Barn Door for JK factory hardtops

jscherb

Expedition Leader
A quick digital sketch - how I'm thinking about laying out the overhead panel to include the Homelink transmitter. Includes the overhead console with map lights, Homelink and switches for the power vent windows.



There's also a power outlet on the back of the console that's not shown in this sketch.

Template for cutting the holes in the panel:



I still have to paint the Homelink shell gray.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
The recent sewing I've done on the soft barn door and the new spare tire cover have gotten me thinking about other sewing projects, so here are two I did today to make use of the usually unused space over the rear inner fenders.

The first one is a Molle panel, it attaches to the hardtop bolts (or those bolt holes if a hardtop isn't installed).



The second is a cargo net, it attaches in the same way.



Both can be installed on either side of the Jeep.
 

Comanche Scott

Expedition Leader
Nice work Jeff. :beer:

Something else that would be cool for the JK is a clip in divider/soft-drawer, for putting things like groceries in without them rolling all over the place on the way home.
Maybe add a couple of D rings to the rear top bolts for clipping in at the top.
A washable soft/drawer would even be better, so folks could toss in their muddy clothes & gear with impunity. :)
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Nice work Jeff. :beer:

Something else that would be cool for the JK is a clip in divider/soft-drawer, for putting things like groceries in without them rolling all over the place on the way home.
Maybe add a couple of D rings to the rear top bolts for clipping in at the top.
A washable soft/drawer would even be better, so folks could toss in their muddy clothes & gear with impunity. :)
Those sound like good ideas... warm up your sewing machine and get to work!! :)

About the muddy stuff, it wouldn't be too hard to sew up a cargo area liner out of a Harbor Freight tarp, I often use them as sources of fabric for custom things I'm doing, like this fitted cover for my military trailer (shown next to the 1/8 scale prototype):

 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
I installed the Homelink transmitter in the Safari Cab overhead panel today. Looks right at home up there. It's got three buttons and I've got a three car garage - perfect.





I picked up this transmitter at the u-pull junkyard for a couple of bucks, but they're inexpensive and easy to find on eBay as well.

The next interior enhancement will be a mount that hangs the GPS above the mirror. I've done similar mounts for my other two Jeeps and it's a great place for the GPS for me, here's the one in my LJ:

 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Today's project - an above-the-mirror GPS mount.



Also sewed another cargo net today - I made a few minor design changes to improve the net and cost reduce it case it ends up in production (which it might, I had a conversation with a company about it today).



I also stopped by my local Jeep dealer to get a few measurements from a 2-door so I can spec the 2-door versions of this net and the Molle panel.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Over the course of this thread I've been working on a few projects that companies have asked me to do - one of those is the slider window kit for factory hardtops. Today I sent the first draft of the installation instructions for the factory hardtop slider window kit to the company that's planning to manufacture/market them. This draft has photos taken during a test install in a modular factory side panel; once the company (or perhaps an early adopter of the kit) does an installation on a full hardtop the photos will be updated.

The sliders are ready, the retrofit kit is ready, everything is pretty much ready for the trigger to be pulled on production; the company now has to decide if there's really enough interest in the slider window idea for them to go ahead.

One thing I suggested is that they do a limited production group buy to test the waters - maybe they should put out a group buy offer and limit it to 10 sets of windows - if they can't get 10 people (or close to that) to sign up, then there probably isn't enough demand to go into full production.

Here's a thumbnail view of the installation instructions. The removal of the factory windows and installation of the slider windows with the retrofit kit is a pretty straightforward process, so this is all there is to the instructions.

 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
I was in the u-pull junkyard the other day and wandering through the yard I came across an even nicer Homelink transmitter than the one I installed in the Safari overhead panel. I took this photo of the transmitter on the table and then flipped the photo upside down to show sort of what it would look like in the overhead (only the panel with the buttons would show, the black box would be above the panel). I'm almost tempted to redo the overhead panel in the JK to install this one, but I think I'll put this one in the LJ Safari overhead panel, which is very similar to the one in the JK.



