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Posts from the ‘Automotive’ Category

13
Mar

Modded Chinese 50″ LED Light Bar

A very good friend of mine came to me with an idea. He wanted a 50″ LED light bar for his Jeep, but he wanted it 100% UNIQUE!!!

Challenge accepted!

He was used to running diesel trucks with 3 amber marker lights above the cab. And that’s what he wanted this light bar to do.

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I took apart the Chinese 50″ light bar, and came up with a design for a “add-on piggy-back” board. This board would have the new amber LEDs and the drivers for them. The design was such that I needed to remove a few of the OEM LEDs to make room for my new board. It was also designed so that the new amber LEDs would line up with the OEM lens. Here is the gang board from a board house I use. There are 8 boards on this one PCB.

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Bench test of the board design with the light bar optics. I used 5050 amber LEDs.

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This is one of the 3 boards installed into the light bar. The little yellow things are the OEM LEDs. I took 2 of them out in this section. I just still 12VDC from the + rail.

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This is all three add-on boards installed.

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Another view.

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This is how it looks installed on the jeep, all sealed up (MUCH better then the OEM Chinese had done)

He LOVED IT!!

 

7
Feb

DIY Jeep Wrangler $12 Fuel Check Valve

My 1997 Jeep Wrangler had a problem starting, I would have to hit the key twice to get it running. Even if I stopped for a second at 711 to get a soda. :/

The problem lies int he pump, that’s in the tank. It has a check valve that keeps fuel from draining back into the tank when the Jeep is off. But, the pump is good. So didn’t want to spend the money of replacing it, I just delt with the hard starting.

But i ended up getting sick of that! So i started a mission to make my own “in line” check valve. I went to my local Ace Hardware, and started looking at some brass fittings. I grabbed some part, went home, put it together and BABAM!!!! it works like a CHAMP!!!

This is not a fix, its just a bandaid! One day the pump will die, that’s when I will replace it.

 

Parts list:

  • 2x – 5/16″ compression to 1/4″ npt
  • 1x  – 1/4″ npt to 1/4″ npt barrel
  • 1x – 1/4″ chrome ball bearing
  • 1x – 1 1/2″ spring.  *must cover the ball, but not spring out when installed.
  • 1x – yellow teflon pipe tape (DO NOT USE WHITE TEFLON TAPE)
  • Small tubing cutter for fuel line

The ideas is NOT to have a ton of pressure on the spring and ball, you barely need any at all. You are just helping your fuel system. To much pressure on the spring and the pump wont get enough fuel to the fuel rail.

The setup is completely reversible! Simply take out the spring and ball, and use the compression fittings to link the fuel line together.

Here are the parts of the DIY check valve.

Here are the parts of the DIY check valve.

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Stating of assembly. Ball bearing is already inside the brass, under the spring.

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Installed in the Jeep!

 

11
Jan

DIY Jeep Radiator Fan Shroud

I had a 16″ electric fan on my Jeep, it was mounted right to the radiator with the zip tie like things it came with. After a few years the fan had rubbed holes into the core, making it leak lots of coolant. :(

So I went out and got a new radiator. After looking at it on the bench, and not wanting the fan to put another hole in my the new one. I came up with the idea for a aluminum fan shroud with dual 10″ fans.

Using my plasma cutter, I cut out all the proper holes for the shroud, to mount it and for the fans. Including a built in spot for the overflow bottle. I also made pass through holes for high way driving, with rubber flaps so when you come to a stop the flap closes and the fans do all the work!

Total cost was about $75 … including the fans!

 

27
Jun

DIY LED Light Bar REV.#2

After finishing my original light bar project here. I decided that it would be much brighter, not that its not bright….just can be brighter. One of the main goals of the original light bar was VERY low amp draw. I got that with only 3Amp from the entire bar! So the goal of the next bar will be VERY bright, and to hell with the amps!!

So enter the LED Light Bar REV.#2 :)

The new LEDs are over 400lm each!!!

The original LEDs from the first one are about 90-100lm.

 

13
Jun

DIY Jeep Rock Sliders

I needed some way to jack my Jeep up from the side, using a Farm Jack. The sheet metal was way to thin, and would get crushed all most instantly. So I was looking at rock sliders, I found some cheap ones….but not cheap enough :)

I embarked on making my own. I went to a local recycling company, and bought 1/4″ think 5″x3″ angle iron. It was $.35 per pound.

I used my plasma cutter to cut the angle to match the front and rear fender flares. Drilled and counter sunk for stainless steel hardware.

The whole project cost about $55 :)

21
Apr

DIY Jeep Belly Pan Bolts

Not long after I got my Jeep, I wanted to life it and install bigger tires. So being on a budget, I ordered a cheap kit form RugidRidge. The kit came with a 1″ drop for the transfer case pan. The drop for the belly pan enabled one to install a lift and not have to worry about the angle of the rear drive shaft.

I recently installed a Slip Yoke Eliminator. The SYE allows you to use a Double Cardin (CV type) rear drive shaft. This means that I can remove the 1″ belly pan drop and move it back to it original placement…. or get a tummy tuck kit. It turns out that I thought I had saved the OEM bolts for the pan. But when it came time to reinstall them, I could not find them. The bolt has a special cone shape under the head, this helps align the pan. So a normal bolt really wouldn’t work right, the pan has a matching inverse cone shape seat for the bolt.

