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Bed accessory rails

Discussion in '1st Gen Tundras (2000-2006)' started by NomadicFrog, May 12, 2018.

  1. May 12, 2018 at 8:12 PM
    #1
    NomadicFrog

    NomadicFrog [OP] New Member

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    Gaffer tape over door lock/unlock beeper.
    Among the many things I'm trying to learn about and figure out is the accessory rail situation for my 2003 Tundra Access Cab. I've searched the forums, the google more broadly, watched videos, and have read the very cool Cheaper Than OEM thread about four times, and what I see on my truck doesn't seem to match what I read online.

    I very much like the idea of DIY with the unistrut stuff, but I can't find any suitable threaded holes / captured nuts to which to anchor it.

    Here's what I think I should see (from a video I found online):

    bed_rail_mounting_highlighted.jpg

    Here is my truck:

    IMG_9769.jpg

    And no, as best I can tell neither those plastic caps nor the tonneau cover system cover up the M6-1 threaded holes I've read so much about.

    I got my phone back behind those covers and stuff, and this is what's back there:

    IMG_9768.jpg

    My bed side seems to be more recessed - and simple - than other things I've seen, which include the threaded mounting point. I did find one guy that, I think, mounted the unistrut from it's top, to two of the holes in the above photo, but that seemed dodgy?

    I can't even seem to find Toyota brand rails... at least when I search for them I get more cosmetic things that rise up above the bed side.

    Related side-note: Are the tonneau rails (visible in the second photo) suitable as similar accessory rails?? It's an ARE hard tonneau cover. I doubt they are the same size, so I'm not sure t-nuts and unistrut nuts and all will fit. And anyhow that will hopefully soon be moot because...

    Not so related side-note: I'd like to sell or trade that tonneau cover for a shell, but I can't post in the buy/sell section until I've been here 30 days or have made 50 posts or something like that. I understand keeping out the riff-raff, but good grief, when in the life-cycle of vehicle ownership is one more likely or more eager to BUY STUFF than when it's new and exciting?
     
    Sunnier likes this.
  2. May 13, 2018 at 9:28 AM
    #2
    Sunnier

    Sunnier Agrees your truck is the second best colour

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    If I get a winch on my 2WD, can I overland with the BASTRDs and SGU?!
    Good morning, Mark; welcome from SoCal! Have you already tried to search for 'bed rails for 1st gen Tundra', or similar wording? And checked out the What Have You Done to Your 1st Gen Tundra Today thread? If you don't find what you need, I suggest you get ahold of @Roman who works at a Toyota dealership and could probably find your answer, part numbers, and maybe can get the Toyota version of what you need.

    I'll skip attempting to answer your 2nd question; sounds like that's temporary.

    As to your 3rd point, I hear you, but urge you to jump in and participate. If you welcome other new members, comment on others' posts as you read through the What Have You Done thread, or others that interest you, you'll hit 50 posts by next weekend. We DO want you to mod while you're excited but DON'T want spam posts and sales lots sneaking in to mess up a great forum; the 50 posts requirements seems to keep thoxse out, and encourages new members to join in... at which point, they tend to stick around. Good or everyone!
     
    LaaMahTundra, Roman and 4x4_Angel like this.
  3. May 13, 2018 at 9:35 AM
    #3
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model Fred Brookes

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    Can’t find any suitable holes for mounting? Then make your own! Self tapping fasteners or a drill bit work. Getter’ done.
     
  4. May 13, 2018 at 10:09 AM
    #4
    NomadicFrog

    NomadicFrog [OP] New Member

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    Gaffer tape over door lock/unlock beeper.
    Yes, I've searched this forum as thoroughly and in every which way and combination I can think of. I've searched the 1st Gen Tundra threads, the forum in general, googled the entire web, etc. I've tried "bed rails", "accessory rails", "unistrut", "bed anchor points", read through all the posts about mounting hi-lifts and shovels and fire extinquishers and ammo cans and everything. I try to search and read before pestering forums with noob questions that have already been answered a dozen times.

    It seems that everyone that has posted something about bed accessory rails has a 2nd or 3rd gen Tundra. I can't find anything that matches what I observe on mine.

    I will contact @Roman, thanks. I was thinking I might head to a Toyota dealership for the same reason.

    Good point about my second question as being temporary. I suppose what I should have also asked was "any chance THOSE are my accessory rails, and not part of the tonneau cover assembly?" Since I am completely new to this, I don't know what I am looking for or how to identify it. I am pretty sure, though, that the rails for the tonneau, while the same kind of shape, are dramatically smaller than the unistrut I have seen at ACE and Home Depot, so as best I can tell it is not the same thing. They also stick out into the bed space more than I think the proper accessory rails would, since they are mounted in a different place.

