LED lites, fog lites, and pintling.
Reprised from previously, underhood at nite with newly
installed underhood lite equipped with incandescent bulb.
Now with LED bulb. See text.
I have replaced several of the original incandescent bulbs with LEDs on this Jeep, with varying results. As can be seen from the above pair of photographs, the LED bulb wasn't really an improvement over the original; in fact it may not be quite as bright. The attempt was to get as bright a lite as possible in this fixture, but its physical size is limited by the plastic lens that fits over the bulb socket. It may not be as reliable either - due to very high engine bay temperatures, the LED bulb may or may not last whereas the incandescent doesn't care. LEDs are fantastic, but are not always the panacea they're made out to be. In any event, the LED will stay in the fixture for now.
The original intent was to install the "Large LED", an 1157 replacement into the underhood fixture. It didn't fit, so I purchased the pair of smaller LEDs also seen above. One of them is what was installed in said fixture, while the Large LED/1157 replacement went into the driver's side backup lite, and the other small LED went into the passenger side. Results shown below:
Update: Different LED bulb per online recommendation. Brighter than previous LED, and at least
as bright as the incandescent, maybe slightly more so. Reliability in hot engine bay remains to be seen.
LEDs and the incandescents they replaced. Left to right: Underhood incandescent, small
LEDs (pair), Large LED, and backup 1157 incandescent. (the new, brighter underhood LED not shown)
I will probably eventually replace the passenger LED with another one similar to the driver's side - but its no worse than the original incandescent, and maybe slightly better. Not pictured here are the pair of lites for the front floorboards. I ordered new LEDs for those because the driver's side was burned out - or so I thought. Actually, a previous owner had unplugged the lite, replacement wasn't necessary and the new LEDs are about the same brightness as the incandescents they replaced. However, one of the lenses for these was very brittle and also needed to be replaced - I won't have to worry about heat ruining the new lens at least.
Large LED on driver's side, incandescent on other.
Now with small LED installed on passenger side. Picture out of
focus but you can still tell that there's not much difference
from the previous bulb. Drivers side nice and bright though!
Now on to LEDs that actually made a noticeable difference. The headlites. As previously detailed, I replaced the original sealed beam headlites with Hella "E-code" H4 replacements, similar to what I've had on the old Mercedes for the last 20 years. Already an improvement, however I then added "BeamTech" H4 LED replacement bulbs. Although I have yet to drive these at nite, even the daylite picture (Below) shows a sharp difference!
Beamtech states in their manual to contact them if you experience any RFI. As I do note a small amount on the AM band, and am worried about my eventual CB installation, I went ahead and put in for their filter kit.
UPDATE: I aligned the headlites, and took it for a nite drive. I cannot say how much an improvement the LEDs may be over either previous bulb - but HOLY GODDESS MOTHER are these things NICE! I love them, best headlites I've ever seen any any vehicle!
As for the RFI, I received the BeamTech filters and installed them. I couldn't reproduce the slite amount of noise increase on the AM radio before I put them in, so I went ahead with the install anyway. Maybe someday I'll be able to note a difference if they don't work, not worried about it at this time in any event.
Beamtech LEDs installed in Hella housing.
I needed to relieve the Hella dust cover slitely to fit.
H4 Halogen (Left) and new LED, difference noticeable
even in daylite. Yes, I need to align the headlites!
How to annoy Liberals and Conservatives alike! "Hire a Male Belly Dancer" license plate frame,
plus NRA sticker and Pagan fish plaque will irritate prudes, muggles, and fanatics of all stripes!
Goddess Athena Bless America, to Hell with gender roles, and support the 2nd amendment!
Working on fog lites: New wires pulled through grommet.
Connecting new wires inside - note repainted reflector backside.
While the other lite needed its backshell repaired.
Both lites now ready to go!
... and plugged in.
I like the looks of the OEM fog lites - managed to score this set for fairly cheap from the TJ forum. However, they needed work. One of them had a cracked backshell and a rusty reflector backside (fortunately, the inside was pristine), the other one had the wires broken or cut off right at the rubber grommet passthrough. I made an attempt to source a replacement backshell, "Dave's Jeeps" wanted $37 shipped when I had paid less than that for an entire fixture, so I decided to repair instead, using "E-6000" glue. It seems to have worked well. Some primer and hi-temp paint on the rusty reflector backside, some new wiring, and they're good to go! Now to install a switch in the cab, the Jeep was already otherwise pre-wired for the fog lites - even though I had to replace the plug in pigtails as some "genius" at Jeep thought it was a grand idea to reverse the connector placement for '05/'06 fog lites, and these lites were from an older Jeep.
