Next, the outbound body panels are temporarily fitted and aligned. Once everything is lined up and marked, Rick is shown making adjustments to the fuel door cutout, OEM sheetmetal, and the body panels themselves. While the foam in the rear quarter panels has been removed, there is still a substantial amount housed in the body cavity by the rear door sills. We removed the rubber plug next to the door latch, and throughout the welding process, sprayed water into this area to prevent a potential fire.
Seam sealer is applied to the OE quarter panels to guard against rust, and to help hold the JK-EXT panels in place. Once the body panels are clamped in and everything is double checked, Rick is shown below making the final welds for the new outer quarter panels. Once the welding is completed, the welds and any rough areas are ground smooth in preparation for the body shop. The OEM subwoofer cavity is also plated over at this point.
Now, onto the new truck bed. As most JK/U owners know, the factory sheetmetal is rather thin. As a result, there is both a sub-floor and main floor in the EXT kit, in addition to the Line-X protective coating on the completed build. This lets the EXT carry heavier loads without fear of denting the sheetmetal. First, both surfaces are cleaned and prepped for welding. The sub-floor is added over the OEM subwoofer enclosure, and as corrosion resistance is a must, seam sealer is used for this application as well. Once the sub-floor is welded in, the main floor is added. This floor features ridges, like the ones found in pickup trucks, while the sub-floor is smooth. Below, Rick welds these pieces into place; you may notice that we set a tire and a few brake rotors on the bed during this process. This is to help everything set and dry correctly. Next up, the cab closeout, roll-bar, and hard-top!
Below, the JK-EXT roll-bar is set in place and test fitted to what remains of the OEM roll-bar. The edges of the aftermarket extension may need the primer/e-coating removed to fit inside the OEM roll-bar. This will be a tight fit. Once the roll-bar is in place, the holes for the mounting plate are marked and drilled out. The completed EXT roll-bar will bolt through the floor to another plate on the underside of the vehicle. The cab closeout and hardtop are placed on the EXT. First, the hard-top is bolted down, and the cab closeout is then lined up. Afterwards, the cab closeout is bolted to the body and seam sealer is used to close any gaps.
Once everything is bolted in place, the rear doors, accompanying latches and tailgate are all reattached to the JK-EXT, and the truck is pulled outside the garage, now ready for paint and body work! Stay tuned for the next update with the lift kit and tires, this is going to be one unique Jeep!
End Part 2