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  #1  
Old August 23rd, 2012, 22:56
X E Ryder X E Ryder is offline
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Lightbulb Expedition XJ Build, Tech & Sources Thread

Expedition XJ Build, Tech & Sources Thread

Back when the XJ made its debut, magazine writers called it “revolutionary” and “surprisingly capable off the showroom”. With so many produced, it is one of the most economical and rewarding 4x4’s to mod for your chosen use. The “original SUV” makes a great Expedition type vehicle as well.

My XJ is a daily driver during the week, up a 17% grade in the mountains of Northern California to work, and on the weekends, my wife and I will explore various trails and camp. After owning my XJ for awhile now, and several mods, I find myself drawn towards the “Expedition” type build – able to drive a long distance on road, then explore remote areas offroad, fully equipped to camp and deal with unexpected situations and be fully self sufficient.

There are so many resources for useful items, and I wanted to share them with my fellow members. It is my hope you will post up your Expedition XJ builds and the equipment and discoveries you have made as well. So to kick off, here are some items and websites I have purchased from or thought might be useful.

Gobi XJ Roofracks


http://www.gobijeep.com/Cherokee.htm


Olympic 4x4 Products Mountaineer Rack

http://www.quadratec.com/products/12038_800X_PG.htm


BDS Suspension Kits

http://bds-suspension.com/kit-customizer?kid=468H


Alps Manufacturing Catskill Table (on a great expedition website)


http://expeditionoffroad.com/camping...catskill_table

JCR Offroad - Bumpers, Sliders, Armor, Steering

http://www.jcroffroad.com/mm5/mercha...t_Code=XJ-R-DX


Mr. Swagman Australian Swag (it's a hot/cold/wet weather tent and sleeping bag in one 1 minute setup!)

http://www.mrswagman.com.au/premium-deluxe.shtml


Garmin Montana GPS

http://sites.garmin.com/montana/


That seems like a good start! Looking forward to your additions!
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  #2  
Old August 23rd, 2012, 23:09
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Milford Cubicle II Milford Cubicle II is offline
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Re: Expedition XJ Build, Tech & Sources Thread

I like this thread

I like that table too. A little pricey but a good idea to steal.
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  #3  
Old August 23rd, 2012, 23:18
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karstic karstic is offline
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Re: Expedition XJ Build, Tech & Sources Thread

So how about a picture of your rig.
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  #4  
Old August 24th, 2012, 09:28
X E Ryder X E Ryder is offline
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Cool Re: Expedition XJ Build, Tech & Sources Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by karstic View Post
So how about a picture of your rig.
Give that man a doughnut! I wondered how long it would be before someone made that call

I have it all apart in the garage right now doing the SYE, lift, front bumper - most of the stuff above. I'm going to start a separate build thread that has progress pictures though.
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  #5  
Old August 24th, 2012, 16:16
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iluv83vettes iluv83vettes is offline
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Re: Expedition XJ Build, Tech & Sources Thread

That is the same suspension and bumpers/armor I am looking at getting for my new XJ. I am also looking at doing the same type build. Can't wait to see what else is in store.
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  #6  
Old August 25th, 2012, 11:03
X E Ryder X E Ryder is offline
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Cool Navigation ON and OFF road - Info!

For today's posting, I wanted to share what I have learned about mapping, navigation and GPS for expedition use. Apparently it can be tough to make the On road devices play nice Off road, and vice versa. Personally, I really did not want to try to deal with squinting at a little bitty screen while I'm bouncing up and down on a trail.

My plan was to mount an iPad 2 3G on the passenger side because my wife is a great navigator. The screen dwarfs even the largest GPS unit, plus is entirely touch. The GPS works with NO 3G signals - it's separate, if you cannot get GPS connection, you just use some of the iPad's drive to store your Topo maps or Magellan streets as offline backups. The iPad also has the default Google Map app built in.



To that end, I found a fantastic write up with sources and even a you tube video showing how the system works. Apple lists the iPad 2 3G 16Gb for $629 and I bought one on Amazon used in great shape for $415 shipped - many people are upgrading to the iPad3 so you can pick the 2 up cheap right now!

Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listi...condition=used

iPad Overland Navigation System Primer
http://tlcfaq.com/main/2012/08/ipad-...gation-system/

Hope you enjoy!
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  #7  
Old August 25th, 2012, 11:22
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AJTorris AJTorris is offline
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Re: Expedition XJ Build, Tech & Sources Thread

Im going this route more and more the farther i get along with my build/family lol. I have found that there is a lot of ideas out there and sources.

What do you expect to have on your jeep as far as supplies, resources, and equipment? An idea that you may want to think about is all the storage areas that people dont think about. Like the rear frame rails from the bumper may be a nice area to keep a spare shaft or two. If you dont have kids or passengers in your back seat too often another idea is to create a compartment on the floor board that will level it out from the hump to the doors.

