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Old 09-01-2016, 02:50 PM
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Been a while since I posted an updated, so I figured I'd upload a quick picture. I'll upload a more comprehensive set of pics later. Since last time I've installed all of my lift components, 35" Cooper STT Pros on 17" Method Fat Five wheels, Dynatrac ProGrip brakes (front and rear), TF spare tire carrier, extended breathers, CB radio and front window tint.

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Old 09-02-2016, 06:25 PM   #32
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Looking good! Nice build so far.

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Old 10-04-2016, 04:43 PM
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Bedlined Grill

I took my grill off over the weekend to spray it with bedliner. I'm pretty happy with the result, but I'm not 100% on board with the color. I used tintable raptor liner which I tinted Black metallic. The result is a little more grey than I hoped for. I'll probably run this for a bit and see if it grows on me. If it doesn't, the grill will likely be for sale on here before thanksgiving. Also, does anyone want to buy two liters of tintable raptor liner?
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Old 02-05-2017, 05:06 PM
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It's been a while since I posted, I've been pretty busy restoring my 1967 Firebird, so the Jeep went to the back burner for a while.

I just finished up a storage drawer for the back. My primary use (right now) is overland and camping, so having extra storage is always super helpful.

I've also changed my direction for the build plan. I had originally considered going AEV for the bumpers, but I just found out that I will be moving out to California this summer. I've decided that my primary use for the Jeep will probably stay the same, but I'm going to build it a little differently in case I want to tackle some of the harder stuff. With this in mind, I ordered a Crawler Conceptz shorty front bumper, and LOD's new destroyer rear bumper. I ordered everything in bare steel so I can take them to a local place to make sure the powder coat matches.

The front bumper came in last week, and I was a little annoyed to see that it was shipped with no packaging. I'm not sure if this is normal for bare steel bumpers, but there were a few deeper scratches in the steel from being dragged around. I hit those spots with my angle grinder, and everything is as good as new. I'm still waiting on the rear bumper, so I'll post another update once it gets here.
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Old 04-02-2017, 08:04 PM
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I just got my front bumper installed. I had it powder coated in matte black by a local shop. I used the EVO vacuum pump relocation kit to move the vacuum pump to the sway bar mount. I'm currently saving up for a Warn Zeon to fill the empty space that is left in the bumper, but that will be a couple of months away.

I also have the LOD destroyer rear bumper ready to install, but I ran out of time this weekend with family stuff, so I'll get it installed next weekend.
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Old 04-03-2017, 08:08 PM
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I had some free time tonight so I ended up getting the rear bumper installed earlier than I thought. It was pretty straight forward, took about an hour to get installed. I must say I am impressed with the quality of these LOD bumpers, everything fit perfectly with very little adjustment. Also, the bumper in theory will allow me to lower my spare tire by one notch on the Teraflex carrier to give me some of my rear windshield back. I'm still up in the air though, I am strongly considering going to 37s after I get flat flares installed, so I might just leave it where it is and see how I feel once I get the flares.

The Rigid Duallys in the bumper aren't hooked up yet. I just need to run one wire from my Bussmann box under the hood to the back to provide power (switches and everything else are already installed). I'll try to tackle that before the end of the week.
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Old 04-09-2017, 05:24 PM
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I got my lights wired up this week. I spent a couple hours diagnosing what ended up being a bad ground, so I just ran a 10 gauge wire to the front grounding posts and everything works. The lights are really bright! All I have left to do is figure out how to tint them a little bit so they blend in and match my JW Speakers a little bit better. I was going to use Lamin-X, but it turns out that the diffused Rigid lights are textured (I thought the texture would be on the inside, but its on the outside). Not sure what I will do to remedy this, I'm not a fan of Nightshades spray on stuff so I'll have to shop around.

