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2005 limited edition Willy's Jeep, 4.5" Rubicon Express lift, 33in tires on 15in steel wheels.
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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
After getting some warranty work done on my wife’s car, I finally made it to the shop.

I picked up where I left off on Thurs. I made the docking bracket for the jack, and got all that welded up. Then I clamped it in position, checked it for alignment, and welded it to the frame.

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Next, I was given a trailer wheel and caster for my trailer by my friend. So, after some drilling, cutting, and grinding, I got it mounted on the jack. I’m gonna have to get a replacement tube for the tire, as it will not hold air for more than a minute or so. But that wheel is well worth the price of a tube.

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Well, it says it is 105* outside, and it is 92* inside, so I think I’m gonna call it a day. The next time I'm at the shop, I think I'm gonna work on routing the brake wires from the hubs up to the J box. I also want to continue routing the air lines, now that the jack is in place. The airbag valves are going to be mounted at the jack dock. See ya next time.

Happy Trails!
 

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2005 limited edition Willy's Jeep, 4.5" Rubicon Express lift, 33in tires on 15in steel wheels.
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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
So, yesterday, I welded ½” square tubing on the A-arms, to route the brakes wires up to the J box, which will be mounted to the bottom of the box floor. I got both sides done in short order.

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The next thing I started working on, is the water tank mount. Yesterday, I started out with the tank in the location where it will go. I had to make sure to have space for the fittings, and the hose routing.

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Once that was figured out, I started cutting the angle iron for the frame, and tacked it together.
I also got the holes drilled in the frame for the threaded rod, and tacked the threaded rod to the frame in front of the tank support. By that time, it was pretty hot in the shop, so I called it for the day.

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Today, I picked up where I left off. I made and installed the rear mounting tabs, and got them welded to the frame, and then set up the threaded rod, and tacked it in place. Satisfied, I welded everything up.

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I still have some little things to do, Like, adding a shield to protect the water fittings where they come out of the tank. I sill have to get the aluminum, for the shielding in front of, and underneath the tank, and cut it to length, and install it. Other than that, I’m pretty much done with that.

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The next thing I think, is the battery box. Since I’m on a role with the fabrication stuff. My friend Rick, gets some of the credit. He gave me quite a few suggestions to help me out. My Creator gets most of the credit for giving us the abilities in the first place. That’s a wrap for the day. It’s already getting hot in the shop.

Happy Trails!
 

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2005 limited edition Willy's Jeep, 4.5" Rubicon Express lift, 33in tires on 15in steel wheels.
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75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #43 ·
Today I worked on the battery box. I’m going to use two batteries wired in parallel. So, I wanted to make sure that the box would support the weight. I’m using the same material that I used for the water tank, 3/16” x 2” angle iron. It will be more than strong enough. I brought in the battery that I will be using, and took my measurements. Then I stated cutting. That cold cut saw I bought is cutting this steel like butter, it’s great, except for one thing. It really makes a mess. Small chunks of steel fly everywhere, and you have to be very careful to ware eye protection. But hey, it gets the job done, so I guess I will just work harder with the broom. Once I cut the basic frame, I tacked it together, and did a trail fit.

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Once the basic frame was done, and I figured how to hang it, I cut lengths of the threaded rod in 1/2”, and did the same as I did for the water tank. I cut a piece of tubing as a center post, and ran it length wise between the arms, then ran a piece of angle across that to catch the treaded rod in the front of the box. The back rods will mount to the center cross brace.

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Once I was good with everything, I tacked it in place. I’m not going to weld it up until I’m sure it with wok with the two batteries, and the cables. I still haven’t figured out where I am going to route the cable into the box yet, but I have time. Last item was to make a cross brace for the bottom of the tray. Added strength.

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The heat got up there quick today. So, I called it quits at noon today.

See yawl next time.

Happy Trails!
 

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If you run two batteries, I suggest you also run a battery isolator. I assume you plan to charge the batteries with the tow vehicle. Google "Battery Doctor". You probably aren't concerned about keeping the main battery in reserve to start a motor, but I understand that running two batteries in parallel will cause them both to go flat. I had a Cadillac Seville that originally had a diesel engine with two batteries. If I didn't drive it just about every day, the batteries would go flat and I'd have to jump start the car. My mechanic tried to explain to me what was going on but I don't remember exactly what he said.
I'm running two batteries in my YJ. One is for the winch and the other one is to start the Jeep. I have a battery isolator and never had any issues.
Just a suggestion. Ask someone that's knowledgeable about batteries. They may be able to explain what happens.

