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Unread 08-19-2008, 02:42 PM   #1
muddy93
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1987 FSJ Wagoneer 
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Templeton, Indiana
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YJ modular storage system write up

there has been some interest in my storage setup in my YJ, so here's a quick write up. all pics are at the end, I'll try to get them in order.


I had given thought to getting one of those pre-made trunk deals, but just couldn’t justify the cost, and didn’t want something that was permanently mounted to the jeep. after many hours of thinking, measuring, sketching, re-thinking, and re-drawing, I came up with what I think is a pretty good solution.

I came up with a modular storage system that lets me retain the use of the rear seat, but also gives me the option of enclosing the entire rear of the jeep with a hard tonneau cover.
I started out by building two boxes that are mounted to the top of the wheel wells. The boxes follow the shape of the wheel wells, and the tops are flush with the top edge of the jeep body. The boxes are a little small, but they have plenty of room for my tow strap, jumper cables, clevises, small compressor, tire repair kit, and a few other miscellaneous items. I also added padding to the lids of the side boxes, which make great arm rests when the rear seat is in.

With the side boxes complete, I moved on to the trunk/bulkhead portion of the system. It’s pretty much like any other “jeep trunk”, it fits behind the rear seat, and seals against the tailgate.

Now, here is where it gets fun. I attached the trunk with quick release attachment points(I’ll describe how I made those later). With the rear seat removed, I can move the trunk forward to just behind the front seats. In the forward position, the trunk serves as a bulkhead, and as an attachment point for the tonneau cover.

To attach the tonneau cover to the trunk/bulkhead, I modified an old set of hood hinges that I had. I cut part of the hinge off, so that they slide apart just like the factory door hinges.

I also made some brackets for some gas charged struts to hold the tonneau open. One is bolted to the floor with the center seat belt bolt, and the other is on the under side of the tonneau cover.

Ok, for the quick release attachment points, I took some stainless steel cabinet door hinges, and punched out the pin. I replaced the pin with a 1/8” “hair pin” style cotter pin. Then I attached one side of the hinge to the floor, and the other side to the trunk section. To remove the trunk, all I have to do is remove the cotter pins, and the hinges can pull apart, and the trunk lifts out.






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Unread 08-19-2008, 02:44 PM   #2
muddy93
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more pics,




I'll try to get the rest of the pics up tomorrow.
muddy93
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Unread 08-20-2008, 07:41 AM   #3
muddy93
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here are a couple more pics of the modified hinges that I used for my quick release attachment points.
this one shows the pin that I had to punch out,

and what the two pieces of the hinge look like without a pin,

and here's one to show how little the hinges stick up from the floor,

and here's an overall shot with the tonneau open, which also shows the gas struts and their mounting brackets,


also, just thought I'd add this, although I have plans to eventuaily remake everything out of aluminum, the current setup is made from 3/4" plywood and coated with spray can bedliner, and has held up prety well over the last 2 years.
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Unread 11-20-2009, 01:47 PM   #4
muddy93
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just a little teaser(sorry, no pics yet), I've started to re-build my storage system out of metal.
although I'm making a few design changes, the overall design and function will remain the same.
I'll update and add pics as I make progress.
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Unread 11-30-2009, 07:43 AM   #5
muddy93
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here's a little update, I started the rebuilding process. I got the new bulkhead section mostly finished, and started on the new lid/tonneau section.

as you can see, I still need to add side panels to the bulkhead, and smooth out all the welds, but it is starting to take shape.
and here's the latch design that I'm going to be using to secure the lid/tonneau to the side boxes. it's basically an eye-bolt and spring put through a pice of channel. there will be one on each side of the lid, and a pull cable connecting them. pulling on the cable will relese the lid so that it can be opened, and sense it's on the bottom side of the lid, closing and locking the tail gate will basically "lock" the lid closed.

larger pics can be found here, http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2245174/2 at the bottom of the page.
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Unread 12-14-2009, 11:36 AM   #6
muddy93
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Progress has been a little slower than I had planned, but I did manage to get the lock for the tonneau/lid portion worked out.
I wanted it to be lockable, but also accessable without keys for when I was on the trail.
What I ended up with is two seperate locking devices.
the first, which is for trail use, are some quick relese hold down clamps that hold the lid closed, and can be accessed simply by lifting the hard top glass.


The second, is a keyed lock that is located on the under side of the lid, and when locked, drives two pins into the side boxes. When this lock is used, the lid can not be opend without first opening the tail gate, and then using the key to retract the pins. So, with the key lock, and the tail gate locked, the storage area is fairly secure.
And here's the view with the tail gate closed, I still need to add some weatherstrip though, to fill the gap between the lid and tail gate.
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Last edited by muddy93; 12-14-2009 at 11:40 AM.. Reason: forgot a picture, resized other pics.
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