- Socket set
- Allen wrenches
- Willingness to delete significant parts
This was a surprisingly satisfying project to complete and not a ton of hassle.
I had already established that the Decked system would neatly fit the width of my Sonoma, but naturally at 56.28in it is a bit too long to fit a 55" crew cab bed. But just barely
— it really only needed about 3/4" to clear the tailgate.
The question was where to find the 3/4"?
There would also be some carving to be done on the front pillars, but more on that later.
I definitely wanted to maintain the factory appearance as much as possible, so the front of the Decked system was the obvious choice for removing material.
You'll notice there's a big flat plate that sits at the front of the bed that serves as a bolting guide to hold the rails in alignment. However, I noticed this front plate is not used
on the full size truck versions, so that was the first to go.
That deletion shaved about .5" immediately because I was also able to remove (read: Sawzall) off the now unused portion of the center rail that hooked over the top of that plate.
Next up came the top deck of the Decked system.
I cut this back to precisely 2.125" from the first support melded into the deck, removing about 1" of material.
I test fitted the length on the left side first, since it's the smaller parts and easier to move around. Once the top deck was the right length allowing the bed to close, I started working on the width.
I started by carving out room in the lower structure "ammo cans" for the rear bed pillars.
I went into it knowing that this was going to be a game of removing material from each side until I got it right.
Eventually I got the left side to fit into the bed cleanly, then it was time to repeat on the right side of the truck bed.
Once the right side was cut to length and the rear right corner was cut, I also removed some material from the front pillars where it was running into the wheel wells. I probably could have removed a little less material there, but since it won't see the light of day again, I wasn't super concerned with aesthetics.
Note: Before final installation, I placed a thin automotive grade foam seal on the metal rails so they didn't dig into the front of the bed. I also put some on the drawers themselves to keep them from scratching things as well.
Then came cutting the top deck corners. This required some degree of patience and attention because the rear bed pillars came right into the lids for the "ammo cans". About another .25" came off the edges in the back.
My careful carving paid off with two perfectly symmetrical cuts on the lids.
Then it was ready for assembly!
After that it was time to pull everything out, clean out the bed from debris (a quick trip to the car wash to leave a clean bed underneath was required).
I'm really looking forward to having this in place. I do quite a bit of remote car camping and canyoneering — being able to organize and secure my gear will make it much easier/safer to haul equipment.
- I could have cut way less material from the front pillars. Totally went overboard there removing about 3/8" from each side. That was too much.
- I should have used a less contrasty Sharpie. The silver Sharpie belies all the poor craftsmanship of some cuts.
- I wish I'd had some touch-up paint for the cargo-box. I scratched into the metal in a couple of places but didn't really have the means to re-seal it.
- Because the top deck is cut for a Jeep Gladiator, there are some awkward gaps on the side I want to fill in so tools or gear don't drop inside. Not sure what to use, and would love to hear suggestions:
- Gutter guard foam
- A wide flange
- I'm installing a remote-lock for the tailgate. The keyed locks from Decked are $50, so for $65 more I can not have to have another key hanging around.
- I purchased a fiberglass bed cover in Missouri, but for now I have a roll-up tonneau cover that will do until I find a cost effective way to ship the fiberglass cover here. (Anyone driving from Missouri to Washington?)
Thanks all — I hope this was informative for anyone who wants to do the same.