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  1. #81
    cheftyler's Avatar
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    Arvada, CO
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    Quote Originally Posted by 74BuckinBronc View Post
    Just don't put them in an oven with a towel under them...

    Should be a sweet setup when you're done!
    "Blow and Hookers can change the World. - Gags
    Quote Originally Posted by scottycards View Post
    MJ has no lethal dose. You might crawl under your couch and eat M&M's all day if you get too high, but it ain't gonna kill you.

  2. #82
    seriously... I laughed so hard I cried when I read that thread!

    wow! free shipping from retrofit source was supposed to be 7-10 days, turns out its more like 2! kit should be on my porch when I get home from work. If the weather turns to crap I'll install this weekend. If the weather is nice... I have yard work to do. I spread 10,000 pounds of 70/30 topsoil/compost and 100 pounds of grass seed on the front lawn last weekend to level low spots and add nutrients back into the soil, now I have to do the back yard which will be about 3x more.

    Truck did awesome with that, first run to pioneer they would only load one yard, when i went back i was like screw that, fill it up! with over 7,000 pounds in the bed it was a little bouncy but totally fine for the short drive. Air bags have to be one of the single best mods you can make to one of these things!
    1950 CJ3a - Wilma
    1999 F350 PSD - Betty

  3. #83
    Mission successful on the HID projector upgrade. What an amazing difference, I feel kind of stupid for not doing this years ago!

    A couple of thoughts...

    I wouldn't recommend that anybody go out and buy Recon headlight assemblies for these things, or at the very least not at full retail cost. They were on my truck when I bought it and were troublesome from the get-go. The LED's and halo's all failed in short order (they looked stupid anyways), the headlight assembly was not properly sealed and would leak and fog, after awhile the outer lenses started falling off and I had to glue them back on, the mounting system is kinda janky and hard to adjust, and most importantly the actual light output from the both the hi beam (reflectors) and low beam (projectors) was total crap.

    When i first bought it, the previous owner had cheap ebay HID's installed, I promptly removed them, they were notoriously unreliable and the Recon projectors did not have sufficient cut-off for HID's. I got flashed constantly and went back to halogens after a couple of weeks. So don't think you can just drop some HID's into a Recon and run them. No worky.

    However, the stock headlights also suck, so if you happen upon a set of super cheap used Recon's they are a decent candidate for pulling completely apart and retrofitting.

    As mentioned above I purchased the complete "Retro-Quick" package from Retrofit Source for Spec-D aftermarket headlamps. Supposedly Recon uses a combination of parts similar to either Spec-D or Spyder, in talking with TRS's customer service we determined that the Spec-D brackets would be compatible with my Recon's. It turns out we were wrong. The Spyder brackets would not have worked at all, the Spec-D brackets only lined up with one out of the four mounting screws. NBD to me, I mixed up some high strength epoxy and glued them together, so it wasn't a bolt-up operation but it worked out just fine. I won't blame TRS for this, they can't possibly open up every aftermarket headlight in existence and they have offered great customer service. For these you could either do just as I did, or you could by the "universal" kit and cut out and drill your own brackets quite easily. I've discussed this with TRS customer service so they'll know in the future and I may send them my old Recon projectors so they can make a new bracket.

    The WORST part of all of this was getting the old buytl rubber sealant off of the old assembly's and lenses. this was 3 hours of fun soaked in mineral spirits and scrapping away with razor blades, various sized flat head screwdrivers and wire brushes. I didn't want my newly rebuilt headlights to leak again, so I cleaned off 100% of the buytl and resealed them with a combination of silicone sealant and high strength epoxy.

    While I had them apart, I painted the housings with Rustoleum hammered black paint, covering and eliminating all of the LED's and halos, which didn't work and I find tacky looking. I also polished the lenses inside and out, I didn't go nuts wet sanding them, using some Meguiar's Ultimate Compound and a random orbit polisher I achieved very acceptable results.

    I replaced the parking light/turn signal bulb with switchback LED's that I found on amazon. I've bought a couple of different LED's for this and it took awhile to find some that look good and work well. Lots of these are astoundingly crappy, but I really like these. The white parking light shuts off and blinks amber with the turn signal. Very bright.

    All of the wiring and relay harnesses from TRS are very nice and it was pretty much plug and play. The only hitch is getting the quad hi-beams to function. Wired in stock configuration, if you pull back on the headlamp control the halogen high beams come on and the Bi-Xenon projectors switch to hi beam mode with the HID's lit. But, if you click the stalk forward Ford's wiring shuts off the low beam signal to the HID relays. To resolve this I picked up a basic relay at Autozone and on my lunchbreak today I'll wire this relay to pick up 12v+ from the high beams and pass it on to the low beam input to the HID relay harness.

