Just Downsized to a Renegade (build and trips)


Man, you do very nice, neat work. All your stuff has a nice finished look to it. I always look forward to seeing your additions to this rig.


Well, after sorting out my storage crates ready for a trip our city and my suburb were the first two areas of the UK to be put back into lockdown, so I have been grounded for the last few weeks again. But due to increased testing and a reducing infection rate we've been set free this weekend (at least as far as the rest of the country has) But the extended lockdown at least gave me time to do the major 4th service on the Jeep and sort out a few more jobs, and generally give everything a good clean and inspection. All being well the two Renegades will be meeting up in Wales next weekend to visit some favourite green lanes.

Some words and pictures from he last few weeks...

Starting with the oil and filter change the first problem was the head of Torx head bolts holding the lower edge of the facia stripped, so I had to grind a slot in it and use an flat blade impact wrench on it!

After sorting that I could get the sump guard off which also reminded me that the last time i did this job I had spotted one of the front mounting M8 bolts had been sheared off, so another thing to add to the list!

Next it was wheels off and the plastic arch liners. The driver’s side line has to come off anyway to access the oil filer, but i wanted to take the others off to jet wash out the mud and kill the surface rust on the suspension components. It was also an opportunity to check fastener types and sizes to make sure I have the suitable tools in my kit - The BU is almost exclusively Torx rather than hex heads.

Plenty of cleaning to be done here!

Liner removed and a quick jet wash cleaned things up nicely

The other side cleaned up well too.

Arch liners awaiting the jet wash.

Access to the oil filter and opportunity to check the alternator belt.

Dropping the oil.

The filter change is a bit of a faff as toy have to use a length of pipe to rain the housing before releasing the retaining cap.

Putting a new filter element in.

More later…


Continuing with the service items and other mucky jobs...

Fresh oil. I went for Shell Helix as it was on offer.

Being a modern vehicle you need a computer even to change the oil! More specifically to reset the oil change and quality counters.

The 4th service requires that the brake fluid is changed.

With all the fluids changed I set about sprucing up the suspension components before putting the arch liners back in. I treated everything liberally with ACF50 which soaks into the corrosion and eventually drys to a nice uniform finish.

After initial cleaning.

After applying ACF50 (still wet)

Everything back in place, clean and tidy and looking ‘cared for’ again!

That was pretty much it for the dirty service items, so I moved inside to replace the cabin filter.

The glovebox has to come out to access the cabin filter housing. The filter lives behind the honeycomb patterned panel.

Filter slides out once the retaining cover is removed.

Old filter was pretty well choked with dust.

Next up, sprucing up the paintwork and a couple of fabrication projects...


When I bought the Jeep there were a few small nicks and scratches going down to the white primer. I just touched these in with some base coat at the time but since it was going to be in under cover in the garage for a few more weeks it was an opportunity to flat them down, apply some lacquer and buff them out. I’m not too precious about the paint given what the jeep gets used for, but I like to keep on top of it.

First off I washed and clay barred the whole car to get the surface nice and clean and highlight the touched in scratches, then I flatted these down with 1500 grade wet and dry. I then applied several layers of lacquer over a couple of days to make sure the level was high enough to flat back.

Flatting down carefully until flush with the surrounding surface.

After a couple days I then buffed the the repairs with finishing compound and then polished and waxed the hole Jeep.

Since the wheels were already off I gave then the same treatment (too much time on my hands!)

When first making up my lamp brackets I managed to get water inside one of the lamps after removing the small label sealing the steady-bar mount hole and leaving it out in the rain for a couple of days. Various attempts to dry it out failed so with plenty of time on my hands I decided to attack it properly. After much prising and tweaking with trim tool I eventually managed to get the rim off and discovered the whole lamp is assembled into the cast casing with polyurethane sealant. So I had to gently cut and prise the assembly apart. There was actually a fair volume of water inside and the aluminium casting had started to corrode, so I caught it just in time.

Casting dried and corrosion treated with ACF50

While the lamp was off I decided to make up some trim pieces from some scrap ali angle to hide the bare mounting bolt.

Reassembled lamp and painted trim pieces ready to go back on.

Lamps back on with trim piece in place.

Next up, waffle boards and potential water/fuel tank build...


When moving from the WK to the Renegade I couldn’t find room to carry my waffle boards internally, without cutting them down significantly, which would make them potentially less useful, so the only option really was to mount them on the roof. I could have taken the easy option and bought some roof cross bars or just lashed the board across the roof rails, but I wanted a lower profile solution.

