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vehicles – Pacific Northwest Backroad Adventures http://www.pnwadventures.com Vehicle Dependent Overland Touring, Backroad Explorations and Outdoor Recreation Thu, 17 Nov 2016 03:54:08 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Troubleshooting the Toyota FJ80 Land Cruiser Center Diff Lock (CDL) http://www.pnwadventures.com/vehicles/toyota-fj80-landcruiser-cdl-troubleshooting/ Sun, 26 Nov 2006 14:00:59 +0000 http://pnwadventures.com/blog/?p=6 When I purchased my 1992 Toyota FJ80 Land Cruiser, the previous owner informed me that the four wheel drive system did not work. I knew the transfer case was a rebuilt unit so I figured it would be something simple … Continued

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Toyota FJ80 Land Cruiser

When I purchased my 1992 Toyota FJ80 Land Cruiser, the previous owner informed me that the four wheel drive system did not work. I knew the transfer case was a rebuilt unit so I figured it would be something simple such as a switch or a relay. Little did I know that I would spend hours trying to troubleshoot the problem. Hopefully this article will walk you through all the diagnostics needed to check the complete center diff lock (CDL) electrical system so you can figure out the problem much faster than I did.

You might ask, why did you spend hours diagnosing the problem? My answer is, I don’t like to spend money replacing parts when the part being replaced was not the problem. I’ve been a victim of paying people to do just that. Never again.

As in all repairs on the Land Cruiser, you should purchase the factory Toyota Repair Manual and the Toyota Electrical Wiring Diagram for your specific year of vehicle (order the factory manuals at techinfo.toyota.com). A Chilton’s or similar service manual won’t cut it when you are diagnosing specific issues. Invest the money in the factory manuals. It’s worth it if you (or your mechanic) does any diagnostics or repairs on your Land Cruiser. Purchasing the correct manual will pay off only after a few repairs because you will be diagnosing problems and not throwing parts at the problem until it is fixed. The reference for this article was the USA version for 1992 model year Toyota Land Cruiser. Even though there are similarities between all 80-series, there are differences between the various years of Land Cruisers and world markets so be aware of this when making repairs to your Land Cruiser.

Toyota Repair Manual

The factory service manual is not the end all of diagnosing your FJ80 Land Cruiser. Experience (or the experience of others) is a valuable asset to have when diagnosing problems on your vehicle. One of the best online resources that fills in the blanks where the Toyota factory manual leaves off is the 80-series on ih8mud.com. I think I would still be scratching my head over the CDL if it had not been for the wisdom contained on the 80-series forum on ih8mud.

In order to make any repairs to the CDL, its a good idea to learn a little how the CDL system works on the 80-series Land Cruiser. I’ll try to use the terminology used in the Toyota Land Cruiser factory service manual (1992 model year).

The 80-series Land Cruiser Center Differential System

As you probably already know, the FJ80 Land Cruiser is a full-time four wheel drive (4WD) system that is equipped with a mechanical lock type center differential system. With the CDL unlocked (normal driving), the open center differential (transfer case) allows the driveshafts to turn at different speeds so when you are turning on a hard surface there is no binding. When you engage (lock) your CDL, it splits the power 50/50 to the front and rear driveshafts regardless of the surface you’re driving on or if you are turning. For a detailed explanation on how your 4WD system works, see Diffs for Dummies.

Toyota FJ80 Land Cruiser Center Diff Lock (CDL) Switch
Toyota FJ80 Land Cruiser Center Diff Lock (CDL) Switch

In the passenger compartment, within reach of the driver, the CDL components you see include the instrument panel 4WD Indicator Light, the Center Differential Lock Switch (stock only on 3FE powered 80-series in the US but can easily be added to 93-97 models) and Transfer Case Select Lever.

The other components of the CDL system include the Center Diff Lock Control Relay, the 4WD Indicator Switch, the Transfer Neutral Position Switch, the Transfer L4 Position Switch and the Transfer Control Motor Actuator.

The brain of the system is the Center Diff Lock Control Relay which is located inside the vehicle on the driver’s side kick panel. My relay was labled Transmission Relay. Without this relay, you will not be able to engage the 4WD from your cab.

Toyota FJ80 Land Cruiser Center Diff Lock Control Relay
Toyota FJ80 Land Cruiser Center Diff Lock Control Relay

Refer to the wiring diagram to follow along.

