Jump to content

Search the Community

Showing results for tags '4x4'.



More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Forums

  • Let's Talk and Share!
    • Topic Searching, Posting Attachments and Other Forum Tools
    • 4WD Mechanix Magazine 'Tech and Travel' Forums: Member Photo Gallery
    • General Repairs and Tips (See Other Forums for Specific Vehicle Topics)
    • Sharing New Products
    • Health and Fitness for Four-Wheelers and Powersports Enthusiasts
    • Off-Topic and General Discussion
    • Calendar Events and Outdoor Activities
  • Buy, Swap and Sell Classified Ads
    • Motor Vehicles, Trailers and OHV Classified Ads
    • Parts for Sale, Swap or Wanted
    • Equipment and Tools Classified Ads
  • Jeep® 4WD Owners Group
    • Vintage Jeep® Vehicles 1941-71
    • 1972-86 AMC/Jeep® CJ and Jeepster Models
    • Jeep® YJ Wrangler, TJ Wrangler and LJ Wrangler
    • 2007-Up Jeep® JK Wrangler 4x4
    • Jeep® XJ Cherokee, MJ Comanche Pickup and Grand Cherokee
    • FSJ Models: Full-Size Jeep® Gladiator and J-Truck, Cherokee, Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer
    • Jeep® Liberty, Commander and Patriot
  • Dodge Power Wagon, Dodge and Ram 4WD Trucks
    • Dodge 4x4 and Ram 4WD Trucks
    • Dodge-Ram Cummins Power
  • Chevrolet & GMC 4x4 Trucks and SUVs
    • Vintage to 1991: Chevrolet & GMC NAPCO and K-Model 4x4 Trucks
    • 1987-Present: Chevrolet & GMC Silverado, S-Trucks and 4x4 Suburban, Yukon and Blazer
    • Humvee and Hummer H1, H2 and H3 Forum
  • Ford 4x4 F-Series, Full-Size SUV and Ranger Trucks, Bronco II and Explorer
    • 1948-Present: Ford F-Series Trucks
    • Ford Power Stroke Diesels
    • Full-Size Ford SUV, Bronco 4x4, Excursion and Expedition
    • Ford Ranger, Bronco II, Explorer and Mercury Mountaineer
  • International-Harvester 4x4 Light Trucks, Scout and Scout II
    • International-Harvester 4x4 Light Trucks, Scout and Scout II Forum
  • Toyota Truck, Land Cruiser, FJ Cruiser, Toyota SUV and Lexus 4WD
    • Toyota Sequoia and Lexus, Land Cruiser 4WD: FJ, DJ and FJ Cruiser
    • Toyota 4WD Pickup, Hi-Lux, Tacoma, Tundra and 4Runner
  • Datsun and Nissan 4x4 Trucks, Pathfinder and Xterra
    • Nissan Patrol, Pathfinder, Xterra and SUV 4x4s
    • Nissan 4WD Pickups: Datsun, Nissan, Frontier and Titan
  • 4WD Land Rover Community
    • Land Rover, Discovery & Defender 4x4s
  • 4x4 Suzuki Samurai and Sidekick/Geo Tracker
    • Suzuki 4x4 Samurai
    • Suzuki Sidekick and Geo Tracker
  • Isuzu Trooper, Trooper II, Rodeo, Amigo and Isuzu 4x4 Pickups
    • Isuzu Trooper, Trooper II, Rodeo, Amigo and Isuzu 4x4 Pickup Forum
  • Quad ATV, UTV and Side-by-Side 4x4s
    • 'Quad' ATV, UTV and Side-by-Side 4x4s!
  • Dirt & Dual-Sport Motorcycles
    • Dirt & Dual-Sport Motorcycles
    • Dual-Sport and Dirt Motorcycle Equipment for Overlanding
  • 4x4 and Single-Track Travel & Adventure Destinations!
    • Places You Have Been...
    • Places You Would Like to Travel!
    • Off-Pavement Travel Gear
    • Equipping Your 4x4 for Overland Travel
  • Travel Trailers, Toy Haulers, Tent Trailers and Military Surplus Trailers
    • Travel Trailer and Toy Hauler Forum
    • Military Surplus M415, M416 and Other Off-Road Trailers
    • Tent Trailers and Trailering
  • Welding, Metal Fabrication and Metallurgy Discussion
    • Welding and Metal Fabrication Forum
    • Metallurgy and Heat Treating Forum
  • The Right Tools and Equipment
    • Garage Tools and Equipment
    • Diagnostic and Specialty Tools & Equipment
    • Tool and Equipment Sources

Found 26 results

  1. I'm looking into getting a bronco ii. I've had a full size and was wondering about the biis. I have heard many great things on forums about them but I have only really heard negative things from people. What do you guys think of them? My main use for one if I got one would be to drive to school, light off-roading and winter driving.
