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Unread 01-21-2011, 01:45 PM   #1
gaterose
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Default Another cargo box but with a twist (lots of pics)

I've seen a lot of good cargo boxes here and on t4r and decided to build one of my own. I'm accustomed to my Z71 with a toolbox so I've felt a little helpless being unable to carry tools with listening to them slide around back there. The twist is the sub, I got tired of the JL 8 in the factory spot so I upgraded to a JL 12 (right now a 12w1, but a 12w3 is on the way) and built it into the cargo drawer. I posted this on t4r but I got most of my ideas here and figured I would share it with everyone here too.

I had some plywood, mdf, & vinyl laying around that I bought a while back for other tasks. I decided it would be better to build something that takes up the full cargo floor area and has a flat top so that I could still haul things back there only the floor would be higher. It took a good while because I had to work on it at my house in Tuscaloosa but I spend most of my time 2 hours away at my apartment in Montgomery. I also had to wait on parts (like the latches and I'm still waiting on better hinges to get here). Altogether I've got about a month in it now.

The sub box and the cargo drawer are 2 separate units but look like one because the cargo drawer top covers the sub box. The sub box is bolted to the floor in two spots while the cargo drawer is bolt in 4 places.

Since I had a couple backpacks, gps, pistol, and spare key stolen from the 4runner about a month ago, security was a big issue. When the drawer latches are locked the sub and drawers cannot be removed from the vehicle. I used security screws to hold the lexan over the sub so that it can't just be removed by unscrewing with a philips head.

This is what I came up with:

I started by removing the double decker, all the carpet & padding so i just had a blank floor then I took some measurements and cut my base.




I made one long cut for the risers and then cut that into smaller lengths so that it would be a uniform height. I bought five 4' lengths of 1/8" aluminum angle stock and cut & drilled that into A LOT of 4" corner brackets; it was cheaper/lighter than buying a bunch of steel braces and it's stronger than driving the screws into the edges of the wood.




I also bought some cheap foam padding for the top as I'm thinking I may build an extension and use this as kind of a sleeping pad but I'm undecided and may remove the padding.



I cut a hole out of the drawer top so the sub would be exposed, then put vinyl on all the horizontal boards, and carpet on the vertical boards. I also cut the base for the sub box out and drilled holes for the places where everything would bolt in at this point. I used threaded compression nut inserts in holes drilled thru the cargo floor for anchoring.






I decided to make one drawer shorter and leave a cargo bin that could be accessed easily, if need be, from the driver's side through the back door without going to the cargo area. I cut the door for the bin to match the angle of the seats so that it could also be easily accessed from the back without moving the rear seats.


I need something to cover the sub and let the floor remain level so I bought a 18x24" piece of lexan from home depot and cut it to shape with a fine-tooth jigsaw. You can't tell because of the padding but it's recessed into the plywood. I also cut the JL logo out with a drill, dremel, and the jigsaw to allow sound to pass through. I also lined the top of the sub box with red (a t-shirt) to look similar to JL's boxes.



This was the first time I've worked with lexan, and I messed up a little, so I'm prolly gonna go buy another piece and make a nicer grille. It will be basically the same as this because I'm very happy with the looks and sound of the design. The holes have to be small so my dogs' paws can't get stuck when they're back there.

The longest wait was on the perko livewell style latches and the recessed cargo tie downs from an audi a6. I just put those in today and I think they add a real nice, almost factory touch.





The drawers and lidded compartment are lined with carpet I got from a local carpet retailer's scraps to prevent rattling tools. I also picked up some waterproof home carpet padding that lines the entire floor of the cargo area (including under the plastic pieces on the side). It's much better than the stuff toyota had under there.

Both drawers fully extended, the smaller drawer is 13x17, the larger drawer is 22x26, and the cargo bin is 23x14.





I also have a maglite mounted on the driver's side and streamlight ultrastinger on the passenger side. I had the mag lite and got the streamlight for cheap earlier this week. I may remove the mag but since I have 5 maglites I may just leave it in there and have 2 lights. I'm also going to hardwire the streamlight but not today.
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Unread 01-21-2011, 02:11 PM   #2
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looks very nice!, not sure about the padded top though.
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Unread 01-21-2011, 02:26 PM   #3
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Thanks, as I said I put the padding on there so it would be softer if I need to sleep on it but I'm probably going to take it off when I want to remove the 200 staples holding the vinyl down.
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Unread 01-21-2011, 03:24 PM   #4
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.....

