Contico Tuff Bin installed in Unlimited w/ rear seat
As we all know the Wrangler is the perfect vehicle. That said even the perfect vehicle has its flaw, which for the wrangler is a secure storage space large enough to fit all our toys that go along with the Jeep.
I wanted something I could lock up, as well as easily remove for when I needed to take full advantage of the Unlimited’s trunk area. After looking at different option$ I decided to give the Contico Tuff Bin a try. It looked to be just the right size to fit behind my Unlimited’s rear seat, and it was much more affordable than the alternatives.
I stopped by Lowes and picked one up.
This seemed to be the perfect solution I was looking for. Tuff, lockable, easy to remove, and affordable!
Well as luck would have it, it was just a tiny bit too big. I could close the tailgate, but was unable to secure the rear window. I also could not lift up the lid due to it pressing into the rear seat.
So time to modify my multi thousand dollar jeep to fit my $55 box.
I pulled the carpet and rear seat and started to look at moving the seat forward. Lockable storage takes precedence over passenger leg room, heck they should buy their own jeep instead of always riding in mine.
After breaking a cheap torx bit I went and bought a set with a lifetime guarantee, and I finally got the brackets out. Turns out there are seven different holes in these brackets and only four bolts. I moved the 3rd bolt back one hole, which was 2.75”. This moved the bracket and seat forward 2.75”. I put the seat back in and test fit the Contico Bin again. It fit much better. Unfortunately I lost 2.75” of leg room for my rear passengers, but that is only 0.75” less than the SWB TJ.
I decided to go ahead with modifying the brackets to fit the storage bin. I marked up the bracket and re positioned two holes to reuse the threaded holes in the floor. In the following picture the original bolt placement holes are circled. The 3rd bolt back got moved back one hole( the 2.75” dim.) and I drilled 2 new holes which are the circles with a + in them.
Here you can see the new holes compared next to the other bracket. (The 3.5” Dim. is the distance between mounting holes.)
Here you can see the bracket in its new location. As well as the old storage area for my air hose and emergency polo shirt.
I did not want my cramped passengers to bang their heels on the bracket’s overhang in the foot well so I decided to trim it off. I left all the original holes so I can revert to stock locations should the need arise.
I hit the places where I drilled and cut the brackets with some paint and replaced the wonderful torx bolts with hex head bolts. I do not remember the size right now but they were metric.
The brackets went back in only using 3 out of the 4 bolts. The 4th bolt hole could be drilled through the floor with a backing plate and nut but I did not do this at this time.
Well now everything fit beautifully. The door will close, I can fit the window bar in the slot, and open the lid without it hitting the rear seat.
Well now I had to prevent someone from lifting my box with all my gear out of the back, although its pretty heavy as is. My solution to this was 2 cable clamps 8 links of chain, aluminum backing plate and some locks. Already had everything but the locks sitting around.
Drilling holes in my new box.
Inside, showing the backing plate.
What the front looks like.
The lose ends of the chain have since been locked to the tie down brackets in the back. This will prevent someone from lifting the box out and keeps it secured to the floor when hitting the tougher curbs at the mall. Yet I can remove the box by unlocking 2 locks.
Right away I noticed a problem with the engineering of this box. It was a ***** to open with one hand! As you can see in the picture below there is no lip to lift the lid with, well I added a little handle so you can twist the knob and lift up with the same hand.
Lastly I picked up a set of 4 mater locks and keys that had plastic around the body so they would not bang and scratch up my tailgate, all of which are all opened with the same key.
Over all I am pretty happy with this solution. It fits my budget, fits my jeep with a little modifying, and was the answer to what I was looking for.
I have not tried to lower my top with this box. I think it will interfere slightly with it and it may not sit quite as low. That said I don’t drop my top all that often, usually I remove the doors and lose the side windows, but keep the top for the shade, and plan to run a safari top all summer when I can afford it.
And here she is with locked up.