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Just installed a Craftsman 28” toolbox, mounting it to the floor with two toilet flange bolts. I will probably end up installing two more bolts to have 4 total. I wanted a box that was small enough to hold some things and some extra clothes, but still able to fit my Yeti hopper flip 12 in front of it. I will have to remove the box in order to check the engine coolant level. Toilet flange bolts fit nicely in those spaces. And this toolbox has a nice gasket to keep out water and dust. $35 from Lowes. View attachment 271048
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
Bkos – Your install looks great! I thought about going that route, toolbox in the trunk. But the wife talked me out of it. Not unhappy about that, though. The trunk cover maximizes the enclosed trunk space quite nicely.


Been a while and with no real progress or changes made to the Can Am. Been busy around the house and shop with other projects. However, a (Jeep) friend invited me to wheel with him in Moab in October, so this motivates me to add a bunch of accessories I’ve been sitting on for a while now. First up is to organize my recovery gear and tools. I used to keep all of this in one big bag, but it got pretty heavy, so thought I’d break it up into two different bags for weight reduction and make it easier to locate whatever piece of kit I’m looking for.


Recovery gear and misc. junk goes in the HF bag. The sockets, pliers, drivers, etc. go into the green tool roll pouches, that plus the wrench set tool roll and everything else fits inside the Dewalt bag. The flat black bag holds a spare belt and belt change tool.




Everything fits nicely in the trunk (with two helmets and a small bag with goggles/gloves) with some room to spare



Also managed to mount the back-up pod lights



And figured out where the horn goes. Mounted to what I’m guessing is some sort of splash shield (looking in the passenger fender-well past the shock). Popped out one of the factory plastic rivet things and replaced with a nut/bolt combo.



So much more to do. A lot of wiring and some fabrication work to make it all happen like I want it to. I have a feeling October is going to get here quick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
Not much in the way of updates. Last weekend was yardwork in the heat and recuperating from said yardwork. I have acquired some additional parts and tools for the Can Am build:

Picked up this ratcheting crimper set from DX Engineering. Need to crimp on a fitting for the ham radio antenna. Along with the crimp dies for coax cable fittings, this kit also comes with dies for standard insulated and un-insulated crimp type connectors plus Powerpole connectors and Molex connector pins.


Also bought a Cleco set and this Astro rivet nut setter to support the overly-complicated roof build I have planned.



Looking forward to this long weekend. With a lot of shop time I hope to make a dent in this pile of stuff needing to be installed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
I’ve put in a few hours on the Can Am. Started with the turn signals. Didn’t want to burn up two spots on the Switch Pro, and since there’s already a blank spot on the dash for an extra switch – that’s where it’s going. First thing is to pull the panel, two screws and a couple clips and it pops right out.


That larger blank octagon spot can house two extra switches or another Can Am accessory, a clock or some such. It’s going to get in the way for the intercom and ham radio, so it needs to go.


Hacking it up with a small cutting wheel in the die grinder.


Cleaned it up with the belt sander, it actually turned out not half bad. Also popped the new switch in there.


Re-installed. Looks like I really need to give this whole rig a bath.


Now begins the wiring fun. Center console sections removed


Drilled holes into the plastic for the turn signal lights. Cutting into the plastic is a little nerve-wracking. Unlike metal, it’s a bit difficult to put back if you make a mistake.



Also decided to mount the Switch Pro here. Used 3M double-sided adhesive tape, I’ve found this stuff to be very sticky and resilient. Hopefully it will handle all the bumps, but even if it lets go, there’s really nowhere for it to go. I plan on putting a dirt/water splash shield over it for a little extra protection, that hot lug is pretty exposed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
Turn signal lights installed.



Ran all the wiring, which took a long time as I tried to really tuck everything up nice and tight so it didn’t look like crap. Made the connections and tested it out and everything is in working order. Also ran some of the other Switch Pro wiring, grounds, and stuff while I was at it.

Took a little wiring break to do some fabrication. I pulled out the factory rear-view mirror as it was pretty much useless with the new spare tire in the way. Got a back-up camera/monitor to go in its place and needed a way to mount it. I left the factory bracket in there for an attachment point and made this to go between the bracket and monitor. Cut a small slice of DOM tubing and beveled out one end.


Turns out a 6mm nut presses in nice and snug. Bevel is there for filling in with weld.

