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  1. #1
    Administrator wayoflife's Avatar
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    Rock Hard Jeep JK Wrangler 4-Door C-Pillar Brace Installation Write-Up

    For those of you looking to add a bit more protection for the rear passengers in a 4-Door Jeep JK Wrangler Unlimited, Rock Hard 4x4 has come up with a unique solution to add in additional support just behind the rear bench seat. Being that these support braces are installed in the empty void between the B-Pillar and the end of the factory roll bar, they effectively become a C-Pillar and being that they utilize Rock Hard's patented bolt on design, no welding is required and you can install them in your garage with ease using basic tools. Please note that the following installation write-up was done on an old 2007 Jeep JK Wrangler Unlimited and there may be some differences with a newer 2011-Up. Also, while these C-Pillar braces can be used with a Bestop Trektop, the roll bar clamps will interfere with the rear spring bracket and cause the side window to have a really tight fit.

    What comes with the kit


    (2) C-Pillar Braces
    (2) Threaded Collar Caps
    (12) 5/16” Allen Head Bolts
    (1) Tap
    (6) 3/8x1.5" Button Head Bolts
    (2) 3/8x2" Button Head Bolts
    (8) Nylock Nuts
    (8) Oversized Washers

    What you will need
    • 9/16" Wrench or Socket
    • 1/4" Allen Wrench
    • 7/32" Allen Wrench
    • Power Drill
    • Center Punch
    • 7/16" Drill Bit or Unibit
    • Marker
    • Utility Knife or Scissors

    Instructions
    1. I have a Tuffy Security Deck and needed to remove it prior to installing the Rock Hard C-Pillar braces. It is also helpful to fold down the rear bench seat to help give you a bit more room to work with. While removing your top will be helpful as well, it is my understanding that it is not necessary.


    2. Starting on the driver side, unzip your roll bar padding all the way back to the rear most cross support. You will need to unzip the other two pads as well and enough so to give you more access the area you will be working on.


    3. Loosely place the driver side C-Pillar brace up against the roll bar approximately where it will be installed and then use a black Sharpie to mark it's position.


    4. Draw an X between the seam and the line you drew in step #3 to help give you a guide as to where you will need to cut.


    5. Using a utility knife, cut the roll bar padding along the lines of the X you just drew.


    6. Pull the roll bar cover out of the way and then place the driver side C-Pillar up against the roll bar foam. Then, use your Sharpie to mark where you will need to cut the foam. Make sure that you make your mark further away from the mounting collar so that you have room to work with.


    7. Use a utility knife to cut away the foam padding at the points you've marked off. I should note that while I did trim the foam on the cross bar pad, I later found that it wasn't necessary.


    8. On my 2007 Jeep JK Wrangler Unlimited, I found that the section of foam padding that needs to be removed had a trim tab securing it to the base of the roll bar. You will need to wriggle or pry this out in order to completely remove the foam.


    9. Slip the driver side C-Pillar through the opening you made in the roll bar padding and position it on the bottom of your roll bar.


    10. With the clamp of the C-Pillar pushing up against the the roll bar, position the bottom mount onto the rear wheel well. If you do not want to have this mount visible, you will need to remove the rear carpet from your Jeep, complete the install of the C-Pillar and then reinstall the carpeting. Also, while the C-Pillar "should" be able to install right over the carpeting, I found the padding underneath to be too thick on my 2007 JK and this just caused it to bunch up and prevent the proper installation of the mount. In the end, I needed to trim a piece of it out to make it work and I still had to kick the mount in place with the bottom of my foot.


    11. Using the C-Pillar mount as a template, use a Sharpie to mark the location of where you will need to drill the holes on top and on the side of your wheel well.




    12. Remove the C-Pillar, mark the holes you with a center punch and then proceed to drill them out with a 7/16" drill bit. As you can see, I prefer to use a unibit as they do a better and cleaner job of this.


    13. If you're installing the C-Pillar over the carpeting, you will still need to pull it up in order to drill the lower holes on the side of the wheel well. This is necessary as the carpeting will just get tangled in your drill bit if you try to drill through it. With the holes drilled out, reinstall your C-Pillar making sure to slip it through the hole you made in the roll bar padding.


    14. Okay, here's where I decided to deviate from the Rock Hard instructions and do things a little differently. They instruct you to use the 2 longer button head bolts for the mounting holes in the side of the wheel well and secure them with the provided nylock nuts on the outside of your Jeep. They also give you oversize washers but don't tell you what to do with them. What I did was use 2 of the shorter bolts and the washers and installed them from the outside so that the threaded end was inside my Jeep. Regardless of how you install these bolts, you will need a 7/32" allen wrench to hold the bolt in place.


