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  #601  
Old August 31st, 2013, 15:08
Djmack Djmack is offline
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Re: The Nail Salon

I just weighed my Jeep in the other day completely empty. 3500lbs. I'm sure my trail weight was lighter considering I was running doorless.
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  #602  
Old August 31st, 2013, 16:53
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GordoSmasho GordoSmasho is offline
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The Nail Salon

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Originally Posted by 90xjblue View Post
holy crap, i never noticed how big that red jeep is until i saw it next to yours.
Tim's junk is impressively beefy. TWSS
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  #603  
Old August 31st, 2013, 17:52
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#S194 #S194 is offline
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Re: The Nail Salon

Wow...I thought we were talking Jeeps. But thanks for the new sig line!
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Originally Posted by GordoSmasho View Post
Tim's junk is impressively beefy. TWSS
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  #604  
Old August 31st, 2013, 17:57
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GordoSmasho GordoSmasho is offline
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The Nail Salon

That's
What
She
Said
TWSS
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  #605  
Old August 31st, 2013, 20:23
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TORX TORX is offline
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Re: The Nail Salon

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Originally Posted by GordoSmasho View Post
Sup Dustin. Good meeting you at SF. Just read through your whole build man. Nice work. Definitely got some wheels turning for some projects on the vanilla gorilla. I think Ill be taking a holiday up north in early spring. Ill hit you up for some wheeling if I bring the heep
Thanks, Gordon. Definitely let me know if you head up this way. Spring wheeling definitely requires a bit of the "smasho" wheeling style up here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Djmack View Post
I just weighed my Jeep in the other day completely empty. 3500lbs. I'm sure my trail weight was lighter considering I was running doorless.
Jealous. My old 88' was just under 4000 in trail trim, and climbed like a goat. I'm scared what the Nail Salon is going to top out at as I keep adding more junk to it.
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  #606  
Old August 31st, 2013, 20:59
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TORX TORX is offline
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Re: The Nail Salon

Last weekend I headed up to Evans Creek. It rained a bit Friday evening, so the trails on Saturday were a little sloppy. It definitely made things a bit more interesting when you're trying to hold a line as you slowly drag your quarter panel across a root ball.

After completing the 102 I noticed the popping in my front end had returned. Needless to say I was not happy. The same popping that I could feel in the floorboard, so I knew it was either my track bar bracket again, or my steering box converting itself to semi float. It wasn't bad so I rolled with it, finished the remaining trails, and then drove home.

Fast forward to today, and I finally set aside some time to look into it.

While examining all the front end components, I noticed my Rubicon Express track bar bracket had a hairline crack on one of the welds. It appeared the weld just lacked penetration toward the end. I've been using this bracket for ~5 years so it's seem some abuse. I cut into the crack, re-welded it, and then ran a bead on the inside of the bracket as well.

Reinstalled, torqued the bolts down, and then added some stitch welds around the perimeter.


New bead added to the inside. Something it lacked before.


Then I looked at my steering box, and noticed the inside of my frame rail seemed to be slightly pulled in. I've been torquing my box down frequently, so it's not surprising it started to pull in. My bumper bracket is .250" plate, so that leaves the inside of the frame as the weak spot. The bolt holes are sleeved through the frame, but they're pretty weak.

Rather than just re-torquing the box, I decided my best bet at a temporary fix would be to fab up an inner box brace to replace the junk cast aluminum spacer. Cut some .188 plate to size. I could have improved on the design to capture another bolt hole, and extend more along the inside frame rail, but I just wanted to keep it simple since this is a "temporary fix."


I needed to make some spacers to space the box off the frame, but I didn't have any tube on hand. So I cut down an old OEM tack bar (1" solid stock), and then drilled out the centers to size and burned them on. A lathe would have been trick for this.


Add paint.


The new spacer should help spread the force of the box over a greater area. After taking off the old spacer it was apparent that the aluminum spacer portions were being pulled into the frame.

Next trip out will be to TSF for Summer Campout next weekend. I plan on putting it through it's paces real good, so we'll see if it holds up. I call all this is a "temporary fix" because the real solution is going to be some plating on the sides, and bottom of the front uni-rails, and inside rail of the box area. Personally, I'd rather wheel than work on my junk, so I'm putting that project off for awhile.
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  #607  
Old August 31st, 2013, 23:11
BPB BPB is offline
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The Nail Salon

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Originally Posted by TORX View Post
Personally, I'd rather wheel than work on my junk,
Only queers wheel
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  #608  
Old September 1st, 2013, 21:09
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#S194 #S194 is offline
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Re: The Nail Salon

I'm kind of surprised you still had that much movement in the steering box after bracing the box. I had the same poping you described but havent had a chance to take a look at the inside of my frame much less fix the problem...haven't had many days off since getting home from Sierra Fest. That's tomorrow's project.
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Tim's junk is impressively beefy. TWSS
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  #609  
Old September 3rd, 2013, 22:05
knucklehead 61 knucklehead 61 is offline
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Re: The Nail Salon

Quote:
Originally Posted by #S194 View Post
Wow...I thought we were talking Jeeps. But thanks for the new sig line!
Win!
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  #610  
Old September 15th, 2013, 21:12
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TORX TORX is offline
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Re: The Nail Salon

Well the TSF Summer Campout was a ton of fun this year. We had a good OG group, and were able to cover some ground and wheel some fun trails.



Photo cred to Bronzwyrm.


Photo cred to BoringDave.


The Nail Salon performed great all weekend. There was absolutely zero front end pops or clunks the whole weekend. I think that inner brace really did wonders. I was pleased.

My only complaint was traction. Even being locked up front and rear, traction was hard to come by on Saturday in the rocks (see above pic). It had rained the few days prior so the ground was pretty saturated, and the rocks were covered in a peanut butter type glaze. It was yucky.

