How would you outfit this custom LJ?

jscherb

Expedition Leader
#1
What would you do to outfit this LJ as an expedition/overland vehicle? I'm just finishing up building the custom hardtop, and wondering how you guys might outfit it. I do plan side windows, as shown by the paper mockups. Hardtop will also be painted gloss black to match the Jeep body color.







This rear door opens as one-piece "barn door", not a hatch and a tailgate like the factory tops:

 

SWbySWesty

Fauxverland Extraodinaire
#2
Very cool! Are you a tent camper or mattress camper? That would really affect the built right there on if you put a sleeping quarters inside or not.

I've also seen someone do a drop down shelf on the rear door on the inside so they have a small platform to put their stove on. Was pretty creative IMO, just using cable/chain as support.

That's all I have for now.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
#3
Very cool! Are you a tent camper or mattress camper? That would really affect the built right there on if you put a sleeping quarters inside or not.

I've also seen someone do a drop down shelf on the rear door on the inside so they have a small platform to put their stove on. Was pretty creative IMO, just using cable/chain as support.

That's all I have for now.
Being 6' 6", there probably isn't enough room for me to sleep inside unless I removed the passenger seat. :( This hardtop will support a roof top tent, but I'm not too keen on the idea of sleeping on top.

Shelf on the rear door is an interesting idea, I could use the same mounting points I put in the tailgate for the rear door upper...

 

Black Dog

Makin' Beer.
#4
Man, that custom topper is cool. It kind of looks like an old Land Rover and a Jeep mated and this was their offspring.

For outfitting, a small lift of 2-3 inches with appropriately sized tires and maybe a regearing would be my first modifications. Then a full size spare with some sort of way to mount it to the vehicle, a swing out tire carrier would be best but since it looks like a Rover it might be cool to mount it on the hood. A front bumper with a winch and a bag of assorted recovery gear would be next on my list, straps and shackles and a chain and a snatch block and hi lift jack, that sort of stuff. Next I'd figure out a way to carry some jerry cans, one or two cans would be plenty. They are usually best mounted outside the vehicle somewhere so that you don't get fumes in the cab. Finally an air compressor and some air lockers would complete the package. With the winch and an air compressor a dual battery setup and a high output alternator might be a good idea, and especially if you add high intensity lights.

We're going to have to have a build thread on this jeep.
 
#5
I've been following some of your work on the various forums, all top notch.

Outfitting wise I think the 'barn door' is begging for rack system on the inside. Maybe extend the two support bars to the top of the window. flip down table on the bottom (12"-18") then some quick fist's or something similar to hold medium weight items, like shovels, maybe some small ruck sack's for odds and ends.

That's just considering the top. I would also probably do a drawer system and maybe some side rack's on the interior as well. Are you keeping the back seat?
I really like the white top on the rack and think that's the way it should end up. Cut's down on heat obviously as well.

Good Luck, looking forward to how it turns out.
 
#6
I would look into some of the Defender 90 rigs and how they are setup as its similar in a lot of ways and they have some serious experience in long distance overlanding.
 
#8
Wow:drool::drool::drool:

I think following the lines of a traditional exploration LR is a great idea. Skinny tires (235/85 or 255/85) with a small lift, basic bumpers, and mounting a spare on the hood wood be SWEET!

Nice craftsmanship!
 

Root Moose

Expedition Leader
#9
AEV Highline hood/fenders and the largest tires that would fit with that combination (33s? 35?). Re-gear as appropriate. No suspension lift.
 
#10
Wow:drool::drool::drool:

I think following the lines of a traditional exploration LR is a great idea. Skinny tires (235/85 or 255/85) with a small lift, basic bumpers, and mounting a spare on the hood wood be SWEET!

Nice craftsmanship!
Yep the closer to stock in all mechanical parts you can keep it the better.
Remember he's building an overland vehicle not a rock crawler, very different setups.
 