  2. Hi, I have a Third Gen 2002 Ram 3500 4x4 with an 8 liter v10 in it. It is a low mileage truck and I have been wanting to convert it into a diesel for a while now. It only has 93,000 miles on it and is well maintained. I was wondering what all I would have to do to convert this truck into a diesel, and how much it would cost. I have been messing around with the idea for a while now, but I now have some free time to change the engine if I have the money. Please help me find about how much it would cost to do this, thank you.
  3. We all need the right tools, supplies, food, water and safety equipment when traveling to remote country. Four-wheeling and motorcycle backcountry travel, in particular, require careful planning and appropriate travel gear. In all cases, safety equipment, medical emergencies, repair tools, tire repair kits, vital spare parts and other necessities can make or break a trip. Discuss and share topics at this forum!—Moses Ludel
  4. First, a little background. I am not a mechanic, nor am I exceptionally knowledgeable about engine repair, and certainly not restoration or replacement. I have a moderate level of experience with automotive repairs and know my way around a toolbox. I have little limitation in finance and time. Now, for my question. Essentially, I'm just wondering how possible/practical it is to fully restore a somewhat older vehicle. And i don't mean an engine rebuild. I mean literally remove every piece and replace it with a new one. Every. Little. Piece. Regardless of price/time constraints, is it possible to do this? To literally have an old body/frame but entirely new vehicle? If so, what are some potential difficulties/issues that may be present? How much would a project like that generally cost? Any tips or recommendations you might have for me as far as brands and such go? Thanks all for taking your time to help me out! *Note: For some context/additional information, I'd like to complete this project on an old 1998 Jeep Cherokee Sport
  5. The steering gear and linkage are vital safety concerns—yet the pitman arm on a 4WD Jeep or other light 4x4 truck can easily be installed incorrectly. With the popularity of oversized tires and suspension lift kits, many pitman arms get replaced long before there is a parts wear issue. A dropped pitman arm is often part of a suspension lift kit, and the pitman arm on a new or relatively new vehicle may get replaced with a dropped arm. Here are some procedures that I use when installing a pitman arm: 1) Never turn the arm against either of the steering gear's extreme left or right turn positions. Force against the gear in these positions can damage the steering gear internal parts—the gear is not intended to absorb this kind of force at either end of the worm or ball nut's travel. I like to keep the steering gear and pitman arm close to the center or straight-ahead steering position during pitman arm removal and installation. 2) When removing the pitman arm nut on a typical steering gear, there is a lot of force required. It is easier on parts to use an air impact gun and socket to remove the nut, as there is less tendency for the pitman to rotate...If you have the steering gear removed from the vehicle, consider holding the arm in a large bench vise (with the gear assembly free) while loosening or tightening the nut. 3) Once the nut is removed, use the correct pitman arm puller tool to prevent damage to the steering shaft and other parts. Make sure the tool fits properly between the backside of the arm and the neck of the steering gear housing, with enough clearance to prevent damaging the housing/casting! 4) There is considerable force with the pitman arm secured on tapered splines, so use extreme caution with the puller tool. Once the initial tension relieves, the arm will come off readily. 5) Clean up the sector shaft splines as needed. It is critical that the new pitman arm fits properly, an interference fit that demands clean mating surfaces. If installing a powder coated aftermarket pitman arm, I always use a suitable drill motor-powered wire brush to remove the powder coating from the tapered seat and splines of the new pitman arm. (I remove paint here, too.) Don't damage or dull the spline teeth in the process! Warning: If you mate a powder-coated part at the splines, you will get a false torque reading. There is a high likelihood that the pitman arm will loosen at the splines as steering force wears through the powder coating. If you have a powder-coated arm already installed, and if the arm has been in service, re-check the nut torque with the pitman arm in the straight ahead steering position. 6) Always use the required torque wrench and socket to bring the sector/pitman nut to proper torque. Again, make sure the arm is near the straight ahead steering position to prevent damaging the steering gear. The torque required is high, especially on a recirculating ball-and-nut power gear, much more than on a light-duty vintage Jeep cam-and-lever gear! Do not second-guess the torque setting. Use a factory or professional shop manual to determine the correct torque for the pitman/sector nut on your steering gear. 7) When reattaching steering tie-rods, make sure they are clean and free of debris. If the outer end of the new pitman arm has a tapered seat with powder coating or paint, I use a drill motor-powered wire brush to remove the powder coating and take the tapered seat to bare metal. 8) Attach a clean tie-rod ball stud to the pitman arm tapered seat, using the correct type nut (typically castellated or flanged self-locking) that comes with the tie-rod end. Flanged, self-locking nuts are often one-time use only. Consult the factory workshop manual for recommendations on replacing fasteners or use of thread locking liquid. Always use OEM grade hardware and fasteners. 9) Align steering joints, adjusting sleeves and tie-rod ends so that the ball studs are on center with the steering linkage aligned. Make sure none of the joints bind or run out of travel over the full range of steering turn positions and angles. Make sure that parts do not interfere with each other. 10) I always recheck the torque on the pitman and tie-rod fasteners after a short time in service. This is a safety precaution that may catch a part requiring a slight re-torque. Again, this is all about safety. Use of oversized tires places an even bigger load on these parts... Moses
