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The Black Hole

Discussion in 'Elite Explorer Registry' started by gmanpaint, April 3, 2009.

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    1. Turdle

      Turdle I bake stuff Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      I was joking ya know-

      I am on the fence about inspections, even though we don't have them here. I asked a state trooper how high my front bumper could be. His response was " I don't even care if you have a front bumper" . We have no inspections at all.
      That could come back to bite a guy though, if he was to cross into a state where different limits are set, or, types of steering joints are precisely described. I could see where it could lead to an impounded truck if there is a safety violation. That could sure mess up a vacation.

      At least you know you can probably drive about anywhere with the setup you have.
       
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    3. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Torsion Bar Free Elite Explorer

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      No plans on going any higher. The inspection was done with the rig empty. Loaded up it sits about an inch lower in the rear. Empty it has a rake to it.

      Some states have crap height laws, such as no more then a 3" diff from the ground up from front to rear. Or, no change in stock height. If your on a HWY, and passing thru a state, I feel they don't really mess with you as much, but they could if they felt like it. I don't see them impounding the rig for a high bumper, if your from out of state, but getting a ticket out of state sucks. Now if you don't have a bumper at all, or no hood, or something stupid like that, then yeah, I can see them not allowing you to carry on further.
       
    4. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Torsion Bar Free Elite Explorer

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      Still no SS brake lines. 6 weeks and counting.

      Amazed it only took 2 days to receive the wrong parts, but going on 3 weeks for the right parts, on another order.

      And to top it all off, another order was missing some parts. Only took 5 weeks for that one to arrive.

      Is it just me, or is anybody else having issues getting items in a timely manner? I'm not sure I like this digital age we are in right now. I miss the old days. I liked going to the local places, and actually looking at items, and discussing them with a person, before buying and walking out with the product that same day.
       
    5. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      Ditto, it is a crap shoot to buy things sometimes.

      I found a place in Texas that I think can machine and refinish some used wheels I need worked on. I have called them at least once a week, and sent emails three times as they asked for. I still haven't got a response after about six weeks. I'm expecting them to send me shipping label info, and confirm the work we've discussed. It makes me wonder if my wheels might be misplaced or not treated right when they do have them.

      We try to be patient and hope we are dealing with good people. Let's hope so, good luck with the brake lines. My local hydraulic shop here I think stopped making SS lines. I was wondering if I need to hunt another source.
       
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    6. Turdle

      Turdle I bake stuff Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      Yeah, on one hand Amazon has us spoiled, but on the other they also show what could happen if you try to make it happen.
      This time frame though is ridiculous. It's like they took the order, and used the cash to buy the raw materials to make it.
       
    7. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      That kind of delay is usually from internal business issues, like few employees and disorganized procedures etc. I hope they do get it worked out, the quality they have produced reviews very well.

      My local shop has made about 6-8 front lines for me, one pair being stock type. That one first pair I had a slight leak in one, the original fitting they reused didn't hold the connection obviously. I learned later that they could then get the fittings new from a source. I hope that one problem was due to the used component, but as I posted they may not have the machines any longer. I haven't been there in a good year or more. I need to check them out to touch base with them, I;ve relied on then for many odd items. I need to get on my next custom brake project this year, my stock brakes aren't really up to my new mail route.
       
    8. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Torsion Bar Free Elite Explorer

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      Here is a perfect example of what I'm talking about...

      Yesterday, an Amazon order of new PIAA Lens rock guards/covers arrived. I just tried to install them. Simple "Snap" on covers that are thick molded plastic. They rely on the lens screws to snap over the screw heads, and hold them in place.

      They are about 1/8" too wide to hold, and fall right off. :( These aren't cheap either, as PIAA is very proud of their products. They are the 510 covers for the 510 lights. How do you screw that up? I trusted the websites description, gave them my $$, and got ganked.

      The new 85w high pressure bulbs worked at least. Those are about 5 times the cost as much as normal bulbs.

      Last week, I tried to call 2 of the places a few times, I am waiting on parts with. Left voicemails, and they do not answer the phones. Nothing, not even a F-U. I have to call another place and ask about the missing parts not sent. I bet I don't get them on the line either. This standard of customer service is driving me crazy. I do blame it on the digital age. If I walked into a store, where I bought them, and voiced my concerns, face to face, I wouldn't be going thru this crap. When ordering online from suppliers, they just don't seem to give a crap, as they don't have to confront you face to face.

