Jeep JK Vacuum Pump Relocation


Jeep JK Vacuum Pump RelocationAll 2012-2018 Jeep JK models have the vacuum pump installed in a bracket located on the inside of the driver side frame rail right behind the bumper.
The vacuum pump is there to give added power when braking under emergency situations. It’s part of the BAS/PBS (Brake Assist System/Panic Braking System) and is included in all of the Chrysler vehicles that have the 3.6L engine.
When you make a decision to upgrade the front bumper on your Jeep, you need to realize that the vacuum pump might need to be moved to a different location.
Relocation is only necessary for aftermarket bumpers with recessed winch plate located between frame rails. Relocation is not necessary for non-winch bumpers or top fairlead mount bumpers, where the winch sits on top of the bumper. For bumpers where the winch is mounted on winch plate installed between frame rails, vacuum pump bracket, which is welded to the frame rail, needs to be removed to allow the winch plate to fit.

The most popular option is to relocate the pump into the engine bay, near the Jeep’s computer. After relocating it into the engine compartment, do not be surprised that you’ll hear the vacuum pump run a couple of times after releasing the brake pedal during each cold start. It is rather loud and that is probably the reason behind it’s stock location, as far from the cabin as possible. Getting used to that noise is just a price you’ll have to pay for customizing your rig.

Jeep JK vacuum pump relocation is not a complicated and difficult task. The entire project should take about 2 hours (including grill and bumper removal and reassembly) and you only need few tools. If you prefer to watch a video, here’s one for the bracket kit I selected.

This step-by-step write-up is for a Metalcloak Vacuum Pump Relocation Kit. There are several other kits available out there (e.g. Teraflex Kit, Rock Hard 4×4 Kit, MBRP Kit, Rough Country Kit, Rock Slide Engineering Kit). Some brackets will be installed in the same location and some in other locations, therefore some of the steps described below might not apply to your situation.

Disclaimer: Like I always mention I am not a professional mechanic, I just try to do as much work on my Jeep as possible. It helps me learn more about my vehicle and save some money that can be spent on parts and upgrades.
I take no responsibility for any injury or breakage which might occur if you decide to follow these steps. You have to decide if you’re comfortable working on your Jeep. If you’re not, please have a professional complete this project for you.
IMPORTANT: Relocating the vacuum pump will most likely void your warranty on the pump.

August 25, 2018 |

Jeep JK Security Tailgate Enclosure by Tuffy


Jeep JK Security Tailgate Enclosure by TuffyOne of the best aspects of owning a Jeep is the ability to drive topless and doorless. The only downside of topless driving is the fact that anything stored in the “trunk” space behind the rear seat is visible and easily accessible. For the last few years, every time I would take the top down, while using my Jeep for daily driving, I would also remove my tool bag and recovery gear form my Jeep and leave it in the garage. I felt that it is not secure in my trunk and it’s way too valuable to risk having it stolen. I finally decided to look into securing the cargo area while driving topless. I did some research looking for a Jeep JK security tailgate enclosure and it seems like there’s two products available that provide exactly what I was looking for. One of them is the Tuffy Security Products Tailgate Security Enclosure and the other is the Bestop Instatrunk.

Both these tailgate security enclosures are simple but solid designs made out of 16-gauge steel, that create a lockable storage trunk completely protected on all sides. They work in conjunction with the lockable vehicle tailgate to secure the trunk area created. Both these enclosures maintain the use and function of the rear seat in 2-door models. The installation is quick and easy using standard hand tools in both 2 and 4 door Jeep models with an OEM hardtop or soft top. Both these products mount to the floor of the Jeep from the inside of the trunk. The enclosures work in vehicles equipped with or without the subwoofer.
There are several options of these enclosures, depending on the year and model of your Jeep:

– Tuffy 297-01 Tailgate Enclosure for 87′-95′ Jeep Wrangler YJ

– Tuffy 296-01 Tailgate Enclosure for 97′-06′ Jeep Wrangler TJ

– Tuffy 286-01 Tailgate Enclosure for 07′-10′ Jeep Wrangler JK 2 door

– Tuffy 310-01 Tailgate Enclosure for 07′-10′ Jeep Wrangler JK 4 door

– Tuffy 282-01 Tailgate Enclosure for 11′-17′ Jeep Wrangler JK 2 door

– Tuffy 299-01 Tailgate Enclosure for 11′-17′ Jeep Wrangler JK 4 door

– Bestop 42700-01 Instatrunk for 87′-95′ Jeep Wrangler YJ

– Bestop 42701-01 Instatrunk for 97′-06′ Jeep Wrangler TJ

– Bestop 42702-01 Instatrunk for 07′-10′ Jeep Wrangler JK 2 door or 4 door (without factory subwoofer)

– Bestop 42637-01 Instatrunk for 07′-10′ Jeep Wrangler JK 2 door or 4 door (with factory subwoofer)

