Cactus Red's Build - 2009 Power Wagon

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Cactus Red
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Re: The Cactus Red mod thread.

Post by Cactus Red » Thu May 24, 2012 10:40 am

Since I moved the antenna from the d'side fender to the center of the roof, I've been beating it to death with low hanging branches. In reality, it gets hit less than the fender mount did, but when it does, it really gets whacked.

I already had a Pryme RD-98 SMA antenna for the HT, so all that was needed were adapters to use it for the roof mounted NMO connection. I ordered a Comet UHF to NMO adapter and a SMA female to UHF male adapter. When assembled it is shorter than the Larsen NMO 2/70 coil, and the highly flexible RD-98 will easily bend away form overhead obstacles.

Getting good signal reports - full quieting into the repeater about 16 miles away, and simplex reports of decent audio at a 20 mile range into a full tower setup, both at 5W output.

Only draw back is with the RD-98 I am limited to under 20 watts power. That's OK, since for most trail rides I use 5W anyway.

INFO:

RD-98 antenna http://www.hamradio.com/detail.cfm?pid=H0-001847

Comet UHF-MNO adaptor http://www.hamradio.com/detail.cfm?pid=H0-001411

SMA-UHF adaptor http://www.hamradio.com/detail.cfm?pid=H0-009348

This was the last mod for 2011!
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Re: The Cactus Red mod thread.

Post by Cactus Red » Thu May 24, 2012 10:43 am

First mod for 2012!



Had an opportunity to get 5 Nitto Trail Grapplers for 6 bills, 4 with 4000 miles, one new. I've never been real happy with the BFG's, so they're off the truck.

They are wide for a 12.5 series tire. I measured the top of the tread at 11" wide. The guys at Discount said they are actually a 13.5 series, even wider than the 315/70-17's.

Initial impressions are great! Did a 80 mile run today on dusty dirt, sloppy mud, crusty snow, and am very pleased with the results. Took a walk to find some 1200 AD ruins near Walnut Creek, AZ. Located the site, and some neat Petroglyph's.

I found no "pull to the left" as reported, but they are basically new. Perhaps that will manifest as they wear, I don't know... The gentleman I got them from ran a set on a SportsMobile for 36K with no problems.

They are heavy compared to the BFG's - I can feel it. But, as an E rated tire, I expect that, and the road manors were good. Very quiet compared to the BFG's.

Dirt traction was excellent. Mud traction was excellent - they cleaned well. Crusty, re-frozen snow traction was good, better than I expected. All in all, I'd rate them very close to the outstanding traction I got from the GoodYear Kevlar MT/R's.
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Re: The Cactus Red mod thread.

Post by Cactus Red » Thu May 24, 2012 10:44 am

To make a long story short, I decided to use the Yeasu FT-7900R in the Jeep. It's compact, and will work fine for what we do with Miss Rubi.

So, I needed a radio for Cactus Red. Decided to go back to a basic 2M. I don't use 70C at all since the local IRLP node disappeared. I'd had a FT-2800 in the past, and found it to be a rugged radio. It was also easily modified for out of band transmission, a feature I require for use as a Best in the Desert volunteer. I did some reading AFTER buying the new radio , and found out it was different than the older model. The new radio requires that a solder bead be removed to open up the transmitter.

http://www.worldwidedx.com/yaesu/441...-mars-mod.html

This shows the location of the bead and what is required. I was a little nervous about sticking a soldering iron in a new radio, especially when you need a magnifying glass to even see the bead! I stuck the hot iron on it, and the bead went away...

Figured I'd go ahead and reassemble the rig and test it, and all is well.

So, I'm back on the air with a new rig and a 1/2 wave Larsen 150 trimmed to the 146.46 range. SWR is 1.5, so I should be good to go.
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Re: The Cactus Red mod thread.

Post by Juday » Fri May 25, 2012 9:20 am

Wow, that was a great read! Thanks for giving me some more ideas and more ways to spend money! :idea:
2012 RAM Power Wagon
315/70R17 Goodyear Wrangler MTR w/ Kevlar | Carli Front Differential Cover | Aluminess Front Bumper | Aluminess Rock Sliders | PIAA 540 Fog Lights | 1" Daystar Lift | Thuren High Clearance Control Arms | Thuren Track Bar


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I took the one less travelled by,
and that has made all the difference

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Re: The Cactus Red mod thread.

Post by Cactus Red » Fri May 25, 2012 9:49 am

Thanks!

Without all the other chatter from the old thread, it's kinda dry. There were a lot of questions and answers that I didn't bring over.

