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Blue, I was looking at a Thule rack.. how do you like yours? A rack is a must... I was at Walmart last night and they had some brand for $99... nice rack too.. I'm almoast thinking of fabbing my own but not sure if price will be that much cheaper. Then powder coat it extra thick for $60... Any ideas?
Are you talking/asking about the roof rack?
 

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Yes!!! I personally like the Thule.. Probably because I've always wanted a Roof rack and any time I see them there Thules... My brother is a master welder so is building one a better idea? Just looking for info and opinion!!! Thanks for replying. I love this site because I've had 7 jeeps from CJ7,TJ's YJ, Grand, liberty (wife's) and now I have a commander that I'm building to what I want FINALLY(and a beat up Grand).. Biggest downfall is it's a 3.7. If a 4.7 matched tranny I'd buy one but my dream would be the Hemi or Diesel!!!x
 

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Overland,
In those pix which are amazing by the way what lift do you have and what size tires are those? I went with the rocky road spacers 2.5" with Momro platnum quick struts and Deutsch (spelling may be off) shocks new control arms with Moog tie rods.. I just picked up my 265/70/17 Goodyear Duratracts and I'm hoping for no spacer or rub... So I was curious... Mines still on lift because it's a complete overhaul so about 2 loooooong weeks we figure and she'll be ready... then it's the Armadillo bumper with LED's in it and the mandatory Roof rack. Considering i started with a new long block and replaced almoast everything I'm hoping for good luck!n I'm dying for it. Tough w 3 kids and full time job to get everything done in a week!!
 

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Discussion Starter #44
Overland,
In those pix which are amazing by the way what lift do you have and what size tires are those? I went with the rocky road spacers 2.5" with Momro platnum quick struts and Deutsch (spelling may be off) shocks new control arms with Moog tie rods.. I just picked up my 265/70/17 Goodyear Duratracts and I'm hoping for no spacer or rub... So I was curious... Mines still on lift because it's a complete overhaul so about 2 loooooong weeks we figure and she'll be ready... then it's the Armadillo bumper with LED's in it and the mandatory Roof rack. Considering i started with a new long block and replaced almoast everything I'm hoping for good luck!n I'm dying for it. Tough w 3 kids and full time job to get everything done in a week!!
Thanks for the compliments on the pictures! And I have the leveling kit from Rough Country and 265/70/R17 BFG KO2's, mine does rub a little bit in the front about halfway through my turn stroke; just enough that I had to remove my front mud flaps. Other than that I'm pretty satisfied, and good idea going with new control arms in the front. Mine are definitely needing to be replaced as the boots on the upper ball joints are blown and are making quite a bit of noise. You'll love the duratracs, they're a great tire especially when wet traction is needed.

I'm jealous that you're getting a new front bumper! I found the website selling the Maniac front Winch bumper and emailed them for pricing and they let me know that they no longer export their parts to the states. I was super disappointed to find that out but now I have to find a way to get one! If this next tax return is large enough, I'm going to redo my suspension with the CB engineering lift and control arms and possibly get a wilco hitchgate to carry a spare out on the trail. I made the mistake of getting the KO2's I have in a C Load Range and that's just way too soft of a tire for this tank. My rig has already eaten through the front sidewalls from the tires rolling the sidewall over in corners.

Hopefully everything goes smoothly with your install, hope you can get back in the rig asap!
 

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Yes!!! I personally like the Thule.. Probably because I've always wanted a Roof rack and any time I see them there Thules... My brother is a master welder so is building one a better idea? Just looking for info and opinion!!! Thanks for replying. I love this site because I've had 7 jeeps from CJ7,TJ's YJ, Grand, liberty (wife's) and now I have a commander that I'm building to what I want FINALLY(and a beat up Grand).. Biggest downfall is it's a 3.7. If a 4.7 matched tranny I'd buy one but my dream would be the Hemi or Diesel!!!x
My rook rack is made by ROLA. Last time I bought one it was around $250.00 but that was a few years ago.

I like it, but it does require maintenance. It comes in two pieces and there is a joint in the middle that's held together by 2 screws on each side, there are also 4 screws in the front 2 on top and 2 on the bottom for a Plexi-Glass wind break that I think looks terrible, so I don't use it.

