JKOwners Forum banner

181 - 200 of 210 Posts

Random Dude
3,041 Posts
Discussion Starter #181 (Edited)
bAd ass update! definitely gave me some inspiration to deal with my exhaust so planning on some mods now.
Thanks Gui! I've been wanting to do this for a few years now.
It was horribly frustrating to do working on the ground, but worth it (especially now that I'm done).

How is the sound after the mod?
W a a a y better! :word:

I didn't measure, but I believe it dropped off a solid 3+ decibels all around.
And that's not the best part - sound quality is much improved.

2 major annoyances that the resonator killed:

1) At lower RPM on deceleration or when lugging it, the exhaust had some reverb.


Related annoyance: heavy deceleration had too much . . .

. . . how you say . . .


. . . for my taste :nono:​

2) When winding out all "3.8L of fury" :laughing: (shifting above 5000 RPM),
the exhaust note had a ragged, raging, shitty sound component.​

I think this exhaust note characteristic can best be described as a 3-way mixture of:

  • Riced-out Honda screaming through a ginormous chromed coffee can exhaust
  • Air ripping like you just kicked open the tank drain on a large air compressor
  • Cats fucking

If I were 16 again, I might find the extra rasp entertaining :dunno:
. . . but I can't believe that noise could ever be considered "desirable".

All drone is gone, startup at 5am is guilt-free, and I can floor it without sounding like I'm trying to start shit.

Honestly, even just killing the "cats fucking" noise would've made it worth it :laughing:

Random Dude
3,041 Posts
Discussion Starter #182 (Edited)
Fixin' ta' show ya' groovy new chit the likes of which y'all never dun seed befor (mebbeh fer' a reason)

OK, this post will start out pretty normal and end up with something I haven't seen done, but would believe it has.
Chronological, but the "oddward" trend is fortunate . . .
. . . because my next post will have one-off chit I b'leeve I dun inventioneered :laughing:

So my ass needed firming up . . .
I really loved how the Jeep drove with my last rear spring / spacer combo., but it was using the bump stops too damned much.
So, Teraflex 1854100 coils and 1" TF coil guide spacers coming out, Synergy 8064-20 coils and 1/2" TF coil guide spacers going in:

I've gotten used to the difference in feel, and the chassis is definitely better balanced spring-wise now.

Random: keeping my junk covered
This is the piece of 1/8" UHMW PE that keeps the sun off my synthetic winch rope. The dirty tab faces forward and slips under the top edge of the bumper.

The two "tan lines" in the photo above are from zip ties that secure the plastic flap to the top tie bar.

Say "no" to crack . . . eventually
Just above my thumb is a minor crack in my hard top.

The faint silver lines around it are where I used a silver Sharpie to remind me to fix it soon.
That was a few years ago :laughing:

Picked, scuffed, sanded, cleaned, degreased, crack opened and filled with epoxy, and epoxy over inside and outside surfaces --> clamped & left dafook alone.
Light, almost dusty tack coat of SEM urethane bumper coater applied.

Followed up with a few semi-wet to wet coats, feathering out to blend into the surrounding areas.
No "after" photo because I did a decent job so the photo doesn't show anything. Boring is good.

Holy crap, has it been 4 years already? Time to paint de roof . . . again
Clear coat bought me an extra year, but the clear was completely shithoused.
The white underneath was OK but borderline. Old on right, (obviously):

Prep. was easy - mask, spray Windex, clean aggressively with red Scotch Brite, wipe with microfiber towel, done!

This time around, I went with gloss white Rustoleum enamel, brushed on. Didn't add hardener or thinner, but really happy with the results.

That same old deck of cards was still my best tooling to mask the gasket.

You (you impatient fahhrrkin' bastage) said:
Yeah, but none of that is all that weird.
You said this was gonna' get weird.
I wanna' see weird.
Dance, monkey!
OK, fair enough. Let's start our descent into oddball stuff but let's ease into it - you can thank me later.
Here's something I'd never seen but it made a shitload of sense so I bet someone else has done it.

