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Old 06-08-2013, 10:51 AM   #121
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There is zero performance difference between the two styles of transmission. I've built rigs around both and arguably the most capable one I've ever built did have a manual in it.

It's just more work and more money to get the manuals up to the same level.
I think you're probably talking about Jon's (co-owner of Viking Offroad) TJ which only got a manual transmission because he insisted on it. Truly a great performing rig though, I got a chance to follow it through a few trails in JV. Watching it work on the trails was awe inspiring, truly impressive.

Here is a mag cover shot and two pics of Jon's rig I shot that day.
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Old 06-08-2013, 12:17 PM   #122
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I've raced sticks for most of my life at both the drags and road racing. I love them. So I bought my first jeep with one. It only took one time in the rocks for me to decide that I wanted an auto. I do the jeeping to relax and I can't afford to spend like I could when I was working. My next jeep was an auto. I'm not building a hard core race rig. But the principles apply. Build it so it gets you home. Stick or auto.

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Old 06-08-2013, 07:45 PM   #123
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I've never wheeled a auto in the rocks, but I think for a manual, the gearing is much more important. I started with 3.70's, 2.72 transfer case on 33's. And here's where the money comes in that Blaine talks about. I bought rubicon axles with lockers and 4.11's, 4.3 atlas transfer case(the best thing I ever did, and if I had it to do over again, I might have gone with the 5.0 ratio). I'm now on 35's(someday on 37's), and had Stan regear to 4.88's, just to get my crawl speed lower, because sometimes you can't go slow enough, especially in a stick. I bring all this up because I think it was Gunner who said if it makes you wheel better, it is fair game. Just food for thought. Jeepers are good people. Mark.
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Old 06-08-2013, 08:06 PM   #124
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One of the things I've always done is try to look at all forms of motorsports to get ideas. One of the things that the Yota's use is a double box for some seriously slow wheel speed. I watch how the tires grip the surfaces with out slipping when someone with a more normal gearing sometimes spin. I don't think I need what they have but one of my wants is a rubicrawler. That will give me a 1, 2.72, 4.0, and 10.88 box ratios plus I can have 2.72 in 2 WD.
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Old 06-08-2013, 10:50 PM   #125
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I've never wheeled a auto in the rocks, but I think for a manual, the gearing is much more important. I started with 3.70's, 2.72 transfer case on 33's. And here's where the money comes in that Blaine talks about. I bought rubicon axles with lockers and 4.11's, 4.3 atlas transfer case(the best thing I ever did, and if I had it to do over again, I might have gone with the 5.0 ratio). I'm now on 35's(someday on 37's), and had Stan regear to 4.88's, just to get my crawl speed lower, because sometimes you can't go slow enough, especially in a stick. I bring all this up because I think it was Gunner who said if it makes you wheel better, it is fair game. Just food for thought. Jeepers are good people. Mark.
I think you hit on the big point Mark, you really need the lower gearing with the manual. When I was considering the auto swap, the biggest thing that held me back was that I was either going to have to use a 32 rh 3 speed tranny as opposed to the aw4 4 speed or lose my ruby t case. It had me stopped. After seeing how many we're getting by with the standard TC and running an auto I gave in. At this point I am very content and I don't think I will go to a Tera low or atlas unless I do some JV trails or something extreme and feel I need to go lower. I don't plan on changing anything except going to 5.13 or 5.38s. As far as TC gearing, I guess I need to see some real low ones in action becaus, I don't see where 10 to 1 is needed, that's real low....i could see maybe 5 to 1.
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:00 PM   #126
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One of the things I've always done is try to look at all forms of motorsports to get ideas. One of the things that the Yota's use is a double box for some seriously slow wheel speed. I watch how the tires grip the surfaces with out slipping when someone with a more normal gearing sometimes spin. I don't think I need what they have but one of my wants is a rubicrawler. That will give me a 1, 2.72, 4.0, and 10.88 box ratios plus I can have 2.72 in 2 WD.
The most common mistake I see folks with autos make is trying to be heroes when they get moving. They get the rig going and as soon as it gets on the line and headed the right way, they punch the throttle, break traction and slide off the line.

