Big Tuna Presents: Pegasus Rising

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BigTuna117

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Member II

2,306
Fort Mohave/Bullhead City, AZ
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1813

Well, I feel at ease to say I have been officially released from my previous job as of Thursday. I move on to bigger and better things! Currently, I am working for a local gun store whose owners also support my off road and overland shenanigans. I have to say, it's very refreshing to work with people who understand your hobbies and support and encourage them. I look forward to see what the future has in store.
 

BigTuna117

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Member II

2,306
Fort Mohave/Bullhead City, AZ
Member #

1813

IMG_20170919_122312.jpg

Well, they say when you love what you do, it isn't work. Things are going really well, and the full time pay is increasing possibilities that I can start doing higher-profile work on the jeep. The new position not only pays the bills but gives me enough to put some away for things like bumpers, long arms, or a new Transfer case.

The future is looking mighty bright for this build.
 

BigTuna117

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Member II

2,306
Fort Mohave/Bullhead City, AZ
Member #

1813

Well, I recently had the experience of walking out to a leaky radiator again. I had been preparing for this for a long time, as it isn't the first radiator this rig has gone through, and I've put a ton of abuse on this cheap $60 RockAuto rad in the last 5 years. So, as usual, I did something experimental.

IMG_20171022_122728.jpg

I upgraded to one of those "full aluminum" Radiators you see on the internet, but few have actually invested in. So, Let me tell you my first impressions. It seems to be made pretty well, and all of the welds look pretty professional. It is dual row, as compared to the OEM Single row, so it is thicker, and the mounting brackets have been welded accordingly on this design. It also holds about 1.5 QTs more coolant than stock. The radiator doesn't stick any further into the engine bay than before, however it does stick further towards the grille slightly. If you have the OEM auxillary Transmission cooler on the front of the rad, you will have to modify the metal lines to make it fit correctly in front of everything. I have only two complaints, which are both pretty minor. Firstly, the new radiator came with no hardware whatsoever, except the Transmission cooler studs. Everything else had to be swapped over. The other one was that the suds on the bottom of the radiator that slip into the lower radiator support, are actually about 0.75" too long. I had to cut these to fit correctly. I also had to cut down the rubber bumpers these studs fit into so that I could bolt down the radiator. This radiator if physically taller than the OEM. You also have to make a small cut to the Upper radiator support so that it doesn't contact the radiator.
FB_IMG_1508711600940.jpg
Oh! you also have to trim the bottom of the fan shroud to fit correctly, otherwise it was an average, PITA WJ Radiator install.

I bought this one:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/2Row-Aluminum-Radiator-Fit-For-1999-2004-Jeep-Grand-Cherokee-4-7L-V8-AUTOMATIC/263248100392?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649
 
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BigTuna117

Rank V
Member

Member II

2,306
Fort Mohave/Bullhead City, AZ
Member #

1813

For some reason, I never mentioned the B4W run I did earlier this year. It was called "Walnut Canyon" out of Golden Valley, AZ. It doesn't show up on any trail sites or in the trail books (I consulted my Mohave County Trails and 4x4 routes guide) So it's one only a few of the locals know. It is extremely overgrown, though very scenic.

screenshot.27.jpg
I have thus submitted the trail to alltrails, and will also be including the .gpx file here. Not terribly challenging if you have functioning 4x4, it is a nice scenic trip with some overgrown areas. I figure if someone decides to mow through this area, this may be a nice trip for them.
 

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365_Overland

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Ellijay, GA
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Daniel
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10613

Just found this build and loving it I am also in the process of building a WJ but just started and currently in the maintenance phase.
 
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BigTuna117

Rank V
Member

Member II

2,306
Fort Mohave/Bullhead City, AZ
Member #

1813

Just found this build and loving it I am also in the process of building a WJ but just started and currently in the maintenance phase.
One thing I can say is smart move. The most critical phase people skimp out on is the maintenance phase. I've witnessed these builds break down firsthand because someone was too hasty to do what you are doing now.
Thanks for the complements! I hope for more interesting shenanigans In 2018!

Sent from my SM-T520 using OB Talk mobile app
 

365_Overland

Rank I
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Member I

233
Ellijay, GA
First Name
Daniel
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N
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10613

One thing I can say is smart move. The most critical phase people skimp out on is the maintenance phase. I've witnessed these builds break down firsthand because someone was too hasty to do what you are doing now.
Thanks for the complements! I hope for more interesting shenanigans In 2018!

