Installation of Rockhard4x4 sport cage

While checking out rear bumpers, I got an offer that I couldn't pass up so I ended up driving home with a Rockhard4x4 rear bumper/tire carrier and the Rockhard4x4 Sport Cage.

It was a tight fit, but I got all the parts loaded in my
commuter car to bring home from Northridge4x4

After several evenings and a weekend, I got
all the parts painted and ready for installation.


Here's the "C" collars ready to install

Bag of hardware
I removed my hardtop, then unbolted the speaker pods.
Speaker pods removed, unhooked the wires and set the speaker pods aside.
Unzipped and peeled back the padding cover.

Three screws hold the dash in place on each side. These screws are removed and replaced with longer bolts and heavy duty nut plates on the back.

On the passenger side there's enough room to access the back side from underneath the dash

Close up. Each hole has a nut plate that needs to be removed.
It's clipped on the metal behind the dash.
I used towels to protect the paint
Top piece resting on the back cross bar of the factory sport cage
The padding need to be notched out to make way for the collars
Padding notched and collars slid in to place.
Moving to the front, you can see the large plastic trim piece below the bar where is meets the windshield. The entire trim piece needs removed, or can be trimmed to clear the vertical dash posts. I removed mine then replaced them with earlier model windshield trim.
Top T bar clamped loosely in place on the passenger side,
prior to this I loosened the windshield bar bolts

On the driver's side I removed the speaker to gain easier access behind the dash to access the nut plates and install the new nuts.

I am ready to install the dash bars

Dash post installed
Top collar on the dash mount

Fitment was very tight, and the dash post hit the windshield frame. This would have been fine, but with both posts being pushed inward ever so slightly, I couldn't get proper alignment of the collars and the original bolts that hold the factory cage to the windshield.

In my attempts to get alignment, I did remove
the driver's side windshield frame to cage bolts.

It was due to this issue that I realized that totally dropping the windshield and bolting everything together, then getting the windshield up and bolted back in place would be a royal nuisance.

In my opinion, there's just really no reason to drop the
windshield to get the cage installed as I have seen others do.

Passenger side

After several attempts to make things line up, I gave up and removed both dash posts and trimmed the outer edge of them, creating this small inward taper you see on the right side of this post, near the center of the photo.

This photo was taken after I repainted the post.

Here's another view
This photo is the passenger side - the angle/taper I made is just to the left of the screw hole in the windshield frame.
I taped the padding back together to keep it from falling off. Some owners totally remove the padding between the two collars.
View from the top
Collars on passenger side secured.
Driver's side showing the area I trimmed to clear the frame, just to the right of the hole.

I also installed the dash bar, which if I remember correctly is an optional item, but I can't remember for sure is that's true or not.

If I ever have to do this instal again, once I get all the pieces loose fit with clamps and hardware in palce, i will tighten everything at the back and move forward.

It does help to tighten things a little at a time, working your way forward to be sure the cage center's itself left/right, then the first set of bolts that you would firmly tighten would be the back clamps near where the speaker pods are at.