– Bestop 42704-01 Instatrunk for 11′-17′ Jeep Wrangler JK 2 door or 4 door



November 24, 2017 |

Jeep JK Front Track Bar Brace


Synergy Manufacturing front track bar braceIn this post I will attempt to describe a step by step installation of a Synergy Manufacturing Jeep JK front track bar brace. This brace is designed to distribute the increased load the track bar frame side mount encounters on a lifted Jeep or a Jeep with larger size tires. The brace is laser cut and CNC bent from 3/16″ high strength steel. The added track bar bracket thickness prevents the track bar bolt from ovalizing out the stock mount holes, which can lead to vibrations and eventually cause the dreaded death wobble. There are multiple reasons causing the “wobble”, like worn ball joints, loose tie rod ends, worn u-joints, loose adjustment collars on tie rod, drag link or track bar, or worn track bar attachment points on either axle or frame side. Your track bar keeps the axle centered underneath the Jeep when turning and operates under tremendous forces, and the weak stock mounts on both the axle side and the frame side could potentially begin to fail. The holes in the mount might start to become more oval and cause a bit of a play, resulting in shimmies and wobbles. If you use your Jeep as intended and do wheel it, you might encounter a situation where your wheels are blocked by rocks while you try to turn, and your track bar pushes so hard on the mount that it finally brakes it off the frame. It is an extreme scenario, but I have seen it happen. This brace adds strength to the mount and eliminates this weak link in the system.

July 23, 2017 |

Jeep JK tailgate MOLLE panel & fold-down table


Jeep JK tailgate MOLLE panel & fold-down tableAny owner of a two-door Jeep Wrangler knows that storage inside of your vehicle is always at a premium (some of you JKU owners might feel the same). And if you’re anything like me and like to be prepared for unexpected situations, you carry a lot of gear in your jeep. Whenever you go wheeling and especially camping you add even more stuff and quickly run out of room inside your Jeep. You have to be pretty creative and use every available square inch of space.

Having a two-door JK myself I’m always looking for smart ways of storing my gear inside my Jeep, that would allow easy access and keep the items secure at the same time.
While surfing the web I came across a subject of MOLLE racks, and specifically tailgate racks. It is such an obvious, great spot for storing gear with incredibly easy access. MOLLE system provides great flexibility and there are so many options when it comes to pouches!
As it turns out there are several products that can be attached to the tailgate. It all depends on what your needs are, and of course what you’re willing to spend on the system.

You can obviously build a simple panel or rack yourself, and customize it the way you wish. I’m all about DIY projects, but after some calculations I decided that in this case I will save myself time and trouble and pick one of the available products out there.


So there’s few options (prices and availability might change):
Smittybilt G.E.A.R. Tailgate Cover. It’s manufactured out of 600 denier polyester, and requires drilling into your tailgate (around $60.00)

JK tailgate gear MOLLE panel available on Ebay. It’s made out of steel, you can customize the design, it requires drilling into your tailgate ($75.00).

Quadratec Tailgate Cargo Shelf. Made out of steel, requires no drilling (around $100.00).

JK tailgate (fold down) MOLLE panel from Ebay. Made out of steel, customizable design, it folds down to a table, requires drilling into your tailgate ($125.00).

Springtail Solutions JK Rear Door Folding Tray/MOLLE Panel. It’s made out of steel, folds down to a table, requires no drilling into your tailgate ($195.00).

Teraflex MP Tailgate Table. The MP table is constructed from lightweight aluminum with stainless steel hardware and is rated for 75 lbs. of evenly distributed load capacity. Requires drilling into your tailgate (around $200.00).

The MP Table (Multi-Purpose Table) from Vector Offroad. It’s manufactured from aerospace alloy aluminum, it folds down to a table, requires drilling into your tailgate (around $220.00).


After many hours of reading descriptions, reviews and looking at pictures I decided that I wanted four things out of my system:
#1 – MOLLE rack
#2 – solid steel construction
#3 – fold-down option that turns the panel into a table
#4 – no drilling into my tailgate

August 17, 2015 |

Jeep Wrangler JK hood flutter



jeep hood flutterIf you own a Wrangler JK you might have experienced something very unsettling while driving on a freeway. When you go over 60 MPH, you can’t help but notice the hood jumping up and down so violently you think at any minute its going to rip the latches off and come flying up at your windshield. Not everyone notices it and some people simply ignore it. I was ignoring it myself for over three years, even though it always seems to scare the crap out of me! I know that the chances that both latches fail and the secondary metal latch in the front fails also at the same time are slim, but it’s just a distraction that I don’t need while I’m driving my “brick on wheels”. It is funny though how my passengers react to it when I point it out to them…
Finally after three years of driving my jeep, the passenger that I’m in a relationship with, asked me to do something about it so I did.

The reason behind this flutter is the fact that the stock hood latches utilize a weak and stretch-prone rubber that allows the hood to lift and flutter at speed. The rubber is very soft! You can actually pull on your locked hood, grabbing it right under the latch and see it lift slightly. That is not a good sign!



The solution to this problem is to make sure your hood closes tighter and doesn’t lift when the gust of wind hits it.

February 2, 2015 |
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