Last edited by shuly; 05-26-2012 at 10:14 PM.
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Unread 01-21-2011, 03:51 PM   #5
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Looks like it fits your needs. Good job getting what you wanted.
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Unread 01-22-2011, 08:50 PM   #6
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Looks neat.... But how would u sleep on it when u put the seats down and there's a huge drop from the Shelf to the back of the rear seats???? That would be pretty uncomfortable IMO.
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Unread 01-22-2011, 09:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gaterose View Post
I
I also bought some cheap foam padding for the top as I'm thinking I may build an extension and use this as kind of a sleeping pad but I'm undecided and may remove the padding.
Yes it would be very uncomfortable without aforementioned extension

edit: to clarify, the extension would have legs and make the area above the seatbacks level with the cargo box

second edit: medic that statement was heightcist, how do you know I'm not 3 ft. tall? Maybe I don't need to fold the seats down to sleep.
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Last edited by gaterose; 01-22-2011 at 09:38 PM.
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Unread 01-24-2011, 02:21 AM   #8
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Looks great. I love seeing the different designs people come up with for home made drawers.


Quote:
Originally Posted by medic83 View Post
Looks neat.... But how would u sleep on it when u put the seats down and there's a huge drop from the Shelf to the back of the rear seats???? That would be pretty uncomfortable IMO.
Check out post #2, same idea:

http://www.fjcruiserforums.com/forum...t-you-box.html
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Unread 01-24-2011, 07:31 AM   #9
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Thanks, your drawer build was actually the catalyst that made me finally start mine after months of debate and thinking about designs. I must've gone through a hundred designs looking for inspirations.

Yup, that's what I was thinking about doing. I put the padding on cuz I figured it would be soft & I could go without the air mattress, but I haven't built the extension and am thinking about dropping the whole idea & pulling the padding I have off.
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Unread 10-12-2011, 07:40 AM   #10
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I've updated the box a good bit since posting this thread and thought I'd share the changes.


I removed the cargo lidded area and made the sub box a bit bigger so it would sound better. Now the entire sub box is covered in carpet and the SUB has a JL OEM grille instead of the recessed/plexiglass covering. The drawers are both 24" deep with the same widths (I like how they match the split in the rear seat).

I haven't added cargo tie downs back yet because I'm not certain how I want them and if I want to use the Audi recessed tie downs, the bolt on type, or one of the tie down systems like the hi-lift one.



I screwed a metric socket holder/set and ratchet wrench holder/set onto the drawer front and have a deep well set I plan to add under the standard set but haven't had a chance to do it.




I also added this little tripod mount because I keep the tripod in the 4r most of the time and didn't like it floating around back there. I used the cargo cover bolt, foam backing, and the star clip cargo tie down so it didn't require drilling or scratching the OEM plastic.




edit: And YES I removed the padding that everyone including my friends complained about. And the dogs HATE it when they have to ride off road back there without padding.
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Unread 01-20-2014, 09:23 PM   #11
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Gaterose not sure if you even check this site anymore, but thanks for posting and giving me the idea of mounting a sub with cargo drawers! Mine turned out great!

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Unread 01-21-2014, 06:32 AM   #12
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Glad my box could be an inspiration, looks great!

I wish I still had my drawer system sometimes but I needed the vertical space for hauling some items so now I have a box that's similar to the JL stealth boxes, a tool bag, and a backpack with other items.
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Unread 08-23-2014, 02:42 AM   #13
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Awesome cargo box... i may use this for some ideas in my Tacoma.
Thanks guys
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Unread 10-06-2017, 03:34 PM   #14
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Wish I could see
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Unread 10-06-2017, 03:49 PM   #15
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Will see if I can update the pictures tonight. Imageshack really screwed me when they switched to pay only hosting
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Unread 10-06-2017, 04:26 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gaterose View Post
Will see if I can update the pictures tonight. Imageshack really screwed me when they switched to pay only hosting
They really screwed everybody. Cruising the 4th gen section, everything's broken.
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Unread 10-07-2017, 11:11 AM   #17
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I don't remember what all I had but here are a few. I carpeted the drawers and put some perko latches on but couldn't find photos of the finished product.





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Unread 10-09-2017, 09:27 AM   #18
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Did you remove the factory "shelf" before putting in the drawer?
And you feel it was worth it(now that you've had it for just a few years)?
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Unread 10-09-2017, 09:37 AM   #19
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Yes I did, I actually ended up switching to a more modular storage system (read tool bags/smaller “stealth” sub box) after I found that the drawer system limited my cargo carrying capacity too much for my needs and made the pups less stable anytime they needed to be back there.
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