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Thread: Rock Hard 4x4 JK Sport Cage Installation Write-Up

  1. #1
    Administrator wayoflife's Avatar
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    Rock Hard 4x4 JK Sport Cage Installation Write-Up



    The Jeep JK Wrangler comes with a factory roll cage that works well enough to protect you in an accident or a minor roll over but, if you're out there playing on big rocks, off camber ledges or hard and fast in the desert, you might want to consider adding a bit more structure and support. While a full blown welded in replacement cage would be optimal, there are some good bolt in "sport" cage options available that work in conjunction to the factory setup and do well in the event of a roll over. Of the options out there, I personally would recommend the one made by Rock Hard 4x4 Parts. In addition to being reasonably priced, I have found that the Rock Hard Sport Cage to be one of the easiest options to install and to be one that makes no noise. It's also the only kit that I've seen after a significant roll over and can tell you is that it held up exceptionally well and did an outstanding job of protecting it's occupants.

    The write-up below will show you what it takes to get installed.

    What You Will Need:
    Rock Hard JK Sport Cage - RH1030
    • 7/32" Allen Wrench
    • 1/4" Allen Wrench
    • 9/16" Wrench
    • 13mm Socket
    • Torx T-50 Bit
    • Torx T-15 Driver
    • Ratchet
    • Unibit or Small Metal Drilling Bit
    • 7/16" Metal Drilling Bit
    • Power Drill
    • Center Punch
    • Utility Knife
    • Scissors
    • Hack Saw
    • Tape Measure


    Installation:
    This is a shot of everything you should get with your Rock Hard Sport Cage 4-Door kit:


    1. To being this install, you'll want to remove your front doors. Roll down all your windows. Then, using a Torx T-50 bit, remove the nuts located on the base of each of your JK's door hinges as shown in this pic.


    2. The plug for the front door wiring is located under your dash and is locked in place. In order to remove this plug, you will need to first slide the red locking tab over to the side as shown in this pic. (Photo shows the plug already removed so that you can get a better look at what everything looks like).


    3. Press the release tab on the end of the wiring harness plug and then wiggle it side to side while pulling down until it comes free.


    4. Pull the strap up off the door strap retaining hook and then, carefully lift your door up and off the hinges. The front doors can be quite heavy especially if you have automatic windows and locks. Carefully set your door aside and repeat process on the opposite side.


    5. If you have a soft top, you'll want to open it up and fold back at least the Sunrider portion of it. If you have a hard top, you'll want to remove the Freedom Top panels now. If you have a 4-door and got the complete Rock Hard kit for it, you will need to completely lower your soft top or remove your hard top.

    Opening up the Sunrider Instructions
    Removing the Freedom Top Panel Instructions


    6. Using a Torx T-15 Driver, remove the 2 screws securing your sun visors to the windshield frame.


    7. Remove the sun visor and set it aside for now.


    8. Using a Phillips Screwdriver, carefully remove the plastic retaining screw securing the A-Piller trim to the windshield frame.


    9. The A-Pillar trim is held in by retaining clips and push pins. Hold the 2 trim pieces firmly and pull them away from the windshield frame until they separate.




    10. If you have a 2007-10 JK, you can remove the side vents simply by rotating the outer ring and then pulling the whole piece out. If you have a 2011-Up, proceed to Step #11.


    11. With the vents removed, you can easily pop the dash side panels out as shown. If you have a 2011-Up, you will need to use a trim pry tool or thin flathead screwdriver to remove the side panels.


    12. Using a 13mm socket, remove the 2 bolts securing the windshield support bars to the windshield frame.


    13. Install the Rock Hard side bars along the side of your dash. To do this, you will need to lower the tip of its base in between the door frame and dash and then rotate inward a bit. The factory windshield support bars will get in the way and prevent this from going in as easily as you may want but, a little bump will get it to go in.


    14. Using the factory bolts, secure the Rock Hard side bars to the windshield frame as shown. You will need a 13mm socket for this job.


