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Discussion Starter · #241 ·
Nothing too exciting today, but I'm getting more and more keen on good wiring practice. After installing that shunt I wasn't completely happy with the few unsheathed wires. They are all fused, but I'd rather them not blow in the first place. Had some corrugated tubing left over from last time

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Before:
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After:
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I absolutely love the shunt. It does make me wonder how badly I've discharged this battery in the past without even knowing. In any case, I'm fully informed now. My drive to and from work is so short that the battery isn't getting a chance to fully recharge with the fridge running.
I am keen to get the 170w solar panel mounted up. If I do that, I don't see why I couldn't leave the fridge running 24/7.

Also went wheeling on the weekend in Belanglo forest. Saw the Ivan Milat victim memorials (again). It's a fantastic forest for driving and riding bikes, but I don't think I'll ever camp there lol. Made it up a couple of obstacles I never would have even tried in the past. The combination of that front auto locker with the factory LSD is fantastic, and no switches to even think about!

Here's a glamour shot of the old girl
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Discussion Starter · #243 ·
lol, some pin stripes thrown in. How's those Wildpeaks going?
yeah I’ve given up on looking after the black paint. Might wrap it one day? 🤦🏼‍♂️
tyres are great. Grips well in wet stuff and smooth steep rock

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In other news, pretty impressed with 11 litres /100kms on a 3 hour drive down the coast. Mainly 100kmh freeway but had to escape 45 minutes of stop start Sydney traffic first too. Only partially loaded up as we’re not camping on this trip, but still.

even more impressive was a 45minute jaunt the other day through city plus some 80km roads and tunnels. Single digits!
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2016 Y61 GUX Wagon
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have you confirmed the economy with actual fuel used? (ie noted odo reading before and after trip and how much fuel was actually used for the distance?) I've not had a lot of luck with the accuracy of the OBD reported/calculated fuel usage. but then I've never spent the time to make sure i'm using it correct. 🤷‍♂️
 

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Discussion Starter · #245 ·
have you confirmed the economy with actual fuel used? (ie noted odo reading before and after trip and how much fuel was actually used for the distance?) I've not had a lot of luck with the accuracy of the OBD reported/calculated fuel usage. but then I've never spent the time to make sure i'm using it correct. 🤷‍♂️
not for these two trips specifically, but I’ve been checking it periodically when I do fill up for a couple years now and it always seems to be quite accurate
 

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Discussion Starter · #247 ·
very nice. sounds like it can be trusted then. I'm a bit jealous of your economy, mine is a daily drive, so my economy around town is terrible, most tanks are around the 12L/100km mark.
I returned exactly 12.36 on the fill up. Mix of city highway and mild off-road

In other news, I’m starting operation quiet time.
On the drive home from down the coast I removed the lid from my airbox to see the effect on noise (pod filter box). Made a major difference, but still some throaty noise reverberating up the big steel snorkel. I guess it’s still bouncing sound back up there
Today I removed the middle pipe from my snorkel


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With that piece out the snorkel was completely isolated. I went for a quick drive, and sound was down further.
what surprised me was there was still some of that throaty intake noise. Definitely more than a stock intake system. This tells me that my aluminium airbox/intake pipe and perhaps some of the stainless intercooler pipes are contributing to that noise. It’s distinctively a “reverberation” noise.

so while I’m dead keen to get my carbuilders sound deadening installed inside, I’m also keen to see what difference I can make by putting some sound deadener on those components.

starting with the 42cm snorkel mid pipe. Did it make a difference? I think so! Was that a placebo? Probably!
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tomorrow I’ll do the airbox. Next week I’ll get started on the big job of stripping the interior and getting the full sound deadening kit installed inside.
 

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Discussion Starter · #249 ·
I debated long and hard about which roof rack to get since ditching the RTT. I used to have a rhino pioneer which I sold, and was lamenting that decision a bit.

