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'92 Custom w/ '95 MAF 5.0, 33's, 4.10 LSD
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Discussion Starter #421
The jerry can carrier is taking shape:





I settled on weight-saving cutouts for style and to replace the need for d-rings as rear tie-down points. At the top left of the upper platform in the first pic, you can see the wheel well bolt hole that the interior tire carrier would use. I'll be adding a bracket to line up with that. Then, the next thing to work on is the upper mounts along the bed rail, once the alignment is locked in down below.
 

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'92 Custom w/ '95 MAF 5.0, 33's, 4.10 LSD
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2,143 Posts
Discussion Starter #422
More progress...



Wheel well mount added. The c-channel (shaved down on one side) extends under the platform, and is welded on all sides, so the weight presses down on it instead of torquing it.



Bed mount added, using the hole previously drilled for the unistrut tie-down.

I can finally stop kicking myself for drilling that hole out of line! It ended up being in a perfect spot to weld a bolt to the bottom of the lower platform. I drilled through the platform so I could weld it in solid from both sides.



Solid enough for the lower can, but still need a third upper mount (and anchor points) to stabilize an upper can.

You may notice a little whoopsy to the lower left of the gas can. I thought I was laying down my best bead ever on the corner brace, only to finish up and see I had blown through the last 1/4" and had a big ball of slag hanging down. I salvaged it by welding in a filler piece, which is the raised blob you can see. I lowered the welder's voltage setting after that for the rest of the flat braces... They're the same thickness as the angle iron and c-channel, but they seem a lot more delicate. Welding experts, is it the mass of metal (flat vs 3D) that's coming into play there, providing less heat dissipation?

I ordered some good YKK plastic belt/backpack buckles, rather than hope generic ones don't break or wear out from UV. When those arrive, I'll figure out how I'm going to hook up the nylon webbing. I'll be doing two straps per can, for redundancy and to hold as snug as possible. (Most people have them mounted externally and would be less sensitive to that!) Using the last pic above as a reference, one strap will angle to the left, toward the top of the flat bar brace, and the other strap will be more or less straight down. That should work nicely with the contour of the can.

Oh, and I realized I need to come up with a 2-piece system for the bed rail mount. If I were to bolt the carrier straight to the bed rail, I would need to get assistance with the fender well mount any time I wanted to lift up the hardtop. (Still chasing down lots of water intrusion.) So, it'll be something where the upper platform's vertical section bolts to something that bolts to the bed rail.

I moved the earlier pics over to a designated folder, so you can easily view them all full-size at:

 

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'92 Custom w/ '95 MAF 5.0, 33's, 4.10 LSD
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2,143 Posts
Discussion Starter #423
Almost done...



I reverted to Plan A and made the bed rail mount be part of the overall structure and not a separate piece that it bolts to. (I'm able to remove it without a helper after all, so not a big deal to do so if I need to lift the topper off.) I decided that would have been tough to pull off, with limited space inside the angle iron to put a bolt through, without interfering with the upper gas can. Getting all those angles right wasn't easy.

All that's left to do is add the angle supports to the upper platform, then clean up the flux splatter in the corners that the angle grinder can't reach.

My webbing clips arrived today, so maybe I'll start on that tomorrow. We're supposed to gain 30+ degrees and lose the rain next week, which ought to make for good painting weather if I get it all cleaned up in time.
 

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'92 Custom w/ '95 MAF 5.0, 33's, 4.10 LSD
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Discussion Starter #424
All done:





Barely sticks out beyond the wheel well, making it almost entirely free space.

Random notes:

1) I was more lucky than good. Both platforms are a very snug fit and barely need the straps. I oversized the cuts originally, because I was having a hell of a time getting my abrasive blade on the mitre saw to not flex on the angle cuts. For every cut I made, I spent probably 2 hrs reshaping it... I got smart[er] later in the project and flipped the angle iron upside down before cutting, which made for much less blade flexing. I ordered a new blade, but it won't arrive for a couple weeks still. In the end, my oversized trays were barely big enough.

2) Metallic silver was speaking to me for some reason, rather than the usual black.

3) I put adhesive felt under the lower can. Neither platform really needs it, but I figured that would help the can sit level with the bed floor bolt sticking up a bit into the tray. I didn't want to grind its weld down entirely flush and compromise the strength.

4) In the side view above, you can see the ~2" gap between the carrier and bed side panel. I was tempted to make a little tray running the length of the carrier, hanging below the bed rail mount, but decided to put that off for now.

5) I used c-channel on the upper platform's angle supports because I was out of flat bar... I couldn't use c-channel on the lower platform because it would interfere with the side panel pocket in back, and would protrude awkwardly down low in front.

6) I have a matching set of triglides on order, to replace the strap adjusters currently used. The latter works fine, but is overkill and not as easy to adjust. The YKK Shockonloc side release buckles are adjustable at both ends, but I made the female (front strap) end fixed. Medium weight (0.07") nylon webbing fills their channels well enough to not slip (light weight needs triglides), but I'd rather be safe than sorry with 40 lb projectiles back there, near glass, etc.
 

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'92 Custom w/ '95 MAF 5.0, 33's, 4.10 LSD
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Discussion Starter #425


Finishing touch added; matched set of proper triglides for the nylon straps.

The cans are so snug in their mounts when strapped down, wiggling them literally rocks the truck without the cans moving in the slightest. There's no chance of them rattling. Mission accomplished!

Again, here's the link to view all the pics full-size.
 
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