I dont know how far out you are wanting to go but me personally i want to be able to go out in the middle of no where and be self sufficient.

(im preparing for 2012) LMAO
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  #8  
Old August 25th, 2012, 14:12
X E Ryder X E Ryder is offline
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Cool Suggested Supplies - Add Yours!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AJTorris View Post
Im going this route more and more the farther i get along with my build/family lol. I have found that there is a lot of ideas out there and sources.

What do you expect to have on your jeep as far as supplies, resources, and equipment? An idea that you may want to think about is all the storage areas that people dont think about. Like the rear frame rails from the bumper may be a nice area to keep a spare shaft or two. If you dont have kids or passengers in your back seat too often another idea is to create a compartment on the floor board that will level it out from the hump to the doors.

I dont know how far out you are wanting to go but me personally i want to be able to go out in the middle of no where and be self sufficient.

(im preparing for 2012) LMAO
Hi AJ! Yes I sort of ended up a LOT further down this road than I thought , and I LIKE It! What I didn't anticipate was how much my wife loves it! As for what I plan to carry...

For starters I used the list, "What Should I Bring On The Trail"
http://www.naxja.org/forum/showthread.php?t=101121

Then cross referenced the Ridgco Trail Prep page
http://www.rigidco.com/trail_prep.htm

If anyone has other similar pages/lists, post them up!

Yes AJ I would like to see what sort of stash spots you have utilized for storage. I always consider CG and What-If-Roll-Over situations when choosing my storage spots. We also have low trees on some of the trails around here, so for those 3 reasons I have decided to hold off on a roof rack for now. We put our bedding and clothes in waterproof bags on the roof - it's light, flexible and doesn't rip-off under trees. But that is not to say I would not LOVE one of those Gobi racks ($1300)



I think I may go for the Detours A-pillar light mounts though, they are low enough it would be hard to damage lights that much lower.



We try to be totally self sufficient also. Hey if you are getting ready for 2012 better get it done!

Last edited by X E Ryder; August 25th, 2012 at 14:13. Reason: Whoops!
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  #9  
Old August 25th, 2012, 15:49
dsapper dsapper is offline
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Re: Expedition XJ Build, Tech & Sources Thread

I see a lot of ideas bouncing around here but there are a few things to keep in mind.

1. Expedition doesn't mean hard core 4x4'ing. Its mainly exploring beaten paths and living out of the vehicle.

2. KISS, less modifications the better. Most suggest only lifting the vehicle using load increasing springs to carry more equipment and only increasing the tire size a maximum of 1 inch. Factory is more reliable period. Fixing well known factory weaknesses and making sure everything is in perfect shape is best. Also, if you break a part you dont have, replacing a factory part is 100x easier to find than an aftermarket.

3. Roof racks = suck. Increasing wind resistance and decreasing fuel mileage is counter productive, it also increases your center of gravity and is a nice thief shopping cart. Avoid at all costs and get creative with interior space.

4. skid plates/sliders/protection. Its like insurance, last thing you want is a break down that could have been avoided

5. lights/lights/lights. I can't tell you how much I've used them, from hid's in the headlights themselves to HID warn lights and the libby bar. You can never have enough vision in unfamiliar territory and no amount of planning will stop you from having to drive at night sometimes.

This is my rig, I've explored at least 5k miles in the south west. I've had to use the winch once and it was to pull another vehicle. The parts I use the most are a heavy duty inverter, the wilson cell phone amplifier and the dual battery setup and the electronics (I also use an ipad for almost everything)



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  #10  
Old August 25th, 2012, 17:48
X E Ryder X E Ryder is offline
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Cool Good looking build

Quote:
Originally Posted by dsapper View Post
I see a lot of ideas bouncing around here but there are a few things to keep in mind.

1. Expedition doesn't mean hard core 4x4'ing. Its mainly exploring beaten paths and living out of the vehicle.

2. KISS, less modifications the better. Most suggest only lifting the vehicle using load increasing springs to carry more equipment and only increasing the tire size a maximum of 1 inch. Factory is more reliable period. Fixing well known factory weaknesses and making sure everything is in perfect shape is best. Also, if you break a part you dont have, replacing a factory part is 100x easier to find than an aftermarket.

3. Roof racks = suck. Increasing wind resistance and decreasing fuel mileage is counter productive, it also increases your center of gravity and is a nice thief shopping cart. Avoid at all costs and get creative with interior space.

4. skid plates/sliders/protection. Its like insurance, last thing you want is a break down that could have been avoided

5. lights/lights/lights. I can't tell you how much I've used them, from hid's in the headlights themselves to HID warn lights and the libby bar. You can never have enough vision in unfamiliar territory and no amount of planning will stop you from having to drive at night sometimes.

