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Discussion Starter #21
Following up on what I wrote above, I did locate a set of 33x12.50x15 Falken Wildpeak AT1s that have about half tread for $200 bucks. Just got back from picking them up.

We'll get to find out what the height difference is between the worn out 31" BFGs to the half worn 33" Falkens. I ordered a set of Moog CC844 springs and Skyjacker Black MAX shocks for the interim. I am 99% sure my truck's front end is bone stock.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Had the new-to-me tires mounted up yesterday.

Before
IMG_20200516_112950230 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

IMG_20200516_113002460 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

After
IMG_20200516_123256220 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

IMG_20200516_123308487 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

IMG_20200517_180301544 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

IMG_20200517_180228903 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

And now for some weirdness. On my ride up to pick up the tires, my arse had learned to hate the factory seats. They are in good shape, but I feel like there is no more cushion left, especially with a big guy like me sitting in them. I've decided I need to do a seat swap.

I went to the junkyard to see what was available. I sat in 1st and 2nd gen Expeditions, 10th gen F150s and a couple Navigators. I wasn't crazy about any of them so I kept looking. I happened upon a 2003 BMW X5 with really clean power seats. These are pretty much a larger version of the 2003 330i sport seats I have in my 540i. All they need for full functionality is 12v and Ground. Memory even works.

I finally coerced the wife to head to the junkyard with me (been asking her to go for 11 years) to make sure the seats have her approval before I do the work. She felt the same as me about the Ford seats at the yard. And then I had her sit in the BMW seats and right away, she was cool with it. So I am stoked.

IMG_20200517_155429446 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

I know they look kinda sporty for the truck, but I think I can make the Cabella's seat covers work on these too. The nice part about these seats is that the mounting surface is flat so you can make anything work with them. I will do a post on the install on it's own.

While I was at the yard, I found a decent 33" tire on a Ford rim! Now I have a spare. Not sure if it will fit underneath, but that's not that critical.
IMG_20200517_155437395 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

So that's the update so far.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
My springs came in yesterday and the shocks should be in today as well. I have some various front end components that I ordered a while ago and I am going to work on those while I am down there. I am going to go easy and not sweat it.

I also looked at the seat situation and I am convinced I am going to be thrilled with the results, but its going to take some fabbing. The mounting points are wildly different, of course. So I am thinking about taking all of the seats out and building a solid piece to run across all three seats to mount the BMW seats and then have a huge center section that I can fab a custom console for. I am not sure yet. Still ruminating.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
I was doing really good earlier this past week and then got slammed into a wall with my stupid health issue. Any way, I am going to make a couple posts because I have 50 pics I took and want to share here.

Ok, on to the seat situation. Like I said above, this is definitely going to require some custom fab skills to get these installed. I have worked out that the BMW seats have a mounting pattern of 18" wide by 14.25" deep (front to back) and is flat. The truck seats have a 9" wide by 11" deep pattern and are raised in the front. The plan is to just build a flat cage out of 1" square tubing that serve as the platform to mount feet to it. I am thinking 3/8" plate for the feet will be plenty strong if I get it done right.

Pic dump.
IMG_20200518_183036326 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

The factory seat just hangs over in the middle of the air a bit. The BMW seat will just extend out this wide.
IMG_20200518_182722366 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

Empty hole. I am thinking that doing two separate mounts will be easier than running a long one across.
IMG_20200518_183154334 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

It doesn't look nearly out of place as I thought it would.
IMG_20200518_183524687 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

IMG_20200518_183532240 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

This is actually an inch and a half too far over to the door side. I removed the BMW belt buckle and there is way more room in the middle.
IMG_20200518_183655050 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

IMG_20200518_183700428 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

IMG_20200518_183714779 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

The Ford floor pan is definitely not straight across like BMW likes to build their cars.
IMG_20200518_183746999 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

IMG_20200518_183751339 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

IMG_20200518_183802138 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

IMG_20200518_183817065 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

IMG_20200518_183823593 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

Passenger seat comparison with the BMW buckle removed.
IMG_20200518_184701980 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

BMW seat overall width.
IMG_20200518_184721097 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

BMW seat overall depth.
IMG_20200518_185046359 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

Truck seat mounting points (width).
IMG_20200518_184739340 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

Truck seat mounting points (depth). You can see the 45 degree foot placement.
IMG_20200518_185023905 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

Truck seat showing how the feet are installed.
IMG_20200518_185447813 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

I need to get feeling better to be able to get out there and tackle these. My gut just doesn't like me lifting anything when I am in the middle of a flare up. Gotta get the bad section of colon cut out.