Paint a tad gnarfed? Maybe I'll just . . . tape over it :thefinger:
I found that years of Northern California rock dust had helped the taillights rub a gnarly witness line into the paint.

Decided to put down a layer of UHMW tape that I have rolls of in 3/4", 1", and 2" widths. 3/4" was the winner here:

Soon after, I pulled the LF fender flare to pull the steering shaft so I could de-click the slip splines with some open gear lube (nasty stuff, but it works great).
Upon ripping off the fender flare, I was greeted by this cheery scene:

I figured what I'd done out back was a good solution so: copy idea, --> paste:

That's the last of the "normal-ish" updates, so . . . fuggit, let's get weird.

Truly one-off mods are up next. Will post up soon-ish (when I have time).

Random Dude
3,041 Posts
Discussion Starter #183 (Edited)
Because of my 4" rear stretch and fenders cut to clear 37s, the rear tires throw mud and rocks right at my rear corners. Boo.

Finally had time to pursue it, and 1/8" UHMW was again my material of choice.
Abrasion resistant and slippery, formable but rigid, not too spendy - I'm sold!
So I slapped a piece down and laid out a "not to exceed" outline with masking tape.

Cardboard template cut out, time to refine the shape with a Sharpie.

Finalized the cardboard template, traced onto UHMW with Sharpie, cut out w/ scrolling blade in cordless jigsaw.
Refined profile of 1st piece, inverted over material (for mirror image), scribed outline of 2nd piece, then cut out.

Ends of notches were drilled first to get clean end radii, then entire profiles were cut with jigsaw.
1/8" sheet UHMW wants to curl toward 1 side more than another - I put the side predisposed toward concavity "up".

Quick check to make sure my fastener holes will land in solid real estate on both parts:

I had zero interest in removing the tire swing and/or back bumper to drill this one hole:

So, I pieced together this Rube Goldberg contraption and went "full dental jacket" for 1 hole:

Had these extra bolts left over from a different "F.U. tweekers" project, and I liked 'em for this also:

5/16-18 x 3/4" stainless, #14 spanner drive, low profile button head.
Outer bolt is threaded into tapped hole in boxed bumper area, inner bolt drops into drilled hole with a nylock on the back side.

Leading edge of guard is zip tied to the tub for 3-point mounting and so it won't go a-flappin' in the breeze.
EDIT: also, the horizontal separation between the the bolts & zip tie allow for flex between body & frame.
The leading edge should just miss the tire, or have inconsequential amount of rub.

With a little persuasion and massaging, the tendency to curl upward was encouraged, to improve coverage and visual flow:

So, can the front be improved? Sure!:

This would be great as a splash guard, but also as a tree / rock magnet, wind resistance source, and fender ripper-offer.
So . . . no.

Well, what can I huck together out of 1/8" UHMW sheet?

Well . . . how about . . . THIS:

Two each 3/8" SS pin-center torx clamping the front UHMW guards between fender washers and the steel filler sheet atop the sliders.
Besides being a brutal 1/8" thick edge of shin-wrecking badness, they could look a bit more finished. So . . . bend the edge down.

By the way, I cut these pieces out oriented to curl downward, and I built on that tendency with flange vise grips:

After a bit more fiddle-fawking around, they look about like this:

So, "sorry" if I got you hoping for a donkey show via the hype in my last post - :thefinger:
This may not be "two-headed goat man" weird, but I thought it was pretty unique.
Next week I get to go test it, so we'll see if this new oddball crap does what it should.

4,516 Posts
You should take some time and properly set up your rear shock mounting locations so you can take advantage of the whole shock, not just 75% of it. I like all the little tweaks vs just buying and bolting stuff on.

Random Dude
3,041 Posts
Discussion Starter #185 (Edited)
You should take some time and properly set up your rear shock mounting locations so you can take advantage of the whole shock, not just 75% of it.
I agree completely, I believe I have a solid plan for it, and time has been the only thing lacking.