      Yes, I'm grumpy today. Can ya tell?

      Edit:
      It is now Wednesday, 4 days later. I still have never got a return call from the supplier of the wrongly built parts I sent back for them to fix. I called the general #, instead of the parts manager today. Rep told me he looked for the person I have been dealing with, but he couldn't find him. I told him all I wanted was a status update on my parts. Fixed, not fixed, when to expect them, etc... Dude says, when I find him, I will make sure he calls you asap. That was this morning. It is now the end of the work day, and no call back. I will give them to the end of this week, and if I don't get an update of some kind, I will demand a refund. These are not cheap parts BTW.
      Yes, still Grumpy.

      Edit #2:
      It is now Saturday, and still no answers, call backs, or emails. I have called daily, and get voicemail every time. I can't get an update from them, let alone talk to someone to get a refund. The plain fact they won't even communicate with me, has made it that I won't ever do business with them again, or even give them a mention or referral.
      Beyond Grumpy.

      Edit #3:
      It is now the following Tuesday. I got someone to answer the phone. They said they haven't called back, because they have no news for me, and are still waiting on them to return from the manufacturer. I asked them to just send me a new set, and let the manufacturer deal with that screw up. They checked inventory, and said they don't have anymore, and I have to wait. Grr... I gave him to the end of the week, or I want a refund.
       
      Last edited: September 26, 2017
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    9. WormsExplorer

      WormsExplorer Elite Explorer

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      Nope couldnt tell gman lol.
       
    10. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Torsion Bar Free Elite Explorer

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      Crawled under to grab a picture of the atlas shifter setup to help someone. Noticed I have a wet trans at the back by the tail house. Leak is from the top of the trans. Checked all 3 plugs, and all good. Must be leaking out of that new shifter kit I installed. Ugh....Save that for another day, as it's not pouring out, or anything like that.

      I have been adding and changing lights and stuff to this thing for 10 years now. Realized I have way too many wires, and too many fixed connections. I want to be able to remove major items with ease. Like the bumpers, roof basket, heck, even the body if need be.

      I found a few different style disconnects, and a couple of them are waterproof with seals. One type of these take a special crimp tool, and I grabbed that too.

      So today I managed to get the front end accessories 75% done. Still have the front camera, front rock lights, and Winch to take care of. Once the front is complete, it's on to the side & rear rock lights. Then to tackle the roof rack. This is definitely taking longer than I thought it would. Soooo much stuffs!

      While I was at it, I swapped the front driving lights on the lower cross member with nice deep Amber Led long throws. They look killer during the day, can't wait to see what they look like at night. I know, I know.... more lights. I didn't add any, just changed them. :D

      Edit for night shot:
      Looking directly at them from about 20 ft back. These 5w led pod fog lights are wicked. Very deep amber light, not the weak thinned out yellow light.

      20170928_192643.jpg
       
      Last edited: September 28, 2017
    11. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      I'm sure glad most lights available now are LED's. You would have killed a lot of alternators by now if you had to feed old incandescent bulbs. I haven't added many big current items in my years, but the biggest were my first, four 100W headlights, and a car amp that needed about 25-30 amps. The old 55A alternator in my 72 Gran Torino didn't like the headlights. I had to have the alternator built with 80A guts, plus add a big relay, and it did fine then. Those were some bright lights, real driving lights by Cibie, 5 3/4" round, in place of the stock lights. I hope to use them again in my Ranchero.

      We have it good now, with 150A+ alternators being common or easy to come by.
       
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    12. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Torsion Bar Free Elite Explorer

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      All the lights used to be halogen but I never used them all at the same time. Even now, with all the led lights, I still don't. They all have a specific purpose, and rarely work together. If I turn them all on, there isn't a noticeable drain, but I don't, so yeah, no worries.

      The winch however does draw a lot. The agm battery helps with this, as it has a decent reserve, and helps to run a set of lights without much paristic drain. Engine is running when using it, and I use the locking hand throttle to raise the rpms to let the alternator charge better simultaneously.

