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CoWj A dream build.

Wyatt

Active Member
Start of the regear process tonight, pulled the rear most of the way apart, axle shafts, brakes, sway bar, skid plate. Tomorrow the carrier will come out, and we still start the gear swap and tuning.

Bonus is this rock I found hanging out in my differential skid plate, it's probably been in there for a good 2 years.


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Wyatt

Active Member
2/25/2019, time for a bit of an update as I forgot about the thread again.
Ok well I have been quite busy with the Regear and well we managed to finish. It was a huge project but we learned and made our way through it to the finish. It took about 2.5 days for the rear end. And a day for the front as we did it after the rear.
The Dana 44A actually was converted to a JK Rubicon ring and pinion. We worked a couple 10-12 hour days just trying to learn how the pinion depth and backlash event each other as well as the pattern. Well we probably had the carrier in and out of the housing, 30 times in the end. We learned that the shims enjoy falling out of place and getting crushed by the carrier.
The 44A is a externally shimmed axle as well as the Dana 30 in the wj.
The Dana 44A ended with a almost perfect pattern easily acceptable by any chat and anyone we ask in the industry. ( We talked with Revolution multiple times during the install and they were super helpful and answering any questions we had.)
Here is how the 44A ended up.
Backlash of .0075" which is perfect in the .006"-.010" range.

The Dana 30 really through us for a loop as the pinion didn't have any shims other than the oil slinger. After talking to some people and looking it up on the answer machine and figure out that we should leave the oil slinger as is and see what comes from it. After a few hours of messing with the backlash and ended up getting a very good pattern and .007" backlash which is perfect as well.

The Dana 30 now has, TJ 4.56 Gears, factory Vari-Lok, New Bearings on the Carrier, New pinion Bearings, inner axle seals, and a new pinion seal.
The Dana 44A has, JK Rubicon 4.56 Gears, still has the ARB, New bearings on the Carrier, pinion bearings, pinion seals, and a JK 1310 yoke.
Now I have to break in the gears and bearings by repeatedly heating and cooling them by driving them for 20ish minutes at a time then letting them cool down for a couple hours. Rinse and repeat for a good 400-500 miles. Then change all fluids. And do a visual check on everything.


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Wyatt

Active Member
As of 2/25/2019 I have a fair bit over 2500 miles on the gears with no word noises or anything.
Regear Update. I have driven about 1500 miles on them, including returning back to my home of Gunnison, around the area of vehicle recoveries (coming soon, recently did #9 on my school year) and to Moab for camping and hiking last weekend.
First thing that I notice. On the front range the gears seemed to be Overkill because driving around there and in town there is not much strain on anything. However driving back to 8000' elevation in a town that required multiple mountain passes to get to. It makes a world of difference. The Jeep used to struggle on Cerro pass and normally would end up being in 2nd gear (HI second for the 545rfe nerds out there) going 45 in the slow lane up at 3000rpm. Which was not idea.
Now I can hold 65 up it in 4th gear at 2700rpm all day without any issue and on super steep pitches I can easily do 55 in 3rd at 3200.
I have noticed that in driving to Moab, the Jeep started to get a really bad vibration at 70+mph. I believe I have traced it to the front driveshaft as it is the original driveshaft which is likely a couple inches to short for the lift and the cross member lift. So I have a new one on order and it should arrive today and I will get an alignment and have them adjust the caster to see if that is also part of the issue. Hopefully this will solve it and then the Jeep will be pretty dialed with the new gears and radiator.

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Wyatt

Active Member

My latest recoveries are 2 cars and a diesel truck.
On MLK day Gunnison got a small snow storm. Not even an inch but because it had been around 10° on the highs and -20° as the lows. All the snow that hit the ground turned into a sheet of ice on highway 50. I got a call from another student saying that their significant other was off the side of the highway and needs a tow. As I was on my way out there we got word that a Park Service Range was attempting to get them out but I know that do to some legal reasons they are not allowed to pull with there vehicle without special permission. He was attempting to use Maxtrax to get the vehicle out with no luck. When I arrived there was another car in the ditch on the same turn of the highway. And this turn is a perfect storm for cars to go off. It's a fast 60+mph turn (when dry) that is downhill and off camber towards the inside of the turn. Likely the first car (grey sedan) was coming around the turn, the tail started to slide and the driver panicked and hit the brakes causing the rear to come all the way around and go nose first into the ditch 90° to the road.

The second vehicle Subaru WRX likely saw the police lights off the Park Ranger hit the brakes and spun of into the ditch just not nearly as far off the road.

