Friday, January 29, 2010

Simple Wrangler body mods - steps,de-sticker,soft top, and black antenna

Made a few body mods right away - installed some OEM side steps, removed almost all of the branding, installed an OEM soft top, and blacked out the antenna.

Factory side steps, Removal of stickers, OEM Soft Top, Black out the antenna(no separate write-ups for these)
Factory side step install was an easy 1-man job. Even though they are long the way the clamps work you can slide it on and it will stay put without any bolts. The trick is realizing that the bolt holes in the frame are hidden underneath gummy tape stuff. If you try to line the side step up with the frame holes that are exposed you'll be confused why things are a half-inch out of alignment!
Sticker removal is done with a hair dryer gently applied to loosen the glue, then the decals peel off. Water+finger can get any remaining glue off the body. The stickers in the front non-tinted windows (theft deterrent and something else) can be done with a razor. I left the Trail Rated badge and the front grill's Jeep lettering on.
OEM Soft Top install is a big pain in the butt. Read the instructions several times, and watch the 'how to use your softtop' video on before attempting the install (the pictures in the instructions totally suck). Seeing a soft-top from the inside in real life would help a lot.
Blacking the antenna is done by unscrewing the antenna, taping a wire to the threads (so you have something too hang it by and so the threads don't get gunked up). I used spray Plasti-Dip, which is a black rubber available at the hardware store. Hung the antenna upside down, thin coats to prevent dripping, 20 minutes between coats, 3 or 4 coats, then left to fully dry for 6 hours before screwing back in. (spray in the spray paint aisle, can in the tool section)

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