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LewyOnMars

LewyOnMars

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Wow! Your Bronco looks amazing! I want to go a similar route. I think it has just the right amount of lift. Saving up for the ARB bumper and want to run 37" ko2s myself. You have a very nice build. 👍
Thanks! After the the lift I've started thinking a bit about 37s, but no plans to do it currently.
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Barrel Knight

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Bought Frankie back in early June off the dealer lot. She wasn't quite what I was looking for (not an exact option match), but close enough :)

Spent June mostly figuring out how I wanted to build her out, and began ordering the parts. Most things arrived in July, and finished most of my build then, with most of the rest getting finished in August (minus the ditch and rock lights which I finished up last Friday).

PXL_20230905_111408056.MP-01~2.jpeg
PXL_20230905_111506372-01~2.jpeg


What's been added (in order):

RTR Spare Tire Carrier
RTR Adjustable Tailgate Stop (later removed)
Fab Fours Premium Rear Bumper
Trailrax Modular Roof Rack with Pak Rax
ARB Summit Bumper
Aluminum Front Roll Bar Grab Handles
Aluminum Rear Roll Bar Grab Handles
Expedition One Trail Series Rocker Guards
Rigid Rock Lights
JcrOffroad Ditch Light Brackets
Mountains2Metal Tailgate Range Limiter

And of course the maxtrax, rotopax (3 gallon btw.. so 6 total, the Pak Rax is great), & hi-lift jack (and Agency6 Jack Handle Keeper just because).
I'll get into specifics about everything added (and the problems had) in later posts.

Biggest thing I have left to do with it is get the springs and I guess shocks changed on it. It's a good amount of extra weight. Been Looking at the Old Man Emu kits, and will most likely go that route unless something else seems like a better idea within the next month.

Few more walk around shots from this morning (behind my office), I'll try and add some more after it gets darker .. at this point, as much as I've been out with it (have 5k on it now), I really haven't taken many pictures of it at all other than some shots for like before and after of ride height and me trying to figure out where to place the rock lights.

PXL_20230905_111527572.MP-01~2.jpeg


PXL_20230905_111351816-01.jpeg


PXL_20230905_111426397-01~2.jpeg

My FJ peeking into that one..

PXL_20230905_111448285-01 (1).jpeg


PXL_20230905_111548131.MP-01~2.jpeg


PXL_20230905_111527572.MP-01~2.jpeg



Night shots!

First up... fun shot of the lights overwhelming my phone's camera sensor:
PXL_20230906_005239711.jpg



The driving lights, ditch lights, light bar and scene lights (on the back) all have amber backlights. Decided on amber because I felt like it was the color I was least likely to get grief during a traffic stop about :) Went with the amber rock lights just to have things match.

The backlights are all hooked (via a relay) to the parking/marker light circuit. So they just cut on whenever the marking lights would be on.

The rock lights are wired up to an upfitter switch, and also to the mirror puddle lights (via a relay) .. so I can turn them on whenever.. .but they'll also come on when unlocking the bronco or opening a door. Couple other things about the rock lights... I drilled holes for mounting them in the fender liners (pulled the liners out, drilled the holes I needed, mounted the lights.. put plugs in a few places to make it easier if I (or anyone else) ever needed to pull them out or the liners out or whatever). Didn't want to drill a hole in the frame or the rock sliders for the middle set of lights.. .so ended up rigging them up with magnets (got magnets with a hole in the middle, used the rubber mounts that came with the lights and found a good way to get the angle I needed on the lights, while also mounting the magnets to the rubber with a bolt ... I'm not sure I'll ever be able to get them off the frame lol... they hold really really well).
PXL_20230906_004941538.jpg

PXL_20230906_005101536.jpg


The rear scene lights, light bar, ditch lights, and driving lights are all hooked to upfitter switches. The fog lights are hooked to the original fog light wires, so just turn on with the existing fog light button. When wiring the lights on the roof rack, I did something similar to what I saw in a video by the Heretic Studio guys ... so didn't end up drilling a hole, just routed things through the weather striping (mostly). I was using a larger cable (3 wire: 1 for light bar, one for rear pods, one for back light on both .. ground was a shorter wire that didn't have to go all they way back to the engine area), but it worked out pretty well.