I've had my friends step out of their rigs after several tries and got in and showed them how to give it just enough throttle to get it moving and then keep it there to hold the tires right at the limit of adhesion without slipping.

With your short wheelbase, you will find yourself in situations where you will roll it before you can spool up your ground speed fast enough to drive out of it.

Watch this one of me coming down the north side of Jackhammer. The left rear comes up catching me by surprise and all I did was give it a bit of throttle to get back under it, catch it with the brakes when it touched down and then continue down the trail.

http://justaddrocks.com/Movies/quick%20jack.mov

Without enough gear to spool up your ground speed, you're toast.
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:11 PM   #127
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Nicely played on the roll out. Settled that back end right down.
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:23 PM   #128
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The low low gears would only be for climbing really tricky stuff, and for saving my back. For down hills I would use 4 or 2.72. Kind of like turning off the front locker when you don't need it.
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:27 PM   #129
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Hey Blaine, I would like to know about your driveshafts issues. Whether getting banged up on the rocks or something else? And for what it's worth, I learn something new everytime I go wheeling. I was backing off a small waterfall and hit the brakes a little to hard and the front end got way to light. Had I used the brakes with a little more finesse, which is what I'll do next time, everything would of been good. It turned out good anyhow, but lesson learned.
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:32 PM   #130
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The low low gears would only be for climbing really tricky stuff, and for saving my back. For down hills I would use 4 or 2.72. Kind of like turning off the front locker when you don't need it.
You have infinitely low gearing with the torque converter. It is far better if you learn to drive the tricky stuff rather than depend on your equipment to do it for you.

When you get to JV, you will find very few spots on most of the trails where you would turn your front locker off. On Sledge in particular, there isn't one inch of trail between the first V notch and the mail box which is about 3/8ths of a mile where you would even consider it.
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:40 PM   #131
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Hey Blaine, I would like to know about your driveshafts issues. Whether getting banged up on the rocks or something else? And for what it's worth, I learn something new everytime I go wheeling. I was backing off a small waterfall and hit the brakes a little to hard and the front end got way to light. Had I used the brakes with a little more finesse, which is what I'll do next time, everything would of been good. It turned out good anyhow, but lesson learned.
My front driveshaft issues are my own creation for the most part. I have a High Pinion front axle which was built with a bit more offset to the passenger side than I would like and I have longish travel shocks and springs up front. That lets the left side droop further than normal and when the right side is stuffed all the way, the driveshaft contacts the side of the auto transmission. When it does that under load, it bows the tube and knocks it out of balance.

I had to learn the hard way to the tune of 3 fronts before I had a custom shaft built with the slip spline up at the top so the small section is where the pan is. That shaft cost 600 bucks to get built.

The rear shaft is a 1310 CV and if I bind up a rear tire in a crack or similar it will blow the H bar to smithereens in an instant. I've done that 3 times, none on purpose. I do carry a rear spare complete with all the hardware to install it so it is usually a short time trail repair.

I learn something every time I go out.
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:42 PM   #132
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Nicely played on the roll out. Settled that back end right down.
Thanks. As we all know, neither video or pics ever do justice to what really happened and I seriously got closer to wetting myself than anytime ever before or since and I've run that trail many times. All the folks that were behind me took the bypass wash to the right side rather than follow me down after that.
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Old 06-09-2013, 12:01 AM   #133
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Thanks. As we all know, neither video or pics ever do justice to what really happened and I seriously got closer to wetting myself than anytime ever before or since and I've run that trail many times. All the folks that were behind me took the bypass wash to the right side rather than follow me down after that.
Awesome video....yeah, I would call that getting a bit light in the rear...can't imagine why the rest took the bypass... I know I would have....
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Old 06-09-2013, 01:49 AM   #134
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You have infinitely low gearing with the torque converter. It is far better if you learn to drive the tricky stuff rather than depend on your equipment to do it for you.

