Change is good. In the case of project Teal-J, change is awesome. And if you missed the last three segments, you might as well put down this magazine and go find copies of the August, September, and November '07 issues to better understand what we did to our well-known Teal-J. We could rehash the process by which DC Customs of Ukiah, California, transformed our short-wheelbase Wrangler into the sweet AEV Brute pickup, but we'd probably catch heat from bossman McColloch because page space is a limited commodity around here these days. As such, we're going to cut right to the chase and delve into the details of how we completed the Brute conversion and made Teal better than ever before. Last time we showed you the tedious process of prepping Teal's body for a fresh coat of paint. After the paint cured, it was off to the pros at the Pick-Em Up Truck Store of Ukiah, California, where a beautiful protective coating of Rhino Lining was applied to the inside of the Brute bed. Here you can see Tracy Frost finishing up the final application. These guys did a super-nice job for us, and without a doubt will be getting more of our business in the future.Last time we showed you the tedious process of prepping Teal's body for a fresh coat of pa Here you can see the inside of the Brute's passenger compartment prior to lining. Pick-Em Up used an abrasive disc on an air-powered die grinder to rough up the floor surface to help the Rhino stick better. All essentials were masked off to prevent overspray because when it comes to sprayed-on bedliners, prep is the most important part of the equation.Here you can see the inside of the Brute's passenger compartment prior to lining. Pick-Em While the Rhino Lining was being sprayed, we took a trip south to Seaside, California, where days before we had dropped off Teal's wounded 545RFE automatic transmission. The capable hands of Quality Transmission made quick work of our damaged tranny. They added a Trans-Go shift kit as well as a new case, new clutch materials, a rear planetary assembly, and a brand-new oil pan. We got a smoking deal on the rebuild, and they even gave us a six-month warranty on their work.While the Rhino Lining was being sprayed, we took a trip south to Seaside, California, whe Here you can see the transmission ready to be installed in Teal Brute. With the freshly lined bed in place, our focus moved towards bed accessories. First we installed a bunch of Slide-N-Lock tie-down tracks. These are sweet because they have spring-loaded, adjustable anchor rings that can be configured to stay put every 6 inches. They handle up to 1,000 pounds and feature stainless steel fasteners. We trust them because they're made by the same people who build the Hi-Lift Jack.With the freshly lined bed in place, our focus moved towards bed accessories. First we ins Next, we mounted a pair of Yakima locking Block Heads to Teal's bed. This would provide us with a secure location for carrying mountain bikes on camping adventures. We mounted this pair right behind the cab on the top of the bed wall.Next, we mounted a pair of Yakima locking Block Heads to Teal's bed. This would provide us A Hi-Lift Jack is one of those tools every trail rig should have. So we scored one and installed it to the inside of the bed just behind the cab. Our friends at Hi-Lift sent us the trick new X-Treme Hi-Lift, which is designed for the serious wheeler. The X-Treme Hi-Lift is the "top of the line" all-cast version with special features that include a charcoal metallic powdercoat finish, gold zinc-coated hardware and handle, and a special top winch-clamp-spreader attachment. We got the 60-inch version because we had plenty of room to mount it. They also come in a 48-inch variant.A Hi-Lift Jack is one of those tools every trail rig should have. So we scored one and ins After doing some searching, we found a nice way of isolating cargo from the floor of our new bed. A trip to the local equestrian supply yard led us to this 5/8-inch-thick horse barn matting. We used a skill saw to cut it into pieces that fit snugly between the Slide-N-Lock rails. With this arrangement, the bed of Teal brute is forever protected from heavy and/or sharp objects that might otherwise dent or gouge the floor of the bed.After doing some searching, we found a nice way of isolating cargo from the floor of our n Next, our attention turned to the newly fabricated rollcage and prepping it for powdercoat. Check out the sweet stamped sheetmetal gusset plates we found online at a racecar supplier. They cost us about $1.20 each and provided extra stiffness at each intersection of the cage. The guys from DC Customs welded these in place prior to powder-coating.Next, our attention turned to the newly fabricated rollcage and prepping it for powdercoat The Blue Torch Fab TJ Cage Dash Tie-In kit was the perfect solution for our requirements to tie the cage to the frame while still allowing use of hard doors. We like this setup because we didn't have to cut holes in the dash. Basically, these brackets are laser cut from 3/16-inch high-strength steel plate. They tie into the frame through the drain hole via the M.O.R.E. frame tie-in kit we showcased in the September '07 issue.The Blue Torch Fab TJ Cage Dash Tie-In kit was the perfect solution for our requirements t The good folks of Nor-Cal Powder Coating did a bang-up job coating Teal's new 'cage gloss black. Here you can see one of their technicians dusting the electrostatically charged cage with high-quality Cardinal Polyester TGIC powder. A multidimensional object like our rollcage is not easy to coat uniformly. Each piece of tubing requires several passes to coat evenly.The good folks of Nor-Cal Powder Coating did a bang-up job coating Teal's new 'cage gloss Once out of the oven, the new glossy black powdercoat looked stunning. The cage took on a whole new appearance, one that both DC Customs and our staff were proud of.Once out of the oven, the new glossy black powdercoat looked stunning. The cage took on a After years of use, we decided to replace our well-used seats with something a little more comfortable. The Baja RS from Corbeau features capability for five-point harness belts, a powdercoated tubular steel frame, a military-grade suspension cord system, and a fingertip-controlled reclining mechanism. They are available for most 4x4 trucks and SUVs with Corbeau's vehicle-specific mounting kits. The TJ kit comes in two different configurations; one for short and another for taller individuals. We went with the brackets for short people because they provided us with higher seating position. Luckily, the Brute hardtop provides ample headroom, so we don't feel cramped sitting in the new seats. The increase in visibility is awesome. SOURCES Pick-Em-Up Truck Store www.pick-emuptruckstore.com Quadratec 8-00/-745-2348 quadratec.com American Expedition Vehicles (Aev) www.aev-conversions.com Beeler's Muffler Shop Rhino Linings www.rhinolinings.com DC Customs 7-07/-463-2227 www.dccustoms.net Central Paint & Accessories Trans-Go www.transgo.com T-Max Winch www.t-maxwinches.com Percy's High Performance Speedglass www.percyshp.com David Rodrigue Drive Line Yakima www.yakima.com (for nearest distributor) MagnaFlow Exhaust www.magnaflow.com Corbeau Seats www.corbeau.com M.O.R.E. Hi-Lift www.hi-lift.com Blue Torch Fab www.bluetorchfab.com Nor-Cal Powder Coating Inc. Enjoyed this Post? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, or use your favorite social media to recommend us to friends and colleagues!