Categories
Outdoors Tech

Wirring the ARB Fridge

From ARB’s Tech Bench.

Proper ARB Fridge Power Supply

With the introduction of the new ARB Freezer Fridge that utilizes a highly sophisticated power supply with low voltage cut-off and fault code diagnostic system we’ve found these units are very sensitive to poor performing power sockets and the associated circuits of the vehicles they are used in. Typically
the problem plugs are at the rear of a vehicle and the problem is low voltage at the socket. The result is a fridge that reads an incorrect dead battery and shuts off flashing a low voltage code.

………………………..

Timagehe Fix: ARB now offers a kit with 18 feet of appropriately sized wire, needed terminals, fuse, and female socket to wire a full time permanently hot fridge plug into the vehicle. This is a cost effective solution to add the needed power capacity for the fridge and gain an additional outlet in the rear cargo area of the truck ensuring the fridge functions as it was designed. The kit part number is 10900011 (see new “ARB Product” for more info)……………

Full ARB article available here [download id=”4″] in pdf

Now available from East Olympia Cruisers.

imageSo I ordered one, even though I had just added a plug during my Communications Upgrades.  I wanted to get the Hella style positive locking plug.  It comes with every thing you need to easily connect the fridge directly to your battery.  There is the plug, with a short pig tail and connectors.  There is 18 feet of 2-10 primary wire with with an inline fuse and crimp connector and housing to connect to the socket pig tail.

imageYou will find the socket smaller then the average 12v accessory outlet, but it is very solid sealed metal bulk head type socket.  It also has a spring loaded cover.

Since I already have a 6awg primary wire running from my battery to the back of the vehicle, I didn’t need the supplied wiring or fuse, but I have not been able to find the socket any other place.  I mounted the socket right next to my 12v accessory socket and wired into my auxiliary fuse block in the rear quarter panel.

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Categories
Overland travel Tech Vehicles

Communications Upgrades

In my Land Cruiser I use a CB radio and Cell phone for most on road and trail communications. Around camp and hiking I use a FRS/GMRS radio. I decided to make a few upgrades in the Land Cruiser to make communication easier and more reliable.

For the cell phone, I have added a Wilson Electronics 3 watt booster and external antenna.  At the time they didn’t have the cradle, but my old Motorola phone had an antenna port in the back.  Now, they have a complete kit with external antenna, booster, wiring and universal cradle.  The cradle has the inside antenna and will work with any phone, regardless of antenna port.  I am using mine with the Motorola Droid.   While just an external

antenna can increase cell phone reception markedly, the 3 watt booster really gets your signal back out to the tower. Even when I don’t have enough signal for voice communication, I can usually send and receive text messages.

I originally had the booster just sitting under the drivers seat, an extension for the outside antenna, and the cell phone plug.  I have been using the cradle for a while and love it.  I’m doing some other comms work (keep reading), so I have decided to relocate the booster the the rear quarter panel.  The power connector is just long enough, I moved the extension cable from the outside antenna, to the inside antenna/cradle.

One other modification I made to the cradle was to add a small magnet to correspond with the Droids sensor, making it my in car navigation as well as communications device.  I will write more on this in another article.

For the GMRS radio, I went to GMRSOutlet.com were I found the Icom F2821 on clearance price.  This radio is capable of GMRS, Business and

70cm communication.  I had it programmed for GMRS, but also got the programming cable and software.   It supports both CTCSS and DTCS tones for privacy communications.  Remember, CTCSS and DTCS don’t keep others from hearing your conversations, just keeps them from interrupting you.

Because of mounting space, I decided to get the separation kit to mount the radio next to the phone booster in the rear quarter panel.   With a removable face, the controls can be mounted in front.  The only problem with mounting the main radio unit in the back, is the power demands.  It needs direct battery connection, or at least a 10 gauge wire with 20amp protection.

