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Still slow-leaking the last light mod (the working 6 days a week thing, then 5 days in the hospital, 2 weeks recovering from surgery, and back to working 6 days a week). But I did finally get the mil style data plate (from WF member Robert, at "The Adventure Badge" https://4x4tabs.com/index.html) and it turned out great!
Initially my thought was to get it a little bigger (5" wide instead of the 4" it comes in) to cover the Rugged Ridge cut-out on the front bumper. Unfortunately he couldn't do that (but as it turns out, my previous logo blackout/camouflage mod has worked out well, and I don't even notice it). What he did do, was make me a custom data plate that matches all the wording from the decals I made for my Jeep. I sent him a quick mock-up using his stock plate, and he made it exactly like it.
Just another small detail, but it sure looks cool (and official). Gotta' get some small screws to mount it still, but how long could that possibly take?....
Nice build! This is the cat's pajamas. I may have to give the guy some business. Nice work.
 

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Discussion Starter #142
Installed a Mishimoto coolant filter kit to the Mangler today.
Just as a fairly inexpensive ($136 through Q-tec) easy (about 45 minute install) precaution against the "casting-sand in the coolant" issue (since not all JKs seem to have the problem). I figured that since my JKU is still low mileage (a bit over 3350 miles in about 4.5 years....one of the advantages of living/working in a small town where everything is within a couple of miles... plus having 3 vehicles :)) and the fact that it'll be out of warranty long before it hits the mileage where the sand tends to cause issues with the rad/heater core (so barring an unlikely TSB or recall, the cost of the repair will be all out-of-pocket) I figured it's worth a try.
Not sure how effective the filter kit is, with it's bypass, but for the cost I guess it can't hurt. When I do change the filter, I'll cut it open and check for sand/sludge (but at the current rate, it'll be a long time before that happens)
The kit is well made, but it was missing the three M-8 bolts to mount the filter base to the mount (which seems to be a common issue, but I had stainless M-8 bolts on-hand). Install videos are on-line, and the install is pretty easy. After the install, I initially had cold air from the heater, and engine temps got kind of high (most likely some trapped air). But after a couple trips around the 'hood, temps dropped back to normal and the heat was back to broil.
Guess we'll see how things go in the long run.
 

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Discussion Starter #143
Hmmm, first post under the new "advertising hostage" mode (give us money or half your screen is covered with adds). Not loving it so far (maybe just my fear of change) so not sure how much I'll be posting here, but I'll give it some time to see.
Any ways, finally installed the second HMMWV blackout dome light in the rear MPS overhead panel. When I first bought the dome light, it was a set of two, so I knew I was gonna' put one in the back (especially after installing the front light, and loving it!)
I won't go into too much detail, since I just did the same thing that I did with the front one. The only real difference is that I wired it directly to the aux power block in the engine bay. I did that so if I'm sleeping in the back, I can turn on the light any time, without the keys in the ignition.
Pic one shows the parts (see, basically the same process as the front one).
Pic two shows it painted and mounted.
Pic three shows the whole thing mounted in my JKU. It's about centered (approximately 16 inches from each) between the stock front and rear dome lights.
Dome Light Rear 1.JPG
Dome Light Rear 3.JPG
Dome Light Rear 2.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter #144
A few comparison pics between the factory dome lights, and the HMMWV blackout dome lights.
Pic one shows the factory dome lights, with Diode Dynamics LED bulbs installed (which are a big improvement over the stock bulbs). Front, rear, and rear-view mirror lights.
Pic two shows the HMMWV dome lights with LED bulbs front and rear (for the white lights, the blue "blackout lights" are still incandescent. They work great, but are hard to get good pics of).
Pic three shows all the lights on :) .
Dome Light Comparison 3.JPG
Dome Light Comparison 4.JPG
Dome Light Comparison 5.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter #145
Got a Molle Platform Solutions (MPS) fold-down tailgate panel (table). They do custom cutouts (no charge) so I had them match the tailgate decal I made (J3-3P WR/4-N-GL.3R). I also had a plan....so I had them change the design slightly (Alan / MPS was great to work with!). They sell them with screws for the bottom "hinge" points, and quick-release pins on the top (with enlarged holes w/ rubber grommets in them), and para-cord for the support. I had them made for pins top and bottom (without the enlarged holes / grommets) plus an extra set of pins. I'll cover the "why" and "how" in the next post. ;)
Tailgate Table 1.JPG
Tailgate Table 3.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter #146
Now, the "why"....My plan was to make the table quickly and easily reconfigurable between closed, a low table, and a high table.
The "how"....Using pins top and bottom, and making steel supports.
Pic one shows the mount install, which I also tweaked. First, I flipped the DS mount (their standard mount position has both mounts behind the panel) which moved the table over about 1 1/2", giving me more room to remove the pins. Second, the kit comes with four stainless sheet metal screws for mounting. But, me being me, I decided to go with seven rivnuts and stainless 1/4-20 screws (it's what I had on-hand). Used 4 on the DS and three on the PS. All rivnuts, except the middle PS one, go into multiple layers of steel, and it's solid!
Pic two shows the steel supports I made (before paint) out of 1/2" x 1/2" square steel tubing that I had in the garage.
For the shelf end, I put it in the shop press and compressed it. That allows the pins to fully engage (letting the pins' detent ball to pop to the "locked" position). The 1/2" was too thick to allow the pin to lock.
For the mount end, I threw it in the mill and cut out slots, so the mount fits into the slot like a clevis, and the pin locks it together (if the support were only pinned on either side of the mount, the pins are long enough to let the supports "walk" or angle away from the mount. huh? exactly.)
Pic three shows the table finished, in the low position (which is the only position from the manufacturer). Great for carrying supplies, or as a table with the gate open and me sitting in a chair.
Pic four shows it in the high position. Great as a table when kneeling inside the JKU, or from outside with the glass open and the gate closed, or the gate open and me standing.
I'm still working an a permanent solution for stowing the supports inside the table (got some ideas) but for now, some Velcro wrap works fine.
Damn, I just can't leave anything alone....
Tailgate Table 2.JPG
Tailgate Table 8.JPG
Tailgate Table 5.JPG
Tailgate Table 4.JPG
 

