Daily Driver, Go Where I Want To Build

February 2014

There technically isn't enough room, but here came a set of five 285/75/r16 Goodyear Duratracs.


Here they are in the Discount Tire parking lot at a teeth rattling 35psi.
Don't worry about Photobucket anymore. If you upload the photos directly to this forum (which is easy as can be), they'll be here forever, unlike Photobucket and their b.s.

I am a member of three forums for my Jeep. I posted a little on others, BUT I have focused here because I just feel this is the place for me.
I am a member of three forums for my Jeep. I posted a little on others, BUT I have focused here because I just feel this is the place for me.

I'm happy to hear that, that was my goal with building this site. A place that was 100% TJ focused, easy to use, and friendly. It seems like it's turned out well, because there's a great bunch of people here, and the site works well on all devices, including mobile.
At some point between the first lift and the Duratracs, i made a set of disconnects.




These are in my opinion the best design for DIY disconnects. I ran them for about 15k miles before the factory sway bar links broke apart somewhere around 70k miles. The pins at the axle always stayed tight and they cost less than $15, including the small rubber mallet I carried to smack the links off and back on again.

An interesting thing I only recently figured out is that in order to tuck the disconnected sway bar links on top of the spring mount like I did is to have a body lift installed. The links spent a lot of time up there and they never came loose.
It is spring 2014 and I am nearing my first full year of ownership. My dad wants to do a summer road trip. It will be in the Jeep and we will spend a week making a loop around the south west quarter of Colorado, trying to stay off pavement as much as possible and camping wherever we happen to be that night. I need to focus a bit on building the Jeep for an expedition.
With the larger spare tire weighing in at 85lbs, I was not liking how difficult the tailgate became to shut. I could see the door twisting while hanging open. Also, with the upcoming off-road trip, I figured I should have a way of carrying extra gas. My dad recently sent me his old HiLift from his Jeeping days. I don't have a shed, so I have to put it somewhere...

Nate's 4x4 makes a matching rear bumper with swing out carrier that also hold two jerry cans.

By itself, the new bumper/carrier weighs 150lbs. Loaded up with cans and tire and jack, that is adding over 300lbs to the back of the Jeep. I am going to need new coils because my rear uptravel has diminished to about 2". Remember, factory is 4".

I will discuss Nate's rear bumper in more depth later on. At this point I will say it is a good carrier for the price. But it has issues. I immediately discovered that with a HiLift mounted on it that the rear hardtop glass cannot be opened.
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Another daily driver mod is the Knuckelhead AC Bypass Switch.


Some may have noticed that there is a small rpm surge as the AC compressor cycles on and off. I find this very annoying when crawling through rush hour and all I really want is full control over which vents are blowing air without triggering the AC that I don't need right now.

The answer is to add an interrupter switch to the lime green wire on the vent selector knob.
I like driving with the rear window rolled up. The factory soft top comes with a pair of elastic bands for this purpose. Whether they have always been weak and bouncy or mine were just old, they never worked very well. So I made a pair of monkey fist knots that fit through a loop.


I realize that keeping the window rolled causes hazing. But I only have the window down during inclement weather, during which the road spray obscures my view through the window anyway. Plus I have a full set of spare windows.
It is time to address the coil issue. At this stage, I figure using factory specs as a benchmark is decent point of comparison. Factory TJs have 4" of suspension uptravel. With my heavy bumpers, winch and larger tires, I don't have that anymore.

Fortunately, thanks to Unlimited04, mrblaine, bifgnar and others discussing coil lengths and spring rates I realized I can predict which coils I should buy to get back to a minimum 4" of uptravel.

I knew the rates and length of the OME coils I had installed, which meant I could calculate the current sprung weight of my Jeep. After doing the math and measuring my existing uptravel and compressed shock lengths, I arrived at OME 933 for the front and OME 949 on the rear.

This resulted in an even 2" of spring lift with the body lift and 4" of uptravel again before the front tires hit the fenders and the rear shocks bottomed out.

During the process, I did another full bump test and extended my fronts to 1.375" and 1" in the rear. The extensions on the front were moved to the lower spring pad.

Now I am back to factory uptravel, which I am now considering the bare minimum to be maintained for an upgrade.
With the off-road trip coming and knowing that we would be loaded down with equipment and moving quickly between highways and rocky mining roads, this was a great excuse to ditch the disconnects and buy an Antirock. The factory links had also just failed on my on the way back from Minnesota, so I had to spend money on the front sway bar anyway...

I still say that the AR is the single best thing I have added to the Jeep, even as a daily driver. The softer sway bar lets the jeep float over rougher terrain, which these days includes Denver city streets. Driving connected with an Antirock while off road has no comparison to disconnects. The body stays balanced between the articulating axles instead of rocking and knocking back and forth. Off camber roads are far less intimidating. The Jeep feels very secure and stable.

I began on the loosest setting and have slowly moved to the middle with no loss in articulation.
Folks really need to pay attention to the technical aspects of your build as it progressed. At this point, what was your bumpstop for the rear?
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Folks really need to pay attention to the technical aspects of your build as it progressed. At this point, what was your bumpstop for the rear?

Compressed shocks in the rear. Tires digging into the steel fenders in the front.

Correctly extending the bump stops is one of the single most important things to understand when modifying your Jeep. Doing so will teach you nearly everything you need to know in the continual chess game of making sure all your mods work well together.

I have a pretty good Jeep today in part because I paid attention to the bumps almost from day one.
June 2014

A quick drive to the top of Twin Cone. 12,300 feet.

Sadly the second (and best) half of Twin Cone has recently been closed off due to abuse. Be responsible and stay on the trail everyone!