  6. I have attached a few pictures of this transmission I have but I don't know where its from I need help identifying this transmission the only thing I can identify here is the transfer case because it has the sticker in the back its an NP "new process" 249 J This is a manual 4wd transmission I believe its an ax15 transmission but please give me your input as i'm not sure any help is appreciated one more thing from the shape of the bell housing I don't think this came of a Jeep possibly AMC or other but thanks again
  7. The 2013 SEMA and AAPEX Shows are next week (November 4-8, 2013)...I will be covering these record size events at Las Vegas, Nevada. SEMA expects over 2500 exhibits, and AAPEX has grown, too. Estimated attendance will be 140,000 at SEMA! As usual, you can expect film highlights in HD video at the 4WD Mechanix HD Video Network. By mid-November, I will also have details on the testing of Hypertech's Stage 3 Max Energy engine programming on the magazine's 2005 Dodge/Ram 3500 5.9L Cummins diesel powered pickup. We just loaded that software in time for the SEMA Show and will have 1,200 miles of real world data to share when I return from Southern California and Las Vegas, Nevada! During the week of November 1st through the 8th, I'll be scurrying around and preoccupied with a roster of key meetings with sponsors and new product tours. I'll rejoin the forums discussion on the weekend of November 9th-10th. Trust that all of the members will enjoy sharing and discussions during the week I'm covering the SEMA/AAPEX Shows! I will follow the forums through Thursday, October 31st, updating and sharing... Moses
  8. Today I went to shift out of 4 high and my transfer shift lever didn't feel right. The fact that I had a hard time getting out of my icy driveway didn't sink in until I tried to shift back into 4 high. I was trying to properly engage the transfer case at the proper speed, but nothing happened and it was then I realized that there was no resistance in the shift lever. I went all the way to 4 low without anything happening, so I assume that the cable has become disconnected or has broken. Being without proper space to work under the Liberty at this time of year I will be forced to take it into a shop. Am I looking at a costly repair, or a quick fix? Thanks for the information.
  9. all packed up ready to go fuel stop(1 of many) at the billabong roadhouse on the foreshore at denham shark bay finally got some off road action in the francios peron national park spent the day sight seeing in the national park
  10. Well, Moses, you recommended a Cherokee Sport, and I think I may have found a decent one to work on. It is only $500.00 and it supposedly runs well and the 4x4 works. It's a 2000 with 190,000 on the 4.0L motor. It needs rockers and floor work. It also needs a power steering reservoir o-ring for the power steering to work. The only picture on Craigs List shows a pretty decent original Jeep. I would really like an old CJ, but I'll do what's best for my daughter and my budget for now and hopefully the old CJ will show up when I can do the best job on it. It sounds like the trailer hitch alone would be worth the investment. I'll still enjoy the Liberty while working on this, if I can get my hands on it. I can't believe I'm the only one looking at this time of year.
  11. I have recently purchased a 1993 Jeep YJ with a 4.0. The jeep recently started running and idling rough. The Check Engine Light (CEL) was not lit nor did it illuminate when the key was turned ON. After further investigation I found the CEL bulb was removed and found shards of glass in the socket. I removed the socket and added a new bulb. Upon further investigation I found the PCM is storing the following codes: 12 ==> Battery disconnected (accurate) I just did a head light upgrade and added relays. 27 ==> I have found a few listed on-line... Code 27 -Injector control circuit-bank output driver stage does not respond properly to the control signal. Code 27-Injectors No. 1, 2, or 3 control circuit and peak current not reached. Then followed by the closing code 55 I am not sure where to start troubleshooting this... Thanks in advance! Bruce
  12. Originally a Q&A Vlog question at the magazine, a Jeep owner has trouble with the gauges and engine tune on his early YJ Wrangler. I suggest several troubleshooting and diagnostics tools for checking circuits, grounds and voltage drops. The use of a volt-ohmmeter, lamp load test and other techniques apply. Wiring integrity and proper splices are also discussed: Trust you'll find this helpful... Moses
