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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Roll Cage- (Majority of) spraying complete

I finished spraying the cage today. 3 coats of the light light gray. It won't look that light for long. I went through about 18oz. of paint. A typical rattle can contains 12oz. but not all paint. I'm guessing there's 5oz. of paint in a can, at best. Which is about 4 cans to paint the cage. Now I'm not done yet. I still have to tape off/spray the top plates. I decided there was too much going on in there to try and do it all at once. So I'll tape those off and spray those Monday. I need to get more paint anyway. I'm going to do my rock rings in this color, and maybe my tie rod and drag link. Aside from that, I got somewhere today.

And the underside...

This is the passenger side C pillar frame tie in.

This is part of the passenger side B pillar tie in. 2 of the bolts go through the 2 x 2" rock rail strut (Not seen) and the other 2 go through this plate. (That is welded to the 2 x 2")

Roll Cage- Paint & Application

Last night I finished taping EVERYTHING off. AHHHHH!! Pillars, floors, roof, firewall, hood, you get the point. I also had to keep the paper close to the roof so that it would collapse on fresh paint. I guess what I'm trying to say is I just didn't lay newspaper on top of the roll cage and start painting.

So I have tape everywhere. The paint I decided on is a version of Ford Gray #Tm-2007. It was mixed by Bonds Brothers. As stated before it is an acrylic enamel automotive grade paint. I will be applying it with the disposable Preval Sprayer. After taping, cleaning, and mixing the paint it was time to start spraying. I do not have any pics of me painting because I was the only one doing it and wasn't going to pick my camera up [with paint on my hands]. But here are a couple shots of what it looks like. I ran out of propellant, until tomorrow. The paint is laying very easily. It's making me look better than I really am. I haven't seen one run yet. The prep I did is paying dividends. No fish eyes.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Roll Cage- Paint Preperation

Now that the cage is complete, I have to paint it. So the Jeep is back at my garage and I have begun to prepare it for some color. That has required going over every weld with a wire brush and removing any surface rust with 3M scuffing pad. Vacuum all the debris out and wipe everything down with mineral spirits. After that was complete I began to tape off the interior with plastic drop sheets and newspaper.

After I remove the plastic sheeting and newspaper I will either touch up with a small brush or use vinyl wrap for the areas that I could not spray. The proximity between the interior sheet metal and tubing is close to nil in some areas.

So I visited Bonds Brothers downtown today and had them mix me some light gray acrylic enamel. It's a Ford Gray color #TM-2007. I intend on spraying it on with the Preval Spray Gun Kit. It contains 6oz. glass jar that holds your paint and a 2oz. aerosol type can.

I'll be spraying it tomorrow.

Source: www.prevalspraygun.com


Friday, June 15, 2012

Jeep Cherokee- Interior Cage- Video Tour

Here's a little video I filmed to show you the progress of the cage.

Roll Cage- Armrest and Rear supports-Complete

Today was the last day of the cage build. On Tuesday, it still has to be brought down to the frame, but everything above that, inside the cab has been finish. When I say finished I mean at the ORC. I still have to bring it home and weld more tabs on it, build the "T" style dashboard, sheet metal it, paint it, install the gauges, redo the steering column. Other than that...it's done.

Today when I arrived Wayne had already install both armrests on the cage. These serve a couple of purposes. One, they're great for using as an armrest. Secondly, they prevent you from sliding out if you choose to ride without the doors on. They're made out of 1" x .120" wall steel tubing.

Then the last piece to fab was the support/ spreader that goes between the B & C pillar. I want to keep this level with the top of the body panels I have mounted. This way when I return soon to mount the long travel rear shocks I will have a home for them. But that's another story.

Roll Cage- Seat bars & B pillar complete

Today Wayne focused mainly on getting the B pillar complete and getting the seats completely mounted. As well as welding 95% of the cage. This involves quite a bit when dealing with an interior cage. I couldn't tell you how many times he has had to lift this thing off its bolts, boost it in the air as much as he can, in order to get a complete weld. Then after welding in one area the cage would draw and not want to go back down on the bolts. I can count at least 4 times where I've helped lift the cage. I think it's gonna need it done a couple more times too. One more for the welds tomorrow and then again when I paint the sucker.

