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Valpacer 06-08-2012 08:04 PM

Valpacers' WH Build Thread
** DISCLAIMER - This is an offroad build thread :D **

Well, its about time I started one of these. Some will be a bit out of order, some mods have heaps of pics, some none!

To kick things off, Here is the Jeep just after it arrived form the dealer. Was searching for a Laredo CRD with QDII, either a Demo or such. Had to get it from the other side of the country.

So the order to the dealer had some extras on it :thumbsup:
  • ARB HD Lift with Bilstein Struts and shocks
  • ARB Bullbar
  • Warn Winch
  • IPF 800 lights
  • Commander Rims
  • 265/70R17 BFG All terrains
  • Brake Controller

First things were the adding of a Uniden Remote Head UHF CB, and a RFI CD900 Antenna to the bullbar.

You can also see in the pics how the spare sat down....didnt last long there.

This is how it was for around 2 years, it was the family daily, wheeled on the weekends when i wasnt in the XJ, or the ZJ, or the 80....

Then the real mods started....

Valpacer 06-08-2012 08:05 PM

Re: Valpacers' WH Build Thread
First real mod was the installation of a Rola Vortex XL roof rack.

To keep it lower I fabricated up some rola aluminium crossbars into new side rails, which let me use unistrut fittings to mount the rack direct to the new side rails. Kept it 3" lower.

Attention then turned to the rear cargo area. It was time for a set of roller drawers.

Removed all the factory bits, and made up a new rear floor from 18mm marine ply, covered in marine carpet. To level the floor out (remember the factory base has storage in it) I use some Unistrut to make up some mounts. Lost a little space here, but was worth it for the drawers.

And skip a few steps, here they are. The drawers themselves come from a company that sells full kits as well as pieces, from them i ordered 2 galvanised draw units, 450mm wide x 710mm long x 210mm high, each with 2 sets of rollers.

SO made up out of marine ply (1/2" this time) the drawer fronts, some small pieces for the gap to the side of the cargo area, and the top. The top was hinged in the middle, so it can be removed easily when needed!

This meant i could mount a pair of Deep cycle batteries in one of the drawers, and carry all my usual ear without it getting in the way!

I mounted the compressor and Inverter in the Left hand side beside the drawers, along with the controller for the rear batteries and the rear auxiliary fuse bix.

Right side was more space for tools!

With the compressor mounted, it needed an air tank and some lines. Mounted a 9l tank under the rear, firstly on the outside of the rear subframe (lasted 1 trip before i broke it off) and then in the inner side. I was able to reuse the brackets i made though.

And then inside the Frame.

And then Air outlets front and rear.

Valpacer 06-08-2012 08:06 PM

Re: Valpacers' WH Build Thread
The new lift went on, custom sized coils for the struts and the rear, and 2" longer rear shocks than the OME.

No pics of the install, but you can see the height change in most of the pics from now.

Next was the snorkel, airflow brand, which took around 4 hours to install.

The original front facing intake blocked of.

A new hole in the side for the snorkel pipework.

And the finished product.

Valpacer 06-08-2012 08:11 PM

Re: Valpacers' WH Build Thread
Installed a LED interior light, with its own switch (didnt want it on the courtesy lights as usually had kidlets asleep when it would be opened)

A single strip of LED fixed with double sided tape to the frame under the top trim.

Ordered and received a BullyDog Watchdog on special, allows me to monitor Boost, rail pressure, temp and battery with adjustable warning levels for each. Plugs into the OBD2 port, cable run behind the dash.

I also wired up the in cab winch controls, but hadnt decided on the switch yet. Was debating over the carling type of one of the nice alloy kits that are out there.

Mounted the overhead switch console, which also housed the volt gauges for the main battery and the rear batteries.

Used a 6 way housing, cut into the roof lining and ran 2 x 7core wires down the LHS a pillar.

Decided on using the same style switches for the winch controls, so I used the modular housings this time for a 7 way switch panel, and moved the volt gauges to the centre console. Being a Laredo, there are plenty of spare spots!

The Items on the left of the rocker are only active when the ignition is on, the centre rocker can feed power to them when its off. THe RHS ones control the winch and the small light mounted in the grille to shine on the winch at night.

Relocated Volt Gauges

Relocated work light switch to the rear.

And here are the work lights they switch. 1 each side at the rear. 5 led 20w.

Valpacer 06-08-2012 08:12 PM

Re: Valpacers' WH Build Thread
Something i had wanted to do for a long time was to get a second battery under the bonnet, mainly to give extra capacity for winching. I decided on 2 x optimas, 1 starter (red top) and 1 dual (yellow top), both rated at the same as the factory huge battery.