    While I have done more serious wrenching than the average driver, I do not consider myself an expert by any means, and the idea of making a hole in stock metal makes me nervous, especially if it isn't necessary because there are already holes that I am just not seeing. First, I feel like any hole I make will introduce a rust opportunity, although since I'll be in Arizona for the foreseeable future that seems like a dumb worry. But more importantly, I assume the supposedly-existing threaded holes are stronger than a random hole I put in an area of flat sheet metal, so I'd rather find those if I can, right? Or am I underestimating the strength of the walls of the truck bed?
     
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  5. May 13, 2018 at 10:45 AM
    #5
    Sunnier

    Sunnier Agrees your truck is the second best colour

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    If I get a winch on my 2WD, can I overland with the BASTRDs and SGU?!
    Yeah, I think the walls of any new (not steel any more) truck are not strong, which is why we use rails-- which spreads any weight mounted across the entire length of the bed.

    Calling @01erionracing and @BestGen, can you look at these pics and give this guy any idea what he's got and what his options are? What I know of your mods is all about off-roading (and I don't remember whether or not you have bed rails), but thinking you've seen and paid close attention to more 1st gens than I have. :notsure:

    There is is, @NomadicFrog. Gave your thread a bump and asked a couple of OG's to weigh in. If they do not, I'd suggest getting ahold of @Roman if visiting a local dealership doesn't get you want you want. Many times @Roman does better by us than our local dealers (long-standing relationship with Tundras.com and what not).
     
    Roman, BestGen and NomadicFrog [OP] like this.
  6. May 13, 2018 at 10:55 AM
    #6
    NomadicFrog

    NomadicFrog [OP] New Member

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    Gaffer tape over door lock/unlock beeper.
    Thanks, much appreciated! And I already wrote to Roman, too, after you mentioned it. Also working on a Build thread. I'll try to participate as much as I can, but until I learn a bit more and get my hands on stuff I won't be too useful.
     
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  7. May 13, 2018 at 10:57 AM
    #7
    Sunnier

    Sunnier Agrees your truck is the second best colour

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    If I get a winch on my 2WD, can I overland with the BASTRDs and SGU?!
    No worries! It's like drinking from a water hose, can't use it all at once. Be patient about a response; neither one of these guys logs in often. And other who might may be trying to resist the forum while they do Mothers Day stuff... but they'll likely start sneaking back on soon.
     
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  8. May 13, 2018 at 11:01 AM
    #8
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model Fred Brookes

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    Fill holes flexible adhesive prior to screw/bolt insertion. Use washers for back up support.
     
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  9. May 13, 2018 at 2:11 PM
    #9
    BestGen

    BestGen Huge Member

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    Hello Sunnier! Happy Mothers Day! Hello Mark! Hopefully I can shed a little light. I looked at the pic you posted of the bedsides and there looks to be a variance between them, different years I'm guessing..? Is this shot at the exact same section of the bed? And as PHM said, don't worry too much about drilling some holes and making your own mounts(use washers,paint bare metal). Just check out what's behind what you're drilling into first. Also if you plan on mounting a shell you might want to wait till you have it installed before finalizing your mounting points. That's all that comes to mind for now. Good luck. Bestgen
     
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  10. May 13, 2018 at 2:23 PM
    #10
    NomadicFrog

    NomadicFrog [OP] New Member

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    The first photo, which I grabbed from some guy's YouTube video and with the target holes circled in red, is the same location as the first photo of my truck. You can see the one plain hole, and some of the panel indentations are similar, most are not. The photo I took looking under the top edge is, admittedly, the opposite side of the truck (don't know why I did that) but it's the same on both sides.

    This is the only thing I found, in all of my searching, that seems to be what I have to work with:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WucIBDKrmBY

    ...in which he mounts in from the top of the unistrut bolted down from the top of the side. As far as I can tell this is what I will have to do.

    Thank you very much for the advice. I probably will wait until I get a shell installed - excellent point - but I was hoping that a unistrut install would be a relatively cheap way to feel like I'm doing something, while waiting for 1) a used shell matching my specs to magically appear - they seem rare, or 2) decide to shell out (pun intended) for a new one, which will set me back a couple months' pay.
     
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  11. May 13, 2018 at 2:30 PM
    #11
    4x4_Angel

    4x4_Angel Perfectly Imperfect Tomboy....

