Builds indycole's 2016 200 Series Build and Retrospective

Discussion in '200-Series Cruisers' started by indycole, Dec 2, 2016.

  1. indycole

    indycole GOLD Star

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    I'm still playing around with plumbing fittings as I've been unable to make the quick connects work. I'll have to put the project on hold for a few weeks as we're heading out on a trip to Japan (keeping my fingers crossed for the tour at Yoshiwara to work out).

    In other news, as I tossed out a few pages back, a small group of us (@TexAZ, @TRD Burglar, @Markuson, @ethernectar) are planning on traversing the Mojave National Preserve from East to West at the end of December between Christmas and New Years. We have a lot of ground to cover over a few days (planning on departing the morning 28th and heading back to civilization on the 31st) so we're trying to keep the group size manageable. Feel free to shoot me a PM if you're interested joining though there are a few basic requirements: ham radio (either a license or willingness to just listen and not transmit unless it's an emergency), comfort with dispersed camping over multiple days without leaving a trace (everything packed in and out), and ability to join the entire trip. Stock vehicles would be fine on this Mojave Road.
     
  2. Roy Park

    Roy Park SILVER Star

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    Mojave Road is a lot of fun. Are you guys going to drive that nasty whoop section or just take the bypass? That section is not very fun even in a LT truck. There’s whoops all over but that section after the mailbox when you go west to east is a doozy. Have fun guys.
     
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  3. DRCocaCola

    DRCocaCola

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    I’m supposed to be on another trip to Arizona with another group but it doesn’t exactly seem to be coming together just yet. I still suspect it will but if not, I’m interested as I haven’t done the Mojave Trail in over 20 years. Please keep me informed. If I hadn’t already committed to this other trip, I’d commit to this one.
     
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  4. Union

    Union

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    That would be a great opportunity and if I didn't have to go back to work on the 28th, I'd love to!
     
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  5. indycole

    indycole GOLD Star

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    Well, I'm finally going to check the OBW system off the to-do list. The Colder Products quick connects from Fresh Water Systems are working really well. I made a few changes/enhancements while wrapping up the project:
    • Replaced brass quick disconnects with plastic quick disconnects from Colder Products
    • Secured main tank in both directions using tie-down straps
    • Added a 3-way ball valve to the secondary water tank along with a quick disconnect to the pump system to make it easy to transfer water between tanks or to use water from the secondary tank
    • Installed some small stainless spacers between the pump panel and the platform
    • Replaced the Joolca showerhead with an Oxygenics shower head

    General Schematic (note that accumulator was removed... didn't really need it)

    Screen Shot 2018-12-10 at 9.36.51 PM.png

    Parts List (let me know if you need the links)

    Screen Shot 2018-12-10 at 10.02.24 PM.png

    Just a Few Leftover Parts

    IMG_8997.JPG

    Plastic 3-Way Valve from McMaster

    IMG_6310.JPG

    Second Tank Hooked up to Pump Panel

    IMG_3442.JPG
     
  6. indycole

    indycole GOLD Star

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    Suction Hose for Filling Tanks

    IMG_9407.JPG

    Flexspout for washing hands, filling water bottles, draining water

    IMG_0470.JPG

    Sprayer hose + good look at the Colder quick disconnect plug

    IMG_6630.JPG

    Pump panel and Colder quick disconnect sockets

    IMG_1373.JPG

    Made some progress packing for Mojave

    IMG_4686.JPG

    I'll likely still fiddle with the water setup a bit. I'd like for it to be a smidgeon easier to install/remove. Also, since the tank is grey instead of white/clear, my plan to monitor the water level by inspection won't work. I need a way to measure the water level.
     
  7. civil offroad

    civil offroad

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    @indycole a good old fashion sight glass would work. Looks like you have a couple extra barbs and some tubing that could work

    D808D4F3-156F-42DA-AD8D-4D58F9F8F42C.jpeg
     
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  8. indycole

    indycole GOLD Star

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    Yeah, that's a good idea. I'll keep some spare parts on hand.
     
