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Hack your floor jack to go offroading

Give Your Ordinary Floor Jack Some Off-roading Capabilities

By | Automotive | No Comments

A floor jack can come in handy when you need to change, rotate, or inspect your wheels. Unfortunately, they’re not made with portability in mind.

So, what do you when you’re off-roading with your buggy and need to replace a wheel? According to Pirate 4×4 forum user Andrew, you take a standard floor jack, tear it apart, and make it bigger and stronger.

To start with, Andrew purchased a basic floor jack. The main issue is the wheels. Like most, it had a small 1.5-inch roller as a front wheel. Obviously, this won’t roll through the dirt very easily so some mods were in order.

Andrew picked up some 8-inch solid rubber tires for $6 each for the front of the floor jack and made a new front axle from a 5/8″ solid rod. He welded a washer to one end of the rod and tapped the other to accept a 3/8″ bolt. The original axle holes were drilled out to a bigger diameter to fit the new axle. A few spacers on either side of each wheel prevent it from rubbing the sides of the floor jack.

Modifying your floor jack

Photo: am4x4 |

When all is done, the front of the jack sits 3-inches higher. This presented the next problem. The rear castors needed to be upgraded to make up for the height difference. Andrew simply removed the old castors and replaced them with larger ones he took from another dead floor.

The front end still sat a little higher, but it seems to work just fine. If you want to take the time, you could make new brackets to use as spacers for the rear castors to level it out a bit more.

Upgrading Floor Jack Casters

Photo: am4x4 |

The finished project results in a jack that looks kind of like a buggy itself. The large front wheels and bigger castors help lift your buggy 3-inches higher, while also providing more stability.

The rear axle is wide and capped with 8-inch wheels, allowing you to easily roll over the grass, dirt, or mud, to get your buggy high enough to replace the wheels.

For a detailed look at this DIY off-road floor jack project, make sure you check out the full details at Pirate 4×4.

DIY Glow-in-the-Dark Campfire Stools

Brighten Up Your Camping Trip with these DIY Glow-in-the-Dark Log Campfire Stools

By | Outdoor | No Comments

Are you afraid of the dark? Don’t let that stop you from going camping. Now you can make your own glow-in-the-dark log campfire stools with some basic materials.

You are going to need some sandpaper, glow-in-the-dark paint, paint brushes, a bright light – and a stool or a log. Bold, solid colors really stand out in the dark but you can be as creative as you like with your paint scheme. If you’re not comfortable free-handing your design, especially on uneven surfaces tape up some stencils to get you started.

Clean and sand down your log stool.

The first step is to prepare the stool or log. Clean it up, if necessary, and use sandpaper or a file to remove any sharp edges or splinters and even out the sitting surface.

Next, you’ll need to choose a spot to paint your stools. Lay out some newspaper to catch the paint splatter or drips. A back porch or garage is always a good choice.

Prepare your painting area.

Before you start painting, you should decide how you want to paint the stool. You could simply slap on a solid color across the surface of the stool or use an interesting design. Frogs, bees, ladybugs, flowers and other outdoor-themed designs are easy to paint and find stencils for if you choose to go that route.

Use 3-4 coats of paint for full coverage.

When you are ready to paint, apply one coat at a time. Allow the coat to completely dry before applying another coat. You will probably need to add two or three coats to get a nice, even finish and fill in the natural surface cracks.

That is all there is to create your own glow in the dark stools. Use an outdoor lamp or spotlight and shine on the stools for several minutes. When you turn off the lights, your new campfire stools should glow.

Use a UV light or sunlight to charge your paint.

For more details on the project, check out wikiHow.

Cold Air Intake Install – Stormtrooper Camaro Ep.3

By | Gearhead Diva | No Comments

In order to get her Stormtrooper Camaro closer to passing Imperial ground transport code during her mission on Earth, trooper-in-training, Rachel De Barros, installs a cold air intake from Cold Air Inductions to give our Stormtrooper Camaro a bigger breath of fresh air, along with more oxygen for more power!

Learn how to install a cold air intake with tips and advice you can apply to your own project vehicle.

How to Remove Scratches from Car Paint for Beginners

By | Gearhead Diva | No Comments

Looking to sell your car but a few small scratches are preventing you from getting top dollar? Or maybe, a close encounter with a shopping cart or city driving has left a few scars on your road warrior.

No matter how they get there, scratches in your paint can be an eyesore so many of you have been asking me for a simple way to get rid of them that’s inexpensive and suitable for a beginner.

I scoured the auto parts stores to find the easiest kit possible so let’s see if it passes the test!

Quarter Molding Paint & Install – Stormtrooper Camaro Ep.2

By | Gearhead Diva | No Comments

The iconic Camaro quarter panel moldings make a comeback in this second episode of our Stormtrooper Camaro Fan build!

