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Small improvement to the OEM tri-fold tonneau cover

Discussion in '3rd Gen Tundras (2014+)' started by NEPAChuy, Mar 26, 2020 at 7:52 PM.

  1. Mar 26, 2020 at 7:52 PM
    #1
    NEPAChuy

    NEPAChuy [OP] New Member

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    Hello everyone,

    I recently purchased my 2020 Tundra Platinum, and with it many accessories including the OEM tri-fold tonneau cover.

    KTf062oOA67IZVkBaiP7wqKqbDVpsQGBiwWROvOs_180a32505bff3e344e6af6b9e7cac9381a5eeda6.jpg

    One issue I have noticed with the OEM tri-fold tonneau cover is that the rear most tri-fold panel (at the tailgate) has some up-and-down play due to the mounting of the latches. So, I had a look at how the latches were secured.

    What I found under the latch hardware was a poorly drilled extrusion. Seriously, I found three hole attempts for one screw location:

    9dvOgAHQfJBbIJqt1j6RKKs51GFrFhVblpf16xL5_36d756fae8acb7ea1ecdd3ce5b72a9e763a5069a.jpg

    In addition to the poorly drilled holes, the right side latch was held in place with 1" sheet metal screws that were barely holding the pilot holes of the extrusion and the left side latch was held in place with 6 mm length machine screws that were threading into effectively nothing. The cover manufacturer couldn't even bother to use the same screws on two identical latches. The extrusion was also not tapped for screws on either side, so these screws took no effort at all to effectively strip out the holes and provide no holding force for the latches.

    I stared at the latch system for a while before deciding how best to fix it and here's what I came up with. I found four M4 x 12 mm length machine screws at Ace Hardware, slid on four generic washers I had in the garage, and threaded them into four thin M4 x 0.7 square nuts (thickness 2.2 mm). Before slipping the M4 bolts into the extrusion holes, I drilled the holes out slightly with a 5/32" drill bit. If you perform this modification, be very careful with this step as you could puncture down through the plastic tonneau cover if you allow a bit to penetrate too deep. Also, I couldn't locate the square nuts locally so I ended up ordering them from belmetric.com - part number NSQ4THINSS. Pay no attention to the old hardware I slid into the BelMetric bag.

    OClYV9jD9O-UkvwFHLKRW9BhFQXEITtlIS9DzXT5_94bef28c3ce63715094be1a7d33a1cc35f24b68b.jpg

    With the latches now securely fastened to the extrusion, most of the up-and-down play of the rear most tri-fold panel is gone. The remaining play is due to side rail flex. Perhaps I'll look into ridding my rails of that play later. Here's the finished product:

    vI7UzoWV2pnN9GW1cTP7p_XVHZxBgp2pLZdE1Of__1881932cde39070865fea61f7eefd7451d9fd8e6.jpg

    8I4m494s8ynPNouFp8Jl2mHEzDrNl7JqUV9aNjFR_25a5bcc6ea662bc3bbb92ff4f55ec9ea0da8bd26.jpg

    Total cost of hardware was about $6, including the $5 shipping for the nuts from MA to OR. The nuts took only a few days to arrive, which isn't bad considering the current COVID-19 situation. And I didn't feel like hunting every hardware store in my local area for thin nuts. The Tundra eats too much fuel for that.
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2020 at 10:49 PM
    Spyker, Bob_Wiley, PRO BLANCO and 2 others like this.
  2. Mar 26, 2020 at 9:18 PM
    #2
    SouthWestGA

    SouthWestGA New Member

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    Very nice! I’m glad to see somebody understands that sometimes little pieces of hardware make a big difference!!
     
    NEPAChuy [OP] likes this.
  3. Mar 26, 2020 at 9:40 PM
    #3
    PRO BLANCO

    PRO BLANCO Loving Canada’s oil and gas!

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    Very nice! I have the same cover, I’m going to look into this! Thanks! :thumbsup:
     
    NEPAChuy [OP] likes this.
  4. Mar 26, 2020 at 10:09 PM
    #4
    Spyker

    Spyker New Member

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    Impressive, nicely done.
     
    NEPAChuy [OP] likes this.
  5. Mar 26, 2020 at 10:15 PM
    #5
    1lowlife

    1lowlife Toxic prick..

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    DALLAS TEXAS
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    I would dare guess that is not an OEM cover.
    I'm not aware of Toyota making bed covers.
    Maybe a dealer installed item.
    Is there not a label or serial number on that cover that could ID the manufacturer..?
    Like the one on the tailgate end in the middle, I bet it doesn't say 'TOYOTA".
    That may help others that have the same cover on their trucks.

    [​IMG]
     
    NEPAChuy [OP] likes this.
  6. Mar 26, 2020 at 10:38 PM
    #6
    NEPAChuy

    NEPAChuy [OP] New Member

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    You are correct in that Toyota does not produce it. OEM doesn't explicitly mean manufactured by the brand (Toyota). A quick Google search (because I was curious): original equipment manufacturer, an organization that makes devices from component parts bought from other organizations.

    I saw on this forum that the tri-fold is made by either Extang or Rugged. I'm not sure which for this particular rail mounted cover. The sticker in the middle on the back does in fact say TOYOTA, but it's just a sticker (and it's not even placed in the center - another sign of wonderful craftsmanship).

    And this wasn't dealer installed. I installed it with my 4-year-old son. I trust him more than most dealer techs.
     
    1lowlife likes this.
  7. Mar 27, 2020 at 9:57 PM
    #7
    1lowlife

    1lowlife Toxic prick..

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    OK, I learned something today.
    I always thought OEM was like a vehicle's manufacturer part.
    Thanks, now I know.

    I'm with you on not having the dealer install anything.
    When I installed my Bedrug on my 2005, my then 11 year old daughter helped me install it.
    She is now 26, it goes by WAY too fast...

    00079_zps78klz2zx_bb67f43a51a25552738023da323affe5423b7b88.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2020 at 10:30 PM
    TacomaLC, YardBird and NEPAChuy [OP] like this.
  8. Mar 28, 2020 at 5:24 AM
    #8
    JohnLakeman

    JohnLakeman Burning Internet Daylight

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    The automotive OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) companies run assembly plants, that assemble component parts made by thousands of suppliers into either vehicles, or modular parts of vehicles, e.g. a 3UZ-FE engine. None of those component parts is actually manufactured by the OEM.

    When an accessory is a unique part made to Toyota specifications, available only through Toyota dealers, and subject to Toyota QC, the OEM label is justified. It might be a stretch to label re-branded accessories having near-identical copies available in the broad aftermarket, such as the subject bed cover, step bars, bed extenders, cargo nets, hitch covers, console dividers as "OEM". But...Potato, Potahtoe, we know what the OP is talking about. :D

    Nice engineering on the screw-up fix, OP. I like it. I have to assume that the multiple drill tries were concealed by the latch. Just saying...if that had been a true OEM part, Toyota would have made them eat that bed cover, advised them to make a drilling template with worker training, and warned them not to send any more like that. :thumbsup:
     

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