Oscar

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tobyw
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Oscar

Postby tobyw » Wed Mar 28, 2018 3:26 pm

Say hello to Oscar:

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8-)
Yep, I've wheeled one of those, too...
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bobracing
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Re: Oscar

Postby bobracing » Thu Mar 29, 2018 1:49 pm

Is trail cow 3.0 still around?
James
'92 YJ with a little something of everything.

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TJDave
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Re: Oscar

Postby TJDave » Thu Mar 29, 2018 4:36 pm

8) I think I like those new JL contraptions.
2004 TJ---3" lift, 35's, and a bunch of other junk.
2016 JK Sport 2 door---lifted, 35's, and no other junk.

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tobyw
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Re: Oscar

Postby tobyw » Fri Mar 30, 2018 8:53 am

bobracing wrote:Is trail cow 3.0 still around?


Yep.

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He's still here for now. An extended family member has already called dibs, so you will likely see it around town and on the trails still :thu:
Yep, I've wheeled one of those, too...

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tobyw
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Re: Oscar

Postby tobyw » Sat Mar 31, 2018 8:14 pm

Today was suspension lift and tire day!! For this build, I wanted to keep things a little more moderate than the direction we took on Trail Cow v3.0. I waffled back and forth between a more aggressive tire on maybe a shallower offset wheel, but in the end I'm extremely happy with how this turned out, although I do have some 1.5" wheel spacers on order just to keep the width in czek with the added height.

Here is the Dodge dutifully hauling the stock rubber and the new, larger versions to the tire shop for some mount and balance action:

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Time to get started:

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And voila!! 2018 JLU-R with 237 miles on the ticker sporting 2.5" of suspension lift and 37x12.5-17 tires on stock wheels:

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For anyone interested, here is a before and after comparison to give an idea of overall height and actual lift gained by the suspension and tires. I used a highly technical measurement apparatus that was calibrated to nuclear standards before any data was recorded:

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Quick math says we gained 4-1/8", and new overall height is 76-1/8" at the highest point along the hard top. Right now there is 35psi in the tires, and I'll be doing a chalk test tomorrow to determine if I can drop it down a little, which should get me down below 76".

8)
Yep, I've wheeled one of those, too...

Image

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TJDave
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Re: Oscar

Postby TJDave » Sun Apr 01, 2018 4:35 am

Wow! You can really see how the new one has much more room in the wheel wells.
Looks like factory front high line fenders when comparing the two side by side. Very cool. :thu:
2004 TJ---3" lift, 35's, and a bunch of other junk.
2016 JK Sport 2 door---lifted, 35's, and no other junk.

OldGreen
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Re: Oscar

Postby OldGreen » Sun Apr 08, 2018 8:32 pm

TJDave wrote:Wow! You can really see how the new one has much more room in the wheel wells.
Looks like factory front high line fenders when comparing the two side by side. Very cool. :thu:

JL Rubicons have highline fenders from the factory. They are 2" higher that Sport or Sahara fenders.

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tobyw
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Re: Oscar

Postby tobyw » Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:16 pm

Fabrication day!!! Woo hoo!!!

While the fine folks at FCA have developed an admittedly beautiful “winch ready” front bumper for the JL (which is very similar to the 10th Anniversary series bumper from the JK lineup), it does have a couple of drawbacks: it weighs in around 100lbs all by itself, but it’s also accompanied by a steel rear bumper that adds another 60lbs to the package; and, if you noticed the quotation marks, it still requires an additional winch plate to actually mount a winch. So while there is a slight twinge of jealousy toward those JL’s wearing the cool factory steel bumpers, I had a different plan for Oscar…

Some of you may have been around long enough to have seen another Jeep build from me. I don’t do it very often, so it’s hard to say… but way back before it was cool to do so, I built a winch plate for our blue 2010 JKU-R that sunk the winch way down between the frame rails, keeping the stock bumper to retain the overall factory-esque look, and keeping weight down:

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Following my own recipe, out came the plasma cutter and the hot glue gun to stitch together a winch plate:

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After several mock-ups and sessions with blue tape and a Sharpie, it was time to perform some plastic surgery on the bumper cover:

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That was followed by some careful slicing and dicing on the interior bits of the bumper assembly:

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With everything cleared out of the way and the paint dried, it was time to assemble the whole mess and see how it looked:

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8)
Yep, I've wheeled one of those, too...

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OldGreen
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Re: Oscar

Postby OldGreen » Wed May 02, 2018 8:11 pm

Excellent. I have no such skills so I ordered the factory steel bumpers and Warn winch plate. Yours is cooler.