So I started by cutting them down to fit width between roof rails (only lost about 6” of length) and sitting them on some 25mm foam to get an idea of how I could mount them. The roof is actually more curved than it appears, so the boards needed to sit higher to clear the centre, but this meat the lower edges sat level with the underside of the roof rails and would allow mounting using some simple plates. I wanted to keep the weight roughly over the rear wheels which meant I’d have to use two plates each side to account for the roof rail mountings.

The only suitable material I had was the remains of an old 6mm dural sump guard, so that’s what I used!

I basically sized the plates to make the best use of the quantity of material I had after deciding on the width I needed to support the end of the waffle boards.

Drilling and fitting the inserts to the underside of the roof rails.

Trial fitting rough cut plates.

Refining the plate profiles

The plates needed a slight bend in them to allow for the roof rails not being horizontal.

Plates prepped for paint. I masked off the mounting surfaces to leave bare metal for the sealant/adhesive to adhere to.

Given the load and potential vibration issues I opted to bond and bolt the plates to the rails. This also meant I didn’t need packers to fill the recess in the underside of the rail.



The location of the new plates meant I needed to rethink my CB aerial mount. In the end I decided just to cut down the bracket and mount it on the vertical face of the roof rail. I used three inserts which may bit a bit unnecessary but there’s a fair bit of stress that goes through the mount. It was also an opportunity to re-route the cable through the roof rail.

Rails back on the Jeep with plates in situ.

Waffle boards cleaned up with a grinding disc and sitting in place.

Revised CB aerial mount.

I just to make up some retaining clamps to keep the board in place., then its off to Wales on Friday :)


I spent an hour or so this evening making up some clamps for the waffle boards. I just need to fit some thin self-adhesive foam strips to the plates on the roof rails and the underside of the ears on these clamps to help keep the board in place, and that should do for now.


Recommended books for Overlanding

Dreaming of Jupiter
by Ted Simon
From $16.29
Drive Nacho Drive: A Journey from the American Dream to t...
by Brad Van Orden, Sheena Van Orden
From $15.95


Wow, more great work - really good examples of reducing, reusing and recycling :).

Smart solutions and looks tailor made,

Just had a thought - can you see the crates/storage from the front of your Jeep through the windscreen? If you haven't already, wondering whether you could put some screen/fabric in place to hide from curious eyes?


Trying to escape the city
Again, I can't get over the quality and attention to detail your work entails. You've inspired me to start using my welder and just start puttering around in the garage and make some stuff. Great work!


Thanks JeepGC, I'm a great believer in using what is to hand and fixing and repurposing things rather than just throwing them away. Regarding the visibility of the crates, the rear head rests obscure most of the view so its all mostly out of sight.

Thanks AggieOE, nice to know I have inspires you to get busy in the garage - its where great things

I've just got back from a couple of days in Wales within our family cover bubble, which is the first time I've been further the a few mies from home for months, so it was great to get a change of scenery and get out in the mountains, albeit small but beautifully formed ones. Here are some pics from a track we chose to drive in the Elan Valley near the dams and reservoirs.

The view back to our starting point at the dam. Land Rover used this dam in their famous 80's ad where a Land Rover is seen winching itself up the dam face.

The starts with river crossing at the base of the dam and follows the river down the valley and is often waterlogged, but the spell of dry weather meant things would be more conducive to a pleasant family day out.

We stopped for lunch a short way into the track.

The track continues down the valley parallel to the river. It was fairly easy going but some sections looked more like a canal, so some caution was required to check the depth of the deeper looking sections, and the possibility of hidden rocks. Depth varied from half to three quarter wheel height, so not a major problem.

The track became rockier as we descended the valley.

Things smoothed out again as we neared the end.

Exiting the trail.


Just been sent this short video:

Very nice, good to see you getting out - I am itching to go somewhere, a tiny bit envious.

Question - the kind lady doing gate duty on the first water crossing - did she get wet or was there enough space to get back onboard dry :).


Thanks jeepgc, it was great to break free and get out, if only for a couple of days. The last time I drove that track was many years ago in a couple of Lada Nivas and it was almost impassable due to flooding, so it was nice to tackle it in the dry.

It was my sister-in-law on gate duty and it ended up a bit like the riddle of crossing the river with a fox, chicken and grain. We didn't think things through and she should have gone across in the first Jeep, as social distancing meant should could travel in mine. So a return trip was required, which seemed to provide some entertainment for the onlookers :)

So she did remain dry......until being 'volunteered' to investigate the depth of the waterlogged sections of the trail further down:D