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DIY – Tonneau Cover Front Edge Gap/Leak Fix (Cheap & Easy)

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Old 02-15-2013, 08:22 PM   #1
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DIY – Tonneau Cover Front Edge Gap/Leak Fix (Cheap & Easy)

I began installing a new TonnoPro Tri-Fold today for my 2010 model. Upon setting the cover on top of the bed to square it up for installation, to my dismay, I observed a 5/8” open gap between the top of the front bed rail and the bottom edge of the tonneau cover. This would never do… I bought a tonneau cover specifically to keep stuff dry in the bed!!!




As most of you may know, there is a differential in the height of the side and front bed rails on a Tacoma, the front being somewhat lower than the adjoining side rails (see photo). Duh! You’d think that the folks that manufacture these covers would notice and adjust their design accordingly to keep the water out. As much as they charge for them, we deserve better!




I don’t believe this issue is specific to TonnoPro, since I’ve observed similar complaints from others in the TW forums using different brands of tonneau covers.

Consequently, I began searching for some type of weather seal or methodology to seal the gap between the bottom edge of the tonneau cover and the top edge of the front bed rail. I couldn’t find anything adequate at any of the local auto parts stores, so I took a look at what Lowe’s had to offer. It was pretty slim pickings there until I happened upon their water pipe insulation. They had two types: One was made of polyethylene and the other of rubber. Both were pre-slit and self-sealing. I opted for the ½” pipe rubber version, since it is more compliant for sealing and is more durable (see photos). It comes in a 6’ length and sells for $4.98.







I proceeded to remove the front cargo utility track that holds cargo tie-down cleats (see photo). I then attached one edge of the self-sealing pipe insulation to the back of the utility track, with the intent being to clamp the edge of the insulation between the utility track and the front of the bed that it bolts to (see photos). The self-sticking inside edge of the insulation made it easy to attach one edge only to the back of the utility track.

Note: It is not necessary to remove the protective plastic tape covering the self-sealing edge on the opposite side of the insulation, just leave it on.

Note: For those of you who may have more forward fitting tonneaus, you may want to stick the pipe insulation to the rear surface of the front bed rail instead of the back of the utility rack. This moves the pipe insulation about an inch more forward. Check the position of the front seal on your tonneau to see if it lines-up better relative to the top of the utility rack or the top of the front bed rail.












I then bolted the utility track back onto the front of the bed leaving some extra insulation protruding from each end for final trimming (see photo).




Using a razor blade, I trimmed the ends of the insulation on an angle to match the slanted taper of the side rails (see photo).




As you can see, after clamping down the tonneau cover there is no longer any trace of a gap to allow the ingress of water.







After finishing, I took my Tacoma to a car wash and subjected the front edge to prolonged spraying with a hand held nozzle. Not one drop of water entered the bed!

I hope that this tip will be beneficial to others.

.


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DIY – Tonneau Cover Front Edge Gap/Leak Fix (Cheap & Easy)-100_7455.jpg   DIY – Tonneau Cover Front Edge Gap/Leak Fix (Cheap & Easy)-100_7452.jpg   DIY – Tonneau Cover Front Edge Gap/Leak Fix (Cheap & Easy)-100_7456.jpg   DIY – Tonneau Cover Front Edge Gap/Leak Fix (Cheap & Easy)-100_7457.jpg   DIY – Tonneau Cover Front Edge Gap/Leak Fix (Cheap & Easy)-100_7458.jpg  

DIY – Tonneau Cover Front Edge Gap/Leak Fix (Cheap & Easy)-100_7460.jpg   DIY – Tonneau Cover Front Edge Gap/Leak Fix (Cheap & Easy)-100_7461.jpg   DIY – Tonneau Cover Front Edge Gap/Leak Fix (Cheap & Easy)-100_7462.jpg   DIY – Tonneau Cover Front Edge Gap/Leak Fix (Cheap & Easy)-100_7463.jpg   DIY – Tonneau Cover Front Edge Gap/Leak Fix (Cheap & Easy)-100_7469.jpg  

DIY – Tonneau Cover Front Edge Gap/Leak Fix (Cheap & Easy)-100_7472.jpg   DIY – Tonneau Cover Front Edge Gap/Leak Fix (Cheap & Easy)-100_7476.jpg  
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:06 PM   #2
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your pictures don't work, I'm looking forward to this cause mine leaks bigtime
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Old 02-16-2013, 12:37 AM   #3
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Yeah, no pics!
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:13 AM   #6
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You're good now, thanks for the tip.
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Old 02-16-2013, 09:44 AM   #7
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Thanks for this posting. I know that I have a problem with my G-4 elite in respect to the gap also. Can't believe how many manufactures don't account for the difference in height.

