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  • Ahead of ya on that... winch buttons are labeled and different colors. They have lights in the middle that come on when the winch control is enabled, red for out and green for in... the only other button on the switch panel is the air bleed, which lights up blue.

    After moving the Jeep and all of its accoutrements 4 times, I lost track of my bulk wire... but the last bit of replacement stuff comes in today so I can finish under hood wiring. Really not a lot left to do, can probably get it all done in a couple of afternoons. I'm also replacing all of the vacuum lines to eliminate the possibility of vacuum leaks causing the rich air/fuel mixture.

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    • Big progress on electrical yesterday, off to do more today!

      Got most of the engine bay done. Only a few tasks to go before I can check the engine bay off as 100% complete. Here's the dual battery setup. There's still a bit of a bird's nest effect because I'm not quite done securing the loose wires:
      More wiring progress by skinnerstein, on Flickr

      Installed the passenger side relay center, which has the circuits for winch control, air compressor, and battery isolator. After that I turned my attention to the switch panel to finalize all of those connections:
      More wiring progress by skinnerstein, on Flickr

      All of the switches and buttons light up like they should except for the Winch In button. The air compressor and winch control stuff is hooked up and working correctly, and I tested to confirm that the winch remote also still works, so I've got both control options for the winch.

      Next I turned my attention to lighting, and that's where I'll be spending part of my day today as well. I decided to put a pair of small pods on the windshield, a small bar just above the winch (pics further back in this thread), a pair of pods on the rear bumper, and rock lights. I like being able to take the windshield off of the Jeep, it's handy if I'm wheeling tight trails and don't want a branch to break it, so I wanted to be able to quickly disconnect the lights.

      I found these cool aviation-style panel plugs that are IP68 rated and include a little cap to prevent water and dust intrusion when disconnected:
      More wiring progress by skinnerstein, on Flickr

      More wiring progress by skinnerstein, on Flickr

      My windshield wipers already have a quick disconnect (4 way trailer plug), so now when I want to pull the windshield it's just two bolts, three electrical connections, and the two hinge pins and it's ready to lift right off!

      Side note, I bench tested one of those light pods. STUUUUUPID bright, and only draw a little over 1 amp each. Not bad for $20/pair on Amazon!

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      • Only one pic, but more big progress yesterday. My son and I got after the vacuum system. Replaced:
        - Manifold Absolute Pressure (MAP) sensor
        - Evap canister
        - CTO Valve
        - All vacuum lines and tees - went with silicone lines. Supposedly they're very durable and, of course, heat-resistant... plus, the blue looks cool

        Vacuum System by skinnerstein, on Flickr

        Also got the horn mounted and wired in and figured out mounting positions for the rock light control box and the driver's side relay center and grounding bus. Had to go pick up more nuts and bolts, so I'm hoping to get all that stuff mounted up later today!

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        • Wow!
          Those lines are B L U E !!!

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          • I like 'em!
            Jeff Brint
            LSJC Trail Leader - LSJC Moderator
            2013 JKU Rubicon w/Antirocks, Front Artec Truss & Gusseted, Full Rock Hard Skids, RK 3.5" Max Travel, 37" Nittos, Beadlocks, PS Front Stinger, 10K Winch, LoD Rock Sliders, LoD Shorty Rear w/Tire Carrier
            2018 White JLU Sahara, leather, 2" lift, 35" Nitto Ridge Grapplers

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            • Search for Upgr8 silicone on Amazon, they come in black, blue and red!

              As an aside... my Jeep has not been the only target of my tools in the garage. Had to replace the check valve in my 80 gal. air compressor. You'd think the valve itself, which required a 2ft long cheater bar to break loose (since I had no compressed air!), would be the hard part, but no. The vent tube that runs back to the pressure switch is installed with a 1/8" flare fitting that took me, no joke, over 45 minutes of struggling and cussing to get to hook back up! But after that and snugging up the belt, it's back to purring like a kitten!

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              • Made a little more wiring progress yesterday. No pics because it's just more of the same, but I got the control box for the rock lights mounted up, the driver's side grounding bus, and the relay center that controls the lights and (future) lockers.

