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Jeep #12: Work. Work. Work.

Hey guys! Its been a long time since I’ve posted an update. Lots of things have happened since the last update. I am now in Denver Colorado with the likes of Boomerjinks and his Jeep #18. We loaded the Jeep up earlier this week and drove 1000 miles from Minneapolis to Denver, through back country roads over the course of 2 days. It was pretty eventful for the Jeep. The rear brake lines burst somewhere in Nebraska, and we drove the remaining 450 miles with limited (front) brakes. Then somewhere in Colorado, the fuel pump started to whine and go out.

It took three days of work to get the rusted brake line out. It should have been easy, but due to the massive amounts of rust.. it was not. The fuel pump was also done during this time, and all in all the repairs only cost about $90. Here is a picture of the Jeep being worked on in our new awesome warehouse space in Denver! (Notice the rust accumulating on the floor.)

Once it was back together we decided to take it out into the mountains and up to Boulder Colorado for the night.

While stopping into this scenic overlook the Jeep took a pretty big hit and damaged the front suspension. The sway bar bracket broke, as did something else that has yet to be identified. (It can be heard but not found yet.) We attempted to drive back from Boulder, but ultimately had to get it towed. It was very ironic that we drove hundreds of miles on broken brakes and a failing fuel pump… but one $5 bracket was what stopped us from driving home.

The good news is. We immediately found a great Jeep frame here in Colorado from a local Jeep builder. The frame will alleviate a lot of the problems we’ve been having with rust, and will be a perfect frame for a restoration. We’ll be taking the body off some time this Summer and swapping the body over along with the engine. The suspension will be replaced with new leafs that will give a modest 1.5″ lift. While the body is off, some body work will be done, and parts will be painted and rhino lined. We hope to do the actual painting and Jurassic Park conversion on this Jeep over the winter.

Jeep #18: Manawaiopuna Falls: JurassicJeep.com Style!

got a uniquely awesome chance to visit Manawaiopuna Falls on my honeymoon earlier this year. Of course, in going to Hawaii, the rental car of choice had to be a Jeep Wrangler. And of course, in renting a Jeep Wrangler on Hawaii, I had to supply it with it’s very own screen-accurate mirror tag!

The company we took the tour with is Island Helicopters Kauai, the only company that has a permit to land at the foot of the falls.

We piled in with 4 other people and took off to the south. One of the first things we flew over was this – the harbor breakwaters in Lihue.

Familiar?? Those are the breakwaters seen during the “storm” shots right before Nedry talks to his pal at the docks, asking for 15 minutes!

Beautiful fields, positively UNREAL! Our guide stated that a lot of these specific fields were used for filming in Jurassic Park: The Lost World.

As we curved to the southwest, towards the middle of the island, terrain became incredibly mountainous.

Approaching the landing site!

When you land, you descend into an incredible narrow valley to a small spot of grass next to the river.

Clearly there was a bridge here at some point. Everything is very washed-out and overgrown now, it would be nearly impossible to get a Jeep up here now, the trail is practically nonexistant!

The first thing you’ve gotta do is cross a little irrigation ditch bridge, pictured above.

Then a three-minute hike up to the falls. This is where the Jeeps were driven during filming, and where the first electrical gate was placed!

And suddenly…. the Falls!

The lagoon at the bottom still contains the jack-hammered pieces of concrete used to form the helicopter landing pad!

Incredible! If you’re ever on Kauai, you MUST do this!

Jeep #18: Red Wheels – Redux

As my wheels have been accumulating grime and brake dust since 2007, I’ve been meaning to get around to touching them up. Eventually I’d like to have them mediablasted and powdercoated for a real nice long-lasting color that is easy to clean (scrubby scrubby with no chippy chippy), but for now I figured a quick and dirty repaint would be in order.

The rear wheels are fine, and have never gather much grime. But the front wheels are more (IMO) black than red these days. My first step was to nail all my wheels with Purple Power Wheel Cleaner.

This stuff is pretty brutal for an off-the-shelf cleaner. Spray on, leave on for 30-60 seconds, then rinse off. I hit my wheels with this and then scrubbed the hell out of them (against directions, but since I’m not worried about damaging the existing paint, whatevs). I hit them a few more times, let them dry and I was good to go.

