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Old 02-19-2014, 06:03 PM   #31
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Just keep drilling it takes a while. Use a bolt with a nut on the top of the frame this time around. You can reach if you have a small body lift. Or weld one up there. You guys essentially bought what I built minus a few goodies I added. It's a good axle.
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:04 PM   #32
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Yeah, there is a note with the build sheet explaining that. I also read it somewhere on their site. But I didn't plan on putting oil in it anyway; I ran my D35 for a month without hardly any!

.......hmmmm, maybe THAT'S why I was having problems...


mmmmmmmmm. Toasty.

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Old 02-19-2014, 06:19 PM   #33
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Just keep drilling it takes a while. Use a bolt with a nut on the top of the frame this time around. You can reach if you have a small body lift. Or weld one up there. You guys essentially bought what I built minus a few goodies I added. It's a good axle.
I'll keep working on it, I soaked everything in PBS Blaster again and went to the other side to remove the other shock. Since it's been getting a good soak for the last 15-16 hours, the bolts came out just fine. When you say to put a nut on the other side of the frame, should I get rid of the square nut that's already there?
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Old 02-19-2014, 07:05 PM   #34
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Making a run to sears to get some decent tools, this oreilly's "performance" tools crap won't cut it... I'm also thinking about running into work and grabbing the Milwaukee drill that I use for punching through concrete when running network lines. That has just a little more power than my dinky DeWalt...
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Old 02-19-2014, 09:40 PM   #35
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I'll keep working on it, I soaked everything in PBS Blaster again and went to the other side to remove the other shock. Since it's been getting a good soak for the last 15-16 hours, the bolts came out just fine. When you say to put a nut on the other side of the frame, should I get rid of the square nut that's already there?
I literally just drilled through whatever was there and put a nut on top and wrenched it tight. I think there is a welded nut deal up there. If it broke off cut the bolt and remove. If not just drill a hole.


A good drill and bit will make a lot of difference. It took me hours to drill mine too no worry. I quit trying to drill the bolt and just ran a hole against it I think. It's been a few years but it works fine.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:08 PM   #36
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I finally got from this:


To this:


With these left over:


I wound up placing a piece of metal between the cross member and the gas tank, then heated the living crap out of the nut/bolt with a little propane torch. Then I took a punch and hammered everything out. Took about 10 minutes...
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Old 02-20-2014, 12:01 AM   #37
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There you go!
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Old 02-20-2014, 12:30 AM   #38
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There you go!
Thanks for the tips!
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Old 02-20-2014, 07:58 AM   #39
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Thanks for the tips!
No problem. Now finish it off!
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:07 AM   #40
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Sort of a non-issue at this point but I have seen people go through the wheelwell with an air chisel and just knock them off from the top side.
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:48 AM   #41
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Sort of a non-issue at this point but I have seen people go through the wheelwell with an air chisel and just knock them off from the top side.
Yeah, I thought about that, but I'm pretty limited to what I have when it comes to power/air tools. I could've done the whole project in a nice, bright, open shop with a lift, but I'm too impatient to wait!
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Old 02-20-2014, 10:03 AM   #42
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You guys essentially bought what I built minus a few goodies I added. It's a good axle.
In my frustration of getting those friggin bolts out, I didn't really look at those pics - that looks great! What kinds of goodies did you add?
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Old 02-20-2014, 10:33 AM   #43
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Now that the bolts were out, and everything from the old axle was removed, it's time to prep the 8.8 for installation. I started by transferring the swaybar from the D35 to the 8.8. Really simple - the holes lined up with no problems, and the threading is the same.



After that, I pulled the t-junction for the brake lines, and installed it. Again - no problems. I did clean the dirt and grime off as much as possible before reinstalling. A couple shots of B-12 and a light wire brush knocked most everything off.



The LCAs were transferred, and the new Currie UCAs installed, either on the frame or the housing, depending on which would be the easiest to work with.

I almost forgot to pull the metal plate out that I had been using the deflect the heat from the propane torch - I remembered it was there when I was collecting tools and cleaning up for the night. I'm thinking about making it a permanent addition...