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Your table implementation is clever. Well done. I already copied your tail light swap and if did not have a tailgate table may have copied this too. You have great ideas and a lot of skill. I’ll admit to looking into the cats eye turn signals too. I think they look cool.
 

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Discussion Starter #148
Your table implementation is clever. Well done. I already copied your tail light swap and if did not have a tailgate table may have copied this too. You have great ideas and a lot of skill. I’ll admit to looking into the cats eye turn signals too. I think they look cool.
I appreciate you appreciation :) I just like making/modding/designing things, and if someone else likes it or gets inspired/ideas, even better (just like I get when I see cool ideas from others).
The blackout front lenses are one of the simpler/quicker mods. The hardest part was paint prep :).
I'm still working on blackouts for the rear (bumper mounted, but space is an issue). I have stealth-mode wiring figured out (and wiring is done from the switch, to fuse/relays, and back through the firewall)....but finding the right lights for the right price has been a hurdle.
Oh well, plenty of other mods/ideas to work on....
 

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Any ways, finally installed the second HMMWV blackout dome light in the rear MPS overhead panel. View attachment 4417548
How did you install/ attach the rear MPS panel? MPS says zip ties on front and Velcro at rear.
I currently have te MPS Rear Shelf/ Panel that runs across the back seat area but am replacing it w/ the one you have as the cross-ways one takes up most all of the headroom for the back seat. actually works OK if there is no need to haul people in the backseat area (except for the fact that I have to mod the mounts to work w/ my soft top surrounds).
 

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Discussion Starter #150
How did you install/ attach the rear MPS panel? MPS says zip ties on front and Velcro at rear.
I currently have te MPS Rear Shelf/ Panel that runs across the back seat area but am replacing it w/ the one you have as the cross-ways one takes up most all of the headroom for the back seat. actually works OK if there is no need to haul people in the backseat area (except for the fact that I have to mod the mounts to work w/ my soft top surrounds).
When I installed the front MPS panel, it cam with three screws for the front, and two zip ties for the back. I went with three rivnuts on the front, and two rivnuts on the back (pics in the post about that install), just 'cus I like everything solid.
The rear panel buts up to the front, if you have it (doesn't overlap). So I made a steel "clamp" plate that uses the bolts on the rear of the front panel. It locks down the front of the rear panel, and ties it to the front panel (the clamp has bends on both sides, cut to the thickness on the panel, to keep both panels aligned). I did use the Velcro wraps on the rear, and they work fine for me.
The main reason I made the clamp instead of just using two more rivnuts, is just ease of access. I can get at the front panel rear screws by just removing the freedom panels. I wouldn't be able to reach the rear panels front screws without removing the hardtop (and I knew I'd be removing the rear panel for other projects, like the dome light). But if you have the soft top, you should be able to use rivnuts for the front (even the rear if you want). I'd go that route if I had my top off. The zip ties might be fine, but I prefer things solid (and if/when I take the top off again, I might just do the rivnuts any way. But so far the clamp works great :).
 

