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  #61  
Old October 16th, 2010, 11:30
anthrax323 anthrax323 is offline
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Re: Time for a build thread... 2001 XJ

Managed to get the SYE installed over the course of about 12 hours (several trips to Sears and Harbor Freight were required because I'm a moron). Driveline vibrations are gone, except a very mild vibration when accelerating between 30 and 35 MPH (and a faint drone at 70+). Looks like I'll need to measure my driveshaft angles and see if I need to do some slight shimming.

Anyway, pics! I didn't document the whole process due to being somewhat pissed off the whole time, but I did snap a few pics.







While I was doing the installation, I did find some hairline fractures in both the front and rear halves of the transfer case:





There were additional hairline fractures appearing in the original tailshaft housing as well... I did put quite a few miles on the vehicle with these driveline vibrations (probably nearly 1,000), so I'm glad I got this done before any kind of failure.

How likely is this to cause long-term problems? I'm dreading the prospect of needing to get a new transfer case and having to move all this stuff over, as the oil pump did anything but "slide" onto the new mainshaft like it should have. Even with the teeth lined up perfectly, I had to tap it on 1/10th of a millimeter at a time with a hammer and screwdriver (light tapping, as heavy hits did nothing to aid the process). Fortunately, once in place, I managed to get the oil pick-up line fully seated into the pump, and the pump still rotates freely.

Let me know what you guys think.

*EDIT* Another note - my 231 only took about 1.5 quarts of ATF+4. Everything I've read states it should have a capacity of 2 quarts. Is this normal?

Last edited by anthrax323; October 16th, 2010 at 12:02.
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  #62  
Old October 16th, 2010, 12:43
anthrax323 anthrax323 is offline
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Re: Time for a build thread... 2001 XJ

Okay, this is odd... My ability to edit posts seems to have vanished.

One more pic:



For latecomers to the thread, this is the Tom Woods Super Duty SYE.
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  #63  
Old October 17th, 2010, 08:53
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pyrotyro pyrotyro is offline
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Re: Time for a build thread... 2001 XJ

Dont know what to tell you about the tcase... although i know that those fractures can lead to failure...

back to the suspension, those leafs will settle, it was really smart of you to put the concrete in there. I had this lift back in the day and loved it, rode great and performed great offroad. in fact this is the kit that turned me onto RE and im never going back (at about 6.5" now)
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  #64  
Old October 17th, 2010, 10:30
anthrax323 anthrax323 is offline
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Re: Time for a build thread... 2001 XJ

Thanks pyrotyro... I started a new thread on those and the general consensus seems to be that they're a result of the casting process and shouldn't be of any concern. I guess time will only tell - there are no leaks and everything seems to be working fine... for now

I'm really hoping they do settle a bit, as I removed the concrete immediately after finishing the SYE and driveshaft install. It's still sitting pretty friggin high, but seemingly not quite as high as before. My Detours Slimline should be arriving in the next couple weeks, so we'll see if that helps bring it down a tad bit (though I really don't think that the added weight of the bumper and the spare tire hanging further out past the rear axle will have a huge impact).
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  #65  
Old October 17th, 2010, 19:27
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pyrotyro pyrotyro is offline
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Re: Time for a build thread... 2001 XJ

Quote:
Originally Posted by anthrax323 View Post
Thanks pyrotyro... I started a new thread on those and the general consensus seems to be that they're a result of the casting process and shouldn't be of any concern. I guess time will only tell - there are no leaks and everything seems to be working fine... for now

I'm really hoping they do settle a bit, as I removed the concrete immediately after finishing the SYE and driveshaft install. It's still sitting pretty friggin high, but seemingly not quite as high as before. My Detours Slimline should be arriving in the next couple weeks, so we'll see if that helps bring it down a tad bit (though I really don't think that the added weight of the bumper and the spare tire hanging further out past the rear axle will have a huge impact).
well thats good, i just instantly think of the jk tcase problems (my dad has a 4door and was way worried about that). the bumper should help some, getting some extra weight back there. just give it some time
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  #66  
Old October 18th, 2010, 10:47
anthrax323 anthrax323 is offline
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Re: Time for a build thread... 2001 XJ

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Originally Posted by pyrotyro View Post
well thats good, i just instantly think of the jk tcase problems (my dad has a 4door and was way worried about that). the bumper should help some, getting some extra weight back there. just give it some time
I, too, am worried by cracks in anything that aren't supposed to be there... Especially in a component as significant as the transfer case . I'm looking forward to receiving the bumper, so I'll definitely report the outcome.

In the mean time, I've ordered the Raingler barrier net for the Cherokee since it will work both between the front and back seats and between the cargo area and the back seat. A quick call to Raingler netted me a $14 discount as a member (reimbursement of the shipping costs), minus the cost of an extra set of supplementary mounting hardware (so I can use the extra anchors on both the B and C pillars, depending on the net's position, since my dog is an escape artist). Total bill came out to ~$134, and Ed is a really nice guy (the person who answered at Raingler).

