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Jeep Comanche Behind the seat Molle Panel!


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So this is something i've wanted to make for some time now and while i started working on this midway through this summer its looking like i'm finally going to be putting some steel under the cutter!

Please enjoy my doodle for example of what I'm trying to achieve here

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Picture frame worthy work 

So the inspiration for this little project is the fact that the MJ's i have do not have the carpet trim for the back side of the cab. This could easily be supplemented with cardboard, fabric and spray clue but that would just look fitting and not serve much purpose. Now a Molle panel on the other hand provides storage options that are nearly limitless while also covering the exposed cab which in my opinion is about the only thing that carpet trim does.

I've brought this up before to the masses and one of the consistent critique's is the mounting setup. There was multiple requests for a "No additional holes" setup and retain only factory holes - Sorry, if that's what your hoping for its not gonna be here.

In my setup (IDEALY) i would retain the 4-6 factory PAL nuts along the sides with some L brackets that offset the panel to be level with the B-pillar trims. The top edge of the panel will secure directly to the interior brace in 4 spots via riv-nuts. These would space out evenly between the factory trim tree's on either side of center. Now the bottom side of the panel would secure again using L brackets and riv-nuts in 3-5 spots along the bottom interior brace.

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Cardboard is the best start for something like this especially when your a hands on kinda fellow.

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The basic outline is 20.5" tall by 46" wide

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And about 2 hours later with a couple mistakes i have this masterpiece. 1"x1" molle panel. For now it has a complete 1" border but i'm contemplating 1/2" border instead. This would give me 22 squares on each row and one 1/2" hole in the center. This would also give me more holes on the bottom to utilize as matching the hump in the floor definitely takes a bite out of this panel.

 

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That side tabs are only 1/2" wide to ensure they will fit in the notches with the B-pillar mounts. Bottom tabs on the corners are 1" wide and the 3 in the middle are also 1/2" wide for now but that could change. Top edge is wide open for however many mounting points i see fit. The corners and center are clearanced for the factory trim tree's to fit flush without obstruction.

 

 

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Cut out and test fit is promising

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Looks even better with the back trim panel in place as well!

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Now lets talk about these side tabs. For 1 the 1/2" wide tab isn't gonna do it for me, I'm gonna go for 5/8" minimum maybe aven 3/4". Also potentially going to knock them off all together and instead go with an S bracket that mounts between the panel and interior.

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These bottom tabs are also going to fatten up some as well. All five of them are going to be 1"x1" tabs

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Going to connect with a buddy of mine that does plasma cutting for me from time to time this weekend. We'll see how this goes, i know steel prices are definitely not what they used to be :O

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8 hours ago, jpnjake said:

Very cool idea, what are you planning on running on the molle 

 

I want to have the ability to run a rifle case as I plan to use this truck for hunting in the future. Basic etc for various pouches - so jumper cables, spare choice parts, small tool assortment. Some recovery gear and emergency stuff as well. All of this securely stored inside and out of the way without having to worry about various things sliding or shifting around under the seat is the goal. Sure I could run a bed box but then that takes up bed space.

4 hours ago, fiatslug87 said:

Nice. Here’s mine.

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Nice job! I like the "Comanche" in the middle there, that's a nice touch to break up all the holes. How is it secured the the body and is that stainless or aluminum?

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1 hour ago, ThatJeepGuy said:

 

I want to have the ability to run a rifle case as I plan to use this truck for hunting in the future. Basic etc for various pouches - so jumper cables, spare choice parts, small tool assortment. Some recovery gear and emergency stuff as well. All of this securely stored inside and out of the way without having to worry about various things sliding or shifting around under the seat is the goal. Sure I could run a bed box but then that takes up bed space.

Nice job! I like the "Comanche" in the middle there, that's a nice touch to break up all the holes. How is it secured the the body and is that stainless or aluminum?

Very cool, an MJ for hunting is definitely a cool idea, I like my bed box, but I do see how the loss of space may not be worth it. For reference here’s how much room in a swb that a side toolbox takes up 

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Soo the bigger picture behind this jeep, the bed of this MJ currently has a fuel cell which butts up to the cab, the battery which is on the passenger side of the fuel cell, an 8"x12" Trans cooler with cooling fans currently floating around over the passenger rear wheel-well and then lastly a 37" spare tire directly above where the factory spare would be. Things are crowded back there!

 

Now don't mind the mismatched looking wheel/tire combo this is just simply the latest picture I've taken and I don't have one of the bed setup itself.

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I use to DD my other 87 MJ which is now a truggy20221112_135655.jpg.e6f75c91ffd3b88b5733777498d9f888.jpg

 

I must say how much I missed driving it especially when it had a usable bed. I think we can all appreciate that. Soo with all this being said this Orange mj has zero usable bed space which I have plans to clear all of that up but comes back to my angle of the utilizing the space behind the seat for secure orga ized storage. Both of these trucks and many others are going to benefit from this molle panel compared to a bulky box or ammo can or etc in the bed or externally mounted elsewhere.

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5 hours ago, ThatJeepGuy said:

Nice job! I like the "Comanche" in the middle there, that's a nice touch to break up all the holes. How is it secured the the body and is that stainless or aluminum?

Currently it is secured to the rear panel with T-nuts, I’ll probably also put a couple nutserts at the top corners under the plastic panel. It is powder coated steel.

