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DIY Tailgate Storage

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016+)' started by Overland&UpMoutains, Apr 14, 2022.

  1. Apr 14, 2022 at 8:23 AM
    #1
    Overland&UpMoutains

    Overland&UpMoutains [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Exterior: -Prinsu Access Cab Rack -ARE OVERLAND Camper Shell -Rain deflectors Armor: Victory 4x4 Blitz Steel Front Bumper Victory 4x4 Strike Steel Rock Sliders Victory 4x4 Strike Steel Rear Bumper Toyota TRD Front Skid (standard) Lighting: 20” Front Bumper LED Light Bar Cab mounted LED Ditch Lights Performance: Dobson 4x4 Snorkel Overland/Camping EZ Topper Lift Elevated Sleeping Platform (removable)
    Warning this is very DIY. Not the prettiest but its cheaper than what's out there (seen some $550+ options). Also I have a horrible streak of why do it right when you can finish the project now so I often use materials I have lying around that aren't alway optimal but work. Anyway I just like trying/building stuff so here it is.

    PS I've seen @MESO post on IG stories that he is building one. From what I have seen it looks super clean and like all his stuff I am sure will be top notch. I had wanted to do this project a while back but abandon it. Big shout to him for getting my juices flowing again. For those who are DIY folk defiantly follow him for that release and send your $ that way so he keeps making awesome gear!


    Materials:
    - 1/8+ Aluminum Panel*
    -ABS Plastic
    -Foam
    -Marine Deck Hatch
    -Fasteners (Rivets or bolts)
    -Steel cable (I used a spare coated steel jump rope cable)
    -Ferrule (ring terminal ends can be used in a pinch)

    *This replaces the stock tailgate panel, I had a @AL Offroad Products Trailgate so I canabolized that. I think the @RelentlessFab is panel is even better because it wraps around. You need a good strong panel because your going to cut away the supports to open up the tailgate. If you want to stand on it you'll need a solid piece of metal. Obviously you could get raw stock and cut yourself. Since I had the pre fab item I didn't measure but I belive it is roughly 55x17 looking some stuff up online.

    Tools
    - Saw (I used Jig saw)
    - File/Deburring Tool (Optional but recommend)
    - Heat Gun
    - Tupperware container (to hold the bolts so you don't loose them)

    Safety:
    - Glasses
    - Gloves

    1) Remove the tailgate panel (t30 Torx bit), don't be a dumbass put your screws in a bowl or something

    2) Unplug the camera and unclip the wires. If your a real champ you can pull it all out the bottom of the tailgate so you know you won't cut anything. But if your like me you will just unclip and move it so you can cut around it.

    3) Mark and cut the Tailgate supports. Only cut the supports in the center, leave the edge supports. Leave a generous amount around the edges. Your tailgate
    panel still needs something to sit on.

    IMG_4797.jpg

    4) Clean out the shavings and deburr the edges.

    5) Remove the lock mechanism tie rods. To remove pull the clip back and then they should slide right out. I left the clips in, incase I need to reinstall and so I don't lose them.

    IMG_4797b.jpg

    6) Replace Tie Rod with cable. I used a spare coated steel jump rope cable I had lying around (Crossfit).
    6a Thread the cable through the lateral locking mechanisms first (its easier that way).
    6b Add a ferrule to the end of the cable to keep it from pulling through. I didn't have any actual ferrules but I used a yellow wire retinal connector and crimped it around the cable.
    6c Run the cable behind the supports along upper edge of the tailgate.
    6d thread cable through the central locking mechanism.
    6e pull tension on the cable and add another ferrule. Before you crimp it test it, unlock the tailgate and then pull the handle. Make sure you can see the lock being pulled. If nothing happened make sure the tailgate is actual unlocked, when locked the mechanism is total disengaged.
    6f Repeat on other side

    IMG_4804.jpg
    IMG_4799.jpg
    IMG_4801.jpg
    IMG_4800.jpg

    7) Protect the locking mechanism/wires. I took some ABS plastic and moldeded it with a heat runaround the locking mechanism. Then I used Sounds Deadening Mat (which has a very sticky side and a soft side) to hold it to the tailgate and form barrier between what would be the storage boxes and the lock.

    IMG_4808.jpg

    7) Create a storage box.

    Options 1: Mold ABS plastic, rivet to the tailgate (don't rivet to the outside parts). Best solution but takes a lot of patience with heat gun (more than I had) and probably some experience molding the stuff, its not the easiest.

    Option 2 build a wooden box, might loose some storage but would be solid, also be sure to add foam beneath to protect the tailgate

    Option 3 Use left over Sounds Deadening Mat (Sticky Sided Foam backing with + Foil; Noico or Kilt): So I had ABS plastic but I was having some issues and wasn't patient with the heat gun so I tried this. I lied the whole tailgate with Sounds Deadening Mat. This was kind of odd at first but turned out really well. It is soft so will protect the tailgate and the stuff inside. It is also pretty thick/has some form to it so you can actually use it to create makeshift walls. Even better I had some corrected plastic so in some places I combined them and it all worked out. Other plus is you can easily shape it s you can push it under the edges and get what would otherwise be lost space back (if you were using a hard box). Will report on the longevity of this solution.