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  9. TonyP

    TonyP GOLD Star

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    Could I get the product links or just the excell?
    That'll save me a lot of time.
    Thanks!
     
  10. Tierra Cruiser

    Tierra Cruiser

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    Hey Cole,

    How much vertical clearance do you have on the shelf above the fridge? I have the same NL fridge and will be installing a Trekboxx setup (on order). For now, I'm thinking of running a Goal Zero Yeti 1000 to power the fridge (until I'm able to spring for a dual battery setup), and would like to squeeze it into that space directly above the fridge, if possible. Also, the battery weighs ~42lbs...do you think the shelf would accommodate that (maybe a question for Dave)?

    Thanks!
     
  11. Sandroad

    Sandroad SILVER Star

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    I know you said the OBW was checked off, so feel free to ignore this ;)

    The SeeLevel tank monitors work great and this particular model will monitor 2 tanks, a battery, and provide an on-off switch. If you get one of these, order it with the shortest version of the tank monitoring strips.

    Garnet 709-2P SeeLevel II Tank Monitoring System

    Also, you may want to add a filter to the intake hose and filter any water you put in the tank(s). That will help a LOT toward keeping the water drinkable and useable over the long term. This one from Camco looks like it has fittings appropriate for your intake hose?

    Camco 52103 HL-170 QC Under Counter Filter Kit
     
  12. indycole

    indycole GOLD Star

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    I discovered a problem with the passenger side SPC UCA during the post trip inspection. It looks like the clip came off the boot. Oddly, I don’t see any issues with the boot itself and am a bit confused as to how this would happen?

    I guess I’ll just order a replacement boot kit and see how it goes?

    D3D4BD22-CF82-46C4-B81C-83FC47EC2910.jpeg 80DB9E5E-6DF6-4EF2-B684-D1DB5EA6368B.jpeg 939E973B-F3FB-47BE-A93A-7C66D2B606BB.jpeg
     
  13. RET2

    RET2 SILVER Star

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    Excellent idea, the post run inspection even if nothing notable happened!!:beer:
     
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  14. indycole

    indycole GOLD Star

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    UCA Boot

    I took a closer look at the UCA boot and learned that the original boot clip was still on the collar but covered in grease. The boot isn't punctured or torn but seems to be stretched out though I'm not sure what the natural state is. The only thing I can think of is that I put in too much grease the last time around and the boot popped off during the drive back from Mojave (it was still in place the morning we left because it's one of the things I check). In any case, I ordered a new set of boots and clips (SPC has apparently redesigned their clips) and will go ahead and replace the boots on both UCAs. I performed a temporary fix by cleaning off all the grease, repacking with new grease, and then I sealed the boot using some bailing wire.

    Mojave Road

    We had a blast on the Mojave road despite the first day's frigid temperature. The scenery was amazing... definitely the wildest Joshua Tree forest we've traveled through including Joshua Tree Flats, Saline Valley, the Coso Wilderness, and JTNP. I think the difference here is how closely the trees grow to the road. The road itself was a joy to drive though the dog disagrees regarding the 30-45 minutes of whoops. I also found 4 trucks to be a great group size. I would recommend traveling with at least one additional vehicle if possible due to the isolation of the trail. As I mentioned in the other thread, the cool thing about the road is that there are so many ways to enjoy it. I could imagine having fun on a single day run or even spending a week or so exploring the general area. We traveled the majority of the road (85% or so) in 2 days/2 nights. In better weather, I'd lean toward 3 nights on the trail but 2 nights was definitely adequate this time around.

    This was also a good chance to break in some recent changes to the truck. The water system worked perfectly for drinking/cleaning but I did learn that 1 lb propane canisters are just not enough for the tankless hot water heater. We were also thankful to have the low-volume RTT with sleeping bags plus a 45 oz 800 fill power down comforter during the night where temperatures dropped into the single digits along with unrelenting wind.