In order to get her Stormtrooper Camaro closer to passing Imperial ground transport code during her mission on Earth, trooper-in-training, Rachel De Barros, installs new quarter panel moldings from Retro USA to give one of the Camaro’s most signature features a more aggressive look!

Learn how to paint and install molding accent pieces with tips and advice you can apply to your own project vehicle.

How to Build Your Home Kwik-Lift Car Lift

By | Gearhead Diva | No Comments

Today I level up my wrenching game from jack stands to a portable home car-lift system from Kwik-Lift!

I’ve always used jack stands to perform just about any car repair, maintenance or adding my favorite “go fast” bits. But they have their drawbacks, especially when you compare it to having a 2- or 4-post lift.

For many of us it’s not always possible (or affordable) to put a fancy lift in your home garage so I’m happy to show you what I picked out for my work space, and how to put it together!

Turn Your Smartphone into a 3D Hologram Projector

By | Gearhead Diva | No Comments

Don’t throw away that stack of old CD’s just yet! Those plastic cases that once housed your favorite jams from teen idols like New Kids on the Block, Spice Girls and Hanson can now be used to create awesome 3D holograms straight from the future!

Try out these hologram videos:

Hologram Project by Kiste
24 Minutes for Pyramid Hologram
TOP 5 Video – 3D Hologram Project
Plasma Dubstep – Pyramid Hologram Screen Up & Down

Camp Anywhere with a Custom Sprinter Van RV Conversion

By | Automotive | No Comments

Have you always wanted the comfort of camping in an RV without having to stay at an RV park or large campsite? Instructables user “Making it There” details the steps taken to convert a Sprinter van into a mobile RV. A major process, but the end result is amazing.

For this DIY custom Sprinter van RV conversion project, a 2006 Dodge Sprinter Van was used. Other models may work for this same project, but the user chose the 2006 model for the 140-inch wheelbase. This is large enough for the project and small enough to still fit in a standard parking space.

The entire project took about 6 months and cost about $6,000. The cost of a used 2006 Dodge Sprinter Van can vary between $5k and $15k, depending on the condition and mileage.

The first step involved designing the layout of the interior. CAD design software was used for this process. This gives you the ability to plan your cabinets and seating in 3-dimensions and receive exact measurements.

Interior CAD design

Making It There | Instructables

Once the layout was completed, you can divide the plans into individual parts. The user that created this DIY project sourced the cutting of the plywood pieces. But, if you have the tools and knowledge, you could cut these pieces out yourself.

Before any of these pieces can go into the Sprinter van, insulation needs to be installed. First, painter’s plastic was used to cover the floor and cab area. Spray foam installation was used and the entire job took about 15 minutes.

Insulating the van with plastic and foam

Making It There | Instructables

1/8-inch Baltic birch plywood was used for paneling. A flexible wood was chosen in order to bend around the gradual curves of the interior.

Lining interior with wood

Making It There | Instructables

Next, you can start putting together the cabinetry. Using the pieces that you cut from your CAD template, you can assemble your cabinets and install them in the van.

Install cabinetry

Making It There | Instructables

The woodworking part of the project is complete. But, the RV van still needs a kitchen. This means adding an oven, range, hood, and sink.

Of course, this also meant adding propane and water tanks. The propane and water tanks were added inside the van, as opposed to mounting beneath the van. This makes sense, as you don’t want to worry about a propane tank below your vehicle when driving over rough terrain. This also made sense of the water cans, so that they will not freeze or get too hot.

Space was created below the oven to fit a 20-pound propane tank. Four 5-gallon Jerry cans were added below the sink for water. Three are used for fresh water, one for solar showers, and one for dirty water. A hand pump combined with an electric pump and foot pedal are used to run the water.

Building the kitchen

Making It There | Instructables

While those steps would seem to be enough to satisfy the needs of most DIY enthusiasts, this builder decided to add large 100W solar panels in order to power the items in the kitchen.

They also wanted space for storing a collapsible picnic table, camp chairs, and extra blankets. So, where do these items go? On the roof.

Two custom form-fit roof pods were created to house all of these items while still providing a flat surface for the solar panels. A lightweight, UV-resistant plastic called Choroplast was chosen for the roof pods.

Building the roof pods

Making It There | Instructables

Again, CAD design software was used to design the pods. They were designed to open from either side of the van. This way, the solar panels could be pointed in different directions and adjusted as the sun sets.

Hopefully, this summary did not make this seem like a simple project. You are going to have to put in some hard work to complete your own custom vehicle. But, if you feel up to the challenge, take a look at the full custom Sprinter van RV conversion DIY project.