Monday, November 30, 2015

Current Blog Links

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Saturday, September 12, 2015

More front flex for the Lexi450

Need help, I can't help it, It's really bad, I'm completely submerged in this... I'm loosing sleep & constantly carry my phone around reading 80 series subjects & build threads on the mud forum. Is this what they call "The Addiction"?

Thanks to @baldilocks I have aquired a set of the MAF drop brackets that I have been writing talking about. They where very simple to put on with a we bit of filing they slid right in. The 1st thing I noticed is they measured out to a 2.5" drop rather than the assumed 2" by the name of them. Once on the road I noticed a big difference in road manners. It's a more relaxing feel & Lexi turns much better. The rear seems to follow the turn rather than want to lift up & come overy the top. A stiffer sway bar in the rear I think would help this also.
That was the bonus. Now for the main reason I got these was to hopefully increase down travel, well it did by two more inches. The shocks were only ext. to 26.5" now they are going 28.5"
They definitely don't hang down as bad as the 3" MAF brackets. I'm still using my yellow caster bushings.
Now I need some of those 50mm Slinky coils. They have a free height of 24" that's 4" tallerthan what I have. 851s are 19" with the 1" spacer, that's 20" of free height.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Value of Balanced Flex

I'm beginning to understand the value of balanced flex. I put longer shocks on the back thinking this would make things better but it didn't it actually increased more body lean or roll. It was said maybe here, I've read so many threads... that limiting the back will force the front to flex or work sooner. Here is a pic showing more body roll after increasing more rear flex than front. Since 1st pic I removed my front bump pucks after the 1" body lift. End results was 3" more up travel & less body lean or roll. I am now a big believer in a body lift for the 80 series & not bump stopping front travel.
My next move to increase front down travel is to lower the aft rear of the control arm via MAF drop brackets. Think about it... it's just basic geometry. Look @Apounder... he is a perfect example of a bunch of flex by lowering the rear aft of the control arm.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

8 day Sierra National Forest family adventure

We just got back from an 8 day Sierra National Forest family adventure. Lexi didn’t miss a beat pulling a loaded 6 X12 box trailer & family up the 6% to 8% at times grade on Hwy 168 to Shaver Lake. We went on to Huntington Lake & camped 3 days there. From there we visited Mono Hot Springs, Edison Lake, that's as far East as you can go up unless you walk. On the way back we found the North end of the Dusy Ershim Trail.

We also hiked up to Rancheria Falls. The falls where barely running due to the drought. It's sad. Here is a pic of Huntington Lake & how bad the drought is here in Cali. The smoke is from the Rough Fire South of us at Hume Lake area.

No really, we had a great time. The plan was to attend the High Sierra Poker Run that was canceled due to smoke etc. A bunch of friends did the Swamp Lake trail anyways on Saturday. On Sunday we did the Bald Mtn trails. I didn't get many pics of Lexi wheelin, but I'll share what I have, most of my pics are kids ruining around having fun being kids... That's the important stuff, the kids.

The 315 Cooper ST Maxx tires really gripped good. They guys made a lot of commets about them doing so well. Wish Lexi had a set of 37s though. Lots of deep holes out there compared to 18 years ago. These trails are getting tore up from bigger rigs.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Sliders installed & painted.

Lexi received her last major purchase of the season... the rock sliders are on & ready to go sliding.
I got a really good deal with them welded on with no paint. So, today I taped her up & painted them with the Dupli-Color Bed Armor. I'm hoping the bumpy texture will help with the family getting in & out without slipping.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Bumpstop Removal After Body Lift Install

With the OME medium lift on my Lexi, I had to install bumpstops in the front to stop the 315s from rubbing in the fenders. I installed the 1" body lift so I could remove the bumpstops to allow more uptravel. I am happy with the results, it does flex a lot better than before. Today we improved uptravel, next is improving down travel. It doesn't want to go past 27" extension. I believe installing a set of MAF drop brackets will do the trick.
I have a video coming stay tuned...

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Heater Block Valve Quick Fix.

My wife has been sitting in the "Hot Seat".
The 2nd row rear heater under the passenger seat has been very hot lately. I removed the hose at the heater block valve to check the position & noticed it wasn't closing all the way shut, probly since the head gasket replacement. I fixed that & since I allready purchased a brass ball vavle I went ahead & installed it for just for in case. Summers are hot out here... don't need anymore of that. Here is some pics.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Rock Bouncer to Rock Crawler.

Hey all, my Lexi just got a bit more creepy.
Well, I mean slower.
Yeah, it got a new set of Marlin Crawler T gears... The actual numbers are from a 2.3:1 to a 3.1:1 That is a 25% reduction.
With those numbers it puts it back to lower than stock.
With my A343F tranny 1st gear of a 2.8:1 & the Marlin T gears of 3:1 & stock 4:10 it has a final of 35.5:1 from the stock. 26.4:1 is stock. By no means is the is this a rock monster, but a step in the right direction of gearing. Call it a baby rock crawler.
I've just played with the gears close to my house in the dry creek bed & have noticed a pretty sizeable difference. I don't seem to drag my break as much. Most notably not stomping on breaks at the top of a obstacle after mashing the throttle to get of it.
My tranny reference came from CDan post all the way back in 2003.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Good, The Bad, A 1" Body Lift Look Back.

After having the body lift for a while I can now give a honest opinion. The main objective of the body lift was to give more fender room so I could remove my bumpstops to allow more up travel of the tires.

I will go with Con's first since there are'nt that many.

Body lifts cost money.
You have to install them.
My shifter is shorter.

