While the Rest of the World Plays…

I had a really good post written up about all the things I’ve been up to lately.  Then my computer ate it.  This will undoubtedly be a weak facsimile of the original.  Your humble narrator forges ahead nonetheless.

I built a new Transfer Case for my Jeep.  As usual, I don’t have a lot of pictures of the build process, but I do have some thoughts and hopefully some jokes to share about it.  This is what the inside of a transfer case looks like…


I’m finally starting to get on some trail runs again now that the Jeep has stopped breaking for a little while.  I got to run Ajax Mine trail with a bunch of other Jeeps like mine, and it was an awesome, desperately needed day in the dirt.  This is also the beginning of a new Arizona-only, WJ-only group I’ve become a part of on FB.  Elitist enough for you, lol?


I’ve also got some write-ups for the WJ guys coming up soon.  Mainly, the ultimate track-bar-upgrade-death-wobble-cure.  Or at least I say so.  We’ll see what happens…

I dabbled in tech a bit over the last few weeks too with a phone upgrade to the Samsung Note 4.  There’s no root for the Verizon version of this phone, which is the one I have, so I’ve had to implement some interesting workarounds to get things to work the way I want them to.  I’ll try my hand at writing a tech piece on the experience some time this week.  This is what the outside of a phone looks like…


Other than that, I’ve got a pretty busy summer ahead of me:  I’m hoping to host at least two more trips for the AZWJ group, a road trip to Houston, one or two trips with NAU4x4, and a huge trip to Moab (if my buddy gets off his ass and starts building his rig).  And I’m sure there will be the odd build post here and there.

Reckon that means I might should get to work…

Rider’s Block

As part of my services as a paying WordPress customer, I get live updates on the amount of traffic that wanders through this site.  It’s nothing detailed, just vague totals for the day, and what pages are getting the most attention.  Don’t worry, I don’t know what you do alone in your house.  Except you Bryan.  I know all about you.


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SITREP: OnBoard Air and drawer system completed. For now.

It seems like the Jeep has been torn apart for forever now.  But as my birthday gift to myself, I got all the parts put back in the Jeep.  There’s still a few broken things from recent trips, but at least it’s all put together.

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As it turned out, everything went very smoothly back together.  I measured the area I needed to cut out to go around the head, cut it (with a sawzall in jigsaw fashion.  I’d have been in some shit if I’d have got caught…  Also, danger, blah, blah, blah), trimmed the carpet to fit, and violin!  It’s done!  The compressor head isn’t even exposed to any damage.  Heat has been a thought, but so far it’s stayed plenty cool, even when running constantly.  There is a wind tunnel from the back seat to the back of the jeep though, so it’s not that surprising.

Still trying to figure out what to do with those stupid latches though.  In my infinite intelligenceness, I decided to take the latches completely off, so now I get to hear the drawers clacking all about while I’m driving. yay.

Now off to track down that obnoxious clanking that’s recently developed up front in the suspension.  or finding a new transfer case, since mine seems to have suddenly forgotten how to 4-hi.

On the upside, I got to go in a helicopter this week around Sedona AZ.  That definitely makes up for all the Jeep breakage.


I love my girl.

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so. very. dope.

The dirt and the digital

One of the forums I frequent was recently talking about mods that could be done to the interior of the WJ.  This got me thinking that although most of the interior modifications I’ve done are here in the build thread, I’ve never spent much time talking about the electronics I’ve got in my Jeep, and why I have them.  So in this post, I’m going to spend a little time talking about the electronics I’ve got in my Jeep, and why I have them.

Being that I’m into off-roading, and that I graduated from the James May school of automotive navigation, I like to have some way of being told exactly where I am and exactly where I should be going.  With that in mind, I set about to create an electronics setup which would offer me reliable navigation regardless of internet access, tons of music, and ease of use; a taller order than you would imagine.

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The Modern Codpiece

In preparation for my journey through Smasher Canyon, ye humble smythe reasoned to forge a codpiece for me mighty steed.  This is especially important on the breed I got, since her tender bits is made of Aluminum, or Aluminium, if ye prefer.  Anyway, since aluminum is so much softer than steel, it’s not really a good metal to use to bash against rocks or what have you, like we are wont to do…  Yeah, there’s no way I could do this whole piece in olde English…

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Smasher Canyon – 7 Feb 2015

The off road club that I’m running with right now, NAU4x4, made a day trip to run Smasher Canyon in Cottonwood, AZ.  We did as much research as we could before the trip, but in the end we weren’t really sure what kind of trail we were in for.  Because of the unknown difficulty of the trail, we limited the trip to vehicles that were armored up and had at least a 33 inch tire (mine are only 32, but I’ve got quite a bit of armor underneath my Jeep, and I really had to use all of it, as you’ll see).

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4 links for days

I built a 4 link rear suspension for my Jeep Grand Cherokee.  To some, that’s not impressive at all.  To others, it’s a really big deal.  I’m of the mind that it’s a pretty big deal.  There was a lot of math, measurements, and SO MANY STEPS, (not to mention that it’s definitely a critical system) that it may be my most proud accomplishment in the automotive world to date.  And if I say so myself, it turned out good.  Like, really good.  I made some mistakes along the way, and I’ll share those of course.  But before we get started, let’s talk about what a 4 link is, and why I chose it.

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