Jeep 51...

It was a rough week...The flu bug bit last Sunday, slowed me significantly  Mon. &  Tues. then forced me flat on Wed...Fever broke Thurs...On top of that, the entire week was a deluge...Is it spring yet...???...

(above)  I had a neighbor make these drawer pulls...He used 1/4" thick wall tubing and stretched the coil with a come-along to harden the copper (???) then bent them as you see...I cut them to depth with a jig on the tablesaw...8/32 screws had their heads cut off, then epoxied into the tubing...Each pull was carefully laid out on the drawer, drilled precisely, and carefully fitted...I need to post a picture of them installed...They look nice...

(above)  Mike sent me better mounts for the shovel and ax...So I decided to strengthen the shovel handle and cover over the holes I drilled when I mounted the tools to the box off the back..I took the strengthening to a ridiculous level.....Over the fiberglass shaft I laminated three wraps of 4oz. carbon fiber cloth with epoxy...The ax handle got a couple of wraps too..To get the wraps to wrap tight, I covered the wet CF / Epoxy with a light wrap of 4mil. Visqueen...Next I went over that with stretch plastic wrap...I put on three layers of stretch wrap, with each layer being pulled tighter...

(above)  I spent a lot of time on wiring this week...Here is the center of my playground...The components on the front bar were installed, but not yet wired, so I had a lot of wire to pull and connect...I added a new distribution panel behind the driver seat, wired everything in and was very disappointed on how loose the connections into the panel were, so I ended up cutting everything loose and using a different kind of panel...Mike provided me with a couple to choose from...The new one is better...Easier to connect to, is tied to the ignition switch on most of the circuits, and has internal, sealed breakers that re-set themselves...I had to do all of this wiring seated on the floor right behind the front seats facing the rear door...I think I invented some new yoga positions...

(above)  The rear light is mounted to the roof rack...Nearly invisible underneath it is the rear facing camera I mounted to the light...I went with the rack mounting to have the light not be in the way when the wrap-around awning is deployed...Also, I wanted to keep the holes through the roof to a minimum...In the picture you also get a better look at the rack tie-down hardware...

(above)  I cut one of my silver surfboard logos and mounted it here...

(above)  The steel lockbox was pained black and had big bolts coming through the top, so i changed those out with rivets and put carpet over the box...There is one seam in there if you look close...In front of the lock...The carpet covers over the hinge and folds nicely so I didn't need to do a cut there...Looks better that way too...

(above)  The side rollbars were covered with 1/2" foam pipe insulation, then carpet was installed over that...I use heavy duty peel and stick pressure sensitive adhesive on all that stuff...The bar behind the seats got a similar treatment...

(above)  For lighting up the front cabin, I used a couple types of LED lighting...The primary lighting is this rope light...

(above)  Stuck to the top edge of the windshield are a pair of low intensity blue LED light strips...

(above)  The electrical connections for the Scanguage and Ham radio were solid...

The Scanguage plug in is down near the brake pedal and intrudes kind of far into the foot space, so I mounted it up behind the speaker panel down there...

The Ham radio control unit is under the driver seat and the hand unit was not mounted, but resting aside the seat...I brought it forward...

New radio speakers installed...Tweeters up high and mid-range down low...Not easy to mount those low ones without removing 99% of the up front plastic...I found a way, but it wasn't easy for a guy with big mitts..

(above)  Top down, controls for: 
Switch for rear light power source...Not tied to ignition switch...Can be a constant on or switched off...
Red...High intensity LED rope light..
Blue...Low intensity blue LED lights...
Orange...Tablet computer power switch
Rear light mounted on rack (3 way switch)

(above) Over the rollbar carpet I fitted in a wood strip to fill the gap...

(above)  The power for the tablet works...I love it when a plan succeeds...Note new location of Ham radio handset...

(above)  Rear view cam and garage door controlling mirror...

(above)  Rear view cam with the roof up...

(above)  MDTMF Microphone...Just above that is the new microphone for the cell phone built into the Sirius radio...

(above)  The Ham radio antenna was mounted to the hinged engine compartment hood and the lifting of the hood stretched and severed the cable...So I got a new cable, did some soldering to make it work and re-mounted the antenna to a non-hinged area...

(above)  In back, powered up...I will label what's what...You get a distorted view of one of the drawer pulls here too...

(above)  The generator / recovery gear boxes now lock...Just enough to keep the curious from becoming felonius...

(above)  New shovel mount...The rubber strap thing is a huge improvement over the old metal/wingnut mount...

(above)  The ax is over here...

The list of things to finish is pretty short now...Mostly cosmetic and filling if fluids and fuels...There are a couple of electrical things to sort out...Nothing major...

Mike mentioned me doing a shakedown cruise...I'll likely head out sometime mid next week...Our weather forecast is calling for a huge rainfall event starting Monday...I'll wait for that, at least, to pass...I'm thinking of doing a loop up Hood Canal then driving west along The Strait of Juan de Fuca to the Pacific, the drive south along the coast before heading east back home...Three or four days...No worries, no hurries...

I'll probably do one more post here before Mike starts a New Post based on the Grand Adventures of (insert vehicle title)...I throw my trip report in there...