  13. The magazine's YouTube Channel generates a lot of questions, and I encourage viewers to join us at these forums. A current exchange involved a viewer installing a 4.0L Jeep water pump and asking about how to seal the gasket and engine-to-block. This is worthwhile for our forum community, here is the discussion: Question from Ben D.: Did you use Gasgacinch between the water pump gasket and block? Looooong time ago I remember using RTV. Was it necessary? My reply: I like Gasgacinch on a cut paper gasket like the water pump. RTV can slough and find its way into the radiator tubes and clog. An even coating of Gasgacinch, on each side of the cut gasket, is wise. Gasgacinch resists coolant, gear lube, engine oil and other automotive fluids. It works well around higher temperature castings. Edelbrock private labels the product for its valve cover and intake manifold gaskets, each a higher heat area of the engine. (Gasgacinch is not for an exhaust manifold where I would use Permatex Ultra-Copper RTV or Permatex Copper Spray-a-Gasket Hi-Temp sealant.) Like many other professionals, I have used Gasgacinch in motorcycle engine work. My recent XR650R Honda project's rocker box to cylinder head seal is one example of a precisely machined, interference fit without a gasket, using only Gasgacinch for that fit. (There is no factory gasket here, just sealant.) This is a good discussion for the magazine's forums at: http://forums.4WDmechanix.com. Join us, Ben!...Moses I use Gasgacinch on transmission and transfer case cut gaskets, engine oil pan (cork, rubber or composition) gaskets, seal jackets and shells, bolt threads, and many other paper gasket and interference fit locations. It works well when coated evenly, and Gasgacinch has excellent tacking ability for holding an awkward cut paper or cork gasket in place during installation. The YouTube video series on the Jeep Cherokee 4.0L cooling system and water pump work is at: http://www.4wdmechanix.com/How-to-Jeep-4.0L-Water-Pump-and-Serpentine-Belt.html. Gasgacinch is a long time respected sealant and belt dressing, and yes, it can help preserve and quiet belts! Moses
  14. Good afternoon, I'm looking for information about all that we should know before servicing an axle. I'm not an experienced mechanic, so I like to investigate before mess it up. Which one will be the best fluid to fill up the differential? I've read about API GL-5 and 75W-90 specs for this. I've also read about a limited slip differentials and an additive to be required for that one. So, how can we identify the axle that we have, starting with this, I've read that the D35 has a plastic plug. But mine has a threaded one. What things can we look for, to identify the D35 and D30 axles? How can we identify or distinguish the limited slip one? Thanks in advance. Alberto.
  15. Moses, a friend of mine is having a hard time with his YJ when he tries to start the engine. He said that some times take more than 10 attempts cranking the engine but it wont run. When we had luck and get the engine running, it suddenly dies when driving, becoming a critical safety issue as it loses power steering and brake boost. A mechanic took the ignition components to a lab for testing, he said that everything is OK. (Coil, Distributor, Wires and Ignition module). Please share some of your wisdom that can help him to find where the problem is. Thanks in advance.
  16. Forum Member Alberto from Colombia did a rear axle lube change on his recently purchased 1989 Jeep Wrangler 4x4. He discovered that the Dana 35 rear axle differential case is missing the lock pin retainer for the pinions/spider gear shaft. This is a crucial safety issue and deserves its own topic. Here is a copy of my response to Alberto, we can discuss this further: "Alberto...The "missing" lock pin retainer on the pinions or "spider gears" shaft is very important, as this lock pin holds the pinions/spider gears shaft in place. Warning: If the pinions/spider gear shaft works its way out on a C-clip design axle, the axle shafts can slide inward, C-clips drop loose, and the axle shaft(s) can slide out the side of the vehicle. This results in severe damage or an accident due to loss of vehicle control. On both the C-clip and non-C-clip axles, if the pinions/spider gear shaft slides out, it can destroy parts or even cause axle parts to seize. The rear axle could lock up and cause a severe loss of vehicle control and an accident. According to the 1989 factory service manual (U.S. edition), your rear Dana 35 axle should not have a C-clip design axle. You should have press-on axle shaft bearings and bearing retainer plates at the outer tube ends of the axle housing. The retainers keep the bearings and axle shafts from sliding out of the axle housing, and the axle shafts with bearings are a snug fit into the axle tube ends. These "seal retainer" plates attach to the brake backing plate studs. Some differential carriers (typically those with C-clip axles) use a retainer bolt to hold the pinion shaft in place. These bolts are notorious for snapping during removal. This ends up a major problem, as the high tensile strength sheared bolt shank must be removed before the axle can be serviced. (I'll save this repair for when such a question comes up in the forums.) Most often, during axle shaft bearing or seal replacement service, the bolt snaps as you try to remove it. In your situation, if this is not a C-clip axle, you should have a pinion/spider gear shaft "lock pin" and not a lock bolt. You may be able to install a new pin with the differential still in the axle housing. Access may be an issue, but this part is very important. If you cannot install the lock pin retainer with the differential case and ring gear in position, you will need to remove both axle shafts and the differential case with the ring gear to access the lock pin hole. First see if you can access the retainer pin hole without removing the differential case. Here is the illustration of an "open" differential, not a limited slip. Zoom-in for details. (Your mouse scroll wheel may be necessary for this step.)...Note the role of the shaft lock pin, Mopar P/N S0455313. This may be a generic part number: 1989 Wrangler Rear Axle.bmp 7.52MB 1 downloads If you have Trac-Lok, that differential also uses a lock pin to hold the differential shaft in place. Here are the Mopar part numbers for the Trac-Lok differential spider gear (pinions) shaft lock pin: PIN, Retaining...83505019 (1987-89); 05252502 for 1990 You do need to take care of this lock pin issue right away, Alberto... Moses