I removed the factory battery, battery tray and the fuse box and power centre mount.

Then out of some aluminium plate, made a new tray, braced with some aluminuim angle, and the bolt holes recessed into the plate.

Had to trim a small amount of the strut tower out, and the factory bracket for the power centres was fully removed. These were then mounted down about 2" rearward of their original locations with a couple of tabs.

Used a redarc controller (same as the one controlling the rear batteries) which i mounted on the other side of the shock tower.

Received a pressie in the mail, one of the new twin ARB air compressors.

out with the old single and in with the new! Sounds like a biplane taking off :D

Due to the extra heat it generates (it actually has its own cooling fan) i vented the top of its enclosure with some fluted aluminium.

Valpacer 06-08-2012 08:14 PM

Re: Valpacers' WH Build Thread
Some miscellaneous wheeling pics at that level of modification.....

Short vid from same trip to the Glasshouse Mountains

Hmmm, might need a clean :thumbsup:

Valpacer 06-08-2012 08:14 PM

Re: Valpacers' WH Build Thread
Just after this trip, the first of the Saguaro Gear arrived, and in a bit of a rush, the front was fitted up.

It actually took almost as much time to remove the ARB bar than it did to install the Saguaro. We also found that the dealer hadnt fitted the extra bolts that were supposed to be drilled into the frame, and many of the bolts were the wrong type. Lucky i hadnt used it for offroading hey :nono:. Muppets.

The front bar, coming very professionally and carefully packaged.

There she is, all naked.

Loosely bolted up.

Setting it all in place, Stu doing his thing with the Jack.

And there she was, changing the look of the Jeep forever better! Very easy install, excellent instructions and everything needed was in the crate. Well done Jackie Davis!

This was finished the day before heading to Landcruiser Park for a club run. Comment of the run, at the end of Carnage Canyon (overheard from a set of Patrol drivers) 'how the f*(k did he get that up here!' :2thumbsup:

And some trackside carnage. Coming down Telecom hill, lost a spring.

Valpacer 06-08-2012 08:16 PM

Re: Valpacers' WH Build Thread
Missed a couple of trips before the Saguaro front bar went on.....

Ripley, only 15 mins from my house, and about to become around 200 house lots very soon. Sad.

Oops. Missed it by that much..!

Mud. Bead. Bugger.

And where it happened.

And a nice little climb. Wasnt my usual partners in crime on this run, and no one else was game to go up it.

Another little trip to Glasshouse, had a night run the night before, spent 6 hours winching an XJ up Big Red with a locked up front diff and transfer case.

Match the mountain to the sticker!

Rescued a JK that almost came unstuck.

And picked up some panel damage along the way :D

Valpacer 06-08-2012 09:26 PM

Re: Valpacers' WH Build Thread
Then it was time to fit the Saguaro Rear bar with Tyre Carrier. Once again, very well packed, detailed instructions and every thing i needed.

Luckily as I had dome some small (severe) damage to the factory plastic item i didnt have to remove all of the 21 clips that retain it. Just the 4 remaining and the 2 zipties that were keeping it on :D

Got the side sections bolted up. They sit under the rear frame rails, and the rear section ties these together and to the hitch mount. Can you say strong?

Then once the centre section is bolted up, all the bolts are tightened up. Time to add the swing arm.

And then a tyre :-)

Now we have a protected bum.

Valpacer 06-08-2012 09:27 PM

Re: Valpacers' WH Build Thread
Now on to the really fun stuff.

Had a Superlift kit on order since November of last year. Missed the first container when the forwarder 'forgot' to put it in the right pile, so after another 2 months it was here.

All laid out in Stu's workshop.

And only missing a set of swaybar bushes, which from what i hear is pretty good! Especially as i wont be using the rear sway bar anyway.

Strip down time.

For some reason, even after 2 hours of underbody hosing, dried mud was falling out of every crevice. :D

Valpacer 06-08-2012 09:27 PM

Re: Valpacers' WH Build Thread
Luckily the kit I had ordered was one of the first with the new lower control arms and not the drop brackets (even though it took longer to get here :-( ).

Fitted the LCA's, the brackets for the upper rear arms and the track bar.

Carl got under the front and notched the subframe as per the instructions.

Painted the inner side to hold off rust.

And in place.

All welded up.

Valpacer 06-08-2012 09:28 PM

Re: Valpacers' WH Build Thread
Drained the front diff while it was out.

Yep, thats mud and grit. Flushed it with fresh diff oil before re-install, and then another set of oil once it was in. Still no noises yet!

Getting the front back in

Needed new rotors, pads, hub bearings as they were all stuffed. Painted the rotor centres.

Mocked up the new front struts for space.

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