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Thread: I bought a TJ

  1. #61
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    Default Re: I bought a TJ



    From doing the RMS on mine and wanting to not use RTV on it - but then needing to take the oil pan off one or two more times to chase small leaks, I'd say both sides.

    I am very tempted to say - lay a bead on both sides ALL THE WAY AROUND. Your call if you'd take this "full bead" suggestion. Good for leak sealing - not so good for the next time the pan needs to be removed / cured RTV removal.

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  3. #62
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    Default Re: I bought a TJ



    I was able to put in about 2.5 hours today and I'm probably halfway into it.

    My exhaust is all one piece from the manifold back. I figured I could swing it out of the way while I dropped the pan and that seemed to work...until I dropped a washer just right and it fell into the exhaust. It took about an hour to figure out how to wrestle that thing up and over the rear axle. It's going to be fun to put back in. Any opinions out there on where it makes the most sense to put in a slip-fit joint? Before or after the muffler?

    It appears that the dent in the pan was deep enough to contact the oil pump pickup. The little metal cover over the screen was dented and the tube looked to be bent slightly. It's been that way since I bought the Jeep in March. It looks like it could be an original pump so I went ahead and picked up a replacement from the parts store.

    When I had most of the bolts out of the pan, one bolt head fell off before I could even put a wrench on it. It appeared to be sheared off flush with the block. Seeing how it was one of the rear bolts I'm thinking it could have also been a result of the impact to the pan. I was able to drill it out and remove the remains without much trouble.

    I could sneak my finger up and check the slop in my timing chain. It moves just under 5/8ths, so I'll likely look into installing a new timing set this winter as well.

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    Default Re: I bought a TJ



    I was able to wrap up the RMS before christmas. So far I have not had any drips, but its probably only safe to say that I have slowed it down at this point. I'm guessing it may take a little time for oil to accumulate before it forms a drip. I am up about a 1/3qt in oil capacity though.

    On to the next project. I've been wanting to set this Jeep up for flat-towing so it would be easier to get my 5yo and maybe my 2yo out in it. With my intent to remain topless in the warmer months I think the wife and kids will be much happier during the 1-3 hour drives to and from trail-heads if I can keep them comfortable in a quieter, air-conditioned vehicle. That and it could allow for out-of-state trips where we could camp in the van and wheel in the jeep.

    When I bought the jeep, it came with towbar brackets on the front bumper. It's not clear what happened, but the drivers side bracket was pushed into the bumper and perforated it on the inner vertical edge. There is no other signs of damage in the front, and the frame shows no signs of being bent or twisted. I wonder if someone towing this managed to rear-end someone and the shock of transferred through the tow bar punched through the bumper. I'll never know for sure but I feel like I should make a more robust mount this time around.

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    Months ago I removed the brackets and cut off the ends outside of the frame rails to make a stubby bumper. The new mounting positions will be inboard a bit now and will line up with the frame rails more or less. Digging through my scrap pile I found two pieces of 4"x4"x1/4" wall steel angle each 8" long. The plan is to bolt through these and the bumper, as well as up and over to top if the bumper to tie into the two 1/2" bolts on the top of the frame rail on each side. You can see the edge of the damage from the first mount here as well, although I have tried to straighten it a bit with a hammer.

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    Drill some holes, grind some radii to make it look halfway decent and a little paint.  Here they are sandwiched between the bumper and the winch plate.

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    Now the winch plate appears to be a harbor-freight universal model. It came with the Jeep. I wasn't too pleased with how it curls up in-front of the recovery hooks and now with the towbar brackets its seems to obstruct those as well if I want to secure the bar vertically. There are plenty of other winch plates out there without this obstruction, but this one is here and I already have my grinders out...

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    I picked up a reese towbar on craigslist that was missing the brackets for $50. A couple of $2, 1/2" hitch receiver pins and there we have it.

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    I'm not sure if I want to find a way to secure this vertically when on the trail just plan to remove it and throw it in the tow vehicle. When swung up it contacts the winch contactor box so my initial plan to just strap it back is not really the best plan any longer. I'll have to think about that a bit more.