  17. One of the best lessons learned from years of instructing and our forum discussions is the value of visual learning! Now, the innovative Vimeo On Demand streaming HD video program enables the streaming of 4WD Mechanix 'Tech and Travel' How-to Series HD videos covering a wide range of subjects. Under the 4x4 hood and chassis, on the motorcycle repair stand or from the work bench, I'll deliver step-by-step, close-up HD video details for shop technicians and serious DIY enthusiasts. As you would expect, the growing list of instructional videos will demonstrate best professional practices and proven procedures for each step in the process! 4WD Mechanix Magazine and 'Tech and Travel' Forums have become an online resource for reliable technical information, in depth 'how-to' coverage and off-road lifestyle content for Jeep®, 4x4 truck, SUV, OHV and dirt bike/powersports enthusiasts. Vimeo On Demand takes viewers to the next level with streaming HD video instructional step-by-step learning! By following the steps provided in each video, viewers can perform professional-level work, save considerable cost and gain valuable insights. Off-pavement, your 4x4 truck, Jeep® vehicle or dirt/dual-sport motorcycle must be reliable and safe. Performing your own work, the right way, can increase your self-reliance while enhancing your troubleshooting skills. Projects take time to complete. The Honda XR650R motorcycle upper engine rebuild project became the first Vimeo On Demand production. The work and filming experienced the customary parts delays, machine shop sublet time and unforeseen obstacles. For this reason, all rentals are for a generous 30-day period. This added value provides the time needed for viewers to perform quality work. The 4WD Mechanix 'Tech and Travel' HD Video Series at Vimeo On Demand brings select, highly detailed 'how-to' instructional videos and backcountry travel narratives to viewers. Streaming HD videos can provide close-up, professional insights and sharp HD 1080P detail—directly from your mobile device, laptop, PC or the latest big screen "Smart" television! Watch the growing playlist of available streaming HD videos at Vimeo On Demand! Moses
  18. When you find that your engine repair includes cylinder honing, apply this process properly. The optimal honing finish will have the right cross-hatch pattern with correct angles. If you're unsure of the right "look" or angles, look closely at the photo below, the magazine's cylinder barrel after machine honing at L.A. Sleeve Company: Hand honing will involve the correct diameter stone hone or flex hone ("glaze buster"). Your cross-hatch pattern will depend upon the right pressure and speed of the hone as you run it up and down in the cylinder. At our tools forum, you will find my comments on the two most common cylinder hones and their applications. Once you choose the correct hone and decide what you want the cylinder wall to look like when finished, clean the cylinder carefully and take measurements. If you're honing in an automotive engine bay with the head off and the rods and pistons removed, make sure to protect the crankshaft journals from honing debris. This debris is abrasive and will instantly damage new rod and main bearings! Wrapping the journals with clean shop rags is one method of protecting the crankshaft. I like to use a suitable honing oil. Some will use an actual machine shop honing oil. I like "Lube Guard Assembly Lubricant" for its lubricating and cleaning ability. As you hone, the cylinder must slough off abrasive from its pores. There is both the cylinder material and the hone material to consider here, each highly abrasive! When honing, I like to use a rhythmic pattern up and down in the cylinder, moving the hone uniformly and with the same speed and force over the full cylinder. In the day, my mentors recommended moving the hone "in slowly, out quickly", and that pattern is good, too. If you're unfamiliar with the speed of a hone, try a one-second-down, one-second-up kind of count that's easy to follow. I use a 1/2-inch hand drill motor with cross handles if possible to maintain center while honing. Note: For some motorcycle barrels, it might be practical to use a drill press and suitable holding fixture for the barrel. Simulate the honing equipment found in an automotive machine shop. You have good speed (usually adjustable on most presses) and alignment control. Set speed to your needs. Use plenty of lubricant while honing this way! With a stone hone, you can adjust the stone pressure against the wall and also choose a suitable stone grit. If you have no idea what grit, there are usually manufacturers' recommendations for each stone set type. These are general recommendations and reflect speed and pressure as well. Cylinder wall material can vary widely. Iron is often alloyed with nickel or even chromium and moly like L.A. Sleeve Company's "Moly 2000" liners. If in doubt, use a moderate grit, it may take longer but will not chew up a cylinder wall and require re-boring. Warning: Both automotive and motorcycle engines that have Nikasil bore plating require special honing with a diamond hone. Do not attempt to hone this material with a conventional stone hone or glaze-buster silicone flex hone. Sublet honing to a shop with appropriate equipment. A good approach when determining a cross-hatch pattern is to match the original cross-hatch that is evident at