High travel, high clearance & high octane, a streetable adventure LJ story - Page 29 - JeepForum.com
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post #421 of 437 Old 09-20-2019, 11:51 AM
Mud Machine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daddyjeep87 View Post
I wouldn't worry too much about the "offensive" light bar. I think with the single row bar and the color matched mount it blends in pretty well with the Jeep.
I was just about to say this. The slim design and tight fit give it a nice look.



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BDS Springs, MetalCloak Arms, Fox Shocks, Warn Winch, Savvy Ft Bumper, Antirock, GenRight Fenders, GR8 Top, 35" Pittbulls, 5.13's, Revolution Axle Shafts, LS/6.0, 4L80e


'76 CJ-7, 33" Swampers, 6-Point Cage, 4-Speed, Dana 300 Twin Stick
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post #422 of 437 Old 09-24-2019, 10:13 AM Thread Starter
toximus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 07wurubi View Post
Do you have a pic of the rear flush mount lights from the back of the Jeep? I have a set from another manufacture and haven't found a good place to mount on mine yet.
Being the wild man I am, I used a sawzall to enlarged the hole for the backup lights in the tub:





I unbolted part of the corner guards so I could clean between them and the body and painted the cut:



And hooked the lights up:



I found a grommet that fits my 4" turn signals better (Grote 91740) so the screw in flange is going on the shelf for now.
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Building the right way for 37s.
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post #423 of 437 Old 09-24-2019, 11:24 AM Thread Starter
toximus
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The optional wiring harness I am using for the rear is: Rigid 40192. This backup wiring harness is great because it allows you to wire it to a on-off-on switch so you can turn the lights off, tie them in with your reverse circuit for on the street (where I'll leave the switch 99% of the time), or leave them on for offroading in tight sections so a spotter can have a better look at your position and even their own footing while walking around the Jeep.

I am routing the wiring for the back up lights alongside the factory wiring inside the tub. I picked up the reverse light wire under the dash kickboard area for the switch to trigger the back up lights (huge thanks to @Jonny Jeep and @Rubi4MyMrs for helping me figure out which wires are which. You guys saved me hours of work.). I also will need to pick up the factory wire for the running lights for my boost gauges so I grabbed that wire now. To keep the wiring neat and maintainable I installed a DTM connector between my harness and factory so they can be separated. Having the connector in place also allows me to repin the connector for more options down the road (such as making it into a 3 or 4 pin connector). One option here is that you can wire the front light bar switch to be inline with the high beam circuit so the light bar can't be turned on unless the high beams are on and they'll turn off together if you switch to low beams. I opted not to but it's an option based on your uses.



I was able to poke a new hole through the factory boot in the back corner of the tub and feed my wires through. I had to disassemble the connector Rigid put on the harness to fit the pins through without the connector. Here's a video that shows how to take apart the connectors:




I'm powering the back up lights off of the second fuse block I previously added under the steering column. I decided not to relay the lights off of switched power because I want to retain the ability to turn them on even if the Jeep isn't running like if I'm setting up camp or fixing something. As long as I don't forget about them, they shouldn't drain the battery too quickly.

The switch I mounted on the blank area of the center dash. The other 2 switches are for the light bar and rock lights. I put a 3/4" panel plug in the 4th location (not pictured) for future mods.



Lastly, I forgot that I had left the trailering harness tied up in the wheel well. I've come to the realization that I just don't see hauling a trailer on the street and my Jeep isn't going to be tuned for that at all (aside from a few miles down the road during the day which I don't need lights for) so I cut that part of the harness off the Jeep's harness while I was back there to remove some bulk.

Building the right way for 37s.
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post #424 of 437 Old 09-24-2019, 11:35 AM Thread Starter
toximus
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Finishing up the radio, I installed a USB-C port down on the blank switch panel (on the Rubicon this is where the locker switch goes). I tend to keep my phone in the cup holder area so by having the port low the cord won't be in the way of the HVAC controls or other switches. I went with USB-C instead of USB-A (the "normal" usb port) for the size factor. Here's what I used: http://www.l-com.com/usb-usb-type-c-...unt-length-03m



\

For being something that never would have even been thought of in a car when the Jeep CJs were first on the road in the 1940s, and technology that didn't even exist as the last TJs rolled off the line in 2006, I think it turned out pretty good!