Beginning last July, I had 9 months of house issues that deprived me of the garage. Between no garage and spending almost every weekend working on house stuff, the Jeep didn't get much attention.
(but enough of my little pity party, let's talk Jeep shit :laughing: )

So, I definitely can't decrease rear bump stop height with my current setup:


Last year I changed out the rear shocks to a slightly shorter compressed length (the clean one):

The only droop I gave up was what I call "bullshit droop" (because unsprung) so no regrets about the shorter shocks. With the shorter dampers, I was making room to relocate the rear lower shock mounts rearward a couple inches to get them more vertical without moving them down any, hoping to leave about 1/4" of chrome showing when stuffed.

Ever since I did the rear stretch, I've been wanting to set the rear shocks more vertical to increase the effective damping rate. Now with the shorter rear shocks (installed for almost a year now :( ) I can finally do it. Unless life throws another time-sucking shitstorm at me like it did last summer, fall and winter, I should get it done this year (fingers crossed).

I like all the little tweaks vs just buying and bolting stuff on.
Me too (obviously :laughing: ) and thank you! :beer:

Random Dude
3,041 Posts
Discussion Starter #186 (Edited)
So I'm lagging "a bit", but we have updates! :bounce: (meh?)

The UHMW splash guards did some good, though you might not know it from this photo:

Our favorite technical trails were still blocked by 6-10' of snow, so we blasted a bunch of logging roads and trails that had snowy sections in the 4' and under category.
EDIT: that was early this summer in mid-late June - the snow is usually mostly gone by then.
Lots of snow busting, lots of water, a decent amount of mud, and almost no dust :rockon: .
No great snow wheeling pics to share because we were solo-vehicle most days (except some quality time one day with my brother-in-law and his wife getting their money's worth out of a rented 4Runner :devil: ).

It appeared my wife & I were the first ones through a few FS roads this year, like when we came upon this snapped green roadblock:

We came from the other side in that photo, but I had to bypass the blockage to be able to winch it out of the way. I assure you, the bypass was a "tread lightly" deal, and we didn't tear up the ground or lower the self-esteem of the rare blue-spotted tree dolphin, the semi-migratory taintless shitweasel, or the noble three-peckered jackalope (or whatever other sensitive wildlife you can dream up :cwm13: ).

Anywho, from the "business end" of the clusterfook, it was time to get to work:

Drag chain around fallen tree, tree strap and snatch block to redirect the pull, and . . . Jeep moves forward :nono: (because the e-brake blows goats). Since the e-brake on my JK is almost as lame as the e-brake on yours, my wife climbed in and stood on the service brake. Then, no problem.

Obstructo-snagglydick log successfully sidelined:

And . . . the road is open for summer 2019:

Then, literally a half-mile later (right after I jinxed things by joking about it) we came to a toll booth:

This one was a bone-dry deadfall that was another 20+ feet long on the big end and locked into a half-dozen standing trees. Out came the trusty Sven Saw + 15 minutes' worth of elbow grease.

My wife wanted to take a turn after I was half-way through the thing. I was totally cool with that :thankyou:

I don't mind hard work at all. I could stand in the shade and watch it all day long :laughing:

Fortunately, those were the only 2 trees we had to address. It's satisfying to pitch in on trail maintenance, but vacation needs play time, too.

OK, gotta' get some sleep. That'll have to do for now. Enjoy! (or not :thefinger: )

Super Moderator
6,175 Posts

nice pictures,dude!
Such a fantastic looking setting = gotta admit to being jealous 'cause I love the woods & trees ( particularly evergreens) ...I'm glad you had a good time.

question: this was some time earlier in this year or are these images recent?
I ask because idk if there's snow still present ?
I'll bet the air is clean as heck ,there.

thnks for sharing, bud


Random Dude
3,041 Posts
Discussion Starter #188 (Edited)
nice pictures,dude!
Such a fantastic looking setting = gotta admit to being jealous 'cause I love the woods & trees ( particularly evergreens) ...I'm glad you had a good time.

question: this was some time earlier in this year or are these images recent?
I ask because idk if there's snow still present ?
I'll bet the air is clean as heck ,there.

thnks for sharing, bud
Thanks j3ff3ry! :beer:

You've expressed your love of the woods, and I bet you'd dig that area.
High sierra, evergreens, and healthy doses of quartz, granite, and other rocks I should know the names of.

