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Old 05-25-2019, 12:32 AM   #121
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Super Dak View Post
One of the reasons I got my JKU was to haul my dog around (I had been using my SRT-4 with all the seats removed except the drivers seat, but I figured this was better) so I removed the rear seat and made a hinged 3/4" plywood floor. I made brackets that mount to the factory seat bolts, that the hinges mount to. There's no more gap in the floor like there was with the seats folded, and there's room under it for my entrenching tool, spax axe, etc.
I found a large cargo pet liner on Amazon https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 that's great. Bottom is rubberized so it doesn't slip. Long enough to go all the way up the front seat backs, and has a zippered pass-through. Covers all the way to the back (and then some) and up both sides. I added snaps at the corners, and to the plywood, so it's super secure. Also added eyelets and use Velcro strap to hold the sides to the roll bars, and Velcro tape to the back gate.

This is awesome. Great build. I sleep in my Jeep some, but need the rear seats for my dog especially on long trips where he won't lay down. I didn't realize how easy it would be to remove the 40% and do what you did for storage underneath and a flat surface for the dog and gear.

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Old 06-02-2019, 08:41 PM   #122
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Very unique build! I love all the fab you do, this gives me ideas. Subscribed.

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Old 06-04-2019, 08:40 AM
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First off, thanks for the encouraging comments! They're appreciated.
As for the "swing-out CB chassis/mount" build, I intended to take pics of all the parts after primer, but unfortunately (or not) I got a bit overzealous and ended up assembling everything (so basically, I forgot to take pics. D'oh!) But it's not a super complicated build, so I'll try to go over the basics.
Pic one shows the basic chassis. Just some 16g steel cut to size and bent to fit the CB body. Pretty simple. The piano hinge is a cheap hardware store buy that I cut down to fit (making sure the holes lined up with material on the MPS overhead rack). Not shown (besides the rotary draw latches) I made some side plates from some scrap 12g steel, that fit inside the chassis sides. They add some strength (probably not necessary) but mainly added extra material for all the screws to thread into. I didn't want everything just screwed into the 16g. Had to account for the extra 12g plates (and some thin foam I used on both sides to cushion/protect the CB) before making any bends. Made the speaker hole with a Greenlee knockout punch that I had laying around, from modding my Dakota R/T fifteen years ago, and it just happened to be the right size (much cleaner and easier then a hole saw IMHO).
As a slight side note, I picked up Woodward Fab 10" throatless metal shear to cut plate steel, and it's made my garage fabricating much easier and quicker (and my poor Dremel gets a much needed break). This is the first mod I used it on, and already I don't know how I've lived without it for 50+ years .
Pic two shows it from above the rack. Added a plug end to the CB harness, just to make install/removal easier. I made sure the wires and antenna cable (and even the mic cable, when clipped up) attach to the MPS rack in-line with the hinge, so when the CB swings down, the cables don't bind but are still secured. Ran the power/ground wires through the windshield trim, over and down the DS pillar behind the trim (I attached it to the factory rear-view mirror harness). The 18' antenna cable also goes through the windshield trim, but goes along the PS roll bar (under the padding/cover)all the way to the back.
Pic three shows the freedom panel latch from below, showing why I made the "swing-out" chassis.
Pic four shows the same freedom panel latch with the CB swung down for access. Mission accomplished .
Pic five shows the completed install. Everything painted, stainless button-head screws, mic holder mounted for easy access (I can just key and talk, without pulling it down, for short coms) and the cord doesn't hang low or swing around a bunch when driving.
FWIW I went with the Uniden PRO505XL mainly based on reviews, cost, basic features, size, and mic style/shape. Nothing fancy here.
Now, onto the antenna base/mount....could take a while. All the parts are here, but there's plenty of modding-n-fabbing in my near future.
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Old 06-11-2019, 04:55 PM
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AEV Corners installed....after some modding/fitting.
First off, the AEV corners seem like a nice quality product. With that said, they seem to be made for bone-stock Jeeps (which is obviously what we all have)? Here's just a few notes on the install/mods.
I knew before ordering them that I'd have to do some cutting on the PS corner, where the hinges are... 'cus, you know, I don't have stock hinges. So lots of measuring, marking, cutting, filing, test fitting, repeat, etc. I thought the DS corner would be a quick-n-simple bolt-on, but I'm not that lucky. The hole for the fuel fill was a bit too small for the Mopar-ish fuel door. I ended up doing a lot of grinding and sanding all the way around it to get it to fit. The DS corner was also missing two slots for the clips on the license plate holder. It would have taken about five seconds to dremel the plastic clips off, and maybe that's what I was supposed to do (don't know, 'cus the instructions never mentioned anything about them). I opted to just cut the slots in the corners, which was still a fairly quick solution. I also had to countersink the center rear hole on the DS corner, and the center two rear holes on the PS corner, and replaced the AEV bolts with stainless countersunk bolts. That was just for the mil reflectors, that need a flat surface to mount to. Note: the rear inboard "lower" two bolts (closest to the rear gate) go into double-wall areas. The corner bolts would bottom out in those holes, so I had to shorten the bolts. So just a recommendation, after installing the rivnuts, check the depth vs. bolt length before installing them. Note two: The Astro Pneumatics rivet nut tool (that I got when I installed the fender flares) was worth every penny!
Now to some quick pics.
Pic one shows the hinge side of the AEV corner, before cutting. Just some basic measuring and marking before cranking up the dremel.
Pic two shows it after cutting, filing, etc. I wanted to remove just enough material for it to fit, so I cut notches for the hinge pins. Then cut small 45° angles on the four new corners, just to avoid sharp corners. You can also see the two holes I countersunk.
