FM2CD VA Wrenching
Party - Jan 22, 2005
So, this turned out to be a 2 day
event. Attendees we're Vic, Dale, Allen, Jay, David and myself. We started with
Dales Jeep (left bay) and Allens Jeep (right bay).
Meanwhile, Christopher (our trail boss) ordered me to start up the Camaro...then
he wanted to sit in it.
Work went fairly smothly despite a few snags...here's Vic helping Allen get his
The obligatory spark throwing pic.
The first major snag came with Dale's new u-bolts. He was installing a set of
DPG Offroad bumpstop plates and had had a set of new 9/16" u-bolts made up by a
local shop. The problem was that they were too long...Dale had specified 8" and
these were just over 9". So there was not enough thread to tighten it all down.
We decided to use the old nut plate as a spacer, but we had to drill out the
holes to fit 9/16" bolts.
Then we just installed it and cut down the bolts...the finished product.
Meantime, Allens rear springs were done so we pulled Jay's in (the yellow XJ)...he
needed to fix the squeal in his front brakes.
Did I mention that Jen, Kristy and the kids were making cookies?
Back to Dale's Jeep...we decided to let Allen and Vic work on the front
suspension, while Dale and I started in on the exhaust. Dale's wife was letting
him lift it on the condition that he fixed the rattle in the catalytic
converter. First, Dale cut the old system out.
Then the new cat was installed.
At the sametime, Vic and Allen hit a snag with the coil springs...problems with
the spring compressor. One of them popped off the spring while it was under
tension...luckily the other one held.
Anyway Dale and I tried to get the muffler off the old cat, but it wasn't going
to work...not without having to weld it all back together, which Dale did not
want to do. So after getting the springs in, Vic and Allen headed up to
Fredericksburg to see if they could snag a new muffler. Meanwhile, Dale cut the
tailpipe off of the muffler, since we planned to reuse it.
Of course, Advance Auto Parts did not have the muffler. So, we had to redneck
rig it. Got a piece of flex pipe...
Of course, our luck was going well...we needed a 2 1/4" flex pipe and all they
had was 2 1/2". So Dale ghetto fabbed this high quality solution.
Although this is temporary until Dale can get a new muffler,
it sounds bad ass...like a Jeep should. After hearing it, I thought about
just going straight pipe from the cat back on both of ours instead of spending
the money on Flowmaster 40's. But after looking up the regs here in VA, I found
out that running without a muffler is "quasi" legal...depends on how the laws
are interpreted. Oh well.
BOT, Vic & Kristy (and family), Dale as well as Allen stayed over since by the
time we got done with day one it was after 9pm and the roads were completley
iced over. So we mixed a few Jack and Cokes, did a couple of shots and crashed.
The next morning, after a breakfast of blueberry waffles and lots of coffee, we
ended up back in the garage. Vic was having some problems with his heat and
wanted to swap out his t-stat.
Dale decided to install his brackets and tow hooks from C4x4. Sounds easy right?
First off it was frickin' cold out...how cold was it you ask? We only had a
halogen lamp to keep us warm...
Seriously, it was 25 degrees outside...before wind chill.
Vic also discovered that two of his crossmember bolts were screwed up...again.
So we ended up tapping out threads for new bolts...this time we put thread
locker on them before torqueing them to spec. That should solve that problem.
On to the tow hooks, let see...the directions suck big, hairy, sweaty moose
balls. Dale and I are pretty good about keeping tools in order while we are
working...we were so pissed off and frustrated that this is what happened to
"keeping the tools in order".
That really says it all. Speaking of tools, I'll let this idiot do the writeup
since it was his Jeep we installed the hooks on.
Suffice it to say (and aside from all the cursing) there was some of this...
Anywayz, it all got done. Dales Jeep is lifted, the cat has been replaced and
his tow hooks got put on. Vic has heat again and his crossmember shouldn't fall
out (taking his drive train with it). Allen got his new leaf springs in. And
finally Jay's brakes are once again quiet.
All in all a productive weekend, we got a lot done. The sad part is that it's
the end of an era...since Dale now has a lift, no more "Monster Flex on the
Stocker". May we have a moment of silence please.....
Welp, that's it. We're gonna have another one soon cause Vic and I need to
install winches on mine and his as well as lift Kristy's XJ (when she finally
gets it). So until then, FM2CD has left the garage.