    **Almost locked my tail gate shut. Be sure to mask any of the sticky side that isn't in direct contact with the tailgate. Some of the exposed sticky side was preventing the cable from pulling the lock, pulled the material and reapplied but covered the exposed area. Lock is working fine**

    IMG_4805.jpg

    IMG_4809.jpg

    INCOMPLETE WILL POST PICTURES WHEN I FINISH

    8) Cut the Tailgate panel. Take your deck hatch and mark the placement on the panel. Drill holes at the corners and then use a jig saw to cut the rest.
    9) Drop in your hatch and rivet/bolt to the panel. Most marine hatches have a 1" intrusion into the compartment. I am expecting to shave this down since the panel is only 1/8" thick and the tailgate empty space isn't that big to begin. Done want to loose more space than I need.
    10) Put it all together and Enjoy



    Deck Hatch:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07Q887FF9?ie=UTF8

    Tacoma Tail Gate Reinforcement Panel:
    https://www.relentlessfabrication.c...a-tail-gate-reinforcement?variant=41786897156
    https://aloffroadusa.com/products/toyota-tacoma-trailgate-panel-2nd-3rd-gen
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2022
  2. Apr 19, 2022 at 5:08 PM
    #2
    Tooshort

    Tooshort Well-Known Member

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    I'm actually really surprised this hasn't caught more attention. This looks great man
     
    Squirt and Benny blanco like this.
  3. Apr 19, 2022 at 5:11 PM
    #3
    tonered

    tonered bartheloni

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    Nice work!

    Looking forward to the finish.

    :cheers:
     
  4. Apr 19, 2022 at 5:28 PM
    #4
    Speedfreak

    Speedfreak Member in poor standing

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    In for future updates :sawzall::welder::thumbsup:
     
  5. Apr 19, 2022 at 5:35 PM
    #5
    Benny blanco

    Benny blanco Mr. Jiggletits

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  6. Apr 20, 2022 at 10:58 AM
    #6
    Overland&UpMoutains

    Overland&UpMoutains [OP] Well-Known Member

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    No time to finish the write up this moment but here are some photos of the finished product. Will get the write up done soon...ish

    Absolutely loving it. Got all my straps on the left hatch and my airhoses in the right hatch with room to spare. One drawback after finishing they aren't flat. So if you want to take this on find flush hatch if you can. These sit 0.5" off the surface which not a big deal honestly. They are big enough that I can put cups, stove, etc on them without too much worry (and they are flat themselves so still better than stock ridged panel). But in a perfect world Id prefer them to be flush.


    IMG_4849.jpg

    IMG_4852.jpg
     
  7. Apr 20, 2022 at 11:00 AM
    #7
    tonered

    tonered bartheloni

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    Very cool!

    Great effort and mod, esp considering the existing teasers out there.
     
  8. Apr 20, 2022 at 11:04 AM
    #8
    Skydvrr

    Skydvrr IG: @kalopsianick

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    Nice! Just gotta be careful raising and lowering?
     
  9. Apr 20, 2022 at 3:38 PM
    #9
    Benny blanco

    Benny blanco Mr. Jiggletits

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    Some stuff
    I would think you would want to be careful about what goes in there. Soft storage only.
     
  10. Apr 20, 2022 at 3:57 PM
    #10
    Buck Henry

    Buck Henry Well-Known Member

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    Necessity is the Mother of all invention! Pretty cool idea and decent looking outcome.
     
  11. Apr 21, 2022 at 10:23 AM
    #11
    Overland&UpMoutains

    Overland&UpMoutains [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Careful raising and lowering? How do you mean?

    Yea soft storage only at this point. Though with the foam liner in there as long as things are arranged well (not sloshing around) I actually wouldn't be to worried about them or the tailgate. They if packed tightly they won't be banging against the tailgate. I wouldn't put anything too heavy I think.
     
    Benny blanco[QUOTED] likes this.
  12. Apr 21, 2022 at 10:25 AM
    #12
    Chunk

    Chunk I smell Ice Cream!

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  13. Apr 22, 2022 at 10:57 AM
    #13
    Overland&UpMoutains

    Overland&UpMoutains [OP] Well-Known Member

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    the teasers are what got me going. I knew I wouldn’t be able to resist drop the money for it so I made it myself
     
  14. Apr 22, 2022 at 10:59 AM
    #14
    tonered

    tonered bartheloni

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    Smart man.
     
  15. Apr 22, 2022 at 2:54 PM
    #15
    Doc76251

    Doc76251 Well-Known Member

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    My initial thought is that would be the perfect place to stuff a rifle.

    Cheers,

    Doc
     
  16. Apr 24, 2022 at 12:51 AM
    #16
    L3GO_MAST3R

    L3GO_MAST3R Active Member

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    Until someone steals your tail gate and now they got a free rifle too. :infantry:
     
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  17. Apr 24, 2022 at 3:54 AM
    #17
    Overland&UpMoutains

    Overland&UpMoutains [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Couldn’t do it with the locking mechanism in the center.
     
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  18. Apr 24, 2022 at 3:23 PM
    #18
    Gametracker

    Gametracker Well-Known Member

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    Nice work. I need to do something like that.
     
  19. Oct 23, 2022 at 9:09 AM
    #19
    switch

    switch Well-Known Member

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    Nice work. Can't wait to see the finished job. Could a Hi Lift jack fit in there?
     
  20. Oct 23, 2022 at 2:18 PM
    #20
    kaptainsims

    kaptainsims Well-Known Member

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    That's really need, I did see how open it was inside, but didn't think of it! Great job op!
     

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