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2000 XJ: Disaster Relief Vehicle (DRV)

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2000 XJ: Disaster Relief Vehicle (DRV)

Old 08-23-2012, 09:59 AM
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Post 2000 XJ: Disaster Relief Vehicle (DRV)

Hello and welcome to my (mild but specific) build thread!
A couple days ago I bought a 2000 Jeep Cherokee Limited, and I'm planning on slowly turning it into what I would call a Disaster Relief Vehicle (DRV). As of now I'm only working part time, and it is and will be my daily driver for quite some time, so staying mostly practical will be a requirement.
I live in Florida, west of Tampa Bay. This area was recently affected by Tropical Storm Debby, and will probably be impacted by the coming storm Isaac.
These storms can create numerious problems on life here, and I want to do my best at trying to help relieve people when the time is needed. Be it pulling a vehicle out of a ditch, or driving to someone's house that is flooded and giving them a lift out.
My goal is to be a volunteer with the American Red Cross (I've had previous EMT training) and have my vehicle mostly ready to go by the 2013 hurricane season.

Please feel free to contribute all ideas, suggestions, criticisms, etc. I would very much appreciate it...

At this time, with the exception of rims and tires, the Jeep is stock.

My list of upgrades I feel would be useful:
Midland CB Radio w/ 102" Radioshack whip
Amber emergency lights/strobes
Snorkel (budget DIY version)
Rough Country 3" lift kit
Long Arms
Bumpstops
Longer brake lines
33" tires
AUX lights (these worked as nearby floods for me before)
Roof basket/Safari rack (for spare tire/gas/hi lift jack/lights)
Brush guard with winch
Idle-Up switch to run equipment when necessary
Dual isolated batteries

Consideration list:
Fender trimming
False floor/storage/work space
Air compressor
Tire swing gate
Durango alternator
Low cog setup

Fix list:
Factory fog lights (fuse maybe?)
Front two speakers (not functioning)
Left side hatch support
Seat covers
Tire rub

Thanks for reading! Now to the pictures since I know that's what you came for...






Last edited by Rage; 08-30-2012 at 08:32 PM. Reason: Updated Lists
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Old 08-23-2012, 10:09 AM
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Looks like a very clean starting point! And i love your theme/cause. I'll be watching this build for sure! Best of luck w everything
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Old 08-23-2012, 10:34 AM
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Looking forward to this build. I too have a couple of emergency first aid stuff. Dash lights, rear window lights, siren with air horn function (what I really wanted) along with two full first aid kits, small folding shovel, and a full 192 piece ratchet set. For your lights, check craigslist and this website, best prices I've seen: extremetacticaldynamics.com

In Florida, anything other than yellow/white or yellow/yellow (what I run) is illegal. I'll get pics when I get to my ttruck after school is out.

The brush guard/ram is a good idea because in the event (and it could happen) that the streets are blocked, you essentially are not. If youre gonna be running a lot of tech, I'd look at a bigger alternator (I think the durangos are 160 amp). With the gas cans, if you can't get a rack, I saw (and tempted to do myself) someone run a through bolt through the hatch with washers so they mounted the cans to their hatch.

Good luck and I'm gonna be watching lol

Last edited by cf1k1; 08-23-2012 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:16 PM
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Subscribed!
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:31 PM
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If you are looking for more ideas
On board air could be useful
Rear hitch if you dont have one now
I have seen people make a false floor in the back
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:45 PM
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Been thinking about doing something similar to my 97. Great cause. And I'll be watching.
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by stock95sport(for now) View Post
Looks like a very clean starting point! And i love your theme/cause. I'll be watching this build for sure! Best of luck w everything
Thank you!

Originally Posted by cf1k1 View Post
Looking forward to this build. I too have a couple of emergency first aid stuff. Dash lights, rear window lights, siren with air horn function (what I really wanted) along with two full first aid kits, small folding shovel, and a full 192 piece ratchet set. For your lights, check craigslist and this website, best prices I've seen: extremetacticaldynamics.com

In Florida, anything other than yellow/white or yellow/yellow (what I run) is illegal. I'll get pics when I get to my ttruck after school is out.

The brush guard/ram is a good idea because in the event (and it could happen) that the streets are blocked, you essentially are not. If youre gonna be running a lot of tech, I'd look at a bigger alternator (I think the durangos are 160 amp). With the gas cans, if you can't get a rack, I saw (and tempted to do myself) someone run a through bolt through the hatch with washers so they mounted the cans to their hatch.

Good luck and I'm gonna be watching lol
Excellent! Thank you for that advice! I was going to look up what the laws here were for aux lighting, but I guess I don't need to anymore.

Using the Durango alternator is a good idea. I'll look into that some more...
I really like that idea of mounting the cans to the hatch! That is a great idea... Now I gotta find some pictures of such a setup.
Thanks for all the input!

I went through your build thread... Some pretty awesome stuff in there! Now I want to attend the next Jeeps at the beach event (or whatever it's called).

