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Unread 09-14-2012, 12:48 PM   #1
rusty762
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Rusty762's Project "Led Sled"

My goal with this project is to build a reliable rig (Overlander/Expedition style) I can drive long distances to a trail or to explore new areas and back again comfortably, I want to try to keep the vehicle as light as possible. I have had some trailer queens (2 FJ 40's, 69 Bronco) and non trailer queens, two Toyota trucks (84 xCab, 84 4 Runner) that I drove regularly to Moab and Panamint Valley but want a capable rig that can tackle the trails and get me home safely without the need of a tow vehicle and trailer. This is not a DD and is only going to be used for exploring and wheeling. To quote Sundowner "the Jeep is the four-wheeled backpack of my life", well said my friend I could not agree more!

A little background on myself, I grew up in the Sierras and graduated college with a degree in forestry and recreation. I was a wildland firefighter for the US Forest Service for 12 years and spent another 7 years as a backcountry LE officer, my job was to manage the OHV trails on the Sierra National Forest. My patrol rig was a 1993 Jeep Wrangler, it started off stock and slowly I was able to add air lockers, atlas case, 33's, 4" lift, etc.. My job (in addition to trail maintenance and LE) was to drive the network of OHV trails on our forest which includes Swamp lake, Red lake, Coyote lake, mirror lake and the famous Dusy-Ershim trail to name a few. Every week for 7 years I drove one of the many trails on our two forest (Sierra and Kings River districts), it was a cool job and I miss the Clubs, trails and people I met but like any job there came a day I decided to do something different. I sold my trail rig and got involved in a new sport technical diving, that was 12 years ago and the last time I was wheeling...

Monterey is a small town, I usually commute on a bicycle and I have not needed a vehicle since I have lived here. Lat year I started looking for a trail rig and narrowed the search down to an 05-06 Unlimited or Rubicon Unlimited. After 3 months of searching Cali, I found one 4 hours north of me with only 10,000 miles so I hitched a ride to the dealer for an inspection and ended up driving home my new project.

Here she is bone stock, I have some big plans for her just need to start gathering parts. I am out of the country quite a bit for business so she is going to have to sit for a couple months or more before the undressing begins...




Update: Current Picture and Video https://vimeo.com/76492538
4 Link in rear, Rock Jock 60, 4" Stretch, 14" King Coil overs and 37" BFG's





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Unread 09-14-2012, 01:51 PM   #2
Mishimoto
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Cool project and nice background story! Good luck on the project.
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Unread 09-14-2012, 06:59 PM   #3
TSCHNEIDER
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Good luck on the project. Keep us posted. Got anything in mind yet?
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Unread 09-14-2012, 07:21 PM   #4
rusty762
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This box just arrived from Brown Santa, complete 4 inch Savvy/Currie kit with Al U Minium arms! Also bought a bumper and winch mount from Gerald, going to mount that next weekend and my Superwinch is on the way found one on Amazon with Syn line for crazy cheap.



My current residence has no driveway or garage so all work has to be done in the street, really sucks but hey. Have not decided on shocks yet so the lift is on hold until I can get the 12" travel shocks I want with the proper mounts/outboarding to allow 6" of up/down travel. Decided to pull the wheels and paint them black, Satin Black you my favorite color. Like the Stones say "Paint it Black!" Also installed BL and MML that I bought from Gerald, next on my list is the Savvy UA so this is one step closer to getting rid of the shovel.



While I had the tires off decided to install some Bling from Mr Wizard, going to need the rotor clearance for when I outboard the rear shocks.





Was out of the country for a while and was itching to work on the Jeep, I haul scuba equipment from my house to work a couple of days a week and bought the LJ with the intent of building a Brute style bed for it but did not want a longer wheelbase than I already had. I needed the ability to throw my Rebreather, scooters and stage bottles into the back of the Jeep and not worry about saltwater and corrosion. The GR8Tops seemed like a decent product and would work for what I had planned, so called them up and the top was waiting when I got back to the states. My buddy Jay works for soft drinks so we got to work cutting and grinding...

jmansmall.jpg
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Unread 09-14-2012, 07:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rusty762 View Post
Have a bunch of photos/updates to upload, photo bucket is not my friend right now...
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[QUOTE=RiponredTJ]Start smoking again. All that extra lard will kill you faster than the carcinogens.[/QUOTE]
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Unread 09-14-2012, 07:56 PM   #6
rusty762
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I had been searching for a new place to live and found a house close by with a driveway, small garage and a 20x30 cement pad with drains!! A 750sq ft house with a garage for less than $2000 is rare so I grabbed it.l will soon have a decent place to work on the Sled instead of the street. It took us a couple hours to get the Jeep prepped to fit the top, cut off the back of the stock roll bar and get it smooth and painted which will have to work until I can weld up my new cage for the interior. Once the top was fitted I slid the bulkhead into check the fit, not bad much better than the top that did not fit right around the doors, especially the passenger side door. It was way off, I loosened the windshield, doors and the header bars in the hopes of getting a better fit but no luck, more on that later. Once I drilled all the holes and double checked the bulkhead for fit, got some Sikaflex to seal the bulkhead. Saltwater is not steels best friend so I purchased some Monstaliner when I ordered the top.