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    Go chat in tundras live! You'll hit your 50 in a day or 2!:D

    I know nothing about the 1st gens sorry i can't help with that
     
    NomadicFrog [OP] likes this.
  12. May 13, 2018 at 2:33 PM
    #12
    BestGen

    BestGen Huge Member

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    I'm also in the market for a camper shell. So far all I can find on CL is shells for access cabs. You should definitely check out SoCal CL, there're probably 5,6 at least for sale. But none in the style I want(aluminum commercial).IMG_1189.jpg
     
  13. May 13, 2018 at 2:49 PM
    #13
    BestGen

    BestGen Huge Member

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  14. May 13, 2018 at 2:52 PM
    #14
    Sunnier

    Sunnier Agrees your truck is the second best colour

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    If I get a winch on my 2WD, can I overland with the BASTRDs and SGU?!
    Hmmn, if you want to do quick, cheap mods, do the rear differential relocation mod ("for you, a special deal, es almost free!"). I think dcsleeper maybe posted that up. Assuming it's pretty much the same for a1st gen as a 3rd. Kind of a 'good insurance' type project that only takes about a half hour and will make a beer taste better.

    Which reminds me, we've got threads on cheap mods, another of which is attaching a bottle opener. I know you're saving your cash for a shell, but you can stay pretty busy if you want to tinker. Ever play with plastidip? :cool:
     
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  15. May 13, 2018 at 2:53 PM
    #15
    Sunnier

    Sunnier Agrees your truck is the second best colour

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    If I get a winch on my 2WD, can I overland with the BASTRDs and SGU?!
    BestGen likes this.
  16. May 13, 2018 at 2:59 PM
    #16
    BestGen

    BestGen Huge Member

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    It's in Menifee... sounds like a good excuse for a road trip! Joshua Tree, Anza-Borrego...? OP says he loves exploring the desert sooo...:thumbsup:
     
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  17. May 13, 2018 at 4:11 PM
    #17
    NomadicFrog

    NomadicFrog [OP] New Member

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    I think I saw that when he posted it a few days ago. At the time I thought I'd wait and hope for something closer, but maybe I should hop on it. And yes, a road trip that takes in Anza-Borrego, or another visit to Joshua Tree is just fine with me!
     
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  18. May 13, 2018 at 4:17 PM
    #18
    NomadicFrog

    NomadicFrog [OP] New Member

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    I tried it a few days ago. It was 105F and no shade available, and it didn't go particularly well. I also had to hurry up the final coat - probably didn't let it cure long enough, for reasons, and on top of that I didn't like the gunmetal gray much. Made the plasticy chrome bits look like plasticy plastic bits. Got a can of black, now, waiting on cooler temps and to figure out a shady spot to work.

    I did see the bottle opener mod a few days ago, and subsequently spent way too long searching around for suitable openers. Best I could find so far were these:

    Screen Shot 2018-05-13 at 16.18.58.jpg

    http://a.co/g5OwW6T

    While that one obviously has some humor appeal, it's inexplicably more than twice as expensive as this one:

    Screen Shot 2018-05-13 at 16.18.37.jpg

    http://a.co/9o6oHi6

    I am open to other suggestions!

    I will look into the rear diff relocation mod. No idea what it is or why it's done, so that's something to learn about!
     
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  19. May 13, 2018 at 4:34 PM
    #19
    Sunnier

    Sunnier Agrees your truck is the second best colour

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    If I get a winch on my 2WD, can I overland with the BASTRDs and SGU?!
    Its so you don't have to hesitate (or worry when you don't hesitate) to cross through water with 24 Tundras following behind. :D
     
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  20. May 13, 2018 at 4:37 PM
    #20
    NomadicFrog

    NomadicFrog [OP] New Member

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    Ah. So far, in the places I've been going, I'm more likely to have to go through differential-deep sand than water. Many of the "rivers" I've seen out there don't even have water in them much of the year - and if they do, it's most likely a flash flood and not something to be in at all, breather or not! But a cheap, easy, and functional mod sounds like a good idea. It's on the list.
     
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  21. May 14, 2018 at 8:40 AM
    #21
    Casper421

    Casper421 Adventure in a 1st gen

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  22. May 14, 2018 at 6:01 PM
    #22
    NomadicFrog

    NomadicFrog [OP] New Member

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    This popped up today:

    https://phoenix.craigslist.org/wvl/pts/6576672131.html

    It looks a bit rough, it's not clear what vehicle it fits (the specs sound somewhat close?), aaaand it's 360 miles from you. But I figured I'd pass it along anyhow.
     
