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DIY Tailgate Inner Panel Cover?

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by steveo27, Feb 7, 2020.

  1. Feb 7, 2020 at 10:17 PM
    #1
    steveo27

    steveo27 [OP] Ask me about my weiner

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    The same shit everyone else has.
    Hate the oem plastic panel on the tailgate.

    Don’t need a metal panel.

    Love the ideas of the Mountain Hatch replacement panel, hate the overland tax price tag.

    Sheets of HDPE are fairly cheap and easy to work with.

    Has anyone done a DIY piece similar to the Mountain Hatch piece?
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2020
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  2. Feb 8, 2020 at 1:31 AM
    #2
    fixer5000

    fixer5000 the logical one

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    find a plastic fab shop nearby and buy a leftover piece of lexan in a thickness you like.1/4 inch would do. fab it up, countersink the flathead screw holes and paint the underside if you dont like clear!! its rugged shit
     
  3. Feb 8, 2020 at 4:20 AM
    #3
    DG92071

    DG92071 Well-Known Member

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    20200203_064051.jpg
    These grey blocks are HDPE. It was a nightmare to deal with because of plastic hairs.

    Next time I make some of these blocks a water jet company is going to cut them out for me.

    But I gotta ask, why replace a hated plastic panel with a plastic panel?
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2020
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  4. Feb 8, 2020 at 8:16 AM
    #4
    4xdog

    4xdog Well-Known Member

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    I talked to a German couple at Bryce Canyon NP last September who were travelling around the world in their Hilux. They'd been through Southern Africa and were headed up the Americas having started at the tip of South America.

    The guy had outfitted his truck with a custom-made shell and fitted the interior with built-in storage and a system of South African plastic ammo boxes. He covered the tailgate and the truck bed with phenolic-faced birch plywood. This is a common material in Europe for wear surfaces -- much less so here. The link takes one to a well-known producer of this kind of plywood in Finland.
    [​IMG]

    I may bring a piece home from Europe next month, in fact, to give this a try myself...

    My pix aren't great at that detail, but they'll give a hint.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2020
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  5. Feb 8, 2020 at 8:32 AM
    #5
    steveo27

    steveo27 [OP] Ask me about my weiner

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    The same shit everyone else has.
    I want a smooth surface, but I don’t want the added weight of a metal panel like Mobtown or Relentless sells.


    Something like this is perfect


    upload_2020-2-8_11-34-5.jpg
     
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  6. Feb 8, 2020 at 9:00 AM
    #6
    FuzzysTacos

    FuzzysTacos Well-Known Member

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    Because everytime I crawl in it hurts. :rain:
     
  7. Feb 8, 2020 at 9:11 AM
    #7
    Muddinfun

    Muddinfun Well-Known Member

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    The Mountain Hatch panel is 1/2”. 1/2” HDPE weighs 2.45 lbs/ square foot. The panel size is 15”X54”. That works out to 13.8 lbs. The Relentless Fab aluminum reinforcement weighs 13lbs.
     
  8. Feb 8, 2020 at 10:18 AM
    #8
    4xdog

    4xdog Well-Known Member

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    A piece of approx 1/2" phenolic-coated birch plywood would weigh 9.4 lb (12mm thick x 8.2 kg/m2 for 15" x 54")
     
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  9. Feb 8, 2020 at 3:36 PM
    #9
    stickyTaco

    stickyTaco Fuck Cancer

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    It'll be much easier (and more budget friendly) to get the aluminum Relentless tailgate reinforcement and shed either 5lbs of body weight or ditch 5lbs of gear.
     
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  10. Feb 8, 2020 at 3:58 PM
    #10
    Bajatacoma

    Bajatacoma Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I've posted in a similar thread a while back. I wanted a flat surface for cooking, using as a workbench and because the factory piece is hell on my knees when I'm camping out of the back.

    I went the inexpensive and simple route of buying a cut off piece of HDPE from a local plastics place and screwing it to my tailgate. I wanted black but it was more expensive and I'd have had to buy a larger piece so I ended up with a white piece and just sprayed it with some of that black plastics paint that I had left over from another project, same with the screws. The paint has held up better than I expected but it's very easy to touch up if needed. I think the total cost was about $20 maybe and they were even nice enough to cut it to size for me.

    I'll try to find the picture I posted before. Found it; ignore the camping crap in the bed, it's an older picture and some thing have changed.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2020
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  11. Feb 8, 2020 at 4:26 PM
    #11
    steveo27

    steveo27 [OP] Ask me about my weiner

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    The same shit everyone else has.
    Nice. How thick is the hdpe?

    I wanna go the smooth route for the exact same reasons
     
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  12. Feb 8, 2020 at 5:13 PM
    #12
    Bajatacoma

    Bajatacoma Well-Known Member

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    Maybe 3/16" or 1/4"? I can't really remember but it doesn't really flex even withe me standing or kneeling on it. That picture is a couple of years old and it still looks about the same although I hit it with some paint again last year. It doesn't look like it from the camera angle but those screws are evenly spaced and lined up.
     
