Originally Posted by jpittman
Those are great pictures! I too have a 2003, what is the problem with the rear screw and how was it solved? Would like to know what I'm in for.
Thanks for the help.
There was a modification to the tub where the floor and side meet near the rear of each front seat.
At that location, a "blister" has been added for some reason; and it is sealed. Unfortunately, a screw hole must be drilled at that location for nearly every rocker brand out there. (For all of the people considering correcting me: Yeah, I know, not all
of them have a screw at that location. I said most of them.)
This sealed area makes it impossible to get to the screw from the inside. So several work-arounds have been developed. I went with the easier, messier one.
What I know from my own observations:
This blister is not totally sealed. There is an opening beneath the rear fender flare. These things can be a real "B" to remove. Starting from the front of the flare, there are 8 screws to remove. The first two and the last one are all set into threaded sockets that can not rotate loose. But the remainder are all held in with something else that CAN stick to the screw and rotate with it, causing nothing to happen when you turn the screw.
Anyway, the access hole can be reached by removing the first two screw, but you will have to bend your flare a good bit and brace it away from the body to do it. The hole is about 1" with a rolled-in edge and is covered with a rigid, clear plastic tape. If you choose to go this route to avoid the permanent scarring of your Jeep, then peel the tape off and save it. Clean the area. Do not use a locking (plastic-lined) nut! There is no way to hold it properly while turning the screw!!!!!! I would use something that turns VERY freely. Firmly attach (with duct tape, or some sort of glue, or a spot weld) a solid metal rod to the side of the nut. The rod must be long enough to reach from the hole to the screw, plus about 2" to bend 90º into a handle. Again, the nut must turn very freely. When you have the two nuts set up with the rods, add Loctite the the threads of the nut, Insert into the hole and look for it through the hole that you drilled into the tub. Have the screw in your hand ready to go. When you get the nut into position, carefully thread the screw in by hand as far as you can go and then tighten down as best you can. Break off and remove the rod. Replace the plastic tape. Put your fender flare on.
My flare would not easily come off, so I opted for the alternate method.
Cut a hole in the top of the blister above the screw hole that you drilled using a 1" hole saw. Use your finger to hold the nut and washer to the side of the tub and slide it around until it aligns with the hole on the tub wall. Insert screw with Loctite and tighten down as possible. Clean up hole in top of blister with a file. Touch up paint around the edge. Insert a nice 1" plastic cover to hide your ugly hole and seal it from water. This is much easier and faster that the first method. With all of the black plastic in the TJ, the two black plastic covers really do not stand out at all.
Now let me go upload some pics of this problem area for you. I will put them in another post in this thread.