I also ordered a fridge and some materials to build my camping platforms. Everything should be here in about a week. I'll post an update once I get it all assembled.
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Old 06-20-2017, 08:40 PM
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So a quick update. I just move to Cali, so I've been busy adding a few things to my Jeep to get it ready for some of the trails around here. I've done:
  • Tinted Backup Lights w/ Lamin-X
  • Warn Zeon 10s w/ Factor 55 hawse fairlead, Factor 55 Prolink, Warn Power Interrupt Kit (wired into my A-Pillar switch pod) and Warn winch rope cover
  • Dietech Mirror Relocation Brackets w/ Replacement Manual Mirrors
  • Spiderwebshade
  • Dometic CFX35 Fridge (wired into additional constant on 12V port in the back)

Some of these mods aren't pictured since I'm rolling naked right now. I've also got a couple more projects in the works, pending parts delivery and me finding time to do them:
  • Alpine I209-WRA Headunit and Backup Camera (I pre-ordered this in March, supposed to come out in April and am now being told that it might be here by early- to mid-July)
  • Bedlined Grill and American Flag Insert (try 2, the first insert I bought had too much white and gray, and the bedliner I used was more of a dark grey than black)
  • Bedlined Fender Flares (if I like the way the grill turns out)
  • Flagpole w/American Flag (for patriotic holidays, I'm going to tie this into some available bolt holes on my Teraflex Tire Carrier)
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Old 10-16-2019, 09:43 PM
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Reviving my build thread after almost two years of minimal mods to the trusty JKUR. Here's a picture of it in its current state next to the 91 YJ that I picked up earlier this year.



First off, here's a quick status update on some of the mods I've had on the Jeep for a few years now:
  • Cooper STT Tires: My tires now have about 42,000 miles on them, with plenty of tread (probably 7-10k miles left). They were dead silent until about 40,000 miles, and now they are getting pretty noisy as most mud terrains do. They were a beast in the rocks in California, and have served me well for unimproved roads, snow and beach driving.
  • Alpine Radio: Still going strong, no issues. I love that Apple CarPlay updates give me new features to the radio without new hardware.
  • Raptor Liner Grill: This is one mod that is driving me nuts. I am on my third grill. Each time I painstakingly sand and prep the grill like crazy (absolutely no gloss left in the clear coat), apply the adhesion promotor and then 2-3 coats of the liner. Within 3-5 months, without fail, the bedliner has cracked and starts looking like garbage. I'm about to buy my 4th grill and have Line-X hit it for $200 with primer and a few coats of their premium liner, and hopefully be done with it for good.
  • AEV Heat Reduction Hood: Looks great, love the functionality. The only problem with it is I caught a couple of neighborhood kids climbing on my Jeep after I moved in, which result in some small, permanent dents on the hood from them sitting on it. I might see if a pointless dent removal place can remove them, but for now I just try to ignore it.
  • Drawer System: The custom drawer system I built has served well, and has more space than I really could ever use. The original drawer I put in it ended up splitting (wood got too hot in California sun I think), so I rebuild that and have not had any issues since.
  • Lift: Everything has held up well, but I should probably have my Fox shocks rebuilt soon and I really need to correct the rear springs which are currently bowing due to the pinion angle change of the rear axle. I've also been dealing with Jeep lean, which is due to uncentered rear axle because my trackbar relocation bracket does not have holes in the correct position to perfectly center it.
  • Mechanical: Jeep is running like a champ, now has 45,000 miles on it. The only problems are 2 recalls that I have not had serviced yet (both for airbags), and recently my ABS light and traction control lights have turned on and stayed on for days at a time (likely bad wheel speed sensor). Also, my rear driveshaft is a little rattle-y and may have inadvertently been squished between a rock and the belly of the Jeep while I was stuck high-center off-road.... I'll be resolving all of these in the next couple of weeks.

