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  #21  
Old 01-05-2020, 05:29 PM
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Simo Simo is offline
232 I6
 
Join Date: Dec 21, 2017
Location: North East, PA
Posts: 49
Thanks for the encouragement. It's taken a while just to get to this point. Still a lot more to do though the thread is nearly up to date now. Just got the rig PA inspected last month and am driving it around now so that feels good. The interior and some of the handling observations may see some of the next improvements.

Picked up after inspection with new 32x11.50R15 Mastercraft Courser MXTs, December 2019

Last edited by Simo : 01-05-2020 at 05:52 PM.
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  #22  
Old 01-05-2020, 07:50 PM
Rusty76 Rusty76 is online now
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Join Date: Jul 15, 2018
Location: Cochrane
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Great read! Thanks for taking the time to also put in awesome pictures.
Congrats on all the progress.
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  #23  
Old 01-05-2020, 10:32 PM
FleetFox FleetFox is offline
232 I6
 
Join Date: Apr 04, 2018
Location: Blue Ridge Mountains
Posts: 137
Making some serious progress here, congrats. Your fab work is excellent by the way.

Fleet Fox
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  #24  
Old 01-08-2020, 01:43 PM
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asphaltrockdweller asphaltrockdweller is offline
350 Buick
 
Join Date: Jul 09, 2009
Posts: 1,158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simo






I love the look of those old school West Coast Mirrors.
You could call your Chero "Sarge" looks like Sargent stripes on the shoulders.
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  #25  
Old 01-10-2020, 01:30 PM
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rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is offline
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Join Date: Oct 31, 2016
Location: Camarillo, CA
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This thread is AMAZING! Well done! I absolutely love your rig! Done right for sure!!! I'm with Asphaltrockdweller: Sarge is the perfect name.

If you lived closer I'd pay you to build me a front bumper like that! Super cool.
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  #26  
Old 01-24-2020, 08:48 AM
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miracleed miracleed is offline
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Join Date: Feb 19, 2019
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 111
Dude! Awesome thread. Going to lean heavily on this when it starts getting a little warmer around here.
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  #27  
Old 02-02-2020, 06:36 PM
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Simo Simo is offline
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Join Date: Dec 21, 2017
Location: North East, PA
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Front Seat

After mechanical and body work met state inspection, some attention turned to the interior. The driver and passenger front seats still had decent cushioning but their surfaces had torn in several strips and had become brittle enough to tear again with new pressure applied. Some research on here suggested Dodge Dakota seats to be a good replacement option and I even found a donor truck buried in a local yard...



... but I got tempted by this racy ford focus ST nearby and grabbed its great pair of semi bolstered fold forward seats for a hundred bucks.



I started on the driver side first because I thought it would be easier. The focus seat base was too wide to center the seat, was too high, and its incline was all wrong to be a simple bolt into the FSJ. Started to rethink the Dakota seats but pushed on, separating the focus seat and slide rails from its base mounting feet by drilling & grinding out the rivets. Some simple base skids bolt through the same holes I had drilled in the new floors for the FSJ seats. Then a set of four tapered 1/4” angle iron risers, about 3.5” long each, secure the focus seat rails to the base plates. While the rails are butted right up against the Hi/Lo range shifter on the trans tunnel, the inner sliders move all the way forward and backward. I’m 6’3” ~275# and am comfortable with the outcome.








Last edited by Simo : 03-30-2020 at 06:15 AM.
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  #28  
Old 02-02-2020, 06:46 PM
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Simo Simo is offline
232 I6
 
Join Date: Dec 21, 2017
Location: North East, PA
Posts: 49
Center Console

To add to daily driver comfort I felt like the rig needed a center console not only to rest an arm on, but also hold some beverages and accumulate random crap as the glove box was already getting full of stereo and gauge wires, ducting, and 4wd switch so far. It didn’t seem like a great place to keep things like the registration and insurance cards floating around anymore. There are some pretty nice custom consoles on here, some folks mentioned a universal clutter catcher available at places like Walmart, and several donor auto models were mentioned. Ultimately, I chose this Rampage 31511 locking center console meant for 76-95 CJ/Wranglers online. It was $84; if I invested more time I might have found a cheaper option or gotten creative and made my own, but Im trying to pick my battles. It’s denim grey, matches the focus seats reasonably well, has 4 cup holders, was pretty easy to install, and the arm rest cushion is a good height for my driving position.



I mounted a small fire extinguisher within arms reach to the back of the console.