But back to all of the screws, you have to seal all of the screw holes and the joints with silicone, otherwise, rain-water will get inside of the steel tubing (which is hollow of course) and it will rust from the inside out and turn into junk in about 2 years time which is what happened to the first one I bought because I did not know any of this.

When I bought the 2nd one about 3 years ago I did all of the preventative maintenance that I mentioned previously - and I still have to take to take it down every year and a half or so, sand it down to get rid of some minor surface rust that seems to pop up here and there and then I re-spray paint it with Rustoleum Gray Hammered Primer/Paint.

I do like it though. Thule makes some nice roof racks, they make some nice trailer hitch mounted bike racks too. I guess it just depends on what you plan on using it for.

I bought mine primarily for my kayak, but sometimes I'll throw some luggage up there if I need to, that's usually about it.
 

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I was skeptical at first thinking these things are just some ploy but apparently they aren't If you are ever in the Market for a tuner I highly recommend finding a 3872 Flashpaq, and if you can find a used one? Even better!Find one here at:
Superchips® F4 Flashpaq Programmer for 98-14 Jeep® Vehicles | Quadratec
Superchips F4 Flashpaq is no longer available.

Superchips F5 Flashpaq Programmer is out now (Part # 3874) - I just ordered one.

Superchips Flashpaq F5 Programmer for 98-14 Jeep® Vehicles | Quadratec
 

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Discussion Starter #47
Superchips F4 Flashpaq is no longer available.

Superchips F5 Flashpaq Programmer is out now (Part # 3874) - I just ordered one.

Superchips Flashpaq F5 Programmer for 98-14 Jeep® Vehicles | Quadratec
When you get it, use it and let me know how it works! I just took a trip up to Pagosa Springs, CO a few days ago and the rig's average fuel economy readout was 18.3 MPG by the time we got there. I've never experienced fuel economy like that in this bus, not even when I first bought the Jeep!
 

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When you get it, use it and let me know how it works! I just took a trip up to Pagosa Springs, CO a few days ago and the rig's average fuel economy readout was 18.3 MPG by the time we got there. I've never experienced fuel economy like that in this bus, not even when I first bought the Jeep!
That's good to hear.

I'll definitely follow up with you.
 

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Discussion Starter #49
Another Photo Update

Still haven't gotten around to doing anything on the XK recently except for the tune. The knocking from my upper control arm ball joints is slowly getting worse, so for the time being I think I will just buy some stock replacement arms until tax return season where I will be buying a more permanent solution for that issue. Other than that, the rig is running great. I've included a picture down below (photo isn't mine) that shows the bus climbing up one of the obstacles in our local wheeling area. I apologize for the photo quality ahead of time, lol. Other than that, there are some pictures of the rig on recent wheeling trips that aren't as bad of quality... because I wasn't using a potato camera.
 

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Blue,
The purpose for my rack is Deer mainly.. I eat sleep and breathe bow hunting so without anywhere to put them it's usually friends to get em home to butcher.. prob some luggage at some point too!!
 

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Overland you know that you can replace the joints and not the whole control arm correct? I went with moog. While there out is grab neoprene bushings for them too.. U spoke of the bumper earlier.. have you checked out the armadillo? There under $400... can't beat it.. I have a local guy who I was told that deals with this leveling of spacer kits all the time so once I'm rolling I'm going to see him. I called RR because I'm pissed it doesn't sit level.. every pic on there website shows vehicles never directly from side so you don't notice that with that kid it won't be level!! For what I have invested I could have just bought a 3" lift.. Or RR could say that its not gong to sit level.. a quick 1/4-1/2" plate to the front will take care of that. Because of the bumper weight mines Gona be worse!!
 

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Overland you know that you can replace the joints and not the whole control arm correct? I went with moog. While there out is grab neoprene bushings for them too.. U spoke of the bumper earlier.. have you checked out the armadillo? There under $400... can't beat it.. I have a local guy who I was told that deals with this leveling of spacer kits all the time so once I'm rolling I'm going to see him. I called RR because I'm pissed it doesn't sit level.. every pic on there website shows vehicles never directly from side so you don't notice that with that kid it won't be level!! For what I have invested I could have just bought a 3" lift.. Or RR could say that its not gong to sit level.. a quick 1/4-1/2" plate to the front will take care of that. Because of the bumper weight mines Gona be worse!!
Hey Chopp, you have a link for that bumper you're talking about?
 