Good Luck, L.M.
 

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2005 limited edition Willy's Jeep, 4.5" Rubicon Express lift, 33in tires on 15in steel wheels.
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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
Got to the shop this morning at 05:30 hrs. hoping to get a head start before the heat showed up, and it pretty much worked. I test fit the Battery in the holder, and decided that it was going to work well, so I went ahead and welded it up.

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After that, I was going to run the air lines for the airbags, only, I didn’t have enough line after playing with it the suspension. So, I will order more tubing, and move on to the next project (there are plenty). Instead, I mounted the J-box for the trailer lights and brakes and such. I also went and put connectors on the wire harness, and mounted it. That's a clean installation, if I do say so myself.

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I was going to wait to run the wiring harness, until after the air lines were run, but since I didn’t have enough tubing, I did what I could do.

I decided that I would cut the day short. I had some errands to run, so I did that and then went home. I have decided that I am going to cut the size of the steel down for the front box to conserve weight. It is not going to be used for anything that heavy, so it makes sense. The other thing on the list, is the bumper. Originally, I was going to fabricate a rear bumper incorporating the tail lights, but, since changed my mind. Now I am just going to use a piece of 2 x 4 x .188 tubing and call it a day.

One of the errands I wanted to run has to do with the trailer brakes. When I bought the axle, it had the slight bow in the top of the axle. The idea behind that, is to provide just a little camber to help compensate for heavier loads. well, when I oriented the axle so that the bow was up, the back plates for the brakes were upside down. In my experience with auto brakes. the wheel cylinder is at the top, and the adjuster is on the bottom of the axle back plates. I can rotate them, because the bolt pattern is the same on all four corners. But I have to pull the brake drum/hubs off first, in order to do that (I didn't want to have to mess with the bearings, and grease and everything). I called the place where I bought the axle, however, they have no tech's to answer questions like that. So I had to go to a shop that installs trailer hitches, to see if I could get an answer. If anyone out there has any knowledge of this kind of thing, I would like to make sure it's right. My gut is telling me to rotate it so that the solenoid, is to the up, and forward position (about 10 or 11 o'clock). Someone give me your thoughts.

I guess that’s all for now.

Happy Trails!
 

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Premium Member
2005 limited edition Willy's Jeep, 4.5" Rubicon Express lift, 33in tires on 15in steel wheels.
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75 Posts
Discussion Starter · #46 ·
If you run two batteries, I suggest you also run a battery isolator. I assume you plan to charge the batteries with the tow vehicle. Google "Battery Doctor". You probably aren't concerned about keeping the main battery in reserve to start a motor, but I understand that running two batteries in parallel will cause them both to go flat. I had a Cadillac Seville that originally had a diesel engine with two batteries. If I didn't drive it just about every day, the batteries would go flat and I'd have to jump start the car. My mechanic tried to explain to me what was going on but I don't remember exactly what he said.
I'm running two batteries in my YJ. One is for the winch and the other one is to start the Jeep. I have a battery isolator and never had any issues.
Just a suggestion. Ask someone that's knowledgeable about batteries. They may be able to explain what happens.

Good Luck, L.M.
Thank you for your feedback, I appreciate it. I am planning to use the jeep to charge the batteries while traveling, however, I am planning to install a 100 watt solar panel to keep up with that while camping. I was reading up a little bit concerning that issue. It seemed the issue was that with out the isolator, the trailer would continue to draw power from the jeep battery, and would end up depleting it over time. I don't recall them saying anything about the two batteries depleting each other, while wired in parallel, But I will definitely look into that further.
Thanks again for your input.

Happy trails!
 

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2005 limited edition Willy's Jeep, 4.5" Rubicon Express lift, 33in tires on 15in steel wheels.
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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
Up until today, I haven’t done a whole lot. I piddled around with the wiring for the brakes, and the tale lights, but that’s about all. I finally made it down to the metal supply house to get my bumper material, and some other stuff. So, today I started on the bumper. Rather than have a square bumper, I tapered the bottom ends just a bit, so it wasn’t boring, and then also capped the ends.

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I also cut a notch in the center for the receiver. I’m still Leary of the cut off wheel since I got bit by the thing, but I didn’t really have a choice. You can bet I was extra careful though.

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I have quite a bit of the tongue material left, so I will cut a piece of that, and drill it for the receiver. I’m probably going to weld the receiver to the bumper first, then to the bottom of the frame. I’m gonna make gussets to attach it to the side rails of the frame, for extra strength.

