American Adventure Lab – Part 2

I installed the American Adventure Lab platform today. Its a pretty straight forward install, though on two door JLs there are only two of the three required holes on each side of the cargo area. That meant having to install the platform and drill the two remaining holes, then removing the platform, installing two netserts, then reinstalling the platform and bolting it all down.

I assembled the platform, and slid it into the cargo area. I bolted down the two rear most holes on the left and right, and gave them a little torque so the platform wouldn’t move.

Then I drilled through the two front most platform holes, using progressively bigger drill bits, so the nutsert could be inserted into the hole. The first bit was the smallest, it went through easily. The next drill bit was a little bigger, it also went in easily. When I used the biggest bit, I felt a lot of resistance, on both the left side and right side holes.

I removed the platform to see what was happening. As it turned out, there’s already a threaded hole in precisely the right spot. When I reported it to the company, they seemed surprised, but relieved that my accuracy was perfect. I’m guessing most customers won’t be as precise, and would probably force the drill all the way through. Good thing I stopped when I suspected something was wrong.

Now that I knew the two remaining holes were there, and already threaded, I put the platform back in, and torqued down all six bolts. The platform is very strong, so glad I went with American Adventure Lab’s kit rather than the wooden Goose Gear kit. This platform will last as long as the Jeep, and I’ll never have to worry about cracks in the coating leading to issues with the wood its made of.

Now that the platform is in place, I attached the eight Single Stud Tie-Down Rings. I never knew these existed. As it turns out the holes on the platform are L-bracket type, which uses these things. Brilliant design. Press the ring down, exposing the stud, insert the stud, slide the round base of the stud to the center of the peanut shaped hole, rotate ninety degrees, and release. Brilliant! So many options!

Now that the platform is in place, I can start planning on installing the twin drawers. This part requires partial disassembly, so I’ll wait until it gets above 40 degrees before I start on it.