The second half of my useless tool box conversion, the bottom half.
I had decided to try to maje a rolling yard cart, after seeing how close it was to perfectly fitting a milk crate.
Honestly, I only had one use in mind for this; A battery mover. Car and truck batteries aren’t very heavy. Unless tgeyre thr ones without handles, and yoh havr to carry it 50 yards. Then they’re heavy! Even with a carry handle, going very far is a pain.
It occurred to me that some left over CPVC pipe and fittings I had would assemble to a nice handle.
So, thats what I did.
The original door on this slid up and down in cfanels in the lower front wall. For whstever reason, they madr that lower wall in a separate piece from the rest of the box, it just snapped in. So I snapped it out;
Then it was simply setting the crate, and building filler/mount blocks around it. And also some plywood stiffeners for the back wall, to take the torque of the handle.
And then assembling and mounting the handle.
Along the way, I decided that a cord holder on the handle would be nice, like the setups on the back of vacuum cleaners. Was easy to add with cross bars and elbows.
Then I decided I wanted to paint the handle. Been using up some ancient cans of spray paint, so I chose one and went at the handle. 3 colors later I found a can that worked(most of this paint has frozen at least once, and is several years old… Thus my trying to use it up.).
Intended to only do the handle. Got carried away. 😉 At least, if nothing else, I won’t lose it in the yard!
Might go back and paint the crate and wheels black for some contrast. It’s just a bit bright for my taste!
But anyway, there it is. Didn’t buy a thing, all of it was scrap or hardware I had on hand.
Now to see if I ever actually use it. 😉
After I got the front guard on, on my trail ride test run, the day I posted about, I also did some brush busting. Going forward was great, a lot less worry with that push bar, I was plowing over sma 2″ to 3″ diameter trees!
But when I couldn’t get through where I was trying to make a trail, turning around meant a 12(more like 20!) point turn in narrow quarters, pushing against/over what I had to… And it was a lot of pushing against the rear rack, rack walls, and fenders.
Decided then that I need a rear bumper/guard.
Lots of research later, I decided on the simple tube bumper style, and preferably one big tube. Hoping I could get curved ends..
To the scrap pile we go!
Bunk bed frame ends, just happened to be wider than the racks and plastic, but narrow enough to match overall…
Some creative cutting, and more cutting…
Amazed me, those 3/8″ cross bars were solid, not tubing!
Mock up of Mount positioning…
Simple brackets, angle irons welded into slits cut in the tube.
Getting it all squared and oriented right, those slits aligned, and the brackets squared in to get the curved bumper ends level/square was a pain… But worth it.
And some welding, which I didn’t get pics of. Worked out perfect… Ran everything together, got it all. Then decided to touch up a spot, ran about 1/4″ of bead, and the wire stopped… Ran out of welding wire right there! (Man, that roll went FAST!!)
Had to move the winch fairlead down about 3/4″ to clear. Was easier to do that than notch the tube. 😉
Voila, crooked bumper mounted. 😉
I’d squared and leveled it to my accessory receivers… Forgot that the left side of the rack is still tweeked down a little, thus that tube is low on that side as well.
Adjusted the mount holes, little bigger for some tilt, and thus a level bumper!
Not sure I like the clearance I ended with. The rack wall corners stick out further than the bumper corners.
And everything else is only an inch, or two inside it… The idea was a brush guard more than anything, and a push bar so I don’t push with plastic or rack, and it should accomplish that.
Will run it for a while and see if I need it spaced out some (thinking 1″ max), but I *think* it’s ok.
Also wasn’t thrilled about the winch roller fairlead being recessed slightly.. But it’d take an extreme upward cable angle for it to rub the bumper, so that too *should* be fine. I didn’t want to space the fairlead out very far, reducing it’s stiffness to its bracket (figure all the pull of the winch, and weight of the wheeler rides on this rollers when in use!).
Amyway, thar she be!
I wanted a brush guard for the Prairies headlight area. Not sure what Kawasaki was thinking when the guard loops ended up below the lights, with nothing really behind them, and Nothing in front of the lights…
Also wanted a bumper, not just for protection but for pushing things. Had planned it to probably be separate from the brush guard, but wasn’t adverse to one piece either..
Not having a tubing bender, I went through Everything in my scrap piles with a bent tube or corner trying to find something I could make work, even if I had to weld it all up in a loop… Nothing.
