I decided to do several "small" projects all at one time.
Here is a list of the projects:
- Instal 40" LED light bar on front of roof rack - Instal 4 LED box lights (2 on each side) on driver and passenger side of roof rack - Run extra wire to back of roof rack for future project (dust light and maybe a rear camera for the trails) - Remove and paint my cargo box - Remove the tan interior paneling in the cargo area and paint them black - Gut the inside of the FJ to lay down Peel & Seal on roof, walls and floor - Instal a set of back up lights on the rear bumper and have them tap into the reverse lights
For a while now, I have been wanting to finish blacking out the interior panels, remove my rear cargo box and paint it, lay down some Peel & Seal, instal a set of back up lights and have them tap into the reverse lights, install side lights on both sides of my roof rack and install a 40" LED light bar on the front of the roof rack.
I had been waiting on doing it because most of those individual projects tied into another. I didn't want to remove something to instal one thing, only to have to tare it all out later to instal something else and so on.
I decided to wait till I ordered a light bar and side lights and do all of this at one time for these reasons:
I knew that I wanted to run the wire for my light bar and side lights through my roof rack tubbing (not the easiest thing), into the cabin of the FJ, down the A pillar on the drivers side and into the engine bay. I decided to run all the wiring through the tube to hid it and hopefully protect the wiring from weather, branches and anything else. I knew that I would have to completely take apart the roof rack (which has a Baja drop in basket) and run approximately 150 feet of wire through my tubing and into the cabin of the FJ. I knew it would be a lot easier to run the wire on the outside of the rack, but I wanted a clean look and no wires dangling that could get caught on something.
I knew to do it right, the roof rack would have to come off, holes would have to be drilled in the roof rack and the roof of the FJ (one on drivers side and one on passenger side), wires ran across the ceiling from the passenger side to the drivers side and ran down the A-piller through the fire wall and into the engine bay where they would connect to the sPOD.
I knew that the headliner would need to come down to run the wires across and also to get a good water tight seal on the roof rack once I was done. I knew to get the head liner out, the majority of the interior panels would have to be removed. In order to paint the panels black, they would have to come out. In order to remove the interior panels and also to have access to the revers lights, my cargo box would have to come out, so on and so on.
Also, to instal Peel & Seal everywhere, all of the interior would have to be removed. I figured if everything went right, it would be a weekend project...well, I was wrong. It took a lot longer than I thought. We had one day of heavy rain where nothing got done and another day of off and on rain, which happened to be the day i was painting the box... From start to finish, not counting the rain day or other uncontrollably delays, it took about 80 work hours to do everything.
It might not seem like a lot (It didn't to me before I got started), but once you start taking everything apart, painting stuff, running wire, drilling holes, laying down Peel & Seal, breaking tools or losing tools, drinking coffee, eating pizza, cursing, and putting everything back together, time adds up.
Thanks to my friends and wife for helping me with all of this.
* I am very happy with the install of everything. The ride is a little more quiet, not as much road noise and I don't hear the wind hitting light bar. It also sounds like the stock stereo system sounds better because of the Peel & Seal, but I'm not sure on. It could just be my mind playing tricks on me. The lights are a huge improvement and can't wait to try them out on a dark trail.