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  6. #64
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    Default Re: I bought a TJ



    that's great, I'm going to keep the angle iron idea in mind. I want to do the same thing and don't want to spend money on a new bumper just for that.

  7. #65
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    Default Re: I bought a TJ



    I managed to replace all of my control arm bushings. I think Trent was the one who warned me about the ones on the front axle. Those were a bear. I had to cut the front lowers off with a reciprocating saw which was less than pleasant but not unbearable.

    The next project was to create a skid plate to protect that new oil pan. I have a few of these plate left over from my van. They converted the standard bench seat bolt patterns into mounts for 3 captains chairs. They're only 1/8th inch thick, but the long bends should add some strength. I've opted to try and mimic the tereflex HD skid mounting method, two arms that reach up to unused boltholes on the engine block and the two lower bolts on the transmission. I'd prefer to make my mounts to the frame, and while it looks to be a clear shot to the motor mount bracket on the driver's side, the upper control arm on the passenger side is in the way of a straight mount. Some skids on the market get by this by reusing the frame-side lower control arm bolt on the passenger side, but my material is not that wide.

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    Here's one upside-down. I can remove and resuse some of those weld-nuts.

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    Here it is right-side-up. There's some old carpet adhesive that I can remove with a flapwheel.

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    To make the arms wrap up and around the engine, I made this little bending jig to use in my press.

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    Here is the passenger-side arm. They're 1/4 x 1-1/2 flatbar. There's a bit of edge-set to get around the exhaust. That took a pair of propane torches the shop press, and a BFH to get that bent. I need to get an oxy-acetylene setup and that would have been a lot easier.

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    Fast-forward a bit, and here's the plate. I made the arms go from the block to in-front of the exhaust. The tereflex plate goes the other way and snakes between the exhaust pipe and the oil pan. As my skid sits on top of the transfercase skid plate, the tereflex angle would make it impossible to install. This way you can hang the rear of the plate on the transfercase skid and pivot the front up into place. I added a few more pieces of flatbar to reinforce the plate laterally here.

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    Here's the bottom. I welded two more pieces of flatbar the long way to reinforce the plate some more.

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    Where the new plate meets the transfercase skid, I made my boltholes through the rib which should hopefully protect them a bit from getting too much rock-rash to get a socket on them again. I added a piece of angle cut down to make a bit of a ramp to ease the transition between plates and make this less likely to be a hang point.

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    And here is the finished plate installed. I had to jack up the front axle to get a halfway-decent angle for a picture.

    I took it for a test drive. As one might expect, the tie-in to the transfercase skid transmits some engine vibration into the frame and the body. I can feel it a little in the pedal and the floor with my feet, but its not too bad. I have some sheet rubber and an idea of how to try and isolate that junction a little bit. I think this will be decent in the short term but in the long term I would like to get the structure off of the engine block. On the passenger side, the angle of my mount ends up pointing it directly at the oil filter. If I take a big enough hit to shear off the bolt, that bar has less than an inch to travel before it punctures the oil filter.

    At the end of the day, this will probably get some more modifications, but it was fun and I learned some things. Those long arms move around a lot while finish welding, but toward the end I could start to make them move where I wanted them to move by ordering the welds strategically.... just a bit tho, I imagine there is a ton more to getting that down. I also think that the $150 or so that the tereflex skid goes for is a hell of a deal after trying to do it myself.

    The skid has to come back off for paint. I also have one of those oil drain valves I plan to install and I will drill a hole for a tube to use with that.

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    Default Re: I bought a TJ



    Flat towing experiments today. Finished wiring up the braking system and drove around the neighborhood and some 55-60mph on the southern-most part of Wadsworth Blvd. I was hoping it would have towed nicer with the Nissan, but there was a bit of the tail wagging the dog with that arrangement. It was a bit harsh on the Nissan's clutch as well. That would have been convenient for getting my young children to some short trails closer to home.
    It behaves much nicer behind the van, but I will likely expedite my regear from 4.11's to 4.56's before hauling it up I70.
    The RVi Brake works well. It was a craigslist buy. Took it apart and after a little tinkering it's working well. Much smaller than a brake-buddy.
           

