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Topics - BowtieBone

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CARNAGE!!! / TM New Years Wkd Carnage
« on: January 06, 2014, 06:59:05 PM »
Collateral Damage was definitely rough on my rig  :angryrant:
Broken front axle stub, broken windshield, and lots of new character to the body!!

General Discussion / Merry Christmas!
« on: December 25, 2013, 08:23:26 AM »
Hope everyone has a good safe Christmas!

General Discussion / Happy Thanksgiving!
« on: November 28, 2013, 05:44:15 AM »
Hope everyone has a safe holiday!

General Discussion / Happy Birthday Chuck!
« on: September 30, 2013, 05:15:00 AM »
Happy Birthday Chuck, hope its a good day!  :beer:

General Discussion / Happy 4th of July
« on: July 04, 2013, 08:35:20 AM »
Happy 4th everyone  :usa: hope everyone has a fun and safe day.

How's everyone celbrating the day? Our family is relaxing by the pool and grilling.

General Discussion / Happy Memorial Day!
« on: May 27, 2013, 06:01:26 AM »
Hope everyone is having a safe and fun time with there famlies  :beer:

General Discussion / HAPPY BIRTHDAY Robbie (87k590)!!
« on: May 23, 2013, 05:03:33 PM »
Happy Birthday dude! Hope it was a good day for you!

Builds / AirLift bags for my Duramax tow rig
« on: January 23, 2013, 01:26:44 AM »
Thought I'd post this up for anyone interested in keeping their tow rigs level and reducing the swaying with heavy loads.
This is a pretty easy project to complete, AirLift boasts it's a 2hr job and no cutting/drilling.....It took me 4hrs....a bit of cursing....and of course the tapper was running the whole time  :beer:

The kit I bought was the AirLift LoadLifter 5000...has a 5000lb capacity for under $300. Surprisingly VatoZone had the cheapest price on it (although, I didn't look at any other brands). I chose not to purchase the additional compressor for it simply due to the fact that I just didn't have the $$ for it, but they offer a few different compressor options allowing you to air/deflate from the cab as well as keeping a minimum amount of air in them while empty (AirLift states that a minimum of 5psi is required in them at all times with a max of 100psi).

The kit is pretty straight forward , you have to assemble each air bag from the parts supplied

Once assembled it looks like this

The factory bumpstop has to removed

Then you bolt the top bracket of the airbag in place of the bumpstop first - leaving it loose for adjustment later

The lower bracket "wraps" around the bump plate on the axle and has a ubolt to secure it

You want about a thumb-space between the leaf spring and the airbag as their instructions state. I just made sure it was evenly centered on the lower plate then tightened both the top bolts and the ubolts to secure the airbag assembly in place

The kit came with a heat shield to put on the exhaust pipe to protect the airbag

I chose to put the inflation valves in the fender wells, although you can put them anywhere convenient for you. The airbags are kept seperate to allow you to adjust based on the load

With 80psi, the Duramax is loaded and still level as if it were empty

The only issues I had was getting the tubing to seal properly in the airbag fitting. You need a very clean cut on the plastic tubing...the tubing just pushes into the fitting and it locks into place. Initially, both sides leaked when I first tried to air them up, but after messing with it a bit, I was able to get them to seal.
Of course this setup may not be exactly the same on every tow rig, but this should give a general idea. To me, very well worth the $$ spent. We had the cabover on the truck the week before and made a 300 mile trip up north without the airbags and having them made a very noticeable difference in the way the truck handled.

Trail Runs / Table Mesa Saturday 1-5
« on: January 02, 2013, 09:18:44 AM »
Just a heads up for anyone interested. A few of us are going to Table Mesa this Saturday. We will for sure be camping Saturday night and possibly Friday night as well, but won't know about Friday until later in the week.
Plan is to meet Saturday morning at the camground, I will post the time later today when I get the details from Robbie and his Dad.

Builds / My not-so-new trailer
« on: August 15, 2012, 05:45:06 PM »
I picked up a trailer a few weeks ago as a few of you know. I got a good deal on it I believe, but it needs a bit of work to make it road worthy for my comfort. So I figured I'd put up a few pics and share some of the progress as I go.

To start, it's a 2001 10,000lb 18ft trailer made by Gold Star Trailers. No one seemed to know who the manufacturer was since the title merely states Gold, and the vin sticker is really hard to read. I was able to clean it up enouph to read the manufactur and verify the vin and weight. I found them online, it's a custom trailer manufacturer out of Sikeston Missouri.

Sorry, not the best pic, didn't think about it until I had it parked.