Hopefully I'll be able to slide the 8.8 underneath tonight!
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Old 02-20-2014, 11:41 AM   #44
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In my frustration of getting those friggin bolts out, I didn't really look at those pics - that looks great! What kinds of goodies did you add?
I added a pinion skid so I don't get hung up on the big bottom lip, and I adjusted my lower arm mounts to give me some stretch in the rear. Those are probably the two biggest things I did different. Also built an LSD axle which is nice for DDing.

I bet you'll have it under in less than 2 hours!
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Old 02-20-2014, 12:03 PM   #45
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I added a pinion skid so I don't get hung up on the big bottom lip, and I adjusted my lower arm mounts to give me some stretch in the rear. Those are probably the two biggest things I did different. Also built an LSD axle which is nice for DDing.

I bet you'll have it under in less than 2 hours!
2 hours you have officially jinxed me!!
Now she'll wind up on jack stands for the next two years (MR.CLIFFORD)

I hadn't thought about getting hung up on that lip - I'll have to look into some sort of skid plate in the near future. I've got 500 miles to go until I can really start wheeling off road (gear break in time) so I've got a couple of weeks...err...days to figure something out. I opted for the ARB over the LSD so that I could DD.
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Old 02-20-2014, 12:40 PM   #46
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2 hours you have officially jinxed me!!
Now she'll wind up on jack stands for the next two years (MR.CLIFFORD)

I hadn't thought about getting hung up on that lip - I'll have to look into some sort of skid plate in the near future. I've got 500 miles to go until I can really start wheeling off road (gear break in time) so I've got a couple of weeks...err...days to figure something out. I opted for the ARB over the LSD so that I could DD.
Haha I'm sure it won't take you that long! Haha. I'm not sure if they make one, I welded one up in the garage. ARB will be nice. I'll have one eventually in this axle or when I go to tons, haven't decided yet. The LSD works surprising well though. I have a locked front and its a food combo.
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Old 02-21-2014, 12:14 PM   #47
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I hardly got squat done last night, I was wiped out from a busy day at work.

I started drilling out the the frame brackets for the control arms and track bar, and my poor old DeWalt drill just wouldn't cut it... I pulled the heavy duty Milwaukee drill out of the work van this morning, and will get back to drilling this evening.



I did a little bit of shopping and chopping yesterday. I stopped by the True Value store in ElDorado and picked up a 1/2" Drive torque wrench, then went over to O'Reilly and ordered three gallons of Lucas 85W140 gear oil.



On the chopping side, I measured the shafts for the rear links and brought them to a friend to get cut. He threw them on his horizontal band saw and cut them down to 7.5" - slightly longer than spec, but will give a little room for error. The cuts are nice and clean, and the nut threads on with no problems.



As I was getting ready to slide the new axle under for a test fit, I realized that somehow or another, I managed to install the UCAs backwards... Not a big deal to fix, but just a dumb mistake.



I'm going to hit it hard, and probably pull an all-nighter tonight, and try to get my baby off jack stands! I need to look into routing the brake lines - the stock arms had mounting points for the brake lines, but the new arms don't. Any ideas would be great!
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Old 02-21-2014, 02:45 PM   #48
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Zip ties are your friend. Get it done!
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Old 02-27-2014, 02:42 PM   #49
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It's coming up on a week since my last update, but I've gotten a lot done since then. I test fitted the 8.8, just to check alignments and brackets, then pulled it out and prepped everything. Getting the stock rear trackbar off the frame was a pain, but after wrenching on it for a good 15 minutes, the bolt finally came out and the whole thing fell on my chest...

The brackets on the Artec Truss for the Currie upper control arms were just slightly too narrow, but with some heat from a propane torch, and a ball-peen hammer, I was able to get them widened just enough to slide the control arms in. The bracket for the track bar was also to narrow, but I couldn't get much movement out of the metal. I managed to fit it in by grinding the metal sleeves down ever so slightly using a bench grinder. I took 2mm at the most off each side, and everything fits perfectly!

There were a couple of things that needed to be taken care of before I bolted the rear end in. I installed the rear bump stop extensions, and the hardest part about that was getting the solid rubber bumps to fit back in.

I noticed that it's easy to tell which pieces are new/modified: they're the parts with the least amount of dust and dirt.



