Hello all, been reading here on TW for some time just waiting to get a Tacoma of my own. Finally got one at the right price and got right to it. Some history on the truck. It's a 2006 Tacoma DCLB 4x4 Sport pkg. Already had a Revtek spacer lift installed. One of my main uses for this truck is to take a few friends on long road trips to go camping/fishing/exploring. So I wanted to make a bed rack to accommodate my roof top tent. I came up with a drawing on Gimp with help from a side view pic of Kenny650s' tacoma since I didn't have my truck yet at the time, (hope that's ok). I added the things I want on the truck: Demello bumper, custom bed rack, Rtt, and a wind fairing to help me think it'll help with mpg. Here's the goal: This is not a truck of mine, just a photoshop image.
So first things first, this is a pic of the ad I found of the truck since I didn't take a decent pic of when I first bought it.
I guess the first mod I did was removed the checkered go fast decals. Looks much cleaner.
The start of the bed rack. Went to the local steel place to get my estimated materials. 50' of .120 wall 1 3/4" tubing and 20' of 3x3" angle steel.
First step, make the base. Cutting the angle steel in half, I measured how long the verticle portion will be and cut where the bed isn't straight with a plasma cutter.
Then marked and cut the shape of the bed rails for a clean look.
The side bed storage pockets contacted the base material just a hair, so I notched the base to clear.
The base is bolted down utilizing the torx bolts that hold the tie down rails. The rails will not be sacrificed, simply bolt them over the base.
I have a pro tools 105 bender at work and got permission to mount it on the alignment rack. Making the first bend. (Sorry, all pics taken with a pre- smartphone camera)
Being a rookie to the bender, when it came for the second bend for the front/main hoop, we bent the tube in the wrong spot. Should have inserted the tube the other way To minimize the waste of material, I decided to just cut the first bend at the half way point in the middle and simply make a duplicate bend and weld them together. My coworker brought by his TIG welder to stitch it together.
After checking the fitment and level of the main hoop, we made a plate for the legs of the hoop and welded them on. Placed it on the base and drilled holes through both the plate and base. Then welding nuts on the underside of the base to be able to quickly bolt the rack on without having to fight the base and remove the rails.