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theksmith

TheKSmith's 2003 Jeep Grand Cherokee WJ Limited 4.7 H.O. - The Do-It-All Rig

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I'll miss her because that's how we met at Fry's, Fountain Hills, AZ.

 

You: "Nice FJ". Me: "Nice Jeep". :)

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Headed to Texas with a Michigan plate?

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It's headed to Texas so I can do all the fab work ( bumpers, spare tire carrier, install winch and lights, maybe a new flat aluminum roof rack) then it will head up to Michigan to start wheeling the north.

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I look forward to seeing her with a front bumper. I hope that the vehicle came with a complimentary DVD of Napolean Dynamite.

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What kind of screws/bolts did you use to mount fire extinguisher?

 

i used regular machine screws with nylock nuts and fender washers on the backside of the panel (you have to remove the door trim panel). i think they were just #8 black oxide screws but i don't remember the exact length. the fender washers just help spread the load out so the plastic panel doesn't crack. i never had any issues with it. i used that same method for the MagLite clips.

 

for the other small items, i simply used some of the little black plastic trim screws that are found all throughout the Jeep - so i didn't need to remove the panel on those.

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so yesterday i spent the day at Number7's house with him helping me weld up my rack..

 

i started with a Rola rack and extension. it's a very inexpensive rack, yet pretty tough. I already had someone weld the extension in permanently quite a while ago (with them just screwed in, it flexed too much for my liking). once welded solid though, it made a extremely stout and great looking rack.

 

59504.jpg

 

the only problem at that point was that the factory crossbars and rail system has tons of movement in it and never felt very secure to me. also, the Rola attachments to the factory crossbars were kind of wimpy and would allow the rack to slide from side to side sometimes when off-camber and fully loaded with tire/fuel cans/etc.

 

the first step was to remove all the factory stuff. next i laid down some 1/8 thick by about 1" wide steel in place of the factory rails, drilled it for the factory attachment holes, rounded off the end corners and got some new stainless steel screws and washers to fasten it to the factory thread-serts. i used only 1/8 thick so it would lay down nice and match the curve of the roof without putting lots of stress on the thread-serts. these pieces really will just need to spread the load of the rack more than any other structural purpose.

 

then i put the rack up there, got it all lined up and started cutting the "feet" for it - 0.25" thick by about 1.5" wide steel. i then tried to get it all tack-welded into place before taking it to george for the real welding. i got some of it tacked, but i've never welded before and even my tack welds weren't holding worth a crap. later george told me that the harbor freight welder i had came with crap wire and he let me play with his welder and indeed i was able to make some decent welds in no time (now i can't wait to go buy some better wire and start practicing welding!)

 

here's the first front "foot" tacked into place:

 

IMGP0952.JPG

 

and george tacking the other feet into place (we used a wet blanket to keep the spatters off the paint, mostly):

 

IMGP0960.JPG

 

taken off the jeep in order to finish welding:

 

IMGP0963.JPG

 

the tubing on the rack itself was kinda thin, so george talked me into adding some gussets that tied the feet to more surface area of the rack. i'm glad he did, they came out nice and i'm sure added tons more strength... now i'll never worry about the feet tearing off the thin tube:

 

IMGP0973.JPG

 

view from the front looks great:

 

IMGP0977.JPG

 

and here's some other shots of the nearly finished product:

 

IMGP0981.JPG

 

IMGP0982.JPG

 

IMG_0196.JPG

 

IMG_0194.JPG

 

i still need to fab up a hi-lift carrier on one side and a shovel & axe carrier on the other side, and maybe add some light tabs, etc. and then prep and paint.

 

thanks tons to George for all the help constructing this!

Hello,

 

I’ve been following your jeep for years and absolutely fell in love with it and everything you’ve done it’s incredible and it inspired me to build one of my own. Now I know that isn’t been a while sense that last time you posted anything and literally just found out you sold he old girl (heartbreaking). I was wondering if you could help me out with a few things, the design of the roof rack do you happen to have the specs on it? I’ve looked for a very long time and not finding anything that looks as good as yours. Where did you find the pole hangover that was off the back of the jeep? Do you have any specs on the cargo area table?

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Hello,

 

I’ve been following your jeep for years and absolutely fell in love with it and everything you’ve done it’s incredible and it inspired me to build one of my own. Now I know that isn’t been a while sense that last time you posted anything and literally just found out you sold he old girl (heartbreaking). I was wondering if you could help me out with a few things, the design of the roof rack do you happen to have the specs on it? I’ve looked for a very long time and not finding anything that looks as good as yours. Where did you find the pole hangover that was off the back of the jeep? Do you have any specs on the cargo area table?

 

hey there! sorry, i didn't do any blueprints or even write down any measurements on the roof rack or rear table projects.

 

i've seen several people replicate the roof rack idea... . bradywgn on here has a similar one with a different basket.

 

you just basically attach a couple steel strips to the factory nutserts (adding a few inserts if you are so inclined), set the basket up there with some spacers (2x4 or whatever), get it level with the Jeep for looks, measure for your "legs" and then get out the grinder make the legs while test fitting and grinding a little more till they fit perfectly - and finally of course, weld!

 

the rear table used Accuride lock in/out slides, i think they were the 18" version. the only thing i remember that might help you was that when i screwed it down to the floor, the carpet/padding compressed way more than i expected and my tire just barely fit... so if you are making a similar thing to store a tire or containers underneath, be sure to allow some extra height.

 

i did see someone on jeepforum.com once replicated that rear shelf/table design but made out square steel tubing (welded together) and then i think they used an aluminum sheet for the top. sorry i don't know the URL, but ask/search over on JF in the WJ section.

 

best of luck!

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Sweet thanks for the response I’ll give it a go and try to figure something out, if I have more questions on things you’ve done do you mind if I ask? I’ve just quickly glanced over the main thing so far. Also how on earth do I get photos put up on here? I’d like to show you mine and what I’ve done.

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