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Discussion Starter #141
Hello everyone,

I got my Jeep back last week. It's not quite dialed in just where I want it yet but it's a big improvement over how it was prior to taking it to the shop. They put my caster to just over 5 degrees. 5.1 degrees if I remember correctly. However, I want to try taking it a little further. I plan on wheeling it this weekend and won't make any major changes till after I get back. Also, I have not installed my steering stabilizer yet. I wanted to get everything worked out with my steering before I throw it on. I do plan on installing it now that everything feels good. Depending on how it feels I may not need more caster. I'll keep everyone posted.

I have been playing around with the Falcon shock settings. 2.1 feels the most like my Rock Sport shocks. I have given 2.4 and 2.2 the most driving time so far. I think having my top off makes a difference in my preference. I might try a little firmer in the front and softer in the rear. Like 2.4 or 2.3 in the front and 2.2 or 2.1 in the rear while the hard top is removed. I'll switch them while on lunch today.

I have about 450 miles on it since doing the this round of mods. The @Flowmaster Exhaust is starting to change its tune a little... For the better. I didn't dislike it before but I am really starting to love it now. It's noticeable down low and when you step on it. But its barely noticeable at all at hwy speeds. Thats with both top on and off. It's a very nice sound that I don't think I could do it Justice trying to describe it. However, to me, it sounds very good.

I ran into a small issue with my tire carrier and new wheels. Because my back spacing is now just 3.5"s the tire carrier can't get snug enough to keep the wire braced. So I took the extra hockey puck looking spacers that came with my Metal Cloak lift and placed them between the tire and the carrier to snug them up. Small price to pay for bad ass wheels.

I ordered new inner fender liners. I currently have the Ace ones I cut to make them work with the Falcons. I am not in love with them and really could keep working on them to make them work better but I wanted a different look. So I ordered the JCR liners that are designed to work with the Falcons. I'm sure I will make a post about them once I receive them.

I really like the performance of the 4.88 gears. When I was keeping my speeds down and just getting used to them after having them installed it didn't feel all that different to me at first. Again I was avoiding hwys and wasn't really "getting on it" at that point either. Now that I have starting driving it more and quicker, the ratio difference makes a much bigger difference. On the hwy I am not dropping all the way down to 3rd and having issues keeping up. Also cruising around 70 keeps it in 5th and right around 2600ish RPM. While I do think 5.13 would have made a more noticeable difference, the 4.88 seems to put me back near how I felt back when stock.

Dynatrec Brakes! No issues there. Hardly anything to report other than they are great! If you are thinking about them as an option then just go for it. They have been excellent.

Some thoughts towards the future.... I am thinking I need a soft top pretty soon. I just need to figure out what one to go with. Also, I see some seat covers in the near future. The leather seats in the heat are not the kind of seat warmer you wanna have in the summer. If nothing else then a spider web shade. I also looked at a friends Jeep with the BedTread floor liner. I got caught in a bad rain yesterday and would like something different than my carpet in there. I also still want to add some storage before my big trips later this summer. I'll be researching that a bit more in the coming weeks.

Here's how it currently looks. Not the best pics. It could use a bath but it's raining every other day here right now. That's another thing I need to work on. It needs a good bath and some wax.
 

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We're happy to hear that you're loving your Flowmaster! Thanks for the support.

- Jason @ Flowmaster
 

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That is one incredible looking Jeep!!
 
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Discussion Starter #145
So an interesting thing happened.... I had planned to go wheeling today, Saturday, but hadn't installed my front driveshaft since swapping in my front axle. Well, my wife and I tried to swap the flange but couldn't get the nut off. Short on time I took the Jeep to my local 4 Wheel Parts to have them make the swap for me. I also asked them to just check my alignment.

Later that day, Friday, I go back to pick it up and they said my alignment looked good other than my toe was a hair out. So they moved it back to a slight toe in. Now my steering feels great. Like better than I have ever had it.