Ok, new post.
 

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Discussion Starter #25 (Edited)
Spring and shock install:

I received my Moog CC844 springs. They look to have one more wrap than the stock springs.
IMG_20200519_104501136_HDR by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

Before shot with worn 33" tires and the factory springs.
IMG_20200518_190512146 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

Measured height to edge of fender is 35.5"
IMG_20200519_095042348_HDR by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

How you have to remove the spring retainer in the bottom of the spring.
IMG_20200519_104128616 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

Factory spring loosed up.
IMG_20200519_103353031 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

Cleaned and lubed lower spring mount.
IMG_20200519_104648478 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

New guy installed.
IMG_20200519_110601943 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

IMG_20200519_111245477 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

Working on the old shocks.
IMG_20200519_110605439 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

This was cute.

Moved over to the driver's side after the Skyjacker Black Max shocks showed up. BTW, they are way better than stock blown suckers. Not an endorsement exactly, but yeah...
IMG_20200519_163306637 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

Post install after running to Autozone for a steering component.
IMG_20200519_174522848_HDR by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

IMG_20200519_181304255_HDR by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

Just under an inch and a half lift. I am sure they have settled a little bit more. Not terrible for $104 shipped. Keeps the front end from wallowing around anyway.
IMG_20200519_181313251 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

Full view post install.
IMG_20200519_181357003 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

First impressions (and more impressions actually) is that this was well worth it. 25 year old springs and shocks are just a wallowy mess. So replacing these was critical. I am happy with the results and the ride is much improved. Its controlled and predicable even with the sway bar removed.

Another post incoming.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Steering component install:

I bought all new SKF components except for the driver's idler arm or whatever its called. I had thought I bought all that before but apparently didn't. Rockauto cost me about $75 for four ball joints (tie rod ends) and the main idler that runs to the passenger wheel and links up with the pitman arm. It was another $75 to buy the cheap Duralast part that goes from the pitman arm to the driver's side. Crazy price difference.

At any rate...

Of course all of the SKF stuff is greasable...while the Duralast isn't.
IMG_20200519_114444274_HDR by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

Hit the old stuff with a bit of paint to mark the distance it is adjusted.
IMG_20200519_114553917 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

One of the best tools I have ever bought.
IMG_20200519_115740528 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

Roached vs new. I installed the zerk fittings last.
IMG_20200519_115922088_HDR by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

Old junk. See the arm going to the right? That's the one I neglected to get from Rockauto.
IMG_20200519_122402051 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

Rather than count threads (who has time for that?), I just lined them up and hit the new part with some paint.
IMG_20200519_124741551_HDR by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

These two are shaped ever so slightly different.
IMG_20200519_124745647 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

I snapped this pic of the TTB bushing. Yeah, they are due.
IMG_20200519_145046669 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

I apparently stopped taking pics at this point cause there isn't anything else to really wonder about. The steering is nice right now. These are just routine maintenance things, right? They gotta be done.

Looking at the front end of the truck, I have quite a bit left to do. I have new SKF ball joints waiting to be installed. I am unsure what to do about bearings and stuff. Most I have seen have the outer one roached and that's about it. I will replace the u-joints too while I have it apart. Change the diff fluid, the TTB swingarm mounts or whatever they are called, rotors, pads, remanned calipers. LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #27
I had apparently gotten sick of opening the hood and seeing these thin zipties pulling into the upper radiator hose and went about to make a slight improvement. As evidenced below.

