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Old 03-17-2013, 04:27 PM   #1
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Installed my lift yesterday (lots of pics)

Put the Metal Cloak 2.5" lift on. The $1600 ARB Dual Rate kit that they sell that comes with the OME shocks. I'm still waiting on the front shocks to show up to them from ARB as they've been on backorder and are supposed to be in finally middle of this coming week. So we re-used the front stock shocks with extenders for now. It took us about 12 hours plus breaks to install. Totally sore today lol.

Overall I measured just under 3" at the flares. Oddly the rear frame raised only about 2.5". I'm also not sure if we read the tape measure wrong because our before/after figure for the front frame just forward of the body bolt is about 4" in difference even though the flare measurement is only about or just under 3. Debating between front bumper or driveshaft next. The bumper would bring the front down a bit to help the driveline angles of course. Oh and we also used the Teraflex exhaust spacers.

Pre-lift wheel well heights.



Lift parts pics and post install pics:













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Old 03-17-2013, 06:38 PM   #2
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I double checked my flare measurement notes (didn't have them in front of me when I posted originally). The rear flares show 2 3/4" difference, and 3 1/4 in the front (metal cloak suspected I could get around 3 1/4 without the added weight). FWIW the stock springs were 17/59's.

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Old 03-17-2013, 08:16 PM   #3
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Great pics, thanks for sharing. I have had my eye on one of the MC kits, how do you like the ride?
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Old 03-17-2013, 08:20 PM   #4
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The difference is night and day, congrats!
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Old 03-17-2013, 08:32 PM   #5
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Great pics, thanks for sharing. I have had my eye on one of the MC kits, how do you like the ride?
Still debating on the ride until I get the front shocks on, an alignment, and caster set. It's good so far though. Less roll in turns, feels stiffer but without the stock jarring feeling on bumps.
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:15 AM   #6
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Fly,

Thanks for the pics. Please post a full review when you can. I am debating between this lift and the AEV 2.5. I have a few questions that you may or may not be able to answer:

Have you ridden in an AEV lifted Jeep, and can you compare the two?

Do you think the geomtry using only the Upper CA's is better or worse than the control brackets AEV uses? In other words, do you wish you had the lowers, or are you fine without them?

What other lifts did you consider, and why did you go with the MetalCloak?

Thanks!
Dave
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:16 AM   #7
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Fly,

Thanks for the pics. Please post a full review when you can. I am debating between this lift and the AEV 2.5. I have a few questions that you may or may not be able to answer:

Have you ridden in an AEV lifted Jeep, and can you compare the two?

Do you think the geomtry using only the Upper CA's is better or worse than the control brackets AEV uses? In other words, do you wish you had the lowers, or are you fine without them?

What other lifts did you consider, and why did you go with the MetalCloak?

Thanks!
Dave
Will do, like I said don't want to give a full review until the other shocks are in and it's aligned . Never driven in an AEV Jeep. As far as the control arms, well, I debated the brackets because actually the only other lift I looked at in the end was the AEV one since it can be used with the stock wheels. That was important to me because I wouldn't be able to do both at the same time, and if I did the lift first I could still take the Jeep off-road.

I ended up going with the Metal Cloak kit because I was hearing good things about them and they're also local to me. If I'd gone AEV I would probably still end up running someone's arms. My plan is to actually eventually replace all of the stock arms with the Metal Cloak ones, I just didn't have the extra $1000 up front for the rest.
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:34 AM   #8
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Looks good

Most lifts raise the front more to get rid of the rake.

