Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 19
  1. #1
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    75
    Location
    Nevada
    Tractor
    Massey GC2300

    Default Kawasaki Mule 610 Upgrade Project (lots of pics)

    NOTE: These pictures are small.... if you'd like to see the full sized ones, let me know and I'll add a link to them.

    Greetings!

    I thought some of you might be interested in my Kawasaki Mule 610 upgrade project.

    First a little background...

    About 8 months ago, I picked up a 2007 Mule from my neighbor for a really great price thinking I would use it around the property. However, it really turns out that the Mule isn't seeing any work as my sons either use my ATV or the GC2300 instead. So..... since my whole family and I really enjoy hunting and riding the back roads, and my ATV is a little too small to comfortably haul two people, I decided to turn the Mule into a dedicated hunting/fun vehicle.

    This is what I started with. A totally stock 2007 Mule 610 4x4 with about 80 hours on it.



    I kind of knew what I wanted to do to it, but spent about 3 months planning things out. I finally made a list and started ordering things for it.

    The biggest thing I kept in mind was what type of riding this machine was going to be used for...basically, hunting (upland birds and deer) and trail riding with some more difficult offroading. But I did not want have any negative performance mods. We live at around 5K feet, and most of our offroading is above that, so things like huge tires were not even considered. This model of Mule only has a 400cc engine, so it's not a powerhouse to begin with.

    Here are the goals I had in mind and what I ordered to reach them:

    Improved body and frame protection:
    Front and rear bumpers, full skid plates, c/v guards, headlight and taillight guards

    Improved ground clearance:
    2" suspension lift, 12" wheels, slightly larger tires (although after mounting, they are actually about 1/2" shorter than the stock tires )

    Improved lighting:
    LED off-road lights, LED backup lights, second taillight assembly

    Improved usability:
    Backup light switch, front cargo hatch release cable (the original was very hard to pull)

    Improved environment matching. (the bright red does stand out a bit):
    3M camo cast vinyl sheeting in Brush pattern (we don't have a lot of hardwoods out here), truck bed lining kit in desert tan

    Improved back country range, safety and self-recovery:
    Over-sized battery tray, over-sized battery, external fuel, water and storage units and mounts, 3500lb winch and mount

    Gadgets:
    AM/FM Stereo with weather and AUX input, matching speakers and antenna, go-pro mount

    Hunting related:
    Gun boots and mounts

    MISC:
    500D waterproof fabric in matching camo pattern (at some point I'll get the seat recovered with it)

    Since I work overseas most of the year, my son started getting all kinds of goodies delivered to him, which he carefully stacked away. When I got home for vacation, we got started on the project together.

    I won't detail every picture, but I think you guys will see what we were doing.
    (if you have specific questions, please ask. )

    The basic process was:
    Pull nearly everything off the Mule and get it cleaned up and ready to work on.
    Pressure wash the Mule.










    Install 2" receiver.
    Install the lift kit (sorry, no pics of this process....)
    Install the front bumper, winch mount and winch.
    Install associated winch control wiring.
    Install over-sized battery tray.
    Install over-sized battery. I was concerned about the small stock battery. The one I put in has 365 CCA compared to I think 105... It should help with the winch. The LED lights draw very little current.
    Pre-run front LED light wiring.







    Sand and paint roll-over bars. (I will probably redo this by having them bead blasted and powdered coated)
    Re-install front fenders and cover with vinyl.
    Cover the front hatch with vinyl.
    Here is the pattern we used:



    Re-install roll-over bars.
    Install master battery switch for secondary fuse block.
    Build the secondary fuse block and relay harness and install. I am not totally happy with the way this turned out and I may redo it at some point, but it is out of the way, out of the dust (mostly) and can be totally shut off from the factory electrical system if needed.








    Build and install the over-head console. (I didn't want a bunch of holes in the dash, and this keeps them from getting bumped) This also gives me a nice place to mount the stereo. I've included a picture of what I drew up in Sketchup to compare with how it actually turned out. It's pretty close and it gives us room for some expansion if needed.








    Wire the over-head panel to the secondary fuse block and relays.
    Install radio antenna.
    Install backup switch in gear box. This is actually a backup alarm switch used on the European models. I used the switch to automatically turn on the LED backup light when you shift the Mule in reverse. I also installed a switch that lets me turn this feature off if needed for some reason.