It gives more room for up travel of the suspension.
It allowed me to remove my bumpstop pucks up front.
It's a cheaper way to lift.
Lifting just the body keeps the COG down lower.
It helps with air flow across the engine.
It helps with added space from the hot exhaust on passenger side floorboard.
It pulls the engine wiring harness up & away from the hot EGR pipe.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A Duiser 1" body lift product review.

I just recently installed a Duiser body lift kit said to be a the only complete kit on the market. I'm really happy with it. The install went very smooth & hear is how it went. My rig is very clean underneath so I didn't have any rust to deal with. It can be done in a half day easy if you stay focused. I have small curious kids that want daddy time so I did it slowly with many family breaks in about 10 hours. Here is a pic of the parts.

The first thing I noticed was the all aluminum pucks... I don't know if that was just a one off to fill the order because of resourcing the poly good or bad for corrosion, but I live in the desert, so I'll move on. The bolts are 3/8" by 5", 5.5" & 7". The 7" are for the front & 5.5" for rear. Don't get them mixed up like I did.

Here on mud there is a very detailed thread that was very informative with good pictures.

It is said in there the rear bolts can be a bear to get in. I just made sure it was lifted high enough to get the bolt in at an angle before it went in strait.

The radiator bracket did not fit my 97 LX very good so I modified it. In the picture below is a metal strap with a wheel lug stud in it. It was hitting the support & making it go up at an angle. I installed the stock bolt in there & it fit better. I have no after picture. Sorry. Other than that it went in just fine. Here is more random pics.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Rock Slider for the Silver Slug...

A good friend recently met Billy the owner of Brute Force Fab. He said he could make sliders for the 80 series. So I made a visit to his shop yesterday & this is what I saw. I ordered a set, it will be about 4 weeks out. I'm really pumped, I can't wait

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Bald Mountain Family trip.

The 1st family camping trip has been a success. We made to the mountain & back down. The Cruisers performed well & did the job it was asked to do. I'm really happy with it.
I asked my girls when we got back if all those hours spent in the garage working on the LX was worth get to go camping. The answer was a definite "YES!!!"
I will post up more pics later... I'm having phone issues.

Monday, June 29, 2015

FLUSH IT! Tranny & Radiator.

6.29.15 @ 173,199 I got the oil changed along with a radiator & tranny flush. So, this completes all fluids changed. Transfer & diffs got it 2K ago. Purchased LX @ 168,500 ish...

There is an argument about flushing tranny's with higher mileage... They say the debree with help and add friction... sometimes I agree... The fluid in my case looked very clean coming out, so I believe it was previously changed out. I'm thinking it will good to go. besides its a done deal, why worry now.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

The LX got hitched...

I've been working on getting the old race box trailer going for camping & one of the things that was needed was to cut, flipped & tuck the factory tow hitch... here some pics.

Monday, June 22, 2015

A look back on the head gasket repair...

Now that I have time to think about the head gasket replacement, I’m glad that I did the repair rather than having a shop do it. I did a lot of while I’m here replacement stuff as follows: All vacuum lines I could find, cleaned upper & lower intake tubes out. Replaced water pump, thermostat, all belts & heater hoses, drivers idler pulley, fuel filter, plugs, wires, cap rotor, rubber intake tube & several other things I can’t remember right now. These items would of not been replaced on a shop HG repair. I also feel much more solid with it now because I now know how everything works & had my hands on it. This thing is ready for another 100K!

There are several things I wanted to better or more of like a complete head job rather a quick & dirty head job… meaning I didn’t check all the valves angels or guides or valve clearance’s… I simply didn’t have time or money. I did lap the exhaust valves though.

I did make some modifications since I was there. The biggest change was I rerouted the wire loom behind the intake so I could completely remove the lower intake to clean it. I did a rap around the brake booster PHH bypass & also remounted the VSV in an easier place rather underneath the upper intake.

So, back to my trailer hitch mod & getting the old race trailer ready for service.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Oh what a Feeling, it's a Toyota!

Well, the LX is running as I type. It started right up. Oh what a feeling... I'm pretty pumped!!

It holding temp & oil preasure... it's all good. I just need to get the hood on & that's it. Freaking AWESOME!!!

I just got back from a 40 mile road trip (no codes) with my girls... Moon roof open & all the widows down singing, laughing daddy's got his Cruiser back... oh what a feeling.

Man it's good to have this season of life behind me. I didn't enjoy it one bit, but the positive side is I feel real solid with it now. This thing is ready for another 100K. 

My phone is having problems with pictures so Iwill post some up later. 

Thanks all for the replies of congrats...

Hopefully very soon you will see some real camping & wheelin pictures...

Having fun with the LX & I'm out...

GW Nugget

It's going back together

6.10.15 Cams are in torqued & verified TDC
6.12.15 Lower intake, fuel filter & injector rack is in.
6.13.15 Upper intake on.
6.14.15 Oil cooler, water pump, belts, clutch fan, fan shroud, thermostat & hose neck.
6.15.15 Valve cover & all gaskets are on, stabed in the distributer in, (now I'm asking myself maybe is that 180° out?)
6.16.15 Rethread altinator bolt & tighted up belts.
6.17.15 The spark plugs, wires, cap rotor, lower rad hoses & heater hoses, & EGR on.
6.18.15 I worked 12 hr. shift & went swimming with my kids.
6.19.15 These are the big items left to do today:
Exhaust manifolds, throttle body, heater return line, modulator, pcv hose & many small miscellaneous items, install battery, washer fluid botlle & fill radiator, change out oil, double & triple check FSM list, prime & start.

These are my extra parts that I don't know what they are? The ones on left are for heat like the exhaust gaskets.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Finally, installed HG & torqued head.

Well the day finally came when the new head gasket went on & head was torqued. This was the apex event of the whole project. I definitely can now see light at the end of the tunnel now. It's all down hill from here.  Here's some pics of the big event.