What's INSIDE the tailgate? - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
 
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post #1 of 10 Old 10-07-2011, 08:57 AM Thread Starter
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What's INSIDE the tailgate?

Hey all....anyone ever look to see what is INSIDE the tailgate? Is it simply a big hollow space between the two sheet metal skins? Or is there a bunch of other crap in there?

Reason is....I need to run a wire, as short as possible, directly through (and perpendicular to) the tailgate to get to the rubber grommet that is behind the spare. I am pulling an antenna wire from a tuner to a Teraflex antenna mount for an HF antenna/whip. I am thinking I could drill a 1" hole on the INSIDE sheet metal directly opposite the existing grommet, and then wire directly from the tuner (mounted on the tailgate) to the antenna lug. This would give me a nice short run from my tuner.

Note..this is NOT coax, so I cannot run it all up/down/around etc.

Grant
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post #2 of 10 Old 10-07-2011, 09:18 AM
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mostly hollow with wires running to third brake light (under the black cover on inside of tailgate then going through it) you should be able to run it without drilling but if you must, as long as your careful, you can drill into it without a problem

2010 Sport
Some lights and other small crap, nothing really worth mentioning...
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post #3 of 10 Old 10-07-2011, 09:21 AM
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I've run other wires through there. Shouldn't be a problem.

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post #4 of 10 Old 10-07-2011, 09:44 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks all,

I was worried that perhaps once I drilled a hole on the inside, that I would then find some more sheet metal inside used for support or something. I'll pop off the plastic and do a closer look.

Just need to go find a nice large grommet for the inside hole and should be good to test.

The antenna tuner output wire can carry a LOT of voltage on it depending on what frequency I am using....so I need to be careful of path.

Grant
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post #5 of 10 Old 10-07-2011, 10:19 AM
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Pop the plastic cover off on the inside and have a look.


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post #6 of 10 Old 10-07-2011, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unsub View Post
Pop the plastic cover off on the inside and have a look.
Just did that 20 minutes ago....can't see squat....solid metal under my plastic cover. Not sure why they bothered running wire virtually the entire width of the tailgate, and then drill a hold near the latch end to run the cable inside...they could have done that near the hinge....strange.

G
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post #7 of 10 Old 10-07-2011, 12:53 PM
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Hey grant, I've had my tailgate off a few times and have a couple of wires running thru it. I have the Swag drop down tailgate and relocated my plate to the tail gate. There are some braces between the two shells but there are also holes that you can slip a cable thru.

before I put the swag tailgate kit on, I had my CB antenaa mounted on the tire carrier and ran the cable thru the plastic baffles behind the tire carrier and out the backside of the tail gate at the top where the long plastic cover is. Then followed the wire under that plastic cover till it came to the strap by the tailgate hinge.

Just slip a coat hanger thru, attach the wire to the coat hanger and pull gently!

Mike B

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post #8 of 10 Old 10-07-2011, 01:02 PM
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I keep my winch controller inside mine. quick and easy, always accessible.

Pop the vertical plastic piece off, the one toward the driver side, bend the 2 little metal clips so it slides in and out, and voila, perfect little storage unit. It pops in and out real easy, stays put with no problems.

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post #9 of 10 Old 10-07-2011, 01:08 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iron View Post
Hey grant, I've had my tailgate off a few times and have a couple of wires running thru it. I have the Swag drop down tailgate and relocated my plate to the tail gate. There are some braces between the two shells but there are also holes that you can slip a cable thru.

before I put the swag tailgate kit on, I had my CB antenaa mounted on the tire carrier and ran the cable thru the plastic baffles behind the tire carrier and out the backside of the tail gate at the top where the long plastic cover is. Then followed the wire under that plastic cover till it came to the strap by the tailgate hinge.

Just slip a coat hanger thru, attach the wire to the coat hanger and pull gently!
Unfortunately, with my antenna tuner output being a high-voltage wire, I can't run it parallel/along existing metal...it could either arc over or capacitively couple, messing with signal. I need to get as clean a run as possible and as far from metal as possible...at least 1 inch I am hoping.

Alternatively, I have been pointed at a conversion for my tuner that some people have done, which will convert the output from a single wire-feed to an SO-239 output, so that would allow me some flexibility in routing the cable and I could use coax instead.

This is more complex that a CB/VHF/UHF installation I am afraid...dealing with high voltage potentials when you use HF frequencies on a small antenna (whip) of 8-9'. Potentially thousands of volts at 100w.

Grant
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post #10 of 10 Old 10-08-2011, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
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Well, pulled the spare tire and removed the existing grommet on the right side (passenger) of the tire mount and could see straight through to the sheet metal...good news.

So, 4 rubber well-nuts later, I had my tuner ready to mount, and a quick cut with the hole saw and I had a nice opening to run the wire straight through the door. Used a PCV valve grommet from the local auto parts store to protect the edges. I'll add some foam of some sort to lock the wire centered in place.

I still have to permanently mount the radio and remote mount the control head, and am still waiting for my Teraflex antenna mount. Temporarily connected the radio, and made an instant connection to North Dakota on 20m with a 30' wire I threw up into the tree by my driveway.

Found an excellent RF/electrical ground using the torx bolt holding the cargo loops near the tailgate.

Pics to follow up shortly.

Grant
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