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The Black Hole

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

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  1. gmanpaint

    gmanpaint It's Always Something! Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    The Atlas shifter's stick out a bit much, and hit the back of my right leg. The new Fancy Corbeau seats don't help much here, so out they come.

    I decided to put the stock seats back in, because of the adjustable knee bolster. The Dr seat needed some work first. The lumber air bladder leaks, and doesn't stay filled for more than 30 seconds. This leak affected the side bolster bags too.

    I dismantled the seat down to the frame, to work on both sections. Sealed off the tube for the lumber bag. Side bolsters work now.

    Rebuilt the seat cushion suspension support, added new foam, and a layer of support between the suspension wires and foam.

    Welded up the broken factory tack welds on the lumber support bar, and a coat of paint. Added 2.5" of foam over the bladder by simply duct taping it in place using the lower frame cross tube, and the lumber bracket. The foam inside the cover is thinner here for the bladder, and when bladder is empty, it has no real cushion at all. Once the seat cover is back on, it won't be able to move, so the tape is just holding it in place to work the cover.

    The hardest part of this job, was getting the seat cover back on the frame properly. I needed 6 hands to get it back on right. Since I was short 4 hands, I used two 1/2" x 4' dowel rods to line everything back in place inside, by directing, prying, and pushing the foam where it needs to go. Holding a flashlight at the same time is a total pita. Once that cover is in place properly, you have to fight the fabric style flap, that is attached to the front fabric, and loops up into the back side, and clips onto the top of the lumber bracket. That takes patience to get it on. Took me many many tries and frustration set in. Had to walk away a couple times. lol

    Lumber bracket welded back in place. I did full welds, not tacked like the factory.

    lumber bracket welded.jpg

    Added lumber foam

    lumber foam added.jpg

    And the adjustable Knee bolster. Extends a full 3.5" as shown here.

    knee bolster extended 1.jpg

    With the 6 way adjustable power seat base, and the knee bolster adjusted, my hope is the back of my leg won't hit the Atlas sticks as much. We have had a hard month of weather here, and I have been waiting for a decent day to do the seat swap. This afternoon temps are skyrocketing into the 60's, so today is the day.

    Will report back once in and see if these help with the Atlas or not. If they work better, the Corbeau's will be up for sale. Only used for a week, and are mint, with the extra goodies, so hopefully someone would be interested. lol

    Edit: It worked. Tilting the seat with the front higher, and the knee bolster out a little, I no longer hit my leg on the Twin sticks. They are both installed, and the Corbeau's will be put up for sale at a discount for some lucky person.

    Found a couple of loose springs on the passenger side. Got them back on, and that's all it needed. Seat covers took the longest to install, as they are pretty intricate with straps & laces.
     
    Last edited: February 3, 2019
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  3. Turdle

    Turdle Moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Well, that's some good stuff there.
     
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  4. traveler

    traveler Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    You remind me, I seriously need new upholstery.
     
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  5. gmanpaint

    gmanpaint It's Always Something! Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Check out the Cabela's waterproof seat covers. I absolutely love them. Rugged, fully adjustable for a tight fit, side opening for controls, large rear pocket and a large mesh pocket down low, and the seat back is covered in tool/gear straps. Best of all, they are very affordable. On sale right now too!


    Cabela's TrailGear Seat Covers : Cabela's
     
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  6. gmanpaint

    gmanpaint It's Always Something! Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    This rig is going to need a brake upgrade come this spring. It's time to start the research and planning.

    Pulling the off road trailer, combined with these larger tires,and additional weight, I don't like the idea of using these stock brakes. This rig has always had a brake gremlin with an intermittent failing pedal. Never know when it will happen or why. I plan on re-doing a lot of it. Master, prop valve, hard & soft lines, calipers, rotors, and pads will all be replaced.

    I am looking at RockAuto, and they have the Powerstop Extreme Z36 set with drilled/slotted rotors, coated calipers, and carbon ceramic pad kits for around $440.

    More Information for POWER STOP KC186136

    They also offer a sport version (Z23) for $407. I can't see the difference in these compared to the Z26, as the specs aren't really tech specs for measures/rating's.

    More Information for POWER STOP KC1861

    I know a lot of you are armed with good knowledge / experience on this subject. Anybody want to start a couple pages of brake discussion here, so I can make an educated purchase before I commit to this Powerstop kit? I have some time (2 months) before I am going to be doing this, so now is a good time to discuss.

