Thread: Project Hippo

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  1. #126 Re: Project Hippo 
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    So after a drive home, I counted and Hippo was in 4th gear. Overdrive does work. Still doesnt explain why I can only seem to go only 70 and have engine at 3k
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  2. #127 Re: Project Hippo 
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    Okay so I have double checked the speed and at high speeds it is off. However still at 3k in 4th gear I am really driving 79-80 mph according to waze. Still not 85 like the web site says, but better.

    Has anyone done a 545 RFE swap into the grand? In later models (02 to 04 I think) the tranny got upgraded. Does one need to change the ECU or can the tranny work with the older computer? I was hoping to find just a tranny out of one of those and swap it in for an extra gear at the top end.

    Also, it seems the gas mileage is down also. I am at just below quater tank and only got 70 some miles lol. Perhaps a drivetrain overhaul would work
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  3. #128 Re: Project Hippo 
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    Are you totally sure those axle had 4.88 gears and not 5.13??

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  4. #129 Re: Project Hippo 
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    Quote Originally Posted by egg View Post
    Are you totally sure those axle had 4.88 gears and not 5.13??

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    Pretty sure. I did not count the teeth though. Would have to jack it up and see. The guy who built them said they were 4.88s

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  5. #130 Re: Project Hippo 
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    From my research you can swap the later trans, but you need to have the PCM reflashed with the correct software for it to work as intended.

    You can get a ball park idea on the gears without taking it all apart. Raise and support the rear (or front) axle and disconnect the drive shaft. Mark the tire and the pinion flange. Since you have lockers you can engage the locker to spin both wheels from a single side. As you spin the tire slowly one full revolution count the number of times the pinion flange rotates. If it's just under 5, you have 4.88s. If it's just over 5 you have 5.13s.

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  6. #131 Re: Project Hippo 
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    Okay, so I have verified the gears are 4.88s. Its just under 5 revolutions. Guess Ill just drive like this for now. Meantime, I went onto rock sliders. Ones I got were from Kevin's off road. Unfortunately, they dont work with Clayton long arm lift right off the bat. The L bracket runs into the Clayton subframe
    [IMG][/IMG]

    It runs into is about .25" so I cut off 3/8th off the end and redrilled the holes for the bolts and painted the exposed metal
    [IMG] [/IMG]

    thats where I stopped for now. Eventually I will weld those to the chassis, but since Ill have to remove them to get to the rust on the rear quater panel, they will be just bolted for now. The exhaust I decided to take to a shop. It would take me a day to do something that took the guys at the shop about 3 hours. They used and 18" glasspack and Hippo sounds no louder than before. There is a little bit more noise at the top end, but otherwise its fine. Here is how they routed
    [IMG][/IMG]
    [IMG][/IMG]

    I was a little worried about the exhaust pipe being really close to upper control arm, but the guy said they drooped the suspension when installing so there is plenty of room to move around. Its also close to the control arm piviot point where it does not move much up and down.

    Still gotta finish the sliders and install the bumper when it gets here. Gonna wait till truck and jeep fest in denver to get the winch. hopefully they will have some discount there.
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  7. #132 Re: Project Hippo 
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    There is one other thing i want to mention. There seems to be this weird clicking noise (at low speeds that turns into hum) coming from the front. It matches the speed and doesnt seem to vary with turning. Any idea what it could be? Nothing is hitting the front shaft.
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  8. #133 Re: Project Hippo 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tuzmaster View Post
    There is one other thing i want to mention. There seems to be this weird clicking noise (at low speeds that turns into hum) coming from the front. It matches the speed and doesnt seem to vary with turning. Any idea what it could be? Nothing is hitting the front shaft.
    Is it while you turn or going straight? Also if you have the 45 transmission you can take it to the dealer to be reflashed making it a 545. At least from what Iíve read. If the noise is while turning if you have the 247 case still try adding fluid and if you have vari lok axles then add some friction modifier. If itís not those check your carrier bearing.


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  9. #134 Re: Project Hippo 
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    I would take the drive shaft out and drive around to see if it still makes that noise. Congrats on getting it driving again

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  10. #135 Re: Project Hippo 
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomasstebner View Post
    Is it while you turn or going straight? Also if you have the 45 transmission you can take it to the dealer to be reflashed making it a 545. At least from what Iíve read. If the noise is while turning if you have the 247 case still try adding fluid and if you have vari lok axles then add some friction modifier. If itís not those check your carrier bearing.


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    It's while driving straight. And are you saying that 45 and a 545 same tranny with different firmware? Or the dealer can flash the pcm after the new one is installed?
    I have a Rubicon elocker in axles and 242 tcase. So sounds like bearings l. Crap :/

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  11. #136 Re: Project Hippo 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tuzmaster View Post
    It's while driving straight. And are you saying that 45 and a 545 same tranny with different firmware? Or the dealer can flash the pcm after the new one is installed?
    I have a Rubicon elocker in axles and 242 tcase. So sounds like bearings l. Crap :/

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    Yes same tranny. Just the later models got the firmware update making them a 545. Yep Iíd look at the carrier bearing in the front. Disconnect the front driver shaft and ride around and see if you notice a different.