#11
I would do the following:

• Snorkel
• Warn Winch
• ARB front bumper
• Engine/oil skid plate

and thats it! This is a beautiful LJ with THE best looking top, what more do you need?
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
#12
Any opinions on rooftop racks? I've got an XJ Cherokee rack installed on it now, and the hardtop design includes roll-bar tie-ins for the roof rack, so weight isn't an issue.



 

jeepdreamer

Expedition Leader
#13
Funny meeting you here...again.

Hey JS!
Well....I think you need to provide more info for the masses in order for us to offer a more direct line of opinions. Mainly, what are the intended uses of this as a Expo...US/Mexico/Canada regions of mostly road/fire road/light trails? Or something a bit more, say, Camel Trophy-ish?
Is this for your personal use as an Expo rig or is the wife (HI! waving to her as she sits on the porch in the picture...heehee) and maybe others coming along for the adventure? I'd offer that at your height that sleeping in the LJ is not an option....let alone trying for two adults! On the roof is, really, a next best option. If your worried about sway, windy or stormy conditions...well, some leveling jacks can cure much of that. But that at least keeps it all inclusive. The only other real options are...2?
-Toss a tent in the back and set it up/take it down each time or
-Build a drag-a-long, tent carrying trailer.
There is a 3rd psuedo option that I don't see much on but has some warrant depending on season/weather. Buy a tent cot. I have one and it serves me well for shorter, weekend treks to the woods. Sets up fast and is pretty nice to sleep in. Just not much in the way of extras.
But while running the risk of having my Jeep membership revoked and stones of various sizes and shapes hurled at my noggin'...I like the idea offered of incorperating the LR Defender ideas...Well, most of them. In my defence I offer that LR started life by using a jeep as their beginings...ahem.
But these are well, WELL documented and extremely traveled rigs. They have seen (and usually concoured) almost every surface on the planet. So taking some cues from them is hardly a bad idea.
One thing you may be forced into is that which I know you really don't want to do. An external roll cage. Room inside our Jeeps is already at a premium. And after so much love, sewat, and fiberglass shard derrived tears poured into your beautiful top...I'd hate to see it mashed against a rock! And the Exocage can serve to solve several important duties.
Saftey first and foremost. One never knows when a roll will happen. And should it in an unprepared rig..well, that can quickly turn a little bodywork and bruised ego accident into an emergency situation...
It also offers you a pletheora of places to add...well, lotsa stuff! From additional lights (360 degrees of lighting is nice!) to secure (remember the saftey note!?!) attachments for stuff like recovery jacks, sand ladders, extra fuel, spare parts...you know. All the stuff you really may or may not need but is a darn good idea to have when exploring. That frees up the secure, inside space for commonly used or valuable items that need to be kept from the elements or are needed regularly. Stuff like a fridge/freezer...extra clothes, commonly used camp items..etc...
Ok, enough rambling on my part...I'm going back to bench building my own Expo-8 Scrambler...until I get home and the real build starts!
Cheers!
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
#14
Hey JS!
Well....I think you need to provide more info for the masses in order for us to offer a more direct line of opinions. Mainly, what are the intended uses of this as a Expo...US/Mexico/Canada regions of mostly road/fire road/light trails? Or something a bit more, say, Camel Trophy-ish?
I meant it as a very open-ended question - I am curious about how people might build an expedition LJ, especially if they had a hardtop like this that can carry serious weight (unlike the factory hardtop) and has a little more room inside.

Now that the long hardtop design, moldmaking and assembly project is nearing completion, I'm thinking about how I'm going to finish it off, and I'm just wondering what people would do...

I know I'm going to paint it gloss black to match the body and I know I'm going to put in seven windows (two on each side and three across the back, as shown in the paper mockups). I know I'm doing an overhead console in the front, and a cloth headliner throughout. I'll do some extra interior lighting as well. The roof rack will be tied into the roll cage so it can carry serious weight.

Beyond that I'm open for ideas...

PS: No exocage, you're right, I don't like them, even though I can't argue with your logic for them :).
 
#15
If it were me, I'd make sure those rear windows could be popped open for some ventilation, minivan style, heck maybe even use the windows from a Dakota or Ram Club cab?