Daily Driver, Go Where I Want To Build

Went out for a drive and attracted a bird.
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After I got the welder, I added a clip to the basket in order to store the soft door windows.
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I made a nylon strap to support the other end of the windows.
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Here it is re-installed. The net is something that had been floating around the shop for years. Never throw anything away.
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Full of junk for few days.
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Bought a Tuffy glove box from CL.
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For some reason, despite being larger than the factory glove box, Tuffy managed to make its version useless.
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All of that fit fine before.
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The problem is this silly aluminum guard. I don't know why it is here.
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So I removed it.
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Now everything fits inside again.
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Then I used this pic of the fuse diagram to make a laminated copy and keep in the Tuffy box.
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Used Truck-Lite LED headlights from CL.
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I also added black headlight bezels for the goth/Hot Topic look.
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Here is how much thicker the TLs are compared to the Hella Vision+ lights I had before.
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Overall, these are significantly better than halogens. Much brighter and further reach. Though I do miss the warmer color of the old lights.
 
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This will be the switch panel for my rear air bags. Just a simple solenoid fill valve and a bleed valve.
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The back side.
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0-60psi gauge. Red button is the fill switch that will be connected to a solenoid valve. Shiny button below is the bleed valve. The piece in the middle is to hold the bleed valve open. The idea is so that the bags don't restrict or slow up travel when not in use. Running these bags empty is against the manufacturer's recommendation. The concern is over chafing. I don't see that happening on my installation. We will see what happens.
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Also, notice the dash switch for the York. No more blank spots!
 
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Here are the rear AirLift load support bags. Part of my exploration with springs is to find the longest and lightest springs that will provide the ride height I am after. Currie springs are soft and will sag with passengers or camping gear. Rather than use a higher spring rate, I decided I would rather add the bags.

Drill a hole in the lower spring seat for the supply line.
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Stuff the bag into the coil and connect the supply line.
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The bags are teed together near the diff. The main supply line runs up to solenoid valve on the York manifold.

With the axle hanging...
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When you call AirLift, they will try to sell you bags based on stock suspension travels. They also want you to remove the jounce bumper. I disagree with this. The first bags were way too small for my setup. During the process of returning them, I was able to find bags the fit the inner diameter of the Currie springs and were tall enough when empty to fill the space between the lower spring seat and the bottom of the jounce. Now when I begin to fill the bags they are providing support immediately, but whith no more pressure than is needed. And as mentioned above, I run the bags empty when not in use with the bleed valve open. I did this because i did not want the bags to influence the suspension travel when not in use. Because i selected bags that fit inside the spring when empty, they don't flop around or chafe.
 
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August 22, 2016
Late that night I was one of the first to order the new Savvy mid-arm kit.
 
Some notes from that time period...

I began my lift coil and spacer experiment a couple weekends ago. No added bump stop was needed to prevent coil bind.

Front
OME 931
1.75" spacer
1.375" bump stop for tires
~3.5" lift
21.75" total free length
12.4" available travel before unseated coils

Rear
Currie 3"
1" spacer
1" bump stop for shocks
~3.5" lift
16.75" total free length
10.75" available travel before unseated coils

Next step is to relocate shock mounts to try for 11"+ of travel while keeping the springs seated at droop. If I raise the rear enough, I can lose the 1" BS extension and have 11.75" of available spring travel without unseating.
 
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Late August 2016

Last week I was working in Telluride, CO. Friday was my scheduled play day before going home on Saturday. I got to run:

Ophir Pass
US Basin
Bullion King
Black Bear Pass
Imogene Pass
Poukeepsie Gulch
California Pass


A flock of sheep on US Basin...
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Here is Black Bear...
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This is close to the spot were my dad and I were needlessly scared away by the quads two years ago.
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Black Bear was great, but Imogene might be the better of the two. I think Poukeepsie was my favorite. Though two years later, I still can't figure out how to climb the ledge. I winched up again this time.

Here is a massive herd of elk hiding in the dark while on my way to the hotel.
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This is future me writing in February 2021. My thoughts on springs and rates has changed significantly since this was written in Fall of 2016. Since then, the Jeep's suspension has been completely rebuilt and I have gained significant experience with tuned shocks.