Last edited by Simo : 02-02-2020 at 08:20 PM.
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  #29  
Old 02-02-2020, 06:49 PM
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Simo Simo is offline
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Join Date: Dec 21, 2017
Location: North East, PA
Posts: 49
Interior Panels

Some of the panels were getting pretty ragged round the edges. I saw some premade ABS plastic panels available online and there were several posts around here showing nice restorations, recreations, and custom panels using various materials. As a short-term cost-effective material selection, I found 4x8 sheets of 5mm wood paneling for $17 at Lowe’s. This isn’t anything new, several others have used wood paneling in their FSJs before, here are a few examples that look better than mine:
- Tbryan http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=79372
- Loganvilledude http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=158349
- Vintagetrks http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=107426

A fine-tooth jigsaw blade cuts them pretty cleanly after conservatively tracing out an old panel with some test fitting, trimming, and repeating. Self-tapping sheet metal screws secure the panels in place easily enough. They could be sanded and coated in polyurethane with some sound deadening or replaced with something more durable in the future.

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  #30  
Old 02-02-2020, 07:08 PM
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Simo Simo is offline
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Join Date: Dec 21, 2017
Location: North East, PA
Posts: 49
Stereo

For tunes, I installed a single DIN head unit (Pioneer DEH-S4120BT) and four 6x9 speakers (Kicker 43DSC69304). The OE radio opening in the dash had to be enlarged. Traced the new head unit’s tray and carefully cut to fit using a variety of tooling especially for the vertical cuts where a 4.5” angle grinder is too big not hit the dash cover. The dash sheet metal is really thin so even when bending the tabs that hold the tray in place it still wasn’t perfectly tight. I saw some others on here had tack welded the tray in place. I ended up adding a little gorilla glue around the perimeter to try and take out any more play so it didn’t wiggle around anymore. The head unit’s cover hides it all and it looks ok. A pair of 6x9” speakers were mounted in the front doors and rear cargo area side panels.






Last edited by Simo : 03-30-2020 at 06:19 AM.
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  #31  
Old 02-02-2020, 07:39 PM
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Simo Simo is offline
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Join Date: Dec 21, 2017
Location: North East, PA
Posts: 49
12v Outlets

Since the new radio has its own clock, I removed the OE analog dash clock and installed a set of 12v power outlets including a cigarette lighter type socket and a pair of USB outlets in the other plug. I wanted to be able to charge a device even with the ignition OFF, so these power outlets tap into the OE clock wiring that has constant power. The USB port has a lighted surround and draws 0.017A as measured with my DMM when the outlet is ON and nothing plugged in to draw additional load. There is a Touch button to turn it ON/OFF so it doesn’t draw the battery down when not in use.
I was so focused on making the $12 kit with plastic panel housing for the 2 outlets work in the clock opening I had to make a small intermediate backing panel when in retrospect the custom aluminum panel could just suffice alone to both fasten into the dash and secure the two plugs.



Last edited by Simo : 02-05-2020 at 10:30 AM.
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  #32  
Old 02-02-2020, 07:51 PM
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Full Size Jeeper Full Size Jeeper is offline
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Join Date: Jul 20, 2014
Location: Mandeville Louisiana
Posts: 2,068
Very nice, it is coming together. I have four clocks and none of them work. I might have to seal that charging station idea!
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1978 Wagoneer

401/turbo 400 trans. Quadra-Trac BW1339 (with Low) 4" Rusty's lift with 31" Summit Mud Dawgs

Mods:
Fuel Tank, Red Holley Fuel Pump, Razor Grill (profile pic out dated), Rebuilt steering box
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  #33  
Old 02-02-2020, 08:16 PM
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Simo Simo is offline
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Join Date: Dec 21, 2017
Location: North East, PA
Posts: 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Full Size Jeeper
Very nice, it is coming together. I have four clocks and none of them work. I might have to seal that charging station idea!

Cheers. Id be happy to send ya this clock, i cant verify its calibration but the second hand does move with power to it. I broke the plastic studs off the back when removing it but you could transfer the clock itself to another good housing with the studs still intact.
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  #34  
Old 02-02-2020, 08:16 PM
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Simo Simo is offline
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Join Date: Dec 21, 2017
Location: North East, PA
Posts: 49
Rear Cargo Anchors

Since the spare tire had been displaced by a fuel tank under the bed, I’ve temporarily relocated the spare to the cargo area until I build a rear bumper with tire carrier someday. To help secure the tire and misc tools, fluids, jump box, etc I added some anchors to the cargo area. I found these tie downs online, 10 for about $20, and mounted them using 3/8-16 steel rivet nuts positioned near the corners of the cargo area.






