Truck Modifications - March 2006
I've always wanted to exo my 80 but never had the time. More and more of my friends have rolled their rigs and after seeing the damage done, I've decided this has to be my next project. I've thought about my design for over a year so I'm hoping this project will go smoothly. My old tire carrier is not built for a 40" tire and the bearings were shot. It is time to get rid of that old thing!
Metal has arrived!!
I brought home enough tubing to get me started. I've decided to make the exo out of schedule 40 pipe cause it's only $2.70/foot compared to over $10/foot for DOM. Several forum threads are out there discussing the pro's and con's of using DOM vs. Sched 40 pipe. There were so many guys using schedule 40 that I decided why not. Plus it's a whole lot better than no protection :)
Started on Rear Bumper
The first thing I want to do is the foundation of the exo. I figure what use is an exo if the supports to the frame are weak. I yanked off my old TJM rear bumper and whacked the rear cross member. I've decided to make a real simple, beefy rear bumper/hitch that my exo will tie into in the rear. After the exo is on I will tie a rear carrier into the exo bars sorta like 2 door hinges.
Just for fun. I placed some tubing where the exo will join the bumper in the rear showing you how it will look. The hitch will go in the center of the bumper.
March 29 - More Progress on Rear Bumper
Today I smoothed out the rough edges on the bumper and welded in the hitch sleeve.
March 30 - Rear Bumper Mounting
Almost ready to mount the bumper. I bobed the frame about a foot in so it can serve as a slider coming off of steep ledges and boulders. After this I need to secure the 2 rear body mounts which I removed and brace up the bumper real good. Then maybe I can actually start on my exo!
April 19 - Started on Exo
Finally got my design down and started bending and cutting some of the exo.
April 20 - Front Work
This is fun but very time consuming. The rest of the exo should be easy compared to these wicked bends I had to do for the front.
April 24 - Front Done
Finally got the front part completely done and painted! I think it turned out great. What do ya think? I am noticing that I will probably have to modify my windshield water sprayers cause it appears the horizontal bar is right in the way of the spray trajectory. Oh well this beast is not my daily driver so who cares about spray!!
April 25 - Started on Rear
I'm building the rear tire carrier off the right bar that is why it's bent sorta straight up and down near the tail lights. I'm trying to keep that section of tubing as straight as I can keep it so the tire swing will rotate along a horizontal path.
April 30 - Exo Almost Done
I didn't have quite the time to finish my exo before my Billings Canyon trip. But here is what it looks like currently. I still need to add quite a bit more supports and stuff but the main 4 mount points are done. Not sure if I'm going to do another vertical support behind the rear door or not.