    15. Place the template provided with the kit onto the edge of the door frame and mark off the points where you will need to drill your holes. Take extra time double checking things and making sure you have the template positioned correctly. Failure to do this right the first time will make this job a lot harder to wrap up.


    16. Use a center punch to mark off the drilling points, unbolt the Rock Hard side bars from the windshield frame and then remove them from your Jeep.


    17. Using a 13mm socket, remove the 3 bolts securing your front door upper hinges as shown.


    18. Body paint may keep the hinge itself attached to your Jeep. Simply pry it off and set the hinge aside for now.


    19. Using a Unibit or a small metal drilling bit, drill pilot holes on the points where you had marked off eariler.


    20. Finish up the holes with a 7/16" metal drilling bit.


    21. Reinstall the passenger side Rock Hard side bar and loosely secure it in place with the factory bolts.


    22. Using the 3/8"x1 button head bolts provided with the kit, secure the passenger side Rock Hard side bar to the door frame. You will need a 7/32" Allen Wrench for this job.


    23. Carefully lay the Rock Hard dash bar across your dash and then, using one of the standard rounded clamps and bolts provided, loosely attach it to the passenger side Rock Hard side bar as shown. You will need a 1/4" Allen Wrench to thread in the bolts.


    24. Reinstall the driver side Rock Hard side bar making sure that the dash bar is situated on it. Loosely secure the side bar onto the windshield frame using the factory bolts and to the door frame using the provided 3/8"x1 button head bolts. Using one of the clamps and bolts provided with the kit, loosely secure the dash bar as shown.


    25. Go back through and tighten all the Rock hard side bar bolts (3 on each side) as well as all the windshield frame bolts (2 on each side). Reinstall the factory door hinges using the factory bolts. You will need a 7/32" Allen Wrench and 13mm socket for these jobs.


    26. Finish installing all the dash bar clamp bolts and tighten them down.


    27. Unzip the roll bar padding cover from the windshield support bars.


    28. The padding on the windshield support bars are held in with push tab. Grab it firmly and pull down to remove.


    29. Install the Rock Hard top front bar onto the windshield support bars and push it forward till it stops at the welded on gussets.


    30. Hold the roll bar padding back up to where it was installed and mark where it'll need to be trimmed to clear the Rock Hard top front bar clamps.


    31. Use a utility knife to trim the windshield support bar padding as shown.


    32. Hold the roll bar padding cover up to the Rock Hard front top bar and mark the approximate position of it on the cover. Then, use a pair of scissors to cut a hole in the padding cover as shown.


    33. Slip the Rock Hard top front bar through the holes you just cut out in the roll bar padding cover.


    34. Reinstall the trimmed down windshield support bar padding.


    35. Locate the 2 clamps that are tappered on the inside lip as shown (NOTE: On some kits, these clamps are flat on the outside) and then secure the top front bar in place using the bolts provided. A 1/4" Allen Wrench will be needed for this job.




    36. Zip up the roll bar padding cover.


    37. Using a 10mm socket or driver, remove the 6 bolts securing the soundbar to the B-Pillar roll bar.




    38. Place the Rock Hard front center bars onto the front top bar and B-Pillar roll bar. Use a tape measure and make sure that it's centered.


    39. Use the front center bars as a template and mark off the positions where you will need to drill.


    40. Remove the front center bars and then drill 7/16" holes all the way through to the bottom of the B-Pillar roll bar at the points you had marked.


    41. Place the center bars back onto the front top bar and B-Pillar roll bar making sure that the holes are lined up and then secure it in place using the provided clamps and bolts. You will need a 1/4" Allen Wrench for this job.


    42. Place the Rock Hard rear center bars on top of the front center bar mounting plate and on the rear most factory cross bar and then use it as a template to mark off where you will need to cut.


    43. If you have a 4-door Unlimited and bought the complete kit, unzip the roll bar padding cover on the rear most factory cross bar.


    44. Separate the rear dome light wiring from the top of the cross bar as shown.


    45. Use a utility knife or scissors to cut a slit in the roll bar padding cover to allow the rear center bar to slip through it.


