CJ-7 Projects


Lightforce Lights - H.I.D. High-intensity discharge Upgrade

HEI Ignition System (GM Style) Installed in the AMC 360 V8
Getting rid of gremlins and improving performance

Installing 23,000 Volt Offroad Lights

Autogage Tachometer Installation

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 Centralia PA
Project CJ-7
Offroaders Guide
to Gearing up
for Offroad

From Basic Equipment to Well Equipped.  An extensive list guide to help you prepare your vehicle for the offroad.


Onboard Air
Converting a York
AC Compressor
to Pump Air

Trailering Safety and Trailer Hitch Information


Off-Road Truck Driving Techniques and Safety

Off-Road Lights
by LightForce Product Review / Installation.
from Off-Road Lights


Jeep Dana 300 TeraLow - 4:1 Gearset for the Dana 300 Transfer Case

AMC V8 Engines
GEN-1 Nash/Hudson/Rambler V-8s (1956-1966) through to the GEN-3 AMC Tall-deck (1970-1991)

Chevy Small-Block V8 Engines
Chevy Small-Block V8 Engines Manufactured by General Motors - Production: 1955?2002

Hemi Engine - All about the Hemi Engine

Ford Engines
4 Cylinder, 6 Cylinder, 8 Cylinder, 10 Cylinder, 12 Cylinder Ford Engines

Ford V8 Engines
8 Cylinder Engines manufactured by Ford

Ford 351 Cleveland V8 Engines
351 cubic inch V8 Engines manufactured by Ford

Chrysler Hemi Engine

AMC V8 hp/Torque, Compression & Bore/Stroke by year

Engine Size Conversion Table
Converting engine displacement from CID, Liters, C.C.

Engine Overheating Basics - 16 Common Causes of an Overheated Engine

Fan Clutch Diagnosis
How to tell if the Fan Clutch in your Cooling System is failing or has failed.

Automotive Gauges & Instrument Functions
Information they display & their importance.


From the
Department of Cheap   Tricks and Useful Tips

Ultra-Cool Hand Throttle for Free!

Jeep V8 Swap Tips

The Exploding Clutch

Radiator Protection using 6 bucks worth of material

Cracked Under Pressure - Fixing a smashed fingernail

A Cheap, effective alternative to undercoating

Home-built Saginaw Gearbox Brace for the cost of lunch!

Ammo Box Storage - Mounting Them for Quick Disconnect

Home-built Serious Skid-Plate protection for the Oil Pan for under 20 bucks!

Ramp Travel Index
RTI / Ramp Travel Index  What it is and how to calculate it, with and without the ramp.




Project Jeep CJ-7

Rear Seat Modifications
Extra Storage & Good Tunes!

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One thing that this Jeep can use is more storage space. I've seen several examples of under the rear seat storage, both custom made examples and those that can be catalog bought.

I thought I could come up with a pretty cool design here and make it out of materials I had on hand.  Not to mention I could save a few bucks and get some much needed parts.

So I did some sketching and took some measurements and came up with a rear seat modification that not only added several cubic feet of storage but also incorporated a trunk-like chamber that produced some great base for the sound system.  The following section to the project write-up details how this rear seat modification was constructed.

One of the first things I had to do was decide what this storage box would be constructed from.  I have a large selection of lumber so I decided to use 1 inch thick oak for the main reason that it's strong.  The seat belt assembly would still be secured to the tub floor using steel hardware (not to the wood) so safety wasn't an issue.  But it still had to be strong.

The seat was a non-folding factory seat with factory hardware brackets. The front brackets were removed but the rear bracket that ran across the rear and held the seat belt bolts was left on and used in the project.

Height was a factor. I didn't want to raise the passengers too high so I decided on the height by raising the rear seat and sitting in it.  I found that 4 inches was acceptable (under the roll bar) and actually increased the height towards the front which gave a more relaxed seat and more storage AND made room for the 6x9 speakers which was a priority.

