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DIY Aluminum Bed Cover

Discussion in 'Tonneau Covers, Caps and Shells' started by dung, Dec 10, 2018.

  1. Dec 10, 2018 at 8:59 PM
    #1
    dung

    dung [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I wasn't thrilled with price of current aluminum bed covers or the lack of security with super cheap rolling/folding bed covers so I built my own.

    I started out with a sheet of 3003 aluminum that is .09" thick and 59"x61.5" The frame is made from 1.5" by 1.5" 1/8" thick aluminum angle. All told I have just over $310 in materials and a few nights of time.

    The 57" long front rail is screwed into the mount for the factory cover. The side mounts are bolted to the rails using 3/8" unistrut nuts.
    47681916_1020366011504523_65489748130697_3dda033ba0855118707289324379b3e41093c8c7.jpg

    48360205_1020365944837863_42653873666061_43f61b4295a1eb82f4501b2be1974f2bfde472e2.jpg
    I know the corners don't fit perfectly, I was trying to cover the holes in the header panel with this front edge to cut down on water intrusion.


    I cut and notched the ends of the rails to account for the kick in the bed sides.
    48361640_1020365958171195_53365855907144_9da81e59a19a9d48de24f6d53c046e337e620774.jpg

    I think the rear rail was 55.5 or 56.5 inches long and the ends were notched to allow the angles to fit tighter together. Everything is riveted together with 3/16" aluminum rivets.

    48360501_1020365974837860_27399931254255_a3b62276a813aa5ac889da76c9af45e31cd849a2.jpg
    48058891_1020365894837868_46276059933148_4cdac72a6bb0071bd1dd76d060c6de72f1705c8c.jpg

    This alloy is supposed to have good corrosion resistance. So I am going to see how long a light brushed texture will last before it goes to crap. I scuffing it deeper and clear coating it or using a self etching primer and paint it to match the body. It isn't too bright and looks better than all black to me.
    48356812_1020365911504533_58145828820221_bab7e22fb272f400588c76b1f5054ad4a2898126.jpg
     
    El Taco Blanco, Hawk45 and Jckdnls like this.
  2. Dec 10, 2018 at 9:06 PM
    #2
    El Tano

    El Tano i am the one who knocks

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    Nice work. Are you are going to install rubber seals? Can you open it and hold it open?
     
  3. Dec 10, 2018 at 9:27 PM
    #3
    dung

    dung [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I have edged it with epdm foam for now .However, it will need thicker seals at some point. I don't use my bed for many large objects so having it hinged wasn't a priority. It would just be a bit more complicated.
     
  4. Dec 12, 2018 at 11:47 AM
    #4
    OneMoreToyota

    OneMoreToyota Well-Known Member

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    Just the standard Tacomaworld mods
    Looks really good! Planning on doing something similar in the future. It's been interesting finding sheet aluminum wider than 4'. Where did you get yours?
     
  5. Dec 12, 2018 at 4:28 PM
    #5
    dung

    dung [OP] Well-Known Member

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    It came from Metal Supermarkets. There are a bunch of locations in the states, but I don't think any in Canada. They didnt have any in stock over 4', but were able to order it in the next day and didn't screw me on the price.

    A couple other places i called didnt want to even bother with me and tried to charge me an extra $150 for a thinner sheet of aluminum.

    The dealership ran my truck through their car wash and this is not waterproof to high pressure sprays! I will add a thicker epdm seal this weekend.
     
  6. Dec 13, 2018 at 1:01 PM
    #6
    Hawk45

    Hawk45 Active Member

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    Good stuff. I Like that you can always add more bracing underneath if you want to beef up the top load and shouldn't cost too much. Other options would be to put some diamond plate on top or RhinoLine or spray coat it. Well done!
     
  7. Dec 14, 2018 at 4:17 AM
    #7
    El Taco Blanco

    El Taco Blanco Well-Known Member

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    Nice work! Thanks for the write up.
     
  8. Dec 14, 2018 at 6:37 AM
    #8
    dung

    dung [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I know it doesn't sound thick, but .09" inches doesn't flex very much since it is supported at the back and front. I anticpated it being a bit floppier and have another crossmember I can run across it if needed.

    Thanks for the compliments.
     

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