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Everything posted by gogmorgo

  1. I prefer the long bed. The extra foot is noticeable, especially if you're trying to sleep back there. I also like the proportions better. But I get that it doesn't turn as tight a circle, and it's got more rear overhang, which makes it a little less offroadable than a shortbed. I also get the appeal of the automatic. In normal driving situations, sometimes it's obnoxious having to use the clutch, especially in stop and go traffic. But whenever I'm doing something that isn't a monotonous commute around the city, it never behaves how I'd like it. The AW4 is better than some, but it still won't let me roll out of a stop sign into a gap in traffic without hitting second gear during the roll, and then having to pause to downshift when I mat the throttle. Or a steep road with tight switchbacks, it'll upshift as soon as I hit the switchback, then pause to downshift, sometimes twice, to keep going up, killing my momentum and forcing the engine to work harder to regain it. Or if you're climbing a slippery hill, and you're able to push just a little more throttle into it, but it decides that means you want to accelerate and kicks down a gear, and you spin out and loose your speed. It's also great to have a manual for bumping along slow trails, because it doesn't have an unlocked torque converter pulling away power every single tiny rock you need to roll over, so you're not in and out of the throttle as often. I get why people want an automatic, but every time I get back into one, I hate it.
  2. Red fox? They're adorable until they start screaming in the bushes. Makes your blood curdle. This is a terrible photo of the visitor we had at our campsite this weekend. Small black bear, interesting colour pattern. He just looks blond in the photo above, but it was dark underneath, in that classic '90's bleached-tips style. Had to chase him out four times. He wandered in Friday night as we were setting up, just munching on berries, and I shooed him out. The next morning I'd been hearing some rustling in the bushes outside my tent. I got up and realized all the berry bushes I "watered" the night before were stripped of berries, then I found him munching on another bush up near our kitchen area, which is where I snapped that photo, of him running toward the lake when I shouted at him. I headed him off and he went up the trail out of the camp, figuring he was gone. A half hour later though as we were eating breakfast I saw a bush moving in the typical cartoonish "something's hiding behind me" way. There he was munching away on berries again. This time we teamed up and chased him far enough into the bush that we lost him. Didn't see him again that day, but this morning when I got up he was munching on berries in the site again. I gave him a solid run, heading him off every time he tried to go into the bush, about 200 yards up the trail in to the campground where it connects to the main trail, where I lost him. It was actually almost comical, because he'd run ten yards or so, turn around, look at me like "wtf dude?" and then turn and keep going when I shouted, or smacked the stick I was carrying off a tree, or whatever. I kinda felt bad chasing him, because it's his home, not mine, and he wasn't interested in anything other than the berry bushes from what I could tell, just going about his natural life being a bear. But we didn't want him getting curious about our tents or anything while we were gone for the day. But it's a good reminder to keep a clean campsite. Everything with a scent (food, water, toiletries) went up the bear poles, as it normally would, but we were extra cautious about not leaving stuff out or bringing the odd thing into our tents. And for the sake of posting a half decent photo, this was our destination. Snake Indian falls. 7km cycle into our "base camp" with the bear friend, and then 25km or so onwards to the falls, and back to camp. We road out this morning. It was my first major bike ride for a few years, and I'm definitely not in the shape I was back then, so I ended up pushing up the steeper hills (1500m total elevation gain), but all in all not too bad.
  3. Yes and not necessarily. Running with no driveshaft is essentially the same as being in 2wd. It would only ever be an issue if you've got a full-time transfer case with no 2wd or locked centre diff, but that's not the case with any factory XJ/MJ tcase, and definitely not a concern without one. To answer the other question, if you find a stock XJ donor with the same engine/trans combo, it probably has the same gear ratio, but it's not a 100% guarantee. Maybe 98%. On the other hand if you find a matching d30 and c8.25 out of a 97+ XJ it's not a big job to weld perches onto the rear axle and it's going to be an upgrade, not that there's anything wrong with a d35 in a daily driver. Unless you're lucky enough to already have a Dana 44, but that's unlikely. As far as truetracs go, I've got one in my zj (4.0/ax15/np231/d35) and yeah, it's pretty much the $#!&. Traction when I need it without my input, almost imperceptible on the street, and it doesn't clunk or slam together like an auto-locker. When I put it in all I did was reuse all the shims off the old carrier, and the gear pattern was good enough to run. But also before the truetrac went in I swapped on a decent set of winter-rated ATs and went from almost requiring 4x4 to get around town to 2wd and open diff and no problems. I've also got a 2.5L 2wd shortbed MJ that gets around okay with an open diff and mediocre winter tires, although I do need to be more careful about where I park than something with 4x4. As Pete said, 4x4 is great, but proper winter tires will get just as far as 4x4 and non-winters if you're only planning on staying on maintained roads. I don't know what winter's like in your area, but our last snowfall is typically mid June and the first will be early September... mountains and whatnot. That's not to say though that the combination of winter tires and 4x4 isn't a pretty big deal.
  4. It's not a particularly complicated conversion, but it's not a small project either. You are pulling and replacing the front axle and transmission to do it, after all. Arguably though you don't need to do it all at once. You can do the axle one weekend, transmission the next, sort of thing, without affecting the ability to take it to work.
  5. Some cameras have "fireworks" settings that capture automatically when the scene suddenly illuminates. Might be useful in this context too?
  6. The other thing to consider about rebuilt status is some jurisdictions won't allow you to do it more than once. I don't know about where I presently live, but where I did before, they would total out a vehicle for a theft regardless of damage found at recovery, for example. Lots of good complete vehicles went to the salvage auctions as "irreparable, theft recovery, second total loss". They also would make anything over a certain age irreparable automatically, citing "emissions" reasons. It's well worth avoiding salvage and rebuilt titles if at all possible, even if you don't care about resale values.
  7. And one that I see people doing multiple times every single day...
  8. gogmorgo

