Next to my neighborhood is this amazing overlook. On a clear day you can see Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs. I took the jeep over there and took some pics. Weather didn’t really cooperate, but thought I would share them anyway.
Mounting both replica license plates in the stock locations means you are no longer legal. Some states require both front and rear state plates, so check your local laws if you are concerned about being illegal. Rear Plates are required in all states, and rear plates must be illuminated at night.
My jeep has a hitch, which adds another surface on the back of the jeep. The hitch is farther back than the stock jeep rear bumper plate (the piece that the bumperettes attach to). So the tube for the hitch would get in the way of seeing the plate from the rear if I mounted it to the rear bumper plate I had to mount to the hitch tube. I decided I didn’t want to just screw the plate into the hitch tube, as there would be very little support for the plate, and I thought it would get bent too easy.
To deal with this situation I came up with the following solution:
An all metal license plate frame (I got mine from O’Rielly’s for $10) mounted to the hitch tube. A set of “bolt lights” (I got mine from amazon $7). Since my jeep had a rear hitch, the trailer wiring was in place, so I tapped into the trailer harness for power for the bolt lights. I used a 2 pin trailer wire($3) to allow me to disconnect the lights if I have need to do so. Here’s what is looks like. The plate fit perfectly between the center hitch and the bumperette.
You can also see I got my vanity plate from Colorado, and there in the right side of the last shot is my garage “couch” made from the ripped/nasty rear seat I replaced.
Considering my plates, I did also pick up a pack of “security” license plate screws as well. The pack I picked up had long bolt style, short bolt style, the style that screws into plastic, the plastic tabs, and the special tool. So all three of my plates now have these special screws/bolts in them, just in case someone thinks they can get a quick souvenir.
This week, my vinyl guy came through and handed me the door logos. The door logos are the same ones #18 is using. With my stripe being a slightly different color than his (his are paint, mine are plastidip) the red in the logo doesn’t match the stripes perfect. However, being as this is “temporary” until I save up enough to do a full repaint, I’m not going to worry about it. But he accidentally printed another hood JP18 instead of my JP29. Instead of having him redo it, i decided to just make a stencil and plastidip the hood logo same as I did on the side numbers. I got that done friday night.
Today, I installed the Whip CB antenna. Since I don’t have my light bar on yet, and may not until I do full paint, I attached it to the windshield with some zip ties for now. Not elegant, but functional. There was no actual CB in the movie cars, and I don’t have one, so at this time I am not worried about the antenna grounding. I’m not sure if I will get a CB or not, so for now (as in the movie) the antenna is just for looks.
I also installed, and wired up a license plate relocation and lights for my rear plate Colorado plate, which my custom JP 29 vanity came on friday. I will detail what I did for that later. For now here are some images of JP29 in her Version 1.
In these images, you can see some of the existing paint issues, and why I need to do a full paint job on it.
Money has been tight, and I don’t really trust myself with painting in my garage. Between Fumes and knowing that painting can be tricky. I figure painting is like drywall work, sure I can do, but I’m not as fast or a good as someone who does it for a living. So I have started saving out of each paycheck till I have enough to paint it 100% correct. Since my jeep is currentl champagne, which is very close to the correct sand beige, I could get away with only painting stripes until I have enough to do it correct.
I stumbled across people using plastidip (you know the stuff you dip tool handles in) in cans or sprayable gallons to paint cars. It is quite fascinating really. I decided to give this a go. I researched on youtube and on the web and found a place dedicated to using plastidip on cars, dipyourcar.com. You can order all the supplies from here and I got good customer service as well as dedicated forums to share information about using plastidip on cars. You can also special order colored plastidip from lowes and probably home depot, but I didn’t ask at HD, only Lowes, you have ask at the custom service desk at lowes, and a manager actually had to figure out what needed to happen, but I wasn’t ready to pull the trigger yet when I found that out, and ended up ordering from dipyourcar.
I plastidipped my wheels 2 weeks ago as a test. They came out really well.