I'll post pics once I receive it (likely early next week) as I'm sure others have been interested in finding an ideal cargo/barrier net solution.
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  #67  
Old October 18th, 2010, 15:40
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jeeperjohn jeeperjohn is offline
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Re: Time for a build thread... 2001 XJ

I can confirm those aren't fractures. They are raised lines from the casting process and they are nothing to worry about.
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  #68  
Old October 25th, 2010, 05:54
anthrax323 anthrax323 is offline
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Re: Time for a build thread... 2001 XJ

Good deal, thanks jeeperjohn.

Well I finally got this damned thing out on the trail after installing the lift, and I've gotta say... I'm pleasantly surprised.

I took a day trip out to Uwharrie in order to scout out some campsites for a trip coming up in a couple weeks and was initially planning on just sticking to the "easy" loop (Wolf Den). While disconnecting my swaybar in the parking area at the trail head, a guy from Fayetteville pulled up behind me in a relatively stock TJ unlimited (just some 33" BFT A/Ts), and after he lent me some wire to retain my sway bar and links we decided to pair up just to make sure we each had a spotter (both of us were first timers to the Uwharrie OHV trail system). After airing my DuraTracs down from 35 psi to 26 psi (didn't have a compressor with me, so I wanted to retain streetable tire pressures to get to a gas station afterwards), we hit the trails.

We quickly progressed from Wolf Den to Falls Dam, and from there moved on to Dickey Bell. Though I had some reservations about the hill climb on Dickey Bell, the XJ made it through the whole run without a single hiccup. I seemed to be the only person I ran into that day with open diffs front and rear, but still struggled less than most on some of the gnarlier obstacles. These DuraTracs have surprised me once again - they seem to claw on to anything and everything without being aired down to near-flat levels, and only suffered one blow - a single knob on one tire had a tiny chunk taken out of it, but on the leading edge rather than the outer surface. Muddy and slick logs were even a cake walk - I almost had to pull the TJ at one point but he managed to get through after hitting it with a bit more speed. The side/corner tread on these things performed as well as I could have hoped, allowing me to hit certain ledges at an angle to ensure a proper grip to hoist myself over (turn the wheel, "grab" the ledge, and straighten out).

Now, bear in mind these were not the most difficult trails out there (96A, Dickey Bell, was the "Difficult" trail of the day, but was still pretty damn easy), and all things considered conditions were pretty dry, but I'm still quite pleased by how things went. The worst problem I had to deal with was some slight rubbing at full articulation while turning the wheel (the front tires would clip the trimmed bumper caps on the front).

The best part of it all is that after this trip, my suspension seems to have settled - the slight rear driveline vibrations I had between 30 and 40 MPH after installing my driveshaft and SYE are now completely gone, and ride quality has improved overall (probably due to the fact that this is the first time my front IronMan control arm bushings were fully flexed).

This has clarified two major wants for my XJ moving forward, though:
  1. I really, really need to get the 1-2 override kit for my AW-4. The shift points and behavior of this transmission between 1 and 2 are obnoxious at best, and was particularly obnoxious in 4 low.
  2. Most of the trails would have been easily traversed in 2WD... I'd really like a 2 low option on my 231 to avoid riding the brakes.
  3. I might need to go ahead and spring for a Rigid FbG front bumper, as I don't like the fact that I went out there with absolutely NO recovery points. Mark at Detours is still working on my Slimline rear bumper, which I'm really looking forward to getting on this thing.
I think a few more trips will help me make up my mind about the direction to take this build moving forward.

Ultimately, I guess what I'm saying is this: as many people say, go out and wheel before you continue to pour money into your XJ. I was convinced I needed lockers or LSDs - although they would be a nice insurance policy, they are now squarely in my "want" list with much lower priority than they had before. Based on the terrain I encountered this weekend, I think everything is adequate for what I want my XJ to be (a "get me there" vehicle).
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  #69  
Old October 25th, 2010, 10:36
anthrax323 anthrax323 is offline
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Re: Time for a build thread... 2001 XJ

Given that hunting season is upon us, and I'd like to be able to troll around in 2nd gear, I went ahead and ordered the Montana Fab AW4 shift override kit. Should be here sometime next week... I'll definitely post pictures and a detailed write-up of the install. There was a thread detailing it from a little over a year ago, but fortunately things have changed slightly - it's now a plug-and-play solution that requires only one tap/splice, which is for the interior lighting (dimmer circuit). The switch harness is 24" long which should allow some degree of freedom in placement.