Power to the CDL relay is sent from three separate sources. The first power source (Terminal 3 on the relay) is from the 30 amp fuse in the dash fuse box labeld “Diff”. This power source should be hot at all times the ignition is on. Within the CDL relay, this power is sent to two small internal relays – normally in the closed position. Input from the two switches described below will change the polarity to the Transfer Control Motor Actuator. The reversal of polarity on the actuator is what engages and disengages the transfer case.

The second power source (Terminal 7 on the relay) is from the Transfer L4 Position Switch (located on the top rear housing of the transfer case – right side). The Transfer L4 Position Switch receives its power from the 10 amp fuse located inside the passenger compartment fuse panel and labeled “Gauge”. When you shift your Transfer Case Select Lever into low range, the L4 switch sends a signal to the CDL relay which first overrides the input from the Center Diff Lock Dash Switch and then closes an internal relay and sends 12 volts from Terminal 1 of the relay through the harness to Terminal 3 of the actuator motor which engages the center diff lock (transfer case) into 4WD. If you have the Center Diff Lock Switch, you can disconnect this wire from the relay in order to have true manual control over the CDL. See Center Differential Lock Pin 7 Mod for specific instructions on this modification.

Toyota FJ80 land Cruiser Transfer L4 Position Switch
Toyota FJ80 land Cruiser Transfer L4 Position Switch

The third power source for the CDL relay comes from the Center Diff Lock Dash Switch. Power to the switch is from the same 10 amp fuse previously mentioned. When the switch is on (CDL engaged), you will have 12 volt to Terminal 6 of the CDL relay. When the switch is off, there will be 12 volts to Terminal 9 of the CDL relay. Turning the switch on sends 12 volts from Terminal 1 of the relay through the harness to Terminal 3 of the actuator motor. Turning the switch off sends 12 volts (reversing the polarity) from Terminal 4 of the relay through the harness to Terminal 2 of the actuator motor. Unless you made the Pin 7 mod described above, this switch only engages the CDL when the center diff is in high range.

When you enage the CDL, either through the Center Diff Lock Dash Switch or through the 4 low range shift lever, the 4WD Indicator Switch (located on the front housing of your transfer case) is activated and provides a signal to the 4WD indicator light on your instrument panel. There is also a Transfer Neutral Position Switch (located next to the Transfer L4 Position Switch – drivers side) that provides a signal to the A/T indicator light on your instrument panel to tell the driver that the transfer case is in neutral.

Factory Service Manual Center Differential Lock Diagnostics

The first diagnostics outlined are from the Toyota Factory Service Manual (FSM). After that I will discuss what Toyota left out of the FSM.

If you’re at this point, you’ve probably realized that the DIFF LOCK indicator light on the instrument cluster does not light up when you turn on the CDL switch or when you shift into 4L.

Before going too far in the diagnostics, some people actually have luck by only exercising the CDL (by shifting into and out of four wheel drive) a few times to unstick the CDL. Of course, you need to make sure that the two fuses that provide power to the CDL circuit are in working condition. (Note to self – probably a good thing to carry as a spare.)

There are two tests that can be conducted to see if it is truly not working. First, find a gravel parking lot that you can turn tight circles in and make a full locked turn to the left. When the CDL is engaged and locked, you will notice that the rear tires are slipping as the rear axle follows a smaller arc than the front wheels. You will also notice a difference in the steering and a larger turning radius. If this is not the results, the CDL may not be working correctly.

The next test is outlined in the FSM. With your rear wheels chocked, your transmission in neutral, your transfer case lever in high range and your CDL switch off, jack up your right front wheel off the ground. If the CDL is not engaged, this wheel should spin freely. Next, engage your CDL dash switch or shift into 4L. With the transmission in neutral, you will not be able to rotate the lifted wheel when the CDL is engaged. If the CDL does not engage, further diagnostics are required.

To proceed with the following diagnostic tests, you will need a multimeter that reads DC voltage, resistance and continuity. I also recommend that you make a couple of test wires with alligator clips at each end. I made one wire red and the other wire black (negative and positive reference). You should also pick up a couple of standard size paperclips, a fresh 9 volt battery or two and some dielectric grease.

The FSM only outlines three tests. I will add a few more later.

