HOME-MADE Tailgate Vent Cover - JKowners.com : Jeep Wrangler JK Forum
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post #1 of 48 Old 09-06-2010, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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HOME-MADE Tailgate Vent Cover

I will start out by saying the vent covers that are offered by venders seem very nice and I would had loved to own one. However I had some left over materials from other projects and I wanted to save my money for other mods, so I built my own....here's what I came up with.

Materials:
Sheet Metal, at least 15" x 11 1/2" (~$10)
(8) 1" round self-adhesive backing Gripper Pads (~ $2.50)
(6) 1"x4" self-adhesive strips or about 24" long worth (~ $3)
(2) Aqua_Seal Washers for American Standard Faucets- to put in rubber tire spacers (~3)
Paint of preference (~$5)
TOTAL ~$25 +/- depending on what parts/equipment you might already have.
**I already had the sheet metal and paint from another project so I have about $10 into this**

Tools:
Tape Measurer
Large Square
Angle Grinder with cut-off wheel
1/2" Socket to remove 8 bolts holding on Tire Carrier
T20 star bit to remove 3rd brake light parts
3/8" metal drill bit (a step drill bit works well also)
Foam-Type Beer can Coozie for finding round angle
Electric Drill

EDIT: I have since made some spacers to put between the plate and the tailgate and put back in the factory vent cover to allow air to blow out....

1. Using the T20 star bit, remove the 4 screws holding the 3rd brake light together and disconnect the wires. Then remove the 8 bolts holding the tire carrier on with a 1/2" socket. Remove the vent cover by moving it up and down while pulling out. There are "1-way" clips that keep it in place so they will need a little force to get them going the "wrong way". I ended up breaking a few, I hope you dont have the same problem.

Once it's removed it will look like this:


2. Then measure out the cut lines on the sheet metal for the cover. I used a foam-type beer can coozie to trace the curve...it's about 3" round which matches close enough to the curve on the tailgate. Use a square and the following measurements (18 7/8" diagonally both ways will make sure you are square):



3. Then take to it with an angle grinder. Remember to cut more on the outside of the line since you can always take down the high spots later. Check your sides are even with a straight edge:


4. Then use the tire carrier as a guide for where the holes need to be drilled:


5. Drill out the holes:


**At this point I also cut out a section for my CB wires to come through and connect to my TeraFlex CB mount, this may not be needed for your application**

6. Then place the self-adhesive 1" round gripper pads over the backs of the holes. After they are in place I used my step-drill to drill out enough for the bolts to easily fit through:


7. Then place the 1" strips around where the vent cut out is to keep water out. Leave the bottom line open for air to come in and out as it was designed to do (EDIT: You dont leave the vent on, that is just there to make it easier in placing the gripper strips):


8. Then test fit:


9. Paint (insert personal preference in finish):


10. Mount using the original 8 bolts. It's best to torque the top bolts more than the bottom ones, this keeps the opening for air to enter and exit at the bottom. I have read from other vender-sold cover plates that this amount of space left for air to travel should be sufficient:


***FOR ADDITIONAL PICS SEE POST BELOW***



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Last edited by IndianaJeep; 04-17-2011 at 07:00 AM.
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post #2 of 48 Old 09-06-2010, 02:49 PM Thread Starter
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Continued….
ADDITIONAL PHOTOS:

FINISHED UP:





Gripper Pads I used:


Parts I used for plugging the spare tire rubber spacers:


Basic Tools:


Basic Straight Cuts on 2 sides, then I cut the corners:


Mark Holes using spare tire mount:





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post #3 of 48 Old 09-06-2010, 04:28 PM
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Good idea.

I will have to do something like this because my factory plastic/ rubber vent is completely disintegrating. Not sure if it is dry rotting, too much sun/ heat, etc.....but the rubber around the outside and over the vents is sticky and crumbling to the touch.

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post #4 of 48 Old 09-07-2010, 06:11 PM Thread Starter
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I got bored today so I relocated my license plate. I built the filler plate and ordered some "license plate bolt lights" that have a small LED in each to light up the plate....pics of that to come after they arrive

sorry for the bad pic:



They'll be black aluminum like this:

and look like this when done:



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post #5 of 48 Old 09-07-2010, 06:33 PM
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Nice job what did you use for your plate block off?

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post #6 of 48 Old 09-08-2010, 05:59 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Constantine View Post
Nice job what did you use for your plate block off?
I just used some more left over thin sheet metal. After getting the corners right, I put it in the vice and just gave it some light curves by hand.....I reused the two screws that were used for the stock plate frame.



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post #7 of 48 Old 09-08-2010, 03:02 PM
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What a perfect solution. I love the LED bolts. Be sure to write up how you wire them!
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post #8 of 48 Old 09-08-2010, 03:48 PM
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Notice any difference in A/C function since you removed the vent?

