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Thread: First Gen (and more?) tonneau.

  1. #1

    Array
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    07-04-2011
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    Location

    Erie, PA
    Vehicle

    1986 Dodge Ram 50
    Engine

    G54B

    First Gen (and more?) tonneau.

    Ok; let's try this again.

    First off; my thanks to Pennyman...he had an old post that sent me researching 83-9? Ford Rangers w/ 7 foot beds. Thank you, Sir!

    Pictures:They loaded last to first, so start from the bottom please.....

    Bottom row;Kit as received.


    Second row up; clamps laid out, some assembled.


    Third row up, left; What I did was set the side rails with the clamps as supplied. Then I set the front cross rail on to see how the width matched up. The front cross rail was a perfect 1/2 inch too wide, and I did not want to cut the cross rails.....so after looking the situation over and conferring with my assistant Mr. Boone it occurred to me that if I took the first leg off a clamp I would gain 1/4 inch on each side. Worked very well, and the clamps now use the bed rail like they did the leg. Picture shows a leg amputation completed.

    Third row up, right; Shows quality stitching which I will have to equal someday, and a missing snap.

    Fourth row up; There were thin rubber pads on the clamps where they touched the bed rails. When I cut the leg(s) off, the pads went with the legs. I have some REALLY tough thin paper used in rewinding electric motors, and Being Somewhat Anal, I cut new pads...you can see one under the clamp. I guarantee you will not rip this paper with your bare hands.

    Fifth row and sixth row, right; Shows something I have yet to address; there is about four inches of overhang. I left about 3/8 inch clearance between the front tarp drip edge and the cab. What I need to do is hunt up my super sewing machine so I am ready to cut and re-hem the tarp. Then I can shorten the frame, fit the tarp and install new snaps. But the bed is covered right now and this displaced several other jobs I have in progress, so it can sit this way for awhile. There is a nice groove in the tail rail I can fit a seal to.

    Sixth row up, left; Taken with shop lighting when I finally finished tweaking (why do I feel bad about using "tweaking"?) and twitching last night.

    Top row; Taken this morning in sunlight and at a range for a better view. You can see the sticky-out part in back, but not real bad.

    Things what occurred to me through the night: (in no particular order)


    1) My kit came with all the snaps turned for maximum tightness...it was 48 degrees in the shop, but I do not think the tarp would have worked even if it had been warm. I still had several snaps that would not snap until the tarp stretched over night. I recommend turning the snaps around first thing.

    2) Clamps are aluminum, screws are stainless, I used anti-seize (anal again).

    3) Before you really tighten the clamps, measure the frame diagonally corner to corner to ensure it is square. The measurements should be the same, and you will be doing yourself a favor come snap-up time.

    4) If you shorten the long rails, Make your cut on the end towards the cab. The little sliver do-dads at the ends are retainers for the sliding snaps when the tarp is rolled up. The plastic corners up front will replace the retainer you cut off but you remove the tail cross piece to use the truck bed, so you want to keep those two retainers.

    5) Boone's Farm makes an install fun.

    6) The bows have an opening in their ends.....the clamps have two little ribs. Clamp ribs go into the bow openings, NOT bow ends into grooves in clamps!! (personal EUREQA moment). What instructions? Oh, those.

    Sorry I am a little late with this...it was the learning curve on attachments. Hope this helps someone out there. I will be glad to answer related questions.

    Thank you for looking in. Grumppa
    If you build a better "idiot-proof" item, someone will build a better idiot.

  2. #2

    Array
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    Posts
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    Location

    Erie, PA
    Vehicle

    1986 Dodge Ram 50
    Engine

    G54B
    Me pictures evaporated!! Go here to see what I bought, until I corral those pesky picts again.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/290591500232...84.m1438.l2649
    If you build a better "idiot-proof" item, someone will build a better idiot.

  3. #3

    Array
    Status
    Offline
    Join Date
    07-04-2011
    Posts
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    Location

    Erie, PA
    Vehicle

    1986 Dodge Ram 50
    Engine

    G54B
    Yatta, yatta, yatta, mishigabola, shazaam!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Grumppa View Post
    Ok; let's try this again.

    First off; my thanks to Pennyman...he had an old post that sent me researching 83-9? Ford Rangers w/ 7 foot beds. Thank you, Sir!

    Pictures:They loaded last to first, so start from the bottom please.....

    Bottom row;Kit as received.


    Second row up; clamps laid out, some assembled.


    Third row up, left; What I did was set the side rails with the clamps as supplied. Then I set the front cross rail on to see how the width matched up. The front cross rail was a perfect 1/2 inch too wide, and I did not want to cut the cross rails.....so after looking the situation over and conferring with my assistant Mr. Boone it occurred to me that if I took the first leg off a clamp I would gain 1/4 inch on each side. Worked very well, and the clamps now use the bed rail like they did the leg. Picture shows a leg amputation completed.

    Third row up, right; Shows quality stitching which I will have to equal someday, and a missing snap.

    Fourth row up; There were thin rubber pads on the clamps where they touched the bed rails. When I cut the leg(s) off, the pads went with the legs. I have some REALLY tough thin paper used in rewinding electric motors, and Being Somewhat Anal, I cut new pads...you can see one under the clamp. I guarantee you will not rip this paper with your bare hands.

    Fifth row and sixth row, right; Shows something I have yet to address; there is about four inches of overhang. I left about 3/8 inch clearance between the front tarp drip edge and the cab. What I need to do is hunt up my super sewing machine so I am ready to cut and re-hem the tarp. Then I can shorten the frame, fit the tarp and install new snaps. But the bed is covered right now and this displaced several other jobs I have in progress, so it can sit this way for awhile. There is a nice groove in the tail rail I can fit a seal to.

    Sixth row up, left; Taken with shop lighting when I finally finished tweaking (why do I feel bad about using "tweaking"?) and twitching last night.

    Top row; Taken this morning in sunlight and at a range for a better view. You can see the sticky-out part in back, but not real bad.

    Things what occurred to me through the night: (in no particular order)


    1) My kit came with all the snaps turned for maximum tightness...it was 48 degrees in the shop, but I do not think the tarp would have worked even if it had been warm. I still had several snaps that would not snap until the tarp stretched over night. I recommend turning the snaps around first thing.

    2) Clamps are aluminum, screws are stainless, I used anti-seize (anal again).

    3) Before you really tighten the clamps, measure the frame diagonally corner to corner to ensure it is square. The measurements should be the same, and you will be doing yourself a favor come snap-up time.

    4) If you shorten the long rails, Make your cut on the end towards the cab. The little sliver do-dads at the ends are retainers for the sliding snaps when the tarp is rolled up. The plastic corners up front will replace the retainer you cut off but you remove the tail cross piece to use the truck bed, so you want to keep those two retainers.

    5) Boone's Farm makes an install fun.

    6) The bows have an opening in their ends.....the clamps have two little ribs. Clamp ribs go into the bow openings, NOT bow ends into grooves in clamps!! (personal EUREQA moment). What instructions? Oh, those.

    Sorry I am a little late with this...it was the learning curve on attachments. Hope this helps someone out there. I will be glad to answer related questions.

    Thank you for looking in. Grumppa
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    If you build a better "idiot-proof" item, someone will build a better idiot.

  4. #4



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    Looks like you found them. I'll work on building a how to upload in the sight news and support section > how to tips and tricks..
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