The first inspection from the FSM is for the Center Differential Lock Control Relay. This is the relay that is located on the drivers side kick panel. In order to test the relay, remove the mounting nut with a 10 mm socket and then disconnect the relay from the harness. The FSM shows several continuity tests, with and without voltage applied to the relay.

With NO voltage applied to the CDL Relay, there should be continuity between Terminals 1 and 2 and Terminals 2 and 4. Between Terminals 6/7 there is a diode that only allows for continuity in one direction. If you don’t get continuity the first time between Terminals 6/7, reverse positive and negative leads and check continuity again.

Testing the Toyota FJ80 Land Cruiser Center Diff Lock Control Relay
Testing the Toyota FJ80 Land Cruiser Center Diff Lock Control Relay

Using your 9 volt battery and your positive and negative test leads, apply battery voltage to the CDL relay terminals as follows:

Positive to 6 / Negative to 5 = Continuity 1/3, No Continuity 1/2
Positive to 7 / Negative to 2 = No Continuity 9/10
Positive to 9 / Negative to 10 = Continuity 3/4, No Continuity 2/4

The FSM states “If continuity is not as specified, replace the relay”. The only test I disagree with the FSM is the continuity test between 6/7. If there is no continuity, even when reversing the polarity, it simply means that you cannot engage the CDL when you shift into 4L. If you have the CDL dash switch, this is your 7 Pin Mod already done. This is the case on my ’92 FJ80. Now for the later 80-series models without the CDL switch, this could be a problem. Just don’t run out and purchase a replacement CDL relay, buy the CDL dash switch instead. The CDL dash switch is much less expensive than the CDL relay.

Testing the Toyota FJ80 Center Diff Lock Switch
Testing the Toyota FJ80 Center Diff Lock Switch

Another test outlined in the FSM is the test for the CDL Dash Switch. Just pop out the switch from the dash and disconnect from the harness. With the CDL switch in the “OFF” position, there will be continuity between terminals 7/10. In the “ON” position, there will be continuity between terminals 7/10. If continuity is not as specified, replace the switch. I haven’t verified it, I did read somewhere that the 4-way flasher switch could be swapped in and used as a CDL switch.

The final FSM test for the CDL system is to inspect the Actuator motor. Using an ohmmeter, first measure the resistance between terminals 2 and 3. The standard resistance is between 0.3 and 100 ohms. Next measure the resistance between terminals 2 and 3 and body ground. Standard resistance should be more than 0.5 M ohm. If resistance is not as specified, replace the motor actuator.

Toyota FJ80 Center Diff Lock Actuator motor and 4WD Indicator Switch
Toyota FJ80 Center Diff Lock Actuator Motor and 4WD Indicator Switch

What the Factory Service Manual Doesn’t Tell You

The previous CDL tests are all that’s outlined in the FSM. The following CDL diagnostics are not in the FSM and are summary of various resources found on the Internet.

Test DIFF LOCK Indicator Light and 4WD Indicator Switch

The DIFF LOCK indicator light not working (when the CDL switch is on or when shifted into 4L) may be that either the dash light is burnt out or the 4WD Indicator Switch is defective. To test, with a paperclip in hand, crawl under the right side of your Land Cruiser and locate the 4WD Indicator Switch. The 4WD Indicator switch is located on the top front housing of the transfer case. Remove the harness from the switch and jump the terminals on the harness with the paperclip. With your ignition in the ON position, your DIFF LOCK indicator light should light up. If the DIFF LOCK indicator does not come on, you most likely have a bad bulb and it will need replaced. If the bulb is fine, you will need to remove the 4WD Indicator Switch and either free it up or replace it. I would first try to exercise, lubricate and test the switch before replacing it. Once the switch is removed, place the switch in a vise. Check the continuity between the terminals. When the switch is open, there should be no continuity and of course when closed (depressed) there will be continuity. If the switch is sticky, use some WD40 to clean and exercise the switch. This may or may not work but is worth a try before spending money on a new switch.

Toyota FJ80 Land Cruiser 4WD Indicator Switch
Toyota FJ80 Land Cruiser 4WD Indicator Switch

Test L4 Switch

The L4 switch is located on the top rear of the transfer case, right side (passenger side in the US). It appears to be the same switch as the 4WD Indicator Switch. If you remove the harness from the switch and use a paperclip to jump the harness, with your ignition switch ON, this test simulates shifting your transfer case into 4L and should power your actuator motor.

