The $500 ScienceMobile build

Johnny O

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So the current ABS issue appears to be a fluke…however, I have a suspicion it’s indicative of a larger problem. I’m thinking I’m stuck in 4hi. Too cold to put it up and see though. Only a short hop to work and back though.
 

Johnny O

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So just about done enough for now. Couple of skid plates to put on and the third window cabinets to build.

Eventually, yeah a version of the Liberator bumper, sliders, and a roof rack to fab, but none of that is critical.

I’m actually a little bored with building to be honest. Looking forward to actually using the beast.
 

Johnny O

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This weekend: moog wheel bearing assemblies, moog ball joints, and tons of preventative maintenance.
 

Johnny O

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Well folks gotten a lot done over the last week. Moog lower bal joints. Skid Row front plate. Power steering flush part 2. Wheel bearing and CV axel inspections. Lots of fresh grease in bushings. Flat floor mark 2 installed for field season. GMRS installed and AM/FM mini folder antenna installed with an amplifier. Tires rotated.
Recovery gear updated.

Having trouble with front brake hanging up at random. ABS system seems to be fixed after finding both the bearing and sensor on passenger side are fine. A missing caliper bolt was the source of the problem this time.

I’m really tired and sore from this last dash to be ready for the first mini test adventure in just 11 days.

Still have third windows cabinets to install along with a couple of bumpers to fab. Probably should get an alignment done too since it hasn’t had one since the lift… ;)

Really need the weather to stabilize.
 

lfhoward

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That sounds like a herculean effort to bring the KJ up to speed! No wonder you are feeling sore. I have a long jeepy-do list for mine too, but no time to deal with it until my spring semester is over.
 

Johnny O

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That sounds like a herculean effort to bring the KJ up to speed! No wonder you are feeling sore. I have a long jeepy-do list for mine too, but no time to deal with it until my spring semester is over.
My hands are shredded and grease stained. Still have a little electrical to do too. cant run the off road lights and the GMRS at the same time. Have to put that radio on its own circuit.
 

klc

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My hands are shredded and grease stained. Still have a little electrical to do too. cant run the off road lights and the GMRS at the same time. Have to put that radio on its own circuit.
Will you need to go all the way back to the battery for that? Or would it make sense to run off your pv system?
 

Johnny O

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Here we are almost a year later, just a few days away from the maiden voyage of the current version of Bert the ScienceMobile.

For Reference, I present an updated build sheet. All links valid as of 19APR2022. Prices can and will vary greatly.

May 2021:

Purchased 2007 Jeep Liberty for 500$

Tags and Plates: 46$

Insurance: 125$ Quarterly

Factory Service Manual

https://colorado4wheel.com/manuals/Jeep/KJ/2006-KJ-SM.pdf

REPAIR: Rear Window Regulators – 20$

https://tinyurl.com/yckkyyde

REPAIR: Whale Tail Window Struts-21$

https://tinyurl.com/w94y6a2p

REPAIR: Propeller Shaft CV rebuild-45$

https://tinyurl.com/bdebfu94

REPAIR: Wheel Studs Rear-3 each- 3$

https://tinyurl.com/3ednh3a2

REPAIR: Wheel Studs Front-5 each- 3.50$

https://tinyurl.com/bx7pxpux

REPAIR: Assorted Trim Clips and Rivets- 15$

https://tinyurl.com/bdhcxt6h

REPAIR: Interior Front Driver Arm Rest

JB Weld – Apoxy Sculpt – Super Glue

UPGRADE: OE Refurbished Steel Wheel w/ Black Powder Coat- 5 each-77$ each

https://tinyurl.com/2p95ehna

UPGRADE: Toyo Open Country A/T III 225/75R16 Tires – 5 each- 99$ each*

https://tinyurl.com/23p36art

*NOTE- Sale Price at the time

UPGRADE: Tire Mounting, Balancing and Road Hazard- 55$

Local Wal-Mart Tire Shop





June 2021:

REPAIR: 6 each Spark Plugs – NGK ZFR6F-11G – Gap to 0.40 2.50$

https://tinyurl.com/4rtd86bx

REPAIR: Coil Over Plug 6 pack- NGK

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

REPAIR: Surface Rust on Doors

Used 3M Scotchbrite wheels and Bondo. Primed all trim black.

