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theksmith last won the day on January 26

theksmith had the most liked content!

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About theksmith

  • Rank
    Expedition Expert

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  • Rig
    2016 JK Unlimited Rubicon
  • Location
    Phoenix, AZ

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  1. went down to Advanced Metal Sales (I-17 & Deer Valley) yesterday to buy a piece of steel plate for the bottom of the water tank mounting bracket. i was able to find a remnant/scrap piece of 10 gauge just a little bigger than i needed which saved me from having to buy an entire 4'x4' half-sheet. i paid $35 including the charge for shearing it to exact size. hopefully i'll have some time today or tomorrow to get started!
  2. keeping the thread up-to-date... i led a run to Ripsey & Ripsey Hill mines a couple weekends ago, photos here... a few of us ran Sunflower this past weekend. thanks to @dzJeepChic for this photo of Gadget in the creek - more pics here... i've been working on an on-board water and hot-shower system. write-up in progress... also a work-in-progress - i got a pair of Teraflex bolt-on skids for my new rear Falcon reservoir shocks, but they hang a too low for my taste. i need to do a little customizing and integrate them with the remains of the welded-on skids i already had.
  3. looks like i spoke too soon, i won't be able to make it after all. hopefully i can make Rocktoberfest! p.s. i added this event to the calendar.
  4. until
    More info & sign-up here...
  5. i went with this inexpensive 12v on-demand RV/Marine pump which flows 1.1 GPM - plenty for general use. more than a couple GPM and you'll run through a small supply of water quite fast. also, the faster the water is moving the larger the heat exchanger has to be. the relatively low PSI cut-off is also important since all the barbed connections can be finicky (leak-prone) with higher pressures. these little pumps aren't particularly weather-proof so folks often mount them inside the cab. i didn't want to run lines through the tub or worry about an interior leak. my engine bay is also a little crowded, so when i noticed there was a bunch of empty space under the front cowl, i thought it would be a perfect spot for the pump. it looks a little sloppy right now because i left extra hose for routing to the heat exchanger later. i ran the suction hose from where the tank will be, up along the tunnel (next to my extended rear diff breather), and then up the middle of the firewall. this seemed better than routing it near the side of the engine bay, since that would have put it close to the exhaust headers. i cut the piece of weatherstrip at the top of the firewall so i could run the hose to the pump without pinching it when the hood closes. the output runs along the top of the passenger fender and then down to the front bumper-mounted sprayer, following the same path as my winch power cables. the power to the pump goes from my Bussmann fuse/relay box, down to the switch (next to the sprayer), then back up the driver side to under the cowl. after all this was together, i stuck the suction line in a bucket of water for a quick test of the system. additional items bought for this round: 1.1GPM 12v on-demand pump with 35PSI cut-off 1/4 split loom conduit/tubing i also go through a ton of zip ties on projects like this. i've found these black exterior grade ones from Home Depot survive both sunlight and higher temps pretty well - you can find them in the electrical supply area (near the wire nuts, crimp connectors, etc.).
  6. getting water out: sprayer & switch i wanted to put the water access at the front of the rig for several reasons: my tailgate table and fridge are in the back and so i didn't want to create a mud puddle right where i need to stand a lot at camp. the engine has to be running to get hot water and so setting up a shower tent near the front will prevent from breathing as many exhaust fumes. mounting both the output and the heat exchanger near the engine bay means less hose to run. i first considered putting a recessed cup type transom shower (boat wash-down sprayer) in my aftermarket front bumper - much like this one: however i think the bumper is too shallow for it and i didn't really want to drill a big hole in there. i did still end up buying a marine sprayer. i liked that this one from Scandvik is very compact and has a constant-on feature by pulling out the trigger (in addition to the normal intermittent spray by squeezing) - plus