Every year, with few exceptions, we’ve built a unique and capable themed vehicle for our flagship hard-core off-road event, the Ultimate Adventure. The 2020 Ultimate Adventure was no exception and we went back in history to pay homage to a vehicle that may have started the off-road craze, as well as helped the Allies win World War II. We call it the Ultimate Adventure Long Range Jeep (UALRJ). Our muse for UA2020 is a hodge-podge of Jeep parts assembled to mimic, with many improvements, the WWII Willys MB. Of course, a Willys MB is very similar to a Ford GPW, and this is no period correct restoration. We’ve covered the build on fourwheeler.com and in the past four issues of Four Wheeler. We couldn’t do this kind of build without the support of our UA sponsors and several other companies like GenRight Off-Road, Summit Racing, Novak Conversions, Mishimoto, and more.
As you know from past installments of the build, we’re getting close to the finished product. Still, there are several loose ends to tie up. In Part 1, we talked about assembling the drivetrain and gave some of the histories behind the inspiration for the build. Part 2 discussed the steering system, and how we started to assemble the suspension and axles for this unique and capable Willys-inspired build. Part 3 of the build gave more insight into how the suspension would come together, and Part 4 showed how we armored parts of the Jeep’s body for heavy trail use.
In this installment, we’ll show you how we built a front bumper to house an all-new Warn 8274 winch and protect the front end of the Jeep. Then we’ll show you how we plan on getting fuel from a TJ/LJ GenRight Off-Road tank. From there, we’ll switch to the cooling and cold air charge system for the R2.8 diesel and show how we added the exhaust. Lastly, we will show you our modular and upgradable bump stop system for UALRJ. Looking ahead, next month’s installment will delve into the interior of the Jeep, show you the flat dash, talk about shifting the transfer cases, and we’ll install some driveshafts.
1. We started UALRJ’s front bumper by drawing and cutting a winch plate to work with our raised steering box and the new Warn 8274 winch with a new, higher, 10,000-pound rating. The winch will be offset and angled slightly forward.
2. To add structural strength to the front plate, we bent this 3 ⁄16-inch steel plate to serve as a bottom of the bumper and winch plate. The downward notch adds clearance for the steering box and rigidity to the system.
3. With the two main parts of the winch mount and front bumper ready to go, we welded them in place to our custom front frame horns. We will add some plates to the sides and front that will make D-ring or clevis mounts so the front of the Jeep will have tow points for recovery.
4. For the fuel system of UALRJ, we reached out to Fred Williams of Dirt Every Day. Fred has been running a Cummins R2.8 in his little white TJ for years, so we knew what worked for him would work for us. On his advice, we decided to use a TJ/LJ fuel tank. That meant getting a fuel sending unit and replacing the in-tank pump with a pickup tube.
5. The top of a TJ/LJ fuel sending unit has a built-in fuel regulator that keeps the fuel pressure at about 60 psi. Our Cummins R2.8 doesn’t need 60 psi. In fact, that could cause problems. The engine has a pump that will draw the fuel from the tank at low pressure and then pressurize the fuel for the engine. We needed to bypass the TJ/LJ pressure regulator and add a return fitting to the fuel tank. Luckily, Novak Conversions sells an aluminum adapter that replaces the fuel pressure regulator.
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OVERLAND ADVENTURE 2020: PART 2
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