IMG_20200519_173205517 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

IMG_20200519_173211816 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

Since I am going to be doing a fair amount of welding, grinding, cutting, etc soon, I needed to replace the compressor that my friend accidentally killed. I found a coupon for this fella for $219. Its a 21 Gallon 175 psi oil-less compressor from Harbor Freight. I did a decent amount of research and my thinking went like this: I am not a professional mechanic and I don't shoot paint so I don't need a 60 gallon tank and it doesn't need to run all day, every day. If the oil-less dies after 100 hours, oh well. It will take me a decade to hit that much time on it. The 175 psi figure just makes the 21 gallons more efficient than the cheaper 135 psi 20 gallon brother of this one. More pressure in the same volume means more air. Plus, this guy is upright, has wheels and you can kick the tank drain on and off with your foot.
IMG_20200520_154809505_HDR by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

And Wednesday I took the freshly suspended, sprung and steering componented truck up Nate Harrison Grade in the Pauma Valley. I had been up there about 10 years ago in my old 4Runner but had completely forgotten what it was like so up I went.

A circle of the truck at the park entrance and some meandering.

IMG_20200520_184103930_HDR by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

IMG_20200520_184214983_HDR by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

IMG_20200520_184236158_HDR by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

IMG_20200520_184927707_HDR by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

Never seen this website before but its cool! I haven't wheeled in a long time.



The truck performed great. The only thing I wish I could change is if I could switch it into 2WD low range like I could with my 4Runner. There might be a mod for this but 1st gear can be a little long and it would be nice to crawl a little bit more.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
I am a massive dummy. However, I plead ignorance as this is the first truck I have owned that has manual hubs. If I want 2WD low, do as the internet says: "If you have manual hubs you'll get 2wd Low by engaging low range with the hubs unlocked. Done it many times with no problems."

Doh!
 

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78 Custom 460 NP435 NP205 Sniper EFI HyperSpark Ignition 4.56 Gears Front/Rear Grizzly Lockers
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That's true! Or twin-stick your t-case and put the rear in low and leave the front in neutral.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
Well hello fellas! Last week I finished up the seat install on the truck. I also installed new headlights and attempted to install LED bulbs but they wouldn't fit. I managed to get the AC system charged and running properly. I also installed a catch can for the PCV system to cycle blowby back into the intake and not send it right through the cabin. To that end, I also found a couple exhaust leaks that needed some RTV to seal out.

Now, none of you have to watch this, but I am pretty proud of the filming and production value I put into this video. I made a 50 minute "guide" on how to make a custom seat adapter. I plan on doing these types of things more just for giggles. I just think they can inspire people and provide a lot of insight in what we can do if we see a regular fella like me doing this stuff.


I had some trouble with my plasma cutter but it was narrowed down to the quality of consumables I tried using in the machine. In fact, proof was that when I put in my clapped out tips and whatnot back in, the machine worked correctly again. The gentleman from Primeweld took a call from me and helped me out. I did not ask for anything but advice and he sent me a brand new plasma cutter torch and a bunch of consumables. For. Free. Incredible service if you ask me.

Pics of some of the passenger side seat install below.
IMG_20200528_120805097 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

Feet for the bracket.
IMG_20200528_145319090 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

IMG_20200528_191858187 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

IMG_20200528_191905518 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

IMG_20200528_191913351 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

IMG_20200528_192356722 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

IMG_20200528_193630961 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

IMG_20200528_193643313 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

I screwed up on the driver's side and you can see the seat lean.
IMG_20200602_132549568 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

And here it is after adding another 1/4" plate under the right side of the seat.
IMG_20200602_172519521 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

Rather than futzing around with the factory head lights, I just found a decent set of reproductions for like $50 bucks. It really makes a big difference.
IMG_20200602_192725989 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

Now, I said above that I tried to install some LED 9007 bulbs but it was a large fail. Basically, the way the Ford gray plastic cylinder hooks up to the bulb interferes with the extension leads out of the bulb. The back of the bulbs have fans on them so there has to be an extension harness to plug into the factory harness. That is jutting out at a 90 degree from the side and it simply cannot be made to work AND be water tight. So I am just sending those back. I figure when the bumper gets done, the LED cans in there will add plenty of illumination and I believe it will be street legal. I will cross that bridge when I get there.