PXL_20230906_005618484.jpg

PXL_20230906_005541611.jpg


Last, some drivers eye view shots

Low beams (plus fog)
PXL_20230906_010636736.jpg


High beams
PXL_20230906_010641344.jpg


High beams + Ditch lights
PXL_20230906_010646546.jpg


High beams + Ditch lights + Drive lights
PXL_20230906_010651261.MP.jpg


High beams + Ditch lights + Drive lights + Light bar
PXL_20230906_010655416.jpg
Wow, we have a similar setup. below is the photo of the SAS suspension. I installed the old man emu, heavy-duty both front and rear. But I don't carry the extra load on my back, and most of the time, I drive alone. The HD coil springs give me a STIFF ride quality on dirt roads or washboard roads. With any tiny jumps, the rear end would bounce so badly. Be mindful of the coil spring, and it has to match your load.

Image_20240226102017.jpg
 

sts90

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Have you had any trouble with inter cooler since the air flow is now blocked or did you relocate the cooler? I am considering this to replace my capable bumper but lack of air flow is concerning.
 
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LewyOnMars

LewyOnMars

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Wow, we have a similar setup. below is the photo of the SAS suspension. I installed the old man emu, heavy-duty both front and rear. But I don't carry the extra load on my back, and most of the time, I drive alone. The HD coil springs give me a STIFF ride quality on dirt roads or washboard roads. With any tiny jumps, the rear end would bounce so badly. Be mindful of the coil spring, and it has to match your load.
Yeah, I've noticed the bounce quite a bit on some forest roads.. airing down (generally to around 18psi) helps some but.... After the off-roading and trail riding I did over the winter, and then down at the Bronco Rodeo in Austin (took Frankie down for the eclipse), I've decided to upgrade to Fox 2.5 coil overs. Spoke with several people about them and about my particular setup. Worked up a plan for a set of springs to go with them that should work well with my build... fingers crossed.

Have you had any trouble with inter cooler since the air flow is now blocked or did you relocate the cooler? I am considering this to replace my capable bumper but lack of air flow is concerning.
I haven't had any issues with the intercooler... my temps look pretty good.. which wouldn't mean a whole lot just here in Virginia.. but a few thousand miles on the highway with a trailer at the beginning of the month, and then several hours of hard trail ride in texas (bronco rodeo for the eclipse.. the hard trail was harder than I expected lol). No temp or performance issues.

Sorry for the late replies... I haven't been paying attention
 
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LewyOnMars

LewyOnMars

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Switched from the OME coilovers to Fox 2.5 DSC coilovers via AccuTune.

For my setup AccuTune went with Eibach 550 lb/in springs in front and 250 lb/in springs in the rear. They seemed to have preset them based on my preferences from a preload standpoint.. It maintained the same height has my OME setup in front, and lost a little height in the rear, balancing things out (rear is currently about 1/2" higher than the front) .. lost height was partially due to removing some shims that were in place for the OME shocks).

This setup also fixed the side to side differences I had with the OME shocks.. drivers side was sitting a bit lower than passenger side, now it's exactly the same side to side.

Small issue with the reservoir mounts for the fox shocks.. seems the rear shocks shipped with the wrong mount parts (missing a backing plate that the actual mount is supposed to attach to). Ended up having to run out to Lowes and come up with something to rig it.

Really happy with AccuTune, they've been a great support through the process, and the shocks in the config they sent were dead-on as far as the height I wanted. I wasn't looking to go any higher. Currently I'm 1" higher in front vs WildTrak stock and 1 1/4" higher in the rear. Perfect :)
 

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Summit981

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Really enjoyed checking in on these updates and the work/effort put in to dial-in this Bronco. Very helpful info! Where / what trips are you planning for the future? Any plans for travels outside the U.S. or focused on inside the U.S.?
 
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LewyOnMars

LewyOnMars

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Really enjoyed checking in on these updates and the work/effort put in to dial-in this Bronco. Very helpful info! Where / what trips are you planning for the future? Any plans for travels outside the U.S. or focused on inside the U.S.?
Right now I'm just enjoying my area :) .. heading over toward the VA/WV border and riding some trails there.. I've seen some more in WV and KY that I'd like to hit, and they're close enough that it's not a huge deal just getting to them... And I'm trying to get more into landscape photography, and one thing that would help me develop my "eye" for it is shooting more of what's around me.

