The $500 ScienceMobile build

Johnny O

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I would guess it was a Rock Lizard rear bumper with swing away tire carrier. They were awesome but the company no longer exists.
Yeah, that is how it goes for us KJ owners- build it yourself or sacrifice a few chickens to invoke a scrapyard find. Thankfully, I don't need such a set up, but it sure would look cool.
 

Johnny O

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So a while back I lucked out and found a pair of JBA UCAs at a scrapyard in KC on a wrecked 06. They were in pretty bad shape, but better than the OEs Bert came with. Kicking myself now as I likely could have salvaged the green springs and Bilstiens off of it, but didn't know what green springs meant at the time. Once I realized my error, I returned to find someone beat me to them...

I slapped them in for my jerry rigged OE style suspension rather than buying too many "Cheapest of Amazon Parts". Had to have some semblance of suspension for the July trip. My wife learned I was going to order replacement bushings and ball joints, but surprised me with a brand new pair of UCAS. Thankfully I was able to cancel my order. At a later date I'll either buy the stuff to rebuild the old ones, or perhaps send them in for refurbishment.

Great Cthulhu! these things are almost too beautiful to install in Bert the ScienceMobile: Suburban ******, Protector of the Desert, Passive-Aggressive Warden of the Instagram Idiocy Thralls, and Heir to the Throne of Best Camping Vehicle. My wife saw them and said "Those are likely the most beautiful things we have at the house." I cleverly countered with "Not as beautiful as the one who bought them." thus gaining brownie points AND saving money out of my wallet....

The wife keeps sending me pictures of some of yinze builds and ones she's found around the web. I'm guessing she wants me to buy and fix up that 06 libby I'm headed out to inspect today. If it is a find like Bert, it is cheaper to buy that one and repair it than it is to fix her 15 Altima suspension. (Which all said and done needs about 3 grand of work when one includes all the body damage and such it has sustained with her driving it...)
 

lfhoward

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Good luck!! Hope the 06 is salvageable and the right price. Then you’ll have 2 KJ’s in the family!
 

tommudd

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I pass up every 06/07 when looking for more KJs, too much extra stuff on them
02-05s are the best years overall
with seats from a Limited 02-04 being the best
 

tommudd

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Cool! I’ve always wonder what he’s got on the rear. Is that stuff mounted on the swing gate or did he adapt a equipped bumper?
Rock Lizard with dual swing outs
I had one on the 04 just like it until I got stupid one day :rolleyes::rolleyes:
 

Johnny O

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I pass up every 06/07 when looking for more KJs, too much extra stuff on them
02-05s are the best years overall
with seats from a Limited 02-04 being the best
Whoa. You mean there’s less on the earlier ones? Ha ha mine seems pretty basic to my eyes. Lol
 

Johnny O

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So safe to assume that 05 through 08 KJs are the transition years?

That 06 I found looked great and even ran well. I almost bought it but then checked the fluids. Silver out the front diff and brown jello in the oil…

Likely a good project for someone with a garage better equipped than mine.

Then again, I’ll think on it. Who know?
 

lfhoward

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05-07 is the post refresh KJ, with 07 being the transitional year that shares some things with the 08 KK.
 

tommudd

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Rock Lizard with dual swing outs
I had one on the 04 just like it until I got stupid one day :rolleyes::rolleyes:
The Kilimanjaro Edition with the Rock Lizard rear bumper for your viewing pleasure LOL
You must be registered for see images attach
 

Johnny O

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Well shucks.

If you look up the best-laid plans quote, you will see my phot and life story next to the article.

Basically, I am waiting on parts. Good news is I am only waiting on proper bumpstops from terraflex and they should arrive shortly.

I have no choice but to do ball joints this weekend. The mix of worn out JBA uppers and cheap as you can get from amazon lowers are ready to fail at any moment and I finished the lift on the rear yesterday. Fun note: Carlos the Warpug, master of idiocy kept stealing hockey pucks and running off with them. As a result I spent more time laughing at his antics than I did actually doing the project. he is so fat he does not run very well.
 

Johnny O

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Been a while. Put got to put on the JBA decals today. Moog greasers on the bottom. All new bushings everywhere up front, save for the UCAs. Too dang cold here today to get the Terraflex in. Used gravity, the normally inconvenient slope of my driveway, multiple jack stands and jacks to get all the OME in the front. No compressor needed.

