Barn Door for JK factory hardtops

Bullseye240

Adventurer
Anyone want a free MORryde Trail Kitchen, plus whatever other assorted MORryde gear it that makes sense to install on your JKU?

MORryde plans to be an exhibitor at this year's Overland West show in Flagstaff, Arizona and the usual Jeeps they use in shows aren't available this year so they're looking for someone who wants to have their Jeep displayed in the MORryde booth during the show. They'll want to show the full Trail Kitchen, and if it makes sense for your JKU, probably some other gear like the HD Tailgate Hinges and Tailgate Reinforcement, maybe some side mounts for jerry or Rotopax containers, and probably the new Overhead/Swing-Down Molle rack. Exact list of gear to be determined between you and MORryde, but definitely to include the full Trail Kitchen.

Overland West is May 17-19 in Flagstaff (Friday/Saturday/Sunday) and you'd need to show up Thusday to get the display set up before the show opens on Friday.

Anyone interested can contact Austin Conrad at MORryde, email probably works best because he travels a lot: Austin.Conrad@morryde.com
If only you had said LJ...... oh well.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
If only you had said LJ...... oh well.
I'm pretty sure they want a JKU for the show, but the Trail Kitchen works just fine in an LJ and they're using my LJ at the Easter Jeep Safari Vendor Expo so it wouldn't hurt to ask Austin. Who knows, maybe if they don't get any JKU volunteers they'll go for an LJ.

 

cj-10

Member
I've done a little looking around at used Savari prices and a decent one can be found for about $2500 USD, maybe a little more. A small container shipped from New Delhi to New York I think can be done for about $2000, so for about $5k plus whatever import duties are required a Savari could be on the ground here.

What I've been thinking about is buying a used Savari, finding a shop in India that will take the body off the chassis and putting the body in a container. I probably could make a deal that they'd do the labor in exchange for me giving them the chassis. Then I'd import it as auto parts instead of a complete vehicle, and put the body on a lengthened Wrangler frame. That would give me a US-legal Savari with mechanicals and parts that can be serviced anywhere in the US.
Are there ones that are 25 years old that are not abused? Are they diesel? Manual Transmission?
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Are there ones that are 25 years old that are not abused? Are they diesel? Manual Transmission?
The Savari has a 4 cylinder turbo diesel and a 5-speed manual transmission. I saw a 2005 in very nice shape the other day for rs4.5 lakh, which is about $6k but that one's 9 years too new to import to the US as a complete vehicle. Older ones are less. Some can be found online but most are found by word of mouth here.
 
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jscherb

Expedition Leader
Thanks to everyone who responded to Austin about the loan of a Jeep, he tells me they've got a volunteer now for the Overland West show.

There may be more opportunities for volunteers to get free MORryde stuff in future shows, stay tuned - if MORryde needs a volunteer for a future show I'll post about it here.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
An aftermarket hardtop on a Thar. There are a bunch of aftermarket hardtop companies in India, I think more than for Wranglers in the US. Wouldn't take much to put this hardtop on a Roxor.



Lots of "angry" grilles over here too. Some people might think this is more "Jeeplike" than the grille that comes on the Roxor in the US.



Standard rear seating in the Thar is troop-style. I believe the half-cab soft top is aftermarket.

 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Production underway... I've posted over the past few months about a startup company I've been helping with some product designs - their initial focus is custom-fitted storage bags and related items in high-quality canvas and leather as well as fitted bags in outdoor fabrics for use on tailgate racks and roof racks. They're just about ready to launch with their first few products, here's a photo of a preproduction package for their canvas+leather HD Molle Tailgate Panel for the JK. I've blurred the company logo in this photo because they're not quite ready to reveal their web site.



The product and the package above are preproduction samples, here's a photo of the final production version, this was approved yesterday so the manufacturer is starting production on this today.