More later...

Jeep 50

(above)  I posted this before but without an explanation...The zebrawood at the bottom was cut with a knife, by hand...two pieces of veneer were overlaid, then the pattern was drawn lightly with pencil, then cut...Next, half the pieces were set aside and the remaining ones were patterned as you see...The margins between the pieces were slight and non-descript...i wanted them enhanced so i put some 1/8" wide strips of ZW that was cut, short grain...

It was all installed with pressure sensitive adhesive...The copper sun rays near the center started to peel off overnight...The problem is the copper has a PSA paper backing and that PSA was less than stong enough...i could have supplemented adhesives, but saw the rabbit hole that would become, so the stategy was to move to mechanical attachment...thus the truss head screws at the ends...On the outer ends of the rays are copper pipe straps, screwed into the veneer covered 1/8" plywood and the underlying 1/2" structural plywood...The loops can be used as attachment points if you want to tie something up there...

The veneers got a thin coat of tung oil...One coat should be fine...It sealed the wood and richened up the color...The fir veneers should mellow and darken over time...

(above)   The ham radio has a GPS component, so I ran the sensor to somewhere where it could best receive signals...PSA attachment... 

(above)   Mike brought by some vehicle recovery gear...

(above)   ...and I found a home for it all...

(above)   Easy access for when it counts...

(above)   The emergency water and gas cans were mounted up here, behind the tire for better aerodynamics...The mounting hardware is bolted to the rack and released easily...

(above)   The black metal tie-down tracks were bolted through the rack and have solid and easy to move tie-down rings...Great stuff...That metal step scaffolding on top of the water/fuel is something I'll probably include in the project...It serves as a low step, seat of high step/ladder...With the teak floor pulled out and set on top, it is a perfect outdoor table, and with the bench back-rest cushions on top make a great place to lay out and soak in the sun, up off the ground...I'll get pictures of that set-up later...

(above)   When I mounted the tie-down tracks to the curb side of the rack, I took off the shovel/ax mount, and you can see that one of the welded on bolts came un-welded...To me the design was funky...First off, to access it you need to get to the roof, twist two firmly tightened wing nuts and eventually you need to reverse the process to store them again...Way too complicated...Especially when you need them quickly...

(above)   So my solution turned out something like this...

(above)   The case handle was useless, so I put a couple of big tee-nuts on the underside, drilled a couple of holes and spun a pair of eyeybolts into the tee nuts...The HD zip-ties do a couple of things...first they really hold the ax and shovel tight to each other and they deter thieves...If you want to 100% lock them, a piece of  pipe can be fit through the eye-bolts and locked...

(above)   The placement of the shovel was precise so that when the door is opened there is no contact between the shovel tip and the cabin...

(above)   Up front things are getting finished...from left to right: Scanguage, camera tray, ham radio, tablet computer...Above: mirror and rear view cam monitor...

(above)   Passenger trays, and below a 12 volt DC and a 120 volt AC outlets...The basics...Carpet fits the trays...

(above)   In the back I messed around with the lights...

(above)   The raw LED lights cast this, on the ceiling...

(above)   If you put the red plastic plate on top of it...

(above)   ...it looks like this...Put on the Barry White and whisper "Come a little bit closer, Sugar and let's share some champagne"...

(above)   Back to reality...Driver view in the dark...

More later...

Forty-Nine...

(above)   As I mentioned in the previous post, the new work and the plastic tray got fiberglassed to make the whole unit solid...


(above)   The driver side tray did too...By glassing that bottom edge, it locked the tray to the bar and removed the flex that is common to molded plastic...These two glassed units got sanded smooth and were painted black...

(above)   Another test fit...The tablet computer is set just low/high enough to not obscure any of the view...


(above)   I removed the mirror with the intent of installing the ham radio to it...I found a better place instead...

(above)   On the bar between the driver side tray and the center console...


(above)   The ceiling in the rear cabin was covered with some vertical grain douglas fir veneer...Pressure sensitive, peel and stick adhesive was used between the existing plywood and the veneer...


(above)   Thin copper roof flashing was PSA'd and cut to tapered wedges and a disc...

(above)   Then with the help of Mike Cummins installed over the fir veneer...Tomorrow the area below the sun will get a rolling hills pattern made of zebrawood veneer...

(above)   The sketch we worked off of...

(above)   I did some mixing of parts to make a flexible neck reading light...The head is an LED light I found at Lowes as a clip on lamp...it was wired for 120VAC, but the plug in convert changed the voltage to 12VDC...So I cut the adapter off and wired it to the base/dimmer of another flex light that was in the pile of stuff...It will be installed up near the pull-out bed and can be moved to be used as a reading light there, and also for when you are reading on the bench seat...It's extremely bright, so the dimmer will be useful to control the intensity...

(above)   Rear view cameras and a ScanGuage...

(above)   The seat backs need a strap to join them solidly to each other...There is a lot of design and refine...

(above)   The floor got another coat of tung oil...

(above)   The retrieval gear needs to find a home...Probably on the roof rack...

(above)   Fittings for ceiling tie downs...


(above)   And there is more leather left for use up front...

More later...