Those that know me will know that this goes against everything that is extreme offroad to me…but I need to explain.
First off, the guys at RockHard 4×4 make an amazing product. I’ve known these guys for a LONG time and in fact, have run a number of their products over the years. I think I met Lewis around 2000 in Moab at Easter Jeep Safari, even before his son James was running the show. And now that I get to deal with my buddy ‘the Chad” who works there as their event and sales guy…well…its an easy decision when I want a quality product that just plain works.
So, as I continue to build on my ’04 LJ, Golden Spike, I needed a way to add…speakers. Yes, I have become that guy 🙂
So I wanted to add some simple clean sound…not to annoy my friends, but to let me enjoy my tunes a little more. I met the folks at MB Quart at SEMA this past year and was impressed with their excitement to do more in the offroad, Jeep specific, world. They already make a lot of things for the side by side guys and boat guys…so I knew this was going to require a bit of modification right off the bat.
What makes up good sound? A good head unit (the central brain), some power (an amplifier) and quality speakers. Well, this article is about adding those speakers. Just two…that were made for a boat, into the Jeep. I know it’s not a boat, but either is a side by side.
I needed a way to “hang” these boat speakers as if I had a wakeboard tower inside the Jeep. That’s where RockHard 4X4 comes in. They make a “Straight Across the Rear Bar” for the TJ and LJ, part #RH-1001-B, for around $159. Perfect. Kind of.
With some time to measure, test fit, measure, test fit some more….and with some patience…I think I have a solution! Of course for those that don’t run any sort of top…in my case a Bestop Trektop for the LJ…some of the fitment issues would not be an issue.
Installing the RockHard 4×4 bar is super simple. Test fit. Mark locations. Paint or powder coat. Install. Of course, I’m a bit more…umm…detail challenged. I still run the factory padding, so cutting the foam and cutting a hole in the roll bar cage cover was necessary. Also, since I run the Bestop Trektop, the locations of the collars on the RockHard piece come into play…as do the collars on the speaker mounts.
If you install the RockHard Bar correctly, the Bestop Trektop becomes a challenge to “zip up”. The collars and bar add enough additional “length” to make the top fit beyond extremely tight. In fact, I only had one option, especially after I added the collars for the speakers to the bar. With the speakers installed there was no way I was going to zip up the rear window. So…I flipped the bar (gasp)!
It’s hard to tell from the images, but really there is not that much-decreased headroom. Of course, I don’t run a backseat so for some this may be an issue. But, overall, I’m happy with the results. It’s a lot of work to install a pair of speakers, but the cage stability is also increased, even if its not “correctly” installed. Now on to the amplifier…