I also wanted to add a power point for an ARB Fridge. so I decided to run some big power to the back.  I already have dual batteries, so getting enough power won’t be a problem.  I am running some 6 gauge wire to the back.  I already have a 12 gauge wire running for trailer power and auxiliary backup lights, but that’s not enough power.  I installed an extra fuse block in the back.  Both the positive and negative line to the radio needs a 20 amp fuse.  The fridge is on a separate circuit, and the trailer charge wire will be moved to run from the last fuse on the block.

imageFor the radio mounts I decided to remove the factory jack and tool kit.  With my lift, the jack doesn’t do much, but I’m going to find a place to put it anyway.  The mount for the jack is bolted in on the inner fender and floor of the truck.  The Tool bag mount was tack welded to one of the supports.  For holding the radios and fuse block, I bent a piece of stainless sheet I had left over from my Off Road Trailer kitchen.  I also had some 1″x1/16″ bar for extra support.  On bar was bent up to bolt into the lower jack mounting holes, the other runs horizontally from one inner fender support to the other.

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Radio Mount before installation
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Radio Mount Installed with Radios
Categories
News Release

ARB Premium Recovery Kit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Seattle, January 6th/ ARB 4×4 Accessories/ — ARB USA now offers a complete pre-assembled boxed kit, the ARB premium Recovery Kit includes everything the off-roader needs to get started. Whether it be a simple snatch recovery or a more serious winch recovery, the ARB premium recovery kit has it all. Retailing for $407.00, the premium recovery kit represents exceptional value and a savings over purchasing each component individually.
KIT CONTENTS
– 1x P/No. ARB501 Recovery Bag Large
– 1x P/No. ARB705 17,500lb Snatch Strap
– 1x P/No. ARB730 26,500lb x 10’ Tree Trunk Protector
– 1x P/No. ARB720 9,900lb x 66’ Winch Extension Strap
– 1x P/No. ARB220 Recovery Damper
– 1x P/No. GLOVES Leather Recovery Gloves
– 2x P/No. ARB207D 10,640lbs, 3/4” Pin, D-Shackle
– 1x P/No. 10100020 Snatch Block 9000
Note: The ARB Premium Recovery Kit (P/No. RK9) is not suitable for all vehicles. Please verify your recovery working loads before ordering the kit. ARB recommends using a snatch strap that is 3-4x the vehicle weight, therefore, ARB recommends this kit for vehicles 5,600lbs and under. Perfect for Jeep Wranglers, small pick-ups like the Toyota Tacoma and small SUVs like the FJ Cruiser, Nissan Xterra and Toyota 4Runner.

Check with East  Olympia Cruisers for more information.

Categories
Tech

Saginaw P/S upgrade on ’84 FJ60

I had a customer that got tired of replacing re-manufactured stock power steering pumps on his Land Cruiser. He wanted to use a Saginaw pump, and was removing the AIR pump at the same time. At first I was going to use a pre-made bracket that directly replaced the stock pump and mounted to the cylinder head. We were also going to have to install and idler in place of the AIR pump, so I decided to mount the P/S pump in place of the AIR pump, to turn the water pump.

I found the correct P/S pump at a wrecking yard on a ’84 Volvo. This pump is important because it has a larger pulley and a metric fitting on the pump outlet that fits the stock Toyota power steering hose.

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The bracket pivots the same as the AIR pump.  A separate adjuster was need because the size of the pulley did not allow the AIR pump adjuster to fit. Because of the larger diameter pulley, a special length belt was required.

The alternator belt can just be ordered for a truck without Power Steering.

The bracket was made out of 1/4 thick wide bar stock, 4″ wide at the least.  It took several revisions to make a bracket that would work on bot the front and the back of the pump.  This will make it easier for reproduction.  For the front bracket a spacer was needed on the lower whole of .376″.  This is to account for the different depths in the casting.  On the rear bracket, a .25″ spacer was needed.  For the front spacer, you can just knock the one off of the factory Volvo bracket if you were able to get it.  For the back spacer, cutting it off of the same rod you use for the bottom pivot is an option, or knock off and trim the factory spacers.  On the rear part of the factory bracket there are two spacers, to space the enitre bracket off, but the bottom one is deeper than the top.

