MOAB Prep and botched EJS trip.

I’ve got a bit of an update. I was very tentative about going to Easter Jeep Safari this year but I wanted to get some things done just in case.

I was never satisfied with the way I mounted the power steering reservoir.

I had it mounted above the drivers side fender in front of the air intake. after thinking about it for some time I decided to mount it on the radiator above the power steering box. Unfortunately this meant that I needed to relocate the coolant reservoir/overflow bottle. I don’t like committing to mods (in case they don’t work) and I love to have options. So I ordered another drivers side radiator mount from Tony with Highway 83 Suzuki.

I cut off the radiator clip and drilled a 1/4″ hole through an already existing hole in the metal welded to the back of the radiator clip from the mount. This holed lined up nicely with a hole on the passenger side radiator mount, allowing me to simply bolt this clip to the radiator mount. I attached my coolant reservoir and ran a longer line from the top of the radiator and I was done!

With the area above the power steering box freed up I was able to begin making a simple bracket to attach the power steering fluid reservoir.

I used a 3/4″x1/8″ piece of aluminum flat stock to attach the reservoir to existing holes in the drivers side radiator mount.

I ran new lines from the bottom of the reservoir to the power steering box and a new line from the return of the pump. I used some spiral wrap around the hoses to keep them from kinking and collapsing by keeping even pressure all around the hoses. This did not work so well when I went to MOAB.

The new mount fit pretty nice with the air box installed.

Some time passed before I finally committed to going to Moab. Once we made plans to go I knew I need to get some things done.

When I got the hard top I had to lose the roof rack and my CB Antenna mount. I was skeptical about getting the roof rack back on with the hard top before heading out so I used my time to wrap up other lose ends. My son helped me fabricate a new CB Antenna mount days before heading out. I used some angle iron to make the mount bolt to the old tire carrier mounts.

I used the bandsaw to trim the excess material and make it look sleek.

I painted it black with some bedliner. (No Pic at the moment)

Somehow I had KINKED the hose for the windshield wiper fluid again! I fixed this before heading out and modifying the roof rack to fit with the hard top.

I decided to try using some sugru to seal some holes in the hard top. It worked pretty well. I was afraid it would not cure next to the (vulcanized?) rubber seals on the hard top but it did.

I had an idea to raise the rear of the roof rack enough to clear the rear piece of the hard top, which was the reason I removed the roof rack. I had to modify the windshield bracket supports to clear the front piece of the hard top. To raise the rear of the roof rack I drilled one hole on each side to put the u-bolts that support the roof rack higher than the original position. This worked quite well!

With the roof rack mounted it was time to get packing. Like last year we took the car as well. So we were able to split all the gear between the two vehicles.

With the vehicles packed we headed out LATE for Moab/Grand Junction.

To supplement the road communications I purchased a couple of Baofeng UV-5R’s for the trip. One for the Samurai and one for Abby’s car so that we could keep in touch.

We stayed at Abby’s parents in Grand Junction since we got in so late (1AM).

The next day we grabbed some lunch before heading out to Moab. I left the doors and rear glass at Abby’s parents because the weather was warm enough. As soon as we got into Moab I started having trouble shifting. I asked my nephew to drive the Samurai to the gas pump and he was able to back out of the parking spot but could not get it back into 1st.

We went to Kane Creek campground and got a site. After getting camp set up and dinner going me and my nephew Jason got to swapping out the clutch cable with a spare so that we could go wheel Day Canyon with EJS in the morning.

We woke up the next morning and begin heading to the meeting spot for the EJS group running Day Canyon. I guess we were running late because we never saw the group. But on the way to the meeting spot the Samurai was making a squealing noise. We popped the hood and saw that power steering fluid was leaking out of the reservoir. We had to loosen the radiator support when we swapped out the clutch cable and must have caused the power steering hose to kink and fluid started spilling out. This was an easy fix but annoying.

With the group nowhere to be found we decided to the run the trail ourselves.

Moab is beautiful and we enjoyed the trail.

Back in camp the kids were having fun playing in all of the dirt at Kane Creek campground.

We returned Easter Sunday, once again running extremely late. We had missed the raffle and all the vendors at EJS but it was a fun trip none the less.

In other news. I’ve acquired some leaf springs.

I got a set of stock YJ leafs from someone on craigslist a couple months ago.

I also picked up some Old Man Emu 2″ HD springs as well.

I don’t have the bracketry to run the YJ’s but I think I could easily run the OME springs. I’d just need some longer shocks.

I’ve noticed some pretty bad rust on the exterior of the body underneath the passenger rear fender brackets. I’m almost committed to attempting the virtual lift.

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