                Today I'm taking a break from wiring for a bit and turning my attention to shock towers. I've got a set of 4 Ford F250 shock towers. I know for sure that I'm putting them on the front, and I'm 99% sure I'm going to french them into the frame on the back so I can run nice, long shocks back there too. The biggest challenge I have with it is understanding the best orientation for them. They will be vertical from a side to side perspective, but front to back... Anyone got any thoughts? I was thinking slightly tilted backwards with the bottom of the mount just behind the centerline of the axle would allow for the natural forward/back motion of the axle under articulation. Plus that angle means the shock can be longer, always a good thing...

                Rear Shock Positioning by skinnerstein, on Flickr

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                • Wushaw needs to chime in here, I think he knows a bit about this.

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                  • Chris, there’s a reason manufacturers put the shocks vertical, their actually more effective, the more angle you put on them the less they work and it’s just a shock, it doesn’t hold any weight.

                    Now if you were running coilovers then 10-15° inboard and the same fwd/aft with the arc of the axle works great with the correct spring rates.
                    I don’t even run sway bars of any sort.
                    2000 TJ, 4.0, NV4500, Atlas 4.3, 06 Super Duty Diffs, D60/Sterling, ARBs, 5.38, 40” stickies, Weld on beadlocks, PSC full hydro steering, Vanco hydroboost, 16” King coilovers & King bumps, a radio that makes noise & a working Winch.

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                    • I'm not even sure these towers would work with coilovers... but assuming they do, and assuming I'm eventually (like, 2-3 years from now) going to go 4 link in the rear with full-width 1 ton axles:

                      1. I'd want to french them in as far as I can so the mounting eye on the tower is as far inboard from where the axle mount will be as possible
                      2. Would I want to tilt them 10-15 degrees aft (like my top illustration), or forward? Thinking about the way a 4 link cycles, the axle is going to travel rearward at flex and forward at droop, so that makes me think tilting aft is the right answer.
                      3. Would it hurt anything to go ahead and build with that eventuality in mind? If I need to completely redo the shock towers when I link it, I will, but if I can avoid the rework by tilting the tower aft now, I'd like to try...

                      Or am I better off just assuming that when I link it I'm going to need to lose the shock towers and switch to hoops anyway?

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                      • Iirc those OEM towers are stamped from fairly thin material, not stout enough for a coilover.

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                        • When you link it your gonna need more support for coilovers.
                          Finish this build and for the next 2-3 years research your link & coilover plan, you maybe changing up a lot of items by then.
                          2000 TJ, 4.0, NV4500, Atlas 4.3, 06 Super Duty Diffs, D60/Sterling, ARBs, 5.38, 40” stickies, Weld on beadlocks, PSC full hydro steering, Vanco hydroboost, 16” King coilovers & King bumps, a radio that makes noise & a working Winch.

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                          • Makes sense... Just eyeballing it, I think when I link it I'm going to probably want to do hoops with crossmembers for extra support. If I scoot the rear axle back another few inches I can probably run a cross member right over the fuel cell so it's out of the way but still very structurally solid.

                            Meanwhile.... driver's side front shock tower is in. Tricky welding in a few spots, but it's probably over-engineered from a weld perspective, since they're designed to be held in place with 2 bolts.

                            Here's the original shock mount and the 300-year old Rancho shock:
                            Shock mounts by skinnerstein, on Flickr

                            Pulled all that old junk off. Thank goodness for impact guns... and got it cleaned up and ready to install the new tower. Discovered that my jack handle was a perfect fit to line everything up:
                            Shock mounts by skinnerstein, on Flickr

                            Bit of bolting, bit of welding, and the shock eyes are now 4" further apart than they were:
                            Shock mounts by skinnerstein, on Flickr

                            Gotta throw a bit of black paint on to prevent rust, and then do the passenger side. Then I can flex and measure to figure out how long the new shocks should be!

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                            • 4” longer than the 300 year old ones!

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                              • LOL! Would normally agree, but the previous owner took several other questionable shortcuts. Wouldn't surprise me in the least if he put on shocks that were the wrong length. He couldn't even tell me the manufacturer or height of the lift he installed.

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