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  #31  
Old November 27th, 2015, 08:00
F.N.G. F.N.G. is offline
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Expedition Build: Yellow Jeep XJ

Rear Cargo Area MOLLE Gear Attachment Mod

I wanted to open up my cargo area for my gear and maximize space.
So I felt some MOLLE attachment points on the sides of the interior rear cargo area would be beneficial.
Looked up a couple of forums and found some walkthroughs from people that had already done this mod.
As there is already in-depth tutorials available, I will be brief.
So I got some supplies and got to work.

Tip:
Pull back the sound dampening insulation on the back side of trim before drilling.
Otherwise it will gum up your drill bit.

Removed Rear Quarter Interior Cargo Panel




Drill Holes 2 Inches Apart




Attach nylon straps with round head machine screws and washers




Secure bolts with Wingnuts




Leave slack between screws in order to fit MOLLE gear straps through.





Final Result:



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  #32  
Old November 28th, 2015, 08:06
F.N.G. F.N.G. is offline
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Re: Expedition Build: Yellow Jeep XJ

Hood Louvers Installation

Addressing some cooling issues.
The XJ would remain at 210F, it would boil over under heavy load.
(Long Steep hill climbs, extended low gear 4wd off-roading, etc.)

Previously replaced radiator, water pump, thermostat and hosing, inlet tube and a hose.
And a very thorough coolant flush.
Ran a lot better and was under 210 for the first time ever.
Hood and engine bay still had a lot of heat trapped in there though.
I was going to be leaving New England to travel across country, and had expeditions planned in high temp places such the Mojave Desert.
So we decided to take extra measures to ensure air flow in higher temp environments.
It was time to carve into the hood and let some of that heat out.

My buddy Mike carved up the passenger side. I chopped up the drivers side, then we compared cuts cause we're competitive like that.
The end result was pretty good. We chose a placement that will hopefully promote better airflow at both low and high speeds.
Definitely made a noticeable difference. This will hold me over until I get a Cowl Induction Hood next year.

Genright Hood Louvers mock up:



Mike making the cut




End result:

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  #33  
Old November 30th, 2015, 07:22
F.N.G. F.N.G. is offline
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Location: New Hampshire
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Expedition Build: Yellow Jeep XJ

Maximize Space in Cargo Area

Removed the back seat to maximize use of space. Kept the back rest and flipped down to use as platform for crates, as well as store a few things under it.
Recovery gear is kept under seat backing for easy access.
(jack, snatch block, straps etc)
We now have enough space to sleep in cargo area of vehicle if conditions are not optimum for camping.

All expedition gear will be organized in cases and containers.
Room still available for cooler and personal gear.
Cargo area consists of 4 Plano crates, 1 bug out bag and MOLLE gear on passenger side rear.
Space still available for various items.
Cases are heavy duty, impact and water resistant.
All containers will be marked for easy identification.
Automotive, Camp, Food and Sleep supplies all have corresponding numbers.

Gear will be kept pre-packed in containers at all times. All that is needed to pack for a trip is to load containers, 1 personal gear bag, and cooler.
Vehicle can be loaded, turn key and out of driveway in minutes; with enough gear and non perishable food to sustain 2 people for weeks.


Bench Seat Removed





Small Plano Hardcase for sensitive equipment




Large Plano crates for expedition equipment and gear




Gear Loaded mock up




Number Designation



Update:

We ran this setup on a month long road trip on both roads and trails.
Stress tested this hard on some rugged trails, as well as stop and go city driving. No issues with shifting gear whatsoever.
There was even an incident in Centralia where the Jeep got airborn. Girlfriend wasn't impressed, but the gear was fine.

Pros:
Organized, secure, rugged, water/dust resistant, removable storage system, light weight.

Cons:
Decreased driving visibility, decreased quick accessibility to bottom row crates, increased weight when overpacked,

Drawback: blindspots.
This setup does hamper side/rear visibility to an extant.
Rearview mirror becomes useless, and visibility looking to the side/back to check blind spots in windows is decreased.
Must rely solely on side mirrors and side windows.
Not so much an issue on trails, but merging in traffic on cities and interstates requires more caution than normal.