    What's Next

    Overall, we remain very happy with the truck and how we've outfitted it. We are mindful of its weight (especially on the roof) and have gotten used to dealing with that factor. In terms of "what's next" for the build we're mainly focused on optimizing/editing the gear and making existing components more user friendly. Here's a snapshot of what's currently on my mind:
    • LRA Tank: I'm moving up to the larger 24-gallon LRA tank to enable additional range.
    • Water Refinements: The Colder Products quick disconnects have worked so well that I'm going to try using them for the main tank connections to make removing the tank for cleaning much easier.
    • Propane: The current setup primarily relies on 1 lb disposable propane bottles but that won't work for the shower. I'm looking into ways to incorporate a 10 lb aluminum propane tank into the setup.
    • OBA: This is a minor thing, but I'm going to add an external air coupling so I can attach the inflation hose without opening the hood. This is kind of a minor thing, but I've noticed the tank plumbing creasing the underhood matting and landed on this as a solution.
    • Radio Upgrade: The Yaesu FT-8800 has served me well but I'm upgrading to the Icom 5100A to have some fun with DStar.
    • Rear View Monitor: Okay, this one is is pretty important. For some time now I've had terrible visibility out of the rear of the vehicle due to cargo. I'm going to check out a couple options (a rear view mirror overlay vs rear view mirror replacement) that feature both a dash cam and a rear view cam (both for backing up and general driving). I'm really looking forward to addressing this issue.
    • Roof Rack: Another minor change, but I'm looking into lowering the tent a bit on the roof. There's like 3-4 inches of clearance in most places and I think I could get away with a shorter Eezi Awn roof rack foot. I may also run without the Eezi Awn Series 2000 awning for a while to see how much we miss it. It's one of those things that we seldom use but really appreciate it when it's needed.
    • Rear Bumper Locker: So, this is probably what I'm most excited about. Again, it's something that comes back to convenience. I typically run two spare tires but have had over a year's worth of good luck with the Nittos and am ready to go down to a single spare for most trips. This will free up one of the bumper swingarms. The plan is to add a relatively large locker/cabinet to that swingarm to contain items that I don't necessarily need/want in the truck yet want quick access to. One example would be all the gear we need to level the truck (since we sleep on top of it). Hopefully there will be more to share soon on this front.
    MojaveRoad-107.jpg
     
  15. indycole

    indycole GOLD Star

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    Mystery stuff happening.

    IMG_20190104_135556067.jpg
     
  16. indycole

    indycole GOLD Star

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    Here are some tips for replacing the boot on an SPC UCA. The boot kit (https://www.spcalignment.com/index.php?option=com_spc&task=part_description&pid=25477) recommends a ball joint separation tool if you don’t already have one (I didn’t). Here’s a link to the tool I used: https://www.spcalignment.com/component/spc/?task=part_description&pid=37990

    The boot kit comes with decent directions but I try hard not to wrench on suspension components and a few things weren’t clear.

    * First, it’s worth noting that the replacement boot is a different size than the original boot. This is by design.
    * You’ll want some pliers and a 22mm socket on hand.
    * I left the tire on the wheel but you’d have more room to maneuver by taking it off. Six one way half a dozen the other.
    * Once the ball joint is dislocated just use a bit of muscle to pull the UCA bolt up and out of the knuckle/arm.
    * Replacing the boot is simple enough but the retaining c-clip is tricky. I used pliers to notch out a couple handles on the clip so I could more easily slip it over the boot.
    * Clean the castle nut and threads while you’re in there.

    BAE1BC3A-758C-4976-8721-058212CA21F7.jpeg
     
  17. indycole

    indycole GOLD Star

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    I knocked off some maintenance chores and also made progress on a couple of the projects a post or two above over the weekend. I replaced the engine air filter, the cabin air filter, and greased the spiders and yokes. The spider on the front of the transfer case is much easier to grease if you remove the heat shield on the driver side of the joint (2 12mm bolts will do it).

    Autovox A1 Dash Cam + Rear View Mirror (Amazon)

    The inner/center rear view mirror has been virtually useless for quite some time. The combination of the Trekboxx shelf, storage bags on the Trekboxx dividers, and Maxtrax on the bumper dramatically reduced rear visibility. The OEM backup camera also is practically useless when I run two spare tires on the bumper.

