The $500 ScienceMobile build

tommudd

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another picture for you to look at and get the thoughts process going for a custom front bumper
I had this one from Rock Lizard after I sold the ARB
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tommudd

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The ARB on mine and a Sundance on my buddys ( only a very few were made 4-5 ) and people had to wait over a year after paying full amount up front
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Johnny O

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The ARB on mine and a Sundance on my buddys ( only a very few were made 4-5 ) and people had to wait over a year after paying full amount up front
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Thanks! I’ve been saving cardboard up to restart the pre fab process. My original aluminum design proved to difficult to weld for me and others- I over engineered it.

Curious- where do these mount up at? In the channels behind the bump caps? On the recovery points? On the bumper reinforcement? Combination of the previous?
 

Johnny O

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I really dig the Liberator fab. Looks to me like an existing stubby got some wings, a bash plate and some Liberty plastic style tube work.

For the life of me I can’t find any details on it.
Looks like they used the same on on both the CRD and Gasser from few photos around the web.

I really dig that Sundance too

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tommudd

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I really dig the Liberator fab. Looks to me like an existing stubby got some wings, a bash plate and some Liberty plastic style tube work.

For the life of me I can’t find any details on it.
Looks like they used the same on on both the CRD and Gasser from few photos around the web.

I really dig that Sundance too

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Just one on the Liberator
I made a cardboard pattern of that bumper at one point when I was parked next to it at the Jeep plant car show ( in Toledo of course )
Got some looks but then some of the guys that built the KJs loved how I actually built what they wanted the KJ to look like so they didn't say much LOL
 
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tommudd

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Thanks! I’ve been saving cardboard up to restart the pre fab process. My original aluminum design proved to difficult to weld for me and others- I over engineered it.

Curious- where do these mount up at? In the channels behind the bump caps? On the recovery points? On the bumper reinforcement? Combination of the previous?
Well , the mounting of the ARB is the best and strongest
You have three bolts that bolt into a plate after you remove the ashtrays and slide back in
PLUS it has a plate that runs clear across the front that bolts into the front cross member and bumper bolts on that
for the RL basically same into the ends of the frame rails and then a couple of other bolts on each end but not as strong as the ARB
The sundance was a horrible design as far as mounting goes and had to actually cut up one of my wrenches to even get into the bolts to mount it
 

Johnny O

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Ya know, I told myself it was something I’d never do, but what the heck- gonna build an off road vehicle? Might as well go all in:

This is a nearly exact copy of the Safari Snorkel for half the price, even when shipped internationally.
 
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tommudd

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Do they send a pattern to know where to cut ?
Safari does which made it nice , but was still nervous cutting that hole in someone elses ride LOL
 

Johnny O

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Yep. Nice die cut cardstock template. All stainless steel hardware. Shockingly heavy SS pillar bracket. Oddly no actual instructions nor does it include a blank-out for the OE air box intake. The template basically says line it up here and b.low a few holes then bolt in place.

Best I can tell from the Safari install pdf, The Elephant kit is actually a bit simpler to install. Only 5 8.5mm holes to drill and one 80mm hole to b.low through to the air box.

Big difference is air box adapter. The template is also a neoprene foam seal. I’ll have to pull my box and see what they have planned. The cast aluminum adapter looks as is it has a very specific spot that meets up on the plastic and a few bolts to install.

Definitely a measure twice cut once project. I have to dig in the Polish web a bit more to see if I can find more details.

Even if I have to get creative, far less expensive than the ARB. I enjoy a bit of engineering on the fly.
 

Johnny O

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Everything on hold for a while as the temperatures have plummeted to the point I found Woolly Mammoth tracks in the backyard this morning...
Have a ton of stuff to do in the lab as my research has been piling up and undergraduates are morons...

But, it is good to take a breather. Since it is now January, it is time to plan expeditions and file for grants. I am also sponsoring a Venture Scouting crew at my University so both the local kids and my students can participate.

Restocked my Field Trauma kit last night. Adjusted the contents of my towing and recovery kit to reflect the lift too. Ordered replacements for stuff that wore out over the last six months like tire plugs and glow sticks. Bought bulk fender rivets and the special tool that makes installing the easier.

Really excited to install the third window doors and the snorkel- had to order an 80mm hole saw. Also ordered a proper cyclone pre-filter for the snorkel.

While I am at it, I will add a tirade about snorkels.
I spent the last few months doing a ton of research on intake dust control systems as Bert clogged up five, yes FIVE stock style filters in 90 days. Yep, you read that right. Five Fram extra guard filters at 20$ a pop. I don't even want to think about the wasted fuel. I called and wrote to numerous vendors and manufactuers about dust control applications. I vetted everything from mild to wildly expensive. Ultimately by my math, the Elephant by Mudmasters.pl I procured for 200$ total, will pay for itself quickly as long as I keep up on my strict preventative maintenance schedule. And, it will look frakkin' cool too... :wink: Take that ARB and your wildly overpriced snorkel kit! Lowest price I could find for a KJ Safari Snorkel kit was 400USD not including shipping and with all things ARB right now, lead times were unacceptable for the price plus shipping cost. Hence the hours plowing through Brazil, Czechia and Poland via the web- the three areas that still produce KJ stuff other than our brethren Down Under.