Test Actuator Motor

To test the actuator motor, arm yourself with a fresh 9 volt battery (do not use any higher voltage) and your test leads and crawl under the right side of your land Cruiser and locate the actuator motor. Disconnect the actuator motor from the harness. Locate terminals 2 and 3 and attach the positive lead to terminal 3 and the negative lead to terminal 2 of the actuator motor. With voltage applied, you should hear the actuator motor run for a few seconds and stop, engaging the CDL. You will unlock the CDL by reversing the polarity on terminals 2 and 3. If the motor does not operate with voltage applied, it’s most likely that the actuator motor is stuck.

Lowering the Toyota FJ80 Land Cruiser Transfer Case
Lowering the Toyota FJ80 Land Cruiser Transfer Case
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The actuator motor can be removed while the transfer case is still in the vehicle. The trick is to get some long bolts to insert between the cross member and frame rail that allows the transfer case to be lowered. Once the transfer case is lowered, remove the breather hose and the four bolts that attach the actuator motor to the transfer case. You will most likely have to pry the motor off the transfer case.

The Toyota FJ80 Center Diff Lock Actuator Motor Removed from the Vehicle
The Toyota FJ80 Center Diff Lock Actuator Motor Removed from the Vehicle

Some people have luck cleaning up and re-lubing the actuator motor. I wasn’t so lucky. My actuator motor was fried and needed replaced. So back into the Land Cruiser and order a replacement. I was able to locate a used actuator motor for a fraction of the cost of a new unit. Once the replacement actuator motor was installed, it worked like a charm.

 

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Changing Drive Belts on a 3FE Powered Toyota FJ80 Land Cruiser http://www.pnwadventures.com/vehicles/changing-drive-belts-on-3fe-toyota-fj80-landcruiser/ Sun, 29 Oct 2006 02:44:37 +0000 http://www.pnwadventures.com/?p=57 After only having my Land Cruiser for about three weeks, I had had my first equipment failure – the number three belt that powers the air conditioning unit broke (the belt closest to the engine). Normally, I replace belts on … Continued

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After only having my Land Cruiser for about three weeks, I had had my first equipment failure – the number three belt that powers the air conditioning unit broke (the belt closest to the engine).

Normally, I replace belts on a regular basis and use the existing belts as spares in case of a failure, however this time around they looked in good shape so I waited. Luckily, it was only for the air conditioning pump and I wasn’t far from home on some back road adventure.

Since I haven’t done my research to find out the best belts to purchase (probably Toyota OEM) and because I wanted to get the project done as soon as possible, I visited my local auto parts store and purchased the needed belt. While there, I asked for the price and availability of the other two belts and found out that they only stocked the belt I needed and that one belt was available from the warehouse and the other is a four day order. The local availability of the other belts confirmed the need to have a full set of spare belts while traveling, especially if you need to rely on a small town auto parts store for a replacement.

Now I know this article isn’t an advanced tech subject. Most of you that work on vehicles on a regular basis don’t need a tutorial on how to change your belts. This article is for the person that may have limited experience and would like to tackle a small project to save money or learn more about their Toyota Land Cruiser.

On a 3FE-powered Toyota FJ80 Landcruiser (and probably also a FJ62), there are three separate belts that power your engine driven accessories. The first belt (closest to the radiator) spins your power steering pump, air pump and alternator. The second (middle) belt spins your water pump and alternator while the third belt (closest to engine) spins your air conditioning unit. Unless you are replacing the first belt, you will need to remove all belts in front of the belt you are replacing.

Before proceeding, I recommend that you make a drawing of the pulleys and the belts so you have record of how the belts are installed.

As in most cases, an automotive repair job is much easier if you have knowledge of where all fasteners are located. In this case, you have to spend a few minutes looking around at each component to determine what bolts need to be loosened to allow the belts to be removed. This article will provide tips to speed up your time frame for completion.

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Removal of the first belt is pretty straightforward. You have the choice to loosen either adjustment pulley directly beneath the power steering pump or simply loosen the power steering pump itself. Since the power steering pump is on top and easy to access, I loosened it. All you need is a 14 mm box end wrench to loosen the pivot bolt (on right side of power steering pump when facing the engine) and the tension adjustment bolt one left side of the pump (where the slotted bracket is located). If you are simply making access to another belt, remove from the belt from the pulleys and just push the belt to the side. If replacing, you will need to slide the belt over the cooling fan.