While I won't say I didn't experience what I describe below, I now understand that these changes were inconsequentially small compared to the difference shock tuning makes.

I write this in an effort to stop those who are cherry picking this early documentation of my years long journey towards greater knowledge and understanding from using this to undermine my assertions today. It is my assertion that springs set the ride height and that shocks determine the ride.



And some thoughts on my springs and spacers after lots of pavement travel a full day of off-road. Adding the spacers to the current OME/Currie combo did very little to change the ride characteristics. Not at all like what I experienced after switching between the softer and stiffer spring rates. Something I noticed on both the street and trail is that the front and rear feel more balanced. With the stiffer OME949s at 216lbs/", I often felt that the rear didn't move a freely as the front 933s at 140lbs. Now with the slightly longer 931s still at 140lbs and the rear Curries at about 185lbs, I feel like both ends are working together more. The front/rear balance feels more even. The ride really does feel noticeably more compliant.

What still frustrates me is that, even though the math agrees with my experience, I am supposed to believe that springs don't effect the ride characteristics.

I don't know what to say except that I will carry on with what I am doing. I will argue that every little bit of consideration adds up into something meaningful. If you are in a position to play with coils, choose the lightest rate that provides the ride height you want. Adjust with spacers without needing to add bump stops extension.
 
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Some current and future projects (from Aug 2016):

-New tires next week. I will be going from GY Duratracs with over 50k miles to Cooper Discoverer STT Maxx. The DTs have performed flawlessly, but I have been curious about the Coopers for a while. Same size @ 285/75r16.

-Install my new arms and keeping thinking about longer shocks.

-Raise the front axle sway bar links. Even though it will rarely/never happen, it bothers me that the drag link lower end hits the passenger sway bar mount at full droop. Plus, doing so allows me to raise the tie rod on the driver's side.

-I have an odd center console project coming up. I want a real second cup holder again and I need to mount a line pressure gauge for my OBA.
 
August 31, 2016
Took a long lunch and got my new tires.

I went from 285/75r16 Goodyear Duratracs to Cooper Discoverer ST Maxx.
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The DTs lasted 50k miles on a fairly consistent 5 tire rotation. Never had a problem with them. They performed perfectly many times at 10psi. Never once did I tear a sidewall.

I went with the Cooper's just for something different.

Discount Tires parking lot 2 1/2 years ago.
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Sep 04, 2016

Raised my sway bar axle mounts using a pair of Black Magic Brakes' relocation brackets.
http://www.shop.blackmagicbrakes.co...rackets-and-Gussets-SWAYBAR-LINK-BRACKETS.htm

The new brackets sit right above the old.
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Clamp a piece of flat steel across the bolt holes to maintain the correct alignment.
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Weld it on. Paint it.
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Cut off the factory mount.
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My main motivation is that the tie rod end on the drag link will hit the factory sway bar mount at full droop and full passenger steering lock. This bothered me.
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Now it won't on those very rare occasions when the front end is hanging.
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Perhaps more importantly, this also paves the way to flip the driver's side tie rod end.
 
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Several of us ran Ironclads, Middle St. Vrain and Coney Flats today. I dropped the Coopers down to 6psi. They feel very grippy. More so than I recall the Duratracs when they were new.

At the end when everyone else was airing up with CO2, my York was just as fast. This was also the first full air up with the York where the system got a workout. My small oil cooler turned air cooler seems to be doing something. There was a significant temperature difference between the pump discharge and the manifold. I can't say for sure that I am preventing anything, but it is nice to know that the design works.
 
I asked this question quite a while ago, but it still stands as I recreate this thread. What do you think?
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Anyone have any thoughts on MCE fenders? Just thinking about the future. I don't want Metalcloaks. PSC High Line DeFenders would be very nice, but I have so much stuffed onto my inner fenders that losing that space would be difficult.

MCE offers the same/similar small uptravel gains as MC, allowing me to lose some front bump stop extension and bring my tires closer to the hood line. MCE keeps the factory inner fenders, so the back side of the wheel opening stays the same. Even if I moved to 35's, I don't think I need that extra room.

I have never seen a set in person, though the pics I have seen always look great. Some have complained about the transition area from fender to body.

The Jeep is a daily, which means I do want fender/flare coverage.

Thoughts? Feelings?



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