When you get to JV, you will find very few spots on most of the trails where you would turn your front locker off. On Sledge in particular, there isn't one inch of trail between the first V notch and the mail box which is about 3/8ths of a mile where you would even consider it.
See your forgetting something you and I talked about. I'm 65 with a bad heart and lungs. My back is shot and I am in a wheelchair sometimes because of a wrong jolt. I won't ever have your experience and Yes I need to learn to drive better but at the same time build the softest riding and least bumpy jeep I can. I don't care if it might not be needed. If it will soften the ride even a bit then I'm going to be able to do harder trails. I need my equipment to work now not after I learn.
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Old 06-09-2013, 01:54 AM   #135
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I think you're probably talking about Jon's (co-owner of Viking Offroad) TJ which only got a manual transmission because he insisted on it. Truly a great performing rig though, I got a chance to follow it through a few trails in JV. Watching it work on the trails was awe inspiring, truly impressive.

Here is a mag cover shot and two pics of Jon's rig I shot that day.
Looks like there are a few ducats well spent in that rig.
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Old 06-09-2013, 08:41 AM   #136
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Looks like there are a few ducats well spent in that rig.
One of my favorite things about it was very short lived as he removed it right after he took it home and had a cage put in it. That would be the aluminum safari top I built and then covered with soft top fabric so it would more resemble a safari top.
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Old 06-09-2013, 10:30 AM   #137
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Standard wheelbase TJ will be tough to swap an AW-4 into with the 4-1 241. There is no way to shorten it and unless you are liking a very short rear driveshaft you'll have to swap a 231 in with a SSSYE.

You will also need or will need to consider 5:38's in the diffs, trans cooler and a custom mount for the belly skid.

The swap itself is easy, the wiring is a bit tedious, and I believe you will need the CPS relocation kit from Hesco. I've heard rumor of there being a way to use the CPS in the bellhousing but I've not seen the particulars.

The biggest challenge we've seen is finding the more desirable 98-01 versions of the AW-4.
I've been considering a 5" stretch to gain a little wheelbase but be able to keep the fuel tank in the stock location. Fuel cell wouldn't work out for long trips.

Custom mount for the skid and the trans cooler are fine, but I would need different axles for 5.38s. The AW4 is geared that high?

So sounds like if I want an auto a 42rle is the only option with my current setup. My dad has the 42rle in his LJ and I don't like it all that much. Even when totally bone stock it was pretty gutless on the highway compared to my 6 speed.
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Old 06-09-2013, 11:34 AM   #138
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I've been considering a 5" stretch to gain a little wheelbase but be able to keep the fuel tank in the stock location. Fuel cell wouldn't work out for long trips.

Custom mount for the skid and the trans cooler are fine, but I would need different axles for 5.38s. The AW4 is geared that high?

So sounds like if I want an auto a 42rle is the only option with my current setup. My dad has the 42rle in his LJ and I don't like it all that much. Even when totally bone stock it was pretty gutless on the highway compared to my 6 speed.
I'm in the same boat you are in wanting the 5" stretch, its not that much added length but I believe any amount is helpful and as you mentioned it allows for the gas tank to stay in the stock location. You have to replace the tank, new CAs, Driveshaft and stretch corner armor so its still not cheap. Blaine has done many and can give you plenty of advice.

The 42rle and the AW4 are geared almost identically and both are also very close to the 32 RH (except OD) AW4 is 2.8, 1.53, 1.0 and .75 OD. The 42 is 2.84,1.57,1.00 and .69 OD, so the biggest difference is OD.
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Old 06-09-2013, 12:02 PM   #139
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I've been considering a 5" stretch to gain a little wheelbase but be able to keep the fuel tank in the stock location. Fuel cell wouldn't work out for long trips.

Custom mount for the skid and the trans cooler are fine, but I would need different axles for 5.38s. The AW4 is geared that high?