So here's the work needed:

-all four tires, including the spare, are shot, so this is first on the list
- the brakes didn't work when I towed it home, and after some testing later, the wiring is shot - so rewire them and I'll replace the brake assemblies while I'm at it
- the last owner removed the brakaway box, so I want to add a new one
- the bearings hadn't been maintained in forever, so I may have to replace them as well. I removed them today, but didn't get much time to inspect them
- for the most part all the lights work, but I want to add a few more lights and change them to led (the rear lights are led already, so that's a plus) - I may also add back-up lights as well, not sure yet, just a thought
- I want to replace the safety cables with chains ( the cables are tore up)
- the leaf spring bushings are a bit worn, so I may replace those if it's not too much work
- the fenders are diamond plate and welded on, they seem sturdy, but I have a stick of 1 3/4 tubing so I may run that over the fender for strength - the distance between the fenders is 82", same as my blazer to I'll see how it loads first
- I want to build mounts for the spare tires and a utility box to store chains, binders, etc
- definitely not fond of the ramps folding up, so at some point I will build a tray in the dovetail to put them in

I'll post updates as I go.

General Discussion / Happy Birthday Robert (Professor Fury)!
« on: April 29, 2012, 10:01:12 PM »
Just saw on the calendar it's Robert's birthday today, so Happy Birthday Bobby, hope it was a good one  :beer:

Vendors or Shops you would recommend / JI Marine Services
« on: April 18, 2012, 05:31:18 PM »
I know this isn't off road related, but for those of you with boats, Jason from JI Marine Services is a mobile boat mechanic. He can work on any type of boat / marine motor and comes to your house. I had him come over to do the annual service on my Stingray. Very reasonable price and knowledgable with all types of boats and motors. He even showed me how to do the service myself to save even more money next year.

Here's his contact info:

Vendors or Shops you would recommend / Brown's Torch & Regulator Repair
« on: September 25, 2011, 06:11:46 PM »
I bought a used torch setup at the beginning of summer. Got a decent price on it, has victor guages and torches. I finally got to try the cutting torch out recently and found that the oxygen regulator leaked. One of the guys at Vern Lewis recommended me to Brown's.
I took both the acetyline and oxygen regulators to them and they had them both rebuilt in less than an hour for only $80. These things were pretty rough looking, they had been sitting in a shed for the last 5+ years. Once they were done with them they looked and worked like brand new.

I took a picture of them after I picked them up (sorry, didn't think to take a picture of before)

So if you need your regulators or torches repaired these guys do a great job.

Brown's Torch & Regulator Repair
2504 W McDowell Rd
(602) 278-6556

Trail Runs / Desoto Mine trail run
« on: September 14, 2011, 01:57:39 PM »
I am looking to put together a run to Desoto mine on Sat Oct 22nd. This is my next free weekend before FF and thought most of those that are working on their rigs should hopefully be done by then, would be a good run to break things in. Looking for input from everyone, would like to get a good group to run this trail. I haven't been on it myself, but I know a few of you have ran it in the past.
It would be a full day trip from what I've seen, so I was even thinking of possibly camping at Crown King Saturday night and returning home Sunday.
Any thoughts?

Trail Runs / Evening wheeling 9/10
« on: September 03, 2011, 04:10:27 PM »
I'm planning to get the blazer out for the first trip since the sas swap next Saturday evening, Sept 10th. Looking to wheel out by the old P4W ranch around mile marker 8 off carefree highway west of lake pleasant.
Haven't set any specific time or meeting place, open to whatever works for anyone that wants to join. I believe Copper Miner will be coming along, he knows the area pretty well.
Anyone interested, post up so we can get a time to meet and all the specifics.

If it helps any of us out there in our need for welding supplies, I was able to get a cash account set up with Vern Lewis Welding Supply to get a little better price.

All you have to do is tell them you are a member of AllOffRoadAZ or give them account #80496100.

The manager at the Avondale location set this up for us and put us on level 3 pricing, not sure what the discount amount is, but every little bit helps.
He told me that they would be able to put us on level 4 pricing as we start to purchase, the more we buy, the better pricing we get!

They have 6 locations: Avondale, Deer Valley, Central Phoenix, East Mesa, Prescott Valley (for the Bagdad folk!), and Wickenburg.

Their website:
Their facebook link:

Hope this helps some of you  :beer:

Vendors or Shops you would recommend / Sunbelt Rentals
« on: February 18, 2011, 07:38:15 PM »
If you are in need of a plasma cutter, I rented one from Sunbelt and had a great experience. They have a 115v Miller Spectrum 125c that they rent for $39 a day. Had an issue with it not cutting well and when I went to change the tip I ended up breaking the swirl ring ($16 part). I took it back the next day and they fixed it and let me keep it one more day, no charge.
I dealt with Shawn there, very good service.

