Toyota Tundra Forums banner

1 - 20 of 46 Posts

·
Super Genius
Joined
·
920 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently installed a BAKFlip cover and really like it however it required the removal of the factory deck rails. I wasn't about to go without my factory deck rail system so I came up with a mod to remount the deck rails underneath the BAKFlip cover.

This same solution could be used by anyone that has a similar bed cover or that just wants to lower their deck rails for some other reason. The deck rails are just as strong as they were originally due to the strong steel brackets that I made. All the parts are available from Lowes for less than $25 total. This is ideal since it does not require any drilling or other modifications to the truck or the deck rails. Hope this info is useful to someone.

Here is a sample pic, click here to see all the photos:



Parts List (available at Lowes, see photos for more details):
  • 6 galvanized steel "L" shaped roofing brackets, $2.50 each, Part # 63048
  • 12 galvanized or stainless hex-head bolts, with 2 washers and 1 nylon lock-nut for each bolt, $3.00 for everything, Part # 61820 (bolts), 63306 (washers), 63403 (lock-nuts)
  • 1 can black textured outdoor metal spray paint, $4.50
Installation Instructions:
  1. Remove your factory deck rails and save all the bolts.
  2. Hold the roofing bracket up against the bed wall next to a deck rail bolt hole. Make sure the top edge of the bracket touches the underside of the bed lip. Mark the top edge of the deck rail bolt hole on the bracket.
  3. Measure the distance from the mark to the closest end of the roofing bracket. Measure this same distance from the top edge of the top hole in the roofing bracket towards the top end of the bracket and mark a line across the bracket.
  4. Measure 1/2" from the bottom edge of the bottom hole in the roofing bracket towards the bottom end of the bracket and mark a line across the bracket.
  5. Cut the bracket on the marked lines and hold it up against the bed wall to be sure that it fits properly. The top edge of the bracket should touch the underside of the bed lip, the top hole should line up with the deck rail bolt hole, and the bottom hole should extend over the recessed portion of the bed wall.
  6. Use the cut bracket as a template to mark lines on the remaining roofing brackets. Cut out 11 more brackets as described above.
  7. Use a grinder to smooth all edges and corners of the brackets.
  8. Wash, dry, and spray paint each bracket. It is not necessary to spray paint the back side of the brackets, only the side that will face into the bed.
  9. Mount a bracket to the front and rear of the bed wall using a deck rail bolt in the top bracket hole. Do not tighten the bolts at this time, leave them slightly loose.
  10. Insert a bolt and washer through the front and rear brackets in the bottom hole, with the bolt on the outside facing in towards the bed.
  11. Install your deck cleats to the deck rail then mount the deck rail on to the bolts sticking out from the front and rear brackets. Secure it with a nylon lock-nut on each bolt. Do not tighten the nuts at this time, leave them slightly loose.
  12. Install the 4 remaining brackets, bolts, and nuts as noted above. Do not tighten the nuts at this time, leave them slightly loose.
  13. Make sure the deck rail is level and that all brackets are straight. Slowly tighten each bolt and nut a little at a time until they are all tight. Be careful not to over-torque the deck rail bolts.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
A great idea and a simple one!
:tu:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
48 Posts
Nicely done! I wouldn't want to put a big load on it, though.

I wonder what it would take to fabricate a clamp that would attach to the rails? I know in another post someone suggested that the rails wouldn't be strong enough, but I can't see how a large force could be applied to the tonneau unless someone took a crowbar to it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
55 Posts
Nicely done! I wouldn't want to put a big load on it, though.

I wonder what it would take to fabricate a clamp that would attach to the rails? I know in another post someone suggested that the rails wouldn't be strong enough, but I can't see how a large force could be applied to the tonneau unless someone took a crowbar to it.
That is the way mine is done. It limits the travel of the cleats in the rails system, but I have no problem with that.
I used part of the clamp that came with the cover. I had posted some pictures in an earlier post. I went that route instead of using double sided tape and screws like Bak is suggesting. I want to be able to take the cover rails off if I am carrying something in the bed that could damage the cover rails if pressed up against them (not to hard to damage them).
The tape/screws is too much work to redo each time you take them off. I take 6 bolts out and the cover rails come off. the cover rails are tightly held in place this way.
 