Now that I've moved again (Florida), the top stays on pretty much year round due to afternoon rainstorms, and the Jeep has really become more of a family cruiser / weekend trip/expedition vehicle. Because of that, I really have no need to go with larger tires or to upgrade the suspension to be more rock crawler-y. Areas that I want to improve on are highway drivability (for the longer weekend trips), and suitability for expeditions and camping. With that in mind, here's my path forward:
  • Replacement Cooper STTs: gonna jump on some Black Friday sales, very happy with these tires
  • Rock Krawler Rear Adjustable Control Arms: To correct rear wheel centering under the wheel arches, and allow pinion angle adjustment for a new driveshaft.
  • Teraflex Adjustable Rear Trackbar: I already have a correction bracket, but for some reason the holes either shift the axle too far left or too far right. I'm going to finally fix this correctly and get that axle perfectly centered, which should help resolve the minor Jeep lean that I have right now.
  • Adams 1350 Extreme Duty Driveshafts: To handle more power and replace my factory shafts before they finally explode.
  • RhinoRack Backbone w/Pioneer Rack: I already have the backbone rack (bought a year ago, never installed), and the Pioneer Rack will give me plenty of storage for expeditions and camping. Expensive, but it is a quality setup that does not interfere with removing the top in case I ever want to do that during the summers here. Also very modular with many accessories available for tools/jerrycans/etc.
  • Edelbrock E-Force Supercharger: This is a big one, since the 35s I have been underwhelmed with the acceleration/power of the Jeep in general. When I was in Cali I just dealt with it because my driving was 95% city streets or rock crawling, and I was never going too fast anyway. A lot of people have suggested getting 4.88 gears to help with the acceleration, but that would just jack my crawl ratio up (4:1 transfer case), which is already pretty much useless in 1st/2nd gear since the ratio is so high. It would also negatively impact my highway driving with extremely high revs. I've juggled between forced induction and just ripping the 3.6L out and putting in a V8, but I think this will be the best route for my needs and current use for the Jeep.
    SlickRockGear Door Pockets: all of my net door pockets are sagging and unusable, these should do the trick for keeping my stuff in in place when I open/close the doors.

More updates soon....
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Old 10-16-2019, 10:51 PM   #40
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Post up some pics as well!



Include the Firebird if you kept it around.
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Old 10-18-2019, 11:08 PM
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Took the day off to knock out a couple of projects on the Jeep. I started by installing the Rhino Rack Backbone kit that I've had sitting around my garage for over a year. The hardest part was getting the top off by myself, so I rigged up a quick pulley system to get the job done. I will say that I in no way recommend doing it this way for a permanent hardtop hanging solution. This was just the quick way of doing it with what I had laying around the garage. Installing the Rhino Rack was pretty easy, albeit a bit unnerving to drill 14 holes through a perfectly good hard top. The holes for the front mount were the scariest at almost 3/4". Other than that it was just connecting a few pieces with bolts. This was just the mounting brackets, so I still need to order the actual rack that goes on top.

After that, I tackled some smaller projects, including replacing my crappy netting with SlickRockGear door pockets (very high quality and match perfectly to the interior). I also installed a DirtyDog4x4 webbed pet divider, and a replacement stubby antenna (my old one lost all of the anodized coating and was rusting).

With all that done, I had some time to install some angled spacers to correct the angle of my rear coil springs, which were bowing heavily from increased pinion angle. The whole install took maybe 20 minutes, and I was amazed to see how much lift I gained in the back from this simple fix. The spacer itself is 1/8" on the small end and maybe 1/4" on the large end, but I ended up netting almost an inch in additional lift. I'm very pleased with this because the Jeep had developed a minor squat from all of the additional weight I added over the rear axle (steel bumper, drawer system, fridge, spare tire, gear), and now the stance is much more balanced. Another added benefit of the additional lift is that my axle is now much better centered (was previously almost 3/4" different, now is about 1/4"). I don't know if $200 bucks for an adjustable rear track bar is worth a 1/4" difference, so I have a decision to make about whether I want to spend the money or not.

Unfortunately, by the time I got everything done it was dark and the rain from tropical storm Nestor was picking up, so I wasn't able to snap any completed photos. I'll try to post some up tomorrow with some pictures of the Firebird (although it won't be that interesting because the car is basically an empty shell with $10,000 of suspension and no wheels right now).
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Old 10-19-2019, 08:41 PM
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Took a few photos today. First is the JKUR as it stands now. The wheel gap in the rear matches much better and less squatty now, and the roof rack mounts are nice and flush (I had read some reports of them having significant gaps, but I did not have this issue).