The Uca's will set your caster and change the way it drive in a big way.
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:01 AM   #9
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Did you have to grind the top connection points on the rear OME shocks? I put mine on this past weekend as well and our stock bolts won't seat inside the shock's bracket. Had to take out about 2mm on each side of the bracket to get the bolt to fit.
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:23 PM   #10
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Did you have to grind the top connection points on the rear OME shocks? I put mine on this past weekend as well and our stock bolts won't seat inside the shock's bracket. Had to take out about 2mm on each side of the bracket to get the bolt to fit.
Huh that's weird. We had no problems with that. The only problem we had was getting the 2nd bolt started (no matter which we chose) on the drivers side just because it's tight to get up in there with your hand and keep the holes lined up.
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:26 PM   #11
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Looks good

Most lifts raise the front more to get rid of the rake.

The Uca's will set your caster and change the way it drive in a big way.
LOL hopefully that's a good change? I need to figure out what the caster should be at. I think we measured it at about 5.5 after the lift with the stock from Metal Cloak upper CA settings. I know factory is 4.2, and the MC guys mentioned 5.0 when I was picking up my stuff from them. I know the factory is the "ideal" setting but that it also might have to change with a lift especially if I replace the driveshaft since it sounds like there's some kind of tradeoff between caster and driveshaft vibration on an aftermarket shaft. I haven't had much time to read up on that stuff yet.
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Old 03-18-2013, 01:43 PM   #12
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Did you use the JK Rear Shock Clearance Kit?

JK Wrangler Unlimited 2.5" Dual-Rate Lift Kit

I installed my Metalcloak JK Wrangler Unlimited (4-Door) 2.5" Dual-Rate Lift Kit yesterday. Currently left the stock shock on the stock mount. Going to get a set of Rancho 9000. Debating on installing the Clearance kit to get 3" more clearance. Right know it rides pretty rough. Got 3" on all four corners.
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:29 PM   #13
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This is great, its the same lift sized kit I want to run on my 2-door but isn't available yet. I just have a couple of questions. First, did you have to run spacers on the stock wheels for clearance? Are you running the stock tire size?

Also, what is this part in the picture? I'm assuming its part of the rear bump stop but typically its on the bottom under the factory bumpstop, I actually see that your using it in the other photos. I just don't understand what function this top piece has?


I'm also really happy that you got the actual lift that MC had estimated that you would get. They told me that for the 2.5" kit on an otherwise stock Jeep you would be close to 3.5. So its nice to see that you came close to that number. I'm sure that the dual rate springs help keep the height estimates consistent.

Finally, I know that you want to wait for the front shocks before giving a full review but what I have read about the OME shocks is that they are great but a bit firm. Without going into too much detail at this time, what do you think so far? I imagine its very noticeable considering your coming from a 4-door Sahara suspension which is pretty plush when compared to a stock Rubicon.
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:50 PM   #14
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Matador, actually I'm coming from a 4 door Sport suspension which has the "standard basic shocks", not the nice gas charged ones like the Rubi or Sahara ones. I'm running the stock wheels with 265/70/17 Duratracs. That part you see is how they solve the problem of running with the stock backspacing (anything over 5.5"). That piece is a 4 inch drop bracket for the rear swaybar and you re-use the stock links. If you have 5.5 or less backspacing you get new longer links from them instead. I'll like swap to that once I get new wheels later on and put the swaybar back in the stock location.

edit: I did get a bit more than advertised though. About 2.75" in the rear and about 3.25" in the front but we'll see if they settle a bit at all. If not I know bumpers and stuff will drag it down of course.




Quote:
Originally Posted by dcm77494 View Post
Did you use the JK Rear Shock Clearance Kit?

JK Wrangler Unlimited 2.5" Dual-Rate Lift Kit

I installed my Metalcloak JK Wrangler Unlimited (4-Door) 2.5" Dual-Rate Lift Kit yesterday. Currently left the stock shock on the stock mount. Going to get a set of Rancho 9000. Debating on installing the Clearance kit to get 3" more clearance. Right know it rides pretty rough. Got 3" on all four corners.
I didn't use the clearance kit because I have the ARB Edition kit with the long travel OME shocks so they bolt up fine in the rear location. I'm still waiting on the front ones to come in though so I'm using extenders on the front factory shocks for now. I expect to get the new ones in tomorrow or Wednesday maybe hopefully and then it should take hopefully about an hour in the garage to swap them out and don't even need to jack the vehicle up. MC told me 15 minutes, I'm just being overly pessimistic lol but it IS pretty easy especially after doing it once already during the lift install the first time.
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Old 03-18-2013, 02:53 PM   #15
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Stock is good for caster. More will just point the pinion down increasing driveshaft angle.