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  12. #137 Re: Project Hippo 
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    Over the weekend I installed the sliders. The directions gave a general idea, but some steps were definitely not done as written. here are some pointers.
    1) As mentioned before the braketry had t obe slightly modified because they ran into the clayton subframe. removing about 3/8" works. I would not bother redrilling holes just yet.
    2) when mocking these up, I had to have sliders supported in 3 points. one on each of the brackets and 1 on the slider itself with a jack. The directions specify to support with a jack on the center of the rear one and on the sliders main body at the front. That didnt help and did not push the sliders up against the unibody rail flush enough. doint the 3 point way is better. Also, they wound up being located .75" from the clayton rear control arm bracket towards the front
    [IMG][/IMG]
    3) Then after the supporting, marked the holes that are on the side of the unibody rail. Took the slider out, drilled a pilot hole with 1/8th bit and enlarged with a step bit to 5/16th per directions.
    4) The directions say to not use impact, but if you don't you will be there till next morning trying to put 1 bolt in. Instead, I used the impact to get the bolt started. Only a few threads. After that tighten by hand.
    5) after the initial 4 bolts are tightened, went back to the rear and drilled and screwed in the last 2 big bolts to the unibody rail. This whole time the slider is supporting the vehicle per directions
    [IMG][/IMG]

    6) now move onto the extra bracing. Wound up going out and buying a 90 degree drill attachment and a very short 1/8" bit. This saved so much time and headache. Because of the subframe, you cannot get a drill in there. So, the money spent was worth it. All of those small bolts I tightened with a rachet. It took some time, but those go in a lot easier because they have a pointy end. After those 8 bolts, the slider is done and it is not going anywhere. I was rocking the jeep before the slider.
    7) repeat on the other side.
    [IMG][/IMG]

    The step is a nice touch. my fiance in her long skirt was able to easily get in with no issues. Definitely glad I went with those sliders.

    Here is another question. Transmission. The way I see it, there are a couple of options:
    1) Just take it to a shop and have them deal with all of it. Thats the most expensive route at 2700
    2) Pull the tranny myself and have the shop rebuild it. Thats 1700
    3) Buy another tranny from a guy in Denver for 900 (SAE certified with 30 years experience found on craigslist) and have the shop put it in for another 700. Thats almost as expensive as pulling my current one myselft and having it rebuilt. Less elbow grease to use though
    4) find a remanned one and put it in myself

    The question is, how do rebuilt trannies behave? The one I have has 230K on it, will the new rebuilt one go just as long? Or since the current one has gone this long, just have original rebuilt be better for relieability?

    Is what I am asking making sense at all?? lol
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  13. #138 Re: Project Hippo 
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    So I've flexed out the rig for the first time. Not bad, but not good either. It can definitely do more. The issue is in the front. Besides me needing to cut off/grind sheetmetal, I need to figure out bumpstops. The front one will go on top because thats what will help retain the springs. here are some pics:
    [IMG][/IMG]
    [IMG][/IMG]
    [IMG][/IMG]

    Here is the pic of the front spring popping out. It seems to want to pop out very soon. besides bumpstops, any other ideas? longer spring?
    [IMG][/IMG]

    Rear seems to be doing ok with the initial flex. Putting longer and actual bumpstops there will help as well
    [IMG][/IMG]
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  14. #139 Re: Project Hippo 
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    Check your shocks to see how much travel they have left. I've pulled a few rear shocks apart, now I have limit straps. Might want to consider them. Also, might want to look at extending the upper bump stop some to help catch the spring. I don't know how easy it is to do that on a WJ though.
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  15. #140 Re: Project Hippo 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken L View Post
    Check your shocks to see how much travel they have left. I've pulled a few rear shocks apart, now I have limit straps. Might want to consider them. Also, might want to look at extending the upper bump stop some to help catch the spring. I don't know how easy it is to do that on a WJ though.
    There is a hole in the middle of the spring cup so I figured some kind of bracket there and a long bumpstop like on XJs

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  16. #141 Re: Project Hippo 
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    Got some updates. First, went with a buddy to an RTI ramp to see how much flex I got to the max. Here are some pics

    FRONT
    [IMG][/IMG]


    [IMG][/IMG]

    REAR
    [IMG][/IMG]

    [IMG][/IMG]

    [IMG][/IMG]

    The front is the main one I was concerned. Outlined in sharpie is what was cut out. I left 3/4" front the top line (second bend from the bottom). When the bumper gets here, I want to bend this into the jeep and weld in a few spots to make it stronger until Im ready to do prerunner style fenders. After cutting, dremmer was used to smooth out the cuts so a hand can glide on them and not get cut. There is still some rubbing at the pinch seam with spot welds on the inside of the wheel well towards the back. Will have to grind off as much as possible without actually touching them.
    [IMG][/IMG]
    [IMG][/IMG]
    [IMG][/IMG]

