It’s January in Edmonton Alberta, which means it is cold.
Tonight, it’s -24C, or about -11F.
And what am I doing? Outside in that temperature installing Jeep parts.
This time around it’s the Synergy Jeep Baja Basket. It is a basket or storage shelf for the interior of your Jeep Wrangler. Made of high strength material and with some massive tube clamps by Synergy, it’s rated to hold 300 pounds. I can’t see myself loading it up that much, but I found a great deal on it and couldn’t pass up on the offer.
I was a little worried about the instructions telling me I’ll need to remove the hard top to install it, and although that would have saved some time, in my case the tent the roof rack and then the roof removal wasn’t going to happen any quicker than fumbling around in tight quarters and leaving the hard top (and everything else) in place.
First thing was to strip the existing gear off my roll bars.
I have a variety of items strapped for out of the way storage – ground tent, sleeping bag, camp chair, etc.
For actually installing the Synergy Baja Basket and leaving the hard top on, I had to reverse the installation process a bit. Synergy has instructions on their web site, but really, this is a simple install.
Step one is ‘undress’ the roll bars. Unzip the covers on each side and push the covers up out of the way.
Next I placed the tube clamps into position. Although I don’t have the soft top anymore, I still have the brackets and used those to position the tube clamps. Don’t tighten them down fully quite yet! Leaving them loose lets you get all the bolts started in a more comfortable position.
Doing things in this order, let me ensure the tube clamps were positioned ‘just right’ to allow the brackets to align to basket properly. Tighten down the tube clamps in a cross directional manner to ensure the clamp down properly.
It is a very tight fit, and honestly the hardest part of the job, but the zippers do pull back up into position. You need to make four small incisions in the roll bar padding for the tube clamp brackets to protrude from.
Once done with that part, the still assembled Synergy Baja Basket and mounting brackets were lifted up and the final four mounting bolts tightened into position.
By this time, my toes and fingers were getting quite cold, so I put a few things into it out of the way and called it a night. I’ll get the back end of the Jeep reconfigured with my camping gear when it warms up a bit.