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The second or middle belt is a little more of a challenge, simply because of the lack of access. The tension adjustment for the belt is made via the alternator. On the bottom of the alternator, on the backside near the drivers’ side motor mount, there is a bolt that the alternator pivots on while adjusting the belt tension that needs to be loosened. Since there is minimal space to access the bolt from above, I used a 14 mm socket, extension and ratchet and accessed the bolt from below (next to inside frame rail and over motor mount). Toyota3FE_alternator_bracket.JPGNext I loosened the bolt on the front of the alternator that slides in the slot in the alternator bracket using a 12 mm wrench. As you are facing the alternator, on the right side, there is an addition bolt that allows you to adjust and hold the tension of the belt. Using a 12 mm socket, loosen this bolt to relieve the tension on the belt. Remove or push the belt to the side as needed.

The third belt (closest to the engine) is removed by loosening a pulley that is directly underneath the air conditioning pump. First you will need to loosen the center nut of the pulley to allow for adjustment. Next, using a 12 mm socket, extension and ratchet, access the adjustment bolt for the pulley through the passenger side wheel well, between the frame rail and inner fender. Replace the belt as needed.

Assembly is in reverse of the above order. Adjust the belts to factory specs. You should be good to go for a while. Toyota calls for inspection every 15,000 miles. Personally, I like to change the belts on a minimum of a 2 year or 15,000 mile basis. Something so simple can ruin a day of fun.

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Toyota FJ80 3FE http://www.pnwadventures.com/vehicles/toyota-fj80-landcruiser-3fe-resources/ Sat, 21 Oct 2006 02:42:28 +0000 http://www.pnwadventures.com/?p=55 After owning a 3FE powered FJ80 Land Cruiser for a short period of time, I realized there is not much vendor support or even information on the Internet regarding our unique Land Cruisers. I guess with only about 15,000 imported … Continued

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Toyota Land Cruiser FJ80 After owning a 3FE powered FJ80 Land Cruiser for a short period of time, I realized there is not much vendor support or even information on the Internet regarding our unique Land Cruisers. I guess with only about 15,000 imported into the US, there’s not much of a market to cater to.

I know we have a less powerful engine, we don’t have full-floating axles, we don’t have rear disk brakes or factory lockers. Even though we don’t have all the desired options on a FZJ80, we have the reliability of a mighty 3FE engine. No worries about cooling problems, no head gasket problems, no pesky heater hose, no timing chain, less electronics and the list goes on.

In my opinion, our 3FE powered Toyota FJ80 Landcruisers are the best expedition vehicle for remote travel. Why should I be in a hurry to get any where? Its a 3FE state of mind.

Just for us 3FE powered 80-series Toyota Landcruiser owners, I’m assembling a list of resources that pertain specifically to our mighty vehicles. If you have a resource that should be included, be sure to send me an email so I can post it here.

My Toyota FJ80 Land Cruiser Expedition Build Articles

My Toyota FJ80 Land Cruiser Repair and Maintenance Articles

Toyota Land Cruiser FJ80 3FE Resources

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My New Toyota FJ80 Landcruiser http://www.pnwadventures.com/vehicles/toyota-fj80-landcruiser/ Thu, 12 Oct 2006 02:49:50 +0000 http://www.pnwadventures.com/?p=61 After a several week search, I purchased a 1992 Toyota FJ80 Landcruiser from a private party. I know it’s not a FZJ, but I was able to pay for it with cash from the sale of my Jeep Wrangler and … Continued

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After a several week search, I purchased a 1992 Toyota FJ80 Landcruiser from a private party. I know it’s not a FZJ, but I was able to pay for it with cash from the sale of my Jeep Wrangler and still have a little left over for some improvements.

The person I purchased the Landcruiser from had put over $10,000 in repairs over the past three years, including rebuilding of the transmission and transfer case, new exhaust, tires and much more not to mention all the required preventative maintenance. ToyotaLandcruiser.JPGThe only real repairs that I need to make is track down why the central diff lock is not working, fix the drivers power window, and fix the power antenna.