So sounds like if I want an auto a 42rle is the only option with my current setup. My dad has the 42rle in his LJ and I don't like it all that much. Even when totally bone stock it was pretty gutless on the highway compared to my 6 speed.

Let us do this the easy way. What do you think your wheelbase will be with a 5" stretch?

Before you toss out a number, do two things, find out what the stock wheelbase is and then find out what you have now with 4" of lift and 35's.

I will give a few clues though as to where I'm headed. That blue rig on the cover of Crawl was pretty much the standard 4" lifted rig when he brought it to me the first time. It has some small issues that needed repair and he asked me to go through it and tune it up and fix anything that was wrong.

It was on 37's and I straightened out the steering, got the shocks squared away and just basically went through it and made it all work with what was there.

He went away for a couple of years and during that time he had a stretch kit installed, stretch tank, longer arms, new armor, blah blah blah, standard stretch crap.

When he brought it back, the first thing he said was that he had a whole bunch of stuff done to it by other folks and yet it never worked as good as when I finished it the first time even with the longer wheelbase.

That was when we tore it down and did a real stretch on it.

Another clue I'll offer up for you is I have done several stretches after folks have done stretch kits. The number one tank I move into the tub behind the front seats is a stretch tank that was purchased, put under the back of the rig and then the owners found out that it really didn't make that much difference. That makes it a really expensive lesson.
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Old 06-09-2013, 12:21 PM   #140
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I'm in the same boat you are in wanting the 5" stretch, its not that much added length but I believe any amount is helpful and as you mentioned it allows for the gas tank to stay in the stock location. You have to replace the tank, new CAs, Driveshaft and stretch corner armor so its still not cheap. Blaine has done many and can give you plenty of advice.

The 42rle and the AW4 are geared almost identically and both are also very close to the 32 RH (except OD) AW4 is 2.8, 1.53, 1.0 and .75 OD. The 42 is 2.84,1.57,1.00 and .69 OD, so the biggest difference is OD.
I've read a few builds that used the Genright tank and corner armor and it seems to work out well. I would probably just build my own 4 link at that point as well. The cost does add up but hey it's a Jeep right? I have no plans to do it anytime soon though I'm pretty satisfied with my Jeep the way it is now.

Well I have 35's now but don't plan to go any bigger on this Jeep. Sounds like 5.13's would work?
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Old 06-09-2013, 12:28 PM   #141
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I've read a few builds that used the Genright tank and corner armor and it seems to work out well.
How many folks do you know with enough balls to say that the 3-5 grand they just spent was a waste of time and money?
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Old 06-09-2013, 12:31 PM   #142
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Let us do this the easy way. What do you think your wheelbase will be with a 5" stretch?

Before you toss out a number, do two things, find out what the stock wheelbase is and then find out what you have now with 4" of lift and 35's.

I will give a few clues though as to where I'm headed. That blue rig on the cover of Crawl was pretty much the standard 4" lifted rig when he brought it to me the first time. It has some small issues that needed repair and he asked me to go through it and tune it up and fix anything that was wrong.

It was on 37's and I straightened out the steering, got the shocks squared away and just basically went through it and made it all work with what was there.

He went away for a couple of years and during that time he had a stretch kit installed, stretch tank, longer arms, new armor, blah blah blah, standard stretch crap.

When he brought it back, the first thing he said was that he had a whole bunch of stuff done to it by other folks and yet it never worked as good as when I finished it the first time even with the longer wheelbase.

That was when we tore it down and did a real stretch on it.

Another clue I'll offer up for you is I have done several stretches after folks have done stretch kits. The number one tank I move into the tub behind the front seats is a stretch tank that was purchased, put under the back of the rig and then the owners found out that it really didn't make that much difference. That makes it a really expensive lesson.
Interesting. I thought about what you said and yes IIRC my wheelbase with a 4" lift is actually shorter. So I would gain hardly anything over stock.