The only way to get true caster angle with a alignment rack.
BUT, since caster/pinion are inversely related. You can get a good idea of what your caster is by knowing the pinion angle.

Measure at the flange or one of the flat machined circles on each side of the differential.
Knowing there's 6* separation will tell you the caster angle.

Stock pinion is positive 2* and caster is 4*

Pinion +1* = caster 5*
Pinion 0 = caster 6"

And so on
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Old 03-18-2013, 03:21 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by kjeeper10 View Post
Stock is good for caster. More will just point the pinion down increasing driveshaft angle.

The only way to get true caster angle with a alignment rack.
BUT, since caster/pinion are inversely related, You can get a good idea of what your caster is by knowing the pinion angle.

Measure at the flange or one of the flat machined circles on each side of the differential.
Knowing there's 6* separation will tell you the caster angle.

Stock pinion is positive 2* and caster is 4*

Pinion +1* = caster 5*
Pinion 0 = caster 6"

And so on
That's good info right there, thanks man.

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Originally Posted by flyinion View Post
Matador, actually I'm coming from a 4 door Sport suspension which has the "standard basic shocks", not the nice gas charged ones like the Rubi or Sahara ones. I'm running the stock wheels with 265/70/17 Duratracs. That part you see is how they solve the problem of running with the stock backspacing (anything over 5.5"). That piece is a 4 inch drop bracket for the rear swaybar and you re-use the stock links. If you have 5.5 or less backspacing you get new longer links from them instead. I'll like swap to that once I get new wheels later on and put the swaybar back in the stock location.

edit: I did get a bit more than advertised though. About 2.75" in the rear and about 3.25" in the front but we'll see if they settle a bit at all. If not I know bumpers and stuff will drag it down of course.
That's awesome to know! I knew they had some type of bracket that allowed you to run stock wheels but that bracket looks great. In terms of height, you should have gotten anywhere near 3.5" in the front if your not running an aftermarket bumper and winch, so the fact that you got 3.25" means that they were pretty close in their estimates. The suspension will settle a bit in time but won't drop much at all, especially not 3/4". The added weight of a heavy bumper and winch will drop it down that much.
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Old 03-18-2013, 05:49 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by kjeeper10 View Post
Stock is good for caster. More will just point the pinion down increasing driveshaft angle.

The only way to get true caster angle with a alignment rack.
BUT, since caster/pinion are inversely related, You can get a good idea of what your caster is by knowing the pinion angle.

Measure at the flange or one of the flat machined circles on each side of the differential.
Knowing there's 6* separation will tell you the caster angle.

Stock pinion is positive 2* and caster is 4*

Pinion +1* = caster 5*
Pinion 0 = caster 6"

And so on
Hmm so you think I should have the alignment shop set it back to the 4.2* factory (as per the writeup here Project-JK.com - Jeep JK Wrangler Resource » Basic Do-it-Yourself Jeep JK Wrangler Front End Alignment )? Or should I go with Metal Cloak who is saying set it to between 5-6*? I was planning on telling the shop to set it to 5*.

I'm actually really confused now that I realized increasing the castor will increase the pinion angle. For some reason I was thinking increasing the castor over factory is to decrease the pinion to put less stress on the driveline than a factory setting but is seems like going with the 5-6* I see recommended so often would actually be even worse for a driveshaft.
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:13 PM   #18
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That's good info right there, thanks man.