It's on a "go/no go" test board I made for the manufacturer - if the grommets fit over the bolts in the board, the fit will be perfectly on the tailgate.

A closeup of the leather and canvas, stitching and the embossed logo. I've blurred the logo in this photo and the photo above. They should be letting me reveal the company name soon. I'm very happy with the materials and workmanship.



This is just one of the products headed into production in the next few weeks.

The panel above supports standard Molle gear and installs to the JK tailgate with no drilling, but in addition to Molle gear what's in the works are the "Grab and Go" line of gear bags I designed for them. This is a prototype 18" bag I sewed for them about two months ago, the details will be different in the production version but the overall concept is the same.





This video shows a Russian army surplus bag I converted to Grab and Go to test the concept:


I don't have any photos of the production Cutlery/Tool Keeper yet, but the first production run is underway and will be finished and the packaging will be done by Monday. I installed a preproduction sample along with Donny's Barn Door last month, this is the most recent photo I have:



Full disclosure: I don't have any financial interest in this new startup company, I'm helping them because for me it's a fun design project. Design is my hobby and I'm always looking for fun design challenges so when the people involved with this startup asked me to help I jumped on the opportunity.
 
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deeve

Observer
I like the kitchen sink in the Trail Kitchen in your LJ. I could finally find a use for the AEV water bumper I have.
 

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jscherb

Expedition Leader
I like the kitchen sink in the Trail Kitchen in your LJ. I could finally find a use for the AEV water bumper I have.
The AEV bumper would work well with the Trail Ktichen sink - the pump that is part of the sink option is capable of drawing water from as much as 6' below the pump, so drawing water from the bumper would work just fine.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
A second preproduction sample Cargo Bag just in from the manufacturer. I got a first one from them the other day and a few things needed some tweaks so they made the improvements for this one. The manufacturer has done Desert Digital for the prototypes because that was on hand but the company will be doing black and Coyote tan for the first production release. I've loaded this one with two carry-on size rolling suitcases plus some other bags and gear.







Three sizes are planned, here's what they fit:

  • Large: MORryde Overland Rack, Teraflex Alta, Bestop Highrock, Olympic Sierra, Surco, Warrior
  • Medium: Rugged Ridge, Rockhard, Tuff Stuff, EAG
  • Small: Garvin Trail Rack, Smittybilt Defender, LOD Signature Trail Rack, Hanson

And of course any of the sizes can be used on a roof rack.

Are there any important racks missing from this list? If there's one missing let me know so I can see if one of these sizes fits it or if any other sizes should be done.

Included with the production Cargo Bag will be a storage bag - the Cargo Bag folds up pretty small and goes into the storage bag so it can easily be stowed under the seat when it's not in use. Easy to keep the bag in the Jeep so it's ready for use whenever the need comes up.

The ACU camo prototype I sewed in use on a road trip:

 

ratled

Adventurer
With all of the hard top companies over there you would think they could a version of the Gazel camper that didn't cost over $18K
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
With all of the hard top companies over there you would think they could a version of the Gazel camper that didn't cost over $18K
I got a close look at the fiberglass work that Green Army Motorsports is doing when I visited them the other day - it's really first rate. When they convert a Mahindra Bolero to a "JKU" there are a number of fiberglass parts involved - new hood, cowl section on the body to integrate the hood and a new windshield, new grille, new fenders and flares, etc. It's really nice work. Fiberglass work is very labor intensive and labor intensive things can be done very well and cost-effectively in India. Shipping probably wouldn't even be much of a hurdle, a container from Delhi to NY I believe is about $2k, and enough hardtops/Gazelle-type kits could be put into a container to spread the cost across them pretty well.

The designer at Green Army, who I met the other day and now consider a friend, is looking for more opportunities for himself and his company. Yesterday I saw him again and gave him a little idea - when he customizes a Thar, he replaces the factory grille with a custom fiberglass grille. Since the Roxor is based on the Thar, I told him he probably could sell all his take-off Thar grilles on eBay in the US to Roxor people who want their Roxor to have a more Jeep-like grille. I also suggested he could sell some of his custom fiberglass Thar parts to Roxor owners in the US as well.