·
Super Genius
Joined
·
920 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Nicely done! I wouldn't want to put a big load on it, though.

I wonder what it would take to fabricate a clamp that would attach to the rails? I know in another post someone suggested that the rails wouldn't be strong enough, but I can't see how a large force could be applied to the tonneau unless someone took a crowbar to it.
The brackets that I used are thick galvanized stainless steel and there are 6 of them, so even if each bracket only held 100 lbs. there would still be 600 lbs. capacity for each rail. Each cleat is only rated at 200 lbs. max and the deck rails themselves are made of very thin steel which doesn't even compare to the brackets. Plus I made the brackets stick up above the bolt holes and into the bed lip so they have more surface area to distribute the force against a large area of the bed wall.

I was worried about the overall load / strength as well until it was finished. I am 6' and 250 lbs. and I tugged on each rail and deck cleat as hard as I could. I only managed to shake the whole truck back and forth, the rails never moved a bit. I believe that very little or no strength was lost in this mod.

03HD had a clever solution as well. I considered his method since I would have been able to leave the deck rails in place, however it prohibits you from sliding the cleats back and forth along the whole length of the rail and I don't believe the clamping force is as strong with only half a clamp. He also had to drill out the bolt holes in his deck rails to lower them a bit but they are still workable.

In the end I choose the bracket method since I wanted to have full use of the rail and I didn't want the tie downs or cleats to be crowded up against the cover rails. Either solution is a good idea as long as you consider your needs and plan in advance.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
48 Posts
I was more concerned with the rail bending away from the body than the rails actually breaking off. However, I have used sections of roof straps for other applications and I have to admit they're quite stout. It's a very nice, unobtrusive solution. I'm going to give it a try once my kit comes in.
 

·
Super Genius
Joined
·
920 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I was more concerned with the rail bending away from the body than the rails actually breaking off. However, I have used sections of roof straps for other applications and I have to admit they're quite stout. It's a very nice, unobtrusive solution. I'm going to give it a try once my kit comes in.
I know what you mean. I tested the brackets in the garage by clamping one to the wooden workbench with about 1/3 of it sticking out over the edge. I then hung some weight on the end and it didn't bend, I think it was about 50-75 lbs. but I am not sure. I also kept the brackets in this same clamped position when cutting them with the jigsaw and I was leaning my whole upper body weight into the jigsaw to prevent it from jumping as I cut the metal. If the brackets can handle 50-100 lbs. of direct weight each then I am sure they will hold up fine for the deck rail usage where the force on the rails is not direct and it is spread over multiple brackets.

If you are really concerned about the brackets bending then just buy some even thicker gauge steel and drill your own holes in it. I considered this but abandon it because the heavy-gauge steel bars that Lowes sells were not galvanized or stainless, they would be much harder to cut and drill through, and they cost a good bit more. As luck would have it, the existing holes in the roofing brackets are perfectly spaced so you don't need to drill anything, you just have to cut the roofing brackets to length. You get two deck rail brackets out of each roofing bracket so that works out to only $1.25 per bracket.

Note: if you do decide to make your own brackets and you have to drill the holes yourself, then make sure to drill them bigger than needed, about 3/8" or so, to allow a little slack for minor adjustments when lining up all 6 brackets with the deck rail bolts and factory bolt holes. The odds of you cutting each bracket perfectly 12 times in a row and drilling each hole perfectly 24 times in a row are pretty slim so the larger holes allow you to compensate a little without the bolt heads or nuts slipping through. This is another reason I liked the roofing brackets - the holes were perfect from the start.

I had also thought of getting the brackets sprayed with LINE-X (my installer would do this for free) but I decided against this because it would make them thicker and I didn't want the rails sticking out from the side of the bed wall. The textured outdoor spray paint that I used is a pretty close match and it goes on pretty thin. No worry of rust since the brackets were galvanized to start.