The Landcruiser is completely stock and sports 31×10.50×15 BFG A/T tires. Many future improvements are in store as funds allow, including suspension, lockers, tires, bumpers and more.

Until I resolve the center diff lock problem, my ability to go on adventures is limited because of the lack of 4×4. I got to get it fixed soon.

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Temporarily Without a Vehicle http://www.pnwadventures.com/vehicles/temporarily-without-a-vehicle/ Fri, 22 Sep 2006 02:47:05 +0000 http://www.pnwadventures.com/?p=59 After two and a half years of ownership, I sold my Jeep Wrangler this week. For the first time in my life, I was actually kind of sad to sell a vehicle. Usually I was glad to be rid of … Continued

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After two and a half years of ownership, I sold my Jeep Wrangler this week. For the first time in my life, I was actually kind of sad to sell a vehicle. Usually I was glad to be rid of the vehicle I was selling, but not this time.

I guess you get somewhat attached when you have spent several years customizing a vehicle to suit your own needs. My buildup of the Jeep was finally being realized and it was performing better than I planned. However, I had to be practical and sell the Jeep in order to purchase a larger vehicle.

I’ve been going back and forth for the past nine months whether to sell or keep the Jeep. It all started last winter when my daughter started snowboard lessons and I realized that a soft top Jeep is not the ideal vehicle to haul snowboards and gear for multiple people to the mountains. By myself, fine, two or more people, not so good. I managed over the winter by driving the family Grand Cherokee to the slopes when I took my daughter and leaving my wife without a vehicle (she had the option of driving the Wrangler but never did).

Once winter was over, the weather got nice and it was hard to part with Jeep, so I decided at that time I would go ahead keep it. I continued on with my buildup of the Jeep. I had a plan for the buildup but not for how I was going to use the vehicle.

In June, I fractured a bone in my foot which left me off my feet for a few weeks and a lot of free time. During this time, I was introduced to the Expedition Portal by my son and soon realized by reading through the forums, a clearer picture of how I would be using my Jeep. It’s what I’ve been doing since I was a child when I would take off with my dad on trips camping and exploring the Cascades Mountains. My true passion isn’t specifically four wheeling in it self, it’s the adventure of exploring remote areas that may (or may not) require a four wheel drive vehicle (thus this web site).

After several multi-day trips, I realized that a short wheel base Jeep would only suit my needs if I only traveled by myself with my dog and maybe one other person. If I wanted to take my wife, daughter, dog and all of our camping gear, a larger, more comfortable vehicle would be required.

So that is where I’m at now. My Jeep has been sold. I have cash in hand. About the only vehicle that’s available in the US that even comes close to fitting my needs is an 80 series Toyota Land Cruiser. So the search is on for my next adventure vehicle.

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ARB Bull Bar Installation on Jeep YJ Wrangler http://www.pnwadventures.com/vehicles/jeep-yj-wrangler-arb-bullbar-installation/ Thu, 24 Aug 2006 02:39:36 +0000 http://www.pnwadventures.com/?p=53 One important aspect of any outdoor adventure is the ability to make it home safely. Animal strikes are one of the leading causes of vehicle damage when traveling in rural and remote areas, especially at night. As anybody who travels … Continued

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One important aspect of any outdoor adventure is the ability to make it home safely. Animal strikes are one of the leading causes of vehicle damage when traveling in rural and remote areas, especially at night. As anybody who travels the highways knows, here in the Pacific Northwest, we have our share of animal strikes. The most common you see along the side of the road are deer. I have also seen collisions with elk, cattle and horses. Our friends to the North in British Columbia frequently witness collisions with moose.

In a full head-on animal strike, at a minimum, you will most likely damage your radiator, which can totally incapacitate your vehicle. Hopefully, the collision will be a glancing blow, minimizing the damage. I’ve seen pickup trucks where a 60 mph collision with a deer caused damage to the entire front end including the bumper, grill, radiator, core support, hood and both front fenders. The loss of your vehicle far from home is the last thing a person wants on an adventure.

After during my research, I found that by most opinions, ARB makes the best aftermarket bumper that protects against animal strikes. Most bumpers are for clearance for wheeling and do not offer substantial protection. The ARB Bull Bar offers a very secure location to mount a winch plus it also enhances the look of any vehicle (my opinion of course). And of course, any bumper that protects against animal strikes is going to offer a great increase in safety if involved in a collision with another vehicle.