Another neat item I found if water and dust messing up your USB port is a concern is this bulkhead connector with cap: http://www.l-com.com/usb-harsh-envir...to-a-f-coupler

Building the right way for 37s.
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post #425 of 437 Old 09-24-2019, 11:55 AM Thread Starter
toximus
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I've enjoyed my Cobra C75WXST CB radio ever since I first installed it. It's just enough for my needs and it packages comfortably in the Jeep.

I mounted the handset lower than I previously had so the passenger's view of the navigation isn't obstructed.



The rest of the unit is neatly screwed into the under dash mounting plate I had made for the stereo.

The unit comes with a fuse inline with it's wiring. I cut that out to wire it into my fuse block under the dash. If I end up with electrical noise in my signal I'll wire it directly to the battery.

I decided to move my circuits around on the fuse blocks to try and isolate noisy circuits from the CB radio. Here's the updated layout:

Winch (pos and neg) - Directly off battery
Fuse block 1 (engine bay):
  • Battery Tender quick connect
  • ARB compressor
Fuse block 2a (under dash):
  • 4 channel amplifier - 30a
  • Mono amplifier - 30a
  • Gauges - 7a
  • CB radio (won't be used at the same time as the amplifiers) - 5a
Fuse block 2b (under dash):
  • LED light bar - 30a
  • Reverse lights - 15a
  • Rock lights - 15a
  • Heated seats - 7a

For the antenna I decided to mount it inside the Jeep off the C pillar of the roll cage. I had previously threaded the bung to 1/2"-13 for a hilift jack that I only used once, hated, and then bought a winch the next day. I was able to get the mount lower to fit the 2ft FireStik antenna under the soft top by switching the cable out for a FireRing style connector (K4-8R18). I also was able to cut the cable to length and soldered the PL-259 connector on.




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post #426 of 437 Old 09-24-2019, 12:08 PM
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Coming along nicely!
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post #427 of 437 Old 09-24-2019, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
toximus
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For night wheeling I want enough light around my Jeep so that a spotter can see what's going on. So I'm adding rock lights.

A few years ago I bought magnetic rock lights from LUX as part of my 35" build but never got to installing them. Now that I have a decent amount of aluminum upfront I won't be able to mount them where I want. So I turned to Rigid again, this time for rock lights. I ordered 8 lights total and any leftovers will be kept as spares or go on the wife's khaki TJ.

I was tempted to go with some of the much cheaper rock lights found on eBay and Amazon -- some with decent reviews. But I ultimately decided to go with Rigid because I know that they'll hold up well to being submerged in water and if a light does need to be replaced the mounting holes will be exactly the same and can quickly be changed out and not dependent on some chinese manufacturer having changed their sourcing and now using a different hole spacing.

I set my spare battery next to the Jeep and played around with different locations for the lights by taping them up. What I ended up with is placing one above each tire in the wheel well. I think these can show a spotter how much articulation is available on the wheels and this position shines light out to the sides. I then put one in the front and one in the rear to light up the underside better. And finally one under each center body mount to help remove shadows from the wheels.



For a little flair I placed 2 red lights from LUX inside the grill for a little glow because everyone still needs to know it's a Jeep even in the dark!



I installed the lights I can but some will have to wait to be bolted on as I progress in the build.

I used nutserts to attach the light to this rear location:


I mounted the tire to make sure it won't take out this light:




I considered multiple ways to wire up the lights to reduce the number of wires and I can't figure out a clean way to do it since some will be mounted on the body and others on the frame. So I decided to keep it simple and use the wiring harness that came with the lights. The harness does run the full power of the lights, right around 11amps, through the switch instead of using a relay, this isn't my preference but the load on the circuit is low enough that their engineers must have figured it's not a concern.

From the switch, I'm running the power out into the engine bay to a 12 way bussed Deutsch connector (DT04-12PA-P021) where each rock light can be plugged in. I'll figure out where I'm going to mount it within the engine bay after I finish up all of the electronic "end points" and get to actually stuffing stuff under the hood. This method of wiring also allows me to add and move rock lights in the future if I find better light placement based on using them in the real world.

Each light is also getting its own connector close by so they can quickly be swapped out if one dies.

If anyone has figured out a cleaner way to wire rock lights let me know!

Building the right way for 37s.
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post #428 of 437 Old 09-24-2019, 12:52 PM
NashvilleTJ
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What kind of tool box do you have back there, Tox? It looks a bit like my big Xtreme tools box, which I love.

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post #429 of 437 Old 09-24-2019, 12:56 PM Thread Starter
toximus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonny Jeep View Post
Coming along nicely!
Thanks!

