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Here we go. Not an original idea of mine, but something I took from a few others on this forum who have shared their projects.
...and a bunch of other threads with tips and panel removal instruction, etc.
So thank you to all those who have helped :) :bigthumb:

Tools Required:
Drill (I got a cheapo Black&Decker corded Firestorm for $18 at Lowe's and it is serving me well)
5/16" Drill bit (I used DeWalt bits w/ "Pilot point" which really does help keep the bit from walking across your piece of work)
File (To round off the ends of the aluminum stock)
(8) - 5/16" x 1.5" Hex head bolt
(8) - 5/16" 18 Nut
(8) - 5/16" Lock washers
(8) - 5/16" x 1 5/8" Fender washers
(8) - 1" x 3/8" x 3/8" Nylon spacers (if you can find 1" x 5/16" x 3/8" spacers even better)
(2) - 1/8" x 1" x 3' Aluminum flat


Panel Removal:
1] Open both the rear door and window. You won't be able to pull the panel off unless the window is open.
2] There are two circular access covers at the top corners that can be removed with a small screwdriver w/ a rag over it used to pry it up from the bottom. There are also two covers at the base of the shocks that hold the window open. Those can be removed using the same technique. Remove the two screws that were under the covers you first removed.

3] The entire panel is held on from here on using plastic push clips. Pick a corner (I started at the upper right) and slowly inch your way around the perimeter pulling back towards yourself. There is one clip that is almost dead center in the panel. There are felt washers on the lower push clips, so take your time as to not break anything or lose those washers.

4] You are going to have to lift the panel up because it is resting on the window latch mechanism. Put the panel on a large towel or some surface that won't scratch the soft plastic as you work on it.


Alright so you have the panel off of the door and it is sitting on a towel. Lets get rollin'!

1] Mark your aluminum stock. I drilled holes 2" from the edges and 11 1/2" inboard from those two holes. This leaves 9" between the two inboard holes. Go ahead and use the file or whatever tool you prefer to smooth out the end edges and get rid of the sharpness.

2] Alright, so it is a little tough to make everything line up as there are no great square straight reference points. I started with the top bar and drilled the holes through the plastic from the back of the panel. Pick a piece of aluminum stock and use that as a template. Lay it on the back panel and eyeball it to make it even on the ends as well as the top. You want it high but not so high that your washers and spacers won't be able to be on flat plastic. You don't want it on the curved portion. Eyeball it again. Step back. Eyeball it again. Make sure you are happy with it. Eyeball it again. Ok, ok, I'll stop saying that. But seriously, you should. I used a sharpie and marked in the center of the holes on the two inboard holes.
3] Move the piece away and drill on the two dots you just made. Take that same piece of aluminum stock you used and attach it (to the front, not the back:jester:) in the same orientation you used to mark it. Bolt, alum stock, nylon spacer, panel, fender washer, lock washer, nut. There will be raised ridges in the back of the panel that will be in the way of your fender washers , but you can just cut those local areas away with a sharp pocket knife or even an Xacto knife. Now that you have that on there, are you happy with it being level? Don't get too picky because that door will be uneven everytime you open it and won't be entirely obvious unless it is at a 30 degree angle or some such.

4] You can drill the remaining two holes in the panel while the bar is attached and it is much easier. Just take it slow and don't catch the bit on the aluminum stock. Attach it using your hardware.

5] Moving onto the bottom bar. I mounted this one 3" south of the top bar as that is all the space I had before I hit curved plastic. I just placed the nylon spacers under the stock on the ends and eyeballed it and measured 3" from the other bar. Go ahead and mark the two center holes and follow the same procedures as before. Attach it at those holes, drill the outer holes, and attach those.

6] Attach the panel by first placing the top over the latch mechanism then work around the edges getting all of the clips to snap in their holes then hit the few center portions to get the center clips. Screw the two screws in, reattach the window shock covers, and reattach the screw covers (there is an orientation arrow on the back of them).

7] Tada! You're done! Now go get some stuff to throw on there!

I have made this painfully long, but don't be afraid. I was apprehensive about destroying an absurdly priced piece of tupperware but I am very happy with how it turned out. A lot of it is common sense, just take your time and you will be proud of the results.

If you want to you can get the aluminum anodized and dye the nylon spacers with RIT clothing dye, but anodizing can be expensive and you can just sand the aluminum to give it a brushed look. If I flim-flammed and there is something wrong here, let me know and I'll fix it up.

Thanks for reading... hey... wakeup!


547 Posts
REAR DOOR STORAGE: Inst. w/ pics

To read the original full thread and post questions/comments, please go to

So I was looking for a way to add more storage to the back of my FJ, but I wanted something that would secure the cargo while wheeling. I really like the MPACs but I dont want to spend that much $$$ for storage when I can spend it on other mods. well I was wondering around killing time in Home Depot while my mom picked out some plants last week when I came across something that gave me an idea. Later that night I had finished and installed my own homemade rear door storage.
it was a very simple thing to build, I removed the rear door panel, measured the size I wanted the rack to be. then I cut the steel (I honestly dont know what this steal is supposed to be used for, but it meets my needs) one thing I will say if you are planning on doing this, make sure that when you cut the steel the holes are going to line up before you cut, and adjust accordingly so you can bolt it together later on.

everything all bolted together

after bolting it all together I used some quick steel at the corners, not really even to help hold it together but more so I didnt have any rough or sharp edges (you could weld the entire thing together, but I do not know how to weld so I went with bolts and quicksteel, it is still VERY SOLID).

all quick steeled and ready for painting

I sanded the entire thing down to rough it up so the paint would hold, also to smooth off the quick steel for a cleaner finish. I went the obvious route and primed it and then used rustoleum black paint, 1 coats of primer and 4 of paint (I did a lot just because things would be coming on and off it a lot and I wanted to be sure the paint would hold up.

installed on the door, I just used long bolts, and then I ran metal brackets along the underside of the door for extra support. I also used the biggest washers I could find on the underside to help spread the load out.

you cant see it in the pic but to keep things from sliding around I also put a bolt on the outer side of the door so its bolt/washer/plastic panel/washer/bolt to help secure the rack.

being very handy and a DIY type people seem to think I can never have to many tool belts, so I always get them as presents and have lots of extra at my house. to mount them I actually cut the bag off the belt, used my zippos to take care of any loose threads, and then actually drilled through the belt area of the bag and bolted it to the rack (make sure your holes in the belt line up with holes on the rack). I also mounted my flashlight on the rack and put a clip for my gloves.

mounted and ready to go

Im actually thinking about mounting an old metal ammo box to the rack to hold all my ratchet straps and tie downs, but I havent decided yet.
I had the rack mounted all weekend at the Trail Teams event, and it held up great!! all my gear was secure and in its place, and I was takin the FJ up down left and right, I was even taking bunny hills at 35, hard enough to toss my sub up of the floor boards. :rofl:

I think I paid about $50 for all the parts and paint. Its not the greatest rack but it works very well, I have a million options for bags and storage, and I could afford it :rocker:

Im actually considering building another smaller version and mounting it above the glove box in that dead space there, but I really dont know what I would need it for and Im not sure how safe it would be having a bunch of metal right there

any suggestions or comments are welcome

my next project is custom sub boxes and maybe a rack for the back of the seat, Im also in the design stages for a dog barrier that is removable.
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