The Grackle

General_Tarfun

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I had a chance to look closer at the old lca's before I packed them up to ship back. The PS was in the worst shape, had a tear in the bushing, some cam bolt thread imprints in the sleeve, and the balljoint could easily be turned by hand in the socket. The grease was darkening too, looks like the boot tear was letting water in there.

Unrelated to the wear/tear issue I noticed that the bushing itself is solid for what appears to be only maybe 1/2", if you look closely inside the bushing between the sleeve and the outer part it goes way back into the bushing before becoming solid. I think that contributes to how much side deflection the bushings have when they're installed, I could easily change the angle of the sleeves using just a long screwdriver as a pry bar.

lkWzwnY.jpg
 
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westslope

Wheeling
I had a chance to look closer at the old lca's before I packed them up to ship back. The PS was in the worst shape, had a tear in the bushing, some cam bolt thread imprints in the sleeve, and the balljoint could easily be turned by hand in the socket. The grease was darkening too, looks like the boot tear was letting water in there.
.......

To clarify: The old LCAs are the Moog LCAs? What does PS stand for?

Incidentally, is that grease Lucas RED "N" TACKY?
 

General_Tarfun

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To clarify: The old LCAs are the Moog LCAs? What does PS stand for?

Incidentally, is that grease Lucas RED "N" TACKY?

Correct, the old set is the Moog lca's, PS=passenger side and DS= driver side. That's a good question about the grease, it might be that stuff. I was surprised at how much of it was still in the joint, whatever it is really is pretty tacky.
 

General_Tarfun

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A short-term update on the new lower control arms. They've been installed for 2 weeks now and the alignment hasn't changed even a little bit. I finally pulled the tie rod adjustment wrenches out from under the rear carpet and put them in the cargo hold since it looks like I won't be needing to make weekly adjustments anymore.

Only downside from the new parts is that now I can feel a little looseness in the tie rods so I have Hitachi inner/outers on the way to replace the Moog set that's installed now. I might try to make a deal with the shop to pay labor cost for them to install the tie rods if they'll throw in the alignment without extra charge. Nothing helps you get to know the owner of small shop like coming in all the time for alignments lol.

My front brakes are worn down almost to gap in the center of the pads so I've ordered replacements, I'm moving from the Raysbestos EHT pads to try out a set of Akebono ASP1094 pads. I have Akebonos on the rear already and I've been impressed with how much grabbing power they have over the old Raysbestos rears that were on there.

Once all this stuff is installed I think it's time to start saving for tires, I'm still not sure what I'll go with so I'm glad I have some time to decide. The Toyo AT II's have had great tread life and tons of grip off road but they're P rated which I hate, and they're really heavy for P tire. I could with the LT's but I've noticed how much people seem to like Duratracs so they're in the running too.
 

KC!

Bought an X
A short-term update on the new lower control arms. They've been installed for 2 weeks now and the alignment hasn't changed even a little bit. I finally pulled the tie rod adjustment wrenches out from under the rear carpet and put them in the cargo hold since it looks like I won't be needing to make weekly adjustments anymore.

Only downside from the new parts is that now I can feel a little looseness in the tie rods so I have Hitachi inner/outers on the way to replace the Moog set that's installed now. I might try to make a deal with the shop to pay labor cost for them to install the tie rods if they'll throw in the alignment without extra charge. Nothing helps you get to know the owner of small shop like coming in all the time for alignments lol.

My front brakes are worn down almost to gap in the center of the pads so I've ordered replacements, I'm moving from the Raysbestos EHT pads to try out a set of Akebono ASP1094 pads. I have Akebonos on the rear already and I've been impressed with how much grabbing power they have over the old Raysbestos rears that were on there.

Once all this stuff is installed I think it's time to start saving for tires, I'm still not sure what I'll go with so I'm glad I have some time to decide. The Toyo AT II's have had great tread life and tons of grip off road but they're P rated which I hate, and they're really heavy for P tire. I could with the LT's but I've noticed how much people seem to like Duratracs so they're in the running too.
I've been doing some research on tires too, and I'm mainly considering the Cooper Discoverer AT3's have you heard anything about those? Why are you considering the Duratracs as your front runner? I think I may bump up to Lt285/75/R16.
 

meisanerd

Wheeling
Ive heard the Duratracs are great for all season/winter, but wear out fairly quickly. I am running Cooper ST/MAXX tires as they had decent all-around performance, and came in 255/85r16 as opposed to the usual 285/75r16s that guys are more commonly running. Same approx 33" diameter, but a bit narrower so they cut through snow and such a bit better, and are lighter.
 