°lllll°


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post #9 of 48 Old 09-08-2010, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Constantine View Post
Nice job what did you use for your plate block off?
I remember reading here (or the site which shall not be named) that Jeep has a plastic plug to fill that hole and it's actually cheap!
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post #10 of 48 Old 09-08-2010, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HITMONEY View Post
Notice any difference in A/C function since you removed the vent?

I have the Poison Spyder Tramp stamp that I glued a piece if Filter bag over the slots that comes in the stamp and I notice no difference. My A/C has always seemed a little weak to me but its a jeep?

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post #11 of 48 Old 09-08-2010, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charbs View Post
I remember reading here (or the site which shall not be named) that Jeep has a plastic plug to fill that hole and it's actually cheap!

Yeah anyone know what that part number is? Also here are some photo's of my Tramp Stamp.




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post #12 of 48 Old 09-08-2010, 10:01 PM
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why would A/C be affected by closing this up?

Current project jeep 08' wrangler 2dr
Past jeep:
- 07' Rubicon 4 dr, RAMICON- 3.5" ROCK KRAWLER Coil-Over lift
- 5.38 gears- Gusseted/Trussed/inner sleeved
- 40" Pro Comp X-Terrain

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post #13 of 48 Old 09-09-2010, 06:33 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HITMONEY View Post
Notice any difference in A/C function since you removed the vent?
I haven't had the top and AC on to honestly tell....but in researching this before doing it, i read that the vent is there for when the doors are opened and shut and that just a bit of space is enough to allow for the movement of air.....i guess it I dont have enough space, i'll come up with another solution



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post #14 of 48 Old 09-09-2010, 06:35 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charbs View Post
I remember reading here (or the site which shall not be named) that Jeep has a plastic plug to fill that hole and it's actually cheap!
http://www.justforjeeps.com/07jklipldepa.html ~ $12

Mopar Part Number: 55397112AA

but mine was made for FREE



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post #15 of 48 Old 09-09-2010, 02:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IndianaJeep View Post
They'll be black aluminum like this:
Careful tightening those down. They are pretty soft metal. I torqued the light right off the post on mine.

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post #16 of 48 Old 09-09-2010, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HITMONEY View Post
Notice any difference in A/C function since you removed the vent?
Quote:
Originally Posted by fourplyn View Post
why would A/C be affected by closing this up?
I notice with mine that the cabin seems a bit more pressurized than before. I have .25" spacers on my vent cover. Every once in a while I have to crack the window a bit cause my ears start popping.

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post #17 of 48 Old 09-09-2010, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tehiv View Post
Careful tightening those down. They are pretty soft metal. I torqued the light right off the post on mine.
Thanks for the heads up!


Quote:
Originally Posted by tehiv View Post
I notice with mine that the cabin seems a bit more pressurized than before. I have .25" spacers on my vent cover. Every once in a while I have to crack the window a bit cause my ears start popping.
Do you have a pic? are you using your own set up or a vendors?



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post #18 of 48 Old 09-09-2010, 02:57 PM
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A friend of mine made it. This is probably the best pic I have, before I added the light.



And this is the light I ended up going with after I broke my bolt.


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post #19 of 48 Old 09-09-2010, 02:59 PM
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Nice work! I have the plate I want to cut out modeled in SW; it will use button-head cap screws to hold it on. The bolts are M8x1.25 if anyone's interested...

But, until I get off my lazy butt and make one, I ordered a tramp stamp from PS today.

BTW, I like the simple way you figured out how to make one. For whatever reason, I've ALWAYS over-complicated things when designing something. I wish I was able to see the simple solutions right off the bat...

-WRM

ETA: Where did you pick up the "bolt lights?"
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post #20 of 48 Old 09-09-2010, 03:05 PM
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I just went outside and took some better pics:








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post #21 of 48 Old 09-09-2010, 03:37 PM
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Yeah I have noticed a little more cabin pressure also.

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post #22 of 48 Old 09-09-2010, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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Tehiv: Damn that looks good (and marketable)!



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post #23 of 48 Old 09-09-2010, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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new pics..............also I ordered a decal which I will build a special additional plate to mount above the license plate that i can interchange as I feel fit to update....








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Last edited by IndianaJeep; 04-17-2011 at 07:03 AM.
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post #24 of 48 Old 09-10-2010, 05:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HITMONEY View Post
Notice any difference in A/C function since you removed the vent?
I've heard the same thing. that you need it to vent for the a/c to work properly.
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post #25 of 48 Old 09-10-2010, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by IndianaJeep View Post
Tehiv: Damn that looks good (and marketable)!
Thanks. And he does sell them.



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