Trying to keep busy with this without spending much $$. Finally getting around to the little interior things that have been bugging me. Had the radio I pulled out of the acura and after thinking about control head placement for a few days it was time to bite the bullet and throw the sucker in. The radio is a Yaesu FT-8800 which is an amateur radio 2m/440 dual band radio.
Thats the radio without the control head attached. I drove around with the control head in the cup holder for a few days and played with positions for it. I really like where I have the control head mounted in the green one, but the niner has a sunroof so thats not gonna work. I really wish they hadn't made the sunroof standard. In addition to leaking and being a temperamental pain in the *** it lowers the headliner enough that my head just barely touches.
First task for the install is power. The smaller radios only put out about 50W on transmit and have pretty low receive current, so I don't have a problem running it off the back of the cigarette lighter. Simple switch power. For the big radio in the green one I use the switch plug to trigger a relay but thats overkill for the little 2m rig. Of course getting to the back of the cigarette plug in this thing is an adventure in itself. So the interior rather quickly looks like this.
While I had the whole dash apart I figured I'd pull the vic and see if I could put an end to the incessant "cooling sensor bad" message. They take a lot of flack on the forum but I rather like the vic. It makes for a more complete picture of just what the ZJ was for its time. Nostalgia aside my jeep leaks like an excited chihuahua so it's nice to know when I have to fill it up again. Vic removed.
Here are the two boards that make up the vic, the part we're interested in is the board side of the connector on the back of the vic. These jeeps have bad solder joints all over the place (see also headlight switch) and after time and vibration the joints can fail or become intermittent.
The bad joints can be hard to see by eye, a magnifying glass helps a bit. I found a few bad joints but I resoldered all of them anyway. Here is one of the bad joints I did find.
Put the thing back together, say a little prayer and the coolant sensor bad message should be a thing of the past. I tacked two power feeds onto the back of the switched cigarette plug. One will go to the radio under the back seat, the other will go to the center console as an aux power feed. I'm using good quality 14 gauge red and black cable. Connectors at the end will be anderson powerpole.
The control head for the radio got mounted on the far left of the dash. It's close enough to the steering wheel that I can adjust things without too much movement away from the wheel.
From the driver view the right side of the display is blocked by the wheel but I don't have a problem with that. The FT-880 is a dual receive radio so it can listen to two frequencies at once. One is displayed on the left the other on the right, with volume and squelch knobs for each. I tend to use the left side for primary and the right as secondary so I'm rarely transmitting on the right side.
Quick shot of the power connector in the center console. This will be for temporary accessories like HT charge cables or inverters. The anderson power pole connectors have become the standard for radios and emergency communications gear, so almost all of my gear has those connectors.
And here is the radio in its new home on top of the power amp. I don't get much interference between the two, just a slight thump when I transmit. I think that should be correctable with a ferrite bead.
I haven't figured out what I want to do for a final antenna yet. So for now I have a spare mag mount on the back of the roof. I'm trying to keep the clean lines of the niner and build for looks as well as function. In the green one I have the two 2m/440 antennas mounted on NMO mounts that are drilled through the roof up front. There isn't really room to do the same thing in the niner with the sunroof. The green one has two antennas up there so it has a somewhat balanced look, I don't think the niner would look as good with just one. I looked at using the hole in the fender for the FM/AM antenna to mount the antenna, I never listen to broadcast radio anyway, but the design of the mount makes it a now go, would be a lot of machining to repurpose the original mount for my purposes. Oh well, always another little thing.