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Discussion Starter #1
Being in Florida, we make many beach runs and dive trips throughout the year. Running water to wash of salt, sand, sunscreen lotion, and gear has long been on my to do list. I’m finally getting around to this project, with a different approach than I have seen most others take – which is why I am posting as others may find this as a good alternative.

For reference, here is the original thread and inspiration for this modification:

https://www.wranglerforum.com/f274/write-up-pressurized-running-water-on-jeep-using-stock-bumper-as-tank-233410.html

Most folks I find mount their pump under the Jeep where it is exposed to the elements. According to the product description for the pumps I looked at (and the pumps I see most commonly used in this application), are not really meant to be mounted outside. My take on this will shift the pump location to the interior.

Primary Objectives:

  • Reliable pressurized running rinse water.
  • Clean, factory-like appearance.
  • Reversible and no impact to the body/tub (i.e. no holes in the body/tub).
  • Spigot and fill locations on the driver’s side (my garden hose at home is located on this side, and the spigot will be easier to use when the tail gate is open if it is on driver’s side).
  • Modular in that I can relocate the water container (see below).
Primary Concerns:

  • Limited carrying capacity of the factory bumper.
  • Low/limited water pressure from the system.
Omissions and Future Changes:

Two things I initially planned for but am omitting for now are a drain plug for the bumper and a strainer on the pickup line.

I may at some point change the tank from the factory rear bumper to something removable – or – something that expands the capacity of the factory bumper. This might be:

  • An external 7-10 gallon tank that is strapped in the rear cargo area, that can either feed directly to the pump, or refill the rear bumper.
  • Fiber glassing water reservoirs above each rear tire well (space that is otherwise unused) that feed into the rear bumper, expanding its capacity.
  • A roof rack mounted reservoir that feeds into the rear bumper or feeds directly to the pump.
For now, I’ll just convert the rear bumper to a tank.

Design:

Here is the general design of the system.



The two unique elements to my iteration of this, as compared to the others that I have seen, is the location of the pump (being in the interior) and the location of the spigot (being on the driver’s quarter panel, but not requiring any cutting or drilling).

The pump will be located in the factory Alpine subwoofer enclosure. Long ago I built a sub enclosure for under the driver’s seat, freeing up the space in the factory sub location. I never replaced it with the sub delete panel, and it turns out the Flojet pump I am using fits perfectly in the empty cavity where the factory sub once was. This allows for a factory-like appearance, and does provide some airflow through the factory sub grill cover. I don’t believe the pump will ever run long enough to overheat, but our summers in Florida can be quite hot, so this can only help. It also allows for easy access to the pump if I ever need to troubleshoot or replace parts.

Another unique advantage I have is with the location of the spigot. I broke the factory license plate bracket a while back and have since installed the JKS relocation bracket to the spare tire. This opens up a really perfect location for the spigot on the driver’s side, using the factory license plate bracket mounting location. I made a fiberglass copy of the JKS curved metal plate cover which will allow for easier drilling of the hole for the hose fitting, and attaching the hose valve on the exterior of the panel cover. You can pick up just the bracket on Amazon for around 15 bucks from other manufacturers.

The basic summary of the design is as follows:

  • The bumper fill cap will be located on the top exposed area of the bumper on the driver’s side (a common location that most who have done this use).
  • The fitting for the pickup line will be located on the lower inside-facing face of the bumper on the passenger side. This seems to be the lowest point on the bumper, but that can always change with the angle in which the Jeep is parked at.
  • From there, I will run hose up through the factory pass-through into the rear quarter panel (behind the taillight), and through the factory rubber grommet that passes into the interior of the Jeep on the top of the quarter panel.
  • The pickup hose will then run into the upper portion of the sub enclosure panel, into the pump.
  • The output line will run in parallel with the pickup line – from the pump, through the upper part of the sub enclosure, back down the factory rubber grommet, and through the factory pass out of the bottom of the quarter panel.
  • From there, the output line will be run through the rear frame cross member. The hose will run up through the driver’s side quarter panel, and to the location of the factory license plate bracket where the spigot will be.
Materials and Parts

Once I am done I can post a complete list of materials and equipment. For now, here is what I have:

Wiring
  • 20’ 12 AWG copper strand wire.
  • Rocker switch.
  • Inline fuse holder, 10 amp fuse.
  • Various wire connectors, terminals, heat shrink, zip ties, wire loom.
Plumbing
  • Flojet 03526-144A pump and extra elbow barb fitting (and mounting hardware).
  • 4½” x 4½” x ½” HPDE poly (cutting board material).
  • T-nuts and pup mounting hardware.
  • Fill plug.
  • Hose clamps.
  • Rubber hose grommets.
  • JB WaterWeld.
  • JB Weld Epoxy.
  • Fiberglass materials.
  • Hoses and fittings in the order they run:
  • ½” male NPT x ½” hose barb nylon elbow fitting (pickup line).
  • 5’ ½” ID braided hose (pickup line).
  • ---pump---
  • 12’ ½” ID braided hose (output line).
  • ½” male NPT x ½” hose barb brass straight fitting (output line)
  • ½” female NPT x garden hose brass sillcock valve (output line)
  • Brass quick disconnect hose fittings.
  • 15’ coil garden hose.
  • Spray gun nozzle.
All of the above can be found on Amazon and local hardware stores. The fill cap I could only find on eBay. All in, this will end up costing about $175. You can do it for much less (closer to or under $100) if you already have the quick release hose fittings, coil hose, spray nozzle, wiring components, and cut out the fiberglass materials. I also went with a slightly more expensive pump than what I see most use (usually $25-$30 pumps).

Progress

I am about half way through the project. For now I will post some pictures of what I have done thus. Once complete, I will post final preparation and installation instructions as well as some final pictures. Happy to answer any questions along the way!

Sealing the bumper with JB WaterWeld and JB Quick Set Epoxy.




Test fit of the pump. 90 degree elbow fittings will be used for the hose connects.




Test fitment of the hose run from the passenger quarter panel.








Expected location for the switch.




Mock up and build of the hose valve to driver's quarter panel component.











 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the kind words!

A bit more progress yesterday and today. I'll be doing a run to the hardware store shortly to get the last of what I need (hopefully) and my HPDE board should be delivered Saturday. I should have this wrapped up by the end of the weekend (with the exception of the fill cap which is likely on the slow boat from China).

For now, a few more progress pics.

The bumper is basically done (except for the fill cap). The feed line barb was epoxied onto a low point of the bumper and then sealed again with WaterWeld. I shot it with some satin black paint (not pictured) so it blends with the plastic.








The wiring is done. I have a fused power wire from the battery. The grounding jump wires for the switch and pump lead. The power lead to the pump. And a tap to the taillight for the switch LED to illuminate when the lights are switched on. I also drilled (an ugly, but it's hidden) pass through from the subwoofer cavity to the backside of the switch cavity for the power and ground leads for the pump. I also did quick disconnects for the pump leads in case I ever need to remove the pump (without the need to remove the subwoofer enclosure panel). I may not stick with the switch location. I wanted to remove and cover the hole from the 12v outlet, but this requires the switch to sit higher in that space than I prefer. I may move it later on if I find that cargo knocks into the top of the switch, inadvertently turning the pump on.




















The spigot panel is coming along nicely. After some test fitting and sanding I went ahead and epoxied the panel to the spigot, creating one singular component. Before expoxy, I lined the threads with plumbers tape and wrench tightened the fitting to the valve. All that's left with this is to sand it to a finish and hit it with some Mopar white paint, which I should be able to pick up locally.





 

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Discussion Starter #8
Re-posted with working picture links from post #5

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Thanks for the kind words!

A bit more progress yesterday and today. I'll be doing a run to the hardware store shortly to get the last of what I need (hopefully) and my HPDE board should be delivered Saturday. I should have this wrapped up by the end of the weekend (with the exception of the fill cap which is likely on the slow boat from China).

For now, a few more progress pics.

The bumper is basically done (except for the fill cap). The feed line barb was epoxied onto a low point of the bumper and then sealed again with WaterWeld. I shot it with some satin black paint (not pictured) so it blends with the plastic.








The wiring is done. I have a fused power wire from the battery. The grounding jump wires for the switch and pump lead. The power lead to the pump. And a tap to the taillight for the switch LED to illuminate when the lights are switched on. I also did quick disconnects for the pump leads in case I ever need to remove the pump (without the need to remove the subwoofer enclosure panel). I may not stick with the switch location. I wanted to remove and cover the hole from the 12v outlet, but this requires the switch to sit higher in that space than I prefer. I may move it later on if I find that cargo knocks into the top of the switch, inadvertently turning the pump on.


