MOD: Primed front Grille

Painters Touch 2x Black Primer for Plastics

Painters Touch 2x Apple Red Gloss For Plastics

REPAIR: Parking Brake Linkage Seized

xc_hide_links_from_guests_guests_error_hide_media

MOD: Applied Textured Bedliner to lower half of Body

1st Coat: Herculiner Rattle Can- 4 cans 14$ each

https://tinyurl.com/52rws885

2nd Coat: Herculiner Textured Brush On 1 kit 80$

https://tinyurl.com/yckuw9hd

REPAIR: Recalled Rear lower Control Arms – Free

Local Jeep Dealership

True Story: Passenger side rear LCA collapsed while driving to appointment

MOD: Painted trim Bars to match new color scheme

Painters Touch 2x Apple Red Gloss For Plastics

Rustoleum High Gloss Brush On White Enamel

UPGRADE: Roof Rack Cross Bars -75$

https://tinyurl.com/2frpjnd4

MOD: Sudoca Organizer install on Swing Gate

https://tinyurl.com/yck5x94u

Screws: https://tinyurl.com/322hkan7



REPAIR: Brake Rotors and Pads- Powerstop Kit- 130$

https://tinyurl.com/5yhscjt7

MOD: Slumberjack Road House Tarp w/ Mosquito Net Walls - 171$

https://tinyurl.com/4jpmbe74

MOD: MaxxHaul Roof Rack - 100$

https://tinyurl.com/364pxutv

MOD: KJ specific Cross Bars – 85$

https://tinyurl.com/yckh3h5e

July 2021:

MOD: Built Flat Floor for rear w/seats down- Free

Built from stuff I had on hand from other projects.

REPAIR: Serpentine Belt-Emergency Repair on Return From July Trip- 25$

https://tinyurl.com/4kdum776

August 2021:

REPAIR: engine oil, diff and ****** oil flush and filter, radiator flush

Local Jensen Auto 225$ for all

Rear Upper Control Arm:

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

September 2021:

Purchases for electrical/lighting upgrade

Switches: https://tinyurl.com/33z5j5xb

MOD: Swapped Dash 12v outlet for USB https://tinyurl.com/3pzsd9n2

Waterproof Fuse/Relay Box: https://tinyurl.com/4nastjbc

Flood Lights: https://tinyurl.com/2p8uuvxz

REPAIR: Front Prop Shaft Front CV Boot- 15$

https://tinyurl.com/ye283r5t







October 2021:


MOD: Purchases for Exterior Lighting Suite – Prices Vary

42” OZ Light Bar (Purchased from private owner)

https://tinyurl.com/4ytwufc6

2 each OZ Ditch Light Spots (Purchased from private owner)

https://tinyurl.com/3tn7yrff

Switch: https://tinyurl.com/5bmwbvtj

Terminal Block: https://tinyurl.com/3ark947f

14 gauge Wire: https://tinyurl.com/4eykkz8k

Flex Conduit: https://tinyurl.com/mrxbxfze

Connector Tools: https://tinyurl.com/skhnhfkt

Light Bar Brackets: https://tinyurl.com/29d5bn6z

3M Wire control Kit: https://tinyurl.com/2a387hbu

MOD: Purchased Materials for Third Window Cabinet Conversion:

Latches: https://tinyurl.com/snz22p2r

Seals: https://tinyurl.com/ryccw6sp

Panels: https://tinyurl.com/mvfxjxh7

November 2021:

UPGRADE: 2.5inch Lift Components from OffRoadWarehouse.com

Jeep Liberty KJ ARB Parts List:

https://arbusa.com/site/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/jeepLibertyKJ.pdf

ARB Old Man Emu Coil Springs

Front: #2926 - 207$ https://www.offroadwarehouse.com/product/coil-spring-front-2926

Rear: #2948 - 207$ https://www.offroadwarehouse.com/product/coil-spring-rear-2948

ARB Old Man Emu Shocks

Rear: #N132L 207$ each (115$ each at time of writing)

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

Front: #90009-205$ each from Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/ARB-90009-Nitrocharger-Sport-Strut/dp/B004P9W25S

December 2021:

UPGRADE :Hockey Pucks 4pack:

https://tinyurl.com/3n3he96x

OE Rear Gas Tank Skid From DeadJeep.com

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

January 2022:

MOD: Elephant for Mudmaster.pl Snorkel- 260$ including international shipping

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

REPAIR: ABS Sensor Passenger Front

Went through one of every single brand before I got one that works properly.

Ultimately, it was a Duralast from Advance Auto that did the trick.