the top of the bore above the taper. This ledge or "ridge" is not affected by the piston ring travel and therefore should show a pattern that the engine manufacturer (or a machine shop rebuilder) has used. Note: This works fine for most honing jobs, although there are some very exotic OEM hone patterns like the late '80s to 1990 4.2L inline six AMC/Jeep engines. Jeep had a problem with ring seating (likely due to consumers having no idea how to "break-in" an engine by that era). AMC went to a radical "swept" hone pattern: course, irregular and circular—not the conventional "X" look of typical power honing. The simplest ways to have a new hone job go sour would be failure to thoroughly clean the cylinder of debris after honing and failure to sufficiently break-in or "seat" the new rings. I tested many Jeep and other 4x4 trucks for OFF-ROAD Magazine in the '80s to mid-'90s (Argus Publishers days) and also tested vehicles on behalf of the Portland Oregonian newspaper in the early '90s. I recall several tests involving vehicles with very low miles on the clock that were using/burning oil. The cause was previous testers running these engines too hard without consideration for break-in. I never reported the oil consumption in these vehicle evaluations; this was driver error, not a manufacturing defect. In particular, I recall a 1989 Jeep YJ Wrangler with a 4.2L carbureted inline six that used a quart of oil every 50 miles and also a TBI Chevrolet Silverado V-8 pickup that used a quart of motor oil every 300 miles. Each of these engines had rings that had not seated. I was able to reduce the oil burning dramatically during my test intervals by simply treating these near-new vehicles with consideration and allowing the rings to seat properly. If given enough time, I'm certain the oil consumption could have been overcome. Some practical considerations include selecting piston rings designed for a reasonable break-in period. Unless building an all-out racing engine with forged pistons, I avoid "chrome" rings. Moly rings work very well and respond quickly to a properly finished cylinder wall. Make sure your cylinder(s) is spotlessly clean before applying either a light engine oil or Lube Guard to the cylinder walls for both piston and ring insertion and the initial engine startup. A new oil pump and pickup screen is always wise for automotive engines during a rebuild. You have the oil pan down anyway, replace the pump. For domestic engines, I've always run a Melling "High Volume" replacement pump and screen. Cheap insurance policy for a long engine life. Note: On motorcycle engines, at least measure the oil pump rotor and pump gears, check the housing for pitting and damage. Make sure parts are within specification from the manufacturer. Replace parts as needed. I'd like to follow up this article by creating an HD video how-to on cylinder honing. I'll look for an iron motorcycle cylinder or an engine block in need of honing. It would be productive to share the "art" of cylinder honing in video! Moses
  19. Hi guys. I have an odd question, and since i keep getting different answers, i figured i would ask here for some clarification. My question actually pertains specifically to the AX15 in the Dakota, but maybe this can be used to start a discussion about other transmissions as well. My question is simple, which is better to use in the Dakotas AX15, regular 80w-90, Pennzoil syncromesh, Lucas heavy duty 80w-90, or 50w engine oil? My truck sees extreme cold and warm weather, limited 4 wheel drive use, mild to once in awhile heavy towing, and frequent short trips and large amounts of highway miles. My idea was to use one quart of Lucas heavy duty 80w-90, and one quart of regular 80w-90, but some people say not to do that, and others say dont use the Lucas at all, so which is the right answer?
  20. We all know the value of anti-freeze/coolant. Anti-freeze is essential for preventing casting cracks when you park the vehicle in freezing weather. By contrast, the coolant properties raise the boiling point of the solution, making our modern engines tolerate higher operating temperatures, which can provide more complete combustion of fuel and cleaner tailpipe emissions. Higher pressure radiator caps also help raise the boiling point. Every liquid cooled engine parked at below freezing temperatures requires anti-freeze. Specifications call for anti-freeze/coolant that is compatible with engine and cooling system metals. We follow these requirements to extend engine life and preserve the engine's castings, seals and gaskets, heater core and other vital cooling system components. In addition to the type of anti-freeze/coolant, there is the manufacturers' recommendation about the concentration or "specific gravity" of the anti-freeze mixture. For cooling in summer and reasonable anti-freeze protection in the winter, most manufacturers settle for the traditional minus-34 degrees F anti-freeze protection as a year-round mixture. A 50/50 mix of pure (straight) anti-freeze and distilled water will usually provide this degree of anti-freeze protection. (See the label on the container.) Some environments require even more antifreeze protection. However, most products limit the maximum anti-freeze protection to something like minus-60 degrees F or a maximum percentage like 70% antifreeze and 30% distilled water. A closed thermostat (new Cummins thermostat shown at left) and too much anti-freeze/coolant are a recipe for excessive pressure in the cooling system. The right amount of anti-freeze/coolant will raise the boiling point of the coolant. Too much anti-freeze/coolant can actually cause boil over and coolant loss, damage to the radiator or heater core, and a reduction in anti-freeze protection...You