2007 Jeep Wrangler JK - Easy Bolt Ons For Your Wrangler JKPosted in How To on January 1, 2008 0) (
The staff here at 4 Wheel Drive & Sport Utility have been avid JK enthusiasts since we picked up our Wrangler from Detroit a year and a half ago. Since then, we've bolted on quite a few major and minor components and accessories, making our already capable vehicle even more reliable and comfortable. We recently rounded up a gaggle of economical products for our JK. We're quite sure you'll be interested in installing them on your own JK. Most of these products can easily bolt on your new Jeep Wrangler in under an hour. Keep in mind that the majority of these products are also available for Jeep CJ, YJ, and TJ.
Modular Rack Systems
Bestop has been a major player in the aftermarket Jeep industry and as a manufacturer of OEM parts for a number of years. The company produces a whole slew of neat, quality products, so when we were looking for additional and secure ways to stow our gear in the Jeep we immediately went to Bestop's website.
What we found is that Bestop offers the same modular rack systems for the JK as it does for all Jeep models. What we really like about these rack systems is that they are lightweight, the trays are virtually indestructible, and they are very easy to assemble and install. The tray systems' brackets bolt to the Jeep's rollcage with clamshell clamps; there is no drilling or fabrication required for installation.
For more information, contact: Bestop, (800) 845-3567, www.bestop.com.
If you've ever smashed and punctured a differential cover on the trail, you know what a messy pain in the rear it can be. Taking an hour out of your busy weekend to replace the factory diff covers with some high-strength protective covers is well worth the effort. Dynatrac now offers its super-stout differential covers for the Wrangler JK. These are the real thing: The same quality engineering and materials go into these covers as with all of Dynatrac's legendary products.
This swap is quick and painless, and anyone who can turn a wrench can change out his differential covers. Making this chore even easier, the JK's newly designed Dana 44 axles now have a differential-fluid drain hole. Simply place the drain pan below the differential, crack the drain plug, and drain the fluid. Next, unbolt the old cover and pry it loose, taking care not to scratch or damage the mating surface between the differential and the cover. Scrape off all the old silicone and clean the entire area with brake cleaner. This is also a great time to inspect your gears. Check for cracking, chipping, and any unusual wear patterns.
Make sure you seal your new Dynatrac covers with a high-quality RTV silicone sealant. Lay an even 1/4-inch bead of sealant around the diff cover (on both sides of the bolt holes) before bolting in place. Refill the differentials with fluid and off you go. Now you have super protection and peace of mind on the trail.
For more information contact: Dynatrac Products, (714) 596-4461, www.dynatrac.com.
Hood Lift has been around for years, and it offers a very cool product and a very simple solution for the unsprung Jeep hood. Opening the hood was a bit of a pain... OK, so maybe we're a little lazy, but now all we have to do is unfasten the hood's hold-down straps, pop the latch, give the hood a little nudge, and it opens and stays in place all by itself. We find this very convenient.
Installing the Hood Lift kit took us less than 30 minutes, and the kit comes complete with all hardware, tools (drill bit and hex-head driver bit), and complete, easy-to-follow instructions. After some careful measuring, we drilled six holes, screwed in the pivot brackets, and popped the nitrogen-filled struts in place - done! The installation was that simple.
For more information, contact: Hood Lift, (800) 579-3024, www.hoodlift.com.
When we first saw the JK, we loved the classic seven-slot grille. However, the more we looked at it the more we realized the grille slots were much wider than any other Jeep. Then we started thinking about trail hazards and flying road debris. Hmm... what can we do to protect the Jeep's A/C condenser and radiator?
We ran across the mesh grille inserts from Metalcrafters and found our protection solution. Not only are the grille inserts great protection for the parts behind the grille, we think they look awesome. How long did it take us to install this grille screen you ask? Under 30 minutes.
Simply pop the plastic retainers at the top of the factory grille, then unsnap the four lower tabs at the bottom of the grille from the radiator-core support. The lower tabs simply pull straight forward to unfasten. Disconnect the turn-signal wiring by turning the rear of the housing counterclockwise - the light assembly and bulb will come out as one unit.
Four holes must be drilled at the factory grille's lower tabs. This is where the lower retainer clips for the grille screen will be installed. Once this is done, the new clips can be pushed in place and the grille screen screwed in place. The factory grille can now be snapped back in place.
The mesh grilles are constructed from polished stainless steel and are available either chrome-plated or powdercoated black. The grilles come with all the necessary hardware for installation and easy-to-follow directions.
For more information, contact: Metalcrafters, (714) 481-0793, www.metalcrafters.com.
Misch 4x4 Products
We didn't realize how much we would appreciate the Misch armrests until we actually bolted them on our JK's door. The factory armrests are recessed into the door panel so your arm doesn't naturally hang straight down in a resting position while driving. The Misch armrests stick out farther than the factory armrest and support your arm in a natural hanging position. We found the armrests to be extremely comfortable, especially during the long meandering drives to and from adventures.
We had the armrests installed in about 15 minutes. They screw directly into the existing door-panel support holes. After installation, our elbows naturally and comfortably found the armrests. The armrests are available for Jeep CJ, YJ, TJ, and JK.
JK Top Tote
This is the simplest tech we have ever produced! OK, so maybe it isn't tech but really a review of Misch 4x4's tough and durable storage bags for the JK's two-piece top. Before we received our bags, we simply threw our top parts in the rear cargo area. They wound up floating around and picked up a few unnecessary scratches. The Top Tote bags protect the top pieces and keep them secured in the rear cargo area standing up behind the seat.
For more information, contact: Misch 4x4 Products, (620) 251-9100, www.misch4x4.com.
What can we say, auxiliary off-road lights are cool! High-quality lights mounted in a perfect location on a vehicle are even better. Mopar now offers these Hella lights and windshield light mounts. These 55-watt, 6.5-inch-round off-road lights crank out 75,000 candlepower. The off-road lights are also available with a rectangular housing. When the lights are mounted with Mopar's windshield frame mounts, they are in a perfect line-of-sight position.
Fuel Filter Door
For more information, contact: Mopar, www.mopar.com (accessories), or visit your local Jeep dealership.
Evap Canister Relocation Kit
The evap canister (emissions) on the JK isn't in the best location; it's just itching to get torn off. We are quite surprised we haven't knocked off ours yet. Kilby Enterprises' evap canister relocation kit moves the smog device up and out of harm's way and places it directly behind the fuel tank.
For more information contact: Kilby Enterprises, (818) 565-5945, www.kilbyenterprises.com.