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Home Made Diamond Plate Tonneau Cover

Discussion in 'Tonneau Covers, Caps and Shells' started by Greenblazer, Dec 27, 2008.

  1. Dec 27, 2008 at 4:55 AM
    #1
    Greenblazer

    Greenblazer [OP] Thread Killer

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    Home Made Tonneau, The Baba Booey Mod... Sirius Satellite Radio
    Edit:

    Hey Ya'll,

    If any are interested in a bed cover like this I can be hired to fabricate a custom one for you. I am pretty creative and have ideas for improvements. One improvement would be a 3 piece cover which would mean more materials costs. We could negotiate a reasonable price. I can do steel mig welding as well. Contact me through my website:

    http://www.phreakbicycles.com/Contact.html


    Hello,

    When I got my Tacoma, I searched for a tonneau cover that was in my price range, but was lockable. I didn't find any that made me happy. Ideally an electric roll up hard cover would have been nice, but the price tag for those was a bit much.

    Vinyl was considered, but since I live in an area where crime is not uncommon, I was afraid a vinyl one would get stolen.

    Since I needed to haul my dirt bike occasionally the one piece units were not a practical solution, plus they were too expensive.

    The plastic one was kinda tempting, but since it was a one piece it looked like it would be awkward to remove.

    My tonneau cover was made from a piece of aluminum diamond plate that I had cut by the place where I bought it. It lays flat on the tracks that hold the tie down cleats so it fits flush. I used aluminum angle to reinforce it and the way I designed it also ties both sections together.

    The big advantage is the fact that I can unlock & remove one or both pieces as needed, and the cover can fit in the bed. If I were to be driving along with the cover in place, and an unplanned load needs to go in the bed, I can remove the cover, and lay it in the bed(instead of on the bed) and have room for large items. If I had a one piece I would not be able to rescue my friend's broken down motorcycle, unless I planned ahead, and removed it, but mine can be removed and carried in the bed.

    The cost for materials on my locking two piece diamond plate tonneau cover was just under $400.00 NOT INCLUDING LABOR. I found plenty of vinyl covers that were more money, and there was no way to lock them.

    Here is one picture, and I will take some more pictures of the details later and post them if there is any interest.

    [​IMG]Here are more pics:
    [​IMG]

    there will be more pics later in the thread.
     
  2. Dec 27, 2008 at 5:06 AM
    #2
    rick

    rick `

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    nice job. how weatherproof is it?
     
  3. Dec 27, 2008 at 5:07 AM
    #3
    AK27

    AK27 Well-Known Member

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    dude, thats cool! i would love the details for this
     
  4. Dec 27, 2008 at 5:14 AM
    #4
    MurphMan

    MurphMan Senility Rocks!

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    Nice job!

     
  5. Dec 27, 2008 at 5:48 AM
    #5
    br217398

    br217398 Crazy Person.....

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    thats pretty darn cool!! if you could please post up some more pics, and possibly let us know how mud/water proof the thing is?????
     
  6. Dec 27, 2008 at 5:51 AM
    #6
    longbow

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    That looks neat, I do have a question, do you have any problems with water (hard, acid rain) spots on the Alum. or did you treat it with some sort of wax/polish.
     
  7. Dec 27, 2008 at 5:52 AM
    #7
    Delmarva

    Delmarva Mayor of TW

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    Nada, Zip, Zilch, Nothing
    neato burrito
     
  8. Dec 27, 2008 at 6:14 AM
    #8
    Raylo

    Raylo Well-Known Member

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    Interesting... so how do you lock the cover? Also, I bet some weather strip along the edges would make a pretty good seal. I have found online sources of aluminum diamondplate that provide several anodized colors. Not sure I could find one to match my Timberland Mica green, tho.
     