The area we couldn't reach due to snow is in this random YooToob vid I'd never seen before tonight:

Re: when - that was earlier this summer (mid-late June). I'll clarify with an edit above.
Air was absolutely pristine . . . unless you got downwind of wildfire smoke.

Random Dude
3,041 Posts
Discussion Starter #189 (Edited)
OK, time to finish yesterday's update . . .

Average dirt, minor damage, and a majorly annoying serpentine belt

I had cut back the rear inner fenders just outside the sheet metal, and this photo illustrates the "fallout":

They don't keep dirt off the body inside the fenders, but they do keep roost and rocks from chipping paint.
Anything that keeps me from having to touch up paint or chase rust damage is a solid benefit in my book.
I may eventually ditch the inner fenders and bedline that area, but it's low-priority due to minimal gains.

At the end of the week, this was the custom wrap with which nature "pimped my ride":

The front splash guards did some good but . . . less than I'm hoping to accomplish.
Most of that glop bypassed the trailing edge of the fender above the new guards.
I have an idea for revision 2.0, just need some garage time to see if it'll work.

Gained a lot of protection out back, probably as much as I can without making a target for grabby rocks or trees.
Wider rear fenders would bring the greatest gain, but again I run up against the "damage magnet conundrum".
This is a pretty good indicator of what the rear tires contribute to the slop accumulation forward of their position:

So, dirt is unavoidable, but damage only *usually* is . . .

After getting near-totally stuck in deep snow, I got moving in reverse --> stuck.
Forward run --> stuck in ~same spot, need more momentum.
Reverse run --> stuck, but some progress.
Forward run --> stuck, but a a bit of progress.
Reverse run --> momentum carrying, don't lose the magic . . . gonna make it --> and BANG! :eek: Insta-stop.

Almost testing the rev limiter in reverse to escape snow, the ass end went wild and I tagged a tree :homersimpson:
From inside the cab, it was LOUD, and we thought I'd finally done significant damage.

It was a great relief to see that the damage wasn't enough to slow up our vacation - woohoo!

This is the "asshole that hit my car":

Cleaned up, it's not pretty but it still holds gas OK:

All my steel parts are still straight and the UHMW pieces will straighten out on their own, so the gas can took the only real damage.
It's not something I feel like pounding out, and not bad enough to replace the can, so I'll just paint it and leave it a bit shitty looking.

How many times can you lose a belt in a week?

Actually, quite a few :nono:

I don't have any good photos of it, but we lost the serpentine belt while fording deep-ish water multiple times.
Semi-ironic, since the belt, tensioner and idlers were brang fahhhrkin' noo veddy veddy recently.

I read up on my new problem, and the solution appears to be flanged idler pulleys.
They make a kit (developed when 3.8L minvans were chucking belts in heavy rain) but it uses a serp. belt ribbed on both sides.
Don't want an uncommon belt, and can't find a flanged smooth idler pulley with the dimensions I need, so I'm gonna' fake it.
Found an idler pulley w/ the diameter I need (mower deck belt idler) but the flanges are too tall to fit on the belt tensioner.
Almost ashamed to admit this, but . . . .
I plan to put the new pulley in the idler location (right of the thermostat), then run the engine & shave the flanges down with a file.
A bit hacktacular, but it'll work.

Well, my bullshit is now up to date. More soon, but good for now.
Hope you enjoyed the purdy peetchurs and could tolerate the words :laughing:

Super Moderator
6,175 Posts
Thanks j3ff3ry! :beer:

You've expressed your love of the woods, and I bet you'd dig that area.
High sierra, evergreens, and healthy doses of quartz, granite, and other rocks I should know the names of.

The area we couldn't reach due to snow is in this random YooToob vid I'd never seen before tonight:

Re: when - that was earlier this summer (mid-late June). I'll clarify with an edit above.
Air was absolutely pristine . . . unless you got downwind of wildfire smoke.

thats so beautiful it almost brought a year to my eye. Whoever I went with would have to forcibly drag me away. Even if I ran out of fuel, I'd probably just find some hollowed-out monster fir trunk , throw me some boughs in it , set a few flatfall traps & tell them to go on w/out me.

