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90 Rear Storage Lockers


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Lovely sunny day off, and nothing more that can be done on the Series III, so I turned my attention to the 90 for a bit.

Since I went to a truck cab roof I have of course been at a bit of a loss for dry, moderately secure storage. There's only so much one can put in the cab, and I dislike having things loose in the rear tub. The advantages of the truck cab off road are great, but I find myself searching for places to put things like a small toolbox, shackles, ropes, etc.

I have seen before (although I cannot remember for the life of me where) a series of pictures showing storage lockers built into and above the rear wheel arches in the tub. This strikes me as a good idea because they would:

  • Provide a reasonably large area for storage
  • Not interfere massively with a roll cage or the central area
  • Be accessible from outside the vehicle with ease

So I today decided to try and put this plan into action. Cue a trip to the local steel supplier for some 20x20x2mm box section mild steel (would have used ally, but they didn't have it, it would cost more, and wouldn't be as strong), and I also nipped to Screwfix for some corner and tee braces.

First job was to cut a long bar to provide the main corner piece. This one is 46¼" long, your mileage may will vary :P

post-10578-127479468725_thumb.jpg

Then a lot of tapping, measuring, tapping, measuring, to get it so it was parallel with the line of the vehicle. It's level with the bottom edge of the capping across the centre bulkhead, plus another 2mm lower to allow for the top plate of ally when fitted. This puts the rear end slightly lower to maintain the lines:

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After a few double checks, the plates were riveted to the bodywork at either end. They are positioned so that they won't be visible once the cover plates are on:

post-10578-127479469784_thumb.jpg post-10578-127479470249_thumb.jpg

And then the bar slid into place. The holes were marked, then the bar removed again for drilling, before being re-fitted and riveted in place:

post-10578-127479470869_thumb.jpg

This on it's own could take my weight but it did deflect a fair bit in the middle, more than I was happy with, so I inserted a centre prop to stiffen things up a bit (had planned on having two props if I had used ally box, but with the steel box one is easily enough).

Rough positioning:

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Top attachment:

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Bottom attachment (another brace was added later facing towards the outside of the vehicle):

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And the finished centre post:

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It's pretty strong! I am designing these lockers to be stand-on-able, so a quick test was in order:

post-10578-127479473587_thumb.jpg

Doesn't seem to flex at all, even with my weight on it. When I add the 2mm panelling (5-bar tread plate) I will see how that fares, it may need some strengthening ribs on the underside. The sheets I have ordered measure 10" x 45" for the top and then 9⅜" x 45" for the side plate. They will be supported on the edges by some angle section riveted to the bodywork around the level of the plate.

Obviously the top plate will have a door, this will probably be about half the length of the locker, and positioned central. It will hinge on the inner side, so that it opens to be accessed from outside the truck. I haven't quite finalised the design of how the door will be supported yet, but I imagine some more stays will be needed. There will also need to be a latch, something similar to this:

http://www.red-bhw.c...h-fit-1583.html

So not quite finished yet, but I think not bad for a couple of hours work :)

Edit: Found where I'd seen it before:

http://forums.lr4x4.com/index.php?showtopic=1335

Different design to what I'm planning though :)

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James, have you considered what could happen in a rear-end shunt?

The long lengths of steel tube are in just the right place to be punched through the lower bulkhead, the seats and their occupants :o

.

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Hmm, that is a good point, and something I hadn't considered. :huh:

I guess most rear end shunts will be with the rear cross-member as that's where most car bumpers tend to lie these days, but there's always the possibility of a truck or van coming up from behind.

Not quite sure how to get around that one :unsure:

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Hmm, that is a good point, and something I hadn't considered. huh.gif

I guess most rear end shunts will be with the rear cross-member as that's where most car bumpers tend to lie these days, but there's always the possibility of a truck or van coming up from behind.

Not quite sure how to get around that one unsure.gif

You could fabricate a slider out of steel plate that would push the rod away/create a path in the case on an accident.

many car designs incorprate areas that are designed to brake away in certain directions to prevent injury to the driver etc.

Jason.

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Hmm, pondering it a while today I think Ross may have the answer. A two-part approach:

1. A spreader plate of reasonable gauge steel (4mm or so), probably around 4" x 2", bolted through the bulkhead to provide the strength. The bar would be welded to this end on.

2. A cut approx 1/3 of the way through the section with the angle grinder, directly above the vertical support member so as to not lose any load-bearing strength. The cut could be behind the top of the tee brace plate, which would stop it opening under any minor outward force, but upon being subjected to the major force of an impact the relatively weak 4mm rivets would shear and the bar would hopefully collapse in on itself due to the inherent weakness introduced by the cut.

Does that sound plausible? :ph34r:

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Okay, decided to brace the bulkhead connection with a cross-piece to help stop it pushing through in the event of a rear end collision. It now looks like this:

post-10578-127541079019_thumb.jpg

The side panel, which I had cut to the correct size for me, was riveted on. There's a small gap at the forward end at the bottom where the bulkhead angle changes, but I can live with this for now. I made the frame so that the sheet would fit down the inside of the rear door gap edge, to give a tidy look at that end:

post-10578-127541079775_thumb.jpg post-10578-127541080602_thumb.jpg

Then it was time to add the cross-braces for the door edges:

post-10578-12754108104_thumb.jpg post-10578-127541081511_thumb.jpg

And then more plate to be added and fixed in place (please excuse awful cut lines, the jigsaw had a funny moment...):

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Then the other door brace and the larger fixed piece were added (this has a second mount on the capping to spread the load):

post-10578-127541082786_thumb.jpg

And finally the door and it's hinges were put in place:

post-10578-127541083436_thumb.jpg post-10578-127541125361_thumb.jpg

I decided to put the door as far backwards as possible (just before the capping goes curved), so as to enable easy access to the rear lights if needed. I can still easily reach the far front of the locker through the opening.

post-10578-127541126125_thumb.jpg

So there we are, I'm still undecided as to whether to install one the other side yet. It does need it to balance it out, but I'm not really a fan of chequer plate in large quantities and it may be a bit 'too much'. Hopefully this will dull down with time.

Need to get a latch sorted, but other than that it's pretty much done :)

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Looks good,

You could always paint the chequer plate to make it blend it, you would be supprised how you can dull it down....

IMHO I would add another one, just for balance, or people will keep asking you when you are going to do the other side.....

Cheers, Jaosn.

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Nice work, looks great.

IMHO would you consider sideways facing baffles to stop all contents from ending up at one end ?

Also how about something for the corner to stop water ingress ?

I agree about painting, it would look much more subtle if it was blended in with the rest of the tub...

If anoye else is considering this type of work, might be worth a look at this site for metalwork fittings http://www.unistrut.com/about/index.php?P=po_mf

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Nice work, looks great.

IMHO would you consider sideways facing baffles to stop all contents from ending up at one end ?

Also how about something for the corner to stop water ingress ?

Baffles may well be needed, I'll see if the stuff I've put in there for now as a test moves about too much.

As for the corner, well as you can see my capping has perished. For now I will have to make do with a plate made up to cover it, but the long term solution is to replace the capping!

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