Today as I arrived Wayne had already finished putting the seats down permanently. As I mentioned before we switched the passenger and driver seat. Wayne measured my driver's seat with me in it, made to order. The passenger seat was set off of that. Here is what the bars under the passenger seat look like.

Then he finished welding the lower B pillar bars and killed them off at the seat tubing. Everything is tied together. I was considering putting sheet metal in the spaces behind the seats but have recently decided not to.

Tomorrow we continue on with some side seat bars, for an armrest and to prevent you from sliding out. We also are putting side bars between B and C pillar.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Roll Cage- Seat bars- Fab and Install

Today Wayne finished putting the seats down. It was a little more than what he asked for. What I mean by that is after removing the stock mounts and sliders we were left with the Corbeau seat frames. The drivers' side seat fit better on the passenger side and vice versa. It took a while to figure that out ans set them. It's getting tight under there. So after the switch the rest went smoothly.

This is a front view under the driver's seat.

Putting the passenger seat down.

There's not a ton left to finish:
-Finish the B pillar
-Door spreaders (front and rear)
-Finish welding
-Burn some tabs on for the seat belts
-Couple of handles to get in and out
-Bring everything down to the frame.

Then I get to bring it home take out the seats and paint it. That will be a huge pain in the a**.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Roll Cage- B pillar & Seat bars

This morning as I arrived Wayne had tacked some of the bars in the cluster of tubing that will go behind the seats. Basically the B pillar down tubes are done, now he's filling it in. Initially I wanted to do a solid "X" behind the seats but came to the conclusion it would get in the way when you turn around to get in the cooler. So instead we going to do a modified "X" that doesn't cross in the middle, kind of like the roof.
The top bars are tacked in. They have two bends in each of them. What we decide to do for the lowers is a differet story.

Then he started working on the tubing that ties in the lower part of the A and B pillar. It has a single small bend it so that it sits low, near the floor. It will provide a base for the cross tubing, we are putting the seats on.

Then he moved on to the tubing that will support the seats. The first one went up and over the transmission hump. He used 1" tubing for this because it's getting tight and we are bringing the seats down 1.5" anyway.

Then he connected that tube to the lower windshield frame for further support. You'll notice the transmission shifter had to be moved because it was in the way of the tubing. It will eventually make its way to the "T" part of the dash, along with the other shifters. For now I needed to cover the hole with sheet metal.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Roll Cage- Windshield frame (vertical) support, roof spreaders fab & install

Day 3. Time to finish the fab and fitting the windshield frame supports. The vertical pieces that look like an upside-down V. Wayne had these tacked in before I arrived. He used 1" tubing.

He also finished adding tubing to the roof of the cage. Especially behind the B pillar.

All these roof supports and spreaders were simply tacked in for now. The cage was dropped, through strategically drilled holes in the floor, to allow a 360 degree weld around the tubing. In the next picture you can see the cage was dropped in the front and without a windshield installed, the access for welding was decent. It could have been a lot worse.

After the welds cooled and the cage was still dropped through the holes, we sprayed the top of the cage, that will be hidden from sight,with black paint. The actual color of the cage will be hammered silver but for now I just wanted to get some paint on the bare metal that will soon be tucked up too high for me to paint it later. After the cage is complete and sitting where it should be I will mask off the roof and paint around the tubing [with hammered silver].

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Roll Cage- B pillar, windshield bar, spreaders fab & install

Day 2 interior cage install. My day began when I arrived at ORC this morning at 9am. Once again Wayne was already hard at work, completely engrossed in the Cherokee. He started right where he left off. the B pillar. Once I opened my sugar-free Red Bull I noticed he had already installed the drivers's' side B pillar. The B pillars are about 42 1/2" tall with two bends on a single plane. He had already tacked one in and was bending the other side in the tube bender.

