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Old 09-09-2012, 01:48 AM   #14 (permalink)
B.O. Zen
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Folsom, CA
Posts: 208

Pickup - '99 Toyota Tacoma 2wd, Regular Cab, Short Bed
90 day: 34.62 mpg (US)
Thanks: 130
Thanked 140 Times in 59 Posts
Made some more progress today. I re-cut the couple of x-sections that I messed up and then started assembling the skeleton. Once I got a couple pieces attached, I put it on the truck so I could make sure it was square when I started gluing.

I used two runners, flush with the bed, to attache everything to. All of the x-sections except for this front one and the rearmost will be removed after the outside of the shell has been glassed over. I'll probably cut a big hole in this front panel and glue on a lexan window.

More done...

Started adding some bracing. This is as far as I got before using up an entire tube of glue. I left it on the truck like this for a few hours for the glue to start to set, and then moved it indoor.

Sooo... next steps...
* Will go ahead and start skinning this pretty soon. I want to see that it's actually going to work and look okay before I start purchasing materials for the rest of the work.
* Since this thing extends out past the end of the bed, I need to build a simple sub-frame to give me somewhere to attach the bumper further back and to hold on the panels/hardware that will extend the bed. Have to get dimensions of the mount points that will be used and do up some drawings of this.

One of the design features that I haven't mentioned yet is that it's going to have a long recessed compartment on the driver side of the shell where I'll keep a fold out awning. :P I picked up an awning rail today and have a 7' awning coming in the mail soon. Lol, I don't want to over-complicate this, but this is a feature I really want to incorporate. Also, my pie in the sky idea at this point is to glue/clearcoat in a bunch of solar cells on the top similarly to how the all-electric race cars do... Need to see the light at the end of the tunnel before I really even think about this.

For the lift - just grabbing it and lifting it up might be an option. I'll have to think about how it'll latch in the up position if I do this. It really needs to be on sliders/rails of some kind so that it doesn't jerk around and break if it's windy out. The center pull slides didn't excite me too much, but ball bearing drawer slides look perfect. They seem sturdy enough and are way cheaper than the strut-channel & trolleys that I was planning on using before.

Thanks for the link, freebeard. The telescoping Coleman setup w/ pulleys and cable was exactly what I was intending to reproduce.
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