So I did my research about rear security solutions for the JK. I loved the look of the Tuffy Security Box but hated the $500 price tag. I took it upon myself to make a trunk for my 2013 JKU. I wanted something that could be secured and act as a very tough deterrent. I leave my tool bag in the jeep and have the occasional server and network switch take up occupancy in my trunk for the night.
This project spanned over 3 months, taking up two solid Saturdays with the occasional hour or two during the weekday. Finding the time to complete this project was tough, even harder was not posting anything about it on this forum until I finished it in order to show you all. I believe I spent about $100 to create this solution and overall i was pretty happy with the outcome. Wires and electronics are what I am good at, woodworking not so much....
I started with two planks of wood I managed to get from my workplace. they originally measured about 6.5ft in length, 16.75in in width, and .75in thick:
The planks were the perfect width so I could make this solution with the just the two pieces. The piece closer to the rear seats only had to be cut down to 62.5in. I traced out the holes from the body where the hard top would be secured, drilled them out on the wood and the trunk was already starting to take shape:
The front facing part of the trunk I know would be the hardest. I had some large pieces of cardboard so I made cardboard cutouts to get a start on how the wood would be shaped:
Now, I should mention that I didn't want to not lose all of my storage capabilities and I figured if I put some hinges in my trunk I could flip it back and have more storage when I needed it, especially for some larger, standing items.
Using my cardboard cutouts and a lot of quarter-inch by quarter-inch trimming I was able to construct the front section of the trunk out of the second plank of wood. The rounded corners were the hardest part. I had to constantly test out the fit because I wanted to be able to flip my trunk up when I needed to regardless if I had the soft top on or not. Pictures are always better than words so here ya go:
^^^Take note of the hinges I placed on the sides of the corner pieces and that they can be folded it and then fit in between the soft top brackets when the trunk is flipped in for the extra storage. Also the notches in the front most part of the wood. The notches are where the brackets are on the body that hold the lower rear window frame. The lower rear window frame will be needed to completely close off and not allow any access to the secured storage area.
Here are some shots with the rear window frame in use with the trunk and one shot I took when the soft top completely enclosed around the trunk:
Now that I had the wood all set, I had to figure out the security of the trunk. My first thought was to use a slide lock that I could secure from underneath the wood only when the rear door was open. I couldn't find a slide lock that was long enough that wasn't too bulky and didn't need monster-sized screws to keep in it place. I ended up using 2 x latch post safety hasps. They secure the trunk just fine, i still have thoughts about changing it and it will eventually eat at me until I have a better solution and time to implement it. Some pics:
^^^Slide locks wouldn't hold and would slip out. Definitely not secure!
^^^Never snapped a pic with the hasps until the trunk was on the Jeep. Here is a shot of one of the two hasps in the locked position
Now to talk about covering the wood. I wanted something that could handle getting wet from the rain so carpet was out of the question. I toyed with a couple of ideas. First thought was plasti dipping, but I just didn't like the way the plasti dip felt on the wood and not to mention this thing would bake in the sun as well as getting abused from tools and other objects getting placed on top of the trunk. I ended up getting two rolls of this plastic/rubber mat from home dept. I cannot find the exact product right now but you can buy it by the foot or in smaller rolls. I cut and treated this material as if I was upholstering a piece of furniture. I used a staple gun to secure it to the wood. I used a drill with a small bit to mark all of holes and would cut out small squares around the holes so I could get the various screws through the wood after the at was completely attached to the wood. Upclose picture of material and cutouts I would make for the holes:
The material was a bit tough to work with, getting it taut and such. I found leaving it in the sunlight really did help out with being able to manipulate it as needed. Was I mistakenly did not account for was how thick material was and it did add some bulk though all around the wood; though not enough to ruin the fit of the trunk on the body. It did take some pressure and squeezing to get everything to fit just right and have the pre-drilled holes line up perfectly for the hinges and hasps.
I should note that I did file down the screws that did poke through the wood. Again, this wood is only .75in thick so I had a lot of sawing and filing to do to these screws. This was pretty time consuming as I think about it now.
I secured the rear part of the trunk with .75in sized nuts and bolts with some washers. The bolts were 1.5in in length.
Here are pictures of the final result:
I know there is no protection from accessing the storage area from behind the rear seats. I do have an aftermarket alarm system on my Jeep, and in my tests goes off if someone were to try to get in the trunk from moving the rear seats forward. I also currently have my hi-lift underneath the rear seats which doesn't allow them to be moved all the way forward and would be pretty tough to remove my medium sized and pretty heavy tool bag. i am sure something could be integrated with my setup but this is as far as I envisioned taking it.
Things I would change have been mentioned already such as the latching system and the covering for the wood. I do wish I had something I could spray on the wood. I didn't like the plasti dip and bed liner would be too rough. With the new Never-Wet product out i have considered just painting the wood my color of choice and then giving it a coat of Never-Wet.
This can makeshift trunk could be removed pretty easily. Actually, in the 3 months I spent building this I left the back piece of wood in the Jeep at all times and I LOVED having it as a shelf. It was the perfect shelf for tools and parts as i work on various things outside and on the Jeep. In the winter months I do see myself removing the front half of the trunk and just going with the rear shelf especially if i can acquire a hard top.
Again, I am no woodworker so I was pretty pleased with the end result as this was my largest wood working project that I soloed. If there are any questions I'd be happy to answer them.