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    Default Re: I bought a TJ



    This is a couple weeks old, but I finally fixed my exhaust leak by replacing my manifold. It looks like someone else pulled it out and tried to weld it at some point. I was considering trying that, but now knowing that someone already booger-welded it I am glad I picked up a replacement. Grinding this all out would have been tedious.

    Old and busted.
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    New hotness.
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    No more tick-tick-tick sound. It's a little strange to hear all of the exhaust noise coming from behind me now.

    While I was in there, I went ahead and reworked my engine/trans skidplate. Previously I copied a model that attached to the bell-housing and to two bosses on the block. Unlike that model, mine continued back and attached to the transmission skid. I didn't think ahead and it ended up transmitting a lot of engine vibration to the pedals and floor. I got used to it, but I figured I would redo it eventually.

    Here is my original design.
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    Here is the new front mount. I ordered a bracket kit from undercover fab works. They have these little bent brackets that attach under the engine mount perches on the frame. I just needed to cut and weld some angle brackets to the skid-plate. I opted to ditch the bell-housing mounts.
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    And while I was under there, I went ahead and changed the oil and replaced the drain plug with one of these little guys. I should be able to snake a tube in there and not have to drop the skid for future oil changes.
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    I should be pretty much good to go for the warm season now.

  10. #68
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    Default Re: I bought a TJ



    Which manifold did you end up buying?

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    Default Re: I bought a TJ



    I have also been playing with UHF antennas. It seems like there more compromises on a Jeep with a soft top than on other vehicles. I prefer to get the antenna up above the roof so the vehicle and the occupants are not obstructing the line of sight of the signal. Right now I have a 1/2 wave end-fed Laird antenna mounted on a bracket that's hose-clamped to my roll cage, but that has to come off when I put up the soft top in the colder months.

    So I am tinkering with my own version of an elevated feed antenna. It's pretty much a classic sleeve-dipole, where instead of using the vehicle sheet metal as a groundplane, a piece of coax is stripped and the braid is folded back on the cable to make a vertical dipole.

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    I managed to cram it in a piece of fiberglass tubing, and drilled out the center of a 1/2-20 bolt and installed an SMA connector into the end. The bolt will act as the mounting stud, and the coax feeds through the center.

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    There is some additional braid on the outside of the fiberglass tube which is soldered to the mounting stud. This should act to increase the impedance of the outside of the coax braid and prevent the feedline from radiating. The whole thing is covered with a piece of heatshrink tubing and I used RTV to secure a small vinyl cap to the tip. It's pretty much the same form factor as a firestik CB antenna, and I plan to mount it to a bracket above the rear taillight just like I mounted my firestik.

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    I had to disassemble, trim, reassemble, and test the thing many times to get it dialed in but it seems to match well to the feedline and radio. I was able to receive some signals and hit a repeater in the area with it hooked up to a handheld running 5 watts. Next step will be to try and compare it to some of my other antennas. I want to try my laird 1/2 wave on the rollbar and on the mount on my front fender that I use for my 2m antenna. I also want to compare it to a magmount 1/4 wave on the hood. I can configure the radio in the Jeep as a crossband repeater, so maybe I can try parking it on the other side of the neighborhood and operating it remotely via 2m. I can then receive the UHF transmissions at home with an RTL-SDR or my IC-7100 and compare signal strengths.

    It will be interesting to see if it works as well as other antennas. I had to use some very small coax, RG-174, which is pretty lossy at UHF frequencies. There is only ~34" or so of it so maybe it wont be so bad. I'm also unsure if the SMA connectors will physically hold up in the long run. That will get a bit of heatshrink when its all said and done.

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    Default Re: I bought a TJ



    It was an SKP from rockauto. Nothing fancy. I believe the part number was SK674196.