That’s all for the day today. I hope to get the bumper mounted tomorrow.

Happy Trails!
 

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2006 Rubicon, 4.0, automatic (stock for now)
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When I worked construction we kept a concrete cutoff wheel on it. It’s metal and there is no chance of it flying apart. Works like a charm. I’m not a huge fan of grinders either, but we gotta do what we gotta do. Looking good so far though!
 

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a porta band saw is a nice tool to have and cuts down on the amount of cutting with a grinder but some times you just have to use it, or a plasma cutter.
 

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2005 limited edition Willy's Jeep, 4.5" Rubicon Express lift, 33in tires on 15in steel wheels.
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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
When I worked construction we kept a concrete cutoff wheel on it. It’s metal and there is no chance of it flying apart. Works like a charm. I’m not a huge fan of grinders either, but we gotta do what we gotta do. Looking good so far though!
Thanks Sarge for the input, and the compliment. Ya, anything spinning at that speed, can be a real danger. That's a lot of centrifugal force, if it breaks up.
 

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2005 limited edition Willy's Jeep, 4.5" Rubicon Express lift, 33in tires on 15in steel wheels.
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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
a porta band saw is a nice tool to have and cuts down on the amount of cutting with a grinder but some times you just have to use it, or a plasma cutter.
There is one of those at the shop. It's mounted on a table top. I could remove it, but it takes several minutes to undo. It does get used allot for quick cuts. I have used the plasma cutter, but I am still getting used to it. Every tool has a place, and there is a right time to use it. All requires caution, when using.
 

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2005 limited edition Willy's Jeep, 4.5" Rubicon Express lift, 33in tires on 15in steel wheels.
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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
Today, I finished the bumper, and the receiver.

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The hardest part, is making sure everything is aligned and true. Especially before you weld it up. I’ve spent way too much time undoing a mistake, because I got in a hurry. I did go ahead and tack the receiver in place, being careful not to weld it to the rear cross frame. Then I pulled it off and welded it to the bumper. Then while it was still hot, I clamped it back in place so it wouldn't warp on me, and then welded it up.

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I still need to make up the gussets, to attach the bumper to the side rails. I think it would be wise to have a little more strength. Although, I do tend to over engineer stuff. Because I’m not sure if it will handle the load.

The next major project on the list, and pretty much the last major thing I need to do, is build the open storage bin that is gonna be mounted in the front of the trailer. It will be used for fire wood, and the propane, and extra fuel if need be. I may start that on Monday.
That's all for today.

Happy Trails!
 

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2005 limited edition Willy's Jeep, 4.5" Rubicon Express lift, 33in tires on 15in steel wheels.
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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
I haven’t done much this week so far. I came in on Monday and drilled the holes for the air line valves in the tongue. I was waiting for more air line to arrive. It came a few days ago. So, today I ran the lines, and installed the valves at the front of the tongue.

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Tried to make sure they are nice and protected. Most of the tubing is run through the steel tubing I installed a while ago, but the exposed places are wrapped with a plastic spiral wire loom.

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I also worked on the tongue jack wheel and tube. I had to order a new tire and tube. they should be here by Monday. I also weighed the tongue, to see how much tongue weight I have so far, and it came in at 100lbs, +/- an ounce or two. I was surprised that it came in so heavy. I thought it was only 40, or 50 lbs.’ or so. I still have the front basket to fabricate and install, and of course the box itself, so, it is way to early to tell yet.

The other thing I have been doing, is working on the tent lift platform. I think I have it figured out. It will be similar to what I did on the first trailer, but this time, it will lift out to the right side of the trailer.
The height I need is yet to be determined. I don’t have the height of the box yet. Soon!

That’s all for now.

Happy Trails!
 

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2005 limited edition Willy's Jeep, 4.5" Rubicon Express lift, 33in tires on 15in steel wheels.
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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
Yesterday, I picked up the new tire and tube for the tongue jack, and came out to the shop to mount it. It went together very nicely. I also pulled the scale out to weigh the tongue to see how much tongue weight I’m dealing with so far.

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Let me know if my method is correct. I tried it with the tongue jack resting on the scale, and the complete hitch on the trailer. Then my friend told me to take off the part of the hitch that goes into the receiver of the tow vehicle, and set the end of the tongue on the scale. Doing it the last way, was half the weight of the first method. The second try was 50 lbs., as opposed to a 100 lbs. using the first method.