General_Tarfun

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I've been doing some research on tires too, and I'm mainly considering the Cooper Discoverer AT3's have you heard anything about those? Why are you considering the Duratracs as your front runner? I think I may bump up to Lt285/75/R16.

I've heard pretty good things from guys running those too, I almost went with them last time but I didn't really like the angled sidewall pattern that much so I went with the Toyos instead.

I think my front runner is probably the LT version of what I have now but I'm trying to convince myself there's better out there lol. I should probably start a list, for now I guess the Toyos, Duratracs, and KO2's.

Definitely has to be an LT rated LT tire but that's all I've nailed down for now.
 
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General_Tarfun

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Ive heard the Duratracs are great for all season/winter, but wear out fairly quickly. I am running Cooper ST/MAXX tires as they had decent all-around performance, and came in 255/85r16 as opposed to the usual 285/75r16s that guys are more commonly running. Same approx 33" diameter, but a bit narrower so they cut through snow and such a bit better, and are lighter.


I love the look of the 255's, I didn't consider the weight reduction benefit. How much do those weigh?
 

KC!

Bought an X
I love the look of the 255's, I didn't consider the weight reduction benefit. How much do those weigh?
It’s looking like a 8 pound difference of 255 vs 285 for those Maxxis per discount tires. 285 - 61 lbs
 
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General_Tarfun

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It’s looking like a 8 pound difference of 255 vs 285 for those Maxxis per discount tires.

That's a decent weight reduction. I noticed how heavy the Toyos as soon as they were installed and they were something like 8-9 pounds heavier than the old tires I had. I kind of want 285's but I don't want to lose any more acceleration power.
 
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KC!

Bought an X
That's a decent weight reduction. I noticed how heavy the Toyos as soon as they were installed and they were something like 8-9 pounds heavier than the old tires I had. I kind of want 285's but I don't want to lose any more acceleration power.
Lol I’d be jumping up from the OEM tires that weigh 37 lbs. per tire and the Cooper’s I am looking at are 53 lbs. yeesh that’s significant increase in rolling resistance
 
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General_Tarfun

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Haha yeah that kind of weight you're definitely going to notice. It will probably help your cornering stability just by the wheels weighing so much haha.
 

TerryD

Total Tease
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Covington, Va
I've been doing some research on tires too, and I'm mainly considering the Cooper Discoverer AT3's have you heard anything about those? Why are you considering the Duratracs as your front runner? I think I may bump up to Lt285/75/R16.

I've got about 20k on my Cooper AT3's in 285/75/16 load range E and I'm completely happy with them. They are quiet on the highway on our family trips in the X (OBX, Savannah, and Gatlinburg) and I've had them aired down to 13psi off-road with no issues. They took me to Colorado this summer without issue and I'll be putting a set on my K2500 GMC soon.

The do scallop a bit on the edges on the front so I rotate every other oil change but they are wearing nice and even (30-35psi depending on loading) with the frequent rotation but I wouldn't expect any off-road tire with tread void on the outer edges to do any different. I can't recommend them enough!
 

KC!

Bought an X
I've got about 20k on my Cooper AT3's in 285/75/16 load range E and I'm completely happy with them. They are quiet on the highway on our family trips in the X (OBX, Savannah, and Gatlinburg) and I've had them aired down to 13psi off-road with no issues. They took me to Colorado this summer without issue and I'll be putting a set on my K2500 GMC soon.

The do scallop a bit on the edges on the front so I rotate every other oil change but they are wearing nice and even (30-35psi depending on loading) with the frequent rotation but I wouldn't expect any off-road tire with tread void on the outer edges to do any different. I can't recommend them enough!
How's your fuel economy with those tires? Also, did you have them before you re-geared?
 

TerryD

Total Tease
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Covington, Va
How's your fuel economy with those tires? Also, did you have them before you re-geared?

