How To Install Personalized GraBars™

If you’ve been reading my posts, you would see how much bang for my buck I have gotten out of 2 cans of Mopar spray paint. This is the “final” installment of “All the things you can paint Tank!!!”.

Tools needed:
Spray Primer
Spray Paint (Tank, Hydro Blue, Black, SO…the possibilities are limitless when it comes to Jeep colors. Unless it is PCP anyway!)
Clear Coat (matte or shiny, take your pick)
GraBars from Welcome Distributing – JK GraBarsâ„¢
Socket wrench and metric sockets
Hex bits and driver
More time and patience than Mother Theresa
And the all important adult beverage (can’t forget that!)

Step 1 – Order the GraBars that are appropriate for your Jeep
Step 2 – In the order comments section, ask if they can leave the grips off and just stuff them in the box separately (they were able to do this for me)
Step 3 – Following the painting steps in my previous stubby antenna mod “how to”, proceed to paint the GraBars – see post here: Adventures with Tankie

Hold up. I have to interject on myself (not sure if I can do that…WAIT…I just did ). It was a nightmare painting these. They were so heavy that the paint would peel off every time you had to flip them over. If you have a way to suspend them – go ahead and paint. If you don’t care about imperfections and can’t suspend them – go ahead and paint. If you don’t have the extra funds for powder coating – go ahead and paint. (I’m the poster child for CDO so I wish I had powder coated them.)

Step 4 – Once painted, shove (with everything you have) the rubber grips onto the ends of the GraBars. I would get them to about a half inch from the end, then bang the end on my workbench to finish getting it all the way on. I suppose you could try lubing it up to make it slide on easier, but I didn’t think of that.
Step 5 – Follow the instructions provided with the GraBars for installation. All of my years of playing Operation as a kid paid off when I took the bolts out of the A pillars. Be SUPER careful when removing because if they fall in, you’ve got a lot of trim to take apart.
Step 6 – Start threading the top bolt on the front ones first. Get it in there with a couple of turns (just enough to be able to let go of the GraBar without it falling back out).
Step 7 – Finagle the big spacer into the hole at the A pillar and line it up with the hole in the GraBar. Then thread the long bolt through the GraBar and the spacer. Turn it until you can’t turn it anymore (shove up on the Grabar so you can get the A pillar bolt installed).
Step 8 – Screw the top bolt in as far as you can. Then alternating between the top and the side bolts, tighten both of them up.
Step 9 – Repeat on other side.
Step 10 – Install the rear (if applicable) GraBars.
Step 11 – Time for the adult beverage.

This is the first mod I really screwed up. I don’t like the way the paint came out. My parents couldn’t see anything wrong with them…but I can. For some reason the Tank paint just would not stick to the primer. It wasn’t an issue on the trim or the antenna. I’ve been painting these for weeks letting the coats dry in between because I kept having problems with it peeling off. I need to go get a paint pen touch up stick to fix the last two problems (I ran out of paint and couldn’t fix the last places that peeled off). I really do recommend powder coating.

Finally, be sure to save your original washers and bolts. If you trade in your Jeep, you can pull the GraBars and reinstall the bolts. That’ll save some big $s…especially if you powder coated them.

Here are the photos!


How To Install Quadratec Grill Guards

Courtesy of guest jeeper, Holly in AZ.

I am not a mechanic (all of my appendages are thrilled because they really like being attached to my body), so all of the mods I’ve chosen to do are things anyone can attempt – literally anyone. You? Yeah you! The one reading this thinking they can’t do it. YES YOU CAN!!!

