View Full Version : Marine Grade Jeep

12-06-2012, 07:28 AM
Whats up all? I've been visiting this place since back in 05, just never posted anything. Since I'm doing another build I thought I would post it. Let me know what you guys think and feel free to offer any advice.

So I'm going to be doing an all marine grade install on my Jeep. Since there aren't many companies out there that make marine grade audio equipment I decided to go with JL...... everything.

Here's what I'm going with.

The vehicle is a 2005 Jeep Wrangler.

The head unit is a Alpine CDE-HD138BT mounted in the overhead using a Tuffy overhead console.
For the front and rear speakers I'm using JL M770-TCS-CG-TB.
For the amp to power the front and rear i'm using a JL M400/4.
The subs are going to be two JL M10W5-CG-TB and powered with another M400/4.

So far I've pulled off all the old roll bar covers and padding. Preped, primed, and painted anywhere rust was, to stop it and keep it from spreading. I ran all the RCA cables and wire going to the rear speaks along the roll bars. I then used soft Armaflex 2-1/2" self sealing pipe insulation as padding and recovered them with a new set of covers since the old ones were sun bleached. I installed the over head console and ran the same wires to where the head unit will be. Years ago I picked up 5 gal of secondskinn spray on sound deadener and sprayed the inside down with it so I'm not too worried about rattling.

This weekend I'm building the rear sound bar to hold the 7.7" JL's, tweeters, and dome lights. I'm shaping a mold out of foam, covering it with bondo, sanding it down nice and smooth, then laying two layers of glass over it. Once the glass drys I'm going to pour gas in it, to meld all the foam and bondo. Once I do that and clean it up real nice I'll add a few more layers to the inside of it for strength. Then it'll be time for a little more sanding, bondo, and paint.

Through out the week I'm going to work on the fiberglass boxes for the front speakers. I'm just having a hard time deciding were to put them.

As soon as I figure out how to add photos here I'll show everyone what I'm doing.

So any suggestions or comments on where I'm going with this?

Bettr n' Revrse
12-06-2012, 07:30 AM

12-06-2012, 07:31 AM
I'm gonna be interested in seeing your craftsmanship.

12-06-2012, 10:04 AM
Curious to see how this turns out. Great idea with the foam form. And to get photos here get a photobucket, unload the pics, and get the [img] code and copy and paste

12-06-2012, 08:54 PM
you didnt just paint over the rust right? did you remove it before painting the area? cause, if you just paint over it, its not gonna do much, maybe slow it down:/

12-10-2012, 04:21 AM
OK, the weekend is over and I have some updates. I stayed at my unit over the weekend, so I could get more work done on this. I dont have any where to do this type of stuff where I live. Well I left my camera at home, so I haven't gotten any photos yet.

First; No, I didn't paint over the rust. I sanded it down, painted it with naval jelly (rust converter) then primed and then painted it.

So here's the update...
Thursday after work I went to home depot and picked up a 4 x 8 sheet of 1-1/2" thick insulation foam and a can of spray adhesive. While in the parking lot, I cut the foam into 4' x 14" sections to transport it. When I got home, I cut one of the sections in 1/4's, then laid one piece down and sprayed the long end with adhesive. Then took one of the 1/4 sections and did the same, joining the ends together to make it longer. I did this to two more pieces, laying the 1/4 pieces on opposite side to assist in strength. The three piece stack is 4.5 inches thick. A 1/2 inch more than what I need for mounting depth for my speakers.

Friday after work I busted out my hunk of foam, took a few measurements, drew some lines, and started sanding. I used a die grinder with two different grits of sanding pads. I roughed out the shape with an 80 grit pad, then finish shaped it with a 120 grit pad, then hand sanded it all down with I believe 250 grit sand paper. It's super easy to shape it this way but it makes a HUGE mess. It looked like it snowed all over the buoy deck and was a pain in the *** to clean up.

Saturday; I finally got to the good stuff. I spent the whole day applying bondo and sanding. I laid one coat of bondo, then when it dried I sanded it down to knock out the high spots. Then one more coat followed by more sanding. At this point I had the whole thing covered in bondo and it looked pretty good. So i ran my hands over it noting all the low spots, and marked them. I then laid a little more bond on those spots and feathered them in.

Sunday; I didn't get as much done as I wanted. I got one layer of fiberglass cloth down, and half of layer of chop mat.

I didn't get a chance to do anything today because, one of the kids that works for me dumped around 100 gallons of hydraulic fluid all over the deck while he was changing out a hose. Said he was looking for more tools (walking around smoking and joking) while this thing was just pissing out of a 3" hose he loosened.

Tomorrow; I'm going to finish the layer of chop mat and maybe I'll have time to do one more layer of cloth. I'll remember to take my camera with me this time to grab some photos.

It's getting close so I also need to start thinking about what I'm going to do with this. Either paint or gelcoat. I'm thinking a semi flat black paint job with red pin-striping.

