Barn Door for JK factory hardtops

jscherb

Expedition Leader
When Robert was home for Thanksgiving he suggested posing the complete fleet for a photo. Left to right, the 2006 Retro Wrangler pickup, the 2013 JKU Safari, the 2006 LJ-8 Safari (in its winter plow configuration) and Robert's 2013 2dr (with a cargo hatch window in the hardtop open).

 
Last edited:

billiebob

Well-known member
I've thought about a lift up window on the YJ/TJ for 30 years. My thoughts started with using Ford van side door mechanisms then Dodge Caravan hardware.
 
Last edited:

jscherb

Expedition Leader
I've thought about a lift up window on the YJ/TJ for 30 years. My thoughts started with using Ford van side door mechanisms then Dodge Caravan hardware.
I've done several hinged window/cargo hatch proof-of-concepts over the years but I've never thought they should be put in production because I wasn't sure there would be enough demand for them. If there would be good demand, why hasn't some company done them for the Wrangler yet when there are several on the market for Toyotas, Nissans and G-Wagens?

This version is probably worth putting in production because it uses the same proven slider window retrofit kit that's already in production and because these windows/hatches can be economically produced in small production runs, which means they're low risk for a company to bring to market and they can retail for far less than the ones for those other vehicles.

I'm working on the details of the cargo compartment design today, if these windows get into production I'll turn over the compartment design to the company so if they want they can put that in production too.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Design work for the cargo compartments begins with a cardboard mockup. I'm using the JKU because Robert took his 2dr back to PHL after the Thanksgiving weekend. A prototype cargo window/hatch hasn't been made for the JKU yet but this unfinished side panel with no window will do for the prototyping. The panel will have a Molle/Quickfist/generic mounting grid pattern, plus a tray on the bottom (two cans are currently in the tray).

The next step is to do a full size drawing of the grid on the computer that I can print out and paste onto the cardboard.

If anyone's got any suggestions as to what they'd want to store in the compartment, or other features the compartment should have, post your thoughts and I'll do my best to accommodate them in the design.



BTW the black side panel looks so drab against the body color of the Jeep, I'm so glad I painted the hardtop Spice :).
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
I drew a cargo compartment mounting grid, printed it and taped it to the cardboard mockup. The round slots are Molle and the grid of small holes between the slots is for QuickFist clamps or other bolt-on mounts. The dashed lines show where the roll bar is behind the grid, some of those slots/holes are a little more awkward to use but most are still usable. The angled rectangle provides clearance for where the overhead/swing-down Molle panel hardware bolts to the roll bar - I want to provide for both the cargo compartments and the overhead Molle working together.



Most of the Molle slots and QuickFist holes can also be used from the inside, so things can be hung on both sides of the grid.

A few things that might be stored in the compartment. The shovel is mounted with QuickFist clamps and the cans are sitting in the tray at the bottom.



I've got a few minor tweaks to make to the drawing and once I make them I can make a metal prototype. I welcome whatever comments anyone might have - I can add good ideas to the next version of the drawing before I go to metal.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
I'm in the process of finalizing the cargo compartment design, this is an inside view of the panel. Molle pouches and other gear can be hung on the inside as well as on the cargo compartment side.



I'm about ready to make a prototype panel in metal, I'll probably do that over the next few days.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
I've done several cargo hatch prototypes in the past, this morning I installed one of the early prototype hatches to see how it would work with gear in the cargo compartment. This prototype does not yet have gas struts installed to support the hatch when open, and it doesn't have final latch hardware. The Molle grid inside the cargo compartment is still the cardboard prototype, I'll begin making a metal prototype today. But this shows what the aluminum panel version might look like compared to the glass prototype I showed in the 2dr.





And a video:

 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Work in progress on the JKU cargo compartment Molle/Quickfist panel.



I'll try to finish up the fabrication tomorrow.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
Impressive execution.....and patience
Thanks. It's really not too bad, the key is taking time for accurate layout and drilling. If everything is accurately marked and drilled, there's very little finishing work required.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
I finished up the fabrication of the JKU cargo compartment panel today. Here are some photos showing the panel in place, it's still in raw metal and next it'll get painted black.



Molle gear can also be hung on the inside, in this photo I've got 4 Molle bags installed. There would be room for more if I didn't have the kitchen battery in the way. Also just at the top of the photo is the overhead/swing down Molle panel, it and the cargo compartments work fine together.



Because things can be hung on the inside, perhaps the panel would also be useful in a stock hardtop that doesn't have a cargo window/hatch installed.

Tomorrow I'll pull it out and paint it and I'll also do a 2dr cardboard prototype.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
I was digging through my collection of Molle pouches to outfit the prototype cargo window/hatch panel yesterday and came across this nice camo bag I forgot I had. It's the perfect size to hang off the seat back so I sewed a zipper on it so it can attach to the Overland Outfitters backpack zipper:





Also found a couple of small bags for the Molle panel I made for the side of the console, there's a small black bag and a small first aid bag:



In the photo above the bag on the grab bar is from Duluth Trading, they advertise it as a toiletry bag (https://www.duluthtrading.com/fire-...307_color=BRN#q=toiletry&lang=default&start=2). I sewed velcro straps on the back and now it can hang on the grab bar or the roll bar.
 

jscherb

Expedition Leader
I like the camo bag set up that would come in handy and out of the way.
I originally designed the seat back zipper attachment for the "Backpack Messenger Bag" I designed for Overland Outfitters (which btw made it into the Quadratec Holiday Catalog), but the attachment has turned out to be very handy and like you said it's out of the way (but instantly accessible). I've posted this photo before, but I use a seat back Rollbag to carry my recovery strap, and I've hung other types of bags there too. I've got more ideas for things that can attach there, just have to find time to sew them.



 

Forum statistics

Threads
178,320
Messages
2,781,925
Members
213,141
Latest member
Zrad
Top