After months of misadventures…

Bert is UP.

Well, sort of… didn’t do the LCA bushings as I somehow didn’t order them, and busted the lower strut mounting bolts on that whatcjamacallit that the cv axels go through…gonna be some drilling and retapping involved…

So I have some very temporary, non drivable stuff in just to hold it in all in place…and Bert is parked for a while as a result.

Gonna be too dang cold to do any wrenching for the next 72 hours anyway and apparently it’s already dang near Turkey day.
 

Johnny O

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So scammed the aforementioned 06 Liberty. Have Dubbed it Bert Mark 2. Has a dang spacer lift on it. Had wifey read the threads on here why spacer lifts are bad. She has chosen to put Bilsteins on it 24-282642 on the front (since I already have a pair) and 24-282659 on the rear. She has ordered the same Toyo AT3s that I have on Bert the Science Mobile.

Lead times on ARB stuff are 60 to 90+ days right now...so searching for alternatives for springs for her.

Last two three items on Bert Mark 1 are to get those dang third window doors installed, track down some proper yellow fog lights that aren't stupidly bright, and **** or get off the *** on a front bumper.
 

tommudd

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As far as springs no alternatives really
have you tried ALLJs to see if they have springs
or cough, cough maybe RRO ?
Just buy springs ONLY from them
But be careful , springs coming out of there recently that have no markings on them, no labels nothing
They have tried subbing their own cheap springs before and saying they are OME
 

Johnny O

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As far as springs no alternatives really
have you tried ALLJs to see if they have springs
or cough, cough maybe RRO ?
Just buy springs ONLY from them
But be careful , springs coming out of there recently that have no markings on them, no labels nothing
They have tried subbing their own cheap springs before and saying they are OME
I discovered that a vendor in San Diego I used to deal with, Off Road Warehouse, is able to get me OME springs with about a 2.5 week lead time. Got a pair of rears delivered just today. They even tracked down a pair of n132l for me. Lots of places claimed to have them in stock then sent me a refund.

Shiny new in unopened ARB packages shipped from arb warehouses in the US. Hooray! Totally forgot I order them, thought it was VW parts.
 

Johnny O

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Got Bert Mark 2 roadworthy, put the Nissan up for sale . Wifey burned through a tank of gas trying it out and now truly understands why I have put so much into Bert the S.M. I found some funny Jeep Badge of Honor parodies (Gravel Roads. *** Holes, and the ubiquitous Shopping Mall) I'm going to slap on for her.

Time to focus on finishing up the major projects on Bert. Have had all the stuff to do the third window doors for weeks and just haven't had time to do it. Also scored a surprisingly high quality snorkel from Poland. Total cost $300 including shipping! I have purchased replacements for my broken dash vent diffusers.

On the actual, non-cosmetic fun side, I have had zero luck with the pesky Random Misfire MIL. Dang thing self clears whenever I plug my reader in, so haven't captured real time. History only shows the generic code. When I took it into a shop for troubleshooting, it self-cleared on the way in and they were unable to find anything wrong. As soon as I brought it home, it reappeared. Gonna have to do some targeted easter egging and just start replacing sensors and the like I guess.

I have also resurrected the custom bumper project. Dumped all of my original designs in the trash, added metals to the scrap bin. I really like the bumper on the Liberator concepts. I neither want nor need a winch, but I am using the photos to work with a local weld shop to outfit Bert accordingly. (Getting a good deal through sweat equity- I've troubleshot their Bridgeport and lathe and will repair them once the parts arrive...)
 

Johnny O

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So Bert is pretty much Done. Still parked as my N132Ls have yet to be delivered. Looks silly and not to safe to drive with a new front end and a saggy b.utt… I had ordered the bilstiens to just get by till the ome showed up, but Wifey’s was stacked pretty bad so triage dictated finishing hers as I can walk to work.
Ordered a snorkel from Poland, should be here in a few weeks…hopefully the same week ARB delivers. I’ll slap a prefilter on it and hopefully that will hello deal with the dust sucking.
I’ll do the third window doors eventually…
Did a lift on wifey’s OME springs and bilstiens all around.

Man, I’m beat down. This has been a fun, but long process.
Once these last few things are done I’ll close this out with lots of photos.
 
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