_________________

Sold the LightForce HID's yesterday, and ordered some of the new KC Hilite 8" HID Driving lights (stock #851) from Amazon.com

http://www.kchilites.com/store/products ... 23851.html

While the LightForce 170's were bright, the mounts allowed for some vibration at speed when going over washboard roads. The way the actual lens/reflector is built allows for it to be focused from a spot to a flood. That's a neat feature, but just adds another point for things to be sloppy. I will miss the filters that allowed me to play with the beam pattern. By adjusting the beam to flood, and adding the wide filter, the left and right lights threw a ton of light to the sides.

I'll get some photos of the new KC's when I can.

Mark
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Re: The Cactus Red mod thread.

Post by ldgregory » Fri May 25, 2012 7:48 pm

Cactus Red wrote:Thanks! Without all the other chatter from the old thread, it's kinda dry. There were a lot of questions and answers that I didn't bring over.
We'll get there. It'll take a little bit, but we'll get there and this place will be hopping.
2005 Dodge Power Wagon #9-05-0536

Join the Power Wagon Registry

Mods: 35" BFG KM2s, Locker Bypass, Blacked Out Cab Lights & 3rd Brake Light, Airhorns, Custom headache / rotating light rack, Interceptor Bug Deflector w/Eyebrows, Lund in-channel Vent Visors, UbiquiRack, Mounted shovel and axe in bed with Quick Fist clamps, Silverstar replacements for fogs and driving lights, Hella 500s behind the grill, Inclinometer, Mopar rock rails (didn't have them when I bought it), 1500W inverter with secondary battery in bed, tinted windows, chopped muffler.

Next Mods:
Wetsuit/BC drying hanger, high idle, black badges

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Re: The Cactus Red mod thread.

Post by 2012 PW ST » Sun May 27, 2012 11:43 am

Nice job bringing your build thread over. Time consuming I'm sure. A great read though. Thanks!

I'll get going on bringing my build thread to date over and will have much to add to it this week as soon as I can actually get some pics taken.

CB
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Carli suspension/steering/Bilstein 5100s|Ranch Hand bumpers/headache rack/rails|Factory spray in bedliner|35/12.5/17 BFG KM2s on factory alloys|Lightforce 240 Blitz HIDs|"chassis cab auxiliary switch bank mod"|Highway Products toolbox|Cobra 75 CB|PROUD AMERICAN FLAG

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Re: The Cactus Red mod thread.

Post by Cactus Red » Thu May 31, 2012 1:28 am

First new Cactus Red update on the Power Wagon Registry!

When I saw the new KC HID's advertised a couple months ago, they were not yet available. MSPP is $546.26, Amazon has'm at over 2 bucks less @ $314.53! Actually just ordered as set for the Heep!

http://www.kchilites.com/lights/hid/8-h ... ng-polymax

With the previous LightForce HID's I used a standard 5 pin relay. Occasionally when running the lights with the high beams, all the locker/sway bar lights would flicker. Never threw a code, or caused a problem, but is seemed odd. Did some research and came up with a different style relay, a Tyco Electronics or Potter & Brumfield T92S7D22-12 six pin. It's a fully sealed and potted industrial relay. http://www.te.com/catalog/pn/en/1-1393212-4 The relay uses low switching power, so I'm hoping the CanBus system won't be bothered by it. The two separate terminals, 0 (power in) and 1 (earth) are for switching power only, when the four main terminals are switched on, they take primary power in and out. Terminal 2 switches to 4, terminal 6 switches to 8.

The install went well since most of the wiring was already in place. The lights are a great fit on the Randy Ellis light bar, the hood closes with plenty of clearance.

I like the beam pattern - it's wide and bright just like a driving light should be. I'll get some photos soon. Adjusting the lights is easy - 6MM Allen wrench and a 13mm wrench do that, and a 17mm takes care of the mount.

The lights are a really nice kit with complete wiring harness, switch, wire loom, and relay! Impressive!
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Re: The Cactus Red mod thread.

Post by Cactus Red » Fri Jun 01, 2012 8:59 pm

Close up of the relay.

I also used the same type relay on the Jeep. The CanBus on the Jeep causes a standard relay to chatter with the pulsed DC current used to actuate it via the high beam curcuit. It buzzes the whole time it's on, and the lights do the same thing - they flicker. This relay doesn't do that.
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Re: The Cactus Red mod thread.

Post by JBM Power Wagon » Tue Jun 05, 2012 10:07 pm

The biggest thing that stands out for me on this is that I NEED some aftermarket lights! When I go hunting and am driving out of the bush after dusk I have almost hit many a deer and the additional lights (when I had them) were awesome.

