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Old 09-25-2005, 09:11 PM
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nakman nakman is offline
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Default Cargo area alterations, phase II

Finally got around to some additional enhancements in the cargo area.. the platform & under-the-bed tupperware deal has been effective, but a little more cumbersome than I had hoped, plus there were a few shakes and squeaks that were driving me nuts. I knew going into it that was only a rough draft anyway.. and it's not until you've really used a mod that you fully appreciate what you wish you would have done differently the first time. So I took this summer's events into account, and came up with a few tweaks to what was already a pretty good idea.. hope you enjoy.

For starters is an easy one: I removed the "box" that's attached to the RR cargo panel, a cubby that I suspect holds the CD player of a 3rd row passenger? Well my third rows haven't been in for years, and I've never been able to really use this stash place.. I've had a tow strap & D ring in there forever, but that cubby is a tough stretch when you're on the trail and the tailgate's down, so I always ended up grabbing strap #2 from the storage bin. It was Red Fox who originally gave me the idea for innovative fluid storage, then one night a few months ago it just clicked.

First pic is the panel off- you can see the cubby has been removed, also I screwed a 1/4 to the inside of the wall, secured to the speaker bracket, to keep anything from touching my inverter. Ignore the Romex, we've already covered that.. Second pic is all the fluids that are now inside the wall laid out. Thing of grease, big thing of brake fluid, couple oils, a tranny oil, gear oil, couple waters and some rags. Third pic is everything happily tucked away... there's probably room for one more bottle of something, only thing to watch is that you don't crimp the sunroof drain, or pull on any wires.
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Last edited by nakman; 09-25-2005 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 09-25-2005, 09:23 PM
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Next is addressing the bins. I don't know if the rest of you get safety & storage catalogs at work, I must get 2 per week. Anyway I found these tubs in a C&H distributer catalog, first I've found where it appeared that a combination of smaller tubs nested together would exactly equal the height of one larger tub. This was a requirement, because the vision involved the platform doubling as the lid for the tubs, as well as a place for dogs, or more stuff. In short, I wanted a system of bins where I could tip the truck over on its side, and my tools would stay in place. (note I won't dare say drawer system, as this is a laughable mockery, at best.)

First pic shows the base of the tubs- I used some 1x2 oak strips (leftover trim from the kitchen) as borders, so the tubs will just snugly fit inside them- unable to slide back towards the seats (BIG downside to the under-the-bed things), plus they're unable to slide side to side. The rear edge of the base is secured using three of the 5 screws that hold the aluminum threshold on, longer screws go through the board and into the same anchors. Oh yeah, if you hadn't noticed already, I took the carpet out. Also removed the rearmost 3rd row latch things from the center, and the rearmost tiedowns. to further secure the base I also put wood screws up into the bottom, through the holes left by the third row latches, removing those gave me the nice flat plane I was after (another improvement from rev 1).

Yes, those are shelf brackets extending outwards. Way more than enough support for the top, plus a considerable weight reduction over the previous version, which used several boards stretched across the third row brackets on the wheel wells.
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Last edited by nakman; 09-25-2005 at 09:40 PM.
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Old 09-25-2005, 09:23 PM
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Very cool Tim!
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Old 09-25-2005, 09:30 PM
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Funnest part was probably transferring all my stuff from those big tupperwares into the new tubs. I cut & screwed some more oak to use as dividers, and used another piece as a shim between the two smallest bins, so they nest tightly inside the lip of their bottom one. There was 3/4" of clearance in there for some reason.. not no more!

Installed they fit just perfect. When they're all the way in the tailgate closes right against them, and they add to the understructure of the platform above. Towards the front, I installed some eyelets & turnbuckels, to further secure the unit down. Also added a few attachment points, and re-installed the pry bar, the weight of which rests on the wheel wells, secured in place by the bike hooks. Behind the tubs is a 30x15x10.5" cubby hole, accessible when you tip the 2nd row seats forward, which right now has a couple extra dog beds in it, but could conceivably house a subwoofer some day...

edit: last comments: I can still pull the tubs out when the tailgate's down, and the hatch is closed, great for airing up when the K9's must remain contained (I plug in through the slider). And best of all, this setup is completely silent. And with no moving parts, I'm hopeful it stays that way for a long time, or at least until I think of something else..
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Last edited by nakman; 09-25-2005 at 09:34 PM.
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