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Unread 08-30-2008, 01:33 PM   #1
RubiOR
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Big Yellow Brick Build Thread

I drove my '06 Solar Yellow Rubicon Unlimited (a.k.a. -- the Big Yellow Brick) home a couple of months ago. Over the next year or so I plan to add a few things here and there; mainly skid plates and other protective measures but with a few other things thrown in as well. If all goes well I should have it paid for at about the 12-month mark and I can redirect the payments to the more expensive bits... Between now and then I'll be scouring JeepForum for all of the latest advice.

Welcome to my build, I hope you find it interesting.

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'06 Solar Yellow Rubicon Unlimited -- The Big Yellow Brick
Their huge yellow spaceships hung in the air in exactly the same way that bricks don't. -- Douglas Adams, Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy
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Unread 08-30-2008, 01:58 PM   #2
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Screening the wind...

I live in sunny GA and can most likely keep the top down ten months out of the year. I the fall, though, the mornings begin to cool off and the boy child in the back seat gets chilled on the way to school. It's no good dropping him of with blue lips so I thought some side screens might help out.

I have an old beat-up sewing machine from my caving days when we would routinely make packs and such to carry our gear. I dug it out of the closet an found some shade cloth at at nearby landscape supply company. A quick trip to Home Depot scored a large grommet set.

Each side is folded over about 2" and has a double-layer of duct-work support webbing. I had it laying around from the basement finishing project and it's quite a bit easier for the sewing machine to punch through than, say, seatbelt webbing. Having the webbing in there gives the grommets something tougher to hold onto than just the shade cloth.

I considered cutting the screen to fit inside the roll cage but opted to let it overlap instead. I can always make it smaller later if I want but making it bigger would have been a challenge. I think the larger size works good, though, so it'll probably stay as is.

Here is a shot of the driver's side screen:


This is with the driver's side screen removed but the passenger side installed. Compare the background through the front-door windows and the back.


And with the screen:


We've had a pile of rain from the recent hurricanes in the Gulf so the top is still up and that makes the screen a bit hard to see since there's no sunlight shining in from above. Still, you should be able to get an idea of what it looks like.

I originally mounted the screens on the outside of the rag-top mechanics. I think that actually looks and works much better but it means that I have to take the screens off to raise or lower the top and that's just no fun. With the screens inboard I can leave them in place all the time.

Overall, I'm very pleased with the way the screens worked out and I'm planning to get some more shade cloth to make the equivalent of a bikini top and a safari top. In part to offer relief from the afternoon sun and also to spoil the wind just a little bit more.
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'06 Solar Yellow Rubicon Unlimited -- The Big Yellow Brick
Their huge yellow spaceships hung in the air in exactly the same way that bricks don't. -- Douglas Adams, Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy
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Unread 08-30-2008, 02:03 PM   #3
RnEmOvr
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how much was the screen/grommets? is it that much cheaper then just buying the already made kits?
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Unread 08-30-2008, 02:18 PM   #4
RubiOR
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Locking the box

One of my primary motivations for getting the Unlimited was the extra space behind the rear seat. It's nice to be able to toss the laptop, baseball gear, rolled-up side windows and other misc junk back there. My boss would be unhappy, though, if the laptop walked away while we're in the batting cage so I needed to do something about that.

I checked online and couldn't find a good solution for the LJ. (That doesn't mean it isn't out there... just that I couldn't find it.) There seem to be plenty of options for the short wheel base, but not for me. I don't know how to weld either so that left me in a bit of a bind because I don't think my sewing machine can help me out here.

Fortunately, there's a fab shop just up the road from me and they didn't consider my project too small to tackle. Steve, the president, took a few measurements and gave me a rough estimate. I gave him the green light and a few days later I had my secure storage.

Here are a few shots of the box. The whole album has several different angles of the box out of the Jeep.

A good shot of the box:


Installed:


Close-ups of things:




Holding it down are a half-dozen self-tapping sheet-metal screws through the bottom of the tub. I coated them well with silicon before running them in and hopefully that will prevent rust in the tub though only time will tell.

The rough dimensions are 12" high, 22" deep and 35" wide. The 35" width makes it very tight but I plan to someday pull all of the carpet and line the tub interior so that's a minor issue.

The final result is exactly what I was looking for. Steve and his folks over at Flex Fab did a great job and I expect they'll be helping me out with skid plates soon...
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'06 Solar Yellow Rubicon Unlimited -- The Big Yellow Brick
Their huge yellow spaceships hung in the air in exactly the same way that bricks don't. -- Douglas Adams, Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Last edited by RubiOR; 05-28-2010 at 12:13 PM..
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Unread 08-30-2008, 02:36 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RnEmOvr View Post
how much was the screen/grommets? is it that much cheaper then just buying the already made kits?
The grommet kit and 24 grommets was ~$13. The shade cloth was a bit expensive at ~$34 for a 6x8 piece -- I need to find a cheaper supply. The webbing I had laying around but I would say it's about $5. From all of that and with a couple evening's time I made the two screens and a bikini top. The bikini didn't work out the way I wanted so I'll redo that but I think I can reuse its cloth.