sikaflex.jpg

testfit.jpg


Prep is everything when painting anything, I spent a fair amount of time sanding and cleaning the bed, and double the time taping everything off with clean, hard lines. Monstaliner can be rolled on as many of you know but I have a compressor and some nice Air brushes/guns and this was a small area to spray. I played around with air pressures and nozzles until I found a flow I was happy with. It only took a couple of coats and I was very happy with the results, in fact I am thinking about painting the entire jeep in OD green with Monstaliner but I am getting ahead of myself.


tapedup.jpg

monstaliner.jpg
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Unread 09-14-2012, 08:13 PM   #7
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This box just showed up on the doorstep, packaging is the best I have seen from any vendor so far. Some parts I have ordered have just been thrown in a box with no packaging? In my business we ship underwater camera systems all over the world, so I appreciate a nice packaging job. Again I digress, there was no way I could rationalize building this LJ-8 Hybrid scrambler Sled and not have a proper tailgate, I looked at several options and Rokmens gate looked solid and had lockable storage space and could handle 400lb loads no problem, they had a sale so I pulled the trigger. All small parts were packed individually, instructions were top notch and I was so stoked with the product it made me want to buy something else from Rokmen which I am sure will happen shortly...
rokmengate.jpg   rokmenpackaging.jpg  
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Unread 09-14-2012, 08:17 PM   #8
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Here are a couple of pics from Hollister SVRA which is only 30 minutes from where I live, scooted out there for the day to enjoy my rig.

hollister.jpg

tophollister.jpg
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Unread 09-16-2012, 03:41 PM   #9
rusty762
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My Superwinch arrived so I pulled off the Savvy bumper and check fit everything to make sure there were no clearance issues with the winch plate. Everything was good to go, the winch control that came with the Talon 9.5 was pretty crappy quality and its always a hassle to use a cabled control, I have wired switches in my previous rigs so that I had a dash control for those rare moments when you have to use a winch. I found a company called roadless gear that had a nice switch setup for $30 with 12 gauge wiring so I ordered it up and had it waiting for the install. The solenoid setup on the Talon series winches is different from most Warn/Ramsey winches I have owned. There were no instructions with the Roadless gear that covered any Superwinch product so I had to do a couple quick test to figure out the wiring.

solenoid.jpg

winchwires.jpg


This wiring diagram indicates that on the Superwinch
RED = Power
BLACK = Ground
BLUE = Motor Control
YELLOW = Motor Control

So for the controller - you don't need the winch's power wire (RED). GREEN goes to ground, and Blue is In, Yellow is Out.

So - I opened up the winch, stripped away a very small piece of the BLACK, BLUE, and YELLOW insulation so I could do an op test. I got it backward the first time, but that meant that:

CNTRL -TO- WINCH
GREEN -to- BLACK
BLACK -to- BLUE
WHITE -to- YELLOW

superwinchdiagram.jpg

Once the wiring was figured out I decided where I wanted to mount the switch inside, there was plenty of room right next to the Ignition and it kept the unit out of sight and away from someone interested in flipping the power switch on and inadvertently spooling the line in like one of my nephews. Next I ran the wires out through the firewall. Then I ran the switch's power wires to the battery, and ran the control wires to the winch. I had to drill a hole in the side of the winch solenoid housing, so I could tap the neccessary wires. I used a rubber grommet to seal the hole, found one in my stash that was drum tight and I put a dab of silicone on the backside to keep it as waterproof as possible.

cableinstall.jpg

I hooked all the cables back up to the battery, used some stainless hardware to secure the In dash control panel and gave it a test run. I will keep the control cable for the winch in my toolbox as a backup but hope to never have to use it with my new dash controller.

roadlessgear.jpg

Also got rid of the hook that came with the Superwinch and replaced it with a Factor 55 thimble, they make a very nice product and their tapered winch security bolts were used when I installed the winch on the Savvy bumper. I am very happy with the end result and the Savvy bumper does a killer job of keeping the weight down, I have owned ARB and other winch bumpers that were ridiculously heavy and I am trying to keep each part I select for the this build as light as possible without sacrificing any strength.

superwinchinstalled.jpg
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Unread 09-17-2012, 08:02 AM   #10
Mishimoto
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Awesome update!



This shot is incredible!
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Unread 09-17-2012, 08:09 AM   #11
hildebr
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I love the addition of the bed, you did a great job!
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Unread 09-17-2012, 02:32 PM   #12
AngryTJ
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Wait this is a jeep build!? I was mezzzmerized by your avatar!


Nice rig
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Unread 09-17-2012, 03:47 PM   #13
rusty762
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hildebr View Post
I love the addition of the bed, you did a great job!
Thank you! Getting all of the suspension bits in order and hope to install the lift in the next couple weeks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AngryTJ View Post
Wait this is a jeep build!? I was mezzzmerized by your avatar!
Yeah strategically placed fat does that to me every day, I just can't seem to get enough!
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Unread 10-11-2012, 11:17 AM   #14
rusty762
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Placed an order this week for 4 of the 12" Fox Reservoir shocks from Gerald, they are being sent to Wayne for valving, once those are delivered the lift is ready to be installed. Found this cool picture of Bill Keys Willy's with trailer, the Keys ranch is located in Joshua tree national park, if you are ever in the area there is a lot of cool history surrounding this ranch.
800px-desert_queen_ranch_-_willys_jeep.jpg  
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Unread 10-11-2012, 11:42 AM   #15
Mishimoto
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Nice update! And that is a super neat image.
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