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I got setup for some cutting some steel this weekend and got some 1st versions in hand.

 

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Soo the plan while i had the time was to get 3 of these cutout. 2 of them for the MJ's i have and then 1 for a buddy of mines truck. I decided to ditch the attached tabs all together all the around this panel for ease of shape and also to cutdown on wasted material leftover. There was also a safety concern for handling these panels with thin pointy tabs hanging off 3 sides. Instead i will make these mounts separate.  

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After the 1st panel was cut out i decided these side mount holes could use some adjustability so they got slotted

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Bent up some Z tabs for the side mounts and then some L tabs for the bottom edge. Again added slots to the tabs for adjustability so these panels fit properly and align with those PAL nut studs

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Will be sharing the finished install just as soon as i get these cleaned up and some paint added.

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So i made a mistake, for #1 - I cut more than 1 panel without any test fitting. Now for #2 i also neglected to consciously consider looking at other molle panels AND also did not test any molle gear on my template before transferring to steel. The design behind my panel would work but is not what i had in mind. 1" x 1" squares with a 1" gap doesn't line up well with the molle gear i have on hand. This led me back to the drawing board to either modify what i have on hand or start over!

Soo i decided to just knock a little more material out of my current templates. Instead of 1"x1" grid I went to 1" tall by 1.5" wide and .5" side gap. Did nothing to the 1" vertical gap. Fwiw doing this by hand with my plasma cutter wasn't terrible but its not clean soo bear with me on rough edges.
Top half is with the extra material cutout and the bottom half is only drawn out for material removal.

 

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Thankfully this was a satisfying solution because the fit looks propper now.

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I have yet to get my hands on extra Pal nuts or the rivnut/nutsert kit i ordered so just some placement test fitting tonight.

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The other immediate change i decided on could go either way but when i designed the template it was intended on sitting directly on the crossmember in the cab ^as pictured above^. These bottom L tab mounts are only 1/8" thick but with if i leave this panel as is it would lift the panel that 1/8" and also make for some potential alignment issues with the Pal nuts on either side. I could either knock 1/8" of material off the entire bottom of the panel OR notch the panel enough to clear each L tab. I'm digging the notch setup!

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Just as soon as the extra hardware and rivnut/nutsert kit shows up I'll get to mounting this panel up good.

 

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This night wasnt the most productive, mostly cleaning up the mess from all the plasma cutting and also flap disc work to the slag leftover.

I did however get the correct PAL nuts for the trim studs.

original stamped nut on the left and the new large surface nut on the right. I say large surface nut because the guy at the parts store made a reference to these being available as a small or large surface nut. This bag of 20 only cost me $7 and some change.

 

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Very satisfying fitment!

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its looking to be a bit warmer this weekend so i may get out and test mount this panel then.

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  • 4 weeks later...

And we're back!

 

Its been a while and I'm sorry for the delay!

 

Tonight i brushed the dust off and finally test fitted the side and bottom tabs. They both got a little trimming but all fits really well.

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The adjustability incorporated in both the molle panel and these side tabs were Critical! I think they could use a little more length overall to the "slot" but As-Is its looking good to me!

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No Rivnuts/Nutzerts just yet, i'm holding out for a final finished product to fully install the panel.

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Overall changes to be made are the bottom mounting points of the panel needed to be clearanced to allow the L bracket to mount flush with the panel itself. The amount of material in length on the Z tabs for the sides got shaved down. There was excess material outside of the mounting tabs that was interfering with the interior trim panel.

I'm going to coordinate with my Plasma table guy hopefully soon for the changes and to get another panel cut out

__________________

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2 minutes ago, ThatJeepGuy said:

And we're back!

 

Its been a while and I'm sorry for the delay!

 

Tonight i brushed the dust off and finally test fitted the side and bottom tabs. They both got a little trimming but all fits really well.

thumbnail_Resized_20230122_164903.jpg.0ab57c12eb6b01f79b792c530e420f52.jpg

 

The adjustability incorporated in both the molle panel and these side tabs were Critical! I think they could use a little more length overall to the "slot" but As-Is its looking good to me!

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No Rivnuts/Nutzerts just yet, i'm holding out for a final finished product to fully install the panel.

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Overall changes to be made are the bottom mounting points of the panel needed to be clearanced to allow the L bracket to mount flush with the panel itself. The amount of material in length on the Z tabs for the sides got shaved down. There was excess material outside of the mounting tabs that was interfering with the interior trim panel.

I'm going to coordinate with my Plasma table guy hopefully soon for the changes and to get another panel cut out

__________________

:applause:Looking very nice

 

I can’t wait to see it loaded up with equipment 

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10 minutes ago, jpnjake said:

:applause:Looking very nice

 

I can’t wait to see it loaded up with equipment 

 Thanks! Me as well! I'm feeling confident in its mounting setup to not bouncing or flex much. I'll have more hands on feel for the needs of storage this summer when i start driving it again but for now I ordered a 10"x10" *magazine pouch/bag* to use for my kinetic rope. Then also a 5"x8" messenger pouch for clevis and tree saver strap. 

The rifle case idea is looking like will have to be a custom deal; adding molle straps to a cheapo soft case - this will come later this year when we get back to Deer hunting season. 

I'll be adding storage attachments as i need them so if/when i come across something new, i'll update this with its weight and off course More Pictures! 

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