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Jeep Wrangler Porkchop - Ripping Out Interior Amenities to Your Benefit


John CappaPhotographer, Writer

A lot of us take our Jeeps out into the woods, mountains, or desert to sort of unwind and get away from the melee of day-to-day drama that develops during the work week. Bringing all that artificial noise with you off-road doesn't make all that much sense, right? Unfortunately, there are those that just can't let go. We've seen guys stuff enough electronics into a JK to empty the shelves at Radio Shack. Do you really need that much electrical wing-ding garbage to keep you happy in the wilderness? The correct answer is no, you don't. With that in mind, let us help you simplify your interior and make it a more quiet and serene environment where you can fully enjoy your short-term outdoor escape. Sometimes you really have to think outside the box to make your Jeep more comfortable and utilitarian. Make your grandparents proud and put down the cell phone for a while. Welcome to the outdoors.

Does anyone else have that annoying buddy that always wants to ride with you because his Jeep is broken or he doesn't currently have one? He typically insists on jabbering away and proceeds to tell you where all the "right lines" are on the trail. You can't exactly have him get out and spot you so you can turn around and abandon him to die in the desert. But, you can make sure your passenger seat is always taken by what looks like an important and delicate camera bag. If that doesn't work, install the most uncomfortable crappy electric passenger seat you can find. Only hook up the wires temporarily to tilt the seat forward so that anyone who sits in it will have to rest their forehead on the dash. A seat heater is an added bonus in warm climates. Wire that sucker permanently on high. No one will ever want to ride with you and invade your Zen interior.

It's a proven scientific fact that 99.999 percent of bumper-mounted spare tire carriers rattle. That banging and clanging that often ends in rack failure will drive most people batty. You have a couple of options, though. You can start wearing insect-repellent Exofficio shirts and mount the spare tire on the roof, grow a beard and learn to use a plug kit and carry an inner tube instead of a spare tire, or become a hermit, kick your family and good-for-nothing buddies out of the back, and put the spare tire inside the Jeep.

If you need to pack this much stuff to hit the trail, why bother? You might as well stay at home and enjoy the same amenities. Not to mention, who wants to listen to all this stuff rattle around for eight hours over a bumpy dirt road. Need your flashlight? Good thing it's conveniently packed under all this crap that has to be unloaded to get to it.

With the spare tire solidly mounted to the floor on the inside of your Jeep, you can now see out the back window when backing up. Plus, you don't have all that excess weight hanging of the back, acting like a boat anchor that keeps your Jeep from climbing ledges efficiently.

With the back seat installed and the two hardtop roof bits stored in the back of your two-door JK, you don't even have any room for a cooler, much less clothes, food, camp gear, or anything required for basic survival off-road.

You can easily store a sensible amount of gear in a steel Tuffy Security (tuffyproducts.com) lock box. They are available in many sizes and shapes. Hard parts, such as spare axles, driveshafts, and other heavy components should be secured so they don't bounce around and attack you.

Nobody wants to hear you relive your glory days in the woods by blasting Ronnie James Dio or Ozzy Osborne through Crutchfield (crutchfield.com) wakeboard tower boat speakers clamped to your rollcage. The novelty of the speakers easily bolting to your 'cage was cool when you were 18, you're an adult now. Dio is dead and Ozzy is out of his mind.

Speaking of noisy stereos, do you even need one in your Jeep? How about you rip that sucker out. The CD player is probably already filled with dirt and not working anyway. Can't let go? Fine, at least upgrade to a water-resistant boat head unit and speakers, or better yet a compact water-resistant Dual MGH30BT Marine digital media receiver with built-in Bluetooth from Crutchfield. It installs easily and can play the music stored in your phone. But keep the volume down when we're around.

We loved the clean, well thought out dashboard in this Jeepster. Notice how it's free of GPS mounts, iPhone docks, CB handsets, and TV screens? You can leave that stuff at home.

Just where are you headed? Is 140 feet of tow strap, 3 batteries, and 500 pounds of additional recovery gear really necessary? You're going wheeling on a bulldozed trail system, not crossing the Darian gap, right?

This FSJ has a sensible dash. We also like the removed carpet. That stuff just turns into a wet beaver nest after the first mud run. We're torn on using spray-in bedliner on Jeep floors, though. On the one hand, it makes the Jeep easy to hose out. On the other hand, it can be a real pain if you ever need to weld something to the floor.

This is more like it. The two-door JK rear seat is gone and the spare tire is properly mounted to the rear floor area. You can easily strap a cooler to the top of the tire and pack your gear around it.