I faffed about with the AC system enough to get it to blow pretty cold. I am sure it needs a full service, but its cold enough right now for me. It took a large can and a small part of a small can of r134a. I had to disconnect the low pressure switch and jumper it to keep the clutch engaged for it to take the charge, but it did. Part way through, I hooked the switch back up and it was keeping the clutch engaged on its own which meant the refrigerant was working. I did notice that I had a slight leak coming from the high pressure valve and I had to take the cap off and poke at the ball valve a bit to get it to seal properly. But its been holding and I am happy enough with it.

Now that the AC was working, it exposed the exhaust leaks and the breather vapor I had coming into the cab. I didn't take any pictures, but I should have shot some video of it.

The first thing I tried to tackle was finding where my exhaust leaks were. I found a great video that showed if you hooked up a shop vac (leaf blower in my case) to the exhaust pipe, you can spray soapy water at the connections and or listen for leaks. Soapy water is what I chose and it revealed three leaks: one at each of the manifold to down pipe connection and one at the EGR tube I bypassed. The cure was some high temp RTV where all three of them interface. I was a good boy and let it cure for about 20 hours and that seems to have solved the exhaust portion of the HVAC sit.

I will get some pics and put them in here tomorrow, but that fix above wound up exposing how smelly my PCV breather was. Rather than a road draft tube, I wanted to see about using a catch can. I went to amazon and found a 750ml very, very basic catch can setup. One reviewer said if you tried to use it as is, it sucked, but if you didn't mind putting a bit of work into it, the product will serve as a great base for a high end catch can kit. Everyone wants to use steel wool in the catch can but I am leery of that. Ideally, I would like to drain off the oil in the catch can and put it back into the engine and introducing tiny bits of steel wool doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I will look for a suitable alternative. One thing I definitely did was take a piece of PVC type hose, drilled holes into it all over (like putting holes in a straw) and put that in the catch can's intake so that the vapors will have to make several turns before going right into the airbox. Otherwise you are simply redirecting it for a split second and not catching any oil. So far so good.

I need to start thinking about a center console and what I want to do there. If I want to go full custom or adapt something else from the junkyard or whatever. Still thinking on it.

This week I plan on starting the bumper builds. I will be doing a tutorial videos on it kind of like what I did above. I honestly did not expect the video to take up that much time, but it did. Its long, but informative and that is better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. I upgraded my CO2/Argon tank to a 300 so I am hoping it lasts a while. My 200 tank (the units escape me) lasted 3 years. I think I'll be good.

On a personal note, all of my white, male privilege has done nothing to get my surgery done sooner than later. I was last in the hospital on 04/19/20 and it was at that point I agreed to have the surgery. I met the surgeon the first week of May (I think) and he told me that the end of May or beginning of June was the go date. Then it was pushed back to 06/15 then it was pushed back to 06/29. I fought real hard to get it back to 06/15 at least and lost that battle too. I had a couple days of depression about it and got back up on the horse. It just sucks when you just want to get fixed so I can get on the upside of this soon-to-happen recovery.

At any rate, let me know what you guys think. I am all ears about most things. I love the dialog and I love the feedback.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
The truck has been doing good. I got waylaid by other stuff so I haven't gotten to the bumpers yet. The BMW had some funky clunking going on in the rear of the car for a bit now and I wanted to get to the bottom of it. Well, the factory junk is still on the car and it has 260K! So I purchased a bunch of parts and they all arrived today. So I will get that done tomorrow.

I also wanted to get to repairing my 2009 Jetta Sport Wagen. I have had leaks in the sunroof drains ever since I got it. I attempted to make a repair last winter and it did not work. Turns out that the drains were clogged in addition to the drain lines were not secured well enough (common problem). With that solved, I had to put the headliner back in and it is a pain in the ass. One of the pain in the ass jobs is remaking the lighting harness because VW used ribbon cables and get destroyed when you pull the headliner down.

This stuff sucks...
IMG_20200617_153708 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

I got the harness right the first time though, so that's good. I will be selling this car to get out from under the payment as soon as I can. Good little car all in all.

