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post #176 of 193 Old 04-24-2019, 12:18 PM
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That caliper guard looks beefy, I think it will do just fine. Plus when you see big gouges in it, you'll know that would have been another ripped off caliper.

Did you ever get around to making a cart for your welder and bottle? I knocked over my Oxy/Acc rig the other day. It fell on the side with the handle and the bottles never came close to the ground, but I stood there for a minute thinking that could have been really bad.

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post #177 of 193 Old 04-25-2019, 08:47 AM Thread Starter
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Did you ever get around to making a cart for your welder and bottle? I knocked over my Oxy/Acc rig the other day. It fell on the side with the handle and the bottles never came close to the ground, but I stood there for a minute thinking that could have been really bad.
Yes, you all made me feel guilty enough to do it, then I realized it's actually incredibly nice to be able to roll it all around!

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post #178 of 193 Old 06-03-2019, 11:24 PM Thread Starter
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Had a mostly successful time in Moab. Within half a mile of leaving the highway, my front passenger LCA bracket fell off the axle. I knew they were getting awful bent up but I didn't realize they were anywhere near falling off. I hadn't fixed them because literally the day after I got home from Moab, it was all getting cut off for long arms.

Got it taken care of at Moab Motorsports then had no issues the rest of the trip.





I didn't realize until I got home that I actually buckled the frame rail in when the Jeep pole vaulted on the control arm (felt like I crashed into a rock, my friend in the passenger seat was positive I had just hit a rock on an axle but I knew there was no rock in the road). Doesn't really matter but I plated over the whole area setting up new brackets regardless.



Just finished my new front suspension. It rides amazing. Huge improvements to ride quality on the highway, and off-road it is just incredible how different it is over stock for highspeed travel on rocky rough roads. My lowers are now at the axle tube and basically flat at street-height front and rear. Haven't had a chance to get it to the dunes yet but I can't wait to see how it does!

Getting those front frame brackets off is quite the task. I hate bracket removal, and those are by far the worst brackets I've yet had to deal with. I broke down and finally bought a plasma cutter after a few hours with a cutoff tool. Even with a plasma those brackets are a nightmare.









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post #179 of 193 Old 08-13-2019, 10:50 PM Thread Starter
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I added a rear sway-bar last month. I'm using a 0.9" 50" Currie bar with true 20" length arms (I say true because Currie's 20" arms are actually only 18" long hole-to-hole, so I extended them to fit my setup). Since I can't get much up-travel in the arms and they point down at ride height, I tilted the link way back so that it unwinds during droop keeping relatively good geometry throughout travel despite a fairly non-conventional setup. Conveniently, my caliper guards were perfect mounting points for the new sway bar link positions.

(And, now I have another gas cylinder sitting on the floor in pictures, how embarrassing... this time it's suspension nitrogen, haven't done a safe setup for that one yet as I don't use it much).

Sitting roughly mid-stroke it looks like this:


Then at the travel extremes it becomes this:



Since I now have a sway bar, I dropped my ORI lower pressures from 180PSI front and rear to 120PSI front/70PSI rear to reduce the spring rate (down to about 100 lb/in at ride height). This had a major improvement for rough forest roads, washboards, etc. but unfortunately had almost no impact at the dunes which surprised me.

The rear sway bar also really balances out the suspension rock crawling as I never quite liked having equal front and rear articulation stiffness, doesn't behave well on up-hill climbs as the rear just flops. This balances it out much better on climbs.



I also made a recessed winch plate cutting off about 5" from my front bumper approach clearance. Still need to add tow points and figure out where to put my license plate (apparently a local town just started aggressively ticketing). Also not sure if I'm going to leave the winch contactor box out front like that, but honestly it's probably not a big problem as long as I don't go crashing straight into perfectly vertical brick walls.





Also flipped the bolts on my Hutchinsons, I quite like it! Highly recommend doing this if you run this type of wheel. I assemble it with a few studs to get it centered, then pop them all out and replace them with backwards 1/2" bolts.

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post #180 of 193 Old 08-14-2019, 02:18 PM
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Nice job on the sway bar. Doesn't look like there's any chance of it inverting the links.

On your wheels, are you using shorter bolts when you reverse them. It kinda looks like it. Pretty smart move not having the exposed threads facing out where they can get chewed up.