    Good braided soft line Part #'s & sources are also much appreciated. I am considering a Wildwood prop valve, but not sure which one will work best. More research here is needed.

    Keep in mind the rigs primary use, which will be Off road trails (slow & high speeds), towing about 2000 lbs of trailer. Trailer will have electric brakes with progressive control, but it will also be used at high speeds on the Hwy, and in steep grade Mnt passes, both on/off road in all conditions imaginable.

    Thanks in advance! :)
     
  7. Turdle

    Turdle Moderator Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    I used the non drilled powerstop rotors and pads on our avalon. The rotors got a rusty look to them real fast in the hub area.

    The clips they sent were wrong forcing me to use the factory ones. However, I must say the customer service was good because they sent a whole new set of pads and clips of the correct size. the performance was equal to or better than the factory brakes which were performing great,just getting toward end of life.


    from prior experience with slotted only rotors, they squeak like a stuck pig when any dust at all gets on them. Not sure why but it's pretty embarassing.
     
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  8. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    I've leaned towards either the SD Ford pads, or EBC green, or the Powerstop pads like you linked to. I have those on now, and have a little more squeaking than the HD Ford pads. Ford has more than one for the 2nd gen, this SD pad I found on Amazon a couple of years ago, and they performed very well in my extreme usage.

    So I suggest that pad, about $58 last I checked, and a good slotted rotor by a good brand. You can get SS lines, but be sure they are a top brand, they should be direct replacements and not cost over about $20-25 each.

    Here's the cryo rotor I put on my 99 years ago, these are 12" for the 01 Sport Trac spindles.

    You need the best you can get for the much heavier wheels, and towing. there isn't much else to do beyond custom stuff, and that's really expensive.

    Cryo rotors 2001+ .JPG
     
    Last edited: February 7, 2019
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  9. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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  10. gmanpaint

    gmanpaint It's Always Something! Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Thanks for the feedback guys!

    I have heard of the slotted rotors being a bit controversial for off road, but nothing saying they can't or shouldn't be used. I am thinking of heat build up, and these are what people say to use for that reason. It stands to reason that any surface area not being scrubbed by the pad would rust over eventually, just like my stock rotors do. That's normal ain't it?

    I have to use the stock caliper /rotor size to fit the new 15" wheels I believe, so modifying to larger isn't an option. I am also not rich, so I guess "Best" is relative to budget. Which isn't a lot! lol

    Per the norm, Amazon doesn't give specs for shit. What's those Ford Severe pads made of, and how would they compare to the Powerstop pads? If they are the same, I would just use the pads included in the kit, until they need replaced down the road.
     
  11. boominXplorer

    boominXplorer Elite Ranger Elite Explorer

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    I'd consider the sport brake swap. Only difference is the spindles. If you have 5/8" clearance currently from caliper to wheel they will fit.

    3rd gen rear calipers and pads are another bolt in upgrade.
     
    Last edited: February 7, 2019
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  12. gmanpaint

    gmanpaint It's Always Something! Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Thanks for the measure in the gap. I have thought about those spindles In the past, and have heard you need to shave some calipers to fit. That application seems for street use only to me. Having no real gap between the caliper and wheel does concern me tho. I imagine a rock being lodged in there easily on a trail. Is that a legit concern, or not something that would need worried about?
     
  13. traveler

    traveler Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    I've used drilled and slotted for quite a while. Havent had any problems at all, other than wearing out pads slightly faster. They are good for towing, and haven't had any problems with them off road.
     
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  14. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    The larger 12" takes away 1/2" of clearance more than the 11" rotors. Not many 15" wheels will fit but it's very close. If you can measure what clearance you have now, than you can decide if it will be enough. You want plenty of clearance, but say 1/8" might be a good goal to have at least.

    The SD Ford pads are the best I've tried so far, the EBC Green has been my go to until I tried the Ford pads. I'd say the performance is similar for the three I mentioned, I don't know yet how long the Powerstop pads will last and compare yet. I'd lean to the Ford pad if you have a choice.

    Any good brand rotor can do fine, don't spend hundreds on rotors unless they are very very special. Only cryogenic rotors to me justify any big money. Everything else should be $50 per rotor or not a great amount more. A slotted rotor can be helpful, but it is minor, so only buy them if the price increase is relatively minor. I've bought three Motorcraft rotors for both the front and back this past Summer, all six from Rock Auto. I keep spares.
     