This weekend I also did some detail design work on what may be my next project, which I'm calling the "Retro Rhino Kit for the JK", "Rhino" being a term often used to describe the original Gladiator grille style. In this photo is an original Gladiator grille, a JK grille, and a "selectively scaled" printout of the Retro Rhino design, which is the correct width for the JK, uses the stock Gladiator headlights/trim and "pie plates" (there are a pair of stock ones sitting on the printout), and has a scaled center grille section which is about 76% of the size of the original Gladiator grille.



Due to perspective, the above photo might be a little misleading - there's actually quite a bit of difference in size between the Gladiator front panel and the JK grille, which explains why it needs to be scaled down for the JK:



My plan for starting the Retro Rhino project is to make the scaled center grille first. Once I do that I'll see if I want to keep going and make the other parts. If I start work on it I'll start a thread, but maybe not here because it's really off-topic for this forum - the Retro Rhino has nothing to do with expedition travel.
 
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AgentOrange76

Adventurer
This weekend I also did some detail design work on what may be my next project, which I'm calling the "Retro Rhino Kit for the JK", "Rhino" being a term often used to describe the original Gladiator grille style. In this photo is an original Gladiator grille, a JK grille, and a "selectively scaled" printout of the Retro Rhino design, which is the correct width for the JK, uses the stock Gladiator headlights/trim and "pie plates" (there are a pair of stock ones sitting on the printout), and has a scaled center grille section which is about 76% of the size of the original Gladiator grille.



Due to perspective, the above photo might be a little misleading - there's actually quite a bit of difference in size between the Gladiator front panel and the JK grille, which explains why it needs to be scaled down for the JK:



My plan for starting the Retro Rhino project is to make the scaled center grille first. Once I do that I'll see if I want to keep going and make the other parts. If I start work on it I'll start a thread, but maybe not here because it's really off-topic for this forum - the Retro Rhino has nothing to do with expedition travel.
Its not enough that you had to design the sexiest roof alive for the TJ/LJ......and then make it better......and then do the same thing to the JK.....and then design the coolest ever CJ front end conversion the world has ever seen....and then BUILD all of these things..........and now you're going to take what I've always thought is the coolest ever J-series front ends and put it on a Wrangler.....you my friend are my hero. This is the coolest stuff I've ever seen. Your talent is just mind boggling. This is the stuff of dreams. Everything. :bowdown::bowdown::bowdown:
 

unkamonkey

Explorer
It really is the best grille ever put on a Gladiator/pickup type Jeep. Everybody seems to have pulled them off of anything they can find around here.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
It really is the best grille ever put on a Gladiator/pickup type Jeep. Everybody seems to have pulled them off of anything they can find around here.
I think it'll look good on a JKU with a Safari Cab...



The concept image above is a composite of a JKU photo, the front end of a Jeep J-12 concept vehicle, and a concept drawing of a JKU Safari Cab. My Retro Rhino kit will look a little bt different than the J12 front end though - the Jeep designers did a great job updating and modernizing the Rhino front end and it looks fantastic, but my kit will be more "retro" and truer to the original Gladiator.

Its not enough that you had to design the sexiest roof alive for the TJ/LJ......and then make it better......and then do the same thing to the JK.....and then design the coolest ever CJ front end conversion the world has ever seen....and then BUILD all of these things..........and now you're going to take what I've always thought is the coolest ever J-series front ends and put it on a Wrangler.....you my friend are my hero. This is the coolest stuff I've ever seen. Your talent is just mind boggling. This is the stuff of dreams. Everything. :bowdown::bowdown::bowdown:
Thank you. Glad you like my designs :).
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
I stopped by one of my favorite military surplus places the other day and found a Molle pouch in Coyote that's a nice match for the hardtop color and the spare tire cover I sewed. I hung it on the roll bar.



I've got a similar pouch hanging on the other side, but an appropriate color for its function - first aid.

 
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