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Unread 10-24-2010, 09:02 AM   #1
FranksRedHot
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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.

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Unread 10-24-2010, 10:45 AM   #2
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I'm one of the ones who experienced the same problems you have. I contemplated the same project you are, but sold that jeep before I tried it. I think I still have the new-style vent... I would let you have for cheap. Were you going to cut some holes on the inside tailgate skin and add louvers?

I would recommend either finding an older top with vents or add vents to the top, instead of the tailgate. I also considered finding a newer style tailgate at the junkyard.

Good luck and post pics if you start hacking something up!
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Unread 10-24-2010, 10:48 AM   #3
Unlimited04
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why not just crack a window its free
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Unread 10-24-2010, 11:15 AM   #4
mrblaine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FranksRedHot View Post
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.
What color is your rig?
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Unread 10-24-2010, 11:45 AM   #5
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^^ im assuming Red but thats just an assumption because of his username.. lol

anyway personally i liked my 97 with a hard top and vents rather then my 04 that has vents in the tailgate.. i find it harder to close the doors in the newer one due to pressure buildup.. just my experience im sharing..
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Unread 10-24-2010, 12:13 PM   #6
jscherb
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I have a YJ/early TJ tailgate apart right now, and I've got a spare 03-06 tailgate vent, so I just compared them for you. Without some tailgate modifications, the later model vent does not appear that it would fit in the earlier tailgate. The main reason is the center recess in the inside of the tailgate - that protrudes far enough into the tailgate that it would interfere with the back of the vent.

However, you need to provide a way for air to get through the inside wall of the tailgate, so if you removed that recess altogether and put a grille of some sort over the resulting hole, then the factory vent would probably have enough clearance to fit inside.

Also don't forget about the ribs on the outside of the tailgate, they will interfere with mounting the vent in the outer skin of the tailgate. Here's a photo showing the outer skin removed, you can see the recesses on the inside wall (sticking up in this photo) and the recessed ribs on the outer wall.



So yes it could be done, some some sheet metal surgery would be required.
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Unread 10-24-2010, 12:18 PM   #7
mrblaine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jscherb View Post
I have a YJ/early TJ tailgate apart right now, and I've got a spare 03-06 tailgate vent, so I just compared them for you. Without some tailgate modifications, the later model vent does not appear that it would fit in the earlier tailgate. The main reason is the center recess in the inside of the tailgate - that protrudes far enough into the tailgate that it would interfere with the back of the vent.

However, you need to provide a way for air to get through the inside wall of the tailgate, so if you removed that recess altogether and put a grille of some sort over the resulting hole, then the factory vent would probably have enough clearance to fit inside.

Also don't forget about the ribs on the outside of the tailgate, they will interfere with mounting the vent in the outer skin of the tailgate. Here's a photo showing the outer skin removed, you can see the recesses on the inside wall (sticking up in this photo) and the recessed ribs on the outer wall.



So yes it could be done, some some sheet metal surgery would be required.
That's why I asked the color. It seemed to me the easy and best solution would be to aquire a new tailgate in the correct color or next best, get one and paint it.

I have a white one, had a blue one yesterday and who knows, maybe a different color tomorrow.
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Unread 10-24-2010, 12:41 PM   #8
Neil F.
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Pull out some of the floor deain plugs.
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Unread 10-24-2010, 12:59 PM   #9
FranksRedHot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O4Unlimited View Post
^^ im assuming Red but thats just an assumption because of his username.. lol

anyway personally i liked my 97 with a hard top and vents rather then my 04 that has vents in the tailgate.. i find it harder to close the doors in the newer one due to pressure buildup.. just my experience im sharing..


Blue with khaki (looks grey) hardtop. Just put up a picture in my profile. I'm probably addicted to Franks Red Hot, thus the username.

I don't mind extra effort closing the door, or even it popping out the back window for a split second while doing so. I just don't want to have to crack a window any time I want heat. New England may not be the Rockies or Minnesota, but it is cold enough that I'd rather not have the windows down if I can help it. Plus that'd just be noisier than necessary. As for the AC, I only use that on hot rainy days in the summer (otherwise use the soft top / no top).
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Unread 10-24-2010, 01:02 PM   #10
FranksRedHot
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Originally Posted by Neil F. View Post
Pull out some of the floor deain plugs.

As mentioned in my original post, that doesn't work because I have carpet (which has a plastic-type undercoating; no air passes through). I plan to keep the carpet for stereo acoustics (and overall look/comfort-- despite being a Jeep), and don't want to bedline it.
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Unread 10-24-2010, 01:06 PM   #11
FranksRedHot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -dirt- View Post
I'm one of the ones who experienced the same problems you have. I contemplated the same project you are, but sold that jeep before I tried it. I think I still have the new-style vent... I would let you have for cheap. Were you going to cut some holes on the inside tailgate skin and add louvers?