Great thread!!!
Loving my 3/4 ton version of my old Jeep TJ!!!!!

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Re: The Cactus Red mod thread.

Post by Cactus Red » Tue Jun 05, 2012 11:19 pm

Many years ago in my '70 GMC shortbed 4x4, my wife and I were coming down off the rim south of Williams, AZ. about 10PM. The old truck had drum brakes on all four, didn't know any better back then. Came around a bend in the road at 50 MPH, caught a glint of white in the dim yellow high beams, and hit the brakes. Ended up in the middle of a herd of black Angus cattle, one had a white patch... So ever since then I've been kinda weird about lights. I found that an aircraft landing light would fit into the bezel of the high beam on the GMC with a little finagling, so that was the start of my need to make the night disappear. Had the landing lights for brights, the fogs for up close. Sold the old truck for what I paid for it, $3000.00, with 280,000+ on the frame. It had three motors, two AT's, both diff's, and the 205NP T'case rebuilt over the years.
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Re: The Cactus Red mod thread.

Post by jeepxj13 » Thu Jun 14, 2012 3:34 pm

So why did you go from the lightforce lights to the KC?
“Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail”
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Re: The Cactus Red mod thread.

Post by Cactus Red » Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:05 pm

The LightForce Striker 170 HID's have a couple inherant problems. First, the mount is tall, and secondly with the entire lens turning to be focused from flood to spot, it allowed the lights to shake when running rough roads at speed. We have a lot of miles of 4-40 roads (more like 4-50 most of the time) that we traverse on a regular basis, and the washboards really play havoc with the lights at either speed. For normal roads, they were fine.

The KC's have a rock solid mount, and even tho they are also made of plastic, they are rigid when tightened up.

I do miss the LightForce lens covers tho.

If you are looking for some HID's, the new KC's are also a whole lot cheaper to buy as well!
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The Cactus Red mod thread.

Post by jeepxj13 » Thu Jun 14, 2012 9:31 pm

Thanks for the info. I'm always looking to add something to Bruce. Just have to explain to the wife why they are better then the hella's I have.
“Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail”
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Re: The Cactus Red mod thread.

Post by bajaxplorer » Fri Jun 15, 2012 9:24 pm

jeepxj13 wrote:Thanks for the info. I'm always looking to add something to Bruce. Just have to explain to the wife why they are better then the hella's I have.
They are much "safer."
:lol:
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Beer is good food. Beer makes you feel the way you ought to feel without beer. Beer is the reason I get up every afternoon. Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants to see us happy. Beer is water that has reached it's full potential.

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Re: The Cactus Red mod thread.

Post by Cactus Red » Fri Jun 15, 2012 11:29 pm

BX, I learned that from you, and it USED to work...

I really need synthetic winch rope, it safer.

I really need new tires, it's safer.

I really need a couple DieHard Platinum batteries, it safer.

Safety always comes first, and brighter lights definitely increase your safety!
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Re: The Cactus Red mod thread.

Post by Cactus Red » Sun Jul 08, 2012 9:09 pm

Why is Cactus Red called Cactus Red?

Our first trip was right off the dealers lot. Headed out for a 40 mile loop of dirt south of Prescott via Walker Road, Big Bug road, Old Dandrea Ranch, and back via the Senator Hwy (a dirt road from the stage coach era). Along the way we found cactus in full bloom, and the color matched the big red Dodge pretty well. The name stuck!
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Re: The Cactus Red mod thread.

Post by Cactus Red » Sun Aug 26, 2012 7:57 pm

One item I've been missing in the kit is a proper winch line extension. The previous one I had was 5/16" - a little light for the rating of the winch. I'd bought it for my old Tacoma, and it worked fine for that. Decided to order a new one today, and chose the 3/8" x 50' line from Thor at Winchline.com. Of the three colors available, black, blue or orange, I decided on the orange with stainless steel thimbles. I've painted my other recovery gear day glow orange for visibility, both for night work and to make it easy to find if it's put down somewhere, so this should work in the same situations as well.

http://winchline.com/images-products/extensionSEO1L.gif is the same product with soft eyes. I like the thimbles to avoid abrasion on a shackle.

With a rating of 17000 lbs, the 3/8" extension will be more than adequate for longer pulls that do not require using a pulley to double the pulling capacity. One of the main things I've used an extension for is redirecting the pull so I can stay in a spot I'll not get stuck in when recovering other vehicles.

Mark
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Re: The Cactus Red mod thread.

