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...