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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #100 on: September 15, 2014, 10:18:50 PM »
Here is the seat assembly all put together and ready to drop in the bed. I don't have to drill any holes or make any changes to the stock Gator to run this seat assembly.
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #101 on: September 15, 2014, 10:19:57 PM »
Next I built some custom mounts to bolt the axe to. I started with the front mount. I am using the same technique as I used for the shovel, i.e. drilling a hole in the head to slide over the stud and secure with a wing nut.
Here's the front mount being fabbed.
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #102 on: September 15, 2014, 10:20:59 PM »
And here it is with the axe secured with the wingnut
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #103 on: September 15, 2014, 10:22:35 PM »
The handle mount affixes to the long studs sticking up from the seat mount. It is a simple cradle which will have a layer of rubber pad glued in place to keep the handle from wearing. The handle will be held down in the cradle with a simple bungee chord.
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #104 on: September 15, 2014, 10:24:19 PM »
Here's a shot of the seats and axe mount completed after I painted the axe mounting brackets. I placed the head of the axe behind the seat where it could not possibly injure a passenger, then aligned the handle to run roughly above and inline with the existing bed rail. This serves as an occupant hand rail and helps retain body parts as well while romping in the wilds of the tucky.
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #105 on: September 15, 2014, 10:26:16 PM »
Here's some views of it all put together with the tail gate up
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #106 on: September 15, 2014, 10:29:11 PM »
OK, got a lot done today.
The main project is to install a second battery, a deep cycle unit, which is protected and can be manually isolated from the battery used to start the vehicle. This battery will charge off the main circut, but will be electrically isolated when winching. That way if I kill the battery doing a couple long winches, I will still have a battery to start and drive off.
Before I started on that, however I wanted to get a couple of small things done. First as promised, I painted the bright yellow fiberglass axe and shovel handles OD green.
I also glued some protective rubber over the aft axe handle mount to prevent injury to the passengers
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #107 on: September 16, 2014, 02:57:41 PM »
Here's a partial collection of all the parts going in
They include:
A solenoid
Master battery switch
Inverter
2 gage copper cable
Mega fuses and other stuff
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #108 on: September 16, 2014, 02:59:16 PM »
Next I mounted a nifty 400 watt inverter.
This cool little unit comes from autozone and is the pervect size for the glovebox, which is a waterproof location. Inside the glovebox is also a 12V power receptacle which the supplied cigar lighter adapter fits.
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #109 on: September 16, 2014, 03:01:03 PM »
It also has a 5Vdc USB port for charging some electronics like my I-Phone
Here is where it now resides:
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #110 on: September 16, 2014, 03:02:36 PM »
With 110 VAC now available, mostly for contingiency stuff, on to the battery mount.
I began with exactly that, a battery mount using a heavy duty plastic group 27 battery box. I constructed a frame of 3/4" square steel tubing around it, and I will weld that inbetween the seats in that now dedicated dead space.
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #111 on: September 16, 2014, 03:05:07 PM »
The plan will be to strap the battery in the box and strap that to the frame allowing it to float a little on a rubber pad to prevent fatigue cracking of the plastic.
