BOATSIDE AND SLIDE

Originally Published in Issue 35 of 4Low Magazine

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By Christian Sturtz, AZFreedom4x4@gmail.com

Photos by Christian Sturtz

TJ and LJ cab mounts were designed for a mostly street-driven vehicle that would occasionally be taken off-road.  They are constructed out of thin-gauged sheet metal that is press formed and punched for easy mass production. The factory mounts were never intended to be used as a pivot point to get over an obstacle or be continuously hammered on by rocks. Time and general fatigue also play into this, because the newest TJ/LJ out there is still nearly 15 years old. The two mount positions that see the most abuse are at the front of the tub, right behind the front tires, and the set under the doors. It is common for these model Jeeps to get hung up on body mounts and rip them off, bend them way out of whack, break the bolt off in the tub, or rust out in some climates.

Artec Industries has designed a great solution to replace the factory mounts. They have two different models: a stock height replacement and a 1.25” body lift option. On our LJ install, we chose the 1.25” body lift option. Our low center of gravity build will need a little help clearing and cycling 37” tires with 2-2.5” springs. The body lift version uses stock height bushings in the cab location that we are replacing and 1.25” body mounts in the other five positions. Aluminum spacers are another option available through Artec. Since the body mount bushings were going to be removed anyway, it was a great opportunity to replace them with some new ones by Daystar.

The mounts are fairly easy to install. They do take longer than the directions state, but the kit is well thought out and straightforward. We started by unhooking the fuel filler hose, evap hose, and checking for anything else that could get damaged by lifting the body several inches. This Jeep has already been converted to an electric fan set up, but usually, this would be something that would have to be addressed as well. Next, we loosened the body bolts on the whole Jeep (11 bolts total) and completely removed the bolts from one side. Next the center locations of the original mounts were marked; we marked them with a pencil on the bottom side of the frame. Finally, the side where the bolts were removed was gently supported, and the cab mounts were cut off.

The frame was ground smooth. Then the six new mounts in the kit were put together in the correct order. The directions include a chart that explains the positioning of each mount; each piece of the mount has a part number etched into it. Next, the mounts were fully welded, cleaned, de-burred, and mostly painted. Finally, the correct mount was positioned on the top of the frame and lined up with the mark on the bottom of the frame, then tacked into place.

We visually checked the position from the bottom, and then the mount was fully welded. It is almost impossible to get a good-looking weld on the inside of the front mount with the fenders on, so we removed them. We repeated the process for the other two mounts on this side. Then the welds were cleaned up, and the mount and frame were painted. After everything cooled off, we installed the new body mounts and spacers for the non-replaced mounts, and bolts were started on this side. It is always a good idea to use thread sealant. One snag we ran into on the first side is that the Artec mounts so precisely cut that the Daystar bushings did not want to drop into them, we had to open them up a bit. On the second side, we did this prior to installation. These same directions are identical for the other side.

After finishing up the second side, the cab bolts were all torqued per the directions’ recommendations and new grill bumpers installed. Daystar sent out a set of grill bumpers for a 1.25” body lift. It is easiest to remove the headlight, bezel, and pull the bushing nipple up through the grill to install the grill bumpers. Then everything that was unhooked or disconnected was reconnected (see before and after photo). Now, we have nothing to worry about when it comes to cab mounts in the roughest terrain because our new boatsides will slide.

Sources:

Artec Industries
585 N. 700 W., Ste C
North Salt Lake, UT 84054
1-855-278-3299
www.artecindustries.com

Daystar
841 S. 71ST Ave.
Phoenix, AZ 85043
1-800-595-7659
www.daystarweb.com

 

GEARWRENCH

APEX Tool Group
910 Ridgebrook Rd. (Suite 200)
Sparks, MD 21152
1-800-688-8949
www.gearwrench.com

Napa Auto Parts
1-800-538-6272
www.napaonline.com

Parts Used:

Artec:
Boatside cab mounts 1.25” (TJ2010)
Aluminum spacers (2025)
Daystar:
Bodymount (KJ04008BK)

Tools Used:

Napa/Carlyle
Service Jack (791-6420)

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