I am VERY accustomed to how pix/vids never relay the actual angles or steepness to our eyes like the real deal does ; those pix / vids DO look steep, so can only imagine.

I'm in the wrong part of our great country :nono:
great stuff,man . (sorry to clutter, but had to respond. :wink_animate: )


1,242 Posts
I plan to put the new pulley in the idler location (right of the thermostat), then run the engine & shave the flanges down with a file.
A bit hacktacular, but it'll work.
Law of Practicality: If it works, it's right!


Random Dude
3,041 Posts
Discussion Starter #192 (Edited)
BIG NEW UPGRADES . . . but first, this ;-)

Law of Practicality: If it works, it's right!

:laughing: :beer:

Fortunately, the aforementioned hackfookery did not need to occur - the pulley flange OD just missed the tensioner:
010 flanged pulley.jpg

However, there's a minor rub on ribbing on the side of the pulley:
020 pulley rub.jpg

Partly because of that and partly because I don't like the bearing in that pulley, I bailed on that project for awhile.

The other reason I postponed that project is that my wife and I went to the Jeep dealership and looked at the new JT truck . . .

. . . and we did not buy one :thefinger:

However, that field trip cost me 30+ hours recently because I decided to upgrade my Jeep (starting in the next post).

But first, to keep the timeline straight,

I installed the 4th (and I believe final) CB in this Jeep. I'd tried 2 different small-ish CBs on the cage overhead and didn't like the space invasion.
The first and least intrusive CB this Jeep had was a Cobra 75 but I didn't like the handset, so I tried the Uniden CMX760 - love it! :bounce:
All controls are on the mic, but the display, controls, and handset shape on the CMX760 don't piss me off like they did on the Cobra.

Little bit of custom fiddling: needed a bracket to mount the "brain box", and a scrap from my old garage door opener motor contained it:
030 cb bracket.jpg

I chose that donor because it let me start with burly zinc plated sheet steel that already had a sharp 90.
040 cb bracket.jpg

After a bit of grinder lovin' and a few minor tweaks here and there, it fit the JK like a glove.
050 cb bracket.jpg

Pic is from before I smoothed the bracket but it shows how the CB box clips into the plastic bracket my bracket holds.
060 CB installed.jpg

This wiring needed to do a 180, and a zip tie helps it come out where I needed it.
070 cb wiring.jpg

Nothing super exciting, but here's the finished product. So far, the Uniden CMX760 is the best CB I've had in this JK.
080 new CB.jpg
Still using my home-fab bracket and Motorola mic clip (no complaints there).

Simple instructions at the point of use:
Years ago, I wrote everything I needed to know on top of my ElCheapo SWR meter:
090 SWR.jpg
Fawk digging out the instructions, and fawk remembering it - simpul are gooder than not sumpul :laughing:

Random Dude
3,041 Posts
Discussion Starter #193 (Edited)
Late-bloomer camera whore . . .

I've been toying with the idea of adding a backup camera and a breakover camera to this bucket for years, my main snag being no good place for a monitor. Didn't want to change out the stereo that's working fine, didn't want a multi-hundred (or thousand) dollar head unit because Murphy's Law (+ cheapass :laughing: ), so I kicked that can down the road . . .

My better half and I went to the Jeep dealer to eyeball the JT pickup and . . . mu'fugger's like 2 blocks long :nono: - for 60 grand, they can kiss half my ass. Note: offer a 2-door regular or extra cab version w/ < JLU wheelbase w/ Rubicon mechanicals for 40 grand and I'd buy one ASAP. But I digress - the point of this "blah blah blah" before the peetchurs is that the dealership field trip didn't cost me 60 grand but it did cost me 30 hours.

I thought it was stupid & gimmicky that the JT has a breakover camera while the JL does not. The first thing that popped into my head was, "that would be so easy to add to the JL --> :idea: --> that would be so easy to add to my JK".