      Back in the day, vehicles we're more mechanical, and didn't need much amperage to operate. I do remember adding a stereo with amps in my 77 Monte Carlo, and the headlights dimming to the subwoofer thumps. Lol
       
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    13. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      I've watched the LiFePO4 batteries coming along, wishing they could be used for automotive tasks. They don't yet have a charging ability to handle typical alternators. The biggest can only handle about 60 amps of current, so any alternator would fry them. They are cool though, a couple of those to equate to a car battery, weighs maybe 5-6 pounds. I thought I might use a couple for back up uses, or even in the house for power outages. But again they require charging systems that have limits below their current limits. Prices will come down, and/or the capacities will improve. That's the kind of battery technology that is limiting electric cars, or bigger things. It's cool to see coming though.
      http://power-barn.com/earthx-lithium-batteries-for-watercraft/
       
    14. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Torsion Bar Free Elite Explorer

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      Lithium tech has come a long way for sure. I have been following along with Tesla and their latest line of Roof solar panels made to look like a few different types of shingles. They came up with a new home use battery that hangs on a wall like a painting, and is about 3" thick. Amazing tech right there. the downside to all this, is the way they get the Lithium, and how they manufacture those batteries. Fairly large footprint for a green device.

      The very first Lithium battery I owned was in a lighted led fishing bobber. Got it when I was 14, and it still worked 20 years later. When the bobber finally broke, the battery still had a charge to it.
       
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    15. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Torsion Bar Free Elite Explorer

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      So the SS brake lines (4) was ordered on August 10th, and still nothing. Last communication from them (and the only one) was on Sep 5th. An email saying a fitting was on back order. This is another company that does Bizz online, and doesn't answer the phones or emails.

      Starting to think I need a new hobby. This paying people for stuff, and not communicating with me, is enough to make me say screw it all, and sell the rigs.

      On a happy note....... hmm... I will get back to ya'll with that.
       
    16. WormsExplorer

      WormsExplorer Elite Explorer

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      WOW That is just unreal. They must sell stuff like crazy to have Crap service like that.
       
    17. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      Sounds like TM headers, ... where do you get those again?
       
    18. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Torsion Bar Free Elite Explorer

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      The SS lines was ordered from Deerfield Precision.

      The other parts mentioned earlier, was an online store in SoCal. I asked the manufacturer about them when I was communicating with their engineers, and they vouched for them. The manufacturer is huge, and does not sell to the public, only dealer suppliers.
      When I have them and installed, I will make a post all about it with details. Lol
       
    19. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Torsion Bar Free Elite Explorer

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      Well, still no answer with the SS lines.

      About that happy note....

      I got a call from the other parts supplier and they told me my parts came back, and they sent them 2 day air ups. I even got a tracking #!

      Edit:

      Parts arrived as told. They look great. Planned on starting the install this weekend. BUT.... I am missing some key parts. Seems they forgot to add the correct amount of a certain small item needed, and only gave me half of what's needed. So the work will not get finished until after I have ALL the parts I need. :(

      Always something with these rigs!!
       
      Last edited: September 29, 2017
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    20. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Torsion Bar Free Elite Explorer

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      Alright, Sunday night almost 2 months has passed since I ordered these. I worked on the project over the weekend, and am 90% done. Have a little welding to do, and that won't happen for a bit.

      These have always been on my wish list, but after all the bombing down those rough CO Mtn passes daily, the trigger was pulled. I thought it was rougher then it should be, and can only imagine how those poor guys in the torsion bar setup felt. lol

      So.... This is the wrong part I received a couple days after the order. Was super impressed they arrived so fast from half across the country, and on a weekend to boot.

      Fox 6.0 tube on 5.0 shaft.jpg

      I received a call on Monday from Poly Performance. They asked me to open the box, and take a quick measure. I did, and he told me the reason. Apparently, Fox Shocks built these wrong. He caught it when filling another persons order for shipping. That person ordered 4 of these, and 2 of them was shorter. Since he & I was the only two people to order these in a while, he knew to call me. These have a 6.0 body tube, and a 5.0 lower assembly. So this made these 3" too long for my application. The other person got my tubes on his lower assembly. lol, what a mess.

      I sent them back the next day, and they said they would have them back to me in a few days. Tick, Tock.....Tick, tock.......

      Fast forward a month, and multiple calls, emails, messages, no response, no replies, well, you have read me bitching lately. lol

      So yesterday I decided to start one side, and wait for the missing bolt spacers to arrive next week. I went at it, using the spacers I had. I Quickly discovered, that the spacers were a tad too wide, for my mount tabs. My brackets, was made for the QA1 shock spherical bushings, with a 1" width. The Fox spacers Poly sent me, was for a 1.250" wide tab. So, I used the bench grinder, and removed 1/8" on each. I decided to put on new hardware, and found some longer spacer tubes, while rummaging the specialty bins. I cut down the other 4 I was missing, and had what I needed, for both shock installs.