After comparing all the options on the market (see this thread for a comparison table), I went a different direction and ended up going with three roof rails instead. I realised I don't plan on carrying much up there at all. Awning and swag/tent is about it. Instead of a fixed solar panel, I'm going to get a solar blanket.

So on my mission to keep the weight low, I ended up with Frontrunner load bars and Tracklander gutter mounts. Both are the lowest in height I could find. The Frontrunner load bars are just 23mm high. The tracklander feet are 100mm from gutter to top. With the bars mounted, the clearance in the middle of the roof is just 35mm. Wouldn't want much lower in any case

Each bar weighs 1.5kg, and the feet are about 1.5kg a pair. So I've ended up with 9kg on the roof instead of 30kg+ for an aluminium platform, or 50kg+ for steel or 70kg+ for a RTT

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Also worth noting. The Frontrunner load bars are literally just the slats that make up their roof platforms. They tell me that if I ever change my mind and what to go to a full platform, I can order one minus three slats and put it together. Easy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #251 ·
Finally stripped the interior to fit the car builders sound deadening kit. I actually used "Pingjing" deadener from southeast car audio, with car builders mass loaded vinyl and insul-layer for the roof.

Here's a start on the rear floor. I've gone with the principle that only a small part of the surface area needs to be covered with the butyl stage 1 stuff before there's diminishing returns. I probably covered over 50%.

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Then the idea is to cover as much of the floor as possible with the stage 2, mass loaded vinyl stuff. This is a non stick layer that basically replaces the carpet underlay

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Working with this stuff, especially up the front with all the contours, was a PUNISH. The idea is to cover as much floor as possible. I found this part really difficult. I did end up getting more coverage around the gear boots etc, but didnt take more photos

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The roof gets the same stage 1 stick on butyl stuff, and then this "insul-layer" stick on stuff.
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If you undertake this mammoth task, I highly recommend this trim removal tool kit off ebay for $25. Worth every penny.
You'll also need a roller and a really good pair of seamstress scissors for the vinyl. Car builders sells that stuff

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The whole task took honestly about 7 days of work on and off. I was moving pretty slowly and kept getting interrupted, but damn it's a seriously time consuming project. Especially the vinyl stuff.
Yes it made a difference and I'm glad I did it. I must say I expected a little more? It's still a loud vehicle that's for sure, but I think my highway jaunts should be more tolerable now.
I sincerely regret not doing the engine side firewall when I had the motor out. I reckon that would help a lot. I may do under the bonnet at some point.

Oh I also did the airbox to help take the sting out of the intake noise


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Bloody huge task!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #252 ·
Last year I installed the GME UHF unit to my centre console. I stuck it to the side of my centre console which you can see here

You can also see that little switch blank on the passenger side of that centre console.
Well with the seats out, I decided to tidy that mess up. I ran the cables under the carpet instead of just loose under the driver's seat.
Then I took the centre console out, unscrewed the panel with the switch blank and had a look. The original one wasn't in the right spot, but there were 2 other slots available.

I cut it out very carefully with a dremel, a stanley knife and some sandpaper

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Then I stuck the UHF unit on the back of the centre console, behind the rear panel/ashtray spot

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That little blue RJ45 cable goes to a GME passthrough which is specific to the nissan sized switch blanks
I also treated myself to the magnetic handpiece mount

voilà
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In other news, I've been working on something WAY more exciting (to me). I'm itching to post about it, but I'll leave it until it's 100% done for the final reveal. It's part of "Project Lightfoot" which is a project name I just made up right now, regarding shedding as many kilos off this big girl as possible. Exciting stuff!
 

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Discussion Starter · #253 · (Edited)
So I have been working on a lightweight storage solution, and here's how it's turned out... all 22kg of it!