    46. Slip the rear center bars through the roll bar padding cover then place it on top of the rear most cross over bar


    47. Separate the padding from the roll bar just enough to give you room to work and then loosely secure the rear center bars using the hardware provided. You will need a 7/32" Allen Wrench and 9/16" wrench for this job.


    48. Using the hardware provided, secure the front and rear center bars to the B-Pillar roll bar. You will need a 7/32" Allen Wrench and 9/16" wrench for this job.




    49. Tighten down the rear bolts on the rear center bar, push the padding back in place and then zip everything back up.


    50. If you have a hard top, you will need to trim the inner lip of holes on your sound bar where the Freedom Top hold down screws go.


    51. Using the factory hardware, reinstall your sound bar. You will need a 10mm socket or driver for this job.




    52. If you have a soft top, you will need to trim the forward edge of your door surround hold down clamps a bit as shown. This is necessary in order for them to clear the Rock Hard top front cross bar clamp. This can be done with a Dremel and cut off wheel or hacksaw.




    Reinstall your vent baffles and sun visor using the factory screws and aside from cleaning up, you should be done. Photos of everything installed can be found below:

  2. #2
    Administrator wayoflife's Avatar
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    These are some shots of Moby soon after getting his Rock Hard Sport Cage installed a few years back. I'm posting up these because I used his shots for this write-up






















    CB Mount
    For those of you looking for a way to mount a full size CB radio on your new Rock Hard Sport Cage, I would recommend that you pick up a KC 7307 Light mount from your local 4WheelParts store or the like.


    This will clamp onto the front top bar of your Rock Hard Sport Cage and will even fit in between the center bars as shown.






    Piece of cake to install, pushes your CB further forward and looks great too.

  3. #3
    Hooked Donny's Avatar
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    Excellent write-up Very informative for me..

    Donny

  4. #4
    Fresh Catch
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    if i get this can i still use my hard top or no? ive been asking this but no one answers me.

  5. #5
    Fresh Catch
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    can you still use the hard top ?

  6. #6
    Administrator wayoflife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobinMyers1 View Post
    if i get this can i still use my hard top or no? ive been asking this but no one answers me.
    Quote Originally Posted by RobinMyers1 View Post
    can you still use the hard top ?
    yes, you most certainly can. some freedom tops may require a tiny bit of clearaning where it makes contact with clamp but, that's about it.

  7. #7
    Hooked Donny's Avatar
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    In the two pictures just before the CB mount section...can you say why the dash is scraped up where the dash meets the cage? On their website the same thing accured in their photos. can that be avoided?


    Donny

  8. #8
    Administrator wayoflife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Donny View Post
    In the two pictures just before the CB mount section...can you say why the dash is scraped up where the dash meets the cage? On their website the same thing accured in their photos. can that be avoided?


    Donny
    First off, this is only a problem with 2007-10 JK's, not 2011-Up. And, yes, I have found that it can be avoided. What you need to do is take a 3 lb hammer and flatten the bottom lip of the windshield support bar. This will give you enough clearance to get the side support bar installed without grinding into the dash.

  9. #9
    Fresh Catch SAR JK's Avatar
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    A-Pillar Trim

    Great write up. It is very comforting reading your write ups before doing my own mods.
    I saw that you did not reinstall the plastic A-pillar covers. Was this a personal style choice? Are the A-pillar covers able to go back on?
    2012 JKU Rubicon...
    AEV 3.5" Dualsport SC w/ Bilstein 5100 shocks
    American Racing ATX Slot 17" wheels
    35"x12.5" Falcon Rockey Mountain
    Expedition One Trail Series front & rear bumpers
    BullDog Alpha 9300 winch
    R-SE Slider Steps
    Rock Hard skid plates
    Wired HDH Flat Switch Panel
    Rigid Industries Dually Rear Flood Lights

  10. #10
    Fresh Catch loadbreak's Avatar
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    Very nice write up Eddie. Thinking about doing this.

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