I’ve wanted to add a GPS RAM Ball mount to my Jeep JK Wrangler for a long time, and I finally figured out a way to do it DIY on the cheap. Total build/install time is 20 minutes or less.
Things to buy
- This from Amazon.
- Three M8 nuts from your local hardware store for something like 20 cents each. (or )
- [OPTIONAL] A RAM Arm to mount stuff to the ball like this one: from Amazon. (This one is extremely strong and durable)
- A small ratchet, extension bar and 8mm socket.
- A welder, or someone you can pay to do a 3 minute welding job.
- Something to cut a bolt – hacksaw will do, grinder is faster.
- A 3/4″ drill bit and drill.
- A 6mm allen wrench.
- A small amount of rust-prevention paint, and some tape (anything will do)
Slide the cover off the end of the grab bar – don’t use any tools which will damage the plastic – just push with your thumb towards the center of the Jeep.
Using your ratchet, extension bar and 8mm socket, remove the bolt holding on the grab bar. It can be a little tricky to actually get it out once it’s loose, wiggle the bar and fish it out. If you have to, you can unbolt the other side of the grab bar too.
Note the worlds’ strangest thread on the bolt.
Drill a 3/4″ hole in the plastic cover. You want it centered top to bottom, and 1 5/16″ from the flat side. De-burr the outside of the cover with some fine sandpaper or your fingernail.
- Put one of the M8 screws through the ball, and lock it on there with two M8 nuts. Tighten the one closest to the ball absolutely as tight as you can get it, then do the same to the second one to lock it in place. You want these tight so the ball can’t spin on the screw.
- Thread another M8 nut half way onto the end of the screw, then thread another M8 screw into the other end of that nut, this helps keep everything sqaure.
- Measure your total length including the little bolt from the Jeep, and mark and cut the second M8 screw so your total length is 5 1/4″.
- Weld the first and second screw together on the nut, then weld everything to the top of the bolt from the Jeep. It doesn’t have to be perfectly square, but do your best. Make sure the ball doesn’t get too hot by dipping it into a bucket of water after each weld. If you don’t have a welder, I’m sure you can bribe the local mechanic with a 6-pack to do this for you. It doesn’t have to be pretty, but make it strong.
Step 5: (not pictured)
Tape up your ball and the thread on the Jeep bolt and paint the whole thing with some rust-preventative paint.
Slide the plastic cover back onto the grab bar, then insert the whole contraption into the hole. The washer will fit perfectly through.
Tighten the thing down with your 6mm Allen wrench – get it really tight so the grab bar is solid. While you’re here, take the cover off the other side and tighten it with your ratchet – make that grab bar rock solid.
Put your RAM arm or whatever you want onto your new RAM Ball, and have a beer – all done!