      Spacer measure.jpg

      With the old dirty shocks off, (haven't cleaned them from the CO trip last month) I compared them with the new Fox 2.0. QA1 are about 1" longer overall, as they have a slightly bigger body, and a slightly longer shaft extension. So this meant, I couldn't install my new limit straps right now. Those will have to wait until the welding is done, with new tabs.

      QA1 and Fox.jpg

      I like that the Fox has more threads on the body. I will remove the coils off the QA1's and clean everything up, and put them up for sale for half price. ;)


      So with the shocks installed, I had to place the reservoirs in a temporary position, until the welded tube mounts are installed on top of the frame rails, and tuck them out of the way. This pic is with full droop, and limit strap doing it's job. The Reservoir line is free & clear, even tho it looks like it is hitting in the pic. You can see what time has done to the paint, and surfaces. But I have taken it to a few major locations, and ran them thru the ringer pretty hard. I will touch up after all the welding is complete.

      Pass 1.jpg

      The new coils are 700 lb x 12". I got them close to where the old setup was, but really no way to know how far to crank on the keepers, just yet. Oh... The spanner wrench I paid extra for, from Poly Performance was wrong. Wasn't even close to the right one. Ordered a set of 2, got one and it was wrong. SMH... I got lucky, and was able to make one of the QA1 wrenches work. So after a run around the neighborhood, the coils settled and was able to re-measure, and adjust them again. Set them 1/4" higher then the previous height. Dropping 50 lb's made a nice difference, and loosened up the stiff front end a bit.

      So these clear the CV's and the UCA's just the same.

      coil cv space.jpg
      uca coil space.jpg

      I will update this thread when the other work is completed.

      Thanks for tuning in, please come again! :chug:
       
      Last edited: October 2, 2017
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    21. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      That's very nice, it looks like a great fit all around.

      BTW, how old is that CV axle, the rubber looks old at the boot? I just replaced my right one from being ripped open recently, I must have had some brush tear it. My truck is filthy compared to yours, you have a slick frame and most of the parts in there.

      BTW, who would know how to replace the front carrier bushings, specifically the one next to the yoke, part of the bracket? I priced them at Ford today, the fronts are the same part, not too bad, but the rear only comes with the bracket, $175MSRP. I have a spare bracket to work with, to measure if needed.
       
    22. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Torsion Bar Free Elite Explorer

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      Pretty sure Turdle replaced his diff bracket and bushings, maybe he can elaborate for you.

      The cv axles are only 16 months old. They get stretched from all the articulating off road. I inspected it closely, and the cracking is just on the surface. I will keep an eye on it.
       
    23. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      Thanks, I'll ask Jon, I have a little more play at the back of the diff, than I'd like. I figured that might just be a spare axle.

      The one I just put in is a Ford part, I don't recall where I got the pair. The hub nut is a hair bigger than a 31mm, this one takes a 1.25" socket(I liked it, big thick nut with lots of meat for the socket).
       
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    24. gmanpaint

      gmanpaint Torsion Bar Free Elite Explorer

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      I have 2 sets of spare CV axles. 1 set has about 3k miles, and 1 set is new in the boxes. I replace them often, along with the Bearing units. I also have a couple new Bearing units, and a few low mile units for spares. These get tucked away in the cargo box.

      Reason is, I go out on trips knowing I'm going to abuse them.

      I would never do that with older units with high miles on them. This is one area I have seen first hand, way too many times with others breaking them, and being stuck, or slowing down groups, doing trail repairs, because they beat on these parts with 80-100k miles on them. Then scratch heads, wondering why, or calling the rigs junk in disgust.

      Stuff happens, but when it does, it should be on something that had no way to know it would fail. These items are avoidable.

      Ok, I have to go find a DDS that will yank out a couple broken teeth. I haven't slept since the night before last, as the throbbing pains in my jaw won't let me. Ugh.
       
    25. WormsExplorer

      WormsExplorer Elite Explorer

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      Tooth pain is a Huge pain in the Butt.

      For having parts with on the trail is always a good Idea. Once I start getting out there I will be doing the same thing.
       
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    26. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      I hope you have a good dentist, and never need them of course. I don't mind going myself, but just a teeth cleaning is about $100, with insurance. Good luck,
       
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