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post #430 of 437 Old 09-24-2019, 01:10 PM Thread Starter
toximus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NashvilleTJ View Post
What kind of tool box do you have back there, Tox? It looks a bit like my big Xtreme tools box, which I love.
It's a Snap-On. I was going to go with Xtreme Tools or similar when I realized that I no longer could manage my tools and had them spread all over, but 4 or 5 years ago now I found that double decker Snap-On box on eBay in Gary, IN (look it up if you don't know about that town). I can only guess that nobody else wanted to pick it up so I won the auction for less than a Harbor Freight box with the catch that I had to pick it up that weekend. The guys at the pawn shop were super helpful and even had their "bouncers" standing by, several police officers with K9 units stopped to warn us not to take the next right turn on the way out and if we did said not to call 911 but rather family to tell them that we loved them. I rolled a few stop lights on the way out of there.

I also have a little cheapo Craftsman box with a sheet of 1/4" on top that I'm using as a welding table, but I don't think that's the one you're talking about.

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post #431 of 437 Old 09-24-2019, 01:30 PM
NashvilleTJ
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Thatís quite a story.

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post #432 of 437 Old 10-01-2019, 08:44 AM Thread Starter
toximus
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Wiring the sending units for the gauges is going to have to wait until other parts are in, but for now I'm getting the gauges in place and power wired to them.

My supercharger from BoostedTech came with boost and AFR gauges from ProSport. I'm not sure how I feel about them yet, but they seem nicer than my old Autometer transmission temp gauge so I am also replacing that one with one from ProSport too.

I'm wiring all of the gauges together with 18/4 quadplex wire. They require:
  1. Constant (not switched) power to retain settings (run off the fuse block),
  2. ACC switched power (see my solution below),
  3. Running or headlight power (tapped into the factory wiring harness via plug which I did when I wired the backup lights) (different color or brightness settings can be used at night, although I'm not sure I'll use this feature),
  4. Ground (using the stud I put behind the dash).
  5. Additionally they require their sensor inputs and stuff unique to the gauge (all of these I'll be doing later when I get to those areas).

For the ACC power I made my own weatherpack connector buss on the radio harness. Everything that needs to be tapped into this area only requires a crimped pin which makes disassembly easy with no cutting. I did the same for my dash lights (although that's only used for the ARB compressor switches).





The transmission gauge is returning to it's previous spot:



The boost and AFR gauges fit between the door and raised dash area via custom made aluminum bracket:


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post #433 of 437 Old 10-08-2019, 09:47 PM Thread Starter
toximus
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This concludes all of the wiring I can do without stuffing everything under the hood. I buttoned up the dash for now and will return back to the dash throughout working under the hood.



I've done over 100 wire connections over the last week (I'm behind on posting again...). I wanted to quickly share a few tips and tricks that made it easier while it's still fresh on my mind (as always, if you have any questions or suggestions it's never too late!):

1) All of my connections are crimped. I used to solder all of my connections (and I consider myself good at it) but soldering can cause a stress riser in the wiring. Crimping is also faster. I used a bunch of brazed butt connectors and ring terminals from DelCity: https://www.delcity.net/store/Non!In...01870.h_801871.

2) All ends and splices are sealed with adhesive lined heatshrink. This seals the ends of the wiring from contaminants and provides stress relief to the ends. I found that the adhesive tubing from DelCity adheres much better than cheaper tubing from Amazon. I used clear so connections are easy to audit: https://www.delcity.net/store/Clear,...29895.h_801745

3) I upgraded my 120v heat gun for a cordless Milwaukee 18v heat gun. This gun heats up fast and can be set down without worrying about the cord pulling the hot tip around. Not having to wait on my old heat gun made this project way faster.



4) 12v probe. For a project like this a probe is simpler to work with than a multimeter and helped identify which wires to splice into. https://www.amazon.com/OTC-3633-Mini...dp/B003YNHVQQ/

5) Having an automatic stripper saved a lot of time. https://www.amazon.com/IRWIN-VISE-GR...dp/B000OQ21CA/


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post #434 of 437 Old 10-09-2019, 09:36 AM Thread Starter
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At full bump and articulation my tires go so high that they'd crash through the stock fenders and hood. To prevent this from happening I chose Genright aluminum fenders. The aluminum offers welcome weight savings over steel and are lighter than factory.

I figured out a way to make a perfect cut on the hood with no guesswork.

