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What additional mods, if any, would you make?

Tanksoldier

New Member
Joined
May 25, 2020
Messages
17
Location
Colorado
…if you were going to run the Baja XL this February in you 97 TJ?

Its a 2500 mile “race” from San Diego to Cabo and back down the Baja Peninsula. It used to be called the Baja 4000. I plan to enter in the non-competitive “adventurer” category for this first race, to see what all is involved.

This vid is a pretty good overview:


Most importantly, this is a ”minimal support” event. No team support, no race support except in case of severe injury or illness.

Mods thus far:

Ford 8.8 rear: rear disc brakes, 4:10 gears
Daystar 1” body lift
Rubicon Express 2.5” budget lift
Rubicon Express steering stabilizer
Goodyear Duratrac 33x12.5r15 on Black Rock Type D 15x8s
Smittybilt SRC Rocker Guards
Smittybilt SRC Rear Bumper with Tire Carrier
JVC KD-350BTS

I already plan to add a cargo rack, rooftop tent (most of the stages end in wilderness, not towns), winch, armor for front diff and steering gearbox, do the ZJ tie rod upgrade. Fuel, water, etc. I have a compressor and plug kit.

I want to find a way to carry a second spare. Ideas?

What else?
 

Plumber1

Tito's, Tacos and Trails
Supporting Member
Joined
May 27, 2019
Messages
3,110
Location
San Ramon, CA
I did the Nevada Trophy event a few years ago, https://www.nevadatrophy.com. not as intense as what your talking. It is a timed event so we ended up driving much faster than I normally would. What I learned is to make sure everything is strapped very tightly down, and don't us a bumper mounted tire rack. I had a 35" tire along with a couple of Rotopax for gas. By the end I was using watch straps to keep it closed. This was a Rock Hard 4x4 bumper which is very well made an heavy bumper I would add an air compressor not a tank as those can run out and take up valuable space. Also a tire patch kit and Colby emergency valve stems


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Last edited:

Mikee024

stuck in the city
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2021
Messages
876
Location
NY
…if you were going to run the Baja XL this February in you 97 TJ?

Its a 2500 mile “race” from San Diego to Cabo and back down the Baja Peninsula. It used to be called the Baja 4000. I plan to enter in the non-competitive “adventurer” category for this first race, to see what all is involved.

This vid is a pretty good overview:


Most importantly, this is a ”minimal support” event. No team support, no race support except in case of severe injury or illness.

Mods thus far:

Ford 8.8 rear: rear disc brakes, 4:10 gears
Daystar 1” body lift
Rubicon Express 2.5” budget lift
Rubicon Express steering stabilizer
Goodyear Duratrac 33x12.5r15 on Black Rock Type D 15x8s
Smittybilt SRC Rocker Guards
Smittybilt SRC Rear Bumper with Tire Carrier
JVC KD-350BTS

I already plan to add a cargo rack, rooftop tent (most of the stages end in wilderness, not towns), winch, armor for front diff and steering gearbox, do the ZJ tie rod upgrade. Fuel, water, etc. I have a compressor and plug kit.

I want to find a way to carry a second spare. Ideas?

What else?

Wow this looks like something I’d potentially be game to do if I can get some free time.

Best of luck!

Here’s some random thoughts:

Any plans to carry a CB radio or Sat. phone?

I’d make sure you have fuses, relays, and extra sensors that are known to shut a jeep down,

plenty of tools and torque wrenches

Grease your drive shaft, ball joints, and any other serviceable zerks.

Flush brake fluid if it hasn't been done somewhat recently.

Make sure your wiring (and battery) is all snugged down well.

Make sure motor mounts are torqued properly. Check differential cover bolts and Control arms.

Drain/fill differentials if they haven’t been serviced in a while.

Change transmission fluid and filter if it needs to be changed.

Fresh oil change before and after race. Use a good filter.

Clean/replace air filter.

Make sure your fluids are all in good shape and at correct levels.

Don’t forget to service you power steering if it needs it.

Bring spare coolant since you might be running hot and/or losing some fluid in the reservoir from bouncing around.

Tons of water. Sunscreen maybe

A spotter/navigator (or bring your doggo)

Check your tires for cracks or nails before you go.

Ensure onboard air in fact works.

Ensure spare tire holds air to spec.

Check torque on body mounts.

Check torque on seat mounting bolts

Ensure your xfr case shifter works as it should.

Have good lighting (and wiring is proper).

Ensure your alternator is properly charging your battery and battery is in good shape (trickle charge battery).

Bring lithium vehicle starter / battery booster in case u need it (absolutely loved mine but it got stolen…will buy another one when I reunite with my Jeep).

Spare gas

Multimeter

Plenty of Toilet paper

Bottle jack and wood blocks for spare tire change.

Sleeping bag

Knife

Parachorde and/or ratchet straps just in case

Ensure exhaust is tight from headers back to the tail pipe

Windshield wiper fluid and good wiper blades

Ensure no problematic leaks from diff, engine pan, trans pan.
 

ColoJeep

Just a car guy
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2021
Messages
1,455
Location
Elev.9052'
I want to find a way to carry a second spare. Ideas?

