rear of my Jeep Scrambler was in need of some work. When I had replaced
my body mounts, I needed to cut access holes to get at the 'captured nuts'
that had managed to escape - a very common (and irritating) problem. Additionally,
I wanted to add some protection for when I get it back on the trail. So
I called Dan Duffy, owner of Off
Dan was very helpful.
We talked about some of the options available and I decided to go with
some custom corner panels. The panels I got were flat steel as opposed
to their normal diamond tread pattern. ORY panels normally come powdercoated
- I ordered mine unfinished so I could paint them to match the body color.
When the box was delivered,
I was surprised at how heavy it was. I'd installed a set of aluminum corners
with a friend a few yeras ago - these corners are NOTHING like aluminum
corners. These suckers are thick. The bend around the rear corner was
a perfect fit. The cutouts for the gas tank and taillamps were an excellent
This is how my corners
came out of the box. They are a very heavy duty 1/8" thick steel
plate. They were pre-cut for the stock gastank filler as well as the stock
wiring access holes for the rear taillights. There is no real way to make
these come up perfect, especially on the rear of an imperfect Jeep. But
they don't need to be - just have to be close enough to allow the wires
gas filler neck through.
The first thing you need
to do should be obvious. Remove everything you've got bolted up to the rear
of the body. This includes the stock tire carrier, gas tank filler and taillights.
Ten minutes with an impact gun and some generous use of the ever present
PB Blaster and you're done. (Note: You lucky bastards on the left coast
may not need the PB Blaster) After that, you need to get the panels aligned
with your Jeep's body and clamp it on. I managed to do this by myself, but
a friend would make it go quite a bit quicker. I used a single C-clamp and
one vice-grip. After getting it lined up, you need to drill two holes- use
the holes that come pre-drilled in the corners as a template. These holes
will be the starting point for the rest of the installation.
Now, you need to do the
more drilling and bolting. You need to start at the corner and work towards
the front and towards the center of the rear. There is no real science here
- just make the holes spaced evenly, and make as many as you feel necessary
to get a strong hold. Work from the first two holes towards the front and
center of the Jeep. The instructions tell you to tighten down the bolts
as you would an engine head - great explanation. Here's what it will look
like when it's all bolted up. Liberal use of cutting oil would have probably
helped with my drill bit life :shaking:
Next thing I had to do
was remove the panels and paint them. Yes, this was a pain, but since the
holes were already done, it went pretty quickly. If you order your panels
pre-finished, you won't have to go through the pain of removing and reinstalling
them like I did.
Here they are bolted
If you think you might
ever want to go to a flush-mounted taillight, this is the time to do it.
I didn't think I would want to do this any time soon, so I made the mistake
of not ordering the corners with pre-cut holes for the taillights. If
you do decided to cut these out on your own, make liberal use of cutting
oil, to extend the life of your drill. I made the mistake of letting the
smoke out of my smoke-powered drill, rendering it pretty useless for much
of anything else other than something to throw when I need to release
After I get a new
drill, I'm going to cut out the stock taillight wiring holes and put in
2"x4" reverse lamps.
And here it is all done.
Looks great and will take any abuse I can dish out.
P.O. Box 462
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019