Front Range 4x4 Upcoming Trail Runs - Add a New Trail Run

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Thread: 97 TJ

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    Default Re: 97 TJ



    Ok, tires ordered... there was a deal on some tires that I could not pass up. Should have them on next week, until then it's these poor dry-rotted Goodyears.

    After installing the lift I've noticed a significant driveline vibration... so I'm having to expedite the SYE/Driveshaft install. I'm not sure how safe it is to the surrounding components but that stock driveshaft is NOT happy. hah.

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    Default Re: 97 TJ



    Got cracking on the SYE install last night. Had to stop because I don't have a gear puller for removing the balancer on the main output shaft.





    Edit: The main skid plate mounting locations are pretty cruddy... putting that on the list to have new ones welded on in the future.

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    Default Re: 97 TJ



    ok "big" update: adjustable track bars are in, SYE installed and new tires/wheels.

    SYE installed and waiting for my Tom Woods driveshaft to come in.



    Rear Upper adjustable arms installed and the axle is aimed at the yoke on the transfer case:



    And my favorite part:




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    Default Re: 97 TJ




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    Default Re: 97 TJ



    That jeep on 31s is going to wheel great....wheel it hard and enjoy it.
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    FINOCJ previously posted:
    "That jeep on 31s is going to wheel great"

    I think it will. Might even have it ready for some wheelin' this weekend!

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    Default Re: 97 TJ



    Got the Woody yoked up...



    Took it out for a spin, damn this thing rides a helluva lot better than it did the day I drove it home. Taking it up Bunce School Road for a little shakedown run (This time I'll have my own recovery gear and winch lol).


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    Default Re: 97 TJ



    Nice...Red Cone on Sat?
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    Default Re: 97 TJ



    lookin real nice!

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    Default Re: 97 TJ



    FINOCJ previously posted:
    "Nice...Red Cone on Sat?"

    Perhaps. The front track bar is making a LOT of noise and the hole is wallowed out a little after the shakedown run last night. It's also dog slow in the mountains.


    Findings from the shakedown run:
    - 3.07 gearing is slow (I'm glad I opted for 31s now)
    - bringing a small collection of tools is good, didn't tighten one of the shocks enough in the front and it started chattering
    - these Dick Cepek Trail Country EXP tires are impressive, more on that later.
    - the lower front trackbar mount is wallowed out a bit, not sure if that's an immediate result of my tinkering or something that was masked by previous mods.
    - open diffs are o-kay... it was fun hanging out the side of the Jeep while crawling up some obstacles on Bunce School Rd watching the 4wd mechanically look for traction. You can really feel the system doing it's thing whereas in the 4runner just gripped. Maybe that was more of the traction control taking over in the 4runner I'm not sure.

    Tires:
    I bought the Dick Cepek Trail Country EXP in 31x10.5r15 and mounted them on a 15x8 steel wheel.
    For anyone looking for an aggressive AT tire I would recommend these Dick Cepeks. They're quieter on the road than the General Grabbers that were on the 4runner and have as good or better bite. Normally I would air the Grabbers down to about 20psi for offroad stuff but these DCs are pretty stiff and required about 10psi before being compliant enough to really form around rocks and such.
    I'm interested to see how they perform in the snow but I'm impressed so far. Considering they're not hyped up much and carry a low cost (paid $750 for 5) I'm a little surprised.
    Just some $0.02 for those who may be in the market... these are worth considering.


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    Default Re: 97 TJ



    Despite my apprehension about traveling the distance to the group ride yesterday I went out on Saturday and faced the rain, a little inclement weather makes things interesting anyway.

    I explored the 505.1 behind Eldora: Before getting to the gate there were two fallen trees blocking the path, thankfully they were light enough to pick up and move to the side of the trail. I continued onward to the gate then stopped to air-down and disconnect the front swaybar. At this point it was about 9am and a cool overcast was keeping temps unseasonably cool, added some moody anticipation for what was to come as well.

    Good morning everyone:



    Sauntering into the trail I his the first "obstacle" that's really just a tire placement test but it's been washed out a little, I took a little video explaining my approach as my old 2001 4runner dragged itself through this:



    Continuing up the path and through the woods, I love the forest, meandering a bit through some of the legs of the trail and ending up at the site of what I think is the remnants of the old Anchor Mine. By this time a heavy fog engulfed the forest and some light rain doused the region...



    I wandered around a bit and hard-parked the TJ on a rock for giggles. While it was flexed I took a close look at the components to see what clearances looked like and if it was hitting the bumpstops. nope! still about an inch before it hit the stops and plenty of fender clearance. Later on I determined that the rear swaybar is the limiting factor in this current setup, it may be small but it binds up the rear axle just enough to limit overall flexibility.





    Drove around a bit, taking note of the nice secluded campsites in the area, before cruising along. Eventually finding a nice covered spot to enjoy a sandwich and some peanut butter stout while the sounds of the raindrops patter on the soft top.

