How would you outfit this custom LJ?

You're killin me smalls......

Man I need one so bad. It's beautiful. Plus it would give me an excuse to swap in some low back matching color bucket seats in.....love it with the Commando front clip too.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
A few years ago some very realistic photos of a nicely customized Tamiya YJ model showed up on the web. Here's one:



It seemed like an easy customization to make to the Safari Cab - all that would be required is a new roof panel and all the other Safari Cab panels could remain stock. I drew this concept back then:



A few weeks ago someone on another forum posted a photo of the YJ model and said he wanted to build one like it for his TJ, so I suggested the easiest way to do that would be to get a set of Safari Cab side panels, end panel and door surrounds and build a new roof for it.

I'm intrigued by the idea, so I took ten minutes and made a new roof panel out of a block of pine to go on the Safari Cab model I made why back at the begining of the Safari Cab project. The model is about 8 years old now so it's a little worse for wear, but I think these photos give a pretty good idea of how that type of roof would look on top of the Safari Cab side panels...





A new roof panel could be made from plywood, and it could be made to pop-up to turn the Jeep into a camper. Wouldn't be hard to sew canvas sides for the pop-up roof like the ones I made for my Jeep-tub trailer:

 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
A few concepts...





The first one is based on the Gr8Tops LJ below, just with a different roof panel and some overlanding outfitting...

 
Call me crazy and impractical, but I would like to see a kit to transform your basic TJ into an overlanding/camping rig that looks similar to that Tamiya YJ model.

A top option that would be windowless, pop up URSA Minor type top and also extends out the rear affording more and practical storage in similar fashion to the Gazelle camper top that is produced for the JK, but hopefully more robust. I'm sure there would be suspension requirements, spare tire support and frame add on's that would be required so it certainly would not be inexpensive.

There are more used TJ's out there then the TJ Unlimited aka "LJ" and a kit of this sort would make more sense to make it fianacially viable for the aftermarket.

There could also be two versions, one for the TJ and another for the TJ Unlimited.

But if it is to be viable in todays market, it may make more sense to offer a version for the JK and/or JL 2 door and 4 door models and is TJ owners will be left where we started, lol.

Perhaps one for all the Jeep models...



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jscherb

Expedition Leader
Call me crazy and impractical, but I would like to see a kit to transform your basic TJ into an overlanding/camping rig that looks similar to that Tamiya YJ model.

A top option that would be windowless, pop up URSA Minor type top and also extends out the rear affording more and practical storage in similar fashion to the Gazelle camper top that is produced for the JK, but hopefully more robust. I'm sure there would be suspension requirements, spare tire support and frame add on's that would be required so it certainly would not be inexpensive.

There are more used TJ's out there then the TJ Unlimited aka "LJ" and a kit of this sort would make more sense to make it fianacially viable for the aftermarket.

There could also be two versions, one for the TJ and another for the TJ Unlimited.

But if it is to be viable in todays market, it may make more sense to offer a version for the JK and/or JL 2 door and 4 door models and is TJ owners will be left where we started, lol.

Perhaps one for all the Jeep models...
I drew the concept on an LJ because that's what I happen to have, but the same idea could be done on the TJ. Since the Safari Cab hardtops are in production, it would be relatively easy to build a camper like that using parts that already exist, only a new roof would have to be built. A camper like that is unlikely to make it into production, but it could be a DIY project using TJ or LJ Safari Cab parts. Or, if some company wanted to offer a TJ or LJ camper kit, they could probably make a deal with Gr8Tops to buy the necessary Safari Cab parts and they could manufacture the pop-up camper roof panel to go with them.

A similar thing could be done with the modular JKU/JK Safari Cab, but the only molds that exist are in my basement and they're not going into production. A simulation with the JKU Safari Cab roof propped up with a 2x4...

 
Since my post was #666 it will never happen.

But I do like what you have come up with. This would almost have to be a project for a company like Gr8tops, Ursaminor or Gazelle since they already have a vested interest and the capability. However, I'm not so sure the market is strong enough to turn a profit for them to make it worthwhile.

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jscherb

Expedition Leader
Loved this top since I first saw it. Looks even better in person.
Thank you!

Yours looks great.

I've been using a Garvin rack on mine too, although mine is about 2" higher than yours because I mount it to the Cherokee rack rails. I use the rack on my JKU as well and it also has a Cherokee rack so it's easy to swap the rack between the two Jeeps.



 
Thanks, now if I can just talk you into a CJ grill conversion kit........ I need to make a faring for my rack as it creates a bit of wind noise above 60 mph, but since I don't drive that fast all that often I have some time on that.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Thanks, now if I can just talk you into a CJ grill conversion kit........
Back when I first made the CJ Grille Kit I decided that there wouldn't be enough interest in it to make it worthwhile to turn into a commercial product, so I never pursued it. I've kept all the molds, so if there ever is a reason to make more I can but I don't ever see it becoming a commercial product.

I need to make a faring for my rack as it creates a bit of wind noise above 60 mph, but since I don't drive that fast all that often I have some time on that.
Mine doesn't make objectionable noises, I wonder if the larger distance from the roof to the rack on mine makes a difference? There is some wind noise, but definitely not objectionable. Maybe the headliner inside my roof panel makes it quieter inside?
 
It's probably a combination of the headliner and the distance. Mine is very close to the roof and the wind drums the top and howls around the bars. I plan on adding a 1/4 inch piece of plywood sealed with CPES and coated with deck epoxy to use as a photography platform. I'm hoping that will help cut some of the noise and if not then I will make a fairing out of sheet metal.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
A feature I've seen on a quite a few Mahindra jeeps as I've traveled around India for the past few weeks is the ability to open the windshield. This example is a Mahindra Major, there are thousands of these CJ3b variants in taxi service in Rajasthan:



This next one is a Mahindra Thar, which is a CJ-7 derivative. The glass has an aluminum channel frame and you can see the bolts for the hardware - the bolts on top are for the hinges, the ones on the sides are for the supports to hold the window open, and the ones on the bottom are for the latches.



This is an inside view of the same Thar showing the hardware:



It shouldn't be too hard to build one of these - I wouldn't think the aluminum channel would be hard to find, the only hard part would be finding a place with dies for bending the channel. Attaching the hardware would be easy - the bolts actually go through the aluminum and the glass, but since the windshield is laminated safety glass, it is drillable.

I've got two extra windshields here, this one I used for the mockups for my CJ Grille Kit project so if I can find the right aluminum channel and a place with the dies to bend it I think I may build one of these.