Homemade tailgate vent? Newer hardtop on older body
I have an '01 TJ Sport, and just bought a hardtop off an '04. Bought the wiring pigtale from JeepsareUs, so no issues there. My problem is a lack of vents. I read all the posts on here about pressure, whistling, venting, cracking a window,hvac efficiency, etc., but decided to give it a try anyway ($500 for the top, excellent condition-- couldn't pass that up. I live near Boston if that sounds expensive to you southern gents; crap costs more here, annoyingly). Some people had no issues with no vents, some had all of them, some had a few. I have all of them. The top is seated perfectly, with all door / tub / window seals even and air tight. With no vents, however, when I shut the door it requires decent effort and pops the tailgate window. I can crack a door window when I'm in it, but not when I want to leave the vehicle and have it watertight. And I don't want to buy above-window rain guards. There is no whistling until I turn on the heat or ac above speed 1, after which is forces the rear window open to allow for the as-designed pass-through airflow, and whistles. If I crack a window this goes away, too, but the goal is to not have to crack a window. I could deal with the whistling if that were the only issue, but it's not. If on AC, the air does not blow cold unless i have a window cracked for proper ventilation. If on heat, the air does not blow hot unless a window is cracked. I had read this before, but didn't believe it would be "that" big of an issue. It's incredibly noticeable, like the AC is totally out of refrigerant or my heater core is broken. There's NO cold/hot, but as soon as I put my window down about 1/2", it blasts you with cold/hot (whatever you're running). I'm a true believer now, and need to add some vents. I've read that if on recirculate, you can use your ac, but i havent tried that yet. It's cold here now. I'm also concerned about the possibility of popping my ear drums if the air bag goes off, something I'd read but don't know about. I'd like to assume that the rear window would just pop out like it does when I close my door, but I'd rather not take that chance. Has anyone bought the vent from an '03+ and installed it into the tailgate of an older version? I'd like to cut a hole behind the rear tire carrier on my '01, and pop in the vent from Mopar ("exhauster", part 15, Jeep Wrangler Parts - The Official Jeep Parts eStore offered by Chrysler). I have carpet in my Jeep, so removing the drain plugs in the floor does not work (I tried it). I also removed the four random grommets in the tailgate (1/2"), but that didn't work either. What i'd like to do is cut the sheetmetal and pop that Exhauster in, or go to a boating supply store and buy two vents from them (same idea w/ the louvers). Has anyone done this? Can anyone think of why this wouldn't work? I'll gladly put up pictures of the project afterwards.