You already know you're going to smash the winch controller, might as well move it now.

You and high pressure bottles

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post #181 of 193 Old 08-14-2019, 03:10 PM
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Cracks me up that you buy a new welding rig, then build your welding cart out of wood. LOL

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post #182 of 193 Old 08-14-2019, 11:27 PM Thread Starter
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On your wheels, are you using shorter bolts when you reverse them. It kinda looks like it. Pretty smart move not having the exposed threads facing out where they can get chewed up.
These are 1/2" x 2" bolts. I don't know the exact measurement, but they're about the same length as the short factory studs. They are much shorter than the three long starting-studs.
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post #183 of 193 Old 08-16-2019, 09:23 AM
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You can mount the contractor box behind the grill if you wanted. Thatís what I did, itís much cleaner looking as well. Also, I added a cheap amazon wireless kit to mine, think it was like $10, it works absolutely awesome.
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post #184 of 193 Old 08-16-2019, 10:34 AM
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How does it feel on the street now, with the sway bar and lower spring rate?

Kevin
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post #185 of 193 Old 08-16-2019, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
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How does it feel on the street now, with the sway bar and lower spring rate?
Roll wise, for street cornering it feels about the same as when I had no sway bars and higher spring rate. For static roll in off-camber crawling, it is significantly more stable and predictable now.

As far as actual ride quality, it's definitely the best it's ever been right now but still pretty harsh. You really feel everything in the road surface. I believe it's just because ORI's are high stiction. It's not that bad but does become a bit exhausting after a long day of driving. The reduced spring rate helped a little but not much. The spring rate reduction is really the most noticeable on washboarded roads or traveling at speed on chattering rocky roads, it really hasn't had much impact anywhere else.

I used to have issues with the Jeep going into resonances on the highway and bouncing endlessly at 1-2hz but the front long-arm actually pretty much eliminated that, I think my lowers were just too angled before so the suspension motion on the highway was transferring into the wrong axis through the angled control arms.
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post #186 of 193 Old 10-11-2019, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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Went to run Fordyce and the Rubicon a few weeks ago. Overall all went well. At one point near the end of Fordyce I noticed I was dripping a ton of oil and my trans was covered in oil. I monitored it and didn't notice any more dripping on that day so I went and hit the Rubicon. Got a great snowy night with a dusting of fresh snow in the morning. By the second day the oil leak was back and it did not go away so I just drove home instead of exploring more trails. Made it home to Washington with about a quart lost.

Put in a new oil-cooler when I got home and good to go again, no more oil leaking. Next up, forced induction. Unfortunately I couldn't resist a Sprintex on clearance pricing.











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post #187 of 193 Old 10-12-2019, 09:08 AM
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Those snow pictures look fantastic.

Do you have room left under the hood for a blower?

Did you figure out why the trans puked out oil? Was it just getting hot?

Kevin
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post #188 of 193 Old 10-12-2019, 09:18 AM
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You should have given me a call and we could have taken care of your leak.

Some build info here:
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post #189 of 193 Old 10-13-2019, 10:03 AM Thread Starter
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Those snow pictures look fantastic.

Do you have room left under the hood for a blower?

Did you figure out why the trans puked out oil? Was it just getting hot?
It's going to be tight! I'll definitely have to make a pretty bendy strut-brace that wraps around the blower.

It's actually engine oil on the transmission. It's a common failure mode of the 3.6L engine, the oil-cooler/filter-assembly cracks or its gaskets fail and then oil runs down the transmission bell housing and covers the trans in oil leaving the engine completely dry. My transmission was getting moist for about 25k miles before this, but it never got to the point of dripping so I was unable to identify it as engine oil. I assumed it was just some trans seal weeping out oil and ignored it. But then on this trip it really failed and in the puddles I was able to identify it as engine oil. I don't think my oil cooler actually cracked, I think the seals just went bad. The rubber seals were hard as a rock when I took the old cooler off the block.
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post #190 of 193 Old 11-07-2019, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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The adventures of JK superchargers... Here's a narrative on where I'm at and what I think about the Sprintex system.