I haven't regeared yet. I'm still 3.13's. I'm getting between 12-16mpg depending on conditions and load. I think I averaged 16mpg for the whole 3100 mile trip to Colorado and back including the off-roading. My most recent fill-up shows 15.38mpg driving from Hickory, NC to home via the interstate and across back roads from Blacksburg to home.
 
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KC!

Bought an X
sheet lol, I have 3.36's. Honestly, I'm considering staying 265/75/R16 and going to an LT tire with a C Load rating. The Cooper Discoverer AT3 LT's come in a load C and are only 10 lbs increase over stock tires. I don't think I need a taller tire yet, really just looking for a more robust and capable tire for overlanding/forest service roads, without losing too much street/highway capability.
 

TerryD

Total Tease
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Covington, Va
sheet lol, I have 3.36's. Honestly, I'm considering staying 265/75/R16 and going to an LT tire with a C Load rating. The Cooper Discoverer AT3 LT's come in a load C and are only 10 lbs increase over stock tires. I don't think I need a taller tire yet, really just looking for a more robust and capable tire for overlanding/forest service roads, without losing too much street/highway capability.

If you're 3.36, I think I'd go ahead and jump up to the 285's. I don't have an issue with the load E tires but I like the added durability. I don't think there's much of a difference in ride quality personally. They are a little stiffer but I'll trade that for the improvement in handling over the P series any day.
 
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KC!

Bought an X
If you're 3.36, I think I'd go ahead and jump up to the 285's. I don't have an issue with the load E tires but I like the added durability. I don't think there's much of a difference in ride quality personally. They are a little stiffer but I'll trade that for the improvement in handling over the P series any day.
Oh yeah, I'm for sure going to purchase a LT tire, but I don't know if personally I need 285s yet. I would consider getting load E tires for 265 since the weight difference is minimal. I wish I there were comparisons out there for performance differences between tire sizes of the same tire, other than the clearance and traction you gain from a wider/taller tire.
 

TerryD

Total Tease
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Covington, Va
The D vs E tires tires are minimal difference in performance, you get the slightly more aggressive LT tread vs the P series tread. However the E has better puncture resistance. It boils down to what you think you'll need. If you've never cut down a P series tire, the C/D will probably do you just fine. I tend toward rougher trails myself and run low pressures so I wanted the added strength of the E sidewall.
 
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KC!

Bought an X
Thanks for the advice. It would be nice to have a more dependable tire with the E load design, and I didn't think about sidewall strength when airing down. It'd probably be little better to run those E's to have that stronger tire too especially since I may be out on the trails alone.
 

TerryD

Total Tease
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Covington, Va
Thanks for the advice. It would be nice to have a more dependable tire with the E load design, and I didn't think about sidewall strength when airing down. It'd probably be little better to run those E's to have that stronger tire too especially since I may be out on the trails alone.

That was how I felt about it. I also have 5 matching wheels and do a full 5 tire rotation.
 

General_Tarfun

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I've had them aired down to 13psi off-road with no issues.

That's my dream honestly, I'd probably roll my P rated Toyos off the rim if I ever tried to drop them that low. I'm used to the scalloping edges too, I rotate every 3 or 4k to keep it in check. I think even back when I had Michelin LTX AT II's they scalloped too. I've noticed with my latest alignment with the camber set to -1/0 that it's not doing it as bad now.
 

General_Tarfun

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Just had my parts delivered. Hitachi inner & outer tie rods (made in Japan), Akebono ACT1094 brake pads (made in U.SA.), and a spare Gates 7PK2217 serpentine belt (made in U.S.A.) to keep in the truck. Can't wait to get the tie rods installed, they look and feel like much better quality than the moog stuff I have installed now. They should tighten up the steering pretty good.

Only thing I'm wondering about now is whether or not to install the Delrin washers I ordered onto the new LCA's. Since they're new I don't think they need them? But if it's something I can install and it will just keep the bushings tight I'll go ahead with it.

Weekend install plan:
Inner/Outer tie rod ends
Front Brake Pads
Swapping in two new camber bolts
Probably?: Delrin LCA washers

nJnRAtk.jpg

KimWhHL.jpg
 

General_Tarfun

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Turns out those inner tie rods Rockauto sent me aren't the correct size, they were way too long. Probably for the Titan, the part number on the box was correct but I looked at the Rockauto site and they're supposed to be around 8 inches and what they sent is almost 11. It sucked finding that out after fighting with the inner and removing it, I went nuts apparently with the red locktite last time...this time I'm not using any. The toe would be so far out on one side if that thing ever backed off you'd have to be an idiot not to notice a problem way before it could happen.