So I've probably got about $50 and 5 hours into it, maybe a bit more time since I was watching TV too and not paying attention to the clock. I could have probably bought something for about the cost I have in it (including my time) but it was a fun project and that's worth something too.
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'06 Solar Yellow Rubicon Unlimited -- The Big Yellow Brick
Their huge yellow spaceships hung in the air in exactly the same way that bricks don't. -- Douglas Adams, Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy
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Unread 08-30-2008, 03:51 PM   #6
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That box is nice. I have one made sort of the same, but it is plywood. Very nice and roomy.
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2006 Solar Yellow Rubicon Unlimited
Jeep Club Member #1340
6 Speed, Hardtop
Mods done: Hurst tee handle, cheap hand throttle, Rokmen Merc front bumper, Warn 9.5 TI winch with 3/8" X 100 worth of Viking yellow rope, DPG OME Ultimate with JKS ACOS up front, Kilby Gas Tank Skid, Kilby Steering Box Skid, Jeep Medic Belly Up, Skidrow Engine Skid, Rockcrusher Diff Skid in the rear, Warn Diff cover in front, , AR Outlaw II's and MTR 12:50/15's, Homemade rear Bumper, Cheap Cobra CB, Puma OBA, Sirius Radio, Locker Defeat, Rockhard cage, Rockmen short corners, homemade tire swing/tailgate hinge affair, Airlift air bags on the rear- - - - - - and more to come!
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Unread 10-04-2008, 06:26 PM   #7
RubiOR
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Hey Bigbob, thanks for the kind words! I'm sorry I missed your post, Life has been busy lately... Your rig looks like the big brother to my stock ride :-)

I finally pulled off the milk jugs today so I could get some accurate measurements for the rear bumper I hope to have built. I'll post the sketch in a day or two for some feedback.
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'06 Solar Yellow Rubicon Unlimited -- The Big Yellow Brick
Their huge yellow spaceships hung in the air in exactly the same way that bricks don't. -- Douglas Adams, Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy
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Unread 10-10-2008, 01:10 PM   #8
Rugby_3
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I really like that rear box idea. I would like something like that were I don't have to screw it down. Driving the intersate in Chicago it's hard to avoid the salt. I would certainly rust with those holes. Nice work.
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Unread 10-10-2008, 07:04 PM   #9
RubiOR
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Hi Rugby_3, thanks for the compliment! I've tried to seal around the holes but I'm sure that they will eventually cause me grief even here in GA. The self-tapping screws aren't ideal anyway so I may do something different in the future. The front-most ones, though, are above the spring holders and I can only barely get to them from below

The way the box fits, the tie-down hooks behind the rear-seat are half-in the box and half-out. You can just barely see their yellow peeking out in the second shot. (I'll snap some closer pictures if there's interest.) You could use those to secure the front-edge of the box without any drilling. There are also tie-down spots in the back you could probably secure with if you ran a strip of some kind just inside the tailgate and secured it to the sides of the box.
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'06 Solar Yellow Rubicon Unlimited -- The Big Yellow Brick
Their huge yellow spaceships hung in the air in exactly the same way that bricks don't. -- Douglas Adams, Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy
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Unread 10-10-2008, 07:39 PM   #10
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Bumper Design

Inspired by Besrk & Gunkel here's the draft of my humble rear bumper design:



There are a few interesting features...

First up you'll notice three receivers instead of the usual one in the center. The two outer receivers give me a lot of flexibility in what I can put there. For recovery I can install a couple of shackles. For luggage, I can design or modify a typical receiver rack to secure on both sides rather than just the middle. Gas can holders, tent poles :-) plenty of options.

The comment in the bottom right mentions a storage compartment between the bumper and the crossmember. This is right out of Gunkel's design. Every little bit of storage in a Jeep helps!

The final item is five bolts per side securing the beast to the frame. The tie-ins are designed to fit both inside and outside the frame rails for extra strength and the mounting plate tab is intended to fold under and catch the bolt on the bottom side. (My fabricator gets to decide if that is a bend or cut-and-weld operation.)

So, that's it my friends. I'm going to cross-post to Besrk's long-lived thread for advice and feedback but if you have a comment please feel free to post 'em here too!
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'06 Solar Yellow Rubicon Unlimited -- The Big Yellow Brick
Their huge yellow spaceships hung in the air in exactly the same way that bricks don't. -- Douglas Adams, Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy
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Unread 10-11-2008, 09:10 AM   #11
prd_cdn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RubiOR View Post
Inspired by Besrk & Gunkel here's the draft of my humble rear bumper design:



There are a few interesting features...