Report on the catch can I installed: It is doing its job. It could do a little better, but it is getting about 95% of the oil vapors and collecting it in the can. I wanted to mount it properly and decided to tackle that today.

I just hung it off the coolant/washer fluid reservoir and I think it will be fine.
IMG_20200618_185646 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

I would say that the 750ml can was about 3/4 full after about 600 miles or so.
IMG_20200618_185656 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

The biggest perk is I am no longer shooting oil straight into the air box and I don't have any vapor smell anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
I have an update for the truck and me. I had my surgery on June 29th, was in for 2 nights and then sent home. They surgery did not go according to plan unfortunately, but fortunately, I will be able to be put back together. Apparently, once they got inside of my gut, they found tons of scarring (adhesions), inflammation and infections. They removed 2 feet of colon and spliced it in there ready for reattachment in 6-8 weeks. I now have an ileostomy (temporary) and I can't lift more than 10 lbs, which sucks. I definitely was sawed on just removing scar tissue for over 2 hours above the regular work the surgeon performed. Its a mystery as to what caused this since I have not had surgery in there before. One possible explanation is Chron's Disease. Another is complications from Psoriatic Arthritis that I was diagnosed with about 8 years ago. Either way, its just a challenge I will have to overcome.

Before the surgery I scrambled to get the front bumper together, painted and mounted up. I was going to do a video on how it went together, but once I got into it, the amount of work I had to put into it would have been a bad sell of Absolute Offroad's bumpers. I truly believe that all of these kids need work and that is why it costs so much to get a bumper that is complete and powdercoated. What I am saying is I EARNED the cost savings.

On to the pictures.

Here is how the kit comes. It is packaged well and everything was just fine upon inspection. Nothing got bent out of shape and one a few sharp edges were poking out.
IMG_20200622_125526 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

Here are the parts all laid out. I did do a video of this so I may work on and edit that.
IMG_20200622_131952 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

Getting the bumper to this point took about 6 hours.
IMG_20200622_184242 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

The main places I had issues was on the end pieces not lining up perfectly well or I had large gaps to fill. Fortunately, I bought some TIG welding rod to help fill in any gaps.
IMG_20200622_184251 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

IMG_20200622_184257 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

IMG_20200623_165721 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

I came out the 2nd day and attached the winch plate which is 1/2" along with the mounting ears. This sucker is beef. I also installed the accessory light buckets too. This is an update to their previous design. This saves some weight and honestly makes it easier to install and service later.
IMG_20200624_100358 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

Since I only have a 110v welder, I had to do a lot of preheating and multiple passes in order to make sure the thick metal stuck together right. All in all, I am confident in what I have done.
IMG_20200624_100403 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

This is a picture before I final welded the recovery points. But its installed on the truck.
IMG_20200624_102036 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

Final welding of the recovery points. I got enough heat in them. Time will tell if they are as strong as I think they are.
IMG_20200625_115514 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

IMG_20200625_115517 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

IMG_20200625_115521 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

Then I got it all ground up the way I wanted and went to paint. I did a satin black on the backside just to keep the rust from going agro right off the hop.
IMG_20200625_132827 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

IMG_20200625_132833 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

And here is the Massey Ferguson grey front side painted up. I let it sit for two days before putting it back on.
IMG_20200625_182630 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

And here is the final product mounted. I had to shim the bottom mount out a bit to get it to line up but that is because all these trucks have that problem.
IMG_20200627_123137 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

IMG_20200627_123227 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

IMG_20200627_123235 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

Overall, I am very pleased with the kit. Yes, it required a lot of additional grinding that I was not really ready for. But, the final product looks great to me and I am looking forward to the day I can start on the rear bumper. Going to be months away though unfortunately.

I have managed to figure out that I have to empty this 750ml oil can after every 400 miles. I guess these 300ci engines have blow by, period. If I can figure it out, it would be cool to install a shorter one and have it sit right on top of the oil cap so it drains itself. Need to take some measurements.

