Learning about prerunning the Baja 1000

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BCarr

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Installed the Kings and Camburg arms day before yesterday, aimed the headlights, did a ghetto toe-set with a tape measure, and then took it to get an alignment yesterday.

Surprisingly, all it needed was a toe set. They didn't even need to touch the eccentrics in the lower arms.

The thrust angle was spot-on after installing the Deaver rear leaf springs.

The camber was even and well within specs at about negative .5 degrees on both sides, and a nice caster split of about .5 degrees favoring the left side, to compensate for the crown in the road.

The big surprise was the total amount of caster the Camburg UCAs got me- 5.4 and 5.9 degrees, about 2-3 degrees more than stock, giving it a really nice on-center feel.

Another nice surprise was the amount of travel- I was expecting about 9" of the front, but got about 10". I know that's not a lot compared to serious desert vehicles, but it's a massive improvement on this one. The Deavers gave us about 10" in the back, and now we have about 10" in the front as well. And high-quality damping that won't fade at our expected pace off road.

I haven't really started fiddling with the compression clickers yet- I just set them to the middle of their range front and rear, about 8 clicks out.

I'm pretty darned impressed with the 2.5" Kings (and the Deavers, and the Camburg UCAs). Our property is like a mini Plaster City, and my wife and I were taking turns with the truck, going a little bit faster each time, until we reached the limit of our comfort level. No more "seasick" suspension- it's very settled now, and it's absorbing stuff to the point that what we're seeing through the windshield doesn't jive with what we're feeling in the seats. We're able to drive easily twice as fast. We were even getting a little bit of daylight under the tires "jumping" our driveway crossways at about 30 mph, and it lands like a cat.

I'll get some better pics of it in better light when I can. There's not really that much to look at, since we have made some choices to keep the external appearance subdued.

Hey your rig is looking great!

Consider making a list of what you think you will be carrying, then mock up the stowage plan. As someone mentioned earlier, save room for the collection of spares you may be asked to carry, or whatever stuff might have to come back with you. Example: a spare trans takes up more room than we all think, and they destroy stuff if not well anchored.

Maybe..to get more bed space...one rim/tire plus a good tire repair kit? Neumatico repair is everywhere in Baja.

So, how did you mod the cargo lamp lenses to amber and blue?

Again, dig the clean look of the Ranger!
 

Sheepdog

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Yeah a ranger. With a shell, in that grey color.

Anyway to squeeze 35's under that thing?
Our 33s are just barely grazing the stock plastic fender liners at full bump. Glass fenders (and probably bedsides) are required to clear 35s. And I've seen pics of one with 37s and glass, but I don't know if they actually clear at full bump.

I don't remember if I mentioned it before, but if you buy one without the optional electronic locking rear differential, the rear ring gear is welded to the carrier, so to re-gear, you would need to buy a new carrier when you do it...unless you buy one with the e-diff.

And there are no other gear ratios available for the front diff on the 4x4 versions, so there's no way to re-gear the 4x4 versions for larger tires.

So you can physically install 35s (with glass) on a 4x4, but it's probably gonna suck on road, and be pretty useless off road.

We bought a 4x2 with the e-diff, so we can re-gear to run 35s (with glass) without having to buy a new carrier.
 

Sheepdog

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Hey your rig is looking great!

Consider making a list of what you think you will be carrying, then mock up the stowage plan. As someone mentioned earlier, save room for the collection of spares you may be asked to carry, or whatever stuff might have to come back with you. Example: a spare trans takes up more room than we all think, and they destroy stuff if not well anchored.

Maybe..to get more bed space...one rim/tire plus a good tire repair kit? Neumatico repair is everywhere in Baja.

So, how did you mod the cargo lamp lenses to amber and blue?

Again, dig the clean look of the Ranger!
We've mapped it all out. We've got room for a floor jack up to 26" long strapped down in the right rear corner of the bed, as well as room to relocate the battery there. We've got room to bolt down a carrier for two five gallon fuel jugs in the left front of the bed, near the fuel filler, so that we can refuel with a simple siphon, without having to even lift a fuel jug. Our traction boards will be able to fit in several places. And there's still room for other stuff. We'll probably keep our recovery straps behind or under the rear seat. And we're gonna cover the bed with a crappy tarp so that nothing shows.

We just bought colored wedge bulbs for the amber and blue cargo lamp. The blue one ended up being an LED, because the blue painted incandescent bulbs I bought, faded quickly with use. I have the factory wiring diagram, so I'm gonna cut into the factory wiring under the dash, to put the cargo lamp on a switch, so that we can operate it independently of the BCM, because the BCM shuts it off as soon as we start driving. It's not Baja Designs, but it's the right colors and it's up high.
 

Sheepdog

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B.HAGLE, have you driven one? This is the same engine that's been rated at up to 350 horsepower in other platforms, and I suspect that Ford's claim of 270 horsepower is intentionally under-rated for marketing purposes. They are pretty frisky- they're substantially faster than the 308-horsepower V6 Colorado/Canyon- it's not even close.
 

Sheepdog

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For a number of reasons, I am a major proponent of buying only as much vehicle as you actually need. America is the only country in the world, where people use leather-lined one-ton crew-cab turbodiesel 4x4 duallies with spacer lifts and oversized mud tires...to do solo commuting on the interstate.

This truck is big enough for me and my wife, up to three more passengers in the back at times, our three dogs on the weekends, Home Depot runs, and can tow a trailer up to 7,500 pounds if needed. It also knocks down 20 mph at 75-85 and merges with authority.

