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Old 05-31-2019, 12:21 AM   #1
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For you Jeep JKU tower/drivers

Gang,
Now, first off, I'm primarily addressing the Jeep JKU or, Unlimited or, "four door" models but, alterations can be done for other models of the infamous Jeep Wrangler. Many of you use your Jeeps for both on road and off while some, will never even get close to DIRT. That's not a big deal. What I'm gonna show here is some alterations/mods/additions/changes etc. whatever you'd like to call them that might help with some "organization" and equipment storage. And this may lean more towards folks that do either occasional off roading or, are into it even deeper.

Secondly, for those seasoned vet off roaders, some, none or any amount of what I'm gonna show, may be of interest or not. No biggie. All I'm wanting to show here is some ideas. Here we go.

As many of you JKU owners already know, the back of the 4-door is a giant cave. Now, that's good for various reasons if, you need that kind of constant cubic feet. But, for those that don't consistently need ALL that real estate, this is an idea. We're pretty fair offroaders without JKUR. But, we use it also for a daily driver. And that means, shopping for groceries, Home Depot, and other potential needs.

Now, being that we use our Jeep for off roading, and have done so for well over 35 years with 9 different Jeep Wranglers, we've developed a "cache" or, some needs and potential needs for off roading. Now, please, this thread is not about off roading, it's about efficiently setting up a Jeep JK for ?

Ok, with all that said, the first thing I did was do a primary survey of what we carry for off road stuff. The list is not all that much. We have:
1. Tools
2. Air supply for airing up tires after trail runs
3. Jack base for the Hi-lift jack we carry on the front bumper
4. Clippers for those potential Arizona pin-stripers that can do damage to a paint job of a $40K plus Jeep (for those that care)
5. Chairs for lunch breaks
6. some form of easily storable mat for laying down on to fix/correct/jury-rig something that might have become damaged under the Jeep
7. Air hose and air chuck for airing the tires up
8. Duct tape (What?)
9. Tire plug kit

And, whatever I think might be a needed item for a given situation that will fit.

Ok, now, as I stated, we use this for regular daily driving. And, having all that stuff back there makes for not friendly loading of groceries and whatnot. And, I'm sure as heck not gonna remove all that stuff, and store it, then reload it, then remove it, then reload it yada yada yada. So, Plan A.

What I did was place all that stuff, in such a manner that, it lays and is stored in a situation that is self organizing and also, has easy access to any and all of it. Now, that meant that, all that stuff uses up SOME of the height and or clearance back in the cave. So, I figured, why not create a shelf that will allow for a "second story" back there. That's exactly what I did. I took measurements and created what you see in the pics.

It's pretty simple actually. It's nothing but a piece of 3/4" plywood and, four 2" x 4" legs. I measured and cut it so it's about as close to the back seats, sides and tailgate as possible, without etching on any and all of those. Once I knew it was gonna work, I covered it all with black, indoor-outdoor carpet. Our Jeep's got an all black interior which I hate beyond belief, but, that shelf blends in perfectly, if that matters to some.

Now, I can carry all our off road junk, and have a clean, level, second story "floor" for all the rest of daily business. Ok, enough blabbing. Take a look and see if any of this interests any of you Jeep JKU tower/drivers. It was a fun project and, it's been of great value for right at 3 years now.
Scott
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Old 05-31-2019, 12:54 AM   #2
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Here's a couple more pics. Also, you'll see the back seat headrests in the upright and, layed down position. I don't know about the rest of you but in my opinion, the Jeep JK has limited rear view mirror capability due to those rear seat headrests, the spare tire (which in our case is a 35" tire, on a Rugged Ridge tire mount) and, the third brake light. So, I found out how easy it was to alter the mechanism for locking/unlocking the rear headrests. You simply release two springs, one on each side of each headrest.