    15. On the inside, I found there to be a gap between the bottom mount and the side of the fender due to the embossing on the wheel well. I used 2 more of the over-sized washers in between the mount and the wheel well to help fill in the gap and then secured everything in place using the nylock nuts provided with the kit. You will need a 9/16" socket or wrench to loosely tighten these nuts.


    16. Again, deviating from the Rock Hard instructions, I bought 3/8x1" button head bolts and washers to go with them and installed them up through the wheel well. This shorter length provided enough threads for the nylock nuts to fully engage it and there was no need to cut the remaining bolts. As was the case with the side bolts, you will need a 7/32" allen wrench to hold the bolt in place.


    17. Inside the Jeep, I used the nylock nuts provided with the kit to secure the top mount bolts in place. A 9/16" socket or wrench will be needed to loosely tighten down these nuts.


    18. Take some time to verify that the C-Pillar is positioned straight and tap it one way or the other with a rubber mallet if adjustments are needed. Take one of the threaded collar caps and run the provided taps through all the holes. It is important that the threads are clean and allow for the smooth installation of the bolts. If needed, some WD-40, PB Blaster or tap oil will help make this job easier. Then, place the collar cap on top of the roll bar and secure it in place using 2 of the provided 5/16" allen head bolts in the middle 2 holes. It should be noted that there WILL BE a gap between the collar cap and C-Pillar and this is totally normal. Also, if you feel any cross threading occurring, STOP wrenching and work the bolt back out and tap the hole again. Once the collar cap is secured with the 2 bolts, proceed to install the remaining 4 bolts. You will need a 1/4" allen wrench for this job.


    19. Once the threaded collar cap is secured to the roll bar, you can now tighten the 4 bolts securing the bottom mount to the wheel well. You will need a 7/32" allen wrench and 9/16" socket or wrench for this job. As you can see, I do not have fender liners so reversing the bolts allowed for a cleaner look.


    20. If you removed your carpeting to do this install, you can reinstall it now. Otherwise, you can zip up your roll bar padding.


    That's it. All you need to do is repeat the process on the passenger side of your Jeep and you're good to go. Again, this install was done on an old 2007 JK Unlimited and I did change a few things up to satisfy my needs. I would encourage you to refer to the Rock Hard instructions provided if you wish to install your C-Pillars the way they intended. Please let me know if you have any questions.

  2. #2

  3. #3
    Nothing but a Thing TrainWreck618's Avatar
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    Looks good! not in the way at all

  4. #4
    Knows a Thing or Two Speeddmn's Avatar
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    Looks good, wondering if it would be any benefit to adding a bar from one side to the other at the bottom...


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    ** 2010 Unlimited Rubicon ** Gone but not forgotten...
    ** 2016 Renegade Trailhawk**


  5. #5
    Knows a Thing or Two Trail Bud's Avatar
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    Very nice!
    The tuffy deck fits without a mod, cool!


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    2007 White JK Rubicon Unlimited

    EVO Long Arm
    EVO Front Coilover System
    Rear EVO Lever System
    w/14" King Coilover Shocks
    Tires: 40x15.5x20 Toyo Open Country MT's,
    20" Spyderlock Beadlock Wheels
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    Dynatrac Pro Rock 60 Front Axle w/Competition Shafts & CTM U-Joints
    Dynatrac Pro Rock 60 Rear Axle
    Atlas 4 Speed Transfer Case
    Rock Hard Roll Cage
    Warn Dual Force Winch
    EVO Front bumper 1/4lb w/ Stringer
    Lo D Rear Bumper
    My Pictures: http://trailbud.smugmug.com/

  6. #6
    Administrator wayoflife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speeddmn View Post
    Looks good, wondering if it would be any benefit to adding a bar from one side to the other at the bottom...
    You can add cross bars left and right and forward and back and I'm sure it would help in a roll BUT is it really necessary and how much will they get in the way of passengers and cargo is the real question.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Bud View Post
    Very nice!
    The tuffy deck fits without a mod, cool!
    Actually, there were a couple of mods that I did have to make. 2 of the screws that hold the back panel to the sides were too long and I had to trim them. Also, the back panel has an edge that needed to be bent out of the way but really, both mods were super easy to make.

  7. #7
    Knows a Thing or Two rogerk93's Avatar
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    Thanks for the write up. I've had mine sitting for a few weeks now waiting for them to send the correct hardware!

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  8. #8
    Nothing but a Thing IBeHeWhoIsJoshua's Avatar
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    Well I'm just about done with my install but, this is a great write up and thank you for listing replacement button head bolts! I'm going to go get those for my final install.


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  9. #9
    Nothing but a Thing Gadget's Avatar
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    How long did it take?


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  10. #10
    Been Around the Block BLCK4X4's Avatar
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    Yes what was your time on the job Eddie? I'm assuming pretty quick?


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