Last edited by Simo : 02-03-2020 at 06:21 AM.
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  #35  
Old 02-02-2020, 09:09 PM
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Simo Simo is offline
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Join Date: Dec 21, 2017
Location: North East, PA
Posts: 49
We're gonna need a bigger tank

In other news, Ive run a few tanks of fuel through the engine and am averaging about 9 mpg. It made me think of that moment of realization from the movie Jaws where the protagonist says he's gonna need a bigger boat just like this rig may need a bigger reserve to extend refueling intervals.

Last edited by Simo : 03-30-2020 at 06:23 AM.
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  #36  
Old 02-03-2020, 09:53 AM
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SOLSAKS SOLSAKS is offline
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Join Date: Jul 25, 2016
Location: Benson. NC
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I like the jaws reference.
I watch it regularly.

dave in NC
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  #37  
Old 02-09-2020, 06:21 PM
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Simo Simo is offline
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Join Date: Dec 21, 2017
Location: North East, PA
Posts: 49
Passenger Seat

Tackled the passenger seat install this weekend. After removing the brackets from the focus seat, a preliminary mock up showed my suspicion that it would run into the trans tunnel before becoming a comfortable seating position for the passenger.


Committed, part of me cried inside as i was faced with the decision to clearance my fresh floors. Here is before and after forming a channel into the trans tunnel to push the pass seat over another ~2-3".


Now the inner slide rail was starting to fit in there a little better for a more comfortably centered seating position.


For the outer mounts, I fashioned a set of tapered brackets secured to a plate that bolts into the same holes in the floor as the FSJ seat brackets. The inner rail rests on the trans tunnel and its forward mount has a tab that captures the FSJ front inner threaded bolt hole. The inner rear mount angles in to a small plate on the floor that is bolted into the remaining FSJ bolt hole location in the floor. So much for words, here are some pics.


Painted the trans tunnel massacre


Mounted with a few inches of freedom forwards and backwards


Tada...




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  #38  
Old 02-09-2020, 07:20 PM
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asphaltrockdweller asphaltrockdweller is offline
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Join Date: Jul 09, 2009
Posts: 1,158
Those seats look super comfy plush.
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  #39  
Old 03-28-2020, 08:24 AM
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Simo Simo is offline
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Join Date: Dec 21, 2017
Location: North East, PA
Posts: 49
Wipers

I replaced the wipers with a refill initially of just the rubber core elements, Trico Part #43-160, that slide into the old FSJ stainless arms but the resulting performance was still subpar. The driver side arm especially did not have enough tension to really squeegee the glass very good even with the fresh refill. A little searching on here suggested XJ arms are compatible with the FSJ base wiper splined shafts. The XJ arms have longer 18” blades vs the FSJ arms’ 16” blades, so for me the performance and swept area improved with this swap. The passenger side wiper does extend off the curvature of the windshield, but so did the OE FSJ 16” passenger wiper. Maybe when these blades wear out I’ll try a set of the newer frameless beam blades that should mate with the modern XJ arms and see if they’ll wrap around the curvature of the passenger side any better.

FSJ passenger side arm


XJ arm on passenger side also extends off the contour of the windshield


Driver side XJ arm installed with FSJ arm sitting loosely below it.

Last edited by Simo : 03-30-2020 at 06:24 AM.
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  #40  
Old 03-28-2020, 08:31 AM
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Simo Simo is offline
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Join Date: Dec 21, 2017
Location: North East, PA
Posts: 49
Sound Deadener

To help dampen reverberations inside this mobile tin can, I started considering sound deadening in the form of spray or mats. I chose one of the cheaper options, “Noico”; reviews were generally positive but did note that in warmer environments the material can emit a rubber or asphalt kind of smell. Ambient temps are fairly cool here right now in March and I couldn’t smell anything from it out of the package. It’s 80 mil thickness and 36 sq ft for about 68 bucks. I did 100% of the front of the roof, about 50% of the middle and rear sections of the roof, most of the rear interior quarter body panels and have a little left over but Ill need to get some more to finish the roof, front doors, and middle side panels. This won’t include the floors that are bedlined. If you were doing the whole rig (roof, floor, side panels) Id guess youd probably want > 100 sq ft. Installation is relatively easy enough. I had previously wire wheeled the underside of the roof and treated the metal so a simple wipe down provided a clean base to apply the mats. I used one of their knurled roller tools to help the mat adhere to the FSJ panels. I don’t have quantifiable sound measurements before and after, but I can definitely tell the difference by tapping on an exposed portion of panel before and after applying the mats even at 50% coverage.

Front section of roof at 100% coverage.


Rear and middle sections of roof with just 1 full square of matting for about 50% coverage.


Right rear inner quarter panel matting on both body and removable interior panel surfaces.

Last edited by Simo : 03-30-2020 at 06:25 AM.
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