Short trips in Chicagoland
Off Road driving – the art of getting dirty and going broke while slowly heading nowhere and taking all day to do it.
It is a hunk of rust. I fix one place and I find more somewhere else. This past weekend I decided to fix a spot that I never hoped to fix. The rear shackle mounts on driver and passenger side. About two months ago I decided to remove the old rusted rear cross member because I had to replace the tub bushings. But like anything else on this thing, there was rust located at the bushing points. Better said, the bushing locations are rusting out. So I took a hammer and wack the frame as hard as possible just to discover more rust around the rear. How to cut those off? That was one of the main questions I kept asking myself. Moments went by and I found the solution of how to support the Jeep while working on this issue. My neighbor took his home made gazebo down and donated some 8 x 8 beams to me. They have been sitting around for a while but they make great Jeep jack stands! Since I had the skit plate already removed, I jacked up the Jeep and put a piece of 8 x 8 as close as possible to the […]
The Xterra, a car I really enjoy driving around but the limitations of the roof rack suck at times. While taking this thing more and more to the off-road park, I wanted to find a solution to fit my jerry cans on the roof without setting the cans straight on top of the roof. And [...]
It has been quiet for a while from my side and especially regarding working on the Jeep. I finally got around to start working on my grill. What happened to it? To blast or not to blast When I bought the Jeep I thought it was a good idea to slap some truck bed liner [...]
Choices, choices and many more! And this was one of them. After debating for a long time what to do with the Jeep and the Dana 35C I found too many posts online bashing the 35 rear axle. Well, in a way that you shouldn’t go larger than 31″ tires. According to many, the Dana 35C is one of the weakest rear axles to have. Man, and I just got myself last year a donor axle with 4.10 gears in it. Who wants to buy it!? So I made a trip to the junk yard. The hunt began Getting a 8.8 rear axle is slight overwhelming. Man, look on Craigslist and people offer them for $500 and up. I am on a budget here man! After some time of research I found some good information. Ford Explorers Search for any Ford Explorer between 1995 and 2001. These should have the 8.8 rear axle. Some do come with drum brakes instead of the the rotors. Here is a list that I found online during my hunt for information. Code Description Capacity Ratio 43 Open 3200 3.08 41 Open 3200 3.27 42 Open 3200 4.10 46 Open 3200 3.73 45 Open […]
When I bought the Jeep the center console was some old weird piece of junk that it was one of the first things to get torn out of the Jeep. I went online and found some cool pictures of the ammo can arm rest. It was completed but the one thing I noticed is that it gets HOT when the sun is on it. I came up with the idea to put a little cushioning on it. Best idea ever! At rear side of the can, I tag welded the handle so you can not take the whole lid off anymore. All I need to figure out is a way to be able to lock this thing.
A while ago I started to take my Dana 35 and Dana 30 apart. For the Dana 30 I did the split axle to solid axle conversion. I decided that I wanted to put tube seals on the axles. I bought a set from eBay slightly used, but in good condition. According to the seller he only tried to install them and never had them actually running with axles. The dirt you are seeing if from me trying to install it in my very rusty Dana 30 axle. After reading a lot online on some 4×4 messages boards I decided to try my own axle inner tube cleaning strategy. Items needed: A drill and a 2″ hole drill bit. Put it together and drill yourself a clean inner axle tube. There are some extension bits that you can buy which probably allows you to go even further down the axle tube. After about ten minutes or so I was finally able to install the axle seals without any force.
When I got my Jeep it had 3.07 gears in a Dana 35 and Dana 30. Like I said I had no idea what all this stuff meant. While driving around in my Jeep I noticed vibration and the high RPM I need to get going with 31″ tires. The seller told me that she had put the largest tires on the Jeep that she could without any modification. I guess this had to be a sign for me to step away and look into something more drive-able. After the idea that I wanted to part out the Jeep because I became so sick of it, I did a last final search on the web for replacement axles. Re gearing my current axles would have cost me $1200 if not more. I found a guy locally who is selling parts on Craigslist but I soon found that he is in for the big money and sells parts for a premium. Back to the web and I found a guy in Michigan who had a DANA 35 and 30 with 4.10 gears for $200 and wheels. Back home from the drive I decided to take them apart for cleaning and maintenance. […]
Don’t get me wrong, I really love driving my Xterra on the road and Off-Road. But the main downside of having one of these SUV vehicles going Off-Road, it has no real recovery points besides the front stock cast iron hook. There are stories online on message boards that people broke the front hook while pulling some one (or getting pulled them self) from the mud. With this in mind and not having the cash laying around for a heavy duty Off-Road rear bumper, I started to look at my Jeep. So I ended up buying two towing hooks (Jeep style) and mounting these to the rear frame nicely tucked away by the rear bumper. Item needed: Four grade 8 bolts (they are goldish looking) 5/16 Two Jeep recovery hooks (got mine at harbor freight about $7 a piece) A drill bit 5/16 in size Locking washers A tap Hammer A punching tool Time to get our hand dirty Take the hooks and measure where the holes should be. I put my hooks as close as I could towards the bumper at the underside of the frame. Use the hammer and punch to mark where to drill. When done for […]