Now the interesting part. My wife and I go to install my skid plates back on. She gets under the Jeep first as I was getting everything ready. She asks, "Um should it be leaking?" Well, I knew I had a little diff fluid coming out my breather tube from when I filled it and asked if that was what she was seeing. She's like no, its all over the place. So I get under there and she was not kidding. It was EVERYWHERE. Dripping off of everything. I am friends with the 4WPs manager and sent him some texts asking what could have happened. I sent him a few pics and we were both pretty confused and decided I should bring it back in the next morning. Today, Saturday. Sadly, that meant not wheeling. So they put it up on the rack and come to find out the pinion seal was spinning in the pinion. Not sure what caused it but they swapped it out with a new one.

So, that was odd. It seems there is always something. So tomorrow I will finally install the steering stabilizer and skid plates. After that, if nothing else goes crazy, I will be done for a little while.
 

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Discussion Starter #147
I installed the stabilizer and skids including the sway bar skid from Rock Hard 4x4. It's a very tight fit with my steering. I am going to try to flex it out to make sure nothing hits but for normal driving it should be fine. I am just worried about when I'm flexed out.

No new pics today. I'll try to snap some pics in the coming days.
 

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Discussion Starter #148
Picture time. Here's a few pics as I was walking out of work today. Last two show the new Rock Hard skid and just how close it is to the steering. I am not too worried about downward flex as the axle moves further away. However, Upward travel could be a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #149
I was able to take my dad for a topless drive today. He is very impressed with what I have turned the Jeep into. He's not a fan of the Flowmaster. However, I don't think he would like any aftermarket exhaust. We had a good drive around two lake towns that are near me.

Gotta say now that my Jeep is "complete" I am really enjoying it. I'm driving around just to drive around. I haven't really done that since high school... Quite a while ago.

With the 4.88s I feel like I have more get up and go. With the Dynatrac brakes I feel like I have more stopping power. With the lift and tires I feel like I can go anywhere. But overall the sum of it's parts is just fun! We are going to a local off-road park on Saturday but honestly I can't wait to take it on some longer road trips again. Our Colorado trip is just over a month away. Can't wait!
 

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Discussion Starter #151
@Rapacious thanks for the kind words.


The owner of this white Sahara tired to prank me the other day. My office is in the center of our building so I can't see outside. She comes running in saying its pouring down rain. I was like IS IT REALLY?! Glad I have a towel I guess... Lol It wasn't raining.

Although Last week I did get caught in a pretty bad down pour on my drive home. :censored:
 

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I put "" around it. lol My list of wants are just a lot smaller than before I started modding.




Thank you! I am really enjoying it.

Maybe you should just say that "Stage One" is done... That leaves you open for a lot of stages!

I forgot what stage I'm on now anyways! Haha

She came out great!
 

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Discussion Starter #157
We took the Jeep down to Kansas Rocks today for a shake down run. Surprisingly, not a lot of shaking was done.

Speed limit for most of the drive is 75. Jeep handled that quite well. Once we got there we realized I forgot my air downs. Sadly, I wasn't the only one. So a few of us shared and used keys. Not a fun process with 37s and 30psi of air.

We finally got air'ed down and disconnected and headed off into the woods. Had a great time. I tried a new black trail that I hadn't been on before. It was a challenge but I made it up. So then another member of our group wanted to try so I lead him down to the start of it and then attempted a harder line out. This trail makes a V near the end so I tried the harder side and got hung up on my diff real good. After a few attempts I switched back to the other side and climbed out.

Another challenge I tried got me all the way up but I couldn't get out without risk of hitting my drivers door. So once I got to the top I winched myself up the rest of the way. It was nice to use my winch again. I really like the wireless feature of the X2O. That was the one and only time we used a winch that day. Apparently, my friend that has a JL on 35s also had to do the same thing once he made it to the top as well. He ran it a few weeks back. The guy spotting me today told me hes made it up twice but slammed HARD into a tree both times in his TJ. He told me this after I got to the top. lol It was a fun challenge.

A few other things we tried was this crazy full flexy muddy mess of a trail that puts you basically on your sides. It feels real bad how off camber you get and the mud makes for a challenge. It really is a soupy mess. After the "hard" part you have to get the pleasure of deep flowing water muddy ruts. I ended up taking them in a very fun way of having my front tires on the right rut and my rears in the left and just powering sideways up them.