Pic three shows it all mounted and the fit at the hinges. I'm happy with the fit at the hinges, but also with the corner fit as a whole (on both corners). Consistent straight gaps all the way around.
Pic four shows the two license plate mount slots that I made. Did a quick tape-off spray paint job to cover the bare metal, not pretty, but it's hidden behind the bracket anyways. You can also see the one hole I countersunk. At some point, the corners will get painted Mojave Sand also.
Pic five shows an angle shot of the PS corner hinge fit....and a sneak peak preview
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Old 06-15-2019, 03:54 PM
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Getting close!!!
A rare in-progress pic/update. Final test fitting of the antenna mount with the base installed. I'm real happy with it (so far). The bends came out nice. The base is level, centered, and the distance to the body couldn't be better. The fit is so good that in the pic, the mount isn't actually attached to the corner guard, it almost "snaps" on and holds itself in place even with the weight of the base (not that I'd leave it "hanging" there any longer then it took to take a few pics!) All that's left (with this part) is welding and paint (both of which will be out-sourced).
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Old 06-27-2019, 03:41 PM
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Converted (to CB) AS-3900 A/VRC antenna base mount finished, topped with a 7' Firestik antenna. Complete with military "ball" and tie down. Not 100% military accurate (the spring is a little smaller, and the Firestik is a bit thinner and not 9') but I think it accomplishes the look I was going for. With the top of the spring at just over 4.5 feet from the ground, it puts the antenna tip just over 11.5 feet when up.
Like most things, the corners and mount will get painted Mojave Sand in the future. Still need to run the antenna cable through the fender, and a permanent tie down point will have to wait for the roof rack.
So here it is...both tied down and raised
Next up, bumpers (already ordered, but I'm planning some fab work on them also.)
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Old 06-27-2019, 04:20 PM
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Last part of the "Military antenna" build, the mount (for the AS-3900 A/VRC base)...
I did a lot of looking/research before building this. Almost bought a number of different military bases, sugar scoops, etc. While the prices weren't bad, none would work without modifying them, and the steel ones were heavy (needed steel so it could be welded to the AEV corners, which was always the plan 'cus the stock sheet metal is too thin). Figured the best way was to just make it myself. So after LOTS of measuring, cardboard templates, testing and fitting, I came up with this design.
Pic one shows the mount cut out of 12g steel plate. It's 24" long (6" on the front/short side, 6" on the top/mount surface, and 12" on the back/long side).
Pic two shows it all bent. Not much to say, except it came out pretty good IMHO
Pic three shows it after the front edges were welded up, and the base and bolt holes were made. Used a 3.5" knockout punch to make the mount hole. Spent more cash than I wanted too on the punch, but it sure was faster and cleaner then using a hole saw or my Dremal! One thing I learned a long time ago...if you need a tool, just buy it. At some point in your life you'll probably need it again (and by the time you're old like me, you'll have a kickin' set of tools).
Pics four and five show it welded to the AEV corner, and some primer/paint 'till it gets the MS paint. I went this rout partially 'cus it's strong (which it is, 12g welded to 1/8" steel) but also incase I change my mind (or sell it) down the road, I can put some new AEV corners on and it'll be back to un-militarized (huh?)
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Old 07-14-2019, 03:17 PM
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Bumpers....finally!
It took me a looong time to decide on bumpers. I'd find a front I likes, but not like the rear (or visa versa), or they didn't even look like they were from the same manufacturer. Finally decided on the Rugged Ridge XHDs. The only problem was, ever since I got the VDP "Stubby" ends caps (which are more of a mid-with IMHO) I just wanted that same width, which Rugged Ridge didn't offer. So, I decided to make my own mid-width ends by cutting down some XHD standard ends. So here's the result.
I cut 6" (measured on the top) off of each end. I had considered doing a straight cut (it definitely looked "chunkier" in my photoshop mockups) but ended up doing an angled cut 'cus it seemed to match the fender flares better, as well as the rear XHD bumper. I also relocated the lights to the bumper holes, which are more inward. Been wanting to do that for a while 'cus I've wanted to add an over-rider hoop (which will be here tomorrow ). I also cut off the fog light "guards" 'cus they made noticeable shadows in the light pattern (and the lights are inset deep enough that I don't think they are overly susceptible to damage. The lighting is better in the before pic, but I have no control over that.
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Old 07-14-2019, 03:38 PM
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1 of 1 Rugged Ridge Mid-width XHD ends....
Pic one shows the DS standard width end with the part I cut off (top). It also shows (bottom) a full "side block-out plate" (marked for cutting) and one that I already cut to cap the new end. The block-out plates come with the base bumper (and aren't used with other ends installed) so they were free material .
Pic two shows both ends cut, with one end plate mocked up (after removing powder coating in prep for welding). I wasn't even going to try using the Dremel tool for this, but a DeWalt angle grinder buzzed through it pretty quick!
Pic three shows both ends after welding and grinding (still a little more finishing work to do).
Pics four and five show the PS end with the end boxed, after some paint and texture. Not a 100% match to the crinkle powder coat, but close enough for now, 'till it all gets MS paint.
Gonna' do a little cutting on the rear XHD also, but it's minor .
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Old 07-15-2019, 05:18 PM
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Rugged Ridge over-rider hoop arrived today. It was a nice change of pace to do a mod that was quick and easy. And with their rebate from the bumpers and ends, it was also free-ish (?) Decided to angle it forward (just personal preference) but it might offer some protection for the bumper lights, and this way there's plenty of access for removing the grill (which I seem to have to do way to often).
So just a couple of pics with the hoop installed...
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Old 07-15-2019, 06:53 PM   #131
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Looks great!

