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Old 05-08-2013, 10:34 PM   #1
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TJ Rear Storage Solution

For those of you who rarely use your backseat or just want some extra storage room for when your running seatless during a trip (b/c it removes easily and does not modify the factory cage permanently) I may have an answer for you.

After hitting up the local Harbor Freight Parking lot sale I ended up with a pretty nice and cheap buy for only $40 after their discounted price and a 20% off coupon:





Now I already have a hitch carrier but I had an idea of modifying this one for the rear cargo area of my TJ since as you all know space is super limited. Plus when I hit the road I am usually accompanied by my k-9 companion and she prefers the seat out so I was left with putting stuff on the hitch or just behind the seats.

So here is my solution to the storage dilemma, all-in-all if you watch sales it can be had at a little over $50-60, I managed at $56:





Here is a brief write-up of how I made it, sorry for not taking pics, I always forget to document along the way and remember a few step later that I missed a pic and have to go back. Any questions or different pics just ask.


Supplies:
- Haul Master Deluxe Fixed Cargo Carrier (Harbor Freight)
- 3ft. 1in.x1in. Aluminum/Steel Stock (Qty 2) (Lowes, Home Depot or local metal spot lol)
- Fencing Support Post Tensioning Brackets (Qty 4) (Lowes, Home Depot)
- Assorted Bolts, I think I used 3/8 bolts at lengths of either 2.5 or 2.75in., 3/8 washers and 3/8 locking nuts.
- Also some rubber padding for where the tensioners will contact the roll bars





Step 1: Cut the aluminum/steel stock to length - 28.5ins. for me but test fit for yourself to make sure specs match up.





Step 2: Drill hole, not 100% positive on this spec so again measure first for yourself and test fit the bar and tensioners.





Step 3: Attach rubber padding to post tensioners, for this I used some spare tool box liner that I had laying around and so happened to fit perfectly.





Step 4: Attach and repeat for opposite side.







Step 5: Place Cargo Rack on new side supports and drill and secure with last four bolts. Sorry no pic here if you need it let me know and I can snap a few more pics but I think its self explanatory.

Side note, I mounted the rack it the most rearward position and with it there the front seats can be slid completely back (for those tall people on here it won't be a problem.

Finished Product:





K-9 installed:





Evaluation: In the four months I have used the rack it has proven itself useful numerous times especially on hunting trips slinging generators and gear to and from the site and is extremely sturdy. I haven't gone crazy but its safe to say it has held 50 or more pounds effortlessly, you just have to remember to properly secure anything you put up there, you don't want a dangerous surprise when you lock the brakes up.

Enjoy!

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Old 05-08-2013, 10:38 PM   #2
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Great job!

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Old 05-09-2013, 12:55 AM   #3
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Nice job. And that picture of your dog is creepy with those red eyes!! Lol
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Old 05-09-2013, 12:58 AM   #4
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Nice! That's awesome.
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Old 05-09-2013, 06:08 AM   #5
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Great idea !
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Old 05-09-2013, 06:48 AM   #6
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Old 05-09-2013, 07:38 AM   #7
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how is that rubber liner holding up? does it slide or move at all?
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:47 AM   #8
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this looks great! You mind showing a picture looking in from the side of the jeep?
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:11 AM   #9
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Quick question... Did you modify the rack itself in any way? I have that rack and have used it in the traditional manor and from your pictures it looks like you are missing the center hitch receiver part? If you did modify it, what did you have to do?
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Old 05-09-2013, 10:05 AM   #10
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Great idea....gotta love Yankee ingenuity...!
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Old 05-09-2013, 01:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ebxgsxr View Post
how is that rubber liner holding up? does it slide or move at all?
Nope no movement in the past 4 or so months, the rubber is really just there to stop the post tensioners from marring up the roll bar. Since the roll bars are not straight up and down and angled slightly out as they come down its impossible for it to move down b/c in essence it becomes wedged.
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Old 05-09-2013, 01:38 PM   #12
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Great idea...!
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Old 05-09-2013, 01:43 PM   #13
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Very creative, looks good

I assume loaded with gear you can't use the rear view mirror, but hey we drive jeeps, just run it over.
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Old 05-09-2013, 01:43 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Quick question... Did you modify the rack itself in any way? I have that rack and have used it in the traditional manor and from your pictures it looks like you are missing the center hitch receiver part? If you did modify it, what did you have to do?
Oh yeah sorry I knew I forgot a pic. The hitch receiver was removed as well as cutting 2in. off of each of the upper tie-ins and re-drilling new holes. The old hardware is too long and had to be set aside as well, I used (4) 1/2in. bolts that are 1 1/4in. with its respectable washers, locking washers and bolts to secure the frame together.

