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Got my removable tie-downs...

12819 Views 39 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  Iolaus
Now I gotta decide exactly where and how I'm going to install them.

Here's a pic of what they are; part stays in the bed, and I stash the eye-bolt 'till I need to pull the 35" in for wheeling.

The two towards the back will just go through the bed, but for the front two, I was thinking about drilling another hole in the back seat bracket; would that weaken the intergity of the bracket too much? I wouldn't think so; it's already got holes in it - probably make it stronger.

Another idea I had was to just pull one of the bolts and replace it with the tie-down. I liked this idea, but it looks like the threads aren't compatable. Are these nuts welded in or will they just drop off if I pull the bolt? The way they're perfectly aligned makes me think they're welded, but I could be wrong.

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hey where'd you get those...might have to be a copy cat on this one...

if those bottom bolts are welded in, chisel them off. you'll have to get a friend to lay under your truck and tight the bolts from underneath while you hold the tops
smileybry said:
hey where'd you get those...might have to be a copy cat on this one...
I ordered them from Sportsman's Guide. They're not cheap - $14.97 for 2 - but the convenience factor sold me. These are rated at 1400 pounds; they have heavier ones at 2600, but I thought that was way overkill. All they're gonna do is hold the weight of a full-size tire, split four ways; even a roll-over shouldn't stress them that much.
awesome. let me know how you mount them. i'm ordering them right now.
Ok, for what it's worth, here's the official write-up on what I did.

First thing I did was pull up the carpet and pad so that I had a clear place to work, and guess what I found. I'm assuming that this is the build sheet people have been talking about. I stuck it in plastic and will probably just stick it back under the pad next time I think about it, since I'll lose it otherwise.

The rear molding is still in place because I stripped the head of one of the screws, and I didn't feel like getting sidetracked; the carpet was loose, so I did the job and took care of the screw later.

I chose where the holes would be. I decided to center the tire on the rearward bolt of the backseat catch, because that left me room for a 38" or 40" tire without overhang in front, should I decide to move up in the future. I decided not to put the tie-downs through the seat bracket because I didn't feel like chiseling off the bolt, and in trying to plan things "perfectly," I kept running into things undernerneath, so I just chose a spot that seemed like it would be somewhat supported (the end of the groove) and measured back an equal amount past the bolt I had chosen for my center, which put me at 16" between the two.

Next, I drilled the holes.

Going with the principle that any sealant is better than no sealant, I used some calking that I had left over from a bathroom remodel. Since I was on my own, I had to figure out how to hold the bolts while I was tightening up the nuts underneath. A hint here: leave the bar through both loops and tighten both at the same time. On the first side, I did one and then the other, which swung the bar over on the second one, so I took the bar out of the first loop and just braced it against the wall; as I tightened the second one, I kinda tweaked the floor a little (and the angle of the bolt. On the second side, I left everything in place and tightened them together, and it came out perfect.

Put some calk right around the hole...

...and a thick bead on the washer - hey, calk's cheap.

Here it is tightened down.

And here you can see how it's going to work.

Other side, all done.

And a close up (after I semi-cleaned it up). You can see that the piece doesn't come up any higher than the top of the bed - no bump in the carpet.

Now on to making the tie-downs acceptably accessible.

I carefully measured out where the tie-downs were, and trimed out the strips of cardboard to allow the mat to still settle into the grooves of the bed. The strips are doubled up, so I put some staples through to hold them in place - regular staples; I think a staple gun would be too long (ouch).

This is where the height of the tie-downs comes into play; they match the height of the cardboard strips, so the carpet is still supported. :thumbup Yeah, it's petty, but I thought it was cool.

The hole in the tie-down was too small for the pen I had, so when I put the mat back in place to mark it, I ran a small drill up from the bottom, just to mark the pad, then pulled it back out and used a bigger bit to cut the access hole.

Here, you can see where I cut and stapled the cardboard.

Three of the holes were perfect; one was a little off, so I did some cutting.

While I was cutting that one, it occured to me that the plugs (which are just barely taller than the fitting) were going to need some room, so I ended up trimming all of them a bit larger. After I was finished, I decided that I probably won't use the plugs anyway; instead, I'll find a bolt that will take up all the threads, since the plugs are only 3/4" and I'll want the threads clean when I put the eye-bolts in.

Now I had to put the holes in the carpet. I set that piece of wood in the other pic on top of the holes and weighted it down, then drilled up from underneath. Once I had a small hole drilled through the carpet, I had to figure out how to make it bigger, and not have it fraying. I figured heat was the best way to do both.

Yes, that's a junk bit.

and there ya go! :thumbup

Now I just gotta get a couple of straps, and it'll be secure.


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Great idea and good write up. :thumbup
very cool idea and very nice workmanship! i think this should go the writeup section. definitely worthy.
Have you considered getting some acorn nuts for the bottom, to keep the dirt from coming up from below?
sewiv said:
Have you considered getting some acorn nuts for the bottom, to keep the dirt from coming up from below?
I hadn't, but that's a good idea. I was just going to fill the whole cavity with a long bolt to block dirt (probably still will), but I like your idea to seal the bottom as well.
Ok, I couldn't find any 5/8 acorn nuts in Home depot or OSH, but I did find these plugs that'll work 'til I find some. I just dabbed a little calk around it and put it in. I figure I can just leave them there and screw the nuts on over them; in the mean time, it's sealed.

I noticed that the tension on the straps is already starting to pull on the bolts, so I'm devising a brace to jam up against one of the corners next to it underneath - do the triangle brace thing.

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Two things.. First off, those are trick as hell.. Great idea, but isnt there a more cose effective way to do this?? Secondly.. If i was you id get some 1/4" plate end brace those babies undernearth the sheet metal.. Just a 4"x4" square would work wonders.. Great Idea though..
Hey thats a neat idea. Perfect if you will still need a flat loading floor.

You have short stubby fingers BTW
Oh yeah, it would have been more cost effective to just install regular eye-bolts into the bed - many people have - but it wouldn't have been as trick. I looked around at the local hardware stores, trying to peice the same thing together for cheaper, but I couldn't find that critical bolt with threading both inside and out.

1/4 inch plate; that would probably be simpler than what I was trying to think up; I tend to over-think things sometimes. :banghead
MikE2 said:
You have short stubby fingers BTW
They do the jobs they need to do. ;) :goodfinge
iolaus said:
I looked around at the local hardware stores, trying to peice the same thing together for cheaper, but I couldn't find that critical bolt with threading both inside and out.
I couldnt come up with a better solution either..
Damn, that's slick! Thanks for sharing the pics. I've been wanting to put eye bolts in the bed of Brutus, but didn't really want them sticking up in the way.

I'll look into getting some for the bed of mine. :thumbup
I think the Sportsman's Guide sold out on theses, but if anyone's still interested, I just ran across these tie-downs on ebay, two for $28.99 with free shipping.

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Are these really that sought after? I could do the adapter bolts on the lathe and the rest would just be off the shelf hardware
Is the adapter threaded on the inside for the screweye or is it a through hole and you use a second nut?
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