Main Line Overland JK Build Thread

Main Line Overland

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Well I finally realized that I should have started a build thread for my JK a long time ago. So I will try to start at the beginning and show the progress to date. Then I will continue to keep the thread going as more progress is made on the rig

I moved on from my 1989 Toyota LandCruiser which I had modified extensively, and drove some fun places as well. Like most LandCruiser that age, I was constantly fighting losing battle with cancerous rust. I stayed ahead of it for a while, but it just became too time consuming.
I decided it was time to trade-up for something better. I had really considered a Land Rover 110, but most of the ones available were in rough shape, and I didn't want to have the same issues that I was dealing with on the LandCruiser at the time. I liked everything about the Land Rover 110 though, so I was searching for an American version of that vehicle, which I basically found in Overland Jeep JK which was in a number of magazines at the time. The Overland JK was the inspiration for my build and I was obsessed with the vehicle.

My build story starts with a previously loved 2009 Jeep JKU Rubicon, that I had literally been searching for over the course of a year or so. I had very specific criteria, JKU Rubicon, White, 6-spd, hardtop, nav, under 15k mi. At the time I thought it was like searching for sasquatch, a myth, but after the long wait I finally found it in upstate NY. I drove up in one car and came home in a JKU Rubicon.

Here is a picture of it sitting on the lot while I filled out the paperwork:

Dealer4.jpg

And here I am grinning ear to ear the day I picked it up:

Dealer 1.jpg


Now I have grown up working on cars all my life, starting with British sportscars (Triumph TR3's, MGA's, Jaguar XKE's & MKII's) then moving to German sportscars (i.e. Porsche), VW's (I built one of the first 2.0L turbo cars) American V8 hotrods, race cars (which I race), and Overland Vehicles (LandCruiser, Jeep). I have even rebuilt some motorcycles as well. So taking this all into account, there was no way that this Jeep of mine was going to stay in stock form. So let the mods begin!
 

Main Line Overland

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Gobi Rack Install

The first addition to the JK was a Gobi Stealth full-length roofrack. I went with this rack because it is one of the best options on the market for the JK currently. The finished product is amazing and it has held up well beyond my expectations in all honesty. The Gobi Stealth provided a level surface for carrying kayaks or rowing shells which I haul often. The rack did not require any drilling to install, and it had a great load capacity, due in part to the fact that it ties into the frame. Plus I could not find a rack that could beat the good looks of the Gobi and its rear mounted ladders that reminded me of a NAS Land Rover 110, which was the look I was going for.

Here are some pictures of the rack installed:

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Main Line Overland

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Wheels and Tires

I ran the stock tires until it was time to purchase my Mopar Winter Wheels (Steelies, color-matched) and 35”x12.5 BFG KM2’s. I had to run a 1.5” wheel spacer to run this setup which actually gave the JK a pretty attractive stance. I installed a cheap 2.5” lift kit to clear the new tires and hold me off until I could afford my real lift. I also shortened the Mopar sliders by about 2” inches, and trimmed the pinch seams in the rear wheel wells for better clearance. An AEV Procal Module helped recalibrate things as well. And the next install added some protection in the form of AEV Rear Corner Guards.

Here are a few shots of the new wheels and tires installed:

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Main Line Overland

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Eezi-Awn Rooftop Tent

After the Vermont Overland Rally last year I bit the bullet and purchased an Eezi-Awn Series 3 1600 Rooftop tent. The Eezi-Awn quality really sold it for me, and even though it was a big investment, it was well worth it.