I've been following your build for a few months now. I think I'm caught up!
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Old 08-02-2019, 10:54 PM   #132
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Cool build!

Mohave Sand here as well. Subscribed.
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Old 08-05-2019, 03:56 PM
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Dumb little mod/tweak/pet peeve/rant-ish?
Generally I'm not in the habit of advertising for companies. If I like the product, I'll gladly tell anyone that asks or is interested, but I'm not buying stuff 'cus of a logo/brand/etc. I'll even stay away from a product if they cut the logo into it. When I ordered my JKU, I told the dealer not to bother putting their dealer logo "swag" on it 'cus I'm just going to take it off. When it arrived, during their prep they put them on (just SOP I'm sure) and I promptly told them to take it all off. He said "don't you want to let people know the deal you got from us?" I said if you want to pay me every month to advertise, sure. Otherwise, the deal wasn't that good that I'd give you space on my vehicle forever, and if anyone asks I'll tell them. I also tend to have a "vision" for my vehicles even before I order them, and those "themes" generally don't include a bunch of manufacturer/vender logos all over it.
So with that in mind, this mod is pretty dumb, but it is what it is. I really like the Rugged Ridge bumpers...except for the laser-cut logo w/plastic insert. The plastic is gray and sticks out like a sore thumb, and it also protrudes through the bumper (pic 1). I just couldn't have that. So I sanded the plastic down 'till it was flush with the bumper (pic 2), then hit it with some textured black paint. You can still see it if you're looking for it, but it's effectively camouflaged so I don't even notice it (pic 3). Like I said, it's dumb, but it was quick, easy, and cheap.
I was working on a better (more appropriate?) solution, but can't seem to get a reply to some e-mail enquiries I've sent. So for now, this will suffice.
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