Not much to report in 7 months (I suppose that's a good thing). No new mods, though I did remove the rusty the ACE sliders and Maximus-3 winch guard hoop. Eventually I will scrape and sand them down and hit them with some kind of durable black textured coating that can take impacts from normal driving.
The Jeep has been on three separate cross country trips this year. Once to Virginia for a funeral, which somehow involved the Jeep going off road with our niece in the backseat to go to a family civil war era cabin and the driver of the Jeep thought 4-low was necessary (it almost never is) and tried to engage it while firmly sitting still on the brake... so guess who had to drive into town stuck in 4-hi to get the transfer case manually knocked back into 2-hi because the transfer case shift cable broke.
That was an interesting phone call while I was back in Michigan.
Second trip was to Ocean City, MD for a family vacation, this time with no off-roading or parts breaking. Then finally we took it to Sabillasville, MD for my cousin's wedding, which as it turns out is next to Camp David. From the house we all stayed in on the farm, literally walk up the road and some Marines will politely, yet firmly, tell you to turn back.
Overall the Jeep has had a good year other than needing to replace the transfer case cable. I also finally got around to replacing two of the yellow AEV Bison logo center caps that had lost their protective coating and faded, since enough miles were put on this year to rotate the tires.
I also finally fixed a knock noise that has been irritating me for a few years. When I put the Rubicon sliders on to protect the pinch welds from rocks and debris, the Jeep developed a solid crack noise when going over bumps, almost always while turning. I checked everything in the suspension and front end. All control arms and the track bars were properly torqued (and had been loosened when lifting it, as required). Geometry brackets were torqued. Sway bar links were fine and tight. Tie rod and drag link ball joints were all worn out, along with the knuckle ball joints, from having the heavy 35s on it. So I replaced those with a Yeti HD tie rod and drag link set, and Teraflex HD serviceable ball joints. The dealer also replaced the front axle u-joints when I was still having trouble with this after replacing the steering components. Still cracking!
Thought maybe it was a broken body captive nut... but removing that body bolt changed nothing. Took off the ACE sliders since it started when I combined them with the Rubi sliders. No change.
Nick said it sounded like it was coming from the upper corner of the windshield. Sport bar tie-ins to the windshield were tight, all components were fine... but the Grab Bars I installed way back in 2016 were loose.
Tightened them up... noise gone! Go figure. Good thing all components that I replaced were actually in need of replacement thanks to the tires, otherwise I'd be awful mad about spending all that money and time on those parts. But just like the tapping noise Luna had that turned out to be a spark plug that worked its way loose, or the whistle noise that turned out to be a clogged IAC valve... it was simple!
Right now it has a whine noise around 3000 RPM when cold. I replaced the idler pulleys and belt, which helped. I think the tensioner might also be due, but I'll wait for the noise to become more pronounced, since that part is $150+.
81,200 miles now, and I still occasionally peruse the Jeep and Ram vehicle configurators, looking at Wranglers, Gladiators, Big Horns, and Laramies. Wish I could swing a Limited. Then I consider what having two car payments would be like and realize I have a perfectly well functioning vehicle and don't need that headache lmao. Would be nice having that bed though, or the 8-speed.