    Onto the spring popping out issue. When flexed out, not a lot was needed to help guide the spring back in place. About 2". So after going to the truck and jeep fest in denver on Sunday, I found a solution. Since there is a hole in the middle of the spring cup, a bolt can go into it. The only issue is how to retain said bolt. Well, just weld a nut to it. So Hippo got some nuts welded to him (hehehe). The bumpstop itseld is 3 1/8" long so it should be plenty. This was the first "weld" project onto a vehicle. first nut went on great. Second i accidentally welded the bolt to the nut. So it had to be cut out and a new one welded.
    [IMG][/IMG]
    [IMG][/IMG]
    [IMG][/IMG]
    [IMG][/IMG]

    [IMG][/IMG]
    [IMG][/IMG]

    So now im gonna turn my attention to waiting for the bumper to get here and the rear bumper. There are 2 options the way i see it since noone has what i want.
    1) build it completely from scratch and integrate stinger style carrier into the bumper
    2) buy Logan's rear bumper and add a weld yourself kit to it from poison spyder (its a TJ kit, but should work fine)
    I do like how Logan's looks as it does follow the curve, but its also another 1k that I would like to save. So will have to think on that.

    Also went to Illinois gulch /mini moab for the shake down run. did mini moab like 5 time and only needed the rear locker once. Hippo walked up it with hardly any issues. So I would say that he is ready for something more difficult, but is the driver ready? only time will tell
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  17. #142 Re: Project Hippo 
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    Nice to hear things are working well. Bumpers are a big chunk of change. Have you cut any in the rear? For the front pinch weld issue, have you considered bending them over vs grinding them back?

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  18. #143 Re: Project Hippo 
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    This is what I did for a rear bumper. Itís about 400 in materials but a lot cheaper than buying one.


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  19. #144 Re: Project Hippo 
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    I have considered bending them over and grinding them back yes. Gonna wait though a little cause my truck needs some love. The rear bumper is plastic and I cut some of it off, but from the video of me on mini moab, looks like I need more. I have an idea for kind of complicated hinge that will be able to swing out and fold up and down, but I gotta finalize it some more. May be some cad mock up will help. The only reason for a stinger style in the back is so that I dont have to lift a 35" tall tire that high cause I'm lazy.

    How is that bumper working out? Does it rattle at all?

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  20. #145 Re: Project Hippo 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tuzmaster View Post
    I have considered bending them over and grinding them back yes. Gonna wait though a little cause my truck needs some love. The rear bumper is plastic and I cut some of it off, but from the video of me on mini moab, looks like I need more. I have an idea for kind of complicated hinge that will be able to swing out and fold up and down, but I gotta finalize it some more. May be some cad mock up will help. The only reason for a stinger style in the back is so that I dont have to lift a 35" tall tire that high cause I'm lazy.

    How is that bumper working out? Does it rattle at all?

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    If you are referring to mine, no rattles at all. There is a rubber L piece that the left side sits on while closed and then the latch pulls it tighter into the rubber piece


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  21. #146 Re: Project Hippo 
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    Yes I was. Okay, cool. It looks good

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  22. #147 Re: Project Hippo 
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    Afraid there is some bad news. I'm hearing some knocking coming out of the engine. Jeep still runs but idk for how long. With 230k miles it's not a surprise for me. My question is, where is a good shop that I can pull an engine and take it to for rebuild? I anticipated this so guess it's time for tranny to be rebuilt too or swapped. Swapping seems to be a cheaper route. As for the engine, where can I take it for a proper rebuild? Any suggestions?

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  23. #148 Re: Project Hippo 
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    Life always finds a way to throw you a curve ball, doesn't it? You just got done with all that other work, and now this. Sorry to hear.

    Local knowledge is best on a reputable machine shop. Get some quotes before diving in, ask a lot of "what if" questions, like what if the head castings are no good? What does it do to the price? Then shop for remanufactured engines. There are companies who even do updates to correct problem areas and make the engine better overall. Compare all options to figure out what works best for you.

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  24. #149 Re: Project Hippo 
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    Ill be looking into it. It seems it would be cheaper to get a new remanned one and send current one as a core. Meantime, Imma see how long the engine will last till it fully craps out. Still gonna be driving it. The 4.7 V8s, if pulled out of a vehicle, what would be the ideal mileage? I head some needing rebuild around 120K miles
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  25. #150 Re: Project Hippo 
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    Got some good news. The knocking that i was hearing was the cat hitting the skid plate. Cleared the skid plate and no more know. What I will do is use and engine flush. Its not like the ones you find here. Its made by HADO. You pour it in with your old oil. drive for about 100 miles and then do oil change. I know it works cause my dad used it on his vehicles before and he used it on Hippo when he first bought it. and hippo now is at 230k miles. Figured id do the same. Nothing much else to update.

    My front bumper from HKoffroad is still being built. and now I got to thinking about rear bumper. Do you guys have Logan's bumper? It looks like a good base to add a stinger style tire carrier to it. Also, there is rear quaterpanel protection for the WJs on ebay. Any of you running that one? how is it? I will need something there as the tire carrier will be attaching to it.
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