  9. Dec 27, 2008 at 6:18 AM
    #9
    ImpulseRed008

    ImpulseRed008 Gone But Not Forgotten

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    I like it!! Now where were you when I was looking for a cover??? :eek: I was thinking plywood, but it's not water friendly... Nice job. More pictures please. :D
     
  10. Dec 27, 2008 at 4:12 PM
    #10
    Greenblazer

    Greenblazer [OP] Thread Killer

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    Home Made Tonneau, The Baba Booey Mod... Sirius Satellite Radio
    More pics of home made tonneau:
    Here you can see the metal to metal seal, which means that it is not water proof. The locks are drawer locks from the local Ace hardware store.

    [​IMG]

    Pic of it locked:

    [​IMG]

    This is the front half:
    [​IMG]

    I only needed two locks per piece for a total of four locks. They are all keyed the same.
     
  11. Dec 27, 2008 at 4:14 PM
    #11
    derekabraham

    derekabraham Living vicariously through everybody

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    Nice! Very creative!
     
  12. Dec 27, 2008 at 4:24 PM
    #12
    Greenblazer

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    The front half is supported in front by the track, and the back of the front half has a piece of aluminum angle. I made hooks to tie the front(close to cab) to the rail shown here:

    [​IMG]

    The rear half of the tonneau has the aluminum angle attached so that it fits under the front piece, and the rear half has a second piece of angle that is right up against the tailgate. In the following pic the cab side is on the left. You can see the front half has a lock, and the rear half tucks under, and the front side of the rear half is held in by the locks on the front half.
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Dec 27, 2008 at 4:34 PM
    #13
    zuter

    zuter Well-Known Member

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    Damn that looks nice. Piss me off as I have a diamond plate (aluminum) that would have done perfectly like your DIY project too! But I bought an "Undercover" instead so now I'm kinda stuck with it...but I like it also so no problem.

    I think I'll hang onto the diamond plate as I may think of another project, ie: bed plate, who knows? I think you can easily make it waterproof by adding some weather stripping to where the metal meets the rack and between where the two plates fit together. It won't be perfect but it'll do a pretty good job all the same!

    Nice job!
     
  14. Dec 27, 2008 at 4:44 PM
    #14
    tacomaman06

    tacomaman06 Carolina Alliance: Enforcer

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    getting there....
    nice project/mod!! are you going to leave the diamond plate shiny, or are you going to coat it, maybe to match your truck?? and as it is now...how is the glare from the sun??
     
  15. Dec 27, 2008 at 5:01 PM
    #15
    Greenblazer

    Greenblazer [OP] Thread Killer

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    Hello,

    Here is a pic showing the tailgate end. The tailgate is right against the angle and needs to be locked to secure the cover:
    [​IMG]

    Like most security features, a determined thief would be able to break into the tonneau, but it would hopefully set off the alarm.

    In this pic you can just barely see where I had to taper the diamond plate to fit inside the rear of the bed where the space between
    the plastic bed rails gets narrower. I used a 4.5 inch angle grinder to do this. Notice the small gap that will allow water to enter.
    I could have probably done a little better there, but this was the first time trying something like this, and in person it is barely noticeable :
    [​IMG]
     
  16. Dec 27, 2008 at 5:07 PM
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    Greenblazer

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    Hello,

    I have done nothing to treat the diamond plate, and plan to leave it the way it is. I believe it has a clear anodized coating to keep it shiny. I have not had any issues with glare. As for waterproofing... I live in Aridzona, it doesn't rain enough around here to worry about it.
     
  17. Dec 27, 2008 at 5:38 PM
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    zuter

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    2nd filter, undercover, debaged, bug deflector, more to follow!
    True you don't need to worry about rain but what about dust and sand? By adding some weather stripping you'll cut down on this also.
     
  18. Dec 27, 2008 at 5:38 PM
    #18
    Evil Monkey

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    That's pretty cool. I saw a folding diamond plate cover made for the Tacoma but that thing ran about $1000. Great job.
     
  19. Dec 27, 2008 at 5:52 PM
    #19
    Fluffymonkey

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    great idea! Nice job!
     
  20. Dec 27, 2008 at 5:53 PM
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    Greenblazer

    Greenblazer [OP] Thread Killer

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    Home Made Tonneau, The Baba Booey Mod... Sirius Satellite Radio
    Did you mean this Burrito?:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Thank you! It's my art form.
     
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