Sunday, March 13, 2016

JK Day: Part 1

A couple of weeks ago, my brother wanted to trade his '02 WJ Grand Cherokee for a shiny, new '11 JK Wrangler.  He had been eyeing one up in Ohio for a week or so, and then he found out it had sold.  We were back to the drawing board to find him a new one.  Thursday afternoon, I got the txt: "Pack your bags! We're going to Ohio!"

The Mighty Grand Cherokee - King of Traversing Suburban Soccer Fields
But it wasn't quite so easy.  See, he wanted to trade his Jeep, but he felt he also needed to fix some things to get the full value for it that they quoted him over the phone.  I got there Friday night, and not long after, I watched him back over his tailpipe.  A tailpipe that had been hanging just fine with braided steel cable last I had seen it a few weeks earlier.  A tailpipe that could've been fine to drive down and trade in, but he felt the need to buy a new one and cut the cable two days before we left.  He then realized that he had loaned his angle grinder to a friend and couldn't finish the job.  He drove to work the next morning with it dangling and was reminded how it rubs the tire when that happens (hence braided cable), so he scoured an old audio cable from his employer (who sells music things to music people), and that held it up halfway home.  The last bit where he backed it into the driveway was where the fun really started...

He basically pole vaulted over his exhaust, and it bent straight down
Since he couldn't back into his driveway and therefore couldn't back into his garage, he turned around and pulled in outside to cut off the main problem so we could then move it inside to fix the rest.  He had also retrieved his grinder!

I do like taking pictures of sparks
I resigned myself to documentation and moral support because he didn't need to cause himself this project... and it was cold... and he didn't tell me this is what was on the docket for the night
Once inside, we could turn on the heat... until we realized it was way too close to where we needed to be working.  We let it warm up a bit, and got cutting.  We had to cut the tailpipe off of the muffler through the wheel well, and then we had to untangle what was left of the pipe from the suspension.

Somehow, it'd found its way in between the shock and the sway bar
But persistence pays, and eventually it was free!
And to think, he figured they wouldn't want this on the trade-in?!
Our next feat was to then prep the muffler to fit the new pipe which revisited an older repair.  We had a couple of couplers and clamps holding that together where it had broken before, and now all of it was rusted together.  He cut off the u-bolt, and per my suggestion, he cut down the side of the coupler to peel it off of the muffler outlet.

You can see the repair we needed to undo kind of in the center.  Did we use enough clamps?
Then we realized we didn't have the right couplers and clamps to make the new tailpipe fit the old muffler.  Turns out I was also there for the use of my car.  Parts run!!!

Shameless use of employee discount.
Check out the stickers from Power Tour and Summer Nats!
In no time, we were back in the garage with the parts we had selected and found that they too did not fit correctly.  This is why people always curse about doing exhaust work... and brake lines.  One was the wrong size, one fit both but was too short, and the other was just there for show.  I came up with a scheme (since we'd see this car for another whopping one whole day anyways) that we could put on the one coupler that fit the pipe, and band clamp THAT to the muffler instead of the pipe itself which didn't reach.  This worked like magic.

Thing of shiny, shiny beauty
With the exhaust finished, all we had left was to remove some old air helper springs tucked in the coils that he was convinced made clunking noises that they would say was the control arm bushings.  (It still made clunking noises on the way to Ohio, and with 222,222.2 miles on it as we drove through Chicagoland, I'm guessing it needed control arm bushings anyway.)  He had pulled out the bags themselves a couple weeks earlier when I told him to come up and we'd use the shop at my other job to do his rear pads, rotors, calipers, hoses, and front track bar, but we didn't have the required tool for the mounts.  Enter reciprocating saw!

Sadly, they didn't just fit through the spring.
Didn't take much though.
The Jeep was finally ready, so we turned in for the night at about 11-ish.  Up at 6 for a 7am lift-off!  7 1/2 hours one way from Milwaukee to Marion, OH, and we planned to do it twice on Saturday!  But that is a story for Part 2... soon

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