(please excuse the phone pictures)

I slid painters tape into the gap between the wheel and the tire, then used 3×4 notecards to shield the rest of the tire. I honestly thought I’d need more than this to protect the tire, but it worked great. Then, against better judgement, I painted my wheels without sanding them. I used Rustoleum Gloss Cherry, hoping to be a little brighter than the stripes so that when it darkened a little it would match better. I stuffed toilet paper between the spokes to prevent paint from getting on my brakes or any of the bits behind the wheel.

Imagine my surprise at how well it worked out!

So yeah, great poppin-red wheels in about an hour or so. The tires are untouched, too.

Jeep #12: Back at it!

We’re back at it after letting the Jeep #12 sit during the cold and long Winter here in Minnesota. I didn’t drive it much during the Winter, though there were days where I certainly should have! Now that the temperatures are finally raising up to the point of being able to drive with no top, the Jeep is once again becoming active. I took the hard top off and the hard full doors. A friend found a set of almost brand new soft doors at a local junkyard and at only $80 they were a bargain.

Up next is figuring out the wiring issue that may or may not still be affecting the headlights. Followed by painting the replacement fenders and windshield frame. After that it is time for the bodywork and (eventually) paint! Hopefully we can get this thing done this summer!

Jeep #18: Dog vs. Velociraptor Call

 

Jurassic Park Jeep vs. Dog

A curious dog reacts to Jeep 18 at a movie car meet up for Free Comic Book Day in Boulder, Colorado!

Jeep #12: Really Poor Jeep…

Needless to say.. it snowed before I could put the Jeep back together. We got 10″ or so…

Jeep #12: Poor Jeep…

A few weeks ago while driving the Jeep, the power steering lines completely rusted through and drained the lines in a parking lot. Without easy steering, I parked the Jeep for a few weeks until I could get the parts and a nice enough day to do the repair.

Figuring out a way to get the power steering lines out prooved to be a little more work than you would anticipate for a Jeep having the steering box OUTSIDE of the front bumper. I ended up having to completely remove the front grill and core frame in order to gain access to the lines. It may have only been 12 bolts, and removing the radiator but it brought along its own headaches.

Here is what the Jeep looks like without its front end:

Kinda cool. I’ve never had a vehicle with a main frame so you could just remove a large chunk of the front end. If the Jeep weren’t so rusty, working on this thing would be a snap.

The bad news though was that the radiator was on its last legs. The fins were all rotted away. I was surprised it worked at all… not something I was willing to test with Winter approaching.

A new radiator was ordered along with all new hoses and bolts. But that wasn’t the least of the troubles. The main body mount for the front had completely rusted through the frame. A quick patch panel was made and welded up. Looks pretty nice?

Gotta try and get it all back together tomorrow morning as long as the 40 degree day isn’t bombarded with snow or rain showers!

Jeep #18: I’m a DINOSAURus. Roar Roar.

The music video by Ben Garbe and the Former Frat Boys has finally been released. Its called I’m a DINOSAURus and features scenes with our Jurassic Jeep #18. Check it out!

Jeep #12: Two Months Later…

The welding is finally completed and the gas tank has been reinstalled with a brand new filler neck, tubes and license plate bracket. Everything on the Jeep that was fixed is working perfectly as it should. The rust replacement panels seem to have worked nicely and the Jeep doesn’t squeek like it used to. That being said I haven’t driven the Jeep in two months until today.

What a great way to enjoy the fall weather, its in the 80s here right now… a change from the 50s just a week ago. Just a few more days of summer left until the hard top goes back on.

Jeep #12: Frame Rust Repair Part 3

Finally got done welding (both sides) of the rear frame. It took a while longer to get done thanks to Dragon*Con and a trip to New York with Jeep #18 owner Boomerjinks. I thoroughly welded all sides of the frame with the plates and then hit them with a layer of rust preventing paint, and then black paint. It turned out great, but it makes the rest of the rusty frame really stand out now!

Here is the passenger side, the driver side looks the same:

Now to put the gas tank back in, and drive the Jeep without a top for a few more weeks before it becomes too cold to do so!

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