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2020 Colorado Z71 Trail Runner
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After letting it off-gas for 5 days while I was out of town, I assembled and installed it:

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With this many T-Nuts, I certainly hope that L-Track on the other side is secure (lol)

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I've never used extruded aluminum before, but found it really strong and exactly as advertised: industrial erector set for grown children. It cut fairly easily on my mitersaw with 12-Inch 100 Tooth Aluminum and Non-Ferrous Metal Saw Blade and some Nikx Stikx Metal Cutting Compound.


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I haven't mounted the aluminum hatch support since Amazon shipped me the wrong thing (5/8" jam nuts instead of 10-32 screws) so re-ordered from McMasters. Hatches seem fine without it, for now, but that is what the 2 empty holes are for on the hatches.

I rarely route freehand, and could have done a better job plunge routing the latch recesses but they move freely so I'll call that a win. A skill to improve on, for sure.

I quite enjoy the contrast of SS hardware on the matte black platform. Really happy with how it turned out, thanks again to @Akicita, @Y E T I, and @RKTROY.
Dang dude, looks amazing!! I wish I had your wood working skills.
 

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Discussion Starter · #202 ·
Dang dude, looks amazing!! I wish I had your wood working skills.
Haha thanks man. I do not feel like I am that skilled based on the mediocre (ok, fine, sub par) plunge routs for the latches. But I did get the aluminum support plates finished and relocated my extinguisher. So calling it complete !

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I will give you a word of caution about working with extruded aluminum... If things don't line up, DO NOT USE A HAMMER (Aka don't go full Marine). lol. It makes things way worse:
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Haha thanks man. I do not feel like I am that skilled based on the mediocre (ok, fine, sub par) plunge routs for the latches. But I did get the aluminum support plates finished and relocated my extinguisher. So calling it complete !

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I will give you a word of caution about working with extruded aluminum... If things don't line up, DO NOT USE A HAMMER (Aka don't go full Marine). lol. It makes things way worse:
View attachment 427752
I would have tried to use a hammer too lol, never served though
 
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Discussion Starter · #204 ·
I would have tried to use a hammer too lol, never served though
Haha Y E T I is a retired Marine and I can't help but give him some light hearted inter-service jabs.

Regardless, hammer is 110% the wrong tool. The right answer was making the holes 1/16" bigger to allow more adjustment room for the screws. The L Track acts like a huge washer and the T-Nuts into extruded aluminum acts like a huge nut plate so having bigger clearance holes is not a big deal and was easily aligned after that.
 

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2020 Colorado Z71 Trail Runner
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Haha Y E T I is a retired Marine and I can't help but give him some light hearted inter-service jabs.

Regardless, hammer is 110% the wrong tool. The right answer was making the holes 1/16" bigger to allow more adjustment room for the screws. The L Track acts like a huge washer and the T-Nuts into extruded aluminum acts like a huge nut plate so having bigger clearance holes is not a big deal and was easily aligned after that.
I totally would have used a BFH. In fact, when I was installing the 589Fab skid plate support bracket, I could not quite get it to line up evenly. Instead of being patient, I just grabbed a 5# sledge and went to town. Fortunately, that's an appropriate application for a BFH. Semper Gumby!!
 

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Haha Y E T I is a retired Marine and I can't help but give him some light hearted inter-service jabs.

Regardless, hammer is 110% the wrong tool. The right answer was making the holes 1/16" bigger to allow more adjustment room for the screws. The L Track acts like a huge washer and the T-Nuts into extruded aluminum acts like a huge nut plate so having bigger clearance holes is not a big deal and was easily aligned after that.
Ohhhh cool cool also thank you both for your service!
 
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Discussion Starter · #207 · (Edited)
Still really digging the CPAM ! Wish they made a BPAM for the Bolt lol.
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Discussion Starter · #208 · (Edited)
Work trip cancelled so I'm going to take a trip up to WV and camp/travel forest service roads for a week. Out of an abundance of caution I ordered a 1/8" wire rope kit to make some steel security ropes (similar to bike locks but didn't need that heavy duty or want the weight). Made 3x security ropes; one for my fuel cans, one for my spare tire+hilift+pelican, and a third as a spare/maybe for traction boards if I can figure out a way to do it practically. Seems like an economical deterrent; a determined thief is still going to get through. Since they're not weight bearing, I crimped the ferrules on with my vice. I had some scrap aluminum I used to stop the ends from fraying. Wrapped in F4 Self Fusing Silicone Tape as an extra measure.

Disclaimer: These security cables are not used to secure the cargo or hold/retain weight; only for security/theft deterrence. Final cargo tie-down has not yet occurred.


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Cables are vinyl coated. We'll see how that holds up to rubbing on metal cans lol.

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Spare tire+hilift+pelican of cooking stuff

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Ended up locking through the hilift jack. Seems to work great and give very little room for bolt cutters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #209 ·
I've been needing a way to carry a full size spare for awhile, but couldn't decide if I wanted a hitch carrier like a Wilco, or swingout attached to a bumper like the Relentless High Clearance, so I went with neither ( lol ). I saw a newcomber post about his BackRack which got me thinking about how I've always liked cargo trucks and AEV tray bed concept which mounted the spare behind the cab, so I ordered the appropriate BackRack and hardware kit. It is quite beefy and at 48#+12#, about the same weight as the Hitchgate solo (54#, hitch pin not included) or the swingouts from relentless (60#).

