height difference evident unlike the metalcloak rears.
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Here are 18/59s (a 18 front spring which is 1.25" longer than a 14 spring and 0.75" longer than a 16 spring at 18.25") vs the currie springs as well. Even against the 18.25" long spring you can clearly see that the 19.55" long rear spring is still quite a bit longer.
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Disclaimer I have absolutely nothing against metalcloak but when I see evidence of false advertising I feel like I should point it out.:shitstorm::hide:
01-02-2014, 10:16 AM

Thank you Terminator2! You put a bunch of information I need together in one place with clear explanation. Awesome! :beer:

And . . . damn, hell of a first post! :faint:
Terminator2 said:
Disclaimer I have absolutely nothing against metalcloak but when I see evidence of false advertising I feel like I should point it out.:shitstorm::hide:​

Bullshit detection is tops in my book, no matter who loves a given manufacturer. Your critical thinking skills and your integrity are much appreciated!
My two favorite philosophers were Socrates and George Carlin, and they would approve of your message. Thanks again. You rock!
1-03-2014, 07:58 PM
Terminator2 said:

You are very welcome sir. In fact it was reading your whole thread that made me decide to join the site. I have learned a lot from reading all your posts. I am still learning a lot as I am only 28 years old. I like to do all my work on my JK myself but just doing basic bolt on mods with suspension and steering until I learn to do more and amass the tools, knowledge and skills (I need to learn to weld for one) to do so. :)

1) Thank you! It made my day to think I inspired someone, and nice to know I dun lurned ya' some. :D

2)Welcome to JKO! Glad you joined up, especially considering your first post (holy crap, Dude!) :rockon:​

You seem to have your shit together (which is handy) and you already saved me some research time.

So, from a completely selfish viewpoint: it's good to have you here.
EODtech said:


I guess I dont know but can you explain the zip tie on the hood latches? I noticed my hood flapping today and want to fix this, so I wanted to know is that what this resolves?​

I'd be glad to explain it:

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Take an 11" or 14" zip tie, open your hood latch, fish the zip tie all the way around the rubber link, and DO NOT TIGHTEN YET!
Close your hood latch, figure out where the latch will be most out of the way (or follow the picture), then tighten the zip tie around the rubber link WITH THE LATCH CLOSED.
This removes any extra free-play and cures hood flutter for less than a buck. The zip ties will crack once or twice a year, so budget an extra 59 cents for July. :laughing:

You can also fix hood flutter with aftermarket elastomer links or aftermarket hood latches, but I'll settle for cheap-assed self-reliance.
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01-05-2014, 09:49 PM

Bead breaker for home tire servicing

A quick tip that can save you cleanup time and possibly having to apologize to your significant other: cover shit up before you grind, weld, and paint.

I cover the washer and dryer with old sheets before doing garage work that would fook them up.

I scored a Ken-Tool 35998 bead breaker for a good price on FleaBay, knowing full well that it would not work as-is for my intended project.

This is designed for tires with a few less inches of sidewall height and a few less inches of section width.

This is just a bead breaker, nothing super exciting. It fits my need of a bead breaker that doesn’t need to be bolted down (no floor space for that).

Paying half of new takes the pain out of buying something you have to cut up to make what you need.

I cut off the tab that limits the rim’s positioning, and added a new limit tab and a short piece of tube to lengthen the frame of the bead breaker.

The longer frame lets the tire sit level to the ground and correctly positioned for the bead breaker to work.

Tack, tack, tack . . .

I trigger-pulsed this area, not because it is good welding practice, but because I was too lazy to cope the new piece of tubing for this non-critical joint.
I know it’s cheating. Let it go . . . :flipoff2:

Please deburr or chamfer all the cuts and holes you make. Someone will have to handle them eventually.

A step drill bit makes a great piloted single-flute hole deburring / chamfer tool. It’s as fast as a burr whip, and won’t chatter like some countersinks.

First time together with my new frame pieces, link, and handle.

Added frame plates are 1/4" cold rolled steel. New link is a piece of my old rear lower control arm.
New handle is the old tie rod from my JK. The adjuster sleeve lets me tune the position and angle of the bead breaker shoe.

Re-purposed JK parts (recycle this, you fookin’ hippy!)

A stock rear lower control arm, stock rear track bar, and stock tie rod gave their lives so that this Sanford and Son contraption could be born.

Welcome to my paint booth.

I hang shit off the underside of the garage door to prime and paint. Works OK for small items.

Bead breaker reassembled after paint. I’m happy with the results of the time I spent on it.

In use, it would be sitting on the floor. To work on, it’s a lot better up on the saw horses.

I gave up some leverage by going to equal-length links.
But the old handle and my old rear track bar slip together to give me up to 7 feet of leverage, so I think it will be OK. :D

There is a need to hold the handle up when moving a rim / tire into place on the bead breaker.