Drawback: Weight.
Weight is a double edged sword. These Plano Crates weigh next to nothing, so it is far lighter than an integrated rack or platform system. But having crates can lead to filling them with more equipment, essentially overpacking and adding more weight in the process.

In the future I may build a floor rack platform with drawers no more than 6" in height, and downsize from four rear crates to two.
Gear would then be level with windows, keeping visibility.
This would also promote the need to prioritize gear for the sake of weight reduction, thus reducing the probability of overpacking.

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  #34  
Old November 30th, 2015, 18:11
jeepdreamer's Avatar
jeepdreamer jeepdreamer is offline
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Re: Expedition Build: Yellow Jeep XJ

Looking good sir! On mine I decided since I'm the only one expoing (is that a word? Haha) with maybe the wife rarely riding shotgun, I have no need ever for the rear seat. One thought I had was to strip the rear seat back to its frame and use it to mount stuff via molle or other means. Losing the cover gains a few inches under it when folded down. Not sure where your end goal is but I thought I'd share the idea.
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  #35  
Old November 30th, 2015, 22:46
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Johnnie Walker Johnnie Walker is offline
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Re: Expedition Build: Yellow Jeep XJ

Maybe make some kind of rail/rack setup to run across the cargo area to separate upper and lower containers. That way you would have easier access to them.
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  #36  
Old December 1st, 2015, 05:38
F.N.G. F.N.G. is offline
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Re: Expedition Build: Yellow Jeep XJ

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepdreamer View Post
Looking good sir! On mine I decided since I'm the only one expoing (is that a word? Haha) with maybe the wife rarely riding shotgun, I have no need ever for the rear seat. One thought I had was to strip the rear seat back to its frame and use it to mount stuff via molle or other means. Losing the cover gains a few inches under it when folded down. Not sure where your end goal is but I thought I'd share the idea.
That's a good idea actually. I don't think it will work in my particular build, but I like it. I am curious how level it would be without the upholstery.

I need for the entire cargo area to lay flat, yet utilize the space under the seat.
I took the seat out, but left the back rest so that it could still lay down as a level platform in the cargo area. Don't want to alter the existing seat as I may need it in the future. I was thinking of taking the backrest out and making a flip up storage compartment in it's place that stays level with the rest of the cargo are when down.

I may make a sliding drawer box rack system that breaks where the rear seat would, then attach a flip up addition from that point on where the rear seat used to be.
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  #37  
Old December 1st, 2015, 06:39
F.N.G. F.N.G. is offline
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Re: Expedition Build: Yellow Jeep XJ

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnnie Walker View Post
Maybe make some kind of rail/rack setup to run across the cargo area to separate upper and lower containers. That way you would have easier access to them.
That is definitely an alternative.
While I like it, my only issue would be more things to take out if I want to use the cargo area for sleeping or what not. I am trying to maximize space use while also attempting to simplifying the complete packing/unpacking process and time spent. It's a balancing act in regards to storage capacity vs efficiency, while remaining easily removable.
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  #38  
Old December 1st, 2015, 06:39
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jeepdreamer jeepdreamer is offline
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Expedition Build: Yellow Jeep XJ

FWIW, here is what that seat back looks like stripped of its foam and cover. Shouldn't be hard to make it do what you want.


And here are a couple of my favorite ideas...


If you need more ideas try googling xj cargo mods or visit the expedition portal, storage solutions section, sticky, "post up your drawer slides".
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  #39  
Old December 1st, 2015, 08:03
F.N.G. F.N.G. is offline
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Re: Expedition Build: Yellow Jeep XJ

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepdreamer View Post
If you need more ideas try googling xj cargo mods or visit the expedition portal, storage solutions section, sticky, "post up your drawer slides".
Thanks for the ideas, much appreciated. I may have to try a few of them out.
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  #40  
Old December 1st, 2015, 08:06
F.N.G. F.N.G. is offline
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Re: Expedition Build: Yellow Jeep XJ

Next up: Bolt On 101

This will finish the XJ's air intake and exhaust upgrade for now.
Since the intake and exhaust manifolds would be out that we decided it would be a good time to upgrade the motor mounts while we had access to them.
Also decided to install new sensors as they looked a little tired.
It was "bolt on" fever.

