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The color looks great. have you clear coated it yet? going to use a flat clear?

Also, how the heck do you get in that monster truck!
 

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Discussion Starter #1,003 (Edited)
Since this is truly military paint, it doesn't require a clear coat. It is semi-gloss. I thought about clear coating it, but this is the way to go, because it makes the re-coat process much easier when the time comes.

As for getting in and out, I have designed a custom electronic step for each side. And they drop down automatically when the door(s) are opened and they fold up under the rocker guard when the doors close.

There are a few products on the market like PowerStep. But they are very expensive and they don't meet my level of functional requirements.

My step design is complete and the prototype parts are being cut out on the water jet and machined. And I already have the Bosch motors, door sensors, relays, wiring, etc.

My patent process is almost complete as well as the registered trademark.

I can't wait to get them on.

At this point, they are being designed/built for FSJ's. But they will also work on many other 4x4's by simply bolting on different mounting brackets that are part of my design. They will also have different drop and extension lengths to fit different vehicle heights.

MB
 

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Where do you get that "military paint" at? We've got a '49 Jeep Willy's pick-up that I would like to get some for.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #1,006 (Edited)
Some photos of the carpet being installed over the Dynamat.










The final install of the hydroboost brakes, Corvette disc/disc master cylinder, steering column bracket, 6.0L DBW fuel pedal and wiper motor/linkage are all installed for the final time. They will be brushed with various colors of POR15 products right in place. Next, will be the Vintage Air system, dash, steering column and seats. Then the center console can be built to contain dual Optima batteries, ECM, fuse panels, DBW module, relays and stereo amp. And the front part of the center console will hold the custom made automatic shifter and t-case shifters.

This design will make it possible to keep the underside of the dash and engine bay uncluttered.

More to come as I am able.
 

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Discussion Starter #1,009
Thanks for all the kind words of encouragement friends. I tell ya, if it weren't for close friends and a terrific wife to help with all the stuff that I used to be able to do myself, my designs and this project would never get done. I know I keep saying it, but I truly am thankful. And in my situation, I am also thankful to have something to focus on and keep my spirits up.

My windshield washer fluid heater arrived a few days ago. Looks like a very nice, high quality unit. I still worry that it will break the glass on icy mornings, but they make great claims that it won't. It surprises me that the power cables are so big. I didn't expect that.

 

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Discussion Starter #1,010 (Edited)
Well, since the beginning of this project I had intended to go with a floor shifter. But today I decided to stick with the 4 speed column shifter that came from a Suburban that also had a 4L60e trans.

It's typically not my favorite approach, but my goals for this interior are all about comfort mixed with a classy touch of modern equipment. So, I think it will look nice and leave more room for the custom center console. It's still all set up for the column shifter and with the Dakota Digital gauge cluster the GSS-2000 shift indicator module plugs right into it and displays the current gear I'm in, has a neutral safety switch and back-up light switch.

So that's it. However, I do reserve the right to change my mind later on.

I can't wait till Joe can get the dash all painted, so it can be installed along with the column, etc. Then it will be time to take it for a spin.

Getting very close now.
 

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Discussion Starter #1,014 (Edited)
Some minor mods have been done to the early Gladiator dash that I bought a while back. This simple mod makes it possible to fit the later model larger diameter tilt steering column where the original smaller diameter non-tilt column mounted.

Original below:


The later model Wagoneers and Cherokee Chiefs already came with the larger column, bracket and plastic covers. And I have a Chief dash that donated its bracket, shown below along with the original Gladiator bracket.





I could have just used the entire Chief dash, which is identical in every way except for the different gauge clusters, column brackets, and various holes for all the different switches, heater controls and radios. So, it was much easier to go with the stock Gladiator dash and make a few simple modifications.

Here is the Gladiator dash with the necessary cuts to the column area:


And here is the bracket ready to weld in place:


Completed:


The holes are drilled for the new AC vents. The center area will be cut out for my iPod stereo and AC controls.




