Builds Questions for a quasi-overland build

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Hi everybody,

Have been lurking around here for a while but haven't posted much yet. I'm finally about to move ahead with getting a BJ74. The plan is to get a 13BT with a 5-speed and a PTO winch in the next several weeks and build it up for a 3-month trip I'm making at the end of the summer and into the fall (up to northern Alaska from southern CA, then back through the Rockies and on to see family on the east coast). Having done a few of these trips before in my 2000 Cherokee (I know, I know...), I know what I need to bring in terms of equipment, supplies, etc. -- what I'm unsure of is how to implement the same types of changes on a 74.

Aside from upgrading the suspension, I want to keep the truck as stock as possible. I'd like to leave the bumpers, leave the chrome side steps -- essentially, only add things that are reversible or look "stock." I don't want to drill through the FRP (for all the obvious reasons) or mount anything to the outside of the body. But I'm not sure how to get away with the trip without either a roof tent OR a roof rack carrying an equipment case and my jerry cans (3 or 4 5L cans).

An exo cage seems like a decent option. I've seen some 74s with nice-looking cages that don't overwhelm the look of the truck. But I'm concerned that anything that bolts on won't have enough strength. Cost is also a concern. Does anyone have direct experience with building a cage for their 74? Would be curious to brainstorm on this.

I'm also considering getting a lightweight roof tent and just using the rain drip mounts on the FRP. I know it's a bad idea in the long run, but I figure if I remove the tent after the trip and don't put any other weight on top, I should be OK. I know opinions on this point vary pretty widely.

If I go that route, then I'd probably have to replace the rear bumper so that I can mount the jerry cans there. I suppose I could keep the original bumper and put it back on one day, so long as the new bumper can go on without any major modifications. Anyone know of a good bumper for these that could carry 3 fuel cans? I've seen a photo of somebody's 74 with the setup, but it looked custom (which is OK too, I just don't have my own shop and so won't be able to fab anything on my own, which makes my options limited).

Thanks everyone. Looking forward to joining the 70-series club.
 

cruiserdan

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I would not attach anything substantial to the FRP rails. Mine had one broken rail from a clamp-on rack that I had to repair when I got the vehicle.

I have a Kaymar bumper on mine. The rack is a JDM Aba Works attached to Thule artificial gutters bolted to the top (like a camper shell set up).
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I would not attach anything substantial to the FRP rails. Mine had one broken rail from a clamp-on rack that I had to repair when I got the vehicle.

I have a Kaymar bumper on mine. The rack is a JDM Aba Works attached to Thule artificial gutters bolted to the top (like a camper shell set up).

How long have you had the Thule artificial gutters installed? I've heard that any holes drilled in an FRP will expand over time (which makes sense to me) -- but maybe you haven't had that issue?

I like that bumper. Looks like a good solution.
 
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The rack has been up there about 15 months. I set steel 8mm Nutserts in the top to mount it. It is not through-bolted. The top is two layers so through-bolting collapses the layers togther and it can not be tightened up sufficiently.

Ah, smart. Thanks. Maybe mounting a rack won't be impossible after all.
 
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I doubt I'll need a long-range tank, so long as I keep the jerry cans full (they're 20L not 5L as I incorrectly wrote in my original post). Seems like the money is better spent elsewhere.

@cruiserdan, where did you get your Kaymar bumper? Did you get it from an Australian supplier directly? Seems they don't have a US-based distributor anymore.
 

fireball

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I got no less than 18mpg in my truck during my recent cross country trip which included some full days off road in San Rafael and moab. With a 5 gal jerry can I can't image needing anymore range anywhere in the U.S. I averaged 21mpg on the trip in mixed driving. That discounts the 23-24 mpg I got solely on pavement from co to pa.
 
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What size wheels/tyres are on this?

I would not attach anything substantial to the FRP rails. Mine had one broken rail from a clamp-on rack that I had to repair when I got the vehicle.

I have a Kaymar bumper on mine. The rack is a JDM Aba Works attached to Thule artificial gutters bolted to the top (like a camper shell set up).View attachment 1063290
View attachment 1063291
 

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