The next improvement was to do something with the back seat. Since this truck will be mostly for my wife and I and the dog when were camping or traveling, the back seat will be his area. Though I really liked a lot of the threads on removing the back seats completely I still wanted the ability to seat people back there in a pinch.
Here are the materials I purchased:
2 - 1/2 plywood 2' x 4' : $9.50 each
1 - 8' 2" x 3" : $3.25
Set of 2 4" hinges : $3.00
2 Sterling storage bins 16.25" x 21" x 6" : $6.50 each
2' x 5' piece of carpeting with rubber backing (waterproofing) : $11.00
Not very expensive and I think it adds more surface and storage for us and the dog.
The rough dimensions of the platform are:
Height 6" off the folded down seats.
I wanted to give the most surface area but still allow for full use of the front seats, not too much height so the dog could get in and out, and be able to fold each side up to access all the storage underneath once filled.
One thing I did not add to the materials was that I had purchased 2 8' sections of 1" x 2" with the idea of framing the bottom of the boards so the storage bins wouldn't slid around, I have not done it yet and I might not because for now I can pull the bins out with the platform in place. I kind of like that for now.
We started by temporarily mounting the hinges to both pieces of plywood and measuring out how much wood we had to cut taking in account the approximate 1/4" the hinge took up.
We cut the two pieces as a 27" and 27 1/4" piece, which gave us a little wiggle room for the carpet.
A big challenge with making the platform hinged and able to lift is that it has to clear the lip on the back of the seat. This lip is about 1 1/2" so there is a gap between the back of the platform and the back of the truck.
The next challenge was in order to get the maximum surface area we had to cut notches from each wing where the center cup console cup holders are. This wasnt too hard with a skill saw and making rough marks where we needed to clear it. If you do this, remember that not only does it need to fit when its flat but you need extra room when lifting the wing so that it will go all the way to vertical.
Once the top was cut out and fit properly on top of the storage bins we added leg supports.
To keep the platform from moving the rear legs were mounted to sit tightly behind the hooks for the bottom seat cushions. This keeps the whole thing from sliding forward. The front outer legs were mounted in off the corners enough that they sit between the seat cushion and the support bars that are mounted on the cushions, this holds everthing tight and doesn't allow for much wiggle room.
Since the platform is hinged we then added supports on the front and back where the hinges were. The rear was no problem. However the front needed a little help in order for the legs to support the weight and still be short enough to clear the cushions when lifting the wing. a 4"x4" block did the trick and actually sits flush with the seat cushions on the drive shaft hump.
All of the mounting was done trial and error in the truck to get a tight fit, luckily we were able to make it work or at least take the screws out and try again a different way.
After it was all mounted we took the whole platform out (which can be done by one person when you fold it up). We used a industrial staple gun to mount the black carpet to it. Because of the right fit to the back of the truck we didnt wrap the edges there. Only on the front and sides (we also couldn't wrap the carpet at the cup holders because of how close we were to rubbing).
Hope you like it.