Parts List:

AEM Brute Force High Flow Air Intake
Bored Out Throttle Body 63mm from StrokedJeep
Banks High Flow Torque Tube Exhaust Manifold
784 Fuel Injectors
New I.A.C., M.A.P., and T.P.S.
Brown Dog Ultra Flex Motor Mounts
And my final differential fluid change needed for my recent regear to 4.56

Parts
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  #41  
Old December 1st, 2015, 09:04
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jeepdreamer jeepdreamer is offline
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Re: Expedition Build: Yellow Jeep XJ

Are you still running the two previous cats or did you toss them with the new header? And are you stuck with the 0331 cylinder head?
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  #42  
Old December 1st, 2015, 12:12
F.N.G. F.N.G. is offline
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Re: Expedition Build: Yellow Jeep XJ

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepdreamer View Post
Are you still running the two previous cats or did you toss them with the new header? And are you stuck with the 0331 cylinder head?
Already replaced the old pre-cats with new ones.
So the entire exhaust and air intake has been replaced or upgraded.

Unfortunately I do have the 0331 head.
But no indication that it is cracked.
No oil in my coolant, no coolant in my valve cover.
Just did a compression check today actually.
Numbers seem within spec.

Compression Test Results:
  1. 148
  2. 140
  3. 149
  4. 138
  5. 155
  6. 155
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  #43  
Old December 1st, 2015, 12:48
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jeepdreamer jeepdreamer is offline
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Re: Expedition Build: Yellow Jeep XJ

Quote:
Originally Posted by F.N.G. View Post
Already replaced the old pre-cats with new ones.
So the entire exhaust and air intake has been replaced or upgraded.

Unfortunately I do have the 0331 head.
But no indication that it is cracked.
No oil in my coolant, no coolant in my valve cover.
Just did a compression check today actually.
Numbers seem within spec.

Compression Test Results:
  1. 148
  2. 140
  3. 149
  4. 138
  5. 155
  6. 155
Good call on the new exhaust. My factory rear (3rd?) Cat weighed a ton.
As for the 0331... good luck. There is no rhythm or reason behind their failure. Mine went out of the blue at around 160-1650k. Sitting in traffic (fall time so cool) and one second it was fine, the next I had a massive temp spike.
I knew what it was as soon as it happened, drove it anyway while carefully keeping the coolant full but it was a done deal. Had I put it on the wrecker immediately I probably could have saved the bottom end but I didn't. Drove it maybe 2 months back and forth to work before calling it done. Sadly it idled just fine and drove normal until it ran out of coolant, that way right into the shop for its transplant. More scary was the resulting block cracks that you'd never see without pulling the intake and exhaust.
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  #44  
Old December 1st, 2015, 13:24
F.N.G. F.N.G. is offline
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Re: Expedition Build: Yellow Jeep XJ

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepdreamer View Post
Good call on the new exhaust. My factory rear (3rd?) Cat weighed a ton.
As for the 0331... good luck. There is no rhythm or reason behind their failure. Mine went out of the blue at around 160-1650k. Sitting in traffic (fall time so cool) and one second it was fine, the next I had a massive temp spike.
Been keeping an eye on it for symptoms, since I know the history of those 0331 heads.
I have had a few boil overs in the past, but not since I replaced my entire coolant system.
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  #45  
Old December 1st, 2015, 14:18
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yossarian19 yossarian19 is offline
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Re: Expedition Build: Yellow Jeep XJ

Rule of thumb for "healthy" is all cylinders within 10% of the high reading, so you are a little outside of that but I wouldn't sweat it without any symptoms.
I would consider removing the bench seat entirely and building a hinged deck from the bench's pivots to the rear of the bucket seats. Put your "If we need it, we've got time..." sort of items in there, like the jack & gear oil & junk like that.
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