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4x4tographer last won the day on December 24 2019

4x4tographer had the most liked content!

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About 4x4tographer

  • Rank
    Adventure Seeker

Basic Info

  • Rig
    2018 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon JL
  • Location
    Peoria, AZ, USA

My Details

  • First Name
  • Experience Level
  • Preferred Trail Rating
  • HAM Call-sign
    N/A - Studying!

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  1. Got to use my New Year’s Day to finish up this project! Took the factory tie down points and bolted them to the deck with some 5/8 stainless hardware and lock nuts. I might invest in a cargo net to keep back there for lighter-weight things like groceries as the trunk is a lot shallower than it used to be. Can’t have my Wonderbread and Oreos littering the highway. Due to the nature of the contours I had to cut around with the deck, it’s a pretty tight fit with maybe 5mm of left/right wiggle room. The contour gauge was awesome and made the process really easy to nail on the first try. As the fit was snug, I ended up screwing the deck down last as there was no way I’d be able to preassemble the entire unit and drop it in. I used bronze colored deck screws for the top, all countersunk. This shot shows some of the flaws in my use of rattle-can bedliner. I got a little happy on the trigger on the left drawer and had some drippage. It’s really only noticeable here due to the flash on my phone. It looks a lot better in natural light. If you look hard, you’ll be able to see the deck screws running every 4” down the center and sides. Total Box height is 10”, with the drawers topping out at 9” in height. Perfect for accessing tools with the rear soft top panel in place. It can be a real PITA to remove everything you want to grab something - so this will be a nice little side benefit. I go for my first drive with it tomorrow on my commute to work. I’m interested in seeing if I get any annoying rattles or squeaking from the system, After a day or two, I’ll load up the drawers with some gear. I’ll be embarking on another adventure in organizing the drawers themselves as they are blank canvasses! Overall the drawers are larger than the Wolfpack’s (by FrontRunner) that I keep filled with gear. It’ll be interesting to see how much I can cram into them. Some remaining tasks/considerations: Cut some rubber matting to line the drawer bottoms Find some organizers/dividers to cubed bags for the drawers. I might even just make some dividers/inserts out of some thin wood or acetate I’m kicking around the idea of some diamond plate for the deck for extra durability. I’m positive the bedliner is going to scratch off as soon as I lash down my steel Jerry cans on them.
  2. Last few days I’ve been able to primer and paint the entire project. The Kilz was great, I was able to do the entire system with just a small can and a 1/2-sized paint roller. I’d also completely forgotten about maintaining access to the “super secret under-floor storage compartment”, so a grabbed the jigsaw and router and went to work. The space is accessible if I pull the drawer out, so not super convenient, but I figure I can put some emergency supplies in that compartment, or things that would be extremely rare for me to access. I’m thinking a stash of MRE’s or water bottles. 5 coats of rattle-can Rustoleum bedliner on the top deck surface. It’s not the most beautiful paint job, but it’ll get the job done. My trunk is generally dusty as hell as I ride most of the year with the top back. Decided to go for a pop of color on the drawers with some Apple Red paint that I think is a pretty decent match with the exterior Firecracker Red. Here’s a shot of the drawers installed before I bolted on the top deck. I wish the slide pulls were a similar color, but I’m ok with the blue. Maybe I’ll plastidip the pulls some day. I also end up with some nice little space to the left and right of the box for some longer items, like a folding chair, cheater pipe, etc...
  3. Rails test fitted and some hand routing around the slider latches. Checking out the full extension of the sliders nad making some adjustments. I ended up making the drawers about 3-4mm too narrow for the pretty tight tolerance of the sliders. I ended up using some spare washers I had laying around as spacers to make up the difference. So far so good!
  4. Here’s the rough base plate. Ended up making a cutout along the bottom lip to maintain access to the factory jack/tools. Bolt holes were easily lined up thanks to another @theksmith idea of replacing the bolts, laying the board on top, and smacking it with a big ol’ hammer. I’ve built several pieces of furniture for our house and I can’t recommend a pocket hole jig enough. Easily the biggest bang-for-your-buck tool I own. Here’s the cabinet starting to come together. I double-walled/laminated the interior wall as it will be supporting a slide and drawer on each side, and I need it to be able to take a good amount of weight from the deck when fully loaded. Here it is during a test fit in the back of the JL! It was at this time I made a pretty big boo-boo. I forgot all about that big honking Tuffy tailgate lock box. I went to close the tailgate and SMACK. I realized I made the walls too long/deep. I ended up needing to jigsaw 3 inches off of the vertical walls, bringing my total storage from 30” to 27” to accommodate the tailgate box. I used my handy oscillating cutter to clean it up and a little sanding to get rid of the stray wood glue.
