Body, armor and cage

3/20/2020
Mark Fechner
OK, it's almost time to install the body back onto the frame and make this thing look like a jeep again. But first, we have some work to do.
 
We filled the hole in the floor from the stock shifter with an aluminum panel and cleaned up a few other spots in the tub.
 
We pre-installed the GenRight aluminum corner guards and cut the wheel well openings to match.
 
We wanted to build a custom swing down tailgate from aluminum. We used an aluminum piano hinge along the bottom that is lowered down so the 2" thick door will be flush to the jeep floor when it is open.
 
We built the frame out of 2" aluminum channel and attached the panel to the frame using 3M VHB tape. We cut a hole for the handle and license plate and added the 2 slam latches in the top corners. We use our shear and brake to cut and bend the top profile from .050 aluminum sheet.
 
We added an aluminum inside panel, cable stays and some seal, and its done!
 
The bolts holding the hinge will later get sanded off and covered with the wrap. The handle is from a TJ tail gate.
 
Custom trail doors were also on the list, so using our stock full doors we made a template from plywood. 
 
 
Rough cut them from .125 aluminum sheet with our plasma and then trimmed them with a router using a little A9 aluminum cutting fluid. The finished product looks like a machined finish. 
 
We welded some aluminum spacers on to the doors for hinges.
 
We used the same top profile that we bent up for the tailgate and attached it with the 3M VHB tape. The door handles are from a YJ.
 
Also on the list was a custom aluminum grill that incorporates a Griffin aluminum LS3 radiator, trans cooler. A/C condenser, Hella Halogen headlights, LED turn/run lights, hood pins, horns and, of course, 7 slots. We designed it all in CAD and had it laser cut from .100 aluminum sheet. We used a 4" dimple die to recess the headlights.
 
Press in nut-serts were used where possible. All of the bending was done on our brake.
 
A bunch of tuning and clamping and it's looking like something.
 
All complete and ready to wrap. 
 
Next on the list was to take care of the fire wall. We are using a Wilwood brake master and pedal assembly and a PSC aluminum steering column so the holes in the fire wall need to be filled. 
 
We cut a filler piece from .125 steel with all the holes correctly placed and welded it to the firewall.
 
After spraying some undercoat and installing the components, we're ready to re-install the body!
 
This was no easy task, and we wont be doing it this way again, but it worked and that's what counts. 
 
Next we started installing the GenRight fastback cage. The brackets all install easily with the supplied hardware.
 
The "B" pillars fit right in and get tacked.
 
We wanted to add a seat and harness mount to the cage. We used Tube Clamps from Summit Machine to make it removable. We also changed the "A" pillars to go all the way to the floor so our next big project (custom aluminum dash) would fit. 
 
And just like that it's all tacked up and ready to pull out and finish weld. You can see in this photo that we also installed the GenRight rocker guards, GenRight front and rear aluminum highline fenders and GenRight carbon fiber highline hood. Its also sitting back on the 40" Mickey Thompson Baja Boss tires.
 
Thanks for reading along! More to come soon! Please remember that many of the products used on this build are available at a discount when you use coupon codes provided by Money Pit Classifieds. Just login and go to Menu>myaccount>discounts to see how much cash you can save on your build.
 
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