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Bolt on? In your dreams, Bubba!

Last update; 23 May 2008 08:55:18


Misc Exterior

    Unfortunately in the Jeeping world, one thing you find out is that things aren't always as they seem. Case in point is a pair of Go Rhino steps I scored on ebay. The ad stated that the steps were for a 87-97 Jeep Wrangler. So, I paid the "Buy it now" price and waited. The package came in, I quickly checked it to see if any damage was evident, and since none was, I stored the boxes in the garage for installation when the weather broke. Well, after the lift was completed, it seemed like a good time to install the steps, so I pulled one out of the box, and read the instructions. Turns out that these particular steps were intended for a late model pickup, not a Jeep; and since it has been more than 60 days, neither the seller nor ebay is willing to help. So, I'll have to sell these pieces, and see about getting something else. And yes, I did learn a lesson here.

    Second issue. I had ordered stainless steel hinges made by Kentrol at 4 Wheel Drive Hardware. When they came in, I checked out the contents, and went out side to install them. Problem was, that the new hinges did not come with the required bushings for the doors. And it turn out that no-one, including the manufacturer, Kentrol has those bushings. Apparently, one is required to figure out a way to reuse the ones on the vehicle, and I've not been able to figure out how to get this done. The local dealerships also do not sell the bushings separately, only with the hinges, so it looks like I'll be wasting some more cash this way.

    Well wasting cash certainly happened here. The Kentrol hinges were manufactured in a way that required me to attempt drilling out the areas where the door pins go (check the pic) in order to install the pin bushings that I ended up purchasing from a local dealer. (BTW, I had to buy 4 lower hinge sections in order to get the bushings) To make a long story shorter, I was not successful in drilling out the door hinges, and the door hinges were trash canned. The tailgate hinges were only slightly less of a problem. The upper one installed with no problems, but the lower would simply not be budged. The Torx-headed bolts in the tailgate stripped out, and I even broke one of my bolt extractors trying to remove one. At this point, I looked at this as a sign from the Jeep gods, and simply left the original on the bottom, and painted both Rustoleum black so the difference wasn't as noticeable. One last thing; an email to Kentrol had absolutely no effect, not even an apology. Needless to say, I won't be purchasing Kentrol products again.

The mirror movers I bought From Quadratec were another issue entirely. Not much to install, they also lasted a good bit before needing refinish. The only real issue is when the doors are on, you cant even see the passenger side mirror. The guy I talked to @ Quadratec regarding this problem verbally shrugged his shoulders. (what I recognize as "the Wal-Mart salute) Hmm...

    So, here's a rant that's not on the R 'N R page. I realize that a great amount of pride is taken by those in the Jeep community on their fabrication skills, and rightly so. I personally prefer to actually be able to bolt on a bolt on part without having to complete work that should have been done at the factory, especially when the parts are well over $200 to purchase. I also liked it better when ebayers were just normal folks trying to make a buck or two from excess stuff, not people being nothing more that distributors of parts with no idea what they are actually selling. TO be totally honest, I have not been as vigilant as I usually am regarding online purchasing, and I probably deserved the problems described above. Or maybe not.




These didn't happen...

The reason for all the fuss

No machining done

Not exactly what I wanted, but...

OK from the outside...

Not so much from the inside