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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.
When are the coilovers getting installed? Looking forward to seeing one of those installed on our rigs!
 

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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.
Wow, I've considered rear sway bar removal, but never front swaybar removal. That is interesting...maybe I should try unbolting a link and seeing how that feels...
 

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Discussion Starter #63
Wow, I've considered rear sway bar removal, but never front swaybar removal. That is interesting...maybe I should try unbolting a link and seeing how that feels...
Hey man, the coilovers are probably not going to happen anytime soon. After sitting down with my 2 offroading companions and prioritizing vehicle protection and recovery over an already decently functioning suspension system I decided that suspension can wait, that is however going to be my next string of major upgrades to the rig. And yes, the front sway being removed does add a little more free flowing suspension cycling to the front end, but I am considering going back to re-attaching it until I can get the CBE Suspension installed. I will let you know in the coming weeks as I will be completing some suspension tests on my rig as well as my 2 other friends rigs in order to make sure our suspension can cycle and bump properly before our attendance to the GoneMOAB event.
 

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Discussion Starter #64
Alright everyone, I haven't had anything exciting happen to the bus lately but I figured I'd give you guys a little status update on the rig.

She has been rolling around without a front bumper for a few weeks now and I cannot tell you guys how excited I am that she is so close to getting the winch bumper installed! I won't have pics to share until Tuesday-ish when I will more than likely be getting my bumper installed!

The Jeep goes to the dealership in a few weeks as well for some warranty repairs, luckily the extended warranty I purchased when I bought the vehicle is going to practically make my vehicle new again for the smooth cost of $100. My A/C doesn't work, my re-circ door doesn't close anymore, my interior light switch on the stick as well as the instrument panel dimmer are no longer functioning, pretty much all of the bushings in my front end are getting replaced, and some other small things are all getting fixed!

Meanwhile I'm pushing to get ther ready for Moab, there is still so much left to do to the rig but I'm sure I will have it ready in time! Bare with me in the meantime, I promise I will have some more content for you guys in the future! And again, if you aren't already go and follow me on Instagram, @dustingerstel is where you will find me.
 

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Discussion Starter #65
Another Lame Update

Ended up having to cover a shift for a sick co-worker when I was supposed to pick up my dang bumper so now it has to wait until Monday, I am am so excited to see what the final product will look like! My fabricator won't even send me a picture of what it looks like, he told me I have to wait until I come to pick it up, lol. I will be sure to have my camera in hand so you guys can see it ASAP!
 

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Ended up having to cover a shift for a sick co-worker when I was supposed to pick up my dang bumper so now it has to wait until Monday, I am am so excited to see what the final product will look like! My fabricator won't even send me a picture of what it looks like, he told me I have to wait until I come to pick it up, lol. I will be sure to have my camera in hand so you guys can see it ASAP!
Best of luck OC.

I'll be getting my bumper from WAM mid-April'ish.
 

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Discussion Starter #67
Best of luck OC.

I'll be getting my bumper from WAM mid-April'ish.

Sweet! I'm sure that will look awesome! Are you getting the front done or the rear?
 

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Discussion Starter #69
Winch Bumper Update

So, still no bumper... It's alright! My fabricator sent me a message a few days ago apologizing for the delay and that he may not be able to see the rig until the following week,
as a gift of his apology he will be fabricating my rock sliders for me free of charge! So here in the next few weeks the rig goes back under the knife to get a set of rock sliders modeled after some of the units All-Pro makes for Toyota's.
Also! I'm taking a fishing trip in 2 weeks to perform full gear breakdowns and setups with a buddy of mine in our rigs to ensure we are as efficiently packed as possible and to make a list of items needed for future camping trips to include
our attendance to Moab and Ouray later this year.


Hopefully the bumper gets installed on Tuesday and the fabrication starts for the sliders, I will try to keep you guys updated on the progress!
 

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Discussion Starter #70
UPDATE, With Pictures!

Hey guys, I've been super busy lately; I have since started a new job with a local expedition outfitter called Tactical Application Vehicles and havent really had the time to come on here and post any thing! I will try to keep it as short and sweet as possible but here's some stuff that has happened since my last post!
  • I had my bumper mounted, looks sweet, needs some adjustments but overall came out pretty decent!
  • Attended Overland Expo West, was able to tow home a sweet little Schutt Industries XV-3 XVENTURE Trailer for use as a shop demo where I work!
  • Attended the GONEMoab event in Utah, wheeled the crap out of my Jeep; fried an alternator while I was out there - good times! I also pretty much destroyed my rear bumper, a new one is in the works!
  • Attended FJ Summit in Ouray as a vendor with the company I work for, did a shoot with 4 Wheeler Magazine for an '85 Toyota we have at the shop with the new R2.8 Cummins motor! Towed the XV-3 to this event as well!
  • Sold the rooftop tent in lieu of building the XK to support a bigger and better one!
  • Purchased JBA Upper control arms, have yet to install them!
  • Purchased Jeeperf Poly bushing replacements for the front axle assembly, yet to be installed!
  • Sliders should be getting installed next week, will try to keep y'all posted on that!
  • ...And there may be a few other things I forgot to mention, but that's most of it!
 