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    Default Re: I bought a TJ



    I forgot to mention, there was a video Jim shared a while back about dealing with stubborn exhaust manifold bolts. My bolts weren't all that bad, but that was helpful on a few. Working them in and out until they free-up, and then tightening them back in until you get them all free.

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    Default Re: I bought a TJ



    Trevor? previously posted:
    "and then tightening them back in until you get them all free."

    That was the item I took away from that vid.

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    Trevor? (April 6th, 2022)

  16. #73
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    Default Re: I bought a TJ



    I was driving the TJ yesterday and I heard a new sound... a speed-dependent noise at a frequency higher than the wheel speed so I figured I would inspect the driveshafts. Turns out the rear axle yoke was loose on the pinion. Just enough for the yoke to move a little relitive to the pinion nut, but not enough for me to feel any side to side or in and out play. I popped the diff cover off and the carrier is also loose enough to shift side to side by 10-15 thou I would estimate. I also noticed that 2 teeth on each of the 2 spider gears in the Trac-Lok differential are chipped a little.

    I suspect the carrier bearings and the pinion bearings are just worn out. When I rebuilt the trac lok a while back I did notice that the carrier slid in and out of the housing without much preload but there was no side to side motion at the time. I cant figure how this could lead to spider teeth damage. The damaged teeth all make contact with the side gears at the same time so that makes me think it was some sort of wheel-spin shock-loading scinereo. The side gears look fine, but of course you have to buy a whole set of 4 replacement gears and they seem uncommon and more expensive then they are worth.

    So I was hoping to not have to dump a bunch of money into the TJ this year. The chipped teeth in the trac lok is the wildcard that has me worried because that could continue to fail and destroy any new parts that I install. I would prefer not to replace the carrier yet as I was thinking maybe next year I could do rebuilds, regear, and lockers front and rear.

    I am thinking the looseness may have caused some funky wear on the ring and pinion, but I've kinda convinced myself to replace the bearings and see how the pattern looks and then take it from there. If it seems somewhat reasonable I may leave it at that thinking that I would only be risking <$100 in bearings if the spider teeth give up the ghost.

    As I write this I'm feeling less confident in my plan. Curious what other folks think. Does anyone have a loaded open carrier for a rear D44 collecting dust in a corner somewhere? I feel like the trac lok has been helpful and I would prefer not to take a step backward, but that may be the best way to spend a minimum on parts that could get replaced in a year. The other option is to say the heck with it and throw a locker in the rear, but I'd have to decide if I should get 1 new set of 3.73's or two sets of something else and tear into the front. I'll be doing the work myself, so my "costs" are all tied up in parts and my time.

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    Default Re: I bought a TJ



    Trevor? previously posted:
    "I would like to try flat-towing it behind the van."

    Did you ever figure out flat towing? I've tried flat towing my Jimny but the wheels turn to the outside on tight turns and don't straighten back out. I've had an alignment, made sure that the bar and hitch are level, and even tried just using bungee cords around the steering wheel to some holes below the seat but they just ended up wrapped around everything - maybe they weren't tight enough.

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    Mad Maxx previously posted:
    "Did you ever figure out flat towing?"

    It seems to be working well for me but I haven't made any real trips yet as I am in the middle of rebuilding the interior of the van. I haven't experienced the issue you describe in any of my testing with the van or the Nissan pulling the Jeep. It is my understanding that it's the caster in the front suspension that causes the wheels to track and return to center properly when flat towing just like when driving. How well does your steering return to center when you're driving it and let go of the wheel? How tight of a turn are you talking about?... like making a RH at an intersection or more like navigating a tight parking lot?

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    Follow up question: What is your towing vehicle, and what is the distance from the ball to the rear axle? From a dead stop, because the ball is behind the rear axle it will initially move a little bit to the outside of a turn. This should be more pronounced as the turn gets tighter and as the distance from the ball to the rear axle increases. If this has something to do with your issue then I bet folks with RV's and long overhangs have experienced it.

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    Trevor? previously posted:
    "How well does your steering return to center when you're driving it and let go of the wheel?"