Another thing I was concerned about, and wanted to take care of before installing the rear end was the exhaust. Last summer, while backing down a hill to get a better angle, I buried my tailpipe eight inches in the ground. We had to use a hi-lift jack, a shovel, and a come-along to get the engine started again. It ended up twisting the tailpipe around, breaking the rear bracket, and putting a split in the pipe, right where it goes over the axle:



Because of that, the new 8.8 wouldn't fit without bumping up against it and causing more damage. I've been planning on a new exhaust system that exits below the passenger door, so I decided to modify the tailpipe until that time comes:



After I had hacked it off with the sawzall, I realized that the bracket holding the pipe AND the muffler was part of what I cut off. In the traditional Kansas way, I fixed it baling wire (and a self-tapping sheet metal screw).

Moving on from that, I rolled the new axle underneath and started bolting it up (I had it sitting on one-ton furniture dollies for this reason). Since I had test-fitted everything beforehand, there were no problems, and the basic bolt in only took about 15 minutes. While doing this, I stuck the new OME coils in, so that I wouldn't have to jack with the compressors.



On a side note, I lost the frame bolt for the track bar - I'm not 100% sure, but I think it got thrown into the dumpster when I was cleaning it off on the wire wheel... Thankfully, I still had the bolts from the front sway bar, which, IF I decide to reinstall, won't need the bolts since I have JKS Quicker Discos. The torx-head bolts are the perfect size for the track bar frame bracket - a little longer than the stock bolt, but not enough to cause a problem.

Now that the rear was bolted in, I went to attach the disc brake lines and the parking brake lines. The threaded rod on the parking brake splitter was so grimy and rusty, I was afraid I would need to get a replacement. Thankfully, after hosing it down with PB Blaster, Carb cleaner, and spending some time with it on the wire wheel, I was able to spin the nut. The new lines I got from ECGS fit perfectly, and the parking brake works better now than it ever has!



Attaching the shocks to the 8.8 and the frame was a little painful. The brackets were welded on just slightly too straight, and the shocks didn't want to line up nice and easy. If the brackets had been turned inward by a few degrees, the fit would've been perfect. After some heating and hammering (as well as some cursing), I was able to get the brackets turned enough to get the shocks to bolt in. I'll keep an eye on them, but right now I'm not concerned.

You can see how the angle messes with the alignment:



Now that everything was attached, I threw the wheels on to get it off jack stands and sitting on it's own weight, so I could torque the bolts to spec. Here's a shot of the wheel bolted to the Yukon axles, with no hubcap. I sprayed the rim down just to try and get some of the dirt off:



Now that the rear was pretty much done, I moved back up to the front, to install the new JKS Trackbar, along with the bump stop extenders. Again, I had to deal with the spring compressors (I'm really starting to hate these), and had to unbolt the shocks. I free tip to anyone installing a lift kit in the future: Follow the destructions, and do everything in the prescribed order! i had to pull the coil out of the driver's side anyway, to remove and swap the track bar, but it was still a pain. Removing the trackbar was easier than I thought it would be, but I did need to run out and get a pickle fork to break it loose... I spent $15 on a tool that got used for 10 seconds, and will probably never be used again. If I had been doing this during the day, I probably could've call up a friend or neighbor that had one, but I work better at night, when friends and family are less likely to bother you...

Here's the front driver's side bump stop, after drilling:



I wasn't too impressed with the self-tapping bolts that came with the bump stops, so I ran into the Ace Hardware in Andover on Saturday to get some bolts and stop nuts to use instead.

I put the tires back on the front, pulled the jack stands from underneath, and drove out into the pasture to get some fresh air (forgetting to add brake fluid and bleed the lines).



All that's left to get her ready for wheeling is to swap out the front gears, install the SYE (I still haven't decided if I want to do this myself), then install the driveshaft, and break in the gears fro 500 miles!!
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Old 02-27-2014, 05:57 PM   #50
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Nice work.
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Old 02-27-2014, 08:12 PM   #51
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I remember years ago when a guy purchased OME shocks for his TJ from Dirk. He painted them black because he didn't want his wife to know he bought new parts.

You will love the ride!!

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Old 02-27-2014, 10:22 PM   #52
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I remember years ago when a guy purchased OME shocks for his TJ from Dirk. He painted them black because he didn't want his wife to know he bought new parts. You will love the ride!! Subscribed.
I think you have some of the best stories! I used to build new computers into ancient cases back in high school so my parents wouldn't know I was dropping hundreds of dollars into custom computers... I'm really looking forward to driving her again, my short trip out to the pasture the other day left me wanting more!!! I'd just like to find someone to help me with the SYE...
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Old 03-03-2014, 01:18 PM   #53
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I had an awesome weekend (with the exception of the frigid temperatures).