The pictures below are of my other car project (well, one of my other car projects). For anyone who cares, its a 67 Firebird that I bought for next to nothing in Ohio. I've replaced about 1/3rd of the sheet metal (rockers, floor, trunk, firewall), and have installed a performance suspension setup (Speedtech front subframe and their rear torque arm suspension with Ridetech coilovers and Baer brakes). I just need to find a set of temporary wheels and the car will be ready for the body shop. I have an LS3 on order (500hp), and will be dropping in a Tremec T56 six speed. Probably 6 months from before its drivable (body work, engine/transmission, fuel system and wiring harness), and a year before I complete everything (interior, final electrical/stereo, trim, etc.).

Back to the Jeep, after next payday I will likely be installing a Rhino Rack Pioneer rack, and Adams driveshafts. I spoke with them, and they recommend 1350 series to accommodate the power post-supercharger. After that, I'll be snagging some new tires on Black Friday (there are usually good sales and rebates). More updates soon.
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Old 10-23-2019, 03:05 PM   #43
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Dang that slick rock gear pocket is expensive! 160 for all 4 doors! Yikes.....
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Old 10-24-2019, 09:07 AM
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Dang that slick rock gear pocket is expensive! 160 for all 4 doors! Yikes.....
Yeah... I was hesitant to buy them for that reason (I think $80-$100 would be more appropriate), but my net pockets were so stretched out that frequently things would either just fall out or get caught in the door frame when I closed it. I will say that the color and texture are a perfect match for the factory door panel, and they do provide more usable storage than the factory nets.
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Old 11-24-2019, 03:41 PM
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The Jeep hit 45,000 miles last week, so I spent today changing the oil and cleaning things up. I also replaced the grill that I had Raptor lined a while back. The liner had started cracking a while ago, so I peeled off all of the cracking parts, prepped the exposed area with a little sand paper and adhesion promoter, and then sprayed it with the remaining liner that I had sitting around the garage. And sure enough, a month or so later it cracked again. You can see in the first picture that it is cracking near the Jeep logo, and you can probably see where the repair was from the first set of cracks.

This time, I bought a used OEM grill from another Jeeper, took the logo off and took it to Line-X to have it done professionally. It was a little pricey ($175 for just the grill!). When I got it back, I was a little annoyed to find that it was sprayed so thick around the fog lights (which I specifically asked them not to do when I dropped it off), which made installing them a bear. Also, there were two spots that looked like puddles that had dried to the piece, probably from being set down too soon or sprayed without anything to lift it up off the work table. I had to remove those sections with a knife, so hopefully that hasn't compromised the liner because I really don't want to have to do this again. That said, it does look nice installed on the Jeep.

I also took advantage of Northridge4x4's gift card sale last week. I ordered a RhinoRack Pioneer Rack to go on the mounts I already installed, as well as some replacement Dynatrac brake pads since mine have about 42,000 miles on them and are getting thin. Not to mention I now have a $150 gift card to buy more Jeep parts! All of those will be projects for the Thanksgiving weekend, more updates soon.
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Old 11-30-2019, 03:22 PM
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Finally had time to install the Rhino Rack platform. Total install time was about 3 hours (including a couple "re-dos" because I apparently can't read instructions). The hardest part was getting everything perfectly lined up on the Jeep. I took it for a test drive and there are no rattles, and no additional noise (granted I was only going 35 MPH, I will report back when I get it on the highway).

I also added some Christmas lights to the rock sliders. I do this every year, but I've never posted it here. I pretty much just wrap the steps with a strand of lights, use a ton of zip ties to hold everything on, then use 50 ft of the cheap garland to cover up all the cords. I have two flat extension cords (one on each side) which are run under the rear doors (you can see a little bit of it in the second picture), under the floor mat and then plugged into the 110V outlet in the center console. I just have to remember to turn on the inverter switch each time I start the Jeep. I suppose now that I have a roof rack I could add some more lights and garland up there, but I'll just have to see what I have left after I finish decorating the house.
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Old 12-01-2019, 09:44 PM
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Old 12-03-2019, 07:07 PM   #48
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Rex,

Nice job on the Jeep and looking forward to seeing a few more pics of the bird!

