Jeep Build Phase 2 Complete

With the difficulties of the diesel engine, and the gut wrenching decision to buy another Jeep behind me, the path forward is clear – I need to move over as many modifications from the 2007 silver Wrangler to the 2011 Tan Wrangler as possible, and in my usual style I’ve set a timeline that means I have to do it fast.

Luck shines on me and I meet a new friend in Richard. If words could describe the perfect person I need to help, Richard is that person. Not only is Richard also a Jeep guy, he has a garage, tools, and wears a smile from ear to ear, with a rock-solid can do attitude. Nothing is too hard or time consuming for him, and nothing puts a dent in his good mood. It helps immensely to have Richard to bounce ideas off, and his expertise and ideas save the day more times than I can count. Many laughs were had building this Jeep in less than three weeks.

We started with the dual Optima Yellow top batteries, Nemesis Industries dual tray and Painless Performance isolating solenoid. We also added a Painless Performance 7-circuit fuse block to wire in all the accessories.

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Dual Optima Yellow tops, Nemesis Dual Tray, Painless Performance Isolating Solenoid

We added a Bolt Lock hood lock – which is extremely handy and uses the factory ignition key – and mesh to the front grill.

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Bolt Hood lock and grill mesh

We mounted a Warn Zeon 10-s Winch with a Factor 55 flat link to the AEV front bumper with skid plate.

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AEV front bumper with skid plate

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Warn Zeon 10-S Winch

We moved over the AEV rear bumper and tire carrier

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AEV Rear Bumper and Tire Carrier mounted

We stripped the interior in less than 10 minutes, moved over the custom roll bar and mounted the cabinets I made for the previous Jeep. Richard did all the welding, and showed me how to use the TIG. Richard also welded up a lock box cover for the rear cubby in the Jeep. We also mounted the Dometic CFX-35 Fridge behind the passenger seat once again.

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Cabinets going in

I’ve be warned I will encounter severe dusty conditions in Africa, so we installed an AEV Snorkel and Pre Filter. I measured 15 times before cutting the hole in the hood, and it’s perfect.

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AEV snorkel and pre filter

We installed a Tuffy Center Console and Steel glove box – both of which are extremely sturdy and will give great piece of mind in Africa. The console is extremely slick, replacing the rear half of the stock console with a solid steel box. It works out perfectly on the newer 2011+ Jeep interior.

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Tuffy Security Center Console

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Tuffy Security Glove box

Rich and I installed an AEV 2.5″ lift with control arm drop brackets

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AEV 2.5″ lift and control arm drop brackets

Driving from Alaska to Argentina I didn’t see a single sloth – I’ve always figured sloths and I would get along really well, being we have the same ideas about relaxation. To be sure I see one this time, Heather knitted “Sid the Sloth”, who is now the official mascot of The Road Chose Me. He swings from the roll bar, constantly smiling.

“Installing” Sid was a critical part of the build, and I made sure it was done early so he could supervise progress. Strangely enough, he was continually telling us to slow down simple smile

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Sid the Sloth, official mascot of The Road Chose Me

Now that I’m running a gas engine, mileage and range are more of a consideration. To carry an additional 13 gallons we mounted a Titan Tank on the rear tire carrier. Combined with the stock 22.5 gallon tank, range is now a comfortable 600 miles, with 650 or 700 miles at a stretch.

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Titan Tank 13 gallon gas tank

Richard and I relocated the evaporation canister and mounted a 12 gallon drinking water tank under the frame rails. We also made a skid plate for it. The system also has a 12v pump and 0.5 micron filter with UV lamp to treat water. I will post a detailed write-up of how we made it soon. Having running water in the Jeep is a novelty I still have not gotten used to.

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12 gallon drinking water tank under the Jeep

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Drinking water pump, filter, wiring and hoses

If it wasn’t for Richard’s amazing kindness and friendship, I honestly think the expedition would not have moved forward.
There will always be a seat in the Jeep for you buddy!

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Richard and Dan, completing the Jeep Build

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Jeep Build Phase 2 Complete

One last phase in the build, then I’m off to Africa via Easter Jeep Safari!


7 Responses

  1. Manger Family says:

    Good luck Dan with the new adventures. The Jeep looks great. Looking forward to reading future posts.

  2. Marcial says:

    Dan , you are very adventurous and I salute you very dearly . Tell me are you planning to sale your jeep in Africa once you finish your trips ? I would love to travel en jeep in Africa , but would love to buy yours , seriously

    • Dan Grec says:

      Hi Marcial,

      It’s so far in the future I have no idea what I’ll do with the Jeep. For now I’m focused on the adventure, not the end of it :)


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