Originally Posted by Downey
i know this is old but im thinking of doing this and also thinking of fiber glassing it so i was looking for another up date still good?
Can't speak for the OP, but I have one that was on my '87 Jeep Comanchee for 4 years up in CT and, when I moved back to TX and couldn't get the poor 'ol Jeep to pass inspection here, got ported over to the '90 XLT that 'came with the house' here (it was in the backyard when I rented the place and the landlord gave me 100$ off the first months rent to use to have it towed to the junkyard, title was in the glovebox, so I signed, re-titled, registered, inspected and rebuilt the (trashed) tranny and have been driving it for the last 6 months... Mine is much thinner plywood (can't recall how thick, but it was the super cheap stuff) and has only been treated with a gallon of the cheap Wal-Mart bed liner... Survived 4 years of heavy snow up in Shelton CT and so far 6-7 months of rain and TX weather... I wouldn't want to carry my wife's 18th century first edition collection back there during a monsoon (being married to an English Professor is not all it's trumped up to be in the mass media
), but I carry groceries home in the rain in that little front section all the time and stuff stays dry enough... There's a bead on black silicon there between the front (hinged) section and that back (static) section that keeps 99% of the water out and if you really cared, you could run one around the edges or use some inner tube type rubber to make a bridge gasket of some sort that would be more dry - for my purposes, it works great...
You can see the whole deal from here... The rings are threaded into nuts that are welded to the bedrail over holes that let the rings screw in and hold the rear section down... The strip between the rear rings is one of those "Line of Fire" type led taillight/turnsignals that you always see on eBay/at Flea Markets that my 'ricer' buddy gave me and I dropped in a routed channel and siliconed up (probably the biggest source of leakage in the whole deal and I'd suggest avoiding that mod, lol!
) (If you look, you can also see my custom cane holder (a.k.a. cheapy Wal-Mart gunrack) and Pedro, my dashboard Chihuahua with the bobbing head (I live in rather 'ethnic' area of Dallas and it's camouflage - hasn't been broken into since Pedro took over dash duty
up front, the hinged section is held down with a couple of hood pins... I've only had them stolen once, the used to have the little cables on them to prevent them from walking away... The hinges are just cheap 3$ gate hinges from Wal-Mart (there's a cheap xxxxxx from Wal-Mart theme going here, huh?) You can also see the little slots cut in the front section wrapped in a little piece of cut out of flashing sheet metal that allow the front to fold back over the rings in the rear section to let it lie (99%) flat
Opened up front section, you can see you thin the plywood is and you can see that there's a bit of warpage, but it's almost 5 years old - I'd go with a thicker piece if I re-did it
with the front section folded all the way back, you can see how the slots let the rings poke through... You could get around the rings and the extra holes by using bolts or something else... I used the rings because I could just twist them out like a wing nut and I occasionally threw something on the back (before the taillight) and could just lash it down... I wouldn't probably walk on it, but it's held up pretty well
It's definitely 'ghetto', but for what I put into it (maybe 50$) it's worked great, done what I needed and, if you cared more about how it looks, you could certainly do a cleaner version... But, the basic idea 'holds up' well in the long run I think