  23. May 14, 2018 at 11:35 PM
    #23
    BestGen

    BestGen Huge Member

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    Thanks for the tip! However that's for a 6.5' bed. Mine is an 8'. That is a steel shell and a fairly rare one.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
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  24. May 20, 2018 at 8:13 PM
    #24
    NomadicFrog

    NomadicFrog [OP] New Member

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    So. I got me some 1 5/8" superstrut, nuts, bolts, anchors, rubber washers, and steel spacers. Spent $50, several hours researching, and three trips to the hardware stores. Got it all figured out. Managed to miter the ends of the superstrut to fit in the recess in my bed wall. Drilled out holes to mount in the bed wall top section. All of this without proper metalworking tools, or an actual 3/8" bit for my 3/8" bolts. Emptied the remains of a can of undercoating spray on it, and went to install...

    IMG_9870.jpg

    Two options for mounting with spacers and all:

    IMG_9872.jpg

    Relatively decent-looking rail:

    IMG_9873.jpg

    Backing up a second: I bought a used camper shell the other day, which had no seals whatsoever between it and the truck bed. Today my rubber seals came in, so I pulled the shell off to install those. That is a different but equally disappointing thread. Point is since I had the shell off, I planned to pull the bed caps off to mount my superstrut in the holes I had found underneath. Anyone guess where this is going?

    Yeah. The holes on the bottom of the bed wall top are not accessible from the top of the bed wall. WTF.



    IMG_9881.jpg

    My finger is in the hole I planned to bolt this thing through. Note the lack of corresponding hole on the top surface.

    @*&#^&% $*^%!

    My choices now seem to be:

    1) Drill three holes through the top (where my finger is) large enough to get a socket through to tighten the bolt. Downside: not a fan of drilling holes in a vehicle's sheetmetal... maybe I need to get over that. Also will require removing the shell and the bed caps, again, which is a PITA.

    2) Screw into those holes. Is this even possible and still be strong??? I wouldn't have anything (like washers and bolts) on the other side of the hole to fasten to, just the screw threads to hold the weight of the superstrut and whatever I mount on it (hi lift, shovel, ax, etc.)

    3) Drill holes in the wall of the bed. Downside: can't access the back to tighten bolts, so it would have to be screwed? No idea how strong that would be. Also see #1.

    4) Get new 13/16" superstrut, mount it to the existing holes where the...existing accessory ports (?) are (visible in my original post, second photo). Downside: wastes $20 and 3 hours of profanity-laden work on the superstrut I have, would only be supported by two bolts on either end, and wastes the recessed space behind it.

    5) Cut my losses and forget about the whole stupid idea.

    Seems like #1 would be the strongest, as long as I'm not dumb for cutting quarter-sized holes in my truck (and what do I use to do that?!?). Otherwise #2 would be easiest, since all I would need to do is buy some big-ass screws, but will that hold at all?!?
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2018
  25. May 21, 2018 at 4:43 AM
    #25
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model Fred Brookes

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    Choice #1. Your truck is full of drilled holes and one more won’t hurt it. Use a dab of flexible adhesive on the hole.
    Choice #3 Use the existing holes and use flexible adhesive along the entire backside of the strut.

    Most people don’t realize, those big airplanes (think Boeing) we fly are mostly held together by adhesive.
    Stop over thinking and getter’dun.
     
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  26. May 21, 2018 at 8:10 AM
    #26
    NomadicFrog

    NomadicFrog [OP] New Member

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    Stop overthinking? I'm in my mid-40s, don't think I'm going to grow out of that any time soon. ;-)

    It's funny. When you're 8 people say "aw, how precocious!" but when you're 44 it's always "stop overthinking everything and just do it!"

    Thanks for the advice. Your point about there already being many holes, a few more won't hurt, is a good way for me to think about it. In general I assume that an engineer, wise in the arts of material science and bending moments and such has placed holes and mounting points where and only where it's ok to do so, but in this particular instance I don't feel like making those holes would cause any structural issues beyond a rust opportunity, and some paint, flexible adhesive, and the fact that I live in Arizona should mitigate that issue.

    What "flexible adhesive" would you advise?
     
  27. Aug 10, 2018 at 10:52 AM
    #27
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model Fred Brookes

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    ‘Fuze It’ by Liquid Nails. I also have another adhesive that I’ve used with great success, but its a specialty product not easily obtained.
     

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