    Install horn button. This was the only hole we put in the dash. It was installed right where the speedometer (that I will never spend the money on) goes. The wire already exists for this, we just had to extend it a little.
    Install horn.
    Install headlight guards.
    Install front grill and fender flares.
    Install LED lights and finish wiring that end.
    Install new wheels and tires. I went with MSA Bronze Elixir 12" wheels with Maxxis Bighorn 2.0 radials. These are the tires that the new Mule 610 XC's come with. I also got a spare ITP steel wheel and a Duro PowerGrip radial for a spare. I am still looking for a decent spare tire mount.... I went with 25 inch tires, not 26 inch as some people have. I did not want to impact the gear ratio too badly. As it turns out, they are a tiny bit shorter than the stock tires.



    By now we pretty much had all the wiring done, most of the vinyl was on, and it would move under it's own power. So we installed all of the skid plates and the c/v guards, then took it for a short test drive. The lift definitely changes the handling, but not too bad. There is a known issue (even on the factory lifted XC's with the rear pan-hard bar being too short after a lift.... I may have to have it extended about an 1.5 inches at some point..) A couple of shots of the plates and how much it can flex, which is not much...maybe 9 inches? The back tire was sitting on the ground while I was sitting on the seat. I got the bumpers, plates and guards from the same company, and I am VERY pleased with them. They fit very well, and they all worked together perfectly. They only issue I had was with the length of some of the hardware.... I did replace a couple of bolts and I added some washers.



    Here you can see the front bumper plate (black), the front plate, center plate and rear plate. There is very little to get caught on underneath now.



    We tore the bed apart and prepped it for the bed liner. Nothing difficult, just time consuming. After applying a couple of coats of bed liner, I let it tack up and then used a normal roller to give it some texture. I think it turned out pretty well. We only used 1/2 of the kit.





    While the bed liner was setting up over the next day or so, we finished up a bunch little details like tying up the wiring, covering the glove box door with vinyl, etc. Then we put the bed back on the mule and installed the second brake/taillight. The Mule normally only has a left side taillight, but I like symmetry I guess. We did have to drill a couple of new holes for this, and extend the wiring. I don't have pics of this.

    We also installed the fuel/water/storage packs on the Mule. I went with the Rotopax units. Expensive? Yes. But they are very high quality and I think it was worth it. The mounts are all aluminum, not plastic like the Kolpins. They are also lockable to the mount. I got a 4 gallon gas unit (the Mule has a 4 gallon tank, so I doubled my range), a 2 gallon water unit and a 2 gallon 'storage' unit. It opens up and has quite a bit of room for things like a first aid kit, tow rope, tools, spare parts, or really whatever you wanted to put into it. No pics of the install, but you can see it on the back rack.

    We do have the bed set up to accept a Kolpin gun boot on each side. The nose of the boot can either sit inside the bed, or the whole thing can sit parallel to the bed rail. Since I had to return to work, we did not mount these at the time. Mounting them like we did pretty much leaves the entire bed available for use as needed.

    After putting the bed back on and letting everything dry for a day, we installed the last few pieces of vinyl. Basically, the walls inside the frames. A little taping off of the vinyl, and some tan paint to blend things in, and we were done! Well.... almost. Last thing we installed was the rear bumper. I also bought some matching waterproof fabric. My son is going to take the seat down and have them recovered (and the foam repaired) so they will match the rig. He is also going to see about having a cover made up for the Rotopax units using the same fabric. And I do have enough of it, that I could have a custom cover made for the whole Mule. But I'll probably do that myself next vacation.

    We did get a chance to do some offroading before I came back to work. The tires do have much better grip that the stock tires, and they don't impact performance at all as far as I can tell. The lift gives it a little bit more clearance and the skid plates keep me from worrying about things getting beat up underneath. Here are some shots of the Mule out in it's natural habitat.













    Overall I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out. We learned a lot about how to apply the vinyl as we went, but it is great stuff. We used a primer with it, and I really doubt it will ever come up on its own. I will probably redo a few things like the roll-over bars and maybe some of the wiring, and I am considering things like a windshield and soft cab, but that can wait for now.

    I'll put together an actual list of parts and suppliers/manufacturers if anyone is interested.

    If you have comments or questions, feel free to ask!

    Have great day!

    NV

  2. #2
    Veteran Member GolfAddict's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    2,273
    Location
    SE Minnesota
    Tractor
    Kubota BX24; John Deere 4020

    Default Re: Kawasaki Mule 610 Upgrade Project (lots of pics)

    What an awesome job!!