With my test done, I decided to give the stripes a try. Using plastidip is very different from paint. If you screw something up you wait an hour or so and can peel it off. Or if you know you messed up and its still wet, just wipe it off with a paper towel and start over. It is temperature sensative in that it will behave slightly different at different ambient temps when applying. Getting the right coverage per coat is a learning game. Lots of the tutorials suggested 3 coats, I ended up having to do 5-6 light coats to keep from getting runs. You also have to pull your masked line WHILE the stuff is very wet, otherwise it wants to peel off all of your plastidip.
There isn’t as much overspray as using spray paint, which made painting in the garage much easier, not having to cover every spec of the garage. Also as long as I kept the garage door cracked about a foot, the fumes didn’t migrate into the house. I spent a long time laying out the stripes to get them “right” in my book, and then masking everything. Then I got too thick a coat on one back stripe, had to peel it and respray it, and the other back stripe I got to thin and then when I pulled the masking it didn’t leave a clean edge, so I had to peel it and respray it. In all I probably spent 12 ish hours on getting my stripes on. So.. Here they are:
After getting the stripes done, and painting the mirrors, I installed the replacement seats.. wow they are sooo much more comfortable than the nasty old ones. I have talked to the guy who did JP18′s door logos, and he is making me a set of door logos and the hood numbers. I did the side numbers as a stencil in the plastidip.
I am calling this JP29 Ver1, since I will be updating this to correct paint in the future.
This photo does a little more justice to the red color of the plastidip, as the sun angle was a bit better, but I didn’t have the doors back on in it.
Celebrity Machines makes Jurassic Park Plates, in #12, #18, and blank. Since I am doing #29 I had to order the blanks. I received mine a few weeks ago, but I was waiting to be sure my “vanity” plate from the state was approved. I got the letter yesterday that JP 29 is now my license plate, so I went ahead and finished off the blank celebrity plates with #29. If you order blank plates from Celebrity Machines, tell him what number you want and he will include the 3m numbers you will need.
The numbers are 3″ tall by 1 1/4″ wide. The yellow section is 3 1/4″ wide(from red strip to emboss). So 2 1/2″ for numbers and 3/4″ for free space, and you get 1/4″ free space on each side and inbetween the numbers. For height placement, with the screw hole it seemed better to have more “gutter” at the top the above the lettering i.n. C.R. (Isla Nublar/ Costa Rica). It ended up about 3/4″ at top and 3/8″ at the bottom.
They look great, now I just need to wait for my state plates to get made.
Last Month we had a batch of nice weather on the weekend. Since I had not driven the jeep since winter started I decided to pull the Jeep out of the garage and drive her around a bit. I pulled her into the driveway and let her idle for a while making sure she sounded alright and checking for fluids. Nothing in the front.. That’s weird there is something dripping right by the rear axle on the left(driver) side. FUEL.. Ohh no.
I inspected all the lines. There is a rubber fuel line from the gas tank that goes between the body and the frame and then connects to the hard lines before the fuel filter. The leak was coming from one of these lines just after it passed the frame/body grommet. The lines had deteriorated and sprung a leak.
The next day after researching what all was going to be required of fixing this, I dropped the fuel tank. Dropping the fuel tank was quite difficult, as there is very little clearance to drop the 20 gallon tank of the sahara. Here are the steps: Remove the license plate and plate frame. Remove trim around filler. Remove plastic cover under rear corner to access internal area of fuel filler. Remove filler and vent hoses from tank to filler. Support tank with jack. Remove 4 nuts along rear of gas skid plate (only need socket wrench on nut), and 3 along front of skid plate(will need monkey wrench on top of bolt and socket wrench on bottom). The tank is now Free of the vehicle. Slowly lower the tank with your jack. Try to look on top of the tank and make sure all the hoses and electrical to the tank are free and long enough. Some write ups say you have to unplug the wiring, but my wiring was long enough that I didn’t have to unplug it until after I got the tank to the floor. However my vapor line was way to short and it broke the vapor T being stretch as the tank was dropped. (It will get stuck at this point. just a warning!) The passenger side gets hung up a bit on the exhaust hanger/exhaust pipe, and the driver side fill/vent nipples get stuck on the frame rail. I just wiggled and tilted the tank and pushed the exhaust pipe out of the way until it came out. I wanted to get the tank semi empty so it was easier to handle, so I siphoned out 6-8 gallons of fuel, this was a pain, as the bends in the filler hose are very tight and the hose kept getting caught on the fuel tank’s nipple. I ended up having to siphon gas after I had removed the filler and vent hoses so I could actually access the tank. That made this take a lot longer than it probably should have. I spent 3 ish hours on this. Penetrating oil was required on the bolts to get them started.