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The top is missing some tie down tracks, but other than that it's done
Very much inspired by @J0SHMAN, but made to my specific gear. With no GVM upgrade, I was being very particular about weight

It's made from "Qubelok" which is 1 inch aluminium tubing that you thump together with various shapes of plastic connectors. Bunnings sells a similar (and interchangeable) product, but the original Capral branded qubelok was significantly cheaper.
The shelves and walls are made from 12mm ply.
The back (front?) wall is the full height/width of the unit itself, but the side walls only cover the top shelf to limit weight.
It's carpeted with black automotive carpet from carbuilders. This stuff is great because it's stretchy, which makes it very forgiving when applying around corners.

The whole unit is not particularly high, which was the goal. One of my big complaints of the Drifta stacked drawer unit was that it was too tall. As this car is my daily drive, I often wanted a flat surface to put bulky items. For instance, I actually needed to take an old flat screen TV to the tip, and with those Drifta drawers there was no way to get it in.

I decided to work without a floor at the very bottom in order to limit the weight. This meant removing the factory tie down and seat anchor points to make the cargo area nice and smooth for sliding gear in and out.

The bottom level was built around the size of my cooker on the left, and a folding table on the right. there was very little space left to work with. I can also just squeeze in a big folding solar panel, my camp oven, a folding handle frying pan, a collapsible bucket and my ozbraai.

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The main thing i wanted here is access to a full size 6ft table that I can take out first and put away last, with nearly nothing else in the way of it

The middle shelf size was built specifically around frontrunner cub packs, which I've found are just about the perfect storage boxes. They are cheap enough, strong, stack well and the vertical sides mean there's no wasted space. It JUST fits two deep and three wide, which means I can have six of those boxes on the middle two shelves if I wanted. It's also the right size to fit other odds and ends of my camping gear.

The back wall right now just has the fuse box mounted to it, but I left enough of a gap between the middle row seats to mount other bits and pieces as needed. You can also see one of the brackets that bolts the whole unit to the factory seat mount bolts.

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So that's it. As I said, it's <25kg. Maybe 22kg but I can't be bothered weighing it now. being that it's three levels, I can fit far more gear that I could with drawers. It works really nicely with the fridge in the middle row seat.

Another post to follow with the details of how it's built
 

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Discussion Starter · #254 · (Edited)
So I started by removing the factory tie down points and rear row seat anchor points to make a smooth flat surface in the cargo area

I then discovered that I needed every last mm of width to fit my table and cooker on the bottom shelf, so this bit of trim had to go. It's there to mould around the fuel filler tunnel, but it's far too big and in the way
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Dremel and hey presto, more width.
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I drew up plans which ended up looking like this.... Forgive the insanity.
A couple of notes here...

  • I did not end up including the horizontal cross braces (joists) in the middle going left to right. Hence they are scribbled out. This just complicated the drop-in shelves too much. More on that later. It still feels VERY strong.
  • The measurements in red are the actual cut lengths of tubing required for each section. Keep in mind, each connector adds 25.4mm (1")
    So the pieces running front to back are all 416mm long each. There's two on each span, plus three connectors, which makes the whole frame 908mm long without the plywood wall
  • The numbers written at each connector (some are in blue) are what kind of connector is required. If there's an "f", that means a flat connector. For instance a 3-way corner connector on the perimeter corners is different to the 3-way flat connector that is used in the middle of the sides, top and bottom.

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I was planning on re-doing this plan to make it more digestible, but I really can't be bothered now. Hopefully this is still useful to someone.

I used a mitre saw to cut the tubing. Use a carbide blade with as many teeth as possible and you'll get nice clean cuts.

Here's the very bottom layer in place
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Ok so up until this point, all the tubing is a plain square cross section.

The next tricky thing to work out was using the tubing with a lip in order to have the shelves sitting INSIDE the framework, rather than ontop. This made making it a 3-level affair easier, and also kept the overall height down.

The horizontal tubing supporting the shelves has a 6mm lip running along it's length. Here's a picture of the bunnings product so you know what I mean
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The lip is offset by 17mm. I used 12mm ply for the shelves, and with the carpet wrapped around it, it sits flush with the frame. Perfect.