While viewing the too-long Jeeptruckthing, I decided to re-visit and prioritize my camera project (which pretty much means it's going to happen). Threw a few hours of research into currently available components (Google, Amazon, etc.) and decent shit's gotten pretty affordable compared to 5 years back. Specifically, I found a decent small monitor for 22 bucks - OK, GAME ON!


Played with multiple mounting locations and settled on the center of the spare tire. Off-center would've constantly triggered my OCD, blocking the 3rd brake light didn't appeal to me, and below the spare was too low IMO. Since I haven't used the bike rack much, I decided to sacrifice my bike rack receiver to the camera cause.

One of the extra bits from the Yakima kit was sacrificed as material for the rear camera mount. First cut was the angle cut to set camera vertical angle.
010 angle cut.jpg
Note: I ground and filed that angle afterward, this was just the rough cut - give me some credit :D

Next up, I cut out the bottom for mockup / assembly ease, and to keep from trapping water in the blind receiver pocket, then welded a SS washer on the end.
020 sliced, welded.jpg

So, that gave me the location and angle I needed, with a camera + wiring that need life-proofing.
030 bare camera.jpg
Note: this is the camera I used front+rear: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07NRN4QSX/

Cut a scrap from an old bracket from a TV wall mount (1 cut, all other geometry as-is):
040 cam guard.jpg

This should keep me from smashing the camera while wrestling the spare tire around.
050 cam final.jpg

When the spare is on, the camera's well protected - no worries there.
060 cam final 2.jpg

Extra drilled / countersunk hole in side of receiver allows Csunk 1/4-20 SS screw to reach the nut tacked in the new camera mount stinger.
070 air brake tubing.jpg
I took the delicate camera cable out through a piece of 3/8" nylon air brake tubing because anything that's easy to destroy makes me nervous.

Separate post about camera wiring highlights to follow, front camera mounting details are up next.

Stay tuned . . . or not :laughing:

Random Dude
3,041 Posts
Discussion Starter #194 (Edited)


OK, I think that needs explaining. This project took a buttload of my spare time, but it was worth it (much easier to say now that it's done :cwm13: ). The time sucks were mocking up and weighing multiple options, prototyping and fabbing the mounting solutions, and trying to go super-sano on the wiring. Much time could've been saved if I'd started from a kit, duplicated what someone else did . . . or half-assed the wiring :laughing:.

I purchased a $22 monitor, an $11 cam, a $14 cam, and a $38 cam. Then I mocked up, connected, and tested 4 rear locations and 6 front locations. After that, I purchased 1 more $38 camera and set to fabbin'.

If anyone has any questions about anything, call it out - I probably already have a photo explaining it in the 90+% of in-process pics not posted. This thread is pic-heavy as-is so, as always, I try to just share the crap I haven't seen elsewhere (maybe for a good reason :dunno: ).

Blah, blah blah . . . I'm here for the pics - dance, monkey!
Okay, jeez - gimme a sec. :thefinger: . . .

Front Camera Mounting

Testing multiple camera locations used the most temporary means possible.
After trying 4 on-center and 2 off-center front locations, this was the winner:
010 front cam spot.jpg
At vehicle centerline, directly below the Mopar hood lock chassis.
If not for the hood lock, I would've gone at top of center grille slot.

Picked location via masking tape, determined angle via scrap of aluminum flashing and a zip tie.
020 front cam angle.jpg

No idea what this scrap of stainless was from, but now feelin' totally justified in saving it:
030 front cam bracket.jpg
Used the 3M tape pad from the camera to draw footprint. Could've had a clean bracket with no extra holes if I used the piece in the center, but decided to go from 1 end because less work and material left to re-do if I goofed the first time around.

Those 2 coutersunk holes are unneeded, but only violate the laws of vanity, so - good to go!
040 front cam bracket material.jpg

After a bit more shaping, I hid the stainless behind a coat of etch primer and urethane bumper coater.
050 front cam mount.jpg

Here it is in final mockup (just need to rivet the lock box back on). Crescent wrench is being misused as a clamp.
060 front cam mounted.jpg
That blue patch is where I cut a piece from a cutting board sheet I was throwing away.
2 zip ties later, and it protects where the 2nd horn wants to rub through and ventilate my AC.
Meant to fog it with satin black urethane but forgot - will camouflage that spot eventually.