Not only was the fuel line old and destroyed, but the filler hoses were getting bad too. I ordered the 2 custom hoses that go from the tank to the filler. (There is a fill hose and a vent hose) $25 for both hoses.
Here are the old hoses the cracking filler hose on the Left and the dual fuel hoses(supply and return), with the cracks just past the bend on the top hose :
With winter and 2 jobs I wasn’t in a rush to deal with this, it wasn’t too cold today, so after work I got busy replacing all the hoses. First I removed all the old lines. Basic stuff here, hose clamps, and then prying off the hoses. NOTE: Make yourself a diagram of which fuel line from the tank to the hard line connects with what. You don’t want to cross up the supply and return lines. Be careful when removing the hoses from the hard lines so you don’t bend a hard line by yanking to hard. Getting the old lines out of the frame/body grommet was a lot of hard yanking, I didn’t do it, but I should have cut the lines as close to the grommet as possible to make this easier.
If you ever drop your tank, and it has never been done before, replacing the filler and vent hoses is cheap insurance and you have to take them off when getting the tank out anyway.
If you didn’t destroy anything these are the Supplies Needed:
- 2 Special Order Filler/Vent Hoses ($25 for both) They are formed hoses, and special sizes to match the tank and filler.
- Several Feet of 5/16 fuel Hose
- Several Feet of 3/16 Vapor/fuel Hose
- 4 small hose clamps
- 4 medium hose clamps
I took my hoses and hose clamps with me to make sure I got the right lengths and sizes. I bought my hose clamps at home depot, the special hoses online, and the generic hoses from the local auto parts store. Since I broke the T of the vapor line, I also had to buy a new T, but both local stores didn’t have the size I needed 3/16 on the solo side, and 1/4 on both the other sides. I had to buy a 3/16 all around T, and then straight connectors with 3/16 on one side and 1/4 on the other. Ugh why weren’t all the vapor lines the same size!
Reassembly: Basically the reverse of all of the above. Getting the hoses through the grommet, use some dishwashing liquid or some other lubricant. The vapor lines the auto store had were a bit thicker on the outside than my originals and were a pain to get through, but the fuel lines were identical so not to bad. One of the barbs on the fuel tank is bigger than the other one. Getting the new line on this barb was a real pain, and probably took the most time of anything. With the hoses reconnected I then had to get the tank back up, I jacked the jeep up to get more room for the method I wanted to try to get the tank back in(which i left it stock height when removing it). Then I used a jack on the driver side and lifted it diagonally upwards, then reconnected the wiring, and then I then lifted the passenger side with another jack. It went in with this diagonal method much easier than it came out. I then shimmied it around until it lined up with the mounting holes, and the started the bolts, but did NOT tighten them. I then reinstalled the filler and its vent hose. I was afraid of tightening the tank in case I needed to move it around while getting the filler hoses back on. Once back on, Tighten it all down, get all the trim back on, and DONE. About 4 hours tonight (not counting trip to store for supplies)
Started the jeep up, running good and no Leaks!
I bought my jeep with the hard top, thinking I would want to use it during the winter…. I decide to sell the hard top for a few reasons. 1 – My Jeep is a spare vehicle, and I don’t have to drive it during the winter. 2 – I can use that money towards other Jeep parts I still need, IE the soft top, and fog lights..
The Hard top left my house tonight, so Now I get to convert the lift I made for the hard top into a bike hoist to get the bikes off the floor for the winter.
I have not done any other work on the jeep, but have been driving it here and there… that ends for the winter now until I get a top.