JK pic.jpg

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JK tent.jpg



 

Main Line Overland

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sPOD Install

We recently installed a new 6-switch sPOD system with built-in air gauge on the Main Line Overland Jeep JK. The installation process was very simple, mostly due in part to the easy to follow directions.

sPOD install 2.JPG

The sPOD switches mount on a panel neatly between the sun visors, and do not interfere with the latches for the top. Minor trimming of the plastic interior trim piece the spans the top of the windshield is necessary in order to clear the bracket that the sPOD panel mounts to.

sPOD install 7.JPG

The system utilizes an existing hole in the firewall to feed the wiring harness through to theSource unit where the brains of the system reside. This unit mounts on top of the ECU module using existing hardware.

sPOD install 5.jpg

This system takes no more than an hour to install, and the end result is an easy to use system allowing you to wire-in and control all of your vehicles accessories.

sPOD install 8.jpg
 
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Main Line Overland

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On-board air is coming shortly, likely an ARB High Volume compressor. The ARB Twin is nice, but large, and to run air tools you really should consider having a tank added which becomes a concern because of taking up space.
 

Main Line Overland

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AEV Tire Carrier & Fuel Caddy Install



Some new goodies are ready to be installed on the Main Line Overland Jeep JK. We had some of these parts already, and some that just came in the door. With the upgrade to a heavier and more durable set of Mopar Winter steel wheels, as well as larger and heavier 35” x12.5” BFG Mud-Terrain KM2’s, it was time installed a stronger tire carrier that could better handle the load.



We decided to go with the AEV Rear Tire Carrier which could easily handle the increased weight, allowed us to utilize the stock rear bumper, and offered a few other options for down the road. The options include a Hi-Lift Jack & Pull-Pal mount, Shovel holder, auxiliary light and CB mounting location and Fuel Caddy. Since we already had an AEV Fuel Caddy in the shop, this was installed along with the AEV Rear Tire Carrier.





First we removed the spare tire, then the rear bumper, stock spare tire mount, and the Daystar rear bump stops which actually held the spare in place nicely for a while. We made sure we held onto the 1.5” wheel spacer we had mounted on the stock tire mount which would be needed later on the AEV mount for our wheel and tire combo. We then installed then installed the tailgate bracket, which required some minor trimming of the top left corner of the exhauster.











Next we mounted the spindle housing and the tire carrier and properly adjusted things to get the correct seating of the tire carrier in the saddle block. We then installed the turnbuckle linkage to the tailgate and tire carrier and adjusted properly. Luckily we did not need to shim the spindle housing and frame on our JK. We drilled the two additional holes in our frame and locked the spindle housing in place with the provided hardware.



We then had to remove the tire carrier unit in order to put the stock bumper back in place. Prior to reinstalling the rear bumper we trimmed the inner section out of the bumper that would have otherwise interfered with the spindle housing. We also used the AEV template that was provided and cut the 2¾” hole through the top side of the bumper for the tire carrier to pass through. We then reinstalled the tire carrier, mounted the spare tire and adjusted the spacing for the tire properly before finally tightening everything down. The AEV Fuel Caddy was also installed at this point, which was an easy process utilizing the provided brackets and hardware.



Overall the install was straight forward, but there was a lengthy process for proper fitment and adjustment of the tire carrier and spare. Luckily the AEV team has great attention to detail not only in their products, but also in the instructions they provide the user.
Here are a few shots of the finished product:

 

daveh

Adventurer
Nice start to this build. I live only about 45 min from your location. I'll have to keep a lookout for your jeep when I'm in the area. Looking forward to seeing it in person.
 

Main Line Overland

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Dave, We are working on doing an open house sometime soon. Keep an eye on our thread in the Northeast Region forum section. We would love to see you there.
 
D

Deleted member 48574

Guest
M.L.O,

I'm looking for a fuel option for my JK - How does one go about transferring fuel from the AEV caddy to the tank? I noticed a hose in the box -- is it plumbed right in?

That looks a lot cleaner and more secure then a NATO can.

Regards
Craig
 

Main Line Overland

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Craig,

It is gravity fed to the stock fuel tank utilizing a shaker siphon.

I would agree that this is a much better option than a NATO can. With it being mounted up higher and protected behind the spare tire, the tank stays out of harms way when out on the trail. Not to mention the fact that it holds an amazing 10.2 gallons of spare fuel. This could significantly improve any JKs range for long distance hauls.

Matt
 
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