Most long course racers angle mount twin spares at a 60 degree angle to the rear cage. You will need REALLY good shocks , especially since you won't have much suspension travel. Old school off roaders mounted multiple shocks at each location , but we have better, (expensive) shocks today .( Think King etc..)
5 point harnesses and a real cage can't be over stressed. Your cooling system and suspension ,(Thus you) will take a beating , your factory seat belt will saw you in half in the rough stuff.

Slow WAY down and have some fun ! I used to race 1/2 1600 short course , expensive fun !
 

Jerry Bransford

TJ Guru Moderator
Staff Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2015
Messages
25,501
Location
Fleming Island Florida
The ZJ tie rod is a good upgrade but the tie rod is not the only thing that can bend up front. If there's any financial way you can do this, and I personally would figure out a way if that's iffy, I'd install the Rock Jock (aka Currie) Currectlync Heavy Duty Steering kit plus a Currie adjustable length track bar. The Currectlync, which is a bolt-on kit requiring no other modifications, includes both a tie rod and drag link, both are beefy as hell. The tie rod, drag link, and track bar are known to bend, especially during something like what you plan to do.
 

mousehunter

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2022
Messages
181
Location
Texas
Sounds like a cool trip. Only thing I might add is bring a first aid kit - and extra Ibuprofin. If I tried it, pretty sure I would leave my back in Mexico.
 
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bucky

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2020
Messages
785
Location
SoCal/North Dakota/ N Az
While I’ve never run the race I’ve wheeled the course a bit on my many Baja trips through the years. If you plan to go balls out you will need chase vehicles to carry everything you could possibly need. You will be given no quarter from others who are actually racing.
Most critical jeep items that experience has taught me:
1) Tires while a patch kit may come in handy I’ve found most tire issues were not repairable.
2) As you get farther down fuel can be a long way out.
3) you will find a lot of shale and it is easy to pivot a piece into a critical part.
4) Extraction strategy, I’ve never gone with out at least 2 other vehicles. You have a high probability of becoming immobile and your jeep will have to get back home somehow.
Personal needs:
1) water, gatorade and some food.
2) some sort of shade such as an easyup. Working on your vehicle in the sun or waiting for help sucks.
3) Good first aid supplies. Think broken bones and puncture wounds.

The good thing about doing the race is that there will be resources along the way that normally would not be available. It definitely will be an adventure of a lifetime.
 
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AndyG

TJ Guru
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2018
Messages
13,119
Location
Alabama
I did the Nevada Trophy event a few years ago, https://www.nevadatrophy.com. not as intense as what your talking. It is a timed event so we ended up driving much faster than I normally would. What I learned is to make sure everything is strapped very tightly down, and don't us a bumper mounted tire rack. I had a 35" tire along with a couple of Rotopax for gas. By the end I was using watch straps to keep it closed. This was a Rock Hard 4x4 bumper which is very well made an heavy bumper I would add an air compressor not a tank as those can run out and take up valuable space. Also a tire patch kit and Colby emergency valve stems


View attachment 361903

View attachment 361904

View attachment 361905

View attachment 361906

Your TJ is my hero-

615E39C0-0125-4818-BB92-8DBF705E1789.jpeg
 

AndyG

TJ Guru
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2018
Messages
13,119
Location
Alabama
Ooohh very pretty

Something good is in the works down here -

I’ve been admiring yours since I first saw it - you have done an awesome job with it. Awesome.

I just committed on a 2004 white TJR Auto.
 

Mikee024

stuck in the city
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2021
Messages
876
Location
NY
FYI, I have a RockJock (Currie) tie rod in excellent shape for sale on the board for $100 + shipping. Not sure if it's plug-and-play with the stock steering (would need RJ tie rod ends but includes the clamps). @Jerry Bransford, do you know if the Currie tie rod works with an otherwise stock-steering setup?

I'm bound up studying these days so I can't research on that, but shipping would come from Blaine in CA if you are interested. Didn't cross my mind the other day when I read your list. Sorry about that.
 

JMT

Definitely a Snowflake ❄️
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FYI, I have a RockJock (Currie) tie rod in excellent shape for sale on the board for $100 + shipping. Not sure if it's plug-and-play with the stock steering (would need RJ tie rod ends but includes the clamps). @Jerry Bransford, do you know if the Currie tie rod works with an otherwise stock-steering setup?

I'm bound up studying these days so I can't research on that, but shipping would come from Blaine in CA if you are interested. Didn't cross my mind the other day when I read your list. Sorry about that.

It will work with the stock drag link. All the OP would need is the Currie TR ends and the sleeves/clamps and bolts.
 

Mikee024

stuck in the city
Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 29, 2021
Messages
876
Location
NY
It will work with the stock drag link. All the OP would need is the Currie TR ends and the sleeves/clamps and bolts.

The tie rod comes with the clamps, so it looks like OP would just need new RockJock tie rod ends since mine are on the rig.

I asked if the price was good and was told it's a great price (according to someone in the forum whose opinion I greatly trust). LMK if you are interested @Tanksoldier. All good if not.
 
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OP
Tanksoldier

Tanksoldier

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Joined
May 25, 2020
Messages
17
Location
Colorado
The tie rod comes with the clamps, so it looks like OP would just need new RockJock tie rod ends since mine are on the rig.

I asked if the price was good and was told it's a great price (according to someone in the forum whose opinion I greatly trust). LMK if you are interested @Tanksoldier. All good if not.

I think I’ll skip it, but thanks.
 
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