Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Patagonia's Work Great!

I Took the New Shoes out for a Spin

I did an impromptu run up into the Sierra's with the new wheels and tires. The 2" additional inches of tire made a big difference in how the Bronco cleared obstacles and handled the trail in general. I am pleased! This trip took me from about 5000 feet to around 7,500 and back down to 4,800 on the other side of Verdi Peak. Spring is in full swing that the area is gorgeous.

Dog Valley

Stampede Lake in the distance as I ascended Verdi Peak

The forest trail up to Peavine Peak

Upper four shots of a meadow along the route to the peak

Rain water and flooding in the forests near Stampede

Another meadow on the way to Stampede. There is
a lot of march in this meadow!

The Bronc resting along the shores of Stampede

Stampede. The Payoff!

Little Truckee

Friday, May 31, 2019

New Shoes!

I got some new wheels and tires for the Beater. 33x12.5R15 Milestar Patagonia M/T on some Procomp "Street Lock" steelies. They ride very nice on and offroad and I plan to use em a bit this weekend.

I managed to track down a good pic of the paint scheme under the crappy plastidip currently on my Bronco. I have no idea the state of the paint but I am going to find out. I suspect that the roof, like the hood is in pretty bad shape, but I'd rather have it in stock form than have the peeling mess going on right now.

The plan is to use the dip dissolver fluid and a pressure washer so I can see what I have to work with. I think I'll replace the hood with a fiberglass one and respray to match the OEM Oxford White and maybe add a center stripe in the OEM Midnight Blue. I'll respray the roof as needed and just touchup paint if possible around the rest of the vehicle. I'll use a 3M adhesive removal tool for the side trim, and badges. At some point I'll need to finally do something about the junk tailgate, but it'll stay where it is for now.

Very next thing on the to-do list is rebuilding the diffs, lockers, and 488 gears. I'll rebuild the outers and probably install CM axle shafts in the 88 rearend. Go before show!

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Black Friday Deal!

NP205 Transfer Case... CHECK!

So I found a local guy trying to offload a nice NP205 transfer case. These things are all gear driven, high spline count monsters capable of serious offroad and customization. Not bad for $200!

I plan to rebuild it and possibly upgrade the gear ratios for a lower low. I KNOW I'll be adding a Doubler from JB Custom Fab.

This thing will allow me to do things like 2WD low for on hwy hill descents, FWD high or low for performing digs, and double my gear ratio for even lower CRAWL speeds. Can't wait! I may end up duplicating this setup on my FJ40 by using an SM465 transmission and a Chevy NP205. Someday.

I know I'll be adding a Winters Shifter to the Bronco as well. This will give me better control of the transmission than the traditional column shifter.

However, I am planning on putting the Bronco away for a while and focus my attention on the Bighorn Cruiser.


Took BB out with my Land Cruiser Club to Tackle El Dorado Canyon.

Keeping up with these BUILT Land Cruisers was a chore for my poor old stock height Bronco. It took a lot of work from a couple of very experienced spotters/rock placers to make it through.

It was 10 miles over four hours on cat 2/3 trails. What a great day!

The new bumper held up well, with only some minor scrapes.

One thing is painfully clear. I need some lift and bigger tires... and bigger gears... and stronger driveshafts... and better transfer case and transmission... and... and... and... :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Maintenance and Stuff

Maintenance and a Little Customization

I got the Bronco all back together and ready for the trail! On my way to meet the club and the engine starts overheating... 😣

My final trip of the year was foiled by a bad fan controller that is less than a year old. Of course it was a special order part, so after all the hard work and rushing to get the Bronco trail ready, she sat in the driveway again for a week. Here is the culprit to my wows...

I decided I wouldn't let a bad controller stop me in the future and ordered a manual switch. I got started on the wiring harness, but they didn't supply enough wire. So for now the interior work is complete and I'll finish up the harness soonish.

It didn't run out exactly how I wanted due to the indent where the mic mount is located. I will most likely cut out a bit more of the opening and add three more rocker switch blanks. I'll relocate the mic elsewhere. Future toggles will be roof lights, back up lights, and fog/bumper lights. The last one will remain blank until I get my winch bumper and winch.

I changed the oil after using the BG EPR crankcase flush. I was impressed! It pulled sludge out into my drip pan and I could feel and hear the difference in the engine. I am thinking about adding there MOA additive as well, but I am not a huge believer of engine additives. We'll see.

