Old noobie buys a KJ

Discussion in 'Members' Journals' started by sleazy rider, Dec 8, 2020.

  1. lfhoward

    lfhoward Full Access Member

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    It’s a tight fit but it works. I have mine up on spacers to allow a wiring harness to go underneath it, but it’s not so high up that it interferes with the 4x4 switch. I also have a little SWR meter stowed under there.
     
  2. sleazy rider

    sleazy rider Retired moto tech and gearhead KJ Supporting Member

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    And it's suspension rebuild day! Heater's been running in the garage since about 4AM. Might be middlin' comfy by 9AM.

    Final suspension parts shipment arrived about 4PM yesterday. Got most of the left front side torn apart, but for one stinking nut spinning on the battery tray. I found the other end in the fender well and will figure out how to lock it down. Once that's all back together, passenger front is next. The brake rotors and pads are scheduled for delivery tomorrow, so I'll wait on mounting the tires until that's done.

    Rear will happen when the front end's totally done, but that's a fairly simple install. I'll probably have to let a bunch of air out of the tires to get the ex-Saggy Girl out of the garage. lol
     
  3. sleazy rider

    sleazy rider Retired moto tech and gearhead KJ Supporting Member

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    Well, this is gonna be a fight all the way. Obviously, none of these bolts have been touched in at least a decade of Michigan winters. Top of the shock is loose, top clevis bolt gave in, but the sway bar bolt and lower clevis are just not convinced yet. More PB blaster applied. My Matco 1/2 inch impact is overwhelming my home style compressor and won’t give it’s all.

    Almost tempted to put it all back, drive up to the local shop that did my lowering kit on the Focus and hand them the job.
     
  4. duderz7

    duderz7 Full Access Member

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    Go get yourself a nice long broker bar, (harbor freight is good for this) 36 inch or longer and lean on it. If it's cold and your impact is air it may not be as strong as it normally is.
     
  5. sleazy rider

    sleazy rider Retired moto tech and gearhead KJ Supporting Member

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    Heh, I haz that and a cheater pipe. Some of the nuts require an extension and a wrench on the other end. Makes it hard to keep the breaker bar straight for full leverage.

    895891FC-18F5-4172-B0E8-AB6A8BB972B1.jpeg
     
  6. John Sannes

    John Sannes New Member

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    Welcome to the forum. I'm new here myself. I too have started to refurbish a 2002.
    Best wishes and happy holidays
     
  7. sleazy rider

    sleazy rider Retired moto tech and gearhead KJ Supporting Member

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    Happy New Year, John!

    Replacement Moog stock suspension parts are going in today at my local shop. When I get it back later today, it'll go back in the garage for wiring time. LED light bar, CB, rear floods on the roof rack and some tweaking on the stereo to lose some of the retail display properties. It's been flipping screens on built-in features available with it quite annoyingly.

    Replacement brake parts arrived over that last two days, so that's on the "to do" list too.

    Laid one of the old front shocks next to the new version and it's noticeably taller by at least an inch. Same with the rear springs. I think the removed parts are original to the factory. Very bad shape and flat wore out.
     
  8. tommudd

    tommudd Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    worn out by 60-65000 miles
    I think they had the very cheapest springs and shocks ever made installed on the KJs
    My were worn out at 100 miles or it felt like it ;)
    Of course never tried out a KJ beforehand, just ordered it, they brought it and the paperwork to my house, gave them a check and they left
    then it was time for first drive!
    Installed a hitch and wiring and hooked a fully loaded trailer to it and moved 250 miles north to Port Clinton :) O....HI....O .......
     
  9. sleazy rider

    sleazy rider Retired moto tech and gearhead KJ Supporting Member

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    If I put 50k miles on this thing in my lifetime, I'll be amazed. ;) It's a play toy, not a daily driver. Front's now at 18" both sides and rear's at 20.
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2021
  10. DadOSix

    DadOSix Full Access Member

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    should be getting good fuel economy ! Always driving down hill. Sounds a bit like mine!
     
  11. sleazy rider

    sleazy rider Retired moto tech and gearhead KJ Supporting Member

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    I'm thinking maybe a couple spacers at the clevis to kinda level it out.
     
  12. tommudd

    tommudd Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    No need to get any spacers
    just raise it up ( raise shock up out of the clevis ) to 3/8 inch and tighten it down. That will give you 3/4 inch of lift
    If tightened right it will stay there
    when we use conduit nuts they are just there for measurements
     
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  13. sleazy rider

    sleazy rider Retired moto tech and gearhead KJ Supporting Member

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    On the big LOTTD today. Now that all the bolts have been removed once, this should be a fairly simple task. (famous last words)
     
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  14. sleazy rider

    sleazy rider Retired moto tech and gearhead KJ Supporting Member

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    Heater's been running for almost 90 minutes now. Chill's mostly out of the air in the garage.

