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  #211  
Old June 30th, 2009, 17:32
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ehall ehall is offline
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Re: beater!

I had some problems with my Cadillac that I had to take care of so this project was on hold for a bit, and now the engine is running hot and I'm trying to chase that down. Hopefully I will be able to do some of the cheap/free mods once I get the temperature stabilized.
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  #212  
Old July 1st, 2009, 15:27
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Re: beater!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shorty View Post
obviously I'm in the hole for $20.00 so send me an address with the updates-- I'm good to my word, so the next paint project can begin-- twenty bucks cheaper than it would have run........
I hate feeling like I owe someone something............... welcome back, we haven't heard from you in a while. I was afraid you gave up and set fire to the ol' girl
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  #213  
Old July 2nd, 2009, 11:07
cmelo cmelo is offline
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Re: beater!

My beater!





I got it for free and drive it everyday.
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  #214  
Old July 11th, 2009, 08:53
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Re: beater!

I've had most of the parts for the hatch modifications but am just now getting around to it. The list of desired mods includes finishing the speakers, installing some work lights, integrating the 3rd brake light on the '96 hatch with my '91 body harness, adding a herculined panel and some netting similar to what I did on the back seat, and adding some supplemental reverse lights. Working through the dependencies, the 3rd brake light requires the panel to be installed, but the speaker and work lights require mods to the interior panel, so I am doing those first.

When I was doing all the body work for paint, I had installed some 6x9 speakers into the factory speaker opening, flush mounted to the hatch fiberglass with rubber well nuts.



This worked well enough for the speakers alone. Unfortunately there is no easy way to attach a grill to them and have the grill poke out the panel with the results looking close to clean. Also there is a limited amount of depth in the hatch which severely restricts the choice of speakers. So I decided to mount the speakers to the panel directly.

First step was to mark the center of the speaker hole on the panel so that I could cut out the hole and have the speaker still fit in the stock recess. What I did was remove the interior panel and make measurements from the side and bottom, then put the panel back on and mark those distances back onto the panel. Interestingly this lined up exactly center on the factory speaker cuts on the panel that came with the hatch. I thought it would be off because the padding is all over the place back there, but it was dead center on both sides.



Next issue was that the decorative shoulder on the panel interferes with the top of the 6x9 speakers so I had to think about this problem for a while too.



What I eventually decided to do was to notch the top of the grill holder so that it would lay over the hatch panel, since it will be easier to fill in the black material with foam tape or something than to cover up damage to the panel. However I still had to notch the panel in order for the actual grill piece to clear the shoulder.



Here's what they look like installed



I was kind of worried about weight but I have tested with just one plastic anchor and the panel stays on fine. I am going to replace the plastic anchors with real hardware pretty soon too so I'm not worried at all right now.

One interesting thing is that the bass is much better than it was. I guess the panel provides some kind of baffling.
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  #215  
Old July 11th, 2009, 15:43
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Re: beater!

When I was doing the body work I went ahead and made modifications needed to support work lights in the hatch. This was basically just a couple of holes in the fiberglass, and some wiring to support constant power and switched ground. Here's a pic showing the hole and wires, which is in the next recess inwards from the speakers.



Setup strategy was basically the same--remove the panel, measure from the edges to the hole center, reinstall the panel, measure back and mark.



Looks good...unfortunately I missed the one on the right by 1/4th of an inch and the lamp bumps the hatch. Don't know how I did that and got the left side spot on, but I sure as shit did.



You can see in the next pic how the right side of the panel does not close because the lamp bumps the hatch. At least the lights work, but they are awful dim. I will either get some high output LEDs to match what is in the cargo lamp, or maybe get a couple of halogen backup bulbs.



It started threatening rain so I had to clean up everything. Tomorrow I will try to fix the lamp position, work on hardware for securing the panel to the hatch better, and hook up the third brake light.

I also have to do a shitload of wiring. The 3rd brake light will have to be spliced into the left tail-light harness which isn't a big deal but it's work. I also intend to make the work lights come on when the cabin switch is on AND the hatch is open, which means splicing in some relays, which will take a fair bit of time.
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  #216  
Old July 12th, 2009, 14:26
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Re: beater!

Well after looking at the hatch it seems that I cut the holes for the lights about 1/2" too far inwards on both sides. It just seemed that the right side was too far over because once I had the left side in place the right side was pulled too far over. Easy fix with fiberglass though--just enlarge the cutouts.

The third brake light was pretty simple to install. I had already run the hatch wiring for it when I was doing the body work, so I just had to splice the pigtail into the brake light circuit. I decided to splice into the body harness since that was not as likely to be replaced as the tail light harnesses which have already been replaced twice. Only thing weird about the exterior lights is that they are all switched power and constant ground, which is the exact opposite of the interior lights.



Speaking of tail light harnesses, I replaced the existing pair and soldered the second tail/brake sockets (the secondary brake lights in the pic above) on the new pair. The previous harnesses were a bad pick from the junkyard and had rusty sockets and cracked leads. The new ones came from a later XJ that was in pretty good shape, and should be a keeper.
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  #217  
Old July 13th, 2009, 16:28
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Re: beater!

Work lights are working, although I have to install a jamb switch to "finish" it. That will have to wait until I get the trim reinstalled.



More discussion and pics http://www.naxja.org/forum/showpost....2&postcount=38
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  #218  
Old July 14th, 2009, 11:11
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Re: beater!

I did the work on securing the panel to the hatch. Although the plastic anchors seemed to be holding it up well, my plan is to use some of the oversized Tahoe tie-downs and a convenience net (like seen on the back of the rear seat in the post above).