The spigot panel is coming along nicely. After some test fitting and sanding I went ahead and epoxied the panel to the spigot, creating one singular component. Before expoxy, I lined the threads with plumbers tape and wrench tightened the fitting to the valve. All that's left with this is to sand it to a finish and hit it with some Mopar white paint, which I should be able to pick up locally.



 

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Discussion Starter #9
Re-posted with working picture links from post #6

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The system is running. All that is left is to finish with some clear coat on the spigot panel and to install the fill cap once it's delivered.

With the nozzle on 'shower' mode, I get 7.5 gallons of usable water at just over 5 minutes of continuous use. Should be plenty for the beach runs. I would guess the bumper can hold somewhere between 8 and 9 gallons - but not all of it will hit the pickup fitting. I'm extremely happy with the way this turned out.


The output line was run in the inside frame cross member. The outside cross member (where the hitch receiver bolts to) is not hollow all the way through. I have some pictures of how the hose was run, but it's really hard to orient what is what, so I think a video will be easier. It's pretty obvious once you're under there. I also covered the hose and pickup fitting with bike tire inner tube since it's located directly behind the tire. Some foam insulation was also used where the tube hit any sharp elements from the frame or body. Probably not needed.














Fitting the pump into the sub cavity was a little tedious with the plumbing and wiring, but after about 5 minutes I was able to get it seated and bolted in. I epoxied some t-nuts to the HPDE pump mount.








As mentioned, I get about 5 minutes of continuous water on 'shower' mode, and using the open jet nozzle I can empty the tank in 3.5 minutes.

You can also see where the license plate was relocated to, to create the spigot location.








I'll get a final parts list and cost together this week in case anyone is interested in building this. I will also try and get a video together showing the system and hose runs.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
It may be just me but your pics from your last 2 posts aren't showing up.
Thanks for the heads up, I was linking from the wrong (unshared) album. Should be working now with new posts.
 

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Looks great, thanks for fixing those pics. I think your setup would be perfect for getting the mud off my boots @ job sites.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I could be wrong but the doesn't look like a self priming pump?
The pump is the Flojet 03526-144A. It's self priming and also able to run dry. It's under $50 on Amazon.

Looks great, thanks for fixing those pics. I think your setup would be perfect for getting the mud off my boots @ job sites.
Yeah, it would be perfect for that. I have a few ideas for expanding the reservoir capacity, but I want to give it a few uses at the beach to see if that's even necessary. 5 mins of run time should be enough for us.
 

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I also use my bumper for water storage.(heats-up nice during the day) I have a toilet seat that attaches to the receiver hitch, so I`ve been toying with the idea of rigging-up a bidet. Would this work?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I also use my bumper for water storage.(heats-up nice during the day) I have a toilet seat that attaches to the receiver hitch, so I`ve been toying with the idea of rigging-up a bidet. Would this work?
You could probably run a second hose from the pump to the bidet; not sure if there is any issue with splitting the output line, but I would think it would be fine. I would use some sort of quick disconnect near the hitch. You would also want to be able to cap that line when using the regular hose for rinsing. I also assume the bidet can control the flow rate of the water.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I have not used a bidet before but I feel it could only enhance the outdoor experience. With the added weight on the back-end, I`ve installed these air bags. https://www.etrailer.com/p-AL60817.html Big help to keep the head lights down.
Interesting. I don't believe I have any weight issues - even at full load, the water is only 75lbs. That's less than a lot of the steel bumpers folks run. Good to know there's an easy solution for those that have issues with weight and level.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Dude awesome job! I will definitely be bookmarking this for the future.


As far as expansion you could use a storage tank mounted on a cargo carrier.

Something like this would probably work. https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/buyers-products-26-gallon-domed-storage-tank?cm_vc=-10005
This way it's not permanent and should be a quick change in and out.
Thanks!

The top two ideas I have for expanding the system's capacity (if I find it lacking after using it a few times) is doing something like you posted - using an external, removable reservoir - though because we need easy access to the back cargo area, we would likely not use a hitch mounted cargo carrier. The other idea is to utilize the dead space above the rear tire well arches and behind the back seat (and maybe a few inches into the cargo area. I estimate I could get 15 gallons of capacity with something like this, but it would require a bit of work designing, fiberglassing, and finishing. We'll see. I think 5 minutes of run time will be enough for our beach and dive trips.
 
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