Sent from my SM-T520 using OB Talk mobile app
Completely agree I made that mistake with my first Cherokee many years ago
 
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BigTuna117

Rank V
Member

Member II

2,306
Fort Mohave/Bullhead City, AZ
Member #

1813

Happy New Year everybody! We spend the christmas holiday season in my native state of Oregon, where all of my relatives live. The first half of the vacation was great, with the last 3 or 4 days leaving most of us bedridden with a high fever. We arrived home Tuesday night after spending a night in Sacramento (Thanks again for your hospitality Sandman Best Western!). Fortunately, I am making a swift recovery, as Friday I drive the Jeep up to Flagstaff for it's long awaited Transfer case swap!
 

Rubyredfozzy

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3,771
Fort Mitchell, AL, USA
First Name
Aaron
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Welch
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In January of last year (2015) I began the MK.II Tablet setup, using a bolt-in mount and a Samsung Galaxy Tab|Pro 10.1".
View attachment 9389

This tablet is MUCH more efficient than it's predecessor, and even though it's now nearly three generations old, it's still a beast for 4x4 ops. It is very very power efficient, and uses a dual-quad-core CPU setup that allows one quad core to utilize basic functions while the other performs the more advanced. Because of this, and newer specs, GPS is very accurate, refreshes fast, and renders quickly. All of this with music being streamed to the Head Unit via bluetooth. It still is a beast of a tablet. And, thanks to a few of Samsung's (now improved) software changes, you can even dual-screen apps to fit more info on at once!
View attachment 9388
I love this. I have an ipad air i want to instal in my subaru this way. I love the ability to have a large screen for routes.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using OB Talk mobile app
 

BigTuna117

Rank V
Member

Member II

2,306
Fort Mohave/Bullhead City, AZ
Member #

1813

I love this. I have an ipad air i want to instal in my subaru this way. I love the ability to have a large screen for routes.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using OB Talk mobile app
It's mighty handy for this reason. Going forward, If I can find a decent Android based HU, I'll be able to dedicate this tablet towards on/off road nav and route recording.
 
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BigTuna117

Rank V
Member

Member II

2,306
Fort Mohave/Bullhead City, AZ
Member #

1813

Well, Today was the day! What day? The day I returned home from a much needed Transfer Case swap. I drove down Friday morning, and we promptly got the Old 247J out and broken down.
We found some interesting things in the old 247J. One of the tasks was to pull the input shaft and planetary gear out to swap into the 242 We were rebuilding. To our discovery, we found that the 247 had the extremely elusive and uncommon 6 gear planetary! Anyone who has rebuilt these knows that most generally come with a 3 gear planetary, which is standard in the 247J, 242J, and 242HD. The 6 gear is far more rare, and generally only used in heavy-duty scenarios, generally only found in the Dodge commissioned Transfer Cases. 20180105_145836.jpg

After promptly cleaning out the guts of the 242, we replaced all the seals and bearings. Pretty quickly we had it coming together.
20180106_152550.jpg

For those who don't know what differences the 242 has over the 247, the bezel in my hand here is the one which will be replacing the one actually on the shift console.
20180107_103811.jpg

I can't thank my good friend Jeff enough for his help in this matter. One of the early WJ adopters, his build is somewhat of a legend. It is proof that when you build with a purpose, you get a better functioning and better looking product. I'd recommend his blog fivewheeldrive.me for those interested in some of the build, and also he is on offroadpassport as UnderlyVerbose. Hes done some great stuff with his rig.

20180107_145503.jpg
 
Last edited:

Rubyredfozzy

Rank VI
Member

Benefactor

3,771
Fort Mitchell, AL, USA
First Name
Aaron
Last Name
Welch
Member #

9264

Well, Today was the day! What day? The day I returned home from a much needed Transfer Case swap. I drove down Friday morning, and we promptly got the Old 247J out and broken down. We found some interesting things in the old 247J. One of the tasks was to pull the input shaft and planetary gear out to swap into the 242 We were rebuilding. To our discovery, we found that the 247 had the extremely elusive and uncommon 6 gear planetary! Anyone who has rebuilt these knows that most generally come with a 3 gear planetary, which is standard in the 247J, 242J, and 242HD. The 6 gear is far more rare, and generally only used in heavy-duty scenarios, generally only found in the Dodge commissioned Transfer Cases. View attachment 44279

