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Tomb Raider 01-12-2013 01:46 PM

Tomb Raider's Shop
So, through the years I've posted many threads and pics on this forum. Rather than having a bunch of threads everywhere with the new shop and all that's going on, I thought I would have one place for all things. 2013 will be quite a busy year so follow along if you like, but hang on for the ride !

As of Jan 1, here's what's going on at the moment:

Plans are to make a stubby version of the JK rear bumper, so off it came !!

Next up is making steering box brackets for XJ's. Gotta finish this one up for an XJ customer.

Customer is coming next weekend to pick up his JK rear bumper and tire carrier....weld weld weld !

My personal project: Dana 60's under the Shop JK. Just waiting for me to start hacking on them !

Putting rear smittybilt and front metal cloak armor on a customers TJ....should look awesome !

That's what's going on currently...stay tuned !

Killallblue 01-12-2013 03:55 PM

Moar pics

Tomb Raider 01-12-2013 09:22 PM

Stubby finished. This one is actually my guinea pig as I'm going to remove the spindle from it and make it a "standard" bumper to make way for a stinger style rear tire carrier on crusher corners :cool:

Also got some work done on another full width rear going out the door. Frame mounts tacked in, test fit and spindle sleeve going in !

Tomb Raider 01-16-2013 10:50 PM


So my "day job" has pulled me away from the shop this week...but It hasn't kept me from thinking about things.

In rigs past, I've swapped engines, swapped axles, moved axles, cut, hacked replaced darn near everything on one rig or another. But one thing I haven't build a a chassis. Here's where I'm going with this....

I'm at a cross roads with my JK. A cross road I've been at before. It's the "fiscal cliff" if you will. How my mind works when I build is "well, if I'm doing 'x' I might as well add/change/replace 'y' while I'm at it. And **** snowballs quick like. That's how my stockish daily driver got on 42's stretched and a chevy engine. Thing is...I think I've learned from that. The one regret I had with prior "big rigs" is that I couldn't enjoy them daily. I couldn't enjoy a JEEP daily. That's the reason I bought a jeep. One of our own, BESRK, once told me " just build a buggy, you'll appreciate not hacking up your rig later". I think he was on to

So....after some consideration, I don't think I'm gonna put these 60's under the JK. I think I'm gonna build a tube chassis and throw them under that. I'll "fix" the issues I have with the JK and drive the pee outta it on the road and weekend romping until the buggy is done.

Soooo...with that said, here's my thoughts on the buggy. I want the chassis to look amazing, while I want the drivetrain simple. I think I can find an LM7 (5.3L GM) drivetrain reasonably priced. There is more and more aftermarket support for it now that it's a common swap in the JK's. While I'd like to say I'm gonna throw an atlas in there....I'm gonna wait and see what I can come up with for that. Coilovers and some 42's should put me in business. There is obviously lots more than what I've typed involved...but the basic's are there. Guess it's time to start scouring craigslist, junkyards and getting some tube !

In the end, I want this....right down to the color...

dayriesw 01-24-2013 01:19 PM

Very cool idea. I have always wanted to design and build a customer chassis. It seems that frames are always what limits this or that.

TSOffroad 01-24-2013 02:40 PM

Been busy at the shop this week,

Finished the XJ steering box brace and got it out the door. That project revealed I need to get a horizontal bandsaw. Add it to the list !

I've been waiting patiently for the CAD guys at the steel shop to get me some model's for some JK sliders I've been working on for what seems forever. Thats the unfortunate issue with having to have work done by other vendors....sometimes your at the mercy of them. Hate having customers wait. Sounds like they will have something for me next week.

In the meantime, managed to get the rear JK bumper welded up and ready to go. Had a buddy I paid "friend" labor rates to come and grind the welds down smooth while I worked on another project. He's good help

The other project was putting a lift on an XJ for a customer.

Hum Drum XJ with just enough wheel well space to go in a straight line :hahaha:

And after a 3" rough country lift with new lower arms:

Those projects are done, and just got some more orders for rear back to work !! Cheers !

As for chassis build...need to find some bending software so I can make some designs. That's on the list....when I come up for air !! :cheers2:

Tomb Raider 01-24-2013 09:11 PM

Along with the rock rails, another prototype I'm gonna work on is rear corner armor with some flares. Anyone need a good set of Sahara fender flares :D

Tomb Raider 01-27-2013 08:08 PM

Got the armor and metal cloaks on the TJ this afternoon. Looks amazing. The rear's will get tube fenders put on...but the fasteners smitybilt sent were to short.

rustywrangler 01-27-2013 08:52 PM

looking good man. Nice to see ya getting a new pad for your work.

RogueFab 01-29-2013 11:23 AM


You do great work. That full width JK bumper matches the body lines on the jeep very well! Glad to see you are staying busy!

ps- throw a cover ont that boat, with all that grinding going on you will have it filled with dust in no time :D haha

Tomb Raider 01-29-2013 06:48 PM


Originally Posted by rustywrangler (Post 14864333)
looking good man. Nice to see ya getting a new pad for your work.

Rusty....good to see you bud....been awhile since I've been to the YJ side of life. Missed ya good friend !


Originally Posted by RogueFab (Post 14873007)

You do great work. That full width JK bumper matches the body lines on the jeep very well! Glad to see you are staying busy!

ps- throw a cover ont that boat, with all that grinding going on you will have it filled with dust in no time :D haha

Thanks ! Boat's got covers on it ;-) Gotta rebuild the lower unit this spring and I'll be out on da lake !!!

Tomb Raider 02-04-2013 02:46 PM

Another rear bumper...this one I installed. Nice guy. I enjoy meeting the ppl that put on my stuff...makes it all more worth it. :cheers2:

Tomb Raider 02-06-2013 08:41 AM

Well, seems like work is gonna get much harder again....

The company that was doing my CAD design and plasma cutting is out of the picture. It doesn't suprise me considering most things I asked for were a 3-4 week delay unless I begged and pleaded for something on short notice. And then I paid for it on the invoice...:mad:

With that said...I think the timeline of getting a cnc table has moved up....

RogueFab 02-06-2013 08:44 AM

Plasma tables are finally getting affordable, so that won't be all bad...

My laser cutter is a busy shop and they do about 7-8 days standard, I can get name day or next day if I phone in a favor.

If they ever took a month on one of my orders without telling me first I would start shopping for a new cutter :thumbdown:

Joe Dillard 02-06-2013 10:01 AM

Lookin' REAL good! Call me when you get a chance.

The time now is 02:42 PM.

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