Once those springs are released, you tilt either of the two seats forward to release the locking mechanism and, that allows the headrest to lean back. Then, simply put the seat back up in the upright position and, vuuuualllla, the headrest is in the DOWN position. Do that to the other side and you have opened up, quite a bit of viewing in that rear view mirror. The really good part, if a rear seat passenger would like the use of the headrest, simply pull it back up into the LOCKED position, done. So, the headrest is still functional.

Now, the third brake light, well, that was an easy alteration too. I purchased an LED stop/turn/tail light from Amazon and, mounted it to the horizontal section of the hard top, just above the back glass. That opened up even more viewing space. So, just some extra tidbits for ya.
Scott
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Old 05-31-2019, 08:44 AM   #3
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Very nice. I have been thinking of adding a second story to our JKUR. I know they sell kits that do this but can be pricey. I have plywood and 2x4's laying around, I may just do this!!
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Old 05-31-2019, 12:39 PM   #4
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Very cool Scott. I should build something like that for the LJ. Whine not quite as much room behind the rear seat as JKU the LK does have room enough to benefit from something like that.

I'm gonna bring a few more power tools down with me when we come back in October. That will be fun to build.
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Old 05-31-2019, 03:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKIQPilot View Post
Very cool Scott. I should build something like that for the LJ. Whine not quite as much room behind the rear seat as JKU the LK does have room enough to benefit from something like that.

I'm gonna bring a few more power tools down with me when we come back in October. That will be fun to build.
Hey Tom,
Why bring the tools? I got plenty and we could do it here.
Scott
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Me, Karla and the Sophie character, (mini Schnauzer)
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Old 05-31-2019, 04:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by algolfer View Post
Very nice. I have been thinking of adding a second story to our JKUR. I know they sell kits that do this but can be pricey. I have plywood and 2x4's laying around, I may just do this!!
algolfer,
Thank you for the nice comment. As stated, many, many Jeepers do equip their Jeeps in a fashion that works for them. This is but one idea. Not in the picture is a 3' long shovel that is strapped to the roll bar, in between the roll bar and the left side glass from the hard top. And, strapped to the top section of the roll bar across the back are two, extendable walking sticks. They are easily accessible from the back of the Jeep.

Yes, there are all kinds of aftermarket "kits" of various forms that Jeep owners can choose from. But, many of them take or provide "drawers" of some type. Well, I've built cabinets as a side line for quite a while. DRAWERS and all the mechanism that makes them work, TAKE SPACE. And, if you want to utilize as much of the space back there for various ways of storing and transporting stuff, while not removing it on a daily basis, drawers aren't the way to go. I got a friend here who's got a '17 Hard rock edition JKUR and, he built a big box for back there for much of what I carry.

The first time he tried to retrieve something while we were out on the trail, he had to practically empty the whole box and needless to say, he was not all that happy with his design. And he has space for this GIANT slide out cooler and it's only him and his wife and a little dog.

By the way, that shelf you see in our Jeep, can be completely removed in about 1-2 seconds!!! It is not BOLTED DOWN. It is simply a snug fit between the sides of the fenderwells. The carpeted legs of it keeps it snug and noiseless. So, If I really need to get to the components/items in the very back side of that underside of that shelf, I got two approaches. One, tilt one or the other of the two back seats forward which, gives me total access to anything stuffed back there or, two, simply lift the entire shelf out and EVERYTHING is in view.
Scott
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Me, Karla and the Sophie character, (mini Schnauzer)
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Old 05-31-2019, 08:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
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Hey Tom,
Why bring the tools? I got plenty and we could do it here.
Scott
Sounds like a good idea.

I almost hit you up last week. After our round trip to San Antonio and back in April/Early May we had a piece of interior door trim that had gotten loose. I-10 for 2500+ miles had taken it's toll. I was gonna borrow a few Quick Clamps to firmly hold the trim piece while the glue set.

Instead, I just went to HD and bought a 4 pack. I figure I will need them in the future when the next trim piece gets loose.

Still feel bad about not saying hello while we were in town. We had the littlest grandkids with us. They had a blast in Havasu. They swam every day and went to the skate park every evening. We all had so much fun.

See you in October when we get back in town.
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