Saturday, November 2, 2013

Random pics from past URE trips

Just a post to throw up pics of a couple past trips out to URE in my Pickup. Pics are in random order of past 3 trips out to URE. Just havent had a chance to post them up yet.

Selling the old Jeep

Well its been a long time since I've had anything to contribute to this blog. Mostly out of laziness than anything. I figured with my insomnia tonight I'd update this blog a bit and maybe get my mind off some things. Never realized school could be soo damn stressful. Anyways as the title says I finally sold the old jeep about 3 weeks ago. The jeep had it coming, and I kind of regret selling the old truck thinking about it now while I type this. I always had envisioned turning the jeep into some badass rock crawling machine that would conquer any obstacle I threw at it, but alas, life, lack of funds, and my sheer laziness to work on a never ending money pit of a vehicle got in the way. The jeep was exactly that, a damn money pit that swallowed every dime and nickel that I would throw at it. It was definitely time to let the old girl go. So this blog post will be dedicated to my old truck, one of the first vehicles I ever owned, and the first vehicle I single handedly bought with money I made.

So a little background on the old Cherokee: I bought the truck perhaps three or maybe four years ago? Somewhere around that time frame, and if I look at some of my pictures I could probably pinpoint it. Its not quite important, what was important to me about this truck was, that it was my first true vehicle. Sure I have had other cars my parents had bought for me, but this one was special, it was mines, one that I paid for out of pocket. The story begins with me having just blown the engine in my Jeep Wrangler. It was time time go find a new vehicle to drive especially with my firebird in disrepair and wrangle out of commission. Knowing my parents have had it with my ratty old cars, I went scouring the net to find a replacement vehicle. At first I wasn't particularly fond of purchasing a Jeep Cherokee, I mean what high school kid would be? All high school kids want the newest coolest sports car or biggest baddest truck off the showroom floor. And here I am looking at this junky old 1990 Jeep Cherokee, that had faded paint, stock suspension, basic model without even working AC. Its saving grace however was the fact it had a new engine in it with the proper documentation for it. I finally agreed on purchasing the truck for a low price of $1500, every penny to my name gone and dumped into this ugly mess. I drove it relatively stock and untouched besides the normal maintenance for the next year. After doing a bit of research and talking to a friend of mines in HS, I decided to do something with my truck. By this time I had saved up a bit more cash and decided to do a lift, new tires, and convert the truck to 4wd. Yes the jeep was 2wd *gasp*. I eventually ended up repainted the jeep, added bumpers, lights, sliders, skids, etc. Beat the snot out of it and parked it when I bought my Toyota. Plans after that were to throw an exo cage on it, rewire some things, lift it on 35inch tires, and make custom new bumpers, but by then the jeep started developing a horrible case of deathwobble. After trying to diagnose the problem and throwing countless amounts of money at it, I lost interest and the jeep sat dormant for 6 months or so. I finally decided to sell off the jeep about 3 weeks ago and well its finally gone now.

The day I brought it home:

After doing some work on it:

Friday, September 13, 2013

New Tcase! and a shakedown run at URE once again.

So I recently picked up a 4.7:1 ratio transfer case for my Toyota pickup. Offroading with the factory Tcase is fine but for major obstacles I found myself burning up the clutch more than I wanted to. It basically came down to either doing a doubler Tcase setup or regearing my existing case. I saw a modded Tcase from a Toyota that appeared on NC4x4 about a week ago and knew I had to have it. It saved me the trouble of actually tearing apart my factory Tcase and swapping gears. It also costed me a whole whooping $280. The gear set itself is close to the $500 range and an added bonus TWIN STICKS! came with it which would have been an additional $150. Now for those who are unaware, twin sticks refer to the shifting mechanism on the Tcase. The factory J-shifter on my Tcase controls both the 4wd and high/low range. Basically disabling 2WD Low range. With twinsticks I can select the 4wd independent from the low/high ranges. So I can effectively run 2wd low if I wanted to. The factory Tcase has a gear ratio of 2.3:1 whereas my new case has a ratio of 4.7:1 in low range. This allows me to use the clutch less since there is more torque produced and the truck is moving at a much slower pace compared to the factory setup.

Anyways enough ranting, I kinda decided on a last minute URE trip tomorrow since my class was cancelled today. I originally had planned on tackling the swap myself on Saturday "tomorrow" but a friend of mines convinced me to go to a trail ride with the Carolina Trailblazers. With that being said 2 friends and I scrambled to get the case in today so I could do a shakedown run out at URE and test her out. The swap went pretty smooth but there were a few issues. My factory tcase/tranny option was a forward shift whereas the new case was a top shift. Basically the shifter was in a different position than factory. Installing the case would require me to cut into my precious factory sheet metal, a fate I hated to dowel out on my beloved truck. This made for a pretty uncomfortable time for me and a cutoff-wheel in the cab of the pickup. But the deed had to be done. After clearancing the tunnel for the new shifters, we installed the new tcase and jacked it into place with my tranny jack. Everything else installed without a hitch.

So tomorrow I am taking the old yota out to URE again for a shakedown run and to test the new case.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

New Tires for my Toyota

So unfortunately I had planned another beach trip before summer was over, but due to some unforeseen circumstances and lack of funds I had to abandon the trip last minute. Now with school starting any roadtrips will be on hold so that I can focus on my studies. I will still be working on the 2 vehicles here and there and updating this blog. Anyhow enough chitchat, my Toyota has been running some pretty worn out 32inch tires for wayy too long that came off of another jeep so the wear pattern was very uneven. Last minute before school started I decided it was time to get new tires, and with that I got new wheels and lugnuts. Kudos to the guys at Discount Tire here in Matthews as they did a great job and gave me an amazing deal on tires, wheels, lugnuts, the whole shebang. I ended up putting 33x12.50x15 Goodyear Wrangler Duratracs on it, with 15x10 Ion Alloy wheels. They also installed a set of black gorilla lugnuts with the special spline on it. Got the whole thing out the door with certificates, balancing, and lifetime rotation for a cool $1300.
Here she is at the shop getting new wheels and tires. 