This frustrated me, so I convinced myself I needed to get my tires siped. So last Friday I had America's Tire sipe the center lugs on all four tires. I siped my old KM2's and really noticed a difference on the rocks and snow. I'm hoping for the same with the Coopers. I already have 20K miles on them, so tread depth isn't what it use to be. I'll get some pics later, but they did a good job and I look forward to testing them out.

With the upcoming No Roads Required Cruise-In coming up this past Saturday, I washed all the Evans Creek / TSF mud off the Jeep. That was a chore and a half. However, with a clean Jeep it really made all the new pin striping and dents come out. So I convinced myself a good coast of wax would cover them up.


Surprisingly, it didn't really do anything with as far as the dents go, but it did bring out the shine in the paint. Both flex and RTI ramps are overrated, so I let Redjeep2.0 run it up the ramp (he gets off on those things).


This week I'll be focusing on getting the Nail Salon prepped for Oregon Trophy Challenege next weekend. It'll be one of two rigs being used for Team this year. Should be a blast!
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  #611  
Old September 15th, 2013, 22:18
BoringDave BoringDave is offline
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The Nail Salon

Those are some shiny dents.
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  #612  
Old September 28th, 2013, 21:10
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TORX TORX is offline
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Re: The Nail Salon

Oregon Trophy Challenge was a blast! I think we logged well over 100 miles on the day course, and covered some serious ground. Team led the pack the entire day. We ended up taking 4th overall out of 12 teams. Not too bad for some "Cherocars."

Full trip report, HERE.









It was brutal though. Today I finally had a chance to do a good once over on the Jeep, and get it all cleaned up. Surprisingly, everything looked good, and no loose bolts were found. I checked the fluids, re-torqued the suspension, greased all the joints, and did an oil change (3000 miles in a month and a half, WTF?).

Everything got detailed.




One week from today I will be heading south for Moab, Utah for the 30th XJ Anniversary event! 2000 miles round trip, and five days of epic wheeling, hell yeah.

I had the pleasure of heading down there in 2010 with the last Jeep for Easter Jeep Safari. My trip report can be found, here. I'm looking forward to getting the Nail Salon down there, and getting away from all this mud and rain.
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  #613  
Old September 30th, 2013, 07:39
NW99XJ NW99XJ is offline
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Re: The Nail Salon

Can't wait to hear (and see) the Torx Report for that trip man.
Have fun in MOAB!
Good luck, and happy trails if I dont see you before then.
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  #614  
Old October 20th, 2013, 19:28
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TORX TORX is offline
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Re: The Nail Salon

Well, Moab has sadly come and gone. It was an amazing trip. Read about the adventure in my trip report for the event.

TORXreport: Moab - 30th XJ Anniversary Event


Here's a few pics from my trip.

Bridge of the God's, Saturday morning.


Cruising across Idaho before sunset.


Poser shot from Cliffhanger.


Poser shot from Metal Masher.


Looking over Highway 191 on Metal Masher.


Rocker Knocker, Pritchett Canyon.




La Sal Mountain Range.


Moab Rim, and the Colorado River.


Kane Creek crossing.
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  #615  
Old October 20th, 2013, 19:57
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Re: The Nail Salon

The Nail Salon did great as usual. It's definitely nice to be able to set the cruise control for 68mph, and cruise with one hand on the wheel. Although, the suspension is definitely overdue for a rebuild. Trophy Challenge definitely took it's tole on it. The Rubicon Express control arm bushings are once ago toasted. So lots of clunks from the front end, but other than that everything was cherry on the trail.

I did learn (already knew it) that my "park bench" front bumper kills my approach angle. It probably wouldn't be so bad on 35's with a 6" lift, but the Nail Salon isn't that tall to begin with. So I'm now tossing around some ideas in my head for a new behind the cross-member / high clearance winch set up. Another winter project for the list.

On the drive home my check gauges light came on. That's usually a bad thing, and sure enough my volt meter was showing some pathetic readings.


Not something you want to see at 0200 in the morning. I knew this time was coming though ever since my puddle episode at NWF this year. Since then, I've been carrying a spare alternator. I think the Kane Creek crossing might have delivered it's final blow.


I'll be looking at having the OEM one rebuilt, and possibly juiced up for some more amperage if it's cost effective. Any recommendations on local shops to look into?

Also, while down in Moab I developed a brake drag sound coming from the left rear wheel. When I applied the brakes it went away, so I assumed some sand or other junk had gotten in there. When I left for the drive home it appeared the noise had gone away. After making it home (20 hours later) I noticed the axle seal was leaking, which meant it was the wheel bearing going out.

Picked up some new Timken hardware.


Nastiness. After I got the wheel and tire off the ground I could definitely feel a lot more play in the bearing. I routinely check the wheel bearings/unit bearings before trips so this wasn't overlooked before hand.


Install was very straightforward. One nice thing about the c-clip design is that you do not have to press the bearing/retainer on and off the shaft. The bearing rides inside the axle tube.

Remove seal: I used a pry-bar and worked my way around slowly.
Remove bearing: It's a tight fit, and ideally should be pressed out. Another option would be a slide hammer. I had neither of these, but I did have a welder. I knocked the inner cage loose, removed the roller bearings, and then proceeded to do a series of tack welds on the inner race. This shrunk the race, and I was then able to use a pry-bar to pry it free.
Install new bearing: Freeze the new bearing ahead of time, and tap it in with a block of wood.
Install new seal: I used the old bearing race as an install tool.
If you love it, lube it: I smeared some grease on the seal, and oiled the bearing so it wouldn't run dry at first.

So far the leak seems to have stopped, and the wheel spins nice and freely.

Nail Salon is back in business! Heading to Elbe Hills this weekend.
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