    On to some photos, This isn't final alignment, my driveway is too sloped for that. I did that the next evening, thanks Wallmart for having a nice flat wall in back. I havn't spent much time driving with them yet, but I can already tell that its a whole world of difference. Followed my wife home from the Gravity brewery at dusk yesterday and with the good cut-off the lights didn't bother her at all.

    We are tentatively planning to load up the camper and head to the western slope next weekend to do some river trip scouting, looking forward to soem night driving finally!

    next up... time to do something about the nasty looking grill and bumper.

  4. #84
    Yeah, that looks great!! Nothing tires you faster on road trips like poor headlights!! Looking forward to your review after some seat time!
    God Forgives, Rock's Don't
    1973 Bronco, 351 SEFI, Locked, discs, 35's ZF-5spd and Atlas 4spd. 235:1 Crawl Ratio

  5. #85
    Colorado_Baja's Avatar
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    May 2006
    Coloradical Springs
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    Nice, looks good. I need to do something about my old headlights as well.
    197? DJ-5 LHD & 4wd

  6. #86
    Quote Originally Posted by 74BuckinBronc View Post
    Yeah, that looks great!! Nothing tires you faster on road trips like poor headlights!! Looking forward to your review after some seat time!
    Yeah man, big time! especially doing the driving that we do around here. I did drive it for a couple at dusk yesterday, which was the first time since i got everything aligned properly. Its amazing how much light these put out, and really neat how the cutout keeps the light underneath other drivers mirrors and line of sight.

    Quote Originally Posted by Colorado_Baja View Post
    Nice, looks good. I need to do something about my old headlights as well.
    Well get to it man! I put this project off for way to long, I'll admit that I didn't really understand what I was doing and it felt would be more fiddly and intimidating than it really was. Go start digging through and then start shooting customer service any questions that come up. They were very helpful, though response time lags by about a day, so its worth starting your investigation and inquiry sooner than later.

    One thing thats tripped me up is getting both the bi-xenon's and halogens to work together on high beams, I spent about an hour yesterday trying to wire a relay in to fire the HID ballasts with the high beams on. For the life of me I have no idea why, but I could never get it to work. right when i threw in the towel TRS emailed me again to say that I need a different main relay wiring harness so both the high and low beams are controlled by the aftermarket harness. They are sending me the new harness along with a return label for the other one and only charging me the difference ($30). Glad i didn't cut into the harness during my relay fiasco! down the road, with this harness I could get another set of HID's for the high beams.

  7. #87
    Colorado_Baja's Avatar
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    May 2006
    Coloradical Springs
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    Quote Originally Posted by euroford View Post
    Well get to it man! I put this project off for way to long, I'll admit that I didn't really understand what I was doing and it felt would be more fiddly and intimidating than it really was. Go start digging through and then start shooting customer service any questions that come up. They were very helpful, though response time lags by about a day, so its worth starting your investigation and inquiry sooner than later.
    My truck is a Cheyenne so it has the 4x6 glass headlights they are still pretty good for their age, lots better than the plastic crap the Silverados got but nothing like a modern hid for sure.
    Problem I'm having is finding a 4x6 projector housing that isn't ugly as sin or $22 and obvious trash from China. A lot of them I'm seeing are low beam only so that's useless. All the 4x6 projectors look like this phantom to me for some reason haha

  8. #88
    Colorado_Baja's Avatar
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    May 2006
    Coloradical Springs
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    Thinking about giving these a whirl. Oil field truckers seem to love them haha and at 80 bucks for 4 I'm sure I can find something to put the other two on.

  9. #89
    Quote Originally Posted by Colorado_Baja View Post
    Thinking about giving these a whirl. Oil field truckers seem to love them haha and at 80 bucks for 4 I'm sure I can find something to put the other two on.
    My experience with LED's is that they won't make a good headlamp, at least not in comparison to a HID projector. I have a pair of cube LED's in the fog light position, a 30" light bar on my bumper, and a 48" light bar on top of my camper. Yeah, they do throw out a lot of light, but I've found that its very dispersed and does not project down the road very far. through some LED's are lensed as "flood" lights and some are lensed as "spot" lights, they all kind of look like flood lights to me and they just don't project down the road well enough to be much aid in highway driving. When i had my crappy halogen headlights I used my LED's whenever I could, and they did help, but not enough.

