Project KJ: Down to the Wire…

It was a mad rush to the finish. 15-17 hour days in the shop as this vehicle came out of paint to be fully assembled in just 3 short days. In addition to the bolt-on items, the body panels, windshield, interior, and winch getting reinstalled, big items like front and rear bumpers still needed to be fabricated, wiring needed to be sorted out, brake lines and fuel lines routed, skid pates needed to be designed and built, and all the fluids checked before we could fire it up for the first time since its transformation from a grocery getter into a trail rig. To say there was some pressure on the crew building the KJ would be an understatement.

D-Day came along and the rig still had a long way to go. With the start of the 2013 Ultimate Adventure set for Saturday afternoon in Alabama, the guys set off to finish up the odds and ends in preparation for the Friday PM departure. While the list was dwindling down, there were still a number of things to get done. Electrical gremlins persistently popping up during the final couple days of the build as we sorted out periodic no start issues, that developed on account of the doors being removed during the buildup (security system caused no start), overhead console being unplugged (security system caused no start), headlight/taillight wiring issues, and an engine/tranny combo that was stuck in limb mode.  After a day full or fabrication and diagnostic, exhausted and dazed, the crew loaded up Project KJ around 11:30pm still with an unresolved engine/tranny issue. Carter and Dave drove through the night with the KJ in tow to make it to the start point just in time. Once off the trailer at the start, Carter and Dave went to work diagnosing the problem, checking and rechecking wires, electrical connections, and exhausting just about every resource they could think of. Check in came and went and the vehicle passed tech inspection despite the persistent engine/tranny issues. The guys worked late into the night and with the help of other UA’ers, multiple trips to the parts store without resolution. Come the next morning after a measly 2 hours of sleep, they went back to work and finally after about 2 hours of testing wires found the culprit to be a wire coming from the throttle position sensor that was grounding out. A new wire was run and the KJ immediately fired up, revved high and shifted through the gears. The guys hurried out to the first off-road park 20 minutes away and BDS’s official Ultimate Adventure was under way.

For more on the 2013 Ultimate Adventure, follow along on BDS’s Facebook page and watch for updates on the BDS Blog.

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2 Comments on “Project KJ: Down to the Wire…
  • Stefan Wilson says:

    Is it possible to get info on the front bumper/winch plate built for this KJ? I have a KJ and want to do something like that for a winch bumper. Thanks!


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