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Okay, well my buddy that I helped build a flat bed onto his 1997 Tacoma figured out that it was hard to haul stuff with a super short bed and only one bar above the cab. That, and there was no room for the spare tire. So, last saturday we "modified" the flat bed and added a cage over it so that he has a nice flat platform to put stuff on top of the truck (a future loop above the cab will keep stuff from hitting the top of the cab, but that's for later when we have a bumper or whatever to tie in the cage to up front.)

This is the original flat bed design:




Before painting:



The cage After painting:



Spare Tire mechanism (formerly under the stock bed.) Sorry about the bad pic, but it's just a stock spare tire mechanism from a '97 taco)



As seen from the top. (You can mount the mechanism on top of the triangle and suck the tire down to the top of the cage if you so desired.) The triangle part is welded to the middle of the tubes so the bolt heads won't scratch anything you might tie down to the top of the cage like plywood or ??)



Bottom view:




Please ignore the crappy looking air compressor, he bought it for the tank at a salvage yard.

Side View:




The stock lowering/spinner bar works just fine for raising and lowering the tire. You just run it over the back bar and down into the mechanism and spin away to raise or lower the tire.
 

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He's gonna scare EVERY car that's behind him!

"Maude, that guy has a tire floating behind his truck!"

Looks nice!
 

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I ain't much on the square tube stuff (just personal preference) but that looks pretty good and can double as a lumber rack.

Looks pretty good and a nifty idea for the spare. Thats the first time I seen it done that way. Good job.
 

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i was just gonna ask how the rear visibility is with that thing up there, but hey looks sweet and is definitly out of the way
 

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thats creative.
just the view and COG issues.
my buddy thought of an idea,
for those of you that still have beds
why not cut a hole in the bedfloor big enough to run
the tire clamp through, then you can crank the tire down inside the bed instead of under it
 

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Discussion Starter #9
For lack of a tubing bender I have to work in the square. ;) Run what ya' brung!

As for the visibility issue, we were actually concerend with that, but as luck would have it, the tire is mounted far enough back from the window that the line of sight from the rear-view mirror down to the ground (ie: where the car following you will be) is pretty much un-obstructed. Like I said up in the first post also, he can un-bolt the mechanism and mount it on top to hold the tire to the top of the cage.

It does get a lot of stares driving around cause the tire does look like it's just floating or glued up there. The mounting device is totally hidden unless you stand up in the bed and look down into the rim.

This is a DD truck that the guy uses for work and stuff so we were shooting for utility first and then trail concerns. We are kicking around an idea for a swivel mount for the potato gun though. You can stand in the bed in one of the voids created by the "X" in the roof of the cage and you feel pretty secure (we know this from tear-assing around the neighborhood taking turns standing in the cage.) A potato gun would top it off nicely (air powered of course with a line plumbed in from OBA. Now if we can just figure out how to auto-load the spuds... ):cool:

The owner of the truck is sourcing out some canvas so we can build a little can back for it possibly.
 

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Wow, I'm not gonna make a single comment on your buddy's setup, to each their own.

Here's my "flat bed" philosophy though.
Purpose: to get rid of flimsy stock shettmetal and make something that can take a hit in the woods, perhaps shortening or "bobbing" the bed at the same time.
Now yeah we call them "flat" beds, but I don't understand why anyone actually makes them flat, to me the best setup is an actual bed, or rather box, that is still just as functional as the original, but a hell of alot stronger. In our sport function over form tends to rule, so maybe these flat things look cool, but the function part sucks, how tough is it to build some sides and a simple flat tailgate?

Here's an idea, you bobbed the bed, so it's short as hell and you can't haul anything long in it anymore. Well, build a tailgate that is 12" high, but is hinged at the top (as well as the bottom) and has another 12" piece attached to it.
Now, (with proper support pieces) you can open your tailgate for an extra foot, or open and unfold it for an extra two feet of cargo room. I know, brilliant, why didn't I think of it, yada yada ya.
Hope noone thimks I'm being a dick, just trying to show you my idea on it. Good luck.
Chris
 

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SamuraiChris said:
function part sucks, how tough is it to build some sides and a simple flat tailgate?
I built a tailgate:


and even fabbed up the latches for each end:


I did FUBAR my hinges tho so it doesn't lay flat against the rear bumper like I was trying for (that's what you get when you get in a hurry...).

I'm getting tempted to fill in the sides, too...


Back to the thread topic though, spare tire location is the biggest pain about flatbeds. Mine's secure and easy to move around if i need to, but it's always in the way no matter where I put it.

Right now I'm looking at either making a swing out cross bar to hold it diagonally between the diagonal bars, or changing my tailgate to swinging out sideways and holding the spare on that. Either way, I can say goodbye to my rear view mirror. And if I put it up front it's gonna block my toolbox and keep me from getting a bigger toolbox than the crappy tiny plastic one I have now.
 

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If I were you guys I would stand up the tire and mount it against the inside of the driver's Bed Rail.
w/out toolbox put it right behind the cab, this way you will still have 90% visibility, and 100% sight to the pass side where I find it useful.
w/ toolbox put it in the back corner. Hell, if you were slick y ou could build a ditch into that corner for the spare to sink into a bit.

Best place is under the bed though, didn't Geiger's yellow truck have it under? low COG = good
 

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SamuraiChris said:
Best place is under the bed though, didn't Geiger's yellow truck have it under? low COG = good
I like the underbed idea but without some (a lot) of lift I'm not gonna be able to squeez it under there. My bed is pretty low to the frame, basically sits right on it.
 

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That floating tire is pretty sweet, I wish I could my rig to do that at times.

Here is a better shot of that mount.


Pete and I were thinking about the putting it on the diamond plate but the owner wanted that for useable hauling space so we didn't. He also didn't want to cut that big of a hole right in the middle of the diamond plate.

I do agree with a low COG, but who wouldn't????
 
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