wouldn't want to overheat—or freeze and crack—this Cummins 5.9L inline six cylinder diesel's head or cylinder block by running either too little or too much anti-freeze/coolant! Warning: Do not attempt to increase the concentration of antifreeze for a temperature lower than advised on the label. Running a stronger concentration of anti-freeze than this will not provide better anti-freeze protection. In fact, with too much anti-freeze/coolant, the freezing protection decreases. Overly high concentrations or pure anti-freeze may lead to cracking a casting in freezing temperatures. As for boil over, the boiling point actually drops with too much anti-freeze concentration. The system may boil over—either during normal warm-up phase of the engine or at normal engine operating conditions! Anti-freeze is designed to mix with distilled water. If you run straight anti-freeze, there is a likelihood of high cooling system pressure during warm-up with the thermostat closed. The engine may also boil over within normal operating temperatures. In freezing weather, you can crack the block, a head or other castings by running either too much anti-freeze in solution or pure anti-freeze! Pure anti-freeze is not to be confused with "pre-mixed" anti-freeze coolant. "Pre-mix" is typically distilled water and anti-freeze mixed before packaging at a 50/50 ratio. This "pre-mixed" anti-freeze coolant is usually good for minus-34 degrees F protection in the winter and a boiling point of 260-plus degrees F in the summer—with the right pressure cap on the radiator or system. Boiling point increases with the use of a specific radiator cap pressure, usually 17 PSI or so for most modern engines. If the cap pressure is lower than the recommended OEM cap, the boiling point will drop accordingly. For this reason, it is important that your radiator cap is in top condition and holding proper pressure. Understand that a vintage vehicle with a much lower pressure radiator/cooling system cap will have a lower boiling point than 260 degrees F, even with 50/50 mix of anti-freeze/coolant. So, make sure your engine's cooling system is protected against both boil over and freezing. But don't use more anti-freeze than the mixture for the lowest recommended temperature protection on the anti-freeze/coolant container. (Typically, this mixture limit is indicated on the container's label.) Know whether the anti-freeze is pre-mix or pure anti-freeze. Make sure you allow the coolant to mix thoroughly before reading the protection level with an anti-freeze hydrometer or specific gravity tester. Too little anti-freeze/coolant is dangerous and leaves the engine unprotected against cold freezing. Too much anti-freeze/coolant can also lower protection against both overheating (boil over) and cold freezing. Anti-freeze requires the right amount of water to work properly. Read labels carefully. As a footnote, we're talking about the anti-freeze/coolant in the radiator and overflow tank. Always check the anti-freeze at the radiator after the engine has circulated coolant thoroughly, including through the heater core; to avoid severe skin and eye burns, remove the radiator cap only after the engine has cooled down completely! Loosen the cap slowly, stop at the first notch, and release all pressure before removing the cap. Prestone or equivalent tester like the one at left can be purchased for $5 or so at any auto supply. If you follow directions, this hydrometer can be accurate and a quick test for anti-freeze protection. At right is a Stant cooling system pressure tester for the radiator/cooling system and also for testing cap pressure. A Stant diagnostic tool kit like this has been in my tool set since 1981, and it still works great. The cooling system pressure tester has a variety of uses and is an excellent troubleshooting tool. Mix the anti-freeze solution in the overflow bottle to the same mixture you have in the radiator. After several complete heat-up and cool down cycles, the anti-freeze/coolant in the engine, radiator and overflow bottle should reach a uniform mixture. At that point, measure specific gravity with the anti-freeze hydrometer to get an accurate read on the protection level. Test the radiator cap's holding pressure with a pressure tester if available. If in doubt, install a new radiator cap. Periodically, test anti-freeze/coolant protection at both the radiator filler neck (engine completely cooled down first!) and at the overflow bottle. If the cooling system has been transferring coolant back and forth—cycling from cold to hot and back to cold over a long time—a quick hydrometer test at the overflow tank can be accurate. Moses
  21. With the growing interest in aftermarket radiators, performance and "aluminum" appear to be interchangeable terms. The Griffin radiator in our 1999 Jeep XJ Cherokee is just one example, there are many. Even OEMs have turned to aluminum when high performance efficiency is necessary. The 1999 Jeep XJ Cherokee with aftermarket performance radiator. Note the stiffer aluminum necks on these radiators. Gear type hose clamps work much better with these radiators. Aluminum radiators have aluminum necks. These necks can be stiffer and thicker walled than the traditional brass and copper radiator necks. While OEMs often use spring clamps (faster on the assembly line!) to secure hoses to the brass/copper radiator necks, this kind of sealing may not be suitable for these rigid aluminum necks! We discussed OE clamps during the Griffin aluminum radiator installation. In the time this vehicle has been in service, every OEM spring type clamp has been replaced with a high quality gear-type, adjustable hose clamp! Weeping and seepage occurred with the OEM spring clamps—especially with