So what you suggest is possible. Finding a fiberglass manufacturer here wouldn't be too hard. Developing the design and molds and business plan would have to be done, but it's all possible if someone wants to tackle it. I can put someone in contact with people over here to explore the idea if anyone's interested and I have friends here who could help with more contacts.
 
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jscherb

Expedition Leader
The manufacturer that's making the Cargo Bag also does subcontract sewing for the military; I picked up this small bag from them yesterday when I was meeting with them. They do very nice work and it's reasonable priced, which raises the possibility of perhaps doing a series of MILSPEC gear-specific bags for use in Jeeps.

Might be fun to do a crowed-sourced (forum-sourced?) design project on this, people could suggest specific bag ideas for Jeep gear and they could be manufactured in reasonable quantities.



BTW this manufacturer isn't the one doing the leather/canvas sewing for the products I showed the other day, the manufacturer doing those is a boutique shop that also does high-end/very high quality fashion bags.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
I posted a few days about about my visit to Green Army Motorsports, a company in India that's modifying Mahindras to look more like US Jeeps. By a little bit of coincidence, I had dinner with the designer last night and I asked him to tell me a bit more about their fiberglass parts. I had seen many of their parts at the shop the other day and was impressed with the quality, and I was curious to know more about their cost on these parts. I won't go into the details of what they told me about their cost, but it looks like it could be cost-effective to produce fiberglass parts here for the US market, even after factoring the cost of shipping into the equation.

Then today the designer and the managing partner of the shop dropped by where I'm staying to talk more. We talked about several designs I've done - the JL Grille for the JK and the JK Barn Door. I've been working with a startup company in the US (not the startup that's doing the fabric products) to help them get the grille into production so I showed the guys here photos of the grille for discussion. I also showed them photos of the barn door to discuss manufacturing of that - the barn door is a little more labor intensive than the grille because it involves an inner shell and outer shell that get bonded together. Labor being quite reasonable in India, producing the barn door over here would be less expensive than doing it in the US.

All of this was an academic discussion of course since I have no plans to go into business to produce any of these parts, but further to the question ratled's posted about producing a Gazell-like JK conversion camper kit or a pop-top camper hardtop for a stock JK, those could be done over here and probably cost-effectively.

BTW Green Army does make a barn door for their Mahindra conversions, here's a photo of one. It looks like a liftgate, but the glass is attached to a barn door structure inside and the tailgate/glass opens in one piece as a barn door. Could be an interesting project for the JK - a structure that mounts to the factory JK tailgate and accepts the factory liftgate glass could be made to turn the factory parts into a barn door.



Since I mentioned it above, I've been working with a manufacturer (in the US) to help get the JL Grille for the JK manufactured, and it's been a while but mold work is beginning on that project. The manufacturer's pricing is excellent and if they deliver the quality that I believe they're capable of, it'll be a nice product at a reasonable price. And it'll be the initial product of yet another startup :).
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
I posted the other day about my favorite "Jeep" - the Mahindra Savari. Jeep is in quotes because it's actually a Mahindra. I've posted this photo before:



I did some "what if" mashup photo editing to put a Savari top on a lengthened JKU. The Mahindra sheet metal could be adapted to become the mold master for a JKU Savari hardtop, and it wouldn't be too hard to make a fiberglass tub extension and a short frame extension to support it.



The above image is roughly what the result would be if the Savari top were used full length. Shortening it a bit but still extending the tub about a foot could look like this:



The Savari has a barn door, so of course that would be part of the conversion. The Savari barn door is wider than the JKU tailgate opening, but since part of the conversion would be a tub extension, the extension could be made with the proper width opening.



And at stock JKU length:

 
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