That said, I'm supposed to go on a trip down to Big Bend and then into NM with a friend this summer, and I'm back and forth on just flying in and renting something or driving down to TX again... leaning toward flying and renting though (probably no trails that trip).

I want to get out west again, 3 years ago took my FJ (which I just listed for sale :cry:) out to south dakota and wyoming (and all the places on the way there and back) with the kids .. was a great trip.. .really would like to get Frankie out west ... did a quick trip to oregon in Feb and rented a jeep then.. would be great to get out there with the bronco... maybe pick up or rent offroad trailer to sleep in.. or get a lightweight rooftop tent (there's a really light one (< 100lbs) that's in the $1k range.. I need to look into that one more)

And yeah.. really want to get up into Canada, but I don't think that's going to happen this year. Thought a lot about going up north in eastern canada.. but what I'd really like to do is drive up to alaska :) ... did an alaska trip 2 years ago.. flew in and then rented a bronco sport with a roof top tent in ankorage .. drove up to denali and then up to prudhoe bay ... camping the whole trip... was awesome, can't wait to go back... also probably not this year :(

Oh.. and I keep seeing people getting their vehicles to iceland... that'd be awesome :) .. apparently if we were in europe there's a overnight ferry you can get in .. denmark? that goes to iceland. But, since that's not an option from the US or Canada... and I don't really feel like shipping my bronco without me... that's probably out lol


Is it too late to get into the youtube thing? Get ads to pay for me to travel full time? :) ... goals lol
 
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LewyOnMars

LewyOnMars

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Upgraded the upper control arms to the arms from JBA Offroad. This was a pain btw (not JBA).. initially had another third party set of arms that didn't fit (just a random bad set) and it took a couple of weeks to resolve.. at which point I was fed up and decided to go with a different set of arms (the JBAs).

The JBA arms are a tight fit, and initially I got pretty upset about it.. given the experience I'd just had with the other arms... but ended up texting with the owner while I was trying to get them working, and he walked me through what I was doing wrong (btw, he was out of the office at the time but was extremely responsive). What I was doing wrong was mostly not applying enough force lol... broke out the pry bar and all was good.

Also got a dashboard mounting rail from Archetype Racing. I keep feeling like it's gonna start leaning toward me given the weight I've got hanging off of it.. but so far it's doing great. I'm not sure the little sticky strips on the ends actually do much.. but we'll see over time I guess. All that said, having the picatinny rail is actually pretty awesome. I've found some interesting mounts for it (quick release mounts, and not as quick release mounts that have a 1/4" threaded hole in them for holding whatever would use a 1/4" threaded hole lol).

Found out the hard way that the anything by bullletpoint that says picatinny in the name isn't picatinny. In their defense that do stick that on the page as a warning. In my defense why the hell would you say something is a picatinny rail, then say it only works with your picatinny stuff. That's bullshit. Still, their mounting balls and arms are great, and I'm using them... so I guess I'm not that mad :p

Lastly, after 20k miles I changed from the stock tires to Falken Wildpeak RT 01 tires. So far I really like them, but haven't gone off road with them yet. They just got put on last week, and the day after I flew out to Vegas.. and did the Off-Roadeo :) I'll probably get on a trail with them this weekend. I debated keeping the Goodyear tires.. they probably had another 10k in them, but they were starting to chip and I'd already had to plug one of them.. so off they went.

Due to the shocks and control arms, I also got an alignment while getting the tires... no issues there. BUT, they did find that the drivers side front axle is throwing grease all over the place.. boot coming off I guess (I was flying out and didn't get much of an explanation). Seems to me like it might have been more than the boot though as they're replacing the whole drivers side axle/CVs. Doing it under warranty ... so yay :) ... pretty sure it must have been my fault though.. maybe I put too much stress on the joint when trying to get the control arm on? Didn't seem like it (had a jack under the lower arm to keep things from dropping). Or could've been from the shocks.. but, if that were the case, I would have expected to see grease everywhere when I was putting the control arms in. Don't know... but they're replacing it thursday and it's free :)

Oh, and fount a small hole in the boot for the sway bar. something must have poked it when I was off road.. no idea what.. found out because when things moved while I was working on the control arms, water shot out of it lol. PSA: check those boots.
 