This is a picture of the drivers's side B pillar as it hits the top plate.

The B pillar is slightly angled toward the back. It was attempted to completely hide the tubing behind the body B pillar but the seat could not move that far forward because I can not sit that close to the dash and steering wheel. As a result the spreader bar that supports the B pillar and sits right behind the seat (the bar that will have the seat belt tabs on it) will be extremely close to the back of the seat and prevent it from reclining. It's gonna be tight in there after it's all done. A lot tighter than I thought.

On to the windshield frame bars. Top and bottom these were also made from the 1 3/4" tubing. No bends or plane changes, just straight tubing. The top one measures in at 43 1/2". The bottom one measures 46 7/8" in length. In addition to these bars there will also be that "A" looking support centered in the windshield frame. Made from 1" tubing. That will be installed tomorrow.

The dashboard framework work will stem off this lower windshield bar.

Fabbing the main support spreaders. These are about 43" in length with two slight bends to keep the bar close to the roof line.

The front spreaders. All three of these are bent to the same degree as the main A & C pillar, so when you view it from the side they all line up. It looks great! There will be a mirror image of this pattern on the other side of the B pillar.

Tomorrow we will be installing a spreader that the rear tire will be leaning against (as it sits in this picture). I will use that spreader for the permanent mount of the wheel but have yet to decide on the way I want to do it. So I will just rachet strap the tire to the spreader and move on. The angle of the tire is important so that I can somewhat see over it. But it can't lean too far forward because there needs to be room for the rear shocks to come through the floor (in the future). These long travel shocks will flank the batteries and tab off the C pillar somewhere.

Roll Cage- "A" Pillar & "C" Pillar fab and install

Today Wayne, master fabricator at the Offroad Connection, started the custom interior cage. I arrived at 9am to him already dry fitting the driver's side main tubing support, the A & C pillar combo. The day before we had discussed what I had in mind and then what would work. We reviewed a couple of pics on my tablet, still some question remained. How difficult it would be to get the cage fully welded? What's the best way to provide the most support yet keep it looking organic, free flowing and completely custom? Little did I know by the end of this day those questions would be definitively answered. That's what it looked like when I walked in. Wayne had this enormous tube with three bends and 1 plane change, lofted in the air above him. He was using the tube bender with the precision of robot that bends tubes really really precise.

With the assistance of his computer program, he is capable of minimizing the mistakes a normal person would make and also cuts down on waste.

The drivers's side main hoop. It has three bends and one plane change located as the A pillar rises past the windshield frame. Everything will be built off of this. The B pillar, the halo above the cab, the dashboard, and the seats. They will all be directly attached to these main supports which tie into the frame.

I decided [in design} to drop the C pillar down before it reaches the back corner. I didn't want or need the extra weight and protection in that area. The decision to angle it down as it passes the rear window also keeps access to the toolboxes and coolers unobstructed. It also minimizes the use of right angles. This keeps the look more flowing, which will develop more as the build progresses.

The drivers's side top plate. Made from 1/4" steel and using 1/2" grade 8 hardware. The purpose of these plates (top and bottom) is to sandwich the body together and prevent the down tube from shifting. It also helps displace energy in the case of a roll-over. . When I drilled the holes, two of them only had to go through the sheet metal, the other two went through the 1/8" thick 2"x2" that is used to strut the rock rails to the reinforced subframe.

This is the underside of the passenger side A pillar bottom plate. It was here that we split the mounting plate in two. Wayne will weld the mounting plate along the white line to the adjacent 3/16" thick 2"x2". The other two nuts that come through the 2"x2" will remain as is.

The drivers's side C pillar top plate.

The drivers's side C pillar bottom plate.

The passenger side C pillar top plate.

The passenger side C pillar bottom plate.

This is where we left it. Both main hoops are tacked to the plates.

Tomorrow we start on the B pillar.