I recently purchased a set of mini magnetic zip tie anchors - those little bastards are strong!
070 front cam wired.jpg
There's 1 under the lock box and 1 on the side to route the camera cable. Once it meets the bundle above, it's zip tied and routed along with that gray romex-looking bit that's the headlight harness.

Once it picks up a bit of dirt, it should be almost unnoticeable:
080 front cam final.jpg
. . . and maybe useless until cleaned :laughing:

If anyone knows of a good camera washer setup, I'd be interested to know about it. :beer:

Random Dude
3,041 Posts
Discussion Starter #195 (Edited)
Camera Wiring and Monitor

To control 2 cameras from 1 switch just took a bit of jumpering.
010 DPDT switch.jpg
The red is keyed 12V+ to both center posts of this DPDT ON-OFF-ON switch.
The green, fed by both throws on one pole, is power out to the monitor.
White and black on the other pole send power to front or rear camera.
EDIT: to clarify, I did this so the monitor would only get signal from 1 camera at a time.
No fiddling w/ monitor controls to select inputs - it's all controlled by 1 DPDT switch.

Stub harness off the DPDT switch had to be long enough to allow the WeatherPack connector to fit in the only space left behind the SPOD switch panel. The grey connector is the SPOD harness, the 2-wire SAE plug is where I sent the SPOD power through a keyed relay, and not pictured are the light for the AutoMeter vacuum gage and the vacuum line running to that gage. That area's brim-full now, it's genuinely time to stop adding shit there :laughing:
020 weatherpak.jpg

Digging through my miscellaneous wiring crap, I came across a small bag of placard labels including "FORWARD" and "REVERSE" (was like $.25 at a surplus store so I picked one up because 25 cents and neat). Minor trimming with flush-cutting dykes, and now I have $.25 into camera switch labeling.
030 labels.jpg

Wiring armor: the rear camera cable runs through 3/8 nylon air brake tubing that's wedged in the receiver side hole and held by 2 zip ties at the other end. From there, it's spiral-wrapped as it makes a lazy "S" up to the point it dives into the 3rd brake light's moving harness section between door and tire swingarm. As it leaves that run, it's spiral-wrapped on its way to pop through a drilled 1/2" plastic body plug filled with black Permatex RTV.
040 rear cam wiring.jpg

Both camera harnesses are wrapped end-to-end with split braided loom (and sometimes spiral wrap or air brake tubing).
050 split braided loom.jpg
That's 1/8" split braided loom.
For 2 entire 9-foot runs.
That absolutely sucked to do.

A short piece of 3/8" tubing made it easy to thread the harness through for routing and kept the loom from snagging or peeling back.
060 3_8 tubing.jpg

The little hole to the right of the dash now has 2 nylon tube penetrations: 1/4" tube with a single wire for rock lights, and 3/8" tube with the front camera harness.
070 firewall hole.jpg

Overkill, and a tad hokey in appearance, but I don't expect to damage those sections of wiring.
080 air line tubing.jpg
Drilled a hole in the foreground to cinch the tubes with a zip tie, and one of those little magnet chinguses now lives a bit further back.

This may also look hokey, but color coding both sides of the WeatherPack connector took out all the guesswork come assembly time.
090 color coded.jpg

Took this photo before flush-cutting my zip tie tails: 3 zip ties = strain relief where a connection will be buried behind the rear quarter panel carpet.
100 strain relief.jpg
Overkill for sure, but one less thing to consider checking if the rear camera craps out.

OK, I hit the 10 pic. limit - should be able to wrap this up in 1 more post.

Random Dude
3,041 Posts
Discussion Starter #196 (Edited)
Camera System Wrap-Up and Results

The mount that came with the monitor was pure shit, but I was able to bastardize something that would work:
110 monitor backside.jpg
I bent up an unused stainless tab that came with a u-bolt and captured it with part of the monitor mount.
That just slides over the stud created by nut+bolt through a stainless cushion clamp around cage dash bar.
Also in that photo, drilled and sliced the dash to pass the monitor harness through to dash underside.
Both cameras have a 1-button remote to adjust, so I stuck those on the back side of the monitor. All monitor and camera controls are in 1 area.

