I like what you did with the gps mount....thinking of soething like that with mine
The wife and I decided we were going to take a trip through the new years holiday this last year, and came to the conclusion that we needed to run some different tires on the Jeep. The stock tires had been more than good to us, getting us safely through Death Valley and several more local one day excursions. I had been hearing a lot of buzz about the new Falken Wildpeak tires so I decided to give them a shot. I ordered some (5) 245-75-16 Falkens to fit to the Grand. One of the things I heard about these particular tires is that they are virtually bullet proof. When I picked them up from the shop, I was floored at how stiff the sidewalls were. When I went back and inspected my order, I realized that I had purchased the E/10 versions, which are made for a very heavy load! When originally shopping, I was looking at size only, and saw that this part number measured 30.6" in height compared to the D/8 tire that measured 29.6" tall. I intended at that time to install some spring spacers to make the extra clearance to clear these tires. Like everyone else, I found myself too busy to get around to installing the lift spacers, so I mounted them up, and did a little "Massaging" of the bumper tips for clearance
We were off and running on the 30th of December and headed down to run the "Bradshaw Trail" that runs from the Salton sea to the Colorado river. If nothing else, this became a very good test for those new Falkens. I aired them down a bit to attempt to soften the ride, and it did an alright job. Considering we dont have onboard air yet, I was stuck with these pressures, and didn't want to push it. I am thankful we didn't, because we ended up exploring some old mining areas with some of the sharpest rocks I have ever seen. We also found ourselves on trails littered with steel debris half burried in the ground. The Falkens had performed just like we were told they would, They offered great traction for the steep climbs, and the confidence to attack trails littered with sharp objects.
At some point, we will have to do a trip report for our adventure on this road. I saw some really cool stuff while on the way to the trail head like this rig.....
and a little inspiration for the old ZJ..
This trip was a lot of fun, someday we will do it again!
Did you start having overheating issues recently? All of those lights just scream "radiator blockage".
We spent lots of time going back and forth about the different suspension options that are available for the Jeep ZJ. I kept going back to the old suspension system I had on my last ZJ, the Rubicon Express 4.5" short arm system. This suspension was for lack of better words, amazing. The amount of flex that this soccer mom rig was capable of was incredible. It would go just about anywhere I was willing to take it, even with open diffs. Now that we are leaning toward the "Overland" style of travel we were concerned about the amount of lift and whether or not it was the proper way to go. Everyone we talked to had a different opinion, expressing that their option was the best. I finally consulted a good friend of mine over at Icon Vehicle Dynamics, Mr. Dylan Evans. I have worked with Dylan many times over the years on many different race projects, if there is one thing I know, it is that this man knows suspension. I am recently working with him on a Marketing partnership with Axial Racing and Icon, so we were discussing some scale suspension at the same time
He expressed that he would like to build me some shocks for the ZJ and that I should contact him when I decide on what kit I would be going with. We had the usual chat about the importance of spring rate, which brought me back to my original thought, the Rubicon Express kit. One thing I remember quite well about the Rubicon kit was the spring rate. It was a great compromise between street and off-road performance. It was settled, I would secure a Rubicon Express system.... now I just had to find the funds!
Well my wife decided to become my hero (again) and worked with my family to get me the suspension for my birthday. I was floored, as I know we dont have the funds for it. Appearantly, she had been saving a little money here and there, and decided this was the best way to spend it. I love this woman!
I brought my vehicle over to Ranch Muffler and Truck Accessories for the install. This is the family business run by my parents in Temecula, California. Part of my birthday present was help installing the kit, and use of their shop and tools, awesome! Here is the Jeep out front right before rolling into surgery!
SO far so good man, I can't wait to see what you come out with.. Your old zj is bad ***.....
The first thing I did after dropping the truck off at Ranch Muffler was inspect the entire suspension kit. I took the springs, threw them in the old work truck and headed to Icon Vehicle Dynamics to let Dylan measure them and make a decision on the valving for the shocks. When I arrived at Icon, Dylan immediately said to meet him at the spring rate measuring tool. We checked the front and rear springs from the 4.5" Rubicon kit. The fronts came in at 180lbs. per inch, and the rears came in at 170lbs. per inch. He expressed that it was very similar to most of the springs used on the Jeep JK, and that he had a good idea where to start with the valving. Dylan entered the info into the computer....
For the next half hour I saw the entire shock building team from Icon round up the parts and throw together a new set of their new VS. Series aluminum shocks for me. check out the Icon VS series aluminum shocks here http://www.iconvehicledynamics.com/s...minum-Shocks-/
I felt like a rockstar with all this service!
They put the finishing touches on them, and I was off and running!
These should work great on the ZJ, the best part is they are completely re-buildable and re-valvable!
Just add some branding flavor, and I am off!
By the time I made it back to Ranch Muffler, they had the SHTFV torn apart and ready for the kit to be installed.