So I installed the outers since they were worse than the inners anyway, I put them on last December and the balljoints are very crunchy feeling when rotating. Something else I noticed is that the moog outers are much thicker at the balljoint, makes me think more material because they used cheaper, lower strength metal. Also that would place the tie rod arm lower below the knuckle and make the angle sharper on the outer>inner>rack connection.

Then I put in the delrin washers and the two new cam bolts. After that installed the brake pads which felt so easy after the tie rod debacle lol. It's hard to say exactly which of these things made the difference but it drives a lot nicer now, I don't get the bump-rattle thing anymore. The brake pads are great too, they don't bite as hard as the EHTs initially and instead have a more progressive feel. Should make general driving around town a lot easier with less brake dive.

New vs old:
d0qb87P.jpg


Old brake pads, they're worn basically even. Sil-glide for the win:
n7PMGOQ.jpg
 
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General_Tarfun

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Atlanta, GA
Well, RockAuto is refusing to honor the warranty on the moog outer tie rod ends. They say they do not feel 'comfortable' sending a replacement set because they don't believe a new part won't fail prematurely just like the last two. Instead they offered a refund but only if I paid for the return shipping @ $14. No thanks. I'm not wasting any more of my time with moog and their garbage parts. So the 'lifetime warranty' means one replacement and then a refund...I don't enjoy doing tie rod replacements every 10 months so the warranty is more like a punishment.

I hope this at least gets RA to complain to moog about too many returns on their parts but I'm not optimistic on that one.

The moral of this story is the best quality parts come in boring boxes without flashy colors and nascar logos.
 
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PhullD

First Fill-Up (of many)
Location
Ottawa, Ontario
Looks like Moog is really going downhill. My Titan stuff (lowers and inner/outer tierods) is all nice and tight still, I must have bought them before the changes. The coil springs I had with the tundra shocks (budget titan swap) did suck balls though. I’m going hitachi for tierods when they are due.
 

General_Tarfun

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Atlanta, GA
Looks like Moog is really going downhill. My Titan stuff (lowers and inner/outer tierods) is all nice and tight still, I must have bought them before the changes. The coil springs I had with the tundra shocks (budget titan swap) did suck balls though. I’m going hitachi for tierods when they are due.

Just out of curiosity I did some research into their corporate history and it's been pretty shaky for a while now. The current CEO is forcing through a complete pivot to aftermarket parts supply only. None of their customers make up more than 10% of their sales so it's unlikely they supply any automakers anyway. Moog is probably just another victim of the corporate obsession with short term profits over long term viability.

I went out today and did some driving on my usual roads + some interstate driving and man what a difference. Zero steering wheel movement over small road imperfections, it also feels like the suspension is able to move more freely than before. Makes me think the balljoints might have somehow been limiting travel.
 
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General_Tarfun

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Atlanta, GA
My weekend project is going to be installing these switchback LEDs into the front turn signal/parking lights. I think I'm going to rewire the parking light to be a DTR so the white will display when the truck is running and the turn signals can still handle the switching to amber for the turn signals.

I just need to find a good location for the load resistors, given where I live the turn signals get used a lot and I definitely don't want them near any of the plastics. I'm thinking of mounting them both onto a piece of aluminum bar to help with the heat dissipation and then mounting that bar somewhere out of the way.

ZEgAq8S.jpg
 

General_Tarfun

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How's you get the corner marker to flash?

That's from a previous mod I did a while back, I thought I added the how-to on here but looks like I forgot to add it. That one is really easy to do and you don't have to hack up any of the factory wiring to do it, let me see if I can track down the info for that one and I'll add it along with the switchback turn signal write up.
 

General_Tarfun

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Atlanta, GA
Only smashed one finger and also managed to nail myself in the knee with my breaker pipe but the new inners are on. The pipe wrench extension I made worked great.