The following outlines the installation of an ARB Bull Bar on my Jeep YJ Wrangler.

DSC02919.JPG Here is the before picture. A stock chrome bumper with minimal protection to the front end.
DSC02922.JPG This is how the bull bar comes when shipped. Two pieces include the bar and the assembly kit.
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Removed all shipping packaging.
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This is the business side of the bull bar.
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Looked over the installation instructions.
DSC02931.JPG Inventoried the assembly kit.
DSC02932.JPG Removed the front bumper. I had to use a little PB Blaster to loosen up the bolts. The bolts required a T-55 bit instead of the T-50 as listed on the instructions.
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Installed the cradle assembly to the chassis.
DSC02937.JPG Lowered the winch plate over the front cross member. Secured the plate to the cross member with the supplied u-bolts. Used a small level to match the level of the cradle assembly. Adjusted with a block of wood and hammer before final tightening.
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Using the holes in the cradle assembly tab as a template, I center punched the location of the hole on each side. I then removed the winch plate and drilled the required 7/16 inch holes. I then remounted the winch plate and fastened it to the cradle assembly with the supplied fasteners.
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Slide the bull bar over the cradle assembly. Secure with provided fasteners. If you are installing a roller fairlead, you would install it during this step. Two of the bolts are not in the most accessible location.
DSC02946.JPG The bumper comes with supplemental indicator lights. The lights are mounted using small nylon plugs that are a very tight fit. I had to use a mallet to fit into place. Be careful and do not overtighten the mounting screws like I did. The lense will crack if over tightened.
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Remove the factory indicator lights.

For the right turn indicator, locate the brown/red wire (right turn signal) and the black wire (ground wire). Wire the bull bar indicator using the included wire spices.

For the left turn indicator, locate the gray/black wire (turn signal) and the black wire (ground). My Jeep had two gray/black wires leading into the left turn indicator harness. Use a wire tester to determine the correct wire to use. I got lucky on my first try.

I secured the extra indicator light harness with zip ties and placed the excess in the front cross member tube.

Note: The wiring diagram I used was from a 1992 Jeep Factory Service Manual. The colors and/or the harness may be different on other years.

DSC02950.JPG Here is the finished installation. The kit comes with a license plate bracket to install the plate above the roller fairlead. I chose to install my license plate over the fairlead cut out. Looks pretty good.

The installation was straight forward and can be completed in only a few hours with basic mechanical skills. As usual, you will need a few more tools than the instructions call for.

Of course, such a bumper will add more weight to the front of your vehicle, so a heavier spring rate may be required for your vehicle.

Now all I need to do is mount a winch and I’ll be ready for even more adventures.

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Custom Jeep Drawer Cargo System http://www.pnwadventures.com/vehicles/homemade-jeep-storage-system/ Thu, 17 Aug 2006 02:25:17 +0000 http://www.pnwadventures.com/?p=45 As anybody with a sort wheelbase Jeep knows, it’s easy to run out of storage space fast. Jeeps were never intended to be multi-day expedition vehicles such as the Toyota Land Cruiser or a Land Rover, but we continue to … Continued

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As anybody with a sort wheelbase Jeep knows, it’s easy to run out of storage space fast. Jeeps were never intended to be multi-day expedition vehicles such as the Toyota Land Cruiser or a Land Rover, but we continue to try and make it work.

For my current needs, I decided that I would rather sacrifice the lack of storage space for a smaller, open-cab, short-wheelbase vehicle like a Jeep to maximize my adventures in the Pacific Northwest.

This article outlines my first attempt in maximizing the available storage space available in my Jeep.

Storage Options

Like in most off-road vehicles, you only have certain places to store your gear. The storage areas include the main cargo area, a roof rack, or on a tire carrier. Of course, each vehicle has its own areas to stash your gear other than those listed. Each storage area has its advantages and limitations, depending on the use of your vehicle.

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After considering the options (and my budget), I decided that the first priority was to maximize the internal cargo area storage space in my Jeep. In most situations, my travels will usually only include my dog, and at times, possibly another family member or friend.

My first solution was to simply stack all my gear and tools in the cargo area. The main problem I found with this option is that it leaves no space for my dog to ride in the Jeep, especially when I had a second person riding along (I prefer for her to ride in the back as she somehow always finds mud).