The tricky thing here is that the lip is only on one side, which means the middle bearer cant have a lip on both sides all the way.... That means the middle bearer only supports 50% of the shelf edge on the left, and 50% on the right. The entire rest of the perimeter of either shelf has the lip for support. I haven't found this to be an issue at all. The shelves dont lift or drop in any corner. To see what I'm talking about, zoom in on the picture in the previous post with the shelves taken out and you can see the little lips running 75% around each shelf
Hopefully this top-down diagram of how I arranged the lipped pieces helps make sense here...
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The next tricky thing is that being an extrusion, the lips would clash at the corners and make joining them impossible
So I got to work trimming off 5mm of lip of half of all the pieces that would otherwise clash.

Again, the dremel worked wonders.

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And here's how two pieces now sit nicely together in a corner

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So with all of that out of the way, here's the final frame all put together. Note that the bottom is open at one end and closed off at the other. The open end obviously goes toward the barn doors.

The frame itself weighs just 4.7kg

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Discussion Starter · #255 ·
Ok so with the frame done, it's onto the shelves.

So the lip is actually just 6mm, which means there's not a whole lot of margin for error. If you look at the previous posts, you can see the measurements in red which is the exact cavity for each shelf.
Factoring in the carpet meant I needed to cut my pieces 5mm shy of those sizes.
So each shelf was cut from 12mm ply. Before carpeting, the small sides were exactly 356 x 853, and the large sides 681 x 853.
Those dropped in perfectly with just a bit of wiggle room for carpet.

Ply is very prone to warping in humidity, so I made sure each piece was as flat as possible before sealing with paint.

I then carpeted, trying to get nice neat corners even though you'll never see them
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The shelves literally squeeze into place. I was going to fix them to the frame somehow, but I don't think I need to. It's remarkable actually. It takes a solid thump with a hand to seat them and then they sit perfectly flush. That was really satisfying.


Ok so one issue I did come across was discovering a slight bow in the whole unit before I carpeted the shelves. You can see it clearly here. It was dipping down right at the middle support

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I ended up realising that this was because of the ridges in the body work in the cargo area.
You can see in this old pic here the ridges I'm talking about. It makes little valleys which I've marked some of in blue. This i exactly where that centre support was sitting just by chance
Also note the seat anchor thing circled in red which was removed. I'll get to that in a sec

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I was really wracking my brain trying to figure out a solution here. The most obvious was to just get a piece of ply for a full size base to the whole unit, which would have worked perfectly. BUT I was being very stubborn about limiting weight and found another way

What I did was find a "levelling foot" from bunnings with an m10 bolt
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I then got a 100mm m10 fine thread bolt from ebay and replaced the bunnings rubber foot bolt with the fine thread one.
This mounted perfectly to where the seat anchor striker thing was (circled in red above)

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With a couple of nuts, I was able to set the exact level where I wanted this to sit. By pure luck, the centre bottom bearer of the frame now runs straight over this rubber foot and it supports it perfectly. Unbelievable!
 

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Discussion Starter · #256 ·
Final step was the walls on the side and back.

Again, 12mm ply and carpet. I didn't do the bottom half of the sides, partly to save weight but mostly becaus I wouldn't have had the space to squeeze them in between the wheel arches. The wheel arches act as walls anyway, and there's nothing to really fall out of place down there anyway.
Here's the measurements of the ply (not carpeted)
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I painted the ply, clamped it in place then drilled 6mm holes through the ply and the frame
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I then unclamped the ply, drilled out the 6mm holes in the frame to 9mm, and sunk in a load of m6 rivnuts
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After the ply was carpeted, I was then able to mount up the walls and sides with black 35mm m6 bolts. Yes I took the time to paint the washers 😂
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And that's about it! Aside from the L brackets to the seat mount bolts which I didn't even bother taking photos of. Easy to figure out

I'm very happy with it. Hope someone gets some value out of it!
 