This is my rig, I've explored at least 5k miles in the south west. I've had to use the winch once and it was to pull another vehicle. The parts I use the most are a heavy duty inverter, the wilson cell phone amplifier and the dual battery setup and the electronics (I also use an ipad for almost everything)
Good stuff - Hey I remember your build thread, and we've got the same rear bumper, do you like it? Have you had that thing out since you got your major upfit finished? Like to hear how it worked out for you.
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  #11  
Old August 25th, 2012, 18:31
KTMqdracer KTMqdracer is offline
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Re: Expedition XJ Build, Tech & Sources Thread

dsapper - Very nice rig! What are the specs? Build thread?

XE Ryder - Where in norcal are you? Looks like you have a good plan going...might have to check out your build sometime.
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  #12  
Old August 25th, 2012, 19:18
dsapper dsapper is offline
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Re: Expedition XJ Build, Tech & Sources Thread

Didn't really have a build thread, posted a few questions before. I have an insane amount of things on it but its all for reliability or durability

I added the TNT stiffeners and adams sliders. I also have the tomiken gas skid, aev engine skid and the jcr front and rear bumpers. I put a 10k warn winch with the wireless kit.

I used a rusty's 4.5" lift which lowered quite a bit once all the equipment was installed. I also upgraded to the currie steering and riddler diff covers. It has 31" bfg all terrains, jcr disco's and misc other little things.

I did install the wrangler dual battery kit and dual optima yellow tops, the spectra cowl kit, mean green alternator, dual hid warns, libby lights and hid head lights.

The electronics are pretty great actually. I use the ipad 2 3g for mapping etc, a wilson cell amplifier, cobra cb, a 2500 watt inverter, 2 solar panels and 2 way radios for communications/electronics.

I have a ton of recovery equipment, tools, straps, parts that I haul around and have plenty of room for a weekend trip.

Biggest thing I did was for cooling. New 3 core radiator, high flow water pump, high flow thermostat housing, vents in the hood etc.

I just made the offroad run from vegas to reno and stopped in a few ghost towns etc, performed flawlessly.

No lockers, no long arms and it goes anywhere.





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  #13  
Old August 25th, 2012, 21:28
KTMqdracer KTMqdracer is offline
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Re: Expedition XJ Build, Tech & Sources Thread

Thanks! Yours is very tastefully modified and I hope mine will turn out just as well when its done.
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  #14  
Old August 26th, 2012, 16:10
X E Ryder X E Ryder is offline
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Cool Tool Bag & Organization

Today I wanted to share my tool bag setup - it has been tested and tuned to have the right content for most any repair. When you start building your trail tool bag or box, I suggest doing all work on your XJ at home out of your Tool bag, than anything you find lacking, put it into the bag or box! This will allow you to fine tune your content for your rig over time.

Started with the CLC Tool Backpack and just loaded it over time. To make things easier to find, I used a silver paint pen to label many of the closed pockets, and it helps my wife finds things if I'm under the XJ and need another tool.

After 3 years using this pack, I'm hooked on it, it carries So Much and has proven tough with no failures of zippers or the like.










There are 75 pockets on this thing, and it took me some time to fill them all, but as you add things you find you need, they will get filled. Not shown, I carry a complete Craftsmen socket set and Jeep service manual which fits in between two of the layers.

@ KTMqdracer, I live in Lake County, you are welcome anytime as are any Members!
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  #15  
Old August 26th, 2012, 17:06
Sardog1 Sardog1 is offline
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Re: Expedition XJ Build, Tech & Sources Thread

Great thread! After just completing the Continental Divide Trail this month on my Kawasaki KLR 650, I'd often wondered how nice it would be doing it again in something that had a seat wider than a 2 X 6! So with that fresh in my mind (and on my arse), I've rekindled my interest in building my 2001 XJ for Expedition type Adventure. So far it has a 3" lift, ARB Bull Bar with Mile Marker 9000lb hydraulic winch, Con Ferr roof rack with Hella 500's on it and Custom 4x4 Fabrication rocker guards. Both the roof rack and rocker bars are due for media blasting and paint. Wisconsin winters are tough on them. Currently it has Bridgestone Dualer AT Revo II's but they will be replaced with MTR's when shot. I've had two sets of MTR's in the past and had great tread life from them (60k +). The girlfriend wanted something quieter so we could hold a conversation with our "inside voices" so on went the Revo's. She's gone and my dog doesn't mind the noise much, so back to MTR's! Loud tires save lives, right? Today I picked up most of the 3/4" square tubing that I need to build a cargo barrier to keep the load from creeping forward and squishing the pooch. The rear seat is out and reserved for K-9 only. I look forward to reading about everyone else's rigs.
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