Big progress on the truck these last few weeks.
My original suffix-E LT230 slowly crapped out over the last year. It was rebuilt in 2010 but I think it took a pretty good hit during one of the Utah trips and chewed up a couple of thrust washers. The damage was bad and the original unit was scrapped. Rob Dassler installed a fresh suffix-G a couple of weeks ago.
I installed a Garrison Outfitters
window gutter kit for my door tops, which had been rattling. You have to drill out rivets and disassemble the door tops to install the new felts. It's tedious but worth it. The end result is windows that don't rattle or leak.
I also installed some new vent seals on the bulkhead vents. This install is unnecessarily difficult because of the inaccessibility of the hinge mechanism. I'm really glad I did it, though. My new vent seals are so nice. The hinges open and close easily and the vents don't leak at all.
I finished up the installation of my APRS tracker. It's an Argent Data T2-301 unit which has an integrated tracker and 5W VHF radio.
The tracker uses an external GPS. I may someday wire it to the Garmin on my dash but for now, I'm using a little Garmin magnetic puck GPS. The lock boxes provide a good ground plane and it gets reception almost anywhere.
With the tracker running, my position can be tracked over the Internet in realtime. I'm sure that the ExPo stalkers will love this. My tracker also reports the truck's battery voltage and outside temperature in its packets.
The tracker is powered off of a second Blue Sea Systems fuse panel that is switched by a relay off of the ignition. By default, it's running whenever the truck is running but I can quickly turn it off when I need to.
The temperature is measured by a little probe that I built out of a Maxim DS18S20 digital thermometer:
The DS18S20 is not waterproof by itself so I built a little probe from some thin steel, soldered together and sealed with silicone.
The probe tucks discretely behind the Badger top.
The tracker is hooked up to a Diamond Antenna NR770HB and K9000 motorized antenna mount. I made up a small bracket that mounts the K9000 on the light bar; a stainless M8 secures it to the light tab.
Finally, a little treat that I've wanted for a while. Fresh seats. No more cracked pleather, no more foam gradoux
collecting in the footwells. I installed some MUD-UK seat rails, too. No more cramped legs or sore back after a long drive. It's almost too comfortable to be a Defender.