New Ranger Driver

Discussion in 'Start Your Journey Here' started by k_redball92, Nov 15, 2011.

  1. msirach

    msirach Well-Known Member

    What Andrew said!

    4-8' 2x2's
    1-4x8' 1/4" plywood
    3" screws to assemble the 2x2 frame.
    tacks to nail plywood to frame

    There is enough room on the inner bed rail to fasten the frame and to have the top of the plywood flush with the top of the bed.
     
  2. Rackster

    Rackster Well-Known Member

    Good tips folks! I asked questions in another thread looking for some of this information. Glad this thread title caught my eye.

    My Ranger stats are in my signature below. I hope to break into the 30s, but driving blind I don't think it will happen without the tonneau cover or pumped up tires. I'll be trading in the all terrain tires though for a set of highway riders pretty soon, so hopefully I'll pick up an mpg or two.

    Kevin
     
  3. k_redball92

    k_redball92 Active Member

    Hey Rackster, my name's Kevin too...go figure...but yeah I was thinking about making a decent flush-mount plywood cover this weekend if I find the time. I was thinking aluminum angle iron screwed into the inside of the bed rail...and thin 1/4in plywood with a good coat of stain or some black paint mixed with polyurethane...I'm not sure if having aluminum angle iron would be quite strong enough, so I'll see how much heavier it would be to go with steel...I could weld if necessary as well...I looked into buying a cap for the back, but it's hard to find something because I have the step-side model...unless I wanted to pay 1000+..and I cant see buying a soft cover for 200 when I can make something decent for under 75...thanks for the tips guys, I'll be sure to post pics here if I get it finished!!
     
  4. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    Why use 1/4" plywood?.. its not load bearing.. use 1/8" doorskin plywood.
     
  5. Rackster

    Rackster Well-Known Member

    Hello Kevin,

    While I was reading through the arhives here, I was looking at what things could be done to make our 'bricks' a little more aerodynamic. I have the rack on the back and use it often enough were I would want to leave it on, but I was thinking along the same lines you are (to build a cover). The reason for this is that the soft tonneaus don't seem to perform as well as the hardshells. However, there is certainly more weight in the hardshell than the soft cover. Given my situation with the truckbed rack, I'd have to do something custom. Herm makes a good point in that if you don't plan to place any significant load on it, then you can opt for a nice thin (and lighter) skin. When working for Thule many years ago, we developed a set of adjustable aluminum bed mounts that are lightweight and when anchored, pretty solidly fixed to the inside bedrail and able to support two bikes in your bed, or for me, a small rooftop box. I have a pair kicking around the garage, so I may fabricate the cover and attach it with a few u-bolts. The thing of it is this: you need to be savvy about the local laws regarding fabrications of this sort. The last thing you want is to have the 'bed cover' take flight and land on the guy behind you. The key is in the mounting of the cover. When at Thule, we examined dozens and dozens of mounting solutions and many of them, even OEM versions, were incredibly under engineered. When creating your solution, be sure it's a safe one.

    Let us know how you make out.

    Regards,

    Kevin
     
  6. k_redball92

    k_redball92 Active Member

    Hey guys...I finished the cover today, but I did it before I read some of the tips you guys had...I did end up using 1/2inch plywood(mostly cuz I had the sheet lying around so I didnt have to buy it) and I know it's a little heavy, but I figure with the stepside bed, it's only 72x46..and we frequently get FEET of snow, so I wanted something a little less flexible.also, I used alumminum angle iron which is very light. The cover is hinged by a THICK piece of rubber that is bolted on the front bedrail of the truck, and then bolted to the plywood itself, so it is very secure. It will also have two padlocks on the back. The way I designed it, the cover has to be lifted a little before the tailgate will open. This way, I can lock things in the bed of the truck without worrying about theft. I know it's a little heavy, but I am very satisifed with how it looks, and the fact that it completely secures everything inside the bed.


    Here are a few pics (I didnt want to lift it up, cuz the paint was still wet)


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. msirach

    msirach Well-Known Member

    Glad that you used Aluminum Instead of steel. Good choice on the free 1/2". That's a better choice for load and weather degradation. Good job!
     
  8. Rackster

    Rackster Well-Known Member

    Ambitious

    No moss growing on your wheels!! Now the tests/studies begin!! I'm looking forward to your feedback as to how it performs.

    Kevin
     
  9. any pics of the 'frame' underneath?
     
  10. FXSTi

    FXSTi Well-Known Member

    A friend of mine built a bed cover for his Ranger years ago. He covered the top with vinyl left over from when he redid his boat. It looked pretty sharp.

    Kirk
     
  11. k_redball92

    k_redball92 Active Member

    yes!! the test/studies should begin Monday morning when I drive back to school..so I should have some rough results Monday night. And sorry for not having any frame pictures, but like I said the paint was wet and I didn't wanna open it and let the paint run...I will post some pictures of the frame later today. FXSTi, the vinyl sounds like a pretty good idea. What I like about how I designed mine,, is I can change the plywood out anytime id like. Later on, I might even invest in a sheet of cloroplast. that would be SUPER light, without giving up too much strength.
     
  12. Thanks. Did find a couple hard covers on CL around here, but chances of them being for an 88 are slim.
     
  13. Rackster

    Rackster Well-Known Member

    When I was doing the walk thru to buy my home, I thought it odd that there were two sets of sliding glass doors, one in side the other, both inside the basement. Behind the last slider was a raised area with a vinyl cover. I commented on this being odd, but the home inspector knew the family that lived there before me. The encased rooms, one within the other, were for his exotic pets and reptiles. The reptile room had the raised viny topped area; he used the vinyl to keep 'moisture' from seeping into the materials. The kid did a nice job of it as the raised flooring looked very professional. It was the first thought that ran through my mind on a low cost, custom built cover. Good enough for keeping water out on a boat (or exotic pet/snake 'moisture'), should be pretty slick for keeping wind, snow, sleet and rain out of the bed.

    Kevin
     
  14. k_redball92

    k_redball92 Active Member

    Here are the pictures of the inside.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  15. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    Very impressive!.. looking forward to your reports.
     
  16. FSUspectra

    FSUspectra Practicing true conservatism!

    Looks excellent! Can't wait to see some results! :)
     
  17. FXSTi

    FXSTi Well-Known Member

    That doesn't look like plywood, it looks like OSB. Maybe the paint will be okay, but you really night want to wrap that in something, it tends to swell when it gets wet.

    Kirk
     
  18. k_redball92

    k_redball92 Active Member

    FXSTi - Yes it is OSB, but I painted it with a polyurethane stain mixed with rust-oleum oil based paint, and it took a solid two coats. If moisture ever does cause a problem, I can always switch out for another material in under an hour

    I did do some driving yesterday, but I haven't had the chance to fill back up and see MPG difference, but it made a HUGE difference in the way the truck drives. Having that little bit of extra weight from the cover and from the cargo I strapped in over the wheels that used to be behind my seat, made the ride ALOT smoother. Also, there is no wind swirling noise that I used to hear before at higher speeds. Also, I noticed a difference in the RPMs. It seems that they are quite a bit less than what they used to be. I'm talking maybe a 100 RPM difference. Not much, but I knew where it ran before, and this time it was slightly less. I'm going on a 160 mile round trip tonight, and I should be able to get some numbers.
     
  19. Nice.......
     
  20. FSUspectra

    FSUspectra Practicing true conservatism!

    Sounds promising! ;) :thumbs_up:
     

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