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  Well, I went into the shop, and noticed this little puddle of fluid under the M. Checked it out, and it wasn't anti-freeze, engine oil or fuel. It was dripping from the passenger side exhaust pipe flex joint.  Touched, smelled and checked out the fluid, kind of oily, not water, so what was leaking? Wasn't from the previous bath, and was odd to appear to be coming out of what is supposed to be a sealed stainless steel braided exhaust flex pipe.  Looked again, and well, I found the source. The clutch slave cylinder had decided to suddenly start leaking. Guess these re-built slave cylinders just don't last, at least under a warranty. Pulled it out, and the master cylinder leaked out the rest of the fluid. Checked it out and well, it's starting to leak into the cab side, so I will have to replace/rebuild it as well. Guess even new Wilwood MC's don't last either.  I'll now be on my third master and slave cylinders, guess I should expect the clutch to go next, so I'll be on the third clutch as well. All in only 2,500 miles on the M since I built it!  The slave cylinder push rod is showing a lot of hole wear (original), so I'll build a new one to take out some of the clutch slop, and put everything back together and get Frankie back on the road for Iowa.  2014-05-14

  Picked up the replacement Slave Cylinder from O'Reilly's, and Summit deliverd the replacement Master Cylinder.  So I fabricated a new Slave Clutch Rod, and put everything back together.  Clutch seems to work good, and I don't have any more issues with it.  Now to wait a bit longer for the replacement fuel injector assembly from AFI.  Then hopefully the truck will be ready for Iowa.  2014-05-15 

  I replaced the steering arm bolts on the knuckle with grade 8 studs.  Hopefully this will help prevent it from loosening again.  Oh, and yes there is a Jack Stand under the axle, it's just not visible in the picture.  2014-05-20

  I received the replacement Injector/Regulator unit from AFI as well as a different program. This was to address a slobbering injector and the loss of high idle after everything warmed up and ran a while. I installed the replacement parts and went for a test drive. No leaks, and the high idle seems to work better, can't say for sure until I go rock crawling again. However after a couple of trips around the block, and down the road and back, the idle was surging bad, and I had a notable pre-ignition ping through the end of the test drive.  I opened the hood, and found that the fuel pressure was down to 6 psi. Shut it down and re-fired it and still 6 psi. Let it cool down some and re-fired and had 11 psi. Let it run and warm up some, and the pressure dropped to 8.5 psi after a short while. For reference the GM TBI system is supped to operate in the 12-13 psi range. I could pinch the return line some and get the pressure up, and as I hold the line and keep the pressure near 15 psi, the engine idle smooth’s out. Checked the fuel pump and it was cool and no noise, so it wasn’t a fuel pump issue. I traded e-mails with Norm at AFI, and I decided to swap parts between the original upper assemble and the replacement assembly. Once I had the original apart, I could not see the fuel pressure adjustment screw that Norm suggest I adjust. Once I pulled the replacement upper off, I could see it had a screw, but since it lost pressure I decided to just swap the original upper and regulator on and try it as I knew it held a higher pressure. Once the original regulator was installed I fired up the truck, and cold had 14.5 psi. I ran the same route and checked the pressure once back and it had dropped to 10.5 psi. This was the same pressure area I had witnessed from this original regulator while wheeling it. So the original assembly held a higher pressure, but it still dropped off at operating temperature. The engine idle was better, but I need to adjust the throttle plates per Norms instructions to correct this and the whistle. Also the pre-ignition ping was mostly gone on this test drive. So, now do I adjust the replacement regulator, and re-install it, or just keep the original unit? 2014-05-22

  Well, I was a little concerned after the previous test drives with all the drive line slop noise I was hearing. This testing was done without the trans cover in place so I could be sure the clutch was properly adjusted. So as a precaution, I pulled the clutch cover to check the clutch to be sure everything was OK, there and then work my way back through the drive line. Found a little rotational slop between the clutch plate and the trans input shaft, nothing that scared me, but I suspect the coil springs in it weakening. Found some slop in both the trans gears (1-3) and the transfer case, as well as some in the differential. The wear and tear abuse I subject the drive line to is likely going to be more than everything can handle at some point. I checked all three drive shafts, and only found one loose U-Joint cap, can't tell yet, but suspect the cap retainer clip is gone. I'll pull the rear drive shaft and fit if before I load up for Iowa.
I know these trucks weren’t built for the type of use I subject the M to, and I do ask a lot of a 6,000 pound vehicle while off roading, but the Engine isn't putting out a lot of power, but it might be time to retire Frankie to a less abused life, and enjoy it more in a relaxing fun way. That just means I'll have to build a hard abuse taking replacement.
I also went through the throttle plate at idle adjustment, and smoothed out the idle surging and lessened the throttle plate whistle. I did discover however that I did not properly wire/connect the Check Engine Light. I've never seen it come on, and part of the procedure was to check engine codes, but it never flashed. Since I'm NOT a gm man, I'd never noticed that it wasn't coming on before I started the engine. So I'll have to make one small wire change, and rather than connecting the other lead from the light to ground, connect it to the switched power source.
Now to install the trans cover back, and do a little last minuet cleaning and packing, then load the truck up for Iowa. 2014-05-23

  Well, I fixed the rear drive shaft U-Joint, but not before smashing my finger, it now has a hole it in to relieve the pressure so good bye fingernail. The cap retainer spring was still in place, but I could spin the cap in the toke flange. So I grabbed the spare flange out of the tool box, and installed it. The U-Joint is now snug, with no movement. I also fabricated a quick cab cover to help keep the rain out while not driving the M, you know those Iowa storms during the Rally. Won't keep it perfectly dry, but will help keep the seats and electronics safe. I also fabricated a set of chain covers to help stop some of the noise as the bounce around. 2014-05-27
    Jay. B. Good's coverage of the 2014 National Dodge Power Wagon Rally held on June 4-7 in Fairfield Iowa.

  Getting through the trail to the Hills at the Phillips Farm on the 5th.
Playing on the Hills at the Phillips Farm on the 5th. I avoided the Mud at the Kerr Farm.
Playing on the Hills at the Phillips Farm on the 6th. A little dryer but just as much fun.
My failed attempt at the Truck Pull
My Long, but successful attempt on the Teeter Board.

  Drained the gear oil, no water, but dirty oil. Pulled the differential center section out, and found the broken spline end holding tight in the side gear. Fortunately, with the ARB Locker, you can punch it out from the opposite side. Found a large piece that fell out into the housing, along with several other smaller pieces. While cleaning everything up and out, I found a lot of small shavings in the bottom of the carrier, so I cleaned everything a second time. I've added a small powerful magnet to the drain plug, and will drain and re-fill the differential after I get some time back on the installation. I checked the ring gear bolts (thanks Mike for the reminder to check) and found they were all well below the torque speck. SO I re-torqued them all, and checked the back lash. Back lash is still at the 0.006 that it was when I set the ARB up in the axle. I then re-installed everything and filled it with fluid. The short axle is still the good Foote, while the long axle is a stock M37 axle. 2014-06-11

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