That is about as far as I needed to go for now while I figure out where everything else is going.
There isn't much real-estate, and I have to get that solemoid, a mega-fuse block, the master battery, and later on some electronics secured and out of the elements. Looking around, there just isn't such a place, so I bit the bullet and decided to create a dedicated electrical control box. There is space between the front seats mounted to the aft firewall. I have just enough room to mount a compact 10" X 5" X 6" deep box.
Since there is no such animal. I decided to just build one. Using high grade aircraft sheet aluminum, I started with forming the back and the sides
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #112 on: September 16, 2014, 03:07:02 PM »
The sides
You may notice a ton of special tools. Clecos are aircraft sheet metal holder together thingies that do a pretty spiffy job, of, well, holding things together. Drill your 18" hole, then using the cleco pliers, insert a cleco. Now no force in nature can remove said parts without those nifty pliers
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #113 on: September 16, 2014, 03:08:56 PM »
Here they are being used as I mark and drill rivet holes every inch
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #114 on: September 16, 2014, 03:10:08 PM »
Here's where the box will be mounted
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #115 on: September 16, 2014, 03:11:50 PM »
Don't worry, it's gonna get pretty cool lookin before the fat lady sings.
Here's more shots of the box being assembled:
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #116 on: September 16, 2014, 03:13:07 PM »
And a couple more:
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #117 on: September 16, 2014, 03:13:56 PM »
That's it for the box assembly tonight, will pick back up on it tomorrow.
While I was cleaning up, I tested out the inverter on a drop light.
That's battery alone powering the 115VAC light.
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #118 on: September 16, 2014, 03:15:38 PM »
Speaking of knuckleheads,
Today I worked on Gator rear defense.
Picked up some Army ACU's and a Ghillie suit.
I'd say Those two have it going on!
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #119 on: September 16, 2014, 03:16:46 PM »
OK, got to spend a couple hours on project Tac-Gator today.
The theme is still electrical system, that is aux electrical system. My exide was all but dead so I took it in for a trade. Unbelievably, I got a 100% refund on an 18 month old battery so I went a little crazy and bought this red top Optima. It has so many cranking amps and such a long reserve that it just blew away every deep cycle heavy marine battery I looked at, so I owned it!
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #120 on: September 16, 2014, 03:17:44 PM »
Back to the electrical box construction. There were a bunch of rivets to pull. I did not buck these, but used steel pop rivets which are more than adequate for this construction. It has taken over a hundred so far and the front cover is not yet built!
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #121 on: September 16, 2014, 03:18:50 PM »
I plan to mount an isolation switch to the outside of the box so that I can manually isolate the battery if I so desire. Looking at it, that switch would have been difficult to access with a flat top, so I added an angled top surface which places that switch in a great position. Here's the angle part coming into existience:
« Last Edit: September 16, 2014, 03:19:45 PM by Flyin6 »
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #122 on: September 16, 2014, 03:20:47 PM »
And here is about where the master battery disconnect switch will fit:
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #123 on: September 16, 2014, 03:22:01 PM »
And here is how it will all fit once the box is finally installed:
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #124 on: September 16, 2014, 03:24:05 PM »
From Ashley:

How about that electrical box build? Pretty impressive there. Have to admit. Why move our jobs to china, when we can move the production to Don's ? Build him a new shop, hire a few labor hands, and before long, Don will have the assembly line re-invented... He would be turning out products left and right, quality parts that is, built right here in the U.S.A. Don could just work for free, save the company money, and donate the proceeds to Wounded Warriors... But, then the libs would step in and tell him he cant donate his money to a good cause, need to give it to the neighbors that sit on the porch, and watch. They are complaining, because they can't feed themselves. Don has to give half his earnings to the neighbors so they can survive as well..... Where was this going anyway??
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #125 on: September 16, 2014, 03:24:29 PM »
You crack me up!
On the donation piece I also like the Fisher house at Fort Sam Houston in San Anton. That is the Army's burn center where IED victums go to recovery. THat process is a very long one, so the Fischer house is actually a bunch of apartments where the families of the injured soldiers and Marines can stay for free. A very noble cause and great facility. I think my biggest and best dream would be if my book or the next one could be movieized where I could get enough money from it to actually build another apartment there for the families of future soldiers. How cool would that be!
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #126 on: September 16, 2014, 03:25:54 PM »
All right knuckleheads, lets get on with more of this ever widening aux electrical power project.
Last I was building the electrical box. Well finally, except for it's front cover, it's done and mounted with a lot of stuff inside all neatly organized.
So I continued to build the thing up, adding a solenoid, some mega fuses, and cables out the yazoo. Here's some build up pics:
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #127 on: September 16, 2014, 03:26:58 PM »
The Mega fuses come in all sizes. I placed a 450amp for the upcoming front winch, a 40 for the lights I know are coming and another 40 for the inverter and something else.
Next I found a place and drilled the holes for the master primary battery disconnect. By closing this switch, I can isolate the big optima to drive the winch and accessories while never tapping power off the vehicle original battery. So if she runsd the optima down surfing the web, charging the phone and drying her hair, I'll still have cranking power to get through my favorite mud hole!
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #128 on: September 16, 2014, 03:28:25 PM »
Next the dual battery solenoid was mounted and I added a 2 gage ground strap with soldered brass ends
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #129 on: September 16, 2014, 03:29:54 PM »
Next the extensive wiring began. I used battery cable especially developed for race car applications, a 2 gage copper, which WILL NOT lose any amperage along it's length. There are grommets installed everywhere, adel clamps, chaf tape and every other concievable item which will hopefully make this box trouble free forever
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #130 on: September 16, 2014, 03:31:24 PM »
The wiring build up continues. There will be a cable coming in from the main vehicle battery which will charge the second battery through the solenoid. There will be another cable coming in from the aux battery which will do all the stuff it will do. Then there will be that big honkin ground to get us to earth as the europeans would fancy saying.
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #131 on: September 16, 2014, 03:32:59 PM »
Mo pics
Aient it prudy?
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #132 on: September 16, 2014, 03:34:37 PM »
I then mounted it to the front of the bed on the steel bulkhead. I drilled 3/8" holes then used 1/4" bolts on rubber sway bar bushings. Remember that helicopter pilot vibration sensitive thing? Well, that's going on here. Don't like things to vibrate in harmony. Harmony = Buzz!
With that all snugged up, we might recall the bed tilts.
We might also remember one of newtons laws of physics. I'm refereing to the one that states two pieces of matter can not ocupy the same space at the same time. OK that meant that if I tilted the bed, either the electrical box would be scraped off, or that pretty head cage thing would get all mangled, or perhaps both. So one had to go. Since I just built the box, I decided it should stay. With the handy cut off wheel. I adjusted the rear piece. then welded stiffners back to it.
These pics actually show when I was pre fitting it without the pretty box condition (PBS) existing.
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #133 on: September 16, 2014, 03:36:16 PM »
Here's where it all sits now. Box is installed, rear head guard is modified.
I need to mount the battery, hook it up, make the primary battery connection and fab up a door for the box and I can call this project complete. Maybe that will happen today, who knows...have laundry yet to do, and trunk or treat candy wrappers the Ranger left laying around to pick up. If you're wondering, yes, that will cost him. Punshiment in this house for little rangers usually involves cleaning a toilet...not a favorite task at all!
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #134 on: September 16, 2014, 03:37:20 PM »
Today, I got it almost finished. At this point the whole thing is installed and working as advertised. I started with fitting the battery frame and box and final welding it in place:
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #135 on: September 16, 2014, 03:38:29 PM »
Optima supplies cool little plastic snap on pieces which made the battery a snug fit in the marine battery box I used. With this done it was time to start connecting cables and running the couple remaining ones.
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #136 on: September 16, 2014, 03:39:59 PM »
From the last pictures you can see I paid a great deal of attention to detail. I welded a bolt to the vehicle frame where I connected the aux battery ground and the ground strap from the electrical control box. I found a switched hot lead for the solenoid and plugged that wire in. I ran a hot to the battery, and onother to the main vehicle battery.
Additionally I canned the Inverter cigar powered connection in favor os hooking it directly to the mega fuse block with some heavy wires. It will have no problem drawing all the current it (I) need.
I did find an interference issue with that access I cut for the control box through the head guard. the Cables were touching when I raised the bed, so I cut another corner off that square access and welded in a 45 degree angle brace. I will finish grind it and pretty it up in the morrow.
That leaves me with building the front cover/lid tomorrow and this project is officially in the bag!
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #137 on: September 16, 2014, 03:40:53 PM »
From Shawn:

Don, have you thought about using a sheet of aluminum and extending it backover the knuckleheads seats in the rear? This way if you were driving in the rain at least some of the water would get thrown back past them? The idea reminds me of the bikini top on my jeep in the summer, kiddos in the back will still get a little water rushing around the sides (they always lean to center to avoid it) but at least it will not be coming down from above. Looks like a pretty simple upgrade with some sheet material and a piece of rubber sandwiched between the plastic top and the aluminum front side........

Would make a good sunblock on hot days as well.
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #138 on: September 16, 2014, 03:41:13 PM »
Hmmmm....
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #139 on: September 16, 2014, 03:41:49 PM »
Shawn wrote:

I think that was your shortest post to date. New record, not even really a word either......

Mark it on the calendar, Don is speechless!
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #140 on: September 16, 2014, 03:42:30 PM »
Nate Wrote:

i dont think don is speechless, i think another 100 ideas just rolled through his head and is now trying to work it all out. lol
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #141 on: September 16, 2014, 03:43:04 PM »
Originally Posted by GreatLakeOffRoad View Post
Close enough for me!

Well. not that you mentioned it
I was working out the roof rack which is going to have some unique differences. I was working out how I would extend tubes from inside the frame of the rack. I was working up something for the back as well. Here's the cool part. Stop the vehicle, pull out the tubes in all directions, then IN THE RACK is a tarp with a cammo net attached! Just roll it out and you have shade, shelter from rain, and some cammo. Then you came up with that bikini top idea for the back end, and it just threw me for a loop!
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #142 on: September 16, 2014, 03:48:02 PM »
I just got finished installing the ProMark 4500 winch.
It's a good install, but not nearly as fast as I was hoping.
Anyway I started thinking I could drop it in from the front, but that was not to be. The winch installs from the backside very much complicating things.
I have had the winch for weeks. That was one of the boxes partially obscuring the red maple tree outside the garage windows. I like that tree, so that motivated me to actually tackle this particuliar project. Here's the winch plate and where it fits:
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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #143 on: September 16, 2014, 03:49:29 PM »
So the first big step is to unbolt the front end and pull all that protective stuff and lights out of the way.
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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #144 on: September 16, 2014, 03:50:47 PM »
The winch plate goes on first, then the winch bolts to the plate with some bolts going through the bumper and plate. I substituted longer bolts instead of using the too short Pro-Mark supplied fastners.
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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #145 on: September 16, 2014, 03:51:59 PM »
Attention to detail always makes the difference between a problematic install and a great one. I used the bobbin on the winch line which will prevent too great of a break-over angle. I also substituted a spring clip for the gaudy cotter pin.
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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #146 on: September 16, 2014, 03:53:17 PM »
When it comes to electric wiring and cables and in an off road application, I always pay close attention to routing and chafing points. My favorite technique is to use a rubber donut to secure a cable to adjacent solid mounting points. Here is how I did that with the winch cables:
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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #147 on: September 16, 2014, 03:55:04 PM »
You may recall the auxilliary electrical control box I created some time ago. Well, within that box was a 500 amp mega fuse, just waiting for the winch. Normal long winching will surely tax the circut, but only a jammed motor or short will cause that large of a fuse to burn and cut the circuit. I double insulated the power cable which is wired in such a way, that a simple twist of the master battery switch will isolate the winch to the aux, optima batery only.
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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #148 on: September 16, 2014, 03:55:45 PM »
I wanted to double fuse that critter so I dropped a 450 amp mega fuse inline and installed it under the factory console. That way, I also have a power source for future electrical growth. IR spot light???
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Re: Gator 825i Build Thread
« Reply #149 on: September 16, 2014, 03:56:27 PM »
You may also recall that I welded a stud to the frame when I did the electrical control box. I welded another ground stud to the frame under the hood in the front to provide a good ground for this voltage and amp sucking winch
Site owner    IS 6:8  Psalm 91 
NSDQ      Author: Distant Thunder