At this point I decided I needed some type of storage box to place within the cargo area. I started looking through the Jeep aftermarket catalogs and found a variety of cargo storage devices, including boxes with flip up lids, boxes with drawers, cages, and trunk lids. Each style of box has its advantages and disadvantages.

In addition, not only were these storage boxes out of my budget, none provided a flat, carpeted storage surface that was even with the wheel wells on an YJ. So I decided to build my own storage box.

What inspired me was the utility boxes that I seen in the Australian 4×4 magazines. These boxes are designed with a pull out drawer, are carpeted and have aluminum angle to protect the edges. If designed right, I would have a 54 inch wide by 32 inch deep flat surface to mount and strap down gear to the top, such as refrigerators/coolers and all my camping gear plus have room for my dog. Wishful thinking? I’ll find out.

The Construction.

I actually started work on the box over a year before, and then it sat over the winter. Once the weather started getting nice it was time to finish the project. That’s the reason I don’t have any pictures of the construction process, only the finished project.

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To get started, I measured the area you want the box to be installed. For my Jeep YJ, I made it 32 inches deep x 35 inches wide (well it’s actually 36 inches wide and its a very tight fit squeezing it between the wheel wells). I chose this depth so it would allow for clearance of the tailgate latching mechanism that protrudes into the cargo area, plus it allows me to store the upper half doors between the box and the tailgate. With this arrangement, there is also a small amount of storage between the front seats and the box for those items you would like access to while driving. I chose to make my height ¾ inch higher than the wheel well so that I could butt up ¾ inch plywood over the wheel well to the box to make one large flat surface.

I ended up purchasing two sheets of ¾ inch exterior grade plywood for the box and the drawer. If you have access to marine grade plywood that may be a better choice if you live in a wet region. While shopping, I also purchased a heavy-duty drawer slide (on roller bearings with a 100 pound capacity), wood screws and wood glue.

After cutting out the wood components of the box and drawer, I glued and screwed them together. I sealed the inside of the drawer with paintable caulking (to keep water out and any spilled fluids in), and then applied a weatherproof finish. I initially used exterior porch paint (discount bin at Lowes), and then I applied marine varnish over that. If I were to do it over, I would only apply the marine varnish.

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I fitted the slides to the box and drawer following the slide manufacturers instructions. I discarded the wood screws that came with the slide and used #10-32×1″ machine screws, nuts and washers to attach the slide to the box and drawer. I countersunk holes where I didn’t want the screw protruding and cut off any excess threads.

I purchased the marine grade outdoor carpeting from Lowes. I cut each piece to size and glued it down with Weldwood Original Contact Cement. I tried the non-flammable contact cement from Weldwood and it does not work very well for this application.

In order to protect the edges of the box, I finished each edge with ¾ inch aluminum angle. I only used a heavy set of tin snips and a file to miter and fit my corners since I did not have any other method of cutting the aluminum. I countersunk the holes and used wood screws to fasten down the aluminum angle.

Other finishing touches include hinges to fold up the sections that rest on the wheel wells, two handles on the drawer, tie downs and a clasp to lock the box. I used existing holes for the seat and seatbelts in the rear cargo to fasten the box to the Jeep cargo area.

The Road Test

It was time to test the box on a short adventure. I loaded up the box for a Mini Expedition to the Olympic Peninsula.

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My intentions for the drawer are to store my tools, vital fluids, spare parts, repair kits, recovery gear in order to be as self sufficient as possible. The drawer was packed tight for the trip with all that I placed in it. I was a little worried that the slides would not bear the weight of a fully loaded drawer but I was wrong, the drawer works perfectly even when loaded down.

On the deck of the box, I stored my cooler over the left wheel well, my Rubbermaid box with cooking and camping gear over the right wheel well, and my tent, sleeping bag and pad towards the rear. This allowed my dog (at 60 pounds) plenty of room to move around. On this trip, with what I had stored on top of the deck, I had no problem opening the drawer.

Obviously, having a dog limits some of the space that could be used to haul gear. Even so, I feel that I could take my dog out and short of the necessary fuel (I’ll take care of this later) I could take enough supplies and gear for a week long adventure.

See all the photos of my Jeep drawer system at Custom Jeep Drawer Cargo System.

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