    It's hard to tell since most of the roads up here aren't nearly level and I haven't driven it on the highway much since the alignment. I definitely wouldn't say that there's a strong re-centering, though it does feel more controllable since the alignment.

    Trevor? previously posted:
    "How tight of a turn are you talking about?"

    So far I've only tested flat towing around my neighborhood, which has turns about as tight as they get but I've also tried making turns about as wide as I can on them and had the same issue.

    Trevor? previously posted:
    "What is your towing vehicle, and what is the distance from the ball to the rear axle?"

    I'm not sure of the exact distances - this has happened with both my 1995 Ford Explorer Sport and my wife's 2001 Nissan Pathfinder towing it.

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    I've heard that Scouts and other International Harvester trucks have very little or no caster in the factory designed steering, and a quick search suggests some folks with those trucks have had similar issues.

    https://www.binderplanet.com/forums/...owbar-s.12895/

    I have no familiarity with the Jimny and very little experience with flat towing, but finding some way to roll the front axle forward a few degrees would be where I would start if I were in your shoes.

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    Default Re: I bought a TJ



    I found some time to replace the carrier and pinion bearings in my rear axle. I get the impression that this has been slowly wearing out for a bit, but seemed to rapidly get worse most recently. Here's a shot of one of the shims that sets the pinion bearing preload. Where it sits against the step on the pinion gear shaft it was pounded down from 30-31 thou to 22-23 thou in thickness.

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    I was a little worried that the gears would be warn oddly depending on how long everything was so loose in there. The patterns I got are ok all things considered. The drive side is a skewed a little the toe, but the coast side is centered well. Depth is good and consistent on both sides. If it were a new set I would spend more time on it, but with the wear I don't want to spend a bunch of time chasing a perfect pattern that I might never achieve. This should get me through the season, and this winter I would like to regear and replace the rear differential at least. I'm not sure the Trac Lok is long for this world.

    I feel like I cheated a little this time. When I did the axles in my van I cut the bearings off with a grinder and chisel and made scuff bearings for setup. Doable but a lot of extra work. After that I kept my eyes out for a deal on a proper puller and found the Yukon kit on sale in the high $200s a few years back. Between the Jeep and I eventually want to regear the Van again I figured it was worth it. It was definitely nice to have.

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    The next nice-to-have would be to try and build a case spreader so I don't have to pound and pry the carrier in and out of the housing. But for now the Jeep should be back in business.

    Lastly... are you not supposed to get brake cleaner on a lubelocker? I may have gotten a little overspray on it, and the black part is eaten up and the silicone seal is coming lose. I'll have to order a new one and put it on the shelf until I dig into this thing again. Man do I dislike scraping RTV.

  24. #80
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    Default Re: I bought a TJ



    Trevor? previously posted:
    "The next nice-to-have would be to try and build a case spreader so I don't have to pound and pry the carrier in and out of the housing. But for now the Jeep should be back in business.

    Lastly... are you not supposed to get brake cleaner on a lubelocker? I may have gotten a little overspray on it, and the black part is eaten up and the silicone seal is coming lose. I'll have to order a new one and put it on the shelf until I dig into this thing again. Man do I dislike scraping RTV."

    i've done mine the hard way - prying and pounding the carrier in and out of the housing - as many in the old cj crowd are not big fans of case spreaders. Too many have had issues with causing permanent distortion to the case and thus leaky issues (and sometimes clearance issues). Maybe its from working with 50+ year old stuff that has seen its share of use and abuse as compared to new stuff - I don't know. I've never used a spreader - I plan two more axle projects coming up (limited slips in the rear of the 58 and front of the 70) - and debating getting one, but can't risk over spreading and moving beyond the elastic range for the old axles.
    Lubelockers are the best...no personal issues with brake cleaner and LLs, but basically, any rubber type material I've ever had has not reacted well to brake cleaner - it seems to eat rubber up.
    ___________
    James Orofino
    1970 CJ5
    1958 Willys Wagon
    2010 Tacoma TRD

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