Today I joined my offroading friends for a day of wheeling in our “back yard” trails. It was a big day for me and my rig, as it marked the first time I was meeting up driving a Toyota. This group of friends had grown and bonded over our common JKs – build parties installing coil overs, and offroad/camping trips in Moab, the Rubicon, and elsewhere.
So it was a moment of truth for me – was selling my JK and buying a 25 year old Land Cruiser a good choice?
After the initial ribbing and airing down was over, we hit Archer’s Firebreak. This was an awesome trail choice – Archer’s was my favorite trail in the JK, and one I led every year for the Jeep Jamboree. So I had a lot of history with it and knew it well. However, I had never wheeled it in anything other than the JK. Now I was in a Toyota. And an automatic.
The biggest difference for me this time, was that I would bypass the burly stuff. I was without rock rails, skids, and confidence in the new rig.
My Jeep had been sitting in the garage for maybe a week. So I decided to start it up one day, and was greeted with a new chime, and the dreaded Check Engine Light.
I ran my diagnostics through the Bully Dog, and the result was surprising – it returned codes for P0113 – Intake Air Temperature Sensor Circuit High, and P0480 – Fan 1 Control Circuit.
I forced the fan on via the Bully Dog, and nada. As a friend of mine recently replaced his fan assembly, I figured I was also looking at a $120 bill and 10 minutes of work. Well I was wrong. He has the 3.8l. The new fan (OEM replacement) is a whopping $500 and very hard to find in stock.
With my wedding approaching (and the Jeep playing a key role in it) I was desperate to find out what was happening.
I always wanted to add hydro assist to my Jeep but questioned the PSC kit’s price point. Being a simple system I figured others would work just as well or better. Enter Redneck Ram from West Texas Offroad.
I found myself once again calling my buddy Dirk to help lend his expertise with this somewhat complicated install.
This was a two day install, as we could only work nights.
First things first, we put the Jeep on the lift, removed the front driver tire/wheel, tie rod, and sway bar links. We also removed the pitman arm from the drag link (leaving the passenger side connected).
There are few things in life, than a hot Summer day in a Jeep, topless, and doorless. I swear it is the best form of therapy available. But, there are days where the thermometer is in the triples where I have been stuck in traffic and have been roasting.
But there was never a middle ground. It was either run the top as a bikini, or run topless and roast on those peak Summer days.
This is a VERY involved install that will require exhaust configurations, trips to the tool store, modifications, Jeep friends, and beer. This is NOT a quick “bolt-up” installation as I thought it would be. Understand that – you may require multiple days to get it done right.
This was one of the most significant installs I have done on my Jeep.
NOTE: This install includes the additional work for removing an aftermarket vacuum pump relocation bracket.
I need to upgrade my air compressor, and in a major way. I was using the Smittybilt portable, and the amount of time it took to air up four 35″ Duratracs was waaaay too long. My wheeling friends can inflate their tires, have lunch, complete a crossword puzzle book, and read War and Peace by the time I am done.
So, a few weeks ago, I ordered the ARB CKMTA12 Twin compressor from Northridge.
Now, the question arose on where to mount this behemoth compressor. So to answer this, I did what every self-respecting data geek would do; I made a table.
After weighing all the options and their pros and cons, I elected to install the compressor under the hood. I trust ARB’s testing and figure it will survive well being so close to the firewall. I will also be using this mostly with the hood open (tools and tires, no air lockers yet) so the cooling factor is less of a concern.
I ordered the MORE under hood bracket from Northridge.