That's awesome to know! I knew they had some type of bracket that allowed you to run stock wheels but that bracket looks great. In terms of height, you should have gotten anywhere near 3.5" in the front if your not running an aftermarket bumper and winch, so the fact that you got 3.25" means that they were pretty close in their estimates. The suspension will settle a bit in time but won't drop much at all, especially not 3/4". The added weight of a heavy bumper and winch will drop it down that much.
One thing to note on that bracket. On the drivers side I initially had about 1/4 to 3/8's of an inch of clearance between the swaybar and the factory muffler. It was more like 1/8-1/4 on the passenger side. We were REALLY sure it was going to contact on bumps from the exhaust likely moving around. However, then we went and put the front half of the lift on which included the Teraflex spacers. That shoved the entire exhaust back a bit and left plenty of clearance.

Teraflex tells you to open the Y pipe clamp and shave that index tab off so you can slide the pipes together when installing for more room where the spacers go, but we ended up just putting them in there without doing that. We tried, but could NOT get the Y pipe clamp nut to budge. I guess if we had been able to then we wouldn't have shifted the exhaust back and created that bit of clearance between it and the swaybar. I'm going to mention the clearance issues to them when I visit MC later this week to get my front shocks.

I have a couple other things to talk with them about. For instance we had to remove the hangar that the parking brake lines ran through up on the tub. If we didn't, the axle was going to be hanging from them. I don't know if that would be different in a normal wheeling droop situation vs. the whole axle hanging down on a lift, but I can't imagine that would be good either because any time it goes on a lift for tire changes for example, it's going to be hanging from that little hanger wire and two small bolts and stressing the parking brake cables. I also have a problem with the driver's side swaybar disconnect link that needs to be looked at. I think the hole for the lynch pin might be drilled off spec as far as location on the pin. We had to use a rubber mallet to get the pin in because there wasn't quite enough room to push it in, and we had to hit it pretty good. It was either that or drive home 120 miles disconnected.
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:41 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by flyinion View Post

Hmm so you think I should have the alignment shop set it back to the 4.2* factory (as per the writeup here Project-JK.com - Jeep JK Wrangler Resource » Basic Do-it-Yourself Jeep JK Wrangler Front End Alignment )? Or should I go with Metal Cloak who is saying set it to between 5-6*? I was planning on telling the shop to set it to 5*.

I'm actually really confused now that I realized increasing the castor will increase the pinion angle. For some reason I was thinking increasing the castor over factory is to decrease the pinion to put less stress on the driveline than a factory setting but is seems like going with the 5-6* I see recommended so often would actually be even worse for a driveshaft.

Increasing caster with lowers (longer) or upper (shorter) rotates the pinion down. This increases the angle at the u-joint/DS.


4*-5* should be Ok.
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:45 PM   #20
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Nice

Looks awesome!
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:49 PM   #21
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Increasing caster with lowers (longer) or upper (shorter) rotates the pinion down. This increases the angle at the u-joint/DS.


4*-5* should be Ok.
Ok, I'll go ahead and have the shop set it to around factory 4.2 or maybe 4.5 then, what do you think? After re-reading the "do it yourself" alignment I see the person that wrote it says to set to 4.2 factory. That increasing it (to say 5 or 6) can improve the flighty feeling if running a 3" or higher lift and 35's, but I'm on 32's so maybe I won't notice it. They also caution that increasing the caster while it would fix that feeling could introduce vibrations due to the pinion angle so yeah I think I'm definitely going to try the stock first. It would seem like the pinion angle must already be increased anyway since the driveshaft has to be at more of an angle from the lift right? Or am I misunderstanding what pinion is?
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:18 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by flyinion View Post