If someone has any ideas on improving this then please share. I am happy with the way it turned out but there is always some way to make things even better. Maybe a deck rail mounted gattling gun? :devil:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
87 Posts
Yas done good, WileE!
 

·
Super Genius
Joined
·
920 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Another note on my BAKFlip install:

I purchased 2 brass resizing elbows for $2.50 each (Part # 229989) and 4’ of 1/2" clear vinyl tubing for $0.97 (Part # 22273) from Lowes. The brass elbows have a 3/4" male jag on one end and a 1/2" male jag on the other.

I trimmed a 3.5” piece off the larger vinyl drain tube that came with the cover, attached the brass elbow to it, then attached 2’ of the smaller vinyl hose to the other end of the elbow. This smaller hose was the perfect diameter to fit through the stake pocket hole which is right near the cover drain tube and the elbow will prevent the drain tube from kinking. Repeat on the other side.

When running the 1/2" tube through the stake pocket you should remove the pocket cover and make sure the tube goes through the hole in the other side of the square bracket. Then it will go straight down inside the bed wall towards the ground to drain without any issues.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
73 Posts
Wilee,
Nice job with your modification. Could we see some pictures with the Bakflip closed when you get a chance?:tu:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
416 Posts
Nice, simple fix. Was bakflip the one that was supposed to eventually have some installation hardware that used the rails? Be interested in seeing pics of that if somebody ever gets one (maybe I'll be the first!).

I guess the only "theoretical" issue would be with things like the bed divider that hang down into the bed. With the rails lowered, they may not have clearance. But that's a nit.

I'm a little dissappointed to hear about how light-duty the rails are. I was envisioning a large number of easy-to-install/remove accessories like tool boxes so forth, but it seems like these rails couldn't cut that sort of weight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
113 Posts
Wileetundra,
Great mod for the rails. Would you please post pictures of the drain tube mod for the Bakflip cover. I have one coming in a week and noticed no open holes in the bed for the tubes.
Cheers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,573 Posts
Wileetundra,
Great mod for the rails. Would you please post pictures of the drain tube mod for the Bakflip cover. I have one coming in a week and noticed no open holes in the bed for the tubes.
Cheers.
Yeah, me too. Mine is supposed to be here today.:ts:
 

·
Super Genius
Joined
·
920 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I will post more pics of the BAKflip install when I get home tonight. I was hoping to wait until after I finished my next few projects and had the truck detailed but I will go ahead and post a few of the BAKFlip cover with the truck dirty. Also, it is overcast and rainy here so the photos may not be as bright or dry as normal but I am anxious to see how the BAKFlip handles the rain now that I have the drain tubes in.
 

·
Super Genius
Joined
·
920 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
See the attached picture for a view of the BAKFlip drain tube. I used about 3.5" of the original BAKFlip hose, then a brass resizing elbow from Lowes, then a 3' length of 1/2" O.D. hose from Lowes. Note that the smaller hose is the perfect size to fit through the existing stake pocket hole in the bed so no drilling or mods were required to install the drain. I will post a picture of the hose running down through the inside of the bed wall later tonight.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
151 Posts
hey Wilee, when the Bakflip is in the up pos. as in the last photo posted. Does it rest on the back of the cab? Is it even close to where it won't bounce and hit it when driving on rough road in that position? Thanks in advance.
That was the only concern I had before I purchased one.

If you can post a pic. of how close it is would be great but not neccesary.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,573 Posts
hey Wilee, when the Bakflip is in the up pos. as in the last photo posted. Does it rest on the back of the cab? Is it even close to where it won't bounce and hit it when driving on rough road in that position? Thanks in advance.
That was the only concern I had before I purchased one.

If you can post a pic. of how close it is would be great but not neccesary.
I put mine in friday and the arms don't allow it to touch the cab. It's about 6" from it.
Oh yeah, thanks for the help and pictures wilee.:ts:
 
1 - 20 of 46 Posts
Top