the range of temperatures experienced during the winter at our area...Overnight temps can drop to the 'teens or even lower, while a thermostat temp of 195-degree F occurs each time the engine warms up! At left is a quality worm gear hose clamp that works better with aluminum radiator necks...Middle is a custom T-bolt clamp that has a self-locking nut and can be readjusted as necessary. At right is the most primitive of OEM type clamps that do not work well over time. Tension of clamp at right is preset and often loosens with heat cycling over long periods of time or from recession into the aging hose. Always re-torque the worm gear clamp after heat cycling for a short time. You can also re-torque the clamp in the middle, a high performance Mishimoto stainless steel offering from Summit Racing. The more rigid aluminum radiator necks call for secure clamp loads. Tension constants are limited on spring type hose clamps. They can only hold to the preset tension at a given diameter. Making matters worse, heat cycling affects any metal, and this includes spring clamps. Spring clamps tend to tension less after higher mileage use. So, if you're switching to an aluminum radiator, or if your OE radiator or other hose necks are stiffer aluminum, consider using gear type or quality adjustable hose clamps. Make certain that you recheck the tension on these clamps after the hoses have heated and cooled for a number of cycles. Once these clamps are at the proper torque setting for a conformed hose, they will hold that setting for a very long time. Moses
  22. Many of us know what 4WD or OHV products we would like to get next. As we move into fall and the perfect season for dirt motorcycle and ATV riding, or taking an SUV or 4x4 into the changing seasons at the backcountry, there are many items that make our wish list. Whether you're thinking about four-wheel drive accessories or aftermarket products to enhance your outdoor lifestyle, please share with us! We'd all like to know what others have discovered or find most useful for traveling to distant destinations and into the backcountry, including camping, hunting, fishing and overall recreational pursuits! Moses
  23. This is one that should be common sense, but i have seen vehicles where the owners overlook this. Whenever you upgrade the alternator output to a vehicle, or change to higher amperage batteries, or even set up dual batteries, always watch where the wires are run very closely. When i wire everything up, i used heavy gauge wire, with insulated clamps to mount the wires to the inner fenders, away from anything that would cause an issue with it, and run the wires for the dual batteries through the firewall to the switch in a short piece of conduit bonded to the firewall. If you wire through a hole drilled in the firewall, with no additional insulation of any kind, the wire's insulation can rub through and cause it to catch the vehicle on fire. This can be easily prevented by using a readily available rubber grommet to insulate that one wire where it goes inside the cab. I have worked on many vehicles in the past where people don't pay attention to things that could cause an issue later on down the road. Safety should always be first and foremost in any vehicle repair or upgrade of any kind. On my 1994 Dakota, i have switched dual batteries, with the switch inside the cab, for ease of access, a higher output alternator, 1200 watt two channel amp, electric over hydraulic Meyers plow, 4 combination driving/fog lights on the front, hard wired 1800 watt power inverter in the cab, and all of the wires under the hood are run through PVC conduit that is attached to the truck with insulated hard rubber/metal clamps. The wiring in the cab is run through double layer flexible plastic, like the manufacturers use, that way i never have to worry about a fire, or a wire shorting out at the wrong time. I know running conduit isn't always practical in some vehicles, but even flexible tubing, and rubber grommets, are better than exposed wiring everywhere. And, no matter what you are wiring, from aftermarket lights, to stereo systems, to winches, plows, whatever it may be, zip ties are a very inexpensive and valuable addition to any toolbox.
  24. I know this is considered a popular off road place to visit, but after what you said in another post about short wheelbase vehicles being better there, i have a couple questions. Is the Rubicon something that a medium, or even long wheel base vehicle, such as my 1994 Dakota, or your 05 Ram, wouldn't be able to do? I hear people say that a jeep or dune buggies are the best vehicle for the Rubicon, so what would be the drawbacks to a vehicle like my 1994 Dakota? And what are the minimum reccomended upgrades to any vehicle that would run the Rubicon Trail?
  25. If you are looking for a way to keep your stuff from pounding around inside or outside your vehicle, the answer might be here: End of the Road Inc. from Nashville makes rubber anchors called "Quick Fist Clamps" for anchoring all kinds of stuff for both easy access and to keep items in place as you bounce over the rocks and ruts in your explorations of the back country. It appears they began by making stuff to keep fire and emergency tools safely stowed on trucks. Their solution seems to be a great fit for off highway vehicles. They offer a wide range of clamps, straps, and brackets that just may put a dent in the bungee cord market. If you have struggled with keeping your fire extinguisher, hi-lift jack, shovel, and other "must have stuff" from bouncing off you and your passengers, your search may be over. Check out www.endroad.com. They sell direct, with low cost shipping!!!! You can also find some of their stuff at Cabelas and Amazon.com.
×