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Smittybilt Defender Rack Tailgate Basket (07-18 Jeep Wrangler JK)

Item J116548
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$300.99 (each)

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      Video Review & Installation

      Hey guys. So today, I'm here with the Smittybilt Defender Rack Tailgate Basket fitting all 2007 to 2018 JK Wranglers. So everybody knows that storage space inside the Jeep can definitely be limited, especially if you have a two-door model so finding outside storage space is always a great solution when you're out on the trail or even out on a trip. So this option by Smittybilt is going to be a very durable option made of one-inch steel tube construction. It has a nice textured powder coat finish on it that's going to resist any rust or corrosion on the metal and it's also going to give it an aggressive look. Now, this is going to be able to hold up to 35 pounds. It's going to be fully adjustable, so you can put an oversized spare on here and it is going to be a more compact design than some other options that you may be seeing on the site right now. So this is roughly going to be $300 and it's going to be one of your most affordable options for a basket of this style. So once you go lower in price, you are going to see other options that are styled differently. They may mount up to the center of your spare tire or they may be mounted up to your hitch, but those aren't going to be compact as this design because they will stick out a little farther. So once you go a little bit higher in price, you'll start to see baskets designed similar to this. However, they may have higher load capacities and they may be made by premium brands like Garvin who specializes in roof racks and baskets. Personally, I think at this price, this is going to get the job done and it's going to look very good while doing it. So install's going to be a light two out of three wrenches on the difficulty meter. It is going to be a little bit difficult to hold this up and install this by yourself, so I would recommend another hand with this. But you're going to need a couple of basic hand tools and about half an hour to an hour to get the job done. So speaking of the install, let's jump into that now. The tools that I used for this install were an impact wrench, a 5-inch extension, a 3/16th-inch deep socket, a 13-millimeter deep socket, and a 13-millimeter wrench. So our first step to this install is first to take off our tire. Now, I'm going to be using a 13/16th-inch deep socket as well as an extension to do that. So before we remove our spare tire carrier bolts, we do want to disconnect our third brake light wire here. We're just going to pop this grommet out. It should be easy enough to pull out. And then, we can depress the clip and tuck that back in there and then we can remove this. So you can grab a 13-millimeter socket. So next, I want to take a 13-millimeter socket as well as an extension to clear my gun here and we're going to remove all eight bolts that are holding on our spare tire carrier. So now, we're ready to install our back plating. This is going to be our support that actually attaches to our tailgate and we're going to sandwich this in between our tailgate and our spare tire carrier. Now, you're probably going to want an extra hand for this. I don't actually have another hand but you can do it by yourself if you hold it properly. So I just stuck my hand in the side. That's going to hold everything up to keep it balanced and we are just going to line up one of the holes and Smittybilt actually provides you with some longer hardware. So what I recommend is just getting one of the bolts through, supporting it the best you can, and we can start to thread that into the tailgate. Now, once you get the top one started, it should be able to stay in place. So you can move on to the second one over here. So after we have the top two snugged up and secured down, we'll go back and tighten them down in just a minute, we want to make sure that everything else lines up. But we can grab all of our additional hardware and start securing that down. So once we have all of our bolts in, we can go back with our 13-millimeter socket that we used to remove them with and tighten them down. So now, we're going to insert our tube ends onto our basket carrier here, making sure that our holes are lining up. Now, you will want to measure depending on the size of your spare tire and this is fully adjustable, so you will be able to adjust it in the future if you do upgrade your tires. So what we're going to do at this point is make sure our holes are lined up, line this up, and we can take the provided hardware and secure that down. Now, as long as you have one on there, it should stay in place and then we can secure down the other tube end. All right. So once we have those two on either side in place, we're going to secure down the last two. Now, after those are all secure, we can take a 13-millimeter socket and 13-millimeter wrench and tighten those down. Now what we're going to do at this point is attach our basket. So we're going to want to place that on top here and line it up with our holes on our crossbar here. So after we lined up all of our holes, we can take our provided hardware and go ahead and start attaching that. Now again, we don't want to tighten anything down just yet. We want to make sure all of our holes are aligned and then, we can go back and tighten everything down. So after those are secured, we can take the same 13-millimeter socket and 13-millimeter wrench and tighten those down. So before we attach our spare tire, we are going to attach our third brake light. Tuck that back into our tailgate and re-secure our grommet. So our last step is just to re-secure our spare tire. So that's going to wrap it up from my quick review and install. Make sure you like and subscribe and for more videos like this, keep it right here at

      Product Information

      Features, Description, Reviews, Q&A, Specs & Installation


      • 1” Steel Tube Construction
      • Dimensions: 32” x 18” x 4”
      • Black Powder Coat Finish
      • Accommodates 35 Lbs.
      • Adjustable Height
      • Sold Individually
      • Bolt-on Installation
      • Limited Lifetime Warranty/5-Year Finish Warranty
      • Fits All 2007-2018 Jeep Wrangler JK Models


      Carry More Cargo. Install this Smittybilt Defender Rack Tailgate Basket to increase your Jeep’s functionality. It lets you carry up to 35 lbs., and it’s height-adjustable to suit your needs. When you choose this rack tailgate basket for your Jeep, it eliminates the need for a full rack so you can still ride in the open air.

      Strong and Sturdy. This rack tailgate basket is crafted from 1” round steel tubing, so has amazing strength and sturdiness. The black powder coat finish imparts a stylish matte texture while protecting against rust and corrosion. This rack tailgate basket is a great choice if you’re looking for both performance and style.

      Direct Installation. It takes under an hour on average to mount this rack tailgate basket to your Jeep, thanks to its convenient bolt-on design. There’s no cutting or drilling; all you need to get the job done are hand tools.

      Warranty Included. Smittybilt ensures the quality of this rack tailgate basket with a limited lifetime warranty. The powder coat is backed by a 5-year finish warranty.

      Application. This Smittybilt Defender Rack Tailgate Basket fits all 2007-2018 Jeep Wrangler JK models.



      Smittybilt 76718

      CA Residents: WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm -

      Installation & What's in the Box

      Installation Info

      What's in the Box

      • (1) Rack Tailgate Basket

      Customer Reviews (9)

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        Reviews of Smittybilt Exterior products have an average rating of 4.6 out of 5

          Questions & Answers

          10 More Questions

          Will It Fit My Wrangler

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