Friday evening, I collected all of the fluids, lubes, and tools needed for the SYE, and cannonballed into the deep end. I picked up a cool all-in-one Craftsman Lock Ring/Snap Ring Pliers combo at Ace Hardware, then went to O'Reilly to get the ATF+4, RTV, and grease. I bought all the Valvoline ATF+4 that the Andover O'Reilly had in stock, as I planned to drop the transmission pan and change the filter and fluid, but they didn't have enough for both that and the transfer case...

Once I got back home, I removed (most of) the skid plate - the bolts on the front half would turn, but wouldn't come unbolt, so I figure the welds on the nuts inside the frame broke. I'll have to figure out how to get that off when I change the tranny fluid. Using a combination of the Advance Adapters install video on YouTube, and the write-up on 4x4xplor, I was able to get the transfer case apart pretty easily. I should mention that, if you plan on doing this in the future, make sure your head isn't under the transfer case when you split it open... I was paying too much attention on getting the pry bar in there, and ended up getting all of this 100k mile, black ATF all over my head. I just grabbed my comb and used it to slick my hair back (I'm no Dapper Dan Man, I want, umm, ATF...)

The 4x4xplor write up is an excellent resource. It didn't really make sense to me until I was under the transfer case, actually looking at everything. Of course, karma came and kicked me in the butt. A couple weeks ago, I was complaining about the Performance Tools, and vowed to stick with Craftsman; well, the Crafstman lock ring pliers weren't nearly strong enough for the rings I was needing to remove and install. I managed to get the rings out, using screwdrivers and multiple pliers, but couldn't get the new ones back in. So back to O'Reilly I went, and picked up a pair of their lock ring pliers. Got back home, and once again used a $20 tool for 10 seconds.

Anyway, it only took about 2 to 3 hours to install the SYE, and was much easier than I originally thought.



Once the transfer case was back in, I installed the driveshaft and checked the angles. They were a little off, but I'm getting ready to put a ~180 pound bumper/tire carrier on, so I had my buddy stand on the rear bumper to approximate the weight: perfect angles.



We greased up all of the zerks, and went to IHOP for a 3:00am snack.

After getting home, I was wiped out, so we called it a night. Saturday evening, it started snowing and icing, so what did I do? I went out to fill the rear diff with oil. TAKE NOTE: Do NOT leave ultra-thick 85W140 gear oil out in the cold!!! I broke two of the cheap screw on pumps trying to get the oil out of the bottle. It was so thick, I could've turned the whole bottle upside-down and it would not have come out. So I brought the bottles of gear oil, the ATF, and the grease inside and set them next to the fireplace to warm up. Fast forward and hour... I went back out to the barn, and found a gallon jug of tire slime, with a heavy-duty pump on it. I removed the pump, tore it apart and cleaned it out, stuck it on one of the gear oil jugs, and voila! I read that, with the Solid cover, the 8.8 needs about 3qts of gear oil, and I could get about 1oz per pump. So, 100 pumps later, my arms were ready to fall off. I started her up, and bled the brakes. It was almost midnight, so I decided to wait until Sunday to go on the test drive.

So, Sunday afternoon, I get back behind the wheel of my Jeep to actually drive for the first time in four months. I knew I had to take it easy until the gears are broken in, so drove out into one of our pastures to this big hill that we used to wheel on. It's got some pretty steep sides, but one area has a gradual enough slope that I could make it up without putting too much torque on the gears (I'm also limited to 2wd, since my front gears won't be swapped until Friday).



It doesn't look like a big hill from this angle, but I was more interested in getting a pic of it offroad (plus I was using my iPhone).

After getting back to the road, I got out, and checked all of the bolts and lines, just for peace of mind, and drove into Wichita.