Nut welded to the tube and tube slice welded to a small piece of plate. Put on a couple coats of paint and it’s currently drying. Will install tomorrow.


Next up was making a bezel mount for the switch cluster. I plan on mounting this up against the roof, just left of the new rear-view monitor. Started off with some CAD work (arts and crafts cardboard variety, I can’t wait for the plasma table to arrive).


Transferred that to a piece of aluminum, .125” thick, maybe?


Got to play with the SWAG finger brake on the press.


Cut out the hole for the switch cluster


Fits like a glove! 😉


That’s it for this weekend so far. Fortunately have an extra day tomorrow dedicated to more progress, hopefully.
 

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Turn signal lights installed.



Ran all the wiring, which took a long time as I tried to really tuck everything up nice and tight so it didn’t look like crap. Made the connections and tested it out and everything is in working order. Also ran some of the other Switch Pro wiring, grounds, and stuff while I was at it.

Took a little wiring break to do some fabrication. I pulled out the factory rear-view mirror as it was pretty much useless with the new spare tire in the way. Got a back-up camera/monitor to go in its place and needed a way to mount it. I left the factory bracket in there for an attachment point and made this to go between the bracket and monitor. Cut a small slice of DOM tubing and beveled out one end.


Turns out a 6mm nut presses in nice and snug. Bevel is there for filling in with weld.

Nut welded to the tube and tube slice welded to a small piece of plate. Put on a couple coats of paint and it’s currently drying. Will install tomorrow.


Next up was making a bezel mount for the switch cluster. I plan on mounting this up against the roof, just left of the new rear-view monitor. Started off with some CAD work (arts and crafts cardboard variety, I can’t wait for the plasma table to arrive).


Transferred that to a piece of aluminum, .125” thick, maybe?


Got to play with the SWAG finger brake on the press.


Cut out the hole for the switch cluster


Fits like a glove! 😉


That’s it for this weekend so far. Fortunately have an extra day tomorrow dedicated to more progress, hopefully.
Great skills! Looks great!
 
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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
Hollywood – Thanks, and thanks for stopping by!


Back to the action. Let the monitor bracket dry for a day then test fit.


Stuck it to the back of the monitor.


Mounted it and it looks good.




Was unable to find a way to route power, ground, and camera cables from under the dash to the roof (makes sense, I guess. Keeping any potential water from dripping down to the electronics.), so was forced to drill another hole into plastic. Will have to seal this up somehow when all is said and done. This is the control cable for the Switch Pro.


Ran it up through the cage to the roof


Added the monitor power cord and camera cable. The silver wire is my pull cord for the last of the power cables, light bar and dome lights. Ordered some 10 awg SXL crossed-linked wire and waiting for it to be delivered so I can finish up everything going to the roof.


The mounting bracket for the rear camera is questionable. Zip-tied for now, we’ll see how well it holds up to the bumps and bounces. I think the zip ties will hold fine, it’s the angle adjustment on the bracket I’m not sure will keep it aimed steady.


Settled on a final location for the light bar and drilled the holes. Added a grommet for the power cable. Fortunately these are all in the “visor” section and not worried about more potential leak points into the cab.



Ran some other wires in preparation for the ham radio and intercom, not picture-worthy. I think while I’m waiting for the wire to arrive I’ll start on the roof, which is going to be a project of its own.
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
Made a little more progress this weekend. Started by installing the first aid kit. Was originally going to mount to the rear roll-bar, but the spare got in the way. Decided to just bolt it to the roof.




Pulled the rest of the wiring and started clean-up. Spent a bit of time with split loom and zip ties. Wanted to make sure it looked nice and tidy. Here’s the wires going up to the whip


All those chain-link half-loops I welded to the tire carrier paying off


Here’s the loom coming from the cab through the back bulkhead, between the plastics and frame support. These wires are for the whip, turn signals, rear lights, and camera. I think it cleaned up nice and should provide some protection to those wires.


The only thing visible from the outside is a small section of loom towards the rear, tucked up tight. Not too bad.


The rats nest in the center console went from this:


To this:


Those few wires left hanging are for the intercom and ham radio. Need to put the center console back together before I can fab up the mounts and enclosure for those.
 

