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Dans 94, RCSB, 4.0, 4x4, 5spd


Dantheman1540

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Not sure how to explain it, but IMO the angles would look better if angled away from the center.
You probably tried that orientation and didnt take a pic.
Ah I gotcha, yeah I think I would have preferred flat ends and 90* corners as opposed to the angles. Should have looked harder at the pictures.

Unfortunately after driving it today I think the heads/gaskets are bad. Previously it only ever got warm after sustained highway towing. Which tbh is more than I expect a 30y/o mini truck to be good at. However today I let it warm up for 10 minutes because it was 37* and it did fine, until I got in the road to work cruising at 40-50mph for 5-10min. It got to the plant letter in normal very quickly for the first time ever. When I pulled in to work I noticed it almost immediately started dropping while at idle. So my sssumption is less cylinder pressure at idle and it’s fine but 2k rpm sustained is blowing compression into the coolant.
 


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Look up "glove test".
 

Dantheman1540

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I didn’t do the glove test but that is pretty neat! Never heard of that, I might do a compression or leakdown test one of these days but I think I’m actually in the clear and instead just an idiot.

So first thing I did was check coolant, about a gallon low.
Second thing I did was place a bleeding funnel in radiator and watch for compression bubbles, none.
Third thing was check catch can, I forgot to empty it during the oil change a few days ago anyway. It had more oil than expected but not trace of coolant. Neither did the oil during the oil change.
Forth thing I did was pull plugs all which were much dirtier than expected, but in this case dirty is kinda a good thing.

Then I turned the electric fan on and started jiggling everything to make it turn off, since I actually just cleaned up the wiring the same day as the oil change. Nothing seemed to make it stop but I did notice that despite sounding loud, I didn’t feel any real airflow in the engine bay. I had the plug backwards and the fan was trying to push hot air from the engine bay against the cool are trying to come in through the grill. Silly me, but the plug I had used was some cheap non directional plug I had laying around. I replaced it now with one that has a locking tab preventing backwards insertion and I believe I’ll be good to go when new spark plugs arrive tomorrow.
 

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Dantheman1540

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New plugs and the trucks running smoother than ever, guess I’ll go back to putting some fuel cleaner in with every tank. I remember the first set of plugs looked flawless when I pulled them last year, of course it’s been twice as many miles and more hard driving but I was fairly shocked how bad those plugs looked.

Anyway o to the next thing which was bump stops for the rear! This is my first time ever handling let alone setting up hydro bumps so I figured the rear would be the easiest to start with. Picked these 4” Bilsteins awhile back and figured I could always lower pressure if the 4” stroke was too much.

I think I got them set in fairly well, the only way I could raise them would be punch holes in the bed which I’m not opposed to. I have long thought of hacking up the bed and doing a proper bed cage and have the 7100s standing up instead of at an angle, but enough with that talk. I got the bumps in the best I could without really hacking up the frame to set them in further, they sit at a slight angle with the bottom pointing towards the diff so that it clears the U-bolt plate and nuts. Not wanting to weld some bump pads to the axle because I’m dumb, I built these U-bolt plate extensions that act as a bump pad. Everything’s great except during testing I realized the bump is engaging wayyyyyy too quick. Not sure how exactly I got my ride height estimation wrong but I only have about an inch or so of up travel until the bumps right now and that’s not gonna do.

Got a box full of stuff coming from Barnes 4wd including bump pads, axle tiedown tabs, and some other junk. Once it comes in I’ll re tackle them.

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Dantheman1540

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New louvers arrived after dark, I think these look alright and will work well. Not sure if I should leave the bare AL or powder satin black?
 

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New louvers arrived after dark, I think these look alright and will work well. Not sure if I should leave the bare AL or powder satin black?
It depends on where in Florida you are at and how much salt is in the air. Aluminum likes salt less than steel does. At minimum, you might want to clear coat them.
 

Dantheman1540

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Alright I scrapped the louvre idea, none of them match the underside of the hoods support well and I don’t want a crinkly hood.

I did decide to cut the frame in half on both sides and French the bump stops in tho. It allowed me to move them more inboard and contact the bump pads I welded to the tubes, without hitting the side of the leaf pack, while also allowing much more uptravel before the bumps engaged.

Also got mad and threw all my brake line flare tools in the trash and then ended up buying one of these which works so far superior to the rigid and HF models I had before. I was able to clean up the rear brake line fitment so the flex hose off the caliper wasn’t hanging way below the axle tubes because it was too long.
 