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


So not much has gone on since my last posting really. Did another trip out to URE with some of the cherokeeforum guys from UNCC with a bit of camping. I cut the trip a bit short because I wasn't feeling too well on Friday night and ended up leaving Saturday night. Still got 2 whole days of camping and wheeling in though which was nice. Took the little yota like last time, didnt wheel it much cause of how I felt. Anyways here are some pics of the lastest trip.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Road trip down to Atlanta GA

Well its been a little while since Ive added an update. Thought the trip down to ATL was worth posting so here it is:

So in an effort to completely do a rebuild on my Jeep Cherokee, I began tearing it down, and manage to find a sweet exocage a regional club member was selling. Problem was, the exo cage was in Atlanta a whole 260 miles from my place in Charlotte, NC. At first I not going to pick it up but decided the trip might be a fun way to unwind a bit from all the hardwood flooring my friends and I had installed the previous weekend. Plus it gave me an opportunity to check out the Georgia Aquarium. So Monday morning my friend and I packed the truck, well rather unpacked it of the tools in the back and took the camper top off. We did pack a highlift, spare tire, some basic wrenches, and a sawzall incase we had to cut the cage to fit in the bed. We left right around 5AM and made our way down 85 towards Atlanta. Here's a picture of the yota about a quarter way to ATL at a local Chick-fil-a. Stopped for a bit of breakfast and to top off the tank.
When we arrived in ATL we went to my buddy's place to pick up the exocage, which unfortunately did not get pics of. But it was a huge rollcage basically sticking out the bed of the pickup. Got some pretty funny looks driving down the road. Even had a cop ask me wtf that was. After picking up the cage strapping it down and locking it to the bed of the truck we drove over to the Georgia Aquarium which was pretty much in the heart of Atlanta. Needless to say we were quite skeptical about the toyota clearing the roof of the parking deck once arriving. Didn't exactly plan the whole thing out quite that well haha. Luckily the roof was tall enough, and we cleared it by a few inches. We did mess with the parking attendant a bit though. He asked us what the thing in the back of the bed was, and my buddy told him we were a couple porn producers and that was our bondage cage haha. Of course I explained later what it actually was, but the guy got a good laugh out of it. So here are some pictures of the aquarium, which if you guys haven't been, it is totally worth checking out if you are in the area. They have a huge exhibit with 4 whale sharks in a football stadium sized tank. Pretty marvelous if you ask me. 

After the aquarium we stopped by a part of ATL known as China town and ate lunch there at an asian restaurant. Some of the best food I had on the cheap. Then it was time for us to leave before rush hour hit. And boy did we get out in time. the traffic already started piling up around 3. We saw a few interesting things on the way back so I snapped a couple more pictures and that was that.

Leaving ATL :(

Bigass Chick-fil-a sign

Huge peach water tower we saw.

All in all it was a fun trip except for the 8 hours of driving that I did in a single day. The aquarium was amazing, and the food was good. As for the exocage ill post that in a separate jeep related posting another day. Cheers!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Memorial Day URE Trip (LATE POSTING)

Yea I know its a late post now, but I figured better now than never. So the trip went as planned and I took my little Yota out to URE for the Memorial Day weekend ride. The crew and I woke up bright and Early Saturday morning to do a quick rundown of our checklist. Made sure we packed plenty of food, charcoal, camping gear, firewood, all the paraphernalia needed for a good camping trip, not to mention a rifle and shotgun for the range afterwards. After checking our gear, my buddy in his red Cherokee and I met up with another friend at a BP gas station and convoyed together all the way to the Eldorado Outpost located right beside Uwharrie NF.
There we met up with some more friends who had already camped the night before. All in all we had a total of 4 Cherokees, 2 Xterras, and my lonely little Toyota :(. It was a fun relaxing weekend out there and my sleeping arrangements did not disappoint. I had a cot setup under my truck's canopy with a sleeping bag on top. Probably the best camping setup I ever had to date.
 Now the rest of the pics are just from the wheeling trip taken at various points throughout the weekend.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Uwharrie NF Bound

So I basically just got home from work a couple hours ago. Wasn't suppose to work today, but was called in last minute and decided I needed the extra hours to pay for the bills. So by the time I got home it was fairly dark and I still needed to finish loading the gear up. I wasn't able to take much of a picture of my truck loaded up for Uwharrie, so just a text update this time. I will be sure to take a few pics out at URE though. Got my bags packed, and bringing a couple rifles along with the trip. Plan on stopping by the gun range for a much needed relaxing target shootout. Might also shoot some clays also. For those who don't know its called skeet shooing using a shotgun and shooting clay pigeons. My friends will be meeting at my house and rolling out from here. We will be rolling out at 7AM in the morning tomorrow so wish us safe passage. Lots of pics to come!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Finished a roofrack and ladder

So for the past 3 days I have been working 13 hour shifts at my workplace doing job takeoffs for field jobs. I really haven't had much luck to trying find time to work on the Toyota except at night which by the time I got home was exhausted. But I did manage do finish up a few items on my to-do list. I finished welding up a rear ladder and painted it. I also finished up my roofrack and painted that aswell. Just needing to finalize the light wiring and hook up a couple in the back. For this trip I have a feeling we will be doing a bit of night wheeling so bright lights are absolutely necessary. Thank goodness I have today and tomorrow off for prepping the truck and packing since we will be leaving Sat morning.