Just Expect Extra Purchases

Update #25

Wasn't happy with how the battery was pushed up against the ECM/PCM so I made an extension for the bracket. You can see the battery cut off switch bracket better.

Finally installed the Ford Windstar air filter & the intake from a deuce & ½. Hated to cut a hole in the cowl I just put together but I did it anyway. Made two plates to sandwich the hole in the cowl. Put some edge guard & made sure there's clearance for the wiper. I didn't make any brackets for the intake, but it's pretty firm with the way it's set up.

I needed a way to hold the hood down so I went with hood pins. Those things are a pain in the ass to line up & I need to adjust the divers side a bit.

So far I'm pleased with the progress. Also I'm glad to have this thing back on 4 wheels & out of the garage....for now. I've gotta get back under the hood & figure out how to get the dip stick out since I snapped the handle off...oops.

Thanks for checking out my build

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Update #26

Made decent progress on the front outer fenders. These are more difficult to keep somewhat symmetrical than the rear. Working on the passenger side then mirroring each piece for the driver side. I checked the clearance & I'll double check it again before fully welding them out.

Also got in some aluminum TIG practice & made a few brackets to hold filler rod & tungsten.

Installed the third brake light. Still haven't fixed the dip stick but the part arrived today so put that on the list.

Thanks for checking out my build

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Update #27

It's been a busy few weeks. I'm getting house projects finished up because I might be moving to the Rio Grande Valley for a new job.

I did manage to finish up the fabrication and paint on the front fenders. Tried to align them with the rear but at the same time match the angles. It's pretty close. Waiting on the moldable plastic to arrive so I can finish it up & extend the inner fender as well.

Thanks for checking out my build

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Update #28

It's been a while since I posted anything because my main focus was moving to south Texas for work. During the move I managed to snap the output shaft which I think was caused by a failure of the rear diff u-joint. I was able to get a replacement from @chudlet which helped me get it to my garage. Upon further inspection this failure created more problems inside the transfer case where I found some metal chunks. Instead of rebuilding / repairing the damaged parts I've decided to just go with upgrading the T-Case, re-gear & new driveshafts etc. I haven't settled on either an atlas or 241 so I'll move on to other projects while I do some research. Any input on this would be appreciated!

Thanks for checking out my build

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Update # 29

While I'm trying to figure out the path forward on the T-Case I decided to finally make the rear tire carrier. Made a coping tool out of some plastic water bottles, plastic coffee stirrers, 1/16" stick rods w/o the flux, some rubber bands, 2" pipe & a heat gun. I don't know why I didn't think of doing this for the earlier projects.

I knew the new tire carrier would be considerably heavier than what the tub could handle so I decided to make ⅛" doubler & tripler plates. I ended up welding the hex nuts to the interior plates which made my life easier when it came time to check & recheck fitment as needed. Also I reinforced the top brackets with some angle iron & gussets. I know this is over engineered but I don't want to have to retrofit reinforcements later if I decide to mount jerry cans, hi-lift jack & various off road equipment. I kind of wish I came to the conclusion of using captured hex nuts instead of nut-serts for mounting the fenders & steps/sliders earlier. I will probably retrofit those at a later date while I acquire funds for the drive train upgrades.

For the tire carrier itself, I went with the same 1½" Sch 40 pipe I got from my previous employer. My design is inspired by the Genright tire carrier but kept as low budget as possible i.e. free material I already have laying around the garage. However, I bought some outdoor sealed bearing gate hinges welded to the doubler. I went with some 1½" Sch 80 tube for the hinge attachment point for the tire carrier. Over built, yes but the material was free & I like the taste. The other side is held in place by some sockets I fabricated out of 2" Sch 40 welded to the doubler & trailer hitch pins.

For the spare tire mount I had a cut out of some 24" Sch 20 pipe which will bring the mounting point closer to the center of the wheel as well as provide a recessed mounting location for license plate mount & light, as well as a back up camera to be installed later. That's enough for this update, I'll detail the rest on the next post.

Thanks for checking out my build

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Update #30

Finalized the design for the spare tire carrier. There is some stand off from the tailgate to the spare tire to allow for a wider tire eventually as well as the rubber isolators. I ended up using a 1½” hex nut with some round bar to secure the wheel. I was able to source some all thread from a local supplier for about $30 and welded that into the 1½" Sch 80 pipe I had left over after I trimmed the hinge points. For anyone who wants to weld, just know that the zinc used in galvanizing when heated puts off some extremely toxic fumes so take proper precautions.

I needed some type of padding between the nut & wheel so I used a spare isolation pad I had from installing my air compressor. Finally I finished it up with some Rust-Oleum American accents stone textured finish spray paint, flat black & a few matte clear coats to match the rest of the bumpers & fenders.

I haven't decided where I want to weld a bracket to hold a jack or extra fuel cans because I want to see how much room I'll have with a wider tire.

Thanks for checking out my build

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Update #31

I've realized that the design of my step side/rock sliders was flawed. The driver's side was starting to sag & I haven't put many miles on since the install.

I decided to retrofit a support plate & add a plate to step onto. I used some scrap 3/16" flat bar I picked up from my last job and perforated sheet metal I had kicking around. I put a doubler plate with captured hex nuts for the back side.

It seems pretty solid but I'll have to go bash it around to make sure.

Thanks for checking out my build

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This was a great thread to read. What did you do for the rear seats? My kids are aging out of their boosters but I want more protection than the stock and not many positive reviews of the Bestop trailmax.
 