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Discussion Starter #53
Overland you know that you can replace the joints and not the whole control arm correct? I went with moog. While there out is grab neoprene bushings for them too.. U spoke of the bumper earlier.. have you checked out the armadillo? There under $400... can't beat it.. I have a local guy who I was told that deals with this leveling of spacer kits all the time so once I'm rolling I'm going to see him. I called RR because I'm pissed it doesn't sit level.. every pic on there website shows vehicles never directly from side so you don't notice that with that kid it won't be level!! For what I have invested I could have just bought a 3" lift.. Or RR could say that its not gong to sit level.. a quick 1/4-1/2" plate to the front will take care of that. Because of the bumper weight mines Gona be worse!!
Yes, I am aware of that but I don't just want replacements. They're not going to offer a correct alignment and they won't offer any more suspension travel. However I have considered replacing them in the meantime with high quality factory replacements like the MOOG's because of how bad my current arms are getting. But I'm going to wait and see if this problem becomes any more digressive in the coming months. I haven't been wheeling nearly as often so it's not seeing as much abuse as it normally is. As for the bumper I have definitely considered it but I think I'm going to prioritize the rear protection and functionality of the yacht first. Come this next tax season I will also be purchasing a Wilco Offroad Hitch-Gate. I'm not a fan of the steel rear bumpers on the market for the XK and am not a fan of the potential weight gain either.
 

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Discussion Starter #54
Minor Update W/ Pictures

Decided to take the front swaybar off yesterday and take the rig out to stretch her legs in our local mountain area, definitely a smoother ride. Of the vehicles I've owned without a front sway bar this is by far the most stable. On the freeway you can't even tell it's disconnected. I had the vehicle loaded with 4 other passengers and it rode down the road quite gracefully, hahaha. At one point I even had to swerve out of the way of a coyote running out onto the road and we were going about 60 and the vehicle was still very quick to react, stability control engaged and disengaged like it normally would.

On another note, while on our way to a common area I go wheeling, my passengers and myself came across quite the road hazard, there were already some people there trying to clear the road so we decided to stop and help. Eventually the road was cleared enough that I could drive the bus through without any kind of damage. Thankfully I had my camera to get a few pictures.
 

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Loving the build, looks great!

Yeah someone needs to make bumpers again in the southwest/west coast area. Not a super fan of the Blue Lake bumper, but I think he is the last one making something that resembles a styled back end. I wish Smittybuilt would get in the game! The bumpers for the XJ are really nice to look at and made well... at least the few that I have seen.
Maniac would be super awesome, but they are way too far out for the shipping. I asked him if he would send out any design drawings for someone to copy, especially since he does not want to sell in the North American market. I am probably going to shell out a pretty penny to get something that looks like it was made to be part of the design... Not just a slab of metal on the front of the car with an obvious winch.

Did you look at 4XGuard's? I may go that route also.

Dave
 

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Loving the build, looks great!

Yeah someone needs to make bumpers again in the southwest/west coast area. Not a super fan of the Blue Lake bumper, but I think he is the last one making something that resembles a styled back end. I wish Smittybuilt would get in the game! The bumpers for the XJ are really nice to look at and made well... at least the few that I have seen.
Maniac would be super awesome, but they are way too far out for the shipping. I asked him if he would send out any design drawings for someone to copy, especially since he does not want to sell in the North American market. I am probably going to shell out a pretty penny to get something that looks like it was made to be part of the design... Not just a slab of metal on the front of the car with an obvious winch.

Did you look at 4XGuard's? I may go that route also.

Dave
Thank you very much!

And yes I agree, at some point I'm going to go to my buddy's shop out here and show him a couple pictures of the maniac bumper and see if he can replicate it and if so what the damage will be. And I definitely agree with not wanting some chunk of steel sitting on either end of the vehicle, I want it to look integrated and functional. I still don't know why ARB never made a winch bumper for these machines. Such a boxy design would pair so well with their bumpers. Oh well, that's the name of the game right? I've looked at the 4xGuard one a couple of times and can't justify the cost. I think I'd rather just save up and have a bumper fabbed. But I don't know yet which is exactly why I'm just going to start with a hitchgate for the rear and go from there.
 