I'll be adding the 44K into my fuel system when it arrives. I also swapped out the fuel filter and fuel pressure regulator to see if it would help with some of the cold start and rough idle issues I have noticed. It certain did help with the cold start/choke issues and man the thing runs smooth! I do still notice a bit of a stutter at idle. Enough to see the RPM gauge bounce ever so slightly and hear a rhythm in the engine cycle. It bugs me! I'll be swapping out sensors and modules next. I'll start with the ignition control module, then the Idle Air Control Motor, Throttle Position Sensor. I'll then move on to the MAP Sensor, Ambient Air Temperature Sensor, Coolant Temperature Sensor/Sender, and I might as well do the Barometric Pressure Sensor while I am at it. If those don't solve the issue, then I'll swap out plugs, wires, coil and possibly the entire distributor. With the exception of the distributor, the rest of the ignition system is about a year old.

Once all that not so much fun stuff is complete, I'll be turning my attention to wheels, lift, and slapping on my BFG 35" mud tires. Then it'll be on to not so much fun stuff like rebuilding and upgrading both axle assemblies, brakes. Then back to some fun stuff like finishing off the rear bumper with spare tire carrier and Jerry Can/basket carrier. Here's some inspiration for me to keep going on this build...

This grey and black Bronco is almost exactly what I had envisioned for my Bronco. I am really loving the orange on this one though. We'll see. I'd prefer a tan/khaki interior and mine is black and grey.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018


Bumper's Done! Lizard Skin Rounds 1 & 2 Are Done!

Alright! I got the bumper finished and mounted. It looks pretty good if I do say so myself. I need to do something with the gap and I need to tidy up the tow harness and and license plate lights. I'll also drill a new set of holes on the shackle hitch to get it recessed further into the receiver.

I got the first and second coat of Lizard Skin Sound Control on the interior. It isn't perfect, but it should still make a noticeable difference in the noise.

I also finished my Kryptek Typhon camo headliner. I need to do some glue touch up in a couple of spots, but it should work out well. I plan to use the same pattern in a vinyl wrap applied to the top of the dash and on some trim pieces. A company even sells custom fitted seat covers in the same pattern. I don't know if I'll go that far, we'll see.

Up next will be two coats of the Lizard Skin Ceramic Insulation which is designed to reduce sound into the cab. Some pretty cool stuff! Check it out...

After that has cured, I'll apply the Lizard Skin Topcoat on the floor boards and start reinstalling my interior. I hope to have it done Friday evening.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Rear Bumper & Interior Stuff

Squeezing in Some Work Before Winter

So I planned on having all of this finished before the big club run on the 27th (next weekend) and I began ordering parts a month ago... But, I apparently I still haven't learned my lesson when it comes to timing. The plan was to have the bumper on by now and the interior finished by midweek. That doesn't appear to be possible at this point. I prepped the Bronco interior and pulled the old bumper weeks ago. Here's where I started...

The rear bumper was seriously out of whack after the last run up Peavine Mtn. and needed to be replaced.

I got the bumper off and got a little silly with my angle grinder and cutoff wheel. The rust is almost complete on the bottom of the tailgate and it too will need to be replaced... someday.

I gutted the interior and masked off the areas I didn't want covered in primer and Lizard Skin. I covered the door cards too, but after this photo was taken.

I cleaned, sanded, cleaned... degreased, and prepped the metal. I sprayed the epoxy primer yesterday. I also coated the door sills and corners of the rear passenger floor pans with POR15 to stop and prevent rust.

I decided to go with the Rock Solid Bumper by It is a 108lb 1/4" plate steel beast!

Unfortunately, the tire rack and jerry can version would have taken too long to build, so I decided I'd retrofit them later on.

I sprayed the primer yesterday.

This is the finished underside of the bumper. I used Raptor Liner with an HPLV spray gun and a 2mm tip. I really like the texture! Here's a close up...

I saw a gal on youtube called Unstoppable Morgan do an American Flag headliner for her Bronco and decided I'd give it a shot myself. This is called Kyptek Typhon and it is a specialized camouflage that matches the black and grey motif already in my Bronco. 

A little 3M headliner and fabric adhesive, my wife's ironing board and iron and there ya have it! I need to tough up a few areas where not enough glue was used, but otherwise this should look pretty cool! I'll be using vinyl wrap with the same pattern for the top of the dash and some of the dash trim. A company also makes custom fit seat covers in this pattern, but I am not sure if that will be a little too much Typhon. We'll see.

Up next...

I'll post the bumper and Lizard Skin results later this week.

Patagonia's Work Great!

I Took the New Shoes out for a Spin I did an impromptu run up into the Sierra's with the new wheels and tires. The 2" additional...