Time to install – 30 seconds or less

Tools Needed –
Quadratec Grill Guards Quadratec Exclusive 42-0522 – EZ Install Wire Mesh Grill Inserts for 07-15 Jeep® Wrangler & Wrangler Unlimited JK
Adult beverage of your choosing

Step 1 – Clean your grill and wax it
Step 2 – Open the grill guard box
Step 3 – Inspect each guard (in the first shipment, there were a couple of wonky ones…called Quadratec and they sent me a second box so I could get a full set of good ones…now I just have to send back the rest)
Step 4 – Determine which end goes up
Step 5 – Snap the guard into the hole on the grill
Step 6 – Repeat 6 more times
Step 7 – Step back and admire your work while you enjoy your adult beverage

Looking back at my how to’s and all of the sacrifices I’ve made to the Jeep Gods for Tankie …I think I’m beginning to look like an alcoholic! Oh well…back to my Angry Orchard while I move on to my next project. Stay tuned!

Grill Guards

How To Make Your Own Stubby Antenna

Courtesy of guest jeeper, Holly in AZ.

Have all of those Jeep mods got your pockets running on empty? Tired of that 75 foot OEM whip antenna getting stuck in the trees when you’re wheeling? Well, if you have some time and leftover supplies from your vent painting mod, this one can be done for $0.00. That’s not a typo…this one is a FREEBIE!!! *You’re welcome!*

Tools Needed:
Pliers (wrapped in cloth on re-installation)
Flathead/standard screwdriver
Grinder with cutting wheel or Hacksaw with metal cutting blade
Metal file
Alcohol wipes or soap
Spray Primer
Spray Paint (I used the remnants of my Mopar Tank spray paint so it would match the exterior – you can use any color you like)
Spray Clearcoat
Painter’s tape
Adult beverage of your choice

Time: a couple of hours spread over a few days (the coats of primer, paint, and clear coat need drying time)

Step 1 – Using a pair of pliers, unscrew the OEM whip antenna
Step 2 – Ask your dad if he has a tool to cut the antenna and watch as he takes it away from you so he can cut it at work***

Cutting steps are per Bob (aka Dad):
Step 3 – Lock the antenna into a vice
Step 4 – Tap the ball off of the end of the antenna using the screwdriver and hammer (hold the screwdriver up to the ball and lay it against the antenna…tap the screwdriver with the hammer and the ball will come off)
Step 5 – Using the grinder with the cutting wheel, cut the antenna to desired length (per Bob, you could also use a hacksaw with a metal cutting blade on it)
Step 6 – File the end of the antenna into an almost cone shape with the metal file (you need to get the tip to be small enough to fit the ball back onto it without making it so small that the ball falls off – trial and error on this – if you file it too small, try putting some glue in the ball to hold it on (not sure if this will work, Dad filed it to the right size) or you could re-cut the antenna and try it again
Step 7 – Go over to your parents house to retrieve new stubby antenna***

Painting steps per me:
Step 8 – Clean the antenna with alcohol wipes or soap
Step 9 – Using the painter’s tape, tape off the threads (if you get paint on the threads it will be difficult to screw it back onto the Jeep)
Step 10 – Lay the antenna down on paper or cardboard to paint
Step 11 – Apply 2 VERY LIGHT coats of primer (you don’t want any runs) letting them dry between coats
Step 12 – Turn the antenna over and repeat (every time you turn over the antenna, move it to a fresh area of the paper or cardboard – you don’t want the paint/antenna to stick to the paper/cardboard)
Step 13 – Repeat steps 11 and 12 with the paint and clear coat
Step 14 – Remove the painter’s tape
Step 15 – Using the pliers wrapped in cloth (to protect the finish), re-install the antenna on the Jeep
Step 16 – Kick back with the adult beverage of your choice and admire your handiwork

***Note – these steps may not apply in all cases


How to Spice Up Your Sun Visors

Courtesy of guest jeeper, Holly in AZ.

Tired of looking at those dummy stickers? Black, cover-up decals giving you the blues? Have I got a solution for YOU! That’s right folks, time to let your freak flags fly with this modification I totally stole from someone else!