During October my family made a trip out to Orlando and went to Universal and Disney. I got to check out the vehicles in the Jurassic Park section of Universal’s Islands of Adventure park. The vehicles were not screen accurate anymore. The Jeep has been repainted, and is close, but has differences if you know what to look for. (font is wrong, stripe is off a bit, missing some parts, etc..) The explorer is completely the wrong color, its purple/maroon not red.. weird.. and the Lost World Mercedes is stripped out (but it is open to weather, so that is to be expected)
The Jurassic Park visitor’s center, supposedly built replicating the visitor center from the movie was really cool though. I picked up a Jurassic Park ball cap. (not screen accurate, but nice none-the-less) most of the other stuff didn’t catch my fancy.
When I did not have the rear main seal addressed when I had the original work done. I only had stuff that might strand me done by the mechanic I had used. Today I spent the day dealing with the rear main seal. I have the Haynes Manual, but there are better write ups online for this bit of work. (I used one from a site called dailydriventj, any web search will get you hits (keywords, wrangler rear main seal replacement))
In a nutshell the process goes like this: Empty Oil, Remove oil pan, remove rear main seal cap, remove rear main seal from cap half, and from engine block, clean mating surface of the rear seal cap, install new rear seal into engine block, then into the seal cap. Now the important bit, use anearobic rtv on the seal cap, anearobic rtv cures when it has no air, IE after it is torqued down to specs. Install the Seal cap, and torque to correct specs (85ft lbs), finally reinstall the oil pan, after cleaning any old gasket off, and cleaning both mating surfaces. Finally refill with new oil, and might as well replace the oil filter, and your oil change is done as well. It took me about 5 1/2 hours to get it all done. Not counting the break I took to pickup the lightbar I had found the night before. But its anywhere from $500-$800 to do it at the shops, and the supplies are about $70. Including oil and new oil filter.
Here are some pics from the process:
The pan still had a cork gasket, so I doubt it’s ever been off before. Getting the upper seal half out of the engine block was a pain in the butt, that was the hardest part. But it is a messy job…
Craigslist score.. Only things I had left to source are fog lights, lightbar, and winch, so I almost didn’t check craigslist last night. So Glad I did. It is a 3 piece bar, so it may need shortening, as typically these are a bit tall. But that easier then building one from scratch. $40! Also once I got it home I tried lining up the holes, and they do not match the existing bolts, so perhaps this was from a TJ? I can deal with redrilling correct holes though.
So For the last few weeks, I have been watching craigslist like a hawk. And I scored big time. An independent (not a junk yard or specific jeep parter) in Denver was parting a 95 sahara. I bought just about the whole interior from him for $400. The jeep was a hard top, and was wrecked 5 years ago and has just been sitting… The interior is almost perfect. there is a single rip in the drivers seat bolster that is about 3/4″ long, little to no fading at all. LOVE hard tops for this reason.
The differences between a 92-94 Sahara and 95 Sahara Interior are the following: The correct carpet color is green (mine is green already, check), the 95 has spice carpet. The center console 92-94 is green, 95 is spice. The Dash 92-94 is gray, 95 is spice. The interior door panels are spice in a 95, 92-94 has green, and the pockets on the half doors are all spice vs spice and green trim. The rest is the same.
I got his seats, all 4 seat belts, roll bar padding, and carpet. He threw in the carpet, when I tried to haggle his price, so I figure I can resell it to recoup some of what I spent, since my carpet is good, and this one was the wrong color.
I needed all this, as you’ve seen the condition of my seats.. ICK! The drivers seat belt has a cut in it 1/2 way through, I had picked up a junk yard replacement, but it was very faded and looked bad. And the roll bar padding was filthy and wasn’t coming clean, and had some burns/repair marks in it.
My plan, is to not install these items until I paint the jeep, since I will be taking everything out when I paint, I might as well only do all the removal once/replacement once, instead of multiple times. Once that’s done I’ll sell the extra belts, and seats (if I can considering the shape they are in) to recoup at least some of this cost.
Without further ado: Pics:
Oh and those extra brackets and seat sliders can be sold too. I’m soo excited about how nice these seats are! And you can tell how nice the roll bar padding is as well.