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JeepWire Review of Kilby Enterprises Inside Rack

By: Vance Anderson 01/27/00

Photo by Vance Anderson
Kilby Enterprises Inside Rack

Anyone who has ever traveled in a Jeep knows that you have to maximize all available storage space in order to carry all the gear you need. You have probably seen the overhead roof racks, rear 'Rubicon' racks and interior storage compartments -- but this is different. The Kilby Enterprises Inside Rack mounts in the rear area of your Jeep to provide a sturdy storage platform essentially giving you a top and bottom floor to store your gear. I never did like the idea of roof-mounted racks (too top-heavy and difficult to load) or rear racks (not enough capacity and limited access to rear) so the inside rack is the perfect alternative for me. The Kilby Enterprises Inside Rack is available for 1997-2000 Jeep Wrangler TJs with a hard top or soft-top.

Rack Construction

Photo by Vance Anderson
Photo by Vance Anderson
The bolt-in rack includes all brackets & hardware.

This rack is constructed from 1" square steel tubing and expanded metal for the flooring. The outer welds are TIG welded for a smooth appearance and the rest is MIG welded. The whole thing is powder coated a satin-black finish. The rack assembly consists of the main rack, two front, and two rear supports. The front and rear rack supports bolt to the Jeep using existing attachment points and the kit comes complete with all hardware needed.

Rack Dimensions:

Overall size:

48" wide 32 3/8" deep 4" high

Inside front width:

46"

Inside rear width:

36"

Front to back inside depth:

30 3/8" deep

Height of side rails:

3" high

Clearance under rack:

17"

Photo by Vance Anderson
The rack does not interfere with seats, hardtop, or soft-top.

Key Features

Installation

The installation process takes about an hour with basic hand tools. A Torx T-50 anti-tamper (has hole in the tip) is recommended but not required for the roll bar attachment bolts. If you had a factory add-a-trunk, you will need a drill to remove the previously installed Nutserts.

Note: I was unable to locate a Torx T-50 anti-tamper bit on short notice. While I was trying to grind the little anti-tamper tip out of the bolt, my friend Randy found that a pair of vice-grips could quickly and easily remove these bolts from the roll bar. I replaced the two Torx bolts with 1" long, 7/16-20 Grade 8 hex bolts with lock washers. This allows me to easily remove and install the rack with standard sockets and wrenches. (I then ceremoniously tossed the Torx bolts in the 'round-file!')


Front Supports: Locate the two rear-facing bolts on the main hoop of the roll bar. These are Torx bolts and have a bracket attaching the body to the roll bar. Remove these bolts with the Torx T-50 anti-tamper or other suitable tool (see Note above).

Install the right and left front supports finger-tight to the roll-bar attachment points (use the larger slotted hole and note the R and L markings). The bolts will be tightened later after installing and leveling the rack.

Photo by Vance Anderson

Rear Supports: Pull back the carpet that covers the side wheel wells. You should see two rubber plugs on each side. These are normally used to install the factory Add-A-Trunk (If you had an Add-A-Trunk, the Rivnuts installed there will have to be drilled out.) Remove the rubber plugs with a screwdriver or pliers.

Photo by Vance Anderson

Access to inside wheel well: Under the Jeep, below the tail light area, you will find a black clip holding the plastic liner in place. Remove the clip so you can reach your hand inside the inner wheel well to gain access to the holes just unplugged on the inner rear fender well.

Attach the right and left rear supports using 3/8x1 bolts with a flat washer on the inside of the wheel well and a lock washer and nut on the outside of the wheel well (the nut goes inside the Jeep). Do not tighten the nuts down just yet.

Photo by Vance Anderson

Install Rack: After all four legs are loosely installed, hold the rack at an angle and place it on top of the four supports in the Jeep. A helping hand makes this a lot easier!

Photo by Vance Anderson
Bolt the rack to the rear supports with two 3/8x1.75 bolts, using a flat washer on each side and the lock nut on the bottom. Tighten the nuts, but do not over tighten!! You can crush the square tubing if you get carried away. Photo by Vance Anderson
Bolt the rack to the front supports with two more 3/8x1.75 bolts, using a flat washer on each side and the lock nut on the bottom. Again, tighten them up - but not too much!! Photo by Vance Anderson
Now tighten the rear wheel well bolts and front roll bar bolts. The slotted adjustments in the front supports allow you to level the rack on all four supports. Dont forget to re-attach the plastic clips under the wheel well area. Photo by Vance Anderson

Product Evaluation

Photo by Vance Anderson
This rack has plenty of storage above as well as room below for large coolers, tools, and 8-gallon totes.

I have found the Kilby Enterprises Inside Rack to be a practical storage solution for my Jeep when I dont need the rear seat. I like the fact that I can store heavy items like tools, recovery gear, and coolers under the rack. Not only does this allow me to keep a lower center-of-gravity when compared to roof or trail racks but also it also safely contains the gear in the event of a rough trail or (dare I say) rollover. The 17 high space under the rack is tall enough for my 60 quart cooler and double-stacked 8-gallon plastic storage totes (green and blue boxes in the picture at left). The square tube rail around the top perimeter of the rack is handy for strapping down the items on top. The rack is solid and does not move or rattle, even when fully loaded with gear.

The rear support can be left in place when removing the rack to re-install the rear seat.

What if I want to use my rear seat??

I use my rear seat often and have found that it only takes me about 10 minutes to remove or re-install the rack. I leave the rear supports in place and just remove the two bolts from the top of the rear support and the two bolts from the roll bar to get the rack out. You can even accomplish this with the hardtop in place. I do recommend replacing those pesky Torx bolts in the roll bar with hex-head bolts (I used 1" long 7/16"-20 Grade 8) to make the process easier.

Contacts: Related Links:
  • Kilby Enterprises
    1847 N. Keystone St.
    Burbank, CA. 91504 U.S.A.
    Phone (818) 848-2900