First I went through installation. I'll actually give Sprintex a 9/10 on overall fit-and-finish of the product. Exceptional instructions, includes literally everything you need, every hose is perfectly bent to fit, every bracket is thought about. There's almost nothing I would improve. My main gripe with the overall mechanical design is that there's only about 5mm of clearance between the top of the supercharger and the firewall. I'm afraid it's going to hit at the dunes and crack, but we'll see.

I had to get creative on installation. Due to my under-hood modifications, I had to do some custom brackets for the intercooler, the water pump didn't fit where they wanted requiring some more bracket work and a lot of custom heater-hose work, and the intake was the biggest project requiring a structural intake tube to act as a strut brace. Took a few days but eventually I got everything built up.





Now things got a bit interesting... I start it up the first time and it generates just an unbelievable amount of smoke. I figured it must just be manufacturing oil work out or something. So much smoke that driving down the road at 25MPH I'm producing huge visible clouds of smoke behind. Clearly something is not good, but 10 minutes later the smoke is all gone.

Next day I check the intercooler fluid and it's basically run dry (the intercooler design is poor, it's very challenging to bleed because there's no reservoir just a little cap with maybe a 3/8" diameter hole into the system). I figure it's just been working out air, so I bleed it again and fill it up and run the pump for a bit to be sure. Start it up and the starter turns a few times then bang and it's seized. Try to turn it over with no spark and the starter just locks up. I just call it quits for the night but right before bed I gave it one last try cranking and it started up somehow, and worked perfectly but again huge clouds of smoke.

Once again, back in the shop the intercooler pump is running dry. At this point it hits me what's going on so I do a vacuum test on the intercooler loop and it doesn't hold any vacuum just hisses from inside when I try to pull. I took off the supercharger and the whole intake is full of coolant and I had hydrolocked the engine.







By some small miracle the engine seems fine. One of the output-flange o-rings was not properly seated from the factory so I just popped the part out and put it back in with some oil and the o-ring slid into place and no leaks anymore. Pretty pathetic QC on Sprintex part and almost cost me my engine.


With no intercooler leaks, I got to really discover just how bad the Sprintex tune really is. It blows my mind that over the last 5 years they still haven't made the tune good. It really is as bad as people say. It has almost continuous LT knock retard, poor power, and my fuel economy cruising at 60 dropped to under 11. I imagine you would wreck your engine if you actually tried to use their tune for very long.

Since it came with a Diablo tuner and the company doesn't trust customers with the tuning software, I begrudgingly picked a very well known forum tuner, sent $300 on Paypal, and watched what would happen. He immediately made the knock go away, but fuel economy still sucked and drive-ability had issues. By tune #6 fuel economy was back up to 14.5 highway. We went back and forth on throttle-response settings and I just couldn't get him to give me what I want, so now I have an HPTuners coming in the mail tomorrow and I'll take it over from there to really make it drive how I want. The trans also needs shift point updates.

I found a major boost delay (about 1-2 seconds) that wasn't tuning out, eventually I found that Sprintex put a restrictor in the vacuum line to the bypass valve so it took forever for the valve to close under high throttle. I have no idea why they did this, perhaps customers are so used to turbo setups that they wanted to introduce emulated turbo lag. I took the restrictor out of the vacuum line and now there's basically no boost delay.

Another installation modification I made is I run the intercooler pump directly off an ignition-switched 12V line so it's always on. The instructions have you plug the pump directly into a Y-harness that goes to a fuel injector (not even for a PWM-speed signal... it's just a 2-wire DC pump red wire to injector +, black wire to injector -). This is cringe-worthy to me. It seems like a bad idea in so many ways, both thermally and electrically. I guess they are trying to save energy by not running the intercooler when not in boost, but that seems like a recipe for heat soak. I want it to cool down when I'm not in boost to get ready for the next time I am in boost.


Overall at this point although I have a bit more fine-tuning to do, it's an unbelievably awesome setup. The power is incredible, and the low-end torque completely exceeds my expectations. It looks like it produces flat boost from well below 2000RPM up to redline. About 4PSI in normal throttle ranges and 8PSI at WOT (I need to do some throttle-response tuning to make it smoothly approach WOT, I couldn't get my tuner person to get it right hence the HPTuners purchase).


Overall it's far better than I expected on power boosts and is so much fun to drive around. I'd completely recommend one, so long as you're willing to deal with crap QC and figure out tuning on your own.

