Saturday, June 27, 2020

Jeep JK DIY Hydro Assist Steering

I've been running 37" tires on my 2010 Jeep Wrangle JK for several years now. Steering was pretty much fine on the road at anything over 5mph, but slow speed turning was difficult. On the trails with the lockers on steering becomes very difficult. It feels like it's going to break something to force the wheel so I ended up either taking a less than ideal route, backing up and going forward again, or turning the front locker on and off all day. I've fixed this with a DIY hydro assist steering. It's not as complicated as it sounds. You need to drill two holes in your steering box, add a hydraulic ram to your tie rod and track bar mount, and route two hydraulic lines between the two. Researching the Jeep forums was very helpful for the precise location to drill and tap the box, and West Texas Offroad was very helpful in supplying the initial hydraulic hoses / fittings, and recommending the 1.5" ram size for my application. 

Here is the final result:

Here is a video of my steering easily pushing this old wood anchored down in my yard to the side with the ram. 

I ended up having custom hoses made based on the hoses I got from West Texas Offroad, because I wasn't happy with the routing with the WTO hoses. The hose connecting to the lower hole on the steering box is 2'1" end to end. The hose connected to the upper hole on the steering box is 2' 8". I got the lengths by drooping the axles to the lower limit from my limit straps, measuring the distance from the ram to the box ports, and adding 2". I made the drivers side connection on the ram a straight fitting because it can pretty much go straight up to the box. Both hoses use a 90 degree turn on the box that I took off the WTO hoses, and this is required so they don't hit the radiator fluid reservoir.

This was the original setup with hoses from West Texas Offroad. I had too much hose and had to loop it around to use up the extra. I was concerned about rubbing with other moving things so decided to get shorter hoses and remove the 90 degree curve on the drivers side ram hose. 

I'm using a 1.5" x 8" psc ram, with an internal UHWB plastic limiter to reduce the stroke to 6.5", which is my original steering travel lock to lock. Here is a link to the UHWB plastic

These pictures are how I disassembled the ram. 

This is the tool you need to remove the ram cap. I had to drill the holes in the aluminum cap slightly larger to work with the tool.

The box ports are shown below. The tap size is 1/4" -18 NPT. I drilled the holes with the box at an angle in my vice so most of the shavings would fall out. I then manually removed the rest with a small magnet. Also coated the tap with grease to catch the tap shavings. The tap has to go all the way in in order to get the ports screwed in. These came from West Texas Offroad. 

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Jeep Comanche Frame Repair

I pulled the truck bed off to get a better look at everything underneath it. Every bolt I removed broke off. I sand blasted the frame out in my driveway (sand everywhere) with my harbor freight unit. After bringing it down to bare metal, a few frame rot issues become obvious near the front leaf spring mounts on both the driver and passenger sides.


Metal cleaned up pretty well with the sand blaster. There was some sort of undercoating that wouldn't come off in some areas, I'll have to take it off with the grinder. 

Here is the bad area on the driver side.

I put a quick coat of rustoleum metal primer over everything I blasted to keep it from flash rusting. I figure anything that isn't perfect can be re-blasted and repainted if it shows any discoloration after a week or two. Also, the areas of the frame that get repaired will have to be repainted afterwards as well.

This is the area on the passenger side that is rotted out. The bracket looks to be in good shape, but what it's attached to is definitely not.

I figured out why it was rusting all around this area. The frame was totally clogged with mud, about 4 inches deep inside there. The mud in the frame probably retains moisture and causes the rust from the inside out. 

I cut that section of the frame out with the cutting torch and all that mud fell out. 

I was able to drill out the plug welds all over the bracket and remove the rusted part of the frame from the bracket. They don't make replacement brackets, so I needed to save them. 

I'll sand blast this inside and out and repaint it before welding it back on. 

I got a bunch of small pieces of steel for free from the local steel place. Here I'm mocking up the plate on the drivers side to put on the passenger side. My plan is to cut it to follow the original curve of the frame on the bottom of the tape line, then make another one and weld them on the inside of the frame on the passenger side. Then I'll go back and plate the bottom with some thicker steel. 

Comanche Project Overview

This is my new project, 1991 Jeep Comanche Eliminator, 4L.

The goal is for this to be a fun project to do with my daughter and when she gets old enough it'll be hers. We're still formulating some of the build plans, but the plan at this point is to fix all of it's issues, rebuild the motor, and put Ford super duty axles (1999 - 2004 Sterling 10.5" in back, Dana 60 in front) / 40 in Mickey Thompson MTZ tires on it. Also planning a custom truck bed, and a different paint color.

