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Jeep Talk Spoken Here No sense being too complicated until (unless?) posts and traffic warrant categories to be set up. Who wants to search through dozens of forums anyway?

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Old 11-01-2015, 03:58 AM   #1
Rich Z
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Crawfordville, FL
Posts: 193
Default Welcome!

Yeah, I know... another Jeep forum. But heck, I have the server space and bandwidth available, and the wife (Connie) and I are planning to do some traveling with the 2015 Jeep Wrangler Sahara we bought early in October of 2015, so where better to post videos and pics of our trips? And I would like a place where I can post Jeep related info for my own interest as well as being able to find them when I want to without searching all over the internet trying to remember where I saw information, videos, etc.

So I am doing this for fun. Can't make any money on new forums any longer, so what the heck. Maybe the Google ads I will run here will at least pay the $15 I have to spend on the domain name every year.

Anyway, about me. I'm 65 years old right now, and retired from a reptile breeding business back in 2009. Being able to make a business out of breeding snakes and lizards enough to retire when I was 59 years old. Who would have ever guessed?

And nope, I am not an expert on Jeeps. Not really an expert on anything. But I've puttered around with a number of things over the years.

Had a '98 Wrangler that I bought new and kept for 9 years or so. Sold it to one of the guys who was working with us at the time and was having some difficulties getting reliable transportation. Was looking to buy the wife a 2007 Corvette, and sold the Jeep at a dirt cheap price to be able to put a few more dollars into the purchase of the vette.

Puttered around with cars ever since I was a kid working at my dad's service station when we lived in Maryland. Bought a 1966 GTO that I wound up wrenching on until it broke down one too many times and I sold it for less than I paid for that Muncie M22 transmission in it.

Kind of soured me on wrenching for a LONG while.

Back in 2005 a friend of mine lost his wife to cancer. Her car had been sitting in the driveway for a while, and he decided to run it on over to the local Chevy dealership to get rid of it so he didn't have to look at it every day and be reminded of her. Well, some fast talking salesman snagged him and next thing he knew he was driving home a used C5 Corvette. Of course he had to send pictures to me, and that got ME thinking "Darn, that sure is a nice looking car, and there really isn't any reason in the world why I shouldn't get one too.." Yeah, things happen like that. So I wound up finding a 2002 Z06 in electron blue that followed me home from Ft. Lauderdale one day.

Well, I wasn't content for long to leave things well enough alone with that car. Had twin turbos installed along with various and sundry modifications along the way. Then somehow I got it into my head that a Corvette REALLY should have a 427 engine in it. So I contracted with a guy to install a custom made 427 for me. And a beefed up transmission and differential. And a bunch of other stuff too, while it was all ripped apart. Speaking if "ripped apart" turned out that this is sort of what he did to me over the year he had the car in his shop. But he "ripped me off" instead of "ripped me apart". Come to find out that many of the things I paid him to replace, he did not. Went so far as to paint my original transmission and differential and just put them back into the car, charging me for rebuilt HD units. That sort of stuff.

So I eventually had to have that car towed from that shop in Blountstown, FL, and take to another Corvette shop in Thomasville, GA. I thought the guy was the polar opposite of the Blountstown guy, but after HE had my car for a year and I drove it back home, come to find out that he was no better than the first guy. During all this time I had a garage built, and luckily had the foresight to install a 2 post lift there. When I brought the vette home, I put it up on the lift and was dismayed at what I found over the next YEAR as I found one problem after another. Things like the O2 sensor cables being replaced by trailer hitch wire. Exhaust leaks, gasoline leaks, things missing, things broken, etc., etc.. By this time I could not pay yet a third person to fix that car, so I had to figure out how to fix all that crap myself. Between fixing all the hardware problems and learning how to do some tuning (after I had a guy come down from Georgia to put in a preliminary tune and at least reassure me that the car WAS tuneable, it was a good two years before I finally got the car on the road.

Which didn't last too long. Had a clutch throwout bearing slave cylinder fail and wound up taking it to the local Chevy dealership. The vette tech there is really good, and after he pulled the drivetrain out found that the Pfadt carbon fiber driveshaft put in by the first scoundrel was wrong for the car. It was too long by about 7mm. Oh that, and the second scoundrel left bolts out of the bell housing connecting to the block.

So after all that, the car was ready to be fine tuned, and it was actually running pretty good. Except now I have a drive train noise. Well, it was always there, just gotten worse lately. So I am preparing to pull the drivetrain out myself, just as soon as I can figure out exactly what is PROBABLY making that noise I hear. Probably will at least take it up to the vette tech at the Chevy dealership to get his opinion about it. Quite likely he will have a pretty good idea and I trust what he has told me so far.

So while all that was going on, I amassed a large collection of tools and equipment to work on vehicles. So I'm quite likely going to be any wrenching that needs to be done on the Jeep myself when it comes to mods and stuff that is not covered under warranty. So far I have already done the following mods to the Jeep:
  1. 1.5 inch SpiderTrax wheel spacers
  2. Quadratec floor mats
  3. Sill guards
  4. Dead pedal
  5. Locking gas cap
  6. Locking lug nuts
  7. Gas cap door
  8. Shorty radio antenna
  9. Trailer hitch
  10. Console pad

Got a locking hood latch on the work bench waiting for a grill insert I ordered to come in so I can install them both at the same time.

Probably will stick with the stock Bridgestone tires and wheels that come on the Sahara for a while. They look better in person than they did in pictures, and the wheel spacers does help somewhat in appearance and handling.

Speaking of which, I really have no plans to do any hard core 4 wheeling at all. But we live 3/4s of a mile from the Apalachicola National Forest here in north Florida, and there are zillions of miles of sandy roads in various stages of "challenges" to traverse. I think that will keep us occupied and interested for a while. Plus I'll be perfectly honest, I'm not real keen on tearing up this new Jeep for a while. If I had paid only $10,000 for it, heck, no problem. But this cost us $37,000 and we are in NO hurry to put scratches on it, much less seeing how deep the mud has to be before we get hopelessly stuck way out in the woods somewhere.

So if you are the kind of person who sneers at people who don't beat the hell out of their Jeep, you have probably come to the wrong place. So be forewarned....

Anyway, I'll be scrounging around posting things here and there as I find time and initiative. Spend June down on Sanibel Island, so I have some videos from that trip already processed. Then early in October Connie and I traveled the Natchez Trail Parkway from Nashville, TN, down to Natchez, MS and then back to Crawfordville, FL. That was the first trip we took with the new Jeep, so I'll be posting video from that trip as I find time to massage the raw video into something presentable. More trips are planned in the future, so stay tuned...
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