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I gotta look into some of my friends in Phoenix, my buddy Dean does some amazing metal work for desert trucks. The only problem is that he is absolutely worth his ridiculous pricing.

Have you thought about upgrading brake systems yet? I was thinking of the wilwood kit for the grad cherokees. All this weight and rolling weight of larger tires may be a bit much on the stock stuff.

Hopefully this summer I will be moving back to north Phoenix/Scottsdale area and I will be driving through New Mexico to get there. I usually drive the 40 and come down prescott, or I take the 60 through globe.

Dave
 

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I gotta look into some of my friends in Phoenix, my buddy Dean does some amazing metal work for desert trucks. The only problem is that he is absolutely worth his ridiculous pricing.

Have you thought about upgrading brake systems yet? I was thinking of the wilwood kit for the grad cherokees. All this weight and rolling weight of larger tires may be a bit much on the stock stuff.

Hopefully this summer I will be moving back to north Phoenix/Scottsdale area and I will be driving through New Mexico to get there. I usually drive the 40 and come down prescott, or I take the 60 through globe.

Dave
I honestly haven't put too much thought into it yet, there are far too many other things I've been distracted by to even think about looking into upgrading the brakes, but I can't say it hasn't been sitting in the back of my mind that inevitably I will have to. I don't every really see any brake dust on my wheels so I'm assuming they aren't wearing any quicker than they should be but I haven't added too much weight yet. I've looked at those wilwood kits and I think they're amazing but I can't fork over the cash for those kits quite yet. There are a lot of other things I wanna knock out before I get into the big stuff like that, lol. I want to put some money into a FrontRunner roof rack eventually so I can install my RTT on a little more stable platform; but I think I am going to prioritize suspension first.

Let me know if you end up driving through the Albuquerque area! Maybe we can meet up and grab a beer with some of my offroad family!
 

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Another Photo Update

Went and talked to my local Overland Expert at Tactical Application Vehicles here in Albuquerque and confirmed that the coilover lift from CB Engineering will be the next step in my build. Other than that, I had to have my tires remounted in the front so that they could wear down a little more evenly after an alignment, so excuse my white-outs in the front, lol.
 

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Life update

Guys! It has been waaaaaay too long since I have posted anything on here and I have some pretty big news to share with you guys!
As of November, a friend of mine and myself were invited to attend the GoneMOAB event in beautiful Utah for a 5 day wheeling trip in May! It's predominately a Nissan event, but over the years it has grown to include pretty much anything that has 4 wheel drive! There are, to date, over 110 registered vehicles and over 160 registered attendees! I myself of course being the only person attending the event with an XK!

More importantly, there are a few big upgrades being added to my build in addition to a bunch of smaller upgrades! Over the next few months I will be trying to update my build about 2-3 times a week to keep you guys posted on the progress in making my rig moab ready!

If you thought that was all of the news I had for you guys than just wait...

In addition to being invited to the GoneMOAB event, the event coordinator pulled my best friend and I aside and personally invited him and I to attend the NORAC (Nissan Off-Road Association of Colorado) Expo event taking place in Ouray, CO for a 5 day expedition through the San Juan's to include completing the Alpine Loop in July! I cannot wait to attend these events this year and am extremely honored that I am being invited to an exclusive Nissan Owner's expo trip in Colorado!

Upgrades to be completed before Moab/Ouray:

-Steel Alliance Fabrications Front Winch Bumper
-Steel Alliance Fabrications Rock Sliders
-" "" " Underbody Protection
-Custom Underbody Lighting
-Synthetic Line Winch
-Winch Bumper Lighting
-AEV Savegre's get Paint
-Install CB Radio

For now, this is what I know will be included. Depending on finances over the following months there will be additions to this list. Thank you guys for staying up to date! Be sure to follow me on instagram at @dustingerstel and send me a message letting me know you're from the forums!

*Included - some pictures between the last time I posted and now...
 

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