First up you'll notice three receivers instead of the usual one in the center. The two outer receivers give me a lot of flexibility in what I can put there. For recovery I can install a couple of shackles. For luggage, I can design or modify a typical receiver rack to secure on both sides rather than just the middle. Gas can holders, tent poles :-) plenty of options.

The comment in the bottom right mentions a storage compartment between the bumper and the crossmember. This is right out of Gunkel's design. Every little bit of storage in a Jeep helps!

The final item is five bolts per side securing the beast to the frame. The tie-ins are designed to fit both inside and outside the frame rails for extra strength and the mounting plate tab is intended to fold under and catch the bolt on the bottom side. (My fabricator gets to decide if that is a bend or cut-and-weld operation.)

So, that's it my friends. I'm going to cross-post to Besrk's long-lived thread for advice and feedback but if you have a comment please feel free to post 'em here too!
I really like your design, simple yet functional. I am curious to see it all come about. Good Luck !!!
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Unread 07-05-2009, 08:45 AM   #12
RubiOR
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Things that go "bump"

What is quite possibly the world's slowest build has finally taken another step forward. I was never able to find anyone local to build the bumper I sketched out above so I dropped Eddie / Besrk / Ground Pounder Fab an email. He set me up with some of his awesome product so now I've got some heavy stuff protecting the back end of the 'Brick.

Open:


Closed (don't miss Rudolph 3rd brake light):

I apologize for not giving reference to the inspiration for the center-cap brake light. I've got his link here somewhere but can't find it for some reason. It was an easy, quick job and the round trailer light (from Advanced Auto) fits perfectly where the "Jeep" stamped center cap was.

The primary use for the receiver:


And here are the pieces-parts during the rattle-can process:

The off-color bits (easily seen to the right of the latch) are due to bad painting technique by yours truly and questionable paint selection. I thought the wrinkle-finish (not the Hammered BTW) might give it some nice texture but I was wrong. That got itself sanded off and now we're sporting the flat black finish you see in the mounted pictures.

BTW: This is all "old news." Eddie built the bumper for me back in March and everything was mounted up by early April. Since then I had a friend weld a bracket to the left corner for my trailer light connector and I got its wiring done yesterday. With luck I should have pictures up before Christmas...
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'06 Solar Yellow Rubicon Unlimited -- The Big Yellow Brick
Their huge yellow spaceships hung in the air in exactly the same way that bricks don't. -- Douglas Adams, Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy
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Unread 07-26-2009, 07:58 AM   #13
RubiOR
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Here's what we did with the trailer light connector. I didn't want something that went through the bumper. That would cause a weak spot and introduce new opportunities for rust (not a big deal in GA but still worth avoiding). A quick trip to the local trailer store got me a universal bracket & my buddy glued it down on Saturday afternoon. It sits out of the way and out of harm's way. I need a bit longer pigtail on my utility trailer but that's an easy fix and I'll probably just wire up an extension cord of sorts for that so that I can pull anyone else's trailer as well.





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'06 Solar Yellow Rubicon Unlimited -- The Big Yellow Brick
Their huge yellow spaceships hung in the air in exactly the same way that bricks don't. -- Douglas Adams, Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy
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Unread 07-26-2009, 08:18 AM   #14
RubiOR
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KM2's go round & round ...

I'm still catching up on my photos and such...

Back around the end of May, Southern Offroad set me up with a stack of 32x11.5x15 KM2's on Cragar Soft 8's for my yellow ride.



They're just what I was looking for. You may be wondering, "what did he go with 32's." Well, BYB is a work in progress and this is one step along the way. The factory MTR's that were there before were impossible to balance and, though they had plenty of life left, it was just too uncomfortable anywhere above 55 MPH. So, now I'm rolling on some nice round tires that'll do everything I need for the immediate future. I'll start sinking money into other upgrades and when these tires wear down I'll look for some 34-35" rollers to replace 'em.

I'm leaning away from my original 4" long-arm plans and closer to an LCG setup. With the 32's I'm thinking of a 2" lift with a minimal body lift to clear a Savvy tummy tuck when I can afford it. That's clearly not LCG but it sets the stage for a future set of 34-45's (once everything else is upgraded appropriately for 36-37's -- can you say "overkill"?). That kinda' tire on that kinda' lift is just about the sweet-spot for LCG.

So, the 32's do what I need for now and put me on a good path for future plans. Sure, they rub at the moment but that's a short-term distraction until I have the funds to clear 'em right.
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'06 Solar Yellow Rubicon Unlimited -- The Big Yellow Brick
Their huge yellow spaceships hung in the air in exactly the same way that bricks don't. -- Douglas Adams, Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy
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Unread 07-26-2009, 08:37 AM   #15
mil
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BYB looks good so far!
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