    Tool Talk

    I'm more concerned about having weight hanging way out behind me, pretty tough on the back like that, cause you end up leaning forward to balance. But yes, not having everything fall to the bottom so I can actually find stuff is what I'd like to have going on.
  9. gogmorgo

    Tool Talk

    That ToolPak looks pretty good. I went through a couple duffel bags and tool bags in junkyards, but managed to tear the straps out of them. Ended up just dropping them into the heavy part carts... But that doesn't help when you've got a couple mile hike. Last Christmas I threw a bunch of tools into my hiking bag and hopped on the train to go get my parts XJ and drive it back. That worked okay weight-wise (probably 80lbs) but it's just a disaster to find things in there without blowing the whole thing apart. I was also pretty careful not to let train staff handle it cause it was well over the carryon weight limit by almost double. One of my concerns about the school-bag type backpacks is how far off my back the weight would end up. The ToolPak looks like it keeps things tucked up pretty close.
  10. Lemons Rally. No price limit. Finished 18th out of 50-some in the innaugural Car Weeeeak. Ran the next two as well in newer lower mile vehicles, trophied both times. Supposedly there's a strategy in place to address that concern. I'm not 100% on what it is, but my buddy helping me out is a professional welder with a couple decades experience who started out in autobody so I figure he's got a handle on it?
  11. Mine had steel put in to hold the body filler... Chicken wire on one side that fell out years ago, roof flashings riveted on the other. Guess I'm not exactly fixing it "properly" either, but 1/4"-wall tube won't rust out again, again.
  12. The switch panels are useful and tough to find, probably the 2-dr wiring harness as well. I can't say whether the regulators or motors will be worth it, don't know that they're the same as the 4-dr stuff for the MJ. Otherwise its all the usual 2-dr stuff that works on an MJ... Tilt seats?
  13. gogmorgo

    Tool Talk

    I'm also in a professional shop, essentially a municipal fleet type setup, so we see automotive, heavy equipment, small equipment, quads, boats... whatever. No helicopters though... they're in and out of our compound but not ours and I don't think we'd be allowed to touch them even if they were. Dirty's probably even wrenched on some of them, but I digress. Work provides tools for us. They will buy SO but only because that's the only tool truck that comes out our way. The Mac truck used to come by, but one of the other shops in town screwed that up for us somehow. At any rate the tools in my box are a random assortment of SO, BluePoint (Snap-On's discount brand), Mac, Napa, and even some Mastercraft and Stanley, plus some unlabelled even cheaper stuff. Nothing in my box was new when I got here. Everything works just fine, but there's a noticeable difference in the premium brands, even the old and trashed Snap-on stuff fits fasteners better than some of the newer lower-grade. Usually that's not too big a deal, but when you're working on a rusty old plow truck, sometimes that's the difference between spinning out fasteners or turning the heads into circles. And when I say rusty plows, this truck was halfway through its third season (2.5 years since delivery) with about 70k miles on it: For me, getting my professional certification as a mechanic was never a goal in life. I'd been kinda floating around between jobs with this employer after running out of money and dropping out of university. Then I got pushed towards the apprenticeship. It's not a bad job that pays the bills, and I'm getting professional training in what was a hobby, but I still don't know that I want to do this as a career for the rest of my life. Days like the last couple where I've been deconstructing the charred remains and rebuilding the electrical controls for the turd taxi after the box caught fire with no schematics available from the upfitter (because that's the sort of thing that happens when you source everything from the lowest bidder) don't exactly have me wanting to continue down this path, but not all days are like this. But getting back on the topic of tools, I'm curious what everyone has for portable tool carrying setups. For junkyard expeditions mostly, but frequently our trails equipment into dumb places and occasionally you have to hike a few miles or helicopter into the middle of nowhere to rescue it. I like the idea of a tool backpack, but most of the ones I've seen for mechanics seem more geared towards light maintenance, and most look more suitable for carpentry or maybe landscaping, less so the type of work that usually would happen in a shop. I see a few things online but I haven't found something that looks like what I want that will actually hold the weight.
  14. gogmorgo

