Saturday, April 10, 2010

Tuffy under-seat JK security drawer

Hopefully everyone realizes that a Jeep soft top is basically no more secure than a topless one. It is surprising how little effort Jeep put in to designing secure storage areas in them. Tuffy Security Products realized the problem, and has created a number of different products to address it.

Tuffy designs and manufactures all their products in Colorado, so along with getting some extra peace-of-mind about storing your valuables you also can have a good feeling about supporting a local company. It seems more and more local companies are going under, not able to compete with the prices of mass produced foreign goods - we are losing our ability produce hard goods and that is quite dangerous.

The product I purchased is the 'JK Conceal Carry Security Drawer' which is a very sturdy locking drawer that installs underneath the driver's seat. Due to the design of the box it only mounts under the driver's side. There is currently no passenger-side box, in part because some Jeeps have a lot of OEM stuff pre-mounted on that side so there is no room.

The drawer arrived well packaged, and pre-assembled. Inside the drawer were a bag with two keys, a bag with a bolt/washer/nut, warranty card, and a page of instructions. The instructions show the included nut as an optional piece that you can add to give extra security. You have to drill a hole in the floor and the bolt goes through the inside of the drawer - so you have to already have the key to unlock the drawer in order to get to it. I decided the extra bolt was not necessary, the two main mounting points are already secure enough. It is a 'no-hole' install if you skip that extra piece.

Here are the two 18mm hex bolts we'll be using. Pull steering wheel all the way up, and move the driver's seat all the way back to make things easier.

After failing to budge the bolts at all (even using the rubber mallet to whack the wrench handle) I switched to a DeWalt 18v impact driver. That thing can (slowly and loudly) beat any bolt or screw in to submission.

Not these though. After making a ton of racket all that I accomplished was making my hand numb and the socket hot. So I switched to a cheater bar on the wrench.

I couldn't move the handle far since the door frame was in the way, but I slowly got the bolt broke free. After getting it an entire turn I was able to switch back to the impact drill to go the rest of the way. Took 10 minutes for the first one, but under 5 for the second using the cheater-bar-break-then-impact-driver combo.

Before sliding the drawer in place, push all the wires to the side. You'll snag and pull them if you don't pay attention.

Slide the drawer under the seat, and when the mounting tabs get near the seat's feet position the tabs correctly. The console-side tab goes on top of the seat's foot. The door-side tab goes underneath the seat's foot. I had to lean on the seat a little to get that foot to raise up.

With the bolts secured, the seat can be moved back to its normal position. With the door open you can barely see the drawer.

Even looking in from the rear window you can't see it. So you get a little bit of 'security through obscurity.'

The drawer is roomy, and there is still plenty of space under the seat for the wires and adjustments.

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