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Discussion Starter · #50 ·
Which means it was time to work on the roof. I got some 1” aluminum square tubing that I wanted to tack to the underside of the roof for supports, so mocked up the wiring paths to get a good idea of where they should go. The ham radio antenna is going to be routed through the passenger cage pillar by itself, away from all the other power lines.


Cut up a bunch of aluminum


The Plan


I don’t have a lot of hood time with tig and am not very comfortable with it yet, so figured some practice was in order. Got a remnant piece of the roof and then cut several small sacrificial pieces of square tube to get into a rhythm and tweak settings on the welder before tackling the real deal. This is when things went sideways. For the life of me, I wasn’t able to establish a good arc or puddle. I kept burning up the electrodes. After much Google and You Tube, I had replaced everything in the torch with new parts, new electrodes, messed with various settings, and still got the same results. One of the Tube suggestions was “bad gas”, but the tank is practically full and was “good” last time I used it so not sure how it would go bad. So thinking maybe there was a bad solenoid inside the machine not allowing the argon to flow I started to investigate. Was just thinking about opening up the machine when I noticed this:


The torch hose is basically falling apart from looks to be dry-rot. I’m guessing the lack of shielding gas may be part of my problem…

So that brought a screeching halt to my progress, while I ordered a new Superflex hose and a new Dinse connector to make everything serviceable. All the connections on the AHP set-up are crimped, so the only thing I can salvage is the torch head. Hopefully the brown truck drops those parts off soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
Tackled another step in the project last night. Insulation of the center console area. With the coolant hoses running right along the floorboard under the center console plastics, it notably pours out heat through the shifter and we’ve ended up throwing jackets/hoodies over it to keep it from blowing more hot air into the cab. Here’s my plan/fix to mitigate this.

Start with some more arts and crafts. This time I get to play with spray glue, too. Shifter cover removed and making patterns to cut the insulation.


Using this foil wrap stuff I picked up from Lowe’s


Foil cut and using 3M 90 for the adhesive.




Re-installed shifter cover. Not a huge fan of how the foil looks through the shift pattern. Guessing this will also be a collection point for dust/dirt. Maybe mask everything else off and hit it with some rattle-can black to camouflage? Oh, also cut a slit pattern in the foil for the shifter to, you know, shift.


You’ll also notice that the shift tower has a bunch of gaps in it and I’m pretty sure that’s where the heat is rising up through. So went ahead and wrapped that up, too.


I also figured it wouldn’t hurt to line the center console plastics, too.




Did both sides and re-installed



Hopefully it will at least make a small difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
So I received the new torch hose and connector.


Assembled and even put on a leather hose cover.



And that’s pretty much where my skill and talent with the tig welder tops out. I managed a few good tack welds on practice pieces and switched to the roof, which is really kicking my butt. That didn’t go as good as the practice pieces, but was able to barely stick some metal together. Aluminum is either really challenging or I’m just not very good at tig. Probably a bit of both. Between dipping the tungsten in the puddle every other arc and trying not to blow out the thinner square tube walls where it meets the slightly thicker roof material, it didn’t go as well as I would have liked. YouTube only goes so far for this skill-set, it seems. Anyways, the supports are in. For the most part. Don’t look too close.





Taped up the wires to keep them out of the way and moved on to the headliner – starting its life as a piece of thin-gauge aluminum sheet.


Quite a bit of measuring and cutting later.



I lost count of how many times I pulled this in and out of the car, shaving off a little here and there for fitment. Finally decided it was good and moved on to measuring and pre-drilling for the rivet nuts. Measured, marked, and punched 1/8” holes in the headliner. The three bigger holes are for dome lights.
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Held that in place and drilled corresponding 1/8” holes in the square tube roof supports. Amazingly everything seems to have lined up correctly. Used the Cleco’s to hold the headliner and switch cover in place.
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Theoretically after enlarging the holes in the square tubes and installing the rivet nuts, and enlarging the headliner holes to accept the screws, everything should still line up for final install. Hopefully I can make some time this week to finish it up so I can focus on the intercom and ham radio install this weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
Had a bit of the Reflectix left over, so added two layers to the headliner.