    Thanks for sharing all the detail and pics. Really impressive project!

  3. #3
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    75
    Location
    Nevada
    Tractor
    Massey GC2300

    Default Re: Kawasaki Mule 610 Upgrade Project (lots of pics)

    Thanks!
    It was a fun project and since we usually keep things until the totally wear out and die, the investment wasn't that big of a deal.
    NV

  4. #4
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    83
    Location
    Lampe, Missouri
    Tractor
    Husqvarna 26HP Kawasaki Powered, 2014 Kubota RTV 1140 CPX

    Default Re: Kawasaki Mule 610 Upgrade Project (lots of pics)

    very impressed with your adventurous mechanical spirit.....very talented and looks amazing.....

  5. #5
    Silver Member IntervaleFarms's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    112
    Location
    Burtts Corner, New Brunswick Canada
    Tractor
    Case IH 485

    Default Re: Kawasaki Mule 610 Upgrade Project (lots of pics)

    Turned out great!
    Case IH 485
    John Deere 430W
    Polaris Ranger 400

  6. #6
    Veteran Member troutsqueezer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    1,229
    Location
    Pilot Hill, CA.
    Tractor
    Kubota B21

    Default Re: Kawasaki Mule 610 Upgrade Project (lots of pics)

    You are an ambitious soul. Looks very nice. So you put vinyl over the plastic hood and body parts? What does that process entail?
    - Dennis

    www.goldfinch-acres.com

    Once you see the bandwagon, it's too late.
    Kubota B21
    Polaris Ranger
    Yamaha Kodiak

  7. #7
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    75
    Location
    Nevada
    Tractor
    Massey GC2300

    Default Re: Kawasaki Mule 610 Upgrade Project (lots of pics)

    Quote Originally Posted by IntervaleFarms View Post
    Turned out great!
    Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by troutsqueezer View Post
    You are an ambitious soul. Looks very nice. So you put vinyl over the plastic hood and body parts? What does that process entail?
    Yes, vinyl over the plastics and on the 'flat' parts of the bed. It's not really that difficult. Basically, you plan the layout, clean everything really well, and apply. Well it's a little more work than that, but not much.

    It's like putting a decal or sticker on something, but a lot bigger. I pressured washed the whole rig, the we used some xylene to clean the plastics of any residual wax or oil, etc. I went over everything with alcohol as well, but that was probably overkill. Once it's clean, you lay the vinyl in place with the backing still on and make sure that you have enough to cover everything. What we found worked the best was to pull the backing down a few inches and stick the vinyl in place, then use the 'scraper' they that came with the stuff to start working the vinyl onto the object. You work all the air bubbles out as you go. This stuff is pretty cool, you can pull it back up and reposition it as much as needed.
    Now with that being said, I also used some 3M 94 Primer as recommended by the maker. The 94 REALLY makes this stuff want to stick, so as we found out, a little dab will do ya.
    As you lay the vinyl down and get to curves or depressions, etc, you can apply a LITTLE heat to relax it and then pull it over the edge or curve or whatever. It takes very little heat to relax it. Once you have it on, you go over the whole item with a little heat and some pressure to help set the vinyl in place. If you have a bubble some place, you can use make a hole in it and work the air out.

    We did end up with a few very small 'crinkles' in the vinyl where I just couldn't get the slack out of it, but using some heat and pressure I was able to shrink them up pretty good. It looks really good, but if you run your hand over it, you can feel them. To me it's no big deal.

    Now, we had the roll over bars off, so I think that made the process easier since we weren't trying to work around them.

    For the bed, I just measure the area I wanted cover and cut the pieces to a pretty close size, and then applied them. Since I was only covering the flat parts of the bed, once it was on, I masked off the vinyl and used some desert tan paint and over-sprayed the vinyl by about 1/8" ~ 1/4" to transition it into the 'not flat' parts. Make sense?

    I'm working on a full list of parts, but here is where I got the vinyl: Camouflage Wraps, Mossy Oak Vinyl Camo | Mossy Oak Graphics
    They have quite a few videos on how to apply the stuff. I got the UTV kit, which is a single 4' X 12' piece. I think we have about 3' or so left. Although we did have to redo a couple of pieces because of the 94 sticking so well it wouldn't let me pull the vinyl back up without it tearing. We probably also used a little more because of the way we wanted the pattern to look. From the front, the pattern on the hood is 'up'. From the side the pattern is also 'up'. If we had just used a single large piece, while the pattern would have been more continuous, from the side the pattern on the fenders would be laying on its side.

