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Discussion Starter · #262 · (Edited)
Very nicely done! Probably 80% bumper, 15% tires, and 3% TS.. :nerd:
Probably more like 50% bumpers, 40% TS, 10% tires.

That rock is pretty sticky and I think the old tires would have been fine. The extra clearance from the TS was definitely needed...I would have high centered at the rock at 1:31 when I had 2.5 inches of lift. Guaranteed.
 

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Probably more like 50% bumpers, 40% TS, 10% tires.
I don't know Jack Russell about rock climbing but I am stubborn (due to living with a Jack Russell). I'm thinking 10% bumpers, 5% TS, 5% tires and 80% revenge….

:thumbsup::thumbsup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #264 ·
It's time to get serious about the next phase of this project. I expect to be able to complete my M205/regear/dual ARB project during the first part of 2015. With that said, I started casually looking for M205's (again). But while window shopping, I found a deal I couldn't pass up. And now I have an M205 on the way. :)

The plan hasn't really changed...M205 with ARB locker. Replace the Spartan in my M226 with an ARB. 4.56's. By the time spring rolls around, this truck will be unstoppable. :thumbsup:
 

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My Duratracs have a ton of tread left and I have no plans to replace them any time soon.
Not sure if I should ask how many miles, hours, or rocks crushed on your tires now, but are you pleased with the wear so far?
 

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Discussion Starter · #270 ·
Not sure if I should ask how many miles, hours, or rocks crushed on your tires now, but are you pleased with the wear so far?
TruckIt is correct that the pair that are currently on the rear are exhibiting a little more wear than the two on the front...I actually have a theory about that that warrants further investigation. In any event, they do seem to require frequent rotations in order to keep them wearing well.

I replaced my last set of off road tires when they still had 4/32 left and I plan on doing the same with these, so I will be replacing them sooner than the average bear. Since I really only use this truck for wheeling and driving in the snow, I need excellent traction and so I don't let my tires go all the way to the wear bars. I have almost 15K on them now. I should be able to get another 15K out of them...? It's hard to make that estimate without an accurate way of measuring the tread depth. I don't expect to get a ton of life out of them, and the other half of the reason is due to the frequent abuse they sustain driving in the rocks (and just for fun we can make a conservative estimate 6 hours per trip x 2 trips per month x 15 months = 180 hours, which is probably about as many highway hours as they have too ;)).

I do think that Duratracs on my truck versus Duratracs on your truck is a little bit apples and oranges. I researched them extensively before purchasing and some people get 50K+ out of them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #271 · (Edited)
A couple little updates...

Still on track for the gear and locker project in early 2015. I ordered the M226 locker from PRG last month. I received an update from Greg yesterday that it should be here soon. Gears will be ordered right after I get through Christmas. So this phase of the project will (finally!) be happening soonish.

My most recent upgrade was a set of heated side mirrors. On a wheeling trip in mid-October, my truck had a run in with a tree. The result was a few new dents and scrapes, along with a side mirror that was no longer attached to my truck. Since I had to replace a mirror anyway, I decided to turn this into an upgrade project.

A write up exists on this forum for doing heated mirrors if you have a rear defroster. But my truck has a sliding rear window and no rear defroster, so it was simplest to make this a standalone unit. The write up in question also assumes that you are simply replacing the glass on the existing side mirrors. I had to replace an entire mirror assembly (and ended up ordering two entire mirrors just to keep things simple).

I purchased TYC mirrors from Amazon. I am a little disappointed in the quality of the mirrors and would purchase OEM if I could do it all over again.

The initial challenge was that the truck was only wired for power mirrors, not for heated ones. And of course the connectors in the door didn't match up.



Fortunately, the wire colors for power in the TYC mirrors were identical to the ones in the stock mirror. We (and I say "we" because this was my first real wiring project and I had a lot of help with it) simply took the connectors out of the equation. Crimp or splice yellow to yellow, blue to blue, and purple to purple and voila - power. The two extra wires for the heated portion of the mirror are black and just need to be run into the cab.

Since I don't have a rear defroster, I purchased a ThermaSync defroster controller by Frost Fighter. It includes a switch and a 10 minute auto-off timer. Item #2712 on this page: ThermaSync Defroster Controls, 12 and 24 Volt

We mounted the ThermaSync unit and the relay underneath the dash on the driver side. We found that the bolts for the hood release were good grounds, and they are conveniently located in the same area. Switch was mounted in the dash here (and yes, there is a reason why I decided not to mount it in the blank). The switch sits a bit lower than the others because if we had drilled any higher, we would have been drilling through a fastener that holds this plastic trim piece in place. If you're super picky about all your switches being on the same plane, don't use this location.



The 12v socket in the center console is what we used for signal activation. Since the one in my dash is always hot, that one was not an option.

A summary of how we wired everything up:
* ThermaSync box to mirrors
* Mirrors to ground (hood release bolt)
* Battery (with in line fuse) to relay (via the firewall grommet on the driver side)
* 12v socket in center console to relay
* Relay to ThermaSync box
* Relay to ground
* ThermaSync box to ground

I took a boat load of pictures during this project that I didn't post. If anyone plans on doing this and has any questions, feel free to ask.

Oh, and they work great:






Last month I took the truck down to Vegas to wheel and camp with a few other forum members. A few pics of my truck doing what it loves most:












And finally, a recent snow pic...just 'cause:

 

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Discussion Starter · #272 · (Edited)
A couple little updates...