After searching on the internet for replacements, someone on Facebook gave me a Jeep part number for the bolts! :) The part Number is: 06035836

So I called my local dealer….. $5 EACH!!! WTF??? And they couldn’t even get me any…lol!!!

Then I thought, like I always think, I will make my own!

Taking the 6 bolts form the the drop, which are too long now that the 1″ spacers are out, I cut off the hex head part and drilled out the center of the cone shape to 1/2″. This is now a cone shaped washer with a 1/2″ hole. I then bought some grade 8 bolts from ACE, @ $1.39, then slipped the home made cone washer on to it. BINGO!!

5
Feb

1000D Cordura Jeep Upholstery with MOLLE Grid Seat Back

My Jeep is a 1997, and the seats are pretty worn out. So I was looking in to getting some new covers for them. I checked online and found some Neoprene ones, and a nice one by Smittybilt, called the G.E.A.R. seat cover. I really like the GEAR one because of the MOLLE system for the seat back. But after much research, the polyester that they make the GEAR out of, does not last very well. And the seat cover bottom does not cover the entire seat well…not a full cover.

So I took it upon myself to make my own! I had toyed with the idea to make a slip-on cover. I ran through lots of designs in my head. The main problem is that it wont hug the seat well, like a normal seat would look. So I decided to take the seat apart, stitch by stitch, and use the disassembled pieces as a template to make a new cover. I cut out all the pieces and sewed it all together. I added my won MOLLE grid system. I wanted to use a materiel better then the GEAR used. I picked 1000 Dener Urethane coated Nylon Cordura…its Mil-Spec!

Cordura is:

  • Abrasion resistant
  • Waterproof
  • Rot Proof
  • UV Resistant
  • Almost bullet proof…LOL

FYI:

MOLLE (pronounced MOLLY as in the female name) is an acronym for MOdular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment. It is used to define the current generation of load-bearing equipment and rucksacks utilized by the United States armed forces, especially the United States Army, and its use is also growing in the British Army in the form of the Osprey Modular systems. The system’s modularity is derived from the use of PALS webbing, rows of heavy-duty nylon stitched onto the vest as to allow for attachment of various MOLLE-compatible pouches and accessories. This method of attachment has become a de facto standard for modular tactical gear, replacing the click and stick system used in the earliest modular vest systems (which is still in use with most Western police departments). It is produced for the United States Government under contract by several contractors, such as Specialty Defense, Armor Holdings, Ehmke Manufacturing/High Ground Gear, as well as Eagle Industries

I just need to make some cool pouches to store all my crap :) I already made one, its attached the setback in one of the photos.

11
Jan

Hand Controlled Throttle

My Jeep is a manual transmission. So when I want to climb rocks or hills, its hard to work the clutch, brake, and the gas with only two feet.

I did some checking and lots of companies make a had throttle, the average price is $35-40. But upon close inspection, they are just made from bicycle parts. A gear shifter and a cable.

So I went to a local bike shop and bought all the parts needed for $12!!!! Their was one part I got from the Jeep dealer, its a Throttle Body Return Spring, it was $6. It has a clip that will  attach to an extra point on the throttle body, this made the install REAL easy!

The gear shifter I bought has a thumb screw to adjust tension. But it also will lock it in any position, this means I can kick up the throttle and lock it, if I am running a winch or some other power hungry device. Now I can also use it as a cruse control :) Although I would highly advise against it!

19
Sep

Jeep TJ Safari Snorkel Door Removal Mod

I was looking into getting a Safari Snorkel for my TJ, but they are over $300! OUCH! I was just about to make my own, from black ABS pipe, when I found one on Craigslist for $25!!! WINNING!!!

Next problem it didn’t come with any hardware or instructions. I emailed the manufacture, they were kind enough to send me a manual. I had to make my own duct work from the snorkel to the air box, luckily i had all that ABS laying around…LOL.

Now while i was installing this thing i noticed that my doors would not be able to come off. That’s not going to work for me, because my doors are off 90% of the time….rain or shine. So I decided to mod the snorkel so I could install and remove the doors.

I mocked up the snorkel to the jeep and marked out the location of the hinge and pin for the door, then marked out how much I have to raise the door to get it off. Next i took a Dremel and cut out a notch in the snorkel, but keeping the part I cut out. I then took that piece and turned it inside out, and put it back into the spot it came from. Using a 700 degree soldering iron and some scrap ABS I basically welded the part back onto the snorkel.

Now i have a small pocket recessed area that the door fits into as I lift it off of the Jeep. :)

10
Jun

Automatic Offroad Electric Cooling Fan Dis-abler REV2

Original post

This is the second revision of my design. I added new features and lots of tweeks.

  • Delay of fan start when vehicle is turned on.
  • Delay of fan restart after the water switch has been tripped.
  • One wire water switch, based on “touch switch” technology.
  • 12 or 24 volt system ready, out of the box.
  • Lower part count, now it will fit in a much smaller case.
  • Redundant safety to keep the fan running fully, if the device fails.
  • Very low current draw when in operation.
  • Indication LED to show fan on/off state.
  • Watch Dog enabled to keep the microcontroller from locking up.

Next Rev will most likely be an all SMD device.