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Poison Spyder Crusher Corners

By Steven Snyder

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Poison Spyder Crusher CornersWhen you think of ‘body armor,’ visions of police officers dressed in SWAT attire running through the streets with the theme song from COPS playing in the background might come to mind. “Bad boys, bad boys - watcha’ gonna do…” Sorry to disappoint you, but this article is about a different type of body armor. We’re talking here about giving your Jeep some ‘bullet-proof’ protection.

Several years ago, when I brought my Jeep CJ-7 home for the first time, my thought was that this would be the coolest daily driver of all time. Since that time, my Jeep has grown from a semi-stock street queen to a fairly capable trail vehicle whose driver is not afraid to rub a little sheet metal when necessary. Over the past year, my Jeep has been on her side twice, completely rolled once and has gotten up-close and personal with more rocks than I can count.

When my Jeep graduated from daily driver to dedicated trail vehicle I decided that when she got too beat up I would just replace the body tub since, in its present state, the tub consisted of equal parts of hidden rut, good sheet metal and Bondo. Great plan, however, the way I drive a new tub would be badly beaten and just as scarred as my current tub. I needed a better solution – body armor!

Poison Spyder Customs manufactures custom body armor for the most popular Jeeps (CJ,YJ, TJ and even Unlimited). On my Jeep, the only straight piece of sheet metal was the glove box cover. As a result, I decided to go with a pair of Crusher Corners and Rocker Knockers to cover all of the existing body damage to my tub and protect it from future damage.

Poison Spyder Crusher CornersIf you read my previous Rockcrawler article on York air compressors, realize that I tend to do things the hard way. Of course this project was no exception. I decided to add body armor to my Jeep after she was beat-to-hell. This added quite a bit of preparation and made the installation a little more difficult. For those of you that are smarter than me (no need to raise your hands), you might be inclined to add the body armor before your tub is too badly beaten. So, everyone that has already beaten-up their rig and wants to make her look pretty again, read on. For the rest of you that are smart enough to learn from our mistakes, you can skip the prep work and go right to installation.

Preparation – AKA Making room for Crusher Corners
You can see from the photos that I have little regard for the rear corners of my Jeep. Not only were my corners dented, rusted, and just plain ugly, but they were so badly twisted that the Crusher Corners would not even fit.

The Crusher Corners from Poison Spyder Customs will cover everything from the edge of the tailgate opening all the way forward to the back of the door jam. My tub corners were so badly dented that I had to pop out the dents in the corners. Since I am not (nor will I ever be) an expert in repairing body damage, I selected the tools that I thought were best suited for the job. In this case, it turned out to be a hammer and a 3/4” drive adapter on a 1/2” drive extension. After quite a bit of hammering to get the dents out of the corners it was time to wire wheel everything to prep it for Bondo and paint.

Poison Spyder Crusher Corners
Poison Spyder Crusher Corners

Poison Spyder Crusher CornersThe corners had been so badly damaged that they needed a little Bondo assistance to reshape the top edge of the corner, purely for cosmetic reasons. So I plastered a little Bondo on, sanded it down with my palm sander and painted all the exposed metal with some black Rustoleum. Then I hit the top edges with some bedliner to help match the bedliner that had previously been sprayed over the tub rails.

Earlier I noted that the only straight piece of sheet metal on my Jeep was the glove box cover. This was no exaggeration. With the Crusher Corners and Rocker Knockers, the entire tub (sans cowl) was going to be covered with armor. In addition, I was in the process of building some tube fenders for the front of my Jeep (Poison Spyder has since come out with tube fenders for CJ’s) and I had a new hood to replace the one crumpled in my previous roll-over.

Except for the cowl, the ENTIRE exterior of my Jeep was about to be painted. I decided it was time for the Jeep to have a color change so I picked the exact same factory gray as my Ford F-350. One of the reasons I went with a factory color was because I can easily get rattle-cans at the local auto parts store to match the Ford factory color. In the future, as I scratch and bash the paint, I can easily touch it up.

Poison Spyder Crusher Corners
Poison Spyder Crusher Corners

 

Hints before ordering your corners
You can order the Crusher Corners in their standard form with all the accommodations to fit your Jeep as if it rolled off the showroom floor or you can customize them til your heart is content. I ordered some custom corners.

Unfortunately, I did not order them custom enough, so learn from my mistakes (read MY mistake - not Poison Spyder’s mistake). I drive a CJ-7 so I got the appropriate corners and had them modified to widen the wheel well to fit my TJ flares. I also had them omit any cut-outs for tail lights and the gas filler. Poison Spyder will only cut out holes for round tail lights, and since I was planning to use oval LED’s, I’d have to cut them myself. In addition, I plan to install a fuel cell in the near future so I did not want a large hole in the nice new corners for my soon-to-be-obsolete filler cap.

Fortunately, the mistakes I made when ordering my corners were minor.

MISTAKE #1: By default, when you order CJ corners, they have holes to accommodate the stock tire carrier. Similarly, TJ and YJ corners are slotted to accommodate the tailgate hinges. If you have removed your stock CJ tire carrier (like I have) or removed the rear tailgate on your TJ, I would recommend omitting these hole/slots.

MISTAKE #2: The corners come pre-drilled so you can bolt your factory fenders flares right back up. If you are going to put flares back on your Jeep (as I originally expected to do) this makes the job of re-installing flares really easy! There is no need to drill through the 3/16” steel because it’s already done for you.

My mistake was that after I installed the tube fenders on the front of my Jeep I decided not to run flares in the rear. Hindsight being 20/20 I should have opted for no holes for flares and if I later decided to run flares I’d simply have to go through the headache of drilling them myself.

The reason I point this out is because the corners can be completely customized. Think about what you want to do with the corners. What do you want to cover/protect? What do you not want to cover/protect? Just call the folks at Poison Spyder and if it’s possible, they’ll build corners to accommodate you.

 

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