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Unread 08-21-2006, 08:43 PM   #1
CLynn85
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My custom rear storage box setup and fold down tail gate

Well after looking around and not being able to find exactly what I wanted in a commercially available setup, I decided to just build my own. ~$200 in raw materials, the latches and struts were a nice chunk of the cost. I framed it out with .60 1x1 square tube and sheeted with 18gage steel. I wanted something I could lock up the rear of the jeep with and provide some weather protection in case I got caught out with the top off, but security was the main goal. I wanted to be able to access it from the top and the rear. Originally the idea was to just build a shelf across the fender wells, then it turned into a shelf with a hinged lid, then increased clearance, and finally resulted in me building a complete box and converting the tail gate to fold down. I wanted the tail gate to drop so I'd still have a place to work/sit and so I could hang long things out the back. The box is ~36x36x16. A few design changes mid construction meant that it's not weather tight near the back except for the top edge, so I'll make some changes for a later revision.

Here's a few progress pics



Decided to have the steel sheared to my dimensions to cut down on fab time and make some nice smooth edges




I just "finished" it last week, and by finished I mean I've run out of time and had to mount it so I can load up and go back to blacksburg. It still needs another coat of paint and some little tweaks, replacing the footman loop rivets with screws, adding handles, etc.

Anyways, here it is. My swingout tire carrier was supposed to ship friday so it would've been here in time to install it before leaving but it didn't get shipped in time so right now the box is doubling as a spare tire carrier BTW I'm using a CJ swingout that I'm going to move one stud to change the bolt circle to fit and I have plates cut to go on the inside of the tub for reinforcement.



I only had time to get a quick coat of flat black on the tail gate. At least all the metal work is finished. I painted the inside of the tailgate with durabak bedliner to match the inside of the tub.



I also didn't have time to install the cable supports on the tailgate so it has to lay against the bumper when open for now.







Spare tire strapped in, elimating the ability to hinge the top open.



My plan was to be able to open the top 90% of the time I need to use it. When it's loaded down I simply will access it through the tail gate, and I wanted the tail gate to hinge down since I'm losing my flat area to work, cook, etc. And now if I want to carry something longer I can hang it out the back.

There's a few things I'd like to change. It's water tight everywhere except near the tail gate on the sides. I had made a few changes to the design mid construction that messed that up, but it's something I can address later. And of course I'll finish the tub once the swingout carrier gets here.

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Unread 08-21-2006, 08:50 PM   #2
opiv
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That is a great design. I also ike the way you modified the tailgate. Why not add a tire carrier to the top of the box for the spare instead of getting a bumper with a tire carrier?
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Unread 08-21-2006, 08:52 PM   #3
AustinJeep
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Looks great overall. I'd love to do something like that eventually.
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Unread 08-21-2006, 09:04 PM   #4
RockRunner85
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Great job!! Looks good and that CJ tailgate is nice. Only thing I'd change on the box is to have cut and weld a peice of square tub in the front of the box to support the lid when closed. Right now all the weight seems to be resting on the sheet metal where it overlaps the edge. Atleast from what I see in the pics.
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Unread 08-21-2006, 09:16 PM   #5
CLynn85
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Thanks for the compliments. Ya'll are fast lol.

opiv - I conteplated leaving the spare up there with a permanent mount but decided against it for two main reasons. First off there's not much room to be able to have clearance between the spare and the seats when open, and anything bigger than the 31 wouldn't fit hardly at all. Secondly I want to be able to stuff the back full of gear when I go camping, or have to move home from college, etc, and didn't want to give up that extra space.

Austin - Thanks, this is my first project with my new MIG, I usually do thick stuff but this was the first thing I've done that I didn't feel comfortable with an ARC welder and it turned out pretty well.

RockRunner - It's actually the oem gate that I filled all the holes, cut out the latch and plated over, installed my own latches and hinges on. The edge of the lid where it latches is actually supported by a short section of angle on the bottom, it's just not really visible in the pics. This is also what the compression latches draw down against when you latch it. The overhang is just for a seal, but as a factor of safety a short overhang on 18gage steel can carry a bit of a load itself. Keep in mind the tire's not supposed to be left up there...I hope lol.
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Last edited by CLynn85; 08-21-2006 at 09:37 PM..
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Unread 08-21-2006, 09:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CLynn85
RockRunner - It's actually the oem gate that I filled all the holes, cut out the latch and plated over, installed my own latches and hinges on. The edge of the lid where it latches is actually supported by a short section of angle on the bottom, it's just not really visible in the pics. This is also what the compression latches draw down against when you latch it. The overhang is just for a seal, but as a factory of safety a short overhang on 18gage steel can carry a bit of a load itself. Keep in mind the tire's not supposed to be left up there...I hope lol.
I meant to say CJ style tailgate. I've wanted to do something like that but my body work skills are lacking. I know you said you cut and welded plate over the old latch, what about the holes. Did you just fill them with goop of some kind and bondo over??