    The rain kept varying in intensity between a light drizzle and a medium pour and as I moved closer in towards the Rainbow Lakes area I knew what was coming up as a result of the wet weather. Moving through the forest and hitting a few of the smaller mud pits I had this growing anticipation, as if I heard some kind of "Boss music" beginning to play in the distance. Then as the trail wound it's way through the trees it opened up to the monster blocking the path forward... I gazed into the abyss-like mud pit knowing it was a formidable foe that captured the likes of much more capable travelers than I, but I wasn't backing down. The TJ crept towards the gaping maw before plunging into the point of no return...

    The little TJ made a plunk into the pit and gave a good fight before succumbing to the clutches of the soft clay-heavy soil that lie beneath the surface of the milkshake-like mud.



    With the help of a tree strap (which I've aptly named "Strappy") and a quick tug from the winch the TJ's sunken fate was foiled and it was able to climb out of the hole with it's own power. I later had to turn the TJ around because I left Strappy at the tree. Never again.

    The water crossings on the way out were much deeper than normal but offered the much needed rinse (read baptism) as we cruised away.

    Lessons learned: make sure to charge your action-cam batteries before going out, it would have made telling this story much cooler with some on-board footage.

    Till next time...

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    Default Re: 97 TJ



    Sounds like a fun time. That looks like some serious mud. I'm sure you're glad your winch worked!

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    rckymtnt4r (August 3rd, 2021)

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    Default Re: 97 TJ



    Drove it last year. The obstacle was a non issue at the time and the mud hole was just a hole with no mud.
    ___________
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    Life is just better in 4-Low!

    https://m.youtube.com/user/wcrosman/videos

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    Max previously posted:
    "Sounds like a fun time. That looks like some serious mud."

    Slicker than snot.

    Tom previously posted:
    "The obstacle was a non issue at the time and the mud home was just a hole with no mud."

    Very cool, thank you.

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    Default Re: 97 TJ



    `love the picture!

    Hmmm - it's avatar material...

  22. #96
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    Default Re: 97 TJ



    At this point I've gotten a lot of the "big stuff" out of the way but a few things remain on my mind:
    - Re-gear (not sure about 4.11 or 4.56 yet)
    - Locker
    - Replace the fog lights with some KC Driving Lights
    - A stronger tailgate bracket... the rear door makes a ruckus when the Jeep is jounced and that's only going to get worse when I upgrade to 33's


    Status Update:
    - installed a new BesTop replace-a-top | sailcloth | spice | tinted windows, this weekend to ditch that ripped old one that you couldn't see out of.
    - not really a mod but a personal touch "An appeal to heaven" UV resistant vinyl.




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    I am happy with the rugged ridge reinforced tailgate hinge on my rig. However, I wish I had just bought a new bumper with swing away carrier since I ended up replacing the bumper eventually too. Would have been cheaper to just go with a bumper solution up front for me.

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    open_circuit previously posted:
    "rugged ridge reinforced tailgate hinge"

    That's the exact one I have in mind, with the tilted tire mount as well.

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    Default Re: 97 TJ



    The front rake has been bothering me a bit on the TJ and I decided to do something about it. Replaced the front spring isolators (about 5/8ths in) with a thicker one (1 1/2in). It definitely changed the "forward lean" I was feeling while sitting in the driver's seat.

    Measured height at front from the top of the tire to the fender is 7 1/4in and the rear is at 8in, that's odd because the calculated difference between the stock isolator and spacer is 7/8in. There's still a tiny bit of rake but it feels "flat" like it did on the stock suspension. Noteworthy thing is that now the front fenders can clear 33in tires without and additional suspension/body lift so that's a huge plus.

    I'm wondering how the 7/8ths change in ride height will affect the shock and bumpstops, the track bar needed no change and the steering drag link needed an almost imperceptible adjustment.





    Edit: yes, I see that my steering box is leaking. I'm ordering a rebuild kit soon as I suspect it's just the seals that have gone bad.

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    Default Re: 97 TJ



    rckymtnt4r previously posted:
    "The front rake has been bothering me a bit on the TJ and I decided to do something about it. Replaced the front spring isolators (about 5/8ths in) with a thicker one (1 1/2in). It definitely changed the "forward lean" I was feeling while sitting in the driver's seat.

    Measured height at front from the top of the tire to the fender is 7 1/4in and the rear is at 8in, that's odd because the calculated difference between the stock isolator and spacer is 7/8in. There's still a tiny bit of rake but it feels "flat" like it did on the stock suspension. Noteworthy thing is that now the front fenders can clear 33in tires without and additional suspension/body lift so that's a huge plus.

    I'm wondering how the 7/8ths change in ride height will affect the shock and bumpstops, the track bar needed no change and the steering drag link needed an almost imperceptible adjustment."

    You noticed a change in rake after you installed a winch on the bumper? Weight out on the bumper puts the most leverage on the front suspension.

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