So that's the update for a while. I am strongly considering switching to a basic 16" steel wheel and 255/85r16s in the future. This is a common tire size and the steel wheels are easy to repair if I damage it somehow. I can't do crap with aluminum.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Alrighty. Here is the bumper video that took way longer than I wanted it to.


I am scheduled for surgery to put Humpty Dumpty back together on 08/17. Then its 8 weeks of no lifting anything heavy. But that doesn't mean I can do some things to the truck.

I have installed a "Clutch Start Cancel" switch on the bezel (pics later). The purpose of this is to be able to bump the truck in gear. I found the two wires that complete the circuit when the clutch is depressed that allows the starter to crank. All I did was insert a momentary switch onto the dash area so I can push that button in and crank the starter over without having to depress the clutch. The added benefit to me is that if I want to warm the truck up, I don't need to get in now! Just make sure its in neutral and fire it up from outside the cab. When the 4BT setup gets here, this will be a moot mod, but I am sure I can use it for something else later.

I have also ordered up some switches and a Quickcharge 3.0 usb charger with built in voltmeter (handy). I am still working on getting them installed. The main thing to me is to get the bezel looking right, then have all the switches pre-wired and hanging under the dash so when I get the LED lights on the bumper wired up, I can just plug them in and fire away. A buddy of mine gave me a great fuse distribution block a few years ago that I will be employing. I want to mount it under the hood somewhere permanently and make sure it is accessible. I may run to the junkyard tomorrow and harvest some wiring connectors so I can have the bezel be plug and play. When I get closer to being done with this, I will shoot some pics and get it posted up here.

The employment situation looks to be improving too. I have a temporary assignment (starts 08/04) with National University that could be as short as a week or run into months. It just depends. But I have another iron in the fire that would be just killer if it would work out. All in all, as I am healing, my attitude is improving and my mental health is on the mend too (not that I was crazy, but its been a tough road since my hospitalization in April).

Hope all of you are doing well folks! Stay cool! Keep your powder dry!
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Alright, here is the light switch panel I put together.
IMG_20200803_183315 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

And the backside. I took my plastic welder and flattened out the areas that the nut needed to go.
IMG_20200803_183327 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

I originally wanted these switches, but for the love of God they sold me VAC switches, not VDC switches.
IMG_20200730_125241 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

I went out and did a bit of clean up on my house and finally took apart the electrical wiring that the previous owner had installed for a Jacuzzi we got rid of. I knew it would be good wire and a lot of it. The red and black are 8 AWG and the green and white are 10 AGW. This wire will definitely find its way into the truck, I am sure of it.
IMG_20200731_151910 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

And here is the "Clutch Start Cancel" switch. Its the little silver button just to the right of the fuel tank switch. I need to flat black the entire bezel at some point...
IMG_20200803_214413 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

I am also considering some 33x10.5x15 tires to see if that helps cure the last of my rubbing. I don't need 12.5s on this truck for what I want to do. In the meantime, I have ordered up some 2" suspension spacers for the front of the truck to see if that will help me get the clearance I need.
 

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1978 Bronco Ranger XLT, 400/C6 92 K documented miles &1994 Bronco,XLT 85K original miles
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I have an update for the truck and me. I had my surgery on June 29th, was in for 2 nights and then sent home. They surgery did not go according to plan unfortunately, but fortunately, I will be able to be put back together. Apparently, once they got inside of my gut, they found tons of scarring (adhesions), inflammation and infections. They removed 2 feet of colon and spliced it in there ready for reattachment in 6-8 weeks. I now have an ileostomy (temporary) and I can't lift more than 10 lbs, which sucks. I definitely was sawed on just removing scar tissue for over 2 hours above the regular work the surgeon performed. Its a mystery as to what caused this since I have not had surgery in there before. One possible explanation is Chron's Disease. Another is complications from Psoriatic Arthritis that I was diagnosed with about 8 years ago. Either way, its just a challenge I will have to overcome.

Before the surgery I scrambled to get the front bumper together, painted and mounted up. I was going to do a video on how it went together, but once I got into it, the amount of work I had to put into it would have been a bad sell of Absolute Offroad's bumpers. I truly believe that all of these kids need work and that is why it costs so much to get a bumper that is complete and powdercoated. What I am saying is I EARNED the cost savings.

