My wife and I love to camp and use the Jeep to get to campsites that others can’t. Most of the time it’s just for a weekend or we are setting up a base camp. In March 2014 we drove the Jeep 2000 miles (round trip) to Big Bend National Park. This trip was different from any we have attempted before. This was an over landing/expedition trip. Our primary reason for going to Big Bend was to hike but backcountry camping was also high on our list. This meant we needed to live out of our Jeep for a week. We had all the gear. Spare parts, tools, survival gear, food, water and shelter. However, we had to constantly unload the Jeep to get to it. I felt highly disorganized and it’s caused me to reevaluate my storage solutions in my Jeep. This product is my first step to better organization.

Springtail Solutions Unlimited Side Rack

The MPAC JK Side Rack is a heavy-duty modular storage system that is capable of securing bulky cargo. The system doesn’t require drilling and utilizes factory mounting points and factory hardware. It is designed to be compatible with both hard and soft top applications and will fit underneath a dust cover. It features a top bin that holds a 50 cal. ammo box (or perhaps a second battery). The side rack sports a MOLLE grid. MOLLE (pronounced Molly) is an acronym for MOdular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment. The United States Army uses MOLLE systems on equipment and rucksack to secure gear and extend functionality. The system’s modularity is derived from the use of PALS webbing, rows of heavy-duty nylon stitched to allow for attachment of various MOLLE-compatible pouches and accessories. Springtail pioneered the concept of rigid MOLLE mounts for off roading.

How I Plan to use it

On board air is on my wish list. This rack will secure a CO2 Tank and have room to spare. The 50 cal ammo case will hold recovery gear and trail tools. Everything that once lived on my tailgate now fits in a single ammo can. This opens up new possibilities for my tailgate.

Overall Impression

This system is super nice. The engineering and thought that went into it is very clear. The rack came power coated from Springtail and was packed extremely well.

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Don’t let the number of pieces in the kit frighten you. Instructions with photos are provided.

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The kit goes together with a bunch of bolts/nuts. Springtail provides high quality hardware with nylon insert lock nuts.

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There are a few factory bolts that need to be removed to kickoff the installation.

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My little shop helper was doing his thing.

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The next step is to put the kit together. Don’t tighten the bolts a fair amount of tolerance was engineered into this system to account for soft/hard top and variance between model years.

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Test fit the rack in the Jeep and adjust where necessary. Then tighten 30% of the bolts to lock in the proper fitment.

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Remove the rack from the Jeep and tighten the remaining bolts.

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The end result is awesome. I’ve gained new storage space above a wheel well and provided a way to secure future upgrades to the rigid MOLLE rack. It ought to make me a very happy camper on my next expedition.

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  • Ed V

    Awesome build thread. Just got a 2014 JK and I am incorporating some of your add-ons. I like the Springfield side rack but it looks like it utilizes the hard top mounting bolts. Does that make removing or putting the hard top back on a pain? Any info would be greatly appreciated

    • Thank Ed! The MPAC does use the hard top mounting location. I have both tops so this was something I needed to solve for. The side rack is made to be adjustable for either setup. But, I didn’t want to messing with it all the time when I switched between them. I assembled and adjusted the MPAC for use with my hardtop and then adapted it for use with my soft top. A couple of rubber washers fill the space the hard top takes when I have my soft top installed. I’ll take a photo and update this page soon to show you the modification with the soft top. Good luck with your 2014 build. Thanks for reading.

      • Ben

        Thanks for the review of the side rack. I saw a rollover not long ago and have been rethinking the gear I haul ever since, realizing I really need to secure my tools and recovery gear. I too have a hardtop and a softtop and am wondering how you install/remove the hardtop with these racks installed. The racks have a flange that sits on top of the hardtop’s “ledge”, so you can’t just lift the top straight up or lower it straight down like you can without the racks. Do you loosen the rack and pull it back to make clearance? Sliding the top all the way forward to install it or all the way back to remove it so it slides under the rack flange doesnt seem like a reasonable alternative. Ben.

        • Yeah, the top lip does make swapping tops challenging. I installed the side rack and adjusted it for the hard top. Which sets it up 1/4″ taller than it needs to be for a soft top. I used washers to make up the difference when I’m running my soft top. When I install my hard top, I remove the additional washers and remove the top lip hardware. The rack will flex inward 2″ without damage. This allows me to drop the hardtop straight down. Then the side rack’s lip sits on top of fiberglass base on the tub rail. Sometimes I have my wife hold it out of the way, or I use a tennis ball to force space between the jeep and the rack during the swap.

  • Stirling Shirah

    Is that the MTM 50 cal plastic ammo box that you have fitted in the rack?