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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's Vic helping Allen get his leafs in.

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 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 cold was it you ask? We only had a halogen lamp to keep us warm...

Seriously, it was 25 degrees outside...before wind chill. Shocked

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...

...and 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.....

Thank You.

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.

Rock On!



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