First mount the both fenders in their final positions. Take your time and do this right. Since my 37" tires will still be pushing into the flare by about 1/2" at full articulation I mounted the tub side on the higher end of the highline mark of the tub to get the most out of them and then aligned the front to the grill. Additionally, tighten down the center grill body mount and grill support rods. It's disappointing that Genright doesn't make the radius perfect where it meets the grill -- I could slide a small stack of business cards between them.

Now put tape on the grill and tub and make a mark where the top of the fender is (needs to be the highest point). Take a laser level and line it up so that it draws a line between both of those markings and it should put the laser line straight across the top of the fender. This laser line will mark where you need to cut the hood.

Unless you have 2 lasers you'll have to repeat the steps above for the other side after cutting the first.

Remove both fenders leaving the grill supports tight and close the hood. There's 2 rubber bumpers on the bottom side of the hood that need to be in contact with the grill. Remove the spring from the hood and/or have a friend hold the hood down firmly. Check the gap between the hood and the grill is even. With the friend still holding down the hood put tape along the side of the hood where you will be cutting and trace the laser line onto the tape.





Cut off the bottom of the hood. I used a cut off wheel on an angle grinder which created some heat so I had to move quickly so the heat wouldn't mess up the paint. I found that making the cut in a single pass made the smoothest line but don't worry at this step if you mess up, it's the "practice" cut.



Repeat the cut on the other side and mount both fenders back up to their correct alignment. Both of mine aren't exactly the same cuts, even if you look at a clean TJ the hoods don't sit perfectly symmetrical on them either.

If the hood rubs the fender when closed use a flap disc to remove just enough to slide a sheet of paper between the fenders and hood. Remember, this is practice so don't worry if you cut a little too much off.

Replace the tape with fresh and run a marker with a 1/2" body along the top of the fenders so you have a straight line on the hood 1/4" off the fender. This is the final cut line.



After making the final cut I removed the burr on the bottom edge of the hood by hand so that I wouldn't remove too much material. If any of the paint is damaged sand that off with finer sandpaper. I got some music playing and enjoyed cleaning it up for the next few hours.





When the bottom of the hood is removed the spot welds holding the front hood brace onto the hood are also removed and allow the rubber bumpers to move in. To firm it up I used 3M Rigid Piller foam. It's pricey stuff and requires a special "double barrel caulk gun" to use but I haven't seen anything else like it for cheaper. I already had the tool from working with body panel adhesive and seam sealer. The foam is runny when it first comes out so seal the gap with duct tape and leave only a small hole for the tip of the mixing tool end to fit in. Also put down something over your engine and fenders in case it leaks out.



I got a little excited on the first side and used too much. You only need somewhere between 1/8 and 1/4 of the tube per side to just get enough in that it expands past the indentation of the support (see arrow in picture below).



Let the foam cure over night with pressure removed from the crossmember.

The next part is the retaining latches, the factory OEM latches with the rubber is best since it allows the hood to move with the body just like it was designed to from the factory.

The bottom piece has a bump that recesses into the factory fender this needs to be cut out so it sits flush to the fender.



OEM fender mounting holes:


Figure out where you want the latch along the hood, measure carefully, and drill the 3 holes into the fender.



Fasten the lower latch piece to the fender. This will allow you to position the top onto the hood. For right now loosely place the oval hood to fender spacer to gap the hood. There should be a slight gap between the 2 hard pieces of the latch assembly with the hood fully closed. Align the pieces, mark and drill the hood. And bolt everything together and repeat for the other side.



Test your latches to make sure everything is working properly. The latches should be just as easy to use as from the factory.

Lastly, place the hood to fender spacer, mark and drill for it. This will hold the hood to the 1/4" gap. Because I couldn't fit mine in the same direction as factory I rotated it perpendicular to the hood.



I used touch up paint to prevent rust.





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post #435 of 437 Old 10-10-2019, 06:37 PM
CrawlmachineII
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toximus View Post
At full bump and articulation my tires go so high that they'd crash through the stock fenders and hood. To prevent this from happening I chose Genright aluminum fenders. The aluminum offers welcome weight savings over steel and are lighter than factory.


Looking awesome. Just be aware that the Aluminum Fenders are not strong at all. I went to the steel version after reading complaints from other jeepers the Aluminum fenders bent very easy:

https://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/...l#post34223778


https://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f22/...l#post23067193

https://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/g...l#post32997514
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