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  13. Feb 8, 2020 at 5:34 PM
    #13
    wallygatoresq

    wallygatoresq Well-Known Member

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    Here is a link to someone who did what you are looking for

    https://www.tacomaworld.com/threads...-3rd-gen-today.399305/page-6210#post-20689812
     
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  14. Feb 8, 2020 at 7:58 PM
    #14
    steveo27

    steveo27 [OP] Ask me about my weiner

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    The same shit everyone else has.
    Nice. Thanks.
     
  15. Feb 8, 2020 at 8:14 PM
    #15
    TacoTuesday1

    TacoTuesday1 Well-Known Member

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    Mobtown is heavy steel.
    Relentless is lightweight aluminum (aluminum is lighter than steel)

    How would relentless add weight if it's aluminum?



    the cost savings of that is really appealing
    $20 vs $169+ for a relentless aluminum one

    was it a simple measurement of dimensions (length, width) of the stock panel using a tape measure, and then bringing that to the plastics store for them to cut a piece?

    There appears to be half-circles cut out at the lock sections,
    maybe that could cheaply be done with an appropriately sized hole saw drill bit

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Feb 8, 2020 at 9:04 PM
    #16
    RCRcer

    RCRcer Well-Known Member

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    @steveo27 here are the measurements for a 2nd gen tailgate skin. Courtesy of another member. When you have your material of choice cut to the outer dimensions you can use your factory skin as a template. I used 1/8 aluminum plate. Any thicker around the bottom and the sides you might have problems with the tailgate closing.
    Also, you might consider installing nutzerts and using new hardware. There have been issues with the outer tailgate skin separating from the bracing on the inside. So look into some good adhesive to bond them back while you have it opened up. You will also see the crappy plastic threaded inserts that strip easily. When you take the OEM ribbed skin off you’ll see what I’m talking about.
    7D5B95BB-DFAF-443F-B6A5-9D40993895FB.jpg Not the best pic but you get the idea.1524F53C-6600-47E4-9708-5D64B10AEBC6.jpg
     
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  17. Feb 8, 2020 at 9:12 PM
    #17
    steveo27

    steveo27 [OP] Ask me about my weiner

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    The same shit everyone else has.
    Good info. Appreciate the drawing w/ dimensions.


    I’ve taken that back panel off a buncha times. Well aware of the less than stellar hardware the factory uses. Also aware of the panel bond failing. Mines been separated for the past 5 years, just haven’t fixed it yet.

    Earlier today, I popped the panel off, did my measuring and got everything figured out.

    I pulled the trigger on a piece of 1/4 HDPE. Should be here Friday.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2020
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  18. Feb 9, 2020 at 7:07 AM
    #18
    Bajatacoma

    Bajatacoma Well-Known Member

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    When I measured, I measured the inside area with the tailgate closed so that I didn't have to worry about the thickness. It's just a rectangular piece that is screwed into the factory tailgate cover and it covers between the outer raised part (ridges) of the factory cover (if that makes sense); look just under the side edges and that should help explain it. It doesn't extend out as far as the openings for the latches. If I had removed the factory piece then I would have had to make it larger obviously but all I wanted was a simple flat surface. The fancy expensive ones look nicer but it's a tailgate, I use it as a workbench. I also like that the plastic doesn't dent, I can use it as a cutting board, it's light weight and it's not as cold against the foot of my sleeping bag or when I sit on it. It's got a couple of scuff marks where you can see that it's actually white under the paint but again, it's held up well and a quick shot of paint will fix that if it starts bothering me. You can buy it in various colors, primarily black, but they're more expensive and this was more or less a scrap that the place had.

    The other reason I made it the way I did is so that I could remove it and the factory piece with the tailgate closed. Why you might ask? Because I've already had one of the cheap plastic clips that Toyota uses to hold the rods for the latches break. When it does then you have to pull the cover and then pull the rod by hand to unlatch the tailgate.

    Yep, the back is still full of junk.

    thumbnail - Copy.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2020
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  19. Feb 9, 2020 at 9:50 AM
    #19
    Islandtaco671

    Islandtaco671 Well-Known Member

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    I cut mine out of some scrap aluminum I had laying around! My garage is pretty small so this doubles as a work bench most of the time.

    CC838259-56F5-40D7-9C85-FAFF943B6EC8.jpg
     
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  20. Feb 9, 2020 at 11:45 AM
    #20
    TacoTuesday1

    TacoTuesday1 Well-Known Member

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    Is that drawing in inches?

    Not bad
    I was wondering what a good way to cut is, what's cheapest and what tool for a good straight line
    Home Depot (and probably Lowe's too) offer free cuts on their saw but it's only for wood and not metal.

    Curious to know what sources may potentially offer cheap metal like that for sale
    Home Depot I think has large sheet metal, but it might not be the right thickness, might not be large enough, and I doubt it's cheap.

    I think someone mentioned securing hardware. That might be why (Mobtown?) also sells the option of upgraded ones, called "rivnut inserts" or something. IDK too much about it.
     

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