    We found after we had everything applied that some of the fender screws where down in holes. We just cut little round patches for them. I used a 'wavey' cut around the edge and the applied them over the holes. You can't hardly tell where the holes are.

    For the cup/drink holders, we cut a big patch for the whole thing. We cut about 6 or 7 slits from the center towards (but no to) the edge. Applied some heat and then molded it down inside the hole. Then we cut a rectangular piece and applied that the the inside wall. They turned out pretty well.

    I covered the glove box door and handle as well, just because I had a piece about the right size. I'd probably do the whole dash, but it has a slight texture to it, and I don't know how well the stuff would stick to it....

    NV

  8. #8
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    75
    Location
    Nevada
    Tractor
    Massey GC2300

    Default Re: Kawasaki Mule 610 Upgrade Project (lots of pics)

    Here is a link to bigger pictures:

    Mule 610 Build Pics - Big Photos by nvbigblue | Photobucket

    NV

  9. #9
    Veteran Member troutsqueezer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    1,229
    Location
    Pilot Hill, CA.
    Tractor
    Kubota B21

    Default Re: Kawasaki Mule 610 Upgrade Project (lots of pics)

    Fascinating stuff. Thanks for the links!
    - Dennis

    www.goldfinch-acres.com

    Once you see the bandwagon, it's too late.
    Kubota B21
    Polaris Ranger
    Yamaha Kodiak

  10. #10
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    75
    Location
    Nevada
    Tractor
    Massey GC2300

    Default Re: Kawasaki Mule 610 Upgrade Project (lots of pics)

    Here is a pretty complete list of the suppliers and items I used for this upgrade. Other than the hood cable (local dealer) and some hardware and electrical items sourced locally, everything was ordered online from one of these vendors. I've listed part numbers if I have them. I bounced all over getting this stuff, so don't think you have to get any of it from the same place. I usually just went wherever it was least expensive. Some of the items took a little bit of research to track down, like the reverse switch. Kawasaki lists it as a backup beeper switch that is available on the European Mule models. But they use the same switch on a ton of other items. It's actually the same switch used on the 610 for the neutral switch. But when I ordered it, the vendor had it listed as a reverse light switch for a Brute Force 650, and the gasket was listed as being for a Bayou 220 .

    Amazon - Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers, Books, DVDs & more
    Thunderhawk Performance - Thunderhawk Performance
    MossyOak Graphics - Camouflage Wraps, Mossy Oak Vinyl Camo | Mossy Oak Graphics
    Allied Electronics - Allied Electronics
    Ebay - Electronics, Cars, Fashion, Collectibles, Coupons and More | eBay
    Rotopax - Fuel Cans : Gas Pack : Gasoline Containers : RotopaX.com
    MotoSport - The #1 Online Dirt Bike & Motocross Store - Shop With The Guys That Ride | MotoSport

    Here is what I ordered/used for the upgrade and where I found it:

    Kawasaki OEM Items:
    Headlight Guards - KAF600-002 (ebay)
    Tailight Guards - KAF600-003 (ebay)
    Taillight Assembly - 23025-1042 (ebay)
    Hood Cable - 54010-0026 (local dealer)
    COLLAR,L=11.1 - 92027-194 (motosport)
    BOLT-FLANGED,6X20 - 130BB0620 (motosport)
    DAMPER - 92075-277 (motosport)
    Back-Up Beeper - Gasket - 92065-058 (motosport)
    Back-Up Beeper - Switch - 13151-1080 (motosport)
    Underseat Storage Bin - 99999-0054 (amazon)


    THUNDERHAWK:
    Front Bumper
    Rear Bumper
    Winch Mount
    C/V Guards
    Front Skid Plate
    Mid Skid Plate
    Rear Skid Plate
    Battery Tray

    LIFT KIT:
    Extreme 2" - XTMULE612 - (ebay)

    AMAZON STUFF:

    WINCH:
    Superwinch Terra 35
    KONG Extreme Ball, Dog Toy, Medium/Large

    ELECTRICS:
    Pico 5575pt Master Batt Isolator Switch
    Blue Sea Systems 5026 ST Blade Fuse Block with Cover
    Six Position Screw 600v 25a Terminal Barrier Strip Block, 2 Pcs
    Amico AC 250V 15A Amps ON/OFF 2 Position SPST Toggle Switch with Waterproof Boot
    Dorman 85984 Conduct Tite Sealed Push Button Starter Switch
    AGT (5 Pack) 30/40 AMP Relay Harness Spdt 12V Bosch Style (40AMP-HRNS)
    db Link AGU40N 40 Amp Nickel Plated AGU Fuse
    Absolute USA AGH-4BK, 12 (Black)
    Allstar ALL76153 Black Plastic Battery Disconnect Protective Boot
    Hopkins 47965 2-Pole Flat Extension
    Install Bay Zip Wire Red and Black 16 Gauge 500 Foot Each- SWRB16-500

    LIGHTS:
    Tuff LED Lights 4 X 4" Inch Round 27watt LED Work Lamp Light 1450 Lumen
    TMH 20w Cree LED Work Light 60 Degree Flood Beam Spot Lamp

    HUNTING:
    Kolpin 20205 Gun Boot 4.3 with Universal Bracket

    RADIO:
    Jensen Radio Jhd910
    Jensen Speakers Universal Jxhd35
    JENSEN ANTENNA 14 INCH UNIVERSAL 1181039

    VINYL RELATED:
    3M Tape Primer 94 8oz
    3M Edge Sealer 3950 8oz <--- I ended up not using this

    BED LINER:
    Al's Liner ALS-TAN Tan Premium DIY Polyurethane Liner Kit
    Dupli-Color TRC104 Truck Bed Coating Replacement Roller Cover
    Dico 541-780-21/2 Nyalox Cup Brush 21/2-Inch Orange 120 Grit
    Dico 541-774-21/2 Nyalox Cup Brush 21/2-Inch Grey 80 Grit

    MISC:
    Mule 610 UTV 2" Receiver Trailer Tow Hitch
    RAM Mounts Strap Clamp Roll Bar Mount with 1in. Ball & Custom GoPro Hero Adapter

    MISC EBAY STUFF:
    Mossy Oak Brush Pattern 500D Cordura Waterproof Fabric

    ROTOPAX:
    RX-2W - 2 Gallon Water
    RX-2S - Storage Pack Single
    RX-4G - 4-Gallon Gasoline
    RX-EXT - Pack Mount Extension
    RX-UP-LOX - Universal Mounting Plate w/ 2 LOX Pack Mounts

    VINYL:
    3M Cast Vinyl - Brush Pattern UTV Kit (Mossy Oak Graphics)

    TIRES & WHEELS:
    Rocky Mountain ATV

    Wheels (4 on 137mm pattern)
    F/R - Motosport Alloys M17 Elixir Wheel 12x7 4.0 + 3.0 Bronze
    Spare - ITP Steel Wheel 12x7 4.0 + 3.0 Black

    Tires
    Front - Maxxis Bighorn 2.0 - 25x8-12
    Rear - Maxxis Bighorn 2.0 - 25x10-12
    Spare - Tusk TriloBite HD - 25x8-12

    Lug Nuts
    ITP Tapered Chrome Lug Nut 10mm x 1.25mm Thread Pitch w/ 14mm Head

    MISC ELECTRICS:
    Allied Electronics
    Accessory, Switch Guard, For use with Eaton 2 or 3 position Switches, MS24417-1
    Enclosure; Sloped; Desktop; ABS, UL94HB; Gray; 9x8.5x1.98 In; Plasticase Style F



    If you have questions about any of this stuff let me know.

    NV

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Considering tracks for a Kawasaki Mule 610
    By MGB2720 in forum ATVs & Utility Vehicles
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 02-20-2014, 01:39 PM
  2. KAWASAKI 610 MULE
    By jjmndm in forum ATVs & Utility Vehicles
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-02-2013, 03:01 PM
  3. 610 kawasaki mule
    By toy in forum ATVs & Utility Vehicles
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 06-06-2010, 08:25 AM
  4. Kawasaki Mule 610 shutter
    By golfgooroo in forum ATVs & Utility Vehicles
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 05-06-2010, 11:47 PM
  5. Kawasaki Mule 610 Rant!!!
    By Podunkadunk in forum ATVs & Utility Vehicles
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-26-2007, 10:20 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
© 2014 TractorByNet.com. TractorByNet is a registered trademark of IMC Digital Universe, Inc. Other trademarks on this page are the property of their respective owners.