Materials and Tools Required:

Torx T20 bit and driver
Velcro – Industrial Strength Sticky Backed as seen in the photo below (found it at JoAnn Fabrics for ~$16 but had a 60% off coupon so it was ~$6 – it is 4′ long so you have plenty to use for this project with some left over)

Morale Badges/Patches (you can find them on the internet, and check morale badges)
1 Adult beverage of your choosing

Step 1 – Using the Torx T20 bit and driver, remove the 2 screws holding the visor in place.
Step 2 – Lay the visor on a flat surface with the label side facing up and the label turned so you can read it.
Step 3 – Cut 2 strips of the fuzzy side of the velcro 9.5″ long.
Step 4 – Remove the backing on the first strip of velcro.
Step 5 – Line up the bottom of the strip of velcro with the bottom of the label on the visor….center it on the visor…then press it down firmly.
Step 6 – Remove the backing on the second strip of velcro.
Step 7 – Line up the bottom edge of the second strip of velcro with the top edge of the first strip then press it firmly into place. (You want to make sure the edges are butted up against each other with no gap…if not, you get an annoying white line. You also want to make sure the sides line up – it should look like a solid block of fuzzy velcro when you’re finished.)
Step 8 – Apply patches so they are visually appealing to you. (If you have any patches that do not have the hook and loop side of the velcro, cut some hook and loop velcro to size and stick it on the back of the patch.)
Step 9 – Re-attach visors with Torx bit and driver. Finger screw both screws in first, then tighten with the bit and driver. It is a bit easier to re-attach if you clip the visor back into the holder first.
Step 10 – Repeat steps 1-9 for the other visor.
Step 11 – Enjoy adult beverage of your choice while admiring your handy work.

image-2760675892-2 image-1026202040-2

How to Calibrate Your JK Throttle

Courtesy of guest jeeper, Holly in AZ.

Step 1: Turn the Jeep to the “on” position but not the engine running position.
Step 2: Wait for all of the dummy lights to turn off (check engine light will stay on).
Step 3: Depress the accelerator REALLY slowly…Driving Miss Daisy with a touch of Cocoon slowly…all the way to the floor.
Step 4: Release the accelerator at the same excruciatingly slow rate.
Step 5: Turn Jeep off.
Step 6: Start engine.
Step 7: Take it on a test drive.

You may need to repeat the process a couple of times…and probably again if the battery gets disconnected. After driving around for almost a month with the calibration, I can say that the power dips are gone. It isn’t a sports car, but it does have a bit more oomph (technical word – promise ).

How to Poly-Fil Your Sound Bar

Courtesy of guest jeeper, Holly in AZ.

The second mod I did for Tankie was to poly-fil my sound bar. There are You-Tube videos on how to do this for pre-2015s, so you can check those out too.

Tools needed:
T20 Torx bit and driver
1 celebratory adult beverage of your choosing (or 2 if you really break a sweat)

Time to complete:
30 minutes…less if you have someone holding things for you

Step 1: using the Torx bit and driver, remove the three screws holding in the speaker cover.
Step 2: using the Torx bit and driver, remove the three screws holding in the speaker. DO NOT LET THE SPEAKER DROP OUT…hold it with your hand as you remove the last screw with the other…you don’t want to damage the connector or the wiring.
Step 3: hold the speaker in one hand and shove the poly fil into the open areas behind the speaker in the soundbar. (You can also disconnect the speaker…but I couldn’t get the clip to release, so I just held it up in the air with one hand while I stuffed the opening with the other – held onto the bag of poly-fil with my feet – real three ring circus act up in there)
Step 4: once the sides have been stuffed, stuff some poly fil behind the speaker such that the speaker has a little resistance when replaced in the opening (enough to insulate behind it, but not so much that you have to force the speaker back into the opening…you don’t want to damage the connector).
Step 5: hold the speaker in place with one hand and finger screw in the first two screws…this will hold the speaker in place for you while you finger screw in the third screw.
Step 6: tighten the three speaker screws with the Torx bit and driver. Don’t over tighten.
Step 7: hold the speaker cover in place and re-screw the three screws being careful not to over tighten.
Step 8: repeat for other side.
Step 9: consume beverage while listening to your new poly-fil’d speakers!