So I made a big-ass hairpin clip to hold it there.

So . . . it's the first bead breaker exactly like this that I've ever seen, and may be the only one like it ever, but at least now I have one.
Next weekend, I get to find out if I fooked up anywhere, but for now I'm pretty sure it will work OK.
01-29-2014, 09:35 PM
Terminator2 said:
On the subject of a rear sway bar with your stretch. Because you have the poly coilover mounts you could pass an Anti-Rock through it but I am unsure if you have the room for the arms of the Anti-Rock because of your 4"stretch. I think it would be worth a try as you would be more stable no more bobbing like a cork. I am saving up for front and rear Anti-Rocks on my JK right now.
Yeah, when I stretched the rear I started looking at the Antirock but, fortunately, I have absolutely no need for a rear anti-sway bar.

I'm sitting up 2 inches over stock in back, but my track bar is up 4-3/4".
There is zero
"bobbing like a cork".
You can actually haul ass through corners with this setup :bounce2: (or so I've heard . . . :D )

When I have time (famous last words) I may investigate ditching the front sway bar because I raised my track bar higher than I lifted.
With both roll centers raised above stock, it acts a little too solid and it corners way better than I need it to.

Getting both roll centers higher than stock seemed like a great idea, but it's a little too stiff / sports car-ish right now.
I wouldn't undo anything I've done, but there is still room to tune / calibrate this setup for an optimal ride.

Desert racers often set up their chassis with a low roll center so bumps or dips under one side don't toss the chassis around.
The more you set it up to stay flat and hook corners, the more you feel every little dip and bump. I went a tiny bit too far that way.

Antirocks are awesome to the best of my knowledge. Fortunately for me, that is one killer Currie product I don't need (yet :D ).
01-29-2014, 11:52 PM

FEAR NO DEER! (or Prinus)

My front bumper has been an unfinished project for a couple of years now, so I finally got a wild hair up my ass to finish the job.
My last two 4X4s had solid brush / grill guards, and my Jeep has been feeling a little naked since day 1.
It was time to make it so a misguided deer wouldn’t leave me stranded.

These tubes are a Gen-Right kit (P/N FBB-8310) and I’m totally impressed with the fit of these parts.
I didn’t have to cut, re-cope, or do anything to these tubes. Thumbs up to Gen-Right!
I have no room for a tube bender (or drill press, lathe, band saw, CNC plasma table . . .)
It really kills me to buy shit I can make, but this was totally worth it for me.
Even with a bender, I would have probably wasted some tubing before I got to this level of fit.

If you’re putting on a grill hoop, leave room for grill removal or plan to pull your bumper (in my case, 12 bolts, not counting the winch and lights).

Also, having a little room for deformation in the case of a front-end collision helps keep an asset from becoming a liability.

A fookload of masking tape and magnets helped me mock this up before it was time to tack weld the new toys into place.

Random bits of crap are handy to establish positioning freestyle before taking measurements and making it all seem intentional and pre-planned.

Before pulling the bumper for rework, I looked at all the little things that had been bugging me since I first made the bumper.
Here, taking an edge away from a hydraulic line (corner radius in silver Sharpie) is needed.

If you write something down (or mark it up) where you can’t miss it, you don’t have to worry about remembering it.

Finally got the tubing layout done and made tabs for the fog lights in the center.

The bumper needs to be trimmed on the back side to clear the tires on these wheels, so I’m making a few changes at the same time.

Here’s the layout for the bumper reduction surgery: 2 inches coming off the ends, and beveling the bottom edge at 30 degrees.
My fog lights were partially shadowed by my D-ring clevises, so moving them when the grill guard went on has always been part of the plan.

I’m going to miss the "mini-deuce" bumper profile I made. :frown:
The new profile will reduce hang-ups on the trail and look a lot more appropriate with the new tube work.
I tried my damnedest over the last couple of years to come up with an M-37 style brush guard that would work with the JK - no dice.
I finally settled on the Gen-Right tubes (which have always been my contingency plan).

I’m going to hit a picture limit here, so here are a few off-topic scraps, and I’ll finish up the bumper story in a following post.

Welcome to my drill press.

I’m just whining because I had to do this the hard way. I’m done bitching now. :D

I recently bought a pair of reverse lamps with 5W Cree LED projectors surrounded by 12 SMD LED chips.

The purchase was a clusterfook, so you’re best off starting from scratch on the sourcing.

On the right side of the photo is the product of the factory reverse lamp bulb, and the new bulb is lighting up the left side. This was a huge upgrade.
I had planned to recess a 10” Rigid LED light bar into the back bumper, but I’m totally over it for now.

OK, I’ll hammer out the rest of the front bumper changes in a following post.
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