When I got there and was walking around the scene, and talking to the Park Ranger (how handed the scene off to me because I was there and knew what I was doing to get the road open faster than calling multiple tow trucks and dealing with them taking a couple hours to get there. Everyone was having trouble just simply walking on the road because it was a half inch of snow covered in a layer of ice. No plows had been by and there was no gravel or anything on the road. So my first idea was to out chains on. I put all 4 tires chains on to get any sort of grip on the ice and without them I doubt I could have done the recovery.

It was about this time when the State Trooper showed up. In which I explained what my plan was and he gave me the option of being able to fully shut down that section of highway for a couple minutes to get the cars off. Which was so cool to have that permission.

The WRX was just a little bit of the road, but the front tires were slightly off the ground, just enough that it couldn't get traction to back out of the ditch. Luckily he knew exactly where the tow pin was and I know that they are just big enough to fit the pin of a D-Ring through. My plan was to just use low range and give him a just slow tug out of the ditch. I still had a tiny bit of tires soon even with the chains, but one they dug into the pavement under the snow the Jeep pulled the WRX out at 1000rpm nice and slowly. So he was back on his way nice and quickly.

Unfortunately my recoveries are not usually picture heavy as I am usually just focused on getting it done quickly.
The second vehicle was much deeper in the snow and thanks to Chrysler's cheapness in the 90s this sedan didn't have a single tow point on it anywhere. A gentleman who was helping me and I looked for a good 20 minutes and found nothing under underneath it. So they next option was to find the strongest point to be able to pull off with the lowest change of vehicle damage. This ended up being the rear subframe in between where the suspension components attach to.
I definitely knew that the winch was by far the best option for this recovery as I needed as much control to get this car to pivot up and out of the snow as it was bellied out.

With the winch I was able to get it to come out nice and slowly without much drama. Once it was out the driver got a taking to be the local state trooper and a warning that if they ever came back up to Gunnison again they better have snow tires and not cheap bald summer tires. He also gave me permission to escort the driver back to Gunnison until the road unfroze the next day.
It was not my most difficult recoveries but due to only being able to close of the highway for short amounts of time. I had to make sure that everything was as set up as possible before I closed it down to pull.
It was also one of the colder recoveries as it was -15° one the sun went down and being on Blue Mesa Reservoir we had winds up to 20-30mph for most of the recovery.
In the end I was there for an hours and 45 minutes. And not a single plow truck ever came by so the state trooper had some choice words to the head of CDOT on the phone during the recovery.



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Wyatt

Active Member
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A few days later, I was itching to get out camping and I had a friend in Fairplay having the same issue. So we said screw it and decided to head out to Moab for a weekend of camping and hiking, due to recent snow the trails in the area we're very muddy and not wanting to cause damage to them we decided not to go wheeling.
I left at 2pm on Friday and he had left earlier that day because he had to stop in at a near by dealer for a service on his tundra.
About 30 minutes outside of town on highway 50, one turn past where I had been recovering vehicles on the highway. I spotted out of the corner of my eye a truck that looked like it was sitting a little funky. It was off on a side dirt that get no winter maintenance, which for many locals here isn't an issue as most have 4wd and good tires. But it looked like it was sitting on the side of the road and tilted as if it was in a hole or ditch. So I turned around at the next possible spot and sure enough. He was stuck

It was a Ram 2500 Cummins, lifted on 35s or 37s as I pull off the highway and onto the dirt/snow road, I could see he was cross axled out in a ditch and stuck.
So I grabbed my gloves and coat and hopped out to offer him some help. At first he was a bit apprehensive about my small Jeep pulling out his large truck, but he eventually came around and agreed that anything was helpful. Luck for me his truck was only maybe sitting on the front axle but mainly just open diffs and crossed up so it had no traction on the ice and snow. He said he was going up to a field only about a mile up the road to let his dogs run in the snow in which we had about 19" on the ground.
I new that I was gonna winch him, I knew that maybe I could have done a slow dead pull but I had no reason to since it's so easy to pull with a winch. With some quick instructions to the driver about just keep the rpm low while I pull we started trying to remove the big ram from the ditch. Unfortunately the issue came from him, as he would start to climb up an out of the snow bank he would give it too much gas, the turbos would light off and he would spin and slide back into the ditch. Eventually after a could pulls he figured it out and after 20 minutes he was out and on his way again. He was very impressed at the pulling power on the warn Zeon winch and say that was the next thing that he was gonna do to his truck.
He was very proud of his truck nonetheless, it was a fully built Cummins motor, built trans, geared and chromoly axleshafts, but no lockers which was why he got stuck.
No matter how much power you have, you only have enough for how much traction you have.