12-10-2012, 06:58 AM
in for pics

12-10-2012, 08:19 AM
Well, i figured I'd tell you guys about what I got on my Jeep... as in non audio stuff. Its not a mall crawler either, I actually take mine off road.

3.5 inches of suspension lift.
1.5 inches of body lift.
37 inch Iroc tires.
Atlas II transfer case.
Tom Woods custom front and rear drive shafts.
dana44 front and rear, with 4.56 gearing and lockers.
Banks exhaust system.
Coribu (I think thats the name) racing seats.
Stainless steel center console (designed and made by me)

Oh yeah, and a failing bearing in the rear end! New one is sitting on my couch. I'll be replacing it after this build.

Oh yeah, I also have a frame and body of an old late 40's jeep i'm turning into a rat rod when I get back to FL. With a chevy or ford engine though.
4" off the ground, exposed engine, chopped windshield, the whole shebang. Gonna be bad *** seeing that thing murdered out playing Gangstarr, JMT, or some dubstep.

12-10-2012, 12:47 PM
Epic fail without pics

12-11-2012, 01:50 AM
what rims are on it? well, lets just see some pics

12-13-2012, 07:34 AM
So I guess I lost my camera.... But I picked up a new one just to put some photos up here to detail what I got going on. The little thing is waterproof to 33ft! Crazy, right? Anyway.....

Didn't get too much done since the last update. Just added some fiberglass around the edges for reinforcement. It's taking so long because I'm pretty focused (****) about how these types of things turn out. I ended up taking care of any low or high spots after each layer of glass. And since I'm working on this project at work I always have who ever is on duty coming out to shoot the **** with me.

So for the photos I got of it there's not much to show. I didn't have the camera for the shaping of the foam or the first layer of glass. So what you'll see when I post them is after the first layer, the last layer, then primer, paint, detail, and install.

12-26-2012, 01:50 AM
Hmmm, where to start....
The humidity is crazy high here in Guam, and with this being typhoon season it's even worse.

So there I was... It was a bright beautiful day out, they just piped chow and I just finished laying a portion of the last layer of fibergass. I was a little hungry but waited and watched the glass for a few minutes more, then went inside to get some chow. 5 to 10 minutes later when I came back out, I saw the sheet of cloth I just finished laying, flapping in the 20 mph wind that came out of nowhere, along with a very light rain coming down. It was almost like a fine mist. I ran over to the bench, the glass was still a little tacky and pliable so I laid it back down and held it in place until it dried. The next day I noticed a number of little air pockets under the glass. So I drilled a small hole in every pocket I could find and put the project in the engine room to help remove and moisture that might be in there. The following day I took about a dozen 3ml syringes, and used these to fill all the voids. This idea worked awesomely. No voids, air pockets, cracks, or any difference in sound between the filled areas and the areas where it didn't need to be done. So a day or two later I finished the glassing, poured some resin into each of the ends to give me a solid place to mount it to the rollbars, and sanded it all down. Now the speaker bar is at the shop getting rhino lined. So here's some photos. I hope i'm doing this right, if I am I'll upload a photo of my jeep.

12-26-2012, 02:04 AM
I pick the speaker bar up from the shop tomorrow. I'll throw a couple photos of it and my jeep on here after I get home from work. I'm also swinging by the home depot to pick up a couple pieces of 3/4" MDF to start on the box for the subs. Still having a hard time trying to figure out where to put the other 7-3/4" speakers for the front. They wont fit where I was hoping they would. The clutch and break pedals are in the way. If I cant find an easier place to put them I might have to make another speaker bar for the front. I don't really want any more 8" speakers right next to my head though; and if I was going to make a bar for the front I would actually just make a full fiberglass bikini top for it with places to mount the speakers. And OMG that would be way more work than I originally wanted to invest into this project... But I do have a long deployment coming up... Hmm.....

Anyone have an Idea on where to mount these things? Maybe fab up a place behind the lower dash to mount these?

Oh, here's an old photo of my jeep just to hold you guys over untill i get the new photos up. This is from back in 05 so it looks a little different now.

12-26-2012, 02:53 AM
who the heck is viglink and why are they adding links to my posts?

12-26-2012, 03:43 AM
Look interesting, I have a buddy stationed in Gaum.

12-26-2012, 06:53 AM
Right on. Next time you talk with him tell him I say "Hey".

12-27-2012, 03:19 AM
Well I picked up the speaker bar from the shop today. It looks pretty good, considering.

After I picked it up I took it back to my unit and started finishing it up. For all speaker wiring I'm using 12gauge Tsunami SW912BL twisted wire. Today I cut two pieces of wire roughly 14" long, striped both ends of each wire and crimped on some spade terminals. After I crimped on the terminals I soldered everything just to make sure it was all good.