    I looked into RV/Semi rear view monitors, DIY solutions using a tablet and a wifi camera, a cordless wifi camera that streams to my iPhone (actually tried this one for a while), and the range of devices that tend to be used by Uber/Lyft drivers for liability. I ran a cordless camera for a while but the limited battery life and terrible app required to view the stream resulted in a very short-lived solution.

    I decided that I wanted a wired camera for reliability but did not want the complexity/risk of actually removing my OEM mirror. I looked into some of the safety circuits in TIS and I'm not sure certain functionality (lane departure, collision warning, auto headlight dimming which I use a lot) would still work without the inner rear view mirror in place. Maybe, maybe not. I wouldn't know for sure unless I removed it. I ended up with the Autovox A1 which actually is worn like a "backpack" over the stock mirror.

    The Autovox requires a micro SD car, a 12v cigarette plug (actually, 5v converted by the adapter itself which makes wiring tricky) connection, and a 3.5mm plug to proprietary-looking circular 5 pin connector for the rear camera. I ran both wires through the headliner and down the passenger A-pillar. The power cable went through a grommet in the glove box that I use for ham radio and aux power. To keep things simple, I just used a 12v cigarette socket wired directly to a bus bar. The rear camera cable continued from the A-pillar down to the front door sill, under the B-billar, under the rear door sill, and I tucked it under the base of the quarter panel all the way to the rear jack cubby where I store my rear electrical. The camera itself is VHB-taped to the passenger swingout and I routed the wire behind the rear bumper panel and through a grommet to the jack cubby where it connects with the longer camera cable from the front. There was just enough cable to reach — very, very, little slack.

    Mirror in Front / "Dash Cam" mode

    [​IMG]

    Mirror in Rear Camera mode

    [​IMG]

    Rear Camera on bumper

    [​IMG]

    So far, I'm pretty happy with this solution. The display works as a normal mirror when the LCD is off. The camera image can be rotated up or down by swiping on the mirror itself. It's easy to toggle between cameras. The image quality is pretty good though there are some issues with the rear camera when it's raining due to droplets on the lens.

    Air Coupler on Front Bumper

    I had a couple of Wits' End air coupler brackets on hand from the water project and decided to install an external air coupler so that we don't need to open the hood to air up the tires. I know, it's a huge hassle to raise the hood. This was a pretty easy project. I ordered some air line, some swivel elbows, and an air coupler quick connect from @NLXTACY and replaced the ARB fittings. I routed the air line around the fuse box, and out the gap where the fog light and headlight washer lines go to the bumper. I had a hard time deciding on a precise mounting point so I just soft-mounted the bracket/coupler with mega zip ties. I'll try out this location for a bit and then hard mount it later.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2019
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  18. TRD Burglar

    TRD Burglar

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    Aren't you the busy little beaver. Since getting home, all I've done is drain the water out of my road shower.
     
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  19. Markuson

    Markuson SILVER Star

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    Both are mods I’m extremely interested in. :)

    Curious what made you choose the a1 over the x1. Price? They seemed nearly identical to me, but curious.

    The compressor extension is something that just makes sense and I’ve been meaning to do something similar.

    Q for you on the screen...

    Does it adequately darken the brightness at night so it isn’t blindingly bright? In other words...could it stay on in the dark with driving you or your passenger nuts.

    Also curious about camera sensitivity in darkness.

    Would the rear camera be easily mounted inside the hatch glass?

    Anyway... Great stuff as always.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
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  20. indycole

    indycole GOLD Star

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    The X1 (or X2) is a full replacement for the mirror. The A1 exists on top of the stock mirror. I'm not quite ready to replace the entire mirror.

    It doesn't really darken automatically but you can easily adjust the brightness using the touchscreen. Mine is mounted about the same height as headlights from cars behind me which means you occasionally can't see much when light from the rear is incident on the camera. You could definitely mount it inside the hatch. That was originally my plan but after a test fit I realized my bumper accessories would be in the way. Plus, routing the wiring would be a tougher as you'd probably need to go through the headliner from front to rear because the cable isn't long enough.
     
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