The 2 remote wires drop through the dash just ahead of the dash bar via 1/2" hole with adapted bushing.
120 remotes wiring.jpg
In the foreground is dash bushing 1.0 - it popped out due to grip range less than dash plastic thickness.

This is the only "ugly" area of the entire camera system cabling.
130 clusterfuck.jpg
Bit of a clusterfuck, but I'll show it to you anyway :laughing:
If all goes well, I'll never see this view again.

Annnd . . . Payoff, Beeshes!

Jumbo black hole out back is now 100% visible from the driver's seat. Full overlap with side-view mirrors :bounce:
140 rear lines 2,5,8.jpg
Camera lines (somewhat adjustable) fall at 2, 5, and 8 feet. Fargin' win :rockon:

In-cab spotting is looking like a real possibility:
150 front lines 1,4,7.jpg
Those lines fall at 1, 4, and 7 feet.

Just got it done yesterday, and only drove it once today (to a mini-mall, actually :laughing: ).

Anywho . . . I'm glad to be done, and that's what I dun done.

Hope ya' dig it. :D

Or not :thefinger:

1,242 Posts
Lookin good!

How visible is that screen in sunlight, though? You may need to fab a shade for it.

Premium Member
4,087 Posts
Awesome job. Very nice and clean.

Interested to hear how much you use it offroad. I gave a little thought to slapping a set of cameras in mine for a minute, but decided against it.

Random Dude
3,041 Posts
Discussion Starter #199 (Edited)
Lookin good!

How visible is that screen in sunlight, though? You may need to fab a shade for it.
Thanks Banshee!

We're on the same page worry-wise, but I'm waiting to see how much shade it actually needs.
As I was installing everything, I brainstormed a few material and mounting options for a visor.

The monitor does have a chintzy little (~3/8") visor snapped on - cute but not very substantial.
For 22 bucks, I'm OK with having to make the mounting and shading solutions.
Immediate plans include not doing shit to the camera system for at least a week (because burnout :laughing: ).

Awesome job. Very nice and clean.

Interested to hear how much you use it offroad. I gave a little thought to slapping a set of cameras in mine for a minute, but decided against it.
Thanks Kevin!
I know you know what a time-suck even little custom shit can be :suicide:

The front camera was a "just because" addition . . .
- just because the block-long Jeeptruckthing had one and I could "save 60 grand" on one :D.
It's useless for driving at any real speed, but looks promising for crawling :dunno: - dunno yet.
Looking forward to cresting a steep rise and not getting out to see if there's a drop-off on the far side.

The rear camera has been nagging at me for too long, especially since I moved up to 37s.
You can hide a full-size car (remember those?) or small truck in the dead spot behind the 37" spare out back.
I took a few pics tonight to illustrate why I love the addition of the rear cam.

I can see down the side well enough in the right side-view mirror + fisheye . . .
010 right side view.jpg

. . . and the left side-view mirror + fisheye are also plenty helpful.
030 left side view.jpg

But the rear-view mirror catches exactly jack shit within the first 40 feet :cwm13:
020 rear view.jpg
(except, of course, the spare tire and wiper motor :laughing: )

However, the rear camera fills in ALL the blanks :bounce:
040 camera fill in blanks.jpg

In my opinion, the rear camera already paid off all 30 hours of fiddlefuckery - I'm calling it a win! :rockon:

Premium Member
4,087 Posts
When I blew off the thought of installing cameras, I had never actually had a vehicle with one. So I guess that was a racist decision on my part.:thefinger:

Couple months ago I bought a new DD Tacoma that has one. Pretty neat, but on the Tacoma it only works in reverse. I can see how one that could be left on would come in handy.
I still can't believe that the most stripped down model of the 2dr Tacoma has a back up camera. The only option I picked was to remove the two little jump seats and seat belts in the rear........that saved me $250. The key is just a key, no door lock buttons.............but it has a rear camera.:dunno:
181 - 200 of 210 Posts