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Dantheman1540

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No pictures but I took a couple laps down my local sandy road. The bumps are positioned very well however I need to get a good nitrogen fill/gauge setup so I can start tuning pressures. My goal was always to have a long bump in the rear and lower pressure to almost act as a second shock stage and bump in one. In this test run the little o ring on the shaft only slid down about 1/4-1/2” which means it’s barely using the bumps. Which is to be expected as I didn’t exactly catch air or hit any huge whoop sections.

What amazes me about this truck is that I can flat foot it in second gear 2hi on rough roads like this and it just shets and gets. I don’t even have to think about lifting, instead just whipping the wheel and keeping it straight as it has no sway bars and enjoys catching ruts. The road I’m talking about is endless white Florida sugar sand, pretty unforgiving stuff in a 2wd. It really surprises me that this truck is able to power through and even stop/start in the thickest areas without much trouble. These Kenda RTs are great, although I might be looking at an anti wrap solution soon.
 

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The new wheels look way better than the old ones. I dig it. I’ll be interested to see what you do for an anti-wrap set up. Going to double it over as driveshaft protection too?
 

Dantheman1540

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The new wheels look way better than the old ones. I dig it. I’ll be interested to see what you do for an anti-wrap set up. Going to double it over as driveshaft protection too?
Thank you I do to, and ditching the MT is definitely helping me float over sand more than dig into it. Was hoping dropping 11# per corner would help with mpgs but nah 14-15 it is.

Not sure yet myself, I have a 55” off-road design ladder bar setup on the shelf from an older build I scrapped, it would probably do everything I want except be light weight. Plus if I do that I need to pull the axle to weld the axle side mount in. If I’m gonna pull the axle I might as well have a trussed 31spline unit ready to slide in setup for trailing arms and coilovers right? 😅


I think I’m gonna hit some more trails next week and see how it does on more than just sand, I really only felt the wrap with the throttle pinned while the back end goes over chop. Not sure if it’s wrap so much, or the shocks not being able to handle the chop under full power, or the extra clutched LSD struggling to keep me from getting stuck in the sand. So I’ll hammer it hard on different surfaces and try to get someone to video what it’s doing. Might even buy a go pro or something down the road to stick on it and watch, friends can be annoying.
 

Dantheman1540

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Did a quick solo trip to the Ocala national forest today despite the rain. I recently picked up a new and my first quality rucking pack a Crossfire packs DG3, and was dying to test it out. Found a new driving route to pickup a well known hiking trail in the area which was a blast to drive down! I was able to hold 45-50mph down some fairly rough but not endless whooped sandy 2 track. The truck just eats that stuff up although I was pushing it to where the steering felt unsafe at times.

Hiked about 8 miles and was doing great halfway in until the trail turned to dense brush and I had to plow my way through. All the brush ended up soaking my pants and bleeding into my shoes so I cut the track a bit short only accomplishing about 8miles where I had set out for 12. No biggy my feet were not harmed so I don’t have to take a day off running this week. Anyway found lots of cool seasonal ponds filled with water and saw some deer, turkeys, and a bald eagle.

On the way out it was getting dark but I just had to explore a new trail I had found following a river. It ended u o ring much wetter than I hoped and I kept the truck in 4lo the majority of the time just incase I hit a big hole down in one of the puddles.

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DRanger024

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Man I would have never dreamed of running my truck down a trail at 45-50 mph with ttb. It just never felt stable no matter how I set it up or aligned it.
 

Dantheman1540

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Man I would have never dreamed of running my truck down a trail at 45-50 mph with ttb. It just never felt stable no matter how I set it up or aligned it.
It was definitely pulling and bouncing side to side, no sway bars whatsoever front or rear probably has a bit to do with that. But suspension wise it feels very predictable and smooth. I got on the brakes fairly hard at one point and their effectiveness actually surprised me. You plan to drive yours with the SAS fast?

I think a good part of my steering funk is that the column is still definitely not right. It’s creaking and groaning as much as ever and it still has this weird thing that happens while turning right after just turning left. It’s like it hits a small wall and then breaks through suddenly. Not something I want to keep around, it gives me some mild heart attacks cruising on the road at speed because it only seems to take a 15* turn to the left to reset this issue.
 

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Fast is where TTB shines, my alignment is screwed up and it drives great offroad fast...
 

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