List of Issues:
  • Seat belt on drivers side doesn't plug in
  • missing headliner
  • loose steer wheel 
  • check engine light on
  • rough idle when first start
  • rusted bed
  • rusted frame in a few spots
  • Existing 31" wheels contact frame in back and front in some situations
  • rust metal underneath doors on uni body

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

No Right to Secede

A Response to “The Right to Secede”

I would like to show that this response to my article actually has little bearing on whether taxes are or are not theft. I will start by going through individual statements, but first, I will state the premises I’m operating off of. If you accept these 3 premises then it is completely reasonable for taxes to exist without a “Secession Amendment”.

  1. Implicit contracts exist
  2. A social contract is a form of an implicit contract
  3. An individual can sign (implicitly or explicitly) any contract they like as long as both parties  have full knowledge of the contract and there is no coercion.
I don't see any reason to expand upon these 3 premises, as they are trivially true. Now I'll get into individual statements from the original article.

“For a contract to be valid there must be terms and a reasonable way to leave it.  It is not reasonable to have to leave your country, family, friends, and job in order to break a contract.”

This statement is a personal preference about what a person may desire in their contract. A contract by no means has to have a reasonable way to break it. There are many contracts that I would not personally accept, but that does not mean they are invalid contracts. A contract is not just invalid or valid for people who find the terms unreasonable, if a contract is invalid it means those who accept the terms have also signed an invalid contract.

If a person has no plans on breaking a contract, then it is possible and maybe even beneficial for them to agree to a stricter punishment for breaking it in return for better terms elsewhere in the contract. See premise B above as well, if an individual can sign any contract they like (a very common theme of Libertarians), then putting this stipulation on contract terms would likely be construed as an “authoritarian” action limiting the rights of the individual.

“I've decided that taxes in the United States would not be theft if the constitution protected the right for any individual to secede as the final check on the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government.”

Once again this is a personal preference, one would presume that since you don’t find the initial terms of the contract reasonable you would reject them. Your parents and family have also chosen to accept the contract, which can factor into your decision but it does not invalidate the contract simply because you would have to move away from them. If your whole family lives in an apartment, and you choose to not live in the apartment when you turn 18 because you don't like the terms, does that make the apartment's contract or terms invalid? Absolutely not, and that same line of reasoning applies to the social contract.

“There is currently no check on the three branches of government, if they wish to work together to increase their power. The right for individuals to secede would make any authoritarian government collapse if it came to be too out of control.”

This is patently false. There are absolutely checks and balances for all 3 branches, 2 of the branches are democratically elected and are able to appoint/remove members of the other branch. So in short, voting is your check on all 3 branches. I will never be one to argue that voting is an absolute check, but it is a check and can be used to punish government officials who go too far. On a slightly different angle, if a government was truly authoritarian, then how do you think attempting to use your “right to secede” would work? I'm guessing it wouldn't be very effective in getting rid of the current government.

“Native Americans lands currently exist within the United States as sovereign territories. If all people had the same option, some of them would choose to do this, and it would not be much different.”

I know we discussed this before but Native American lands are not sovereign territories. They could be more closely described as a state, so they still fall under the federal government. They receive some special benefits that states don’t because of allegedly being wronged in the past by the US. There are no examples of foreign countries existing within US borders, having foreign nations exist within US borders is not a solution, it would be a problem.

To play along with the scenario a little bit, it's completely possible that in the case that you choose to secede your property from the US, the US government would be completely justified in restricting travel between your country and the US. So you would be leaving your family just as effectively as moving out of the country. Once again this method really solves nothing, and provides for a whole host of problems.

In addition to the above concerns, would someone be able to sell their property directly to another country if they have the right to secede? If they can there are obviously huge implications for why that's bad. But if they can't do that, why not? That implies that a person doesn't have full ownership of their property... Which would justify either of my 2 original stipulations (that land either has a contract that follows it indefinitely or that the public retains partial ownership of private property within it's borders). 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Right to Secede

I would like to respond to the idea of the social contract in "Taxes are Not Theft", which was a response to my original article, "Taxes are Theft".

For a contract to be valid, there must be terms and a reasonable way to leave it. It is not reasonable to have to leave your country, family, friends, and job in order to break a contract. I've decided that taxes in the United States would not be theft if the constitution protected the right for any individual to secede as the final check on the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government.

The right to secede from the government, a person and their property and form their own sovereign territory free from the rule or protection of the government shall not be infringed.

There is currently no check on the three branches of government, if they wish to work together to increase their power. The right for individuals to secede would make any authoritarian government collapse if it came to be too out of control.

Native Americans land currently exist within the United States as sovereign territories. If all people had the same option, some of them would choose to do this, and it would not be much different. The decision to secede would forfeit all protections from the government, and is a decision that should not be taken lightly. If you secede and your house catches on fire, the government will not come and put the fire out. Police will not come if you call 911.