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Old 02-16-2013, 12:24 PM   #8
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Good idea for the front gap by having the rail clamp it in place. Sadly if you get a camper shell you'll have to do this to because they companies still don't compensate for this. I picked up a 3 year old Century cap 2 weeks ago and when swapping the cap from trucks the foam piece the other guy used broke in many pieces. This will help a lot and is cheap.
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Old 02-16-2013, 04:07 PM   #9
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I have a new Tonnopro as well and I used a tailgate seal to take up the space in the front, it's not as high so I really have to crank the cover down to seal it. I like your idea much better does the TP seal sit on top of the the pipe insulation or does it sit in front of it? Definitely going to do this since I don't like the idea of cranking down the cover thanks.
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Old 02-16-2013, 04:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerryjc View Post
I have a new Tonnopro as well and I used a tailgate seal to take up the space in the front, it's not as high so I really have to crank the cover down to seal it. I like your idea much better does the TP seal sit on top of the the pipe insulation or does it sit in front of it? Definitely going to do this since I don't like the idea of cranking down the cover thanks.
The front seal of the TonnoPro sits on top of the pipe insulation strip and compresses it about 1/2 an inch without having to over tighten the front tonneau clamps.

"Note: For those of you who may have more forward fitting tonneaus, you may want to stick the pipe insulation to the rear surface of the front bed rail instead of the back of the utility rack. This moves the pipe insulation about an inch more forward. Check the position of the front seal on your tonneau to see if it lines-up better relative to the top of the utility rack or the top of the front bed rail."


.
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:17 AM   #12
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Quick question OP. When you re-attach the utility track, do the hex bolts go through the rubber insulation or below it? also does the utility track no longer sit flush or is it positioned at an odd angle? i am going to do this mod this weekend after just picking up a Tonnopro tri-fold on CL. thanks!
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:55 AM   #13
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Might give this a try with my G4 Elite. Not sure if it'll work exactly the same since the G4 opens on both ends, so it might interfere with the latching mechanisms. Worth 5 bucks to find out. Don't you have the same problem on the tailgate end?
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Old 03-13-2013, 02:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by belone12 View Post
Quick question OP. When you re-attach the utility track, do the hex bolts go through the rubber insulation or below it? also does the utility track no longer sit flush or is it positioned at an odd angle? i am going to do this mod this weekend after just picking up a Tonnopro tri-fold on CL. thanks!
The bolts go just below the rubber insulation and the utility track remains flush and fully functional, since the rubber is 99% compressed.

Good luck and let us know how it works out for you!
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Old 03-13-2013, 02:17 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjboucher View Post
Might give this a try with my G4 Elite. Not sure if it'll work exactly the same since the G4 opens on both ends, so it might interfere with the latching mechanisms. Worth 5 bucks to find out. Don't you have the same problem on the tailgate end?
On my tailgate end the seal that came attached to the TonnoPro seals well across the tailgate, except for a slight gap between where the tailgate rail meets the side rails. I used some of the tailgate sealant tape that came with the cover to minimize the gap, but there still remains about a 1/4" opening on each side.
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Old 03-14-2013, 12:06 PM   #16
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I threw one on this afternoon. Was easy to do, seems to work well. I think I may re-do it and reverse the direction of the rubber (stick it to the bed instead of the track) because the G4 has a latching mechanism on that end and it's hitting too much of the rubber seal, compressing it too much and breaking the seal a little. If
I turn it around and the seal sits a little closer to the cab, i don't think it will hit it as much. Still better than the crappy seal the G4 came with though.
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Old 03-14-2013, 12:57 PM   #17
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I like it! This is awesome! i have had a leak in mine for a while just lived with it well this is coming to an halt asap haha thanx OP for great idea rep to you!
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:43 AM   #18
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I did it yesterday. I went to Home Depot and picked this up for $5.25:
http://www.homedepot.com/p/Armacell-...5812/100550644

Then went ahead with the quick install.



I didn't have time to test it with water but looks like it will do the trick. With out the Tonneau on, the look of it will bother me but couldn't find one without the adhesive and didn't want to leave the plastic adhesive cover on it. Anyway, happy to have the tonneau, hope this keeps the water oout, and I like the total finished look.

Thanks a lot for the tip OP!!!!
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Old 03-21-2013, 09:05 AM   #19
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My Truxedo LoPro came with a bulkhead seal. Just a piece of foam with 3m tape on one side to bridge the gap. I'm looking now to see if it is available for individual purchase. But nice work OP on the DIY fix.

Edit: Truxedo has a part number for it but getting a replacment part from them requires contacting them via a form or over the phone. If anyone cares, here is the part number and source:
Weather seal
1703331

http://www.truxedo.com/pdf/1115952%2...oma%202005.pdf
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Old 03-29-2013, 12:33 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROGU3 PR3DATOR View Post
My Truxedo LoPro came with a bulkhead seal. Just a piece of foam with 3m tape on one side to bridge the gap. I'm looking now to see if it is available for individual purchase. But nice work OP on the DIY fix.

Edit: Truxedo has a part number for it but getting a replacment part from them requires contacting them via a form or over the phone. If anyone cares, here is the part number and source:
Weather seal
1703331

http://www.truxedo.com/pdf/1115952%2...oma%202005.pdf
Yeah, my TruXport came with that. Pretty dumb for these companies to not compensate for that gap. Almost negates the purpose of getting a cover for most. I know that's why I got mine, to keep things dry when I wanted too.

Anyway OP, great write up and idea using the pipe insulation. +1
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