They currently have H3 halogen bulbs in them, but will probably eventually be upgraded to LEDs. One of the two fixtures had a bulb with a broken filament, but as the old MBZ also uses the exact same bulb in its fog lites - and I had extras, albeit used ones - in it went!
This CD is now stuck inside the stereo! See text.
I also got the brite idea to evaluate the stock speakers - they're probably fine, but I've read so much about how horrible they supposedly are, that I slipped a Belly Dance CD into the stereo to see for myself. Bad idea. Not only didn't it play, it also won't eject! Thank Goddess I'm planning on replacing the stereo anyway, but the CD will have to remain where it is until I extract the stocker and perform surgery!
Slitely rusty pintle hook...
Still with the original sticker mostly intact...
... and painted!
Grade 8 bolt kit, from hitch and pintle maker "Curt".
Holes drilled in stock bumper...
...pintle hook bolted down!
One pintled Jeep. Ding in bumper apparently from the CarFax reported accident in
Montana in August 2017 - seems to have backed into another car from what I can tell.
Side view. Looks pretty awesome, but the bumper is made of very thin metal.
Spacers for eventual new rear bumper. Will be awhile before I make it, but couldn't pass on the price for these!
Pintling the Jeep.
I had a pintle hook on the rear of an '87 F-250 I owned years back that came in pretty handy, I decided early on that I wanted one on the Jeep. I really wish I had kept the pintle hook from the F-250 like I originally had planned - it was an old warhorse with an interesting history! I found this one, the price was less than 1/3rd of what they usually go for. This one looks like it was mounted on something, but never really used as there were no gouges or scratches on it, just some surface rust. This one is a Valley Industries #69950 from the sticker that was still on it, and is rated for 5.5 tons (11,000 lbs), which far exceeds the Jeep's paltry 2,000 lb tow capacity but is still pretty lite duty so far as pintle hooks go. It also appears to be an older iteration as it has a straight cotter pin as a retainer instead of the bail-type pin I've seen on newer versions of this model. Valley no longer makes this particular model, but there are some of them still in the supply chain. Their current models are an 8 ton "combo pintle with ball" style, as well as a 10 ton that looks pretty much the same as this one but with heavier looking bolts/pins holding it together.
The rear bumper on this Jeep will eventually be replaced so that I can tow, and have recovery points. For the nonce, this hook is bolted to the stock bumper, just for the looks of things. It might be OK to use to gently move the Jeep on level paved ground for short distances, but until the bumper is replaced, it cannot be "used in anger".
Well, it looks awesome at least. But what with the paper thin bumper, I wouldn't want to pull anything more than a "pod trailer" with this setup for now, never mind trying to recover the Jeep with it. This M151A2 safety chain plate is available in various conditions (from rusty take-offs to NOS) from various suppliers, priced from $12 all the way to almost $100! The bad part is that EVERYBODY wants $16 or so to ship it - which is too much, but "whatever". It was originally intended for the M151 Jeep (which is very rarely seen in civilian hands, most have been cut up and scrapped). In any event, as the old saying goes: "Standard parts aren't. Interchangeable parts won't." The horizontal hole spacing was off by 1/4", or 1/8" per side from the civilian sourced pintle hook. Maybe tolerance stackup, but probably just a different spec between the two. Spent about an hour elongating the holes in the chain plate so it would bolt up. I'll leave it ODG for now at least, kind of looks nice. It may get repainted when I build the new bumper.
An update: "G.I. Chainplate" added, see text.
Genuine military surplus, #11639657
Diagram. My setup exactly except the items 9,11,7,8 are pins with circlips on mine.
RedLine MTL for the transmission.
1 month old Valvoline drained out of the transmission. Was it worth it?
The guys on the Jeep forum I'm on all agree that the RedLine MTL is the very best oil to use in the manual transmission, especially if you have the six speed Mercedes version like this one. The Valvoline meets specification, but apparently the MTL exceeds it. So they talked me into changing my transmission oil for the second time in a month.
It was "probably" worth it. I got results similar to what others have reported. This transmission is noted for developing synchro problems as it accumulates the miles. A very subtle, and only occasional grind going into second from first seems to have quit altogether, I haven't noticed it since even on a long test drive which should have shown it up. I'm cautiously optimistic. In addition, the transmission is quieter when in neutral with the clutch engaged. I consider the noises it makes in that state to be completely normal, but quieter is probably better. So overall, it seems to be worth the additional $35 that the two quarts of MTL cost. Considering the amount of metal chips that came out of this transmission when I drained the original oil last month, the Valvoline can be considered a good flushing fluid at least. The MTL is supposed to prevent/minimize any further wear, so hopefully this transmission has many miles left in it, especially with the help of the new oil. Rebuilds get "updated goodies" and don't have the syncro problems they did originally.
Read on for the next part!