What do you use for your whip antenna/CB setup? I love the idea of having a whip that can be tied down until needed...
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:47 PM
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I agree on the false floor. Maybe with a slide out flat surface for working on and some heavy duty drawers.
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Red82 View Post
Subscribed!
Thank you! (:

Originally Posted by Dnite91XJ View Post
Been thinking about doing something similar to my 97. Great cause. And I'll be watching.
Thank you! Let me know if you start up a similar project, and I'll come hang around your build thread.

Originally Posted by xjboy14 View Post
If you are looking for more ideas
On board air could be useful
Rear hitch if you dont have one now
I have seen people make a false floor in the back
Thank you for the suggestions! I am looking for more ideas, so (everyone) please feel free to throw your thoughts my way.

I do have a hitch rated for 4,000 lbs (previous owner had a charter company).
On board air is a great idea... Especially in the event of using an inflatable raft (for when the floods are really bad).

Originally Posted by Red82 View Post
I agree on the false floor. Maybe with a slide out flat surface for working on and some heavy duty drawers.
Explain to me this false floor thing..? Would it be used as a storage compartment for these items?
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Old 08-23-2012, 01:02 PM
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Yeah in the back of the XJ. Heres some Google images for ideas.
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Old 08-23-2012, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Red82 View Post
Yeah in the back of the XJ. Heres some Google images for ideas.
That is a pretty cool idea. If I do end up with a compressor and various other things, I might have to do that.

I'll add a list of possibilities to the first post...
Thanks!
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Old 08-23-2012, 01:39 PM
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Great goal for your XJ! Couple thoughts I had with what you're wanting to do.

1. Lift & Tires: I would look at something in the neighborhood of 4.5" on 33' A/T's. It'll still be very good as a DD, and the A/T's will last you a good while if you take care of them. You'll have a good amount of axle clearance for fallen debris, and for flooded roads you'll sit a little higher as well (which a snorkel helps with too).
2. Recovery: I would look into something beyond just a bolt on brush guard. if you're looking to pull out vehicles, be able to push your way through debris, etc, you want something good and strong. A thought on this: Strong does not mean it has to be heavy. You want tow points front and rear, and a winch wouldn't be a bad option either. You don't want to be pulling on the factory bumpers as they are weak, so homebrew/aftermarket is where you need to be looking. Also, invest in a Hi-lift. It makes for a great come-along if the need arises.
3. Storage: If you want gas cans on the rig, consider them and the spare tire on the rear bumper. The last thing you want to be is top heavy. A false floor is a great way to secure all your gear. If you make it lockable, then theft is greatly deterred and you don't have to worry about anything flying around your interior in rough driving conditions.
4. Power: Look into the ZJ 136amp alternator upgrade if you don't want to shell out $300 on a Mean Green; also a yellow top Optima battery is a good choice. For the extra lights, CB (I would suggest a nice Cobra with a PA set up), possibly a winch, and any other power accessories, you can't go wrong with these. A high idle switch is a good idea, so nicely done on thinking about that already.
5. Protection: Having some drive-train armor is always a good idea. The last thing you need is some piece of debris making it so you can't go anywhere. Body protection is nice too, but not a must.

Little other things can be thought of along the way, but start with the basics and I think you'll be very happy. Also, remember that anything we say on here is just advice. It's your rig so make it how YOU want it. I'm looking forward to how it turns out.

Last edited by no rdplz; 08-23-2012 at 01:41 PM.
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Old 08-23-2012, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Rage

Thank you!

Excellent! Thank you for that advice! I was going to look up what the laws here were for aux lighting, but I guess I don't need to anymore.

Using the Durango alternator is a good idea. I'll look into that some more...
I really like that idea of mounting the cans to the hatch! That is a great idea... Now I gotta find some pictures of such a setup.
Thanks for all the input!

I went through your build thread... Some pretty awesome stuff in there! Now I want to attend the next Jeeps at the beach event (or whatever it's called).

What do you use for your whip antenna/CB setup? I love the idea of having a whip that can be tied down until needed...
An old radio shack cb TRC419, a mount screens into the hatch door jamb, $20 spring from RadioShack and $20 102"whip from RadioShack. Get 13+ miles on it. I'll get pics of everything for you when I get home. Parking was too full to turn everything on lol.
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Old 08-23-2012, 02:07 PM
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Absolutely love the idea. I live in Missouri and last year in Joplin we had tornado's rip through the town. I was like dang it if i had my jeep i would have been driving through rubble and moving cars out of way for emergency vehicles. I'm building mine to have that same functionality if something where to happen again in the Midwest.

Subscribed and looking forward to seeing what you do. A winch or big bumper to not only pull stuff out of the way but also to push through blocked ways would defiantly be a must. I added a 3 inch tube bumper to break through barriers if needed.
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Old 08-23-2012, 03:39 PM
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Great idea.. I'm building a bug out/ trailing rig myself.. I'm also a Floridian living in north Florida but went through Andrew when living in south Florida and various other storms back in the day... great ideas so far.. I'm also a emt-b and would gladly be a first responder if need be.. maybe something along the medical lines would be good.. things such as would this be a recovery vehicle for people.. some could be injured or just need a ride to a red cross shelter.. so maybe think of a way to rig up a backboard holder(for c spine..or immobile) and the backboard can be slid in.. also a emt bag would have to fit somewhere .. I'll be following this build!
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