There were a lot of other fun trails and our group was great. We had 4 of us. One TJ locked on 35s, a JKU Sport open on 35s, a JKU Sahara limited rear on 35s and my Cookie Monster. Later in the day, The Sahara had to leave and we gained another JKU Hard Rock that was fully cloaked. It looked great in Anvil color.

We mostly took it easy the second half of the day. Still staying to blues and blacks that we are used to as well as a lot of unmarked new trails. This park opened up a new section a year ago. So we were playing over there quite a bit.

So how did CM shake out? Well, I think my Rock Hard front skid has to go or get modified. Both my drag link and my tie rod made contact with it. Not too bad but enough that I am going to look for a different option.

The PSC steering box did well. However, I think I need to add a cooler for it. I still need to look into it more but I think I was really cooking the power steering fluid. I haven't had a chance to look at the levels since getting home. It did it's job quite well. But I am pretty sure I will be adding a cooler pretty quickly.

Everything else did their jobs nicely. I am glad I went with the KMC's over the ATX wheels. They did a pretty good job draining mud out of the wheels. The brakes were fantastic. Very impressed with them on the trails. I did however get some dirt or a rock stuck on one for a bit. Nails on a chalkboard!

The Falcons.... I have been running them in the 2-5 fronts and 2-4 rears. I like this setup a lot on the road. When we got to the park I switched them all to the 1 (lightest) setting. They felt great. At the end of the day, after airing up, I forgot to switch them back. I drove about 15 miles of mixed roads with them on the lightest setting. Also, I had a strong cross wind for a lot of that time. While it is soft and soaks up bumps nicely, it's not for me for on road performance. It makes my Jeep feel more top heavy and the cross winds didn't help. We stopped at a gas station (I wasn't going to make it home without some gas) and I flipped them all back to their 2 settings. I really like being able to make those kinds of adjustments so quickly and easily.

Overall, a great time was had by all. I prefer smaller groups when wheeling. You get to know everyone better and you can cover a lot more ground. Plus, I feel you can take more risks because if you do get stuck or have a problem you aren't holding a big group up and you can normally find a solution quickly without too much debate. Also, it's much easier to spot or be spotted.
 

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Discussion Starter #158
Oh I think I finally figured out what all the hype with the Steer Smarts Griffin is about. So I still had some mud in my wheels when we left. I could feel the Jeep giving off that shaking as the tires were out of balance till the mud or whatever sludge finally flung off. However during that time my steering wheel stayed rock solid. Never even giving a hint at the out of balance nature of the wheels.

While I also like how the wheel doesn't over react to bridges and bumps in the road. But I don't think it ever really clicked as I "needed" addition till today.

Full disclosure: I wasn't really sold on the "idea" of the griffin that I bought mine used on ebay while ebay was doing one of their 20% deals. So I ended up scoring mine pretty cheap. Had it not been for the deal I wouldn't have bought one.

I do like it and would recommend it now that I understand it better.
 

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Discussion Starter #159
RCVs: It's still hard to turn when locked on solid ground. It feels different than a U-joint axle does but say you are just on some dirt path and want to turn while locked. It's still not the same as driving unlocked. I've heard a lot of things (miss information) about RCVs. But I just wanted to say what I experienced with them.

Now, when on a trail where you really do need to be locked, I do feel like they work better. I can turn full lock to lock and not have that binding feeling you get with a U-Joint. Or, if you are fully turned it still reacts the way you would want it to. But once you are back to the main loop you are gonna want to unlock. Physics dictate that turning on even ground still sucks when locked.

Honestly, I really like how they feel on the types of trails we run. A lot of the time we will have a ledge at the top of a long rocky climb to get over with a oddball exit with a tree or rock messing up a normal line. Being able to be fully turned at the top and not feel like your u-joint is about to snap is a very nice feeling. Are they worth their price? That's a tough pill to swallow but, for me, I would say, yes.
 

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Discussion Starter #160
@RichL35 Thanks for talking me and my wife into the KMCs. I just washed the Jeep and I can't even imagine cleaning the Slabs out. The drain holes work well. Also the wheel design makes cleaning both sides out pretty easy. The rings took a beating but still look good. I think overall these are easier to clean than my stock wheels were.


Oh and they look bad ass!
 
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