Thread: Barn Door for JK factory hardtops

  1. #2951
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    While I'm working on on-board compressor and tank mounting designs, I'm also going to implement a portable air solution - I'll install the compressor in an ammo can. The idea is that I could use this air supply any of my Jeeps, just throw the can in the back and take it out when I need air. I've picked up all the bits and pieces I'll need, and everything will fit nicely inside a Fat 50 can.

    I've got an inexpensive jumper cable set which will be used to connect the compressor to the Jeep's battery. I'll cut the clamps off one end of it and make permanent connections inside the ammo can. A 25' coiled air hose will also fit inside the can. The main parts:



    I've got a pressure regulator to automatically turn off the compressor when it's not in use. Haven't decided if I'll include the pressure gauge in the design or not, or if it even needs a power switch - when it gets connected to the battery the compressor will run a few seconds until the air hose is up to pressure, then it will shut off. When air is being used, the compressor will start up, and when air is no longer being used it will shut off, so it may be that a switch is unnecessary.

    Comments and suggestions on this idea also very welcome.
    "Whether you think you can do something or you think you can't, you are right" - Henry Ford

  2. #2952
    Is the pressure regulator part of the pump, or is it something you added? I like the concept of being able to move it from vehicle to vehicle as needed.

    I found the answer. I’ll be following your project.
    Last edited by Dexter612; 12-07-2017 at 02:14 PM.

  3. #2953
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dexter612 View Post
    Is the pressure regulator part of the pump, or is it something you added? I like the concept of being able to move it from vehicle to vehicle as needed.
    I added it. It's the small part with two terminals in the photo, just to the left of the pressure gauge. It's a switch that turns the compressor on when the pressure falls below 90 psi and turns it off above 115 psi. Also required, but not shown in the photo, is a relay which controls the power to the compressor - the contacts in the pressure switch aren't rated for the amount of current the compressor requires.
    "Whether you think you can do something or you think you can't, you are right" - Henry Ford

  4. #2954
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    I liked the idea of having the compressor and tank under the rear rack on the back. What you have there looks like the perfect size.
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  5. #2955
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    Quote Originally Posted by akpostal View Post
    I liked the idea of having the compressor and tank under the rear rack on the back. What you have there looks like the perfect size.
    Thanks, nice to hear from you again after so long, I hope everything's been ok with you. Was just wondering about you yesterday since it's been several months since you've posted here.
    "Whether you think you can do something or you think you can't, you are right" - Henry Ford

  6. #2956
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    Out of curiosity Jeff, what are the dimensions on the tank? It might fit behind some after-market bumpers between the bumper and rear frame cross member. If so two of those tanks would provide a good supply of stored air in a place that is otherwise wasted.
    "Live within your means.

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  7. #2957
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullseye240 View Post
    Out of curiosity Jeff, what are the dimensions on the tank? It might fit behind some after-market bumpers between the bumper and rear frame cross member. If so two of those tanks would provide a good supply of stored air in a place that is otherwise wasted.
    The tank they gave me is 1.5 gallons; it's 17" long and 5.5" in diameter. The company has other sizes from 1/2 gallon up to 5 gallons but I chose the 1.5 because it's a size that shouldn't be too hard to mount somewhere in, under or around a Jeep. I posted this photo when I was at SEMA, it shows me holding the tank under the basket on the prototype Overland Rack MORryde had at the show.

    "Whether you think you can do something or you think you can't, you are right" - Henry Ford

  8. #2958
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    Mar 2010
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    Some work-in-progress photos of the JL Grille Kit.

    Since I'm deriving the JL grille from a factory JK grille, I'll be modifying the JK grille with new slats and then making a mold from that. Typically when a mold is made, the margins (edges) are made longer than the actual part so the part can be trimmed exactly after it comes out of the mold. Making a mold from a finished part, the margins won't be longer, so some way is needed to make the mold with longer margins. Sometimes it's as simple as adding to the edge with masking tape, but another issue with the factory grille is that it's so flexible it would be hard to guarantee the mold wouldn't be twisted. The solution is a fixture that supports the grille and adds to the margins, so that was the first step of this project.





    The grille fits very tightly onto the fixture, but even so there are slight gaps between the grille and the fixture. Those gaps will be filled with modeling clay before the mold release is applied. Because the grille won't be permanently affixed to the fixture, the fixture can be used again if I ever decide to do another grille project requiring that a mold be made from a factory grille.

    One of the reasons the fixture is the first step of this project is to hold the grille firmly and flat as I modify it. Making the mods with it in the fixture will ensure everything is perfectly flat and correct when the mold is made.

    I've got a little bit of bodywork to do on the fixture before it's ready to be used for mold making, but it's done enough for now to serve the purpose of supporting the modification work to the grille.

    The modifications to the grille actually aren't the next step though... the next step is to make an intermediate mold for the slots. The slots on the JL grille are fairly complicated, all the photos I've seen show the grilles with inserts in the slots. I'm going to include the inserts in the grille mold, and the easiest way to ensure all 7 slots are identical is to make a mold for a slot, mold 7 of them, and use those slots when modifying the JK grille. So the next step is to make a the slot mold.
    "Whether you think you can do something or you think you can't, you are right" - Henry Ford

  9. #2959
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    Scherb,

    One thing I'd like to find out is how does one create the plastic emblems. I'm sure a emblem would have to be designed first then a mold made from it as to create multiple emblems, similar to the molds you use for the projects you create. I like the grille process but doubt I would purchase one. I'd rather see you get back to the old style gladiator grille mold.

  10. #2960
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrailBadger View Post
    Scherb,

    One thing I'd like to find out is how does one create the plastic emblems. I'm sure a emblem would have to be designed first then a mold made from it as to create multiple emblems, similar to the molds you use for the projects you create. I like the grille process but doubt I would purchase one. I'd rather see you get back to the old style gladiator grille mold.
    Depends on what kind of emblem you want to do. I've done several over the years - when I did the CJ Grille Kit for the TJ and installed it on my LJ, I wanted a factory looking emblem on the back so I made up an "LJ-8" emblem master, made a mold in silicone rubber, and cast some in urethane...

    The finished emblem:



    A few just out of the mold:



    The silicone mold:



    When I did the Trailvision camera system for Retrofit Offroad, I wanted an emblem on the monitor so I had an emblem company make what's called a "dome label" - it's a printed label with a clear plastic domed lens over it. It's on the lower right corner of the monitor. It looks very nice, this photo doesn't do it justice. Dome Labels are very commonly used in the automotive aftermarket.



    There are also companies who will make custom emblems in metal, usually one or two of them exhibit each year at SEMA. I've talked to them about emblems for various projects but they're a bit expensive.

    The plastic emblems on vehicles today are made from CAD models, the model directly drives the mold-making process so no original master part is required.

    The jk gladiator grille project is still ongoing, but recently I've had other projects that interest me more so those have gotten priority.

    BTW my name is Jeff.
    "Whether you think you can do something or you think you can't, you are right" - Henry Ford

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