Here are some pics I hope this helps:



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Old 05-09-2013, 01:46 PM   #15
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this looks great! You mind showing a picture looking in from the side of the jeep?
Sorry hardtop is still on and I cant get a good pic through the window...I know I know its gotta come this week finally some nice weather, but as soon as it does I'll update this with some different angels my friend.
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Old 05-09-2013, 02:03 PM   #16
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Hard to beat that for the price!
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Old 05-09-2013, 02:55 PM   #17
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That is a fantasic idea! When I go camping, I have the back piled up to the to of the roll bar and strapped down. If I did something like this, I could do two tier instead of one big mound. Mounting the basket close to tub level, the stuff on the bottom would not get tied down. I probably could leave the hitch facing front or back so it stil could be mounted in the receiver. My basket is a bit smaller but making some sort of cross brace will be possible. Of course as soon as I get home, I'm breaking out the basket to see how it will fit.
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Old 05-09-2013, 05:02 PM   #18
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Noted! Nice work.
Can you take a pic from the side? I have a deck cover and somewhat frequently use the rear seat though most of the time leave folded up.

I'm thinking I would like to put something like this in for trips to stack more gear above the deck cover (rather than ontop of it directly) and keep everything in with safari straps or something similar.
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Old 05-10-2013, 04:12 PM   #19
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After looking at it, that won't work with the soft top. It would be in the way of the bows. What I thought of doing is to make a X platform across the middle.
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Old 05-10-2013, 05:14 PM   #20
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I approve
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:15 PM   #21
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Hey MrRubicon, How sturdy is that in the center? Would you feel comfortable putting a loaded ice chest on it?
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Old 05-11-2013, 03:14 AM   #22
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Hey MrRubicon, How sturdy is that in the center? Would you feel comfortable putting a loaded ice chest on it?
Yep no problem, I can hang on the middle and it doesn't budge an inch.
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Old 05-11-2013, 07:19 AM   #23
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thats an awesome idea... i may have to borrow it
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Old 05-11-2013, 02:30 PM   #24
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thats an awesome idea... i may have to borrow it
Me to...
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Old 06-10-2013, 07:37 PM   #25
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Well, I finished mine. I decided to run my aluminum the other direction and just set it and clamp it down to the tub since I won't be using it in conjunction with the top anyway. I also had a couple of high lift hood brackets on the shelf so I figured I'd just mount them on the back. I think this is going to be real handy on the trails. Thanks for the idea.
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Old 06-10-2013, 08:57 PM   #26
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I have the exact rack sitting in the garage for the same project....got it on sale and had one of the coupons from magazines, so I got it cheap, but it has been sitting for awhile....I think you have me motivated again
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:02 PM   #27
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I have the exact rack sitting in the garage for the same project....got it on sale and had one of the coupons from magazines, so I got it cheap, but it has been sitting for awhile....I think you have me motivated again
Yeah, I've been waiting for them to go on sale, and they finally did it early last week.
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:03 PM   #28
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'scribed this might get done before Bundy Hill in 2 weeks!!!!
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Old 06-11-2013, 08:23 AM   #29
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These look great, what are the interior dimensions of that rack?

Also, I run a bestop halftop that wraps around the middle roll bars. Any idea how to attach the back of the rack (closest to the seats). I was thinking running a vertical bar down from the soundbar area.

Thoughts?
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Old 06-11-2013, 09:16 AM   #30
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These look great, what are the interior dimensions of that rack?

Also, I run a bestop halftop that wraps around the middle roll bars. Any idea how to attach the back of the rack (closest to the seats). I was thinking running a vertical bar down from the soundbar area.

Thoughts?
Inside dimensions are 17 5/8" x 50 1/8". Mine sits on the tub (used some felt pads) and made a clamp bar out of 3/4 x 3/4 aluminum angle, but you are probably thinking of mounting it higher like the OP.

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