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(Write-Up) Tool Box Mounting Using J-Hooks

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Old 04-24-2011, 07:40 PM   #1
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(Write-Up) Tool Box Mounting Using J-Hooks

Back Story- Went to Lowes to pick-up a slim low-profile Kobalt toolbox on Friday. The only one they had in stock didn't have the keys (it was a return). Needless to say I was pretty bummed. After trips to Home Depot, Sears, and Tractor Supply, I still didn't have a box that would fit my truck. I went back to Lowes on a whim, and someone had returned the non-slim version of the same box in the few hours I had left. It had the keys (but didn't have the foam pads), and I got a $50 discount! I think I'll be happier with the non-slim version anyway to be honest.

Iíve been wanting to do my first write-up (so be gentle) for a long time. I spent about two hours reading about how to mount the toolbox with j-hooks on TW before it was clear to me how it would work. Wanted to save someone else the time. Sorry about the crappy cellphone pics!



Step 0- Tools needed- I used the following- Cordless Drill with 3/8 inch bit, Adjustable Wrench (would be much easier with an open-end wrench), ľ x 4 inch J-Hooks with nuts, tape measurer, and pen (sharpie would work much better). Not Pictured items used in steps 8/9- Washers, 3/8 x 5 inch J-Hooks. You may also want to use some foam or rubber padding between the box and the truck. Place this before doing ANY OF THE OTHER STEPS!





Step 1- Place Box onto truck bed as close to the cab as possible, and even with regards to its horizontal alignment. Mine looked about like this on each side-





Step 2- Find j-hook points for mounting below the rail system. They look like this-





Step 3- Mark how far the box extends from the end of the cab (box width) on the rail system-





Step 4- Measure the distance from the end of the box (now marked on the rails) to the middle of the j-hook point you intend to use. You will probably have to move the toolbox out of the way to do this. This is the horizontal measurement for the hole you will be drilling. My measurement was 4 inches-





Step 5- Reposition the toolbox exactly as before if you moved it in the last step. Now, mark the box at the point the bottom rail would hit the box if it were to extend all the way to the box (I marked right above where I am holding the tape measurer). Next measure from the top of the box (while its open) to this line (not pictured). This is your vertical measurement for your hole. Mine was 3 and ĺ inches.





Step 6- Open the toolbox and using your measurements identify where you will need to drill your hole. Mark that spot. Due to the thickness of the box and the j-hook (which my measurements did not take into account), you will probably want to drill your hole on the upper left corner of your marked spot. Drill a hole using your 3/8 drill bit (not pictured).





Step 7- Run hooks through j-hook points (hook part facing down) and then into your freshly drilled holes. Should look like this-


Step 8- Bolt down the J-hook to the box. When you do this, hand tighten each side, and then go back and wrench down each side. If you donít do it this way, you will end up pulling the box to one side as you wrench it down. This is what each side should look like after you are finished -



Step 9- For added vertical stability! (Thanks buddywh1 for the help!) Mount j-hooks into box vertically and secure into j-hook point closest to the cab. Tighten down. You may have to drill for this step if your box doesn't have slots like the Kobalt boxes.







Here is the final result-




Feel free to ask any questions, and give me pointers on the write-up!
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Old 04-24-2011, 07:46 PM   #2
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Great write-up OP...simple enough even a caveman could do it!
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Old 04-24-2011, 10:26 PM   #3
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dose ur box stay real secure like that , the way its mounted?
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Old 04-25-2011, 05:47 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tacomatrd2010 View Post
dose ur box stay real secure like that , the way its mounted?
Secure enough that it isn't going to get stolen and/or slide around/fly off the truck when driving. If you put a lot of force on it it will "wiggle" a half centimeter or so in each direction.