A snorkel does not increase your fording depth. That is determined by things like tire size and lift. Anyone that tells you otherwise is an idiot. Fact.
On a stock KJ fording depth is about 600mm (20in) at 10mph according to the owners manual. The popular Old Man Emu based lift only adds an inch or two to that.

The actual purpose of a snorkel is cool air and particulate control. It gets your air intake up near the roof and when properly installed, reduces dust and such in your air system. Period. Sure it looks cool too and most folks that install them are after looks, not function. The cool air/increased horsepower/fuel savings claims are mystery math marketing gibberish. I'll let you research that on your own. And folks, just a reminder- Social Media and Wikipedia reading is NOT research.

My next statement is controversial, but before you berate me, hear me out.

A K&N Apollo air box system is what should be installed with the snorkel if you are using it for what it was designed for. If you going mall rated or instagram-ready, stick with the stock airbox. In most consumer applications K&N 50k mile filters really are junk if you go with the most commonly sold unit. They were actually designed for occasional driving applications like race cars and non-street legal off road vehicles.

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This set up is a bad idea. This sort of system is not really designed for daily driving. This filter will let all sorts of particulates into your engine as many of the gurus here have stated, even when properly used with the filter oil and regular washing. And trust me, I bet most folks that use these things never oil them or wash them properly if at all...Also the cold air intake will not work with a snorkel.

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This is the Apollo and its close relative the Volant (not a jeep application pictured). These are also known as closed box air intakes. As you can see, the filter is housed in a shroud and when you buy the right size, connects directly between your snorkel and the top end of your 3.7. In my application the outlet of the snorkel is 80mm (3.15in) and reduces down to the 76.2mm (3in) diameter Apollo and direct into the top end. However if this system is used alone, it is no better than the previous intake, even when properly oiled! It is also a bit of a pain in the buttocks to maintain. (I will replace the socket hear screws with thumb screws right out of the box.) Personally, I prefer the Donaldson Power Core in a Volant box due to my use of them in Baja Bugs, however, I got lazy and cheap, relatively speaking, and chose the easier to install and adapt to my snorkel Apollo.

To properly use the Apollo with a snorkel, one must have the inlet pre-filtered.
The basic pre filter is just a sock, or as the folks that were trying to drive around in 1980 when Mount Saint Helens b.lew, pan.ty hose. You need to use something like this and remember to clean it regularly:
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A sock like this obviously reduces particulates and bugs and even water without reducing intake too much. Again I stress this has to be cleaned regularly. Here in the Omaha metro, we always have a ton of dust in the air year round. I spend tons of time in the deserts of the western US and even more time in the Nebraska Sandhills.
There are a few other prefilter options, but the reduce airflow far too much and are heck to clean:
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Also, these are of questionable filtration power...

While I will use a sock for daily driving, any time I am headed into what I call severe dust country (Millard County Utah, any of the limestone graveled roads on the agricultural grid, etc.) I will use the proper pre filter for the application:
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This is the Donaldson Cyclone Pre Filter. I'm a bit old school, but Donaldson basically wrote the book on pre filters. They have a wide range of them for a wide range of applications. Call me superstitious, but I'm afraid to use other brands and knock-offs. Gran Daddy swore by Donaldson on his farm equipment and much of it is still in service with other family members so Imma trust his advice. These are also known as Sand Cups, Top Hats, Cyclones and C.rap Tr.aps.

Pictured next are properly outfitted off road snorkel applications for dusty conditions:
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And here is a sock application:
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Whew. Guess I shouldn't post after a po.t of coffee and a few double shots of espresso. (laughter)
 

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Johnny O

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Just dumping this here for reference later.

This is a mostly complete list of everything I've put on Bert the ScienceMobile

Coil on Plug Set

https://www.sixityauto.com/6-pcs-ng...002-2008-jeep-liberty-3-7l-v6-2025002959.html

120$



Custom “Liberator” hood decals

https://therebeldecal.com/collections/jeep-collection/products/custom-jeep-name-decal

28.99



Hood Vents:

https://tinyurl.com/2p8823kn

94.99



Front Skid Plate:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/115001182131

112.49



Differential bushings-

https://creative-steel.com/shop/jee...-kj-polyurethane-front-differential-bushings/



Steering bushings-

https://creative-steel.com/shop/jee...berty-kj-polyurethane-steering-rack-bushings/



Rear Shocks:

ARB Old Man Emu #N132L ON BACKORDER due 15JAN2022

https://www.offroadwarehouse.com/product/nitrocharger-shockabsorber-n132l



Donaldson Pre-filter-

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B015YR82TE/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=A1KH4201OSD1MT&psc=1

35.74



K&N Adapter Kit-

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B000E5XQRK/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1

19.46







K&N Apollo Filter Box System-

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B000TGNIWM/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1

175.99



OE Gas Tank Skid Plate-

https://deadjeep.com/products/02-07-liberty-kj-gas-tank-skid-plate

129.99



Rear Upper Control Arm:

https://www.ironrockoffroad.com/product/kj-adjustable-rear-a-arm.html

434.99


Elephant for Mudmasters Poland Snorkel:

http://mudmaster.pl/pl/sklep/582-snorkel-jeep-kj-cherokee-liberty-wlot-powietrza-.html

via ebay 250$



Front Springs:

ARB Old Man Emu #2926



Rear Springs:

ARB Old Man Emu #2948

Order From Off Road Warehouse- $394.00 Can Payin4 for $98.50

https://www.offroadwarehouse.com/secure/cart



Front Struts:

Bilstein 282659

https://www.ebay.com/itm/284015246570

290.72



Rear Bump Stops:

Lower: 4 each Hockey pucks from Amazon

Upper: 2 each from Amazon or reuse OE



Front Bump Stops:

Upper:eBay red poly

https://www.ebay.com/itm/143119351905



Front UCAs: Can Pay in 4

https://jbaoffroad.com/jeep/liberty-2002-2007-kj.html




Front suspension rebuild kit:

https://www.1aauto.com/2006-07-jeep...-suspension-kit-trq/i/1asfk03843/1082458/2007

94.95



Toyo AT3 225/75416 set of 5


https://www.walmart.com/ip/Toyo-Open-Country-A-T-III-225-75R16-104S-AT-All-Terrain-Tire/505699894

got on special for 625.00



Spark Plugs

https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/...rk-plug/ngk6/6987?q=NGK+brand+ZFR6F-11G&pos=0



Herculiner 1 Gallon Kit

https://tinyurl.com/yckuw9hd



Swing Gate Window Struts


https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B079JWLXHB/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1



Window Regualtor Repair Kit

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ANQ5BF0/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1



Brakes all 4 Wheels

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AN5UH6E/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1



Swing Gate Organizer




OEM Refurbished wheels in Black Powder Coat

https://www.walmart.com/ip/2002-2007-Jeep-Liberty-16-OEM-Wheel-09040U45/612628376

100$ each full set for 450$



Roof Rack

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B073G49NPV/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1



CrossBars

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PTQHM56/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1



Tire Cover

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B0039H673U/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&th=1



Fuel Cans

https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/B07N2JCGZ6/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1



Recovery Kit
Harbour Frieght
55$ total

Trauma/First Aid Kit and related Equpment
500$ from multiple sources

Assorted Exterior Lighting and related equipment
350$ from multiple sources

 

Johnny O

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So got a break in the below freezing temps today. Couldn’t wait any longer so started the initial installation of the snorkel. Fairly straight forward compared to the ARB Safari. I measured twice and cut once. I will say the template leaves much to be desired. I ended up being a few millimeters aft of the perfect location on the fender quarter panel, but expected as much to happen. I’ll do a bit of sawing and be all squared away.

However all went well and it’s on for now. I’ll finish the air box replacement and such in the future.

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Johnny O

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Just got some great news, my n132L shocks get delivered on Friday. The light at the end of the tunnel!
 

lfhoward

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Snorkel looks like it belongs there! Here’s to a dust-free future and another 100+K miles on your 3.7! ;)
 

Johnny O

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Snorkel looks like it belongs there! Here’s to a dust-free future and another 100+K miles on your 3.7! ;)
Had to get the dang thing off the workbench! Gotta put both speed sensors in tomorrow if I can scan out of the labs again. Got two days of nice weather followed by a possible ice storm Friday. No matter the weather the shocks are going in, paranoid not having the extended travels in there yet.
 

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My classes start next week. Hopefully I can find a day with warmish temperatures (not in the 20’s!!!) this week where I can do an oil change, tire rotation, and **** the ball joints. The gas tank skid is not here yet so not worried about that yet.
 

Johnny O

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My classes start next week. Hopefully I can find a day with warmish temperatures (not in the 20’s!!!) this week where I can do an oil change, tire rotation, and **** the ball joints. The gas tank skid is not here yet so not worried about that yet.
I just started both a professional cert program and semester 3 of a grad degree. Got three days in the 50s and did the mad dash to get repairs and preventatives out of the way...
And of course, I frakked it all up.