So, today I cut and tack welded the start of the tent support frame. I’m using 1 ½” x .125 square tubing for the tent frame, and the tent lifting platform.

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I decided the box height will be 33”. So, I gave a 2 in space underneath the tent frame and the top of the box. That makes the top of the tent base frame at 36 ½” from the top of the chassis up. From the ground at normal ride height, it is 65”. The lifting platform for the tent will sit on top of that. So, the trailer, from the ground up, at normal ride height, will be about 81.5” tall, to the top of the tent, which is 15” from the bottom of the tent, to the highest point. When I deflate the air bags to the bump stops, that drops it down to about 77”, so I can get it in the garage. The tent lift platform will raise the tent 12 to 13”, to give me about 77” to the bottom of the tent platform. So, at 4’ 28” tall, I can stand under the tent, when it’s deployed.

So, that is where I’m at so far. It looks like I am gonna half to pick up some more tubing, because I am coming up short. More later.

Happy Trails!
 

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2005 limited edition Willy's Jeep, 4.5" Rubicon Express lift, 33in tires on 15in steel wheels.
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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
This is what I am thinking for the tent lift.

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The tent will deploy over the trailers right side. This picture is a rough draft. I'm planning to use a Fulcrum and lever to raise and lower the tent platform. If the weight turns out to be to much, I will add gas shocks to share some of the load.

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If your system is 12v and you are running two 6v batteries you can't isolate them. Isolators are for 12v systems with dual 12v batteries. One as primary, one as auxiliary.

Multiple batteries are used in many heavy duty equipment systems for the extra capacity. Yes, they will drain together. That is the whole point. They have to work as a team to get the job done.

Sent from my moto g power using Tapatalk
 

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2005 limited edition Willy's Jeep, 4.5" Rubicon Express lift, 33in tires on 15in steel wheels.
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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
I went down to the steel supply store on Monday, and picked up another 40 feet of tubing, with the help of my friend. However, as it turns out, I needed a bit more. Frustrating! But, I was able to get the material for the tent platform cut out. I just need one more 6-foot piece to support the hinges on the left side of the tent.

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I’m still working on the lifting system for the tent platform. And I think I have it figured out. With the help of my friend. I'm working on a drawing, to show how (I think) it's going to work.

Now that the prices for plywood and such are coming down, I can start putting my materials together for the box. I’m going to go ahead and get the cheaper plywood (indoor sanded ply) and fiberglass the outside of the box. That way it will be water resistant. The marine ply in ½” is still 80-85 bucks a sheet. And I can get the interior sanded for about 40 bucks. Even if I spend 250 bucks on glass and resin, I’m still saving 3 or 400 bucks. I figure it will be a bit stronger too.



Happy Trails!
 

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2005 limited edition Willy's Jeep, 4.5" Rubicon Express lift, 33in tires on 15in steel wheels.
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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
Tack welded the tent lift frame today. With that part done, I can get more serious about how I plan to lift the tent. I want to come up with a lever and linkage set up to lift the tent with out the aid of gas struts, or electric jack screws.

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After that, I thought more about how I wanted to do the lifting arms for the platform. And after careful consideration, I think I’m going to make ends with tabs, that will weld to the end of the tubes.

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I think this will work. This should be plenty strong enough.
 

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2005 limited edition Willy's Jeep, 4.5" Rubicon Express lift, 33in tires on 15in steel wheels.
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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
After doing the tube ends, I decided to go with it. But after doing that, I realized that I was going to have to make up a jig, so the arms come out the same.

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My first arm looked ok, but upon closer inspection, I found that it was not aligned right from one end to another. Somewhere, I messed up setting up the jig.
So, after shimming the ends of the jig, I got three done (the one I still have to cut the ends off, and realign it), and I ran out of the DOM tubing I was using for the bushing. I thought that I would be able to stretch it, but no joy.

After looking at how the arms came out, I don’t think I am going to be happy with them. I may scrap the ends, and do something else with them.
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That’s for another day. It’s 90 degrees in the shop, and 110 outside. Time to go home and cower in the airconditioned house.

Happy Trails
 

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Here in the part of Colorado where I live, we have a fairly arid climate. Sixteen inches of rainfall per year. A swamp cooler works great. It's cheap to install and cheap to operate. Just a constant trickle of water and enough electricity to power the fan. If it's dry in your part of California you might look into a swamp cooler. If I did much work in my shop, I'd have a swamp cooler for sure.

The reason I suggest the swamp cooler is that I'm anxious to see the completed trailer. Keep up the great work.

Good Luck, L.M.
 
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