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For the bottom “pivot” I used 1″ od, 1/2″id steel rod.  Think something like 3/4″ od by 1/2″ or 3/8″ id would be better suited for both the pivot and the spacers.  The rod was cut to the same length as the bottom of the AIR pump, ~3.8″

To get the proper position for welding, I mounted both the front and rear brackets to the pump, slid the rod through the hole then mounted it into the mount.  With the belt attached, I slid the pump into alignment with the water pump and crank then marked the rod.  It could be tack welded here, but space is tight and the engine greasy.  Once removed, it was talked in several places and reinstalled to check position and alignment.  Once every thing checked out, I removed and welded a full bead around both sides of each bracket.

For the top adjuster/cinch bracket, I welded a piece of bar stock on the back bracket.  An arc shaped bracket/slide was cut from some scrap steel.  Using a section of angle bracket I marked and cut a mount that fits some holes in the block.  I forgot to take any pictures of this before letting the truck go, I will try and reproduce this and get updated pictures.

Categories
Outdoors Tech Vehicles

Camp Bug I gets a few new accessories

Getting ready for a few camping trips I decided to update a several items on the trailer.

The first was to install a door for a little more storage space and so I can check on the batter charge condition without having to open the top and remove the inside shelf.  I was able to find the correct size hatch on Ebay for a reasonable price.

trailer updates 1

trailer updates 2

I also installed an outdoor shower box for rinsing off and the occasional shower. I also have a shower enclosure and use the solar shower bag. I like using the bag because it prevents any one from over using the water. The shower will be plumbed into the lines going to the sink in the rear.

trailer updates 4

trailer updates 5

I also wanted to add propane bottle bracket. I kept looking (as others have) for the correct solution for my trailer. I was going to use the XL Quick Fists as they have and extremely high rating, but I decided I wanted the primary tank on the tongue rather than against the box. I ended up bending some 2″x 3/16″ strap on my harbor freight bender. Making 90* bends is about all I use it for and it does the job well. I made a 1/4 cage crossed with a full cage that is hinged on the top and uses a heavy locking clasp. It is bolted to the tongue.

trailer updates 6

trailer updates 3

For the spare tank I used the XL quick fist straps. They are just big enough for the smaller tanks and hold it quite well.

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The last thing I did before the trip is the installation of the under body water tank and gray water tank. This opened up considerable storage space and lower the COG even more, as well as move the water weight centered over the axle.

The water tank is just a basic unbaffled 20 gallon tank. All fittings are customizable. I just put a vent, drain and fill fitting.

water tanks 03.

The tank was fitted up for marking holes then temporarily strapped up with plastic plumbers tape.

water tanks 05

water tanks 06

For the waste tank I decided to use a standard RV drain valve. Time will tell if this was a good idea. It sits pretty tight up to the frame behind the spring shackle. This tank came pre-molded with a 3″ drain and is tapered at the back, just enough to tuck up to the rear frame member. I had a 1 1/4″ fill and 3/4 vent fitting added. I got a 3″-1 1/2″ adapter and the valve at the local RV repair store and the ABS fittings at the hardware store.

water tanks 02

water tanks 08

water tanks 09

For the tank straps I used some 1/8 x 1.5 bar, added some bends for soft corners and bolted it up to the frame using the same Rivnuts I used in the decking. This is how my Land cruiser gas tank is mount so I think it will be adequate for the trailer.

There is just about the same amount of room between the bump stops and the springs as there is between the axle tube and the tank. I may add a little aluminum skid shield to protect the hoses and fittings. This would be attached to the tank straps.

Here are a few pictures of  the tank straps. Turned out pretty well. No sign of failure yet but the center of the water tank may need a little more support.

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I was able to gain a lot of space in the trailer by moving the water tank underneath. I rearranged the batteries to help maximize this space.

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Here are a few of the trailer in action on a recent camping trip to the Naches Ranger district.

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Naches 2009 sm 03

Naches 2009 sm 06