Summit981

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Right now I'm just enjoying my area :) .. heading over toward the VA/WV border and riding some trails there.. I've seen some more in WV and KY that I'd like to hit, and they're close enough that it's not a huge deal just getting to them... And I'm trying to get more into landscape photography, and one thing that would help me develop my "eye" for it is shooting more of what's around me.

That said, I'm supposed to go on a trip down to Big Bend and then into NM with a friend this summer, and I'm back and forth on just flying in and renting something or driving down to TX again... leaning toward flying and renting though (probably no trails that trip).

I want to get out west again, 3 years ago took my FJ (which I just listed for sale :cry:) out to south dakota and wyoming (and all the places on the way there and back) with the kids .. was a great trip.. .really would like to get Frankie out west ... did a quick trip to oregon in Feb and rented a jeep then.. would be great to get out there with the bronco... maybe pick up or rent offroad trailer to sleep in.. or get a lightweight rooftop tent (there's a really light one (< 100lbs) that's in the $1k range.. I need to look into that one more)

And yeah.. really want to get up into Canada, but I don't think that's going to happen this year. Thought a lot about going up north in eastern canada.. but what I'd really like to do is drive up to alaska :) ... did an alaska trip 2 years ago.. flew in and then rented a bronco sport with a roof top tent in ankorage .. drove up to denali and then up to prudhoe bay ... camping the whole trip... was awesome, can't wait to go back... also probably not this year :(

Oh.. and I keep seeing people getting their vehicles to iceland... that'd be awesome :) .. apparently if we were in europe there's a overnight ferry you can get in .. denmark? that goes to iceland. But, since that's not an option from the US or Canada... and I don't really feel like shipping my bronco without me... that's probably out lol


Is it too late to get into the youtube thing? Get ads to pay for me to travel full time? :) ... goals lol
Right now I'm just enjoying my area :) .. heading over toward the VA/WV border and riding some trails there.. I've seen some more in WV and KY that I'd like to hit, and they're close enough that it's not a huge deal just getting to them... And I'm trying to get more into landscape photography, and one thing that would help me develop my "eye" for it is shooting more of what's around me.

That said, I'm supposed to go on a trip down to Big Bend and then into NM with a friend this summer, and I'm back and forth on just flying in and renting something or driving down to TX again... leaning toward flying and renting though (probably no trails that trip).

I want to get out west again, 3 years ago took my FJ (which I just listed for sale :cry:) out to south dakota and wyoming (and all the places on the way there and back) with the kids .. was a great trip.. .really would like to get Frankie out west ... did a quick trip to oregon in Feb and rented a jeep then.. would be great to get out there with the bronco... maybe pick up or rent offroad trailer to sleep in.. or get a lightweight rooftop tent (there's a really light one (< 100lbs) that's in the $1k range.. I need to look into that one more)

And yeah.. really want to get up into Canada, but I don't think that's going to happen this year. Thought a lot about going up north in eastern canada.. but what I'd really like to do is drive up to alaska :) ... did an alaska trip 2 years ago.. flew in and then rented a bronco sport with a roof top tent in ankorage .. drove up to denali and then up to prudhoe bay ... camping the whole trip... was awesome, can't wait to go back... also probably not this year :(

Oh.. and I keep seeing people getting their vehicles to iceland... that'd be awesome :) .. apparently if we were in europe there's a overnight ferry you can get in .. denmark? that goes to iceland. But, since that's not an option from the US or Canada... and I don't really feel like shipping my bronco without me... that's probably out lol


Is it too late to get into the youtube thing? Get ads to pay for me to travel full time? :) ... goals lol
That’s awesome. I hear you about heading to Alaska, Eastern Canada and NM. Iceland looks…. doable. I think it would be possible to ship from New Jersey or from Maine out to Iceland and then fly-in and pick it up off the port. Their ring road looks awesome (minus the volcano activity).
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