This is kind of tricky with the fiberglass since you can't screw into it, or weld a nut to it, or even use something like rivet nuts because those will tear through. I wanted to use something like wall anchors but the tie-downs are 10mm thread and there are no wall anchors anywhere on the planet in that size that I could find. What I ended up doing was reusing some of the leftover spring nuts that I had bought along with the replacement bumpers and brackets, and these seemed to work really well. Basically I drilled holes through the panel into the fiberglass at strategic spots, then drilled large large holes beside them so that I could push the spring nut into place. Here's a pic showing how this works



I did that all of the four corners, but for the top two center ones I simply dropped some flange nuts into the holes and pulled them down. I forgot to take pictures of this sorry.

The only problem with the spring nuts is that the rear threaded part is about 1/2" away from the mounting surface, which is too long for the tie-down hardware to reach. I was able to get the upper four installed (barely) but neither of the bottom two would reach at all. Once I get the herculiner down I doubt that any of them will reach. Here are a couple pics with the tie-downs installed.





I don't know about strength here. I am pretty sure that anything over 20 pounds will rip out the nut, however it would close the hatch first so unless somebody tries to prop up the hatch to secure a hammock to it or something dumb like that I dont think there will be any real problem. The most I plan to put in there are some lightweight supplies like emergency blank and first aid kit.

I will need to order longer hardware and find another net somewhere. I also have to buy the herculiner and apply it. I have not yet decided if I am going to cut sheet metal like I did on the seat or if I will just herculiner the hatch panel directly. I'm in no hurry, since all of that requires cash that is pretty tight right now.
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  #219  
Old July 15th, 2009, 15:03
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Re: beater!

I had bought the three factory skids for my jeep but I had only installed tcase and gas tank skids and was going to hold off on the front skid until I did the lift. However I knew the skid needed some cutting in order for it to fit with my custom front-mounted receivers, so I decided to do the fitment work this afternoon.

As a reminder, the front receivers mount to the tow-hook spots on the front unibody and hang out of the lower part of the air dam/valence.



This interferes with the engine skid in two ways--first is that the tow hooks block the bolt holes on the skid's right mounting tab, and second is that receivers are physically larger than the skid design allows. In order to use the skid with the receivers, I had to make two sets of cuts.

The first modification was to cut off part of the tab with two bolt holes since that piece of metal was in the way. This leaves one hole on this side of the skid, which is the same as the other side. I don't think it will matter.



Next was to notch the skid so that it would fit over the receivers. This looks like a big cut, but its really only an inch wide and four inches long... the skid was already notched substantially for factory tow hooks



My jeep did not come with a skid, and the junkard cut the studs when they removed the skid, so I had to make my own. I had some grade 10.9 M8 bolts left over from another project, and they seemed to almost fit in the factory holes, so I used an M8 tap to thread the existing holes and cranked the bolts in. This is probably overkill since the sheetmetal crossmember is super thin and will rip out before anything else happens. Sorry for the bad pic, but the flash did not cooperate.



Here are a couple of pics after the skid is installed





I've had to take it back off to paint over my cuts but I may reinstall it tomorrow. It's pretty easy to take on and off.
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  #220  
Old July 16th, 2009, 13:15
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OverlandZJ OverlandZJ is offline
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Re: beater!

I dig those light in the hatch. I picked up an oval shaped Sylvania LED light that swivels on the cheap that i'v been using. I'm sure yours will put out more lighting.

Good to see you back at it!
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  #221  
Old July 17th, 2009, 06:32
muddyrocks muddyrocks is offline
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Re: beater!

x2 for the work lights... and for the balance of the project for that matter. Good job.
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  #222  
Old July 17th, 2009, 09:01
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Re: beater!

Thanks guys. I'm starting on my long list of electrical items so won't have much in the way of pics on that stuff.

The first item is a bypass for the fog light switch so that they can be used with any other lights. I had hoped to wire this into the parking light circuit but I couldn't get enough of the headlight switch wiring exposed to feel comfortable, so I used markw's hack and tapped into the headlight power circuit at the delay timer below the switch. This means the fogs can be used when no other lights are on, but unfortunately means its constant battery power.

Just like the instructions say, I cut the violet/white wire a couple of inches back, then extended the line down with a soldered piece of wire. Once I got to the shutdown timer, I pulled the orange/grey wire out of the socket, folded back part of the tab piece, clamped the new wire in place, and put it all back together.



I have plans to install a bunch more lights and will change to ignition power when I put in those switches.
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  #223  
Old July 22nd, 2009, 17:26
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Re: beater!

I got the grab handles installed, and put a writeup in this thread



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  #224  
Old July 24th, 2009, 14:32
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Re: beater!

I switched the drivers door connector to the Amphenol milspec 28-11 set that I had (notes are in the amended writeup)



I have also started putting the interior together. The "limited country edition" is working out pretty well I think



There sure are a lot of shades of gray in there. I may have to Fusion the interior
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  #225  
Old July 25th, 2009, 17:45
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Re: beater!

I was experimenting with some under-the-dash speakers to replace teeny little factory 3 inch units but couldn't make anything work. Along the way I'd picked up these 4x6 speakers for $25 from Crutchfield during one of their sales and decided to try and mount them into the kick panels





They sound pretty good and it will be nice to have forward speakers when the doors are off. However it's pretty hard to get all the wires and everything into the kick panels with these things, and some smaller 5.25 or even 6.5 inchers would be a lot easier to deal with. As it stands right now I will probably have to drill new holes in order to get the kick panels screwed down fully.
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