    granted... these are amazon LED's, and not fancy expensive stuff that they put on trophy trucks and whatnot. I imagine that's a whole nother ballgame, but dang the high end stuff gets insanely pricey.

    we had a good weekend doing some early season river scouting. Drove out to Dotsero and then up the colorado river to give a look at the pinball and rodeo rapids, then down through grand junction, fruita and moab checking out various boat launches/landings and river sections. it was mission successful for us and we think we have the logistics figured out to do a couple of pretty long kayak trips.

    its been awhile since we've done a lot of camping in moab, and saddly most of our favorite dispersed spots have been shutdown by the BLM, we spent about 3 hours running around and exploring in the night before giving up and grabbing an overflow spot at big bend, though not remote, was still very nice.

    and this gave us a great chance to check out the new light setup! in a nutshell, the morimoto projectors are NUTS. on low beam they provide more than enough light to rip down twisty backroads well in excess of the posted limit, and on high beams they blast light off to the horizon. as far as down road light projection is concerned, i couldn't even tell that the LED light bars were even on, though when used off highway the floodlight qualities are appreciated and they do a great job lighting on the periphery. The HID's are very focused down road and don't provide much of any peripheral lighting.

    this was a GREAT upgrade. highly recommended.

    in other news... it was so nice to getaway and get some use out of the camper. the solar panel system did a great job providing juice, the truck drove great and pulled the passes like a freight train. the only downside to the trip was that the back glass in our camper door broke out somewhere along our return trip. i have no idea why. i replaced it with lexan yesterday.

    rig stopped somewhere up the river from Dotsero

    the rodeo rapid, class 3, though at slightly low water flow. i think we'll get this one this year, but it will be at the top of what i'm willing to do in my touring kayak. looks allot rowdier in real life than the photo lol

    rolling into moab at just the right time

  10. #90
    Thanks for the updated report! I am sure there are many others out there that would like some real world experience to improve the dismal lighting of these superduty's.

    As to LED's, you are correct in that there is a big difference between the high end ones, and what you can get on Amazon. I'm even quite happy with the factory LED's on my '17 PSD. They do seem to throw light down the road quite a ways on high beam and do a good job covering the ditches on low beam. The downside is driving in snowy weather, where they don't produce enough heat to melt the ice off. I was curious if Ford would have addressed this, but they did not. (Even just a small heater on the low beams if you're listening Ford??)

    Now, I will say, I have a knock-off brand of the JW speaker 7" round LED lights on my bronco and they are also amazing! I want to test them soon as the last time I did, we had 7ft high corn lining the roads around us and that could give the illusion of amazing light coverage. They did pierce down the road a long way on high, so I think I'll be happy. But before the crops get tall, I should get out there and test again. When I am comparing to old and mis-aimed sealed beam lenses, just about anything will be better!

  11. #91
    So on my last drive through the mountains, I kinda of felt that the truck was a little bouncy. I haven't touched any of the shocks, so i know they are all at least 6 years old, and probably in need of some love. I have dual King shocks on the front and Bilstein 5100's on the rear.

    Personally, I'm not intimidated by a shock rebuild at all, I do it on mountain bikes all the time, compared to those the King's are basically just bigger and actually much simpler as they lack the adjustment present on a mountain bike unit. These shocks are actually a little bit of an oddball, they were built but King, but branded and sold by ProComp, basically 2.0 piggyback smoothies with a couple of minor differences for cost savings, like bushings instead of spherical bearings. I guess they were expensive and not very popular, ProComp didn't sell many and weren't very helpful when I talked with them. King was more helpful, and would have been happy to rebuild them, but given cost and turnaround time i prefer to do them myself.

    well... not all is rosy. after getting them off i picked the worst looking one to dive into first. it had no damping, and the resi IFP had no air. it was only about 1/3 full of oil, and it came out distinctly Moab colored. I chucked all of the small parts into my ultrasonic to clean them up, the big parts went into the sink overnight with some dish washing detergent. I chucked the shaft into the drill press and went to polishing it with some ultrafine steel wool and chrome polish, and thats where the fun stopped.

    I'm going to take a wild guess that this is salvageable and would leak like mad if I bothered to reassemble it. Bummer.

    Otherwise, the remaining parts looked perfectly serviceable and almost brand new after a cleanup. I'm going to proceed with disassembling the remaining three with the hope that I can ultimately assemble two good dampers. I'll put these on the rear to replace the Bilsteins and I just ordered new Fox's for the front.