I will give Sprintex customer support a 5/10. They actually do respond pretty quick for installation questions. For me, they will just ignore questions about tuning and drive-ability (literally they don't even respond to the emails).


You do hear it, but it's a lot quieter than I expected. It's fun, not annoying, at least to me although I know some people can't stand it.
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post #191 of 193 Old 11-20-2019, 11:36 PM Thread Starter
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This supercharger is a nightmare on heat soak. I've basically spent the last 2 weeks of my free time trying to get this thing tuned even remotely acceptably.

If you do a few good pulls it's knocking bad in the logs (can't actually hear any knock). I drove it aggressively up a few thousand feet of vert on a forest road (basically 50% duty cycle WOT 3000-5000RPM for several minutes) and I was running in continuous LT knock. I've already pulled timing back 5-10 degrees from stock. In heat-soak condition, it knocks at all RPM and all P-ratios over about 0.7. Intercooler doesn't seem to really do anything for this problem, the radiator is cold to the touch.

Since Sprintex decided it'd be no problem to put the IAT sensor before the supercharger, there's no way to compensate the spark to heat soak.

And this is with outdoor temperatures in the 40-50F range these days. I fear this is going to be an unmanageable problem in the summer. In the mean time I guess I'll just run my tune with 5-10 degrees of spark retard over stock and see how long the knock sensors keep this engine running.

If anyone reads this and actually got a Sprintex 3.6L supercharger to legitimately work without knock including for extended WOT duration, please message me I want to talk about how you got it to happen! At this point I'm pretty convinced it's impossible.


Other than the knock, it runs amazing with a good tune. I'll miss the horsepower so much if I have to take it off.
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post #192 of 193 Old 12-06-2019, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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Been doing a lot more work on the supercharger tune. I took it all apart and moved the IAT sensor to the true intake measurement just after the intercooler. I made my own sensor module out of an NPT fitting, some epoxy, and the sense-element out of the original IAT sensor. This proved that, to my surprise, heat-soak is not my problem. The intercooler does real well and the IAT temperature was no higher during knock periods.





After staring at logs for a few days it finally hit me that it was occurring after extended periods of driving up very slight hills on the highway, which put me right at a P-ratio of about 1-1.2 and I wasn't hitting enrichment at 2500RPM until about 1.2 atmospheres. I pulled the pedal-level threshold for power enrichment down from 1.7v to 1.3v and no more knock.

One of the big down-sides to a supercharger over a v8 is you have to enter pretty heavy power-enrichment in the interesting use regions such as running 1.2 atmospheres on the highway. Thus gas mileage seriously suffers. I'm running 11-12MPG right now, but whatever it's so fun to drive and it's not a daily so I don't really care. I do wonder if the cats will survive.


Anyways I've worked my VE tables hard and tuned up a bunch of throttle and airflow settings and it's truly perfect now in driveability. Absolutely no surging at any operating point, no lags, perfectly linear throttle response up to 23.5PSI input with no steps or jumps in throttle, great stock like feel in 4Lo, and better-than-stock behavior to transients in throttle request. I could not be happier with the outcome. It is a spectacular increase in power.


I've been talking to a lot of remote internet-tuners, it's pretty amazing how little most of them seem to know about tuning vehicles. I really haven't found any I'd be comfortable with tuning my engine. I can basically interview them at this point through a few questions and show that many of them don't even understand the fundamentals of how you tune an engine or what the parameters do. It's pretty crazy thinking about what some people are driving around on every day for a tune. It's no wonder a lot of people quickly blow up engines on DIY forced induction setups.


One more annoying thing about the Sprintex unit is I found it completely out of gear oil after something like 1000-2000 miles. Apparently it's a design flaw and the case builds up pressure since it's fully sealed and then the seals leak. I made a vented cap so we'll see how it holds up now on oil consumption...
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post #193 of 193 Old 12-07-2019, 12:32 PM
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Nice to read how you worked through your Spritex supercharger issues. Most of the issues I have read with the brand have been nothing but tuning issues, but the issues you've faced have been more involved then they really should have.

Anyway, good luck with it and happy trail riding!

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TR HD17 Beadlocks, BFGoodrich A/T KO2 34x10.50R17, Teraflex HD Tire Carrier, Clayton 2.5" Overland Plus Lift, and more to come...
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