The more you tighten down the nuts, the more secure it will be. Also, I only am using two j-hooks right now. Using 4 would make it more secure.
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Old 04-25-2011, 06:09 AM   #5
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Nice mount. That looks to be another good way to do it. When I mounted mine, I simply sacrificed two of the factory bed cleats. I just dremmeled off half the rounded plastic, then put them underneath where the mounting holes for the box are. The two holes in the bed cleats line up perfectly with the box! So then it was just a few bolts/washers from lowes, and mine is super secure.
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Old 04-25-2011, 06:24 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jking3002 View Post
Secure enough that it isn't going to get stolen and/or slide around/fly off the truck when driving. If you put a lot of force on it it will "wiggle" a half centimeter or so in each direction.

The more you tighten down the nuts, the more secure it will be. Also, I only am using two j-hooks right now. Using 4 would make it more secure.
I'd be concerned that wiggling will turn out to be a problem as years of vibration and movement wears at the plastic edging on the bed. Also, can't see putting 4 J-hooks would help much since even two could probably pull the rails off if tightened enough; and the tool box will still slide forward and back that 1/2 cm or so. Finally, going over a bump at speed that box will fly up about 1/2" or so since there's nothing holding it down! Relative movement of parts is always your enemy!

I'd prefer to go down from the top surface of the inner 'floor' wall of the box, using the J hooks to pull up on the bottom of the rail and 'squeezing' on the bed edge. Put a friction pad (some kind of moderate-durometer rubber sheeting, maybe 1/4" thick) between the tool box and the bed rails to squeeze on and it won't go anywhere even if you use only moderate torque on the bolts.

I hope this works out for ya, but I'd definitely do it different! The good thing is: the two hooks you put in do a good job of locating the box against left-right movement, so use the other two hooks as I described above and you'll be good to go. Don't forget the friction pad to control front to back movement.
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Old 04-25-2011, 08:29 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buddywh1 View Post
I'd be concerned that wiggling will turn out to be a problem as years of vibration and movement wears at the plastic edging on the bed. Also, can't see putting 4 J-hooks would help much since even two could probably pull the rails off if tightened enough; and the tool box will still slide forward and back that 1/2 cm or so. Finally, going over a bump at speed that box will fly up about 1/2" or so since there's nothing holding it down! Relative movement of parts is always your enemy!

I'd prefer to go down from the top surface of the inner 'floor' wall of the box, using the J hooks to pull up on the bottom of the rail and 'squeezing' on the bed edge. Put a friction pad (some kind of moderate-durometer rubber sheeting, maybe 1/4" thick) between the tool box and the bed rails to squeeze on and it won't go anywhere even if you use only moderate torque on the bolts.

I hope this works out for ya, but I'd definitely do it different! The good thing is: the two hooks you put in do a good job of locating the box against left-right movement, so use the other two hooks as I described above and you'll be good to go. Don't forget the friction pad to control front to back movement.
I know exactly what you mean! Here are my ideas to combat these problems-

I'm not worried too much about friction. However, I could see it being an issue after years of movement. I will be adding some type of friction control later (rubber/carpet/foam), and may add it to the write-up. Any ideas on how to secure it? Maybe secure it to the BOX via 3M tape? I do not want to do anything to the truck that isn't reversible.

Vertical (Y-axis) Movement Control- The only part of the box that moves right now on bumps is the part nearest the cab, as there are no j-hooks installed there. It is only moving on very hard bumps and is moving 1/2 CM or less. Adding two more hooks in the manner I describe in the write-up should stop this. The reason is the same as the reason that the front part of the box isn't currently moving vertically over bumps. If you are pulling something strongly in one direction(which the j-hooks are doing by pulling both ends of the box towards the center of the box) it is pretty hard to move it in another direction. It takes much more force then a speed bump would cause. I am not AT ALL concerned about torquing down the j-hooks enough to rip the bed rail down. It is riveted into the bed at multiple points via metal rivets. It would take probably a few hundred pounds of pressure to do this. Much more than I can hand torque anyway! Your way of using the j-hooks would work to control vertical movement probably better though.