  5. Eager to get started, I ripped out the carpeted bed and storage cover from the back of the Jeep in order to get some good measurements. Goose Gear has an excellent installation video for their plate system that goes over these steps. Additionally I took out the stock tie-down anchors. I plan to use these mount points as the place to mount a home made base plate to start building on. An additional consideration was making sure I accommodate my existing tailgate mounted Tuffy storage lock box, which also doubles as a fold out table. This will limit my maximum box/drawer depth, but also force me to offset the drawers to the left to allow the drawers to pull all the way out to their full 24” extension without hitting the lock box.
  6. Inspired by @theksmith truly excellent storage/sleep platform, I decided to use my time over the holidays to create my own “super-fully-customized-ultimate-drawer-system-with-a-deck” project. Also driving this project is never-ending struggle of gear management - that one thing I need during a trail ride happens to be buried in a box under a mountain of other gear, forcing me to unload 1/2 the trunk just to get at it. I’m no engineer but with some moderate planning, and shameless rip offs from @theksmith’s ideas and some installation videos I watched from Goose Gear, I think I landed on a solid idea. My Project Goals: Full extension slides that will support the weight of my recovery gear, tools and trail snacks Full width deck that blends into the contours of the trunk Tie downs on the top of the deck for additional gear boxes, Gerry cans, etc.... Bedliner/sealant incase I get caught in the rain with the top off Keep my existing Tuffy tailgate storage lock box Materials include: Plywood Beadboard (used to cut as a template for mapping the Jeeps contours) 500lb lock in/lock out sliders Pocket screws Nails Wood glue Kilz primer paint Rattle can paint Rattle can bedliner Tools used: Table saw Jig saw Router Circular saw Impact Driver Nail gun Clamps Kreg jig (pocket hole jig) Oscillating tool Mouse sander Speed square Contour gauge
  7. Welp, clunk is back. Re-torquing was a temporary fix. It’s gotta be the bushing! Guess we’re scheduling some warranty work after all!
  8. About a 15 minute job. For the JL front overhead panel, the rear snapped into 2 of the existing sound bar bolts. The front required 2 self taping screws.
  9. Well, think it’s resolved for now. Jacked up and re-torqued the track bar bolts to spec and the “popping” is gone! At least for now. Thanks guys for your advice!
  10. Thanks @Curly and @theksmith. I think I have it narrowed down to the track bar bushing at the axel assembly. There is a definitive popping and some good visual movement (though I don’t know how normal that is). Looks like some warranty work is on the horizon. FullSizeRender.mov
  11. Any of you guys run into a steering clunk before? Had Michelle crank the wheel back and forth. The clunk occurs upon the return to right from a left. I checked all the lower components and couldn’t find anything wrong (not that I’m the most mechanically inclined). The problem feels like it’s coming from the engine bay, maybe the steering box. FullSizeRender.mov
  12. Hi! Had a nice little tight group of rigs make the run to Crown King this weekend on Pearl Harbor Day. Weather was awesome, partly cloudy, about 50-60 all day. Personally, I make this run annually on the first weekend in December. It's sort of become a tradition for me (my 4th year), and it's amazing to see how the trail changes in those 1 year snapshots. Obstacles that were filled in with sand last year were completely washed out this year and drastically changed in difficulty. @theksmith @REDROCK TONIHAWK @Rubicon 18 and a guest from the Summit Offroad pages joined in for a great run! I got high centered twice on my belly skids (I need a lift & tires, man!), and @theksmith got to test out his winch for the first time (but we won't say why!) All in all, we made it to CK in 5 hours, and nobody broke! @REDROCK TONIHAWK's Ezmerelda Our guest of honor, Jerry @Rubicon 18 leading the pack Creeping on @theksmith and Gadget from above Jerry on obstacle #4 @Rubicon 18 lookin' mean Locals giving us the stank eye A nice look at the trail from above, Lake Pleasant in the background This spot was slick as hell. @theksmith made it up no problem Fresh out of the drink where the miner has diverted the trail into the creek The creek crossing was a heck of a lot of fun. Recent rain and melting snows gave us about a dozen nice crossings and good flowing water. Breaking for lunch Nice view of the creek Glamour poser shot!
  13. Thanks for coming out man, it was great to see ya again! I’ve got some GoPro dash footage to send your way. I’ll set up a Dropbox for it as it’s too large to email.
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