Cleaned it up a bit, trimmed the foil and poked holes for wiring and bolts. Wired up the dome lights and went to install the roof. I got M6 button head cap screws to hold it in place, I think the dome shape will look better than a regular bolt-head. I got them at the metric equivalent of half-inch long, which normally would be have been fine for going into the rivet nut through the thin roof sheet…but I didn’t think about the two layers of insulation I put in between there. Was able to get one bolt in (probably a thin spot) but the rest wouldn’t start. Used some regular M6 bolts to hold it in place for now. Good news is that they went in just fine in multiple locations, so alignment shouldn’t be an issue. So at least it’s held in place until the longer screws arrive. In the mean-time, I can start on the communications install.
 

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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
So the Mrs. was out of town for the weekend, so I had a lot of QST to work on the radio installation. My goals are to have it durable, considering the hammering the car is going to get, but also want it to be serviceable for removal and replacement of the electronics if needed.


Here’s what’s going into the car. The little Btech ham radio and the Rugged Radio intercom.


The intercom came with little aluminum angle-iron pieces for mounting brackets, which were useless for what I wanted to do, but the ham radio bracket is something I could work with. So I started by making this piece.



And bolted the ham radio mount to it. The thought is that this will hold both pieces of comm gear as a cassette of sorts. Want to be able to pull just this out without removing the whole framework/console.



At this point I took a break and installed some fender flare extensions that the brown truck dropped off. Very easy install and some immediate project-completion gratification.

Rear fender before:


Rear after:


Front before:


Front after:


I dig it and general consensus is that they are very helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
So back to the radio install…

Built this cage to mount under the dash. Theoretically once finalized I shouldn’t need to remove this for radio maintenance. The cassette should bolt into and be removed separately from the frame. There’s a ¾” square steel tube running underneath across the dash the front two mounting points are going to be self-tapped into. There’s an intersecting 2” or so square steel tube running front-to-back that the rear right gets bolted to. There’s already a hole in that tube with a corresponding cut-out to allow for wrench access. Not sure what the original intent was, but I know what it’s for now. The rear left mount gets attached to the steering column bracket, which already has a convenient hole in place that I can use for attachment.





Welded some M6 nuts to the cassette. One on each side and two on the bottom. Had to clearance the ham radio bracket a little for the nuts to pass through. These are what should hold the cassette in place inside the frame.



After a couple tweaks for fitment, it’s bolted in-place.



Next up is skinning it. Using some .050” steel sheet. The bottom and sides were pretty straight-forward.



The face-plate had me a little nervous, being this is what you see first and the most. Plus with the cut-outs for the gear, placement is critical. More CAD work.



Cut out the piece and corresponding holes, along with taking it to the press brake so the edges wrap around the side. That way the mounting screws won’t be visible from the front.



Not too shabby.







And that’s where I ran out of steam for the weekend. Still need to do one final installation check-fit for faceplate clearance before tearing it down for paint.
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
Getting close to the finish line!

Got the bolts for the roof and installed them, calling this good and done.



Finished up the last of the wiring – power and ground for comms, plus situated the PTT buttons. One on the steering wheel for the driver and the other to the grab bar for the passenger.



Tackled another first for me…installing a coax connector for the antenna. Got one of those nifty coax strippers that supposed to do it in one shot. Evidently I went too cheap and wasn’t able to get it to work well. Resorted to an Exacto blade and wire strippers, which worked just fine. The ratcheting crmpers worked fantastic, though.



Before I got too far into the install I plugged in the radio and tested it. Uploaded a bunch of pre-programmed channels.



It’s been a few days since paint, so it should be cured enough for install. I went with a flat black this time, instead of the usually gloss. Figured it might more closely match the interior plastics.



Hooked everything up and tried to keep the power wires away from the antenna and communication cables, as recommended. Only so much you can do in such a cramped space, though.



Installed. Only had to pull the passenger side panel off once, forgot to install the mic clip.





Tested it out and everything seems to work fine. Pretty happy with the results so far and still need to take it for a test drive to see if anything rattles or falls apart.

Oh, and I woke up at 2am this morning with the realization that I only hand-tightened the two side bolts that attach the cassette to the frame (the two on the bottom are tight, but still…). Fortunately the side panels come off pretty easy and both bolts are readily accessible. Guess I’ll be doing that tonight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
Two more small touches added to the Can Am.

First thing was to add a little shield guard for the Switch Pro wires that were visible between the seat back and bottom. Bent up a small scrap of aluminum and drilled a couple holes in it. Zip tied thru the holes to the round cross bar the wires run under. Didn’t get a good Before picture with the seat bottom in place, but it’s just the wires coming out of the switch are visible between the two.


