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How to attach to bed / sides

 
Old 01-11-2019, 12:02 PM
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Default How to attach to bed / sides

I have a 2017 F150 XLT FX4 Eco 3.5.

I'd like to build up a camping storage (drawers etc) system for my truck bed. Probably out of plywood (my hobby is woodworking), and maybe with some 80/20 for flexibility / experimentation.

I'm good on building my actual storage units, but am not sure about the best way to attach to the bed and bed sides. I'd like something that can readily be detached (so I can get down to the bare bed), reasonably rugged for rough roads / mild offroad, and will work with the tonneau cover closed, as well as flexible so I can change my mind about what goes where.

A) No drilling options

I think the only option for no drilling is turnbuckles or similar in the factory bed tiedowns plus machine screws into the threaded holes that the BoxLink cleats connect to?

B) Drilling options

I suppose here you would have to use rivnuts in the bed side, and in the actual bed you could use also use rivnuts or through bolts/nuts if you're willing to get under the truck (or some kind of captured nut)? I guess you could then put bolt some kind of track or extrusion to it for convenience/modifiability. Although I don't think of L-track or E-track as something you make semi-permanent attachments to, I suppose someone must have invented appropriate accessories for them.

Is there any issue with steel hardware reacting with the aluminum body? Do I need to use plastic washers or aluminum hardware or similar?

Anyway, any/all advice welcome. It's probably apparent I don't know what I'm talking about!
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Old 01-11-2019, 06:53 PM
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Look at the hardware Ford used on the Aluminum bed - it's steel bolts & screws. Paint will separate the steel from the Aluminum. If you want more separation, use UHMW tape.

IDK what you mean by 80/20. Is that foamboard? I'd use common corrugated cardboard for experimentation & patterns.

As to your design questions - that's the joy of custom-designing anything: you get to make all those choices & find out what works (or doesn't). If you come up with something good, either post the details, or market it.
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Old 01-12-2019, 11:54 AM
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I would think the weight of the setup would hold it down well enough and not need any fastening to the bed. Make it fit real tight inside the bed so it does not move around.
There are quite a few youtube videos about this which you have probably already looked at.
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Old 01-12-2019, 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve83 View Post
IDK what you mean by 80/20. Is that foamboard?
:
80/20 is a set of standardized extrusion, connections, accessories. ("The Industrial Erector Set"). https://8020.net/ It's not cheap, but it's a good way to build one-off designs in metal without having to do real fabrication.
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Old 01-13-2019, 02:56 AM
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That's a very interesting & useful system.
http://catalogs.8020.net/?bookcode=egt18flx
But their marketing is contradictory & hypocritical, and the catalog isn't very useful without pricing. The example at the front neglects design & BOM time (which could be substantial considering a 1,000-page catalog), and shipping. And it neglects to mention that common fabrication tools are FAR more useful & versatile for other uses than their tools (which seem overpriced). I can see some applications that it would be competitive & durable, but I don't think yours is one.

The pricing
on Amazon on Amazon
doesn't seem to agree with the example pricing on their website.
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Old 01-13-2019, 05:05 PM
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just ran across a rack on another post here. Leitner designs rack system. check it out. seems like it'd fit what you're looking for.
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Old 03-07-2019, 11:31 PM
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Have you considered using the bed bolts? Otherwise maybe clamp like a tonneau cover to the rails?
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Old 03-07-2019, 11:35 PM
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Also dissimilar metals WILL corrode. The steel should go first (DON'T use stainless as that's more cathodic and the aluminum will sacrifice - very expensive engineering lesson there) but if you find a good coated bolt that'll keep the rust streaks at bay.

Fastenal might have a local expert to talk to about it if you make friends with them.
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Old 03-13-2019, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by SoPoSassquatch View Post
Have you considered using the bed bolts? Otherwise maybe clamp like a tonneau cover to the rails?
Do you mean replace the bolts that attach the bed to the frame with longer bolts and use them to capture (say) a piece of plywood? I haven't, but that seems like a pretty straightforward thing to try? (How do the bolts attach to the frame, is the frame threaded?).
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Old 03-13-2019, 09:07 PM
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Bad idea, putting wood between the fasteners for major vehicle components. What happens when it swells? Or shrinks? Or rots? Or burns? Or absorbs oils or other chemicals? What about if you wreck or roll over - will the bed separate from the frame?

Read the free advice Ford publishes for 2nd-unit builders. From this page, expand BBLB, find your year, and read the first few chapters:
https://fordbbas.com/publications

Last edited by Steve83; 03-13-2019 at 09:13 PM.
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