Then I remembered this set of chrome motorcycle engine guard bars that my Dad bought 20 years ago, but couldn’t use, that I knew I still had a couple years ago… somewhere. Was easy to find, amazingly(my scrap piles are literally that; piles).
Perfect width for the headlights, and the brackets, when bent in a touch went between the existing uprights almost as if made for them.
But, when swapped around, put on “backwards” from intended use direction it put the outer sweep toward the back as needed. Only problem there was all the mounts were now useless…
The downward taper angle fit the flow of the machine shape, and the fender cut angle really well too.
But I wasn’t sure how I really liked it with my first couple mock ups…
Liked that it fit around the lights great, and even though it stuck out a lot, that’s what I was after for a push bumper (too close to the plastics and you still break plastic if you hit anything hard, defeats the purpose of having a bumper!).
It is still a bit more forward than I’d prefer, but it’s not Too far, in my opinion.
Anyway, didn’t have anything to lose, wasn’t using the bars anyway, so I started cutting brackets off, and trimming to fit around the winch.
Have I mentioned how much I Really like my angle grinder? 😆
One side down, one to go..
The look improved, but still with a “But…” Got it all mounted, and still a “But..”
It seemed to frame and magnify the big square hole above the winch, like a gaping open mouth below the eyes(headlights). (No, couldn’t close off the hole, radiator is there… although I do have a grill in mind)
Figured I’d live with it for a while. Decided to go ahead and paint it.
Bang! That did it! In black instead of chrome, it blends in and it just plain works! 😎👍✌👌
Love it when a plan comes together!
You will also note that I cut the front racks wall/upper front horizontal bar off. It was mangled beyond being worth the work of straightening it. MUCH cleaner look without it. And, the plan is a wall set for the front like I did on the rear, anyway.
Now, the mounting bolts. I wanted to drill the new bar, and run the u-bolts through, and around the existing brush guard bars.
I couldn’t get u-bolts the right width. So I got what I could, a size bigger, and did full crosses around both… it’s not perfect, but it’s pretty damn solid, and working.
And like the bar itself, painted they blend in , and don’t look bad.
I *think* I can make my first plan work with u-bolts a half step in between these and what I wanted. Might try that in the near future, as I’m able to afford more hardware.
Will also be interesting to see how well the headlights work through it, this fall when it actually gets dark enough to tell. Of course by then I should have the new LED lights installed, but still, I’m hoping it works OK, and doesn’t shadow terribly.
The wheeler was missing the right side front of rear fender flap since I’ve had it.
Here is the factory left side one;
To get a factory one for the right side is a $40 or $50 proposition, plus almost that to ship it to AK. uhuh. Have you ever known me to buy anything I can possibly make? Lol.
I replaced it… or Macgyvered it once before, but the plastic I used, an old Chevy floor mat, while flexible, was too stiff. It wouldn’t flex, and buckled into the tire, got tore out when the fenders flexed. And I’d only used zip ties to hold it in anyway.
Nice soft flexible, but thick rubber this time. What was the rubber you ask? A fancy aftermarket truck floor mat!
Actually the second thing these mats have been used for other than floor mats… I forget where I got them but they were cheap or free, with Built Ford Tough molded in the center. I used them as rear wheel mud flaps on my 78 Bronco for a year till they got tore off…
Cutting to size;
Fitted and bolted;
Large washers under the bolt heads, and larger on the back side to prevent tear outs. Even had some rubber backed washers I’d saved when taken off some fancy self tapping screws a while back.
Used them to run a zip tie through to spread out the pull, also to prevent tear through(had to splice on a smaller piece to go all the way up the fender edge as far as the stock flap does).
The spliced on piece is also held under the upper most bolt for the main piece.
Looks good even if I do say so myself! And more importantly my right foot shouldn’t be covered with mud all the time now!
Now, I finished it, and left it, but wasn’t sure about the attachment to the floor boards. The stock ones are only held with the two centered screws, but…. 5 minutes later I decided I Really didn’t like it, and added another further outward hole to the floorboard corner.
If I can find the other floor mat, I want to add extensions to both sides, to fill this gap between where these front flaps stop and the rear most flaps.
Needed some bolts for upcoming projects, my hardware bins are getting kinda sparse. So I took the free bow flex I hauled home last year the rest of the way apart.
Pretty good haul of steel stock, cables, and hardware! Some pieces of steel, and cables I’ve had plans for, for a while. The rest I’m sure I’ll find uses for soon.
#freesteel #freehardware #scrounger #McGyver #fabrication