    Driver's side stainless steel nerf bar/step installed. Passenger's side requires a trip to the local hardware for more nuts and washers. Two of the kit included nut threads were malformed and a thread chaser wouldn't clean them up. I added a couple washers where I deemed needed but not indicated in installation instructions. Rock solid once all the fasteners were torqued up.

    Like the brush guard install, it was a bit confusing at first where the mount studs needed to be and once the holes were found, they needed a drill bit run thru to clean the crud out. Once located, it was a simple install. Passenger side should be a snap.

    Break for coffee top up and to lose the body chill.

    Think I'm gonna fire up the compressor and cutoff wheel to remove some of the well rusted rockers and make it look a bit better.

    Rummaged around in the console and found a place for the CB controller. Also located switched fused power for it. I'll run the antenna cable first, then attack that install.
     
  15. sleazy rider

    sleazy rider Retired moto tech and gearhead KJ Supporting Member

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    Passenger nerf bar went on in 30 minutes, mostly because the first threaded stud fought me.

    Boy, that was so much fun. Finally found a routing for the CB antenna cable after about three false starts. It's terminated in the aft end of the center console now. I'll finish the controller unit up tomorrow. Garage is getting chilly again and my get up and go just ran out.
     
  16. sleazy rider

    sleazy rider Retired moto tech and gearhead KJ Supporting Member

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    First on today's list when the temps are civilized in the garage - front brake job. New rotors and pads, severe scotchbrite cleanup on the caliper mounts to ensure proper movement of caliper when brakes are applied. It's stuck right now which caused the abnormal wear on the rotor. No one ever cleans or lubes this part of the job.

    Will try to do the clevis lift while the tires are off too.

    I think I need new drums for the rear after driving the Jeep to get a pizza last night. I could hear the rear brakes grinding with the stereo off. Parking brake is non-functional which tels me all the rear stuff is toast. Yeah, turn the radio up and it goes away. :lol: Found the headlights are way out of adjustment too. This is easy fix.
     
  17. duderz7

    duderz7 Full Access Member

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    If by caliper mounts you mean guide pins that the caliper slides on, great. Lube em up good after cleaning. One of them has a sleeve on it and one does not. I can't remember which is which, but putting them in wrong can cause a sticky caliper.
     
  18. sleazy rider

    sleazy rider Retired moto tech and gearhead KJ Supporting Member

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    Yeah, not my first brake job rodeo. ;) I should at least have two cups of coffee before morning posting too.

    Got the driver's front side pulled down and started inspecting. Whoever did this the last time needs a hard rusty rotor slammed to the forehead. The original metal pad guides were mostly rusted away and stuck to the caliper frame, so they just stuffed the new in over the old. No wonder the pads weren't moving. They were jammed in place. Used a small chisel and hammer to clean the rusted crud out, then used a scotchbrite wheel to remove the rusty stuff. It's smooth now and the new guides popped right in. Amazingly, the pads popped right into place too.

    I pulled the slide pins out of the caliper frame with a pair of pliers, shot brake clean into the housing and flushed the ancient hard crud out. Rebuilt the slide pins with new protective boots and rubber sleeve with fresh grease liberally applied. They move now! lol I'm really thinking I should do new calipers because the old ones are original and I don't trust the piston rubber to last much longer. I got them pushed in with a c-clamp ok, but....

    The whole system will get rebled when done because I have the fluid and a power bleeder.

    Needed a run to AutoZone for more brake clean and pin grease. Grabbed a set of rear drums while I was there because the front condition scared me enough to go all new parts in back too. DAMMIT!

    I used to make good money for this skill set. :mad:


    ETA: Passenger side was cakewalk. Pulled it apart, swapped the guides, new rubber on the slide pins, greased and back together lickety split. Wheels on, jackstands out and on the floor. Started the bugger and pumped up the calipers. Great pedal feel now.

    On to the back in 30.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2021 at 12:48 PM
  19. sleazy rider

    sleazy rider Retired moto tech and gearhead KJ Supporting Member

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    :confused:

    Gentlemen (and Ladies), don't let your rear brakes get to this point.

    Right rear
    IMG_0332.jpg

    Left rear metal on metal and halfway thru the backing plate of the shoe.

    IMG_0333.jpg

    Drums had to be forcibly removed as I expected.
     
  20. sleazy rider

    sleazy rider Retired moto tech and gearhead KJ Supporting Member

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    Rear brakes on hold till Wednesday. Self adjuster kits for both sides ordered from Amazon with Prime delivery. AC Delco vs Autozone branded junk. Everything was rusted up bad and the adjuster cables were ready to part ways with functionality.

    Google came thru trying to disable the retail mode on the new stereo. It was buried way deep in the menu and extremely annoying at night. Today will be headlight adjustments. Way out of whack as I found out on my first night ride for pizza.