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Discussion Starter #71
Picture Continuation of Last Update

Here are a few more pictures for you guys;
including the Jeep in Moab and some other shots from FJ Summit
with my Boss's Tacoma and the shop's '85 Pickup build!

* BONUS * Caught the boss man leaning up against the XK, I think he secretly likes it!
 

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Question for Overland Commander - when you replaced the struts did you also replace the spring or just the center shock part of the strut? I am looking to install a 2" Rough country lift and the 4600 Bilstein kit front and back. My other question is on the rear shock replacement, after the lift is install are the Bilstein shocks long enough? Thanks for any info. Frank ( 2008 Jeep Commander Overland)
 

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Question for Overland Commander - when you replaced the struts did you also replace the spring or just the center shock part of the strut? I am looking to install a 2" Rough country lift and the 4600 Bilstein kit front and back. My other question is on the rear shock replacement, after the lift is install are the Bilstein shocks long enough? Thanks for any info. Frank ( 2008 Jeep Commander Overland)
Allow me to jump in here;

I have Bilstein B6 4600's up front and they actually are not struts - they are shock absorbers and they do not come with a new spring.

So, you will re-use the old spring - unless you specifically order new replacement springs separately, which most people don't.

You can use with Bilstein 4600's in the rear with the 2 inch RC lift, they are long enough.

I did for about a year with no issues - however the 4600's in the rear, will limit your rear axle travel, because as direct replacements for the factory OEM shocks, they are the same length as the stock shocks.

Will you notice it?

I can only tell you that I never did.

I still eventually wound up swapping the 4600's in the rear out, with Bilstein 5100's which are just slightly longer and have different internal valving - but it's not a necessity.

However, longer shocks in the rear are beneficial, to allow the rear axle to have a little more travel.

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #76
Question for Overland Commander - when you replaced the struts did you also replace the spring or just the center shock part of the strut? I am looking to install a 2" Rough country lift and the 4600 Bilstein kit front and back. My other question is on the rear shock replacement, after the lift is install are the Bilstein shocks long enough? Thanks for any info. Frank ( 2008 Jeep Commander Overland)
Pretty much what Big Blue said. Although I think he meant so say that the "front" ones are long enough, not the rear.

Depending on your level of wheeling, I would recommend getting a slightly longer shock for the rear. On a lot of the trails I run, with the 4600's, you can definitely tell that the shock is what is limiting the rear travel.

If you do more driving on the pavement or mild trail use the rear will be fine, if you find yourself lifting a tire every now and then I would get a longer shock in the rear.

As for the front, if you plan on running an aftermarket bumper, winch, etc. I would definitely recommend getting new springs for the front from OME, something with a little heavier spring rate. If not, the stock coils are perfectly fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #77
Nice XK you got @OverlandCommander! Your boss has a nice Tacoma, I've got one of those too lol.
Thank you, and yeah tell me about it; he definitely has my favorite Tacoma. You should see some of the other builds that leave the shop!
 

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Discussion Starter #78
Definitely sounds like you've been busy OC, I'm kind of jealous.

Here's my update since you and I last spoke;
The bumper looks great dude, and how are you liking the JBA's? I can't wait until I can replace mine!
 

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Pretty much what Big Blue said. Although I think he meant so say that the "front" ones are long enough, not the rear.

Depending on your level of wheeling, I would recommend getting a slightly longer shock for the rear. On a lot of the trails I run, with the 4600's, you can definitely tell that the shock is what is limiting the rear travel.

If you do more driving on the pavement or mild trail use the rear will be fine, if you find yourself lifting a tire every now and then I would get a longer shock in the rear.

As for the front, if you plan on running an aftermarket bumper, winch, etc. I would definitely recommend getting new springs for the front from OME, something with a little heavier spring rate. If not, the stock coils are perfectly fine.
What I said was that you can run 4600's in the rear but they are the one component that will limit the rear axle's travel - which is basically the same thing you just said.

Yes, you can get a longer rear shock (I wound up settling on Bilstein 5100's after running with 4600's for a year) and it would be beneficial to have a longer rear shock - but it is not a requirement to run a 2 inch lift.
 

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The bumper looks great dude, and how are you liking the JBA's? I can't wait until I can replace mine!
Thanks OC.

I like the way they look - and they are obviously a much higher quality component then the factory UCA's, but honestly, I can't really say that I FEEL the difference.

I just wanted to have them installed to help compensate for the extra weight of the new front bumper.

I like your new bumper - who made it?
 
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