Badtux the Snarky Penguin

In a time of chimpanzees, I was a penguin.

Religious fundamentalists are motivated by the sneaking suspicion that someone, somewhere, is having fun -- and that this must be stopped.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

6000 mile service

I can't believe I didn't pay someone to do this to my Jeep. I'm treating my Jeep as good as I treat my KLR, something I've never done with a car before. Huh.


  • 5 tire rotation
  • Grease all zerks with Mobil-1 synthetic grease (the tie rod end ones had to be greased during the rotation because there's no clearance between them and the wheel).
  • 6 quarts of 5w40 Shell Rotella T Synthetic. (Yeah, factory spec is 10w30, but oil analysis shows that the Rambler I-6 wants something with a 40 top end like what it was originally designed for because otherwise the iron numbers go up).
  • Mobil-1 oil filter (top quality)
Checked: Front differential fluid level (fine). Brake and clutch fluid levels (fine). Power steering fluid (at the 'add' mark, added a bit of ATF+4 to get it to the 'cold' mark). Radiator fluid (halfway between 'Add' and 'Full', made note to keep an eye on it). All the bolts and stuff that I messed with doing the Aussie locker install and the 2" suspension lift install. Belts. Hoses. Brake lines. Looked suspiciously at exterior of battery, and its 'Zero Maintenance' sticker. Rattled the U-joints to make sure they were still tight. Looked suspiciously at the upper header which appears to be rubbing on my oil pan skid, thinking maybe I need to clearance that a bit but dreading R&R on that skid which was a PITA to get in. Enjoyed the sight of all the little scratches and nicks on the underside of my Jeep, showing that this isn't *just* a mall queen, heh! Air filter looked fine, should last 15,000 mile like the book sez.

I suppose I should go ahead and check the rear differential fluid level while I'm at it. Anything else you can think of that I should check before I move my Jeep back to the parking lot and move my KLR back into the garage? (I already checked off all the stuff on the Jeep-provided service checklist).

-- Badtux the Wrenchin' Penguin

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Posted by: BadTux / 6/02/2007 05:10:00 PM  12 comments  

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Project Silver Demon

As long time readers know, a silver demon forced me to buy it back in December. It's been four months now, so it's time to farkle the thing. I just finished installing a CB radio with a Firestick antenna (which I mounted on top of the 3rd brake light over the spare tire), wiring up an auxiliary fuse block under the driver's side dashboard for that and for the rear power outlet (once I find it in my electrical junk box, I bought it for another vehicle and never installed it on that one!). So now for the fun parts:
  • 2" Rubicon Express budget boost -- spring spacers, shocks, and bump stop extensions. I already killed the OEM shocks, which are truly aweful and just did not stand up to washboarded fire roads (they puked their oil out and have mostly quit working -- sheesh, American quality at its best!). This will get the belly "shovel" 2 inches further off the ground as well as replace those piece of crap Chrysler shocks that I killed. $230 for shocks and spacers.
  • Because I have to take the front swaybar links off anyhow to get the springs out so I can put the spacers on top, JKS front swaybar disconnects -- useful in certain offroad situations to help keep both front tires planted on the ground. $130.
  • 32"x11.50 B.F. Goodrich AT KO (All Terrain) tires. These are the big ticket item, $145 apiece (!!!) plus mounting and balancing. I already shredded the sidewalls on the piece of crap Goodyear tires that came with my Jeep. These have much tougher sidewalls and will add another inch of clearance under my pumpkins and under my Jeep.
  • Cragar Soft 8 steel wheels. These have a slightly different offset than the OEM wheels so that I can fit the wider tires without hitting the shock tower at the rear or rubbing the sway bar at full turn on the front, and are much sturdier than the P.O.S. OEM cast aluminum wheels, which would shatter if a rock ever hit them. $35 apiece.
  • Aussie Locker "lunchbox" locker for the Dana D30 front axle. This gives more traction when offroad in 4x4 mode, but is utterly invisible when onroad in 2 wheel drive mode. Combined with the limited-slip in the rear axle, I get the best of both worlds -- good on-road handling and good off-road traction. $230.
All of this is chosen to preserve handling stability on-road (the wider tires and wider-offset wheels have the effect of widening the track, thus keeping the Jeep stable even though it's going to be 3" higher off the ground) while improving offroad capability. The bottom of my Jeep wouldn't have its current assortment of gashes and scrapes if it was 3" higher (heh! Famous last words!). But the folks running 35" tires and 5" lifts and such will just sneer at my little Jeep. Let them sneer. At least I won't flip over on my side turning into my driveway like their over-tall unstable heeps will!

Of course, to pay for this, I'll have to ride my motorcycle to work for the next six months so that I can save money by getting 50mpg (at $3.30/gallon 50mpg vs. 15mpg adds up, sigh!). Oh, the lengths to which a penguin will go to have a comfortable ride along forest roads and desert trails!

Oh - I'm doing all the wrenching on this myself (except mounting and balancing the tires of course, that's what tire stores were invented for). What, you think I'd let some heathen touch my silver demon to do something like this?! Sheesh! Greasy flippers are a small price to pay for knowing that the job was done right by someone who cares!

- Badtux the Greasy-flippered Penguin

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Posted by: BadTux / 3/21/2007 12:15:00 AM  4 comments  
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I am a black and white and yellow multicolored penguin making his way as best he can in a world of monochromic monkeys.

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