My first time filling up with gas since September (it's exciting):



My tank was almost empty, so I wasn't concerned about bad gas, but I dumped a bottle of IsoHeet in, just to get rid of any water that might have gotten in. The transmission is giving me a p0731 code, so I'm going to change the ATF and filter as soon as it gets warmer. Sometimes the transmission doesn't want to shift out of 2nd, so I'll have to look into that. Once I get the front re-geared, and the front drive shaft reattached, stage one will be complete!
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Old 03-03-2014, 01:51 PM   #54
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Congrats man those snap rings are fun. I did them without snap rings minus the one towards the outside near the yoke. All the internal ones were screw drivers and needle nose at times. Not fun. Now you have that tool forever. Totally worth the 20 bucks.
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Old 03-03-2014, 03:03 PM   #55
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Congrats man those snap rings are fun. I did them without snap rings minus the one towards the outside near the yoke. All the internal ones were screw drivers and needle nose at times. Not fun. Now you have that tool forever. Totally worth the 20 bucks.
I can't imaging getting those in or out with needle nose... My old rings looked like spirals by the time they were out! My dad dropped by to see how things were going, and asked why I didn't just rent or borrow the tools I needed. I told him that, if I ever have to do this again, I won't have to collect to required tools! Those small purchases add up after a while, but you're right, it's 100% worth it.

When I went out over lunch, I discovered that, due to my tailpipe "mod," the exhaust is blowing right on the air line for the lockers, melting the tube in half. I'll have to re-route the line - thankfully I think I left enough on the other end to be okay. Over lunch I dropped her off at one of the local tire shops in ElDorado to get the camber adjusted and the front end aligned. Hopefully that will help with the tendency to "walk" around while driving, although that might be attributed to the snow and slush.
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Old 03-03-2014, 03:53 PM   #56
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I can't imaging getting those in or out with needle nose... My old rings looked like spirals by the time they were out! My dad dropped by to see how things were going, and asked why I didn't just rent or borrow the tools I needed. I told him that, if I ever have to do this again, I won't have to collect to required tools! Those small purchases add up after a while, but you're right, it's 100% worth it.

When I went out over lunch, I discovered that, due to my tailpipe "mod," the exhaust is blowing right on the air line for the lockers, melting the tube in half. I'll have to re-route the line - thankfully I think I left enough on the other end to be okay. Over lunch I dropped her off at one of the local tire shops in ElDorado to get the camber adjusted and the front end aligned. Hopefully that will help with the tendency to "walk" around while driving, although that might be attributed to the snow and slush.
Yeah just use small screw drivers and good hands and the needle nose to split to start.

Sounds like you're about done!
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Old 03-03-2014, 03:58 PM   #57
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Sounds like you're about done!
Yeah, with stage 1... I've got 3 stages planned, with new bumpers, new tires, armor, fenders, rear main seal, oil pan, and some custom electrical - not in that order. Hopefully, I can be finished with my current plans by the end of the year!
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:47 PM   #58
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Yeah, with stage 1... I've got 3 stages planned, with new bumpers, new tires, armor, fenders, rear main seal, oil pan, and some custom electrical - not in that order. Hopefully, I can be finished with my current plans by the end of the year!
Haha you have no idea. My stage two is gona be in the works once I get some kinks worked out in my jeep from an accident this winter. A headache I didn't want to deal with sadly.
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Old 03-05-2014, 12:13 PM   #59
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So I've been driving my TJ for the last few days, and so far, I'm extremely impressed with the ride and the handling. After I got the front end aligned, it really started driving like it did before. So far, no wobbles, shimmies, or shakes, and I'm hoping it stays that way. I've been taking it easy and keeping to the government-designated roads, so that I can break the gears in properly. I'm dropping my Jeep off tomorrow evening to get the front gears swapped, then I'll be ready to go.


I have been having problems with the ARB Locker, however, this is due to errors on my part, not ARB or ECGS. When I ran the air line, I failed to realize that my exhaust blows right on the line, and is hot enough to melt it.


I have an idea for fixing it, though. I went to Ace Hardware to see what I might be able to use, and found a few useful items. I'm going to run the last 16" of air line through a steel braided sink hose, which will be clamped on around the differential fitting for the locker. For now, I'm going to use an Edelmann 3/16" union to couple the old hose to the new hose, but will probably run a whole new line if this works.

Here's the in-shop mock-up, minus the hose clamp around the end:


I'll have to get some thread tape to seal everything off, but I'm pretty sure this will work, as long as the steel braiding absorbs the heat and doesn't transfer it to the cable inside...
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Old 03-22-2014, 11:35 PM   #60
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nice write up! I can't start on my 8.8

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