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tobyw
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Re: Oscar

Postby tobyw » Thu May 10, 2018 2:51 pm

While I appreciate the sentiment, make no mistake - if my situation were different (and by that I mean I didn't care so much about overall weight), I would be running the OEM steel bumpers and call it a day :?
Yep, I've wheeled one of those, too...

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tobyw
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Re: Oscar

Postby tobyw » Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:05 am

While preparing for the upcoming Rubicon trek, it quickly became evident that I needed to address the storage situation in the cargo area of Oscar. While the JL has a large cargo area with (6) factory D-ring locations, it still just isn’t conducive to properly securing a mish-mash of different sized cargo such as a cooler, tool box, camping gear, etc. Way back when, I rigged up a two level storage solution for the LJ (JL, LJ, it’s all so confusing :mrgreen: ) that served us very well on longer trips with a lot of random sized gear:

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Stealing a play from my own book, I started with another cheap Harbor Freight cargo rack, cut it down to fit, and glued it back together. At this point the mounting arrangement isn’t what I’ll call a finished design, since I don’t have a bikini top or soft top yet to verify any fitment issues with associated supports or linkages, but it works great with the hard top and will certainly get me through for a while:

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With multiple levels of storage now available, it was time to start playing Tetris with my gear to try and figure out how to best load out, and ultimately develop a system to secure everything appropriately. As mentioned, the factory anchor points are a nice feature on paper, but they simply don’t work for me in the real world. As luck would have it, the D-rings are secured with an easily-removable bolt, which leaves a nice bolt pattern in the floor for alternate securement. Using a piece of 15/32” OSB, I cut it to size and laid out the bolt pattern, resulting in a platform that was wide open for laying out my own anchor placement:

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Once the platform was finalized, I went about the business of organizing the heaviest bits of cargo and figuring out the best way to secure them to the platform. A combination of D-rings, turnbuckles, and an admittedly clever slide-in anchor resulted in a tidy load out:

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And here is the finished product (for now), ready for the rest of the lighter soft goods:

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8)
Yep, I've wheeled one of those, too...

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Roman
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Re: Oscar

Postby Roman » Tue Jun 26, 2018 10:30 am

F'n brilliant!

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tobyw
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Re: Oscar

Postby tobyw » Mon Oct 22, 2018 6:26 am

As much as I liked the looks and overall function of the winch tray that I had sunk into the OEM plastic bumper, the simple fact was that my drive-by-brail driving methods meant the outer bumper wings had been making consistent contact with trail obstacles. The subsequent rearward movement allowed even the relatively mild BFT A/T’s to find ample traction on the plastic bumper, and it was slowly destroying itself. Arts and crafts were in order!

When I sold Trail Cow v3.0 to Dryside, one of his first modifications was to remove the bumper I had built because it would not accommodate his Warn 8274 without some substantial rework. It had been laying in the bonepile for several months, so I drug it back into the shop and gave it a once over:

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After some quick measurements, there is about a 1-1/4” difference between the JK and JL in the distance from the grill to the bumper mounting flanges. I took this as an opportunity to clean up the looks of the bumper by concealing the mounting hardware. Some simple ‘L’ brackets were used as spacers to push the bumper forward, and I repurposed an old YJ transfercase drop to make some capture strips to keep the hidden hardware from turning:

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Once that was all in place, I made some tapered corners to add a little style to the bumper:

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A little more work with the plasma cutter, hot glue gun, grinder, and a dab of fresh paint:

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And yes, this is the return of the unicorn silver paint from the LJ build a few years back:

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Now I’ve got to get the winch mounted back up and wired in again, and decide on what to do for auxiliary lighting… Round again, or maybe a small LED bar this time?
Yep, I've wheeled one of those, too...

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Roman
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Re: Oscar

Postby Roman » Mon Oct 22, 2018 1:52 pm

LOL, I figured this would've been a link to a Craigslist add...

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tobyw
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Re: Oscar

Postby tobyw » Fri Dec 14, 2018 5:31 pm

Since the great state of Washington requires a front license plate, I figured that I had better figure out a way to get one slapped on Oscar, because my new front bumper wasn't exactly designed to accommodate one... As luck would have it, my friends at Tuffy Security Products have a tidy solution in the form of a pivoting bracket that sandwiches in between the hawse fairlead and the face of the bumper itself. About 32 seconds after it arrived on the porch, I had it installt:

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Prior to the Rubicon trip earlier this year, I picked up a Midland portable hand held CB unit. Unfortunately, it performed miserably on the trip, and on several trips thereafter, so I needed to address the issue because trail comms can be very important. To remedy the situation, I fabricated a bracket to mount a 3' Firestick, and then routed some coax up to the dash area. I still want to take advantage of the Midland's portability, so it will continue to be powered by the 12v power port which seems to work well enough with a minimal amount of electrical interference:

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With that handled, I needed to address the issue of storing the fiberglass whip antenna when not in use, because it's too tall for the garage and makes quite the racket when I forget to pull it off before trying to park Oscar... So, after some frosty beverages, I came up with this:

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And finally, when the mic is installed in the Jeep, I don't want it floating all over the center console or taking up valuable cup holder space. After another frosty beverage, I whipped up this little sheetmetal bracket that sandwhiches between the passenger grab handle and the inner dash structure, and allows me to clip the mic in an easily accessible location:

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8)
Yep, I've wheeled one of those, too...

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tobyw
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Re: Oscar

Postby tobyw » Fri Dec 14, 2018 5:47 pm

After a few too many close calls with the abundant sheetmetal that makes Oscar what he is, I decided it was time to add a little more protection in the way of rock sliders. The factory Rubicon sliders do an admirable job of protecting the rocker panels, but since they are no wider than the lower door sills, they do nothing to help fend off rocks or trees when you are leaning at an angle. So, fabrication was in order!!

I started with some 1-1/2 x 0.120 wall tube, and mocked it up against the factory rocker:

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When I was happy with it, I glued it in place after removing the rocker and putting it up in the vise for easier welding:

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And finally, a coating of unicorn charcoal silver:

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8)
Yep, I've wheeled one of those, too...

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tobyw
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Re: Oscar

Postby tobyw » Sun Dec 23, 2018 7:00 am

While the factory gas pressurized shocks on the Rubicon model are a fine shock absorber, they simply weren't up to the task of keeping Oscar completely under control with the taller stance, heavier rolling stock, and especially when heavily loaded out. This was a glaring issue after the first few hours on the Rubicon Trail earlier this year, as even my wife noted some additional head-toss action as the first trail day wore on... The issue was prevalent again during our WABDR excursion, so it was time to start looking for a solution.

As luck would have it, I stumbled upon a gentlemen selling a set of FOX shocks that originally came with the MOPAR 2" suspension lift he had factory ordered on his JLU-R. Having much deeper pockets than I, this guy immediately pulled off the FOX shocks and replaced them with a set of KING dampers, and simply needed the FOX shocks out of his garage. Yahtzee!! My friends at UPS dropped them on the porch a couple days later:

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Fun facts: these are FOX 2.5" diameter monotube shocks with proprietary valving developed specifically for JLU's by the geeks, errr Engineers, at Fiat. The super fat 2.5" aluminum bodies help hold more fluid to prevent overheating and fade, and the rear shocks incorporate a really cool roost guard around the shock shaft to prevent damage to the seals. Of course they are also longer when extended than the factory shocks:

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Anyhoodles, onto the installation, which thanks to a redesign on the JL platform, is now extremely simple as both upper and lower mounts are eyelet style, meaning no more fussing around with a pin top mount arrangement:

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While I was at it, I also slapped in a 3/4" poly spacer I had on the shelf to level out the stance, as the winch and bumper had combined to drop the front end roughly 5/8". Overall stance is now spot on:

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8)

Up next will be some longer front LCA's, an adjustable front trac bar, and maybe a bit of fabrication to relocate the steering stabilizer, as it's factory location is very low and prone to damage. In fact, mine is already squished pretty badly and likely not performing it's intended duties to the best of it's abilities :?
Yep, I've wheeled one of those, too...

Image

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tobyw
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Re: Oscar

Postby tobyw » Fri Jan 25, 2019 8:12 am

The factory steering stabilizer on the JL platform is a bit of a thing, because it hangs down below the tie-rod and is therefore a proverbial rock magnet:

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To address the situation, I took some scrap metal and an old bar pin eliminator bracket that I had in the parts bin, and made some relocation brackets to get my replacement steering stabilizer up and out of harm’s way:

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And here is the finished product:

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While I was working on functional improvements, I added a hood blackout decal. For whatever reason, the hood glare on this thing was gnarly, and I’m hoping this will combat that going forward. The first step was to pull the windshield rests and washer nozzles, and then wipe it all down nice and clean:

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After that, copious amounts of soapy water were applied to both the hood and the decal, allowing it to float around until I could get it juuuuuuuust right. The boy acted as QC to help ensure I didn’t mess it up too badly:

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To top it off and add a little something, I put down a ¼” pin stripe to match the RUBICON lettering on the hood:

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8)
Yep, I've wheeled one of those, too...

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