it's black! i ended up mounting the sprayer behind the bumper where it could still pull-out, similar to my original plan but without the container. it sits to the side of the winch, right next to one of my air ports. i also ditched the hose it came with for a longer more flexible black shower hose. i made a custom holder for the sprayer and hose. the mesh bag lets the hose bunch up in one area when stowed, preventing it from slipping out through the holes in my front skid plate. the little holder is made from a piece of aluminum and a plastic tubular spacer i found in my miscellaneous parts drawer. the bag is polyester which should hold up decently, but i also coated it with Scotchgard Water & Sun Shield (left over from a previous project). the sprayer itself is meant to be mounted exposed on a boat deck, so it should survive the elements as well. Gadget is lucky enough to spend most of her parked time inside a garage anyway. i bought a triple-sealed switch from K-Four to control the pump, along with a small 12v LED indicator lamp from Oznium. they were mounted to another piece of aluminum and attached next to the sprayer. the whole setup blends in well and isn't particularly noticeable to a casual passerby. but when i want water, i'll be able to just pull the sprayer out and flip the switch. the shopping list for this portion of the project: Scandvik 10054P Pull Out Sprayer 96 inch black flexible shower hose (1/2 FNPT) 12x15 Polyester Mesh Bag K-Four Triple-Sealed 20A Toggle Switch 6mm Black 12v LED Indicator Lamp (Amber)
  7. Brady and I attended the first Saturday of the annual Barrett Jackson auction/show this year. A high point for both of us was the Dodge Thrill ride where you get to ride in a new Hellcat Challenger or Charger with a professional driver on a short course. They showcase the high performance acceleration and braking - then pitch the back-end out on a few corners. We stood in line an hour for just a few seconds of fun, but it was worth it! We ended up in a Charger and had a former IndyCar racer as our driver. Brady took the font seat and captured this video: The other big deal for B was looking over the Paul Walker collection (he's a big Fast & Furious fan). Here are a few vehicles I thought Offroad Passport members might enjoy seeing... Willys! The window sticker said this was a "Marty McFly re-creation": I desperately wanted one of those as my first vehicle after the Back to the Future movies came out. While I never did end up with a Yota of any sort, I'd take that one in a heartbeat. Continuing with the movies theme, there was a Griswold Family Truckster available: A classic FJ40 in great condition: The General Lee collection: I saw several old 4x4 Chevy trucks and classic Broncos that I'd also be happy to have! I know we have some Dodge Power Wagon fans on this site... I don't really know what this was, but it looked fun! B was excited with this Skittles rainbow collection of Superbirds (he's a Mopar man)! Anyone else go this year and get some photos?
  8. the water tank (part 1) i've been measuring and acquiring parts for this project for quite a while, but only just began to make any real progress on putting it all together. figuring out the fixed water tank was the first step but most of the options i saw at first were discouragingly expensive. i was inspired by Dan's blog on "The Road Chose Me" and knew i wanted to install my tank under the rig as well. i'd already relocated my evap canister, giving me that same empty space to work with between the rear drive-shaft and exhaust. i don't want to modify my exhaust (remove the resonator), so i have slightly less room than Dan ended up with. this article from You Me & The Parks details yet another similar setup. the 7 gallon tank they selected looked to be a perfect size, but the total cost with shipping was going to be over $150. a custom tank shape could get me closer to 12 gallons, but those start at $300 or more. i eventually found a similar sized (but much cheaper) 7 gallon one on Amazon. at under $40 shipped, i was willing to deal with it being slightly taller. it shouldn't hang down any lower than the OEM fuel tank even with a skid plate. 