REPAIR: Bushings and Power Steering Flush

Front Diff:

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

Steering Rack:

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

February 2022:

UPGRADE: Odyssey Extreme Battery 34/78-PC1500

https://www.offroadwarehouse.com/product/extreme-3478pc1500-odxagm34-78

UPGRADE: Front Lower Ball Joints - Greaseable- Moog #K80767

https://tinyurl.com/4f7m8mk4

UPGRADE: Tie Rod Ends – Greaseable – Moog #ES3536

https://tinyurl.com/54hc5rvr

REPAIR: Powestop Front Brake Calipers

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0741SMW2J?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details

MOD: Air Box/Snorkel Install (note: purchased open box unit on eBay for 89$)

K&N Apollo 2.75” https://tinyurl.com/yry39768

K&N Adapter Kit 2.75” https://tinyurl.com/3vk6pppk

Donaldson Cyclone Pre-Filter https://tinyurl.com/zz2f3e43



March/April 2022:

UPGRADE: Hitch Receiver Cargo Rack (used from Craigslist) 40$

https://www.harborfreight.com/autom...0-lb-capacity-deluxe-cargo-carrier-66983.html

UPGRADE: OE Front Recovery Hooks-45$- used from eBay- Painted Apple Red

MOD: Skid Row Front Skid Plate #JP-4001 226$

https://www.morris4x4center.com/skid-row-offroad-front-skid-plate-black-sr-jp-4000.html

MOD: GMRS install and AM/FM Antenna Upgrade (antenna deleted by Snorkel Install)

Radio:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MUGZ5XC?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details

AM/FM antenna amplifier:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07N8LRTT5?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details

Folding AM/FM antenna:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0022UPMW2?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details

Stainless Steel Antenna Mount for GMRS:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09CTXHS8R?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details

External Speaker for GMRS:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000246VPM?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details

6 meter NMO Antenna Cable:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0842B1WFS?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details

Drill Mount Dashboard Tablet Holder:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BKPC4K8?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details

2nd 12volt Automotive Socket for Rear Cargo Area:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08N9ZJHGN?ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details&th=1

MOD: Beavertail Step and Recovery Hitch:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XZLSFKT?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details

Hitch Receiver Lock:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07M6W71JJ?ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details&th=1

Hitch Receiver Rack Waterproof Cargo Bag*



*NOTE: This item was purchased to store and haul my ARB Skydome Double Swag Tent and Mattress. The ARB bag for this item is overpriced garbage and ALL the stitching FAILED catastrophically while on July 2021 Desert Trip. DO NOT pay the 200$ for the ARB bag if you get a Skydome!
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0776MGX9C?psc=1&ref=ppx_yo2ov_dt_b_product_details
 
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Johnny O

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So a year ago this weekend, I ended up with hypothermia and had to suture a few fingers. I was equipped with cheapo camping gear and in a rental car.

When I returned from that disastrous trip, I swore to buy and outfit a vehicle. It took lots of trial and many errors, but using this forum, It is 11 months later and the outdoor livin’ is easy.

Here’s a tour.

First up was rust busting and coating the entire lower third of the vehicle with roll on textured Herculiner. Any place prone to gravel strikes and brush scrapes got two thick coats.
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Next up, a snorkel and Apollo type washable filter. Off road, on the limestone corn grid, and in the desert I run a Donaldson cyclone type pre filter. (See earlier posts about snorkel s and their use.) I also added a Herculiner path on the hood to eliminate annoying reflections.
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I also installed a full coms suite, and had to install an amplified AM/FM folding antenna due to the snorkel. Added various lights too.
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Of course there’s a full OME 2.5” lift and I’m rolling on 16” powder coated OEM steel wheels with Toyo open Country AT IIIs @ LT225/75/R16. All that gets it’s true test at Tuttle Creek ORV park in Kansas.
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Body armor consists of both Skid Row and OE plates in addition to liberal undercoating and Herculiner where appropriate. I also installed OE recovery hooks and a beavertail type hitch. At time of writing, skid plates are not finished.
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All in all pretty basic lift build. I also use various bits of camping gear, a flat floor and roof rack with rear work lights, but those are discussed elsewhere on these forums.
 

Johnny O

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Johnny O

Proud owner of a nice, cheap set of center caps.
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Will you need to go all the way back to the battery for that? Or would it make sense to run off your pv system?
Off the battery. I have two extra fused hots I can play my into, just lacked the gumption to drill another port in the firewall
 

Johnny O

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Today is Bert’s birthday. A grimy, busted up grocery getter transformed into what the Jeep clubs now refer to as “the Tank”. In just year.

Just six weeks away from the ultimate test of design and endurance. The 2022 Great Desert Road Trip will take us to the most remote locations in CONUS in punishing conditions. High altitude, temperature extremes, “roads” or lack there of. Freeways and mountain passes, box canyons and dry lakes. Stream fording and rocky ledges.
Current itinerary is 4200 miles in 22 days. 9 states. A paleontological treasure map. Guest appearances teaching various sciences. Monsoons and wildfires. Extreme solitude.

Remember, Liberty means Freedom.

Hopefully I’ll finally find some dang Rhynchomesostoma.

When Bert survives this trip, I’m gonna force Tom to authorize a “Designed by Mudd” decal. lol
 

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