I do have a question concerning your Rhino Rack platform with fixed brackets. How much clearance do you have from the bottom of the rack to the top of the hardtop? I currently have the quick release brackets, but I'm looking to swap them out if I have room for the eezi-awn table mount kit. I'm getting ready to go to 37's and I need all the clearance I can get to get into my garage....

Thanks!
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Old 12-03-2019, 09:19 PM
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Rex,

Nice job on the Jeep and looking forward to seeing a few more pics of the bird!

I do have a question concerning your Rhino Rack platform with fixed brackets. How much clearance do you have from the bottom of the rack to the top of the hardtop? I currently have the quick release brackets, but I'm looking to swap them out if I have room for the eezi-awn table mount kit. I'm getting ready to go to 37's and I need all the clearance I can get to get into my garage....

Thanks!
Randy
Randy, I just took a measurement and it looks like the rack sits ~2-1/8" from the top of the hard top to the bottom of the rack. I measured immediately behind the forward most mounting plate on the passenger side (couldn't get a picture, it was already dark out). I'd be interested in seeing what your quick release brackets measure out to be. The reason I bought the fixed brackets was for the additional clearance, but I could never find an actual measurement so I just compared different photos that I found online.

As for the Firebird, things are going a little slow. I've been out of town a lot for work, so I've had to split my time between the JK and the YJ mostly. I also couldn't find a body shop around here that could do the job the way I want in a reasonable time with decent prices, so I've decided that I'm going to do the body work myself. I'm getting ready to do some body work (and paint) for my YJ project, so I'm going to use that as practice before I dive into the Firebird which needs a little more work (I've done some body work in the past, but its been a few years). I don't plan on painting the Firebird in my garage because I don't think I can do it to the quality I want for a 50+ year old classic (good enough for the YJ, but not for this!). I probably won't have the YJ done until late January or early February so I won't be doing any body work on the Firebird until then. That said, once more parts arrive I will be test fitting those up to keep the project moving forward. I'll post up some more pics when it starts to looking more like a car again.
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Old 12-04-2019, 03:56 AM   #50
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Hey Rex,
Another Rhino rack question. So regarding the brackets install...
Aside from the last step in the install would you say that they (backbone brackets kit) can be made without removing the hardtop? This is including someone helping to turn the wrench on the inside...

https://www.4wheelparts.com//p/rhino..._/R-FCVT-RJKB1

I am installing mine this weekend.

Thanks for any info!

PS the last step is the placement of the two flat plates above the B pillars,where the Satelite antenna is. I am hoping to remove the top- as in slide it backward just enough to fit the plates in.
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Old 12-04-2019, 07:48 AM
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Hey Rex,
Another Rhino rack question. So regarding the brackets install...
Aside from the last step in the install would you say that they (backbone brackets kit) can be made without removing the hardtop? This is including someone helping to turn the wrench on the inside...

https://www.4wheelparts.com//p/rhino..._/R-FCVT-RJKB1

I am installing mine this weekend.

Thanks for any info!

PS the last step is the placement of the two flat plates above the B pillars,where the Satelite antenna is. I am hoping to remove the top- as in slide it backward just enough to fit the plates in.
I don’t know if you could do it with the top on. The rear mounts over the window should be doable without removing the top (although space is pretty tight). The issue I see is that prior to the last step to install the plates, you have to drill the large holes for the forward mounting brackets (the front mounts actually extend through the hard top, instead of just sitting on top like the rear mounts do). Since the little legs that poke out of the front mounts are tapered, you have to use a stepped drill bit to drill the 22/32” holes from the outside, then drill the 5/8” holes from the inside of the top (step 11). I don’t think you could do this without removing the top. I suppose you could use a regular 5/8” drill bit and carefully drill all the way through the top (after drilling a small pilot hole), then widen the outer hole to 22/32” with a stepped drill bit. You would just have to be careful not to tear up your roll bar padding in the process.

