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  • Always best to measure.

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    • Minor project interruption, but my newest Jeep Dude has arrived!!!!

      Mark by skinnerstein, on Flickr

      Mark by skinnerstein, on Flickr

      Mark by skinnerstein, on Flickr

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      • Congrats!

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        • Congratulations!
          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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          • What a true blessing....!

            Congrats..!
            James NVRDUN Foster


            83 CJ-7, 4.5 Rubicon Express Suspension, 35" BFG Krawlers, Rancho 9000's, 258 In-line six, T-18, Dana 20 Transfer Case w/Terra Low, 4:56 Gears, SunRay Ford 9 Inch Rear w/Detroit Locker, Dana 30 w/LockRight, Plates \"NVRDUN\" and A Proud Member of The Lone Star Jeep Club

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            • Congratulations!!

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              • Seems like a long term project :). Congrats.
                2019 'Mojito' JLR(bone stock)
                2015 Cherokee KL(traded in)

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                • Congrats

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                  • Awwwwwww! CONGRATULATIONS!!

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                    • Congratulations!

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                      • Bit o' good progress today:

                        - Finished fixing the front turn signal housings. The aftermarket replacements SUCK at holding a bulb in place and getting a clean ground, so I got some better, plastic sockets, drilled a hole in the back of the housing, and installed the socket. Now both turn signals and parking lamps on the front work correctly.

                        - Finished putting on the shock tower on the passenger side front, and measured for shocks.

                        So, question... I'm on leaf springs, so of course my shock travel isn't going to be extreme... but I've only got 3.25" difference between compressed and extended. Does that seem right? I got 21.25 on the compressed side and 24.5 on the extended (droop) side. This was using a jack to lift up at the spring and then pushing the droop tire down onto the ground when it was just about 1" off so I flexed the suspension all the way.

                        If my measurements are good, does that mean I'd be good with this shock, which measures 25.89 at full extension and 15.91 at full compression? I'll never compress all the way, so I won't really need to stress about a bumpstop, and I should never droop past about 25.5 even when bouncing, right? Does it hurt at all to go longer, knowing that I've still got lots of wiggle room on the compressed side? The next Bilstein length up is 17.00/28.01, which still gives me loads of room for error on either end of the measurements.

                        https://www.shockwarehouse.com/site/...cfm?id=1582644

                        Next wrenching session I'm going to try to button up the last bit of wiring under the hood so I can put the hood on and call everything forward of the firewall finished!

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                        • Distracted myself from the shock mounts and decided to work on wiring for a while. I now have both relay centers built and installed (Relay Center A houses the relays for lights and lockers - which I don't have yet, but plan in the future, Relay Center B houses the relays for battery control, winch control, and air system control). I have dedicated grounding buses installed on both fenders and inside the cab on the firewall. Probably overkill, but I like having good, clean grounds wherever possible. I've got 4 of the 10 circuits for my switch panel fully operational and tested... and all that really remains for the other 6 is getting the pins in the right places on the firewall connector. With 22 wires running through that thing, it's a bit of a pain to build out, but it'll be worth it in the long run.

                          The really fun work was yesterday, though. I had a bit of a design "miss" when I didn't account for the roll cage stanchions when I designed the dashboard. As a result, my speaker openings are partially covered by the stanchions:

                          Speaker Grilles by skinnerstein, on Flickr

                          I had originally intended to mount the speakers outside the openings instead of behind the dash, but that's not an option without a redesign (and re-cut, and re-paint) of the dash. So, instead, I decided to put the speakers behind the dash. This is how CJ's are done from the factory anyway, so it's not a crazy idea. I got some aluminum spacers and tested it out and it works just fine.

                          So now I just need to cover up the opening. Obviously the grilles that came with my speakers won't work, since they are full, 6" circles. I ordered some steel grilles from Amazon that I thought might work if I just cut them down to fit, but they weren't what I expected and were going to look janky, and with the amount of work I've put into this build, janky ain't an option!

                          Time to fabricate! I picked up some 16ga sheet steel and 3/16" bars from Lowes. First, I rigged up a cutting jig so I could cut perfect circles with my plasma cutter. Next, I cut down the bars to about 6" long each and put about a 75 degree bend in the end of them. Then I jigged it all up so I could weld the bars in place on the circle. I wish I had thought to grab pics as I did each step, but here's what it looked like at that point:

                          Speaker Grilles by skinnerstein, on Flickr

                          Next, I trimmed everything down to fit the semicircle of the speaker opening that's not covered by the cage stanchion, then welded a piece of flat stock in place to complete the whole thing:

                          Speaker Grilles by skinnerstein, on Flickr

                          And here's how it looks lined up on the dash:

                          Speaker Grilles by skinnerstein, on Flickr

                          Overall I'm really pleased with it. I wish I had gotten the bars a little more centered so that the gaps at the top and bottom are even, but it's good enough for me. I'd say my fabrication skills are improving for sure!

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                          • Oh... the plan is to powdercoat these grilles the same color as the cage, so they look like an extension of the cage itself and "pop" a little on the dash. Might as well highlight work I'm proud of!

                            One more grille to make, then I weld on the brackets for the rear 6x9 speaker cans. Once that's done I'll be ready to pull the cage back out, do all of the finish welding (easier to get good angles on my welds with it out of the Jeep), and send it, along with all the associated parts like the grilles, off to the powder coaters!

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                            • Love the custom grills, great solution!

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                              • Great idea on the grills! Those should look great.
                                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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