The $500 ScienceMobile build

profdlp

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Got all the body work finished and primed, so will get the remainder of the bed liner sprayed and get the door bump guards reinstalled. I painted them the same red as the grille and then hand enameled the "liberty" in the same white as the rest of the body. Should look pretty sharp against the black bedliner.
I think we are going to want some pictures of that when you get a chance. :)
 

Johnny O

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I think we are going to want some pictures of that when you get a chance. :)
Oh, I will!

I have been taking before and after shots through the whole process…I can tell you the sketch up renders are 99% accurate thus far… I just want to wait and do a full reveal!
 

Johnny O

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Ran out of daylight…but sooooon….
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Johnny O

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Soooo…

Guess what collapsed on the way to the dealership to get the recall replacement on the rLCAs?
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Johnny O

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Whew!
I’m at that point where it’s “done enough” for my annual solo trip to the literal middle of nowhere…and yet each issue I correct exposes more issues…

No big deal- I’m used to it as a dummy that used a 50+ year old deathtrap as a daily driver in Nebraska.

Still got issues, but thanks to the gang here, I’m hot on the troubleshooting.

Im pretty confident this 500$ junker is going to earn a “Desert Rated” badge next month…
And I’m totally gonna steal it off a Mojave Rated mall crawler at a gas station near Escalante Grand Staircase…

I haven’t mentioned it here, but I secured both biological and fossil permits for the Big 5 this year.

no joke, Bert is being built for this trip, everything else is gravy and still a few grand cheaper than a rental.

I’m only doing EGS and Great Basin. The other three are lousy with hipsters and RVs and apparently it is frowned upon to eat what you shoot there…
:rolleyes:
 

Johnny O

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Just blew more money than I am willing to admit to update my EMT kit and update my Canyon SAR gear. Truth, spent more on that than I have on Bert. Good news is I’ll get reimbursed for half of it…because undergraduates are the lowest form of life on earth and my Uni recognizes that even though I hate people, it’s good PR when I bail out some idiot in the middle of nowhere…:p

However, this is gonna be the year my vacation isn’t ruined by some Instagramer that’s dead or needs helo’d out. That crap really cramps my style.
 

Johnny O

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Say down for coffee and some reading of the manuals waiting for the rain to pass…

My co-pilot Carlos Warpug decided it is too early to get any work don for now…
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Johnny O

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Getting some work done. Roof rails will hopefully be delivered anytime now..
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Johnny O

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Welp, been a solid day for body work cosmetics.
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duderz7

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Definitely doesn't look like any other kj! A little flashy for my taste, but looks like you did a great job.
 

Johnny O

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Definitely doesn't look like any other kj! A little flashy for my taste, but looks like you did a great job.
Makes it easier to find my dedicated carcass in the desert!:p
 

Johnny O

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Waiting on the dang crossbars to be delivered…still…I hate to even mount a roof rack, but gonna need it.

Trying to figure out how/where to mount four Jerry cans. I’ve got a stretch of July’s field expedition on the Kaiparowitz Plateau I’m gonna need ‘em. Was gonna use a tail hitch shelf for them, but it’s a real pain and if you need to access the rear.

In my Baja Bugs Id just strap them where the back seat was supposed to be.

Roof rack mount isn’t an option for fuel in my mind. It’s gonna be HOT and I don’t need fuel spilling in the sun roof…

Im thinking spare on the rack and buying or fabbing a mount for the swing gate…but it is limited to 50lbs…and the math don’t jive.

Suggestions?
 

Johnny O

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Finally out of the dang labs. Bert is up on the rack and the front lift is in progress.
I’m confident I’ve learned enough in the last month to do this right.

min the interest of my paranoia, I scheduled a flatbed to haul her over for an alignment when I’m done NUBing it up.

Front is fairly straight forward, though I’m worried about the UCAs. They are JBAs, but we’re salvage off a Libby I found in the scrapyard in Lincoln.

Rear scares the pants off of me, but I’m fairly certain I have all the right parts.

Dopped off the powder coat black OE refurbished steels at my tire shop to have the Toyos mounted. Sure, shoulda let got Falkens, but bonus was only 14% this year and I’m determined to stay under my planned budget of 2500.

Can’t find center caps for a reasonable price. I’m not paying 70$ for Frakkin plastic…so borrowed one and scanned it. Having an artist friend cast them in aluminum for 50$ and a case of beer.

Pulled the silly trail rated badge off today. Going to use it to cast a custom “Fail Rated” badge. Sure, KJ is capable, but @tommudd is right- if I wanted mushy Chevy Suburban suspension, I would’ve made the mistake of buying a dang GM.
well, that and I’ve numbed up some pretty good fails since May…
 

tommudd

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Rear is super simple, most people I have found make the front harder than it has to be
I have gotten some strange phone calls over the years from folks
no need to flatbed to haul it for alignment unless its 100 miles away
We ran all that I did down to the shop

in the rear toss the sway bar it does nothing at all and the balls can go as well
I counted about a month ago, have 38 sway bars, and 42 or 43 of the balls in the junk pile ;) :D:eek:
 

tommudd

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Waiting on the dang crossbars to be delivered…still…I hate to even mount a roof rack, but gonna need it.

Trying to figure out how/where to mount four Jerry cans. I’ve got a stretch of July’s field expedition on the Kaiparowitz Plateau I’m gonna need ‘em. Was gonna use a tail hitch shelf for them, but it’s a real pain and if you need to access the rear.

In my Baja Bugs Id just strap them where the back seat was supposed to be.

Roof rack mount isn’t an option for fuel in my mind. It’s gonna be HOT and I don’t need fuel spilling in the sun roof…

Im thinking spare on the rack and buying or fabbing a mount for the swing gate…but it is limited to 50lbs…and the math don’t jive.

Suggestions?
Yes not on the swing gate for sure
Years ago a guy fabbed up a mount for two 5 gallon he mounted it in the hitch, and arms came up both sides of the spare
bad part when you had to get in the back, you had to lay each one down , was cool looking though
 

Johnny O

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Yes not on the swing gate for sure
Years ago a guy fabbed up a mount for two 5 gallon he mounted it in the hitch, and arms came up both sides of the spare
bad part when you had to get in the back, you had to lay each one down , was cool looking though
I’m thinking I can fab mounts for rear doors, but that covers only two. Hate to do it, but may have to fab a 4 mount horizontal for the roof rack.

gotta be able to haul 80L to get to the site and back and still have “spare” gas.

of course the year I score permits finally is the hottest, driest year on record in the literal most remote location in CONUS.

starting to think a surplus wing tank off a Phantom on the roof would be cheaper, and would at least freak out the Instagrammers enough they’d be afraid to get in my way…. ;)
 

Johnny O

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Rear is super simple, most people I have found make the front harder than it has to be
I have gotten some strange phone calls over the years from folks
no need to flatbed to haul it for alignment unless its 100 miles away
We ran all that I did down to the shop

in the rear toss the sway bar it does nothing at all and the balls can go as well
I counted about a month ago, have 38 sway bars, and 42 or 43 of the balls in the junk pile ;) :D:eek:
I’m paranoid as hell. So far I’ve driven on a busted wheel hub and a blown LCA. Scared me more than the time I smashed open the bottom of the engine on the 74 super beetle in Death Valley…

I wondered about the sway bar and balls. Seemed silly on a fixed axel to me.
 
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