I fabricated some brackets out of angle iron. I knew I was going to bed line the tub so I welded as much as I could while they were bolted in place. It took a long time to get them to fit perfectly.

The seats I got off of Amazon actually. I needed a specific width & I chose ones with excellent reviews.

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Update #32

After making necessary modifications to the step side/rock sliders I also realized that my rear bumper design does not allow for energy transfer to the frame. No problem, just a few modifications, a run to the hardware store & the agonizing realization that my welds on the original bumper were less than acceptable.

Once that was done I moved on to finally complete the front fenders....for now. I still had 2 sheets of moldable plastic that I used on the rear fenders. Bust out the heat gun, drill, riveter & got to work. This was short lived as I broke my riveter & opted to buy a slightly more robust one. I'm starting to think JEEP also stands for Just Expect Extra Purchases. <=== New thread name!?!

Finally got around to replacing the oil dipstick that I broke over a year ago. I ordered an OEM replacement last March, but it must have gotten lost in the move because I cant find it. I guess it's an Amazon special for the time being. I ended up taking the entire tube out to get to the broken dip stick.

Also in the spirit of finishing old projects, I started to replace the broken windshield washer system starting with the fluid reservoir. My plan is to make a cardboard version then cut out the sides for templates. Later I'll transfer these to aluminum plate & fail miserably at TIG welding aluminum. My goal is to make one big enough to hold one gallon because I don't like keeping half used bottles of fluids around. Not for safety issues, but because I always forget that I have them & end up buying new fluids anyway.

Thanks for checking out my build.

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Update #33

Admittedly I'm no mechanic but I've been reviewing a lot of other build threads. This has made me realize there's a lot of components that need attention. A lot of the bushings seem to be worn out as well as some damage to the brackets for the suspension parts. I'm planning on replacing the suspension anyway & it's not even drivable at the moment. I'm planning on giving the underside I good cleaning & a fresh coating of paint.

I should probably address these issues but I'll get to it......eventually. For right now I'm trying to finish out my previously started projects. I made a cardboard template then used it to get panel sizes then cut & welded it all up. And of course the cap was about a ½" taller than I planned for. Nothing a grinder couldn't fix. I was still able to get a full gallon in so I'm content at this point.

Thanks for checking out my build.

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Update #33

Admittedly I'm no mechanic but I've been reviewing a lot of other build threads. This has made me realize there's a lot of components that need attention. A lot of the bushings seem to be worn out as well as some damage to the brackets for the suspension parts. I'm planning on replacing the suspension anyway & it's not even drivable at the moment. I'm planning on giving the underside I good cleaning & a fresh coating of paint.

I should probably address these issues but I'll get to it......eventually. For right now I'm trying to finish out my previously started projects. I made a cardboard template then used it to get panel sizes then cut & welded it all up. And of course the cap was about a ½" taller than I planned for. Nothing a grinder couldn't fix. I was still able to get a full gallon in so I'm content at this point.

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Nice work. Always wanted to learn to weld aluminum.
 
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Nice work. Always wanted to learn to weld aluminum.
Thank you sir

Aluminum is less forgiving than steel so there's a few of little things you have to do differently, but I don't think it's much more difficult than carbon steel once you make the slight adjustments. I will say that I've learned a lot of patience when TIG welding either steel or aluminum.
 
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Update #34

Still working towards finishing up current projects before starting others. Got the windshield washer fluid reservoir mounted on some rubber isolation bolts, thanks @sab. Also finished plumbing the system and installing new sprayer nozzles. I went with some generic ones mostly because I needed to move them back from the original location. The OEM location was too close to the air intake.

Forgot to put license plate brackets on my tire carrier and while I was doing that I realized that I could use it like a bed extender around town.... maybe.

Also got around to wiring up & mounting my inverter. I'm thrilled with the location, but I think it will stay mostly dry in the rear trunk area. I also had some leftover plastic sheet from the fenders so I made a little dust cover. Everything is wired to a kill switch so I don't have to worry about it being left on when I'm not out wheeling.

Finally installed the reverse lights from @Claytone. I have export light housing so a little modification was needed, but I didn't mind. Pictures don't do these justice. They are very bright & it makes wonder if I could use them for the brake lights or turn signals.

Thanks for checking out my build

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Update #35

Buttoned up all the current projects, except for the TC, but more on that on the next post.

It took sometime but I finally got the inner fender Liners complete. I used pop rivets to hold them in place, but I think I should have use something less permanent. That's a problem for future me. I really like this moldable plastic because it's easy to form but also seems very strong & rigid. I had extra pieces, because I cut the driver's side backwards & had to order another sheet, which I used to close up the areas just behind the rear wheels. The passenger side was easier due to the evap cannister cover. Driver side fought me for the better part of the afternoon. After I cracked it I decided to stop for the day.

The next morning, I got out my heat gun & soldering iron/wood burner, then located some extra internal tooth lock washers from my spare hardware bin. Using the heat gun, I got the cracked portion somewhat soft, then used a wood burning attachment to push the lock washers about halfway into the plastic. I found a small piece of the same plastic to "weld" over the washers. It's not pretty, but it seems strong enough for what I need. Also, I think it will prevent the crack from propagating.

While I was under there, I took the time to clean up the cuts I made when I installed the rear fenders. If my inner fenders look weird, it's because they were heavily modified when I did the DIY highlines.

Thanks for checking out my build

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