Mark's Alpha Build

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Re: Mark's Alpha Build

Postby Badboy617 » Tue Sep 08, 2015 5:36 am

Awesome builds Mark!!!
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Re: Mark's Alpha Build

Postby Mark » Wed Sep 09, 2015 7:59 am

Thank you sir. Have a few other mods I have done since that I need to add and a few others in the works.
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Re: Mark's Alpha Build

Postby Mark » Mon Sep 14, 2015 11:37 am

Never did post a pic of the cargo door storage as it was used. There is some tweaking still to be done but here it is setup for a week long overland trip. It will get fine tuned as I do more trips and figure out what works best and what isn't needed.

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Re: Mark's Alpha Build

Postby Mark » Mon Sep 14, 2015 11:47 am

Storage is always at a premium when living out of your truck for a week so I am always looking for new ways to take advantage of what space there is. The rear driver side window is not usable to visibility (at least not the driver) and somewhat wasted space. Using a kit designed to bungee items to kayaks I can not store items in that window and they will stay in place. Not sure if I will do the same for the passenger side or not, there are occasions especially on the trails where that little bit of visibility is useful.

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The bungee cord that came with the kit is a bit short so I had to order some more and have since replaced it. As you can see in the first pic it was a bit tight and pulling up the bottom window trim need the center. Longer cord took care of that issue and the two ends connect.
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Re: Mark's Alpha Build

Postby Mark » Mon Sep 14, 2015 12:35 pm

Like many I use GoPro cameras to get video on our wheeling trips. I normally run two or three cameras and anybody that has run multiple GoPros at once knows they can be a hassle. First you always have to worry about the batteries then there is starting and stopping the recording on all your cameras when you want. The last trip I hard wired power to all three of the cameras I was using which took care of the battery issue but meant the external cameras were no longer exactly waterproof with a hole drilled in the case and I had power cables to deal with. The issue of starting and stopping the cameras I took care of by connecting them all to the Wifi remote so in theory with a push of a button I could start or stop all three cameras. This worked well for the cameras on the dash and brush guard but most of the time did not work for the camera on the rear of the truck. It was constantly dropping it's connection and not recording. Then you have the issue that if you stop anywhere in public you have $400 cameras mounted around your truck that anybody can just grab so you have to constantly remove and reinstall depending on where you go. I knew I wanted a better option and have been thinking about it for at least a couple of years now and finally did what is at least a proof of concept with a mobile DVR.

On the front of the cargo drawer system right behind the passenger rear system I installed a 4 channel HD DVR that records to SD cards, has built in Wifi and GPS.

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I ran the cable for the dash camera, power switch and controller up through the center of the dash. Power is feed to the cameras from the DVR through the cable so no more issues with batteries.

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I then mounted the dash camera and power switch to the Daystar dash storage unit. The round unit next to the storage tray is the DVR event controller allowing me to just push the button to start and stop the recording. The LED on the event controller blinks and changes from color (green or red) to show current status such as recording/idle or if the SD card is full/not installed.

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I then routed cables for the front camera on the brush guard and the rear camera on the Gobi rack.

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The external cameras are waterproof and automatically switch to infrared for low light. I also have a 4th camera with is the same model as the dash camera. I will use GoPro mounts to temporarily place it where I want on the truck when wheeling.

The DVR has Wifi which allows me to login via the iPad to control the device, changes settings on the cameras and view the cameras either individually or all four at once.

Camera settings screen.
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View from dash camera.
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View from brush guard camera.
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View from rear camera. Was messing with he settings so this image is actually reversed.
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Displaying all cameras, fourth is not connected.
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Have not yet gotten a chance to really test the system out and try it wheeling but overall for a proof of concept I like it. The one thing I don't like about this DVR is that there is a time/date stamp in the upper right hand corner or the screen for each camera and no way to turn it off. Have talked with the manufacturer about getting a custom firmware without this but not sure if they are going to do that or not. They want me to purchase their new model that allows it to be turned off. Of course that means buying another DVR and all new cameras though the other cameras I believe are better quality. Time will tell but right now I think it's going to be a much more convenient alternative to the GoPro cameras.
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Re: Mark's Alpha Build

Postby Mark » Mon Oct 19, 2015 9:10 am

Finally got around to installing the Rancho lift I have had in my garage for the past 9 months.

Install has started...

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New upper control arms on both sides up front as well as Crown extended brake lines and Bilstein 5100 series shocks at all four corners.

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Will have to do some modifications to my skid plates to work with the Rancho. Yeah it sees lots of trail time as you can see.