Four pieces were cut.  A front, a rear and two sides. The dimensions were approximately as follows (measure your own tub as it may be different than mine)

  • Front: 36" x 7" (measure your tub width)
  • Rear: 36" x 4"
  • Sides: 24" tapered from 4" (rear) to 7" (front), the rear was cut square while the front was cut at a 7 degree angle. Also when ripping the wood in the table saw, I angled the blade to 7 degrees so the top was angled into the sides.

The four sides were pre-tapped and screwed together using 3" wood screws forming the main box.  The floor of the box is a sheet of aluminum tacked to the bottom.  Pioneer 6x9 speakers were purchased earlier and carefully measured to locate the speaker holes which were then cut out using a jigsaw.


Mounting the Seat - Hinges and lock-down

A few more requirements were that the seat had to hinge forward so the space under the seat could be accessed. It also had to be able to secure down in the rear safely. That required the rear of the seat belt bracket to firmly secured to the Jeep tub and not rely on the wood structure for the latch-down to the tub.

Here's what I came up with:

The Hinge located at the Front of the Seat

The seat's brackets up front were removed leaving four threaded holes.

A Stainless steel 1¼" x 36" x  ¼" piece of steel was cut, the length of the top of the wooden box. The seat was slightly narrower than the box.  Two heavy duty steel door hinges were fastened to each end of the steel bar.  The 36" bar was then secured to the seat.  As you can see to the right, the hinges were offset from the bolts that go into the seat, which also helped to make clearance for the speakers.  I also ended up cutting the inside corner off the hinge to make room for the speakers leaving 3 holes to anchor the hinge to the box.   The seat was then flipped over and secured to the wooden box.

Rear Bracket bolt down

The seats rear bracket that ran the width of the stock seat was left on to utilize the seatbelt anchors that are part of this stock mounting bracket.  When the seat closes down over the box, this rear bracket actually hangs to the rear of the box (see picture below). When closed this bracket was now 2 inches above the floor of the tub.  This gap was bridged using three 2 inch pieces of steel square stock. The square stock was attached to the box in the locations of the three stock floor holes so that they lined up with the holes in the stock seatbelt bracket.

The rear bracket was retained to both anchor the seatbelts and act as a location to secure the seat down when it was closed using bolt that were fixed to the square stock.  When the seat is closed the bolt goes up through the seatbelt bracket and a wing-nut is used to secure it down.  In turn when the storage box is secured down to the tub, the square stock is what is actually secured down. By using this square stock to bridge the gap down to the tub floor, the wood is never bearing any load in the event that the seatbelts are needed. 

Mounting the Speakers

A lot of planning went into the location and size of the speakers.  I wanted to use the largest speakers possible without raising the seat too high.  What I ended up using was a pair of 6x9 Pioneers.  Once the speakers were decided upon, the storage box was basically build around the speakers.

When the holes were cut into the storage box, they were cut, not oval to expose the whole speaker but a smaller (narrower) opening to keep as much wood as possible above and below the opening for strength. The speakers would be mounted inside the cabinet.

Once the cabinet was built and assembled, it was then taken apart and painted.  The pictures below were taken when it was being re-assembled.


Speaker Protection

The storage cabinet's job is to store stuff.  Tools and spare parts bouncing around inside the cabinet aren't too friendly with speakers so I had to come up with a way to protect the speakers.  Two things were used, metal screening and aluminum coil.

The screening was stapled to the wood, covering the speakers.  The aluminum coil was then tacked in to act as a barrier. later silicone was used to secure the aluminum to the floor of the box and sides to reduce vibration caused by the speakers (I figured this out later when the speakers were in use). See pictures below.


This was a bad idea.  Thinking that mud or rain or whatever could splash in on my speakers, Using silicone I glued plastic wrap over the speakers opening.  Not a good idea for sound quality.  Good thing it came off easily.

Thinking I may someday need to tie-down something to the seat like an ice chest, I installed a military surplus tie-down between the speakers and used large washers to prevent the bolts from pulling through the wood. 