Hopefully this helps.
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Old 12-04-2019, 08:56 PM   #52
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Randy, I just took a measurement and it looks like the rack sits ~2-1/8" from the top of the hard top to the bottom of the rack. I measured immediately behind the forward most mounting plate on the passenger side (couldn't get a picture, it was already dark out). I'd be interested in seeing what your quick release brackets measure out to be. The reason I bought the fixed brackets was for the additional clearance, but I could never find an actual measurement so I just compared different photos that I found online.

As for the Firebird, things are going a little slow. I've been out of town a lot for work, so I've had to split my time between the JK and the YJ mostly. I also couldn't find a body shop around here that could do the job the way I want in a reasonable time with decent prices, so I've decided that I'm going to do the body work myself. I'm getting ready to do some body work (and paint) for my YJ project, so I'm going to use that as practice before I dive into the Firebird which needs a little more work (I've done some body work in the past, but its been a few years). I don't plan on painting the Firebird in my garage because I don't think I can do it to the quality I want for a 50+ year old classic (good enough for the YJ, but not for this!). I probably won't have the YJ done until late January or early February so I won't be doing any body work on the Firebird until then. That said, once more parts arrive I will be test fitting those up to keep the project moving forward. I'll post up some more pics when it starts to looking more like a car again.

Rex,

Thanks for taking a measurement, I was hoping for a little more than 2 1/8". The table mounts are exactly 2", I believe that might be cutting it close with my roof top tent on the rack. The quick release brackets give me around 3 1/4" of clearance. More than enough to install the table mounts, I just wanted a little more clearance going into my garage when I step up to 37's.

I know what you mean about a quality paint job. I was lucky for the last 30 years, my father had a restoration shop with a paint booth. Unfortunately he just retired a year ago, while I got most of the equipment and tools, the booth was sold with the shop. :-(

Good luck and thanks again for taking a measurement!

Randy
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Old 12-04-2019, 09:18 PM
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Rex,

Thanks for taking a measurement, I was hoping for a little more than 2 1/8". The table mounts are exactly 2", I believe that might be cutting it close with my roof top tent on the rack. The quick release brackets give me around 3 1/4" of clearance. More than enough to install the table mounts, I just wanted a little more clearance going into my garage when I step up to 37's.
Yeah that would definitely be too close. I took the measurement from the top of the hard top itself to the bottom of the rack. There is less room (under 2”) between the top of the brackets (the ones installed in the hard top for the backbone system) and the rack.
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Old 12-05-2019, 07:03 PM   #54
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Yeah that would definitely be too close. I took the measurement from the top of the hard top itself to the bottom of the rack. There is less room (under 2”) between the top of the brackets (the ones installed in the hard top for the backbone system) and the rack.
Thanks again for checking, looks like I'll be sticking with the quick release brackets.

Take care!
Randy
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Old 12-06-2019, 08:30 AM   #55
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Hey, thanks for the info. Looks like I better find some help and pull the top! So following this other covo with harpersjk, got me thinking about this. Is there enough room to get at the bolts of a RTT mounting kit?
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Old 12-06-2019, 07:09 PM
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Hey, thanks for the info. Looks like I better find some help and pull the top! So following this other covo with harpersjk, got me thinking about this. Is there enough room to get at the bolts of a RTT mounting kit?
I'll admit that I don't know too much about how rooftop tents are supposed to mount, but its my understanding that they use some kind of u-bolts or universal plates with threads/nuts that would need to be accessed from under the rack. When installing my pioneer rack, I used a flat ratcheting wrench to tighten down the bolts that hold the rack to the legs (a socket wrench would not fit). Depending on how long the threads of the RTT mount you "might" be able to fit a socket wrench, but I think a flat wrench would be a better bet. If you have larger arms, you might have trouble if any of the bolts are in the center of the rack. If you'd like me to measure a specific spot under the rack for clearance let me know. Hopefully this helps.
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Old 12-07-2019, 09:03 AM   #57
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Once again, thanks for the insight!

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