Project KJ: Fuel Cell and Body Prep

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It’s been a busy week in the BDS R&D Shop as the guys prep Project KJ for the 2013 Ultimate Adventure. The project white board is looming over the guys with a daunting task list and only 10 work days to complete. From body work to engine prep the team is working on all areas of the build. The plasma table was been getting a workout with plenty of parts getting cut out over the last coulpe weeks. A custom aluminum fuel cell was designed in Solidworks and cut out to snuggly fit the contours of our recessed cargo area. We went this route over the conventional cell to allow us to maximize the space available and still allow us room for the dual Optima batteries, air compressors and full size 40” spare while allowing us to reuse the factory tank’s internals to ease plumbing the system. The body work is still on schedule and is being prepped for a fresh coat of paint next week. To help us focus on the KJ body, electrical, and plumbing projects, we decided to pull the axles and drop them off at All Pro Off-Road to help us out with the gear/locker install. You may recall from an earlier update the JK Rubicon Dana 44s we were sleeved, trussed, and gusseted to accept the BDS 4-link suspension linkage, Fox 2.5 remote coilovers, and Fox 2.0 bumps. Internal upgrades for the axles include 5.13 Nitro Gear ring & pinions, air-Ox Locker front with 30-spline Nitro Gear chromoly shafts, and an ARB air locker rear with 35-spline Nitro Gear chromoly shafts. We’ll have the axles back next week for final install along with custom driveshafts from our friends at Drivelines Plus to turn this KJ back into a rolling chassis.

In the meantime the work continues on the body and engine. Panels are being prepped for paint and the new radiator and intercooler are getting plumbed into the little I4 Diesel. Parts continues to arrive on the daily and we have big expectations for next week’s build progress. A special thanks goes out to our buddies at Offroad Power Products, AFe Power, and Edge Products for go fast goodies to make sure our little 2.8L CRD is up to snuff with turning our 40” Maxxis Trepadors. We’ll have more on those upgrades as parts get installed. Stay tuned for plenty more in the coming days as Project Liberty takes shape.

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