I've talked to a few guys and like you they say if you are going to stretch, do it once. I know it's really expensive to do it, so it sounds like it's not even worth it for a couple inches. I wheel with LJ's all the time and there isn't an obstacle that I haven't been able to climb that they have.

Thanks for the input on that. You make it a lot easier for me to see things from a logical perspective.
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Old 06-09-2013, 01:13 PM   #143
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One of the big problems I have is coming off a big rock and the tire slips coming down and BAM the rear bumper hits and sends a shock thru the jeep. That really hurts my back. I am looking at ways to control the decent and to eliminate or reduce my overhang. And heck I have spent tons of money on stupid stuff over the years. That's how you get smarter. You learn from your mistakes.
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Old 06-09-2013, 02:31 PM   #144
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See how the rig in the pictures has the rear tires sticking out past the bumper. I'm thinking that is a way to go for me. I am so torn between the Savvy TJ kit and something that is designed for my needs.
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Old 06-09-2013, 03:34 PM   #145
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One of the big problems I have is coming off a big rock and the tire slips coming down and BAM the rear bumper hits and sends a shock thru the jeep. That really hurts my back.
Sometime before the month is over I'll be posting a review/installation of a pair of suspension seats from PRC Seats you will probably want to install then. It uses a system of web strapping and elastic parachute cording to suspend you to eliminate, or at least greatly reduce, the shocks and jolts associated with hardcore offroading. And a better offroad oriented seat will hold you in more securely so your back isn't beat/sore/dead tired at the end of the day, the main reason I decided to install a better seat. All serious competitive rigs are running some form of suspension seat. Nope, no shock absorbers are used for this type of suspension seat.
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Old 06-09-2013, 03:46 PM   #146
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Sometime before the month is over I'll be posting a review/installation of a pair of suspension seats from PRC Seats you will probably want to install then. It uses a system of web strapping and elastic parachute cording to suspend you to eliminate, or at least greatly reduce, the shocks and jolts associated with hardcore offroading. All serious competitive rigs are running some form of suspension seat. Nope, no shock absorbers are used for that type of suspension seat.
I have suggested a seat like this to him not long ago....his grandson is supposed to be building a seat for him....I agree that if your not running some sort of suspension seat your in pain....one of the best things you could do to aid in smoothing out the ride.
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Old 06-09-2013, 04:26 PM   #147
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Sometime before the month is over I'll be posting a review/installation of a pair of suspension seats from PRC Seats you will probably want to install then. It uses a system of web strapping and elastic parachute cording to suspend you to eliminate, or at least greatly reduce, the shocks and jolts associated with hardcore offroading. And a better offroad oriented seat will hold you in more securely so your back isn't beat/sore/dead tired at the end of the day, the main reason I decided to install a better seat. All serious competitive rigs are running some form of suspension seat. Nope, no shock absorbers are used for this type of suspension seat.
I'll keep an eye out for the PRP seat review. I sat in a Mastercraft Rubicon seat today and man is it nice. I like how high the sides are to hold you in when your off camber. I really don't like the stock seats at all.
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Old 06-09-2013, 04:44 PM   #148
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Here again I have a problem. I have a 60 inch chest and a big butt. I don't fit in a seat with bolsters. I sit up on the sides and the back wings are about 10 inches to close together. Maybe if I was still 220 I might fit but at 280 I just don't.
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Old 06-09-2013, 04:58 PM   #149
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The seats I'll be installing are PRP's Daily Driver which while it has a slightly higher bolster, is not a deep bolster seat like you are probably thinking of. High bolster seats are too hard to get in and out of for non all-day sitting in the seat type of use. Not to mention they make a 2" wider seat version for the more manly types. I will be installing the wider version on the passenger side since I never know who will be riding with me.
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Old 06-09-2013, 05:02 PM   #150
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Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Seal Beach
Posts: 6,847
I'll be looking forward to it. Maybe you'll have the seat by the time we get togetherer to swap frames.

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