I would recommend either finding an older top with vents or add vents to the top, instead of the tailgate. I also considered finding a newer style tailgate at the junkyard.

Good luck and post pics if you start hacking something up!

Thanks for the post and the offer. I'd rather keep the fiberglass intact to avoid possible stress fractures, plus keep it worth what I paid for it in case I want to sell it to someone who doesn't want vents in it. I'm planning on taking the tire carrier off temporarily, cutting a hole in the tailgate right from the inside to the outside, popping in either that Mopar exhauster vent or a boat / marine vent (something with louvers) and sealing it somehow, putting the tire carrier back on, and calling it a day.
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Unread 10-24-2010, 01:09 PM   #12
FranksRedHot
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Originally Posted by mrblaine View Post
That's why I asked the color. It seemed to me the easy and best solution would be to aquire a new tailgate in the correct color or next best, get one and paint it.

I have a white one, had a blue one yesterday and who knows, maybe a different color tomorrow.


To me, the easiest solution does not involve spending money on a used tailgate that may not match my color and switching everything over. The easiest is hopefully to drill a hole, cut a square, and pop in a vent. That not only would be less than twenty bucks , but less than twenty minutes. I'm just not sure if anyone has tried that before and run into an unforeseen problem.
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Unread 10-24-2010, 01:14 PM   #13
FranksRedHot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jscherb View Post
I have a YJ/early TJ tailgate apart right now, and I've got a spare 03-06 tailgate vent, so I just compared them for you. Without some tailgate modifications, the later model vent does not appear that it would fit in the earlier tailgate. The main reason is the center recess in the inside of the tailgate - that protrudes far enough into the tailgate that it would interfere with the back of the vent.

However, you need to provide a way for air to get through the inside wall of the tailgate, so if you removed that recess altogether and put a grille of some sort over the resulting hole, then the factory vent would probably have enough clearance to fit inside.

Also don't forget about the ribs on the outside of the tailgate, they will interfere with mounting the vent in the outer skin of the tailgate. Here's a photo showing the outer skin removed, you can see the recesses on the inside wall (sticking up in this photo) and the recessed ribs on the outer wall.

So yes it could be done, some some sheet metal surgery would be required.

Excellent reply, thank you. Those ridges / recesses are the only thing holding me back. I know sheet metal is bent for structural strength, but wasn't sure if there was something else hidden on the inside that I couldn't see. Seemed too easy to just be able to cut a hole in it, yet I still can't think of / see a reason not to try it. Even if it's not the mopar vent, and instead some marine application, a vent is a vent is a vent, right? I mean, if cracking a window works to get enough air circulating, why shouldn't a makeshift hole cut into any shape sheetmetal in the back? I'm also hoping that whatever I end up doing doesn't whistle on its own. I don't need the vent to be entirely flush on the inside, but that was a very good point. Thank you for this post.
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Unread 10-24-2010, 01:20 PM   #14
mrblaine
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Originally Posted by FranksRedHot View Post
To me, the easiest solution does not involve spending money on a used tailgate that may not match my color and switching everything over. The easiest is hopefully to drill a hole, cut a square, and pop in a vent. That not only would be less than twenty bucks , but less than twenty minutes. I'm just not sure if anyone has tried that before and run into an unforeseen problem.
No SPEND MONEY. Pay attention. The reason I had a blue one yesterday and a white one today is because someone needed the blue one to match their rig they are putting together. I traded him because I have to paint the one I'm putting together so the color doesn't matter. No money changed hands.

Nothing you are likely going to be able to do is going to be less than a hack job on the tailgate that will ruin it.

If you can fix this for 20 bucks, more power to you. I'd just swap tailgates.
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Unread 10-24-2010, 01:38 PM   #15
FranksRedHot
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Originally Posted by mrblaine View Post
No SPEND MONEY. Pay attention. The reason I had a blue one yesterday and a white one today is because someone needed the blue one to match their rig they are putting together. I traded him because I have to paint the one I'm putting together so the color doesn't matter. No money changed hands.
Had you originally given the reason you had different color tailgates for me to pay attention to, there would not have been a misunderstanding or need for your condescending reply post. Now I get your suggestion, but unfortunately do not have anyone nearby with whom I can trade. I also don't know how often there is someone with a blue tailgate that wants to trade for another blue tailgate (except maybe for people wanting to run w/o a spare and don't want to make/buy a vent cover). While I appreciate the alternative suggestion, the point of this thread was to hopefully find a simple, elegant solution for me and anyone else in the Jeep community with the same problem. Tailgate swaps, especially those involving repainting to the proper color (if need be), are not practical or consistently repeatable.
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