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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got aggravated with the top-down storage solution in the crew cab. Having to lift the seat (and move any cargo stacked on top of it) just to get a thing or two underneath bugged me to no end. I wanted storage accessible from the sides, without being visible through the windows and largely protected with the doors locked. I was also keen to gain the extra cargo from the thickness of the seat, and gain a couple pounds in payload capacity. So this was my solution.

The shelf is 1/2" ACX ply, sealed with Minwax Polyshades Bombay Mahogany. You may notice my first-ever attempt at making dovetail joints. I'm happy to say I've done it - I'm mostly pleased with them - and I hope I never convince myself again that making dovetails by hand on plywood is a good idea. Ply is not fun with a chisel. I digress:
Car Vehicle Motor vehicle Car seat cover Mode of transport

Side view of the storage area from the driver's side. The stuff underneath there is two small fold-out aluminum camp tables I carry as portable work surfaces:
Vehicle door Furniture Automotive exterior Table Auto part

Passenger's side view and underneath. It's nice to have enough room completely out of sight to carry a full rifle range bag. Also leaving the seat belt hardware installed makes for a decent quick tie-down strap for cargo:
Car seat cover Vehicle Car Car seat Mode of transport

Vehicle Car Automotive exterior Auto part Vehicle door

I anchored the back supports using Simpson strong-tie right-angle brackets drilled out to fit on the existing seat hardware. The front support is self-tapping screws installed top-down into the stock seat frame. I also made a cut-out for the front that is screwed into the stock seat frame to keep everything from spilling forward in a sudden stop:
Bumper Automotive exterior Metal

Vehicle Car Car seat cover Car seat Automotive design

I'm rolling with the setup as-is for now. My original intention was to remove both seats and replace with a full shelf/bench for maximum cargo capacity, but having the third seat has been useful. Fwiw, the bench is comfortable as a short-term option for a passenger. Next on the list is some rigid foam to cover the seat hooks so if I am carrying extra people, they can lean back without getting jabbed.

Seat removal was pretty straight forward and easy with the correct Torx bits (recommend getting a set that includes T50) and 4"+ socket wrench extensions. Probably took me about 45-1hr to get it pulled.
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