    Tool Talk

    How you use it is definitely part of it, but when you're dealing with rusty fasteners that were on the verge of stripping out before you got a tool on them, a good fitting tool can make the difference between bolts coming out and turning hexagons into circles. That said, yeah, I definitely have more low-end stuff than high end. My collection was mostly amassed by buying things as I needed them, and the low-end stuff is usually cheap enough it's worth it even if I can only use it a couple times before it gets to the point it'll damage fasteners.
  15. So it's only been a month, but we got back at it today. Coordinating our schedules has posed a challenge, but now that we've got a solid plan I'll be able to continue on the work on my own until things need sparkled together. We pulled the fender and started cutting. It's a little tense watching someone else cut into your MJ, but he's got more experience and a steadier hand so it was best I let him do it. The rocker panels didn't have much left so no tears there but cutting the edge off the bottom of the bed when it wasn't rusted out (yet) was a bit nuts. But this bed is far from mint so still, not that terrible, even if it was one of the better parts. The plan is the 2x6 tube will sit flush with the inner rocker and the step panel inside the door. Most people seem to go to the pinch weld, but as you can see from the above photo where nothing was cut out on the inner side of the pinch seam yet, there isn't much left of it... and this is still the "good" side. This is just parked in place for now to see how things will look. We cut it to 82" which is the distance between the factory flares. I figure this works great for now, but gives me the option of bigger tires without needing to trim so much. It'll sit further in once what's left of the pinch seam and cab corner are cut out. There's a little reconstructing of floor and cab corner we'll need to do, and the front fender will need trimmed as well to accommodate the tube, and some solution to keeping the bottom edge attached after cutting out the pinch seam where it bolts on will need sorted, but I'm pretty happy with the way things are going.
  16. Straight to imgur this time.
  17. Excellent, thank you! Mind if I ask what M.R. 277 is?
  18. It's been over three years since the question was asked, yet no answer. I don't have a factory service manual in front of me, and my online sources haven't proved helpful. The diagram posted above certainly looks to be factory, however the text itself does not appear original, not necessarily in either case, and there's a pretty large discrepancy between 6" and 9.2". My experience is XJs sit lower in the rear so with the "I know this is spring under" statement, I'm going to ASSume that the 6" measurement is not in reference to an MJ? Would someone with a FSM be able to confirm this?
  19. Shoot. I just linked to the Facebook image but it's not set to public. Shoulda known better. Now from imgur.
  20. gogmorgo

    Tool Talk

    I also get a student deal off the snap-on truck, but only once per year can I cash in on that. Haven't done so yet, don't necessarily have it in the budget and don't really care to lock into monthly payments. I've still been buying random stuff as it goes on sale, and when I say random I mean random. It seems snap-on corporate is pretty garbage at getting orders right, and frequently sends the wrong order, or duplicates orders, and it's more profitable for the sales people to liquidate the stuff they likely wouldn't be able to sell than to send it back. That and stuff they're discontinuing or updating for whatever reason. Otherwise I've had pretty good luck with cheap stuff. Some is definitely better than others, and quality isn't necessarily improving that much. In a lot of cases the stuff that breaks and gets returned doesn't get sold as often, but quality has gone downhill a bit on some of what were better makes. Craftsman for instance. Another example is the Stanley socket set I bought about ten years ago on clearance, 240-some pieces, 1/4, 3/8, and 1/2 drive combo, about 80% off list. It's been my primary set of tools. I have no complaints about quality there, everything fits nice and snug, nothing's broken at all. In contrast, the current Stanley stuff has sockets that aren't concentric, corners that round off, etc. I wouldn't spend money on it unless I had to. A lot of the store brands though are getting good. The Mastercraft maximum line from crappy tire is decent, and the no-questions-asked lifetime exchange policy on broken stuff is good as well. I've got some napa UltraPro stuff that holds up decently (although I've shredded so many t50 Impact sockets on seatbelt bolts it's not even silly). The gear wrench brand stuff is excellent as well, so long as you don't use the ratcheting combo wrenches to bust stuck nuts. But once you've used the higher-end stuff, it's just, you know, better. Sockets and wrenches fit better, open-ends don't deflect as much, ratchets are smoother, with less play, finishes last longer... It's just better.
  21. If it's a just-need-to-get-it-home situation, if you can't find an alternative you can still slide a one-piece shaft into the CAD housing without messing with seals. You'll just end up covering the inside of your wheelwell with gear oil until the level drops in the diff, and the diff won't lose enough oil to be a serious concern, so long as you take care of the seal situation as soon as possible once you do get it home.
  22. Did you crack a front bleeder while you were initially trying to bleed the rear? You need to do that to simulate a front brake failure so the height sensing valve bypass gets bled properly, then you close the front bleeder and bleed everything normally.
  23. There are some differences in the floor pan, mainly under/behind the seats, but XJ floor mats would work. A few people here have used WeatherTech style mats intended for the XJ with good results.
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