With the spade terminals on both ends I can mount or remove the bar at anytime with out cutting any wires.

you can see where I had to drill and inject resin under the top layer of glass to get rid of those little voids I had. Should've taken the time to fill them flush and and do a proper finish job on it. But the back (straight) section is going to be against the roll bar so I wasn't too worried about it. As long as the construction is solid (and it is) I'm happy.

I also used some 5200 marine adhesive to permanently attach the tweeter mounts and to seal around the wire.

I dont know if any of you guys have ever used 5200, but this is the strongest adhesive I've ever used. Just a couple 8" long beads of it is enough to hold a 250hp outboard engine on the transom of our small bolts. We use it to seal it up so no water can get behind the engine mounts. even after removing the mounting bolts it takes two crowbars to separate the engine from the transom.

So this is just a photo of the speaker on the mess deck so you can see what they look like.

12-27-2012, 03:26 AM
So apparently no one on Guam does any fiberglass work. All the audio places around here just sell pre-made boxes. *****. When I took the speaker bar over to the shop every one there was like "Wow, thats sick. You made that?" I actually felt a little sad about it.

12-27-2012, 05:21 AM
Oh yeah, I found some old photos. So when I say I take my jeep off road this is an example of where we go. This is the easy portion of the trail close to where we BBQ also.

Jes 42
12-27-2012, 07:48 AM
Looking good so far.

12-29-2012, 07:06 AM
Ok, did a little work (2 hours worth) and also got some photos today.

So here's my jeep now. She freshly cleaned since we went off roading the other day. Also broke the steering stabiliser mounts off the steering bar. So I need to fix that too.

Here's the tires and rims.

And here's where I'm working.

You can see how I ran the wires under the new rollbar padding and covers in this one.

I'm building enclosures for the subs on each wheel well to try to utilise the curved areas. This way I dont have to lose so much of my storage area.




I got both sides tapped and foiled. Only got glass on one side. I'm using fiberglass cloth cut into 2" x 14" strips. I laid the first layer down in vertical strips, over lapping each piece. The second layer I laid horizontally over lapping each piece. Tomorrow I'll finish the passenger side and begin on the drivers side.

12-29-2012, 07:08 AM
Just noticed I'm missing a lug nut also. Oh, heres a photo of my atlasII. Not much to look at but since it costs so **** much I thought I'd post it.

12-29-2012, 10:11 AM
Let me get this straight. You carved that sound-bar out of foam?

Also, nice Jeep, looks like a really fun offroad toy.

12-29-2012, 01:26 PM
Sure did. Then covered it in some bondo to keep it from melting too much and finished it off with fiberglass. Once done I used some acetone to melt all the foam. I was then left with a 1/4" thick fiberglass shell.

12-29-2012, 06:40 PM
Sure did. Then covered it in some bondo to keep it from melting too much and finished it off with fiberglass. Once done I used some acetone to melt all the foam. I was then left with a 1/4" thick fiberglass shell.

Thats a awesome idea lol.

01-02-2013, 08:59 AM
OK so I've had a little problem with the boxes for the subs. You would think I would've learned my lesson from the last time I got caught in the rain.... but no. I had to go and do it again. This time I just got done with cutting all the pieces for both sub boxes, mounted every piece but the top because I was going to glass everything together. The ship piped chow, so I looked around, no clouds in sight, so I go in to eat. Ten minutes later when I came out everything was wet, like a cloud came and and took a super massive **** all over my boxes. I run over and dry them off as best I could and put them in a dry hot compartment for the night. The next day, sure enough, all the MDF swelled up like a balloon.

So I've decided to make the whole box out of fiberglass. But wouldn't you know it, the whole island is out of the 3m resin I like. So I head to napa and pick up some of their resin. Let me tell you guys, napa brand resin *****. Bad.

I should be done with a small portion of the box tomorrow. Nothing special, so no photos. This is going to take longer now too.

01-02-2013, 05:54 PM
Really nice work so far on this, especially with all the workarounds you've had to do and dealing with the supplies which you have available. You're going to be the envy of Guam with this ride!

01-06-2013, 10:04 AM
Thanks a lot. This project is just taking forever but it'll be finished someday. I just noticed you're in WA. My unit is heading to WA in a little bit for dry dock there. It's also where I'm picking up my next project... an old 67 Chevelle.

I haven't been to WA since 05. I was statione there for 5 years. I wonder how much it has changed.

01-09-2013, 08:50 AM
Have to put this project up until Feb 20th. The humidity here now that it's typhoon season is insane. I do a small section of fiber glass and it takes about two days for the resin to cure. Thats with a hotter mix to. So I'm taking the moods of my wheel wells with me when we deploy. I'll work on them once we get where we're going. Putting this off longer than I already have is killing me, I have all the components of the install just sitting here in my apartment. Fluff it! this just gives me time to make the boxes even stronger and better looking. See ya in a month.