Securing the Storage Box 
to the Tub Floor

Front - For the front a simple piece of angled steel was used.  It was bent on the same angle as the front of the box.  I actually took a piece of steel that originally was 90° and lessened the angle using a 5 pound sledge and a railroad tie, pounding the steel to reduce the angle.  The steel was about 2 inch by 2 inch and something like 16 gauge.

When planning the size of the box, I took into account the ORIGINAL seat mounting holes on the floor. This bracket would use the front mounting holes on the floor.


Rear - For the rear, as detailed above, 2x2 inch square stock was used. The square stock was secured to the storage box at the location of the original floor and seat mounting holes.  Then with the seat closed down, the holes in the original seatbelt bracket were marked onto the 2x2 pieces and drilled. Then the bolts were installed to stick up through the stock seatbelt bracket, which was still mounted to the seat.  When the seat is closed these bolts will come up through the bracket and secured down using wing-nuts.



Finishing Touches

For the speaker covers, they were mounted outside the box, and over the lower mounting bracket.

This picture also demonstrates why the corner of the hinges were cut off.



Picture of the Seat mounted to the box, speakers installed.  For the most part, it is completed.  Later four stainless steel kick protection bars were installed over each speaker to prevent damage.

Dcp_6127.jpg (49539 bytes)      Dcp_6127-zoom.jpg (19817 bytes)

Later, these speaker guards were made from some stainless steel rods.  I bent then into a u shape, drilled holes in the wood and pressed the rod ends into the wood.  Works great to protect the speakers from feet and it looks good.

Location of speaker wires outlet



Above and left, a few interior pictures.




So how did it turn out?  Great!  Here's what I gained:

  • Lots of storage space (still not enough though). It's enough to store extra tools, a spare rear drive shaft, extra fluids like oil, power steering fluid, brake fluid, an extra ignition module, a tarp, a DC powered spotlight, and other stuff.

  • Tunes! The 6x9 speakers sound great.  To get good sound out of speakers you need a chamber to resonate the sound waves.  The problem with Jeeps is there really is no stock place to get that.  With cars, you use the trunk, with trucks, it usually the door panels.  The storage space also doubles as a resonating chamber giving the radio/CD/MP3 player really good base and a place to install larger speakers without loosing any space.

  • By angling the seat back a little, it actually made it more comfortable.  Head room is still good and still below the roll bar. Plus by raising the seat a little, passengers get a great view of the trail, better then before.  The rear seat is now actually at the same height as the new Bestop front seats, not lower as before.

The project didn't take too much time to make and used relatively cheap parts and supplies. Based on what was gained makes this one of better interior modifications on this Jeep.


Project Jeep CJ-7

Rear Seat Modifications
Extra Storage & Good Tunes!

Back to Project Index




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Toyo Open Country MT
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Mickey Thompson MTZ
Mickey Thompson MTX
Mickey Thompson Baja Claw
Mickey Thompson Baja Crusher
Competition Claw
Dunlop Mud Rover
Yokohama Geolandar

Latest trips Offroad
... trail reports with the Project CJ-7
click here.

Sounds System, Raised the Rear Seat
Storage below and a great place to mount 6x9 Speakers for Great Bass ... In a Jeep!

York AC Compressor Conversion.  What used to pump Freon, now pumps compressed air to the front and rear bumpers.  125 psi,  2 gallons of storage, air fittings at the bumpers, enough CFM to power air tools!.  Click Here for more  Details


Dick Cepek's 2008 F-250 Super Duty Project Vehicle ? Project CRUSHER

Warn X8000i
Winch Installation

ARB Air Locker Install
Jeep Wide Track Axles Swap

Mud Tire Reviews

Building a Garage?
Need a Garage Plan?

Reader's Rigs and Seriously Stucks!


Jeep Trans Swap Info
T-18A Transmission Rebuild & Short Shaft Conversion