On to the pictures.

Here is how the kit comes. It is packaged well and everything was just fine upon inspection. Nothing got bent out of shape and one a few sharp edges were poking out.
IMG_20200622_125526 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

Here are the parts all laid out. I did do a video of this so I may work on and edit that.
IMG_20200622_131952 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

Getting the bumper to this point took about 6 hours.
IMG_20200622_184242 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

The main places I had issues was on the end pieces not lining up perfectly well or I had large gaps to fill. Fortunately, I bought some TIG welding rod to help fill in any gaps.
IMG_20200622_184251 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

IMG_20200622_184257 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

IMG_20200623_165721 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

I came out the 2nd day and attached the winch plate which is 1/2" along with the mounting ears. This sucker is beef. I also installed the accessory light buckets too. This is an update to their previous design. This saves some weight and honestly makes it easier to install and service later.
IMG_20200624_100358 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

Since I only have a 110v welder, I had to do a lot of preheating and multiple passes in order to make sure the thick metal stuck together right. All in all, I am confident in what I have done.
IMG_20200624_100403 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

This is a picture before I final welded the recovery points. But its installed on the truck.
IMG_20200624_102036 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

Final welding of the recovery points. I got enough heat in them. Time will tell if they are as strong as I think they are.
IMG_20200625_115514 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

IMG_20200625_115517 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

IMG_20200625_115521 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

Then I got it all ground up the way I wanted and went to paint. I did a satin black on the backside just to keep the rust from going agro right off the hop.
IMG_20200625_132827 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

IMG_20200625_132833 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

And here is the Massey Ferguson grey front side painted up. I let it sit for two days before putting it back on.
IMG_20200625_182630 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

And here is the final product mounted. I had to shim the bottom mount out a bit to get it to line up but that is because all these trucks have that problem.
IMG_20200627_123137 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

IMG_20200627_123227 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

IMG_20200627_123235 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

Overall, I am very pleased with the kit. Yes, it required a lot of additional grinding that I was not really ready for. But, the final product looks great to me and I am looking forward to the day I can start on the rear bumper. Going to be months away though unfortunately.

I have managed to figure out that I have to empty this 750ml oil can after every 400 miles. I guess these 300ci engines have blow by, period. If I can figure it out, it would be cool to install a shorter one and have it sit right on top of the oil cap so it drains itself. Need to take some measurements.

So that's the update for a while. I am strongly considering switching to a basic 16" steel wheel and 255/85r16s in the future. This is a common tire size and the steel wheels are easy to repair if I damage it somehow. I can't do crap with aluminum.
Great you're on the mend! That bumper looks [email protected]
 

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Discussion Starter #37 (Edited)
Great you're on the mend! That bumper looks [email protected]
Hope your surgery goes well! Bumper came out very nice!
Thanks a ton fellas! I am amped to get put back together. My family and friends have been so supportive, I would be a fool to say I am not blessed.

I managed to get some things completed over the past few days.

First thing is to represent the west with a decal of Steamboat.
IMG_20200805_170742 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

I ordered a set of 2" spacers (might have mentioned it above...) for the front of the truck. I think this will provide the leveling I am looking for. Gonna be a few months before I put them in though.
IMG_20200808_184415 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

And back on the lighting/switch/USB Charger install project.

Here is where I placed an auxiliary fuse block a friend gave me a while back. I put in a 15 amp fuse for the 8 amp load the 4 lights will be drawing. I will swap a 10 amp fuse when I can find them.
IMG_20200805_182518 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

I installed spade connectors on the lights. Later I installed a small ring terminal on the ground wire.
IMG_20200808_184421 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

IMG_20200808_184427 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

On the back of the switch panel I made, I decided to do a bit of prewiring for when I have uses for the other 3 switches. I basically bussed all of the grounds across the 4 switches and then soldered the lead to the negative of the USB Charger. I used the ground of the USB Charger because it came with a nicely terminated wire and a ground on the switches is just for the LED to operate in them.
IMG_20200809_155007 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

For the 12v in to the fuse block, I used 10 AWG wire directly off the battery terminal. Then I took the fused 12v into the switch, then switched 12v to the pairs of LED lights. 16 AWG was used for the LEDs. Simple as that.