8Pee66L.jpg
 

General_Tarfun

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Atlanta, GA
Alignment is done and all is well now. The steering feels pretty solid now, it's crazy how a tie rod that seemingly has no play in it has just enough to make the steering feel loose. Even the shop asked why I replaced them because they had checked them out a month ago and couldn't find any slop in them either.

I did have one weird issue today though. When I went to start the truck to drive to the shop it wouldn't turn over, no dash lights, nothing. I jumped it with my battery pack and drove it around to charge, I noticed that the odometer display had a slight flickering going on that I haven't seen before.

Started freaking out that I might need a new alternator or battery but it turned out to be the battery ground connector had somehow become loose. It must have stretched out because it's only about 9 months old and was definitely tightened down when I installed it.
 
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General_Tarfun

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Atlanta, GA
I learned something this past weekend when I had that loose battery ground terminal after replacing the inner tie rods.

The steering wheel got turned 90 degrees to the right when I was replacing the tie rods but the toe was still pretty close to spec so I left it that way since the alignment shop is only about 2 miles away. The truck hated it and started activating traction control/abs so I flipped my abs/tcs/vdc disable switch to drive to the shop. Got it aligned, came out to drive home and the VDC/SLIP lights were on. Normally those go out after driving straight for 100 feet or something but this time they stayed lit.

It took a while but I found a thread where someone had a similar problem and it turns out that the truck sets the steering angle if you disconnect and reconnect the battery. So when I removed the ground and reattached it with the wheel cocked to the right it recorded that position as the straight ahead angle, the alignment set the steering wheel straight again but the computer was now thinking that it's turned the wrong way.

To fix the problem I parked it with the steering wheel straight ahead, disconnected the battery, reconnected it, drove 100 feet and the lights went out. Just posting this info here in case anyone else runs into this in the future.
 
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General_Tarfun

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I started working on my latest project last night for completing the LED turn signal conversion.

Here's the basis for what's probably an over-engineered solution I came up with: I watched a few videos showing how hot load resistors can get during extended turn signal use like when the hazards are on that concerned me. The X has been rock solid over the past 13 years and I've never been stuck on the side of the road broken down, obviously that doesn't mean it cant ever happen though. If it does happen that can only mean something terrible has happened and the last thing I want to do in that situation is also be worrying about the resistors melting stuff or possibly starting a fire.

What I came up with is a solution that incorporates a heat sink to absorb the heat generated and then a mounting location that will have airflow while driving and is also a place already designed for high temps.

Parts I had to order:
• Aluminum Heatsink, 150mm (L) x 70mm (W) x10mm (H)
• Artic Thermal Pad
• Load Resistors, Superbrightleds 6 Ohm 50 Watt x4

Parts I already had:
• The mounting brackets are from an old server switch that I had, I got lucky that the mounting holes on it aligned perfectly with the heat sink.

The load resistors will sit on top of a layer of the Artic thermal pad and then be bolted to the backside of the heatsink. For anyone not familiar with the Artic it's used heavily in the computer industry for cooling components off by increasing the amount of heat that can be shifted from the component generating the heat to a heatsink. It fills any surface voids and maximizes surface area contact with the heatsink.

Once this is all together I'm going to find an area somewhere in the front of the truck near the radiator to mount it so it's mostly free of water contact and also gets a decent amount of airflow.

ybYqDDy.jpg

TQFmrgb.jpg

jVqZgY3.jpg
 
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westslope

Wheeling
I started working on my latest project last night for completing the LED turn signal conversion.

Here's the basis for what's probably an over-engineered solution I came up with: I watched a few videos showing how hot load resistors can get during extended turn signal use like when the hazards are on that concerned me. The X has been rock solid over the past 13 years and I've never been stuck on the side of the road broken down, obviously that doesn't mean it cant ever happen though. If it does happen that can only mean something terrible has happened and the last thing I want to do in that situation is also be worrying about the resistors melting stuff or possibly starting a fire.

What I came up with is a solution that incorporates a heat sink to absorb the heat generated and then a mounting location that will have airflow while driving and is also a place already designed for high temps.
........


10-4 on an "over-engineered solution". :) That said, this is great stuff for wimps like me who like to hang back from the bleeding edge of rapidly evolving technology.

How will this set up work when the emergency flashers are on and the vehicle is stationary during a hot summer day?
 
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