I've debated on building a box vs buying a tuffy one. The tuffy is 400 or so bucks. I have 3/4" plyboard covering the back right now. You said you spent around 200 or so for materials. Thats half the cost. Got to get me a MIG welder, only have access to a stick welder now, and thats probably what I'll do. I like the design of yours.
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Unread 08-21-2006, 09:51 PM   #7
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Any idea on the approximate weight of the storage box?
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Unread 08-21-2006, 10:34 PM   #8
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Looks great man, but does removing your OME spare tire carrier leave such ugly marks all the time?

I'm ordering a bumper/tire carrier combo this weekend, don't want those paint marks.
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Hack work? :rofl: You just described half the modified jeeps on this board.
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Unread 08-22-2006, 12:31 AM   #9
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Just a thought, putting the struts like how the tailglass on hardtop may be a lot more clean looking, and more storage space.
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Unread 08-22-2006, 12:48 AM   #10
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That thing looks awesome. Great job! What kind of latches did you use for the dropdown tailgate? I know it's been talked about on here before on how to do that, but I've never seen a good solution and that looks like a good one you've got there.
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I DON'T FRIGGIN' CARE!!!
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Please keep the facts to yourself; nobody here wants to hear them. This was a perfectly good internet argument until you came along with anecdotal evidence.
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Unread 08-22-2006, 12:54 AM   #11
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thats pretty slick man. i really like how the tailgate is part of the box.
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Unread 08-22-2006, 07:18 AM   #12
RockRunner85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atla
Looks great man, but does removing your OME spare tire carrier leave such ugly marks all the time?

I'm ordering a bumper/tire carrier combo this weekend, don't want those paint marks.
He changed the tailgate to a dropdown style thus he had to move the hinges. Removing the stock tire carrier just leaves a few screw holes in the tailgate.
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Unread 08-22-2006, 07:26 AM   #13
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Can you show some close up pictures of how those latches work? That looks great.
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Unread 08-22-2006, 07:33 AM   #14
CLynn85
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RockRunner - The holes still had the threaded inserts in them, so I just welded the hole up, filling it with filler material, ground it down flat with the tailgate, and spot puttied it to make a smooth finish.

Stu - Adding up the weights of the components I get ~60lbs give or take, which felt about right. I could maneuver it around myself in the shop to work on it, but it was a 2-man job to get it in the back of the truck. I'm going to add handles on the side for something to grab to in the future.

Atla - the bare metal spots you see there are from the old tail gate hinges. The spare is bolted to the gate itself, so if you get a swingout tire carrier you'll retain your stock hinges and those spots will still be covered up. I had a fair bit of corrosion right there on the body to remove, just hadn't primered over them in that pic and I'm waiting til I get the tire carrier in before I finish the body work on the tub and take care of the rust spots. Also debating on whether to use these hmmwv tails, flush mount rounds, or ORO LiteDOTs.

jzmtl - Actually I originally had a different way of mounting the struts in my mind to provide more force to help when initially opening, but I either read the part number wrong off to the lady at McMaster or she entered it wrong and I got a longer strut than I had planned. you only lose ~1" off of each side where the struts are closed, doesn't really bother me.

4xfiend - I used southco compression latches for both the lid and the tailgate. They make both locking and non-locking. I originally planned to use locking on one side and nonlocking on the other but I had a cheap source for the locking ones so I used those all around. Here's the McMaster page with them. I used the larger grip option and welded a piece of 1/4x1" steel behind the edges where the tailgate seals for something a little stronger for them to pull against. The McMaster part # for the locking ones is 1653A451. If you type in compression latches and click to the next page you'll see them there. They're designed to flush mount in a panel and come with a clamp that holds them to the panel from the backside, which is what I used on the lid. On the tailgate I just drilled a hole in the back side and used a M5 fender washer to distribute the load a little bit, seems to work pretty well.

My whole goal was to have something I could lock. If I didn't want it to be lockable I'd prolly have done something like the old CJ5 chain hooks to hold it closed and to support it when open. I still need to fit the cables to support it flat.

Marneaus - thanks
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Unread 08-22-2006, 07:37 AM   #15
CLynn85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Mean Fish
Can you show some close up pictures of how those latches work? That looks great.
I don't have any pictures of my setup, can go out and snap a few later for ya. In the meantime here's the manufacturer's page, scroll down to the bottom. I had planned to use a push-to-close style latch but liked the adjustability of these more.

http://www.southco.com/resources/documents/c2.en.pdf
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