Sunday, May 15, 2011

Finally kept my promise ;)

Since  its really windy outside and I cant sleep I decided pass the time waiting for the sandman to come by showing you a few pictures of my kicthen/ storage slide-out:

Start of the sides:

Went a little overboard with the screws........but its rock solid and doesn't creak:

Found this mummified little bugger hiding under the back seat:

Top carpeted, the aircraft tie-down track and the CO2 tank affixed:

Drawer all stained and covered with bedliner:

The bedliner was rather expensive (just shy of $200) however in the end I am really pleased that I got it done. It appears to be a nice durable surface and the rubberized texture helps keep the gear rattling down to a minimum. The wood is totally sealed from the elements so that should really help it last a long long while:

The drawer turned out to be an extremely efficient use of space. I don't have the drawer quite full at this point but this is the gear that has taken up residence in it so far:

I have all the cooking  gear, pots, pans, spices, cups, silverware and dishes to comfortably serve two for an extended trip.......with some room to spare!

Fixing a saggy rear......

Sorry to the folks that have been following the blog.........the update that was suppose to come "tomorrow" kinda turned into next week. I have been super busy prepping the Jeep for the trip! I am planning on leaving in three or four days so its really hammer time.

Today I started the first part of fixing the sagging rear suspension. With the added weight of all the camping gear and the tent up top the rear springs were just not up to the task. Driving around town I notice that the rear sits a tad lower and there is a more pronounced sway in the corners. I have several sets of lightly used springs in my closet (yes I am a Jeep junky......there is probably half a vehicle worth of parts stashed in there) so I decided that given the close proximity of my departure date and the quickly diminishing budget for upgrades, building a semi custom spring pack was the best solution for the time being.

I started by lopping the ends off the main leaf of a donor spring:

I then took the "new" springs and hammered/ pried the clamps loose and took out the centering pin and ended up with this:

I then I trimmed down a leaf to fit and drilled some holes and installed some of the Teflon sliders. Then I added an additional leaf near the bottom of the pack. If anybody is considering doing something similar to this just be warned that drilling into leaf springs is no easy task......I burned through/ snapped 5 brand new drill bits in the process! Usually I get 50-100 holes out of a bit, this stuff is just so difficult to drill!

Amazing how a simple paragraph can condense a whole afternoons work into a seemingly easy task. Here is a side by side comparison of the two sets of springs:

Besides the shiny centering pin one would be hard pressed to tell that they was not a factory spring. However it did turn the stock 5-leaf into a 7-leaf configuration. The extra leaf springs should give me a higher spring rate (payload capacity), reduce sag, remove the "squishy" body roll and help restore a bit of the lost height to the rear suspension.

Well folks thats all I have for right now. I will post up when I get the springs bolted in and finally get around to showing you the slide out kitchen. I promise!