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I bought a HF 20 ton press when they were on sale. It's paid for itself with only a couple uses. What seems to really cost are the plates to use for different types of bearings.
For the little extra money, I suggest going with the 20T, rather than a lesser press.

Good Luck, L.M.
 

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Discussion Starter #722
I bought a HF 20 ton press when they were on sale. It's paid for itself with only a couple uses. What seems to really cost are the plates to use for different types of bearings.
For the little extra money, I suggest going with the 20T, rather than a lesser press.

Good Luck, L.M.
For sure. I have used a buddy's 12 ton and absolutely would spend a few dollars more for the 20 ton.
 

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You appear to own a welder, build your own shop press like I did. Cost me around $35 for all the metal and another $35 for a 20 ton jack from harbor freight.
 

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Discussion Starter #724
You appear to own a welder, build your own shop press like I did. Cost me around $35 for all the metal and another $35 for a 20 ton jack from harbor freight.
I really liked that idea.... until I started pricing out the steel. If I could find some at scrap price it might make sense, but at new steel prices I can't build it cheaper than I can get a 20 ton at HF.
 

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I guess I did build it back in 2013 before Trump's steel tariffs..... Though I would still recommend welding a harbor freight one together after it is assembled, my buddies 12 ton one was kinda scary before I welded it together for him. He sheered one of the chinesium assembly bolts pressing a wheel bearing on an rear axle shaft.
 

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I replaced my front axle with one that has gears more in keeping with my 31" tires. I had planned to leave the track bar off just to see if it made any difference in how the Jeep drove. Well, the front axle sits about a quarter inch off to the passenger side. Reinstalling and adjusting the track bar will cure this. Track bar bushings were deteriorated. A new track bar is $55.00 with free shipping and I'll have to wait 5 or 6 days if I order it. New track bar bushings were $24.00 and I picked them up locally today. I used my 20T press to push the old bushings out. I'll put the track bar in tomorrow morning and be back on the road 4 1/2 days ahead of schedule because of the press.
Money wise, I saved $30.00, but my time is worth something to change the bushings. The real savings is that tomorrow afternoon I could be back in the woods. (I say "could be" rather than "will be"because Mrs. Lucky has a honeydo list) None the less, Mrs. Lucky and I will be out playing Monday rather than Thursday. All thanks to my cheapo press.

Good Luck, L.M.
 

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Discussion Starter #727
Wow... I have been slacking. It is about time I got back to work on the Jeep. I had a graduation party in my shop so that took a week or so to convert the place into party mode and then we went to the beach for a week. I sold my truck, my wife's Jeep, and my kid's Camry and bough the wife a Tahoe. Now that all of that is out of the way lets get back to it. I never evened updated this after my last wheeling trip to Rausch Creek... wtf.

All right. Rausch Creek has been on my "things to do" list for a decade. Man am I glad I finally made that happen. I finally put DaddyJeep through the stuff it was built for and it did great. Of course I identified some areas for improvement, but it made it through the weekend with only some minor repairs needed.

I also realize now that I never covered my brake issues here. In preparations for the trip I did a complete brake system overhaul with a TJ dual diaphragm booster and MC and took the O ring out of the proportioning valve. I had been having issues with my right rear Eldorado caliper leaking so I ordered up both K20 calipers to replace them. The K20 calipers were way too big and this was the morning we were to leave so I put a bolt through the right rear banjo bolt and left with three brakes. I did some research on the road since my buddy was driving and found out that I had the smaller 80's Eldorado calipers. I did some digging and found that I would need an 80's metric car caliper. I found an Autozone close to where we were that had a caliber for an '80 Malibu so we picked that up along with some new pads. Once we got to the park I installed the caliper on the trailer and bled the brakes. My brake haven't felt this good in a long time. I still have to bleed them a little better, but this was a huge improvement.

We started off Saturday morning on Yellow Jacket. For some reason my right front hub wasn't engaging at first and made it a little challenging in 3wd, but after unlocking and locking it back in a couple times we got into 4wd. We didn't get many pics, but got quite a bit of video. Once I get it all put together I will post it up here. We did so many trails it would be tough to talk about them all, but I will cover what I can. After Yellow Jacket we went down Trail O. It had a pretty gnarly off camber ledge to drop off. Of course I altered the trail a bit my bringing a mattress sized rock down the hill with me. My Ballistic Fab diff cover decided to grab ahold of it and bring it with us. We ran Cemetary at some point after that. That was a real fun black trail. At some point I came down on a rock and completely destroyed my Winters Shift Linkage.



At least I was stuck in D so I could keep going. I have no neutral safety switch so I was able to shut the Jeep down as needed. After we finished Cemetary we headed over to Crawling for Cops, a Blue/Black trail. We figured it would be ok to bring along my buddy in his KK on 31.5's. We had just put in a rear locker so it was a good place to really test it out. Well, that Jeep didn't really belong on that trail, but with careful spotting we got him through just fine. It is a good thing he has lots of skid plates. This was a good time for a lunch break and a chance to evaluate my shift linkage. The park has a work area and a welder for a small fee. It certainly wasn't much, but we were able to get things functioning again there.



After lunch we decided to head over to the Northeast Property. We ran BFG both ways, 38 A, B, and C, and Outer Limits. I did pull one pic from one of the videos just because it was awesome...



My buddy in the background in his pretty cool Yj on tons with a SBC and 39.5's. Here is a closer pic of my off camber tire lift.



That wrapped up Saturday. Sunday Morning we decided to head on over to the West property to run Beaver Creek. What a great trail. It took us about 3 hours to get through it. I did at least get a pic of my son getting some seat time.



Just as we got to the end my buddy in the other YJ decided to run out of gas. Of course we were at the very furthest corner of the property and had a very long climb up the mountain to get back to the trailers. We could have driven out and brought back gas, but none of had cans so we just put him on a strap and started the long tow home. I had to pull him up a pretty good Blue trail just to get back to the main Green trail. We met up with our other buddy in the KK and had some lunch.



We started the climb. Of course my engine and trans temps climbed pretty quick and somewhere along the way I lost my transmission mount bolts and my u-joint in the front drive shaft was coming apart. Why stop now. :) The drive shaft was banging on the floor pretty good, but we kept pushing along. Once the trans temp got to 230 we decided to have a cool down break for a bit. We got back going and the tensioner pulley decided to lock up on me. Everything under the hood was too hot to touch, but we eventually got the tensioner out and were able to dump some oil into the bearings and get the pulley to free up. It was noisy, but it worked. We finally finished the climb and go the Jeeps back to the trailers. We had an awesome time and will be going back the first weekend in August.

That brings us to last weekend. It was time to build a skid plate under the engine and transmission. I picked up a 21" x 48" piece of 1/8" plate and some 3/4" angle iron. I know that 1/8" is a little thin, but that will be addressed shortly, just keep following. I built a crossover from the motor mounts to act as the front mounting point and used my existing trans cross member for the rear mount.



I made some mounting points out of some square tube with weld nuts burned in. The skid plate still leaves good access along the sides for working on the drive shaft, shift linkage, cooler lines, etc.



I bent the outer edges about 20 degrees to add some strength. I also needed a bend in the center to angle the front up a little. I made a cut in the angled edge to allow it to bend and then welded up the cuts. This in itself added quite a bit of strength. Then I burned in the angle iron making sure to tie it into the angles.



Then I took another piece of plate and bent it to match and burned it in to double up the thickness in the center.



I added some etching primer and rattle can black.



Done.



Next on the list is building a better front drive shaft.
 
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