And for less than the price of a completely stock XLT 4x4 off the lot, we have the same platform, but lighter, with better weight distribution, a locking rear axle, the best suspension you can bolt onto one of these, frame-cut Baja bumpers with skid plate, and six 33" BFG KO2s on Method Racing wheels.
 
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B.HAGLE

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For a number of reasons, I am a major proponent of buying only as much vehicle as you actually need. America is the only country in the world, where people use leather-lined one-ton crew-cab turbodiesel 4x4 duallies with spacer lifts and oversized mud tires...to do solo commuting on the interstate.

This truck is big enough for me and my wife, up to three more passengers in the back at times, our three dogs on the weekends, Home Depot runs, and can tow a trailer up to 7,500 pounds if needed. It also knocks down 20 mph at 75-85 and merges with authority.

And for less than the price of a completely stock XLT 4x4 off the lot, we have the same platform, but lighter, with better weight distribution, a locking rear axle, the best suspension you can bolt onto one of these, frame-cut Baja bumpers with skid plate, and six 33" BFG KO2s on Method Racing wheels.

To each their own. No one needs a raptor either but people pay upwards of 150K for them everyday 🤠
 

Sheepdog

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Still trying to get a decent picture of the truck. Maybe doing it in the sun would be better.
 

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Sheepdog

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So I gotta give credit to a couple of companies for making things right:

The OD of the threads was undersized on one of the four UCA zerks supplied by Camburg, and would not thread into any of the four holes drilled into the UCA pivots. I called, and they overnighted me a pack of them, even though the concern did not down the vehicle in any way.

And our King rear shocks somehow shipped without the plastic rock deflector shaft guards. They may not serve any purpose on a mall crawler, but we actually intend to use this vehicle in Baja in November, and with the shocks mounted under the vehicle in the OEM positions, the shafts are VERY exposed to potential damage from stones thrown by the front tires, especially the right one, which is splayed forward ahead of the rear axle. I called King, and they shipped me out a pair of guards right away.
 

Goober

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Our 33s are just barely grazing the stock plastic fender liners at full bump. Glass fenders (and probably bedsides) are required to clear 35s. And I've seen pics of one with 37s and glass, but I don't know if they actually clear at full bump.

I don't remember if I mentioned it before, but if you buy one without the optional electronic locking rear differential, the rear ring gear is welded to the carrier, so to re-gear, you would need to buy a new carrier when you do it...unless you buy one with the e-diff.

And there are no other gear ratios available for the front diff on the 4x4 versions, so there's no way to re-gear the 4x4 versions for larger tires.

So you can physically install 35s (with glass) on a 4x4, but it's probably gonna suck on road, and be pretty useless off road.

We bought a 4x2 with the e-diff, so we can re-gear to run 35s (with glass) without having to buy a new carrier.
4x4 is nice to have in Baja.
 

Sheepdog

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Finally figured out how to take a pic of it with my phone- I just needed sunlight:
 

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Sheepdog

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I received some encouragement today via PM, so I thought I'd continue the updates.

Today we picked up a Harbor Freight 2.5 ton aluminum floor jack, a pair of 2"×30-foot recovery straps, a 12-volt compressor, a pair of 2.5 pound ABC fire extinguishers, a bunch of 1.5" ratchet straps, even more D-ring anchors, and a plethora ("The Three Amigos" reference) of nylock nuts, bolts, and washers, and some other odds and ends.

This is gonna be the basic layout of the bed. There's still plenty of room for the battery in the right rear corner, and room for two 5-gallon fuel jugs in a rack in the left front of the bed, overlooking the fuel filler door. We have a siphon hose to transfer fuel directly into the tank, without having to lift the fuel jugs.
 

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dan200

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We put a tuner on our shop ranger. Woke that thing up. I had no clue they did it and had driven it the week prior. I had to follow a guy to the Someplace and he booked out of the parking lot and made me catch him. I backed up, put it in drive cranked the wheel and put my foot in it a little and almost looped the ranger in the front parking lot. I forget what I almost hit but I remember it was expensive.
 
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Sheepdog

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We're not gonna do an aftermarket tune. It has plenty of horsepower stock (with an aftermarket 3" cat-back exhaust), and we don't need to push our luck with gasoline in Mexico.
 

Sheepdog

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More little baby steps.

Our 2" receiver shackle and locking receiver pin arrived, so now we have a proper attachment point for a recovery strap in the rear.

I installed a bunch of folding D-ring anchor points between the ribs of the bed floor, and used 1.5" ratchet straps to secure the spare tires and jack to the bed floor. They're super-solid now. I jumped the truck yesterday, and nothing moved at all. There's still a surprising amount of space left in the bed.

And I finally got around to replacing the computerized OEM "smart" switch for the cargo lights (which are now our amber and blue rear-facing lights), with a green-illuminated "REAR LIGHTS" rocker switch with little icons that roughly approximate two little rear lights. I got the factory wiring diagrams and pin-outs for the connectors, and cut into the factory wiring harness under the dash at the BCM (Body Control Module), to prevent the BCM from turning the light off every time we put the transmission in gear. I powered the new switch with constant 12V, so that even if we take the keys out, we can keep those lights lit for safety purposes. Since I installed the new switch in the (slightly modified) hole for the old switch, I not only eliminated the redundant non-functional OEM switch in the dash, but also avoided having to mount any kind of under-dash switch panel for the new switch. And having it to the left of the steering column is super-handy, so that we can turn it on and off from outside the truck if we want, without having to lean into the truck and reach around the steering wheel to fish for an under-dash switch.
 

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Sheepdog

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Traction boards mounted nice and solid, discretely tucked up under the right bed rail.

We're about one skid plate away from being ready for the Baja 1000 in November.
 

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