Trimming Front Stock Tower Mounts

The first time that I really put the Jeep through its paces was when I was out in Moab for Easter Jeep Safari (EJS)  in 2019. I was doing full articulation of the axles and overall putting the entire Jeep under a lot of stress on this trip.  When the Jeep was transiting full articulation, I was hearing a “popping” sound.  

One thing with Jeeps and vehicles in general: sound travels. It travels through the frame, it travels through the hood; heck, it even travels through the seats. By the time it finds its way to your ears, you really can’t be sure of where it’s actually coming from. You may think it’s from the rear, when actually it’s coming from the front or the side.

When I was hearing this “popping” sound, I thought it was coming from the rear. You know what they say? Don’t go looking for something you don’t want to find. I found that my rear AEV (American Expedition Vehicles) differential skid plat was rubbing on my Rock Hard Fuel Tank Skid.  So when the rear axle was “flexing”, or transiting full articulation, the rub was occurring.  Great. But that didn’t resolve what I was still hearing.

Chris helping Rock/bounce the Jeep while I investigate the noise

The search continued. Besides visually inspecting the Jeep, I rallied some friends to basically shake the Jeep until whatever screw was loose fell out.  Thankfully, no parts fell off, but whatever we had done had resolved the noise I was hearing. AEV had a static display all EJS week at a restaurant in Moab. So, I had them install the lift. Chris Wood, AEV International Sales Director, was also in Moab.  I have known Chris for many years and his knowledge of off-roading and the products that AEV produces is intense. In talking with Chris, he looked at my Jeep and came to  the conclusion that my driver’s side front shock tower mount needed trimming as my sway bar link bolts were rubbing on the tower.  I asked him his opinion on how much we should trim… we ended up trimming off about 1/2 inch.

Since then I have not heard any “popping” so I guess that did the trick! Thanks, Chris.

Published by Expedition Team. Overland

As a Boy Scout Eagle Scout, camping, camp fires and maps have always been a passion. After getting my professional carrier established as a Boeing 737 Captain for a Major US Airline, I was able to get back to my routes of playing in the woods, mud and building things. I got my first Jeep in 2012. It was a 2002 Jeep Wrangler TJ, I did not modify it, and it had many mechanical problems, as I was a novice, and not mechanical, I sold it for a new 2013 Jeep Wrangler Sport Unlimited. In 2014 I installed an American Expedition Vehicles (AEV) 2.5" lift with Kelly Safari 35" tires. In 2015 I continued my build with AEV front and rear bumpers, snorkel, skid plates, and off road lights. Up until now, I did off-roading at the local Southington Off Road Park, Rausch Creek in Pennsylvania, and Badlands Park in Indiana. JKFreaks.com was an outstanding resource and I was able to make life-long friendship. In 2015 I did my first big trip with the jeep, first we stopped in Ouray, Colorado. We had two days of trails and did Imogene & Engineer Passes. I left part of myself in the San Juan Mountains and my want to return has been strong since. After Ouray, we went to Moab, Utah for Jeep Jamboree. Moab is "Jeepers Paradise". Endless miles of trails, from dirt roads to the most extreme, Moab offers endless possibilities for the Jeeper, hiker, mountain biker, everyone. Since 2015 I have returned to Moab in 2017 & 2019. In 2018, I traded in my 2013 JKU Sport for a 2018 JKU Rubicon Recon. I did this drastic move, because I was at the point in my build where I needed to upgrade my axels. I made the very difficult decision and striped as much as I could from my 2013 Jeep to move to the new jeep, as they were both the same style of jeeps; JKU's. I spent the spring and summer of 2018 to build my jeep. I once again installed an AEV 3.5" lift, 35" BFGoodrich KO2's and AEV front and rear bumpers. With this build I wanted to move from the "Rock Crawler" to an Overland build. I can still do all the difficult trail of Moab, Rubicon Trail, but also the fire roads and cover many miles full of camping and off road gear. With Overlanding in mind, I have build a cargo platform for my ARB 50q Fridge, and specific loading of the camping gear. Where is the Future? Buying an Earth Roamer and exploring as much of the country as possible? Thats a goal, but I hope in the coming years to get a roof rack, roof top tent, and then doing more Expeditions though Appalachian, Rocky Mountains, desert of New Mexico and Arizona, and the National Parks west of the Rocky Mountains.

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