Post by FirerescuePW » Sun Aug 26, 2012 8:30 pm

Nice. I like the rope idea. And way to head off the "underrated" comments!
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WINCH MOB PROUD!

SuperChips FlashPaq; DT ProFab Steering Brace; 08.5 Steering linkage (twice); Toyo Open Country M/T 35/12.50x17; Carli front diff guard; Rockcrusher rear diff cover; White Knuckle Offroad Rock Rails; Carli 3"coils, track bar, and High Clearance Control Arms; Carli King 2.5" Remote Resi Shocks; Reflex spray-in liner; Extang Trifecta tonneau cover; Pop Lock electric tailgate lock (OOS); Tekonsha Prodigy brake control; LEDS & Strobes & Siren; Winch TPS Bypass; Warn Wireless Remote; Dog hair, and a BIG Wish List!

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Re: The Cactus Red mod thread.

Post by cruz » Sun Aug 26, 2012 10:02 pm

Cactus Red wrote:One item I've been missing in the kit is a proper winch line extension.
The first (and only) time I've been stuck, I was approx. 150' from the only anchor point around, I'm alone, it was raining and starting to get dark. I eventually backed my way out (with a lot of effort) and headed home. The next day I ordered this 7/16"x100' cable for $109.00 from Acme Rigging. Synthetic Rope was just hitting the market back then and I would of considered it had I known about it. Happy to say I haven't used the extension yet, but its in my toolbox all the time now.
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Re: The Cactus Red mod thread.

Post by Cactus Red » Mon Aug 27, 2012 12:04 am

cruz wrote:
Cactus Red wrote:One item I've been missing in the kit is a proper winch line extension.
The first (and only) time I've been stuck, I was approx. 150' from the only anchor point around, I'm alone, it was raining and starting to get dark. I eventually backed my way out (with a lot of effort) and headed home. The next day I ordered this 7/16"x100' cable for $109.00 from Acme Rigging. Synthetic Rope was just hitting the market back then and I would of considered it had I known about it. Happy to say I haven't used the extension yet, but its in my toolbox all the time now.
That's a nice cable! Great price too - about half the cost of synthetic.

That's why I carry the 14K PulPal. We crossed a 1/2 mile meadow in deep snow in '09, and the whole time I was thinking about the "what if's". It also lead to thinking about a rear mounted winch, but the PulPal was a lot cheaper.
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Re: The Cactus Red mod thread.

Post by cruz » Mon Aug 27, 2012 11:50 am

Yeah they do nice work, I like how they splice and then swaged the eyes.
Since I'm almost always alone, I definitly need to get a Pull Pal. I also have thought about getting one of those low priced 10k winches and a 2" reciever mount, could probably put it all together for less than $500.
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Re: The Cactus Red mod thread.

Post by Cactus Red » Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:52 pm

AirAid SynthaMax non-oiled air filter update:

Installed the system on Christmas day last year. Haven't touched it since, so after another weekend in intensely dusty conditions, I decided to pull the filter and see what's up!

I'm please to say that the big filter and pre-filter passed absolutely no dust as far as I can tell. The inside of the intake shows no, none, zip, nada, zero fine dust particles. And after a good rinse with water from the inside out, and a night to dry, back on it went for another 9 or 10 months!

I've used K&N in the past, and there was always some fine dust in the intake.
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Re: The Cactus Red mod thread.

Post by w2dodge » Mon Oct 01, 2012 8:10 pm

Great...good to know when going to replace the filter..

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Re: The Cactus Red mod thread.

Post by CJ8Rockcrawler » Tue Dec 04, 2012 7:51 am

Cactus Red wrote:After many trips thru the brush and trees where the magnetic mount antenna got knocked off the roof, I decided to fix it permanently. I considered several options including hard mounting the antenna via a thru the roof NMO mount, but as tall as the Power Wagon is, I figured it would only be a matter of time before I either damaged the mount and bent the sheet metal. The second option was a fender/hood mount. I knew I’d loose some performance, but decided the benefits outweighed the decreased range and clarity. The original install is post #40 of this thread.

Kyle has a similar setup on his Dodge 2500, so that got me searching for the mount. I found one in the Larsen catalog on page 192.

http://www.larsen-antennas.com/docfiles/ASB8/Mounts.pdf
I'll mention this on 4wdtrips too, but my mount is from Firestik in Phoenix. It looks very similar to the larsen mount that you found. I have 1 mount on each side of the truck. 2 meter on the passenger side and CB on the driver's side. Something else that I just learned from Al is that you can put shrink tubing around the center coil of the antenna to prevent it from catching on tree branches... Simple, inexpensive fix! Ingenious!

Kyle

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