Ok, I'll go ahead and have the shop set it to around factory 4.2 or maybe 4.5 then, what do you think? After re-reading the "do it yourself" alignment I see the person that wrote it says to set to 4.2 factory. That increasing it (to say 5 or 6) can improve the flighty feeling if running a 3" or higher lift and 35's, but I'm on 32's so maybe I won't notice it. They also caution that increasing the caster while it would fix that feeling could introduce vibrations due to the pinion angle so yeah I think I'm definitely going to try the stock first. It would seem like the pinion angle must already be increased anyway since the driveshaft has to be at more of an angle from the lift right? Or am I misunderstanding what pinion is?
Pinion angle actually increases when lifted (axle rotates up) Which decreases caster. The driveshaft angle (not to be confused with pinion angle) is increased as well.
I would not out too much worry into it.
Issues arise when installing a double carden driveshaft. The pinion and driveshaft have to be within a few degrees to prevent vibes. so pinion becomes more important than caster.

With the stock shaft. Set to 4.5-5* and be done. Drivability should be fine at that hight.
Vibes from the stock shaft are uncommon anyways.
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:24 PM   #23
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Ah ok I think I see now. Pinion angle is not the angle between the driveshaft and where the U-joint connects to the differential, it's the angle of something inside the differential and when the differential housing rotates forward or back that changes the pinion angle relative to being parallel to the ground?
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Old 03-18-2013, 09:48 PM   #24
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I just got home and played with the angle finder gauge again. Wow we must have been really wiped out after doing the lift Saturday cause we obviously weren't reading things right. Looks like the front face where the self alignment says you can measure is tilted forward to 87.x (not totally accurate) and that matches with the C showing about 2.x of caster.

Don't know where I got 5.5 from. I think it could be that I think we measured 89 at that spot on Saturday and I assumed it was 89 the other way adding more caster because I thought we measured the new CA's as being shorter eye to eye than the stock ones which meant it would have pulled the axle back. I didn't account for the fact that the lower CA's are stock though and would also cause the pinion to rotate up, oops lol.

I did check Metal Cloak's install instructions for their arms and it says in them to set to 5* for their 3.5" lift. I'm guessing that they assume you'd be running 35" or bigger tires and need the extra caster to fix the flighty steering.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:06 PM   #25
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Wait. What are you getting at the pinion ?

87* ?
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:31 PM   #26
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Wait. What are you getting at the pinion ?

87* ?
Noooooo lol sorry for the confusion. In that do it yourself alignment link they mention an angle finder on the circles on the front of the diff should read 90 at stock which is 2 degrees of pinion and 4 of caster. Mine is reading 87ish on that point leaning forward towards the ground so I estimate I'm around only about 2.5 degrees of caster.
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Old 03-18-2013, 11:46 PM   #27
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I think you are interpreting that wrong.

90* = 0 (6 caster)
89* = 5* caster
88* = 4* caster
87* = 3* caster

"As you can see by the drawing, stock caster to pinion angle separation is 6*. This is represented as the pinion at 0* (zero rise) or 90* at the pinion flange face and the caster set at 96*. If we were to rotate the pinion up to stock JK position, the pinion would be tilted up 2* and caster angle now would be 94*. In alignment terms, this is known as 4* of caster. A stock JK has 4* caster and 2* of pinion up tilt for a total of 6* of separation"

http://project-jk.com/jeep-jk-tech/j...affect-my-jeep

Unless I'm way off lol
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:01 AM   #28
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Yeah I looked at that too when trying to research drive shaft information. Maybe that alignment writeup is wrong then. I just assumed the face of the diff (not the flange on the rear) was -2 degrees from the pinion angle based on that writeup. Lol now I'm going to go try to measure the pinion on the back side.
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:06 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by flyinion View Post
Yeah I looked at that too when trying to research drive shaft information. Maybe that alignment writeup is wrong then. I just assumed the face of the diff (not the flange on the rear) was -2 degrees from the pinion angle based on that writeup. Lol now I'm going to go try to measure the pinion on the back side.
Just go by the circles.
87* there would be around 3* caster.

Mine reads 88*
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:10 AM   #30
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Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 1,370
Ah ok that writeup must be wrong about the circles then. Yeah I'm at like 87.4 I think it was.

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