The Adventure Team


Mummy and Idol Recovery Vehicle

Here's our MIRV: the Mummy and Idol Recovery Vehicle.

It's an SOTW jeep with winch arrangement inspired by a UK magazine article a few months ago on field expedient tow trucks based upon the Jeep. The one in the article that I tried to emulate here had a hand-operated winch. I opted for electrics. Here are some pics of the project with a bit of narrative.

This MIRV is a blast for backyard adventures!

In this pic and the one below, you can see the electric winch arrangement. Notice the two micro switches beside the OD Green disk on top... as the winch hauls in the rope, the horizontal disk slowly turns. When the "stop" notch on the disk hits the microswitch it stops. Thus, I can never over-winch. It stops when the rope is all out - automatically. It automatically stops when the rope is hauled all the way in, too. With kids playing this sort of device is a must to avoid damage, tangled string, and hassles. It works extremely well. I'm unsure of the power that little electric engine has, so we haven't tried to tow another vehicle or winch the MIRV itself. It raises and lowers Joes, mummies, idols, etc, so we're not gonna push our luck! The black box in the bed of the jeep is a battery box with two switches. One switch is "on/off" and the other is "up/down." The switches are used to start and stop, raise and lower, at any interval other than "all the way out' or "all the way in." In the center of the mechanism you can see a copper-colored loop. This is a feed index for the winch drum to keep it feeding and winding properly (made from #12 uninsulated wire).

The whole mechanism is held into the bed of the jeep by a single bolt with a wingnut - I can pull it out in no time flat. The arms and cables unhook as quickly. The original MG and rear seat pop back in with ease (I took off a shovel so you can see how the cables are attached). We can go from MIRV to desert patrol jeep in... oh... easily less than a minute (30 seconds, perhaps?). This vehicle is great fun for the kids (and for me, too!)       ;-)


Here is a pic of the gas can rack. It's made from sheet styrene that I cut the width that looked good, then simply bent it at right angles and cemented them to the jeep. I painted 'em to match. Pretty simple, huh?

Here's a pic of the radiator. I disassembled the front hood of the SOTW jeep and pulled out the radiator and painted it black. After 2 coats (that tan didn't cover well with just one coat of flat black), I put it all back together again. Quick and easy. Looks pretty good, too, if I do say so myself. ;-)

As you can see, I removed the "keepers" for the pioneering tools from their original locations and simply plugged them into convenient pre-drilled holes in the rear fenders to hold the shovels.
The front of the shovel rest conveniently in the handholds. This mod was a no-brainer. It was extremely fast and obvious. Now instead of a shovel and axe, it's got two shovels, one on each side. Besides, since I added the twin gas cans on each side, there was no more room in the tools' original location.

Here's a pic of the new Yellow Jeep version. I was one of the lucky ones to get a yellow $7.98 jeep. It had a broken hoop for the ragtop, but I put a styrene tube over it and it works fine (you can see the white "splint" in the pic - I still need to paint it yellow to match). I wasn't keen on buying a jeep with a broken hoop support, but for that price I couldn't resist! If you tuck the rear of the ragtop under and tie it off on the front hoop (underneath), you can still use the ragtop with the winch in place - it's sort of like a "bikini top" for the jeep. This pic shows the jeep with the top down and the canvas in the "stowed" position. The tow truck arrangement was taken from the tan MIRV. The black military jeep markings were removed with fine steel wool. The AT logo was hand-painted. I left the circle around the original star, and used it for the AT logo to save some time and effort.  Unfortunately, in this pic there's a terrible glare from the sun on the shiny hood... I tried different camera settings to get rid of it, but no luck.  I should try to get some pics again on a darker, overcast day.

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