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Wyatt

Active Member
The rest of the drive was very uneventful until I hit i-70, where holy driveshaft vibrations batman! With the new gears the driveshaft are spinning significantly faster. And above 70mph it started to vibrate violently. I was halfway to Moab at this point and under 70 it was extremely smooth with no issues. So I pushed on at 65 down the highway, till I got to Moab where I set up camping around 8pm and my friend made it around 9:30pm.
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I am really loving my current set you for camping
It was his job to bring the firewood, and he did but in the form of giant logs that he had left over from a log cabin build. They were nice pieces of wood and burned very nicely. However neither of us brought a full size axe, we both had hatches which we always keep in the rigs at all times. But when you are trying to split a 20" log it a bit difficult. Luckily I always had a mini 3lb sledge hammer so I just went about using the hatchet as a splitting wedge.
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The sun rose after a cold but not freezing night, as the lows dropped down to 17° being from Gunnison that was warm for me and I brought my Slumberjack -20 Blizzard bag, which kept me nice and toasty all night even without long underwear which I spaced and forgot at home.
We left my Jeep at camp and took his tundra and made our way to arches national park, except, we took the back 4wd road into the park because it's fun and to access the back of the park it can be faster is you have a capable rig.
Our plan was to hike the fiery furnace but as the government shut down had ended only a few hours before we got there it was still closed. So we settled on devil's garden instead and pushed to do the entire 7.2 mile hike. It was a blast however there was a lot of death ice everywhere.

Next up was delicate Arch for the sunset in which we speed hiked up as we were running out of time.
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And back to camp for a lovely fire as the temperature dropped down below freezing for the night.
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Wyatt

Active Member
Alright well, I once again forgot about this thread, what's new? So I'll just do a quick picture update, first off by doing my latest camping trip which was a quick overnight to Escalate Canton Because I had bad cabin fever and needed to get out in the woods for a night. So for daylights savings I decided to go camping. Hey! Any excuse am I right?

Didn't take many photos of the front end as it's got a big update last week!


And I found snow, well time to go back down in elevation.
Oh gotta do the water crossing

First potential camp site



Where's the site I stayed at up above the river.
quick breakfast after sleeping in. Gotta love solo travel!

Looks like a giant wave of Sand stone.

Sadly it was time to leave the magical canyon and return to dealing with people.

Yup it was a bit muddy, no bad enough to leave any wheel tracks but enough to cover the sides of the Jeep, and my pants.


Road block on the way to the Morrow Point Damn.

Dam! That's huge from down in the valley.

The old scenic railroad unfortunately doesn't run anymore but this would be the perfect canyon to have one run down. I had always wanted to see the upper section of the Black canyon. Morrow point is the second of the 3 dams and right between Cerro summit and Blue Mesa Summit. Also the 4.56 gears rock the Jeep holds whatever speed I want up any pass without hesitation.

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Wyatt

Active Member
Next up the front end gets an update finally!

While I like the look of the Flatlands bumper it honestly was a POS I bent the winch plate up by an inch as well as bent both mounting brackets causing the bumper to shift up and bend the fenders as well. That's what I get for getting the cheap option. Well I learned my lesson.
ARB Time!! And if you look closely it doesn't have a winch in it! Well I think the Wj ARB is has the smallest possible clearance for a winch. Even with the top mounted solenoid removed it wasn't even close to fitting that Zeon in there. That or the Zeon is a giant winch. I would have had to cut the entire front cross member out but I wasn't willing to do that, so a few phone calls later we installed the bar without a winch. Hoping a late shipment from warn would arrive in Colorado soon and I could grab a 9.5 XP-S as a upgrade.

Amazing the Warn shipment that was 12 days late showed up the next morning so after a few shop project a took Burt down to Denver and picked up my new ultra badass winch! And it came with a sweet bonus!!! A Warn wireless controller kit just randomly in the box and a sticker on the outside saying one was included!

I am in love with the new look, so I pulled CoWj inside to pull the bumper off and get the winch in.

Clocked and loaded.

Now that is what I call drool worthy...

Gotta love having a long driveway, on a hill, and with a perfect tension weight to help get the new line spooled in perfectly.

Really digging the Wireless Remote. Cool addition to the kit.

Of course I had to get some glamor shots while driving back to Gunnison. Oh and Monarch, yeh it's a breeze now, I can hold 60 up the east side if I want. And with the better cooling design of the ARB it stays perfectly at the normal operating temp.

Gotta get My CB when I was up there for my Birthday. All about the glamor shots with the bumpers right now.

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