Z-axis Movement Control- For daily driving I snug my cleats against the box to prevent movement forward and backward (although even without them you'd have to have something putting a good amount of pressure on the box to cause that movement and it would at max be 1 cm in each direction). If I need the cleats, they are still there, can be moved, and the box will stay secure enough without them to use them for whatever trip I need them on. You're right though, adding friction control *SHOULD* negate any damage that could be caused by this.
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Old 04-25-2011, 01:03 PM   #8
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Just cut a pad out of rubber sheet the same size/shape as the area of the bed rail covered by the tool box and use the second 2 j-hooks as described. Don't worry about adhesive... the new j-hooks should hold the tool box down tight against the rubber pads and they won't go anywhere.

Hook the j-hook under the top lip of the cargo rail. No drilling or mods of the truck will be necessary!

In 10 years when you take off the old box you'll have nice black, unmarred bed rail that was protected by the pads. But it will look strange next to the beat up, weathered uncovered parts .
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Old 04-25-2011, 03:30 PM   #9
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The box should have came with foam adhesive pads to protect the bed....i have the same box and mine were included.
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Old 04-25-2011, 04:08 PM   #10
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^ Bought it opened for 50 bucks less than new. Also, pics coming to write-up showing how to ensure vertical stability without any drilling. Thanks for all the help guys! I've never done anything like this before so I'm learning.
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Old 05-18-2011, 10:39 AM   #11
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hey man u did a better job than me, i got in a hurry and drilled my holes way off.. no one can see it but.. sucks anyway...
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Old 05-18-2011, 04:10 PM   #12
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^ That box looks awesome. What is it?
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Old 05-18-2011, 04:54 PM   #13
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Great write up! I did mine a little different. I found 4 J hooks, that are bent at about a 45 degree angle away from the bottom of the "J". I put the toolbox in the truck bed, hooked the hooks into the bedrail tracks through the slots inside the toolbox, and secured it tight with nuts and washers. One J hook setup per slot. I've had it a week and it won't budge AT ALL.

After the pain in the a** to find those j hooks, I came home to see a kit on Better Built's website specifically for our trucks. Ugh. Still saved a few bucks doing it my way though. lol.
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Old 05-19-2011, 11:40 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jking3002 View Post
^ That box looks awesome. What is it?
its a trail fx... i went to order a uws at a local truck shop and this is what i got, guy said its a 110% the same box as uws but with a different sticker on it...?
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Old 05-21-2011, 05:39 AM   #15
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I see. Well I don't know if it's made in the same factory or anything, but it could be the same size/quality I'm sure. It looks good, and as long as you're happy with it, good on ya.
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Old 05-22-2011, 11:20 PM   #16
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Nice Job on the how to. I used the rail in the back of the bed and cut rectangles of aluminium and drilled holes and slid carrige bolts into them (you have to square the holes). They slide into the cleat rails and you can drill holes in the back of the box for them to fit into. holds it nice and tight to the back of the bed.
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Old 03-20-2012, 05:43 PM   #17
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With two J hooks only it had some play but with one at front and one near back on each side it is very secure. Hopefully the rail will hold out.
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:42 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J Gibson View Post
Check out this hardware for mounting tool box to our rail system.
http://www.dawsbetterbuilt.com/index...d=422&parent=1

These don't work well with the UWS box. Interference with a lip inside the box, no room for washers and the bolts are at a slight angle. When I get some free time I'm ditching these and using the supplied J-hooks. After I patch the big ol' holes I drilled for these contraptions.
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Old 05-21-2013, 01:08 AM   #20
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Tool boxes

I'm looking to get tool box for my double cab and thank those who have posted before.If you guys ever get a chance to buy a box with no keys such as was mentioned please keep in mind a locksmith can make a set of keys for under $20.00 usually if you can get it to their shop. Remember to beat them up on the price of the box first. I'm a locksmith and we do this all the time for our customers
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