Here is a quick video showing a walk around. I also explain the clutch start cancel switch a bit.

Here is a no LED light picture (just headlights).
IMG_20200809_200402 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

And here is after. I need to align all of them badly.
IMG_20200809_200418 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

Overall, I am pleased with how the truck is progressing.
 

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Man you've made more progress on that truck in 5 months than I have all year! Looks like your build is going great


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #40
Well here you go folks. Last post was what, 5 months ago? Since then, I had a 2nd surgery, wasn't allowed to lift more than 10 lbs for 3 months. So that was the beginning of November for me. Even then, having a big old hole in your gut takes all of the 5 months since the surgery to heal. I still have a wee bit left to heal, but its just at the surface at this point. No big deal.

In no particular order:

I chased down and all but fixed this issue.

I replaced the distributor, the coil, the TPS, coolant temp sensor, throttle position sensor, cleaned the IAC and verified the MAP sensor was working fine. I even went through and cut back the wiring harness that goes to the ignition control module and it checked out fine. Shortly after this, I noticed that when I turned on the A/C, this stumbling would happen when trying to run past 3K. Then it would all of a sudden clear up. I did some reading and it turns out that the blower motor draws a ton of amperage. Then a buddy of mine was out and we discovered that holding both of the window buttons fully down or up (and the windows are either open or closes respectively), we could duplicate this huge electrical draw.

I still have not found the culprit exactly, but installing a 130a 3G alternator out of a 92 Mercury Sable did the trick in all conditions other than holding both window buttons down.

Some time before this I also installed a 2nd battery after pulling a bracket from a junkyard Ford diesel truck. I had those cables left over from the Cummins stuff I tried to revive in my old Bronco thread. I wired those up in series so now I have 12 volts with the sum of the batteries' amperage.

IMG_20201111_160757_01 - Copy by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

IMG_20201111_160757_02 - Copy by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

IMG_20201111_160757_03 - Copy by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

Also got rid of the stock airbox in favor of a HAI (hot air intake). Didn't have many options.
IMG_20201214_174428 - Copy by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

The wife is shorter than me and she definitely needed help getting into the truck. So I decided to install a Toyota Previa handle on the A pillar of the passenger side of the truck, but I wasn't happy with how flimsy it was. I want it to be able to handle a fatty like me. To remedy that, I picked up a 2001 Super Duty handle, custom fabbed some 3/16" plate and welded them to the A pillar. Then I drilled and tapped them and Bob is your Uncle.

Here are some pics of the Super Duty mounting vs the factry* OBS A pillar. The OBS stuff has a bump that makes it tough to negotiate.
IMG_20201217_123724 - Copy by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

Here is the Super Duty. It has nuts welded into the pinch weld that makes up the A pillar.
IMG_20201201_114003 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

Getting the plastics off in the junk yard barked me up a bit.
IMG_20201201_114450 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

Paul remnant.
IMG_20201201_114622 by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

To get around the bump, I just made two plates instead of one long plate.
IMG_20201217_151301 - Copy by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

IMG_20201217_151312 - Copy by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

Then I jammed it in place here.
IMG_20201217_151437 - Copy by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

I will be cutting some nice holes in the trim piece I have to install it around the handle. It won't look perfect, but its functional and strong as shit.

Oh yeah, got a Horror Freight Apex 12,000lb winch and installed it. That worked out great. I had to shave down the free spool lever to get it to fit. But that's no biggie.
IMG_20201209_095341 - Copy by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

Initial wiring pic. I will take better ones and post them up.
IMG_20201208_152431 - Copy by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

IMG_20201214_095816 - Copy by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

I was a dumb ass and tried to do some work on the front end of the truck while it was on an incline. I didn't get under it, but as I wrapped up whatever it was I was doing (I don't remember), the whole truck started to go over LOL. It sat down gently fortunately.
IMG_20201020_162414 - Copy by Paul Abbott, on Flickr

Continued in a different post.
 
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