I think it turned out pretty badass though.

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Cargo strap placement will take some tweaking but really happy with it and don't see the wheel+tire being able to apply enough torsion/force to the rack, even under dynamic load, to break free or damage it. Each of those friction straps has a 200# WLL and the spare is secured to a bed cargo hook on the bottom, and the rack on the top, pulled under tension against the drive side bed rail. I gave it some serious yanks from the top and sides with no movement except rubber creaking and the entire truck rocking on the suspension.

Anyone see any issues with this setup ? Aside from wrangling the tire in/out of the bed, which is a fun chore ?
 
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I've been needing a way to carry a full size spare for awhile, but couldn't decide if I wanted a hitch carrier like a Wilco, or swingout attached to a bumper like the Relentless High Clearance, so I went with neither ( lol ). I saw a newcomber post about his BackRack which got me thinking about how I've always liked cargo trucks and AEV tray bed concept which mounted the spare behind the cab, so I ordered the appropriate BackRack and hardware kit. It is quite beefy and at 48#+12#, about the same weight as the Hitchgate solo (54#, hitch pin not included) or the swingouts from relentless (60#).

I think it turned out pretty badass though.

View attachment 433114

View attachment 433115

View attachment 433116

Cargo strap placement will take some tweaking but really happy with it and don't see the wheel+tire being able to apply enough torsion/force to the rack, even under dynamic load, to break free or damage it. Each of those friction straps has a 200# WLL and the spare is secured to a bed cargo hook on the bottom, and the rack on the top, pulled under tension against the drive side bed rail. I gave it some serious yanks from the top and sides with no movement except rubber creaking and the entire truck rocking on the suspension.

Anyone see any issues with this setup ? Aside from wrangling the tire in/out of the bed, which is a fun chore ?
Hmm so only two bolts on each side on the bottom are holding the rack? This caught my attention because I thought I might be able to load my tire further up so it clears my Diamondback cover but I guess not, does look badass.
 

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Discussion Starter · #211 ·
Hmm so only two bolts on each side on the bottom are holding the rack? This caught my attention because I thought I might be able to load my tire further up so it clears my Diamondback cover but I guess not, does look badass.
If you mounted a tire vertically on top of your diamondback... that would be really tall haha.


There's 4 total bolts. 2 of these "main" bolts that go through the truck bed circular holes up front (SAE Grade 8, but welded) and then ~5/16" or 3/8" carriage bolts through 3/16" plate steel U's to attach the rack to the bedrail mounts.
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Lol yeah that would be weird. Damn those are some big ass bolts
 

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Discussion Starter · #214 ·
How badly does that impact your rearward view?
There are impacts but I placed it on the driver's side intentionally because with mirror angles, I only lose 25-30% ish of my view. I really didn't see the driver rear headrest all that much.

That is the compromise I made; keep departure angle but lose rear view mirror visibility. I can partially compensate for that lost FOV with my driver side mirror

I'll try and get a representative picture. I'd say its better than when the lady piles the backseat to the ceiling 😂
 
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Discussion Starter · #215 ·
Was rock solid on the 409mi/7hrs drive through winding WV roads ~40-60mph. Now to see how it fairs on some trails tomorrow. In the rain. Because of course it's raining all day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #216 · (Edited)
Incredible 7 day trip through West Virginia. Really appreciate the insight @WV NATIVE

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Incredible 7 day trip through West Virginia. Really appreciate the insight @WV NATIVE
You really should see it in the fall. If you time it right it’s like camping in heaven. 😇

Your pictures are making me push even harder to get my heap put back together. I can’t wait to get out of the garage.
 

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Nice green turd. No in all honesty, I do like that green alot. Wrap?
Beautiful out there eh wow!
Lmao I was gonna say something too but was like nah someone else will probably say something and this isn't a taco hate thread 😂
 
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Discussion Starter · #220 ·
Nice green turd. No in all honesty, I do like that green alot. Wrap?
Beautiful out there eh wow!
Indescribably beautiful. Photos don't even do the majesty justice. I'm already trying to plan to go back :ROFLMAO:

My buddy just bought that TRD PRO. Had ~6000mi on it when we started the trip. He bought it that color; it's not wrapped that either of us know of.

Lmao I was gonna say something too but was like nah someone else will probably say something and this isn't a taco hate thread 😂
He traded his Diesel ZR2 Bison for that truck. Bison was much more capable offroad but he wanted something more livable for daily driving. We were both impressed with that TRD PRO. It was bone stock on this trip and aside from clearance issues, had no problems. Though it is basically the Toyota version of a ZR2 coming with a 2" lift, Fox shocks, some crazy 4WD computers, and slightly bigger tires. Or so I was told. I have not looked it up, at all. lol.

He did end up coming down pretty hard on one of his steps, which is now only held on with hopes, dreams, and a small tack weld.
 
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