Entries in diy (7)


Finding people who do stuff instead of just talk about it

Over the last few months, I've been more and more interested in tinkering with things, building stuff just for the hell of it, and making my life more efficient. Most of the time when I talk about my projects to the people I work with (like my current solar powered Mac mini project), I get an odd look and then the inevitable, "but why?". Why is it so hard to find people that like to build shit just for the experience of learning something?

I follow a ton of blogs, news, and other random feeds, and I just don't hear that much about things going on in Denver. But, after a little searching, I managed to find a few things. First was an Autonomous Vehicle Competition put on by Spark Fun Electronics in Boulder:

It took place on a Thursday, so I had to dip out of work for a bit, but it was well worth it. There were a ton of people all interested in building things, how stuff works, and sharing their ideas about stuff. I talked to a few people, and because I was Twittering the event, I had five new Boulder area Makers following me on Twitter by the time I got back to the office. It's nice to have a few friends on Twitter, that you know IRL BTW.

I left that event inspired, and really ready for more. And, as luck would have it, the first Denver area maker meet up was scheduled on April, 23. I found out about this on the Make blog. This was in the evening, so I rode down there and checked it out. John Maushammer was the guest speaker, and he gave an excellent presentation on his home made pong watch:

My jaw was literally on the floor listening to this guy. He's definitely a top notch maker.

I was able to meet a few more people, and I realized that some of the people at the Sparkfun event were here too. I'm pretty excited about meeting new people, and learning as much as I can.


Land Rover DII washer fluid bottle relocation

After buying a new front bumper for my DII, I faced a new challenge: relocate the washer fluid bottle so that it doesn't hang below my new bumper. I first searched Discoweb.org and found a promising tutorial. I went to work, but then I realized I had extra hardware that wasn't shown in the tutorial. I went back to Discoweb, and found that others had the same problem. I saw that you could potentially use a D90 water bottle in substitution of the stock bottle. There was only one problem: I didn't want to spend the money to buy a D90 bottle that I may hack up anyway. After going back to the drawing board, I came up with a solution that was easy to install, holds lots of fluid, and most important only cost about $35 dollars in parts (You can probably get away with it for less than $15 if you have some parts around or you shop around).

It should be noted that this works with a ROVERTRACKS front bumper, and I would assume it would work with other low profile bumpers like the RoverTyme bumper, but I don't know for sure.

You will need:


About 3 feet of poly tube to extend the stock hoses
About 3 feet of wire to extend the wire for the pumps
2 large hose clamps hose clamps
A 3" or 4" length of PVC
2 2" lengths of PVC
2 3" or 4" end caps (same as whatever size you got above)
2 2" 90 degree PVC bends
A 2" cap with screw top
A 3" or 4" coupler with 2" outlet
PVC glue


2" hole saw
Saw to cut PVC
Screw driver
Drill and dremel (I used the dremel because I didn't have a bit big enough)
Small bit for vent hole, big bit if you have it for mounting pumps


First of all this is what you are trying to make:

What it should look like

This is just pieced together and the up tube isn't cut to length yet.

1. Start by lining up the 3" piece of pipe under the bumper and measuring out how much you need cut off to create a tight fit. Make sure to leave enough space for the end camps and mounting of the pumps on the end of the container.

2. Cut the 3" tube in half a third of the way down the tube on the right side.

3. Put the coupler in between the new cut. (DON'T GLUE ANYTHING YET)

4. Put the new assembly back up to the bumper to make sure you still have room for everything. You'll probably have to cut the long tube again.

5. Now put the end caps on and cut the holes in the right end of the tube. I put the pumps up to the end of the cap and marked where I needed to cut. Try not to cut the holes too big. The tighter the fit the better. Try to put the pumps to as close to the bottom of the tube as possible (this will allow you to pick up more fluid).

Note: this picture has one of the small motors and the big motor (used for old bumper sprayers. You'll use both small motors when you're ready to glue). I was just test fitting.

6. Now assemble the whole thing and test fit it. This will allow you to figure out the length of your up tube and how far over you need to go over with the 2" pipe before you need to start your up tube. I went over far enough so the up tube wasn't in front of my fan. Mark out your hole that you will cut in the fender.

7. Cut your over tube and up tube to the right size. Cut the hole in the fender.

Drill the hole...ouch

8. Put the whole assembly back in place and make sure everything lines up.

9. Now extend your tubes and wires. You should just need to cut a length of tube (about a foot) and it will fit right in to the stock connectors and then connect to the pump. Cut off the plug that plugs into the pumps and splice in about a foot of wire.

Here is a picture:

On the left is the stock length and the right is the new length.

Extend the lines

The tubes will run from the stock connection point through a hole and into the new location:

Here is how they connect:

I actually heated the lines a little to slide them all the way on when I ready to put the lines in place for production use.

10. Once you are sure you have the right fit, glue everything together. Make sure to be liberal with the glue and when connecting two pieces of PVC twist the two peices together (You'll have leaks otherwise). You'll also need to use some silicone when gluing the pumps in place. Make sure you use the stock rubber grommets and let the silicone dry over night.

11. Drill a small hole in the cap on the up tube so that bottle can breath.

Drill a hole so it can breath

12. Now use the bar that runs in front of the radiator to attach the new container:

Attach to this bar

Here's a few pictures of it finished:

The finished bottle:

On the truck from below:

From the front squatting:

The spout:

After I was all done, I zip tied all the lines and had to add a few to the up tube to get it just in place. I also had a small leak, and had to add more silicone. I've been using the new system for a few weeks, and it works great. I used a 3" tube for the main container, and I can hold just under a gallon. If I used 4" tube I'm sure I would have been able to hold over a gallon. You can't even see the bottle unless you squat pretty low and look. Leave a comment if you have any questions, and I can help you with anything you need.

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