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Also installed the Outfitter Designs steering rack reinforcement kit but did not get any photos of the install.
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Re: Mark's Alpha Build

Postby Mark » Mon Oct 19, 2015 9:14 am

And the results. Doesn't look like much lift in the photos but I really didn't need much and now even though it's got a bit more height the CVs and lower control arms are level which is a lot better. Also now about 4" wider which adds a bit of stability with the added height. The rear Rancho springs are just temporary and will be doing a spring over hopefully soon.

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Re: Mark's Alpha Build

Postby Mark » Sun Nov 08, 2015 1:22 am

Quick little convenience mod today. Whenever doing anything that required the removal of the brush guard I have to completely unbolt the D-Ring plates. This isn't that big a deal other than the fact I have a winch bumper so it's a lot heavier and takes more effort to line back up. That and trying to install or remove the brush guard by yourself can get a bit cumbersome. Some brush guards have slots where it slides behind the D-Ring plates without removing the bolts but most like mine are just holes through the mount requiring the bolts be completely removed. I took a cutoff wheel and just removed a portion of the mounting plate below and to the side of each mounting hole then shot it with a quick coat of paint.. This will allow me to just slide it in and out from behind the D-Ring plates without completely removing the bolts. There is still plenty of mounting plate sandwiched between the bumper and the D-Ring plate that it is just as secure and sturdy as it originally was. Simple 5 minute mod (if the brush guard is already off) which will save time and hassle in the future.

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Re: Mark's Alpha Build

Postby Mark » Mon Nov 09, 2015 8:09 am

Finally got around to a mod this weekend that I have been planning on doing for years but just hadn't gotten to. Installed a transmission cooler so I could bypass the cooler in the radiator. While by no means wide spread many of us know somebody that has had the separation between the engine coolant portion of the radiator and the transmission fluid cooler fail. When this happens you get coolant in your transmission destroying it. This is a fairly simple mod that could potentially save you thousands.

I went with a B&M 70264 Transmission Supercooler which is rated at 14,400 BTU. Only got the one pic but first pull your grill and determine where you want to mount the cooler. I drilled holes in the appropriate spots in the radiator support, shot them with some paint then used the included self taping screws to mount the brackets. Next you will need to remove the front skid plate to access the transmission lines at the bottom of the radiator.

Now that the cooler was mounted and front skid plate removed I attached the supplied hose to the bottom connection on the cooler and fed it down between the radiator and cross member. Disconnect the transmission line on the driver side and cut at an appropriate location. You will want to have a catch pan ready as ATF will flow both from the line and from the radiator. This is the line that feeds from the transmission to the cooler. You want to connect this one to the bottom of the cooler so when fluid starts flowing you don't get air trapped in the cooler. Cut the supplied hose to length and attach to the transmission line. Now cut the passenger side (return) line and attach the remaining section of hose. Route it between the radiator and crossmember then up to the top connection on the new cooler.

When everything is connected and tight start the truck and check for any leaks. If all looks good now you can go ahead and install the grill and front skid plate. Make sure to check your fluid level after you are done. I capped the transmission line connections for the radiator that were cut off and reinstalled them to seal it off.

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Mark's Alpha Build

Postby big2dabank » Tue Nov 10, 2015 2:40 pm

Mark,

A little birdie told me he helped you install a lift kit. :D Looks good and is exactly what I would do if I installed one, I would level the cvs and control arms to gain the added suspension drop when wheeling. I just got some new tires this week and will be installing them this weekend, I'm going up to 38s because (1) I can fit them without much hassle, so why not and (2) thats the largest size I will run on the factory drivetrain. Sorry for the crappy late night cell phone pic in bad light.

38 x13.5 x 18 Toyo MTs on 18" x 9" KMC XD Addict Wheels

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Spare mounted for now.
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Last edited by big2dabank on Wed Nov 11, 2015 8:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mark's Alpha Build

Postby Mark » Wed Nov 11, 2015 8:50 am

Yeah, that little birdie came through. Was sure great working in the shop, nice place. Need to build my new skids then I will be all set for some testing.

Those 38"s are going to look great on your truck. Will have to hit the trails soon to see how they work. I would love to bump up to 37s but I would be concerned about the drive train. Mel ran 37"s on his with the lift but it was a complete dog. Having the Alpha would take care of that issue though.
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Re: Mark's Alpha Build

Postby JGBB04 » Mon Nov 16, 2015 7:17 pm

Nice stuff & we got nice article online as well :D
http://www.fourwheeler.com/features/151 ... o-explore/
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Re: Mark's Alpha Build

Postby Mark » Tue Nov 17, 2015 8:59 am

Great article even if we are a bit biased :lol:
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Re: Mark's Alpha Build

Postby big2dabank » Tue Nov 17, 2015 11:51 am

Image
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Re: Mark's Alpha Build

Postby Mark » Tue Nov 17, 2015 2:09 pm

:up: :lol: :up:
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