Jeep XJ Westfalia Camper Build - The "Jeepagon" V2

jakegrovephoto

Active member


Built a couple mock up Hotwire cutters. PVC and lightweight steel tubing build warped too much to hold wire tension. Not going to use any of my good steel material in the garage...

2x3 worked well enough for this use.
Steel angle on each side to hold the tensioning bolts. Two 18v power tool batteries in series with a switch. One 18v worked decent but not enough power to cut even. Need to get some heavier duty tension wire to hold up with the added heat. Then we’ll be in action.
 

jakegrovephoto

Active member

.031” music wire from the specialty hardware shop in town (Marshall’s) held up much better with the two-battery Hotwire.



Blind chopping didn’t go so well and began to burn into the “stringer” wooden structures. Went back with a coarse file and dug down so I could see it follow the wood profile.



Hotwire went well. In place of one long major cut I removed several smaller sections.

 

jakegrovephoto

Active member



Taking a couple days of finer sanding work to finesse the shape and think it over to make sure I’m happy with the profile.

I’m at the point of starting other projects as a break from my current projects...
wrenched on the bike a bit today and tore it down to do some pre-season work. Good to give the mind a Jeep break but stay active mechanically.

 

jakegrovephoto

Active member


May have changed my mind on the direction of the fiberglass build, we will see. My current thoughts would require more prep and as such I sanded down the full assembly.

Side note: the rear plug profile was intentionally built to be easily removable and adjustable. Came off in a matter of 4 screws and a light pull.
 
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jakegrovephoto

Active member


Weld cracked through on the exhaust manifold. Summit is supposed to warranty it and applied the credit towards a new Gibson header.

Didn’t want to buy Chinese twice and welds look much better on the Gibson. Works well with the high flow magnaflow catalytic and flow master. Picked up the ceramic coated model as well.
 

jakegrovephoto

Active member




Getting back to the camper top plug & mold. Measured out the rain gutters within a 1/16” tolerance and built up a frame out of 2x3 to hold it in these exact dimensions. Open-ended fiberglass profiles like to flop.

The makeshift sawhorses were far too wobbly at this point so reinforcement came to them as well.

Still need some bondo work.
Need to buy/borrow a 20-30gal compressor to run the spray gun.
Next stage is primer, final sanding, waxing and then mold making.

 

ram2500_24v

New member
Its too bad that the Gibson header does not come with any expansion joints like some of the other brands do. I also think that the Cherokee/Wrangler exhaust systems should have a woven stainless flex joint some where in the exhaust piping to allow for movement when the motor torques under load.
 

jakegrovephoto

Active member

Put out a video on the header install. Goal is to start pushing the Jeep build more regularly on that platform. Be sure to subscribe for the in depth pop-top video I’ve been working on.

Of course, I’ll post here too when that series is live.

In other news I picked up an oiled 30 gallon kobalt air setup today for the mold primer and gel coat. That thing is quiet! Should be just enough air volume for my home shop setup.
 

jakegrovephoto

Active member


Put together the soft top real quick in case we get some rain anytime soon.

Work slowed on the top, taking extensive time in the bondo stage to ensure all is even and the profile I want. Almost a gallon of putty in, so the profile will be a good bit smoothed out and a little different from the original Westfalia shape.

At this point I think I could have made a scratch plug out of foam for about the same hours, as it sands much quicker than bondo... it is nice to have a base shape to draw off of though. I’ll post when I have some more exciting news.
 
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