I will accept taxes as legal if the government codifies and protects my right to secede. Until then, the contract is invalid and taxes are theft.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Speed Limits and Local Government Corruption

Have you ever driven on a road that seemed like the speed limit should be higher than it is? I'd like to write a short post about speed limits, why we need speed limits, what should set speed limits, and where money from speed limits should go.

Why do we need speed limits? Speed limits provide guidance to drivers to tell them the maximum safe speed they can drive. Unfortunately, the maximum safe speed is dependent on weather, traffic level, construction, etc. and speed limits don't normally reflect that. We leave it up to drivers to determine based on the road conditions how far below the speed limit they should drive. Speed limits also provide a reason for a police officer to pull reckless drivers over. It might be easier to prove speeding in court than reckless driving because speeding is more specific. I don't have a strong opinion on whether we need speed limits or if we could just get rid of them, but I do have an opinion on a related topic; how should speed limits be set?

Speed limits should be set based on safety. Unfortunately, there is a dangerous conflict of interest for lawmakers to set speed limits not on the maximum safe speed, but based on revenue generation instead. Let's say you were an average looter politician trying to get more funding to run your constituents lives under the guise of safety. However, your projects all have that nasty funding requirement, and the constituents are fed up with your tax increase proposals. What's another way to receive funding? You could just lower speed limits, or install automatic cameras. Set them just low enough to pay for all your favorite socialized government projects. And you can do it all in the name of safety.

Is this an appropriate way to set speed limits? Absolutely not. Speed limits should be set based on safety. Whenever income from a law is going to fund government programs, there is a dangerous conflict of interest for lawmakers to set laws based on revenue rather than public safety. Does this ever actually happen? "A 2006 study by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis ("Are traffic tickets countercyclical?") found that towns increased the number of tickets issued by an average of 0.4% for every 1% decline in other revenue."[1] How would I solve the problem? I would allow citizens who speed to pay their fine to a non-profit organization of their choice. Just send the city a copy of the receipt to verify the fine was paid. If we did this, I wager the speed limits around town might go up a little bit.

Revenue generation is a dangerous conflict of interest for local governments. The more laws we have such as public intoxication or speed limits, the more opportunity there is for this type of abuse. Either get rid of the laws, or separate the funding from fine revenue from city and state governments.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Taxes Are Not Theft

A response to “Taxes Are Theft”

Let me state a possible counter argument to the assertion that taxes are theft. To do this we start with an analogy.

We can say this analogy begins after an anarchist's utopia has been founded (no taxes, no government, every man for themselves). Say a group of private citizens decides to come together for various reasons; safety, economic gain, and social benefit. This group of citizens lives in a contiguous plot of land. They all sit down and agree to a set of rules to live by.  They agree to have a certain set of services be provided by the community instead of by individuals. If you want to continue to be part of the community then you must abide by all of the rules or face the consequences, which are decided by the group.

The group starts by saying each district will elect a representative that will champion their interests, while also looking out for the interests of the entire community as a whole. These representatives will have the authority to make rules and regulations, and decide the monetary contributions needed by individual members. The rules deciding what is within a representative’s power are laid out in an original founding document.

When a person or family has a child, the child automatically becomes a member, but is free to come and go from the community as he/she chooses, as long as all rules are followed while within the borders of the community. If they continue to own land within the borders then they will need to pay the applicable fees that the representatives have decided upon. If a child inherits property within the borders and feel absolutely no desire to be a part of the community’s rules and doesn't want to pay the fees, they can simply sell or give away their inheritance to someone interested. It is important to note that the contract initially made follows the land, land within the borders cannot be sold and then be out of the contract initially made. Whether it is built into the initial contract that the land must always have a certain set of stipulations assigned with it on sale or whether the land is partly under community ownership, whichever way you want to look at it essentially comes out the same.

In the above scenario it is near impossible to call the fees being paid “theft”. A group of people came together and acted in their own personal interest to insure a better life for themselves. In addition, no one is being forced into the system. You have the choice to be part of the community or not, there is no force making you stay. To be clear, this is not a “love it leave it” argument, this is merely recognizing that every individual has a choice whether to be part of the community. If you choose to live in the community you are de facto signing a social contract, and with the social contract comes rights and responsibilities.

Under this system, not paying your fees would be the first violation of the “non-aggression principle” and the community would be justified to collect the fees from you. This is because you are essentially stealing from others in the community as you continue to use the services provided without any payment. I believe this shows that there is a natural/philosophical basis for taxes and government to exist. Just as everyone has the right to self-defense and property, people have the right to live under a governing body if they so choose.

So in conclusion, if you are living in a nation such as the US, not paying taxes could more easily be construed as theft than being forced to pay them.