After promptly cleaning out the guts of the 242, we replaced all the seals and bearings. Pretty quickly we had it coming together.
View attachment 44280

For those who don't know what differences the 242 has over the 247, the bezel in my hand here is the one which will be replacing the one actually on the shift console.
View attachment 44281

I can't thank my good friend Jeff enough for his help in this matter. One of the early WJ adopters, his build is somewhat of a legend. It is proof that when you build with a purpose, you get a better functioning and better looking product. I'd recommend his blog fivewheeldrive.me for those interested in some of the build, and also he is on offroadpassport as UnderlyVerbose. Hes done some great stuff with his rig.

View attachment 44282
Glad you found a good suprise. I usually uncover something unfortunate. Thanks for sharing.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using OB Talk mobile app
 

BigTuna117

Rank V
Member

Member II

2,306
Fort Mohave/Bullhead City, AZ
Member #

1813

Glad you found a good suprise. I usually uncover something unfortunate. Thanks for sharing.
It was terribly surprising to find it in a "medium duty" transfer case (that's what the 4 in 242 and 247 means) which shouldn't really have more than 3 from the factory. I'm guessing the day this junkyard t-case was produced, The factory must have ran out of the standard 3 way planetary gear, so maybe there are others out there! Or, possibly it was previously rebuilt by someone looking for a slight more durability, although it seems improbable that someone would throw one of these in a case such as the 247 which is so incredibly failure prone in other areas.
 

Rubyredfozzy

Rank VI
Member

Benefactor

3,771
Fort Mitchell, AL, USA
First Name
Aaron
Last Name
Welch
Member #

9264

It was terribly surprising to find it in a "medium duty" transfer case (that's what the 4 in 242 and 247 means) which shouldn't really have more than 3 from the factory. I'm guessing the day this junkyard t-case was produced, The factory must have ran out of the standard 3 way planetary gear, so maybe there are others out there! Or, possibly it was previously rebuilt by someone looking for a slight more durability, although it seems improbable that someone would throw one of these in a case such as the 247 which is so incredibly failure prone in other areas.
Its possible the previous owner didnt even know what they had.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using OB Talk mobile app
 

BigTuna117

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Member II

2,306
Fort Mohave/Bullhead City, AZ
Member #

1813

Well, the fun doesn't stop there! I only bought the shift bezel, so I had the especially ...fun * cough cough* task of pulling the old shift bezel. Lots of pulling. But eventually it will release and you can pull the shift bezel.
20180108_111913 (1).jpg

You have to cut the OD wires, as the shift setup isn't really designed to be dismantled, although also it is directly designed to be dismantled if you look at how its assembled... if that makes sense. You do have to reconnect the OD wires after your done.

Once you take the old bezel off you just pop the new one on, piece of cake!
IMG_20180108_122114.jpg
Although I do say it came out well, an issue you have to be mindful of is that re-using the 247 shift assembly, you don't have the Neutral lockout the 242 shift assembly has. you just have to be mindful not to bump to Neutral unless you have the transmission in neutral. 4 BT and 4FT are both on-the-fly shifting. and all, well, 5 work just fine. A little stiff at first, but as fluid starts pumping, and it's now fully lubricated, everything works smoothly. I'm very pleased thus far.
 

BigTuna117

Rank V
Member

Member II

2,306
Fort Mohave/Bullhead City, AZ
Member #

1813

Also, I forgot that recently that I started a vlog about the Jeep, life, and such. I'm sure it'll get better as my video editing skills improve! This one was just after I replaced the Radiator:

In the meantime, I added something which I have been planning for a long while Over the last year and a half, I've been planning to drop a pair of Amber LED fog lights into the front grille and have them run off the fog light circuit already integrated into the Jeep's "Light control/blinker" stick.
20180121_145700.jpg
I wanted some nice bright ambers, as I don't usually encounter fog, but when I do it's as thick as pea soup. These won't be on all the time, but they'll be used when their needed. These weren't spliced in, but rather I make a proper wiring harness with the OEM pigtail on each side. Oddly enough, the posts of the pigtail were reversed, so I had to take the time to dismantle the pigtail and switch the wires around.
20180122_142504.jpg
All in all it came out exactly how I wanted it to. Clean, out of the way. Haven't had a chance to try them at night though, but I was able to align them using the garage door. Hopefully I'll have a pic or two tonight.