There is a noise coming from my clutch so I'll be replacing it soon. I'm trying to decide whether to go with another stock clutch or upgrade to a Centerforce II. Most of the reviews for the Centerforce I've found on TNX seem favorable, but there is only a limited number of serious off roaders who have one. Reviews elsewhere online are mixed. It's designed for off roading and towing, has good clutch feel (maybe slightly heavier), is a little grabbier than stock but can still be slipped if needed, possibly better longevity too? On the other hand, it might be overkill for my needs. I think I've ruled out just about every other option out there other than stock...most of the other choices seem inappropriate for off roading or have negative reviews. Anyone have any input?

I have ordered several shiny new goodies and some of them have already arrived. I've already received three Cardone Titan CV axles (one for a trail spare) and some LED switches from OTRATTW (for lockers, compressor, lights, and a couple others). Other items on order include the 4.56 ring and pinions from Rugged Rocks (along with the yoke flange and installation kits), an ARB twin air compressor, an ARB diff cover, and a bezel for the center dash to mount the switches.

Here is a recent wheeling pic from Prairie City SVRA last weekend. This may have been my truck's last wheeling trip for a little while, until I install the gears and lockers and address the clutch problem.

 

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Discussion Starter · #274 ·
I have no direct input on the clutch, but what is the parts price difference between the two? I would also weigh that in to the equation.
The *parts* price difference is fairly substantial. Once you factor labor into the equation, it would need to last about 30-35% longer to be a worthwhile upgrade from a financial perspective.
 

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Non technical advice here.... but unless you can test drive someone else's centerforce clutch, (and you have been unhappy with the OEM clutch over the years for other reasons), if it were me, I would probably stick with the OEM. You can't easily "return" the centerfoce if you are not happy with it under your driving conditions.

You already know what to expect with the OEM, and with new gears you should expect less wear then the original. my 2 cents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #276 ·
^That's a good point and definitely worth factoring in to the decision. I don't know of anyone local who has the Centerforce. I can't say I'm 100% pleased with the feel of the stock clutch, but at least it's a known.
 

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I'm interested in seeing your switch setup when it's completed! I will need to mount a few extra switches in the next few months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #278 ·
I'm interested in seeing your switch setup when it's completed! I will need to mount a few extra switches in the next few months.
The one I ordered is OEM. My truck came with a cubby hole next to the 4WD switch. I ordered a replacement piece with cutouts for switches instead of a cubby hole. Since your truck is an '07 the part number will be different - the interior design was changed in '09.
 

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Discussion Starter · #279 · (Edited)
I haven't updated this thing recently, but Project Gear-Locker-M205 Upgrade is underway. Should be completed some time this month.

Done:
* M205 tear down mostly completed
* Front ARB and new ring gear assembled
* Air compressor mounted in its permanent home
* Air plumbing ~90% done
* Interior ~95% torn apart to prep for wiring

To do:
* Complete M205 tear down and replace mount bushings
* Assemble M205
* Replace front diff and axle shafts
* Install rear gears and replace Spartan with ARB (possibly will get this done by a shop, not sure yet)
* Finish running air hoses
* Figure out how the dang 12v socket comes out without a special tool so that I can replace the plastic dash piece for the switches
* Run all the wiring
* Paint and reinstall skid plates
* Unrelated, but at some point in the near future I also need to replace the center pins for my leaf springs and replace the rear brake lines (one is leaking)

Still seems a little daunting at this point. :serious: Fortunately my husband has been totally cool with the fact that I mostly live in my garage or Mr_Scott's garage as of late.

Here are some progress pics:





















Also...I don't think I said anywhere in this thread yet, but I had my clutch noise evaluated by a pro mechanic who I've known for over a decade and highly trust. He thinks the sound is from the pilot bushing or the input shaft bearing, and his opinion was to run the truck until it gets much worse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #280 ·
Just a little progress update.

The M205 is torn down and ready for the new goodies to be installed. We discovered that the passenger side adjuster nut needed to be machined down to fit the locker but weren't prepared to have to do that. Anyhow, for a variety of reasons I decided to have the gears and lockers finished up by a driveline shop. I'll be dropping off the truck tomorrow afternoon and hopefully picking it up Thursday.

The wiring and air lines are more or less done and my truck is currently rolling around as a 2WD. BIG thanks to Mr_Scott for being a tremendous help with this. I wasn't comfortable dropping the front diff (it's a little heavy, and I'm a little small) and running the air lines and everything completely solo, and the original plan was for him to help me with all of it. But coordinating schedules proved to be difficult, and we decided it would be easiest to leave my truck in his care. I'm pretty particular about who I let work on my truck, and the fact that I handed my keys over without hesitation says a lot about my opinion of the guy. I think I may owe him a lifetime of favors now, but that's OK. :laugh:

The unfortunate (or fortunate, depending on how you look at it) outcome of this is that he discovered a potential leaf spring problem. It appears as though I may have a leaf that is weakened, possibly either already cracked or on the verge of breaking, just forward of the lift block. So now I'm in rear suspension decision making mode. Another expense I'm not really prepared for, but the thought of driving the truck to Moab with a potentially compromised spring doesn't sit well.

More updates coming soon.
 
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