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Posts from the ‘Automotive’ Category


Automatic Offroad Electric Cooling Fan Dis-abler

Micro controlled device to disable the electric cooling fan when you are entering water in a off road vehicle. Thus preventing the fan from crashing into the radiator when the fan is under full power.

  • 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.

Stickin’ It To Da Man: Jeep Stereo Harness

Well my Jeep rarely has the doors on, no matter what the weather is like. So my stock stereo finally took a dump.

I went to BestBuy to get a new one. I asked how much install was, the guy said $50. I came back a few hours latter to get it put in. He rang up the install fee, and said it would be $104. WTF!! Apparently they charge for the install, the dash kit, and the wire harness. The dash kit and wire harness were over $20ea. So I promptly said, “no thanks” and walked out.

The wire harness would make the install a breeze. It adapts the harness from the new stereo to the stock plugs in the Jeep. But I didn’t want to pay $20 for it. Unfortunately, the dash install kit is a must, so i had to buy it. šŸ™

I got back to my shop, and begun my own install. I ripped out the stereo form the Jeep, and tossed it on my desk. Looked at it for a minute. Then thought, why not take the OEM plugs out of the stock stereo, and solder the new harness that came with the new stereo. BINGO!

I ripped out the 2 plugs from the OEM stereo, which had some nice length wires on it,Ā and soldered it directly to the new harnessĀ pigtails.Ā Worked out like a champ! Lucky for me, the pinout for the OEM harness was printed on top of the OEM stereo.


DIY Off Road LED Light Bar

I was surfing the web one day and came upon a site selling LED light bars for off road use. The pictures and videos looked promising. I then saw the price tag… $1300UDS for 42″ long bar. Like this one. WOW!!! I have been playing with LEDs for years. I know LEDs are very cheap these days….

So, I said to myself, I can build that! Thus begins yet another project.

The LED I am using are 1W bright white.

  • 3.6 Forward Voltage
  • .350 Forward Current
  • 100 Lumens

This project for my Jeep will have over 100 individual LEDs. Calculated to be pulling less then 5AMPs TOTAL CURRENT!!! Yes, less than 5AMPs!!!

EDIT 4/18/12: It turns out its less then 3 AMPs!!!

I have designed a custom power supply, in EagleCAD, with over 95% efficiency! I built several prototypes on my CNC machine. After deciding on a design, I ordered prototypes form a board manufacturer. It was easier to get a double sided board from them, rather then making my own.

Obviously prototyping is not cheap, but i figure i will have a working 48″ LED bar for less than $300USD.

Edit 4/18/12: I kinda missed that mark, it was over $600 total.


1997 Jeep TJ Bump Stop Mod

So i got a 3.25″ lift from rough country for my 1997 Jeep TJ Wrangler. As I was installing the kit i noticed that the rear didn’t have bump stops cups! But I was in a hurry to get it done, i had to drive it to work the next day. So i opted to come back to it another day.

That day has come…..

Now because i was missing the cups in the rear, i had to fab something. I did some digging and saw people using hockey pucks. I thought that was a great idea….but i was still missing the cups.

So i bought polyurethane “short” bump stops and decided to just add on to it to make it work for me. Still needed to add some beef to it, i used hockey pucks as spacers, and long bolts, to make the assembly longer.

Now the diameter of the puck was too large for the top of the coil spring. I used my CNC machine to mill out a 2″ round chunk with a hole in it. I quite possibly could have used a 2″ hold saw. But it would have made a BIG mess, been ugly and quite frankly it would not have even been notable here. My CNC machine used a single flute carbide bit, and cut through the puck like it was butter!

Pucks: $1 ea
Bump Stops: $13 pair
Hardware: $3-ish


VW Bug / Jeep project. AKA- The Veep :)

Back in 98-99 I was working in a machine shop. I had caviar dreams on a sardine budget. I sent a lot of time off road in the mud, ad really wanted a Jeep. Unable to afford one I embarked on a journey to “make” my own.

Back in the day VW bugs were cheap and plentiful. I bought many for under $200. I even got a VW bus and a bug from a guy for $50 ea., and they both ran.

I really didn’t have a set of plans, I just knew what I wanted to end up with. SO i bought a bug, gutted it, and took off the body. I replaced the belly pans, then had the rolling chassis completely sand blasted. After tilting the chassis up in it side, sitting on the side wall of two tires, I sprayed the entire thing with epoxy primer, then used under coating spray on the bottom. With the body sitting on a make shift trailer, i started hacking away at the body to make my dream a reality. I made a roll cage that made it look like a Jeep. Installed a fiberglass body kit I bought online. Then made a paint booth in the car port of my dad’s house. I painted the entire thing black with yellow for the chassis and bumpers. Finished it off with plastic racing seats, 5 point harness, six KC light, 1835CC engine, autometer gauge set and 29″ Thornbird tires. I made a frameĀ  from steel rod, in the shape of the door. My neighbor then covered it with water proof canvas and a clear vinyl window, that zipped out!

I took it off road many times and had a BLAST!Ā  I even won 2nd place at a Bug Out car show. It was also my daily driver for years.


1991 Integra JDM Motor Swap.

I owned a 1991 Acura Integra. It had a automatic transmission and a 1.8L motor. Some how i got the idea in my head that i wanted a Vtec motor. So i went on a hunt on ebay for a JDM (Japanese Domestic Market) motor. I found a great deal on a B16 Vtec with a Y1 MANUAL transmission. So i bought it, and waited for the shipping form California to South Florida.

Before I got the motor and tranny, i ordered some parts from a junk yard, i needed the clutch pedal and the clutch cable. To save money the auto manufactures produce a car that will have all the holes for manual and work with a automatic, so i just had to attach the clutch pedal to the empty holes.

When it came time to install the motor and tranny, it was not to hard. I had all the right tools, including a engine hoist.

PS. I did it all in a driveway with no cover…