CJ Grille Conversion Kit for the TJ/LJ

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Photos of the first set of parts out of the molds. This kit is ready to go on a Jeep now. Lots of photos coming...









 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Some people prefer steel parts, thinking that fiberglass parts can't possibly be as strong as their steel equivalents. So for those people here are a few strength test photos...

A spare tire on the hood. No big deal, you could probably set a spare on a factory TJ hood without damaging the hood. Not sure about a CJ hood, they don't have a center reinforcement like the TJ hoods do.



In this next photo I'm lifting the hood by the front corner to test torsional strength. Notice how straight and level the hood is, basically no twisting. A factory hood isn't rigid enough to do this.



But that's not so much weight yet, how about the 6'6" 225-lb. gorilla test?



The gorilla test on the fender:



I would have stood on the hood as well but the ceiling in my workshop isn't tall enough :).

BTW all of these parts are lighter in weight than their factory sheet metal equivalents.

I don't recommend you try these tests on your factory sheet metal parts. I wouldn't try this on any of the commercial fiberglass parts on the market either, I've built my parts to handle these weights and stresses.

Back to the first two photos, spares on the hood seems to be a common thing to do in the Land Rover world, but I've never heard of anyone wanting to carry a spare on the hood of their Jeep. But with this hood, you could.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Looks amazing. When do we get to see it on your LJ? :coffeedrink:
Soon. But before I do the installation, and while I've still got the garage set up for fiberglass work, I've designed a custom TJ cowl panel that supports snorkels or Hummer-style air intake caps. It works on a stock TJ (doesn't require the CJ Grille Conversion Kit), and works without having to cut any external holes in your bodywork. You only have to cut a hole in the firewall to pass the ductwork from the engine compartment to the cowl area.

Anyway, I'll take a few weeks to build the mold for that panel before jumping into the CJ Grille Kit installation on my LJ...

 

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Jim K in PA

Adventurer
Soon. But before I do the installation, and while I've still got the garage set up for fiberglass work, I've designed a custom TJ cowl panel that supports snorkels or Hummer-style air intake caps. It works on a stock TJ (doesn't require the CJ Grille Conversion Kit), and works without having to cut any external holes in your bodywork. You only have to cut a hole in the firewall to pass the ductwork from the engine compartment to the cowl area.

Anyway, I'll take a few weeks to build the mold for that panel before jumping into the CJ Grille Kit installation on my LJ...
Jeff - you might want to put this new project in another thread. It deserves it.

Check your PMs.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Jeff - you might want to put this new project in another thread. It deserves it.
I don't plan to start a separate thread on the cold air intake cowl panel project on Expo, I don't think there's enough interest here to warrant it.

But there's lots of detail and daily update posts in the JF thread on this topic: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f9/cj-grille-conversion-kit-tj-lj-project-build-thread-1364193/, especially in the last week or two, but it's been discussed almost since the beginning of that thread. Just popped a fiberglass stock-style TJ cowl panel out of the mold this morning to begin modification into the cold air cowl panel, photos over there.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
I finished up the cold air intake cowl panel. Here it is on my Retro Wrangler pickup with a "Humvee-style" air cap:





It's got an integrated duct inside, so it's easy to route the air flow to a port in the firewall:



The firewall duct gets connected to the factory air box.

The cowl panel is also a good place to mount a snorkel, and the snorkel doesn't require cutting any holes in the hood or fender like all the commercial kits I've seen. Shown below is a rough snorkel I cobbled together for testing...



Compared to the factory cowl panel:



Anyway, now that this little "side project" is done, I'll get back to installing the CJ Grille Kit on my LJ...
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Although I don't plan any decals on the hood when it's installed on my LJ, I've printed out a new set of Renegade letters - I just wanted to see what they'd look like on the final parts.





 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
I'm just finishing up the test install of the first CJ Grille Kit on my LJ. I had to run out to vote before it got too late, so I only have this one photo of the exterior at the moment:



I'm working on an emblem to put on the rear quarter panel just above the tail light, it's shown inset in the photo above.

The "RENEGADE" letters are just something I printed out on my laser printer to see what they'd look like; they'll be coming off.
 
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