  12. #92
    Any particular reason for choosing Fox over King for the new fronts?
    (Well, I'm takin' my time) I'm just movin' along
    You'll forget about me after I've been gone
    (And I take what I find) I don't want no more It's just outside of your front door

  13. #93
    Quote Originally Posted by Willie G View Post
    Any particular reason for choosing Fox over King for the new fronts?
    not in regards to any particular belief that fox's would be better, personally I think they are equivalent, at least when your talking about a basic rebuildable resi shock.

    But, I've always been a fan of Fox's mountain bike stuff, and more than anything in this case I found what I needed at a good price and quick shipping through amazon. so there's always that.

    No fault to the King shocks, they are excellent units and I really have nobody to blame but myself for the failure here. I should have pulled them off for a rebuild years ago before a problem developed. but... wouldn't it be great to have enough spare time to take care of everything? sure would!

  14. #94
    arrg.... wish i was messing with the bike or the jeep and not rebuilding shocks! :p

    things are looking up though, i got one more taken apart and the last two at least cleaned up on the outside (the worst part) and ready for disassembly. The remaining three all appear to be salvageable. no obvious signs of shaft damage, all IFP's were holding air and though the oil looked old and nasty, it was oil colored and not Moab colored.

    the new Fox units were shipped from Poly Performance and should be here on Tuesday, and my shock oil gets here on Monday. I still have a lot to do, but I hope to finish disassembly and cleanup over the weekend and reassemble Monday after work, then final install on Tuesday after work.

  15. #95
    well, we are only halfway through our suspension rehab mission, but things are going well!

    sadly, two of the king shocks were a bust. One was perhaps salvageable, but less than perfect and not worth the effort at this time to have an odd man out. the other as noted above, has some serious shaft damage and can't be expected to work without a new shaft. maybe I'll dig back into these and see if i can get some replacement parts at some later time. at about $300 each to replace, it probably would be worth the effort to do so.

    At any rate, two of the shocks, both on the passenger side, though cosmetically crap, were functionally pristine. The oil looked pretty tired, and they were both a little low on oil, but they were holding pressure, not leaking and had no interior signs of wear or damage. so they got cleaned up, new oil, some new o-rings and put them back together.

    on the topic of o-rings, rather than buying manufacturer rebuild kits, I just get on amazon and purchase o-ring assortments in various sizes and materials. everybody uses off the shelf o-rings and in standard sizes, so its a lot cheaper and easier to just have several o-ring kits in the garage and have them on hand if needed.

    Also worth noting is that I charged the shocks with air and not nitrogen. I've had several conversations about this with Darren at Push Industries, he's been clear that the only real advantage in going with nitrogen is that its guaranteed to be dry. If you run a suspension shop its the obvious choice as you can have a consistent, source of permanently plumbed dry gas that General Air (or whoever) maintains for you. for a diyer, its not worth the trouble. You can't use an air compressor though, as you'll definitely introduce moisture and compressor oil. Instead, you can just use a shock pump and that's what I do. I use a digital model from Rock Shox, which runs about $50, though analog models from Fox or whoever do the job just as well.

    I also added about a half ounce of Fox Float Fluid to each of the air chambers. This is a fluid designed to help seal and lubricate the air chambers. Though this doesn't appear to be in widespread use in truck shocks, I felt it was good insurance given the old parts.

    Though my Plan A was to install the Kings on the back, they were a fair bit too short (I hadn't bothered to measure when that idea first occurred to me), so I installed them on the front, and then when Brown Santa showed up with two Fox replacement shocks I also added them to the front.

    I had a heated debate with myself about the merits of sticking with the quad front shock setup. Bro-Dozer fashion statement or actual performance increase? Well, I still don't know about that, I never bothered driving it with just two shocks up front. But I can say, at least from my anecdotal experience that the oddball combo of two old King shocks and two new Fox shocks is working pretty darn well!

    I should have done this a long time ago, the truck drive vastly better now. Bump absorption and ride quality is vastly improved and the front end feels properly planted on the ground now, body roll is also vastly reduced, something of note given that I have the camper on it right now.

    But... with the front feeling so good, it really emphasizes how damn BAD the rear end is doing. I'll be getting another pair of Fox's for the rear here shortly.

    Its also worth noting that I debated heavily on going with the standard or the resi fox shocks. Really... I just couldn't justify the additional expense of the resi shocks, aside from increased oil volume and heat resistance, I had trouble justifying the increased expense in this application. Given my current level of satisfaction with how it drive, i'm glad i kept the extra money in my pocket.

  16. #96
    It's always nice to see vast improvements from stuff like this!!

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