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Unistrut bed rails in a 1st gen?

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by Natenite, Aug 12, 2019.

  1. Aug 12, 2019 at 11:40 AM
    #1
    Natenite

    Natenite [OP] Well-Known Member

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    i was looking at doing the unistrut bed rails that someone showed me in the tundras.com forums. Wondering if anyone has done that mod in a 1st gen? Do the small side walls at the top of the bed hold much weight? Do aftermarket attachments fit them well? Anything that slides that could hold a shovel? I’m picturing something that lets me unlatch the part closest to the bed and then slide the shovel towards me and then detach the other attachment. I think with the unistrut you have to bolt everything into the rail but thought I would ask.
     
  2. Aug 13, 2019 at 2:28 PM
    #2
    Natenite

    Natenite [OP] Well-Known Member

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  3. Aug 13, 2019 at 2:31 PM
    #3
    MikeWH

    MikeWH Well-Known Member

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    Got a link to an example? I’ve always wanted to try this, the unistrut would be a lot stronger than the bed sides, you would have to bolt them on with a large square washer behind each nut.
     
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  4. Aug 13, 2019 at 3:16 PM
    #4
    jbrandt

    jbrandt Well-Known Member

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    This, right?

    (from Tundras.com)
    [​IMG]

    Pretty sure there are people who have done similar things with their first gens.

    If you mount in that same location, you'd need to use riv-nuts, and I'm not sure how much space is between the outside and inside fender material at that location. Might not even be enough for a riv nut.

    I used riv-nuts for my highlift mounts, but those were riv-nutted quite a bit lower, then I used conventional bolts/nuts on the inside edge of the bed rail.

    Either way, I wouldn't use that to tie down anything heavy...
     
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  5. Aug 14, 2019 at 2:11 PM
    #5
    970btu

    970btu Well-Known Member

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    I mounted strut on top of my bed rails.
    Under the bed mat I some rust. I cleaned it up and coated it but it was weaker and looked bad.
    It was great having all the tie down points.
    Then I got a neeting that hooked across it and it worked great for camping trips.

    Then I was having problems with sticky fingers so I cut 3/4 plywood and slid it in the strut to make a heavy duty cover. I could set my camp right up on top of it and have gear strapped above and below.

    Now im building an offroad camper and I left it as my base.
     
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  6. Aug 14, 2019 at 2:18 PM
    #6
    970btu

    970btu Well-Known Member

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    Some will hate it but for me it's the function.

    20190706_135323.jpg
    20190706_135309.jpg
    20190706_142353.jpg
     
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  7. Aug 14, 2019 at 3:59 PM
    #7
    Natenite

    Natenite [OP] Well-Known Member

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    This is interesting. I have a camper shell
    So I can’t do it this way though. I would assume if it’s strong enough to put in the top is should be strong enough to hang on the inside just below where you did. I only want to mount stuff like a shovel and maybe a hi lift if I ever get one. Thanks for showing this!
     
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  8. Aug 14, 2019 at 5:59 PM
    #8
    Wulf

    Wulf head like a hole

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    Unistrut is plenty stout for attaching just about anything. I would expect to the weak points to be the bed rail or however it is attached to the bed rail
     
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  9. Aug 15, 2019 at 7:36 PM
    #9
    970btu

    970btu Well-Known Member

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    Wulf is right, much stronger than the bed its mounted to.
    2 most common sizes,
    1 5/8x 1 5/8 the deep or
    1 5/8 x 7/8 the shallow

    Galvanized coating or painted

    You can get it in 12 or 14 gage
    even aluminum from Granger supply.

    Lowe's and home depot carry it but is usually cheaper from an electrical supply company.

    There are a ton of mounting accessories and brackets, bolt and nut combinations for them.

    The grown up erector set.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
    Rachelsdaddy likes this.
  10. Aug 16, 2019 at 10:14 AM
    #10
    Natenite

    Natenite [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I was able to mount a bit of unistrut in the bed. Added some cone nuts and quick fists and created a sliding shovel mount. Allows me to get the shovel out without having to get into my campershell covered bed. Not perfect but I think it’s gonna work. Not bad for my first mod. Couldn’t find anything similar so I had to wing it. I’m sure there are ways to improve it but I’m not that smart.
     
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  11. Aug 16, 2019 at 10:30 AM
    #11
    ForestRunnerFrank99

    ForestRunnerFrank99 Well-Known Member

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    Here are mine:

    20190816_102517.jpg
    20190816_102501.jpg

    20190816_102447.jpg
    20190816_102506.jpg

    20190816_102451.jpg

    The mounts slide on and off and I have seen accessories for them. I wouldn't trust them for a ton of weight but they would 100% hold a shovel.
     
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  12. Aug 16, 2019 at 5:14 PM
    #12
    Rachelsdaddy

    Rachelsdaddy Well-Known Member

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    This is awesome. Great ideas. On my to do list for sure.
     
  13. Aug 16, 2019 at 7:42 PM
    #13
    Natenite

    Natenite [OP] Well-Known Member

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    B11FC084-B701-4AD6-BA2C-85FFE974646F.jpg E17E42F1-7726-4441-AEEF-2C4ABB2B5944.jpg 75829EF1-8AA2-44C7-82AF-2682D9830343.jpg
     
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