After paint and install



The next thing seems kind of silly. The shift console has this raised plastic ridge that the bony part of my right knee makes contact with while driving. Not a huge deal, but after a long ride of constant pressure while running the brakes/gas it gets to be a bit uncomfortable. Figured it would be nice if this was padded. Looked around for what was handy and found this old mouse pad. Debated between using the thicker gel wrist-rest piece or the thinner mouse pad area. Opted for the thinner piece as I think that should be sufficient, it’s about 3/8” thick.


Used some of that 3M adhesive spray to make it stick



Took it for a quick test ride in the desert by the house and everything still seems to work and nothing fell off or rattled loose, so I’m going to call it a win for now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
Gave the Can Am a bath this weekend. Gotta clean it up before it gets dirty, I suppose?

I also couldn’t help myself and got the factory door bags for some extra storage. With the door being concave there, the amount of room the bag takes up in the cab is negligible. I think the extra bit of convenience it yields will be worth it.







Broke out the SWR meter and made a jumper cable.



Pulled the driver’s side panel off the radio console



Hooked up the meter



Pulled the car out from the shop, away from other structures as recommended, for the testing. Measuring from the center of each band, I got a 2.0 on 2 meters, and just about perfect on 70cm and 1.25 meters, coming in around 1.03 and 1.05 if I remember correctly. The antenna did have two set screws in the base allowing you to shorten or lengthen it, and seemed like making it shorter gave me worse numbers on 2m, so I lengthened it as much as the adjustment allowed which brought it down to 1.8 or so. The other bands changed a very small amount as well, but only by a small amount. For now I’m calling it good enough for this trip.


Since the cover was off, I took the opportunity to upload some updates to my channel list.



If nothing else, it was a good exercise in doing maintenance on the comm gear. Panel removal isn’t too bad and I can still access the wiring and such for repairs/updates.

The car is done for the trip, now need to get the toy hauler cleaned up prepped for departure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
GloverXRS - Thank you!!


Ok, this is the last thing I’m doing to the Can Am and then I’m done. ;) The insulation in the tunnel seemed to have helped a wee little bit, but not nearly enough. Everyone on the forums says these wind deflectors are the fix for the heat problem. They are kind of like those little wing windows in old trucks you could pop open to direct some breeze into the cab. Broke down and bought the pair, only to find out they don’t fit with the aftermarket mirrors I installed. So had to open up the wallet yet again for the mirrors that did fit. I have to say though, those guys at Can Am did a good job engineering these accessories. Everything has been super easy to install and fits nicely with everything else. It’s nice not having to custom-fabricate everything in order for stuff to fit and work.


Mirrors required one rivet nut to be installed into the cage. There’s pre-existing hexagonal holes in various place to facilitate these accessories, and turns out they were nice enough to pre-install these particular inserts at the factory. One bolt into the rivet nut and a nut/bolt combo through the existing tab below it.







The deflectors were a little more involved, only in that I needed to drill two holes into the cage on each side for more rivet nuts. Still pretty easy, though. The deflector kit included the required rivet nuts and the new Astro nut-setting tool made quick work of it. All of the how-to installation instructions for their other products have been pretty solid, but I kind of ignored them in this case. They provided a link to templates you print out for alignment of the rivet-nut locations and I didn’t really care for that. Instead I pre-assembled the mounts to the deflector using half-inch ¼-20 nut/bolts and used the assembly for locating where I wanted it on the pillar. Put a (highly technical) fingers-width of clearance between deflector and mirror when folded in.







I did the “DirtDawg” sway bar swap, too. Also very easy to do. One note on something I did not expect was the Zerk fittings in the new sway bar bushings. I had everything installed and saved the Zerks for last, not wanting to damage them on anything, considering they are threaded into plastic. It was then I found out the bushing had a smooth-bore where the Zerk goes. It’s not pre-threaded. With limited room to work it in was just easier to remove the bushing and install the fitting outside the car. I guess this was intentional (?) as the I.D. of the bore is smaller than the fitting, allowing the Zerk to create its own threads. No biggie, just took a bit more time.





Taking it out this weekend for a day-trip in the desert, so we’ll see how these new additions pan out.
 
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