7 gallons isn't much, but it's more than enough for a "Navy shower" and i can always carry additional water cans to refill with if i ever do a really long trip. much larger and i'd want a baffled tank anyway. so here's the tank with fittings installed, the 1-1/4" fill hose, and some 3/8" braided clear tubing which will be used to plumb everything: i still need to fab a custom cradle and skid plate to mount this thing. i do enjoy difficult rock crawling trails at times, so my solution needs to be much beefier than what was in those 2 articles i linked above. there's a design in my head, but i just haven't found the motivation to start a major cutting and welding type project yet. this was my shopping list thus far: Class A Customs 7 Gallon Water Tank T-700 1-1/2" MNPT to 1-1/4" barbed elbow fitting 1/2" MNPT plastic drain valve 1/2 MNPT to 3/8 barbed nylon elbow fittings (5 pack) In-line mesh screen strainer/filter with 3/8" barbed connections 14mm spring band hose clamps (10 pack) (trying these instead of traditional screw type clamps, we'll see how that goes) 3/8" ID Braided Clear Vinyl Tubing (50 feet bulk roll) 1.25" ID RV/Marine water tank fill hose (5 feet)
  9. i've just started setting up an on-board fresh water & hot shower system in my JKU - yes Gadget is slowly becoming a miniature RV! my previous rig had a hot shower setup which only got used a few times but was still a nice luxury. that system just pulled from a portable water container but i learned a few things with that attempt which should help me out this time around. the priority for this new setup is having a fixed-tank and everything mounted so that running water is always quick to access. in fact, the heat exchanger will be the last step after everything else is working. motivation/goals: convenience: on-demand water is just super handy whether you need to wash dishes at camp, or clean your hands after a lunch on the trail. quickly rinsing your feet and flops before crawling into a sleeping bag is nice as well, and a full hot shower after several days of camping can really rejuvenate you and extend the desire to stay out exploring! free up space to carry extra fuel: i currently have 4 gallons of water in an Expedition One Geri container (similar to a Rotopax). it's mounted on my tailgate tire carrier upside down with a gravity fed spigot and works well, but i'd like remove it so i can carry a fuel container there. the new water tank will be under the rig, so an incidental bonus is lowering my center of gravity a bit. (i always carry water but will only sometimes have extra fuel on the back). the plan (components overview): small fixed plastic water tank mounted under the Jeep. RV gravity water inlet to fill the tank from any portable container or a garden hose, etc. 12v "on-demand" (pressure switch controlled) RV style pump easy-to-access permanently mounted pull-out hose and sprayer (eventually) a plate style heat exchanger powered by engine coolant with a thermostatic mixing valve (keeps the hot water temp consistent)
  10. Looking like the bastard love child of a Lamborghini and Ford Raptor SVT, the Laffite G-Tec X-Road is slated to be available by the end of 2020 with an all electric or good-old-fashioned testicle-tickling V8 powertrain. The supercharged LS3 option should deliver 700 HP in a chassis weighing under 2,900 pounds. That sort of power to weight ratio and off-road tire combo makes it sound like this thing exists solely for doing donuts in undeveloped dirt lots! And sure, it starts at over $450,000 - but what's a little coin when you could have a mud-terrain chirping hot mess of street-legal daily driving fun? All hype aside, I can't help but see it as just a more expensive Rally Fighter. More info/photos in this RobbReport article and on Laffite's own site.
  11. i used to have a 4D MagLite that i put a TerraLux LED conversion in. i don't doubt their claim of 1,000 Lumen, but it's $70 (mine was an older 600 Lumen version). however, these days you can get that sort of brightness from a nice rechargeable light for well under $50. @gearhead gave me this Anker Bolder rechargeable which is an awesome general purpose flashlight with adjustable focus and a claimed 900 Lumen output. there's also another version now with double the run-time that's still extremely affordable. my EagleTac G25C2 MKII that i got back in 2014 has been my go-to light for exploring mines and around camp . i have a full review of it here... no doubt those D-cell MagLites still make good weapons though!
  12. This is the Sunflower Mine run re-do (the previous run was canceled due to flooding)! Located off Highway 87 near Mt. Ord., the trail offers a variety of challenges: rock crawling in the creek, steep loose climb out of the creek, narrow and sometimes off-camber shelf roads, and more! The trail is very scenic, as it winds back into a canyon, and offers neat views of the highway and Mt. Ord. Club members: Sign-up & more info here...
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