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  15. boominXplorer

    boominXplorer Elite Ranger Elite Explorer

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    I know a 15x10 steel wheel with 3.25 backspace will clear sport front brakes. If you have a decent offset wheel most of your caliper will not inside the wheel.

    I have duralast max rotors and pads on my truck from AutoZone. They are a quality standard rotor with zinc coating. They also have a near no questions asked warranty.
     
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  16. gmanpaint

    gmanpaint It's Always Something! Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    This rig has maybe 10k on it since bought. Even tho I have changed the brakes on it a few times, it has yet to wear a set of pads for me. It's a hobby/recreational vehicle, so life span of pads isn't a factor really. Granted, once this is done and ready for use, that should change, but it will still be low mileage per year, regardless.

    So I am more after a good working pad that won't overheat, glaze over, and catch on fire. For those that have drove on I-70 in CO, heading west to UT, pulling a trailer, you would understand the immense braking concerns. Steep grades for 7-10 miles at a time, dropping you from 11k to 6k, and back up just to do it again, for 3-4 hours. The grade is so steep, you can't rely on engine braking completely, and have to use the brakes to assist. I watched others brakes catch fire and they wasn't even towing, (just dumb asses). It will be the same on the trails at time, just at a lower speed, but the mass is still there.

    Would kinda suck if the brakes burned up on the way to the trails, and had to use a hwy runaway ramp, that costs $5k to rebuild. Or the trailer pushed the rig of a cliff edge, or couldn't slow for a hairy turn, and forced them out of it's lane. Plenty of doom & gloom scenarios that can play out, but you get the jest of it.

    These wheels have 3.75" BS. The sport spindles and larger rotors are a great upgrade, but just not a good option for me.
    Just spent the kids tuition $$ on a matching set of 8 wheels & 8-35" tires for this rig and the trailer. That's not changing for 1" more rotor.
    Also, I do not like the small gap between the wheel & caliper. Mud with rocks, moving water with rocks, snow pack with rocks, flying rocks on high speed pebble trails, can all get rocks in the wheels and jammed. Steel wheels, I wouldn't be as cautious, but these are aluminum. Rather play it safe here with this one.

    Appreciate the suggestion guys, please keep them coming.
     
  17. vroomzoomboom

    vroomzoomboom Elite Canuck STOCK SUCKS! Elite Explorer

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  18. gmanpaint

    gmanpaint It's Always Something! Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Thanks Tim.

    I seen Eric's brakes first hand in the past. They we're pretty slick, but they didn't stop him in time to avoid the roll over. (j/k)

    Both of those setups involve a bigger wheel with the 12" rotor, so deal breaker. Not to mention the costs are out of my range by a landslide.

    It's looking like the powerstop kit is looking more like what I will end up with. The pads will be a testing ordeal, and replaced if needed. Thanks to you guys, I have options I didn't know about before. I might even mix & match the powerstop parts, and use a solid rotor. Still plenty of time to think this out.

    Now, for 4 new SS braided soft lines. I tried in the past to get a set, and that company took my $$ and vanished for 3 months. I had to file a claim on them to get it returned. I haven't tried again since. Fronts can be stock lengths, as I lowered the hard line connection points. Rears need to be at least 10" longer than stock, well the drivers side does, pass side can remain stock length.
     
    Last edited: February 8, 2019
  19. gmanpaint

    gmanpaint It's Always Something! Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    After a long bad weather Winter, and the first real nice day of spring today, the BH took a 40 mile trip on the interstate at a steady 60ish mph. I wanted to see how much a difference having the OD back working made. I was pleasantly surprised.

    Scan Ga after 40 mile trip.jpg

    It held that 20 MPG AVG after a few miles of travel. It just kept climbing and climbing. After I took that pic, it rose to 20.5 for the last couple miles. I can live with that! :) What it gets towing 2000 lbs of trailer will most likely cut that down quite a bit, but hopefully not in half. lol

    In case your wondering... I put tape over the switches, as the led light is way too bright on them at night. I am looking for some caps to slip on, like a small vac tube cap (like on the CAD switch), but something that isn't solid black, but dark transparent to reduce the light output. Probably aren't a thing, but I can hope.
     
    Last edited: April 4, 2019
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  20. WormsExplorer

    WormsExplorer Elite Explorer

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    That is very good. I like how that looks also.
     
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  21. Dono

    Dono 347 V8 Limited turbo Elite Explorer

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    I'm super excited that you are driving the beast!
     
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