Here is a photo of the repainted column to dash covers in place. And a shot of it along with the Dakota Digital gauge unit and trim ring. The dash will be green like the exterior with black accents. It should look really sharp.




Another item to mention is that this dash has the original mono radio speaker on the top. So, rather than cover it up, I have decided to use the original speaker and plug it into my CB. It should make it much easier to hear the CB chatter. Especially, because it will bounce off the windshield. I can never hear CB's

I will post the completed photos as soon as possible. It's quite a simple upgrade that sure makes a huge difference. This entire process only takes about 25 minutes to give an idea of how easy it is.
 

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Discussion Starter #1,016
I decided to make one modification to my plans, which happens occasionally with complex projects like this.

I was originally going to put the fuse panel in the center console with all the other primary electronic components to centralize and hide all the wiring, relays, etc... But, because the Centech Fuse Panel is such a work of art, I decided to keep it under the dash. Plus, it greatly diminishes the number of wires running between the dash and console.

Joe is planning to come back to finish some more paint/body work in a week or so. That will mean the dash can go in. Then the steering column and wiring can be installed.
 

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Discussion Starter #1,017
My Dakota Digital GSS-2000 shift indicator arrived today. And as expected, just like the main VFD display unit, it is a beautifully designed kit. I am very happy with the quality of every component. The written instructions are also easy to follow and understand. This GSS-2000 kit connects to the main display control box with just one wire. My VFD display will now show each gear momentarily whenever it changes, it includes a neutral safety and a 15 amp back-up light supply.

 

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Discussion Starter #1,018 (Edited)
Another sleepless night because of uncontrollable pain... So, I'll write a bit to take my mind off it.

I found an awesome deal on a brand new Warn 9500 Dual Force HP Power Plant winch that is still in the box. A friend bought it new and never used it. Instead, he has been deployed overseas 5 times now and just couldn't find enough time to finish his Jeep project. So, he sold everything.

This is the winch I have wanted for a long time. It has an integrated air compressor that puts out 5 cfm @ 90 psi with a built-in air reservoir and intercooler. I got it for far less than half price. It's gloss black. So it will match the color scheme of my Gladiator. And the overall design of this unit is beautiful.

It has all the accessories including 125' of new steel cable. I still have 100' of synthetic winch rope that I could use, but I will stick with the standard 5/16" steel cable this time. I used the synthetic rope back in the rock crawling days, but there will be no more rock crawling for me. Synthetic has its advantages, but it has some real disadvantages as well.

I was planning to use my Warn 8274-50 winch if I couldn't find the Power Plant for a reasonable price. Well, I guess my patience paid off.

 

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Discussion Starter #1,019
I now have the winch and accessories in my posession. This thing is very impressive. I can't believe that I finally own one. And the air compressor isn't loud at all. In fact, it is much quieter than my York AC setups.

Here is a photo of it sitting on my shop counter:



Big thanks to my brother for moving and lifting this beast for me. It is huge! It is 24.5"L x 13"H x 7.5"D (without the fare lead).
 

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Discussion Starter #1,020
The winch is all torn down and ready for a custom paint job. It only took about 10 minutes. I left the motor and compressor alone. No need to get carried away.

The black looks very nice, but I want to give it a bit more style by combining black with the forest green that's on the body. It's easy to do, so why not.



The other thing I plan to do is hard wire the winch and compressor into the cab. It's a little more complicated than it is with earlier winches. There are some guys out there who have posted threads about how to hard wire the Power Plant. But it's quite a process. I prefer to just purchase second remote and use it for the hard wire.

I also plan to use my previously designed and well-proven system that allows me to control air-up and air-down of all 4 tires at one time while reading the pressure on a single dash-mounted gauge all from the warmth of the cab. This system is already built and boxed up for future use. I built it by installing a quick disconnect at each corner of the body close to each wheel. Then I have 4 short air hoses that can connect to these ports and each tire. After they're connected I can simply get back in my cab and flip a switch to air up or down all 4 tires at the same time. No more kneeling in the cold wet snow, mud or dirt. I used this system for years and it is fantastic. I will show photos of it when I install it later on.
 
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