So, Got the lift in a while back but haven't been driving Bert as I progressively cheated a little. Deal was my OME shocks from ARB got delayed for a really, really long time. The TRQ suspension I put in July was basically scrap. Sure, had around only 4k miles on it, but most of that was in a two week period and I was deliberately brutal. Still the most fun one can have with a few hundred dollars of stock style suspension. Anyway, with the brutal cold coming I made a judgment call and went ahead and did the front lift. Crammed those OME springs and shocks in with new bushings, etc. Got the JBA UCAs in. Destroyed a pair of moog LBJs with a press. Ended up destroying both speed sensors too. All due to my lack of experience. Remember VW Type 1s are very different and I live very close to my place of employment, so leaving it parked is a non issue and takes away the stress of rushing on a daily driver.

This isn't to say I didn't drive it here and there. Short hops to work and around the neighborhood were both fun and fine, even though Bert was high in the front and sagged in the rear. the few folks that asked wondered why I did a dakar/baja lift in Nebraska.

Got in the replacement speed sensors. Got some time and slapped them in. Lights didn't clear. Then they did. Then they came back. Then the ABS system started seriously misbehaving...and this is how I learned both front brakes were dragging.
Plus side is the sensors are good and doing their job. (And I learned a TON about ABS systems, something I had never worked with before.) I did have a small fragment of steel on the driver side sensor. It was from removing the old ones and was blocking the hall effect.

Minus side is now I had to troubleshoot the one automotive system I HATE working on myself: brakes.

Literally have a storm on the way in, so I was out in the driveway under the work lights in my cold weather gear going over each and every component. Everything checked out. No leaks, no bubbles, no crimps. Rotors and calipers are exactly as they should be. Yet both front calipers aren't releasing properly.
Sure, seems extreme, but this is vendetta. I was a troubleshooter in my old career and a little cold and darkness never stopped me before. ( and I really wanted to be able to drive this project regularly.)

Nothing. Nada. Zip. Yet, hop on the road and the front is dragging on both sides, now bad enough to cause the ABS to trigger and basically bring the jeep to a stop at random. (Safety note: I live in the suburbs and was never more than a few blocks from home and never going more than 25mph...being super careful and observant. Remember this was troubleshooting, not grocery getting)
Still couldn't figure it out.

Around 3am last night I gave up and went to bed.

At 4am I woke up suddenly and sat bolt upright.
The word "overlap" popped out of my mouth.
Shuffled out to make coffee mumbling "overlap".

Then it hit me.
Dumb. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

Suited back up and headed down to the driveway.

Pulled both front wheels. Still mumbling "overlap" for some reason.
Saw it as soon as I dropped the passenger wheel. Verified it on the driver too.

After the lift, when I put the front end back together, I ran the brake lines OVER the upper hub at the UCA ball joint, NOT under as they should have been. End result the tires were rubbing directly on the brake lines. They weren't ground through or anything, but, I suspect this friction caused the linings to gunk up and restrict the brake lines, thus causing constriction. The longer I troubleshot, the more time they had to slowly bleed through and release, thus hiding the issue. I hadn't been driving much, so hadn't noticed the brake drag. Once I replaced the broken sensors, the ABS started functioning normally and interpreted the brake drag as the same warning lights for bad sensors, though interestingly, the brake light went out and stayed out after they were replaced.

Needless to say, I have made a hard decision. I'm ignoring my pride and taking it to a shop to have the brakes and ABS system done by a pro. Sometimes you just have to swallow it and let a pro handle things in the interest of safety.
 

tommudd

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I have others brought in to me with same issues, someone installed ( a UGGGHHH spacer lift ) and ran brake lines around wrong way.
One was a local 4WD shop , razzed them for years. They even stopped doing KJ lifts and sent them to me since KJs were too hard to do they said LOL
 

tommudd

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OH and be careful where you install those hood vents
Buddy installed some that size on his 03 , and had to cover the motor every time it rained due to shorting out the coils/spark plugs
Yes he replaced the coils with Mopar ones after a while and still had issues
Mounted them right above the plugs on both sides
I always use Pontiac GTP hood louvers and they work great, even have a spare set laying in the shop for the 03, just waiting LOL
Those vents work great on a straight 6 though
 

Johnny O

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OH and be careful where you install those hood vents
Buddy installed some that size on his 03 , and had to cover the motor every time it rained due to shorting out the coils/spark plugs
Yes he replaced the coils with Mopar ones after a while and still had issues
Mounted them right above the plugs on both sides
I always use Pontiac GTP hood louvers and they work great, even have a spare set laying in the shop for the 03, just waiting LOL
Those vents work great on a straight 6 though
Yeah! I have drip trays for the vents. (Haven't ordered them yet may change my mind again and again...LOL) Air will get through, water goes away from the top end in theory.

I've been searching for those GTP louvers since you mentioned them to me a few months back. I'll be danged if I can find any real ones. Fond tones of tape on just for looks though! LOL
 
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