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That looks great @jackbyo! I've been toying wit the same idea as I've worked with the Bunnings version of the Qubelok stuff before and I have eight "Wolf Pack" crates that I bought 15 years ago for packing stuff in when traveling. I'll most likely end up with something very similar to yours and you've given me a few ideas to play with now. (y)

One thing that still bugs me though... There must be something lighter than ply wood to do the same thing. I get that everyone uses wood because it's cheap, readily available and very easy to work with, but with a total weight of ~22kg and the frame sitting at 4.7kg there must be some more weight to be saved by finding an alternative for ply...?
 

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Good looking result Jack!, theres definitely some out of the box thinking going on, and its so satisfying to see it come to fruition!

It looks like you did a better job of cutting that qubelok stuff square than i did, lol. also looks like a neater carpeting job as well. this gets a big (y) (y) from me!
 

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Discussion Starter · #260 ·
Just having a think about weight savings here...

Setup 1. Side-by-side drawers + fridge cage + (maybe) fridge slide

The ubiquitous titan drawers and wings ~80kg (pretty standard).
A fridge cage is another ~15kg.
So we're at 95kg if you use the (crappy) built in fridge slide.
A decent slide for 15kg and you're pushing a 110kg storage solution around. Your fridge is sitting pretty high, so you might consider a drop slide instead for another 40kg making a total of 135kg

Setup 2. Drifta vertical stacked drawer, fridge box combo ("Wagon #6)
Ok so if you scrap that setup, you could have an all-in-one Drifta stacked drawer setup with the fridge on the left, which included everything above and kept the fridge at a nice height. My used set was 67kg, but if you want the proper setup with a false floor and wing kit, you're looking at ~80kg

Setup 3. Qubelok shelves, fridge platform replacing middle row seats

My cargo setup is ~22kg
My fridge platform is ~4kg. That's just one side, so if you go for both sides you're looking at a total of about 30kg for storage.
The middle row seats have to come out at ~22kg each, saving a total of ~45kg.
(This storage solution is actually "free" payload in a sense)

So if we compare my current setup to setup number 1, we've saved from ~125-150kg
If we compare it to the drifta setup we're saving ~80-95kg

For reference, 150kg is a QUARTER of the 600kg payload available on these wagons.

I've also gone from a RTT at 80kg to a swag at 20kg, saving another 60kg

I believe payload in Australia doesn't even include a full tank of fuel. So another big chunk gone there.
A steel bullbar weighs 80kg.
A "lightweight" roof tent on a "lightweight" aluminium platform rack will run you ~100kg easily.
Add water, food, beers, camping gear, 20kg of dual battery, a 15kg dog, a 30kg winch, a 15kg hi-lift, maxtrax.... Rear bars, sliders, steel bash plates, cast iron ovens, .... The payload just disappears before you've added two humans at another 150kg.... No wonder we are all running around over GVM!


That looks great @jackbyo! I've been toying wit the same idea as I've worked with the Bunnings version of the Qubelok stuff before and I have eight "Wolf Pack" crates that I bought 15 years ago for packing stuff in when traveling. I'll most likely end up with something very similar to yours and you've given me a few ideas to play with now. (y)

One thing that still bugs me though... There must be something lighter than ply wood to do the same thing. I get that everyone uses wood because it's cheap, readily available and very easy to work with, but with a total weight of ~22kg and the frame sitting at 4.7kg there must be some more weight to be saved by finding an alternative for ply...?
I'm not what else you could use. Some kind of polycarbonate panel would be heavier.
Perhaps thin gauge aluminium sheet would be lighter for the walls, but it would be difficult to bolt things to while keeping it from wobbling all over the place.
There's honeycomb composite panel materials out there but you'd spend a fortune to save just a few kg, and again not as simple as just driving a screw into for mounting a fuse panel, compressor, tool holders etc
 
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