Sunbelt Rentals
4105 W Indian School Rd

General Discussion / Top Gear
« on: January 18, 2011, 09:35:10 AM »
Not sure how many of you watch Top Gear on the History Channel, but if you do, did any of you see Sunday's program. They picked three pickup trucks off Craigslist, a Ford, a Chevy, and took them to Alaska to see which one would make it the furthest.
The challenge was to get to a glacier and the truck that made it was crowned the all-american truck.
Of course the winner..............CHEVY!!!

General / Hubs - Milemarker or Warn?
« on: January 08, 2011, 01:28:17 PM »
Need to buy a set of hubs for the sas conversion and looking for input on what you're running - likes and dislikes. I've done some reading and found some differences. Obvious is the cost - premium hubs for MM are about $70 online and almost double that for Warn's premium.
MM boasts larger cap screws and iron hub body, while Warn has aluminum body with smaller cap srews. Warn has a full turn to lock, making easier to lock, and MM has 1/3 turn.
Warn is supposed to be more water proof than MM (not that water is a big issue for us).
From what I've read there doesn't seem to be a difference in the strength or overall performace between either.
I know several of you are running MM hubs. What's your thoughts?

General Discussion / HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
« on: January 01, 2011, 09:28:38 AM »
Happy New Year to everyone!! Hope everyone had a safe and fun evening. Look forward to lots of wheeling this year to come!

Trail Pics & Vids / Florence 10-9-10
« on: October 11, 2010, 08:06:46 PM »
Here's my pics from the Florence trip last weekend. Most of the pictures were from the Elvis trail run, but some from Box Canyon and camping. Fun weekend, always great to get off the pavement and hang with great peeps!;sa=album;in=27

Builds / 93 Blazer SAS Project
« on: October 04, 2010, 08:48:52 PM »
Ok, so I guess it's about time to start my build thread. Let me start backwards, how does that the beginning!! So I bought my Blazer originally as a daily driver, found it sitting on a car lot by my work. Had been without a 4wheel drive for about 10 years, so I bought it after seeing it on the lot every day for over a week of driving by it. Originally I wanted it to look good and wasn't particularly concerned with function. It had a 4" lift on it with 33s, full length running boards and thats about it.
My first project was to change the front grill to a 94 with billet inserts and bowtie and removed all the exterior trim to clean up the body. Then I decided that my first off road trip was the backway to Crown King. On this trip I buckled both drop brackets for the torsion bars. I made new brackets and ran the trail again, this time gernaiding the spider gears in the rear end.
At this point, I realized that I needed to worry more about function and not as much about the style. I Removed the running boards, replaced with nerf bars, replaced the shocks with Rancho 9000s with remote air, then put the 35s under it, adding 3/4 ton torsion bars to gain a bit of lift in the front. Put a 2" body lift under it. Removed the 4" blocks in the rear and replaced with a 2" block and added add-a-leafs to bring the rear level. Locked the rear end with a Powertrax locker and changed the gears to 4:56s. Replaced the rear axles with Superior axles (as many of you know why....Crown King!)
Along the way, I've had the transmission rebuilt and the transfer case reworked. Built the front reciever for the winch mount and added an electronic B&M shift kit as well as a power chip for the computer.

Heres's a few pics from begining to today:

The day I purchased it

Adding the Body Lift

Adding the Roof Rack

So, now to today. The next project is to get the front end locked. As you all know, any attempt to lock a Chevy IFS diff will result in catastrophic results. After too many hours trying to decide the best way to do this, I've came to the realization that it's time to ditch the IFS and do the straight axle swap I've been contemplating for the last several years.
I'll post up soon my plans for this and keep the posts coming on my progress, obviously, first and formost I need to round up all the parts necessary. Hoping to get this completed by next spring, money permitting.

Trail Pics & Vids / Crown King Video from Spring 2010 trips
« on: September 09, 2010, 11:07:55 PM »
Heres a video I put together from pictures taken during the two Crown King runs last spring. Let me know what you guys first time putting a video together.

Crown King 2010

CARNAGE!!! / CK carnage from the last trip
« on: April 27, 2010, 09:51:36 PM »
Here's what's left of the axle from the ck trip!

Chevy / How do I remove a Lockrite locker from a 10 bolt
« on: April 26, 2010, 10:31:39 PM »
Trying to remove the lockrite locker from my rear 10 bolt (from the broken axle on the ck trip this weekend). I've got the pinion shaft removed, the c-clip from the passenger axle, and the passenger axle pulled out of the locker. I'm stuck trying to get the locker apart and out so I can get to the driver side shaft and c-clip (or the remains of it!). I believe I have to move the space (inside the outer parts of the locker) but I'm stuck here.
(I have a couple of images, but each time I try to post I get webpage not found??? Not sure why)
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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