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When I installed the front MPS panel, it cam with three screws for the front, and two zip ties for the back. I went with three rivnuts on the front, and two rivnuts on the back (pics in the post about that install), just 'cus I like everything solid.
The rear panel buts up to the front, if you have it (doesn't overlap). So I made a steel "clamp" plate that uses the bolts on the rear of the front panel. It locks down the front of the rear panel, and ties it to the front panel (the clamp has bends on both sides, cut to the thickness on the panel, to keep both panels aligned). I did use the Velcro wraps on the rear, and they work fine for me.
The main reason I made the clamp instead of just using two more rivnuts, is just ease of access. I can get at the front panel rear screws by just removing the freedom panels. I wouldn't be able to reach the rear panels front screws without removing the hardtop (and I knew I'd be removing the rear panel for other projects, like the dome light). But if you have the soft top, you should be able to use rivnuts for the front (even the rear if you want). I'd go that route if I had my top off. The zip ties might be fine, but I prefer things solid (and if/when I take the top off again, I might just do the rivnuts any way. But so far the clamp works great :).
Thanks. I'll and see what size riv-nuts I have on hand. Might only be #10's.
 

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When I installed the front MPS panel, it cam with three screws for the front, and two zip ties for the back. I went with three rivnuts on the front, and two rivnuts on the back (pics in the post about that install), just 'cus I like everything solid.
The rear panel buts up to the front, if you have it (doesn't overlap). So I made a steel "clamp" plate that uses the bolts on the rear of the front panel. It locks down the front of the rear panel, and ties it to the front panel (the clamp has bends on both sides, cut to the thickness on the panel, to keep both panels aligned). I did use the Velcro wraps on the rear, and they work fine for me.
The main reason I made the clamp instead of just using two more rivnuts, is just ease of access. I can get at the front panel rear screws by just removing the freedom panels. I wouldn't be able to reach the rear panels front screws without removing the hardtop (and I knew I'd be removing the rear panel for other projects, like the dome light). But if you have the soft top, you should be able to use rivnuts for the front (even the rear if you want). I'd go that route if I had my top off. The zip ties might be fine, but I prefer things solid (and if/when I take the top off again, I might just do the rivnuts any way. But so far the clamp works great :).
Ordered up some 1/4-20 rivnuts since my tool only has standard “tips”. I also already have 1/4-20 button head bolts.
 

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Discussion Starter #153
Finished the brackets for the tailgate table supports. As usual, they are overly complicated (seriously, I need help :) ) but do everything I wanted them to do; Secure both supports out of the way but still easily accessible.
Pic one shows the bare pieces after milling (started with a piece of plastic bar stock, 1" x 2" x 12". Used about half of it). This stuff mills great, nice and easy but still very strong!
Pic two shows them after paint (plastic fusion paint). I also added a piece of 5/16" steel rod between the two pieces. Kept everything aligned during install, but also adds a tie-down point.
Pic three shows it mounted. I used 3M trim tape for the whole back side, along with 1/4"-20 stainless screws into rivnuts. Definitely solid, if not over-built.
Pic four shows the supports mounted in the bracket. The quick release pins go through both ends of both supports (locking both supports together), then the supports sit in the bracket seats with the pins going into the pin holes in the brackets (the fit is tight, and the pin detent balls lock them in).
Pic five shows it all mounted with the table up. Out of the way, but still accessible with the table closed.
Tailgate Table 9.JPG
Tailgate Table 10.JPG
Tailgate Table 12.JPG
Tailgate Table 13.JPG
Tailgate Table 14.JPG
 
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