Now I must decide if $250 on the TeraFlex 2Low kit is worth it. I get the feeling re-gearing to 4:10s should have a higher priority.
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  #70  
Old October 25th, 2010, 15:57
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kastein kastein is offline
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Re: Time for a build thread... 2001 XJ

Unless you are regearing by installing pregeared junkyard axles, I would regear to 4.56s - unless you're staying with 31s forever and are 150% sure of that.

I would put it far ahead of a 2low kit on the priority list, though it does cost more.
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  #71  
Old November 3rd, 2010, 11:19
anthrax323 anthrax323 is offline
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Re: Time for a build thread... 2001 XJ

Quote:
Originally Posted by kastein View Post
Unless you are regearing by installing pregeared junkyard axles, I would regear to 4.56s - unless you're staying with 31s forever and are 150% sure of that.

I would put it far ahead of a 2low kit on the priority list, though it does cost more.
Yeah, I'm definitely planning on sticking with 31's (or even 30's)... I don't do any wheeling that would warrant larger tires, and would like to retain all factory sheet metal if at all possible. If I ever do go larger, it'd be part of a much grander project (including a hybrid cage/exoskeleton, tube fenders, lots of cutting, and a permanently mounted winch for hoisting animals... In other words, a Texas-style hunting vehicle). This will remain a daily driver, and honestly I think 31s are a perfect aesthetic fit for the XJ (at least in my eyes, which are all that ultimately matter ).

Good call on the 2-low kit... Based on my experiences thus far it really and truly is entirely optional at this point. No notable gains to be had aside from being able to say I have it.

I just got a call from Ryan at Montana Fab and my AW-4 shift controller just shipped out today. Unfortunately it probably won't get here in time for a trip to Uwharrie this weekend, but we'll see how USPS does with this deadline.

My Slimline is still being built, but Mark said he *might* be able to get it out sometime in the next week to week and a half (this is based on a rough estimate given early last week). He's a busy man, so we'll just have to wait and see. I'm getting desperate to get that damned spare tire out of my cargo area.

Speaking of cargo - I also received my Raingler barrier net and am quite pleased with it thus far. I can now put things in the rearmost cargo area without fear of my dog getting to them. The only problem I had was the omission of the extra side straps described in this install write-up... I made a call to Ed over at Raingler and he's putting a pair in the mail for me. This was late last week, so we'll see when they arrive.
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  #72  
Old November 8th, 2010, 06:00
anthrax323 anthrax323 is offline
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Re: Time for a build thread... 2001 XJ

Just got the Montana Fab AW4 shift override installed... Extremely straight-forward, plug-and-play solution... I opted to install the control knob on the shift bezel.

First, I got the template lined up and used a center punch to mark where I needed to drill (and ensure the bits would be easier to center):



Next, I drilled out the holes to 1/8"...



Then drilled the LED indicator holes to 1/4"...



And finally, used the 7/8" hole saw to drill out the hole for the knob itself:



Got the switch mounted with hairs to spare:



I used a T-tap to tap into the interior lighting circuit on the shift indicator:



Used some double-sided tape to mount the pass-through unit to the TCU and plugged it all in:



Got the knob mounted and the shift bezel snapped back in to place:



And voila - all done. The green glow is slightly different from the rest of the interior lighting (as this uses LEDs), but still ties together well:



It seems like there's some inconsistent information about exactly how this behaves, so here's a run-down of the current model based on your gear selector position:
  • All positions:
    With the knob set to "D", the transmission is under its own control and behaves normally.
  • OD (4)
    With the knob in "2" or "1", the transmission will engage the selected gear, however, no engine braking is performed - the torque converter will engage the selected gear once engine speed is appropriate, but will not lock in to it.
  • 3 (Drive)
    Selecting "2" will fully engage 2nd gear and lock into it, allowing engine braking. Selecting "1" will behave similarly to what was described in OD - it will not lock or allow engine braking (good safety feature IMO).
  • 1/2
    Selecting "1" or "2" will lock into the respective gear, allowing engine braking in both cases.

I'm actually very, very happy with the logic described above... I can highly recommend this to anyone else who hates the 1-2 shift logic in the AW4.
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  #73  
Old November 11th, 2010, 07:09
anthrax323 anthrax323 is offline
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Re: Time for a build thread... 2001 XJ

Mark's been working hard:







Looks like he's been having fun with it too

Should ship out next week and be here by next Friday or early the following week.
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  #74  
Old November 17th, 2010, 08:45
anthrax323 anthrax323 is offline
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Re: Time for a build thread... 2001 XJ

Woot, bumper is finished!

Lucky me - I'll be getting it on Saturday morning via personal delivery by Mark (he's coming through Raleigh on the way to the coast for a family vacation, so it works out well). Will post pics... Definitely looking forward to meeting him.
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  #75  
Old November 17th, 2010, 19:40
crooked barrel crooked barrel is offline
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Re: Time for a build thread... 2001 XJ

That's sweet man! Need any help putting that thing on? I just got my front bumper delivered. We could have a good-ol time.
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