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Jeep #18: Roll Cage and Side Steps

Another update. Spent the afternoon wandering around a junkyard off I-25 in 100-degree heat… and found exactly what I needed!

It’s green, and cost about $200, which I am glad to shell out for an important piece of safety equipment. It is from 1995 Wrangler, and almost fits the old rollcages mounts perfectly. We’ll have to cut out like 1/8th of an inch on the holes. The white spars that connect the cage to the windshield are from the Jeeps original rollbars. I am going to paint everything, and then cover it with tan padding just like the jeep in the movie. I am going to miss not having ANYTHING over my head while in that jeep. I suppose I can still take them off from time-to-time and crash through a fallen tree while being chased by a t-rex, jeff goldblum making me angry by leaning on the stick…

Should I paint the rollbars gray, black, or red? Or should I just leave them…. green and white? Hmmmm.

I also managed to score these:

I was ready to settle for not having the steps on the jeep, but seeing as how I’m a member of PROPTOPIA and not just some other prop forum, I’d go ahead and find myself a pair of reinforced sidesteps.

They are going to be a pain in the ass to mount, but they will look awesome.

Graphics (logos and stuff) should be done tomorrow morning.

Jeep #18: Flares, Reflectors and More

Tiny update.

Got all the parts save for the fender flares attached last night. The jeep is looking newer and newer.

At work, going through boxes of new toys!

That nw windshield seal (the great big black one at the bottom) really makes a difference. The original was unbelievably corroded, and then it was covered in red paint. It had to go. Notice the new intake grill, restored sprayers, and detailed bolts. It seems I forgot to include the new hood tie-downs, as well.

The whole set-up. New lights, hood tie-downs, bumper horns… can’t wait to get that second mirror on there!

Jeep #18: Some new parts arrived.

Bunch of new toys arrived.

-Rubber windshield seal
-Windshield tie-downs that mount to the hood
-Sidestep guards (these will go inside the doors on the metal frame, preventing damage by stepping in and out of the car)
-Front blinker lenses
-Side blinker lenses
-Fender flares

So with all those added on, every external part of the car will be brand-new!

What a turn-around for a 17-year old Jeep!

Also, getting the angles right for the paint on the fender flares is going to be a BITCH!

Jeep #18: Mirrors and Details

The restored bumper, bumper cover, with new corner horns. The little jeep logo look brand. fucking. new. It’s ridonkulous.

Left mirror (of which I have two), painted and good to go.

It’s a nice accent, don’t you think?


Very. Very. Red.

Jeep #18: Interior Detailing

Update time!

Today was spent coating the interior of the jeep, covering up as much white as possible. I also had the windshield replaced, so the car is now borderline street legal.

Current state. New fender flares and rubber cowl seal are on their way from Quadtratec.

Pretty black trim that I treated and repainted today. It was certainly NOT black and shiny when I started.

I absolutely love the contrast between the windshield and…. everything! I need to fix up the interior door panels and reinstall them, so what you see is the white metal door. Also, the dash cleaned up very nicely, no need to replace the dash like I though I’d have to.

Ahhh, new interior! Coated and sealed to a semi-flat black. No rust, and easy to wash out

I also called Jeeps Unlimited down in Erie and found a new box-style set of rollbars, as well as a pair of Sierra Edition sidesteps. So it’s looking like this jeep will be very, very close to the original.

Jeep #18: Painted!

Well, the paint job is done. I have some wicked orange peel texture in front of the windshield and two or three runs which I’ll have to wet-sand down this weekend… but other than that, the hard part is over!

Masked and ready to go. I spent so much time figuring out ratios for the stripes size, and laying under the wheels with a protractor trying to get the angles just right. Goddamn!

End result. It’s not perfect, but it is a VERY pretty 17-year old Jeep!

The shiny new paint job is complimented by the brand-new lighting gear that came with it. On the jeeps in the movie, there is a small orange light above the main tail lights. I am debating whether or not I should forgo that and instead outfit the rear lights with little protective cages. As of now, they’ll stay as-is simply because they look so good.

Back at home after a rather interesting 3-mile night drive. The bolts on the hood are temporary until I get around to painting them flat black.

Handsome stripes.

Tomorrow looks like it will be spent wetsanding and prepping the inside of the jeep for rhino coating. I may also drop off the vector art for the logos at the shop where I got my Ghostbuster graphics.

Jeep #18: Primed!

Looks like priming is done… we’ll start painting tomorrow!

Jeep #18: Bodywork

Current status of the Jeep:

We’ll fix some bondo damage tonight, and prime it tomorrow… it’s weird actually being on schedulue for a project O.o

Jeep #18: Construction Begins

A little… I say little… bit of progress:

Sanding paint off the hood, roughing out the clearcoat. At first I was of the impression that I had to get the entire car down to bare metal. This disheartened me because I did not think I’d be able to get it all done before friday. Then Josiah, my painting mentor, came over and told me that the car really only needs to by splotchy and smooth, for the primer. What a relief!

Logan behind the wheel, watch outs! I think it looks awesome without the rollcage. I’ve always wanted to have an old willys to paint green with a big white star on it’s hood. Then Austin could dress as a soldier and I could wear a generals uniform and ride around with my arms crossed all the time.

Ah yes, these came in the mail the other day, along with some old Jurassic Park key chains. The raptor claw originally looked like this:

It looked okay, but I wanted it to be smaller, sharper, and more menacing. Plus I wanted to be able to fit it between my fingers and scare little kids without pulling guns on them. Ahem. So I dremmeled it down and painted it. I need to respray it a flatter color, methinks. This will be hanging from the rearview mirror in the finished car.

Will (or as you know him, Benwahballboy) is making the vector art for the logo I’ll be puting on the doors. He sent me an unfinished version today (the holes in the trees at the bottom were missing), and while I work I made this little thing, I figure we’ll put it on a few tshirts or something…

That’s all for now, more later.

Jeep #18: The Wrangler!

I did it. With the Ecto finally more-or-less 100% at-long-last totally “completed” in early spring, I went out and laid the foundation for my next movie car.

On Saturday I bought a 1990 Jeep Wrangler…. and hopefully sometime in July it will have made it’s transition from this:

to this:

I’ve got a lot of work to do, work that is completely unlike anything I did while building the ecto. I’ve got to swap out the rollbars, replace a side mirror, and completely strip all the paint. I’ll sell the tires I have on there and replace them with the stock set the dealer gave me, buy new seat covers, and generally restore the whole vehicle.

The mechanical parts of the jeep (engine, transmission, etc) are all in perfect working order, so at least I don’t have to worry about that part of the restoration.

Things on the to-do list include:
Rhino-coating the floor
front bumper
new rollcage
new windshield
new side mirror
seatcovers
center console
lightbar
winch
side steps
fog lamps
wheels
whip antenna

Some little fiddly bits that will be part of the car:
Raptor claw hanging from the mirror, combination-lock waterproof crates in the back that store Jurassic Park raincoats in case of weather, a crate with flares and other survival gear from the movie, mock-up nightvision goggles, and my personal favorite, a mosquito-in-amber shifter knob.

I’ll make maps of Isla Nublar and I’d like to build a mock-up tranquilizer gun to store along one of the rollbars… but the challenge I am most excited about is finding a way to produce a very very loud, very very high-quality t-rex roar as the car’s horn. I assume it’ll be a combination of a bullhorn and subs mounted somewhere inside the frame.

Of course I’ve already scoured eBay for all the cool Jurassic Park merch, like keychains, maps, resin raptor claws, park patches, etc.

So yeah.. here we go!

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